Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Computer: Online Advertisement

We all hate all those pop-ups, pop-unders, flashing banners and colorful gifs on websites. To avoid all those I do most of my surfing on Firefox with Adblock running and Flash not installed. Nowdays another form of advertisement, where words become links which show a pop-up if mouse is moved over them. You can see an example on Indian Express site. The idea being say people reading a story about Maldiver might be interested in going there and such ads would have higher chance of getting clicked. On a basic level, it is an extension of Google's AdWords.

But this linking can easily go bad. And an example of that can be seen here. The word getting linked is in the name of the movie Dil Diya Hai and the word Hai is linked to an ad of Hai Ceramic Hair straightening Irons!! Hilarious!

Computer: Amazing Google Map Stuff

Google Mapscontinues to amaze me and I am quite fascinated with it. People link to all kind of things found on them with a latest refresh told by Google Earth blog, points to these, each of which is amazing.

Maldives
Las Vegas
Stone Hedge

Sunday, April 09, 2006

World: Racial Discrimination

A recent conversation with a few friends along with this blog post about a desi feeling being discriminated against, stirred in my mind another reference to Boston Legal. Feels odd, cos before that only references I have ever made were from friends and funny ones and I did not expect a drama like BL to stir anything. Maybe it is better than the official light drama tag it has.

The BL episode I was reminded of was regarding a child dying of playing a video game too much. The gaming company is being accused of making the game addictive and the child could not stop playing it. Conveniently, the defendent lawyer had a brush with female who was addicted to drugs and in his closing made the point of equating that addiction with addiction to playing video games being ridiculous. This does not sound that good a serial, but that has more to do with with my poor sense of dramatisation rather than the episode.

The parallel I drew was these people, my friends and writer of the post, do they even know what real discrimination is when they talk and write about one, same way the lawyer made point of opposing lawyer not knowing what real addiction is. To begin with, most of the argments seem to be about girls. Well, what else can the youth be fascinated about. The sense of alienation they bring to themselves by saying they are being discriminated against is forcing them to be apart from the society they are currently living. Am I to believe, the girls not approaching them is same as being part of apartheid South Africa or centuries of European rule of the world or Slavery in the Americas?

Another thing I am reminded of is HSBC's excellent ad campaign, where one of the tag-line is "In a foreign country, you are the foreigner.". How many of us remember that when we are outside the country? Why do we expect anyone other race to look favorably on us or for that matter on any other race? The onus is on the foreigner to pick a part of the culture and assimilate more. It is easy to form ghettos rather than make an effort because of inherent laziness. If we find that people have a certain perception of us, whose responsibility is to change it if it is seemed to be incorrect. Or worse, you already know there is some truth in those perceptions.

The first impression of anyone is of a stereotype. I remember there used to lot of Africans who came to , and maybe still, study in University in Chandigarh. I was around 10+, and remember being afraid of them, though I never ever had any bad incident where they were involved. I remember people telling me stories about being careful from them cos they take drugs and other myriad reasons, but no one ever told something bad they had seen themselves.

If you stay as Indian, or African or German anywhere you will be treated as that, and if you join the society you will treated as yourself, the individual. That is what the guy who blogged about discrimination in Germany, should remind himself of difference between his local friends and his baker.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

World: Modernism, Westernism

Now it is turn of Mr. Amartya Sen (AS) to set me off to a rant. I have an in-built dislike for feminists. Not feminism, just feminists. They all remind me of politicians, trying to earn brownie points. Combine it put kind of journalism we see nowdays, things never come out as intended. I am not aware of the context, but I did not particularly the way following statement was put.

"Talking of how women in India are conditioned not to think about themselves, he said unlike in the West where women would answer with a ‘fine, thank you’, or words to that effect, in response to a 'how are you', most women in India would respond with ‘the family is fine, thank you’, instead."


The full piece.

It is either the fault of the author or the publication that the above statement comes off as if it is wrong. What I was made to think of exaggrated scenario. I sure do hear statement in tabloids of the sort "I want to have his baby.". Latest British statistics show 40% of children are out of wedlock, this statement probably is repeated as often outside tabloids as in. It just all sounds too basic, too crude and too animal-ish, as if returning to very basic form of existence. The two sexes come together for solely reproductiive purposes. As if someone caring about anyone else, is wrong and people cannot live with having different roles in society.

A further line says that "Gender inequalities are hardest to address.". The problem with that is we are trying to address wrong kind of inequalities. Instead of cultivating mutual respect, for lack of better words, for other gender, men are being set as gold standard and fight is to reach that. People of both sexes are different and any attempt to unite them as one is going to create artificial differences.

Friday, March 17, 2006

India: What is news

A good piece and a different viewpoint on the Abhishek Kasliwal rape incident by Uptown Girl. It is written by a member of the fairer sex. But the cynic in me thought what if it was written by a guy? Would people had been similarly generous or they would have had a different viewpoint. The guy must be really sexist, MCP, When will Indian guys grow up and the usual shenanigans (Pardon the spelling).

Of course, the second point is even more alarming. The dangerous slide in News standards in India. I stay outside and my encounter with Indian Tv is 2 weeks or so in 1 year. Any change in standards is a bit too obvious because of that. In 2004, when I was in India, I was lamenting lack of quality programming on the General Entertainment channels. My only salvation were news channels and sports. Last time, 2005, it was almost shocking to see news channels. All worse than each of them and none with a semblance of standards, or creativity to separate themselves from the head. All seem to be hunting for lowest common denominators. vis a vis Fox in US and tabloids in UK. Because of all this, I have gained so much respect for BBC for maintaining the dignity of news channels, (though sometimes, very rarely, pro britain stance is too obvious). I am sure situation has not changed in Indin since then also and this story just confirms that.

Just wondering what all the people in India are watching nowdays. Anyone interested in Saas Bahu soaps not included.

Monday, October 17, 2005

India: The stupid IIPM saga

Disclaimer: My sis is studying there.

This whole saga going on makes me feel stupid! Let me just count the number of ways this whole thing sux.

1. IIPM advertises with facts which to say the least are fishy, with certain selective facts.
2. JAM publishes another set of selective facts which are damaging to IIPM. ( Do not spam me on that. We all are selective when we want to say good/bad about anything/anyone.)
3. Some genius comes with idea of spamming Rashmi's blog.
4. IIPM swings to action(!) and send legal notice to Gaurav, and someone comes another brilliant idea of burning IBM laptops.
5. I find it a bit ridiculous, but would not comment on, Gaurav vountarily resigns.
6. People on blogosphere paint everything as attack on Free Speech, the US way. The whole Indian blogosphere start appearing like one big Slashdot discussion.
7. The legal notices continues, by virtue of numbers, bloggers keep finding damning facts about IIPM and AC. In between, someone starts a Wikipedia link on IIPM.
8. Still to come, Lets see what happens.

It all looks like a big soap opera. 1 and 2 is OK. First is advertisement, second is journalism and what the heck is everything after that. Do not the people know how to react normally so to say, without melodrama of Hindi movies. I am not sure it is possible, but Blogspot help should have been sought to tract spammers on blog. I think India now has some sort of Internet laws(?). And inspite of number of legal notices by IIPM, I have not heard anyone filing PIL or a legal case(I think there is enough ground for one) against IIPM for false advertising or misleading people. All I have seen is favorite Indian time pass. Tea Time Entertainment. Talk about how things are bad and then move on to the next sham that happens without correcting the previous one. Schadenfreude.(Courtesy Boston Legal)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Strange News of the Day

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?c_id=2&ObjectID=10337491

Aha if it was only so easy. Actually, I was today only wondering about the frequent trips by nation heads to other countries. I think only difference between those now and earlier is during the times of royalty the kings used to come back with a new bride.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

World: America, Iraq, World Domination etc

One of my friends mailed an article, which talks about the normal rant of comparing what America did in Iraq and what it has been doing in general throughout its times in Vietnam, Latin and Central America and practically all over the globe, since World War II. You can find a bigger list of USA interferences throughout here. Another friend pointed out the obvious fallacy of the whole statement. To quote him
"this is a typical trick to confuse people! whther the war is justified or not is a different matter. but in the war there was NO INTENT to cause civilian casualties. In the terrorist bombings, the INTENT of the terrorists and the organisations ( alqueda or IRA or LTTE) that support them, is to maximise civilian casualties and to target innocent civilians as opposed to military targets. theres a very essential difference. hence cannot equate the two like the article is trying to do."

America's war on Iraq is just an example of a bully beating up a child in the street. Though how much one be against the war, keeping in mind the current situation, America's withdrawl from there is going to only worsen the situation. Some form of an institute, whether it is properly working Iraqi administeration or UN (sic), needs to be in control before all the foreign troops leave. People might equate the situation with Vietnam, where America's withdrawl did not have a negative effect internationally, though was a disaster at a regional level. Any form of instability in Iraq will have an adverse effect all over the world. Unfortunately it is an Albatross around US's neck and they have to bear it now. Bush is trying to wiggle out of the situation by seeking slowly but steadily more and more UN help, but it is now US's responsibility Iraq returns to some sembelance of peace and a nation. Anyway, if anyone wants to have a look at history of Iraq in a whacky way, please get and watch "Between Iraq and a hard place".

Nick of the day

Ro: "Before you know it, the renaissance will be here and we'll all be painting"