November 28, 2008


Life with Reliance Netconnect

When Reliance NetConnect launches the splash screen shows a lady from corporate world (see her suit) using netconnect on her laptop. She also has got herself a nice drink (iced tea?) and some snacks packed. Initially, the impression one gets is she has taken a break from the corporate meetings and now enjoying videos on YouTube while sipping her drink.

But, when I started using netconnect, it dawned to me that the connectivity with data card is so poor that you get ample time between you clicking on your inbox and the first mail opening. You could easily finish your lunch and come back. Now, the last time I used the corny was joke was in the days of dialup internet from VSNL some 8-10 years ago. Netconnect reminds of those days.

Netconnect is in market for more than 2 years and they haven't really moved an inch to address this problem. It's difficult to go to a Reliance store and not see some customer not complaining about the poor connectivity with Netconnect. The sales guys meekly offer to note the complaint and try very hard not to look indifferent but fail.

And, some quick research showed that this problem is very much universal with other telcos as well.

Looks like, someone has taken a note of it. ICICI has launched a low bandwidth site specifically to address this problem. This should come across as hard slap in the face of telcos. And again, I must say, ICICI bank has impressed me.

My previous post on ICICI Bank praising them.

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November 24, 2008


Facebook Ads: Missing on instant gratification

We are experimenting with Facebook ads and one thing we found it to be different from Google AdWords is the lack of instant gratification.

While they probably fear abuse of the system and want to make sure only clean ads go, I suppose this is a very conservative approach. One can justify the monitoring saying this is early stage. But, Google went ahead with instant gratification right from day one. Of course, they must have had the surveillance in place when they went live.

Oh, BTW, I am not much of Facebook person, but I think they have an exceptional team. Their services appear so damn smooth.


November 16, 2008


India and US

23rd September, 2008: Sacked employees lynch CEO in office premises (in Noida)

14th November, 2008: Man who lost job at Santa Clara startup killed 3, including CEO and another top executive (The CEO of the company was Sid Agrawal.)

November 12, 2008


Recursion in films

In Madhur Bhandarkar's new film Fashion, they show a party when Bhandarkar himself is present and couple of models discuss about how he is researching for his film "Fashion." This recursion on hand is cool and brazen at the same time.

In Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" a self-referential pattern follows. Michael Caine describes it in the film as follows:
Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge". The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige"."

The film follows same pattern of three acts.

Well, I'm not sure, if fractals is better analogy as the bigger components are made of similar looking smaller components.



Will they ever come together?

While listening to Yuvvraj (I think, I got it wrong) it struck me that Rahman has worked with many top directors/producers for hindi films. Except for the real big gun - Chopras. While I really don't consider films from Chopra stable to be my cup of tea, their position in the industry is unquestionable. It's really strange that they haven't worked together.

A quick search with phrase "Chopra and Rahman" gives a, well, gossip story about how and why they are not coming together in Yash Chopra's next (and last) film.

But, that still doesn't explain the entire decade of not working together.

November 11, 2008


Not too many rich people out there in India

iPhone has barely sold 4,000 (Ref pg 25. Via Pluggd) units in India since its launch in August. Is it the case that people don't want to splurge on such expensive devices? I don't think so.

My conjecture is people don't want to look stupid by buying an iPhone. Now, you may wonder, why would anybody look stupid by buying world's coolest mobile phone. The idea is, with iPhone you will be able to do supercool things like browse internet, view maps, take pictures and send it to all your friends on facebook within seconds. But, since there is no a fat 3G pipe for all these bandwidth-hungry apps, iPhone just remains a phone. Now, how is different from buying a defective piece which doesn't have 3G working? None, really. So, anybody who buys a defective piece will look like a fool.

I know, there are things that you can do with iPhone minus 3G, which you can't with other phones. But, in the promos, Apple boasts 3G and the apps as THE thing. If it's not on 3G, it's not an iPhone.

November 05, 2008


The drought ends. Really?

After 7 long years, Govt of India finally finds Hindustani vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi fit to award Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.

Am I happy? Not much actually.

From the recent winners, one could say being an octogenarian is one of the criterion. Except Dr Amartya Sen who was hounoured at the "young" age of 66 after Nobel committee shamed Govt of India. Do the recipients necessarily have to come in their wheel chair to collect the award at Rashtrapati Bhavan? Were they not "good enough" say 5 years back? Because, in last five years, Panditji has only performed at Sawai Gandharva Festival in Pune.

This is a broken system and needs to be fixed soon.

November 04, 2008


Flash quiz

Identify the magazine. Bonus points if you can can identify the gender of author.

Now, a good pair of boobs is more than a cosmetic achievement. They became surnames for Raakhee Sawant, Koena Mitra and Mallika Sherawat, to name a few. If you have them taut and toned like Malaika Arora, you can chhaiya chhaiya your recession blues away. If they are luscious and perky like Bipasha Basu's, every beedi will taste like a cigar. If you have them primed and pumped like Shilpa Shetty's, you can even get a half-career. Madhuri Dixit's dhak-dhak size may be an old story. Yet Aishwarya Rai's giggling acceptance of cleavage-happy Armani numbers at Cannes festivals or her deep red Christian Dior strapless gown at the IIFA awards 2008 is no small stride made by the Indian It-Breast


If not for occasional good stuff, I would cancelled my subscription to the magazine whose editor still thinks he is at his old magazine.

November 01, 2008


Too much noise

The noise about current economic condition is almost unbearable. There is so much data flowing in that it is impossible to distill all the information to some fine wisdom. It's like the task of joining thousands of dots to make dinosaur. But unfortunately just the sheer volume of dots is so overwhelming that most experts can join only few dozen dots and proclaim it is a dog. To put in Taleb-esque way, there are just too many random events and trying to find a pattern in it can be, at best, a futile effort and at worst, downright dangerous. It's not a bad idea to watch less TV with a running ticker at the bottom of the screen or reading less of pink paper.


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