29 September 2005

Who owns the internet ?

Not many of us think about this often, but who really owns the internet ? The internet is owned by everyone in the world, except the glue that binds them together is owned by the US. Here's a snippet from Wired

With the advances in the new century and the way technology is a great equalizer, I think its time to relase control. Don't you think so Uncle Sam ?
A senior U.S. official rejected calls for a U.N. body to take over control of the main computers that direct traffic on the internet, reiterating U.S. intentions to keep its historical role as the medium's principal overseer.

Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country's role in creating the internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its early development.

Some negotiators from other countries said there was a growing sense that a compromise had to be reached and that no single country ought to be the ultimate authority over such a vital part of the global economy.

A stalemate over who should serve as the principal traffic cops for internet routing and addressing could derail the U.N. World Summit on the Information Society, which aims to ensure a fair sharing of the internet for the benefit of the whole world

28 September 2005

Open Sourcing Knowledge

In one of my previous posts, I had talked about open sourcing Knowledge Management. Wikipedia is one such distributed computing experiment, except that it is in a data entry intensive domain, rather than a compute intensive domain. A free encyclopedia for the benefit of humanity. What a noble endeavor. It has international sections too, so if you are a non English language expert, this is an awesome forum to participate. If you are passionate about sharing the knowledge you have, please participate because everyone on earth can edit and share through this wonderful medium. There is nothing called trivial when it comes to sharing knowledge. Remember to maintain your neutrality and stay away from biases and prejudices, while wiki-ing.

Spread the light of knowledge.

Deep cloning.

Wish all good things in life were so easily cloneable...

public Object clone() throws CloneNotSupportedException {
try{
ByteArrayOutputStream baos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
ObjectOutputStream oos = new ObjectOutputStream(baos);
oos.writeObject(this);
ByteArrayInputStream bais =
new ByteArrayInputStream(baos.toByteArray());
ObjectInputStream ois = new ObjectInputStream(bais);
Object deepCopy = ois.readObject();
}
catch(Exception e){
throw CloneNotSupportedException(e);
}
return deepCopy;
}

27 September 2005

John Lennon : Imagine

I was playing an old John Lennon collection that I discovered while ripping my cds for my laptop. This is an immortal one.
Imagine

Imagine there's no heaven,
it's easy if you try,
no hell below us,
above us only sky.
Imagine all the? people,
living for today yu-huh.
Imagine there's no countries,
it isn't hard to do,
nothing to kill or die for,
and no religion too.
Imagine all the people,
living life in peace yu-huh.
You may say I'm a dreamer
?but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us,
and the world will be as one.
Imagine no possesions,
I wonder if you can,
no need for greed or hunger,
a brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people,
sharing all the world yu-huh.
You may say I'm a dreamer ...

Su Doku

Jimmy introduced me to Sudoku, a placement puzzle involving numbers. Will intrique engineers and logic nuts alike. It is very popular in the US now after gaining world popularity in 2005. I consider it a culture neutral game that can be played by anybody with numerical skills.
The general problem of solving Sudoku puzzles on n2 x n2 boards of n x n blocks is known to be NP-complete. This gives some indication of why Sudoku is difficult to solve, although on boards of finite size the problem is finite and can be solved by a deterministic finite automaton that knows the entire game tree. For more on the math behind it.. go here
Check out the online version
Sudoku

Where The Mind is Without Fear


Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

- Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore (From the Geetanjali).
P.S: Image is Subrato Kundu's interpretation of Geetanjali from an artist's perspective.

26 September 2005

Politically Incorrect : Ravings of a mere mortal.

Washington, DC. 38°12′, -77°10′. In the United States, the governor's race is heating up in Virginia, and we have a lot of talk about widening the I-66, the main artery that feeds DC from Virginia. I-66 is a freeway with a lot of history and today it is exactly that, just an old relic. The lack of space to expand on both sides within the beltway(along the lines of the ring roads in India) has made it a commuter's nightmare. The DC metro area is already one of the cities with the most traffic congestion in the United States. A lot of debate and open forums are being held in the capital to address these issues. Every time I open the local county newspaper (Loudoun county), I see big front page articles about town hall meetings, requests for opinions and other related items aimed at involving local people and communities in resolving this growing urban problem. What is more enlightening is that its not just people, but corporations that rally behind these initiatives and push the government into action. The corporates have a very vested interest which is perfectly alright in this case. A mall or hospital will lose business if traffic problems prevent access to their facilities. Despite all this, I still notice a certain lack of speed in the implementation of these proposals. I say that because living in this country you start expecting everything to happen at lightning speed. The culture of instant gratification has been perfected to utopian levels in this country. This is both good and bad at the same time. Read More...

20 September 2005

Art of Living, Infrastructure and other thoughts

I was thinking of writing about the infrastructural challenges an expanding dc metro area is facing and how perspectives change after living in different societies. Its been six years since I last experienced working and living in India and my perspective is at best out dated, but still I can see oceans of difference in approach and problem tackling mentalities of the respective governments. Here's a link from a blog(Niranjani), I discovered through Linked In connections. I worked with Raj while in India (He was my boss :) ). I definitely have some thoughts on the infrastructure problem. Will share my views in an elaborate entry probably next week.

I am shifting my writing blog to a new page so that the home page can be freed up for more frequent rambles. I will post links to my retrospective series on the home page nevertheless.

Oh yeah before I forget, Raj also introduced me to the Art of Living. Check it out. They seem to have a significant presence everywhere. Need to check out the local DC chapter. They have one in Burke.

Another Gem I found via Niranjani. An excellent essay on outsourcing.

Enjoy !

Monk and Tony शाल्हौब

The Obsessive Compulsive Disordered Monk, won an Emmy. Hurrah. Tony does a good job. I like the premise of this sitcom cum detective cum comedy series.

14 September 2005

Retrospetive Series: Part 3 - Waxed Paper Magazines...

Thumbing through this month's National Geographic magazine, I soak in the marvellous images that jump out from every single page of this wonderful work of art. Yes it is a work of art to me because of many reasons. Growing up in India, in the mid to late 80s, magazines like the National Geographic were unheard of. At least to a middle class family like mine, based in a small town in the hinterland. Most magazines I had seen were made of regular ... Read More...

12 September 2005

Fall Colors

We are past labor day. I have started my fall semester at school. I have been so busy with everything that my retrospective series has suffered for the last two weeks. But this week, I will try to post my latest writing. The problem is that I am a die hard perfectionist, who cannot stand to see work that is half baked pushed off as a completed exercise. A boon and a bane. The miseries it causes me, only I shall know and bear. Meanwhile while I try to cure my incurable penchant, here's the forthcoming fall colors from the east coast. This is not my shot, but I promise to upload my own shots of the fall colors from the Shenandoah valley.