Bollywood, cricket on top, says Google

What’s been on our minds this year? Search giant Google’s trends for the year that was indicates that we have been obsessed with Bollywood and cricket, even as we frantically searched for UIDAI as the ambitious Aadhaar project entered an aggressive growth phase in the latter half of the year.

Titled Zeitgeist, this year’s results are a departure from last year, when utilitarian sites, mostly e-commerce and banking services related, topped search queries. While Chennai Express and IPL 2013 were the top two searched trends, followed by another Bollywood flick Aashiqui 2, the fourth and fifth positions were taken by UIDAI and the postgraduate engineering entrance test GATE 2014 respectively.

Top news searches, however, saw a more eclectic mix: Narendra Modi’s nomination as prime ministerial candidate topped the list, followed by BlackBerry phones, sportspersons Rahul Dravid and Saina Nehwal, and Vijay Mallya. In other political news, the Patna High Court and Karnataka election results and the Aarushi Talwar case made the list. ‘The Indian Economy 2013’ also made the top searched news list.

Yahoo says Modi dislodged Kejriwal

Quick on the heels of Google, Yahoo India also announced its 2013 Year in Review, which is based, not just on search trends, but also on what users read, recommended and shared on the site. Yahoo’s verdict is more subject-oriented. It finds that the trends indicate an all-consuming interest in politics, a trend hardly surprising given the general elections are around the corner. Yahoo’s release says that the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi or NaMo as he is being increasingly referred to tops the ‘Newsmaker of the Year’ list, dislodging Arvind Kejriwal who was the top newsmaker of 2012.

The celebrity list was also topped by Narendra Modi in a list of the ‘Most Searched Personalities’, in which all nine other slots were held by Bollywood’s leading ladies. Though Sachin Tendulkar hanging up his boots pushed him to the top of the trends, other news that trended was the IPL spot-fixing. Virat Kohli continued his stellar run to establish himself as the ‘Cricketer of the Year’. In cinema, actor Deepika Padukone topped the Bollywood newsmaker list, while a chunk of queries were about veterans such as Pran who passed away this year.

Now, a Windows app for Amar Chitra Katha

Software major Microsoft India and Amar Chitra Katha Ltd. launched the first official Amar Chitra Katha comic application, ACK COMICS, exclusively for Windows 8 tablets and notebooks. An iStore app was launched for ACK as early as 2009, while an Android app followed suit the next year.

Manas Mohan, COO, ACK Media, said that this was the publishing house’s first digital comic store app in association with Microsoft, and that he hoped it would enable them to reach out to many more readers. The app can be downloaded for free from the Windows Store.

Pushing power graphics

Graphics processing major NVIDIA announced that its new partnerships and products in the areas of engineering, scientific research and enterprise-scale data analytics are driving the adoption of GPU-accelerated computing technology in India. It named IIT Bombay as India’s first CUDA Center of Excellence, which the company claims is the highest honour given to institutions for groundbreaking educational programs and research using NVIDIA GPU accelerators and the CUDA parallel programming environment.

In a release, NVIDIA also announced its collaboration with IBM on GPU-accelerated versions of IBM’s wide portfolio of enterprise software applications that will enable customers to more rapidly process, secure and analyse massive volumes of streaming data.

Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director, South Asia, NVIDIA, said that compared with other major regions around the world, India was experiencing the fastest growth in new CUDA developers. NVIDIA CUDA 6, the latest version of the world’s most pervasive parallel computing platform and programming model, makes parallel programming easier than ever, enabling software developers to dramatically decrease the time and effort required to accelerate their scientific, engineering, enterprise and other applications with GPUs, a company release explained.