Straight Angle™: January 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
A funny piece of You Tube video...I laughed out loud...esp at around 00:44 on the timer!
Link from Boing Boing.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Stevie does it again!!- Looking at the Ad, I have no doubt that this is indeed the thinnest laptop in the world Is $1800 worth it?- May be...May be not..but the latest iPhone firmware 1.1.3 once again screwed up my iPhone. I had to restore the phone to the factory settings and once again lost all the photos and songs that I had stored in the phone. But luckily for me, out of caution, I just copied all the photos onto the computer, before I upgraded. But the songs are gone- which shouldn't be a matter of concern, as I have the originals in the iPod!.
Steve compensates for that disappointment with the features on the latest upgrade- one that really blew me off was the triangulation feature added to the Google Maps. iPhone was able to identify my location with a margin of error of around 150-200 Mts- which is phenomenal- now, I dont want a GPS when I drive out. I had found iPhone to be more than enough even without the GPS- now with this triangulation, it is even better..way to go!
The other features like ability to adjust the icons on the screen- it literally sizzles. Impressed!- Yet to completely explore the latest upgrade- will keep posted!
Sunday, January 13, 2008
At last, as promised, the Nano is finally here [I thought Nano is a copyrighted word by Apple ;)], and as expected, there are loads of articles, views, counter-views, concerns, delight and a mixture of all emotions all over the Blogosphere. However, most of the opinion pieces seem to be concerned about the climate and pollution related arguments-notice Friedman pointing to the gridlocked cities, pollution and others- but he seldom talks about the safety issue- not to cast aspersions about the safety of Nano- but here, I see a conflict of interest in what Tom wants Indians to do and what he and his countrymen are doing at their backyards!- I see this concern predominantly raising because of the price of Oil and the Western concerns that India and China are not helping their cause by putting more people on road and thus increasing the demand and the price of Oil.
It is indeed ironic that Americans start lecturing about wasting and about mass transit system- if you have waited for a train- New Jersey Transit especially- you would know what I mean- Mumbai trains are far more efficient in their operations than NJT- here the trains are delayed even for a slight rain/snow- I have seen trains in Mumbai run-expect when the entire city is sinking- so much for American Efficiency.
Isn't it exactly because the Oil is getting pricier and that Americans are feeling the pinch of it, they are asking others to cut down on their consumption? I see articles that say, Nano is no more powerful than a Lawn mower- now, do you use such powerful engines to mow your lawns? Friedman also goes on to say, Govt should tax the car like "crazy" untill there is a mass transit system in place- would he bother to mind his own business? Why wouldn't US Govt do the same?
He goes on to say,
Last week, I was driving through downtown Hyderabad and passed the dedication of a new overpass that had taken two years to build.He could have done his bit by taking a bus rather than driving around in Downtown Hyderabad- ofcourse, Mass Transit is still not in place- may be his car rental should have been fixed like crazy- atleast he would have had an opportunity to lead by example. Is there a city in US, with a decent Public Transportation except some really big ones like NYC, Atlanta, etc?
There are lots of western intellectuals that think the entire world in terms of Western definitions of needs, wants, aspirations and situations. They seldom understand or care to understand the local problems and local needs- say for ex, there are a lot of comments being made about the Safety and the quality of Nano- but seldom do they understand that the safety standards applicable to West aren't the ones that are even needed for other cultures and nations. Its high time they understand the context of local developments than trying to fit in everything in a Western Context!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
When would this search end?- The search for the missing pie(ea)ce- the morsel of memory stuck in the cavity of life!
Why would this search be on? - What purpose would it solve or what wounded heart would it console?
Searching for self in the images of the past, frames of memories wound on the canister of life! Oh- I despise it....the remorse is unspeakable- the pain it ferments- the disappointment it hurls- terrible!
Juggling around fancy words to weave a litany of moronic babble, I search- search for the missing pie(ea)ce!!
Sunday, January 06, 2008
So what do we have for the new year?? A 100$ Oil, 39/$ Rs, Real Estate boom/bust [Depending on which democracy- largest or oldest that you live in], a certain/near certain election looming on the horizon [this time the oldest and the largest democracy], warmer winters, hotter summers- is that all we got?- May be....
The 100$/Gallon oil is nothing but a psychological fix- some tell us, whereas some others are really spooked about the whole thing and there are many who say, we will adjust- this euphemism is really a wretched thing with no substance- ofcourse we will adjust- we have always been adjusting- else human race wouldn't be what it is now. But what we really need to think about is, at what cost- is that cost worthy for the benefit that we would get by adjusting and who will adjust?
There is lot of stories written on the cause and the effect of the 100$ for Oil- but nothing as interesting as this piece by Nate Hagens. Ofcourse, this piece is not "written" by Nate Hagens- but nevertheless, it was he who posted it. :)
The post is a preview of the paper by Charles Hall, Robert Powers, and William Schoenberg titled "Peak Oil, Investments, and the Economy in an Uncertain Future". Enjoy reading!- Pretty long post that one is..but nevertheless interesting. However, I am yet to completely understand the assumptions and the imponderables that this paper had thrown out. Say for example, trying to measure down all productivity in terms of manual labour with no measurement for the productivity improvement through the "mental" fruits- say for example. I can say- it would take 10 men to harvest a farm working 8 hours a day- but the inbuilt assumption doesn't consider the effort required to make the tool to help up in the work- the sickle- it might have consumed some energy in being made- but did we consider the cost of the idea?- What is the worth of the idea that a sickle can be used to ease the effort?
I think till we can quantify that effort too, we would be shooting in the dark!- Ofcourse there is only some thing that we can assume and the magnitude of our assumptions affect our conclusions.
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