Friday, December 30, 2005

Ending the year on a high note

Year 2005 has been remarkable for me in many ways. Both personally and professionally I have tasted both success and failures. Here I am trying to be more pragmatic in accepting the failures.

In terms of blogsphere, I had a 'joshful' year. I had been bloging through the year capturing vivid memories of happenings, thoughts and perspectives. It is quiet eventful to end the year on a high note, look at the graph to see for yourselves.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

slap on the face of politicians

Infosys chief and mentor Narayana Murthy while delivering his alumni address at NIT bangalore, delivered slur against the inexplicable corrupt politicians of the state.

Link to rediff article

The highlight of the address is the stat
"Indians, the chief mentor of the Nasdaq-listed IT major said, spent over Rs 21,000 crore (Rs 210 billion) in bribes and illegal payouts in 2004 -- close to one per cent of the country's GDP."

Could our mighty politicians who trumpet their own virtues answer this one?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Tamizh Murasu

"Tamizh Murasu" is the new tamil evening news paper from Sun TV group. Sun TV and all their associate channels are doing major ad campaign for this eveninger. In the recent times it has been under the controversy of blowing out the chennai relief stampede death victim number out of propotion.

The ad campaign for this paper shows people reading the paper while traveling back from work in a (uncrowded) Pallavan bus (seeing such a lightly crowded bus is quiet impossible). Though I could not imitate to that extent.. at the least I read it along the streets in TNagar area of chennai. Photo courtesy by Arun.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Addiction to Coffee

The smell of the roasted coffee beans is very hard to resist. Though I try to keep my addiction to coffee as low as possible but sometimes the smell turns me down. I had to resist myself getting addicted to coffee as more caffeine leads to migraine.

For the past few weeks I am breaking the rule at least once. I see a very bleak chance of avoiding coffee in the days to come.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Grunt work at MS

Via plaxoed

An excerpt from a post relating to work done by a college hire in MS

I've seen many college hires at Microsoft put into positions where they are taking care of build scripts, fixing bugs in code they didn't write, and setting up test machines - basically doing the "grunt work".

This answers the question that I had in my mind for a long time. It also raises another question, who really does the core work?

Contribution to NGO

Depending on the government to do good things or improve infrastructure is not going to materialize. Even public private partnerships initiated by the Karnataka gov is faltering. The best example is the Bannerghatta road where the relaying of the whole road has started with gov and private constructions partnering. But the work has stopped in between and the whole road is again a mess.

NGOs has done a great amount of good work for the benefit of the society and people. I feel that some NGOs could also take up the work of building infrastructure in cities. In order to pool money for such noble cause, the citizens should have privilege to contribute a part of their taxes to the NGO of their choice. That way there will be much more accountability to the tax money that we pay and much more transparency in the work that has been carried out in our tax money and better infrastructure.

The million dollar question is whether the gov and politicians agree to this?

If by all wonder this happens, how are going to prevent corrupt politicians by starting NGOs on their surrogate names?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Posting from desktop posting tool

via plaxoed

I just read about w.bloggar in a post by Mark Jen. Thought of trying though I had skepticism whether Blogger will be supported. It is cool... blogger has exposed a set of predefined APIs for these kind of desktop posting applications and w.bloggar perfectly implements it.

This pretty app gives us control to draft and store the posts even when you are not connected. Once you get connected, you can upload the posts in a click. Quiet awesome.

Need to try how this copes with photos.

Monday, December 12, 2005

On the verge of loosing credibility

I had been to chennai over the weekend to attend a friend's marriage. We made this trip even with the forecast of cyclone "Funoos" making a land fall on Saturday between Chennai and Nagapattinum and prediction of heavy rainfall on the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu.

Sun TV has been showing footages of flood ravaged chennai for the past few weeks stating that major parts of the city has been marooned with flood water. Sun News channel showed raining footage on Friday evening. These footages gave us jitters as there was an imminent cyclone waiting to hit and we need to make sure that we return to bangalore on Monday.

I was quiet relieved when I landed in chennai to see that the main parts of city was pretty dry. There were hardly any water logging and felt that even if it rained heavy for the next day or so, there should not be any problem for us. Luckily the Rain God gave the much needed respite to chennai with very little showers on the next two days.

In my perspective, Sun TV has blown these flood related incidents out of proportion. They have created huge hype as if Chennai is under water and the state gov has turned deaf ears towards these pressing issues.

This is not the first time that the Sun TV network does this mistake. Yesterday, Sun TV showed a flash news stating that there was a major bomb explosion in London which has been extensively covered in their evening news paper "Tamil Murasu". In a short while most of the news channels reported that the explosion was in a oil depot with no casualties reported. In order to publicize and sell their news paper, such hypes are created. Sun TV is quiet on the verge of loosing their credibility !

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What do you watch in TV?

From 8:30pm to 10:00pm every week day is the prime time for TV channels when the viewership is maximum. During this period, tamil cable TV channels show up their addicting mega-serials. The channels come up with their best, to hook the viewers to their channel and maximize ad revenue. I guess the ads shown during these prime times are booked at max cost per second.

Of all the tamil channels Vijay TV some how doesn't understand this simple logic. They show unattractive and stupid programs during these periods except for a mega serial by name "Ethu ooru kadhal kadhai" in the slot of 8:30pm to 9:00pm.

Sun TV captures the whole viewership by hosting some variety programs for 8:30 to 9:00pm slot and with "Kolangal" during 9:00 to 9:30pm slot and with "Selvi" during 9:30 to 10:00pm slot. Most of the households are hooked on to these mega serials. Even our house inmates are hooked recently to these serials as there is no other good programs to watch at that time.

Some facts to ponder about mega-serials:
  • Even if you miss a couple of episodes, you won't feel the gap.
  • The whole story can be told within a A4 sheet
  • The whole story revolves around a central character/cast
  • All situations and turning points affect only the central character.
  • As expected the central character comes out in flying colors at the end
  • Off late most of the central characters are being done by women (best way to hook the households)

Before we started with these tamil mega-serials we use to watch "Full House" played by Zee English. In recent days we have turned to tamil mega-serials, donno when it is gonna make us boredom.

Monday, December 05, 2005

KPN monopoly and pathetic customer service

KPN Travels India Ltd is one of the most prominent night service travels that connects Bangalore to almost every other place in Tamil Nadu. Though there are quiet a few other travels (Sharma, Conti, GokulRaj, etc) they do not provide connectivity to the extent KPN provides. It is fair to say that KPN is a monopoly operating regular night bus service to various places from and to Tamil Nadu. For those who are not familiar with KPN, it is something similar to GreyHound services in US.

With the IT boom, KPN has also grown over the period of time. With their business flourishing and growing leaps and bounds and with no competition in the field they had started taking advantage of the situation.

Firstly the ticket charge is very hefty compared to train charges. There is no control over the ticket charges and the customers are left to the mercy of the management. They have kept revising the rates often. For instance, three years ago, the ticket fare to Erode from Bangalore is Rs 190 (distance is 280 kms). Now it stands at Rs 250. Train fare is just 180 Rs. And during festival times when most of the people move to their hometowns, you need to really haggle around for the tickets as the cost skyrockets abnormally.

Secondly they never manage time properly. You would be asked to report at a particular time and the bus will arrive to pick you up an hour or so later. Until then you need to wander aimlessly on the pavements along the road or wait in the dungeon that KPN madiwala provides. For instance this week I was made to report at 11:00 pm and the bus arrived at 12:00 am. One hour I had to stand on the pavements.

Thirdly they do not have any proper hassle free arrangements to enable customers board the bus. Since there are umpty buses leaving for different places at the same time, it is left to customers responsibility to go and find their own buses. KPN management doesn't provide you either a boarding pass with bus number or other means to properly identify a bus, nor there are any public announcement to help the inconvenience. It is always a mystery. This has let many passengers missing their buses for which management claims no responsibility.

Fourth, they have very little respect for the customers as they are under the pretext that even if one turns away, there are much more unsavy customers to pick up the seats. This happened to me over the last week. My seat was in the last row and behind my seat in the empty space they have filled luggages in such a way that I cannot push-back my seat. Even after complaining to the ticket checker, nothing really happened. They did not even mind if one shouts.

I have seen unruly scenes almost every time I travel through KPN for one reason or the other. It is a total pathetic service worth nothing for the big bucks you spend. I have made up my mind to move away and I swear that I will not travel by KPN here after. I knew a couple of my friends keep up this promise for quiet a while. It is time to move on and teach them a hard lesson.