Archive for May, 2011
After the spectacular marriage ceremony in London on April 29, Prince William and his new bride, Kate Middleton are in their first international tour together as husband and wife. On the way they will spend nine days in Canada to visit seven cities across five provinces in Canada.
While some are concerned on the government spending tax-payer’s money on the royal couple, the government is hoping to bring-in tourist and journalists from all over the world.
This will be the third Canadian tour of Prince William, and Kate’s first visit. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will start their Canadian tour on June 30 from the National Capital Region, and then visit Montreal (Quebec), PEI (Charlottetown and Summerside), Northwest Territories (Yellowknife) and Calgary (Alberta).
Inspired by Facebook, an Israeli couple have named their daughter ‘Like’. I guess, Like is much better sounding name for a girl. I hope she, will be most ‘liked’ girl in school.
There was an Egyptian dad who named his son Facebook to honor its contribution to the Egyptian revolution. I think, Like is a much better sounding name than Facebook.
The couple Lior and Vardit Adler were seeking for some unique name and were even considering some Chinese names. But, they finally decided to go with Like as the mother Vardit liked the sound of it.
Some comments people made on news about naming their kids with such ‘unique’ names:
Years ago, I named my son MicroSoft, and now he can’t get a date. Girls turn away when he introduces himself, (Hi I am micro soft).
I won’t be surprised if somebody names the kid ‘Reply’, ‘Comment’ or likes in future. (via Huffingtonpost)
When Reuters started the rumor about Skype buyout talks, it was Google and Facebook and Microsoft wasn’t in picture. But, suprisingly MS inked the deal on Monday to buy the popular Internet telephony company for $8.5 billion. In addition, Microsoft will also take the $686 million debt Skype has accumulated over its life.
With the purchase announcement of Skype by Microsoft, the users of Nokia/Windows mobile phones, XBox Live, desktop and laptop PCs running Windows OS can hope to find Skype tightly integrated with them in future.
The Xbox Kinect motion controller, Outlook and Hotmail email might also feature the video call options soon. Microsoft plans to use Skype as a competitor to Apple’s FaceTime.
Skype, founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friiswhose in 2003, was sold to eBay for $3.1 billion. eBay never integrated Skype with its online auction service. Unable to profit from Skype, eBay sold 70% if stake to investor group that included Silver Lake, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Andreessen Horowitz, in 2009, for $2.75 billion.
A BC blogger and writer, Derek Miller, died on May 3, 2011 after writing a blog post, to be published after his death. The 41 year old writer’s final request to his family and friends was to publish a blog post titled : "The Last Post" in his blog penmachine.com.
His wife Airdrie has started a Derek Miller Memorial Fund. The donations collecteed in the fund will go to a trust fund for the kids’ education and world travel.
Update – I am going throught the painful account of waiting the death in both Derek’s and his wife’s Airdrie’s blogs. It seems more like taking a slow poison and talk about every little feelings of death creeping in.
A funny comment "he did the maths and found: after taxes it wasn’t worth the hassle."
Well, that might not be true. What is true is that a mathematician was a true genius to solve a century old problem – one of the seven listed on Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Clay Mathematics Institute’s Millennium Prize list.
The Russian mathematician, Grigori Perelman, solved the Poincaré conjecture, a 100-year-old problem. The solution published in 2002 and 2003 proves that any shape without a hole can be formed into a sphere. But, it took several years for a team of mathematicians just to validate his results and offer Perelman a prize of one million dollars. He however rejected the prize money.
Grigori Perelman doesn’t like to be interviewed or get any media attention. A reporter convinced the mathematician to talk after first contacting Grigori Perelman’s mother through the Jewish community of St. Petersburg. The mother took the trouble of convincing her son, a feat no other journalist had done till that time.
When asked for the reason he refused the million dollar prize, Perelman said, "Emptiness is everywhere and it can be calculated, which gives us a great opportunity. I know how to control the universe. So tell me, why should I run for a million?"
Yes, being a genius doesn’t make one wise or right. Or, being wise or right are relative things depending on how you see the world. I won’t prefer to judge the mathematician’s take of his life and style of living.
Do you think he did the right thing by rejecting 1 million dollar? (Photo credits AFP and Wikipedia)
As if nobody know, Julian Assange, told that Facebook and other social networking tools are being used as intelligence gathering mechanisms by the police and other spy agencies.
It is no secret, spy used to be lurking in bars and restaurants to get the information on suspects. Now, internet has made it easier – people post such information online. The jobs of spies are made easier. All they need is data gathering and analysis tools and a little bit of common sense to spy on anybody with online presence.
Assange told that the information that Facebook collects is a huge resource for the U.S. government to keep track of its users. He added, Google and Yahoo also “have built-in interfaces for U.S. intelligence.”
Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them.
I agree with Assange. But, I also believe, it is nothing new. Nobody forcefully divulges information in Facebook and it is something one would tell to the person’s pal in any public places. Although it looks scary how the information is distributed all over the world; people will get used to it and will learn to live with it. There is nothing one can do to stop people from telling what they want to tell. If it were not Facebook, there were other tools that people used to speak their mind out.
Spies are all over the internet – they are scouring blogs, forums, website comments and everywhere. Complaining doesn’t solve anything. Starting awareness campaign might help people to better manage their information.
As expected Facebook spokesperson told Forbes:
We don’t respond to pressure, we respond to compulsory legal process. There has never been a time we have been pressured to turn over data — we fight every time we believe the legal process is insufficient. … The legal standards for compelling a company to turn over data are determined by the laws of the country, and we respect that standard.
Whatever Facebook says, it is an open secret, the information can eventually land in unintended hands. The users should be well aware of such things and let the technological development go on.
The initial response to Canada’s wedding gift of $50,000 to Prince William and Kate Middleton was not that pleasant.
Many believed – with all the current financial mess, wasting money on gift to the Royal wedding is the least expected expenditure of the government. Some also argued that the Royals should have acted decent enough by not accepting such unnecessary gifts. But, these people also ignore the fact that the gift goes to a Canadian charitable organization, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
The Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, said the government of Canada offered this gift on behalf of all Canadians. He added, the gift will be sued to help fund the search-and-rescue program, and to help prevent injuries or loss of life at sea.
The royal couple’s one of the honeymoon destination will be Canada. The June 30-July 8 visit will cover areas in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Ottawa.
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