Sunday, October 28, 2007

Marriage-Divorce : The Gowda Play

Pardon me if this post actually gets outdated by the tomorrows morning news. Last heard, JD(S) has decided to forget their differences with BJP and have decided to keep the marriage of convenience going. Yediyurappa will be the BJP candidate for CM and the promises that the coalition will stay strong has started.

It looks like the thought of losing more than just power got the JD(S) supremo, Deve Gowda to agree to the alliance. One of the reasons for JD(S) to be so bullish about breaking the alliance instead of handing over power was because of it having comfortably won local body elections. This gave them confidence that even if there were mid term polls, they would come out better in terms of number of seats in the assembly. But after breaking the pact to hand over power to the BJP, the public backlash was so strong that JD(S) realized that things were not going to plan. One of the exit polls showed them winning a paltry 17 to 19 seats. Couple with this was senior JD(S) leader MP Prakash trying to get things going with the Congress again. With Sonia visiting China, there was no swift action on this front, but the fear of a party split was very real. The Gowdas quickly regrouped and got the alliance going with the ever ready BJP for the second time.

Lets just hope that after all this power struggle and spitfire comments we will end up having some decent governance from the next 20 months. (fingers crossed)

Feed the obese!

Harry Potter Series... by far the reading/viewing sensation for kids (and also strangely some adults) of this generation is nearing the end of its money making journey. At the end of this journey, book publications, movie producers, memorabilia makers and above all the author have made millions and billions of dollars. With the final book in the series being released and a movie to follow, JK Rowling doesn't want her current supply of millions to stop. To keep the flame burning, she has some fuel in store...

What fuel you ask? Rowling reveals that Dumbledore is gay! For all non-potter fans, and I hope there are many, he is an old wizard in the harry potter books, alike Gandalf in LOTR. :-). In my opinion, this is nothing more than adding the constant fuel needed to keep the book and characters and whatever else in the minds of the fans till the movie is out. Who would really care if the old wizard is gay?? I haven't seen any of the harry potter movies to completion and neither have I read any of the books and hence don't know if this news could have any significance in the overall context of the movies or books. I would think that this wouldn't have any relevance as the genre that the harry potter series falls into is mainly for the kids and they don't need to know these kinda details. This news was probably planted to enamor the gay brigade onto the harry potter groove and get some gay pride going. Also, this helps to get some more religious controversy going which can only help with the publicity. To be honest though, Rowling wouldn't be the first to use these kinda cheap gimmicks.

At the end of the day, the already over-fed harry potter fans get some more junk food to gorge on! Keep it going Rowling, don't let anything stop you from making your money!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

GMail ups the ante!

GMail adds the one feature that was a request from many users for a long time, IMAP support. This is quite unique when it comes to a web based email client and kudos to GMail for getting it in and more importantly keeping it free.

GMail after the initial surprise factor of its unique user interface and 1GB of storage has done precious little to forward its case. The fact that its a Google product is good enough for many (including me), but then, new features are a must! GMail, I feel, suffered from what every Google product seems to suffer from i.e. lack of sustained interest. Google has been getting new products out, but doing very little on the old ones.

Anyway, the IMAP support availability with GMail sure is good news for many!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Closing loopholes

The finance ministry in India has notified the guidelines for ESOPs given by a company and the tax implications of the same. It apparently does not cover the situation regarding a company not listed in India giving stock options to its employees working in India. A friend of mine found this doc which helps understand this more.

Lemme ask for more official help and figure this out...

Sunday, October 14, 2007


GDAD - Acronym For "Good Deed A Day". :-)

I aim to do one Good Deed a Day(sentance used only for dramatic effect with no real conviction), and all bloggable good deeds will be, well, blogged!

If any of you guys out there are as lazy as me, this would be a real boon.

2 Second T-Shirt Fold!! - More amazing video clips are a click away

Now, no more excuses for having a messy bedroom. :-)

Secret revealed!

India is on the verge of losing the 6th ODI against Australia. At 189-2, our required run rate was around 7.5 runs an over. With only 17 overs left, India chose to send in Rahul Dravid, who has been in pathetic form. People in the pavilion are Yuvraj, Uthappa and Dhoni himself. Why?

As I write this post, India has just lost the match. We lost the match not because of our bowling, it was again our batting. And the main culprit was our top scorer, Saurav Ganguly. He has opened the innings and scored 85 runs in 110 balls! That is equivalent to scoring at 4.6 runs per over when our required rate is 6.3!! This under normal circumstances would be considered ok, but when you are chasing 318, this is sacrilege. He has successfully managed to figure out the mantra to stay on in the Indian ODI cricket team. Keep scoring runs, no matter what the strike rate or situation. People will remember his 50's and forget how useless and sometimes detrimental the scores actually were. Here are his significant scores after his return to international cricket and the number of balls taken to get these scores.

73 in 99 balls (Strike Rate: 73)
42 in 75 balls (Strike Rate: 56)
39 in 54 balls (Strike Rate: 72)
72 in 104 balls (Strike Rate: 69)
59 in 79 balls (Strike Rate: 74)
53 in 60 balls (Strike Rate: 88) {Sachin in this match was scoring at strike rate of 120}
41 in 59 balls (Strike Rate: 69)
85 in 110 balls (Strike Rate: 77)

He is averaging around 53 in ODIs this year and we have not won a single match because of his performances. In the same time, Sachin and Rahul, the other two oldies have scored match winning innings on multiple occasions, but have a lot lesser average than Saurav. In fact, Rahul and Sachin are the first two in line to get dropped from the team in the "oldies rotation system".

Even in todays match, he played so slow that he left little too much for the rest of the folks towards the end. Today is one of the occasions where his batting has already cost us the match! I don't like Gambhirs technique, but his attitude is spot on. The selectors would be well advised to pack our team with match winners rather than folks whose performances make no or negative impact on the match!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Informed Criminal

I watched the movie My Wifes Murder yesterday. It was touted as one of the better RGV films and something I had missed watching in the cinemas when it released. Since it is not a new release, I won't go into a review per say. Its a decent movie and could have been a lot more better.

One of the things that struck me the most was how I was thinking about what the hero (Anil Kapoor) should be doing after his wife(Suchitra Krishnamurthy) is accidentally killed by him. Before anybody starts fearing the birth of a murderer in me, let me give you the reason for the same. I am an avid fan of CSI, a crime scene investigation serial. Its been on for 7 seasons and I have watched every episode and enjoyed it thoroughly. During the course of all these CSI episodes, I have seen the weirdest of cases being solved and each episode has got to be a different plot than any other that has been aired. Hence you understand the different methods used by criminals in committing the crime and the different methods used by the investigators to catch them.

By CSI standards, this movie has a lot of scope for improvement. Lemme give examples.

1. The hero mops the blood of his wife off the floor. This is absolutely useless as CSI usually have a torch which emits a certain kind of light that has blood glow in the dark, even though the blood cannot be seen by the naked eye. He had to use bleach to make this torch useless, but then, someone using bleach only for a portion of the house will also give rise to suspicion.
2. The hero dumps the body in a water body inside some forest. He places the body inside a cardboard box which he had taken from his house and dumps the body with the cardboard box. To keep CSI off his tail, he should have ideally disposed the body without the cardboard box.
3. If he was trying to make people into thinking that his wife was murdered by someone else and body was dumped, he needed to do something to make the police also think so. For e.g. he should have taken every last valuable off her body or should have cut off some portions of her body to make the police think it was some psycho at work or maybe fake a rape occurrence. None of these were done by our Hero.
4. He uses his colleagues (Nandana Sen) car to transport the body to the jungle. Another big error, as he has to now necessarily make her an accomplice at some stage, else he will not be able to explain why he borrowed her car.
5. He starts off the movement of the body from his house to the car when there were still a lot of people moving around in the apartment. Again, more leads that he has to plug in order to get his story right.

I noticed many such instances which by CSI standards would make this movie a joke. :-)

So, all in all, if someone is gonna make a murder investigation based movie, they have gotta have a plot that will have the CSI scratch their heads. If not, some sleepy couch potato like me will poke holes in the story. :-)

Disclaimer: No one be scared... I have not turned into a murderer or psycho. These are just observations. ;-)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Movie Review: Johnny Gaddar

There have been very few good movies hitting the theaters off late and a good review from a couple of friends and TOI got me off my butt to watch new comer Neil Mukesh (Grandson of singer Mukesh) get his career started.

Johnny Gaddar is directed by Sriram Raghavan, whose first movie Ek Haseena Thi was a decent start. The story of Johnny Gaddar is based on a gang of crooks trying to pull off a drug heist and of course the protagonist is part of this gang. All the money, all the lure and a bombshell as inspiration has our hero becoming the gaddar. Since the advancement of the plot is the only thing that is really interesting in the film, I will leave that to the interested to go watch at the theaters.

Neil has done a decent job with his acting, but nothing great. He does look quite handsome and this combination should keep him around for a while. Rimi Sen is the bombshell, and that is all she is. Thank god there is no expectation of acting from her in the script! Dharmendra is the leader of this gang of crooks and has actually killed a lot of his hamming and done an unexpectedly good job. Vinay Pathak is good as expected and provides the much needed comic relief. Zakir Hussain, who plays the role of Shardul bhai has gotten over the Ram Gopal Verma brand of acting, where he was expected to only look serious as hell, speak nothing and not movie a single muscle on his face. Here he has some good exchanges with Vinay Pathak and overall does a great job. The brief role to Govind Namdeo who is the corrupt cop selling the merchandise is also well scripted and well enacted. As can be figured out by now, all the main actors in this movie have given good performances and this is one of the reasons why the movie seems to somehow get out of rut that the screenplay seems to force it into and get back on tracks.

There was nothing much I could see as special in the music or background score. It is decent, but nothing really great. There is this one score featuring UK desi babe, Hard Kaur (Glassy fame), which is peppy and probably the best song of the movie.

Overall, a watchable movie and worth the 500 rupees you need to pay to get a pair of tickets during a weekend in Bangalore! I would give it a 6.8 on 10.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Too much of anything...

... is never good.

India lost to the Aussies at Kochi in the second ODI. This is not surprising and one could hardly feel bad, as the Aussies clearly were the better team. I didn't see the match live, but was witness to the last minute treatment of Sreesanth by the Aussies and later saw what Sreesanth had handed out to the Aussies.

Sreesanth is aggressive and is willing to lose a portion of his match fee every match! I must say, he is going overboard with it! Beyond a point, its no longer funny and it in fact starts getting embarrassing. I know he must have been advised by many people, but he seems to have next to no self restraint. The only way he will be back to his best senses is if he is dumped from the team for a few matches on clear disciplinary ground and then brought back.

This being said, the Aussies have no right to criticize Sreesanth. He was just giving them a piece of what they dish out to everyone in world cricket. What credentials do they have to say that he is crossing the "line"? What about McGrath going after Sarwan a couple of seasons back? What about Ponting shoving Sharad Pawar off the stage so that he and his team can jump around on the stage after winning the ICC Champions trophy? Or all the close-in chit-chat that Steve Waugh and Co were so famous for?

Those who stay in glass houses....

Once M$ always M$

Micro$oft released the next gen of its Zune media player, Zune 2. Though they have managed only some 3% of the number of Ipods sold, they are not giving up without a fight. They have added wireless sync to PC and also opening an iTunes like store for songs. The best thing about the store is that it sells DRM Free music. This means that you buy a song from the Zune store and transfer it out of your Zune player and still hear the song. You can give it to your friend too, but here is the fun part. Your friend can hear the song, but only 3 times, after which it will be automatically locked! I don't understand how they would do it, but they allegedly do it.

Trust Micro$oft to make DRM-free music DRM!