Archive for October, 2009
Sleekly styled, very well built and turned out with a poise and presence which is right up there, the new multi-faceted Indigo Manza is sure to stir up the hornet’s nest which is the present day C-segment says Adil Jal Darukhanawala after an exclusive first drive
If ever one needs reminding as to how effectively Tata Motors has progressed as a car maker, one only needs to sense, see and experience its newest products. From the time the Indica Vista appeared on our roads, the going seems to have changed completely. The ground-breaking Nano seemed to indicate a whole new paradigm shift for the automotive world but Tata Motors didn’t seem eager to step off the throttle pedal. And while a few yet seem to look at the Indian firm somewhat disparagingly, it is this determined drive which is so very indicative of an automobile firm eager to stand up and be counted in its peer group.
The latest Indigo Manza sedan is yet more proof of the above. And lest someone suggest that it is but an Indica Vista with a boot, it would be doing India’s largest indigenous car maker and its latest product a huge disservice. The Indigo Manza is an all new sedan which like its Indo-Italian stablemate – the Fiat Linea, oozes grace and elegance and doesn’t look at all as if the boot has been grafted on in a tacky manner.
If anything, the Indigo Manza (Manza supposedly means a little steer or a beautiful girl, chose what you want to believe), comes across as probably one of the best looking cars in a segment full of high profile machines strong on style and turnout. The Fiat Linea we have already mentioned but in the C-segment the Manza has also to battle the likes of the Honda City, the Ford Fiesta, the Hyundai Verna, the Chevy Aveo and the Suzuki Swift D?Zire and in the battle for making the best first impression, the Tata product does have its nose ahead.
However, open the doors and step into the interiors and you can sense that this car continues to pack in the “more car per car” Tata DNA. The cabin space of the Indigo Manza is abundantly huge and spacious while also being well thought out and crafted. The front seats (height adjustable for the driver with added lumbar support) are superbly sculpted and though I would have liked to see a bit more side support, the seats seem to hold a person well without tiring him out even after hours behind the wheel. Move on over to the rear seats and you have optimum rear seat comfort for a car in its class with abundant head, elbow and leg room. The ergonomics are perfect and the ease of ingress and egress at the rear will win many plaudits. The seat back angle and the H-points are areas where a great deal of thought has gone in to provide great occupant comfort.
The Manza’s interior is simplistically done in a duo-tone shade of plastics and fabric, and for sure has the best cabin treatment of any Tata Motors’ product but the door latches are low rent in their turnout, the one jarring detail in a tastefully configured interior. The one major improvement over the Indica Vista, and a logical one at that is the instrument binnacle now being relocated at the straight ahead position in direct view of the driver’s vision and not housed in the top central console on the dashboard. The chunky four-spoke steering wheel has large horn pad and features audio controls on the top horizontal spokes. Switchgear is pretty contemporary and fantastic to feel and activate. More so the air con controls which are now electronic switches for the servo motors to actuate the flaps and not cable controlled as in earlier Tata cars. A 2-DIN music system is standard fitment even on the base Manza Aqua and overall the car comes well equipped to begin with while the top end versions (Aura, Aura (ABS) and Aura+) definitely a rung above every other car in the segment with their list of standard features.
Mafia Wars Cheats – Mafia Wars Jobs, Payouts and Rewards
This list is designed to help you level up quickly in Mafia Wars on Facebook or MySpace. Note that the calculations here are taken from the Facebook version of Mafia Wars, which may differ slightly from the MySpace one.
Mafia Wars Jobs and Experience Payouts
Jobs in Mafia Wars are broken up into sections called Job Tiers. Lower level job tiers are designed for lower level characters, although you may find yourself going back to look for special loot or collectible items.
Use this list as reference on what job will get you the most bang for your buck! The list below is also broken up into these tiers. You’ll see the general job tier listed, followed by the individual jobs within that tier, and finally the experience ratio. How the experience ratio work. The simple answer, the higher the number, the best experience per energy.
So, if a job is listed as a ratio of 1.5x, it means that for every one energy point it costs to do the job, you get back 1.5 experience points. In addition, to make things super simple I’ve highlighted the nest job in each tier. Please keep in mind that this list does not account for any prerequisites that are needed for a job, which would in reality make the job cost more energy, and therefore lower the payout ratio.
Street Thug Jobs – Levels 1-4
Mugging – 1x
Corner Store Hold-up – 1x
Warehouse Robbery – 1x
Auto Theft – 1.33x (best experience)
Beat Up Rival Gangster – 1x
Rob a Pimp – 1x
Collect on a Loan – 1x
Associate Jobs – Levels 5-8
Collect Protection Money – 1x
Rough Up Dealers – 1x
Take Out a Rogue Cop – 1x
Perform a Hit – 1x
Bank Heist – 1.67x (best experience)
Jewelry Store Job – 1.62x
Hijack a Semi – 1.29x
Soldier Jobs – Levels 9-12
Destroy Enemy Mob Hideout – 1x
Kill a Protected Snitch – 1x
Bust a Made Man Out of Prison – 1x
Museum Break-in – 1.44 (best experience)
Fight a Haitian Gang – 1.2x
Clip the Irish Mob’s Local Enforcer – 1.22x
Steal a Tanker Truck – 1.29x
Enforcer Jobs – Levels 13-17
Federal Reserve Raid – 1.41x
Smuggle Across the Border – 1.33x
Liquor Smuggling – 1.37x
Run Illegal Poker Game – 2.06x (best experience)
Wiretap the Cops – 1.74x
Rob an Electronics Store – 1.29x
Burn Down a Tenement – 1.44x
Distill Some Liquor – 1.44x
Manufacture Tokens – 1.44x
Get Cheating Deck – 1.44x
Overtake Phone Central – 1.44x
Hitman Jobs – Levels 18-24
Repel the Yakuza – 1.73x (best experience)
Disrupt Rival Smuggling Ring – 1.62x
Invade Tong-controlled Neighborhood – 1.41x
Sell Guns to the Russian Mob – 1.68x
Protect your City against a Rival Family – 1.71x
Assassinate a Political Figure – 1.71x
Exterminate a Rival Family – 1.64x
Obtain Compromising Photos – 1.32x
Frame a Rival Capo – 1.48x
Capo Jobs – Levels 25-34
Steal an Air Freight Delivery – 1.31x
Run a Biker Gang Out of Town – 1.35x
Flip a Snitch – 1.41x
Steal Bank Records – 1.41x
Loot the Police Impound Lot – 1.17x
Recruit a Rival Crew Member – 1.52x
Dodge an FBI Tail – 1.56x
Whack a Rival Crew Leader – 1.6x (best experience)
Consigliere Jobs – Levels 35-59
Influence a Harbor Official – 1.51x
Move Stolen Merchandise – 1.66x
Snuff a Rat – 1.63x
Help a Fugitive Flee the Country – 1.67x
Dispose of a Body – 1.73x (best experience)
Ransom a Businessman’s Kids – 1.37x
Fix the Big Game – 1.4x
Steal an Arms Shipment – 1.73x
Underboss Jobs – Levels 60-99
Extort a Corrupt Judge – 1.81x
Embezzle Funds Through a Phony Company – 1.64x
Break Into the Armory – 1.4x
Rip Off the Armenian Mob – 1.6x
Muscle in on a Triad Operation – 1.8x
Ambush a Rival at a Sit Down – 1.68x
Order a Hit on a Public Official – 1.87x (best experience)
Take Over an Identity Theft Ring – 1.72x
Boss Jobs – Levels 100+
Settle a Beef… Permanently – 1.86x (best experience)
Buy Off a Federal Agent – 1.71x
Make a Deal with the Mexican Cartel – 1.75x
Blackmail the District Attorney – 1.73x
Shake Down a City Council Member – 1.7x
Make Arrangements for a Visiting Don – 1.75x
Take Control of a Casino – 1.84x
Travel to the Old Country – 1.83x
El Soldado Jobs (Cuba) – Levels 35-59
Rob Your Cab Driver – 1.6x (best experience)
Secure A Safehouse – 1.59x
Intimidate The Locals – 1.57x
Silence a Noisy Neighbor – 1.59x
Smuggle In Some Supplies – 1.57x
Set Up A Numbers Racket – 1.58x
Establish Contact With The FRG – 1.56x
Take Out The Local Police Chief – 1.57x
“Persuade” A Local To Talk – 1.59x
Assault A Snitch’s Hideout – 1.58x
El Capitan Jobs (Cuba) – Levels 60-84
Transport A Shipment of US Arms – 1.63x
Meet With The FRG Leadership – 1.68x
Hold Up a Tour Bus – 1.7x
Ambush a Military Patrol – 1.65x
Capture an Army Outpost – 1.66x
Sneak A Friend Of The Family Into The Country – 1.71x (best experience)
Ransack A Local Plantation – 1.64x
Burn Down a Hacienda – 1.65x
El Jefe Jobs (Cuba) – Levels 85-109
Offer “Protection” To A Nightclub – 1.74x
Rob The Banco Nacional Branch – 1.72x
Shake Down a Hotel Owner – 1.69x
Bring The Local Teamsters Under Your Control – 1.76x
Help The FRG Steal A Truckload Of Weapons – 1.7x
Hijack a Booze Shipment – 1.78x (best experience)
Pillage a Shipyard – 1.7x
Take Over the Docks – 1.72x
El Patron Jobs (Cuba) – Levels 110-129
Muscle In On A Local Casino – 1.78x
Establish A Loansharking Business – 1.77x
Eliminate A Rival Family’s Agent – 1.76x
Pass On Some Intel to The FRG – 1.78x
Execute A Regional Arms Dealer – 1.78x
Sink a Competing Smuggler’s Ship – 1.74x
Gun Down an Enemy Crew at the Airport – 1.8x (best experience)
Assassinate An Opposing Consigliere – 1.75x
El Padrino Jobs (Cuba) – Levels 130+
Raid the Arms Depot – 1.77x
Supply The FRG With Some Extra Muscle – 1.8x (tied for best experience)
Capture The Airport – 1.8x (tied for best experience)
Knock Off A Visiting Head Of State – 1.77x
Set Up A High Volume Smuggling Operation – 1.8x (tied for best experience)
Blow Up A Rail Line – 1.8x (tied for best experience)
Attack The Army Command Post – 1.79x
Storm the Presidential Palace – 1.78x
If new jobs are added this list will be updated. In addition, should you spot any errors please contact me and I will make any necessary adjustments so the information is always accurate and up to date.
More on Mafia Wars
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Google has come a long way in its eleven-year history, from its humble beginning as a Stanford University research project in 1998, to the global, multi-billion dollar online presence Google enjoys today.
Earlier this week, the company celebrated its 11th birthday and choose to mark the occasion with an all new Google Doodle, a fun take on their colorful identity. The unique logo illustrated Google’s eleven years in operation by adding an extra L to the company’s name to form a number eleven.
Google’s actual founding date is subject to debate. There are those who think that Google should bring out the cake on the September 4, the day in 1998 that Google filed its incorporation papers and officially became Google, Inc. Still others think that Google should recognize September 15, 1997 as its founding date, as that is when Google registered the google.com domain. But despite the debate, Google has celebrated its anniversary on September 27 for the past few years now, making the date somewhat official.
Any birthday offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past, so just what has Google been up to in the last eleven years?
Early Days: 1998
With 1997 behind them, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin dropped the original BackRub moniker in favor of Google, a play on the mathematical term “googol“. With the Google.com domain registered and a healthy $100,000 investment from Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim, the two Stanford students rented out a $1,700 a month garage space in California’s Menlo Park.
With a makeshift office in place, Google made it official and filed for incorporation as “Google Technology Inc” on September 4, 1998. As the rest of year played out, Google began to receive positive support in the press, and the company also hired their first employee, Craig Silverstein.
Money And Moving: 1999
Thanks to its growing workforce, the fledgling company moved twice in 1999. Google outgrew its modest garage and relocated briefly to a more suitable location in Palo Alto. In June, the company released its very first press release, detailing how the firm had secured $25 million of funding.
During the second half of the year, as the company reached forty employees, Google moved once again to offices in Mountain View, with an in-house chef included. T
his year also saw Google drop the exclamation mark from their logo and settling with its now world-famous branding.
Growth & Expansion: 2000
2000 was a year of growth, as along with the search engine reaching a milestone of one billion pages indexed, the website also expanded to support over fifteen languages including Chinese, French, German, Japanese and more.
How things change. This year (2000) also saw Yahoo! reveal that they will be using Google as their default search provider. At the time this was a big deal, as Yahoo! was once one of the darlings of search, which Google had originally set their eyes on to compete with; mission accomplished? Of course today paints a very different picture as now both Yahoo! and Microsoft are collectively attempting to compete with the search giant that Google has become.
Before the year was out Google also found time to launch the immensely successful AdWords program, and their Toolbar browser plug-in. With the year drawing to a close it was pretty clear that the search engine was on a meteoric rise, as Google was now handling nearly 100 million search queries a day.
Going Global: 2001
With the search engine now available in over twenty-five languages, it only seemed right that the company would expand on a global level with the opening of its first international office in Tokyo.
2001 also saw Google hire ex-Novell chief executive Eric Schmidt, who started at Google as the Chairman of the Board, before quickly moving on to become the CEO.
With the Google search index approaching three billion webpages, it seemed the perfect time to tackle a new type of search: Images. Google launched its Image Search service in July, and initially had an index of over 250 million images.
Getting Geeky: 2002
2002 saw Google launch a range of new products, including the shopping tool Froogle, the experimental Google Labs, and the popular Google News service, a product of the company’s so-called “twenty percent time“. Geeky Google also decided to offer a Klingon translation of the site for all those Star Trek fans out there, bringing the total number of supports languages to over seventy. Spiderman, Warcraft 3 and pop star Shakira were amongst the most common search terms of the year.
The Written Word: 2003
2003 was one verbose year for the search-engine giant. It began in February when Google acquired Pyra Labs, creators of the Blogger service, which allowed the masses to publish their thoughts online with ease. Soon after the acquisition, Google’s company name was announced as a recognized verb, to “google it” had become synonymous with search, however Google strived to steer clear of dictonaries and protect their strong brand.
In December the controversial Google Print was launched: Now known as Google Book Search, the service allows users to view excerpts from thousands of books in digital form. Classic books and their film adaptations, such as Lord Of The Rings and Harry Potter, were some of the most searched for terms on Google in 2003.
Email, Google Style: 2004
Without a doubt 2004 biggest Google news was the introduction of Gmail.
The beta launched on April Fools Day, but Google made sure that Gmails was no joke, offering a then-unheard-of 1GB of storage along with a speedy user experience and the beauty of Google’s search technology built right in to your inbox. The service launched as a strictly invite-only affair, which resulted in an online gold rush of those hoping to land an invitation. After five years, Gmail finally disposed of its beta status early in June of 2009.
2004 also saw Google move to its Mountain View, California “Googleplex” headquarters, where the company still resides today. In addition, Google opened a research and development center in Tokyo and a European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. With over three thousand employees, a range or products under its belt and over eight billion items in its search index Google’s growth continued to amaze.
Mapping The World: 2005
In 2005, Google’s ongoing effort to organize the world’s information continued as
they released Google Maps. Since then, Google has continually improved the mapping service, adding new features such as satellite views and directions, as well as increasing the number of new searchable locations. Google Earth, a 3D satellite photography-based mapping application, soon followed, further complimenting Google’s range of location services.
Oh, and could you imagine naming your newborn baby “Google”? It happened.
A Message From Chad & Steve: 2006
Ending months of speculation, in late 2006 Google finally revealed that they had bought online video site YouTube in a massive $1.65 billion stock transaction.
The Growth Continues: 2007
The year started with Google expanding into new territories once again, with Google Maps making its way to Australia and the Google Docs suite of tools being made available in several additional languages. Gmail was also made available to all, no longer requiring an invitation.
he biggest innovation from Google in 2007 was the addition of street level photography to Google Maps. Dubbed Street View, the service lets you view and explore a number of US locations at street level. Naturally, Street View’s introduction caused some controversy as it raised quite a few privacy concerns.
Popular search terms in 2007 included the iPhone, Facebook and Second Life. Since Google acquired YouTube in 2006, the popular video site has grown into an outright juggernaut: Even the Queen of England has her own YouTube channel.
Going Full Circle: 2008
Last year Google celebrated their tenth year in operation, and showed no signs of slowing down. The company released its first iPhone application, expanded Street View’s coverage to include a number of additional countries, revealed a new version of its Picasa photo management app, and launched Knol, a Wikipedia-type service.
In its biggest move of the year, Google announced that it would enter the browser wars with its own take on the humble web browser. The open source Google Chrome appeared in September of last year, and featured a minimalist interface and home page with shortcuts to frequently visited pages–features that have made their way into other browsers since then.
Later in the year, Google’s foray into software continued as the first ever cell phone to use Android, Google’s open-source mobile OS, hit the scene.
Google At Present: 2009
2009 has been a busy year so far for Google, and it isn’t over yet. So far Google has added offline access to Gmail, introduced its Latitude location service, taken you to Mars with a new version of Google Earth, and re-launched the GrandCentral phone service as Google Voice, to name but a few things.
Google also unveiled its Wave service in May of this year. Wave combines a range of communication and social networking activities into a single web application and is expected to be available to the masses later this year.
The biggest news from Google this year came when the firm announced that it plans to release an operating system. Google Chrome OS is expected to land next year, and will initially be aimed at low end devices such as netbooks. Several hints at what the OS could look like have leaked online, but Google have yet to comment on any supposed screenshots.
What Does The Future Hold?
With eleven years behind them, Google is still innovating and tweaking. What we can expect next from the search giant is anyone’s guess, but in the immediate future we can look forward to taking Chrome OS for a spin, trying out new versions of Android, and watching countless videos on YouTube.