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US Whistle blower Snowden learned ethical hacking in India !
Report dated 06/12/2013 @ 1:51 PM
Edward Snowden, who worked for the US National Security Agency (NSA) and stole thousands of sensitive documents with details of the worldwide snooping operation of the NSA, spent a short time in India in 2010, learning about ethical hacking and core Java programming.
Hema Sharma, training centre manager at the Moti Bagh campus of Koenig Solutions, where Snowden spent 6 days, said he told them he worked for the NSA. Koenig trainers were not surprised as they get many students who are working with the NSA.
Ms Sharma said Snowden generally kept to himself and only gave them enough information to get him enrolled at their training campus. He did not make any friends during his stay there, and he was a fast learner.
A company spokesperson says Snowden was probably posted in Japan when he went to India, as Koenig offers a package to its students from abroad, that contains arrangements to stay as well. He paid some $2100 for his two courses and stay at Koenig Inn.
India was part of a group of countries to which Snowden sought asylum when he was hiding at Moscow airport during transit. India politely declined with the intention of not getting into a diplomatic row with the US.
NRI novelist Manil Suri wins 'Bad Sex in Fiction' Award !
Report dated 05/12/2013 @ 5:47 PM
Manil Suri, a novelist and mathematician has won the annual British 'uncoveted' Bad Sex in Fiction Award, for a passage in his novel 'The City of Devi' which is the story of a love triangle set in Mumbai, that has been threatened with nuclear apocalypse.
The book's publisher Bloomsbury, pointed out that some reviewers had praised the novel's sex scenes, which the Times Literary Supplement called 'unfettered, quirky, beautiful, tragic and wildly experimental'.
The tongue-in-cheek award was founded in 1993 to name and shame authors of 'crude badly written or perfunctory passages of sexual description in contemporary novels'. It is run by the Literary Review magazine.
Past recipients of the dubious honour include Sebastian Faulks, the late Norman Mailer and the late John Updike.
Suri a professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland, was not on hand to accept his award in person. A representative of Bloomsbury accepted the prize from former Dynasty star Joan Collins at a ceremony in London.
Indian scientists identify genes behind oral cancer
Report dated 05/12/2013 @ 5:44 PM
A team of Indian scientists who are part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) has identified new genes and new biological pathways specific to driving oral cancer which is associated predominantly with smokeless tobacco consumption in India.
The Indian component is being conducted collaboratively by the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, Kalyani, West Bengal and the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai.
Oral cancer in India is predominantly of the lining of the mouth, lower gum and other mucosal regions of the oral cavity, termed Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the gingivo-buccal region (OSCC-GB). Tobacco chewing is a major cause , which accounts for over half of oral cancers in India. Though past studies have identified several genes associated with oral cancer, these have not been systematically catalogued.
The study included 110 OSCC-GB patients half of whom were between the age of 40 and 50 and nearly all were tobacco users. Using the technique of massively-parallel DNA sequencing, blood and tumour DNA of each patient was screened for all genes. The study found 10 significantly mutated genes that were associated with OSCC-GB, five of which are and seem to be specific to OSCC-GB.
According to Dr Carolyn Hutter of the National Human Genome Research Institute, USA, the characterisation of a large sample of the OSCC-GB subtype provides a unique contribution to the literature on the characterisation of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
The findings have been published in the journal Nature Communications.
Is the American CIA tracking Aadhaar the Indian ID Cards
Report dated 04/12/2013 @ 6:19 PM
News that a company partly funded by the CIA will be capturing and analysing data on nearly a billion Indians for the Unique Identification Number Card, has puzzled a few.
Known as Aadhar, the document is much like the US social security card and is being launched by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), except it is not compulsory to possess one.
The UIDAI has hired MongoDB a New York based start up, for data collection in India.
MongoDB, who have raised $231 million since its inception has received some of its funding from In-Q-Tel, the not for profit venture capital arm of the CIA.
In effect the funding may have no effect on the firms assignment to assist with the Aadhaar cards, and no evidence exists that it is controlled or influenced by the CIA, nevertheless many minds have started ticking over with questions and speculation.
Sikh NRI gets $50,000 in religious discrimination case in US
Report dated 04/12/2013 @ 6:16 PM
A New Jersey car dealership has paid Gurpreet S Kherha in an out-of-court settlement, $ 50,000 as compensation to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by him, which alleged that he was not hired by the dealership because he maintains a beard.
The settlement comes more than five years after Kherha, now 29, applied for a job at the Tri-County Lexus, and was told he would not be hired because he had a beard, which violated the dealership's 'no beard' policy for sales and administrative personnel.
Kherha who wears a beard as part of his Sikh religious practice, had contacted the Sikh Coalition which filed charges of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.