Google Experiments With Search on Android; Adds Yoga Cards

Google Experiments With Search on Android; Adds Yoga Cards

Google seems to be experimenting with new automated search options that are now visible to several users in the dropdown menu.

As reported by several users, the Google Search option now shows Recent Searches, What’s Hot, and Nearby. Notably, the new options appear just below the last searched term in the search menu. It’s worth noting that until now on tapping the Search app, last few searched terms appeared first. The Recent Searches includes all last searches while the What’s Hot option will throw popular search results. The Nearby automated search (via Android Police) however takes cues from Google’s Maps app and offers options such as Restaurants, Gas Stations, ATMs, and Coffee. So far, it is unclear whether the new search options will be default or will have an option to be disabled.

We can expect Google to release an update to the Search app bringing the new search options.

google_now_yoga_cards.jpgAdditionally, Google has also started rolling out brand new yoga cards. Google’s Hong Kong Plus account confirmed the rollout and is said to be now available on mobile as well as desktop. The new yoga-based cards will show up in search results when a user searches for a pose. The cards will offer additional details such as the Sanskrit name of the yoga pose and the advantages of the pose accompanied by images of the pose.

Google in its post stresses that the new feature has been rolled out for people who are yoga enthusiasts and have just started trying the poses.


At 60, ‘The Room on the Roof’ is back with gorgeous illustrations

At 60, 'The Room on the Roof' is back with gorgeous illustrations10.7K
Total Views

Dylan Thomas, in his poem Fern Hill, says, “Time held me green and dying / Though I sang in my chains like the sea.” When I revisited The Room on the Roof, after too, too many years, I felt as if Thomas had written that line for Ruskin Bond – for upon his eternal roof, Ruskin is yet green, and yet dying, and yet singing in the chains of his birth, his identity, his art, his beloved Doon Valley and his endless search for joy.

My favourite artistes have been the Beatles, Rajesh Khanna and the Nawab of Pataudi. I bring up their names for a reason – The Beatles, in their music, started with innocent energy and charm and flew higher and higher into almost intellectual pop, only to fall apart when the flight began to drift; Rajesh Khanna started with that same innocent energy and charm, honed it instinctively into an art which soared to the heavens and then crumbled to earth when the instinct turned into crafted ego; and Pataudi, born with brilliance in his blood, overcame tragedy to lift Indian cricket to a level from which it rose and rose and rose, even as he played the role of a leader, a source, and let his talent only occasionally fully blossom.

Rereading The Room on the Roof, I was struck by the truth of Ruskin’s genius and art – he reached a peak at a very young age, and he discovered his source, his art, at a time when others were relying only on innocence and energy and charm. Because, Ruskin’s first book is full of joy, but it is not a happy book.

It has hard edges, bitter realisations, death, departure and doubt. It is a story of the body as much as the spirit – when Ruskin describes the other boys, he starts with their form, their skin, their colour; when he confronts Mrs Kapoor, you can feel the teenage heat.

It is a story, a book, full of such wonderful detail, such descriptions – just read the section of the storm on the roof, or the first visit to the chaat shop – and yet the characters are as dark as they are real. The guardian, the sweeper, Suri, the friends, flawed and yet final. The picnic is not a journey of complete joy; it is full of effort and pushing a panting car out of a river and lust in the forest and prying eyes and uneasy games… And yet they are all woven together with threads of words which bind and yet break so easily.

Departure. Everything is always leaving Rusty. Everybody. So eventually he has to leave – but not before a final sojourn to his beloved room. A room where nothing happens, and yet so much does. Where the elements – whether the lizard, or the morning light, or the storm, or the proximity of bodies, or the fear of walking over the edge – make each moment both a threat and a treat.

And then the climax in Hardwar – or is it a climax? Has Rusty really reached a final decision? No, he has not. He only knows that to be where he is is the complete truth, and yet only the first step on another journey.

At seventeen, Ruskin knew that life was not a childhood game, but he also knew that the game of childhood was the only way to survive life.

And he has been doing so for the past so, so many years – in his little cottages, his little joys, his teas and his mornings and his mournings.

When he was a child, he wrote of childhood as he was an adult – throughout his adult life, he has written of childhood as a child! That is the secret of Ruskin’s art. His stories, his characters are always just slightly on edge. Departure and death are as real as toast and tea. No, he never returns completely to the room on the roof, but every room he as ever lived in since is a journey back to that room.

As Ruskin himself says, he does not want to change a word of The Room on the Roof. He knows it is him – or “he”, to be correct.

The Beatles and Rajesh Khanna moved from innocence to awareness, and their art is a reflection of that journey. Pataudi journeyed from innocence to tragedy and then returned with a hardened art. Ruskin Bond journeys on from the raw, gentle awareness of his first book, and until today uses that awareness to spread innocent, edgy joy to readers around the world. If his first book had been only tales of childhood, he would never be the writer he is today.

Read or reread The Room on the Roof. You will be stunned, as I was – stunned at the art, the craft and the great leap which fills this book with wonder. Each one of us has our own rooms, our own roofs, and Ruskin knows this. But he also knows that his room and his roof are unique, as ours must be, too.

“Ahead of them lay forest and silence, and what was left of time.”

Green and dying, in the Fern Hill of the Doon Valley, may the chains from which Ruskin sings never break, nor chafe too much. We need him – all of us.

Excerpted with permission from The Room On The Roof: 60th Anniversary Edition, Ruskin Bond, Illustrations by Ahlawat Gunjan, Introduction by Tom Alter, Penguin India.


First India-SL Twenty20: Favourites shocked by spirited Lankans on a spicy pitch

First India-SL Twenty20: Favourites shocked by spirited Lankans on a spicy pitch
Photo Credit: Nitin Lawate / IANS
Total Views

There is a delicious irony hidden here somewhere – after South Africa put up a humongous 438 in the last One Day International of their series against India in Mumbai in October, India team manager Ravi Shastri was furious. Such was his wrath that Shastri abused the curator of that surface Sudhir Naik for making a “flat” pitch which, according to the Indian team manager, was the reason India capitulated in that match.

With the incident still fresh in public memory, the curator of the Pune surface that hosted the first Twenty20 of the India-Sri Lanka series on Tuesday, had every reason to be wary. He wisely prepared a surface which could be described as anything but flat – it was green, it aided swing and even had a bit of turn for the spinners.

The result? India were put in to bat by an inexperienced Sri Lankan team and lost two wickets in the very first over they played. By the fifth over, they had lost four, by the tenth, six. Ironically, the same batsmen who were plundering the bowling in Australia, could only scrape through to 101, and that too due to a saving innings from tail-ender Ravichandran Ashwin.

Moral of the story? Ravi Shastri had better be careful what he wishes for.

The joy of a greentop

In any case, the Pune surface was a sight for sore eyes. For too long now, cricket fans have been used to see flashing blades and balls disappearing into the tiers of the stadium in limited-overs cricket. The art of bowling has reduced from taking wickets to stopping runs. The excuse trotted out is that audiences only like to watch such runfests. But the Pune surface showed that giving the bowlers, and especially the seamers, some power back could still make for exciting, captivating cricket.

A young, inexperienced Sri Lankan attack steamed in and made the ball talk. Good-length deliveries that would usually be put into the crowd suddenly reacquired their potency. The batsmen played and missed, the ball reared up, taking them by surprise. But Sri Lanka were also helped by some poor shots from India’s batsmen who looked like they were still playing like they were still in Australia. Both Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan perished trying to bunt the ball out of the ground. But even the batsmen who followed them failed to adjust – Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh also fell to needless attacking shots.

Underdogs triumph

India’s 101 in the first innings hardly looked challenging but the beauty of a low-scoring match is that it can often create unexpected pressure. The prospect of actually beating the favourites looked like it had got to the unfancied Sri Lankans – they crashed to 23/2 and for a while, it seemed like Mahendra Singh Dhoni would conjure up a miracle from nowhere. But though India’s bowlers put in a stout performance, capped by some extraordinary fielding (in particular, a stunning catch from Suresh Raina late in the innings), it did not prove to be enough. Sri Lanka just about squeaked over the line with five wickets in hand.

It wasn’t slam-bang cricket, it was laboured and often difficult for the batsmen. But it provided for a far better spectacle than any of the recent Twenty20s in Australia. Dare we say it, can we see more of the same in the next two Twenty20s scheduled for the series? Going by recent trends, probably not.


Government Will Act on Facebook Posts, WhatsApp Pics of Accidents: Gadkari

Government Will Act on Facebook Posts, WhatsApp Pics of Accidents: GadkariTransport Minister Nitin Gadkari Thursday floated an idea that a simple click of the mouse or a snap onWhatsApp about an accident or the site itself can help the government machinery swing into action and thus, save lives.

He exhorted people to leverage the Internet to make India accident-free.

“I do not want anyone else to suffer as I did after a road accident. It deeply pains and hurts me to see India top on global list with 5 lakh accidents every year,” the Road Transport and Highways Minister said while attending a road safety forum here.

“Come join the government in drive to make the nation accident-free like Sweden.”

Launching a Facebook page to generate awareness, Gadkari made a strong case for using the Internet technology to alert authorities about accidents, regardless of such mishap spots.

A Road Safety Authority, he said, is also on the anvil and the Prime Minister has given his nod for it.

“We are committed to minimising deaths due to road accidents by 50 percent in 5 years and government has identified 726 black spots where at least 50,000 people have lost their lives,” he said.

Gadkari disclosed that the government has already got on to the frontfoot to address critical issues, be it faulty designing or lack of over- or under-passes on roads, and Rs. 11,000 crore will be spent to fix the same.

India sits on the top of the heap as it accounts for the highest number of 5 lakh road accidents in a year, in which 1.5 lakh lose their lives and another 3 lakh are maimed for life.

“It pains me to see the huge number of accidents as such magnitude of casualties neither happens in a war or extremist killings,” the minister pointed out.

He went on to add that not just 30 percent of driving licences in India are “bogus”, but a large number of government drivers suffered from cataract problems. He put the shortage of drivers in India at 22 percent.

He was clear that government is committed to addressing all these issues and will set up 3,000 driving, vehicle fitness and pollution certification centres across the country where driving licences will be issued only after computerised tests.

Also, he asked NGOs to impress upon people the need to adhere to traffic norms, safe driving and the like. Those doing exemplary work on road safety issues will be chosen for annual awards, the minister added.

“We have constituted annual awards system for NGOs doing exemplary work in road safety with Rs. 10 lakh for the winner and Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh for second and third slots, respectively,” he said.

Also, talks are on with state governments for mandatory lessons to school kids on road safety, besides an all-India exhibition through a train, for which consultations are going on with the Railways Ministry.