kin of mumbai attack victims welcome

Relatives of victims of the 2008 Mumbai attack victims on Wednesday welcomed the execution of the lone surviving attacker, Ajmal Kasab, saying justice has been finally delivered. In Varanasi, Sunita Yadav, wife of victim Upendra Yadav, expressed her gratitude to the authorities for carrying out the execution.

Daily Bollywood News:Bipasha Basu - Bollywood will remain a hero-centric business

Women are active in show business like never before, but will they surpass the status Bollywood heroes enjoy? Never, says Bipasha Basu, who feels there is minimum opportunity for female actors in the Hindi film industry

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Could `Michael Jackson's This Is It' win an Oscar?



LOS ANGELES – "Michael Jackson's This Is It" comes too late in the year to be considered for a documentary Oscar, but the film about the late King of Pop's preparations for a series of comeback concerts could qualify for other Hollywood honors, including the Academy Award for best picture.

The film, which opened around the globe Tuesday and Wednesday has already earned rousing praise from fans and critics, who say it restores Jackson's reputation as a world-class entertainer.

Director Kenny Ortega, a longtime Jackson collaborator who was overseeing his London concert comeback, crafted the nearly two-hour film from more than 100 hours of footage recorded during rehearsals for the London shows, which were to have begun in July. Jackson died June 25 at age 50.

"What we did here was focus on telling a good story and creating a film for the fans really enabling them to understand what Michael Jackson had dreamed for them," Ortega said Wednesday.

He added it was his hope "the audience for this film will grow and that as many people come to see it as possible because I think that it's a wonderful story about a brilliant man. ... Awards, Oscars, that's all great wishful thinking."

It may be more than wishful, said Steven Gaydos, executive editor of the Hollywood trade paper Variety and a self-described cynic. With the Academy Awards best-picture slate expanded to 10 films this year rather than the traditional five, "This Is It" could find itself among the contenders, he said.

To qualify, the film must complete a seven-day run in Los Angeles County and filmmakers would need to "submit the proper paperwork," said Leslie Unger, spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which puts on the Oscars. The movie could also be considered in other categories, she said, including sound and film editing.

Sony, which paid $60 million for the global film rights, plans to keep "This Is It" in theaters for just over two weeks. The studio did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment about whether it planned to submit the film in any of the Oscar categories.

Ortega, a veteran director, producer and choreographer who counts TV's "High School Musical" among his credits, could also find himself in contention for a best-director nod, Gaydos said.

"He did a masterful job putting this whole thing together," he said. "It was so powerful and interesting, so creative and well-done, I think he should be considered... Kenny just won over all these critics like me with Michael Jackson that anything interesting could go on with this guy."

After completing a weeklong run, "This Is It" could also be eligible for Golden Globe awards consideration if it's submitted before the Nov. 6 deadline, said Michael Russell, a spokesman for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the annual ceremony.

Ortega said an Oscar nod would be a fitting recognition of Jackson's last work.

"He deserves one," he said. "Come on people."

Undertaker vs Batista vs CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio WWE Bragging Rights 2009 Highlights



highlights from undertaker vs batista vs cm punk vs rey mysterio in a fatal four-way match for the world heavyweight championship

Anger at Zimbabwe UN envoy snub

Manfred Nowak: "It is totally unacceptable treatment"

The UN's torture investigator has made an angry return to South Africa after being refused entry to Zimbabwe.

Manfred Nowak was detained by officials in Harare who said he had no clearance to visit, despite his insistence he had an invite from the prime minister.

"I have never in any other country been treated in such a manner," Mr Nowak, who had planned a week-long fact-finding mission, told the BBC.

He blamed his treatment on the divisions within the unity government.

"This is a major incident because you can't on the one hand invite a special rapporteur to meet the prime minister and on the other hand somebody gives an order to the immigration police not to let me in," he told the BBC's World Today programme.

His said his treatment showed there were clearly parts of the government who did not want him to assess "the current conditions of torture", and promised to file a strongly worded complaint.

'Cheap propaganda'

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC party stopped co-operating with the unity government two weeks ago, accusing President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party of failing to live up to its commitments in the power-sharing deal.

Allegations that MDC supporters and human rights defenders have been arrested, harassed and intimidated during the past few days highlight the urgency of objective fact-finding
UN statement

Earlier this week, the MDC warned that Zanu-PF militia had launched a campaign of violence against it, reminiscent of last year's post-election violence.

Human rights group Amnesty International has warned the country is on the brink of sliding back into violence.

The BBC's southern Africa correspondent Karen Allen says this diplomatic snub reveals the tussle for power between two sides in an increasingly unhappy marriage.

Mr Nowak's original invitation to come and investigate allegations of torture and mistreatment came from Zimbabwe's justice minister, who is a member of Zanu-PF.

But it was withdrawn at the last minute, with officials citing a clash with a visit by a mediation team from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).

Sadc is hosting a meeting in Harare to discuss the crisis.

Nevertheless Mr Tsvangirai intervened and authorised the UN investigator to proceed with his visit.

Earlier, the UN said in a statement that Mr Nowak welcomed regional efforts "to resolve the political crisis" in Zimabwe, but that the Sadc meeting was not a valid reason to cancel his visit.

"Recent allegations that MDC supporters and human rights defenders have been arrested, harassed and intimidated during the past few days highlight the urgency of objective fact-finding by an independent UN expert," the UN said.

Zanu-PF has described comments about allegations of violent attacks on MDC members as "cheap propaganda".

Denmark in climate deal warning

Denmark's prime minister says he does not think a legally binding deal on climate change will be agreed upon at a December summit in Copenhagen.



Lars Loekke Rasmussen spoke ahead of an EU summit at which climate change will be one of the main topics.

EU leaders must also decide how to secure the Czech Republic's ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

The treaty would create a full-time EU president, and leaders are expected to discuss who could fill the role.

December's eagerly anticipated United Nations' Copenhagen Climate Summit will attempt to hammer out a new global climate treaty to replace the UN Kyoto Protocol.
But Mr Rasmussen said he did not believe a final deal on reducing greenhouse emissions could be reached at the meeting.

"We do not think it will be possible to decide all the finer details for a legally binding regime," he said.

However, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that even if no treaty is signed in Copenhagen, he was confident a political agreement could be reached there.

"We are not lowering expectations," he said. "If we can agree on four political elements, then that could be a hallmark of success on climate change."

At the Brussels summit, European leaders will try to iron out their differences over how much each EU member should pay to help developing nations fight global warming.
The European Commission has recommended EU nations pay up to 15bn euros ($22bn; £13bn) a year from 2013 to developing nations to help them cope with climate change.
But aid and environmental groups have said Europe should be prepared to pay more than twice as much.

Talks last week on how to fund such aid collapsed as EU finance ministers disagreed over how to share the costs.

'Risk of deadlock'

On the eve of the summit, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, urged his counterparts to compromise on agreeing climate aid figures to developing nations.

"We have a risk for a clear deadlock in the negotiations," he said.
"The emerging economies are looking for financing and without it they will not make the required reduction targets."



The BBC's Oana Lungescu in Brussels says it is unclear how much money the EU is willing to put on the table and who should pay what.

Poland and other Eastern and Central European countries say they are too poor to contribute much, our correspondent says.

The EU is committed to cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% by 2020 and by up to 30% if other countries join in.

Developing nations have been arguing that industrialised countries should carry most of the burden, because they are responsible for the majority of CO2 emissions.
The two-day Brussels meeting must also try to seal an agreement for the ratification of the Lisbon reform treaty with the Czech Republic.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus is the only EU leader who has yet to sign the treaty, demanding an opt-out from the treaty's Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The Eurosceptic Mr Klaus fears that charter could be used by ethnic Germans to reclaim land they lost in the Czech Republic after World War II.

The Czech Constitutional Court is expected to rule next week on whether the treaty complies with the country's constitution, clearing the way for Mr Klaus' decision.
EU leaders are also expected to discuss who will fill the post of full-time president that the Lisbon Treaty would create.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Luxembourg Premier Jean-Claude Juncker have been touted as the leading candidates for the job.

'Hijacked' pair's yacht is found

The yacht belonging to a British couple feared kidnapped by Somali pirates has been found, according to naval authorities.



Paul and Rachel Chandler, aged 59 and 55, of Kent, sent a distress signal on Friday from the Indian Ocean.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the yacht was discovered during counter-piracy operations on Wednesday night - but the couple were not on board.

The MoD stressed there is no reason to suspect the pair have come to harm.

The yacht, the Lynn Rival, was found in international waters and has been secured by the Royal Navy.

'Peaceful solution'

Mr and Mrs Chandler had been sailing from the Seychelles to Tanzania.

Relatives of the Chandlers met the Somali premier Omar Sharmarke in London on Wednesday who told them he would do anything to "see a peaceful solution".

Mrs Chandler's brother, Stephen Collett, 58, of Ixworth, Suffolk, said: "He (Mr Sharmarke) told us they (pirates) do look after hostages well as they see them as trade goods and want to keep them so they can barter.

"Unfortunately they have no money, it's all in the yacht."

Taliban denies Peshawar blast role

The Taliban and al-Qaeda have distanced themselves from Wednesday's deadly market blast in Peshawar that claimed 105 lives, saying "their main target are the security forces, and not innocent civilians".



The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a statement sent to the media on Thursday, condemned the car bomb attack that tore through a crowded market and denied any involvement in the explosion.

However, Pakistani government officials have said the attack was in revenge for the army's offensive against Taliban fighters in South Waziristan, and that the military campaign would go on.

The attack on the busy Mina Bazaar, which also injured more than 200 people, was the deadliest to hit Pakistan this year.

Many of those killed were women and children and on Thursday, residents of the troubled city began burying the dead.
'Rogue elements'

Lieutenant-General Asad Durrani, the former head of Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI), told Al Jazeera the current situation in the country was grim and that it could take years for the situation to be brought under control.



"American help in our efforts of counter- insurgency are very unhelpful because this alliance is a very unpopular one. The public are not in favour of America and Pakistan co-ordinating..."

Durrani said that rising civilian casualties were also eroding the support for the anti-government groups.

"The most dangerous category of groups are the so-called rogue elements, their agenda is neither Afghanistan-oriented nor Pakistan. They carry out certain acts and atrocities which makes the situation even more complex," he said.

Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan's high commissioner to the UK, told Al Jazeera: "The Taliban are losing the war, losing history. And while doing that they will kill as many as they would like to.

"But I can tell you, as our foreign minister said, we'll not buckle down. We fight them and we'll destroy them."
Clinton visit
The attack came as Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, touched down in Islamabad for talks with government officials.

Speaking in the Pakistani capital, she expressed her support for the military's offensive against the Taliban and pledging continued US assistance.

"These extremists are committed to destroying that which is dear to us, as much as they are committed to destroying that which is dear to you, and to all people," Clinton said.

"So this is our struggle as well, and we commend the Pakistani military for their courageous fight, and we commit to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Pakistani people in your fight for peace and security."

Imran Khan, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Islamabad, said officials had told him that a car drove into a narrow and packed market place before exploding.
"The bomb disposal squad are at the location and are looking for clues as to what type of explosive was used," he said.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, condemned the "appalling bomb attack".
"I want to express my outrage at the loss of so many innocent lives," he told a news conference in New York.

The blast comes as Pakistan's military is fighting members of the TTP in the country's semi-autonomous tribal region of South Waziristan.

The military launched its offensive nearly two weeks ago, pitting about 30,000 Pakistani troops against an estimated 10 to 12,000 Taliban fighters in South Waziristan.

'Reckless acts'
Tariq Azeem Khan, a Pakistani senator and a former minister of state for information, told Al Jazeera that the attack showed the Taliban were becoming "reckless" in their choice of targets.

"When they cannot get to the main targets because they are well guarded, they are doing these explosions all over the place - in the main shopping centres without any pre-determined targets.

"There's very little the government can do to try to protect every single shopping mall. It's a difficult task, but they are doing their best. Pakistan is paying a very high price at the moment.

Since the South Waziristan assault began, the military says it has killed at least 231 fighters, and lost 29 soldiers.

However, independent figures are impossible to come by as journalists and aid agencies are barred from the conflict zone.

More than 125,000 people have been registered as displaced by Pakistan's offensive since October 13, United Nations officials have said.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has said that humanitarian access to people in need remains the key challenge for agencies, given the volatile security environment in the displacement areas.

The military has given no figures for civilian casualties, but those fleeing say many people caught in the crossfire have been killed.

I-League: Mohun Bagan Come Back To Beat Shillong Lajong

The 30, 000 home supporters were left disappointed as their side went down, though they gave a good account of themselves...



Mohun Bagan came back to beat Shillong Lajong 2-1 to win their third match on a trot in the fifth round I-League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong.

In-form Chidi Edeh cancelled Aibor Khongee’s spot-kick with Marcos Pereira winning it for the Green and Maroons with a gem of a free-kick.

It was a game between two sides that had the same number of points from as many games but while one was a seasoned campaigner, the other was a newcomer.

For the home side, Gumpe Rime was suspended which saw Markus Basumatary between the sticks while Deepak Mandal returned after serving out a two game suspension.

Mohun Bagan will consider themselves lucky as referee P.K.Bose failed to spot a tackle from behind by Mandal on Tuboi as early as in the fourth minute.

The Mariners took time to settle as the pitch didn’t look an I-League material as the bounce was invariable and the hard surface didn’t help the players on either side. From a James Singh flag-kick, Snehashish Chakrabarty had a free header at the near post but it went over the bar on a rare occasion when the Lajong defence was called for action.

The play was sloppy, which was understandable and hence, got the enthusiastic crowd to quieten a bit. Around the half hour mark, a lofted clearance from Suiting saw Tuboi make a brilliant run which was cut short by Biswajit Saha who had to come across to help Rakesh Masih and Deepak Mandal.

Tuboi had another fine run when he foxed Rakesh Masih until Saha doing enough to keep the danger away. In the final minute of the first session, Daniel Bedemi laid the ball for James Giblee shot it wide from inside the box.

Just seven minutes after the break, Tuboi was pulled down from behind by Rakesh Masih inside the area saw the referee have no qualms in pointing to the spot with skipper Aibor Khonjee coolly slotting it into the top corner.

The goal drew instant reaction from the visitors as they began to look more threatening with each passing minute. Aibor gave the ball away dangerously to Chidi whose shot was blocked.

Lajong’s lead lasted for only nine minutes as Snehashish Chakrabarty’s cross saw Chidi put his head to good use at the far post as the marking on him was poor.

A few minutes later, Lajong gave a free-kick just outside the box which Marcos Pereira curled it around the four man wall to break the hearts of the assembled crowd.

Stanley Rosario brought in Michael Bassey for Samson and the move could have clicked after Tuboi sent an overhead pass to the striker in the box but he was adjudged to have fouled a Bagan defender.

Mohun Bagan used their experience as they slowed the pace of the game and played the ball in spaces with Chidi moving intelligently to disturb the composure of the Lajong backline.

Karim Bencherifa made two changes towards the end in his bid to break the play and add more steel to his defence.

Lajong should take heart from their performance as they were the better side for more than half of the game in terms of possession however, it was the experience and opportunism shown by Bagan which killed their chances of pulling off a shocker.

Goalscorers Shillong Lajong: Aibor Khongjee (54th pen)

Mohun Bagan: Chidi Edeh (63rd min) and Marcos Pereira (66th min)

CWG countdown begins as Delhi receives Queen’s Baton

Tags:Commonwealth Games, CWG, Queens Baton Relay
Zeenews Bureau

London: Buckingham Palace resounded with Sanskrit chants of Rig Veda as children of all races introduced the theme of peace and harmony, starting the countdown of the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi.

The Queen of England launched the Baton Relay and thus kick-start the official countdown to the mega event.

The organizers had promised the longest and the most inclusive relay ever, and they lived up to their word.

Some of the prominent sports personalities featuring in the list of torch bearers included shooter Abhinav Bindra, boxing sensation Vijender Singh, wrestler Sushil Kumar, Milkha Singh, Kapil Dev, Dilip Tirkey and Karnam Malleswari.

Sania Mirza was ecstatic and said, “Its always great to come here and it’s a great honour, I’m happy that I was one of the few who were chosen.”

The Baton relay ceremony had the first performance by a South Asian classical dance group. It was a historic moment as it was for the first time that a host nation’s President was present to collect the Commonwealth Queen’s baton.

The baton relay, which will cover 190000 kms over 340 days and will be the longest in the history of the Commonwealth Games, will thus start. India’s President Pratibha Patil will be amongst other dignitaries present at the launch ceremony that will take place at the Buckingham Palace.

Talking to reporters, Indian cricketing legend Kapil Dev termed the opportunity as a great honour.

"It's a fantastic feeling and it's an honour," he said.

Commonwealth Games organizing committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and Games Federation President Michael Fennell, who have had their differences in the past, were also seen in a jubilant mood ahead of the big day.

"The baton and the baton journey is symbolic in many ways. It enables so many people to be part of it. This has an international sector and a domestic sector. So even in India this will go to every part and not just Delhi, so this is significant," Fennell told reporters.

Triple murder case solved; driver, two others arrested

Bangalore, Oct 29 (PTI) The sensational triple murder case of a family here has been solved with the arrest of three persons including the driver of the victim and recovery of gold ornaments and other valuables from their possession, police said today.

City Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari told reporters the main accused Lokesh (24) and his two accomplices, Murali (20) and Bhaskar alias Raja (35) were nabbed yesterday and gold ornaments worth Rs 2.5 lakh, cash Rs 11,000 and four mobile phones recovered from them.

The gang had allegedly murdered interior decorator Rahul Das (45), his wife Pushpa Latha (40) and daughter Agneesha (9) on Oct 20.

Bidari said Lokesh, who had worked as a driver cum office boy with Das six months ago, had hatched the murder plan and on the fateful day the trio gained entry into the house when Das was alone.

Dhoni first Indian captain to score ODI ton vs Australia

Tags: Australia, India, ODI, Vidarbha Cricket Association, Mohammad Azharuddin



Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium became the 40th Indian ground to host a one-day international, when it staged the second India - Australia ODI in the seven-match series on Wednesday. It also became 174th ground in the world to host an ODI.

The VCA stadium is only the second ground in India to host a day-night match as debut ODI. Delhi's [ Images ] Jawaharlal Nehru [ Images ] stadium is the other stadium to have the honour.

India's total of 354-7 is their highest total against Australia [ Images ], surpassing the previous best of 315 at Bangalore in 2001. It is also the fifth occasion when India scored 300 or more against Australia.

India's 354-7 is the highest total ever recorded against Australia by any team batting first. In fact, it is the second highest total recorded by an opponent against Australia, next only to South Africa's [ Images ] 438-9 at Johannesburg in 2006.

India's 354-7 provides the 12th instance -- the most by any team -- that India scored 350-plus runs. India won on all the 12 occasions!

India's 354-7 is the 40th instance in which a total of 350-plus runs have been scored in all one-day internationals played till date. The highest ever recorded in a one-day international is 443-9 by Sri Lanka [ Images ] against The Netherlands at Amstelveen in 2006.

M S Dhoni [ Images ] is the first Indian captain to score a century against Australia in a one-day international. The previous highest score by an Indian captain against Australia was 93 by Mohammad Azharuddin [ Images ] at Brisbane [ Images ] in 1992.

Dhoni's 124 is also the highest score by any captain against Australia, bettering Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya's [ Images ] 122 at Sydney [ Images ] in 2003.

The following table lists the highest scores by captains against Australia:

Runs

Balls

Venue

Year

MS Dhoni (Ind)

124

107

Nagpur

2009

ST Jayasuriya (SL)

122

105

Sydney

2003

GC Smith (SA)

119*

124

Centurion

2006

SP Fleming (NZ)

116*

122

Melbourne [ Images ]

1998

MA Atherton (Eng)

113*

149

The Oval

1997

Dhoni's innings is also the highest by a captain-keeper in all ODIs, bettering Adam Gilchrist's [ Images ] 116 against Sri Lanka at Perth in 2006.

Dhoni's is fifth Indian captain to score two or more centuries after Sourav Ganguly [ Images ] (11), Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ] (6), Mohammad Azharuddin (4) and Rahul Dravid [ Images ] (2)

Dhoni's hundred is his fifth hundred in his 147th one-day international.

Gautam Gambhir [ Images ] scored his 18th fifty in his 83rd one-day international, and his second fifty against Australia in his 12th match. His highest score against Australia remains 113 at Sydney in 2008.

Suresh Raina's [ Images ] 62 is his 11th fifty in his 73rd one-day international. This is his first fifty against Australia in six matches. In his previous five matches against Australia he aggregated only 49 runs, with 26 as his highest score at Kuala Lumpur in 2006.

Ben Hilfenhaus [ Images ] became the sixth Australian bowler after Michael Lewis, Shane Watson [ Images ], Stuart Clark, Brett Lee [ Images ] (thrice) and Mitchell Johnson [ Images ] (twice), to concede 80 or more runs in an innings. Lewis is on top of the list, conceding 113 runs.

By conceding 83 runs in his 10 over spell, Hilfenhaus equalled Brett Lee's Australian record of conceding most runs against India (at Brisbane on 18-01-2004).

Michael Hussey [ Images ] scored his second successive fifty (53 off 60 balls). This was his 26th fifty in his 122nd one-day international.

Ravindra Jadeja [ Images ], playing in his fifth match, achieved the best bowling performance of his career by taking 3-35. His previous best was 1-39 in his earlier match at Baroda on 25-10-2009.

India achieved their 350th win in 723 one-day internationals. Only Pakistan (381) and Australia (445) have registered more victories than India.

The 99-run win is India's fourth biggest against Australia. The details:

Margin

Venue

Year

118 runs

Chelmsford

1983

118 runs

Indore

2001

107 runs

Perth

1991

99 runs

Nagpur

2009

66 runs

Melbourne

1980

Channels from Hale Crater



This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows channels to the southeast of Hale crater on southern Mars. Taken by the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, this view covers an area about 3 kilometers (2 miles) wide.

Channels associated with impact craters were once thought to be quite rare. Scientists proposed a variety of unusual circumstances to explain them, such as impacts by comets or precipitation caused by the impact event. As more of Mars is photographed with high-resolution imagery, more craters surrounded by channel systems are being discovered.

The channels in this HiRISE image are from Hale crater, an exceptionally well-preserved, 125-by-150-kilometer (78-by-93-mile) impact crater located on the northern rim of Mars' Argyre basin. Hale crater is roughly 170 kilometers (100 miles) to the southeast of the site seen here. The channels in this image are up to about 250 meters (820 feet) across, though most are much smaller. The channels appear to emanate directly from material ejected from Hale. They were likely formed by the impact event. The heat of the impact could have melted large amounts of subsurface ice and generated surface runoff capable of carving the channels.

If a significant amount of water was released or mobilized by the Hale crater impact, larger impacts that formed during the early days of the Solar System may have been able to bring even more water to the surface of Mars. If this is true, a long-term, stable, warm and wet climate may not be required to explain the presence of such channels in the ancient Martian landscapes.

This view is a portion of a HiRISE observation taken on Oct. 7, 2007, at 32.6 degrees south latitude and 320.5 degrees east longitude. The full-frame image is available at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_005609_1470.

Robot Armada Might Scale New Worlds

October 27, 2009

An armada of robots may one day fly above the mountain tops of Saturn's moon Titan, cross its vast dunes and sail in its liquid lakes.



Wolfgang Fink, visiting associate in physics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena says we are on the brink of a great paradigm shift in planetary exploration, and the next round of robotic explorers will be nothing like what we see today.

"The way we explore tomorrow will be unlike any cup of tea we've ever tasted," said Fink, who was recently appointed as the Edward and Maria Keonjian Distinguished Professor in Microelectronics at the University of Arizona, Tucson. "We are departing from traditional approaches of a single robotic spacecraft with no redundancy that is Earth-commanded to one that allows for having multiple, expendable low-cost robots that can command themselves or other robots at various locations at the same time."

Fink and his team members at Caltech, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Arizona are developing autonomous software and have built a robotic test bed that can mimic a field geologist or astronaut, capable of working independently and as part of a larger team. This software will allow a robot to think on its own, identify problems and possible hazards, determine areas of interest and prioritize targets for a close-up look.

The way things work now, engineers command a rover or spacecraft to carry out certain tasks and then wait for them to be executed. They have little or no flexibility in changing their game plan as events unfold; for example, to image a landslide or cryovolcanic eruption as it happens, or investigate a methane outgassing event.

"In the future, multiple robots will be in the driver's seat," Fink said. These robots would share information in almost real time. This type of exploration may one day be used on a mission to Titan, Mars and other planetary bodies. Current proposals for Titan would use an orbiter, an air balloon and rovers or lake landers.

In this mission scenario, an orbiter would circle Titan with a global view of the moon, with an air balloon or airship floating overhead to provide a birds-eye view of mountain ranges, lakes and canyons. On the ground, a rover or lake lander would explore the moon's nooks and crannies. The orbiter would "speak" directly to the air balloon and command it to fly over a certain region for a closer look. This aerial balloon would be in contact with several small rovers on the ground and command them to move to areas identified from overhead.

"This type of exploration is referred to as tier-scalable reconnaissance," said Fink. "It's sort of like commanding a small army of robots operating in space, in the air and on the ground simultaneously."

A rover might report that it's seeing smooth rocks in the local vicinity, while the airship or orbiter could confirm that indeed the rover is in a dry riverbed - unlike current missions, which focus only on a global view from far above but can't provide information on a local scale to tell the rover that indeed it is sitting in the middle of dry riverbed.

A current example of this type of exploration can best be seen at Mars with the communications relay between the rovers and orbiting spacecraft like the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. However, that information is just relayed and not shared amongst the spacecraft or used to directly control them.

"We are basically heading toward making robots that command other robots," said Fink, who is director of Caltech's Visual and Autonomous Exploration Systems Research Laboratory, where this work has taken place.

"One day an entire fleet of robots will be autonomously commanded at once. This armada of robots will be our eyes, ears, arms and legs in space, in the air, and on the ground, capable of responding to their environment without us, to explore and embrace the unknown," he added.

Papers describing this new exploration are published in the journal "Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine" and in the Proceedings of the SPIE.

For more information on this work, visit http://autonomy.caltech.edu. More information on JPL missions is at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/.

JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

JPL's 'Green' Space Flight Building Debuts with Ribbon-Cutting

Charles Elachi and other dignitaries cut the ribbon for JPL's Flight Projects Center JPL Director Charles Elachi and other dignitaries cut the ribbon for JPL's new, environmentally friendly Flight Projects Center, which is NASA's "greenest" building to date. Image credit: NASA/JPL

NASA's "greenest" building to date -- an environmentally friendly Flight Projects Center at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. -- is now open for business, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony today attended by lawmakers and local dignitaries.


The building houses missions during their design and development phases. It will enable engineers and scientists from various countries to collaborate more closely during these critical mission phases.

"It seems fitting that the new building, where teams will plan future space missions that use new technologies, also has the latest 'green' technologies to help JPL do its part to improve our environment here on Earth," said JPL Director Charles Elachi, who helped cut the ribbon at today's ceremony.

Also attending today's ceremony were U.S. Rep. David Drier; La Canada-Flintridge Mayor Laura Olhasso; staff representing U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff; and Caltech President Jean-Lou Chameau.

The building has received the "LEED Gold Certification" under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, set up by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first NASA building to achieve that certification. To qualify, buildings must meet several criteria. For example, they must make efficient use of water, energy and resources, and provide a healthy and comfortable indoor workspace.

The many "green" features of the new building include:

  • A living roof to keep the building cool in summer months and warm in the winter. Desert plants on the roof and other landscaping require 72 percent less water than a typical Southern California landscape design.
  • Outdoor lighting is used for safety purposes only and is directed toward the ground, reducing the amount of light pollution that escapes to the night sky.
  • Low-flow faucets and toilets reduce water use by 40 percent compared with typical fixtures.
  • Improved wall insulation, efficient chillers and boilers and window shading devices.
  • The paints and other surface materials have low levels of toxic fumes.
  • The heating and cooling system is "smart" -- it knows whether people are in a room and adjusts the temperature and ventilation accordingly.
  • The janitorial staff uses green cleaning products and practices.

More than 75 percent of the waste generated during construction of the new building was diverted from a landfill to a local recycling facility. Wood was acquired from Forest Stewardship Council-certified suppliers, ensuring sustainable harvesting of trees.

More information about the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system and the U.S. Green Building Council is online at http://www.usgbc.org .

More information about JPL is online at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov . The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

Rafael Benitez: Liverpool Were Always Confident Of Manchester United Scalp

Reds boss insistent his players offered "perfect response".

27-Oct-2009 3:23:13 PM

EPL: Wayne Rooney & Dimitar Berbatov, Liverpool - Manchester United (Getty Images)
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EPL: Wayne Rooney & Dimitar Berbatov, Liverpool - Manchester United (Getty Images)

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The mood around Anfield prior to the Manchester United game was quietly confident, according to Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, who today (Tuesday) claimed that everyone associated with the club, from the first player to the last fan, was sure maximum points could be secured against Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

Benitez has been witness to contrasting fortunes in recent seasons. Initially it was Ferguson who always had the better of the Spaniard, but Benitez bit back and did the "double" over the Reds' regional rivals last season, and continued that contemporary dominance on Sunday, with a 2-0 win sparked by Fernando Torres and finished by David Ngog.

"From the keeper to the last fan on the Kop, we were not going to be beaten," Benitez defiantly stated to the Daily Mail.

"The players just did not want to lose and this was the perfect response.

"With the fans getting behind the team, we had 12 men on the pitch. We’ve answered a lot of questions," concluded the manager.

Injured Lee and Hopes miss second ODI



Australia's injury-hit bowling attack will be without Brett Lee and James Hopes on Wednesday after the pair was ruled out of the second ODI in Nagpur. Lee picked up a right elbow strain in Sunday's opening win, while Hopes limped off with a hamstring problem. There was serious doubt over Mitchell Johnson's fitness as well, after the bowler had hurt his ankle, but Australia coach Tim Nielsen said at the pre-match press conference they were happy with how Johnson trained on the eve of the match and did not rule out his participation.

Moises Henriques, the New South Wales allrounder, has been called up as a standby until the fourth fixture; he will join the team in Delhi on Thursday, flying back to India a couple of days after returning to Australia following his side's win in the Champions League Twenty20.

"With James Hopes' right hamstring injury being more serious and likely to keep him out for at least the next two matches it is thought adding a standby player to the squad is a necessity," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said on Tuesday. "Given the most significant injury appears to be Hopes' hamstring we have taken this opportunity to add Moises to the squad until the completion of game four in Mohali, where we will again assess the situation before it is decided if he remains with the squad."

Henriques was in a similar position during Australia's series with Bangladesh last year and he played a Twenty20 against New Zealand in February. Stuart Clark, a New South Wales team-mate, predicted correctly at the weekend that Henriques, who was a strong Champions League performer, would be an Australian player as soon as a spot was available.

Hilditch was also impressed by Henriques' work in India and during Australia A's winter series against Pakistan A. "We view him as an exciting young allrounder who will be looking to make the most of this opportunity in India," he said.

The injuries are a further blow to Australia's patched up line-up, which is in the middle of a gruelling schedule. Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Callum Ferguson and Nathan Bracken were unavailable for this tour.

Dhoni should bat up the order: Gilchrist



NEW DELHI: Former Australian skipper Adam Gilchrist has backed Sourav Ganguly's suggestion that Indian captain MS Dhoni should bat up the order
and give himself more overs to play. While addressing the media, Gilly reiterated the fact that MSD is a good finisher and that he should bat at no.3 to giver him a chance to play his natural game.

Gilchrist said, "Dhoni is such a dangerous batsman. I would love to see him bat up the order, particularly in the shorter version of the game. You want your best players to face the maximum deliveries. But Dhoni has a lot on his plate at the moment, which is understandable. However, I would encourage him to play his natural game and trust his instincts."

When asked about the blow for the Aussies with the like of Lee, Hopes and Johnson being injured, Gilchrist said that any kind of injury is a blow to the team. He said that the feeling would be similar to how India felt when Yuvraj Singh was left out due to an injury.

Gilchrist's statement on Dhoni comes just a day after the former Indian captain Ganguly, while speaking exclusively to Times Now said that Dhoni needs to bat up the order because it is not possible for any batsman to come down the order and just have a go. He added, "Dhoni should bat at no.3 so that he gets time to set his eye in. His value in the team is much more and he should come to bat when there are atleast 30-35 overs left in the game."

Where will NASA's next giant step take us?

As space agency rolls out a new rocket, its long-range mission remains unclear





It emerged just after midnight last Tuesday, bolted down and gleaming under the floodlights. This was the biggest debut since King Kong, joked the aerospace folks. The Ares I-X is the world's tallest rocket, 327 feet high, and it began the long crawl toward the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center, where it will blast off Oct. 27 if weather permits.

This is a test rocket, a crude approximation of the Ares I, the rocket that NASA has said will replace the aging commuter bus known as the space shuttle. But the Ares I may turn out to be a rocket to nowhere.

A blue-ribbon committee has said the Ares I is part of a NASA program that doesn't make sense given current and future budgets. The commission would like NASA to get out of the business of ferrying astronauts to low Earth orbit and let commercial companies handle that task. Now the Obama administration may try to kill the Ares I.

The space shuttle is old and unsafe and is supposed to be put out to pasture by the end of 2010. The United States will then find itself in the unfamiliar position of being incapable of launching humans into orbit. For five, six, seven years, American astronauts will probably have to buy a seat on a Russian spacecraft.

It's an awkward time for NASA. The most basic questions are on the table: Where to go? How to get there? And to what end?

There are billions of dollars at stake. The technological questions are complicated.

Um, yes, it's rocket science.

* * *

The whither-NASA issue was supposed to have been decided already. After the Columbia disaster of 2003, an investigative commission declared that NASA lacked clear direction and purpose. By early 2004 the Bush White House put together a sweeping blueprint for NASA that it called the "Vision for Space Exploration."

The plan called for returning astronauts to the moon for extended stays as preparation for what would someday be a manned mission to Mars. Under a new NASA administrator, Michael Griffin, the agency put together the Constellation program, which called for two new rockets, a new crew capsule, a lunar lander and a lunar habitat. Crew and cargo would no longer ride to orbit together in a huge space truck such as the shuttle. Instead, NASA would return to an Apollo-style architecture, with astronauts in a capsule on top of a rocket. The capsule would parachute into the sea at the end of the mission. NASA's new crew capsule, dubbed Orion, is being designed to ride atop the Ares I rocket to reach low Earth orbit, or LEO. A heavy-lift rocket called the Ares V, to be built later, could take Orion moonward.

It was an ambitious plan. Too ambitious, apparently.

Maoists abduct 2 Rajdhani drivers, seek leader's release

KOLKATA: Two drivers of the New Delhi- Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express were kidnapped by Maoists between Jhargram and Sarna stations of the South
Eastern Railway this afternoon.

Pro-Maoists group PCPA has claimed responsibility for the attack stating that the train drivers had defied the bandh call.

TV reports also suggest that PCPA has set the conditions for releasing the Rajdhani drivers. The pro-Maoist group is seeking the release of their leader Chhatradhar Mahato from the police custody, in a swap deal.

SER sources had earlier said the news was received at the headquarters around 3.30 pm that some people had stopped the train by waving a red flag between Jhargram and Sarna stations.

All Rajdhani Express trains have two drivers and an assistant.

Akram's wife was taken out of Pakistan against doctors' advice

LAHORE: Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram's wife Huma, who died in a Chennai hospital two days ago, was reportedly flown out of the country against
Wasim Akram's wife
A file photo of Wasim Akram's wife Huma Akram. (TOI)
the advice of doctors treating her in this eastern Pakistani city.

The physicians are of the view that the decision proved fatal as Huma was not in a condition to be allowed by any doctor to travel abroad for treatment.

"A panel of 10 senior doctors of three hospitals in Lahore had advised Wasim Akram not to take her abroad to Singapore in view of her serious health condition," said one of the physicians, who did not wish to be named.

Huma died in a hospital in Chennai on Sunday and was buried here on Monday.

According to Huma's physician at the National Defence Hospital in Lahore, she developed a throat infection and a dry cough after undergoing dental treatment in Karachi in September.

She got herself treated for this but developed an infection in the kidneys in the first week of October.

It was then diagnosed that Huma had developed acute renal failure and her white cell count was increasing.

The other complications developed by Huma, a psychologist by profession, reportedly included severe infection of the kidneys with acute tubular necrosis, vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels), and pulmonary hypertension (high pressure of blood vessels in lungs).

"She was improving clinically when Akram decided to take her abroad because he and his relatives thought there are better health facilities in Singapore," the physician said.

Akram told the doctors that he was under "immense pressure" from his in-laws to get Huma treated abroad, the physician added.

Another doctor who treated Huma said the family was unsatisfied with her treatment as they thought there was some "confusion" about her diagnosis.

The air ambulance carrying Huma from Lahore to Singapore had to be diverted to Chennai when her condition worsened and she was rushed to Apollo Hospital.

Munidar Rao of Apollo Hospital told a Pakistani news channel that when Huma was brought to the hospital, she was in septic shock and this led to multiple organ failure.

"I fail to understand as to why she was being shifted to Singapore in such a critical condition," he said.

Javed Akram, Principal of Allama Iqbal Medical College and a professor of medicine, too questioned the move to take Huma abroad as there is no surgery, procedure, doctor or medicine that is available in Singapore and not in Lahore.

"I think unnecessary shifting of Huma from Pakistan in a critical condition caused her death," Javed Akram opined.

Raju Srivastava to leave 'Bigg Boss 3'?

Reality show ‘Bigg Boss 3’ is embroiled in controversy once again. After Kamaal R Khan’s unexpected exit, Raju Srivastava, the TRP driver of the

‘Bigg Boss’ house may have to leave the show midway.

Production house Sri Adhkari Brothers has sent the comedian a legal notice saying he has to be present for the shooting of a show for their channel ‘Masti’.

Adhikari producer Markand Adhikari said, “Raju is under contract with us from November 1. So he has to quit ‘Bigg Boss 3’. Besides has not taken permission from us.”

On Monday, the show was caught in the I&B ministry’s crosshairs. The ministry issued a showcause notice to Colors entertainment channel objecting to certain visuals broadcast by it. The channel has been asked to reply in five days. This is the fourth showcause notice issued to the channel for its various programmes.

In its notice, the ministry said the show had broadcast content offending good taste and decency that was unsuitable for unrestricted public exhibition. Colors has been asked not to carry any content that constituted a violation of the programme code that is part of the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1995.

"It has also been observed that the language used by some participants is vulgar and abusive and the show contains visuals which appear to be obscene and violative of the programme code. Recently, in one of the visuals, a participant has been shown pulling down the shorts of another participant," the notice said, adding this had offended the sensibilities of many viewers.

Since the programme was being telecast on prime time and was watched by families including children, it could also have a negative impact on young impressionable minds and did not appear to be suitable for unrestricted public exhibition, the notice said.

Pakistani army officer escapes gun attack

Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:38pm IST

In an apparent move to divert army's attention from Waziristan, the militants have also stepped up attacks elsewhere in the volatile northwest, officials said.

Government forces on Tuesday killed six Taliban in Mohmand, a distant tribal region northeast of Waziristan, after militants attacked a security post and killed two soldiers. In neighbouring Bajaur, the militants shot dead the head of a pro-government tribal militia.

A senior government official in the town of Tank, the gateway to South Waziristan, told Reuters that militants had begun fleeing to neighbouring regions, a claim backed up by ordinary residents.

"I saw Uzbeks and Pakistani militants in Mir Ali as well as on my way," a tribesman, Majeed Mehsud, told Reuters.

The military says 239 militants and 33 soldiers have been killed since the offensive started on Oct. 17, but there has been no independent confirmation as foreign journalists are not allowed anywhere near the battle zone and it is dangerous even for Pakistani reporters to visit.

The offensive is a test of the government's determination to tackle Islamist fundamentalists, and the campaign is being closely followed by the United States and other powers embroiled in Afghanistan's growing conflict.

About 28,000 soldiers are battling an estimated 10,000 hard-core Taliban, including about 1,000 tough Uzbek fighters and some Arab al Qaeda members.

(Additional reporting by Izaz Mohmand, Alamgir Bitani and Mian Saeed-ur- Rehman; Editing by David Fox)

Shilpa's wedding date finalised!

Shilpa's engagement ceremony
Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra have finally vowed to marry by year-end. The couple exchanged rings midst family and friends. Here are exclusive pics of the private affair.

Shilpa ShettyBollywood actress Shilpa Shetty says that her wedding date has been finalised, but she will announce it only when her sister Shamita is by her side.

"I know everyone's eager to know about the wedding date. All I can say is yes it's been finalised and I will make an official announcement as soon as I know when Shamita's coming out," Shilpa, who got engaged to London-based Raj Kundra on Saturday after a courtship of about two years, posted on her blog.

Shamita is currently participating in the Colors' reality show Bigg Boss 3. She is locked in the house with 10 more inmates and has no connection with the world outside.

Shilpa says she missed her sister. The buzz goes that the 'bigg' sis is in talks with Bigg Boss producers to get Shamita out of the show before her D-day.

"It's been a time of both joy and sorrow for me. The joy is obvious because Raj and I feel happy to take our relationship to the next level, but as most of you know my sister Shamita is still in the Bigg Boss house and could not attend. She doesn't even know.

"The date was decided a week ago and we all came to the consensus that we should go ahead because another good mahurat (auspicious time) was a long way off. And considering Raj's parents and relatives were down from London for a week, so it seemed convenient," she wrote.

"I wanted to have Shamita there during this special moment, but I had to be considerate towards Raj's family too. So for all those who wanted to know why I went ahead without Shamita, it was a difficult decision but this is the answer."

Shilpa admits that when her sister comes out of Bigg Boss house, the news of the engagement will shock her.

"I know Shamita will be shocked... she'll kill me. Missed her more than words can describe but I'm sure she'll understand! Can't wait to show her my ring," she wrote.

So far Shilpa has not commented on her sister's stay in Bigg Boss house. But now she says that she is proud of Shamita.

"I've never commented on what I think of her in there, but just want to say she's been the pampered baby in our house. It made our whole family so proud to see her have no airs and do all the chores with no qualms," wrote Shilpa who won the British reality show Celebrity Big Brother in 2007.

"She's never cooked in her life and I saw her make rotis. I felt terrible watching her cry on TV, but I am amazed to see her growth on the show. This will definitely make her a stronger person. So proud of the way she's conducting herself with so much dignity."

Jackson fans in premiere protest

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News

Michael Jackson
The fans say they gave letters to Jackson on the night before he died

A group of Michael Jackson fans are planning to protest about a new film showing his final weeks, claiming it covers up his declining health.

Some are planning to hand out leaflets later at simultaneous global premieres of This Is It, a movie made by piecing together concert rehearsal footage.

A small circle of loyal followers say they saw his health go downhill.

Talin Shajanian, from Los Angeles, said: "A couple of weeks before he passed, we saw him change drastically."

Ms Shajanian was one of a number who waited outside the venues where he was rehearsing in the city while preparing for his gigs at London's O2 Arena.

She had been following Jackson since 2003 and gained his trust, along with other devotees, speaking to him on a regular basis, she said.

Talin Shajanian
He specifically said he was only one person and only had a certain amount of energy to give, that so much was expected of him for these shows
Fan Talin Shajanian

She told BBC News that fans saw the star change "from being excited about doing the shows to being concerned and not happy with the way things were going, and under a lot of pressure".

"He shared this with us, the pressure that he felt, the concerns that he had," she said.

"He specifically said he was only one person and only had a certain amount of energy to give, that so much was expected of him for these shows."

She said the star was "unusually thin" when the fans last saw him.

"We were expecting him to bulk up, to put on weight for the concerts like he had in the past, and that wasn't happening."

Medical supervision

They say they were so concerned that 20 followers wrote letters to the singer imploring him to take care of himself, which they gave him the night before he died.

We had a very strong and excited, happy and determined Michael. He wanted to do this more than anything he's ever wanted to do
Concert director Kenny Ortega

The dedicated fans, who have set up a campaign called This Is Not It, are accusing concert promoter AEG Live of putting too much pressure on the star and failing to give him adequate medical supervision

They are planning to hand out flyers at many of the 15 simultaneous global premieres on Tuesday and Wednesday. But they are not calling for a boycott of the film.

A spokesman for AEG declined to comment.

Concert choreographer and director Kenny Ortega recently said of Jackson: "Was he slight? Yes. Was he frail? At times.

"But we had a very strong and excited, happy and determined Michael. He wanted to do this more than anything he's ever wanted to do... That's the truth. It really is."

Kenny Ortega (left) with Jackson (centre) during rehearsals
Jackson died two weeks before he was due to return to the stage in London

In another interview, Mr Ortega said: "I think he was eating as much as he thought he needed to. I wished he would have eaten more. I was always making sure there was plenty of food around."

An autopsy found that the 50-year-old star weighed 136lb (9st 10lb) when he died, and had a strong heart but inflamed lungs.

The Los Angeles coroner disclosed in August that Propofol and the sedative Lorazepam were the "primary drugs responsible for Mr Jackson's death".

A statement from Sony Pictures, which is releasing the film, said: "Michael Jackson's This Is It is a celebration of Michael and his music and the film will demonstrate to fans around the world that he was an artist like no other who was passionately creating a one-of-a-kind concert experience.

"We believe his fans will be grateful for the rare opportunity to see Michael's creativity in action as he prepared and rehearsed for his upcoming London concerts."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

NASA Technology Key Component of New Diagnostic Aid From DynaDx

NASA technology will now be available to the medical community to help in the diagnosis and prediction of syndromes that affect the brain, such as stroke, dementia, and traumatic brain injury.

DynaDx Corporation of Mountain View, Calif. has released the Multimodal Pressure-Flow (MMPF) technique for analysis of dynamic cerebral autoregulation—the ability of cerebral vessels to maintain a constant blood flow despite changes in arterial blood pressure—that incorporates the Hilbert-Huang Transform (HHT) technology licensed from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

DynaDx obtained exclusive rights to HHT, an algorithm used to analyze nonlinear, nonstationary signals, from Goddard in the first ever sale of a government-owned patent license conducted through a public auction of intellectual property.

MMPF is a unique computational method for analyzing and evaluating autoregulatory dynamics, based on instantaneous phase analysis of nonlinear and nonstationary signals from blood pressure and cerebral blood flow velocity oscillations.

Medical professionals can use the data from MMPF to create a reliable index of cerebral autoregulation, and to help identify impairment of cerebral vasoreactivity, which is caused by medical conditions such as traumatic brain injury or stroke and is associated with other conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

The Web-based MMPF data-analysis product has potential use for medical diagnosis and prediction in a wide range of clinical settings. One possible application is a portable device for use by medical personnel at sporting events to identify the extent of head trauma in athletes.

"We are very excited about MMPF and its potential to vastly improve existing methods used for diagnosis and prediction of syndromes that affect the brain," said Yanhui Liu, PhD and CEO of DynaDx. "HHT is essential for providing fast and reliable results, and we could not have developed MMPF without it."

A primary role of Goddard’s Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) Office is to help transfer NASA technology to the commercial marketplace and facilitate the creation of products that will ultimately benefit the agency and the public at large. HHT, which was developed by NASA, is being used to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the brain, such as traumatic brain injury. The partnership with DynaDx is groundbreaking because it stemmed from a process that has successfully blazed a new trail to commercialization.

The exclusive license for HHT, composed of a portfolio of ten U.S. patents and one domestic patent application, was part of a lot auctioned by Ocean Tomo Federal Services, LLC on October 30, 2008. The auction was Ocean Tomo’s largest to date, with over 500 in attendance.

"Government labs and businesses have been paying close attention to the auctioning of Goddard technologies through Ocean Tomo and the process that was used to license HHT to DynaDx," said Goddard Chief Patent Counsel Bryan Geurts. "When our lot sold at the auction, there was applause from the audience. Now that DynaDx has unveiled this new product, we have stronger indicators that the model works."

The primary benefit of the public auction through Ocean Tomo is that it makes the IP licensing process quicker and easier, saving time and resources for small companies like DynaDx. The process is well defined and clear from the beginning, allowing companies to make a quick decision about whether to obtain the license on a defined timeline.

"NASA and DynaDx stand to benefit from our unique partnership, but the long-term benefits will be much broader," said Darryl Mitchell, a technology transfer manager in Goddard’s IPP Office, which facilitated the licensing arrangement. "The public auction process will encourage collaboration between labs that have developed similar technology to provide attractive lots for bidders. This will maximize the value of technology research in federal labs for taxpayers and the nation."

DynaDx is a technology firm that develops and markets products to improve clinical diagnosis and prediction, with offices in Calif., China and Taiwan.

Related Link:

> Web-based MMPF data analysis product

> Goddard’s Innovative Partnerships Program Office