Tuesday, August 17, 2004

When Scientists Meet Dinosaurs

Richard A. Muller, a 1982 MacArthur Fellow, is a physics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches a course called “Physics for Future Presidents”. Since 1972, he has been a Jason consultant on U.S. national security.

In a recent article commemorating the 25-year old discovery which led to the standard explanation that the extinction of the dinosaurs was due to a comet or asteroid ramming into the Earth, Muller wrote that science is driven by a sense of adventure, rather than curiosity (as many people would say).

If scientists were plain curious, without being adventurous, Muller argued, they would spend most of their time reading, just like what truly curious people would do. Curiosity is the impulse to learn something new, while being adventurous is the desire to be there first. In just a few books, a curious person can learn a thousand times as much as a top scientist could possibly discover in a lifetime of research.

Until today, we do not really know whether it was an asteriod or a comet that wiped out the giants. In fact, with every discovery comes many new questions to answer. There is a lot more that we don't know today than we didn't know 25 years ago. However, just like the legendary Sisyphus, Muller contended that scientists are better off.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

creAtive maRkeTing

Creative Technology (website) is a Singapore-based electronics manufacturer of PC multimedia products and peripherals. It is famous for its Sound Blaster (website) and has been the market leader in PC sound cards for almost two decades, and that is as long as sound card is part of the standard PC configuration! Creative has always been a strong brand, and its sound cards are the world's best. And it is one of the few Singaporean firms to be listed in the United States.

Today, sound cards only makes up 25% of Creative's revenues. The company has since diversified into other products and services, including not very successful attempts on dot-com businesses. Its current product range includes the traditional sound cards and audio devices, HansVision Chinese software, and various trendy electronics gadgets, such as MP3 players and web-cams.

While based in Singapore, Creative has never advertised on TV for all its 23 years. But that is going to be changed, as its chairman Sim Wong Hoo announced a six-month campaign starting later this month to showcase a slew of its new products. The campaign is intended to run into the busy Christmas season. It seems likely that Creative is going to give shoppers some real creative shopping tips for the festive seasons.

Creative on Nasdaq:
Creative on SGX:

Monday, June 28, 2004

Artificial Intelligence, Real Life

I am glad to watch A.I. (by Steven Spielberg) again last evening. I have always wanted to "relook" at some of the scenes which I didn't watch carefully at the movie theater the first time.

A.I. is about a robot boy, David, who is such an advanced machine that he is capable not only of feelings but emotions as well, particularly the desire to be loved. I am not so much into the technology stuff, not into whether we have the technological means in creating such an advanced mechanical life, though artificial intelligence is around us everywhere now.

The story tells us how David seeks for a "blue fairy" to give him a real life. It is very much a modern Pinochio story. But the story moves on and tells of the future of the human race, and the continuation of life beyond the human race and anything we understand today (including the speculation of extraterrestrial life). The movie does not just depict an organic life (humans) and a mechanical life (machos, the robots), but a third form. Towards the end of the film, it shows life in a non-material form (neither organic nor mechanic), in the form of pure energy. I wonder how this has gone into the script, for it is beyond the cosmic teachings of most ancient and modern schools.

Friday, June 25, 2004

X Blogs: The Official Site

I have set up another blog for technology purpose. It will primarily log web contents of RFID technology as I am doing a research paper on it now. However, I will not limit myself in the type of information I will place there. That means, it will have all sorts of technology and applied science stuff there.

A New Beginning...

Always wanted to do a personal blog thingie, but always can't find the time. Perhaps it takes more than "finding the time" even to do blogging. Currently doing exams for Master of Engineering Degree at QUT (Brisbane, Australia). So, have to get back to study after I have enuf fun with this.