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Showing posts from November, 2007

Sorry !

While walking to the school today, I came across a old lady. She was walking slowly on the sidewalk in the same direction. The sidewalk was narrow and there was not enough space for me to walk past her. So I walked slightly off the sidewalk on to the grass and crossed her.

As soon as I passed her by, I heard her say sorry. It was not a sorry that we just hand down to others every now and then. It sounded as if she was sorry that she is old now and cannot walk fast enough. It sounded as if she was sorry that she was walking in the middle of the sidewalk and thus blocking my way. It made me feel very bad. I wanted to stop and tell her that it was alright to be old and to walk slowly, that she need not worry too much about us young people walking slightly here and there because society is not meant for only young and active, it is meant for everybody and she has a right to be old and walk slowly without feeling bad.

Instead I said "it's alright" and moved on. Today was a bad …

Xkcd

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Randall Munroe of xkcd fame was on campus today. Unfortunately I dozed off at my desk and missed his lecture (but read about it on Wikipedia just now which, surprize-o-surprize, is already updated with a short blurb about it).

I discovered xkcd few months ago, through the legendry angular momentum strip and it was an instant favourite. By next morning, I had finished all 300 odd strips and was hooked.

As the tag lines says, it is 'A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language', and physics and computer systems and pop culture. It is full of geek jokes, allusions that only a computer science graduate would understand and a celebration of nerdiness. However the best of the bread for me are those in which romance interplays with geekiness. They are just awesome. Here are some of my favorites. Find many more on the xkcd website. Enjoy and Happy Diwali !

















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OpenSocial : Developers vs Users

OpenSocial form Google is the new big thing that everybody has been talking about, especially since it is being seen as a major blow back by the Google to the Facebook. It will allow developers to write one application and have it run on multiple social network sites. In other words, a Java for web apps (looks like Java has become too unfashinable since I saw this analogy hardly anywhere else). This is great news for developers. But what about users?

Users will now have a choice of thousands of applications since developer can actually spend time in creating new applications rather than try and make one application run across multiple sites. So consider, a flixter application that I found to be very cool and added to my profile page on Orkut, spent 2-3 hours adding all the movies to it and comparing notes with friends. Then I logged in to Facebook and found the same application and now I want to match my interests with my friends here. No problem, spend 2-3 hours, add all the movies an…

धन तेरस and Wikipedia

I donated some money to the Wikimedia foundation today and then realized that it was also धन तेरस (Dhan Teras, one of the days in this festival season, dedicated to Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth) today. It is a tradition to buy something new on this day, preferably made of metal. You can think this is as our own Indian thanksgiving in that sense but without discounts ! We being Indians, Gold is obviously the first choice but people buy all sorts of new things, cloths, utensils, jewelery, furniture, home furnishing etc.Thinking in that respect, donating to Wikipedia seems like a good idea. I will have to see if this can be my own little way of celebrating Dhan Teras every year. Although it is often said that सरस्वती (Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge) and लक्ष्मी (Lakshmi, Goddess of money) don't go well together, where one lives, the other leaves, times seem to be all changing now :-) !

कूचा-ए-जाना

चलें कूचा-ए-जाना से, शहर को देख कर आयें,
तबीयत भर गयी फ़ूलों से, कांटे देख कर आयें।
नये मौसम मे सुनते हैं, नये अंदाज़ हैं उनके,
बदल जायेगा दो दिन मे, नज़ारा देख कर आयें।
जो आयें तेरी महफ़िल मे, ना जायें फ़िर कहीं उठ कर,
कुछ आयें नये और कुछ सब ज़माना देख कर आयें।
वो पिछले मोड पर जो राह छूटी हमसफ़र छूटा,
कसक उठती है रह रह कर कि जायें देख कर आयें।
हवा मे घुल रहा है दर्द, फ़िज़ां हो चली गमगीं,
सुनाता है गज़ल फ़िर से अभागा, देख कर आयें।

Thinking Big but not like that !

Before reading my post, read this post about the problem of Indian Entrepreneurs not thinking big enough. There was a followup post on the same blog that countered some of those point.It was during undergrad days that I heard this argument for the first time. The biggest problem with people pitching their business plans in competitions, according to one of the judges, was that they were not asking for enough money ! It sounded quite counterintuitive to my middle class trained mind. My instincts told me to borrow as little as possible and to bootstrap as much as possible, the old Indian way of doing business as somebody later put it.But I was naive back then, didn't understand the importance of capital, didn't understand the central premise of running a successful company in a capitalist setting i.e. growth ! Year after year, every year, growth in terms of bottom line, revenue, profits ! Because although we start out with customers, with efforts to solve a problem they are fac…