Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Her, him and Inzamam

I always wanted to start a business of my own. As a kid it meant thinking of setting up a car manufacturing plant or some such capital intensive industry. A few years later I realised that my father never had much money and manufacturing cars was getting more expensive by the day. Then I toyed around with media for a bit, you know the newspaper, radio station and finally a television channel kind of media company. The brillinat plan was to first sell content, then sell your own content rag and so and so forth. After working out the economics we (yes there was a team in this venture) figured out that we did not have money for this as well and generating good content out of only her and her would be inhuman. Of course there were other people like him and her but they were too busy with other commitments so we'd have to make do with mediocre stuff such as this or with other humdrum stuff. That wouldn't quite make us very different from the other rags around. So after huge 'business development meetings' we decided to fold our 'operations'.
Now there is more purpose to the idea that I have in my head. The good part is that I am not alone, I have my own Wozniak and Allen. The plan is to executed in around 5 years from now until then there will be a lot of leraning and ideating. Thinking about starting an enterprise gives me an adrenaline rush. In the immortal words of Inzamam-ul-Haq, "Inshallah we shall be able to overcome and the boys will deliver."

Friday, March 17, 2006

My Empire Of Dirt

I've been given instructions on how to fill this form up. Also I've been told not to act cool and not, not fill it up. If this amuses a small bunch of people then so be it. And if I'm supposed to tag anybody at the end of this then so be it as well. Well I dont know many people who dwell in blog land, so I'll tag just one person. Supriya can you do this?

# Were you named after anyone? Non, they said I exibited a spilt personality even as a baby hence the name alluding to the Gemini
# Do you wish on stars? Can you do that?
# When did you cry last? Cant remember
# Do you like your handwriting? Yes, I also like my font
# What is your favourite meat? None
# What is your most embarrasing CD on your shelf? I dont have a shelf
# If you were another person, would YOU be friends with You? Of course
# Are you a daredevil? And be bracketed with Ben Affleck? You nuts?
# How do you release anger? In bursts
# Where is your second home? Wichita
# Do you trust others easily? Depends on who the others are
# What was your favourite toy as a child? He-Man, action figures
# What class in school/college do you think is totally useless? Communication Skills
# Do you use sarcasm a lot? Dont know what that means
# Have you ever been in a mosh pit? Yes
# What do you look for in a guy/girl? In a girl...can I have a look?
# Would you bungee jump? Yes
# Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Dont normally wear shoes, if I do yes
# What’s your favourite ice-cream? The one the other person is eating
# What are your favourite colours? Black, grey, indigo, blue
# What are your least favourite things? Dead animals, cut trees, dry heat
# How many people do you have a crush on now? None
# Who do you miss the most right now? None
# What are you listening to right now? Canned Heat- On The Road Again
# If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Orange
# What is the weather like right now? Warm, Still...geting there
# Last person you talked to on the phone? Prerna
# The “first” thing you notice about the opposite sex? I was told this question is asked with a 'I want to bed you' after text, so Girl, Spunk
# How do you like the person who sent you this? Quiet
# How are you today? As blase as I was yesterday
# Favourite non-alcoholic drink? Fruit Juice
# Favourite alcoholic drink? None
# Natural hair colour? Black
# Eye colour? Cow Brown
# Wear contacts? No
# Siblings? 'Streeling', 1
# Favourite months? Nov through Feb, June
# Favourite food? Keeps changing
# Favourite day of the year? The sixth
# Have you ever been too shy to ask someone out? No
# Scary movies or happy endings? This is stupid question and I'm getting bored
# Summer or Winter? Refer to question 37
# Holi or Diwali? One after the other
# Do you like your name? Of course I do
# What book/magazine are you reading? Baudolino/The Economist
# What’s on your mouse pad? Dont have one, If I did I'd have a mouse on it
# What did you watch on T.V last night? Black men rapping and black chicks gyrating
# Favourite smell? Keeps changing
# Have you ever regretted breaking up with someone? Havent
# Most tiresome thing you’ve ever experienced/done? Fighting/arguing

Thursday, March 09, 2006

All the way - Part 1

A few days ago the Discovery channel was showing how the city of Boston saved its commuters from a daily ordeal. The show was called Extreme Engineering and these guys were constructing an interstate highway (freeway), the I-90. This took around 20 years of effort and planning and is the most expensive roadway ever constructed. Ideally a roadway's construction cost is measuered in cost/km and not the total project cost. What was interesting about the construction of this 5.6 km long 'controlled access highway' was that along the way the workers found that the area through which the tunnels were to be dug was largely landfill or former garbage dumps. This obviously meant that the soil wasn't hard and compressed and keeping it packed in was a problem. In addition they also came across barriers such as suken ships packed within the reclaimed land and foundations of houses long buried. At the end of the "Big Dig" the total cost of the project was a whopping $14.6 billion. In the bargain the citizens of Boston have saved anywhere between an hour to 45 minutes in travel time, all the interstate traffic flows below the city. Another interesting fact is the shape of the city and its multiple waterfronts and islands. This has allowed for a planned expansion and city building plan.
We can do the same to any Indian city. Or atleast theorise. What I intend to do out here is have people post about what they would like to see in their towns/cities. Where do they think the traffic density must be reduced or the green cover increased. Come up with viable suggestions and ideas, it could also be pertaining to an efficient way to take care of the rat population in the city. Talking about rats, where did all the arts in Delhi go once the metro dug up their homes?
Do be responsive and ideate, its good for the brain.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

And then there were so many

There was a time when I used just Google as my Internet research guide. Every query was run through Google and only then would I scour the library looking for data. These things, however have been changing slowly.

First into the picture to affect this change was Firefox. The browser had built in search bar where you could customise the source from wher you'd like the data. So if I wanted to know what 'Ombudsman' meant, I didn't need Google. The Dictionary search in Firefox told me what. IMDB gave me the necessary gyaan about movies, Amazon and Answers took over from where these guys left off, and all along I skipped farther away from Google.

Sometime later Wikipedia entered the picture. Initially the 'Wikiable' encyclopaedia on the web had its share of shortcomings, the data wasn't as credible and there wasn't much information available, over time they tightened the editing and filtering techniques and today with close to a million articles have become my Encyclopaedia of choice. Frankly I prefer this Internet based tome to those that can be carried around, the simplest reason for this are the crosslinkages. Of course, they do have their share of gaffes, which the JFK assasination fiasco will elucidate, but by and large Wikipedia has become a very reliable source of information.

The advent of Blogs and RSS also changed the way I searched and browsed the web. Sure both Google and MSN launched their own aggregator sites. Google with its personalised page and MSN with Live.com. But I found feed aggregators, both independent and those that were integarted with the browser, far more convenient.

Now both Yahoo and MSN are playing catch up with Google as far as the search is concerned. Even old favourites such as Ask Jeeves have changed the way they look and provide service. The new Ask.com is a pleasent surprise.

I came across this news today, ironically aggergated onto my personalised Google page. If the CFO thinks growth is slowing might I suggest a take over of Mozilla and Wikipedia. That might help Google from being the bright blaze that will eventually die out. And of course they will own the Internet, or atleast be the first point of entry for many.