Thursday, September 29, 2011

Laws of Motions (Leges Motus)

Here's an extract from Newton's Principia Mathematica (Written in Latin). Newton's Laws exactly as they had been written:

Law 1: Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare.

Translates to English as:
Every body perseveres in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, except insofar as that state is compelled to change by forces impressed.

Law 2: Mutationem motus proportionalem esse vi motrici impressæ, & fieri secundum lineam rectam qua vis illa imprimitur.

Translated in English as:
The alteration of motion is proportional to the motive force impressed, and is made in a straight line in which that force is impressed.

Law 3: Actioni contrariam semper & æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales & in partes contrarias dirigi.

Translated in English as:
Every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pottermore beta review

Vidit Bhargava

A week into the newly created Potterverse by JK Rowling and you are already seeing magical messengers. Pottermore, JK Rowling's new project is actually a new website which provides interactive content and exclusive insight into the Harry Potter Universe. Also, Fellow members can interact and duel to win points for their respective House Competing for the house-cup.

The Journey began with the Magical Quill Competition which commenced on 31st July 2011, where a trivial question was asked on the website, and giving the right answer redirected you to the registration page, where your name would be registered for your admission in Hogwarts.


Pottermore follows strict security measures for kids to remain safe in this new-social network, one of these security measure shielding the identity of the user. So when you register into pottermore, you are given a choice to choose from 3 randomly generated user-names. Like Mine is CastleSnitch43.

Once I got through to the registration, It was only a matter of waiting. Pottermore is currently staggering entry to its Beta website. So I had to wait for about 14 days to get into the website.

When you enter pottermore gateway, you are left speechless, Pottermore couldn't have been created more beautifully. From then on, you experience Harry Potter through a completely new-chapter. The website displays three-scenes from each-chapter, every scene has something to collect. The Collectables can either be read or stored in your trunk to gift to friends. This can never replace books but it does provide some really beautiful illustrations and is fun to go through if you have already read the book.


One of the best part of Pottermore is the insights Rowling gives about various places and characters. It's sort of an authorized wiki on Harry Potter. However, currently not much is available on the website,and sometimes you end up reading just a line or two. Rowling needs to write more frequently.

One of the most intuitive and brilliantly done feature on Pottermore is "Potions". You can buy stuff from the diagon alley and brew interesting potions to earn house points. Potions is by far the most intuitive and interesting feature on the Pottermore website.


Another feature that is there in Pottermore is the wizard duel. From whatever I got to see of the wizard duelling, (It got shut down for a while for some reason.), I could make out that it won't require fancy handwork, which is good because precision of Hand movement is scarce on a casual mouse.

My visit on Pottermore has been limited partially because i am busy, partially because Pottermore currently in it's beta stages lacks the socially addictive factor but most importantly Pottermore is down many times a day, which is clearly not a good sign.


Another thing about Pottermore that I will like to talk about is, it's decision to use flash instead of more modern and compatible technologies. Flash being a virtually dead technology is only favorable to laptops and PCs. IPads are left behind which I feel is a sham because using Pottermore on iPad would have been real great fun. They should soon launch an iOS app.

Wrap Up: Pottermore is a great idea from a wise lady, and is going in the right social direction. However, it needs to correct some major technical challenges and become slightly more interactive, if Rowling wants it to be as viral as the potter saga itself.