Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Check out...

... the new flickr stream on the right of the page. This guy specializes in HDR images and takes some fantastic pics.
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Monday, May 29, 2006

Some Pics

Blue Lake - Defines Serenity

Leopard - Quite Power

Eclipse - The Kings Eye

Quite Lake - Relaxing Evening

Fields - Waiting For The Storm

Baby Elephant - Mothers Support

A digitally mastered Eye or Stairs?

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Saina says thank you!

Saina Nehawal, the 16 year old badminton hopeful won a 4 star grand prix tournament yesterday. She won 4 rounds of which 3 rounds were against players seeded higher than her. She even beat world no:4 ranking Xu Huaiwen of Germany(yes, the chinese continue to immigrate to get to play for some country!) en route to the final. To explain to people who question why this is a big deal... The last best talent in ladies in this sport from India was Aparna Popat. He reached a career high No:16 and she had won just one 2 star grand prix tournament. If I dare to indulge in some predictions and extrapolations here, I think this teenager can hit the top 10. She is coached by a very good shuttler, Pulella Gopichand, who climbed all the way up to the 7th ranking in the world and an All England crown.

Sure badminton does not have as much money as tennis and is definitely less glamorous, also that its played mainly by asian countries and parts of europe and hence gets a lot less media footage(this needs US to get in). But this lady is sure going to given Sania a run to the bank(atleast I hope so). Saina doesn't show off the aggressive attitude as much as sania and this is good! Heres wishing the very best to Saina in the years to come....

BTW, the thanks from Saina was for the Indian cricket team which again lost abysmally to a mediocre but newly rejuvenated Windies! The almost close to blackwash performance has ensured that they don't hog the media limelight and Saina has risen from the customary 4x6 footage in Times Of India to front page in the sports section and also the main page! At least there is some good coming from the Indian cricket teams defeat!!

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Movie Review: The DaVinci Code

The much awaited DaVinci Code has finally released and I ended up watching it the very first day. Though I was interested in the movie, the bad reviews I got from the net kinda put me off. None the less, watching the movie was a long standing plan and we stuck to it.

To set the tone of the review, if you had read the book, you will not enjoy it! By itself, it is an ok film with intriguing enough plots. But as was in the book, the plots are not well explained. For e.g.: There is this scene where the whole story of Priory Of Sion and Opus Dei and Knights Templar is explained by Lee to Sophie in the presence of Robert. This is a very long scene with so many essential fundas covered but it happens so fast that it gets difficult to grasp it. The french pronunciations don't make it any easy to understand the nuances of the movie and also the hurry to cram the story into a movie screenplay definitely hurts the movie. The role and history of Silas, the albino, is not well covered. Though the puzzles by themselves remain interesting, their explanations are covered in haste, and in fact, the viewers hardly get a chance to grasp the clues and don't get a decent shot at deciphering them.

Since its a thriller, the plot is all important, and I will leave that for the people who gonna watch it. All in all, for someone like me, who has read the book, this was not a good outing. I would rate this at 45% or 4.5/10.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fast OS Switching

This is just an amazing video. The 1.83GHz Dual Core MacBook is the baby doing all this! In the video, you can see the user switch between XP, Mac OS and Ubuntu Dapper(Linux) effortlessly and seamlessly. This is achieved using Parallels beta 6 and Virtue. WoW!

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Getting too techie

How many of you have been following the recent ICC decision making process? They played around with the one-day rules like super sub and power plays and now have kept one and scrapped one. Not so long ago, they started the 3rd umpire usage which seems to have worked fine. They grappled with the idea of using 3rd umpires for LBW decisions. This was with the help of the "LBW mat" and "hawkeye" technological innovations which makes the job easier. This was subject to questioning and finally was dumped. I am all for technology helping the game get better, but I feel they are losing the plot now. The latest is to give the players the right to "challenge" a decision. This means that the umpire can tell that a batsman is out/not out and the affected captain can challenge the decision. The TV replays will then be used to decide the fate.

Now, the reason why I feel this is absurd is because as it is, umpires find it very difficult to control the anger/anguish/antics of the players. Add to this the fact that his decisions will be questioned and dissected by the players, let alone the commentators, is definitely an embarrassment. The "respect" that is gained with such hard work is lost. The umpire should not feel that he will be questioned, more so on the field!

Even after incidents like "hand of god" and the ever controversial off side rules, football never accepted any invasion by technology. And the "other" football, american football, which extensively uses technology is something I just don't enjoy, coz there is no flow to the game. Its always in stutters and that breaks the rhythm of viewing a good game.

Anything in moderation is acceptable and appreciated, and overdose of anything will result in losing interest in the same.
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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

We lose...

India loses in two very different fields. We have got our ass kicked with our politicians deciding to ahead with reservation. We have also got smashed on the cricket field by the windies.

Cricket is no where close to the significance of the reservation ruckus, so lets discuss reservation. What is this discussion worth? Nothing... but nonetheless.

1. The overall quality of the students passing out will come down.
2. The private institutions will be pressurized into taking these students(who will most probably not do well in studies) in and training them to be useful.
3. The appraisal process will now be skewed with reservation being one more consideration for the general merit students to worry about.
4. You will now have to factor an interview candidate on the basis of
       i) OS
       ii) C/C++ (or whatever)
       iii) Networking (or whatever)
       iv) Attitude
       v) Reservation
5. If you have a critical module to be completed, you will have to ensure that some 50% of it must be done by an OBC employee.
6. Arjun Singh will die!
7. His great grandchild will need a bone marrow transplant and the operation will be done by one of the OBC's who is definitely qualified but not deserving to be in the operation theatre. He will goof up as expected and the whole thing will come a full circle!

I know the last couple of points are rude, but when I read this, I don't know what else can be said on this topic!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Collective Conscience

The quota issue remains a burning issue and will for a while. The GoM seem to have given the expected nod, but I don't expect the protesters and indeed us to take it lightly. Reservation which is caste-based in a country which is trying to fight caste-based divisive policies, society and history is just oxymoronic! Now, the plan is to increase the seats and hence not hurt the "meritorious", but still keep the quota for OBCs. The quota will be in effect from day one, the promise for infrastructure
may take , well, forever! The knowledge panel has suggested to the PM in support for quota but more realistically, which I am sure the political masters will not accept, as it does not serve their plans for the vote bank. What the voted-in geniuses don't realize is that the protesters are not against the quota because of just the seats, its also about the overall quality of the output from these institutions that matter. Collective conscience continues to work hard...

But, this kind of collective world conscience does make a difference I suppose, and maybe the next generation can reap more good from us than bad. Another indication is that old warhorse ships don't get adopted for dismantling like before and this is a good sign! But, the fight is on....

Saturday, May 20, 2006

And India loses...

Its 4:15AM and I am not going to sleep happy. After a superb bowling performance and abysmal batting performance, India fails to win its 18th consecutive match chasing. Now India should go on and kick the 'now' bouncing Windies ass in the rest of the series.

Movie Review - Fight Club {English}

How many people have been waiting for a Matrix like movie experience? A mind altering fresh(though twisted) way off looking at life and way to live it? ok ok... before I hype it too much, lets get to the point.

BTW, I watched this as a DVD that I borrowed from 'dimpy' who has a penchant for downloading
songs. movies etc and at the end of it buys the same songs, movies etc. The guys confuses the shit out of the anti-piracy police. :-)

Anywayz, the movie was one I have been seeing over 3 weeks. Each time I started watching it I fell asleep... so now, this should give you a feel that this movie is boring. Well, It is... for about 30-45 mins or so, and then it gets a hell of a lot more interesting. Its about this guy(s) who are desperately seeking a near life experience though very much alive. They decide that getting punched in their face and getting the shit beat outta them is the best way to do that(i.e. feel alive). What starts as a mock fight between 2 guys turns into "the" purpose of life for not just these two, but also for a lot more desperate people. Edward Norton is a fantastic actor as proven in movies like Primal Fear and Italian Job. He has probably given the performance of his career. Brad Pitt has also done a real good job and amazes with his superb dialogue delivery. In the true critics style, I give it 82% or in other words 8.2/10. ;-)

As I write this, I realize that I cannot write a complete review, as it would kill it for anyone who would want to see the movie later. The last 15-20 minutes of the movie is worth the whole movie!

So, I stop here....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

SE Strikes Again...

These are the latest offerings from Sony Ericsson:



And this is what Nokia came up with. :-))



This is an article I across today and this totally confuses me. Now, on an yearly basis we spend many times the amount on defence than education(and our solution is quota?). No one wants us to lose more of our nation to Pak or the Dragon than what we have already lost. But, a robot army? Should we even start spending a single penny on this? Whom are we trying to emulate? Ambitious, sure.... pragmatic, definitely not!

Though I dont think the PM will be losing much sleep(thats sonias job) over the recent election results, they still prove that the ever famous "complacency factor" keeps poppinh its head every election. In Kerala, Oomen Chandy wasn't necessarily doing a bad job, but Achu takes his seat. Congress got kicked big-time here. In TamilNadu, though Karunanidhi won, he was desperate enough to overthrow Amma that DMK contest only from 65% of the seats that they normally contest from. Congress did win a few but they remain precious few. Bengal was no surpise with Buddha doing a fine job, so another congress rout. Assam was better for them I suppose, but then, the north east never really count in india politics.

... And in the middle of all this, the jokers and their jokes continue! Mr.PM, at this rate, you will need to have robot voters to bring you back to power the next time!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Arjun - The Kaurava

If you believe that the quota system that is being chaired before the lawmakers is incorrect, please sign up.

This is what I had as my comment while I signed up:

"Quota system will bring down the overall quality of the institution(academic or professional), that is for sure! And the India of 21st century is poised for growth that it has never seen before. At this stage, we need to the right people coming out of our institutions to take us there. Help the "needy", but not at the expense of the "deserving"!! If we do need to improve anyones situation, it should be on financial grounds rather than caste based."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Another whirlwind weekend

Just got back from a very hectic trip to kerala, was there to attend an engagement. The whole function went on very well, but only the fact that I was the driver, the mover, etc etc left me sapped physically of all energy. To add to this we had a bad travel back by bus and at office our CTO is visiting and the guy is so fundu that I feel sapped mentally too. All for loved ones and hence its all worth it [they read this blog too. :-)]. Anywayz... another day or so and I should be back on track.

This week promises to be all football, with the all important UEFA champions league final. I just hope the match is as interesting as the FA cup final. Man, I feel so so sorry for WestHam... they should have won it!

Anywayz... got to hit the bed! got to hit the bed! got to hit the bed! I hope self coaxing works!! :-))

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ice Age 2 - Review

Now here is one of the first sequels of the year and we are awaiting more of them in this year like the xmen, mission impossible etc etc. This ofcourse is in a different league and hence doesn't disappoint. This again is very similar to the prequel and is very childish in story, dialogues and ending. But what is good about the whole thing is that the movie does not pretend to be anything else! The story is very very predictable and the ending is very cliche. But in the process of showing the obvious are some fantastic CG and even better dialogue rendering. The show is again stolen by the most unlikely hero of them all.. SCRAT! Love the "things" tenacity! It now graces my wallpaper on my desktop and my laptop. :-)

Not a whole lot to write home about the movie other than that I liked it. ;-)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Dominoes Lined up

Today Bangalore received a dose of summer rain. It was fast, furious, dark and very short. We all at office loved it though and it sure was a welcome respite from the incessant and uncharacteristic hot weather off late. But, it also opened a very unhappy can of worms...

Bangalore's infrastructure is on the up. We have sanctions for the metro already out, the international airport is almost done and most of the flyovers under construction are limping to completion... now with this positive backdrop, why would I feel that Bangalore has the dominoes lined up? Well, these are the reasons:
1. A small spat of rain and we already had 4+ hours of power down.
2. A small spat of rain and we already had a 2 hour traffic jam in hosur road(from trusted sources)
3. A small spat of rain and we already have worries of last year coming back to haunt.

Basically, the infra has not improved enough to change the situation that happened last year, i.e., assuming that we get hit by the same amount of rain. But then, I am a compulsive optimist when it comes to Bangalore. This unfortunately has less to do with my confidence in our administration and more to do with the fact that I am a "Bangalorean"!!

Anywayz, we have a very hard to tackle rainy time waiting for us in the months to come....

Saturday, May 06, 2006


After a loong break, I am back! The last week has been a first in many ways when it comes to my blogging. It was the first time since I started blogging that:
1. I didn't update my blog
2. Didn't think of updating my blog
3. When it did cross my mind, I didn't want to update my blog!

No No... I have not lost my interest in blogging, just that last week was unexpectedly hectic at office and blogging was nowhere near my priority list. This last week gave me a new found respect for regular bloggers. To be able to take time away from any kind of schedule and continue to express yourself, thatz just fantabulous. But of course, many of them do tools to make life easy. :-)

I managed something last week which I am sure very few or rather none of you would have done. I drove at 100kmph on airport road, yessirebob, this miracle happened on one of the days when I was in office very late. I dropped off one of my colleagues near domlur and got home  via airport road. What a nice road, what a nice drive! Sigh!

But with Mr.Jairaj back at the helm, maybe my airport road miracle will become reality soon. :-) Optimism never killed anyone... or has it?!?