What’s New in Technology for 2017

Letter from New Delhi

Driverlesss cars and other gizmos have been showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2017.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga  can still bend backwards to become a mini TV, and you can still get it with an OLED panel, giving it what is arguably the most gorgeous notebook screen in existence.

LG’s OLED TV “Wallpaper TV” — and given that it measures just 2.6 millimeters thick, the nickname fits. LG has put out beautiful OLED TVs for the past few years, so there’s little reason to think this 4K HDR set will be any different.

The Sevenhugs Smart Remote controls different devices in your smart home just by pointing at them.

The Mohu AirWave is a wireless antenna that lets you watch free TV on your smartphone or tablet.

Away from the CES, here is a cautious list of exciting new gadgets, especially mobiles,  are in store for 2017.

Apple – To mark the tenth anniversary of iPhone, the new model iPhone8 may feature AMOLED display and innovative design. The next iMac could have USB-C port among other improvements. iPads may have new screen sizes. A better pencil could be in the works.

Samsung – Itching to claw back, a new Galaxy Note 8 can redeem its reputation. The smartphone may feature an anticipated ‘Beast Mode’. For fans and VR enthusiasts, this is something to look forward to! This company is also planning to release a foldable smartphone this year after patenting it.

Google – Building on the success of Pixel, Google is aiming at its new model and also planning a laptop and a smartwatch. Google’s Laptop, a hybrid gadget (functioning as a tablet and laptop simultaneously) will probably feature the Andromeda OS.

Dell – Dell confirmed that it’s working on a convertible version of its popular XPS 13 laptop and will announce the new system in 2017.

BlackBerry – Made a splash with new smartphones last year with impressive results. Possibly, they may launch newer versions this year. And they could well be revolutionary!

* * *

Mega Birthday Celebrations of Sikh Guru Gobind

Over Half a Million Sikhs Converge in Patna

More than half a million Sikhs are expected to converge at Patna, the capital of India’s Bihar state, on 6 January 2017 to celebrate the 350th birthday of Guru Govind Singh Ji, the tenth guru of the Sikhs. The famous Takht Sri Patna Sahib Gurudwara, also known as Harmandir Sahib, is the birthplace of the great guru and the second most important Sikh shrine. Patna Sahib is considered to be the second most important Takhat (holy throne) after the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Gobind Rai Sodhi was born to the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, and Mata Gujri on 22 December 1666, at this site in Patna. He was anointed Guru Gobind Singh Ji as the supreme leader of Sikhs when he was nine years old, becoming the tenth and the last of the Sikh Gurus. On the site of the house at Patna in which Gobind Rai was born and where he spent his early childhood now stands a sacred shrine, Takht Sri Harimandar Sahib.

In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, formed the Khalsa, by choosing the five Pyaras (beloved ones) from different castes, different locations and different vocations. This act reinforces the Guru’s much needed vision of creating a unity amongst all peoples beyond caste, vocation and ethnicity.

Guru Gobind Singh Ji promoted ‘Sarbat da Bhalla’ (the good and welfare of all) and championed universal solidarity by proclaiming that the whole human race as one family.

The Bihar government has gone all out to welcome devotees from all over India and the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and many other countries. The capital city has been spruced up, roads widened; three massive tent cities built, reopened a nearby railway station, renovated and illuminated the holy shrines and declared three public holidays from 3 to 5 January for an international conclave and continue until 8 January. Over 300 CCTV cameras have been installed at critical locations for security. Tourist information centres have been set up. Billed as the biggest and the grandest event organized by the government of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the event will be attended by Prime Minister Modi.

More than 300 special buses and 10 special trains will carry devotees to Patna from Punjab and elsewhere. Besides the tent cities, visitors have been offered free accommodation at schools and hotels. Nine ‘langars’ serving free meals, spread over different locations, are already serving about 300,000 believers every day and 10,000 volunteers have landed in Patna to help in the distribution of food at these locations.

All these celebrations will focus on the dynamic saint soldier and his legacy of Khalsa, the pure ones. Khalsa is the name given by Guru Gobind Singh ji to all Sikhs who have been initiated by taking Amrit and have to live by Five Ks:

1. Kesh – uncut hair to represent the natural appearance of sainthood. Kanga – a small comb.

2. Kaccha – warrior short trousers, also denotes chastity.

3. Kara – steel bangle as a sign of restraint and bondage, and a symbol of dedication to the Guru. Guru Gobind Singh proclaimed that by wearing Kara all fears will be removed.

4. Kirpan – a sword for defence, a symbol of dignity, power and courage.

A Khalsa is to lead his life according to the Guru’s teaching and treat everyone as equal without considerations of caste, profession or religion.

The Guru’s spirit lives in Guru Granth Sahib or the holy book and the Khalsa.

(Photos Amit Kumar)

Kul Bhushan worked as a newspaper Editor in Nairobi for over three decades and now lives in New Delhi

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