Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Have you found your inner peace?

"Anything is possible when you have inner peace" says Master Shifu to his student Po, and this is how "the dragon warrior" saves not just the Valley of Peace, but entire China. Enjoying the confidence he has gained as the dragon warrior after defeating the evil and ferocious snow leopard Tai Lung in the first part, our Kung-Fu Panda continues his adventures along with the Furious Five in this new sequel. Just like Spiderman reasserted the statement "With great power comes great responsibility", Po restates "To protect from a powerful villain, a great hero will be born". 
Source: moejackson.com

And this evil villain, a peacock, becomes a trouble to deal with for our warrior Panda when he claims "China is mine" and determines to eliminate and destroy Kung-fu with his almighty metal spitting weapons. In fighting the evil peacock Lord Shen, Po has to find answers. Answers about his past, about his parents and about how Lord Shen is related to his past. On learning the answers to all his questions through the soothsayer, a female goat with a long beard, Po finds his inner peace and sets forth to save his friends, the furious five, and China from the evil antagonist. All this action  doesn't mean that our Panda lost interest in gobbling up dumplings or lost his funny tooth. He is all the same, but a little more dynamic after perfecting his kung-fu skills.

Year after year, quality of CGI has been improving dramatically and this movie is no exception. There were pretty complicated scenes designed in this movie, and the action sequence in ocean as the movie ends stands out. I strongly felt that the movie and the animations were designed specifically keeping in mind the effect it would give while watching in 3D. So, if you haven't watched this movie yet, go for it. And go for it in 3D.

Until then, in search of inner peace!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Electron's new shape, is Dan Brown listening?

Apparently, electron is not a perfect sphere. You might say what difference does it make if its not symmetric by 10E-27 th extent, but hell broke loose to all the scientists after researchers at Imperial College London discovered this fact. Physicists say that this tiny difference - so tiny that if the electron is magnified to the extent of solar system the symmetry would be lost only to an extent of human hair - might make a lot of difference in terms of the interactions electron makes around. After years of all those science classes in school and college where my teachers over and over tried in drilling down various formulae, radius and size of these atomic and subatomic particles, now I find this discovery fascinating.

And, they say this slight difference might be one reason why it is difficult to manifest antimatter. I hope Dan Brown is updated with this article. This might help him build script for a sequel to his book Angels and Demons, in which the protagonists save the world from destruction due to antimatter. Danny boy, have you started working yet?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

How to prepare your own 3 player chess board?

For all you chess lovers, three player chess board is "the" thing now. Three minds are always better than two. And hence, three player chess board is. It adds all new possibilities and complexities to the already complicated game. Not a chess player myself, but I am always amused looking at people outplaying their others. And I have a couple of friends who play really well. This post serves as a tutorial in building your own variant of a three player chess board. :P
Source: 3manchess.com
Apparently, the board above is patented. I wonder why I didn't come up with this, after looking at how this one is designed. :P It is made by dividing a circle into three equal 120 degree sectors, and then compressing one half of squared shaped chess board into a sector each! I guess a picture better explains this. But this should give ideas to people eager on inventing a 4 player chess board. What say!
Source: 3manchess.com
But this three player chess board is nothing new. People have been unleashing their creativity in trying to incorporate 3 players into one single board. And the simple rule to follow is to have parts of a 1/2 chess board. All the pictures below should give you a rough idea in case you want to come up with one of your shape.
Source: chesshouse.com
Source: boardwalkgamesinc.com

Source: sandyfly.net
Do post me a link to your site, if you come up with your own variant of this game. After all, I hope this post tried its part in highlighting how easy it should be in trying out your version of the game.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Technology, Love and Hate!

Skype might possibly look like this later this year after it gets integrated with Microsoft Windows Office suite! Who knows if we are all made to create and use Windows Live ID if we want to continue using their services

Do you think it is a big deal when Microsoft announces to buy Skype, the free video conferencing software which became a huge hit in the recent years? I think so having been a loyal Skype user for the past few of years now! Microsoft having had this reputation to monetize their technology makes me wonder if Skype also encounters such fate. Worse if it gets integrated with their Office 2012 suite for which we have to shell out bucks and soon enough made to pay the $8.5 Billion they have invested in buying Skype. Who knows, Skype might be made to stop supporting iPhones in order to boost up Windows phone sales. But for Microsoft this is a big step in capturing the user base of the Internet and Video Communications leader. Pity the loyal Windows Live Messenger, hope it does not get shelved after all the service it has done since 1999. 

The founders of Skype had quite a bumpy ride all these years despite their product being a hit among the masses since their product is widely popular for the free services they offer. But I still am unable to comprehend if this deal with Microsoft is a fitting finish to their effort or not! Let's hope this deal at least adds the much need cool factor to Microsoft that Kinect failed to completely bring to this technology corporate. Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, known for his eccentric behavior in the media and public conferences said "Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world. Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world."  

On the other hand, Google has been trying a lot of different things! Latest being their Youtube service testing its luck in movies business. Starting yesterday, Youtube is offering movies for rent at youtube.com/movies. I believe performance wise this new step does not create any major lag, as Youtube is used to seeing 35 hours of free video content uploaded to its servers every minute. Buckle up Netflix; what's your strategy now?

With all possible updates from technology giants, I wonder what Facebook is upto! All hail the "Zuck" and wait for the next big security lapse in Facebook.