Sunday, December 31, 2006

Death By Government

A Review..

Professor Rummel's work, Death By Government, is a product of eight years of research into the roots and causes of Democide - defined as the intentional killing by governments through genocide, politicide, and arbitrary mass murder of its people. The cornerstones of current U.S foreign policy - centered around fostering democratic freedom - are based upon Professor Rummel's correct observation, that liberal democracies promote the greater peace and they are essential to eliminating Democide and ending wars between nations. Through empirical research the evident truths become exposed and the reader is left with the overall understanding that absolute power corrupts and leads to the murder of a governments' people and that only through restricting and checking power can these horrors be restrained. Democracies virtually never make war on each other and the more democratic two governments, the less the likelihood of violence between them. So not only is democracy a solution to domestic democide, but globalizing democracy is also a solution to war. The existence and spread of liberal democracies (not just electoral democracies, but liberal democracies in terms of civil and political rights and liberties) provides the long run hope for the elimination of democide and war. Professor Rummel astutely notes that power's relationship to democide is on a continuum - the more absolute the power, the more democide. The problem is Power. The solution is democracy. The course of action is to foster freedom.


That America actively supports dictatorships is well-known. I wonder if this book includes genocide of Native Indians.

Aid to Dependent Dictators

Capitalism is the most powerful economic force ever developed. The exponential economic growth made possible by private property rights and free trade is the basis for the existence of the modern world. This is no secret; even the Communist Party of China includes "businessmen," i.e. capitalists, as one of the four pillars of the Party.

So why are so few nations even nominally capitalist? Largely because of America's biggest welfare program: Aid to Dependent Dictators. Since World War II, US foreign aid has systematically subsidized parasitic governing "elites," from the nomenclatura of the Warsaw Pact to the kleptocrats of Africa; even the rulers of the "Axis of Evil."

The Roman Empire extracted tribute from its subject provinces, leaving Roman citizens with a lighter tax burden (at first, anyway). The US Empire instead taxes its own citizens to pay tribute to foreign ruling classes. This may be counterintuitive, but it is a highly effective Imperial stratagem. By subsidizing socialist regimes, Rome-On-The-Potomac prevents the development of competing capitalist centers elsewhere. A tiny expenditure each year to prop up a dictator can prevent the emergence of a multitrillion-dollar economy. What if every poor nation in the world had taken the route of 20th century Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan… or for that matter, the 19th century United States? How much power would State Department proconsuls have if every nation on Earth were rich?

Manifest Technology

This Manifest Technology Web site is designed to help you make sense of computer and consumer electronics technology. It's for people who are interested in actually using some of this cool new stuff, but would like help figuring it out.

Instead of providing product reviews or exhaustive feature comparisons of specific versions, the focus here is on providing the overall context and information you need to help make sense of what's available, and to understand whether it might be of use to you. Read the articles, check out the links, and enjoy!

This site contains over 200 articles, presentations, and references, all freely available for personal use.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Holocaust denial

Let me clarify my position: I'm in no way a Holocaust denier. I'm part Jewish, and my family was crippled by the Holocaust.

However, I also know quite a number of survivors. And their accounts amounted to about the same thing - yes, the conditions in the camps were horrifying. Yes, people were dying like flies. Yes, there were crematoriums (what else can you do with dead bodies?) Yes, there were frequent mass executions, and daily individual ones. However, the majority still died of natural causes (hunger and disease). The camps simply did not have the logistics to keep these numbers of people alive, especially towards the end of the war, when the German population itself was hungry.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Religious support for slavery


If you were really a Rabi, you would know that God, Himself, told the Jews it was OK to own slaves as long as the slaves were not the children of Israel. Heathens and foreigners may be kept as slaves and their children bought and sold as property. God also allows you to beat your slaves as long as they don't die from the injuries. The book of Exodus commands slaves to submit to their masters regardless of their treatment.

You can read it for yourself in any Torah or Bible. It's in the book of Leviticus--the same book where God sets the Kosher laws, denounces homosexuality, severely limits who is worthy of entering His temple, and demands you sacrifice sheep to atone for your sins. Our Founding Fathers used those passages to justify writing slavery into the Constitution.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

VMWare AMD Dual-Core issues

VMWare complains...

"Your host's BIOS does not have valid NUMA information. Please update the host's BIOS or associate the virtual machine with the processors in a single NUMA code (CEC). Please read VMWare Knowledge Base articles 928 and 1236."

Motherboard is ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe.

Installed AMD Dual-Core Optimizer and AMD Athlon™ 64/FX Processor Driver for Windows XP. Will disable Cool n Quiet in BIOS now as suggested by xilog.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Dilbert Principle

The Dilbert Principle refers to a 1990s satirical observation stating that companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to management, in order to limit the amount of damage that they're capable of doing.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

MySQL Backup strategies

Mini Rant: I never gave much thought to backing up my database, and I suspect you haven’t given much thought to it, either. You think it won’t happen to you, but believe me, when something does happen it can do more than ruin your day. If you don’t have a backup, you can lose days, months, or even years of hard work. You can’t trust your host, no matter how good they are. And you can’t ignore the possibility of “pilot error.” Just yesterday, I was making some corrections and in my haste clicked the wrong button, erasing two days of work since my last manual backup and losing several new entries. Now that I’ve figured out how to automate my backups, all I can say is: Have a backup plan!

How to Find a Web Host That Doesn’t Suck

Google I’d start by searching Google for comments about your potential host. Also, try “[your potential host] sucks” (don’t forget the quotes). Consider these results for example:

Upstart Blogger is currently hosted by AN Hosting, so let’s start with them. Google search for “AN Hosting Sucks”: No results.

Since AN Hosting is owned by Midphase , let’s do a search for Midphase. Google search for “Midphase Sucks”: About 38 results.

Before AN Hosting, I was with Hosting ZOOM. Google search for “Hosting Zoom Sucks”: Two results, both because of me.

Before Hosting Zoom, I was with DreamHost. Google search for “DreamHost Sucks”: About 24,200 results (I contributed a few).

Now, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as Carl Sagan said. The lack of Google results for your potential host may not be an indication of anything. But a multitude of “[your host] sucks” results should be a red flag.


Upstartblogger.com

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Picture of the year



Thanks to Venkat.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lal Bihari - considerable posthumous activities

Lal Bihari (or Lal Bihari Mritak) (born 1961) is a farmer from Uttar Pradesh, India who was officially dead from 1976 to 1994. He founded Mritak Sangh or the Association of the Dead in Uttar Pradesh, India. He fought Indian government bureaucracy for 18 years to prove that he is alive.

When Lal Bihari tried to apply for a bank loan in 1976, he found out that he was officially dead. His uncle had bribed a government official to register him as dead so he would get the ownership of Bihari's land.

Bihari discovered at least 100 other people in a similar situation, being officially dead. He formed Mritak Sangh in the Azamgarh district. He and many other members were in danger of being killed by those who had appropriated their property. Nowadays the association has over 20,000 members all over India. By 2004 they had managed to declare four of their members alive.

Over the years Bihari tried to attract attention to his situation by various means. He organized his own funeral and demanded widow's compensation for his wife. In 1980 he added the word "mritak" ("dead") to his name and signed his letters "late Lal Bihari". He stood for election against Rajiv Gandhi in 1989 and lost, to prove that he is alive. In 1994 he managed to have his official death annulled after a long legal struggle.

In 2004 he ran for a seat in the parliament of Lal Ganj.

Bihari continues to support other people in similar situations. In 2004 he sponsored fellow Mritak Sangh member Shivdutt Yadav when he contested election against Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Film-maker Satish Kaushik will be making a movie about his life, death, and life. Bihari was awarded the Ig Nobel Peace Award in 2003 for his considerable "posthumous" activities.

The Conquest of the United States by Spain

There is not a civilized nation which does not talk about its civilizing mission just as grandly as we do. The English, who really have more to boast of in this respect than anybody else, talk least about it, but the Phariseeism with which they correct and instruct other people has made them hated all over the globe. The French believe themselves the guardians of the highest and purest culture, and that the eyes of all mankind are fixed on Paris, whence they expect oracles of thought and taste. The Germans regard themselves as charged with a mission, especially to us Americans, to save us from egoism and materialism. The Russians, in their books and newspapers, talk about the civilizing mission of Russia in language that might be translated from some of the finest paragraphs in our imperialistic newspapers. The first principle of Mohammedanism is that we Christians are dogs and infidels, fit only to be enslaved or butchered by Moslems. It is a corollary that wherever Mohammedanism extends it carries, in the belief of its votaries, the highest blessings, and that the whole human race would be enormously elevated if Mohammedanism should supplant Christianity everywhere. To come, last, to Spain, the Spaniards have, for centuries, considered themselves the most zealous and self-sacrificing Christians, especially charged by the Almighty, on this account, to spread true religion and civilization over the globe. They think themselves free and noble, leaders in refinement and the sentiments of personal honor, and they despise us as sordid money-grabbers and heretics. I could bring you passages from peninsular authors of the first rank about the grand rule of Spain and Portugal in spreading freedom and truth.


We assume that what we like and practice, and what we think better, must come as a welcome blessing to Spanish-Americans and Filipinos. This is grossly and obviously untrue. They hate our ways. They are hostile to our ideas. Our religion, language, institutions, and manners offend them. They like their own ways, and if we appear amongst them as rulers, there will be social discord in all the great departments of social interest. The most important thing which we shall inherit from the Spaniards will be the task of suppressing rebellions. If the United States takes out of the hands of Spain her mission, on the ground that Spain is not executing it well, and if this nation in its turn attempts to be school-mistress to others, it will shrivel up into the same vanity and self-conceit of which Spain now presents an example.




From: http://www.mises.org/story/2398

79% of Indians below Poverty Line

New Delhi, Feb 22: Terming the Indian official poverty line outdated, a think tank here has called for "realistic" figures and said it should be pegged at a per capita expenditure of Rs.840 ($19) a month.

"The realistic poverty line that we propose along with these access parameters will provide a real, more inclusive and clear picture of poverty in India," said the Centre for Policy Alternatives in a study titled "Redefining Poverty".

According to the study's authors, Mohan Guruswamy and Ronald Joseph Abrahama, the existing poverty line based on intake of calories is not the right way to go about defining how poor people are.

As of December 2005, the poverty lines after adjusting for inflation were Rs.368 and Rs.559 per person respectively for rural and urban areas.

"These official poverty lines in India are, however, woefully unsatisfactory and should be renamed 'starvation lines'.

"This is because apart from factoring around 650 grams of foodgrains every day, this line makes very little provision for the other essentials of life."

Saying a true definition of poverty should include all the basic needs of human life with a modest modicum of quality, it said a person should be deemed poor in India if he or she has a monthly per capita expenditure less than Rs.840 or does not have access to drinking water, proper shelter, sanitation, quality secondary education or an all-weather road with public transport.

The Rs.840 is made up of minimum costs for nutrition (Rs.573), health (Rs.30), clothing (Rs.17), energy consumption (Rs.55) and miscellaneous expenditure (Rs.164).

"The Indian state needs to revisit its concept of poverty," the study said.

"The present unrealistically low poverty line only serves the purpose of making the government and its development efforts - or the lack of it - look good.

"If the state is as committed to the task of ridding the country from the ills of poverty as it claims, it should start by redefining the current poverty line. This will ensure that the government gets its priorities straight and is able to target policy effectively.

"This calls for a paradigm shift in the sphere of development policy in this country," the study said. "A shift that is imperative if we truly wish for a New India."

The study warned that even the poverty line of Rs.840 a month "only partially reveals the true state of poverty in India.

"A person spending more than Rs.840 per month does not necessarily have access to all the fundamental needs of life."

But at the suggested expenditure level, nearly 79 percent of India's current total population would be below the poverty line, the study said.

This "is over two-and-a-half times the present official poverty rate of 26.1 percent. "The situation in rural India is much worse with over 84 percent of the rural populace below this more realistic poverty line."

The study gave some grim reminders about Indian poverty: 37.7 percent of Indian households do not have access to a nearby water source; 49 percent do not have a proper shelter; 69.5 percent do not have access to suitable toilets; 85.2 percent of Indian villages do not have a secondary school; and 43 percent of the villages do not have an all-weather road connecting them.

The study also said that the poverty line should be updated every five years.

"The aim ... is to define poverty in India in a manner that visualizes it in more human and humane terms rather than the animal life levels of the present definition."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Believers vs Non-believers

What do the data say?

I have seen no evidence that nonbelievers commit crimes or other antisocial acts in greater proportion than believers. Indeed, some studies indicate the opposite. Six of the seven states with the highest crime rates are in the Bible Belt. Fifty percent of the prison population are Catholics. Atheists comprise about 0.2 percent. A child's risk of sexual abuse by a family member increases as the family's religious denomination becomes more conservative, that is, when the teachings of scriptures and other doctrines are taken more literally. Similarly, the probability of wife abuse increases with the rigidity of a church's teachings pertaining to the gender roles and hierarchy.



Do our values stem from god? - V. Stenger

It's all OK if you are a Christian

Our country, with the approval and encouragement of George W. Bush, has been carrying out a program of religious indoctrination and the unconstitutional endorsement of evangelical Christianity. Federal money has been funneled into "faith-based" programs that make religious dogmatists prosper, and have no other actual, real-world value. The clearest examples are the prisons, where con artists like Chuck Colson have been engaged in a kind of ministry that is actually religious extortion and bribery.

Chase card change in terms

IMPORTANT NOTICE OF CHANGE IN TERMS

This Change in Terms notice contains the details of upcoming changes to your Cardmember Agreement (“agreement”). These changes will be effective the first day of your billing cycle that includes January 1, 2007. They will apply to current and future balances on your account. Please read this notice carefully. If you have questions about it, please contact us at the number on the back of your card.

Summary of Changes:

In calculating finance charges, the date when transactions are added to your daily balances and begin to accrue periodic finance charges will
be as early as the transaction date

The change described in this notice will apply to your account automatically. If you were previously notified of the change described in this notice and it is already in effect on your account, it will continue to apply. Any other terms on your account not described in this notice also continue to apply.

Again, please read the enclosed information, and keep this notice for your records.

AMENDMENTS TO YOUR AGREEMENT

Please note that some terms in your agreement or any amendment may appear with initial capital letters or all lower case letters. Such terms have the same meaning. For example, “Account” means the same as “account”.

If you have any questions about these amendments, please call us at the number on the back of your card.

The following changes will apply automatically:

FINANCE CHARGE CALCULATION. The "Periodic Finance Charge Calculation" or "Finance Charge Calculation" section of your Agreement is amended to replace, in the portion that explains how we calculate the daily balance for each transaction category or feature, the sentence(s) that describes when new transactions are added to the daily balances and begin to accrue finance charges. The revised terms are as follows:

We add a new purchase, cash advance, balance transfer or overdraft advance, if applicable, to the daily balance as of the transaction date, or a later date of our choice. We add a new cash advance check or balance transfer check to the daily balance as of the date the cash advance check or balance transfer check is deposited by a payee, or a later date of our choice.

GRACE PERIOD. The "Grace Period" or "Grace Period and Accrual of Finance Charges” section of your Agreement is amended to replace the sentence that describes when periodic finance charges begin to accrue on transactions, fees and other finances charges. The revised sentence is as follows:

We accrue periodic finance charges on a transaction, fee, or finance charge from the date it is added to your daily balance until payment in full is received on your account.

ADV2931 11/06
INW12105

Sharp XR-10X DLP XGA 2000 Lumens Projector




I used to own the (NEC VT47 Digital Video Projector) and this one blows it out of the water. This is the best projector for the price. Our local tweeter store had a display set up for a 6000 dollar projector and friends, mine is just as good. After my other one bit the dust, thanks to Alabama Powers flipping the electricity on and off and not replacing it when I nicely pointed out that they had killed it... still a sore spot... I waited about six months before I got a new one. I have been studying and demo-ing projectors for years: Prices, resolution (the horizontal and vertical lines that make up the detail) and the lumens (The brightness of the bulb... Typically in a dark room 1300-1500 is plenty) all the specs.


Pricegrabber Sharp

Friday, December 08, 2006

D-Link DGL-4300 802.11g Gaming Router



D-Link’s GamerLounge introduces the Wireless Gaming Router. In addition to high-powered wireless performance and Gigabit LAN ports, this router features GameFuel Priority technology specifically designed to provide a seamless user experience for bandwidth-intense applications like online gaming, multimedia streaming, and Voice over IP (VoIP) applications. GameFuel Priority features a custom traffic routing engine, which automatically prioritizes and intelligently manages these bandwidth-sensitive applications. Stay competitive in your game and still have enough available bandwidth to make VoIP calls and enjoy your audio and video streams.


I was looking for Gigabit LAN and wireless in one. Looks like this works. A bit pricey, but it looks sexy.

Uniden TRU9485-2 Expandable Cordless System



This will allow me to talk to a whole lot of people at the same time. The next question I had was, can I use a whole lot of these at once? It looks like I can. Metafilter provided the answer.

Can two separate 5.8GHz cordless phones co-exist in a home?

I've got a Uniden 5.8GHz cordless phone set that I use for business on a VoIP line and I want to get another cordless set (with digital answering machine) for my home land line.

Because I have an 802.11b/g network I don't want it to be 2.4GHz (or 900MHz) so the second phone set would also be 5.8GHz (probably the AT&T 5840).



And the answers ...

Uniden's phones are frequency-hopping spread-spectrum, and two different systems should automatically stay out of each other's way. A FHSS phone 2.4 GHz phone will also stay out of the way of a WiFi network -- I use a Panasonic 2.4 GHz phone and it works fine with my WiFi. But I'm looking to upgrade to a 5.8 GHz system eventually anyway, because that's where all the cool new features are coming out.
Being pedantic, no they don't. They stay out of each other's way by pure chance by constantly changing frequencies at random. They do occasionally collide, but only for a fraction of a second until they next hop to new frequencies.


Lovely!

VMware Server on Debian

VMware has just released version 1.0 of its free VMware Server. With VMware Server you can create and run guest operating systems ("virtual machines") such as Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, etc. under a host operating system. This has the benefit that you can run multiple operating systems on the same hardware which saves a lot of money, and you can move virtual machines from one VMware Server to the next one (or to a system that has the VMware Player which is also free). In this article we use Debian Sarge (3.1) as the host operating system.

Outsourcing ..

Most of us heard about elance. Here are some more: odesk.com, guru.com along similar lines.

And online tutoring sites seem to be booming, take a look at http://www.iitiancollege.info

Expect to see a whole lot along these lines. First boom, then consolidation.

Magic in the Metro

With 8 million people passing through each day, Moscow's metro system is the busiest in the world. It's also one of most of the beautiful.

Built during Stalin's rule, the stations are known as "the people's palaces" for their elegant design and lavish use of marble, mosaics, sculptures, and even chandeliers. The intricate mosaics lining Kievskaya station, the stained-glass panels at the Novoslobodskaya stop, and the gold-trimmed white porcelain caverns at Prospekt Mira are more museum than metro.

Celltradeusa.com

We have developed the world's first online community that gets dissatisfied cell phone customers out of their service contract. Celltradeusa.com provides this service through an incentive based system that connects millions of cellular customers nationwide that want to Get Out with those that want to Get In.

X-Windows Editor - NEdit

Netezza

As the global data warehouse appliance leader, Netezza is transforming the way customers use business intelligence. For Orange UK, the Netezza Performance Server® data warehouse appliance reduced BI data latency from eight weeks to two days, enabled more effective fraud prevention and cross-carrier billing and reduced the number of cabinets in the data center from 26 to nine.

Storewiz

Storewiz, Inc. is the provider of a unique real time storage compression solution that dramatically boost the available storage space in all customer environments.

Storewiz enables organizations to maximize their current and future investment in their storage infrastructure and at the same time reduce their operations and management costs.

The solution, based on a high performance appliance that requires no network changes to an existing environment, provides transparent, real time compression.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Last of the Mohicans

MAGUA
No.
(to Sachem)
Huron serve no one. The French father
believes he fooled Magua because he is so
proud of his cleverness, he is blind. But it
is the Huron path that Magua walks down,
not the French one ... Now, Les Francais,
also, fear Huron. That is good. When the
Huron is strong from their fear, we will make
the terms of trade with Les Francais. And we
will trade as the white man trades. Take land
from the Abnakes; fur from the Osage, Sauk
& Fox. And make the Huron great. Over
other tribes. No less than the whites, as strong
as the whites.

Hawkeye appears to be losing his debate with Magua.

HAWKEYE
(to Sachem)
Magua would use the ways of Les Francais
and the Yengeese ...

MAGUA
(to Sachem)
The red man put down the bow, picked up
the fire stick and became the best warrior
in the forest. Yes. It is the only way.

HAWKEYE
Would the Huron make his Algonquin brothers
foolish with brandy and steal his lands to sell
them for gold to the white man? Would the
Huron have greed for more land than a man
can use? Like Francais Black Robes do?
Would Huron kill tribes with disease? Would
the Huron fool Seneca into taking all the
animals in the forest for beads & brandy? But
sell the fur to the white man for gold? ...
(to Sachem)
Those are the ways of Yengeese and Les
Francais masters. Are they the ways of Huron
men who hunt & work the land? Or of dogs?
... Magua's heart is twisted. He would make
himself into what twisted him. A Dog, become
Master of Dogs. But are Hurons dogs?
... Magua's way is false. It is like the white
sickness. Magua's way will bring only sadness
and shame. Is there another way? I don't know.
(pauses)
I am Nathaniel of the Yengeese; Hawkeye,
adopted son of Chingachgook, of the Mohican
people ... Let the children of the dead Munro go
free ... I speak the truth.

Monday, December 04, 2006

PanIIT2006



One always gets a feeling that IITians make much noise about nothing. Consider PanIIT 2006. Curious, I visited their website. After a lil bit of poking around, got to the question:

What is the outcome of previous such events?

Some *sonorous* words were used, such as PiFOCI, PiFORT, Knowledge Initiative and such..


Based on the theme selected for each of the event, projects and initiatives are taken up by PanIIT. Currently, PanIIT India is running following programmes:

* PiFOCI
* PiFORT
* Knowledge Initiative

Details of these projects can be seen under the section on PanIIT India.


I was almost happy, that there was something *good* going on behind the narcissistic, incestuous, we-pat-our-own-backs IITians. Alas, that was not to be! I got an ERROR 404 - Server not found. Such is life! Tchah!

Speech of Seattle

Our good father in Washington--for I presume he is now our father as well as yours, since King George has moved his boundaries further north--our great and good father, I say, sends us word that if we do as he desires he will protect us. His brave warriors will be to us a bristling wall of strength, and his wonderful ships of war will fill our harbors, so that our ancient enemies far to the northward -- the Haidas and Tsimshians -- will cease to frighten our women, children, and old men. Then in reality he will be our father and we his children. But can that ever be? Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine! He folds his strong protecting arms lovingly about the paleface and leads him by the hand as a father leads an infant son. But, He has forsaken His Red children, if they really are His. Our God, the Great Spirit, seems also to have forsaken us. Your God makes your people wax stronger every day. Soon they will fill all the land. Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide that will never return. The white man's God cannot love our people or He would protect them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help. How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness? If we have a common Heavenly Father He must be partial, for He came to His paleface children. We never saw Him. He gave you laws but had no word for His red children whose teeming multitudes once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament. No; we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. There is little in common between us.

To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret. Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors -- the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sanjay Dutt pleads for leniency

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt has pleaded for leniency when he is sentenced for his part in the 1993 serial bomb attacks in Mumbai (Bombay).

Dutt asked Judge PD Kode to consider his humanitarian work and clean record since being let out on bail in 1995 while police continued investigations.

On Tuesday, the judge found Dutt guilty of illegally possessing firearms but cleared him of conspiracy.

Dutt is one of the most high-profile of those accused over the 1993 blasts.

He was originally charged with five offences, including criminal conspiracy and possession of illegal weapons. He was cleared of all charges except for that of possessing weapons. He faces a prison sentence of between five and 10 years.

'I love my country'


Which country is that? Saudi Arabia?

Sanjay Dutt pleads for leniency


Honda Jets to the Future

Jensen, while I can appreciate your frustration, the simple fact is that hydrogen is the best bet for plentiful energy. You dismiss the lack of a hydrogen distribution network, but what if every hydro car came complete with a hi-efficiency solar/wind/off-peak grid unit you hooked up to your home to electrolocized water into hydro 24/7? Sure, ethanol sounds good, and Brazil is a stunning example of it, but they have one huge advantage over us: sugarcane. It's easier to make ethanol out of sugar than anything else, and US farmers just won't be able to compete with that in the long run.

We are only a few years away from the combination technological breakthrough/refinement of engineering that will produce the first "Model T" type hydro car. Sure, oil companies are not promoting it, but they, like you, don't think the technology is any danger to them.

Of course, the Germans and Japanese are dumping billions into hydro research in the meantime, and will own the tech when its perfected if we aren't more dilligent. They both lost the last war they were in because they ran out of gas. They won't make that mistake again . . .

Honda Jets to the Future

How to Improve WiFi Reception

Here are some quick tips to maximize your signal strength and minimize interference with a little wireless feng shui.

Steps

  1. Put large furniture along the exterior walls of your home.
  2. Minimize mirrors, which can bounce the signal back.
  3. Place your router in one of the following locations:
    • Near the center of the house
    • Off the floor, ideally on a high shelf
    • As far as possible from your neighbor's Wi-Fi router (which, of course, you've made sure is using a different channel)
    • Away from cordless phones and microwaves, which operate on the same 2.4-Ghz frequency.


Tips

  • The addition of a "high gain" external antenna will often provide increased reception signal and performance.


From WikiHow

Where am I today?

As a monopoly, and as individuals, we value integrity, honesty, openness, personal excellence, constructive self-criticism, continual self-improvement, and mutual respect. We are committed to our customers and partners and have a passion for technology.

We take on big challenges such as anti-trust lawsuits, and pride ourselves on seeing them through successfully. We hold ourselves accountable to all our customers, shareholders, partners, and employees by honoring our commitments, providing results, and striving for the highest quality.

`Bawarchi' in the dock

HYDERABAD: MCH officials led by Chief Veterinary Officer P. Venkateshwar Reddy conducted raids on Hotel Bawarchi at RTC crossroads on Thursday. They found the kitchen to be `unhygienic' and personal hygiene of cooks to be `very poor.'

About 15-20 kg. of cooked chicken, mutton and other vegetables unfit for human consumption were seized. Commissioner Sanjay Jaju said surprise raids will be continued in the interest of general public and citizens on phone number: 9849006013 for complaints.

Revolutionary growth companies...

Revolutionary growth companies can come from anywhere and do just about anything. Witness Falcon WaterFree Technologies, a private company that may change the way we go to the bathroom -- and save the world in the process.

About WaterFree
Falcon WaterFree Technologies makes urinals that don't have to be flushed with fresh water. According to the company, each urinal saves approximately 40,000 gallons of water per year and is far less expensive to operate than a conventional urinal.

In a world where fresh water is a finite resource and our global population is growing larger by the day, you can see why Falcon may just be the next big thing in toilets.

Even better for the business, the urinals function with a filter that periodically needs to be replaced. That's exactly the razor-and-blade economic model that's so lucrative for razor makers such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) and for printer-print cartridge makers such as Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fine. Then we will bomb you until you realize how bad your pain is.

Good point, Scott. People getting offended for people who aren't actually offended. That usually leads to trouble and unnecessary trouble:

Unnamed Western Country: We are offended that you have to suffer under a regime of dictatorship. Your personal freedoms are limited and we are empathetic to your plight. We feel for you. We will bring you democracy so that you will not hurt so bad.

Unnamed Mideast Country: Actually, we're not hurting. Dictatorship is the best fit for us now. Because of our tendency to mix religion with government, democracy wouldn't work for us. It's best that the leader of a certain sect asserts his power so that the country doesn't collapse into civil war.

UWC: (not listening) So we will be over soon to heal your hurts.

UMC: We aren't hurting.

UWC: Don't panic, democracy will make it all better, and you won't hurt anymore.

UMC: We don't want your democracy.

UWC: That's just the pain talking.

UMC: We're OK. Really.

UWC: Oh! The extent of your suffering! We will make sure that you suffer no more.

UMC: You will bring pain with you if you try to help us.

UWC: There's always a little hurting before the healing.

UMC: No, you don't understand. We're ok. We don't want you to help us.

UWC: Well, we know one person in your country who does want us to help.

UMC: Actually, he was a tourist from your country. None of us want your help.

UWC: Fine. Then we will bomb you until you realize how bad your pain is.


--Playtah

Fashion

Dear Yahoo!:
What's the deal with kids wearing their pants below their butts?
Kristin
Arcadia, California
Dear Kristin:
Our trash-talking license was revoked the moment we first pegged our jeans in junior high, so we can't judge the fashion sense of others. That said, ridiculously baggy pants do mystify us. So how did this fad get started?

The most popular theory suggests the trend originated in prison. Guests of the state aren't issued belts in the big house (for several obvious reasons). As a result, their pants tend to fall low and loose on their bodies.

Snopes.com agrees that "sagging" got its start in prison. "Sagging pants became the behind-the-bars thing thanks to ill-fitting prison garb: some of those incarcerated were provided with clothes a few sizes too large." We don't generally think of prison as the epicenter of fashion, but apparently it does inspire new styles.

Perhaps the real question isn't how the trend started but why some folks want to dress like prisoners. Alas, we've no clue, but we do know that given enough time, everything eventually (from plastic shoes to disturbing nose rings) becomes fashionable. Too bad pegged pants probably won't come back into style -- we still kind of dig 'em.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cell phone porn to ring up $3.3 billion

Adult content on mobile devices will be worth $3.3 billion by 2011, up from $1.4 billion this year, according to industry analysts JupiterResearch.

Europe is the biggest spender on porn, due to both its appetite for smut and the relatively high-priced nature of adult content. The Asia-Pacific region follows in second place.

Cell phone porn to ring up $3.3 billion

If I were to start an IT company in India, I'll concentrate on this business. I can be bigger than TCS, InfoSys and all other sundry companies in no time!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Management at Microsoft

So what's it take to swing 1 or 2 you ask, if not superb programming skills? Well, you have got to become a superb bullshitter! I won't name who those are at MSFT, but there's a few outstanding ones who can convey an image of diligence, value, hard work, and basically an aura of happiness about them. Not that they're actually smarter or better than you in any way - they're just better at creating this perception with the words they say, the actions they do, the way they communicate to others about what it is they do, the way they ask their questions from others, etc. Does this come easy? Fuck no. This is why you don't see major bullshitters straight out of college - what you see straight out of college are a bunch of wannabe idealists..... never mature folks. Unfortunately, some never grow out of this phase (and I guess that's for the better, for we can't all have management types in companies, someone needs to do the real work).

Management (or better yet, upward career movement) is a choice, and requires learning a lot of skills, way past your C++/.NET algorithmic skills. So unless you are prepared to pack this knowledge about human psychology, business, technical knowledge, all rolled into one and served up with whipped cream and a cherry on top - don't bitch about anything at MSFT, AMZN, or anywhere else. Because believe me, you can't do better than them if the roles were reversed. You just _THINK_ you can do better, but you really can't (not unless you are Dr. Charles Xavier from x-men).


From a comment.

Vista: An Enigma Wrapped In a Paradox

Ok. I've been running vista on one machine or another for a while.. since early beta.. and am now running the release version on my main machine. There are quite a few headscratchers in here. I often tell my colleagues I'm like the little kid from the 6th sense.. except instead of dead people I see bugs. Things that annoy the crap out of me that have been there at least one maybe two versions of windows ago.

In the past days of clicking through endless options and dialogs to configure things such as encryption certificates, etc I often wondered if this was really better than editing a single line in an easy-to-find text file.

Start menu? Hardly ever used the damn thing. Shortcut keys with and I put the quicklaunch bar off to one side with the 40 or so frequently used programs I use.

Vista doesn't support dragging the quicklaunch bar off of the stat menu and off to one side because it was "confusing to end users." No one seems to have found a registry override as yet.

Vista doesn't handle symlinks properly. It used to be "c:\documents and settings" but now in vista it is c:\users. I see a clever little "C:\documents and settings" shortcut on my C drive. OOOOoo is this a symlink? No? I get Access Denied when trying to double-click. Opening the path via an API however works fine. Go figure.

BUGS. Features? Half-Features? Call them what you want. I think most technical folks that have to work on this know these problems exist but architecturally or bureaucratically they are hard or impossible to fix.

Often on XP, 2000, NT and 95 I would hit control-esc then R for run and type frequently used programs into run. I would say this is just an odd quirk about me and how I think menus take too long and too much work to do something, but now the run area has been replaced with a little place you type in stuff and through the magic of windows desktop search it finds whatever you type in the area above that normally occupied by program icons. The bug? You have to let it search. No matter what. Yeah, WTF? This works great on a home PC where you maybe have maybe 10,000 files. Network drives? Oh no. You can't just type n:\ then hit enter. You have to physically wait a sec for it to pull up n:\ in the list of programs above the start menu THEN hit enter. WOW, WHAT A GREAT FEATURE. No more control-esc n:\ enter for me. It is nowctrl+esc n:\ wait..wait..wait.. enter. Otherwise I get some random program like Notepad. Or Flash. Or Firefox.

On the one hand I can see how the start menu splaying itself all over your screen as you "drill down" to whatever the hell obscure program you need might be unappealing. On the other hand confining the entirety of all programs available to you to a 400x600 pixel window doesn't seem like a good fix.

This is just the start menu. Don't even get me started on the new file explorer, which is the least half-baked area of Vista in my opinion. Does Slashdot have an option for submitting a rant and getting comments? I'm sure I could go on all day.

I take all this as evidence that a lot of new features in vista are based on good ideas.. new paradigms in UI design.. it just seems that the vast majority are implemented poorly at best and implemented recklessly at worst. I would not expect this in 2006 when others are able to produce such polished and solid OSs. I would have to agree this seems like code-rot from the inside out probably due to the megalithic internal structure at MS

http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=208562&cid=17004062

Farming Venture


Police found over 6,000 marijuana plants worth an estimated street value of over C$6.0 million ($5.31 million) scattered throughout the 22 apartments in the north Toronto building.

Food, Farmers and Marketing

What does it cost Americans to eat what they eat?

Total food expenditures, which includes imports, fishery products, and food originating on farms, were $844.2 billion in 2001, an increase of 3.8 percent over those in 2000. Average food expenditures came to $2,964 per capita, 2.8 percent above the 2000 average. Away-from-home meals and snacks captured 47 percent of the U.S. food dollar in 2001, up from 45 percent in 1991 and 40 percent in 1981.


How Much of the Cost of Food Services and Distribution Goes to Farmers?

The estimated bill for marketing domestic farm foods–which does not include imported foods–was $498 billion in 1999. This amount covered all charges for transporting, processing, and distributing foods that originated on U.S. farms. It represented 80 percent of the $618 billionconsumers spent for these foods. The remaining 20 percent, or $121 billion, represents the gross return paid to farmers.

The cost of marketing farm foods has increased considerably over the years, mainly because of rising costs of labor, transportation, food packaging materials, and other inputs used in marketing, and also because of the growing volume of food and the increase in services provided with the food.

In 1990, the cost of marketing farm foods amounted to $343 billion. In the decade after that, the cost of marketing rose about 57 percent. In 2000, the marketing bill rose 6.9 percent. These rising costs have been the principal factor affecting the rise in consumer food expenditures. From 1990 to 2000, consumer expenditures for farm foods rose $211 billion. Roughly 92 percent of this increase resulted from an increase in the marketing bill.

The cost of labor is the biggest part of the total food marketing bill, accounting for nearly half of all marketing costs. Labor used by assemblers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and eating places cost $252 billion in 2000. This was 4.7 percent higher than in 1999 and 64 percent more than in 1990. The total number of food marketing workers in 2000 was about 14.3 million, about 17 percent more than in 1990. About 80 percent of the growth in food industry employment occurred in public eating places. A wide variety of other costs comprise the balance of the marketing bill. These costs include packaging, transportation, energy, advertising, business taxes, net interest, depreciation, rent, and repairs. Their relative proportions are illustrated in the accompanying dollar chart.

http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.htm

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

CAT v. 7.0: Completely Autonomous Tester

The CAT User's Manual

Production Details: After basic KIT construction, the unit undergoes six weeks of onside ROM programming and burn-in testing. Listed features are installed during this period. Since MOMCAT uses local suppliers, there may be variations between units. MOMCAT's quality assurance may reject inferior units. Users may sometimes salvage rejected units.

Beware of Far East clones. These may violate import restrictions.
The unit may be placed in direct sunlight. CAT units are operational in all axis: standing, sitting, or laying down. If all basic environment requirements are satisfied, the CAT system will produce a slight hum. This is normal.
Your CAT should have a system name. The name may need to be reinitialized repeatedly until the system can read it correctly. This lets you issue voice commands to bring the unit to an online state. Many owners give their CATs a secret password as well. You can also get the CAT's attention by booting the system. While this is effective, it is discouraged. Too much booting will abuse the system. Such units will sit across the room with its back to you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sitemaps.org

Place sitemaps.xml at your web root directory. Sitemaps.org is used by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

Ambrose Video

Ambrose Video is a leading producer of videotapes and multimedia materials for education and libraries. We have a library of over 1,000 titles that feature award-winning materials, in social studies, literature and the sciences.

The core of our collection is broadcast quality productions from the BBC, public broadcasting, HBO and assorted independent producers. The titles range from the BBC Shakespeare Plays, Public TV's Legacy to Discovery's Connection series.

Our goal is to provide relevant educational materials for students from middle school to college.

TV and autism

Today, Cornell University researchers are reporting what appears to be a statistically significant relationship between autism rates and television watching by children under the age of 3. The researchers studied autism incidence in California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington state. They found that as cable television became common in California and Pennsylvania beginning around 1980, childhood autism rose more in the counties that had cable than in the counties that did not. They further found that in all the Western states, the more time toddlers spent in front of the television, the more likely they were to exhibit symptoms of autism disorders.


TV Really Might Cause Autism

Open source Java

What Sun's actually done, and what almost no company before them has done, is to bend over backwards to do this right. They've resisted the siren-song of corporate counsel who feel the need to FUD their employer into paying them to invent entirely new legalise, which doesn't interoperate with anyone else's legalise. (My own failure to convince Zawinski that a GPL dual-license was a good thing for Mozilla still smarts; it meant that for the first couple of years of the Mozilla project (until dual-licensing took place, after Zawinski quit), Gnome developers were shut out completely. This experience has perhaps biased me, but to see a major corporate source drop done right is fantastic.)

Further, note that Sun hasn't merely pinned the tail on a politically-correct GPLv2 donkey, they've gone through this in excruciating detail to get it just right. Instead of taking the "obvious" LGPLv2.1 option for the libraries, they've taken note of the existing practice by other open-source Java projects and adopted GPLv2 with "the classpath exception". With respect to the transition period for their own libraries (they hold outright copyrights in the compiler and VM, but the libraries contain encumberances which will take time to remove, so they've not made a library release yet), they've worked with the Software Freedom Law Center to craft a specific exemption that avoids trapping applications atop the standard APIs becoming GPLv2 encumbered when shiped _with_ the open-source Sun VM under GPLv2 and closed Sun libraries.

The legal groundwork that they've done is exemplary; it's really, really impressive. Someone inside Sun has asked some open-source/free-software advocates how it _should_ be done, and then listened very closely to the answer(s).


From Armadillo Reticence

Java Enterprise

Lots of cool things at Java Enterprise Projects.

AppFuse is an application for "kickstarting" webapp development. Download, extract and execute ant new to instantly be up and running with a kick-ass Java webapp running on Tomcat/MySQL. Uses Ant, XDoclet, Spring, Hibernate (or iBATIS), JUnit, jMock, StrutsTestCase, Canoo's WebTest, Struts Menu, Display Tag Library, OSCache, JSTL and Struts (Spring MVC, WebWork, Tapestry and JSF are also options). To learn more about AppFuse, its history, goals and future, checkout AppFuse: Start Your J2EE Web Apps on java.net. You can also watch this video, which shows you how to create a project with AppFuse - as well as gives you a tour of its out-of-the-box features.


And more being developed at Java Enterprise Incubator

XGlue is an application framework centered on bean driven development. It will start by providing a glue between Webwork/XWork and Hibernate to allow CRUD database driven applications to be created extremely quickly without code generation. However, it is designed to allow any ORM or custom database solution to be plugged in. It does this by creating default actions for basic CRUD actions such as load, save, update, find and default DAOs to do the work of 70% of most web application code. Then, the rest of the application can be built either by subclassing these actions or simply using the frameworks XGlue is built upon. Future directions are to add pluggable search and workflow capabilities.

J-RAD is a powerful code generation tool that allows developers to start developing at a higher abstraction level "if development required", reducing the complexity of the J2EE platform from the start. Also J-RAD ensures reuse of definitions, portability and reliability. The J-RAD application is generated by J-RAD itself.

Google(™) meets the Matrix. Red Piranha combines Lucene (Searching Ability), XML-RDF (ability to learn), Tomcat (for P2P Power) and Spring (Ease of use) to not only let you find anything, anywhere, but to actually understand what you are looking for.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Brocade free virtual training

Brocade is offering free virtual training.

I missed the Brocade Certified Fabric Professional classes. Looks like we can playback and take a look at the notes.

On iPod and Zune


One giveaway is the larger screen. Kids have good eyes. Older adults tend not to have the same visual acuity as kids. If Microsoft is going to use the Zune as a device that gives them inroads into the business community, and they're going to be placing this device on the desks of studio executives, wouldn't it be smart to make the text large enough to actually be readable by the old farts?

Fortunately, the market for iPods, in general, is driven by youngsters. So while Microsoft may have some tactical successes in undermining the politics behind the scenes of the music player business, the ultimate customer, kids, the young-at-heart, and music lovers, are living in another dimension. Microsoft will have a tougher time turning dirty-tricks into a business advantage when the end customer is the affluent consumer, not the businessman. That's one reason this Zune project could fail.

From: How Zune Will Try to Take Down the iPod

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cash back cards

Capital One No Hassle Cash
- 2% cash back on gas and groceries, 1% on rest


Amex Blue Cash
- 1%, 0.5%
- 5% on everyday, 1.5% on rest (above 6500)
-- Doesn't seem to have any limits on how much you can earn.
- 6500 ==> Almost $550 on your card every month. Might be slightly difficult to reach that. Because its not accepted everywhere.


MBNA Cash Back
- $25 for every $2500 - no limits ==> equates to 1%

Chase Cash Plus Rewards Visa (firstusa)
- 5% grocery, gas, drug, 1% rest (5 points for every $1, 1 point for every $1)
- option of rewards/cash. Good for 3 years. 5000 points => $50.
- max 30,000/year ==> $300

Mergers:

Bank Of America: Fleet, MBNA
Chase: BankOne, FirstUSA

Recommendation:

Use AmEx Blue Cash if you are gonna spend more than 6500. Else, use Chase.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Remote Access

We need to change Remote Desktop's default port. There are pretty good instructions at dslwebserver.com.

Quick steps:

1. Change the port# (decimal) in windows registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\PortNumber

Lets change it to 6969

2. Next, open the necessary ports in Windows firewall and any other software firewalls (ZoneAlarm, Sygate) that you use. This is not mentioned in the link provided above.

3. Now, you need to open this port for external access in the router (which has a firewall enabled by default). For D-Link DI-524:

  • Go to 192.168.0.1, your routers web management address.
  • Click on advanced -> Virtual Server.
  • Select enabled
  • Enter a name for this virtual server. Something like RemDeskMine, RemDeskWifey - to be able to remote desktop into multiple machines at home running on different ports.
  • Enter the IP of the machine that you wanna connect to remotely. This is of the format 192.168.0.xxx
  • Private port is 6969. Public port can be different but to make it easier, lets use the same port.
  • Select Always and click on Apply.
4. Now, restart your machine for the registry changes to take effect. All set!

Note:

1. You should know your home public IP address to be able to connect remotely. You can either look it up on the router's web management page or simply go to whatismyip.com at home and make a note of your public IP.

Type the following in Remote Desktop client. ip address: port. Eg: 65.43.91.104:6969

Bandwidth and VOIP

Visualware tests speed and some other things for VOIP quality as well. DSLReports does comprehensive tests, one of which is speed and it also compares it with other users from same and different ISPs.

Most ISPs also offer speed test tools. Optonline.net requires login to do speedtest.

Testing bandwidth with these three indicates that my download speed is pretty close to 12 Mbps and upload about 1.7 Mbps. I expected something higher, Optimum Online Boost is advertised as an upload speed of 5 Mbps and download speed of 30 Mbps. I am certainly not seeing it since the past two months. Time to cancel Boost!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Firefox memory issues

Firefox 2.0 seems to have fixed that eternal problem of memory gobbling. Some pointers on that just in case it resurfaces:

As a good practice for Web 2.0 users, you should close your browser every few hours or so. That is not ideal, but it is the reality of the world today.

At least download real task manager from Sysinternals and report number of Private Bytes vs. Virtual Size vs. Working Set.

Most of memory used can be some caches used to actually speed up rendering of pages - not slow your computer down. You have always apply tradeoff in algorithms - speed vs. memory.

As well what’s a reason to make application do not use memory in case if it’s already fully paid and plugged in into your motherboard ?

Also, investigate memory issues caused by toolbars and extensions.

We build our own machines - Part 2: Motherboard

Due to karmic baggage, I am sticking with ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe.

Compare: Pricegrabber Anandtech RTPE

To build a cost conscious machine, it is better to go for a motherboard with built-in video. Like the ASUS A8N-VM CSM. Would save about $30 on motherboard and $50 on video card, totalling $80.

We build our own machines - Part 1: CPU

For years, AMD has been the performance/price leader. It took a few hours research to realize that it is no longer so. At a price that I am comfortable with, Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe seems to be the best. E6300 also offers virtualization, something I intend to use down the line.

However, due to various reasons, I decided to go with an AMD Socket 939 CPU.


Various Reasons:
  • Socket AM2's only advantage is DDR2 and the performance gains aren't that great.
  • DDR2 is not cheaper than DDR
  • Already have two machines, one with Suse Enterprise Linux and Oracle Applications and another Windows with the same Socket 939 motherboard, ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe.
Some more research revealed that AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester is the right one. 4400+ has 1 MB x 2 Cache, but there seems to be no performance gain. Its only $5 more than 3800+, the lowest dual core.

Compare AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+: Pricegrabber Anandtech RTPE

Bought it at Zipzoomfly for $185.


Note:

1. An evaluation of my needs dictates that I go for a dual-core. Most people don't need a dual-core. Athlon 64 3700+ would be more than sufficient.

2. Don't buy a CPU based on a number like 4200 or 4400. You would end up buying a CPU for a different socket, Eg. AM2 instead of 939. You need to know exactly what you are buying. Always look at the model# and core, it would be something like:
ADA4200BVBOX, Manchester. Read the specifications. They help.

3. All COOs (Tech) are mandated to have a machine with similar capabilities.


Find out:
  1. Whether Opteron offers better performance/price. They seems to be slightly cheaper with twice the cache and dual-core as well. Initial reports suggest not to go for it unless we are going to overclock, slow at stock speeds.
  2. Best motherboard for E6300.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Child Labor

NYTimes article: Africa’s World of Forced Labor, in a 6-Year-Old’s Eyes

The International Labor Organization, a United Nations agency, estimates that 1.2 million are sold into servitude every year in an illicit trade that generates as much as $10 billion annually.

Studies show they are most vulnerable in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Africa’s children, the world’s poorest, account for roughly one-sixth of the trade, according to the labor organization. Data is notoriously scarce, but it suggests victimization of African children on a huge scale.

PDF

Exhaust and Asthma

A Study Links Trucks’ Exhaust to Bronx Schoolchildren’s Asthma

Asthma, which causes wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath, is the most common chronic disease among children. In the Bronx, the borough with the highest percentage of children, the asthma hospitalization rate for boys and girls under 14 is 9.3 per 1,000 children.

New York State must submit a plan to the E.P.A. by April 2008 detailing how it will bring its fine-particle pollution levels into compliance. States that fail to submit or implement their plans risk losing federal highway money. All states must bring their levels of fine-particle pollution into compliance by 2010, though they can ask for an exemption seeking more time, E.P.A. officials said.

PDF

Condoms, USAID and Jobs

NYTimes article: U.S. Jobs Shape Condoms’ Role in Foreign Aid

Britain, Ireland and Norway have all sought to make aid more cost effective by opening contracts in their programs to fight global poverty to international competition. The United States, meanwhile, continues to restrict bidding on billions of dollars worth of business to companies operating in America, and not just those that make condoms.

The wheat to feed the starving must be grown in United States and shipped to Africa, enriching agribusiness giants like Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill. The American consulting firms that carry out antipoverty programs abroad — dubbed beltway bandits by critics — do work that some advocates say local groups in developing countries could often manage at far less cost.

PDF

NCERT Textbooks online

Dr. Vishal pointed me to this: http://www.ncert.nic.in/textbooks/testing/Index.htm

Once you select a book, it opens a clickable PDF. Those of you who want something to criticize can take a look at that. NCERT is kind enough to host the critiques on their site. Take a look at Educational Debate and Discussion and Suggestions on National Curriculum Framework Review.


There is some useful information online, for example educational survey.

Learning Resources


Just found this link: http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/247. Need to investigate.

Update: NPTEL by IISc and IITs

To be continued..

Groups with largest membership

Job groups and porn groups.

Here is an example of the former.

Internet News, Censorship and the Pope

I guess it is time to start reading a newspaper. Here's why..

Oh we think we're so smart, with our Google News homepages and our online subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal. More and more of us are getting our news from the Internet and that's hurting newspapers and ultimately hurting us, too, because we are getting less news overall.
And where are those vaunted bloggers? They are waiting for the newspapers to write about it so they can read about it on the web and then comment. Now THERE's a public service.
If it's a big story that's important to a lot of people, the Internet either beats it to death or misses it completely. This is the nature of the beast and it makes me sad because I sit here on the third floor of an old house in Charleston, South Carolina banging out these columns and people ask me "Where do you GET this stuff?"

As is my wont, going through the posts on Atanu's Deeshaa.org, was reading a post on Friedman, The World is Mad Followup. Poking a bit at the links lead me to these:


In March 2005, Taibbi wrote a column for NY Press, entitled "The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope". The column was denounced by Senator Hillary Clinton, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Matt Drudge, among others, including Congressman Anthony Weiner, who suggested that New Yorkers take copies of that issue out of their news boxes and destroy them.

What is the difference between this and a fatwa? Discuss.

As an aside, a lotta bloggers made a huge noise over the Prophet cartoons and censorship. I haven't seen anyone blog about this. There could be two reasons, the first that I am not reading enough blogs or that the bloggers missed it.

A very important thing to know

Mark Shuttleworth says..
It’s a very important thing to know that an inability to agree on something - even if that thing turns out to be a dealbreaker - doesn’t mean that the other person is a bad person. Give credit where it is due, state your differences simply and without prejudice. Debian and Mozilla should be able to work together effectively on a browser, even if they can’t agree on a way to call it Firefox.

Plastic Bag Reuse

Am too lazy to read about them. I use them as packing filler instead of foam. Perhaps not a very efficient way, but...

I used to return them at WalMart, but they no longer have those containers at the front door.

The many uses of forged boarding passes

I don't think airlines allow free transfer of flight tickets to our friends. Here is a workaround:
For starters, the airlines don't want you forging boarding passes, since they don't make tickets transferable, and they want to make sure the person buying the ticket is actually the person flying. If your friend wanted to fly on your ticket, you could check yourself in, give your friend your real boarding pass AND a fake one in his name. He would use the forged pass at security and the real pass (with your name) at the gate.

Please expect unpleasant results when using the above strategy on international flights. Their procedures are different. Should be ok for domestic ones though. YMMV.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Occupational Projections

Average annual openings for IT jobs in US till 2012: 100,000.


Area Title 2002 Employment 2012 Employment Numeric Employment Change Percent Employment Change Average Annual Openings
United States Computer Programmers 496,150 568,930 72,790 15 19,000
United States Computer Software Engineers, Applications 389,760 569,260 179,500 46 21,800
United States Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software 278,040 405,950 127,900 46 15,540
United States Computer Support Specialists 506,800 660,230 153,430 30 21,580
United States Computer Systems Analysts 461,000 645,590 184,590 40 23,680


From Projectionscentral.com.

Also look at this and this.

Is ColdFusion hot?

These guys say ColdFusion is booming. I wonder what the billing rate is.

The ColdFusion market is BOOMING right now. Look at Monster, HotJobs, etc. Everyone wants a ColdFusion developer right now. A lot of people want an entry level developer, or a junior developer. Who, but someone fresh out of school, is going to call themselves a junior developer? Most people who have been in the game for a few years consider themselves senior-level, or highly experienced ColdFusion developers. But are they really?

It doesn't take long for a ColdFusion developer to ramp up. I believe that someone who has a decent grasp of programming concepts (procedural or OO) can become a decent ColdFusion developer in 2 months. The problem comes when they reach a certain plateau of their skill set. At this plateau, they can use the basic functionality that makes ColdFusion viable and make a decent living. They do not much more with ColdFusion than your rudimentary database tasks.

Babies, Free Will and Agency

What is free will, btw?
Look at babies. Aw, how cute. Again, scientists have proven that we are hard wired to like the way babies look. The sight of large heads relative to body size coupled with small ears, noses and mouths triggers flows of endorphins in our brains, whether we are looking at baby humans or mammals of any sort. It makes us feel good due to the flooding of feel good chemicals it generates.
People in a good mood process things less deeply than those in a bad mood so if the store can change its lighting, odor, music to pleasure inducing stimuli- then you in your good mood are less likely to think deeply and therefore decide against that impulse buy.
And Agency..
So I think we all have Agency- or the ability to choose. I believe this to be an inalienable right- even with a gun to your head you still have a choice. The catch is that you can't choose how the guy holding the gun to your head is going to react and thats where the situation starts appearing to be 'forced'. You might be between a rock and hard place but its still up to you to pick 'Rock' or 'Hard Place'.