The SUN has finally set at Redwood Shores

We’ve been debating the merits of a possible IBM-Sun deal for a while now, and even Sun itself seemed to be in the dark as to if it would be a good idea to be bought by IBM. These debates are now all moot: in a surprise move (at least, I didn’t see any speculation about it) Oracle has bought Sun Microsystems, at USD 9.50 a share, which equates to a total of 7.4 billion USD. The news got out through a press release.

“Oracle Corporation (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun’s cash and debt. “We expect this acquisition to be accretive to Oracle’s earnings by at least 15 cents on a non-GAAP basis in the first full year after closing. We estimate that the acquired business will contribute over $1.5 billion to Oracle’s non-GAAP operating profit in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year. This would make the Sun acquisition more profitable in per share contribution in the first year than we had planned for the acquisitions of BEA, PeopleSoft and Siebel combined,” said Oracle President Safra Catz.”

“This is a fantastic day for Sun’s customers, developers, partners and employees across the globe, joining forces with the global leader in enterprise software to drive innovation and value across every aspect of the technology marketplace,” said Jonathan Schwartz, Sun’s CEO, also in the press release, “From the Java platform touching nearly every business system on earth, powering billions of consumers on mobile handsets and consumer electronics, to the convergence of storage, networking and computing driven by the Solaris operating system and Sun’s SPARC and x64 systems. Together with Oracle, we’ll drive the innovation pipeline to create compelling value to our customer base and the marketplace.”

“Sun is a pioneer in enterprise computing, and this combination recognizes the innovation and customer success the company has achieved. Our largest customers have been asking us to step up to a broader role to reduce complexity, risk and cost by delivering a highly optimized stack based on standards,” said Oracle President Charles Phillips. “This transaction will preserve and enhance investments made by our customers, while we continue to work with our partners to provide customers with choice.”

The deal has received unanimous approval of Sun’s board, and is likely to go down this summer, after shareholder approval.

About Oracle

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world’s largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle, please visit thes Web site at http://www.oracle.com.

About Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA) develops the technologies that power the global marketplace. Guided by a singular vision — “The Network is the Computer” — Sun drives network participation through shared innovation, community development and open source leadership. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at http://www.sun.com.

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If Philosophers were Programmers

“Wikipedia has a special section called, ‘Language Philosophy,’ in every article for a programming language. This section looks at the motivation and the basic principles of the language design. What if we investigate further than that? What deeper connections between philosophies and programming languages exist? By considering the most influential thinkers of all time (e.g. Plato, Descartes, Kant) we can figure out which programming language fits best with aspects of their philosophy (Did you know that Kant was the first Python programmer)? The list is not exhaustive, but this is a funny and educative start.”

They’re Coming For You

The Great Indian Open Election will be into its first round as 143 million of the country’s 700 million voters cast their vote for the 15th Lok Sabha election in their attempt to form India’s next government — the shape of which is still eluding even the wisest political pundits.

The outcome in 124 seats will be determined in Today’s polling, which is just over one-fourth of the 543 seats. But these seats are crucial to the power bids of all contenders — UPA, NDA, Third Front, Fourth Front, and many bit players whose support, too, will be desperately wooed as the group with the highest tally gets down to winning friends and influencing MPs after May 16, the summer day when all results will be announced.

But, whom should I vote for? this is the question which everyone of us must ask ourselves and answer. This should not be driven by emotions, religion, caste, community, money, favour. Every vote counts, everyone should use the power of vote. But the question remains, whom should I vote for?

We should do some research about the candidates contesting in our constitution. There are many sources of information one such source of information is national election watch (NEW) .

The National Election Watch (NEW) is a nationwide campaign comprising of more than 1200 NGO and other citizen led
organizations working on electoral reforms, improving democracy and governance in India.

National Election Watch is active in almost all states of India and has done election watch for all states and Lok Sabha elections since ADR, along with couple other organizations, won the PIL in Supreme Court in 2002 to making disclosure of educational, financial and criminal background of electoral candidates mandatory.

Lot of people around the country are questioning what our elected representatives do. Do you know what the responsibilities of our elected representatives are?

Although a few responsibilities of the elected representatives are defined, the fact is that their responsibilities are very fluid. In fact, citizens and voters of their constituency can and should approach them for any problem that affects general public – be it related to education, health, transport, or any issue affecting general public.

The purpose of this site is several fold:

* Give information on the elected representatives – everything that they give in their affidavits.
* Give information about a constituency – various human development index parameters.
* Give a chance to the general public to give comments on work done by their elected representatives.
* Rate various representatives based on peoples’ comments and improvement shown in their constituency during their tenure, etc.
* Feed this feedback back to your elected representative, so that he has a chance to work on the feedback received from his constituency.

National Election Watch has made comparative charts of contesting candidates available via myneta.info, releases comparative charts for top 25 Phase 1 Red Alert Constituencies.

Other sources of information:
smartvote.in
adrindia.org
myneta.info

and ofcourse: nationalelectionwatch.org

He’s a Mac, he’s a PC, but we’re Linux

Earlier this year the Linux Foundation launched a competition for budding writers, film makers and just general Linux enthusiasts to make their own grassroots advertisement to compete with Apple’s highly-successful “I’m a Mac” series of adverts. The Linux Foundation hopes to succeed where Microsoft’s short-lived Jerry Seinfeld experiment failed, namely landing a glove on Apple’s unrelenting “I’m a Mac” ads.

The Linux Foundation think, and rightly so, that a Linux advertisement is overdue and felt it time to produce their own ad they did as Linux does – they sought community involvement.

The Linux Foundation opted not to embark on their own production but rather sponsor a community contest, exploiting the minds and talents of Linuxphiles globally. The contest started on January 26th and entrants are asked to showcase their take on “I’m Linux” within 60 seconds or less.

Participants were asked to showcase their take on “I’m Linux” within 60 seconds or less. There was no requirement to mention or refer to the Apple or Microsoft campaigns. Submissions were expected to be inspirational and explain why the creators love Linux, infecting viewers with their passion. The winner has now been announced.

It wasn’t just a work of love, mind you. The winning prize is a free trip to Tokyo to participate in the Linux Foundational Japan Linux Symposium during October this year.

Over 90 entries were submitted, from across the globe. Five of these were shortlisted as the finalists, and just prior to Easter the winner was chosen, Armitay Tweeto, freelance graphic designer and user interface consultant from Bet Shemesh, Israel.

Tweeto’s winning entry was titled “What does it mean to be free?

The two runner ups were “The Origin,” and “Linux pub.”

The other two finalists, who did not gain a place, were “The future is open” and “Challenges at the office.”

Fantastic Natural Phenomena

The classical natural wonders are huge and hard to miss – vast canyons, giant mountains and the like. Many of the most fantastic natural phenomena, however, are also least easy to spot. Some are incredibly rare while others are located in hard-to-reach parts of the planet. From moving rocks to mammatus clouds and red tides to fire rainbows, here are seven of the most spectacular phenomenal wonders of the natural world.

1) Sailing Stones

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The mysterious moving stones of the packed-mud desert of Death Valley have been a center of scientific controversy for decades. Rocks weighing up to hundreds of pounds have been known to move up to hundreds of yards at a time. Some scientists have proposed that a combination of strong winds and surface ice account for these movements. However, this theory does not explain evidence of different rocks starting side by side and moving at different rates and in disparate directions. Moreover, the physics calculations do not fully support this theory as wind speeds of hundreds of miles per hour would be needed to move some of the stones.

2) Columnar Basalt

2When a thick lava flow cools it contracts vertically but cracks perpendicular to its directional flow with remarkable geometric regularity – in most cases forming a regular grid of remarkable hexagonal extrusions that almost appear to be made by man. One of the most famous such examples is the Giant’s Causeway on the coast of Ireland (shown above) though the largest and most widely recognized would be Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Basalt also forms different but equally fascinating ways when eruptions are exposed to air or water.

3) Blue Holes

3Blue holes are giant and sudden drops in underwater elevation that get their name from the dark and foreboding blue tone they exhibit when viewed from above in relationship to surrounding waters. They can be hundreds of feet deep and while divers are able to explore some of them they are largely devoid of oxygen that would support sea life due to poor water circulation – leaving them eerily empty. Some blue holes, however, contain ancient fossil remains that have been discovered, preserved in their depths.

4) Red Tides

4Red tides are also known as algal blooms – sudden influxes of massive amounts of colored single-cell algae that can convert entire areas of an ocean or beach into a blood red color. While some of these can be relatively harmless, others can be harbingers of deadly toxins that cause the deaths of fish, birds and marine mammals. In some cases, even humans have been harmed by red tides though no human exposure are known to have been fatal. While they can be fatal, the constituent phytoplankton in ride tides are not harmful in small numbers.

5) Ice Circles

5While many see these apparently perfect ice circles as worthy of conspiracy theorizing, scientists generally accept that they are formed by eddies in the water that spin a sizable piece of ice in a circular motion. As a result of this rotation, other pieces of ice and flotsam wear relatively evenly at the edges of the ice until it slowly forms into an essentially ideal circle. Ice circles have been seen with diameters of over 500 feet and can also at times be found in clusters and groups at different sizes as shown above.

6) Mammatus Clouds

6True to their ominous appearance, mammatus clouds are often harbingers of a coming storm or other extreme weather system. Typically composed primarily of ice, they can extend for hundreds of miles in each direction and individual formations can remain visibly static for ten to fifteen minutes at a time. While they may appear foreboding they are merely the messengers – appearing around, before or even after severe weather.

7) Fire Rainbows

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Picture: Lisa Gonnelli

A circumhorizontal fire rainbow arc occurs at a rare confluence of right time and right place for the sun and certain clouds. Crystals within the clouds refract light into the various visible waves of the spectrum but only if they are arrayed correctly relative to the ground below. Due to the rarity with which all of these events happen in conjunction with one another, there are relatively few remarkable photos of this phenomena.