More ruckus about Laine's book on Shivaji

Submitted by Karthik on 20 March, 2004 - 20:21

The Hindu reports Prime Minister's timely reintroduction of the James Laine issue, during an election speech in Maharashtra.

For some history on the issue: James Laine (a professor of religious studies at the Macalester College, Minnesota), along with the Oxford University Press released a book last year titled "Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India", which amongst other things, cast Shivaji as a bigot, a weak Hindu ruler and no less than an illegitimate child of Jijabai. This not surprisingly, led to a withdrawal of the book, and attacks on the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (which assisted in the research), by the Sambhaji brigade in Maharashtra. While, the issue has been quiet for a couple of months, the PM seems to have found it too juicy to pass up, and decided to pimp it for some cheap votes :S

A history of the issue (besides the review of the book) can be found here, and a rather heated article can be found here or (using google's cache) here.

Hard decisions coming up for NASA

Submitted by Karthik on 20 March, 2004 - 09:02

An interesting article on NASA's budget limitations and the hard choices that it might be forced to make in the coming decade. The thrust of the article (as the title might suggest) is on whether this is just an exercise to accelerate abandonment of the space station and shuttle programs, and renege on the plans for Mars later on.

"Pike said he was skeptical of the administration's motives in articulating the moon-Mars plan. He noted that a new moon landing would not take place until at least 11 years after the end of a possible second Bush term.

He went so far as to indicate that the plan is a Trojan Horse for killing the shuttle and station -- and that the moon-Mars initiative will never materialize beyond 'paying contractors for artwork.'"

Flaw in Norton Internet Security and AntiSPAM

Submitted by Karthik on 20 March, 2004 - 08:53

c|net reports "A software component of Norton Internet Security could allow hackers to use the application as a backdoor into a person's computer system, security researchers warned Friday.

The flaw occurs in an ActiveX component used by security firm Symantec's flagship desktop security program, Norton Internet Security, according to an advisory published by research firm NGSSoftware. The security hole could be used to run an attack program that would then take control of the computer that the software was trying to protect. "

<sarcasm>Norton releases a new product innovatively named Norton Anti-Norton, at an affordable USD 49 (shipping and handling extra.)</sarcasm>

PHP 5 RC1 Released

Submitted by Karthik on 20 March, 2004 - 07:54

"[18-Mar-2004] The first Release Candidate of PHP 5 is finally here! The move from Beta stage to RC stage means that PHP 5 is now feature complete, and is quite stable - stable enough for everyone to start playing with. Note that it is still not recommended for mission-critical use.

American workers looking for jobs in India

Submitted by Karthik on 18 March, 2004 - 21:42

The Economic Times has a nice story on American workers looking at India as a place of employment. Also, a selection of other stories in the outsourcing-anti-outsourcing madness which can be seen here, here and an amusing, yet insightful article here.

It's rather amusing how all the American opinions in such articles are almost always those of American Indians :S

Reliance Plans Broadband Rollout In Early 2005

Submitted by Karthik on 18 March, 2004 - 01:49

The Financial Express reports here and here that Reliance are actively planning on bringing high qulity broadband connections to the average Indian user. The article also mentions VSNL plans on rolling out Internet via cable as well. Check an older article in The Hindu Businessline.

Let's just hope that these are true high-speed broadband connections, and not useless 64kbps connections :/

ZDNet India and Macromedia announce FlashClash!

Submitted by Karthik on 17 March, 2004 - 00:27

ZDNet India and Macromedia have announced a RIA application and Flash design contest with prices worth Rs.3,40,000. This includes 6 copies of Studio MX2004 valued at (6 x Rs.50,000 = )Rs. 3,00,000, for the top 3 winners of each category. So, the actual monetary benefit is only Rs. 40000 split unequally 16 ways :P While I am happy to see positive steps being taken to encourage creativity in the Indian Flash community, a little poking about had me curious as to the true nature of this li'l exercise - is this just another weed hunting mission?

A read of their terms and conditions dug up the following caveats:

China insists on all WiFi manufacturers conforming to it's security protocol

Submitted by Karthik on 15 March, 2004 - 22:41

TheRegister reports that "China has irked US wireless manufacturers by insisting that they conform to the PRC's encryption technology. Some commentators have castigated China for protecting its own fledgling tech industry. But that excludes the country's very understandable security concerns." Also check out an earlier post, and an associated article.


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