Saturday, December 29, 2012

~ Question onself ~

The media dubbed Falak as “India’s Baby.” Now the young woman became “India’s Daughter.” With the passage of time, we all move on. 

Paul Beckett, WSJ bureau head in Delhi, has nailed it on the head in his article 'How much more can India take?' last two paras.

"All that will take engagement at a time when the overwhelming temptation for many will be to fume on Twitter then mentally withdraw.

Politicians must engage, too. And, if they don’t, they must be punished in the only way that they appear to understand: Removal at the ballot box, where voters have a recurring chance to prove that they don’t forget."

Applies to each one of us including self. As my friend, Anand Patil, says we all are arm-chair activists who live within our comfort zones to have an opinion and speak about it on various mediums - Twitter or Facebook or writing a Blogpost. 

Vjuneesh has a good thought. Contemplate & decide what you can do to make the situation better in life. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

~ Copy like Chinese ~

I have seen fakes of iPod & iPhone 3S in Bangalore. All of them are made in China. We all have read about the famous fake Apple stores that were mushroomed across China. 

Fake Apple Stores: BBC | Guardian | The Atlantic 

Today I came across another piece of article which is the mother of all copies. The Chinese have ventured into copy Architecture. The funny thing is that the 'copy' might even be completed before the 'original'. The stakes are pretty high for the Architect Zaha Hadid & her team to complete the original before the fake steals all the limelight.

Original Galaxy SOHO

Wangjing SOHO minus one building 

Source: Spiegel 

Indian companies aren't far behind. If you haven't seen Micromax A110 Canvas yet then check it out. It looks very close to Samsung Galaxy S3. Samsung should be feeling the heat, because the price of A110 is Rs 10000/- ;)

I just read About Us on Micromax page, "Our Strategy focuses on innovating, designing and using the latest technologies to develop products at affordable prices." Not sure if these are guys are innovating in copying other products or creating a design remix out of the HTC + Samsung. 

How many companies do you know of in the current era who are actually ORIGINAL in their design process & build something new. I bet there are very few companies currently in that space. Isn't there joy in creating something original? I hope 2013 has some kind of competition from players in their  design approach than copying Apple or anyone else.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

~ Dance of Democracy ~

The finger salute is for all those corrupt politicians in our country. {Captured at NH7}

This is what happens in India, when the citizens of the country are asking for better governance by the politicians whom we elected. Rather than doing their jobs correctly, they play at the expense of peoples lives.

We are the clowns of this country to have chosen them to rule us. I call it a Dance of Democracy. Where the Politicians (Ring Masters) who control the Citizens (as Clowns). These guys use money to lure the masses to vote them during the election day. They use all possible means - Religion, Caste, Creed, Economic Disparity, etc - to divide and win the votes of people of this country. This my friend is called Democratic process of electing the incapable & incompetent to the house of representatives to run a nation called India.

I hope we sensitise people when these buffoons come begging for votes in 2014. They pretend to behave like Clowns for a month & then become the RingMasters for 5 years. This is the game which they have played all the time & got away. 

This current wave of protests in Delhi for better legislation, judicial & police reforms against rapists. This I feel is the beginning of a change in the country. It is India's own Tahrir Square at Raisina Hill.

You can watch the massive continuing protests Live 

Friday, December 21, 2012

~ Myth of Doomsday ~

21.12.12 | is the representation of 21 Dec 2012 in the Mayan Calendar for you. The highest possible day in their calendar. After that it will switch to which is 22 Dec 2012. For Mayans this was a very significant event to OBSERVE and hence the popularity of today.

Well I learnt all this via this beautiful talk by Bill Saturno. He is a National Geographic grantee and archaeologist. How I wish my history classes in school were narrated like this. Do watch the video.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

~ Zeitgeist 2012 ~

Google today revealed their annual Zeitgeist report for 2012. Year on year, as Internet become more accessible to the masses, we see a growth in the number of searches for various things. The numbers are mind boggling - 1.2 trillion searches across 146 languages. 

Considering the 3Q12 of IDC report, we see the burst of Android devices across the world, would have given Google Search more traffic.

Chart: Worldwide Smartphone OS Market Share, 2012Q3

However, the Google Zeitgeist report doesn't share the % of searches originating from various devices or Operating Systems. Am sure that people searching on their smart phones is increasing every passing day. One of the main motivation for Google to keep Android Open-Source, is to push their Search algorithm into mobile devices.

Here are few top 10 searches across people, places, movies in India. Looking at the type of searches made by people, no wonder that the entertainment business makes movies for the masses ;)

To see the worldwide zeitgeist go here. You can view the report as PDF here.

You can also read 'The crucible of Phone market'

Saturday, December 15, 2012

~ Indian Metal Fest & Gojira ~

A big thanks to NH7 for organising weekender festival, that overlapped the Indian Metal Festival (IMF). NH7 helped filter all the non-metal heads from this festival, which is good.

According to the IMF organizers this was supposed to be THE metal festival which had lineup of 6 International & 2 Indian bands, playing for about 540 mins || 9 hrs. 

At about 10:30 am, the organizers leave a message on their FB wall stating:

Well, in reality the gates opened ONLY @ 17:30 hrs & considering the strict rules in Bangalore, everything needs to wrap up by 22:30 hrs. That gives only 5 hours of air time, which speaks volumes of the organizers - ORKA & Sweet Leaves.

A changed lineup among the bands, 

Indian Acts

  • Gutslit (Mumbai) 
  • Eccentric Pendulum (Bangalore)
  • Agnostic (Guwahati) 

International Acts

  • Flayed Disciple (U.K)
  • Bloodshot Dawn (U.K)
  • Xerath (U.K.)
  • Gojira (france) - HEADLINER
  • Inner Guilt (Lebanon) 
  • Cerebral Bore (Scotland) - Co-Headliner

Eccentric Pendulum were pretty decent. Didn't know they were from Bangalore who play progressive metal.  They have also played at WACKEN Open Air festival in Germany.

Didn't like Gutslit performance. Then followed the bands from the UK- Flayed Disciple, Bloodshot Dawn & Xerath - in the order mentioned.

Amongst the three UK bands, liked Bloodshot Dawn. 

At 20:30 Gojira took to the stage & performed to the crowd. Joe kept the crowd engaged throughout the performance, unlike the Axl Rose who never uttered a word. They started from their latest album L'Enfant Sauvage & played songs Love, Child, The Art of Drying,  Mario's Drum Solo, Esoteric Surgery, Backbone, The Link, Flying Whales, Wisdom Comes & few more. They even dedicated the song Wisdom Comes to the late Pandit Ravishankar.

The only saving grace of IMF was Gojira. Am happy that they chose to perform in Bangalore. Unlike the other Metal bands who tour (or visit) India during their fag end of carriers. Gojira is currently at their peak & one of the best Progressive Metal bands in the world. Raghu mentioned that Gojira's drummer - Mario, is one of the best drummer of modern metal.

The cops numbering BCP 467 & BCP 3467
Bangalore: Beautiful evening sky
 Flayed Disciple
 Crowd acknowledging the band
The Organizers should "Awaken" :P
 Bloodshot Dawn
The sound engineering console
More controls
 Xerath wrapping up
 The crew of Gojira setting up the instruments
 Wisdom comes

 Joe Duplantier kept uttering Shukriya (Thank you in Urdu or Hindi) after most songs
Gojira were very happy to perform in Bangalore & so was the Crowd :)

I don't think me or Raghu missed Testament performing in NH7 today ;)

~ Birds of paradise ~

The birds below are surreal & look like some painting. Yes, indeed they are natures' creation. They are for real. Thanks to Tim Laman who has spent enormous time & perseverance for documenting these beauties from ARU ISLANDS, MALUKA, INDONESIA. 

Mr Laman, did 18 expeditions over 8 year period & 39,000 photographs to document them. I bow to him for his passion to explore & share with the lesser mortals. With this, I feel there are still some parts of the world which is still unaffected from mankind's madness.

Note: All the images are photographed by Tim Laman. Am in no way selling them or distributing them.

Via: NGC | Bird of Paradise Gallery  

Monday, December 10, 2012

~ Socially Me ~

The life of an technophile living anywhere today, is expressing those moments of emotion as a constant stream of data to various Social Networks - FB, Twitter, Instagram, Path, G+. The power of smartphones & data connectivity has exploded into data bomb. Will not be surprised, if the Governments tomorrow are not elected by tweets :) 

I personally use all of those networks for various means:

  1. Instagram: For clicking moments when am travelling & without my DSLR around. 
  2. Path: For places  - restaurants, movies, leisure - all for audit trail purpose. 
  3. G+: For sharing information w/ co-workers on various news items - tech, political, football.
  4. G+Messenger: For 3 months, have been using it mostly to connect with Gooners who are spread across the globe. We share the latest updates, rants, news or anything to do with ArsenalFC. Happened to meet few of them in Bangalore & watched the Arsenal vs Manchester United game with Bangalore Gunners. This week we were amongst the first to have Arsenal FC Fans G+ Community.
  5. Twitter: Consuming or sharing instant updates about anything under the sun which I like.
  6. FB:  Updates from college friends, (ex)colleagues, travel, interests, etc.
  7. For scrobbling songs.
  8. Also there are numerous tech blogs which I follow on a daily basis.
  9. Using LinkedIn more often over the last 2 weeks. Most of you who are connected would have noticed the activity :P
  10. Youtube subscriptions are active, but not regular.

By now you have figured out how much of information over-load I go through in a day from various apps at various point of time. This definitely isn't good when you are working or otherwise. Your attention span takes a BIG hit & distracts from your task. Off-late {for the past 2 months} have made  conscious effort about how & when I use - Twitter & FB. I check them during lunch / tea breaks & post dinner, during weekdays. On weekends, my usage of Twitter & FB is high; considering football games.

The trigger for the post was this article by Roger Cohen - Thanks for not sharing, on NYT. 

Like everything else in life, when it comes to usage, technology too has its share of pros & cons. Instead of blaming - technology, smartphone, social networks, information overload - for not having enough time for loved ones or pursuing your hobby or reading a book or going for walk or run or meeting friends, etc. It boils down to the individuals' approach on maintaing the balance in the eco-system of life. Be it virtual or real, we still have control over ourselves. The day hasn't arrived yet, where machines have taken over & we have limited options. It isn't far, surely gonna happen. But till then, we are the masters of our own lives & we can maintain a healthy balance. Be the judge the next time when you are about to share or like something w/ the rest of the world :)

Take a look at the Socially Awkward Infographic

Image source: DigitalQuarters

Update: 26 Jan 13

If you are a developer, then I recommend you read Christian Grobmeier post 'The 10 rules of Zen programming' This should definitely help one focus & achieve more in the age of social distraction {Twitter, FB, Whatsapp, Emails, SMS, et al}

Sunday, December 09, 2012

~ Kobe vs Messi: Legends on board ~

A lovely advt to showcase the services of an airline. Not sure how good the service is, but Turkish Airlines has definitely got the right Ad agency to get them popular in the world of Football & Basketball.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

~ Axl N Roses ~

You read it right, Axl N Roses (A'N'R) formerly called Guns N Roses (G'N'R). One of the iconic band which I grew up listening to in the 90s. On 7th Dec 2012 got to witness the performance of Axl Rose & his band pay tribute to G'N'R.

After a long harrowing journey to Bharatiya City of 45 mins from Nagwara Junction we managed to get past the gates @ 19:30. By then the band had already taken the stage & had probably performed one / two songs. It was bit strange, as most of the headlining acts in Bangalore happen only post 20:45. Looks like the organisers Mooz forgot to get supporting acts for A'N'R.

The first song which I gotta listen after clearing the security was 'It's so easy', followed by 'Mr Brownstone' & then followed some cover songs in between.

Was getting bored & bugged by the sad show of the band, so far. {SideNote for Mooz: The sound setup was pathetic. Hope you guys get your act right next time}  The tempo picked up after this song 'You could be mine'. I did message Navneet to check what he had to say about the show so fat; only to know that he was still stuck in traffic. It was already 21:00 hrs when they played the classic 'Sweet Child O' Mine', followed by another cover - Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Flyod).

THE song, November Rain, which we - me & Malhar - had been waiting for nearly hour and half. Sure the song wouldn't measure the performance from the original band members, especially that of Slash. Still, this was one of the songs which I wanted to listen to from A'N'R show & we got the moneys' worth.

Finally when they closed the show by performing another popular number - 'Paradise City'. When glanced at the clock, realised that this was the longest Rock act in Bangalore by an International Artist - 3+ hours. The duration of the concert definitely doesn't mean Axl N his Roses performed well. The spirit of  G'N'R will never return to A'N'R. Always sad to see a music band breakup.

Found the setlist for today's show -
  1. (Blacklight Jesus of Transylvania)
  2. (Wings cover)
  3. (Tommy Stinson song) (Tommy Stinson on lead vocals, with band introductions)
  4. (No Quarter by Led Zeppelin)
  5. (Ballad of Death)
  6. (Pink Floyd cover) (with Axl on piano)
  7. (Bumblefoot cover) (Bumblefoot on lead vocals)
  8. (The Who cover)
  9. (Bob Dylan cover)
  10. Jam 
  11. Encore:
  12. (Neil Young cover)
  13. Jam 
  14. Jam 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

~ Facebook governance vote ~

Facebook today evening sent an email on their Global Site Governance Vote. Anyone who read and understood - Feedback,  Proposed policies - please explain in simple words what they mean?

Explanation of Changes

Proposed Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

Proposed SRR Redline

Proposed Data Use Policy

Proposed Data Use Policy Redline

Here is a snippet from The Registration & Account security section

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here 
are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account: 
1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone 
other than yourself without permission.
2. You will not create more than one personal account.
3. If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
4. You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain (, and will use a 
Facebook Page for such as selling your status update to an advertiser).purposes.
5. You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
6. You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
7. You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
8. You will not share your password (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else 
access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
9. You will not transfer your account (including any Page or application you administer) to anyone 
without first getting our written permission.
10. If you select a username or similar identifier for your account or Page, we reserve the right to 
remove or reclaim it if we believe it is appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains 
about a username that does not closely relate to a user's actual name).

Guess most developers violate #2, #7, #8,  #9. Related to #4, why can't one use their personal timeline for marketing their own commercial gain?

Thinking of  minimizing my footprint on the Social Network with so much of Rule changes.

Links: Feedback | Governance Vote Email

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

~ Ideation ~

A very interesting animation from Steven Johnson on "Where good ideas come from". Most of what he articulates are 100% true. Do watch it.

The BIG idea comes from the collision of smaller hunches. Bingo!  Don't have to hide you ideas in a closet so that no one steals it. You gotta talk & share them, before they become a breakthrough.

Ideas need to be swapped & borrowed to bring something new i.e. REMIX. If you still haven't watched the amazing documentary - Everything is a REMIX then do.

Chance favours the connected mind.

Images: Christophniemann | Austin Kleon


5 Dec 2012 :

  1. Paul Graham has a brilliant piece of Startup Ideas - How to get startup ideas 
  2. Rosabeth Kanter: "Instead of spending all your time w/ elites, connect w/ the streets"

Saturday, December 01, 2012

~ David Headley: Terror Architect ~

The documentary on David Headley - the American mastermind behind the 2008 - 'A perfect terrorist' provides an insight into how a drug peddler turned DEA informant to an Triple Agent (FBI, Lashkar, ISI) carried out a perfect strategy to plot the Mumbai terror attack. 

I feel Kasab's death doesn't do justice to the Mumbai terror attack. As PBS correspondent Sebastian Rotella puts it "What Osama Bin Laden was to 9/11, David Headley is to 26/11". I wish Indian Government pursue Headley's extradition to India & try him here. Headley turned his childhood friend Rana to the FBI and entered a plea bargain to escape death penalty. 

A man who architected the Mumabi terror attack with Laskhar-e-Taiba and Pakistan's ISI should definitely be tried & punished in India. In the evening, got to know that we are playing Pakistan cricket team in India. Wish Indian Govt put more effort to pressurise Pakistan Govt to punish those who are responsible for the attack & harbouring rouge elements, instead of cricket diplomacy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

~ Russian Gandhigiri ~

Bangaloreans can take a leaf out of Yekaterinburg, the fourth largest city of Russia, for our eternal Road problems. Watch the video to understand how they get the politicians to work.

Anyone game for such a thing in Bangalore?

Note: The *RISK* of getting arrested is pretty HIGH going by the current plight of freedom & expression in India.

Moscow Times | LA Times