Budget basics: A glossary of terms used in Budget

Budget speech involves terms that aren’t used in daily conversation.

CLICK HERE for a ready reckoner for some of these terms.

Via –  The Hindu


What is net neutrality?

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has set new rules to regulate Internet providers. ISPs would be barred from blocking or slowing access to any website or content on the web, for instance to benefit their own services over those of competitors.

CLICK HERE for details about the concept of net neutrality and the FCC’s work to regulate Internet traffic

Via – The Hindu

11 inventions that could change the world

What seems a failure at first (like, say, the electric light) becomes indispensable. And what seems destined to succeed (Hello there, Apple Newton!) can soon become a toss-away item. So claiming any invention as a “sure bet” is an easy way to set yourself up for humiliation.

There are items, though, that certainly have the potential to dramatically impact the way people live—from interacting with the world around them, to exploring deep space, to simply finding ways to survive in hostile environments.

Some have been on the market a few years; others are just gaining traction; and others, still, are in the late formulative stages, but each of these inventions has the potential to change the world as we know it today.

CLICK HERE to read further

Via CNBC.com


New NASA app gives preview of deep space missions

NASA has developed a new interactive 3D app that can allow avid space explorers reach the launch pad of space missions – virtually.

Smartphone and tablet users can experience the excitement of standing on the launch pad beneath NASA’s massive new rocket, the Space Launch System or SLS, with the app that previews the starting point for the journey to Mars.

The app works by pointing the device up to see to the top of the rocket, or holding level to see the details of the solid rocket boosters and engines, NASA said.

No matter where the user is, opening the scene viewer portion of the app shows what the device’s camera would see if it were at the launch pad with the huge SLS rocket setting up for liftoff.

These views won’t exist in real-life until NASA sends SLS carrying an Orion spacecraft to a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon as the agency pioneers deep into space, but gives users a taste of what the powerful launches will entail.

Called NASA 3DV, for 3-D view, the inventive app shows viewers 3-D models of the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System, the fixtures of NASA’s push to send astronauts on deep space exploration missions to an asteroid and eventually Mars.

The app also shows virtual models of the crawler transporter that carried the Saturn V moon rockets and space shuttle to the launch pad and is on tap to take the SLS and Orion on the same trip.

IAF gets first light combat aircraft

Thirty-two years after the project was sanctioned, the first indigenously-built Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) was handed over by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to the IAF on 17 January, a red letter day for the Indian defence and aerospace sector.

The handover signals the start of a process of induction of the fighters being built at home under a project which has already cost the exchequer nearly ₹8,000 crore.  The entire project by the DRDO and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is estimated to cost over ₹30,000 crore.

The aircraft that has been handed over has got Initial Operational Clearance-II, which signifies that Tejas is airworthy in different conditions. The Final Operational Clearance (FOC) is expected by the year-end.  This version of the aircraft lacks the latest electronic warfare suite, which was integrated into one of the LCAs two weeks ago, mid-air refuelling and long-range missiles capabilities, among other things that the FOC-configuration aircraft will have.

The IOC-I was granted to the aircraft, being built by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), in January 2011. The second IOC was granted after the aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight on 30 September 2014.

20 aircraft will be built by 2017-18, to make the first squadron of the aircraft.

The LCA programme was initiated in 1983 to replace the ageing MiG-21s in IAF’s combat fleet but has missed several deadlines due to various reasons.  HAL’s LCA Project Group has has been upgraded to a full-fledged division to look after production in a systematic way with more investments.

HAL has carried out thousands of sorties of the LCA and outstation flight trials at Leh, Jamnagar, Jaisalmer, Uttaralai Gwalior, Pathankot and Goa for cold weather, armament and weapon deliveries, MultiMode Radar (MMR), Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), hot weather and missile firing flight trials.

Tejas successfully demonstrated weapon delivery capability during trials at Jamnagar and Jaisalmer.

Nasa’s New Horizons Probe Begins Six-Month Approach to Pluto

US space agency NASA said its New Horizons spacecraft officially began its six-month approach to Pluto on 15 January 2015, with the first close-up flyby scheduled for July 14.

After a voyage of nine years covering 4.8 billion kilometres, the piano-sized probe awoke from its final hibernation period in early December for the encounter.  “We’ve completed the longest journey any craft has flown from Earth to reach its primary target, and we are ready to begin exploring!” Alan Stern, New Horizons’ principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute, said in a statement.

According to the space agency, the photo shoot of the Pluto system using the probe’s Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager will begin January 25.  The pictures will not only help mission scientists understand the dynamics of Pluto’s moons, but also play a critical role in navigating the probe as it covers the remaining 220 million kilometres (135 million miles) to the dwarf planet, N said.

CLICK HERE to read further

Via NDTV Gadgets

Maithripala Sirisena: 10 things you should know about Sri Lanka’s newly elected President

On 9 January 2015, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat in his bid for a third term in office. He lost to his former friend and health minister, Maithripala Sirisena, who defected from the ruling party and turned the election into a referendum on the President and the enormous power he wielded over the island nation of 21 million. Here are 10 important things to know about Sri Lanka’s new President,

CLICK HERE to read further

Via The Times of India