Database News : Thursday December 06, 2007
Thai 'super rice' coming
Genetic engineers at Biotec Thai revealed they have been working on a super-strain of khao hom (aromatic or jasmine rice) that should be able to resist almost anything but a direct nuclear attack - floods, pests, saltwater inundation and even drought, just for starters; Apichart Vanavichit, director of Biotec's Rice Gene Discovery Unit, said scientists have been using genetic markers to cross-breed traditional khao hom with Indian rice, Sri Lankan wild strains and samples from the International Rice Research Institute; the new jasmine varieties are already growing in field tests and could wind up on tables worldwide as Thai Superrice by 2012.
Jasmine Internet aka Ji-Net, no relation to jasmine rice, said its Internet service is failing; president Somsak Padhana-anek said he will start selling Juicy VoIP phone cards to backpackers to try to make up some of the slack.
Finally the failed Surayud administration realised that schools are praising their students, tournament organisers are naming their winners and science fairs are even publishing pictures of high achievers - on the Internet!; that has to stop, and a new law will make it illegal to print any information about anyone under 18 in any manner that might make it possible for all those perverts to track them down like they do when they read about children in the newspapers; Deputy Social Development and Human Security Minister Poldej Pinprateep explained that 8 per cent of The Children(tm) have had sex with someone they know on the Internet and when he was a boy nobody had sex with anyone on the Net and today's morals are ruining the country.
The Royal Thai Air Force bought the country's most expensive computer game; the $10 million Individual Combat Aircrew Display runs on Windows and lets crews fly a "rangeless air combat training technology," according to the salesmeisters at Cubic Defense Applications of California who peddle the systems worldwide; the systems can also gather information from meat-flights, and provide analysis in after-action meetings in the computer rooms at either of the RTAF's fighter squadrons at Korat or Takhli.
TrueVisions showed off high-definition broadcasts for the first time in Thailand at a trade show; the company formerly known as UBC said HD channels will be available on pay-TV Real Soon Now.
The private Business Software Alliance copyright police more than doubled its promised reward for anyone ratting on an employer who uses pirated computer programs, apparently because tips were rare; BSA Asian director Tarun Sawney said he will give you S$50,000 this week or 1.15 million baht in real money for turning on your boss, compared with the laughable S$20,000 he wanted to hand out last week.
The Department of What Do You Do When an Endangered Species Only Eats an Endangered Plant reported that ringspot virus has so decimated the best Damnoen papaya that the only hope seems to come from genetically modified papaya - which the Luddites tore out of the ground and threw away at test farms in the Northeast just last year; as the Biotechnology Alliance Association (BAA) and Kasetsart University have been trying to say, GM papayas resist the ringspot virus, and as the mainstream press reported in irony-free fashion, "Damnoen Saduak farmers are receptive to new farm technology."
The Board of Investment checked the calendar, noted it was 2007, and announced it would no longer support industry that used intensive labour to produce low-technology goods of low quality.
Nok Airlines, the little budget airline that could, thought a lot of people would want to go to high-technology Bangalore in India, the sub-continent's Silicon Valley; but they didn't, and Nok stopped its flights.
The Sangha may still be traditional but KasikornBank began offering the opportunity for merit making at the push of a button; the "electronic merit making" service allows customers to make direct donations online, via telephone or direct debit to Wat Phra Baht Nam Phu, the HIV/Aids hospice in Lop Buri; the donation assures immediate merit-making, explained Weerachai Amornrattana, who is KasikornBank's senior vice president.
Super Broadband Network, an Internet arm of No 1 yuppiephone firm Advanced Info Service of Shingapore, said it will spend $60 million to expand its VoIP service over Wi-Fi, and target businesses and university students, presumably those who want to make phone calls via their laptops.
Just when you thought climate change had become a serious topic, the Pacific Asia Travel Association hired the chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to come to speak at a $1,200-per-head Pata Climate Change "Summit," speaking of debasing English words; possible attendees have scattered like owls at a crows convention when approached by ticket sellers, indicating slivers of cool common sense can still be found in a hotter world.
By : Bangkok Post