Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Entrepreneur & the Politician


I have been watching the frustration of Narayana Murthy, since he started working the Govt of Karnataka. I use the term frustration, because, it is not an easy job to run things in the Govt, especially if you think you can run it like a business. Because the Govt is not a business, alto' many politicians do treat it like one.

I have issues with people, who are ready to quit, because things are difficult, and then spend time pointing fingers. The quagmire of politics is difficult, it requires a special breed of people to enter. Tough skin being an important pre-requiste. I have great respect for Narayan Murthy, and he has achieved thing which few men, atleast in India, have achieved. He is not unique, but he is special.

But these things said and done, i believe he can handle this issue, which much better finesse. I really wish he would take up this challenge and enter the world of politics. I would vote for him, and he will be surprised, by the number of votes he would get. Does he have it in him ?

Narayana Murthy at the receiving end

Tags: india, politics, infosys, govt, democracy,
corruption

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Galileo launched

The ESA took a step forward to break the monopoly of the GPS technology currently held by the US. The bigger motivation for this project, was to enable the use of newer and more precise GPS technology in more commercial applications. Since this project is controlled and managed by more than one country, the chances of the ESA shutting down the access to this technology is remote. Although for the record, the ESA has said that they would never shut it down.



My post wouldnt be over if i didnt highlight and ask a few questions, for which i dont have the answer, nor am i expecting one. But kind of stating the obivious possibilities. I wont rant much today, but ask only one pertinent question, 'what is stopping countries from using this technology for military applications ?'.

First Galileo satellite on orbit to demonstrate key technologies
Galileo navigational satellite launched

Tags: ESA, space, GPS, USA, galileo, soyuz, Russia, Europe, satellite

Hustle & Bustle



It would seem nothing out of the ordinary, except for the fact, the time is around 11pm in the night. This the ground crew, in their back office, working on tickets, changes, excess baggage, seat adjustments fiascos, and last minute crisis etc. Pretty active in the middle of the night, these people do a commendable job of being courteous and polite. This rush goes on till around 2am in the morning, when the flight takes off. I am sure they earn a well deserved rest, only to give up their normal sleep time the next day around.

Tags: airlines, tickets, agent, lufthansa, india, crew, airport

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The art of writing

Something i read in The Hindu, prompted to start on this. It was also based on some personal experiences and observations of mine. I noticed that i am finding it increasingly difficult to get my spellings right (thanks to MS Word and other programs), making simple mistakes when i write on a piece of paper (missing the back-space key, my favourite key), and also finding it difficult to keep concentrating on the piece of paper i am writing on.


In an attempt to prove myself wrong, and think these were just perceptions of mine, i tried to sit down and write a letter. Something that i have not in a long while. And quickly i found how, how a profoundly difficult job, this had become. It was one thing to scribble notes and jot down points in a meeting etc. But an entirely different proposition to sit down and write your thoughts, specially on paper.

Technology has changed our lives so much that we have reduced or eliminated many functions we were used to in our daily lives. This may not be such a bad thing. But language skills and communication ability is not necessarily improving with the advent of technology. Thanks to SMS, people are now finding it difficult to actually spell out words. I received this message on my IM, yesterday, "k.i vl do dat". It took me a few seconds, before my sms challenged brain figured out the meaning, "ok, i will do that". It also doesnt make too much sense from a sms point of view, because most, if not all, phones support the text-complete(T9) feature that actually suggests/complete words.

Another quick comment on the technology, which is a seperate topic for discussion, but has to wait for another day. A friend of mine had this to say, "all this technology is supposed to make life easier. its not, its only making life more complicated".

A word in hand is worth...

Tags: writing, and+writing, letter, communication, technology, language, skill

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

2005 - an afterthought



Its been a year since the tsunami struck the coast of Tamil Nadu, and the shores of many other nations, causing more deaths than any other natural calamity in the recent history of mankind. Yesterday, most people in these parts of this world, spent a quite moment reflecting on the impact. The TV channels as usual had a lot of stories to share, most of them of hope and path to recovery.

A year has flown past, and has been quite eventful, and it appeared that Mother Nature, was quite furious with mankind. She let it be known in no uncertain terms, that we are not behaving well as citizens of the this planet. Our lives seem to be all encompassing on this planet, and now we are the most influential beings on this planet.

Now here is a thought. Not sure, how far, i can believe in this, but it does have some bearing on our situation. Remember the times, millions of years ago, when the dinosaurs ruled the planet. There are several theories, today, that help us understand their subsequent destruction from this planet. My mom's theory is that, 'they were wiped out of the planet, because they had become too much of strain to the planet'. Now mom is no expert in science, but she does have some wild theories. Am not sure what her network or source of information is, typically like newspapers, she tries to protect the source of her information.

But this was like a brainwave to me. No matter how much of a rationalist i am, there is a part of me that believes that many things didnt just evolve. In any case, the survival of the fittest, is very much an evolutionary theory, and mother nature is just doing that, fighting back. The climate warming, the greenhouse effect, the shifting tetonic plates, shrinking ice caps, the magnetic poles, and not to overlook the possibilty of an meteor strike, could all have devastating effect to this planet and the citizens of the world.

The human kind is supposed to be the most evolved of all creatures. But unfortunately they are the ones who kill for the sake of pleasure, more often than for the sake of food. The gradual and steady encroachment on land, water and other resources that are required for the survival of their co-inhabitants of this planet, have caused extermination of entire sub-species and in some cases human races.

No small wonder then if the planet chose to strike back.

Tags: earth, tsunami, global+warming, earthquake, evolution, god

Monday, December 26, 2005

True ?

Most certainly. Atleast as far as my observation goes. Altho' this is not directed against the blacks alone. It applies to all people who are part of the non-white community.
Many times these are subtle, and many times they are not itended to hurt. But always it does make the person at the recieving end uncomfortable. Very untypical of the culture i was born into and raised. So for me personally, the initial years in the US were a big facade.

Take for example a simple fact like footwear. Until recently when Nike and a few others promoted the alternative footwear, wearing anything other shoes, brought people to stare at you. So, slippers, pull ons etc were not quite acceptable. Yeah, yeah, arguments can be made about health, smell etc. And i agree they are not something that can be discounted completely. Yet, one must also understand and respect the differences.

Mary J. Blige says America is racist

Tags: racism, america, white, black, shoes


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Parlimentary history in India

So finally the hidden camera, and other sting operations are paying off. This has to be some kind of history. I am sure the opposition and many will think this smacks of politics. Well its all politics anyway.

Hope this starts a trend. But i am confident of the politicians figuring ways around this. Afterall these kinds of techinques were invented in the developed democracies of the west, and corruption does still exist there.

But there is hope. I believe that strongly, that there is always hope, and this problem (corruption) will reduce in its intensity and particularly will focus away from the day to day lives of people.

11 MPs expelled amid BJP opposition

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Insat launched !!

Successfully launched yesterday from the European Space Agency vehicle Ariane.


The latest in the series of INSAT, and one of the heaviest and largest launched & built by India. ISRO doesnt have the capability to launch satellites of this size at this time, and is constantly upgrading its vehicle. There are about 3-4 launches scheduled by IRSO for the year of 2006.

India has the biggest constellation of satellites dedicated to remote sensing (the IRS series), but the application of the satellite technology is lagging far behind. As i had scribbled earlier, we are way behind in weather forecasting and related applications. We have shown the capability of engineering and launching these satellites, now we need to start applying them. On the INSAT series, i would really like to know the cost savings to the Govt because of using Indian owned communication satellites instead of foreign owned ones. The point i am trying to make is that, the country has shown its strength in these areas, but we need to make sure it benefits the people.

INSAT 2
India To Launch Its Heaviest Satellite From Kourou
INSAT-4A Launched Successfully

Tags: isro, insat, space, satellite, ariane, esa, india

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Yahoo Widgets

Check this out !!


It used to be Konfabulator, what a name. Its now Yahoo Widgets, so much better. And typical of yahoo, they have integrated the whole thing with the yahoo portal and you can now check email, review your notes, connect to flickr, check out maps. Well thats not all, you can also download 100s of widgets built by and submitted by people. Its cool. There are few things that are real handy and bunch of others that are good for occasional use.

Well fancy youself with what you like. Check it out tho'.

Tags: yahoo, widgets, utilities, cool+stuff, downloads, desktop

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What could she be thinking about ?


sitting lonely on a bench
many thoughts come to mind
specially the tough ones
that put me in such a bind

pondering for a moment here
like that fountain up ahead
wish i could shoot my problems
way, straight out of my head


My Flickr - photostream

Tags: pondering, flickr+cksquare, poem

Monday, December 19, 2005

Is George Bush above the law ?

This is not the first time, George Bush and his presidency has attempted to hoodwink, lie, tap dance around the law, and now even break the law.

His encounter with the law began with his first presidency, when he was 'selected' as the President by the supreme court. In a highly questionable step, the Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court on the re-counting of votes, and didnt order a re-poll but said, the words of the republican politician in Florida is final, and approved the selection.

Then came the war on Iraq, which it turns out has been based on so many lies. The bumper stickers 'no one died, when clinton lied' rings loud now !! George Bush, hoodwinked the entire american public, the all too willing US Congress and Senate and the unquestioning Fourth Estate to declare war on Iraq, in search of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Now, this. In what appears a clear violation of the laws of the country, George Bush has gone on the offensive that he will continue wiretaps. Wiretaps on whom ?

In 2001, he used the sentiments of the country to push the Patriot Act into law, and also usurped a few rights and powers to himself as the President to do what was necessary to fight the terrorist. One of those steps was the war against Iraq. Samuel Johnson said "Patriotism is last refuge of a scoundrel", i wonder if he had any premonition.

Well, here is what we need to do ......

This is from a sticker available at merch-bot.com

Tags: george+bush, iraq, wmd, lies, law, constitution

Sunday, December 18, 2005

At what price - relief ?

Every day, i read or hear a story about how India is stepping forward in handling catastrophes, technology advances and challenges, nuclear arms, brain drain and brain bank issues etc, i have this great feeling inside. And then equally a sad and frustrated feeling when i read stories about mishaps, and those which could have been avoided, if there some bit of caution exercised by the authorities concerned.




I know, it is easy to blame, and difficult to actually do. But these kinds of things have been going on and on. And everyone, gives the benefit of the doubt to the Govt. And then the chief minister and few other politicians come about distributing money, and that is expected to have solved the problem.

This happened at a time, when the Govt was distributing relief to people already affected by the pouring rain in Chennai. It is quite plausible, that the officials involved in this effort, were actually thinking that they were doing a favour to people who were undeserving, and so this attitude obviously must have helped create this confusion. This, it seems is not a prerogative, of the small and developing countries only. We saw a nice sample by the richest country in the world, display the same kind of apathy in New Orleans, in its treatment of the poor.

42 killed in Chennai stampede

Tags: india, relief, rain, stampede, chennai, poor, katrina, new+orleans

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Phone call to President

I just heard the news. The President (George Bush) had authorized the phone tap of american citizens, to determine if they were part of the terrorist network or not !!

Now that he has listened in on my conversation, i might as well make it public here.

Ring Ring...

Me: Hello
Other side: Hello

Me: I am calling you today, because i understand the President is listening to our conversation, and i figured this was the best way to reach him.
Other side: huh !

Me: Well, so if you dont mind, let me speak and then you can chime in, as required
Other side: what !!

Me: So, George, whats the plan ?
Other side: my name is not George !!

Me: Do you think we should pull the troops out of Iraq ? Do you need any help in resolving this criss, let me know, i am good at solving crisis. And how is Dick ?
Other side: i am going to hang up now....

Me: You know the other day, i passed outside your house, and i could have sworn, you were doing a jig. Come, come, you are a big boy now, you can admit it
Other side: click..

Me: oops. I guess you are not allowed to listen anymore, George.

I wonder if there is a device, that you have, that is going to listen to my thoughts. Uggh, they are real dirty. So, i am sure you dont want to do that.
George, dont worry, i didnt mean to give you a hard time, i am sure there are people around you who are doing a good job. Who needs enemies, when you have the friends you got ?


Tags: bush, phone, usa, george+bush, iraq, patriot, terrorism

Friday, December 16, 2005

Shame Shame


This picture is an old one, dates back to Nov 2001

Its a shame.
- to treat a former captain, that too the most successful captain India has produced, in this manner
- for the coach of the Indian cricket to determine who must play on his team, rather than for a captain to make this call
- for the board to play petty politics (nothing new), and play people like a pawn
- for politicians to be involved in what is essentially a private matter in Cricket
- for people to protest this decision in this manner, by burning and shouting and behaving unruly
- for Indian cricket, that a fine cricketer has been humiliated so

and finally, its a shame
- for Ganguly to hang around and beg for something, that he may or may not deserve

There is lot of domestic cricket, county cricket and other options available to Ganguly. In fact, i believe the International cricket tournaments are becoming too over-rated. So it will be apt at this time for Ganguly to settle down in domestic cricket and raise the bar. I am sure people in India will enjoy this cricket too. And with players like him, it will help increase the image and fan following for these tournaments. The team-india, always used to shun playing in domestic cricket, and this will be a good way, to bring attention and focus back to the breeding ground of all cricket.


Ganguly's exclusion evokes shock and anger
Cricket-Kolkata protests at Ganguly's omission
Politicians and former players criticise axing of Ganguly

Tags: ganguly, cricket, captain, shame, BCCI, india

32 Degrees


The temperature at which water freezes. Well the temperature here in Washington DC, for the last few days have been hovering around this, going much below in the nights, and staying barely above during the day. The winter has started here, a little too early. I dont remember when it got so cold so soon in winter, usually it wasnt until January that daytime temps fell below the freezing point. Its signs of the winter to come, i guess.

It is supposed to snow today. But it has been raining, after some initial flurries early in the afternoon. But thats is mostly slushy water, which is few points away from freezing to solid ice. But it is unlikely that it will freeze. If the temp falls, then the slush will get covered with snow, and make it a hell in the morning. Like many things in the world, the snow, the ice and the cold are all nice and good to a point, after which it starts becoming a nuisance to daily life.

Such is man, or woman.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Image viewer/editor - Faststone



I discovered this tool a few weeks ago. I was a little fed up with 'picassa', and the free tool that came with my machine was nothing more than a glorified explorer. Most of the functions where available only if you bought a higher version. Nice try. Well i would have bought it, only if i trusted that the tool will be usefull enough to do most of the things i wanted to do. It would be cool if someone invented a software that allowed you to use software on a 'pay-per-use' basis. Meaning i got the base tool free, but only paid for select services as and when i needed them !!

Who am i kidding ? I need the software to work free all the time, with no catches whatsoever. Well i think the Faststone program suite, Viewer, Photo Resizer and Capture come free. And you can download it, and install it in a breeze, no issues at all.

Tags: faststone, image+editor, image+viewer, watermark
, freeware, picassa, image+capture

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Cruise trip to Bahamas

Just got back from the cruise to the Bahamas. From the unusually cold climates of Washington DC metro, to the warm receptive climes of Nassau, it was a nice and pleasant journey. We were out on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the 'Majesty of the Seas', supposedly not so great ship. But for a person on his first ever cruise, it was great enough. It was a corporate affair, only select team of people were invited on this most, if not all, expenses paid trip.

The company was good enough, to allow some of us to take an extra day off, and reach earlier than required and spend some time around Miami. We did, and most of it was at the restaurant/bar in South Beach, called Mango's. Fun place, good to decent food, and the crowd around me were drowning in 'Mojitos'. Then a freak bet, got me all pumped up and soon, thanks to help of another friend and colleague, i was on the bar, dancing with the bar girl. Soon the cameras were out, and i have created enough evidence, that will require me to pay 'sush' money for the rest of my life.

More time, later that night was spent at another bar, simply called 'bed', and was quickly used in sentences to create the desired effect, of doing fancy things in 'bed'. Soon people were tired of drinking in a horizontal and vertical position, and wanted to try this out by adding a few fancy jerks and hip shakes. The next stop was Mansion, nice dance place, if i am not mistaken, my first trip to a disco place. It felt kind of weird to experience this after all this years. I was not to be cowed down by this moment of discovery and soon was rocking the place down. One problem with the 'people of the night', i found out is that, they get quickly tired of one place and want to see what else is available, that could give this kind of experience. And so out we were, to find the another spot for dancing. Many were tired by now, but few were brave enough to admit the same. The few, who were brave, did make their quiet exits at appropriate places. The quest was on to see who could last the most, and stand up right. Well, finally biology, chemistry and the laws of physics did catch up, and we were in a cab, speeding to our real bed in the hotel room.

The next morning was cruise day and started of drap, with the required meeting. But soon, all boring things do give way to opportunities for fun, and we were on our way to the ship. The days and night on the ship itself was no less or more exciting than this first day and night out. The main reason was, it was more easier to lose people on the ship, and a time was likely to be wasted attempting to find them. The cruise and the ship itself was nothing great. It is impressive, but it is not the be all, end all thing in life. People can easily have more fun on land. The quest to be on a ship on the high seas is quickly lost after about the first few hours aboard it. The expanse of water all around you and all the way to the horizon on all sides, does seem impressive, and it is, but still, it doesn't create the impact, you quite expect.

What i liked most about the trip was, the fact, that we were captive to everything on the ship, meaning most if not all forms of communication to the outside world was cutoff, and so no emails, no phones, no newspaper, no internet etc.. It meant we had find fun things to do with the people around us. I was also amazed at my ability to make a few spontaneous friends on the dance floors. The spirit of the room, music and people around were good enough for me to do crazy dance sequences.

Food and drinks (the nonalcoholic kind), were another thing to talk about. No, no, before you get any ideas. The food was not great or anything to rave about. But food is served free, or rather should i say, is worked into the cost of the trip. And i always used have this tendency to feed on free food, till i can eat no more. But this trip, gave me a new confidence that i can stop way before my stomach is ready to burst. I still need to weigh myself, but i do know that there were no distress calls from the captain of the ship.

And then the most important being my friends and colleagues on the ship. It was them that made this trip very memorable. I made some new friends and developed on some existing relationships, got to know some more people, and got to know more about some people. Because many of us didn't have a choice, we had to endure the company sometimes and that helped in some cases. I had to spend more than the casual 'hello , how are you, bye for now' conversation, and had to dispense with more words and thoughts, than would normally have done at first meetings with people. And also because we couldn't get out, unless we jumped and swam a long way, we had to meet people over and over again, as you went in circles around the ship.

Oh, i also got to engage in my other favorite pastime, photography. I've wasted almost a 6 rolls of film on various things. And since i still use the traditional auto-SLR, i have to wait till they are developed too see the images i have captured. I am sure to post atleast a few to my blog and more to my flickr album.

Have to sign out now, this had to be long, and i still havent captured all my thoughts and impressions, fresh as they still are. But i do have to stop this literary explosion for the moment and create and collect more impressions and thoughts.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Citgo pumps gas



Citgo is the Venezuelan government owned gas company that is gas at almost 45% off the market price, to select housing communities in the big cities of the US. No, the housing is not predominantly Venezuelan or south-american, they just belong the poorer class. People who will have to shell out extra money this winter so they can heat their homes to make it livable. This when the other oil companies have recently reported huge profits, so big that it rivals the GDP of some countries. Then, there is the US government that was elected by some of these people, which is busy fighting to liberate the lives of poor souls in the Iraq, people who never really asked for it in the first place, but all the same a noble cause, except when you think that it barely moved a finger in Rwanda or recently in Sudan. So, let's accept for a moment that the cause, more important to them, was to protect the ever scarce oil for the benefit of the americans. The question remains, which Americans? Its quite obvious that these were not the poor people in the Bronx, Boston or most other Americans across the 50 states. It does benefit the shareholders of the many american oil companies. Well, you could benefit too, if you could conjure up the money to buy the shares of these companies. What if that means giving up a few square meals.

The motivation of the Chavez government is not necessarily to help these poor souls in america, but more to thumb their noses at the US Govt. But in the scheme of things if nations competed this way, I think the world may be a better place.

Politics or Not, Bronx Warmly Receives Venezuelan Heating Oil

Tags: venezuela, oil, gas, bush, chavez, usa

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Indian Airlines becomes 'Indian'


Not sure about this. But read this story from two different sources. Indian Airlines is becoming 'Indian'. I wonder what that means ? I am going to fly 'Indian'. I suppose they will shorten the Indian Airlines to Indian, but the airlines will still be called Indian Airlines.


The logo is changing. I searched and couldn't find any images. I sometimes wonder what the news reporters in India do. There is very little value add they do, they simply seem to report the story as issued from the press release. Even today, a paper like 'The Hindu' messes up web URL, or sometimes simply doesnt print them. It carries a report about a website without the URL !!

Anyway, the main story here is about 'Indian'. Again it sounds wierd. But most name changes do. I still prefer Madras to Chennai, but over the last year or so, i have gotten used to Chennai.

IA puts on warpaint to appear in ‘Indian’ avatar
IA gets a brand new image, changes name

Tags: indian+airlines, airlines, indian, india

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Indiscipline in BJP ?

How can a cadre based party create indiscipline? How can a party that supposedly have open elections create a situation where people are openly fighting for the chair of the CM ? How can this party that has cursed the congress for its undemocratic ways of party affairs management, now raise a finger against it ?

Much as i detest the hindutva platform, that the BJP wants foist, i had initially felt that there must be something good about the way the go about electing their leaders. But all that was nice when they were fighting for power. Power corrupts. And so as soon as they won a few elections and met a few success, many of the facade fell apart and the true colors of these leaders and soldiers in arms came through. Now their is infighting, indiscipline, horse-trading, and unprincipled politics and makes them no different from anyother party in the country.


So finally Uma Bharti is out, but i think this is only the begining, of party that achieved power riding on a horse, that has created for problems for others as well. When will the politicians realise that the short route to success does not come with the same staying power. To continue to remain in power, you must be able to fool the people all the time. Even the illiterate millions in India are smarter than the average politicians think. This december Advani is hopefully going to seek retirement from the 'presidency' of the party. Or maybe he too will create a position like Dalmiya did in BCCI, 'father of the BJP' kind of post, so he can remain in the limelight.

The people of the country are now more tuned to the coalition politics that has come to be the mainstay of the Indian polity since early the 90s. I doubt if a single party, even the Congress, will be able to command the hieghts of control of the Parliment like they did under Indira Gandhi. It may seem that democracy is actually working now, probably it is. But one problem with a weak Government means a strong Bueracracy. Strong bueracracy may be good for a while, but bad in the long run to hand over power to an unelected official.

Back to BJP and its problems. Uma now expelled is free to challenge the BJP at her home turf, and that is precisely what she will do. She could yet, become the CM of Madhya Pradesh, if she is able to repeat the success she achieved for BJP in the last elections. This is playing out like a day time soap show on tv.

Firebrand Uma Bharti expelled for indiscipline

Tags: BJP, india, politics, uma+bharti, advani, democracy, indiscipline

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Big Brother

The Government never really trusted its citizens. Atleast it would seem that way from the growing tendency of Governments (democratic or not) to reach into the private lives of the people to determine if a law was broken. I am talking more of mundane things. Yes they are mundane, but thats the point, the mundane things are the first step to help gain acceptance with the public. One of this is policing on the road, using newer technologies. So you have the good old, radar speed detector, and the cameras at intersection, on the highways and bylanes, the sound alarm for speeding alert, and even newer uses of technology. Two news articles, here show some of this new use of technology.

I have been the brunt of this, this past September, i was sent a picture, showing me speeding on the highway inside of DC.

I can see even more intrusive use of technology, like having manufactorers store critical information on a chip inside, like wearing seat belts, speeding, headlights on/off, wipers on/off, etc. Who could want this, the insurance companies and maybe even the police. So like the police could then have a device to read from this chip, when te car is speeding at 70 mph. Scary huh !! Well these are just some brainwaves i have had. Maybe i should shut up now.

Device stops speeders from inside car
`Smart Box' to monitor unsafe driving patterns

Tags: police, speeding, traffic, voilation, gps, technology

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Simply Yahoo

My first internet email account was a yahoo account. Thats not true, i did use compuserve and AOL accounts. But i kind of, dont want to include those, because the experience was completely different. It was like a window to the web, and not the world wide web itself. I mean the way, AOL and Compuserve connected you to the internet, then and even now.

So as an early adapter to Yahoo, i was lucky to get hold of an email account id, that i wanted, and didn't have to add fancy numerals and additions. Anyway i am not what sure what hooked me on, because the 2 MB offered at that time was good enough, but still seemed scarcely sufficient to do the regular things you do on the internet. Anyway, i managed with 2MB, until they increased it to 5MB and was happy and content with that space too. I guess i just didn't believe in storing every piece of email that i received. But more than the email component, what kept me coming back was the constant additions to yahoo; my yahoo, notepad, briefcase, calendar, finance, portfolios, etc.. I was quick to begin using the Yahoo offerings as soon as they were available to the public or beta versions.

Now here is a true product that works and does what its developers said it would do. Unlike some of the other ubiquitous software that is on everybody's machine whether they want it or not, and is always short on user expectations, because of the loud promises and their attempts to be larger than life. I dont want to appear to be raving about all Yahoo offerings, as i am sure there are better offerings out in the market, but Yahoo has done a great job of integrating many of these to work seamlessly with each other and to bring it all together on their yahoo.com site. Thats no easy feat.

For example this blogging tool, where i am making this post. I had been and am still using blogspot, but the big leap in blogging (for me) came after the advent of 360. Since its right there in front of me, everyday when i open my browser to my home page (my.yahoo.com). Still there spate of changes and improvements need to be faster and richer. There are other copy cats, Google being the most aggressive, and 'the evil' OS always trying to one up others software and internet players. Its important for me, 'cause i have a lot vested (my internet life) in Yahoo, and could be li'l painful to have to get used to gmail or other internet tools.

The competition is good. If it weren't for google, Yahoo would have been happy providing 5MB space for a longer period and kept pushing their premium email kit. And the 360 itself is a very late offering, as there have been numerous and more successful blog spaces out there for a long time. But the competition has one or two good things to offer, and not the world-wide-web itself in a browser.

So, for now.... its simply Yahoo !!


Tags: yahoo, portal, blog, 360, my+yahoo

Thursday, December 01, 2005

May the most gold win

Came across this news item today, well its not exactly news is it. People have been doing these kind trades for sometime now. What is news, atleast to me is the bidding and haggling part.

A quote from the article -
During several months of haggling, a consortium of Croatian firms tried to keep Draganja at home, but its offer of $800,000 plus perks was vastly overmatched by the oil-rich country.


For a long time Olympic games was an amateur sport. The big countries pushed to make it a professional sporting event, because they found that most of their atheletes were not particularly interested in participating in this arena, where not money was at stake. Then there was the television rights. Given that the US pays the biggest bucks for the TV rights for this mega event, the games are also tweaked to meet the expectation of the US population. Well for right now, it is just focused on timing of important events to coincide with the US primetime hours.

But even before this became a money sport, the rich countries were able to attract some talent to switch affliations of their country, to ensure a gold, silver or bronze. The south african, runner Zola Budd was a big milestone in that series of migration and 'switch royalties game'. Of course these migrations were isolated and only the rich countries benefited. Now with this news, it shows that this game is not isolated to the prowess of the rich. And more importantly it is not isolated to nation countries, but soon will be a blood sport indulged by corporations.

So get ready, buckle up and lets zoom into the Google Arena for the 100 metres finals.

Croatia's top swimmer to swim for Qatar and money

Tags: olympics, sport, professional+sport, amateur+sport