Category: Technology

Virtual Reality – The Futuristic World

the matrix
The Matrix: Making VR self-explanatory

The movies like The Matrix are the best examples of virtual reality, in toto.If you’ve watched The Matrix, you can recollect how the characters like Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, and others dwell in a virtual space, semi-oblivious that they are part of an unreal world. The inhabitants experience tangibility of things all around, aware that whatever they come across; foods, clothes, people etc. are nothing but bits of data represented as (computer-generated) simulated reality!

Well, that’s the talk of movies. But can we say that we, the human, inhabit in virtual reality just like the movies?

Errrr…hard to say, huh?

Allan Ramsay, David Hume, 1711 - 1776. Historian and philosopher

David Humes, the famous Scottish philosopher believed that it’s perception, not reason that is the source of human knowledge. He emphatically favored the notion that desire governs human behavior over reason and therefore, it is the slave of the passion.

Interestingly, the human mind receives information through intangible means like taste, touch and smell, visual and then processes the information in a way what we know as a ‘perceived’ reality. Manifestation of intangible data into a perceived reality, to a larger extent, resembles with that of virtual reality, where an intangible world is just a perceived reality.

It is indeed debatable whether virtual reality is hallucination or illusion for someone who experiences it. But it can’t be gainsaid from the fact that virtual reality world is the amazing blend of natural world surroundings, so well simulated as to giving us the perception of a true reality.

How does virtual reality work?

virtual realityWhat comes in your field of vision when you hear of virtual reality? A technocrat wearing a bizarre helmet with a thick cable attached to a computer? Do you feel irked by the vision of virtually designed pterodactyls? Or does the name, VR bring your memory back to The Matrix? Well, the answer could be anything, apart from the asked questions. No wonder if you come across the term, virtual environment, for virtual reality, because that’s the twin part of VR world.

Virtual reality world is a computer-simulated 3D world allowing users interact and manipulate the immersive world without feeling that they are not part of a real-world. Sometimes, the virtually created world appears to be far real than the natural world. Perhaps, it is because of this reason that we witness increasing popularity of VR with its unavoidable necessity in movies, ad agencies, and other commercial fields.

vr world
The simulated reality of VR world

Immersion is one of the key parts that a VR world is identified with. An immersive world of VR means users can relate to it. He can meaningfully interact with the VR environment.

The immersion technology focuses on two key components: depth of information and breadth of information, both playing key roles to build up a perfect VR world.

Another VR world focuses on creating an environment, a digital environment in 3D setting.  This part of the virtual world has simulated sensory in accordance with the immersed environment. However, it doesn’t mean that the users inside the VR world can feel the reality of virtually created hurricane, neither can he feel the aroma of a flower in the world.

That’s the bit of data simulated as reality.

The virtual environment in absence of interaction is of no use. It is, therefore, this reason that creating VR environment involves maintaining a concentrated focus on introducing an element of interaction to it. Also, since you can’t step into this artificial world physically, you need to have a display device like HMDs that will allow you see the VR world to interact it.

VR systems also require input devices such as treadmills, datagloves, joysticks and controller wands etc.

Does Virtual Reality World Matter To Us?

This is a loaded question.

However, mankind is making a breakthrough in creating a VR world in every technological sense conceivable so as to present fellow mankind an utterly digitalized and immersive world that can genuinely SIMULATE emotive sense of human.

Whether a virtual reality world matters us or not largely depends on our inclination to it, as to how far can we go with this. However, we should not forget the naked fact that our existence in VR world is temporary, we have to back to the real world.

Means, we exist there in a simulation, not in a reality, however real it may seem so.

NoteThis blog was written in 2014, almost 3 years ago from today. Much transitions in the world of VR supervened since then. As a result, the information shared here should not be judged in the current context of the VR world.

Learning DITA technical writing

technical writingIn technical writing, which is sort of semantic method for creating quality content, encompassing UI development, product development, architectural documentation and software designing among others, DITA happens to be a writing approach based on the principle of an XML architecture.

What is DITA technical writing?

Technically speaking, DITA is incorporated to represent information in a way to lend credence on quality and efficiency of technical documentation. To be more precise, DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) approach involves designing, writing, managing, and publishing information of diversified nature, on the basis of XML architectural patterns.

Technical communicators are those who develop DITA or style-based authoring.

How to learn DITA technical writing?

DITA approach or style-based tech-writing involves some skills to represent information. They are:

Shorten up lengthy information into smaller version

Brevity is the core concept in DITA. You need to break down information into their smaller version. This is known as categorization of the information based on its (topical) types.

Give a LABEL specifying content accurately

Also known as metadata format of writing, writers need to label information accurately. The motive is to make technical documentation sound more flexible and credible.

Synchronize information with topics

A writer is supposed to ensure that the information with its topic stands in sync with, or they are not asymmetrical with regards to their intended relationship. An aberration in this context will most likely result in development of a non-flexible content.

According to linking in DITA practice, you need to concisely state information in accordance with the topics given. The importance of linking topics based on their association is because DITA relies heavily on links. It states content, defines the manner of DITA maps’ organization. The purpose of linking is also served with cross reference inputs, and content recycling.

No format is part of DITA

The style-based authoring doesn’t involve particular style or format, as formatting is not the job of an author in this sort of writing. Writer needs to have the concentrated focus on writing the content and not to give unwarranted notice on formatting.

In other words, do not think that content needs to be written in bold format, rather focus how to make the words stand-out.

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Note – Idea of the blog is derivative of online resources, albeit devoid of simulation with the source files. The information is brief. For expansive definition of the term, please visit sources like Wiki and related ones. Thanks for reading.

Vocabulary Is The Survival Factor Of Writing

water on mars

It was NASA’s amazing science-breakthrough, when this USA-run agency responsible for civilian space program and aeronautics and aerospace research, discovered the sign of water on the planet, Mars.

Apparently, it unearthed to the awe-struck Earthlings one of the (as of yet unsubstantiated) supernatural wonders in the history of extraterrestrial trek piloted by the science and technology.

The unprecedented discovery of the Martian water, on the one hand, softened the severity of the hypothesis held by some and that contradicted a rather hopeful belief held by the science about the (vestigial, though) existence of water on another planet, it, on the other hand, re-inspired or vivified the same belief, signalling the likelihood of human life on another planet just like Earth’s.

Right from the beginning, when the ‘Water on Mars’ discovery received global spotlight, all the discussions, debates, in-favor and counter arguments,  and how the breakthrough was perceived as science’s greatest extraterrestrial achievement, were interestingly revolving around the significance of core subject – WATER!

We know that science views water as the most potential ingredient supporting survival of human race on any planet. And this is a truth already proven, scientifically. Therefore, conclusion that discovery of water on the Mars foretells semblance (possibility) of Maritain life crept up in the mind of scientists. It conclusively brings us to this naked reality, that water is the most important survival factor of the entire mankind and creatures. Obviously, water holds considerable importance.

Now come to the main point which I’ve been evading until now…

Just as water is the key survival factor for all the creatures and human species on the Earth, vocabulary, in similar context, is one of the vital aspects for your writing.

To be more precise, it is the survival factor of writing.

Well, I am not gonna elaborate or rather write a comprehensible dissertation focusing on this ‘vocabulary is the survival factor of your writing’ theme-story. The reason, I don’t think my subjective comprehension (about importance of vocabulary in writing) will concede to the discretion of everyone, or rather yield unanimous consent from almost all the (more erudite, well-read and intellectual than me) readers. Of course it is my belief that is subjective and opinionated.

Yet, subjectively, I perceive vocabulary to be the lifeblood of any writing, a rather survival factor, to say the least.

As a matter of fact- writing is a melody composed in rhythm pattern of alphabetically-worded phrases and sentences, in such a fashion reminiscent of the yummiest cookie made out of great recipe involving all the different ingredients put together in a wise culinary fashion.

Get the drift.

Evaluating Internet Information – Should It be Trusted as a Learning Resource?

Interent information tips
Most online info do not relate to user’s query, and that is what irritate most of them. (Image from huffingtonpost)

I just hate internet information (as tips) when it doesn’t solve my problem right away or it doesn’t address a situation right to the point. For instance, my browser, Firefox, has default Firefox*32.exe program (I am so apprehensive to this, believing it might be a virus or a bug) being rudely functional automatically in the background (you can see CPU usage of particular application/program running in the background using task manager by just pressing ctl+alt+del buttons simultaneously).

To my surprise, the .exe file consumes high amount of my laptop’s CPU, which consequently slows down my system as the other programs in the background were insufficiently supplied the remainder RAM. It affects the laptop’s multitasking ability (you may suggest installation of another RAM and that’s really a good suggestion which I have already thought about a lot. But since my usages are limited, the preinstalled 2GB DDR3 RAM is very sufficient).

With an intention to know tricks to get rid of the issue, I searched info on the internet. However, I became frustrated when almost all the sources started to define CPU and its related usages like a college professor (man, I just know what it is and its usage. just come to the point, will you?). Similarly, if you seek answer something like “health benefit of eating an apple in the morning”, most probably you’ll come up with the apple-blather before the source addresses your query.

Now, I guess, and being a writer, one of the factors associated with increasing bounce rates on a website may be related to its having a load of insensitive content which DO NOT address people’s queries right away and instead, just split the hair. You tell me, if you are looking out something like cosmetic usage of suncream and you are being offered esoterically defined viewpoints of a cosmetic product, what will you do?

internet information
It really sucks when online info doesn’t give a damn to your emotion/desire.
(Image from pixshark.com)

The fact is, when someone searches an answer to a problem/term over the internet, the Google or other search engines must understand the keywords keyed-in by users before presenting in front of the users search related options. It really sucks when you are not answered the way you wanted. Now, whats the exact usage of internet, to surf aimlessly or navigate your way to a productive answer?

Information over the internet must be true and sensitive to the feeling of seekers. Most specifically, it should have the ability to change your perspective e.g. let you see things from different points. For instance, a year back, my lovely friend on FB, Anita Terzian, added me to her music group, I had no inkling then about the classical music, especially those respected and adored in West. For starters, this friend has affinity with music which I experienced while watching her timeline posts. So, naturally, I believed her and respected her decision to stay in the group and contribute rather than leaving it and disappointing the good friend.

So, I googled those music. As expected, most of the sources didn’t provide me exact answer to my query and it took me a great deal of research work to be able to comprehend them to an extent where I felt “OK, at least i can understand now that such type of music does exist on Earth.” 🙂

pawan kumar jha writerSome internet sources are not easily trustworthy, as I believe these sources are self-driven in influencing you to second their views, and specifically, to prompt you buy their stuffs or nod to their prejudices. Most answers that I find on Microsoft website do not serve my purpose to be there.

Internet has penetrated almost entire spectrum of human world and days are coming fast when our virtual life will cut off us from real life. Technology advanced and the way it is advancing, it will prove many adages wrong, including the one “seeing is believing” as virtual life will be cognitively biased.

Well, my point was – internet information, if not served in the right way, should either be eliminated from the online database to the relaxation of seekers or they should be edited to be more user-friendly as a learning resource. Internet, if to be trusted as a learning resource, must responsibly serve the purpose for which it is there on the web.

(The blog is the personal viewpoint of writer, Pawan Kumar Jha).