Sunday, September 25, 2005

Young Blood Takes Over!!!

We have a new F1 - WORLD CHAMPION. Fernando Alonso Diaz, born July 29, 1981, often reffered to as the natural successor to Micheal Schmacher, did just that! The 3rd position finish in Brazilian Grand Prix was enough for Alonso to become the youngest ever F1 - World Champion. With 6 wins and 13 podium finishes, 2005 has been the perfect year for this young Spinard. Alonso started his F1 career with the Australian Grand Prix, driving the Minardi. Though he raced well, he was not able to get a single point in his rookie season. 2002 saw Alonso move to the newly founded Renault team as a test driver and he became a regular in 2003. With some strong finishes in 2004, Alonso had announced his challenge for the World Championship for the 2005 season. With a faster and steadier car, the Alonso has grabbed the opportunities with both hands.

Seven times World Champion, last five years consecutive world championship title, and it has ended in a manner that nobody would have even imagined in the wildest dreams last year. Micheal Schumacher, the demi-god of Formula 1, the King of F-1 circuits, lost the mathematical possibility of retaining his world championship in the Italian Grand Prix when he finished a dismal 10th. The 13th lap accident in the Belgian Grand Prix somehow signified the year for Schumacher. With a car unwilling to perform at the peaks that Schumacher is used to, he has looked a complete shadow of his former self. But are we to write an obituary for Micheal Schumacher! No not at all. If the performance in the Brazilian Grand Prix is any indication. With the knowledge that he cannot win, still Schumacher fought till the very end, giving it all he had, and the Ferrari is definately improving. With Barichello opting not to race with Ferrari in 2006, Schumacher will have a new partner, a new car and a new position to start from in 2006! Can the old race horse give a fight to the young stud in the next season!

Well the excitement in 2005 season is by no means over. With McLaren-Mercedes leading the Renault by a slim 2 point margin and the final two races to go, the thrill is going to remain till the season ending Shanghai Grand Prix on 16th of October. Well this has been a truly wonderful season, the new rules have really made the field very much competitive. Lets Cheer for fantastic final 2 Races!!!!


Monday, September 19, 2005

North Korea - The step in right direction

A big breakthrough was achieved in the ongoing talks between North Korea and five parties, the US, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, in Beijing. In a joint statement signed between North Korea and the five parties, North Korea has agreed scrap its Nuclear Weapons program, give up its Nuclear arsenal and rejoin the NPT. In exchage the US has pledged that it will not attack North Korea and reaffirmed that it did not have Nuclear Weapons in the Korean Peninsula.

The signatories have agreed to provide energy assistance to North Korea in exchanged for giving up its arms. The US has also given up its insistence that North Korea give up all its Nuclear Programs. The signatories have agreed to 'recognize' the North's demand for nuclear energy and said Pyongyang's request to have a light-water nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes would be revisited 'at an appropriate time.'

This is a step in the right direction. The next step would be a verification regime, where Nuclear weapons inspectors would re-enter North Korea. A decision on this will be taken in the next round of talks in November.

Let us see this development in perspective of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a treaty, opened for signature on July 1, 1968, restricting the possession of nuclear weapons. The vast majority of sovereign states (189) are parties to the treaty. However two out of seven nuclear powers(India and Pakistan) and one possible nuclear power(Israel) have not ratified the treaty. North Korea which had earlier ratified the NPT, however revoked its signature after a dispute with inspectors over inspections of non-declared nuclear facilities. Iran has signed the NPT, but as of 2004 is under suspicion from the United States of having violated the treaty through an active program to develop nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency is investigating. Iran says it merely wants to develop nuclear power.

The NPT is often seen in terms of its three pillars :

  • non-proliferation
  • disarmament
  • the right to peacefully use nuclear technology
An analysis of the above in the past 37 years of NPT does not project a very bright picture.

At the time the Treaty was being signed NATO had in place secret weapons sharing agreements whereby the United States provided nuclear weapons to be deployed by, and stored in, other NATO states. As of 2005 the United States still provides about 180 tactical B61 nuclear bombs for use by Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey under these NATO agreements. Though NATO argues that these bombs continue to play an essential role in war prevention, it is direct contravention of the spirit of Articles I and II of the NPT.

As far as disarmament is concern, no real progress has ever happened on that front. Only one country has been known to ever dismantle their nuclear arsenal completely—the apartheid government of South Africa apparently developed half a dozen crude fission weapons during the 1980s, but they were dismantled in the early 1990s. After the fall of the Soviet Union, a number of former Warsaw Pact states (Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan) found themselves in possession of Soviet nuclear weapons, but they were apparently given to Russia (who took responsibility and ownership of the Soviet arsenal), though due to a clerical error it has been reported that Ukraine may still be in possession of some number of nuclear missiles. As far as US is concerned, though there have been serious concerns raised for disarmament of its Nuclear Arsenal both within and outside the US, concrete steps have never been taken.

The right to peacefully use Nuclear Technology for energy purposes, is a very thin line crossing, which countries having the technology can develop Nuclear Arsenal. Virtually any industrialized nation today has the technical capability to develop nuclear weapons within several years if the decision to do so were made. Nations already possessing substantial nuclear technology and arms industries could do so in no more than a year or two, perhaps even as fast as a few months or weeks, if they so decided to. The larger industrial nations (Japan and Germany for example) could, within several years of deciding to do so, build arsenals rivaling those of the states that already have nuclear weapons.

On 18 July 2005, US President George W. Bush had met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and declared that he would work to change US law and international rules to permit trade in US civilian nuclear technology with India. It is feared that in combination with US attempts to deny Iran (an NPT signatory) civilian nuclear technology, this effectively destroys the NPT. Though there are many more storms and troubled waters to overcome, the agreement between North Korea and US led delegation is definately a step in the right direction. As I had mentioned in one of my previous post (Little Boy - Fat Man) let us all pray that Nagasaki always remains the last Atomic Bomb site!

Ref: Wikipedia

Monday, September 12, 2005

Oracle to buy Siebel for $5.85 billion

In wake of big acquisitions, another big one was announced by Oracle corporation. In a press release Oracle has agreed to buy Siebel Systems in a deal worth $5.85 billion in cash and stock. Siebel has 4000 plus application customers and 3.4 million user strengths. With this acquisition Oracle becomes number 1 in CRM segment. For more information on this deal see the Oracle Press release here

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

First Look at Windows Vista

Here are some images of the new Windows Vista(formerly code named Longhorn). Microsoft promises Vista has something for everyone.

The Virtual Folders feature in Windows Vista allows users to view documents that share a specific criterion, such as "edited in the last week" or "containing the word 'budget.'"

The Pictures and Video folder in Windows Vista contains new information about a picture, including the type of camera used and a user-assigned rating.

A Windows Vista screenshot shows improved desktop search abilities.

A redesigned Start Menu in Windows Vista lets users start typing the name of the application they wish to open.

For more information about Windows Vista Click here

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ganapati Bappa Morya

A very happy Ganesh Chaturthi to one and all

Friday, September 02, 2005

Biloxi Blues - a SMASHING comedy

Click here to read a review of the Play.
Evam Official Website