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Tri-series rivals set sights on Champions Trophy

September 7, 2009 Leave a comment

India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand hope to put in impressive performances in a tri-series starting here on Tuesday to boost confidence ahead of the Champions Trophy.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s India side start as favourites despite missing injured opener Virender Sehwag and paceman Zaheer Khan, having beaten both New Zealand and Sri Lanka in their own backyards in their last one-day series.

India are seeking a hat-trick of wins in Sri Lanka after clinching a pair of bilateral five-match series in August 2008 and in February this year.

Each team will play two league matches before the top two qualify for the final on September 14. The hosts clash with New Zealand in Tuesday’s opening game.

Sri Lanka’s record-breaking Muttiah Muralitharan believes the series will help the teams prepare for the eight-nation Champions Trophy which opens in South Africa on September 22.

“The tri-series will be good preparation for the upcoming Champions Trophy,” said the off-spinner who is the world’s leading wicket-taker in Tests (783) and one-day internationals (511).

“New Zealand have shown in the past few days how much more dangerous they are in the shorter version, winning both Twenty20 matches, and India have happy memories of Sri Lanka after two series wins here in the last 13 months.

“It will be a great test for the Sri Lankan team.”

Daniel Vettori’s New Zealanders salvaged some of their reputation when they stunned the hosts in two Twenty20 internationals last week after being whitewashed in the preceding two-Test series.

“The guys will take a lot of confidence from that,” Vettori said after his team’s Twenty20 success.

“They can take that into the one-dayers. For us, to make the final will be a great stepping stone for the Champions Trophy.”

Focus will be on Indian batsman Rahul Dravid and New Zealand paceman Shane Bond, returning to one-day sides after playing their last match in 2007.

Bond, 34, became eligible to play after severing links with the unauthorised Indian Cricket League, while Dravid, 36, was recalled ahead of India’s busy international schedule for his wealth of experience.

Vettori was impressed with Bond’s form in the Twenty20 matches in Colombo where the fast bowler bagged three crucial wickets.

“It’s great for him to start the way he has and I think he’ll get better and better,” said Vettori.

“He looks confident and when Shane is confident, he’s really a good bowler. I think we’ll see more of that as the one-day series goes on.”

Dravid got the selectors’ nod after a couple of younger batsmen failed to cope with short-pitched deliveries in the World Twenty20 in England in June.

He is only the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar in the current team to have completed 10,000 one-day runs.

India’s South African coach Gary Kirsten welcomed Dravid’s return.

“It’s good to have him back,” Kirsten said recently. “He is a very experienced player and adds massive value to the team. He is a natural performer.”

India will play New Zealand on Friday and take on Sri Lanka on Saturday in back-to-back matches.

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claytronics-the future

July 31, 2009 2 comments

About Claytronics

The Appearance of Thought in the Behavior of Machines 

Today, computing engages a user’s senses of sight and hearing through video and audio devices whose effects the user must integrate in his or her mind.  Suppose that electronic media could offer users an active form of original information that would fully integrate sight and sound and add the sense of touch for the user experience.  Suppose that the person using information could interact physically with it.  This is the concept of claytronics, which is also known as programmable matter.  Through this medium, users would engage with information in realistic, 3-dimensional forms — represented in the immediacy of the user’s personal space. 

Creation of claytronics technology is the bold objective of collaborative research between Carnegie Mellon and Intel, which combines nano-robotics and large-scale computing to create synthetic reality, a revolutionary, 3-dimensional display of information.  The vision behind this research is to provide users with tangible forms of electronic information that express the appearance and actions of original sources. 

The objects created from programmable matter will be scalable to life size or larger.  They will be likewise reducible in scale. Such objects will be capable of continuous, 3-D motion.  Representations in programmable matter will offer to the end-user an experience that is indistinguishable from reality.  Claytronic representations will seem so real that users will experience the impression that they are dealing with the original object.

Claytronic emulation of the function, behavior and appearance of individuals, organisms and objects will fully mimic reality – and fulfill a well-known criterion for artificial intelligence formulated by the visionary mathematician and computer science pioneer Alan Turing. 

A Representation of Reality That Passes the ‘Turing Test’

In 1950, in a groundbreaking article, Turing asked “Can Machines Think?”  and offered a criterion to “refute anyone who doubts that a computer can really think.”  His proposal was that “if an observer cannot distinguish the responses of a programmed machine from those of a human being, the machine is said to have passed the Turing Test.”

Although the Turing Test remains a robust source of discussion among those who devote their lives to artificial intelligence, philosophy and cognitive science, claytronics conceives of a technology that will surpass the Turing Test for the appearance of thought in the behaviors of a machine.

The seemingly magical quality of this media is suggested by the Greek word, pario (paree-oh), which means “to make” or “to bring forth,” a transformation of data into delightful forms that will echo the mythical power of the ancient artist Pygmalion whose command brought to life the statue Galatea.

By enabling the representation of tangible, realistic three-dimensional objects across networks, claytronic media — or programmable matter — promise to provide users of digital information with a transforming experience.  To learn more, read this article on programmable matter published in Computer, the IEEE Computer Society Magazine.  Then review the following slides that present the vision of claytronics as this dynamic technology is evolving in the Carnegie Mellon-Intel Claytronics Research Project.

Yuvraj, Ojha star in India’s victory against Bangladesh

June 6, 2009 Leave a comment

After skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to bat, India reached 180 for five with Gautam Gambhir cracking 50 while Yuvraj Singh hit a blistering 41 off 18 balls, including four sixes and three fours. Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha then claimed four wickets, giving away just 21 runs, to wreck the Bangladesh batting order and stop them at 155 for eight.Bangladesh began their chase in right earnest through Tamim Iqbal (15) and Junaid Siddique (41).Off-spinner Yusuf Pathan struck in his first over as Tamim came down the wicket for a big hit, only to miss the line and be stumped by Dhoni.Siddique attacked Indian bowlers, hitting three sixes and two fours off just 22 deliveries.But he did not get any support from the other end. Ishant Sharma removed skipper Mohammad Ashraful before Pragyan Ojha bowled a superb spell to cripple Bangladesh.Ojha dismissed Shakib Al Hasan and dangerous Siddique in the ninth over and Bangladesh could never recover from the double blow. Ojha claimed his third wicket with Yuvraj Singh taking a sensational diving catch to remove Mahmudullah.Yuvraj then dropped a simple chance of Raqibul Hasan in the 14th over.Ojha got his fourth victim in Mashraf Mortaza, who after hitting the bowler for a six went for slog sweep but the ball spun from the middle stump to rattle his off-stump.Ojha then pouched Hasan at mid-on off Zaheer Khan.Naeem Islam struck 28 off 17 balls with three sixes, but it came too late in the day.Earlier, Gambhir and Rohit Sharma (36), who opened the batting in absence of injured Virender Sehwag, scored 59 runs for ths first wicket.Rohit, who smashed three boundaries and two sixes, was bowled by Shakib after surviving a stumping chance off the previous delivery.Dhoni (26) and Gambhir added 53 runs for the second wicket, but when the former he was bowled by Naeem (2-32), India had only 112 runs to show in the 15th over.It was Yuvraj’s breathtaking knock that helped India smash 59 runs in the last four overs.Irfan Pathan (11) hit a four and a six off the last three deliveries he faced.