ghoul writes: Just watched Zootopia and it struck me that despite this being an animated movie from Disney,it does a much better job of dealing with the concept of a pan-sentient union than Star Trek does. Despite all the critics who are confusing this is a movie about racism it really is not. Racism is between folks from a same species and at the end of the day since they can interbreed the difference is artificial and basically prejudice. But inter-species society where more than one species is sentient is a much different and more difficult problem to deal with. Star Trek cops out by letting species interbreed (Spock). Thats just wrong scientifically speaking — if you can interbreed you are not different species. In Zootopia the species dont interbreed but yet manage to live together. It even has a look at the problem of species' sizes and habitats. If in the future we encounter sentient species and we dont wipe them out like we did to the Java Man and the Neanderthals we may have to live in a mixed society with people from different species who would always stay differnt and who may need differnt sized public infrastructure and conveniences. The only other story which has humans living with aliens is Star Wars and it doesnt really go into the challenges of a mixed society while Zootopia does. So there I said it Zootopia is intellectually more mature than both Star Wars and Star Trek. Let the Flame Wars begin. BTW even if we dont encounter aliens with Intelligent machines we would soon have co-citizens who we cannot interbreed with i.e. smart entities with whom we can only make War not Love. Terminator does have a look at it from an adversarial viewpoint and iRobot from a slavery viewpoint but nothing really has a look from a mixed society perspective
ghoul writes: Before Facebook, Before Web 2.0, Before Google and Yahoo. Hell before Web 1.0 was a website which gave live text commentary on Cricket. Cricket a game followed like crazy in large parts of the world but oddly enough not followed at all in other parts of the world. For cricket fans living in these secondary parts (USA I am looking at you !!) the coming of Cricinfo in 1993 was a godsend. Cricinfo has an article on it. It may be a bit self congratulatory but think of it; this was a website launched when Larry Page was in Grade 4, Zuckerberg in grade 3 and it is STILL AROUND.
ghoul writes: CNN reports that hundreds of Dolphins are behaving very wierdly by entering Manila bay. Scientists are not sure why but I personally think they are trying to tell us about a construction project.
ghoul writes: According to this press release on the DHS website OPT for students in STEM fields has been extended to 29 months. This takes care of students graduating in May by when H1 quotas for the year are already over and when their 1 year OPT runs out in next May they are stuck with a gap till next October. Now anyone whose H1 application has been approved for October can keep working till October. Also for STEM graduates (Bachelors, Masters or PhD) the OPT will be 29 months. This should make life a lot less stressfull for foreign students graduating from US universities. Wish they had done this last year.... but I have already left and wont bother coming back. Wonder how many other valuable people the States lost. BTW I personally believe the H1 is an evil program leading to indentured servitude but hopefully now with 29 months of OPT people should be able to get their Green Cards while on OPT without jumping through the H1 loop.
ghoul writes: AMD is at it again . After having bought the DEC alpha IP and making a success out of Opteron now AMD is again looking for fresh ideas and is investing in Transmeta according to this story Why is Intel able to develop cool ideas in -house and AMD always gets them by buying up design teams about to be laid off? Maybe the fact Intel spends loads more on research has something to do with it.
ghoul writes: According to this article in New York city the police can arrest you and take away your handycam if you do not have a permit to shoot. Apparently it only happens to brown skinned people. Does this remind you of the Iranian morality police who go around confiscating cameras from white skinned Western visitors. Since when did New York become an Islamic Republic and what happened to freedom of the press? Is it even worth spending blood and money fighting Islamic terror abroad if our own cities are becoming just as fundamentalist?
ghoul writes: According to this article Indian Railways has started the process of equipping railway stations with Wi-Max facilities. These will provide wireless access to within 5-6 km radius of railway stations as compared to the current 100-200 m radius of Wifi. I wonder why Google is using Wifi for San Francisco when WiMax is now available. This is another example of leapfrogging of technology. India never managed to roll out a complete copper landline system but ramped up mobile access so fast that there are now more mobiles than landline. Hence now there is phone connectivity and they have saved the cost of all that copper and fiber. Similarly they will save money on not having rolled out Wifi and going to WiMax directly. Also given that India has the largest network of railway stations in the world most villages do fall 5-6 km within the radius of a railway station so when this rollout is completed the entire country should have wireless access. Drawbacks — its not free and it wont work on moving trains
ghoul writes: Congress is talking about shifting to skill based immigration instead of family based immigration. This should immediately make it easier for Indian and Chinese Engineers and Scientists to immigrate on green cards without needing to go through the H1B no mans land. This is because under the current system they get stuck as the quota are set to be 7% of total from any country in the world irrespective of population size. This means the Vatican gets the same sized quota as China or India. In the new system the losers are Latin Americans who are mostly unskilled labourers (note mostly I know quite a few Brilliant latin american post grads) but used to be able to get in easier as there being a large number of latin american countires each country got 7%. How does the Slashdot community which has strong opinions on H1B feel about this? As these new workers will be on Green cards they wont be beholden to companies and should not depress the market as they wont take any shit from companies. In fact if the green card process can be shortened down to 6 months H1Bs can be abolished all together. Given this if people still feel this is not right are we still talking about protecting jobs or about fear of the stranger? Canada, Britain and Australia seem to be doing very well with these kind of point based systems.
ghoul writes: This article on Time shows the stupidity of Animal Rights activists. They have campaigned for and successfully got eating dog meat banned in Phillipines where it has been a traditional food . I wonder how Americans would feel if Hindus told Americans you cant eat beef as Hindus find that disgusting as Americans find eating dogs?
ghoul writes: "According to this CNN article Jim Gray — one of the person responsible for Google Maps is lost at sea. This would seem to be the height of irony. Maybe he forgot to take any hard copy maps with him and instead thought Google Map should be enough. Good time for Google- The new Evil Empire to start using its fleet of earth observing satellites or have we been misled to believe Google Omnipotence?"
ghoul writes: USA , Russia , Israel and now India !! India shocked strategic observers by carrying out a successfull ABM test on Monday. The report in India Today (Sorry subscribers only) and also here gives us details on how India modified its Prithvi into an effective High Altitude (50Km up) interceptor. India already has low altitude interceptors Aakash and Trishul for taking out Aircraft and Cruise missiles. So the entire troika of defence against nuclear weapons from Pakistan is complete. As soon as this system gets deployed Pakistan's nuclear umbrella will be worth nothing so maybe they will stop fomenting terrorism in India.
Also this should prove to those crying about outsourcing that outsourcing to India is done not just for money but also for talent