Yahoo started offering preview of its new messenger Yahoo Messenger 7 this wednesday. As most of my friends call it Yahell instead of YIM, I was really curious to experience the new offerings .. So here it goes ..
Whats new in YIM 7 :
Apart from a few cosmetic changes, YIM’s newest feature is PC to PC calls .. Now YIM users can make direct pc to pc calls free over the net .. This move is due to increasing userbase of Skype and Hello! services which Yahoo! thinks it can attract .. The quality of voice mail was good indeed on my dialup line ..
The looks are changed a bit too .. Now the messenger shows a pop up description of contacts and most tasks are available in the pop up …
In a shocking piece of news, NYTimes reported that US Air Force is seeking approval from President Bush for a national security directive which will enable the US Air Force to hold weapons in the space ..! It seems that Air Force is taking inspiration from Hollywood movies now .. But it should also look at the risks involved in the affair .. .
nbsp; Further to the report it says that no treaty or law can forbid them from doing so apart from spacing weapons of mass destruction. .! So far we have heard things like spy sattelites ( I dont know if they exists or work sufficiently cauz if they could then Osama shouldve been caught by now ..) and many sophisticated techniques which go unreported but this one can give rise to many controversies .. .. .
While the Air Force officials says its not about putting weapons in space, but to have free access in space ..! .. Oh yeah .. Now have a look at the things that will enable them to have “free access in space” : (Directly quoted from NYTimes)
A new Air Force strategy, Global Strike, calls for a military space plane carrying precision-guided weapons armed with a half-ton of munitions. Pentagon documents say the weapon, called the common aero vehicle, could strike from halfway around the world in 45 minutes.
In April, the Air Force launched the XSS-11, an experimental microsatellite with the technical ability to disrupt other nations’ military reconnaissance and communications satellites..
Another Air Force space program, nicknamed Rods From God, aims to hurl cylinders of tungsten, titanium or uranium from the edge of space to destroy targets on the ground, striking at speeds of about 7,200 miles an hour with the force of a small nuclear weapon..
A third program would bounce laser beams off mirrors hung from space satellites or huge high-altitude blimps, redirecting the lethal rays down to targets around the world. A fourth seeks to turn radio waves into weapons whose powers could range “from tap on the shoulder to toast,” in the words of an Air Force plan.
Hmm.. The Right to Information (RTI) bill was passed at last in the parliament .. I was following it since NAC recommended to modify the Freedom of Information Act 2002 … Now that it has been cleared let us have a close look at the act .. its features .. and its flaws …
What is it actually ?
Under this act, the people now have a legal right to access information in the form of files, reports and data about the government’s proceedings enabling them to question the government..The RTI act introduces Central Information Commission which is an independent appellate authority which will have the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition on its appointment committee.. It will appoint Chief Information Commissioner and 10 Information Commissioners on the lines of Election Commission. There will be an Assistant Information officer for each department who will act as a bridge between people and the departments. The officers who fail to provide or delay the information will have to pay the penalty as a portion of his own salary .If he gives wrong information, there is another fine … People can have access to any record or document with an exemption of matters of national security .. The people living in rural or remote areas wont have to come to state capitals to get the information they want .. They will have to approach their local municipal authorities as Block Development offices to get the information they want.. So far it all looks good…
How will it help ..?
The biggest problem in our country is corruption .. Corruption stays because there is a lack of accountability and transparency in the government and bureaucracy … Lack of accessibility is another problem .. This right will strike on the roots of these problems .. And while as the concerned officer will be fined on a per day basis, there will be pressure on him to gather the information required in due time ..
Hmm… Come summer and its the season of mangoes everywhere .. Now you will be thinking what Al Qaeda has to do with mangoes ..? Yup … they have something indeed… Well .. this boring Sunday noon reminds me of an incident that took place two years ago ..
My Dad … always wanting to have lots of greenaries in our garden, has grown so much plants and shrubs and whatnots in our yard .. Among them is a big tree of mango .. I suspect it was planted all because of his sheer liking of the fruit but thats another story … It was planted when we moved to this place .. thats some 14 years ago .. and now its a big tree and it produce fruit every year .. And with every crop of unripe mangoes, come a lot of children – all having lots of stones in their hands … Trying to get their hands on mangoes .. they stone the poor tree whole day ..They run when I yell at them .. I say heck .. that stone just landed near my solar panel … And these children .. they hide when they hear the door opening .. they just vanish as the sky was raining the stones .. Its all because of their gurilla tactics we named them Al Qaeda … Afghanistan invasion was a hot news topic those days so Al Qaeda was a buzzword .. So there were these Al Qaeda people .. attacking the tree … and vanishing when I try to catch any of them ..
Usually they didnt come on holidays as they knew I was around and didnt want to get caught .. But some desperate guys dared to attack on Sundays too .. This anecdote is about one of them .. It was a Sunday noon like this .. I was getting bored with watching news so decided to check the surroundings from the terrace .. When I reached the terrace I heard small whispers in our backyard (The mango tree is in backyard) .. Hehe . … Al Qaeda guys .. I grinned .. Time to catch them .. So I decided to have a peek .. I saw through the branches .. there were two of them .. Hiding against the neighbor’s wall … They threw stones and waited for any response . .. And then collected the mangoes when they saw nobody is watching them .. Grr .. I have to catch them … So I descended and walked out of my house and take a long turn to reach the backside of our neighbours .. The kids were busy collecting stones for their next attack .. I slowly advanced towards them and when I was real close one of them saw me .. “Bhaagoo ..!!” He yelled .. and both of them started running in different directions .. “You can’t ..!!” I heard myself yelling …