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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bush & Dick - Desperados in White house

Note : *Written on the 7th anniversary of 9/11. Publishing delay*

Sometimes greed drives men to their own destruction, but when power is involved, they sometimes drive a whole country / region to destruction. I guess this is what is happening with two of the topmost white collar crimes being committed with the government machinery working full time for them to spread false information and implanting propaganda into minds of American public.

Today being the 7th Anniversary of 9/11 incident, an incident which not only jolted US and world alike but also brought US in reality with Terrorism as it exists and has been painfully experienced by India for so many decades.

Perhaps, it is due to its commercial and self-interest that US chose to go after the place where the terrorism emerges from; but along the way, some personal ambitions of the people at helm of things were also included, which unfortunately have been causing untold grief to nations and people across the world.

I felt as if US citizens / soldiers were blindfolded with misleading information and then sent out to the theatre of war to satisfy somebody's personal agenda. All the world knew of the WMDs and Iraq bluff, but I found it very strange that incident such as 9/11 was used as a bait to lure the innocent public away from the truth. In the midst of Presidential campaigns, prospective candidates have again tried to use this to their advantage and get mileage out of it.

It remains to be seen how the new President would evolve his strategy or would continue to toe line the path taken by his predecessors.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Primeira semana no Brasil - First Week in Brazil

Another Continent under the belt; and what a country to start it off with - Brasil/Brazil. This has been one of the countries I have dreamt of visiting and this week finally it did come true. My flight from Atlanta to Sao Paulo was good. In flight services on Delta do not compare to Singapore Airlines, and I am not complaining either, just that I got spoilt by Singapore.

Entering into Brazil I noticed the strong national feeling about the way immigration was handled. Different lines for nationals and foreign nationals !! Never seen that in any country I have been so far. Then as it has happened to many of my friends and Brazilians - I missed the connection. This not only turned out a good experience of Brazilian hospitality but also made me very comfortable about the situation of conversing with them through English words and sign language.

The TAM staff were very helpful and rebooked me on a later flight and also wait listed me on the next flight which was full. Getting food was also a breeze, "No Meat" seems to be a global phrase, it was well understood by the lady on counter at "Pizza Hut" at Sao Paulo Airport.

The flight was completely full and gave a taste of what travelling domestic was like. Flight attendants were very helpful and realizing that we did not understand Portuguese, helped us to the seats and were very courteous.

We landed in Porto Alegre and came to know that our cabin baggage which was taken as check-in due to lack of space was missing. This caused some jittery moments because of the value of goods inside it, but were assured that it would be with me by nightfall.

Stepping out of the airport made me feel like I was in India - Similar kind of buildings, some dirt, not so perfect road and yes the look and feel of the landscape. The trip to Santa cruz do Sul was scenic. Lush green fields interrupted by homes with livestock abundant everywhere. We were excited to see horse driven carts, which have now become a rarity even in India itself.

The city of Santa cruz do Sul is situated on a slope of a hill and the city doesn't show up till you are very near to the entrance. We checked into the hotel where one of my colleague was living along with this family. The tiredness from the journey clearly spoke through our bodies. The moment we were inside our apartment, we just crashed !!

The work week has been very hectic and have found the colleagues very understanding and helpful. I hope the aim of my coming here is realized before I go back. . . .

Tchao for now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blackberry - The tale continues....

The word brings into mind two things. The fruit which for some reasons maybe less well known than its namesake smart phone from Ontraio.

I remember reading about Blackberry being a craze among business execs for its ability to exchange messages with each other. Gosh !! I don't even recall when it was, maybe 2002 or something. When I came to US and needed to get a mobile, Blackberry was on my mind, but the sheer size of the 7 series was a big deterrent and then I chanced to see the BB 7105t which was way better in terms of width and design than the rest of its clan.

I signed up for it with T-Mobile and used it happily without its main feature of email which was not a great requirement to me. No other major apps were available at that time which would have prompted me to get the BIS service for the same.

It was not until I got a BB Pearl 8100 in 2007 and Google talk came out with a BB version. Combine this with the excellent email facilities, it became my main communication device on the go. Not only the form factor was excellent, but the enhancements to the screen and ease of use with the Pearl navigation made me a fan of it. Then came along the killer !! BB Curve 8320. How I lusted for it for another 7 months before I could get a chance to own it and realize the use of its wide screen estate and full QWERTY layout. Now I had Wi-Fi coupled with the Instant Messaging solution as well as the not-so great but functional Opera Mini browser.

The iPhone has brought some thought to the RIM designers and they seem to be answering it with the BB Bold due anytime now coupled with the BB 8820 (Kickstart) and BB Javelin (younger sibling of Bold sans 3G) and the BB Thunder showing up later down the road.

With my current contract expired, I was pretty much tempted to try out the iPhone and move into the Apple world. 2 days of use and I made a turnabout. Not only did I return the iPhone, but came back to the curve and would hold on to it, till T-Mobile introduces the other BBs for its loyalist.

Interested !! Hit on the the link below to introduce yourself to the world of Blackberries.

RIM - Official Website

Apple - Always flattering to deceive . . .

A long break from blogging and so much has happened since the last post was done. The last week was a pretty exciting one and has brought me to capture my thoughts and put it here.

I gave in to the temptation to the Apple as Eve had done and didn't completely bite it as she did, so the world around me still looks good. Apple as company has always fascinated me, but the way they intentionally limit features in their products to create variants is something which I fail to understand. Why on earth would they want to leave out some obvious features and leave prospective buyers on the edge.

Take for E.g : FM Radio. God knows since how long mobile phones and PMPs have carried this feature ever since FM radio became independent of a radio box. A quick look at the Apple species and you would wonder whether Apple ever knew FM radio could be put into iPod and iPhone without major design change. From a business point, putting in a feature which might kill their iTunes store really doesn't make sense. Which goes to emphasise that Apple will always have its mouth where the money is. I guess that is the same reason behind Apple products not having other things such as : User replaceable battery, Medium for transfer of media to the player.

Adding to it is the insane cost of a protection plan which is like rubbing salt into the wound of victims with faulty products in their hand, sometimes with no responsibility of theirs.

I guess this premium attitude of Apple held well with their fan boy following and till the point they were not directly in a quick changing environment like the mobile market.

iPhone has not only exposed the cracks (physically as well) but also made Apple realize that premium prices sometimes need to be justified with proper products which work as intended out of the box. If you see the sheer number of updates released by Apple in last 12 months, Microsoft should be feeling the competition heating up.

Bugs, which are part of every Software / Hardware life cycle was something Apple had made parodies targeting Microsoft. Now I guess their creative ad people wouldn't want to attempt that thing again.

I might end up sounding like a Apple hater, which I am not, because not only Apple has wonderfully designed products, they have been the indirect reason for Windows 3.x and GUIs for Linux flavours and development of multifunction smartphones which before iPhone were limited to set of integrated email and mediocre entertainment.

I will still wait for Apple to come up with decently priced products OR products with a good feature list. Till that time, I will step aside and say "Too Good to be useful for me".

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