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[FAO] Computer Fun For All


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[FAO] Tata's Innovative Conceptual Cars

1.Tata Aria Roadster - Tata showcased in the year 2000 the concept of an exceedingly good looking roadster - a two seater coupe convertible - called the Tata Aria. The then Ms. World Yukta Mookhey, along with the Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata did the honour of unveiling the Aria to the international press. Built on the same platform as the Tata Indica, The Tata Aria, proposed to be powered by a 140 hp engine

2.Tata Pixel - The Tata Pixel's ability to manoeuvre and park in the tightest of spaces is made possible by its Zero Turn toroidal traction-drive Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT), which assists rotation of the outer rear wheel forwards and the inner rear wheel backwards, while the front wheels turn at acute angles. The result is a turning circle radius of just 2.6 metres. The 'scissor' doors rotate upwards from the front to allow passengers to effortlessly enter or exit the Tata Pixel, even in the tightest of spaces

3.Tata Elegante - Tata Motors unveiled the Tata Elegante, a Sedan Concept based on all new platform, at the 77th Geneva Auto Show in the year 2007. The Tata Elegante, larger than the current Tata Indigo Sedan, is conceptualized to incorporate 4 cylinder transverse petrol and diesel engines from 1.4 litres through to 2 litres and a compact V6 petrol power unit. Common rail direct injection turbo diesel engines with variable valve timing and capabilities to comply with Euro V emissions norms will also be available. Power varies from 90 to 200 PS with torque of upto 280 Nm. Transmission options include 6 speed manual and automatic gearboxes.     Tata Aria Coupe - This car is built on the Tata Aria roadster concept that Tata had unveiled at year 2000 Geneva Auto Show. The Tata Aria coupe and roadster are on the same platform as Tata's B-segment 5-door hatchback car offering - the 1.4 litre Tata Indica. The Tata Aria Coupe has been conceptualised to be powered by a high performance 1.6 litre - 2.0 litre petrol engines, and has been styled in Italy.

4.Tata Aria Coupe - This car is built on the Tata Aria roadster concept that Tata had unveiled at year 2000 Geneva Auto Show. The Tata Aria coupe and roadster are on the same platform as Tata's B-segment 5-door hatchback car offering - the 1.4 litre Tata Indica. The Tata Aria Coupe has been conceptualized to be powered by a high performance 1.6 litre - 2.0 litre petrol engines, and has been styled in Italy.

5.Tata Megapixel - Combining a lithium ion phosphate battery and an on-board petrol engine generator for recharging on the move, the Tata Megapixel offers a range of up to 900 km (with a single tank of fuel), path-breaking CO2 emission of just 22 gm / km and fuel economy of 100 km / litre (under battery only power). The at-home charging system is an as innovative induction charging system. The car has simply to be parked over the induction pad for charging to begin.

6.Tata Indiva - Tata Motors has unveiled a new 7-seater MPV concept in the year 2002. Built on the same platform as Tata's B-segment offering, the Tata Indica, this MPV concept demonstrates the versatility of the Tata Indica platform. The Tata MPV, the Tata Indiva has been designed as a compact, space-efficient vehicle and is amongst the shortest 7-seater conceived with an overall length of just under 4.3 metres. It has a high seating position, which enhances passenger comfort, safety and visibility. The interior layout is flexible with the 3rd row of seats being removable which frees up interior space. Sporting 16" alloy wheels, it has been designed as a streamlined peoples' carrier, which is more car-like with on-board electronic systems integrating high level of in-car entertainment, navigation and internet connectivity. The concept has a permanent sunroof and a headliner with LED lighting, which gives the interior an airy, spacious feeling.

7.The Tata Cliffrider is derived from the Tata "Crossover" Concept, which was originally unveiled at the last Geneva Auto Show. Sporting a silhouette like a high-slung sedan, the Tata Cliffrider is a dynamic package that combines lifestyle and sporty usage with the practical functionality of a pick-up truck.

8.The Concept showcases Tata Motors' idea of how a utility product could evolve in future for the discerning customer through a truly multi-purpose, multi-terrain usage of a car.

9.The exterior styling cues carry forward the visual theme of the Tata Crossover. The door trims show a continuity of form due to the disguised central pillar, with the front door hinged at its leading edge and the rear door at its trailing edge, allowing better access to the rear seats.

10.The interior emphasizes space and elegance with an innovative ventilation system and driver-oriented instrumentation stylishly packaged in the steering column.

Long beam lights mounted on the roll bar and a load-body suited to carry mountain bikes, skis or snowboards re-inforce the "fun and adventure" image. It can also carry goods in the load tray which can be hidden from view as well as protected from weather conditions by a sliding cover.

Configured to be fitted with a range of Euro IV engines including a V6 Petrol and next generation Common Rail diesel power trains, it would offer multiple airbags, ABS, Traction Control, Navigation Control and a host of other contemporary features.


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[FAO] Aloe Vera: Plant of Immortality

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Aloe vera, which is mostly used to treat various skin conditions and topically heal wounds, can be traced back to early Egypt where it was called the 'plant of immortality. '

What is aloe vera? 

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Aloe vera, (pronounced alo vera) which is said to have originated from Africa, is a stem-less or very short-stemmed succulent plant with fleshy green leaves.

Aloe vera, which is also called the 'burnt plant' with its anti-inflammatory, anti-healing, healing and cooling properties, is the main ingredient in several skin care products. In addition, aloe vera is rich in amino acids, vitamins A, F, C and B.

For years researchers have been conducting studies to learn the benefits of aloe vera and have found that the plant does have properties that can be effective in treating several skin conditions, minor skin infections and also burns and wounds.

Aloe vera gel is the transparent, juicy substance found in the long thick-skinned leaves of the plant. This gel is suitable for all skin types. Even people with sensitive skin can use the aloe vera gel

Various uses of aloe vera 

Anti-aging agent: Aloe vera protects, nourishes and moisturizes your skin. According to a study published in the Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry magazine, aloe vera, when applied topically, improves the levels of collagen. Aloe vera also protects your face from developing fine lines.

Before going to bed, gently massage a thin layer of fresh aloe vera on your face, around the eyes and the corners of your mouth. This will keep your skin younger looking. 

Aloe vera as moisturiser: Apply aloe vera on the skin before the application of make-up. This will prevent your skin from drying. Even men can use the aloe vera gel like an aftershave. The healing properties will help in treating the minor nicks and cuts caused while shaving. During winter your skin tends to dry more often. To keep your skin hydrated, make a mask by mixing equal parts of honey and aloe vera gel (pure extract from the plant) and apply on your face. Wash it off with warm water after 15 minutes for a glowing, soft skin.

Aloe vera for treating acne: For those suffering from acne, aloe vera with its anti-inflammatory properties is a blessing. According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center, aloe vera gel has more anti-inflammatory properties than one percent of cortisone cream. It also has strong antibacterial properties, which will heal the skin quickly and naturally with very little scarring

Aloe vera to reduce stretch marks: Want to get rid of those ugly stretch marks you gained due to weight gain or pregnancy? Hundreds of women try scores of cosmetics to hide these scars, but in vain. Stretch marks are nothing but tiny tears in the skin caused due to sudden and excessive stretching. Aloe vera gel can help you with that. Regular application of aloe vera gel helps in hiding these marks by healing the wounds. 

Aloe vera for sunburns: Application of aloe vera gel on sun burns will reduce the pain as well as the swelling and keep your skin moisturised. Recovery will be quicker if your skin retains its moisture

In addition, aloe vera also acts as a brightening gel by removing dead cells and keeps oiliness under check

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[FAO] Spy Gadgets For You; Good Stuff

The resurgence of the James Bond franchise with Daniel Craig's recent performances on film as 007 have us all thinking about spies again. Despite the end of the Cold War, espionage, whether between governments or industrial espionage between companies, remains very much with us. Yet, despite the cool gadgets seen in movies, whether used by James Bond or those depicted in comedy films like Get Smart and others, the technology of the spy world is never quite as advanced as Hollywood would have us believe.

However, with the ever-increasing pace of technology, things that once seemed very much in the realm of science fiction are now most assuredly science fact and some gadgets are readily available to the general public. Obviously, there may be some really cool devices currently in use by the world's various spy agencies, but for obvious reasons, details and photographs are hard to come by. Consequently, this article focuses on those things that really caught my attention when I was researching the spy gear that is on the market for us mere mortals in 2009.

Left - A hollow coin, containing a microSD card with private data
Right - The Zippo Style Digital Cigarette Lighter Camera

Hidden cameras: Screw camera:

It's hard to believe, but a wireless video camera really is hidden inside this screw. This is almost the perfect hidden camera for just about any location and is virtually undetectable.

Cigarette pack camera:

This camera, concealed inside a fake cigarette pack, might be a little obsolete now in many countries, where public smoking has been prohibited in most eating and drinking establishments. However, this device could be invaluable to observe nearby activity, while it sits largely unnoticed beside you on the table of a sidewalk cafe:

Key fob cam:

This camera is hidden inside a normal looking key fob, which you can either carry with you or just leave lying around in a room in which you wish to record activity. After all, who would suspect anything unusual about a set of keys lying on the kitchen counter or on the coffee table? This tiny camera has a 2 GB memory and can record video for up to 150 minutes or store as many as 4000 still images - order it here (left image). Right image shows the amazing miniature Key Fob Gun - more info:

Flexible fibre cameras:

These types of cameras are frequently used in law enforcement by tactical teams, allowing them to safely monitor a crime scene without being detected. The small video camera can be slid under doors, into cracks or holes in a wall, providing a clear view inside a room.

Body-worn hidden cameras:

These kinds of cameras are familiar to most of us from movies and TV, but they do actually exist. Tiny video cameras are concealed in the frame of the sunglasses and in the front of the unremarkable looking baseball cap in these pictures.

If your espionage or intelligence gathering requires more formal attire, this tie might be tailor made for your mission. It appears to be nothing out of the ordinary, but a high quality pinhole camera with a sound card is hidden inside (left image below)

Similarly, the button on your suit jacket, or indeed on any item of clothing, could be equipped with this miniature device. It looks like a normal button, with nothing to arouse suspicion, but it contains a very high quality colour camera. Most of these types of cameras have a built-in sound chip and come with a set of matching buttons, so that any clothing can be customized.

Watches and pens:

Watch cameras are very reminiscent of James Bond and the secret agent genre and there are many different designs marketed by scores of companies around the world. This watch has a hidden camera behind the number two on the dial (left image). The model on the right also has a minuscule video camcorder embedded in the watch. It has 8 GB of storage and files can be transferred later to a computer:

Vintage watch spy cameras can be found in many collections today: even though they are impossible to conceal (in fact, you may call them an ultimate attention magnet) they display very sophisticated technology and craftmanship at the time. Here is the legendary 1907 "Ticka" model -

And here are some modern pen cameras:

Here are very neat spy printer and scanner - both the size of a pen:

Peephole reverser - This is also known in the business as a tactical door viewer. The device is simply placed over the peephole in the door, allowing you to look into a house or other building. Without alerting the occupants, you can easily assess any threats or potential hazards that may be inside before continuing.

Wireless earphone - Fitting completely into the ear canal, this miniature piece of surveillance equipment is ideal for covert and discreet communication. The wireless earphone works in conjunction with a transmitter, small enough to fit in your pocket or be hidden somewhere on your body (right image):

Telephone voice changers:

These types of devices are sometimes sold as toys for children, but very sophisticated models belong more in the realm of true espionage. Many voice changers available today are compatible with most telephones and cell phones. Your outgoing voice is immediately disguised, and by altering the pitch, you can sound male, female or even like a child to the person at the other end of the line

Bug detector:

If you are in the spy business, clandestinely recording the conversations and activities of the enemy, it's a sure bet that someone might be doing the same thing to you. These bug detectors locate electronic bugs, phone taps and both wired and wireless hidden cameras in a room or vehicle:

White noise generator:

You might also wish to consider a white noise generator, which negates the effect of most secret listening devices, such as concealed microphones buried in walls, transmitters concealed in AC outlets and laser/microwave reflection from windows. This gadget produces a security blanket of generated noise, which completely obscures your dialogue with 'unfilterable' sound. All very technical stuff, but apparently, it's a very effective way of ensuring that your private conversations remain private.

Dissolving paper:

Spy agencies need to destroy sensitive information on a daily basis. However, even when paper is shredded, it can still be possible for the details of a message or document to be accessible. One solution is this special type of paper, which looks and feels like regular paper, can be typed or written on, but will utterly dissolve in a matter of seconds if it comes into contact with water or indeed any other liquid.

Envelope x-ray spray:

Surely this one is straight out of the movies or some superhero comic book? You would certainly think so, but this highly effective spray can turn opaque paper temporarily translucent, allowing you to view the contents of an envelope without ever actually opening it. Thirty seconds later, the envelope will return to it's original state, leaving no marks, discoloring or indeed any other indications that it may have been tampered with (left image)

Another spray - Clue spray - is designed to leave an invisible film on any surface, which when touched, is transferred to a person's hand or clothing. Looking for clues or a suspect? Then look no further. Unknown to the victim, the spray remains for up to five days, even if the hands, for example, are washed repeatedly. The spray can't be seen by the naked eye, but shows up as fluorescent under ultra-violet light (right image)

Spy weaponry:
The stun pen:

This device is only the same size as a traditional magic marker, but packs one heck of a punch. The aptly named stun pen is capable of administering a 500,000 volt shock, resulting in intense pain and muscle contractions, before your target becomes dazed and drops to the ground like a stone:

Pepper spray rings:

By pressing the small button on the side of the ring, you can deliver two or three one second bursts of concentrated pepper spray, at a range on one foot. Your adversary will experience all the usual delightful effects of pepper spray, such as temporary loss of vision, breathing difficulties, choking, sneezing and nausea, some of which may persist for up to forty five minutes.

Concealed pen and lipstick knives:

These elegant looking pens actually do work, but when you pull them apart, they conceal a rather deadly blade. The lipstick knives are similarly hard to detect, carried innocently enough inside a purse, with a 1.5" blade hidden inside the case:

Sonic nausea:

This small electronic device generates ultra-high frequency sound waves, which can make anyone in the immediate area very queasy, as well as induce headaches, sweating, loss of balance, nausea, or even vomiting. There is a larger version on the market, which can be used to disrupt large gatherings and disperse crowds.

Just one more piece of info: apparently it is possible to spy out keyboard input from a distance of 20 meters...  - the described method reads electromagnetic radiation from a keyboard, recording every keyboard input with relatively little tech effort.

These are just a few examples of the multitude of devices and equipment from the world of spies that are out there. Who knows what other gadgets exist that the spy agencies around the globe keep very much to themselves? Yet, despite the fact that what we see in the movies usually doesn't exactly reflect the current state of technology, there are still some amazing things that are readily available. Cool stuff for the secret agent in all of us.

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