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Showing posts from September, 2006

War: a techno-economical engine

Note: I wrote this article way back on 28th January 2003. I was completing my engineering then, and of course didn't have a blog. The thoughts in it however, are pertinent even today. Wars for long have been thought to be as bad omen. And every time somebody mentions War, pictures of mass destruction hover in front of our eyes. But history tells us that wars have traditionally been the powerhouse of technological revolution. The recent most world war, that is the Second World War, is the most flamboyant example of the above fact. Robert B. Young at the Stanford Research Institute has studied the span of time between the first commercial appearance of a new electrical appliance and at the time the industry manufacturing it reaches a peak production of the item. Young found that for a group appliances introduced in the United States before 1920, including the vacuum cleaner, the electric range and the refrigerator, the average Span between introduction and peak production was 34 yea

In the Line of Fire ...

Merely 10 days after our dear PM declares Pakistan as a ‘victim’ of terrorism , the General happily confirms that Kargil was a planned intrusion by the Pakistani Army into India, in his latest book . I really don’t know whether to frown, growl, or simply laugh off [ greatbong laughs on it ] the naiveté of our most respected prime minister (who also is probably the most educated India has ever had). But, Parvez Pusharraf has proved yet again that he is one of the most dynamic and glamorous dictators ever. He has been very succesful in stealing the limelight time and again - he even outshined Vajpayee during his Agra visit by calling for unexpected Press Conferences and other histrionics. Unlike other dictators like Saddam, Musharraf is well educated, but even unlike other educated dictators (Fidel Castro?), he does know how to use his education (of English) to the best use. He has even outdone his predecessors like Zia Ul Haq and Ayub Khan in populist gestures or more appropriately '

Maelstroms of the Mind - II

What does success mean for a person? Many people are professionally successful - at the peak of their careers - when they realize that ‘this isn’t what I wanted to do in the first place!’ But most others aren't even this fortunate - they never realise what they want in life! In fact, it is very difficult to put a finger on ‘what people want?’ Any human being will have multiple dimensions of needs. Maslow’s Hierarchy is probably the most simplified representation of these dimensions. Maslow groups needs in broad groups such as – Biological/Physical needs, Safety, Love/belonging, Status (esteem) and Spiritual needs. However, needs are much diverse to fit in these broad groups. For example ‘Esteem’ depends not only on how people themselves perceive their lifestyle or job, but also on how they think others perceive these. As another example, consider the role a person’s ‘salary’ plays in determining his self esteem. Firstly, if the salary satisfies his basic financial needs like food,

Who is responsible after all?

4 days ago 30 people died and 56 were hurt in a terror plot in Malegaon . And yet, the western media has reported little about the whole incident. The news has been underplayed to the extent that apart from the first outbreak of the event - no other information was given by the western news channels who were otherwise busy trumpeting the call for support for 'War against Terror' by President Bush. There were 2519 terrorism related fatalities in India last year; the numbers were 2642, 3702, 3973 and 5839 in 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001 respectively [ Source: ]. But MSNBC says that only "2,929 terrorism-related deaths around the world since the attacks on New York and Washington" - does the world include Asia, Middle East and Africa? I do not expect the NATO forces to land into India and fight the 'War on Terror' - but by turning a blind eye to India's problems, by protecting Pakistan time and again from facing the wrath of Indian retaliato

Will singing 'Vande Mataram' feed a hungry citizen?

Javed Akhtar has very pertinent and sane advice for people loosing their sleep over singing of 'Vande Mataram' "....If some people don't want to sing the song, let them not sing it. But why waste our energy debating on it? We live in a democracy and should, therefore, allow people to exercise their democratic rights. ....A party with a strong political base should rather concentrate on other vexing problems. For instance, they should lose sleep over 105 farmers committing suicide in Vidarbha last month or children dying of malnutrition and not over a national song's supposed separatist tone.Instead of analysing Vande Mataram and going into hair-splitting details, they should take note of pregnancy-related deaths in rural areas, do something to eradicate poverty and the unemployment that dog the country. The politicians must not take people's attention away from core issues - they should not influence them to move away from the less privileged population of the

Outlook tips for GMail fans!

Are you none of those who simply love GMail for its conversation view? And long for similar arrangement of your Official Emails in that format as well?? Well ... I have a good news for you! I just discovered that Outlook also has a conversations view to arrange emails as in the GMail window. It might be surprising to know that Conversation View which GMail sold as probably one of the most compelling innovation [Read the 3rd and 6th paras here ], was always present in Outlook. For all you know not just Outlook but even other email clients like Lotus Notes, Thunderbird, and the non-so-well-known-ones might also have this mode of arrangement. But as Shiv Khera says(I tweaked his phrase a bit to suit my context) : Successful companies don't do different things - they do things differently! Google definitely used the same idea - but presented it in a completely different manner. More so, one should clearly appreciate that GMail is a Web-application while Outlook a Desktop App - implemen