The Other Question, The End of Time

Note: 1. A purely non-authoritative piece. 2. This is an old draft that I am publishing after an year or so. Information presented here might have changed in the meanwhile.

Ages have passed since humans started questioning. We have always been a species with a constant endeavour to explore. We have always tried to fathom the mysteries around us. And yes, we have been quite successful in our adventures. Tremendous progress has been achieved in the fields of science and technology. Many questions have been answered. Many new have arisen. Some questions have remained unanswered, questions as old as humanity itself.

One of the first things that caught the imagination of our ancestors was the dazzling night sky. Pearls embedded in the dark depths of the universe struck wonders in the eyes of those early star-gazers. The mysteries of those pearls continue to amaze us even till today. Who put them up there? How did it all start? Rather, was there a start to it? (more…)

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Published in: on May 16, 2013 at 11:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Conveniently Blind

Update: La Tomatina Cancelled! Sanity prevails!

http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/bangalore-s-tomatina-festival-cancelled-134173

Note: The tone of the article is not pleasant. Reflects my frustration. And I took no pain to hide it.

Just spare a thought for that young kid on the road. He hasn’t had anything to eat for the past two days. And now, he stares at people throwing food at each other, food being indiscriminately wasted, food being used for entertainment and ‘celebration’, in the name of La Tomatina.

Celebration of what? A most outrageous, inhuman celebration that smacks of arrogance and ignorance. A pure sadistic pleasure of destroying food that could well have formed somebody’s meal. (more…)

When diluting an acid makes it lethal

No, this is not an article on the chemistry of the Bhopal Gas tragedy. My chemistry is way too poor for me to explain that.

Note:

  1. I’ve provided links and references as footnotes wherever I deemed it to be significant.
  2. I apologise if my article hurts the sentiments of any readers, my intention is to make people realise what happens in the event of a disaster. I sincerely wish and hope that no disaster ever occurs.
  3. I am *NOT* a doomsayer.

Flashback – 1984, Bhopal

Do I even need to remind what happened? I am not diving into the specifics of what happened. I am mentioning this so that you can have some statistics as a reference for the rest of the article.

Number of people murdered : 15,000 (possibly more) [1]

Compensation                         : $ 470 million (which the government itself agreed to be inadequate) [2] (more…)

Free Software Workshop @ SSN

Well, been long since I blogged. Technically speaking, this is my first blog. No, I wrote the other articles as well. But again, a blog, this is the first.

So what kept me from blogging for so long? More than a couple of reasons. The primary one being the workshop and then my project, among others. And I thought I should log my experiences of the workshop in my blog.

One of the things I love about free software is that, the more you work – the more you love it. The more you work – the more you want to work. The more you work – the more energy you get. The passion of the volunteers around you is infectious, so is the enthusiasm of so many students.  We had around 250 students attending the 5-day camp that was held at SSN Engineering College (more…)

Myth Of The Starving Genius

Update

Oops!! Looks like I messed up the post. Deviated from the basic premise I set about to explore. Thanks to the humanoid for pointing it out. I will probably post a follow-up..err.. a clean-up. Sorry for the goof-up.

Microsoft pays me 13lac p.a. Can Free Software do that?

Second part in my series on Intellectual Property. I am going to try to debunk a few popular myths. This essay is aimed at the young graduate and the student who has all sorts of doubts if Free Software can provide him with the money that the Proprietary world offers him.

Most of the times, students do get convinced that free software is ‘the’ way to go forward. They also agree that it is morally, ethically and technically superior. They also agree that we can make some sort of money by pursuing free s/w as a career.

And everyone agrees in unison that the proprietary system offers them higher salaries as opposed to free software. The general tendency (more…)

Published in: on April 27, 2010 at 10:15 am  Comments (2)  

India – The Largest Car Manufacturer

Thought it was Japan? Nope, not even Toyota can compete with the Indian industry. We have an excellent set-up. We also have a distinct advantage over the Japanese. Here, the cars themselves want to be made and be sold in the market. No, I am not talking about the Maruti 800s or the Tata Indicas. I have a completely different picture of the “car”. The industry that I am referring to is not the traditional car manufacturing industry, but the highly lucrative Education Industry which produces ultra-sophisticated cars. Make no mistake, these cars have the self-motivation to be perfect and advertise for themselves to be sold.

We keep hearing the garb about education being commercialised, being commoditised, losing its value, (more…)

A Peek Into The Beginnings

The Motivations

The following post is about trying to give a general idea of the Large Hadron Collider experiments being carried out by CERN (and as such, the post is LARGE), better known as the Big Bang experiment. The main motivation behind this is my sister. I don’t profess complete knowledge about the subject matter nor do I aim at explaining the technical intricacies involved. I aim at the general non-technical reader. And I hope to enthuse and introduce them to the wonderful world that is physics without the equations that scare most people away. I don’t take any responsibility for technical mistakes but I am open to corrections and suggestions.

The Child And His Toy

Most kids love to play with toys, as we did, and some kids end up breaking their toys. Elders might scorn at a broken toy, but ever wondered what made the child break the toy? The thing which made the child break the toy is the essence of every human – “curiosity(more…)

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm  Comments (4)  
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A Remedy Worse Than The Disease

Update

http://www.thehindu.com/op/2010/05/09/stories/2010050950031200.htm

http://www.thehindu.com/edu/2010/04/05/stories/2010040550100400.htm

Preface

Out of the numerous challenges our country is facing, one problem with which most readers can relate themselves to is the issue of higher education. The quality of higher education is poor and equitable access to higher education is absent. No doubt, it is a disease which demands our attention and a cure at the earliest.

The Quack’s Cure

Utilising the services of highly educated Netas, the Indian government set about finding the cure. They finally found the problem: (more…)

Published in: on April 12, 2010 at 11:27 am  Comments (4)  
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Migration Blues

Prologue

I have been advocating the adoption of free software for over 4 years now. The most often raised question is this:

“I have been using M$ Windows and here in India, we get anything for free. I never paid to get my copy of windows. So what difference does it make to me whether I use Windows or Free Software?”

Genuine question, in spite of my stressing that the Free in Free software means “Freedom” as in Free Speech. I still need to address that particular concern in terms of economics as well, rather than in plain old philosophy and ideology.

In God’s own country

Kannur, Malabar, Kerala. If there is one place still not tampered by the destructive creativity and intellect of man, (more…)

Myriad owns a part of me, Who owns the rest?

Just one day after posting this, on March 29, 2010, a coalition led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) successfully challenged the basis of Myriad’s patents in New York District Court. The patent has been invalidated.

Note: The following post is pretty lengthy. I tried to cut down on the length, but the subject matter demanded that I don’t.  All that has been stated in this post is pure non-fiction. Everything is real. I’ve tried to provide links wherever required, for others, googling should corroborate the facts. This post is a part of  a series I am planning to write (whether you like it or not) on Intellectual Property ( I hate to use that word ).

Still not sure what the title means? We are all ignorant fools. We ought to know at least the name of the company which owns us. All right, it does not own us completely, but it owns a small part of you , me , Obama ,Sachin, (more…)

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