Thursday, November 13, 2008

my half century

and didnt notice it, but that lost post was number 50!!!! patting myself on the back, even if no one else will..

applause applause!!

here's to putting up with me for a good number of more years. keep reading and keep stealing!!

It Starts!

Here we go. That was my first reaction while reading the sports columns this last week. 

While most of the focus was dedicated to Ricky Ponting’s post tea bowling options, I thought was more remarkable was the unanimity with which every cricket pundit worth his salt was busy moaning what they called was the list rites for test cricket.

Before I put in my two fils worth on that issue, let me first congratulate fellow Jharkhand leader MS Dhoni, who so inspired Peter Roebuck, that the one time reliable journalist wrote the sort of prose that besotted kids write about their favorite actress, before grammar and shame grab them in a vice like grip thereafter.

I mean, despite writing in a previous article that “India had stooped to win the Nagpur test”, Roebuck later called Dhoni “an Obama in White”. Which ranks amongst the most moronic statements of all time.

Kudos to Dhoni for boldly challenging the aussies where no one threw the gauntlet down at them before. It takes a hell lot of guts to throw etiquette out of the window and stifle the run rate with an 8-1 field. Pure genius, a move that the usually aggressive kangaroos couldn’t find an answer too.

But lest anyone start celebrating our team’s so called rise to the top, just remember that the same team lost badly to the Lankans not too long ago. And if you would like to point out that punter’s men haven’t recovered from the retirement of warne, langer, mc grath, martyn and gilchrist, don’t be too smug but we’ll pretty much face the same situation in two years time, when laxman and dravid retire. And your grandchildren will face the same when sachin retires.

Moving onto the main topic, it amazes me to see how no one saw the Nagpur test for what it was. A gritty long drawn battle of wills and test of patience. Gripping stuff that only test cricket can provide. Anyone can slog their willow to register half centuries when you only need to stay on for 20 overs. Harbhajan’s two half centuries are a perfect example. But from personal experience (which amounts to the longest stay at the crease- clocked in 3 overs before being bowled u know), staying at the wicket and seeing the opposition off is the greatest exam for a batsman.

Sure, there weren’t too many crowds at the test matches. This is right around the time when half yearly exams rear their ugly head. The time when post diwali, working people realize that their bank balance resembles a famine victim. And let’s be honest. With the state that most stadiums are in, where u inevitably focus on the electronic display to watch replays most of the time, watching matches from home is a much better option anyday.

Well, we got the poms who are still smarting over the Stanford gate and we can look forward to seeing Kevin Petersen come up with 10 new ways of saying that defeats don’t matter much.

Post that, crossing my fingers and hoping that the indo pak series happens here in the uae where things should be much safer for both teams. Not to mention, where tickets could be easier to get also.  

to end things off, having watched the ICL extensively over the last few weeks, i have come to the ultimate conclusion, that unless Subhash Chandra invests more effort and money into getting better cheerleaders, Lalit Modi's brainchild will continue to get my 4 hours of attention. l0l

Monday, November 10, 2008

leaping off the edge

this is right around the time when shopping for new games becomes a massive headache. all the best titles seem reserved for this time and you see ur good friends indulge in flaming fanboy wars that are utterly futile.

i had the followed games pencilled on my list of must haves around august.

fallout 3
gears of war 2
tomb raider underground
prince of persia 
saints row 2
mirrors edge.

since then though, i've had to scratch out fallout 3. the reason being that i had had enough of dystopia, and wanted to play some good old fun games again.

i agree gears isnt the most positive outlook on life, but any game that lets you chanisaw enemies stays in my list.

but i must admit to having been completely floored by mirror's edge so far. from what i've seen so far, this game looks to be the 'portal' for 2008. and in my books, that's just about as high praise as one can offer games.

i admit being disappointed with the games released this year thus far. it's not a patch on last year, when i tearfully parted with my earnings but felt justified with hours of pure pleasure playing Bioshock, Assasin's Creed, Gears, Halo 3, R6 Vegas, Fifa 08, PGR3 and Mass Effect.

this year, i have only been impressed by Burnout Paradise, which i think is the best reason to get the wireless steering wheel and the beloved and unfortunately banned GTA 4.

but just like Assasins and Portal(love that song btw, look up "portal- i am still alive"), Mirror's edge has become a game changer. 

a different protagonist from the usual stereotype? check.

a game world played entirely on nausea inducing rooftops? check

total dependance on wits and not guns, to survive? check

total sense of immersion into the game world? check

dont know about you, but while i wouldnt mind not getting any of the above listed games well into next year, Gears and Mirrors edge have made a move from should haves to must haves for me.

that and the nokia 5800 xpress coming to UAE and India in December and rest of the world in 2009(yay!!)

Nehalem headaches for AMD

oh my god!! that was my first reaction when the nehalem(aka intel Core i7) benchmarks hit the net.

they say that imitation is the best form of flattery, but what happens when the imitation outperforms the original?

Intel's version of the AMD Hyper Transport is called Hyper Connect, and boy, does it connect or what..

even in the conroe days, AMD always held the edge in Memory latency and read write tests due to the pioneering integrated memory controller design they implemented in the athlon 64 over 5 years ago. (has it been that long? wow)

well, intel decided to bury the grizzled Front Side Bus and usher in their version of the integrated controller in the core i7. where they really blew AMD away of course, was by making it a triple channel controller, over the dual channel approach that AMD has favoured.

while the Core i7 is an absolute delight for workstation applications, gaming scenarios arent all that clear.

the cheapest core i7 (which would be the 920), isnt all that faster in games when compared to the similarly price Q9770. in fact, if you get right down to it, you could get a much cheaper dual core, say an E8500, add in a solid water cooling kit, OC it to near 4 Ghz and get double the gaming performance.

this is because most of the games right now are written to take advantage of dual core systems as the lowest common denominator in performance.

the few games that do utilise the extra cores (which right now seems to be supreme commander, not convinced that Crysis, Bioshock or UT3 make good use of quaddies), benefit far more from the much higher clock speed that u will get with a dual core.

there's the rub. since the i7 is in it's infancy, u have to shell out huge money, to get a decent motherboard, DDR3 memory(it wont run on DDR2).

plus there's also the fact that intel offers much better performance when it revises and refreshes product lines. it happened when it made a transition from 65nm to 45 nm and will happen again when they move from current 45nm to 32 nm sometime next year.

bottom line is, the i7 is mostly a fancy piece of nanotech that will be an absolute must 6 months down the line, when prices drop.

my suggestion till then, is to get an 8500, OC it to 4Gs, pair it up with a pair of radeon 4850s in crossfire(much better than the 4850x2 imho) and pack in 4 gigs of ddr2 1066 ram and u will have a system that will serve u fine for atleast 2 years.

The Inconvenient Truth

well, the world has changed a lot since i last blogged.

Tina Fey blew the world away with a better Palin than Sarah.

Kim Jong II is trying desperately to prove to the world that he's still alive and kicking( or hasnt kicked the bucket).

i finally saw two programmes in HD that finally justified the promise that my LCD tv held, apart from being spectacular for gaming.

have spent 50 hours in Oblivion and have only finished 30 % of the game.

biggest whammy of all though, is that Obama won the race to the white house.

i'll admit, i was one of the skeptics who thought there was no way an african american would ever win the presidential ballot. 

i admired the guy ever since he decided to advertise on Burnout Paradise. more than his acceptance of internet donations, the burnout  decision proved to me that this was finally a 21st century candidate.

but that was always tempered with a realization that it didnt matter an iota what the world thought of him. what would matter is whether the american voting public would buy his message for change.

did they ever.

but while Obama basks in congratulations for a much deserved victory, New Delhi is rightly concerned. while the indian news media went gaga over O's victory, not ONE of them bothered to check his views and thoughts on matters pertaining to the subcontinent.

strange as it sounds, democratic presidents have never been good for India.

Obama is a guy who's against the following:

  • he's gone on record saying he's against outsourcing and would like to introduce legislature that makes it financially inviable to move jobs offshore.
  • He's also against increasing the number of H1B visas quota that industry giants like Microsoft have been clamoring for.
  • Days into his election, he issued a statement saying that he was looking into placing Bill Clinton as an interlocutor between india and pakistan, to resume the stalled peace process
  • he also represents the traditional Washington thinking that always hyphenates India Pakistan together, rather than deal with each seperately.
ironically, the greatest improvement in indo us relations after the 98 nuclear tests was reached when there were two right wing governments in respective centres.

the congress would like us believe that the whole deal was a personal endeavor for manmohan singh, but the truth is, the seeds and details were sown in by Jaswant singh and Robert mulford in the previous administrations.

Obama inherits an america that is being broken slowly in financial terms. good old companies like Ford and GM have announced they are on the verge of bankruptcy.

the 150 billion dollar bailout package that obama has proposed seems highly impractical. where's the money to put into this scheme, when america has spent more than a trillion dollars on needless warmongering?

in fact, the american press has proved more questioning of fairy tale packages, while the indian press largely ignored the 12000 crore bailout package that the government put into UTI when it crashed.

methinks that once the party is over and housecleaning begins in january, new delhi might be in for some nasty surprises.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Pieces Fall in Together

Yawn!!! Sorry. Couldn't help it. Been a long night keeping tabs on the Google Android launch. More on that later.

The big G is one of those companies that seems to inspire a lot of love on the net. Which kind of makes it an antithesis to Microsoft, which inspires (almost) universal hate. I mean even Jerry Seinfeld couldn't help Bill Gates.

Admittedly, Google is a brilliant search engine. No other search engine comes close. However, hints of a Microsoftesque ambition unravelled one by one.

Take the foray into desktop search, Office document management, Maps, Street view, Earth, Blogger, Orkut etc. The list goes on, and is diverse. In fact, Google is trying to be omniscient and omnipresent.

The only thing that held them back however, was a compelling platform to integrate services. For a myriad of reasons (maybe they're cooking it up in G labs, as we speak), the integrated one stop point for their services has been a tough sell to the PC market.

And then all of a sudden, they released the Chrome browser. That was when one had to say " Aha!! The game is afoot".

As a Chrome user for more than 2 weeks, i can say that it doesn't offer anything revolutionary over other desktop counterparts. Other than  the ability to run each browser tab in separate memory threads, it's a run of the mill browser and didn't make any sense as a Google product. It wasn't like it loaded Maps or Docs or Talk at start. Those still require visiting the website or downloading the App.

No, what was interesting though, is that it was an attempt to launch a platform for their web services, and gain some developer feedback. Much like Apple's Safari was. Now you see where we are heading, aren't you?

A couple of hours ago, T-Mobile launched the G1 phone(aka HTC Dream). Like i was telling a friend of mine, the Dream looks like a nightmare, but it's the underlying software that's the talking point.

Hardware wise, it's a decent package, although the lack of video recording and stereo bluetooth support is galling for a 2008 phone. we can assume that developers will get cracking on those issues with the Android SDK right away.

Android!! The cornerstone of Google's strategy. The reason d'etre for their 'Be there, everywhere' syndrome. All of Big G's plans seem to be tied up with their mobile OS. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than the G1.

For starters, the phone requires logging in with a Google Account. thereafter, it ties up you phone contacts with the Google Address Book. it also treats Gmail as the default Email client.  Gtalk is ubiquitous as the default chat client. Maps and Street view are presented in all their glory. Docs come preloaded, and there are default Facebook and Orkut and Blogger(YAY!!!) apps as well. and for browsing, you get the Google Chrome(AAH!! Now i see)

and there's a wonderful App Market that is better than Apple's Iphone Apps, simply because it doesn't tie you down to using a proprietary software to sync.

 Oh, and it comes with a direct Google Search App(well, duh!!)

look, tying up contacts with the google address book can be a wonderful idea. the worst case scenario that the ads are showing, is where you drop your phone into water, and get a replacement phone. then you simply login to your google account and presto, all contacts restored!!

this is the closest we have come to mass cloud computing. Cloud computing is an approach which stores data in a central server, and treats every thing else as an access terminal. the benefits are that the end user's computer needn't be all powerful. all the configuration expenses are met at the server end. the only thing needed on nodal ends are input, output devices and a strong network connection.

what concerns me however, is that with the million handsets that HTC is going to sell for sure, and with the beautiful Qwerty keypad plus WiFi means that surfing on a mobile will be terribly attractive.

what it means for Google, is that with each user logged into a Gmail account, they now get more user data, which can be used to main profiles. granted, they say that all user information is deleted in 9 months, plus that user privacy is respected. i admired the way they stood upto the Bush administration and refused to hand over search tracking data. Something that some other companies didnt have the guts to do(Yahoo, MSN anyone?)

But it seems that with Android out, and the way it has integrated all it's apps to the moblie platforms, that user statistics and potential ad base for the Ad sense are the only reasons for the strong push Google is putting in.

Big Brother is finally here. and it's name is Google.

and finally, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then apple must be blushing right now. not a single touch screen phone has deviated from the Large Screen and minimal buttons approach that Apple Pioneered.

should you buy the G1 with the attractive 179 $ plan? i would suggest waiting to see what Nokia cooks up with the Tube(AKA Xpress Music 5800) before jumping in.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Well Oiled Machine

Look at that header again. Pun intended.

Here’s an activity. Take out the commodities listing for the last month. Note the price of a barrel of petrol .  And now, plot a graph.

What you will get, is a wildly oscillating Sine Wave.  The same kind of graph you get, when you plot the average blogger’s interest in blogging.

It was at 148 $ a barrel two days ago, fell to 136 a pop yesterday.

Why was the difference of 12 dollars created? Simply because a bunch of Brazilian oil workers had threatened to call a strike. Threatened to call a strike, mind you,  not an actual declaration of a strike.

What is going on with oil? Sudden spike of demand? I find that hard to believe. It’s not like consumers have found an alternative to oil. So our dependency on oil Is still intact.

Are there problems on the supply side? Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of petrol, has increased production levels to way beyond theoretical levels.

So, what gives?

The OPEC says that it hasn’t raised its prices at production level. The refiners say that they haven’t raised their costs of refinement. The governments say that they are doing all they can, to reduce prices.

As a responsible global citizen, all I want to say is, enough with the officialese. Let me have an honest answer.

Why is it that when a Russian oil minister sneezes, prices go up( “ Fears about a slowdown in oil production”)why is it, that ( for the Indian context) in the same country, a person in Bombay pays a different rate for petrol, than a person in Bangalore? (I know, petrol duties and all that rot)

Of course, as long as we have eminently sensible people like George W Bush, who have been renowned for taking wise steps to secure oil supplies.

Here is Dubya’s solution to decrease oil prices. Cut down forests and nature reserves, so that American oil companies can drill for oil.

Never mind that it takes around 8-10 years before an oil field can begin mass production. Never mind that all that drilling will not have any benefit for the next 5 years. Never mind that all bush’s plan will achieve, is more deforestation of the American Greens.

Like I said before, Dubya is a sensible guy.

The Great(?) Depression of the 21st Century

Reading the newspapers of the last six months, one would get the impression that all the action lay in the business section.

Day after day, we’ve been fed data that suggests that we are in the midst of a recession that will rival the Great Depression of the 1930s. Some experts(who seem to appear on all channels, speaking the same words again) have claimed that this is the BIG ONE!!! That doomsday is at hand.

Rchi has a rule of the thumb. Which says that if there is an earth shattering announcement on page one, the real news will lie on page 4 of the following day.

Of course we all know there is massive inflation in the economy. Of course the prices of commodities have risen to ridiculous levels. But my point is, prices always rise over a working cycle of a generation.

To wit, let me quote my dad, who never ceases to point out – “ You youngsters have a starting monthly salary, that equals my annual salary, in my mid career stage.”

To which I point out – “ Uh Yeah dad. But your starting monthly salary, was probably greater than grandpa’s annual salary”

Prices rise, with rising income levels, which ensure that no matter how much the middle class earns, things which are considered ‘a luxury’ (middle class speak, dear Armani toting reader), remain in the realm of luxury, no matter what your income is.

The golden rules still apply from the dinosaurs age –

  • ·         SAVE as much as you can.
  • ·         If any item has more than 3 zeros, ignore it
  • ·         If you don’t have the cash for it, ignore it
  • ·         Credit cards are a taboo
  • ·         Always Ask – Do I ABSOLUTELY need this

The last one is the most painful, but the most important nevertheless.

Of course, the haves will always be sheltered from the ‘The Devastating Effects of a Slowing Economy’™

Me? I will continue to burn in envy, every time I see that Ferrari whiz past, with a Rolex hanging out of the window

Monday, May 19, 2008

Turn the Page

Prepare yourself for what will come across as blasphemy. I have turned over to the dark side!!

At the turn of the century, I was part of a mob, that threw Robert Jordan books at a guy, who dared suggest, that Audio Books would become a feasible alternative to books, once we could fit in MP3s into small sized devices.

“earphones  instead of a book? a narrator’s steady, clear and wonderful voice, instead of the crackling, raspy wheezy voice in my head? 10 grams in my pocket, vs half a kilo in my hand(REF Wheel of Time)!!!! You shame me friend, you really do”

Yup. That was me. Admittedly me.

Circa 2007. Ipods are plenty around. As are audiobooks. And remember how all of us(ok ok, some of us) look back at our past, and in a rare moment of honesty, recognize that perhaps we were overweight, insecure pompous and ignorant know it alls, who in a moment of madness, did things we normally wouldn’t have?

If you said yes, then you were probably an English Football fan (that’s soccer, my yankee friends). Fortunately I grew up in india.

Anyways, I decided to give them a try and got a copy of a famous fantasy series, that currently spans nearly 200 novels.

I started listening to it, and before long, I was running out of memory space. God help me, but I like the idea of audiobooks.

Now I know what the bibliophiles will say, and I agree with most of what you will argue. It’s not the same as holding pages in your hands. It’s not the same as needing to squint in poor lighting conditions, or bend over in impossible yogic positions. It’s not the same as reading worm infested pages, a sure sign of quality. (the more obscure and harder to follow a book is, greater the number of worm  riddled pages).

It’s not the same as leaving a bookmark and getting up next morning to resume where you left off. It’s not the same as flipping a number of pages, that contain mundane descriptions of clothing, meals, or beauty. It’s not the same as reading that book jacket synopsis, often of a higher quality than the book itself. It’s not the same as reading the glowing (no doubt paid for) review by an author.

Probably you are right. Meanwhile, that audiobook friend of mine, whom we ganged up on? He is successful, has listened to enough books to hold attention at parties, and has earned the sobriquet of being “ a well read and learned man!!!”..

Imagine that… 


No prizes for guessing what this post is about. I have just finshed reading Batman 676, which begins the “ Batman R.I.P.”  arc by Grant Morrison.  While I didn’t quite dig into the whole batman and son and the resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul storylines, the hints thrown about the current arc had me intrigued.

Certainly, the teaser thrown in DC Universe 0, was one of the best batman joker interludes I have read so far, surpassing Alan Moore’s famous “shine the light” in the killing joke.

The mood is appropriately dark and full of foreboding, pointing to the imminent demise of Bruce Wayne as batman. The only thing that doesn’t work for me, is the suddenness with which Bruce Wayne decides to integrate Jezebel Jet into his life.

Given the past history, I am guessing that bruce suspects Jezebel of being “hand in black glove”, and is setting her up. Another minor gripe, is that Alfred seems to have forgotten about Selina Kyle , in Bruce’s list.

Oh well, no one believes that Bruce will be gone from the cape from too long. None of these guys stay dead permanently. That includes Captain America. The dead one was a skrull you know..

Right now, I have to say that secret invasion seems to be the stronger crossover event, compared to final crisis. So far, we only have the return of Barry Allen to look forward to.

Here’s cheers to Grant and Geoff!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008



Man Utd beat off the pretenders today. we beat wigan 2-0. ronaldo scored again. but my man, Ryan Giggs, appropriately sealed the deal.

poor blues could only manage a 1-1 draw against bolton!!! 

sir alex, take a bow!!!

a most deserving victory i say.. only one message for the reds

let's win the double and we will show

who's man united, here we go!!!

I AM .... writing this review

No prizes for guessing. Caught Robert Downey Jr. take to the skies yesterday. What can I say? Jon Favreau proves that not all marvel writers are RUSTY!!!

 I went in with some trepidation, as I am still smarting from the punishment that the PUNISHER was. And let's just say, that Jennifer Garner didn’t exactly electrify me in ELEKTRA. And lets forget how INCREDIBLY bad the HULK was. Haven’t seen spidey 3 yet, so judgement on that awaits.

 Back to the story. God knows why all directors think that a comic book movie must start with an origin story. Does no one remember that most of these characters were created well before the parents of the target audience even graduated?

 The origin was okay, although I did roll my eyes over how Hollywood tried to pass off Hindi as Arabic. All in the name of being politically correct and sensitive.

 The story isn’t all that different from the comic origin, change of location excluded. But the first sight of the first armor didn’t exactly set the audience cheering.

 But thereafter, the CGI guys took ovter. I have to compliment the stellar effects work done by the guys at ILM. Watching Tony try painfully nailing hovering and flight jet physics down, is a treat. And the first time he takes to the skies.. LOOK OUT BELOW!!!!

 The armor V3.0, which most of us are familiar with, looks stunning, and is easily the highlight of the movie. The battle with the F22 raptors is the stuff that jet boy dreams are made of. My only complaint? There isn’t enough of iron man flying around!!! The only downer is that the end villain battle is way too abrupt, and is more of posturing than serious beat em up action.

 Support characters are good, but the first movie seems to be all about tony stark, and less about iron man. No complaints though. This one is easily one of the top 5 comic book adaptations I have seen.

 Loved the nick fury cameo in the end. Although, given how the JLA movie got shelved, it looks like an AVENGERS movie will remain on the storyboards forever.

 Well, here's looking forward to the dark knight, and the watchmen next year.  

Monday, May 05, 2008

trouble in the middle earth

havent heard much from the foreign ministry about america lately? wondering what the government is upto? well, i will let you in on a secret. it's no longer the 123 occupying manmohan singh's mind. it's the 300.

what 300?it all began, a not so long long time ago, in a not so far far away land. an immortal line in indian cinema goes - all we need is food clothing and shelter.

since india doesnt have the time to provide shelter to the hundreds of millions who sleep on the pavements( we provide open sky accommodation you see), housing was the first myth to go bust.

our country is so poverished, that we cant even afford decent clothing. anyone who disagrees is welcome to take a look at our hindi movies for the last 5 years.

of course the feminists will argue that it's a representation of repression, exploitation. dear sisters, please note that even the men submit themselves to the rationing of clothes. salman khan was the first to accommodate the producer's request.

why, even the biggest superstar, SRK, could not afford shirts for his home production om shanti om.. poor guy(pun intended) had to go shirtless, singing "dil mein mere hai dard e disco". you see, discos dont allow shirtless guys in, upper class snobs that they are.

back to the topic, with shelter and clothing been dispensed with, what was the one comfort we had? 


for 6 decades, we ate like there was no tomorrow. for decades, our ancestors conducted genetic experiments, to allow us to naturally store more fats and cholesterol than other races.

we were into bio tech way ahead of anyone else you know. any wonder then, the only guy, who can make sense out of the whacked out genetics on heroes, is an indian?

the highest levels of diabetes and heart disease were a small side effect. nothing major at all.

but all this bliss would not last for long.

the wicked west, with it's health obsession, tummy tucks( the sworn enemy of a truly indian cultural product - the prosperous belly) and that evil word - DIET(close your ears!!!)

while we ate heartily, they starved naughtily. till one fine day, the white man decided to eat something for a change. but, rather mysteriously, no food grains could be found.

he looked high, he looked low. but all he could find were empty silos. 
so he said, let me buy some rice. a tonne to a dollar, would be so nice.

so imagine his surprise, when he found, that cheap grain, was no longer around.
in anger, did he look east, where he found the indians, having a feast!!

(i am so proud of myself for that impromptu rhyme. i take a bow, i take a vow)

well, that intelligent, rational and cautious gentleman called george w bush, could not restrain himself any longer..

he burst out- " the increasing appetite of the 300 million indian middle class, is the main cause for the global food crisis."

the manmohan government wont admit it, but it is quaking in it's boots. we all know what happens when you get W mad, dont we.. with the threat of an impending nuclear strike, the left threatened with a nationwide strike.

not to loose hope though. our bright ministers have a few arguments in their favor. 

for one, they will claim that we dont have 300 million middle class indians. we have 100 million rich ones, and the others. if you take away the number of bangladeshi immigrants, non marathi speaking mumbaikars, non gujrati voters, tamil speaking kannadigas, and those pesky NRIs, we only have 50 million others.

secondly, we are all into dieting. indians dont eat much you see. we are a culture that celebrates saving, not craving. our healthy politicians and police authorities are just exceptions to the rule.

plus, a lot of people starve in our country. we are very happy to parade them everytime richard gere and co decide to come here for a cultural experience. we proudly trumpet our poverty, our social failures to foreign bodies. just ask WHO or the world bank.

we dont have any rice for ourselves. from a surplus producer, we have transformed into an  export prohibiting society. in fact we are wondering if you could send RICE (condoleeza) here.

please dont nuke us. we will be happy to be your pawns, in the great south asian game to counter china.

the white house is yet to respond to these admittedly sensible arguements 

The Spillover Effect

a casual glance at the headlines for the last month or so reveals an interesting scenario. buried under all the fuss over obama vs clinton, is a series of statements issued from the white house, which could be put in the following categories:

1) the united states is a champion of democracy, and will not tolerate the anti people hegemonies around the world.

2) the threat of an unfriendly nation(read iran) obtaining nuclear weapons is the greatest threat for america

3) iran must give up it's nuclear policies, or else face the consequences

4) iran has proven links with al qaeda, and is fomenting anti american rhetoric in iraq

5) hillary clinton's challenge to iran, to the effect that you co operate, or we will take you down..

sounds familiar? just substitute iraq in iran's place and what do you get?

2003 redux

with george bush recently poking fun at john mc cain for distancing himself from the bush administration, and the democrat hopefuls making it clear that there is no love lost, why do i get the feeling, that W is preparing himself to give the ultimate greeting gift to a new president?

a losing and isolating  war in three theaters? ( afghanistan, iraq and iran)

maybe i am just jumping to conclusions, but who knows?

te(ch)sting times

what an eventful month has passed. dont know where to start.

AMD released a b3 revision of the phenom processors. b3 was a fix for the overhyped but rarely seen TLB bug.

while AMD isnt going for a ghz shattering attempt, they are positioning themselves as a very reasonable quad core alternative to intel's upper dual core offerings.

from the benchies seen on the web, plus feedback from a couple of friends, i can say that if you arent an overclocker, or a hardcore gamer, then the phenom processor is a very good alternative to the invincible core 2 duo.

bear in mind though, that the choice of motherboard is EXTREMELY important for the best results. while AMD has been touting the fact that you could drop in a phenom into any socket AM2+  mobo, there are reports on the web that you would need a motherboard equipped with a 790 fx chipset, to ensure that the BSOD doesnt greet you like an ex girlfriend.

the best choice is obviously the high end 9850 proc, running at 2.5 ghz.

video cards are a bit more muddled. all it boils down to is whether you are a fan of nvidia or AMD.

there is not a whole lot to choose between a 9600GT or a radeon 3870. but at lower budgets, amd rules the roost, with the 3850 card.

for a bit more though, the 8800GT  is still a no brainer. best bang for the buck.

this month's award for the best rumor goes to the one which speculates that the 3g iphone aka iphone 2 might be released (gasp!!!!) UNLOCKED.....

oh please say it's true steve, please say it's true.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

HEROES!!! ( the guitar kind)

well, after a long long search, in shops far far away, i finally managed to lay my hands on Guitar hero 3 for the 360 ( cue : guitar riffs)

man, the package is heavy.. and Loooooong... bue upon opening the box, greets you the most beautiful controller this side of the wiimote.

having trudged through the first few songs on the easy mode, i must woefully admit that i am no guitar hero. my hand's too faithful to newton's first law.

oh well, practice makes perfect!!! here's to noisy afternoons ahead!!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

State of the Hardware

Wow, what a huge change in the landscape between my last post and this one. While Intel still remains the king of the hill, AMD has atleast brought the Phenom to life. While the Barcelona is a long way off from even matching the Wolfdale, much less the Penryn( let’s leave overclocking a long way back please), it does hit the sweet spot on the wallet.

Look at it this way, a Phenom, coupled with a 790 mobo leaves you with enough money to splurge on a 9600 GT or a 3870 card. And a 700 Watt PSU. Plus the fact that most games aren’t optimized for dual cores even today, leaves a lot of headroom for the future.

Personally though, I must admit that the PC’s gaming days seem to be numbered. I have been a keyboard mouse faithful for ever since I can remember, but having purchased a 360 last year, I can confidently say, that for the same amount of money, no PC can guarantee a smooth experience for the next 3 years atleast.

If you are looking to get a console, get the PS3. with the victory of the Blu Ray, and the upcoming metal gears solid 4, the PS3 remains a no brainer. But my next console will be a wii.

As fer the mobiles, my heart remains set on the iphone, but the ridiculous price tag ( I can get a wii for much less u know), plus the fact that iphone clones can be had for around half the price make it tough to justify.

What the hell, dissing the iphone is the luxury of the haves. So let this have not progress in life to own one and join the crowd of those who say “ it’s too much of a luxury”..


well, here i am, after a very long hiatus. What was I upto? Well, after scraping through college, relatively unscathed, it was time to fulfil certain social obligations and enter the world of jealousy, scheming, comparisons, naked ambition and greed. No, not the cricket field, but corporatedom.

While discretion is definitely the better part of valor when it comes to describing your first paycheck, the first splurge, the first regret, and the realization at the end of six months, that there are no savings worth the name. suffice to say, that certain lessons have been learned.

Hmm, moving onto other things, the world seems to be engrossed in the presidential tamasha going on in the amrika, john mc cain and the GOP must be rubbing hands in glee. Hell of a head start to a presidential campaign if you ask me.

Congrats to dhoni and company. All of a sudden, the same guy who was questioned for dropping Sourav ( Gasp!! The audacity!! The gall of it!!) is now being hailed as a visionary!!

Here’s hoping history remembers me that kindly.
Well, consider this more as a prologue. There’s more to come, more regularly from now on.

Cheers all