Howdy, people

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The story of William Kamkwamba

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Yes, I know. Yes, I realized. Yes, I’ve been awfully quiet for way too long. So, what motivated me to break this long silence? Well, somehow this story about “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”, Mr. William Kamkwamba, made me felt that it would be a good share.

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When William Kamkwamba was just 14 years old, his family told him that he must leave school and come home to work on the farm – they could no longer afford his fees. This is his story of how he found a way to make a difference, how he bought light to his family and village, and hope to his nation.

Malawi is a country battling AIDS, drought and famine, and in 2002, a season of floods followed by the most severe famine in fifty years brought it to its knees. William Kamkwamba’s family were farmers, and relied on their maize crop to feed them for the year and bring in money by selling the surplus. But after many lean years, finally there was no more. By Christmas 2001 they were running out of food – with months before they could harvest their crop again.

At 14 years old, William had been forced to leave school as there was no money to pay the fees. Borrowing library books to continue his education, William picked up a book in English about energy, with a picture of a wind turbine on the front cover. Fascinated by science and electricity, William decided to build his own.Ridiculed by those around him, exhausted from his work in the fields every day, slowly he built it with scrap metal, old bicycle parts and wood from the blue gum tree. It has changed the world in which William and his family live.

Only 2% of Malawi has electricity; and the windmill now powers light bulbs and a radio at their compound, and he has built more windmills for his school and village. When news of William’s invention spread, people from across the globe offered to help him. Soon he was re-enrolled in school and travelling to America to visit wind farms. This is his story – his attempts to teach other Africans to help themselves, one windmill, one lightbulb, at a time.

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It’s great to see how people get their revelation when they are young. William got his when he was 14. Mine came at that same age too. How have I been doing lately? Well, life’s been real good for I feel like I am a fish who finally found the right place with the right water for me to swim in. Working life is not bad at all and to be honest, it is far much better than my years in engineering studies. It could be true after all that business and finance is the thing for me. I will try my best to update as much as possible from now on. Alright, people, have a good life. Peace.

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The time has come for a total new function that will upgrade our cellphones to the next level. What would you do if you got yourself one ? Yes, fun it may seem to be but imagine the cons that comes along with this technology. Just read the following from IHT.

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Watching video almost anywhere you want

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Tired of hearing other people’s cellphone conversations? It may get worse. Soon you may have to watch their favorite television shows and YouTube videos, too, as they project them onto nearby walls or the seat-backs of commuter trains.

Small digital projectors are in the works. These devices, when plugged into cellphones and portable media players, will let consumers beam video content from their hand-held devices to the closest smooth surface – entertaining themselves, annoying their neighbors and possibly contributing to a new warning sign: “No Projectors in This Area.”

The microprojectors, still in prototype stages, use light-emitting diodes, lasers or a combination of the two to cast a display in darkened spaces of up to 50 or 60 inches wide, or 130 to 150 centimeters, and perhaps even wider, and of 7 to 20 inches wide when there is ambient light.

Digital projectors were once bulky. These new models are small enough to fit into the pocket of consumers who want a big-screen experience from a small-screen device. Some of the models are expected to be on the market by the end of this year, if not sooner.

Prices have yet to be announced. But Matthew Brennesholtz, an analyst at Insight Media, a marketing research firm in Norwalk, Connecticut, said he thought that the projectors would initially cost about $350, then drop quickly to less than $300.

The projectors may be particularly useful for business presentations: showing a product video to small groups, for example.

No pre-meeting coordination would be needed to arrange for a screen. Instead, a patch of wall in a cubicle or at a restaurant could serve for an impromptu presentation. In a pinch, a manila folder or even a napkin would work.

Carolina Milanesi, a research director in London for Gartner, the research firm, said she thought that the microprojectors were most likely to appeal to business travelers who, for example, could use them to beam PowerPoint shows from their smartphones.

But Milanesi is dubious about the likelihood of consumers’ using them in public, because they could so easily be read by others. “I hate it even when I am on the subway and the guy next to me is reading my paper,” she said.

The projectors will first appear as free-standing companion units to cellphones and other devices, Brennesholtz said, connected to them by standard cables. Later, the projector modules will be directly embedded in phones, as cameras are today. About 16 manufacturers are working on miniprojectors, he said.

Insight Media forecasts a substantial and fast-growing market for the technology. “We anticipate total sales of more than $2.5 billion by 2012 for the companion models,” Brennesholtz said, and $1 billion in revenue for projector modules that are integrated into cellphones and other devices.

Cellphone service providers have been a driving force behind miniprojector development, said Jinwoo Bae, business team leader for Iljin DSP, a South Korean company that is working on a prototype.

“Revenue growth from voice service is becoming saturated,” Bae said, “so telecom service providers are looking for new revenue from video content.”

Iljin DSP’s microprojector, which will be marketed and distributed by SK Telecom, a large wireless operator in South Korea, projects images that are 7 to 60 inches wide, depending on a room’s lighting; the device’s light source is a combination of lasers and LEDs. The lithium-ion battery lasts about two hours, Bae said.

The company is also building a projector engine to be incorporated in cellphones. “We need to reduce the power consumption” of the module, Bae said. “A stand-alone projector can have its own battery, but modules integrated into a mobile phone use the phone’s battery,” limiting the amount of power than can be drawn, he said.

A miniprojector engine is now being manufactured by 3M, the U.S. technology company. It will be sold within a stand-alone projector offered by Samsung this year, said Mike O’Keefe, marketing manager for 3M’s mobile projection technology. The projector, called the Samsung MBP-100, connects to devices like MP3 players that have video output capacity.

Brennesholtz, of Insight Media, was shown a model of the Iljin DSP projector at a restaurant in New York when he met with executives from the company. “I’m not sure what the other diners thought about seeing a Korean sitcom projected on the ceiling of the restaurant,” he said.

As it turned out, there was too much ambient light for the image to look good on the ceiling. “But on a napkin, or on the cover of a box,” Brennesholtz said, “it looked fine.”

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Who hasn’t heard about it ?

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Edison’s camera & his pink Mac

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Edison & his Camera

Did Samsung know about his photography hobbies were a little bit different ?
Nice piece of work: professional photography and creative artwork done here though.
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Till today I did not know about it. But, it did came to my ears and eyes eventually. I, too, will break my “silence” (been real busy lately, sorry) with this piece of news. It’s true that many lives has been changed due to this issue but hey, I guess that’s the risk celebrities have to take when publicizing themselves ‘too much’ to the world. They want attention, they want to be in the limelight and this is what every single one of them involved has to get, when a simple mistaken action by the led to this whole breakout of “documents”. The famous Thomas Edison made a bulb which led to lighting our dark nights but this famous Edison Chen created a ‘pink Mac’ or ‘the stuffed cotton candy Mac’ (some netizen made up this name) for his own self-pleasure, now turning to be a pleasure that all, as long as they want to, are accessible to, lighting up some of their darkest fantasies.

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Apologizing on YouTube ? Now, that’s something new.
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Well, to my point of view, this snippet of Edison’s apology is not making things better. It is pretty much a better promotion for the whole situation. It is true that he should be frustrated. Imagine you all over the place, on this whole World Wide Web, you posing in situations that you wished that they would all be privately yours. But, at the same time, he couldn’t have stayed away too long from not facing the issue. I give him the credit for able to come forward to the media to at least do an explanation (many would not need one though to understand but public still ask for it although it is so darn obvious) and not chicken out by sending himself off a building for so-called ‘ruining’ other people’s lives who were intentionally involved in his personal kinky photo shoots.

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The technician, who did managed to solve his ‘problem’ and made a much BIGGER one with his famous “pink Mac” (wonder how would this effect Apple’s notebook sales and also to the sales of Samsung cameras since he was the marketing strategy icon for it) , was the first culprit obviously. He got frantic to come to know that the famous guy that came to him for a favor, was dating and having “fun” with so many women celebs, with proofs in his hands which he could not help but to let them go on the world’s fastest media – the internet. Reading through all the articles available, the word “netizen” frequently came up and technology actually comes to give birth to such a term where we all come under the same roof in this virtual world.

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Some friends refer to him as a ‘hero’ (and guys you know why). Some friends say he has spoiled many men’s fantasies (well, personal fans you know why). Some friends say he revealed what people wanted to know, ‘behind the scenes’ and he proved it all true (gossipers and entertainment world junkies you know why). We all now have the chance to share what he has enjoyed and he has to bare it all on his shoulders himself. He did the right thing to leave the limelight but hey, it would be a misery that will haunt him for a moment still. Horrifying idea it maybe but things will come and go. Who knows that this would bring him higher up one day if he decides to make a come back in any form.

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Ladies, those who were involved (not going to mention their names, search Edison’s name and you’ll find them), they have family matters to deal with but things like these will go off the front pages soon. Things like that lingers in history of course but for sure, something next will come up to replace it somehow. Even Hollywood no longer says ‘bravo’ to him in this globalized world although they allowed many to become even bigger icons of the world though they basically have the same history.

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About the issue whether people would download it or not, I guess it is due to the availability on the net. So, I guess Edison himself enjoyed downloading and now, he feels how it is now to be in a form of what he may had been downloading. Let the netizens enjoy what they can get, because for how I see it, your apology is just simply promoting them to be downloaded rather than to be destroyed. Sad to say, that’s the case for netizens. You, alone, are powerless in the millions of hands that you are against with here. Will the world come to a point where they would need to shutdown this whole humongous networking technology when things get out of hands ? What other forms of fear that individuals might face due to this convenient yet terrifying modern tool we have now ? The answer lies ahead of us, perhaps not in our time. For the time being, Edison boy, if you had wanted the ‘pink Mac’ to be fixed so badly, now you have PCs and Macs all over the world, pretty pinkish with you all over in it. Download a copy now yourself somewhere (you reading this or even Edison himself) while stocks last.

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Blu-ray won over HD DVD

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Bluray HD DVD
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BENTONVILLE, Arkansas: Wal-Mart Stores said Friday that it had picked Blu-ray over HD DVD in the market battle for the format of high-definition video.

Wal-Mart, the largest U.S. retailer, said it had decided to sell only Blu-ray DVDs and hardware in its 4,000 U.S. stores and would no longer carry rival HD DVD offerings.

The announcement comes five days after Netflix said it would stop carrying rentals in Toshiba’s HD DVD format and instead go exclusively with the rival Sony technology favored by five major movie studios.

Toshiba and Sony have been vying to set the standard for high-definition DVDs and players. The stakes are high because the winner will also get a lift from sales of DVD players needed to read the new format.

Several large retailers have come down on Blu-ray’s side, including Target and Blockbuster.

We’ve listened to our customers, who are showing a clear preference toward Blu-ray products and movies with their purchases,” Gary Severson, head of home entertainment for Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores, said in a statement.

Wal-Mart said it would phase out all HD DVD offerings by June.

Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs membership warehouses will continue to sell standard definition movies and DVD players as well as converter technology.

Sony has taken a considerable lead in the format rivalry in recent months, gaining the endorsement of Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Time Warner’s Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, which also owns DreamWorks SKG, and Universal Pictures, a unit of General Electric, have opted to release films only in HD DVD.

Still, many consumers have held off on buying a high-definition DVD player until the dominant format is decided.

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Sony did it again. Toshiba, since not getting any much support from other major manufacturers unlike Sony, has announced on February 16th that they will stop producing HD DVD and put an end to all other productions that are related as well. It is clear that Sony, who has the largest share at the moment, won the war that has been lingering on. But, to be honest, how many of you own a high-definition DVD player ? Do we actually need it ? But I guess the DVD age will still last for some time because most people have not find the need to get a high-definition one yet which is still very high at cost. Sony has always been strong in the world of recordable materials from the age of tapes. What other type of materials are we to expect from Sony from now on ? Que sera sera.

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India’s Tata Motors : The other NANO

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India’s Tata Motors unveils US$2,500 car,

bringing car ownership into millions’ reach

From IHT

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Tata Nano
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NEW DELHI: India’s Tata Motors on January 10th unveiled the world’s cheapest car, a US$2,500 four-door subcompact the company promises will revolutionize the auto industry, bringing car ownership into the reach of tens of millions of people.But the potential of the vehicle has given environmentalist nightmares, with visions of the tiny cars clogging India’s already-choked roads and collectively spewing millions of tons of polluting carbon dioxide into the air.But industry analysts believe the car, christened the Tata Nano, could do for India and the developing world what Ford’s Model T did for America nearly a century ago — make it possible for the vast majority to own their own cars.”It is a potentially gigantic development if it delivers what has been promised,” said John Casesa, managing partner for the Casesa Shapiro Group, a New York-based auto industry financial advisory firm.

“I think there is immense unmet demand for a vehicle of this type, because it effectively eliminates the great leap currently required to go from a two-wheel to a four-wheel vehicle,” Casesa said. “They are creating something that has never existed before, the utility of a car with the affordability of a motorcycle.”

Company chairman Ratan Tata, who introduced the new car at India’s main auto show, said the basic model will sell for 100,000 rupees — US$2,500 (€1,700) — but analysts estimate customers could pay 20-30 percent more to cover taxes, delivery and other charges.

Tata has long promised that he’d create a 100,000-rupee “People’s Car” for India — a country of some 1.1 billion where only seven of every 1,000 people own a car — a vow that was much-derided in the global industry which said it would be impossible without sacrificing safety and quality.

“A promise is a promise,” Tata told the crowd after driving onto a stage in a white, luxury version of the car, his head nearly touching the roof. Four company executives emerged from another, indicating that the car can fit four — or five if they squeeze.

The company was cagey about how they kept the price so low on the basic version and declined to say how much the luxury Nano will cost until it hits showrooms toward the end of this year. The company also refused to let reporters sit in the car, let alone drive it.

But the basic version is spare: there’s no radio, passenger-side mirror, central locking or power steering and only one windshield wiper. If you want air conditioning for India’s brutal summers, you need the deluxe version.

The little car, with its snub nose, sloping roof, and slightly bulbous rear that makes it look like another Indian icon — the mango — could soon have illustrious companions, with Tata in negotiations to buy Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford.

The Nano’s obvious appeal, though, is not its pedigree but its price — targeting people moving up from the lower ends of India’s transportation spectrum, where two-wheeled scooters selling for as little as US$900 are often crammed with entire families.

The Nano’s closest competitor here is the Maruti 800, a four-door selling for nearly twice as much.

In terms of performance it doesn’t offer much more than the Model T. The Nano has a two-cylinder 0.6 liter gasoline engine with 33 horsepower, giving it a top speed of about 100 kilometers (60 miles) per hour, according to Tata. It gets 20 kilometers per liter (50 miles per gallon).

The Model T cost US$825 in 1909 (or more than US$19,000 in today’s dollars, according to the Web site measuringworth.com) and could do 72 kph (45 mph) with its 20-horsepower, four-cylinder engine.

Analysts believe the Nano could transform the auto industry, forcing manufacturers to lower prices, and perhaps find cheaper ways to sell cars than in sprawling showrooms. French auto maker Renault SA and its Japanese partner, Nissan Motor Co., are trying to determine if they can sell a compact car for less than US$3,000.

“Most of the other carmakers are watching this development very closely,” said S. Ramnath, an auto analyst at Mumbai-based brokerage firm SSK Securities Ltd.

For now, the car will be sold only in India, but Tata said it hoped to export it across Asia, Latin America and Africa in two or three years.

Tata initially plans to manufacture some 250,000 Nanos per year, nearly a quarter of the slightly more than 1 million cars sold in India last year.

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Environmentalists having nightmares

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But the car has fueled a host of concerns.

With developing countries like India and China putting more and more cars on the roads, it has created a greater demand for fuel, contributing to sky-high global oil prices. India consumed nearly 120 million tons of petroleum products in 2006-2007, according to the Petroleum Ministry, up from 113 million tons the previous year.

And the idea of such a low-cost vehicle has environmentalists petrified, conjuring images of a huge influx of cars, traffic jams at midnight, hours-long commutes and increasing pollution.

Chief U.N. climate scientist Rajendra Pachauri, who shared last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, said last month that “I am having nightmares” about the car.

“Dr. Pachauri need not have nightmares,” Tata said at the unveiling, promising the Nano met all current Indian emission standards, adding his company did not have the resources to produce millions of new cars.

His promises, though, don’t reassure everybody.

“If you’re talking about urban environment, it will cause serious problems,” said Jamie Leather, a transport specialist with the Asian Development Bank. “The cheaper and cheaper vehicles become, the quicker those pollution levels will increase,” Leather said.

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What do you think ?

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Well, what do you think of this news ? The world’s top 2 countries with the highest population, China and India, are proving that they too are beginning to catch up with the developed countries, saying, “Hey, we are going to, or shall we say, we are already living the life that you in developed countries are living and we will enjoy it as how you are enjoying it.” Developed countries used to laugh and brag about their technologies, enjoying all the conveniences they have brought to themselves, thinking that they will be able to keep all of that to themselves. Unfortunately, their own technologies have created a world that wishes to share the same ease and quality in life and now, they are beginning to fear about the limit of natural sources, a distributed market that they used to monopolized alone and the rest that comes along with the growing of development in the two countries. Oh well, developed countries, it’s time you start sharing methods to live an easy life and at the same time, maintaining a sustainable world for everyone to share together.

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