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Archive for category Research & Development

America Has A Secret Weapon By Dr.Michio Kaku

America Has A Secret Weapon        

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Dr.Michio Kaku

 

 

 

 

 

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Guns and Androids: Pakistan Air Force Making iPads

KAMRA, Pakistan (AP) – Inside a high-security air force complex that builds jet fighters and weapons systems, Pakistan’s military is working on the latest addition to its sprawling commercial empire: a homegrown version of the iPad.

It’s a venture that bundles together Pakistani engineering and Chinese hardware, and shines a light on the military’s controversial foothold in the consumer market. Supporters say it will boost the economy as well as a troubled nation’s self-esteem.

It all comes together at an air force base in Kamra in northern Pakistan, where avionics engineers — when they’re not working on defense projects — assemble the PACPAD 1.

“The original is the iPad, the copy is the PACPAD,” said Mohammad Imran, who stocks the product at his small computer and cell phone shop in a mall in Rawalpindi, a city not far from Kamra and the home of the Pakistani army.

The device runs on Android 2.3, an operating system made by Google and given away for free. At around $200, it’s less than half the price of Apple or Samsung devices and cheaper than other low-end Chinese tablets on the market, with the bonus of a local, one-year guarantee.

The PAC in the name stands for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, where it is made. The PAC also makes an e-reader and small laptop.

Such endeavors are still at the pilot stage and represent just a sliver of the military’s business portfolio, which encompasses massive land holdings, flour and sugar mills, hotels, travel agents, even a brand of breakfast cereal.

The military is powerful, its businesses are rarely subject to civilian scrutiny, and it has staged three coups since Pakistan became a state in 1947. Many Pakistanis find its economic activities corrupting and say it should focus on entirely on defense.

“I just can’t figure it out,” said Jehan Ara, head of Pakistan’s Software Houses Association, said of the PACPAD. “Even if they could sell a billion units, I can’t see the point. The air force is supposed to be protecting the air space and borders of the country.”

Supporters say the foray into information technology is a boost to national pride for a country vastly overshadowed by archrival India in the high-tech field. Tech websites in the country have shown curiosity or cautious enthusiasm, but say it’s too early to predict how the device will perform. Skeptics claim it’s a vanity project that will never see mass production.

Only a few hundred of each products has been made so far, though a new batch will be completed in the next three months.

“The defense industry is trying to justify its presence by doing more than just produce weapons,” said Ayesha Siddiqa, author of Military Inc., a critical study of military businesses. “Some smart aleck must have thought we can make some money here.”

PAC’s website at http://www.cpmc.pk says the goal is “strengthening the national economy through commercialization” and lauds the collaboration with China — something that likely resonates among nationalists.

China is regarded as a firm ally by Pakistan’s security establishment, whereas the U.S., despite pouring billions of dollars in aid into the country, is seen as fickle and increasingly as an enemy.

These perceptions have heightened as the U.S. intensifies drone attacks on militants based in the Pakistani borderlands. But the military is also a target of those militants. In 2007 the base at Kamra, home to 12,000 workers and their families, nine people died when a cyclist blew himself up at the entrance.

PAC officials suggested the program that produces the PACPAD was modeled in part on the Chinese military’s entry into commercial industry, which lasted two decades until it was ordered to cut back lest it become corrupted and lose sight of its core mission.

The tablet and other devices are made in a low-slung facility, daubed in camouflage paint, near, a factory that produces J-17 Thunder fighter jets with Chinese help.

“It’s about using spare capacity. There are 24 hours in a day, do we waste them or use them to make something?” said Sohail Kalim, PAC’s sales director. “The profits go to the welfare of the people here. There are lots of auditors. They don’t let us do any hanky-panky here.”

PAC builds the PACPAD with a company called Innavtek in a Hong Kong-registered partnership that also builds high-tech parts for the warplanes.

But basic questions go unanswered. Maqsood Arshad, a retired air force officer who is one of the directors, couldn’t say how much money had been invested, how many units the venture hoped to sell and what the profit from each sale was likely to be.

The market for low-cost Android tablets is expanding quickly around the world, with factories in China filling most of the demand. Last year, an Indian company produced the “Aakash” tablet, priced at $50, and sold largely to schoolchildren and students.

Arshad said a second-generation PACPAD would be launched in the next three months, able to connect to the Internet via cellphone networks and other improved features.

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Pakistan Aeronautical Complex launches a computing tablet, a notebook and an eBook reader.

The Express Tribune

From Kamra to Karachi via the Chinese: Military debuts in the handheld market

Published: February 4, 2012

Pakistan Aeronautical Complex launches a computing tablet, a notebook and an eBook reader.

KARACHI:

The newest entrant in the market for tablets and eBook readers – dominated by the likes of Apple, Amazon and Samsung – is none other than the Pakistani military.

The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra, whose self-described mission is “to produce and support weapon systems for a high state of operational readiness of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF)”, has started up a new commercial venture with a Chinese company, which an official told The Express Tribune was to “strengthen the national economy”.

The first three products produced by PAC are a computing tablet, a notebook and an eBook reader.

A press release issued at the launch of the project on December 29 notes that “for the joint production of JF-17, PAF had established sufficient facilities which are appropriate for the production of both defence and commercial products.”

The PAC official, who asked not to be named, told The Express Tribune that the joint venture with the Chinese company Innavtek had taken off with the initial offering of three products. “We plan to expand this in the future.”

The venture website, cpmc.pk, states that “Innavtek jointly developed two products with Avionics Production Factory which are successfully flying on fleet of our JF-17 aircraft and three more products are under co development phase.”

The official said that while PAC would manufacture the products, marketing was Innavtek’s responsibility.

He said the products were initially being marketed in Rawalpindi, but modalities needed to be finalised so it could expand to other cities including Lahore and Karachi. “We will get in touch with courier companies to see if we can reach a deal to transport them,” he said.

The competitively priced products, he said, have several benefits because they are being manufactured in Kamra. “It comes with a joint one-year warranty of PAC and Innavtek. Because PAC is producing it, it will ensure quality. We will also provide backup support,” the official said. In the first stage of this venture, PAC will manufacture the products locally but there are plans for an exchange of personnel to be trained in China and Pakistan respectively.

PAC’s plan to “strengthen the national economy” via its new commercial venture means it has to capitalise on “current trends”.

Jehan Ara, the president of the Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA), said she was unaware of the venture. She was skeptical that customers would buy PAC’s products just because they were manufactured by the Pakistani military. “People with a fixed budget will test products, read reviews and get recommendations from friends and then buy something. They don’t buy just because of a name. They will test it out of curiosity and put up reviews etc.” She also said governments around the world and in Pakistan buy computers from vendors based on pricing and reliability, and should not be forced to buy from a specific vendor.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2012.

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Cheap blood drug “could save 100,000 lives a year”

A cheap and easily administered medicine which helps to stem excessive bleeding could save the lives of many thousands of accident victims across the world, British scientists said on Tuesday.

Researchers studied 20,000 patients across 40 countries and found that the drug — tranexamic acid, or TXA — significantly cut death rates, suggesting it could prevent up to 100,000 untimely deaths a year worldwide if it were used routinely.

The drug, which is an off-patent generic medicine made by several companies and costing around $4.50 per gram, should also now be listed as “essential” by the World Health Organization (WHO), the researchers said.

“The option to use tranexamic acid should be available to doctors treating trauma patients in all countries,” said Ian Roberts and Haleema Shakur of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, whose study was published in The Lancet.

Based on their findings, TXA could save about 13,000 lives each year in India and about 12,000 in China, they said. It would also save around 2,000 in the U.S. and more in Europe.

Injuries are a major cause of death worldwide. Every year, more than a million people die from road injuries and traffic accidents are the ninth leading cause of death worldwide.

On top of that, stabbings, shootings, land mines and other injuries kill thousands more, many of them young men.

Haemorrhage, or excessive bleeding, is responsible for about a third of trauma deaths in hospitals and can also contribute to deaths from multi-organ failure.

“Each year about 600,000 injured patients bleed to death worldwide,” said Roberts. “It’s important to remember that deaths from injuries are increasing around the world and that they usually involve young adults, often the main breadwinner in the family. The impact on the family is devastating.”

More than 90 percent of trauma deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries, where access to medicines is often restricted by poorer infrastructure and fewer resources.

Since TXA helps to stem bleeding by reducing clot breakdown, Roberts’s team thought it might work well for patients with severe bleeding. However, they were worried it might increase the risk of blood clotting complications such as heart attacks, strokes and clots in the lungs.

Their large trial involved 200,000 severely injured adults who had significant bleeding, or were at risk of significant bleeding, and were within a few hours of having been injured.

Patients received either one gram of TXA by injection, followed by another one gram in a drip over the following eight hours, or a matching placebo or “dummy” medicine.

The researchers then studied the numbers of deaths in hospital within four weeks of injury and found that TXA cut the risk of death due to excessive bleeding by about one sixth, and there was no increased risk of clotting complications.

Etienne Krug, the WHO’s director for violence, injury prevention and disability, said the findings were important and could help to lessen the impact of accidents and injuries.

“Across the world, injuries kill more than five million people each year and leave millions more permanently disabled. The economic and social cost of injury is enormous, with most of the burden in low- and middle-income countries,” he said.

“It is essential that doctors are aware of these results and take them into account in the emergency management of seriously injured patients.”

 Source :

Tue, Jun 8 2010LONDON (Reuters) –

(Editing by David Stamp)

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