Knot so true
While reality shows are playing the cupid, making dulhas and dulhans out of participants, the question is how real is the bond?
Neha Walia

Rahul Mahajan & Dimpy Ganguly
Rahul Mahajan & Dimpy Ganguly

It was a national marriage; two people dipped in love and wrapped with mush. The channelwallahs got TRPs, the media got 'breaking news' and Rahul got his dulhaniya.Four months on, another breaking news. 'There were bruises on her shin, right and left hand, while her left cheek was swollen.

There was also a lump on her head.' The marriage that happened on national television broke up on it. Dimpy Ganguly accused Rahul Mahajan of domestic violence (guess he should be issued some certificate for it now) and walked out of the marriage. Some end to Rahul ka Swayamvar!

But then maybe it's been the show's history. Rakhi Sawant didn't exactly find her match in Rakhi ka Swayamvar, though it did give her another reason to pull up a new publicity stunt and fuelled the media for some more TRPs. In 'reality', marriage didn't seem real actually. What say?

"It was supposed to happen. What can you expect from someone who got divorced within six months earlier due to same reasons. Dimpy was blinded by his persona on the show and now she has realised her mistake," says Surveen Arora, an MCA third-year student from PU. "After four months of happily posing along side each other, they seem to have got a reality check," she adds.

"It's all about milking money and remaining in the headlines. I believe no intimate or emotional relationship can be made on camera. It is unnatural and not happening. With all due respect to the reality dulhas and dulhans, when they come together they make news and when they break up they make news," feels Mehak Uppal, project co-ordinator, Quark. So, all the emotional atyachar is for us, viewers, who tend to believe in 'happily married ever after' stories.

"Rahul Mahajan seems to have pulled off a Rakhi Sawant, only he got married and then broke off. He was at his casanova best in the Big Boss 2. Why did Dimpy marry him in the first place?" asks Yathartha Hans, an advocate practicing at the Punajb and Haryana High Court. "Whatever happens on these shows is fake. For celebs its an extended part of their image promotion and for others, another way to get recognised," he adds. And the fact has been proven not once but twice.

Hmm…the channelwallahs have learnt their lesson and decided not to go for another swayamvar (thank heavens); Dimpy is still licking her wounds. As for Rahul, maybe some other reality show will suit him better!

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‘Shauq’ treatment
Ashima Sehajpal

Vivek Shauq
Vivek Shauq

A usual stand-up comedy show looks like this: A handful of talented and 'not' so talented comedians cracking jokes or 'poor' jokes, and a panel of three judges who might or might 'not' have an understanding of the difference between intelligent or 'dumb' comedy.

When every comedian preferred to be part of the set up, Vivek Shauq decided otherwise. TRPs, fame, money, live shows followed by many more opportunities, nothing about the comedy shows fascinated Vivek. "The idea didn't appeal to me. How can three celebrities judge my three decades of career in comedy on the basis of a ten-minute stand-up performance?" questions Vivek, who is in the city to conduct a three-day workshop at the Jaspal Bhatti Mad Arts Film School.

And Vivek chose to work on his own terms. A few Bollywood and Punjabi films kept him busy, which he says was enough. "Despite ordinary looks, I have been getting work since the past 30 years, which is my achievement. Talent and hardwork count at the end of the day," he avers.

But it's not that he hasn't done stand-up comedy. Not many know that along with Jaspal Bhatti, Vivek was the first to take to the genre in Full Tension, a comedy show that was telecast on DD Metro. Coming back to his rejecting the comedy shows, Vivek also feels that the shows do more damage than good to comedians of certain repute. "The channels promote a comedian till he fetches them TRPs. Once his talent is exhausted and audience get enough of him, he loses importance."

However, Vivek appreciates the singing reality shows, albeit with a few concerns. "A singer can sing the same song that fetched him popularity as many times as he climbs the stage but if a comedian cracks the same joke, his wit is questioned. Only if the singers get their due post the reality show, everything's worth it."

While condemning the double meaning jokes and participation of TV actors in comedy shows, he says comedy has become a management strategy to mint money and a product that's selling well in the market as of now. "Double meaning jokes prove that comedians don't believe in their talent. I hope there's a saturation point of mindless comedy just as everything else. Till then, comedy that's not in good humour has to be tolerated."

Last seen in Rekha and Rishi Kapoor starrer Sadiyan, Vivek will next have roles to play in upcoming flicks by Raj Kumar Santoshi and Abbas Mastan. He is also doing Punjabi films - Lion of Punjab and Khushiyan. And what's his take on Bollywood versus Punjabi film industry? "The audience can make a difference. All they need to do is watch just one Punjabi film on the big screen once a month and the fate of the industry would change." Fingers crossed!

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Saga of pain
SD Sharma

A scene from the play Phandi
A scene from the play Phandi 

Veteran theatre director, who has also acted in over 60 plays, Charan Dass is one of those accomplished artistes who believe in doing things differently. And after a hiatus of 15 years, he announced his prestigious production Phandi, a socially relevant play, at a ceremony held at the Chandigarh Press Club on Sunday.

Veteran freedom fighter and former chairperson of the Punjab Arts Council HS Bhattey was present at the occasion. Written by acclaimed playwright Dr Shanker Shesh, produced and directed by Charan Dass, the play depicts the woeful saga of a third-stage cancer patient and the eventual fallout on his family. The play assumes special significance as its central idea and theme - plea for mercy killing when the patient has no chances of survival – opens up a debate with the audience.

“Through this production, which I hope to stage at the international level, under the aegis of Daya Drishti Rang Manch, I wish to share the anguish of cancer patients as also their families, relatives and friends,” says Charan Dass, a businessman by profession and theatre person by passion. With the small cast comprising Kapil Kalyan, Sachin Sharma, Rajiv Mehta and Yogesh Arora, the first show of the play opens at the Punjab Kala Bhavan on August 18 at 6.30 PM.

Spade work
Down to earth

A good gardener knows about proper placement of plants. Random planting does not work, so it has to be the right plant at the right place. For this, it is important to have a thorough knowledge about the growth and other features of the plant.

When we talk about a tree what comes to the mind is just about a sturdy tall tree with a stout main trunk and spreading branches. But there are exceptions to this and in such cases the trunk is stout but the branches are weak and hanging with downward orientation. This character of such trees has been utilised by the landscapists in India to use them as welcome trees.

The foremost in the category is the Bottle Brush tree. This is a tree with small pointed leaves that grow all round the branches. The branches seem to be coming out of the centre of the tree but all go up a while and then bend down in support of the Law of Gravity. The best location for this tree could be near the gate where it stands in all its humility bending down as if to welcome the guests. The tree is also best suited for slopes and near the water bodies. The thick growing tree is also suitable for making a green wall in open spaces. This aspect of its growth could also be used with the advantage to make a good background for other plants.

The tree bears excellent blooms where the anthers form Bottle Brush like structure and hence the name. The bloom is four to six inches long and the tree looks red on the face when in bloom. Now, a similar tree is also available with golden leaves. That is called Golden Bottle Brush. Even in seeding the tree looks beautiful as the seed capsules are formed on the branches like beads.

Another ‘down to earth’ plant is Weeping Willow. It grows bigger than the Bottle Brush. Unlike Bottle Brush, it is also deciduous tree and sheds leaves during winters. At that time it can also be pruned to keep it contained. This tree suits the best near large water bodies. The best advantage with this plant is that it can be trained to grow as straight up and columnar as desired.

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Myth of the week
Net worth

There is a netting (jalla or jalli) in the roots of the plants, especially the fruit plants that should be removed to get more fruits. This is not true. The said netting of thin roots is nothing but fine feeder roots that should not be disturbed. Cutting by exposing them causes tremendous damage to the plant and its lifespan is shortened. It also fails to get good growth. Such a damage to roots leads to forcing of the plant to give more fruits and flowers thus weakening it and giving poor quality fruit too. 

Pressure point

Dealing with work pressure may not be everyone's cup of tea, but actor Bipasha Basu admits that's just what has been driving her through her nearly decade-long career in Bollywood. "When I started out, I was called this unconventional, dark, tall and sexy woman, and these were taboo for being a film actor at that point of time. I had to deal with all that," Bipasha said."There was also a point six years back when people said - 'Bipasha is fat'. So for me it's been a growth with all these pressures, and yes, I do play very well under pressure," she added.

The 31-year-old actor, dressed in a white, crochet dress, braved the Mumbai rains and flew to the Capital to introduce a new range of shower heads by bath products manufacturer Kohler. The range is unique as the shower heads have been custom designed for Indian homes which often have low water pressure. Hence, Bipasha ended up talking about the pressures in her life."I believe in 'love yourself' and you have to be always confident of who you are. That always helps. The pressures will always remain," she said.

"Somewhere all these pressures actually make you fight back, make you understand yourself and you become a wholesome person at the end of the day," she added. The secret behind her happiness is that she hopes for "realistic things", Bipasha said."I believe in realistic goals and that's one reason for my contentment. There's no end to what you may want from life but you will always be happier if you set achievable goals," she said. Among her forthcoming releases are Aakrosh and Dum Maaro Dum.


Berry brave

Hollywood actor Halle Berry will be seen battling with great white sharks in her new film Dark Tide.The 43-year-old star was seen wearing a flowered bikini and a black wetsuit as she prepared to get into a shark cage in Seal Island, False Bay in South Africa while filming a scene for the upcoming thriller.

Berry looked relaxed as she talked to the director before filming scenes alongside great white sharks. She is expected to get into the shark cage and dive among the creatures.

In the film, Berry plays the role of diving instructor Sara, who faces the difficult decision of getting back into the water following a near-fatal great white shark attack.

However, shark experts have criticised the film for giving great whites a bad name.

"After reading the script we decided it was not something we would like to put our names to," said Alison Kock, a Save Our Seas Foundation shark conservationist near Simon's Town, where the scenes were shot.

"Our mandate is to try to change people's perceptions of sharks. The first script that we got sounded very much like it had a thriller aspect to it and a personal kind of aspect to it as well. But fighting off a shark, or surviving a shark attack - we couldn't see the positive side of that, as much as we tried," Kock added.


Fan club 

Emraan Hashmi
Emraan Hashmi 

Basking in the success of his latest outing Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai, Bollywood actor Emraan Hashmi can't stop smiling, but more than that he is raving about his seasoned co-star Ajay Devgn in the movie.

"Ajay is a very chilled out guy and made his co-stars feel very comfortable. He is a very non-interfering person and never interferes in his director's or anybody's work," Emraan said.

"He is extremely focused and has oodles of intensity on screen. It was a great learning experience working with him...I got to know so much from him," he added.

The thriller portrays Ajay as an underworld don and Emraan as his protégé, who usurps the established order to claim the throne.

Also starring Kangana Ranaut and Prachi Desai, the movie has been directed by Milan Luthria. — IANS

Girly talk

She may have an image of a Hollywood diva but actress Catherine Zeta-Jones admits being 'goofy and girly', when she is away from cameras.The America's Sweethearts actor who has children Dylan (9) and Carys (7), with husband Michael Douglas admits that while a lot of people think assume she is confident and glamorous, she can actually be a complete 'goofball'.

The 40-year-old star said, "I am strong-willed, which can be annoying sometimes. And from that I think people assume I have confidence and Hollywood glamour and all that stuff, when actually, in my personal life, sometimes I'm just a goofball. So, I think that may be it. It's the Hollywood image and the fact I married Michael and Kurt's my father-in-law.But when I'm in the mood, I'm just girly and goofy."

But the Welsh actor does admit that despite the fun she has in her private life, she sometimes gets 'down' on herself and finds it hard to snap out of a negative mindset."I'm lucky. But that's not to say I don't get down on myself. I try and stay positive, being negative isn't good for my personality. I don't just bring myself down, I bring everyone around me down. It's like a dark cloud, 'Uh oh, here we go', and have to snap out of it," she added.


Different take

At the beginning of his Bollywood innings Abhay Deol was not perceived successful as his films failed to click at the box-office but the actor says initial roadblocks helped him take further risks in his career.

Abhay, who will be seen in a romantic role in Aisha after his debut film Socha Naa Tha in 2005, says he had set rules for himself before stepping into the world of Bollywood, which helped him avoid stereotypes.

"My plan was to begin with a film like Socha Na Tha and then in films like Ek Chalis... or Manorama. It was unfortunate that my earlier films flopped at the box office. I wasn't perceived as a successful actor and my career didn't make people stand up and say that 'Oh God, let's check out this guy'," said Abhay.

The 34-year-old star, who has delivered gems like Oye Lucky Lucky Oye' and Dev D that turned out to be commercial as well as critical success, says initial flops also helped him understand the business of cinema.

"All of this was only a blessing in disguise because now I could start taking further risks. I could afford to do films like Dev D and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye because taking such risks was worthy enough. As for some of my earlier films, it was my naivety and gullibility that they saw such disappointing releases. I was so clueless about the whole marketing. But now, I have learnt as I have moved along," the actor says.

Abhay, nephew of veteran actor Dharmendra, is happy to be associated with cinema which is different and breaks quite a few rules when it comes to Bollywood diktats.

He plays a modern day Mr Knightley in Aisha, a Bollywood adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. The actor has consciously been doing films where he could afford to take risks rather than follow a conventional route. — PTI

Road to globalisation

Having worked in movies like Bricklane and Road Movie, Bollywood actor-director Satish Kaushik is itching to work more in the global cinema space.

"I respect and do every genre of films. I am not stuck to one. As of now I am going through a very interesting phase," Kaushik said.

"After doing commercial potboilers and commercial cinema, I am really getting hooked on to world cinema and global cinema now. Being part of that makes me feel extremely happy," he said.

"Look at the success of Bricklane and the way it was appreciated. I am in talks with certain directors from outside for more such projects," he added. —IANS

Bong Connection

Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, who is busy promoting her upcoming moving Aisha, says Bimal Roy is her most favourite director and expressed her willingness to work in a Bengali film if she gets a good script."I would love to work in a Bengali movie if I am provided with a good script. Most of my favourite directors are Bengali. One of my most favourite directors is Bimal Roy," she said.

Roy, known as the "Silent Master of Indian Cinema", was known for films like Do Bigha Zameen, Devdas, Sujata, Madhumati that had the power to inspire and move audiences.The movies of Aparna Sen and Satyajit Ray also inspire her, she said. Sonam was accompanied by most of herAisha co-stars and sister Rhea, who is also the producer of the film. — ANS 

Kruger cuts her beau's hair

Hollywood actress Diane Kruger has revealed she cuts her boyfriend Joshua Jackson's hair and insists she nearly always does a good job.

The Inglourious Basterds actor, who has been dating the former Dawson's Creek actor since 2006, admits she often gives his locks a trim at home, so as not to destroy his television-watching routines. "I cut Josh's hair all the time. He loves it because he can watch TV. I've only messed it up once, when he was moving around," she said. — IANS

World wide cinema

Actress Trisha Krishnan, the latest star from down south to debut in Bollywood, aspires to use this platform to reach the global audience."I am looking forward for international recognition through Bollywood, which caters to wider audience across the globe. I want to slowly and gradually make a mark in this industry as well," the 27-year-old said. Trisha, who debuted in Bollywood with Priyadarshan's Khatta Meetha as Gehna Ganphule, has done 35 South Indian films in last seven years. Just like, other actress from South like Asin, Genelia and others, Trisha also intends to have a successful innings in Bollywood.

"I am concentrating more on Bollywood but at the same time I will continue to do Tamil and Telugu films also. Today, Bollywood has gone global," Trisha added."Reach of Hindi cinema is wider than the South Indian film industry. Various kinds of movies are made in Hindi film industry and I am happy to be part of this growing cinema," she said.On her movie's reception by the audience, she said, "Box Office collections are good but it has received not-so-good reviews. But I have no regrets. I think I have made a good entry in Bollywood." — PTI 

Mind the bug
Cyber crime, undoubtedly, is the sour side of the sweet fruit called technology
Jasmine Singh

It is next to impossible to enjoy something without caring two hoots about the flip side. It is the law of nature; everything comes in a combination — good and bad (the most overrated and philosophically accepted combination), day and night, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan (they made it to the list as well!).

Likewise, the fruits of technology cannot be enjoyed without someone telling you, 'you could bite into a sour side as well.' Cyber crime undoubtedly is the sour side of the sweet fruit called technology.

If on one hand, technology has given us a medium for interaction, connection with people, leading to minimising the distance and whatsoever, it has also given cyber criminals ways and means to barge into it. One, we cannot freeze the mind of a hacker or spammer, but we can always avoid biting into a raw fruit. Now, this is something technology doesn't give! This is called wisdom and it comes naturally. And how?

"Social networking is a growing phenomenon. It has gained momentum at a very good pace. So much so that most of the users have accounts with multiple sites," shares Amit Nath, country manager, Trend Micro India and SAARC. "Because of the growing popularity, social networks are a regular target of cyber criminals."

"With Facebook still remaining as one of the world's most popular social media sites and Twitter not far behind, cyber criminals use these sites to propagate malicious codes," adds Nath.

To make things clear, here is an example. Trend Labs Researchers received samples of another Facebook spam taking advantage of the popular micro-blogging site Twitter.

The mail, which poses as a Facebook notification message, uses adult-themed strings to lure users into opening the attachment. The .ZIP file attachment,, contains the file twitter.html, which has an embedded malicious script that Trend Micro detects as JS_REDIR.AE.

Adds Ankit Fadia, a certified hacker, "Before I tell you about the viruses and how they infect the system, it is important to know the difference between a hacker and spammer. Spamming is one of the techniques of hacking, out of the many that the hackers use. The aim of a spammer is to reach out to as many people as possible through spams like you have won a lottery. This does not require much technical knowledge. On the other hand, a hacker uses technical knowhow to steal a computer data."

Koobface is a classic example of a worm that spreads via social networking sites such as Facebook. Koobface has been particularly problematic for Facebook users, and maintains a rather consistent presence among Facebook social network users. "Trend Micro protects users via the Trend Micro Smart protection Network, which detects and blocks spam," adds Amit Nath.

Getting too 'techy' to decode. There are simpler ways that also do the same trick - save your profile or account from a bug or a beetle. Who knows!

Rather than attempting to win an imaginary and virtual popularity contest, demonstrate your self-confidence and restraint by not accepting friend invites from strangers. Log out of the social networking site when it's not being used. Worms like Koobface can only spread when you are logged on to Facebook or other social networking account. Staying logged off when not in use can help minimise the potential for spreading Koobface or other social networking worms.

"Use a unique strong password on each account. If you have multiple social networking accounts, use a unique password for each," lists Vikas Mahapatra, compiling his thesis on Cyber criminals. "Whenever you see an unexpected message or an unknown name, do not click the message. Close the page, open a new one and visit the site using a known link."

Ankit Fadia, the man who has been there and done that when it comes to hacking, feels that the visitors' traffic on social networking sites has increased steadily. "Cyber criminals misuse the credibility and popularity of such sites for their own profit. They could play with users' personal information in order to commit ID theft. For example, recently, cyber criminals used Twitter as a technique to lure users into clicking a malicious link. Since Twitter is a trusted source, users may think the email they received is legitimate. In fact, Twitter itself is also becoming a means of spreading spam."

Cliches have a lot of wisdom behind them, which is why it becomes important to drop one here - prevention is better than cure!

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4G world
Amitpal Singh Grewal

Fourth generation technology - 4G - is all set to provide voice, data and streamed multimedia to users on an anytime, anywhere basis, and at higher data rates than the current generations allow. Objectives for 4G include wired and wireless technologies capable of providing 100mbps and 1gbps speeds, both indoors as well as outdoors. 4G will succeed the current 3G WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA technology.

Let's know the term 'G' first. In this case, G stands for generations, so it means that this is the fourth generation of information transportation technology. While many European and Asian countries have all made the conversion to 4G technology a central part of their information technology, we have just started to play around with 3G only a few months ago.

1G technology enabled the first widely available mobile (or cellular) phones that used analog technology. 2G technology began in the early 1990s, switched to a digital format, and introduced text messaging. 3G technology improved the efficiency of how data is transported, and smart phones as well as "Wi-Fi" Internet are an example of this.

The fourth generation is quiet similar to 3G in that information can be sent 'through the air', but much more efficiently than 3G. Also, much more information can be carried. So if 3G was about phones, 4G will be about letting those phones really surf the Internet as well as a computer, and it will also cover entire areas with coverage. This means that you no longer have to look for a 'hot spot' like a cafe with Wi-Fi, rather, the entire city or state will be in the coverage zone as if you have extremely high range Wi-Fi signal all around! People in areas that have strong coverage would be able to use it for a home broadband connection, which doesn't require any cabling. One can connect using the sim card, which will add security. This will be a big improvement on the Wi-Fi zones, which can easily be entered by hackers, or more commonly, neighbours looking for a 'free ride'. With mobile broadband, the entire zone will have coverage, and only certain users that have paid will be able to use it.

Improved data delivery will mean that watching streaming television in real time, like a live game, will be possible. Currently, this cannot be supported and there is 'loading time'. With 4G the difference between a cable Internet connection and wireless Internet connection will be a thing of the past.

Today, gadgets like the iPhone, the Droid, Liquid or the Blackberry are growing increasingly popular. However, they all are currently capable of running on the 3G, which provides a reliable Internet connection but does not run at a sufficient speed to allow certain functions. But with 4G, one can use the Internet quickly and more efficiently.

All in all, 4G wireless technology allows its users to become even more mobile in this already mobile world!

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Haute pick
Note it!

This is a handy little gadget that works well if it's on your desktop. The new digital notepad is an electronic replacement for 'post-it' sticky notes. The compact box is about the size of a small calculator and features an LCD screen on which you can take notes using a stylus. It also has a few handy features like an alarm clock and a calculator. The battery-powered device can hold up to 99 handwritten notes. Moreover, this is an eco-friendly, attractive single-purpose, alternative gadget.

Bits about Bytes
RIP online privacy
Roopinder Singh

Is nothing private online any longer? I am sure there is, but two major blows were struck to the perception of online privacy recently, and we should all take note of these events because they have, rather should have, a lot of impact on our lives.

Wikileaks ( came online in 2006. An Australian, Julian Assange, runs this international organisation that publishes leaks of documents that are not available otherwise. This Sweden-based body preserves the anonymity of its sources. This year, it has been in the news twice. In April, it posted a video titled "Collateral Murder" which showed an American helicopter shooting down what turned out to be Afghan civilians. Last week, it released the "Afghan War Diary", in which more than 90,000 documents were opened to the general public about the war in Afghanistan.

The American government is incensed at the leak, the FBI is looking into it, and the US Secretary of State has condemned Wikileaks for 'endangering the lives of soldiers', but Wikileaks promises to post more documents in the near future.

Another event that shook the online world was the release of personal data of more than 100 million Facebook users. This accounts for 20 per cent of the members of the world's most popular social networking site. Facebook announced on July 21 that it had 500 million users, up from 150 million at the start of 2009, and the question is not if it will have a billion users one day, it is when this will happen.

A company called Skull Security released the file that has publicly accessible information of the users, including their names and profile addresses, to point out vulnerabilities in privacy controls of the site. No doubt the private information of these individuals was not compromised, however, Facebook is being disingenuous when it says: "Similar to the white pages of the phone book, this is the information available to enable people to find each other, which is the reason people join Facebook."

According to experts, the data "takes one massive step out of the equation for advertisers-finding and aggregating the data of millions of users who are searching for information on younger people," who, incidentally, are a vast majority of Facebook users. And Facebook founder and boss Mark Zuckerberg has defended the sharing of data with advertisers on the grounds that it keeps the site free for users. It is safe to assume that few, if any, of the users of Facebook would have thought that even the public data that they posted could be valuable to advertisers, and could thus be trolled.

Soon after the announcement, I asked my son if he had changed his password. "We all knew about it in school and my friends and I changed the passwords. I have also deleted all the mail in my inbox," he said.

At one point, I had seen his profile and those of some of his friends, and found that most of them had fairly strict privacy settings, something that is rare on Facebook. Many people tend to go for the default settings on Facebook, and don't bother to change them to more private ones. Also, there is a widespread perception among youngsters that they are anonymous, since no one would be interested in them anyway.

They are wrong. What they do, how they go about it, what interests them, all is valuable information for marketers and others whose livelihood depends on identifying new trends and feeding them.

Many people are unaware of the amount of information that Facebook shares with others. When they enrol for various forums or games, or gifts, etc, they should be careful about letting the applications that they use access their data. Also Facebook, when it updated its privacy settings, did so without due caution, as a result of which some users' settings reverted to the default 'public' options.

Just how powerful is Facebook? Here is what The Economist said recently: "A couple of months or so after becoming Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron wanted a few tips from somebody who could tell him how it felt to be responsible for, and accountable to, millions of people: people who expected things from him, even though in most cases he would never shake their hands.

"He turned not to a fellow head of government but to…Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and boss of Facebook, the phenomenally successful social network.... In a well-publicised online video chat this month, the two men swapped ideas about ways for networks to help governments. Was this just a political leader seeking a spot of help from the private sector-or was it more like diplomacy, a comparison of notes between the masters of two great nations?"

As of now, this comparison is a cyber illusion, but it is illustrative of how the overlap between cyberspace and real human interaction is growing. Thus, to get back to my favourite theme, cyber space is an extension of the real world, and actions in cyber space have real consequences.

Cyber users must be careful about what they put online. Please remember that anything you post can be public. Therefore, you must be careful about what you let out in the public. What goes online has a life and a momentum of its own. It can turn up at the most awkward of times, say when you are about to get job, or your potential (cyber-savvy) father-in-law is checking you out.

In the real world, what you do is often forgotten after a while, especially if it is something stupid and momentary. Online, everything that you do is there for people to see, and most often, it is your friends. Sometimes friends too turn into enemies, and you really don't want to empower them, do you? If you think that something you are doing online is embarrassing, then don't do it. For God's sake, don't post anything unless you really want it to be public. Online privacy is not quite dead, but actually, it is not quite there too, as the recent Facebook episode shows.

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