The Vanishing Of The Hittites Is Still A Mystery, But We Think We Know Why Their Once Great Civilization Was Doomed!

Hittite Libation Scene

Hittite Libation Scene (Photo credit: voyageAnatolia.blogspot.com)

In the past 3000 years, a forgotten history of the Hittites were buried away.  Buried away to the point of almost all traces of the Hittites were vanished.  Luckily, modern day technology and knowledge had now allowed us to know more about the Hittites through series of archaeology findings.  What were buried now once again had resurfaced to tell an awesome history of the Hittites.  Now we know how the Hittites had conquered so many ancient kingdoms, and they even won the great victory at the battle of Kadesh against the equally powerful Egypt empire at the time.  At the height of their power, the Hittites had designed their great capital to the point of impenetrable (i.e., it was too formidable of a design for the people at this specific time to figure out how to penetrate the defense of the city).  The Hittites built the capital so remotely which they had come up with ingenious design for their time so they could bring water into their capital.  It was a great civilization indeed, but for some strange reasons, at the height of their power, the Hittites suddenly vanished without a trace.  Watch the video right after the break to see why the Hittites’ civilization was broken into pieces.  Nonetheless, just a head up, even the video could not explain what happened to the Hittites after their civilization had broken apart.  Where did the Hittites go?  Did they just vanish without a trace for real?  Enjoy the video…

Afterthought:  I think it’s wonderful that we had found their 30,000 tablets.  If we had not found such amazing treasures, I don’t think we could have been so successfully deciphered what the Hittites had left behind.  Of course, they had left behind a missing part of ancient history.  Perhaps, with understanding the Hittites better, we might too understand some behaviors of few great ancient civilizations that had interacted with the Hittites.  For an example, at the battle of Kadesh, Egyptian pharaoh, Ramesses II, bragged that he himself had routed his attackers, but some historians are believing that was just a mere propaganda from the ancient Egyptians.  According to Wikipedia and here I quote:

Archaeologists have been unable to verify independently any of the events recounted in the Egyptian and Hittite records of the Battle of Kadesh. Knowledge of the battle is derived entirely from the accounts of Hittite and Egyptian records, which disagree with each other (each side claiming victory). Details of the battle are reconstructed with reasonable certainty by reconciling the conflicting accounts through harmonizing these contradictions. Generally speaking, the nature of the available evidence makes it possible to reconstruct the outcome as portrayed by the Hittites, while gleaning believable details from Ramesses’ account wherever possible.  (Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kadesh)

So I guess, it’s great to have some insight into Hittites so we can know more about other civilizations at the time too.  After all, each past civilization that dealt with Hittites had to contend with the influences of the once mighty Hittite empire.  I’m wondering now though, had the Hittites formed another civilization when their former civilization had broken up?  If they had, who had they become?  Which modern trace is the remnant of the Hittite past?

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Don’t Be Enslaved By Technology?

Nuclear weapon test Mike (yield 10.4 Mt) on En...

Nuclear weapon test Mike (yield 10.4 Mt) on Enewetak Atoll. The test was part of the Operation Ivy. Mike was the first hydrogen bomb ever tested, an experimental device not appropriate for use as a weapon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although science fiction, H+: The Digital Series does pose a serious question which is totally plausible.  The question is, how far and how much would we allow technology to control our lives?  Of course, there are certain technologies that will not affect the users in any negative sense (with common sense though) even if the users allow such technologies to completely overtake their lives.  One example of such would be hearing aid.  Nonetheless, many technologies are not less but more of a knife; it can be used for good or evil (i.e., to cut foods or to kill).  Perhaps, the example of a technology such as a knife can only point out a simplistic meaning of using some technology in the wrong way can be harmful.  Of course, we know there is a much complicated example of a harmful technology which is nuclear weapon.  Nuclear weapon can be used to deter war or to annihilate the human race.  Nonetheless, those two types of technologies are obvious for the wielders, but there are some technologies that might not be so obvious in their harmful applications.  In fact, some look even benign to the users until it’s too late to stop their harmful effects.

No spoiler given, and so you have to watch H+: The Digital Series to actually know what on earth I’m talking about in the previous paragraph.  Nonetheless, here is a little more on the side kind of the information on H+: The Digital Series.  According to Wikipedia, H+: The Digital Series was made with the Internet audience in mind.  The creators of the series are John Cabrera and Cosimo De Tommaso.  As now, H+: The Digital Series are made available to YouTube audience.  Anyhow, in case you just want to watch the first episode of the series right away without jumping to YouTube, you can just watch it right after the break.

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%2B:_The_Digital_Series

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Google Glasses To Enhance Users’ Normal Sight With Computational Information

The image of Seattle being refracted through m...

The image of Seattle being refracted through myopic glasses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google envisions Google glasses which enhances users’ normal sight with computational information.  For an example, when you look up and at the sky, the Google glasses might tell you the weather information.  When you need to use a Google map, just speak out loud and the Google glasses will understand your natural language and pull up a Google map with complete direction.  Turn by turn direction?  Not a problem!  Furthermore, Google glasses can even snap a picture and allow you to either do a voice chat or video chat with friends.  How about email?  Not a problem!  So basically, you can do a lot by just wearing a Google glasses, and the only requirements you ever need are your own voice and the intelligence which understands the information that Google glasses digitally draws onto your normal sight.  The video right after the break will demonstrate Google glasses concept.  I don’t think this is yet a product, but it might be if Google dares to push this concept ahead.

Personally, I think Google glasses will be so distracting that I might get a headache from using it.  Perhaps, if Google does it right, then Google glasses — if become the real product — might not be so bad.  Nonetheless, just thinking about Google glasses and how the information might interfere my normal sight is rather giving me a headache already.  Perhaps, if you can switch between normal sight and enhance sight mode, then it won’t be too bad all the time.  In fact, if you can switch between normal sight and enhance sight, Google glasses might become a super useful eyewear.  Additionally, I think Google glasses can also be very useful for teleconference type of meeting (i.e., more than two or three people meeting up virtually through the use of Google glasses)!

Oh, I can already here you say, can this be the next iPhone?  I don’t see why not if in the near future people rather wear Google glasses than carrying around an iPhone.  Then of course, Google glasses has to allow people dial the phone numbers through voice.  Perhaps, with Google glasses, people might call each other up and see each other too if both users have their Google glasses on at the same time.  Intriguing?  How about the idea of playing games and using all types of apps with Google glasses?  For this to work, Google might have to incorporate Kinect technology or similar technology into Google glasses.  One thing which I’ve a hard time imagining is the large amount of sophisticated technology that will get cram into something as small as a Google glasses.  Can Google do it?  Obviously, we don’t know, but at least we can bet that Google has the cash and the brains to boldly go about figuring this one out!

Just an update to this post!  I think Google glasses might take the argument of privacy to the whole new level.  How come?  If Google or anyone else has the access to how Google glasses stores information, that’s if Google glasses does stores what it sees, then there will be very little privacy one might has when using Google glasses.  Perhaps, people who are interacting with you when you’re wearing Google glasses can get very uncomfortable since they might think that anyone who has access to your Google glasses (besides you of course) can actually spying on them as they are interacting with you either face to face or through the pipe of the Internet.  This reminds us that hackers might love this kind of technology, because if without proper security, hackers can totally have a really close up and intimate kind of access to a Google glasses wearer and the people that interact with the Google glasses wearer.  What do you think?

Zya, A Complete Music Model, Bringing Music Creation Platform, Distribution Center, And Redistribution Center To You In The Cloud

Music lesson Staatliche Antikensammlungen 2421.jpg - This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons.  Wikipedia's image!

Music lesson Staatliche Antikensammlungen 2421.jpg - This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Wikipedia's image!

Creator of Zya, Matt Serletic, might know something about the Internet, because he is hoping his creation will enable people who may never even think about making music to have a real chance in making music hits.  Perhaps, more stars will be born from Zya creation, because we know there are just that many more talents out there who never have a chance to showcase their talents.  The world is huge after all, but with Zya the world in term of making music might just get smaller.

Of course, Zya isn’t special, because Apple and few others already have their own creations to help make the unknown talents known.  Nonetheless, it seems to me Zya might have Apple’s iTunes/GarageBand a run for Apple’s money (and few other competitors), because Zya is a complete music model.  Zya is a distribution center, music creation platform, revenue sharing, and a redistribution center for older music hits.  In a way, any user can use Zya to create music, make older hits reborn into something new but without the hassle of convincing the copyright owners to allow them to use such hits, and much more.

How enjoyable to play around and make music with Zya?  I do not know since I never have tried it.  Nonetheless, from the look at the video right after the break, it does feel like a video game somewhat (my kind of thing as I play video games a lot).  Of course, what do I know unless I have my hand on Zya.  Anyhow, check out Zya in the video right after the break.

Source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/kymmcnicholas/2012/02/15/apples-garageband-and-itunes-have-some-new-competition/

Can ACTA Be Worse Than SOPA And PIPA?

ACTA  Anti Counterfeit Trading Agreement- New ...

Image by mermadon 1967 via Flickr

SOPA and PIPA are retreating, but something else much worse is on the rise?  Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is something I have only heard just now by reading Forbes’ If You Thought SOPA Was Bad, Just Wait Until You Meet ACTA  article and watching YouTube’s What is ACTA? video.  The article and video have successfully convinced me ACTA might be worse than SOPA and PIPA.  Check out the videos right after the break to know more about ACTA!

You might want to check out Wikipedia’s Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement article to know more about ACTA.

Personally, I think SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA might not be effective against the things these bills want to address.  Instead, these bills might bring about inadvertent effects that would be detrimental to many constructive, current and future innovations.  Especially ACTA, because this treaty tries to address not one but many industries at the same time.  For better or worse, such a broad language of a treaty might effectively change how many industries would behave (i.e., each industry might work differently).  Of course, the Internet might be one of those industries that breaks under the pressure of ACTA.

Personal note:  Come to think of it, the Internet has been an important vehicle which helps the spreading of ideas and knowledge.  I don’t think it’s wise to stop the Internet from helping to spread ideas and knowledge.  Why?  People want to be heard, to share, and to know more.  Is it wise to go against the will of so many people?  Is it wise to stop the advancing of modern civilization?

Third Party DNS Services’ Servers Allow People To Access Websites That Are Protesting Against SOPA/PIPA. When SOPA/PIPA Become Law, Only Malicious Third Party DNS Servers Might Be In Service!

DNS on the roadWikipedia and other popular online services are opposing and protesting against SOPA and PIPA, therefore these services might go dark (i.e., turning off their services) today.  In case you can’t use these online services today, you should think about using Google’s Public DNS or OpenDNS since these third party DNS services might have route their DNS through servers that locate outside of the United States of America, consequently allowing you to access these online services just fine even though you live within the United States of America.  For your information, I’m able to access Wikipedia’s English website just now, and this means my using of popular third party DNS services such as Google Public DNS and OpenDNS has allowed me to access these popular services just fine.

The blackout of these popular online services has exposed the useless effort of trying to block websites at DNS level.  As you can see, by using third party DNS servers, people can access the blackout websites just fine.  It’s rather pointless, and it might encourage people who have no idea of DNS to use the wrong third party DNS servers that may get them in situations where they can be infected with computer viruses, malware, and so on.  Don’t think so?  What if those third party DNS servers are intending to redirect targeted victims to the phishing websites where people will enter their confidential information such as banking credentials?  I think you know where I’m heading, and so I hope you know how important it’s for us to make sure the integrity of DNS structure within the United States of America stays innocent and harmless (i.e., does not discriminate against specific types of web traffics), otherwise people might find themselves to be victimized by computer viruses, identity theft, and more just because they try to use unknown, unpopular third party DNS services’ servers.

Even worse, I don’t think Google Public DNS and Open DNS services will be fine and dandy when SOPA and PIPA become law!  Why?  If you read Yahoo article’s Why SOPA is Dangerous, it explains that any service enables/allows people to access copyright infringed materials would be subjected to SOPA and PIPA regulations.  This means Google Public DNS and Open DNS services might have to be shut down since these popular third party DNS servers are clearly within the United States’ jurisdiction and allowing people to access all contents (i.e., even copyright infringed contents).  Since well known third party DNS servers such as the ones that belong to Google Public DNS do not have the ability to screen every web traffic (i.e., simply not cost effective), third party DNS servers simply cannot function under SOPA and PIPA.  Without having access to popular third party DNS servers, people might just have to rely on malicious third party DNS servers that locate outside of the United States.  I’m going in a loop in explaining to you over and over again on purpose, because I think SOPA and PIPA are just downright dangerous!

Some of you might argue that since the founders of SOPA and PIPA had taken out the specific bits that allow to block web traffics at DNS level, therefore we might not need to worry about SOPA and PIPA anymore.  I think you’re wrong!  Why?  Other bits within SOPA and PIPA are still gunning for shutting down websites and online services that are just simply enabling users to access infringed copyright contents.  Knowing these bits are still within SOPA and PIPA, it’s simply making sense that DNS servers that are being targeted or will be targeted by Attorney General (i.e., as how it is explained by Yahoo’s article Why SOPA is Dangerous) will have to be shut down still.  So, how can we be sure that Google Public DNS and OpenDNS will be in service in our near future?  I think we simply just don’t know!  So, the idea that DNS structure as a whole isn’t going to be regulated by SOPA and PIPA is an irony.  When SOPA and PIPA become law, the Attorney General might still have the power to shut down specific DNS servers within the United States, because the languages within SOPA and PIPA are just too broad.

When I say DNS servers get shutdown, it might mean certain affected websites might not be accessible within the United States.  It’s all depending on how the Attorney General wants to make things happen under the contexts of SOPA and PIPA.  For all we know, the Attorney General can just shut down the DNS servers that allow Internet users within the United States to access certain copyright infringed websites.  When DNS servers get shutdown, not only infringed copyright websites but all websites that are relying on the same out of service DNS servers will be unreachable.  To put this in another way, it doesn’t matter which website, because all websites and online services accept all web traffics, and Internet users who rely on out of service DNS servers might have to rely on malicious third party DNS servers.  In the case where specific websites are being blocked by DNS servers and not the DNS servers are being shutdown, Internet users can still access such websites with relying on malicious third party DNS servers.  Of course, not all third party DNS servers are malicious, but I think the probability of having people who don’t know much about DNS using malicious third party DNS servers is high!  End rant!

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