Monday, December 24, 2007

God Save Tirunelveli CSI Diocess

CSI Church of South India Tirunelveli Diocese CrestWhen a police Jeep is required for the peaceful conduct of a Church Service in Tirunelveli, you know that something is horribly wrong. It is not (the regular) RSS and Sangh Parivar, who are the culprits but the internal politics of Tirunelveli CSI Diocese. The intricacies of the politics witnessed during the recent elections showed the stuff that Tirunelveli CSI Diocese is really made up of. The recent elections got everything from double crossing, 'bunkee' jumping and even the occasional violence. (Surely would make a very good thriller movie). Read the story - 'Nellai Diocesan fight turns ugly'

But for someone who loves the church and diocese, it is the sign of a doom bell ringing aloud. A Case Study of what would happen when power is given to religious authorities. [CSI Tirunelveli Diocese controls around 360 institutions and has 85,000+ students under its various institutions]. Was really heart wrenching to see a diocese which has produced national christian leaders going downhill.

God Save Tirunelveli CSI Diocese.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Orkut Vs Facebook In India

Facebook logo IndiaOrkut with its simple design and non-American focus, is the leading Social networking site in India. But with the Facebook craze slowly starting in India, there are a whole bunch of people who have started jumping from Orkut to Facebook. Students, for whom orkutting and scrapping was the next most important thing to food & shelter, are not even logging onto orkut these days- thanks to their new found love - facebook. Everybody loves the cool look, applications, privacy in facebook while they hate the fact that anybody can see their scraps, profile,etc in orkut.

Orkut logo IndiaBut Orkut is not lying down - waiting to be overtaken by facebook. It is correcting its weak points and simultaneously acquiring the strengths of its major competitor. Recently, orkut gave its users to make their contents - profile, scraps, feeds, videos, photos private. [News via Orkut Blog - Keep your contents private]. With this move, Orkut satisfies a whole group of people who were cribbing about privacy in orkut. Now we have to wait for OpenSocial applications so that Orkut could give that final blow to facebook in India.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Speedlinking - Rajinikanth's B'day & Modi

Rajinikanth SivajiAs December 12 passes by, another year is added to already old 'Superstar' of Tamilnadu - Rajinikanth. To commemorate the birthday Balaji is listing out his '10 favorite song sequences of Rajinikanth'. His Blog - http://bbthots.blogspot.com - is a Must Visit if you are a Rajini fan enthralled by the birthday of 'thalaivar'.


It is not only the Indian media that could not get enough of Narenda Modi, the incumbent Chief Minister of Gujarat[rightly called by 'someone'[:)]as a merchant of death]. Even US media could not stop reporting about him amidst the intense political campaign going for the election for Presidential nominations. Read the NewYork Times reporting that 'Bloodshed in '02 Shadows Indian Politician in Race that Tests Nationalist Party'.

Rahul Gandhi! Start a Blog!

Rahul GandhiToday I came across an article in New York Times - 'From Iran's Fiery Leader, a Slightly Tamer Blog' that informed the readers about the blog maintained by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran. Was really surprised on hearing that.

If the fiery leader of Iran could maintain a blog, what prevents any of our Indian political leaders to do the same thing? It would provide each of them an opportunity/platform to interact with the public and discuss the rational for their various policies. Also the person's popularity among the youth and IT crowd would go up one or two notches.

It is even acceptable that we can not expect these things from the oldies like Advani(Presidential Candidate, BJP) or Mr. M Karunadhi(CM, Tamilnadu). But what prevents the younger generation leaders like Maran, Rahul Gandhi, etc to use the web/blogging as a medium to interact with the general public. Hope it happens soon.

P.S: Link to Mahoumd Ahmadinejad' Blog - http://www.ahmadinejad.ir/

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

News - Nice Steps in the Right Direction

Found two interesting news from the blogs i follow in Google reader.

MapmyIndia GPS Navigator - If any of us has traveled in a developed nation, one thing that entered our "must buy" list would have been a GPS navigator. Today, read from Vicky's Blog - Navigation Made Simple that a GPS navigator has been introduced by MapmyIndia recently. Though the services is available only in major cities and the design looks pretty rudimentary, it is surely a nice step in the right direction. [Will buy a GPS navigator only if my home shows up on it.. :)]

Ergo - A Free all-colour tabloid from the publication house of "The Hindu" targeting the young salaried professionals(IT industry) of Chennai. Another nice step in the right direction. (Though i have to wait till January 1, for the website - Ergo to be completely up). Thanks Metroblogging-Chennai for the news.

Indians are Hypocrites

If Leader Page article in 'The Hindu'(Tuesday, December 11) - "India in the World - How we see ourself" has to be believed, we, the Indians are hypocrites and that too the worst. According to the survey, on which the article was based, 93 percent of Indians agree that our culture was superior to others (we topped the list). But still... we believe we need special protection against foreign influence. [Since it is the rule of the game that inferior product or service wins the battle against superior product or service... :D]. Until here, the author - Meera Nanda was doing o.k., then she started jumping to show figures to substantiate her own hypothesis rather than talking about the trends from the survey.

For example, according to the author, Materialism = Free markets . (Meera, Can you show me a economy book that explains this?] Also according to the author, the separation between religion and state means the political leaders should never bow before sadhus or saints or there should not be any idols in government buildings. Sorry, until now i was thinking that separation between religion and state means that religion plays no role in the decision of the state. (Though i would prefer any government property to be free of idols or pictures of gods or goddess as a mark of a secularity)

But the worst part of the article was that the author never points that the sample size was just 2043 people(who represent a billion!!!) and that it was disproportionately urban(as stated in the report). Also because of the cultural differences, different terms would mean different things to different people. For example, free market would mean liberalization in India, while it may mean free market in health sector for Americans. An article that shows that writer bent on shouting/deriding India does not need a reason to do so.

P.S: Last Sentence - Exaggerated
If you want to read the report - read 47 Nation Pew Global Attitude Survey & Trends Topline.

Friday, December 07, 2007

New Heroes - Social Entrepreneurs

Whom do you think is best positioned to solve the ills of the society?
1. Government
2. NGOs
3. Business.

Most of us think it is the government or the NGOs who could effectively solve the problems of the society like poverty, illiteracy, etc. But a new wave of people are changing that belief by showing that business could solve these social problems in a much more effective manner. They are united by their belief that there is a fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.

When a Social Entrepreneur recognizes a social problem, he uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas business entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, social entrepreneurs assess their success in terms of the impact they have on society.

I came to know about 'Social Entrepreneurship' through my course in Northeastern University and it was interesting to learn about various Social Entrepreneurs like Dr V. (Aravind Hospitals), Muhammad Yunus(Grameen Bank) and how they used their unique business models to change the society.

And the most interesting part of the course was the live projects we were asked to do... Yeah! there were some interesting projects:-
P.S:- Our Group Idea - Creating a Business Plan for Lending to Poor Students without collateral(similar to Microfinance).

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Indian Postal Service - Shame on You!

While we are always happy to proclaim about our Indian Postal office as the most widely distributed post office system in the world, it makes us feel ashamed when things like this happen.
"Amit Agarwal's (India's first professional blogger and IIT-ian)Google Adsense Christmas gift was opened in transit and USB Memory card was removed. "

Thursday, November 29, 2007

People with Disability - A Neglected Group

Disabled people are the most neglected and the most excluded group in India. Here are a few facts from the recent World Bank Report - People with Disabilities in India :-
  • Children with disabilities are 5 times more likely to be out of school than average
  • Employment of People with Disability(PWD) among large private firms was only 0.3% of the workforce in the late 1990s. Among the multinational companies, it is far worse with only 0.05% being PWD. Remember... this is the situation when at least one in twelve households has a member with disability.
  • 50% of Households still believe the disability to be a "curse of God" resulting in social stigma against PWD
  • Low Educational Attainment, Poor Employment Prospects (Employment rate among PWD fell from 43% in 1991 to 38% in 2002 n the midst of high economic growth) and stigma mean that PWD and their households are notably worse off than average
Sad thing is that even economic growth cannot alter the situation of PWD since economic growth can neither decrease the number of disabled nor provide them with employment prospects.Even simple tasks like traveling or entering a building is quite tough since these group of people are never taken into account while planning or construction. In fact none of the buildings in IIM - Indore are PWD friendly.

It is time we moved from just commitments to outcomes based implementation to bring out a difference in the lives of 40 to 80 million Indians with disability.

"The problem is not how to wipe out the differences but how to unite with the differences intact - Rabindranath Tagore

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Beware of Mumbai Airport Cab Guys

Like your first love, the first time you were conned by some one is always an unforgettable incident. This post is how i was conned at Mumbai. (I thought about writing it on reading Mumbai airport fraud in Vimal's blog.)

"Since I came out of the domestic airport to spend a few minutes with a few friends of mine, I was not allowed by the police officer to board the linking bus from domestic airport to the international airport. (Though at that time, it looked like the police officer was just showing his authority... after the con, i believe he is also a part of the scam gang). Since, it was peak time, the queue for the prepaid cabs was so long, I was forced to bargain with other cabs. One of the cab wallahs came for the lowest price among the lot - Rs. 200/- (which was still unfair). But having lived in Chennai for 4 years, overpaying is always a part of the deal if u want to go to a place fast. So I accepted it. Surprisingly, the car stopped in a dark place after a few minutes of driving and the guy handed me 3 one hundred rupee notes and asked for a single 5 hundred rupee note. When i handed a five hundred rupee note and he returned back the money that was got just 2 days earlier from the bank as torn. I got a little bit tensed. Anyway, knowing that i could get the rupee note changed in the bank, I gave him another five hundred rupee note.

Now he returned a 100 rupee note back saying that I gave him only a 100 rupee note. I sensed a serious scam. And weighed other options - there were 2 hefty guys on the car(Driver + Agent), I don't speak Hindi, my chances of getting a cab from this new place is minimal and most importantly I was already late for my flight(My Negotiation Classes has taught me that I could be easily intimidated). So I was forced to shell out another two hundred rupees. Immediately the driver and the broker got down and another person drove me to the airport. After that the cab wallah dropped me at a place where another airport staff tried to con me another 20$. Thankfully! I was alert by then.

So Beware! If you take a cab from Mumbai airport, always go for the prepaid one however long the queue is.

Also Read:

Chennai Petrol bunk fraud at "Escape Velocity - The most common petrol bunk fraud"

Mumbai Taxi Open Extortion at NDTV Message forums -
http://ndtv.com/mb/readreply.asp?topicid=752&tablename=Travels&id=540318
http://ndtv.com/mb/readreply.asp?topicid=752&tablename=Travels&id=545867

Thursday, November 08, 2007

LTTE's increasing support in Tamilnadu

It has been sixteen long years since the youngest person to become the Prime Minister of India was assassinated by a foreign force. In a world that changes every second, that is surely a long time. I was only six during that unfortunate incident. And I don't remember any of the things that happened. What i remember? Regret and Sadness with which my father explained - how one of the most beloved organizations in Tamilnadu became a villain in a single day.

LTTE! You betrayed our trust then! And showed that terrorists can never be trusted! (A lesson Pakistan is learning now!)

Sixteen years is a long enough time to forget our love/lovers... How could anybody wrong a person who has forgotten the incident that happened on May 21, 1991 - a monumental historical tragedy which LTTE deeply regret. Most of us(Indian Tamils) have forgotten and some have forgiven. As seen from the increasing support that LTTE is receiving these days - "JNU Tamil Students term slain Tamil Tigers a martyr". Today LTTE is again becoming a 'Tamil' Movement. M Karunanidhi - the cunning politician is again ready to carry the flag of this great Tamil cause. :(

For those people who wanna support LTTE, please remember
  • Once LTTE had the 'guts' to target a former Prime minister - a representative of our Indian nation, thereby targeting India itself. If it serves its cause, it will do it again, again and again.
  • LTTE is a terrorist organization without any democracy in its ranks
  • It is an organization that cleansed all the other brother organizations to create a monopoly for itself.(if you are fighting for a cause, you partner... you don't murder)
  • An organization if had been given the chance to form its own nation would have started - A Greater Fight for a United Eelam with Tamilnadu(India)
P.S: I am not asking you to stop supporting Srilankan Tamils in their struggle but asking not to support a terrorist organization(LTTE). And I disagree with various activities of Srilankan government too - http://www.hindu.com/2007/11/01/stories/2007110156091500.htm

Related Post:

Monday, November 05, 2007

"Don't follow Us" - By An American to Indians

When the famous author of "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century" - Thomas L. Friedman asks us(Indians) not to follow the Americans, my interest in his regular weekly column article on New York Times notched up one or two times higher. Read the full article at No, No, No, Don't follow Us. To my surprise, he was using the quote to look at the infrastructure problems that $2500 car by TATA Motors would bring to the limelight. He wants an India that makes itself the leader in both cheap cars and clean mass mobility resulting in an India that will be healthier and wealthier. The article echoes Ms. Sunita Narain who wants the Indian government to tax this cheap car heavily so that a better public transit system could be put in place(Taxing will remove the competitiveness of the whole project in one stroke!!!). He uses the example of Indian mobile industry that innovated to bring one of the world's cheapest telephone system of the world.

But I beg to differ because of the understanding of the mentality of the Indian political system which caters only to the most pressing problem in a efficient manner. Indian Politicians generally choose to innovate or change them self only when they have their backs to the wall [Yeah! Necessity is the mother of the invention] and culturally not known to have a future orientation regarding the present problems.

What I believe?
$2500 car rather than removing the need for a well maintained, efficient, cheap mass transit system would actually become the major turning point that would result in a better mass transit system suited for the Indian people(if the $2500 car became successful as predicted). The impact this car would be having in the rural and semi-urban cities of India like Tirunelveli, Indore, etc.. would be much greater than its impact on the metropolitan cities. And the majority of India lives on this rural and semi-urban cities. $2500 car would make the infrastrucutre shortage in India a comman man's problem from a industry's problem, thus making it a electoral issue, increasing the likelihood of an early solution.

Thomas L Friedman is talking from a narrow perspective of places he has visited like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, etc. . These cities already have a mass transit system in place(though not a efficient one). And his perspective does not include other places like Indore, Pune, etc.. where mass transit system even if present is negligible and no government can create one in its life time. Expected a better researched article from the author of such calibre. :(

Friday, November 02, 2007

Chennai - The Happening City of India

Only the people who live in Chennai understood the magnificence of the city... But others always complain about auto wallahs, heat, etc. For example even Sajeev keeps on complaining how sad the place is... [If you don't believe in my statement, visit the comments page of Sreeram's recent post 'Of Renaming Places'] While i generally ignore them since i understand the envy of others regarding Chennai. But here is a chance to throw mud at this erstwhile famous "Chennai-bashers" gang. After 3.11 PM of November 11th, you guys wont get the chance to throw foolish remarks like that.

What is happening on 3.11PM on 03/11/07?
A few people are trying to encourage the chennaists to capture that one moment on 3.11PM and upload them to a common pool to freeze the entire city into a frame, in the span of a second.

For more details visit 03:11 PM’.

Why 3:11 PM?
No great significance! Just another wonderful day in the life of chenna-ists...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Google OpenSocial [Out "fox"ing Competition]

As I wrote in my earlier post - "Google out'open'ing competition in social media" , Google is expected to come out tomorrow with its announcement on "Open Social". On reading the recent press release from Techcrunch - Open Social by Google, the first thing that strikes you is the simplicity of the idea. Realizing the huge advantages that Facebook has - because of being the first entrant and innovator of allowing third party developers to develop APIs in its social networking website, Google has taken the first step of transferring some power to these third party developers to gain their attention and loyalty. [Remember one of the reasons for the Windows' stronghold on OS market was because of the large number of third party developers who bonded them self with Windows] If Google has not taken this decision, most of the third party developers would have sided with Facebook by creating their application only on the Face book Mark Up language and thereby leaving zero probability for the success of orkut. [And who has the time to rewrite the code for another social networking site???].

But now, Google through its framework is trying to avoid that situation by creating a industry standard for others to follow. It is trying to create an industry standard where third party developers use HTML and Javascript to write their social applications(so just one application for all the websites) rather than using a language specific to the website[e.g. Facebook Mark Up language - Facebook]. If a huge number of third party developers joined this framework, Facebook has no other option but joining the industry standard, thereby providing a level-playing field for Google. Also Google would be expecting its drive would garner enough attention for its social networking site - Orkut. Success or Failure of this drive by Google is going to decide the future of Face book.

Update: With Myspace & beebo(largest social networking website in U.K. and Ireland) joining OpenSocial, Facebook is the only one left out. They are having the meeting with Google engineers on friday to decide their stand. [And the only option for them is to join the standard] NY Times article titled - 'Google and Friends to Gang up on Facebook' does not seem too outlandish now...

P.S: After seeing this initiative by Google, it seems as though Microsoft paid too much of money for 1.6% ownership of Facebook.. :(

Related Posts:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blog Action Day - A review

David Vs. Goliath fight of environmentalists against big corporates and bigger Governments has always attracted support from various fronts. Blog Action Day - October 15th was the day for bloggers to show their support to the environmental issues. Me being a laggard in these kind of issues, I decided to wait and watch for the results. To my surprise more than 20,000 bloggers with a cumulative RSS subscrisbership of around 15 million wrote about "How to protect the environment better". Most of them are not writers and even of a lesser number are environmentalists. So there would have been thousands of perspectives and ideas flowing aound.. Hmm.. If you want to crunch more numbers, get all the required data from Blog Action Day - Statistics.

P.S: Came to know about Blog Action Day from Sreeram's Pre-Post on Blog Action Day. But he convenientely forgot to write about this issue on October 15. :D

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

PMK - Floating New Front for Next Assembly Polls - A Nice Joke

PMK(a regional - Northern Tamilnadu and a 100% casteist party), known for its specific skills to partner with the right party(or winning party) in each election has proudly proclaimed that it will float a new front for the next Assembly Polls. For a second, I believed this news on Hindu - 'PMK will float new front for next Assembly Polls, says Ramadoss' and started smiling that finally Ramadoss would come to know his true support base among the public.

But..

Why would somebody comment this early about the Assembly elections that is four years away?
If somebody is really intent on forming a third front, they would have started their work secretly rather on the public domain.

Then all the topics that i learnt in my negotiation class came to my mind. Ramadoss is just trying to increase his leverage in the future negotiations for the number of contesting seats in the next Assembly and national elections. He is trying to show off to the future partnering parties that his best alternative to a negotiatied agreement(i.e. forming a third front) is not that bad and his party has all the capabilities to do that.

Sorry Dr. Ramadoss! I don't think J Jayalalitha or M Karunanidhi (or Stalin) would fall for such a trick. They also knew that you can never dream of forming a third front since teaming up with Vijayakanath (the present so-called third front) is next to impossible for you. And you don't have the guts for the same.
Who would like to lose his son's cabinet berth for some pipe dream???

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Microsoft Vs Google

David M Ewalt famously predicts in 'The Future', a new feature in Forbes Magaizine, that by 2017, Google will be regarded the same way as Microsoft is regarded today - bloated, monopolistic and oppressive. He also predicts that Google will be providing free internet and phone service across USA. (Read the article at David Ewalt on the Internet 2017)

On reading this, was reminded of the headlines in 2005-2006, when everybody were excited that there is somebody who is rising up as a competitor to Microsoft(Only hard core APPLE evangelists will believe that Macintosh was a competitor to Mircorsoft!). But when the quesion was put forth to Bill Gates, he famously retorted - IBM as Microsoft's Top rival.(Yeah! Microsoft has started rivalling IBM in bureaucracy in a technology company!), But the plates have reversed in a single year. Now nobody even asks that question because Google has clearly won the battle.

But interestingly, Google has done this not by some great technology(yeah. their search engine provided them a great starting point) but by intelligent management decisions - Going any length to attract best talent from competitors, Aggressive Acquistions, A Motivating vision - "To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". And Bill Gates is finding himself in the same position as IBM of 1980s & 1990s.

In 1980s, IBM knew that whatever stuff Microsoft did, they can do it in 2 weeks but they neither understood the business model nor their bureacy was able to react to challenge. Now, Microsoft too has the potential to do everything that Google does in 2 weeks but they too are not able to understand the business model of Google.


History Repeating itself? Disruptive Technology at Work??

Wanna Read More about the dying legacy of Microsoft???
Read from Scoble - Why doesn't Microsoft get the love

Update: It seems Google does not have to wait for 10 years to be called oppressive & bloated... Read Scoble's post deriding Google as only caring about big people - "Google Android - We want developers but"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Banker to the Poor

When the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 2006, some one would have surely asked what has the awardees - Mumhammad Yunus & Grameen Bank , done for World Peace. But Nobel Peace Prize committee rightly reasoned out that this Banker to the Poor has showed that alleviating poverty creates a world without conflicts - the real Peace. He showed to the world that MicroFinance or just giving access of credit to the poor could do a lot of wonders in reducing poverty. I never tried to understand "Micro finance" then because Finance was and still is out of my boundaries:). But when my intelligent peers at IIM Indore would throw questions about micro finance to all the finance company executives who visited the campus, i thought it as a business enterprise rather a social enterprise. But "Social Entrepreneurship" course, i am taking in Northeastern University not only changed my views but also made me to appreciate the efforts of this Nobel Peace Prize Winner. He has now entered the elite list of Nobel Peace Prize winners that I admire.

So when I came to know that Muhammad Yunus is in town and he is going to speak at Boston University, just rushed off today after the class to hear the man speak. One of the key things that showed up in his speech is his sincerity and his commitment to the cause that he believes in. While in India, we need Governments and Presidents to proclaim to us that by this year(as of now 2020 and i m sure in 2020 they would be saying 2030), Here is a single person proclaiming to the world that there would not be any poverty in Grameen families by 2030. Just got reminded of what I wrote in my earlier post in "In Service for Sight" about Dr.V

"Dr. V by his single-minded focus and vision has shown us what is possible for a single person to achieve individually in the land where we live in. Is it not possible the same way for us also, to do something that the world would take note of?

“Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream, you begin it;
Boldness hath genius, power, and magic in it,
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated.
Begin; and then the work will be completed. “


- Johann Wolfgang Goethe

P.S:
1. This Social Entrepreneurship course I am taking has started to shake my well laid out plans of entering the corporate world after my PGDM degree at IIM. Now I have an idea for social entrepreneurship project/enterprise.At present needing guts(a lot of them, actually) and conviction of my sincerity to the cause to start it.


2. Me having classes during Hillary Clinton's Visit to Northeastern University(Or Campaigning at NEU) means I missed the meeting... How much times do you have the next President of United States(!) right down your street?.. Hmm.. :(

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Hampshire - Nature at its Best

The only term you could coin New Hampshire during its Fall Season is "Nature at its Best". Columbus Day, being a holiday on a week end, I joined my church friends to another trip - this time to New Hampshire. The reason stated was "Breakfast". Yeah! Food at that place was great.. Yummy.. :) But the drive through the roads was the most exciting part. When my friends in U.S. and India said that "Visit New Hampshire in Fall Season" that too not once but in all their mails. I thought it would be nice. But i never thought that it would be a place where people would be forced to shove me inside the car to ride back to Boston.

Each tree with its different fall colors combining beautifully to produce the scintillating effect. (Sorry! I am not a poet or Sajeev. So bear my words trying to describe the effects). Once has to be there to understand how nature can convince you to stand there for eternity in a single second. Hmm. I was ready to give anything for not having that feeling of numbness and disappointment that hits you on entering the Boston, the beautiful concrete jungle. But Life has to go on.

P.S:
1. Was Unable to take photos because of the rains on Columbus Day.

2. Also Sorry for my inability to post 2nd annual Northeastern Underwear/Undie Run on October 13, 2007. Did not have my camera :).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Google Out'foxing' Competition

In my earlier post in August 2007 - 'Orkut Celebrates India's Independence Day', I predicted that Orkut would be losing its leadership position in Indian social networking websites to Facebook in a few years. I was convinced of this by the increasing popularity of Facebook and of the fact that Google was not reacting enough to meet Facebook challenge. But Surprise! Google is not lying down.

In the last few months(after my post), we have seen the revamping of the orkut website and now Google is getting ready to outfox(or should it be out 'open'??) Facebook. Yeah! Google is opening initially orkut and iGoogle to third party developers to take on the Facebook challenge. And from there they will slowly expand to Gmail, Google Talk and other Google services. Now, we have to wait for November 5, from when on we will start getting all the gadgets and applications we would loved to have in our orkut page but Google did not have the resources to provide it to us.

Read more about how "Google is planning to out open Facebook on November 5" in Techcrunch.

Not only that, Google is getting ready to take on "Twitter" Challenge too. Twitter (micro blogging) brought both blogging and social networking together by asking people to update regularly - "What are you doing". Now, Google has bought a Twitter- clone Jaiku to enter this new area that is getting rapidly famous. Read more about it in Jaiku's Blog - We 're joining Google.

If you are asking why does Google buying Jaiku or out opening Facebook is a major issue when they have a great & an unbeatable search engine?

Just find out which Google service has the most page views per day?

Is it search? No.
Blogger? No.
Google Maps? No.
Picasa? No.

So, what is it?

Orkut.

It makes sense that Google is aggressively entering social media space.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

On a Whale Trial

After the last weekend at the apple orchard, this week Ramesh & I decided to go for one of the whale watch tours. Mostly because one of the close relatives of Ramesh has suggested it to him. Anyway rather than doing our assignments[:(], we preferred the option. Friday, being the only common day on which Ramesh & I don't have classes, we thought we book the tickets on that day and also we could avoid the week end rush. But a full boat(more or less) caught me by surprise. And the reason was pretty simple - the trip is pretty awesome.

After spending some few minutes in the New England Aquarium(not worth a visit), we took our seats in Voyager III, the cruise boat that was taking us to the sea. Thanks for the helpful tip in the website that recommended us to bring a winterwear, I brought my jacket for the tour. It turned out to be a wise decision against my view that i am carrying an extra weight in this hot day. It became pretty cold, once we moved to the interiors of the ocean. After a hour travel, we had our first whale sighting. It was really a delight to see them at close quarters - especially the humpback whales diving, open feeding, tail splashing, ... right next to your boat. Surelly a Photographer's delight! After a few minutes, i lost count of number of whale sightings.

The boaf staff after spending a few minutes watching a few random whales, decided to take the matters in their own hand and started following a Whale pair. Oh! The next few minutes were great watching the whales without any fear for the foreign activity, coming up close to our boat. Was able to take a nice video of one such sighting of a whale that came so close to our boat.


In whole, it was pretty awesome and enjoyable trip to see such huge animals so near to you.. that too in their wild.

P.S: After the whale watching, my research(!) in wikipedia revealed it is a one billion dollar industry!!! Hmmm!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Apple Picking!?@#

Yeah! I would have been surprised too if somebody has said that i would go for apple picking(it should be called apple plucking.. at least according to my dictionary..)trip to an orchard. A New England tradition I was not even aware of, until my church friends invited me. Why lose out a chance to see the countryside when you have an opportunity???.. So my apple picking trail started, after the early morning church service, amidst the beautiful orchard. Different Varieties of apple are grown in different parts of the orchard and we are allowed to fill up a bag(bought at a price before starting the trail) with apples - that you choose and pluck from the trees. The main fun is choosing the best(Largest & red) apples that your eyes lay on. These apples are generally found only on the top of the trees. So it was fun climbing up and down.. of different trees and plucking up apples. Got reminded of my young days, when i used to climb the grand old guava tree in the home. After getting tired on eating apples, we made our way back, carrying a whole bunch of apples. On the whole, it was a fun weekend, away from Boston.

P.S: Hmmm... Slowly I am becoming a Bostonian... :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yoga and Christianity: Are they compatible




When NDTV news reported about "Two Church halls in U.K. banning Yoga", it might have been a shock for a few Indians. But for the Indian Christian community, it is something that has been under discussion for quite some time. (Though the Indian Catholic Church immediately expressed its displeasure of the decision of 2 church halls).

Both the proponents and opponents of Yoga in Christian community have their own reasons to believe in their stand. While the proponents talk about the multiple benefits of Yoga - e.g. one of my devout christian friends and the college chess captain explains how the breathing exercises of Yoga has helped him in Chess games by increasing his concentration. The opponents talk about the mutually exclusive view points of Yoga and Christianity about God, Man, Man's fundamental problem and its solution. Read for yourself why Yoga and Christianity are incompatible @ "Probe.org - Yoga and Christianity: Are they compatible".

But my first dash with Yoga was enough to take my own stand of keeping myself away from Yoga, in spite of its multiple benefits. "Surya namaskar", the first exercise that was taught to me, made me feel uncomfortable, just by its name. (Remember, it is a blasphemous thing for both Christians and Muslims to worship anything/anyone other than God). And i feel more uncomfortable at places where Yoga is made compulsory.

P.S: Major reason for writing this post is not to explore the compatibility of Yoga with Christianity, but just to remind that there may be a few among us who don't carry the same high opinion about Yoga as a lot of other Indians do.



Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My First Post from US Soil

It has been a week since I first set foot in this 'land of opportunities'. Bored with the 'busy' terms in IIM Indore, thought that studying in another college would provide you ample time to chill out. But the way the classes are progressing, I don't think I would get that much needed time to chill out. :(

But otherwise, it has been a great experience. Similar to 'priceless' ad campaigns of MasterCard, going through a lot of priceless moments that i would carry in my life.
  • Living in your own apartment - $1300/month but learning cooking under Ramesh and then cooking on your own - Priceless
  • Studying in a US B-School damn costly
    • But studying in a class in which the fairer sex are in the majority - Priceless
    • But studying in a class with people from different nations - Priceless
    • But chatting with Pakistani[conversation was mostly in Hindi.. :(] - Priceless
    • But window shopping the enormous number of well chosen books in Harvard Co-op Book Store - Priceless
    • But reading "Oh! Jerusalem", the book i have been searching for 3 years, that too for free - Priceless
Expecting to get a lot more "Priceless" moments in this short stay in Boston, U.S.A

Monday, September 03, 2007

New Term in a New Place

Next 3 and 1/2 months in Boston, USA... Going there as a part of International Student Exchange Programme to one of the 'Chota' colleges in Boston... Would have loved to post a long 'globe' post about how busy the last term was in IIM Indore and my travel to Boston... But got no time for that.. So Bye! and Future blogging from USA.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy Birthday! Madras!

We all have that one 'special' day when we get cakes, gifts & bumps... A day that was made special to a few of the people around us, just because of our birth... If we, the mortals deserve it, why not a city that is beloved by thousands? Don't know about other cities, but Madras(namma Chennai) surely deserves it. If you think so, don't forget to wish Madras & all Madras-ians tomorrow(August 22)

It is believed that on August 22, 1639, a sliver of land, where Fort St. George stands today, was transacted by the East India Company, laying the foundation of this great city, which has seen enormous growth in the last 368 years.

Madras! My hearty Birthday wishes!

Can read about 'The Madras Day' and various events happening around the theme in 'The Madras Day - Website'.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Google - Aggressive on Indian Market???


After enthralling the Indian users with the orkut polls and logo change, Google is now planning a lot of new gifts for the Indian Users. Today, they have posted in the Official Google Blog that they are going to come up with a lot of new products(gifts) for the Indian users. Coupling this with the recent Google roadshows they conducted for creating awareness among the SME sector(Read about it at Business Standard - Google Roadshows @ Ahmedabad), it means only one thing - Google has started taking Indian markets very seriously. So all Google Indian users, we have exciting times ahead of us!

Related Post: Orkut Celebrates India's Independence Day

Got to know about the Google's Planned gifts for Indian Users from Namaste India(A post in the official Google blog). Probably the recent India centric-focus may be driven by the projected market for revenue through Adwords.


60 Years of Indian Independence by a 20+ Young Indian


For a country which began its walk at midnight(thanks to its astrologers), India has done really well in all the fronts. Right from the day one, the country not only carried the hopes of all Indians(who are presently a billion strong) but also the hopes of thousand others who were still under the chains of bondage at that time. Now they look up to India for carrying the light of democracy among the liberated nations.

This 60th Independence day is very special since no wherever in the past days we were as optimistic as today about the future of India. Today, there were reports splashed all over the newspapers and talk shows in all the news channels about the sixty years of Independent India. 'The Hindu'(Paper of my choice) has brought a special supplement - 'Independent India at 60' with esteemed leaders of India, right from Dr. Manmohan Singh to Amartya Sen writing a column in it. Orkut for its part is conducting polls through its website. But these reports do not portray them from the eyes of a 20+ young Indian who has never seen the initial years . [Yeah! Found a niche for me to write]. So writing this post & list down the 3 most important events[3 so that i don't have to think hard :)] in these 60 years of independence for a 20+ young Indian.
  • Economic liberalization - I have never waited for 3 months to get my phone. I have never waited to get my chance to buy a scooter, television, etc. Thanks to economic liberalization that started in 1990s... Today, I am looking at a future prosperous India. "Everything works out for the good" atleast worked out during the economic crisis of 1991.
  • 1983 World Cup Victory - One that ultimately led to the domination of cricket over other sports - Even withstanding the onslaught of Patriotic sports heroes like Leander Paes, Leaders(No:1) like Viswanathan Anand, or even sportswoman with the 'babe' factor like Sania Mirza.
  • Babri Masjid - A Shame for India and A event that shook India... threatening the basic fabric - peace of India. Starting point of further mishapss like Gujarat riots, Mumbai Blasts, etc..
Thanks to amazing constitution that our forefathers were able to come up with(though it was mostly a Ctrl C+Ctrl V Job), democracy has flourished in India threatened, not even once by military. Our forefathers laid the foundation of a nation in which even the poorest of the poor believe that they have a voice. And our job is to make sure they never lose it..

Hope at the end of 70th Independence day, we not only would be standing on the threshold of joining the elite club of developed nations but also as a model for other nations to follow.

Jai Hind!

Related Post : Orkut-India Celebrates India's Independence Day

Friday, August 10, 2007

Orkut Celebrates India's Independence Day

With most of the A-list Blogger doting on Facebook, i thought it would soon replace orkut as India's most famous social networking website. Orkut may last as India's #1 social networking webstie for a few years, thanks to the first mover advantage. But surely not more than that since Google is not paying the required attention to this product which is not a major revenue earner in USA. Remember we have all seen just a few updates in the orkut right from the time we joined it.

But it seems the things are changing a little bit now. 4 Posts in the last ten days in the orkut Blog after months of inactivity. And one of them talking about India's Independence Day. Was pleasantly surprised to see orkut running a few polls about India's past and future to coincide with the India's 60th year of independence. So they are finally realizing the future competition on their hands, trying now itself to establish the emotional bond with the Indian customers.


Listing down the questions, the Orkut- India has chosen to conduct its polls. Click on the questions if you like to vote

Your favorite "Global" Indian is....
Which is the most popular movie since independence?
What should be the most important focus area for India during the next 10 years?
Will India be a permanent member of the UN Security Council by 2010?
Who is your favorite Indian fictional character?
India is synonymous with...


Related Posts: 60 Years of Indian Independence by a 20+ Young Indian

Got to know this from Orkut Blog - 60 Years of Independence- Tell Us What You Think!

Update: Can check out the results from the Orkut Blog - And the Winners are... [No Surprises there in the results... Except for the very low turnout for the polls - only around 15,000 people]

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

When Words Fail You....

No words can describe the sorrow the IIM - Indore family has gone through in the last 3 days. Two of our beloved friends - Nitesh & Neha are not with us any more. Thomas Campbell, a Scottish Poet once said,
"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die."

Though the choral river may have taken them from us , it would never take them from our hearts. Nitesh & Neha, You will always be living in our hearts.

In News
http://creativenits.blogspot.com/2007/08/when-hopes-died.html
http://nishantzworld.blogspot.com/2007/08/memories.html

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
~From a headstone in Ireland



Monday, July 30, 2007

GoodBye Harry Potter! The Boy who Lived!

It has been 10 years, since this ordinary looking boy with only a lightening scar to differentiate him, was introduced to us. A mere 7 years of his school life was enough to take us all through a roller coaster ride of happiness, sorrows & of course, endless debates.

Not by his skills, but by his magic he brought a frenzy among the kids & adults of today that has never been seen before. A magic that made kids & adults alike to wait for hours before the shops to get their first copy. A magic that had no counter curse not only in the Western World but all through the world. As an ultimate mark of his magic, today he has spawned an industry in the muggle world. A phenomenon with a minuscule chances of repeating itself. A Phenomenon that i am happy that it happened during my days of growing up.

A boy whom i am going to talk about, even during my grand old age(to my grand children!) - "Of how this boy took the world by storm". "Of how we waited for his books to be released". "Of the hundred forums we participated discussing his life". "Of the joy he gave us when we reach the final page of his books". "Of how he single-handedly showed the wizards & witches are also human". "Of how we all wanted to be a wizard, if not Harry Potter".

The boy who by his life @ Hogwarts made kids to look for their boarding school life that they hated until then. Finally the boy who showed that "Love transcends all magic". A boy who showed friendship, trust & loyalty are not just the values of a bygone era. A boy who got all the stardom(that all of us desire) but still desired a normal life. Good Bye! The Boy who lived! You lived not only in the books but also in our hearts!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Harry Potter - Questions (Un)answered

Most of us were left with a huge number of unanswered questions, even after finishing the book - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A few questions i had were:-
  • Where are Harry Potter& Ginny living - Grimmauld Place or Godric's Hollow?
  • What are Harry Potter, Ginny, Ron & Hermione doing for living?
  • Anything important happened in the intermediate nineteen years? Was there any more dark lords?
  • Who is the Present Headmaster at Hogwarts?
  • Are Neville & Luna married?
  • How did George Weasley coped with the loss of his twin-brother Fred Weasley? What happened to their shop?
  • ...................
Some of us would have even started forming our own answers to this question. Personally, I was really worried that i would never get (official) answers to these questions. Thanks to Rowling, an encyclopaedia that goes beyond the short epilogue of the book is due in a short time. Even in the recent interview to NBC, she revealed answers to a few of the questions of hard core 'Harry Potter' fans. Read the entire transcript of the interview @ Harry Potter - Final Chapter.

Some information we came to know through the programme...
Harry, along with Ron, is working at the Auror Department at the Ministry of Magic, and after all these years, Harry is now the department head. And Hermione is pretty 'high up' in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement(No surprises there!). Yeah! Contradicting the scene with Scrimgeour in Deathly Hallows.
Hogwars Head Master - A New Person.
Neville & Luna are not a pair.

After the long wait for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" got over, another wait for the Harry Potter Encyclopaedia begins... J K Rowling! Surely u r a great marketing ***** :(


Related Posts: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Spoiler + Book Review'

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Talent Nite @ IIM Indore

Talent Nite '07 took place on July 15, 2007. A rocking performance by PGP-1(No surprises there). Read about it at IIM Indore Group Blog. [Yeah! IIM Indore Students' Blog is alive and back]. Add the feed-Life at IIM-I to your feed reader for continuous updates on Planet-I.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Leaked


Surpassing all my expectations, Harry Potter(e-book) is out 3 days before the official release. The only disappointment about the book is that it never betrays the expectations and predictions of die hard fans. Was really pleased to see that most of the predictions of mine coming true. [Read my predictions - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows].


Spoilers follow:
  • Snape is not evil. In fact Snape lived near to Lily Potter and loved her dearly.[Snape was the one who informed Lily Potter, a muggle born that she is a wizard. Until the day Snape called her 'Mudblood', there existed a very warm friendship between two of them.]
  • As predicted, R.A.B. is Regulus Black
  • No 'Gandolf' Business. Dumbledore & Sirius Black are dead.[The book portrays death as not a very bad thing. Rowling heavily borrows from the Christian notion of resurrection and the wisdom of accepting our own inevitable disintegration and decay.]
  • Dumbledore's Biography is given the maximum coverage.
  • Harry is infact a Horocrux i.e. He carries a part of soul of Lord Voldermort making him the senventh horocrux. Though Voldermort never realizes that.
  • Deathly Hallows - Elder Wand + Resurrection Stone + Invisibility Cloak
    • Elder Wand - A Wand nobody could defeat(Incidentally Dumbledore possessed it]
    • Resurrection Stone - Gaunt's Ring
    • Invisibility Cloak - We all know who has it
  • The final battle between Order of the Phoenix & Death Eaters take place at Hogwarts. Harry Potter did not kill Voldermort. Voldermort's killing curse rebounds killing him this time... for ever.
  • Neville LongBottom becomes the Professor at Hogwarts from Harry Potter's Batch... [Hope the subject he would be teaching is not hard to guess]
  • Lots of killings in the book that u would lose count who dies and who lives at the end
  • Epilogue ends with Harry-Ginny, Ron-Hermione and Malfoy's children going to Hogwarts[The one chapter that J.K. Rowling said that she has wrote in the beginning itself]
Best of the Book:
The first half is too good. Especially J.K. Rowling using nuggets of information that she has mentioned long before in other books to carry the story along.. [e.g. the wand maker of Krum - Gregorovitch]

Worst of the Book:
The second half is pretty ordinary and goes along the expected lines. As I went near the climax, i start even doubting that J.K. Rowling could have written that. For all we know, J.K. Rowling could have visited a few fansites and wrote the second half of the book. [Yeah.. knowing the most of the stuff before we read the book, kills the fun... ]

But thinking back, there is no better way that Rowling could have ended the book. Realized it on reading - "An inevitable ending to Harry Potter Series - Baltimore Sun".

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Movie Review


Ah! My first movie review in this blog... :)

Being an avid fan of the 'Harry Potter books', the only reason I went to the movie is to check - how much of my imagination of the story matches with the director's version. Thankfully the director has done a very good job - by not missing most of the important scenes in the novel and by not providing a word-by-word rendition of the novels.

Except for the scenes(in the novel) of tension between the members of the Order of the Phoenix - especially the one in which Mrs. Weasley would protest against saying the important matters happening at Headquarters - 12 Grimmauld Place to children, most of the other important scenes were there in the movie.

Few Important Observations
  • On seeing Harry Potter teaching the other students of D.A. reinforced my doubts that Harry Potter would finally end up as "Defense Against Dark Arts" teacher at Hogwarts.
  • Interestingly, no mention about Sirius Black's Brother - Regulus Black. J.K. Rowling, who was adamant that Kreacher should appear in this movie, has not given similar attention to Regulus. This could mean only one thing for me. We have to start looking at other places for R.A.B. Also no mention about the locket in 12 Grimmauld Place
Waiting to see the movie once again to really see the "movie"...

And with the movie looking good, my expectation for the book has also sky-rocketed.. July 21! Plz. come fast....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sambhar Night @ IIM Indore

To explain Sambhar Night, I have to travel back a year down in my memory lanes...

Flashback. zhig..

It was the first time that I have been outside TamilNadu for such a long time. That too, Indore being a God forsaken place, did not offer much to a foodie. And one month into IIM Indore, my mouth has started watering on just hearing the names of the South Indian Dishes i grew up with - Idli, Dosa, sambhar, rasam, etc. Then one fine day, PGP2 guys got the wisdom and decided to take us-PGP1 to a Tamil Mess - SICA around 20kms from IIM Indore... They said it is a tradition at IIM Indore among tamils..

That day I understood, how simple & common food that u grew up with can become the 'Amirtham'[Elixir in tamil] of your life. I still remember the fulfilment i had after the meals that made me look double my size.

Flashback Over.. Back to Colour Screen..

And the tradition continues... Sambhar Night 07' took place on July 7. And another batch of IIM Indorians got to savour the taste of amazing Tamil Food at SICA, Indore.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Blogging Addiction???

65%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?


Yeah! Ofcourse! I dont trust this result from a survey of 14 questions... But still liked the innovative idea(of using a survey to utilize the humans' attraction to flaunt his addictions) to drive traffic to his 3 month old online dating website. Not only that, but also hoping that this would eventually help in the site's increase in the search page rankings) :-)

Hmm..

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hiding Navbar in New Blogger

As I promised in the post - "Tinkering with my Blog", here is a first of the posts under the category - 'how i did it?'

For removing the navbar just add the following lines anywhere in your Blogger template[Dashboard-->Layout/Template-->Edit Html] and the blogger banner will be gone forever.

<style>
#navbar-iframe {

height:0px;
visibility:hidden;
display:none;
}
</style>

Just make sure that this code is pasted somewhere inside <body> and </body> tags.

For more hacks to remove the navbar in the New Blogger, please visit "How to hide Navbar in New Blogger" by Amit Agarwal.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Tinkering with My Blog

For the last few days, I have started tinkering with this blog's code a little bit.

For the people who have earlier visited this blog, you can notice the following things
1. Blogger Navbar at the top is gone for the good
2. There is a new sidebar sprouting at the left hand side of the blog
3. Google Adsense Ads are right inside the blog posts

Will try to explain 'How I did it?" in the next one or two posts...

P.S: It was very easy and there are enough step-by-step guidelines available in the internet for each of them.

.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

'Blogs I Never Miss' in My Feed Reader

First to all greenhorns, A feed reader, is a client software or a Web Service which aggregates syndicated web content such as news headlines, blogs, podcasts, and vlogs in a single location for easy viewing. For more about feed reader, can read it in Wikipedia - Web Feed Aggregrator. I came to know about them when one of my friends - Sreeram introduced me to Google reader and thereafter it has always been a love-love relationship between me and Google reader. It helped me to follow up a lot of blogs, even leading me to be the first commenter in most of the blogs. :) Slowly, It established itself as the first thing that i would open in my computer in the morning.

Now to the five Blogs I would never miss in Google Reader[Not in any particular order. Left out all the friends' blog since i do not want to bring my personal prejudice into this]

1. "How to change the World" by Guy Kawasiki - With the network he has developed, Kawasiki just brings so much value to each of his posts.

2. "Balaji's Thots" by Balaji Balasubramaniam, a California-resident Tamil Indian - His narrative style of writing is great and that too writing about a matter close to my hearts - Tamil Movies - this means i lap up each of his posts. But it is a 'No-Entry' Zone for Non-Tamils.

3. "Kiruba"by Kiruba Shankar - The first person i have come to admire just from reading his posts. As someone who has established himself in the Indian Blogging community, you can learn a lot about blogging & internet from his posts. Regular unconferences and various meetings arranged by him is one of the key reasons "I want to be there" in Chennai.

4. "Digital Inspiration" by Amit Agarwal - Though not all the posts are useful, u get to use atleast a few of them.

5. "Chennaiist - It's all about your city" - Again something I read because of the connections I have with this wonderful city. Thanks to this blog, I get to know more about it than its city dwellers.

As some one who is just six months old into the blogging community, I know i am still missing a lot of other interesting blogs. If u know any, ur suggestions are welcome..

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I have a new hero and her name is Mika Brzezinski

We always love to see the movies in which the hero stands his ground against the might of the villian[since we never had the guts to do so]... But if something like that happens in real life, I believe it is the duty of the cowards like me to salute these rare heroes. Mika Brzezinski, an experienced newscaster and journalist - is one such person who stood up against the Mighty.

What did she do?
She stood her ground and refused to read her segment's lead news item on Paris Hilton on live citing that it does not deserve to be the leading news item. Clips of her shredding the script were the lead item on the Technorati search, while the blogosphere is alight with praise of her. (FYI - Paris Hilton is one of the most searched terms in Google).

Read the whole news here - 'I have a new hero and her name is Mika Brzezinski'. Waiting to see Mika Brzezinski of 'Times of India'...

P.S - Thanks Govar for the news.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Desktop Tower Defense - One more Game Worth Getting Addicted to...

Today when i dozed off in the class room, the images of creeps with decreasing lives - moving through the maze came alive before my eyes.. [Even now(while typing), I am seeing them in the middle of the editor]. No Deja Vu or Trance. Just the effects of playing another addictive computer game - Desktop Tower Defense all through the night.

Desktop TD is a fun flash based puzzle / strategy game where you have to protect your desktop from invaders by spending money on attacking pieces and building a maze for them to follow. Strangely addictive yet stress relieving... Just try and find out how many levels can you survive?.. I am still struck up at 'Hard' Mode.


Goal: Creeps enter from the top and from the left. You must stop them from reaching the other side or you will lose lives. You start with 20 lives, and when they are gone the game is over. Towers are used to attack creeps and also to block their path.

If you have never played a Tower Defense before try the Quick Start Tutorial.


For those new to the DTD game, here's how Rafe at CNet describes it:

Our desk is under attack by invaders coming from both land and air. Your only solution? Defend it at all costs, using tiny turrets. Fight off waves and waves of attackers that get more challenging with each onslaught. Use your victory winnings to fortify and buy more defensive units. Losing this battle means losing your humanity.


Another interesting game sure to make you addictive. If you want to scold somebody for introducing this game(that made you to lose precious time), put a word in "Desktop Tower Defense 1.5 leaves the building" who introduced the game to me. :)

P.S: You can't download Desktop Tower Defense offline - the Flash swf file requires an active net connection.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Week that Was - 'Record Breaking' [Shivaji & Campus Placement]

Shivaji, the Craze

"Where are they releasing Shivaji @ Tirunelveli?". This was the first of the series of questions that i bombarded the autowallah who was taking me home after my 2 month internship at Pune. Not only me, the whole Tamil blogging world has been set on fire with the pre-release Rajini mania. Even the English news channels were not able to keep this important news(!) from their headlines.. [Surprisingly such extensive coverage of 'Shivaji' was not even seen on any of the Tamil channels.. :)].. Just the fact that a Tamil Movie 'Shivaji' was able to make the whole India sit up and take notice of it - amounts to a record breaking incident for me. Add to that, the following record breaking achievements by 'Shivaji, the boss' in Tirunelveli
  • First time, a movie is getting released in 3 theatres in Tirunelveli.. [Do you want any more proof that Tirunelveli is a city????]
  • 50 lakhs was the amount paid by the theatres in Tirunelveli
  • Official rate of First Day, First Show Tickets - Rs. 1000/- [Just reminded of the famous Periyar comment - "There are fools everywhere"]
  • 'Daru' was not available in any of the wine shops in Tirunelveli on June 17th & 18th. [Everything was bought by the Rajini fans. Truly A Rajini Movie release = 10 times Diwali for Rajini fans]
Jobs rain at Anna University

While the media was going gaga over 'Shivaji', jobs have started raining at Anna University, Chennai [comprising of 3 colleges CEG, A.C.Tech & MIT]. Out of 2300 students elgibile for the Placement process, around 1006 were placced in the first company - Tata Consultancy Services. It has now become a practice for Anna university students to set up the 'Record for Highest Single Day Placement in a college campus' for that academic year in India. Present Batch has also maintained that reputation by beating the last year Highest of around 800 offers in CTS in Anna university. Read about "TCS' record recruitment at Anna University".