Month: November 2008

Mumbai under attack, 104 killed, 600+ injured

Mumbai under attack, 104 killed, 600+ injured

For this one time I wish to post this (my heart’s content) here as opposed to my personal blog…..

Yesterday night, during a regular news at 10 session a small scroll began as it sad “Bomb blasts in Mumbai CST” , dismissing it to be a low intensity blast, I was surfing channels and was shocked beyond words to see live images of gore and horror, as chaos reigned and both Oberai and Taj Mahal hotel is telecasted with commotion of gun-fires and grenade hurlings I’ve never expected to see in real life. (rather than when Arnold was part of it in some hi-budget Hollywood Flick)

Now, The details are clear(to a degree)

* – Terrorists Striked in 4 different places in a coordinated attack this country has ever witnessed.

* – The beating breast of Mumbai is the financal district surrounding Oberai hotels, nearly 40 hostages are there with scores of them being British and American citizens.

* – The intensity & audacity of the attack is so giant that we should really tell the establishment was caught in unawares…

* – There were two boats ladden with explosives near the Gateway of India and was seized and deactivated in time.

* – Seems only seems that the terrorists have abducted some western nationals along with Indian Citizens..

The Saddest part of the story is , India Today lost 3 of her Heroes in the action and they were caught unprepared and Under-equipped , The famed Head of The Anti Terrorism Squad Hemant Karkarae and ACP of Mumbai were killed when their command vehicle was entering the Hotel..

They died as they lived with a carbine in hand and a bullet in chest…and once this carnage is over, theres’ going to be a hell lot of an investigation to conduct.

Right now, Entire Indian Security establishment has been mooted, INclding The NSG, ATS, Army commandos and the CRPF ….

More chaos and more confusion …My hope and Yes PRAYERS are with those holed up in those places and the more so with e brave soles who endures the wrath and trying thier bet to end this nightmare…

India to take second moon shot by 2012, eyes Mars

India to take second moon shot by 2012, eyes Mars

Buoyed by the success of its maiden lunar mission, India on Thursday said it will send a second unmanned spacecraft to the moon by 2012.
The announcement came less than a week after Chandrayaan-1, India’s first unmanned spacecraft, entered lunar orbit for the start of a two-year mission.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the second spacecraft would also place a probe on the moon’s surface.

“Chandrayaan-II will be launched by 2012,” ISRO chairman Madavan Nair told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar in the southern Indian city of Chennai.

“We will have a lander that will drop a small robot on the moon, which will pick samples, analyse data and send the data back,” the Press Trust of India quoted Nair as saying.

He said Chandrayaan-1 will on Friday drop a probe, painted in India’s national colours, on the moon.

“Already 95 percent of the mission has been completed. The total success of the mission would be known only after the remaining work is completed,” he said.

During its mission, Chandrayaan-1 will provide a detailed map of the mineral, chemical and topographical characteristics of the moon’s surface.

India hopes the lunar missions will boost its space programme into the same league as regional powerhouses Japan and China.

“We cannot be lagging behind in terms of our capability to access space. China, the US and Japan are going ahead with huge plans for space,” the ISRO chairman said.

Nair also dismissed criticism the 80-million dollar Chandrayaan-1 project was beyond ISRO’s budget and said the agency would use the infrastructure created for the lunar mission for more ambitious programmes.

“Most of the expenses have gone to create infrastructural facilities, which will be used for our plans to send satellites to Mars and Venus,” Nair said, adding the organisation would also launch a satellite to solar emissions.

Knowledge needs to be free!
Students Invited To Name New Mars Rover

Students Invited To Name New Mars Rover

NASA is looking for the right stuff, or in this case, the right name for the next Mars rover. NASA, in cooperation with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures’ movie WALL-E from Pixar Animation Studios, will conduct a naming contest for its car-sized Mars Science Laboratory rover that is scheduled for launch in 2009.
The contest begins Tuesday, Nov. 18, and is open to students 5 to 18 years old who attend a U.S. school and are enrolled in the current academic year. To enter the contest, students will submit essays explaining why their suggested name for the rover should be chosen.

Essays must be received by Jan. 25, 2009. In March 2009, the public will have an opportunity to rank nine finalist names via the Internet as additional input for judges to consider during the selection process. NASA will announce the winning rover name in April 2009.

Disney will provide prizes to students submitting winning essays, including a trip to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where the rover is under construction. The grand prize winner will have an opportunity to place a signature on the spacecraft and take part in the history of space exploration.

“Mars exploration has always captured the public imagination,” said Mark Dahl, program executive for the Mars Science Laboratory at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This contest will expand our ability to inspire students’ interest in science and give the public a chance to participate in NASA’s next expedition to Mars.”

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures in Burbank, Calif., will make it possible for WALL-E, the name of its animated robotic hero and summer 2008 movie, to appear in online content inviting students to participate in the naming contest.

The online WALL-E content will provide young viewers with a current connection to the human-robotic partnership that is transforming discovery and exploration. The contest coincides with Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s release of WALL-E on DVD and Blu-ray.

The naming contest partnership is part of a Space Act Agreement between NASA and Disney designed to use the appeal of WALL-E in educational and public outreach efforts.

“All of us at Disney are delighted to be working with NASA in its educational and public outreach efforts to teach schoolchildren about space exploration, robot technology and the universe in which they live,” said Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group. “WALL-E is one of the most lovable and entertaining characters that Pixar has ever created, and he is the perfect spokes-robot for this program.”

The Mars Science Laboratory rover will be larger and more capable than any craft previously sent to land there. It will check whether the environment in a carefully selected landing region ever has been favorable for supporting microbial life. The rover will search for minerals that formed in the presence of water and look for several chemical building blocks of life.

“We are now in a phase when we’re building and testing the rover before its journey to Mars,” said John Klein, deputy project manager for the Mars Science Laboratory at JPL. “As the rover comes together and begins to take shape, the whole team can’t wait to call it by name.”

Additional assignments include imaging its surroundings in high definition, analyzing rocks with a high-powered laser beam, inspecting rocks and soil with a six-foot robotic arm, and cooking and sniffing rock powder delivered from a hammering drill to investigate what minerals are in Martian rocks.

Knowledge needs to be free!
Wanted: Old-school IT guy to save NASA moonbase

Wanted: Old-school IT guy to save NASA moonbase

I know i get a more than cursory look from technocrats from around the world, but see if this is useful/infomative for you…

For those who hadn’t heard, NASA is gearing up to build a permanent moonbase in the next decade or so — if it can find the right legacy hard drive expert to save their bacon. Seriously.

Here’s how it breaks down: NASA learned the hard way during Apollo that moon dust is insanely abrasive, sort of like aerosol sandpaper. Learning how to deal with moon dust is going to be a serious issue for moonbase planners. Fortunately, NASA accrued all kinds of moon dust data during the 1970s.

Unfortunately, NASA “misplaced” all its moon dust data tapes, mostly because it never thought they’d come in handy. Since NASA lost the originals — and thus never translated the moon dust data to modern media — and all it has left are backups of the original data tapes, which can only be read by a vintage IBM 729 mark 5 tape drive. For those scoring at home, IBM stopped making the 729 in the 1960s. Thankfully, an Australian computer museum had one on mothballs, but it isn’t functional.

Thus, if any of you old-school tech heads has the kung fu to get a 40 years out-of-date tape drive running, NASA has a job for you. It’s sort of like the plot of Space Cowboys, only nerdier. And they say old IT guys have nothing to contribute.

YouTube's 75 Percent Solution- Closing Down Illegal Videos

YouTube's 75 Percent Solution- Closing Down Illegal Videos

“Two years ago, illegal use of professionally created video was rampant on the Web, particularly on video sharing sites such as YouTube. Among those most visibly undercut were NBC Universal and Viacom, which filed a $1 billion suit against YouTube parent Google to stop illicit publishing of their content.”

Now, a year after YouTube introduced its Video Identification tool to stem misuse, there seems to be a considerable decrease in the illicit videos online.

For more details, head to TechRepublic and see & hear Rick Cotton, the general counsel for NBC, on how automated systems for identifying and protecting professionally produced content are working, particularly at YouTube.

India's moon mission enters lunar space!

India's moon mission enters lunar space!

India’s first unmanned moon mission entered lunar space early Tuesday as part of its final journey this week into the moon’s orbit, a top space official said.

The Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was launched with an Indian-built rocket on October 22 from the country’s southeastern coast.

“The operation to put Chandrayaan into lunar space went off very well,” S. Satish, director of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told AFP.

The spacecraft is now 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the moon, enabling its terrain-mapping camera to shoot pictures of it.

Scientists are preparing for the next major stage to enable the spacecraft to enter lunar orbit on Saturday and position itself about 100 kilometres from the moon’s surface.

Once the mission is in the lunar orbit, it will stabilise in about a week, after which it will send a probe instrument to the moon’s surface.

Chandrayaan carries 11 payloads — five from India and others from abroad.

During a two-year orbital mission, it will provide a detailed map of the mineral, chemical and topographical characteristics of the moon’s surface.

The mission will cost India 80 million dollars.

Knowledge needs to be free!
Paypal Powered by a mere 4000 Linux Servers!

Paypal Powered by a mere 4000 Linux Servers!

This is yet another Linux success story. PayPal says Linux grid can replace IBM mainframes:

PayPal is currently processing $1,571 worth of transactions per second ( that is $2,262,240 per day) in 17 different currencies on about 4,000 servers running Red Hat Linux. Thompson supervises a payment system that operates on about 4,000 servers running Red Hat Linux in the same manner that eBay and Google conduct their business on top of a grid of Linux servers. “I have been pleasantly surprised at how much we’ve been able to do with this approach. It operates like a mainframe,” he said.