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Showing posts from December, 2007

Work Life Balance!

Out of 20 New Year Wish emails that I fired to my former colleagues in the UK (some of whom are now in Australia)- I got "Out of Office" messages from 12 .... the British truly love to be on leave during the festive season .... Something to learn ... to take life easier ... and maintain a work life balance!

Nothing British about it !

A comment on Atanu Dey's blog . “Educate the elite alone so that the unwashed masses will be more easily controlled.” British built a educated class (bureaucrats) to do slave work for them. That worked very well for them. All they needed were dumb slaves who know how to read, write and regurgitate. And they did a terrific job of marketing. The slaves feel good about themselves and brag about it too, like so: “I work for the Indian Civil Services”. Why do we keep blaming the British for the state of our education? The concept of keeping education limited to few coveted 'castes' was preached and practised by Indians long before the British set their foot on this soil. And indeed, the reason why we have not been able to uproot the "flawed macaulian educational system" is because we DO NOT WANT TO. So many among our population still believe in casteist ideas!!


I should not have copied a complete blog post from another blog and pasted it here ... but I simply couldn't resist ... Atanu - please forgive my plagiarising Woman 1: "What is that little trash can on the screen?" Woman 2: "My son says that is called the 'recycle bin'. He tells me when I don't want a Word document anymore and I delete it, it really goes in there." Woman 1: "Why in the recycle thingy? Can't you just erase it?" Woman 2: "Oh no, Word wouldn't work for very long if I did that, I would run out of blank pages." Woman 1: "Why?" Woman 2: "Because it cleans the words off the pages, then sends the blank sheets back to Word so they can be used again. That's why it's called the recycle bin." Source: Atanu Dey on India's Development

A Shouting Boss!

I am at a client's office and there is one hot-shot who is shouting (on the phone) to anyone and everyone whom he is talking to - even worse he has kept the door of his cabin open to make the 'heat' felt to everyone outside. To one he says - "Its 10.30 and you are still not in office, when do you think you are going to start working" and then to another he says - "I have heard people walk in sleep, where did you get this habit of sending emails in sleep? What's the sense of sending an email at 12.30 in the night?" I despise such people (and companies) who lay too much stress on timing of work than the work itself. What's the point of hankering around the time one works as far as you get the desired results? Why should a company mandate work timings on its employees - especially in these times when most 'corporate' workers are knowledge workers and virtually everything works 24x7? I am thankful that I don't work for a company like this

From the good-ol' print

There were two articles in the Hindustan Times (Dec 10) which I felt like reacting to. The first one was a very relevant plea for attention towards sensibilities of the disabled . No surprize that that article is written by a Britisher. In India, we have become so used to witnessing misery, poverty and disability that it never strikes our subconscious when disability is used as a comic element in movies. I never felt anything watching the scene in Om Shanti Om which makes fun of a limping character? Some of you may argue that no one is making fun of the disability but rather the character - well I think its a matter of sensibilities. The fact that we find a disabled character funny, clearly signifies we do not feel any pity and definitely no compassion towards the character. I am not surpized, no one in the censor board noticed this as well!! The second article is actually a news item about Maharshtra Knowledge Corp - creating its own version of the Wikipedia. What amazes me is our h

Overuse of technology?

Australian startup Fluc is an innovative new mobile advertising network [where] Users provide Fluc with a profile of their tastes and interests when they sign up for the service, and Fluc uses that information as well as geopositioning data to deliver extremely well targeted ads. I.e., if the GAP knows you're near a mall where they have an anchor store, and they know from your Fluc account that you fit their consumer profile, then they might pay to send you an ad even if your motives for receiving it may be hazy. Instead of going through this complex and extremely expensive 'geopositioning' rechnology - Indian Malls are providing the same service through Bluetooth . Pros - cheap, definitely targeted and users 'opt-in' by enabling their bluetooth connection Cons - Every Mall must set this up independently, If the user  does not make his bluetooth  visible to the mall, the promotion cannot be done (but this service is an opt-in anyway) I suppose I will give full

Humans evolving faster than ever

The first results of the Human Genome project (HGP) have started coming in. Hindustan Times reported in a front page article today that Humans have evolved fastest in the past 5000 years since we separated from our 'parent' chimpanzees - and the rate of evolution is seeding up, also thanks to " the surge in global population ..... since more mutations occur now". The research in specific is not of so much consequence, as is the fact that the genome project has started its data analysis stage and some results have started emerging. Why this is exciting is because the HGP holds the key to several breakthroughs in the field of biomedicine - and probably a permanent cure for several unconquerable diseases like cancer and AIDS. Scientists also predict that when the study of the Human Genome is close to completion - it will lead to development of 'customized medicine" - wherein each person can be given medicines depending upon what would best suit his/ her ana

This is my 100th post this year!

I was at 73 when Shubham noted in an email to me that "The no. of posts u have made have been increasing each year... I hope that u will hit the 100 posts in a year mark this year ;-)" It was a worthy target to chase, as it was still September then - and I have made it today. I have been posting increasing number of posts every year. I started in mid-2004 and made 58 posts in the first year; the second year the number went to 85; last year, with no one to warn that I was nearing a century, I finished just short at 98. This year goes beyond hundred and its been great fun! However, another thing that has happened is that the average length of my post has reduced and most posts nowadays are more reactionary than proactive as they were in NITIE days. The lack of 'proactive' posts is also evident from the fact that I have hardly posted about my experiences as I used to earlier. For example this year I went to Kerala, made quite a few trips to Baroda (and nearby places),

Google OpenSocial has competition NoseRub is a protocol . Applications with the NoseRub protocol keep information about profile data for each of the contacts. These profiles get synchronised between the applications/social networks ... and can be used by any other NoseRub service . NoseRub uses already available standards like OpenID , RSS and FOAF to provide the goal of having a truely decentralised social network. How do I own my data? Decentralised means, that people may be able to store their social network on their own server and those servers to interact and synchronize automatically. One company doesn't own your data and social network anymore, you own and control it . We understand NoseRub not only as an application, like what is running on and which everyone can download and install on their own servers. We want even more freedom for the people who want to use NoseRub. More:

WWW: A historical revolution

[Q]... do you have a sense of how you would place it all historically? [Tim Berners Lee]I'll answer that one in a thousand years' time, if that's okay. [LAUGHTER] I think trying to write the history, at the time I think it's very difficult. we didn't know whether we were going to be looking at history or not, because when you look at a curve like that, an exponential curve going up can often just tilt over and crash back down again. And there were a lot of other projects we've all had which have done that. How very true - Tim Berners Lee put it quite aptly that an exponential curve could as well crash and end up looking like a 'blip' on the scale of centuries in history. Many of us Millenials remember the craze that VCR's were in the 90's - some of today's most hyped innovations like the i-Pod or iPhone could as well end up similarly. It is too early to place any new technology or trend as a game changer - which is a mistake that many a te

Millennials we are!

I chanced upon this article on CBSNews website about the generation "born between 1980 and 1995", who are "rapidly taking over from the baby boomers who are now pushing 60". While the article has been written from a US society perspective, I somehow felt it applies partially to Millennials in India as well - people of my generation (though talking mostly of middle class fellas here .. not the unprivileged)! Some quotes from the article: The workplace has become a psychological battlefield and the millennials have the upper hand, because they are tech savvy, with every gadget imaginable almost becoming an extension of their bodies. They multitask, talk, walk, listen and type, and text. And their priorities are simple: they come first. They were raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners. They are laden with trophies just for participating and they think your business-as-usual ethic is