China CCTV channel 7 aired many agri and industrial related technical programs with the aim of disseminating practical knowledge to farmers, fishermen, agro-based manufacturer, etc.
Malaysian farmers like my late father have to learn from trials and errors, a very expensive game. Quite often the techniques and methods they learn are kampung-style from other farmers. The end result is the crop yield and quality is low and uncompetitive.
Besides, Mardi technical assistance is also racial-based, basically Chinese farmers are neglected even they approach Mardi for help.
Malaysia falls in global competitiveness
By Lee Wei Lian
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — Malaysia’s competitiveness ranking fell four spots to 25 this year from 21 last year in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index despite the Economic Transformation Programme entering its third year this September.
Switzerland was ranked the world’s most competitive country, followed by Singapore, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, Germany, US, UK, Hong Kong and Japan, said the World Economic Forum (WEF) in a report released today.
The WEF said that following improvements in last year’s report, Malaysia maintains its score but drops four places as other economies have moved ahead.
Malaysia was overtaken by UAE, which jumped three spots to 24, New Zealand which rose from 25 to 23, Luxembourg which rose from 23 to 22, and Korea which leapt from 24 to 19.
This year’s fall in rankings almost erased all the gains the country made in 2011, when it rose from 26 to 21 in the index.
WEF identified inefficient government bureaucracy, corruption, an inadequately educated workforce, poor work ethics in the labour force and restrictive labour regulations as the top five problems faced when doing business in Malaysia.
The influential think tank said Malaysia’s most notable advantages are found in its efficient and competitive market for goods and services (ranked 11th) and its remarkably supportive financial sector (6th), as well as its business-friendly institutional framework.
It added that Malaysia was ranked surprisingly low in its level of technological readiness — in 51st place.
“Lack of progress in this area will significantly undermine Malaysia’s efforts to become a knowledge-based economy by the end of the decade,” said WEF.
Chinese hybrid paddy planted in Brunei
I was thinking about genetics modified paddy with lalang gene to have a super paddy since Form Four which can grow like lalang in every place. This long lost idea come back after I read the below article about hybrid wheat.
You and me can grow paddy in the backyard and wild paddies with grains like lalang are found every where for people to take its grains freely.
This idea sounds utopia in before, but with the rapid advancement in genetic science and engineering, I believe it’s possible now if Malaysia is injecting more resources into this research.
Someone like Singapore may steal this idea and patented the super paddy if they manage to create a new super crop.
May be I should pass this subject to my nephew who is studying biotechnology in UKM now.
Think about it, why Australia with population not larger than Malaysia can achieve more breakthroughs in R&D?
Hybrid wheat is worth its salt on irrigated land
14:41 14 March 2012 by Debora MacKenzie
Hybrid wheat could resist the salty consequences of irrigation. For the first time, a team has created a salt-tolerant strain of wheat that raises yields on salt-damaged fields under real growing conditions. Previous attempts have failed to pass the hurdle of field trials.
The gene responsible for the new strain’s salt tolerance, taken from an ancient ancestor of modern wheat, may help other crops.
Salt is a growing problem on the irrigated land that is a substrate to 30 per cent of the world’s food. That’s because irrigation water can deposit additional salt directly in soil, and leach it up from deep deposits. Grain crops fail to thrive because sodium in soil water is carried from roots to leaves, inhibiting the photosynthesis needed to make grain.
As a result, major growers in semi-arid countries around the world that use irrigation, such as Australia, are losing an estimated $12 billion a year.
Researchers have tried for years to produce salt-tolerant grain varieties, but while some have shown promise in the lab they have failed to deliver under real farm conditions.
Matthew Gilliham at the University of Adelaide, Australia, and his colleagues discovered that when the einkorn wheat – an ancestor of modern wheat – is grown in salty water, less sodium makes it to its leaves than in other strains.
They tracked this to a gene for a cellular pump that pulls sodium out of water headed for the leaves and sequesters it in root cells, where, according to Gilliham, it does much less damage.
The team crossed Einkorn with modern durum wheat – the kind used to make pasta – to introduce the pump gene without genetic engineering. The offspring did not lose yield compared with durum wheat on normal soils. This is important as most salt-affected fields have less-affected areas. On salty soils the hybrid wheat performed better than ordinary durum: it had lower leaf sodium and produced 24 per cent more grain.
Bread wheat is naturally more salt-tolerant, but early evidence indicates that adding the einkorn pump helps it, too. Having isolated the gene, says Gilliham, they can now try putting it in other crop plants as well, using genetic engineering.
“It took 15 years to develop this wheat without using genetic engineering,” he says. Growing demand for food means global food production must roughly double by 2050, he says. “We can’t wait another 15 years for every improvement,” he says.
The inventor of this new breakthrough imaging technology, shoot first and then focus later is an ex-Malaysian, Dr. Ren Ng who emigrated to Australia when he was a child before he moved to America for his research works.
The camera is truly a fool-proof device where everyone can shoot still image and not worrying on out of focus problem as we are facing now with the current traditional camera.
This article explores the full potential of this technology.
Radical Camera : Pick What’s Blurry And What’s Not
South Asian News Agency (SANA) ⋅ March 2, 2012 ⋅
A Silicon Valley start-up called Lytro is shipping this week a camera that looks like no other and actually lets you focus or refocus your pictures on a computer after you take them.
Not only that, but the company is promising that pictures you take with the camera today will be able to be manipulated after the fact in additional ways in coming months. For instance, you’ll be able to snap into focus everything at once, regardless of depth. Or change the perspective from which the picture is seen, and switch a photo back and forth between 2-D and 3-D. That’s why it calls the images “living pictures.”
This $399 camera, also called Lytro, can do all this because it is a so-called light-field camera, which is based on a different technology than traditional digital cameras. In simple terms, it uses a modified sensor, plus proprietary software, to capture and process more, and different, information about the light hitting its lens than other cameras do. This includes the direction of light rays. The result is a richer picture file that software, on the camera and on a computer, can use to manipulate images in new ways. Lytro doesn’t even classify its camera by the familiar megapixel measure. Instead, the company says it has a resolution of 11 megarays—in other words, it can capture 11 million light rays.
Just as the technology is very different, so is the camera itself. It looks sort of like a short, square, pocket-size telescope, with a nonprotruding 8X zoom lens on one end and a touch-screen viewfinder on the other. It has only two buttons and a zoom slider. It starts instantly and is instantly ready to take the next picture, because it doesn’t need to perform autofocusing. It can be purchased in three colors at lytro.com. The base model can hold about 350 pictures. There is also a $499 model that can hold 750 pictures.
It will be in production by the end of the year in Spain. The price tag is estimated at RM 48,700.
When Malaysia universities can come out similar design like MIT did? By then, they can call themselves world-class university.
Professor Hawking also gave his views on the recent CERN claims that neutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light, saying that he didn’t believe the results of its experiments.
The discovery on neutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light by CERN scientists was a headline news in 2011.
The result was a silly error in their calculation for ignoring time in the satellite is slightly slower than time on earth. According to relativity theory, a faster moving object has a slower time which was already confirmed in the experiments.
Time in satellites used for GPS have to be adjusted constantly to compensate slower time than earth.
After factor in the actual time in the satellite used for measurements, the neutrinos speed is exactly same with the speed of light.
Hawking seems still does not know that experiment result is flaw.