Sunday, October 31, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/28/04


http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007228.gif

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Friday, October 29, 2004

President Bush's website now blocks non-US visitors

Wanted to post this two night ago, but Blogger.com was down all of a sudden :(

***

Really, how moronic can G W Bush (and his spin doctors) get ?! The other question of course is - WTF, who cares ?! One less moron on the web for me to worry about.

Read a nice entry on the whole fiasco here.

Will be interesting to hear (if at all) the reasoning behind such an action.

Disclaimer : I'm reading this from Boing Boing and I do think that the site referenced is indeed Bush's. Will have to check it out for authenticity sake later.

The tale of The Cisco Tech Support Goddess

I couldn't but help admire the woman in this writeup (no photo) for her wonderful sense of wit and dare. She's close to being worshipable :)

India Outsourcers Find Back Door in Canada

/. says

"Metro International newspapers Toronto edition reports that more Indian companies are opening back doors into the United States by setting up shop in Canada. The issue of outsourcing, offshoring and nearshoring has become a hot issue, with the 2004 presidential election less than a week away. Candidate John Kerry has said he will close the tax loophole that makes it advantageous to outsource call centers."

Daily Cartoon - 10/27/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004183061028.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007227.gif

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Google Acquires Keyhole Corp

Google Acquires Keyhole Corp

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - October 27, 2004 - Google Inc. (Nasdaq:
GOOG) today announced it acquired Keyhole Corp., a Mountain View,
Calif.-based digital mapping company.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"With Keyhole, you can fly like a superhero from your computer at
home to a street corner somewhere else in the world - or find a
local hospital, map a road trip or measure the distance between two
points," said Jonathan Rosenberg, vice president, Product
Management. "This acquisition gives Google users a powerful new
search tool, enabling users to view 3D images of any place on earth
as well as tap a rich database of roads, businesses and many other
points of interest. Keyhole is a valuable addition to Google's
efforts to organize the world's information and make it universally
accessible and useful."

Hack A Day ...

The site name says it all - Hack A Day

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/26/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2002440841027.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007226.gif

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Biography of a worm ...

Can anything stop the next global virus outbreak? We follow the trail of one recent worm to see how the security system works--and whether it can be fixed.

Interesting read.

WorldSpace Satellite Radio sets up shop in Chennai mega mall Spencer Plaza

WorldSpace Satellite Radio recently launched a WorldSpace Lounge for music lovers in Chennai. The lounge will be in Phase III of Spencer’s and has been designed as a unique experience zone that enables customers to listen to their choice of music on any of WorldSpace’s channels in a comfortable and non-intrusive ‘lounge’ ambience.

Complete story here.

A R Rehman hits press for a different kind of reason ...

Renowned music director, current heart throb of millions of Indians and people worldwide, A R Rehman hit the news today for a very different kind of reason.

He's been awarded a compensation of Rs.50000 by the District Consumer Redressal Forum, Chennai (North), in a complaint of deficiency of service he had filed against the State Bank of India, Overseas Branch on Rajaji Salai.

Read complete story here.

WIPRO Technologies Named Asian Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise

The 2004 Asian MAKE panel recognized Wipro Technologies for developing knowledge workers through senior management leadership (1st place), maximizing the company's intellectual capital, and transforming enterprise knowledge into shareholder value.

Read the complete story here.

Business Standard Analysis calls HCL performance "lacklusture" ...

with a positive note just on the dividend payout.

HCL Technologies’ September quarter results were rather lacklustre, with revenues growing 5.9 per cent sequentially, much lower than industry growth rates and the 14 per cent growth it had managed in the June quarter.

The software services business grew 6 per cent sequentially, with the organic side of the business growing at a lower rate of 4.7 per cent.

...

On the positive side, HCL Tech paid an interim dividend of Rs 4 per share, which is expected to be maintained. With a dividend yield of 4.34 per cent, downside for the stock is rather limited.



Read more here (towards the bottom of the page).

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/25/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2036612041026.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007225.gif

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Monday, October 25, 2004

HCL Tech Q1 net up 1.28%

HCL Technologies has posted a small gain of 1.28% increase in net profit at Rs 90.75 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 as compared to Rs 89.6 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2003.

...


Complete article here.

Evolution Connector free ?

Just now heard that Evolution and Evolution Connector are free as part of Gnome 2.8 project. Ain't that kewl ?!

It's another issue that it's for M$ Exchange, still it's kewl :)

I haven't heard or researched anything beyond the above. Can anyone explain what is the gotcha or what is the business implication ?

Daily Cartoon - 10/24/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2732240041025.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007224.gif

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Keynote ...

Will have to try Keynote out sometime.

Here's a reliable recommendation.

Thunderbird is acting up quite strange ...

I've seen this on rare ocassions. Thunderbird simply doesn't get the new messages any more. It sits idle as if there ain't anymore new messages to be delivered to the inbox, although there'd be quite a few messages (about 93 in todays case) on the email server.

A shutdown and restart of the application takes care of the situation. However, IMO, that's not the way it's supposed to work ! :(

Update : This might not be an issue for those who sutdown down their machine or email application each day (or almost). I never shutdown Thunderbird till my machine gets rebooted (or there's some ocassional problem) once in 2/3 months or so. Hence that's quite a long time to show a behavior like that noted above. Nonetheless ...

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/23/04


http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007223.gif

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Saturday, October 23, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/22/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004101220423.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007222.gif

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Friday, October 22, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/21/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004114644022.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007221.gif

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Three Steps to Better Leadership - Start with yourself

"The best way to learn leadership is to practice it. Remember, just because you are not in a position of leadership does not mean that you cannot lead others. Care about other people's success. Add value to their lives. Not only will that make you a better leader, you will be a better person."

http://www.sys-con.com/story/?storyid=46785&de=1

Happy Leading!

Trivia : Car makes and numbers at office car park ...

Hyundai Santro : 18
Tata Indica V2 : 8 (my car make)
Maruti Wagon R : 6

Others found, but not counted were

Maruti 800
Maruti Alto
Maruti Omni
Maruti Zen
Hyundai GetZ (latest car in the market!)
Hyundai Sonata
Honda City
Mitsubishi Lancer
Fork Ikon

No SUVs :(

Daily Cartoon - 10/20/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004183061021.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007220.gif

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

IIMC, IIMB enter the satellite based management education program arena

IIMC (IIM Kolkotta) and IIMB have been the latest entrants in providing satellite based business management education programs via Direcway HECL.

Here are some articles on the latest IIMB program

IIM, Hughes put business school on the web
http://tinyurl.com/5wrpp (Business Standard)

IIM-B logs onto interactive mode
http://tinyurl.com/5q595 (Economic Times)

More details on the IIMB program should probably be coming out shortly.

Daily Cartoon - 10/19/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2002440841020.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007219.gif

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

Just love those words. This is far from where a majority of people/communities are going (IMHO). A lot do no like listening to a different or opposing point of view. They make all out efforts to gag, remove or execute :) In the slightly better form (but equally dangerous nonetheless) case, they make a charade of listening and do nothing.

BTW, these words were widely attributed to Voltaire, but cannot be found in his writings. With good reason. The phrase was invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude. It appeared in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall under the pseudonym S[tephen] G. Tallentyre.

Daily Cartoon - 10/18/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2036611041019.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007218.gif

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Monday, October 18, 2004

Microsoft advised to learn to love Linux

A US management guru has advised Microsoft to acquire Research in Motion and pay closer attention to open-source projects on mobile devices, or face oblivion

Management guru Clayton Christensen has a paradoxical answer for Microsoft to the challenge posed by open source: invest in Linux applications for handheld devices.

...

Open source is a clear disruption to Microsoft and the software industry in general, Christensen told attendees at the Future Forward technology conference here on Thursday.

"Where Linux takes root is in new applications, like Web servers and handheld devices. As those get better, applications will get sucked off the desktop onto the Internet, and that's what will undo Microsoft," he said.

...


Read complete article here.

Source: Slashdot

Dynamic DNS (no-ip.com) FREE

Take a look at no-ip.com and their No-IP Free package.

You can now get your own permanent sub domain at no cost (free of charge) and also have few email-ids @ your domain name.

What this means is that whenever you dial-up or DSL connect or Cable connect to your ISP, you can have your random IP address, say X.Y.Z.A always point to something like howkewl.hopto.org. How cool can it get ? :)

Also, take a look at the free DynDNS services for similar purpose.

Standard Disclaimer:
I haven't tried their services. Do read the "Terms and Conditions" carefully and apply your usual discretion.

Safety Measures - Cylinders have Expiry Dates

Any one know if the following is true ?!

A piece of information...

There is an expiry date for LPG cylinders. Expired Cylinder is not safe for use and may cause accidents. In this regard please be cautious at the time of accepting any LPG cylinder from the vendor. Here is how we can check the expiry of LPG cylinders - On the stem of the cylinder the expiry date is coded alpha numerically as A or B or C or D and some two digit number following this. e.g. D06. The alphabets stand for quarters - A for March Qtr, B - June Qtr, C -Sept Qtr and D- December Qtr. The digits stand for the year till it is valid. Hence D04 would mean December qtr of 2004.

Daily Cartoon - 10/17/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2732230041018.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007217.gif

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Firefox Toolbar Lets You Search Gmail And Google Desktop

If you use Firefox, you'll be pleased to learn that there is now a Google Firefox Toolbar that allows you to search all of Google's engines, plus Gmail and the new Google Desktop. Check it out.

Source.

Google Desktop privacy branded 'unacceptable'

Google's Desktop represents a privacy disaster just waiting to happen, a rival has warned. David Burns, Copernic CEO, says users should know that the giant ad broker intends to mix public and private queries in the future, leveraging its key moneyspinning product: contextual advertising.

"If you lined people and said, 'Stick your hand up if you want Google to know what pictures you have, and what MP3 files you have,' I don't think many would." Burns had offered these capabilities to partners before, but received some
pushback.

...

Google Desktop Search allows users to opt out of sending the company back detailed usage data, but it isn't possible to firewall it completely. Much more ominously, reckons Burns, Google's product manager Marissa Mayer said she expected the private queries to generate more hits for google.com. Most people, she believed, would choose to combine personal and web searches resulting in more revenue for Google's ad business.

...


Complete story @

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/15/google_desktop_privacy/

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/16/04


http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007216.gif

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An interesting read on pricing of stuff in India ...

Article makes comparisons of price of stuff in India and abroad. Some hypothesis about manufacturing, doesn't touch upon import taxes, excise duty, the bigger game of protectionism in some areas, and probably a lot of other things. However, definitely a very interesting read.

It ain't Puffin ...

As I'd mentioned elsewhere earlier, Google's Desktop Search Tool's code name ain't Puffin. That was the code name for the Deskbar.

Source.

X1 being given away free @ Inside Google !!

This is cool promotion !! Way to go !!

InsideGoogle plays a new game :)

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/15/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004101220316.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007215.gif

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Friday, October 15, 2004

7.5 mins !!

That's what it takes to get my computer at home in an operational state if I have to logon to the net.

The standard applications that I run are

FeedDemon
Mozilla Thunderbird
Mozilla Firefox
w.bloggar

And, a few apps run on the system tray.

The machine is a 633MHz Intel Celeron Proc with 128MB RAM that I borrowed from a friend of mine. It's high time for me to get a better machine !!

Only thing is, a decent one will set me back by around 25-28K Rupees :(

The day after Google released desktop search engine

Scoble hints about things that are coming up shortly at M$ here.

Paralysed man sends e-mail by thought

A pill-sized brain chip has allowed a quadriplegic man to check e-mail and play computer games using his thoughts. The device can tap into a hundred neurons at a time, and is the most sophisticated such implant tested in humans so far.

Complete article.

Source: Metafilter

TECH TALK: The Network Computer: Making It Happen (includes M$ bashing amongst others) ...

The article is definitely an interesting read. Try to follow the series (if you have the time).
Source.

I touched upon this here in an earlier post. Looks like there are other nice things to note here too.

Snippet:

Microsoft's emerging market strategy seems to be low-cost, limited functionality, local language versions of Windows XP (called Starter Editions). This is a flawed approach, as I wrote recently on my weblog: “Microsoft is caught between piracy, non-consumption and Linux in the developing markets. Rather than low-cost, reduced functionality Windows, it should look at reducing cost of the desktop computers (think thin clients) and running Windows off centralised platforms, with a pricing of $1 per month. Not just the limited versions, but the full-featured versions. But this requires Microsoft to think not like a monopoly but like a utility company.” [Also see some of the comments from readers as part of this post.]

Leadership's Lasting Lessons

Knowledge@Wharton writes about a new book - "Lasting Leadership: Lessons from the 25 Most Influential Business People of Our Times."


Lasting Leadership also identifies eight attributes of leadership, each of which has its own chapter in the book, that are evident to varying degrees in these individuals.




1. They are able to build a strong corporate culture.


2. They are truth-tellers.


3. They are able to find and cater to under-served markets.


4. They can "see the invisible" - that is, spot potential winners or faint trends before their rivals or customers.


5. They are adept at using price to build competitive advantage.


6. They excel at managing and building their organization's brand (which in some cases may be their own name).


7. They are fast learners.


8. They are skilled at managing risk.




Source: E M E R G I C . o r g

Update : Scary ? [was Google Desktop Search's EULA ...]

Given here.

Does anyone exactly know what the "non-commercial use only" subscribes to ? Would using it on my work desktop classify as commercial use ?

Update (18-Oct-2004) : I wouldn't like to read too much into the order/speed with which Google responds to user questions. However, it still leaves me with a doubtful feeling. I had earlier (on 15-Oct-2004) asked Google for their stand/take on this "licensing policy" and am yet to receive a reply. A query that I sent on 17-Oct-2004 about "thunderbird support" got answered in about a day. Leaves me wondering if their legal department is still sleeping/wondering or whether there's something for an end user like me to be scared about !

Daily Cartoon - 10/14/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004114644015.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007214.gif

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Dark Days : IT (Wipro, TCS, Infosys, Satyam) firms try out bonds to retain talent

The "dark" days are coming back.

Once upon a time, a lot of companies were asking for "bonds" to be signed up by employees which would prevent them from switching to another company within a certain period. Now, according to the article, it's just got even more stricter in these (Wipro, TCS, Infosys, Satyam) companies. This custom was more prominent amogst freshers. Later, at some point of time almost all companies did away with such practices understanding the true nature of freedom, belief and competition - or so I'd like to make others believe :)

However, it looks like history is going to repeat itself, as usual. The article quoted below talks about such practices coming up once again. It's unfortunate that companies resort to such tactics rather than being able to offer what is desired by those people quitting. Provide a challenging work environment, show commitment to employees and motivate them as necessary. Not the dumb headed way.

Afterall, whatz the point in trying to retain someone if they are no longer interested in you ? More so, would they cause more "harm" by continuing to stay rather than simply going away ? All these factors, good sense and a good economy prompted companies to remove such shackles.

... Companies like Wipro, TCS, Infosys and Satyam all have introduced bonds for freshers, making them sign agreements to work for a period of 12-24 months. ...

Read complete article here.

14-Oct2004

THE Rediff Interview/John Kerry
... Your unambiguous and unequivocal stand against outsourcing has concerned India and by extension the Indian-American community, which feels it's a case of ...


OUTSOURCING the lawyers
... members of the Fortune 500 and some of the country's largest law firms, are now embracing the idea of outsourcing routine legal work to India, South Korea ...


‘SECURITY and privacy key issues in US-India BPO relations'
... while outsourcing jobs to Indian companies. Given the few incidents in the recent past, it is of utmost importance for the software companies in India to ...


"OUTSOURCING is a bubble in India"
... In the second edition of the annual 'India Outsourcing Summit 2004', Michael F Corbett, CEO of Michael F Corbett & Associates Ltd., and popularly known as the ...


KERRY acknowledges outsourcing is here to stay
... 14: Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry, who had earlier denounced as ‘traitors' CEOs of US companies outsourcing to countries like India and China ...


HRM, CRM top BPO biz: Expert
... Associates. Corbett was speaking at the India Outsourcing Summit, hosted by the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) on Wednesday. ...


SPI Technologies Opens New Service Center in India; Expands ...
... In India, SPI has an additional business process outsourcing service center in Pondicherry, which the company acquired through its purchase of Kolam ...


India or Indiana?
... While cheap labor may look attractive, the total cost of outsourcing and the unique requirements of each respective market ... Indiana may be better than India.".

CYBERMEDIA plans Rs 170 mn IPO
... Global Outsourcing would address outsourcing issues from a global perspective. The company also plans to take BioSpectrum, India's largest biotechnology ...


Update : India Broadband Policy ...

Info here.

Update (18-Oct-2004) : The broadband policy describes broadband as 256kbps (it's another issue that worldwide it's generally considered to be 512kbps) and the Communications minister had hinted that it should be made available in the Rs.500-700 range.

What I still am skeptical about is whether the policy and interpreters consider "broadband" to be always on and whether this Rs.500-700 range will be for an always on _and_ unlimited transfer or whether the service providers will start their old nasty schemes, once again, offering 10hr/month or 300mb at 256kbps beating the whole purpose of such a policy !! Let's wait and see.

Google Ad Sense ...

As a gesture to Google which provides me My Blog, I considered turning on Google's Ad Sense program on my page. However, the gamut of conditions and policies are daunting. I'd have been much happier if they had a "I don't need money from you, please keep it" button or something :) It would have saved me a lot of trouble and easily helped me to install their Ad Sense Program.

If someone knows that I'm missing something and there is indeed such a provision, please let me know ! I'd be happy to turn on that service as a way to return my mini favor to Google.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Wal-Mart Squeezing Record Labels to Cut CD Prices

From /.

I like the quote "Monopoly one, meet monopoly two." :)

"RollingStone.com has a revealing article detailing how retail giant Wal-Mart is making loud noises about throwing its weight around in order to get significantly better bulk prices on CDs. Says one industry executive, 'This wasn't framed as a gentle negotiation, it's a line in the sand -- you don't do this, then the threat is [your product is dropped].' This is the first time a big player has attempted this sort of hardball move on the labels, and the labels may be forced to deal, as Wal-Mart sells 1 out of every 5 retail CDs. Monopoly one, meet monopoly two."

Woohoo - Google Desktop Search ...

It's finally out into the open !

Google Inc. today announced a beta desktop search application that enables users to search their email, files, web history, and chats. Called Google Desktop Search, this new application makes it possible for users to find information on their computers as fast and easily as they can search the web with Google.

"Google Desktop Search brings the power of Google to your personal information on your own computer. As easily as searching Google, you can instantly search your files, local email, the web pages you have seen, and more," said Larry Page, Google's co-founder and president of products." It's free, installs quickly, and keeps completely up to date. Google Desktop Search represents a quantum leap in access to your own information."


...

- Easy access to desktop results via Google.com Search. Google Desktop Search enables users to search both their computer and the web simultaneously. When users search through Google.com (either from the homepage or the Google Toolbar), Google Desktop Search runs the same search in parallel on the user's computer. If Google Desktop Search finds relevant results, those results are added to the Google.com search results page. This means, users don't need to decide before they search whether to search the web or their computer. From a single start point, they get both.

It's available from http://desktop.google.com.

It is currently available for Windows XP and Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and above. It requires a minimum of 128MB of RAM, and a 400MHz (or faster) Pentium processor is recommended. Google Desktop Search is available in English today and there are plans to make it available in other languages.

And, a good read from O'Reilly Network describing the whole thing !

SharpReader vs. Sauce Reader

Here's a recent comparison on two RSS readers that I'd looked at.

India's throttling its broadband, says Intel CTO

Technicalities and business considerations apart, I like the pitch that a person as "high" as Intel's CTO is making to Indian authorities. Let's wait and watch how it turns around.

Don't strangle your broadband future. That's the message Intel CTO Pat Gelsinger sought to convey, saying that lack of proper allocation of spectrum for wireless broadband through WiMax technology might just kill it.

Gelsinger, in India for IDF (Intel Developer Forum), met senior government officials and tried to impress upon them that WiMax was the best bet the country had for spreading broadband connectivity throughout the country, especially in rural India and a proper spectrum allocation was a must for it to take off.


Read complete story here.

Happy Birthday OpenOffice.org!!

Read more here.

We work on cutting edge technologies ...

that's why we're bleeding :)

A passing comment in some company's corridor ! :)

Outsource firm sues in India


ALLEGED CODE THEFT HIGHLIGHTS FOREIGN RISK

In a case that exposes the intellectual-property risks of outsourcing in India, a small San Carlos software company has sued Mumbai police for refusing to investigate the alleged theft of proprietary source code by an employee at its Indian subsidiary.

Sandeep Jolly, the founder and chief executive of Jolly Technologies, said U.S. technology companies should beware of the risks of doing business in his native land at a time when many are taking advantage of the cost savings of offshoring and entrusting sensitive software development and testing work to Indian contractors. Protection of intellectual property is still a new concept for lawmakers, police and prosecutors, he said.


Complete story here.

Daily Cartoon - 10/13/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004183051014.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007213.gif

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PayPal Fouled Up, but Secure

The online payment system has been glitchy since Friday, but the account information hasn't been compromised.

Was it a close call ? Read here.

India next global hub for software - Really ?!

Infy chief Narayan Murthy sees India emerging as a global player in software products.

Should I call it wishful thinking ?

I see a constant bitter struggle in a majority of IT services companies in building competencies in particular domains. Most of them want to be able to build strengths without investing the necessary time. There isn't a clear cut focussed plan and effort for that either. And, such things can't come out of wishful thinking !

BTW, what kind of R&D investments do all these top notch companies make ? How much of their revenue or profits is used for R&D ? And, what is the kind of R&D they get involved in ?

More often than not, they'd like to retain the flexibility of having to move people around to plug "gaps". Very rarely do people stay on teams or a particular domain for a long time. Staying on one team causes individual growth to be often stunted as a resuilt or isn't the best possible thing that can always happen.

In fact, it's also "socially" a "surprise" for people to stay in one place, one team for a long time. People start to question the "saleability" of the individual !! :)

I guess this is good enuf for a start. I'm getting tired ! :) Maybe another day on this topic.

Strengthen cyber laws, US tells India

Looks like one of my earlier posts about IP in India as well as the legal system was dead on. Read this article on what we (India) get to hear.

TCS betters Infosys, books 52 pc profit

MUMBAI: India's top software services firm Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. said second-quarter profit rose 52 per cent before a one-off expense, beating market estimates, as companies worldwide increased outsourcing.

The big guys are drawing out the guns ! Let's see how my company fares !

Read article on TCS' show.

2500 jobs available at Hughes Software

Telecom software company Hughes Software Systems today said it was looking for acquisitions and will hire 2500 people by March 2006.

Complete article here.

Google plans to expand India operations

Google, one of the world's largest search engines, plans to expand its India operations to undertake new research and development projects aimed at better serving its worldwide users.

On their first visit to India and Bangalore, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin said they were upbeat about the R&D activities being carried out by their Indian subsidiary, thanks to the incredible talent and other resources available in the country.

"It's our first visit to this great country and we are enjoying the trip immensely. We have seen a lot of incredible talent here. We feel this is the right place for us to be expanding our R&D work. We will be expanding here just as we are doing in the US and Europe," said Page.


Full story here.

(Google Founders) Larry And Sergey's Wild Indian Vacation

What does $4 billion get Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page? "Well it brought us to India, didn't it?" they said, kicking off their first whistle-stop tour of India, which they hope will end with a rickshaw ride back to California. Google's new Bangalore facility, which they visited, will be devoted to research into new products to expand Google's portfolio. Seventy percent of the facility is dedicated to search, 20% to Gmail, and the rest in other areas, giving you an idea what a huge priority Gmail is to Google. The new Hyderabad office will be a support center for AdWords, and be home to engineering, human resources, online sales and services. Staying true to its famous slogan, Google's India offices will not be "evil" and operate on United States time, keeping employees at work while their families and countrymen sleep, but will run a normal India workday.

Read complete article here.

Gmail Bugs List Is Out

Read article here.

Mira and the Mahatma

Most people know about the numerous love affairs of Jawaharlal Nehru, most notably the one with Lady Mountbatten. But what about the Mahatma? In India, he has been glorified to an extent where any talk of him outside the spiritual dimension is considered blasphemous. Fortunately, the mahatma was a great deal more honest than his present-day worshippers/hagiographers and even a cursory reading of his autobriography will reveal a very human side to his personality, including his various experiments with fighting off *temptation*.

Full article here.

For those on Outlook ...

Here's a ton of email tips (Part 1 and Part 2) from Jeff Sandquist (Microsoft Evangelist) !

M$ blogs are an interesting PR strategy (read about Scoble, co-optation) ...

Read this post titled

Airline passenger to me: "Your products suck!"

It's interesting to note that people (more so Scoble) are trying to (hopefully, not just appear to) reach out via blogs to the user community and get inputs/feedback and present it to the internal customers.

But will it ever change what M$ is ?! That's like trying to change the "Genetic DNA" of the organization. And, it's a very hard thing to do. For a company which is clueless (or perenially refuses to acknowledge) about what is the problem with the stuff that it doles out, how can these self professed "Messiahs" change things around ?

FWIW, there's an interesting strategy in OSDC (Organization Design Structure and Change). It's called co-optation. If someone (say your enemy/rival company, opponent camp) etc is dead against you on something, invite him/her to the table and offer them to be a part of creating the solution to "fix" the "problem".

And as Dilbert would probably say, once you've bitten _that_ bullet, there's no going back ! :)

Family Tree software ?

Has anyone used any Family Tree software that's either offline or online ? I'm (as usual) looking for something that's free or open source :)

What Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and An Wang Share

They're all immigrants who came to America and helped to create important companies: Google, Sun Microsystems and Wang Laboratories.

But what if Brin had stayed in Moscow, and Khosla remained in India, and Wang had gone to university in Europe?


Read complete article here.

TECH TALK: The Network Computer: The Four Devices

The article offers an interesting perspective on the options available for majority of India.

India's First Rural Mall

Indra Sharma writes about ITC's Choupal Sagar, which was recently opened in Madhya Pradesh.

Source: E M E R G I C . o r g

Cease & Desist !

Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you.

If I go at the rate that I'm going and get bolder about what I write, I might get slapped with such a notice some day or another some time in the distant future. Maybe the place mentioned below will help me ! :)

Visit Chilling Effect Clearinghouse.

This is gross !!

Seedling found growing in man's navel !! :))

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Seed of Apple's Innovation

CEO Steve Jobs says among other practices, it's "saying no to 1,000 things" so as to concentrate on the "really important" creations

In an era when most technology outfits have tightened their belts to adapt to a slower-growing market, one company stands out for forging ahead on innovation: Apple Computer. Others have slashed R&D and focused on incremental advances to existing product lines. Not Apple.


Read complete article here.

My body took control ...

I crashed out for around 11hrs last night - from 9.15pm or so till about 8.15am today morning (about 11hrs) !! I don't like to sleep more than 5-6hrs a day (in fact as less as possible - sleep is a waste of time IMO) and that's what I'd been keeping up for a long time recently, but then my system just didn't like it or take it anymore y'day :)

I was reaching Archies comics on the bed (a bad place to be if you want to stay awake) and didn't fully know when I exactly dozed off. Even missed a few calls from my friends (didn't even hear my phone ringing !).

Let's see if I'm now charged to start the journey once again.

Why am I writing this : This is the reason I didn't blog y'day :)

Connected is ready to be acquired ...

Connected, a place where someone I know, works is ready to be acquired by Iron Mountain. Read news here.

Here's wishing that he makes the best out of the deal !

India is world's 3rd best FDI destination

India is threatening to displace the United States as a destination for foreign direct investment, according to the latest FDI Confidence Index, an annual survey of executives from the world's largest companies conducted by management consulting firm AT Kearney.

More info @ http://us.rediff.com/money/2004/oct/13fdi.htm

"Technology Excites Us"

"Not even women" :)

A passing comment in some company's corridor ! :)

India's gloomy IT future, Legal System ?

From a mailing list that I'm on.

It looks like foreign investors are only just beginning to discover that the legal system in India is not as good as the developed world (oh oh!). The lack of an effective legal system in India poses a very serious threat to India's free market aspirations. This particular case is only the tip of an enormous iceberg.

Maybe I haven't stressed the importance enough, so here goes. I easily see the lack of an effective legal system as the "single" "biggest" road block to India's progress.


Read story here.

And,

Those interested in lasting solutions to India's criminal justice system's problems, which are a subset of the problems of the Indian legal system, would do well to study the recommendations of the National Police Commission available online at

http://www.geocities.com/npcreport/ and
http://www.angelfire.com/theforce/npcreport/.

SHIPARA becomes HCL Tech's fully owned

HCL Technologies has announced the acquisition of the minority shareholder's stake of 23 percent in Shipara Technologies, held by Rao Insulating Company Limited. Shipara Technologies thus becomes a fully owned subsidiary of HCL Technologies henceforth.

Till recently, HCL Technologies held 77 percent equity interest in Shipara Technologies, which primarily focuses on high-end engineering and technology areas such as aerospace, embedded systems, engineering services and communication technologies.


Read complete story here.

Daily Cartoon - 10/12/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2002440741013.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007212.gif

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/11/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2036611041012.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007211.gif

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Maybe yet another answer/recommendation for Paypal. I'll have to check it out !

Why Paypal rules

Mark Frauenfelder:

Matt Haughie has a good rant on why, from a buyer's standpoint, Paypal is a great way to buy things online.
I'm lazy. If I want to buy one of your custom shirts off your site using paypal, it's about three clicks and a quick login that my browser already knows. It goes like this: 1) I want it! 2) hit checkout 3) login and 4) paid! It doesn't matter if I have money in paypal or if it just gets pulled from my credit card on file, it's still just a few clicks and I'll have a shirt in tomorrow's mail.

When I hit a full-on shopping cart payment system, I see forms and forms mean tedious work, and I know I have to dump my credit card into yet another database that I blindly trust won't get compromised anytime soon, but mostly it's the work involved that diminishes my impulse buy.


Link


Source Channel : Boing Boing Blog

(Google Founders) Page And Brin Meeting With India Prime Minister Called Off

Google founders didn't meet the Indian PM, Manmohan Singh, on 11-Oct-2004 :(

Source.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Duplicate SMS messaging!

Here comes the most surreptitious, smartest and almost foolproof move by mobile companies to fleece customers. It's called duplicate messaging.

Take the case of Meena. A Delhi Idea connection holder, she received the same SMS 25 times, that too while roaming, from a relative holding a BSNL connection in Jabalpur. With no device to stop the repeats, Meena would be billed for one message 25 times - on STD rates. Her kin, too, paid Rs 15 instead of the 60 paise she would have if the SMS had gone only once.


Read complete story here.

India Emerges as Innovation Hub

Generations of Indians have grown up recounting jokes about how the only contribution their nation has made to the world is the invention of zero. Innovation was something other people did.

That's no longer the case. At research labs across the country, Indians are creating technologies specifically designed for the nation's multilingual masses and its poor. In doing so, the country is emerging as a research hub for technologies geared to the Third World.


Complete story here.

About M$ Windows 2000/XP ...

Does anyone have an idea on what is best for use at home - Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home/Professional, etc ?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of using one of these in comparison to the others ?

When is Win2K likely to go out of support ?

How much do the genuine licensed versions of the cost in retail ( any other cheaper basis ) ?

What are the other things to keep in mind when buying Windows OS for home (apart from the fact that there will probably be a requirement to reformat, pay for frequent upgrade, ...) ?

Also, does anyone know how much it costs for a Win2K to WinXP upgrade ? Rather how has does upgrade pricing work worldwide and more so in India.

I'm sure M$.com and Google.com will give me some answers if I dig hard enuf. But I'd like to know if someone already has this information.

Airtel, Hutch GPRS horror stories ...

Read about the sad state of service (for GPRS) from the leading telecom players in India.

These guys need to improve their service, attitude and care for customers.

Lukcy for me - I didn't get into a GPRS service. A couple of months ago I was considering getting a GPRS connection and finally good sense prevailed on me :)

A day at XLRI ...

A funny piece.

For those who didn't know, XLRI conducts a Satellite based Post Graduate Certification program in Business Management.

Daily Cartoon - 10/10/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2732230041011.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007210.gif

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w.bloggar - waiting for the next rev ...

The next version of w.bloggar is expected to be out some time soon. I'm waiting to see what it can be holding in store !!

My thoughts on video piracy ...

I'd been waiting to write about this "video piracy" topic in a more structured manner at some point of time (!!) in the near future. However, I found Kiruba's mention about video piracy and impromptu put in my comments there.

I've caught up with Podcasting ...

at least the theory. Read it here.

And, believe it or not, this is precisely what I've been dreaming about and wanting since I started blogging more than a year ago. Given that time is always precious and news, info is my major food I actually wanted something that could tune me onto news, rss when I'm on the move, am at the gym (ok, ok, that's been my desperate dream since I quite aerobics about a year - but an hour or more at gym is time lost on catching up!), ...

However, I still think I'm quite far from actually experiencing podcasting in such scenarios. Anyway it's at least good to know that it's now starting to emerge.

I need to catch up on podcasting ...

However, given that my home computer is still not playing audio (will have to meddle with it sometime soon or get a brand new PC), I'm not too enthusiastic about it at the moment.

Watched Jackie Chan - Around the world in 80 days ...

Went to that movie at a local theater (SSR Pankajam) tonight.

Was slightly warned about the theate, and it was still low my expected standards - will probably not go there again. The theater guys had actually tried to deceive the public about the movie language (IMO).

The posters on the outside and most of the places talked about "Around the world in 80 days" whereas when the movie started it was a dubbing in the regional language (Tamil, "Uzhagam Sutrum Sullan" - meaning "World Touring Spy" - what the heck ?!). That was a big let down for me. I've nothing personally against the language, just that I don't like/prefer to watch English movies in a regional language. That's me :)

Combine FeedDemon and w.bloggar effectively ...

Quite often, I simply like to post an article that I'm currently reading in FeedDemon to my blog. The easiest way to use the "Blog with w.bloggar" kind of option. I've also wanted to add the source of the article (which newsfeed it came from, author, etc) while blogging it in my blog. Here are some cool tags for those.

New Fee For Internet-Capable PCs In Germany ... India not far behind ?!

Source.

India's Information and Broadcasting Minister Jaipal Reddy had recently promoted the idea of an annual or permanent license fee for radio. Will Internet be far behind if he gets wind of this ?!

New Mail Notifier Supports Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, And POP3

Obvious title. Read source article here.

Power Toys or TweakUI available for Windows 2000 ?!

Anyone have an idea on whether M$ released Power Toys or TweakUI for Windows 2000 ? I can find it for Windows 98, Me and now XP, but not for Windows 2000.

One again, M$ gets attention ... from Cringley ...

Read the story here. Talks about M$'s battle with Burst.com and the judge having opened up some documents for the public to view.

As he says,

One thing to keep in mind here is that documents are unsealed when the judge decides that it is more important for the public to know what is in them than to not know, so Judge Motz, too, thinks this is worth your time.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/09/04


http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007209.gif

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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/08/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004101220309.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007208.gif

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Goodbye SNMP? Hello, WS-Management

Read article here.

Source.

GMail Drive shell extension

GMail Drive is a Shell Namespace Extension that creates a virtual filesystem around your Google GMail account, allowing you to use GMail as a storage medium.

Source.

Nick Bradbury rocks ...

I love this guys approach to software licensing. In fact I use his RSS aggregator FeedDemon both at home and work and this couldn't have been possible had he asked for multiple purchases of the license.

Way to go Nick ! I love FeedDemon !

Paypal ...

I've come across Paypal so many times, but have never bothered to find out how it operates. I was just about to sign up and am a little bit confused about the implications that it could have for people based off India. (Will read the complete details later) In the meanwhile, if someone has had an experience with Paypal either in India or out of it, I'd be glad to hear.

Looks like my favorite comedy channels are mostly dishing out the same old serials ...

that I saw about 5-6 months ago. Since I moved location from Avadi to Vadapalani, I've lost out on watching my favorite comedy channels (Zee English, Star World) and Cartoon Network due to the CAS (conditional Access System) / STB (Set Top Box) fiasco in Chennai.

Here's a list of comedy serials that I like - it's a big list :) I love comedy :)

However, it appears that both channels haven't changed their comedy programs much from what I saw earlier. Good for me - till I get the STB or DTH - I won't be missing anything :)

As for Cartoon Network, yes I'm probably missing all the fun - there's even a new Archie's serial !! :(

Some guys are just adamant or clueless ...

Take some of the major news papers, channels in India with good amount of online presence - NDTV, The Hindu, Aaj Tak, ...

Maybe the don't see the business value, don't understand technology / changing user trends, or whatever!!

None of these guys have RSS feeds !! I don't even bother to visit any of these sites nowadays !!

Wow, Economic Times now has RSS feeds ...

Check it out here !

I'd have appreciated if they had some kind of resemblance to what'd be in the paper. Right now, there appear to be too many categories for me to choose. While that is good for being selective, it doesn't help if I want to get a snapshot of the actual paper or hot news or some such. Let's wait and see.

Parking on domains !!

Didn't know what other title I could use.

I hate those people who take up (sub)domain URLs and never bother to update/use them. Case in instance - Chennai Blog, Masala, Sudhir. I've seen some of these right from 1998 or so without any/much change !!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Couple ?!

We've been having an animated discussion for a quite some time now - about .5hrs or so !! :)

The topic is the word "couple" - what does it mean - two, more than two, close to two, a few, ... ?!

One of us, Suresh, is very adamant that it's only 2 (acceding for something close to two, say 2.5).

Krishnamoorthy, Senthil and I are maintaining our stance that it can also mean a few (not necessarily two or something necessarily close to it). We've Dictionary.com to back us up for the informal version which can mean few (what is few) ?

On a lighter note, read - Just what does a "couple" mean anyway.

And then, there's the prominent "Just a couple of days" book and the famous article related to it. What do you think "couple of days" meant in the article ?

I'm not contesting that couple can't mean 2, all I'm saying is it can also mean few (which is not necessarily too close to two, but not even obscenely large). So, what do you think ?

Anyway, the context in which this whole discussion started was the following mail sent out in 2000 (read it from the forwarded mail).

And, all this is our kind of a Friday evening happy hour fun :) :)

And, just for a moment, when I saw the spate of mails (rather subjects' thru' newmail) that I had received, on this topic, I was astonished at the technical expertise that we have at store here ;-)

Anyway, as has already been pointed out, the posting to ace was probably a result of misinterpretation of the possible usage of the word "couple". Certainly a very good candidate for a (Weak ^ n) ace.

For the sake of technical accuracy of the definition of the word couple, here's something to feed on, from www.dictionary.com

cou ple (kpl)
n.

1.Two items of the same kind; a pair.
2.Something that joins or connects two things together; a link.
3.(used with a sing. or pl. verb)
a.Two people united, as by betrothal or marriage.
b.Two people together.
4.Informal. A few; several: a couple of days. <----- note this
5.Physics. A pair of forces of equal magnitude acting in parallel but opposite directions, capable of causing rotation but not translation.

BTW, can we try and get back to the technical contents of the mail ??

Thanks,
Sudhir.P

P.S: Couldn't help sending out this mail especially since I had received more than 10 mails (more of the copies rather than actuals) as replies on this, with nothing to address my actual problem !! Have fun ;-)

XYZ wrote:
>>
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 18:55:28 +0530
>> From: Me
>> To: local mailing list
>> Subject: Problems with Reflection X
>>
>> Hi,
>>
>> I'm using Reflection X (from Rational) to connect to my Linux box. I'm running
>> 6.2 (from PCQ CD) with KDE as my default desktop. I'm unable to stay connected
>> for more than a few hours at a stretch. After a couple of hours, say 5-6, the
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>>
>> ACE !! WHAT TIMING !!
>>
>> whole session just blanks out. I can see only the outline of all the windows,
>> but not their contents and can't do anything with them.
>>
>> I have no such problems when I connect to a Solaris box.
>>
>> Any ideas why this happens ??
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Sudhir.P

Daily Cartoon - 10/07/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004114644008.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007207.gif

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Free ATOM to RSS conversion ...

I used to use 2rss' ATOM to RSS converter like this - http://www.2rss.com/atom2rss.php?atom=http://sudhir-lp.blogspot.com/atom.xml. However, quite often, I used to get advertisements.

If you do want to stick to RSS feed only, you could try the steps given in http://www.wcc.vccs.edu/services/rssify/rssify.php. They don't put any ads in the converted feed. They render RSS 0.92.

At the moment, I'm using FeedBurner's service and my feed is available from http://feeds.feedburner.com/sudhir_lp. More on that later.

One moronic media hungry dumbo ...

Mani Shankar Aiyar. Nothing could describe him better.

His latest fiasco with the Savarkar issue is one such example. Wonder where in the wold we get politicians like these !

Open Source Software Resource Centre being set up in Mumbai (aka Bombay) ...

IBM, C-DAC, IIT Bombay to set up OSSRC

IBM India, C-DAC and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, have signed a co-operation agreement to set up an ‘Open Source Software Resource Centre’ (OSSRC) in Mumbai with an investment of $1.2 million over the next three years.

Under this co-operation agreement, C-DAC, IIT Bombay and IBM would undertake activities to foster OSS development, enhance the understanding of the OSS model by imparting training and promote the development of content in areas of education and general awareness of OSS across the country.


More details at the URL quoted above. IMO, good news.

On security of stuff being passed around while signing up, logging in, etc.

Nowadays, there are more and more sites and services coming up that offer a lot of fabulous (in each and everyone's opinion) things for free. Stuff like Blogger, Orkut, Flickr, FeedBurner, ...

However, AFAIK, none of these sites use HTTPS or other forms of secure communication while doing a sign-up or logging into their site. Understandably, they aren't passing around the password in plain text, but I'd be much more happier to see HTTPS for a start.

The issue becomes slightly compounded because I'm responsible for what I'm (supposedly) putting up on such sites and if the access is not secure, how can one say with certainty.

I've written at Evan William's about this security issue. Let's see if he has some insight to offer.

Update: (14-Oct-2004) : Here's my comments (in an open thread) on Dan Gillmor's eJournal regarding this issue.

Can't Find on Google ...

Now, that's a rare term. However if there's an occasion, you can visit Can’t Find on Google which lets users describe unsuccessful searches, and invites suggestions and solutions from readers.

India mulls tough ID rules for cybercafés

Internet cafés in parts of India face closure if new regulations forcing them to provide police with names and addresses of all their customers are introduced. Under the new rules, visitors to Internet cafés will have to show their ID cards or be photographed.

Source.

I guess I wrote about this some days ago. Will have to dig it out. If anyone has comments on such an approach, I'd be glad to hear that.

How To Build And Maintain A Good FAQ

Get the dope here

It's quite coincedental that I've been thinking about FAQs in the past couple of days. Just a day/two ago, it occured to me that a community maintained Wiki might be a good FAQ for a lot of trivial unofficial information (probably official too). In a huge mailing list that I'm part (and owner) of, there are quite a few oft repeated questions. No one has had the patience to build an FAQ out of those. Very recently I proposed that a Wiki might be a nice way to start maintaining that FAQ 'cos that way updation isn't a bottleneck. Will have to try that out sometime.

In the meanwhile, if someone's aware of any particular problems with Wikis, please let me know.

At last, Gmail via ATOM feeds !!

Use the following feed URL to get your Gmail via RSS/ATOM readers.

https://gmail.google.com/gmail/feed/atom

I learnt it from Nick (author of FeedDemon) here.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

And now, there's Google Print ...

Visit Google Print.

Google Print product manager blogs stuff about this here.

Calvin sums it all about my life in the city ...

Remember my earlier post about no set-top-box and hence no good TV channels ?

This strip of Calvin clearly summarizes exactly how my life is at this point of time :)

What I still think Gmail misses ...

The fantastic spam filtering capability that Yahoo mail has.
The neat anti virus filtering that Yahoo does.

Apart from that there's the ability to have a calendar, vacation message (for select reccpients), ability to search on the header sections of emails, ...

Of course others probably have a big list of things :)

Friends section added to the blog now ...

I've added the blogs of a few friends - Peter Heitman, Krishnamoorthy Karthikeyan, Mohan Raj Kumar - who've started to blog on a fairly regular basis. Hope to add more to the list soon :)

HCL Tech. scores high in offshore outsourcing

IT major HCL Technologies and Business Process Outsourcing, today announced that it has been ranked as a market leader in META Group’s METAspectrumSM report for Offshore Outsourcing. META Group is a leading provider of information technology (IT) research, advisory services and strategic consulting.

More here.

An example of what the Blog world is capable of ...

Founder of Snap has written to Boing Boing Blog about changing the license of Snap. Read article here.

Can Skype Cash In On Free?

Skype Technologies made a name for itself providing a free Internet telephone program to users around the world. Now it's time to cash in. The company announced today it's planning to launch a paid service for businesses and expand its premium offerings.

Read this interesting article on what Skype is ready to do next.

Quote : If you dislike change, you're going to dislike irrelevance even more !

Couldn't agree better ! :)

LASIK surgery recommendations/cautions from an office mailing list ...

References:
LASIK
Shankar Nethralaya

Question:

Has anybody or any of your friends/relatives have undergone this LASIK surgery? If so, please share your experiences on how reliable and safe doing this surgery and any other relevant details about this?

Consolidated Replies on this topic:

------------------------------

My friend had this surgery at aravinth eye hospital, coimbatore, 3 years back and till now no problems for him. The cost was around 21K totally. It just takes 20 minutes for the surgery and I guess you have to take a week rest after that. Before the operation he has had a power of 6. Initially after the operation the power was NIL, and after one year it became 0.5 and now it is 0.75 and he hopes that it wont increase further.

------------------------------

I underwent LASIK last January (I had a power of -9), and my sight is near normal. There is not any guarantee for zero power after surgery & it has post-operation infection risk. Go for it only if you have very high power.
------------------------------

-> What was ur eye power before and after correction?

Before : it was 3
After : guess its 0.5.

-> How much it costed?

It was 21000 for both eyes

-> How many days did u take leave includign before and after surgery?

10 days altogetther. 1 day before the surgery and the remaining after.

------------------------------

Two years ago, a cousin sister of mine came down to chennai for this surgery from Bombay at Sankara' Netralaya. She arrived in chennai on a wednesday -- with thick power glasses of 8 (left) and 8.5 (right) on her eyes. She spent just some days in chennai - during which she got the initial checkup (full day) done and the surgery for left eye (friday) and right eye (monday). She was back on a train - free from her 8-8.5+ glasses on next wednesday. She has not been using any glasses anymore since then...though the doctors said that she had potential to loose upto 0.5 again over years.

..cost was approx 14k per eye !!

Dr Rajesh Fogla did the procedure on her in Sankara's...

------------------------------

My opinion is . It is good to get that surgery. But no seems to give guarantee that you will not need lens any more.

One more thing you will have some issues with your vision like glare, unable to ride vehicles at night for atleast 3 months.

------------------------------

I have been wearing specs for the last 12 years. I am from Madurai and I had close contacts with some eye specialists from Aravind Eye hospital. I attended a counselling session from one of the chief doctors there for the same surgery.

They said that after the surgery, there would be a permanent glare and should avoid driving in the night. Moreover, if you are going to work on computers, its better to avoid surgery. No doctors actually tell this to the patients as none would come forward for the surgery. If the patient is aged 35+ , it is suggested to go ahead with the surgery. So, please think twice about the surgery if the patient is young. If the patient is 35+, you can go ahead very well for the
surgery.

------------------------------

It is not 100% safe. In some cases (maybe ~ 5% - but who wants to figure among that 5%) permanent complications (double vision, dryness of eyes, optic nerve damage) have arisen. Of course most cases have been successful... I can give you more dtls on this..

------------------------------

Google Alerts being recognized as SPAM by Gmail !!

Irony ain't it ?!

I have a Gmail account to which Google Alerts are being .forwarded from another account. My Gmail account is detecting a lot of these Google Alerts as spam !!

I simply can't understand. Is it that they are trying to discourage .forwards from another email-id or is it that their SPAM filtering simply sux ?!

Bookmarks on my desktop ...

I have these actual book marks (not the computer type!) stuck to my workstation which read as follows

WORK
FASCINATES
Me.
I CAN
LOOK . AT . IT . FOR
HOURS

MY
IDEA OF AN
AGREEABLE PERSON
IS A PERSON
WHO
AGREES WITH ME.

Ain't that neat and sums it up ? :))

What they don't teach you at B-Schools ...

Read article here.

Daily Cartoon - 10/06/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004183051007.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007206.gif

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @ http://sudhir-lp.blogspot.com

For a search engine that's trying to start ...

snap has a really absurd policy a highligted here. Looks like these guys don't want to stay for long ! :)

China leads world on broadband

China is leading the world in the number of subscribers to high-speed net through phone lines, says a report.

Details here.

UFO or spy device (over India) ...

UFO or spy device?
Indian scientist spots UFO

Job reservation in Indian private sector ...

PM to India Inc: Accept job reservation

That's the sure shot way of shooing ourselves, not in the foot, but in the head !!

When India is moving towards global competition, private sector job reservation is the last thing to saddle the comapnies with - an unncessary extra burden due to moronic, thoughtless poll promises by the politicians.

As if reservation weren't enuf at undergraduation, post graduation, government sector jobs, promotions, ... meddling with the private sector is just the worst thing to do. These sectors strive on being the best in the world in the most elegant, efficient way. What advantage will saddling them with incompetency achieve ?

Sad to see that we are letting politics ruin everything.

Increase google bar size in mozilla firefox ...

Details from here.

Mike Volpi's Q&A gets mention ...

Article here.
My source for this was Om Malik.

Whatz surprising and amusing to me is that the title talks about "blogging" rather than calling it an interview or transcript or just the usual article. The emphasis on the medium is a bit concerning to me. The message is more important - not the medium.

Is it that the medium is getting the biggest attention / craze of all ?! Or is it that the term "blogging" has become so normal ?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Risk mgmt solution for banks from HCL Technologies

HCL Technologies today said it has developed OpRisk Shelter, a solution to identify, measure and manage expected loss related to operational risks of a bank.

Source here.

Other stuff from Google (or based on Gmail/...) ...

Blogger - Famous online weblog

Picasa - Digital Photo Organizer

Hello - Share photos online, post images to Blogger

GmailFS - provides a mountable Linux filesystem

Google Toolbar

Google Deskbar

Soople - Cool web front end for all hidden features of Google search

GMail POP ...
POP for GMail sounds cool right ? That's a site for helping you out.
Disclaimer: I haven't tried it.

For some reason, the permalink of related posts on this archive don't work. Most of the above is from there.

And, then there's rumor about a browser, operating system, search engine for files on local machine, instant messenger, ...

What's your product philosophy ?

Scoble asks. Have _you_ thought about it ?

Daily Cartoon - 10/05/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2002440741006.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007205.gif

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @ http://sudhir-lp.blogspot.com

Grouper ...

Now, you've got to see this. Yet another form of peer to peer software - just that it's a little bit more tame than the erswhile notorious/famous napster, gnutella, ...

In Japan, one Gigabit/sec for $40 a month

And, I heard it from here.

Gmail now does forwarding ...

for free.

Check out their whatsnew page.

Read a debate on the features in our favorite slashdot here.

Ended up feedburning all my blogs ...

All my blogs have been updated with the FeedBurner stuff ("Adjusted" Feeds, Animated Headline Promoter, ...)

Check them out @

My Online Journal
Humor Blog
OffSourcing Blog

Will hold onto these as long as the service remains free :)

No mandatory CAS, says TRAI

Throwing the ball back in the government's court, TRAI on Friday favoured status quo on the existing cable set-up across the country, including tariffs.

Hmm, these morons can never decide and finalize upon one thing. All that they ended up doing was botch up Chennai's cable viewing public with compulsory CAS (conditional access system) and 99% of the population has not bought an STB (set top box).

Most of the people (including me) don't even have an intention of buying one in the immediate/mid-term future. No one wants to be held ransom by the local cable operator with a so called refundable deposit that'll never come back.

Have started waiting for a full fledged DTH (direct to home) system to come up, but then even there - the broadcasters are playing truant :(

In short, while the whole of India is happily watching all channels, 99% of Chennai is suffering with just a few free channels. Man, do I miss all the comedies (on Zee English and Star) and cartoons (on Cartoon Network).

The morons who are responsible for this should be shot down :)

India leased line prices very high: Gartner

International bandwidth prices from India are five times more expensive compared to hub routes like Singapore-Hong Kong and Singapore-Tokyo, making it the least competitive among the emerging markets.

Full article here

No wonder the pricing for broadband home access is still expensive. Of course, the service providers could also be quite money hungry.

Boom Time for Indian IT industry: Oracle India to hire 250 per month ...

Details here.

And that's the kind of expansion happening in a lot of companies in India now. It's boom time for the economy and the industry, and happy switching time for people in the software industry :) Salary hikes during switches, of 30-50% aren't uncommon (rather the norm) and a lot of the head hunters are from MNCs and start ups (or their offshore development centers).

It's tough competition time for all the players in terms of retention capabilities. A challenging period ahead.

Gmail ATOM feed ...

Continuing on my earlier post, I can now find the "Drafts" folder and the "Contacts" button, but then where is the ATOM feed button ?!

Still waiting :)

Have any dope on whatz coming up next ?

Microsoft Starter Edition (aka Demo Edition) to be launched in India ... Y is that bad ?

Yeah yeah, it's been doing the press rounds lately. M$'s starter edition - one which can run only 3 applications at a time [ when has even a full fledged one been able to run more ? ;-) ] - is going for commercial launch in beginning of 2005. Here's a press report on that.

Here are some reasons to be concerned: Gartner says steer clear

For instance, the OS has severely limited multitasking to the point where Windows can only run three applications at a time; reverts back to a single default desktop and removes personalization features that allow multiple user accounts on a single PC; and fails to address security concerns by not bundling an antivirus solution, a reliable patching system or materials educating users about risks to their security.

The software also lacks the ability to grow with the users as they become more computer literate.


Some other reports:
Slashdot
Silicon.com

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Google Pains ?! And Evans Leaving ...

Founder of Blogger Evans is leaving.

Man, is it a joy to see someone being able to pursue their heart's calling! He's moved out 'cos he wanted to take a break, start something fresh. Isn't that neat ?!

There was this other article (can't find it now) on how Google is having a tough time retaining employees after their ESOPs :) I surely don't think that has any influence on this :)

Ballmer gets the press moving ...

Best way to kick up dirt - slander your most admired enemy in the public !

That's what Ballmer's been doing with his dig at Apple. Or so it can be thought :)

Not for the easily offended ! Google Translation !

Again, this was supposed to go into my humor blog, but just couldn't resist putting it here :)

Disclaimer: Don't blame me if you are the easily offended type - better don't do the following ! :)

Google the most trusted site :) Ha Ha Ha ! Now you will never say this anymore !

If you trust Google translation, try this ....

step 1:
go to http://www.google.com.my/language_tools?hl=en

step 2:
enter the following line into the translate textbox:
Aishwarya's mom is nice and cool

step 3:
translate from english to spanish.

step 4:
copy the translated text, and translate it back from spanish to english.


Ok, don't blame me ! :)

An example of the how and why of (software) patents can be dangerous ...

Read the latest Sun Vs. Kodak fiasco to get an insight:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20041003041632172

The history of software patents:
http://www.bitlaw.com/software-patent/history.html

I'm sure there are other sides to the equation as well, something that will be touched upon later.

BTW, this is in continuation of my earlier post on (software) patents.

Java & Patents: Kodak Wins vs Sun

Three US patents patents could cost Sun anything up to $1.06 billion

Just one day after Sun launched "Java 5," a federal jury ruled on Friday in favor of Eastman Kodak Co. in its dispute over Java, in which it alleged Sun Microsystems' world-beating language in fact infringes patents Kodak acquired from Wang Laboratories Inc. in 1997.

The patents in question are: 5,206,951; 5,421,012; and 5,226,161.

Patent 5,206,951 covers the integration of data between typed objects by mutual, direct invocation between object managers corresponding to object types.


Read more here.

Related articles:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20041003041632172
http://www.itworld.com/Man/2687/041004kodaksun/

Daily Cartoon - 10/04/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2036611041005.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007204.gif

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @ http://sudhir-lp.blogspot.com

Gmail ATOM feed coming ?

ATOM feed for Gmail ?!!

Here's an article on it.

Originally, I heard it from the FeedDemon Support site - from this post.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Hellacious Riders "spams" me ...

As nice as it is to know that my blog gets read by someone else, here's something that's slightly concerning about guys who are giving out a 100G account.

In my post here, I'd commented that Hellacious Riders give out 10G instead of 100G. Now, the team comes back to me with the correction and even offers me an account without me asking for it !!

As much as I like the fact that someone is reading my blog :), I consider it an invasion of privacy and etiquettes in offering me an email account without asking for it.

Should I call it genuine enthusiam or good/bad marketing tactics ?

Broadband saga in India ...

Airtel Broadband (formerly Touchtel) - DSL plans start at 64kbps for about Rs.700 per month (10pm-8am unlimimted download, free hours).

Sify Broadband - shared cable modem access (unlimited time, data transfer) at Rs.600 per month.

VSNL - plans to begin in Dec 2004. Currently offering shared cable modem access in Mumbai.

BSNL DIAS Broadband - renewed full fledged plans to being in Oct 2004. Probably shared cable access.

Reliance - wait and watch !

Any others ?

The biggest problem is that these service providers don't keep their tarriff plans up2 date on their sites. So, best of luck figuring out what the present pricing policy / services are. The best thing is to call your local representative and ask for details.

And all these guys are still pricy, IMHO :)

We should be getting "true broadband" (read 512kbps) at reasonable (read Rs.1000) prices with no bandwidth cap. That's the international scene at this moment, or so I think.

For those using windows XP and wireless ...

Here's an article that'll tell you about a very possible security threat while using wireless access on Windows XP. There's even a tool to help people to exploit it :)

http://www.remote-exploit.org/?page=hotspotter

Even with XP SP1 (and probably 2), the following weakness prevvails:

A relevant portion of the possible attack (preferable to read the complete article)

A Windows XP client will probe for all the preferred network names listed in the wireless client configuration during startup, powersave-wakeup and when the driver reports signal loss for the current network name. Many coporate wireless users configure Windows XP with a business profile (secure network profile) and several other network names including commercial hotspots and home networks (insecure network profiles). Due to this configuration, it is possible to force a client to disclose the list of configured profiles, and then establish a connection to a rogue network using one of the preferred network names. Depending on the configuration of the wireless client, the client will display a bubble message indicating it has joined a different wireless network name.

Any recommendations for a good anonimizer site ...

that is also free ?

New Bloglines Web Services ...

Go here to read about what Bloglines is doing to make available its database of RSS/ATOM feeds, thus becoming a feed cache in itself. FeedDemon, my favorite feed reader's 1.5 beta already has support for integration with BlogLines.

Microsoft's Sacred Cash Cow ...

I vaguely remember about putting this on my blog earlier, but I came across this in another context today and figured that it might be a good thing to help people visit this.

A former Microsoftie says addiction to Windows revenue, mediocre products, and missed opportunities could doom Seattle’s most successful company.

More here.

On patents ...

I've this somewhat strong/mixed feelings about patents in general, including software patents - some of which have been manifesting more often, of late. Before (assuming "if") I write much about my opinions, here's something for you to view from Sun's CEO.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/02/04


http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007202.gif

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This is way 2 kewl explanation on 128 bit storage ...

Take a look at 128 it storage info here

No wonder Sun Microsystem's COO John feels so proud

TinyURL extension for Firefox is kewl ...

For those who haven't yet installed it, it's time.

FirexFox

Info on TinyURL

TinyURL extension available from here.

For those who are tracking the WIPO ...

here's some food for thought for stuff from Indian representatives

VSNL Broadband coming up @ Rs.360 for 512kbps ...

Here's the FE story on it - VSNL Rolls Out Internet Over Cable Broadband Services

And, I quote :

VSNL’s service is being offered at Rs 360 per month at a speed of 512 kbps.

BTW, I got wind of this stuff from Om Malik.

Once these guys and reliance move into the broadband space, things could get very very hot for other players (Airtel, Sify, ...).

Competition is good for consumers :)

Talk about social/moral/ethical/community responsibility ...

When I got the ADSL connection installed at home, the guy from my service provider didn't even bother to ask me if I knew about viruses, firewalls, spyware, etc.

From stats that I keep hearing from their installation, service, call center folks they must be averaging at least 2500 installations per month. Assuming that even half of these are of 24X7 type (or my 10-8 unlimited download) type, it could pose a serious problem if none of the users had a clue on security.

God save internet penetration in India. User awareness on such matters, especially down here is pretty low.

Note that the situation applies even to dialup lines, but then more so to DSL and such tecnology because of the amount of time spent online giving a chance for someone to try and attack the system.

Take care and use some kind of anti-virus, firewall, anti-spyware on your system.

My post here contains a few options and notes on useful tools.

HCL is so ubiquitous ...

Nice name for a company 'cos it figures with SUN, Microsoft, Linux, ...

Guess what HCL I'm now talking about - Hardware Compatibility List :)

Google Team now official blogs ...

Google Blog.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Daily Cartoon - 10/01/04

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2004101220302.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/04oct/xuf007201.gif

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Am I being skeptical ?

My broadband service provider asks for account validation informtion in what appears to be an insecure (notice that there's not even the minimal https) method. I'm quite scared of such stuff !

Will these guys ever completely understand all the aspects of security ?!

Must have tools ... and connecting from home via DSL ...

An update since the first time I wrote this. Updated on 6-Dec-2004, 2.10am IST.

Have revisited the list of applications, reordered them in decreasing order of must-have(ness), IMHO. Except for one tool listed below, all the others are FREE and absolutely wonderful.

Original post further down below, saved for posterity :)

Category : Security, Protection

Close category for security (don't bother if you don't know where these will be used)

Category : Utility
Category : Blogging
Category : Miscellaneous

Original post follows ! The below referred 64KBps must actually be 64Kbps !! :) So much for my ignorance :)

***********************************************************************************

I've been connected for the past 1.5hrs (since 10.25pm, 1-Oct-2004) or so from home, installing a series of software (most via downloads).

Download speeds have been varying between 10-12KB/sec - nothing of the much hyped 64KBps. A definite let down to say the least. Will have to talk to the service folks tomorrow (actually it'll be Monday 'cos tomorrow is probably a holiday for most of the folks and I too would like a break). Anyway, let me see :)

So, here's the list of software downloaded, installed (or to be) for tonight (must have) ...

1. Firefox (Web Browser)
2. Zone Alarm Personal Firewall
3. AVG Antivirus
4. Spybot - Search & Destroy (Anti Spyware)
5. Thunderbird (Email Client)
6. w.bloggar (Best Blogging Tool)
7. FeedDemon (Best RSS/ATOM Feed Reader)
8. Putty (SSH Client)
9. Sygate Personal Firewall
10. Yahoo Messenger
11. GMail Notifier (Notifier for GMail)
Update:
12. Irfanview (Best Image Viewer)

Probably Skype should get added to that, but we'll wait and see !

More to surely follow, but any of those will not exactly be that critical for my existence at home :) The above are a must have - IMO :)