Monthly Archives: July 2008

AHMEDABAD: Up & Running Again

Ack:- Alkesh

After silence for short period, the terrorists are again back to their inhuman activities by planting Bombs and brutally killing the innocent people from one state to another in India.

The news channels or communication medias are interested only in publicizing the negative side of such happenings such as exhibiting the terrifying photos, teaching all ‘how to make a bomb at home’ and giving news with self imagination of facts, with the very purpose of developing fearsome emotions, and disturbing public mind just to get higher TRPs for that moment. This is what the terrorists exactly want too. They want to create a situation of this nature and chaos of this kind.

Does it has only side? There is another side of the coin too. For example, if we see the situation of Ahmedabad, there were about 17 blasts (some say 16 and some 18) on Saturday the 26th July 2008 within a span of two hours, killing more than 60 persons and injuring more than 100 persons.

If you see the roads, business premises, offices and industrial areas in the morning on Monday 28th July 2008 amidst the overnight heavy rainfall and water logging, everything seems to be totally normal and things move without any interruption, which means people have brought up their minds to overcome any such situation to fight against terrorism, without any caste, creed or religion.

The medias should take a note of it and should come out with such kind of news and also give the photos of the roads, streets of the normal Ahmedabad in TV Channels and other medias so that Terrorists will also think several times before committing any crimes.

With all due respect and prayers for the ones injured and more, I salute the spirit of Ahmedabad. This at an individual level is the best act of ‘Anti-Terrorism’ in itself.

Google Lively Video on YouTube

Lively by Google is a new product available in Google Labs. Create an avatar and chat with your friends in rooms you design.

Google Lively – Virtual World of 3D

Google Lively

Google Lively @ Lively.com

Now you can be anyone or anything you want to be – online. With www.lively.com, even Google is stepping into the world of 3D. And it may be the answer to your wildest dreams.

Download a simple plugin and voila, it is virtual reality at your fingertips. You can even join a room and choose your virtual character. But how’s this different from other virtual worlds like Second Life?

Lively is accessed over your web browser, which means no large software downloads. And your personal room can be embedded into your own web page. It even works with Facebook and chat.

Virtual Worlds Expert, Rahul Dutta says, “I hate it. It required way too much bandwdth to run properly and because it’s a new application and it crashes often. But I see what Google’s doing. They are trying to bring Web 3D or virtual reality into the mainstream.”

www.vivaty.com and www.imvu.com all let you experience virtual reality. They both require you to download players but claim to work seamslessly with social networks. And since they have beeen around longer than Lively, the bugs are fewer and far between.

Although all these applications are still being tested, what you see is a clear step from two dimensional to three dimensional characters changing the way you interact online.

nJoy 3D World -:)

Source : IbnLive.com

Rahul Gandhi Speaks up on N-Deal

Following is news article from IbnLive.com stating Rahul Gandhi’s speech on N-Deal to be prioritised above Politics

Hyderabad: Asserting that the Indo-US nuclear agreement was in the long-term interest of the country’s development and energy security, AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the deal would be carried forward even if it meant “losing the next elections.”

“I do not care if we lose the next elections. In India, too much is said about short-term gains. But this agreement is about long-term gains, about the future of India. We will go ahead with it as this agreement is based on courage,” he said here.

The young MP was participating in an interactive session with students and academicians on “123 agreement” organised by the Andhra Pradesh unit of NSUI.

“I am in politics because we want this country to progress in the long-term. For me, vote is irrelevant. What is relevant is thinking long-term, transform the country and to give our youngsters a bright future,” Gandhi said.

The nuke deal, he said, would give a “big opportunity” to India to become a “global player in nuclear energy” and help in striking a balance between various energy sources.

“Today, our nuclear scientists are working with their hands tied to the back and our nuclear establishments, painstakingly built over years, are choking because of lack of adequate fuel supplies and technology,” he said.

“What this agreement will do is to free our nuclear establishment from the shackles and give our scientists an opportunity to create wonders and open up our energy sector to the rest of the world,” he said.

Answering queries from engineering students and professors on a wide range of issues related to the deal, Gandhi asserted that there was no question of any compromise on the country’s sovereignty while signing the deal.

Rubbishing the argument that the nuke deal was anti-Muslim, Gandhi said, “This deal is about energy, development and about poor people. No matter how hard some people try to give it a religious angle, it is not about religion but about progress.”

Allaying apprehensions that the agreement might place America in a position to arm-twist India in the future, the Congress leader said in the post-deal scenario a bulk of nuclear fuel and technology would flow from Japan, Russia and France where nuclear technology is more advanced than US.

“This agreement will allow us to do nuclear trade with these countries. It is not US-specific but is meant to integrate our energy sector with the rest of the world,” he said.

Taking a dig at BJP and other opposition parties, Gandhi said, “Even BJP knows that the deal is in the interests of the country. In fact, they had negotiated 123 Agreement, which was less powerful than this. Lot of them (BJP leaders) admit this in private. But, when it came to supporting the deal, they opposed it. This is disappointing.”

Showering praises on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for taking the “bold decision”, he said, “I am proud of this stance taken by the Prime Minister for the sake of the future of the country. It is not often that such decisions are taken in Indian politics.”

“Our Prime Minister is a thinking man but lot of people do not understand this. It was easy for PM to compromise but he said no. It is for our future. I have no doubt that this is the right way forward,” the AICC leader said.

Pain of a Married Man …!!

Ack:- Alkesh

A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband was not in bed. She goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in front of him.

He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee.

‘What’s the matter, dear?’ she whispers as she steps into the room. ‘Why are you down here at this time of night?’

The husband looks up from his coffee, ‘Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating, and you were only 18?’ he asks solemnly.

‘Yes I do’ she replies.

The husband pauses; the words were not coming easily. ‘Do you remember when your father caught us in the garden?’

‘Yes, I remember’ said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

The husband continued.. ‘Do you remember when he showed the shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter, or I’ll send you to jail for 20 years?’

‘I remember that too’ she replied softly.

He wiped another tear from his cheek and said, ‘I would have been released today!’

Life’s Little Instruction Manual

Ack:- Sharayu

Have a firm handshake.
Look people in the eye.
Sing in the shower.
Own a great stereo system.
If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.

Keep secrets.
Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday.
Always accept an outstretched hand.
Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
Whistle.

Avoid sarcastic remarks.
Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery.
Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
Lend only those books you never care to see again.
Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.

When playing games with children, let them win.
Give people a second chance, but not a third.
Be romantic.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.

Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the caller’s.
Be a good loser.
Be a good winner.
Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.

Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
Keep it simple.
Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets

Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the one’s you did.
Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.

Begin each day with some of your favorite music.
Once in a while, take the scenic route.
Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.

Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
Become someone’s hero.
Marry only for love.

Count your blessings.
Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
Wave at the children on a school bus.
Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.
Don’t expect life to be fair.

Chetan Bhagat Speech @ Symbiosis PUNE

Chetan States …

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates – there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today. Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3-year old twin boys have a million sparks. A little Spiderman toy can make them jump on the bed. They get thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets them excited. They do a daily countdown for birthday party – several months in advance – just for the day they will cut their own birthday cake.

I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people, the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Remember Kareena in the first half of Jab We Met vs the second half? That is what happens when the spark is lost. So how to save the spark?

Imagine the spark to be a lamp’s flame. The first aspect is nurturing – to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms.

To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you. It isn’t any external measure – a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house.

Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement. But it isn’t the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr. Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won’t be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday? They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive. Just getting better from current levels feels good. If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.

Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature’s design. Are you? Goals will help you do that. I must add, don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.

There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

You must have read some quotes – Life is a tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school, where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One last thing about nurturing the spark – don’t take life seriously. One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice. The teacher said – don’t be serious, be sincere. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism. If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up? It’s ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.

I’ve told you three things – reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.

Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be.

Disappointment’ s cousin is frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India . From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.

Unfairness – this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it – not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India , so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you. In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty damm lucky by Indian standards. Let’s be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don’t. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don’t get literary praise. It’s ok. I don’t look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It’s ok. Don’t let unfairness kill your spark.

Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique. What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. . And you may drop some of them. Basketball captains in college invariably stop playing basketball by the time they have their second child. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies. Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.

There you go. I’ve told you the four thunderstorms – disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.

I welcome you again to the most wonderful years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, your eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history. And there is something cool about saying – I come from the land of a billion sparks.

DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE – Heart Touching Story

Please DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE.

I was walking around in a BigBazar store making shopping, when I saw a Cashier talking to a boy couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old.

The Cashier said, ‘I’m sorry, but you don’t have enough money to buy this doll. Then the little boy turned to me and asked: ”aunty, are you sure I don’t have enough money?”

I counted his cash and replied: ”You know that you don’t have enough money to buy the dolll , my dear.” The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.

Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to. ‘It’s the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much . Iwanted to Gift her for her BIRTHDAY.

I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.’ His eyes were so sad while saying this. ‘My Sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister.”

My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said: ‘I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.’ Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me ‘I want mommy to take my picture with her so my sister won’t forget me.’ ‘I love my mommy and I wish she doesn’t have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.’ Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. ‘Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll?”

‘OK’ he said, ‘I hope I do have enough.’ I added some of my money to his with out him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money.

The little boy said: ‘Thank you God for giving me enough money!’ Then he looked at me and added, ‘I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give It to my sister. He heard me!” ‘I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy,

but I didn’t dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose. My mommy loves white roses.’ I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn’t get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local news paper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the news paper that the young woman had passed away.. I couldn’t stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before her burial. She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed for ever.

The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.

Please DO NOT DRINK & DRIVE.

Why you must watch The Dark Knight

Carrying the biggest buzz for any film this year, the dark, brooding The Dark Knight, which has an awesome, legend-creating performance by the late Heath Ledger, will light up more than 3,500 theatres in America and Canada [Images], starting Thursday evening. The demand for the tickets is so high that many theatres have added a 6 am show. The film, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale, could gross over $100 million by Sunday evening.

It could also become one of the few films this year to have a repeat viewing audience. I would be among them. Having caught the film at a media screening, I am hoping to see at the 6 am show. The thrill of watching it with the audiences is one reason for the repeat visit. And then, I also hope that some of the plot twists that left me confused will become clearer. I also hope I will be able to savour the performances and the complexities of the film’s character, as the car chases, mid-air explosions and gut-churning violence will impact me less on the second viewing.

Read Complet Review @ Rediff.com

iPhone 3G observations

Ack :- Jason D. O’Grady

Jason shares his experience on iPhone 3G observations …

iPhone 3G

After almost a week with the new iPhone 3G I have some additional thoughts that I wanted to share on my experiences:

  • As I previously mentioned, AT&T’s 3G coverage is completely non-existent in my area, despite AT&T’s coverage viewer claiming that I’m blanketed in 100 percent 3G. Something is very wrong. Luckily AT&T/Apple offer a 30-day return period where you can get out of the contract.
  • I tested 3G in neighboring towns (Avalon and Ocean City, NJ) and it’s indeed fast.
  • Most iPhone 2G cases, especially ones that are hard or form-fitting (like silicone skins) won’t fit properly on the iPhone 3G because it’s 1mm thicker in the middle and more tapered at the edges.
  • Syncing to MobileMe from a computer is set by the System Preference and the fastest interval is 15 minutes although you can select “Sync Now” at any time.
  • Idea: iPhone’s mail client should be able to access iDisk in order to send attachments from the iPhone.
  • Applications over 10MB can only be downloaded from a Wi-Fi connection – not over 3G or Edge. Apple needs to put the size of applications somewhere easily visible in the App Store.
  • In order to address developer line jumping in the App Store Apple should add sorting by release date (newest on top), and user ratings in addition to popularity (which they have now).
  • 3G data can be accessed while making a phone call, unlike Edge, which cannot.
  • Screenshots can be made on the iPhone 3G by pressing home and sleep at the same time. The screen flashes white and the shot is stored in the camera roll.
  • While in Safari mobile, the button for “.com” can be switched to .net, .edu, .org or .com by holding the key for two seconds – a boon for people that visit .org and other TLD’s.
  • Mobile phone/GSM reception is definitely better thanks to the iPhone 3G’s plastic rear panel. I can now get one or two bars of reception in areas of my home where I previously got none.
  • Some applications that are desparately needed:
  • An app that toggles 3G, EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and even the cellular radio to conserver battery. Bonus points if they add a schedule feature to, for example, turn off all the radios while you sleep then turn them back on when you wake.
  • A WordPress and Movable Type client for blogging.
  • A cheap gas finder.
  • A FileMaker client.
  • The dock is no longer bundled with the iPhone and costs US$30 when purchased separately.
  • The 3G dock now has a flush front allowing it to be used easier in dock.