Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beating Evening Boredom


This episode is definitely up there in terms of any Family Guy or Daily SHow episode!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

School of Rock

TBS played this movie yesterday. This movie's soundtrack qualifies for one of the best collections for rock music and the BGM uses bits like Back in Black, Cocaine and Smoke on Water. And not surprisingly, I found that Jack Black is a part of a Comic Rock band, Tenacious D.

The kids in the movie, especially the kid who plays the lead guitar riffs the living daylights out of you. The comic portions are amazing and its just super that you see the "We Don't Need No Education" on one of the props...

A must watch if you like comedy genre in movies and rock music

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Recently, I have had to speak for God and against religion that I think I should collate my thoughts somewhere.

My take on Religion:

Religion has long since outlived it use. In the early days of human development, people were under no barrier and the development of human beings with regard to their environment was literally in infant stages. As time went by, the early human realized that without any kind of a forced social structure, the more dominant specimens will get the best of food and men/women (as happens in every other animal society). And based on the popular 80-20 Pareto Principle, it would have come to be that 20 percent of the population enjoyed 80 percent of the 'good' stuff. So as time went by, this pattern could have come to be unsustainable which resulted in the institution of religion. Humans decided to deify anything that could not be classified with their knowledge/experience. But as with any first system, the religious system had certain drawbacks, which was why the legal/Governmental branch of structuring came into being, where the people were fooled into thinking about 'social good', common good and other such principles. But both the systems had few basic similarities that the power to decide what was acceptable and what was not acceptable was vested with a few individuals. Most of the rules/regulations were based on the current knowledge in science and social living. But as we have apparently seen in politics, unless there is a continuous improvement in any system, it is sure to go to waste. The problem with religion has been that people have not only neglected to improve religion as the change with time, but have rather regressed a lot. Since I have been brought up as a Hindu, I can confidently say that the folks have started concentrating more on the means than the end. I cannot otherwise, understand how people are now fighting over which matam is greater or whether worshiping Narayanan or Mahadeva is going to get you moksha. I have seen thousands of brahmins claiming to be devout and performing sandyavandhanam thrice (twice) a day, claiming to read the vedic scriptures but totally ignoring the basis of santhana dharma. People are proud to say that they can recite a particular stanza from the Gita, but they are more or less blind as they cannot see past the metaphors that kṛṣṇa uses to drive home the concept of God and who the brahman is. More awful are the folks who perform a 1000 parikarams, 20000 homams and all that without thinking once to see if they do sandyavandanam everyday. Even more inexplicable is the fact that people more often than not have heard about 'Thoonilum Iruppar, Thurumbilum Iruppar' logic, but do not pause to think that a God who can reside in a thing like a pillar or a twig, can as well be manifest in an orphaned kid or the homeless guy who is asking you for a couple of rupees at the street end. And to add insult to injury, you see folks fighting over religion. Christians, claiming to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth, condemn gay people - I do not know if Jesus particularly said Love Everyone* (* - does not include homosexuals or immigrants). I cannot, for lack of a better term, understand the religion of Islam, so I don't want to include it here. I see conservative people saying that being homosexual is not natural. Tell them that certain animals indulge in homosexual behavior in the absence of the opposite sex and they tell you that they do that to copulate/reproduce. While they recognize that nature/God is powerful enough to make 2 same sex animals reproduce under certain circumstances, would it be that impossible for nature to influence certain humans to turn homosexual so that the population explosion and the subsequent plunder of the ecosystem be controlled? As fantastic as this idea might sound, think about how an ape would have reacted if another ape told that one day their species will give way to humankind. Nature is too complex to be understood and it works in various ways - so never dismiss something that you don't understand.


I'm a strong believer in God - Not that that God has 4 hands and either a mace or a trident. The God is the untapped potential/power inside each one of us. We can choose to give it a particular form - male or female - and try to tap the potential by meditating on it. This doesn't mean that Sri Rama didn't exist. For all you know, he might have been one of those humans who truly had self realization and so was considered God by others and we continue to believe that without realizing the significance behind it - as has been the wont of the human race. Surely, even for staunch non-believers, they've got to accept that there are certain things which are beyond control - while we know that all living organisms grow, based on scientific evidence, we do not know why they grow. We can say that the Universe originated with the big bang - but what caused the big bang to occur in a particular time instant in the way it did? Our current scientific, technological and mathematical prowess do not allow us to give a concrete answer to these questions - some of us have tried but there are no definitive answers - so I cannot see a logical/rational reason to eliminate the existence of God - in fact the more you analyze nature and the world around, the more you are awed by the total lack of scientific progress/explanations regarding many things.

Human race has always been an arrogant one. We talk about we impacting the planet, global warming and all that - but what we are trying to do is to analyze the impact of a process that has been in effect for 200,000 years on a system that is 4.54 Billion Years old. I agree that these numbers are again the result of the same human mind - but since both the numbers are from the same source, humans, I can assume that the error factors in them balance each other out. If the current global warming is solely caused by the human kind, I would really like to know what caused the original Ice Age and the subsequent meltdown. The day that we, humans, realize that we are but just another living species whose control over the planet and the ecosystem is as limited as that of any other living species, we should have a much better life

(P.S: Don't start telling me that how man made certain species extinct by hunting etc - biological extinction has always been there - just that we think that we are superior than a lion hunting a deer versus a human being killing a deer - the reasons might be different, but the basic act remains the same. And also, we see that man causes a particular impact on the environment based on 30 years of data/observation, but you never know how its going to play out when nature/the biological system decides to restore parity. For more confusion, read about the recent article on how the planting of more trees is causing slower wind speeds which impacts the effectiveness of wind mills and you shall start realizing that we trying to understand Earth and trying to extrapolate or predict its behavior is like a blind man trying to feel the tip of the titanic's hull to judge its size)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Microsoft Mobile Under Seige?

In the last 1 week, Microsoft Mobile is finding itself battered and hounded.

First, the Windows Mobile got a response which could only be compared to Microsoft Vista in terms of the catatrosphically disastrous reviews - the most damaging one from Mobilecrunch, which, to quote, says:

Windows Mobile 6.5 is a spit and polish job on 6.1 — nothing more, nothing less. Every single change in Windows Mobile 6.5 feels like it was made by a team of homebrewers or modders, rather than a huge corporation with truckloads of money to blow on one of their flagship products.

And of course, the disastrous Sidekick upgrade and the wordplay on Microsoft and Danger is overwhelming.

All this might perhaps, finally, make Steve Ballmer (and of course, the Windows Mo) quit and in fuse young blood that might yet make Microsoft more relevant in these changing times of Cloud Computing, SaaS and internet based technologies, where Microsoft has been lagging for quite a while. {It was quite interesting to see Ballmer play the Google's Anonymity and Underplay card when questioned on Windows 7 during his EU Trip}

Microsoft's success in the 80's and 90's came from the fact that they were what Google is now - a company which consistently tossed up good products, with a sound financial platform and of course, one of the best talent pools in the world. The talent and the financial platform still lives on, but the new and innovative products have died out. In the last 10 years, I can count only 2 success stories - Windows XP (which was really a milestone) and Bing (take the Bing ads with a pinch of salt, however). Perhaps make a younger person, who, might be able to make decisions to move the company in the right direction - I don't want to see the Motorola story happen once again to a company which I'd like to see exist in an meaningful manner for more years to come.


When I used to be young, there were these imitation walk-man units / calculators which had quite innovative names like Cony (Sony), PPL (BPL), EIWA (AIWA), Ponasonic (Panasonic). Seems nowadays, subtlety is no longer in vogue.


Friday, October 09, 2009

Tag Tag

I have been tagged and have tagged many of my blog friends. Recently, I have noticed a few things online which causes immense irritation or frustration. I'm sharing them here. Anybody interested can continue this from here:

1. Funny spellings and morse code English - Lots of people use spelling which are downright funny - apparently, nyc = nice, lyk is like and cool is kewl. What I cannot understand is these alternate spellings are in no way an easier option as kewl and cool are four letter words. and lyk is one letter shorter than like. I do not know what the person who is using these funny spellings is going to do with the time they save by typing these funny and hard to decipher spellings. The best of them all is the 'moi'. I'm linguistically challenged, knowing only English and Thamizh. I first thought that moi was the thing that people used to give during weddings or other social occasions in India. It was one of those kind souls who later explained that moi was French for me.

2. The usage of 'awwwwww' and 'Muaaaah' - These words must be officially banned from usage. I do not know how the hell they can either sound or be cute/romantic for anybody. Awwwww sounds more like the sound that Vadivelu makes. And Muaaah, with its spelling and all that sounds like the sound an erumai maadu (buffalo) might make. While I cannot for sure rule out that the janthu's which type these muaah's are not erumai maadu's, I'm reasonably sure that they do not want the general populace to know that they are one.

3. The 'Like' feature in Facebook - Someone says on their facebook status - "Enga veetile inniki ezhavu" and you would see a couple of their 'friends' liking it. I cannot fathom how people could 'like' certain stuff which they seem to do on Facebook. I will not surprised if somebody might actually leave a suicide note on facebook and unsurprisingly, some of their friends will like it.

4. Babe - The last time I really liked using this word when a movie about a piglet/pig came out when I was young(er). Nowadays you find every roadside romeo addressing every female he knows with this word. Again, I cannot see a reason as to why they cannot refer to that girl by her name. I cannot see why calling somebody as Babe (variant - babes) will be cool.

5. Use of the word Only - Recently there is a spate of sentences which end with only (colloquial usage = wonly). Popular examples - I'm working on a sunday wonly, I'm drinking beer wonly. If ONLY these F'ed morons stopped using this word!!

6. Having work related status messages on Facebook/Gtalk - It is understood that when an employer pays you for 40 hours, they would expect you to work for the money that they pay you. And of course, all jobs come with the clause that at certain point of time during the job, you might have to stay back on the odd day or have a crazy week once in while. And I guess most of us undergo this, irrespective of where you work - starting from Google/Microsoft/Intel to Mannar and Co. Then why the hell should someone crib about 'Oh! I had to work like a dog', '10 hours at the office'. If you are so bloody busy with work, how the hell can you find time to login to twitter, facebook and update the status with these 'oh-i'm-so-busy-look-at-me' not so subtle message? Inda madri vetti velai panra nerathile ozhunga velai panna, veetuku ozhungaana time ku polaam!! I cannot understand how these foolish people expect to be paid to update facebook status and put some 140 character nonsense in Twitter.

7. Twitter - I own a Twitter account for the past 6-7 months and cannot, for the limited intelligence that I possess, understand the purpose of Twitter. I assume that no-one on this planet would be interested in knowing when I woke up, when I sodikified my kai-viral and when I had my last coffee. At this rate, I'm quite afraid as to what other personal detail can come out on Twitter. And when I saw that twitter was recently valued at 1 Billion, I could not help think, Kali muththi pochchu.

8. Blog jaalras - Nowadays, celebrities use Blogs, facebook as an easy means to publicize themselves / reach out the public. A good case in point is Chinmayee's blog, where, except for those sporadic weird posts which scares the living daylights out of you, you more or less get information about her shows, songs etc. I generally do not find posts like these irritating, as I understand that as a celebrity, your market value is only as good as how well people remember you. In fact, I only hope more celebrities take to blogging so that we get to know how various industries work, the dynamics etc. What does get me is those makkal who put some comment like "Oh! You are the living legend of acting", "You are the vidivelli of tamizh cinema". Ada Raama!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Apple - The Shine Never Comes Off

I've been using the iPhone from Apple for more than a year now - while I can say that this is the coolest phone I've had, I find the media and the online folks are way too liberal to Apple - I do not know what Apple has done to be dealt such a sweetheart deal. The iPhone has lots of bugs and very frequent fixes. The number of Software updates to the iPhone software is way too many and perhaps Apple has not right to spoof Microsoft in its TV ads anymore. And the network that they have partnered with, AT&T, deserves to be one of the worst in terms of coverage. No wonder Verizon has its latest ad up and running successfully. Recently, I'd been to Boston and the only way that I could be on a phone call was if I came out of my hotel room onto the parking lot! Thank God, I make at the most one personal call a day. The Apple Yippies (these wannabe folks who are like Rajni Kanth or Kamal Haasan fanatics) blindly ascribe any shortcoming of the iPhone to AT&T - while I agree that network coverage and the ability to have 3G anywhere in the US to be issues related to AT&T, the phone arbitrarily crashing out of Apps, The removal of the Google Voice app, 3 years to introduce the MMS feature and the inability to provide a stable OS release that does not need to be updated every 3 months seems to be very poor performance coming from a company which likes to project itself as ultra cool and very pragmatic. And not to say, quoting an Apple Support Rep., you SHOULD switch off the phone once a day and you SHOULD connect to iTunes every week to make sure you iPhone works well. If Windows OS had a similar flaw, Apple would have a field day with its oh-I'm-Apple-and-so-I'm-cool ads with that young guy and the bespectacled guy having yet another pointless commercial. I feel that while Microsoft is culpable in certain issues - especially, with their Internet technology, by any standard, Windows is the best OS for a person who uses the PC (or the PL - Personal Laptop) - which has been there, done that and most importantly, walked the walk and talked the talk - I especially like the fact that they support their earlier versions - very recently a friend of mine forwarded a Powerpoint presentation which we made in the 11th grade - Powerpoint presentations were a big deal back then and it was really nice to get to view it once again. I really doubt if I could do something similar on the iPhone (10 years from now) if the iPhone exists till then.

Talking about gadgets, my laptop is on the verge of natural death and my camera has kicked the bucket, quite unexpectedly. Bringing hope, Thanksgiving is around the corner and Black Friday is there, too. But if anyone finds an amazing deal somewhere (apart from fatwallet, woot, edealsinfo and cheapstingybargains - which I almost habitually check), please let me know. Of course, I would like to have the free Windows 7 upgrade option :)