Monday 20 October 2008

Sun's heliosphere is shrinking

I read an article in the Daily Telegraph, which says that the Sun's heliosphere is shrinking. Sun's heliosphere is a sort of a protective bubble created by the solar wind, which shields our solar system from harmful cosmic rays emanating from the interstellar space. The latest data suggests that the heliosphere has weakened by 25 percent in the past decade. The affects of this change is not entirely known, but continuing weakening of the heliosphere could affect the life on earth in a big way. NASA has launched IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer) yesterday to study the interactions between solar wind and the cold vastness of space. Hopefully, we will learn more from the mission in the coming months.

Saturday 18 October 2008

Spawning error in Virtual Box

Kernel upgrade in Ubuntu usually is a straight forward process. However, last night following a kernel upgrade from 2.6.24-19 to 2.6.24-21, Virtual Box on which my Windows XP is loaded came up with a spawning error. This prevented Virtual Box from loading Windows XP.

Googling for a solution, I found the following that resolved the problem.

Execute the code below in 'Terminal' after every kernel upgrade to ensure that Virtual Box works.

sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

Thursday 16 October 2008

Catching Up

Last night, I had an opportunity to catch up with my cousin Krishna Karedla, via e-mail. Krishna has co-authored books on computer programming with his wife Bharati. His business involves lot of activities other than just authoring books.The books are available through his website. In his words,

The website gives information about key aspects of building an application using, and sql server. Various topics which are useful to programmers, students and faculty alike are covered and some are listed here: connection string - how to use a connection string, connecting to server, working of a trading firm, creating and deploying a web service, web service tools, middle tier, data, object, data binding, constructors, asp net validation controls and many others.

Krishna also maintains a blog
, which has some very interesting posts. By the way Krishna goes by the name Madhava on his blog. The blog has photos of some of my cousins, nieces and nephews, whom I've met ages ago and some whom I haven't met at all.

Sunday 12 October 2008

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer is more than a year old now. Launched on 27th July 2007, it offers viewers living in the UK to catch-up with programmes they missed viewing on TV, via the internet (with Broadband). BBC could be considered as the pioneers of this service in the UK.

Before the arrival of BBC iPlayer, Sky TV had a media player named Skyplayer. It offered limited programmes, like sport highlights, which on most occasions weren't very current. I watched BBC iPlayer extensively during the Beijing 2008 olympics, to catch up with the missed action at the end of the day. I found it very convenient.

I watch very little mainstream TV. On most occasions, I watch channels between 520 and 530 on the Sky network, like Discovery, National Geographic and History channels. Last night, I went onto the BBC iPlayer homepage to see what I have been missing on mainstream TV lately. The programme that interested me was The World's Strictest Parents: India, which was about two British teenagers, Josh Breslin and Charlotte Abrahams visit India to get a first hand experience on how parenting is done in a conservative Rajasthani family. Josh mentions in a news article that the experience for the most part was positive.

Tuesday 7 October 2008

World stock markets meltdown - Part 2

It seems like the Mondays are becoming synonymous with the word 'Black' in the stock market world. The markets around the world took a renewed beating yesterday. I lost count of the number of times this has happened in the past few weeks. There seems to be no end at sight. The ordinary investors must be feeling really jittery with this latest Catch 22 situation. If one were to sell their stock now, the losses become real. However, if one were to hold on there is no guarantee that the value wouldn't go further down in the near future, thereby increasing the losses.