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Submission + - The Adam has arrived (wordpress.com) 1

Clueless Nick writes: The much awaited Pixel Qi and NVIDIA Tegra 2 based tablet, the Adam, designed by Indian start up Notion Ink has been finally opened for prebooking. Notion Ink's CEO Rohan Shravan has given details about the Eden UI sporting multiple panels, native applications and the price range on his widely followed blog. The 10.1" tablet will run on Android and incorporates feature sets of both 2.3 Gingerbread and 3.0 Honeycomb.

The base version (LCD + WiFi) starts at $375.33 and the top one costs (Transreflective Pixel Qi + WiFi + 3G) $549.99, and will be priced at the same level for all markets! What is not revealed so far is a mystery feature (cryptically denoted -D5720A80), which may see gradual unlocking through fortnightly updates. Also on the way are replaceable side panels with colours of your choice, to complement the matt black finish of the tablet.

Also read, at the end of the blog, Rohan's fitting reply to a FUD post by Engadget, the tech blog that loves a certain premium hardware vendor.

Comment Senescence != immortality (Score 2, Insightful) 554

I don't want to live forever. I'd rather die eventually, but the years I'm alive, I want to live them fully.

I don't want to age. I don't care if my life ends at 80 or 90 or 150, I want those years, every last one of them, to be spent without sitting in a hospice as a drooling vegetable. I'd rather get tired of living than spend most of my life on the sliding slope away from the heights of my youth.

When they come to take me away when I'm 150, I'll say good bye to the cruel world, the cruel bedsheets and even the cruel curtains with some sort of tassels.

And as for the population problem, if I was sure I'd live till eternity, I might not even care too much about the propagation of the species (see, I don't really see why Wowbagger had to date Trillian).

Comment Scrum is *not* a replacement for good management (Score 5, Interesting) 395

I appreciate good management. I can live with no management, but I can't handle bad management.

SCRUM has sort of become a device for a manager to avoid managing. The human in the picture is replaced with a sprint chart and backlog tracker. It lets bad managers get by, while good managers are really thrown out of the picture.

I hated scrum in my old job. But the new job just throws out a list of features to implement, ranks it and throws it at one of us. There are no punishments for missing a day, no tracker to guilt-trip you and most importantly, the stand-up meetings are just before lunch. And mostly, serves to keep our communication channels open across the team.

I hated the time-keeping TPS report style scrum, but I'm cool with the new approach. I love the idea of sprints and taking a week out of a month to hammer something out. But this system only works with motivated teams with a fair scrum-master.

But I repeat, it is not a replacement for good management. It is as good as a way of letting me manage my tasks,but please (for the love of God, please) do not use it to manage me.

Comment We'd have to reinvent drama for 3-D (Score 5, Interesting) 381

Most of the action/epic movie genre shot in real life, rather than on a green screen heavily uses perspective effects to achieve drama.

Something like the famous contra-zoom would be a complete failure in 3-D. The entire sequence in LoTR where Gandalf and Frodo are in the same shot would just not work in 3-D unless you went in and fixed the perspective for every frame.

Half of the hollywood real-life special effects would need to be re-invented for 3-D to work right. Or the CGI versions need to catch up to the old-school effects.

And then there are people like me who accidentally distracted by the background. I take a look at it and then my eyes sort of complain about not being able to bring a backdrop object into focus. Totally kills the immersion for me. I want 3-D movies, but not this polarized lenses in each eye monstrosity (I wonder if I could get contacts with those).

Comment Removing the human ... that's where the issue is (Score 1) 303

Biometric, swipe cards or any other method they use will have loopholes when left alone. All it needs is a single teacher to watch everyone put their fingers there. But if I were in school I'd hate that too (*mutters* "fucking attendance nazis").

In my old 2nd language class in school, we would all file in, sit down and the teacher would go through the list & call out the students she thinks is absent. But it was all on paper and there was no tallying done until the end of the term.

But I must applaud the school for making the kids work harder to break the system, that's a definite way to select intelligence for "coolness" :)

Comment Stuxnet ... and a nuclear reactor (Score 1) 466

I think this has sort of been prompted by what happened to Iran and the recent attack with the Stuxnet worm. India has a significantly advanced nuclear programme, which is (and should be) doing research into thorium based nuclear power, which has potential for export. The Kalpakkam reactor just finished the 25th year of its running and the next generation of engineers are picking up after the recent retirees from that programme.

If I had to guess this would be QNX-ish operating system, not a windows clone in any sense of binary compatibility. The "windows software" comment is very likely to mean that this is a GUI operating system, not an embedded firmware version.

There has been significant work into the Linux kernel locally (like the Param Supercomputer). So OS level work is not as alien to these people as you might think. Either way, it's a good initiative, even if it crashes & burns.

Comment Shotwell instead of f-spot, almost Yay (Score 2, Interesting) 473

As a photographer, I like Shotwell. As a programmer, I like it a little more than the mono updates that come along with f-spot (and I don't like Miguel).

But here's what's kept me from abandoning gthumb2 for shotwell. Shotwell keeps pictures in ~/Pictures by default. There is no way for it to randomly pick up a directory and operate on it. I've often thought about hacking that up, but for Vala & the associated learning curve I've been too lazy to tackle.

And now, for an encore can we kick tomboy too out of the CD?

Comment Excuse for corporate espionage, really (Score 5, Interesting) 182

I know RIM is only providing meta-data on the content, but honestly, are you telling me that this *wont* be used to spy on a corporate competitor?

India is corrupt in a very "Who me?" way. This law has only abuses, in a country where you can buy a SIM for 5 dollars, with a photocopy of just about anybody's id. The terrorists don't need to bother with the BB or anything even remotely expensive - the underworld maybe (The D Company), but not the "kill them all and let God sort them out" category of terrorists.

But it's not like India is the first place to do this. Echelon was used similarly, I guess to spy on foreign firms.

Comment "Good Will Hunting" scenario (Score 4, Insightful) 393

There's so little taught in a university course that I couldn't read off a public library.

But here's the deal, I don't think the epistemological quest for knowledge motivates me. I learn purely as a way of solving the problems I have. Sometimes real life doesn't even let me near interesting problems, because the cost of failure (and the risk) is too high.

College and teachers have worked as a nice cycle breaker of that situation. They've thrown problems at me, which have taken weeks to solve (or groups of us, weeks to solve). Some of those have seemed pointless, but most of the stuff I remember still have been the ones that I've had to dig up again for some reason or the other (calculus, for instance).

Essentially, without teachers, I'd have never really sat down and banged on a problem for a week - mostly to avoid having the shame of going back without an answer.

On the other hand, I've had at least a few teachers who've cared enough about teaching me than making sure of their paycheck. I don't think the world needs less of those. And I don't think you (or anybody) should stop learning because they're out of uni.

(goes back to reading wikipedia on RCU data structures)

Comment Drop-in replacement is AWESOME (Score 3, Insightful) 87

For once, I see the standardized parts working as they are meant to be. Swapping components on a netbook is hard to say the least, but to see someone just grab a part & shove it into a netbook, tells me that this could very well turn out to be one of the "optional" features for people when ordering off their favourite supplier.

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