Thursday, March 30, 2006

Google's new Search Interface

Google is working on a facelift it seems. Not for the home page but the search interface.
With a little java script, you can actually take a peek into what the geeks at google are upto.

Here is a link to how to take a peek at the new google search interface and a review by Ars technica. [via slashdot ]

There are a few steps that you have to follow carefully. It has been explained properly but the two guys at my office who I sent the link to yesterday couldn’t actually do it at first go.

So here goes again.

The script from that link is this:


You have to first type google into your explorer and when you get the google page,

You have paste that code onto the address bar, not the search bar.

Before you do that, copy that script and paste it into a notepad or word ( do paste special in word- without the formats)and take care that there are no line breaks. [ do a backspace]
It should be in a single line.

And change that to whatever domain you are in. or what whatever shows up when you type google.

Then paste.
Press enter or go.
Ignore any pop-ups.

Start searching.
You will see no change now except that the java script is still in the address bar.Just type anything you want to search into the search box and you will get this view. [ Link ]

Look at how the side bar on the right, with more google goodies.

Expect adwords below it. More of it.

The article that I linked to above, does a good review of the New search Interface that google might come out with. They talk about world dominance and stuff because the new layout seem to enticing more google searcher to use the other google goodies. And and of course the extra real estate they have managed to create in the search interface. And for left to right readers, the placement at the left seems like a wise choice, thinks the reviewer. Nice thoughts!

PS: Thanks to TCP for pointing out the mistake...

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Finance Blogs in India

It will take some time before we see a political blog of such popularity as Dailykos or Instapundit, and gossip blogs like Jossip. But with 1 million plus online trading accounts, and considering the fact that many traders rely on the internet for various trading related news and tips, a finance blog like dealbreaker should well.

Oh! Dealbreaker is a Financial blog by Ex-Gawker, Elizabeth Spiers [read Elizabeth Spiers returns to blogging], who used to work as an equity analyst before she joined Gawker and she says that she wanted to start Dealbreaker long time back until Gawker swallowed up most of her time. This will be an Interesting space.

I don't know how popular Rupya is amongst the trading community, but we sure do have a ready market. Time for a finance Gossip Blog.

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War of the Blogs II

...No, this is not a sequel to my last post on An army of davids Crashing the gates..

This is the Carr vs Scoble story if you haven't come across it. Started with this and it is now here.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Blog left or right?

via salon, the war of the blogs,
If you look closely, Blogistan Left and Blogistan Right do have distinct tones, behavior patterns and community structures. These differences are on view in two new books by leading bloggers from opposite sides of the political spectrum -- "An Army of Davids," by Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), and "Crashing the Gate," by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (founder of Daily Kos) and Jerome Armstrong (of MyDD).

Here is a review of both the both the books by Danny Glover .[ via Instapundit ]
As he says, both paint scenarios that are unfriendly, if not downright hostile, toward the folks who run the government, the media and more. From both sides.

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Blogging one's self esteem

Personal bloggers have found writing their posts to be powerful therapy. Putting their thoughts and ideas to keyboard, and then presenting them to the world is a courageous act. For many people, the personal blog might be their first entry into the internet community. That first step can be very frightening for many people. Once that initial hurdle is cleared, however, the blogger can continue posting with confidence. [ Link ]

This article talks about how Blogging builds one's self esteem, which could be quite true. I have often encouraged people to start blogging, but the usual reply I get is , " What will I write", or like someone said how could I open up myself to people I don't know. But when I do start to write and a few people start reading them and leave a warm comment behind, it sure does a lot of good for his/her self esteem. " People are accepting me for what I feel and write" and I have made people who would fall on the boundaries of introversion, but you wouldn't have realised it when you read his/her blog. And the same introverted guy now have a common ground to start a talk. A common ground or the lack of one is what keeps an usually introverted guy to join in talk. Oh! I love blogging, and yeah for the Hyper- extroverted people like yours truely, we just assume anybody and everybody who writes a blog is a FRIEND. From a common House or Society eh!! Read this article, the one above.

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100Mbit Bluetooth by 2008

Very Soon, data transfer speed of Bluetooth would go up 100 times.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) on Tuesday paved the way for the next-generation of Bluetooth, which will be capable of transferring data over 100 times faster than current devices. The wireless technology will be used for the streaming of audio and video in the home. [ link ]

This is just great news, imagine sending a 50 MB video file like you are sending an SMS. Eagerly waiting!!

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Lynch Them!

Hang them all.
Or Better lynch them.
They were so obviously high with power that they shot a lady who happened to protest what?Who protested when they eve teased!!! Yes eve teased, and eve teasing her daughter in law.
Meher Bhargava was shot, who later succumbed to the bullet wound, because she objected when some young men were eve teasing, her daughter in law.
A vivacious socialite, Bhargava had dared local goons who passed lewd remarks at her young daughter-in-law in the compound of a residential apartment, a stone's throw from the office-cum-residence of the district police chief. [ link ]
And she got shot! Why shouldn’t they get shot in return? These are the times when I think death penalty or torture are justified. Men have become too civilized, I mean us, not them or have we become cowards? Man! they should be mobbed and lynched.

I still remember when my Uncles ( My father elder bro and a younger one) once beat up a couple of guys, one of them a Minister Brat, at the gate of our house because they were passing lewd remarks at the neighbor’s young daughters. They were beaten black and blue and let go when they started running and shouted back that they will shoot my uncle. Well, it was their mistake. They were chased and beaten again, and had to be hospitalized for a long time. It was during a Kaang( Rath Jatra in Manipur).

My grandpa gave verbal thrashing for a few days to my uncles, because he had spent money on the hospital expenses and had to face the Parents of the brats. Another of my younger uncles commented that the uncles who actually beat the guys up had grown up in hard times and that we were still not quite uncivilized, like the Wild West. Justice was taken into one’s own hands to soon.

But I think we have become too civilized. Maybe it is a rant, and unrealistic, but the best solution for such crimes that strike at the heart of a social set-up, of civilization, is to adopt what my uncle called uncivilized means. I don’t know what our justice system will offer them in the form of punishment. Will the punishment deter future goons from repeating the same crime? If not, then there is no point even wasting valuable court time and resources. I understand that the justice system and the government is not in the business of taking revenge, but the punishment should be so harsh that such crimes are not repeated.

The sentence should serve as a deterrent to future power kids from misusing their Power. I don't like the sound of the MLAs though.

The culprits should be Punished, otherwise Meher Bhargava would have died in vain.
Nobody will dare ever raise a voice against any injustice, if voices could be silenced so easily.

Desipundit is spearheading a campaign for justice.
Do join in.
Blog about it.
Lets do our bit.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blogging grammar

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Baghdad Burning for Literary Prize

The RiverbendBlog, popularly known as Baghdad Burning, is on the list for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction writing. Great going Riverbend.. [ link ] This is something more noteworthy than a book deal...

Riverbend began the blog in September 2003 with the words: “I’m female, Iraqi and 24. I survived the war. That’s all you need to know. It’s all that matters these days anyway.” I have been reading riverbend for that long. I was inspired and I even wanted to start an anonymous blog writing about the plight and real truths of Manipur, but then I figured out that people would suspect it was me anyway.

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Manipuri Weight Lifter Still going strong at 38

After amassing 67 medals in a career spanning 17 years, the iron woman from Manipur feels that she still can add a few more. [more]

Kunjarani Devi won't quit as yet..

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Laptop Upgraded

Just added an extra 512 DDR ram to my Lappy and My! Is it running fast?
Wanted to add a 1GB but I thought it wouldn't be of much use now, and anyway when Vista do get released I might want to change the laptop altogether.( Oh! I am never gonna add free OS on my machine).

Been Kinda busy, and thank god for my drafts, I am still updating my Bachelor cooking blog.

Wanted to write about this anti-abortion thing going on here

Anti-abortionists inspired by the militancy of the movement in America are adopting tactics associated with animal rights extremists in an escalating campaign of intimidation.

The latest victims of harassment by a group called UK Life League are the pupils and teachers at a Catholic girls school in Surrey. The head teacher of Woldingham School, Diana Vernon, has been accused of "child abuse" for providing sex education for her 14- and 15-year-old pupils as required under the national curriculum. Activists are being encouraged to bombard Ms Vernon with hate emails. [ link ]

I will write my views and stand on the same tomorrow.
I am kinda sick today, skipped lunch and all.
Even that musambi juice I had was bitter as poison... not that I have tasted poison...
Dinner too was bad... Gnite

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Funny One

I found this Clip very funny. Warning, it is 64 MB. Click here to download.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

ETA Ceasefire update

The plans for ceasefire as I blogged yesterday was a few hours too late.
ETA had already declared THE parmanent ceasefire .[ link]

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ETA plans Ceasefire

A parmanent ceasefire.
Such a move would be the first step towards peace for Eta. The organisation's actions have killed more than 800 people since 1968 in its fight to create an independent state in northern Spain and south-western France. [ Link ]

A very wise and constructive move I would like to add.

Even a Sinn Féin leader called today's announcement "an opportunity of historic proportions" reports the same article.

I would stop here before I start my sermon.
But it is an example that can be followed.
"Constructive" is the keyword.
I hope everybody will see that...

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Million dollar Ugly Websites

Plenty of Fish is already famous. It is amongst the top 10 dating sites in the world, but what made the The Internet sit up and talk is when It became canada's Top Adsense earner. $ 10000 a day, almost a Million a Quarter. And the Website is very very ugly. And it suddenly made people look around and just found that many successful websites are ugly. Ugly Websites don't necessarily make a lot of money but here are some surprising truths about ugly websites. [ via slashdot ]
Think about Craigslist and google.

Even Scoble is talking about it, not to mention that he evangelise about .Net and Microsoft, obviously. Plenty of Fish was written in .Net.

Well, what Plenty of Fish did was that it concentrated more on usability than design.
How easy it was for an user to navigate and use the site, because many internet users are not net or tool savvy. Don't scare them with complex site.
More than ugliness, it was more to do with the simplicity of the site that attracted the visitors.
I suddenly want to create an Indian version of Plenty of Fish. Even 10000 rupee a day from Sulekha would be very good money, eh!

On a lighter note, I am sure some percent of the adsense revenue must come from people who clicked the adsense because the site uglier than the already ugly adsense ads.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Plans to Revive Loktak Lake

People always ask me,” I heard that Manipur is so beautiful”, and whenever they do so, I remember my childhood visits to the Loktak lake a 236.21 sq km expanse of wetland. Of my school picnics to the tourist lodge, of my family visits, of the prawn pakoda’s on the way back at that small town market.

There are many more scenic spots in Manipur, more exotic, but the Loktak lake epitomizes the natural beauty of Manipur. I haven’t been there in a long time, and I heard it is polluted and weeds have overpopulated et al.

But I still remember those days, and even as a kid with very little knowledge of artistic beauty, It always enthralled me and you wanted to keep staring at the horizon across the huge Lake, and the small fishing boats and the floating island. In my arts class, whenever we were asked to draw Landscapes, or what we called scenery, we always drew a lake with small fishing boats and fisherman on them. I guess, Loktak Lake had similar impact on many of us.

I feel sad that the govt. takes so little care of the Lake and that many people are denied the beautiful Masterpiece of the Nature that Loktak Lake really is.

Imagine yourself standing on a Hillock, soft winds caressing your face, and hair, the weather not quite sunny and you are looking at a vast expanse of a lake almost still but with tiny ripples and you see small boats, not ones kept by the tourism department, or Shikhara for tourists, but small canoe like fisherman boats. You will also these small huts on small floating inlands, some just small enough to fit a Hut. (These people live in abject poverty and the Loktak is their home).

There largest floating Island houses a Sanctuary where one can see the brow antlered deer or Sangai, a species of the deer to be found only on this habitat. With its Majestic antlers, it is sad that the species is endangered.

So it was music to my ears, err I guess it was my eyes, when I read this :
The future appears brighter for Manipur’s sprawling Loktak lake with the state government planning a massive makeover to turn it into a tourist hotspot.

As part of its multi-pronged plan to spruce up this largest freshwater lake in eastern India, the Okram Ibobi Singh government had engaged an Australian consultant to formulate a strategy following suggestions from the Planning Commission.

A project has since been formulated at a cost of Rs 400 crore and it will be forwarded to the Centre for necessary funding. [link]

I just hope the plan remains just that a plan, and a report. It will boost the tourism industry to a great extent.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Sexual abuse of minors and Schools

TOI reports:
The headmaster of an Orissa residential school has been arrested for sexually exploiting minor girl students. [Link]
What is it about school teachers, headmasters, hostel wardens that we often hear news about one of them sexually abusing a child? I am not talking about the likes of Duncan Grant and Allen Walters, who purposefully set up an establishment for the said purpose, but of the numerous cases of Sexual abuse in educational establishments and children homes.

I am not generalising here, and I don't have facts and figures to support my statement, except the fact that sexual+abuse+school threw up 20100 google result from India whereas, only sexual+Abuse threw up 54800. That is a good percentage( rather BAD) even if we filter out Junk Data or results. But we do hear a lot of cases of abuse my School Employees.

Other than some demographic profiles like salary, education etc, the mental make-up of a school teacher and warden( usually a teacher is the warden) cannot be very different from the general populace. This is a worrying fact.
Does this mean that, there will be more number of cases if more people had access to a group of helpless Kids away from home, IN YOUR SAFE CUSTODY????

Because other than the fact that these people are close to the victims, and are trusted by the victims, they are no different from any normal person. Does is mean that there are many people out there with a Latent desire. If that be the case, then the lawmakers must make sure that whenever caught, the accused must be given Punishments which will should be a very strong deterrent. The fear of the punishment so dreadful that the latent desire remains latent for all future accusers.

Something more dreadful than Death!

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Islam and Terrorism

Islam is against attack on places of worship of other religions. It was stated by Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees Hind general secretary Asgar Ali Imam Mehdi Salafi at a press conference here on Friday. [ link ]

But of course! Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. Neither has any of the causes, but then they do need a cover. It is just that we are such suckers at times.

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Blogs as PR

Big Businesses seem to have taken into Blogging big time as a PR exercise, on the lines of, that is.

Once dismissed as a forum for pedantic, pyjama-clad insomniacs, the blogosphere is now smashing down the barriers to information and achieving parity with the big guns of old media. At least, PR companies certainly think so. Bloggers have become a powerful conduit for stealthy, word-of-mouth marketing that can make or break the image of a company.

Microsoft stumbled on this a few years ago when one of its workers started blogging about himself. Robert Scoble, employed as a technical evangelist, has been credited with making Microsoft appear less the evil, corporate bully and more the community-minded good guy. Scoble's honest, self-deprecating has turned him into a cyber celebrity, and achieved what years of expensive PR failed to do: helped to humanise Microsoft. [ Link ]

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Fined Indeed!!

Cadbury fined Rs 2500 for repacking a year-old chocolate;
A fine of Rs 2500 for a £ 6.5 Billion company.
Corporates must love India, such gross disrespect for the consumer.

Now what is a FINE?
Why was cadbury fined in the first place?
Apparently it was proven that cadbury was cheating its consumers, otherwsie it wouldn't have been fined at all. But a fine of Rs 2500.

Magga was awarded compensation of Rs 2500 on account of the mental agony and towards litigation cost.

Magga has to be the victim, and yeah, we have learnt to borrow Phrases from the WEST, like "Mental Agony". For such mental agony, an American sonsumer would have been awarded a multi million settlement. And I didn't know litigation cost was so cheap. [ Now I can sue all mobile companies for billing me wrong, and reliance for charging me 1600 rupee a month for thier lousy dial-up 0.5 KBPS connection. Now, I am paying 600 a month for a 256 KBPS broadband connection. Well, they survive on suckers like me. ]

And aren't fines suppose to act as a deterrent? So that the accused commit no such acts in the future. Would a fine of Rs 2500 really have mattered to cadbury. Now what if the victim had died after consuming the chocolate? Oh! I forgot about Union Carbide.

India should in principal be a far better FDI destination than China or elsewhere. Oh! How they must be waiting to enter our market. I too love free markets, but we need to do something about our law makers. Law keepers and Peacemakers are doing just fine. Too Fine to be precise.

Maybe that's why we do see all this encounter killings, and Daya Nayaks.

Oh! on another news, I don't know if Hari will get a One crore settlement..

An 11-year-old boy has sent a legal notice to a job website claiming damages of Rs 1 crore for using part of his name 'Hari' allegedly in a derogatory manner.

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Navi Mumbai clash....

When I wrote about the rubber bullets in the last post, I didn't know the situation in which the policemen had to open fire. But it seem liked a small contingent of police were surrounded from both sides by the clashing groups.
One person died in the group clash, while two were killed in the police firing that took place after both groups cornered a small police contingent and targeted it with stones and other objects, police said. [more] but it is the police version, but again Mobs can be crazy...

But then there are people dead. Looks like the rioting had much more to do than meets the casual eye. It started out as Vilagers of Ghansoli vs Mathadis(porters), but the scope has changed to Agri vs new settlers. And a very nice political angle to it.. Agris were the old settlers of Navi mumbai who were compensated long time back for their agricultural land which was boughtout by the govt. for development. As usual, the money that recieve are long gone, they still live in villages, they no more have agriculatural land to till, while the erstwhile agriland have teeming with Buildings. The resentment have been festering for long. Afterall they only had a very short term direct benefit, long time back. So an incident sparked the riot.

And the usual political twist is all over the press to read like here, and here .

The riots was on till yesterday, no updates for today...

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fools' Collective

Unity is strength or something to that effect!
Was it a TV doordarshan’s educational commercial or was it in some book?
Somebody breaking a twig, and then some twigs are bundled together and he tries to break it, to no avail. Unity is Strength.

So true, indeed.
We have seen it in our freedom struggle, we have seen the Suffragists, and we have seen many revolutions fought on the strength of Unity.
United we stand, they say.

Now, does a Mob qualify for unity as we know?
Well, I guess so. Strong, they are, for sure, these mobs.
We have seen enough riots to doubt it. The damage they can cause could only be compared to a natural force like the Tsunami or The Katrina.

But are mobs wise? How does a mob think?
Yes, certain rioting mobs have been known to be instigated by politicians, but are we kidding ourselves. Just blaming the politicians as if there have never been a Mob who started without an evil politician fanning them. There are enough politicians who do the fanning, but the Mob as mobs should be is already irrational. Opportunist that they are, politicians just use them.

Mobs have never been known for their wisdom though. Herd mentality can best be described by the stock market, even in very mature markets.

There was a riot at Ghansoli area in Navi Mumbai on the Thane Belapur road, and some people were dead. Police firings you see. I don’t know if the police couldn’t have used Tear gas and rubber bullets. Shooting at Rioters is something every repulsive. On the one extreme it is taking donkey’s years to give a fitting sentence to some proven rioters who actually killed innocents, and one the other extreme, the police is shooting rioters. But that wasn’t the point.

Apparently, some person molested a girl. He/they did something very wrong.
The molester should have been punished.
The molester happened to be from one community, different from that of the girl.
It was wrong for the community of the girl to accuse the community of the molester, but they did anyway. What had gotten my goat was the fact that, the community of the Molester stood as one, Mob mentality, and instead of punishing the Molester, because he was first from their community and then a molester, the fought the attacking community. Maybe it started out as a self defense, but it ended up in a riot anyway.

A foolish act. Leading to several foolish acts. Left a few men dead.
Nobody would even ask about the poor girl who was molested.
And the police have shot real bullets at rioters.
I though they always use rubber bullets.

News about the riot.

On a better note, Kunjarani Devi, who hails from MANIPUR won India's first gold medal of the 18th Commonwealth Games in the women's 48 kg weightlifting in Melbourne on Thursday.

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Riot in New Mumbai

There is a riot happening at the Ghansoli area, which is on the Belapur road in Navi Mumbai, near Kopar Khairane, before you reach Vashi.
As of 1:47 when the last email was circulated in the office, the police have been given firing orders. Casualty have increased to 12 people.

We have been advised to stay in the office premises only. My office is just a step away from Ghansoli.

Vashi however has not been unaffected.

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Manipur and Holi in news and here

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Flickr has Competition

Elsewhere, Kristopher Tate, a 17 year old is giving Flickr a run for it Pictures..... with Zooomr

..........Zooomr has a similar interface as flickr but does a lot more. You can choose to create an account or just use one of five other credentials to set up an account (Level9, OpenID, LiveJournal, Google (Gmail) or Meetro. The functionality is the same. Zooomr also offers the site in 15 languages.[more]

And hey, check out this Amazing slide show of some young techpreneurs. Under 30 and working on making the biggest impact on Technology. Business week culled it from Venture Capitalists.

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Happy Holi to you All

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The Million Dollar Homepage

Indian joins The Million Dollar Homepage CLONE bandwagon. But isn't she a bit too late.
So is rediff in reporting the same.

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Technorati wins Prestigious US Web Award

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Mr Murdoch Thinks Media Power is Moving to Bloggers

"Power is moving away from the old elite in our industry - the editors, the chief executives and, let's face it, the proprietors," said Mr Murdoch,

On the Net, "It is a creative, destructive technology that is still in its infancy, yet breaking and remaking everything in its path. We are all on a journey, not just the privileged few, and technology will take us to a destination that is defined by the limits of our creativity, our confidence and our courage." ..Words of Wisdom Mr Murdoch... [more]

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Death of a Death merchant!

Milosevic, who presided over wars and slaughter in which more than 250,000 people died, was found dead in his prison cell yesterday - cheating justice for a final time. [Full report here]

He suffered from what the desease of power addiction.
No substance is as addictive as power and power over the life and death of another Human have been the main cause of all evils. It is more addictive than oil.

Want to feel it?
Just hold the cold steel of a gun and feel it in your hand.
Look down the muzzle.

You will find the answers to all wars and terrorism alike.

Religion, freedom, hate are just excuses.

Slobodan Milosevic's goal was never freedom but power..
Who would have believed that this man would rise so far and destroy so much? Born in provincial Pozarevac in 1941 he was the second son of recent Montenegrin immigrants. His father had trained for the priesthood but, after the war, abandoned his family and committed suicide in 1962. Milosevic and his brother were brought up by their strait-laced communist school teacher mother Stanislava, who in 1972 was also to take her own life. [read more]

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

99 billion $ and counting

The combined net worth of Indian Billionaires have the largest wealth concentration in Asia even surpassing Japan. China lags far behind.

Sounds good isn't it?

Or, is it something to do with the vast divide between haves and have nots.
Or, does it mean we still have more private owners?

But it is good to see KP Singh and Uday Kotak there.
Much to learn..

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Another Molest by security personnel

A housewife was allegedly molested and her husband thrashed by security personnel in Bishenpur district of Manipur prompting locals to threaten a stir if action is not taken against the errant personnel. more.....

When I write that security forces molests a woman, or that they mete out certain acts of Human rights violation, it doesn't mean that I am supporting the cause that security forces are fighting. I repeat, asking for dignity to live in my own home doesn't mean that I am supporting any cause. It is not zero sum. I am against any acts of Human's Right's intrusions.

When I select only acts of violence and human rights abuse by security personnel, it is only so because they are suppose to be on the side of the innocent citizens who are caught in between. And not treat them with disdain just because they are doing their job. "tell any holocaust survivor, I am just following orders"

Better a hundred criminals go free than punish an innocent one is the Maxim on which our Laws and Constitution have been formulated. Why don't it apply when it is a fight againts militancy. Why do innocent people suffer?

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Google buys writely

While Microsoft was busy buying Tool bar companies and looking for a better mousetrap, oops search engine, Google has acquired Writely, an online word processing tool, for an undisclosed amount….err in an overt challenge to Microsoft on the office space.

Microsoft haters are exited.
Like Marc Benioff of ( the former oracle guy) who said that it was “the most important and strategic acquisition Google has done.” reports red herring

The cost of being big eh!!

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Google has arrived, at Last!

I knew about click frauds all the time.
Comeon, it was so easy to figure out.
If google charges an advertiser, on a per click basis, I could click away on a text ad all day.
I even asked a great programming buddy, who have written some amazing codes, if he could write a click bot. Not with an intention to steal though but to see if it would be possible.

But some bummer could have written the same or even clicked away at text ads.
Apparently, many people have been doing the same, and google have been charging its advertiser all the same. Too bad, the courts think that google could have done better than that.
Comeon, people are talking about the google warchest, and all the new google kits in the playpen. They didn't do much to stop click frauds.

With XXL size come XXL size settlements. Ask microsoft.
Well, Google has joined the ranks of Goliaths paying lawsuit settlements.
Google will pay $90 million in order to settle a nationwide class action lawsuit over accusations that it was overcharging advertising customers by billing them for false clicks.

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Does all outsourcing necessarily benefit a company?

I have never been a great advocate of outsourcing( BPO to be more precise), not that I am againts free markets and liberalisations, but it have never appealed to me. I wouldn't mind managing a BPO unit though. It is highly lucrative. And there still are opportunities for canny enterpreneurs.

I found an article today, on the long term costs and short term benefits for most of the customer facing outsourcing contracts, which today makes up a bulk of the Outsourcing business. As it says, outsourcing (customer facing processes for this artcle) will never give you a sustainable competitive advantage because your competitor can also go and buy the same service from the open market to do the same thing (equally poorly). Read more

But hey! I am not at all talking about this..

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I came, I saw, I bought

What Microsoft don't have yet, it will buy.
I didn't check my bloglines for two days and MS has already bought this company and this.

First one is an ammo for the fight for shelf space at the tool bar which is already cluttered, and the second is of course for Vista.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Blank Noise Project

This is my entry to Blog-a-thon at Blank Noise Project:

“You can write about anything related to the topic: testimonies, opinions on harassment, comments about the Blank Noise project, would all be great. It doesn't matter where you're from, where you live, or whether you're a man or a woman - we'd love to have you on board.”

So if you are reading this post and if you have anything to about this topic, do blog about it.
I know it would take much more than your post to stop street harassment, but it might make a difference.

I will also keep myself to street harassment and eve teasing, which is the scope of the Blog-a-thon. I have not made up my mind as to what I want to write, but I will just start anyway.

A Gentlemen, always always (sic) makes one feel comfortable.
A gentleman will not do things that will be uncomfortable to someone else, and even if he does so, he always apologizes and tries to make him/her comfortable. Says a book that I once read at a friend’s, “How to be a gentleman”?

But not all men are gentlemen you see.
And street harassment continues.

Imagine for once that it was your sister or girlfriend in the shoes of the victim.
How would you feel?
Eve-teasing, harassment and feel-ups are things that happen to a lot of women, everyday. Blank noise project wants people to speak out. It just might make a difference, for as long as people keep quite about it, the perpetrators of the same will continue doing so thinking that they could get away with it or worse, thinking that it was OK to do so.

Almost Every girl have had come across street harassment. Since I decided to write about the same, I asked some friends if they have had an experience of such, and the answers were 100% affirmative.
Not a good sign.

I still don’t know what could be done so that street harassment stops, and I believe it will some day.
Eve teasing, I don’t think is as prevalent as it used to be a decade or two back. As more and more people are getting jobs, with a good economy, with lesser number of street Romeos, I think in percentage, the instances of eve-teasing must have increased (an assumption). But then, there was good old harmless teasing cum flirting like the Mithundas and Akshay Kumars did a la late early 90’s movies, which according to me, ladies, is fine. Even I did, and I always got smiles or flirted back. (It is a little off the track but do read on…) But I know that girls can make out the difference. Of pure flirt and of lecherous advances.

Back in college, when I used to openly flirt with hitherto unknown strangers of the opposite sex, my friends would always tell me, “Hey Anthony, marwayega kya?” Are you going to get us thrashed? I never got slapped, nor thrashed, but gained a lot of friends from amongst the girls. And I learnt that most girls do enjoy a kind admiring attention. But my friends thought that I was crazy. You know, engineering college students, no courage to talk to girls let alone strangers types. I thought they were too, maybe too proper.

Then one day, one such guy felt up a batch mate on the last days of our college, in the college bus. He was apparently drunk, which was no excuse for what he did, and then did some more. The girl slapped him, but to the utter surprise of the girl, the guy slapped him back. It led to a lot of tension in the college, but that is not the point. I am trying to make a point here. Of the difference between flirting with a stranger and of harassment per se.

The difference between the two can be compared with an internet based analogy. Of the difference between asking “hi wanna chat A/S/L please” and saying “cute ID, are you naked?” in the late 90’s chatrooms. I am not endorsing the former, but then I just wanted to make sure that no one confuses, befriending a girl with street harassment. Otherwise I will never get to know a new girl unless I have a solid referral. Jokes apart, I know when a girl can make out the difference. The key word is discomfort. If your advances make the other uncomfortable, do a tactful retreat. Be a gentleman.

And any form of unwanted advances, is harassment. Be it is an isolated street or in a crowded disco. Never do insist. If you don’t know how to make a pass, then don’t. If she says no, consider it a no. Uski naa ka matlab ha nahin hein Boss. This, I have learnt. Key word “ Tactful Retreat”. This was about flirting which I though would be confused with street harassment.

Other than this is what is known as cheap thrill. Somebody feeling you up or rubbing. Now this is not only cheap, but horrible and disgusting. I knew this horrible guy with the height of a midget, who also gave me some unforgettable raggings, who would travel in a crowded public bus from one end of the city to the other whole day just to be in the crowd. Nobody liked him, and it used to disgust us because we knew he did that.
Another is pure eve-teasing, of unwanted sitis (whistle), and chamak challos and nasty remarks, not admiring but leching or disrespectful gestures. To those guys who think we have every right to admire a beauty, girls I know have told me that they know when someone is genuinely admiring or leching. If you want to lech, go buy yourself a porn magazine.

There is only one remedy though. The guilty must be punished. In Pune, there are considerably lesser eve teasing cases because the police in plainclothes would hang out in crowds and even crowded busus especially during festivals to catch hold of eve teasers. I think that is a very effective exercise and should be practiced everywhere, all year long. Every year, hundreds of people are reprimanded.

I will keep posting whenever there is news related to harassment.

But if, by banning even the instances of flirting and teasing that I mentioned as I approve of, street harassment will stop, then so be it. It is a small price to pay. I can always ask for a referral.

One small advice to girls. If you travel by local train or walk often in busy street, carry a small haversack or back pack which can be hung from the shoulder. Hanging it on the front is very effective, and you will look kinda cool. My ex girlfriend always did that and told me it was quite effective. She used it to hit people also, If she suspects she was bumped.

And learn kick boxing. Learn to give back as you take.
But if a guy admires your beauty, he might also be your future partner. Don’t immediately discount him as a satan. Love at first sight, anyone? It only happen between strangers right. I for one, always smile at a girl.

Please Support the Blank Noise Project

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bad Education

[ Caution: Adult content, but it is a small film review too]

I am just a normal human being, who thought that any other sexuality than hetero is abnormal. At least I grew up thinking so.
[ I also read somewhere that the only abnormal sexual behavior is not having any]

And I don't know if it is abnormal but porn movies don’t quite disgust me. However I do find certain kinds of sexual behavior quite unpleasant to watch. Like, two naked male crawling on each other’s skin isn’t quite amusing to me.

Then I grew up further, and begin to realize that it was a matter of individual choice and as long as the partners consent, it was fine. There is nothing abnormal to it. And I still enjoy erotic scenes in a Movie.

Then I watched, Pedro Almodovar’s Bad education ( La Mala educacion or las Visitas), which had child sexual abuse in a religious school and same sex sex ( 0f males). The former, I can never accept, the later I thought I would not watch. But the movie was so well made, I watched it all through and didn’t notice if I found anything repulsive. The sex scenes were interwoven so skillfully with the storyline, I didn’t even notice it. Every scene had a story to tell.It was two movies in a script, with actors playing the actors, and characters outperforming the other. Only the two movies are about the same. As if a mirror is looking into a mirror, with an end that kept me gasping. It is one of those rare movies that make you want to make movies. It is the story of two boarding school boys in love and it depicts child sexual abuse by a teacher, who was in love with one of the two boys, and the repercussions of the same that will form the crux of the story. The depictions of the same were done without any overt dramatization, but in the way that it must really happen to real people.

The relationship between the teacher and the boy will lead to a chain of events that keeps unfolding like a box that opens to reveal another box and so on.

Gael García Bernal is such an amazing actor, and how he slipped in and out of two characters and three names. Oh! There are enough surprises, from unexpected corners to keep you glued to the seat. It is about betrayal, of unusual love, of revelations that will make you cringe. Watch out for, when Enrique Goded( played by Fele Martínez ) told Gael ( Angel) when confronted, that he kept pretending because he wanted to see how far Angel would go and how much he could take.

The ending again was awesome, when he opened that unfinished letter.

PS: The plot has not been revealed here.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Dubya Smiles at India....

..But fellow congressmen seem not too happy.

In concluding its nuclear deal with India, the Bush administration faces significant opposition in Congress and tough questions from its allies on whether the arrangement could set a precedent encouraging the spread of nuclear weapons to Iran and other potential foes of the United States.

In defense.......... "The comparison between India and Iran is just ludicrous," R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, said Thursday in a telephone interview. "India is a highly democratic, peaceful, stable state that has not proliferated nuclear weapons. Iran is an autocratic state mistrusted by nearly all countries and that has violated its international commitments."

I am not much of a supporter of anything to do with Death, but at the same time I am glad that US is opening up its door to its Defense Treasure Trove.
The best case scenario would have been where Nobody had any weapons of Death but since it is unlikely that, such a case would ever happen in the near future, and since the government will continue to buy arms, we better be buying the best and have access to the best technology.
And we are building Nuclear capability anyway.

By the way, will the enriched fuel go back to the USA, after we have used the Nuclear generated Power?
And that "open to inspection" is open to all Nuclear Facility or only where there have been Assistance?

But of course, I want to live in a world where there are no weapons of Assault. But as long as somebody else is walking around with one, I better keep mine too well oiled and cocked.

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Millionth mark


Wikipedia has recorded its millionth registered user for its English-language website and anticipates a milestone double-whammy this week as the millionth article is published.

BTW, at last count, few months back Skype had 54 million registered users , had hit 100 millionth downloads about a year back.

Huskype: And hey, I just found out why Skype has the popularity, and of course the 4 billion dollars. PC to PC, PC to phone and all else remaining constant, there is another very special thing about Skype that few clones will be able to copy.

It sexifies (sic) the voice so much you want to keep talking and talking :-D

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Rape Tape

A judge did threatened an alleged rape victim that she might be charged with contempt of court if she refuses to watch a videotape of the rape, though he backed off at the end.. [ more ] and [some more]..

Like what they say, a rape victim gets raped again and again long after the ordeal.
A movie maker shows a rape scene, with a seemingly good intention and a respectable, social theme, but the victim gets raped again and again in the minds of the viewers. Maybe your boyfriend sitting next to you is doing just the same . And, they dare ban Cigarettes and Animals from movies.

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Have you read all thist?

Few of February's most read articles... few I already linked, few I haven't...

This news was on my Birthday..

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bush administration officials said they had been caught by surprise when they were told on Tuesday, Aug. 30, that a levee had broken, allowing floodwaters to engulf New Orleans.
But Congressional investigators have now learned that an eyewitness account of the flooding from a federal emergency official reached the Homeland Security Department's headquarters starting at 9:27 p.m. the day before, and the WhiteHouse itself at midnight. [ link]

And Cutting back your diet won't make you less prone to Deseases

The largest study ever to ask whether a low-fat diet reduces the risk of getting cancer or heart disease has found that the diet has no effect. [ link ]

Good Shot, on V-day..
The 78-year-old lawyer shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident over the weekend suffered a minor heart attack early Tuesday caused by birdshot lodged in his heart, hospital officials in Texas said. [ link ]

And after neo-conservatism

...................By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy:
Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as a magnet, a training ground and an operational base for jihadist terrorists, with plenty of American targets to shoot at. [ link ]

Gosh....I am blogging so early in the morning...

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Of Flesh and Bones

...... Cameron Diaz may have come a long way since the days of The Mask but The Mask was when she looked her best(est). Amazingly sexy. And Women still starve. Gorge on those sinful delights ladies!!!

I was watching a rerun of the same, and quite enjoying it too..

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