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Latest Articles in magazine 09 february 2015

Oil’s Well For A Fit Economy

The one thing finance minister Arun Jaitley does not have to worry about much in this budget is how to meet the fiscal deficit target of 4.1 per cent. Much of that work is being done outside of the country: the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has decided to not reduce crude oil production. In the process, global crude oil prices are tumbling by the day. In the 200-odd days that Narendra Modi has been in power, the India basket of crude has fallen by almost 60 per cent from $108.05 a barrel (on 26 May) to $43.36 a barrel (on 14 January).

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Landing In A Mess

The Narendra Modi government is going to face its first big showdown with the Opposition over its recently promulgated land acquisition ordinance. Bowing to the demands of industry to ease the process of acquiring land for projects, the NDA government pushed the measure through the executive route after it realised that parliamentary passage was no going to be possible with the Opposition enjoying majority in the Rajya Sabha. On the flip side, the decimated Congress and its allies, spoiling for a fight, intend to use the land ordinance to ‘expose’ the government’s ‘anti-farmer’ intent.

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Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Come March, india Inc. will heave a collective sigh of relief. Twenty-three coal blocks are set to be auctioned, thus ending a stalemate that has lasted close to three years.

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Jinxed Power Deals

Over the past year, India’s power sector has witnessed an unusual trend: a slew of deals to acquire distressed assets has fallen through at the last minute.

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WWW: The Hackers’ Haven

"Last year, Whatsapp changed its encryption algorithm several times and, every time, it was breached,” says Saket Modi, hacker, entrepreneur and CEO of Lucideus Technologies, which just created an app that monitors wayward activity on your smartphone. That’s geekspeak for: “Your WhatsApp chats, including deleted ones, would have been accessible to any hacker worth his salt”. And we are talking about a company that was valued at $19 billion at some point during the year. Only in November 2014 did WhatsApp finally embrace end-to-end encryption, which will ostensibly address the issue.

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Designed For The Ipad

Sound Of Music For lovers of classical music, entire compositions have their own apps on the App Store. Take Vivaldi's Four Seasons, a symphonic poem loved even by those otherwise unfamiliar with classical music. This legendary and lively composition has an app in which you can attend two performances of Four Seasons: a purely classic take by the English Concert under Trevor Pinnock and a recomposed version by the German composer Max Richter. As you watch you can see the musical score scroll by and a "beat map" pulsing out the music. You can also see the orchestra performing and there's a detailed commentary so that you get to know it intimately.

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