Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I was a fan of Ishmeet Singh the day I saw him on the TV for the first time. In fact I saw the first episode of Voice of India because of him.
I was surfing channels when I passed a Sardarji singing a beautiful Tune Mujhe Pehchana Nahi on Star Plus. It was one of the initial stages of VoI and I loved that performance so much that I thought he should reach somewhere in the final stages. By the time I didn't even know he would reach the mega finals where there will be two people on the stage and then win the title.
Even when the final results were about to come, I was supporting Ishmeet against a person who had the same name as mine. I even wrote a post, 'Will my candidate win this time'.
But today, he is no more. I don't know how it happened exactly, but it was a painful incident.
May Ishmeet Rest in Peace.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
No doubt there is a race going on among all the news channels nowadays. Every one wants to be ahead of all others, not only in bringing news to people, but also bringing experts and expert reviews. As soon as something happens, there are 'experts' on TV, talking live and on phone on the topic.
But the print media is a quite different. Probably in being good, and more responsible, they do things slowly. I first felt so when I was checking websites of various news channels and newspapers yesterday. As Times of India website was showing 6 blasts, DNA showed 9, whereas Aaj tak and IBN were showing 13 and 17 blasts' news respectively.
Today, when I thought I could read some comments by the best of India's journalists/authors on two days' continuous blasts, I was disappointed to see that Times of India had nothing on blasts by any of them and the entire editorial page, 'All that matters', in their lingo. Then I checked Hindustan Times and DNA, and found that there were no articles on blasts in any of their editorial pages.
It was like coverage of the previous 5 days of the week took away the 6th and 7th days. But the obvious fact is that these authors give their opinions days before these editions come out and nobody tried to change them.
On one hand it's good because had the case been otherwise, there would be only Ahmedabad all over the pages. But then, it's striking that when on one hand everybody is talking about bomb blasts, but these newspaper experts seem to be talking of an altogether different world.
Don't you think they need to speed up a bit?
I like reading Shashi Tharoor in The Times of India every Sunday. This time, it was about fake things versus real. And here is my opinion which I sent back through the ToI website.
(You can read the article by from the link given in the top right corner, 'Get real, we are living in a fake world', or simply clicking the title of this post, that is 'Real and Fake')
Pretty right. Absolutely right as far as drugs are concerned, and even in general, I feel we should buy original and not fake.
But sometimes piracy helps those who are not helped by originals. In today's context, I am talking about books.
Previously it was the market of CDs (read movies) that was dominated by pirates. But then, the prices of Video CDs (and even audio CDs) came down and people started buying originals, piracy taking a backseat. And though piracy hasn't been abolished completely, Moserbaer and T-Series are dominating the market with their low price CDs or say, reasonable price CDs.
Back to books now. India has a large market of pirated books. And I have bought a number of pirated books in Bangalore and Chennai, most of them Non-fiction as I used to read whatever I got in library as far as fiction is concerned. I have never liked buying pirated books but then, I didn't have much options. I don't think my parents can 'waste' rupees 495 for buying me 'The Elephant, the tiger and the cellphone' until it's going to help me out with my studies or my job or something equally important. In fact, until I start earning enough money myself, I can't think of buying a rupees 500-600 book. And I feel an average Indian student is more or less in the same situation, with the exceptions of a few rich.
Now, the options I have are:
1. I do not read the book and wait for getting a job first.
2. I stop my other expenses for a month or a half and collect money to buy the book.
3. I go to the market and get a duplicate copy for 70-80 rupees.
I think the third one is the simplest, and the best in my scenario. And in case of most Indian students. Or a lot of them, to say the least.
I still say that I do not like pirated things. I bought Chetan Bhagat books because I could afford one easily and so was the case with The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And I feel that if prices are made a bit more people friendly, piracy can be removed to a large extent.
PS: I still haven't bought 'The Elephant...', hoping I buy an original as I'll be joining my job soon.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
It's 8:56 by my watch. And seems there is a race going on between news channels. Times of India, where I saw the news for the first time had been showing news of 6 blasts and now isn't talking on numbers. DNA is showing 9 blasts on its headlines whereas IBN live claims 17 and Aaj Tak is talking about 13 blasts.
And though they say blasts were low intensity, pictures don't suggest such 'low' intensity. I mean, of course they might have not been high intensity, but the 'low' thing is quite misleading.
As the news came, I was a bit shocked as it was continuously second day for blasts. But the real shock came when I heard my mother saying that there were 14 blasts. I opened the TV and then the sites of IBN and Aaj tak telling me more than I had read.
I still doubts all the figures but one fact is that this day has been really shocking. I had not even changed the 'Are we habitual to bomb blast news now' tag on my Orkut profile when this came up.
I know there is not much going to happen for this except that there will be POTO or POTA again when the next government comes, but I wish the politicians don't politicize this issue and do something positive together. Though I feel this is going to remain just a wish as this is yet another chance of throwing mud at each other for our leaders.
For the rest, may God help us. That's all I can think of.
Friday, July 25, 2008
7 blasts rocked Bangalore today.
After Hyderabad, Lucknow, Varanasi, Faizabad and Jaipur, it's Bangalore. And I think now we have become quite used to such news. We see, look shocked, count the numbers, lament on the situation of country, and change the channel.
Not that I feel we, as general public, can do a lot about it but I feel the way we are getting used to bomb blasts is not only wrong, it's strange too.
I am not sure about others (and welcome others' opinions on this) but when I saw the blasts' news I was soon thinking, rather calculating which town or city could be the next victim now. I also feel this attitude is wrong and I feel I need to change my outlook about this.
Also, I want to know if there is anybody who thinks the same. If yes, please give your opinion.
To start with, if you do not know the basic difference of Beta and Alpha versions of software, here it goes. The alpha build of the software is the build delivered to the software testers, usually internal to the organization or community that develops the software.
Whereas a beta version is the first version released outside the organization or community that develops the software, for the purpose of evaluation or real-world black/grey-box testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release. Beta level software generally includes all features, but may also include known issues and bugs of a less serious variety.
Now, let's come to current trends. First of all, nowadays companies like Google run their products in the markets for years and claim them to be beta versions. For example, Orkut, used by more than 12 crore people, is still in beta stage.
Now let's talk about Google's new service, Knol. Knol is a service started by Google where users can write their own pages about anything and put it online, something similar to Wikipedia, except that there can be a number of pages on a single topic in Knol, and they will belong to the owner of the page.
Now, Knol is in its Beta stage, but the service doesn't even have a working search system. The question is, how can a service that is so much dependent on search, reach its beta stage without a proper search sysytem.
Interestingly, Knol belongs to Google, which is considered the second name for search on Internet. Hope Google does something about it soon.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
What if Google owned the Wikipedia? Well, now it seems that Google is trying to something of that sort as it has started its new service called Knol, the unit of knowledge. (name trying to remind you of mol/mole of science, I think)
Though being a Wikipedia isn't easy. That too when its a commercial company like Google. I mean, of course there are companies that are much more into money but Wiki is a complete charity so a competition should hardly exist between the two.
For now, the only things I understood are that Knol will have authors who could write on topics as they wish and they can also get ad revenues through adsense for ads on their Knols.
This is supposed to create competition but I expect more of confusion and chaos. So let's see how does this new thing works. I hope Google people get good result for using their Knols of knowledge.
Today, while surfing, I found a site called dailymind through an article called 100 Ways to Relax, Unwind and Loosen Up. Though I didn't find much in the article, I liked the site and decided to move to the home of the site, rather blog.
As I reached the home page, the sight that welcomed me was of a Kashmiri boat-sailor and a post titled 'Lessons from India 3: Dealing with hardships'.
As I watched below, there were chapters on 'Being Grateful for what you have' and 'Having a Purpose at Work'.
I think Indians are still as good at teaching spirituality as always.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Today, 4 pm, Bharat Complex Cyber Cafe, Najibabad.
It was not a new thing for me to go to the Bharat Complex. I have been there so many times for internet when I didn't have a broadband connection even though the Rs 30 per hour the guy there takes wasn't right from any standards, I thought.
Still, today I needed to go there as I needed the print out of my Dell Laptop quotation so that I could tell bank how much it cost me.
I went there and told him I needed to get a printout from my mail. After 5 mins he got me a system. I logged in. I got the mail, downloaded the PDF and said, let me check it. By the time I could complete my sentence, he had clicked sign out. Of course, he had no time to check it.
Well, he launched himself into the printer room with the PDF in his hand, in a pen drive. By the time I got in, he told me it was 8 pages long. Pretty fast, considering I'm not slow by any standards. I was sort of shocked and asked him not to print it all and just give one page when he told me he had already given the print command.
I thought it would not be much of a problem as it'd cost me Rs 16 at max and since I hadn't asked him to print, he might consider taking a bit less too.
Guess I was wrong. Not just wrong, but actually shocked when I asked him how much I had to pay and he said Rupees 40!
Rupees 40 for eight, black and white A4 pages' prints which actually I didn't want because I could fetch the price of my commodity on a single page. Seriously speaking, I had to control my anger and I was sort of showing my magnanimity when I handed him the money. The interesting thing is that when I asked him that I and he both knew how much these eight pages really cost, I got an answer that he only knew as he was the one earning. Well, the logic was quite okay but I still wonder how I could justify Rs 5 for a printout.
After half an hour when I was chatting with my dad about the printouts, for the first time it occured to me that buying a printer was a much better option as the guy could buy a printer with the margins he got on every pack of 500 A4 sheets. (500 pages x 5 Rs per page=Rs 2500, almost the cost of a printer) In fact cartridges too could be bought in that much.
I think Najibabad is a pretty self dependent place now, as far as internet is concerned as I can see many people with net connections now, but if you need to go for printouts, and the guy in your mind is the Bharat complex one (as it's one of the best running cyber cafes), consider buying a printer. The same thing as I am doing now.