February 28, 2006

Whistle Blower

There is something really wrong with the IT industry. I'm not only talking about the global or the economic perspective, but every angle of it. I am talking about the bosses, the managers, the HRs, the developers, the testers, even the office boy and the watchman.

What is wrong with it you may ask? It all looks so good, there is so much work being outsourced to India that every developer in the US is scared about losing his job to some Indian, "living in the wild".

The benches (For those who don't know, if you are not assigned any work at all, you are said to be on the bench), Yeah the benches in software companies are overflowing. Yet they keep recruiting more and more people every year. You would like to imagine that in each of those companies, there are hundreds of engineers, slogging day and night, trying to catch up with their deadlines.

Now you would like to ask, who am I to be telling you all this. There are a lot of reasons actually, firstly, I am surrounded by software engineers all the time. Everybody I have known in the last two years is a software engineer. So I am fairly in touch to comment on them. Secondly, I joined a software firm with high hopes, since I had been an exceptional Electronics engineer (lowest all clear in three of the four years). For the first two days, I really wanted to learn. (Though on the third day I was enlightened and haven't done anything constructive since). Since I believe I have been wronged, my instinct to learn was mercilessly killed, I decide to come out with this. Thirdly, I have been spending time across the world (Yes, on company expenses) and I have come across incompetent people from around the world, and can actually understand the differences in the methodology of work-evading tactics. Finally, and most importantly, I had once spent ten minutes thinking about how you can really work if you wanted to.

To collect more convincing data, that I am not the only one making a killing here, I decided to call up all my classmates (who as I said are all software engineers), during office hours, and ask them what are they doing. So after I make the early morning call to my onsite Project Manager and tell him everything is in control, I start calling the subjects. This is what I find out.

Tush has gone out to play TT.
Gop has gone back home to take his afternoon nap.
Dub is busy talking to his girlfriend and doesn't pick up his cell.
Dhil is playing minesweeper, and he has created a new company record in Expert mode.
Ank is standing on the roof and waving because Mots told him that Google Earth is now live.
Prav is having free coffee which sucks, and he plans to shift jobs because he really doesn't dig the coffee.
Rika is reading Of Human Bondage, because she has read every other e-book she could lay her hands upon.
Mots is asking his HR out for dinner. He plans to quit the company soon, since it's been over three months since he joined.
Shobs went to Bangalore to get some training but since the person who was to train her has quit and taken the code with him she is developing the code again and so is quite busy.

In case you didn't notice, NOBODY IS WORKING (except poor Shobs ofcourse).

Initially, when I started thinking about it, I though CEO's tend to keep the best potential on their payroll on a salary higher that the company next door, just so that they can brag about it at the next CEO's get together, because I fail to see where is the potential really used.

With due time however, I imagined that there was no hidden agenda, they keep them on payroll just because they can. They have money and they need to show it off.

But as time progressed, and my wits became sharper, it dawned on me, that the only way to explain the huge inflow of money without work, into the industry, was the underworld. Yes, you heard me right. The UNDERWORLD. I beleive, Black money from everywhere is being dumped into these companies, where they have employ engineers and give them salaries, and they pay taxes. It is one of the biggest conspiracies ever dreamt of. Everybody is involved, the media is right in the middle of it. They were the ones who made up the big hype about IT. The builders are in the nexus too, they keep on building more and more IT parks everywhere across the country, and sell them at outrageous prices. The banks are ready to finance it. It is slowly becoming the most lucrative business to convert black money into hard earned white money.

It's just bad that I am stuck here in the middle of it all. On one side is my conscience and on the other, my vanity. So I put it up here on my blog, because nobody would read it and I can say to myself that I tried my best, and since nobody would find out about it, I would get to keep my job too.

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February 24, 2006

Most Nominated Movies for Oscar This Year

The following movies have the maximum number of nominations at the Oscars this year.

Brokeback Mountain [8]
Crash [6]
Good Night, and Good Luck [6]
Memoirs of a Geisha [6]
Capote [5]
Munich [5]
Walk The Line [5]
Constant Gardener [4]
King Kong [4]
Pride and Prejudice [4]


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Vagina Monologues



Cinematical, talks about the weirdest of movies, Chatterbox. Released in 1977, this movie by Tod DeSimeone, is about a young woman who realizes that her vagina can talk and develops a personality of its own.

Cinamatical insists that it is not porn, but a feature length sitcom. By the way while browsing on Imdb, I came to know that that the directorial debut for the director Tod DeSimeone was with a movie called How To Make A Homo Movie. Now I am sure this movie would be fun to watch.


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Smashing a Million Dollar Car

Boing Boing has a post about someone who crashes a Million dollar Ferrai, and splitting it into Half, in Malibu, California.

The red Ferrari Enzo - one of only 400 ever made and worth more than $1 million — broke apart Tuesday when it crested a hill on PCH going 120 mph and slammed into a power pole.

Only 399 Enzos were at first scheduled to be assembled at the factory between 2002 and 2004, each priced at $670,000. But a final car was built and donated to Pope John Paul II and later sold to raise $1,275,000 for charity. Which makes the car not only costly, but also artistically improtant.

Sgt. Phillip Brooks, says that witnesses testify that the Ferrari was racing a Mercedes-Benz SLR along Pacific Coast Highway.

Eriksson, 44, who was arrested, says that he was only a passenger. Officials are trying to determine whether he is the noted Swedish game designer whose firm, perhaps not surprisingly, was involved with car-racing themed video games.

(link)


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Disable error reporting in Windows XP

Lifehacker teaches us how to disable error reporting in Windows XP. Instead of clicking on 'Don't Send' each time Windows acts unreasonably, you could simply turn the feature (Unaswerable Question #23353: Why would I call something that irriting a feature?). Try the link below.

(link)

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Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

The Google Blog says that yesterday was the 'Introduce a Girl To Engineering Day'.

It is a week-long celebration, aiming to raise public awareness about the contributions by engineers to our quality of life. Throughout this week, several Google offices, have been hosting a couple of hundred girls from local middle schools and high schools to come visit them for the day.

The Google Blog says that, "We hope these girls get a real-life sense of what it's like to work here." I gues it would be more like the Engineers at Google got a more real-life sense of having girls around them. :-)

I'm sure I would be able to convince my boss about having something like this here too. Okie, girls see you all here.

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February 23, 2006

Blogger Wishlist

Even though blogger is one of the best blogging tools around, a few changes are always welcome. And what can be better than a chance to have a say in what new functionalities that should be added to it.

This link takes you to the blogger wishlist page, where you can choose one of the features you would like to be implemented in Blogger.

I though about the options, and I decided on two options, one is to organize posts by topic or category and the other is to be able to upload other files to my blog besides images. But since I had to choose one, I chose the categories option.

These are the rest of the options :
1. I want a way to organize posts by topic or category. (This is what I chose)
2. I only want certain people to be able to see my blog or posts. (Don't blog, write them a mail)
3. I want to show excerpts of my posts, with links to the full text. (You can already do that)
4. I want to export/import my posts to/from another blogging tool. (You want to use blogger, use blogger)
5. I want to use a custom domain name with my Blog*Spot blog. (Keep wanting asshole)
6. I want to be able to upload other files to my blog besides images. (Good option)
7. I want to display my posts in reverse, or non-chronological order. (Just change the times of your posts, don't waste a wish)
8. I want to recommend a blog of note. (Who put this in here?)

It's time for you to take your pick. Much depends on what you choose.

(via link)

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Top 5 movies from 1906

I dedicate this post to the top 5 rated movies, which were released a 100 years back. The ranking is based on the IMDB ratings.


1. Ned Kelly and His Gang
[Rating 9.4]
[Votes 9]
[Duration "Prints no longer in existance"]
[Country Australia]

2. The San Francisco Earthquake
[Rating 7.5]
[Votes 7]
[Country USA]
[Director J. Stuart Blackton]

3. The '?' Motorist
[Rating 7.3]
[Votes 60]
[Duration 10min]
[Country UK]
[Director Walter R Booth]

4. Aladin ou la lampe merveilleuse
[Rating 7.0]
[Votes 43]
[Duration 12min]
[Country France]
[Director Albert Capellani]

5. San Francisco: Aftermath of Earthquake
[Rating 7.0]
[Votes 91]
[Duration 1min]
[Country USA]

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February 22, 2006

Two deadly sins

Morquendi has written a splendid article called "The Indian Army In Kashmir - An Invading Force". He talks about two very disturbing instances from his trip to Kashmir.

The first one, is when he goes to a STD booth, to make a call to his girlfriend. Though he says he can't see or hear much from outside the booth, he saw soldiers from the Indian Army, who wanted to make a telephone call, troubling the STD booth owner who refused to ask our guy to come out.

I am sure he did bother to ask what the commotion had been about, but he failed to mention it on his blog. The fact that has been disturbing me is that why didn't they just tap on the door and ask him to finish quickly, like it is done in the rest of our great country. But I secretly adore the principals of the booth owner who decided to put his own life in danger, and did not ask morquendi to come out of the booth.

The second one, is when he saw some soldiers, pissing on the rice fields, which he found repulsive, and he felt like they were pissing on his plate.

Another striking example of how the army is invading not just Kashmir, but also our homes. The government should take action and keep electricity running in all the rice fields, so that anybody pissing in them gets automatically electrocuted.

It was an interesting post and I loved reading the comments too. In the end, I wasn't sure if the army was at fault or not, he must have definitely heard a lot of music from his girlfriend for not paying full attention while talking to her on the phone. I guess that explains why he's been in a bad mood.


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The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust

Manjunath Shanmugam, an IOC official, who was an IIM L alumnus was shot dead on November 19 outside Lucknow, on one of his surprise checks at one of the Petrol Pumps.

It is his birthday tomorrow. The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust has been created to make sure that the deed does not go unpunished and we finish what he started with.

This is how you can help the trust.

An online petition has been created here.

Link
Link

February 21, 2006

Collective Sayings from KILL BILL

“Once upon a time in China, some believe around the year, one-double knot-three. Head priest of , , was walking down the road, contemplating whatever a man with Pai Mei’s infinite power would contemplate – Which is another way of saying, who knows. When, a appeared on the road traveling in the opposite direction. As the monk and the priest cross paths, Pai Mei – in a practically unfathomable display of generosity, gave the monk the slightest of nods. The nod was not returned. Was it the intention of the Shaolin monk to insult Pai Mei? Or, did he just fail to see the generous social gesture?
The motives of the monk remain, unknown. What is known are the consequences? The next morning Pai Mei appeared at the Shaolin Temple, and demanded that the temple’s head Abbot offer Pai Mei his neck, to repay the insult. The Abbot, at first, tried to console Pai Mei, only to find, Pai Mei was inconsolable. So began, the massacre of the Shaolin Temple, and all sixty monks inside, at the fists of the White Lotus. And so began the legend of Pai Mei’s .”

- , on the legend of Pai Mei and the Ten-Point Palm-Exploding Heard Technique

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Collective Sayings from KILL BILL

“When engaged in combat, the vanquishing of thine enemy can be the warrior’s only concern. This is the first and cardinal rule of combat. Suppress all human emotion and compassion. Kill whoever stands in the way, even if that be , or himself, the truth lies in the heart of the art of combat. Thou shall fear no one. Though the himself may bar thy way.”

- , the greatest maker of swords on the earth.

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Collective Sayings from KILL BILL

“It’s the wood that should fear your hand, not the other way around. No wonder you can’t do it, you acquiesce to defeat before you even begin.”

- , on breaking wood with bare hands from three inches away.

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Collective Sayings from KILL BILL

“…In , the saying goes, in the bush, an elephant can kill you. A leopard can kill you. And a can kill you. But only with the Mamba, and this has been true in Africa since the dawn of time, is death sure. Hence its handle; Death Incarnate….”

- , on poisoning .

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Collective Sayings from KILL BILL

“…in combat, the opponent that does the unexpected, can usually expect to be the victor…”

- , on learning from the three godfathers.

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Collective Sayings from KILL BILL

“Well, if that’s too cryptic let’s get literal. There are consequences to breaking the heart of a murdering bastard. You experienced some of them.”

- Bill, explaining why he tried to kill Bea.

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Collective Sayings from KILL BILL

"Yeah, bullets are bad news. In the future, you should avoid them if you can”

- , the nurse

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Blogging Through E-mail

This is just a test blog.

I thought it would be a good idea to try blogging through email.

So here it goes.

The Hardest Riddle On The Internet

NotPron, is supposed to be the simplest yet the most difficult game online, ever. It is just a point and click thing actually. So far, 77, 15,450 people have attempted the game, out of which 94 have completed it. It just means that 1 in approximately 82,000 people finish the game. A ratio almost equal the area of New Delhi compared to the area of The Earth.

Give it a try. May the force be with you.

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February 16, 2006

Desi Blogs

Found a new directory for Indian Blogs. Most of the ones that we all know about are already there.

Talking about directories like the one above, there is one called Indian Bloggers. Other than that there is a long list of Indian Bloggers, compiled by Anita Bora. Unfortunately it does not take any more submissions. There is also Blogstreet India which lists blogs by city. I have a small listing of Pune Bloggers. Are there any more that you know about?

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February 13, 2006

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin, is a brand name. He is bigger than IBM, Microsoft and Google combined together. The same Sachin, whose name inspired hope in the millions watching the game. Tendulkar, the poster boy for cricket in India, started his career by thrashing an unbeatable 326 in a school cricket tournament. I found the link to the scores from that very first day. There is also this long lost partner to Sachin, Vinod Kambli who figures in that match.

I was just too nostalgic not to mention it here today. Though I don't follow the game anymore and I don't seem to worry when people tell me that we lost another match, and don't get too excited when they tell me that we beat Pakistan expect for the small smile which I'm wired to produce on hearing it. But I find it tragic when people say that Sachin Tendulkar, is over his peak. I am just not ready to believe it. Just not ready enough I guess.

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February 08, 2006

Early morning Bloggers

I got up early today morning to do a study on the early birds in the Indian Blogosphere ( or atleast the part of it I can track). Not surprisingly, there were a few who had already posted. Here are the top three:

1. 4:04 am Mobile Pundit
2. 4:28 am Vantage Point
3. 5:42 am Locanca

A big cheers to all three of them for taking the special effort.

By the way, I have received the activation code from CoComment, and I'm in the process of trying it out. Let's see if it is as good as it looks.

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February 07, 2006

CoComment

People are already talking about it as the next best thing to sliced bread.

It can be used to keep track of your comments on other sites, it can be used for sharing your comments on other's blogs on your site, and also to get informed if somebody replies to your comments. Sounds interesting?

Sure it is, but it would need an invitation from a user, since it's still in beta. But definitely worth waiting for.

Tagged on technorati.

Of Software Patents

There is an interesting article by Tim Wu on software patents and the problems it can cause. It uses the recent debacle over wireless e-mail, where NTP, a virtually non-existent company who had applied for a patent in the US for 'wireless e-mail' in the 1990's sued RIM (Blackberry) for not paying royalties, to stress the problems that we could be facing due to software patents.

I would leave it for the experts to decide if software patenting should be abolished or not. But what I think we would need to make software patenting a reality instead of the confusion that it currently is, would be to make another software which would decide, if the new software which has been created is in any way similar to the one which has been patented or not. The software would be called 'The Supreme Courtware'. Google and Microsoft would fight with each other about who would make that software, but some small startup consisting of one South Indian from IIT Chennai, and many geeky Americans would get the project, and get a few trillion bucks to make it.

The project would be huge, and the ETA (Estimated Time Of Arrival) would be given as five years from the date the contract was signed. After a couple of years of working on it, the Indian would quit the company and get a couple to trillion US dollars with which he would come back to India and buy Infosys, who would then outsource the development and maintaining of 'The Supreme Courtware', and the geeky Americans would drink beer all day long.

After 10 years, the product would be ready, but by the time, somebody would have patented the idea of creating 'The Supreme Courtware' and the first case for 'The Supreme Courtware' would be to resolve the issue about patent for itself, during the execution of which it would crash and the issue would go back to the Supreme Court, which would abolish software patents once and for all.

Tagged Software Patents, Infosys, The Supreme Software

Of Critics and Fellow Bloggers

While lurking around in bloglines today, I came across Jabberwock. It's a nice blog for sure, and I enjoyed reading it. But I found something funny in there. In his last post he talks about some guy who had written a controversial review about 'Rang De Basanti'. He refers to him as This guy. When I went to the guy's page, whose name is Chandrahas by the way, it turned out our jabberwock, is also a blogger at the page. I just found it a little funny that you'd refer to somebody you know as 'that guy'. But I guess I'm just taking it all too seriously.

Chandrahas has written a long, and definitely controversial review about Rang De Basanti. I don't know if it's just his personal vendetta against Amir Khan, but he looked really pissed with him. I thought it was a good movie in a long time. Though I agree, I had found the story pretty silly before I saw the movie, but it had been brought out in an amazing way. But alas, Chandra ( hope he doesn't mind me calling him that), thought that it didn't have the right message. I am sure, he is the first critic who thought that this was a valid point, and full marks to him for creativity, but it makes me ask myself that was the movie so good, that our guy Chandra couldn't find anything else wrong with it other than the message. After all critics are critics because they criticize, and if he didn't do it, I wouldn't have read his blog.

On the whole, I guess, it was a critics way of giving him a compliment. After all, as Jai says, that some American psycho had something crazy to say about Sholay too.

Some critics just do their job too well.

Anyways I would like to ask Jai sometime, if he was named after the Jai-Veeru from Sholay. Probably not, but who knows.

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Ego Surfing

I saw this on Geeks Make Me Hot, and decided to try it too.

I searched for Sudhanshu Raheja and Ma, I Shot Something.

This is what I got.

2nd and 3rd rank on google.com, alongwith 5076 points.
6th and 7th rank on yahoo.com ,alongwith 4606 points.
nowhere on technorati.com, but did manage 500 points.
scored zilch on msn.com and del.icio.us

Now I go Ego Tripping..

Tagged on Technorati