Saturday, December 10, 2005

Chennai Trip

I had recently been to Chennai. It had been 4 years since my last visit. I have uploaded some snaps from the trip.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bio-piracy - Indians hit back!

It is about time. I have long awaited this. I am just hoping they make this database available for everyone to read for free. There is wealth of knowledge in Vedas that needs to get out. Hopefully Ayurvedha is just a start. There is plently more left to do.

BBC NEWS | South Asia | India hits back in 'bio-piracy' battle

I can't believe they tried to patent Yoga asanas. Pathetic!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Delhi Blasts

A black ribbon (via Aswin) to protest the attacks on innocent victims in Delhi...

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And a story of a real-life hero in the midst of it. And Sougata laments on how MSM has moved on.

Anil gets married

Anil, a blogger and Sixapart CEO, got married. He has posted about it on his blog. I am a regular reader of his blog. Couple of quotes from his post.

The defining trait of marriage in these contexts is that the commitment comes first. It doesn't occur to most people to get upset that they don't get to choose their siblings; You just love your brother or sister, or you try to, and you fight sometimes and you disagree, and then you get over it, and that's what family is about. And in some ways, marriage can be like that, too. There's a liberation in knowing you don't have an easy out: You know you're going to make it work, and you're not going to give up.


So one of the great things about having had the perspective of another culture's look at marriage was realizing that there's a freedom in knowing you can always count on the commitment as a framework that you work within. The absence of that immutable commitment was the thing I most lamented and was dismayed by in so many of the marriages I saw growing up.

Perfectly said!

(via Desipundit)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Real time flight tracking

My mother got on a flight to India yesterday. I was looking for flight tracker and found this and this. It's cool they have it real time. The flight is right now on the way to Taipei.

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Vedic Calendar

Follow up to previous post, if you wish to download the vedic calendar (panchangam) in US/International time zones, visit here.

Find your birth star

I tried looking up the birth star and rashi for most of my friends here. It worked accurate to the minute. Check it out here.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

IIPM vs Bloggers

I have been following with interest the IIPM vs bloggers story. Excellent coverage by Desipundit. It all started with this post by Gaurav based on this story by JAM Magazine. It is great bloggers are taking up social issues and standing by what they say. Very gutsy! I just wanted to make a point by linking to the posts. Lot has been said else where. I support Gaurav, Rashmi and Varna on this issue. They have a right to have an opinion.

I feel there should be an indepedent inquiry (by the Education ministry may be) on this and come out with the real facts. Thanks Kiruba for the buttons.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Child Safety in India

I have planned a vacation to Chennai this November. I will be traveling with my 1 year old kid this time. What worries me most is that child safety in India is not taken as seriously as here in United States. My questions are, do all cars come equipped with seat belts on the back seat? Can I rent a car seat for a couple of weeks? Or is it just me the over-cautious parent?

Here is a nicely written Hindu Newspaper article on this (check the travel safety section). The article does mention that car seats need to be used, but does not guide me in any particular direction. Need your input.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Comment Spam

I am seeing a lot of comment spam in the last week. Very annoying. Anyone having the same problem? I removed the blogger hack and reset back to Blogger comments. I noticed Blogger comments has a verification feature before the comment is posted. Hopefully the spam will stop.

Google Reader

Giving a Google Reader a try! The keyboard shortcuts are really going to help. I like the full page display for each post.

Thanks to the bloglines's export feature, I was able to get all my subscriptions into the Reader.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Nursery Rhymes

I was looking for nursery rhyme videos to play for my 10 month old son. I found this one. Great work with Macromedia and has plenty of rhymes. The website host, Miriam Seshadri says she got the idea when her little girl was going nuts seeing for another kid's website, Dads, check this one out and save yourself some googling! :)

Friday, September 23, 2005


I recommend a visit to eHow. The site is a how-to manual on various topics. They also have wikiHow where anyone can edit the website and add information.

For example, How to Check Brake Fluid in your car.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

PBS Frontline Archive

I like watching the PBS stations (Public Broadcasting Stations).

Recently I found a video archive of a program called Frontline at their website. The quality of the program and the journalists is top-notch. If you like investigative journalism, you will love this. Check them out here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Google sightseeing

A follow-up to my previous post. Here is a cool collection of locations around the United States. They call it Google Sightseeing.

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I live here

I am pretty impressed with Google Maps lately. I like the way the map and satellite views sync with each other real-time. Here is a related BBC article.

With help from Google, I was able to map my home and my office commute.

This is where I live. The complex with two tennis courts and the swimming pool (the blue patch in the middle).

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My daily commute to the office. It takes me about 10 minutes.

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I'm back

Just posting to kick myself back to writing.

Monday, March 28, 2005

New earth quake is reporting about an earthquake measuring 8.2 off the Indonesian coast on the same fault line as the earth quake that caused December tsunami.

Will this generate a new tsunami?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Celebrate Yahoo! birthday

If you have not already done it, go get it. Yahoo! is celebrating by giving away a free 2oz scoup of Baskin and Robins icecream today. Visit here for more details.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Feel good stories from India

This morning one of my friends sent me this website, GoodNewsIndia after reading about it at Chakra's blog. Found it interesting.

It is maintained by a 63 year old man, DV Sridharan. Rediff has a good post about him.

The diary on the website was an interesting read. Truly Inspiring effort.

I subscribed to the e-mail alerts for new stories. I feel good already for linking it. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2005


These guys can help you by-pass compulsory registration on websites.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

NASA Exam a hoax?

In a bizarre twist to the Saurabh Singh story that I had written about (MSM (stands for Mainstream Media) also did), people are starting to doubt (via BBC) whether such an exam exists. They report that our President Kalam had never written such an exam nor did Kalpana Chawla. Rediff was the first to post the doubts about this exam.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hidden Talent

I read this BBC article about an Indian village boy, Saurabh Singh topping the NASA ISD exam. ISD stands for International Scientist Discovery program. Impressive! Only two other Indians have cleared the exam. One was our President Abdul Kalam in 1960 (came in 7th) and other was Kalpana Chavla in 1988 (came in 21st).

It is talent like this and this that is being robbed by politicians who think people have given them a contract to rule.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Been long since I posted. Here is one.

I got a Ringo request from one of my friends and I registered. In the past similar requests annoyed me. Ringo was a phone number and address book service, so didn't bother me much.

I wonder why Yahoo did not do this. They already maintain address books and it would have been very easy for them to enable this.

Ringo is run by Monster folks. I am not sure when it launched, but its features are very basic. Let me list the drawbacks,

1) No sorting: Atleast they could have sorted it alphabatically.
2) No categories
3) No export feature
4) No search: I cannot believe they could miss a search feature.

These are just a few. I e-mailed them with the above requests. I hope they read the e-mails.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

My Feeds

I spent hours getting my blogline feeds setup up right. I have more than 100 feeds setup. Visit here if you care to look at or like to export the feeds.

Friday, February 04, 2005


So, I checked out CSFTxt and got some ideas. CSFTxt is a txt2blog posting website. Anyone with a SMS or e-mail access can post to this website.

Try this. Send an SMS or e-mail to You must instantly see your message on the website. Your name will not get posted. It is an anonymous posting. Check my message for example.

I thought this is great, this lets any number of people post live information from the ground to a website. It is not limited by the members of the blog any more.

So, I thought how about using this to tackle issues like corruption. What if people started posting information on persons accepting bribes, their name, company and address. A quick SMS at the Transport department office for example, about a corrupt official. Will it not get visibility? Citizen vigilante. Just a thought....

Not a surprise, the website is already getting spammed. Volunteers will have to come in to catch the spammers and spambots. It can be done.

Bloglines Update

I followed some advise and went back to check Bloglines. I found the problem was to do with all the blogs being in a sub-folder. So I moved all the blogs as "top-level" blogs and it started working. For now it's a truce. :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Bigzoo alternative

Bigzoo had been serving us with good quality, cheap long distance service for the past few years. They have discontinued the service on January 31, 2005 giving economic reasons.

If you are one of those who use Bigzoo and are looking for a replacement/alternative, you can try OneSuite. The site looks pretty similar to Bigzoo, they have the same pinskip options. I guess both of them use the same backend software.

If you register using the following link, we both get 20 free mins.

And thanks in advance if you do. :)

Ivan Noble

I woke up to this sad news. Ivan Noble, a BBC journalist, died of cancer, that he had been fighting for the last two years. He was writing an account of his brain tumor treatment in a tumor diary on the BBC website. His story is truly inspirational. He will live on in the hearts and minds of millions of readers like me. I feel like I have lost a close friend of mine.

In one post he writes about the tsunami,

"Everyone should have known the tsunami was coming. Next time they must. I do not know if science will uncover enough about my cancer to slide the dial just far enough for me. But we have the technology that could have warned millions about the quake. Next time people must be given a chance."

In his last post he writes,

"I will end with a plea. I still have no idea why I ended up with a cancer, but plenty of other cancer patients know what made them ill.

If two or three people stop smoking as a result of anything I have ever written then the one of them who would have got cancer will live and all my scribblings will have been worthwhile."

He also writes,

"I have not been defeated."

and he was not.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

MSN Search

Microsoft has released its new search engine. Check out here. I think it looks kinda cool. The layout and looks have g-o-o-g-l-e written all over them. The have put more colors in. They have a desktop search tool too.

I MSNed myself and did not find me. They better index me fast or they are losing me. :)

They are in too late in the game. I am going to wait-and-see if they can catch up with Google.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Naluvedapathy Story

I just read how a village, Naluvedapathy, in Tamil Nadu was saved from the brunt of Tsunami (via). Two years ago, they had planted around 60,000 eucalyptus and casuarina trees to appease the rain-gods. On Dec 26, these trees slowed down the pace of the waters and saved thousands of lives.

Being a nature lover, this story really make me happy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

IndiBloggies 2004

Awards are out. Kiruba has won Life-time achievement. Congrats Kribs!

You can find this year's winners here.

Friday, January 21, 2005

On-the-go Digital

I bought a Gemini key chain digital camera at Frys for $20. Even though the resolution is pretty low (352 x 288), it works out as a easy-on-the-go camera. Sized the palm of a hand, it comes with a CD (software/webcam/driver) and a USB cable. Runs on a standard AAA battery. Has a in-built memory upto 2MB; can hold upto 20 good resolution snaps. After the limit is reached, the pictures have to be downloaded to a PC and cleared up. No flash, but pictures come out okay in bright light.

It is a CIF resolution camera. New term I learnt with the purchase. Here is a picture I took from my office window on the fourth floor. It is the actual size.

Makes a good gift idea!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Disabling Drag-and-drop?

Can anyone please tell me how to disable drag-and-drop (folders and files) on Windows Explorer? It is very annoying.

Googling did not yeild anything. Except, I found that there is way to disable start menu drop-and-drop. You can find that article here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Internet has opened up so much information for ordinary (/lazy) people like me. One such great resource is the Wikipedia. It has a wealth of information about so many things and it is amazing that all the content was contributed by the millions of visitors themselves. And all the information is provided free-of-charge to the public. The site runs on private donations and is free from advertisements.

Interesting Fact: Since it is totally volunteer contributed effort, Wikipedia rewards hard-workers with Barnstar medals.

Wikis like blogs are helping non-professionals get involved in publishing content onto the internet. I look forward to personal wikis (personal blogs that can be edited by anyone); like a merger of both worlds. Stuart Henshall blogged about this (via Dina).

Wikipedia is maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation. They also maintain other wiki-sites such as Wikinews, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, Wikibooks, Wikisource and the Wikimedia Commons.

Price Alerts

This morning I thought I struck on a novel idea for a e-commerce website. A website that alerts you when you a product (that you are interested in) hits a price mark. As always, there is someone else who has already been there and done that. I searched and found PriceGrabber has it. Grr... You have to create a profile with them and it will let you create price alerts. I setup an account with them and wished the Konica Minolta D31 hits a $100 mark. I hope it does. :) I recently bought a Canon A95. It is a bit bulky. I want a pocket sized camera that I can take with me everywhere. Quality does not matter. I can settle for 2MP or a 3MP.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Blogger's Spell check

I was spell checking my previous post about Hyugens. Blogger's spell check tool tells me "blog" is spelled incorrect and should be replaced by "bloc". I thought that was funny coming from a blogging application. It also advises me to use "flogging" instead of "blogging". :)

Hyugens has landed

I have been closing watching JPL's activities in the last year. I was really excited when the rovers landed on Mars. I stayed up all night to watch the NASA TV broadcast of the landing. Now another great news from the same people, Hyugens has landed. Hyugens has taken seven years to reach the Titan (a moon of Saturn). It was attached to the Cassini spacecraft that arrived at Saturn in July 2004.

Here is what Professor Southwood told the BBC.

"We're doing something today which will last for centuries. It's not my name that matters it's what we're doing," said Professor Southwood.

"You have to take risks, otherwise, nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Pasadena, where the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is located is close to my place. I should visit there sometime and blog about it.

Comments Hack

I implemented the comments hack today. I think it works great. Leave a comment. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2005


One of my blog visitors pointed the lack of a trackback feature on this site. I added the Haloscan trackback feature today. I did not want Haloscan to take over my commenting system. I just added the trackback portion of the HTML code.

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Bad Taste

Indiatimes has an article about how an Indian Call Center employee was abused by a Phily radio station host. The whole conversation was in bad taste. This coming from a respectable radio station part of the broadcasting company Clear Channel. I am irked that the hosts were just suspended for just a day.

The audio file of the converstation can be downloaded here.


I got myself a Bloglines account. Sometime back, I had written about how to automatically check changes in other blogs. The problem with that was when I change computers (home vs office vs laptop), I was not able to centrally manage my blog list. That is where a bloglines account will help. It will keep all the blogs I read at one place accessible to all computers. I think it can highlight the blogs that have been recently updated and even list them (only) on the homepage.

Subscribe with Bloglines

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Blogger Hacks

Here is an interesting site I found (via). I like the comments idea. I should give it a thought before I implement.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Categories in Blogger

BTW, when will Blogger come up with a post category option? My last post would gone into the "To Do" category. I could have put them together.

Blogger people, are you listening? please, please, please :)

To do

My to-do lists right now,

* Learn Spanish - Got a CD Book. Yet to kick off full-swing.
* Learn Ruby on Rails - Recently heard of it.
* Become Wikipedian - Recently I got to see more of how Wiki works.
* Listen to BBC regularly - I used to listen to a lot of BBC when I was at school (like 10 years ago). Have to get back to that habit. Did you know they do not have a SW Broadcast in North America. They are available only on the Internet.

Technology put to good use

Here is a BBC article about how technology could be put to good use to save lives. Kudos to all the people behind this idea especially Taran Rampersad.

Text messages aid disaster recovery

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Bridging the Digital Divide

Here is a must read article,

The Tsunami as a Wake-Up Call to Bridging the Digital Divide
by Andy Carvin

How to upload pictures to your blog?

When I started blogging, I was wondering how people add pictures to the blog. Blogger does not store any files. This morning I had one of friends (Vijay, welcome to blogger) ask about it and so this post.

The following are some sites that will host the pictures for you. And all of them are free.

Hello: A Blogger partnership.

Pros: One click picture post to your blog. Neat picture resize feature for large images. Easy to use.

Cons: Needs a client install. Does not give options to export HTML. Users with basic HTML knowledge need the export option for posting pictures in the middle of the text. No website image upload option.

Photobucket: This is what I currently use.

Pros: Upload feature on website. Image HTML export. Easy to use. Picture Resize options.

Cons: I can't think of any. biased? :)

Flickr: Have not used this. May be I will soon. And then write a review about it. But I have seen it used in other sites. It has a sleek feature called "Daily zeitgeist". You can see this in action on the Tsunami Help website where they use it to show missing people.

Blog Comments to E-mail

Blogger has a neat feature that e-mails the comments entered in the blog. You can enable this option by entering an e-mail address in the Settings - Comments Tab.

Works like a charm!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

2005 Calendars

New year is in. If you would like to print some calendars, Microsoft has some neat templates.

Here is a quick link to the 2005 business calendar.

(requires Word or Excel on your machine)

Monday, January 03, 2005

Tsunami Donations

I am a regular contributor to the World Food Programme. Generally we have no idea where our donations reach. Here is an exception (Kiruba's Weblog). Any donations done through are distributed through people like Kiruba. And it is great to have such visibility to the relief work. Pictures speak more than words.

Kiruba and Ganesh (not me, his last name is Siddhamali and he hosts, Good job guys! Keep up the good work.

The Hindu has written an article mentioning Kiruba and

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Tsunami Help Effort

Posting less frequently here. For the last couple of days, I am involved in the Tsunami Help Effort at their blog and the wikinews site.

Tsunami Help Blog

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year

Tsunami has made this day a sad one. These babies (one of them named Tsunami) on Andaman give hope. Let us all start with hope, a hope that we get these people back to their normal lives as soon as possible.

Wish you a Happy New Year 2005!