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India To Launch Mars Orbiter "Mangalyaan" Tuesday

ap7 Re:From the hocus-pocus dept. (109 comments)

It is tradition. Like NASA's 'lucky peanuts'. Infact, NASA has sent some over to ISRO for passing around during the launch.

about 10 months ago

How To Communicate Faster-Than-Light

ap7 Re:April fools again? (265 comments)

It looks like we already have FTL communications, much faster in fact. Anything sent on 4/1 in the US arrives in Europe on 2/4!

about a year and a half ago

Indian Supreme Court Denies Novartis Cancer Drug Patent

ap7 Re:Good news - now Novartis will make generics :-) (288 comments)

A legal framework is needed to separate R&D in pharma from manufacturing and marketing. The R&D companies license the drug to whoever applies. Competition will keep the marketing and production company costs down to an optimal level thus saving money. Pharma marketing has massive budgets. I know of doctors travelling abroad every 15-20 days for lavish Pharma sponsored 'conferences' in exotic locations. Many malpractices exist in the whole Pharma marketing ecosystem that put the IT industry to shame in their sheer scale and audacity. Curbing them will definitely cut costs.

On the other hand, pharma R&D will make its money solely from creating new drugs and licensing fees. Their primary incentive will be to keep revenues flowing from licensing, therefore creating new drugs rapidly. The only issue to be resolved is the licensing fee R&D can charge for each new drug. I am sure a proper regulatory framework can come up with something that ensures good incentives for companies doing R&D, keeping net returns well above the pharma industry average to incentivize setting up of a lot of R&D companies. More competing R&D companies will mean more innovation and lower licensing fees too.

Finally, the Time correspondent in Delhi will basically have heard the pro-pharma argument from a PR company and leant towards it. You will be surprised how many journalists can be fed material so easily.

about a year and a half ago

New Camera Sensor Filter Allows Twice As Much Light

ap7 Re:yeay four sensors (170 comments)

There are several colours that do not reproduce well in CMYK. Some expensive, usually large format, printers use additional custom inks to improve the quality of output. But these are not '8 colour' printers as they are claimed to be. They just have 8 inks being applied to the print medium to reproduce the artwork instead of the regular 4.

about a year and a half ago

Scientists Speak Out Against Wasting Helium In Balloons

ap7 Re:How to decide the fate of helium (589 comments)

When I was a kid, we could get plenty of hydrogen filled balloons. We would tie up a few of them together and then suspend a bit of burning plastic bag from the balloons at night and release them. In the darkness of the night, the sight of something burning while rising up in the air looked quite eerie. And when the heat from the burning plastic bag was enough to rupture the balloon, BOOM!

The show was spectacular. But now that I think about it, we were lucky to not have had one of those balloons blow up in our faces.

about 2 years ago

Pollution From Asia Affects US Climate

ap7 Re:I laught at the western countries when I look (209 comments)

Seriously? You didn't see the sun directly in India for five weeks in peak summer? What was the reason? Black smoke clouds all over the country? Which are these fantastic regions you went through? Gee I wonder how the wood we use to cook our food grows at all, considering the sun has not been visible in summer for 5 weeks! Temperatures in some parts of India are currently beyond 47 degrees C. Let me know how that happens without a sun visible.

For your information, much of urban India uses LPG to cook food. It is far more convenient, safe and cheap. Cities like Mumbai and Delhi have piped gas even. Even small towns have LPG. Spends on fuel in India as a proportion of income are far higher. So we tend to be far more frugal with our use of electricity, gas, petrol and all other natural resources.

more than 2 years ago

Pakistan Bans 1600 Words and Phrases For Texting

ap7 Re:Is this technically feasible? (356 comments)

Also, remember that an SMS is not real time communication like a voice call. A small delay, introduced by filtering, in transmission of the SMS to the recipient will probably not be noticed at all. There are other bottlenecks in a cellular network that cause such delays in any case.

more than 2 years ago

Hobby Humanoid Robot KHR3HV Rides Bike At 10k/h

ap7 Re:you steer by leaning, not turning the handlebar (114 comments)

Should one of the reasons not be the curvature of the tire cross section itself? As you lean to a side, the inner side of the tire has a smaller radius than the outer side. This will cause the vehicle to turn, won't it? Think about high speed race tracks and cars turning at high speed or think about trains and how curves are handled by them.

more than 2 years ago

Google+ Registers 25 Million Visitors

ap7 Re:Apps (213 comments)

You can have both accounts open at the same time too. Just open the other email account from the 'Switch Account' dialog box in a new tab or window.

more than 3 years ago

Why Has Blu-ray Failed To Catch Hold?

ap7 Re:Real Reason: sony botched the launch (1162 comments)

You are talking about Betacam, not Betamax. And the format was upgraded to Digi Beta and other formats a long time ago.

more than 3 years ago

Android Passes BlackBerry In US Market Share

ap7 Re:PC world or video game console world? (250 comments)

The HTC Desire Z 'IS' the HTC Vision / T Mobile G2. Perhaps the CM7 ROM will help things. But my Desire Z is doing well with a recently updated 2.2.1 stock ROM.

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks Cash-For-Votes Exposé Rocks Indian Government

ap7 Re:Who watches the Watchman? (225 comments)

If you lived in India, you would know that what WikiLeaks cables say is far closer to the truth than what the government and the people accused of bribery have been saying. Most replies from ministers and officials have been dodgy on the issue. During this very vote, MPs from the opposition had waved bundles of cash in parliament they claimed were offered by ruling part officials to vote for the India US Nuclear Deal.

Millions of dollars float about in the political arena in the country, flowing from one politician to the next in a manner perhaps not even seen in the US. A recent scam involving telecom spectrum was estimated to cost the government 1,700,000 million rupees.

Most politicians are seriously rich. They, with the help of the government that they run, grab millions of dollars worth of prime government land for themselves illegally and for free. The politicians get their money from their own businesses that have managed to snag quick regulatory clearances despite major violations, from government tenders that they actively fix and have their own businesses win at high costs, from government officials (including the police)who send up part of their bribery earnings as tributes in return for political support, from businessmen who want politicians and the government to look away while they are upto naughty things, and so on. Whistleblowers are ruthlessly silenced.

You see how politicians and the government are central to the entire mess. If I was an Indian, I would trust WikiLeaks more than these people anytime.

more than 3 years ago

After MS-Nokia Pact, Many Nokia Workers Walk Out In Protest

ap7 Re:Dual/Triple boot (601 comments)

It will make phones more expensive. Remember, you need bigger ROM, support for two OSes and all the stuff that most people don't want or care about but drives costs up anyway.

Remember, the unsubsidized retail cost of a smartphone in India is the same, if not higher, when compared to the rest of the so-called developed nations. So, a phone that costs 500 Dollars in the US costs something like 25,000 Indian Rupees. And in India, people actually pay for their phones upfront, unlike in the US where people usually pay something like 20% of the cost upfront and the rest over the period of the contract.

And average incomes in India are an more than an order of magnitude lower than in the US. So, costs are important.

more than 3 years ago

Nokia and Microsoft Make Smartphone Alliance

ap7 Re:That new CEO... (479 comments)

My E71 WAS my last. I bought a new Froyo based phone four days before the MicNok announcement.

more than 3 years ago

Secret Plan To Kill Wikileaks With FUD Leaked

ap7 Re:"They" Shot Gandhi? (246 comments)

Could it be that he used the strategy he did, simply because he understood the opponents well, and knew his way had a good chance of working against them?

more than 3 years ago

UK Seeks Stronger Partnership In Space Technology With India

ap7 Re:When I see stuff like this ... (47 comments)

Have you ever been to India? Or is this just anti asian vitriol that you are spewing because of the pent up rage about the many things in your life that seem out of your control?

India and China are only trying to get back to the eminence that they held centuries ago - before western countries went about destroying their economies so that they could make their own countries wealthier. Read up on history a bit. Start with the East India Company.

more than 3 years ago

Reuters Ends Anonymous Comments

ap7 Re:Doctor, mod thyself. (159 comments)

There are, I believe, specific rules for when bylines are eliminated and when they are not. I suggest you dig deeper for more.

more than 3 years ago

Reuters Ends Anonymous Comments

ap7 'Thomson' Reuters (159 comments)

It is Thomson Reuters and not Thompson Reuters. How difficult is it to get the name right of an organisation that is central to your story?

more than 3 years ago

Credit Cards That Think They Are Gadgets

ap7 Re:Something similar (239 comments)

Yes, it ought to be SecurID by RSA. Mine displays a 6 digit number that changes every 30 odd seconds. You use your PIN and the running token number to login to the corporate VPN. They expire every three or four years. The previous token I had was black and the size of the car remote that you mention. The newer one is the size of a usual USB key.

about 4 years ago


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