Monday, August 24, 2009

To Ashes

Heart broken. That’s how my plight was when Hussey fell to Schwann. Defeat was imminent after Ponting ran recklessly, possibly to give a farewell gift to Freddie, who accepted it with pleasure. Actually, defeat was on the horizon after their first innings fiasco. The Aussies looked impetuous right from the word go. Their usually rock solid bats lookied wavering. The once mighty & invincible Aussies fell, like everything that rises does. Gone are the days when the Aussies would rout the English mercilessly in their own backyard. Earlier, the English aimed to loose the series by the smallest possible margin. They would gratefully accept a 2-1 defeat; ask Nasser Hussain, Alec Steward or Caddick.

But now, things have changed after the fateful departure of the greats of Aussie cricket: McGrath, Warne, Gilli, Hayden, Langer, Martyn and others. Aussies now struggle for victory, unlike in past when triumph came naturally to them.

People hate the Aussies, mainly because of their hogwash, on and off the field. But they had an attitude, that of a victorious soldier towards the prisoners of war. Their mind games worked. They stalked their prey like a leapord. Their sonorous appeals often invited refree’s wrath. All said, they knew how to win.

Things have changed now though, the era of their domination seems to be over. There are resurgent teams vying to take the top spot. The Proteas are the frontrunners. But I am sure no other team can dominate world cricket as the Aussies once did.

I wish and hope the Aussies come out the despondent state to prevail again……

Friday, July 10, 2009

Redefining an Operating System, the Google way

The traditional view of an operating system is something that loads when we switch on our computer, and shows us a desktop with icons, and which has a start button at the bottom left corner, so on and so forth. So basically, a plebeian idea of an OS conjures up images of either Mac , Windows, or at the most Linux. Can someone revoltingly usurp the traditional view, and more importantly, ideate something new? Well talk of revolutions and it rings(or Bings :) ) 'Google'. The frizzy braniacs at Mountain View have embarked on a journey just to do that. By winter next year, we will witness, either a farce or an exemplary new OS. I am vouching for the latter possibility. The news that Google is going to launch a Chrome based open-source(duh!) OS, based on Linux kernel, has received extreme reactions. Most people are thrilled, few say they anticipated it, and others have started flunking it.

They(the techies, who else!) say that they saw it coming when Google announced Chrome, the open source web browser, because of the way Chrome works. Chrome, unlike other browsers, does a host of tasks that other browsers delegate to the underlying OS. For instance, Chrome treats each of its tabs as an independent process, with separate process stack, which can be verified from the task manager of your Windows(Donno what's it like in Mac).

What will be the OS like? They(this time they refers to the guys working on Chrome OS) say that the traditional OSs were built when there was no or very little idea of the internet. Chrome OS will shift the onus of managing your data to the online world. It will be as simple as a browser, but would be very powerful. You would not need the heavy weight Windows or Mac. I have some reservations with this statement, but going by who has made them, I will accept like a true follower.

So what's next? Google has invited the open source community to participate in this venture. They(this time it is Google, as a corporate) have also declared openings exclusively for projects on the Chrome OS. I believe that Google saw Bing coming, and they wanted to give Microsoft a taste of what they felt when Bing was announced. May be that's why Google has hastily declared its intentions so early, an year ahead of the official launch of the OS.

Personally, I am not expecting something mind boggling like GMail, but yes, it will surely give Balmer some sleepless nights.....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

We the Consumers...

Marketing managers place the almighty consumer at the center of their efforts. And nothing wrong in it, after all the consumer is the king of the market. But does this make him arrogant? With increasing choices, a consumer does not think once before disposing a mean demeanor. To quote an example, some time back I went to crossword to indulge myself in reading. It was Saturday and something around 10.20 in the morning. What a morning it was, clear sky and light breeze. A perfect day for vacation.

Fresh and clad smartly, I entered the kingdom of books. Although I find almost the same books at the same place every time, the place thrills me. While I was looking around, picking and dropping books, I observed strange glances. The staff was looking at me rather uncomfortably. I ignored and continued my quest for the book I would partially read that day. I was the only 'outsider' in the shop then.

Some time later, a middle aged lady entered the shop. She looked in a hurry. She knew exactly what she wanted and headed straight away to a particular section, picked up a couple of books and went to the counter. I continued my search. Suddenly I heard the lady shouting and abusing the staff. She said she would complain to the manager. That the staff was impolite and rude. That they were unfriendly towards the customers. That they would be responsible for the loss of business which crossword would face due to their arrogance. That the staff were dumb and should shut up. She used more English words when she knew that the staff didn't understand much. They kept on requesting her politely to calm down and wait for 10 minutes till their manager arrives. That they cannot transact till then. It struck me suddenly the reason they were staring at me.....The shop was not open yet!! The lady asked for their manager's contact number threatening to complain. The scared staff didn't know what to do. Frustrated, she left, shouting all the way outside.

All those inside were dumbfounded by this act of impudence. I politely asked them whether I could stay and look around for books, as the shop had not opened for business. Smiling, they explained that they had no problem with it. Just that they cannot sell anything without their manager coming and switching the computer on! The tone was almost hapless.

I thought that sometimes we, the consumers and customers, are so conceited that we fail to understand the situation at hand and unfairly take advantage of our vantage. The junior staff working anywhere, malls, shops, are humans. They should be dealt with and treated with the same respect that you expect from others. (Remember the day when your client screams at you and you feel victimised).....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

GMail labs - Undo Send

A brand new feature is being tested in the GMail labs. Soon, you will be able to undo message sending, sent by mistake, or if you forgot to attach a file or include an important person(read boss!) in your email. Seems like GMail would be giving a tough fight to email clients like the Micrsoft Outlook. When you get all those features in your good old web browser, why would you wish to install a heavy program for it!!

The catch here is that you may undo send only within some stipulated time after you actually send a message, and that time being very short, only five seconds, I am not sure how effective would it be. But as far as my experience guides, I have observed that I catch mistakes in a sent message within a couple of seconds after clicking the SEND button. And even if you close the browser within those 5 seconds, your message will be sent anyways.

So, basically GMail holds on your message for 5 seconds after you send it. So if you observe any anomalies you can undo it. Impressive feature, but hope it does not add to the ever increasing downtimes in GMail.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A disposition for war

Can killing of innocents be justified? Israel says it is justified as a collateral damage in a vast operation in an attempt to protect oneself.....Well! Is it enough? I don't think so. Almost 400 out of the thousand casualties of this war are women and children. Israel's claims are even more skeptical as they have barred journalists from entering their war playground. Not just journalists, they even prevented humanitarian aid to reach the needy under the argument of danger of arms smuggling. Does self protection mean exterminating the entire race of the enemy? I sometimes wonder what Israel would have done if Palestine had been a state with a powerful defence architecture. Had they been equally belligerent? I doubt. The violent reaction is precisely because they know that Palestine is a helpless guerrilla state.
Everyday, more and more incidents of human rights abuse are being reported. Latest one is the use of white phosphorus. The chemical is known to burn flesh up to bones on contact....No amount of diplomatic pressure is working. Does Israel expect to attain peace with its actions? History is a witness to military carnage, and none could bring peace....Although I respect Israel's right to defend itself, still, an onslaught is just not tolerable. UN has become an ineffective peace instrument. I pray for the people of Gaza. May the Lord free them of Hamas. May the Lord make Israel realize that power should be balanced with morality and temper.....
Israelis suffer from a war philia....