Tuesday, January 31, 2012

XM-25 smart rifle .. aiming is a thing of the past ..

The rifle that fires programmable bullets that burst when it reaches the destination is changing the way conventional armies wish to tackle guerillas. The computer in the rifle programs the bullets which with the help of the onboard computer in each bullet, measures the rotations completed and bursts near the destination resulting in inflicting maximum damage. Developed by ATK of US and Heckler & Koch, Germany, it is changing the landscape of artillery fire for ever ..



Ducking for cover - one of the oldest ploys in combat- will no longer offer the sanctuary it has in centuries past ..


Monday, January 30, 2012

Induction cooking .. energy efficiency ..

Induction cooking (or magnetic induction cooking) was a totally new experience for me at home.

Due to the recent strike by the Gas cylinder transporters, the gas cylinder refill did not come to my home on time. I was forced to buy a new cooking contraption. Since I had got fed up of electric coil heaters which was a guzzler of electrical energy and bloated electricity bills at the end of the month, I was hesitant to buy the same.

Even though I had not tried  an induction heater till then, I thought of giving it a try ..

Bought a pigeon induction cooktop. We got a steel base cookware free with the stove. That helped us on the first day to do basic cooking with rice, pooris, cooking basic vegetables etc..,. We had to buy a tawa to be able to make chappathis and dosas. I found that any steel base vessel could do the cooking well.

The electro magnetic field produced in the coil inside the stove, induces an electric current in the steel vessel (in which we cook)  which causes the atoms in the steel vessel body to vibrate and heat up the vessel. ie. there is no other heating other than by atoms inside the vessel body. Therefore the heat lost to the surroundings is less. It is said that in terms of thermal efficiency, an induction cooktop has 90% efficiency, while an electric heater gives 55% efficiency and a gas cooking top has 50% efficiency.

Here are some links which gives some idea of this..

The other advantages are that the cleanup of the outside of the vessel is nil as there is no heating or deposition of soot or anything of that sort. Only the base of the vessel is heated, so even a very hot vessel can be removed with plain hands off the stove. A different cooking experience. The microwave oven has an efficient cooker at 64%. The induction cooker thus tops the available cooking media in efficiency and convenience.





Can mathematical equations help model the markets ?

In 1973, Fischer Black and Myron Scholes published their groundbreaking paper the pricing of options and corporate liabilities. Not only did this specify the first successful options pricing formula, but it also described a general framework for pricing other derivative instruments. That paper launched the field of financial engineering. Black and Scholes had a very hard time getting that paper published. Eventually, it took the intersession of Eugene Fama and Merton Miller to get it accepted by the Journal of Political Economy.

In 1997, they got the Nobel Prize for their path breaking research connecting Mathematics to markets, in their quest to tame the risk and price the future..

The failure of world wide financial markets in 2008 is in part nothing but a failure of this much renowned and acclaimed application of Mathematics to the markets.. It just goes to prove beyond any doubt that quest to tame the risk and price the future is far from over ..


Kodak is at death's door; Fujifilm, its old rival, is thriving. Why?

a very good case from Economist on how technology change has driven some companies to disappear and some others to come out stronger ..


Quote :
Unlike people, companies can in theory live for ever. But most die young, because the corporate world, unlike society at large, is a fight to the death. Fujifilm has mastered new tactics and survived. Film went from 60% of its profits in 2000 to basically nothing, yet it found new sources of revenue. Kodak, along with many a great company before it, appears simply to have run its course. After 132 years it is poised, like an old photo, to fade away. : Unquote


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Verma never colonised Holland ?

While going thru the historical records relating to the priceless treasure found in the 5 open vaults of Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple in Trivandrum (  and what possibly could be there in the not yet opened 6 th vault), it is claimed by historians that "most" of the treasure relates to the fines imposed by the Travancore Maharaja Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Verma ( 1729 - 1758 Common Era, CE) on the dutch forces after their pathetic defeat in the Colachel war in 1741.. Around 1750



From The Hindu newspaper, Quote :
Even Admiral Eustatius De Lennoy, who led the Dutch East India Company's forces which Anizhom Thirunal's  forces defeated in 1741 in the Colachel war, made donations to the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple. "That's why you have Dutch coins, Belgium cut-glasses and Portuguese coins in the vaults," said Mr. Ramamurthy. Admiral Eustatius De Lennoy ultimately became the Valiya Kappithan (commander-in-chief) of the Travancore forces of Anizhom Thirunal. - unquote

The Dutch came out to colonise other countries of the world three hundred years back basically due to two facts. Firstly the sense of adventure, sense of bravery and the willingness to take challenges even braving the treacherous sea with absolutely no navigational tools but for a magnet and sail is indeed to be applauded .. Second was their need to exploit and loot wealth and riches from other lands by force and deceit to make themselves rich and prosperous and be able to continue their reign over other lands perpetually.

Never would the Dutch have dreamt in their wildest dreams when they were ruling over the seas and in turn the world through their bravery and competing with the English and the Portuguese for absolute control of all seas and all land, that they would be handed over this humiliating defeat by the forces of Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Verma on August 10, 1741 at Colachel, 20 kms North-west of Kanya Kumari..  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolachal

The first time an Indian Kingdom humiliatingly defeated an invading European global power which had only brawn and no brain !!

Then why did not Anizham Tirunal go on to rule the seas and colonise and loot Netherlands then ?(historical documents reveal that he did threaten them likewise that HH would attack them in the Netherlands, if they did not stop meddling in Travancore affairs)

The difference lies in the sense of civility, tolerance and accomodativeness of the rulers of Travancore, of the other peoples of the world, not to indulge in barbaric invasions of foreign lands and loot their wealth .. The difference lies in the fact that the rulers of Travancore inherited a culture and civilisation far more intellectually advanced and superior both in terms of content and time than what the Dutch could ever dream of, not just barbarism and bravery. Just down from trees a couple of millenia back, he never understood the concepts of fairness and civility and did not have it in his blood.

More facts of history will be available in the coming days when the wealth of the temple will be inventoried, photographed and set out for the world to study.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Great "global energy" reading resources ..

They say the world will never run out of energy in the near future.. Human ingenuity will always work to find newer and renewable sources of energy at affordable rates..

As an engineer or manager, efficient and affordable use of energy should be our lookout .. As Dr Gururaj Deshpande, chairman of www.a123systems.com and in whose name the Gururaj Deshpande Centre for Innovation at MIT is setup, says, energy and life sciences hold the key to global development in the next couple of centuries..

If you are interested in finding some great Global Energy reading resources from the World Energy Council, it is here ..



Great reading .. !!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Petrol mileage for Indica Xeta Petrol 2006 model ..

Recently I went with family to Kerala for a short function at Kollam. We took the Coimbatore Salem route while going and the Bhavani Mettur route while returning. We had some small trips to Fort Kochi too. Overall the distance was about 1491 kms and we consumed roughly 70 litres of petrol.

Even though my car , Indica Xeta Petrol 2006 model, is five years old now, with scarce, single owner (other than my driver) usage, I could clock 21.3 km/l of Petrol. Last time I tool the car on a long drive to Kerala, it clocked almost 21 kmpl. In city limits I get only 10-14 kmpl.


Data Visualisation Presentation..

Dr. Sukanya explaining the finer aspects of Data Visualisation in R Today 19 July 2019, Business school and Engineering school of Alli...

My popular posts over the last month ..