Monday, August 27, 2007

Nothing lasts forever...

... and in the case of the iPhone, their profit sharing deal with AT&T could be coming to an abrupt end much faster than they would have anticipated. A 17 year old hacker has managed to get his iPhone to work with T Mobile and these guys also claim the same.

Now for "the" bleeding edge enthusiast in my office to go get his iPhone and try unlocking it to work with Airtel. ;-)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Blame it on M$

As a follow up to the skype outage, here is the reason why skype went offline? As always you can blame almost everything on the big-bad Micro$oft and its primary weapon, Windoze. :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I among many had written off Ronaldinho after his abysmal performance in the World Cup. But I came across this video of a game in late 2006, which just proves that the guy has still got it!

This is the first time I have someone using this trick to break the wall!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mission Critical Mission

One of the revolutions in the area of communication in last 2-3 years, in my opinion, has been Skype. An absolutely unique mode of communication, using the grossly slandered peer-to-peer method of connectivity in a legal mode, skype revolutionized use of voice data over the internet. They got bought for $2.6 billion by ebay, quite a steep amount. Skype continued to do well and slowly became a mission critical application, whose breakdown would result in productivity and money loss.

On 16th Aug 2007, Skype suffered its first major outage. Skype acknowledged it too and promised to get the service back online within 24 hours. The promised time went by and the service was not back. I use skype regularly and definitely felt the productivity loss because of this outage. Now, when you have set such a great precedent and when people have started trusting your service implicitly, such an outage sure puts you in trouble. And as a direct consequence, the parent company, Ebay lost $1 billion in market share!

So many years of trouble free service and a couple of days of trouble, and what a huge price the trouble came with! Live on, in the world of the demanding!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Movie Review: Life In A Metro

Another multiplex movie and another hit. I have heard only good reviews of Life In .... and I had to check it out to find out if it was worth all the noise. I wasn't disappointed, but no too impressed either, as many things in the movie were plain obvious.

The film is a dig at the fast paced life in any busy city and how desperate people are to find the very essence for ones existence. The whole story revolves around a series of extra marital affairs, some seem to make sense and some are just nonsense. I honestly didn't see anything else in this film, but still it was worth a view and ended before one got bored. Performances were overall ok. I felt Irfan Khan was under utilized and Konkana Sen was just superb! The end scenes were extra filmy, but then, you couldn't have any other end to make it a hit.

I remember the movie Hyderabad Blues which was among the first multiplex movies to become a big hit. The reason I liked the movie was, I could relate to many things shown in the movie. I just hope, Life In a Metro being a hit has very little to do with people relating to it....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rich get richer...

... and its cliche to say the poor get poorer. In a fast growing economy like India, the economic disparity is evidently visible. Every big-building dotted skyline is greeted with a slum next to it. This being said, the current economic drive does touch the lower strata of the working class, even if its only the tip of the iceberg.

There is this barber who set shop some three years ago close to where I stay. He had four chairs in his shop, but he was the only one working. He kept the place clean and would wait for customers to come in from 7AM to 9PM everyday. He would have been happy if one person had walked in once an hour, and even that was too big an ask. I have seen him actually give free haircuts to people on "credit". He was sure he would never get paid, and was never happy giving the credit. But none the less, growing the business was important and he did what he had to do. I talked to him in detail every time I went over for a haircut and he would say about how difficult life was and continues to be. He talks about the money he has taken from a money lender and the interest he has to pay. But no matter what, he always kept the place very clean and kept biding time, and waiting...

Now, three years later, his business is well set. He has people who work for him doing duty at all the four chairs. All the chairs for waiting customers are occupied and he stands outside (no place inside the shop) greeting customers and overseeing the work being done. He has increased the amount he charges by 20% and has added some value adds to his business proposition now. He has bought new equipment (trimmers and electric shavers), has a person dedicated to do massages and almost no sharing of gear among his workers, which is rare in this business. His patience and his hard work are finally paying, and he sure deserves it.

Though there is a possibility that this is an isolated case, I would like to believe that the effect of the growing economy has reached the people whose economic development will push India into the developed countries list. Three cheers to our protagonist and lots of wishes to every other hardworking dreamer waiting for his crack at this economy.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Insurance vs Investment

I am gonna delve into a topic I know very little about(not that I only write about what I know. :-)), money. I have been a speculator during my last few years of investment in the equity or secondary markets and only recently have started paying a little more attention towards valid reasoning before investing. So, with this as a backdrop, please take everything I write on this topic with a pinch of salt. :-)

I have been wanting to take a good life insurance cover for a couple of years now. In the process of deciding which one to go with, I was talking to friends and family and I was in for some informative surprises. ULIPs (Unit Linked Insurance Plan) have been very popular off late because they provide you with insurance cover and also invest in the hot Indian equity market. Seems like the best of both worlds? Not quite! A couple of friends at office, nsd and patel, gave me some gyan on this and after some reading of my own am convinced that ULIPs are the worst of both worlds. They don't give you inadequate life cover and they also perform worse than many mutual funds in terms of returns.

Follow this link (thanks to patel) for those interested in understanding this better.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Movie Review: Mungaru Male

Mungaru Male is considered by many as a landmark film in Kannada film history. I haven't watched a full length Kannada film in a long time, but couldn't resist the temptation to watch this one. I just had to know what was so good about this film starring newcomers Ganesh and Pooja. The film has a very small caste other than them. Ganesh's mother, Pooja parents, notably the father being played by Anant Nag and a necessary bad guy. The star of the movie of course was its music. I suggest folks who listen to a lot of Hindi music to give this one a shot. It will beat most if not all of the regular fair on offer these days in Bollywood.

One thing I was certain about was the ending of the movie. Most hit films in India, irrespective of the language its shot in, will have a happy ending. So, since this was such a big hit, it had to of course have a happy ending! The story was very simple. Ganesh and mom get to Coorg to attend the wedding of Pooja, Ganeshs moms friends daughter. Ganesh though is oblivious of this and is coming along just to enjoy the monsoon. He inadvertently falls in love with Pooja, not knowing that she is getting married. In the one week that is left before the marriage, he becomes an integral part of the family and he slowly but surely makes his way into Pooja heart. Pooja finally agrees to Ganeshs relentless pursuit and all looks well at this point. Now, I get thinking. If it ends this way, then it just cannot be a hit! There has got to be a twist here. And surely, the story doesn't disappoint. All the parents in the movie tell Ganesh how they want the marriage to go on well and how they expect him to ensure it happens so. Now, with all the expectations laden on him, he has to give up his girl. In typical movie fashion, he says harsh words and obviously becomes the bad guy. The heroine starts thinking, maybe it was all an infatuation and gets set for her impending marriage. Our hero on the other hand is devastated. To make us really feel for the guy, he is seen saving the bridge groom from the bad guy and in fact has a heart to heart with bad guy, who is also in love with the heroine but just can't get her. Again, I get thinking. Now, that the twist has happened, lets now wait for the obvious happy ending. And this is exactly where the director took it away. Quiet uncharacteristically, the hero loses out and the marriage goes on as planned.

The ending was most unexpected and done quite nicely. The performances especially from Ganesh was really very good. I must say, I just loved the movie and now vouch with the rest of the folks who watched the movie. This really is a damn good movie! I give it a 7.5 on 10, some points taken away for the rabbit scenes. ;-)


One of the better roads in Bangalore is the outer ring road. There are lot of new projects like the peripheral ring road being planned. But I suggest one thing to all the planners. Please increase the number of planned lanes by one coz you need to plan for this!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Problem suggestion

Some brilliant bowling by Zaheer Khan ensured India a victory over England in the 2nd test at Nottingham. As Zaheer said in the post match interview, all the niggling and sledging by the England close in fielders actually pissed him off enough to bowl his best ever test performance. The England players not only lost the match but also got a wrap on their knuckles by the media and cricket thinkers alike for the jelly bean incident. It was also quite clear from the stump mic that sledging was going on all along.

In the midst of all this disgrace, the English coach, Peters Moores, suggests that we get rid of the stump mic. Is that the solution to the problem or is it to tell his players to keep it quite! He is also more than welcome to give an earful to over very own bowler in the Andre Nel mould, Sreesanth. Instead, he wants to promote this kind of gamesmanship! If his players don't have the gumption to face the music for all their "gamesmanship", they should keep their lips sealed and just play the game! Mr Moore, what you have suggested as the solution to the problem is a bigger problem!