Thursday, March 31, 2005

Hindi Movie Review - Fun - Can be dangerous sometimes

Total Bakwaas. I couldnt watch Tauba Tauba (starring Payal Rohatgi) and same is the case with this film too (both have cheap and sleazy storylines, but much different plots). Payal Rohatgi is trying her best to become an actress, but keeps getting only these sort of films. Manisha Koirala's brother, Sidharth makes his debut in this movie. Don't think either Payal or Sidharth will make it big in Bollywood, if they keep getting into such films.

Verdict: Total Time waste.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

DVD Jon

DVD Jon. While surfing the net, I found this link which had a photo of the DVD Jon. This is the guy who cracked the DVD encryption code and also the Apple's Itunes DRM. He is barely 22 years old!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Hindi Movie Review - Blackmail

This movie stars Ajay Devgan, Suniel Shetty, Priyanka Chopra and Diya Mirza. A very average film; most of the plot is quite predictable. Diya Mirza comes just in a few frames. The little boy, Parth Dave, does a lot of overacting and is a bit irritating too. The movie's got good action sequences. If you didnt know this already, the plot's been lifted from Ransom/Cape Fear. Music is quite decent, composed by Himesh Reshammiya. The song "Imli Imli" sung by Hema Sardesai and Jayesh stands out well. Overall it's a time pass movie.

Verdict: Average action flick...total time pass.

Tamil Movie Reviews - Raam

An amazing movie and a good thriller. Excellent acting by Jeeva, Saranya and Rahman. I didnt feel that any of the scenes were unnecessary or a drag. All of it were pointing towards the central theme. The suspense in the movie was well maintained.

Very good story with a simple theme (you will understand it after 3/4 of the movie passes). Comedy by Kanja Karupu is very enjoyable, he's got a bright future. Cameo role by Prathap Pothan (good selection of choosing him as a Psychiatrist). Music by Yuvan Shankar Raja (who recently lost his freedom to Sujaya) is quite decent. The song "Aarariraro" by KJ Yesudas is very good. The background score adds to the thrill of watching the movie - well done by Yuvan.

Good and believable acting by Jeeva. And Saranya and Rahman have also acted well. I have always liked Saranya's acting (I remember her acting in Nayagan very crisply) - she's got a pleasant personality and fits her roles quite well. And Rahman has also done a good role as a Police officer. If you like watching tamil movies, then you can afford to miss all the other recent movies, but not this one.

Verdict: Dont miss it. One of the few good films that are out at this time.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Sears Tower @ Chicago



The first picture was taken during my trip to Detroit. On the way back, we stopped at this place to see if Crepes would be available, but didnt find it. Also, this weekend I tried the crepes at IHOP (International House of Pancakes), but it was pretty bad when compared with the ones that I had at Seattle. The next pictures are that of Sears Tower (formerly the World's Tallest building) and the last set is that of some "Pigeons on Ice". The small lake had frozen and the Pigeons were walking on thin ice.

Kaal Music Review

This movie has a huge lineup of stars - Ajay Devgan, Esha Deol, John Abraham, Lara Dutta, Shah Rukh Khan, Vivek Oberoi. The music is by Salim-Sulaiman, these guys did most of the music for the Pop group Aasma (Channel V's product), their hits include the Chandu Ke Chacha song. The music for the songs are quite different, in the sense that most of them are disco based or more on the remix type - although I think they are mostly original songs. At first glance, didnt like it too much, but after listening to it for sometime, I seem to be liking it. I like the Jungle Mix song, the Kaal Dhamaal song and the Nassa Nassa songs the most. The Dharma Mix isnt bad. If you would like to try it, you can download it here.

Tamil Movie Reviews - London & Mayavi

Saw London (Starring Prashanth and Ankitha) and Mayavi (starring Surya and Jyothika) this weekend. Save yourself some time, dont watch either of these. Even with surfing the web on the side, I couldnt bear these two movies. Both lack a good script, and both have "un-sigh-kable" comedy lines. Vadivelu has a cheap role in London and just falls to disgrace with the bad comedy in this movie. I am not sure what others think about this, but I have noticed that from the first 15 minutes of a movie, you can more or less judge a movie's calibre. I couldnt stand (or sit) the first 15 minutes of these two films - the comedy was horrible, the storyline didnt really take off anywhere and I was surprised why these actors even signed up to do these films.

Also the music in both the movies, don't seem to be impressive.

Verdict: Shift-Delete both London and Mayavi.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Gmail File System

Did you know that you could use Gmail as an extra Hard drive? Each Gmail account is 1 GB in size, and if you have multiple Gmail accounts then it easily adds up some GBs of storage space. GmailFS is a really cool application which has been written in Python, an interpreted programming language similar to Tcl, Perl or Java. It basically provides a mountable Linux File System using your Gmail account.

For the geeky gentlmen/ladies, here is a link that explains it in much more detail and provides the Linux version of it...<Read More>.

For others, here is a link which tells you how to install this application in simple terms and provides the Windows version of it...<Read More>.

This is a hack and is something new, so it might not work as expected or might fail to work completely. Please use your discretion.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Detroit trip and a Speeding Ticket

Warning: My first lengthy post.

Here is the long delayed post. I went with my brother and sister-in-law to Detroit last weekend, it's about 5 hours from Chicago. The onward drive wasnt all that good due to a bit of snow and rain. Because of this and due to the bad traffic and thousands of detours on Interstates 96 and 94 (close to Detroit) it took us nearly 7-8 hours to reach Detroit. And as I said earlier, Detroit downtown is one of the dirtiest places that I have seen in the US. It made me think that Madras was a lot better. After we came back to Chicago (the return journey was a lot better without rain or snow, although the detours were still a hassle as the signs werent posted properly), I went over to my brother's place for some tea and my usual grocery shopping (thats where I seem to be getting my groceries from nowadays - whenever I go there I come back with food for the next week or two, these carefully prepared by my sister-in-law. One of the several advantages of being a bachelor).

On my way back to my apartment, I was fiddling with my Dell JukeBox MP3 player to change the playlist - this is where I lost the concentration on the road. I was driving at 65 mph (miles/hour) on a 45 mph zone and didnt even realize it. Usually that road is empty (and it was a Sunday evening too) and people do 60-70mph quite normally, so it wasnt that much of a deal. But I am usually quite cautious on the road and somehow sense the presence of cops quite often, this has saved me from a ticket for the nearly 5 years that I have been driving in the US.

I knew this was bound to happen someday or the other but when it actually happened, I was feeling a bit stupid for my carelessness. The cop's flashing lights went on and I moved to the right lane (the slower lane) and then he directed me from his loudspeaker to take a right turn and pull over, which I did. Then after the formalities were done, I told him that this was the first time I was speeding, he then seemed to understand and said "let me see", and went back to check my driving history. But when we came back, he came back with a ticket in his hand and gave me the directions for paying it. Then I thought it was a total "bulb" situation and took the ticket. From the moment I got the ticket, I have been checking my speed more than 5-10 times every minute and wherever I go, I seem to be spotting the cops' car instantaneously. I am controlling myself very consciously against revving up my engine when the signal goes green. I used to get a kick by moving past the slower cars at the signals - this habit might have to sit back and rest for a while. And a couple of days back I saw a young guy roaring up his Cobra engine when he was frustrated at the guy in front of him who was pretty slow. I was then laughing at myself and at him at the same time: at him because, I got the feeling that it wouldnt be too far off before he gets a ticket, and at me because, I should have done the same exact thing several times and someone else could have been laughing at me all along.

So much for a simple speeding ticket! The ticket is for $75 (plus $30) for the driving class (if you take this class you can avoid this ticket going into your driving hisory). And after getting this ticket, I happened to talk to a friend of mine from California and suddenly my $100 ticket didnt seem like a big thing at all, as he had just got a ticket for jumping the red light and he now has to shell out about $500 for it. All this for jumping the light by 0.2 seconds!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Guess what this is?


I have tried to hide the things in the picture that will reveal what you are looking at. Take a guess and tell me what you think this could be?

Answer to this and the procrastinated post about Detroit and Speeding ticket tommorrow :-)

Update: Answer in the comment section.

Tech News

Future Video Game Consoles. Here are some leaked/rumoured pictures of the next generation gaming consoles...<Read More>.

Ajax - The next killer app that is revolutionalizing the web. Google has already implemented this in Gmail and GMaps (Google Maps), and this could be used for future thin client applications like Office applications on the web...<Read More>. More details on Ajax.

And yesterday I read an article in Wall Street Journal about Symbian (Most of the Nokia phones use their OS) striking a deal with Microsoft for the synch software with Exchange. They are arch-rivals in this business and already RIM (the maker of Black and Blueberries) is showing slight signs of a battle with it's stock. Not sure how the other top players would react to this (PalmOne, maker of the Palm PDAs and Treo Smartphones, is one of them).

Luxury Laptops


Given the fact that laptops are becoming mainstream nowadays, a new market for luxury laptops is building up...<Read More>.

Picture Courtesy: News.com

PSP - A better Gameboy?

Play Station Portable or PSP, is all set to hit the stores in North America tommorrow. If you would like to catch up on the buzz, <here> is some reading that you can do. And Sony has already got the accessories market pumped up for this gaming console...<Read More>.

Detroit trip and a Speeding Ticket

*I went to Detroit over the weekend.
*Got the first speeding ticket in my driving career.

More on these two tommorrow - I really need to get some sleep now :-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Outsourcing Terrorism

It seems militants are targeting Outsourcing firms. Militancy with a noble cause? ...<Read More>.

News in General

If you havent still heard, Gemini Ganesan is no more. NewInd Press has a photo essay about him here.


It's a bit late now, but still I should honor this guy in my blog : Narain Karthikeyan came 11th in the Malaysian Formula one...<Official Race Result>.

Ask Jeeves, the search engine with the Butler, has been acquired...<Read More>. AskJeeves.com is the fifth-largest web search engine and could pose a good competition to the top three players : Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

Wall Street Journal (Print Edition) had an article about the Airbus 380 today: The new Airbus 380 Jetliner which can hold a maximum of 853 passengers (+ 20 crew members) will take almost one hour to be fully boarded and in case of an emergency all of these people have to deboard in 90 seconds, to pass security regulations.

Anil Ambani is now getting death threats. The fight between them is just getting worser.

Game Network IGN.com is now up for sale. It's a pretty neat site for Game reviews. I visit them every once in a while for Xbox game reviews, cheat codes and walkthroughs.

Muthiah Muralidharan's married now


After seeing more than 10 referrals from Google to my blog for Muthiah Muralidharan's marriage pictures, I think I should return back the favor by posting his marriage pictures (I had an earlier post about his wedding). He is happily married and he must be on his way back to Sri Lanka...<Read More>.

More photos here.

Picture Courtesy: Muralidharan's website (For more pictures look at www.muralidharan.com).

This is the season for marriages!


Music Director Yuvan Shankar Raja is now married to Sujaya Chandran, daughter of a London based Doctor. It seems, Hariharan and Mandolin Srinivas conducted musical programmes during the marriage/reception. Both Muthiah's and Yuvan's marriage took place on the same day (March 21st). Many celebrities came in to wish the couple, and among them the God was also present.

Picture Courtesy: Indiaglitz and DailyNews.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Amazing!

(Click on these images)
Found this really amazing site. It's a typographic book/video/music searching site by Amazon.com. Search for any book or video or music on this site, and the results would be typographically displayed, meaning searching for "gemini" in books would build each and every character of gemini with pictures of the search results. And you can click on the letters (of gemini) to zoom into the cover of the books. Very cool programming!...<Read More>.

Microsoft's AdCenter

Microsoft has come out with their version of Click Through Ads. It's called AdCenter. It uses demographics also while showing the ads (I dont think Google does this)...<Read More>.

PS: The link that carries the news article about Microsoft's AdCenter is filled with Google Ads. Is that a hidden message to someone?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

A:\

Recently I read two posts (In Soumya's Blog and in Jagan's Blog) about Madras Slangs, which reminded me of a funny incident that a friend of mine narrated to us. He was in a Cyber cafe in Madras and someone in that place said this, "floppya thooki a colothula podu pa" (Translation - Put the floppy disk in the 'A' Drive). This is where Madras slangs and technology come together :-)

Music from Kicha Vayasu 16

I heard the songs of Kicha Vayasu 16 - this movie stars Simran among others. Music is by Dhina and the songs are quite decent. There are three very good songs that stand out, "Angalai Enakku Pidikkum" sung by Dev Prakash and Sumitra (Havent heard these guys before, but they have sung it really well). The second good one is the "Kelambuthu Kelambuthu" song, sung by Kartik and others. These two songs were right next to each other in my playlist and unless you take notice, it feels as though the second song is a continuation of the first one - the beats kind of blend into each other. These two songs are quite racy and have a good beat to it. Off late I have found that keeping my Bass and Treble of my car stereo system both at Max setting gives it a unique taste. And with such songs it totally ups my spirits. The third songs is the "Sila Neram Sila Pozhuthu" excellently sung by Unnimenon. He is one of my favorite singers, and he has a voice similar to that of Madhu Balakrishnan (or vice versa, depending of how you look at each of them).

These three songs are filling up my 10-15 minute drive to/from work the past few days. For added effects, today morning I tilted-up my sunroof (in my car) and it felt really good...<Listen to it>.

Forthcoming Tamil Movie Releases

1. Rajni's - Chandramukhi

2. Kamal's - Mumbai express

3. Vikram's - Anniyan

4. Surya's - Ghajini

5. Vijay's - Sachein

6. S.J Surya's - Best Friend

7. Madhavan's - Thambi, Priyasakhi

8. Prashanth - London

9. Ajith's - Godfather

10. Simbhu's - Thotti Jaya

11. Srikanth's - Sadhurangam

12. Bharat's - February-14

13. Dhanush's- Adhu oru kana kaalam

14. Simran - Kicha Vayasu 16


Additions, corrections are welcome. Thanks to a tamil download site for giving me most of the movie names from this list. Let me try to see if I can find a similar list in Hindi too.

Trisha clears the air

In an interview with Galatta she clears some of the controversies that she's been involved with (knowingly or unknowingly)...<Read More (needs a userid/password)>.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Bad Programming!


Got this mail from PalmOne today. Can't these guys even test the basic scenario of a User's profile not containing any PDAs? I got more pissed off when I got another email from one of those popular companies (cant remember which one) today which had "Variable Name" as my name.

McDonald's is outsourcing?

Yeah they are going to outsource their Drive-thru calls. So the next time you hear a desi asking you, "McDonaaalds, How May I helppu you?", ask him for a Hot Chai and Samosa with extra chutney...<Read More>

Found this link from Sriram's blog.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

From Madras to Minnesota


These two pictures were taken when I went to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2003. The first one is a small waterfalls, the other one was taken inside the Mall of America - Largest Indoor Mall in America and the second largest in the world (More Info). It's got an Indoor Theme Park...you could have a subway sandwich and watch people screaming out loud in the roller coaster rides. But apart from a few waterfalls, lakes and this mall, there's not much to see in Minneapolis. I had gone there to meet my Schoolmate (High School) Suri (and Sundar, who had come there for his amru friend's wedding). And this is a post to Welcome Suri back to the world of blogging. He blogs at <From Madras to Minnesota>. It's been more than 11 years since we graduated from high school and we still maintain constant touch with most of our friends.

Ji...Ada Cheee!

Just saw the tamil movie "Ji", starring Ajit and Trisha. It is just like Tirupachi, a total waste of time. The first half didnt have any story or proper sequence and was going aimlessly, while the second half had some story but was filled with the usual stuff that happens in politics, which has already been shown in 10s of 1000s of movies. The title succintly puts it - Dont waste your time on it.

About Ji's Audio - Vidyasagar has composed some good music in this movie. The song "Ding Dong" by Madhu Balakrishnan and Madhushree is just amazing. The music is excellent in this song and the singers have also rendered it very beautifully - both the singers are very high in my favorite list of singers. The other song that I lied in this movie is "Ethanai Ethanai", the song is good, but the singer, Shankar Sampoke, has tried to over-pronounce the words in some places which gives a bad look, otherwise the song is pretty nice. Talking about Vidyasagar's music, his music in Chandramukhi, on first glance, was quite disappointing.

And Trisha, just like Tirupachi, has a very small role.

Verdict: Ji...Ada Cheee!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Indo-China Bhai Bhai?

A funny stand-up comedy video. The comedian is narrating about an Indian trying to buy a purse from a Chinese store...<See Video>.

If you surf around a bit in this site, you will see other interesting videos, including the Aishwarya Rai's Interview on 60 Minutes, Aishwarya Rai's Interview on David Letterman, Telecom Italia's ad featuring Gandhiji's speech <Other Videos>.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Ferry - Taken during my Seattle trip. Posted by Hello

An Excellent PhotoBlog

Here is an excellent photoblog by Nilesh. He has a Taj album and an Agra and Fatehpur Sikri album among others. I have never been to either of these places. I am totally awestruck just looking at these pictures, can't imagine how I would feel loking at it in person. I like photography in general and these are very crisp pictures which depict the grandeur of these monuments. Don't miss the Radhaswami temple photos in the photoblog. The marbles in this monument have some exquisite carvings. I should certainly go see it in person soon...<Nilesh's Photo Blog>.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Shakalaka Shernaz Abhijeet

  • If you have watched the movie "Black", then you would know who I am talking about. She played the role of the mother of Ayesha Kapoor in that movie. Her acting was excellent (on par with all the three protagonists) in the movie. She has a pleasing personality that will immediately pull you to her side...<Read More>.


  • In an unreleated news, Shakalaka Baby-Vasundra Das is getting married to Roberto Narayanan, he is of Italian origin but Indian born...<Read More>.


  • Abhijeet Sawant has been declared the Indian Idol. He's got an amazing voice. Watch him singing the "Tu Mile Dil Kile" Song from the movie Criminal. The other finalist Amit is also equally good. Watch him sing the "Jo Vaada Kiya" song from some hindi movie. :-)
  • Page 3



    Just watched the movie "Page 3" directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, starring Konkana Sensharma and Atul Kulkarni. This is a very good movie which narrates the story of the rich and famous (Bollywood's, of course). Madhavi is a journalist who reports in the Page 3 (dedicated to the Bollywood's rich and famous) section of a leading Newspaper. The story is a superb narration from a journalist's point of view. Even though the story covers a myriad of subjects (it was a bit distracting to me at the beginning) but slowly the movie shaped up and started to get interesting with the central theme becoming more apparent. Atul Kulkarni (he is a very powerful actor - I started noticing him after his outstanding performance in "Hey Ram") has a good role, so does Boman Irani (the laughter therapist from "Munnabhai"). It gives a complete dashboard-look at what happens in Bollywood. Would higly recommend this movie...<Read More>.

    Verdict: Excellent acting by Konkana, nice theme. See it if you can.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    Someone's SSC Exam paper


    I got this in a forward today and found it very very hilarious! These are supposedly from someone's SSC exam - not sure about the authenticity, but is certainly funnny. Posted by Hello

    Sunday, March 06, 2005

    Filmfare on digestion

    Titled "Readers dont digest", filmfare has a write-up where readers point out anomalies in the recent hindi movies.

    Narain finished 15th in the Australian Grand Prix


    Pic Courtesy: Sify

    Narain was the fastest among the Rookies in the Australian Grand Prix. He finished 15th out of the 20 who raced. Michael Schumacher crashed out and couldnt complete the race. Posted by Hello

    Good Music

    If you like listening to music, then here are some good ones (just desi ones) -

  • MTVs Band Aasma (Music by Salim-Sulaiman)

  • Channel Vs Band Viva (Various Music Directors including SEL and Salim-Sulaiman)


  • Hindi Soundtracks that I like from recent Films:
  • "Mat Ja" from Shabd. Very good music by Vishal-Shekar.

  • All the songs from Black Friday. Good music by the band Indian Ocean. Their earlier albums include Kandisa, Indian Ocean, Jhini and Desert Rain. I am listening to their album Kandisa right now.

  • "Guzar Na Jaye" from Rog. Excellently sung by KK and very good music by MM Kreem and Gaudi.


  • Waiting to listen to the Indian Idol album.

    Tamil Soundtracks that I like from recent films:
    Most of the songs from Chellame. I really liked the picturisation of "Kadhalikkum Aasai". The song in the beach and the dance sequence was excellently made. Good music by Harris Jeyaraj and very well sung by KK, Mahathi, Chinmayi and Tippu (Harini's husband).
    Chandramukhi is a big disappointment from Vidyasagar. After Rahman, I look up to Harris Jeyaraj and Vidyasagar. Yuvan Shankar Raja, Imman and sometimes Srikanth Deva fall into my second-tier of music directors. I heard a couple of songs of Jithan by Srikanth Deva and they seem to be really good. I hate most of the music by Xerox Deva, due to his jarring use of music and not much of originality, but Srikanth Deva seems to be a better version of him. his music in M.Kumaran S/O Mahalakshmi was quite good.

    Shakes?

    Just tried out Banana and Date Milk Shake topped with Bailey's Irish Cream. It's got a very unique taste and makes a good early evening drink. According to the webtender Bailey's Irish Cream is probably the best known irish cream in the World. It is made from a mix of cream, eggs, chocolate and Irish whiskey. If you dont drink alcohol, then try it without bailey's it will still be a good early evening drink.

    Old Hindi Movies

    I am now reasonably convinced (after my conversation with colleagues at work on the way to Tamarind Thai, where I had to confess that DDLJ was my first hindi picture in a theater - although I have seen most of the ones (mostly Raj Kapoor's) that they show during election time in DD) that I should watch old Hindi movies (80s and maybe 90s). I think, I might have missed a lot - now I am looking for suggestions from my blog readers. Got any must-sees in your list?

    I am referring to the Anil Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan era. I am quite fluent with the recent ones of this decade :-)

    After reading Megha's post, I might start off with Parinda.

    Thirupachi - Tamil Film Review

    Just watched the tamil movie Thirupachi, starring Vijay and Trisha. This movie is a very normal and average movie, made exclusively for the front-row-seaters. To make this even more attractive for the front-row-seaters, he's got all the villains (with names such as Pattasu Bala, Panparag Ravi, Saniyan Sagadai) who have acted in the recent times in the tamil film industry. As usual, like most of his movies, it was just a waste of time, although I enjoyed the song "Kannum Kannumthan" well sung by Harish Ragavendran and Uma Ramanan. I have heard this song many times (it's got a reggae piece in between which increases the coolness factor of the song) and the song sequence is also well choreographed, which adds to the viewing and hearing pleasure. Overall, the movie is something that is very much avoidable, but dont miss the songs, most of the songs are good, song sequences for some of them are good. Also Trisha's got a very small role in the film.

    Verdict: Skip the movie and listen to the songs (also do a shift-delete on the movie in case you have a soft copy of it). Music by Devi Sri Prasad, Mani Sharma and Dhina is good.

    Thursday, March 03, 2005

    Poaching of a different kind

    Have you heard of Indian companies paying their Management team in millions of dollars? 247customer.com is a BPO which recently hired Doug Bettinger for an annual salary of $350K plus a handsome bonus. I was surprised when I read this article in the Wall Street Journal - Print Edition. I tried to find it in their online edition, but in vain. Then a google search on Bettinger lead me to this site. Times are changing, indeed!

    Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    Formula one lineup

    Ferrari
    2004 position: 1st
    Drivers: Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello

    BAR
    2004 position: 2nd
    Drivers: Jenson Button, Takuma Sato

    Renault
    2004 position: 3rd
    Drivers: Fernando Alonso, Giancarlo Fisichella

    .
    .
    .

    Jordan
    2004 position: 9th
    Drivers: Narain Karthikeyan, Tiago Monteiro

    <Read More>.

    Taj Mahotsav

    Here is a video about the 350th anniversary celebration of the Taj Mahal, which took place recently.

    Mumbai is the cheapest city to live in

    Cheapest cities (and also cities with lowest wages) to live in: Mumbai, India and Karachi, Pakistan.

    Best Paying cities: Copenhagen and Zurich.

    <Read More>.

    Late Night TV Page

    If you stay in the US and would like to find out which late night talk show is going to host which celebrity, here is the link. They also have RSS feeds.