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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Google Voicemail Goes Email…

SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc is seeking to blur the line between the telephone and the computer even further with the introduction of Google Voice.

The new service weaves traditional phone features with Google’s Gmail email product, allowing a person to store transcripts of voicemail phone messages in their email inbox and to find a specific nugget of information within a phone message as if trawling through a sea of emails.

The move comes as Google increasingly branches out from its stronghold in Internet search, as it seeks to carve out a role in everything from cell phones to personal productivity software.

And it demonstrates the company’s ability to fuse various technologies — home-grown and acquired — into new products, even as the economic recession puts the future of certain Google projects in question.

Google Voice is based on the technology of Grand Central Communications, a company that Google acquired in July 2007. After Grand Central remained silent for nearly two years under the Google flag, some observers wondered whether it had met the same fate as Dodgeball, a Google acquisition that was formally shut down this year.

Google Voice represents the first major update to Grand Central since the acquisition. Like the original Grand Central product, Google Voice offers consumers a single phone number that can route incoming calls to home, office and cell phones.

The new version uses speech-recognition technology that Google developed for its Goog-411 telephone directory service, automatically transcribing voicemails into text. The transcribed messages can be forwarded as an email or SMS text message to a person’s email inbox.

It is unclear how Google Voice will fit into Google’s business model, which relies on advertisers to provide 97 percent of the company’s revenue. The company has also ventured into the mobile software market, launching last year the Android mobile operating system.

Other than a feature that bills Google Voice users when they make long-distance phone calls, the product has no immediate means of generating revenue, said Craig Walker, group product manager for Real Time Communications at Google.

He said that Google Voice, which will be available to existing Grand Central users and to the general public in the following weeks, provides another reason for people to spend more time on Google’s various online properties, which benefits the company.

Google also makes money from selling enterprise versions of its applications to corporations. But Walker said the current priority is to make Google Voice a success as a free consumer product.

“There’s all sorts of things we can do down the road,” Walker said. “But right now we’re just totally focused on getting the consumer product out.”

Michael Jackson's Best Dance At M TV Music Award Function

Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson's stage performance on Bille Jean

Swine Flu Vaccine Being Produced in advance

Almost 18,000 cases of swine flu and 45 confirmed deaths have been reported within the U.S. As the swine flu runs its course, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has reported that vaccines for swine flu are currently being tested in preparation for the possibility of an outbreak later this year. She stated that the government is making every effort to be prepared and is working with governors and health and school officials in case a major vaccination program is needed.

Sebelius said that currently the main focus is on the Southern Hemisphere where the flu season unfolds prior to the normal flu season for the U.S. She also noted that health officials are closely monitoring what occurs when swine flu virus intermingles with the common flu and that, thus far, the swine flu virus does not appear to be very dangerous. However, if a vaccine program is recommended, full production could begin in late summer to prepare for the start of the flu season in the Northern Hemisphere as winter approaches.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services placed a $289 million order for swine flu vaccine with European drug maker Novartis in May of this year. Novartis announced on June 12, 2009 that the first vaccine batch of H1N1 Swine flu vaccine has been produced much earlier than first projected. This is due to the fact that the vaccine was created in cells instead of using the typical egg-based method. The company said that this first batch is for evaluation and testing, and possibly for clinical trials, and also indicated that it could produce millions of doses of the vaccine weekly if the need arises.

On the heels of the announcement by Novartis, Protein Sciences Corporation (PSC), a privately held biopharmaceutical company based in Meriden, Connecticut, announced that it has begun manufacturing a vaccine to protect humans against the H1N1 swine flu. PSC estimates production of at least 100,000 doses per week if needed. The vaccine, known as PanBlok, is being made with the use of PSC’s proprietary baculovirus and insect cell manufacturing technology. Once produced, the vaccine will undergo quality tests that could last for up to one month, and will then be ready for use in clinical trials as well as in vaccines for those countries that grant regulatory clearance.

PSC’s Chairman, President and CEO, Daniel D. Adams said, “We are in the process of transferring our proprietary manufacturing technology to facilities in other countries and we are setting up a foundation to ensure vaccine availability for U.N.-member countries consistent with the commitment we made to the World Health Organization and the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on May 19, 2009.” He also noted, “Using our proprietary technology, licensees could be producing vaccine in as little as two to three weeks if they are currently working with insect cells, and in a few months if they are now producing monoclonal antibodies.”

Due to the rapid widespread outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu virus, the World Health Organization has recently declared the first flu pandemic since 1968. The virus ran rampant through North America, Australia, South America, Europe and even regions beyond. However, since the onset of the outbreak in April, U.S. health officials have reported that for the most part, infections have been mild with most people recovering fairly quickly. In addition, testing has shown that the H1N1 swine flu virus continues to be susceptible to both Tamiflu and Relenza, two common antiviral drugs

In a statement, Dr. Pascal James Imperato, a former New York City health commissioner and dean of public health at the State University of New York’s Downstate Medical Center, said, “A World Health Organization level 6, which in effect states that H1N1 infections are now worldwide in distribution, is simply a declaration of the extent of geographic spread, and not a statement of severity of the clinical disease.” He also acknowledged, “The disease remains relatively mild in most people. A positive consequence of this declaration is that it empowers countries to move forward with vaccine production.”

Meanwhile, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be monitoring the swine flu virus for possible mutations and antiviral medication resistance that could cause the disease to become more widespread.

Michael Photos

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hazaribagh Wildlife Park in Bihar

The Hazaribagh National Park lies in the newly formed state of Jharkhand. The sanctuary spread in an area of 184 sq km and lies at an altitude of 615 m. the park have the undulating terrain and steep hills with dense tropical forests and grass meadows.

The Hazaribagh National Park has abundant wild animals like the Chital, Nilgai, Panther, Sambar, Sloth Bear, Tiger and Wild Boar. The Cheetal, Kakar, Nilgai, Sambar and Wild Boar are among the most easily and often spotted animals particularly near the waterholes at the time of the dusk. The population of the tigers is very less. According to 1991 Census, there were 14 tigers in the park. The tigers are really difficult to sight.

A 111-km long stretch of the road in the sanctuary takes the tourists to the remotest corners and masonry towers of the park. The road, strategically laid down, offers excellent opportunities for the view of the wild animals. The tribal population also lives around the sanctuary. The ark has many watchtowers that act as the perfect hideouts to see the wildlife in its natural surroundings.

The Palamau Forest Reserve is the other major wildlife sanctuary of this region. The tourists can visit the Canari Hill, which is at a distance of 5 km from the park. The excursion tours can be taken to Rajrappa Falls and Suraj Kund Hot Spring, located at a distance of 89 km and 72 km respectively.