Killing Fields to Healing Fields : On rehabilitation of landmine victims in Cambodia – National Geographic

Chhin Boreak, 19, lost his right arm to a land mine at the age of 10. One of 12 children in his family, he came to live at the relief center in northwest Cambodia founded by mine removal expert Aki Ra for kids and young adults whose families can't care for them.

Delicately brushing away the soil with his fingers, Aki Ra uncovers a dark green land mine buried two inches beneath the overgrown dirt road. The size of a large soup can, the mine was planted by the Khmer Rouge about 15 years ago on this ox track in northwestern Cambodia—the most densely mined region of one of the most heavily mined countries in the world.

“This is the type 69 Bouncing Betty made in China,” says Aki Ra, his breath fogging the blastproof visor of his helmet. Bouncing Betty is the American nickname for a bounding fragmentation land mine. The pressure of a footstep causes it to leap out of the ground and then explode, spraying shrapnel in every direction. It can shred the legs of an entire squad.

Land mines once crippled a war-ravaged Cambodia. Today the nation is a model for how to recover from this scourge.

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Kashmiris’ Pain Over Unmarked Graves – BBC

Thousands of unmarked graves have been discovered in remote areas of Indian-administered Kashmir, a legacy of decades of conflict in the region. Now a government human rights body is calling on the Indian authorities to investigate the graves – to identify the dead and find out who killed them.

Khurram Parvez works for the Coalition of Civil Society, a human rights organisation which first drew attention to the unmarked graves and is demanding a full, impartial investigation.


iPads and Kindles force newspapers further away from print – The Guardian UK

A million iPads and Kindles may have been unwrapped on Sunday – according to tentative analyst estimates – an influx of portable technology that is expected to hasten a decline in the already faltering sales of printed newspapers, adding pressure on traditional business models that have traditionally supported so many titles around the country.

Fifty years ago two national dailies – the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express – sold more than 4m copies each; today the bestselling Sun sells 2.6m. In the last year alone, printed sales declined by 10% for daily broadsheets and by 5% for daily tabloids – and when the News of the World stopped printing last July 600,000 copy sales simply disappeared.

The knock-on impact of the decline has been a push for digital readers that have seen newspapers like the Daily Mail win 5m unique visitors a day – compared with its printed sale of 2m – but struggle to generate revenues to match. The Mail generated £16m from its website last year, out of £608m overall.


Google CEO Larry Page Announces $12.5 Billion Acquisition Bid for Motorola

Since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically increased consumer choice but also improved the entire mobile experience for users. Today, more than 150 million Android devices have been activated worldwide—with over 550,000 devices now lit up every day—through a network of about 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries. Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola.

Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, and in the development of intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today. Its many industry milestones include the introduction of the world’s first portable cell phone nearly 30 years ago, and the StarTAC—the smallest and lightest phone on earth at time of launch. In 2007, Motorola was a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance that worked to make Android the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. I have loved my Motorola phones from the StarTAC era up to the current DROIDs.

In 2008, Motorola bet big on Android as the sole operating system across all of its smartphone devices. It was a smart bet and we’re thrilled at the success they’ve achieved so far. We believe that their mobile business is on an upward trajectory and poised for explosive growth.

Motorola is also a market leader in the home devices and video solutions business. With the transition to Internet Protocol, we are excited to work together with Motorola and the industry to support our partners and cooperate with them to accelerate innovation in this space.

Motorola’s total commitment to Android in mobile devices is one of many reasons that there is a natural fit between our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere.

This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences.

Larry Page, CEO, Google

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The Wall Street Journal Live Blog: Google on the Motorola Deal 


Indian Matinee Idol Shammi Kapoor Passes Away at 79

Plunging millions of his fans into grief, Indian matinee idol and “lover extraordinaire” of Hindi cinema, Shammi Kapoor passed away at 79 this morning in Mumbai. He was suffering renal failure. One among the legendary trio of Kapoor brothers (the other two are Raj Kapoor and Sashi Kapoor), Shammi Kapoor had set the silver screen afire, wooing almost all the top heroines of his day with his inimitable acting style and dance moves. Many of Hindi cinema’s classic numbers sung by Mohammed Rafi was immortalized onscreen by Shammi Kapoor.


Should you buy the new BlackBerry Bold 9900?

The new BlackBerry 9900 with touch-key features

Users can rant all they want, but nothing makes CEOs hear things as clearly as a dip in market share.

For years, there was no choice to Research in Motion’s (RIM’s) BlackBerry when it came to enterprise e-mail and smartphone capabilities, but as I write this, Gartner’s latest data shows that RIM’s market share in mobile phones has fallen from 3.2 percent in Q2 2010 to 3 percent in Q2 2011, while Apple’s has nearly doubled. Of course once mighty mobile phone leader Nokia has crashed in far more spectacular fashion, and that plus its own crashing stock price must be making once smartphone leader RIM wary indeed.

RIM’s answer is a whole new series of smartphones with mouth-watering specs that are being launched in the next few days and weeks. This is the biggest launch in RIM’s history — never before has the smartphone maker launched so many devices in so short a time, but tough times demand drastic, out-of-comfort-zone responses. And first out from RIM’s all new goody bag is the BlackBerry Bold 9900.


What’s the Future of Tabs After Apple Had Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Banned in Australia and Europe on Patent Infringement?

Apple's iPad2 (left and center) and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 (right)

Now that Apple has successfully forced Samsung to withdraw its Galaxy Tab 10.1 from both the Australian and European markets we have to ask, what next for the tablet market? In Australia, Apple used its arsenal of patents to get the tablet withdrawn from sale, whereas in Europe it used design rights to argue that the Galaxy Tab looked too similar to the iPad.
Samsung must now be wondering what to do with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Patents experts question whether it’seven possible for the tablet to be reworked to avoid infringing Apple’’s overly broad patents and still be a desirable device. One of Apple’s key patents is on ‘list scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display’, without which it would be difficult to make a tablet that meets the expectations of its users.

Design experts too must now be wondering if it’s possible to create a tablet that doesn’t look so similar to an iPad that it will fall foul of the same design rights that Apple used against Samsung in the German courts.