Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What ASIMO Robot sees?

Based on visual information, Honda's ASIMO can interpret the positioning and movement of a hand, recognizing postures and gestures. Thus, ASIMO can react not only to voice commands, but also to the natural movements of human beings.

read more | digg story

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100 Photos That Changed the World

You're probably seen most of these, some you probably haven't. Only a few pictures have had an impact that effected the entire world. These pictures are them.

read more | digg story

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The Evolution of Honda's Asimo Robot 1986-2006

Looking at the progress Honda's made in robotics the last 20 years makes you wonder what robots will be like in the next 20 years.

read more | digg story

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

iRiver Clix 2GB PMP

The newest iRiver Clix 2GB PMP media player does away with pesky nav buttons. No Buttons, just screens. The screen itself is a four-way rocker -- you press down on an edge to navigate.

read more digg story

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Baby born with 3rd arm

The boy, identified only as "Jie-jie," also was born with just one kidney and may have problems that could lead to curvature of the spine, local media reports said. Jie-jie cried when either of his left arms was touched, but smiled and responded normally to other stimuli, the reports said.
Warning: (terrifying picture)

read more | digg story

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Monday, May 29, 2006

NASA Dream for Orissa Kids facing Roadblocks

Four school students from Rourkela have bagged the second prize in the prestigious 'Space Settlement Design Contest' conducted by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) AMES Research Centre in USA in March 2006.

The NASA space centre has invited Ullahs, Amitav, Asim and Soumya of the Ispat English Medium School, Rourkela, but the budding scientists are finding it hard to realise their dreams because of lack of sponsorship.[via]

While the government is busy trying to distribute jobs and admissions based on Caste, Class and Creed, these meritorious students are finding it hard to make to it their Dream Destinations because of lack of funding. This is not new.

The quantitative analysis professor back in my B-school had a similar story to tell, and we had shed tears of joy when he shared a story he had never shared with anybody. He was quite a recluse, an introvert and talked only statistics and stuff, when on Teachers day we asked him to share some personal story. He was never asked, perhaps, and he had opened up, then, a flood of emotions. How he struggled as a child, as a teen and as a youth newly married, and a job ultimately as a professor.

His work on some algorithm had won him accolades from far and was invited to Germany to help develop a traffic synchronization system for the German Autobahn or some convention regarding the same. Not to mention he was elated. The government refused to fund his Air ticket. He was OK with that and wrote back. The German embassy sent him the ticket and he had a royal treatment in Germany, Limousine pick up and five star hotels. He never looked back since. He was lucky. But there are hundreds like the kids above, who for the lack of funding miss such opportunities. Too bad they don’t have reservations eh.

I am writing this post hoping someone might listen. They need at least Rupees five lakhs to go visit Nasa.

Amrit has blogged about it first, here, Alka left me the link. She also blogged about it, here. And Tarun's post here.

Keep blogging about it. I will try to update link roll.

And please click here to digg the story.

My Sensible Adsense might just even work, if 1000 blogs with average 200 hits a day were to put up adsense units from the same account, we might be able to raise $10000 in a month. Just a thought. Are there a 1000 willing Bloggers?...

read more digg story

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Researchers develop OLED illuminated surfaces

Imagine a house without a single light fixture - but instead walls, ceilings, furnishings, and accessories all sources of light. Thanks to research at Princeton University and the University of Southern California (USC), almost any surface in a building can become a light source with OLEDs.

read more | digg story

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Australian search engine 'wows' Google

Rob Pike, a senior Google engineer, tells how he was amazed by an Australian search engine tool developed by 26-year-old student Ori Allon. Pike says he sees a lot of demos of systems at universities, but "this is the first time I've walked out and said: 'Wow! We should buy this stuff'. So it's pretty unique."

read more | digg story

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Video of Biodegradable Plastic Bottle Decomposing

A company in Colorado has come up with a water bottle for their spring water that totally biodegrades in about 80 days. It's a type of plastic made from corn.

You can watch the time-elapsed video on their site.

read more | digg story

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Cancel Your CreditCards Before You Die

A lady died this past January, and Citibank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00, now is somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Citibank. Here's the call...

read more | digg story

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Patient kills doctor!

A 28-year-old doctor was killed Sunday after an aggrieved patient pumped 13 bullets into his body outside a hospital in the crowded Gole market area here, police said.

Apparently, the patient thought he was impotent, and felt that his case had worsened after the doctor treated him. Hell hath no fusy as a men castrated eh!

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Java Death Toll crosses 4600.

Earlier today, It was 3000, as I had blogged.
Rescue workers dug more bodies from rubble Sunday, a day after a powerful earthquake flattened thousands of houses in Indonesia's densely populated Java island, bringing the death toll over 4,600, with tens of thousands left homeless.

read more digg story

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Amnesty International campaigns against net repression

Amnesty International has taken up the cause of repressive use of the Internet.
BBC reports that Internet users are being urged to stand up for online freedoms by backing a new campaign launched by human rights group Amnesty International:


"Amnesty is celebrating 45 years of activism by highlighting governments using the net to suppress dissent."

"The campaign will highlight abuses of rights the net is used for, and push for the release of those jailed for speaking out online."

"Called, the campaign will revolve around a website with the same name. While the human rights group has run separate campaigns about web repression and the jailing of net dissidents before now, will bring them all together. "

"Chinese journalist Shi Tao is serving a 10-year jail sentence for sending an e-mail overseas which detailed the restrictions the Chinese government wanted to impose on papers writing about the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre."

"Hi-tech firm Yahoo helped identify the journalist via his e-mail account. Amnesty is calling for the jailed journalist to be released immediately. "

"The Amnesty campaign will seek to get net users to sign a pledge that opposes repressive use of the net. The pledges will be collated and presented to a meeting of the UN's Internet Governance Forum that is due to meet in Athens in November 2006."

"Amnesty wants to get people using an icon in e-mail signatures or on websites that contains text from censored sites."

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Volcano Fear after EarthQuake, Indonesia

Death toll in Indonesia after the earthquake yesterday tops 3000 and fears for more.
Nearby Mt Merapi also continues to spew ash and lava and it is feared that the volcano might erupt. The Guardian reports.
The quake was the worst to hit Indonesia since the one that resulted in the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004, which left 170,000 people dead or missing on the northern tip of Sumatra.[Source: The Guardian]

But the earthquake seem to have no links with the volcanic activity. Experts say that the earthquake has no ties to the volcanic activity at Mt. Merapi.
Many people wondered whether the devastating quake was related to the extremely high volcanic activity of Mt. Merapi, the Jakarta Post daily reported on Sunday.

However, a researcher at the National Coordinating Agency for Surveys and Mapping, Priyadi Kartono, said Merapi's stirrings had nothing to do with the earthquake despite its close proximity to the quake's epicenter, some 38 kilometers south of densely populated Yogyakarta.

"Mount Merapi cannot generate a tectonic quake, but the quake can affect the activity inside the volcano," said Priyadi. [source]

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Google Software on Dell PCs

BBC News reported that Computer giant Dell and internet search engine Google have reached a deal to install Google software on Dell's PCs before they leave the factory.

When Microsoft is busy trying inch into the online advertisement market, the bastion of google,(and yahoo), or rather the online Users, google is trying harder to get its share of the desktop market. While it takes time to cultivate dedicated online users, (which is why these giants pay such huge premium for user base), with this deal, Google will have a quantum jump in terms of desktop users.

Google is getting closer to world domination eh!

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Arcelor Merges with Severstal

Guardian reports: Arcelor merges with Russian steel group in final snub to Mittal's €25bn bid

Arcelor, the pan-European steel group, yesterday torpedoed Mittal's latest hostile takeover bid by buying Russia's Severstal in an agreed 13bn euro (£8.8bn) deal designed to create an "unrivalled global champion" out of reach of its Indian-owned predator. The friendly transaction will see Alexei Mordashov, who owns 89% of Severstal, take 32% of the new group and, potentially, become its chief executive and even owner within a few years.

......was personally approved by President Vladimir Putin in an effort to persuade the increasingly sceptical west that Russia is "an open market and keen on globalisation,"

But, but, if Mittal can manage the Gobble up the new entity, it would be Mittal who would have the laugh. I just hope that Mittal might do just that:-) and of course Alexei Mordashov, the chairman of Severstal.
Mittaljee go for it.....

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Rotten iPod, rotten Apple!

It freaked me out real bad when my iPod got hung that day. It's been working fine since.
The other day a colleague of mine asked me how to switch on his iPod which had blacked out for no apparent reason. I couldn't help.

Then I read this article, Is your iPod one of the bad Apples?

Apple, like most other manufacturers, refuses to accept responsibility for repairs even when machines break down within weeks of expiry of the one-year warranty.
Well, iPod is cool and all that, and the sound quality is amazing, but I have been hearing complaints. I never expected that Apple will disregard its customers. If apple wants to please it's cult follower, and they want to, they must relook at the warranty policy of iPod. Afterall iPod now forms a major chunk of Apple revenue, and profits.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

First half was good!!

I just watched Fanaa, and I am not sure if it will be a hit or a flop.
Amir Khan was amazing, and Kajol looked as pretty as ever.
It helped that she was more than generous with her show of the cleavage.

A tour guide flirting with a group of pretty tourists??
But Amir Khan carried it off so well, that I am afraid it might leave a precedence.

Amir asking Kajol, " Are you blind", and instead of the usual Hindi Movie answer, Kajol replied with a smile, " yes I am, can't you see. Are you blind too?" And Kajol looked cute... Generous dose of poetry, me suddenly wanted to learn poetry... the first half went pretty well..The Yash Chopra Feel good factor was there, in dollops.

After the interval, story went wobbly... Terrorist Based Movies don't do well Sir. Can you hear me, no we don't want to see the CIA type establishments in Hindi Movies and KGB is long gone.. Tabu was perhaps told to bore us to death, and she did acted her boring part well.. It bored me good. The anti-terrorist wing reminded of the Models Starrer movie December 16...

But But, KAJOL and Amir was worth the Ticket.... And the Kid actor is very cute, and funny.
Kajol is BACK ..

Amir Khan though is getting very very old. The age is showing...
He should start looking for roles that looks his age.

But he wasn't as bad as the posters, and the acting is still top class.. A1 they say....

Update: many people found the movie to b a crap, but Rashmi gave it a 4 star, it was mostly credited to the actors. Yes, like I said the actors were excellent. Kajol looked her best self, fresh as ever, the feeling you got when that gush of wind brushed her face with the score "Tujhe dekha to yeh Jaana". Amir Khan as I said looked old, as I said above, but other than the actors, I would also call it CRAP.... Had the movie continued in the rythm of the first half, it would have been a Hit. Somehow, they wanted to give it a James Bond- December 16 touch and then it went spiralling down.

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Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers

Problogger's Darren is inviting bloggers to a group writing project on Habits of Highly effective Bloggers. Having written blogs, for 3 years odd, and still struggling for visitors and google referrals, I have observed the blogging habits of many effective bloggers, and these are some of what I have learnt. One has to do something repeatedly to make it a Habit, and that is where we fail. Like they say, successful people does what failures avoid to do and make a habit of doing it.

Effective Bloggers update consistently: Effective bloggers update their blogs very consistently or regularly. I don’t mean to say that you have to post every half an hour, but even if you do post thrice a week make it consistent. When your readers visit your blog thrice a week, there should be a new content each time he is there.

Effective Blogger are thorough: Effective bloggers do a very thorough research and write only after they have crossed checked facts before clicking the publish button. Effective bloggers also don’t feed their readers with sloppy grammar and misspellings.

Effective Bloggers serve a niche: Identify a niche you can write about comfortably. That is what most effective bloggers do. I have been writing this blog, for the last 3 years and I still struggle to get a good traffic. That is because this is a very general blog and I write about anything and everything. It has no focus and serves no niche. I started another blog about 6 months back, based on Bachelor Cooking. I now have more than 5 times unique hits than this blog and 10 times more page views. It was incidental, but I had hit a niche.

Effective bloggers don’t miss opportunities: Effective bloggers never miss an event or news in their niche. Whenever there is something new happening, your bloggers will expect to read something on your blog. And of course, the google referrals from all the searches.

Effective bloggers are good at networking: Effective bloggers attend networking events regularly. They are also known to hang around in social networking sites.

Effective bloggers are witty: I mentioned that effective bloggers chose and write about a niche, but there are quite a number of generalist bloggers too, and a few things which I have found to be common amongst the generalist bloggers are that they are witty and they are interesting, but then this is true with most effective bloggers and I don’t know if witticism can be formed into a habit. Either you have it or you don’t, but one can always copy witty writers and maybe with time it will form into a habit.

Interactivity: It has been written about many times over that Bloggers that respond to readers are more effective. I tend to disagree here. Interactivity can be good to a certain extent. It can help build say 100-200 repeat visitors, but for most effective blogger with 10000+ hits, they just can't respond to all readers. Moreover, instead of spending time replying comments, they scrounge the net looking for new things to write and write more. It takes a lot of time replying to comments, which will eat away your blog writing time. Interactivity is necessary during the traffic building early time of a blog, but more effective bloggers tend to spend their time writing valuable content, which leads to another habit.

Content: Content, content and content. Content is the key to building a successful blog. I have noticed that most successful blogs get more than 90% traffic from search engines and if you run text ads like adsense on your blog, somebody coming from a search engine is more likely to click the links than your regular visitors. And if your blog is content rich in a particular topic and have a decent page rank, you will get a constant stream of referred visitors. I have seen sites with page rank of 6 getting more than 25000 page views a day while a site with page rank 7 gets 4000 hits. The key is content and constant update.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Multiplexes not bending to Yash Chopra!

There is still no sign of fanaa, being screened in multiplexes. Yash Chopra is trying to flex his muscles, and the Multiplex mini-moguls wouldn't yield. Such are the powers of scales. Imagine if our multiplex chains were as large as those of UK with 5000 screens and above. But it is only a matter of time, somebody has to yield. Multiplex owners say that they are not losing any money, only not gettin what they could have earned. But they do know about opportunity cost, and it would be foolish to not to earn a few CRORES. Maybe they will come to some settlement. Perhaps I will take the oportunity to visit Roxy or Maratha Mandir. Yash Chopra won't lose, if the film were a hit..

Update: I yield I yield!!! The multiplex owner had to bend to yash Chopra's Bully after all. Inox and Zee Fun Republic haven't joined the other multiplexes as of today morning. PVR broke in first, the paper reports

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fanaa not in Multiplexes

Aamir-Kajol Starrer, Fanaa won't be screened in Multiplexes, at least for now.
So all the multiplex junkies, who haven't set foot in a single screen cinema hall will have to chance to revisit the past, ie if you are crazy about Aamir and have missed Kajol for a long time..

Yash Chopra, it seems wanted a larger pie from the Multiplex profits, b ut Multiplexes won't budge. They don't want to set a precedence you see.... But they will yield.... Yash Chopra has a lot of clout....

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Lend and Borrow, P2P Loan site

Lost money on the stock market after the market crash??
Need to borrow some money?

Or perhaps you made some money, buy going short.
Want to lend some money.

Here is the site, a marketplace for borrowers and lenders. a peer to peer online money lending site where you can borrow money from strangers. is the latest idea is in the p2p space

Borrowers just need to post their photo so that the lender might like your face enough want to lend you some money, not to mention personal stories of woe. lol.

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Zimmermann creates Encrypted VOIP

Philip R. Zimmermann who created encryption software for email Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP is in news again for creating an encryption software for VOIP calling. He had some legal hassles with the email encrytion software, then. Looks like he is inviting scrutiny again.

Now he is again inviting government scrutiny. On Sunday, he released a free Windows software program, Zfone, that encrypts a computer-to-computer voice conversation so both parties can be confident that no one is listening in. It became available earlier this year to Macintosh and Linux users of the system known as voice-over-Internet protocol, VOIP.[more]

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Microsoft Pre-paid Computer!

In many countries, including India, it is a common sight to see Windows and other microsoft software being peddled for as low as 1 or 2 dollars. Well, not just Microsoft software. But then, you can't expect someone in India to pay the same price as one would pay in US, when income levels are so disparate. And, it would be sometime for piracy to be compaletly eradicated. Mac Donalds knew about it, and because of their pricing strategy, we don't have to eat pirated Big Mac, Thank god.

Microsoft cannot price their software like Mac D did, they decided that they will start selling Softwares the pre-paid way, taking a leaf out of the pre-paid mobile revolution. Their latest offering "pay-as-you-go personal computing offerings powered by Microsoft FlexGo technology", is a pay-as-use model for their software.

With the FlexGo, they want to help the emerging economies of the world. In their words,
The pay-as-you-go business model makes PCs more accessible by dramatically reducing the entry cost and enabling customers to pay for their computer as they use it, through the purchase of prepaid cards. Market trials are starting first in emerging markets where inadequate access to consumer credit, unpredictable income and high entry costs prevent many consumers from purchasing a computer. The FlexGo technology supports Microsoft’s global commitment to help people realize their potential through the benefits of personal computers.[read more]

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Calling Bloggers to donate Adsense earnings !

[This is a cross posting, so you might find terms like food blogging here.
the original posting is here. ]

Well, I have written about how adsense was not a great source of income, and specially food bloggers who gets virtually the same adwords which are at the bottom rung of the list of high paying, opps! low paying keywords. While there are adwords that generate more than 50 dollars a click, the average earnings on my blog have been 4-5 cents a click. I got 20 cents once, and never again.

Well, I would have loved to retire on money from my blog, but since that is not the case now, and the adsense earning would have at best bought be a good dinner one year from now.
Well, I can afford many good dinners from my day job, Gods have been kind. And I use Blogger, so I don't have to pay for server and hosting..

My point is that 2-3 dollars a week may be very insignificant for me, and I blog for passion. But then, since I have good page views and have been getting an average of 2-3 clicks on the ads everyday, why let go of the earning potential, however small.
The small change that I will earn from my blog, will be significant, if I were to donate it to some charity foundation. Wait, that is not all....

Here is the IDEA.What if we all were to contribute and then donate the proceed."We all" as in all bloggers who earn insignificant amounts for themselves from adsense.Those adsense amounts will add upto a significant amount, for someone in need.

This is not fully my idea, and I borrowed this idea from
poweryogi, after reading that he ws donating his adsense proceedings to some charity organizations. His post gave me the idea of how we can use the small change to make a difference.
I use the same adsense account to advertise on multiple blogs, so the idea is to use the same adsense account in all our blogs so that the adsense earnings grows fast and gets pooled into a common kitty. I am sure it is allowed by google, and even if they don't, we sure can ask them, since it is for charity purpose..

Are you with me?

The idea came only a few minutes back and will need lots of refinement.

I will try to create a small banner shortly.

I would require help from someone who knows how to make that "make poverty history" kind of banner too.

If you are with me, send me an email to join in the campaign.
Since the idea was born out of Power Yogi, I guess he will let us use the Term "sensible adsense" for the campaign. Sensible adsense is the word he used for the donation of his adsense earnings.

If you like idea but are too lazy to join it, do spread the word.
Let us make a small difference
If you wish to drop out of the campaign afterwards, when you see that traffics to your blog have risen to a power blogger level, you may choose to remove the adsense code from your blog..

Technorati tag::

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pearl Jam Releases Free Music Video

Pearl Jam releases music video under the Creative Commons Licence allowing anyone to "legally copy, distribute and share the clip" for noncommercial purposes.[ source ]

If you can't fight piracy, fight them with their own weapon. I think, many other major labels might follow suit, soon.
I don't know if they have inserted ads in the video, and I think they should insert ads. Afterall, we have to see ads while watching the same videos on TV channels. Why not on downloads? I just hope they don't start tying up with those adwares like seekmo.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

My Second Mumbai Blogger's Meet!!

The Mumbai Blogger's meet happened as planned. Took me quite a while to reach Andheri west, but it was worth it. Blogger's meets are always a joyous event. New people, with at least something in common.. Everybody was new to me, except The Amit, whom I met in the last bloggers meet that I attended. I knew Sakshi, Saket from their Blogs. There were two Big cameras, not with the same person, so it took me sometime to figure out who could be Akshay, of Trivial matters fame. I couldn't recognise Saket too, even though I had seen his picture on his Blog. Found Gera to be a very Interesting Chap, and has a cool job too. Works for a venture funded Tech Start-up.

And, The Happy hours' previledges were duly consumed....

Here is the Blog roll of the attendees:
Amit Varma
Sakshi Juneja
Zack: (no blog)
Akshay Mahajan
Anthony (Me)
Evenstar of the anti reservation Blogroll fame.
Selvin Kurian
Anupam Gupta

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More Lawsuits, Microsoft and Google !

A Belgian company has refiled a lawsuit over search terms offered by Google's toolbar that it claims directs users to pirated software. [ reported by yahoo! lol]

and "....Symantec filed a lawsuit in Seattle today alleging Microsoft committed a host of business misdeeds, including misappropriating trade secrets and violating a contract that covered code used in part of the coming Windows Vista operating system." [ source: Symantec sues Microsoft over trade secrets]

....much roadblocks with the Vista. It is as if it is jinxed even before it was launched. Some Indian CEO might have visited temples and got his head shaven..

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Apple Sues back Creative

Some people found it hilarious when creative asked (legally) Apple to sell iPods in the US. Creative had sued Apple, claiming that the much popular interface of the iPod and iPod nano are Creative IP and that Apple had infringed on a patent the company has for the interface in its Zen media player, a patent granted last August.

Now, the lawsuit have backfired and Apple countersued Creative in a Wisconsin District Court claiming Creative's digital players infringe on four of its own patents.

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If only Lenovo was an Indian Firm!

While the USA State department have banned Lenovo PCs from being used for classified work, Indian firms are monitoring secure Computer Networks in the USA sitting here in Bangalore/Hydrabad and Noida/Gurgaon.

Industry executives think the market for long-distance monitoring of computer networks, dubbed "remote infrastructure management," could be worth tens of billions of dollars.[ Via]

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Charlie Sheen and Paedophilic Fantasy?

This story piece is a lot of dirt thrown about by someone whom Charlie dated from an Online dating site,

Of all the dirt, what caught my attention was this piece:

"We dated for about a month. He's such a [bleep]ing perv. He would ask me to dress up, like, in pigtails and schoolgirl outfits. I don't think he's like a pedophile, but he's definitely into really young girls. You know like 18, 19. I don't doubt that everything his wife is saying now is true. "

School Girl oufit and pigtails are definitely not 18/19, and even though the lady in the topic don't think that he could be a paedophile, he sure does have such fantasy, which is bad. That sure is a sick fantasy...

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Spacecraft crashes into satellite

The space is already crowded, even without the technological hitch.
If it is crowded, will it still be called space?

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Samsung: Fuel Cells on cellphones

Samsung has signed a deal with MTI Micro Fuel cells, a little known company of about 8 million dollars. Under the deal, which lasts through the end of the second quarter of 2007, the two companies will jointly research the use of methanol-based fuel-cell technologies for use in cell phones. Any patents that come as the result of the research will be assigned to MTI.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

More data per square area!!

When Google first gave out 1 GB space for its email users, one of the reasons was, Google knew that like processing power, the computer storage capacity will also get better and better... Google just got more good news,

Researchers at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California packed 6.67 billion bits of data per square inch (645 square millimeters) on magnetic tape developed with the help of Fuji Photo Film Company of Japan, IBM reported.
That was 15 times as much data as can fit on similar space on magnetic tapes considered the current industry standard, IBM spokesman Mike Ross told AFP. [more] [via: Slashdot ]

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Help Sun Open Java!!

With the new CEO CEO Jonathan Schwartz we expected that Sun might let Java go opensource all out, and the announcement will be made during the JavaOne. Sun did confirmed that they will open up java, but with the help of the Community. But then open source is about it, isn't it?

Sun confirmed at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco Tuesday that it would open the source code to Java, but said it needs the community's help in getting it done to prevent fragmentation of the technology.
"The question is not whether we will open-source Java, the question is how," Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz said during his opening keynote.[ source]

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Microsoft catching up google on enterprise search

Microsoft have unveiled enterprise features which they claim "would make it easier for employees to search and locate information in the vast stores of documents that businesses often amass"

This offering, code-named "OneView," will bring together Windows Desktop Search, Intranet search through SharePoint, and Internet searching capabilities. Users would also be able to choose which areas they would like to search in, and how they would like the results formatted.

Source: Betanews

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My son works in Infosys but

..... I oppose Outsourcing.
More than 15 lakh employees in the banking and insurance sectors observed `Anti-outsourcing day' on Tuesday all over the country as directed by the All-India Co-ordination Committee of Unions in the Financial Sector. Mr P.P. Mohanan, General Secretary (Kerala Unit) of General Insurance Officers All India Association, said that there were complaints from the Mediclaim policyholders regarding the service of the intermediaries known as third party administrators (TPAs). Finally, he added, the four State-owned general insurers launched parallel health insurance policies without the service of TPAs.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Google Sitemap Revamped!!!

Google sitemap has been revamped, and one of the new features is that even sites hosted on blogger can use sitemaps. Which means blogs like mine which are hosted on blogspot will be better searched by google spiders, and when people search for Stuffed capsicum, even with a better page rank than, a food blog will no longer be indexed lower than

Sitemaps has launched a feature that allows publishers to use meta tags to verify site ownership. For example, if your site is hosted on, all you have to do is add a unique meta tag to your site's header to verify your Sitemaps account.[ source ]

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Google Web Toolkit for AJAX Developers

Techies at Google, who had been there, done that, have comeup with a toolkit to make the lives of AJAX applications developers. Download it from here, if you are an AJAX developer, or if AJAX amazes you.

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Bored of Life and Work?

Check this out. You will feel bad but better. I did.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Eros to List in LSE..

Move aside Adlabs........
Most of us are quite familiar with this logo.
This is the logo of Eros International and the logo is seen in many VCDs and DVDs of Bollywood movies. Eros International is a distributor of Bollywood films and does most of its business overseas.

Eros, it seems is likely become one of the largest players in Bollywood. It might even be the largest, after it gets listed in the London stock exchange. This, about $ 44 Million ( This year estimates), film distribution company is about raise $100 Million from the LSE, which will make its valuation a whopping $400 Million. Unheard of for a Bollywood film Company, even a production company, leave aside Distribution companies.(Internal sources say that Yash Raj Films shouldn’t be discounted here, I don’t have the figures though..)

The closest would be when Reliance Capital had acquired a 51 per cent equity stake in Adlabs Films Ltd for Rs 360 crore, valuing Adlabs at around 700 crores, which is not even half of what Eros is being valued at. And Adlabs is present along the whole value chain of Movies, right from production, processing, distribution to exhibition. They even signed on Ram Gopal Verma for 80 crores for the production of a series of movies, factory produced movies?

My question is what will Eros do with the money? Will they enter the riskier business of production or like everyone else will they enter less riskier and more attractive (incentives et al) business of exhibition, now everybody from a Chemical Manufacturer is onto the Multiplex bandwagon. Either way It will be a competition to Adlabs.

How might Adlabs face the threat? The best thing would be go overseas and raise more money like Eros did. Anil Ambani would love it. He is an expert in raising finance from overseas and word is out that he is taking the film bizness very seriously, Domestic pressure, perhaps!

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Online Criminals Codes of conduct!

"Have a good carding day and good luck," writes another seller, who notes "I do replace new cards in case any died." In response, a different poster comments "He delivers fast and he is a very nice person to deal with!" It's as if he was talking about a local florist.

On you can buy CVVs for card numbers you already have, or you can buy card numbers with CVVs included. (That costs more, of course.)

"All CVV are guaranteed: fresh and valid," writes one dealer, who charges $3 per CVV, or $20 for a card number with CVV and the user's date of birth. "Meet me at ICQ: 264535650," he writes, referring to the instant message service (owned by AOL) where he conducts business.

Other discussants on the TalkCash forums politely request login IDs and passwords for accounts at HSBC and National Bank of Canada.
[All for real]
Chorong ke ussool [Ethics of the Thieves]

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Cracks in the wall

.. of web 2.0. But isn't that the price of opening up... Rightly put in the same article, "Web 2.0 is very open, but all that openness has its downside: When you invite the whole world to your party, inevitably someone pees in the beer."

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Cost of Trivial Insurance

by the undercover economist.

There is plenty of overpriced insurance around, always bundled with some other product. A popular cell phone retailer will insure your $90 phone for $1.70 a week—nearly $90 a year. The fair price of the insurance is probably closer to $9 a year than $90.[Link: Should you ever buy rental car insurance?By Tim Harford ]

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Fine Judgements!!!

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Militant Justice

Manipur militants have been involved in a lot of social cleansing, like punishing bootleggers, drug peddlers and dealers, errant pharmacists selling prescription drugs to be used as addictives like phensidyl, Spasmoproxyvon etc, and specially rapists, the latest gang rape charges againts some militant groups notwithstanding..

In the latest event, a Miltant group, shot one rapist on the leg for alledgedly raping a 9 year old.

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The UnGoogleables..

There was a time when I felt pride in the fact that Googling my name threw up more than 50 results, and then the realisation struck that I was not private anymore. Anybody wanting to know about me can just google in my name, lo and behold! I am all there, naked. Blogging in my real name( even though I use only the first name, references to my blog with my full name) etc etc have made me more public. I can't do a Ctrl+Z to undo. But there is a tribe of people, The UnGoogleables, whose details you will find hard to find on the Internet. They only make their online presence under pseudonyms and even when they spoke to Wired News, it was only on condition that their names be changed for this story.

These unGoogleables don't post online, blog, publish or build web pages using their own names. They're careful about revealing information to businesses, belong to few organizations that can leak personal data, and never submit online résumés -- all common ways that Google captures your data. [ Full Story ]

So!!!!!! Be careful of what you write, and even where you visit, while on the net.

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Turning over information the government can be a very expensive proposition.

{AT&T Corp., BellSouth Corp and Verizon Telecommunications are facing lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in damages for the decision to turn over calling records to the government, the New York Times reported Saturday.

A federal lawsuit was filed in Manhattan yesterday seeking as much as $50 billion in civil damages against Verizon on behalf of its subscribers.

Under telecommunications law, the phone companies are at risk for at least $1,000 per person whose records they disclosed without a court order, according to Orin Kerr, a former federal prosecutor and assistant professor at George Washington University.}

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Some very shocking..

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Google Click Fraud Settlement!

I blogged about the google Click fraud Settlement of $ 90 million, sometime in march. Now, it seems like the settlement isn't that easy after all.

Lawyers representing several Internet search advertisers who use Google's AdWords service have filed suit hoping to block a proposed $90 million settlement over allegations of click fraud. The plaintiffs claim that the settlement does not adequately compensate those affected.[read full article]

Google has a lot of fraud prevention techniques and the list of do's and don'ts of google adsense is so long you will fall asleep midway. But click frauds do occur and it will be difficult to prevent it, as with most criminal activities. The criminal mind always work a little ahead of the Prevention measures. Antivirus will always work after the virus have done their worth of damage. And so, to proactively deal with such activities, one has to come up all the possibilities of a fraud, which is not very easy. So google will continue to face click frauds. It is part of the business. What is also a part of the business is that it is the advertsers who will continue to pay for the fraudulent clicks. It is a part of the pay-per-click model and even pay per impression models cannot escape it. For the time being, google will contonue to fight it, and Adsense conmen will continue to con the algorithm..

But I observed another thing about adsense and adwords today. In the above linked article, which is from a news-site that runs adsense on it's website, I observed that adsense with its algorithm of relevant ads, threw up ads about "Asbestos lawsuit". Now, asbestos Lawsuit and asbestos are two of the more expensive keywords on the google adwords program about which I blogged here. One of the reasons asbestos lawsuit is an expensive keyword is because of the huge settlements on the asbestos class actions lawsuit, and the money made by lawyers on the same, because of which lawyers and sites offering advice on the same get a good conversion ratio from the visitors, and hence the high price, as high as 20-30 dollars. If Somebody were to run a click bot or any other of the fraudulent mechanism on such keywords, it would prove to be a very costly affair to the keyword buyers :-)


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Chavez has Lotsa Oil!!

Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez arrives in London today with an extraordinary promise to offer cut-rate heating oil for needy families in Europe, modelled on a similar campaign in the US which has been seen partly as a bid to embarrass President George Bush.

This past winter, Venezuela delivered cut-rate oil to low-income Americans through Citgo, the Houston-based subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company.
[ Link]

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Save Wise!!

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Skype phone Vs Nokia Gtalk

Close on the heels of Netgear's announcement that it would begin accepting pre-orders for its Skype Wi-Fi phone, there is news that Nokia and Google plan to announce a version of Nokia's Internet tablet device that comes preinstalled with the Google Talk.

The skype phone might retail at a price of $249.99 USD, and would allow for free Skype calling, as well as calls to landline and mobile phones, over both secured and open Wi-Fi networks.

The Nokia device might be priced around $390 and would allow for voice conversations and instant messaging on the device, which uses a Wi-Fi connection to connect to the Internet.

Google and ebay, apart, the hardware vendors should do well not to restrict themself to skype or gtalk, but rather make the device compatible to all VOIP services.

On the same lines, I was thinking why haven't any small time entrepreneur thought of a wireless device, like the cordless phone to speak on Skype or Gtalk. It is really a pain to sit near the laptop to talk, if the talk goes on for hours. A cordless, or handfree device would be great hit, and it can sold via ebay and numerous other websites. A little venture fund, a Chinese manufacturer, and Web partnerships would bring in a quick Million or two. It would be a short term business venture though, unless one were to be able to make it a style statement and create a cult brand around it( which is unlikely since the use of the same will be restricted to indoors unlike iPod). Just a few cents short of a Million Dollar thought. Whatsay!!

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Friday, May 12, 2006

More on Culture of Manipur

It would be wrong to say that this post is about the Culture of Manipur, because Manipur, as I keep saying is a Mini India with its own set of Castes, classes, Politics based on the same, multi-religion, Corruption and of course Pulp and Mushy Movies, with lots of songs and running on Hilltops, and sometimes around trees, and villains and the overcooked comedian.

I would be referring to the Culture of the Manipuri Hindus, who follow a sect called the Vaishnavism. Borrowed from the mainland, cynics would say, but then I find no wrong in borrowing good culture and assimilating with the same. But of course that is a totally different aspect altogether.

I wanted to narrate about the culture.
The Meeteis are a passionate race, and so passionate about what we do that, we borrowed a culture and then perfected it, so goes the saying. Without the passion, it would have been difficult to give to the World, The Manipuri dance, Raas Leela, Pung Cholom and of course the Royal game of Polo, from a small group of people hardly 15 lakhs in total.
The passion, some would observe, as the doings of people with no better things to do in life, but I am suddenly fond of my culture.

Last month I had gone home to attend to the last rites of my Aunt who expired suddenly, May her soul rest in peace, and the rites following the cremation, that continued for 14 days was far from borrowed culture, and if we did borrowed, it had been refined to the last tee, again cynics would compare it to superstition, when I performed a part of the rite, it felt so pure and good to be part of such an old tradition kept alive. I don’t know if mine would be the same when I die in old age in an unknown city..

On the 5th day of the death, we have something called the “Asti”, when we go to the cremation ground to collect the ashes. The Ash is not collected on the day of cremation or death. Ash taken from the temple, or forehead of the death is kept in a sealed container and buried somewhere in the cremation ground. It is removed on the said day, the container cleaned in the river and then 5 different matters, I don’t understand, and since the whole atmosphere was of a very serious tone, I only did what the pujari asked.

I was dressed in white and carried a tumbler and a stick to the cremation ground on the riverbank, and I took a dip in the river, and then came up to remove the container. I went again dipped myself and the container in the River, and came up to wash it in the first bowl, made from plantain leaf, and then I went and took a dip, 5 times more till the container was cleaned in the last bowl. Then the ash container was handed over to my cousin who was son of the demised. I went back for my last dip, changed into a Dhoti and ran so that I reach home before the party reached. Phew…

Did I mention that there was a whole coterie of singer who played the Pung or Manipuri Dholak that is quite famous more for the antics of the drummers than the drums itself.. and then there were the huge Gotals, or Jhans or something we call, Cymbals they are in english I guess… Two dish like bronze thing to be slapped against one another to create a sound. And they sang some kritans..

(Extreme right, guy with turban has a Cymbal)

From the daily grinds of Mumbai, and datelines and proposals and client Demos, It was a trip down yesterdays. A part of the journey called Life.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

IPS Officer, Sir!

I am a Good Boss..
I have always been nice to subordinates, and have shared a joke or two too many with everyone, from the Door keeper to my immediate subordinates( Thank God I am in a Flat Structure now).

And I am not saying that an SI can't become an IAS officer, it is very much possible and it happened recently too. But unlike my organisation, the goverenment servants follow a rather heirarchal structure, with a subordinate calling his/her boss as Sir, or Madame.
Now, the superior officer of erstwhile Delhi Police Sub-Inspector Pranav Kumar, whom till only recently he addressed as Sir will now address him as Sir Pranav Kumar, or is it Pranav Kumar Sir, since he was not Knighted.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Open Source Java?

Speculation is Hot that Java might go open source.

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Pakistan Lifts Blogspot Ban

Read more.

Don't Block the Blog on my sidebar worked ;-)

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pork Ribs Rack at Ruby Tuesday

I used to relish those salad buffet at Ruby Tuesday.
When I was staying near malad, it was either the salad at Ruby Tuesday or Subway's Tuna Salad that I had most often. I wanted to try out the rack of tender Pork Ribs, but somehow, those salad greens always get the better of me.. I am a little passionate about Healthy food, that taste good too. Greasy Pork Ribs was the exact opposite of a Salsa flavored Lettuce and corns and Small Chunks of Chicken too :-) . Not that I don't like Ribs, they used to be my favorite. Oh those greasy Grilled Ribs, Atrium, The Park Hotel, Kolkata were heavenly. Complete with mashed Potatoes, and fried Onions. I used to have it at least once a week...

But with all those grease accumulating in rather odd places, where the situation had gone so bad I had to keep away my Nicer Tees, and start wearing Stripped Shirts, I saw divinity (of the Greek kinds) in Salads.

Yesterdat at the Nariman Point Ruby Tuesday, After a couple of draughts, I gave in to the temptation of the Grease.
And I ordered a rack of the afore mentioned Ribs.

I didn't like it at all..
It was nothing like the Succulent, Greasy kind that I was so fond of.
Maybe this was more American that the Park, but then America's only gift to the Culinary world have been the Big Mac and maybe KFC.

The onion rings tasted better than the ribs.
The meat was tender, but it had no flavor.
If you like the imported ribs at Ruby Tuesday, visit the Atrium next time you are in Kolkata, and see which you like better. You will want to come back for more, if you are of the kind who don't care much about the waistline.. And the Ribs aren't imported... and not too tender either.. But they are awesome...

Well, the loaded Cheese fries at the Ruby Tuesday was a totally different matter though.
They sure are good in quickie food...

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Spam Blog...

I did a post on high paying keywords, and by habit when I posted some of the keywords, I kept them in meta tags, which I thought was just an accepted SEO tactics. The google algorithm don't seem to think so and I have to go through a word verification everytime I write a post..

I am not pissed about that, but I am glad that Google is fighting spammers. If that post was a spam blog, then there are more respected bloggers who have done worse :-).. Black Hat techniques???

I would say that it was a very white hat SEO( Search Engine optimization technique) technique. My post would have been relevent to somebody looking for hugh paying keywords, and I have linked back to resources with all the keyword he/she would ever need.

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Blogger Sued

After doctors, bloggers are fast becoming targets of lawsuits.
One advertising agengy, Warren Kremer Paino Advertising have sued a maine based Blogger, one Lance Dutson for Defamation.

I guess, India where lawsuits are not so common, this is the only kind of lawsuit where we can say, "we have seen it, done it" ;-)..

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High Paying Google Keywords

By high paying google search keywords, I don't mean keywords that will pay you highly but those adsense keywords( adwords ) or search terms that will pay high to Google. But these are the words that Bloggers and website publishers deem as the el dorado of commercial blogging. Afterall your adsense revenue will be a percentage of what google gets from selling those key words.

Only a fraction of Bloggers are successful commercially, and of course there are quite a number of people who are blogging full time. And making a living out of it. Most successful bloggers write about something they are passionate about and have huge readership that runs into Millions/month. Some even have a couple of Millions a day.

Less successful ones write topics surrounding high paying keywords ;-). And there are less successful bloggers by the millions. So the keyword “High paying google keywords or adwords” must also be pretty expensive.

Here is a list of some high paying keywords compiled by author of Cybewire, who is another blogger who blogs for profit mostly about blogging for profit.

$54.33 mesothelioma lawyers ; $47.79 what is mesothelioma ; $47.72 peritoneal mesothelioma ; $47.25 consolidate loans ; $47.16 refinancing mortgage ; $45.55 tax attorney ; $41.22 mesothelioma ; $38.86 car accident lawyer ; $38.68 ameriquest mortgage ; $38.03 mortgage refinance ; $37.55 refinancing ; $35.99 auto accident attorney ; and more.

If you are passionate about any of keywords above, just blog away to your cents lol. Afterall you need cents to build that dollar.
For a more comprehensive list, visit the post, Highest paying Search terms, and there is also a list a list at labnol, List of high paying Keywords [$1.5 > CPC > $1]

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Blogging for money

Not every body blogs for money, but nobody minds and extra thousand bucks or two.
And Blogging for money makes an interesting topic that generates a lot of interest.
Blogging revenue being a direct function of traffic there are numerous websites now that tempts you how to increase traffic tips as I blogged before, in blog traffic for 100$. I am usually a little wary of such sites.

But this blog post,how to make money from your blog, gave a very detailed sermon on how to create a monetarily sucessful blog. So to say It was very informative. [via Desipundit]

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Desi Bells and the iPod

When I googled Noise Pollution + Mumbai , one of the results say that Mumbai is rated the 3rd noisiest city in the world. I couldn't agree more. In fact noise have been the cause of many heart attacks and at least one rape, well her cry for help was drowned out by noise.

On my way to work everyday, in the office bus, most of people are in their own worlds, ear pins tightly stuck to the ear, the other end of the pin either into thier FM radios, those radios that come with mobile phones or the assorted iPods. After a few attempts I have stopped listening to music systems with ear phones. One have to blast to full volume, thier iPods, at least I have to, to be able to listen to some nice music above the drone or din that Mumbai traffic serves up, and I am not even talking of "Proper Mumbai". My office is in Navi Mumbai.

Other than the Super marketing efforts at apple, I also tend to think that the iPod is also an amazing Music listening device. Yes, they have created a cult brand around a portable drive that plays MP3 music and mp4 videos, and the technology other than the wheel was commodity at best, but somehow the music quality is much better than any of the Taiwanese or Korean Clones, I tend to percieve.

So I love my iPod, and I can't work without Mozart playing in my ears.
But I never keep the volume above 2/5th maybe of the volume bar.
At the full volume, my ears start to feel like they would burst.

But in the Bus, I literally have to turn up to the full volume to be able to listen to what is playing.
No wonder, there have been studies and reports that iPods can cause damage to the ear drums. may I add that, it must be only when you are listening to it in a traffic.

And OK, so I don't listen to music in the bus, ( at watch some interesting videos instead lol).
What worries me is the fact that I had to turn up the volume to the maximum to kill the sound already pounding on my ears. Sound I am already used to but took full volume of the iPod to kill. That noise would certainly harm my ear drums.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Air Deccan, no links

My blogging behavior has changed drastically in the past few months.
I don’t write much of personal stuff.
I just link a nice article or two, with an even smaller commentary.
But then I love those link blogs, so it’s Ok.

But I guess I should remember to post something nice something personal too at times.
Like my bizarre experiences and even more bizarre opinions.

So I went home for the last rites of my late Aunt, so I wrote.
It started out as a long weekend, and I was looking forward to a lot of fun and partying.
I went to Kolkata, and yes Kolkata can be fun, if you know the right people and the places.
Somebody said that it was the hidden Bangkok. The weekend however was cut short by the sudden demise of the said aunt, may god bless her soul.

So I went to Kolkata, first.
By Air Deccan.

It wasn’t the first time I booked an Air Deccan flight.
In fact, I booked the “e-ticket” twice earlier, only to be cancelled at the last moment to get me Jet Airways or Air Sahara the second time. Unfortunately or otherwise, the cheap price wasn’t too different from the Jet Check fare, since I always do last minute bookings.

As fate would have it, I took to Air Deccan this time.
I wanted to fly it. To see it for once, the Ryanair, the easyjet of India.
I didn’t even get peanuts though.

Technology, they have implemented well. Like e-tickets, Inkjet printers at the airport ticket counter, etc etc but one thing that impressed upon me was the SMS alert. It was cool. The first SMS reads, “…..flight rescheduled at 8:45 pm”. Mind you from 8:40 pm. Now that was customer care at best.
Informing me about a 5 minute delay.
It was great.

Then I got the second SMS, and after about 4 SMSs the flight took off at 11 pm. And I didn’t even see Bipasha Basu during that 2 hour wait at the Mumbai Airport. I was Pissed.

I didn’t know one had to carry cotton rolls if you are traveling by Air Deccan.
How much frill are they cutting with the ear plugs goddamn it.
Air plugs are not comforts but a necessity for some passengers.
I said I wanted to buy, but they didn’t have it.
With a mind already biased, I felt the seats were way too crowded. No knee space, and the seats reclined back only about an inch. Oh My God!

And what a landing we had. The worst ever landing, must have taken some half an hour of Bumpy ride.
The pilot didn’t speak English.
The other day I had read about foreign Pilots who don’t speak English having trouble landing because of communication gap between the ATCs and pilots.
When it landed, I said a prayed.

The return Kingfisher flight was Super.
Jet Airways just got itself some serious competition.
Not to mention the pretty lady that sat across the Aisle.
She had come with Upen Patel.

I, for one, am flying Kingfisher always…..
Let the good times roll, was it?

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