Monday, February 21, 2005

The Growing Power of India

Sorry that I didn't get a chance to post yesterday, but I don't think very many of you missed it and I had to spend five hours in a row working on my CS project anyway. I think we did a pretty good job on it and now we have to move on to a BigInteger class. Moving on to the topic though: I found a great piece about India arising as a technological superpower. For a long time it has been a rather backwards country but now they're making great advances including plans for their first trip to the moon and modern nuclear power. I'm very proud that they're finally starting to break out of the economic disadvantages forced upon them by being under British imperial rule for so long. Things that we take for granted, such as cell phones and affordable vaccines, are becoming more popular there. More important than that though, they've been veering into new roads such as stem cell research for the blind and GM crops to help alleviate hunger. Of course their most popular rise has been in IT, but they've managed huge improvements in reducing economic disparity. All these scientific advances could bring about a revolution that would pull India out of such dire poverty levels. Though domestic IT workers are bemoaning outsourcing, it will be great for the global economy in the long run by forcing better quality products domestically to compete with foreign labor and fostering a middle class that would be able to import more of our products. It makes me more proud of my skin color to see these changes.

I do indeed have some more nerdy news today to compensate for what was lost yesterday. A visual-computing vendor have now developed wearable artificial-reality gear that will become extremely useful in training for things such as the armed forces. That's the kind of stuff you dream about as a kid and see in Metal Gear Solid so I thinkthat's really exciting. ChevronTexaco has now opened the first of six pilot stations for hydrogen fuel in California for a selection of Hyundai vehicles. The development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel could take in excess of a couple of decades, but all great things have to start somewhere! I thought it was notable that one of the top 5 net names to watch is Weblogs, which hosts some great commercial blogs. Also on the list was Mozilla, which is definitely becoming a hot company this year. Those of you interested in programming solutions to the Go game should check out the solution to the 5x5 board problem.

People like me who enjoy downloading TV shows they miss or can't watch will want to read this article about challenges to new preventative measures against such distribution. The concern is regarding the possibility of burning DVDs of seasons and probably also the circumvention of commercials. The idea is that they'd implement a flag on broadcasts to protect them from being distributed to electronics that aren't flag-compliant. It sounds like they'd be open to legitimate distribution, and that's what I'm really looking for. In case you're curious, the leader in tv show downloading is the UK. While I'm on the subject of piracy, I might as well mention new methods of using Napster to pirate music again! All you have to do is get a plug-in that would make the protected files unprotected so that a subscription to Napster wouldn't be necessary. The people who use it though are people who are interested in getting it to work with old devices, so all Napster has to do is fix this issue to solve a big part of their problem before it catches on.

Now for some movie news. It appears that Hitch is once again the box office king. Constantine stuck very close behind though, and I was ashamed at America that Son of the Mask even got the number 4 spot. I guess I'll start off by giving you some hope for the future with a couple of trailers. The teaser is up for A Scanner Darkly and it looks damned good. This movie features a very creative artistic style and an interesting, but vague, plot that isn't clarified much in this very pretty trailer. It has a good cast so hopefully it'll turn out well. On the other hand, the trailer for House of Wax looks better than I think the movie will be, but at least it has Elisha Cuthbert! In other news, there's going to be a recut of The Passion for those who avoided it for its graphic nature. Maybe then my mom will go see it (she's afraid of getting too emotional during the movie)! And now a short paragraph break so I can show you one of a few new pictures from Sin City:

Gotta love the eyes

You just have to love that black and white style. Anyway, it looks like Bruce Willis, who will be 50 years-old next month, will possibly be working on an action-comedy called 16 Blocks while he waits for Die Hard 4.0 to get a script. I guess you never get too old for action movies. Rupert Wainwright, of Stigmata fame, is doing a remake of John Carpenter's The Fog featuring the WB's Tom Welling and Maggie Grace. The movie sounds like a crappy horror movie but with a director like that it's hard to tell.

I'm going to lump my randomness and game news into one paragraph. Those of you who are as intrigued as I am by The Godfather game won't want to miss the opening scene from the game, which is now online. It looks like it's the part in the first movie where Vito Corleone gets shot. There's an interesting article here actually about developers getting burned by the pressure of deadlines for movie-based games (modern ones, not like The Godfather) and the boom in movie-based video games. It's surprising how few of these games actually turn out decent. Fans of Russell Peters and/or Dat Phan can get tickets to their Houston show tomorrow morning or even to their Austin show soon I'm sure. UT students from Houston should note that the show will be the Friday before spring break week. I'm definitely going and am very excited! Lastly, viewers of 24 can now talk back at AICN here.

Whew, we finally made it to some Monday Madness:

This week, using the letters in your name (real or screen name), list places that you've been to.

Elgin (shortcut to get to Austin)
Laredo (when I was really little)
Toronto (this past summer)
WashingtOn, D.C. (a few summers ago)
New York :) (a couple of years ago and for Eco Challenge)

1 comment:

Nat said...

Thanks for playing MM, Elton! I enjoy reading your blog....Have a great week! =)