Widget or gadget for your XP desktop
By, I.M. Tanjin Ahsan
Isn't that great! If you can view today's temperature or you can know today's tasks or today's BBC headlines just from the desktop without opening any browser window! Sounds like RSS Feed, right? But RSS requires web browser or RSS feed application but I am saying without any kind of applications! Widgets are kind of mini applications that makes Windows Desktop more live and informative. Mac OS X users were enjoying this Widget features several years from now (From Panther version of their OS). Even Microsoft is porting this system in their upcoming Windows Vista OS (In Sidebar), although they have changed its name to Gadget (Check out www.microsoftgadgets.com for more information). Yahoo Widgets or Kapsules are popular Widget Management softwares. With Widget applications not only you can enjoy temperature data, fancy clock or picture slideshows but Widgets also can illustrate and update several RSS feeds. Widget technology is very much expandable and easy to create that any graphic worker or small programmer can build great widgets. That's why, Yahoo also giving their users opportunity to build some great widgets and earns some bucks; check out: http://widgets.yahoo.com. Other same concept applications are Kapsules, Widget Factory etc. But in my opinion Yahoo Widget is the best. Now everyday when I turn on my PC my XP desktop presents me with my favorite websites RSS feed, a nice analogue clock (Just like the upcoming Vista), a slideshow mirror and all these in nice shiny sparkling designed applications. Best part of Widgets is, anytime you can delete or add Widget individually. Try it now, sure you will love widgets. Download it from:
Your Planet's magnetic field is changing.Fast
Just so you know
By Ahmed Ashiful Haque
Like the plot of the average sci-fi movie, something very weird is happening deep underground. As you should know, the constant spin of Earth's liquid metallic core generates an invisible magnetic force field that shields our planet from harmful radiation in space. Gradually, that field is getting weaker. We don't really know what that means yet. Whether we are heading for a demagnetized doomsday that will leave us defenceless against the lethal effects of solar wind and cosmic rays is a question that scientists are now working on. The "Magnetic Storm" looks into our potentially unsettling magnetic future.
Scientists studying the problem are looking everywhere from Mars, which suffered a magnetic crisis four billion years ago and has been devoid of a magnetic field, an appreciable atmosphere, and possibly life ever since, to a laboratory at the University of Maryland, where researchers have re-created the molten iron dynamo at Earth's core by using 240 pounds of highly explosive molten sodium for clues.
But the warning signs of a declining field are subtlerthough they are evident in every clay dish that was ever fired. During high-temperature baking, iron minerals in clay record the exact state of Earth's magnetic field at that precise moment. By examining pots from prehistory to modern times, it can be seen just how dramatically the field has changed. "When we plot the results from the ceramics," said a researcher, "we see a rapid fall as we come toward the present day. The rate of change is higher over the last 300 years than it has been for any time in the past 5,000 years. It's going from a strong field down to a weak field, and it's doing so very quickly." This will take centuries to unfold. The time frame is very relative; a few centuries aren't “quick” when compared to a human's lifespan and most of us won't live long enough to experience it. But it's fast when compared to the lifespan of a planet.
At the present rate, Earth's magnetic field could be gone within a few centuries, exposing the planet to the relentless blast of charged particles from space with unpredictable consequences for the atmosphere and life. Other possibilities: the field could stop weakening and begin to strengthen, or it could weaken to the point that it suddenly flips polaritythat is, compasses begin to point to the South Magnetic Pole. The picture that emerges may not be up to Hollywood disaster standards, but considering that human civilization has never had to cope with such a situation before, it could be an interesting and challenging time.