Sunday, November 21, 2004

Min Ko Naing freed

The Irrawaddy On-line Edition

Student Leader Freed By Kyaw Zwa Moe November 20, 2004

Burma’s most prominent student leader was freed on Friday after being detained for nearly 16 years in jail, a family member said. Paw Oo Tun, known as Min Ko Naing, or “Conqueror of Kings,” arrived last night at his home, Rangoon , from Sittwe jail, 350 miles (560 km) northwest of Rangoon . Min Ko Naing "I feel as if I have awoken from dreamland and I've just started to open my eyes," Min Ko Naing told Reuters news agency at his home after being freed from prison. The 42-year-old former student leader is in good health, except that he has a low fever. He is now resting, a family source said. Min Ko Naing and 20 other political prisoners were released from prisons across the country on Friday, after the military government announced 3,937 prisoners would be released since they had been sentenced improperly by the National Intelligence Bureau, or NIB. The powerful NIB was dissolved last month after the military junta sacked Prime Minister and intelligence chief Gen Khin Nyunt. The charismatic student leader was arrested by the Military Intelligence in March 1989 for his leadership role in the 1988 democracy uprising. During the uprising, Min Ko Naing became chairman of the All Burma Federation of Students’ Unions, which is banned in Burma . The student leader was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, but later reduced to 10 years. Despite having already completed his sentence in 1999, the authorities continued to detain him under Article 10 (a) of the State Protection Act until his release. Friends of Min Ko Naing and former student activists welcomed the news. They said it is good news for Burmese activists and campaign groups who have been campaigning for the release of Min Ko Naing. While people are happy to learn the release of political prisoners they maintained cautious optimism. “They release him (Min Ko Naing) today and they can put him back in jail tomorrow,” said a Burmese activist in Rangoon . Political observers are doubtful that the mass release of prisoners will lead to political reconciliation.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

X34A, SMART-1, SX-8, Blue Gene/L

The world got new things and new speed records these days. 

That was X34A which already aimed to reach Mach 7 to 10. Previously it reached Mach 7 in 2004 March. Again, on 16th of this month (Nov 16, 2004) it made its Mach 10 flight successfully. You know what; it was two miles per second. One important thing is that it was only experimental flight. Scram jet won’t be able to take part in passenger flights. In my opinion, saying to use it in passenger flight is misleading. It might be useful to use in combination with rocket boosters for space shuttle to reduce fuel consumption and hence lighter spacecrafts. Link

Ion propulsion rocket gets to the Moon
Washington, DC, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A European Space Agency rocket entered moon orbit Monday in a unique mission using a pioneering power plant.
The s-called SMART-1 spacecraft blasted off from Kourou, French Guiana, Sept. 27, 2003, on top of an Ariane 5 rocket, the Washington Post reported.
Since then its ion propulsion engine has been slowly moving the spacecraft by expelling positively charged atoms, or ions, of the gas xenon, accelerated by an electrical field inside the spacecraft's engine.
The engine does not combust fuel; rather it splits atoms with electricity to get ions, accelerates them at high speed, and then ejects them, driving the spacecraft forward. SMART-1 generates its electricity by converting sunlight with outsize solar arrays that give the spacecraft a 45-foot wingspan.
Although ion propulsion does not generate much thrust, nothing slows it down in space so it constantly accelerates. Now that it has entered Moon orbit it will use the ion engine to slow down and study the lunar surface.

Previously, NEC’s Earth Simulator was the fastest with 35.86 teraflops. 
In September IBM said its Blue Gene/L supercomputer had surpassed NEC's Earth Simulator to become the world's most powerful supercomputer. IBM's Blue Gene/L is capable of a sustained data processing speed of 36.01 teraflops. 
In October, NEC claimed its SX-8 is the most powerful 'vector-type' supercomputer, with a sustainable data processing speed well beyond IBM's recently unveiled Blue Gene/L supercomputer. NEC said its newest SX series model has a peak processing speed of 65 teraflops and a sustainable performance of roughly 90 percent that speed or 58.5 teraflops
The NEC and IBM supercomputers are different in structure. NEC says it’s SX-8, because of its vector architecture, "delivers much higher sustained performance than scalar supercomputers" like IBM's Blue Gene/L. Link  

After that IBM Blue Gene/L has managed speeds of 70.72 teraflops in November.
Supercomputer SX-8 Series (Multi-Node System)Supercomputer SX-8 Series (Multi-Node System)"

Friday, November 05, 2004

Let's double click

Some of my friends always double-click. Yes. They always double-click everything such as web links and so on. I cannot stop them. I told them that was single click, not double but they used to retort, “What would happen!” May be they think it is sure to work if they always double click whatever so that they could reduce one instruction set to be stored in brain.

System developers already knew about those people. Microsoftie Raymond  wrote while explaining mouse clicks.

Because many users double-click everything. Here are some examples of where the "delayed action to avoid the second click" can be seen:

The context menu that appears for taskbar notification icons. If the context menu appeared immediately upon the first click, then the second click would dismiss the context menu, leaving the user confused. "I clicked and something happened and then it went away." (Users don't say "I double-clicked"; they just say that they clicked. Double-click is the only thing they know how to do, so they just call it "click". For the same reason you don't say "I drove my blue car" if you have only one car.)