Daily Archives: June 29, 2015

Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the next Prime Minister of Sri Lanka


According to the Department of elections, Mr Maithripala Sirisena received 6,217,162 or 51.28% of the vote, and Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa received 5,768,000 or 47.58% of the vote. So, it is incorrect to say “over 6.4 million people gave a mandate to the President. The difference in the vote was in fact 449, 162.

It is interesting to note that the vote in the Northern and Eastern provinces, predominantly Tamil in the Northern province and around 65% Tamil and Muslim in the Eastern province , and combined with the Nuwara Eliya district, predominantly Tamils, gave Mr Sirisena 1,240, 716 votes.

Even if some discounting is done to account for some Sinhala votes in these areas, it is not rocket science to say Mr Sirisena would not have won without the vote of the Tamils and Muslims in the geographic areas mentioned.

It also needs to be noted that except in these areas, and the Kandy, Colombo and Pollonnaruwa districts, and very narrowly in the Gampaha, Puttalam, and Badulla district (which Mr Sirisena won by just 281 votes), Mr Rajapaksa had won by vote percentages ranging from 52% to 63% (in Hambantota).

It is clear from these statistics that should a general election be held now, Mr Rajapaksa’s popularity would matter more than Mr Sirisena’s as the latter could not have won without the backing of the UNP, the JVP, the JHU, the democratic party and the minority vote.

If one were to deduct the vote Mr Sirisena received in the Northern and Eastern provinces, and the Nuwara Eliya district, his vote would have been 4,976,446 or 40.57% of the total valid votes cast. He would not have been the President today.

Judging by the votes that the JVP received in the Western, Southern and Uva provincial council elections in 2014, which ranges from 5.7% to 9.05% (in the Southern provincial council election), and the votes received by Mr Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic party in the Western and Southern provincial council elections (7.97% and 6.27% respectively), it would be safe to say these two parties would have contributed anything from 5 – 10% of the national vote Mr Sirisena received at the Presidential election.

If one takes a national average of the UNP vote based on what they received in these provinces in 2014, it would not exceed 27%. That is Mr Wickremasinghe’s legacy to the UNP.

This means that the SLFP vote Mr Sirisena received nationally would have been very small and perhaps not more than 2 -5% of the total vote.

This leaves a SLFP led by him without support from Mr Rajapaksa in a very vulnerable position, as the winners at a general election would be all other parties except the SLFP. On the contrary, should Mahinda Rajapksa lead the SLFP or actively support the SLFP at the next general election he could lead it to victory as the largest single party in Parliament with a very strong possibility, based on the Presidential election voting pattern, of securing a simple majority, and being able to form a government on its own.

Which ever way you see it,  Mahinda Rajapaksa is the king maker.

All voting calculations analysisd by lankapage

FB Messenger Goes Solo, Spells Danger for WhatsApp


The world’s most popular social networking site, Facebook has announced that the users will not have to have facebook account to use its messaging app.

This might come as a competetion for the most popular messaging app WhatsApp which is apparently owned by Facebook itself and both the apps have similar features.

The apps allow users to send text messages, voice messages, pictures to other users of the app for free.

Recently WhatsApp came up with a voice calling feature which was available in the Facebook messaging app already.

This new messenger is already available in the US and Canada and is expected to arrive in India soon.


Google’s smart contact lens may not be far away


Google’s smart contact lens – which is designed to measure glucose levels in people with diabetes – could be here sooner than we expected. While it aimed for a 2019 release, a new patent application for packaging designs suggests that the tech giant might show it off much sooner.

Despite Google Glass not going to plan, it appears the internet giant is preparing to bring another type of wearable tech to market, this time it’s a glucose-measuring smart contact lens.

We first heard of Google’s smart contact lens in 2014, when it was announced by the Google X research lab. The device is aimed at diabetics, and uses miniaturised electronics like chips, sensors, and a hair-thin antenna to test their tears for glucose. The technology saves diabetics from having to draw blood to get a blood-sugar reading, making the whole thing quick and easy.

At the time, Google said it hoped to launch the smart contact lens in five years, but just over a year later and a patent application has surfaced with various packaging designs for the device. This would suggest that the project is way further along than we thought, and much closer to going on sale.

Google has also apparently been in talks with the US Food and Drug Administration about possibly testing the lens. It’s also already been awarded 44 patents, and is waiting on a further 53 involving the project.

While it could still be a while off, the evidence here suggests otherwise. Maybe this is one Google X project that will see the light of day – and possibly sooner than we thought.

Meanwhile, the Google X division is also developing a health-tracking wearable that allows medical professionals to measure a patient’s pulse, heart rhythm, and skin temperature.


Don’t Mess With This Minivan: Toyota Builds an Off-Road Sienna


No, your eyes don’t deceive you. Toyota has created a custom-made Sienna minivan that sits on top of a lifted Tacoma truck chassis. OK, Toyota, now you can call it a Swagger Wagon if you really want.

Black wheels, huge off-road tires, a black grille, and restyled fenders add a bit of brawn to this otherwise traditional minivan. Adding a matte black paint job, tinted headlights, and auxiliary lights, Toyota calls it the Ultimate Utility Vehicle (UUV).

Fittingly, the off-road Sienna will be shown at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in November. But it will also play a major role in Toyota’s Ever-Better Expedition, a project that takes vehicles through challenging, real-world environments. The goal is to improve the product development process and help the company better understand the needs of North American customers.

The Sienna travels alongside the Land Cruiser 200 and a variety of other vehicles setting off on the 110-day journey. The vehicles will head through Death Valley in California, Pikes Peak in Colorado, and the icy roads of Alaska. The Ever-Better Expedition is just one part of the Five Continents Driving Project, which adds more driving challenges across the world.

Source: Toyota

The Dalai Lama celebrated his birthday with Patti Smith at Glastonbury


The UK’s Glastonbury Festival is taking place this weekend, and among performers like Kanye West, Pharrell, and Florence and the Machine, there was another big name: the Dalai Lama. The 79-year-old Tenzin Gyatso appeared briefly on stage today before Lionel Richie’s set to talk about happiness, peace, and the Middle East, according to the BBC.



Then, because that wasn’t an odd enough mix of things happening all at once, Patti Smith came out on stage and presented the spiritual leader with a birthday cake, prompting the audience to sing “Happy Birthday.” (The Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday is on July 6th).

The Dalai Lama also noted that he envied the spunk of aging musicians like Smith. “I very much appreciate those singers and musicians — most of you with white hair,” he said, according to the BBC. “That gives me encouragement. Myself, now 80 years old, I should be more like you.”

This was apparently a surprise visit — Glastonbury’s organizers just announced it this morning — so my guess is the Dalai Lama really just wanted to see Belle and Sebastian live.


Faster Internet Soon to Become a Reality


NEW YORK: In a major breakthrough that can make the internet superfast and cheap, researchers have successfully increased the maximum power — and therefore distance — at which optical signals can be sent through optical fibres.

The advance has the potential to make the internet superfast by increasing data transmission rates for the fibre optic cables — which serve as the backbone of the internet, cable, wireless and landline networks.

A long-standing roadblock to increasing data transmission rates in optical fibre has been that beyond a threshold power level, additional power surge irreparably distorts the information travelling in the fibre optic cable.

“Today’s fibre optic systems are a little like quicksand. With fibre optics, after a certain point, the more power you add to the signal, the more distortion you get, in effect preventing a longer reach,” said corresponding author Nikola Alic from the Qualcomm Institute at University of California – San Diego.

“Our approach removes this power limit, which in turn extends how far signals can travel in optical fibre without needing a repeater,” Alic said.

In lab experiments, the researchers successfully deciphered information after it travelled a record-breaking 12,000 km through fibre optic cables with standard amplifiers and no repeaters, which are electronic regenerators.

The new findings effectively eliminate the need for electronic regenerators placed periodically along the fibre link. The breakthrough in this study relies on wideband “frequency combs” that the researchers developed.

The frequency comb ensures that the signal distortions called “Crosstalks” that arises between bundled streams of information travelling long distances through the optical fibre are predictable, and therefore, reversible at the receiving end of the fibre.

“We have presented a method for leveraging the crosstalk to remove the power barrier for optical fibre,” the authors said.

The research was published in the journal Science.

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