Archive | September, 2004

NASA’s Genesis Capsule crashes

9 Sep

It was to be plucked out of the air by two helicopters and brought back safely to Earth. But the Genesis space capsule carrying captured particles blown off the Sun crashed back to Earth in the Utah desert after some malfunctionality with its parachutes.


Genesis spacecraft on the ground. Source: http://www.nasa.gov

According to the latest news from the NASA website, the capsule impacted the ground at a speed of 311 kilometers per hour (193 mph). The officials cannot still say if any or some of the information brought back by the crashed capsule could be recovered.

In critical endeavours such as these, small mishaps could lead to fatal consequences. If I recall correctly, sometime in 1999 too the Polar lander had crashed when it was attempting to land on the Red Planet. So much for the unforgiving nature of these human endeavours to such small errors.


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Interfaces for Staying in Flow

9 Sep

After hours of loitering on the web, I finally read something relevant to my academics on ACM Ubiquity. – a paper by Benjamin Bederson on Interfaces for Staying in Flow.

This paper reviews the literature, and interprets the characteristics of flow within the context of interface design with the goal of understanding what kinds of interfaces are most conducive to supporting users being in the flow.

Happy Birthday Google!

8 Sep

Let me wish a very happy birthday to my fav technology company Google which is turning six.

Imagine my world without Google today!

Read Google’s history at:
http://www.google.com/corporate/history.html

A Social Bookmarks Manager

4 Sep

I just checked out a new bookmarking service – del.icio.us , a very convenient way to store bookmarks. From any Web page, you can use a del.icio.us bookmarklet to post the page’s URL, title, description, and a set of keywords or tags. These pages can then be recovered by searching for text in the title or description or by navigating to it using one of its tags from anywhere with a web connection.

The registration process is simple. Nothing flashy, just key in your desired userID, a password and an email address which is again optional if you can remember your password for eternity. From here on, all you need to do is to add a small ‘bookmarklet’ to your browser. Whenever you wish to bookmark a page, simply click on this and you’ll be prompted for information like title, description, keywords and tags about the page.

The positives are obvious. The process is extremely simple and with features like categorizing your links, sorting and searching by category or date, managing bookmarks becomes all so easy. And you could always share your bookmarks. All this can only make information processing a bit more efficient and less cumbersome!

IBM makes ‘Blade’ designs available

3 Sep

IBM is making the design of its “blade” computer servers widely available, so as to gain wider acceptability in data centers and the ICT industry.

IBM and Intel, partners in the design of Blade servers have announce that they would not be charging any royalties and there won’t be the need of any patent licensing. It can be said that this move will allow other companies to work with them more easily and with IBM deciding to extend design support and assist in product development, the levels of innovation in this field are likely to notch up a few scales.

So, are the racks in for a hard time? Pretty tough to tell. But these blade servers definitely hold an advantage over those bulty racks!!!