C-rappy Cacophony

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Computers will enable people to live forever

Kurzweil: Computers will enable people to live forever

Sharon Gaudin


(11/21/2006 10:36 AM EST)
In just 15 years, we'll begin to see the merger of human and computer intelligence that ultimately will enable people to live forever. At least that's the prediction of author and futurist Ray Kurzweil.

Kurzweil told a keynote audience at last week's SCO6 supercomputing conference that nanobots will roam our blood streams fixing diseased or aging organs, while computers will back up our human memories and rejuvenate our bodies by keeping us young in appearance and health.

The author of the book The Singularity Is Near, Kurzweil says within a quarter of a century, non-biological intelligence will match the range and subtlety of human intelligence. He predicts that it will then soar past human ability because of the continuing acceleration of information-based technologies, as well as the ability of machines to instantly share their knowledge.

In an interview with InformationWeek, Kurzweil said people and computers will intermix with nanobots, blood cell-sized robots, that will be integrated into everything from our clothing to our bodies and brains. People simply need to live long enough—another 15 to 30 years—to live forever. Think of it as replacing everyone's "human body version 1.0" with nanotechnology that will repair or replace ailing or aging tissue, he says. Parts will become easily replaceable.

"A $1,000 worth of computation in the 2020s will be 1,000 times more powerful than the human brain," says Kurzweil, adding that in 25 years we'll have multiplied our computational power by a billion. "Fifteen years from now, it'll be a very different world. We'll have cured cancer and heart disease, or at least rendered them to manageable chronic conditions that aren't life threatening. We'll get to the point where we can stop the aging process and stave off death."

Kurzweil isn't writing science fiction. In fact, Microsoft's Bill Gates, a robotics director at Carnegie Mellon University, an MIT professor, and a physicist have all endorsed his book. He has received the National Medal of Technology and the Lemelson-MIT prize. The directors of the National Institute of Health have asked him to speak to their members. Kurzweil says he's simply looking back and measuring the computational progress the human race has made over the last century and then projecting that same line of progress forward into the near future.

Actually, we'll hit a point where human intelligence simply can't keep up with, or even follow, the progress that computers will make, according to Kurzweil. He expects that non-biological intelligence will have access to its own design plans and be able to improve itself rapidly. Computer, or non-biological, intelligence created in the year 2045 will be one billion times more powerful than all human intelligence today.

"Supercomputing is behind the progress in all of these areas," Kurzweil says, adding that a prerequisite for non-biological intelligence is to reverse-engineer biology and the human brain. That will give scientists a "toolkit of techniques" to apply when developing intelligent computers. In a written report, he said, "We won't experience 100 years of technological advance in the 21st century; we will witness on the order of 20,000 years of progress, or about 1,000 times greater than what was achieved in the 20th century."

According to Kurzweil, here's what we can expect in the not-so-distant future:

—Doctors will be doing a backup of our memories by the late 2030s;

—By the late 2020s, doctors will be sending intelligent bots, or nanobots, into our bloodstreams to keep us healthy, and into our brains to keep us young;

—In 15 years, human longevity will be greatly extended. By the 2020s, we'll be adding a year of longevity or more for every year that passes;

—In the same timeframe, we'll routinely be in virtual reality environments. Instead of making a cell call, we could "meet" someone in a virtual world and take a walk on a virtual beach and chat. Business meetings and conference calls will be held in calming or inspiring virtual locations;

—When you're walking down the street and see someone you've met before, background information about that person will pop up on your glasses or in the periphery of your vision;

—Instead of spending hours in front of a desktop machine, computers will be more ingrained in our environment. For instance, computer monitors could be replaced by projections onto our retinas or on a virtual screen hovering in the air;

—Scientists will be able to rejuvenate all of someone's body tissues and organs by transforming their skin cells into youthful versions of other cell types;

—Need a little boost? Kurzweil says scientists will be able to regrow our own cells, tissues, and even whole organs, and then introduce them into our bodies, all without surgery. As part of what he calls the "emerging field of rejuvenation medicine," new tissue and organs will be built out of cells that have been made younger;

—Got heart trouble? No problem, says Kurzweil. "We'll be able to create new heart cells from your skin cells and introduce them into your system through the bloodstream. Over time, your heart cells get replaced with these new cells, and the result is a rejuvenated, young heart with your own DNA";

—One trick we'll have to master is staying ahead of the game. Kurzweil warns that terrorists could, obviously, use this same technology against us. For example, they could build and spread a bioengineered biological virus that's highly powerful and stealthy.

According to Kurzweil, we're not that far away from solving a medical problem that has plagued scientists and doctors for quite some time now: the common cold. He notes that while nanotechnology could go into our bloodstreams and knock it out, before we even get to that stage, biotechnology should be able to cure the cold in just 10 years.

Posted by rajesh |

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Create userstyles in firefox

install this first


You can come up with custom pages like this


For site specific styles



Posted by rajesh |

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Know your english..

Know your english (By Upendran) compilation from 'The Hindu'

Posted by rajesh |

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sony & Microsoft lose money on every PS3/XBox sold??

At first this seemed unbelievable.
But then looking at the graph on the webpage with pricing for various components,it made sense.I guess the main profit from these game cosoles come from the additional purchase of games and services.


Posted by rajesh |

Thursday, November 09, 2006

25 Best Value Travel Sites from Kiplinger.com

25 Best Value Travel Sites
Find the best bargains in air travel and cheapest rates for car rentals, hotel rooms and vacation packages, whether you travel in the U.S. or internationally.
By Sean O'Neill
October 2006

You can satisfy your wanderlust without overspending -- and these top Web sites will help you find the best values in travel bargains. We've personally used each of these sites to research and book travel and found them superior to others.

For airfare, lodging and car rentals, we identify which links are best for three different types of traveler. So whether you're pressed for time, looking for the best deal or traveling internationally, you'll find a site to fit your needs. We also identify the best sources to find bargains on cruises and vacation packages.


Kayak.com fetches fares (plus hotel rates and other travel products, if you ask) from more than 120 sources. Click on the best deal, and Kayak.com will send you to a site where you can buy the ticket. If your itinerary is flexible, you can boost your chances of finding a deal by searching for dates up to three days before and after your ideal travel dates. (One flaw: While Kayak.com offers international flights, we've found other sites offer better international selections.)

Fares for Southwest and ATA aren't shown on Kayak.com and most other Web sites. But at Southwest.com, you can check fares for both Southwest and its partner airline ATA. Use this site as a backstop search if Kayak.com doesn't return a low fare.

As of this writing, Southwest boards passengers onto its planes in three rounds instead of assigning seats. Passengers who collect their boarding passes earliest are put into the first boarding group. For $5, BoardFirst.com will automatically book your boarding pass on Southwest and assure you are in the first group to board the plane-or it will give your money back.

Farecast.com predicts whether fares on most domestic routes will go up or down. Enter your itinerary and the site will say if you should buy your ticket now -- or if an even better fare is probably on the way. To make its forecasts, the site analyzes past fare trends in airline databases and other factors. It updates its fares shortly after 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. eastern time.

From time to time, airlines will offer unbelievably low fares on selected flights or itineraries. These "fire sale" fares, "blooper fares" and "price war" fares are unpredictable. In our experience, Airfare Watchdog posts these bargains faster than other Web sites. To take advantage of these time-sensitive flukes, you must book them right away. This site specializes in deals for flights departing from hundreds of cities.

LowesTravel.com offers international tickets on more than 60 airlines and generally a broader selection than rival sites. (The site also offers rental cars and hotel reservations.)

When flying overseas, you'll be sitting in your airline seat for an extended time. Make sure you pick the best seat by reading reviews of seat quality at SeatGuru.com.

Traveling to Europe? Note that trains are often the fastest and cheapest way to travel within and between European countries. Our favorite English-language Web site for checking timetables and booking one-way, round-trip and multi-stop tickets on European train lines is RailEurope.

WebFlyer is the most useful site for getting the best seat or upgrade for the miles you've earned. See how your miles convert between programs, learn about changes to your frequent flier program or discover how to max out the value of your mileage awards when you redeem them for merchandise or services.


TripAdvisor is the most comprehensive and easy-to-use listing of professional and amateur reviews of hotels in the U.S. and overseas, with about five million reviews. Its photos of the property and maps of the location are uniquely useful. TripAdvisor doesn't sell rooms, but it lets you compare and book rates sold by Web travel agencies, such as Expedia.com, Orbitz.com and Hotels.com.

Priceline.com offers the best bargains for luxury hotel lodging. You submit a bid on a room after specifying a star class, the dates of your stay and a neighborhood in a metro area. Bids of less than $100 a night on luxury lodgings are often successful. (The site also sells airline tickets and rental cars this way.) There are three catches, though: Priceline doesn't disclose the name of the hotel you're booking until you buy; it doesn't refund your money if you cancel; and it may book you in a hotel at a slight remove from the attractions most central to you. One more hitch: We don't recommend booking a hotel in an overseas city without knowing its precise location beforehand, so look to other sites to book a room abroad.

Priceline's rates for four-star hotels are usually the best values available from online travel sites. Yet you can boost the chances that you'll submit the lowest possible winning bid by checking the message boards at Biddingfortravel.com, where recent Priceline users note their successful and unsuccessful bids.

Priceline and TripAdvisor don't offer bed-and-breakfast getaways. To find B&B's offering discounted rates, sign up for free weekly e-mails from Bedandbreakfast.com. Every Wednesday you'll receive a list of B&Bs offering discounts of typically 20% or more off regular rates for the upcoming weekend in the city, state or region you want to visit.

Consider an alternative to hotels: Condo-apartment rentals. Vacation rentals generally offer more room and amenities for the same price as hotel rooms. Plus, their kitchens can spare you from having to dine out for every meal. The best selection of rental lodgings we've found is at HomeAway.com

LateRooms.com emphasizes last-minute bargains at hotels abroad. You know the name of the hotel before you pay, and rates are quoted in the local currency. The site offers a currency-conversion calculator to help you figure the prices.

Here's a tip: When you pay your hotel room bill on checkout, beware if the clerk offers to convert your bill into U.S. dollars. Resist this offer because hotels usually offer less-favorable exchange rates than ATMs or your credit card. What's worse, if your credit card charges you a fee (typically 1% of the bill) for currency conversion, your credit card company will likely still require you to pay the currency-conversion charge -- even if the hotel has done its own currency conversion. In essence, you'll be double charged.

Car Rentals

Orbitz fetches car rental rates and displays them in a matrix that is uniquely easy-to-understand. The site also discloses total pricing, including all taxes and fees, unlike many rival sites. The site also sells other travel products, such as plane tickets and hotel rooms).

Hotwire has the best deals for domestic car rentals offered by Avis, Budget and Hertz. Hotwire lets you specify the dates, type of car and pick-up location. Then it fetches rates. You'll find out which company is offering your nonrefundable rate after you've paid. But at least you know the rental will be with one of the nation's three best-known rental car companies. (Hotwire also sells hotel rooms, airline tickets and other travel products in the same blind-booking format.)

Auto Europe is a rental-car rate wholesaler that specializes in pre-paid international rentals. It returned better rates than other online booking sites (for comparable vehicles) when we recently searched for cars in England, Greece, Ireland and Spain. Plus, this company staffs its customer-service hotlines (toll-free internationally) 24-hours a day.

Be wary that the rental-car chains -- separate from Auto Europe -- may attempt to tack on bogus charges. You may not be expecting additional charges on your credit card because you have already prepaid through Auto Europe. But you should eye your credit-card bill after an overseas trip. If unnecessary charges appear, Auto Europe will assist you in disputing them. (You can also face this problem when you book directly with the rental-car company, particularly if the company is not headquartered in the United States.)

If a hassle-free trip is worth paying a few extra dollars to you, we recommend you book with an American name-brand car company, such as Avis or Hertz. (You may book either through AutoEurope or directly through the company.) Foreign-owned car rental companies often bungle the reservations of American travelers, either by not having the requested cars available on arrival or by adding on surprise charges to the final tab, according to our anecdotal staff experiences and reports from other media.

When traveling overseas, considering paying a few dollars more a day to rent a device that offers driving directions using voice prompts. For example, Hertz has wide coverage in Europe and offers a GPS driving module for about $12 that will give you voice-over, turn-by-turn directions to your destination. (See a list of available countries.)


CruiseCompete offers discounts of up to 25% off standard cruise rates. At the site, dozens of travel agencies vie to give you the lowest prices for dates and ports you specify, whether you're booking well in advance or at the eleventh hour.

Cruisemates is the most useful cruise-review site. We especially like its advice columns, which are written for people of different ages and interests.

Quick vacation packages

Site59.com does the best job of putting together last-minute vacation packages. It offers the easiest way to book a trip as early as 14 days before you go or as late as three hours before departure on domestic trips. (Tip: When we've looked for packages for major holiday weekends, we've found deals here as early as 17 days before departure.)

Luxury Link offers discounted package stays in online auctions. You must, however, be flexible about your travel dates: You pick the dates from a limited range only after you pay.

Other helpful resources

Travel insurance. Buying travel insurance from Web agencies or providers, such as cruise lines, is usually a crummy deal because of price markups and restrictions on how the policy claims can be filed. The best value policies we've found are those sold directly by the leading travel insurance company, Travel Guard.

Airport parking. To save money at airport parking lots, visit the aptly named AirportDiscountParking.com , which will direct you to the bargain lots.

National parks. For a value vacation, consider a national park. You'll discover tips on how to stretch your dollars on your next stay by visiting the US Parks site.

Posted by rajesh |

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Largest employers in Austin

Largest employers in the area

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Company: Employees

Local government: 69,700

State government: 65,900

University of Texas at Austin: 20,249

Dell Inc.: 16,000

Federal government: 10,800

Austin school district: 10,408

Seton Family of Hospitals: 7,500

Freescale Semiconductor Inc.: 6,600

H. E. Butt Grocery Co. (Austin regional office): 6,200

IBM Corp.: 6,200

St. David's HealthCare: 5,048

Wal-Mart: 4,700

Austin Community College: 4,600

Round Rock ISD-Public Relations

& Partners in Education: 4,000

AMD Inc.: 3,000

Texas State University-San Marcos: 2,800

Applied Materials Inc.: 2,200

Lower Colorado River Authority: 2,200

National Instruments Corp.: 2,000

Leander school district: 1,800

Girling Health Care Inc.: 1,750

AT&T/SBC: 1,750

Solectron Texas Corp.: 1,600

State Farm Insurance Co.: 1,473

Temple-Inland: 1,400

Austin Energy: 1,300

Austaco Inc.: 1,294

CSC Financial Services Group: 1,250

Randalls Food and Pharmacy: 1,225

Georgetown school district: 1,200

Del Valle school district: 1,100

Bastrop school district: 1,080

Progressive Insurance Co.: 1,048

Austin American-Statesman: 1,034

Pisces Foods d.b.a. Wendy's: 1,004

3M: 1,000

Apple Computer Inc.: 1,000

Commemorative Brands Inc.: 1,000

Samsung Austin Semiconductor: 950

Whole Foods: 950

Cirrus Logic Inc.: 900

Southwest Securities: 900

Time Warner Inc.: 900

Golfsmith International: 890

Farmers Insurance group of companies: 840

Austin Regional Clinic: 825

United Parcel Service: 825

Harte-Hanks Response Management/Austin LP: 820

Holt, Rinehart & Winston Inc.: 750

Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority: 735

BAE Systems Inc.: 722

PPD Development: 694

Wells Fargo Banks: 690

Georgetown Healthcare System: 655

Emerson Process Management: 653

Goodwill Industries of Central Texas: 650

Source: Texas Workforce Commission


Posted by rajesh |

Monday, November 06, 2006

All about Gandhi

This is a 5 hrs. 10 min. documentary biography of Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi. All events and principles of Gandhi's life and thought are ... all » viewed as integrated parts of his truth-intoxicated life depicting permanent and universal values. The purpose of the film is to tell the present and the future generations "that such a man as Gandhi in flesh and blood walked upon this earth", to acquaint them with his life and work and to spread his message of peace and universal brotherhood to the war-weary and fear-stricken world. The film brings together a mass of visual record not only of 78-year life of Gandhi but also of an important period of India's history. The aim of the film being education and not entertainment, there is no attempt at dramatization of those exciting times. The story is told with an eye to truthful documentation of the main events within the limits of available documentary visual material…

Read more about the film: http://streams.gandhiserve.org/mahatma.html

The video is here :


Posted by rajesh |

The Meesi'le...

2 clips from tamil cinema ..a gaint leap for kollywood!

Posted by rajesh |

Spectacle-lar !!

Posted by rajesh |

Electrifying performance

Posted by rajesh |

Friday, November 03, 2006

Captain's back!

A scene from the Diwali Release "Dharmapuri"!Simply awesome and entertaining!


Posted by rajesh |

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Akka Maga Akka Maga - A tribute

This is a song which I got reminded from Anantha's blog about the Malaysian Pop group 'Vallavan' sounding very catchy.This song 'Akka Maga' was a very popular song that we used to hear when we were in the hostel.Brought in very vivid memories of TK.Ramamachandran and myself playing it repeatedly in KC's room in one of his borrowed sterio system.

And here is some preview about the
'Vallavan' Malaysian group's songs.


Posted by rajesh |


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