Sunday, March 31, 2013

~ 31-3-13 ~

Did you realize that today's date is a Palindrome? 31-3-13 :)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

~ Tata Nano ~

It might be the world's cheapest car. But the vision of Ratan Tata, ex-chairman of Tata Group, was to provide an affordable 4 wheeler for many Indian families who were commuting on Indian roads.

NGC's Mega Factories has an episode on the birth of Nano. The hurdles faced during the production were not just limited to engineering alone. It faced hurdle during the commissioning of the factory, where it had to move the entire operations from West Bengal to Gujarat; nearly 2500kms.

The mega factory has 130 robots which operate along with humans to produce about 250,000 cars per year. Quite impressed with the output & modernization of the factory.

Friday, March 29, 2013

~ Social Engagement ~

Social engagement these days happen through a diverse stream of channels. Some of the common methods of engagement being messaging {Gtalk | Skype | Whatsapp | SMS}, Emails, Social Networks {Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+}. 

Facebook has funded an IDC research on how Smartphones have had an impact on our lives. The report 'Always Connected - How Smartphones And Social Keep Us Engaged' throws up some interesting behavioural patterns, stats & how mobile apps are driving those changes. 

  • Half of total US population uses Smartphones i.e 155.1 Million people (2012)
  • Primary usage: Text/Message, Talk, Message on FB. All of them are direct communication.
  • Highest levels of engagement happens during Friday through Sunday, with the peak on Sunday.
  • Top 10 Apps: Email, FB, Web browsing, Games, Maps, Photos, Search, Local Search, News/Sports, TV/Video
  • Wake up call: Within the first 15 minutes of waking up, 4 out of 5 smartphone owners are checking their phones.
  • 79% of respondents have their phone on or near them for all but up to 2 hours of their waking day.
  • Social Apps play a very significant role during Social Events.
  • Average daily time spent on Facebook: 32 mins 51 secs
  • Average daily time spent communicating on smartphone: 131 mins 43 secs
  • Who we are most connected to via Smartphone + Facebook - Friends, Spouse/Parnter/GF/BF, Parents, extended family, colleagues/classmates, children, community.

*Note: The report is based on the online survey of iPhone & Android smartphone users in the U.S. 

I do agree that these tools have helped us connect with friends who are separated by time zones or distance. How about those who live in the same city & yet not meet friends. Most of us claim that we do not have time. Rather than lack of time, I feel we lack at effective Time Management & priorities. Time is just an alibi for our own short coming ;)

Go offline! Plan & meet your friend in the city. Surprise them.

Update 31 Mar 13: 

If you have noticed the Facebook profile picture updates among the circle of friends. The campaign is a for the support of future of same-sex marriage in the United States by HRC. Ever wondered how many people have taken part in this online civil rights movement or what the Big Data tells us. Facebook has the insights into the week long campaign. FastCo Design | Facebook 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

~ Touch screen generation ~

A friend posted the - Designing for the touch screen generation—think pop ups - article on facebook.

They are called the touch screen generation. They have high expectations, low to zero patience for static content on a digital platform, and they are the most finger happy group to come along ever. Let’s get ready to design for them.
I have 11 reasons why I am more than convinced that the touch screen generation is very much here and fully engaged with all things digital. Touching comes intuitively. Reacting quickly is the next step. Impatience is the rule. Short concentration spans are the test. And they are not going to grow out of the “touch that screen and get results mode” anytime soon.
Those 11 reasons are my 11 grandchildren—-three girls and eight boys aged 2 1/2 to 14 years. They are my living laboratory. I am the proud and curious grandpa who listens to their requests for “can I have your iPad for a few minutes?“ or, even more daring, “will I get an iPad for my birthday?“.

My observations

It will take a while to go completely paperless here in India. Also observed that many of my friends have read at least one ebook last year. 

Definitely our focus (attentions spans) & patience has decreased to a large extent. The sheer amount of dissimilar thoughts {Updates from - Sports, Technology, Photography, News, Rants, Status, etc } one goes through in a span of 60 seconds, is crazy, if one remains on Twitter Timeline.

~ Holi 2013 ~

Relax! it wasn't a wet one. 

Still had to take bath at the end to clean oneself.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

~ Sensitize ~

Celebrate Holi | Festival of Colours. Message from the web, media, social media: Conserve water
Celebrate Deepavali | Festival of Lights. Message from the web, media, social media: Don't burst crackers. Save Environment. 
Celebrate Ganesh Chathurthi | Birthday of Elephant God. Message from the web, media, social media: Don't pollute water sources.

How about spreading Vegetarianism during Christmas & Bakrid? That will help end cruelty towards many animals right?

Don't get me wrong, 'm all for this. We all can live in a better world at the end of the day.


True, that Vegetarianism is more of a choice than anything else. As humans we have evolved & practically changed our dietary habits. We do not eat the same kind of food nor the quantity. Best reference would be our Wisdom Tooth, which is absolutely worthless but painful.

Not questioning anyone about their dietary habits nor religious beliefs. Just that I find a bit odd when people in India become sensitive ONLY for the duration of the festival and live the way they want rest of the year.

The subject of water conservation or environments shouldn't be just during these festivals. We  should be practicing those principles throughout the year & across all strata of the society.

Monday, March 25, 2013

~ Nomadism ~

Marty Mellway has a great set of video documentaries of his travel. Love his cinematography. Explore n Enjoy his work!

~ Finding yourself ~

From George Harrison to the late Steve Jobs, there have been countless Westerners who have been fascinated with India for Spirituality, Music, Mysticism, Gods, Culture, Food or what-ever. The documentary - Indian Gurus by Louis Theroux - highlights the number of Westerners who are living in India at various ashrams and following the Gurus. While Indians are fascinated with worshipping the Gods at Temple, the Westerns seem to be fascinated with these Gurus :P

My need for a Guru would be restricted to guidance & direction and not beyond that. I don't feel the need for so much objectivity & projecting themselves bigger than life, to sell spirituality.  For everything else, you just gotta practice to realize yourself better. Start exploring within.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

~ Weekend getaway ~

Last Friday was a hectic day. A photo shoot in the morning, packing, work, college re-union, 5 hours of sleep & then a drive of about 330kms towards western ghats.

Here are some pictures from the getaway.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

~ Fools gold ~

Kudos to BBC for producing the Panorama on "The Spies Who Fooled the World". Journalism at its best. BBC doesn't hesitate to take on politicians irrespective if there were British or American and the Intelligence agencies of Britain, America, Germany, France, Italy & Iraq.

They expose the whole shady Intelligence which was built up to go for the war against Iraq in the name of WMD. The lies which cemented the British & American troops to attack the Iraqis for 10 years which has left 4000 allied soliders & between 100000 to a million Iraq ˆ. Not sure if either Blair or Bush would be ever tried for believing in the murky Intelligence which their own Intelligence Officers had warned. They shall carry the guilt to their graves for so many lives that was lost in the war, which was built of lies.

One could summarise the war with John Lyly's proverb, "All Is Fair in Love and War".

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

~ Mother tongue ~

Wrote in ಕನ್ನಡ after ages. I don't even have a faint memory when was last time I ever wrote in Kannada. How about you, when was the last time you ever wrote in your mother tongue.

Got a good conversation going on at Facebook.

~ A generation apart ~

Don't be surprised to see me ranting about Cricket. I do watch Test Cricket, which I consider is a game of nerves, strategy, determination against many odds - be it a bowler, batsmen, all-rounder, keeper or a captain. 

Unfortunately with the invention of T20 & rise of IPL, Test Cricket has lost its audience and stature in a quite manner. The statement holds good at least in India, if not in England, South Africa and Australia.

Rahul Bhattacharya has written a classic piece on 281 era - Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Sourav Ganguly & Dhoni.
The kings were Australia. We beat them at home three times, and twice came close in their house. We won our first Test series in England in 21 years, in West Indies in 35 years, in New Zealand in 33 years and won, at last, Test matches in South Africa. We won in Pakistan for the first time, both formats. We won a World Twenty20, and a World Cup, and got to the final of another. At home we lost only seven Tests out of 52; and in all conditions, against all opponents, won 48 to 27 lost.

We might have won the current series {3-0} and even a BrownWash {4-0} against the Australians. I feel, India has lost their Golden generation of Test Cricketers. The only remaining mortal God is Sachin Tendulkar.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

~ India & Internet ~

In the recent past we have seen Courts & Govts issuing directives for ban on content, for variety of reasons. Nazir Ahamed, in The Hindu, has compiled a list of all such directives which has occurred - Like it or not, comment is not free.

Lets not forget the battle which the Bloggers, Digital Media & Press is fighting to handle IIPM striking back.

Despite all the negativity around, can still be optimistic with how technology could be a catalyst in bringing about that change for better world & making things affordable. It wouldn't be an easy road to success considering the numerous factors that are encountered in a country like India, as long as one is determined to achieve their goal.

Mr Eric Schmidt, the Google Executive chairman, has written in the editorial section of today's TOI edition:
"The most striking Indian internet innovations won’t come from big institutions or companies moving online, however. They will come from Indians solving local problems. We know that India’s internet infrastructure allows Indian engineers to solve the problems of small businesses in other countries. If India plays its cards right, we’ll soon see Indian engineers and Indian small businesses tackling Indian problems first, then exporting the solutions that work best."
You can read the full article by Schmidt here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

~ Talking Shoes ~

If you thought only Nike could connect with Apple iPod. Adidas & Google have come with a Talking Shoe. Am not sure if there is a market for talking shoes. 

Looks like everyone is thinking about integrating some kind of  computing with clothing these days. Sounds a bit extreme for me. While Google has advertising on its minds! Wasn't that obvious :P

Via FastCompany

You might also be interested in Next Gen Devices

~ Tesla ~

Tesla Motors, Inc. is a electric company based out of Silicon Valley. The *youngest* car company in the USA, which raises the whole game. Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla Motors, has a very fascinating vision towards the integration of technology towards a greener, economical and cleaner planet {or may be Interplanetary travel & life expansion}. 

I admire his vision and how it is being made into a reality by his group of innovators. They are bringing a massive change towards how the future of Urban Transportation would be in the next 5 years. 

Despite all the coverage Model S has been getting from the mainstream media over the last 3 months - John Broder on NYT, The Verge, Car & Driver, Auto Blog. Elon Musk says that he is not worried about critique or negative feedback, but has a problem with false reviews.

Keeping all that aside, I was amazed at the whole new approach which Telsa Motors undertook to build an electric car. The infrastructure is massive & totally different from the other combustible car manufacturers. While some of the luxury sports cars are hand crafted in European countries, Telsa brings in life-sized Robotic automation to get a car running. The way these Robots are trained by their handlers to achieve the precision output in their operations, across various floors, left me spellbound. 

I will stop talking and let you watch the NGC documentary on Tesla Motors & Model S

Feel harnessing the Solar energy to produce electricity would hold the key in many of the developing countries to make Electric Vehicles a more viable option. In a country like India where scheduled power outages are common  even in the cities, the adoption of EVs can happen only if there is holistic planning & execution by both Government & EV companies.

As of now I cannot afford a car from Telsa Motors, however have been patiently waiting for the latest version of Reva well over an year since it was announced in Delhi Motor Show Jan 2012. From what I read, Mahindra has been waiting for Govt of India's National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 which plans to provision subsidy or benefit for the consumer buying electric vehicles. Googled about it & see that Reva are set to announce something on 18th of March 2013.

I know there would be a lot of opposition & skepticism towards electrical car manufacturer, be it Tesla or Reva. Eventually people will realize the benefits  of an electric vehicle which is more economical & environmental friendly in an urban setup. A Better, Cleaner & Greener is the way to go in the future. 

Reading: Elon Musk - Wired | Youtube Interview | On Reva - Reva | Launch of E20 on Mar 18th | NEMMP Vision | A moment in Sun

"I don't know--the whole 'winner of SXSW' thing is really weird this year," says GroupMe cofounder Jared Hecht. "You know what I think is really cool this year? More people are here to listen to Elon Musk talk about sending ships into space, and I think that's just awesome and fundamentally different than coming here to hear about the next big social media app."

Sunday, March 10, 2013

~ Nuances of an Hindu ~

Am a Hindu by birth & have gone through various phases of dealing with my religious beliefs. As kid had blind belief in many aspects of Hindu rituals. During my Engineering days, was an Agnostic; I did read a lot of philosophical & hindu texts. When I began working I turned an Atheist & questioned many aspects of beliefs, traditions & rituals. Remained an Atheist for about 8 years. Over the last couple of years though I felt by being an Atheist was being rigid. I felt that ONE could go a step further and remain open to any belief system that exists out there and remain totally untouched by them.

Over the course of last 3 years have been watching many Sci-Fi movies X Men Series, Avatar, Iron Man series, Inception, Prometheus, Moon, District 9, Cloud Atlas and fantasy movies - Batman Series. After watching them, I felt there were so many intricate parallel plots & conversations in Hindu mythological texts that could be far superior to the Hollywood storyline. There are numerous  books that are available on these Gods & the texts attributed for them.

Feel the concept of Gods & rituals in Hinduism were devised and crafted in a very cultural way for liberating one self. We do have the highest number of Gods & Goddesses compared to any religion. The title & usage of God in Hinduism could be very different w.r.t other religions. I feel that term could have been associated to a person who is specialised in a particular craft.  It is more of a science than mere ritualistic purpose which has lost its plot over the ages. The simple metaphor would to relate in this current day & age would be of a Doctor. As science & technology have progressed where have got to know our bodies better. We have Doctors who are specialised in particular organ or specific anatomy of body.

In a similar manner, there could have been people who were so good in their craftsmanship who attained the title - God. Probably these Gods & Rishis devised certain processes {like patterns} which were meant to be performed in a certain manner, that would benefit the one performing it. They even codified them so that the generations ahead could use it to improvise it according to their times.

There are rituals pertaining to a specific God or Goddess. Most of these rituals have been transitioned across generations through gurukul system of learning. Today, many of these rituals have lost their meaning as they are merely objectified than subjective. As a Developer I would adopt a Pattern or Framework or Tool or a Library in an application for ease, proven ability, benefits of performance, scalability & maintenance, et al. However, when asked to follow a ritual  most of us wouldn't do it as we do not understand the  ritual process. Also it is more objectified than subjective.

Technology again has been a boon. Today where information can be googled at your finger tips, I have been reading about various aspects of Hinduism, narration related to different Gods & Godess. Amazed by the extent of events or stories which have transpired by X number of years ago. In each of these stories, the actors are none other than Gods. The nature of these subjects are highly inflammatory.

Brahma fell in love with his own female creation and could not take his eyes off her extraordinary beauty. According to Shiva Purana, from the incestuous union of Brahma and Shatarupa was born Svayambhuva Manu, the progenitor of Man, and from him in turn all creatures as depicted in Manu- ˆ

In the mythological scriptures there are many such scenarios. Another interesting one is Niyoga or the current accepted practice of Surrogacy. Dr Sonia Dutt Sharma has a research paper on the subject.

Pandu had to ask his wives to beget children for him with the help of other men through the ancient custom of niyoga, in which a man other than the husband impregnated women.

If only we read them, we could avoid re-inventing the wheel to find solutions for the issues which we are facing. We could understand the dark side of many subjects and how it has been addressed. We could improvise upon the previous solutions to adapt & stay relevant. 

For many years, I have questioned the rituals & their necessity at home. Not very often do I get convincing answers to them. When a person doesn't get an meaningful answer that is satisfactory, they either ignore or just follow {in most cases} for the sake of respecting the elders. In this manner, like successive generations, we have been more attached to the karmic rituals than their spiritual values that bring to the doer. The rituals were crafted by the Architects or Gods when performed in the right manner will benefit the doer. Feel all this has been lost & very few remain who know the real value. 

Personally there is nothing wrong in watching SciFi movies of Hollywood, reading books of Issac Asimov or Arthur C Clarke or Iain Banks. They give us  diverse perspectives. At the same time current generation probably are ignorant of what lies in our backyard. There are many such super human stories - Brahma | Mohini {Only Female avatar of Vishnu. Wonder why we do not have her pictures in temple or homes ;) } | Vishnu | Indra | Murugan | Hanuman | Yama | Rama | VayuMahishasura Mardini | Bhaargava | Varuna | Ravana | Indra | Rudra | Shiva - which I had no clue of either.

I shall leave the topic of Spirituality for another time. Do check out the post on Holy Cow.

1. What I love about being a Hindu is that I have had the personal freedom & no pressure from family or friends to follow a certain rule or rituals or even pay regular visits to temple. 
2. Credit also goes to one of close friend for giving gyan on Hindu Mythology

Friday, March 08, 2013

~ The Special One ~

Quite unusual for me to be writing posts on football this week. May be its the season of Champions League fixtures & the Gunners defeat at NLD.

You might like him or hate him, but can't ignore "The Special One" a.k.a José Mourinho. 

  1. Has won Leagues cups in four different counties - Portugal, England, Italy & Spain
  2. Has won an European Cup
  3. Has 21 club titles in a span of 10 years
  4. Has won 2 Champions League Cups with two different Clubs from two different nations
  5. More honours here

If Real Madrid continues to perform the way they are playing this season's Champions League, am sure they might win the title for 10th time & Jose being the ONLY manager to win the Champions League with 3 different clubs.

He aspires to win the Champions League for an English Club. Am pretty sure that he would one day take control of Manchester United when Sir Alex quits.

~ King of Highbury ~

  1. The highest goal scorer for ArsenalFC - 226
  2. The first English club to beat Real Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Guess who scored ;)
  3. The highest ever goal scorer @ Highbury which will never be broken - 100
  4. Winner of PFA Players award twice
  5. Winner of FWA of the year thrice
If you still haven't figured out who he is, then he is none other than Thierry Henry.

If you are Gooner or not, but loves the game of football, then do watch this documentary

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

~ Unusual José Mourinho ~

José Mourinho's behavior or character seem to have changed after yesterday's win at Old Trafford  He was seen comforting Sir Alex when Red Card was shown to Nani. Then during the post-match talk, he said, "The best team lost". 

He even went to say that Real Madrid didn't deserve to win. Real would have at the very least equalized even if Nani was on the field & taking the game to extra time. The outcome might have been different if the game had spilled into extra time. Being the man he is, who cares less about reporters or those who run the club. It is quite suspecting to see him talk differently. Not sure what he is up to.

Read this article - Mourinho defends decision to bench Rooney. He even defends or agrees with SAF decision to bench Rooney.

  1. Is he being humble & modest coveing his usual arrogance
  2. Is he desperately looking to replace #SAF next season at #MUFC
Your thoughts on José?

Sunday, March 03, 2013

~ The Professor ~

Another North London Derby {NLD} tomorrow, feel this time around it ain't important for the fans or the club. The outcome of this match could be the key for Arsene Wenger extending his tenure with Arsenal FC. There might have been managers at ArsenalFC who have won silverware &  brought laurels for the club. But none come close to the calibre of 'The Professor', who has brought discipline, style & art for the kind of game we play today. 

I have followed Arsenal from 1999, kind of Wenger era. During those days, in India, football was being watched or relayed ONLY during World Cups. Star Sports began showing EPL feed & not many people used to watch football in a Cricket Crazy Nation. Add to it, most of the people who did watch club football supported Manchester United or Liverpool or Juventus or AC Milan or Real Madrid. I could hardly find any Gooners in Bangalore. At times, when they did showed football at a local pub and if Arsenal were playing, often ended being a minority supporter. Occasionally would find a couple of Gooners amongst a group of 20 MUFC fans. 2 or 3 of us would enjoy taking on those MUFC fans. 

Over the last 14 years, Arsenal have had a fantastic run till 2007; despite having no silverware. Post 2008, the Invincibles departed and AFC were left with young team to manage & groom. 

There are many fans who are disappointed with Arsene Wenger {AW} for the last couple of seasons for varying factors - letting players go, selling our key striker to arch rival, not bringing reinforcements to those who have been sold, running the club for profits vs silverware, et al. To a certain extent even I have gone through the same emotion & thought process. Our performances have been dismal; Being beaten by non-league clubs, is more miserable.

As fans, each of us feel we have moral right to critique the way AW has been running the club or the board or Arsenal FC in general. We might even be entitled to do so, to an extent. Agreed, our frustrations are at an all time high. I feel it during these tough times, that Mr Wenger needs our support. He is not the only one to be blamed. Our PLAYERS on the field are more responsible to show the hunger & spirit of winning than the MANAGER.

In the current era, were we have seen Oligarchs from Russia or Middle East, who are buying clubs and running them at their whims. We need to recognize the fact that Arsenal wouldn't be the same anymore without Arsene Wenger. I don't want the culture of what AW has established at Arsenal to be lost. 

I wish Gunners who are playing the Derby tomorrow win the game for AW than anyone else to a new direction of AW next season. 

Image courtesy - Don'tgiveupworld

Saturday, March 02, 2013

~ Sir Ravi The Juggler ~

Unbelievable. Watch this juggling video