Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Lost my phone... [339/365]

Earlier today:

Tring Tring!
Person on the other end: Hello?!
Me: Hey! Hi. How are you?
Other person: Hello... Who is this?
Me (feeling a little hurt now): This is Navin..
Other person: Who? Navin?
(After a pregnant pause) OOOOOO. Hi! How are you, Navin?
Me: So you didn't even save my number after all these months we've been talking huh?
Other person: Oh no. I lost my phone and all my contacts, you see.
Me: Oh. That happens a lot nowadays (with unmistakeable sarcasm).

I am quite sure most of you are nodding your heads in agreement because you know someone who has either done it or you have done it to someone recently.

While I used to feel genuinely sorry that the other person lost his phone in the most unfortunate way, I have recently started hearing a lot more of this reason to believe there could a mysterious case of mass thefts happening.
How could people not have their phone numbers written down somewhere, especially in this day when you have software backups and all?
How could people not recognize other people by their voices?

You can call me a cruel skeptic but I have my reasons:
People tend to loose their mobile only when they were supposed to contact you with some urgent work but didn't.
People tend to loose their mobiles but they make no effort to email or leave a message on social networking. Incidentally, they would leave a post if they got a promotion and what they ate for breakfast but when they loose their mobiles, that is when you'll have to read their minds.
People know that thefts happen but will never (and I repeat NEVER) write down or memorize numbers. Memorizing 10 digit numbers are passe.
And finally... They'll promise to save your number when you 'finally' call them. Try calling them ini 4 days and they still wouldn't have.

And for all those out there who lost their phones recently and who I haven't called yet, take a number and get in line. I am still in 'A'.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mini Me [299/365]

A year after its most iconic CEO passed away, Apple has set the cat among the pigeons again.
This time by releasing the iPad Mini.

While it will be still a few months before we get to see the gadget in stores across India, the launch has created enough buzz to have some imported through your desi connections. As a matter of convenience I've resisted the temptation to write on technology because I prefer to know how a gadget will benefit us holistically rather than being just a object of your pride. When it was first launched, the iPad was the butt of a million internet jokes. Why would a company choose to name one of their products that? But as the world stopped laughing, Steve danced all the way to the bank.

Cut to 2012, the iPad is singularly responsible for making tablets and touchscreen devices accessible and cheaper. In the uneasy world of technology, prices have always been the weapon of choice. Today, it is easy for a student to own a tablet with just his pocket money. As smartphones got smarter, the iPad shrunk. Reading the reviews online, I doubt how much of an impact the iPad Mini will make. Given its price, it is surely a premium product but one look under the hood will you that this is just a standard tablet and the $100 or more that you'll be paying is for the brand. But then this shouldn't be surprising since Apple has always priced its products much over what its competitors have charged. Clearly, Apple believes in feeding our frenzy for the niche brand.

While Apple readies to battle with the Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire and the Microsoft Surface, the winner isn't clear. The race to earn a share of the sales this Christmas season just got a little hotter. Each of the four technology giants have a unique USP about themselves. With seemingly limitless resources at their disposal, the only winner could be the Consumer.

Ironically, the iPad Mini debutes about a year after Steve famously told how selling a downsized version of the iPad will not make business-sense. I wonder if Hell has a Apple store for Steve too.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ze List v1.0

In the spirit of having lists, 2011 was among the most interesting year in this decade.

Ze List is my take on what was interesting, on what made the cut, what didn't and what mattered this year. (In order of importance, of course)

Though an unusual entry at Ze List, I think it is important to understand that everything that happens in our life happens for a distinct reason.

Arab Springs

Stumbling through critical policy matters, fumbling with crisis our politicians have managed to sleep walk through 2011. Yet again.

The sheer volume of money that was siphoned off this year boggled the mind’s arithmetic. There was an average of new scandal a month.

In 140 characters, much of the world spoke to each other this year. Against injustice, discontent, joy, sorrow and everything in between.

Lending itself to the lexicon, the Arab world erupted against autocratic rulers and ruthless democracies with a vengeance that does not seem to die.

Julian Assange

Offering a glimmer of hope, what started out as a promise is threatening to fizzle out. Anna needs to strategize and stabilize.

Japan is not new to natural calamities or man-made disasters. As if a devastating earthquake, a huge tsunami in its aftermath was not enough, the nation reeled under the familiar threat of a nuclear holocaust.

The City of Dreams had another nightmare. While any other city in the world would have learned their lesson from 26/11, Mumbai appears to forget. Snooze.

A little known whistle-blower site founded by Julian Assange became the nemesis of much of the world’s corrupt, by leaking top secret diplomatic cables and documents. Embarrassed, the West scrambled to muzzle the whistle, Assange has always managed to stay one step ahead every single time.

Meanwhile, he’s promised to reveal the account holders of all that money that has been siphoned off India into tax havens abroad in 2012. Now, that should be interesting!

As the world continued its love story with fossil fuels, Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) will continue to call the shots. Here’s to another year that went to fluctuating crude prices.

Conrad Murray

In an attempt to show the world and an embarrassment to the government, a government planning commission declares that anyone who earns more than Rs 32/- a day is over the poverty line and cannot be entitled to schemes for individuals below poverty level.

Well, Mr Planning Commissioner 1987 called and they wanted your 32 rupees back.

Against a disease that still kills millions of individuals across the world, a vaccine against the disease is just what the doctor prescribed.


For a nation that has the largest and cheapest workforce and the fastest growing infrastructure in the world, China is perhaps one of those nations you can’t afford (pun intended) to ignore.

It appears like we finally managed to get our sneakers all nice and ready. Starting with a really good show at the CWG last year, the winning streak continued with good shows at tennis and…

Pope Benedict

… yes, Cricket too. We won the World Cup. Finally, some justification to all the millions that we pay to our over-rated and over dramatic cricket players.

The physician who lived his dream of that one famous client as he walked into the sunset, was finally convicted to a four year prison sentence for administering the fatal dose of surgical anesthetic that killed the king of Pop- Michael Jackson.  

It’s all about the Oil, honey.

With Iraq finally within Uncle Sam’s kitty, it was time to move on to Iran.

Suresh Kalmadi & Tihar Co.

After the fiasco called CWG, much drama and many investigations, Mr Kalmadi finally got the axe. Well, maybe he was just the most convenient scapegoat but was soon united with many of his colleagues for company.

Starting off as a politician with a squeaky clean image, the chief minister of the southern state of Karnataka showed how he was like any of the other jerks around him – Corrupt and Power hungry.

Along went his compatriots in corruption, the Reddy brothers who stripped entire mountains in the mineral rich region of Bellery for it’s iron ore. Billions looted.

Britney Spears

With an economy that has been feverish for a very long time, its cousin from across the Atlantic sent stock exchanges around the world into a tizzy when crisis hit. Credit ratings fell and so did the CEO of the credit agency that downgraded the rating.

When you’re bailed out by money that really belongs to the people, you normally wouldn’t think of taxing them anymore. A decision by Bank of America (BOFA) to charge 5% monthly was perhaps one of the many ill informed decisions that the bank regretted. Victory lap, anyone?

Paid for the sins; who as Cardinal Ratzinger oversaw pedophile priests.  

Was supposed to the Facebook killer.

Didn’t happen.

Muammar Gaddafi

If it was Saddam earlier, this year we had Gaddafi.

For all the bodyguards that surrounded him during his hay days, the utterly miserable he died at the hands of his citizens was a lesson that we wish autocratic rulers and despotic dictators would learn.

For much of the beginning of the year, all the empire really spoke about was The Wedding. *Yawn*

After almost crashing and burning, Britney reinvented herself. She’s back!

Overseeing the last bastion of communist rule, Kim Jong 2 held a tight grip over North Korea and managed to taunt the West until his death at 69.

Swami Nithyananda

After being implicated in an embarrassing tape that showed him in a compromising position with a regional movie actress and devotee, he managed to slip into oblivion unable to stand the uncomfortable glare of the media and society. Did we all say ‘Déjà vu’

The self styled godman and philanthropist died after multiple organ failure. Alas, the search for a god that is immortal continues.

One of handful of people who changed the world this century, he was unceremoniously killed by highly trained SEALS in a covert operation in the one place where he shouldn’t have been – Pakistan.

Sheela, Murderous Women and DK Bose

Talk about going viral. This year was a year of movie songs that went viral and beyond borders as Indians across the nation asked ‘Why this Kolaveri de?’. Maybe, this is what we need to ask Pakistan and our government.

MF Hussain

Shorn by his motherland, MF spent the last few decades of his life with his eccentricities as a nomad, finally dying in Qatar.

The inventor of C, the computer programming language, Dennis’s death barely created a ripple as his death was overshadowed by the death of a more iconic compatriot...

Dennis Ritchie

Enough has been said of and about one of the most ‘iconic’ CEO’s. Hardly a philanthropic or as charitable as any of other CEO’s of his time, his death resulted in worldwide mourning.

From being a central government Minister, she fought the Communists and won state elections and became the chief minister of the north eastern Indian state of West Bengal (aka Paschimbanga). A firebrand and a populist, she is one politician to watch out for.

Looks like all kinds of clowns are predicting the end of the world. Harold’s failed doomsday predictions made him the laughing stock among the believers and non-believers alike. Harold, start preparing for the 21st Dec, 2012.

Tablet Wars 

If Apple set the cat among the pigeons by launching the iPad, 2011 saw a slew of companies releasing their versions of the iPad killers. Not much luck there.

Harold Camping

3D everything

3D movies became all the rage. Even television and mobile phones.  
Imagine watching Freddie vs Jason on 3D.

The Guvornator and his wife of 25 years; Maria Shriver separated after it was revealed that he had cheated on his wife and fathered a son with one of the domestic help.

The iconic and much married Hollywood diva died leaving much of Hollywood grieving and reminiscing.

Rupert Murdoch

The news magnate had to apologise for unauthorized phone taps. Reality bytes.

Cheaters, the TV show earned a right to be on Ze List, sheerly because of the way, you are reminded of how partners will cheat and when confronted fight back, and still want to “get the f*&$#W@* cameras out of my face”. Isn’t it interesting that they all wanted to be asked if they were cheating in private? Ya right.

The 116 year old masonry gravity Dam has been one of the few bones of contention between Tamil Nadu (who has a 999 year lease on the dam) and Kerala (in whose land the dam is situated). Several quakes and an aging Dam have put the two states at loggerheads.

In the Red. Both literally and figuratively.

Angry Birds

Caught the imagination of the kids within us. Was certainly not good for birds though!

Acquired by Microsoft. Finally.

Returned to the hot seat after a short sabbatical. Back to business.

Tried to create a sequel to the ‘Arab Springs’. Ended up with a spoof.

Rebecca Black

And after several months in prison, the investigating agency botched up the one chance they had to punish the guilty for the biggest accounting fraud in Indian corporate history.

After keeping the nation guessing on whether he will be running for presidency or not, he decided he would rather stick with ‘The Apprentice’ for now.  
He would have made for an interesting Prez though!

Rebecca Black 'Friday'

A hit solo, 'Friday', with it’s catchy tune went viral within a few weeks since it was illegally uploaded on online video sharing portals. Well, any publicity is good publicity for a budding 14 year old.

Crash, burn, booze, babes. Repeat cycle.

One of the few very successful female Asian porn performers, her entry into the Indian version of the Bigg Boss, made headlines across India. Toeing a fine line, she has managed to stay in the news.

Sunny Leone

Marriages are no longer made in heaven. 72 days after they proclaimed undying love in a ‘made for media’ marriage, they completed their marital duties too. I guess marriages are now made over business lunches and sealed tight with a prenup.

After a pretty forgettable 2010 and much of the years before that, Beckham bounced back to prove why you must still bend it like Beckham.

One word – Cute.

Touched all the right chords. Spoke all the right words. Poignant.

Kim Kardashian

Another brutal reminder that the world does not need an Al Qeada or a Saddam Hussein. Just one pathetic, depressed dude with a meticulous plan to kill.

For proving that movies are only meant to rake in the moolah and not because they must entertain. We could certainly see/hear a lot less of the king of mediocre movies.

Barely made it to Ze List. I hear she is happy now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trust Betrayed

About a couple of years ago and when I was sufficiently 'house-trained' about the intricacies of Technical Support, I got this joke about Helpdesk Rules. Several of the jokes were utterly funny.

Most of what was mentioned there was what many of us would have thought of atleast once during their careers but of course would never have the gall to think aloud, let alone act on.

However, all that changed when I read the newspapers 2 days ago. The headline read: 'Tech Support steals woman's naked pictures off her computer'.
I was appalled! What shocked me more is that this happened 3 years ago.

However, that was 2 days ago and I don't see any reaction around. Am I missing something here?
What defeats my understanding is how we, as a society, can create such a ruckus when fuel prices go up or when some no good politician twitters but stay mum when it comes to something that will tarnish our already miserable reputation in Outsourcing.
India is a nation of great misnomers!
We will go to war of principles and morals against poor neighbors burning our National flag, but when it comes to safeguarding the reputation, jobs and dignity of a million of it's citizens, we exercise amazing restrain.
Lest we come across as a nation of hasty village idiots, we need to wait and watch.

After all, all news dies in 2 months.

What I cannot fathom is why a news like this didn't cause so much stir to even warrant a revolution?
Why Dell and the local law enforcement agencies played this down for so long before the media raised hell?
Why isn't Dell doing or appear to be punishing the culprit more severely so as to set a precedent?
Why do we consistently appear to be shooting ourselves in the leg when we could so easily redeem ourselves as a nation of the smartest and most enterprising Asians?

Back when I was working as a lowly agent, 9 years ago, I remember my Clients used to entrust me with their Credit Card details almost with the same innocence of a 3 year old. I had to take the details down so that I could help them make purchases online. I could have misused them, but never did. I never felt the temptation to own something I didn't work (hard) for. Never had the glib intentions to con a person who trusted me with so much. I won't call myself Mother Theresa but I somehow never had the intellect to steal.

But like water that follows gravity, we always forget to learn the good lessons of our collective bad judgments. The media will pick another headline, the Victim becomes another statistic and India like a rickety yellow school bus will move on in its own momentum.

While we are known to be a resilient bunch of people, we must strive to be a smart and sensitive citizens of a resurgent planet.
We must learn to be more conscious of the values that we as a civilization espoused while the West were still a bunch of unruly gun totting semi naked natives.

Wake up, India. Its time to go to work!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Dont try this at home

Please don’t commit these hideous Facebook crimes. If you are currently guilty, stop now before the whole world becomes aware of your apparent lack of Facebook etiquette.
Remember, these aren’t mere suggestions, they are warnings. Stop now or be judged later by the Facebook Gods – they are fierce, unforgiving and may sentence you to eternity on MYSPACE!!!
Facebook Don’t:

1. Couples, DON’T put cutesy “No, I love you more!” posts on each other’s walls. ESPECIALLY when you live together. It screams desperate and just makes others jealous…like me. Cuz I can’t even get my boyfriend to put ‘In a Relationship’ on his profile. But I’m totally fine with it. I mean we’ve only been dating 7 years so it’s like totally NOT a big deal. Okay, moving on…

2. Don’t send notices out for ALL CAUSES. Be selective. Pick and choose. If you are already a part of the cause to stop animal cruelty, stop crimes against children, eat vegetarian and adopt a fugly person to date – that’s enough. Stop there. If you’re for all the causes – you’re really for none of the causes and everyone will nickname you FAKEY McFakerson with a capital F!

3. Learn how to flip your pics. Nothing says “I’m a total internet granny” like posting pics that are sideways or upside down. Seriously, you can do it. There is a flipping option under the pic after you upload it.  It’s just plain unfair because we all know that everyone looks hotter sideways and/or upside down. Show us your TRUE SELF~

4. TMI! There is a such thing as TOO MUCH INFORMATION. Your Facebook friends don’t need to know about your last bowel movement, what it looked like, smelled like or what it took to create it.

5. Depressing status updates. Quit bumming us out with depressing status updates where you say “my life sucks” or “this is the worst day EVER” or “I’ll be dead by the morning.” Seriously! At first I liked this because it made me feel better about my life, but after seeing people post these depressors daily – Facebook friends no longer want to empathize with you. Instead, they want you to start lying. Facebook is not your therapist or BFF. It’s time to face the reality that some of your friends got stuck befriending you in hopes that this would deter you from stabbing them one day.

6. OVERLY HAPPY STATUS UPDATES WITH TOO MANY EXCLAMATION POINTS THAT ARE IN ALL CAPS!!!!! Okay, so you may think you have the best husband, boyfriend,wife, mistress, kid, cat, or disease EVER, but guess what, you don’t and no one agrees with you. Our selfish minds won’t let us because all we think when you proclaim your “bests” is  - “Ours are better!”

7. Excessive status updates about how much good stuff you do like volunteer, work out, eat
vegetables and feed the elderly.  GOOD FOR YOU! Now keep that stuff to yourself, FACEBRAGGER!

8. Taking more than 2 quizzes a day is UNACCEPTABLE. Get a life! Not like I have one, but I know others that do have a life and it doesn’t involve finding out what Hoggwarts character you are and when you are going to get married. It’s just nonsense, especially when guess what, you are already married!

9. If you receive event invitations the WORST reply is ‘Maybe.’ This is okay if you really are on the fence and plan on making up your mind and posting yes or no before the event. However, always being the ‘Maybe’ person doesn’t go unnoticed and infuriates the Facebook Gods. You don’t want your FaceRights taken away from you now, do you?

10. If you beat my Farkle score, under no circumstance is it okay for you to post your win to my wall. Since I play Farkle obsessivelyoften, I already know. Braggers don’t make for good FB friends and sometimes Farkle just feels bad for people and gives them a really high score, which coincidently puts them ahead of me on the scoreboard. So it’s not about talent or good luck, it’s just about pity, but not when it happens to me.
Now get a sense of humor and follow these tips AND you will have the best social networking life EVER!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Don't turn off the lights..

Reams of News rolls and megabytes of celebrity endorsements have managed to get our Mother One Hour.
Yes, It is finally that day of the year when we decide to turn off the lights and all things electrical.

Its Earth hour today and in India, its from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

What struck me as odd was one particular comment made by famous Bangalore choreographer, when he said ".. I plan to lock up my house and hang out with my friends at a pub."
So does he not already do that on Weekends?!

We take and we take, all that we are and we consume and aspire to consume come from our Earth. It is not like we are importing any of the raw materials from Mars or Jupiter. Much to the chagrin of most manufacturers, the Earth is not a bottomless pit of good stuff.
While we have the luxury of electricity for our smallest needs, there are scores and millions of villages in India, where its Earth Hour every hour of every day (Except during elections).
To our poorer village cousins, this eloquent exercise of turning off our dependence on electricity is a fancy way to show off. Pretty much like how we (most ordinary Indians) think when Millionaires and Hollywood A listers decide to donate $20,000 to charity. 'Argh, whats the use?'
Right from the moment we wake up, why even when we are asleep, we are an ungrateful lot of consumers. We pretend that climate change and consumerism is not linked and prefer to bludgeon the poorer in our nation suffer.

Amidst all this brouhaha of coercing people to turn off the lights for 1 hour, how much are we changing?
Its not like we are going to shut down the internet servers or the air conditioning or stop traveling on vehicles that guzzle fossil fuels or even stop our single minded determination to plunder Earth in as many ways.

Its just 1 hour. 60 minutes. That's how much we managed to negotiate. I've heard of 8 minute abs, but 60 minutes? Are you kidding me?

Lights off will not lead to less energy being pumped into the grid and experts question any savings that this worldwide effort will contribute. Infact, in an event that will probably see at least 50 million people participating, experts consider any savings or a dip in demand to be wiped off by the significant surge of energy required to fire up thermal and gas stations after the global initiative.

However, its the thought that counts. But poor levels of awareness and acute dependence on anything electrical fails the purpose.
An average American that I spoke to didn't know what the 'Earth Hour' was. She was aghast at the concept and wondered how the world'll communicate and thought that 1 hour was "excessive"

I've got nothing against campaigns that herald change, but a globe that is divided yet united by our dependence on fossil fuels, no campaign is strong enough as the changing the way we live, travel and work.
Many drops make an ocean, perhaps we need to understand that many rivers make a ocean.

We cannot let our ignorance absolve us of our civic duties.
I fail to understand how our media loves to pick and choose what they want us to know. Within moments of the death of Micheal Jackson, Millions around the world wept and grieved, but 3 years on, ordinary Americans are woefully unaware of the Earth Hour.
An entire month was dedicated to playing hits of Micheal Jackson, but our Mother gets just 1 hour.

We have only ourselves to blame for the way we live.We leave our computers switched on at the end of the day. Why can't we spare a few seconds to turn off the monitor.
We like to let that fan running, that air conditioner cooling, and that lights turned on even when we are not in the room for long. Sure we can afford to pay our utility bills, but do we ever realize that what we are wasting is something that we could have saved but will never come back? The light that I left on, all night, just deprived another family of its energy needs.

All is not lost though and like diamonds in the rough, we have rare examples of people who are getting increasingly eco conscious. Its a small movement but a momentous beginning. Patches of communities off Las Vegas and other parts of the world who live off the grid, generating their own power using solar and geothermal energy, growing their food and living a eco friendly life that can be sustained.

Doomsday predictions will come true, not because God wants us to suffer, but because we are living off a planet that ain't getting any richer or bigger. Unlike businesses that expand, our Earth is not going to magically merge with another planet.

Climate change has its proponents and opponents. Most in the developed world think the current climate change is part of an ongoing cycle of how the earth is. They quote ancient ice ages and warmer times as their defense, but conveniently forget that every major change in global climate wiped off almost all of its inhabitants. Probably, they haven't been to villages and towns in countries like South America, Africa and Asia. Climate change is a reality here. And we cannot wish it away.

Come to think of it, the Earth is pretty much like most Indian voters. Our elected leaders stoop to conquer and once they get the seat, they are pretty much on a rampage. We get plundered and they get rich. We are helpless until the next election.
We plunder and loot the earth we live in, and all is hunky dory until that drought or unexpected flooding hits us. We won't bother to check our abuse until we are hit with a natural disaster.
'Every dog has it's day'

But of course, most of us live in a cocooned life of existence that is on autopilot.
And as always, we believe bad things like this will happen only to other people.

If I could have a slogan, I would say:

STOP! Go Slow. Earth in desperate need of your corrective ACTion.

For now, Enrique could croon away ... "Don't turn off the lights...."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Socializing the Net

Social media should improve your life, not become your life!
Patrick Driessen
Of all the different roles that the Internet played, Social Networking gripped popular imagination in a vice.
A term that has entered the lexicon of many boardroom debates and pantry gossips, social networking is an equalizer. It enabled people who were shy in real life, become virtual extroverts.
Tracing its evolution, the earliest entrant; Orkut used to be my kind of networking, because it was simple, no fuss and very uncluttered. Privacy and rampant misuse was a major concern, but it has cleaned itself up pretty nice.
Its much younger cousin Facebook, was in comparison much more cluttered and confusing. It took a very long time for me to get it round my head.

But I soon realized that like in any thing else, Facebook picked up from where Orkut left.
They had improved security, privacy levels that could be customized and the newer avatar of the site is a lot less cluttered than its predecessor. 
Orkut sparked the fire, but FB (as Facebook is popularly known) fanned it into a phenomena. 

Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace and the such have only cashed into a concept that makes you believe that social networking is as essential as the air you breathe.
I could testify on how profoundly Social Networking has changed my life, but what is more disconcerting is how people are spending more time socializing online than before.
Scrapping, twittering and tagging has become acceptable ways of showing recognition amongst the young and not so young. 
Why don't we just visit our friends or, take the moment to visit people who are less fortunate more often?
Social nuances and etiquette can never be substituted for that 'gift' you give online.

Fights go online too!
I've seen people change their relationship status from 'committed' to 'single' to prove a point and maybe wash the proverbial dirty laundry in full view of your 'buddies'.
Technology has certainly made a lot of lives easier and world is only a wall post, scrap or a tweet away, but where does that leave the good ol' days of letter writing.

Social Networking thrives on our collective love of watching other people live their lives. 
We love Voyeurism. We love to know what is happening, and unconsciously we are constantly vying for more attention. 
We want our 15 posts of fame and we are ready to do anything for it.
But is all this Networking really helping us?
Personally, I believe it does not foster ties with the same warmth and cordiality as when we meet a person face to face. I would prefer talking with a person sans the avatar.
Social Networking has its dark underbelly too, where employers are increasingly turning to popular sites likes Facebook while screening prospective employees. 
Insignificant requests and inundating news feeds end up eating up quality time that could have otherwise helped solidify personal contacts.

Unabated use of technology leads to it's misuse and unless we learn to restrain ourselves and understand that Social Networking is just an aid and not the purpose to live we will continue to see our friends addicted to farming melons, tweeting sweet nothings and scraping their love out.
When the Television was invented, it was said, it will kill the Radio star. I don't think it did. 
Over time, I think it just made the Radio more creative.

Sure, Social Networking has come a long way from the baby steps it took and does allow ties that are weak to strengthen over time besides enabling hitherto hidden opportunities to come our way, however unless we exercise discretion and practice common sense in using this wonderful tool of modern interaction, the day is not too far when we choose Social Networking instead of social living.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Buzz Off, Google

With a freshly brewed cuppa Coffee, I plunge into my morning ritual of checking my gmail.Logging in, I am welcomed by the gentle persuasion to join Buzz. Being trigger happy, I clicked on 'Yes..'. It took me exactly 5 seconds to realise that I stepped on cyber shit.

Now, I respect Google and think Google is the place I eventually want to be working with, but they goofed up on this one.
How can they let other people view my lists?
Thankfully, a wiser me chose not in enable Buzz in another email address that I use.

Knowing how swift Google acts on situations like this, I am sure by the time you read this, Buzz is already in the good books of its Users. But the larger question here is, Privacy.

I don't use a smartphone or a PDA because I made a conscious decision to not be addicted to the internet. I try and keep confidential data off physical hard drives since I travel a lot.
But that is not the same for my email.
I have tons of data, most of which are very confidential. I keep scanned copies of my documents so that I have a online copy if the actual document is stolen or destroyed. Bank Statements, Passwords, Account Recovery documents and my Writing. I do my bit to keep my passwords hacker proof, but what if the thief already has a copy of the key?
Come to think of it, I am more dependent on my email than I am on my wallet. 
The thought is apocalyptic.

Buzz unintentionally showed me what would happen if the onus of confidentiality falls in the hands of the wrong programmers.
I don't think i have had as much resistance towards any new technology (that Google has produced) as I have against Buzz.

I hate to see people sharing 'sweet nothings' with the world at large. "Oh I am peeing now..." and "Gosh, whats going to happen to my pimple?"
I hate to see people gloat and gush about the most mundane things in life. "Oh I ran a marathon... and I am feeling awesome". Goodbye Haiti.

The Google Buzz is as sweet or annoying as the buzzing sound of the bee. I rather swat it and worry about extinction later.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

B for BT.. B for Brinjal.. B for Back Off !!

Just what is all the fuss with BT and Brinjal all about?
I don't even eat brinjal (not unless I start adding brinjal into my chicken curries!!)
I mean, this is all that is wrong with us. 
Sometime ago, I have heard this story about 'Kerala Crabs' and how we wouldn't need a lid to cover it. It so happens that the crabs won't be able to climb over the cage, since every time a crab tries to scale the cage, another crab tries to pull it down. Argh!!

With every advance of technology, we (particularly of the Subcontinent) appear to be taking a step backwards. I have known people fighting and then clawing their ways into Bio Technology engineering courses. Assuming that all of them are graduating and would be pursuing a career in BT (unless ofcourse earning a degree was a sureshot way of getting married wealthy), what are they going to research and develop if all that we are going to do is ban all their work.
Its BT Brinjal today, tomorrow would be the BT Rice and BT 'other food'. Are we missing the big picture here?
If BT is such a dangerous technology, why even venture into such research? 
Don't we have to stop, step aside and understand why people are so agitated?
If BT is filled with the risk of mutant genes, is there no way to ensure that the mutant genes are repressed and made dormant or ineffective? 
If BT can offset the financial and climatic woes of our farmers, and when our society still depends on good monsoon for a great year, why are we so against the idea of improving ourselves?
I don't know the hidden agendas that all the protesters have but we as a society are much more hypocritical and selfish than most other societies in today's world. We allow dumping and let our cities get polluted and don't do anything about it, but are quick to join the herd (mentality) when the fight seems glamorous.

So frustrating to see so many reams of precious news reams being wasted on such a open and shut situation.

Can the real experts please stand up?

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