Google’s Artificial Intelligence Is Now Creating its Own

Google’s pretty good when it comes to designing artificial intelligence. Its most famous neural network, DeepMind, is both able to “dream” and understand the benefits of betrayal. It’s also better than any living human at the infinitely complex game, Go. As impressive as this is, Google is determined to show the world it’s not just a one-trick pony. At Google’s I/O 2017 conference last week, its CEO Sundar Pichai made some rather striking comments on AutoML, another neural network process that generates layer upon layer of complex code and algorithms to “learn” about its environment.

artificial intelligence

Normally, each of these layers – segments of an AI’s whole, essentially – have to be crafted by people, and it takes time. Google had the bright idea of getting the pre-existing AI to create its own layers of code, and as it turns out, it’s doing it a lot faster and more effectively than its human technicians ever could.

Google’s AI has become its own creator.

An accompanying blog post by the researchers working on the project compare the new AI to a child, with respect to the original AI’s parents. “A controller neural net can propose a ‘child’ model architecture, which can then be trained and evaluated for quality on a particular task,” they write. Whatever the task, it is monitored by the controlling AI throughout, and the feedback is used by the AI to improve the “child”. “We repeat this process thousands of times – generating new architectures, testing them, and giving that feedback to the controller to learn from.”

Read the rest of the article here

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Now, a Test to Detect Cancer & HIV with Naked Eye

Scientists have developed a new ten times cheaper ultra-sensitive sensor test to detect the early stages of several cancers and viruses, including HIV, with the naked eye. Researchers from the Imperial College London claim that their visual sensor technology is ten times more sensitive than the current gold standard methods for measuring biomarkers. These indicate the onset of diseases such as prostate cancer and infection by viruses including HIV. The colour of a liquid changes to give either a positive or negative result.

Researchers say their sensor would benefit countries where sophisticated detection equipment is scarce, enabling cheaper and simpler detection and treatments for patients. The team tested the effectiveness of the sensor by detecting a biomarker called p24 in blood samples, which indicates HIV infection. “Unfortunately, the existing gold standard detection methods can be too expensive to be implemented in parts of the world where resources are scarce,” Professor Molly Stevens, from the Departments of Materials and Bioengineering, said.

Pic source: http://www.personal.psu.edu

“Our approach affords for improved sensitivity, does not require sophisticated instrumentation and it is ten times cheaper, which could allow more tests to be performed for better screening of many diseases,” said Stevens. Researchers also tested samples for the biomarker called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), which is an early indicator for Prostate Cancer. The team say the sensor can also be reconfigured for other viruses and diseases where the specific biomarker is known. The sensor works by analysing serum, derived from blood, in a disposable container. If the result is positive for p24 or PSA, there is a reaction that generates irregular clumps of nanoparticles, which give off a distinctive blue hue in a solution inside the container.

If the results are negative the nanoparticles separate into ball-like shapes, creating a reddish hue. Both reactions can be easily seen by the naked eye. The team also said that the sensor was so sensitive that it was able to detect minute levels of p24 in samples where patients had low viral loads, which could not be diagnosed using existing tests such as the Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test and the gold standard nucleic acid based test.

“We have developed a test that we hope will enable previously undetectable HIV infections and indicators of cancer to be picked up, which would mean people could be treated sooner,” researcher Roberto de la Rica, said in a statement.

News source: Indian Express

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Fingers crossed at AIIMS after stem cell transplant for Multiple Sclerosis, first in country

Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have conducted a stem cell transplant on a multiple sclerosis (MS) patient. They believe this is the first recorded case of an autologous stem cell therapy — where the donor and recipient are the same person — for MS in the country.  Six months after the transplant, doctors say the spread of MS, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, appears to have been contained but the therapy cannot be declared a success until the patient is monitored for at least a year.

International trials have demonstrated that this transplant can restrict the spread of the disease in advanced patients, and may even reverse symptoms in early stages in some patients. Thirty-two-year-old Rohit Yadav, a commerce graduate from Delhi University, was diagnosed with the neurological disorder in 2010. In March this year, after trying all possible “conventional” treatment options, doctors at AIIMS finally decided on stem cell therapy.

Pic source: http://www.forerunnershealthcare.com

Dr Kameshwar Prasad, professor of neurology who has been monitoring Yadav, said: “The primary purpose of autologous stem cell transplant is to control the spread of lesions. We extract the patient’s own stem cells, treat and inject the stem cells back. Ever since the procedure, the patient has been completely stable. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of stem cell therapy for MS.”

In MS, the body’s own immune system attacks the myelin sheath that coats nerves, slowly destroying the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and weakness in the limbs to sudden loss of balance and coordination, blurred vision and paralysis and, at the most advanced stage, disability. There is no known permanent cure. About a dozen injectible ‘disease-modifying drugs’ in the broad category of interferons are available in India to control symptoms. The only oral drug in the international market, Fingolimod, was put under restricted use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the death of 11 patients earlier this year.

The procedure tried on Yadav has been under trial in the West, and is called autologous deceased haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Yadav’s stem cells that generate body immunity were first extracted. He was put through a high-dose chemotherapy regimen to mitigate his faulty immune response system by destroying existing blood cells and the bone marrow which forms new blood cells. During this period, Yadav was kept in an isolation room to ensure he did not contract any infection. After this, his own stem cells were injected back into the body. These new stem cells again formed the bone marrow and all cells in the blood, creating a new immune response system which, doctors believe, will not have the faulty autoimmune tendency.

Pic source: http://www.csa.com

Insisting that any improvement Yadav shows should be considered a “bonus”, doctors say his speech has become clearer.  “Earlier, there was so much slurring in his speech that when I would be on the phone with him, I couldn’t make out what he was saying. Now, after clinical evaluation, we find his speech is clearer,” Prasad said. Although doctors are still wary of commenting on any improvement in his motor abilities, Prasad points out that earlier a family member used to accompany Yadav to the hospital. But now, he comes to the hospital on his own.

But Prasad cautions against attributing any “magic solution” to stem cells. “A lot remains to be seen and observed. This is the first Indian MS patient who has had the stem cell transplant, so we need to see how he holds out in the long-term,” he said. Yadav told The Indian Express that what started as a slight limp in the left leg during his second year in college led to coordination problems in all four limbs. With time, he lost the ability to hold a pen and write.

”I tried everything. Not only interferon injections, considered standard therapy for MS, but everything that anyone recommended, be it ayurveda, unani or homoeopathy. I changed my diet, stayed in a cool environment. No matter what I did, each time I had a scan, doctors said the disease was worsening,” he said.

He read about stem cell therapy providing some hope to patients during trials in the West. “I had tried everything. This was the last option. I tried some private set-ups, but was not sure about their competence. At AIIMS, doctors were a little wary, given the risks associated with the long chemotherapy procedure, of contracting an infection after that.”  In 2011, doctors admitted him for a stem cell procedure. But he was discharged because close evaluation of the scans of his brain and spinal cord showed no new lesions in six months. “It was heart breaking to be admitted and then discharged. But there was no use hurrying the procedure,” he said.

A year later, new lesions were detected in his spinal cord, prompting doctors to admit him for the therapy. Fifty five days of hospital admission, with a week of chemotherapy to kill and build afresh his immune system, was not easy. “It was a challenging therapy, but I was prepared.”

Yadav works as a receptionist at the office of Vishwas, a Gurgaon-based non-profit organisation working for the differently-abled. ”I feel a noticeable change in my speech. I used to slur a lot. But I can speak much clearer now. More importantly, the MS has not spread since March,” he said.

News source: Deccan Chronicle

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India's Heaviest Satellite GSAT-10 Successfully Launched

ISRO still needs to get the GSLV right so that they can do these heavy launches from India itself.  Anyway, this being the heaviest satellite launch at 3400kgs is another feather in ISRO’s cap.

India’s advanced communication satellite GSAT-10 was successfully launched early today on board Ariane-5 rocket from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana. GSAT-10, with a design life of 15 years is expected to be operational by November and will augment telecommunication, Direct-To-Home and radio navigation services.

At 3,400kg at lift-off, GSAT-10 is the heaviest built by Bangalore-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation. It was ISRO’s 101st space mission. Arianespace’s heavy lifting Ariane-5 ECA rocket launched GSAT-10 about 30 minutes after the blast off from the European launch pad in South America at 2.48am, prior to which it injected European co-passenger ASTRA 2F into orbit.

Image source: www.isro.org

GSAT-10 is fitted with 30 transponders (12 Ku-band, 12 C-band and six Extended C-Band), which will provide vital augmentation to INSAT/GSAT transponder capacity.

It also has a navigation payload – GAGAN (GPS aided Geo Augmented Navigation) — that would provide improved accuracy of GPS signals (of better than seven metres) to be used by Airports Authority of India for civil aviation requirements.

This is the second satellite in INSAT/GSAT constellation with GAGAN payload after GSAT-8, launched in May 2011.  GSAT-10 was originally scheduled for a September 22 launch, but was deferred after scientists detected a small glitch — one gram of dust — in the upper part of the rocket.

GSAT-10 Project Director TK Anuradha, Additional Secretary of Department of Space, S Srinivasan and Director of ISRO Satellite Centre S K Shivakumar were among key ISRO officials who were in French Guiana for the launch, telecast live by Doordarshan.

Shivakumar said GSAT-10 would give an impetus to the ‘communication revolution’ in India. ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan was at space agency’s Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka at the launch, ISRO sources said. “The MCF has already taken command and control of the heavy satellite”, he said minutes after the launch.

“By November 2012, we expect to operationalise GSAT-10 and make it available to the user community,” added Radhakrishnan, also Secretary, Department of Space and Space Commission Chairman.

ISRO said GSAT-10 project is a Rs750 crore mission that includes the cost of satellite, launch services by the European space consortium Arianespace and insurance.

Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall said at the launch base that ISRO is a highly loyal customer, as the collaboration with it began more than 30 years ago with its Apple satellite’s orbiting by the third flight of an Ariane vehicle – an Ariane 1 version launched in June 1981.

News source: DNA

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The Importance of Conserving Water

Water water everywhere not a drop to drink. 

This sentence is not only true when you are on the sea and don’t have a drop of fresh water to drink but also in a rainy season when the whole city is flooded and the only source of fresh tap water is also contaminated.

As the country urbanizes steadily, all the water bodies are getting encroached.  The cities municipalities are hardly bothered.  Hyderabad was once known for its water bodies, lakes etc.  Today hardly a fraction of them survive.  The water bodies have fallen prey to rampant commercialization of the land. In the blind quest to encroach upon land, the land sharks in confluence with corrupt politicians and the mafia are grabbing land where ever they see fit.

So we see entirely new colonies coming up in place where there was a water body some decades earlier.  Its not that nature doesn’t take its revenge.  During a deluge the whole place is flooded cause it’s traditionally a low lying area.  Afterall, there is only so much of the land that you can fill up with mud and raise its height.  The crooks go away after encroaching lands, carving them into plots, sell them off to gullible customers and share of their booty.

Himayat Sagar (pic courtesy: Hyderabadadvisor)

When a heavy rain occurs, its natural for the water to flow towards the lower lying areas of the city and the most obvious place is the former water bodies.  So, during rains we are witness to well built houses totally submerged upto at least a few meters under water.  Even the municipality would have taken bribes and regularize the buildings. But when the water seeps into the house and drowns everything and in the process destroy all the equipments in the house, its only the house owner who is left sucking the thumb.

Another ill effect of rapid urbanization has been the concreting of the land.  Earlier all the rain water used to collect in puddles, small ponds or lakes and then slowly percolate down the land and replenish the water streams below ground.  This meant that ground water was never a problem if you even drilled a borewell 100 feet below the ground.  Today with apartments coming up and rampant and unauthorized borewell drilling; even 2000 odd feet also gives nothing but dry land.  As we pump out more and more groundwater without helping in replenishing the ground water, we are indeed looking at a parched and dry future.

Groundwater Pollution

With no proper drainage system, most of the industrial and household effluents are just let off into normal drains which ends up in the nearby lakes. These lakes which form the local aquifers and are supposed to replenish the groundwater only end up getting polluted and as a result pollutes the groundwater.

As a result the people living nearer to these lakes end up drinking borewell water that is contaminated.  Its been estimated that a majority of the borewell in India have been contaminated with harmful chemicals like lead which can lead to deformed brain development of growing up children.

Festivals

During Ganesh festival and also during the Kali Puja in Bengal and other parts of India, we see that the idols are immersed in the local water bodies or in the sea (for costal cities) after the 10 odd days of praying and celebrations.  Most of these idols are made of non-biodegradable products and paints that do not eco friendly.  This causes the water to be polluted by the poisonous chemicals of the paints used for the idols.  Since the idols are not made of clay, they remain in the water for long periods of time without dissolving and stay at the bed of the lakes.  Indiscriminate pollution of the lakes and our water bodies by such mechanism causes the natural springs below the lake that feed the water body with fresh water is choked.  This leads to systematic drying out of the water body which is soon encroached by some land mafia or corrupt politician with active connivance of the police.

Garbage Disposal

With our municipalities doing such a shoddy job of garbage disposal, its no wonder that most of the garbage ends up in the rivers or streams.  Combined it with the lack of civic sense among us Indians, we litter wherever possible.  These same people are on their best behaviour when they go to other countries like Singapore or the US, Europe etc. Its precisely because we take no pride in keeping our surroundings clean that there are so many diseases around.  We clean our houses, take the garbage and throw it on the street without even thinking that the street is nothing but an extension of our immediate neighborhood. And most of these garbage ends up polluting our water sources.  And then we go complaining that the government pumps in contaminated water through the pipes.  What about our responsibility towards our society?  Is keeping the city neat and clean only the responsibility of the government?

Rainwater Harvesting

The only way for us to overcome this problem is to replenish the groundwater using rainwater harvesting. Lets look at some of the easiest forms of groundwater replenishment.

  • Create a rainwater harvesting pit inside the compound.  Its pretty easy and doesn’t take much of an effort.  All it takes is a to dig a deep hole, some 6-10 feet deep and 3-4 feet in length and breadth. Fill the hole with gravel, sand, charcoal, then some more gravel, sand etc till the pit is filled up.  Then direct the rainwater pipes from the terrace to this hole.  That’s it.  If you can get a worker to get it done, he would finish the whole job in probably 1-2 days.  Or else you yourself can do it.  The pit doesn’t really need to be so deep.  If its an individual house, then you can create a pit that is just 4-5 feet deep.
  • Channel other water –  Most of the time we waste a lot of water in the kitchen after washing plates or vegetables.  These water can be collected in a bucket and then dumped into the recharge pit. Just ensure that the water is not soapy enough and doesn’t have a lot of detergent in it.
Check Dam (pic courtesy Aamjanta)
  • Plant more trees / plants – This is probably the most obvious of the statements. From childhood, we have been listening to our teachers tell us that we need to plant more trees to ensure that the ground stays moist and retains water.  Trees ensure that the top soil doesn’t run off when it rains.
  • Create earth dams or check dams – This will ensure that the rain water will not run off into the sea or rivers but the flow of water is stopped and this will cause the water to percolate to the ground leading to a higher groundwater table.
  • Most of the houses in the cities get piped water from the local municipality and i have seen a lot of houses after filling up their tanks, letting loose the rest of the water onto the streets or into the drainage near their house.  This is a criminal wastage of scarce resource.  If only the excess water was discharged into the rainwater harvesting pit, it could enhance the water table in their locality and would ensure that their borewells dont go dry during the summer season. If making a rainwater harvesting pit is such a chore, all they can do is to take a pipe, connect it to the  municipal water pipe and put it into the borewell.  This is another way of cheaply recharging the groundwater.

Its easy to blame the government for the drought, dropping groundwater and floods.  With weather patterns changing, a change in the way the wind blows somewhere in South America delays the monsoon or leads to heavy rains or drought in India.  We wouldn’t like to accept such explanations, but scientists have studied deep co-relation between such patterns.

Rainwater harvesting (Pic courtesy: MP Pollution Control Board)

We are a funny species, which believes something that is written in some fairy tale book thousands of years ago and base all our lives on it and are even willing to kill our own children and our best friends / neighbors on the superiority of our superstitions, but refuse to learn from the evidence provided to us by the nature around us.  We question the scientists and weather personnel on their wisdom to spread truth to us using evidence but have no qualms on believing some fairy tales that has been passed down to us from our grandparents without any evidence to back it.

Its time we take the responsibility of taking care of our environment, our water sources ourselves.  Its precisely this reason why I don’t have any sympathy for people who build their houses in low lying areas that get flooded during rains.  Why should we or the government help them with our hard earned tax money when in the first place they encroached on a low lying area that was traditionally a water body?  Why didn’t they conduct due diligence when they bought the lands on a lake bed? They should be left to fend for themselves for their own folly. Why should the honest tax payer be penalized by helping out a land grabber who destroys our environment?

A couple of good articles on rainwater harvesting here and here

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Neil Armstrong – The Original Moonwalker

The debate on whether the US really did make it to the moon or was the whole thing staged in a studio will forever haunt conspiracy theorists.  But indeed it was an iconic moment in man’s history.  For thousands of years, man has not only feared moon, but worshiped it as the moon was beyond human understanding.  Writers and poets romanticised the moon as well as painted it as a dark omen in horror stories.

But when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, it showed that the only limitation that man has is in his mind.  The rest doesnt matter.  To challenge the myths, fairy tales propagated over thousands of years that man shouldnt challenge nature and the day man steps or colonizes moon would be end of the earth and its dwellers has been proved as sheer bunkum.

He stepped on the moon a good 6 years before i was even born, but i have grown up on tales of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon by my dad. How he listened to the commentary of the same on the radio.  How the whole world was captivated and thrilled by what was then considered an audacious trip by man to a place where no one has gone ever.  How the Americans beat the Soviets to the post on becoming the first men to land on the moon.

Before Michael Jackson moonwalked, there was another person who actually walked on the moon and it was Neil Armstrong and this is how his family wishes people to remember the great man

‘Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.’

A perfect tribute to a great hero. Neil Armstrong. RIP.

Read a detailed article on the man and his moon mission at The Daily Mail

Above image courtesy: 10news

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Global science papers from India on the upswing

The good news is that science papers being filed from India are on the upswing.  The bad news is that countries like China, Korea etc have left India long behind in this race.  In fact, China has more than doubled its research output since 2004.  Read more on these reports at this Thomson Reuters website.

Often referred to as a “sleeping giant” in scientific literature, India seems to be waking out of its slumber, says a recent global research report on “Research and Collaboration in the new Geography of Science” by Thomson Reuters.

As per the report, Chemistry and Pharmacology are fast becoming the most “published” disciplines in India; USA remains its largest research partner even as South Korea is racing ahead of China to partner with India. And Japan’s University of Tokyo collaborates most frequently with Indian researchers.

If the current trajectory continues, the study estimates, India’s productivity would well be on par with that of most G-8 nations within eight years and could even overtake them between 2015-2020.

In a testament to its strength in information technology, computer science accounted for the highest increase in world publications from India between 1999-2003 and 2004-2008, increasing by more than 100%. When it comes to research, India’s strength lies in Chemistry and emerging sectors like pharmacology, microbiology and traditional agricultural sciences.

Between 1993-2003 and 2004-08:

• In Chemistry, India’s research output increased from 21,206 world publications to 33,504

• From a 2.8 per cent share of the world output in pharmacology and toxicology, India’s share is up to 4.25 per cent

• Output in engineering rose from 2.69 per cent to 3.57 per cent

• Microbiology saw publication output rise from 1.62 per cent to 2.79 per cent

Agricultural engineering, Tropical Medicine, Organic Chemistry and Dairy & Animal Science are areas of research where India is picking up well besides Crystallography and Textiles.

Read the full news here

Above picture source: 30yearchallenge

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ISRO launches Oceansat-2 and 6 nano satellites

All 7 satellites launched in their precise orbits by ISRO’s old workhorse, the PSLV in its 16th launch is indeed praiseworthy.  The successor to the Oceansat-1,  is supposed to be the country’s second ocean studies satellite that aims to aid fishermen in identifying fishing zones and weathermen to forecast cyclones by measuring sea surface winds.

Along with the Oceansat-2, 6 nano satellites (4 CUBESATS and 2 RUBIN) were also launched.

pslv

CUBESATs : The four CUBESATs are educational satellites from European universities, each weighing around one kg. and developed to perform technology demonstration in space. The satellites are launched inside a Single Picosatellite Launcher (SPL) also weighing one kg., which is a dedicated European launch adaptor to deploy a CubeSat.

CUBESAT-1: UWE-2, from the Universität Würzburg, Germany
UWE-2 is a pico satellite, with the mission objective of demonstration of a newly developed Attitude Determination and Control system (ADCS) and the technology demonstration of a GPS on a Cubesat.

CUBESAT-2: BeeSat, from the Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
BeeSat is a pico satellite project of the Technical University of Berlin with the main objective of on-orbit verification of newly developed micro reaction wheels for pico satellite applications and will demonstrate the use of coin sized micro reaction wheels for attitude control of pico satellites in orbit as one of the key elements

oceansat-2_img

CUBESAT-3: ITU-pSAT1, from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
The primary mission of the satellite is to examine the performance of an on-board passive stability system consisting of a magnet which will align the satellite to the magnetic field of the Earth with an error of about 15 degrees according to simulations, and to verify this figure. A secondary objective is to download photographs taken using a camera with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels

CUBESAT-4: SwissCube, from Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, Switzerland
The SwissCube mission objective is to house a science payload and take optical measurements and characterize the airglow intensity over selected latitudes and longitudes thereby demonstrating that the airglow emissions are strong enough to be measured by an off-the-shelf detector and validating the concept for the development of a low-cost Earth sensor.

cubesat-rubin_img

RUBIN-9
RUBIN-9 consists of two Spacecrafts Rubin-9.1 and Rubin-9.2 weighing 8kg each and will primarily be used for the Automatic Identification System (AIS) for Maritime applications. These are non-separable payloads that will be mounted at an angle of 45deg to the PSLV EB deck.

Rubin-9.1 is developed by Luxspace and has a mission objective of providing an insight into the issue of message collisions that limit detection in areas of dense shipping.

The main purpose of the Rubin-9.2 spacecraft is to test and qualify nano technologies from Angstrom company Sweden and to continue space based maritime Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver experiments (started with Rubin-7 and Rubin-8 missions). Rubin-9.2 is similar to the Rubin-8 launched on PSLV-C9 in April 2008.

More information on the launch here

All information & pictures source: ISRO

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I Wonder Why – Fighter Aircraft vs Missiles

There are questions in the back of everyone’s minds.  Things that we might find trivial and are afraid of asking someone lest they might think that we are stupid.  Maybe people are simply jealous that they never thought of it before.  Or maybe people being people are so happy living a conformist life that they don’t like to question and are happy following the herd.

Everyone’s got questions.  I got mine too.  One of which is the wisdom of buying a costly fighter plane over spending a fraction of that amount buying a missile.

Every country spends billions of dollars buying up fighter planes to shore up their air force capabilities.  India is no stranger.  They have already sent out RFQ for buying upto 126 such planes.

FA-18_Hornet

A F-18 fighter plane costs approximately $54 million. A fighter plane can  home on to many targets at the same time, carry a nuclear bomb, can enter an enemy’s territory and bomb the hell out of the place, can do reconnaissance and lot lot more.

So, is buying another fighter plane the only solution for a rival?  A missile, E.g  A patriot missile (used by the US ) costs approx $2 million per unit.  The job of this missile is to shoot down an incoming missile.  Am sure the same missile can then probably even shoot down an incoming enemy fighter plane.  Or else with proper modifications, it can do the job.

In that case why should someone spend $54 million for a F-18 when they can buy 27 patriot missiles for the same amount?  Assuming the worst kill ratio of 1:5 (i.e firing off 5 missiles to blow away one fighter plane), its still a cheaper deal than buying a fighter.  The above mentioned cost of a plane probably doesn’t cover the cost of maintenance, upgrades and repairs. All that added up over the whole lifetime of the aircraft could add up to a significant amount.

Patriot_missile_launch

If one can shoot down the aircraft with the first missile itself, that means a significant boost when it comes to the hit ratio.  A cost of $2 million versus $54 million.  Which is a better bet?

Of course the aircraft can dodge a missile as most of the missiles today work on heat seeking technology. Am sure the scientists could work on some other methods by which the missile can lock down on the aircraft and really chase it down no matter what the pilot does to shake off the chasing missile.

Maybe there are things that Iam not aware of.  That’s because Iam not a professional nor have I done any studies in aircraft, missiles or anything related to arms and ammunition.  Or maybe people who have the power or the mandate to do the purchase do have knowledge but dont want to take the risk.  What if the gut feeling comes off wrong?  What if in the case of a war, the country becomes a sitting duck to the rival’s aircraft?

But I do believe that my point of thought also has its own merits.  If that is so, why dont we see any country follow such a strategy? Is it because they are too much impressed by the glossy brochures and marketing talk of the aircraft companies?  Or are they also infected with the same disease that every IT professional suffers from i.e to spend his / her whole lifetime cribbing about the bad security in Microsoft products and yet stick to them all their life?

PS: All prices mentioned above are approximate pricing and that i found by googling the net.

Above pictures source: Wikipedia & Tcappsbct

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World Community Grid

Most of the time, we hardly use about 10-20% of our computer’s resources and the rest 80% odd is wasted.  By being a part of the World Community Grid, a small part of an application runs in the background of your PC thus contributing your computing power to getting results on a lot of projects.

The grid works on projects worldwide like

  • Help Cure Muscular Dystrophy – Phase 2
  • Influenza Antiviral Drug Search
  • Help Fight Childhood Cancer
  • The Clean Energy Project
  • Nutritious Rice for the World
  • Help Conquer Cancer
  • Discovering Dengue Drugs – Together
  • Human Proteome Folding – Phase 2 Project
  • FightAIDS@Home Project

What Grid Computing does is to join together many individual computers, creating a large system with massive computational power that far surpasses the power of a handful of supercomputers. Because the work is split into small pieces that can be processed simultaneously, research time is reduced from years to months. The technology is also more cost-effective, enabling better use of critical funds.

world community grid

World Community Grid runs on software called BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at University of California, Berkeley, USA with funding from NSF (National Science Foundation).  It is powered by none other than IBM.

What is World Community Grid?

World Community Grid’s mission is to create the largest public computing grid benefiting humanity. Our work is built on the belief that technological innovation combined with visionary scientific research and large-scale volunteerism can change our world for the better. Our success depends on individuals – like you – collectively contributing their unused computer time to this not-for-profit endeavor.

How can you help?

Donate the time your computer is turned on, but is idle, to projects that benefit humanity! We provide the secure software that does it all for free, and you become part of a community that is helping to change the world. Once you install the software, you will be participating in World Community Grid. No other action must be taken; it’s that simple!

For years, i have been a member of the World Community Grid and have contributed my computer’s resources for the project.  A badge of which is visible on the right side of this post.  My moniker is full2njoy and am part of a team called India.

Go to the World Community Grid website for more information on how you can do your part for this project.

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