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.