Britain releases UFO research X-Files in Public Domain

This one is for all you believers out there. The british govt has released 8 new X-files related to govt investigations in various UFO sighting cases. The reports are pretty huge so I’d suggest that you download them from the UK national archives site.

The guardian has a coverage on the report.

Day 14: Pathankot to Chandigarh

The last day of a road trip like this one is always the boring. On one hand, none of us wanted to go back to our regular lives and on the other hand we were looking forward to being with family again. I had only about 200 kms to cover today since I was going to spend the night at Chandigarh at my parents place and the rest of the gang were going back to Delhi which was a good 500 kms away. It was quite humid in the morning but thankfuly it was cloudy and we didn’t have to face the summer sun.

We had barely gotten out of Pathankot and were getting petrol filled when it started drizzling. We took out our rain gear and kept moving on. Within a couple of minutes the drizzle turned into a heavy rain and when I saw, heavy, I mean downright downpour. It was almost as if the gods had started throwing buckets ful of water at us. The roads started getting flooded in no time and it was getting difficult to drive. I was actually more worried about the water getting in the engine since the water was almost till the exhaust. Our rain gear also was of no help in this downpour and we were all soaked. Fortunately, I had the camera and my phone stored in a polyethene bag seperately so that was safe. I would have loved to take a picture of the flooded streets but that was the last thing on my mind at the time.

We stopped at a roadside dhaba for a nice and filling breakfast of paranthas. The turn off for Chandigarh was a little ahead and we bade farewell to each other. I moved on towards Chandigarh and the rest to Delhi. The weather was lovely and I reached Chandigarh safe and sound for lunch and slept peacefuly for hours at home after eating a hearty meal :-)

Day 13: Srinagar to Pathankot

We couldn’t see much of Srinagar in the evening since coming in to the cantonement after getting out would have been a problem for us and also since Srinagar isn’t the safest of places, the cantonement closes its gates in the evening and no one is allowed to go out or come in after that.

The gates open at around 7 in the morning and there was no point getting up before that, so we had a good sleep and got up at our own sweet time. Got out of the cantt, after collecting our cameras and mobile phones which had been deposited at the main gate, and started on towards the city to get petrol for our bikes. Bikes tanked up we started towards the Dal lake and stopped there to take a couple of quick shots.

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Singtel confirms iPhone launch for India (and other markets)

Singtel in a press release has confirmed that it would be distributing the iPhone in India through Airtel. This along with Vodaphone’s press release earlier this month has made India one of the few countries in the world, where the iPhone will be available on two competing carriers. I’m dying to see the competitive wars unfold ! Here’s hoping the Indian iPhone consumer gets a good deal :-)

Day 12: Kargil to Srinagar

The trip was coming to an end and we were both sad and happy about it. Happy because we’d finally be back to civilisation, to our families and sad because, lets face it, we were having way too much fun.

We got up early and since the plan was to reach srinagar by afternoon, we had to be quick. We tied the luggage to the bikes, made a few quick calls back home to let them know we’re safe. Kargil was the hotbed of activity during the Indo-Pak war in 1999, otherwise known as the Kargil war, and our families back home were rightfully worried when we didn’t get in touch at all after leaving Leh.

Kargil is a major military base and the town has Army presence all over. There are points in the town where the enemy (Pakistan) posts are visible and signs like the one below have been put up to warn visitors of the presence of the Pak army.

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Pandora on your desktop

Free and open source is how I like my applications. The latest Mac OS X only application PandoraBoy brings the joys of the popular streaming music site to your desktop. Its still a work in progress but is pretty slick and for all you lovers of desktop applications, this is definitely manna from heaven !

Gartner says Windows is “Collapsing”

This shouldn’t be news to anyone but when Gartner says in a report that the Windows Ecosystem is collapsing, I’m sure a lot of us would be willing to give them a thought. Granted, companies like Gartner thrive on tall claims to drive up their business but even I wouldn’t agree more with them on this one.

While I certainly do not think that Windows is “collapsing” but a gradual decline in the number of windows users and developers cannot be ignored. From the world’s most used and loved operating system, Windows is now just another statistic on the analysts’ radar. Mac OS X and Linux are formidable forces in the Operating system world and analysts are actually sitting up and taking notice of them.

The Vista debacle should have taught MS a lot of things but I doubt that they’re willing to learn anything from it. Consumers want more out of their computing machines these days and just a couple of fancy graphical effects are not going to sway them. They would rather have a working, stable operating system than change to a newer buggier one which also requires them to upgrade most of their hardware.

Microsoft on its part is signing up deals with open source companies like Novell. It released the SP 3 version of its best seller operating system Windows XP last week and even though XP will still be EOLed in June, MS has been working with some organisations like Asus who want to keep using XP on their low cost/low power computing devices. Gartner says that Windows is bloated, overly complex and full of useless functionality and that users who aren’t forced to upgrade by way of OEM deals, would rather stick to what they have.

Adium adds Facebook chat support

The big daddy of Mac OS X IM clients, Adium, is adding facebook chat support to its already humongous list of protocol support. This was mentioned over at the Adium blog yesterday. No word on when the next release is going to be out, but till then, keep your eyes on the blog. Another reason for all you teeny bopper facebook fans to switch :-)

Raging Thunder shows the iPhone’s potential

 

If you had any doubts about the potential of the iPhone as a gaming platform, you should put them to rest now. Raging Thunder is a new 3D game which uses the accelerometer to steer a car and uses openGL for the graphics. The graphics, btw, are pretty sleek and even though the games’s not perfect yet, we’re not complaining. Now, if only the car would stop steering so dramatically with the slightest movement of the iPhone, I would probably be able to complete some more laps. Nonetheless, I should add, Gentlemen fire your installer.apps and try this wonderful addition to the world of iPhone gaming.

 

 

Day 11: Leh to Kargil

Our journey to Leh was finally coming to an end and none of us were in the mood to go back to civilisation. I wish we could have stayed there for a couple of more months, if not days. We had to get petrol filled in the bikes and so there was no point getting up early and then wait for the gas station to open. We slept well, got up, got ready, tied up our bikes and went to get fuel filled. Pandey and Akhilesh were late as usual and we told them that we’ll meet them at the gas station.

They were taking a long time and we got tired of waiting for them and so we called them and told them to reach the pathar sahab gurudwara that we were supposed to stop at. Pathar sahab is about 30 kms from Leh and is believed to be the place where guru nanak meditated while in Leh. A demon had thrown a big rock on the guru from a nearby hill while the guru was meditating. The rock on touching the guru melted and the shape of the guru’s back can still be seen embedded in the rock at the gurudwara. The place is now maintained by the Indian Army.

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