Friday, December 18, 2009

The computer defeated me yesterday

Things I learnt and realised in a futile quest that lasted well over 3 working hours.

1) An Atom processor is frustrating you're trying to use Dragonnaturally speak 10. You need a good processor to get it to work well without lag.
Todo: try to pawn off netbook for a heavy duty replacement.
2) Google search is not that great if you are looking for tech support. The forums are full of pointless and obvious blather, keyword optimisation has beaten meaning, coherence, and relevance.
3) HP's online product and driver support is fairly detailed, but not helpful. Lots of words, very little solutions. Driver support is unreliable .
3a) HP had a battery recall program recently, but it doesn't cover the laptop I am using, which more than a year old and has a battery life of 5 minutes.
3a)HP Pavilion DV2519TU, like many other products of theirs, has a peculiar problem that has no solution: You cannot plug a mic headset into the DV2519TU if you are trying to use it for voice recognition. The laptop's built-in mic is no good for VSR. No amount of fiddling in V's sound settings is going to help you fix this either. A reoriented windows UI makes pine for Windows XP.
The connexant HD smart audio 221 has 25 MB driver updates that do not alleviate this problem.
Your best bet is to use a bluetooth headset, or get an external USB sound card. I got one for rs 200. Which is what I did this morning.
And now I am sorted.

Friday, November 20, 2009

TED Inversions

Ideas worth spreading
from a walled garden

I am not a person
there is no you or me
We are all the same

The minds on the margin
are not marginal minds,
Only businessmen with
margins on their mind?

Write the code
that fits the world
Use a checklist
but do it any way

Write your obituary
before your CV

If the penny has dropped
your balls will soon.

Don't chase the paperwork,
Chase the dream,
The paperwork will
chase your dreams
and fuck your scenes

So stick your middle finger up
and say that I am one.

Wear a cap or a pope-hat
and do what needs done

And dont you fret
If you didn't make
any friends at TED

you can always be
a laughing Buddha
going alpha on the web

P.S. Wear sunscreen :"D

Retweeting what VS Ramachandran, Sadhguru Vasudev, Anil Gupta, David Pogue, Derek Spiers,
Devdutt Patnaik, Horst Rechelbacher, Kavita Ramdas, and Bob Thurman have said previously at TED.

As a net junkie and tech journalist, I consider myself a bit ahead of the curve in many respects, but TED India has given me five ideas that I'm fired up about. Has your penny dropped?

Talks from TED India will slowly trickle out into the information ether. The walled garden only seats 800, those who got in, through money, influence, jugaad, or merit have a major headstart.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Scenes from Mahabharata: Thus spake duryodhana

Got a whole bunch of sweet smelling Amar Chitra Katha comics from Bangalore. This stuff is off the hook.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Qualities of an antisocial entrepreneur

Hates people
is an elitist
probably a nerd
and ugly as sin
Or he could be
rich as sin
who gives lip service
while squeezing
employees, ecosystems,
enforcing patents
and copyrights

Context: Someone asked me to define an antisocial entrepreneur.

Quote hunt for syncretic polymaths

Quote hunting for this one particular paragraph, i think it's an american president, who says every man should know how to to architect and build a house, navigate using the stars, grow food a farm, start an industry. It's a vague recollection, but rousing.

Some quotes that I found during that search:

I have learnt to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favor which bring him into it.

Mankind naturally and generally love to be flatter'd
: Whatever sooths our Pride, and tends to exalt our Species above the rest of the Creation, we are pleas'd with and easily believe, when ungrateful Truths shall be with the utmost Indignation rejected. "What! bring ourselves down to an Equality with the Beasts of the Field! with the meanest part of the Creation! 'Tis insufferable!" But, (to use a Piece of common Sense) our Geese are but Geese tho' we may think 'em Swans; and Truth will be Truth tho' it sometimes prove mortifying and distasteful.

  • As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.
These names of virtues, with their precepts, were:
  • 1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

The most fortunate of us, in our journey through life, frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us; and, to fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes, should be one of the principal studies and endeavours of our lives. The only method of doing this is to assume a perfect resignation to the Divine will, to consider that whatever does happen, must happen; and that by our uneasiness, we cannot prevent the blow before it does fall, but we may add to its force after it has fallen. These considerations, and others such as these, may enable us in some measure to surmount the difficulties thrown in our way; to bear up with a tolerable degree of patience under this burthen of life; and to proceed with a pious and unshaken resignation, till we arrive at our journey's end, when we may deliver up our trust into the hands of him who gave it, and receive such reward as to him shall seem proportioned to our merit. Such, dear Page, will be the language of the man who considers his situation in this life, and such should be the language of every man who would wish to render that situation as easy as the nature of it will admit. Few things will disturb him at all: nothing will disturb him much.

There are no iPhone killers sadly, only iPhone clones that aren't Apple branded

What's with all this killing business anyway. There will be no killing from now on.
Businessmen like to sit under a banyan tree and trade, stay rooted.
Also the Droid's keyboard sucks apparently, and the battery life is not that great.

I find satisfaction in killing mosquitoes though.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

nVidia's TEGRA chipset is revolutionary

Here's a story I filed for Mumbai Mirror yesterday. I met nVidia co-founder along with our band of geeks from Digit, Tech2, Techtree, and Stuff.

Power-saving chipset to make waves in CES


MUMBAI: The revolutionary chipset that powers the Microsoft Zune HD will be seen in a variety of mobile computing devices at next year’s Consumer Electronics Show, said Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and President of nVidia at a press conference in Mumbai.
“This is the future of computing. Keep an eye for it on CES.” said Jen-Hsun Huang, adding that Tegra-based e-book readers, smartphones,

netbooks, and thin clients would be released by January, which is when CES is held each year. nVidia had a touch-based tablet, a smartbook and a variety of portable media players based on the processor on display at the event.
Powered by an 800 MHz ARM CPU, the Tegra chipset crams an HD video, imaging, audio and a low-power GPU. Basically an entire computer-on-a-chip the size of a RAM stick, it claims to be 10 times more power efficient than current market offerings.
“The beauty of low power design is that the form factor can be exquisite.” said Jen-Hsun Huang.
“We wanted to create a computer that is as good at 1/50th the power.” He said of the chip, which took 5 years and half a billion dollars of R&D to build.
Exploiting nVidia’s strength in graphics capabilities, the Tegra chipset can stream HD video. Comparing an Ion-based netbook with an Atom processor to the Tegra, he said that while the former consumed a total power of 17 watts, the Zune HD consumed only 300 milliwatts. “If you put Tegra on a netbook, it would have battery life of about a week.”
“The Zune is the first of some 50 projects that we are working on. We have introduced all kinds of devices to carriers around the world.” he added.

I asked him about how he was going to deal with the 800 pound gorilla of the scene - Intel, and if he was concerned if their technology was likely to be suppressed, just like the nVidia Ion, which took a long time to get through to the channels.

He started talking about the Anti-trust lawsuit decision yesterday between Intel and AMD. Some of the quotes he gave are just too exciting to not share. I'll transcribe the best parts of the interview later during the week.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A TED India link worth sharing

In less than 36 hours, an international clique of 40 boffins, raconteurs, artists, and technocrats will assemble at the Infosys campus in Mysore to give an 18 minute talk which for many, will be the speech of their life.

The format tries its best to be some kind of a band-aid for a generation of Twitter-addled fragmented minds, and has it’s own Ten Commandments, asking of its speakers not to trot out the usual marketing schtick -- no sales pitches or selling from the stage, but to dream a great dream, and dazzle the audience with something never seen or shared before.

The event, known as TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) was popular around in the Silicon Valley circles for two over decades, but it wasn’t until 2006, when it offered talks of the speakers online, free for download with a Creative Commons license, that the brand went viral.

TED’s popularity owes much to the zest and energy of its videos – a combination of rhetorical discourse, laptop-powered techno-wizardry, slides and visualisations, all told with wit and clarity of mind.

TED’s online videos have been streamed over 100 million times, and India, country-wise, polls the second most number of viewers, says the event’s co-founder, Chris Anderson. “The speakers are compelled to think about the most important thing they could say. The format translates well over the Internet, which is far more fragmented in its attention span.”

The most popular videos hosted by the site include the Sixth Sense augumented reality demo by MIT whiz-kid Pranab Mistry, Steven Pinker’s lecture on the myth of violence which argues that we are living in the most peaceful time of our species’ existence, and Hans Rosling’s lecture, told in the style of a TV weatherman that narrates how the whole of humanity, third world included, is getting more educated, rising out of poverty, and seeing greater life expectancy.

This does not imply that TED looks only at the bright side of life. TED Talks have had a few fairly animated speakers who have criticised the suburban sprawl (the speaker calls it the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world), the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (how seas of drifting plastic eventually form small islands the Pacific ocean), and industrialised food (in which the speaker examines the nexus between government subsidies to the agro industry and the resulting drop crop diversity in Western diets.)

The event will also showcase the work of 103 TED Fellows, visionaries born or working in South Asia. TEDIndia Fellows are, according to Web site, “A diverse group of men and women... Engineers, environmental scientists and pollution experts, human-rights activists, musicians, athletes and filmmakers.”

Still with me? Here’s the link worth sharing then.

You can see speakers live from TED India event at
You will be able to see opening and closing sessions, of TED India, to be held at the Infosys campus in Mysore on November 5'th and 7'th.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Jalaneti irrigation

The winter brings allergies and asthma attacks to those in cities, I live in one where I can see hills being detonated into gravel everyday, with huge clouds of dust emanating from them.

I tried out Jalaneti with a neti pot and some warm salt water, it's a very pleasurable feeling, and helped me get rid of this prickly sensation on the inside of my nose.

I highly recommend it.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Synergy: Cause one keyboard and mouse oughta be enough for anyone

Share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware.

This software has been around since 2005, it's a tragedy that I have known of it only now, but in case you haven't, have a go at it, by all means.

Synergy 2 is truly the best of things. It's free, open source, and is operating system agnostic. Which is to say that you can switch your keyboard and mouse across a Mac and a PC, or use your MAC's keyboard and mouse to type on your PC, and then flip back to the MAC in a quick flash.

Netbooks, laptops, desktop PCs,. Sometimes, people have one of each. It's best when all of these are working in sync, if you've got them all on your workdesk. If you ever wanted a wireless keyboard and had a laptop, this thing saves you the trouble of getting one.

In my case, I have a 12" netbook with an amazing keyboard, and when I want to do something on my desktop PC, like change the song on the playlist, or write this blog post while eased out and reclined on my couch, I can do that, thanks to Synergy.

Download link:

Friday, October 23, 2009

For an untangled web, you need Mozilla Weave

The Firefox awesome bar is one of the most coolest features on the browser, you don't have to remember or bother bookmarking everything zealously anymore, Firefox remembers.

Mozilla Weave takes this a step further across multiple PCs, remembering what you browsed on your desktop PC on your netbook or laptop. This really simplifies and unifies your browsing experience.

From the web site:
It currently supports continuous synchronization of your bookmarks, browsing history, saved passwords and tabs, as well as form-field history and preferences. For example:
  • Get the same results on the Smart Location Bar on each of your Firefox browsers, so you can get to your favorite sites with just a few keystrokes
  • Continue what you were doing: have the ability to open any tab you have open on any of your Firefox browsers
  • Keep the same list of bookmarks on all of your Firefox browsers
  • If you use Personas, your currently selected Persona can be synchronized across your Firefox browsers
  • Easily sign in to all your favorite sites using your saved passwords (this is especially handy on mobile phones, where it’s hard to type in complex passwords)
  • Do it all securely: Weave Sync encrypts user data before uploading it to Mozilla’s servers, so that only you can access your data

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Please do not spit here

While travelling on Mumbai's local train metro network is a pretty depressing experience overall, it's decrepit stations just add an extra dimension of horror to it. Of the three railway lines, I recommend the tourist/urban explorer a ride through the Harbour line, which connects New Bombay to Mumbai City for an authentic Salaam Bombay/Slumdog experience. It offers an olfactory experience that includes gutters, feces, burnt plastic and garbage.

Of all the stations, Kurla station, which connects Mumbai's suburban commuters stands out as one of the most darkest, depressing, blacked out spots in the Mumbai Map. TOI's got a story in the morning paper that cites:

unmanageably massive crowds,
crowded market areas
hawkers and beggars
dirty and foul smelling toilets
limited ticket windows

This may be news to some, but it's been that way for more than the ten years that I've been travelling through it. When doing a job in Andheri, getting down at Kurla station and taking a bus to Saki-Naka was like going through a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Like all other Mumbai stations it disregards commuter health and dignity entirely, covered in asbestos roofs, and years of calcified pan and gutkha spittle.

Wikipedia says:

Asbestos can be toxic. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma (a type of malignant neoplasm dependent mostly from exposure to asbestos),[citation needed] and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis). Since the mid 1980s, the European Union and most developed countries have banned asbestos.[citation needed]. Since January 1 2005 the European Union has banned all types of utilization of asbestos Directive 1999/77/EC and extraction, manufacture and processing of asbestos products Directive 2003/18/

New Bombay's stations were quite nice when they started out, but they're slowly being spat and shat on.
I think nothing signaled malign intent better than a toilet sign, which is at a height of around 12-15 feet, hung from the ceiling in Vashi. The board says Toilet, in Helvetica, yellow and black. Some gutkha eater had spat on this board, leaving a nice juicy thick blotch in the middle of it.

The elevator that connects Vashi station to the Infotech Park is lined with red gutkha stains on all corners, I saw half a dozen mosquitoes hovering menacingly, hitching a ride, the oil greating the overhead fan had leaked and sprayed all the walls with a sticky black oil that had embalmed several of their forefathers.

I was wondering why public property had been abused to this extent, when a friend remarked that the Income Tax collection office was on a certain floor of the Infotech park!

I saw a toll booth on the way to Lonavala with a sign that said "Please do not spit here."

I felt both sympathy and mirth for an employee who leaves a note sticking out of his booth like that, who asks in all humility and modesty, that he not be spat at.

Somebody had streaked a bulls-eye of red spittle on that sign too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Droid could be the iPhone killer

The Motorola droid looks amazing, the marketing campaign is full of geek bombast, boasting of open source software support and replaceable batteries. It's an Android 2.0 with a large capacitive touch screen keyboard AND a slide-out keyboard. No pricing details yet, but even if it's priced at the same level as the iPhone, it could make a serious dent.

I hate Apple in general for making products that are expensive, incompatible, and full of proprietary software and connectivity fuckups. iPods won't work without iTunes, which cannot buy tunes in India anyways. Sure, I concede, they've patented the zen of design, and Windows is a curse on humanity, but as design aesthetes, they have never tried to make their products affordable for the base of the pyramid, or the third world.

As my brother points out, if it weren't for Windows and IBM, we would have not been able to afford a PC when we could.

Expounded by Charlier Booker for maximum comedy here, here, and here are reasons why I don't quite buy into Apple.

An excerpt: This one's really hilarious.
I'd call the new KITT an iPhone with an exhaust pipe, except if it really was like an iPhone then instead of fighting crime, its owner would spend the entire duration of each episode endlessly droning on and on about how brilliant KITT was, and how he can't believe you haven't bought one yourself yet, and every time he passed another KITT driver, they'd feel compelled to pull over and sit there Twittering each other about the latest astounding downloadable KITT "apps", like the one that makes a shoe appear on the screen, then you tilt it and the shoe rocks around a bit and plays the Star Wars theme, and it's amazing really, the things it can do. Actually, you know what I'd watch? A series about a maniac who drives around singling out iPhone owners, slapping their stupid toys out of their hands and stamping on them. That's the first three minutes of each episode; the remaining 57 consist of an unflinching close-up of said iPhone owner's sorrowful face as they scoop all the bits of shattered iPhone off the pavement, clutch it to their bosom, and stagger down the pavement.

Anyways, coming back to Apple and it's failure to make any kind of an impact in India. This article by Businessweek says it best - THREE IPHONES EQUAL ONE CAR.

If only Motorola made a techno-gandhian ad campaign that said:
One iPhone could teach provide education support for 8 poor children for over a year.

Apple's pricing strategy in India has been typical of its disdain for third world sensibilities. I don't quite get it why the iPod Touch costs so much more in India than in the US.

If only Android phones did what the PC did to the MAC in the 80s. I want a customisable touch screen pocket phone/computer surfs wirelessly and on telco networks, plays music and movies, a variety of free user generated open source apps, and I want it for 200 dollars or Rs 10,000 INR.

A device that weights around 100 grams should not cost $600. A premium netbook costs that much, some flab needs to be cut around here.

I think it will take another three years at least before we get to that.

So far all the Android phones have been in the $600 range, which totally sucks. I don't expect Motorola to shake things up, but expect more cooler phones on the Android platform. Enjoy the AD.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Terrible Pricing Disparity!

Why is it that the Apple iTouch 32 gigs costs 25 grand in India, while it costs almost half, at 13 grand on

IMHO: It's an amazing deal at 13k and an atrocity at 25.

Keep in mind that you could get a decent netbook for 25k, and a fairly crappy Samsung Corby for Rs 10,000 in India.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Genius of the Beast

Hello everyone.

It's funny trying to start a conversation after maintaining a rather paranoid, apathetic silence. I sincerely apologize to the 5 people who probably read my blog.

Where were we now, anyway.

Let's talk about Howard Bloom, one of my favourite thinkers, he's the Werner Herzog of evolutionary biology, most of his thoughts seem to illustrate in great detail, the phrase 'nature is bloody in tooth and claw'. In his two books, Lucifer principle and Global Brain, he draws stories from the darkest episodes of history, from the rape of sabine women and religious pogroms, alpha male tendencies of chimps, tribes and boardroom politics.

He writes entertaining, passionate stories about the nature of nature, he's coming out with a book in 45 days, it's called Genius of the Beast.

It's a book that infuses great optimism to the idea of consumerism, and I would like you all to read an excerpt from it: now that Diwali and Christmas are around the corner.
In Praise Of Consumerism - It Appeals To The Thoreau In You
In Praise Of Consumerism - Bees, Bacteria And The Value Of Wasted Time
In Praise Of Consumerism - It Was Good Enough For Marco Polo So It's Good Enough For You

He's been sending inspiring, personal emails articulating his thoughts and philosophy behind the book, counting the days to his release, I reproduce his email today for your benefit:

to the The Genius of the Beast
Two nights ago I was in front of an audience of 200 financial advisors in Boston. Their eyes were riveted to mine and I was in heaven.
Tonight I am alone in the Tea Lounge, and the attention-deprivation is fierce. When the stepson I've raised since he was ten first came into my life he and his mom--my fiancee-- were living hundreds of miles away in Plattsburgh, New York. I'd call him every day and ask how his day had been. Many a time he had nothing to say. He couldn't remember what had happened since he left school in the afternoon. On other days he had oodles to report.
What made the difference? A friend. If he'd been with one of his friends, the day came alive in his mind. If he'd been alone, the entire memory of the day melted away. That's the power of attention. With it we come to life. Without it we die inside.
I should know all this. It's written it up in my three books, including the new one, The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism. In each book a different facet of attention deprivation comes under the lens. But in each book--The Lucifer Principle, Global Brain and now the Genius of the Beast--there's an explanation. We are modules in a learning machine that uses something like a Darwinian algorithm, an evolutionary learning rule. That rule is ruthless.
When we contribute to the social groups we're part of, we are alert, vigorous, and healthy. When we don't make a contribution, we are grabbed by a process like apoptosis--pre-programmed cell death. We go from active to lethargic and from exhilarated to morose. What pushes the switch from agony to ecstasy? How do we know when we're making a contribution? Attention.
And it's not just us. Attention deprivation even slams ants and bees. For the full story see The Genius of the Beast.
But the problem is particularly harsh on rock stars. One minute they are in the spotlight, feeling the eyes of 17,000 people upon them, locked on them with emotion and intensity. A second later they are backstage walking a lonely corridor to an equally lonely dressing room. The attention deprivation is harsh. Many of the artists I've worked with come offstage looking skeletenous, with sunken shadows where their eyes should be and with expressionless faces. What's going on inside these suddenly attention-bereft musicians? Pain. Pain so bad that it drives some to drugs.
Peter Townshend was trying to get Eric Clapton off of heroin way back in the 1970s. He explained to Clapton that one minute you have the energy of 34,000 eyes pouring their attention through you, and the next moment you are an empty--and discarded--pipe. And you, Eric, said Townshend, try to fill that emptiness with heroin.
These days I am filling that emptiness with you.
May the fascinated eyes of others always be upon you--Howard
ps Bear with me while I ask a favor. If you have any friends you think would benefit from The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism, ask them to pre-order the book on Then you can watch your efforts pay off on the sales chart. And I, seeing the rise, will perk up, energized by your attention.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nice article on Indie games

After playing Braid, I'm hungry for more indie games, this article has a few good pointers.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

my nigaz

Russia's energy giant Gazprom has signed a $2.5bn (£1.53bn) deal with Nigeria's state operated NNPC, to invest in a new joint venture.

The new firm, to be called Nigaz, is set to build refineries, pipelines and gas power stations in Nigeria.

Analysts say the move could further strengthen Russia's role in supplying natural gas to Europe.

The agreement comes during a four-day African tour by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

As well as forming Nigaz, Russia is keen on developing a trans-African pipeline to transport Nigerian gas to Europe.

This could further reinforce Gazprom's already-strong influence over Europe's energy supplies.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Purple prose press release award

G-SHOCK has raised many eyebrows with the news of its upcoming launches in INDIA among the youth and the people who are class conscious, sophisticated, spotty, and with a cool attitude especially people who are mostly engaged in activities like Sports, Musical Rock-bands, & Fashion Designing etc.
These watches are among the unsurpassed models in the watch category to be launched by CASIO in INDIA.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The anti-consumption movement: Researchers examine resistance to global brands

What motivates people to rebel against global brands—or consumption in general? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research examines the connection between nationalism and the anti-consumption movement in India.

Authors Rohit Varman (Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta) and Russell W. Belk (York University, Toronto) examined a movement against Coca-Cola based in the village of Mehdiganj in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. They found that the movement employs a version of the nationalist ideology of swadeshi, an ideology that has been associated with Ghandhi and the overthrow of British colonialism.

"According to swadeshi, indigenous goods should be preferred by consumers even if they are more expensive and inferior in quality," write the authors. "The contemporary processes of globalization have again unleashed a resurgence of opposition, this time involving neo-nationalism. As a result, the ideology of swadeshi continues to shape the ongoing debate about the concept of nationhood in India."

The researchers examined the practices of organizations involved in the struggle against Coca Cola. They conducted interviews with activists, villagers, and Coca Cola workers and managers. They observed protest activities and analyzed written material on the movement.

In the course of their research, the authors found that the concept of swadeshi has morphed from its origins. "Whereas Gandhi's villain was colonialist Britain symbolized by its machine production, postcolonial India faces the invasion of Western branded goods," the authors write. "The anti-consumption movement against Coca Cola in Mehdiganj is shaped by this discourse against globalization." The authors found that the anti-consumption movement invokes imagery of foreign invaders, poisoned farmland, and exploited workers.

"We offer an understanding of how prominent global brands run the risk of becoming anti-national icons of oppression," write the authors. "These results have implications for multinational corporations, policy makers, and civil society groups."

Source: University of Chicago Press Journals

At most places, I see the 500/600 ml soft-drink bottles being sold instead of glass bottles which are probably a lot better to drink from since they cool faster and dont generate seas of plastic that end up choking sewers, polluting the seas and oceans.
News nerds must have heard the story of BisephenolA being found in plastic bottles, it's another reason to shun plastic in favour of a dozen other possible water receptable technologies (glass bottles, earthen pots, steel vessels, flasks, ceramic) that have been around for centuries.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


That's gotta be the world's most expensive turd purchase ever.


That's gotta be the world's most expensive turd purchase ever.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nation trembles with exultation and excitement as Plustek launches ultra slim OpticSlim 2400+ scanner in India


- High performance, high resolution, and ultra-slim elegant layout –

Plustek launches ultra slim OpticSlim 2400+ scanner to empower Mobile Executives

- Supports all file and image formats, power cord free and needs no time to warm-up -

New Delhi, May 28, 2009: Plustek Inc., one of the leading scanner brands worldwide has announced the availability of its latest ultra slim scanner, OpticSlim 2400+ in India. This new scanner is just 3.3 cm in height but has an impressive 1200x2400 dpi resolution and a 48bit color depth. With Contact Image Sensor (CIS) technology, it is much superior to a traditional CCD-based scanner in terms of performance and resolution. OpticSlim 2400+ is extremely compact, light weight and power efficient to run on the notebook power through a USB port without warm-up.

According to Dr. Karen Ku, Vice President, Plustek Inc., "The ultra slim and compact OpticSlim 2400+ can prove to be the perfect companion for Mobile Executives. It can be easily packed in a briefcase alongside a laptop. Whether you're in the office or on the road, the Optic Slim 2400 will not only lighten your load but also empower you to scan and manage your documents, photos, articles, brochures and business cards easily and efficiently."

Because of the CIS technology, OpticSlim 2400+ is really ultra-slim (3.3 cm height) even in flatbed orientation. Owning to its ultra-slimness, OpticSlim 2400+ can be easily accommodated alongside the notebook in the same briefcase or bag. It can scan A4-size documents at an optical resolution of 1200 dpi and be of great help to mobile workers, event management companies, expo organizers and PR agencies. The OpticSlim 2400+ is always ready to scan and organize all of one's documents.

Even the home & Soho users, fashion designer, freelancers, etc. who take project works and always work on the deadlines, can take advantage of this scanner. They can scan their photographs, designs and creatives and send those to the clients at the last moment. It is also a great help for lawyers as well as they can move around with this scanner.

"We are confident that our customers will find it difficult not to be attracted to the OpticSlim 2400+. Its five one-touch action buttons i.e. Copy, OCR, E-Mail, Custom and Scan can make their work much easier and faster than they can imagine. They can perform the actions - whether to copy or e-mail - with a single button immediately after the scanning. Additionally, as a global product, it identifies 177 languages and comes with user interface in 13 different languages," added Dr. Ku.

Like most of the other scanners from Plustek, OpticSlim 2400+ also comes with extremely useful patented software including NewSoft Presto! Mr. Photo 4.0, NewSoft Presto! ImageFolio 4.5, NewSoft Presto! PageManager 7.10, ABBYY FineReader 6.0 Sprint. Therefore, the users need not buy extra software for editing or managing their scanned images.

Apart from editing images using the aforesaid software, the user can also save the documents in various file formats including BMP, PCX, JPEG, TIFF, PNG and open files of BMP, PCX, DCX, JPEG, TIFF, PNG format. They also can export the saved documents into various file formats like MS Word, MS Excel, Word Pro, WordPerfect, etc. The TWAIN interface supports for automatic fine-tuning of the documents during scanning.

Also included in the package are the Quick Guide, USB Cable 150cm (59.05"), User manual (PDF file) and Setup/Application-ROMs.

The Plustek OpticSlim 2400+ is available at the MRP of Rs. 2800/-

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cheap gas or lower greenhouse emissions?

Asked to choose between lower gasoline prices and reduced greenhouse gas emissions from gasoline, 66 percent of Americans in a new online survey chose lower gas prices and the rest said that reducing the emissions that cause climate change was more important.

The survey also found that 56 percent of Americans think that the federal government should stop subsidizing production because they're afraid that it boosts , while the rest said that the subsidies should continue. When they were asked to choose between government subsidies for food crops or for ethanol, 82 percent chose food and the rest chose ethanol.

TED launches TED India

The TED Conference is traveling to South Asia for the first time in its 25-year history, TEDIndia, as TED descends to the Mysore campus of Infosys between November 4-7, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some links

5 Citi moment of disaster: Robin Jackman totally DLF-ed his way to fame when instead of the canned “Citi moment of success”, he slipped out a “Citi moment of disaster” when a catch went to ground. Which, when one thinks about it, is truly the most ironic corporate metaphor ever used during IPL commentary. Now, can someone please get Jackman a bailout package? And file a Chapter 11 on Rameez Raja while they are at it?

Awesome view of the milky way

Friday, May 22, 2009

Worst offenders of pesticides:

Want to buy organic, but don't have it in your budget to do it across the board? Consider at least opting for organic when buying these fruits and vegetables, as they're considered the top 10 worst offenders for pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group:




Grapes (imported)






Sweet bell peppers

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Behold the visual trickery of the musical zeitgeist

When the fuck will we have a google android phone in India goddammit

And I hope it's for cheap. We don't want another 35k phone. Boo to Apple! Boo to Iphone users!! I hate you all!!!

Actually, you know what I'd watch? A series about a maniac who drives around singling out iPhone owners, slapping their stupid toys out of their hands and stamping on them. That's the first three minutes of each episode; the remaining 57 consist of an unflinching close-up of said iPhone owner's sorrowful face as they scoop all the bits of shattered iPhone off the pavement, clutch it to their bosom, and stagger down the pavement, weeping and lost and alone, unsure whether to carry the remains to the nearest A&E department or drop them in a bin and buy a new one.

Hope you all enjoyed watching Charlie booker's Newswipe, the episodes are available on youtube

Buddhist Temple Built from Beer Bottles : TreeHugger

Buddhist Temple Built from Beer Bottles : TreeHugger

Funny pic that explains capitalism

What's he trying to say here? Is it about capitalism and western imperialism, or is this about colonization, corporations, and wars of aggression? I love the irony of the Mickey mouse face, windows and coke logos..

Some guy clicked this at a restaurant and posted this on the internet and now i am unloading this on to you.

But it's art and it's fucking brilliant imho

This picture is not photoshopped


A short history of America

It's a study of how urban landscapes evolve over time by Robert Crumb. Just saw a documentary about him, he's quite a brilliant cartoonist and writer.

This is what I call cypherpunk

He's a tibetian nomad from National Geographic Vol 175, June 1989.

In this animated gif we study the pattern of incursions made by man and ask if it's a good thing or not

So this is a picture of some place in the US, I think it's Nevada or Arizona or Vegas... It's awesome to see it cause it looks like a microchip of sorts,

Note: diminishing water table.

Funny pictures on my hard drive

hope these show up on blogger

I'm gonna blag like a twitter twat you know what

what what what

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Unlimited Bandwidth and Lifetime Prepaid

Are two buzzwords that every telco has abused without ever delivering the said claim.