Thursday, September 30, 2004

Day off and just one thing to note ...

Today is a day off from both work and the usual dose of blogging. Will try to catch up with all of you tomorrow :)

In the meanwhile, here's some new cool thing I've found out today : FeedBurner

These guys give a variety of options in delivering feeds, statistics, ... And, at the moment, it appears to be free with not even a necessity to provide an email-id for registration. Go for it, to try it out !!

I'll end up investigating FeedBurner in complete detail very soon. In case you want a review, wait ! Or if you are game and can help me out, please do so :)

I discovered FeedBurner from here. And now I find that Scoble has just mentioned it here. Talk about coincidences of noticing this and blogging about it !! Man, am I happy :)

And then, there's the My Yahoo RSS integration that got wide mention y'day. Check it out if you are a yahoo account holder !

Daily Cartoon - 09/29/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

A Step Forward for Quantum Cryptography

A wire transfer from Vienna City Hall to a bank a few blocks away via a cable running through the sewer system marks the first real-world use of cryptography that takes advantage of the weird quantum phenomenon known as entanglement.

Source :

Needing someone ...

I couldn't agree better with the quote below. What do you think ?

Needing someone is like needing a parachute, If they aren't there the first time, chances are you wont be needing them again.

Author: Brian Lamb


The Best "Out-Of-Office Reply" you can set ...

This would have gone into my humor blog, but it was too good to go only there. Wish I could put some of these when I go on vacation :)

"Out-Of-Office" E-Mail Auto-Reply

1: I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.

2: I'm not really out of the office. I'm just ignoring you.

3: You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.

4: Sorry to have missed you but I am at the doctors having my brain removed so that I may be promoted to management

5: I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me until I return from vacation on 4/18. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.

6: Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.

7: The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer and try sending again.' (The beauty of this is that when you return, you can see how many in-duh-viduals did this over and over).

8: Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queueing system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.

9: Please reply to this e-mail so I will know that you got this message. I am on holiday. Your e-mail has been deleted.

10: Hi. I'm thinking about what you've just sent me. Please wait by your PC for my response.

11: Hi! I'm busy negotiating the salary for my new job. Don't bother to leave me any messages.

12: I've run away to join a different circus.


13: I will be out of the office for the next 2 weeks for medical reasons. When I return, please refer to me as 'Loretta' instead of 'Steve'.

Update: 100GB free email box

Just now heard that Hellacious Riders is offering a 10GB email box for free ! Is that mad in terms of competition or what ?! :)

All hail Google for bringing GMail (1GB free) to this world ! :)

Update: Read my post here correcting the fact that they are offering 100G instead of 10G.

Daily Cartoon - 09/28/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Belated B'day wishes to my blogging ! :)

Looks like my first post was on 8-Sep-2003 !! More than a year since then !! Wow, even I don't remember blogging for that long. Kudos to Blogger and w.bloggar for making it so simple.

Bharti Tele Ventures (BTV) : $1billion+ Indian company rocks the world in outsourcing ...

BusinessWorld India has a fantastic cover page story on how Bharti has outsourced it's "core" (network management and IT services) to global giants like IBM, Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens and is waiting to reap the rewards.

Sunil Mittal, CEO of BTV, is featured as "The man who gave away his network".

This outsourcing initiative is being watched closely by at least 16 major global telecom operators and everyone's waiting with bated breath. Sunil is happy, at the moment.

For the record, Bharti is the biggest private telecom operator in India. They recently unified their products under the name of Airtel.

And, these are the guys from whom I'm taking my broadband (64kbps!!!) DSL connection.

Agitar - automating and managing developer testing (for Java) ...

Agitar seems to be picking up traction from whatever I heard.

A recommendation I got (don't exactly know how true it is)

Hi Friends!

There is this new product launched - which helps the JAVA developers to develop faster and produce quality code. And I learnt that James Cosling - Father of JAVA is powering this. Also Kent Beck, Creator of JUnit and Pioneer of eXtreme Programming, has joined them recently!

For more info visit for more info.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Why bachelors aren't provided accomodation easily (to put it mildly) ...

Well, the truth is it doesn't just apply to bachelors alone, but that's a segment of population that's easily identified with the issue. And it's rather surprising that the problem has become global (some locations across the world are refusing to let out houses for rent to Indian bachelors - according to the article).

Read Subroto Bagchi's column in Businessworld India - an online version here.

And I don't think he's way off the mark.

Ponder !

Daily Cartoon - 09/27/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

HTML mail via Thunderbird ...

I use plain text mails. Very rarely do I send out HTML mails. Those times are a pain for me as I usually reconfigure the MUA and restart it in order to send HTML mails (can't exactly recollect when I last did it).

Today, I found this neat tip (thanks to the world of Blogs) - Press "Shift" key while clicking "Write" button on Thunderbird. That opens up an HTML edit window.

For more such tips, go here. And, visit knowledge base for Mozilla projects.

There is hope for the human race ...

I'd forgotten my umbrella at the b'fast table at the hotel today morning and walked out. When I was about a minute away from the hotel and ready to cross the road to office, a gentleman tapped me on my shoulder and handed me the umbrella. He was another guest who was having b'fast across my table, noticed my 4gotten umbrella, stopped his b'fast, rushed out of the hotel to track me and hand me the umbrella. I don't think I thanked him enough for such a wonderful gesture.

There's still a lot of hope for this world ! :) Am I exaggerating - I don't think so.

Broadband - TATA Indicom - my foot ...

These guys need to get a clue ! They've been putting up so many ads about broadband, their site doesn't even exactly tell that the morons use cable modem. Don't think there's a DSL connection they supply. And the site claims services in Mumbai only whereas the ads keep appearing even in Chennai edition of "The Hindu".

Marketing hype - yes, customer service - no !

When will all these guys ever get a clue ? With Airtel offering broadband DSL to home, will these guys stand a chance ?

Only time will tell :) Of course, who knows how much Airtel is gonna botch it up ?! :)

Monday, September 27, 2004

More fuel to the M$ fire ...

Now, Dan opines about M$'s play !! Boy, do these guys ride high !

My machine's USB still sux ...

I just can't fathom whatz wrong with it ! It's an Azza board with a 250MHz MMX processor (of course overclocked - what else can you expect from me ?!). Has onboard USB controllers - most probably version 1.1.

However, the damn thing fails to evoke any response from any "passive" USB device (in my terminology, something that doesn't have it's own power source).

A colleague, who offered to help me try a few things out, and I spent a few hours in trying various combinations to make the damn thing work including putting pieces of his machine in place of mine. Nope, nothing worked. We finally gave up after a few hours of valiant struggle.

One good thing that happened was that I learnt that he had studied in the same college that I did and was my junior by a year !! Never knew the bloke at college or for the past 2.5yrs that he has been at my company. Strange, small world indeed :) Hopefully looking forward to see an evolving friendship.

My learnings on USB, Winduhs will never cease to amuse me. It appears that Winduhs 98 Second Edition also has a lot of problems with USB devices. So does Win2K straight out of the box or so its said. Apparently a few patches are needed to make it work (or so I think). What do these guys ever write software for ?! ;-)

Noufal's having me turn green with envy ...

Lucky chap went to visit the Gnome conference (in B'lore). Read his experience on his blog here. And the lucky bloke got branded a hacker by none other than Jon ! :)

With me being in Chennai, attending such confernecs is something I can hardly afford to do (what with my weekend classes too - at least only until december '04). And, given that I've given up on Linux as my desktop for the past 1.5yrs or so, I can hardly complain much :( Ah well, I hardly attend the ILUGC (India Linux Users Group Chennai) Chapter (was an active email member a few years ago), so there's no salvation for me - not yet :)

M$ is set to kill today's USB

Cringley is always know for good dramatics, but this has me quite worried. I'm planning to upgrade my machine (after about 6 yrs) just for the sake of those damned USB ports, but something like could throw spanner in the works. Maybe I shud stick to just getting an old, second-hand MB/proc and live with it for some more time.

And, BTW, this machine upgrade thing for getting a USB device for Touchtel DSL connection is way too much pain than I imagined :( Been more than a whole week since I ever started on this endeavour and I'm nowhere close to completion (actually closer to start) !

Daily Cartoon - 09/26/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Sunday, September 26, 2004

A real good write up on what college is exactly about !

Read A bit long, but pretty hilarious.

Daily Cartoon - 09/25/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Haloscan, Trackback, ...

Hmm, I enabled Haloscan, Commenting and Trackback for my blog, but found that the earlier comments were not appearing as well as there was no option of intimating me via emails (only the commercial version has that capability). Decided to switch it off. Back to regular comments via good old Blogger. It's time these guys introduced Trackback !!

Cool Tool : 10 : Free, open-based SSH server for Windows

Cool Tool : 9 : Plone: Content Management System


Get a full web-based CMS/blog/wiki up in minutes. The 10 meg Windows version works great on w2k. The .iso image works well too. Debian and RH packages as well.

Cool Tool : 8 : Freemind

As some one put it for me :

a "mindmapping" application for writing outlines, todo lists, notes, etc. I no longer use sticky notes, I open up a new node in a mind map. :-) Available for Windows, Linux, Mac (any JRE platform)

A cool way to legally download/own MP3s ...

dunno for how long.

Read for more details.
Chennai bloggers in the spotlight...

"My blogs have helped me get my last two jobs. The beauty of blogs is that you can sculpt your own brand image." - Kiruba Shankar. Read it here!...

Source: Just a little something

Daily Cartoon - 09/24/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Friday, September 24, 2004

Now this is hilarious !

Putting monkeys behind bars

This report on a monkey jail in Patiala is the funniest bit of serious news I've read in a long time.

Monkeys have invaded government ministries in New Delhi, ridden elevators and climbed along windowsills. Monkeys slapped students inside a girls school in a south Bengal suburb. A gang of monkeys in the city of Chandigarh ripped up lawns, broke flowerpots and yanked sheets off beds.

Two monkeys were picked up from the chief minister's house, basically for loitering.

Source: Swami Kiranananda - Jace
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

India launches learning satellite

India has launched its first satellite to be used for expanding the country's educational network. The Edusat, weighing around 2,000kg, will help train teachers and provide primary and secondary education by linking classrooms across India.

Read more @

Source: Krish's Blog Site

An interesting note on growing presence of Opus Dei members in India

For those who've read "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Browm, Opus Dei's presence and growth in India should be interesting. This is chronicled here.

Cool Tool : 7 : Hologram Construction Kit

Cool Tool : 6 : Mozilla Thunderbird and FireFox

Email Client - ThunderBird
Web Browser - FireFox

Cool Tool : 5 : Traceproto and HopWatcher

Cool Tool : 4 : mp3rip

This is a Perl script that will rip audio CDs into well-organized directories of mp3s. A directory is created for each disc, in the form "music_type/artist/album". ID3 tags are added to the MP3s. Information about the CD is retrieved through CDDB. It is designed to run on Linux, but may operate on other systems if setup properly.

Cool Tool : 3 : VNC Selector

Cool Tool : 2 : MetaVNC

Google assimilating ...

Somewhere around the 10-Sep, Google changed it's alert policy to use HTML emails and also linked it's Alerts to a GMail account (of course for better manageability). Sort of slowly tying in together all the pieces. Wait for the ultimate assimilation - GMail, Google, Google News, Picasa, Blogger, ... :)

And there's the talk about the GBrowser, IM and an OS. Wait and watch !

Daily Cartoon - 09/23/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Google to launch a browser some time ?

New York Post talks about it.

It gets slasdotted.

Neat summary here.

Cisco to open R&D lab in China

Network equipment maker Cisco Systems, Inc., of San Jose, says it's planning to open a research and development center in Shanghai, China. The new facility will represent an initial $32 million investment over the next five years, and Cisco expects to hire approximately 100 employees over the next 18 months to focus on research and development, the company says.

Complete story here.

Wi-Fi world under threat from Symbol patent

Wireless vendor to seek license fees from all Wi-Fi equipment vendors

Wireless vendor Symbol Technologies (Profile, Products, Articles) Inc. has told us it will be seeking a big license fee from all Wi-Fi equipment vendors for an infringed patent. And according to one manufacturer, Proxim (Profile, Products, Articles) Corp., it stands a good chance of getting it.

Complete story here.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

LiveJournal discovered by me !

I discovered LiveJournal after a couple of people I was seeing on other lists were using it. I've started another journal there. Let's see how long that survives.

At the moment, my content posting tool - w.bloggar - doesn't support switching between journal site (Blogger, LiveJournal) that easily. Let's see how it turns out in the future.

Tapestry - Gold Mine - For a comics freak like me !

Now, Tapestry is the answer to my prayers !! It sounds kinda odd about the way those feeds are being given, but then like the site says, support the owners in whatever way is possible.

This is too convenient to pass up. Now, is that unethical ? Let's think ...

So, what do I subscribe to ?

User Friendly

VOIP Spam ?!

Now, I'm scared ! First, snail mail, then email, then mobile phones, and now VOIP ?!

Good thing, some guys are trying to kill it in the beginning. Let's see how much luck they have.

Any recommendations for a P4 motherboard ?

Does anyone have any specific recommendations for a P4 motherboard. I'm looking at buying a 2.4GHz CPU and would like to know what's a good board that can go with it. My supplier is talking about Asrock, but I'm not sure. I'd prefer Asus, Gigabyte, Intel, ... but am open to other options too, based on recommendations.

Powering Wi-Fi in Rural India

Just weeks after the government there gave the okay to expanded use of 2.4GHz frequencies, chip maker Atheros is making a push with local WISPs to expand wireless deployments.

Source: Wi-Fi Planet News

Municipality Wireless ...

I've been reading these occassional reports about cities deploying wireless services and wondering if anyone was covering this. Was nice to find a site dedicated for just this kinda stuff. Visit MuniWireless.


Texas Instruments is not convinced that WiMax will replace DSL anytime, according to Infoworld. Joe Cruppi, a senior executive with the company chatted with the magazine and had to say about Intel's claim of WiMAX as a DSL replacement.
But Crupi is skeptical of these plans, citing as an example the Broadband Wireless Internet Forum (BWIF), an industry group that several years ago advocated the adoption of a different fixed-wireless technology for broadband Internet access. While BWIF made many of the same promises now being made about WiMax, the BWIF technology was never deployed commercially and the broadband Internet access market has since come to be dominated by DSL and cable. For example, in China, one of the world's fastest growing markets for broadband Internet services, operators are not talking much about WiMax, he said.
Talking about WiMAX, I am conducting a panel on WiMAX down in Palo Alto for the MIT alumni gang. Fujitsu, Intel, Alvarion and several others are going to be there, and would report in complete detail what they have to say!

Source: Om Malik on Broadband

Softswitch buyouts on horizon?

You know a market is hot when large giant companies are out shopping for technology. VoIP being the newest hot market, it is not surprising that Cisco and Alcatel have gone on a shopping binge. Over last two weeks the only two companies with any kind of financial muscle have been shopping. Now there is word that they might be tussling over Italian softswitch vendor, Italtel, an Italian company that recently postponed its IPO plan.


Read more @ the original page.

Source: Om Malik on Broadband

Daily Cartoon - 09/22/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Taxation with Transparency campaign - Janaagraha

An interesting movement !

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 9:22 PM
Subject: Taxation with Transparency campaign

Dear Bangalorean,

Greetings from JANAAGRAHA.

None of us are happy paying more tax. Especially when we know there are an equal number who don’t pay any tax. That’s the truth with property tax in Bangalore! According to a public statement made by the Mayor recently, only 5.4 Lakh properties out of a registered total of 10 Lakh properties actually pay any property tax.

And now the govt. plans to raise tax collections to generate additional revenues for infrastructure development. And, guess who is going to bear the brunt of this additional tax burden? Those of us who pay our fair share of tax!

Shouldn't the Govt. be focusing their energies on ensuring more people pay their tax rather than increasing the tax burden for those who pay? Imagine what the govt. can do with the funds generated from the rest of those who aren’t paying their property tax!

Janaagraha has launched a signature campaign in support of this cause - Taxation with Transparency. All it takes is to click on the link below and register your support electronically or call 080-2354238.

I don’t own any property, so this isn’t for me, right?

No. This is for all of us, because this applies to property tax today, but could well apply to other forms of tax tomorrow!! So, no matter whether you are a property owner or not, Bangalore needs your support.

The Taxation with Transparency campaign is just one of the many initiatives of Janaagraha. We are a Citizens Movement, working with the government for a better Bangalore. If you’d like to know more about Janaagraha, click or call 080-23542381/ 2.

If you know of others who are likely to support this campaign, we urge you to please forward this mail. We need the support of all of Bangalore, in this cause.

Thank you for your effort,
Swati & Ramesh Ramanathan
Co-founders, Janaagraha

#198,Nandidurg Road
Bangalore 560046

Cisco Systems to set up Indian venture cap arm

Time to sign off for the night ? :) Hold on ...

Blatant advertisement : visit for more
such (and other) news, views, tips, ... :) In case you are familiar with
RSS/ATOM feeds, use

Onto the main story now ;-)

> NEW DELHI: US-based Cisco Systems, global leader in networking for the
> Internet, today said it will set up a venture capital arm in India and
> is scouting for mid-level companies in the IT and networking space for
> investment as well as acquisition in the country.
> "We are committed to start venture capital arm in India as it fits
> Ciscos strategy. We scout worldwide for investing in product innovations
> or for acquisitions. And India is a good breeding ground for
> innovation", Cisco Systems President (India and Saarc), Mr Rangnath
> Salgame said here.

More @



IT roadshow Connect 2004 begins in Chennai

> News, Chennai, Seven international delegations and more than 100 Indian
> exhibitors feature in Connect 2004, the fourth edition of Tamil Nadu's
> biggest annual ICT event that opened here Wednesday.
> The four-day show is jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian
> Industry (CII) and the Tamil Nadu government. Among the sponsors are
> TCS, IBM, Cognizent Technologies, Standard Chartered Bank and the Taj
> Group of Hotels, all of whom have a big presence in Tamil Nadu.

Read more @



Cisco Named One Of Top Three Most Trusted Security Vendors

> Cisco has been ranked as one of the top three most trusted security
> product vendors and one of the top three most trusted security service
> providers in two surveys done by the Yankee Group. Symantec was also
> ranked as one of the top three most trusted vendors in both categories.
> The Yankee Group 2004 Managed Security Services Survey found that of 606
> enterprises, Symantec, Cisco and VeriSign rank as the three most
> trusted security service vendors.

More details @



Security, identity issue ?! - ID a must at cybercafes

> BANGALORE: Going to a neighbourhood cybercafe to check your email? In
> just a few days time, you'll need more than just money to enable you to
> use the Internet. You will need your photo-ID in hand and will have to
> enter details like your name and address in a log book that will be
> maintained by cyber cafe owners.
> If you are not carrying a photo-ID card, you will have to get your
> photograph taken by webcam in the cafe and enter your details on the
> computer and your photograph will be stored in the computer for a period
> of one year. All this is part of a path-breaking move by the Cyber
> crime police station to regulate cyber cafes in the state and to stem
> cyber crime.


Huh, can you believe it ?! Whatever happened to privacy, identity
security, ... ?!



Daily Cartoon - 09/21/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 09/20/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Monday, September 20, 2004

Reqd recommendation for PCI-USB card ...

Does anyone have any recommendation for a PCI-USB card ? Any particular brand, price, store to buy (in Chennai), etc ?

Any idea what an ALI chipset Tech-Com 2 port PCI-USB card costs ?

Daily Cartoon - 09/19/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Saturday, September 18, 2004

What has Bill Watterson been doing the past 10 years?

When Calvin and Hobbes' 10-year run came to a close in December 1995, Bill Watterson pulled a J.D. Salinger, effectively withdrawing from public life...

Source: Ask Yahoo!
Forrester presentation on RSS

Forrester Research just announced a presentation titled An Introduction To RSS: Why Companies Should Pay Attention Now. I talked with presenter Charlene Li recently, and can vouch that she's done her homework on RSS.

Source: Nick Bradbury

Lack of GMail filtering for other headers ...

I'm kinda stuck with GMail's limited filtering. For all that a search company can provide, the ability to be able to search any part of the message including any part of the headers too, is missing.

To put the problem more specifically, I want to be able to filter incoming messages based on the "Delivered To:" header. This is because, I .forward my emails from another account to my GMail account (also serving as an archive). Now, the issue is that I can't find any way of filtering based on the headers of the message ! :(

Damn ! Any suggestions ?!

For similar queries, look here and here.

Made in HCL

Software major HCL Technologies has joined hands with Chennai-based HR consulting firm Totus Consulting Services to train its employees on managerial and a top company official said at Chennai today.

Fifty managers of HCL in Chennai have successfully gone through the six-month in-house training programme, which was conceptualised, designed and implemented by Totus Consulting, R.Vaidyanathan, Global Head (HR), HCL Technologies told a news conference here.

Branded as `Made in HCL, the initiative will cover all the 250 project managers of HCL in Chennai over different batches. The next batch of 50 managers will undergo the training later this month, he said.

The initiative "is a path-breaking new way of doing management development, which recognises the different learning needs of each individual and also the different learning styles," Vaidyanathan said.

This programme addresses the shortcomings of traditional programmes. The participants also get nominated to premier management development institutes, he said.

"The heart of the Made in HCL programme is the cultural shift from training to learning," said Ganesh Chelia, CEO, Totus Consulting.


CISCO, Microsoft in security showdown

Cisco Systems and Microsoft are headed for a collision over network security, with customers caught in the middle.

The two companies have each proposed competing "end to end" security architectures, marking the latest evolution in network defense--an approach concerned not only with scanning for viruses but also with policing networks to deny connections to machines that don't conform with security policies. But for now at least the twin offerings are not interoperable. That means customers might be forced to choose between using technology from one company or the other, unless the two tech giants can strike a deal to guarantee compatibility.


Read the complete article here.

Browser Wars

That's right, they're back, thanks to the growing popularity of Mozilla's Firefox

Source: Businessweek Online

Daily Cartoon - 09/17/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Friday, September 17, 2004

A really good write up on Bloggin within the corporation ...

Blogs within corporation

This is a very wide topic, of course, so I will start with what I wrote on my company's internal blog (no link, for obvious reasons) as a preparation for an interview with journalist from a specialist journal who gave us this synopsis.

In recent years, web logs (or 'blogs') have proliferated across the Internet. These public online diaries, updated regularly with the owner’s comments, news and recommended Internet links, have typically been published by private individuals. However, organisations are starting to see the blog’s potential as a fast, informal way to share information - project updates, research or test results, product release news, industry headlines - with employees, suppliers and customers. This feature will examine the business, organisational and technology changes needed to support a corporate blog and how the blog format can sit alongside established collaborative mediums such as email and document sharing applications.

What can blogs offer to businesses that more traditional forms of corporate collaboration do not?

What are traditional forms of corporate collaboration:

  • email

  • intranets

  • IM

  • shared networks

  • conference calls

  • meetings

What is the objective of corporate collaboration:
  • effective management of processes

  • communication

  • distribution of information

  • knowledge creation/evolution

  • people management - satisfaction, personal growth etc

Are current forms of corporate collaboration doing their job? I don't think so. Email is often a distraction rather than effective communication tool, intranets, web portals are boring and usually mean an extra chore rather than being an effective tool. Collaboration software, if installed, is imposed top down with insufficent training and motivation to the individual employee.

This leads to a more general point about knowledge management and collaboration - technology and tools are seen as an organisational phenomenon. The focus should be on the individual, the organisation will follow. A true bottom-up approach. Managing personal information, 'individual knowledge space' first, before a company gets to see benefit of KM and collaboration technology.

Blog is an individual tool with impact both on the blogger and the reader/commenter. It can act as a filter of captured and evolving knowledge, it is a content management system that is sufficiently simple to be flexible and sufficiently robust to be effective. The features that make a blog an ideal tool for emergent knowledge management is speed, flexibility, interactivity, and ability to spread information outward.

Blogs can also be business intelligence tools - an early warning system to alert organisations to developments that require a response. Every signal is a noise, only when it is filtered it becomes information. Blog is a format with informal, loose and simple enough structure to capure signals, but structured enough to give emergence to data-patterns i.e. information and knowledge. Blogs as early warning systems would work in larger organisations where natural communication flows have been disrrupted. It is a perfect tool to fit the gap created by remote business processes. Blogs create and aggregate enormous amount of pre-filtered background noise. They can also turn your employees into trusted hubs to reconnect to social network inside and outside the organisation.

Blog as a project management tool - a way to capture and maintain unstructured input in a structure but informal envirnoment. This is where interactivity is paramount. For example, I have set up and ran two our project blogs, which have proven an amazing virtual resource for all project members. The most amazing effect occurred after a couple of months of blogging for one of the project blogs. We had an impromptu meeting with one of the people who travels widely and is hard to pin down but who had been reading the blog regularly. As a result, we could start talking about the project instantenously without presentations, documents as we were all aware of what the others think and know. This is because all the information, links, ideas, articles etc had been described or linked to on the blog. We were all on the same blog page, so to speak.

Here are some examples of corporations that use internal blogs: InfoWorld, DaimlerChrysler, Sun Microsystems, IBM and, of course, Microsoft with around 1,000 employees with blogs. That's what I call a good start, but there is a way to go...

Source: CEO Bloggers' Club

Now, that's a neat way to put a statement on how to solve things :)

September 14, 2004

Incrementalists versus Completionists

Rands"Completionists are dreamers. They have a very good idea of how to solve a given problem and that answer is SOLVE IT RIGHT. Their mantra is, 'If you're going to spend the time to solve a problem, solve it in a manner that you aren't going to be solving it AGAIN in three months.'"

Source: Joel on Software

Comics via RSS - Great thing !

Just a wee bit sad that good things in life don't always come for free :)

NewsGator News and Name

NewsGator announced another RSS content relationship yesterday - this time with uclick, the online arm of Universal Press Syndicate (UPS). You can now get Doonesbury, Cathy, FoxTrot, Garfield, Ziggy comics via RSS (god - I loved FoxTrot - I forgot it existed...)

Source: Feld Thoughts

This could be interesting ...

The difference between humans and white mice.

I'm watching with amusement as IBM prepares to stub its toe with their new, curiously named "OpenPower" low-end boxes.

Now, I will freely admit I am entirely confused by what they're doing. Why on earth would you ship a proprietary computer that doesn't run your own operating system (AIX)? If I were trying to freak out my installed base, that's exactly what I'd do.

Surely they should read my earlier entry here, regarding the history of OS blunders, and the difference between humans and white mice. (White mice learn from history, while humans have a harder time in far broader fields of endeavor.) Chips don't matter if they don't have software (see Dec ALPHA for the ideal example), and software doesn't matter if it doesn't run in volume (see HP/UX on Itanium).

Second, saying "it's ok, we run linux" is like saying you "run the internet." Sure feels like IBM is trying to avoid specifying the distro. Why? Because they'd be doing demand creation for Red Hat. And why buy WebSphere when you can just use what comes in Red Hat? - "Jonas (Red Hat's app server) is just a toy, it's just for the low end" said IBM's exec at the Smith Barney Tech Conference I just attended in NYC. Notwithstanding the familiarity of that refrain to how linux itself was mistakenly positioned a few years ago, the irony is that IBM is positioning these new boxes as low end boxes. Presumably ideal for running a low end app server, and just using what's in Red Hat.

Finally, the 'P' in Power5 stands for Proprietary. You can't claim your chip is open if you're the exclusive supplier, guys - at least you can dual source SPARC from Sun or Fujitsu. Perhaps we should rename SPARC OpenSPARC. Nah, I like what AMD is doing with "industry standard" better. And while SPARC is outshipping Power 3:1 (so sayeth IDC), sure sounds like we're the industry standard.

IBM saying they're using this to come after Sun really suggests they've gone a few degrees shy of plumb - the single biggest threat to low-end SPARC isn't a funny low volume Power5 box without an operating system. The big alternative to SPARC arose years ago from volume in the x86 market. That's why we've built out the most complete family of Solaris/Opteron systems the industry has to offer, and we're starting to drive into the $20B+ x86 market. Volume has spoken.

That's also why we changed tack with SPARC, to move away from the single thread approach, to truly parallelized multi-core computing. And not just a tepid two core approach - the internet is one massive, multi-threaded application environment. Every user is, for all intents and purposes, his own thread - whether they're shopping for chandeliers on eBay, or managing wealth at Lehman Brothers. So if you want to see what multi-core computing looks like, allow me to help. It looks like this:

Multi-core reality

This is the silicon for our Project Niagara chip: 8 cores * 4 threads per core = a 32-way computer. On a chip.

And did I mention we have silicon, and not just a JPEG file?

And I saved the best for last. Are you ready?

It's already running Solaris. A volume OS that eats threads for lunch, on the world's most advanced massively parallelized silicon.

That's not just a box.

Multi-core SYSTEM

That's what we call a system. A system built for internet workloads. Not for the expedience of a press release. And a system that gives customers yet more choice, rather than taking choice away.

(And before you ask, yes, we are planning a nicer box when we ship :)

Source: COO - Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog (Sun MicroSystems)
Nicholas Carr is not invited.

As you may know, I and my team have been focused on reengaging customers on Wall Street. Why? Because they're demanding customers running demanding businesses, and they've got the money, and moreover the motivation, to redefine the computing industry every few years. Few other customers have that kind of technical or financial throw weight.

If you've ever seen my travel schedule, you'd see I spend a ton of time in NYC, talking to the folks we think are changing the industry. Moreover, I've got someone on my direct staff whose sole job is connecting our R&D and business teams to the top financial institutions. I get near daily (more like nightly) updates. Believe me, we're focused like you've never seen. Like one of those little red dots.

This coming week, we're going to be talking about returning to our roots with our Wall Street customers, in NYC. Going back to the customers that really helped to build Sun. Returning to the swamp from which we spawned. (I mean that with all due affection :) I'm bringing most of my staff, as well. We hunt in packs.

One of the coolest gatherings will be our geekfest - an opportunity to rub shoulders with the people inventing the technologies that are redefining Sun. Hardware, software, service, storage - and business models. And I want to offer an open invitation to the developer community, especially the new JPMC team to come learn all about the rocket science in Solaris, the industry's fastest x86 servers, chip multi-threading, and taking Java to the next level. And more.

Just send an email to to register. There may even be free beer. Speaking of which...

Source: COO - Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog (Sun MicroSystems)
Another dubious first for India

According to Richard Feachem of the Global Fund, India has overtaken South Africa and is now the country with the most HIV infections.

Latest U.N. data show the HIV virus has infected 5.6 million people in South Africa and 5.1 million in India. But Feachem said he and many other experts believe India's actual figure is much higher, surpassing South Africa's. The official estimate leaves out many people in this vast country of 1.03 billion who could be carrying the virus without knowing or reporting it, he said. "I won't put a figure on it. I will simply say it is considerably more than 5.1 million," he said. "I am happy to be wrong. But I think I will proved right, soon." Feachem called the Indian epidemic "on an African trajectory ... and incidence of HIV/AIDS is rising rapidly."

This is very bad news. If anything, these numbers are on the lower side because of under-reporting and the difficulty of gathering accurate data in large parts of the country. Once the disease spreads from high-risk populations into the mainstream, controlling it will prove to be ten times as difficult and there is a real danger this might already be happening. I can only hope this will serve as a wake-up call for politicians and bureaucrats involved with the health ministry. Unless this situation is tackled on a war-footing (and yes, that includes mentioning the words 'condom' and 'sex' in public), this could turn out to be a real disaster for the country. The economic and human costs of the devastation wrought by HIV/AIDS are severe. Ask Botswana.

Source: Zoo Station
On account of Ganesh Chathurthi ! !!

Posted by Hello
On account of Ganesh Chathurthi ! !!

Posted by Hello
On account of Ganesh Chathurthi !

Posted by Hello
On account of Ganesh Chathurthi ! !!

Posted by Hello
On account of Ganesh Chathurthi !

Posted by Hello
On account of Ganesh Chathurthi !

Posted by Hello
On account of Ganesh Chathurthi !

Posted by Hello
On account of Ganesh Chathurthi !

Posted by Hello
On account of Ganesh Chathurthi !

Posted by Hello
On account of Ganesh Chathurthi !

Posted by Hello

Daily Cartoon - 09/16/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Be Careful What You Wish For: Open Source and Off-Shoring

I am bemused by folks who can simultaneously cheer the global spread of the Internet and the beneficence of the open source (OS) movement, and decry the offshoring of IT jobs. Whether they're naive, or disingenous, or took Emerson a little too seriously, they are missing the correlation: Open source and IT offshoring are the products of the same driving forces, two faces of the same coin. And they are feeding off one another.

Let me count the ways:

  • The Internet itself is the basic enabler. The more people connected globally, the bigger the talent pool, the better the chance to get critical mass on an OS project from somewhere out there. The more connected and trained people, the greater the competition for gigs, the lower the compensation.
  • The commoditization of computing. Very little of OS is new computer science. Most is plowing old ground, recreating functionality long available. Linux and mySQL are not about innovation, they are about consolidation and the collateral disruption of margins in erstwhile commercial software categories. The routine and understood are also easier to send outside.
  • Modularity and open standards. The same methodology that enables breaking an OS project into pieces to be reassembled in Sourceforge, and run on well-defined downward APIs and data standards, likewise enables the commercial user to decompose a private project into pieces that are completed elsewhere. The stability of architecture and requirements necessary for this modularity is also a sign of the lack of fundamental new work.
  • Low capital costs for developer class equipment. The same scale economies that let the college kid run Linux enable the Indian outsourcer. Used to be software costs for developer tools were a bit of a barrier, but OS fixed that issue. More competition, see above.

And some of the feedback loops:

  • If you're competing with free, you've got to be - well - cheap. And that's not available in Silicon Valley. Even if you are building on free, or adding value through services, you get to cope with customer expectations for cost set by deployment of things like the LAMP stack in enterprise environments. Guess where you get cheap?
  • The more offshoring, the more local infrastructure to support it, the greater ease and more incentives to set smart people on the path to learning code. The more raw talent looking to show its stuff through OS (or malcode for that matter).
  • The more commodization, the less barrier to entry. The less attractiveness to investor equity capital. The more need to get the jobs done with absolutely minimal expense. (The more A round pitches I see with already established offshore teams.)

The Internet routes around choke points. It turns out the high price of implementing general purpose functionality was such a blockage. OS and offshoring are just different paths on the route around. Find something novel and defensible, or get used to it.

Source: Due Diligence

Daily Cartoon - 09/15/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Bharti Chennai blackout - leaves a lot to be desired from telecom operators ...

Bharti's Airtel and Touchtel services went out of air in Chennai last night at around 8.45pm IST. News today morning was that their NOC was disrupted by fire and hence the shutdown.

Makes me wonder what kind of disaster management/recovery plans these guys have ?! Do they have any ?! It's understandable if the shutdown is in a small region (such as a cell or an exchange), but bringing down an entire mobile and landline network in a place as big as Chennai leaves a lot to be desired in Bharti's capability.

The issue is compounded because several business which use their VPN services would also have been affected.

I don't know telecom network topology and management, but it sure beats the heck out of me to think that they didn't have an alternate !

Who will bear the responsibility of such mishaps ? How will they compensate their customers ? And, who will guarantee that such network shutdowns will not happen in the future ?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Dan Brown ...

First, it was "The Da Vinci Code" which I managed to complete last week after a long break in between reading 3/4ths of the book first time and getting to the end after that. Damn, did I curse my lending library :)

After another long reservation and wait, I finally got "Angels and Daemons". This is actually the first book (The Da Vinci Code was the second book). And, I completed it :)

Need to get to the next one in his series !

Off to the UK for studies ...

Hmm, it wasn't me :(

My cousin Deepak (the guy in the left corner of this photo - is and looks much older now) left for the University of Aberdeen today to do his MBA. More details on his course, howz life there, etc l8r.

It was his first flight trip ever and that too an international one, lucky chap :)

For now, let me just say that it was a 2hr sleep last night due to his send off. Slept at 1am or so, woke up @ 3am. Started for airport (Chennai Anna International Airport) at around 4.20am. Reached there at around 4.45am or so. His flight was at 8am !

His parents (my uncle and aunt), his sister, and his friend came along with us. It was a long wait at the airport till we saw the plane take off finally at around 8.45am or so (scheduled departure at 8am!). Snaps on the occassion to be posted later.

And, all the best to my cousin ! :)
Now, that's interesting. Wondering what's happening. Earlier it was said that the feed created too much of a load and hence the full text was removed. It's back now ?!

Full text RSS feeds are back on on Microsoft blogger site

Scott Watermasyk, the guy who makes the .TEXT blogging tool that 1300 bloggers are using on, is reporting that full text feeds are back on Microsoft's blogger's main feed. Sara Williams, head of MSDN, told me last night she's working on a blog entry for later in the day.

In other MSDN news, Junfeng Zhang writes about the new MSDN Website.

Source: The Scobleizer Weblog
Microsoft stagnation will lead consumers to Apple or Walmart?

A couple of MIT undergrads were over here at the house yesterday.  These technology connoisseurs said that the stagnation of features available in Windows will drive consumers to buying Macintosh computers, especially laptops.  Apple is apparently on a roll with new OS features including a disconnected and resync-able file system scheduled to ship in 2005 (didn't Carnegie Mellon do this with Andrew File System many years ago?).  I compared their prediction to the high-end audio nerd's belief that CDs would be supplanted by a digital format with superior sound quality.

In the audio market the connoisseurs were mostly wrong.  There are two competing high quality digital music formats, SACD and DVD-A.  Together there are fewer than 1000 titles available in these formats, more than two years after their release, and you can't find these in most record stores.  By contrast the mass market has embraced digital music formats that are lower quality than CD:  MP3, XM Radio, Sirius Radio (the satellite radios put out about 64 Kbits/channel and are noticeably inferior to a regular FM station, even on a fairly cheap set of speakers).

Suppose that Microsoft never adds another feature to Windows?  Not even my personal pet desire, the ability to display and lightly manipulate camera raw format images that come from high quality digital cameras.  Would that drive consumers to buy Macintosh?  Not if the computer market turns out to be like the audio market where people said "CD quality is more than good enough; I just want music that is more convenient and/or cheaper".  People would say "Windows XP Home is good enough but let's get it for as little as possible".  The result will be a $350 laptop at Walmart.  I met a senior Dell engineer recently and he told me that Dell was already producing a laptop on which they could cut the price to $500, without downgrading any components, and still make a profit.  The cheapest Macintosh laptop, by contrast, is $1100.

People who stopped buying CDs now spend their home entertainment budget on fancy digital cable.  If Microsoft's feature stagnation leads to a big drop in the average price of a purchased PC who will pick up the dollars not spent?  My prediction is mobile phone makers and carriers.  I saw a billboard yesterday for a Nextel phone with built-in GPS and voice-prompt navigation.  That seems more useful to most people than whatever OS tweaks Apple and Microsoft might offer to their 1970s-style mouse-windows-keyword systems.

Source: Philip Greenspun Weblog
Hooters in India?

Via Dan Drezner, I came across this MSNBC story that Hooters were planning to open franchise locations in India. As David Letterman would say, WHAAAT?

"I am looking forward to the 'recreation' of this dining atmosphere," Sunil Bedi, Managing Director of franchisee H.O.I. Pvt. Ltd., said in a statement. They'll be in charge of hiring local waitresses (a 1997 settlement allows Hooters to keep an all-female serving staff, at least in the United States) and choose the menu, with ultimate oversight from the Atlanta headquarters. Between five and 10 Indian locations are initially planned, with the first opening next year.

Hooters' expansion is the latest sign that U.S. businesses have awoken to the potential of the Indian middle class and its growing disposable income, said Jagdip Ahluwalia, executive director of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston.Hooters already has a strong global presence with some 370 restaurants, including 26 overseas locations in such places as Austria, Guatemala, Singapore and Taiwan. This is its first location in South Asia, where more modest sensibilities often prevail. But it has aggressive plans for further expansion -- including its first restaurant in China, due this fall, three restaurants in Thailand and elsewhere.

Well, if this report is accurate, the custodians of middle-class morality (and, I guess, the anti-globalisation crowd) in India will be operating at full-employment levels the next few months.

Source: Zoo Station
Offbeat Outsourcing

Beneficiaries of the outsourcing trend are now not limited to call centres and software engineers. During my trip to India, it came to my attention that some non-traditional industries are now growing thanks to business from the West. Rina Chandran, a journalist and a friend, writes on how Indian animators have benefitted.

Cute cartoon characters and slick special effects may not seem obvious candidates for outsourcing, but Indian studios are popping up alongside software firms and call centres that do work for firms in the West. In films, television shows and electronic games, latecomer India has started to gain favour over more established animation centres such as Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and the Philippines.

India is winning animation contracts for the same reasons it has become such a hot outsourcing destination for other industries: lower costs, a large English-speaking workforce and a track record in meeting Western companies' technology needs.

While language and technology remain advantages even in some of these creative sectors, the bottleneck might be the supply of skill (after all, how many training centres are dedicated to animation?). An area where this is not a problem is in financial research. With greater interest in small and mid-cap stocks, a large number of such stocks on the American exchanges and skilled indian management graduates, it is not surprising that small cap equity research is also finding its way on the outsourcing bandwagon.

Does anyone know of more non-traditional outsourcing trends?

Source: Zoo Station
Sun Microsystems To Ramp Up Headcount At Blore Centre
More RSS Links
Over the past few days I've collected a few links of interest to RSS junkies:

Source: Nick Bradbury

Daily Cartoon - 09/14/04

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

How to fight software patents - singly and together

RMS speaks.

Did you know that a lot of CEOs blog ?

Here's a big list. Check it out !

Source: The Scobleizer Weblog
Allchin's Last Stand

The Gang provided the first in-depth discussion of the Longhorn story two weeks ago. Steve’s ZDNet column focused on what this means for Microsoft's Jim Allchin with an analysis of a Channel 9 video. Steve's analysis has been lauded by Adam Kinney and others. Many who left comments on Adam's blog agree.

Source: The Gillmor Gang

Built for America, Owned in Asia

By now, you've probably heard about the attempt by Reliance Telecom and Tata Indicom to take over Tyco Global Network's assets for about $200 million (compared to the $3.4 valuation at the peak of the boom). This comes after Reliance's takeover of the Flag network which was preceded by SingTel's buyout of Global Crossing's $10 billion network for about $250 million. ...

Read more here.

Plan A for MicroSoft ...

LongHorn project revives pre-web strategy

Yet another post - required heavy hand editing to remove a lot of breaks - <br />

Mind maps as a study tool

I recently blogged about MindManager, and how I have been using it for a variety of business applications. As a technologist, I really enjoy evaluating new software and hardware in order to advise my clients. On the personal side, I am planning to teach our Jr.Robotics team how to use MindManager, ResultManager, and even OneNote to help them capture and manage their ideas for the competition. (More on this and a link to the girl's blog soon.)

For the past 8 weeks, I have been noting my progress using MindManager exclusively as a note-taking tool for a New Testament Survey course that I have just completed. I wanted to see if I could take an entire course, using only mind maps as my knowledge capture tool. I also wanted to see if the visual capture, representation, and retrieval of information could be accomplished in real-time, on my laptop, as efficiently as I have been able to do in the past by hand...

Mind mapping has helped me increase my understanding of the material that I studied; it also improved my ability to quickly recall information in context. It was easy for me to visually organize the topical relationship between my notes - both while I was studying as well as in review.

I found that taking notes in class on my ThinkPad was easy, however, I was concerned that it might be distracting to the professor or to others in the room. (Michael Hyatt has addressed some of this in his post on why he bought a TabletPC.) Therefore, for the first part of this experiment, I primarily used MindManager outside of class to...

Source: Eric Mack On-Line

Testing posting from within FeedDemon !!

Skype Continues to Amaze

I'm in Copenhagen, and just got off the "phone" with someone who's in Beijing. We were both using Skype, and the connection was just fine. The communications revolution continues.

Source: Dan Gillmor's eJournal

Monday, September 13, 2004

My memory is fading, and very fast ...


I just don't know what it is with these grey cells. Just don't think I have them ! :)

I missed my Mom's B'day a couple of days ago. Too bad !! Too bad. Felt miserable. No easy way of making up for that.

And then, today - there's this meeting. Remembered about it from the morning, had discussions, remembered about it half an hour before the scheduled start and then, when it was time, totally forgot !! How bad !!

Need to do something to get a handle !! Look at my earlier post here where I also tell about folks who are complaining about my memory loss :)

Bush exposed !!

Could resist pointing to this :)

What Did You Wear to the 2004 JavaOne Conference? A Conversation with Technology Evangelist, Simon Ritter

What Did You Wear to the 2004 JavaOne Conference? A Conversation with Technology Evangelist, Simon Ritter

Friday, September 10, 2004

Child Helpine - 1098 (Toll Free in Chennai and rest of India)

This is good information about an NGO Help line called 1098.

Whenever you see a child (street child, bade ghar ka child) in ANY kind of trouble (hungry, injured, abused, dead....), just give a call to 1098 (TOLL FREE).

Tell them the problem and location of the child and move ahead. They will not ask anything else. Its a genuine organization started and supported by the Ministry of Social Welfare.... so no issues on that.

Most importantly, they are present in 55 cities so that covers most of the major cities.

Is the Bermuda Triangle a real place?

The Bermuda Triangle is formed by the Bermuda Islands, southern Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. A number of ships and aircraft have vanished without a trace while passing through this area. National Geographic Magazine says it's the world's greatest modern mystery...

Read more here.

Lord of the Supercomputers

The supercomputer used to create many of the special effects in the Lord of the Rings movies is being made available to universities and businesses, who will be able to tap the New Zealand machine for engineering design work and for economic modeling.

Today's Dilbert Strip (Social situation) ...

neatly describes what behavior often comes across in office corridors. How often have we smiled or said "Hi" to the people whom we pass by in the corridor and whom we faintly know ? Have we done it each time ?

It's interesting that Scott Adams can make a cartoon out of such a simple but important observation. That calls for creativity - or the lack of it ;-)

Talking about "The Curd Rice Attitude" ...

Here's an interesting and entertaining (IMO) note on how much people like curd rice !

Intel calls for Internet overhaul

The Internet needs to be upgraded with a new layer of abilities that will deal with imminent problems of capacity, security and reliability, Intel Chief Technology Officer Pat Gelsinger said Thursday.

Gelsinger pointed to PlanetLab, an experimental network that sits on top of the Internet, as a step in the right direction. Hewlett-Packard and Intel have begun work trying to commercialize the project, which was started in 2002, in order to overlay the Internet with intelligence and adaptability. And the Public Broadcasting Service will use Planet Lab to broadcast high-definition TV shows, Gelsinger said in a speech here at the Intel Developer Forum.

"We think the work we're doing today is laying the foundation for the Internet of tomorrow," Gelsinger said, dubbing the fruits of PlanetLab work "the new Net."


Gelsinger applauded efforts by Cisco Systems and other networking companies to improve the existing Internet plumbing, but he argued that such work is not sufficient to deal with the complexity of Internet2, the shift to Internet Protocol version 6 and other issues.


Read the complete article @

Thursday, September 09, 2004

GMail POP ...

POP for GMail sounds cool right ? Here's a site for helping you out

Disclaimer: I haven't tried it.

10 Tips for Flirting

10. It's all about attitude. Be self-confident and willing to take risks. Have a postive outlook, and show enthusiasm.

9. Don't be a passive maid-in-waiting. Take the initiative and strike up a conversation, a simple hello is a good enough opening line. Be humorous, natural and stay cool. You can discuss the place you are at, the people, ask about general interests and find a common platform to talk about.

8. Use the person's name when talking to him. It makes a person feel good and adds a personal touch to the conversation. When saying goodbye too use his name.

7. Enjoy yourself. Be playful, light-hearted and spontaneous. A woman enjoying herself is attractive and charming.

6. If you frequently find yourself at a loss for conversation keep some aids to help you out. You could take with you (depending on the occasion) unusual jewellery, an exotic scent, a designer bag, an interesting book or magazine, dogs or kids.

5. Move closer to the person you are interested in. It should be a natural movement as you talk in gentle animated tones.

4. Listen and be genuinely interested in what your partner is saying. Everyone loves to be heard, and this will definitely draw your partner towards you.

3. Make intermittent eye contact. Look your partner in the eye for just a couple of intense seconds, before you glance away. Definitely avoid staring.

2. Do not hesitate to compliment. It's a sure way of giving the green signal. But your compliments must be sincere. If you receive a compliment it is best to merely say 'Thank You' along with a smile!

1. And don't forget your most natural turn on is a smile. A smile reflects welcome and warmth, it says 'I am interested in you'. It is a sure draw.

Indian woman hacker nabbed in Philippines

Manila: An Indian woman has been arrested for allegedly leading a gang which hacked into the Philippines telecommunications system to make unauthorised long-distance calls, officials said today.

Pooja Khemlani was arrested in her Manila apartment earlier this week after her husband, also an Indian citizen, reported her to the police, the immigration bureau said in a statement.


She is being investigated for possible involvement in illegal dollar trading, drug trafficking and smuggling of medicine and jewellery, the bureau added.


How to Start a Blog ? (12 point guide)

Now, here's a quick 12 point guide !

The Blogger on the Payroll

An article worth reading ! Talk about companies that have a corporate policy for blogging and the issues that a few of them are having and how those are being dealth with.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Firefox Help: Extensions

I'm blogging this via FireFox ! Ain't it Cool ?!

Firefox Help: Extensions

7-Sep was Google's Sixth B'day ...

How unfair of me to not have noted that :(

Overpriced College Text Books, Meet Bit Torrent

Nortel, Possibly Cisco, Join WiMax Forum

Unnamed sources are saying that Cisco recently applied to join the WiMax Forum: An official Nortel press release announces that Nortel has joined the forum. Cisco might be an unwelcome addition to the forum from the perspective of existing vendors because the company tends to dominate markets. While the company has significant wireless roots in the Wi-Fi business, it hasn't historically sold radio gear to the community of operators that builds large metropolitan networks. So it would be interesting to see how Cisco's presence might alter the WiMax market.

Details @

Intel's WiMax Chip: Rosedale

Intel is testing a new WiMax chip, dubbed "Rosedale", says InfoWorld and Wireless NewsFactor. Intel has reportedly been supplying its customers with test versions of chips recently. Intel has also been involved in early WiMax trials with carriers and equipment manufacturers worldwide, according to Newsfactor. The final version of the WiMax chips will be released "within the next 12 months" ...

Details @

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Google's Code Jam

Do you like programming challenges? Do you like competition? Do you like money? If you can answer yes to at least two of those three questions, then Code Jam, Google's annual celebration of the art of computer science, is for you.

Linux and Patent Risks

OSRM recently commissioned a study that found the Linux kernel potentially infringes on 283 patents. Though some people find cause for alarm, others see this knowledge as a good thing. Here's more information on the study and its findings.

RSS doesn't scale ...

Now, here's some decent thought

GmailFS provides a mountable Linux filesystem which uses your Gmail account as its storage medium ...

Way 2 Cool !

Integrated Collaboration: what users really want


Too much email ...

Look at what Verita's doing to cut email - the marketing department has a no email day (Friday) !

Now, talk about Intel and it's email problems !

Sri Krishna Sweets : Vadapalani : Packs free flies/insects with eatables !

I've stopped purchasing anything from Sri Krishna Sweets (Vadapalani) except for the "Bengali" Sweets. I purchase them 'cos they appear _not_ to be contaminated with flies/insects due to the cold storage container that they are stored in. My repeated requests to the cashier/billing person to install full covers on the rest of the sweets/savories
sections have fallen on deaf ears.

FWIW, Adyar Ananda Bhavan (Vadapalani) has savories in cleanly closed containers. Their "Benagli" sweets are also in a cold container. Also, their other sweets are also placed in closed displays.

The next time, you visit Sri Krishna Sweets, take a few moments to talk to the cashier/billing person. Tell them that you are concerned about this apparent lack of concern that they have. And, more importantly, don't buy non-"Bengali" sweets from them. The irony is that their pricing is one of the highest !

Please take a stance to make a change for the better.

GMail Notifier ...

Gmail Notifier is Google's official Windows-based Gmail biff tool. It's in beta, but works well for a lot of folks.


Sunday, September 05, 2004

USB drivers for Motorola c350 ...

Don't know if they are the same for c350e !

Something about my Motorola c350e mobile ...

Came across it while trying to understand the capabilities of the GPRS facility of the mobile.

It's another thing that I hate the low volume of ring tones on the mobile. Many occassions when I've missed calls unless the device is on vibrate mode. Stupid device !

Internet Connectivity, GPRS, Airtel, Chennai

Here's my latest query !


I've been considering the various internet connectivity options available and it _appears_ that the GPRS package available from Airtel at Rs.600/-pm (per month) is a nice deal.

It offers at Rs.600/-pm unlimited data transfer, no cap on no. of hours (always on), data rate of 30kbps or 30KBps (max).

The primary usage will be in Chennai.

I don't yet have Satyam's shared access in my locality (expected any time soon) which sells at Rs.600pm, unlimited traffic, always on, shared access.

BSNL is supposed to come with a big band towards the end of the year, around Dec, but I'll keep my fingers crossed and use other alternatives till then.

Anyone has any feedback on the pros/cons/... of any of these services ?

FWIW, I heard that the defense department has recently pulled up DOT for allowing private mobile operators providing internet connectivity without proper security safeguards, but that's not my worry right now.


Friday, September 03, 2004

Reading: John Girsham's "The Firm" ...

Been a long time since I read Grisham's stuff I guess (my memory is becoming quite poor - my friends, teammates and family keep complaining).

The earlier one this week was "The Last Juror".

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

What a beauty !

Apple unveiled it's new iMac G5.

The perfect answer to people who think that art and technology don't go together :)

Bloomba, world's 1st search-based e-mail in India

Bloomba, the world's first search-based e-mail, developed by Chennai-based iSoftTech for its US client Stata Labs, is now available in India.


Priced at Rs 1,499, the product can be downloaded from the iSoftTech Web site.