random toons

Friday, October 28, 2005

Should US control the Internet?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), formulated by the US in 1998, has introduced competition into the market for domain names and expanded the number of names available by introducing new suffixes like .biz and .info as alternatives to standbys like .com and .org.

But the nonprofit body has also been plagued by infighting, charges that it does not operate in a transparent manner, and the perception that it is cowed by the U.S. government.

The European Union withdrew its support of the current system last month.

The United States has made clear that it intends to maintain control.

Though no one country controls the Internet as a whole, the U.S. Commerce Department maintains final authority over the domain-name system that matches easy-to-remember names like "example.com" with the Internet Protocol numbers that are assigned to each computer on the Internet.

If other countries refuse to recognize ICANN's legitimacy, Internet users in different parts of the globe could wind up at different Web sites when they type "www.example.com" into their browsers. It is the ICANN which has the control of the domain naming and mapping of IP addresses to domain names.

Countries like Brazil and Iran have argued in a series of meetings over the past two years that the Internet is now a global resource that should be overseen by the United Nations or some other international body.

Support for moving ICANN out of U.S. controls comes, in part, from the poor image that the US has abroad as a result of the IRAQI war. That's no doubt contributed to the support the European Union has given to the idea of moving ICANN and its domain root server out from under of U.S. control.

Other objections to U.S. control are fueled by concerns about national security. Countries openly worried about U.S. control of the Internet's management systems include Iran, Cuba and China. It's no coincidence that invading Iran, getting into a war with China or "taking back" Cuba once Castro dies have all been openly discussed in the United States as viable options for future intervention.

I totally agree in a context that a resource/technology, if recognized as a global asset, should not remain in control by any 'one'. If it is the way US want it to be then countries like Russia can hold rights not allowing anyone to access the *space* space since they were the first to go there. Or India can copyright and control the usage of *ZERO* ('0') since it was invented by Aryabhatt-Indian mathematicain.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Career Killer

Of the many technology trends, which we have noticed among those that we expect will become a reality tomorrow, a few can be considered potential career killers. Everyone is betting on MDA (Model Driven Architecture). Where would we require Delphi and C# programmers if a business analyst can build models, connect object, draw relationships with the ease of creating a spreadsheet or presentation?

This analogy is a bit too futuristic, but the world of software developers is slowly moving that way. Software vendors are increasingly incorporating model driven development to sell their latest ware. Maybe next year you won't buy an IDE that doesn't have refactoring as an inbuilt option.

Refactoring is a great thing to improve the code quality and lessen the pains in writing the code. But that would surely threaten the position of a developer in a software development firm.

Code generation is another concept that will increase developer productivity, but yet threatens developer roles.

Now a wordprocessor analogy. You are satisfied with your wordprocessor, but does it really help you write better? Even the Grammar check in MS Office system is dumb, compared tro a High School student's grammar skills.

Now the application developers need to revamp their unidimensional approach in development to add simple functions  that are an absolute must in a software application,and then think of features that will further enhance the applications.

Application developer need to think not only out of the box, but beyond it too..

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Is 0 = nothing?

0 <> void
0 is not emptyness
0 is not nothing

0 is a conceptualization of measurement realizing the nearness to the minimum. There is *no* such thing as "zero" itself which can be stated to be void.

Though *0* is not a "concrete variety" but it is an abstract variety like all other numbers representing count or measure of stuff.

I see an apple in a basket. Next moment I chew and gulp it down my throat. I say "there are no apples in the basket" or there are zero apples in the basket" instead of "there is voidness in basket" or "there is emptyness in basket".

That's because of conservation of mass/energy law. Matter can neith be created no be destroyed. The apple that was there a moment ago was now converted into something inside my stomach. But it surely didn't become void or vaccum. The matter that made the was still present but morphed into some other form.

Thus the apple didn't make its space empty.
But it became something else which led to its realization as "zero apple" and not "void/empty apple/space"

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

"Something" or "Nothing" before "Everything"?

Was there something before today's "everything"?
"Everyting" that is, being there, has been a result of *some* realizations of human or inhuman foresights. The question can be answered if we realize the insight that "everyting" happens for the reason "it" happens for.
 
Since we primate folks only know the situation through our brain based virtual reality or model, and what is really going on is beyond us, I can only speak for that common virtual reality we each have because of our common genetic legacy.
 
To consider, I'll examplify the birth of our cosmological universe. Another question arises: What was *that* started our "universe"?
 
Theologies say that "it" was created by *God* out of *nothing*, i.e. one moment there was *nothing* and the next there was a vast empty space that wasn't empty anymore. Another concept is that universes are born, then die or burn off periodically in billion of years. A universe is created by the matter hovering around in another universe, the mega universe, which is contained by another super-mega universe and they are also born and die. This goes on and on till we reach the multidimensional infinity. Those who are religious may at that stage interpret God as that invisible "multi-dimensional infinity" that really created everything and controls everything.
 
Those who do not believe this have their say as there must be *something* that caused "certain circumstantial changes" in the *system* which gave rise to the "universe", i.e. "a cause and a result".
"Everything" according to physics has a *cause*. So must the "universe". That means there must have been *something* which caused the _Big Bang_ and thence the birth of our "universe".
 
But if time itself started with the Big Bang as theorists and mathematicians say, and there wasn't any concept of time, or *anyone* who could have invented *it*, or if there was *time* but *no one* to keep track of *it* so that eventually said there was no time before the Big Bang, how can *anything* exist without a time stamp?
 
The Big Bang was at T = 0. This means at _zero_ time there was _something_ that triggered the immensly powerful thermonuclear reaction to start off with "everything". This energy was there because of *something* that produced "it" burning _*itself*_. But the *it* can not be there before T = 0, if there wasn't any time, how did it materialize at T = 0?
This means there was *something* before T = 0 which had its own conceptualization of a time equivalent dimension for *itself* to exist.
The *it* had a universe of its own which also evolved from $something$.
 
So I strongly believe and theorize a reality of serial universes burning themselves off to give out matter and hence energy for the subsequent universes.
 
The answer to the question of *something* that existed before our "everything" is in the affirmative. And I'd say since "everything" started from the Big Bang, or in another words energy, and conjugating to the law of conservation of mamentum, there was *energy* (which was in continuous exchange with black matter, which of course is a differnet puzzle to solve) which was present before the Big Bang and hence "everything".
Yes, there is always *something* that existed before "anything"

Monday, October 10, 2005

Mt Everest Srinking?

China now thinks Everest, the world's highest peak, is about 3,7m shorter than its own past estimates after conducting a new survey of the mountain this year. Chen Bangzhu, the Director General of the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, told a news conference on Sunday that Mount Everest stood 8 844,43m above sea level, with a margin of error of about 0,21m.

Chinese mountaineers and researchers climbed to the top of Mount Everest in May to determine whether the world's tallest mountain was still growing. Chen said that the updated figure did not mean the mountain had shrunk over time.

"The data is so far the most detailed and precise among (those from) all previous surveys," he said.

"We cannot arrive at the conclusion now that Everest has become shorter, because there have been problems ... of surveying technology with previous measurements."
In 1975, Chinese scientists measured the height of Everest at 8 848,13m, a few centimetres more than an Indian survey had found in the 1950s.

Then in 1999, an American team measured the mountain at 8 850m.

Growing or not, Everest is changing in other ways. Official Chinese media have reported that its glaciers are shrinking faster than ever because of global warming.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Apple iPod Nano and Rokr phone

Apple Computer Inc. on Wednesday unveiled a cellphone that plays music like an iPod and a pencil-thin "iPod Nano" digital music player, both aimed at extending its domination of the digital music market.

The Rokr phone, developed with Motorola Inc., can store up to 100 songs and has a color screen, stereo speakers, stereo headphones and a camera and is Apple's long-awaited foray into the wireless realm. Cingular will be the first mobile carrier for the Rokr. Several operators in the United Kingdom are expected to offer the phone soon.

In addition to the Rokr phone and the seriously slimmed-down new iPod, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs also said that in 2006, some 30 percent of all new U.S. cars will sport stereos that can easily connect to the iPod.

But some said the silver phone was not stylish enough for the high expectations set by Apple's iPod and Motorola's slim flagship Razr phone, and others cited its somewhat limited song capacity since iPod users are accustomed to carrying thousands of songs.

"It doesn't have the emotive cachet that the Razr or the iPod has," said Yankee Group analyst John Jackson. "When you whip this out in the bar, nobody's going to say, 'That's a cool device."'

The Nano, which is about a quarter of an inch thick by 3.5 inches long by 1.6 inches wide, generated more buzz at the product release in San Francisco than did the Rokr phone, eliciting "Oohs" and "Ahhs" from the audience.

The black and white players, sporting click wheels, holds up to 1,000 songs. Apple has about 75 percent of the market for digital music players.

"It's very important for Apple," said Gartner analyst Van Baker, about the Nano. "It changes the rules of the game."

Meanwhile, the Rokr iTunes phone will be available in Cingular stores on Thursday.

No. 1 U.S. mobile service Cingular Wireless, a venture of SBC Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp., will be the exclusive U.S. carrier of the phone, which it will sell for $249.99 to customers who sign up for a two-year service contract.

Cingular does not make money from the songs played on the phones, but hopes they will help boost sales and reduce customer defections to rival services. One analyst said it could become Cingular's top-selling phone by next year.