Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/fs/package.module.fs.php on line 258

Warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 31 in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/router/package.module.router.php on line 465

Warning: preg_match(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 30 in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/router/package.module.router.php on line 465
Science & Technology Archives - Page 4 of 12 - varnamvarnam | Page 4
Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /nfs/c03/h02/mnt/56080/domains/varnam.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/themes/canvas/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160
Archive | Science & Technology RSS feed for this section

Switching to Open ID

From now, to comment on varnam you will need an Open ID (thanks Saravanan). Here is a screencast which explains what it is and the benefits of having one.

Comments { 2 }

Coming to car near you

Imagine you are driving peacefully on your Ford on Highway 101. There is the mandatory accident at Marsh Road exit and someone driving a Chevy Tahoe at 55 miles/hr on the left lane blocking your view of not just the road ahead, but also of the sun. Then there is that someone driving a 1900 Toyota Corolla thinking it is a Ferrari weaving across lanes, you know, the usual stuff. Your car halts abruptly, brings a window on the display and informs you that it has downloaded the latest updates and the machine needs a reboot to proceed. Of course, this is an exaggeration, but some version of this is soon possible as Ford is planning to install an in-vehicle operating system developed by Microsoft in Focus and Five Hundred sedans.

The Dearborn, Mich., auto maker will unveil next month a hands-free Bluetooth wireless system and in-vehicle operating system developed by Microsoft that will eventually be an option for its entire Ford brand lineup, according to people familiar with the matter. The new system, to be dubbed Sync, will allow for hands-free cellphone communication and other wireless information transfers inside the car, including the ability to receive email and download music, these people said.

Sync is based on Microsoft’s automotive operating system that has been under development in recent years by the company’s Windows Automotive division, which in 2004 struck a broad development deal with Fiat related to in-car computing. A person close to Microsoft said the company has turned in a spotty performance when it comes to Bluetooth technologies and that the Ford deal could help spur Microsoft’s efforts. [Ford Aims to Jazz Up Its Fleet With Microsoft Pact (subscription reqd.)]

Thankfully this will not affect Indians in the United States as we drive only Hondas and Toyotas.

Comments { 0 }

Time to ship a 100 pack DVD-R from Amazon

Apparently someone from Amazon is hand crafting each of those 100 DVD-R’s in my order.

Comments { 2 }

Garages of Bay Area

Google purchased the two-car garage of the Menlo Park home in which they opened their first offices.

The two-car garage and a few rooms served as the company’s headquarters for five months after the founders took leave of their graduate studies at Stanford University to focus on their search engine, now the most popular in the world.

Google bought the 1,900-square-foot home in September from Susan Wojcicki, a Google vice president, who had leased the garage to Brin and Page in 1998 for $1,700 per month to help pay her mortgage. The sales price wasn’t disclosed, but similar home

Google’s founders worked in the garage shoehorned between computers and boxes piled head high. In a list of corporate milestones, Google mentions its home in Menlo Park with its characteristic humor, saying “the office offered several big advantages, including a washer and dryer and a hot tub.”[Google buys garage, search engine’s home]

In the 70s, when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started a company, their first offices were in the Jobs family garage. His father moved out his car restoration equipment and the garage served as Apple’s first manufacturing base. In 1938, Dave Packard and his wife Lucile move into the first floor flat of a house in Palo Alto. Bill Hewlett, his friend rented a shed behind the house and began work in the garage with a working capital of $538. Their association resulted in Hewlett-Packard.

Even after living in the midst of all these famous garages, I made the mistake of keeping the computer in the office room. Tomorrow, first thing, I am moving it to the garage, so that when varnam.org becomes a multi-billion dollar business, I can also claim that it all started in a garage.

Technorati tags: , ,
Comments { 1 }

Converting waste to fuel

There are many advantages of not having to depend on oil for fuel needs. For a nation like India, energy independence will remove the need to bow before the middle-east dictators  and remove this competition with China to grab all oil wells in the world. With this freedom, United States could ignore the lunatic statements from Hugo Chavez and we all could live to see the day when Saudi Arabia’s major business is exporting camels. The problem though is in finding a cost effective alternative.

The market for alternative energies is huge and Venture Capitalists in the Bay Area like Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures have invested in biofuels companies like Altra and Cilion. With companies like VeraSun and Aventine going IPO, ethanol is getting focus as that major alternative. Using E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) could also revive the slumping American car industry and give a boost to farmers.  Going by market trends, Ethanol seems to be the silver bullet as even Wal-Mart is planning to pump ethanol based fuel in gas stations around the country.

But corn based ethanol is not without problems. Ethanol is expensive to make. The fuel efficiency for E85 based vehicles are less compared to the ones running on gas. Besides this ethanol has to be carried in trucks or trains (as there are no pipelines) which requires more fuel to be spent. 

In Back To The Future II  or III, Dr. Emmet Brown comes back from the future , flying in his time machine and is seen scavenging the garbage carts for fuel. He find some soda cans and other pieces of garbage and stuffs it into the fuel tank. This future is near and soon we will all be doing the same , if we are going to use cellulosic ethanol as fuel.

In corn based ethanol, the corn is ground and mixed with water. The enzymes convert the starch to sugar and sugar eating micro-organisms  excrete ethanol, which is distilled and used. With cellulosic ethanol, we don’t have to depend entirely on corn. Farm waste like corn kennel, wheat and barley straw, leaves and stalks of plants can also be used as the source of ethanol.

Finally the cost of cellulosic ethanol is expected to be $1.35/gallon compared to $3.20/gallon right now for regular gasoline. This should be a big boost to consumers who can then buy Ford Explorers and H3s without guilt. Since cellulosic ethanol depends on farm waste, these giant SUV owners can claim that they are clearing waste instead of creating it. In Kerala where we stay, throwing garbage over the wall to the road is considered  good civic sense. If it turns out that this garbage can be used as fuel, then my neighborhood will be the cleanest place in India.

Comments { 4 }