Saturday, December 29, 2007

In pictures: A year in technology

In pictures: A year in technology....

After months of rumours, Apple boss Steve Jobs launched the iPhone in January. It first went on sale in July and fans queued for days to get their hands on the device.

Microsoft began the hard sell of its latest operating system in January. Vista, was designed to be ultra-secure, a claim disputed by some security researchers.

Nintendo's Wii became the console of choice in 2007 with demand outstripping supply. The console outsold Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3).

Reports of cyber-attacks on government systems increased throughout the year. Estonia claimed it endured an attack by Russia - sparked by the relocation of a war memorial.

In June, researchers at MIT showed off an experimental system to deliver power to electrical devices without the need for wires. They called the system WiTricity.

Facebook grew at a phenomenal rate in 2007, passing more than 50m users worldwide. But the social network also came under attack for its privacy policies.

One of the most anticipated games of the year - Halo 3 - hit shelves in September. The Xbox 360 title made £84m ($170m) in its first 24 hours, according to Microsoft.

Intel launched a range of processors in November becoming the first company to use a new silicon replacement, based on the metal hafnium, into parts of its processors.

In November, Google ended speculation about the imminent release of a Google phone when it launched an open operating system for phones, called Android.

The One Laptop per Child project, which aims to distribute cheap laptops in the developing world, secured its first order from Uruguay and started mass production.

007 was dominated by privacy scares including the loss of two CDs, containing personal details of 25 million individuals, by Her Mjesty's Revenue and Customs.

taken from: BBC (

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Rendezvous with Bill Gates - Junior

One Morning, I was surprised to see a Bill Gates look-alike standing next to me and smiling!! This was in a Macs store in Barrie, Ontario. I was shocked, surprised and happy.... for few moments, was still sinking in the what I saw and reality.

I took the opportunity and told him, how much he resembled Bill Gates, thinking he would be glad to hear that... but sure enough... he already knew that! He replied back.. "people keep telling me that"... hahaha

Well, then I told him he should shoot a movie starring himself as Bill Gates or maybe think of Hollywood. I am sure someone out there must be willing enough to make a Microsoft themed movie..... or if funny then... maybe a move titled..."Bill Gates - back to school" with dialogues from Arnold's movie "I will be back... "... that will be a blockbuster... Crazy laughs ensued and it made my day! He then permitted me upon request, to take some pictures of him to put it here, for this memorable day.

Picture of Bill Gates for reference: See yourself

Monday, February 26, 2007

Space, Time & Earth

Space has always fascinated me, from childhood days of reading graphic illustrated books on space to now, reading all theories and question related to space, time and universe..

Once in a while i get triggered and start looking and finding more about the space... universe... and this time i was triggered by my room-mate and young friend, happu. Happu, wanted to find a qestion which could not be easily answered by looking up at google, which he wanted to submit at his class discussion board. And there we were, running our "think-tanks" to look out for the ultimate question. And as it would have had gone, i again... landed up on the vast emptiness of the space.

There are all these wonderful "things" i think of and get amazed like...wormholes, time relativity, time travel, and Einstein's time dilation theory to name a few.

....<...i am right now writing and editing this text...and if u happen to read this, please check back later....usually i write in one go, but this one is an exception, and so i will work on it..and will take "my own time"... :) >

Current day and night view at Earth

Solar System Live

Home Planet, a comprehensive astronomy / space / satellite-tracking package

Earth & Moon Viewer

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Out-of-body-experience OBEs

I first heard the term in a documentary movie at the National Geographic channel. Since then I came across a lot of online articles, self thought process and vlogs from youtube. and every time I stumble on this term... it sounds so amazing and I wish I could achieve this one day...there’s so much I wish to do... when m not in my body...

Coming back to the topic :) ..., the documentary covered how patients under operations in a number of hospitals have told exactly what was going on when their body was being operated. People have being telling of how they could feel the weightlessness and could feel floating, and were able to pass through doors, walls... According to what I have read as of date... this phenomena is explained scientifically as the sub-conscious mind waking up... when we are not sleeping, out conscious mind is active, which controls the nervous system and all of our body movements. Sub-conscious mind is a energy house... which is powerful but not fully active.

Something not exactly OBE but half waking up thing happened to me...It was summer of 2002. I took a nap after lunch. After some time, I felt thirsty and woke up... I still remember what I saw, ... I saw my room, normal...and I found myself lying on my bed (again, normal)... I moved my head towards the water jug on my right and tried to get up... I felt pain in my body, as I forced it to get up... I realized in spite of my will, I can not move anything below my neck... my hand refused to move a bit... I was amazed and applied all will and force, to which I got an acute pain in my hand, which lasted a few days. I realized... that maybe its "bad-timing" or maybe I am dreaming very realistically and gave up....and slowly fall asleep. When I woke up, not much time had passed; I could move all my body… wow...!! But the pain remained...which told me that what I had witnessed was not a dream!

I got up, googled it and found related to sub-conscious mind... more googling landed to the out of body experience, which thrilled and excited me... there are lot of events and groups doing research on OBEs, there are numerous books written and lots of people who have witnessed OBE. I wish I could too get OBE... the first thing I wish to do, is to go and see how the girl is, I care of...and that she does not even know of..!!! amazing... I really feel that lots of things in this world are wonders... and one has to witness it, to know it better...

I might have made no sense at all... but what the heck... as I said earlier... one has to witness it to know it better.... if still someone is reading this (un-realistic)... these links can be browsed...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Microsoft's Windows Vista vs Apple's iPhone


A generalist's question would be, "how do they even match up to be compared?” Nice Question. Well, here, I see it beyond technology. It's about being out ther and being visible and up on the list.

When you see the CES keynote by Bill Gates, you literally say "wow". Which Microsoft already knows that you will eventually say :) That’s Bill Gate's vision. It's a splendid launch event. I find Vista a part of milestone and am focused more on end-users who see PCs as entertainment platforms rather then anything else. Technologies like shadow-copy and previous version was laready there in win 2k pro and 2k3 server. In Vista, Mirosoft has brought it up-front and easy to use for end-users. With the aero 3D and glassy looks, it is more then enough to impress audience. Just try your hands on Vista, and you will like it. So thats Vista, fun, easy, better on entertainment with 3D preinstalled games, awesome looks...
I know, i am coming down to the point... just wanted to give a feel of Vista. So lets have a look at iPhone too...

iPhone, as Apple puts it, is the 3rd revolution after...first Mac, then iPod and then comes iPhone. Integrating advanced phone features, Internt capabiltites and an iPod all in 1. And not to mention that it runs on OS X and uses Safari (Apple's proprietry web browser) to surf net. The iPhone has a touch screen, is very thin and light weight. Apple calls it a revolution in phone technology, and so think people here.

I have come across numerous people who simply love iMacs and iPods and fans of Apple. I haven't seen this kind of fanfare back home. Microsoft comes up during their talks, but only in jokes about their products. I feel like left alone among all the Apple fans... coz internally i know, how much i adore Bill gates and how much i desire to work with him.

You see, I am good at drifting, ...:p so let’s get back to the topic... Yes, i was talking about setting the comparison here between the launch of Apple's iPhone and Microsoft's Vista. What i have noticed is Microsoft had Vista, which is an "end-user" centric OS, with all the "finding" and workflow features too. Other then this Microsoft did not have anything else in their arsenal, except for future plans for live home and bus-chart.. And oh.. I almost forgot this,... of .. Integratig their technology into Ford's latest automobiles. Believe me.. That’s true.. Microsoft's theme was of "staying connected", wherever you are. And the theme relates to their future plans, not just Vista.

Whereas, Apple had a product in their hands which truly looked like a revolution and it was hilarious when Steve Jobs said, "We have got patents on this already".... then iPhone have collabration with Google Earth and Yahoo. When you see the product demonstration, you feel like the product is not a 'hi-tech'..or "sci-fi" thing... it's something, which belongs to our generation and we need it. So it is impressing.

I call it "vs", because... the competition was not of technology but more of retaining and being in the show... so no one forgets. There are two things i have noticed, in business, first.. Consumers' memory is short... (They need to be impressed time and again by companies and their products) ... and second that... out of sight is out of mind... & this is exactly the reason it was a versus for the both companies this time....especially for Microsoft.
Although, it appears both wants to capture the entertainment user base by coming up with games, zunes, xboxe 360s, iPods, iPhones so fast that the users will find it hard to see it coming and even hard to digest it all....

I am amazed at the speed of things happening around. Maybe theres something which runs faster then light... and maybe in near future we will have a new term which will replace the term lightyear.. ... Just wondering... dont take on my words... :)

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Global Warming

It's January time, sun very much visible, feels like august, windy and clear sky. This looks like a weather report of a warmer place, but to my surprise I've been told that this is the first time there has been no snow here..apart for a couple of days in november.

I can't let the Global warming, ruin my first winter here. I wanted to see snow, play with snow like i have been watching in movies, click some pictues.... theres so much to do, but here i am, sitting in my room, wearing a t-shirt and looking outside my window to the "august-like" weather.

Getting back to global warming issue, I looked up google for global warming articles and found the - Environmental Protection agency;s website and then somewhere in google was a link of NASA's GPM (Global Precipitation Management), yes, i know, you must be thing....have i heard this term or what.... yes, you have heard this term, in Swades... Shahrukh worked in this project with NASA.. i am amazed to the seriousness shahrukh has put into the movie... like selecting a topic, so real like GPM and actually going to NASA and shooting.

Getting back to the topic... :) ... It says that increase in greenhouse gases has been the primary reason of increase in temperature. It's said that by the time a baby born today is 80 years old, the world will be 6 and a half degrees warmer than it is now.

I found these 2 articles worth reading...

Union of concerened scientists:
BBC News website:

$ 100 Laptop is finally here

I had been keeping an eye on this $100 article since its inception at the MIT as part of a project. Now its finally here. The motto behind this is to provide computing machine to every child in developing countories.

The first countries to sign up for this includes amongst all, Pakistan too. I was surprised to see that when pakistan is trying to "develop", why is India not in the list. We certainly aren't too ahead in the IT "penetration" as is US or so called ""first world countries". We still are considered amongst developing countries and incuded in the category "third world countries". So why not, we take the initiative, penetrate the knowledge and expertise in every corner of our country. Anyways... this aside... getting back to the topic...

The so-called XO machine (the $100 laptop) is being pioneered by Nicholas Negroponte, who launched the project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab in 2004.
Configuration includes; AMD 366Mhz processor, 512MB flash memory, built-in wireless networking, 2 USB ports & no Hard-drive! All data is saved in flash memory till you work...and if you wish to save your can attach USB storage devices additionally.
Runs on the so called "cut down" version of the linux OS. The machine comes with a web browser, word processor and RSS reader. Instead of information being stored along the organising principle of folders and a desktop, users of the XO machine are encouraged to work on an electronic journal, a log of everything the user has done on the laptop.
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