Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Global Warming Warning for India

THE WORLD'S highest battle­ field has vanished by half, but not quite the way peaceniks would want it.

Geological field evidence has established for the first time that the original length of the 19,000 -feet high Siachen Glacier, in what is currently Indian territory, was 150 kilometres, an Indian researcher said. It is now down to 74 kilometres.

That melting process could touch the lives of millions across Pakistan, where much 'of the lifeline Indus River is fed by waters from the Nubra and Shyok rivers that originate from the Siachen and a tributary glacier called Rimo.

Melting of glaciers - slow­ moving rivers of ice - can cause flooding, landslides and lakes 'that can burst, like Tibet's Parchu Lake in June 2005.

"There is now evidence that global warming has caused the Siachen Glacier to recede by at least 76 kilometre - and this doesn't include its other tongues and territory in Pakistan," Dr. Rajeev Upadhay, of the geology department at Nainital's Kumaun University, told Hindustan Times.

Upadhyay, whose paper on his findings appeared last week in the journal Current & science, has studied the glacier since 1995.

Adding to the heat of the elections, this April would be the scorching sun. This year's warm winter allow rainfall in January and February have dried up many perennial water sources in the Himalayan region, affecting lifeline rivers like the Ganga, Yamuna and Sutlej. there now, but several thou­ sand Indian and Pakistan soldiers are deployed at Siachen, the site of one of the border disputes between the two countries.

More than 500 Indian soldiers have died, but mostly due to sunburns and frostbites in temperatures than plunge to ­ 40 degrees C.

Upadhyay shrugged off the view that military activity in the region has caused all the damage.

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Don't compare Kosmix to Google, just go Explore

KOSMIX, A well- financed Silicon Valley start-up, is often described on blogs and news sites as a search engine that may someday rival Google.

As flattering as that notion may sound, it rankles Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, the co-founders of Kosmix. And that's not because other start-ups making similar assertions have fallen laughably short of the mark. It's because Kosmix is trying to do something quite different from traditional Web search. "Search does what it does well, very well," Harinarayan said. "I don't think we can ever compete with that." Kosmix, he said, is not about finding the best set of documents for a specific keyword or phrase. Instead, its goal is to 'Explore' and I'tell me more about something," he said.

Kosmix founders Harjnarayan and Rajaraman

For a key word or topic that a user enters, Kosmix gathers content from across the Web to build a multimedia encyclopredia entry on the fly.

Its home page offers a mix of news, entertainment and other content from the Web. But" it is on searches that Kosmix becomes interesting.

Type in "Kauai," for example, and Kosmix will return a fairly rich page that includes an entry from WikiTravel, a rant recommendations from The New York Times; photos and videos from services like Flicker: and YouTube; clips of local music; reviews of guide books, bed-and-breakfasts services; blogposts and more.

By scouring the Web, the company has built a huge taxonomy, a set of nearly five million categories on topics from people and locations to car models, music groups and types of cheese.

"With the explosion of information on the Web, it is very hard to have an editorial function with only humans," Harinarayan said. "We are giving you an automated editor for any topic."

Last week, Kosmix released a service that creates a news site and allows people to tailor it to their interests to a far greater degree than Google News or MyYahoo.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Debt-ridden couple in suicide pact, man dies

Dharamsala, March 6

A 25-YEAR-OLD man died while his wife was struggling for life after the couple allegedly consumed some poisonous substance on failing to repay Rs llakh he had borrowed for their marriage nine months ago.

While Partap of Bagerh village died on Thursday evening, the condition of his wife Anu, a six-month pregnant, was stated to be critical. Kangra SSP Dr Atul Fulzele said preliminary investigation indicates that Partap, a mason by profession, and his wife consumed pesticide kept in the house and left for a nearby forest. When Pratap's condition deteriorated he called up his family members from his mobile phone.

The villagers and his family members took the couple to a Jawalamukhi hospital, from where they were shifted to Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College and Hospital. The police today recorded the statements of relatives of the deceased.

In another incident, two women, who were related, consumed poison at Narwana village 10 km from here. Sunita (33) and her niece Shivani (28) who were living together, consumed some poisonous substance following an argument. Shivani died at Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, while Sunita's condition was stated to be critical. A case has been registered.

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