HOW THINGS WORK
The April 29 royal wedding in Britain was an Internet blockbuster, with millions watching it live online. Though live video streaming for multiple viewers is now commonplace, here is a quick primer on how it works:
Streaming versus uplinking: In uplinking, a video is shot and later uploaded for mass viewing on platforms like YouTube. Streaming means broadcasting a video as it is being shot.
Basics: Live streaming is done using a high-definition webcam and a microphone connected to a PC, which in turn is connected to either a web or a streaming server. Live streaming sites such as ustream.tv, qik.com and stickam.com provide unique web addresses that can be shared with potential viewers. Software for uploading the stream from the website needs to be downloaded and installed to enable viewing.
Handicap: Streaming requires high Internet speeds. For a single webcam, 1mbps is a minimal requirement. Uniform service and speed are vital for uninterrupted streaming.
Running out of gas
Whatever happened to the Gas Authority of India's Jagoti-Pithampur pipeline project in Madhya Pradesh? Originally scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2006/07, the project is yet to get off the ground. Back then, the project cost was calculated at Rs 195 crore. Barring the usual bureaucratic lethargy, the reasons for the delay in laying the pipeline remain obscure. Consumers in MP are clamouring for natural gas, but they are unlikely to get it in a hurry. The state government wanted the 135-km Jagoti-Pithampur pipeline extended to Barwah to supply gas to a 330-MW gas-based power plant. But GAIL refused saying its share of regassified LNG from Petronet LNG Ltd's Dahej terminal had already been tied up. The ensuing stand-off over supply of gas and the logistics of laying the pipeline have stalled the project indefinitely.
From Ludhiana, with love
Ludhiana and London have a longstanding relationship. Once London ruled Ludhiana - as it did all of India - and thereafter thousands of Ludhiana-ites have fl ocked to settle in London. Even so, it was an achievement for a Ludhiana exporter to be chosen over fancied global fashion houses to make scarves for the guests at the mother of all weddings - that of Britain's Prince William to Kate Middleton. Centex Exports shipped 4,000 scarves with the Union Jack printed on them for the guests of the royals. Another 2,600 scarves were exported to be sold as online merchandise. But this is not Centex Exports's only claim to fame. Last year, it had tied up with European fashion brand Hugo Boss to manufacture stoles for celebrities attending the Berlin Film Festival.
Transport turns sport
Skiing was not always the adrenaline pumping sport that it is now. Skis began as a means of transportation. Their fi rst use has been observed among the ancient Norse and Swedish communities. The Norse even had a goddess who hunted on skis. Skiing became a sport only after Norwegian Sondre Norheim developed the signature Telemark ski in 1870. Harrison Schmitt, a member of the 1972 Apollo 17 crew, once said that the ideal training for moon walking was cross-country skiing. And, to think it can cost $1,000 or more a day on the slopes of Lake Tahoe or Alberta today.
Compiled by Anamika Butalia