Daily Archives: January 3, 2015

Malik demands 1bn from news paper


Sri Lanka, Jan. 3 — Former UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema yesterday sent a letter of demand claiming One Billion Rupees from a daily English language newspaper over an alleged defamatory article that had been published in it.

The letter of demand sent through Attorney at Law Indula Hewage states:

I write on the instructions of my client Mr. Malik Samarawickrema of 50/24, Buller’s Lane, Colombo 7.

My client is a prominent member of the United National Party and a former Chairman of the Party, and is a long standing member of its Working Committee.

He is also a reputed businessman.

I am instructed by my client that a newspaper published by you carried the lead article in its issue of December 28, 2014 on page 1 with the banner headline “In a long telephone call to President, MALIK SPILLS BEANS” which continued the story prominently on page 2 of the said issue.

Your said article and its headline contain the following statements, inter alia:

(a) “Malik Spills Beans”

(b) How my client telephoned President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday at 9.35 am and spilled the beans on how former President Chandrika Kumaratunga manipulated the joint opposition plan to grab UPFA ministers and members to challenge Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential polls

(c) How my client had assured the President that the UNP leader would not accept UPFA Deputy Minister Faizer Musthapha who plans to crossover and had also conveyed a request from Wickremesinghe asking the President not to take UNP members.

(d) My client had further assured that Wickremesinghe will not accept anymore UPFA members into his fold. My client had reportedly briefed the President on how Faizer Musthapha was approached by the joint opposition to convince him to crossover.

(e) My client had also disclosed a UPFA name list to Rajapaksa with whom Kumaratunga was in touch to attract to the joint opposition.

(f) Sources said an annoyed President after listening to Samarawickreme had warned the latter not to play double games in politics carrying tales from one side to other and also not to worry him asking for business deals from the government.

(g) My client struck a deal with the Rajapaksa government earlier on the Colombo – Kandy Expressway project through which he benefitted in massive monetary gains.

(h) My client had told the President that he and Wickremesinghe were aware that Maithripala Sirisena would get defeated at the January 8, 2015 presidential poll.

(1) Sources said Samarawickreme had disclosed more details about Kumaratunga’s plans to grab more UPFA members into the joint opposition.

I am instructed that my client did not telephone the President on the occasion referred to by you in the said article. It was in fact the President who telephoned my client.

I am also instructed that the words/contents of the said article and headline and/or the gist of the article and headline were false and to your knowledge defamatory of my client both per se as well as by innuendo and that you published and/or caused to be published the said words/contents and/or the gist of the words/contents with animus injuriandi and express malice against my client.

My client has instructed me that by your said conduct you have brought him into hatred, ridicule and contempt among members of the public and to cause damage to his public life. I am further instructed to state that you are abusing your power as a media institution with a wide circulation to make grossly defamatory statements against my client who is a prominent member of the United National Party which is the main opposition party supporting the candidature of the Common Opposition Candidate Maitripala Sirisena at the forthcoming Presidential Election to be held on January 8, 2015 at which President Mahinda Rajapaksa is also a candidate, and to defame my client for political purposes and to give wide publicity to such false and defamatory statements against my client.

I am further instructed that the publication of the aforesaid defamatory statements against by client has caused loss and damage to my client’s dignity and reputation which my client estimates at Rs.1,000,000,000/- (Rupees One billion).

In the premises I am instructed by my client to demand that you pay to my client the said sum of Rs.l,000,000,000/- (Rupees One billion) as damages within 7 days of the date hereof. Should you fail to pay my client the said sum within the said period, my client will institute action against you for the recovery of the said sum together with interest and costs.

Quote: I am further instructed that the publication of the aforesaid defamatory statements against by client has caused loss and damage to my client’s dignity and reputation which my client estimates at Rs.1,000,000,000/- (Rupees One billion).


Prince Andrew embroiled in ‘sex slave’ allegations


Tampa, Jan 3: The Buckingham Palace has denied allegations on Prince Andrew of having forced sex with a minor, according to reports.

This comes after a woman alleged that she was repeatedly forced to have sexual relations with Prince Andrew. The woman has filed a lawsuit in a Florida court alleging that a US investment banker passed her around the rich as a ‘sex slave.’

Dismissing the allegations, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “This relates to long-running and ongoing civil proceedings in the US to which the Duke of York is not a party.

“As such we would not comment on the detail. However, for the avoidance of doubt, any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.”


US sanctions North Korea over Sony cyberattack


The United States imposed new sanctions Friday on North Korean government officials and the country’s defense industry for a cyberattack against Sony, insisting that Pyongyang was to blame despite lingering doubts by the cyber community. The White House warned that this was just the opening move in the U.S. response.

While the sanctions will have limited effect, as North Korea already is under tough U.S. sanctions over its nuclear program, American officials portrayed them as a swift, decisive response to North Korean behavior they said had gone far over the line. Never before has the U.S. imposed sanctions on another nation in direct retaliation for a cyberattack on an American company.

“The order is not targeted at the people of North Korea, but rather is aimed at the government of North Korea and its activities that threaten the United States and others,” President Barack Obama wrote in a letter to leaders in Congress.

The 10 North Koreans singled out for sanctions didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the attack on Sony, senior U.S. officials said. Anyone who works for or helps North Korea’s government is now fair game, especially North Korea’s defense sector and spying operations, the officials said.

The sanctions also apply to three organizations closely tied to North Korea’s government: the country’s primary intelligence agency, a state-owned arms dealer that exports missile and weapons technology, and the Korea Tangun Trading Corp., which supports defense research. All three entities were already subject to U.S. sanctions.

Obama has also warned Pyongyang that the U.S. is considering whether to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, which could jeopardize aid to the country on a global scale. Beyond that, it’s unclear what additional penalties the U.S. has available.

North Korea has denied involvement in the cyberattack, which led to the disclosure of tens of thousands of confidential Sony emails and business files, then escalated to threats of terrorist attacks against movie theaters. Many cybersecurity experts have said it’s possible that hackers or even Sony insiders could be the culprits, and questioned how the FBI can point the finger so conclusively.

Senior U.S. officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, dismissed those arguments and said independent experts don’t have access to the same classified information as the FBI.

“We stand firmly behind our call that the DPRK was behind the attacks on Sony,” one official said, using an acronym for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Those sanctioned include North Koreans representing the country’s interests in Iran, Russia and Syria. Any assets they have in the U.S. will be frozen, and they’ll be barred from using the U.S. financial system. Americans will be prohibited from doing business with them, the Treasury Department said.


15 Mind Blowing Facts About Google


There are few people who haven’t heard of Google. But here are some interesting facts about Google, the most popular search engine, that you may not know yet.


The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface. In fact it was noted that the submit button was a long time coming and hitting the RETURN key was the only way to burst Google into life.


Due to the sparseness of the homepage, in early user tests they noted people just sitting looking at the screen. After a minute of nothingness, the tester intervened and asked ‘Whats up?’ to which they replied “We are waiting for the rest of it”. To solve that particular problem the Google Copyright message was inserted to act as a crude end of page marker.


One of the biggest leap in search usage came about when they introduced their much improved spell checker giving birth to the “Did you mean.” feature. This instantly doubled their traffic, but they had some interesting discussions on how best to place that information, as most people simply tuned that out. But they discovered the placement at the bottom of the results was the most effective area.


The infamous “I feel lucky” is nearly never used. However, in trials it was found that removing it would somehow reduce the Google experience. Users wanted it kept. It was a comfort button.


Orkut is very popular in Brazil. Orkut was the brainchild of a very intelligent Google engineer who was pretty much given free reign to run with it, without having to go through the normal Google UI procedures, hence the reason it doesn’t look or feel like a Google application. They are looking at improving Orkut to cope with the loads it places on the system.


Google makes changes small-and-often. They will sometimes trial a particular feature with a set of users from a given network subnet; for example Excite@Home users often get to see new features. They aren’t told of this, just presented with the new UI and observed how they use it.


Google has the largest network of translators in the world.


They use the 20% / 5% rules. If at least 20% of people use a feature, then it will be included. At least 5% of people need to use a particular search preference before it will make it into the ‘Advanced Preferences’.


They have found in user testing, that a small number of people are very typical of the larger user base. They run labs continually and always monitoring how people use a page of results.


The name ‘Google’ was an accident. A spelling mistake made by the original founders who thought they were going for ‘Googol’


Gmail was used internally for nearly 2years prior to launch to the public. They discovered there was approximately 6 types of email users, and Gmail has been designed to accommodate these 6.


They listen to feedback actively. Emailing Google isn’t emailing a blackhole.


Employees are encouraged to use 20% of their time working on their own projects. Google News, Orkut are both examples of projects that grew from this working model.


This wasn’t a technical talk so no information regarding any infrastructure was presented however they did note that they have a mantra of aiming to give back each page with in 500ms, rendered.


Ever notice that ubiquitous “I’m feeling lucky” button on the Google homepage that you’ve probably never used. What if I told you that this small little piece of grey rectangle, costs Google over 110 million dollars a year!

That’s right! What this button effectively does, is that it takes the user directly to the top search result for that query thereby bypassing all the other top 9 results and also the ads that get displayed alongside them. Brin was recently quoted as saying that almost 1% of all Google searches go through the “I’m feeling lucky” button and that costs the company around $110 million in annual revenue.

So why doesn’t Google take it off? Well, it just did but in such a sneaky way that you probably didn’t even notice. It’s still there on the homepage but thanks to Google Instant, you don’t get to use it anymore!


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