Protos' Musings

"In the long run men hit only what they aim at" — Thoreau

Archive for November 2005

India, US and Iran — where are we heading?

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As a nation, we are engrossed in the developments unleashed by the Volcker committee report, which has cost Mr. Natwar Singh his ministry. Over the next one month or so, we as a nation, would spend a lot of time and energy following up the outcome of the investigations being conducted by the Enquiry commission set up by the Govt. of India. Nothing wrong with that, really!

What is disturbing is the abject surrender of India before the will and might of the US. This was reflected in the way India voted in the IAEA convention in October, that passed a resolution that makes it convenient to refer Iran to the Security Council, and the next ‘logical’ step could well be yet another war in our neighbourhood.

Frontline has got an excellent — albeit very detailed — cover story on this paradigm shift in India’s foreign policy, and how our politicians kept the country in the dark. Read it if you want to know the truth, and nothing but the truth. Absolutely magnificent piece of journalism. The most important aspect of the story (truth) is that the IAEA has not found anything objectionable in Iran’s actions or its compliance, over the last 4 or 5 years!

It is interesting to note that Mr. Natwar Singh argued in favour of abstaining from voting during the next round of voting in the IAEA later this month. This was one of his last pronouncements before the news came out that he requested the PM to relieve him from the duty of being the Minister of External Affairs, and the PM duly obliged!

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Written by Proto

November 8, 2005 at 17:10 hrs

Posted in Random Ramblings

From Prince to pauper?

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“From Prince to pauper?” wonders the Mumbai based newspaper Mid Day. I really liked the two contrasting photos they have published in that article, and these are pictures taken in a span of just three weeks. How the wheels of fortune change!

Ganguly is currently playing a Duleep trophy match against a second string Zimbabwe team, at Mumbai, and against his favorite opposition (Bangladesh might counter this claim) he might crack another ton or two.

In the Asian Age, R Mohan (once upon a time with The Hindu) analyses the Ganguly and Dravid styles of captaincy, and calls Ganguly the Marlon Brando of Indian cricket.

Written by Proto

November 5, 2005 at 03:47 hrs

Posted in Cricket

Indian Cricket on its way up!

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India wrapped-up the series against Sri Lanka with a hard-fought victory at Pune. What is heartening — and different from the recent past — to notice was the way the juniors chipped-in at every stage of this series to ensure that the pressure on the Lankans was never getting released, thereby helping India to completely out-class the opponents. In this process Indians also proved that they do have the wherewithals to forge a win even when things are looking really bleak, as it was when the score read 180+/6 earlier in the day.

Kudos to GC, RD for bringing about this wonderful change in the attitude and the outlook of the team. Kudos also to the Five-Wise-Men for allowing the change to happen. What this performance has ensured is that the so-called established guys like MK and YS will have to fight for a place in the side in the future, and that in itself is a good sign for Indian cricket.

There are 3 more matches to go in this series. Indians must ensure that they don’t allow the psychological edge that they enjoy at this moment — that was build up by considerable hard work in the first place — to ebb away, and so they must thoroughly dismantle the Lankans in the remaining 3 matches. That will will augur well for the Test matches against the Lankans, not to mention the ODI series against South Africa to be played before that Test match series. By what we have seen about the think-tank, they too are probably thinking and planning along these lines. Indians might rest SRT for the next one or two matches, as has been hinted enough, probably against his wish. That will allow Sehwag to be more responsible as well as allow the team to have a look at Gambhir as an opener.

Where does that leave the heroes of the not-too-distant-past like SG, VVS, AK, AN and ZK? I believe SG might stage a come back, thanks to his impressive track record — both as a player in ODIs and as a captain — as well as the backing he might receive from the Dalmiya camp. For VVS it could well be the end of the road in ODIs unless he improves his fielding skills dramatically. AK’s place is not under too much threat since MK couldn’t make the most of the limited opportunity he got. AN and ZK are talented bowlers with a slightly lazy attitude (if media reports are to be believed), and perhaps this Indian performance would inspire them to sit up and take notice, and come back all guns blazing.

The future does look bright for Indian cricket!

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November 3, 2005 at 22:39 hrs

Posted in Cricket

Apple has resumed blogging!

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I had kick-started my blogroll with a link to Apple’s blog, and  it looks like he has decided to resume blogging. He is also trying out WordPress these days. Here is wishing him good luck for his second innings, which I hope would go on and on and on and on.

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November 3, 2005 at 22:36 hrs

Posted in Random Ramblings

Windows goes Live! or does it really?

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If the mainstream media and Microsoft is to be believed, the world just witnessed a watershed event that is going to change the way we deal with and think about software for ever. Yes, I am talking about the much touted announcement by Microsoft that Windows and Office are going Live!

This was announced to the world on 01st November, 2005, by none other than Bill Gates, and he revealed that every five years Microsoft bets on something really big, and this time it is Live. Since then we have been hearing from both the pro-Live and the anti-Live camps.

However, there are only a handful of resources out there that provide a nicely balanced critique of this event, and I encourage you to read them to get a no-nonsense, non-hyped-up, balanced and essential grasp of Windows Live. The first is a thought-provoking wrap-up by Jason Lefkowitz who ponders whether it is the case of old wine in new bottle, and he provides links to both the pro-Live and the anti-Live camp. The second is a warning from Joel Spolsky as to why a massive PR onslaught upfront while the cake is being conceived can misfire big time.

Elsewhere, Robert Scoble is blogging quite a bit about Microsoft’s new strategy, including a response to Joel.

You can check it out for yourself at the Live.com (beta) website, and whatever little I played around there has convinced me that this might just succeed, if Microsoft manages to throw the Live Messenger and the Live Mail into the mix. I mean not too many people using the net have either the patience nor the wherewithal to really dig up the superior alternatives to Live (if there are any), unless Yahoo or Google manage to do something spectacular by the time Live goes really live!

As an aside, this was the first time I was experiencing Ajax live! and can’t help saying that I was a bit impressed by the usability of this technology.

Update: Apple points out that what impressed me yesterday was not Ajax, but it was a combination of good old JavaScript with DHTML/CSS. Thanks for pointing out the mistake, mate!

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November 3, 2005 at 04:16 hrs

Posted in Random Ramblings

Movies galore

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Weekend story

This past weekend we had a visitor from Trivandrum, who was here to give an interview as part of the MBA admission to the Distance Education Centre of the Annamalai University. Her name is Lakshmi and she is the daughter of a family friend, Gomathy Mami, who is also my mother’s colleague.

Since she was interested in movies and also since the weather in Chennai had fallen back to its bad old ways — it was hot and humid — we decided to stay at home during the daytime and watch movies. I took a few VCDs from the local Rental shop: CID Moosa (Moosa) Bunty Aur Babli (BB) and Dil Chahta Hai (DCH).

I guess I have fallen back to the Chennai induced habit of over-watching the movies. I watched Moosa partly and BB completely over the weekend. But before the weekend could sign off, I had lapped up The Legend of Zorro (LoZ) at the Satyam complex, after dropping Lakshmi off at the Central Station, and reaching Satyam about half an hour late for the show. LoZ is definitely worth a watch, though I thought I liked The Mask of Zorro (MoZ) better. But then again, it could be because I couldn’t watch LoZ from the beginning.

Diwali Day

Mahesh joined us today to celebrate Diwali (read that as to thinnu mudippify :), and we had a nice time watching Francis Ford Coppola’s The GodFather (GF, the original English version and not the Malayalam movie with the same name) and then part of BB. Mahesh didn’t fully enjoy BB, though he seemed to really relish that part where B&B try to sell the Taj Mahal to the world’s seventh richest man. Of course, he liked GF very much. It just so happens that GF is the number one movie of all time. And yes, I have seen some of the scenes from GF already in some of the famous Indian movies ;-).

Before the Eid weekend is over, I have plans to watch Ghajini, GF-2 and probably DCH too.

So where am I heading? I guess down the path of absolute cinema addiction ;-).

Written by Proto

November 2, 2005 at 04:03 hrs

Posted in Random Ramblings

Delphi 2006 is well on its way!

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It is that time of the year when we Delphi fans gear up for the annual Borland Conference (BorCon). I am not too sure about the schedule for the Indian leg of the same, but the BorCon 05 is about to kick off in SF, Calif. on Nov 8th, 2005. And I have been a bit lagging behind in catching up with all the Borland activities, but it is heartening to hear that Delphi 2006 will be demoed during the conference. And, for those of you Delphi baiters out there, there is this bit of ‘old’ news: Delphi 2005 snapped up a couple of awards at the prestigious Software Development Magazine‘s Reader’s Choice awards, under the highly competitive Best GUI category, actually beating the critically acclaimed Eclipse!

Written by Proto

November 1, 2005 at 23:52 hrs

Posted in Random Ramblings