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?). :-)