Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Government supports the fight against trade in conflict diamonds

The Government is contributing SEK 3 million to the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI). The aim of the DDI is to remedy problems linked to the diamond-producing countries in Africa, problems to do with the poverty and unsafe environment that working in diamond mines may entail.

The DDI is related to the 'Kimberley process' that works to hinder international trade in conflict diamonds. The Kimberley process is holding its annual meeting this year on 5-8 November in Brussels under the chair of the EU. Just over 300 delegates from some 70 countries are expected to attend the meeting, as well as representatives of the diamond industry, stakeholder organisations and international organisations.

"The Kimberley process and the DDI are important initiatives. They affect our trade with Africa and are linked to development aspects within trade, security and the environment, in line with Swedish policy for global development," says Minister for Trade Ewa Björling.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Shuangliou National Forest Recreation Area

Shuangliou National Forest Recreation Area is situated at the confluence of the two major headwaters of the Fonggang River in Pingtung County. Ranging in elevation from 150 to 650 meters above sea level, the area has a tropical climate and is well endowed with natural attractions, such as waterfalls, valleys, and rivers weaving through the dense reforested woods. Shuangliou is home to several species of bird, including the Formosan blue magpie, common kingfisher, and Muller's barbet. The Formosan ash, planted by the Forestry Bureau, blankets the landscape in green as far as the eye can see. A major landmark at the recreation area is the Shuangliou Waterfall. The river current is slow and the water clear, making it suitable for swimming.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mutual fund

Mutual funds permit investors to acquire a pro-rata share of a diversified portfolio of securities. Part of the popularity of mutual funds is their ability to offer small investors some of the advantages otherwise limited to large investors: diversification of the portfolio and professional portfolio management. An investment in a mutual fund is actually the purchase of shares in a fund. The shares are purchased at a public offering price, which is the net asset value of a share in the fund at the time of purchase, plus, in some cases, a sales charge or commission. It should be noted that a common trust plan is a mutual fund.

Mutual funds and common trusts are usually open-end investment companies because they stand ready to sell the public as large a volume of shares as it wishes to buy. Whatever volume of money is drawn in is invested according to the formula or policy of the particular fund. When investors wish to cash in their shares, the fund sells a part of its portfolio to raise the money. It then pays off the investor on the basis of the value of its assets at the date of liquidation. In effect, you buy $1,000 worth of shares in the fund and, when you sell your interest, you receive your proportionate share of the value of the fund's assets at the time of the sale. Therefore, you may realize a gain or a loss on your original investment.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Foreign Direct Investment In Infrastructure In Developing Countries:

Since the mid-1980s, governments around the world have pursued policies to encourage private sector participation in the financing and delivery of infrastructure services. The natural monopoly characteristics of infrastructure utilities mean, however, that the privatization of these industries risks the creation of private-sector monopolies. Therefore, governments need to develop strong regulatory capabilities to police the revenues and costs of the privatized utility firms, while, at the same time, establishing regulatory credibility among investors. This provides an empirical examination of the relationship between the quality of the regulatory framework and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in infrastructure in middle and lower income developing countries during the period 1990 to 2002.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Macduff Marine Aquarium nets top award

Macduff Marine Aquarium has shown once again that it deserves its reputation as one of the top visitor attractions in the north-east of Scotland, by netting a prestigious national tourism award. Macduff Marine Aquarium has shown once again that it deserves its reputation as one of the top visitor attractions in the north-east of Scotland, by netting a prestigious national tourism award.
The aquarium scooped the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions' Best Visitor Experience 2008 award at a recent awards ceremony held at Dunblane Hydro in Perthshire.This is the first time the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) has offered the award, which was sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia.Many top attractions, including three based in Edinburgh, were judged on the kind of experience they offer to visitors and how the attraction monitors and improves its service.

The top prize is a free place on the Scottish Enterprise Tourism Executive Seminar at the Schindlerhof Hotel and Conference Centre in Nurnberg, Germany in January 2009. Claire Matthews, Macduff Marine Aquarium's education and marketing officer, collected the award in front of a large crowd of industry specialists.She said: “We are thrilled to have won this best visitor experience award, especially as the other contenders were of such high quality and located in the capital.”Witek Mojsiewicz, aquarium manager, was delighted with the award and praised his hard-working staff for all their efforts.“To have won this award is a real accolade for the aquarium,” he said. “Our staff work extremely hard to ensure that our visitors have a fun but also educational experience at the aquarium and they show great enthusiasm and passion for what they do.”

He added: “This award is a confirmation that we are achieving the standards for which we strive and we are over the moon to have been recognised in this way.”Macduff Marine Aquarium is owned by Aberdeenshire Council and features the marine life of the Moray Firth in a variety of fascinating displays, including a 5m deep circular kelp reef exhibit, which is the only one of its kind in the UK.Richard Stroud, chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee was delighted to hear about the award and congratulated staff at the aquarium on their success.

“This is a fantastic achievement for Macduff Aquarium,” he said. “I would like to congratulate the hard-working and dedicated staff who have helped secure this prestigious accolade.“The award recognises a high standard of customer service and visitor experience which staff at all of Aberdeenshire Council’s facilities provide to our residents.”The aquarium opened a new jellyfish display earlier this year and leads the way in exhibiting Scottish deep-water invertebrates that are not shown in any other aquarium in Britain.The aquarium operates an education programme and is a big hit with schools as well as the general public, attracting around 50,000 visitors per year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Worst Of Financial Crisis Yet To Come: IMF

The IMF's chief economist has warned that the global financial crisis is set to worsen and that the situation will not improve until 2010.Olivier Blanchard also warned that the institution does not have the funds to solve every economic problem."The worst is yet to come," Blanchard said in an interview with the Finanz und Wirtschaft newspaper yesterday, adding that "a lot of time is needed before the situation becomes normal."

He said economic growth would not kick in until 2010 and it will take another year before the global financial situation became normal again.The International Monetary Fund on Friday promised to help Latvia deal with its economic crisis after it assisted Iceland, Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia and Pakistan.But Blanchard said the IMF was not able to solve all financial issues, in particular problems of liquidity.

Withdrawals of capital leading to problems of liquidity "can be so significant that the IMF alone cannot counter them," he said, adding that massive withdrawals of investments from emerging countries could represent "hundreds of billions of dollars."We do not have this money. We never had it," he said. The IMF had spent a fifth of its 250 billion dollar fund in the last two weeks, Blanchard added.

He also urged central banks around the world to cut interest rates, after the Swiss National Bank made a surprise one percentage point rate cut Thursday.The central banks "should lower interest rates to as close to zero as possible," he said.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rainbow Falls

A rainbow produced by mist from this 80-foot high waterfall is visible on sunny afternoons. During extended winter cold spells, an impressive ice formation builds around the falls.Between trailhead and falls, Rainbow Falls Trail gains about 1,500' in elevation. The 5.4 mile roundtrip hike is considered moderate in difficulty. The Rainbow Falls Trail continues for approximately 4 miles beyond the falls to the summit of Mt. Le Conte.

Access Trail: Rainbow Falls Trail (Tennessee)
Trailhead: From the parkway in Gatlinburg, turn at traffic light #8 and follow Historic Nature Trail into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Continue past the Noah “Bud” Ogle homesite to the clearly signed Rainbow Falls parking area.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Also called: PAD
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) happens when there is a narrowing of the blood vessels outside of your heart. A substance made up of fat and cholesterol, called plaque, builds up on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the arms and legs. The plaque causes the arteries to narrow or become blocked. This can reduce or stop blood flow, usually to the legs, causing them to hurt or feel numb. If severe enough, blocked blood flow can cause tissue death. If this condition is left untreated, the foot or leg may need to be amputated.

A person with PAD also has an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and transient ischemic attack. You can often stop or reverse the buildup of plaque in the arteries with dietary changes, exercise, and efforts to lower high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Raspberries are an important commercial fruit crop, widely grown in all temperate regions of the world. Many of the most important modern commercial red raspberry cultivars derive from hybrids between R. idaeus and R. strigosus. Some botanists consider the Eurasian and American red raspberries to all belong to a single, circumboreal species, Rubus idaeus, with the European plants then classified as either R. idaeus subsp. idaeus or R. idaeus var. idaeus, and the native North American red raspberries classified as either R. idaeus subsp. strigosus, or R. idaeus var. strigosus.

The black raspberry, Rubus occidentalis, is also occasionally cultivated in the United States, providing both fresh and frozen fruit as well as jams, preserves, and other products, all with that species' distinctive, richer flavor.

Purple-fruited raspberries have been produced by horticultural hybridization of red and black raspberries, and have also been found in the wild in a few places (for example, in Vermont) where the American red and the black raspberries both grow naturally. The unofficial name Rubus × neglectus has been applied to these native American plants for which commercial production is rare.

Red and black raspberry species have albino-like pale-yellow variants resulting from expression of recessive genes for anthocyanin pigments. Variously called golden raspberries, yellow or (rarely) orange raspberries retain the distinctive flavor of their respective species. In the eastern United States, most commercially sold pale-fruited raspberries are derivatives of red raspberries. Yellow-fruited variants of the black raspberry occur occasionally in the wild or are grown in home gardens.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hamilton 'feels Senna connection'

Lewis Hamilton believes he is similar to Ayrton Senna and has revealed that he has based his approach to his career on the Brazilian three-time champion.

Hamilton, who can win the title at Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix, says he has admired Senna since childhood."I've always felt I had a connection with him, that we're somehow similar," he told Motor Sport magazine."I do crazy things that others wouldn't do and I feel like I have an edge, too. I feel I share something with him." The 23-year-old, who is seven points clear of Ferrari's Felipe Massa heading into the race at Interlagos, wears a yellow helmet because of his admiration for Senna, who was killed in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

But he said he felt his links with Senna - who was born in Sao Paulo, the city that hosts this weekend's race - go far deeper than that."I seem to be able to draw a lot from how he came across, in interviews and so on."He was such a fighter, that was the thing - I don't think he was ever one to drive half-heartedly."He was always looking for perfection and, yeah, he was a warrior - and that was what I loved about him."In the interview, Hamilton talks at length about how closely he has modelled his career on Senna.Hamilton, now 23, was nine when Senna was killed.

"The year before, I'd won the British [karting] championship, and got the chance to meet him. I'll never forget that," he said.

"As a kid, I was drawn to Senna because, for one thing, his driving style seemed to be different from anyone else's."And he seemed to be a daredevil - well, not a daredevil exactly, but he always went out of his way to… make sure he was at the front."Compared with all the others, he appeared never to be afraid - he seemed to me to have that little bit of an edge."Hamilton has recently come in for some criticism for driving over-aggressively - just as Senna did in his career.

But he insists that he does not believe in intimidating his rivals."You do get quite a lot of people who do that, you know - drivers who try to intimidate other drivers," Hamilton said."I could do it, too, but I just don't see the sense in it, personally."When people try and intimidate me, I laugh."The way I look at it, if they're doing that, it means they're worried - they feel they have to do something to distract me, or put me off, or try and knock my confidence.

"Personally I think that's a sign of weakness - weakness in the mind - and if you let it upset you, they're going to get the upper hand on you. I don't do that sort of thing, because I don't feel I have that weakness."The thing is, I think there's a subtle way you can do it. You can do it stupidly, and then there's a 50:50 chance of both of you crashing."But there's a subtler way of doing these things - I mean, when I got here, I wanted to assert myself in certain ways: one, to prove you can overtake in F1, and two, to show that I don't care who you are - whether you're Kimi Raikkonen or whomever - I'll go up the inside of you."It was important to get across that in a situation where most people would back out of it, I won't. And I showed that in my first year."

Despite his reverence for Senna, though, Hamilton recoiled from equating his ability with the Brazilian's."By no means have I ever suggested that I'm better than Ayrton - for me he's the king, and always will be," Hamilton said."If I could ever get to a point of being anywhere near as good as he was, I'd feel great."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and 22nd largest (by population) in the United States. It is the county seat of Milwaukee County and is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. As of a revised 2006 U.S. Census estimate, Milwaukee had a population of 602,782. Milwaukee is the main cultural and economic center of the Milwaukee–Racine–Waukesha Metropolitan Area with a population of 1,964,744

The first Europeans to pass through the area were French missionaries and fur traders. In 1818, the French-Canadian explorer Solomon Juneau settled in the area, and in 1846 Juneau's town combined with two neighboring towns to incorporate as the City of Milwaukee. Large numbers of German and other immigrants helped increase the city's population during the 1840s and the following decades.

Once known almost exclusively as a brewing and manufacturing powerhouse, Milwaukee has taken steps in recent years to reshape its image. In the past decade, major new additions to the city have included the Milwaukee Riverwalk, the Midwest Airlines Center, Miller Park, an internationally renowned addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, and Pier Wisconsin, as well as major renovations to the Milwaukee Auditorium. In addition, many new skyscrapers, condos, lofts, and apartments have been constructed in neighborhoods on and near the lakefront and riverbanks.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Indian Districts of India

India is one of the oldest civilizations with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich heritage. There are 604 Districts in India administered by their respective State/UT Government. Districts of India is an endeavour of NIC to provide a one-stop source for all the information about Districts of India at one place on the web. Visit the portal, which provides all the information regarding the area, population and headquarters about any district.

Here we are providing link to Village level mapping of demography and amenities maps on the GIS based website. This enables dynamic generation of choropleth maps for rural India for more than 160 parameters of Primary Census Abstract 2001 and Amenities Data, provided by Registrar General of India. Moreover, we are linking to the website of Survey of India, which acts as adviser to the Government of India on all survey matters, viz Geodesy, Photogrammetry, Mapping and Map Reproduction. With the help of this link one can access the map of any state and districts of the country.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Crumbling Glacier Quakes As It Breaks

On the west coast of Greenland, a glacier's crumbling edge is producing seismic groans.As the Arctic warms, scientists are keeping a close eye the Jakobshavn glacier. Already one of the world's fastest moving ice streams, over the last decade scientists watched alarmed as it sped up further, sometimes sliding dozens of feet per day toward the Ilulissat Fjord.

The heightened activity is having strange side effects. In 2003, scientists first noticed the glacier producing earthquakes between magnitude 4.6 and 5.1 in strength. The quakes happened slowly, over a period of 30 minutes to several hours, and were undetectable by people even though they registered on seismometers around the globe.Now a new study suggests the huge icebergs breaking off the edge of Jakobshavn are to blame.

Despite recent thinning, the glacier edge is still half a mile thick, and stretches along more than two miles of coastline. When icebergs break off, or calve, they splash into the fjord and grind against its bottom in a small cataclysm; the biggest chunks can stretch along the entire length of the glacier and be 1,500 feet deep.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bermuda Triangle: Behind The Intrigue

The Bermuda Triangle is an area roughly bounded by Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. No one keeps statistics, but in the last century, numerous ships and planes have simply vanished without a trace within the imaginary triangle.Unusual features of the area had been noted in the past. Christopher Columbus wrote in his log about bizarre compass bearings in the area. But the region didn't get its name until August 1964, when Vincent Gaddis coined the term Bermuda Triangle in a cover story for Argosy magazine about the disappearance of Flight 19. The article stimulated a virtual cottage industry in myth-making.

Many exotic theories have been propounded to explain what happened to the missing travelers.

The disappearances have been attributed to the machinations of enormous sea monsters, giant squid, or extra-terrestrials. Alien abductions, the existence of a mysterious third dimension created by unknown beings, and ocean flatulence—the ocean suddenly spewing great quantities of trapped methane—have all been suggested as culprits.The reality, say many, is far more prosaic. They argue that a sometimes treacherous Mother Nature, human error, shoddy craftsmanship or design, and just plain bad luck can explain the many disappearances.

"The region is highly traveled and has been a busy crossroads since the early days of European exploration," said John Reilly, a historian with the U.S. Naval Historical Foundation. "To say quite a few ships and airplanes have gone down there is like saying there are an awful lot of car accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike—surprise, surprise."Lieutenant A. L. Russell, in the U.S. Coast Guard's official response to Bermuda Triangle inquiries, writes: "It has been our experience that the combined forces of nature and the unpredictability of mankind outdo science-fiction stories many times each year."

Disappearance of Flight 19

The legend of the Bermuda Triangle will be forever tied to the fateful flight that took place on December 5, 1945.Flight 19 originated at the U. S. Naval Air Station in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Five TBM Avenger Torpedo Bombers carrying 14 men took off at roughly 2:10 in the afternoon that day on a routine navigational training mission.

Led by instructor Lieutenant Charles Taylor, the assignment was to fly a three-legged triangular route with a few bombing practice runs over Hen and Chickens Shoals.

Friday, October 03, 2008

War Of Factions

In S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, the player assumes the role of Scar, a mercenary s.t.a.l.k.e.r. In a unique mixture of first-person shooter and complex role- playing game, Scar fights for survival within the Zone and its hostile sectors. The new Zone territories are explored by s.t.a.l.k.e.r.s scattered in groups—and these individual factions soon engage in relentless battle. As a mercenary, Scar quickly finds himself in the middle of a war of factions over territory, artifacts, and power. It is up to the player to find out on whose side Scar has the greatest chance of prevailing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

EAC Issues Voter’s Guide to Federal Elections

WASHINGTON- The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has issued a guide for citizens about voter registration and voting in the November presidential election. In addition to the basics of ballot-casting, the guide explains special voting procedures, such as early, absentee, and military and overseas voting.

“This guide is a one-stop resource for all types of voters, from first-time voters to frequent voters. It also includes step-by-step instructions for distinct categories of voters, such as military and overseas voters, who must follow special procedures,” said EAC Chair Rosemary Rodriguez.

“Citizens will also learn of new voting options that more states are offering, such as early voting and absentee voting. Voters need to know about all voting options, and this guide shows them how to take advantage of them.”

Since many voting procedures vary from state-to-state, it’s important that citizens always review their state’s materials. Links to all state voter information Web sites are available at, along with any voter guides issued by individual states.

Copies of the EAC’s A Voter’s Guide to Federal Elections have been mailed to every jurisdiction in the country. Election officials may request additional copies at no charge by calling Edgardo Cortés or Juliana Milhofer at (202) 566-3100. An electronic version of the guide is also available online at The EAC Web site also features a variety of information for voters, including registration deadlines for each state, how to register using the National Mail Voter Registration Form, and how to become a poll worker.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Aerobic biodegradation of pollutants

The burgeoning amount of bacterial genomic data provides unparalleled opportunities for understanding the genetic and molecular bases of the degradation of organic pollutants. Aromatic compounds are among the most recalcitrant of these pollutants and lessons can be learned from the recent genomic studies of Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 and Rhodococcus sp. strain RHA1, two of the largest bacterial genomes completely sequenced to date. These studies have helped expand our understanding of bacterial catabolism, non-catabolic physiological adaptation to organic compounds, and the evolution of large bacterial genomes. First, the metabolic pathways from phylogenetically diverse isolates are very similar with respect to overall organization. Thus, as originally noted in pseudomonads, a large number of "peripheral aromatic" pathways funnel a range of natural and xenobiotic compounds into a restricted number of "central aromatic" pathways. Nevertheless, these pathways are genetically organized in genus-specific fashions, as exemplified by the b-ketoadipate and Paa pathways. Comparative genomic studies further reveal that some pathways are more widespread than initially thought. Thus, the Box and Paa pathways illustrate the prevalence of non-oxygenolytic ring-cleavage strategies in aerobic aromatic degradation processes.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ping–pong mechanisms

As shown on the right, enzymes with a ping-pong mechanism can exist in two states, E and a chemically modified form of the enzyme E*; this modified enzyme is known as an intermediate. In such mechanisms, substrate A binds, changes the enzyme to E* by, for example, transferring a chemical group to the active site, and is then released. Only after the first substrate is released can substrate B bind and react with the modified enzyme, regenerating the unmodified E form. When a set of v by [S] curves (fixed A, varying B) from an enzyme with a ping–pong mechanism are plotted in a Lineweaver–Burk plot, a set of parallel lines will be produced.

Enzymes with ping–pong mechanisms include some oxidoreductases such as thioredoxin peroxidase, transferases such as acylneuraminate cytydilyltransferase and serine proteases such as trypsin and chymotrypsin. Serine proteases are a very common and diverse family of enzymes, including digestive enzymes (trypsin, chymotrypsin, and elastase), several enzymes of the blood clotting cascade and many others. In these serine proteases, the E* intermediate is an acyl-enzyme species formed by the attack of an active site serine residue on a peptide bond in a protein substrate. A short animation showing the mechanism of chymotrypsin is linked here.[δ]

Monday, August 25, 2008


Piracetam (brand name: Nootropil, Qropi, Myocalm, Dinagen) is a nootropic. It is a dietary supplement which is claimed to enhance cognition and memory, slow down brain aging, increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, aid stroke recovery, and improve Alzheimer's, Down syndrome, dementia, and dyslexia, among others. Piracetam's chemical name is 2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide; it shares the same 2-oxo-pyrrolidone base structure with 2-oxo-pyrrolidine carboxylic acid (pyroglutamate). Piracetam is a cyclic derivative of GABA. It is one of the racetams. Piracetam is prescribed by doctors for some conditions, mainly myoclonus,1 but is used off-label for a much wider range of applications. However, some treat it as a food supplement rather than a drug.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Inertial navigation systems in detail

INSs have angular and linear accelerometers (for changes in position); some include a gyroscopic element (for maintaining an absolute angular reference).

Angular accelerometers measure how the vehicle is rotating in space. Generally, there's at least one sensor for each of the three axes: pitch (nose up and down), yaw (nose left and right) and roll (clockwise or counter-clockwise from the cockpit).

Linear accelerometers measure how the vehicle is moving in space. Since it can move in three axes (up & down, left & right, forward & back), there is a linear accelerometer for each axis.

A computer continually calculates the vehicle's current position. First, for each of the six degrees of freedom (x,y,z and θ x, θ y and θ z), it integrates the sensed amount of acceleration over time to figure the current velocity. Then it integrates the velocity to figure the current position.

Inertial guidance is difficult without computers. The desire to use inertial guidance in the Minuteman missile and Project Apollo drove early attempts to miniaturize computers.

Inertial guidance systems are now usually combined with satellite navigation systems through a digital filtering system. The inertial system provides short term data, while the satellite system corrects accumulated errors of the inertial system.

An inertial guidance system that will operate near the surface of the earth must incorporate Schuler tuning so that its platform will continue pointing towards the center of the earth as a vehicle moves from place to place.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Planet (software)

In computing, Planet is a feed aggregator application designed to collect posts from the weblogs of members of an Internet community and display them on a single page. Planet runs on a web server. It creates pages with entries from the original feeds in chronological order, most recent entries first.

Planet is written in Python and maintained by Jeff Waugh and Scott James Remnant. Released under the Python License, Planet is free software.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Google Earth

Google Earth is a virtual globe program that was originally called Earth Viewer, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a company acquired by Google in 2004. It maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe. It is available under three different licenses: Google Earth, a free version with limited functionality; Google Earth Plus ($20 per year), which includes additional features; and Google Earth Pro ($400 per year), which is intended for commercial use.

The product, renamed Google Earth in 2006, is currently available for use on personal computers running Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, or Vista, Mac OS X 10.3.9 and above, Linux (released on June 12, 2006), and FreeBSD. Google Earth is also available as a browser plugin (released on June 02, 2008) for Firefox, IE6, or IE7. In addition to releasing an updated Keyhole based client, Google also added the imagery from the Earth database to their web based mapping software. The release of Google Earth in mid 2006 to the public caused a more than tenfold increase in media coverage on virtual globes between 2006 and 2007, driving public interest in geospatial technologies and applications.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Geography Markup Language

The Geography Markup Language (GML) is the XML grammar defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) to express geographical features. GML serves as a modeling language for geographic systems as well as an open interchange format for geographic transactions on the Internet. Note that the concept of feature in GML is a very general one and includes not only conventional "vector" or discrete objects, but also coverages (see also GMLJP2) and sensor data. The ability to integrate all forms of geographic information is key to the utility of GML.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Navigational database

Navigational databases are characterized by the fact that objects in the database are found primarily by following references from other objects. Traditionally navigational interfaces are procedural, though one could characterize some modern systems like XPath as being simultaneously navigational and declarative.

Navigational access is traditionally associated with the network model and hierarchical model of database interfaces and have evolved into Set-oriented systems . Navigational techniques use "pointers" and "paths" to navigate among data records (also known as "nodes"). This is in contrast to the relational model (implemented in relational databases), which strives to use "declarative" or logic programming techniques in which you ask the system for what you want instead of how to navigate to it.

For example, to give directions to a house, the navigational approach would resemble something like, "Get on highway 25 for 8 miles, turn onto Horse Road, left at the red barn, then stop at the 3rd house down the road".

Monday, July 14, 2008

Database transaction

A database transaction is a unit of work performed against a database management system or similar system that is treated in a coherent and reliable way independent of other transactions. A database transaction, by definition, must be atomic, consistent, isolated and durable. These properties of database transactions are often referred to by the acronym ACID.

Transactions provide an "all-or-nothing" proposition stating that work units performed in a database must be completed in their entirety or take no effect whatever. Further, transactions must be isolated from other transactions, results must conform to existing constraints in the database and transactions that complete successfully must be committed to durable storage.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Data extraction

Data extraction is the act or process of retrieving (binary) data out of (usually unstructured or badly structured) data sources for further data processing or data storage (data migration). The import into the intermediate extracting system is thus usually followed by data transformation and possibly the addition of metadata prior to export to another stage in the data workflow.

Usually, the term data extraction is applied when (experimental) data is first imported into a computer from primary sources, like measuring or recording devices. Today's electronic devices will usually present a electrical connector (e.g. USB) through which 'raw data' can be streamed into a personal computer.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Electronic signature

The term electronic signature has several meanings. In recent US law, influenced by ABA committee white papers and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), electronic signature means "an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record." This definition comes from the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act or "UETA" released by NCCUSL in 1999. The U.S. ESign Act of 2000 enacted on a federal level many of the core concepts of UETA. 46 US states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands have enacted UETA.

The concept itself is not new. US and other common law contains references to telegraph signatures and faxed signatures, some as far back as the mid-19th century. For that matter, the text of, and comments to, US Federal Rules of Evidence 1001, 1002, and 1003, among others, give good support for the proposition that electronic records and signatures would be admissible in court.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Types of Trojan horse payloads

Trojan horse payloads are almost always designed to do various harmful things, but can also be harmless. They are broken down in classification based on how they breach and damage systems. The six main types of Trojan horse payloads are:

* Remote Access
* Data Destruction
* Downloader
* Server Trojan(Proxy, FTP , IRC, Email, HTTP/HTTPS, etc.)
* Security software disabler
* Denial-of-service attack (DoS)

Some examples of damage are:

* Erasing or overwriting data on a computer
* Encrypting files in a cryptoviral extortion attack
* Corrupting files in a subtle way
* Upload and download files
* Copying fake links, which lead to false websites, chats, or other account based websites, showing any local account name on the computer falsely engaging in untrue context
* Showing fake downloads of software movies, games, porn videos and porn websites, that you did not download nor go on.
* Allowing remote access to the victim's computer. This is called a RAT (remote access trojan)
* Spreading other malware, such as viruses: this type of Trojan horse is called a 'dropper' or 'vector'
* Setting up networks of zombie computers in order to launch DDoS attacks or send spam.
* Spying on the user of a computer and covertly reporting data like browsing habits to other people (see the article on spyware)
* Making screenshots
* Logging keystrokes to steal information such as passwords and credit card numbers
* Phishing for bank or other account details, which can be used for criminal activities
* Installing a backdoor on a computer system
* Opening and closing CD-ROM tray
* Playing sounds, videos or displaying images.
* Calling using the modem to expensive numbers, thus causing massive phone bills.
* Harvesting e-mail addresses and using them for spam
* Restarting the computer whenever the infected program is started
* Deactivating or interfering with anti-virus and firewall programs
* Deactivating or interfering with other competing forms of malware
* Randomly shutting off the computer
* A virus

Monday, June 16, 2008

E-mail spam

E-mail spam, also known as "bulk e-mail" or "junk e-mail," is a subset of spam that involves nearly identical messages sent to numerous recipients by e-mail. A common synonym for spam is unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE). Definitions of spam usually include the aspects that email is unsolicited and sent in bulk. "UCE" refers specifically to "unsolicited commercial e-mail."

E-mail spam slowly but exponentially grew for several decades to several billion messages a day. Spam has frustrated, confused, and annoyed e-mail users. Laws against spam have been sporadically implemented, with some being opt-out and others requiring opt in e-mail. The total volume of spam (over 100 billion emails per day as of April 2008) has leveled off slightly in recent years, and is no longer growing exponentially. The amount received by most e-mail users has decreased, mostly because of better filtering. About 80% of all spam is sent by fewer than 200 spammers. Botnets, networks of virus-infected computers, are used to send about 80% of spam. The cost of spam is borne mostly by the recipient, so it is a form of postage due advertising.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


A roboticist designs, builds, programs, and experiments with robots. Since robotics is a highly interdisciplinary field, roboticists often have backgrounds in a number of disciplines including computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer engineering. Roboticists often work for university, industry, and government research labs, but may also work for startup companies and other entrepreneurial firms. Amateur Roboticist is also a growing hobby all over the world.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of complex systems, especially communication processes, control mechanisms and feedback principles. Cybernetics is closely related to control theory and systems theory.

Example of cybernetic thinking. On the one hand a company is approached as a system in an environment. On the other hand cybernetic factory can be modeled as a control system.

Example of cybernetic thinking. On the one hand a company is approached as a system in an environment. On the other hand cybernetic factory can be modeled as a control system.

Contemporary cybernetics began as an interdisciplinary study connecting the fields of control systems, electrical network theory, mechanical engineering, logic modeling, evolutionary biology and neuroscience in the 1940s.

Other fields of study which have influenced or been influenced by cybernetics include game theory, system theory (a mathematical counterpart to cybernetics), psychology (especially neuropsychology, behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology), philosophy, and architecture.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


"HOMEODYNAMICS - One of the dominating motifs in biological thinking was provided by the physiologist Claude Bernard in Paris in the 1850s. Bernard, who among many other discoveries carried out some of the earliest systematic studies on what were later to become known as enzymes and hormones, saw living systems as explicable neither by vitalism (the belief that there existed some special 'life forces' beyond the reach of chemistry or physics) nor by mechanism. "He regarded stability as a major organising physiological principle, and emphasised the constancy of what he described as the milieu interieur - the 'internal environment' - of multicellular organisms, their tendency to work to regulate this environment in terms of temperature, acidity, ionic composition and so forth.

This capacity he saw as providing a stable context in which the individual cells of the body can function with a minimum of disruptive turmoil. "Seventy years later the American physiologist Walter Cannon generalzed Bernard's concept by introducing the term homeostasis - the tendency of a regulated system to maintain itself close to some fixed point, like the temperature of a room controlled by a central heating system and a thermostat. No modern textbook account of physiological or psychological mechanisms fails to locate itself within this homeostatic metaphor. But the metaphor of homeostasis contrains our view of living systems. "Lifelines are not purely homeostatic: they have a beginning at conception, and an end at death. Organisms, and indeed ecosystems, develop, mature and age.

The set oints of homeostatic theory are not themselves constant during this trajectory but change over time. The organism switches its own thermostat. Organisms are active players in their own fate, not simply the playthings of the gods, nature or the inevitable workings-out of replicator-driven natural selection. To understand lifelines, therefore, we need to replace homeostasis with a richer concept, that of homeodynamics."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Adaptive system

An adaptive system is a system that is able to adapt its behavior according to changes in its environment or in parts of the system itself. A human being, for instance, is certainly an adaptive system; so are organizations and families. Some man-made systems can be made adaptive as well; for instance, control systems utilize feedback loops in order to sense conditions in their environment and adapt accordingly. Robots incorporate many of these control systems. Neural Networks are a common type of algorithmic implementation of adaptive systems.

Diffusion of innovations theory can help to explain the uptake of new ideas, practices and products by individuals and social groups -- human adaptive systems.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL)

This Microsoft license allows for distribution of derived code so long as the modified source files are included and retain the Ms-RL. The Ms-RL allows those files in the distribution that do not contain code originally licensed under Ms-RL to be licensed according to the copyright holder's choosing. This is equivalent to the CDDL or LGPL (GPL with a typical "linking exception"). Initially known as the Microsoft Community License, it was renamed during the OSI approval process.

On December 9, 2005, the Ms-RL license was submitted to the Open Source Initiative for approval by John Cowan. OSI then contacted Microsoft and asked if they wanted OSI to proceed. Microsoft replied that they did not wish to be reactive and that they needed time to review such a decision.

At the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in July 2007, Bill Hilf, director of Microsoft's work with open source projects, announced that Microsoft had formally submitted Ms-PL and Ms-RL to OSI for approval. It was approved on October 12, 2007 along with the Ms-PL. According to the Free Software Foundation, it is a free software license. However, unlike the Microsoft Public License, it is not compatible with the GNU GPL.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Norse colonization of the Americas

Norse sailors, often referred to as Vikings, explored and settled areas of the North Atlantic, including the northeast fringes of North America, beginning in the 10th century. While this settlement process did not have the lasting effects that later settlements and conquests would have, it can be seen as a prelude to wide-scale European settlement in the Americas.

The Viking activities are often erroneously described as the Viking colonization of North America, but there are few findings to support the idea that the Vikings colonized North America, except for Greenland which they occupied for almost 500 years . Outside Greenland, though, the Viking settlements only grew to a small size and never fully developed into permanent colonies, partly because of hostile relations with Native Americans, whom the Norse referred to as Skrælings. In turn, the Viking exploited the natural resources such as furs and lumber. Lumber, in particular, was in short supply in Norse Greenland, due to deforestation.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New Mobility Agenda

The New Mobility Agenda is an international institution which while virtual and an open collaborative was originally set up by an international working group meeting at the Abbey de Royaumont near Paris with the support of the OECD in Paris in 1974 to challenge old ideas and practices in the field of urban transport through a long term collaborative program of information exchange, education and peer support. The Agenda today draws together the experience, expertise and support of more than four thousand individuals and groups world wide in an open collaborative peer network. One of the original proponents of this approach, Professor Mikoto Usui then director of the OECD Development Centre, referred to it in the founding meeting at the “Abbé de Royaumont as an “invisible college”. Drawing together the experience and expertise of more than four thousand individuals and groups world wide, who are networked via a combination of websites, discussion groups and fora, and collaborative projects, the Agenda takes an approach to transportation planning, policy and practice that has gained considerable force over the last two decades -- provides a leading-edge alternative to earlier (20th century) methods of looking at and providing mobility for people and goods in cities. The Agenda has received prestigious awards for its contributions, including the Stockholm Environment Challenge Prize (2000) and the World Technology Environment Award (2002).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Population history of American indigenous peoples

Millions of indigenous people lived in the Americas when the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus began a historical period of large-scale European contact with the Americas. European contact with what they called the "New World" led to the European colonization of the Americas, with millions of emigrants (willing and unwilling) from the "Old World" eventually resettling in the Americas. While the population of Old World peoples in the Americas steadily grew in the centuries after Columbus, the population of the American indigenous peoples plummeted. The extent and causes of this population decline have long been the subject of controversy and debate. The 500th anniversary in 1992 of Columbus's famous voyage drew renewed attention to claims that indigenous peoples of the Americas had been the victims of ethnocides (the destruction of a culture).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Integrated development environment

In computing, an integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of a source code editor, a compiler and/or interpreter, build automation tools, and (usually) a debugger. Sometimes a version control system and various tools are integrated to simplify the construction of a GUI. Many modern IDEs also have a class browser, an object inspector, and a class hierarchy diagram, for use with object oriented software development.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Snapshot isolation

In databases, snapshot isolation is a guarantee that all reads made in a transaction will see a consistent snapshot of the database, and the transaction itself will successfully commit only if no updates it has made conflict with any concurrent updates made since that snapshot.

Snapshot isolation (SI) has been adopted by several major database management systems, such as SQL Anywhere, InterBase, Firebird, Oracle, PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server. The main reason for its adoption is that it allows better performance than serializability, yet still avoids the kind of concurrency anomalies that cannot easily be worked around. SI has also been used to critique the ANSI SQL-92 standard's definition of isolation levels, as it exhibits none of the "anomalies" that the SQL standard prohibited, yet is not serializable (the anomaly-free isolation level defined by ANSI).

Friday, April 04, 2008

4th Dimension (Software)

4th Dimension (or 4D, or Silver Surfer, as it was known during early development) is a relational database management system and IDE developed by Laurent Ribardière in 1984. In 1993, 4D Server, the client/server version of 4th Dimension was introduced and since 1995, 4D has supported both the Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems.

The 4D product line has since expanded to an SQL front-end, integrated compiler and several productivity plug-ins and interfaces. Some of the more useful plug-ins include 4D Write (a word processor), 4D Draw (to draw shapes), 4D View (somewhat like a spreadsheet, but with extra functionality) and 4D Internet Commands (which let you add all sorts of Internet related functionality to a database). There are also over 100 third-party plugins, free and commercial.

Monday, March 24, 2008


FTP/SSL is a name used to encompass a number of ways in which FTP software can perform secure file transfers. Each way involves the use of a SSL/TLS layer below the standard FTP protocol to encrypt the control and/or data channels. It should not be confused with either SSH file transfer protocol (SFTP), or FTP over SSH (no acronym).

The most common uses of FTP and SSL are:

* AUTH TLS, Explicit FTPS or FTPES, named for the command issued to indicate that TLS security should be used. This is the preferred method according to RFC 4217. The client connects to the server port 21 and starts an unencrypted FTP session as normal, but requests that TLS security be used and performs the appropriate handshake before sending any sensitive data.

* AUTH as defined in RFC 2228.

* Implicit FTPS is an older, but still widely implemented style in which the client connects to a different port (usually 990), and an SSL handshake is performed before any FTP commands are sent.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spiral model

The spiral model is a software development process combining elements of both design and prototyping-in-stages, in an effort to combine advantages of top-down and bottom-up concepts. Also known as the spiral lifecycle model, it is a systems development method (SDM) used in information technology (IT). This model of development combines the features of the prototyping model and the waterfall model. The spiral model is intended for large, expensive and complicated projects.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

NEC Display Solutions

NEC Display Solutions is a manufacturer of computer monitors and large-screen public-information displays, and has sold and marketed products under the NEC brand globally for more than twenty years. The company sells display products to the consumer, business, professional (e.g. financial, graphic design, CAD/CAM), digital signage and medical markets. The company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based NEC Corporation on March 31, 2005. Prior to that date, the company was known as NEC/Mitsubishi, a 50/50 joint venture between NEC Corporation and Mitsubishi Electric that began in 2000, and sold display products under both the NEC and Mitsubishi brands. The company, which is no longer affiliated with Mitsubishi, currently sells and markets products under the NEC brand only.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Molecular mechanics

In many cases, large molecular systems can be modeled successfully while avoiding quantum mechanical calculations entirely. Molecular mechanics simulations, for example, use a single classical expression for the energy of a compound, for instance the harmonic oscillator. All constants appearing in the equations must be obtained beforehand from experimental data or ab initio calculations.

The database of compounds used for parameterization, i.e., the resulting set of parameters and functions is called the force field, is crucial to the success of molecular mechanics calculations. A force field parameterized against a specific class of molecules, for instance proteins, would be expected to only have any relevance when describing other molecules of the same class.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Jupiter (pronounced /'d?u?p?t?/) is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the solar system. It is two and a half times as enormous as all of the other planets in our solar system combined. Jupiter, next to Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, is classified as a gas giant. Together, these four planets are sometimes referred to as the Jovian planets; somewhere Jovian is the adjectival form of Jupiter.

The planet was known by astronomers of ancient times and was connected with the mythology and religious beliefs of many cultures. The Romans named the planet subsequent to the Roman god Jupiter. When view from Earth, Jupiter can arrive at an apparent magnitude of -2.8, creation it the third brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The strawberry (Fragaria) (plural strawberries) is a type of plants in the family Rosaceae and the fruit of these plants. There are more than 20 named types and a lot of hybrids and cultivars. The most frequent strawberries grown commercially are cultivars of the Garden strawberry. Strawberries have a taste that varies by cultivar, and range from quite sweet to slightly tartlet.

Monday, February 11, 2008

History museums

History museums cover the information of history and its meaning to the present and future. Some cover particular aspects of history or a particular locality; others are more general. Such museums contain a broad range of objects, including documents, artifact of all kinds, art, and archaeological substance. Antiquities museums think in more archaeological findings.
A common type of history museum is a major house. A historic house may be a building of special architectural interest, the birthplace or home of a famous person, or a house with an attractive history. Historic sites can also become museums, mostly those that mark public crimes, such as Tuol Sleng or Robben Island.

Another category of history museum is a living museum; a living museum is where people reorganize a time period to the fullest extent, including buildings, clothes and language. It is alike to historical rebuilding.

Monday, February 04, 2008


The climate is commonly measured to be the weather averaged over a long period of time, naturally 30 years. Somewhat more precisely, the concept of "climate" also includes the statistics of the weather - such as the degree of day-to-day or year-to-year difference expected. IPCC is called as Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the "average weather", or more meticulously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time range from months to thousands or millions of years. The traditional period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These quantities are the majority often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a numerical description, of the climate system.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Dye-transfer process

The dye transfer progression is a continuous-tone color photographic printing process, popularized by the Eastman Kodak Company in the 1940s. It is sometimes referred to by such general names as wash-off relief printing and dye imbibition’s transfer printing. The process involves making three matrices for each color, which absorb dye in quantity to the density of the relief. A color print is shaped, by transferring the dyed film matrices in physical contact onto a mordant dye receiver paper. Eastman Kodak Company congested making materials for this process in the mid 1990s. The dyes used in the process are very spectrally pure compare to normal coupler induced photographic dyes, with the immunity of the Kodak cyan. Also the dyes have exceptional light and dark fastness. The dye transfer process possesses the major color gamut and tonal scale than any other process, including inkjet. Another important characteristic of dye move is it allows the practitioner the highest degree of photographic control compare to any other photochemical color print process.

Monday, January 21, 2008


In finance, a debenture is a long-term debt instrument used by governments and large companies to get funds. It is similar to a bond apart from the securitization conditions are different. A debenture is frequently unsecured in the sense that there are no liens or pledges on specific assets. It is however, secured by all property not otherwise pledged. In the case of insolvency debenture holders are considered general creditors.
The advantage of debentures to the issuer is they leave specific assets imaginative, and thereby leave them open for subsequent financing. Debentures are generally freely transferable by the debenture holder.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cricket ball

Cricket balls are made from a core of cork, which is coated with tightly wound string, and covered by a leather case with a slightly raised sewn seam. The covering is constructed of four piece of leather shaped similar to the peel of a quartered orange, but one hemisphere is rotated by 90 degrees with respect to the other. The "equator" of the ball is stitch with string to form the seam, with a total of six rows of stitches. The remaining two join connecting with the leather pieces are left unstitched.For men's cricket, the ball must weigh between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces (155.9 and 163.0 g) and determine between 8 13/16 and 9 in (224 and 229 mm) in circumference. Balls used in women's and youth matches are a little smaller.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Cast iron

Cast iron usually refers to grey cast iron, but can mean any of a group of iron-based alloys containing more than 2% carbon. It is made by remelting pig iron, often along with substantial quantities of scrap iron and scrap steel, and taking various steps to remove undesirable contaminants such as phosphorus and sulfur. Carbon and silicon content are reduced to the desired levels, which may be anywhere from 2% to 3.5% for carbon and 1% to 3% for silicon depending on the application. Other elements are then added to the melt before the final form is produced by casting.Iron is most commonly melted in a small blast furnace known as a cupola. After melting is complete, the molten iron is removed or ladled from the forehearth of the blast furnace. This process is thought to have been devised by the late 18th century ironmaster John Wilkinson, whose innovative ideas revolutionized the field of metallurgy. Previously, iron was melted in an air furnace, which is a type of reverberatory furnace.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Biological synthesis

Natural polymers and biopolymers formed in living cells may be synthesized by enzyme-mediated processes, such as the arrangement of DNA catalyzed by DNA polymerase. The synthesis of proteins involves multiple enzyme-mediated processes to transcribe genetic information from the DNA and subsequently translate that information to synthesize the particular protein. The protein may be personalized further following translation in order to provide appropriate structure and function.