Federer vs Nadal

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The Federer–Nadal rivalry (known by some as Fedal) is between two professional tennis players, Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain. They are currently engaged in a storied rivalry, which many consider to be the greatest in tennis history. They have played 34 times, most recently in the 2015 Swiss Indoors final, and Nadal leads their twelve-year-old rivalry with an overall record of 23–11.

Federer and Nadal are the only pair of men to have finished six consecutive calendar years as the top two ranked players on the ATP Tour, which they did from 2005–10. This included a record 211 consecutive weeks sharing the top two rankings from July 2005 to August 2009.

Of their 34 matches, 15 have been on clay, 16 have been on hard court, and three have been on grass. The results of their matches are somewhat polarized by playing surface. Federer has a winning record on grass (2–1), while Nadal leads on clay (13–2). Nadal also has the edge over Federer on hard courts (9–7), with Nadal having won 8 of 10 matches on outdoor hard courts and Federer claiming 5 of 6 matches on indoor hard courts. Nadal also leads the head-to-head of their 11 Grand Slam matches (9–2), with five of these wins on the clay courts of Roland Garros, and both losses on grass at Wimbledon.

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As tournament seedings are based on rankings, with the top two seeds placed on opposite sides of the draw, 21 of Nadal and Federer’s 34 matches have been in tournament finals, including an all-time record nine Grand Slam finals and 10 Masters Series finals. Another nine have been semifinals, two have been quarterfinals, with only two taking place before the last-8 stage. In 27 matches out of 34 between Nadal and Federer, the winner of the first set won the match.

From 2006 to 2008, they played in every French Open and Wimbledon final. Their 2008 Wimbledon final was lauded as the greatest match ever by many long-time tennis analysts.

Today when they meet in Australian Open final it will be an epic encounter as the two of the greatest players will face-off again to prove their supremacy.

India celebrates its 68th Republic Day

https://youtu.be/ZHERHyeFY80
Recently 26 January marked India’s 68th Republic Day. Republic Day honors the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.

Delhi Republic Day parade is held in the capital, New Delhi. Commencing from the gates of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (the President’s residence), Raisina Hill on Rajpath past the India Gate, this event is the main attraction of India’s Republic Day Celebrations lasting 3 days. The parade showcases India’s Defence Capability, Cultural and Social Heritage.

Nine to twelve different regiments of the Indian Army in addition to the Navy, and Air Force with their bands march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. Twelve contingents of various para-military forces of India and other civil forces also take part in this parade.

The history of India’s Republic Day is quite intriguing. Although India obtained its independence on 15 August 1947, it was functioning as a constitutional monarchy with George VI as head of state and the Earl Mountbatten as the governor-general. India did not its own permanent constitution. Independent India’s laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935. Seeing an issue with this, a drafting committee was appointed on 28 August 1947, to pen down a permanent constitution. The chairman of this committee was the great Dr B R Ambedkar who was also the principle architect of the Constitution. The committee prepared a draft constitution and submitted it to the Assembly on 4 November 1947. This was followed by 166 days of open public sessions spread over a period of 2 years, 11 months and 18 days. Finally, on 24 January 1950, after many deliberations and some modifications, two hand-written copies of the document were produced and the 308 members of the Assembly signed on them. Two days later, the Constitution of India came into effect throughout the nation.

Cracking the CODE

A free community-driven Kids Coding Club, perhaps the first of its kind in India, is being launched today in IT city by a 14-year-old Bengalurean.21bgm_coding

He is 14, doesn’t think coding is nerdy, and believes that other kids his age should have access to practical computer training.

Krish Samtani may be a cool young adolescent with an accent to boot, but he has some big ideas for this world.

Today his initiative 0Gravity takes off — a free coding club for kids aged 10 to 14, with a system of volunteers, host IT company, and mentors from the industry in place

Happy Typing

OneNote

OneNote has everything from to-do lists, sub tasks, highlights, labels to tags. Not to mention the several formatting options it allows the user. You can also attach images, videos, spreadsheets and links.

One of its highlights is the file revision history, which allows you to see the changes made to a file over time by various users. Quite useful for shared files. And if you thought that was it, then wait.

The app also automatically transcribes text from a PDF file or paper document that you upload. Nifty eh?

Wunderlist

One of the great features of this app is its natural language interpretation. Wunderlist has what is called the Smart Due Dates that automatically sets a reminder based on words like ‘tomorrow’ or ‘Monday’, without your having to specify the exact date. The app has templates for common tasks such as work, personal, bills and vacations to allow you to group tasks into folders and arrange them as per date and time or alphabetically. The premium version lets you add files of any size and share an unlimited number of tasks with other users.

Simplenote

As the name suggests, this is one of the simpler note-taking apps; perfect for those looking for a fuss-free note-taking experience. The app is free of a lot of features seen in other similar apps, making this one lighter and faster.

Yet, it lets you sync data across devices and is also a great way to organise notes using tags and pins, to let you sort and find notes with ease.

Zoho Notebook

From the stable of software company Zoho, this note-taking app organises your to-do lists and tasks in a card-like interface. The notes appear as coloured stickers stacked on top of each other, almost like post-its. You can choose to shuffle them around or swipe to see additional information.

The app also lets you attach audio, video and photo files to your notes and also set reminders. So, the next time there’s an interesting video you come across, here’s a quick way to save the file for later viewing.

The content also syncs to all your devices with Zoho on it, and there’s more — you can run a search for notes within the app, maybe even rustle up a long-forgotten one.

Google Keep

How can one miss out on Google Keep?

The note-taking app with a minimal interface from the Google stable is rather easy to use, while also offering some powerful tools to manage your tasks effectively.

The app lets you create collaborative to-do lists, save bookmarks and also transcribes voice notes. The app also syncs automatically to all your devices with Keep and lets you access notes on any of them or on the web.

One can also set location-based reminders, apart from the usual time-based ones. You can also filter and segregate notes as per colour for easier identification and searches.

A promising 50th CES 2017

The displays have powered off and the 50th anniversary show of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is done. As always, manufacturers pulled out all the stops to showcase the most outlandish products possible, some of which will hit stores in the near future, while others will remain proof of our engineering and manufacturing prowess. Here are some of the products showcased at CES that caught our eye.

Self-driving tech is coming – fast

NVIDIA has been busy doing more than making gaming video cards. It has been working closely with Audi for a self-driving technology, and brought some toys along. Audi’s self-driving tech is intelligent enough to learn and adapt to new situations and take action seamlessly, such as detect obstacles and detours. Mercedes was not far behind either, demoing a self-driving that also taps into map data to orient itself with its surroundings. On the motorcycle side of things, Honda had the next best thing to self driving — a self-balancing motorcycle that can follow its owner around at slow speeds.

The other big highlight was Faraday Future, a company that has been making big promises and garnering criticism for under-delivering. This year, it finally had a working prototype to show — the FF91, which aims to fuse cutting-edge technology in the cabin with advanced self-driving ability.

The company showed the car’s ability to accelerate from 0-60mph in about 2.3 seconds, and drive around a parking lot and park in an empty slot by itself.

Whether we see an FF91 hit the roads remains to be seen, as Faraday Future is mired in controversy about top employees leaving and poor financial management.

The TV is getting thinner, again

If you were born in the last millennium, you’ve already gone through one stage of bewilderment as television viewing went from clunky CRT boxes to sleek LED panels. It’s time for another phase.

Sony finally caught up to the benefits of LG-developed OLED technology, and licensed it to make its first TV that uses it — the wafer-thin A1E series.

While this is impressive in its own right, Panasonic went and converted a window into a television, and Chinese manufacturer Hisense opted to develop a projector and screen combination to replace the big screen TV.

However, the star was LG again, with its W7 ‘wallpaper’ TV, a super-thin panel that can literally be stuck to or peeled off a wall. It’s even set to be available for purchase soon, if you have 8,000 dollars.

Portable gaming gets a boost

If you’ve got over 8,000 dollars lying around, an update to your gaming set-up might be in order. Two of the most outlandish products at CES were laptops with spec sheets so powerful they might be from Krypton.

Razer, which already make the powerful Blade Pro gaming laptop, decided one screen was too less and debuted Project Valerie, a souped-up version of the Pro with three retractable 4K screens.

Not to be outdone, Acer, which has been hard at work on portable devices, has updated the Predator series with the Predator 21X, complete with two full desktop-grade NVIDIA GTX 1080 video cards, a 21-inch curved display, full mechanical keyboard and eye-tracking technology. All this for a paltry 9,000 dollars.

Honourable mentions

Smartphones and wearables were in a downtrend at CES, which is not unwelcome because other devices get to shine. The one ‘wearable’ that did get some attention was a compact breast pump developed by Willow. The small machine does not require a connection to an external pump and also can be worn underneath clothing so the wearer does not have to undress, allowing greater freedom even in the early stages of motherhood.

Virtual assistants were also everywhere. Amazon’s Alexa has been dominating the home integration space, with Google playing catch up as its Assistant slowly expands to cars and newer generation smartwatches.

BMW was present at the show too, and it thought ahead of the self-driving race by focussing on what drivers can do while a car drives itself.

The company brought along a car cockpit with a holographic interface that helps take video calls, transcribes text from calls and automatically pulls up suggested actions based on the context of the conversation.

All considered, it was a pretty good 50th year for the show. Mobiles and conventional wearables have become passé at such events, and attendees did well to bring their best and most outlandish designs for the future to the show. A future that may, at first glance, look eye-wateringly expensive but promises unlimited innovation.

2017’s techies

Along with all that Christmas cheer and New Year’s revelry and resolutions in the air, there’s something else. The electric anticipation of what new technological innovations await us right around the turn of the year. You see, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2017) was on last week and it’s one of the world’s biggest consumer tech expos held every year. Here are the highlights.

Automobile

Nvidia kickstarted CES 2017 with an autonomous self-driving car system, the Drive PX, with a computer-assisted driving system called AI Co-Pilot. The system is all set to make its way under the hoods of several major manufacturers’ cars.

What took the CES cake was the Tesla competitor Faraday Future FF 91 electric SUV, which beat the world record 0-60 kmph in an astounding 2.39 seconds. In just a few days, over 60,000 early bookings have already been made for the FF 91.

Honda also unveiled a self-balancing motorcycle, which shifts its internal weight to maintain balance when the bike is standing still or moving at a very low speed. It automatically shifts from the rider-assist mode to balance mode when needed. The company also revealed an electric car with an ‘emotion engine’, an AI that learns from the driver’s behaviour, suggesting music and driving recommendations; the same thing any backseat driver would do, but in a soothing electronic voice.

Gaming

Razer stole the show with their new Project Ariana and Project Valerie concepts. Arana is a video projection system that extends your game view way from the screen onto the walls and surrounding systems. And Valerie is a concept gaming laptop with not one, but three 17-inch 4k screens, forming one large 12k screen. Razer will have definitely put enough graphics horsepower into Valerie. The specs say it will be as thick as normal 17-inch gaming laptops.

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are quite expensive, and Google’s affordable Daydream VR and Cardboard dominate the market. This CES sees prototype-affordable VR headsets from HP, Dell and Acer, based on Microsoft’s Holographic Platform. They ensure that gamers on even the most basic laptops can use VR.

Nvidia also launched their GeForce Now game-streaming service on PC and Mac. It allows you to subscribe and play any game, irrespective of how low your system specs are.

Also revealed, the Shield TV, which is based on Android and let’s you use GeForce Now as well as Amazon and Netflix streaming services.

Disability

This year, CES 2017 offered a lot of tech to deal with various disabilities.

Hyundai demonstrated an exoskeleton to help people walk.

There was also robotic companion Leka, which can teach children with learning disabilities.

The Dring Smart Cane, a walking aid, sends alerts if the user has fallen. It’s also got a step and GPS tracker, so you know if grandpa is at the local mithaiwala buying stuff he shouldn’t be buying.

Neofect, a South Korean company, is working on a special mechanical glove to help the rehabilitation process of patients suffering from strokes, or accident victims. With a gamified experience, the device motivates them to fully actuate their muscles.

Wheelchairs were also given the tech treatment in the form of the Whill Model M, which is motorised as well as all-terrain, with a mode for staying put even on slopes.

Wearables

After last year’s slew of smartwatches and smart clothes, there were very few wearables in 2017.

For gamers, HTC debuted the Vive Tracker, which converts your movements into a game; it can be attached to any cricket bat or tennis racket you have lying around.

Of the few smartwatches at the show, most notable are the New Balance RunIQ, Misfit Vapor, and Casio’s Android Wear WSD F-20 watch. They’re all bristling with the usual sensors for health, though Casio’s F-20 has a snow sport tracking, GPS and colour maps, and a monochrome mode. All sport circular displays.

A great example of wearable tech solving real problems is the Willow Smart Breast Pump. It’s small enough to slip into a bra and it holds itself in place using motorised tech. It leaves the user’s hands free to do other things, instead of being stuck in one place thanks to the cumbersome wire. The Willow also sends relevant information on its reserves to a companion app.

For those who love micromanaging their health, the Notch3D motion sensors take things up a notch. Essentially, they are six wearables you can attach to any part of your body via elastic bands to collect any amount of data you want from its array of accelerometers and gyroscopes.

Processors

AMD’s much awaited range of Zen processors, Ryzen, was curiously absent from CES 2017. Several motherboards with the AM4 socket, however, were unveiled. AMD has claimed that the Zen can beat Intel’s i7 flagship desktop processors at a better price point.

Intel has already launched their much-awaited Kaby Lake processors and at CES, people got a glimpse of their next generation CannonLake, using a much smaller size.

Qualcomm, the company responsible for the Snapdragon processor powering the majority of your smartphones, has launched the new 835 flagship processor. The Snapdragon 835 has massive improvements in speed and graphics, with a dedicated digital to analogue sound converter for audio purists, among a huge laundry list of features coming to a smartphone near you.

Robots

The age of R2D2, or Terminator, becoming a reality is almost here. Home helper butler robots adorned the show.

Meet Kuri, a little mobile speaker robot that can move about your home, recognise family members and monitor things when you’re not there.

And wave to the Amazon Alexa-powered LG Hub robot with cute blue eyes, which recognises your gestures.

Sound

CES unveiled too many sound innovations to cover them all.

Most notable: Sony’s HT-ST5000 flagship soundbar with Dolby Atmos surround-sound, which comes with Google Assistant support.

Also shown: the very cool-looking JBL Pulse 3, a Lava Lamp-like portable speaker that is also waterproof.

Bang & Olufson also showed off the wool-covered BeoPlay M5, with Chromecast support and multi-room play.

Audio-Technical also revealed Bluetooth headphones with their proprietary Pure Digital Drive technology. The ATH-DSR9BT ensures you get the clearest possible signal with no interference or loss in sound quality.

Televisions

Those big beautiful screens are always a highlight.

Xiaomi was front and centre with a TV that’s as thin as a smartphone. The MiTV 4 is just 4.9 inches thick and has no bezels, which means that the screen almost touches the edge. It comes with a 10-speaker Dolby Atmos soundbar. The MiTV 4 comes in 59- and 49-inch varieties. In true Xiaomi fashion, it probably won’t make it to India.

Sony launched a beautiful 4K short-throw projector that’s crazy expensive and can throw a 100-inch image on your wall to rival any HDTV out there.

Sony also revealed an OLED Bravia 4K TV with Dolby Vision support.

Samsung bet big-time on their new Quantum Dot LED TVs, QLED, which throw the gauntlet at other OLED TVs to beat them in quality. Samsung’s products have 100 per cent colour volume and a very high brightness levels. This means better picture quality guaranteed to blow your mind and not, well, blow up.

There were also a few affordable 4K and HDR TVs out there, but not a flood of them. Hopefully, 2017 should see more manufacturers taking efforts to bring HDR and 4K into the mainstream.

Home

The floor was flooded with AI-compatible speakers big and small from Amazon’s AI assistant, Alexa and Google Home.

What stood out: Mattel’s Aristotle, a speaker that acts as a baby monitor and tutor that reads out stories and helps kids with homework. Think of it as the assistant that grows up with your child.

Samsung unveiled the next generation of Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators with touchscreens and an assistant to help with recipes.

Also shown: a FlexWash washer-dryer laundry system that connects to an app.

LG unveiled a smart fridge powered by Amazon’s Alexa.

In an act of sensor overkill, L’Oréal and Withings unveiled a hairbrush, the Kérastase Hair Coach, with sensors to detect your combing style and correct it using a smartphone app.

Smartphones

Mobile phone manufacturers looked like they were holding out for Mobile World Congress (MWC 2017).

Xiaomi did unveil a white version of their Mi Mix bezel-less smartphone, which looks beautiful, as the 6.4-inch screen touches the very edges of the phone.

Huawei revealed the Honor Magic, a phone with an all-metal frame and lowing glass over its body.

Asus stole the show, however, with the Zenfone AR, using Google’s Project Tango Augmented Reality. It uses the phone’s 23-megapixel motion-tracking and depth-sensing cameras. Google Tango uses your camera to project 3D-educational objects or games onto your surroundings. The stand-out feature of the Zenfone AR is that it comes with an astounding 8GB of RAM.

Apple to offer up to 32GB of RAM in 2017 MacBook Pro

Aiming to cater to the needs of professional users, Apple is predicted to offer up to 32GB of “potentially desktop-class” RAM in its high-end MacBook Pro models in 2017 and 16GB of RAM in its 12-inch MacBook.

Apple’s 2017 laptop line will focus on internal component updates, notably platform-wide adoption of Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture.

Essentially, the Intel Skylake CPUs used in Apple’s MacBook Pro only support up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM.

Apple is also predicted to start manufacturing of a 15-inch MacBook Pro with up to 32GB of RAM in the fourth quarter.

Beyond the high-end 15-inch model, Apple is expected to start production of new 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros in the third quarter of 2017.

Cupertino-based Apple in October introduced the thinnest and lightest MacBook Pro ever with Touch Bar.

 The MacBook Pro features sixth-generation quad-core and dual-core processors, up to 2.3 times the graphics performance over the previous generation, super-fast SSDs and up to four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro, at just 15.5 mm thin, is 14 per cent thinner and has 20 per cent less volume than before, and weighing just 1.83 kg is nearly half a pound lighter.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro, also features Touch Bar and Touch ID, a 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5GHz, 16GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar and Touch ID features a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage.

Panasonic’s waterproof Bluetooth

The earphones are designed to experience clear sound while working out at the gym, cycling or running.

Panasonic India launched new Bluetooth sports earphones — RP=BTS50 — which are designed to experience clear sound while working out at the gym, cycling or running.

Priced at Rs. 8,999, the RP-BTS50 is waterproof, comes with a 12mm driver which is compatible with aptX, AAC and has blue LED lights on the edges of the earphones.

“Owing to the growing demand for headphones while exercising, Panasonic has introduced the latest RP-BTS50 which comes with waterproof technology and safety lighting customised for fitness enthusiasts,” said Gaurav Ghavri, Product Head, Panasonic India, in a statement.

The earphones feature a round-the-ear 3D-flex hanger which can be bent, providing a comfortable and optimal fit.

Grow plants on ISS with NASA smartphone app

NASA has launched a gaming app that allows you to virtually float around the International Space Station (ISS), meet the crew and even grow plants using your smartphone.

In the game “Space Science Investigations: Plant Growth,” players have to first learn how to navigate in the ISS’s micro-gravity environment, or “zero-g.”

This includes getting to do flips and ‘fly’ around the space station.

Users can then strike up a conversation with the astronaut and ISS crew member Naomi, who explains to the game’s leading mission: experimental plant growth.

Players gain an understanding of the issues that micro gravity presents for growing plants, such as how they can be watered without gravity.

India becomes Associate member of CERN

India became an Associate member of CERN on Monday with the Indian government completing its internal approval procedures in respect of the agreement it had signed with CERN on November 21, 2016.

On November 21, 2016, Sekhar Basu, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Fabiola Gianotti CERN Director General signed an Agreement to admit India to CERN as an Associate member. But India had to “notify CERN of its final approval for the Agreement to enter into force” and become an Associate member.