Saturday, December 31, 2005

Harry Potter Lexicon

For all the HP fans, a lexicon is available here. Beware!!! Spoilers abound.

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Friday, December 30, 2005

Je t'aime, Je t'adore

100 different langauges, and yet all say the same thing. As the saying goes, its love that makes the world go round.

Here's a site that says "I Love You" in hundred different langauges. link.

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Decision Making Techniques - Introductory Articles

We encounter them everyday - decisions. Business Managers make a career out of making decisions, and rely on scientific ways to arrive at the best decision. Even with the most scientific of methods, nothing will replace good old fashioned research. Decision theory helps in identifying the right choice based on good research.

Mindtools has a set of articles that introduce Decision Making Techniques. link.

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Monday, December 26, 2005

Silly Season gets worse - Toyota bid for Raikkonen

According to Pitpass, Toyota are going to place a bid on Raikkonen's services for 2007. link.

The figures quoted are an amazing Euro 275 Million for a long term deal! On TV, there was report that this was a 5 year deal. This is huge considering that Raikkonen's hasn't yet won a championship and until last season had won only 2 races in 3 seasons.

If Toyota want to win a championship, then they need some serious talent behind the wheel. With all due respect to Trulli and Ralf Schumacher, neither one of them can be considered to be world beaters. If not Raikkonen, Toyota can and should also look at young talent.

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Google Video hack

One of the biggest problems with Google is that they don't provide their services to all locations. Take You can get satelite pictures with google earth but you don't get the same service with maps.

One more problem is Google Video. Give a search and if you are not from a couple of 'selected countries', we get the following message.

Thanks for your interest in Google Video.

Currently, the playback feature of Google Video isn't available in your country.

We hope to make this feature available more widely in the future, and we really appreciate your patience.

This really sucks!!

Luckily there are a couple of hacks. A crude method is to use lifehack's method, which involves viewing the source code, and doing so magic. link.
A better method is to use a google video downloader. link.

In both cases, you need to download a FLV player.

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Monday, December 19, 2005

Alonso to McLaren

This is a very surprising development. link. (via doctorvee). Patrick Faure's comments are here.

I wonder how this will play out. One scenario that a lot of people are talking about is - M Schumacher Retires, Kimi moves to Ferrari. If this is going to happen, where will Rossi fit in? The implication of Alonso's move is that McLaren would rather have Alonso instead of Kimi. It could also be due to Kimi making a move to Ferrari.

With all these wholesale changes, fan loyalty is going to be tested, but moving to Ferrari will be a really smart move for Kimi. 2007 is when all teams, including McLaren and Renault move from Michelin to Bridgestone. Both Kimi and Alonso would then have to settle down in a new team and get used to different rubber, but Kimi would have the advantage given the "special" relationship between Ferrari and Bridgestone.

All this hangs in the balance. Kimi moving to Ferrari is only speculation at this point of time. Plus, we don't know if Micheal Schumacher is going to retire or leave Ferrari or partner Kimi. Where does this leave Felipe Massa? Or are we definitely going to see a Rossi-Kimi combination at Ferrari?

Its Silly Season at its very best!!

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

TV on Demand via the net

TV4all has links to different TV stations that broadcast on the net. link.

The biggest advantage for me personally is that, I now will have the opportunity to get some "real" news when travelling in the US. So far, most of the news channels that hotel rooms provide are local news or CNN national news. The thing I crave for the most is BBC News. While BBCWorld is not on the list, there are other channels.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Using Text to speech as a means for Podcasting

Feed2Podcast is an interesting concept. Folks behind the site, have used Text to Speech to convert an RSS feed into a Podcast. Its not a perfect voice that speaks when using the converted podcast, but its a start. Its a dead giveaway that the voice is computer generated. In addition, the intonation is incorrect at times.

I couldn't resist giving it a try and so I did sign up.

Feed2Podcast currently support only RSS feeds and not atom feeds. Since, this blog is on blogger, there is support only for atom. So, the first thing to do, is to sign up with Feedburner. Next, sign up Feed2Podcast, and point the Feedburner RSS feed to Feed2Podcast. Viola!! Its done. The podcast can be subscribed to from here.

There are number of ways to listen to Podcasts. Since podcasts are essentially mp3 files, they can simply be downloaded and listened to on a PC or an MP3 Player.

At first, I tried downloading different podcasts and listening to them on my ipod. But two things got in the way - firstly the download was taking way too long, and secondly, listening to podcasts on an ipod is seriously overrated. This is especially the case when you are trying to get some work done. I rather listen to music while working or in the gym.

The solution? Podnova and Yahoo Podcasts are two options that stream the podcast from the net.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Its official - Michelin to quit F1 end of 2006

Planet-f1 has the story. link.

This definitely gives Ferrari et. all esp. the new Bridgestone boys a huge advantage in 2007 and perhaps in 2006 itself. This was always on the cards, and today's announcement comes as no surprise.

McLaren left Bridgestone in 2002, saying that, they were investing in the future by going with Michelin. Well... The future is now clear. There will be a single tyre supplier not in 2008 but earlier .

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

F1 Calendar on has a calendar for the 2006 Championship. link.

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Red Bull and the Red Baron

Here's an bizarre story. Planet-f1 hints that Red Bull racing may be looking for Micheal Schumacher. link.

Christian Horner had this to say :
"It would all depend on (Schumacher's) motivation and if the timing was right," he said, adding that it's a "difficult question to answer."
Its not surprising that if a team is interested in MS. Ron Dennis had famously remarked during the late 90's that he didn't need a MS, because his cars were faster. However, I'm sure he wouldn't have said "no" to MS, had he been interested.

Hate him or love him, one must give him credit for what he has achieved. 7 World Championships isn't exactly a walk in the park. With the change in rules for 2008, every team starts afresh in the engine department. It would be really foolish to write off MS or Ferrari.

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Monday, December 12, 2005

firefox howto - increase speed

I found this to be a bit useful. Not quite the 30 times faster that the hack suggests, but I did find an improvement. link (

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Number 35

Finally!!! Its taken 1 year and an agonisingly long 6 tests for Sachin Tendulkar to move from number 34 to 35. Cricinfo has the match home. link.

SRT's career record is here.

There is only one person who can be compared with SRT - Brian Charles Lara.

A statistical comparision of two masters is here.

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delicious and yahoo - not so strange bedfellows

The official blog spills the beans. Yahoo has bought link.
We're proud to announce that has joined the Yahoo! family. Together we'll continue to improve how people discover, remember and share on the Internet, with a big emphasis on the power of community. We're excited to be working with the Yahoo! Search team - they definitely get social systems and their potential to change the web. (We're also excited to be joining our fraternal twin Flickr!)
I'm interesting in seeing how yahoo will use delicious. It already has flickr but there is no "integration" of any kind between some of the traditional yahoo services such as mail, geocities etc and flickr. For that matter, there is no integration, that I remember of, between yahoo photos and flickr.

I also tried to find a press release on the same from Yahoo, but no such info was available. Hmmm.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Count down till GWB retires

A funny program that counts down the seconds left before George W Bush ceases to be President of the US. link.

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Karthikeyan at Williams

ITV has interesting news that Narain Karthikeyan is being considered as Williams 3rd Driver. link.

Karthikeyan was the brand ambassador for the Ford Ikon at home before joining Jordan. This perhaps was the link between the two.

Its going to interesting to see how he compares against Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber, if the rumors are true. Till then, we can only wait for the announcement.

By the way, googling for Williams F1 still brings up the BMW Williams website. However, the link doesn't load!! Irony.

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Saturday, December 03, 2005


The equivalent English word for the Kannada word Habba is Festival. Its time to celebrate Bangalore rather than complain about it. link.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The peripheral ring road to open next year

The Hindu reports that the PRR should open soon. link.

Some interesting data on the projected travel time is provided.

Instead of 70 mins to travel from Meenakshi Temple on Bannerghatta road to Electronic City on Hosur it should now take around 10 mins!!

The caveat is that the road has to be completed first. :-)

I'll believe it when I drive on it. Till then I'll wait patiently in my car, in a traffic jam.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Outside the cricket grounds

The BCCI elections are finally completed and we have a winner. Sharad Pawar. Cricinfo reports. link.

This entire messy saga of who controls the BCCI is far from over. While it looks like one group has wrestled control, it will be interesting to see what happens on the ground.

As a long suffering fan, my demands are simple
  1. Make it easy for me to buy a ticket, if I want to. Have a website for goodness sake and allow me to buy online.
  2. Reduce meaningless matches and improve scheduling. The Aussie system of "world series" is pretty successful in producing great cricket
  3. Improve the grounds - both for the players and the spectators
  4. Insist on better TV coverage. The last thing I want to see is an ad blocking my view
  5. Invest in developing a great cricket team. How can a country with 1 Billion people produce a team that consistently fails?
  6. Get the stars to play in domestic cricket and make it attractive to watch First Class Cricket. If anything, work with TV channels to broadcast important matches.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Malgudi Days on Pogo

Pogo has nostalgia in the air. Everyday, Malgudi Days is aired in the evening - 8.30PM. Raj has an interesting piece of trivia link
the name “Malgudi” was formed by adding up the names of two of Bangalore’s old neighborhoods, Malleshwaram and Basavangudi.
At one point of time Malleswaram was the culture bastion of "North Bangalore" and Basavangudi was quientessential "South Bangalore". Bangalore has grown far more than what was once considered as "North Bangalore" and "South Bangalore", and Malleswaram and Basavangudi have changed forever. No longer can they be considered as quiet neighbourhoods at the very ends of town. This is one of the side effects of Outsourcing and it is with a sense of loss that most of the original Bangaloreans look back at the time when Malgudi Days was first broadcast on State TV.

As this post is being typed, I'm watching a very thin, youngish Girish Karnad in one of the short stories that make up Malgudi Days.

Malgudi days is a true classic by R K Narayan. link.

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Things to see in Bangalore

In an earlier post, I had asked the question - what cultural, and historical landmarks do we have in Bangalore? link.

Kishore has links to two of them - Iskcon Temple and the Shiva Temple. link.

I for one prefer some secular landmarks, but its true that the these two temples are quite amazing.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Greasemonkey for Technorati

A few weeks back, I added a nice greasemonkey userscript to take care of my technorati links. I had never really checked if the generated links work. Found a bug today and had to reinstall.

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Lara is the king

He's done it. After all, it was just a matter of time. Brian Charles Lara is the leading scorer in Test Cricket. link (Cricinfo).

He already holds the highest individual score.

Invariably, when someone brings up the subject of Lara's Batting, comparisions with another little master comes up. Today, there is no need for comparisions. Lara's records speak for themselves. link.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

RIP Pat Morita

Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid was one of the memorable characters of all time. Pat Morita who played the character passed away. link.

RIP and thanks for all the laughs.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Common Errors in English

Excellent link to commons errors in English. link.

The site is by a Prof of English at WSU.

I wonder how many mistakes have I made in my blogging?

Instant On from Apple

According to the Motley Fool, the reason behind Apple's huge NAND Flash deal could be to provide an "Instant ON" kind of computer. link.

An Instant On system is already present if we use a "Hibernate" or "Standby" power down mode in MS Windows. It still takes time for the PC to boot up, but its better than having to log on every morning. Hibernate works by storing the contents of RAM on Disk. When the computer is turn on again, the contents of RAM are put back from the Hard Disk and the Operating System continues from where it left off.

The problem with this method is the time its takes for the computer to read the stored data from the Hard Disk into RAM and then try to make sense of it all. Hard Disk access is quite slow when compared to how quick CPUs actually are. This is due to the way a Hard Disk works. A moving mechanical arm is required and this physical movement will take time. If the data saved is all over the place, then the Operating System will take longer to collect all of it.

If NAND Flash is used instead of a Hard Disk, then the time to read data is the same regardless of the location.

Perhaps, this is the thinking behind the article. I for one, would love to get my hands on an Intel Based iBook or Powerbook as soon as they are out. That's still on my wishlist.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005


A cool page with a number of illusions, perception puzzles. link.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Che Guevera anyone?

Hilarious post by Vantage Point on "why" Che Guevera didn't bother starting a revolution in India. link. Che Che....

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Top 10 Space Movies has a list of the top 10 movies about spaces. link via slashdot.

As expected the original star wars trilogy are on the list but the newer prequels are not. In terms of preference, my star wars list would be
  1. The Empire Strikes back (V) - No. *I* am your father.
  2. Star Wars or A New Hope (IV) - Use the Force, Luke.
  3. Return of the Jedi (VI) - And now, young Skywalker... you will die.
  4. Revenge of the Sith (III) - Not quite as I expected
  5. The Clone Wars (II) - Just one scene with Jar-Jar Binks
  6. Phantom Menace - Jar-Jar Binks and me-so think the miticlorians as the source for the force is a bunch of rubbish-o
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Strike one off the wishlist

Was having a strong cases of the blues for the last couple of days.

To cheer myself up, decided to make a wishlist of the things I want
  1. Mercedes SLR McLaren
  2. Porsche Carrera GT
  3. Apple Powerbook 17" (Intel, so I need to wait for next year)
  4. iPod
  5. Townhouse at Prestige Cedars
Making the wishlist was not the cure I wanted.

So I decided to give in to the urge.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Will VW join the F1 Circus?

According to, VW may be considering F1. link.

These rumors are nothing new, but the interesting thing is that it has the name "Red Bull" popping up. Audi has a rich racing history and a long rivalry with Mercedes-Benz.

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String spin

This is a cool application. Just draw a line, click on start and watch the magic. link.

However, be warned!!. Switching away from the browser (both firefox and IE) causes it to hang up.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

DaVinci's Genius

An interesting article on DaVinci's Genius. link.

Recently, a couple of teams of engineers decided to test whether or not Leonardo Da Vinci was as brilliant as everyone thought. They decided to take two of his designs, build them and see if they would work. The two designs decided upon were: A glider, and an 80 ft weapon similar to a crossbow but firing spherical projectiles. Each team was limited in the time and materials they had to use to construct their projects.

The only thing that I don't agree with the article is the mistake comparing DaVinci's Glider with the Wright Brothers' 1903 Flyer. The Wright Brothers' built the world's first heavier-than-air powered aircraft. Gliders had existed well before the Wright Brothers.

Lord Kelvin once remarked that Heavier than Air Machines were impossible. link.

Talk about having famous last words!!!

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

View from the top of the world

A great photo of the world from the top of Mt. Everest. link.

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

gchart - what time is it?

gchart is a pretty cool application that is a mashup using the google maps API. link.

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Toyota moves to Bridgestone for 2006

According to the BBC, Toyota has joined Williams in moving from Michelin to Bridgestone. link.

This move may not pay off in the near future, thanks to the special relationship between Ferrari and Bridgestone. McLaren moved from Bridgestone to Michelin in 2001 citing the Ferrari-Bridgestone coziness as a concern. McLaren struggled to adapt to Michelin in 2002, but came back strongly in 2003.

BAR found some impressive pace in 2004 when they switched over from Bridgestone. Winter testing will give a good indication of how much of an advantage or disadvantage these moves will be for Williams and Toyota.

Whatever be the result in 2006, there is no doubt that Williams and Toyota elected to join Bridgestone keeping the 2008 season in mind. Only time will tell if Michelin decide to move on in 2008.

I personally feel that more the competition, the better it will be for the sport. Today, we decide that there should be only one tyre manufacturer. Next, some bright guy will come up with a single engine manufacturer or a single chassis. Soon, F1 will end up mirroring A1 and the sport as we know it will no longer exist.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Que Sara Sara

Lifehack has a post on the 9 tips to happiness. link.
If you want to be happy you need to understand that you can be happy and that you should be happy. Many people make the mistake of believing that they don’t deserve happiness and accept their unhappy state as their destiny. The truth of the matter is that happiness, like anything else in life, needs to be nurtured.
Useful tips indeed.

Being a happy-go-lucky person, my mantra is
  1. Don't worry about the future, plan for it.
  2. Don't regret the past, learn from it.
Que Sara Sara, whatever will be will be, the future is not ours to see, Que Sara Sara.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

History's worst bugs

The wired has a story about 10 of the worst software bugs in history. link.

Reminds me of a story that I heard sometime back.

A lot of software is being written to control cars. Nowadays, the first thing a mechanic would do with a newer car, is to plug in a laptop into the car and read out the status messages. So what happens when you combine large amounts of software, written in a matter of days, untested in a real car? Disaster..

Luckily, most car companies are paranoid about the quality of software. Typically, a car model undergoes at least a year's testing for thousands of kilometers. It so happened, that in one car model (No names here), whenever the test driver took a particular exit, the car would just die. It took some time to figure out that to that the exit the driver has to go under a bridge, which for some reason caused the GPS signal to be lost for a fraction of a second. The result? The software running on the car crashed!! Weird, huh?

Another case I remember, is of a guy who complained that his car hated Vanilla Icecream. It seems the guy used to go out for Icecream every Saturday Night with his kids. Whenever the kids took Vanilla, the car wouldn't start up unless it was cranked a bit. Whenever the kids chose different flavours, the problem wasn't seen. It took some debugging to figure out that whenever the guy bought Vanilla he too less time inside the shop and was back in his car earlier. The result? The software failed when the engine was still warm!! Weird!!

All these stories are FOAF. So, if you have corrections or comments, send them in!!!

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Newey to head to Red Bull?

The BBC reports that Adrian Newey is going to move from McLaren to Red Bull. link.

This is a weird development. Newey has been wanting to quit F1 for some time now, so that he could try his hand on other things - designing a yacht, a road car etc.

For him to move from a works team to a non-works team would be pretty sensational.
He did want to go to Jaguar in 2001, and when he was persuaded not to leave Bobby Rahal lost his job at Jaguar.

Why would he want to leave McLaren to Red Bull?
What do Red Bull bring to the table that McLaren cannot or will not?

Update: Planet-F1 says that the move has been confirmed by a press release from Red Bull. Newey to join RB in Feb 2006. link.

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Repairs to rain affected city infrastructure in Bangalore

According to the DH, repairs to the rain affected city infrastructure will start within the next few days and will be completed within 3 weeks. link.

This fall has been particularly wet. With record rainfalls, flooding in many areas surrounding bangalore was common and many roads have been severely damaged. One must only wait and see if the promised "3 weeks" is going to be fulfilled or not, especially given the weather forecast for additional rain in next couple of days.

The reason touted has been the lack of planned infrastructure development in all areas outside the BMP (Bangalore Corporation) and BDA (Bangalore Development Authority). Technically, these areas are not part of Bangalore but come under different towns. The Govt. is now trying to amalgamate all the surrounding towns with Bangalore itself.

Hopefully, incorporating the surrounding towns into a single entity will improve the quality of infrastructure on the outskirts.

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

More on the Property Price correction

More information on the correction in real estate prices. link.

Parts of Bommanhalli has been affected pretty badly.

Previous Post on the same subject is here.

On that note, a small rant. South Bangalore does not mean only HSR, Madivala, BTM, Bannerghatta road. A lot of people seem to think that South Bangalore is defined by only places that are close to Software companies. That is not the case. South Bangalore has far more to offer than usual Software Hype. So, if you hear that South Bangalore has been affected by rains, it does not mean the whole of South Bangalore is submerged. South Bangalore was a far better place to live in until the software boom.

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Munnar and Thekkady - Long Weekend Getaways

After long hours of work in Bangalore, the best thing to do would be to getaway for a long weekend. One option is Thekkady. link.

A Location map is also available from here.
Given the location, one of the ways to get to Thekkady would be to catch a train from Bangalore on Friday - Kanyakumari Express, which leaves at around 9.45PM and reaches Kottayam at around 11.00 the next day. Then hire a car from the railway station or catch a bus to Kumali which is a few kms from Thekkady. Total travel costs should be around 2500/- per person. (2000/- for the Rail Ticket and rest for Bus Fare)

There should be plenty of things to do on Saturday and Sunday, before heading back on Monday evening. The same train leaves Kottayam at 4.15PM and reaches Bangalore at 7.55AM Tuesday.

Driving down from Bangalore is not really an option. The journey would be at least 11 hours by road.

Another option would be to fly to Cochin from Bangalore and then take a car or bus from the airport. Total travel costs should be around 6200/- per person (5800/- for the air fare and the rest for bus fare)

Accomodation options are here.

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A new book on Bangalore

I haven't read the book, but according to a review the book is worth a look. link.

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Can there be Paris type riots in the US?

Interesting post on that question is here.

Some people probably think that a Paris-like scene in a major U.S. city is the stuff of fairy tales. That it could never happen here. That problems like discontent and unemployment could never have the magnitude here that they have in France. That if there ever were such profound social unrest and such pressing social problems as exist in the Parisian suburbs that our "democratic" government would take immediate steps to remedy the situation, restore order, and take responsibility.

A different POV would bring up these points
  1. The Automobile Industry isn't the only tangible industry. Defence, Aerospace, Financial Services are big contributors to the US economy.
  2. For Millenia, the West has bought goods made in the East via the Silk Route. The only century in which goods did not move from East to West was the 20th Century. Outsourcing is the same in principle but magnified 100x times
  3. The beauty of the US system is the ability to adapt and create jobs. French Style economic policies are far different from what is seen in the US. That's why its unlikely that there will be 30% unemployment in the US. At least in the near future.
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Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Blue Ball Machine

The Blue Ball Machine is a cool animation. link.

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wiki notes on windows

Using a wiki to take notes is a great idea. The wiki software takes care of linking different pages and what you get is a simple method of organizing notes. WikiNotes is one such application. link.

However, the problem with WikiNotes is that it requires OSX. An alternative is to use the tcl wikit. It doesn't require tcl to be installed on Windows. All you need to do is download tclkit and wikit and run it. link.

As a example, just download them to C:\wiki
In a command window type the following

C:\wiki\tclkit.exe wikit.kit

The wiki GUI comes up and you are on your way. Instead of having to run via command line each time, you can create a shortcut.
  1. Create a shortcut to C:\wiki\tclkit.exe
  2. Right Click on the shortcut and edit the properties of the shortcut
  3. Modify the target field to C:\wiki\tclkit.exe C:\wiki\wikit.kit
That's it. Now you have your own personal wiki.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Bangalore Airport is one of the fastest growing in the current

A small thought on the growing pains that Bangalore is experiencing. The airport is just unable to keep pace. link.

We really need the new Airport as soon as possible.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Williams confirm Nico Rosberg for 2006

Williams have confirmed Nico Rosberg to partner Mark Webber for 2006. link. Additional link.

However, its not certain what kind of impact these two will have in the 2006 Cosworth Powered Williams. In a way, its destiny. Keke Rosberg won the WDC in a Cosworth powered Williams.

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The Exhausted Indian IT professional

Very interesting post on how Software Engineers put in insane hours. link. (via).

IT work culture in India is totally messed up and has now started harming the work culture of the nation as a whole. Working 12+ hours a day and 6 or even 7 days a week is more the rule than the exception.

Having left for work at 8.30 in the morning and having returned at 11.30PM, I can only agree with the points raised.

However, there are a couple of points against the post.
  1. Respect for individuality is quite high in the Industry. Its very unlikely that a person would not be allowed to express his opinions even if they are completely contracting their boss's Point of View. This does not happen in most old economy companies and is considered a big 'no-no'. Most Indian Families value "respect to elders" above all else.
  2. A lot of software engineers still tend to behave like code generators rather than engineers. When a person buys a house, then the first thing that the buyer would demand are the blueprints. Next, the buyer would insist on shopping around for different colours for the walls, different tiles in the bathroom, different flooring options etc. One does not build the four walls, then decide where to add supporting beams. If only we spend more effort in requirements analysis, architecture, design, reviews before getting into coding, the overall efforts would be lower. Ideally, one should spend only 10-15% of time writing code and spend the rest in upstream activities.
  3. Software Engineers also need to put egos aside. A Typical Indian SE believes that he/she is the best person on the job and to ask for help is to admit failure. There is no point in re-inventing the wheel and by asking sufficient questions, its possible that there could be something that can be reused from a totally unexpected source.
  4. Software Engineers tend to focus on breadth rather than depth. A lot of managers tend to encourage this trend as well and are equally to blame. Someone who is a domain expert will not spend effort "ramping up". The result? Quicker timelines, with lesser effort. There is no shame in a 30 or 40 year old remaining an engineer and focusing on technical issues rather than management issues. Most companies assume that an expert is created in a couple of months, a domain specialist in a few years and a management guru within a decade.
  5. The software industry in India does not discriminate. It may come as a surprise to many, but a lot of old economy companies discriminate in many subtle ways. Sex, Class, Creed are irrelevant for software companies because it is a knowledge industry. Being born on the wrong side of the tracks has no relevance.
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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Additional Flights from Europe to Bangalore

Both British Airways and Air France have started flying into Bangalore. link and link.

This will bring in much needed competition to Lufthansa, which flies Bangalore to Frankfurt direct. Air India too has a flight out of Bangalore but requires a 5-6 hour stop over at Mumbai. I haven't seen a Lufthansa flight that wasn't jam packed as yet, and getting tickets was always a bit dicey. Now, that we have 2 additional carriers, hopefully, some of the traffic will be diverted. In addition, I hope the competition leads to a reduction in ticket prices.

Air France infact has a special inaugural return fare from Bangalore to CDG, Paris at Rs 19000/- ($421/-), which is pretty amazing. What that translates to is a price of around $1000 for return fare from the East Coast of USA to Bangalore.

Most of the people flying into Bangalore are of three types
  1. Parents flying back home after visiting children in the U.S. or folks travelling to India to meet family (40%)
  2. Business Travellers, many of whom are crammed in economy class (50%)
  3. Only about 10% travel on holiday.
By reducing the ticket prices, type 1 and type 3 are bound to increase and the additional capacity will be filled up quite quickly.

The only real problem with the flights are that they aren't Boeing 747s but A340s. I can't comment on the A340s technical advantages but as a passenger I always found A340s quite cramped The leg room is minimal and when one has a 20 hour flight (10 hours to Frankfurt and 10 from Frankfurt to Bangalore), its not easy.

FOAF said that 747s cannot land in Bangalore due to runway concerns. I don't know if that is the case, but we definitely don't have any 747s landing here. All that will change once the new airport is built.

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Correction in Property Rates in Bangalore

The New Indian Express reports that the prices across different parts of bangalore are having a downward correction due to the incessant rains and flooding. link. Due apologies to Eva for saying that it was not so.

If realtors are to be believed, the property prices in HSR layout have taken the biggest hit.

The increase in rates in Bangalore have always been suspect. Why would anyone pay Rs.2000/- per sft for land that has no roads, no water supply, no electricity and evidently no drains. The problem with the growth has been the development of areas that come under different CMCs rather than the BMP. The result, hapazard growth. Hopefully, this will be a wake up call.

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Monday, October 31, 2005

What was that number?

The TOI has a report that makes a shocking statement - Since 1994, over 50000 people have died in India due to Terrorism. link.

The SATP website has the numbers in detail. The numbers are up to date till June 2005 and the counter is at 50937. link.

Compare that with the 2986 casualties in the 9/11 attacks. link. The response to those acts has been swift and the entire world stood as one with the victims. The report on the attacks are available on the net. link.

Contrast that with the lack of information on the Indian Govt's policy. Is there a policy?

There has been legislation to that effect in the form of POTA and there were legistative actions earlier in the form of POTO and TADA. link.

But has there been action that can demostrate the reduction of this scourge?
In light of the Delhi Blasts, the need is for action and not procrastination. Who knows where terrorism will strike next? No doubt there are people within the Govt. who are working towards a safer world, but what we need is a co ordinated, focussed, unwarying, unyielding approach.

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

One Year of Ranga Shankara

Its been a year since Ranga Sankara has opened and the theatre scene in Bangalore hasn't been the same ever since. link.

In addition, the exorbitant costs of hiring such a space was adding to the problems of theatre groups. Ranga Shankara has filled that gap. Actor Arundhati Nag gave 12 long, challenging years of her life to build it. How she did it is in itself like a heart-stopping story with all its twists and turns, but with a happy ending. Shankar Nag would have approved.

Recently, a couple of colleagues from Europe had come down. Invariably, the question asked is - What's nice to see in Bangalore? My first reply is usually to point to Mysore, Srirangapatna, Shravana-Bellagola, Belur and Halebid. But none of these are in Bangalore and so I have to come up with answers such as Tipu's Palace, Lalbagh, Vidhan Soudha, High Court Buildings etc.

So, the question to ask is - what cultural, and historical landmarks do we have in Bangalore?

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Not so fast

Interesting article on why India and China have huge challenges ahead of them. link. (via)

While there is no doubt about the great potential of these two economies in the rest of this century, severe structural and institutional problems will hobble them for years to come. At this point, the hype about the Indian economy seems patently premature, and the risks on the horizon for the Chinese polity – and hence for economic stability – highly underestimated.

It is a timely reminder that one should not get carried away by the hoopla and actually get the work done.

Time to quote Robert Frost. Two Poems come to mind -
From the The Road not Taken -
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

And from the Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening -
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

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Things Bangalore needs to do to reduce traffic congestion

From the US Federal Highway Administration website, some of the key things to reduce congestion are below. link (via)
  • Traffic signal improvements
  • Advanced traffic signal control
  • Traffic monitoring
  • Access management
There are literally hundreds of places where Traffic signal improvements can be made in Bangalore. One classic case where this has worked (to some extent) has been J C road. The signals are synchronized and as a result one gets from Minerva Circle to Corporation Circle fairly quickly. Another example would be Cubbon road.

My list of arterial roads that are candidates for a makeover are
  1. M.G Road. From Victoria Statue to Trinity Circle there are 4 traffic lights. The distance? 2 km. These can easily be improved, esp. at Mayo hall. Duration to cover 5 years back - 5 mins. Current Duration - 15 mins
  2. Ring Road from Silk Board Junction to Banashankari Temple. This 10 km stretch is a nightmare. There are at least 8-10 junctions, most of which are manned by a traffic cop. Duration to cover 5 years back - 15 mins. Current Duration - 45 mins
  3. Koramangala Main Road from St. John's Hospital to Indiranagar/Airport Road and continuing on 100 feet road to Old Madras road. This 10 km stretch was a breeze 5 years back. It would take 15 mins to cover the entire distance. The current duration is 1 hour.
  4. JC Road. I know that earlier in the post, I mentioned JC road as place were traffic management has worked, but I believe it can be better. Currently, the 3 km stretch has 5 traffic signals and the problem is that even though they are synchronized you end up hitting at lest 2. The last traffic light is timed incorrectly, as its only 100 meters from the previous one, and yet one has to wait 10 secs before it turns green.
  5. Nanda Road from Ring Road to South End Circle and continuing on RV Road till Lalbagh West Gate. This 5 km stretch has at least 5 traffic junctions. Most of these are manned lights and that adds to the inefficiency. By placing synchronized lights throughout, the current duration of 20 mins can be reduced. Duration 5 years back - 10 mins
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Hatred Begets Hatred

A quick look at the technorati search for Delhi shows a large number of blogs jumping to the conclusion on who is responsible. link.

Rather than pointing fingers, there is an urgent need for us to work towards returning to normalcy. The very fact that the attacks were not against any military, government or state run organization indicates that the perpetrators want normalcy to be shattered. By targetting innocent people, these ogres want us to give in into the irrational ideas they harbor. By definition, Terrorism is ignoble because there is no glory, no valour, no courage, no strength, no pride in murdering innocent people from different creeds, religions and ages.

If anything, Indian Democracy gives a clear answer. Put down your guns and participate in democratic institutions. Indian History teaches peaceful methods and the power of non-violence. Sadly, those who give refuge to terrorists believe far less in democracy and more in medieval practices. Those who proliferate terrorism sully the very ideals that they claim to uphold.

There are very few folk in India who dont believe that their future is going be better than their past. If the Middle Class and Upper Middle Class incomes have doubled over the last 10 years, then the Below Poverty and Lower Middle Class incomes have doubled if not tripled over the last 10 years. If those who think that terrorism is the way forward to a better future, cannot be more wrong.

Update: Improved Grammar :-)

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Millisecond convertor - WTF

The Daily WTF has a hilarious piece of code that describes how to convert milli seconds to seconds. link.

Given the problem of converting milliseconds to minutes, I imagine that most of us would simply divide the number of milliseconds by 60,000. That's because most of us are not experts in the art of complexification.

Had a good laugh.

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Grease Monkey to improve Fark in Bloglines

Came across a nice script to get the links from fark without going through the forum in a separate page. I can always go to the forum and post a comment later. I was about to unsubscribe from fark and as luck would have it, I stumbled across the greasemonkey script. The script can be downloaded from here.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Solar Powered Charger

CNET has a story about a new product that can charge iPods or cellphones using a Solar Receiver. link.

The 5-inch by 3-inch device known as Soldius1 converts solar energy into 6.58 volts at a maximum of 320 milliamperes of power after only about 3 hours in direct sunlight.

Given all the rain in Bangalore recently, this is one device that's going to be gathering dust, while it pours outside.

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Pit wall Celebrations banned

Doctorvee has the story. link.

It is a classic image, seen at the end of almost every grand prix — the pit crew that has worked hard all weekend to get their car to the chequered flag run across the pit lane during the final lap and climb the fence, arms waving, fists clenched, to greet their man at the finish line.

The actual FIA Press release goes on to describe the new qualifying format, the restored tyre rules from 2004 and Provisional Calendar.

What's also interesting in the press release is not just the CDG wing for 2008 but the fact that there could be only 1 tyre supplier and slick tyres from 2008. link.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The rain is going to grind bangalore to a halt

According to soultrot, the bangalore traffic police have declared an holiday for educational institutions for the next two days. link.

However, the bangalore police govt website does not have such information. I didn't expect the website to be updated, but at least its worth a try to check out. link.

I guess everyone in Bangalore will be checking the weather reports and hoping for the best. has satellite imagery of the NE monsoon. link.

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Impact of NGOs in banning plastic

Most of my posts have been on the problems that Bangalore is facing due to the explosive growth and how the Govt is turning a blind eye to these problem. In light of this, is a story of how, NGO (Non-Govt Organizations) make an impact.

TOI has a story about how banning plastic is feasible and its impact to Bannerghatta. link.

The zoo, particularly the area around it, faced a lot of problem because of visitors littering it. Almost a year ago, they started enforcing the no-plastic rule strictly and now they have achieved good results.

These are the real people from Bangalore who make an impact.
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Calvin and Hobbes - Entire Collection available

TOI reports that the entire C&H collection is now available. link.

the complete Calvin and Hobbes series has come out in the form of a 1,456-page tome and art-book.

Now, that's one more in the wishlist.

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More news on the expressway

The Indian Express says that the Expressway is a litmus test for the investment in Infrastructure. link.

Third, the success of the project is a litmus test for foreign investment—especially in infrastructure—not just in Karnataka but in India.

The article goes on to quote an unnamed official from a Japanese company and compare the situation in other SE Countries.

Firstly, I think that the comparision is unfair. There are no real democracies like we have in India in the places mentioned. For all its faults and all the problems that the Indian Politicians can cause, we have a working democracy. All democracies have different forces pulling in different directions. I'm including the western democracies to this list as well and India is no exception.

We all blame the politicians for bringing in too many road blocks, but consider the scenario where there is no one in the political class who constitutes an opposition. In that case, the govt can suddenly decide to build an expressway right through downtown bangalore, all residential areas and throw people out of their homes and the only sources of their livelihood. Given the alternative, I choose the slow and cumbersome process.

However, I would still like the politicians to have a vision of the future. But at least I can say that , so far the Indian Govt hasn't bankrolled a tinpot dictator in the Middle East only to find that the puppet has turned hostile.

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Monday, October 24, 2005

My views of flock after a weekend of use

List of things I liked about flock
  1. Its based on firefox. That means that the advantages of firefox should be carried over here. But it also means that some of the problems with firefox turn up as well
  2. Integration with Its really pretty simple to use and helps it tagging.
  3. Posting directly to Blogger is pretty good. I was able to make a couple of posts to blogger directly through flock. I also found the wysiwyg editor quite good.
List of things that were missing
  1. The wysiwyg mode is pretty good but I do require a html view mode. Being a bit geeky, I want to have a look at the code before posting. Also, I tag such that the links appear from my account rather than technorati. This can be done by adding the html code directly rather than using the inbuilt tag manager by flock.
  2. I did find that it wasn't able to post to blogger in the beginning but then it seemed to work. I wouldn't really blame flock to much here, because for some reason my atom feed wasn't working correctly over the weekend. Only after changing my template did it start to work again and flock started working too. The gist is that since flock depends on how co operative blogger is, the blog editor will be difficult to get right
  3. Firefox extensions. I know that this just an alpha and it will take time to ensure that firefox extensions work as-is in flock.
On the whole, I really liked the integration and found the Blogger integration pretty good. Keep up the great work guys and hope there's more to come from you. But did I post this from flock? No, I used the blogger editor cause I really want the raw html editor interface as well. So, I guess I will be waiting quite eagarly until v1.0 is out.

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Radical Wing for 2008

Planet-F1 has the news about the new wing proposal for 2007/2008. link.

The FIA today unveiled the design for a double rear-wing concept that they want to introduce into Formula One in 2007 to improve overtaking. In order to encourage overtaking, the FIA initiated a programme of research into improving the aerodynamic performance of a car when trying to overtake.

Can this latest change by the FIA actually improve the quality of racing? What about the bloated costs of running an F1 team. All this will definitely push the costs skywards.

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

What they really mean is...

link Via imeGination.
When people say... What they really mean is...
For Engineers:
“Preliminary operational tests were inconclusive.” - The darn thing blew up when we threw the switch.

“A number of different approaches are being tried.” - We don't know where we're going, but we're moving.
“Developed after years of intensive research.” - It was discovered by accident.
“Test results were extremely gratifying.” - It works and boy, were we surprised!
“The entire concept is unworkable.” - The only guy who understood the thing just quit.

Adding to this would be a list of boss-speak during yearly raises.
"You were rated amongst the top 10% in the company" - The rest have left for better jobs
"Due to cost cutting there wont be any stock options this year" - Since is the stock is at an all time low, only management has been given stock options
"Your hike is very generous and nobody in the team were given such a good hike" - The others were "given" lower hikes but then they negotiated better hikes.

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Testing out flock

Given the huge publicity that flock has received, I decided to try it out. So, here's a post using flock.

The integration with blogger isn't perfect, but its usable. I need to figure out how to add a link.

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Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

There is only way to find out. Click on the link and find out. link via bloglines toplinks.

I got an A+.

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

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Bill Waterson enjoys his privacy

Maybe someday, officials will put up a statue marking this quaint village as the birthplace of "Calvin and Hobbes."
Just don't expect cartoonist Bill Watterson to attend the unveiling ceremony. It's been nearly 10 years since he abruptly quit drawing one of the most popular comic strips of all time. Since then, he's been as absent as the precocious Calvin and his pet tiger, err, stuffed animal, Hobbes.
Some call Watterson reclusive. Others say he just likes his privacy.

Calvin and Hobbes are one of the most popular fictional characters of all times.

The love-hate relationship with Suzie, the unimpressed school teacher Mrs Wormwood, the chirpy Dad and quiet Mom all make this a classic. The very fact that BW does not support any effort in merchandizing C&H has made the strip even more popular. Though we can always buy a knock off C&H T Shirt or a coffee cup, these are not official merchandize and BW does not make even 1 cent from the sales of these item.

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Phase 1 of Blr-Mys Expressway to open soon

The question one should ask is why does the Govt. treat the Blr-Mys Expressway Project with so much contempt? link.

Part of the Expressway will be the Peripheral Ring Road connecting Hosur road to Mysore road and to NH4. If utilized correctly it can really reduce the amount of traffic by Buses and Taxis within the city. Ideally, if a person coming in from Madras wants to go to Malleshwaram, then he will have to through the city. Instead with the Peripheral Ring Road the route will change and traffic will divert from the city. The impact? Reduced travel time, lesser pollution, and less petrol consumed.

Roads such as the PRR no doubt are the concerns of the urban middle class, but what about the lower class and the rural folks. It is these people for whom most politicians hearts profess to bleed for. With the PRR it will easier for rural people to travel to Bangalore either on business or pleasure. The Urban Poor will use Buses that travel on the PRR to get from one end of the city to another faster and as a result be more productive. All this will add up.

But these are hardly the concerns of the current Govt. Why?

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8 Monkey Theory

Interesting post on how company policies, traditions etc. are developed. link via Desipundit.

Funny though the post may be, the serious question to ask is, whether this happens all that much in real life situations?

This is perhaps the reason why we could have a few hundred British civil servants rule millions of Indian people. It didn't matter whether or not the colonial masters were powerful or not. The very fact that the conquered people were been held back by Monkeys on their back is not to be forgotton. Some of the old newsreels do not show British Hawaldars latticharging the protestors but Indian Hawaldars themselves beating up unarmed and non-violent protestors.

So the question is simple. How do you beat the system?

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

No Spa in 2006?

Recent news reports all point to the Spa GP for 2006 is in doubt. Spa is one of the few memorable race tracks left. F1 without Spa is always going to be a bit less special. It has happened in recently, when we didn't have a Spa GP in 2003. News reports are here, here and here.

What makes Spa so special is the race track. High in Ardennes Mountains, the rain can sweep in almost unnoticed and the undulating track makes it a real challange.

Some of the memorable moments over the last 10 years have been at the Spa GP.
  1. M. Schumacher's win in 1995. Bit controversial and he earned a 1 GP ban because of his blocking moves on Damon Hill. If you are an MS fan then you could call it tactical brillance from him but if you are a anti-MS fan then its another example of the things that make you an anti-MS fan. But no one can deny the shear spectacle of watching him start the race in 16th and finish 1st. link.
  2. Damon Hill's win in 1998. Again race intervened and we had M. Schumacher leading by the proverbial country mile. Hakkinen was out of the race and had the win gone to Schumacher, he would have closed the gap quite dramatically for the driver's championship. But as it would turn out, he tried to lap DC at the Bus Stop Chicane and instead ran into the back of the McLaren. What makes it so memorable is that when both reached the pits, MS blew his top and went straight to DC. That made the news and it was live tv. DH won and R Schumacher came second, but it was the first win for Jordan and that makes it a bit special. link.
  3. Hakkinen's Win in 2000. This took some driving. M Schumacher had a nice lead in the latter part of the race. This was brought out by rain (as usual). But once the track started to dry, Hakkinen reeled in MS. It was obvious that the Ferrari wasn't as quick or as kind on its tyres as the McLaren. Within a few laps MH was right behind MS. He tried to pass at Les Combe Chicane but MS defended. Next lap he was right on MS's tail through Eau Rouge, and as they reached Les Combe, Zonta's BAR came up to be lapped. What happened next is sheer magic. MS moved to the middle of the race track lined right behind Zonta. Then he moved Left to Lap Zonta. MH followed for a split second, before deciding to overtake Zonta from the Right. So we had 3 cars side by side at 300 kmph just 300 mtrs from the Les Combe Chicane. MH managed to come ahead of both Zonta and MS. Wow. link.

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Political Entertainment

The best part of the current Karnataka Govt. has been the hilarious bickering by different members of Govt. The general feeling is that its the JD-S which has the upper hand over the Congress.

As a result, the initiatives set up by the previous Govt. and those who are considered as beneficiaries of the previous Govt. policies have come under the hammer. The IT industry has really grown over the last couple of years. While its got to do more with the outsourcing phenomena rather than visonary Govt policies, the industry has been identified to be close to the previous Govt.

The result? The obvious. Daily fights between the biggest gainers from the IT world and the powers-to-be are being played out in the Media. The latest act in this saga has been the BIAL (Bangalore International Airport Limited). Recently Narayana Murthy quit as the chairman of the BIAL. In return we have a story where innocence is claimed. link

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Bit Busy

Sorry folks. Not much to update out here. Have been extremely busy. We will return to normal programming shortly

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

ICC Super Series planned for failure

According to Cricinfo, the future of the Super Series is uncertain. link.

Five Reasons why the Super Series was one sided
  1. It was the Aus Team vs. ICC XI. Emphasis should be on "Team". The ICC XI was a just a group of super stars. Most members of the Aus Team had played with each other, but that was not the case with the ICC XI players. Most players of the ICC XI had played against each other at an international level rather than with each other.
  2. Held in on home ground for Australia. This gave a huge advantage to Australia. The thought process would have been based on the assumption that a group of the best players is going to crush any other team in the world. Therefore, Australia was given a huge home advantage
  3. The ICC XI were not given sufficient side games to counter the Home Advantage. Inzy for example played just the one Test Match.
  4. There was no pressure to perform on the ICC XI. ICC XI were playing for pride rather than for team and country. No doubt they trieid their best, but what was lacking was the spark needed to convert one's best effort into a winning effort.
  5. Every fan will always say that the ICC XI did not have player X or Y. Its a bit of a flimsy excuse, but could be a factor. In my case, I'm rather disappointed that Sachin Tendulkar was not part of the team
A better series would have been 2 ICC XI teams playing each other. A sort of "All-Stars" Series. My two teams for such a test series would be

Team A
  1. Mathew Hayden
  2. Graeme Smith (C)
  3. Rahul Dravid
  4. Inzamam Ul Haq
  5. Kumara Sangakara (W)
  6. Andrew Flintoff
  7. Shaun Pollock
  8. Shane Warne
  9. Shoaib Akthar
  10. Daniel Vettori
  11. Steve Harmison
Team B
  1. Virendra Sehwag
  2. Justin Langer
  3. Ricky Ponting (C)
  4. Brian Lara
  5. Jacques Kallis
  6. Kevin Pietersen
  7. Adam Gilchrist (W)
  8. Shane Bond
  9. Glenn McGrath
  10. Muthiah Muralitharan
  11. Stuart McGill
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Monday, October 17, 2005

Fire Safety

Gooze has an amusing story about how his hair caught fire today.

After a minute i got a smell of something burning. Not worrying about the smell, i just continued my Steam-inhalation for another few more seconds. I only reliazed that my towel had caught fire when the heat had started troubling me.

One of the worst smells in the world is the smell of burning hair. That's one to clear up the sinuses. I have heard of the Emperor's new clothes but this takes the cake. Truly a hair-raising story.

Reminds me of the time when I shaved off my eyebrow.

Twas in 4th standard and I had just finished my bath when I saw my dad's razor. The glint on the razor's edge was enticing. Without a moment's hesitation, I decided to try it out. First it was just the normal shaving action. Then I noticed that perhaps my eyebrows were a bit unflattering. Being quite vain, I decided that the best thing to do would be to "shape" the eyebrows. In addition to being vain, I'm also quite clumsy and result turned out to be a bit scary. Before you could has "Hair Removal", I had half my right eyebrow off.

Thats when reality hit me. Panicking, I put a Bandaid from the medicine cabinet on my eyebrow and went down for breakfast. I told myself, that made me look a bit like a pirate. Secretly, I hoped nobody at home would notice.

Nobody did.

At least for 3 seconds.

Then my mom jumped on me and asked what on blue blazes happened to my forehead. At first I tried to soften the blow by saying that I fell down hit myself against the bathroom sink. This only resulted in greater concern being shown and the bandaid coming off. What followed was the sound of loud laughter from everyone at the table. My brother found it really amusing. The one thing about family is that they don't hesitate to laugh at you when its funny. Initially, I joined in, but then found the experience a bit overwhelming.

Reduced to tears, I refused to go to school, afraid that my friends too would laugh. Unfortunately, I was told rather strictly, that one reaps what one sows. Boy! Did my friends have a ball. For about a year I was One-Brow Jack - the madman who shaves eyebrows and brings laughter wherever he lurks.

Arrgh!! Shiver Me Timbers...

St Mark's Road detour

Due to a pipe collapse, there is some emergency work to be done on St. Mark's Road. The result, huge traffic problems not just on St. Mark's Road but also Residency Road. Link here and here.

Old Madras road was jammed up pretty bad today morning. It took me 15 mins to reach Old Madras road and 30 mins from there. In short it takes 15 mins to travel 10 kms and 30 mins to travel 3 kms. The cops were controlling the traffic, which is always a bad idea. If the traffic lights are in use, then the traffic moves.

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

2005 Shanghai F1 Race Winners/Losers

  1. Alonso. If the start was good every restart that followed was amazing. Made sure that nobody came even came close to him. Drove like a WDC and totally dominated the race.
  2. Fisi. Though he missed out on the Podium thanks to the changes brought about in Spa, he's the main reason that Kimi didn't win. If he kept KR back at the beginning and effectively won Renault the championship in the first 10 laps
  3. R Schumacher. Staying out when everyone else went in and to convert that into a podium from nowhere is pretty amazing stuff.
  4. Klein. Brilliant Strategy and a very clean drive.
  5. KR. Tried his best but he didn't get past Fisi in the beginning of the race. Had he gotten past he would have at least challenged Alonso. In a way, it sums up his and McLaren's season - So near yet so far.
  1. M Schumacher. To have two crashes within the span of a couple hours must be really poor esp. given that both were driver errors.
  2. Ferrari. RB did try as much as he could but for a Ferrari to finish the race behind a Jordan is really bad. Tyres cannot be an excuse, because the Jordans are also on Bridgestones.
  3. Sato. Well, this is going to his last race, unless Honda decides to put him in their second team.
  4. JV. Massa has wiped his feat all over JV this season, and this race has been equally troublesome for JV.
  5. Trulli. Whatever happened to his race? He had tyres problems but he was nowhere to be seen. Plus he finished behind a Jordan, who use a couple of evolution older Toyota engines.
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My James Bond Lists

Now that we have a new actor playing James Bond. link.

Its time for me to put down a list of lists on James Bond.

1. James Bond Actors in terms of preference
  1. Sean Connery
  2. Roger Moore
  3. Pierce Brosnan
  4. Timothy Dalton
  5. George Lazenby
2. James Bond Movies in terms of preference
  1. Goldfinger
  2. Thunderball
  3. Dr. No
  4. Diamonds Are Forever
  5. Live and Let Die
  6. GoldenEye
  7. For Your Eyes Only
3. James Bond Villians in terms of preference
  1. Dr. No from Dr. No
  2. Auric Goldfinger from Goldfinger
  3. Emilio Largo from Thunderball
  4. Ernst Stavro Blofeld from all the movies he's in but especially Thunderball
  5. Mr Kidd and Mr Lint from Diamonds are forever
  6. Jaws from Moonraker
  7. Kananga/Mr. Big from Live and Let Die
4. James Bond other Characters in terms of preference
  1. Q (as played by Desmond Llewelyn)
  2. Felix Leiter
  3. Ms. Moneypenny (as played by Lois Maxwell)
  4. M (as played by Bernard Lee and not Judi Dench)
  5. Quarrel (in Dr. No)
  6. Vijay (Played by Vijay Amritraj)
  7. St. Pepper (in Live and Let Die and to some extent in Man with a Golden Guy)
5. James Bond Girls in terms of preference
  1. Ursula Andress
  2. Luciana Paluzzi
  3. Jane Seymour
  4. Honor Blackman
  5. Britt Ekland
  6. Michelle Yeoh
  7. Maud Adams (in Octopussy)
6. Sean Connery Movies (Non James Bond) in terms of preference
  1. The Untouchables
  2. The Hunt for Red October
  3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  4. Dragonheart
  5. The Man Who Would Be King
  6. Rising Sun
  7. The Avengers
7. James Bond Quotes in terms of preference
  1. Bond. James Bond. (From Dr. No)
  2. A martini. Shaken, not stirred. (From Goldfinger)
  3. That's a Smith & Wesson, and you've had your six. (From Dr. No)
  4. Shocking! Positively shocking! (From Goldfinger)
  5. Man has climbed Mount Everest, gone to the bottom of the ocean. He's fired rockets at the Moon, split the atom, achieved miracles in every field of human endeavor... except crime! (From Goldfinger)
  6. Choose your next witticism carefully Mr. Bond, it may be your last. (From Goldfinger)
  7. What exactly do you do?
    Oh, I travel... a sort of licensed troubleshooter. (From Thunderball)
There are tons of other quotes but I cant fit them all here.

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Sankey Tank

Traditionally, agriculture in these parts depended on surface water gathered in the form of large man-made lakes called tanks. While the number of these within blr has dwindled, some of the large ones that come to mind are
  1. Sankey Tank
  2. Ulsoor Lake
  3. Lalbagh Lake
  4. Hebbal Lake
Ulsoor lake was restored a few years back and is quite beautiful. Sankey tank too has undergone some improvements. The google earth community has a placemark available here.
A couple of nices snapes are available here.

CM had a "spot visit" yesterday. links here and here. However, Govt apathy will continue unabated.

A few days back there was tons of water on the road in from of Lalbagh Main Gate. The impression one got was that the lake had overflown. This had occured in the past and given the huge amount of rain this monsoon, I was pretty certain that it was the case this time as well. However, it turned out to be just a bit of water logging due to a huge downpour that ended a few minutes earlier. Naturally, traffic ground to a near halt due and what is essentially a 10 minute drive on Lalbagh road, turned out to be a 1/2 hour crawl. Reasons behind the water logging has been poor drainage. Poor drainage has been blamed on plastic bags clogging storm drains. Clogged storm drains were reported to be the reason behind Bombay's woes a few months back.
A story on water logging is here.

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Property Boom in Bangalore

According to the Hindu, the hottest areas in Bangalore are Sarjapur Road, Whitefield, and potentially Kanakapura road. But the funniest thing is the comment by Shobha Developers that you can buy a basic flat at 20L. Given that its impossible to buy a flat by SD for less than 50L, methinks its a bit funny. link.

Related stories from the Hindu are the Traffic Woes in Blr and the booklet on the new guidance values not available. Link here and here.

Ideally the govt. should make the guidance values available on the net and allow folks to download them for free. It costs less tax payers money and publishes the information faster.

Myopic view of

Acronyms for the institute

Disclaimer: I disclaim everything under and over the sun

Let's see what different things IIPM can stand for

Irritating Informercials for Ponytail Management (Dare to grow longer hair beyond the ordinary)
Inconsistent Informercials for Pedestrian Mistakes (Dare to cross the road before bicycles)
Involuntary Irritation of Puny Manhood (Dare to scratch beneath the surface)
Insipid Interest in the Preservation of Mummies (Dare to embalm without chlorform)

Other possible names could have been
II of Greasy Hair - IIGH (Dare to put Coconut Oil more than required)
II of Anonymous Cowards - IIAC (Dare to hide behind false blogs)
II of Marketing Masala - IIMM (Dare to put an additional M)
II of Truth Flattering - IITF (Dare to lie more than ever)
II of Chicken Counting - IICC (Dare to put two I's and two C's in one acronym)

Any more?

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Friday, October 14, 2005

A Private in Blogsphere wars!!

It all started with a story by Rashmi Bansal in a mag called jammag. Madness followed with unsavory comments at her blog here.

Then Gaurav Sabnis blogged about it on his blog. This apparently resulted in the "legal cell" from Pony-Tail-Institute sending him a cease and desist. This has led to him having to quit his job because the hardworking students at Pony-Tail want to burn there laptops made by Gaurav's Co. (LOL). He doesn't blame his employer.

I'm jobless right now so that aint going to happen to me :-)

Desipundit has been following the story continously here.

I had a look at the director of the institute from his site (I'm not going to link from here but you can google his name)

Let me follow his modus operandi
  1. I'm going to found an educational institution called TIMS (Theo's Institute of Managing Simpletons)
  2. I will be the first student of TIMS where I will take the only course available - BA (Bullshit Accredition) in Heckling (with honours). I'm the only teacher in the college and give top grades to my favorite student.
  3. Naturally, since I'm the only person in the course, I'm going to graduate at the top of the class.
  4. Next I will undertake an MBA (More Bullshit Accredition) in Planning for Heckling.
  5. Finally, as Dean of TIMS, I will grant myself a "Fellowship" of TIMS due my brilliant insight and analytical skills.
  6. I will then use these credentials to ensure that the People's Movement for Heckling, Tiptur to give me their most prestigious "Youth of the year Award"
  7. Naturally, Vegans for a Violent World will ask me to give a series of lectures on the finer aspects of heckling and the intricate planning that boisterous behavior requires, at their monthly meetings in chickenpet. (sic)
  8. I will naturally be posting all these on my website. I will also spend quite a bit on full page ads in newspapers daring people to dream beyond just heckling.
  9. Profit!!!
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