Sunday, December 17, 2006

You are Time Magazine's Person of the Year, Your Life Goes On

Time Magazine, in a break from tradition, and in a year of transition, selected You as their person of the year. You, as in, us citizens, us bloggers, us Youtubers, us citizen soldiers, us whistleblowers. Contrariwise, you know it's a bubble when 'the Beast with a Billion Eyes' outflanks the Tehran Don.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Ugly American Redux, No More

Numerous reactions to the U.S. Elections - my own, on America's "macaca moment" is evolving in my cranium.

For now, a gem from HuffPo:

The ugly American mark two is dead. Overnight six years of glib European identification of "American" with right-wing fundamentalism is over. The gun-toting, pre-Darwinian Bushite, the Tomahawk-wielding, Halliburton-loving, Beltway neo-con, damning abortion as murder and torturing Islamo-fascists has been lain to rest, and by a decision of the American people. Americans should be proud and the world should take note.

Yesterday's result could hardly have been more emphatic. George Bush's election wizard, Karl Rove, said he would make America's midterm elections "a choice not a referendum". He would ask them to choose a congress not vote on his boss. The electorate did both. In a high turnout the majority rejected the tenets of the religious right and of "big government" neo-conservativism. They expressed concern over the corruption and warmongering of Washington and the state of their economy in Bush's hands. For the Republicans there were no consolations.


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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Family Zone

 


Bamboo, Dee & the kids at Infosys Posted by Picasa

The Kids At Infosys

 

Visiting Tomorrow Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Monkey See

 

Who's Your Daddy? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Last Supper Of The Virgins

 

Provenance unknown, but well-composed, and a clever interpretation of the classic picture. Posted by Picasa

Desi Advertising At It's Worst

  Posted by Picasa

Aayan on M.G. Road, Bangalore

  Posted by Picasa

Kolkata - A Classic Scene

  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Windows Vista Readiness

Ready for Windows Vista?

Don't buy PCs or Laptops for a while:) And don't forget your notepad.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Call Centers: The Great Data Theft - Channel 4's Dispatches

Channel 4 exposes some holes in the big cheese of Call Centers. The great boom in the Indian economy owes a great deal to the call centres, BPOs and other associated industries - which could come down like a house of cards if these companies decide to up sticks and move out, en masse.

read more | digg story

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wisconsin farm has third rare white buffalo SOMETHING BESIDES A COW!!!

Only in Wisconsin would cows be news:)

SOMETHING BESIDES A COW!!! -
MILWAUKEE - A farm in Wisconsin is quickly becoming hallowed ground again for American Indians with the birth of its third white buffalo, an animal considered sacred by many tribes for its potential to bring good fortune and peace.

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bLaugh Blogging Truths

Truth in Blogging



ProBlogger Trick Chicks

Apple's new iPod pricing and features

Apple's not-news announcements earlier this week didn't change the world, but some new features were introduced to the iPod line (of which I have a 5G one), and you can now buy movies at exorbitant prices that will only play on your PC.

ahas this interesting table comparing the new iPod prices to the available memory:

1) What’s the new iPod pricing scheme?

iPod shuffle 1GB: $79 ($79 per GB)
iPod nano 2GB: $149 ($74.50 per GB)
iPod nano 4GB: $199 ($49.75 per GB)
iPod nano 8GB: $249 ($31.13 per GB)
iPod 5G 30GB: $249 ($8.30 per GB)
iPod 5G 80GB: $349 ($4.36 per GB)

By storage capacity standards, the 80GB iPod is the best value in iPod history - under $4.50 per Gigabyte, and the cheapest top-of-line iPod Apple has ever introduced. Even the 1GB shuffle is only slightly more expensive than the now discontinued $69 512MB iPod shuffle.


I wonder when these prices will reflect in Indian stores.

The movie pricing and restrictions make this another way the industry refuses to recognize the ability to reach out to customers and make this a viable channel. bittorrent is the killer app - and they don't want to accept that.

Some thoughts on a viable solution for utilizing bittorrent as a sales channel coming up...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Like iTunes for Digital Comic Books!

While looking for a good free CBR/CBZ reader, I came upon Comic Rack, and I found nirvana. Comic Rack is a reader that builds XML libraries like iTunes complete with covers and meta data for the files. The software is in early development, but is something to keep an eye on if you're looking for a good reader/database program

I like CDisplay, but this will be worth checking out..

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Beginning Google Maps Applications with PHP and Ajax

PHP and Ajax are literally on a roll. You see websites pop up all the time with fancy ajax effects. Did you know that Google Maps is also a heavy user of Ajax? This is a review of a good book on Google Maps which explains the various ways in which Google Map API can be used to create and integrate user interactive maps on ones personal website

It's a review, but still a good pointer to a book one shall scout out

Prediction: PHP+Ajax is going to go head-to-head with Adobe Flex

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I Hate Summary RSS Feeds

I subscribe to over 200 RSS feeds that I check daily, earlier with Bloglines, and more recently with Netvibes It's the easiest way I've found of handling information overload - my use of multiple computers both at home and at office means I'm never going to be using a desktop-tethered software for handling RSS.

One thing that gets me, though, and it's not the fault of the software, is the number of producers who have cryptic one-line summaries for their feed entries. and I'm expected to click on or right-click/new tab-window and find out if it's worth digesting - I mean why do RSS and not give me the whole shebang? Traffic is important, but I can't believe it will impact your traffic that much to give me the whole story - if I use it, I'll link to you, so you get your backlinks. Why put me through the rigmarole?

Desicritics has all full-text feeds, and we don't seem to be hurting for traffic. I've actually found our traffic increases and we have a number of referrers from netvibes, etc.

Most of the short-feed bums are media-types, like the New York Times, and Slate. It's funny Slate doesn't get it, being such a pioneer.

Give it all to me, baby!


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Malice Aforethought

The Jason Fortuny Craiglist experiment has netted nauseating results, but as J. Leroy points out, was malicious in intent, and for simple reasons, wrong.

Malice, in my mind, is never justified. It is small and wrong. You can rationalize anything. But rationalizations are not justifications, they are attempt to excuse.



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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ban Indian Companies from the H1B program

A strong case can be made for allowing H1B visas only for people holding advanced degress from US universities.The following points make for a much bigger case of banning all Indian companies from the H1B and L1 visa program:

Some interesting insights into one of the Indian IT industry's biggest shibboleths - the addiction to US revenues through onsite-led offshoring

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HP's Patricia Dunn Should Go

It is high time that HP stands up and in the process sends a firm, loud and clear message that it is once and for all putting behind the shame and agony of the ugly happenings centered around its board members. For a global technology company, being able to respect privacy rights and behaving in an ethical manner, is an absolute must

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Frothy Bubble Chambers or the Tao of hot

What do the following have in common? a) Scobie's lament about web2.0 stars b) Jason and Kevin's skirmish over taste-makers c) The NYT reports on web 2.0 taste-makers?

All three of them are using old-school thinking to understand hotness. They all seem to think that the world is one â??superclubâ??

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Simplest way to using ajax

If your programming abilities are not good enough, but Web 2.0 is beckon - it's for you.

Nice teaser, we'll see...

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I, Cringely . September 7, 2006 - Apple controls Amazon?

What I think is coming next week is exactly what I thought was coming last January when Apple at the last moment changed its mind about an earlier set of announcements. We'll see a bunch of iPods, two televisions, and the Video Express adapter I first wrote about more than 18 months ago. Also, how Amazon blinked, but may still win the e-video wars

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Live Documents is Powerful Stuff

A new service called Live Documents allows Windows PC users with Office already installed on their computer to syncronize documents across multiple users over the Internet. The next step for Live Documents should be to look for a partner amongst the online office players to make their service work across applications as well.

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More Than a Grudge and a Ring: Why Asian Horror Films Rock

Over the last decade or so, Asian cinema has taken over the horror film genre, and effectively left its own indelible stamp upon it. While western film makers continue to recycle the tame tired plots and ideas, Asian movie makers have gone into their cultural well to dig out new tropes and concepts - or, at least, new variations.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

TorrentPortal Down

TorrentPortal, one of the better torrent trackers around, is down for a while. They are apparently upgrading their servers and will be down until September 10th.

They have an offer of 15 free ringtones for US-residents. I guess there are people who like that kind of thing.


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UK tests out wikipolicy theory, with predictably hilarious results

England's Environment Secretary published a draft policy as a wiki. Guest editors changed headlines like â??Who are the parties to the environmental contract?â?? to â??Where is the party for the environmental contract? Can I come? Will there be cake? Hooray!â?? Here's the final page before the site was locked and reverted.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Reporting on FOO Camp 06

The events at O'Reilly's FOO Camp 06, and a brilliant piece on Applying Web 2.0: Leveraging Network Effects for Fun and Profit. Intentional or not, many of these techniques for embracing the power of networks have been used by sites like MySpace and YouTube to a considerable measure of success.

There's some real 'secret sauce' here - well worth perusing.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Working with Web Services in Adobe Flex 2

Flex 2 may be the hot new contender for King of the Hill in development frameworks, here's one example why

"Flex automatically does the work of transferring a class type when using remote objects (one of the many reasons to use remote objects). However, when using SOAP Web Services, strong typing is broken because the class associations aren't automatically transferred to internal Flex classes. It's unfortunate, and leaves a bit of a gap when trying to use strong typing and compile-time error checking

I figured there had to be a better way. After hunting around a bit, I came up with a solution that worked for my project. All that was needed was a generic object transfer utility to translate the incoming objects into typed classes that are created on the Flex side. Once the transfer objects have been written on the Flex side, then class introspection can be used to dynamically populate the values from untyped Web Service objects. Let me show you how I did it."





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Google chief joins Apple's board

Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt has been appointed as a board member of Apple Computers. What's next - Google on the iPod?

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Celebrity Fish Dies at Chicago Aquarium

CHICAGO -- A huge Shedd Aquarium grouper that became an instant celebrity -- and inspiration to cancer patients -- after becoming the first fish in history to receive chemotherapy and bounce back from cancer has died.

The Shedd Aquarium is really beautiful, we've been there a number of times, and always loved it.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The Grouper was 24 when he died Tuesday.

The 154-pound "super grouper" was abandoned at the Chicago aquarium in 1987, left at the reception desk in a bucket. Shedd officials nursed the fish -- then a she -- to health and put her in a tank. Bubba changed gender in the mid-1990s, which is not uncommon for certain kinds of fish.

Bubba was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, and two years later, Shedd officials took the unprecedented step of administering chemotherapy.



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BoingBoing and Penis Pumps

Boing Boi-oi-oing

This is in reference to the laff-out-loud penis pump being mistaken for a bomb report:)

Why would he need that in his hand-baggage anyway?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

India-bound NWA Flight Turned Back, Escorted To Amsterdam By F-16s

Things seem to have been a bit more out of sync on the Wednesday flight. The pilot, while over German airspace soon after taking off from Amsterdam, requested permission to return, and also asked for a military escort. It appears seven passengers have been detained

I think I've taken this flight - scary, but probably nothing serious.

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AJAX Will Make it Mainstream, I Promise

Ajax does not solve the world's problems, or make Web 1.0 bad business ideas, like portal start pages, suddenly good ideas. "The thought that adding drag & drop to a portal homepage and not having any rich integration with a family of sites is a viable business seems pretty absurd to me..."

I like the ending, on the value of RSS feeds to geeks, and only geeks, or more precisely, information mavens:

Subscribing to feeds seems cool to geeks because it solves a geek problem; having too many sources of information to keep track of and optimizing how this is done. The average person doesn't think it's cool to be able to keep track of 10 - 20 websites a day using a some tool because they aren't interested in 10 - 20 websites on a daily basis in the first place. I'm sure a light sprinkling of AJAX can solve that problem as well.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Airport security measures ever make you feel stripped naked?


UK Airline, obviously angry about the security measures that have cost them money, post pictures of naked people on their site as a joke. "New Airport Security Procedures
Puts The Fun Back Into Flying, Doesn't it?"

The image says it all




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Digg Signature Creator - Generate your own personal Digg Signature

DiggSig allows Digg users to enter their username and will generate a personal forum signature, including their latest Digg, Rank, Stories Dugg, Stories Submitted in addition to other useful Digg.com stats from their account. Signatures automatically update so to show your latest stats. Works on MySpace, forums, personal websites, etc.

I really like this. Very Ajax page too. Here's my DiggSig:

diggsig



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Blinks - Homer Simpson in Just One Second

Clear Channel Radio has found its first buyer for blinks - Fox Broadcasting Co. is the first to purchase and use two-second radio spots in an effort to promote the fall season premiers of "Prison Break," "House" and "The Simpsons."

What would a one-second ad sound like? What would it look like? Could it only work for high-recognition items that already have an associative reaction in consumers?

read more | digg story

Meebo for your website! - ajax im version 2

ajax im is a complete instant messaging system for your website; akin to Meebo without needing to pay for tons of expensive servers. This system uses Javascript/PHP/MySQL to allow users to communicate between users of the ajax im script on your site. No refreshing of the page is ever needed, as everything is updated in real-time via the JavaScript.

Looks cool, will check it out for Desicritics

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Pricing Cuts Hit Nascent Online Video Market

In a testament to just how quickly the online video market is evolving, Guba is already starting to cut pricing. With competition building, the novelty alone of being able to buy videos isn't enough to help establish a name in this space

The Internet is the fastest price leveler and competition de-differentiator in the history of, like, forever, on a macro scale, as opposed to local levelers.

read more | digg story

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pakistan forfeits Test, Mushy's for it

This says it all

It was the first time in 129 years, and 1,814 matches, that a Test had been conceded by forfeit.


Given that it's Darrell Hair, one wonders who's really at fault here. Also worth noting,

In an interview on Pakistani television, team captain Inzaman-ul-Haq said that he'd spoken to Mr Musharraf on the telephone and that the president had offered his full support for the actions the team had taken at the match.

Open Source AJAX ToDo List Ready To Go

* Javascript effect with script.aculo.us
* Drag&drop each element
* Almost full Ajax
* full Css layout
* Javascript calendar (dynarch.com)
* Optimized for firefox 1.5
* Drag&drop each element

- Needs work, but easy to add to one's website

I'm installing it tonight on my machine - will report back

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Snakes On A Blog - A Premiere Report From The Snake-Blogger

This guy blogged about the movie pre-release for nine months, you can imagine his report on the premiere is long, and detailed - and almost post-coital at the end.

Haven't seen the movie yet - will and then let's see...

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Nice Google Maps cum PHP Demo

A Good Google Maps tutorial using PHP and MySQL that breaks down the code involved quite well.

Prerequisites

  • An Apache webserver running PHP and MySQL (other webserver with PHP and MySQL will probabely do as well).
  • A table in your database with lat, lon and description fields.
  • Some basic HTML and PHP knowledge.
We are going to use PHP to dynamically create an HTML document with the appropriate Google Maps javascript code.

It works.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Kingdom of Nouns

A fine read on the dangers of program design relying too much on a single metaphor, like Object-Oriented Programming and Java

The residents of the Kingdom of Java aren't merely happy — they're bursting with pride!

StateManager.getConsiderationSetter("Noun Oriented Thinking", State.HARMFUL).run()

Or, as it is said outside the Kingdom of Java, "Noun Oriented Thinking Considered Harmful".

Object Oriented Programming puts the Nouns first and foremost. Why would you go to such lengths to put one part of speech on a pedestal? Why should one kind of concept take precedence over another? It's not as if OOP has suddenly made verbs less important in the way we actually think. It's a strangely skewed perspective. As my friend Jacob Gabrielson once put it, advocating Object-Oriented Programming is like advocating Pants-Oriented Clothing.

Java's static type system, like any other, has its share of problems. But the extreme emphasis on noun-oriented thought processes (and consequently, modeling processes) is more than a bit disturbing. Any type system will require you to re-shape your thoughts somewhat to fit the system, but eliminating standalone verbs seems a step beyond all rationale or reason.


Read the whole thing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

If you want tech-political-science fiction, your best bet is the writings of Neal Stephenson. Of course, this is not to discount many other fine writers, science fiction tends to coalesce around political themes often enough, but Neal blends an awareness of historical perspective with a keen sense of what may come, or might come.

Reason has a good review of his Baroque Trilogy, coupled with an interview

Stephenson has a substantial libertarian following as well, and not merely because the decentralized, post-statist social systems he describes in Snow Crash and The Diamond Age (1995) are so radically different from modern government. The Baroque Cycle is, among other things, a close look at the rise of science, the market, and the nation-state, themes close to any classical liberal’s heart. Reading it means reading three long, encyclopedic books and maybe spending half a year in an earlier century. It’s not the kind of thing the average reader takes on lightly. But once you find you have a taste for Stephenson’s broad range of obsessive interests, his fine ear for period and modern English prose and speech, and his gift for making the improbably comic seem eminently human, the question no longer is whether you’ll read his books—it’s when.

Also available today is a sort-of review of Snow Crash. advocating a 'forced disarmament' of Muslims to solve terrorism.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah uses a combination of military might, ruthlessness, ethnic solidarity, and religious fanaticism to form an entity more powerful than the state of Lebanon, and arguably more powerful than the state of Israel. What we are seeing unfold in the Middle East may be a step toward the sort of post-national environment envisioned by Neal Stephenson.

I believe that what we need going forward is a policy of disarming Muslims. I believe that we must keep devout Muslims away from weapons, and keep weapons away from devout Muslims. I can work with Muslims, send my children to school with Muslims, and be friends with Muslims. I do not have an issue with their religion, as long as they do not have weapons. However, the combination of weapons and Islam poses unacceptable danger to the rest of us.

And so it goes.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

No Books, iPods on board - British Government bans hand luggage

if you weren't bored enough on flights, following the recent plot busted by Scotland Yard to blow up planes in mid-air, apparently through a bomb in hand luggage, the UK government has banned all hand-luggage on planes,

except for a transparent shopping bag carrying a few permitted items: a couple tampons, baby food (if another passenger is forced to taste it first), glasses without cases (deadly, deadly cases!), contact holders (but no cleaning fluid!), keys (but no electric fobs), and your wallet. You're not allowed to bring on magazines (deadly, deadly magazines!) or books, no laptops, no iPods, no oversized watches (!), and so forth.


The War within exceeds the war without - and we all pay the price of fear.

Firefox Buying IE, says bLaugh

Firefox Outfoxes IE

Millenarianism and fatalism are perhaps economic reactions to change, but it's also innate in the human character to hope beyond hope, even when comes the deluge. Bryan Caplan asks, why worry?

There's not enough time in the day for me to know enough about all of these disasters to doubt them on their specific merits. But I do it anyway. How do I justify it?

The superficial reason is that people are trying to get attention, which leads to a "race to the scariest story." That's true, but it hardly seems strong enough to justify my blanket skepticism. The fact that people exaggerate hardly proves that the end is not nigh.

My deep reason is simpler: The fact that we've gotten as far as we have shows that true disaster must be extremely rare. Unless fears almost always failed to materialize, we'd already be back in the Stone Age, or plain extinct. It's overwhelmingly unlikely that we've gotten lucky a million times in a row. Thus, unlike my co-blogger, I think there is a good reason to expect global warming models to be milder than models predict. Namely: As a rule, disasters are milder than predicted.

In other words, we're still here, aren't we?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

From In Sequence,

Born Marius Nintendus, Saint Nintendo was born approximately 284 A.D. to a noble Roman family. He is often depicted as a child, although his martyrdom is said to have occurred after he reached full manhood.

One day, Marius Nintendus was chosen to attend the Roman games as part of a festival in honor of the Emporer. But Marius Nintendus chose to bypass the games in order to indulge in the simple pleasures he so loved, such as collecting stray coins along the streets of Rome and, of course, hunting wild mushrooms.

Marius Nintendus was later called upon by the Prefect to account for his whereabouts during the games. The famous question posed to Nintendus translates roughly to, "Why were you not at the play station at the appointed hour?" Unsatisfied with Nintendus's response, the Prefect ordered that he be publicly tortured and put to death. Marius Nintendus last, inspiring words were said to have been,"But I shall always have the higher score."

Marius Nintendus is the patron saint of truffle pigs.

Hilarity ensues!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Quote Of The Day

"In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's your count that votes."
  - Mogens Jallberg

Thursday, June 29, 2006

CSS Galleries

A single RSS feed of all of the major CSS showcase and gallery sites (CSS Mania, CSS Drive, Unmatched Style etc.). Indexes all featured sites into one simple feed, with thumbnail.

I really need to study this collection

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Worth visiting Website: Gliffy

Gliffy allows you to create diagrams on the fly without the need to download any software. Another of those Web 2.0 wonders, it gives you a number of premade symbols and shapes which you can incorporate in your drawings. The Gliffy interface is extremely user-friendly and fast considering it is still in its beta.

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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Taliban Kill Indian Hostage

The bad guys never go away, do they?

An Indian engineer working for a Bahrain based company, Mr
Suryanarayana, was kidnapped at gunpoint near Kandahar on Friday along
with his driver, by the Taliban while working on a project in
Afghanistan.

Quoting the Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Rakesh Sood, CNN/IBN and other news sources
reported this morning that Mr Suryanarayana has been killed and his
body found in Kandhahar. News channels are also reporting that the
Taliban has claimed to have killed the hostage as he tried to escape
from captivity. The as-yet unidentified beheaded body was found by a
highway police patrol.

TV channels are also reporting that the Indian Prime Minister's Office has issued a condemnation of the killing.






Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Ultimate WiFi Speed Boost

Guaranteed to work for all routers, the result of years of scientific research.

If you're not 100% satisfied, return the unopened bottle in the original packaging within eight hours, along with the original receipt, a color copy of your drivers license, and a check for $12.95 to cover handling, restocking, and legal fees. You'll receive a complete refund within 10-12 weeks.


X should not be used in the presence of pregnant women, women who have been pregnant, or women who may some day become pregnant.

Made in Malaysia, by Malaysians. Not intended for use by Malaysians.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Goering Collection - The Consolidated Interrogation Reports

Reading these reports on the Goering interrogations, long kept secret, and prepared by the Art Looting Investigation Unit, or Project Orion, illustrates how much art was stolen in the war years, and how many dealers, museums, etc. benefited from the German occupation. The best collections in museums the world over consist of stolen goods. Adolf Hitler's grand project, the Sonderauftrag Linz, or Museum of World Art at Linz was but one example. The conflicts between Hitler's acquisitiveness and Goering's own, termed in the reports 'Finders Keepers' agreements are interesting, and indicative of reasons why Hitler imprisoned Goering in 1945.

Post the War, Stalin's own Palace of the Soviets, had a Museum of World Art, built up by re-retrieving stolen art, or perhaps re-stealing it, with the help of the Extraordinary Commision. Then there's the Elgin Marbles and all the treasures of the British, not least the Kohinoor.

Perhaps I'll expand this into a more detailed article sometime.

Paris Hilton to play Mother Teresa in a Movie

How hilarious? This is really happening. The next thing we see is Osama Bin Laden playing Jesus.

read more | digg story

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Romantic Spot


romantic spot
Originally uploaded by red_hooded_wolf.
Let the lave go by me...

Friday, March 31, 2006

Fired Kodak Manager sues, Was fired for opposing lower-resolution images

Fired for protesting a cost-saving proposal that would have quietly compressed millions of digital images stored by customers. Kodak insisted it would never condense images in a lower-resolution format -- and thereby potentially diminish their quality "without our customers' knowledge."

read more | digg story

Sepia Mutiny Goes Foolish

The folks at Sepia Mutiny have brilliantly replaced their entire site with something, well, wierd - a day early, more the merrier.



The weblog link itself takes one to first a Wordpress site, and then a blogger blog purporting to be the real Sepia Mutiny, a victim of cyber squatting.

The main page itself has tons of inside jokes that are pretty neat.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ants need Wet soil

Discovery of the week:

Argentine ants in Southern California need wet soil to
live and breed.


I could've told them that.

Steve Ballmer's Kids Don't Use Google or IPods

Fortune interviews the dude with the 'Developer' yell, and he doesn't disappoint in acerbic responses.






AOL is not making any investment in the future of the media and advertising business.







Do you have an iPod?


No, I do not. Nor do my children. My children--in many dimensions
they're as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this
dimension I've got my kids brainwashed: You don't use Google, and you
don't use an iPod.




Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Internet Censorship, the Pakistani Way

If the government controls all outside links, one might think that it should be a simple matter to censor the internet. Yet this isn’t the case-the current filtering system in place is very crude. There is a list of banned addresses which the Pakistan Internet Exchange look at, and block requests by users to the computers on the blacklist.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

20000 Hong Kong Citizens Info Leaked Online, Governmental Silence

Information on 20000 people from Hong Kong's Police files found on a commercial server. This is undoubtedly the worst breach of data privacy in Hong Kong's history. The Government remains mum. The data was taken offsite by a consultant whose contract did not cover data security.

read more | digg story

Stanislav Lem, Sci-Fi writer dies, where do they go?

Do science fiction writers and mystics get a different afterlife? They spend their creative urges imagining a world different from their own, it only seems fair they should be allowed a universe different from anyone else's when they pass over.

Stanislav Lem, author of fine books like Solaris, the Star Diaries, etc. died on March 27 at 84.

It was in this extraordinary tradition that Lem wrote, for all that he
chose the science-fiction form — and he was a prime examplar of it. He
was a true polymath and at the same time a virtuoso storyteller. He was
truly described as “one of the deep spirits of the age”.

AJAX IDE released

Friday, March 24, 2006

South Park Without Chef

South Park won't be the same without Chef - his songs, his horny nature, and his explanations to the kids were a key part of the show. Some analysis of the episode "The Return Of Chef", shot post the announcement of the departure of Isaac Hayes is over at Blogcritics.

In his eulogy for Chef, Kyle says "Some of us feel hurt and confused that he seemed to turn his back on us." That's quite a public admission of vulnerability coming from these macho pirates. After all, like L Ron Hubbard, Parker and Stone have many enemies.

On the surface, this episode looks normal, but it's not a typical South Park. The style of their animation is the same as ever. The narrative structure is customary. Like the returned Chef, it looks standard.



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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Magritte's Lovers

ARTas galleries

Some interesting art galleries here - worth browsing the ARTas Erotica gallery

Friday, March 17, 2006

Greasemonkey This!

Epic Records to Feature Artists on Xbox Live

The Artist of the Month feature on Xbox Live will have free exclusive artist content & high-definition music videos. Through the Xbox Live Game with Fame program, Live subscribers can also enter a monthly sweepstakes to win a chance to play against the musicians. The first artist in the AOM series is British singer-songwriter Natasha Bedingfield.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Always-On Digital Lifestyle - Sereniti's Smart Home Server

This is a Wi-Fi router with an on-board storage drive. It comes with a monthly subscription that gives you 24/7 support with setting up and managing your network connections,and keeping your firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software current and updated. And something unique: $1000 if you incur virus damage, and $25,000 for identity theft.

read more | digg story

machu picchu


machu picchu
Originally uploaded by mappamundi.
Wish I was there...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Is the Rise of Iran a Threat or an Opportunity?

Scientific Development can only benefit a nation - should we not cheer nuclear development, even on the part of Iran?

India Rising - The Big Scare - Is it warranted?

Very topical discussion on media portrayals of India that don't seem to have changed much despite the boom.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List

It's always good to get a pre-researched reading list, makes one's hyperconnected life a little more directed. Locus magazine published a recommended reading list from 2005 science fiction works in their February 2006 issue, selected by Locus editors and reviewers, as well as authors

Some great stuff, too much to really read or list here, but a few standouts:

If one had time enough...

Venice, Italy


Venezia
Originally uploaded by cuore di marmo.
I'm no Romeo, but I think I'd feel at home in Venice

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Doing It Right

Today's Dilbert has so much personal relevance

Cricket Diplomacy


Play cricket, not war

O'Reilly Continues To Bloviate

O'Reilly threatens a hapless caller for invoking the fell name of Olbermann - and still people will call:)

Hilarious Cartoon by Monk:




Friday, March 03, 2006

Blogger/Blogspot Censored In Pakistan

Another pointless blow against free speech.

Desicritic Teeth Maestro reports that Blogger has been censored in Pakistan

As I write this post on the 4th of March 2006 all sub-domains on Blogspot.com/Blogger carrying thousands of free blogs continue to remain censored for all internet users in Pakistan. The mess started on the 27th of February when the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority issued instructions to all ISP to block all websites displaying the controversial cartoon images of Prophet Muhammad.

Good grief!

A banner to demonstrate solidarity against this action, which is vitiated by the millions of options to get the word out, is also available.

RIM Reaches Settlement With NTP on Blackberry Patent Dispute

Apparently, RIM has reached a settlement in the long-running patent dispute with NTP on their ever-more popular Blackberry devices.


The settlement is for $612.5 million - Press Release here

More details later - leastways, I won't see my crackberry switch off abruptly, leaving me bereft from my mails, conference calls, etc.:)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Thomas Friedman at Yale Law School

A video of Thomas Friedman's talk at Yale Law School (Quicktime) recently - very interesting hearing his views.

Also, the first of a new series on Tom Friedman's book, The World Is Flat, at Desicritics

The whole controversy about Dubai's take over of Ports; India and USA
signing a Nuclear Deal; Pakistan and India moving towards peace through
trade and hence opting for the "Lexus"(Trade) and keeping the "Olive Tree"(Kashmir) in background would be more clearer if we look at them in view of "The Flat World."

Lightning quote

A quote I came across and really like:

"The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is
the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug" - Mark Twain


Monday, February 27, 2006

TV Review: The Apprentice Returns, And So Does The Donald

Perhaps one doesn't watch enough television, but one almost missed the premiere of the new season of Donald Trump's Apprentice. Were it not for Wal-Mart's in-store television network, one might have been hunting torrent sites and the ilk to sample the wares of the latest crop of corporate climbers, many of whom, if past seasons are any guide, would barely last in the halls of corporate America. Then again, were one to apply Peter's Principle, they might end up as successful vice presidents.

The new season has moved to Monday, and goes up against Fox's "24", ergo a DVR is essential for fans of both. Given the repetitive nature of "24" (Previously on...), that show is next on the line-up while we bore The Apprentice in near-real time.

This season features contestants that are apparently international, although there's not much discernible variety apart from 'the Russian' and a couple more 'diversity candidates,' as goes the phrase. The structure, at least in this episode was the same as before - two teams, "Gold Rush" and "Synergy" go head to head on a task that is little more than a fifteen minute advertisement for the product du jour, in this case, a Sam's Club Preferred Membership, which perhaps explains the Wal-Mart in-store advertising.

Neither team spent much effort on segmentation analysis or lead generation, preferring to go for straight in-store teasers and give-aways to induce existing customers to upgrade their membership. Well, one of the teams did explore lead generation, although the sum total of this involved a single call to a restaurant during the dinner rush asking if they were interested in the product offer. Fat chance!

The highlight of the evening was the scheming and plotting within the losing team after the results, and the resultant sniping in the boardroom. The Donald seems to have no love lost for people who interrupt his tirades, as the contesants would have known had they bothered to watch prior seasons (why didn't they?), thus, a more likely candidate was spared to excise another, who deserved expulsion perhaps equally, if not more. The episode wrapped up with the promise of further fireworks in coming weeks, although it's too early to tell who might survive the numerous shake-outs, screw-ups, dysfunctional tasks and who will trump the rest in this season of The Apprentice.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Peace At What Cost?

The Iraqi Conflict continues to spiral beyond manageability. Sanity prevails, but only in niche segments of the world, and a prayer that 'The Russians love their children too' might go unanswered today.

Juan Cole reports that Muqtada al-Sadr has called for peace, but in a veiled threat-laden manner.

Muqtada said, "The leaders of Friday prayers throughout Iraq, from the north to the south and from east to west, must call for this peaceful demonstration among all sections of the Iraqi population, who much not be divided as to battle cry. The Iraqi people is one, from north to south."

Muqtada also called for holding "joint Friday communal prayers with both Sunnis and Shiites in the mosques," affirming that "there are no Sunni or Shiite mosques; you are a single people." He added, "We want the Occupation forces out, even if on their own timetable, in an objective fashion, as they say." He said, "Our Iraq is passing through a big crisis, insofar as enemies are entering among brethren, and spreading turmoil among you."

RJ Elliott, in a culpatory piece, admits the war-mongers might have got things wrong, but asks 'What next?' and finds no easy answers.

What it was about, instead, was taking the public's post-9/11 rage,
massaging it a bit, and then channeling it into support for the
invasion and occupation of a weak, isolated anti-American regime in the
heart of the Middle East. It was an idealistic Wilsonian attempt to
re-make the entire world as safe for liberal democracy, while
destroying Islamic terrorism in the process.

And it didn't work.

....

It's been almost three years since the start of "Operation Iraqi
Freedom" and things are arguably getting worse, not better. If we leave
now, civil war is a given, and al-Qaeda is guaranteed to have a
safe-haven in the western part of Iraq from which to attack our allies
and possibly even our homeland. But if we stay, we will continue to
bleed young lives and throw billions of dollars into an endeavor that
has failed to meet any of its major stated goals.

What to do from here? I don't know. All I know is this: It Didn't Work.

Sorry...







Fear itself.

Desicritics.org - One Month Old

It's been a month since we launched Desicritics.org, a busy month, work-wise and DC-wise. I've been getting used to sleeping not before midnight, so posts get published in the new day.

It's been a pretty good month, far better than one expected when we conceived of Desicritics.org as an online magazine delivering quality news and opinion on all things South Asian with a global focus. Conceived by Eric Berlin as an extension of the successful paradigm established by Blogcritics publisher, Eric Olsen, and technically powered by Phillip Winn, I've been honored to do my part in creating a new reality, closer to the heart.

I do believe Desicritics, Blogcritics, and the ilk are the harbingers of Media 2.0, a citizens' response to big media, embodying the best of blogs as a personal communication medium, and the power of the collaborative, interactive paradigm. The paradigm reflects South Asia, the world's perceptions of the region, and vice versa through the blogosphere's ability to diffract news via opinion, delivering something more than news and opinion.

Eric Olsen commented once on the concept behind Blogcritics,
It's a place to the advantage of both the writers and the readers - they can interact - because we have open comments. You as the reader can participate in the ongoing discussion: you can agree, you can disagree, you can bring in new facts, you can reference materials that you think are important. I think that's something that sets us apart from the traditional media.


The exceedingly fine writers on Desicritics have consistently delivered a delightful variety of news and information on topics ranging from Rang De Basanti to the Cartoon protests. We've covered Arcelor, and joisted on the Indian Army in Kashmir. We've been noticed by the media and the blogosphere as well, and our regular readership continues to grow daily.

One month on, we've got over 160 writers, 100,000+ page views, we added on two more editors (temporal & Sujatha) and we're only just beginning.

Desicritics come from Pakistan and from Australia, from Bangladesh, Toronto, and Bangalore. If you'd like to be a Desicritic, mail us

Friday, February 24, 2006

Spiderman 3 - 2007

Spiderman 3

That's not black and white:)

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Time traveler, world traveler, book reader