Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cold War Background

Coldwar.pngThere is disagreement among historians regarding the starting point of the Cold War. While most historians trace its origins to the period immediately following World War II, others argue that it began towards the end of World War I, although tensions between the Russian Empire, other European countries and the United States date back to the middle of the 19th century.
As a result of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (followed by its withdrawal from World War I), Soviet Russia found itself isolated in international diplomacy. Leader Vladimir Lenin stated that the Soviet Union was surrounded by a "hostile capitalist encirclement", and he viewed diplomacy as a weapon to keep Soviet enemies divided, beginning with the establishment of the Soviet Comintern, which called for revolutionary upheavals abroad.Subsequent leader Joseph Stalin, who viewed the Soviet Union as a "socialist island", stated that the Soviet Union must see that "the present capitalist encirclement is replaced by a socialist encirclement." As early as 1925, Stalin stated that he viewed international politics as a bipolar world in which the Soviet Union would attract countries gravitating to socialism and capitalist countries would attract states gravitating toward capitalism, while the world was in a period of "temporary stabilization of capitalism" preceding its eventual collapse.
Various events before the Second World War demonstrated the mutual distrust and suspicion between the Western powers and the Soviet Union, apart from the general philosophical challenge the Bolsheviks made towards capitalism.There was Western support of the anti-Bolshevik White movement in the Russian Civil War, the 1926 Soviet funding of a British general workers strike causing Britain to break relations with the Soviet Union, Stalin's 1927 declaration of peaceful coexistence with capitalist countries "receding into the past,"conspiratorial allegations during the 1928 Shakhty show trial of a planned British- and French-led coup d'état, the American refusal to recognize the Soviet Union until 1933 and the Stalinist Moscow Trials of the Great Purge, with allegations of British, French, Japanese and Nazi German espionage. However, both the US and USSR were generally isolationist between the two world wars.
The Soviet Union initially signed a non-aggression pact with Germany. But after the German Army invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Soviet Union and the Allied powers formed an alliance of convenience. Britain signed a formal alliance and the United States made an informal agreement. In wartime, the United States supplied both Britain and the Soviets through its Lend-Lease Program. However, Stalin remained highly suspicious and believed that the British and the Americans had conspired to ensure the Soviets bore the brunt of the fighting against Nazi Germany. According to this view, the Western Allies had deliberately delayed opening a second anti-German front in order to step in at the last moment and shape the peace settlement. Thus, Soviet perceptions of the West left a strong undercurrent of tension and hostility between the Allied powers.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cold War

The Origins of the Cold War are widely regarded to lie most directly in the relations between the Soviet Union and its allies the United States, Britain and France in the years 1945–1947. Those events led to the Cold War that endured for just under half a century.

Events preceding the Second World War, and even the Russian Revolution of 1917, underlay pre–World War II tensions between the Soviet Union, western European countries and the United States. A series of events during and after World War II exacerbated tensions, including the Soviet-German pact during the first two years of the war leading to subsequent invasions, the perceived delay of an amphibious invasion of German-occupied Europe, the western allies' support of the Atlantic Charter, disagreement in wartime conferences over the fate of Eastern Europe, the Soviets' creation of an Eastern Bloc of Soviet satellite states, western allies scrapping the Morgenthau Plan to support the rebuilding of German industry, and the Marshall Plan.



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What is Cold War

Cold War

The Cold War, often dated from 1945 to 1991, was a sustained state of political and military tension between powers in the Western Bloc, dominated by the United States with NATO and other allies; versus powers in the Eastern Bloc, dominated by the Soviet Union with the Warsaw Pact and other allies. This began after the success of their temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences. A neutral faction arose with the Non-Aligned Movement founded by Egypt, India, and Yugoslavia, this faction rejected association with either the US-led West or the Soviet-led East.

The Cold War was so named because the two major powers—each possessing nuclear weapons and thereby threatened with mutual assured destruction—did not meet in direct military combat. However, in their struggle for global influence they engaged in ongoing psychological warfare and in regular indirect confrontations through proxy wars. Cycles of relative calm would be followed by high tension which could have led to war. The tensest times were during the Berlin Blockade (1948–1949), the Korean War (1950–1953), the Suez Crisis (1956), the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the Vietnam War (1959–1975), the Yom Kippur War (1973), the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–1989), the Soviet downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (1983), and the “Able Archer” NATO military exercises (1983). The conflict was expressed through military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, extensive aid to client states, espionage, massive propaganda campaigns, conventional and nuclear arms races, appeals to neutral nations, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race. The US and USSR became involved in political and military conflicts in the Third World countries of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. To alleviate the risk of a potential nuclear war, both sides sought relief of political tensions through détente in the 1970s.

In the 1980s, the United States increased diplomatic, military, and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the communist state was already suffering from economic stagnation. In the mid-1980s, the new Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the liberalizing reforms of perestroika ("reconstruction", "reorganization", 1987) and glasnost ("openness", ca. 1985). This opened the country and its satellite states to a mostly peaceful wave of revolutions which culminated in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, leaving the United States as the dominant military power. The Cold War and its events have left a significant legacy, and it is often referred to in popular culture, especially in media featuring themes of espionage and the threat of nuclear warfare.


 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Short History of Call of Duty

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is set to be another hit in the soldier-simulating game series. The Cold War and future-set special forces shooter is the latest CoD game to let you blow foreigners' heads off in increasing levels of detail, so we don our dress uniform, salute the regimental colours and think of fallen comrades as we look back over the history of Call of Duty and its junior officer Modern Warfare.
The Call of Duty franchise was born from EA's Medal of Honour series, which had its origins in the resources and development of Steven Spielberg's epic film Saving Private Ryan. The team that had developed Medal of Honour: Allied Assault formed Infinity Ward, and was recruited by publishers Activision.
In 2003 the first Call of Duty tapped a full magazine on its helmet, cocked its rifle, and planted its combat boots onto the battlefield for the first time.

Call of Duty (2003)

PC
The first Call of Duty looked similar to the Medal of Honour games, as a first-person shooter set during World War 2. You play as an American, British and Russian soldier, following the three men on different missions throughout the war from the Normany landings to the Battle of the Bulge, commando combat, and fighting from Stalingrad to Berlin. Throughout the game, you play alongside a squad of computer-controlled comrades.

Call of Duty: United Offensive (2004)

PC
An expansion pack, developed by Gray Matter Studios, added the ability to sprint, and 'cook' grenades. New multiplayer modes included Capture the Flag and a ranking system that gave better characters to higher-scoring players.

Call of Duty: Finest Hour (2004)

Xbox, PlayStation 2, Gamecube
Ironically, Finest Hour proved to be anything but. The first console version of the game was something of a disappointment, even if it did feature AC/DC singer Brian Johnson as one of the voices.

Call of Duty: The Big Red One (2005)

Xbox, PS2, Gamecube
CoD:BR1 was again developed by Gray Matter Studios, which was renamed Treyarch before the game came out. The game saw you sign up for the US Army's 1st Infantry Division, also known as the Big Red One because of their distinctive insignia. Cutscenes were intercut with documentary footage. It was voiced by Mark Hamill, who had starred alongside Lee Marvin in the 1980 film of the same name, as well as several members of the cast of the BBC and HBO WW2 drama Band of Brothers.

Call of Duty 2 (2005)

PC, Xbox 360
In 2005 it was Infinity Ward's turn again, as Activision decided the series would continue with the two sets of developers releasing a game in alternate years. In a dramatic upgrade to the gameplay, CoD 2 introduced a proprietary engine replacing the previous games' Quake III engine. Smoke and fog became an integral part of gameplay, while your squadmates could now react more realistically to the battle. A new health system was also introduced, in which you healed gradually rather than searching for health packs.

Call of Duty 3 (2006)

PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360
Treyarch developed the first game that was designed for next-generation consoles and not PC. The story follows American, Canadian, British and Polish troops breaking out of the Falaise Pocket after the Normandy landings.

Call of Duty: Roads to Victory (2007)

PSP
The PSP version took the war mobile, following the Americans, Canadians and British from Arnhem to Salerno and Belgium.

Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)

Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo Wii
For Infinity Ward's next entry, the developers decided it was time to drag the franchise into the modern era. The game follows SAS and US Marine Corps special forces soldiers in a geopolitical story of espionage and combat in an unnamed Middle Eastern country and across Russia, but it was the online multiplayer game that really got the blood pumping. Modern Warfare went on to sell over 13 million copies.


Call Of Duty: World At War (2008)

Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS
Treyarch took it back to the old school, setting the fifth instalment of the series in the Pacific theatre and on the Eastern Front. A tweaked physics engine meant you could lay waste to your surroundings with impunity. The game was made, however, by the inclusion of a Nazi zombie multiplayer mode. Nazi zombies: we hate those guys.


Call of Duty: World at War - Final Fronts (2008)

PlayStation 2
The PS2 version added a British campaign advancing on the River Rhine. It was developed by Rebellion, the studio which also owns long-running British comic 2000AD.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)

PS3, Xbox 360, PC
The multiplayer game featured bonus killstreak options if a player achieved a set number of consecutive kills in a row, from a supply drop or an airstrike all the way up to a tactical nuke after 25 kills. The game also kicked off a storm of protest over a level that allowed the player, embedded undercover with terrorists, to massacre civilians in an airport.
Despite the controversy, it had sold over 10 million copies in the US alone by March 2010, and earned Activision well over $1bn dollars. Things weren't so rosy behind the scenes, however, as the bosses of Infinity Ward were unceremoniously booted out by Activision.


Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Mobilised (2009)

Nintendo DS
A spin-off to the story of Modern Warfare 2 for the DS, Mobilised boasted new kit to play with such as UAV drones and Lockheed AC-130 shootyplanes.

Call Of Duty: World at War - Zombies (2009)

iOS
It was only a matter of time before CoD came to the iPhone 5 and iPad, and took the form of the popular zombies mode from World at War. Play with your oppos nearby over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or go online and find recruits to continue the Nazi zombie-blasting.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops (2010)

PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS
Treyarch's next entry to the series fills in the time between the wars depicted in the series, putting you in the balaclava and tiger-stripe camo of Cold War special forces troops in Cuba, Laos and Vietnam, and Soviet-era Russia. If you weren't there, you don't know what it was like.


Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)

PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii
Developed by Sledgehammer Games and written by Million Dollar Baby and Casino Royale scribe Paul Haggis, the third Modern Warfare outing sees you play, among others, a Delta Force operator attempting to drive a Russian invasion out of New York. It featured a new mode, Survival, which sees you beset by increasingly tough waves of bad guys. Oh, and it grossed $1bn in 16 days.


Call Of Duty: Black Ops - Zombies (2011)

iOS
More iPhone and iPad zombie-zapping.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012)

PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U
Treyarch's Black Ops 2 continues the Cold War adventures before skipping forward to 2025 to control unmanned drones and robots in a new cold war with China. It's the first time the Black Ops series has put boots on the ground in the future, and it's also the first to include branching storylines. Known as Strike Force missions, these branching stories change the outcome of the game based on your choices. Wager matches have gone, but Kill Streaks have been replaced with Score Streaks that reward you when you complete different actions.




Source : Crave

History of Windows

A history of Windows

Highlights from the first 25 years

1975–1981: Microsoft boots up

Getting started: Microsoft co-founders Paul Allen (left) and Bill Gates Getting started: Microsoft co-founders Paul Allen (left) and Bill Gates
It’s the 1970s. At work, we rely on typewriters. If we need to copy a document, we likely use a mimeograph or carbon paper. Few have heard of microcomputers, but two young computer enthusiasts, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, see that personal computing is a path to the future.
In 1975, Gates and Allen form a partnership called Microsoft. Like most start-ups, Microsoft begins small, but has a huge vision—a computer on every desktop and in every home. During the next years, Microsoft begins to change the ways we work.

The dawn of MS‑DOS

In June 1980, Gates and Allen hire Gates’ former Harvard classmate Steve Ballmer to help run the company. The next month, IBM approaches Microsoft about a project code-named "Chess." In response, Microsoft focuses on a new operating system—the software that manages, or runs, the computer hardware and also serves to bridge the gap between the computer hardware and programs, such as a word processor. It’s the foundation on which computer programs can run. They name their new operating system "MS‑DOS."
When the IBM PC running MS‑DOS ships in 1981, it introduces a whole new language to the general public. Typing “C:” and various cryptic commands gradually becomes part of daily work. People discover the backslash (\) key.
MS‑DOS is effective, but also proves difficult to understand for many people. There has to be a better way to build an operating system.
Geek trivia: MS‑DOS stands for Microsoft Disk Operating System.

1982–1985: Introducing Windows 1.0

The Windows 1.0 desktop
Microsoft works on the first version of a new operating system. Interface Manager is the code name and is considered as the final name, but Windows prevails because it best describes the boxes or computing “windows” that are fundamental to the new system. Windows is announced in 1983, but it takes a while to develop. Skeptics call it “vaporware.”
The fully-packaged Windows 1.0 The fully-packaged Windows 1.0
On November 20, 1985, two years after the initial announcement, Microsoft ships Windows 1.0. Now, rather than typing MS‑DOS commands, you just move a mouse to point and click your way through screens, or “windows.” Bill Gates says, “It is unique software designed for the serious PC user…”
There are drop-down menus, scroll bars, icons, and dialog boxes that make programs easier to learn and use. You're able to switch among several programs without having to quit and restart each one. Windows 1.0 ships with several programs, including MS‑DOS file management, Paint, Windows Writer, Notepad, Calculator, and a calendar, card file, and clock to help you manage day-to-day activities. There’s even a game—Reversi.
Geek trivia: Remember floppy disks and kilobytes? Windows 1.0 requires a minimum of 256 kilobytes (KB), two double-sided floppy disk drives, and a graphics adapter card. A hard disk and 512 KB memory is recommended for running multiple programs or when using DOS 3.0 or higher.

1987–1992: Windows 2.0–2.11—More windows, more speed

The Windows 2.0 desktop
On December 9, 1987 Microsoft releases Windows 2.0 with desktop icons and expanded memory. With improved graphics support, you can now overlap windows, control the screen layout, and use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your work. Some software developers write their first Windows–based programs for this release.
Windows 2.0 Windows 2.0
Windows 2.0 is designed for the Intel 286 processor. When the Intel 386 processor is released, Windows/386 soon follows to take advantage of its extended memory capabilities. Subsequent Windows releases continue to improve the speed, reliability, and usability of the PC.
In 1988, Microsoft becomes the world’s largest PC software company based on sales. Computers are starting to become a part of daily life for some office workers.
Geek trivia: Control Panel makes its first appearance in Windows 2.0.

1990–1994: Windows 3.0Windows NT—Getting the graphics

The Windows 3.0 desktop
On May 22, 1990, Microsoft announces Windows 3.0, followed shortly by Windows 3.1 in 1992. Taken together, they sell 10 million copies in their first 2 years, making this the most widely used Windows operating system yet. The scale of this success causes Microsoft to revise earlier plans. Virtual Memory improves visual graphics. In 1990 Windows starts to look like the versions to come.
Windows now has significantly better performance, advanced graphics with 16 colors, and improved icons. A new wave of 386 PCs helps drive the popularity of Windows 3.0. With full support for the Intel 386 processor, programs run noticeably faster. Program Manager, File Manager, and Print Manager arrive in Windows 3.0.
Bill Gates shows the newly-released Windows 3.0 Bill Gates shows the newly-released Windows 3.0
Windows software is installed with floppy discs bought in large boxes with heavy instruction manuals.
The popularity of Windows 3.0 grows with the release of a new Windows software development kit (SDK), which helps software developers focus more on writing programs and less on writing device drivers.
Windows is increasingly used at work and home and now includes games like Solitaire, Hearts, and Minesweeper. An advertisement: “Now you can use the incredible power of Windows 3.0 to goof off.”
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 adds peer-to-peer workgroup and domain networking support and, for the first time, PCs become an integral part of the emerging client/server computing evolution.

Windows NT

When Windows NT releases on July 27, 1993, Microsoft meets an important milestone: the completion of a project begun in the late 1980s to build an advanced new operating system from scratch. "Windows NT represents nothing less than a fundamental change in the way that companies can address their business computing requirements," Bill Gates says at its release.
Unlike Windows 3.1, however, Windows NT 3.1 is a 32-bit operating system, which makes it a strategic business platform that supports high-end engineering and scientific programs.
Geek trivia: The group that develops Windows NT was originally called the "Portable Systems" team.

1995–2001: Windows 95—the PC comes of age (and don't forget the Internet)

The Windows 95 desktop
On August 24, 1995, Microsoft releases Windows 95, selling a record-setting 7 million copies in the first five weeks. It’s the most publicized launch Microsoft has ever taken on. Television commercials feature the Rolling Stones singing "Start Me Up" over images of the new Start button. The press release simply begins: “It’s here.”
Launch day: Bill Gates introduces Windows 95 Launch day: Bill Gates introduces Windows 95
This is the era of fax/modems, e‑mail, the new online world, and dazzling multimedia games and educational software. Windows 95 has built-in Internet support, dial-up networking, and new Plug and Play capabilities that make it easy to install hardware and software. The 32-bit operating system also offers enhanced multimedia capabilities, more powerful features for mobile computing, and integrated networking.
At the time of the Windows 95 release, the previous Windows and MS‑DOS operating systems are running on about 80 percent of the world’s PCs. Windows 95 is the upgrade to these operating systems. To run Windows 95, you need a PC with a 386DX or higher processor (486 recommended) and at least 4 MB of RAM (8 MB of RAM recommended). Upgrade versions are available for both floppy disk and CD-ROM formats. It’s available in 12 languages.
Windows 95 features the first appearance of the Start menu, taskbar, and minimize, maximize, and close buttons on each window.
Windows 95 Windows 95

Catching the Internet wave

In the early 1990s, tech insiders are talking about the Internet—a network of networks that has the power to connect computers all over the world. In 1995, Bill Gates delivers a memo titled “The Internet Tidal Wave,” and declares the Internet as “the most important development since the advent of the PC.”
In the summer of 1995, the first version of Internet Explorer is released. The browser joins those already vying for space on the World Wide Web.
Geek trivia: In 1996, Microsoft releases Flight Simulator for Windows 95—the first time in its 14-year history that it’s available for Windows.

1998–2000: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me

Windows 98

The Windows 98 desktop
Released on June 25, 1998, Windows 98 is the first version of Windows designed specifically for consumers. PCs are common at work and home, and Internet cafes where you can get online are popping up. Windows 98 is described as an operating system that “Works Better, Plays Better.”
With Windows 98, you can find information more easily on your PC as well as the Internet. Other improvements include the ability to open and close programs more quickly, and support for reading DVD discs and universal serial bus (USB) devices. Another first appearance is the Quick Launch bar, which lets you run programs without having to browse the Start menu or look for them on the desktop.
Geek trivia: Windows 98 is the last version based on MS‑DOS.
Windows 98 Windows 98

Windows Me

The Windows Me media experience
Designed for home computer use, Windows Me offers numerous music, video, and home networking enhancements and reliability improvements compared to previous versions.
First appearances: System Restore, a feature that can roll back your PC software configuration to a date or time before a problem occurred. Windows Movie Maker provides users with the tools to digitally edit, save, and share home videos. And with Microsoft Windows Media Player 7 technologies, you can find, organize, and play digital media.
Geek trivia: Technically speaking, Windows Me was the last Microsoft operating system to be based on the Windows 95 code base. Microsoft announced that all future operating system products would be based on the Windows NT and Windows 2000 kernel.

Windows 2000 Professional

Windows 2000 Professional Windows 2000 Professional
More than just the upgrade to Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Windows 2000 Professional is designed to replace Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 on all business desktops and laptops. Built on top of the proven Windows NT Workstation 4.0 code base, Windows 2000 adds major improvements in reliability, ease of use, Internet compatibility, and support for mobile computing.
Among other improvements, Windows 2000 Professional simplifies hardware installation by adding support for a wide variety of new Plug and Play hardware, including advanced networking and wireless products, USB devices, IEEE 1394 devices, and infrared devices.
Geek trivia: The nightly stress test performed on Windows 2000 during development is the equivalent of three months of run time on up to 1,500 computers.

2001–2005: Windows XP—Stable, usable, and fast

The Windows XP Home Edition desktop
On October 25, 2001, Windows XP is released with a redesigned look and feel that's centered on usability and a unified Help and Support services center. It’s available in 25 languages. From the mid-1970s until the release of Windows XP, about 1 billion PCs have been shipped worldwide.
For Microsoft, Windows XP will become one of its best-selling products in the coming years. It’s both fast and stable. Navigating the Start menu, taskbar, and Control Panel are more intuitive. Awareness of computer viruses and hackers increases, but fears are to a certain extent calmed by the online delivery of security updates. Consumers begin to understand warnings about suspicious attachments and viruses. There’s more emphasis on Help and Support.
Ship it: Windows XP Professional rolls to retail stores Ship it: Windows XP Professional rolls to retail stores
Windows XP Home Edition offers a clean, simplified visual design that makes frequently used features more accessible. Designed for home use, Windows XP offers such enhancements as the Network Setup Wizard, Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker, and enhanced digital photo capabilities.
Windows XP Professional brings the solid foundation of Windows 2000 to the PC desktop, enhancing reliability, security, and performance. With a fresh visual design, Windows XP Professional includes features for business and advanced home computing, including remote desktop support, an encrypting file system, and system restore and advanced networking features. Key enhancements for mobile users include wireless 802.1x networking support, Windows Messenger, and Remote Assistance.
Windows XP has several editions during these years:
  • Windows XP 64-bit Edition (2001) is the first Microsoft operating system for 64-bit processors designed for working with large amounts of memory and projects such as movie special effects, 3D animations, engineering, and scientific programs.
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition (2002) is made for home computing and entertainment. You can browse the Internet, watch live television, enjoy digital music and video collections, and watch DVDs.
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (2002) realizes the vision of pen-based computing. Tablet PCs include a digital pen for handwriting recognition and you can use the mouse or keyboard, too.
Geek trivia: Windows XP is compiled from 45 million lines of code.

2006–2008: Windows Vista—Smart on security

The Windows Vista desktop
Windows Vista is released in 2006 with the strongest security system yet. User Account Control helps prevent potentially harmful software from making changes to your computer. In Windows Vista Ultimate, BitLocker Drive Encryption provides better data protection for your computer, as laptop sales and security needs increase. Windows Vista also features enhancements to Windows Media Player as more and more people come to see their PCs as central locations for digital media. Here you can watch television, view and send photographs, and edit videos.
Windows Vista Ultimate Windows Vista Ultimate
Design plays a big role in Windows Vista, and features such as the taskbar and the borders around windows get a brand new look. Search gets new emphasis and helps people find files on their PCs faster. Windows Vista introduces new editions that each have a different mix of features. It's available in 35 languages. The redesigned Start button makes its first appearance in Windows Vista.
Geek trivia: More than 1.5 million devices are compatible with Windows Vista at launch.

2009–Today: Windows 7 and counting...

The Windows 7 desktop
By the late 2000s, the wireless world has arrived. When Windows 7 is released in October 2009, laptops are outselling desktop PCs and it’s common to get online at public wireless hotspots like coffee shops. Wireless networks can be created at the office or at home.
Windows 7 includes many features, such as new ways to work with windows—Snap, Peek, and Shake. Windows Touch makes its debut, enabling you to use your fingers to browse the web, flip through photos, and open files and folders. You can stream music, videos, and photos from your PC to a stereo or TV.
By the fall of 2010, Windows 7 is selling seven copies a second—the fastest-selling operating system in history.
Improvements to the Windows 7 taskbar include live thumbnail previews Improvements to the Windows 7 taskbar include live thumbnail previews
Geek trivia: Windows 7 is evaluated by 8 million beta testers worldwide before it's released.

What's next?

Many laptops no longer have a slot for DVDs and some have solid state drives rather than conventional hard disks. Most everything is streamed, saved on flash drives, or saved in the "Cloud"—an online space for sharing files and storage. Windows Live—free programs and services for photos, movies, instant messaging, e‑mail, and social networking—is seamlessly integrated with Windows so that you can keep in touch from your PC, phone, or the web, extending Windows to the Cloud.
Meanwhile, work is underway for the next version of Windows.

source : Windows

List of Document, Realized attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler

adolf-hitlerBe a Hitler don't mean you have a powerfull guard. Hitler still got very dangerous position that can be killed easily.

But still this is an incomplete list of documented, realized attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
All attempts occurred in the German Reich, except where noted. All attempts involved citizens of the German Reich, except where noted.
  • Before 1933: Before the seizure of power; four attempts, including one with poison in the Hotel Kaiserhof (1930).
  • 1933: Ten attempts, including one by an unknown SA man in Obersalzberg and another by the Luttner group in Königsberg.
Date Location Attempted by
1934 Berlin Römer, BeppoBeppo Römer
1934 Berlin Mylius, HelmutHelmut Mylius
1934 Unknown Unknown
1934 Unknown Unknown
1935 Berlin Marwitz group
1935 Berlin Stuermer, Paul JosefPaul Josef Stuermer
01936-12-20December 20, 1936 Nuremberg Hirsch, HelmutHelmut Hirsch
1937 Berlin Thomas, JosefJosef Thomas
1937 Berlin Sportpalast Unknown SS man
01938-11-09November 9, 1938 Feldherrnhalle, Munich Bavaud, MauriceMaurice Bavaud
01939-10-05October 5, 1939 Warsaw Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski, MichałMichał Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski,[2]Service for Poland's Victory
01939-11-08November 8, 1939 Bürgerbräu-Attentat, Munich Elser, Johann GeorgJohann Georg Elser
1939 Berlin Kordt, ErichErich Kordt
1940 Paris, France Witzleben, Erwin vonErwin von Witzleben
1941 Berlin Halem, Nikolaus vonNikolaus von Halem
1941-1943 (several) Berlin Römer, BeppoBeppo Römer
1943 Walki, USSR Lanz, HubertHubert Lanz, Hans Speidel, Hyazinth Count von StrachwitzSpeidel, HansStrachwitz, Hyazinth Count von
01943-03-13March 13, 1943 Flight to Smolensk, USSR Tresckow, Henning vonHenning von Tresckow, Fabian von SchlabrendorffSchlabrendorff, Fabian von
01943-03-01March 1943 Smolensk, USSR König, FriedrichFriedrich König, Philipp von BoeselagerBoeselager, Philipp von
01943-03-21March 21, 1943 Zeughaus, Berlin Tresckow, Henning vonHenning von Tresckow, Fabian von Schlabrendorff, Rudolf Christoph Freiherr von GersdorffSchlabrendorff, Fabian vonGersdorff, Rudolf Christoph Freiherr von
1943 Wolf's Lair, East Prussia Unknown Pole
1943 Berlin Gersdorff, Rudolf Christoph Freiherr vonRudolf Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff
01943-11-16November 16, 1943 Wolf's Lair, East Prussia Bussche-Streithorst, Axel Freiherr von demAxel Freiherr von dem Bussche-Streithorst
01944-01-01January 1944 Wolf's Lair, East Prussia Kleist-Schmenzin, Ewald-Heinrich vonEwald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin
01944-03-11March 11, 1944 Berghof, Obersalzberg Breitenbuch, Eberhard vonEberhard von Breitenbuch
1944 (several) Berlin Stauffenberg, Claus vonClaus von Stauffenberg
01944-07-20July 20, 1944 Wolf's Lair, East Prussia Stauffenberg, Claus vonClaus von Stauffenberg

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Soviet Union

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Other names

Союз Советских Социалистических Республик
Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik


Motto: Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
(Translit.: Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes'!)
English: Workers of the world, unite!
Anthem: "The Internationale"
(1922–1944)
Menu
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"National Anthem of the Soviet Union"
(1944–1991)
Menu
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Capital
and largest city
Moscow
55°45′N 37°37′E
Official languages none (de jure)/Russian (de facto)
Ethnic groups (1991) 50.78% Russians
15.45% Ukrainians
5.84% Uzbeks
3.51% Byelorussian
About 100 others and unspecified
Demonym Soviet
Government Union,
Marxist–Leninist single-party state
Legislature Supreme Soviet
Area
 -  Total 22,402,200 km2
6,592,800 sq mi 
GDP (PPP) 1990 estimate
 -  Total $2.660 trillion
 -  Per capita $9,130
GDP (nominal) 1990 estimate
 -  Total $775.810 billion
 -  Per capita $2,684
Currency Soviet ruble (руб) (SUR) (SUR)
Time zone (UTC+2 to +13)
Drives on the right
Calling code +7
Internet TLD .su
On 21 December 1991, eleven of the former socialist republics declared in Alma-Ata (with the 12th republic – Georgia – attending as an observer) that with the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ceases to exist.
Assigned on 19 September 1990, existing onwards.
The governments of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania view themselves as continuous and unrelated to the respective Soviet republics.
Russia views the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian SSRs as legal constituent republics of the USSR and predecessors of the modern Baltic states.
The Government of the United States and a number of other countries did not recognize the annexation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to the USSR as a legal inclusion.
Soviet Union
This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the Soviet Union
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russian: Сою́з Сове́тских Социалисти́ческих Респу́блик, tr. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik) abbreviated to USSR (Russian: СССР, tr. SSSR) or the Soviet Union (Russian: Советский Союз, tr. Sovetsky Soyuz), was a constitutionally socialist state that existed between 1922 and 1991, ruled as a single-party state by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital. A union of 15 subnational Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized.
The Soviet Union had its roots in the Russian Revolution of 1917, which deposed Nicholas II, ending three hundred years of Romanov dynastic rule. The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd and overthrew the Provisional Government. The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic was established and a civil war began. The Red Army entered several territories of the former Russian Empire and helped local communists seize power. In 1922, the Bolsheviks were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics. Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid 1920s. Stalin committed the state ideology to Marxism-Leninism and initiated a centrally planned economy. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialisation and collectivisation which laid the basis for its later war effort and dominance after World War II.However, Stalin repressed both Communist Party members and elements of the population through his authoritarian rule.
During World War II, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history and violating an earlier non-aggression pact between the two countries. The Soviet Union suffered the largest loss of life in the war, but halted the Axis advance at intense battles such as at Stalingrad, eventually driving through Eastern Europe and capturing Berlin in 1945. Having played the decisive role in the Allied victory in Europe, the Soviet Union established the Eastern Bloc in much of Central and Eastern Europe and emerged as one of the world's two superpowers after the war. Together with new socialist satellite states, through which the Soviet Union established economic and military pacts, it became involved in the Cold War, a prolonged ideological and political struggle against the Western Bloc, and in particular the other superpower, the United States.
A de-Stalinisation period followed Stalin's death, reducing the harshest aspects of society. The Soviet Union then went on to initiate significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including launching the first ever satellite and world's first human spaceflight, which led it into the Space Race. The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 marked a period of extreme tension between the two superpowers, considered the closest to a mutual nuclear confrontation. In the 1970s, a relaxation of relations followed, but tensions resumed when, after a Communist-led revolution in Afghanistan, Soviet forces entered the country by request of the new regime. The occupation drained economic resources and dragged on without achieving meaningful political results.
In the late 1980s the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, also sought reforms in the Union, introducing the policies of glasnost and perestroika in an attempt to end the period of economic stagnation and democratize the government. However, this led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements. By 1991, the country was in turmoil as the Baltic republics began to secede. A referendum resulted in the vast majority of participating citizens voting in favour of preserving the Union as a renewed federation. In August 1991, a coup d'état attempt by hardliners against Gorbachev and aimed at preserving the country, instead led to its collapse. On 25 December 1991, the USSR was dissolved into 15 post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation, successor of the Russian SFSR, assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognised as its continued legal personality.


Reforms and dissolution



Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Two developments dominated the decade that followed: the increasingly apparent crumbling of the Soviet Union's economic and political structures, and the patchwork attempts at reforms to reverse that process. Kenneth S. Deffeyes argued in Beyond Oil that the Reagan administration encouraged Saudi Arabia to lower the price of oil to the point where the Soviets could not make a profit selling their oil, so that the USSR's hard currency reserves became depleted.
Brezhnev's next two successors, transitional figures with deep roots in his tradition, did not last long. Yuri Andropov was 68 years old and Konstantin Chernenko 72 when they assumed power; both died in less than two years. In an attempt to avoid a third short-lived leader, in 1985, the Soviets turned to the next generation and selected Mikhail Gorbachev.
Gorbachev made significant changes in the economy and party leadership, called perestroika. His policy of glasnost freed public access to information after decades of heavy government censorship.

Soviet troops withdrawing from Afghanistan in 1988
Gorbachev also moved to end the Cold War. In 1988, the Soviet Union abandoned its nine-year war in Afghanistan and began to withdraw its forces. In the late 1980s, he refused military support to the Soviet Union's former satellite states, resulting in the toppling of multiple communist regimes. With the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and with East Germany and West Germany pursuing unification, the Iron Curtain came down.
In the late 1980s, the constituent republics of the Soviet Union started legal moves towards potentially declaring sovereignty over their territories, citing Article 72 of the USSR constitution, which stated that any constituent republic was free to secede. On 7 April 1990, a law was passed allowing a republic to secede if more than two-thirds of its residents voted for it in a referendum.Many held their first free elections in the Soviet era for their own national legislatures in 1990. Many of these legislatures proceeded to produce legislation contradicting the Union laws in what was known as the "War of Laws".
In 1989, the Russian SFSR, which was then the largest constituent republic (with about half of the population) convened a newly elected Congress of People's Deputies. Boris Yeltsin was elected its chairman. On 12 June 1990, the Congress declared Russia's sovereignty over its territory and proceeded to pass laws that attempted to supersede some of the USSR's laws. The period of legal uncertainty continued throughout 1991 as constituent republics slowly became de facto independent.
A referendum for the preservation of the USSR was held on 17 March 1991, with the majority of the population voting for preservation of the Union in nine out of the 15 republics. The referendum gave Gorbachev a minor boost. In the summer of 1991, the New Union Treaty, which would have turned the Soviet Union into a much looser Union, was agreed upon by eight republics.

Yeltsin stands on a tank to defy the August Coup in 1991.
The signing of the treaty, however, was interrupted by the August Coup—an attempted coup d'état by hardline members of the government and the KGB who sought to reverse Gorbachev's reforms and reassert the central government's control over the republics. After the coup collapsed, Yeltsin was seen as a hero for his decisive actions, while Gorbachev's power was effectively ended. The balance of power tipped significantly towards the republics. In August 1991, Latvia and Estonia immediately declared the restoration of their full independence (following Lithuania's 1990 example), while the other twelve republics continued discussing new, increasingly looser, models of the Union.
On 8 December 1991, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus signed the Belavezha Accords, which declared the Soviet Union dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. While doubts remained over the authority of the accords to do this, on 21 December 1991, the representatives of all Soviet republics except Georgia signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, which confirmed the accords. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev yielded to the inevitable and resigned as the President of the USSR, declaring the office extinct. He turned the powers that had been vested in the presidency over to Yeltsin, the President of Russia.
The following day, the Supreme Soviet, the highest governmental body of the Soviet Union, dissolved itself. This is generally recognized as marking the official, final dissolution of the Soviet Union as a functioning state. The Soviet Army remained in place in the early months of 1992, but was thereafter absorbed into the different military forces of the newly independent states.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991, Russia was internationally recognized as its legal successor on the international stage. To that end, Russia voluntarily accepted all Soviet foreign debt and claimed overseas Soviet properties as its own. Under the 1992 Lisbon Protocol, Russia also agreed to receive all nuclear weapons remaining in the territory of other former Soviet republics. Since then, the Russian Federation has assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations.