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Friday, December 19, 2008

Wikipedia should display ads and donate surplus to charity

I have been always bewildered by the "Donate Now" button on top of Wikipedia. Why do they want donation? Why don't they display ads?

Wikimedia's commitment is:

"Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment."

That's good. I like it and admire the founders. But, why do they need money through donations?

As of 18th December 2008, they have got $ 3,835,178 in donations. And their goal is a whooping $6 million.

Wikipedia has more than 2,663,000 articles in English alone. Over all, in all languages, they will have around 10,000,000 articles. So, what if they start putting ads? Maybe, Google Adsense?

Founders and loyalists will argue that displaying ads is against and not at all the policy and mindset of Wikimedia. Of course, Wikimedia is a nonprofit charitable organization. The donations are tax exempted.

Well, what if they display ads, pay salaries and server and other costs (not Mr.Wales credit card bills!) and donate the extra or whatever left to charity. This will call for a change of rules and reforms at Wikimedia. Also, need will arise for a committee which will handle the cash.

I can't imagine the cash inflow into Wikimedia if they open Wikipedia for ads. Even a rough mental estimate tells me that the extra money can easily feed millions in Africa and other poorer nations.

Why don't they do this?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The new mantra in Wall Street!

Ajit Dayal says in The Honest Truth,

The traders on Wall Street may soon follow a new mantra:
  • Break the law
  • Cheat investors
  • Take a lot of bad press
  • Pay a fine
  • Create wealth, and all is forgiven.
Isn't this 100 percent right when we look at the things that have been going on during the past one month?

Ajit, as usual, is at his best in this article. Read it at Humility, Integrity or Greed?

Worldspaces' India operations to go on as usual

On October 19, Worldspace (now known as 1worldspace) had filed for bankruptcy. I got a response to the Indian office today. They said that the Indian operations won't be affected and will continue as usual. It reads:

WorldSpace HQ and US entities have filed for protection and WorldSpace India has not. We are a separate company setup and fully owned by WS Inc.

We would like to inform that the business in India will continue as usual. We will service our existing customers and continue to do our best to meet the aspirations of our customers in India.

If you require any assistance, please call us on our call center number or feel free to write to us.

Customer Care Team
WorldSpace India Pvt. Ltd.
(Service Provider for WorldSpace International Network Inc.)
10/4, Mithra Towers, 2nd Floor, Kasturba Road, Bangalore-560 001.

We now have a single centralized call center number (1860 -425 -0000) which can be accessed from all phones.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

3.17 Trillion Rupees!

India's top 10 companies has seen an erosion of Rs 3.17 trilion in market capitalisation in October. 

In this free fall, Reliance Industries (RIL) witnessed a loss of Rs 61,539 crore while state run ONGC became poor by Rs 79,801 crores. Still, RIL retains the first position in Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) with a market cap of Rs 215,727 crore. 

The current market cap of the top 10 are:
  1. RIL (Rs Rs 2,15,727 crore)
  2. ONGC (Rs 1,43,261 crore)
  3. Bharti Airtel (Rs 1,23,189 crore) 
  4. NTPC (Rs 1,15,889 crore) 
  5. Infosys (Rs 79,099 crore)
  6. SBI (Rs 70,439 crore)
  7. MMTC (Rs 66,479 crore)
  8. BHEL (Rs 62,737 crore)
  9. ITC (Rs 58,021 crore) 
  10. NMDC (Rs 57,032 crore)
Source: Indiatimes

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"Manmohini Morey"

"Manmohini More Man Bhavey"

I have gone crazy about this song from Yuvvraaj
Check out the lyrics. Awesome!!

tum tum tana tum tum tana… tana nanana (2)

lat uljhi suljha ja balam - (4)
mathe ki bindiyaaaaa… - (2)
bikhar gayi hain apne haath saja ja balma
lat uljhi suljha ja balam
lat uljheee

tum tum tana tum tum tana (2)
lat uljhee suljha balam

ga re ni sa
ga re ni sa
ga re ni sa
pa ni pa sa ni sa
pa ni pa ga re ga sa re ni sa ga ma na ni sa ga ma ma ni sa ga ma pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pa ga ma pa ni
ni dha pa ma pa sa
ni ni dha pa ma ga ma pa ni ni pa ma pa ni
ma pa ma ga sa ga ni ni pa ga ma ga re sa ni ni pa ga ma ga re sa ni ni pa ga ma ga re sa ma ga re sa ma ga re sa ma ga re sa ga re sa ga re sa ga re sa

Lat uljhi suljha balaam

man mohini more man bhavey
man mohini morey man bhavey
man mohini
tum tum tana……

Listen to this song here. And if you want to download, it's here

Google Short Links...errr...GSL..

Google Solution Marketplace has released Google Short Links. As the name suggests, it helps to shorten urls by giving meaningful description instead of the url. Here is the overview from Google.

Web-based information publishing & sharing is becoming increasingly critical to your organization's day to day activity. The backbone of this activity is the ability for your users to access important information securely from anywhere. Users have gotten used to the convenience of neatly describing the location of any piece of information as a URL. Unfortunately the web is a big place and there are lots of URLs. Its likely that the information important to your business will be located at URLs that are long and cumbersome to share in a written or verbal way. 

Google Short Links is a self-service mechanism for your Google Apps users to shorten any web URL to something descriptive and memorable. This makes it easier for users to recall the locations of important documents and web sites and it makes it easier for them to share these locations with others in emails, presentations, and hallway conversations.

It is free for organizations using Google Apps. But the customer reviews at this page doesn't sound so satisfied users. As someone has asked, Why did Google take 9 years to come up with something like this?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Life is gonna be 'Pink'!

A declaration - This has nothing to do with homosexuality. I am talking about 'pink slips'.

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has said that there is going to be a 25-30 % job cut in India Inc. It includes IT, aviation, steel, financial services, real estate, cement and construction. Well, that accounts for a lot of jobs. By most conservative studies, the total work force in all these sectors will add up to around 3-5 million. So, at least 1 million layoff!

The optimist in me estimates that at least 500,000 jobs will be cut. And they have named this "Job Scenario post Diwali". What else can be more insulting!

“HR heads of these sectors have drawn up conclusive plans to curtail their workforce by 25-30 per cent, announcements for which is likely in the next 10 days or so,'' said Mr Sajjan Jindal, President, Assocham.

They haven't named any of these companies. But as per this news, it is gonna happen in 10 days. So, is it a Black November?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Google, buy Zemanta

Google has been on the prowl searching for new and great ideas coming up from the fantasy world of startups. Pyra Labs (Blogger), Baidu, Picasa, Urchin Softwares (Google Analytics), Android, Doubleclick, Feedburner....the list goes on. (A detailed list can be found here)Lots of great services. Lots of great softwares. But sometimes, I feel that they have missed out some of the great services out there.

Some of you might have used Zemanta. The great addon that suggests keywords, gets related links, related photos and more. They support browsers IE and Firefox (support for Chrome should be on its way), platforms like Blogger, Wordpress, Ning, Typespace and many others. And also I should say, they have a very great support base. (When I faced some problems with my Firefox and Zemanta, I got to interact direct with the engineers and they got it done very fast)

The only problem that I can see in front of this cute startup is the M-word, Monetization. The only way I can think of is having two versions, one with less features and one with more, and get professional bloggers to pay for it. But I don't think that will bring in much money.

Another strategy that co-founder Bostjan Spetic (Zemanta is based in Slovenia) has in mind is to get affliate links for bloggers from which money can be split between the blogger and the company. It sounds like a good one, but the question remains, "How much money can these bring in for the company?"

Till date, Zemanta has taken around $ 1.5 million through funding. They also have plans to go for a full round funding by this year end. But, in this state of world economy, if they fail to raise money, we don't want them to collapse. 

That is why Google should buy Zemanta. This is one product that goes hand in hand with the blogging facility that Google provides. If they can spent $100 million for Feedburner (which is twice what India spent on its recent exploration to moon!) , they can easily shell out a handsome amount for Zemanta. I am not an authority to put a price tag for Zemanta, but I will say $15 - $20 million is a good amount. Also, we would love to see the addon integrated into blogger platform which will save the pain to install in every system that we use. Zemanta will be the biggest feature addition that Google can have in Blogger. And, they will bring in just 7 employees. So, why the wait? Go ahead and buy them.

(P.S : I have taken for granted that Zemanta is waiting for someone like Google to make an offer that they can't refuse)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Worldspace files for banktrupcty

WorldSpace Inc, the satellite radio broadcasting company has filed for bankruptcy in US. From July 2008 onwards, the company had changed it brand and corporate identity to 1worldspace (listed in NASDAQ as WRSP).

The company had been facing financial difficulties from 2006 onwards. The Maryland based company has a debt of more than $300 million. From the press release:

"The WorldSpace Board of Directors unanimously determined that Chapter 11 reorganization was necessary for the Company to engage in an orderly process to raise sufficient funds to repay its senior secured and convertible notes by means of either a sale of the Company or its assets, or a recapitalization of the Company.

WorldSpace will continue to operate its business and manage its assets as a debtor-in-possession under the jurisdiction of the court and in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and the orders of the court. The holders of the Companys existing senior secured and convertible notes have agreed to provide, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, a debtor-in-possession financing facility of up to $13 million for a period of 90 days in order to facilitate a sale transaction. The financing facility is expected to enable the Company to continue to pay salaries of critical employees and continue operations which are critical to preserving the value of its core assets through the term of the facility."

India accounts for more than 150,000 subscribers which makes up to 90% of the total customer base worldwide. A R Rahman was chosen as the brand ambassador and he had composed a signature tune for Worldspace.

Get this widget | Track details | eSnips Social DNA

Emails sent to India support center and Corporate Affairs remain unanswered. Till then, enjoy the signature tune by maestro Rahman.

Update: Worldspace India has responed to my email. "India operations to continue as usual."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Techie who hit cop has to play cop for one week!

The other day, I read about a techie (translates to software engineer) who hit a cop when he was asked for his driving license. 

Well, today the Assistant Commissioner of Police has decided to hand over a really interesting punishment. Stand with the same cop in the road and man traffic for the next five days, 2 hours per day. It's really a good decision. Instead of handing over a 3 or 6 months sentence and sending the guy to jail, this will make him understand how difficult it is to manage traffic in Pune. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The most difficult job for me - Cleaning my Glasses!

Do I sound crazy? Well, if you think so, then read on my story...

Everyday I ride around 15 kms in my bike to reach my office. That translates to half an hour in Chennai, India. So, after 30 mins through the dusty and smoky roads, I reach my office. Even though I use a helmet and cover my face properly with the helmet, my glasses is a heck when I get to office. The first place I go to is the restroom. And here I spends the next 10 minutes on a rigorous cleaning.

The glasses will have spots of dust. This can't be cleaned with the cleaning cloth that the opticians give. Also, I have got an anti-glare coating that will lead to spreading the dust if I use that cloth. After weeks of testing, I have come up with this innovative (is it? read on and tell me) way to get rid of the dust and have a clean and clear vision. 

Water is the best cleaning agent in the world. So, I go the wash basin and slowly pour some water onto the specs slowly and carefully. Keep the water flow slow and pour water all over the glasses - on both sides. Now, I take out my kerchief (well, a bit off-track thought: Kerchief is derived from the French word couvre-chef and the similar word bandana is from the Hindi word bandhan). Start wiping out the water slowly. It should be done in a fashion so that the cloth will go in circles rather than in straight lines. When I check out how clear it is, I can still see that all I can have is a blurred vision. So, I go to the hand dryer and holds an end of the kerchief so that it gets heated/warmed up. No, I again clean the glasses with the warmed up cloth. This cycle continues till I get a spot free and clear vision. 

Well, I have been doing this for sometime now. The maximum I took was 10 mins on a really dirty day. Given the fact that I sit in front of a computer for around 9 hours a day, spending this 10 mins is really worth as it gives me a clear day. 

So, fellow glass-mates, what do you think? Am I crazy?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"We are not terrorists"

"Yeh hum Nahin"

63 millions citizens of Pakistan have signed this. "We are not terrorists and we don't want to be labelled as a terrorist or fundamentalist nation." 

This is the biggest anti-terror campaign in Pakistan. Even 11 year old boys have participated in this. Considering that kids are trained at this age to become Jihadis, this is indeed a great effort. 

Great effort Pakistan! Hope this will continue and will help the world in getting rid from the clutches of cancerous terrorism. 

Satyam Computer Services again in jeopardy

One of India's largest software outsourcing company, Satyam Computer Services is again in the headlines for bad stuff. If it was the $ 1 billion lawsuit by Upaid some months earlier, the latest one questions the company's ethics. 

News agencies have reported that Satyam employees working for World Bank have been accused of installing spywares onto World Bank pcs that have compromised around 18 servers and other confidential data. 

"I want them off the premises now," World Bank President Robert Zoellick has reportedly told his deputies. 

Satyam has refuted all these reports. "The story has no validity," a spokesperson for the company said. But the World Bank contract for 5 years, which Satyam had won in 2003, expired on September 2008 and has not yet been renewed. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blogger says "Obama" is a spelling mistake!

Well. This is ought to be a funny one. I don't want to talk about the personal connections of Senator Obama as someone else did recently. 

I was typing up for my previous post and the below screen came up when I did a spell-check. McCain is cleared, but Obama loses!

Go on George, it is free!

I came across this funny ad when I was browsing through The Guardian. (Sorry for the small size. Better save it and zoom it up. It's a flash ad. Anyone knows how to save a flash ad?). Its funny and takes a dive at George Bush. Will McCain or Obama see this?

(I saw the ad at this page. I am not sure whether you will find it there again)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Guy Kawasaki says "Mumbai is Crowded!"

Guy Kawasaki was in Mumbai in the end of September. He has snapped some great pics. Check it out here

He seems to be greatly impressed by the Dhobi Ghat. He says, "I cannot understand how they can wash this much laundry and get them back to the right owners. As far as I could tell, there was no RFID or barcode system."

I should say he has been greatly impressed. But he seems to have missed out the Dabbawallas - the ones who have attained a six-sigma precision in delivering lunch. 

The other day I caught up with Guy in Twitter. I tweeted him asking whether he can describe his Mumbai visit in 140 characters. He gave a very short and crisp reply.


Well, of course. Indian cities are always crowded and that is our trademark. And I love the frog-jumping that we do to cross the roads!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

God's Ads!

Advertising has grown to innovative and sometimes shocking ways. Check out the series of ads created by God for himself!

(Courtesy: Vinod)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Drona - The Indian Superman

The Abhishek Bachchan starrer, Drona is gonna hit the screens next week.

Wikipedia calls it "as a Harry Potter meets Indiana Jones movie, but with an original story". But I will call it "Superman in the Matrix".

Here's excerpt of the story:

"Rooted in the vibrant tapestry of Indian mythology, Drona is the compelling modern tale of one man's spectacular voyage through the labyrinths of mystic myths and legendary legacies. Of a journey that will force him to face his fears and make him the hero he was born to become. From the times, when time itself was a newborn baby, the universe has kept one secret carefully camouflaged within its folds. A secret, which if unraveled, could unlock the destruction of mankind and the entire cosmos. Today, only one man can protect the universe's precious secret and thus, save the human race from absolute annihilation."

Sounds interesting. After being fed up with the super-human Krissh and the romantic future candyfloss Love Story : 2050, Drona might be a change to the Bollywood Super Humans!!

And this time, they are coming out with a 32-page comic book which serves as the prelude to the movie. Hope some good soul will upload it somewhere. If anyone does that, I will surely put it up here. Subscribe to my feed and get hold of it.

Here's an interview with the director Goldie Behl. Check out his plans for the future.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

8 Mistakes of Google

It's time of celebration at Google. 10 years of collecting and organizing information. 

Quite ironically, Indiatimes has put together 8 blunders that Google had committed in the past. Well, most of it is about products which never attained any success. Check out the list - Google's biggest business blunders!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Buji's picks for the week - September 07

My picks for this week.

Microsoft eats its own dog-food!! [link]

No comments. I love it.

The Tech Barons [link]

If you want to have a look at a brief profile of the Tech Barons of the world, check this list. The one missing is none other that Bill. Is it purposeful? And of course, Jerry is not there.

Thinking too much can make you fat!! [link]

Just read it. Its interesting.

Dark Matter [link]

The Large Hadran Collider in Geneva will open this week. And if it's a success, one of the greatest mysteries of particle physics, Dark Matter. But, scientists in Cleveland,England with their Boulby project are determined to snatch it from CERN. Read on.

Oddest Book Title!! [link]

Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers. Check it out.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Asia's Best Tech Companies

Indiatimes has brought out the list of Asia's best tech companies. The rankings are based on long-term profitability, sales and earnings growth, stock price appreciation and projected earnings for every company in the region with revenues or market capitalization of at least $5 billion.

Check out the list. There are a couple of cheers for the Indian IT. Anyway, I have put spoilers already.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

The Deterioration of IITs!!

Indian Institute of Technology.

There is even a joke among we non-IITians that even being a sweeper in IIT is better than studying anywhere else. And our dear Prime Minister has started digging graves for them!!

This year, 6 new IITs have come up. This falls in with the plan to start 8 new IITs to 'boost the engineering and technology education'. But are they really IITS?

'The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), are a group of seven autonomous engineering and technology-oriented institutes of higher education established and declared as Institutes of National Importance by the Government of India', says Wikipedia. (They don't seem have to have considered the new ones to be qualified to be called as IIT!!)

IITs were started with great plans and with the expertise of countries like US, Germany and Russia. At present, India have the capability to plan with its own brains, but is that what the Government did? Quoting C.N.R Rao, the scientific advisor to Prime Minister and a visiting professor of Cambridge,

'Opening so may IITs in one year is a disaster. I had no idea that so many IITs have already come up in our country.

This is not a play. To open IITs, you need proper planning. There are makeshift campuses and some are even attending classes in old IITs. I came to know about this development after the institutes admitted students.

This is sad and I have told the prime minister and even the human resource development minister (Arjun Singh) about this. I am dissatisfied with the developments.'

Can I call this the 'second slip into the abyss of darkness'? First the IIM fees issue, and now this. Is the Prime Minister and the Human Resource Minister pushing hard to screw up our greatest institutions??

Are the IITians hearing me?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

From the Land of Pharaohs to that of Sex Maniacs!!

I have never been to Egypt. I had always thought that Egypt could be counted upon as one of the developed countries from that part of the globe. But, the BBC report, Egypt Voice : Sexual Harassment shocked me. Some excerpts:

"I get harassed 100 times a day. I tried everything to stop it but it doesn't stop. I wear loose clothes, I don't wear make up, I spend more than an hour in front of the mirror everyday thinking of ways to hide my body" says a shop-keeper

"Once I was waiting for the bus with my child and a car stopped, the guy waved his hand at me with a 20 pound note. It was unbelievable. Another time I was walking home and this guy unzipped his trousers in a car next to me" says a housewife.

It's shocking that such things happen and the authorities don't give a damn about it. I never thought Egypt will be like this. But, I am really happy to see that the women are building up the courage to speak out these atrocities to the outside world.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chrome - The Color of Internet

Google has finally announced their browser - Google Chrome. Well, they say it's a fresh take on the browsers. They have a comic strip which explains the process.

I find it a bit bad step from Google. Enthusiasts for sure, will download and might make another record, but what about the common users? I remember how difficult it was and how much time I spent in educating my colleagues about the advantages of using Firefox. And some of them who are reluctant, still stick to Explorer.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia about Chrome:

"While all of the major tabbed web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera) have been designed with window as the primary container, Google Chrome will put tabs first. The most striking way the user will see this is that tabs are at the top of the user interface, instead of below the controls, as in the other major tabbed browsers. In Chrome, each tab will be an individual process, and each will have it's own browser controls and address bar (dubbed omnibox), a design that adds stability to the browser. If one tab fails only one process dies, the browser is still running. Chrome will also feature a process manager which will allow the user to see how much memory and CPU each tab is taking up, as well as kill off unresponsive tabs."

Sounds good, doesn't it? The Beta will be released today. Let's see.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I am not dead!!

It has been around 2 months since I wrote a post.

I am not dead!!!

Instead of blogging, I am reading more nowadays...

Currently reading
The Last Mughal by William Dalrymple.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

The 4th of July

"Mankind -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today.

We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore.

We will be united in our common interests.

Perhaps its fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution -- but from annihilation.

We're fighting for our right to live, to exist.

And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:

"We will not go quietly into the night!

We will not vanish without a fight!

We're going to live on!

We're going to survive!"

Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!"

(This is the one and only speech that has inspired me like 'I have a Dream'. You can read the full text here )

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Firefox, me and my certificate!

Firefox 3 created record for becoming the most downloaded software on the release day. Even though confirmation from Guinness Records is yet to come, I got my certificate from Mozilla. If you were also part of the Spread FireFox campaign, you can also get your certificate here.

Read this document on Scribd: Download Day 2008

Solstice and Google!

20th June is the first day of summer (Solstice). And Google celebrates with its own special logo.

Its quite a nice one. I like it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

"I love tin and therefore I resign!"

"So, please accept my resignation, effective July 12. And I don't need any fancy parties or gold watches (I still have the one from '61 and '76). I will be spending more time with my family, tending to my small but growing alpaca herd and, of course, getting back to work with tin, my first love."

The celebrated founder and Director of Product Management of Flickr, Stewart Butterfield wrote this "bizarre" resignation letter. There were talks about this exit from last October itself, but the way he did it sounds funny. Anyway, check out the full letter at LA Times.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Firefox Download Day!!

The count down has begun. In 24 hours, the world will witness the release of the greatest and the powerful browser, Firefox 3.

Download Firefox from Mozilla using this link and be a part of Guinness Book. I have already done, what about you?

Lets rock!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Indian IT - The Phoenix?

I have been writing about what has gone (went?) wrong with Indian IT industry and have been predicting the fall soon. Well, Soham Das has covered the recent developments in Infosys.

Infy, the poster boy* of Indian IT, is paving the road to innovation and success. It's time for others to wake up and, well, just follow!!

*BTW, for countries and cars, we use the feminine. What is it for Companies? He or She??
Zemanta Pixie

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hail Idli!

Chennai's politicians today celebrates the birthday of Chief Minister Karunanidhi. I have also got a reason to celebrate. Idli is cheaper by One Rupee from today!!

For those who don't know, Idli is a dish which looks like a small saucer made of rice. It is steam-cooked and eaten heartily with chutney and sambhar by South Indians. I can hear the cheers for the price cut!

When I first came to Chennai in June 07, one idli used to cost Rs 3. Slowly, it rose to Rs 4 and finally, in the peak of inflation in the last two months, it became Rs 5. By today's price cut it comes down to Rs 4.

Also, the brother of idli, dosa, and wife vada is also seeing a price cut from today.

Hail the legend of Idli.

"Is Twitter Down?" - Yes or No!!

A lot have been talked about Twitter. People are addicted to it, I am too!!

Well, I think that it's about Twitter down time that more people are talking about that Twitter itself. To prove the point, Twitter recently started a blog so that it can inform the world when the Tweets will be down.

Today, I came across this interesting site. It's called "Is Twitter Down?" It has the nice url, It's a one page site which says either "Yes" or "No"

The site is run by Ryan King. His about page says,

"I work on websites, especially on web crawling and indexing. I listen to music."

Other than the Twitter one pager, he has also got two more. I Blame Kevin and I Blame Tankek. Check them out.

And btw, follow me on Twitter.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Three Knights of Open Source

Sometime back, I has talked about the OOXML standardization and the voting in ISO. ISO approved it in April 2008. But now, three of the member nations, South Africa, Brazil and India have filed an appeal.

The national standards organizations of these nations are challenging the flawed procedures in the ballot voting.

South Africa was the first to appeal. You can find of it here. Brazil announced its appeal soon after. It can be found here. Just before the deadline, India also filed its appeal. (I couldn’t find a copy anywhere. If anyone got a link, sent it to bonchibuji at gmail dot com).

Will they become the Three Knights of Open Source? Let’s wait and see what happens next.

Here's an update. Professor Deepak Phathak from IIT Bombay writes an open letter on OOXML happenings in India.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The 3 Fs


The 3 Fs of success.

Today, I went for the cycling in ECR organized by Chennai Runners group in association with TI cycles.(The manufacturers of BSA and Hercules)

A sunday morning sleep was disrupted. I woke up by 3:30 AM an got ready. By the time we reached (my friend Saju was also with me) the Toll Gate in Uthandi, it was 5 AM and you it was just the last few minutes of fake dawn. The yellow streaks were spreading its fingers.

It was the first time I was attending a program organized by Chennai Runners group (Even though I have been a member for sometime). Soon the trucks with cycles arrived. And also T-shirts.

Toll Booth - The starting point

We started by around 6 AM. It was a 15 km stretch till Croc Bank. The ride was smooth with small gradients in between. We reached Croc Bank by 6:50 AM. After having some chocolates (thanks to TI), we started back by 6:55.

Me at Croc Bank

The ride back was smooth. Except for the incident where I slipped off the road and went to sides!! We were back at Toll Gate by 7:35. There chappathis were waiting for us.(again thanks to TI) After catching up with some guys, we were back home by 8:30.

It was a great day. And I must add one more F. "Fantabulous!!"

Friday, May 30, 2008

Family of scammers!!

Yesterday, Michael Arrington wrote about Naveen Jain and his scam, Intelius. He was talking about the sudden IPO decision and the scam that was bringing in revenue for Intelius.

I am not going to bore you with the details of the scam and Naveen’s previous scams. I will just take you through the repercussions.

Here are some interesting comments to Michael’s post.

Then, son came to the father's rescue. Naveen's son, Ankur Jain wrote a long reply to Micheal. And of course, Michael duly posted it in Techcrunch. Here are the "main" points:

"First I’d like to address your concern with Intelius and then the more important matter, my dad’s character. Someone who does as much technology reporting as yourself should be pretty familiar with companies such as Adaptive Marketing and how their product is integrated into services across the web. The service, similar to WebLoyalty, offers the users the ability to receive an offer that is relevant to their purchases by signing up for a free 7-day trial with a adaptive marketing [which can be canceled for no charge at any point in those 7 days]. Adaptive Marketing then provides that user with targeted offers and savings for as long as he or she remains a member. In fact, adaptive marketing provides this same offer through many other large web services. To call this a scam on Intelius, you would have to consider a series of other large companies including VistaPrint,, Transunion scams as well [they all provide similar offers after checkout]. And frankly none of these companies are scammers whatsoever. Further, Intelius has one of the strongest business models I have come across with one of the most passionate set of leaders in the online industry. More importantly, these directors have an unbelievably high level of integrity."

"But the most important thing I would like to address is my "dad’s character". Outside of the corporate world, my dad has long been a supporter of many noteworthy organizations including United Way, Children’s Hospital, the University of Washington, TIE, Child Relief and You, and many more. He has taken the initiative to actively guide and mentor many young entrepreneurs in the country, thereby helping to lead the next generation of innovators and leaders to success. Yet, even within the corporate world, he has shown a strong conscience and high integrity. It is unfortunate the false allegations such as those made in the Seattle Times continue to circulate the web. But I would have expected a write like yourself to do some more research before referring to this article."

Wow! What a man Naveen is! I think Michael owns him an apology!!

Anyway, Techcrunch readers were eager to reply.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

May 29, 1953

Time: 11:30 am (local time)
Date: May 29, 1953
Location: Somewhere in the Himalayas

Two people were making their way up the hills. Even though it was close to noon, their fingers were numb due to the cold. Tired and weary, but still they carried forth. And finally, they accomplished it!

It was today, 55 years back, that Tenzing and Hillary conquered Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world. As usual, Google celebrates it.

Some thoughts: We all are trying to conquer our own personal goals. Our own personal Everest. Makes me remember of the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch - Achieving Childhood Dreams.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Esnips, Amazon and some porn!

Yesterday night, I was seraching for "Amazon Web Services" in Esnips (Of course, it's for copyrighted books!!). But the ads that I saw on the first page stunned me!!

I was inquisitive to see the next pages. Below are the second and third page of search results!!

So, what was Esnips targeting? Did the word "web service" in my search misled the system into thinking that I was looking around for "such" services from the internet?

Read what I had written about the spamming in Esnips social networking sometime back.

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