Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Global Warnings

The warming of the earth's crust and atmosphere is fast changing the climate,topography and the biota of the world. I have listed a few of the horror stories we may have to face in future.This list is by no means exhaustive.

  • Arctic ice is fast melting.Dwindling ice floes have also resulted in reducing the polar bear population.

  • The snow on Africa's highest peak,Mount Kilimanjaro,could entirely disappear by 2020.The same is the case with the Glacier National Park in Northwestern Montana whose glaciers are fast disappearing.

  • The warming up of the earth's crust is speeding up the gigantic ocean waves which could wreak havoc by eroding shorelines.

  • As to what climate change can really mean,we need look no further than Australia which is fast running out of water. Southern and eastern Australia have lost about 20% of its rainfall and there is a great decline in the flow of the rivers there in the past couple of years.The coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef are also believed to be threatened.

  • Increasingly hot summers will proportionately increase the death rate toll.

  • We will be seeing more of hurricanes and floods.

  • Wildlife is fast disappearing. Many species will be extinct by the end of this century.

  • Rise in sea levels could spell disaster for some places. Maldives in the Indian Ocean will be uninhabitable in the next 100 years.

  • There is so much at stake and no escape from the consequences of the global warming.It is certainly too late to stop all climate changes. But certainly by reducing our carbon footprint, we may be able to reduce the impact of oncoming calamities.

    Monday, July 30, 2007

    Child Jockey suit dismissed

    A Class action suit against Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum fails because of lack of jurisdiction.Hmm...why am I not surprised?

    The lawsuit was filed by the parents of child jockeys alleging that Sheikh Mo, his brother Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid and other unnamed defendants kidnapped and enslaved children in the past three decades for use as camel jockeys, in some cases as young as two, to be used on the camel racing circuit.The Dubai ruler had earlier sought US President George W Bush’s help in having the complaint dismissed, arguing it could affect ties between the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

    Child camel jockeys are often sexually and physically abused; most are physically and mentally stunted, as they are deliberately starved to prevent weight gain.Most of them are forced to wear metal helmets in the scorching heat of the desert so they bleed through their noses and lose weight that way.They are tied up on the neck of the camel and beaten and the high piched screams of the child in the camel’s ear makes it run faster. Barbaric.

    Though Qatar and the UAE had agreed in early 2005 to abandon child jockeys,NGO's are still concerned that not all former child jockeys are accounted for, and that some are still being used in illicit night-time races.

    Anti-slavery website has some interesting pictures of these child camel jockeys.

    Russia to plant its flag in the North Pole Seabelt

    Image coutesy:GlobalresearchThis is an update to my previous article on how Russia is claiming a huge swathe of the polar region as part of its territorial extension as they are asserting that the underwater geological feature called the Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of the Siberian continental shelf.Click on the image to see it in better resolution.

    Their earlier claims in 2001 had been nixed by the UN before.However,a team of explorers plan to descend 4,300 metres down to the seabed in a miniature submarine to stake Russia’s claim to this Arctic belt-the combined size of Germany, France and Italy-and plant a one-metre Russian flag, made of titanium.
    With four other countries(Canada, the United States, Norway and Denmark)laying claim to the Arctic shelf, this deep seated drive towards imperialism may only lead to more conflict in a resource constrained world.With this move, Russia is sending a clear signal to world powers that it has shrugged off its post-cold war weakness.

    [More here...]

    Sunday, July 29, 2007

    Ouch! Sheikh booted out!

    Arab Sheikhs being hubris- filled is nothing new. But I guess the Qatar(pronounced gutter- quite appropriately in this case)Sheikh in question here takes the cake.So,what does the guy do? When the ladies travelling with him are sitting next to unknown men in a British Airways flight, he takes objection and stalls the plane for a couple of hours! The pilot had to intervene but when the Sheikh does not see reason, his entourage is thrown out.
    Thumbs up to the pilot who didnt balk at offloading these nutcases and to the other passengers who didnt give up their seats when requested to do so. Maybe the pilot should have taken off and then halfway in the skies,at 35000 ft, “disimbarked” the Sheik and his group.He!he!

    Friday, July 27, 2007

    Rajnikant,gravity defying Star!

    Who is Rajnikanth? India's highest paid actor, that's who he is. His films, which are famous for their garish costumes, punch lines and his trademark utterly mind-boggling tricks are big money grossers. Infact, it is best to suspend your disbelief in the unnatural actions and tricks and simply give in to the entertainment of the scenes.
    The hilarious email forward(of unknown author)making the rounds these days goes somewhat like this:

    Isaac Newton comes to India on a trip and after seeing Rajnikant movies was convinced that all his logic & laws in physics were just a huge pile of junk...
    Why? Because of the following scenes-
    1)Brain Drain : Rajnikanth has a Brain Tumor which, according to the doctors can't be cured and his death is imminent. In one of the fights,he is shot in the head. To everybody's surprise, the bullet passes through his ears taking away the tumor along with it and he is cured!
    2)Blade Splitter : A goon shoots a bullet at Rajni. What does he do? He simply takes out a blade from his pocket and throws it at the bullet while it is still in mid-air.The bullet splits into two and goes in different directions - avoiding our superhero and the two goons who are standing behind Rajni get killed by the split bullets!
    3)Inspired Shooting : Rajnikant gets to know that the villain is on the other side of a very high wall. Unfortunately the wall is so high that our otherwise gravity-defying superhero cant jump over it. But the villain has to be killed because the film is nearing the end.So what does he do? He suddenly pulls two guns from his pocket, throws one gun in the air and when the gun has reached the height of the wall, he shoots the trigger of the first gun in air, with his second gun. The first gun ends up shooting the villian and he falls dead!
    4) Bollywood Style : Rajnikanth plays a police officer and is sitting on his motorcycle under a coconut tree. Suddenly he sees a couple of villains escaping in a car.Not one to do things the ordinary way, Rajni holds the clutch, puts his bike in gear, takes his gun and fires upwards. A coconut falls on the starter, Rajni releases his clutch, and away he goes chasing the villains!
    5)Magnetic Pull: Rajnikant is sitting in a college campus, waiting for some goons to harass the girls. When he sees them coming on their bicycles, he takes out two huge Iron Yoke magnets from his pocket, twists them wildly in the air which lifts the goons in the air with their cycles and they all twist in perfect harmony.He then puts the magnets back in his pockets,and the goons fall to the ground!
    6)And lastly,Rajanikanth is chased by a gangster.Rajnikant has a revolver but no bullets in it. Guess what he does? You can never guess in your remotest imaginations.He waits for the gangster to shoot. As soon as the gangster shoots, Rajanikanth opens the bullet compartment of his revolver and catches the bullet. Then, he closes the bullet compartment and fires his gun.
    This was too much for Newton to take and he faints!

    Photo Courtesy:Jerry

    Ashop Commerce

    This article is focussed on my readers who are into ecommerce businesses which may,at some point of time,become ubiquitous as they are easy to maintain and cost effective and can reach a wider worldwide audience.

    For those of you wanting to create or upgrade an online virtual store, a complete ecommerce software solution provider like Ashop Commerce with its hosted shopping cart software is a great opportunity to effectively market and sell your products and services on the internet.Ashop commerce is a leading provider of revolutionary online store building software and,at present, they are open to business owners in the US,UK and Australia.

    Five great reasons to choose their service:

  • The service is very competitively priced,user-friendly and web-based.

  • Designs are customised as per your individual requirements.

  • Enables you to accept credit cards transactions in real time and has built-in SSL protection for checkout security.

  • Shopping Cart service is fully Search engine optimised.

  • Integrated with all major banks, gateways and third party processors including paypal.

  • You can test demo for free their full feature service for 10 days.

    Bourne Sequel is back

    The Bourne Ultimatum is scheduled for release on August 3rd here in the U.S and Matt Damon stars as Jason Bourne,the amnesia-suffering assassin. Going by the teaser-trailer, it promises to be a good thriller.If I remember rightly, I thought he suffered from amnesia even in the last sequel! Right, I guess I am confused!

    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Drunk before space launch?

    This is interesting. According to a panel studying Astronauts’ health,NASA had allowed drunk astronauts, atleast twice, to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned that they were so drunk that they posed a safety risk. The report has still been unsubstantiated and NASA plans to hold a news conference on Friday to discuss the findings. Well,well,skeletons are tumbling out of NASA’s cupboards. First,it was Lisa Novak attacking her ’romantic’rival and now this :-P


    Finger Vein Scanning!

    Fingerprint scanning may soon be a thing of the past if this new gadget which authenticates and scans finger veins catches on. Hitachi has announced their new biometric cardless credit payment system that reads the patterns of blood vessels in one's fingers which are unique to each individual.If this goes mainstream, we may, in future,shop in convenience and be free from carrying credit cards which are vulnerable to theft.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    City Living Rooms

    Are these living room couches? Nah! They are city street lounges!
    St.Gallen, a town in Switzerland, has laid out these city lounges called "Stadtlounge" among the buildings in their financial district.

    Check out more images at Gadling.

    Why the Depreciating Dollar is good for the U.S Economy

    The dollar is getting dumbed down every day.It is against its 26-year low against the British Pound and lower against other key basket of currencies. So, why is the US administration not doing its best to push up and support the dollar? Strange as it may sound,the government has been compliant in the depreciation of the dollar. This could be because the advantages of the depreciation outweigh the disadvantages,and so the government is unlikely to intervene.According to Bloomberg:

    A weaker dollar is helping the economy and may bolster voters' confidence in the Republican party as the U.S. heads into a presidential election year. Rather than causing foreigners to flee U.S. securities, the depreciating currency is making American goods less expensive abroad and helping offset the worst housing recession in 16 years. Exports reached an all- time high of $132 billion in May, the government said this month.

    Consider the following factoids:
  • Exports have gone up and trade imbalances have been reduced.

  • Operating sales income of most big Corporations have gone up.

  • Most important of all,the depreciating dollar has helped reduced U.S.trade deficit in the first quarter of this year from 7%to about 5.7% of the economy.

  • Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    Lavish Hotel Suites

    Hotels keep devising ever new ways of snagging a slice of the wealth of the richie richs.They have come up with even more ingenious ways of making their supersuites worthy of shelling out $40000 a night!

    The Palms Casino Resort in Los Angeles has been featured as one of the most expensive hotel suites by the magazine,Elite Traveler.Palms offers four single-story Sky villas for $25000,a pair of two-story Sky Villas for $35000 and the playboy-themed Hugh Hefner Suite for $40000. They come featured with a private indoor lap pool,indoor waterfalls,private poker rooms,outdoor cantilevered jacuzzis,personal chef and use of a Maserati Quattroporte!

    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Online Patent Filing

    The Indian Commerce Department, last Friday,launched E-filing of Patents and Trademark applications for ease and convenience of the applicants.
    There are only a dozen or so countries which have e-filing facilities at present and India now gets into this elite group consisting of countries like USA, Japan, South Korea, China and the European Patent Office.

    Crazy Fatwas

    Islamists certainly give us something to laugh about in our drab lives. They have issued frivolous fatwas(fatwa is a religious ruling in Islam, issued by a Supreme Cleric, on a specific issue and is considered necessary in cases where an issue of sharia law is undecided or uncertain)for actions that normal people would not think twice about or make a hue and cry about like polio vaccines or Pokèmon video games! Who but the ever suspicious Islamic fundamentalists,would even think of conspiracy behind such things?
    Such fatwas can only be relegated to the universe of the stupid.It badly needs a huge dose of reform.

    [Full article here...]

    Google's Latest Acquisition

    There's no stopping Google's acquisitions. It has now acquired ImageAmerica, a company that builds high-resolution cameras and uses them to take aerial images.The high-resolution camera can capture details as small as 6 to 12 inches.

    The Company has also announced that it would bid at least $4.6 billion in an upcoming auction of the 700MHz wireless spectrum with a vision to free the US airwaves.
    You may want to see Google's huge map of products.

    Saturday, July 21, 2007

    Is the new President of India worthy of respect?

    Its official.
    Pratibha Patil has finally made it as the first woman president of India with 2/3rd majority of votes from the electoral college. It would have been a sweet victory for women's empowerment if not for the tainted baggage of past misdeeds that have come alongwith her of being involved in financial scams by way of unpaid loans to the tune of 20 crores and shielding her husband and brother in a suicide scandal and murder probe respectively.
    More on all her (un)doings in this website aptly named knowprathibhapatil.com.

    Useful How-to

    Here's a nifty way of removing a cork which has fallen and got trapped in the wine bottle.

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    Will Crude oil sell at $100 soon?

    Oil prices are predicted to hit the $100 mark in 2008. It has reached $74 per barrel and is soon reaching the peak level of $78 that it went up to last August.
    Contrary to normal demand and supply dynamics,higher oil prices so far have not led to lower consumption.

    What are the reasons for ever increased consumption?

  • People are not convinced that high prices are here to stay. They keep hoping that it will stabilise to a more lower and rational level soon.

  • A lot of consumption is built into the infrastructure of our lifestyle.People's travel needs have increased than ever before.

  • Reducing consumption requires a long lead time. Fuel efficient cars are still not the order of the day.

  • Prices are subsidized in places like Iran,Venezuela,Indonesia and China.So higher prices haven`t impacted the market as yet.

  • Bio fuel is still at its nascent stage of being the popular alternative.

  • Developing economies are creating a big addition to global demand.

  • Global crude oil production and supply is peaking and is coming down YoY due to years of underinvestment, mismanagement, lack of technology or political interference.The world`s big fields,like Ghawar in Saudi Arabia,Cantarell in Mexico, and Kuwait`s Burgan field,are all in decline and showing signs of maturity.

  • Not many new oil fields are being discovered to keep up with the world's demand.It is also becoming expensive to drill from geologically challenged new fields. This will only increase the marginal cost of every additional barrel of oil.

  • As yet the world has not run out of oil. But it is certain the world has run out of cheap oil.Sad,but true.

    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    Get Paid to Blog with Smorty

    This is a unique concept and one which is wonderfully lucrative to do something which you anyway like doing. If you like blogging, like yours truly, then Smorty is a smart answer, which pays you for blogging!
    Sounds fantastic, doesnt it? I have decided to give it a try and after
    reading about it, I think its a win-win situation all the way for both advertisers and bloggers.

    So what exactly is Smorty and how does it work? Smorty is a seamless service
    connecting advertisers with bloggers. Potential advertisers create campaigns based on their products for you to write endorsements and advertise about it on your blog with links back to their sites. In turn, Smorty notifies bloggers of the opportunities and they can write suitable opinion posts about the said products and services in their blogs reaching out to a niche audience. You get paid to blog by Smorty, after your article is approved, through Paypal on a weekly basis.

    To get into Smorty's roll of bloggers, your blog has to meet certain prerequisite conditions and has to be atleast 3 months old and indexed by Search Engines like Google and Yahoo.

    The upsides of a service like Smorty are :

    • Its easy User Interface. The concept is easy to understand and doable.
      Signing up is also easy.

    • Approval of your blog by Smorty does not take a long time.They get back to you pretty fast.

    • You have a choice of subjects and you can take 3 days to opine about it after acceptance.

    • The payment can go up in due course depending on your rating and quality of posts.

    • Lastly, you get to see your reward on a weekly basis which is a huge motivating factor.

    New! 3-D Email Mailbox !

    Emails in regular inboxes have become passè now.
    The mailbox seems to have come to life in 3-Dimensional format. Check out the trailer below for yourself and see snapshots explaining how emails get filtered,read and trashed in that mailbox all with music and sound effects!

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Old Bin in New Old Video Footage

    Something sinister is going on.The bounty on Osama has been doubled to $50 mil all of a sudden and while world headlines scream that yet another Osama tape has been released calling for more Jihad, the guys who read between the lines and carefully examine the old videos have unearthed enough evidence that the tape is an old one (of 2002)rehashed as new! Even the sloping mountain in the left background and the falling leaves on the right are the same! Osama seems to have the same fatigues and cap! Ofcourse, we can contend that he has no recourse to laundry facilities in the caves! Five years down the lane and living in such harsh conditions doesnt seem to have taken a toll on his looks too!
    So What gives?! And why is the media and terror pundits fooling the people with such reruns?

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    Novel Email Scams!

    Email ScamsThe Nigerian email scams claiming untold wealth unearthed in Africa and of survivors of deposed and dead rulers are now old hat. The scams are getting more imaginative and topical these days.
    Take the case of the phony soldier scam where an American Soldier writes that he has cancer and has only a few weeks to live. He has supposedly found a huge sum of $25 million in a Baghdad neighborhood and wants the recipient of the email to help him collect this consignment and dispatch it to charity organisations. He has magnanimously set aside 25% as fee for the recipient for the help! On investigations, the Feds found no soldier listed under that name!

    A more colorful email scam is ostensibly by Suha Arafat, the wife of the Long dead Yasser Arafat, who says she has been thrown into a state of humiliation, frustration and hopelessness by the present leadership of the PLO and the new Prime Minister and has been subjected to physical and psychological torture. She claims to have deposited the sum of 20 million dollars with a security firm abroad and wishes assistance for withdrawal of the sum. Ofcourse, she too is willing to part with 20 mil for the kindly soul who will help her!
    Wonder how many suckers will fall for these now?!

    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Obama Girl

    Latest from Team Obama Girl in the pillow fight against Republican Rudy Giuliani with scantily clad girls. This is a follow-up to the earlier video titled 'Crush on Obama' which was named the best song of the summer by UK Observer.
    In this video,Obama Girl and her crew do battle with the girls from the GOP. Including real footage from the actual show-down!

    Sunday, July 15, 2007

    AK-47 turns 60!

    One of Russia’s most popular exports has been the Kalashnikov rifle invented by Mikhail Kalashnikov 60 years back and popularly known as AK-47.The weapon invented to defend the then Soviet Union has become a symbol of Third World revolutionary struggle and Islamic jihad.Ironically,it is at the top of the list of Top 10 combat rifles of the US Military.
    The original Kalashnikov underwent some changes and a lot of knockoffs appeared in the market.This has enraged the Kremlin.With over 75 million built worldwide, it is a firearms legend that has probably inflicted more lethal results than any other single weapon system ever produced. It is popular because its cheap to produce,easy to maintain and immune to extremities of climate unlike other guns.
    Three years ago, in celebration of Mikhail Kalashnikov's 85th birthday, a museum was opened in the Russian city of Izhevsk to honor his most enduring gift to the world.Plans are afoot to build a hotel in an artificial island in the Izhevsk city which will be designed in the shape of a Kalashnikov!

    Saturday, July 14, 2007

    USB port usage going up exponentially

    One more cool gizmo to drool over.
    This $32 USB-powered can cooler/warmer has a toggle switch too to determine the temperature.


    Friday, July 13, 2007

    Cardboard filled buns!

    Why is it that suddenly there is a deluge of news coming out of China about its tainted food?! It cant be an overnight happening. But there it is! The focus of the world is now on China's spurious and shoddy
    and adulterated food.

    The latest in the line is Cardboard filled buns sold on the streets of Beijing! Yes, buns as in steamed buns.

    The recipe goes like this: Cardboard is soaked in water and an industrial-use caustic soda, a poisonous chemical, is added. The cardboard loses its normal color and becomes fragile under the soda's strong causticity, making it look more like pork. Finally, pork-smell essence and pork fat are stirred into the concoction to make the stuffing more vivid and edible.Good grief! What next?

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Hybrid Trains

    And now, a Hybrid Train!Enormous energy can be saved by behemoth commuter trains by operating in this fashion.
    Japan has created the world's first environmentally friendly diesel-electric hybrid train,for commercial use,that gets recharged by energy created from braking at curves and when entering stations.While a brake is applied, the motor is used as a generator, which recharges the storage battery. The train will be put into service by a Japanese railway company next month.

    The new technology helps reduce emissions of NOx and particulate matter by up to 60%, compared to conventional trains.
    It cuts fuel consumption by up to 20%, and as idling can be automatically stopped, there is less noise.

    Hybrid trains known as Green Goats are already in use as locomotives in yard switching operations in the US by Union Pacific Company.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Dial 'P' for Vladimir Putin

    Vladimir PutinPost 1991, Russia has seen a lot of changes. Before President Vladimir Putin took over power in December 1999, the Russian eonomy was in shambles with increased government debt,currency crisis and insolvent banking system.With the help of rising energy prices,and by courting foreign investments and offering lucrative joint ventures, Putin managed to restore the country to financial health by paying debts and building up hard currency reserves that have now grown to $300 billion.
    More importantly, he reined in the power of the Yeltsin-era oligarchs by intimidation. The not-so subservient ones were either exiled to Siberia,immigrated to European nations or have died under mysterious circumstances.

    The bigger threat now is Putin's government is reasserting direct government ownership and control over an ever-widening share of the economy by establishing vast state-owned holding companies in automobile and aircraft manufacturing, shipbuilding, nuclear power, diamonds, titanium and other industries justifying it as being in national interest.
    Russia's old oligarchs have now been replaced with a new political-economic oligarchy made up of officials and executives friendly with, or beholden to, Putin. They've already tightened their grip on key energy, metals and natural resources sectors, and begun to branch out into finance, real estate, telecommunications and even auto parts.
    Recently, Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the biggest Nickel corporation, Norilsk Nickel( the largest mining and metals company in Russia and the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium)went out favor with Putin and his share is to be bought out by his partner,Potanin,who is admittedly close to Putin.

    In Russia today, no serious deal can be made without approval from the Kremlin. It is increasingly becoming a police state with Putin pulling all the strings.Clearly,in neo-Soviet Russia, the government uses business as a smokescreen to do exactly what the USSR government did openly.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    Google's huge map of Products

    Google buys a start-up company once every few days.Its impossible to imagine that google was launched only in 1998. The journey has been stratospheric for the company which started as a search engine one and now has branched into different applications.
    Among its most recent acquisitions are GrandCentral Communications,an innovative service that lets users integrate all of their existing phone numbers and voice mailboxes into one account and which can be accessed from the web and Postini, a company which offers security and corporate compliance solutions for email, IM, and other web-based communications among other things.Postini was bought for $625 million.
    I found an enormous map of Google products from Zorgloob,a French blog,via Google Blogoscoped. Click on the image below and view it on its largest size for a reality check of google's enormous empire.

    Monday, July 9, 2007

    Terrorist gear

    For those of you who wonder where the Palestinian militants get their ski masks and uniforms, this video by Slate is informative.

    Sunday, July 8, 2007

    Undecipherable Error message!

    Only the geeks at Microsoft can know what it means! :-D

    Biodiesel from Algae?

    Algae is a greenish wet mass made up of simple aquatic organisms that capture light energy through photosynthesis,and produces vegetable oil. This oil can,in turn,be transformed into biodiesel to power any diesel engine.
    A start up called Solix labs has plans for converting algae into biodiesel fuel.

    Algae has some important advantages over other oil-producing crops, like canola and soybeans. It can be grown in almost any enclosed small space,multiplies like gangbusters, and requires very few inputs to flourish—mainly just sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.

    Algae doesn’t need fertile soil to thrive. It can grow in ponds, bags or tanks.It can even reduce global carbon emissions by feeding on the CO2 which can be harnessed for their growth from carbon emitting power plants. If the company succeeds, it will be a giant leap towards a greener future for gas-guzzling USA.

    Friday, July 6, 2007

    New Seven Wonders of the World- Is there more to it behind the hype?

    There are no dearth of examples to reiterate the herd mentality of human beings. When there is a collective fetish for something, we go ahead unquestioningly with it.The latest being the new international initiative to vote for the new seven wonders of the world.The logic behind this being that the original seven wonders were selected by one man, Philon of Byzantium in 200 BC and hence are all more than two mellenia old.
    Out of over 200 possible new man-made wonders a team of experts have managed to nominate 21 potential candidates amidst a lot of controversies.People all over the world have been asked to vote online and to send sms (which incidentally, costs one US dollar).Ofcourse, if you are ready to shell out $2, you can vote twice!
    So, who is behind all this? According to wikipedia,it is a Swiss-based, for-profit corporation called New Open World Corporation (NOWC). In addition to the sale of votes, NOWC relies on private donations, the sale of branded merchandise such as T-shirts and cups, and revenue from selling broadcasting rights.
    The much awaited results are going to be announced tomorrow,the seventh day of the seventh month of the seventh year of the new millennium in Lisbon,Portugal.
    The whole idea of picking the new Seven Wonders seems very commercial.I wont be surprised if the seven new wonders will become tourist hotspots as there are tour advertisements already appearing on the official site.There is an interesting article about this hype in Gridskipper.

    Thursday, July 5, 2007

    Cool Logitech Webcams

    logitech webcam for desktops
    Now its the turn of webcams to go high-end.Logitech has announced that is going to feature the exclusive and high-resolution Carl Zeiss lenses in its new line of webcams for both desktops and laptops. This will be a first in the normally low-res webcam arena.
    Both the cam versions for notebooks and desktops are 2.0 megapixel,have auto-focus and are capable of capturing far clearer video images as some digital cameras than the typically grainy sub-1.0 megapixel webcams.They also have built-in microphone. Both versions will sell for $99 and should be available for sale in stores here within the month.
    For more on its specs, you may want to check Gizmodo.com

    Wednesday, July 4, 2007

    Unusual Weather Patterns Worldwide

    What is wrong with the weather everywhere?
    Storms and floods in Britain, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Forest fires in Greece due to extreme heat...
    Here in the United States,Summer has never quite managed to settle in for more than a few days leaving in its wake intermittent overcast conditions and storms fit for autumn. Torrential rainfall was seen across the southern states of continental US. Around 211 tornadoes have been have been seen in the past 8 days.Reportedly, even Alaska which is warming more quickly than any other place on the planet right now,is experiencing forest fires.This year is on track to be the world's second warmest on record since records began in the 1860s.The warmest was 1998.
    Are these wake-up calls for us ? The earth can take the greed of a population only upto a point.It wont be a surprise if we might actually see the effects of global climatic changes in our lifetimes rather than way off in the distant future.

    Tuesday, July 3, 2007

    Fake Steve Jobs!

    FakeSteveJobsHe calls himself the fake Steve Jobs (Co-founder & CEO of Apple Inc) and has a blog ranting at Apple and Apple products.
    Uses words like Much love,Namaste and Peace be unto you. Very secular and peaceloving guy!

    As the blog has gained readership, and influence--Fake Steve Jobs was named the 41st most influential person in business by Business 2.0 magazine--the buzz around his true identity has grown and grown. Some would say that it doesn't matter, and that in fact the blog is better if we don't really know. But media being what it is, names of candidates for the blog's authorship are constantly bandied about. Is it Nick Denton of Valleywag? Is it Steve Jobs himself?

    See Cnet News interview with FSJ

    Islamic Rage-Here,there and Everywhere

    Monday, July 2, 2007

    Unique Anti Corruption Drive

    Corruption is a bane in India. Almost no government and administrative work of yours can be done without bribing the corrupt officials in that department. Even entry level workers in almost all government enterprises rake in the moolah by being corrupt.According to the World Bank report on the corruption level in 200 countries,India was ranked at the 47th place in the list of most corrupt countries.
    The temptation to abuse public power for private gain is mainly because of the selfish interests of these corrupt public servants.So ubiquitous is the malignant spread of this disease of corruption that it is almost socially accepted in Indian society.
    In such a low morale environment, it is encouraging to see someone fight against it by blogging against the corrupt system.Jayshree, whose husband,Vijayakumar,a Government employee,is fighting high level corruption from within the system. Since he has made powerful enemies by trying to expose the corruption, she is aiming to protect her husband by building an internet shield of people around him. Hence, the blog that she started.Read about their struggle here.