How to make (almost) Anything?

How to make (almost) Anything?

I was reading Business Week, the issue which has something about blogs will change your business on the covering warning business people to catch up or .. catch you later.
Anyways, the reason for this post is not about blogs per say other than the fact its on a blog but on a book that was reviewed in the magazine.

This book has one word title, Fab with a rather long subtitle The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop--From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication

What the book talks about is the event of what seems to be a glorious technology called Personal fabrication. According to the businessweek article, Desktop Factories .

Personal fabrication systems are small, inexpensive clusters of tools and software that function as complete job shops. Typically, they have easy-to-use controls that enable almost anyone, including people in remote African villages, to manufacture an amazing variety of things. A typical system includes a milling machine for making precision parts, a cutter for producing simple printed circuit boards, and software for programming cheap chips called microcontrollers. Today, one of these "fab labs" costs about $20,000. But Gershenfeld predicts that fab lab prices will follow the path of PCs. With volume production, these advanced do-it-yourself systems could plunge to $10,000 and then perhaps to $1,000.
The story seems to be working out like -
First there was 100$ laptop then there was the 1000$ fabrication lab, all if the guys at MIT have their way.

You know guy, I love excercising six degrees of seperation especially when the connections are India bound.
Last week I was directed to this front page anchor [the one at the bottom] article in the Indian Express called In a Maharashtra village, school dropouts power MIT experiment via a post by Patrix.

This is just me but this article is somewhat badly titled, probably sutiable for sploid.
Anyways the article adds -

Far from India�s tech hubs �Pune at 80 km, is the closest�Pabal is home to one of six worldwide MIT Fab Labs, or fabrication laboratories that try to build ��everything from anything��. Manned today by school dropouts and underprivileged children, the Fab Lab is a collection of high-tech tools that can be used to fabricate instruments of any utility and configuration.

MIT first set up a small lab in 1992, at Pabal�s Vigyan Ashram�an organization that provides vocational and informal education to underprivileged and school dropouts. On March 18 this year, MIT upgraded it to a full-fledged Fab Lab at a cost of $200,000.

Manu Prakash, a research student at MIT�s Centre for Bits and Atoms, explained that Vigyan Ashram was chosen because it used ��innovative techniques�� and underprivileged students in solving problems of the rural population. Prakash has been training the ashram students�the ashram has set up 23 internet kiosks across Pabal�using machines and software developed by his colleagues back in the US. ��The focus area of this laboratory will be agriculture instrumentation, sensors and tools using electronic and mechanical technology,�� Prakash said.

The Fab Lab�s objective is to take tech to the masses of the developing world to solve local problems. So it comes with computer-controlled fabrication tools, open source computer-aided design and manufacturing software, associated electronic components and test equipment.
High-tech rural empowerment anybody ?

Bussiness week adds.

Starting in 2002, Gershenfeld began tapping the National Science Foundation for funds to deploy fab labs at remote locations in places such as Ghana, India, and Arctic Norway. In Norway's far north, where the native Sami keep flocks of sheep and reindeer, herder Haakon Karlsen makes little radio tags and wireless radio-relay stations so the Sami can track their animals' movements. In Pabal, a farming village in western India, a school is fab-labbing devices that will tune tractor engines to run on fuel squeezed from locally grown castor beans, since farmers can't afford diesel. And engineers at Takoradi Technical Institute are working on a solar-energy project that will bring electricity to villages in Ghana.
What this technology brings to mind an almost Star Trek like image with people using a replicator like machine to build almost anything.Here's a peak.

For the next generation of fab labs, Gershenfeld hopes to include a piece of equipment known as a rapid prototyping machine -- a device that is already becoming common in industry. Some are basically ink-jet printers that create three-dimensional "images" from computer models, laying down layer upon layer of plastic, powdered metal, or other materials. Overnight they can create the shell of a cellular phone. Eventually, by combining plastics and metal circuitry, they're expected to deliver a working cell phone -- or pretty much any other gadget.
Pretty exciting exciting isn't it may be in the future you could make you own personalized cell-phone , or mp3 play, or back scratcher or anything your mind dreams up.

Now only, if I could find a way build the 26$s I need to buy this book.

Just Answers No Links

Just Answers No Links
Plus Stock TIP

We all know search engines are great research tools but sometimes all we are left with after a search, are pages and pages of links, but no answers.
Enter,, this newbie search engine promises, Just Answers no links.

I was pleasantly surprised one day to find instead of when I did one of those routine google searches on a word I didn't know hoping to find the meaning. [Try one out yourself search the meaning of Rera Avis and click on the definition link on the upper right bar]
On first sight, I thought was just another search engine but then once I checked them I said to myself 'hey these guys are different'.
Like I said in the start they deliver Concise Facts on Demand.

Here's how they describe themselves

Search engines give you links to sift through,
one by one. GuruNet software and web solutions
give you actual information, without sending you
hunting all over the web.
As you may have notice I'm quite the info-maniac and until recently I linked wikipedia articles to words and topics in need of elaboration but I found that searches includes not only the wikipedia article but also other usable info so I started linking instead.
Nick the internet buzzard, noticed and highlighted this fact on my comment page and later spurred me to do a post on and it's parent company Gurunet.

In you look at Gurunet Corporation's (Amex : GRU) competitors you would find that Gurunet with a market capitalization of about 120 million dollars is really tiny compared to say Ask jeep's(ASKS) with a market cap of 1.6 billion dollars who happens to be their nearest competitor.
They they may be small but they're innovators, in the computer services industry and especially in search engines innovation is key and products like 1-click answers and with their next generation view on searches I see them going far.

In the future there are only two things I see happening to this company A.) they get acquired by a big company which means bling bling for investors or B.) they think big and therefore become big which also means bling bling for investors
Either way it's bling bling so gurunet.It's definitely a BUY in my book.

The World is Flat

The World is Flat

I just finished reading Thomas Friedman's latest work The World is Flat. I bought the book galvanized slightly by the buzz the book has creating, the past few weeks and not to mention its #2 on amazon.
In his book Friedman's plays the part of a chronicler, traveling the world observing the ever flattening [or in some cases not] of the world. By 'flattening' he would mean the world coming together and the dissolution of trade and political barriers. The 'flat world' being Friedman's word for a 'globalized world'.
Underneath the sprawling examples, testimonials, personal quips, case studies the books gives us an isometric view on phenomenons such as Globalization & Glocalization.
As the review on Amazon says

Thomas L. Friedman is not so much a futurist, which he is sometimes called, as a presentist. His aim, in his new book, The World Is Flat, as in his earlier, influential Lexus and the Olive Tree, is not to give you a speculative preview of the wonders that are sure to come in your lifetime, but rather to get you caught up on the wonders that are already here.

Some people have criticized Friedman for his oversimplifying his subject here's a article called Flathead in the NYPress which those just that.

On an ideological level, Friedman's new book is the worst, most boring kind of middlebrow horseshit. If its literary peculiarities could somehow be removed from the equation, The World Is Flat would appear as no more than an unusually long pamphlet replete with the kind of plug-filled, free-trader leg-humping that passes for thought in this country. It is a tale of a man who walks 10 feet in front of his house armed with a late-model Blackberry and comes back home five minutes later to gush to his wife that hospitals now use the internet to outsource the reading of CAT scans. Man flies on planes, observes the wonders of capitalism, says we're not in Kansas anymore. (He actually says we're not in Kansas anymore.) That's the whole plot right there. If the underlying message is all that interests you, read no further, because that's all there is.
To be honest I quiet liked the book even though Friedman sometimes has a habit floating away, giving it the an imperfect feel of a blog post but all and all it put certain things about globalization into perspective for me.

I'll end with a quip from the book

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wake up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn't matter if you're a lion or a gazelle.
When the sun comes up, you better start running.

I need to climb the hill



I was in Delhi- the last few days. Why? You may ask well, for reasons of family of course, my grand-parents celebrated their Golden-Anniversary. First there was that sangeet*, organized by somebody in the family I can't quiet name. I found my-self suddenly in a Monsoon Wedding like setting filled with you know- loud, always laughing, singing, some times plump, always jumping punjabis, most of whom I'm related to but have newer met.It was nice to see your grand mother all dressed up being treated like a bride getting her mehendi** done.
The sangeet was followed up by a more somber Anniversary bash at the Delhi Gymkhana. The Cake cut, the food eaten, the people met, the presents collected it was time to go.

Bye Bye Software Patents

Bye Bye Software Patents

I was reading my Bloglines today morning.This is something I do every morning.

And Slashdot came to tell me that that Software Patents Stopped in India.

"Indian parliament deleted the section from the patents bill regarding the software patents as left parties prevailed over the Government on the issue. This may be a major victory for free software foundation(FSP) which has been lobbying hard against the bill."

Believe it or not we are following Big Bhaiya's [Hindi for Brother] footsteps, well according to Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow .

"India is fast turning into one of the world's development powerhouses, and they're getting there by challenging the idea that they should have western-style copyright and patent rules (the US spent its first century as a "pirate nation" that didn't honor foreign copyrights and patents). This marks a decisive moment in Indian history: the US, Europe, and other nations' IT industries are crippled by the need to pay monopoly rents to patent-crooks like Acacia; India's IT companies can get away scott-free.'

[excerpt taken from here]

India and Cory Doctorow have something in common they're both harsh 'non-believers' in the Western Intellectual Property laws. India has been forced to bow down to patent laws due to international pressure take the recent Drug Patent bill introduced for example.
Indian being still somewhat socialist in some of her outlook still resists.
Here a statement India made at the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as picked up by Boing Boing .

"The primary rationale for Intellectual Property protection is, first and foremost, to promote societal development by encouraging technological innovation. The legal monopoly granted to IP owners is an exceptional departure from the general principle of competitive markets as the best guarantee for securing the interest of society. The rationale for the exception is not that extraction of monopoly profits by the innovator is, of and in itself, good for society and so needs to be promoted. Rather, that properly controlled, such a monopoly, by providing an incentive for innovation, might produce sufficient benefits for society to compensate for the immediate loss to consumers as a result of the existence of a monopoly market instead of a competitive market. Monopoly rights, then, granted to IP holders is a special incentive that needs to be carefully calibrated by each country, in the light of its own circumstances, taking into account the overall costs and benefits of such protection.
Should the rationale for a monopoly be absent, as in the case of cross-border rights involving developed and developing countries, the only justification for the grant of a monopoly is a contractual obligation, such as the TRIPS agreement, and nothing more. In such a situation it makes little sense for one party, especially the weaker party, to agree to assume greater obligations than he is contractually bound to accept. This, in short, is what the developed countries have sought to do so far in the context of WIPO. The message of the Development Agenda is clear: no longer are developing countries prepared to accept this approach, or continuation of the status quo."
Sad thing is that India signed TRIPS because India is obligated to sign it under WTO may not hurt India in the long run but it will hurt Africa because it outlaws India to market cheaper generic drugs.Remember these generics are life saving drugs such as AIDS drug cocktail.
Sad that one law and one country signing it could reduce the life expectancy of millions.


G-Wiz : India's Electric Car for the World.

The Reva, is 'Green', 'Clean', 'Cool', 'Small' and 'Fully Electric'.Yes I'm talking about the coolest if not the cutest car on Indian Roads.Famed to be the world's cheapest commercially produced reliable electric car.Made in Bangalore by the REVA Electric Car Company and tested in Pune by the Automobile Research Association (ARAI).

Anyway it was brought to my attention by the WorldChanging Blog in an article, titled
G-Wiz that the Reva is being sold in Great Britan and Malta rebranded as the G-Wiz and is soon to be sold in Japan.Here's what they said -

The G-Wiz, an Indian-made small electric car now available in the UK, is a test of the idea that a low-speed, short-range, low-cost vehicle will work in an urban setting. With a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour and maximum range of 40 miles, the only real use of the G-Wiz will be as a short-commute intra-city personal vehicle; the exemption from the "congestion charge" and free central London parking make the G-Wiz ideal for use in London

After comparative success in India where they've sold over a thousand units as of Spring 2005 they've sold about 200 cars in Britan and not only that they're getting noticed --- here , here &here which can only help

If that's not Enough ..

Beyond the green cred, the really interesting aspect of the G-Wiz is that it's a vehicle designed and built in Bangalore, India, and now being sold in the UK and Malta, and soon in Japan. REVA Electric Car has sold about a thousand vehicles in India, and has recently expanded its capacity to build upwards of 6,000 annually. The newly-unveiled next-generation REVA, which extends the electric car's range to 120 miles and its speed to over 70 miles per hour, should greatly expand the vehicle's potential utility.

Question if you had the money --- will you buy them for 250000Rs (5500 $s) ?
""The running cost of a Reva model is just 40 paise per km (1 cent) against that of a similar petrol or a diesel run car which need over Rs 2.50 per km (6 cents).""

Bombay Gothic

Bombay Gothic

I wanted to live a little yesterday, usually 'living a little' is a minimum 2 program but I decided to the ditch the second person and do it alone. I even did it without my camera, strange as it may sound.I've become quiet the trigger happy jap-tourist type of person who lives by the motto "if you haven't shot it you haven't lived it".There is another reason for me not having a camera- well it's not with me. My dad has borrowed it because he's in New Zealand. And since my mom and sis aren't here either I have been left home alone baby-sitting my dog [dog-sitting actually, but she is a puppy so baby would be right].

I decided to head town-wards away from the suburbs. I found the nearest rickshaw directed him to Bandra Station. A few minutes later and 19 bucks lighter I found myself at Bandra Station. 'Locals' are what the denizens of Bombay call their over-crowded yet super-efficient mass transit system on tracks. Stations in Bombay,well in India, embody tiny-ecosystem-ish representations of the entire system at large and this has been said a millions of times before but I'm going to repeat it once more 'if you want a taste of Indian life go visit a railway station.� I got a myself a copy of the Mid-day at the nearest A H Wheeler & Co * and went on to the ticket counter to by myself a second class ticket to CST ** worth Rs. 7.

People in Bombay, random people, people you see at railway stations, in buses, in cabs at pedestrian crossing interactions always seem to begoing somewhere in the fashion and multitude most people would equate to Tokyo or Manhattan but I saw the same raw blankness in my fellow commuter's eyes as I walked on the railway bridge making my way toplatform 5.

As I got on to the train in what I could best describe as a peer induced hurried rush, I quickly found myself a place other side by the doorleaning on the barrier both to rest my back and as a means for support. Locals have this very distinct smell one I would like to call 'metallic sweat' because that�s the only thing that describes it to me-smell which is a not-so-subtle blend of sweat and a metallic paint. First came Mahim Junction, a brief rattle away from Bandra, and we rolled over the mangroves and backwaters more smells some stronger than others piqued through the compartment. A short stop and we were on to King Circle. The man next to me nudged me to ask "Vadala alla kai?� [Have we reached Vadala Road]. I told him he it was the next station. He asked me once more just to make sure before he headed for the exit. The stations went by alternating side each time marked by an exit and entrance of more bodies always some how keeping the numbers rather constant. This was The Harbour Line *** then came Sewri , Cotton Green, Reay Road, Dockyard Road, Sandhurst Road, Masjid and finally Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

This is a part of Bombay filled with thepast, old derelict warehouses, unused cranes, container terminals. For this used to be India's premier dockyard. Now since most or all of Bombay's containers go through JNPT, Bombay docks are all but deserted. Maybe after the city fathers are done with the mills they'll turn their eyes here and may be in twenty years this would be filled with boutiques, hotels, malls and/or even a new art district. If you notice from the names of the stations, most of them right in the
middle of Bombay yet scarcely visited, still have kept their colonial names like 'Cotton Green' or 'Sandhurst Road' or 'Reay Road' and just like the names themselves the places themselves remain time warped in
a sort of Bombay Gothic.

All of India's cities still after all these years still have inherited colonial hiccups, places that stand reminders bitter-sweet. In Bombay the sweet would be Victoria Terminal [now known as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus].Let's walk around shall we, wait let me exit the train first. Platform 1, I look up and I see the large trusses hanging over me all painted siliver with anti-rust paint like foundation on a diva's face. After an glass of apple juice from the HPMC counter for old times sake I felt ever refreshed. You know what impresses me the most about CST/VT, well most would say the gothic facade, the stained glass, the gargoyles for me it's large clock above the middle platform for after all these years it still tells the correct time.

I exit and walk along the station towards Crawford Market. The station stares back at me through her large open windows ,trains, commuters, hawkers, beggars and tourist rolling in and rolling out and above be were the gargoyles smile caught in their frozen dive. Gargoyles are water spouts by practicality but I've always
imagined them to be more than that. I've always imagined them to be like temple guard statues who'll jump out any moment and come to the rescue of the structure.

I reached the end crossed and walked in the other direction along the Bennett and Coleman building towards fountain.

May be when I have a little more time I'll reveal more of what I did or may be I'll let it remain a mystery.

*A H Wheeler & Co - Emile Moreau, a French author, and T K Bannerjee, an Indian businessman, started the bookstore chain 'A H Wheeler & Co.', which later spread to have its book stalls in a great many small and big railway stations in India, especially in the north. The company was also the one that published Rudyard Kipling in 1888 when he was all but unknown. The company's name was borrowed from a then-successful London bookstore, Arthur Henry Wheeler�s. You could now call them the largest un-official book store chains in India. You could find one on nearly every major or not-so major Indian railway

**CST - Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus formerly Victoria Terminus and need I mention, world heritage site.

***The Harbour Line -The 5th corridor on Central Railway runs from CST to Raoli Junction (11 km) from where the line splits. One line goes north west to join WR at Mahim and goes up to Andheri (11 km), and the other goes eastward to terminate at Panvel (39 km) via Navi Mumbai.This corridor is popularly referred to as 'Harbour Line' by the locals.

Indo-Pakistan Reunification: A Second Look.

Indo-Pakistan Reunification: A Second Look

Sometime back around August of last year I posted a series posts on my blog on the matter.The idea of Indo-Pakistan Reunification was somewhat an idea I was forced to think about in the eventuality of a Debate I was to prepare. In the post Indo-Pak Reunification dated 28th August I published the speach I had prepared in which I spoke against Reunidication, dismissing it as a dream.I also followed it up with another post What I feel about Indo-Pak Reunification dated 1st September where published the counter view.

On the eve, what the media calls a new found initiative to for the perusal of peace between the two the countries I would like to revisit both those posts.I would like to start with the counter argument.
I would like to add Tarun's Blog ,Voice from a 2.5-World Country did a great post (Delusion of Grandeur) on the matter

The COUNTER Argument

Indo-Pakistan Reunification : Castle in the sky

In my mind the former is just a Dream. A Dream based on fantasy not on fact.
A Castle in the sky. You may want something to happen but it does not necessary translate into it happening.

Esteemed Judges and this most recptive August Audience.
I Akshay , from Maharashtra Institute of Technology speak against the topic.

To further my argument that Indo-Pak reunification is not possible I will delve in four conditions I feel are required for a successful reunification and in doing so I will show how these conditions simply don't exist in the present scenario and how they may not exist in the future.
Unlike the many most my colleagues who have spoken before I'm not going to indulge myself in mere Anti-Pakistan rhetoric instead mention hard fact.

The first condition , which I feel is an absolute necessity for the case of reunification to be drawn out is Peace.

I bet that know one in the audience would describe the relationship India and Pakistan share to be "Friendly".

Far From it..

In the 57 years of existence of both these nations the situation has oscillated from brief periods of calm to border disputes, open war, cold war,diplomatic blockades ,insurgency to even a Nuclear armchair.

Let me also remind you that India and Pakistan have been at war thrice.
The first being in 1961 .
Then again in 1971.
And as recently as 1999 in the Kargil conflict.
There are still underlying issues which are thorns in the peace process and with no proper composite dialogue being shared between the two nations I see these issues to remain largely unresolved.
Without the prevalence of Peace I feel the case for reunification is grim.
Far from grim it is highly unlikely.

Moving on .
The existence of an visionary leadership is required to use the case .
Let us take the example of Germany where Gorbachev took the real iniative reunite both East and West Germany.
India and Pakistan lack such an Enlightened Government.
Pakistan is head my a Military dictator as President who is hiding behind a pseudo-democratic government.
India is not far behind. India with rampant corruption and bureaucratic red tapism is not exactly a prime example of good governance.
With such unimaginative governments ,the case for reunification is unlikely to be pushed.
Let me remind you that Indo-Pak reunification is not a small triviality it requires a true iniative.. Which is lacked on both sides.

Let us look at prevailing Social Condition , the world has seen a hardening on religious lines.
The same is the case in India Pakistan ,
In Pakistan there is small section of society,certain cleric peddling hardline , extreme views who are spreading hate on the basis of religion..
In India with the existence with the existence of religious hardliners like the BajRang Dal the picture is quiet the same.
Reunification will further complicate the already complex religious equations thus leading to strain on India's secular Fabric causing only more communal violence.
This in my mind would have disastrous effect , a disastrous effect we cannot afford.
Thus making reunification a impossibility.

Summing up I would like to say the case for reunification is like a skeleton .
A body with no mass , no flesh.
Thus should be dismissed as impossible.

toady is the 41st Anniversary of Martin Luther King's speech.
I have a dream.

I too have a dream
a dream where India and Pakistan co-exist in Peace.

The only difference between my dream and that for reunification is that mine is closer to reality.
Thank you.

The FOR Argument

Indo-Pak Reunification : it CAN become a reality

What I think on reunification really doesn't really matter. My microscopic thoughts will never make a difference.
But after listening to the sometimes redundant reasoning to 52 different speakers on the topic I'm bound to have a perspective idea on the matter.
Most will dismiss the idea on it's face value, stating mutual distrust , religion and sometimes even hate..
For example when I told one person in my class that ,I was speaking against Indo-Pak Reunification... He was went on an Anti-Pak spree saying.
"Woh Salle Pakistanis" (Those Pakistanis >> where "Salle" is a derogatory word)
I know he did not mean it's just the media in both the countries spread this mutual mistrust.Thus it's almost cool to bash the other country.Degrade them on each others national television ,it's a sort of entertainment,it the perennial coffee table conversation everyday people have , all segments of society.

The thing is people are fickle minded and their thoughts on subjects change like a compass changes direction.

And there is one thing I can say with certainty that things that seem impossible today will become possibilities tomorrow.
The same is the case with the "India - Pakistan" relationship ,these two countries were one in 1947,before partition (for those who don't know the history here's a link
Partition of India)
and hopefully can become one in the future burying their past differences.

Who would have predicted in 1944 that Europe would stand united as the largest bloc of countries going into the 22nd Century?
It would have been just a dream a dream of a few.
A dream they worked on and brought to reality the same is the case with India Pakistan Reunification .
It is just a dream ,but if we work on it CAN become a reality.

Certum est, quia impossibile est
(It is certain because it is impossible)
-Tertullian (c. 160-c. 230)

Would like to hear your views as always.


I walked into my bank today to withdraw some money and as I put my hand forward to insert my debit card and the screen of the NCR Automatic Teller Machine turned blue and it retreated into the wall with machine like ease.I was suprised I didn't know they could do that

I could as you do observe the Anatomy of the ATM.

Looking to the Sky

Looking to the Sky

Imagine this - You're walking down a street and you see the peculiar sight of girl and what appears to be her mother looking up at the sky for no apparent reason.

What Would You Do ?

Well, 9 OUT of 10 people who are not preoccupied by similar blatantly non-apparent preoccupations would stop and join our pair and then either
  • Realize there is nothing yonder, think the women are stark raving mad and you either join them in their madness or the more likely you walk away mumbling something about calling social services.
  • You point up into the sky and saw the following with glee "Watch out we've got a jumper" " It's a bird,it's a plane, no the man thinks he's Superman."

Call me crazy, but this observation gives me an insight into current fashion, media and general social trends.

1. The general direction in which something tends to move.
2. A general tendency or inclination. See synonyms at tendency.
3. Current style; vogue: the latest trend in fashion.

Nick once told me this little story.
It all happened when his friend[I forget his name] that decided to go to his audition with his jeans rolled upto his knees.Nick played fashion police and stopped him, breathing a sigh of relief, thinking he had averted yet another Tamagotchi(?????) like hideous fad. But just a few months later[much to his horror] the latest fad on the New York High Street was rolled up denim jeans.
Companies love playing trends something goes big -- companies follow.

Think Ipod
and how you have most accessorised gadget ever think covers add-ons,variants,software,ebooks and now podcasting and so forth.

The things about human beings is that when they see something they like or want ---
they emulate.

All you need is one person looking up at the sky. Do something differrent start a trend.

X & Y

X & Y

This is the artwork from Brit Band Coldplay[much awaited & yet to be released] third album
X & Y.
According to 'Metafilter' the artwork [looks very Radiohead] is some sort cryptic message we the discerning consumer have to some how solve or understand and the record company bosses are hoping for public intrigue. I believe this is very Dan Brown, an era when cryptology has become 'cool' even to an extent were companies are using it as Marketing gimmicks.May be a few years ago if you said you had an interest in cryptology you would have been filed under nerd, this still may be the case today but it now has a cool edge to it, speaking strictly on how the trends goes.

On a secondary note I'm really looking forward to this album having liked the earlier two and if you like me didn't here about this until today then here's a link [[Coldplay Finalizes New Album Track List VIA]] that would answer most of your queries.

Well if anybody in the audience has any clue what the hell this means drop a me a line .

100$ Laptops

100$ Laptops

The picture speaks, a bunch of cambodian school children standing outside their yellow school building raising their laptops over their heads. MIT Media Labs is planning to do just that by trying to develop a $100 laptop. [via Daily Wireless and Digital Divide Network]

We've heard it all before 'a initiative' a they say that will 'revolutionalize' technology and 'bridge the technology divide' and all that jazz.
Will they Deliver ?
In the past several people and institution have tried to bridge the technological divide with innovative ideas they all seemed to loose their fizz after the initial buzz and media hype.

Failure in Example: Simputer - A litle to expensive.

Let's the example Picopeta's famed Simcomputer Project.The Simcomputer project was launched 4 years ago in India to develop a low-cost handheld meant to provide computing power to farmers in developing countries
India's Simcomputer : Yet to deliver

A recent article in the Washington Post, Handheld Computer Yet to Reach the Masses rues the failure of this ambitious project.
It [the article] points out that
Picopeta has sold fewer than 2,000 units in the past 12 months, far below the target of 50,000. Worse, only 10 percent of those Simputers were bought for rural use

The stumbling block the simputer is that 200$ thats about Rs 13,000 it's a little too expensive for the purpose of its development.

100$s Seems Right

The first think that came to mind when I heard of the 100$ laptop was the 1 lakh* Rupee car Tata Motors is trying to develop. [* 1 lakh = 100,000, roughly 2,300$s]
100$s seems like the right price but this to fit a internet ready, full-color, full-screen laptop in 100 dollars is not easy.
According to Nicholas Negroponte, Lab chairman and co-founder of MIT Media Labs tell us what he's going to put in it
  • First, by driving the display cost below $25. We are exploring five different options for this, looking at possibilities such as projected image or roll-to-roll printed display. Projection is the primary candidate at this time, and will bring the cost of an approximately 12" diagonal display to below $20. E-Ink, invented at the Media Lab, is another option.
  • Second, we will get the fat out of the systems. Today's laptops have become obese. Two-thirds of their software is used to manage the other third, which mostly does the same functions nine different ways.
  • Third, we will market the laptops in very large numbers (millions), directly to ministries of education, which can distribute them like textbooks.

If MIT Media Labs does everything right and with patners like Google, AMD, and News Corp, there finnally a coalition that could tackle digital divide like no other.
Hope they're sucsessful.

Birds of Prey

Bird of Prey
Bird of Prey
Flying high
Flying high
In the summer sky

Bird of Prey
Bird of Prey
Flying high
Flying high
gently pass on by

Bird of Prey
Bird of Prey
Flying high
Flying high
am i going to die

Bird of Prey
Bird of Prey
Flying high
Flying high
take me on your flight

Lyrics from Birds of Prey - The Doors{[wiki]}
The bird in picture is a Black Kite (Milvus migrans), also known as the "Brahmini Kite".