India Shining: A Technology update – Part 1 the Military

Republic Day brings about great memories of National Cadet Corps camps, Parades, Republic Day Parade preparations (although I never made it there), my National Defense Academy Selections (which I missed cos of some certificates) well all in all my what-might-have-happened-if career in the Indian Defense; But most of all it reminds me of my childhood days when I would sit glued in front of the television on Republic Day parade when India showed off her military competency or at least the weaponry that we have stacked.

Over the years, I watched the parade slowly change from borrowed technology and bought technology to indigenous technologies taking over. However, I think we all believe that its happened very slowly, especially after we have been watching US based military technology in Hollywood movies, it is getting relatively difficult to impress us. The Indian Government has been increasing the defense budget considerably to develop some of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the scientists from India. All of us know that some of the most popular organizations from the Defense sector have made it through this recession without too much of a hitch, in fact they are some of the most profitable organizations within the government sector and we can figure why.

Getting back to the Republic Day, this year is no other than the previous years we have had. India is going to go in all guns blazing to display some of its technologies that are now on the brink of commissioning. India’s first Indigeneously built multi role fighter aircraft christned ‘Tejas’ (formerly LCA – Light Combat Aircraft) is going into operations at the Indian Air force this year, no wonder that it will make an appearance at the Republic Day this year. Although it has had its share of  hurdles for the proposed ‘Kaveri’ engine, the swelling costs, R & D costs etc, the Tejas is a testament of Indian Engineering at par with the best in the world. However, one would have loved to see it fly rather than just being a display. Continuing on the Air force front, the Medium Combat Aircraft another ambitious technological leap from the makers of the Tejas (HAL) and Sukhoi 30-MKI (Sukhoi Industries) who are now working on the specification of the latest Multi Combat Stealth Fighter; is supposed to be better than the the American F22 Raptor, can you imagine that. (Have a look at some of the Artists Impressions (Credits – Alexander Dueller)

Another major highlight of this year’s Republic Day Parade would be the showcasing of the Indian Army’s Arjun tanksand the ambulance-tracked vehicles, “Smerch” multiple rocket launcher systems, engineer reconnaissance vehicle, indigenously built “Sarvatra” bridge, infantry combat vehicles and ICV-based communication vehicles of the Army along with the “Agni” ballistic missile, “Shaurya” canister-launched hypersonic surface-to-surface missile and “Rohini” radars from DRDO. (Check out Equipment of the Indian Army from Wikipedia)

Apart from all the actual military equipment, the Indian Army is looking to introduce Eco friendly technologies in the outposts, by that I mean power generation from renewable sources. Why ? well first of all out Military is in need of such technologies to provide for basic amenities in the remote outposts and also the maintenance and installation costs are going to be far lesser than trying to get to areas like the Siachen Glacier, the highest battle field of the world. It would also help to save the glacier from pollution, as also to cut down on the cost of the fuel and logistic efforts.

All in all it might be an amazing Republic Day parade this year, unless the weather decides to play spoil sport with fog. For all of you who might be interested to see the republic day parade and who might not have access to Doordarshan like me, can check out the parade here online.

How can you help others just being online

Understandably the primary use of technology should be for the betterment of the quality of life around the world, and the Internet is helping achieve it. Especially in the 3rd world countries where the basic necessaries of people are not completed, the penetration of the Internet is not really the priority and thus it is not able to help out people.

As a symbol of the human ingenuity we have however come up with simple but effective ways to be able to help people in those 3rd world countries, not directly though. So do you wanna join in as well, so here is a list of a few websites that do a lot of charity based on how much time you spend on their site.

http://www.freerice.com/ This amazing site provides 10 grains of rice to charity when you get a small quiz which is on their site. The site has daily stats for the rice they donate as well and yesterday Jan 22, 2010 the stats were

78,719,470 grains of rice donated and Over 73 billion grains donated to date

The great thing about this website is the fact that not only is the site doing a lot of good, but with the Quiz that are there on the website they help learn various educationally required material as well, such as Language Learning, Math, English, Geography, Chemistry and Art. It is really helpful in more than one type of education, the more important being that everyone should do something good for the planet.

http://www.thehungersite.com/ is another great site for charity, where they give away 1.1 cups of food for every click that you would register per day. The site is going one step further and has a store with produce that is created by the people in the countries that are suffering from calamities or in certain cases war.  In a 12-month period they donated over 43 million cups and it only takes a second for each person to do and costs nothing!

The great part of the site is that you can go to related sites (breast cancer, child health, literacy, rainforest, and animal rescue) where you can click and sponsors donate acres of rainforest, mammograms, etc. By shopping at the sponsors’ sites, even more will be donated to the causes.

Another way to give to charity without spending any money is to use certain search engines. Whenever you do a search, the advertisers pay to a charity – usually you choose which one before searching.

Here’s a site that lists a few of these search engines:
http://www.easydonations.net/searchengin…

And one that lists 15 of these search engines:
http://www.doshdosh.com/13-charity-searc…

Here is a list of some of these charity sites that I do try and visit regularly, please add more if you know of any :

  1. http://www.freerice.com/
  2. http://www.thehungersite.com
  3. http://www.easydonations.net/
  4. http://www.triviaforcharity.com
  5. http://www.freepoverty.com
  6. http://www.goodsearch.com
  7. http://www.freekibble.com
  8. http://www.freekittykibble.com

Phonetography .. the best camera ?

One of the most famous quotes about photography that I have ever seen, was on the site called IPhone as Art.

“ The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” – Dorothea Lange

Searching for a Snowy Owl

Just as writers just write something anything to keep their skills sharp, photographers also need to practice all the time. Well for most practical purposes it is not very simple carrying around an SLR camera around with you to shoot photos and to practice. So the humble mobile / camera phone has taken over the place of the scribble pad for photographers. And believe it or not, its not just good for getting photos of that scandalous MMS, but also amazing photos. Most of these sites are for pictures taken with iPhone, but my Nokia N95 is not far behind either.

The camera phone photography has become more than just a visual notebook, a journalistic record of events or a way to send friends photos of your dog. While most photographers will claim that they simply fell into shooting with their cell phones, saying, “What the heck, I’ve always got my phone with me,” it has rapidly evolved into a legitimate tool for artistic expression and has even shown up in commercial outlets, such as Robert Clark’s commissioned book Image America, shot entirely with his camera phone.

Have a look at these amazing sites based on the Mobile camera photography.

iPhone

Nokia N95

You might also want to check out this comparison between the iPhone camera and the N95 camera. Definately worth visiting. http://n95mobilephone.wordpress.com/2007/12/12/nokia-n95-vs-iphone-photos/ and also the Apple micro site for Nokia N95 photography awards ?????? http://web.mac.com/jamesburland/Nokia_Creative/Blog/Entries/2008/2/7_Photo:_The_Nokia_Creative,_N95_Photo_Awards_-_January_2008.html

This brings us to another site that mentions the best camera is the one in your hand, check out also : http://www.thebestcamera.com/

My humble addition to this list that I dare not add here are on facebook in the album phonetography. Check it out here.

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)

This is definitely one of the defining moments in the Human Evolution. People are able to produce something extraordinary from computers once they spend enough time with it. Imagine what it would do to a child’s way of thinking, not bound by the shackles of society and stereotypical thinking, One Word, Miracle. I remember the first time I saw a computer it was when I was in 9th grade. I would walk up and sand outside the computer lab for hours, fantasizing about the computer and the computer teacher. Some of my weirdest dreams at that time included both of them in it. Anyway, it was a black screen with a cursor and some text spewing when a person keyed in something into the typewriter attached to it. I was hooked.

Through the years, I have used computers for a lot, even learnt software authoring and the likes. It always used to make me wonder, from the time I saw my first computer to this day its about 8 years and I should say I have learned quite a bit, if not all of it. What would a young man come up with who has been with computers for about 25 years or more. He would have a lot of answers to our questions. Increasingly popular internet resources and knowledge bases online have forced every sort of educational institution around the world to provide internet and computers as part of their learning process. I think to find the answers to such a question the team at MIT Labs took fourth the mission of providing a laptop to all children in about 100$, maybe eventually even free. This especially in the developing countries.

This weeks tribute goes into the OLPC Foundation for trying to achieve the impossible, burning the flame of knowledge………….

Speechless ….

There are some things that can leave you emotional, sorry and speechless at times. … a time when shame and silence takes over. Read an article on the net today, I will add it on My Blog … you can read the same here at the source.

Vivek Pradhan wasn’t a happy man. Even the plush comfort of the First Class air-conditioned compartment of the Shatabdi Expresscouldn’t cool his frayed nerves. He was the Project Manager and still not entitled to air travel. It was not the prestige he sought, hehad tried to reason with the admin guy, it was the savings in time. A PM had so many things to do!

He opened his case and took out the laptop, determined to put the time to some good use. “Are you from the software industry sir,” the man beside him was staring appreciatively at the laptop.Vivek glanced briefly and mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now with exaggerated care and importance as if it were an expensive car.

“You people have brought so much advancement to the country sir. Today everything is getting computerized.”‘Thanks,” smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a detailed look.He always found it difficult to resist appreciation. The man was young and stocky like a sportsman. He looked simple and strangelyout of place in that little lap of luxury like a small town boy in a prep school. He probably was a Railway sportsman making the mostof his free traveling pass.

“You people always amaze me,” the man continued, “You sit in an office and write something on a computer and it does so many bigthings outside.” Vivek smiled deprecatingly. Naivety demanded reasoning not anger. “It is not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a questionof writing a few lines. There is a lot of process that goes behind it.” For a moment he was tempted to explain the entire SoftwareDevelopment Lifecycle but restrained himself to a single statement. “It is complex, very complex.””It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly paid,” came the reply. This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint ofbelligerence came into his so far affable, persuasive tone.

“Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in.””Hard work!””Indians have such a narrowconcept of hard work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned office doesn’t mean our brows don’t sweat. You exercise themuscle; we exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing.”

He had the man where he wanted him and it was time to drive home the point. “Let me give you an example. Take this train. Theentire railway reservation system is computerized. You can book a train ticket between any two stations from any of the hundreds ofcomputerized booking centers across the country.Thousands of transactions accessing a single database at a given time; concurrency, data integrity, locking, data security. Do youunderstand the complexity in designing and coding such a system?”The man was stuck with amazement, like a child at a planetarium. This was something big and beyond his imagination.”You design and code such things.” “I used to,” Vivek paused for effect, “But now I am the project manager,”

“Oh!” sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over, “so your life is easy now.”It was like being told the fire was better than the frying pan. The man had to be given a feel of the heat.”Oh come on, does life ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only brings more work. Design and coding! That isthe easier part. Now I don’t do it, but I am responsible for it and believe me, that is far more stressful. My job is to get thework done in time and with the highest quality. And to tell you about the pressures! There is the customer at one end alwayschanging his requirements, the user wanting something else and your boss always expecting you to have finished it yesterday.”Vivek paused in his diatribe, his belligerence fading with self-realisation. What he had said was not merely the outburst ofa wronged man, it was the truth. And one need not get angry while defending the truth.”My friend,” he concluded triumphantly, “you don’t know what it is to be in the line of fire.” The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if in realization.

When he spoke after sometime, it was with a calm certainty that surprised Vivek.”I know sir, I know what it is to be in the line of fire,” He was staring blankly as if no passenger, no train existed, just a vastexpanse of time.”There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in the cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top. Therewas no knowing where the next bullet was going to come from and for whom. In the morning when we finally hoisted the tricolor atthe top only 4 of us were alive.””You are a…””I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in Kargil. They tell me I have completed my term and can opt for aland assignment. But tell me sir, can one give up duty just because it makes life easier. On the dawn of that capture one ofmy colleagues lay injured in the snow, open to enemy fire while we were hiding behind a bunker. It was my job to go and fetch thatsoldier to safety. But my captain refused me permission and went ahead himself. He said that the first pledge he had taken as aGentleman Cadet was to put the safety and welfare of the nation foremost followed by the safety andwelfare of the men he commanded. His own personal safety came last, always and every time. He was killed as he shielded thatsoldier into the bunker. Every morning now as I stand guard I can see him taking all those bullets, which were actually meant forme. I know sir, I know what it is to be in the line of fire.”Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of his reply. Abruptly he switched off the laptop. It seemed trivial, even insulting toedit a word document in the presence of a man for whom valor and duty was a daily part of life; a valor and sense of duty which hehad so far attributed only to epical heroes.The train slowed down as it pulled into the station and Subedar

Sushant picked up his bags to alight.”It was nice meeting you sir.”Vivek fumbled with the handshake. This was the hand that had climbed mountains, pressed the trigger and hoisted the tricolor.Suddenly as if by impulse he stood at attention, and his right hand went up in an impromptu salute.It was the least he felt he could do for the country.

PS: The incident he narrates during the capture of Peak 4875 is a true life incident during the Kargil war. Major Batra sacrificedhis life while trying to save one of the men he commanded, as victory was within sight. For this and his various other acts ofbravery he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra – the nation’s highest military award.

Well truly amazing is this story, I certainly remember Major Batra, when he was asked by Barkha Dutt about his feelings about the war, he had to say “Yeh Dil Maange More”. This gets me thinking, I am a tiny speckle of sand on the beach of life. There are people with more issues to deal with than I have to, I just need to relax and everything will be alright. This Melosys post is definately dedicated to Major Batra, and big warm Thank you, for keeping us safe when we slept at night. Jai Hind.

Konkani Kogul … Wilfy Rebimbus

The undisputed king of Konkani music, a living legend Wilfy Rebimbus has made a special place in the heart of every music lover of the coastal region. One can hardly find any subject on which Wilfy has not written a song. His fans in this part of the world love his old sentimental numbers.
World-class hits like ‘Mog Tujo Kitlo Axelom’, ‘Maria’, ‘Philomena’ and many others still ruling the Konkani music world are all-time favourites. Although by the time i heard him, he was a well knows figure in Konkni music, the songs still struck a chord in our hearts.

The track ‘Mog Tujo Kitlo Axelom’, has a special place in my heart as it is one track that connects a lot of my friends, specially the ones in Dubai. The track turned so influential with us that we ended up adding another paragraph to the amazing number while singing it. Infact when I met Lavina, it proved helpful in whooing her as well, as the fourth paragraph that we added was done keeping her in mind. I am not sure if there are many Mangee’s out there who have not heard of Wilfy.
I just happened to get an invite for the Wilfy Sentimental Nite in Dubai, Needless to say that the name ‘Wilfy’ meant the talented group led by “Konkann Kogull” Wilfy Rebimbus, joined by “Konkan Mynah” Meena Rebimbus together with Vishwas, Veena, Ivan Sequeira, Ratan Castelino and Stany D’Souza. The troupe took us music-lovers down memory lane. The memorable event was also marked by a candle-light dinner in a cosy atmosphere of the Al Bustan Rotana Ballroom, keeping the gathering tapping their feet to the tunes of golden olden songs from one of the greatest Konkani singers of all times.

This time a warm melosys tribute goes to Mr. Wilfy Rebimbus, for his perstince in providing us mangaloreans with loads of entertainment for all eternity.

Nothing is free – You pay a price for everything

This blog is a dedication to a lifetime, a journey so harsh that it seems to be part of some movie showing red tape and bureaucracy and a huge conspiracy theory. This blog is dedicated to Paul Pantone. Paul Pantone who, well remember this name, its might echo through the ages as the man who shaped the future of the Planet. They say nothing in this world is free, and when you look at the fuel prices, it’s a stark reminder of the same. Paul went to give the world just that, Free Energy. In 200 BC Chanakya the Indian Scholar once said “Never leave on a long journey alone”, but then Paul did not have Indian friends to remind him of the teaching.

At this point, I can see many questions in your mind. Why is he important ? Who is this guy ? What is he giving us to change the shape of the future ? I have answers to this question. Try to imagine owning the ultimate home production power plant; it heats your water, generates electricity, and takes care of heating and air conditioning, etc. by utilizing the waste heat from refrigeration and applying it to storage or hot water, while the generator is giving you all the electricity you want. I can already see people telling me, ya right Melvin, you are going on again in the sci fi way and this is all another scientist.

Paul Pantone is not just another scientist, He is the pioneer who has dedicated his life and work and everything for his one offering to mankind, the GEET fuel processor. In simple definition, the GEET Fuel Processor could be called a new type of carburetor with a miniature refinery built in. With it, there is no need for catalytic converters, smog pumps and many other costly items on cars, as the GEET Fuel Processor is not just a fuel delivery system it is also a pollution elimination unit! Your mileage will be greatly increased if you are truly consuming ALL of the available energy, from whatever fuel you may be using.

Cash Rich Oil companies and Automobile manufacturers have for years suppressed this genius invention and have greatly caused personal pain and suffering to Paul Pantone because he wants to help mankind and give back something to the Planet. You can read about him here. After he figured the potential that this Fuel Processor had, he realised that this device can alter the course of human history. And as the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility”. He could have sold the technology to the hundreds of companies who offered to buy it a very large sums but rather decided to endure the wrath bourne by the same people for trying to launch it into society. But till date, he is been tortured mentally, physically and emotionally, for what ? Because he wanted to do good.

This is a melosys tribute to Paul Pantone for his dedication and contribution to the world.

What Might have been

Every time new technology is promoted these days, people give the example of the telephone, i have always heard people comparing new technology to the success of telephone or the television, the very sophisticated, i-know-it-all look and the statement “When people saw the telephone for the first time they laughed, and said its amazing but who is going to use it”.

But, in the process of trying to achieve the same level of success with newer apt inventions many of the scientists have lost their everything. My today’s blog is a tribute to one not-so-well known scientist who tried to create the unthinkable and if approved would have shown the doors of exit to the energy crisis the world over, maybe even would have stopped the oil-crazy Americans to get into Iraq saving thousands of lives, both evil and divine. ENERGY FROM VACUUM, a concept so weird that we may take some time to digest. My today’s blogging tribute goes to Inventor Edwin Gray or Ed Gray.


33 years ago in 1974, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office unprovoked – shut down inventor Ed Gray’s facilities which were preparing to produce the Gray Car powered by Ed Gray’s fuel less motor, which utilized energy from the vacuum. Historic photographs from the brochure of Ed Gray’s car have been posted on The Tom Bearden Website Here.

This could have been the greatest gift of a man to mankind. But alas the Greed of man, one day we will definitely chop the branch that we are sitting on, and it will all be over. Well The Vacuum powered engine aside, some of the additions to this car would have definitely been the pride of the owner with the then latest technologies like electronic speedometer projected on the deck of the car, 360 degrees turning radius, power steering, lesser parts of the vehicle, Lexan (another alternative for safety glass) etc. hmm … guess we will have to wait for the next free energy car.

Special Thanks to Roy for this.

It is not fear that grips him. Only a heightened sense of things.

I long wondered why the term “Greek Gods” was used to describe the well built metro sexual man, well i got my answer. Extremely well sculpted bodied men in near to naked clothes would actually prompt any guy to think twice when he takes his fiance along, its a different issue that the gore in the movie would naturally prompt her to give him a hammer on the head lol.

Something about the movie:

300 is a 2007 film adaptation of the graphic novel 300 by Frank Miller, itself partly inspired by another film, The 300 Spartans,[1] and is an a semi-historical account of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. The film is directed by Zack Snyder with Frank Miller attached as an executive producer and consultant, and was shot mostly with blue screen to duplicate the imagery of the original comic book. An amazing similarity exists between the comic strip and the movie i terms of visual presence, its as if the director has added life into the comic strip. Available on Flickr here.

Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fight to the last man against Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his army of more than one million soldiers, while in Sparta, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) attempts to rally support for her husband. The story is framed by a voice-over narrative by the Spartan soldier Dilios (David Wenham). Through this narrative technique, all manner of fantastical creatures are introduced, placing 300 within the genre of historical fantasy.

Have also heard reports that the movie is been banned in Iran(modern day Persia) ….. well though i think miller has taken the liberty of portraying the Persians as monsters, The movie and comic more to do with the courage, strength and integrity shown by the 300 Free Spartans on the field to achieve.

One thing i did not like in the movie ? well Dude- ity. These are Greek times, when there were a lot of naked women around. And there are some naked women in this film, but almost every naked woman scene has a muscular dude giving the screen an ass show. Well apart from that i thought the movie would be one of the best movies of 2007.

Very symbolic is the last message of Leonidas to the Spartans “Remember Us !!”.