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Google disconnects Microsoft !

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It’s been said that if one wants from other to avoid anything, should start with him. That exactly the case we see at Google. With the recent news and information, Google stopped offerings choice of OS to their employees’ worldwide. Now all Google employees worldwide can either choose Linux or Mac.

All over the Googleplex Microsoft based system need to drag till the dustbin considering the security issues The Financial Times said, after an attack on Windows and Internet Explorer 6 resulted in the theft of Google intellectual property, believed to be source code, late last year.

Microsoft has never been a friendly face inside the Googleplex, but Google’s engineering-driven culture and need to test its software on a variety of systems usually meant that at least some portion of its employees preferred the Windows environment. Some Google employees will still be able to use Windows machines, but they will have to get special permission, according to the report.

Later this year Google will begin directing employees toward Chrome OS systems, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told CIOs attending a Google seminar on cloud computing in April. Google believes the browser-based operating system will be “inherently more secure” than alternative operating systems, Schmidt said at that event.

Paypal, Facebook, Twitter among Top .com ventures

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VeriSign, a provider of internet infrastructure services for the networked world, has released a list of 25 pioneering .com companies and individuals who have had a lasting impact on internet’s development. Twitter, YouTube, PayPal, MySpace, Alibaba, Baidu, eTrade and Infosys are some of the companies included in the list. Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, Jim Clark and Andy Grove are some of the internet entrepreneurs who have found mentioned in the list.

The .com 25 honourees also include Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin; Yahoo founders Jerry Yang and David Filo; Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg; AOL co-founder Steve Case; Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos; Craigslist founder Craig Newmark; Apple CEO Steve Jobs; eBay founder Pierre Omidyar; Napster founder Shawn Fanning; Netscape founder Marc Andreessen; Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy; Cisco CEO John Chambers; and Bill Gates of Microsoft/MSN/Gates Foundation.

The move is a part of VeriSign celebrating 25 years of internet innovation. According to VeriSign, the .com 25 were selected from a group of 75 people and companies nominated for the honour and then ratified by the judging panel composed of business, media, academic and policy leaders. VeriSign believes that these 25 companies together reflect the dynamic evolution of the consumer internet in its first 25 years. As a part of the celebration, VeriSign has also launched a HowDoYou.com contest, inviting people to share their personal stories of how a .com website has changed their lives. The contest will run through August 31, 2010.

“Over the past 25 years, the internet has strengthened communities, transformed economies and allowed people all over the world to come together,” Mark McLaughlin, president and chief executive officer, VeriSign, has said. “All this simply wouldn’t have been possible without the vision, talent and creativity of these companies and individuals. The hundreds of millions of people who now use the internet daily have these trailblazers to thank for the rich online experiences they enjoy today – most of which were unimaginable back in 1985 when the first .com domain name was registered.”

Great Wall of China’s sticky secret revealed

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Scientists claim to have discovered the secret behind the strength and longevity of the Great Wall of China — sticky rice.  

A team at Zhejiang University in China has found that the delicious “sweet rice” that is a mainstay of modern Asian cuisine was also a key ingredient in the mortar used to build the Great Wall 1,500 years ago. 

Their study also found that construction workers in ancient China mixed sticky rice soup with slaked lime and limestone to create a paste ideal for filling in gaps between bricks and stone blocks. 

The super-strong material was used to build the Great Wall, as well as quake-proof tombs, pagodas and city walls, some of which still exist today, say the scientists. 

“Analytical study shows the ancient masonry mortar is a kind of special organic-inorganic composite material. The inorganic component is calcium carbonate, and the organic component is amylopectin, which comes from the sticky rice soup added to the mortar. 

“Moreover, we found that amylopectin in the mortar acted as an inhibitor: the growth of the calcium carbonate crystal was controlled, and a compact microstructure was produced, which should be the cause of the good performance of this kind of organic-organic mortar,” team leader Dr Bingjian Zhang was quoted by the British media as saying. 

To determine whether sticky rice can aid in building repair, the scientists prepared lime mortars with varying amounts of sticky rice and tested their performance compared to traditional lime mortar. 

Dr Zhang said: “The test results of the modelling mortars shows that sticky rice-lime mortar has more stable physical properties, has greater mechanical strength, and is more compatible, which make it a suitable restoration mortar for ancient masonry.” 

The findings have been published in the ‘American Chemical Society’ journal.

Now its “Quit Facebook Day” ?

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Anger and rejection against Facebook’s newly applied policies last month giving birth to many social ventures worldwide. Many of the ventures are delicately trying to grab a pie from 450 Million users base of Facebook by launching similar but regional social networking portals across the globe. No matter its Pakistan, USA, Europe or India. Out of all new alternatives of Facebook, a revolutionary movement has taken place which is demanding to pledge for Facebook boycott. Its is www.quitfacebook.com launched on 12 May 2010 by Toronto duo – Joseph Dee and Matthew Milan.

They even defined May 31st as “Quit Facebook Day”. The day when they people across the globe, pledge to quit Facebook on quitfacebook.com, will delete their account from Facebook.

From India nearly 25,000 Facebook users have committed to unplug themselves from the social networking site on Monday. The users are calling their movement to stop using Facebook planning a ‘digital suicide’. They are protesting against the website ignoring privacy issues and not being open about their policies.  

Though 25,000 is a miniscule population of the over 450 million global users of Facebook, the Quit Facebook forum has created quite a buzz in the past few weeks. 

However, the ‘quit Facebook day’ has not been much of success in India. The 17 million Indian Facebook users are not really interested in joining the movement. Facebook has acknowledged its mistake and will revise privacy settings from June onwards. It would be interesting to see how far this movement get going and also seek the background help from various alternatives of Facebook worldwide.

Woman, hit by car, sues Google for faulty directions

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Why trust the machines when you can trust your own eyes, your own brain, your own basic sense of survival? This philosophical question comes to mind after reading the tragic tale of a woman, her eyes, her brain, her BlackBerry, and her Google Maps.

According to an exhaustive analysis presented by Search Engine Land, Lauren Rosenberg decided to take a walk in Park City, Utah, on January 19, 2009.

I will try and ignore just how fundamentally un-American this act was in order to focus on some of the ensuing action. Rosenberg fingered her trusted BlackBerry and asked it to tell her just how she might walk between 96 Daly Street and 1710 Prospector Avenue. Her BlackBerry turned to the world’s great walking resource, Google Maps. Google Maps suggested that she should, as part of her journey, amble along Deer Valley Drive.

For all of you who have not had the pleasure of strolling there, might I quote papers filed by Rosenberg’s lawyers with the Utah courts. These papers describe Deer Valley Drive as “a.k.a. State Route 224, a rural highway with no sidewalks, and a roadway that exhibits motor vehicles traveling at high speeds, that is not reasonably safe for pedestrians.”

There is perhaps nothing finer than a roadway that bothers to exhibit motor vehicles. Yet this was not quite the exhibition that Rosenberg had in mind. For during her stroll along State Route 224 aka Deer Valley Drive she was allegedly struck by a car driven by Patrick Harwood.

She’s suing Harwood. And she is also suing Google.

The contentious route. Note the warning. But that’s on the laptop version.(Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk)

Perhaps some of you might think of Rosenberg as just a perambulating chaser. Yet she and her lawyers reason that Google’s walking directions were “careless, reckless, and negligent providing of unsafe directions.”

Now this is the point at which your complex minds become engaged and my rather simpler version becomes divorced. You see, if you ask Google Maps for walking directions on your laptop you get a very clear warning–yes, on one of those lovely beigey-yellow backgrounds–that reads: “Walking Direction are in Beta. Use caution–This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.”

The question is, does this warning appear when you go to Google Maps on your BlackBerry? Or, even more importantly, on Rosenberg’s BlackBerry? It does not appear to appear on the iPhone. Which might suggest the same situation holds with the RIM phone.

What I cannot ascertain from the court papers is why Rosenberg would want to walk this route in Utah. She is, it appears, from Los Angeles, which means that she might not have been used to walking at all.

Equally puzzling is the first part part of the court papers where it is says that Rosenberg suffered mental, physical and emotional injuries that caused her to incur medical expenses “in an amount yet to be determined.” And yet when it comes to the part about suing Google, medical expenses are said to exceed $100,000.

Courts have not always been sympathetic to those who claim that they were merely following the orders of enlightened machines. There was the man in England who ordered his BMW down an unpaved cliffside lane, got stuck, and then claimed that his GPS made him do it. The court decided it was the driver’s own brain that made him do so.

Can Rosenberg expect Utah courts to be more sympathetic? In our world of increasingly diminished responsibility, might someone actually be in a position to prove that we are all now subjects of the Googleplex? Those Googlies have filmed our streets, made records of our Wi-Fi data, followed us around the Web until they could offer us ads that are “good” for us. Shouldn’t we admit whose the supreme power truly is?

Or might the judge emit a cough and declaim in the finest Latin: “Caveat walker”?

2 million IPads in less than 60 days

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Apple said Monday that it has sold more than 2 million iPads since the device debuted April 3rd. It’s safe to assume that the vast majority of those sales came from the U.S. market, as the iPad only just went on sale last weekend in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. Apple didn’t say how many iPads were sold internationally.

Speculation that Apple is having a hard time keeping up with demand for the iPad seems to have been confirmed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement announcing the sales numbers Monday. “We appreciate [customer] patience, and are working hard to build enough iPads for everyone,” said Jobs.

Apple also said there are now 5,000 apps specifically built for the iPad in the AppStore. In all, Apple has more than 200,000 apps in the store that are compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch, or the iPad.

It took Apple 28 days to sell its first million iPads and about the same amount of time to sell its second million. It will be interesting to see what happens to sales now that the iPad is available in more countries.

India among Top5 ‘happiest’ survey !

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Surroundings spell soundness of mind and body and India is ranked among the top 6 of the world. Residents of the Netherlands, Canada and Australia are the most satisfied with the areas where they live, according to a survey of 23 countries. India is not far behind.

Market research company Ipsos asked about 23,000 people if they were satisfied with their local area and found that job prospects, clean streets and the level of crime and public transport were major factors in people’s happiness.

During a global economic crisis it is easy to forget that how people experience their local areas day-to-day has a huge impact on their quality of life, said Bobby Duffy, director of the Ipsos Social Research Institute, in a statement.

The people who were most satisfied with their local area were the Dutch with 85 percent of people living in the Netherlands happy with their neighbourhood.

Canada came second with 83 percent satisfaction followed by Australia with 82 percent. India, Germany and the United States rounded out the top 6.

People living in South Korea were the most unhappy with their local area with only 34 percent satisfied. South Korean residents listed the three priorities for local area improvement as public transport, affordable housing and the level of pollution.

In Hungary only 45 percent were satisfied with their lot, 46 percent in Japan, and 48 percent in China where residents ranked pollution as their number one priority for improvement.

In Russia 49 percent of residents were satisfied with their local area with road repairs listed as the top priority.

In Britain activities for teenagers were listed as the number one issue that needed improvement in local areas while in Brazil health services were cited as key.

The survey was released as part of the launch of the Ipsos Social Research Institute, a new initiative at Ipsos.

 

Facebook back to networking in Pakistan !

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A Pakistani court on Monday directed authorities to restore access to Facebook nearly two weeks after blocking the popular social networking website for hosting a page with blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Mohammed. “Restore Facebook. We don’t want to block access to information,” Justice Ijaz Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court said.

He adjourned the proceedings till June 15 and said he would review his decision on that date.

“I am not closing this case,” the judge said. The judge asked Deputy Attorney General Naveed Inayat Malik to tell the court on June 15 whether any websites, including Facebook, had again uploaded any blasphemous material.

Malik informed the court that the Pakistan government had registered a protest over the blasphemous and sacrilegious content posted on Facebook with the US, where the website has its headquarters.

US authorities had agreed with Pakistan that the hosting of such material on a website is a “crime,” Malik said.

An assurance had been given to Pakistan that something similar would not happen again, he added.

The Islamic Lawyers Movement, which filed the petition that led to the blocking of Facebook and other sites hosting blasphemous content, protested the court’s decision.

The judge remarked that if any websites hosted blasphemous content, they would again be blocked.

Justice Chaudhry had directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on May 19 to block Facebook over “blasphemous” caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.

Authorities subsequently extended the crackdown to other websites.

In Islamabad, Wahaj-us-Siraj, a spokesman for the Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan told PTI that about 1,200 URLs continued to be blocked to prevent access to blasphemous and sacrilegious content.

He said the ISPs would restore access to Facebook as soon as they received an order from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.

Pakistan plays politics with Facebook !

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Just few days back, we heard about Pakistan banned Facebook, Youtube & Twitter. Despite of partial release of YouTube, after deletion of controversial objects, Pakistan still continue the ban on Facebook. Now the stories are getting air that Facebook ban was much more political influenced instead of sentimental of muslims in Pakistan.

This theory has started taken share after an alternative of Facebook, MillatFacebook.com, started publicizing its presence and effect in full swing. By look and flow of data MillatFacebook.com seems to be a replica of banned Facebook. Does that mean the alternative of Facebook was already aware about upcoming Facebook ban and was ready with all features similar to Facebook to offer ? Theories are also taking shape that the controversy which dragged Facebook in trouble was originally took birth from the mind of few people influenced by Millatfacebook. Since Facebook is a social networking site where content can be uploaded by anyone anytime, it can’t be ruled out the possibility of those content was uploaded by those people influenced by Millatfacebook, intentionally.

MillatFacebook promises to help connect users to 1.57 billion Muslims as well as what it describes as sweet people from other religions. Thousands of people in Pakistan have demonstrated against the US-based social networking site.

The developer of the site says the aim was to register disapproval of the and to offer an alternative to a site that has also been criticised for its lax and confusing privacy controls. Now with the limited restrictive capability & capacity over the online portals and social networking site, it need to seen how MillatFacebook.com ensure the content delivery inline with Pakistan’s strict & hard sentiments towards its people and religion.

Dhoni is all set to loose his No 1 position in ODI

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India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is all set to lose his numero uno status in the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen after deciding to skip the triangular series in Zimbabwe starting on Friday.

A player loses half a per cent of his ratings points for every ODI missed and Dhoni, who currently leads Michael Hussey by just eight rating points, will slip behind the Australian when the rankings are released after the Zimbabwe tri-series.

Dhoni had regained the top spot from Hussey in February after the Australian scored 23 against New Zealand in the fourth ODI and didn’t play in the fifth.

Sachin Tendulkar (fourth), Kumar Sangakkara (10th), Virender Sehwag (11th), Yuvraj Singh (14th), Gautam Gambhir (23rd) and Mahela Jayawardena (29th) are all likely to slip in the rankings after opting out of the May 28-June 9 series.

India and Sri Lanka have rested their top players for the low-profile Zimbabwe tri-series and it will give a chance to the players who have gone for the tour to increase their ranking.

Stand-in captains Tillakaratne Dilshan (13th) of Sri Lanka and India’s Suresh Raina (16th) along with Virat Kohli (21st) will get good opportunities to move up the table.

Source & Credentials : CricketNext

Man pays Rs 1 Million for a Number Plate !

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It may be very usual thing in Dubai where people are crazing behind the fancy number for their luxury cars, but not very much much in India. Rarely we hear news about people paying thousands of rupees for a Number Plate but this time the craze has gone beyond the head of a Chandigarh resident named Narinder Singh Shergill who paid USD 23,000 ( INR 1,000,000 ) for a Number plate – 0001.

Shergill’s adventure in picking up the expensive number at an auction here last week – which cost him half the price of the Toyota Fortuner SUV that he recently bought for around Rs 2 million – may have earned him a few angry words from his wife but the proud owner of the number, CH-01AC-0001, has no regrets for paying a high price for the number.

“My wife did get angry when I went home after buying the number at the auction. I always wanted that number and for something that you really desire, the price does not remain important,” said Shergill, who is an agriculturist now dealing in real estate. “I was shocked initially when I learnt that he (Shergill) had bought the 0001 number at such a high cost. At this price, we could have bought another luxury car or two mid-segment cars,” wife Jaskaran Kaur said.

Shergill had recently received compensation running into nearly Rs 20 million (Rs 2 crore) for a prime piece of land, 20 km from here in Punjab, which the government acquired for expansion of a national highway. Shergill is certainly not the only one chasing ‘VIP’ numbers for high prices.

In recent years, nearly half a dozen people have paid up to half a million rupees to pick up the ‘0001’ series number. In Punjab’s Jalandhar city, 150 km from here, a Delhi-based businessman, Pravin Chaudhary, bought the ‘0001’ series number for his luxury Rs.20 million Bentley car for a whopping Rs 725,000 in August 2008.

The non-resident Indian (NRI) owner of a C-class Mercedes bought a VIP number – CH-04-0001 – for that price in April 2007. NRI from Britain, Santokh Singh, was able to get the better of nine other bidders as they tried their best to get the ‘0001’ number in the newly launched series for Chandigarh. The reserve price for the number was Rs 25,000. Any number of choice comes for a reserve price of Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000 if it does not have more than one bidder.

“Earlier only influential people used to get hold of VIP numbers. Now, if you have the money and the intention, it’s yours for the taking,” said businessman Vikram Singh. The craze for VIP numbers has been quite evident in the last 5-6 years when the open auctioning of these registration numbers started in Chandigarh. The highest-ever bid made for any number was Rs 505,000 two years ago for the CH-03-U-0001 series.

The registration and licencing authority (RLA) here has been generating a lot of revenue – running into a few millions – for the government though the sale of numbers. Chandigarh has the distinction of having one of the highest densities of motor vehicles in the country. For a population of just over 1.1 million, there are over 650,000 registered vehicles. However, the VIP numbers do not always fetch such high stakes.

In a previous registration series launched for Chandigarh (CH-03-Z-0001), the number went for just Rs 85,000 as there were not too many bidders for the last alphabet (Z) of the ‘CH-03’ series.

Microsoft bets big on Internet Explorer 9 (IE9)

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Microsoft Corporation could regain the edge over rivals Google Inc and Mozilla Firefox with its new Web browser due to be launched next year, the head of Microsoft Internet Explorer said.

Ryan Gavin said in an interview Microsoft was generating a high level of interest in Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) from the external software developers who are key to its success, thanks to new capabilities and a new, more open approach towards such third parties.

Microsoft, which was overtaken on Wednesday by Apple Inc as the world’s most valuable technology company, has seen Internet Explorer’s market share dwindle to 60 percent from about 95 percent in the early 2000s.

U.S. and European regulators have helped rival browsers like Google Chrome to flourish by loosening the ties between Internet Explorer and Microsoft’s Windows operating system that runs 90 percent of the world’s personal computers.

Google is developing a rival operating system based on its Chrome browser, which is intended to be leaner and more Web-friendly than Windows, as well as being free.

Microsoft is betting IE9 will provide a far superior visual experience to currently available browsers by harnessing the power of the computer’s graphics processor via Windows to accelerate the software process.

With HTML5, a new Web standard gaining in popularity, it also hopes to be able to deliver powerful visuals via a single mark-up language readable by all browsers, simplifying the life of developers and improving the user experience.

HTML5 makes possible rich applications like video on the Web that are currently enabled by Adobe’s Flash and Microsoft’s own, far less widely used Silverlight technology.

Features to check with IE9.0

All in
HTML5 is already at the centre of a public row between Adobe and Apple, which has rejected Flash on the iPhone and iPad in favour of HTML5.

“We are putting HTML5 at the centre of IE9. We are all in with HTML5,” Gavin told Reuters.

“Today, if developers want to use the exact same markup, they use plug-ins – Silverlight and Flash – to do that. HTML5 is going to give developers that capability for things like graphics and video in the future.”

Asked how long he thought it would be until HTML5 made Flash and Silverlight redundant, Gavin said: “I think the plug-in model with standards is a thing that’s going to continue to cohabit (with HTML5)”.

With IE9, Microsoft has decided to engage developers openly at a far earlier stage than usual by releasing a test-drive platform containing its basic components, to create excitement and iron out bugs. (ie.microsoft.com/testdrive) . TEST DRIVE IE 9.0

“We started with a new model with IE9, it’s the first time we’ve ever done it,” Gavin said. “It’s basically a way for developers to see in a highly secure, well-tested environment what are the new capabilities we’re building.”

He said the platform had been downloaded about a million times since the first version was published in March. Microsoft is updating it once every eight weeks.

Responses from developers on the Microsoft IE blog (blogs.msdn.com) have been mixed. Many welcome the new possibilities, but many also complain IE9 requires the latest Windows 7 or Vista software to run.

“You guys have turned around a 10 year sinking torpedo,” writes James Tiedt on the blog. But AlfonsoML asks the blunt question: “What good is a browser if most of the people keep using XP and won’t be able to use it?”

Nine-year-old XP still has 63 percent of the total operating-system market, according to Web analytics firm Net Applications. Vista has 16 percent and Windows 7 has 12 percent, with non-Windows systems on 10 percent.

Futue of Bus Stops !

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Tired of wondering when your ride will arrive? A virtual Video on how the Eyestop could forever change that waiting game for the better. A mix of smooth steel, clear curved glass and technology, this artful creation from the minds at MIT Media Lab could make your ride a little easier by telling you how many minutes until you can board, the fastest route to your destination and more. A mix of Auto Fare collection, GPs system and multi Technology innovation can sure make this possible.

 

 

 

Yahoo India launches World Search Championship 2010

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Yahoo India has launched World Search Championship 2010, an online game-based search competition where users have to answer 10 questions in the shortest possible time. An interesting part of the competition is that it prompts participants to use Yahoo search to find the right answers. Yahoo had launched a similar completion in the country in October 2008.

“With an overwhelming response witnessed for the World Search Championship 2008, we wanted to provide our users the thrilling experience once again. The feedback was exciting from previous contest and we think that it will again create similar ripple across the online gaming and quizzing communities,” Nitin Mathur, senior director, marketing, Yahoo India, has told.

According to Nitin Mathur, WorldSearchChampionship.com recorded over 1.1 million unique visitors and 17 million page views in 2008. “There were more than 550,000 registered users on the site with many users completing the contest more than 2,000 times. The contest resulted in more than 20 million search page views for Yahoo,” Mathur added.

Nitin Mathur further said that the website traffic on WorldSearchChampionship.com in 2008 peaked between 12 noon to 3 pm and between 11 pm to 2 am indicating high engagement during office and late night hours. The website also had an interesting feature where users uploaded video snippets of how they were training themselves for the championship.

Credentials : AT

Google India to organise event for ad-agencies, brand marketers

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Google India has said it will organise Creative Sandbox, an invite-only event for the ad-agencies and marketing heads of leading brands in Mumbai on May 28, 2010. According to Google, this will be the first Creative Sandbox event in India. Google had earlier organised similar events at San Francisco, Chicago, New York in US and at Sydney in Australia.

Google Creative Sandbox is designed to spark the imagination of agencies by immersing them in a highly unique and creative environment that showcases some of the best uses of Google products. The event will highlight the latest innovations in web technology that are being used by creative minds around the world and discuss the emerging opportunities for advertisers in the digital space in India.

The event will also have key notes and presentations from Googlers covering topics like ‘Brand conversations in the digital world’ and ‘Kamasutra of Marketing’. The event will also showcase creative execution of ad-campaigns done on Google’s product platforms like Geo, Mobile, Chrome browser and Orkut. YouTube with its recent success of streaming IPL is expected to be big attraction at the event catering to the rich media innovations with case-studies from across the globe.

Shailesh Rao, managing director, Google India and head of media and platforms, Google Japac (Japan and Asia-Pacific), has said, “With over 70 million users in India, internet is now established as a mainstream medium and the creative minds in the agencies have a huge opportunity to do something that’s never been done before online in India. In that sense, Google Creative Sandbox event is an effort to engage and enable agencies and marketers to foresee the endless possibilities that they can explore on the digital medium and go beyond the traditional campaigns that we see today in India.”

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