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When a filmmaker takes on the responsibility of telling the story of one of the most notorious terrorists in the world, there is always the risk of humanizing the mass murderer, underlining his barbarism with a cultural/religious rationale that may perhaps be intelligible only to the perpetrator of the violence but nonetheless a rationale to be considered.
In ‘Omerta’ as Hansal Mehta tells the horrific intensely malevolent story of the violence committed by Omar Sheikh (played with chilling transparency by Rajkummar Rao) what emerges is a man who believes violence can set the world’s awry values right again. Not that Omar hopes to achieve that moral and political equilibrium during his lifetime. But no harm in trying, is there?
This tightly-edited nerve-wracking tale of self-righteous butchery opens with a deviously planned kidnapping of a group of foreigners in Delhi and ends with the beheading of Daniel Pearl (Timothy Ryan Hickernell) in the dead of the night when the blood-curdling sound of a throat being slit by a blunt knife (some call it halaal) pierces the stillness.
Here, I have to admit, I felt violated.
Before I proceed with more revolting descriptions of the barbarism that Mehta’s Omar brings to the screen (or maybe you wouldn’t like to hear about it anymore) this is as good a place as any to speak of the sound design. Mandar Kulkrani’s sound recording leaves nothing to chance. The incidental sounds, whether the distant sound of a gunshot or a jihadi falling from a cliff to his paradisical death, the film is a marvel of intricately detailed sound designing.
Anuj Rakesh Dhawan’s camera is a restless soul. It fidgets, it meanders, it burns its way into searching for a centre to the protagonist’s conscience. Indeed, Omerta looks like a film (if you want to call it a film) that could do with a pause for breath. It is a restless breathless rushed and breakeneck hurl into a nemesis that no man can control.
To the life and goals of man who wants to change the world with his vigorously violent methods, Rajkummar Rao brings a smirking serenity, an imperturbable certainty to every (violent) action manned by a core of “truth” obtainable only to those who believe they are among the Chosen Ones.
I specially liked Rao’s conversations in London with his screen-father (Keval Arora). So calm so unruffled, secreting such terrible violence. Rajkummar Rao conveys the unplumbed turbulence of an ocean that’s deceptively calm on the surface. His performance is magnificent without aiming to be so.
Every bit-part of a terrorist, cop, tourist or mullah is played by people who seem to have walked in from their real habitat to be part of a group discussion on their beliefs
Regrettably Hansal Mehta and Rao do not allow us to penetrate the protagonist’s consciousness beyond a point. We only know as much about Omar Shiekh as he and his Creator (and I don’t mean Hansal Mehta) want us to. This, in a way is a desirable path to follow for us, the mute spectators. For violence, as all know, can only be penetrated fully by those who subscribe to it.
“Omerta” is not an easy film to watch. It cuts the protagonist’s movements down to size in episodic chunks and then regurgitates the vivid moments into scenes of colour-blinded documentation. There is a moment where Omar, pretending to be an ordinary tourist in Delhi named Rohit is accosted by an aggressive cop on the road who tells him bluntly that he “looks” like a Muslim.
That moment provides us with a blinding flash of recognition of the problem as to why global terrorism has come to a flashpoint. There are many dialogues and images in this film that will make you wince and squirm.
Who said life after Osama bin Laden would be easy? “Omerta” makes it no easier. (BollywoodCountry)
As robots evolve to do more work around us, the UK-based humanoid robot manufacturer Engineered Arts has infused more human-like facial expressions into one of its robots, which may leave you with an eerie feeling.
In a video posted on YouTube, the robot called 'Ameca' displays various human expressions, like appearing to "wake up" from sleep, as its face shows confusion and frustration when it opens its eyes.
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Once awake, 'Ameca' starts looking at its hands and arms, opens its mouth and raises its eyebrows, just like a human does.
At the end of the video, Ameca smiles and holds a welcoming hand out towards the viewer.
According to Engineered Arts, the humanoid bot is currently unable to walk and it is working towards giving it the ability in the near future.
"Designed specifically as a platform for development into future robotics technologies, 'Ameca' is the perfect humanoid robot platform for human-robot interaction," says the company.
The 'Ameca' hardware is a development based on its own research into humanoid robotics and built on its advanced 'Mesmer' technology.
Ameca' on display at the CES 2022 conference in Las Vegas in the US in January.Unsplash
Also read: NASA humanoid robot dances to technology
Engineered Arts is slated to put 'Ameca' on display at the CES 2022 conference in Las Vegas in the US in January.
"Human-like Artificial Intelligence needs a human-like artificial body. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning systems can be tested and developed on Ameca alongside our powerful 'Tritium' robot operating system," the company posted on its website. (IANS/PR)
(Keywords: Humanoid Robot, Ameca, Technology)
Microsoft has disrupted the activities of a China-based hacking group, gaining control of the malicious websites the group used to attack organisations in the US and 28 other countries around the world.
The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) said in a statement that a federal court in Virginia granted its request to seize websites of the hacking group called 'Nickel', enabling the company to cut off Nickel's access to its victims and prevent the websites from being used to execute attacks.
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"We believe these attacks were largely being used for intelligence gathering from government agencies, think tanks and human rights organisations," said Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President, Customer Security and Trust at Microsoft.
Obtaining control of the malicious websites and redirecting traffic from those sites to Microsoft's secure servers will help the company protect existing and future victims while learning more about Nickel's activities.
Also Read : Fortnite : A Gold Mine for Hackers
"Our disruption will not prevent Nickel from continuing other hacking activities, but we do believe we have removed a key piece of the infrastructure the group has been relying on for this latest wave of attacks," Burt said late on Monday.
To date, in 24 lawsuits - five against nation-state actors -- Microsoft has taken down more than 10,000 malicious websites used by cybercriminals and nearly 600 sites used by nation-state actors.
"We have also successfully blocked the registration of 600,000 sites to get ahead of criminal actors that planned to use them maliciously in the future," the tech giant informed.
"We believe these attacks were largely being used for intelligence gathering from government agencies, think tanks and human rights organisations."Unsplash
In some observed activity, Nickel malware used exploits targeting unpatched on-premises Exchange Server and SharePoint systems.
"However, we have not observed any new vulnerabilities in Microsoft products as part of these attacks. Microsoft has created unique signatures to detect and protect from known Nickel activity through our security products, like Microsoft 365 Defender," the company noted.
Nickel has targeted organisations in both the private and public sectors, including diplomatic organisations and ministries of foreign affairs in North America, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : hacking, China, Microsoft, website, victim, intelligence, attack, malicious, traffic, server, company, disruption, lawsuits, cybercriminals, vulnerability.)
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Chip manufacturer MediaTek on Monday announced that it is focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, substantial expansion in Research and Development capabilities.
MediaTek's plans to boost technology democratisation and enable access to disruptive connectivity with its range of mainstream to flagship 5G chips.
"We at MediaTek are focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, and substantial expansion in our R&D capabilities. For 2022, we are focused on further strengthening our presence in India, offering incredible experiences to customers, and supporting the country's technology initiatives with our expertise and collaboration with leading OEMs," Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India said in a statement.
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In the flagship segment, MediaTek recently announced the Dimensity 9000 chip, which is a milestone of innovation and a rise to the incredible, built-to-power flagship 5G smartphones in the world, the company claims.
MediaTek Dimensity 9000 features a single Cortex-X2 performance core clocked at 3.05GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores at 2.85GHz and four Cortex-A510 efficiency cores at 1.8GHz.
It packs a 10-core Arm Mali-G710 that takes care of graphics processing, the report said.
The chipset also comes packed with MediaTek's fifth-generation APU with six total cores for AI processing.Unsplash
Also read: Realme Unveils First 5G Smartphone
The chipset also comes packed with MediaTek's fifth-generation APU with six total cores for AI processing.
The chipset can handle screens with up to a 180Hz refresh rate at Full HD+ resolutions. It is also the first chipset to have an 18-bit image signal processor, offering the ability to capture 4K HDR video using up to three cameras at the same time, or still photos using up to a massive 320MP sensor. (IANS/PR)
(Keywords: 5G, smartphones, Mediatek)