I guess I'm a biased KDE user, but I prefer KDE apps in many or most instances. As another commenter noted, Gwenview is stable, fast, and reasonably powerful. As for photo-editing apps, most people may prefer Gimp, but I think Krita can hold a candle and even has a few features that Gimp doesn't (see this comparison).
Other examples of (in my opinion) superior KDE apps include Dolphin (vs Nautilus), Kate (vs Gedit), Kile (a LaTeX IDE, Gnome has nothing comparible), Kmail (vs Evolution), Okular (vs Evince), and K3B (vs Brasero).
There are definitely some Gnome apps that I find better as well, including Inkscape (vs. Karbon) and the newsgroup app you mentioned, Pan. I should add that not all of these are really "Gnome" apps, but they all use GTK.
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First, they discovered an oscillation issue from the SRB that could cause damage to the upper stage and the orion capsule. Last year, they found out that with a slight wind gust, the vehicle might collide with its launch tower.
Incidentally, both of these problems and the current one are all related to the SRB. President Obama needs to do the right thing here and kill Ares I before it has the chance to kill anyone.
However, that shouldn't excuse the disaster-waiting-to-happen that is Ares I. Particularly when there are better, cheaper, and safer alternatives. In particular, a recently released study finds that EELVs would absolutely be a safe, cheap alternative to the Ares I.
We definitely need to take risks in space travel, but not stupid dangerous risks of strapping humans to SRBs that cannot be controlled or turned off in any way and have a history of failing spectacularly.
Japan recovered quickly after the war in part because they had successful industries before the war. Around the same time, India was trying to emerge from a century-long yoke of colonial domination. You are correct about India's military budget, though.
We need to realize that the digital divide is an infrastructure issue every bit as much as roads, sanitation, and clean water are. To do this, we also need to start thinking about long-term solutions. The Japanese know this, too. For example, it seemed foolish to a lot of people back in the 1960's when Japan decided to build a super-high speed rail line (the Shinkansen). It seemed like a luxury, when most of the country was still moving around with bicycles. Today, however, they are reaping the rewards, and in places like California, we are only now starting to realize how beneficial such a transportation system would be to our economy.