Friday, January 21, 2011

Trying to get back after a long hiatus…

Trying to get back to blogging after a long time.. Smile Way too many updates..

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Windows 7 RTM

One of the most awaited release both within Microsoft and outside reaches the RTM (release to manufacturing) stage. Having used the RC and the beta bits, I can say for sure that it’s one of the best Windows OS bits out there. MS rocks period :)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Genocide in Sri Lanka

 

Sri Lankan Puppets in the Hands of Emerging Superpowers

http://my.telegraph.co.uk/richarddixons/blog/2009/06/01/sri_lankan_puppets_in_the_hands_of_emerging_superpowers

The Real culprits behind Sri Lankan War (Originally published on 18th May 2009)
http://my.telegraph.co.uk/richarddixons/blog/2009/05/20/the_real_culprits_behind_sri_lankan_war
Independent Minds

When Justice failed in Teardrop Terror Island (Originally published on 18th May 2009)

Telegraph
http://my.telegraph.co.uk/richarddixons/blog/2009/05/23/when_justice_failed_in_teardrop_terror_island

Sri Lanka: A Paradise turned into Kingdom of Vultures (Originally published on 4th May 2009)

Telegraph
http://my.telegraph.co.uk/richarddixons/blog/2009/05/20/sri_lanka_a_paradise_turned_into_kingdom_of_vultures

Lies and Deceptions! Comical Alis of Sri Lanka (Originally published on 20th April 2009)
Telegraph
http://my.telegraph.co.uk/richarddixons/blog/2009/05/20/lies_and_deceptions_comical_alis_of_sri_lanka

Killing fields of Sri Lanka (Published on 22th May 2009)
Telegraph
http://my.telegraph.co.uk/richarddixons/blog/2009/05/22/killing_fields_of_sri_lanka

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Microsoft Whacks the Wii: A First Look

Microsoft Whacks the Wii: A First Look

Monday, June 01, 2009

Genocide in Sri Lanka

The Times, a British newspaper had published an article saying that close to 20000 Tamil Civilians had been killed in Sri Lanka during the Srilankan army’s attack on LTTE. And what does our Indian Government do ? Support a resolution in UN Human Rights council that blocks any investigation into human rights violation by the Sri Lankan Army.

Where are those speeches and fasts which the Tamil Politicians were indulging in a feverish pitch before the polls ? Apparently Karunanidhi is tired fighting for Cabinet berths for his kith and kin. It’s really sad that no voice was raised against the atrocities when it was being committed and none being raised now when the Tamils are being held like animals behind barbed fences reminding one of those concentration camps and the Gulags.

How can one expect the Indian Government to do something when fellow Tamils in TamilNadu (including me) aren’t ready to even make a token protest against these barbaric crimes. How long can we fool ourselves into thinking that all Tamils in Sri Lanka are LTTE ? What’s going to happen to those poor souls wounded by the cluster bombs flung by the Sri Lankan fighter planes and are lying on simple mats on the ground awaiting medical attention ? When will those caged within the barbed fences be free to get back to their lives and live as equal citizens in Sri Lanka and not as second-class citizens ?

Ashamed to call myself a Tamil.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Movie Update : Wrestler

Watched the movie Wrestler y'day. The story is simple dealing with a an aging professional wrestler in the last days of his career. A warm but beautiful movie which would move many to tears.
Some interesting trivia: the entry music for the wrestler "Ram" is Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N'Roses. The same song was the used by the actor Mickey Rourke who played "Ram" when he was a professional boxer in the 90's. The same song has been the ring tone on my mobile phone for close to 7 years now :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

My hut :)

http://cid-308495ee2659d31f.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Hyderabad%20Home

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shame upon Satyam

By now people would be aware of the shameful step considered by the Satyam management of buying two infrastructure enterprises owned by the founder of Satyam Computer Services' founder Mr. Ramalinga Raju. In the times of such grave economic crisis the folks in Satyam board didn't even bother about the well being of the company on which numerous thousands of folks are dependent upon for their jobs and risked the entire cash reserve in buying two real estate companies just to line the pockets of Mr.Raju's family.

The step has since been withdrawn reportedly based on the investor opposition but in real based upon the pummeling the stock received by going down 55% in one day. This step if it had been undertaken would be one of the biggest scams. The entire cash reserve (1.2 billion USD) was built by taking advantage of the special tax regime given for the IT folks. Now if this amount is being used for an infrastructure company acquisition would Satyam have paid back the tax benefits ?

It's really sad to note that one of the top IT service companies in India would go to such depths. I have heard lots and lots stories of how these companies fleece their employees to improve their profit margin. I had never believed them completely. But this one incident goes to prove that these guys are nothing but glorified Shylocks.

Terror Attacks and Indian response

After numerous attacks finally the nation has woken up. Once again the politicians seemed to have escaped unscathed. The real issue of complete collapse of the Indian intelligence and security system has been put aside and the blame is being put upon the spineless Pakistani government.

The same UPA government which had removed POTA is bringing it back in a new form. But will these suffice to stop the terrorists in his paths. I doubt it. If one looks at the profiles of most of the terrorists, most of the seem to be driven to this extreme step of bombing or killing innocent civilians either due,

i) Brain washing by fundamentalists

ii) Wrong perception of injustice meted out to a particular community

iii) Possible financial aid for the family.

In all the cases the individual is ready to make the supreme sacrifice of giving up one's life for the cause. Is talking tough with Pakistan going to stop such elements ? Maybe could stop folks from Pakistan creating mayhem in the nation. But what about the numerous bombings made by people from within the nation.

When an individual is ready to take the lives of people without a thought, he/she should be ready to lose his/her near ones as well. If a person is found guilty of a terrorist activity in which someone else is either maimed or killed, then mete out the same treatment to his/her family. If you kill someone else's parents, your parents are also going to pay the same price. It's a very harsh step, but I don't see any alternative. The mere thought that killing oneself for the cause might also get one's loved ones killed will make the person think at least twice before embarking upon such mindless terror activities.

Till then we'll keeping facing numerous such Mumbai type incidents in the days to come.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Movies Update (yet another)

Happened to watch "Memento" the movie based on which the tamil hit movie "Gajini" was made. I had seen "Gajini" earlier and when I saw "Memento" felt so repulsed by manner in which the story in the Tamil version was diluted and made stupid.

Made me wonder, why do our film makers need to bring in the love angle in each and every movie they make. Be it a war movie, you will find the young soldier and his wife/fiancee running around trees for at least couple of songs. Even a thriller will have a totally absurd love angle in it. Is it so tough to make movies without one or is it that the film makers are unsure of the audience response and want to play safe.

As one get exposed to movies from different countries and different style of film making, the threshold for a good movie keeps increasing and  chaff never escape. Of the last 10 Tamil/Hindi movies  I tried watching only one went the full length. It's not that Hollywood doesn't churn out crappy movies. But the percentage seems to be bit less when compared.

Couple of interesting movies that I saw recently,

* Game plan (Disney movie - meant for kids. But thoroughly enjoyed it)

* Jeyam Kondan (A good tamil movie after quite sometime)

Old is Gold

Was listening couple of musical gems and what can one say, but remain spell bound.

Song 1 --> vaan nila nila alla

Song 2 --> Ore Naal Unnai Naan

Never fully understood why we still find the old songs evergreen. I won't be able to listen to an A.R.Rahman hit song five years down the line. But these gems by people like Ilayaraja will remain evergreen. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's payback time folks.

Real estate is one of the constant topics that we (my colleagues) discuss during lunch time at office. In spite of working in a company that boasts of being above 95th percentile when it comes to pay in India, most of these projects are out of the reach. Any new venture being started in Hyderabad which is within 10 km either of Hitech city or Gachibowli would cost no less than 3000 rupees per square feet. If the price is less than this then it means that the project has no amenities (a swimming pool (a large bath tub in Hyderabad lingo), some open space, etc).

Buying a 3 bedroom flat would set you back by minimal 50-60 lakhs. With the interest rate for home loans hovering around 11% one needs to shell out easily 50-60K per month as EMI. How many folks can afford this kind of payment ?

* Either both the spouses should be working

* The person should be a US return

* Must be in the industry for quite some time (>10 years)

One of the best examples for insanity is the place where I stay for rent , Bhanu Township in Miyapur. The project was started with an advertised cost of 750 per sft (it could have been less than this too). The advantage of the place is that it's around 7 km from Hitech city and 10 km from Gachibowli.

The price was 850 Rs per sft just 3 years back. A 1100 sft 2 BHK flat would have cost less than 10 lakhs. Today the cost for the same place is around 2600 Rs per sft. There have been economic changes like increase in steel and other raw material costs, increase in salary levels. But nothing justifies an increase from 850 to 2600 without any increase in the quality of the product being delivered.

If so what's the cause,

* Dream of each individual to own a roof over the head

* Exploitation of this dream by builders and speculators.

Initially the non-IT salaried folks were kicked out of the game by the IT folks just out of college and wanting that roof. Soon their brethren abroad (the NRI) felt that it's a good investment to buy a flat for 10 lakhs and rent it out.

This started the second wave and you ended up with nearly 50% owners in many buildings residing abroad and renting out to folks working in IT companies in India. This inflow of money from the NRI and the local business and political people who wanted to park their black money and also get decent returns out of it, started kicking out the lower rung IT folks from owning a flat.

The frenzied pace was set in the previous two years (2006-2007). I never thought I would hear someone saying "Hey, I bought a flat for 56 lakhs in SMR Vinay City in Miyapur". I did hear those statements and even appreciated the buyer for his sound investment ;)

It all sounded like a bubble, but no one was ready to believe that it could burst sometime. Well, anything that goes up has to come down. With the recent financial crisis, people are thinking twice (at last) before buying a property. Hope sanity prevail and genuine buyers benefit.

Still the builders are refusing to budge and decrease the price of the apartments. Hyderabad is not a land scarce place. Go to the top of any building in the outskirts mentioned here and one could find empty land everywhere. It's the real estate cartel that's pushing the prices up.

If you are on the lookout for a place, wait for couple of months. The prices are bound southwards and even the big builders have to realize that there won't be queues before their offices to book apartments, because it's PAYBACK time :)

Thanks Star Movies and HBO !!

These days Star Movies and HBO are playing movies with subtitles. It's a wonderful move and the chaps who took the call at these channel houses ought to be appreciated.

Watched "Jurassic Park" on Star recently with my mother with out any questions being asked on what the guy is saying :). Personally I find most of the movies tough to follow with subtitles. Agreed that one can get the gist of the movie, but one does miss out on the dialogues. One perfect example was "No country for old men". The movie was so enthralling that I was at the edge of the my seat for most of the movie. But frankly the last 10 minutes didn't make any sense at all, as I simply couldn't get the dialogues. It fills you with a void after the movie ends. The sense of having missed something.

With this move, I am sure lots more people would enjoy the movies on Star and HBO. It would be a welcome break from watching people running around trees and grandpas romancing women of their granddaughter's age.