Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the area of computer science focusing on creating machines that can engage on behaviors that humans consider intelligent. The ability to create intelligent machines has intrigued humans since ancient times, and today with the advent of the computer and 50 years of research into AI programming techniques, the dream of smart machines is becoming a reality. Researchers are creating systems which can mimic human thought, understand speech, beat the best human chessplayer, and countless other feats never before possible. Find out how the military is applying AI logic to its hi-tech systems, and how in the near future Artificial Intelligence may impact our lives.
There are now in the world machines that can think, that can learn and that can create. Moreover, their ability to do these things is going to increase rapidly until--in a visible future--the range of problems they can handle will be coextensive with the range to which the human mind has been applied
AI is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable.
Intelligence is the computational part of the ability to achieve goals in the world. Varying kinds and degrees of intelligence occur in people, many animals and some machines.
IQ is based on the rates at which intelligence develops in children. It is the ratio of the age at which a child normally makes a certain score to the child's age. The scale is extended to adults in a suitable way. IQ correlates well with various measures of success or failure in life, but making computers that can score high on IQ tests would be weakly correlated with their usefulness. For example, the ability of a child to repeat back a long sequence of digits correlates well with other intellectual abilities, perhaps because it measures how much information the child can compute with at once. However, ``digit span'' is trivial for even extremely limited computers.
The ultimate effort is to make computer programs that can solve problems and achieve goals in the world as well as humans.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Beneath the waves of the South Pacific lies a volcanic realm !!!!
But instead of a mysterious island, scientists have found a bubbling submarine volcano whose weird features include a swirling vortex, a host of strange animals, and a fearsome zone of toxic waters dubbed the Moat of Death.
The volcano, sits within the crater of a gigantic underwater mountain rising more than 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) from the ocean floor near the island of Samoa.
The seamount, called Vailulu'u, is an active volcano, with a 2-mile-wide (3.2-kilometer-wide) crater. The cone rising within it has been dubbed Nafanua, for the Samoan goddess of war.
Volcano Teeming With Life
Five years ago Hubert Staudigel of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and his colleagues mapped the mountain using remote-sensing techniques.
When they returned to the site in 2005 for a more thorough study with submersible vehicles, the scientists found that the seamount had grown a new, 300-meter (1,000-foot) lava cone, a sign of renewed volcanic activity.
The peak of the cone, 700 meters (2,300 feet) below sea level, turned out to be teeming with life.
"It was just full of eels," Staudigel said.
"When we sent the submersible down, we found hundreds of eels scurrying out of the rock. Normally you'd see one or two."
"That's very spectacular," he continued, "because there's not much food at that depth. You wonder what the eels live off of."
At first the scientists thought the eels were eating microbes that lived near the cone's volcanic vents. But when some of the eels were caught, their stomachs turned out to be full of shrimp.
That raised a new question: Where did the shrimp come from?
The researchers found that the huge seamount interacts with tides and ocean currents to create a vortex in which water rises along the outside of the mountain and then descends into its interior.
The descending water is likely bringing shrimp to the eels, allowing them to thrive in such large numbers.
Another member of the team, Craig Young, a biologist with the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston, is intrigued by how the eels have taken advantage of a quirk of oceanography.
"The eels have selected a place there where the currents are concentrating food," he said.
But the scientists are even more intrigued by a region called the Moat of Death.
Moat of Death
The moat lies between Vailulu'u's encircling crater and the rim of the cone inside it.
It's an extremely toxic environment, Staudigel said, where oxygen levels are dangerously low and volcanic vents fill the water with iron soot "almost like underwater smog."
The volcano is also spewing liquid carbon dioxide, which combines with seawater to make a deadly acidic mix.
And the same currents that bring shrimp to the eels also bring fish into the toxic moat, trapping them.
The result? "We find one fish carcass after another," Staudigel said.
But one species survives within the moat, a type of sea worm that seems to be feeding on the animal carcasses.
It's not clear how the worms manage to live in a region where nothing but bacteria can live.
Jim Barry, a deep-sea biologist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California, is impressed by the volcano find.
"This is a new habitat," he said.
And it's potentially important for future study, he added, because by trapping carbon dioxide in the moat, this habitat provides scientists with a way to study what the oceans of the not-so-distant future may be like.
As levels of carbon dioxide continue to rise, due to the combustion of fossil fuels, deforestation, and other causes, much of the gas will inevitably wind up in the sea, he explained.
"We're going to see big changes in the chemistry of the ocean in the next 200 years," Barry said.
"Systems like this will give us a great deal of information about what we might expect in the future."
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Have you ever heard of the square foot gardening method? Square foot gardening is a form of intensive gardening that contains NO WEEDING, NO TILLING, NO DIGGING.It is user friendly, earth-friendly and economical too. A fellow by the name of Mel Bartholomew, wrote a book "Square Foot Gardening". He figured out methods to save time, work, money and space yet get a bountiful harvest.
There is nothing more satisfying than growing and eating your own food. Not everyone has large areas of land to farm, but just about everybody can Square Foot Garden. A square foot garden measures 4′ x 4′ and is 6″ high.
Square Foot Gardening is a uniquely simplified method of gardening that produces 100%of the harvest in only 20% of the space -- AND -- without all the hard work and drudgery of single row gardening.
One step up from the windowbox, SquareFootGardening (SFG) offers city dwellers a chance to relax in their very own compact market garden. This is a modular system of four foot by four foot wooden or plastic boxes. These are sub-divided into a grid of sixteen one square foot compartments backfilled with a compost, peat and vermiculite growing medium.
Easy to water, tend and weed-free, here is green-fingered fun. Annual flowers, vegetables and climbers are easily rotated around the grid and provide material for future composting.
How to make a square-foot garden---
Pick an area that gets 6-8 hours of sunshine daily.
Stay clear of trees and shrubs where roots and shade may interfere.
Have it close to the house for convenience.
Existing soil is not really important, since you won't be using it.
Area should not puddle after a heavy rain.
The Ten Basics
LAYOUT - Arrange your garden in squares, not rows. Lay it out in 4'x4' planting
BOXES - Build boxes to hold a new soil mix above ground.
AISLES - Space boxes 3' apart to form walking aisles.
SOIL - Fill boxes with Mel's special soil mix: 1/3 blended compost, 1/3 peat moss,
and 1/3 coarse vermiculite.
GRID - Make a permanent square foot grid for the top of each box. A MUST!
CARE - NEVER WALK ON YOUR GROWING SOIL. Tend your garden from the aisles.
SELECT - Plant a different flower, vegetable, or herb crop in each square foot,
using 1, 4, 9, or 16 plants per square foot.
PLANT - Conserve seeds. Plant only a pinch (2 or 3 seeds) per hole. Place
transplants in a slight saucer-shaped depression.
WATER - Water by hand from a bucket of sun-warmed water.
HARVEST - When you finish harvesting a square foot, add compost and replant it with
a new and different crop.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
An electric car is a type of alternative fuel car that utilizes electric motors and motor controllers instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE). The electric power is usually derived from battery packs in the vehicle.
Electric vehicles, especially EVs powered by fuel cells, are a compelling alternative to gasoline-powered cars. They use environmentally friendly technology to get you to your destination without the need for costly, supply-limited gasoline.
The electric vehicle (EV), or, more colloquially, electric car, is gaining traction as a viable alternative form of personal transportation, and remains just out of arms' reach as a mainstream way to get around. The cars run on energy stored in large packs of batteries instead of the more conventional internal combustion engine, making them very attractive to those concerned with using less oil and causing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. When driving, they don't emit any carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas, nor any nitrogen oxide or other smog-forming compound.
In general terms an electric car is a rechargeable battery electric vehicle. Other examples of rechargeable electric vehicles are ones that store electricity in ultracapacitors, or in a flywheel.
The electric car is made by The REVA Electric Car Company in India, but is sold in different parts of the world , with successes including celebrity recognition.
The new REVAi are being popular in India also.
Kerala postal service to use REVAi electric cars for speed post!These cars are capable of running 60KMs in a single stretch and is capable of carrying a load of 70Kg in addition to postman and the driver. REVA will customize the car to have the postal uniform (red color)!
Clearly electric cars are making inroads into commercial business. As technology progresses, we can expect more electric cars being adopted in Kerala. Any further rise on oil prize should boost electric car market.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Tobacco has brought long-term hurts to human beings since it was released from pandora's Box, and Become an age-long nightmare of human beings.
To fight this evil Electronic Cigarette is a revolution in human beings' history of smoking, Golden Dragon Group Ltd's Ruyan has created an electronic battery-powered cigarette. The e-cigarette activates light and vapour, and even delivers nicotine to the lungs within 7 to 10 seconds. The cigarettes sell for $208 and are already available overseas. They're directed primarily at people trying to quit smoking, deliving the same look and feel but without the health concerns.
The E-cig is made under supervision of China Health Care Society and Beijing Health Care Department with the China Patents. E-cig is made from microelectronic control and supercritical atomizing technologies. It looks like a cigar, however there is no tar. It does smoke, however there is no smoking pollution material. You do not need any ignition and fire for smoking it, however it lets you enjoy and satisfy those tactile taste sensations without any risk and dependence on tobacco. It gives you the same feeling of a tobacco cigar or cigarette without suffering any tar smoking damages. Actually, you can smoke healthily without any environmental pollution, claim the manufactures.
E-cig consists of a stainless steel shell, lithium ion battery, micro-electronic
circuit, atomizing chamber, and indicator light at the head of the E-cig. It can
make smokers enjoy the same pleasure as that of traditional cigar when inhaling the nicotine smog droplet, imitating the whole process of smoking.The manufacturers claim E-cig creates a healthy smoking cultural atmosphere, and has been eulogized by authoritative experts as the perfect combination of modern micro-electronic technology, biological technology and the conception of healthy life.
To quit the tobacco and nicotine smoking, E-cig can be used with the four basic tastes such as the high, medium, low and zero nicotine thickness cartridges to meet the requirements of different smokers.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Hurricanes are giant, spiraling tropical storms that can pack wind speeds of over 160miles (257 kilometers) an hour and unleash more than 2.4 trillion gallons (9 trillion liters) of rain a day. These same tropical storms are known as cyclones in the northern Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, and as typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean.
Hurricanes and typhoons ARE tropical cyclones;they are regional names for the same meteorological event.
The Atlantic Ocean’s hurricane season peaks from mid-August to late October and averages five to six hurricanes per year.
Hurricanes begin as tropical disturbances in warm ocean waters with surface temperatures of at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.5 degrees Celsius). These low pressure systems are fed by energy from the warm seas. If a storm achieves wind speeds of 38 miles (61 kilometers) an hour, it becomes known as a tropical depression. A tropical depression becomes a tropical storm, and is given a name, when its sustained wind speeds top 39 miles (63 kilometers) an hour. When a storm’s sustained wind speeds reach 74 miles (119 kilometers) an hour it becomes a hurricane and earns a category rating of 1 to 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Hurricanes are enormous heat engines that generate energy on a staggering scale. They draw heat from warm, moist ocean air and release it through condensation of water vapor in thunderstorms.
Hurricanes spin around a low-pressure center known as the “eye.” Sinking air makes this 20- to 30-mile-wide (32- to 48-kilometer-wide) area notoriously calm. But the eye is surrounded by a circular “eye wall” that hosts the storm’s strongest winds and rain.
These storms bring destruction ashore in many different ways. When a hurricane makes landfall it often produces a devastating storm surge that can reach 20 feet (6 meters) high and extend nearly 100 miles (161 kilometers). Ninety percent of all hurricane deaths result from storm surges.
A hurricane’s high winds are also destructive and may spawn tornadoes. Torrential rains cause further damage by spawning floods and landslides, which may occur many miles inland.
The best defense against a hurricane is an accurate forecast that gives people time to get out of its way.
Hurricane Gustav is the seventh tropical cyclone, third hurricane and second major hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. It formed on the morning of August 25, 2008 about 260 miles (420 km) southeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and rapidly strengthened into a tropical storm that afternoon and into a hurricane early on August 26. Later that day it made landfall near the Haitian town of Jacmel. As of August 31, 88 deaths have been attributed to Gustav in the Caribbean.
On September 1 at 9:30 a.m CDT (1430 UTC) the center of Gustav made landfall in the United States along the Louisiana coast near Cocodrie as a category 2 hurricane.