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.