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Showing posts from January, 2007

This year Thaipusam falling on 1st Feb

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THAIPUSAM is an annual Hindu festival which draws the largest gathering in multi-racial Malaysia - nearly a million people in 2000.

In Kuala Lumpur, the festival is celebrated on a mammoth scale at the Batu Caves temple on the outskirts of the city. It began in 1892, started by early Tamils who migrated to colonial Malaya.

Thaipusam falls on a full moon day in the auspicious 10th Tamil month of Thai when the constellation of Pusam, the star of well-being, rises over the eastern horizon.

Several hundred devotees spear their cheeks with long, shiny steel rods - often a metre long - and pierce their chests and backs with small, hook-like needles in penance.

Tourists watch in awe as metal pierces the skin with hardly any bleeding and, apparently, no pain as the devotee stands in a trance in the dawn light after weeks of rigorous abstinence.

Over the years, curious British, American and Australian medical experts have come to observe and speculate. Some think the white ash smeared on the body, …

Shilpa Shetty winner of the reality show Big Brother

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After being pronounced winner of the British reality show Big Brother, Shilpa Shetty’s walking away with 1,00,000 pounds and plush assignments… Hyderabad Times celebrates her victory

FROM an unrecognisable Bollywood celebrity in the UK to winning one of the greatest reality shows, with a racist controversy in between, Shilpa Shetty has certainly come a long way in the 26 days between January 4 till Sunday last. As the debate on whether or not it was a rigged victory continues, she’s certainly struck gold. And we are also talking of a sure leap from Bollywood to Hollywood, if speculations are to be believed. But first a quick recap.

Enter Shilpa Shetty

On day one, Shilpa became the first ever Indian to be a part of Big Brother, a reality show which was started seven years ago in Britain, cashing in on voyeurism and receiving huge following over the years. “The only thing I really hope to keep is my self-respect and dignity,” said a tense Shilpa before she entered house.

Trouble brewing

The world's top 10 super cars!

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1. Bugatti Veyron 16.4

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 from France is the world's fastest, most expensive, and most powerful car in the world. It can touch speeds of over 407.5 kmph and can go from 0 to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds.

The supercar costs about $1.4 million (Rs 6.3 crore).

Bugatti Veyron car is made by Volkswagen's 100% arm Bugatti Automobiles. The car has been named after Formula 1 racing driver Pierre Veyron, who won the Le Mans race in 1939 while driving for Bugatti.

The car has a W16 engine, which is the equivalent of two narrow-angle V8 engines fused in a 'V' formation. Each of the car's cylinders has 4 valves making it a total of 64 valves. The engine is fed by four turbochargers.

The car also has a fantastic array of electronic equipment. The Veyron can be driven by full automatic transmission. The car's wheelbase is 2710 mm and its overall length is 4462 mm. It is 1998 mm wide and 1206 mm in height. The car's weight is about 1,890 kg.


2. Koenigsegg CCX

The K…

Maruti unveils Swift diesel car

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The much awaited first diesel car from Maruti, the Swift diesel, was launched on Wednesday with an introductory price tag of Rs 4.68 lakhs for the LDi and Rs 4.96 lakhs for the VDi version. (ex-showroom, Delhi).

The engine in the diesel Swift is the 1300cc DDiS engine, a derivative of the Fiat Multijet engine, says BS Motoring. Maruti has a plant in India to manufacture exactly this diesel engine in India - it only seems logical that it will find its way in to the Indian Swift too.

Maruti also said that it plans to launch two new models in the next fiscal (2007-08) and a new model for export to Europe by 2008-09.

However, it did not give any details of the new models to be launched.

Launching the new Swift diesel, Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) managing director Jagdish Khattar, said, “The demand for diesel cars is growing in India and Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) and MUL have made major investments in diesel facilities to serve this customer need.” Asked if more diesel cars from Maruti are…

Roaming in India to cost 56% Less for mobile phone users

No more rental fees ¦ Incoming SMS free ¦ Call rates slashed

Some good news for mobile phone users: they will now pay much less in roaming charges, with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ordering a steep cut in the tariffs by up to 56 per cent on Wednesday, and the rental for roaming being removed. At present, any cellphone subscriber who travels out side the home network is charged a rental of Rs 50 for national roaming services. For a GSM subscriber, an outgoing call could cost up to Rs 3.99 per minute while a CDMA user is charged anywhere between Re 1 to Rs 3.99, depending on the distance.

The new roaming charges, applicable to all prepaid and postpaid users of any service provider, will be Rs 1.40 for local calls, Rs 2.40 for STD calls and Rs 1.75 for incoming calls, according to a statement issued by the telecom regulator.

These changes will take effect from February 15.

All incoming SMS would be free while roaming, while charges for outgoing SMS are still under consideration…

5 things men hate about their wives

1. Possessiveness: Women always seem to have serous security issues. They need men to hold them, and tell them how special they are.

2. Hopping: Not only is the list end less, they check 10 different stores before finally buying something from the one they first saw. You will won der why she spent so much time roaming around.

3.Never satisfied: They spend hours preening in front of the mirror while you do not see the slightest change.

4. Fashion: Her tastes in fashion change so frequently that you either run out of breath trying to catch up, or end up wondering whether you are too dumb to catch up. At the end of the month you will also wonder why your wallet suddenly looks so empty.

5. They notice the minutest things:Why do women have to criticise everything from hairstyle to shoes?
Only a woman can notice something as trivial as the purse not matching the shoes!

New Tourism Office in Hyderabad is the first Hotel cum Office of its kind in the country

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HYDERABAD: 84 hotel rooms of VIP standards in four floors, a swimming pool, a recreation centre and three floors of commercial activi ties under one roof. This is not a description of a new mall or boutique hotel coming up in the city, these are a few components of the new state tourism office at Begumpet. The new tourism office aspires to be a landmark in the city and not only because of its brightly painted yellow and blue facade. It is first of its kind tourism office cum hotel to come up in the country. Built on two acres of land in the heart of the city, the building will be centrally air conditioned with ample parking facilities.

Defying stereotypes of dusty and mouldy tourism buildings, the top four floors of the seven-storey building will be occupied by an 84-room star hotel with a swimming pool. Shopaholics may enjoy the commercial area which will house handicraft, jewellery and souvenir shops. “This will be good for last minute shoppers. Many people are on a tight schedule an…

Andhra Pradesh is 4th least corrupt State

A study conducted by the Transparency International India has found that the least corrupt States in the country were Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, in that order.

This study was quoted by the World Bank in its appraisal of the AP economic reforms loan-III (also known as development policy loan) of $ 200 million sanctioned on January 11.

The Opposition may cry hoarse about corruption at high places but the bank gave a clean chit to the State government.

As per the study, Biharis the most corrupt State, followed by Jammu and Kashmir.

The survey assessed corruption using 11 benchmarks, including rural financial institutions, income tax, municipal services, judiciary, land administration, police, schools, water supply, public distribution system, electricity and government hospitals.

While police is the most corrupt institution throughout the country, it is surprisingly not the case in AP, where government hospitals and water supply are more corrupt.

The State government…

Biranchi Moharana Slapped Greg Chappel

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Team India coach Greg Chappell was attacked by a member of the so-called “Kalinga Sena” at Bhubaneswar airport on Monday. Chappell escaped unhurt. The superintendent of police of Bhubaneswar, Mr Amitabh Thakur, said some members of the outfit had assembled outside the airport to “highlight the issue that no player from Orissa has been selected for the national team.” One of them turned violent.

The Indian team flew into Bhubaneswar on Monday afternoon ahead of the second ODI against the West Indies, to be played at Cuttack on January 24. As the players and support staff came out to catch the team bus, a fanatic forced himself through the secu rity barricade and “stumbled on” Chappell.

Orissa Cricket Association council member Kamalanath Pande, who was an eyewitness, said the attacker was seen “trying to take a knock at Chappell.” But the latter “showed quick reflexes, and ducked.” The police came to Chappell’s rescue almost immediately, and the attacker was caught and taken into custody…

MUMBAI MARATHON

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How May Lives Just For A Coat? Protest By Peta Members

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Naked members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) protest in front of Pielespana, the International Leather Fashion Exhibition, in central Barcelona, Spain January

Hrithik Roshan out of Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi 6

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After Abhishek Bachchan’s exit from Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra’sDelhi 6, it was heard that the director had approached Hrithik Roshan for the role. The latest buzz is that Akshay Kumar has replaced him in this movie. It was rumoured that Hrithik had suggested some changes in the script to which Mehra objected, and hence Hrithik opted out of the film.

Neither Mehra nor the Dhoom 2 actor were available for com ment. Hrithik is busy with his shoot for Jodha Akbar at Karjat and was not reachable when contacted. However, his secretary Ashok Vashodia confirmed that Hrithik is no longer doing the film. “I would like to inform you that Hrithik is no longer doing Mehra’s Delhi 6 and we don’t want to say anything more on this issue,” he said.

Apple launches pricey iPhone with crippleware

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Steve Jobs, Apple’s showman nonpareil, provided the first public glimpse of the iPhone last week, gorgeous, feature-laden and pricey. While following the mas ter magician’s gestures, it was easy to overlook a most disappointing aspect: like its slimmer iPod siblings, the iPhone’s musicplaying function will be limited by factoryinstalled “crippleware”.

If “crippleware” seems an unduly harsh description, it balances the euphemistic names that the industry uses for copy protection. Apple officially calls its own standard “FairPlay”, but fair it is not.

The term “crippleware” comes from the plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit, Melanie Tucker Vs Apple Computer Inc., that is making its way through federal district court in Northern California. The suit contends that Apple unfairly restricts consumer choice because it does not load onto the iPod the software needed to play music that uses Microsoft’s copy-protection standard, in addition to Apple’s own.

Tucker’s core argument is that the absenc…

51% of US women have no spouse

For probably the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a New York Times analysis of census results. In 2005, 51 per cent of women said they were liv ing without a spouse, up from 35 per cent in 1950 and 49 per cent in 2000.

Coupled with the fact that in 2005 married couples became a minority of all American households for the first time, the trend could shape social and workplace policies.

Several factors are driving the statistical shift. Women are marrying later or living with unmarried partners more often and for longer periods. At the other end, women are living longer as widows and, after a divorce, are more likely than men to delay remarriage.

Source: SAM ROBERTS

World’s first two piece Islamic swimsuit, the burkini

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What do you get when you cross Australian beach culture with a desire to remain clothed in a way acceptable to Muslim women? If you’re designer Aheda Zanetti, you get what she says is the world’s first twopiece Islamic swimsuit, the burkini.

While other Islamic swimsuits exist, Zanetti says her lightweight, head-to-ankle costumes are the first to be streamlined down to a two-piece suit incorporating a head covering.

With Australian beaches full of girls in skimpy bikinis and revealing one-pieces, there was a “hole in the market that needed to be filled” for more modest beachwear, she said.

“A lot of girls were missing out, a lot of women were missing out, on a lot of sporting activities, including swimming,” Ms Zanetti told AFP from the clutter of her south-western Sydney shopfront.

“There was nothing really suitable for them to wear if they wanted to participate in sport. And if they did participate in sports with a veil, or whatever they wanted to wear, there really wasn’t something sui…

Kites play roles more important than sports

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Kite is believed to have originated in China. Initially, kites were used in the military as a communication tool. Different messages were communicated mainly via different coloured kites. Gradually, kites became a popular form of recreation as well as art. However today kites are mainly flown for recreation and art.

Uses Kites have been used for delivery of messages and for observation, and by using kite aerial photography in the military. Kites have been used for scientific purposes, such as precursors to aircraft, and were instru mental in the development of early flying craft. Alexander Graham Bell experimented with very large man-lifting kites, as did the Wright brothers and Lawrence Hargrave.

Kites can be used for radio technical purposes, either by kites carrying antennas. However captive balloons may be more convenient for such experiments, because kite carried antennas require sometimes running when there is no wind, which may be not always possible with the heavy equipment and…

DARKNESS AT NOON - Faces of Real India

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Jaisalmer: Sixteen-year-old M. Kalpesh suffers from a disorder which has led to paralysis of his limbs. His mother Rukmani Bai does not have the money to get him treated. Rukmani Bai lost her husband Mangilal, the sole breadearner of the family, in 1999. Mangilal worked in a factory on daily wages. After his death she has been literally left on the streets. She says her son has been suffering from the disorder since he was a child.



For the last five years, she has tried to get her son some medical attention, but her poor financial condition has always come in the way. The mother and son live in a shack and come out on the streets every day to beg. “No doctor at the government hospitals in Jodhpur, Jaipur and Gujarat is kind enough to treat my son,” says Rukmani Bai. She gives her son a liquid diet because he is not able to consume anything else and survives on begging.

New visa facility for workers going to UAE

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Dubai: South Asian workers coming to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will now be able to complete their visa formalities in their own countries.

UAE’s labour ministry will soon set up offices in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to complete work permit formalities like medical tests, signing of e-contracts as well as for providing working mission visas instead of visit visas.

The new initiative will virtually curb the practice of visit visas and will ensure all rights to the workers such as medical care, accommodation, and the right to complain at the ministry, the Khaleej Times reported. “The working mission visa will be valid for six months and will be renewable for another six months to ensure that the worker can change job if he desires,” a spokesperson of the labour ministry said. Last month, during the visit of UAE’s labour minister Dr Ali Bin Abdulla AlKa’abi, India and the UAE signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to safeguard the interests of the Indian workers in t…

Bajaj unveils new scooter Krisrtal

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Bajaj Auto Ltd re-entered the scooter market after an eight-year gap on Wednesday by launching its nongear scooter Kristal.

The scooter market is estimated at 10 per cent of the two-wheeler market. Of this, the non-geared scooters count for 35,000 vehicles a month.

Kristal demonstrated the technological superiority of Bajaj Auto and has 25 special features.

The two-wheeler giant Bajaj would also come up with another light sport scooter which is under advanced stages of development.

The all-new 4-stroke Kristal comes with the patented DTS-i technology along with ExhuasTech for better pickup and mileage. The scooter priced at Rs 35,417 (ex-Chennai).

The scooter would be initially available in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, and in other States after three months.




The Krystal is kind of a disappointment. It’s smaller than the [Indian Honda Activa]. It has all sorts of funky angularity built into the design (crystal-like?) The scooter has lots of gadgets added to it, an underseat storage light, lig…

Wierd: Humans on display at Australian Zoo

An Australian zoo is claiming a world first by putting humans on public display in one of its enclosures. Six humans took up residence in a disused Adelaide Zoo orangutang enclosure last week for a month-long experiment dubbed “the human zoo”.

Groups of humans will spend week-long shifts locked in the enclosure during the zoo’s opening hours, with the public viewing them through large perspex windows and live webcams.

Visitors are invited to vote for their favourite human, who will also be studied by animal behaviourists trying to work out ways of improving living conditions for captive great apes such as chimpanzees.

University of South Australia animal psychology specialist Carla Litchfield is spending the entire month in the enclosure with the humans.

“Part of what I do at the zoo is to come up with activities for great apes and other animals, to stimulate them behaviourally and keep their brains occupied,” she told ABC radio.

“I never know what it feels like, so a month in there will g…

Apple plans mobile revolution with iPhone

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With characteristic showmanship, Steven P. Jobs introduced Apple’s long-awaited entry into the cellphone world on Tuesday, pronouncing it an achievement on a par with the Macintosh and the iPod.

The creation, the iPhone, priced at $499 or $599 (approx Rs 22,000 or Rs 26,500), will not be for everyone. It will be available with a single carrier, Cingular Wireless, at midyear in the United States.

Its essential functions — music player, camera, Internet browser and email tool as well as phone — have become commonplace in handheld devices. But it was the ability to fuse those elements with a raft of innovations and Apple’s distinctive design sense that had the crowd here buzzing.

Apple’s goal, Mr Jobs said, was to translate the Macintosh computer’s ease of operation into the phone realm. “We want to make it so easy to use that everyone can use it,” he said. And he was clearly betting on translating Apple’s success with the iPod music player to a hot category of multifunction devices.

Undersc…

James Cameron plans film after Titanic

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Filmmaker James Cameron is all set to direct his first feature film since his Oscar-winning blockbuster Titanic in 1997. The science fiction epic Avatar will start filming in April for a summer 2009 release, the Hollywood Reporter said.

With a budget of $200 million, the film will star Australian newcomer Sam Worthington in a new digital 3D format with a hybrid of live action and animation. The movie will tell the story of Jack Sully, a wounded ex-Marine who is unwillingly sent to settle and exploit the faraway planet of Pandora. He gets caught up in the battle for survival by the planet’s inhabitants, called Na’vis, and falls in love with one of them.

“We think we’re going to blow people away,” Cameron said. “We want to throw you to the back wall of the theatre. My goal is to rekindle those crazy mystical moments my generation felt when we first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, or the next generation’s Star Wars. It took me 10 years to find something hard enough.” Cameron has made seven docu…

What’s next for search engines?

Each day, around the world, millions of people log into onlysearch engines to, well, search for study. The other day I logged into a search engine and typed, just for the heck of it, the words “pudgy dogs”. And, voila, I got scores of hits.

Now, what next for search engines, in the age of social networking? I spoke to Rod Brachman, vice president, worldwide research operations at Yahoo! Research.

Dr Brachman has been, as they say, around the block. He was earlier director of the information processing technology office at the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, and is considered an authority on artificial intelligence.

I asked him where online search was headed. “Search engine companies are now beginning to look at social networks. At Yahoo!, we have started doing some research on how social networks work. Frankly, social networks, though popular, are quite crude in their technology,” he said.

What’s Yahoo! area of focus in this? “We don’t yet understand how online social groups wo…

New Saddam video on Net: Baghdad

A grisly video showing the body of Saddam Hussein shortly after his hanging, his head sharply twisted to one side and a gaping bloody wound to his neck, was posted on the Internet on Tuesday.

The 27-second footage, apparently taken with a cellphone camera, is expected to trigger fresh outrage in Iraq over the manner in which the former dictator was hanged and his body treated immediately after the execution.

The footage begins by showing a body on a stretcher covered in a white shroud and the camera moving upwards.

As the camera reaches the head, the shroud is pulled aside to reveal the bearded face twisted sharply to his right with a wound just below his jaw on the left side.

A few red blotches are also seen on Saddam’s left cheek. Voices can be heard, apparently of those shooting the film secretly.

As the shroud is pulled back one voice is heard saying, “Hurry up, hurry up. I will count one to four.” Then another voice is heard saying, “Abu Ali, you take care of this.” The video follows …

UP CLOSE- DABBOO RATNANI CALENDAR- 2007

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Aishwarya Rai

For Aishwarya, Ratnani decided to go in for a black and white, post-rainfall picture in a vintage Austin car. You can see water droplets on the window and the roof of the car. It looks as if she rolled down the window and somebody called out to her. The black and white looked stunning and did more justice to the vintage feel.




Amitabh Bachchan

Mr. Amitabh Bachchan has grown quite easy with dogs and also holds an emotional attachment towards them. The dog Flash, in this shot taken at J W Marriot poolside, nuzzles up to Mr Bachchan. The picture is very emotional as it shows Flash, who cannot bend his neck down to have some water from the pool. Seeing the strong sunlight, Mr. Bachchan has collected some water in his hand and given it to the dog. Theme 'Water' again!



Bipasha Basu

Bipasha's photo was not entirely shot underwater but it was insinuated like an underwater picture. This was the picture for which Ratnani needed the maximum amount of time because this was th…

LG KE850 - A chocolate for New Year

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By Srinivas Padma

No official announcement yet, but its quite obvious that it will be marketed as a Chocolate phone. Drool factor of the Chocolate series just got multiplied with a 400 x 240 touch screen, and a very slim body.

Chinese Proverbs

Virginity like bubble - one prick all gone

Man who run in front of car get tired

Man who run behind car get exhausted

Man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day

Foolish man give wife grand piano, wise man give wife upright organ

Man who walk through airport turnstile sideways going to Bangkok

Man with one chopstick go hungry

Man who scratches ass should not bite fingernails

Man who eat many prunes get good run for money

Baseball is wrong, man with four balls cannot walk

Panties not best thing on earth but next to best thing on earth

War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left

Wife who put husband in doghouse soon find him in cat house

Man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night

It take many nails to build crib but one screw to fill it

Man who drive like hell bound to get there

Man who stand on toilet is high on pot

Man who lives in glass house should change clothes in basement

Man who fishes in other man's well often catches crabs

Man who farts in church sits in own …

Synaptics Onyx comming with Touch Screen Cell phone

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Synaptics Onyx: Number one cell phone company Nokia coming out with a handset design based on a all touch screen concept will surely give the idea a boost, Synaptics was the first company to do so a few weeks a go. It developed its all touch screen phone concept with industrial design company Pilotfish.



Onyx uses Synaptics' ClearPad, an optically clear display solution for creating a fully adaptive user interface. The ClearPad input system eliminates the traditional mechanical keys, just like Aeon, found on phones today and adapts to present the information and controls a user needs at any given moment.



More intelligent than conventional touch screens, Synaptics says ClearPad accurately recognizes not only points and taps, but also shapes, complex gestures, and proximity to the user's finger or cheek. The company asserts this creates new possibilities such as assigning functions to two-finger taps, closing tasks by swiping an "X" over them, sending messages by swiping …

New Touch Screen cell phone from Sony Erricson

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New Touch Screen cell phone from Sony Erricson could be your next phone...



Nokia's New Aeon Touch Screen Cell Phone

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Now that cameras and MP3 players come as standard for the majority of new models, cell-phone manufacturers are looking for the next big (and shiny) thing to entice users to upgrade -- and touch-screen technologies may be the answer.

Nokia's has posted some images of a new concept phone, called Aeon, that does away with nearly everything that you're likely to expect to find in a traditional mobile handset, such as keypad. Instead, as with a prototype cell phone called Onyx from Synaptics, Aeon is all touch screen.

From the sleek and colorful (obviously touched-up) concept pictures, it appears virtual keys come up on Aeon when you need to make a call. One thing to keep in mind with this concept device (and Onyx for that matter): It is hard enough to keep a smartphone's display clean today, what's it going to be like when the be all and end all of a mobile handset is its screen.