Monday, December 20, 2010

Yes, we can!

A long time ago, (and wow has it been a long time!) I had written about how Indian IT industry must climb up the value chain. Since then I have known a few companies that have done so through high tech startups based off US but getting a lot of quality work done out of India and also of a handful of brave souls doing business in the west based out of India. The entrepreneurship spirit in India is blooming in other industries, but what about IT?

A story which has caught my attention for many months and has been kept alive during all the gadget talk at office is the much heralded and very little known Adam tablet. “Oh no, not another ipad wannabe”, you say. Well my friend, before we kill the product by calling it an ipad killer, let us give it some attention and possibly its due. This device has quite a few firsts to its name:

1. Its gonna be the first android 2.3 (gingerbread) based tablet
2. Its gonna be the first tablet to house the power frugal nvidia tegra 2 at its heart
3. Its gonna be the first tablet to have the pixel qi screen
4. Its gonna be able to play more than a day of continuous 1080p video playback
5. And most importantly, Its gonna be the first India based tablet which fights in the world scene (not counting olivepad)

The CEO of notionink, the company behind the Adam tablet, is Rohan Shravan, an IIT alumnus. Unlike his numerous predecessors and peers, he chose to NOT create jobs in US, but rather in India! He is a young chap and his confidence in his product was evident during his interview to ET Now. The start has definitely been promising but the company has pushed out the release dates in the past (not surprising) and any more details may kill a lot of the “new” stuff that Adam tablet has to offer. There is also the challenge of getting people to write some seriously nice apps for this platform, which wont be easy for a small company. Also, they need to give the look of a company that is out there to do serious business and actually beat the likes of Apple and Samsung and avoid such goofs.

All in all, very proud of what this company has achieved! And if they bring down the price by another $100 (wishful thinking never killed anyone) and ship within India for less than $50 then I will buy one. ;-)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Movie and reality

There are so many movies released these days with either very interesting plots or very interesting promos that I end up seeing a good number of them. I then feel hardly inspired to write movie reviews because a good number of them won't even be worth a mention. But here is a post that is not a review but yet is inspired by a movie.

I watched Rakht Charitra a few weeks back and today watched the second part of the RGV two part experiment. The movie in itself was just an extension of the first part and all violence, what got me interested were the pearls off wisdom that RGV had to say at the end of the movie. :-)

Did some googling, some wiki and some youtube and what I discovered was quite scary. The movie in both its parts shows a lot of violence and shows the heady mix of politics and caste issues in Andhra. The violence shown is so gruesome and the revenge and vendetta so unreal that the realization that all that was shown was more or less factually correct was most shocking.

Whatever be the reasons and I don't claim to understand any of it, to know we live in situations where forget corruption but this level of violence exists is an eye opener. I have read on and off about naxalites and how violent they are when they exact revenge and then too see it in celluloid strangely makes it all the more real.

The political system and will around such gruesomeness also tells you that no matter how much we middle class try, India has too much baggage it carries for us to pull it out off this mess. Was I naive enough to think we could, yes, I was.

I believe that if each individual sets his house right, then, over time, the nation will also be set right. Not all of us have the will to fight against crime and corruption, but a long as we support those who are, we are doing our part.

But if the ground reality is this bad, do we stand a chance?
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Disgusted and Helpless

For a generation that I belong to, which is bestowed with the responsibility of taking India to a superpower in world economies, the condition at home is far from inspiring. When I say "Home", you can take it as India, you can take it as Karnataka and you can also take it as Bengaluru.

Take India on the whole and like in the last couple of decades, we are not short of scams at any point of time. The only difference, we have graduated from scams that were a few tens or hunderds of crores to thousands, ten thousands and even lakhs!! Take Karnataka and you have the whole fiasco with majority vote for BJP government, here we are talking of partys on the whole trying to grab power by horse, now lets not calls these goons horses, more like donkey trading(sorry donkey)! And finally let’s take Bengaluru and we are hit by the continuous stream of land grabbing news coming out of the Yeddy family coffers.

Now, scams are not new to us. We have seen our fair share of them over the years. The CWG scam was just Kalmadi making hay when sun shines, god knows when we will host another non-cricket world event of any repute (CWG just about cuts it). While Raja was just doing what he was sent to Delhi to do, make money for DMK. Of course, it helps if you are dating the supremo’s granddaughter! The Adarsh society issue is possibly the most harmless or least money involving of the lot. And there has been one fall guy for all of these scams. Kalmadi is gone, Raja is gone and Chavan is gone. Enquiry is on for each of these scams, but the Congress party has at least shown the door to the primary person involved in these. It isn't much and it is too late, but then, it is something. What sets the Karnataka/Bengaluru scams apart is the openess of everything. All this is being said and done in the open! Imagine the confidence and gall of Yeddy to say publicly that he has done all the land grabbing that is being mentioned. And what is his defense?? His predecessors have done it and he has just followed the "tradition"! The tradition??, what kind of lunacy is this?? And he and his think-tanks figure out a perfect way to get out of this nice mess. They agree and spearhead a probe into the land grabbing, but not just the current one but whatever has happened in the last 10 years! This way, the other corrupt lot of opposition politicians keeps their mouth shut and all this gets brushed under the ever growingly stinky carpet. This jackass should be thrown out of office for not only doing all this land grabbing, but also for not doing anything about all the misdoings by "tradition" that he was aware of!! Karnataka is the first state in south India where BJP has come to power and instead of being a beacon of good governance, as was promised, it has epitomized what can go wrong in a power and money starved political setup. The mining thing and reddys happened, numerous lok ayukta issues happened, katta happened, the renukacharya happened and now land grabbing. Nothing has resulted in the BJP top brass doing anything. It is almost as if the state government has been told to make money and make money fast, the elections are gonna come anyway. And all we get from Joker of a CM is, tears... yes, this nincompoop can put crocodiles to shame!

What does this make us citizens as?? Just bystanders? Its true most of us dont have the time to spend, but we have the monetary will and wish to make governance better. If I have to pay shitload of taxes just for these goons and buffons to make merry, I sure can spend money to get some professionals to play out the case for us on court. Ideally, this can be under the purview of some government body, but since the perpetrator here and in most cases is the government, this has to be a higher authority. Something which is less tainted or influenced by governments, say the judiciary. Can this work? What is the flaw? Dont tell me that the the adage "want something done, do it yourself" is going to be the solution here, coz this whole "do it yourself" is bullshit! I am doing my part which is doing my job which gives me money in my hand to spend in this land. Remember the early part about economic superpower?? Yeah, I am part of that effort. On the other hand, the effort needed to "do it" is so high... sorry, I will rather rant on blogs and live my life in this corrupted land than have to "do it". I and I am sure more like me have the will and means to help, someone make use of it, else... thanks for reading! :-)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Bad Sport

The first test match between India and Australia at Mohali ended up being a classic. It will definitely be remembered for Laxmans class and Ishants defiance, not to mention their will to fight over physical pain. Test cricket is dead, but then, such matches do help revive the memories a bit.

But that being said, with Commonwealth Games on at Delhi, it was super insensitive of the BCCI and all concerned to have the most anticipated test series, possibly more than an India vs Pakistan series, to be help coinciding with the games. We live in a cricket crazy nation and the series just takes the spotlight away from CWG. Delaying this series by a couple of weeks should not have mattered to cricket, but would have made a world of difference to CWG. Abhinav Bindra went on to say “The Commonwealth Games will dominate the news columns. At least I want to live with that illusion.” Imagine our Olympic Gold medal winner having to make such statements.

This whole crap about BCCI being a non government body and the government having no control over it is all bullshit! For a non government body it sure has a lot of government ministers and in some cases chief ministers as head of the state cricket boards! The government should have cracked the whip and told BCCI to take a break of two weeks and then continue with their money making ways!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

"History doesn't win matches"

The title of this post are the words of Arsene Wenger before Arsenals Premier league match against chelsea (which they lost). Similarly, even the players (or coaches) can't live on their past laurels. Going by what I have seen this season, here is my wishlist of folks who must either hang up their boots or at least be demoted from their high pedestal.

1. Danni Alves (Barcelona) - He is playing "Oh so bad!"
2. Patrick Viera (Man City) - Please retire!
3. Rafa Benitez (Inter Milan) - You screwed liverpool, now inter?
4. Ronaldinho (AC Milan) - In football, running is mandatory!
5. Iker Cassilas (Real Madrid) - World Cup is over, can better goalkeepers take over?
6. Jamie Carragher (Liverpool) - You can't outrun a tortoise, good luck with rabbits!
7. Fernando Torres (Liverpool) - Spain and Liverpool have been patient, now score!
8. Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan) - You are the playmaker, make some plays!
9. Barcelona - The world knows your game! Change it!!
10. AC Milan - Even young reinforcements cant carry your old long-timers!

I am harsh on some and lenient on some, but I believe there is definitely some food for thought here. :-)

The test...

11 more days... yes, we need to survive 11 days of thoughtless media scrutiny and irresponsible bureaucracy to come out head not held low. The CWG 2010 is on and in-spite of a super bad run-up to the games, we somehow have managed a "jugaad" solution to get the games going.

Most of us, the hapless middle-class can only watch what is shown to us and discuss about in the cafeteria in our offices, and the general consensus was that the games be scrapped. It is so sad to think that our so called competitors, China help the Olympics in such a breathtaking manner, while we struggle to put our best foot forward for the comparatively insignificant Commonwealth Games.

On the other hand, we could think like Mr.Anirban Chaudhuri, who claims that commonwealth games are a display of imperialism and slavery. And if this were the case, we may in fact start praying for the games to flop. :-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An idea for Steve!

I won't be surprised if @pple came out with a product similar to what is mentioned below and it too sold like hot cakes! :-)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bad luck?

All sports is about skill and it is just as much about luck too. In some cases it may not be as obvious, but luck play a HUGE part in sports. Instead of focusing on specific incidents or instances during cricket or football or tennis matches etc, I am more keen in establishing the bad luck an individual carries along with him.

I was watching this Tamil movie Bale Pandiya and I haven't finished watching the movie, but the movie revolves around a guys who just spells "bad luck". This is good for a movie plot, but in real life? and in sports? My take, yes, there are guys who just spell "bad luck". :-)

The example I would take to explain this is Javier Mascherano. :-). In all my years of regular premier league watching (all of 2 years :-)), I have hardly seen anything worthwhile from Mascherano other than blatant fouls and injury feigning. He just spells bad luck all the way! Here is my analysis. :-)

1. I believe he along with Lucas were instrumental for the horrid time Liverpool had last season, in what can be described only as midfield mundaneness!! And as a result Rafa Benitez got the boot. To my surprise Rafa actually wanted Mascherano to sign on for his new club, Inter Milan! Lucky Inter, he didn't join them. ;-)
2. Similarly, for some inexplicable reason, Diego Maradona trusted Mascherano enough to have his as captain of the Argentinian national team. As can be expected they struggled to qualify for the world cup and later didn't do very well in the world cup either.
3. As if enough people hadn't burnt their fingers, the shrewd thinker, Pep Guardiola from Barcelona decided to get Mascherano for th 2010 season and again no surprises, Barca lost their first league match at home in ages! And that too to a team that is playing La Liga for the first time in 13 years!!

I honestly don't know what makes Javier a favorite of these coaches, surely can't be his luck. :-D

Humour and More...


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Time erodes quality...

The very first infotainment program I can ever remember watching was "The World This Week" on DD presented by Prannoy Roy. I used to diligently watch it every Friday (I think?) and that was my window to the world! I have since followed Prannoy Roys shows, his election coverage (along with Vinod Dua in Hindi), the lauch of NDTV, the growth of NDTV etc etc.

Since he is CEO and stuff, he no longer reads the news, at least not regularly. Tonight I happened to tune to NDTV and I was surprised to see Prannoy reading the news. The Prannoy I remember was crisp, sharp, to the point and rarely wasting time. But the Prannoy I saw tonight was so so different and super disappointing! He was talking to Montek Singh Ahluwalia about inflation and stuff and he was OK, then he took up some lame cricket controversy and talked to Gavaskar. It was super artificial, he was not "into" the news, was out of depth, and was out of words!! Some unnecessary pleasantries, lotsa backrubs and many fumbling words later he moved on to the next "item". We now had Deepika Padukone and Neil Nitin Mukesh on show to promote a film. Again, total waste of time in both talking and asking departments. The question only got more stupid! Again no attachment to the story he is trying to say or make and there you go… News@9 is over!

It is so sad to see a stalwart such as Prannoy Roy showing that he is just one of "them". Even though I knew he is just as much a part of the bad media we are all exposed to in India today, it just feels really sad to actually see it. :-(

Monday, August 09, 2010


Apple Inc is bigger than its long time rival Microsoft and friend-turned-foe Google and is in no mood to leave the throne. The iPhone 4 just cemented its position even more firmly.

But it was not all rosy, what with the gizmodo leak and steve losing the bang that he is so used to generating in his keynotes. People soon forgot all this when the real deal was released and was lapped up by enthusiasts. So much so, that people started dumping their hardly used iPhone 3G phones to get the latest fad, fashion statement, cool gizmo, the "in" thing, etc etc. Not soon after the release the problems with iPhone's signal reception issues cropped up and the blame was on its much touted antenna design. True to apples legacy, they seem to have recovered from this setback too, albeit rather lethargically. But Apple could not let go of this shame so easily, after all they had a reputation to maintain. The person who got the sack was Mark Papermaster, the HW design guru.

This lead led me to read a bit more about Mark and the first thing that hit me about him was that he was with IBM for 25 years!! I know that some in India too agree that IBM is a place you are retire at, but still 25 years, wow!! But then, even after 25 years and after all his contributions, when he left IBM to go to Apple, he was sued by IBM! Yes, that is what 25 years bought him, a law suit and 2 court certificates to prove that he hadn't leaked any "IP" to Apple.

I have always believed that, you can almost never buy loyalty. Either the employee feels it or he doesn't. And if loyalty sounds too old school, call it professionalism. But whatever you call it, "it" is hard to come by. During my early days, I have gone through bouts of this loyalty pangs and almost felt guilty when I had to quit. Did it a second time, it got better and slowly realized that there is no such thing as loyalty. Once you leave a company, the company has to keep the interests of those who are still associated with it at higher priority. This can be at the cost of friendships and unsaid remorses (in some cases 25 years of it!!).

As insensitive as it may sound, it is business, nothing more, nothing less. They companies know it, the employees seem to take some time to figure it out. :-)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chrome's Inspiration?

An artists view...

p.s: Courtesy Patel.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How do they do it?

Not so long ago, Bill Gates pledged almost all (if not all) of his money to a charitable trust run by his wife and himself. Warren Buffet, the guru of the stock markets pledged his billions to the same charitable trust. And today I read this. Paul Allen, the other and less famous half of Microsoft, and a successful VC in his own right, has pledged many billions to a charity trust started by him.

This kind of Philanthropy truly amazed me. Of course, you can question if this is all just some kinda hogwash and maybe the money is getting channeled back to them. But frankly, there are too many hawk eyes and ears in the world these days and pulling something off of this nature is next to impossible. So, the only possible explanation is the most unbelievable one! These guys are actually parting with their life's hard earned money!! I am just super surprised by all this because, Philanthropy of any form doesn't come naturally to me, and it does not for most Indians. And we really don't have such examples set by Indian businessmen either. Sure, there are some who give up their lives working and caring for the poor or needy, but how many part with their money and that too so much of it! Can you imagine the feuding Ambanis parting with so much of their money? Or maybe the splintered Birlas or the family run businesses like Bajaj or Godrej or .. I can go on and on...

Some facts are surely stranger than fiction!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A festival...

The FIFA world cup 2010 concluded after 40 days of fun and excitement. As many close to me know, I was supporting Spain from day one and feel vindicated at the end of it all. :-)

This was probably the first world cup where I saw a huge cross section of friends, family and colleagues keenly following the world cup and tracking their favourite teams. This made it all the more interesting during and post match discussions and it was such a lot of fun. I enjoyed it thoroughly!!

I am a lover of Jogo Bonito and have been following the EPL, La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga for the last couple of years. Since this is where all the money is, most of the best players in the world play here and more often than not, the club football is more fun than when countries play each other. But the standouts during the last couple of years, in my view, have been Barcelona and as an extension Spain. They play a brand of football that I love to watch, endorse and play!

This is not to say that 4 years from now, I will continue supporting Spain. A lot of things can change in 4 years and I suspect the real stalwarts of the "Beautiful Game", like Brazil and Argentina will learn from their early exits from this world cup and go back to their style and flair rather than mimic the European nations. And then there are the bruised giants like France and Italy and the quintessential under achievers, England, who have a point or two to prove. And who can discount the Germans, who livened the world cup like no other team has!

As the excitement of one subsides, the wait for the next one starts...

Very Messy

The BP oil slick in the Gulf Of Mexico has US very interested coz it is very close to home and by the same measure has indians very disinterested because it is far from home. I saw very little coverage in the media about this and thanks to that I didn't know of the extent of mess that BP had gotten itself and the world into.

Today I got some time to do some youtube searching and as expected I was not disappointed. Have a look at the below video.

The good part of being in India is, you are slowly but surely trained to accept most ill around you as inevitable and unavoidable and in the process we are all stoic about it. So, I don't know if this was closer to home, would it have made any difference? On a lighter note and with a touch of sarcasm, Scott Adams on BP.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Outcry... really?

Nice weather, some errands to run and more resulted in me deciding to make my weekend a long one and stayed at home on Friday. This gave me time to do things I used to do a lot earlier and never find time to do now, like seeing TV channels other than Sun Music! :-) I decided to take a round of the breaking channels. The same stories were breaking in different channels albeit each channel focusing on a different one at any point of viewing.

The first one was regarding a ex-BSF jawan who was shown the boot by Canadian Immigration officials. Each channel was showing Canada in the worst light possible. It was as if they had committed the greatest crime against India. An insult so unbearable that some politicians (trying to cash in of course) wanted us to send back the Canadian high commission diplomats to Canada. While it is true that the reasoning given by Canada to reject the ex-BSF jawans immigration application was not the best possible one and in ways insulting to the Indian armed forces, I think a different look is worthy, considering the usual "trial by media" mode in which India and its media works these days.

1. Canada houses a HUGE population of Sikhs many of whom are ex-khalistan fighters who are not known for their peaceful ways. Coincidentally, the ex-BSF jawan was a Sikh and assume for the sake of argument that this was the reason that the officials didn't want him in Canada. Not letting him into Canada was their prerogative and if they had openly told the above mentioned reason, it would have amounted to racism and somehow the Caucasians somehow get the worst of it. Indians are just as racist if not more than any other country, but we and rest of the racist hypocrites would pounce on Canada if it had given this as the reason for rejecting the ex-bsf jawans visa.

2. Canada as a country has the right to not allow anyone to come into its territory. Fault it for the reason it gave, but not to its right to choose its citizens/immigrants.

3. The ex-BSF jawan was going to leave India and be an immigrant. Not a very patriotic thing to do, but somehow the media wants to make us and apparently succeeds in making us patriotic for this!

4. Some indian techies can vouch for much worse treatment by the US consulate during the visa process or the US immigration authorities at the port of entry. The reasons for rejection can be far more frivolous and yet we all are OK with it. Some of the horror stories my colleagues have faced is better left untold.

5. Racial profiling is the name of the game in European and US airports. They would never agree or accept it, but from their point of view, they stand a better chance of catching a Faisal Shahzad by doing this rather than check the Caucasian race people for the sake of being politically correct! Again, a country protecting its interests, can't fault that!

To summarize, I agree that Canada could have been more judicious in its reason, but is this really such a big deal ? We settle for far worse on so many more serious fronts, but somehow chose this to be the battle that needs fighting ?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Living Legend

I am no fan of the ipoo's. I never liked the ipod and didnt find the value in ipod touch either. I am likely to get one soon enough to know what the value talk is all about. I also didn't like the iphone when it was released, but the recent ones have been more promising. I have a similar doubt on the value of the iPad which too will be lapped up by consumers faster than they can be sold :-). But all being said, one thing majority of us will have to agree to is the "i" brigade has changed that way the world listens, communicates and connects. The man behind this revolution, like many others, is Steve Jobs. This compulsive entrepreneurs business life can be compared to that of a cat and his revivals to that of a phoenix. And when a man of his vision talks, people listen and with reason. Here is a small speech he gave to a bunch of Stanford grads. Seems rather melodramatic at times, unbelievable at times and possibly a bit gloating too, but a captivating listen none the less .

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I cracked up as soon as I saw this and just had to share it!! :-)))


Sunday, April 04, 2010

An outside opinion...

A wise friend of mine once said, "If you want to know what really happens in India or what India really does, read Dawn, the Pakistani Daily". These were not empty words as my friend used to first read Dawn before picking up TOI everyday! I never tried to figure out how correct he was, but the below article in todays TOI sure reminded me of him!

India’s growing misfortunes
Following the signing of the nuclear agreement with India, owing to India’s pressures, America declined to sign a nuclear deal with Pakistan… But now, America is ignoring India’s opposition and has commenced preliminary discussions in that direction with Pakistan. As a result of this change of policy by America, India is in a grave predicament today… In addition, America refusing to hand over Headley, who is now in the custody of America, to India for interrogation, in connection with the Mumbai terrorist attack has further aggravated India’s plight. It is India’s failure to perform its South Asia leadership role duly safeguarding the American interest, which is at the epicentre of India’s present inescapable quagmire… India is the architect of its own misfortunes.
— Daily Mirror, Wednesday,
March 31, Sri Lanka

How much of truth is hidden in the above article is open to discussion, but this sure gives us a relatively unbiased look at the current situation and for us to understand where we stand or where countries with an interest in the matters surrounding India or South East Asia think we stand.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Movie Review: Karthik Calling Karthik

The Hindi film world had long been riddled with mediocre films or high budget films but very rarely with thoughtful films. But the multiplex generation has changed the landscape with a new breed of directors, producers and actors. There is a chance of seeing a totally nonsense movie and just as much chance of seeing a 2 hour sensible or sensitive depiction of a storyline by a crew not burdened with expectations or stereotypes.

One such movie is Karthik Calling Karthik. I was expecting to see a romantic story being told with a twist or two. But it turned out to be a thriller which was quite a surprise. Farhan has done nothing more than an OK job. I may be in the minority, but I don't find him a good actor. Deepika is also quite plastic, but at least she can look pleasing. ;-). But kudos to the screenplay and director for keeping their wits about their thin storyline and keeping everything together. The supporting cast is very small and contributions also minimal and hence nothing noteworthy to mention in terms of acting either. Since there is a mystery element to the story, I wont delve on that part, but then, there is nothing else to delve on in this movie either. The ending was a bit abrupt and it was almost like the director had made a deal with someone that he would not want this movie to go too long and get kicked out of multiplexes. :-) The music is surprisingly appealing and a couple of songs are really catchy, though I had not bothered to listen to them on the airwaves earlier, but are part of my playlist now.

A nice movie that is worth a watch. I give it a 7 on 10.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The strange ways...

I have been thinking for a while now to change my broadband service provider. I am with BSNL right now, and while their service per say is not bad (as long as you don't have to interact with them), their tariff plans are archaic when compared to others like Airtel.

During this contemplation phase, I happen to download a file which got downloaded in about half the time that it would normally take. I take a speedtest and it tells me that my download speed is doubled! Now, knowing that I am with BSNL, I think it is most probably a backend glitch and I will enjoy the double download speeds as long as it lasts. But I also had the nagging feeling that I may get charged double my normal charges. So, I went to the BSNL website and guess what, they have a promo going on! How much effort is it to send an email (they have mine in their records) or send an sms (they have my mobile number in their records) and inform users of this!!

Anyway, the promo in itself is quite brain dead. What will one month of higher bandwidth do? Coax me into going to the higher bandwidth plan even though there is no discount on offer? Anyway, never shy away from a free lunch (if ever there is one). :-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Before the subject of this post could confuse someone, I am talking about sports and specifically football. :-)

I was hearing some experts talking the other day on TV on how Liverpool has lost its way, its philosophy and how it will be a slow slide down as Spurs, Man City, Villa and possibly Everton push on for the elite Champions League slot. And this got me thinking about the match I am watching right now, the Champions League QF between Man U and Bayern Munich. Thanks to the telecast timings, I see more of English football than German and maybe things have changed off late. But the days I remember, Germany used to play flank to flank. Their legendary long passes used to define the style and philosophy and also variety of European football. But in this particular match, I am seeing a host of small passes. They are playing consistent and strong and for a change Man U seems to be the team without the plan. I am sure things will be very different when they play at Old Trafford, but for now, this is a very interesting game. The experience in the midfield of Van Bommel is defining the game and the relative ineffectiveness of Scholes to do something similar speaks of the lack of midfield superiority, though a very hardworking midfield of the current Man U team.

The match just got over and a surprising result with Bayern doing to Man U what Man U does so often to many a team, pipping the opponent at the finish line. An open game and a treat to watch... just wondering what tomorrows match between two of the most creative midfields in todays football, Arsenal and Barcelona will have in store. :-)

Its all an act...

When the Karnataka CM, Yeddyurappa made a tall claim of 23/7 electricity supply in the summer months leading up the school exams, most of the residents of Bangalore (whom I know :-)) had a huge sense of relief and disbelief.

It is not as if this was the first summer time that Bangalore has had power shortage, yet, such bold claims were not made in the past. So, what really prompted this magnanimous move? Actually what is more important an event that the yearly exams of kids is the once in nine years BBMP elections! And since the elections got over on Sunday, the place I stay has been witness to an average daily power cut of 5 hours!

Mr.Yeddy, I am sure the kids still have their exams on... wanna continue your magnanimity a little longer of should we wait a lot longer... say another 9 years!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Start chirping...

... or tweeting.

Airtel has collaborated with Twitter to make tweeting available and affordable to all those non smartphone types who are still stuck in the world of sms's (your truly included). If you couldn't tweet coz your office blocks visiting non-work related sites or don't have net access at home or don't have phones with GPRS (nor 3G) enabled, your tweet solution is here.

I called up Airtel to confirm this and to find out if we had to pay a premium for sending and receiving these tweets. The answer I got was that the SMS's to this special number will cost the same as your local SMS and there are no other hidden charges. Happy tweeting...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Take a hike...

The industry in general may be recovering to its better days and the Finance Minister has helped us out a bit more with some tax sops. Below is the only meaningful extract I could make of everything.

As a good friend of mine said, the fuel price hike and the resulting hike in prices of everything else will more than make up for whatever IT sops Mr.Pranab has bestowed on us. The folks who know more about money and stuff claim that this is not a bad budget in general. I will go with that sentiment for now. :-)

On a related note:


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Shadowy Google

It has hit the press and spread like wild fire, that google has threatened and in fact is pulling out of the biggest and possibly the fastest growing internet penetration markets in the world, China.

Google started with the "Don't be evil" as part of its code of conduct but has been walking a tight line as it has grown into the behemoth it now is. One the times when it turned a blind eye and chose to flirt with this code of conduct was in China. China has been a tough market to penetrate for many and the chinese cyber wayside is full of their remains. Google of course thinks it is special and can break the jinx and has been spending considerable time beefing up their china plans. But the cyber attack seems to have changed everything and a hasty plug pulling has happened. But I think there is more fire beneath all this smoke!

What if the attack on google sites (gmail) was in fact more than what google is making it out to be? What if there was a serious breach and google is trying to hush-hush the whole thing away while they take time to plan a cover up? Baidu is still the most popular search engine in China and google is not used to losing, at least not in search game. What if Google has lost patience as it fights the local search engines and are too big to claim defeat and see this as the right opportunity to get out of a bad state ?

Google has been pretty shrewd with its business dealings belying its otherwise geeky image. But this move is definitely business impacting and seems indefinite by nature which makes it even more real. Something is brewing or already has brewed, but the might of Google will definitely manage to close the lid on this faster than we think.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two left feet...

... if I were talking about dance, sure there are many who qualify to be categorized as having two left feet. But if I were referring to football and if I were referring to Lionel Messi, you probably will understand that Messi with two left feet would be unstoppable!

And if you thought Messi was the only one from Argentina in today footballs to have a gifted left foot, then think again and watch the below video.

This is Angel Di Maria from Benfica who is being linked to move to the English Premier league teams like Chelsea or Man U this year. This kid is talented and has an attitude to boot!

A Thousand Words?

I couldn't help but post these two pics I saw in TOI today. They are varied and have no relation to each other, other than both having evoked strong and immediate responses in my mind.

First, Eeco from Maruti Suzuki. Somebody told me that Maruti is going to release 10 cars this year. If they are all going to be like the Eeco, I don't wanna see them!

The front of a Maruti 800 and the rear of the Omni! Wow... got to give it to the Maruti guys for creativity! But then, this is a super cheap family vehicle and starts at 2.8L. This is also most likely to be super cheap on safety features too, but does the segment that this car caters to really care about safety?

Secondly, what freedom really means can only be told by someone who doesn't have it or more so by someone who had it and lost it. This tiger sure was in a hurry to get back to his free life... and who could blame him?

Yes... pictures sometimes do say more than a thousand words.


While casually browsing I came across a website which is supposedly useful to take meeting notes, agendas etc. I don't really know how useful something like this would actually be, but I thought of giving it a shot.

The site has a minimalistic look about it and before signing up, I wanted to understand what all it can actually do and I clicked the "intro" link and it didn't work. I was using firefox and switched to chrome and the link still didn't work. Last option, I went to IE 8 and then I get the below message.

Quite a gutsy company I would say, but it has got many things wrong here.
1. It is gonna take a while before IE dies, so don't narrow your user base.
2. I was using IE 8 and not IE 6
3. I used IE only coz firefox and chrome both couldn't open the link.

A brave but foolhardy company. :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Movie Review: Paleri Manikyam

A mallu movie in a theater after a looong time. We were five of us and we paid a total of Rs.200 for the tickets and no parking hassles. I would have paid the same amount for a single ticket in Bangalore! Anyway, back to the movie.

Paleri Manikyam is a period thriller which goes back to the time of the first communist government being installed in Kerala. Since it is a detective "whodunit" kinda thing, I obviously can't delve too deep into the actual story, but it is to do with the rape and murder of a young lady and then the elaborate cover up. The story is well taken forth in the first half with very limited yet accurate depiction of the 1950s. The second half starts well, but then tapers down a bit and ends as a whimper. Mammotty in his many roles has done a good job, while his supposedly platonic criminal analyst friend is absolutely useless. She neither serves as good eye-candy, nor is she playing any part in the story other than smoking and questioning. The rest of the characters have too small a role to be really impacting, but the convenience with which some of them volunteer information is unexplained. Above all this is the very reason as to why the protagonist starts on this investigative journey some five decades after the incident occurred. A good detective movie must drop enough hints for the viewer to play detective and solve the mystery and not just drop an obvious clue at the end or a totally new character introduced to close the mystery loop.

All in all, Paleri Manikyam is a good attempt at a thriller, but fails in certain areas which tends to slow the movie down and hence can't keep the audience glued down and wits challenged. I give it a 6.5/10.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Upgrading To Inaccuracy

The Indian Railways have come a long way in last decade. A lot of modernization, cleanliness and expansion drives have happened. One of the big pluses of the last decade has been irctc and the other numerous sites maintained by the railways that have sprung up.

I happened to visit one of them to get to know if the train I was to help someone board was on time. It said the train was on time and I got to the station on time. The train was blissfully late by 50 minutes and Bangalore can be quite cold this time of the year around midnight! Below is the information I got of the train after I just witnessed it being 50 minutes late!!

Either give accurate information or give no information at all. Half knowledge is dangerous and cold!

Sunday, January 03, 2010


First off, a very happy new year to all!

Looks like the year is going to be one for the greedy one in you. The doom sayers have not had much to do since the world economy has shown some recovery steps. And if the below chart is any indication, the US economy (the bellwether) is back to its spending ways.

Here's hoping for a pink-slip-less year ahead for all (can one ask for more than this these days?). :-)