Shanth’s Dairy

July 24, 2008

Google Knol

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanth @ 10:11 am
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Google does it all over again. This time it’s Google Knol (As in Knowledge). Google Knol is supposedly a place to share “knowledge”, Knol being a unit of knowledge. On the first look it gives you a feel of any other blogging site. It is a place where you share your expertise on a given topic, not just offer your two cents on it. So I guess the readers assume that you know and understand what exactly you are putting under a topic. Further more it promotes collaboration. So anybody can contribute to the topic, suggest a change and even rate a post. So now that starts to give a feel of Wikipedia. The difference here is you get to put your name on top of the article/Knol. So you get all the privileges associated with the article. I am sure that will be major catalyst to the success of Knol project.

There are already a bunch of knols posted on topics ranging from Lung Cancer by Thoracic Surgeon at NYU to Toilets Clogs by The Family Handyman Magazine. There seems to be a Knol Administrator advising the users over the contents. I guess the admin makes sure the knols appear like professional writing in terms of grammar and content. Google maintains the versions of the knol and anybody can see all published versions. But here comes the best part, putting it as Google says it, “a knol may include ads from our AdSense program. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with a revenue share from the proceeds of those ad placements.” Is not that wonderful?

I would not be surprised if the Knol to bypass Wikipedia in terms of the number of articles, the quality of the content and ofcourse the numbers of visitors in the very near future. Google does the magic again by coming up with a great business plan which also has a great deal to offer to community.

http://knol.google.com

July 22, 2008

Indo-US Nuke Deal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanth @ 2:23 pm
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Today Manmohan Singh barely survived the vote of confidence. I do not really care who won the vote and how they did they actually win. But I am really glad for the fact that we just saved ourselves atleast a thousand crore rupees, which otherwise would have been wasted over the reelection.

I have been trying to understand why there is so much agitation over the nuclear deal. From a technology point of it sounds like a great opportunity for India. Even Abdul Kalam endorsed the deal. Rahul Gandhi has a vision that atomic energy will help India ending poverty in the country. Even though I think that is an overstatement of its value, but I agree that it will help India combat some serious issues. Apart from the power shortages in the country, India is loosing a great deal of foreign investment due to the lack of reliable power supply. BJP on the other hand claims that the nuke deal compromises India’s sovereignty. India will be bound to open up its fourteen currently functioning nuclear reactors and all other future “Civilian” nuclear reactors initiates to the international atomic energy association (IAEA). I think that is not trivial issue. But even though India is not bound by NPT, India adopted a voluntarily stand on the nuclear weapon nonproliferation and Civilian use of the nuclear energy for a longtime. As long as our words match our actions there should be no serious implications on our military programs, security of the state.

I guess apart from India and US, there are other pairs of eyes watching this issue closely. It is not just India, but US also gets a good pay back for what it is offering. With a decreasing confidence in Pakistan, US now needs a strong alley in Asia to retain it’s stand especially when China is on the rise. India must take time to read between the lines of the agreements that it will sign, in order for this to result in a win-win deal.

July 17, 2008

The Other Happening

Filed under: Issues — Shanth @ 2:54 pm
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Every morning on my way to work I have been hearing only one thing on the radio, unstable Economy caused by  raising Gas price, Housing market, Job cuts, how bad Wall street did the day before, food prices going up all over the world. I believe these are interrelated problems. Let’s talk about the hottest one of all, the oil prices. The primary reason for raise in oil prices has been attributed to dropping oil levels and unpredictable oil production rates across the world. With all the 21st century technology, did we not know this is coming and that we are running out of our energy resources and then why are caught by surprise?. I wonder if there is something else going on which we are not able to understand completely. Could this be the “other happening?

We know the industrial revolution changed the face of the globe. Machines operating on energy sources dug down from the deepest crusts of the earth and machines which produce ample pollution. Here are some numbers. The demand for oil grew at a rate of 1.76% per year over the last two decades. Last year Chinese automobile production and sales increased by more than 20%. So we are making more automobiles and we are consuming more natural resources, which is obviously leading to more pollution. So coming to the other side of the story here we are at today, with decreasing oil levels and an ever growing demand. Let’s look at some more numbers. According to a report the consumption of the oil fell 0.6% in the first quarter of 2008. That number may not sound promising, but I bet we will see that raising fast. Ask me why, I hear more and more people talking about and worried about gas prices. I have never hoped to see so many people considering car pooling and using public transportation. I believe it is all happening for a good reason.

Over the years environmentalists have been crying loud to save the planet and reduce gas consumption to stop polluting our planet. We never seemed to care for all that. Global warming, we still argue about the theory behind it. But here is a simple question to anybody who would hesitate to believe it, can’t you see an increase in the number of natural disasters over the past few years, as compared to late 20the century, the increasing in the count of deaths due to earthquakes, hurricanes, unpredictable weather patterns. I do not care whether the scientific theory behind global warming is right or not but there is something weird going on that we are not totally able to understand and we know where all that started. If you saw M. Night Shyamalan’s Happening movie, you should by now know what I am talking about. Is it the nature fighting back by compromising us on the oil resources? That would make a good story for Shyamalan’s next movie.

I guess my point here is it’s  probably time to start thinking about alternative safe alternative energy resources or putting more money and resources in to hybrid or electric powered machines and automobiles. We can make a difference by saving the nature and preventing the “Other Happening”!.

July 12, 2008

All for One and one for all

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanth @ 11:21 pm

Its been a tough month. Two of my closest friends left the town. I was all by myself, when I came to Birmingham five years ago. It was the first time I was ever away from family. I made friends very soon, and I made some really good friends. Now I come to think about it,It is not tough to make friends anywhere, I consider myself to be so lucky to have found such wonderful friends. It was just like finding a new family away from home. It takes a great deal to be away from family and still find your way through the tough roads. They always stood by me, in every turn to get me to where I am right now.

I remember the times we were looking for jobs, going from building to building in the middle of the day in 100F+ heat. It was not easy, but we were there for each other, giving each other hope and strength and we were ultimately successful. Every one of them had a special style and every offered something to learn from. In this short period we fought, we argued but we cherished every moment of it.

This is not the end of the road. It is a just an end of a great chapter and end of a great experience. But life goes on for them and for me knowing that we are all there for each other any time.

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