Statspeak: Wary of ads

Millennials trust what people say about brands on social media more than official sources, causing brands to consider more collaborative forms of campaigns

Millennials trust what people say about brands on social media more than official sources, causing brands to consider more collaborative forms of campaigns

Goddess of big things is back with a bang

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy

Indian author Arundhati Roy announced on Monday that her second novel will be published in 2017 — 20 years after she won the Booker Prize for her debut one.

Roy, an activist and outspoken government critic, said through her publishers that The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness would be released in 2017.

“I am glad to report that the mad souls (even the wicked ones) in The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness have found a way into the world, and that I have found my publishers,” Roy said in a statement. Her literary agent David Godwin said: “Only Arundhati could have written this novel. Utterly original. It has been 20 years in the making. And well worth the wait.”

The 54-year-old has published a range of non-fiction works, including about her time in India’s jungles researching the country’s Maoists who are fighting for land rights. But this will be her first novel since The God of Small Things, published in 1997 about twins growing up in the southern state of Kerala which earned her the prestigious prize. Simon Prosser and Meru Gokhale of publishers Hamish Hamilton and Penguin said in a statement: “To publish this book is both a pleasure and an honour. What an incredible book it is, on multiple levels; one of the finest we have read in recent times.”

“The writing is extraordinary, and so too are the characters, brought to life with such generosity and empathy, in language of the utmost freshness, joyfully reminding us that words are alive too, that they can wake us up and lend us new ways of seeing, feeling, hearing, engaging.

One of India’s most famous and polarising authors, Roy faced arrest for sedition for challenging India’s right to rule over the disputed Kashmir region in 2010. Roy also criticises the United States as a global empire established through violence, rails against Western multinationals and decries the excesses of capitalism. She recently featured on the cover of Elle magazine, saying she wanted to break the myth of the typical Indian beauty.

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy

Indian author Arundhati Roy announced on Monday that her second novel will be published in 2017 — 20 years after she won the Booker Prize for her debut one.

Roy, an activist and outspoken government critic, said through her publishers that The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness would be released in 2017.

“I am glad to report that the mad souls (even the wicked ones) in The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness have found a way into the world, and that I have found my publishers,” Roy said in a statement. Her literary agent David Godwin said: “Only Arundhati could have written this novel. Utterly original. It has been 20 years in the making. And well worth the wait.”

The 54-year-old has published a range of non-fiction works, including about her time in India’s jungles researching the country’s Maoists who are fighting for land rights. But this will be her first novel since The God of Small Things, published in 1997 about twins growing up in the southern state of Kerala which earned her the prestigious prize. Simon Prosser and Meru Gokhale of publishers Hamish Hamilton and Penguin said in a statement: “To publish this book is both a pleasure and an honour. What an incredible book it is, on multiple levels; one of the finest we have read in recent times.”

“The writing is extraordinary, and so too are the characters, brought to life with such generosity and empathy, in language of the utmost freshness, joyfully reminding us that words are alive too, that they can wake us up and lend us new ways of seeing, feeling, hearing, engaging.

One of India’s most famous and polarising authors, Roy faced arrest for sedition for challenging India’s right to rule over the disputed Kashmir region in 2010. Roy also criticises the United States as a global empire established through violence, rails against Western multinationals and decries the excesses of capitalism. She recently featured on the cover of Elle magazine, saying she wanted to break the myth of the typical Indian beauty.

First ‘artificial pancreas’ gets approval in US

N37.jpg

The first automated insulin delivery device, dubbed as artificial pancreas, that can monitor blood sugar levels and regularly administer insulin has been approved in the US.

The human pancreas naturally supplies a low, continuous rate of insulin, known as basal or background insulin. In patients with diabetes, the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired. MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system, intended to automatically monitor glucose (sugar) and provide appropriate basal insulin doses in people 14 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“This first-of-its-kind technology can provide people with Type 1 diabetes greater freedom to live their lives without having to consistently and manually monitor baseline glucose levels and administer insulin,” said Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Centre for Devices and Radiological Health.

The MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system, often referred to as an “artificial pancreas,” is intended to adjust insulin levels with little or no input from the user.

It works by measuring glucose levels every five minutes and automatically administering or withholding insulin. The system includes a sensor that attaches to the body to measure glucose levels under the skin; an insulin pump strapped to the body; and an infusion patch connected to the pump with a catheter that delivers insulin. While the device automatically adjusts insulin levels, users need to manually request insulin doses to counter carbohydrate (meal) consumption.

Since the pancreas does not make insulin in people with Type 1 diabetes, patients have to consistently monitor their glucose levels throughout the day.

N37.jpg

The first automated insulin delivery device, dubbed as artificial pancreas, that can monitor blood sugar levels and regularly administer insulin has been approved in the US.

The human pancreas naturally supplies a low, continuous rate of insulin, known as basal or background insulin. In patients with diabetes, the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired. MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system, intended to automatically monitor glucose (sugar) and provide appropriate basal insulin doses in people 14 years of age and older with type 1 diabetes, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“This first-of-its-kind technology can provide people with Type 1 diabetes greater freedom to live their lives without having to consistently and manually monitor baseline glucose levels and administer insulin,” said Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Centre for Devices and Radiological Health.

The MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system, often referred to as an “artificial pancreas,” is intended to adjust insulin levels with little or no input from the user.

It works by measuring glucose levels every five minutes and automatically administering or withholding insulin. The system includes a sensor that attaches to the body to measure glucose levels under the skin; an insulin pump strapped to the body; and an infusion patch connected to the pump with a catheter that delivers insulin. While the device automatically adjusts insulin levels, users need to manually request insulin doses to counter carbohydrate (meal) consumption.

Since the pancreas does not make insulin in people with Type 1 diabetes, patients have to consistently monitor their glucose levels throughout the day.

At NY fest, a unique take on Prince’s Purple Rain

When pop legend Prince died, the indie rocker Twin Shadow said his first impulse was to rush to the studio to record a tribute to one of his musical heroes.

Instead, Twin Shadow decided the best way to channel the spirit of Prince was live — which he showed through one of the most creatively challenging sets at The eadows, a new festival in New York.

Twin Shadow, the stage name of Dominican-born US producer George Lewis, Jr., told the crowd that for him Prince’s music was “much more fragile and momentary” than a tribute album could represent. He described his set as an interpretation of Prince’s Purple Rain, but instead of performing copycat covers from the classic 1984 album he infused the songs with new life.

For I Would Die 4 U, Twin Shadow replaced the lush dance texture with a hard-driving but sparse electro pulsation. Darling Nikki, controversial at the time for its eroticism, became all the more sinister as Twin Shadow mixed it with the harsher, kinkier industrial backdrop of Nine Inch Nails’ 1994 hit Closer. For When Doves Cry, Twin Shadow went even heavier on the guitar opening, the hair-metal solo that proved Prince’s versatility and prowess, yet then chose a subdued beat for a hit so rare in pop music for lacking bass.

Twin Shadow brought out the most inimitable aspect of Prince, his voice, by summoning his own vocal power but remaining careful not to overdo it on songs such as The Beautiful Ones, which took on a subtle Caribbean touch. Prince died on April 21 from an accidental overdose of painkillers. Artists including Stevie Wonder will mourn him at a memorial concert on October 13 in his native Minnesota. Twin Shadow, who performed another Purple Rain concert a week earlier in Los Angeles, made his major label debut last year after winning an indie following with his synthpop fusion.

Chance the Rapper warmed up the crowd with trracks from his Gospel-driven mixtape Colouring Book in a set that went from stripped-down beats and jazzy trumpet to full-blown dance hits that shook the pavement.

In an unlikely representation of inner voices, Chance the Rapper brought to the stage puppets including the chatty Carlos the Lion, a blue Muppet-like character who offered words of encouragement between songs. Other performers Sunday included retro English rockers The 1975 and Toronto indie rockers Metric, who delivered an ear-numbing but ultra-high-energy set.

The Meadows was created by promoters of New York’s six-year-old Governors Ball at the tail-end of the festival season amid fast-growing demand for live music. Tapping into the diverse flavour of the surrounding borough of Queens, the festival brought out Bollywood-style dancers between sets and sold cuisine from local Latin vendors. — AFP

When pop legend Prince died, the indie rocker Twin Shadow said his first impulse was to rush to the studio to record a tribute to one of his musical heroes.

Instead, Twin Shadow decided the best way to channel the spirit of Prince was live — which he showed through one of the most creatively challenging sets at The eadows, a new festival in New York.

Twin Shadow, the stage name of Dominican-born US producer George Lewis, Jr., told the crowd that for him Prince’s music was “much more fragile and momentary” than a tribute album could represent. He described his set as an interpretation of Prince’s Purple Rain, but instead of performing copycat covers from the classic 1984 album he infused the songs with new life.

For I Would Die 4 U, Twin Shadow replaced the lush dance texture with a hard-driving but sparse electro pulsation. Darling Nikki, controversial at the time for its eroticism, became all the more sinister as Twin Shadow mixed it with the harsher, kinkier industrial backdrop of Nine Inch Nails’ 1994 hit Closer. For When Doves Cry, Twin Shadow went even heavier on the guitar opening, the hair-metal solo that proved Prince’s versatility and prowess, yet then chose a subdued beat for a hit so rare in pop music for lacking bass.

Twin Shadow brought out the most inimitable aspect of Prince, his voice, by summoning his own vocal power but remaining careful not to overdo it on songs such as The Beautiful Ones, which took on a subtle Caribbean touch. Prince died on April 21 from an accidental overdose of painkillers. Artists including Stevie Wonder will mourn him at a memorial concert on October 13 in his native Minnesota. Twin Shadow, who performed another Purple Rain concert a week earlier in Los Angeles, made his major label debut last year after winning an indie following with his synthpop fusion.

Chance the Rapper warmed up the crowd with trracks from his Gospel-driven mixtape Colouring Book in a set that went from stripped-down beats and jazzy trumpet to full-blown dance hits that shook the pavement.

In an unlikely representation of inner voices, Chance the Rapper brought to the stage puppets including the chatty Carlos the Lion, a blue Muppet-like character who offered words of encouragement between songs. Other performers Sunday included retro English rockers The 1975 and Toronto indie rockers Metric, who delivered an ear-numbing but ultra-high-energy set.

The Meadows was created by promoters of New York’s six-year-old Governors Ball at the tail-end of the festival season amid fast-growing demand for live music. Tapping into the diverse flavour of the surrounding borough of Queens, the festival brought out Bollywood-style dancers between sets and sold cuisine from local Latin vendors. — AFP

Revitalise Congress

The Congress is clearly in disarray and losing relevance by the day. It is time that the Gandhis recognised this and took some concrete corrective action in revitalising the party. With Sonia Gandhi more often than not indisposed and Rahul Gandhi conce…

The Congress is clearly in disarray and losing relevance by the day. It is time that the Gandhis recognised this and took some concrete corrective action in revitalising the party. With Sonia Gandhi more often than not indisposed and Rahul Gandhi concentrating on sound bytes with his flippant and superficial comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which are going stale by the day, the leadership should realise that it is time the Congress raised substantive issues of governance to remain a political force in the country.
S. Kamat
Goa

Two cats fight

This is with reference to T.S. Karthik’s letter, Peace Ho! (Oct. 2). If there is a war between two countries, it is the weapon sellers who always win at the cost of the people of both the countries. It will more so for India and Pakistan as they are the backbenchers in the class of human development. The former is at 130th position and the latter is at 147th! As a matter of fact, an India-Pak war means the staging of Aesop’s story of a monkey winning the bread while two cats fight for the same.
Sujit De
Kolkata

This is with reference to T.S. Karthik’s letter, Peace Ho! (Oct. 2). If there is a war between two countries, it is the weapon sellers who always win at the cost of the people of both the countries. It will more so for India and Pakistan as they are the backbenchers in the class of human development. The former is at 130th position and the latter is at 147th! As a matter of fact, an India-Pak war means the staging of Aesop’s story of a monkey winning the bread while two cats fight for the same.
Sujit De
Kolkata

Water: The China factor

The geopolitical signals were always clear. China is on Pakistan’s side as ever. It’s the announcement’s timing that adds a chilling dimension to China blocking Xiabuqu River, a tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo (Brahmaputra), to facilitate Lalho, a major hydroelectric project that was under construction since 2014. The “surgical strikes” after the Uri attack clearly prompted China to act this way. India cannot but proceed cautiously and first study what effects Chinese projects on Yarlung Zangbo will have on the flow of water into India and Bangladesh. India should also rethink what to do on the Indus treaty with Pakistan.

There is no question of acting with reckless abandon in matters regarding water, a source of tension in national and international relations. In the absence of a treaty on the Brahmaputra, India and China have only a 2013 MoU on data-sharing. The veracity of data from an upper riparian river is always suspect in the eyes of those at the lower end. While international forums invariably struggle with dispute resolution, the picture over international waters is always mixed, with the best results coming from cooperation rather than arbitration. India has an advantage in any potential standoff, as the Brahmaputra can’t be seen in isolation as India is the upper riparian state in the six rivers of the Indus river system. Clearly, the way forward is through negotiation and cooperation rather than conflict. Since disputes have always dominated the international water arena, it would be best for India to go forward and address the water issue confidently with China and Pakistan.

The geopolitical signals were always clear. China is on Pakistan’s side as ever. It’s the announcement’s timing that adds a chilling dimension to China blocking Xiabuqu River, a tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo (Brahmaputra), to facilitate Lalho, a major hydroelectric project that was under construction since 2014. The “surgical strikes” after the Uri attack clearly prompted China to act this way. India cannot but proceed cautiously and first study what effects Chinese projects on Yarlung Zangbo will have on the flow of water into India and Bangladesh. India should also rethink what to do on the Indus treaty with Pakistan.

There is no question of acting with reckless abandon in matters regarding water, a source of tension in national and international relations. In the absence of a treaty on the Brahmaputra, India and China have only a 2013 MoU on data-sharing. The veracity of data from an upper riparian river is always suspect in the eyes of those at the lower end. While international forums invariably struggle with dispute resolution, the picture over international waters is always mixed, with the best results coming from cooperation rather than arbitration. India has an advantage in any potential standoff, as the Brahmaputra can’t be seen in isolation as India is the upper riparian state in the six rivers of the Indus river system. Clearly, the way forward is through negotiation and cooperation rather than conflict. Since disputes have always dominated the international water arena, it would be best for India to go forward and address the water issue confidently with China and Pakistan.

Black cash: A good start, lots left to get

Chasing tax defaulters, however, is just one part of the entire tax-evasion syndrome. The government now needs to, with equal seriousness, tackle the creation of black money.


Chasing tax defaulters, however, is just one part of the entire tax-evasion syndrome. The government now needs to, with equal seriousness, tackle the creation of black money.

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The Narendra Modi government can be faulted on not achieving all it had promised in its election manifesto, but it has succeeded quite handsomely in ferreting out unaccounted cash, that was a major pledge. Over 64,000 cash-rich tax defaulters gave the tax department and the government a pre-Diwali bonanza of over `65,000 crores, according to early figures. Their numbers, however, still seem a drop in the ocean of such defaulters, though in the past two years the government has detected unaccounted incomes of little over `56,000 crores. The government had earlier this year sent seven lakh letters to suspected tax evaders, and the numbers that responded are therefore miniscule in comparison. It just shows the astronomical amount that still must be tapped and it will be extremely interesting to see how the government goes after the lakhs that are still not disclosing their hidden wealth. Finance minister Arun Jaitley has been quite unequivocal in warning of the consequences of not disclosing incomes, and he will certainly get the support of all citizens in his endeavour. It is really amazing that people are still bold enough to refuse to declare their obviously ill-gotten gains.

Chasing tax defaulters, however, is just one part of the entire tax-evasion syndrome. The government now needs to, with equal seriousness, tackle the creation of black money. It knows all the avenues of creation, such as real estate, construction, etc, and the big fish must be handled ruthlessly. But India has lakhs of small traders, small businesses like restaurants, professionals like doctors and lawyers, and consultants who are still not in the net. For example, traders and small restaurants don’t always issue bills unless asked for. It seems a formidable task and the tax department will need an army of sleuths to track this.

The government has no alternative but to go ahead and get all the money it can to finance its welfare schemes such as Swachchh Bharat and several others for the poorest of the poor. It has been accused of drastically cutting down on its social welfare spending, including on flagship plans, like the rural employment guarantee scheme. Also, its dalit upliftment schemes can be more than token, if the crores that are ferreted out can be diverted to finance such schemes. Programmes to empower women, that is a vital necessity, can also be undertaken. It’s also necessary to create entrepreneurs to give employment to the hordes of unemployed. The Modi government has three more years to go, so there is a lot it can achieve if it has the money. If over `65,000 crores were declared by just 64,000 people, one can imagine how much will come from the remaining 640,000 people who had got notices.

Chasing tax defaulters, however, is just one part of the entire tax-evasion syndrome. The government now needs to, with equal seriousness, tackle the creation of black money.

Chasing tax defaulters, however, is just one part of the entire tax-evasion syndrome. The government now needs to, with equal seriousness, tackle the creation of black money.

The Narendra Modi government can be faulted on not achieving all it had promised in its election manifesto, but it has succeeded quite handsomely in ferreting out unaccounted cash, that was a major pledge. Over 64,000 cash-rich tax defaulters gave the tax department and the government a pre-Diwali bonanza of over `65,000 crores, according to early figures. Their numbers, however, still seem a drop in the ocean of such defaulters, though in the past two years the government has detected unaccounted incomes of little over `56,000 crores. The government had earlier this year sent seven lakh letters to suspected tax evaders, and the numbers that responded are therefore miniscule in comparison. It just shows the astronomical amount that still must be tapped and it will be extremely interesting to see how the government goes after the lakhs that are still not disclosing their hidden wealth. Finance minister Arun Jaitley has been quite unequivocal in warning of the consequences of not disclosing incomes, and he will certainly get the support of all citizens in his endeavour. It is really amazing that people are still bold enough to refuse to declare their obviously ill-gotten gains.

Chasing tax defaulters, however, is just one part of the entire tax-evasion syndrome. The government now needs to, with equal seriousness, tackle the creation of black money. It knows all the avenues of creation, such as real estate, construction, etc, and the big fish must be handled ruthlessly. But India has lakhs of small traders, small businesses like restaurants, professionals like doctors and lawyers, and consultants who are still not in the net. For example, traders and small restaurants don’t always issue bills unless asked for. It seems a formidable task and the tax department will need an army of sleuths to track this.

The government has no alternative but to go ahead and get all the money it can to finance its welfare schemes such as Swachchh Bharat and several others for the poorest of the poor. It has been accused of drastically cutting down on its social welfare spending, including on flagship plans, like the rural employment guarantee scheme. Also, its dalit upliftment schemes can be more than token, if the crores that are ferreted out can be diverted to finance such schemes. Programmes to empower women, that is a vital necessity, can also be undertaken. It’s also necessary to create entrepreneurs to give employment to the hordes of unemployed. The Modi government has three more years to go, so there is a lot it can achieve if it has the money. If over `65,000 crores were declared by just 64,000 people, one can imagine how much will come from the remaining 640,000 people who had got notices.