Friday, October 31, 2008


The production model is slated to go on sale from spring 2009. Honda is aiming to price the Insight much lower than any other hybrid car currently on the market. Honda intends to sell 2,00,000 units of the Insight a year, a big jump over the 17,000 units of the first Insight it sold worldwide since its 1999 launch. The five-door hatchback capable of seating five will be built on a completely new platform and will be slightly smaller than the civic hybrid Honda is also to launch a hybrid version of the Jazz and a new civic hybrid over the next few years as well as hybrid based on the CR-Z.

Honda intends to achieve sales of 5, 00,000 units of all the four hybrids put together and by 2010, ten percent of its global sales will be comprised of hybrid vehicles. Honda has been able to achieve a significant cost reduction on production of the Insight in order to set such high sales targets. The car will be produced at Honda’s expanded hybrid vehicle production line in Suzuka along with the Civic Hybrid.


Hyundai’s Getz-replacement for European markets, the i20, is all set to roll out. The car will be launched at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September. The company has released the first official pictures of the car before the launch. As you can see, the car’s face bears a resemblance to the smaller i10. It gets the same tear drop-shaped headlamps and the horizontal slat in the grille is also similar. However, the air intake below the front bumper is not as large as the i10’s.

This is Hyundai’s new look, bits and pieces of which you will see in its future cars. The stylish i20 has a longer wheelbase than the existing Getz, and the company claims that it is bigger than the Getz on the inside.

The hatchback will be manufactured in India and exported to European markets. It is slated for an Indian launch around October. You can expect the base i20 to come with the 1.2-litre Kappa engine that currently powers the i10. There could also be a new range of 1.4 and 1.6-litre Sigma family of engines on offer. The i20 will also get the Verna’s potent 110bhp common-rail diesel engine.


Project Ingenio to be called XYLO

Mahindra & Mahindra’s soon-to-be-launched multi-utility vehicle(MUV) will be called the Xylo(pronounced Zy-Lo). The MUV will be launched with a downsized ‘2.5-litre’ common-rail engine from the Scorpio CRDe and will have 110bhp on tap. Clearly, M&M will be focusing on driveability and economy rather than all-out performance. More engine options will be available at a later stage as will a 4x4 option. The Xylo is expected to be more spacious than current class leader Toyota Innova, especially in the third row. Prices are expected to start at around Rs 7.5-8 lakh for the base variant.


BMW is set to launch its new 7 Series by the end of this year in India. And it promises to be quicker, cleaner and better in every aspect. Move over Q, for this time BMW has developed a host of gadgets in-house. These include lane change and lane departure warnings, infra-red night-vision camera, park assist cameras on the side, radar, and a head-up display, which tells the driver everything he needs to know.

The boys from Bavaria have spared no imagination in loading the latest 7 with everything your heart desires, and creature comforts abound inside. The rear seats are ventilated and have 12 massaging bubbles, there’s an in-built 8 GB hard drive for your music, four-zone climate control, concierge service, and an automatic emergency dialing system in case of an accident.

While all of the above might make this big bee-em seem like a bit of a namby-pamby, the company is clear it does not want to lose the essence of the ultimate driving machine. Variable damping and modes for the engine and suspension, which include comfort, normal, sport and sport+, ensure this car is no slouch. Three engine options – a 3-litre straight-six diesel, a 3-litre straight-six petrol, and a 4.3-litre V8 petrol – power this car. While the big petrol gets the 7 to 100kph in 5.2 seconds, the diesel is pretty quick too, managing the 100kph sprint in just 7.2 seconds. And it’s environmentally friendly too; the diesel engine is claimed to produce just 192 grammes of CO2 per kilometre. BMW has pioneered what it likes to call Efficient Dynamics; the battery is charged under braking, and the alternator disconnects during acceleration, thus providing better performance, fuel economy
and lower emissions.

Prices will start north of Rs 60 lakhs, and the car will be in showrooms before the year is out.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The word "Biometrics" means a measurable biological characteristic that can be used for automated recognition.Early non-automated forerunners of biometrics have been used in travel control documents for a long time.Biometric processing includes the electronic capture of an applicant’s photograph, signature, index fingerprint and ten-print fingerprints. The photograph, signature and index fingerprint are used to generate the lawful entry documents.

Biometrics are automated methods of recognizing a person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic. Biometric technologies are becoming the foundation of an extensive array of highly secure identification and personal verification solutions. Biometrics is expected to be incorporated in solutions to provide for Homeland Security including applications for improving airport security, strengthening our national borders, in travel documents, visas and in preventing ID theft. Now, more than ever, there is a wide range of interest in biometrics across federal, state, and local governments. Congressional offices and a large number of organizations involved in many markets are addressing the important role that biometrics will play in identifying and verifying the identity of individuals and protecting national assets.

There are many needs for biometrics beyond Homeland Security. Enterprise-wide network security infrastructures, secure electronic banking, investing and other financial transactions, retail sales, law enforcement, and health and social services are already benefiting from these technologies. A range of new applications can been found in such diverse environments as amusement parks, banks, credit unions, and other financial organizations, Enterprise and Government networks, passport programs and driver licenses, colleges, physical access to multiple facilities (e.g., nightclubs) and school lunch programs.

Biometric-based authentication applications include workstation, network, and domain access, single sign-on, application logon, data protection, remote access to resources, transaction security and Web security. Trust in these electronic transactions is essential to the healthy growth of the global economy. Utilized alone or integrated with other technologies such as smart cards, encryption keys and digital signatures, biometrics are set to pervade nearly all aspects of the economy and our daily lives. Utilizing biometrics for personal authentication is becoming convenient and considerably more accurate than current methods (such as the utilization of passwords or PINs). This is because biometrics links the event to a particular individual (a password or token may be used by someone other than the authorized user), is convenient (nothing to carry or remember), accurate (it provides for positive authentication), can provide an audit trail and is becoming socially acceptable and inexpensive.


Tread made of Baytec Q significantly extends the range of use of tracked vehicles such as excavators and caterpillars. Even on very difficult ground like sand or marshland, they can be maneuvered safely and accurately. Another advantage is the low-weight, large-area elastic construction, which spreads the load over a larger area.

Roads and curbstones are not damaged. Baytec Q tread has high cut resistance and tear propagation resistance and also helps to deaden vibrations and noise.


Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre in The Dubai Mall, which opens on October 30, 2008, has clinched the Guinness World Record for the `World's Largest Acrylic Panel'. Measuring 32.88 metres wide x 8.3 metres high x 750 mm thick and weighing 245,614 kg, the viewing panel at Dubai Aquarium surpasses the current Guinness World Record holder, Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa, Japan, at 22.5 metres wide x 8.2 metres high and 600 mm thick.The Dubai Aquarium viewing panel dimensions were set at the limit of production abilities by major acrylic manufacturers when it was commissioned. Thus, its Guinness World Record is set to stay until industry-approved manufacturing capabilities are redrawn to enable the production of bigger panels.
At 750 mm thick, the acrylic viewing panel is built to withstand the enormous pressure of 10 million litres of water used in the aquarium, but transparent to give visitors clear views of the 33,000 plus marine animals on display. Mr Yousif Al Ali, General Manager, The Dubai Mall said: ``With this achievement, we are highlighting the capabilities of Emaar and Dubai to undertake and execute projects of global significance.''Mr John Pilley, Adjudicator, Guinness World Records said: ``The Dubai Mall joins Dubai's illustrious list of World Records with the `Largest Acrylic Panel', once again reiterating the can-do attitude of Dubai. This exemplifies the dedication and passion that make some of our best records.''
Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre is developed and operated by Oceanis Australia Group. The Dubai Mall has adopted an International Standard of Ethics and Animal Welfare Policy in its development and operation.With a total internal floor area of 5.9 million sq ft, The Dubai Mall has 3.77 million sq ft of gross leasable space and hosts over 1,200 retail outlets including two anchor department stores - Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale's - and will features over 160 food and beverage options.
Other attractions the Olympic-size Dubai Ice Rink, Fashion Avenue, a 440,000 sq ft haute couture precinct; The Grove, an indoor-outdoor themed streetscape; the region's first SEGA indoor theme park covering 76,000 sq ft; KidZania(R), an 80,000 sq ft children's 'edu-tainment' centre; and a 22-screen Cineplex, the largest in Dubai.


In one of the most one-sided contests in recent World chess history, Viswanathan Anand beat Vladmir Kramnik for his third world title in Bonn on Wednesday. It was his first in match play format. Anand won games 3, 5 & 6 to win 6.5-4.5 overall. Anand had earlier won world titles in Tehran (2000) and Mexico City (2007). A total of 1.5m euro was up for grabs, with both taking 0.75m euro (roughly Rs 5 crore). The thumping victory over Kramnik means Anand’s FIDE rating goes up considerably — close to 2800 again erasing his dismal performance in Bilbao, which hurt him points wise. He is slated to be No 1 shortly.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft has entered deep space after crossing the 150,000 km (one and a half lakh km) distance mark from the Earth. This happened after the successful completion of the spacecraft’s third orbit raising manoeuvre today (October 26, 2008) morning.
During this manoeuvre which was initiated at 07:08 IST, the spacecraft’s 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about nine and a half minutes. With this, Chandrayaan-1 entered a much higher elliptical orbit around the Earth. The apogee (farthest point to Earth) of this orbit lies at 164,600 km while the perigee (nearest point to Earth) is at 348 km. In this orbit, Chandrayaan-1 takes about 73 hours to go round the Earth once.
The antennas of the Indian Deep Space Network at Byalalu are playing a crucial role in tracking and communicating with Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in such a high orbit. The spacecraft performance is normal. More orbit raising manoeuvres are planned in the coming few days to take Chandrayaan-1 towards the Moon.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Barely the size of the clenched fist of the individual in whom it resides—an inverted, conically shaped,hollow muscular organ measuring 12 to 13 cm from base(top) to apex (bottom) and 7 to 8 cm at its widest point and weighing just under 0.75 lb (about 0.474% of the individual’s body weight, or some 325 g)—the human heart occupies a small region between the third and sixth ribs in the central portion of the thoracic cavity of the body.It rests on the diaphragm, between the lower part of the twolungs, its base–to–apex axis leaning mostly toward the left side of the body and slightly forward. The heart is divided by a tough muscular wall—the interatrial-interventricular septum—into a somewhat crescent-shaped right side and cylindrically shaped left side, each being one self-contained pumping station, but the two being connected in series. The left side of the heart drives oxygen-rich blood through the aortic semilunar outlet valve into the systemic circulation, which carries the fluid to within a differential neighborhood of each cell in the body—from which it returns to the right side of the heart low in oxygen and rich in carbon dioxide. The right side of the heart then drives this oxygenpoor blood through the pulmonary semilunar (pulmonic) outlet valve into the pulmonary circulation,which carries the fluid to the lungs—where its oxygen supply is replenished and its carbon dioxide content is purged before it returns to the left side of the heart to begin the cycle all over again.Because of the anatomic proximity of the heart to the lungs, the right side of the heart does not have to work very hard to drive blood through the pulmonary circulation, so it functions as a low-pressure (P = 40mmHg gauge) pump compared with the left side of the heart, which does most of its work at a high pressure (up to 140 mmHg gauge or more) to drive blood through the entire systemic circulation to the furthest extremes of the organism.

Each cardiac (heart) pump is further divided into two chambers: a small upper receiving chamber, or atrium (auricle), separated by a one-way valve from a lower discharging chamber, or ventricle, which is about twice the size of its corresponding atrium. In order of size, the somewhat spherically shaped left
atrium is the smallest chamber—holding about 45 ml of blood (at rest), operating at pressures on the order of 0 to 25 mmHg gauge, and having a wall thickness of about 3 mm. The pouch-shaped right atrium is next (63 ml of blood, 0 to 10 mmHg gauge of pressure, 2-mm wall thickness), followed by the conical/cylindrically shaped left ventricle (100 ml of blood, up to 140 mmHg gauge of pressure, variable
wall thickness up to 12 mm) and the crescent-shaped right ventricle (about 130 ml of blood, up to 40 mmHg gauge of pressure, and a wall thickness on the order of one-third that of the left ventricle, up to about 4 mm). All together, then, the heart chambers collectively have a capacity of some 325 to 350 ml, or about 6.5% of the total blood volume in a “typical” individual—but these values are nominal, since the organ alternately fills and expands, contracts, and then empties as it generates a cardiac output.

During the 480-ms or so filling phase—diastole—of the average 750-ms cardiac cycle, the inlet valves of the two ventricles (3.8-cm-diameter tricuspid valve from right atrium to right ventricle; 3.1-cm-diameter bicuspid or mitral valve from left atrium to left ventricle) are open, and the outlet valves(2.4-cm-diameter pulmonary valve and 2.25-cm-diameter aortic semilunar valve, respectively) are closed—the heart ultimately expanding to its end-diastolic-volume (EDV), which is on the order of 140 ml of blood for the left ventricle. During the 270-ms emptying phase—systole—electrically induced vigorous contraction of cardiac muscle drives the intraventricular pressure up, forcing the one-way inlet valves closed and the unidirectional outlet valves open as the heart contracts to its end-systolic-volume (ESV),which is typically on the order of 70 ml of blood for the left ventricle. Thus the ventricles normally empty about half their contained volume with each heart beat, the remainder being termed the cardiac reserve volume. More generally, the difference between the actual EDV and the actual ESV, called the stroke volume (SV), is the volume of blood expelled from the heart during each systolic interval, and the ratio

Anterior view of the human heart showing the four chambers, the inlet and outlet valves, the inlet and outlet major blood vessels, the wall separating the right side from the left side, and the two cardiac pacing centers—the sinoatrial node and the atrioventricular node. Boldface arrows show the direction of flow through the heart chambers, the valves, and the major vessels.1-6 Biotechnology for Biomedical Engineers of SV to EDV is called the cardiac ejection fraction, or ejection ratio (0.5 to 0.75 is normal, 0.4 to 0.5 signifies mild cardiac damage, 0.25 to 0.40 implies moderate heart damage, and <0.25 warms of severe damage to the heart’s pumping ability). If the stroke volume is multiplied by the number of systolic intervals per minute, or heart (HR), one obtains the total cardiac output (CO).