Sunday, February 27, 2005

Back from Seattle

Just got back from the Port City of Seattle. Was there for 3 days with a couple of friends. It's a very nice place, situated between mountains and the Sea with a decent climate. Decent, I say, because I have heard that it rains a lot over there, but I was happy that it didnt when I was there. Saw Microsoft's buildings from outside, went to their Company Store to buy Halo2 T-shirts, Xbox lanyards and other Microsoft things. Their museum was really good. Had some cool techy stuff there. Will post some of the pictures online soon.

Oscars is on right now...Chris Rock made a funny comment during the year we will have drive-through Oscar - You will get an Oscar with a McFlurry (McDonald's MilkShake).

In another unrelated news...Microsoft Antispyware (Beta 1) complains about Firefox! I am right now running it on my laptop to check that :-)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Top 100 Gadgets of All Time

Mobile PC has the top 100 list of gadgets of all times. Got the link from ... <Read More>.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Formula One Ticket Sales has started

US Grand Prix - Formula One Circuit 

Ticket sales for Formula One at Indianapolis has started. The Race is on the June 19 and usually the best seats get taken right away. Narain Karthikeyan is driving for Jordan this time, so I am going for sure (this will be my fourth time) ... <Read More>.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Volvo Driving Event Pictures

I have uploaded the pictures from the driving event. Even with the rain it went quite well - in fact, the rain added to the driving pleasure. There were a couple of driving courses which focussed on the safety, handling, stability and performance of the Volvo cars. The first driving course was a simple circuit with nice bends - there was quite some slipping on the bends, more due to the water because of the rain, which made it a worthwhile driving event.

The second course had a set of cones and you have to move around them in a zig-zag manner at a constant pace without accelerating or decelerating. I have some videos of these, which would truly reflect the action that went on the driving course. If any of you know how to post videos online, please let me know. For some pictures from this event <look here>.

Silicon Subcontinent

Picture Courtesy: New Scientist India

I was reading an article on Rajesh Jain's blog at about India as a Knowledge Superpower, when I looked at another equally interesting article about the Software talent available in India.

“At last count, Bangalore had more than 150,000 software engineers, the kind of numbers only Silicon Valley can boast” ... <Read More>.

Posting videos online

Would any of you know a way to post videos online? I took some videos at the Volvo Driving Event, and am trying to find a way to put these online. Imagestation lets you upload but am not sure if it can allow the downloads too. Everytime I try to download it, it asks me upgrade to premium membership.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Auto Show was Good!

Went to the Auto Show and spent about 4-5 hours, it was really good. The new concept cars were amazing. I will upload the pictures soon. Today I am going for the Volvo Driving Event at US Cellular Field (Comiskey Park - White Sox Stadium). Even after having stayed for 2 years next to this stadium, I havent been inside it so far. I go to the Lexus Driving Events every year, those are simply superb. Last year it was a SUV Driving Event (from Lexus), where they had a driving course that simulates different conditions (hilly terrain, mountainous terrain, pot holes, etc.). Let's see how this one is ... <Volvo Driving Event>.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Super Bowl Ads

In case any of you missed the superbowl ads, here they are ... <Super Bowl Ads>.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Raghu Romeo detained in Abu Dhabi

Actor Vijay Raaz (remember PK Dubey from Monsoon Wedding and Lallan Ka Dost from Yuva) has been detained in Abu Dhabi for possession of drugs ... <Read More>.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Grammy 2005

For those of you who missed the Grammy like most of the viewers, here are some videos to catch up ... <Read More>.


I listened to Raghav's "Angel Eyes" recently and am totally mesmerized with that - heard it about a dozen times so far and still want to listen to it everytime I sit inside my car. It's a very nice mix of Indian music with Reggae and R&B. Raghav, a Canadian Born Indian, has trained in the Indian Classical music (most probably Hindustani). He knows and speaks Hindi fluently (apart from English and French).

I see a very strong vocal talent in him and I think he should probably try some playback singing. His voice is both familiar and very unique. I see a bit of Hariharan and Babul Supriyo in his voice, only much much better. The only downside is his association with the Reggae and R&B - a bit of it is ok, but I see a lot of it his "Story Teller" album. If he can get away from that and get into playback singing or regular indy-pop he is bound to get into the mainstream market ... <Read More>.


New law in Norway makes it illegal to rip CDs to play in MP3 players ... <Read More>.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

India to host Formula 1 in the next three years

Formula 1 in India, in the next three years...Teakada's got the scoop ... <Read More>.

More news on the release of Xbox 2

Xbox2 (CodeName: Xenon) should most probably be getting released by this year end ... <Read More>

Thursday, February 10, 2005

'I find Chennai is way ahead of Bangalore in connectivity — through roads, airport and other infrastructure'

US official - Deputy Secretary, Department of Business and Economic Development, Maryland is on a trip to India is busy signing MoUs with IITs for Research, exchange programmes and such ... <Read More>.

Hotel Palm Grove's employee involved in the killing of the hotelier

Hotel Palm Grove is a pretty popular hotel in Madras and it's owner has been murdered. It's employee union's chief is apparently involved in the murder ... <Read More>. Here is a link to the <Hotel Group>.

Software Testing is like Dishwashing

Found this in someone's blog (dont remember where I found it), it is a cool article about how software testing is taking a lead on software development...<Read More>.

Funny Conversation between George Bush and Condoleeza Rice (A Spoof)

Found this at Niranjan's Blog. Quite hilarious! Ensoy!

Narayana Murthy at NASCOMM 2005

Highlights: Of the $16 billion in revenues this year, about 60 per cent is expected from top five. This, he states is far from healthy and it is risky. He said that many more smaller companies will have to participate in this growth since it its smaller companies which can adapt better to market than larger companies. They can also become better niche players...<Read More>.


I have always been interested in Music - be it a long drive or a 15 minute drive to work, listening to music keeps me in good spirits and I thought it was high time I write a post about Music. So pretty soon - maybe even by this weekend, I might post about one of the popular singers, Madhushree.

More Commercialization to Oscar

Oscar's on the Feb. 27th and they are bringing in some changes which might be a bit insulting. In some categories, they are not even going to invite the winner on stage, the winner will be presented the award in their seats. And in a few other categories, they are going to call all the nominees onstage and then announce the winner. That is insulting! ... <Read More>

Send Short Voice Messages as SMS

Nokia is trying to get their Xpress Audio Messaging to SMS. This will be a long awaited feature in the standard mobile phone where people try very hard to type in a few words (I have a Qwerty keyboard in my Treo 600) ... <Read More>

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Cell Phone charges are one of the lowest in India

Tariffs in India are about 50% lower than that of its neighbours like Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This is the reason for high mobile growth in the country ... <Read More>.

Google India Code Jam for 2005

Registration for the Google India Code Jam 2005 has just begun - Use Java or C++. Deadline is on the Feb 25th. The tournament Champion takes home 3 Lakhs ... <Read More>

Chinese New Year Parade

For those of you in and around Chicago, there's going to be a New Year Parade this weekend at Chinatown. I might make it, if I get out of a housewarming celebration soon enough. It starts off at 12.30 pm in the afternoon on Feb. 13th. <Read More>.

Recent Business Happennings

Bloglines has been acquired by AskJeeves ... <Read More>.

Microsoft plans to buy Sybari Software (they acquired Giant Software earlier), an anti-virus firm ... <Read More>.

HP's CEO Carly Fiorina has been ousted ... <Read More>.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Need a Map?

There was the search engine, then the WAP enabled search, then the phonebook, then the integration with Handspring's Blazer Software (for Palm PDAs), then came catalog searches, after that was Adwords, then the news, then came the Compute - toolbar, then the Labs, then came the news site, then the froogle, then the blogger, and then the AdSense, after that the search by location, soon after that the news alerts, then the deskbar, then the free mail, then the photo organizer, then the video, and now the Maps!. Yes, I am talking about Google!

If you would like a tour of the Maps ... <Read More>. And here is the search result for Indian Restaurant at 847 (847 is an phone area code in Illinois).

PS : Spent quite sometime to put together this timeline from a couple of sites (the order is pretty close to the actual chronological order).

Saw the Black Movie

One of the best movies I have ever seen. I usually dont like Rani Mukherjee, but this movie turned that around completely. Her acting is amazing in this one and so is the Child actress' acting (Ayesha Kapoor), and of course Amitabh's. After reading the reviews from the LazyGeek, Suderman and (see 2 posts below), I wanted to go see it even if it was a week day - saw it on Monday evening. It's a must see movie.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


Do you know what 3G CDMA stands for in India? "3 Gujju Chors - Dhirubhai, Mukesh, Anil". This is a popular joke in India ... Gaurav Sabnis has a neat article about Reliance's Telecom business <Read More>

Black Movie

Everybody's raving about the new movie Black, directed by Sanjay Leela Bansali. Reviews and photos of the premiere are available at:

<Now Running>
<LazyGeek's Review>
<Suderman's Review>

Tamilian or Indian?

I found an interesting post about a Tamilian's plight with desis talking to him in Hindi and here is what I told him: (For the post look <here>)

Well, I am from Madras and I had a similar view about Hindi until I landed here in the US. Even though I had taken hindi as my second language at school till the 10th standard, I really couldnt speak in hindi. I will be forever grateful to my roomies who took the pains of conversing with me in Hindi and teaching me several things in the language. Mind you, all of them had their own language (telugu, kannada and marathi) but Hindi was our common language. It should be our common language, because it is the national language, plus people are more comfortable talking in Hindi with desis than english - which I think, is very understandable. If I meet a tamilian I would be more comfortable talking to him in tamil than in english - unless of course I meet a Peter or a Mary! It is only in Madras that people dont talk in Hindi (it is now getting better and better every day), among the major cities in India (take Bangalore or Hyderabad, for instance).

Coming back to the point, the basic problem with us tamilians is that we tend to think of Hindi as an alien language and do not even want to make an attempt to learn it or use it (I had this exact feeling till I came here to the US). Our politicians are the only one to blame for this - but they dont have to go out of the state to interact with people from other parts of India, it is people like us who have to do that on a daily basis. And it is in our own personal benefit that we learn the language. From my personal experience, learning hindi really gets you more friends - in the US knowing hindi is very essential, it puts the other guy at ease when he talks with you. And after all, if you dont speak hindi who do you think is on the losing side - you will be thought of a typical madrasi (stereo-type) who doesnt want to talk in hindi.

A funny incident happened when I travelled to Rameswaram. We had to book a hotel and the SethJi over there, demanded a higher room rate than what we had been told earlier when we checked in. My Father (who doesnt speak hindi) tried to talk to him in English and in Tamil, but nothing worked. Then I went and talked to the SethJi in Hindi (All I told him was, when we came in we were told of a lower rate, and this was all in hindi), and immediately he agreed and my family was looking at me with awe!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Riviera Beach at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Riviera Beach - A neatly lit viewpoint right next to the lake. Posted by Hello

A deformed "Godzilla" eating something from a table. Posted by Hello

Marine Life - Won the first place, do you see the fish in the picture? ... <See> the Picture Posted by Hello

A Bakery with a display?...Should be that, I think. Posted by Hello

This sculpture is called "The Carvers". This won the 2nd place. Look here for the winning photos, before they started melting. Posted by Hello

Same thing, different view Posted by Hello

Not sure what these are actually called...a horse drawn ride of some sort... Posted by Hello

This one resembled a home...this one had started melting by the time I had gone there (about 6pm) Posted by Hello

Some form of Buddha (not laughing buddha...but he was holding his hand to his nose - perhaps someone broke the wind?), I think, inside an enclosure. Posted by Hello

Snow Sculpture of a Dragon...The weather was quite warm, in mid 40s (Farenheit or about 7 deg. Celcius), so many of the sculptures had started to deform. Although this Dragon was in much better shape. Posted by Hello

Lake Geneva...It's now frozen. You can see people walking on the right side next to the mountains. And I noticed some SUVs also with some tents in the middle of the frozen lake. Posted by Hello

It's Winterfest at Lake Geneva, Winsconsin

It's been a while since the Sun's been happy here in Chicago. Today it's pretty sunny and the sky is quite clear. So me and my friend (with his family) are planning to drive over to Lake Geneva which is about a 50 mile drive (takes about an hour and half) away from our place. Lake Geneva is a pretty beautiful lake, during the summer when the lake is not frozen they have boat rides, and many water sport activities (like water skiing). And around this time of the year, when the lake is usually frozen, they have activities which include the snow - there's a Winter Festival which features a snow-sculpting competition. Here is the picture of the 2004 winner. And it seems these sculptures are lit in the night, cant wait to take those pictures, especially since I got my Tripod for a superb deal ($20 - the tripod has a solid frame and has a good height). This should certainly help me with better night pictures. More pictures will follow. Go to Lake Geneva's <homepage>.

Winterfest 2004 Winner 

Thursday, February 03, 2005

How Google's employee goofed up + other interesting stuff about blogs

This is a very nice article about Weblogs, copyrights and companies. I read this in the Information Week Magazine and was happy to find a link for it in It's got some news about RSS Readers too ... <Read More>.

Press Meet with Narain on his F1 Contract

Press Meet with Narain Karthikeyan on his F1 entry with Jordan ... <See Video>.

And here is the video news for the past week ... <See Video>

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Muthiah Muralitharan bowls a maiden over

Muthiah Muralidharan is getting married to a girl from Chennai. The girl is a director at the Malar Hospital in Adyar ... <Read More>.

PS: Thanks to Sangeeta for the Creative title :-)

Indian Idol on the Net

Found this link from LazyGeek's blog. Got all the details, so if you like music, it's a good read ... <Read More>.