Thursday, December 24, 2009

Your cellphone or music player or gaming device is your primary computer ...

Hmmm ... we seem to be on the same wavelength :
The trends are pretty clear. All the exciting new applications are running in the browser, with application code in the cloud and the cell phone as the platform. Your cell phone will become your primary computer. I think in the near future there will be docking stations everywhere with a screen and a keyboard. You simply pull out your phone, plug it into the docking station, and instantly all your applications and data are available to you. The key is you get to decide which applications and data to keep resident on your phone, and which to keep in the cloud.
This is what Don Dodge  said in an interview and thats what I was thinking a day before. Only difference being he works at Google ( and comes from Microsoft) ...

My contention goes a bit beyond cell phones ... one needs to include the portable gaming devices and music players in this category of primary computer. It is just a factor of human-device engagement minutes. I see people maintaining at least two of these devices at any point of time. I am not too sure if convergence would really work that well in next 2 years so as to completely eliminate music player and gaming device out of the human device engagement realm. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Google Chrome - finally my default browser

It took long time for Google to add extensions and fix up the glitches on display of pdf files. Finally it has done all that and now it looks likely to stay my default browser.

What made me move to Chrome was frequent crashing of Firefox and my heartfelt dislike for IE. Why I dont like IE? well that stems from their policy of upgrade to IE7 & 8.

Firefox is a good browser but as it kept crashing on me ... I was forced to look for alternatives. Though I am still loyal to mozilla with trusty Thunderbird.

Long live open source :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Google wave .. not even ripples as yet

I had so much expectations from Google wave ... but almost 2 months down the line, it hasnt taken off as yet. I think despite all the claims from wave team .. this connectivity tool has failed big time.

It forgets that there is universe beyond Wave !!!

I think any product today would have to be really very ground breaking to force people into using its own universe for connectivity. So Google .. if you are listening... time to take quick action before Wave dies on the shore..

Monday, September 28, 2009

When would this stop in Uttarakhand

Ever since I came back to Uttarakhand there have been frustrating experiences. Be it small things like the lack of traffic rules enforcement or BJP's internal fighting and hamlet of the CM stalling all the works in the state. After recent change at the helm of affairs in BJP and the subsequent actions like raids on government offices by CM etc., one hoped that now there would be atleast some activity against corruption etc.

But recent incidents involving a not so cleam minister, his chelas in departments and a secretary in secratariat have left me completely baffled. Secretary recommends action against HOD of one department after completion of departmental investigation. Minister instead of approving action against HOD, gives him clean chit instead. Now HOD starts to ask for action against Secretary for harrassing him!!!

Now important thing is, do ministers have right to give clean chit to anyone just like that? If so then why there is no report from minister giving justification or why there has been no investigation committee constituted to refute finding of the earlier investigation? This action has now put departmental discipline in complete dissarray as chain of command is completely broken.

This has now led to another even more embarrassing incident 2 days back when another department involving same minister and same secretary made mockery of departmental descipline. It seems that secretary wanted a particular file for investigation of earlier irregularity in recruitment. He sends his subordinates from secretariat to get the file. HOD of the department refuses to give the file!! Secretary decides to go the office of the department himself, all officials inclduding HOD flee the scene of action!! Can you believe it!! HOD and his staff leave the office just like that. Drama ensues as secretary summons police to look for the HOD !! He waits till late into the night and finally locks the office and gets it sealed!!

Next day's drama is even more embarrassing... Minister and HOD publicly ask for action against the Secretary!! CM and CS also seem to be not happy with the situation but still no statement from CM about the core of the issue ... CORRUPTION!!

So how long will this go on...!! Fight against corruption would be just an eye wash? If ministers are clean why cant they take action or atleast balance their act. I think seeds sown in earlier CM's reign are now sprouting ... total break down of the state's administrative machinery isnt too far...!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Maa | Mother

Other day while listening to Taare Zameen Par's "Maa" I was suddenly reminded of "Mother" by Pink Floyd. Though both are written in different context, one from a young boy and one as a grown man looking back but these 2 songs definitely help us understand the cultural differences of east and west.

I think most of us Indians or people from subcontinent would immediately identify wouth "Maa". "Mother" is a powerful song in itself and sometimes as a grown man I do relate to it somehow.

Just to bring home the contrast.. here are these two songs


"Mother" : Pink Floyd

Mother, do you think they'll drop the bomb?
Mother, do you think they'll like this song?
Mother, do you think they'll try to break my balls?
Mother, should I build the wall?
Mother, should I run for President?
Mother, should I trust the government?
Mother, will they put me in the firing line?
Is it just a waste of time?

Hush now baby, baby, don't you cry
Momma's gonna make all of your nightmares come true
Momma's gonna put all of her fears into you
Momma's gonna keep you right here under her wing
She won't let you fly, but she might let you sing
Momma's will keep Baby cozy and warm
Oooo Babe
Oooo Babe
Ooo Babe, of course Momma's gonna help build the wall

Mother, do you think she's good enough
For me?
Mother, do you think she's dangerous
To me?
Mother will she tear your little boy apart?
Mother, will she break my heart?

Hush now baby, baby, don't you cry
Momma's gonna check out all your girlfriends for you
Momma won't let anyone dirty get through
Momma's gonna wait up until you get in
Momma will always find out where you've been
Momma's gonna keep Baby healthy and clean
Oooo Babe
Oooo Babe
Ooo Babe, you'll always be Baby to me

Mother, did it need to be so high?

"Maa" : Taare Zameen Par

Lyrics Courtsey :

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Super Citizens!!

After every election we witness this phenomena. Ex MPs, MLAs Ministers not rushing to vacate their official residences and perks etc.

Uttarakhand though is witnessing a slightly different version of it these days. As a result of BJP's internal politics last CM had to resign. He did this but only after installing his own nominee to the same post. It has been almost a month since the new CM has taken over but still he is not able to move into the official CM residence. The pretext is that a suitable accommodation has not been found by the state government for the ex CM.

It maybe a courtesy extended by the new CM but I think it stinks of a very unethical practice of our politicians who consider themselves super citizens. As ex CM is now only an MLA, he should set some example of ethics and honesty( which he and his supporters keep repeating as his virtues) by moving out of the CM residence atleast.

Just hope that this doesnt create a new precedent for future CMs!!

The bigger question is, in democracy should there be a room for creating such super citizens for whom state government has to provide all these facilities? Ex CMs, Ministers, MLAs already amass enough wealth through corruption and on top of it taxpayers have to give them retirement benefits? Rewards for poor governance?!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Do we need windows or any other big bloated OSs??

Announcement of Google about Chrome OS actually opens a new debate altogether. Do we need Windows? Windows today is essentially base of Microsoft’s PC dominance. We actually need windows so that we can run other applications on top of it. That leads us to question as to why such this entire software universe is so resource hungry?

Lets Just compare Google Docs with MS Office suite. MS Office Suite needs not only its own bulk of a software but also below that we need entire Windows OS which would need a certain set of PC hardware setup.

Google Docs may not give us a full array of document editing facilities like MS Office but it works out of a browser, can be remote hosted and then it can work out of minimal of the hardware setup.

Now when we see the announcement in the light of this comparison, it suddenly means that there is now a killer app possibility here for low end PCs and Notebooks. Just imagine what if Google would release local version of its “Google Apps” service, that too free of cost!!?

Finally old PCs and laptops may come out of the closet :)

But then .. aren't we creating another Microsoft out of Google? What if they pull the plug on us someday ?

Friday, July 03, 2009

हिंदी !!

I discovered this nice tool from google which extends their transliteration services to other websites as well.
It is really exciting for multilingual people like me ... and immediately I tried it on Facebook and it worked quite well!!

Where this falls short at the moment is on CMS based website editing ... or even Blogger itself. Here I could type only title in Hindi and on the main content this tool is not operational.

I hope google's Indic Transliteration team can solve this and then atleast half a billion people would have new reason to get on to the net !!

Link for the tool :

This works for other indian languages as well

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Taliban, Maoists ... same things but different names

Driving and thinking is not advisable but this morning while BBC was going on and on about how America now suddenly views Pakistan as a problem, this thought crossed my mind. If we all look at the fundamental level Talibanism, Maoism or any other "ism" comes from dissatisfaction with the ruling regimes.

All these movements start as small pebbles thrown in the water and as the size of the pebble becomes bigger ripples become disconcerting waves crashing on the shores. Slowly the nuisance turns into nemesis. The mere power in the hands of dissatisfied lot becomes a justification for their survival, ideology then becomes unimportant and safeguarding power becomes paramount.

Noble Islam gets turned into Talibanism, fight for justice for the poor becomes Maoism ... and if we as citizens keep ignoring the welfare for fellow citizens then we should brace ourselves for the next ism in our neighbourhood.