On the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town Aces, Texters eye key wins Dozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite MOST READ Without him for game two, the Jazz gave up 60 points in the paint in falling 99-91 in Los Angeles.The team confirmed in their injury report that Gobert was out for Friday’s game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnJazz coach Quin Snyder said Thursday that Gobert was “getting better every day.” But he said the team wouldn’t try to rush him back.“We’ve been conservative all year in the sense that we’re never going to encourage any player… to do something to put himself in a situation by playing that could compromise his long-term health,” Snyder told the Deseret News. Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely This Saturday, April 15, 2017, file photo, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, center, is helped off the court by center Boris Diaw, right, and guard George Hill, left, as coach Quin Snyder watches after Gobert injured his knee during the first half in Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, in Los Angeles. Gobert will not play in Game 3 against the Clippers after hyperextending his left knee and suffering a bone contusion in the series opener. The series is tied 1-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)LOS ANGELES — The Utah Jazz will again be without star center Rudy Gobert on Friday when they host the Los Angeles Clippers in game three of their NBA first-round playoff series.The French big man, dubbed the “Stifle Tower” for his defensive prowess, hyperextended his left knee early in Utah’s game one victory over the Clippers.ADVERTISEMENT Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig out Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town LATEST STORIES Gobert was hurt when he banged knees with Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute. Power forward Derrick Favors will again move to center with Gobert on the sidelines.But Snyder admitted the team had no way to “replicate” Gobert, the first player in club history to have 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 200 blocked shots in a single season.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Dear Editor,It would seem as though the Mayor of Georgetown has had an epiphany whilst on her most recent junket overseas. Since returning, she has discovered the performance and work ethics of the City Engineer’s and City Treasurer’s departments to be unacceptable.She has said it was high time that some officers from those departments go home, because they were at work doing absolutely nothing, and are in the yard liming all day long.She also lamented the fact that despite their behaviour, the municipality has to find money to pay their hefty salaries every month.The question I would like to ask is whether she was deaf and blind for the last 22 years whilst she was a Councillor and Deputy Mayor. It is the same attitude those and other departments had all along.But what is really needed by her is to first have a look at her very own office, where persons can be seen doing nothing all day also, but instead could just be seen walking up and down on very high heeled shoes, and being on their cell phones texting, chatting and idling.Sincerely,Amber Valentine
‘People evacuated on their own’ Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee NFA assures ample rice supply in ashfall, eruption-affected areas Leonardo DiCaprio, Taika Waititi, other stars react to Oscar nominations View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Handball can end PH SEA Games’ campaign with gold Thailand reports case of coronavirus from China Thailand’s Navin Singsart placed second after compiling 11 points and Ridwan Ramadan of Indonesia wound up third with 12 points after 12 races at the Lighthouse Marina Resort here.Coveta, who settled for the silver in his pet event during the 2017 edition of the Games in Kuala Lumpur, was the world champion in 2012 and 2017.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4It will be the second gold by Filipino sailors after Emerson Villena and Lester Troy Tayong ruled the men’s international 470 race. Taal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing down Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Two-time world champion Geylord Coveta topped the men’s RS:One windsurfing event Monday in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.But while the 38-year-old windsurfing ace is already way ahead of the competition with seven points, the gold medal won’t be awarded until all possible protests have been addressed.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Microsoft ends free Windows 7 security updates on Tuesday No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)
…bridge repairs to commence soonFollowing a ‘first-hand’ assessment of the road works along the Puruni-Itaballi trail in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Minister within the Natural Resources Ministry, Simona Broomes has promised to engage agencies and the Natural Resources Ministry on the possibility of fast-tracking the process.The Minister stated that the “miners’ concerns are a priority”. As a result, the visit was made to ensure works are being done, and how the process could be improved.The black water bridgeAccording to the Department of Public Information, Minister Broomes led a team of engineers from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC); JR Construction Services and Mekdeci Mining Company (MMC). She explained that the Public Infrastructure Ministry collaborated with the Natural Resources Ministry to aid in the construction of the road since Itaballi is considered the gateway to the interior.The contract for works on the trail was awarded to the GGMC and MMC for $89 million. Repairs to the trail began some three weeks ago starting from Pappishou leading out to Puruni Landing; the next phase will then lead from Puruni to Itaballi.MMC Operational Manager Kevin Ramotar explained that the team has been working on the road from Pappishou to Puruni, fixing critical points. He said the decision was made to proceed ‘in-and-come-out’ because the equipment was already in Pappishou, and owing to the deteriorating state of the bridges, the company was hesitant to bring in heavy-duty equipment. Ramotar also noted that the company has considered having two teams working at different points, so as to fast-track works.The Pappishou-Puruni trail The Operations Manager also pointed out that a submission was made to the GGMC for an additional $12 million, since the evaluation was done in March. However, works commenced in September, and owing to the weather and vehicular traffic, the road has deteriorated further over that period.The rehabilitation of eight bridges in the Puruni-Itaballi area was awarded to the GGMC and JR Construction for the sum of $49 million. According to JR Construction Engineer Ryan Ramsingh, works are to commence on eight bridges from October 7.Ramsingh disclosed that the works should be completed in three weeks, since the project involved “remedial works, not full construction; just repair works along the erosion of the road”. He explained that owing to the condition of the black water bridge, the team would start there, and continue along the way. He noted that only if there was inclement weather would the rehabilitation of bridges be obstructed.Minister Broomes said she intended to consult with the Public Infrastructure Ministry on banning ‘big tankers’ from traversing the roads. She pointed to the fact that even when the roads were fixed, harsh weather combined with heavy tankers contribute to the fast degradation of the roads. The Minister also called on residents to be more responsible and ‘hold drivers accountable’ for their reckless driving on the said roadways.The linking of the hinterland to the coastland has been part of the Administration’s vision of a more inclusive Guyana.
MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher has described the refusal of the Irish Government to apply for EU Solidarity Funding in the wake of the extreme weather as a ludicrous and rash decision.Mr Gallagher called on the Government to re-think its decision and apply before the end of this week as the deadline set by the European Commission is Friday, the 21st of February.“Reports from the UK suggest that David Cameron’s Government will now apply for EU Solidarity Funding having earlier dismissed the idea out of hand. The bottom line is that the Irish Government has made a mistake and must also reconsider and apply for assistance. “The Government has stated that the expense of the damage incurred is below the threshold for assistance. The fact of the matter is that the application submitted in 2009 following severe flooding the same year was also below the threshold. However, the then Government submitted a regional based application, which ultimately proved to be successful as Ireland received €13 million. I am confident that if the Government submits a similar regional based application, it would also result in a positive outcome.”He added that is now urging the Government to reconsider its decision and to apply for funding before the closing date of the 21st of February, as confirmed to him by the office of the EU Commissioner for Regional Development, Johannes Hahn. An initial application can be submitted by Friday, followed up with more details at a later stage.Mr Gallagher concluded “The Government simply cannot afford to turn its nose up at any opportunities for assistance available at an EU level to deal with the damage caused by the severe storms and flooding.” PAT THE COPE SLAMS GOVERNMENT FOR NOT APPLYING FOR STORM FUNDING was last modified: February 18th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:fundingPat The Cope Gallagherstorm
The Premier League is back – as is talkSPORT’s Premier League Preview Show!Tom Rennie is joined by former Arsenal midfielder Adrian Clarke, former Spurs defender Chris Perry, and the former Manchester United midfielder Alan McLoughlin, to look ahead to the opening weekend of Premier League action.How will the Philippe Coutinho transfer saga effect Liverpool? Is Alexandre Lacazette the man to fire Arsenal back into the top four? Can Chelsea cope without Diego Costa? Will it be Pep or Jose who rules in Manchester? All this and more discussed on the first Premier League Preview Show of the season.
richard macmanus Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#mobile#web Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces September is the Month of Mobility at Read/Write Web, I’ve decided. This monthI’m going to explore the intersection between the Web and mobile devices. Principallymobile phones and PDA’s, although there’s also a trend of convergence of those twodevices into “smart phones”. And let’s not forget new ground-breaking devices such as theiPod, the Tablet, and the Sony Librie eBookreader. I’m interested in how all these mobile devices, not just intersect, butcollide with the Web. For often it’s messy, as I’ve already discovered with myexperiments with Bluetooth. It will get simpler though and the iPod is perhaps showingthe way for all mobile devices in this regard.Web MobilityWhy the sudden interest in mobility as a theme in web technology? Simple, I’ve justgot a new mobile phone to replace my old 90’s model (which last week a friend bluntlylabeled “a brick”). My new phone, a Sharp GX15, is pxt/video and bluetooth-enabled.Now the truth is, I’ve taken far too long to come around to the mobile phonerevolution. This is particularly ironic, as I used to work for Ericsson – one of the world’s biggest cellphone andmobile internet companies. I was there when WAP was in its infancy and broadband hadn’t yetarrived to properly support it. At that point in my life, I was pre-occupied with thenetwork computer version of the Web and so I was busy learning ASP and designing portals and so forth. So WAPwas a curiosity at best for me back then.Mobile Devices Market PenetrationFast-forward to 2004 and mobile phones rule the technology world. According to MyMobilemagazine, 70% of New Zealanders have a mobile phone. Not bad considering it was only 10% in 1995! ZDNetreports that Europe has “between 60 percent and 70 percent” mobile phone penetration,the US has about 50% penetration, Japan 60%, Korea 70% and Singapore 80%. China is agrowth market – currently it’s only at 20% but it’s predicted to reach nearly 25% by endof this year. Given China’s huge population, that is a significant number ofpeople! PDA penetration by comparison is low. It was around 7% in the USA at the beginning of2004, according to JupiterResearch. So you can see why PDA manufacturers like Palm want to get into the “smartphone” market – the future is mobile phones.Another one to make this point is DrunkenBlog, whosays that the iPod’s days are numbered:“An iPod Mini is going to make a much better mobile music player thanyour cell phone. But when your cell phone has 5 gigabytes of storage and bluetoothheadphones…. the writing is on the wall here.”Hype becomes RealitySo it seems all the hype I was in the middle of at Ericsson at the dawn of the 21stcentury is beginning to come to pass in 2004. Mobile phones are the centre of convergence– voice, data, Web, music, eBooks, PIMs, email, you name it. I’ll be investigating this convergence over the coming weeks and I’ll mostly focus onwhere Web mobility is at circa 2004, rather than speculate about the future. On thatnote, I’ve now subscribed to Flickr and have set up(yet another) blog – ricmac photos.This will be used as a fun space for me to upload a bunch of try-hard artsy-fartsyphotos. Warning: if you’re looking for photos with real artistic merit, you shouldn’tlook at my photoblog 🙂 Try Cristian’s instead, it is muchbetter.User UnfriendlinessIn my next post, I’ll explore some of the current technical issues surrounding Webmobility. We’re still at a stage where people have to technically configure their variousmobile devices and synch things together with a variety of “loosely-coupled”applications. So I’ll talk about this in my next post.
By Chris BuergerI had the opportunity to participate in Dave Ward’s (CTO Cisco) presentation at the fantastic OpenStack Summit in Vancouver last month. As part of his session, he made a strong statement that warmed my (open source) heart.To repeat his assertion: “By creating a ‘whole stack’ framework with multiple, loosely coupled open source projects, we can satisfy the need in NFVI for advanced functionality without forking. Stop forking up NFV.”Let’s unpack Dave’s statement.In my mind, the ‘whole stack’ framework concept that Dave talked about is squarely aligned with the intent of mid-stream NFV open source initiatives such as the Open Platform for NFV Project. OPNFV’s mission is to accelerate NFV through the creation of an integrated open platform based on the adoption of leading upstream projects such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight (ODL).The Arno release represents the first step to making this goal a reality by releasing fundamental enabling platform integration and validation technology into the community. Two years ago, Rose Schooler articulated a similar vision at Open Networking Summit 2013 in her announcement of the Intel Open Network Platform. We have been steadily releasing quarterly updates of ONP on Intel’s 01.org, and partners such as HP and Oracle are starting to leverage its capabilities.The main point is the same. While there is no doubt that individual ingredient open source projects are critical and are being integrated/consumed into existing systems (or are augmenting/replacing proprietary solutions), the ‘whole stack’ is the ultimate catalyst and delivery framework to create a complete solution to rapidly deploy SDN and NFV.The whole stack concept of ‘loosely coupled open source projects’ also has challenges. One challenge is to provide one or multiple common (generally technical) capabilities that act as linkages between the different projects. Think of it like a red thread running through the whole stack.For Intel, one such connecting capability is the popular Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), a set of open source libraries and drivers for fast packet processing. This capability is enabled from OpenStack, through ODL and all the way into the Open Virtual Switch (OVS), providing a consistent approach to accelerating packet performance and to optimizing workload placement across the entire NFV/SDN stack.Having spent many years on both sides of the supply/demand equation for service provider software solutions, I am acutely aware of the benefits that tightly integrated, highly innovative proprietary software products can provide.I do believe that creating unique NFV/SDN intellectual property (IP) and technical innovation should generate a commensurate financial return. What I think is different in NFV today, and what I believe is center to Dave’s and my argument, is that vendors will not be successful by creating forks of the open source projects making up the entire NFV stack.The level and timeliness of adherence to the latest open source ingredients has risen to become a primary purchase decision-making criterion. It is perfectly okay to augment open source with unique monetizable IP, just do not attempt to lock-in a customer by having them buy into your fork.We have already seen this in OpenStack with different commercial solution vendors touting the ‘pureness’ and increasingly short timelines to adopt the latest community releases. I also believe that the same movement will occur as OpenDaylight matures.Rose quoted Intel founder Andy Grove in her presentation at ONS two years ago. Her point was that with SDN, the networking industry had reached a strategic inflection point that is changing the way the industry thinks and acts.Now, we are entering a new phase in this process, moving from the open source ingredient level to the complete NFV stack level while elevating the smart integration and non-forked nature of these different components as a main benefit to end-users. Slightly rephrasing Dave’s statement: Don’t fork NFV if you want to thrive.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Former army sergeant Glen Lehman lost his arm in Iraq. But he can still pick up small objects with fine motor control, thanks to a bionic appendage wired to his remaining nerves. “Just by believing I’m moving my phantom limb,” he said, “the arm is in tune with my thoughts.”Lehman showed off his new arm here yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW). His demonstration was part of a session on breaking down the barriers between mind and machine. In addition to creating better prosthetics for amputees, scientists talked about developing communication devices for locked-in patients and even creating virtual reality avatars that might someday allow people to transfer their entire consciousness into a machine.But first back to Lehman’s arm. Previous arm prosthetics have relied on the remaining muscles of the arm to guess at what the amputee wants to do, which panelist Todd Kuiken of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, described as a “Morse code game.” The technique his group is developing, by contrast, uses the arm’s nerves, which appear to remain intact even 10 years after an amputation. Using this method, his advanced prosthetics can restore fine motor control down to the fingers.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Andrew Schwartz of the University of Pittsburgh had a different approach to mind-controlled prosthetics: an electrode array placed directly on the surface of the brain. His group has previously had success allowing monkeys to control a robotic arm in this way; with training, the monkeys began to treat the arm as their own, even trying to groom it. This summer, Schwartz’s group will begin testing the technique in 20 human patients with spinal cord injuries. Schwartz also showed video of a high-performance, extraordinarily dexterous prosthetic arm developed at Johns Hopkins University, which he called “the best prosthetic in existence.” His group is about to begin trials in monkeys using this arm.Although prosthetics and other brain-powered devices have been around for some time, José del R. Millán of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland said that one difficulty is the amount of continuous concentration required to use them. His goal, he said, is to perfect brain-computer interfaces so that their control is as natural as writing or driving a car. A volunteer demonstrated an electrode cap with which he could drive a wheeled robot around the room. Millan listed a number of uses for this technology for bedridden and locked-in patients; joining their families virtually without leaving their beds, participating in research studies, and controlling their own wheelchairs.No matter how good a prosthetic or robot is, however, “the perception of self is at the core of neuroprosthetics,” Millan said. Olaf Blanke, also of Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, has made progress trying to understand what defines “self,” and how self-awareness can be transferred into a robot or avatar. His research recreates out-of-body experiences. By touching a volunteer on his real body while he viewed a virtual representation of himself on a computer, Blanke and colleagues were able to change the volunteer’s perception of where he was in space: the volunteer believed his consciousness had been transferred to the avatar. Intriguingly, the researchers flipped genders, giving a male volunteer a female avatar, but this didn’t seem to affect the outcome. The only aspect important for the transfer of consciousness, Blanke said, was that the avatar had a vaguely human shape.Integrating the consciousness transfer with real-time, thought-controlled prosthetics, the presenters said, could eventually restore autonomy to bed-bound or locked-in patients, providing them with a higher quality of life.Science will be hosting a live chat with Olaf Blanke and Jose del R. Millan at noon EST on Sunday, 20 February. See our complete coverage of the 2011 AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Virtually every aspect of India’s massive defeats Down Under has been dissected. In less than 48 hours, the Adelaide Test begins and there are no signs of VVS Laxman being ready to back off at this stage despite a string of failures.Back home, the Board of Control for Cricket in India maintains its usual silence. None of its office-bearers or selectors is having sleepless nights, though the same cannot be said about the discerning fan who still loves to wake up at odd hours to catch the live action.Sports View by S . Kannan.Mahendra Singh Dhoni will sit out of the Adelaide Test as he has been penalised by the ICC for a slow-over rate. And it’s even more chilling to note that the man who is now going to lead – Virender Sehwag – is perhaps in the middle of a huge crisis vis-a-vis his own batting.Some of the statistics which were brought to my notice have been nothing short of a revelation. Of the 274 cricketers to have played Tests for India, Dhoni happened to be the 251st.He made his debut in 2005-06, so that means 23 players have played for India after him. The most surprising aspect is how in the last six years, out of these only three have been middleorder batsmen – S Badrinath, Suresh Raina and Cheteshwar Pujara. Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund got brief stints as openers but the rest of those earning India caps were bowlers.Raina did not do too badly with a century on debut and six half tons, but in 15 Tests he averaged less than 30. Once the verdict was passed that Raina was suspect against the short- pitched stuff, he was out of the Test reckoning.advertisementAt a time when calls for the heads of Dravid and Laxman have reached a crescendo, it is clear the Indian board has just not worked on a succession plan. While the Indian cricket fan is passionate and can put his stars on a pedestal one day, the next day he can run them down mercilessly.Yet, AS far as the Board officials are concerned, it is not a matter of concern. To be sure, if one looks at the ODI side, from the time Greg Chappell was the coach of the Indian team, he had discussed a succession plan with the then chairman of the selection committee, Kiran More.However, as far as the Indian Test side is concerned, it is clear we kept persisting with the golden oldies and never thought of grooming batsmen, especially in the middle order. As it were, after Sourav Ganguly retired, the No. 6 slot has been shaky.We keep talking of how the Aussies have been unbeatable over the years, but if one goes back to the eighties when Dennis Lillee, Rodney Marsh and Greg Chappell retired, there was a crisis. However, Chappell came back as a selector and, with Bob Simpson, worked on building a team for the future.Similarly, in 2007, when Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Shane Warne retired, the Aussies faced a crisis. It worsened once Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden also called it a day. The Aussies lost the Ashes at home and took time to find their feet.So to say that the Aussies were always unbeatable is untrue. They also made mistakes and then learnt.Sadly in India, the fringe players are never given confidence. If it is captaincy, quite often we find that there has been no succession plan. If today it is Dhoni, tomorrow it could be Sehwag.But a closer look at the Indian Test team is quite scary. The ideal situation would have been to phase out Laxman and at the same time ensure there were a couple of batsmen who could fill in his boots.Obviously in the twilight of his career, we don’t expect Dravid to continue too for long and this will be his last tour to Australia. So can one imagine what goes through Mr Sachin Tendulkar’s head when he is going to be without his two senior colleagues.We keep talking of all the ills but nobody has worked on a succession plan. From the Indian board to the selectors and also the Indian captain and the coach, everyone should have put their heads together.Sadly, that has not been the case and planning has been done only on a series- to- series basis. There is already talk as to how in 2012 the biggest events ahead are the Indian Premier League and the ICC World T20 plus the Asia Cup.advertisementWe know that at home and on the lifeless wickets we can still win Tests, whatever be the opposition. It’s already too late that nothing has been done on grooming middle-order batsmen who can replace Laxman and Dravid.This is a bit like other sporting disciplines as well in India where we keep relying on the golden oldies. At 38-plus, Leander Paes happens to be a medal chance at the London Olympics and so does Mahesh Bhupathi, a year younger. In tennis, we know for sure the cupboard is bare.But in Indian cricket, there is no dearth of talent. The problem lies in the lack of planning and how those who at the helm have suffered from acute myopia. To borrow an ophthalmic term, a correction is needed. It’s just that we seem to have nobody with the email@example.com