Sunday, December 17, 2006

Old Photos

The oldest known color photograph: 1872


Before the Autochrome process was perfected in France, this photograph of a landscape in Southern France was taken. No, it is not hand-tinted. This is a color-photograph. (Note: It was published in a Time/Life Book entitled "Color" in 1972, "courtesey of George Eastman House, Paulus Lesser.") You are looking at the birth of color photography seven years after the American Civil War. 130 years ago this view of Angouleme, France, was created by a "subtractive" method. This is the basis for all color photography, even today. It was taken by Louis Ducos du Hauron who proposed the method in 1869. It was not until the 1930's that this method was perfected for commercial use.

Color Photos from the Russian Empire


Monastery from the Solarium

Color film was non-existent in 1909 Russia, yet in that year a photographer named Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii embarked on a photographic survey of his homeland and captured hundreds of photos in full, vivid color. His photographic plates were black and white, but he had developed an ingenious photographic technique which allowed him to use them to produce accurate color images.


The Emir of Bukhara

He accomplished this with a clever camera of his own design, which took three black and white photos of a scene in rapid sequence, each though a differently colored filter. His photographic plates were long and slender, capturing all three images onto the same plate, resulting in three monochrome images which each had certain color information filtered out.


A Zindan (prison)

Sergei was then able to use a special image projector to project the three images onto a screen, each directly overlapping the others, and each through the appropriately colored filter. The recombined projection was a full-color representation of the original scene. Emir of BukharaEach three-image series captured by the camera stored all of the color information onto the black and white plates; all they lacked was actual tint, which the color filters on the projector restored.


Dagestani Types

Tsar Nicholas II fully supported Sergei's ambitious plan to document the Russian Empire, and provided a specially equipped railroad car which enclosed a darkroom for Sergei to develop his glass plates. He took hundreds of these color photos all over Russia from 1909 through 1915.


Autochrome Lumière

in 1907, the first practical color photographic plates were introduced to the world by the Lumière brothers in France. The plates were called "Autochrome Lumière," and they were made up of microscopic potato starch grains which were dyed orange, green, and blue; sandwiched between black-and-white film and a piece of glass; then coated in shellac. The tiny starch grains acted as color filters, making the film essentially a mosaic made up of many tiny pieces. Once the black-and-white film base was developed, the dyed starch layer which had acted as many tiny color filters when the photo was taken now did the same task in reverse, giving the color back to the underlying image. The technology was a bit crude and grainy, but it was able to capture full color images which turned out looking rather impressionistic.

Marine RiflemenAutochrome film was expensive, slow and rare, so it didn't see a lot of use by the general public. But when World War One broke out in 1914, the French army began photographing soldiers and scenery, and some of their photos were taken with this new color film. As a result, a large proportion of color photos from that time are images of French soldiers in the field.


Color Photos from WWI

Although color photography was around prior to 1903, the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, patented the process in 1903 and developed the first color film in 1907. The French army was the primary source of color photos during the course of World War One.






Color Photos from WWII

The fact that most people imagine World War II solely in black and white has a solid historical reason: most of the estimated 40 million photos taken between 1939 and 1940 were not in color. The photographers of Russia's Red Army didn't even carry any color film with them, despite the fact that Kodak's Kodachrome, the first mass-produced color film available, appeared in the US beginning in 1935 and came to Europe a year later. It took a while for color to catch on among photographers, and it wasn't until after the end of the war that it came to dominate the field of photo-journalism.






Friday, December 01, 2006

Nasa to Moon and Beyond

Move to new planet, says Hawking


Hawking (BBC/Laurence Cendrowicz)
Prof Hawking is in "no hurry to die"
The human race must move to a star outside our solar system to protect the future of the species, physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has warned.

He told the BBC that life could be wiped out by a nuclear disaster or asteroid hitting the planet.

But the Cambridge academic added: "Once we spread out into space and establish colonies our future should be safe."

Prof Hawking, 64, was speaking before receiving the UK's top science award, the Royal Society's Copley Medal.

My next goal is to go into space, maybe Richard Branson will help me
Professor Stephen Hawking

He said there were no similar planets to earth in our solar system so man would "have to go to another star".

Prof Hawking said that current chemical and nuclear rockets were not adequate for taking colonists into space as they would mean a journey of 50,000 years.

He also discounted science-fiction ideas from programmes such as Star Trek, like using warp drive to travel at the speed of light, for taking mankind to a new outpost.

Instead he favoured "matter/anti-matter annihilation" as a means of propulsion.

Meteor fragments enter the earth's atmosphere
A collision with fragments from space could end life on earth

He explained: "When matter and anti-matter meet up they disappear in a burst of radiation. If this was beamed out of the back of a spaceship it could drive it forward."

Travelling at just below the speed of light, it would mean a journey of about six years to reach a new star.

"It would take a lot of energy to accelerate to near the speed of light," he told BBC Radio 4's Today.

He became famous with the publication of his book A Brief History of Time in the late 1980s.

'Goal is space'

Prof Hawking was not given many years to live when he was diagnosed in the 1960s, aged 22, with motor neurone disease.

He said since then he had "learned not to look too far ahead, but to concentrate on the present".

"I am not afraid of death but in no hurry to die," he said.

"My next goal is to go into space, maybe Richard Branson will help me."

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group has contracted a firm to design and build a passenger spaceship.

Offshoot Virgin Galactic will own and operate at least five spaceships and two mother ships, and will charge £100,000 ($190,000) to carry passengers to an altitude of about 140km on a sub-orbital space flight.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Apple iPhone: how to create hype 101 PDF Print E-mail

Ya yah... I've been posting too much news these days...

By Stan Beer
Monday, 27 November 2006
The buzz that is starting to build around one of Apple's most anticipated pieces of vaporware resembles the atmosphere at a rock concert before the big act appears. It is now at the stage where if Apple doesn't unveil an iPhone on or before MacWorld Expo 2007 next January, fans will tear the house down. Microsoft's Zune marketing team must be shaking their heads in wonder.
Apple has spent exactly nothing on promoting or pre-marketing a product that the company has never acknowledged but somehow everyone knows is on the verge being announced. There have been leaks from unnamed sources of course.

There was the tale of an order being placed for 12 million iPhones to be made by Taiwanese iPod manufacturer Foxconn. There were reports of registration of the iPhone name by Apple (which doesn't prove anything really). However, in stark contrast to the controlled drip-fed deliberate leaks that Microsoft is famous for, Apple has maintained an almost perfect veil of secrecy. The effect on the market has been stunning.

By the time the Zune player was finally unveiled, practically everybody knew what it looked like, how it would work and what would be its key features. Microsoft must have spent a fortune on the pre-launch publicity. The release itself was practically an anti-climax, as has been the subsequent reception by the market.

One could argue that Microsoft was nothing in the music player business so the company needed to throw big bucks at getting the Zune name into the market. However, one could also justifiably say that Apple is nothing in the mobile phones business. When one thinks of mobile phones, one thinks of Nokia or Motorola but certainly not Apple.

Yet, such is the power of Apple's image making wizardry that somehow consumers believe that the company will be able to do what no other company has managed to do thus far. They believe that Apple will be able to successfully combine the best features of an iPod music player with a stylish and workable mobile phone.

Somehow Apple has managed to convince the public of this without spending one cent on overt marketing and even admitting that it is going into the cellphone business. That in itself could be the subject of a market post-graduate thesis.

For Apple, the stakes are enormous. Some analysts have postulated that releasing an iPhone may simply cannibalize Apple's existing iPod business. However, if Apple can break into the mobile phones business, it could greatly increase the market reach of iPod.

The way mobile phones are bought through carriers for nothing up front, later to be discarded for a newer model, could well increase the turnover rate of iPods as well as putting them into the hands of cellphone users who would otherwise never have considered an iPod.

A word of caution, however, to those who may be bedazzled by the Apple mystique or blinded by the notion that Apple can do no wrong. Apple and Steve Jobs have got it wrong before - as those who remember the Newton and Lisa well know.

However, the latest incarnation of Jobs and co has not had a misstep in recent years. The world is waiting to see if the iPhone is the latest in a string of triumphs or proof that Apple has just been experiencing a long summer.

Let us test Darwin, teacher says


DNA sequence
DNA by design? Officially the teaching packs are frowned on
Science teaching materials deemed "not appropriate" by the government should be allowed in class, Education Secretary Alan Johnson has been urged.

Chemistry teacher at Liverpool's Blue Coat School, Nick Cowan, says the packs promoting intelligent design are useful in debating Darwinist evolution.

Education officials insist intelligent design is not recognised as science.

It argues that evolution cannot explain everything so the Universe must have had an intelligent creator.

The packs were sent out to 5,000 secondary schools by a group of academics and clerics known as Truth in Science.

The Department for Education and Skills said they were inappropriate and not supportive of the science curriculum.

There's a sense that if you criticise Darwin you must be some kind of religious nut case
Nick Cowan
Former head of chemistry at Blue Coat School, Liverpool

Reacting to Mr Cowan's letter, a DfES spokesman said: "Neither creationism nor intelligent design are taught as a subject in schools, and are not specified in the science curriculum.

"The National Curriculum for science clearly sets down that pupils should be taught that the fossil record is evidence for evolution, and how variation and selection may lead to evolution or extinction."

The call from Mr Cowan - former head of the school's chemistry department - comes as the Guardian reported that the Truth in Science materials were being used in 59 schools.

'Sacred cow'

Mr Cowan says they are "very scholarly" and could be extremely useful in helping children understand the importance of scientific debate

He told the BBC: "Darwin has for many people become a sacred cow.

"There's a sense that if you criticise Darwin you must be some kind of religious nut case.

"We might as well have said Einstein shouldn't have said what he did because it criticised Newton."

He argues that science only moves forward by reviewing and reworking previous theories and that these materials foster an understanding of this.

'Controversy'

He also points out that the Truth in Science materials, which he describes as outstanding, do not mention creationism or even God.

This is quite frankly a distraction that science teachers can well do without
Phil Willis, Commons science and technology committee
He says the GCSE syllabus requires children to appreciate how science works and understand the nature of scientific controversy.

"The government wants children to be exposed to scientific debate at the age of 14 or 15.

"All the Truth in Science stuff does is put forward stuff that says here's a controversy.

"This is exactly the kind of thing that young people should be exposed to," Mr Cowan added.

'Poorly served'

The chairman of the parliamentary science and technology committee, Phil Willis, said using the packs in science classes "elevated creationism" to the same level of debate as Darwinism and that there was no justification for that.

He added: "There's little enough time with the school curriculum to deal with real science like climate change, energy and the weather.

"This is quite frankly a distraction that science teachers can well do without."

Dr Evan Harris, honorary associate of the National Secular Society and Liberal Democrat science spokesman, said it was worrying that some schools were giving "this nonsense" any credence.

Many leading scientists argue that ideas about intelligent design should not be allowed in school because they are simply not scientific.

Back in April, the Royal Society warned against allowing creationism in school saying that pupils must understand that science backs Darwin's theory of evolution.

The society's statement said: "Young people are poorly served by deliberate attempts to withhold, distort or misrepresent scientific knowledge and understanding in order to promote particular religious beliefs."

Recently, the British Humanist Association asked Mr Johnson for greater clarity on the teaching of creationism in schools.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

French MPs dump Windows for Linux

Everything from OS to email

By Christophe Guillemin

Published: Friday 24 November 2006

After the gendarmes and the Ministry of Culture, it's the French MPs' turn to switch to open source. From June 2007, PCs in French députés' offices will be equipped with a Linux operating system and open source productivity software.

The project, backed by MPs Richard Cazenav and Bernard Carayon of the UMP party, will see 1,154 French parliamentary workstations running on an open source OS, with OpenOffice.org, Firefox and an open source email client.

A spokesperson for the parliament's administration said a decision as to the choice of OS and email client hasn't yet been taken. Currently, some of the parliament's servers have been running Linux, with Apache web servers and the Mambo content management system.

The project was the subject of a study by Atos Origin, whose conclusions convinced the French parliament, the Assemblée Nationale. "The study showed that open source software will from now on offer functionality adapted to the needs of MPs, and will allow us to make substantial savings despite the associated migration and training costs," the parliament said.

Open source supporters have welcomed the decision. Benoît Sibaud, president of the Association for the research into and promotion of open source computing, said the decision to migrate to open source will allow the Assemblée Nationale to have greater control over its IT, without depending on any one vendor, and to realise a better use of public money.

This will be the first case of a French public institution switching its PCs onto a Linux operating system. Previous open source initiatives concerned servers, as was the case with the Minstry of Agriculture, or OpenOffice and Firefox, which were brought into use by France's gendarmerie.

Christophe Guillemin writes for ZDNet France

Saturday, November 25, 2006

New Idea

Well, after working on this blog for a while, I've decided to make it free for my friends to add content as well and model it as a customized news site that really matter to us... You can think of it as an aggregator of the news on the internet over custom tastes. It is no more just a personal blog site but a collection of information... hopefully true to its name infinity unbound..
I'd prefer to see technical text pertaining to these but not limited to these topics
Open Source
Hacks
Interesting jokes
Pictures
educational material
.... just about anything

if you think you can contribute, mail me at prasannagautam(at)gmail(dot)com

Friday, November 24, 2006

AN OPEN LETTER TO HOBBYISTS

this is one of those texts that defined Microsoft....

By William Henry Gates III

February 3, 1976

An Open Letter to Hobbyists

To me, the most critical thing in the hobby market right now is the lack of good software courses, books and software itself. Without good software and an owner who understands programming, a hobby computer is wasted. Will quality software be written for the hobby market?

Almost a year ago, Paul Allen and myself, expecting the hobby market to expand, hired Monte Davidoff and developed Altair BASIC. Though the initial work took only two months, the three of us have spent most of the last year documenting, improving and adding features to BASIC. Now we have 4K, 8K, EXTENDED, ROM and DISK BASIC. The value of the computer time we have used exceeds $40,000.

The feedback we have gotten from the hundreds of people who say they are using BASIC has all been positive. Two surprising things are apparent, however, 1) Most of these "users" never bought BASIC (less than 10% of all Altair owners have bought BASIC), and 2) The amount of royalties we have received from sales to hobbyists makes the time spent on Altair BASIC worth less than $2 an hour.

Why is this? As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?

Is this fair? One thing you don't do by stealing software is get back at MITS for some problem you may have had. MITS doesn't make money selling software. The royalty paid to us, the manual, the tape and the overhead make it a break-even operation. One thing you do do is prevent good software from being written. Who can afford to do professional work for nothing? What hobbyist can put 3-man years into programming, finding all bugs, documenting his product and distribute for free? The fact is, no one besides us has invested a lot of money in hobby software. We have written 6800 BASIC, and are writing 8080 APL and 6800 APL, but there is very little incentive to make this software available to hobbyists. Most directly, the thing you do is theft.

What about the guys who re-sell Altair BASIC, aren't they making money on hobby software? Yes, but those who have been reported to us may lose in the end. They are the ones who give hobbyists a bad name, and should be kicked out of any club meeting they show up at.

I would appreciate letters from any one who wants to pay up, or has a suggestion or comment. Just write to me at 1180 Alvarado SE, #114, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108. Nothing would please me more than being able to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software.



Bill Gates

General Partner, Micro-Soft

Visual Development on Linux


Many people are not aware that programming on Linux, if you are fond of your mouse, is very enjoyable. If you are fond of your command line, it is also very enjoyable as well. The _CHOICE_ is up to you. A lot of visual development IDEs are available. I have been noticing, posts on Digg and other places, that people think there is no Linux equivalent of tools like Visual Basic, Delphi, etc. Here, I list some of the tools that you can expect on a linux Desktop. I am using Kubuntu Edgy and all these nice eye-candy tools are available in the Ubuntu Repositories.

Other non-free Visual Tools are also available on Linux, e.g. Delphi, Oracle JDeveloper, etc.

Click on any of the images to enlarge

QT.
QT is one on the best development environments on a KDE platform. QT also works with Gnome. You can develop C++ database driven applications by dragging and dropping.

http://www.trolltech.com/developer/downloads/qt/x11

Gambas

This is a Visual Basic clone. It is very useful to VB programmers who want to migrate to Linux. Nice and simple interface. You can connect to major databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc) from Gambas very easily

http://gambas.sourceforge.net/

Nvu

This is a web page creation tool that is set to eventually carry most of the Macromedia functionality. It is very good WYSIWYG tool. You can connect to your FTP directory of your website and update automatically.

http://www.nvu.com

Eric

A Python IDE that makes programming in that language a simple and enjoyable task. Lots of functionality.

http://www.die-offenbachs.de/detlev/eric.html

Eclipse
Eclipse is an open source community whose projects are focused on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle. A large and vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors, innovative start-ups, universities, research institutions and individuals extend, complement and support the Eclipse platform
http://www.eclipse.org/

JDeveloper
While this is not an open source IDE, I find using this one irresistible when I am working on Java. It is a free non-open source tool from Oracle that you can use to visually develop Java applications just like what you do with Visual Basic or Delphi. JDeveloper uses Sun's JDK, so you are rest assured your programs can be developed purely independent of Oracle proprietary technology. Given that Sun's JDK is now GPL.

http://www.oracle.com/tools/jdev_home.html

Planner
This is a visual project management application for the Gnome Desktop. This will cap you programming efforts by giving you a nice framing for managing your software projects. You can construct nice Grantt Charts ith Planner.

http://live.gnome.org/Planner

Thursday, November 23, 2006

this was made in MS-Paint

This guy made this pic using MS Paint
http://www.deviantart.com/view/17908194/

Freedom!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Kerala logs Microsoft out of schools

An old news I just read today.. really happy.. we need a govt which can do this...
George Iype in Kochi

September 02, 2006

The Communist Party of India (Marxists)-led government in Kerala headed by
Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan is not just against American cola majors --
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo -- alone.

Nearly three weeks after the Achuthanandan government banned the sale and
manufacture of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo products in Kerala, Microsoft has been
logged out of the state-run schools.

Here on, nearly 1.5 million students in the 2,650 government and
government-aided high schools in the state will no longer use the Windows
platform for computer education. Instead, they have switched over to the
free GNU/Linux software.

"We have decided that we will use only free software for computer education
in Kerala schools. We have implemented the Linux platform in high schools;
it will be implemented in other schools step by step," Kerala Education
Minister M A Baby told rediff.com.

He said an estimated 56,000 teachers in high schools are getting trained on
the Linux platform.

Asked if it is a deliberate decision to log out Microsoft from the state-run
schools, the minister said, the plan is not targetted at any IT company.
"Our policy is to migrate computer education to free software platforms. We
want to make Kerala the FOSS (Free and Open Software Systems) destination in
India. That is all," he added.

But officials said two factors have influenced the Communist government to
go in for the Linux platform by abandoning the Microsoft product.

First, Chief Minister Achuthanandan has been a votary of free software.
While in Opposition till May this year, Achuthanandan had sternly opposed
the then Congress government's decision to join hands with Microsoft to
launch the IT at School programme.

Second, free software guru Richard Stallman is virtually the consultant to
the Kerala government's IT initiatives. Two weeks, back Stallman visited the
state and convinced the government to switch over to free software systems
in the educational institutions to begin with.

Stallman, in fact, gave a presentation as to how free software has been an
exciting education and computing model in a Spanish province.

Officials say political parties in Kerala have been using the Microsoft
versus Linux issue to settle scores. "The Congress government had launched
an IT literacy project with the support of Intel and Microsoft. Now the
Communist government has abandoned it, and wants to migrate everything to
free software platforms," an official at the Kerala IT Mission Secretariat
pointed out.

While in Opposition, Achuthanandan had strongly opposed the project saying
the agreement between the Kerala government and the Microsoft for training
teachers under the IT at School project was fraught with danger.

"Microsoft boss Bill Gates wants to push his operating system using the
services of software developers who had adopted it and this was made clear
by several experts in the field. The government should, therefore, be very
careful when dealing with Microsoft," Achuthanandan had then written to the
government headed by Congress chief minister A K Antony.

Political issues apart, the Linux PC dealers are excited about the
government decision to promote Linux platforms in schools.

"We are getting lots of enquiries and orders for pre-loaded Linux operating
system. The hardware sales have gone up because of this," P K Harikrishnan,
president, Kerala Computer Manufacturers' and Dealers' Association said.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Hacker Manifesto

A rather inspirational piece of text that never ceases to inspire..
by
+++The Mentor+++
Written January 8, 1986

Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers. "Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering"...

Damn kids. They're all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

I am a hacker, enter my world...

Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me...

Damn underachiever. They're all alike.

I'm in junior high or high school. I've listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms. Smith, I didn't show my work. I did it in my head..."

Damn kid. Probably copied it. They're all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it's because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn't like me... Or feels threatened by me.. Or thinks I'm a smart ass.. Or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here...

Damn kid. All he does is play games. They're all alike.

And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought... a board is found. "This is it... this is where I belong..." I know everyone here... even if I've never met them, never talked to them, may never hear from them again... I know you all...

Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They're all alike...

You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Java GPLed

Not too long ago Sun CEO Scott Mcnealy made a comment that he saw no point in giving away java in GPL and in response to the FSF evangelist openly recommend us not to use Java because they felt it's too easy to get trapped in a proprietary sansar.

I know RMS once said FSF cannot recommend OpenOffice "on ethical grounds". It severely depend on Sun JRE. The solution would be to improve GNU Compiler for Java (GCJ), and the GNU Classpath. OpenOffice folks refused to refactor their code to meet GCJ and classpath. Whatever GCJ and gang claimed was not to the ground. It still lacks several features.

Gosling vowed against the parallel re-invention and development of java classlib.. As known GNU Classpath, folks were refuted against his remark. Its not new though, there were already a plethora of java product based on GPL and Apache License, The significant of those are from ASF, recently plunged into JavaEE market, that happens when JBoss lead engineer frustrated and declare to get start new implementation of J2EE .like a warrior..they declared themselves Geronimo..aka .. Apache Geronimo. Its widely popular as shipped with IBM Websphere Apps Server Community Edition

It was likely to become linux distro scenario, Although the compliance with java and javaee specification was always the core issue and unlike with linux, it has to follow the standard for industry acceptance. The problem with fragmented effort was the re-inveting the same wheel and the possible obstacle that it leads to. The venture towards new implementation was only the issue with the license. Sun was adhering CDDL and folks, especially in apache and gnu, were doubtful on this move, they often compared CDDL as m$ shared source!

After scott mcnealy stepped down from ceo, the new management made decisive move to declare its solaris and java product line completely free. Still clings with CDDL but look like they were hugely inspired by the true success of GNU/Linux, and often they keep promising through their blogs..something that management about to take decision. It took no time to declare java as GPL’ed…and its damn true..it happened just right front of us.. Potentially a master stroke from Sun!

Beyond the limit, as widely speculated all stack JME, JSE, glassfish everything that interconnect with stack about to declare GPL’ed. I won’t be surprise if they declared Solaris GPL’ed. I am
anticipating !So where the future lies of GNU Classpath, Geronimo & more! Well that
is what the exception means in Java…! they were trying to build what GNU folks thought for complete java classlib..is about to throw with exception with Sun class type 

I see everyone in FSF hailed it as a bold move, and a great opportunity both for Sun and for FOSS.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Changes

Finally, this thing really looks like a blog... I made a couple of revamps mostly from hectro's place's codes and using the minimum style look. I removed a lot of the ads as well. It's really funny how this blog began and how it developed. I've finally decided what to do with this blog... I'll explain that in detail later...

Monday, October 23, 2006

How Hubble killed god

Interesting stuff I saw on the internet!!

March 9, 2004: NASA releases a single image taken by the Hubble Space telescope that proves a fatal blow to the concept of God, but despite the compelling evidence, many simply don’t comprehend the significance of the image.

Hubble vs God

According to many interpreters of the Bible and the Book of Genesis, there is proof that the Earth and Universe is only 6,000 years old. Even scientists like Dr. Michael Brown, the Director and Principal Researcher of the Molecular History Research Center who graduated with a Ph. D. in Biology with an emphasis in Molecular Biology, will scientifically show you that carbon dating is wrong, the universe is stable and that we all descended from one 6,000 year old mother, Eve. Man was created by God in his own image for a special purpose. Different religions offer slightly different descriptions of that purpose, but clearly, it is widely accepted that we are God’s children and the Earth is the most important place in the universe.

OK. So in summary, the universe was created, the Earth was created and Man was created, all during Creation Week and all with supernatural logic and reason behind it. Some religions believe all of this, but dispute the “young Earth” assertions of Biblical Creationists. In Islam, Allah created the Big Bang and all the rules that followed it. The Earth took many years to form and every new scientific discovery can be explained away by attributing it to Allah. It just seems too convenient.

If you’re reading this at night, go get a plastic drinking straw and go outside and look up. What you can see with the naked eye from one position on Earth is about 2,500 stars at the most. All of them are in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The Milky Way contains somewhere between 200 and 600 billion stars (that’s billion, with ‘b’). The size of our galaxy is somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 light-years across. The nearest star to our own Sun is Alpha Centauri and it’s only 4.35 light-years away. We all know that a light-year is the distance light travels in one year, but what it actually means to us is when we look up at the night sky and see Alpha Centauri, we are actually seeing what it looked like 4.35 years ago. We are looking back in time.

Now, find the Moon. Divide the diameter of the Moon by ten. It’s a pretty small spot, right? Pick any apparently black section of sky (between stars) of about a tenth of the moon’s diameter and look at it. There’s nothing there, is there? Now stare at that one little spot of the sky. That’s pretty much exactly what the Hubble Space Telescope did every night in late 2003. Over 400 orbits of the Earth, Hubble took 800 exposures of the same patch of space at varying focal lengths to produce an incredibly deep image. This image is known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UDF).

Hubble Ultr

[click for a larger image and more details about the HUDF]

If the distance across this image in space was scaled to the diameter of your drinking straw, the depth of this image would make your drinking straw 8 foot long. All those specks you see are not stars, they’re other galaxies. In this image alone, there are almost 10,000 galaxies. The nearest ones, those that appear as well-defined spirals and ellipses, are about one billion light-years away. In other words, this image is showing us what those galaxies looked like one billion years ago. The furthest galaxies in the image are shown as they existed only 800 million years after the universe was created and are some 13 billion light-years away.

Each of those galaxies comprises billions of stars, and if the Hubble UDF represents only one tiny part of the whole sky which is actually 12.7 million times bigger, we can only wonder at how many galaxies, stars and solar systems might fill our universe. If God or Allah created all of this, He did so an incredibly long time ago. If Man is the reason for Creation, why has intelligent Man’s existence only been for the last few thousand years? If Time since creation was a kilometre long piece of rope, intelligent Man is represented only by the last half-CENTIMETRE. If Man is the purpose of creation, why did it take so long to create Man? And what’s with all the over-the-top elaborate sky decorations? Surely some painted white dots on a big canvas hung around the Earth would have sufficed?

Thanks should go to Hubble for opening our eyes. If only some men would open theirs. Being a Christian or being a Muslim means being different. Being a Human means being the same.

Jhilimili jhilimili

Wow!!! Tihar seems to be here.. Dipawali.. is it over already? nah it isn't and I'm reaping all the benefits off this great time of the year...
It's 12:30 well after midnight and as always, I'm not asleep, lots of thanks to Nescafe (Do I get some money for free advertising?). I rarely miss sleep but today we have the often cacophonisc and repetitive sounds of deusi and bhailo. I won't say melodious because that's becoming a rare circumstance. I do remember when I was just a little small when we made a group and went to sing deusi with all the friends. Had so much fun. I do miss those memories and those times. I don't know where all those friends went as I haven't been in contact with most of them. Aaargh.... this is turning out to be really disturbing now...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bonafide blogger

I was gasping at my creations, looking pleased and possibly with a smile on my face... "Wow!!! I've never written that much all my life" well writing for money or good grades, I might have, for good colle I will, but for just plain writing would be plain laughable. A blog is just that. I must admit that I wasn't too selfless though.... I wanted to earn money from this blog as well. However, today, after possibly two weeks of blogging and around a week of earning money from them which current;y stands at a total of $105(not bad for a nepali student in a week, eh?) which is a little short by around $244 to buy this cool ebook reader by sony http://sony.com/reader/
I'm seeing myself as a character in the classic Chekhovian story "the Bet" who places himself in a room for 20 years for a huge sum of money but then finds that knowledge is far more precious than any money he can earn, which he has earned now... thus he leaves the room just before he completes 20 years. Well there might be a million possible interpretations for this story and even in relation to my analogy with it but I can see a common thread in both my experience of 1 week and the character's 20 years, we have both gained knowledge and seen the power of it. Something smeagol never learnt.... hehe
I am shocked and awed by how much work the "working class" people do and still they earn less than us lazy computer nerds. I spend hours programming or trying to write something both sitting lazily in front of a computer screen and still manage to wipe out $100 in a week.. Maybe it was a fluke, maybe I was too lucky but one thing is certain that we are living in a society governed by mind. Often times, I end up discussing the knowledge based architechture of the society.... As it is often put, knowledge management.... The early pioneers of the internet put it as "Content is the king". After the boom and bust it's sure that one party won, who? haha... you guessed it.... the consumers(if you haven't got it on your own)
People change as do times; i still remember the jovial emotion I felt when I first saw a computer in class 5 in our living room. By then I had just touched a mouse, clicked things and seen this beast obey... I felt like I came one step closer to being god, although I don't believe in one I would surely like to be one. Then I got another one (well, this one) in class 8 which had a dialup internet. By that time I was a super computer geek in school with knowledge in the application and QBASIC programming... Then came this internet thing into my life. I was not much of a social guy looking into chatrooms trying to make new friends. In fact, i think now that I might have voluntarily secluded myself from the popular culture pretty much like one of my heroes "Kurt Cobain" and numerous other scientists with an exception of Neumann. Seclusion is good at times, and combine that with my dad's constant pressure to study I was soon into the world of books and bits and bytes. I still think that "the hacker manifesto" is my self expression and "knowledge is power" but the most important thing was that my knowledge was increasing in so many fronts apart from the obvious computers.
I cannot possibly explain all the forces at play that put me in this position to declare myself as a "bonafide blogger" but I can surely say one thing for sure that I have an immense desire to progress and be at least two steps forward of the world. I have always aimed high and reached there. I've had frustration, struggles, near addiction, etc but it's not your experience that matter(it does matter) but in what light do you want to portray that experience to yourself. I learnt or at least tried to learn from every fall and every stumble so that I can attain the goal of being the best someday, yet today's world changes so fast that keeping pace with it is hard enough, let alone leading it.
This is possibly an example of writing for the sake of writing, thousands of people write. One thing I want to add is that there will always be technophobes who will say people will stop reading after internet takes off.. Well have a look around people, people are reading more than ever.. and take that RIAA... I presume that music has got to be cheaper than $.99... No DRM or putting secret rootkits is going to stop us...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

New Blog

I'll be starting a new blog on book reviews.....
http://me-studies.blogspot.com
well, I have a pretty eclectic taste... so reviewing on a single blog for books seems to be a good idea

Technology!!!!!!!

I believe the first tenet of the modern maths and sciences falling under "rationalism" is objectivity. You have to be objective.... Numbers aren't like humans... wow!!! this must've been one of the greatest inventions man has ever done after inventing numbers(forming the base of maths).. you may say that first they invented numbers and then went into a world without numbers... into abstract theorems people can rarely spell, let alone unerstand some day. My idea is , there's some kind of emotional bond with maths among humans... even aliens... Basically, if we are similar and living in the same universe, we'll be governed by the same rules and hence the universal language can only be maths.......
The need of ojectivity in reneissance was to send humanity away from the clutches of the church. Hence, many of the revolutionary movements took shape.... namely, the Romanticism... and most importantly the revival of maths and sciences... After the 19th century when people got a bit bored out of doing the numerical calculations and the giant universities of the US, GB and Germany were gaining prominence, we started to go more into the confusing and abstract side of maths.. I really respect euclid... his proofs are legendary... however, this was a revolution on a global scale. Maths has always been the base of a science... even economics and more recently biology, a subject I never got interested into (why should I dissect a frog and remember all the phylums? yuck) Maybe biology teaching in Nepal sucks... these teachers try to make us memory sticks than thinkers... Lets extrapolate it to the whole education system shall we?
Now where was I? Aaahhh!!! Objectivity at its extreme can be absurd... the reason for it being that you cannot ignore emotions coming to you... I personally feel so elated on seeing a number like "pi" or "infinity" and "e"... Because they make up the fabric of the universe... I've always believed that a number can hold the secret of the universe... yeah sure... I've always taken maths as the ultimate form of reality... sadly I was wrong... they are just representations of reality, a step towards understanding the bigger questions pertaining to the better understanding of the universe...
How can science not be subjective when it affects so many lives..? I hate a culture of personification of anything.. There are kids in kindergarten wanting to be Einsteins and a little older kids thinking "Neils Bohr" was God... haha.... Technology has progressed further than anybody ever imagined... why should we stop now? I feel sick over the people who say that we have destroyed this planet... why can't we? after all we will now "need" to go to outer planets.. and hence occupy the universe... Afterall, it surely is an awful waste of space if the universe was just inhabited by us.... I think human life should be dictated by rationalism... but still there are people who fear the same rationalism... Hey, all the things saisd by bible were wrong... why didn't all the religious books give real predictions if god is as almighty as people say... if a teory goes wrong at one point, we change it or just throw it out.. why don't we do the same with all the religious books like bible and all... Yea!! we get morals from those books but so do we from Aesop's fables...
Wow!!! where have I come!!!! Upto now you surely know who I am.....

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Blogs: the Human side of Internet

Wow! It’s been about a year since I've heard the word blog, ironically in a blog site. Back then, it seemed totally absurd idea of sharing your intimate information publicly with the world. However, after moving away from dialup it seems the roads to information super highway is opening up although the speeds are still really low compared to other countries but the question is what makes these blogs so special? This sudden upsurge of neo-bloggers giving news, even anonymously leaking information shows what the internet is really capable of.
A well known cliché of our times is "By the People, for the people and from the people", taken from the famous Gettysburg speech by Ab Lincoln during the Civil War, seems to be coming true at least in blogs. Take for example the recent revolution in Nepal. Although the government had banned a lot of sites (especially the blogs), people were still discussing the conditions in Nepal very similar to the Bulletin Boards during the 90’s when Soviet Union was breaking down. It just takes an article to make a local issue global. You need not be in the same room to discuss with someone an issue common to everyone. I see these blogs as elements of the road to democratization of a society.
Philosophies apart, what makes a blog, A BLOG?
People are inquisitive by nature, competitive even; they like to be known and noticed even behind the vein of an adopted alias. These are the same people who talk about privacy and yet envy the “celebrities” being followed by paparazzi. A blog is an expression of things people want to say, maybe even ramblings and all. There are some, like me, who want to hone their writing skills. There is a sense of freedom in the electronic medium not provided by anything else… apart from the good typeset and all, you can “UNDO” stuffs; there are spell checkers for the particularly dyslexic and for some small errors... It’s cool to type …
Another pulling factor is ads, particularly “Google adsense”. If you are money minded or just having a desire to make some pocket money for a change, you might be here, if the obvious inquisitive demand isn’t convincing enough to spend more time writing about your life… It’s been two weeks since I started to blog and a week since I have actually begun posting regularly; it’s been fruitful so far. It started from a desire to understand myself better for my upcoming college applications to become a more ambitious money making venture imagining huge dividends… It is possible, if you are willing to work for it, to earn money from a blog.

There could be any number of reasons for such a venture… now what? Let’s look at what shaped this revolution?
Cheap storage: Back when Google gave 1000 MBs on April 1st, it was considered by many as just a joke, a culture at google… goofing up something funny on April 1st, my favorite being the research facility on moon… The main reason for enabling google to beat all its competition was the cheapening of hard drives and computers apart from its characteristic innovative strategies.
Prior experiences: Blogs are nothing new…. They are mere newer manifestations of older and even obsolete things like bulletin boards and Usenet but in a new world… Blogs are often associated with “Web 2.0”, a term invented by O’reilly, more of a gimmick in my view as it just includes a specific web site category more than the methodologies for them.. still it was necessary for the current upsurge in the blogosphere...
Competitions: There are so many companies fighting for a chunk of your life. These billion dollar companies are fighting hard to get your blogs posted to their sites... A chunk of your life.. aahh....
One thing is for sure now.. in the future your whole life would be googleable... maybe you'd be googled for vacancy..

Pleez comment on this... still very much under construction and digg it!!! pleezz

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"What next?"

Probably the most important question we ask to ourselves might be "What am I going to do with my life?" well it just might be the most frequent and still the hardest to answer... Nobody knows what the future beholds... I don't.. yet I can make it the way I want to... The way I think.. you just go to such a point only if you have an ardent desire to be there.. i.e, if you deserve it. Its funny to see how people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, et cetra... have gone so up while they did have equal potential to be down as average joes like you and I. I must admit, it's a pretty wierd way of putting things. I view it as a reflection of their desire to succeed.. you cannot go higher than what you think you can.. Maybe some people might like to shrug it off as mere ego. But who doesn't have some form of egotistical behaviour? I know I do.

The main point is not that you can get what you desire, I believe that talents play a great role in that.. However, it's not always something as easy as mere genes to get things you want. I had watched a movie sometime back.. It depicted this concept, albeit dramatic, pretty beautifully. It was shown in the future where people are cultured according to their parents desires... DNA works. Well the hero wasn't cultured that way and was considered inferior human. And guess what? He wanted to be an astronaut. However, he didn't have the necessary DNA to do so. Now there was a twist. There was another guy crippled who had such genes but didn't have a desire to so anything as such. The inferior one takes his identity. I'd be glad if somebody tells me the name of the movie. The moral, if you may say so, is that getting some kickass genes doesn't make you more privileged more than being born in the royal family or a family of presidents make you a born leader; you just have to learn it. I don't disagree that it would certainly give some boost but nothing more.
As per me, I'm from a pretty much a "middle class" family with almost no ambitions in my ancestors except trying to downplay somebody else's acheivements. That's where I come from. I think it could've been worse... I like to think at the alternate theories like what if a small thing was different, say getting born in a different time or say different parents or even say with a little different genetic make up... one that might make me a better athelete, even some weird ones like what if I had everything the same except having XX instead of XY chromosomes. Well those thoughts are wierd to think yet provoke us to look really beneath the skin into our minds and the ways it functions and expresses itself.

The question arises that if I had a different life, would that make me any bit happier? or would I have been who I am now? I really don't think so... If you are still reading this, which I seriously doubt, you know that all your experiences shape the way you are not necessarily just the way you were born or just the way you were raised. Time after time when I see people around me, I just see mere expressions of misery at being mortals. We read biographies, look at heroes and idolize them; I refer that as "Godifying" them forgetting all sorts of remnants of their humanness... Examples could be numerous, just turn the pages of a huge "100 greatest people" book.

It doesn't matter where you are born, the colleges and schools you have attended unless you have the inner fire to attain your goals and ambitions. Aim high, you might get it. At this point, we are seeking answers to "what is my life worth?", I like to think "It could be anything, it's your auction, begin at any price". Everybody dreams to be great but how many are? Being at the top of your game might be attaining that greatness right now for me. Now then what after that?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Google Invasion

There has been a lot of interest over where google is going? Is 'the internet' going to be just 'the google'? Well the recent effort to buy YouTube seems like yet another plan for total global domination by google..
Well someday we might divide the evolution of computing in 3 eras:
1. The IBM era: Hardware was the king.. Mainframe the temple... well this led to this super-giant's downfall...
2. The Microsoft era: Software is the king... Even untouched by antitruust.. Although it won the browser wars by the virtue of its ubiquitous "Windows" operating system..
3. The Google era: Content is the king.. Although there doesn't seem to be a clear winner here... but I guess the winner this time is the consumer who is getting better services at free or cheap prices.. Who would've given 1000 Mbs back in the days when GMail Began.. It was considered a spoof.. now GMail sprawling with 2.7 gb and still increasing.... this eternal beta has become synonymous with email
Another thing that's worth mentioning is the Web 2.0 concept.. Well after the dot com bust, people thought that the internet phenomenon was all but dead, there wasn't so much money here, however, they were incorrect.. Ther real revolution has just begun over the internet.... Thanks to google's innovative and more 'hacker friendly' approach it has got a life of it's own.. There are web developers all over the world trying to make at least something out of this new technology. Amateurs trying to make some pocket money with blogs or gain some respect in their circle.. Well that was 2.0
Now the main thing about google is it's pretty friendly image.. Our modern society is so much more dependent on google these days.. Getting information is getting easier by the minute.. As if becoming the web's backbone wasn't enough, google is going on to be the giant.. well it has almost completely secured monoply in so many sectors.. there are rumors of new operating systems going to be released from there all the time..
I'll anticipating what will happen now...

NASA Invests in Private Sector Space Flight with SpaceX, Rocketplane-Kistler


This seems to be interesting.. have a look






NASA is making an unprecedented investment in commercial space transportation services with the hope of creating a competitive market for supply flights to the International Space Station (ISS).

Two industry partners will receive a combined total of approximately $500 million to help fund the development of reliable, cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit. The agency is using its Space Act authority to facilitate the demonstration of these new capabilities. NASA signed Space Agreements Aug. 18 with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of El Segundo, Calif., and Rocketplane-Kistler (RpK) of Oklahoma City to develop and demonstrate the vehicles, systems, and operations needed to support a human facility such as ISS. Once the space shuttle is retired, NASA hopes to become just one of many customers for a new, out-of-this-world parcel service.

Image of  Rocketplane-Kistler Orbit-1 Vehicle and crew capsule Image at right: Artist's concept of Rocketplane-Kistler's K-1 Orbital Vehicle. Credit NASA

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The venture marks a break with tradition for the 48-year-old space agency. “This is the first opportunity NASA has taken to engage entrepreneurs in a way that allows us to satisfy our needs and lets commercial industry gain a foothold. It could, and should, have profound impacts on the way NASA does business,” said Marc Timm, acting Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Program executive in NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.

Alan Lindenmoyer, manager of the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center, said NASA's offer of seed money fulfills President Bush's Jan. 14, 2004 directive to promote commercial participation in space exploration. The 2005 NASA Authorization Act also calls on the agency to advance space commerce. "We are directly tied to the Vision for Space Exploration and the law of the land," Lindenmoyer said. "COTS marks a significant NASA activity to implement the commercialization portion of U.S. space policy."

The demonstrations are scheduled to begin as early as 2008 and continue through 2010 or later. COTS will be carried out in two phases. Phase 1, unveiled Aug. 18, will include safe disposal or return of spacecraft that successfully dock at ISS and deliver cargo. A follow-on option to demonstrate crew transportation also is planned. Once demonstrated, NASA plans to purchase transportation services competitively in Phase 2.

Image of Space X Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle and Dragon crew and cargo vehicle Image at left: Artist's concept of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle and Dragon crew and cargo capsules. Credit NASA

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Partners will be paid only if they succeed. Payments will be incremental and based upon the partners' progress against a schedule of performance milestones contained in each Space Act agreement. The agreements were tailored to the individual partners and negotiated before partnership selections were made. NASA will gauge progress through site visits and milestone achievements.

Usually, the space agency issues detailed requirements and specifications for its flight hardware and it takes ownership of any vehicles and associated infrastructure that a contractor produces. For COTS, NASA specified only high level goals and objectives instead of detailed requirements where possible, and left its industry partners responsible for decisions about design, development, certification and operation of the transportation system. Because NASA has a limited amount of money to invest, it encouraged the partners to obtain private financing for their projects and it left them free to market the new space transportation services to others.

This model for pursuing of commercial space services is another first for NASA and a reflection on the growing maturing of commercial space capabilities. "This is not a traditional NASA procurement or program. We could change the economics of space flight with this," said Lindenmoyer, whose office oversees COTS. NASA expects use of this model to increase over time as the exploration program unfolds, potentially extending to the provision of power, communications, and habitation facilities by commercial entities.

Limited resources and the space shuttle's pending retirement created the need for the new service, and the emergence of enabling technology has created a favorable environment for COTS development, according to Timm. Industry interest was keen, with nearly 100 companies submitting expressions of interest and 20 companies submitting initial proposals.

NASA expects that purchasing commercial space transportation services will be more economical than developing government systems of comparable capability. This could free up additional resources for lunar missions and other activities beyond low-Earth orbit.

The biggest benefit of the anticipated cost savings is the opening of new markets for an emerging industry, according to Lindenmoyer. "If we had cost-effective access, many new markets -- biotechnology, microgravity research, industrial parks in space, manufacturing, tourism -- could start to open. That's what is so important about this effort."

Monday, October 09, 2006

yea!!!

Another blog....
Finally something is going smoothly...
It's a pretty cool stuff with this ad sense thing. Like making money and all.. Well that's cool. However, I was missing the point here... A blog is meant to have some actual blogs not just fantastic ads that nobody will click... Well I've decided that now I seriously need a web site and few more blogs.. I'll use this one for posting some of my scientific and mathematical findings... if you can call them so. Maybe book reviews and even some tips where to get them.. I'll be doing that after the exams... Well the days are passing by. SAT is coming on like a hurricane.
I've always liked to have a web site but there was never a serious motivating factor about what I'd do with a site... what possibly can be done? Sorry if I sound like Jerry Seinfeld... but after trying a lot of different combinations, I'd decided that it was not my cup of coffee... Went on to go for programming and studies.. now since there are ample opportunities to share a lot of things... more than I have time.. hehe...

The plan now is to change this site into a more or less scientific type blog and adding some more concerning with more worldly matters such as music, college life(maybe later), or even family life, politics.. and make a common site that would act as a homepage and a hub for all this.. I'll try to make all these sites working without me just nagging people to come on over here and click these links... That's ugly.. well hopefully, I can just run this thing pretty smoothly.

Google totally rocks.....