Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein Hanged - Why India is Sad?

Just read the news about execution of Iraq's ex-Everything -Saddam Hussein. He is reported to be hanged in the wee hours today.

My curiosity for this 'end of era' affair is due to something else however. Being from India, I am alwasys amazed why we Indians are sympathetic towards Iraq or Saddam, or towards Venezuela, or Cuba, or Russia? The tone of Indian newspapers was alright not exactly symapthetic towards Saddam. But they were not very jubiliant about the hanging either. There tone was - 'Saddam was a bad dictetor, but...' Now what I am hearing is an emphasis on Bush was 'Sleeping' (a toned down version of 'Snoring') while Saddam was being hanged.

I wonder if this sympathy is because these nations are taking on mighty (& 'Sucking') USA? Indian image on International stage has been always of a powerful nation who backed those whom nobody backed (particularly against West). One more reason can be in Indian history. India has always been known as the Jewel Of East. India was envy of all world till British came and sucked out all the Indian ethos. This history is not a distant past. The world powers from ancient times that I can recount are - Roman, Egyptian, Greek, British and American. This is besides India. India was a world power, right from anciant times throughout the history, upto may be Europian reneissance. And today even if everybody says that India is again on course of reclaiming top spot, at present moment she is not the One. Does this makes India a jealous country? Jealous of those who are on top now? The top which for long belonged to India?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bollywood Rules...!

Here is the list of top Movies of 2006 by average user votes. 'Lage raho Munnabhai' - a light comedy flick tops the list. The 8.8 infront of '...Munnabhai' contains 1 vote of myself :)

Bollywood rules!

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Think Beyond Google!

Today morning (Indian Morning!), I came across a really nice post on my favourite ZDNet Blog. David Berlind writes about a new search technology which is into making in Sun Labs. Read it.
Proof that the search for “great search” isn’t over just yet by ZDNet's David Berlind -- Anybody who has ever used a search site like Google or Yahoo knows that there's room for improvement in search. But just how much? Is the room that's left only for incremental enhancements or might we still see some quantum leaps? Until last week when I got a demonstration of the work being done in [...]

The Sun’s 3d Cluster
It basically tells about creating clusters of search results in 3 dimenssion! The user can hover the mouse on a dot and can see to which cluster does it belong. Many of you who think beyond Google do know great search engines like Vivsmo and Clusty who do cluster the results.

But the search results cluster in 3d!

I am waiting.

[p.s. Read the comment by Justin James titled 'Technical Solution'. His argument is fantastic.]

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Good Governance Through Internet

Today i came across a very good post on Digg. It talks about legislation by citizens themselves.

JosephW says -

"Citizens using the Internet to monitor their representatives and the legislation that they draft is nothing novel. But a new Sunlight Foundation project aimed at allowing citizen legislatures to collaboratively script their own legislation, challenging what representative democracy mean"

A good idea indeed. The representative democracy which prevails in most of the democratic countries today is not a full proof democracy where each person has his or her say in the governance. This form of democracy creates a Pyramidal structure where the base is formed by those who don't have powers beyond voting rights. And when you have to choose from 10 thieves, the voting and electing becomes a farce. Thus in the representative democracy, true democracy is non-existant. Here, the meta-decisions (which concern every person's life within the State) are taken by the vertex of Pyramid which is cut off from base. The vertex controls all the information (under the name of secrecy) as also the decision making powers and punitive authority.

In such a scenario, collaborative legislation is really a ray of hope, and that's what the Internet can offer. Various examples on web have that true collaboration and networking is really possible through Internet. Wikipedia is a case in the point. In such scenario, the Citizens can have Information, enforce responsibility & accountability, and decide their own fate.

However, this is only a theoretical possibility. What can hamper this initiative is the Digital Divide. Today there are two classes of digital have's and have not's. We will have to ensure the have not's also have a real say OR the digital divide itself is bridged.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mel Gibson's Apocalypto Trailer

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP2Fp7vJD4E]

The Adaptive Search Engine

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(Click to enlarge the screenshot)

A group of reaserchers from Indian Institute Of Technology, Delhi have developed a new search algorithm which tries to find the personality traits and likings of user.

I tried t6 for odd 25 terms. However, I did not find much difference between Google search results for a term and t6labs.com results for the same. Give any term and the Google results rank will be same as that of t6 search (give or take 1 or 2 ranks here and there). May be t6 is more effective once you build up a large database of your search terms (t6 saves your search history). But again this contradicts the claim by developers of t6, that t6 works in realtime.

Anyway. I am happy that somebody is trying to take on Google, who, over the years has become a bit monopolistic. A little bit of competition will be a good prescription for benefit of users.

Try t6 at search.t6labs.com

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Fox, Viacom, NBC, CBS To Create a Rival To Youtube

A report in Wall Street Journal says -

"Four major media companies, including News Corp.'s Fox, Viacom Inc., CBS Corp. and General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, are in talks about creating a video Web site to compete with Google Inc.'s YouTube, according to people close to the situation.


The companies, owners of most of the major TV networks, envision a jointly owned site that would be the primary Web source for video content from their networks, allowing them to cash in on fast-growing Web video advertising. They also have discussed building a Web video player that could play video clips from across the Web. A deal to create a competitor remains far off, however."


The reason of their paranoia is not Youtube, but the piracy which is escalating Youtube's business while eroding their own. The claim that pirated content from these channels makes way to Youtube from odd users across the world. Though there is some logic in this argument, it sounds ridiculous that this pirated content has popularised youtube. Youtube actually thrives upon a user-generated content which these media houses would not have bought for a dime. This is a typical mainstream media mentality and is indeed the reason why Youtube has thrived.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Google Is Upto Something Big With Youtube.

My blogposts related to Youtube got some unexpected hits last week. Actually, it seems that Youtube was down on more than one occassions and the user response I got was rather related to the first 'Youtube still down' post.

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Now it has been a deeply discussed question as to why Google would buy Youtube for billions of dollars? Why Google wanted to buy it in the first place when it has a similar service of Google Video?

Though the answer to second question points towards a monopolistic buy-out decision, the answer to first one is really a pointer to the future.

I believe that Content will be the biggest market in coming days. It will envelope the media & communication technology segments to provide an user a rich content. Today the media segment having biggest optentials is Television. Services like IPTV and youtube will provide the best competing platform for companies like Google. The programs of CBS are already being uploaded to youtube for users. Another strength of youtube is the User Generated content and a democratic undertone of whole concept which will media-empower more and more people around the globe in coming days.

In the new 'concoction', Youtube has a new weapon of Youtube videoes on mobile in collaboration with Verizon. This is fantastic. More and more users armed with their Blackberry's and E62's will surely turn to this great video content.

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One more feature Youtube has added is the Accounts for Comedians & Musicians. So these are the categories which will attract more users.

Also, continuing with the tradition of Official Google Blog, a new blog for Youtube is also live from 2nd December itself.

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So with new Youtube, you can -

  • Most importantly WATCH quality user generated video content

  • Showcase your talent to the world, and

  • Browse youtube videoes on Verizon phones

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Is Love A Weakness?

Today I read about a book by Styron (?) called Sophie’s Choice. There is a movie starring Meryl Streep, which is based on this novel. The protagonist of this novel has to make most difficult choice in her life. In a Nazi concentration camp, she has to decide which one of her two children is going to survive. It is really the most difficult choice any human being can make, when it comes to life and death of his near and dear ones. I wonder what she would have done if the choice was to decide which one of the three (Sophie & her 2 children) would survive? Further, should she be blamed, had her choice been that she would survive? I think she would not have been able to handle the guilt complex that would have been followed.


I recently saw the movie – ‘Batman Begins’, in which, a character says – ‘…you are week because there are so many things which are dear to you.’ That is true beyond doubt. Human power of making choices crumbles when it comes to the things which are close to his heart.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Casino Royale Review * * * * *

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This Bond is cool. Really cool. James Bond on his first mission after upgraded to a license to kill. James Bond becomes Agent 007. In his first mission Bond has to choke the funding channel to world of terrorism by winning poker(!), and defeating a blood-weeping man Schiffr in it. He is accompanied by Eva Green, an acountant in Treasury. Bond plays poker, swallows and digests poison, makes love with Eva Green, endures brutal torture and emerges as One Of The Best Bond ever. Yes he is simply better than metrosexual Pierce Brosnan. Raw, agile, brute & witty. That's the 007 we want.

Credit here goes to Daniel Craig and the script. Devoid of gadgets, the Bond here relies more on his brute force and agility to break necks (yeah! he really breaks them in the movie), more humane (heroically humane) persona of bond. The original story of Casino Royale is changed here to fit into the terrorised world order of today. This seems more an artificial unfit. But the presentation and daniel Craig sail through it all.

21st Bond movie and 6th Bond are different from predecesors on at least three counts...

  1. Bond is blond here. Yes blue eyed sexy blond.

  2. The Bond's female is not so glamourous and polished (remember Ursulla Andress!). She is more feminine 7 doesn't holds a gun in whole movie. Instead sits below shower - terrified and shocked - after seeing kiilings and death bodies.

  3. Here is real comedy which proves my point no. (2) -- Ursulla Andress & Halle Berry emerge out of water like godess venus...sexy and seductress...! In Casino Royale, who emerges out of water is not Eve Green, but instead - Daniel Craig!

What is new in youtube?

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Nothing Much...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Beautiful Words

Here is a list of 70 most beautiful words in English language (courtesy: British Council).

Mother tops the list. For me, however, the beautiful word is 'Claustrophobia' & 'Luscious'. What are yours?
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Thursday, November 9, 2006

US Senate Elections. Democrats Win. (Why I must follow it?)

Why in the hell, should the US election matter to 99% countries on globe? Because US mindset is still a McCarthic mindset. They just can't be normal people. They need learning to be brave & happy. Insecurity and fear run US foreign policies. Bad luck is that this US is prosperous and powerful.
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Monday, November 6, 2006

New York Times: Free Access To 'Times Select' section

One of my favourite online dailies, NYT is currently celebrating a Free Access Week for its Times Select Section. Now you can read Maureen Dowd & Thomas Freidman free of cost anywhere in the world (for only one week though). Also available is the access to NYT's archives. Here is one piece from NYT archives. Date is 21st April, 1889- when Eiffel Tower reached to its full height. (Courtsey: NYT, offcourse)

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Sunday, November 5, 2006

India's Moral Crisis & The Answer

We have a very talented engineer turned social engineer in my hometown, Ambajogai. Prasad Chikshe, who runs a school in my town has become a source of inspiration for many youngsters like me in and around Ambajogai. It's a Swades (the movie) like story started long before Swades was released. He sent us an email pointing to the intellectual crisis of India and need for intellectual activism.

Here is my comment to his very well thought write-up:

"Hello Prasaddada for a contribution so simulating to the our thinking.

You are absolutely right to point out the intellectual crisis (or rather Intellectuals' Crisis). All those people who can do something are not doing anything to their full potential. And that is the reason why their is a crisis in our minds. We are actually going up but still feel depressed.
Prasaddada, I feel that the reason is beyond only 'Intellectual crisis'. I strongly feel that it is a Morality Crisis which has plagued us. We Indians have little self respect left in us. A brave tribal who can kill a tiger single handedly, becomes a cow when he goes to Tehsil office. An enterprising businessman of the caliber of Ford, acts like a slave in front of foreign delegation.
Why this happens? Credit for this must go to the Britishers, who destroyed every Indian symbol of national pride and also destroyed her socio-economic fabric. This is also the reason why even after 59 years of independence, we Indians are still in dilemma about whether we should be proud of Sanskrit and Sanskriti or not.
But the situation is changing. Mittal, TATA, Infosys etc. are the beacons for a new era for India - exactly because they are giving us a reason to be proud of. USA, UK and Japan are far ahead in development and welfare not because they have more people like Medha Patkar and Anna Hajare. This is because they have Ford & GM & Intel & Microsoft & Sony.
People like APJ, Sam Pitroda and TATA-Relience-Mittal believe in exactly this thing. They are giving us vision and also implementing it. We don't need Medha Patkar and Anna Hajare who prefer to become a part of problem rather than solution.
India and Indians need more people who have a tremendous self respect (Self reaspect = respect about one's past, present and future). And India also need more people who create something of which we can be proud of.

"Self Respect + Hard Work = Strong Nation"
6 days of quality work at your own company > Rs. 1 lakh to charity

"

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Do we surf the Internet, or just go straight to Websites (apart from Googling)?

Tell me what around us needs Innovations?

There are a lot of things around us which really need innovation and change. Let me list some those:

  1. Politics. 'Democracy' is very general concept. There is so much variations across societies of different countries. And there is so little difference among the political and administrative systems they use. It surely needs innovations that suits a particular country. What can be the most important innovation that will be required for India?

  2. Laptops & Medicines. Why are they so expensive?

  3. Business Models in Books, CD's industry. Otherwise they will not be able to beat piracy. Piracy industry serves needs of consumers in a better way.

  4. Newspapers. Times Of India sucks.

  5. News Channels. All of them suck.

  6. The desktop keyboards. My hands ache.


Tell me where else do we need Innovations. Top 5 of them.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

'Departed'

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I have always loved espionage and spy movies. I may be the only person who actually is saddened by the demise of cold war era (at least the cold war era on screen). Cold war provided raw material to some the best espionage literature and movies. Some of the movies in this genre that I really like are - 'Enemy of the state', 'Ronin', 'Bourne Identity', 'Bourne Supremacy' etc.

Now I here that Martin Scorcesse has thrown away one more masterpiece in 'Departed' with an impressive cast of Jack Nicolson, de Caprio and Mat Damon.

Now waiting eagerly for this Friday, when 'Departed' will be released in India.

Wait Is Over In Mattoo Case

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After waiting for 11 long years, justice has finally come to the way of Mattoo's, the hapless family of a young lawyer Priyadarshini Mattoo. Priyadarshini was raped and then murdered brutally by one Santosh Singh. Santosh was her senior in Delhi University and also a practising lawyer himself. He is son of an IPS officer who was a high ranking official in Delhi police then.

Reeling under the power of big and powerful, a sessions court acquitted Santosh of the charge of rape and murder. It seemed that justice is prerogative of biggies only. However, in wake of sting operations which exposed the purposeful glitches in Jessica Lal case, there was a huge public outcry about this denial of justice. Ever alert Indian media also stood firmly by general citizens' feelings. And it worked.

Delhi HC took up the case in a fast track session and acceding to CBI's request to treat the case as a 'rarest of rare', Delhi HC sentenced Santosh Singh to death.

This victory, truly goes to Indian media which never allowed the perpetrators to sleep silently during these nights.

Quote Beautiful

"Time, Purpose & Means WILL Follow".

I don't know who said it originally, but I read it in the mouth of Rajkumar Hirani, the director of beautiful Munnabhai. 

Monday, October 30, 2006

Boom!

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Yes. Laptops do explode. Save your laps from laptops.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Cheers To Indra Nooyi, CEO-Pepsico

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[A screenshot from Fortune website]

A woman, a coloured woman, a woman still with an Indian essence at the helm of Pepsico. Now she has become the Most Powerful Woman in the Fortune's list. No mean achievement for her.

Her main plank that one must keep on reinventing and innovating is very relevant. Watch out what she says-"The minute you've developed a new business model, it's extinct, because somebody is going to copy it."

Hats off to you, Ms. Indra Nooyi.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Superhit From Youtube





Bill Clinton Show





How Bestsellers Are Borne? A Tale of Noam Chomsky


Septuagenarian linguist and the most intelligent man on earth today according to some, Noam Chomsky would be thanking Hugo Chavez from bottom of his heart. Noam Chomsky's book 'Hegemony Or Survival' shot up from dust of obscurity, when the Venezuelan prez, Chavez held the book near his heart at the UN summit and mentioned it in his speech while attacking Bush policies. The book had been on stands since 2004 but never enjoyed such a curiosity and success as it is doing after Chavez's mention.

Noam Chomsky argues in the book that the US policy about Afghanistan and Iraq is not really a shift after 9/11. On the contrary, War On Terror, occupation of Iraq and control of Afghanistan are nothing but continuation of US foreign policy which is a policy of hegemony. USA maintains this hegemony through war, funding tyrants (USA funded even Saddam- see adjacent modified carricated picture of Rumsfeld holding hand with Saddam) .

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It is not a secret how USA nurtured Taliban to counter the USSR control over Afghanistan. Nurturing monsters to fight monsters and then creating and nurturing new monsters to fight older ones has been the tale of US policy throughout after WW II. This is what Noam Chomsky tries to convey through his book. (I wonder why doesn't somebody teach USA simple management lessons?)

Want to make your book bestseller? Bring in Chavez.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sharing Bed? Or Building Sleep?


An interesting study on sharing bed for sleeping is doing rounds currently. Published originally in nytimes.com, this study points to an interesting aspect of sleep or more of a relationship, namely sharing bed during sleep.

Sharing bed for sleeping can be a very uncomfortable job - snatching for the sheet (it goes on for night), sleep breaks, feet on your face and all such things means that you can't have a best sleep. You could have it if you sleep alone.

Interesting thing, however, is that those who share beds for sleeping prefer sleeping together rather than alone, howsoever uncomfortable that sleep is. This is seemingly obvious aspect but is interestingly unnoticed by many who share bed.

What can be reason? I would put intimacy at a much lower rank in the list of reasons. Because I would not sacrifice my sleep of 7 hours for an intimacy which is not much helpful after I sleep off.

Rather it may be feeling of security which we as a species inherited from our ancestors in the jungle. It is on the bed that I forget all other worries; I talk with my partner all my thoughts which I keep back in my mind for whole day. I kind of feel a support in it. If we look at other animals, we will notice the same thing. Sleeping (or sharing bed if that pleases Western minds. I wonder, why 'Sleeping' in English language would also mean having sex? Do they never 'sleep' - mean take a 7-8 hour nap?) (sleeping) in groups is the basic instinct of all gregarious animals, to which we human being also belong. Notice the dog in last frame of picture above. Funny.
It is nice observation (at the most). (I would hate to call it a study.)

MSN Soapbox (Microsoft's Youtube) Is Coming

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After taking long (as usual) to gauge the success of Web 2.0 services, like Google Video, Yahoo Video and Youtube, Microsoft is at last coming up with their version of Youtube-MSN Soapbox. Soapbox will function on same lines as of Google Video, Yahoo Video and Youtube and will be thus meant to be a 'Social' Web service. Currently the test version is out for Invitees only and the MSN Soapbox Beta is supposed to be out in coming days.

Those who have tested it have opined it to be similar to Youtube with 100mb upload limit etc. Major curiosity was about the video format on Soapbox. Whether Soapbox is going to use Windows Media Player format or .flv- the flash movie format. It seems that .flv will not be an in thing for MSN Soapbox.

Late entry into the video hosting segment means that Microsoft will have to be content on a low customer base. This is mainly because we will have to wait for a while for other mashing applications to develop around MSN Soapbox. For instance you will find so many services like Kipvid which evolved around Youtube and Google Video. Somebody should tell the folks in Seattle that online audience hates to wait this much when so many equally able competitors are around.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Lone Ranger Theme Song

Lone Ranger Theme Song


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Watch that's Coool.....
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

What I Didn't Do At BlogCamp.



BlogCamp.In the grand gala of intelligent and blogging minds ended in Chennai in 9th and 10th. Before going there, I had formulated some objectives for myself. Most important thing on my mind was 'whether this unconference is going to be neo-hippyism?' Informality, participation than speeches, 2 feet rule- it interested me to see if all this actually didn't mean Indiscipline (or Indiscipline 2.0!). Dear friends, though there were some issues relating to the chaos about sessions, it was through and through paisa vasool for a person like me who travelled there all the way from Pune. Many a persons tried and did beat their own drums there (e.g. I didn't understand why there was a session about SEM in Blogcamp? or Why Sulekha.com was propping up again and again on various occasions? I never heard about Ford or Yahoo except at right places- these were official sponsors.). There were also some people who walked in the hall like a police-man talking loudly and silencing some sane voices.

If this was the situation, then where did I get my payback? It was (unfortunate for an Unconference but-) on a cup of coffee. I got networked to a good number of people and relations with whom, I hope, will go beyond profession.

A session on podcasting by Kiruba, Ram and Kaushik and all those who attended it was the best. It just evolved. I am sure that the session chartered a totally unplanned path for these wonderful guys. A novice to writing a blog (not blogging!), I was immensely benefited from their tips on podcasting.

Other persons which interested me there were Amit Agarwal and Dina Mehta. It was a sad thing that I could not actually caught up with Amit. But hey there will always be the next BlogCamp.

I was a bit surprised at this social gathering about a curious phenomenon. The girls you know! Look at these girls- Dina and Neha-hogging the center-stage and active in each activity. I was wondering about my own observation that the girls today are more active and open and free, especially at such social gatherings. Is it just a feeling of mine? It may be the confidence oozing out from beauty the girls would always have. I wonder. I wanted to discuss this issue with Dina but except on blogging and gender issues, I didn't talked to her.

One more thing I wanted to hear about was somebody writing on Recipes. Personaly I would have loved to hear from some of these blogger cooks. But alas! None was there as per my knowledge.

All this and a visit to Mahabalipuram- I didn't do at BlogCamp.

Monday, September 4, 2006

BlogCamp!

The unconference,which I am waiting for eagerly is just 4 days away now. I am excited and eager to be in Chennai.
I registered for it and man! today the registrations are 'Sold Out'! I escaped by whiskers.
Now there is still issue of booking of Chennai bound train. Hope I could get one through our travel agent.
Main purpose there will be networking and finding answers to some questions.
Let's see how it goes.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Ajax- Web 2.0 cornerstone

In very simple words, Ajax is a set of technologies, which allow Asynchronous loading of content in the browser window of end user. When the user does some modisications on the webpage, the page need not be reloaded from server to reflect the changes.

Main benefits of Ajax are increased interactivity and increased user experience.

The word was coined in Feb 2005! By Jesse Garrett to describe the technologies for asynchronous loading.

 Here are some figures to explain Ajax:

 

Saturday, September 2, 2006

A Visit From Chalky - 50's Educational Film Satire

A Visit From Chalky - 50's Educational Film Satire


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Education ...uh!
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Friday, August 25, 2006

Going To West- Do's and Don't (OR View of a Great Western Circus)

Following is the list of things which you should follow, if you don't want to get labelled as a TE-RRRO-RRIST! (This applies especially to those having non-white skins)

1. Don't drink water. Water carried by an Easterner may be explosive. So avoid taking plastic water bottles also.

2. Don't carry lipsticks or other make-up material. It may be explosive.

3. Don't talk to each other. It may be explosive.

4. Don't carry plastic bags or for that matter any bags. They may be explosive.

5. Don't eat. It may be explosive.

6. If you are a muslim then damn you. You are explosive.

7. If you are a Sikh then also you are a Muslim because every beard on a non-white face belongs to Osama bin Laden. It may be explosive.

8. If you are in Amsterdam and your granma calls you and also wants to talk to your brother then don't exchange cellphones. It may explosive.

9. Don't walk. It may be explosive.

10. Don't . You are explosive.

11. If you get killed by some dumbest policeman (as all of them are) because of anything from 1 to 10, then don't complain. Situations are explosive and this is a war on Terror.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Vande Mataram! But who are you, to make me sing it?

I once said to my friend that playing National anthem in cinema halls before each show is useless. My friend actually could not understand what I said. This is for him.

Farce Of Anthem in Cinema Halls: People deliberately come late to avoid standing silent during the play of national anthem, making a ridicule of the whole affair. Again, why the heck should I stand while the national anthem is played? Do I need to prove my love for my country by (just) standing up? Common folks! A human loves anything that is his! And by the way, is this supposed to be some kind of test for testing one's patriotism? Then I may say this is a damn foolish test. (I hate this word patriotism which has been hijacked by some perverted Political minds, who actually don't contribute a dime towards the country.)

Here is an editorial in Times Of India on 23 August, 2006. I do not agree to each point in this article, but it echoes my feelings to some extent. Here we go-

"The HRD ministry was wrong, in the first place, to issue a directive that all students must sing Vande Mataram on September 7 to commemorate 100 years of India's national song. Wearing one's patriotism on one's sleeve, and introducing compulsory rituals in its name, serves little purpose. When Arjun Singh later retracted to say that singing Vande Mataram on September 7 was voluntary, not compulsory, it wasn't out of a newly discovered respect for liberal principles, but because of a counter-blast coming from Imam Syed Bukhari. According to Bukhari, Indian Muslims ought to love the nation enough to lay down their lives for it, but it doesn't follow that they should worship the nation, as Vande Mataram enjoins them to do. Bukhari may reprise another oft-played tune — that of Muslim victimization — and his claim to speak on behalf of all Indian Muslims may be questioned.

But shorn of that there is something in his objection to Vande Mataram that Muslims as well as non-Muslims can sympathize with. ( I disagree with this. There is nothing objectionable in Vande Mataram. I, however, object to making it compulsory.)

Worshipping the nation is going to solve few contemporary problems — in fact a narrow view of national interests compounds many of today's crises. Twentieth century nationalism could be out of sync with the requirements of a globalized 21st century. Take greenhouse gases and other forms of environmental pollution, which, by their very nature, transcend national boundaries. Fixing them will require international agreements, but the US bucked the Kyoto Protocol regulating greenhouse gases. The result may be runaway climate change that will affect all countries, the US included. Washington displays similar unilateral inclinations in the war against terror, leading to better coordination between terrorists than the democracies they attack. The WTO cannot take trade liberalization forward due to domestic farmers' lobbies in rich countries. BPOs face similar obstacles. Asia is supposed to be resurgent, but different nationalisms are coming into conflict over Japanese premier Junichiro Koizumi's frequent visits to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, commemorating Japan's war dead, never mind that they include some war criminals. While Tokyo takes a hard line on North Korea, Beijing says that any declaration of independence by Taiwan's parliament will trigger an invasion of that country. If conflict breaks out on any of these fronts Asia's resurgence would be over — although the hopeful thing is that the economies of China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are so interdependent as to preclude conflict.

Such interdependence looks threatening to many in India, who evoke an unreflective and overly emotional nationalism as a charm to ward it off.

If we are moved by them India will fail to capitalize on the manifold opportunities that globalization offers, while its destabilizing effects will still be with us.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Pirates Of Carrebian- Dead Man's Dogma.



I can imagine a day, not too distant in the future, when we will say that IPR was a good idea which died before it took roots. Yeah. I am pretty sure about the demise of IPR in its current form.

IPR was institutionalised in the 1995 Doha agreement, when the countries agreed for a uniform regime of Product Patent. Under this patent regime, the products and not processes were covered under the patent regime.

Now, what this IPR regime did not consider is 1. Situation in the third world countries, where singular proprietorship is not an ancient idea. Community, as a whole shared benefits of many of the inventions in these societies, for long. 2. IPR did not take cognizance of the ensuing regime of a Free Information World. This will be the major factor for demise of IPR.

On the virtual web, it is next to impossible to establish identity of an IPR culprit and equally impossible will be to stop the rise such culprits in any obscure part of the wired world. With increasing competition and ever increasing opportunities to communicate, it will be erroneous, at least impossible to prevent some people from doing what they can do. Creative Commons, Google tools and other infinite entities on web prove this point day after day. They represent an alternative model to the revenue based on 'All Rights Reserved' policy.

The effects, socio-economic and cultural, of these changes, however will be for time to tell.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

International Relations Community

(On discussion about religions and inter-religious conflicts etc. See the discussion at http://www.orkut.com/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=18389&tid=2478630576498548954&na=2&nst=42)

Hinduism is more a way of life. Religon in English is not the same as Dharma in Sanskrit. And Hinduism is not a Religion in true English sense of term, but it is a Dharma. Hinduism is therefore most tolerent and accomodating of all religions. Or in better words, Hindu people are more tolerent and accomodating. From ancient past, Shakas, Kushanas, Greeks(who stayed back after Alexander returned),Muslims, Turks, Mongols, Parshis, Jews(never persecuted in India) came to India and were wholeheartedly accepted. They in turn enriched Indian culture making it a Composite Culture. You may term it a Melting Pot or Salad Bowl but India is one glaring example of how humanity, love and peace can be lived on ground and that too for so many years.

More interesting however, is to examine the links between Geography-Resources and the inter-religious interactions. We see that India, with her abundant resources and very favourable climate has long been a magnet for people from all over the world. And the resources- water, sunlight, rich soils and climate meant that more and more people could be accomodated without any need for conflict. with the development of transportation and communication, this attraction about India is naturally lowered, because resources can be transferred for the people. Now again world is fihting for Oil, which is again scarce. Besides there is the gap between standards of living and level of development also.

Thus I think that today's fights are not between Christiens and Mislims or Jews and Muslims. These are conflicts for resources. Such conflicts are often magnified by the egoes and insecurities of the people who take decisions for their followers.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Shakespeare- Beyond Omkara...

10,000- This is the number of words which Shakespeare invented in English language according to Oxford English Dictionary.


The words, which the great playwright invented are so much integrated with our lives that we would be surprised at the prowess of the man.


e.g. Dheerubhai might have been Useless had there not been Shakespeare. Because the Bard invented Reliance, the word. This may seem Baseless. but even 'Baseless' was invented by Shakespeare, besides 'Useless'!


Very common words like 'Bedroom', 'Belongings', 'Birthplace', 'colourful', and 'Eyeball' went from head of the man, into making English dictionary fatter.


Now we know one of the reasons why English is so much proud of him.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Shot Of BOTOX



Botox: Botulinum Toxin A- basically used now a days to reduce the lines or wrinkles. Botox is injected directly into the target muscle (e.g. above and below eye). A boon for who will go to any length to look young (for 3 to 8 months). Botox is not without its side effects.

Recently in news because in Malaysia some Council issued a fatwa against use of Botox.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

End Of An Era...Bill Quits.



The world stirred five times in it's history- when fire was discovered, when wheel started rolling, when printing came on block, when computers were invented and when Internet came to life. We are a fortunate enough generation to have witnessed the last two of the epoch. If Google rules the minds of people in Internet era, it was certainly Bill Gates and his Microsoft Corp. which defined the preceding era.

General public has an interesting habit. They think that Nirma is nothing but another name for detergent powder, and Bajaj is not a poor fellow in Andaj Apna Apna, but ..a Scooter.

We are part of this general public. Most of us would die before we get to see an operating system other than Windows and DOS. (I strongly feel that there should be exhibitions and museums parading Linux and Macintosh, the other Operating Systems). Such was the genius and business acumen of this man called William Gates III.



When I think of his career, three things pop up to the mind immediately- one, he was immensely successful in achieving his aim- Software Empowerment of masses through a desktop on each desk. Look at today's world. Telling about how software has really empowered us is mere wastage of words. Second thing is monopolistic ambitions of Microsoft. Microsoft just ruled the fourth era. No competition. This caused heavy resentment against his business policies. Anti-trust suits and Microsoft are linked permanently. However I can't forget that this strategy was the reason why we know Sabeer Bhatia, and why the world knew (with a bang) Indian software talent. Third and most important thing is- Bill Gates and all values he represents are outdated actually in Google dominated Internet era. Microsoft model is based on aggressive marketing, heavy royalty through 'All rights reserved' tag, routing out the competition etc. Google however has brought a kind of information democracy in the Internet era. Google's revenue model differs from Microsoft totally. Low key marketing, 'Some rights reserved' strategy- which is more appropriate for the information age are the basic pillars of Google's model. Furthermore now the focus has also shifted from software to information and then to information services. In this scheme of things,  Microsoft,MSN etc. were not the buzzwords (this may qualify for being an exaggeration). Bill left the post of CEO in 2000 for his long time associate Steve Ballmer. This year, he declared to transition away from Microsoft over next 2 years and (still) will remain Chairman after 2 years.

The world transitioned from Computer era to Internet era minus Bill, and look at the genius of the man, Bill has transitioned from an identity of the richest on earth to that of biggest donor on earth. Working through Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he has now focused on the world health scenario and is sure to make a positive impact on it. He was also successful to get hefty donation from Warren Buffet who is also a richest like himself.

So, William Henry Gates III's exit from Microsoft is only a semicolon and not a full-stop. Let's see if his marriage of capitalism and society becomes successful or not.

(p.s. Here is a peep in the day of Bill- http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2006/4/4/3461)

 

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My love for Haiku...

Remember Shirish Pai from the old Balbharati books? Well, apart from being the daughter of legendary Pra. Kay. Atre, she is a  noted Haiku writer in Marathi. Basically a Japanese form of poetry, Haiku is now a world famous form of expressing one's daily experiences in minimum of words. One example of Haiku in Marathi which comes instantly to my mind is-

Ek Talav,

Ek Beduk,

Dubuk.

-this, we treated as a joke. But it is a very beautiful piece of Haiku.

What I like about Haiku is its simplicity. Three lines, 9- 10 words, a daily experience (or anything)- and a Haiku is ready. You need not be a great poet like Kusumagraj and write-

'ghevun pisara prakashacha,

Devdoot koni,

Khodit basala kalokhavar,

Tejachi Leni.'

Man, not for me! I can't be that great. It needs a genius in you. But yeah, I can write-

'Aalas angaat,

prakash anganaat,

Uthlo cholat dole'

Now you see. This is a poetry form of a common man. Genius not needed.  So simple, so easy.

Here, are some good links if you want to dig deep...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku

http://raysweb.net/haiku/

http://www.orkut.com/Community.aspx?cmm=3804

I am also planning to write some Haiku's on my own. Your contributions are welcome.

Haiku One

Sitting on a comp

out of window

noisy child

 ______________________________________________________________________

aching back

tingling eyes

on the web,

mingling mind

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Emerald Mountain!

"What is to be done then?" The king then asked the mind.


"Go to the Emerald Mountain. Emerald mountain is where the great sages of yesteryear meditated in silence for thousands of years. From the time when you were not born, nor was the Manu, Emerald mountain stands there like the only truth. On it's shoulders, does the moon comes in night to weave the net of magic and in whose caves the Sun goes to sleep. O Great King! go to this mountain and you will find what you wanted."


"Will I be ever able to reach there?"


"A long ago there lived a king who toiled for ages to bring on the Earth the mighty river of Ganga. That Bhagirath is in your heart, dear King. So, don't waste your time and go to Emerald Mountain quickly for if the night falls, it will be too late."