Monday, February 28, 2005

Seeking suggestions for alternate work / work from home ..

Well, it's not for me (not right now at least). The following came in a list that I'm part of. In case anyone has suggestions, please do let me know (either thru' comments here or via email).

An acquaintance of mine who is aged around 45 was working for a reputed concern. Due to ramp down plan in their existing employee strength, she was forced to join one of the company’s sister concern. The problem now is that her pay is not rewarding as it used to be. She wants to do some work from home.

Can you think of some work like outsourcing which can be done by her from home, which will give her financial independence? Her background is in secretarial and accountancy. Even if it is not related to IT she is willing to undertake the job.

Pls suggest.

Tip on howto break HP cartridge DRM ...

For those of you who hate the silly schemes that HP employs to keep you hooked onto new cartridges instead of using refilled ones and old ones (those that have "supposedly expired), here's a tip.

Courtesy: Boing Boing.

Update: Hit me !! There goes an additional Rs.2100 out of my pocket ...

Clarification update towards the end.

each month due to the new tax regime.

If I understand it correctly, and my memory is very poor, we paid 20% tax for Rs.2.5-5 lac. Now, anything above Rs.2.5lac will incur 30% tax.

Per annum:

New tax rate @ 30% for 2.5lac (2.5-5 lac slab) = Rs.75000
Old tax rate @ 20% for 2.5lac (2.5-5lac slab) = Rs.50000
Diff = Rs.25000

Per month = 25000/12 = Rs.2083.33 p/m

That's a huge farking amount of money for me to be shelling out - in addition to what I already pay ! Why can't the dumb assholes bring more people under the tax net than squeezing the last drops out of those people already in ?!

Excuse me for the profanity. The above amount, if calculated right, squeezes my already tightly planned buget !

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

Update: Looks like we were already paying 30% tax from 1.5lac upwards (I must pay notice to what I'm paying out!). So, the present move of having to pay 30% only from 2.5lac upwards is actually a blessing given that there's an exemption for the first 1Lac too. So, screw me and thanks to the Indian FM :)

XLRI: XLRI Student in a different kind of limelight ...

Here's an XLRI student whoz making news of a different kind - for his involvement in development of kewl software.

EC website to 'read out' election result

Now your personal computer can read out election results in Hindi and English in a clear human voice with an Indian accent. This has been made possible through a special software — Vaachak — developed by city based software company, which employs latest speech technologies to convert the text into speech. The software is being used by the Election Commission (EC) for the first time in India during the counting process for the state elections of Bihar, Haryana and Jharkhand on February 27.

...

Vaachak was developed by Vinamra, an MBA degree holder from XLRI Jamshedpur, and his elder brother Vibhu, an IIT-Kanpur graduate in 2001 and since then they have been working to apply it in different fields and improvising its applications.

...


Read the complete article here.

Daily Cartoon - 02/27/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert23661850050228.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007637.gif

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A very interesting read on "Working at Microsoft" ...

Link - involves the positives, negatives and the in-betweens.

Courtesy: Krishna

Tshirt slogan ...

Read this on someone's Tshirt at office :)

Warning
I have an attitude
... and I know how to use it.

Just how far would you go to preserve your identity or tackle the law ?

John Gilmore's splendid isolation began July 4, 2002, when, with defiance aforethought, he strolled to the Southwest Airlines counter at Oakland Airport and presented his ticket.

John Gilmore, beside a graffiti-covered wall, has his morning coffee at a shop that's one block from his San Francisco home. The Bradford native doesn't drive and has other travel restrictions, thanks to his challenge of a law that the government won't allow him to see.

The gate agent asked for his ID.

Gilmore asked her why.

It is the law, she said.

Gilmore asked to see the law.

...

In post 9/11 America, asking "Why?" when someone from an airline asks for identification can start some interesting arguments. Gilmore, who learned to argue on the debate team in his hometown of Bradford, McKean County, has started an argument that, should it reach its intended target, the U.S. Supreme Court, would turn the rules of national security on end, reach deep into the tug-of-war between private rights and public safety, and play havoc with the Department of Homeland Security.

At the heart of Gilmore's stubbornness is the worry about the thin line between safety and tyranny.

"Are they just basically saying we just can't travel without identity papers? If that's true, then I'd rather see us go through a real debate that says we want to introduce required identity papers in our society rather than trying to legislate it through the back door through regulations that say there's not any other way to get around," Gilmore said. "Basically what they want is a show of obedience."

...


Read the complete article here.

Courtesy: Boing Boing

Broadband: Indian Railways and broadband services ...

According to the most recent Indian Railway budget announcement highlights ...

...

RailTel to exploit its upgraded OFC network to increase its revenue earning capability by providing various broadband services.

...


Anyone have a clue on what this actually means and translates to ?

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/26/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005026103026.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007636.gif

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Daily Cartoon - 02/25/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005026103026.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007635.gif

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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Discovered two more photo sites today ...

Fotolog and Buzznet.

Anyone have expericences to share ?

Online anonymity ...

Haven't you ever had the feeling or necessity to have anonymity while being online ? How far would you want to go to save that and how easy is it to break it in the present day world ? Ever thought of it ?

Read the following wonderful article from Boing Boing to know more.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Moving tabs in FireFox ...

At my home computer, I can easily pull-and-move tabs in the Firefox browser, i.e, if a tab is at the 5th location, I can move it to the 2nd. However I can't get this to work at office. Any idea on what I am missing ?

Hopefully time to rejoice in the future ...

Cellular, broadband tariffs can fall further: Survey

Weather forecast in your browser status bar ...

Recently I installed ForecastFox, a FireFox extension that shows information about the weather of a place you are interested in (has quite a few configuration options that you can play with). It polls Weather.com for information.

Give it a spin in case you are interested in knowing how hot/kewl your place of interest - outside the kewl komfort of office, where your sweetheart is staying, where your boss rots in hell - is :)

Here's a snapshot from the extension homepage.

Long live bachelors ...

The following would definitely have figured in my humor blog and this blog in the past, however I can't help reproducing them once again :)

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Every man should get married some time; after all,happiness is not the only thing in life!!

--Anonymous

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others.

--Oscar Wilde

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Don't marry for money; you can borrow it cheaper.

--Scottish Proverb

----------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't worry about terrorism. I was married for two years.

--Sam Kinison

----------------------------------------------------------------------
A psychiatrist is a person who will give you expensive answers that your wife will give you for free.

--Anonymous

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't, they'd be married too.

--H. L. Mencken

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Men have a better time than women; for one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.

--H. L. Mencken

----------------------------------------------------------------------
- "A man without a woman is like a fish without a bicycle."

- U2

----------------------------------------------------------------------
- Marriage is a three-ring circus:
--engagement ring
---wedding ring
---suffering

---------------------------------------------------------------------
When a newly married couple smiles, everyone knows why.
When a ten-year married couple smiles, everyone wonders why.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Love is blind but marriage is an eye-opener.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing: either the car is new or the wife.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back to home always.

--Anonymous

----------------------------------------------------------------------
I asked my wife, "Where do you want to go for our anniversary?"
She said,"Somewhere I have never been!"
I told her, "How about the kitchen?"

--Anonymous

------------------------------------------------------------------
We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
My wife was in beauty saloon for two hours.
That was only for the estimate.

--Anonymous

-------------------------------------------------------------------
She got a mudpack and looked great for two days. Then the mud fell off.

--Anonymous

---------------------------------------------------------------------
She ran after the garbage truck, yelling, "Am I too late for the garbage?"
Following her down the street I yelled, "No, jump in."

--Anonymous

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Badd Teddy recently explained to me why he refuses to get to married.
He says "the wedding rings look like minature handcuffs....."

--Anonymous
---------------------------------------------------------------------
If your dog is barking at the back door and your wife yelling at the frontdoor, who do you let in first?
The Dog of course... at least he'll shut up after u let him in!

--Anonymous

---------------------------------------------------------------------
A man placed some flowers on the grave of his dearly parted mother and started back toward his car when his attention was diverted to another man kneeling at a grave. The man seemed to be praying with profound intensity and kept repeating, 'Why did u have to die? Why did you have to die?"

The first man approached him and said, "Sir, I don't wish to interfere with your private grief, but this demonstration of pain in is more than I've ever seen before. For whom do you mourn so? Deeply? A child? A parent?"

The mourner took a moment to collect himself, then replied "My wife's first husband."

----------------------------------------------------------------------
A couple came upon a wishing well. The husband leaned over, made a wish and threw in a penny.
The wife decided to make a wish, too. But she leaned over too much, fell into the well, and drowned.
The husband was stunned for a while but then smiled " It really works ! "

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

Daily Cartoon - 02/24/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005073236225.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007634.gif

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Flickr, Yahoo Deal Rumored

Looks like Flickr - my recent favorite photo site, is ready to be acquired by Yahoo.

Courtesy: Business 2.0 blog & Om Malik.

Free Ubuntu CDs require clearance from Indian Customs department ...

Sometime ago, an article on Ubuntu (new linux distribution) came up in the Mysore daily Deccan Herald. Enthused by the article, a reader Satish requested the shipment of the free CDs from Ubuntu. On the CDs reaching the shores of India, the Indian Customs department has contacted Satish with a notice as given below.

Any idea on what is the actual procedure involved and how to get out of the situation and how to make sure that this doesn't occur again ?

FWIW, I know that several folks in India (including yours truly) have received the shipment of Ubuntu CDs and it comes as a surprise that the Customs department woke up now. And this does once again give everyone a scare on legal formalities.

The email below is from the writer (or probably editor) of the article when he was contacted by Satish Link.

Hello friends,

Thanks to Fred's posting regarding Ubuntu Linux I spread the news about the free CD offer amongst readers of 'Deccan Herald.' One of the readers appears to be in a 'spot,' his email is reprouced below, and I request suggestions to help him out.. Please respond soon.

Thanks in advance!

Soundara Rajan
Mysore, India

__________________________
Dear Soundara Rajan,

This is regarding to the Ubuntu CDs.

We have recieved call memo from the deputy commissioner of customs, postal appraising department. It states:

"The parcel mentioned above and addressed to you arrived for the release of which, you are required to furnish the following documents / information within 10 / 15 days, failing which, action will be initiated as per the provisions of the customs act, 1962, international postal regulations such as (a) Assessment based on the available data, (b) Confiscation of the goods to the government of india, (c) Return the goods to the sender, as deemed fit, without any further intimation:

1. Importer Code Number
2. Invoice, Purchase Order, Order Confirmation, Technical write-up.

The redemption fine and personal penalty wherever imposed, will be addition to the import duty leviable and should be seperately remitted in the state bank of india, bangalore branch, st.marks road, bangalore."

Are you aware of any such requirements. Has anyone else received the CDs in bangalore. Kindly advice if you know the procedure to release the CDs as we do not have any invoice, purchase order, etc.

Regards
Satish

--
**********************************
N.S. Soundara Rajan, Mysore, India
searchlight@sancharnet.in

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/23/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005915450224.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007633.gif

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HHGTHG game ...

For all the fans of HitchHiker's Guide To The Galaxy, here's the original game for you.

Courtesy: Boing Boing.

HCL Tech buys Irish BPO firm

Continuing its acquisition spree, HCL Technologies today announced the buyout of AnswerCall Direct contact centre in Northern Ireland in a Rs 29.39 crore deal.

The acquisition has made HCL the largest BPO operation in Ireland.

...

The acquisition adds 190 more professionals to the HCL team in Northern Ireland, translating into a workforce of 1,800 people.

...

This is HCL Technologies' third acquisition in the past week. On February 17 and 22, the company acquired the balance stakes in Aquila Technologies Ltd and HCL Enterprise Solutions, making them its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

...


Read the complete article here.

How windows (from Microsoft) is viewed in the engineering community ...

With the ubiqutous prevalence of MS Windows in any company and the stubborness of several departments including marketing, IT, web designers to use or consider anything else for platform independence, someone once remarked in the Tolkien language as such :

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.


That is the (evil) power of Microsoft Windows for you !

Wonderful funny quotes ...

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity.

- Albert Einstein

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.

- Robert Frost

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it.

- Franklin P. Jones

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

-Jean Cocturan

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world everyday always just exactly fits the newspaper.

- Jerry Seinfeld

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.

- Darrin Weinberg

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

Life is pleasant.
Death is peaceful.
It's the transition that's troublesome."

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

Help a man when he is in trouble and he will remember you when he is in trouble again.

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

It is not exactly cheating, I prefer to consider it creative problem solving.

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

Whoever said money can't buy happiness, didn't know where to shop.

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

Alcohol doesn't solve any problems, but then again, neither does milk.

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

Most people are only alive because it is illegal to shoot them.

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

Forgive your enemies but remember their names.

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

The number of people watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action.

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

Dont worry that the world ends today, its already tomorrow in Australia.

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

A sweet emotional piece that reminds us of those important things to do ...

http://www.inlibertyandfreedom.com/Flash/Think_It_Over.swf

Note: It's a "flash" thingy.

IIT students develop device to charge mobiles with air

I don't know how true this is, given the recent fiascos that the Indian press has been involved in. However, ... :)

Students at the Department of Industrial Design at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi have attached a turbine with a mobile phone that helps charge it even when the user is travelling, Head of the Department Professor Lalit Kumar Das told PTI.

"The electricity generated by the turbine when moved by the wind energy could charge a mobile in emergency. It generates electricity to the tune of 3 to 4 watts which is sufficient to charge a mobile," he said.

The specially designed turbine, which costs about 200 rupees to be developed inside a laboratory, is so small that it could be easily kept in a pocket, he said.

...


Read the complete article here.

Kotte.org system information ...

I don't know how I managed to trigger this, however I suddenly ended up with the system information for kotte.org on my screen.

Click on the image for a bigger picture (you probably need to be logged into Flickr for that):

Update: You don't need to be logged onto Flickr for viewing the bigger picture.

kotte-info

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Wanna know what Indians Google most for ?

http://www.google.com/press/intl-zeitgeist.html#in

Popular Queries - January 2005

1. tsunami

2. indian railways

3. sania mirza

4. trisha

5. aishwarya rai

6. anara gupta

7. ignou

8. bollywood

9. ndtv

10. australian open

Any guesses why numbers 4 and 6 are in there ? :)

Israel airport security ...

is supposed to be _very good_ according to one recent report I read. Does anyone have first hand experience that they'd like to share ?

Loopholes in IT Act nags Indian corporates

FWIW, and to be "true" to my readers, I've also seen the following "expert" receive _extreme flak_ for some of his interpretations on some "famous" episodes, but that's beside the point being dealt with here.

The law needs to keep up with changing technologies and do away with the loopholes, which could harm corporates, said cyberlaw expert Pavan Duggal.

If the Avnish Bajaj, Bazee case sent shock waves through the Indian IT industry, there could be other areas of serious concern, according to cyber law expert, Pavan Duggal. "There are many areas that do not find mention in the Act including rights of domain name owners, patents, trademarks, copyrights and IPRs." Further, he added that the IT Act excludes some crucial aspects such as the power of attorney and any contract for sale or conveyance of immovable property. Duggal, who is president of Cyberlaws.net and advocate, Supreme Court of India, was in Bangalore to address a session on "Regulation of the Internet: The Indian experience", at the Computer Law Association First International Asian Conference 2005, in the city.

...

A grave area of concern for corporates could be the potential abuse of the law in the enforcement arena which confers "draconian powers" to Deputy Superintendent of Police(DSPs), allowing them to search and arrest without warrant, said Duggal. "The DSP would be able to take action against an individual who is about to commit a cyber crime. This would be a case of penalizing intention," he said. He warned that this could give rise to potential harassment of IT companies from DSPs.

...


Read the complete article here.

Cell phone jamming ...

Irritated by the person next to you who can't stop yakking away on the cell phone or can't put it on vibrating mode ?

Here's Cell Phone Jamming for you. Shut the cell up ! While it is still illegal in a lot of places, cell phone jamming is supposedly catching up super fast ! :)

Sri Lanka anyone ?

A very recent discussion I had tells me that tours to and via Sri Lanka are very cheap this season.

Supposedly one can make a 3 day trip to SL for as "little" as Rs.10000. And for Rs.15000-18000, one can throw in a combined 10 day package tour to Singapore and Hongkong via SL. These prices are supposed to include stay and food.

However, the authenticity of information has not yet been established. Can anyone confirm ?

When someone posts an "ad"

in the comment section of another blog "advertising" for their blog, that IMO appears the "wrong" way to woo audience.

Instead, a better approach would be to contribute positively to the discussion at hand and probably invite the rest of the readers to visit the blog being advertised for.

Broadband: I'm getting irritated ...

with all this hoopla about Bharti bringing prices down, etc. My foot !! I don't care a damn if a 256kbps connection comes at Rs.349 with STUPID download limits !

All of the following guys need to look at the rest of the "advanced/developed" world !! No point in calling ourselves IT giants if we can't get something like broadband infrastructure pricing "right" (a very subjective word) !!

Telegraph India
Times of India
The Statesman
Financial Express

Really frustrated !

Daily Cartoon - 02/22/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert20012206150223.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007632.gif

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Wise men are those ...

who learn from other's mistakes. Hence, I'm not wise :) But then, I shall continue to strive to commit "new" mistakes !

Broadband: Multimedia Telecom Network on Railways ...

Sure does give indication of interesting possibilities down the line.

Indian Railways have made considerable strides in building a pan India Optic Fibre Cable (OFC) network under the aegis of RailTel Corporation of India Ltd. (RCIL).

The RCIL has laid 25,750 kilometre long OFC, since the year 2000, when Indian Railways had 5,000 kilometres of OFC network.

...


Read the complete story here.

Online Indian music store

CrimsonBay

Too bad - they can only think in terms of $$ and are trying to "compete" (actually, they are copying) with iTunes with the $0.99 rate for a song.

For a guy like me in India, Re1.0 is what I'd like to pay for a song :)

Broadband: Airtel announces new tarrifs ..

Tarrifs @ http://202.56.228.44/tariffht.htm

Analysis - pending :)

I'm back and I'm being blamed ...

Back to the drudgery called "life" after a long vacation :)

And, the first thing I read is that I'm being blamed for getting someone "addicted". Visithra, thanks for the warm welcome :)

Daily Cartoon - 02/21/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert20183091050222.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007631.gif

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Monday, February 21, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/20/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert23661820050221.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007630.gif

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/19/05


http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007629.gif

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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/18/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005026103019.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007628.gif

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Friday, February 18, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/17/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005073236218.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007627.gif

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/16/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005915450217.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007626.gif

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/15/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert20012205950216.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007625.gif

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Daily Cartoon - 02/12/05


http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007622.gif

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Thanks to TN CM I discovered

"Medhu Pakoda" today !

As I stepped out of my aptmt block for a very late breakfast at the nearby hotel, I was surprised to see the crowds on the street - 100s of people clad in white and white dhotis and shirts and the heavy police machinery in force. It looked as if it was chaos everywhere except that it was the "general party meeting" (or something to that effect) of the ruling party - AIADMK - in the grounds opposite my apartment complex. To top it, their supremo and the present CM, was attending the gathering and hence the huge crowds and heavy police force.

My usual sweet little hotel was swamped with party workers (in whiite and white) and police folks, not to mention the occasional common man like me. Orders were taken after nearly 10mins of waiting - usual time is around 2-3 mins. And, I discovered that my favorite "Ven Pongal" was long gone for the day. "Light" items like idli, medhu vadai, etc were also gone. I wasn't in the mood for chapathi/poori at that point of time and decided to try the only item in the glass display - for the first time in my life. I though it was the usual "bonda" and ordered it. Luckily I found it to my liking.

I found out later in the evening that it wasn't "bonda" but "medhu pakoda" ! What a name :)

And, that adds one more item to my eatable list - not that it's too short now :)

He he !! Valentine's day greetings ?! ...

And, someone sent me this !! :)

http://www1.msn.americangreetings.com/display.pd?bfrom=1&prodnum=3024018&path=25524

Daily Cartoon - 02/09/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005915440210.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007619.gif

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Here's how my blogshare trades ...

http://blogshares.com/blogs.php?blog=http://sudhir-lp.blogspot.com

Valuation: B$5,198.82

Wish I had that kind of money ;-)

Thanks to Visithra for reminding me of BlogShares.

And, blogshares helped me find other people who had linked to me !! Yay, nice way to discover more possible readers.

Now, that's funny!

Gay penguins won't go straight:

"A German zoo's plans to tempt its gay penguins to go straight by importing more females has been declared a failure.

The female penguins were flown in especially from Sweden in an effort to encourage the Humboldt penguins at the Bremerhaven Zoo to reproduce.

But the six homosexual penguins showed no interest in their new female companions and remained faithful to each other."

Heck! Even Scandinavian beauties can't seem to induce these geeks to get laid.


Courtesy: Thats

My updated list of feeds ...

available at http://www.bloglines.com/public/sudhirlp

I'm yet to update it to the full list. And, am not reading all of them all the while. Still some of them are worth keeping a watch over.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Kewl place to learn photography ...

http://shutterbee.thinkrandom.com/

Once again, thx to Chandra for pointing this out.

Looks like teetotallers like me have no hope !

If I were to be stuck in an avalanche, I surely couldn't use this method to get out.

Chandra, thanks for pointing this out :)

Award for XLRI student

A paper submitted by Kumar Anand, a student of XLRI Jamshedpur, has been adjudged the ‘Most thought-provoking paper’ at the 26th McMaster World Congress in Canada.

The paper on intellectual capital and innovation, is titled “Managing intellectual capital in growth organisations in the new knowledge economy”, suggests a model framework for organisations to manage intellectual capital, a release issued by XLRI said.

...


Read the complete article here.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Coppermine Photo Gallery ...

I'm in the process of trying to setup Coppermine Photo Gallery for my photos. Flickr, while wonderful as usual, appears to be slightly crippling my style, what with the 10MB per month upload and 100 photos photostream catch for the free version. The pro version of $50 or so (Rs.2000 or so) per year is way too costly for me.

Stay tuned about my attempts at CPG.

Too good a post - Tree ... Leaf ... Wind

Tree ... Leaf ... Wind

I do have a difference of opinion with the last line of the "moral", 'cos as they say, "one can never be too sure". Especially in the context of "Arranged marriages", there isn't exactly the "exact" choice of finding "The" person. Even in "Love Marraiges" or "relationships" everyone cannot really find "The" person. Will they have to keep looking, keep changing partners, keep moving on (causing heartaches and breaks all the while) ?

And, in the end, it's the commitment to make a relationship work that matters, isn't it or is it ?

Krish, thanks a lot for putting it up.

A snippet here:

Moral

In love, we win very rarely, but when love is true, even if you lose, you still win just for having the tingle of loving someone more than you love yourself.

There comes a time when we stop loving someone, not because that person has stopped loving us but because we have found out that, they'd be happier if we let go....

Why do we close our eyes when we sleep? When we cry? When we imagine? When we kiss?

This is because THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS IN THE WORLD ARE UNSEEN.

There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind, but keep in mind that letting go isn't the end of the world. It's the beginning of a new life. Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched and those who have tried. For only they can appreciate the importance of the people who have touched our lives.

A great love? It's when you shed tears and still you care for them, it's when they ignore you and still you long for them. It's when they begin to love another and yet you smile and say, "I'm happy for you." If love fails, set yourself free, let your heart spread its wings and fly again. Remember you may find love and lose it, but when love dies, you never have to die with it.

The strongest people are not those who always win but those who stand back up when they fall. Somehow, along the course of life, you learn about yourself and realize that there should never be regrets, only a lifelong appreciation of the choices you've made.

Loving is not how you forget but how you forgive, not how you listen but how you understand, not what you see but how you feel, and not how you let go but how you hold on.

It's more dangerous to weep inwardly rather than outwardly. Outward tears can be wiped away while secret tears scar forever. ..

It's best to wait for the one you want than settle for one that's available. It's best to wait for the right one because life is too short to waste on just someone.

How often have you asked yourself ? ...

Will you ever risk your safety for the sake of betterment, for a battle against injustice, corruption, ... ? Will you really stand up against injustice even if it probably means misery and probably fatality to you and those who are your near and dear ? Or will you remain yet another bystander ?

Makes me wonder what would have happened to our nation if all those who stepped up for the independence struggle didn't ?

This thought has been plaguing me incessantly for the past few days.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Travel: I wish it were outside ...

How much I wish the beautiful peacock were outside rather than inside a cage.

(Click photo for bigger image)
travel-14

A real damn good ad !! Gandhi via Telecom Italia ...

http://www.epica-awards.com/assets/epica/2004/winners/film/flv/11071.htm

Saw this only today inspite of finding several earlier references :(

The tag line of "Imagine the world today if he could have communicated like this" is simply wonderful !

Broadband: BSNL broadband saga ...

I've now received two calls from BSNL office regarding my broadband application. Both times, they wanted me to collect the application form from one of their nearby offices and hand it over to another exchange nearby. I told them that I didn't have time to do it and will probably get to it some time in the future.

I was actually still contemplating about their service given that I already have a connection from Airtel and BSNL's scheme are all traffic limited (1GB per month @ 256kbps) which IMO is the BACKWARD way to use a "broadband" connection.

I was pleasantly surprised when today (or was it y'day ?!, can't remember) someone rang the bell and handed me over the application for the BSNL service stating that I had to submit a copy at their two offices (mentioned above).

Talk about improvement of customer service ! Really like it.

If only they had an unlimited transfer scheme ... (I do understand that it's indeed the case till Jun-05).

HCL on an expansion spree in Chennai ...

The location of offices within Chennai city limits is one thing I like quite a lot about HCL. It saves the pain of commute to the distant IT corridor. It also helps one to plan for things to be done in the evenings - if at all one gets out of office :) - given that one is located within the city.

HCL Technologies (HCL) plans to double its headcount from 5000 to 12,500 in Chennai in the next two years.

“We have the second largest presence in the city after Tata Consultancy Services (TCS ) and the only one with all 16 facilities located within city limits,” said R Vaidyanathan, executive vice-president, HR head, HCL. The expansion is exclusive of its plans for ITeS operations.

...


Read the complete article here.

Travel: Loads of photos from my Karnataka Trip

Not exactly loads, still a few more than my recent posts. For a quick browse of my travel photos (via Flickr), visit

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudhir/tags/travel/

I wish Yahoo Photos were as easier and provided as many options as flickr does.

As usual, my memory fails me to remind me of most of the places. If you know of some of these, do let me know :)

BTW, click on the images to get to a bigger resolution image.

Now, that's a set of canons that I could use :)

travel-19

In front of Gol Gumbaz (supposedly one of or probably the largest dome structure in the world)

travel-18

Now, where is that ?!

travel-17

That's a canon I'd love to have. Wondering where I saw that !!

travel-16

At Mysore Palace

travel-15

Does the following place have anything to do with Tipu Sultan ?

travel-13

I must stop trying to provide any sort of commentary for these photos !!

travel-12

Anyone game to try and help me improve my memory ?! :)

Broadband: GOVT. to delicense 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands

The Centre on Friday issued a notification to delicense 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands under the Broadband Policy 2004.

According to a press release, wireless systems with a maximum effective radiated power of upto four watts and with an antenna/mast height of upto five metres in the frequency band 2.4-2.435 GHZ can now operate without a wireless license.

...


Read the complete article here.

Broadband: Disney India wants to enter the India bandwagon

...

Besides being a prominent player in the kids entertainment segment, the $30-billion Walt Disney Television International-India (WDTVI-I), known for its Disney brand of cartoon characters and other icons, is upbeat on new services. The company is working with internet service providers (ISPs) for offering customised broadband services in the country.

Speaking to FE, Rajat Jain, managing director, WDTVI-I, elaborated: “We are working on the business opportunities avaiable through the 40-50 million mobile phones spread over a period of time. Perhaps, we can tap this offer through the wireless media.” However, he did not divulge the timing of this offer, as the modalities are still being worked out.

...


Read the complete article here.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Credit Card pin verification ...

Neat move being enforced. A short while from now onwards, it appears that all 'Visa' credit card holders will mandatorily get and have to use username and passwords for online transactions. Hopefully this will reduce online credit card misuse/fraud.

Dear Member,

Please accept grateful thanks from www.irctc.co.in for your continued patronage and support for our services. As you know we have been continuously upgrading our services and making them more user friendly and secure, as a continuous on going effort. We now wish to familiarize you with the latest facility to ensure the security of your Visa Credit Cards.

The new programme is 'Verified by Visa' and covers the Visa Credit Cards issued by all the banks across the world. This facility is being just introduced in India and IRCTC is proud to be the only website in India to have this facility introduced.

The banks participating in 'Verified by Visa' Programme would be issuing secure passwords and / or user Ids to all their credit card holders. The card holder while transacting on our site would be required to give input of these additional passwords / user Ids by which it will be fully ensured that a particular credit card is being transacted on the site only by the person in whose name the card has been issued.

This facility is being introduced in our website on the ICICI Payment Gateway within the next couple of weeks and is expected to benefit a majority of credit card users on our website.

Booking Process :-

1) On selecting the ICICI PG option you will enter the normal particulars of the card such as Card No., type, Validity and the CVV 2 value.

2) You will be taken to a secured page of VISA where you will be asked to enter the VbV user id and password issued by your credit card issuing bank (please get in touch with the bank which has issued your Visa Credit Card for the user id and password).

3) Once the details are entered, your card will be authenticated and the necessary amount processed for crediting to IRCTC and your tickets subsequently booked.

Initially, for a transaction period the option to purchase your tickets with and without the VbV facility will be available to you for a short while. After the initial period VbV compliance process would be mandatory for all Visa Card holders.

This new facility is going to be of immense benefit to you as a customer and also to IRCTC since it will be ensuring that no unauthorized person would be able to use a Visa Card on our site.

For further details on this scheme please visit this Page.

Thanking you and offering our best efforts in your services AS always.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/08/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert20012205850209.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007618.gif

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

Travel: Tirupati trip

Taken ages ago, can't even remember when. Maybe 2003.

Swami and me near "Srivari Padam" (a place where it's supposed that Lord Balaji left his footprints)

travel-tirupati-01

Naveen (my college junior) and me - one of the days in the trip to tirupati

travel-tirupati-03

Me atop the world

travel-tirupati-02

Rajesh (my ex-colleague) and me near Srivari Padam (excuse me for the poor image quality)

travel-tirupati-04

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Broadband: HATHWAY launches new broadband packs

Hathway Cable Internet, a broadband cable ISP in India, has introduced new broadband packages - Liteway and Paceway. According to the company, this new initiative will expose the Internet users to a high-speed broadband experience at affordable prices.

The Liteway packages for 256 Kbps speed start at 50 paise per MB for a minimum of 1 GB downloads on monthly basis at Rs. 500. The Liteway Prepaid packages for 256 Kbps speed start at 43 paise per MB. The Paceway package for 512 Kbps are available Rs 3,000 with a download limit of 2.4 GB. Modem rental is Rs 100 per month and extra download will be charged at Rs 1.50 per MB for all the packages.

...


Read the complete article here.

Daily Cartoon - 02/07/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert20183087050208.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007617.gif

BCced to intended recepients.
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Monday, February 07, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/06/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert23661750050207.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007616.gif

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

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/05/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005026102905.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007615.gif

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

Wife to husband ...

"See honey, that's my first boyfriend at the bar. He is drinking since I left him ten years ago".

Husband: "Nonsense! No one can celebrate that long !"

Blogger.com improvement ?!

Does anyone know how to get a "sorted" list of frequent bloggers matching a particular category (say, location Chennai) in Blogger.com ?

Such an interface option will help people to build / access a neighborhood much more easily and quickly. Of course there are external site which offer such or similar options, but then doesn't having one in Blogger.com itself help much more ?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Broadband: Provide connectivity to private operators, TRAI to BSNL

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Saturday told Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to open up its last mile connectivity to private operators for broadband usage.

TRAI Chairman Pradip Baijal told BSNL Chairman and Managing Director A K Sinha at an international communication and computing conference at the IIT campus here that instead of losing the value of such a huge network, it was best to work jointly to fully leverage the potenial.

...


Complete story here.

Daily Cartoon - 02/04/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005026102905.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007614.gif

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

Gmail via RSS, rather ATOM ...

For those of you who read blogs via RSS/ATOM, and have a Gmail account, here's a neat way to get your email snippets.

Create an RSS/ATOM news feed with the following URL https://gmail.google.com/gmail/feed/atom and get the email snippets delivered to your RSS reader. I've been using this since ages ago.

Broadband: Canda, India partnership ...

Researchers in Canada and India will soon be working together to bring broadband wireless technologies to rural and remote areas in both countries.

The state-owned institutions of both countries - Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) and India's Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) - signed an agreement Friday to collaborate on the development of new wireless technologies.

...


Read the complete story here.

Travel: Getting ready to conquer the fort ...

For those who have heard of the legendary maratha king, Chatrapathi Shivaji, his fort is an absolute must-visit. The construction of the fort is quite good, though maintenance could certainly be improved. That's me once again in 2003.

travel-04

travel-03

BTW, the flurry of 2003 photos is 'cos I accidentally discovered this photo CD just a few days ago :) I'm in the process of updating my yahoo photos to show the full collection. That'll however take a few more days.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Travel: Don't you love the backdrop ?

Ignore the obstruction in the foreground :)

Taken during my 2003 trip via Karnataka & Maharashtra.

travel-01

travel-02

Travel: Getting ready for a kewl shower ;-)

Taken during my recent trip to Mangalore. The place is called Hanumangudi Waterfalls and is a very steep and tiring walk when you trudge back up - reminded me that I had to get back to my exercise regime ! :)

sud-waterfalls

True bravery is ...

to arrive at home, fully drunk, after a late night out, wife waiting with broom and you ask

"Are you still cleaning ?!"

Travel: Sudhir on air ...

Photo taken during 2003 (can't remember the month) when I was travelling via Karnataka and touched Maharashtra. The exact location of this photograph is close to Mahabaleshwar, damn can't remember the plateau name !

With me, is Swami (my classmate at college and colleague now) and we were trying out the high speed setting in my Canon Rebel EOS 2000. The shot turned out good. As you can see, "I'm on air" :)


File0003

Did you know that if you saw any unauthorized tree cutting ...

you could supposedly call 98403 50000, the "helpline for clean & green city".

Similarly, for garbage removal, you could call 98403 80000.

This information is courtesy Chennai Corporation ! Let me know your experience if and when you do use those numbers.

Cisco Systems ads in Mangalore and VOIP phones in banks !

When I was at Mangalore a couple of weeks ago on a short trip, I saw a lot of hoardings canvassing for Cisco Systems. I was, at that time, kinda surprised and wondered why there were so many ads in a "relatively small place" like M'lore. And then, I found similar hoardings (but of lesser number) in a "relatively bigger place" like Chennai !

In the recent past, I was pleasantly suprised to find Cisco Systems VOIP phones, the likes of which have featured in several movies and TV serials, in some public establishments such as banks ! Probably the first time I'm seeing those phones out of the ads, movies and my office :) Nice move corporate India !

And, needless to say, I miss a digital camera that cud have helped me in all those simple shots :)

ICICI cheque book email-id fiasco

A couple of weeks ago, my bank ICICI delivered a new cheque book at my doorstep after I'd ordered it thru' their internet banking portal (this can be done via their ATMs too).

I was shocked to find that they had printed my contact email information in the place where my address was printed. The email information is clearly visible to anyone looking thru' the transparent cover in order to read the delivery postal address. That IMO is clearly violation of privacy guidelines. Makes me think "when will these morons ever get it right ?" or maybe they do it wantedly ?!

I need to remind myself to write to them. But then I think that it may not be worth the effort.

Daily Cartoon - 02/03/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005073234204.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007613.gif

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

A spouse is someone ...

who will stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn't have had if you had stayed single !

I was reminded of this on account of the recent marriage of one of my school/college-mate :)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Technorati searchlet ...

For those who read my blog via RSS, you might not have notice the Technorati Searchlet addition to my blog. IMO, the Technorati Searchlet (a seach "engine" for my blog) does a better job that Blogger's default "Search This" option.

Try Technorati Searchlet for BSNL on my blog - 15 results.

Try Blogger's "Search This" for BSNL on my blog - 8 results.

Why Gmail invites are much more flawed now than ever ...

Remember the 50 gmail invites I was talking about 2 posts earlier ? The biggest issue with this invite thing, now more than ever is that Gmail is kinda prompting people to give out those invites to public lists, Gmail email spooler, etc. As a result, more and more email-ids will be shared between multiple people who don't even know each other and increase the possibility of spamming to a larger extent.

It's time Gmail came to it's senses and opened up Gmail in a better way to the public.

Daily Cartoon - 02/02/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert2005915430203.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007612.gif

BCced to intended recepients.
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50 Gmail invites ...

One of my accounts has 50 invites left. Isn't that kinda too much ?!

gmail-invite

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 02/01/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert20012205750202.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05feb/xuf007611.gif

BCced to intended recepients.
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Broadband: BSNL DataOne quick test

I got a chance to test out BSNL's DataOne broadband in a recent property fair in Chennai.

Talk about technology penetration, what does broadband have to do in a property show ?! One could argue that it was a household amenity :)

A couple of quick download tests showed me that sustained average download speeds were about 19kB/s on a supposed 256kbps connection.

On my 64kbps airtel DSL connection, I get about 13kB/s usually (that's more than expected).

I didn't, however, try my usual speed tests.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 01/31/05

http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/images/dilbert20183086050201.gif
http://www.userfriendly.org/cartoons/archives/05jan/xuf007551.gif

BCced to intended recepients.
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