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Member since: Wed Feb 25, 2009, 02:07 AM
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Exit polls predict a rout for the ruling party in India.

The largest election in the world is over in India, and exit polls are out. The actual results are due on the 16th.

Based on the exit polls, it seems like the incumbent Congress party(which heads the UPA coalition) is headed for a rout by the BJP (which heads the NDA coalition of parties). This is major news for India, considering that the Congress party(and its coalitions) have ruled India for 58 out of its 64 years of existence!

The BJP candidate is Modi, who is from one of the lowest castes and worked as a child laborer ( sold tea in a train station as a youngster, to help his family eke out a living), later became the Chief minister of the state of Gujarat, and is now poised to become the Prime Minister of India.

Rahul Gandhi; the scion of the Gandhi dynasty (not to be confused with Mahatma Gandhi) and Modi's opponent, seems to be headed for a sure defeat. In stark contrast to Modi, Rahul Gandhi's father, grandmother, and great grandfather were all prime ministers of India; and he hails from a very powerful and wealthy family.

The Congress party has been known for huge scandals and corruption, and seems like it cost them this election. The youth, and the educated voters overwhelmingly chose BJP over congress, resulting in this (pending)landmark victory

I for one, am glad to see the end of dynastic politics in India.

Some links




Google Takes on Rare Fight Against National Security Letters

Google has filed a rare petition to challenge an ultra-secret national security letter issued by the government to obtain private data about one or more of its users.

The extraordinary petition, which was filed under seal in the U.S. District Court of Northern California on March 29, comes just days after a U.S. District Judge in California ruled in a case brought by an unnamed company and the Electronic Frontier Foundation that so-called NSLs that come with a gag order on the recipient are an unconstitutional impingement on free speech.

In early March, Google signaled an interest in becoming more transparent about the NSLs it has received by releasing a report for the first time showing a “range” of times that it received NSL’s from the FBI.

In filing its recent court challenge, Google has joined a very small club of NSL recipients who have taken on the civil liberties interests of users by fighting back against orders that until now have been issued under the cloak of secrecy and generally without oversight.

more here

on related news
Google Says the FBI Is Secretly Spying on Some of Its Customers

You will not see any other Major company(Apple, MS) do anything even remotely similar to this.

Judge: We can't rely on what Apple tells court in privacy suit U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal

Apple must detail for a court what it's doing to produce documents in a privacy suit, a judge ruled, saying he has already "refereed" this particular dispute and that he can no longer believe what the company tells him.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal issued the order March 6 after the plaintiffs in the case accused Apple of withholding documents it had been ordered to turn over. He noted that while the plaintiffs "presented to the court little more than suspicions that Apple has withheld responsive documents," Apple provided enough evidence on its own to indicate to the court that it hasn't complied with the order. He added that Apple's outside counsel "admitted as much" at a March 5 hearing.

The suit, filed in 2011, accuses Apple of violating privacy laws by keeping a log of user locations via iPhone even if customers had turned off geolocation capabilities. Apple has fought against providing certain documents that it says contain sensitive information that could harm the company and millions of its customers if it fell into the wrong hands.

more here

More here

The plaintiffs in the privacy suit are accusing Apple of collecting customers’ location data on their iPhones even when they have their geo-location services switched off and of giving third parties access to customers’ location data without their consent. Apple has tried to withhold revealing some documents requested in the case by arguing that their release could jeopardize customer privacy. Grewal, however, still ordered Apple to produce the documents and became upset when the company allegedly took over three months to verify whether it had complied with his order.

“Luckily for the plaintiffs, Apple has provided more than enough evidence itself to suggest to the court that it has not fully complied with the court’s order,” Grewal wrote this week. “In light of Apple’s performance in this case, the court cannot rely on its representations that this time it really has or will produce all responsive documents.”


This lawsuit was the result of the Iphone Tracking Scandal

iSpy Conspiracy: Your iPhone Is Secretly Tracking Everywhere You’ve Been, All The Time

This is a map of everywhere I've been for nearly the last year. Everywhere. I didn't carry around a special tracking device. The FBI isn't sending goons in unmarked vans to track me. All I did was use an iPhone. And if you have an iPhone, you're being tracked right now, too, whether you like it or not.

It turns out that all our iPhones are keeping a record of everywhere you've been since June. This data is stored on your phone (or iPad) and computer, easily available to anyone who gets their hands on it.

more here

But..But...Apple would never do this?

Supreme Court to rule on patentability of human genes

Supreme Court to rule on patentability of human genes
Lower court ruled that genes can be patented once isolated from the body.

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will consider a legal challenge to a patent on a breast cancer gene held by the firm Myriad Genetics. The case could have broad implications for the future of medical diagnostic techniques.

In March, the Supreme Court ordered an appeals court to reconsider a 2011 decision holding that genetic material could be patented once it has been "isolated" from the human body. At the time, the Supreme Court had just rejected patents on medical diagnostic techniques, and the high court wanted the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to re-consider its previous ruling in light of this new precedent.

In August, the Federal Circuit, which is responsible for hearing all patent law appeals, decided to stick with its previous ruling. It once again concluded that DNA sequences could be patented once they had been isolated from the human body. Now the Supreme Court will have a chance to check the Federal Circuit's work.
The Federal Circuit's ruling was decided by a 2-1 margin. The dissenting judge, William Bryson, compared isolating the DNA to snapping a leaf from a tree. "Prematurely plucking the leaf would not turn it into a human-made invention," Judge Bryson wrote in August. "That would remain true if there were minor differences between the plucked leaf and the fallen autumn leaf, unless those differences imparted 'markedly different characteristics' to the plucked leaf."

more here

The patent system needs SERIOUS reform.

GOP recommends Lamar Smith, SOPA author and global warming critic, as chairman of Science,Space,tech

GOP recommends Lamar Smith, SOPA author and global warming critic, as chairman of Science, Space, and Tech committee

US Congressman Lamar Smith has long expressed doubt that global warming is a man-made phenomenon, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that environmentalists are dismayed by news that Smith is likely to chair the Science, Space, and Technology committee for the upcoming 113th Congress. US House Speaker John Boehner has put forth recommendations of the House Republican Steering Committee as to who should lead the various committees, with Boehner naming Smith as his preferred pick for the all-important science/tech position. As the Huffington Post notes, Smith acknowledges a changing climate but has previously lambasted the media for pinning fault for global warming on human activity.

Should the GOP ratify Smith's nomination as is widely expected, it wouldn't mark the first time a skeptic has held the job. Outgoing chairman Rep. Ralph Hall expressed similar qualms about what many consider a clear-cut issue, once saying, "we have a lot of science that tells us they're not basing it [global warming] on real scientific facts."

Additionally, those following net neutrality will instantly recognize Rep. Smith as the author of the controversial, much-maligned Stop Online Piracy Act. Though SOPA legislation was ultimately tabled in response to fierce backlash, Smith's promotion to committee chairman could raise new concerns that he'll again attempt to address online piracy with similarly heavy-handed measures. It's expected that the House will vote in favor of Smith's new role today.


This comes even as the US is fighting off heavy competition from other nations on science and tech.
This news just blows my mind.

Google Launches “VetNet” To Help Military Veterans Re-Enter The Civilian Life

^^ VetNet Intro Video From Google

Today, Google launched a new initiative called VetNet, to help people connect and re-enter the working life. The company is putting its social backend, Google+, to work on this project.

We recently went to the “Vets In Tech” hackathon, where we met some amazing folks who are trying to build great things outside of military life. This new initiative is a fantastic addition to the cause.

Here’s what the company had to say about it today:

We’ve put the powers of Google+ behind a single hub called VetNet. Today, VetNet launches as a partnership with three founding organizations: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and Hire Heroes USA. In the long run, other organizations will be able to offer their services to the veteran community, all in the same easy-to-use place.

Why is this important? For many reasons. First off, Google is huge and can move mountains for just about any cause or situation...

By connecting vets with actual helpful resources for employment and support, Google is doing something great here. Will folks in the military gravitate to it? Will it be too “geeky”? That’s the question we have to wait to answer. Until then, it’s worth a look.

read more

Google helps launch VetNet, a G+ powered hub for veterans and spouses to rebuild their civvy careers

Back in November last year, Google launched a new site called Google For Veterans to provide tools and assistance for the American men and women who have fought for their country.

And now Google has lent its Google+ platform to VetNet, a partnership between the US Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and Hire Heroes USA. Though there are three founding organizations, others can offer their services through the site too.

The purpose of the hub is pretty simple – it will serve up resources around employment, be it a from-scratch job-search or helping those looking to build their own firm.

While the various strands are pulled together under a single online domain, the individual resources are organized into three Google+ tracks, each on its own page – Basic Training Track (resumes, interviewing tips etc), Career Connections Track and Entrepreneur Track.


Link to the VetNet Site

This puts three major veteran organizations(more to join),training courses and a database of about 1 million Veteran preferred jobs under one roof. Good job Google . They do not stand to gain a penny from doing it, but it's great to see them do it for the sake of doing something good.

Listen all y'all, this is sabotage?

"For whatever reasons, the conservative bloggers have latched onto Orca as the reason it all fell apart," Moffatt added. Those bloggers have suggested that developers with Democratic sympathies somehow acted as a fifth column within the Romney camp. Targeted Victory was singled out by some bloggers because a few of its developers worked for Al Gore in the past.

"Why do they have Al Gore's dev working on Romney's social media development?!" blogger Catherine Ann Fitzpatrick asked. "Truly, how can they expect dedication?" She also singled out another developer who is African-American and "who has a 96 percent chance of being an Obama voter… I will be accused of 'racism' for even flagging. But it's the truth."

Moffatt said that this kind of thinking puts too much faith in a single piece of software. "Anyone who knows campaigns knows this was all baked in before that day—there was no magic, Orca wasn't a silver bullet," he said. "But on the flip side, when you're on a campaign that has only six months of infrastructure time, sometimes you have to throw a Hail Mary. It's really hard to go up against someone who has four years of lead time.

more here

On related news..notice how casually Race comes into play?

Oh and also Republicans suck when it comes to technology. Its no secret President Obama has the silicon valley firmly in his pocket.

PS: I love the top rated comment for that article

Well, they /would/ posit sabotage instead of admitting their people were incompetent, wouldn't they?

Reality denial is practically a sport with those folks.

Wrong turn: Apple's buggy iOS 6 maps lead to widespread complaints


Apple has a maps problem.

The major new feature of the company's new iOS 6 mobile operating system is a new mapping module developed by Apple itself — a replacement for the Google-supplied maps that have been standard on the iPhone since it debuted in 2007. It is a change borne not of user demand, but of corporate politics: Google's Android platform is the biggest competitive threat to the iPhone, so Apple is cutting ties with Google. iPhone owners might have loved Google Maps, but Apple has no love for Google.


Unfortunately, Apple's new maps are simply not as good as Google's. The release of iOS 6 yesterday was immediately followed by users complaining about the new maps, which lack a significant amount of detail and omit public transit directions. Access to high-quality maps is a critical feature for modern smartphones, and Apple's decision to swap out Google Maps is a rare example of the company openly placing its own interests above those of its customers. "There was no problem to solve," says Rene Ritchie, editor of iMore. "They're going to get hammered by mom and pop who want to find a store. It's going to be messy for them."


more here





Check more images out at


What happened to the so called “It Just Werks™” ?

No StreetView
No Transit
Almost non-existent outside the US
Totally inaccurate/full of errors (Berlin Germany would point to a minor village instead of the German capitol!)

Apple's IOS 6 maps are about 4 years behind Google/Android Maps. So much for all the Hype.lol


Now on Yahoo front page news as well

Anger over new iPhone, iPod maps app

Atma-Shatakam/Nirvana Shatakam, The Song of the Self. Advaita Vedanata(Non-Dual) school of Hinduism

The Advaita Vedanta School of Hinduism is one of the most famous and ancient schools of Hinduism in Existence. Advaita means "not-two". The basic premise of the Advaita Vedantin is that the Atman(self) is identical to Brahman. Ignorance prevents us from realizing this truth. Jnana Yoga(Yoga of knowledge) is practiced by the Advaitins in order to pierce this veil of ignorance and realize the Brahman they have always been.

The Advaitin looks inward and not outward, as by knowing oneself(realizing that one is Brahman) one realizes everything. This is called 'self-realization"/"Enlightenment"/"Moksha" in the Dharmic traditions. The first textual evidence to the existence of Advaita vedanta can be found in the Hindu Upanishads from the 10th century BCE.

The following is a famous Sloka(Song) of six stanzas called "Atma/Nirvana Shatakam" .

I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego,
nor the reflections of inner self (chitta).
I am not the five senses.
I am beyond that.
I am not the ether, nor the earth,
nor the fire, nor the wind (the five elements).
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.

2) Neither can I be termed as energy (prana),
nor five types of breath (vayus)
nor the seven material essences
nor the five coverings (pancha-kosha).
Neither am I the five instruments of elimination,
procreation, motion, grasping, or speaking.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.

3) I have no hatred or dislike,
nor affiliation or liking,
nor greed,
nor delusion,
nor pride or haughtiness,
nor feelings of envy or jealousy.
I have no duty (dharma),
nor any money,
nor any desire (kama),
nor even liberation (moksha).
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.

4) I have neither merit (virtue),
nor demerit (vice).
I do not commit sins or good deeds,
nor have happiness or sorrow,
pain or pleasure.
I do not need mantras, holy places,
scriptures (Vedas), rituals or sacrifices (yagnas).
I am none of the triad of
the observer or one who experiences,
the process of observing or experiencing,
or any object being observed or experienced.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.

5) I do not have fear of death,
as I do not have death.
I have no separation from my true self,
no doubt about my existence,
nor have I discrimination on the basis of birth.
I have no father or mother,
nor did I have a birth.
I am not the relative,
nor the friend,
nor the guru,
nor the disciple.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.

6) I am all pervasive.
I am without any attributes,
and without any form.
I have neither attachment to the world,
nor to liberation (mukti).
I have no wishes for anything
because I am everything,
every time,
always in equilibrium.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.


I love how non-duality is expressed in this song.
Note: Shiva is used interchangeably with us, human beings in this song. In other words Shiva/Brahman and I are the same.

The four most popular Advaita Vedanta Sayings (Zen Koanish in nature, are used to impart the knowledge of Advaita)

1) prajñānam brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman"
2) ayam ātmā brahma - "This Self (Atman) is Brahman"
3) tat tvam asi - "Thou art That"
4) aham brahmāsmi - "I am Brahman"

^^ All of Advaita philosophy can be found condensed in these words.

"The knowers of Brahman become Brahman"

(To clarify, they are always Brahman, they never were anything else, but due to their ignorance they believe they are different..but when they realize Brahman they realize themselves.. for they have always been "that"

For a lot for Advaitins the question about the existence of God is of no use and makes no sense.In fact Advaita Vedanta explicitly states that God is but an illusion and a projection of ignorance. Often they are either agnostics (like buddhists) or Atheists.

"This self was indeed Brahman in the beginning. It knew itself only as "I am Brahman". Therefore it became all. And whoever among the gods had this enlightenment, also became That Brahman. It is the same with the seers (rishis), the same with men. The seer Vamadeva, having realized this self as That, came to know: "I was Manu and the sun." And to this day, whoever in a like manner knows the self as "I am Brahman," becomes all this universe. Even the gods cannot prevent his becoming this, for he has become their Self. Now, if a man worships another deity, thinking: "He is one and I am another," he does not know. He is like an animal to the gods. As many animals serve a man, so does each man serve the gods. Even if one animal is taken away, it causes anguish to the owner; how much more so when many are taken away! Therefore it is not pleasing to the gods that men should know this."
~Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10:

Brahman is the totality of all knowledge, of all perception and all experience. There is nothing to be known, nothing to be had, nothing to be enjoyed. Brahman is just existence.

"Consciousness minus conceptualization is the eternal Brahman."
~Valmiki’s Yoga Vasistha-

Youtube has some videos of the Nirvana/Atma Shatakam. I've embedded one here

PS: A considerable number of Ancient India's philosophers and scientists were Advaitins. They were also the ones who first invented and used the number zero. It was used to refer to a philosophical concept which was both "everything" and "nothing" at the same time. Later on it was also used in mathematics and the end result was the number zero

Jimmy Kimmel Proves: Apple’s Magic Is In The Brainwash

Apple has definitely perfected their magic trick. There’s no doubt about that. The company has the ability to brainwash, and I say that as someone who has been brainwashed myself by the beauty and simplicity of Apple products. But it stretches far beyond the actual hardware, software or services, and delves straight into brand perception.

Reports even suggest that fanbois brains respond to Apple imagery the same way that religious fanatics’ brains respond to religious imagery. It’s an incredible feat, and some are so very indoctrinated that they stop trusting in their own sensory perception and simply trust the brand. Whole-heartedly.

Such is the case with this spoof from Jimmy Kimmel. The comedian took an iPhone 4 out on the streets and told people it was the new iPhone 5. To be clear, no one but Apple employees has the new iPhone yet. It goes up for pre-order at 12:01am on Friday.

In any case, every person in the video thinks that the two-year old iPhone 4 is “faster,” “lighter” and even more durable than the iPhone 4S. Just because they were told it’s the iPhone 5. In fact, one guy was actually holding the iPhone 4S in his hand as he inspected what he thought to be the iPhone 5 (which, again, was the iPhone 4).


Check out the hilarious Jimmy Kimmel Video

In the video, Apple fans think an Iphone 4 is Better than an Iphone 4S Simply because they believed that it(the iphone 4) was the new iphone5. They even say it feels lighter, much faster, more user friendly etc etc

This tallies very well with the results from a research the BBC reported on

Apple triggers 'religious' reaction in fans' brains, report says

Next time Grandma asks why you're going to the mall on Sunday morning instead of church, tell her you're going to Apple Chapel.

For Apple fans, the brand triggers a reaction in the brain that's not unlike that of religious devotees, according to a BBC documentary series that cites neurological research.

The neuroscientists ran a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on an Apple fanatic and discovered that images of the technology company's gadgets lit up the same parts of the brain as images of a deity do for religious people, the report says


This just proves what we PC/Android/Open-source guys have been saying all along. Apple is not a company that innovates, but its a company that relies on marketing its brand-identity amongst its cultist followers...followers who are identical to the religious fanatics from the religious right/Taliban

PS: let the flame wars begin


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