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Monday, May 30, 2005

Bio-Securty:: The Secured Road Ahead..?

Iris scans and fingerprint identification will become commonplace for international travelers as these sophisticated biometrics supplant traditional airport security methods, a top Homeland Security official says. Is it really worth to have such a bio-metric security system?
More:
For Security, the Eyes Have It
Bio-Security Promising but Risky

Friday, May 27, 2005

Eleven steps to a better brain

New Scientist provides a list of eleven ways to boost your brainpower--from smart drugs to more sleep to training your "working memory"--and surveys the research behind the claims.
From the article:
Until recently, a person's IQ - a measure of all kinds of mental problem-solving abilities, including spatial skills, memory and verbal reasoning - was thought to be a fixed commodity largely determined by genetics. But recent hints suggest that a very basic brain function called working memory might underlie our general intelligence, opening up the intriguing possibility that if you improve your working memory, you could boost your IQ too.
Working memory is the brain's short-term information storage system. It's a workbench for solving mental problems. For example if you calculate 73 - 6 + 7, your working memory will store the intermediate steps necessary to work out the answer. And the amount of information that the working memory can hold is strongly related to general intelligence.
A team led by Torkel Klingberg at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, has found signs that the neural systems that underlie working memory may grow in response to training. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans, they measured the brain activity of adults before and after a working-memory training programme, which involved tasks such as memorising the positions of a series of dots on a grid. After five weeks of training, their brain activity had increased in the regions associated with this type of memory (Nature Neuroscience, vol 7, p 75).

Link:: Article

Euro-TV tuner-peripheral does everything and will shortly be illegal

Amazing HDTV USB Peripheral.Plug this into your PC's USB and receive standard and high-def DVB television. Use your computer for a PVR, burn your favorite shows to DVD, and so on. May soon become the victim of DVB working Group.
A Snap
Various Supported Features....

* Supports any notebook PCs as well as desktop
* Bus-powered (No power adapter required)
* Small form-factor and fancy design which can fit even your pocket
* High resolution, crystal clear picture quality
* Provides ultimate picture quality experience on PC
* Crisp, clear picture quality even on LCD and low resolution monitor
* Record digital HDTV directly to your hard drive like a VCR
* Supports native mode .MPG capturing as well as “AS IS” transport stream format.
* Cut streaming files "on-the-fly" with the APP software
* Record one channel while watch another with FusionHDTV PCI
* USB application can run side by side with PCI
* Supports recording one channel while watch another if you already have FusionHDTV PCI.
* Supports fastest DVD/Divx conversion for burning and archiving
* Supports ultra fast native mode .MPG conversion
* Bundles DVD authoring and burning software
More:
Link (via Red Ferret Journal)
DVB:: Digital Video Broadcasting

Apple Cult and ISCON Bhatt!

Krishnas vs Mac cultists toon

Really a Good one. Each praises his own Lord.Is it that Apple stole the Technology from ISCON?
This Joy of Tech strip made me chuckle -- Hare Krishnas telling of iPod-bearing Mac cultists for singing and dancing on their pitch. Aren't they Copy Cats?






More:
Link

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Nokia: An Apostle in the OpenSource World

Nokia said Wednesday( May 25 05), that its patented technology may be freely used in the Linux kernel, making the Finnish cell phone giant the newest computing company to begin offering intellectual property protections to open-source programmers.
Sun Microsystems may soon follow the same forover 500 patents of the Open Solaris Project.

Is it a Boon or bane to the OpenSource World?
At one end it widens the opportunities for the open souce world to get more out of these codes, at the other end it narrows down the creativity of the openSource World, by letting the OpenSource world to cribble down to these codes.

More At:
CNET News.Com
Patent Staments from Nokia

India The Land of Mysteries::Praying monkey in India

No wonder, its the second time that i have come across this case in India.
Earlier it was in a small village near Gadag in Karnataka, and Now in a village of orissa.
In the former case, the monkey worshipped in the Hanumna(Monkey God) temple and fastened until death.
Now its the ape that apes the hindu rituals.

More Details from WEB 123India.com:: Praying Monkey in India

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

First Free OpenSouce JAVA IDE

Sun and the NetBeans software Open Source community recently announced the availability of the NetBeans 4.1 IDE, the industry's first free, Open Source Java IDE, that offers complete Java platform support

More:
Full Report from CXOtoday.com
Download station
NetBeans Home

Disney - Virtual Magic Kingdom

"Virtual Magic Kingdom" - Disneys free online multiplayer game with the awesome magic of disney theme parks from home. Now into its beta stage.
Experience the difference.
The Wiered part of it is that it remains closed during the morning sessions 10:00 to 3:30 IST.

The Screen Snapshot is here:











Link
Install and Play Now

How often do we Lie and Why?

As compared to other species, the "Homo Sapiens" are the most fraudulent liars and deciets. Do we lie just because it works, or is there something beyod this, for which we portray ourselves as something other than what we are, with the tools of lie, fraud and deciet. Is this a act a boon or bane to the mankind?

More :
Natural Born-Liars
Why we Lie?
Darker side of the Human Nature

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Boom in the Browsers: FireFox, Opera what about IE 7

Since MS announced the tabbed browsing feature in IE 7, I am just waiting for MS IE 7, can it compete with the Outstanding Opera 8 and Fabulous FireFox 1.04.
Opera Software recently released version 8.00 of its eponymous Web browser. I found both Firefox and Opera are capable browsers and anytime better than the MS IE 6, and though they are very different, each has much to offer to any user.

More At: NewsForge brings the comparison of OPERA 8 and FireFox 1.0

Update MAY 24 05:
Pros and Cons of Opera and FireFox
Vote for the Best Browser

Update May 25 05:
Challenges for MS IE7
Who is the best when security Matters?
Linux More Secure than Windows?
MS Vs Linux: Is it War of Ideology?

software code for infringement

Software houses can check whether the code they develop has copied even just one snippet of code from any of 38 million open source files, using a new product that relies on source code 'fingerprinting' to reduce the risk of getting sued.

The product from San Francisco-based Palamida promises to give customers a full understanding of the origin, version, location and licence of open source and other third party code in their software products and applications.

While open source software can be used in commercial products, vendors must comply with the licence terms. The risk of misuse was highlighted last month when the UK subsidiary of security software firm Fortinet settled a lawsuit over its alleged non-compliance with the terms of the General Public Licence (GPL), which underpins the distribution of most open source software. So any software house need to be aware of what third party code has been used in development projects.

Palamida's product checks for copying by searching against its massive database of open source files, pulled from 40,000 of the most commonly used open source projects. CEO Mark Tolliver says his company's database is the world's largest and that its product, IP AMPlifier 3.0, reduces software compliance efforts "from weeks to hours."

Annual subscriptions are not cheap: pricing ranges from $50,000 to $250,000, depending on the size of the buyer. This gets you software to scan for binary, source code, images, icons, text documents and XML, checking whether any of your resources were in fact cut 'n' pasted from elsewhere. It is looking for fingerprint matches – which can be given away by project names, licenses, licence texts, licensor information, project release numbers, or any of its billions of source code snippets.

The company says its Knowledge Repository is many terabytes in size. But a compression algorithm is applied to put this on a size more manageable for storing on the customer's system.

"We specifically designed the software to work behind our customers' firewall because early feedback from customers indicated that this is an incredibly sensitive area for them, and they would certainly feel uncomfortable about 'sending' their code to any server outside their firewalls," a company spokesperson told OUT-LAW. "The only communication the customer has with Palamida is that we send updates of the Compliance Library to the customer."

Susan McKiernan, an IT lawyer with Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, said:

"There are only so many ways of writing the same instruction – so there is a good chance that software like this will flag matches where there has been no copying. There is no infringement if two people happen to write identical code independently – it's only a problem when one person copies another's work. But that is a common problem. So software like this may help with a firm's compliance efforts."

McKiernan added: "It's a clear indication of straightforward copying when the comments within code are duplicated, or better still, the errors. And that, presumably, is what will ring the alarm bells in this product."

More At :
The Register

Build Your Own Linux Home Theater PC

If you have ever dreamed of building a home theatre PC, Extremetech has details on building a Linux-based system, and covers all the details of this epic journey. They did get the unit to run lots of features such as CDs, video, TV, weather, media libraries, guide viewing and show recording.
How worth is it as compared to getting a new HTPC?

Digital Authentication or Manual Authentication?

Evolution of Cryptography: From Ceaser Text to RFID's to Vein Readers. What next?
Authenticate Yourself with nothing other than Yourself.

fuji_palm_vein.jpgFujitsu has announced that the University of Tokyo Hospital's room access security system will now use their contactless palm vein authentication technology. Palm veins are unique amongst individuals, and with the exception of size, don't change at all over one's lifetime. They offer more consistent readings throughout different environments and are not much affected by other factors like cold weather, injury and chafing. Since the unit is also contactless, its deployment makes perfect sense in a hospital, where you obviously want to try to touch as few surfaces as possible. We briefly mentioned a similar device last month, so it's neat to see them already hitting the mainstream.

More:
Press Release [Fujitsu via Medgadget]


Monday, May 16, 2005

Windows vs Linux: a modern desktop comparison

Simple ignorance hampers the growth of desktop Linux. Few even recognize the name. Of those, some mistakenly believe Linux is as cold and utilitarian as the command line. But people who really know Linux, know that Linux can be warm and friendly like any other OS. And now, there's photographic proof.

The crew at OpenSourceVersus.com have assembled a collection of screenshots displaying the core functions of Windows XP, Ubuntu 5.04, and SuSE 9.3 (both run from LiveCDs) side by side. This useful collection of images illustrates that Linux is not just a toy for the slide rule set; normal people will want to use it, too.

See the screen shots and compare Windows XP, Ubuntu, and SuSE -- from the boot screen, to the trash can -- at OpenSourceVersus.com.

Booting up

For more comparisons on this topic click here.


Outlook 2003 Evolution 2.2.1.1 Kontact 1.1
E-Mail



MoreScreen Shots: OutLook Vs Evolution Vs Kontact

Friday, May 13, 2005

Blue-Ray Vs HD-DVD or Sony Vs Toshiba?



The latest technology standards war intensified this week as Japanese electronics giants used a major Tokyo tech show to show off two technologies jostling for position in the high-capacity storage market - Blu-ray and HD DVD.

Both Blu-ray and HD DVD are designed to do the same thing - bring huge capacity to disks so that more information can be stored, played and recorded on them.

Blu-ray disks with 52GB (gigabytes) of capacity are already on sale, and eight-layered versions being developed will provide 200GB of storage.

Blu-ray boasts higher storage capacity than its competitor, but HD DVD backers cite the lower cost of producing their technology. They claim it will be cheaper with their products to put machines and disks into the market.

Toshiba said the 45GB disc has already won the approval of the DVD Forum, the DVD standard's governing body. The Forum has also approved Toshiba's dual-mode disc, which bonds a dual-layer DVD onto the back of a dual-layer HD DVD, allowing content providers to support current- and future-generation players with the same product. Toshiba announced the dual-mode disc, since when JVC has come up with a similar dual-mode

Its time to think and react. Will there be an end to the internal rivalry and will the media world settle down to one common
unified format.

More:
Toshiba Unveils 45GB HD DVD
DVD Battle Hard To Quit
Toshiba's New DVD Can Store 12-Hour HD Video
More companies join HD-DVD/Blu-ray peace talks

Recent Update 23 May 05:

"TDK the new entrant for the DVD Standards War... May well be the Final Frontier"

TDK prototype Blu-ray Disc stores twice as much data

TDK has announced that they have developed a prototype Blu-Ray disc capable of storing twice as much data as the current version of the same format disc. In fact, they have also developed the technology, which enables them to write on it twice as fast. This would make it a perfect medium for taking backups of huge quantities of data.

TDK unveiled this disc at an exhibition and claimed that it can be written on with speeds reaching 72Mbit/s, which is double the 36Mbit/s rate for current Blu-ray Discs. For achieving this, TDK has used a more powerful laser and made changes to the material of the disc’s recording layer.

More At:
TechWhack News

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Indian Company Shows Off Sub-$200 Laptop

Portables
The Indian company which came out with the Simputer has now come with a PC which cost roughly INR 10,000; that's just about US $200. The project was backed by the Indian government R&D department Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)." Geo2677 points out an article on the low-cost computer at hinduonline.net and another at the Times of India, and writes "The new PC is Linux-based and has office applications, a browser and audio/video capabilities. With a keyboard that can be rolled up, it looks pretty sleek. A U.S. company is already using it in pilot projects, and many more have shown interest. The Indian government hopes that this will push the PC revolution to the masses. It aimed for home users and small businesses/shops. The PC penetration in India is very low, at a measly 13 million, due to the high costs involved.

More:
Hindu Online
Times of India
Simputer the Makers

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

3G mobiles switch on to Linux

Mobile phone maker Qualcomm has revealed that it will add Linux support to its Mobile Station Modem chipsets, giving the open source operating system on the handset a further push.
Qualcomm Supports Linux on Next-Gen Mobile Phone Chips
Qualcomm plans to support Linux in its next-generation mobile phone chips in a move that will allow handset manufacturers to design new high-end 3G devices using the open-source platform and the CDMA digital wireless technology it created.



More:
Qualcomm Supports Linux on NextGen 3G Mobile Phones
3G Mobiles Switch on to Linux

Chip Maker Develops Denser Storage Method

Is there any end to size limitations..?

Matrix Semiconductor plans to announce a breakthrough in one-gigabit chips.
The approach seems to be like storing data in an array of circuits stacked in up to four levels.
With smaller sizes and larger space.

More:
New York Times Report
Matrix Semiconductors

Self-referential multiple-choice test

"This is a multiple-choice standardized test where (almost) all the questions are about the test itself. Since it's possible to get 20 out of 20, the test is actually a logic puzzle. And it's fun."

MoreOver There's only One Possible Set of Correct Answers.
Paper's Here:
Test Yourself Now
Interactive Version

IF You Fail to Find the Paper ThenTry Here:
TestPaper at My SPYMAC Forum

Verify Your answers with my Solutions:
My Solution at SPYMAC Blog
My Solution at SPYMAC Forum

Monkeys treat robot arm as bonus appendage

Only recently though did the researchers discover that the monkey wasn't moving the arm in lieu of its real arm but rather that neurons in the brain had shifted to control the robot.
 Images Stock Showcase Nicolelis Site L "Mikhail's analysis of the brain signals associated with use of the robotic and animals' actual arms revealed that the animal was simultaneously doing one thing with its own arm and something else with the robotic arm," (Nicolelis) said. "So, our hypothesis is that the adaptation of brain structures allows the expansion of capability to use an artificial appendage with no loss of function, because the animal can flip back and forth between using the two. Depending on the goal, the animal could use its own arm or the robotic arm, and in some cases both.

"This finding supports our theory that the brain has extraordinary abilities to adapt to incorporate artificial tools, whether directly controlled by the brain or through the appendages" said Nicolelis. "Our brain representations of the body are adaptable enough to incorporate any tools that we create to interact with the environment. This may include a robot appendage, but it may also include using a computer keyboard or a tennis racket. In any such case, the properties of this tool become incorporated into our neuronal 'space'," he said...

"From a philosophical point of view, we're saying that the sense of self is not limited to our capability for introspection, our sense of our body limits, and to the experiences we've accumulated," Nicolelis said. "It really incorporates every external device that we use to deal with the environment."



More:
Link
Journal of Neuroscience

Motorola announces nanotube displays

NanoTechnology the revolution ahead

Motorola displayed a working prototype of its breakthrough carbon nanotube display this week, sparking rumors about the future of flat screens.

More:
Nano-Emissive Display (NED)
AtomTech - The Big Down
Intel: Silicon NanoTechnology

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Firefox Vulnerable to Malicious Code Writers

Security firm Secunia is reporting two "extremely critical" flaws in Mozilla's Firefox. The vulnerabilities can be exploited by malicious people who wish to take control of victims' computers. The Mozilla Foundation is aware of the two flaws. The organization said there are currently no known active exploits of these vulnerabilities, although a "proof of concept" has been reported. Mozilla said changes to its update Web service have been made to mitigate the risk of an exploit.

More:
FireFox Vulnerable
Two FireFox Security Flaws Lead To Exploit Potential
Exploit Code chases Two FireFox Flaws

Twelve New Moons for Saturn

Adding the net count to 34 moons in all.
New studies support the theory that Saturn's moon Phoebe was captured from the outer solar system by the planet's gravitational pull rather than formed in place. The discovery gives scientists the chance to study an object that has not changed much since the birth of the solar system.
Astronomers trying to perfect a model for how the solar system formed got a dozen tiny steps closer to their goal last week, thanks to the discovery of 12 additional moons around Saturn.
Yet the mystery remains unresolved.

More:
Saturn's ODD Moon Out

Friday, May 06, 2005

Yahoo developing an audio search engine

Web giant Yahoo is developing a search engine for finding downloadable songs and music data from across the Internet.

If Google's looking out for Image Search, Yahoo to reply with the audio songs search. This is the competition in true sense.

More:
Audio Search Engine
Yahoo readies iTunes rival for launch




Thursday, May 05, 2005

Quantum physics to fox hackers

Cryptography could secure VoIP and video communications

A scientific breakthrough means quantum cryptography could soon provide hack-proof security for voice-over IP and video communications.
Last week, IT researchers from Toshiba Research Europe, QinetiQ and US firm MagiQ, successfully demonstrated at a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) event that the principles of quantum physics can be deployed to protect highly sensitive communications.

More:
Hack Proof Cryptogaphy Goes Quantum

Tuesday, June 21 -2005
Update :
The Hacker-Proof Network

World's First Stereographic Mapping Satellite

Cartosat-1 attracts attention of four Countries
May 09 05
Cartosat-1 attracts attention of four Countries India recently launched two satellites into the space using a polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. One of these two was a remote sensing satellite named Cartosat-1.

India Successfully Launches the Pair of Satellites
India Successfully Launches Pair of Satellites

The CARTOSAT-1, India's 11th remote sensing satellite, is expected to give further impetus to cadastral-level applications with its high resolution imageries. It carries two state-of-the-art panchromatic cameras that will take black and white stereoscopic pictures of the earth in the visible region of electromagnetic spectrum. It is the first satellite to carry two cameras to take 3-D images.

Complete Informations


India Launches World's First Stereo Imaging Satellite

India will today inaugurate a new launch pad at its Satish Dhawan space port near Chennai, on the south-east coast, by putting the world's first stereographic mapping satellite into orbit.
The most innovative feature of the 1.6-tonne Cartosat-1 is its pair of cameras, which will give stereo images of the earth's surface that can distinguish features down to 2.5 metres across. They will directly generate three-dimensional maps that have until now been achievable only indirectly, by combining data from a large number of satellite passes over the same place.

"Such a stereographic imaging system does not exist in the civil sector anywhere else," says Mr Nair, chairman of the Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). "It will give information about heights that will be very useful in applications such as planning power lines." Cartosat-1 will join what is already the world's largest cluster of non-military remote sensing satellites. Six Indian spacecraft are already observing the earth with a wide range of instruments.

On Tuesday, Isro chairman G Madhavan Nair and other top space scientists offered prayers to Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala for the success of the launch. Models of the rocket and the Cartosat satellite were brought to the temple to seek the god’s blessings.

More:
India’s space program launches new satellite
Indian space rocket blasts off with two satellites - UPDATE

NOKIA N91 Music Phone

Nokia Enters Music Cell Phone Fray with N91 Model
Friday - April 29, 2005
Mobile handset giant Nokia this week officially joined the music phone race whereby technology companies are hoping to produce hits by combining mobile phones with iPod-type music players. Nokia enters the fray with its N91 handset featuring a 4 GB hard drive and room for 3,000 songs. The company said the phone will offer users a connected music device featuring over-the-air access to operator music stores

More:
NOKIA N91

Panther Security

Apple Releases Panther Security Update

Apple Computer has released Security Update 2005-005 for both desktop Client and Server versions of Mac OS X Panther. The updates address more than 20 security issues in Mac OS X 10.3.9.

The update includes fixes for Apache buffer overflow problems, AppKit issues with TIFF images, AppleScript, Bluetooth security issues, Finder, Help Viewer, LDAP, libXpm, lukemftpd, NetInfo (Server only), Server Admin (Server only), Terminal, VPN, and X11.

More:
APPLE News

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

MFC to aid for Clean Source of Power

Hold On! Its not the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) but the Microbial Fuel Cells.
It might seem too good to be true, but Bruce Logan, professor of environmental engineering at Penn State University believes that the MFC's aid to the Cleaning up of wastewater and generating electricity at the same time.

More :
A Clean Source of Power

Web Communications Now A 'Breeze'


Macromedia recently announced the immediate availability of a major new release of Macromedia Breeze that delivers high-impact online conferencing and collaborative Web communications everyone can access instantly.

Breeze 5 harnesses the ubiquity of Macromedia Flash Player with more than 500 million Internet users who can instantly enter an online meeting or access rich, on-demand presentations without the frustrating experiences and painful downloads associated with other Web communication systems.

According to the company, Breeze 5 enables enterprises to extend and integrate Web communications and conferencing, even inside a firewall. IT departments can deploy the solution enterprise-wide without changing existing client infrastructure because Flash Player is already deployed on multiple platforms, including Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.

More:
Macromedia updates Web conferencing tools
Macromedia Adds VoIP to Breeze 5

Google eyes better news searches

Google is planning to improve online news searches. A patent filed in the US will allow stories to be ranked according to their quality, rather than just by relevance.

More:
Google news Goes for quality in its new Avatar
Google news to get Quality Updates
BBC:
Google eyes better news searches
ZDNet: Goolge seeks all the news that's fit to search


Ada 2006 Draft ISO Standard Available

Ada - a modern programming language designed for large, long-lived applications - and embedded systems in particular - is set to get some extensions in its next incarnation Ada 2006. There is a talk here, highlighting the most important changes (eg. cyclic type structures, Java-like interfaces, standardization of the Ravenscar tasking profile, container libraries, etc.). Updated drafts of the standard are available here. For general information about Ada there is a Wikibook Programming:Ada.

More:
ADA Wiki Book
Drafts

Darwin 8.0.1

Darwin

Powered by Darwin Apple's open source projects allow developers to customize and enhance key Apple software. Through the open source model, Apple engineers and the open source community collaborate to create better, faster and more reliable products for our users.

Beneath the appealing, easy-to-use interface of Mac OS X is a rock-solid foundation that is engineered for stability, reliability, and performance. This foundation is a core operating system commonly known as Darwin. Darwin integrates a number of technologies, most importantly Mach 3.0, operating-system services based on 4.4BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution), high-performance networking facilities, and support for multiple integrated file systems.

More:
The source code for Darwin 8.0.1 is available via the web
Source Code
Release Notes
Darwin 8.0 Source Code
The sources for Darwin 8.0,corresponds to Mac OS X 10.4,
Source Code download

Is Open Source Illegal?

Just Because You Dislike Open Source, Doesn't Mean It's Illegal.

It's weird how some people seem to think that because they don't like something or they can't figure out how to adjust to a changing marketplace, something must be illegal. Groklaw is picking apart a news article that seems to give a lot more credit to a bizarre lawsuit claiming that the concept of the GPL is invalid. Considering that the GPL is just a contractual agreement that no one is forced into using, it's hard to see how it can be invalid. The idea that the GPL is illegally "fixing prices" also seems somewhat laughable. All it really means it that this particular programmer hasn't figured out how to make money off of his own software. That's not because of something illegal going on, but his own failure to understand and react to the business environment.

More On this:
Anti Open Source Article
Bizarre Lawsuit

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Quantum CryptoGraphy

Voice and video streamed over the net could be made untappable thanks to a breakthrough by Toshiba.

Rural Indian Kids Still Learning Computers Quickly

India and IT go Hand in Hand. Though the nation fails to provide food,shelter and other basic needs, it wont fail in providing the Computer knowledge.

While some have been complaining that kids without computer literate parents are at a disadvantage, studies in India have shown that might not be true. We first mentioned this experiment many years ago, when a researcher cut a hole in a wall and put a computer in it for street children and discovered that they could teach themselves to use computers very quickly. It appears the same guy is still at, going around to rural villages and giving out computers to see how quickly kids pick up the basics -- and discovering that it's rarely a problem. With a little bit of experimenting, the kids figure out all the basics. Of course, not everyone is enthusiastic about the program -- claiming that these kids need a lot more (food, medicine, etc.) before they need a computer. However, it does give hope that the idea of the "digital divide" for less than well-off children may not be that big a deal.

Go throught the BBC Article.

Life on Mars Likely

No Wonder, that life does exist somewhere in the endless universe.
Soon it may be that we find the traces of life to be at the arms lenght from our planet.
Evidence is building to suggest biological processes might be operating on the red planet, and life on Mars, many scientists believe, is now more a likelihood than merely a possibility.

Tantalizing evidence is accumulating that suggests the red planet is alive, but incontrovertible proof is still lacking. And while the European Space Agency is keen to send a lander to find it, a history of failed life-finding missions at NASA makes Americans more cautious.

"The life on Mars issue has recently undergone a paradigm shift," said Ian Wright, an astrobiologist at the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute at the Open University in Britain, "to the extent now that one can talk about the possibility of present life on Mars without risking scientific suicide."

Formisano showed evidence of the presence of formaldehyde in the atmosphere. Formaldehyde is a breakdown product of methane, which was already known to be present in the Martian atmosphere, so in itself its presence is not so surprising. But Formisano measured formaldehyde at 130 parts per billion.

To astrobiologists it was an incredible claim. It means huge amounts of methane must be produced on Mars. (While methane lasts for hundreds of years in the atmosphere, formaldehyde lasts for only 7.5 hours.) "It requires that 2.5 million tons of methane are produced a year," said Formisano.

"There are three possible scenarios to explain the quantities: chemistry at the surface, caused by solar radiation; chemistry deep in the planet, caused by geothermal or hydrothermal activity; or life," he added.

And, with no known geological source of formaldehyde on Mars, it's clear where Formisano's suspicions lie.

"I believe there is extremely high probability that microbial subsurface life exists on Mars," he said, while acknowledging that although he believes in Martian life, he can't yet prove it.

"What will certainly be needed in the future is a drill on a lander and direct evidence of the existence of Archaea bacteria," Formisano said, adding that he intends to publish his data in a forthcoming issue of planetary science journal Icarus.

The European Space Agency certainly wants to send a rover to Mars, and was urged to do so at an international space workshop at Aston University in Birmingham, England, earlier this month. To get a lander on Mars will almost certainly require the involvement, at some level, of NASA.

But NASA has its own surface mission planned. Scheduled to arrive in late 2010, the Mars Science Laboratory rover will use an array of instruments to look for evidence of life.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Google's First Website

This is really very interesting.
You can also discovere the founders (Larry & Sergey) eGroups board where they wrote about Google's startup site.

Take a look Today

Firefox Breaks 50,000,000 Barrier

2005-04-29 8:58 AM PST The time when firefox hit the first landmark of 50,000,000 downloads.
To celeberate this the team has come up with spreading Firefox website.

Three cheers for Firefox! May it go on swiftly to 100,000,000!"

You can publish your own experience with Firefox usage.
Keep the great spreading stories coming to fifty@spreadfirefox.com.

Fortress: The Successor to Fortran?

An anonymous reader writes "A draft specification of the Fortress language was recently released. Developed by Sun Microsystems as part of a DARPA-funded supercomputing initiative, Fortress is intended to be a successor to Fortran. Guy Steele, a co-author of Java and member of the Fortress development team, hopes that Fortress will to 'do for Fortran what Java did for C.' Steele admits that Java isn't probably the best choice for numerical computing, and that 'it's a mistake to try to make a programming language that is all things to all people... because the needs are so diverse.' Fortress has a number of interesting features, including support for Unicode characters in code, enabling code to look more like formal mathematical expressions. More information about Fortress is given in interview with Steele, and in a talk by Steele. There's also some interesting commentary on Fortress, including some commentary by a member of the Fortress development team, in response to two stories at the programming languages weblog Lambda the Ultimate."

More Informations

Draft Specifications
LAMDA The Ultimate

Build Your Own DVR

"If you have an old computer that had been laying around for a while and are ready to spend a bit on hardware to make into a Digital Video Recorder, the article from Make magazine contains a step-by-step guide on building one.
The author spent $150 on TV card and $70 on BeyondTV PVR software." (And with a Linux-friendly capture card, MythTV would save the builder $70.)

Worth a try... Isnt it?

Artice:Make Magazine::Build Your own DVR