Category Archives: Technology

भाषा के नए प्रश्न

sourav-roy-old-manहिंदी में एक कहावत है – “कोस कोस पर पानी बदले, चार कोस पर बानी।” हम इस बात को अक्सर बड़े गर्व से कहते हैं, मगर क्या हर चार कोस में भाषा का बदलना हमारे पिछड़ेपन का प्रतीक नहीं? क्या यह नहीं दर्शाता कि भारत की एक बहुत बड़ी जनसँख्या अपने चार कोस की सीमा से बाहर निकल ही नहीं पाती है? निकलने की ज़रुरत भी शायद नहीं पड़ती है। इसी चार कोस के गांवों में इनके तमाम आत्मीय, मित्र मिल जाते हैं। इसी चार कोस के दायरे में इनकी खेती-बाड़ी, शादी-ब्याह, व्यापार, बाज़ार इत्यादि की ज़रूरतें भी पूरी हो जाती हैं। मगर क्या भाषाओं का अपने अपने चार कोस के वृत्त में सिमटे रहना गर्व की बात है? Continue reading

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Oh, meltdown!

mister_burnsA nuclear meltdown is quite common in ‘The Simpsons’, the popular television show which chronicles the human condition in modern America using satire and humour. The show is set in the fictional small town of Springfield, known for its nuclear power plant. Continue reading

A programmer’s null and a philosopher’s nihilism

null_nihilBeing software engineers, we use null as a value that is unavailable, unassigned, unknown, or inapplicable. It is neither a zero nor a blank space. A database designer uses a null to indicate a data value that does not exist in the database. A programmer uses a null pointer for an uninitialized, undefined, empty or meaningless value. It is believed that a null reference is probably the worst mistake made in programming. I will argue otherwise. Continue reading

Cost of life

med-evil-2India is the world’s biggest provider of cheap and affordable medicines to the developing world. Of course, most developing countries don’t like that! This debate over global drug pricing is one of the most controversial issues between developed countries and the developing world. While poorer nations maintain they have a moral obligation to make cheaper, generic drugs available to their masses, global pharmaceutical companies claim that the profits they reap are essential to their research. Continue reading

Code is law

lessigCode is law’ is the famous phrase by Lawrence Lessig, the founder of Creative Commons, and one of the leading activists behind the Copyleft Movement. In an era when liberty is increasingly being mistaken with freedom from government, it must be understood that people, even in the seemingly free and democratic Cyberspace, are not really free. Continue reading

Artistic science scientific arts

science_artsIn a previous article I had initiated a discourse on art, and it’s relationship with science. Science gives us conceptual knowledge of the situation, and art helps us experience it. However, there is more to it. Science, more than anything else, also gives direction to art, true, in a very complex sense. Continue reading

The miracle plant

jatrophaThe Jatropha Curcas, also known as ‘danti’, is a strange species of flora. It’s leafy and green – sometimes it takes the form of a shrub, but it can also become a tree up to six meters tall. It came from the tropics of Central America and can thrive in semi-arid climates with low-nutrient soil. Jatropha plants bear a poisonous little fruit – inside each are several black seeds. If you crush them, you get oil. Continue reading