June 29, 2006

Chat with your neighbour on the Internet

Here's a great new tool for chat. Now you can chat with anyone who shares the same ip subnet as yours ! For eg,If my ip address is then I can talk with anyone on the subnet 55.120.X.X using this service. Since people on the same geographic neighbourhood are assigned the same subnet , its possible to chat to the neighbours in your area - which includes most streets in your locality & might also spill over to the next locality depending on the ISP(Internet Service Provider) .

For this to work efficiently,ofcourse,it depends on how many people are logged on to the site.

No registration required . Just hit :


June 26, 2006

Warren Buffet stuns the world with $37 billion donation to charity

The Oracle of Omaha ,Warren Buffet ,is to donate about $37bn - which is about 85 % of his personal fortune . About $31bn of that will be given to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Buffett has pledged to gradually give 85% of his Berkshire stock to five foundations. A dominant five-sixths of the shares will go to the world's largest philanthropic organization, the $30 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose principals are close friends of Buffett's (a connection that began in 1991, when a mutual friend introduced Buffett and Bill Gates)."

Buffett's contribution will not be made all at once, but rather in 5 percent annual increments.So,
the value of the donated amount every year will depend on the current price at that time.Therefore,the actual total value is expected to be much more than the $37bn announced now.

B&MG Foundation issued a statement saying
“We are awed by our friend Warren Buffett’s decision to use his fortune to address the world's most challenging inequities, and we are humbled that he has chosen to direct a large portion of it to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation."

Just for comparison ,the total market capitalisation of UNDIVIDED Reliance Industries works out to approximately $24.6 bn.[Calculation is based on this]

There is much more information out there >>

Bill & Mellinda Gates Foundation statement
Fortune article
Letters from Warren E. Buffett regarding pledges to make gifts of Berkshire stock.
Intricate working details


June 24, 2006

Worlds weirdest insurance ever !

This has got to be the mother of all insurances - quite literally. We have seen film stars & other celebrities insure themselves for millions of dollars.Even recently Mariah Carey insured their legs for 1 billion dollars.But this one is bizzare.

Three Christian women, in their 50s, took out the cover in 2000 in case they immaculately conceived.Essex-based confirmed it had provided the £1m policy.
The cover was meant to pay for the cost of bringing up Christ if one of them has a virgin birth !
What it means is they would receive a £1million payout if they could prove they were carrying the child of God.

But the firm has now withdrawn the cover owing to strong objection from the Catholic church.

More here & here.


June 23, 2006

Is Chennai the kindest city ?

Posts like these that say Chennai is the kindest city ,although nice to read,baffle me - even though Iam a Chennai-ite.. Mostly these judgements come from a collection of one-off incidents.You can sure find equal number of those who say "chennai is the worst" - usually from people-not necessarily from the north, who find it tought to adjust to this society that is very different from the ones they were brought up in.

Personally,I found people in Mumbai to be more courteous than the people here.One of my friends in Chennai put it this way "Ingellam makkal avanga vellaiya pathutu povanga.Anga theriyathavungaluku kooda help panuvanga" [Meaning People mind their own business here, they are not interested in helping strangers ].Thats from his experience there..

For a few months I worked in the sales dept of my company in Mumbai.Being in sales,I usually had to visit atleast 10 offices a day & each of the person I met would offer tea or at the minimum will offer water. In the last few months I have been in Chennai doing the same kind of job,you'd be surprised to know that of the 150 odd offices I have visited ,only one person ever offered water.You may think this is a petty issue,but I think it shows a great deal about being courteous.

People find the autorickshaws in Chennai to be ever ready to rip them off - more so if they sense they are new to the city. In a sharp contrast,Autos in Mumbai stick to the meter reading &they respect the minimum that has been set by the Govt - Unlike in Chennai,where the real minimum set by the Govt is Rs.7 ,but the practical minimum is usually 15 bucks.

Another thing that shocked me about the Mumbai taxi's was that they keep a box full of change
so as to always give back the balance amount to the customer!

So is either of these cities really kind? Or is it just a case of grass being greener the other side?


June 22, 2006

SAAB performance team

This is a cool SAAB Team car stunt that I enjoyed watching.Must See!


June 21, 2006

Now Laptops too explode !

Every other electronic gadget has demonstrated its ability to explode these days. Earlier,we had a cellphone that exploded , now a Dell laptop has exploded in a conference@ Japan & continued exploding with fire for five minutes !!.

So much for Hi-tech . Via Inquirer.


Gmail Server Down

Looks like Gmail has been experiencing problems on its end - Gmail was not accesible for over 6 hours last night [9 pm - 3 am] here in India & was also reported in US,Netherlands.. Neither did Orkut work - only got Donuts . Ok,now thats a usual thing - no surprise.

However ,it has been working since this morning.

Update: Yahoo has joined the downtime too.Many users could not login to Yahoo Mail/Messenger services on tuesday/wednesday.

Problem has since been fixed.


June 16, 2006

Companies reverse decision to outsource jobs to India

Within a fortnight two companies have announced their decision to wind up outsourcing jobs to India. Apple's software & support team have been pulled out of India barely a month after commencing operation in Bangalore .These jobs appear to move to other countries.Apple hasnt revealed the reason for this sudden decision.

Apple had been offering and still continues to offer tech support from another third party BPO provider, TransWorks based in Bangalore.Doesnt that indicate that its not a quality issue? Perhaps its more about fixing the 'perception' of the company.Even now,the said jobs are not going back to the US - only to some other country ,which they would not reveal - probably in Europe.

Another UK based energy company Powergen which has been using Indian call centres for the last five years has decided move the jobs -450 of them - back to UK to please its customers.The firm said it was "not prepared to achieve savings at the risk or expense of customer satisfaction".BBC article here.

Further ,ICICI Onesource - a leadingIndian outsourcing company, is setting up two outsourcing centres in Northeren Ireland thereby creating 1000 new jobs in Belfast.Matthew Vallance, ICICI OneSource''s managing director in Europe says " Technically, it would be possible (to do all call-centre work in India), but some of our clients want some parts of their work handled close to home.''

Related :
Belfast Telegraph
The Hindu

June 14, 2006

A R Rahman's A.M Studios

A R Rahman has opened a brand new recording facilty called A.M Studios. This seems to be in addition to his existing facility-Panchathan Record Inn.

Here's what ARR says about the new studio : [From interview to Celimony]

What have been some recent productions of you and how have they been recorded?

Well, “Warriors of Heaven and Earth”, “Provoked” and “The Rising” are amongst the movie projects, I completed in recent times.

We have just opened our new facility, called AM studios, a few months ago. We were initially recording at the older place on an Euphonix System 5 with Genelec monitors. The Euphonix has now been moved to the new film mixing room designed by Studio 440. At the new recording room we have installed a Neve 88R. A major portion of my forthcoming projects, “Rang De Basanti” and “Provoked” were done at the new facility. Logic is our main workstation, which works in combination with Digidesign hardware.

Now some amazing pics of this studio in Kodambakkam !!! [Photos from Soundwizard]

June 11, 2006

How to watch FIFA Football Worldcup 2006 Online

Its great that BBC had decided to offer Live High def streaming of Worldcup,the sad part being its available only inside UK. However, numerous other sites seem to be offering live stream of the matches. Wired has a cool article about the various ways to do see them.

High def HDTV video of the match is also available in some torrent networks, with each match video neatly split into 3 x 700 MB files.

Please note that depending on the country you reside,it may be illegal to watch the match on PC.

Nokia N series Advert - Song

Looks like many liked the audio of the Nokia N series comercial & wanted to know who did the song. Well, its a song called "In My heart" by Moby from the album "18".Very nice song indeed.

Commercial Video available in Youtube.

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Trinidad&Tobago Vs Sweden

This match turned out to be far more exciting than I had hoped for .Sweden was humbled by T&T appearing in the worldcup for the first time - with the final score reading 0 - 0 ! No one would have expected this to be goal-less from Sweden .Although no goals were scored in this matched, there was a lot of action for enjoyment ! Certainly better than the previous lopsided match between England & Paraguay !

June 9, 2006

FIFA Worldcup to be available FTA - In Chennai

SCV had made it official with a scrolling ticker in Sun TV this morning ,that said "An arrangement has been made to make All Football worlcup matches available on SCV - LIVE - without set top box."

Thats great news, but we will know for sure only when the first match kicks off this evening.
& What is the plight of Dish TV ,that was doing brisk sales of its DTH service due to the World cup?

Prez flies @ speed of 1.25 Mach !

President APJ Abdul Kalam has created record by becoming the first president to make a sortie in a combat aircraft. [Sukhoi 30 MKI Aircraft].

Gotta see his jubilation !

June 8, 2006

Chennai & CAS

How long does Chennai have to suffer CAS [Conditional Access System]?
The Soccer Worldcup has started & for vast majority of chennai-ites ,the only way they keep track of it is through Newspaper & news channels. The central govt has said that CAS would come into effect all over India soon [ thats suppose to take another 2 years].Until that happens, Chennai people wont be treated on par with rested of India.But there may be respite in the form of DTH [Direct to Home].Already DD & Dish TV offer DTH services.In the coming months Tata & Sun are set to offer DTH services. While Dish TV has registered a spurt in subscribers due to the world cup,there is a wide userbase yet to adopt the new technology.This may change after the arrival of Tata & Sun w.r.t to TN.

June 6, 2006

Be a Hero !

Be a hero in the battle of life.
March on boldly.
Do not look back.
Be a hero in the strife.
Act, strive, plod, move on.
Be up and doing.
Pursue, persist, persevere.
Aspire, achieve and attain.
Be not afraid of little setbacks.
Stand up again and roar.
Be alert and vigilant.
Climb the peak, or pinnacle.
Act well the part, Beloved Ram!
In the drama of this world.
Earn abundant money.
And spend it in charity.
Neglect not your duties.
Give up your life in a noble cause.
Learn to sacrifice and love.
Wear the laurels of peace.
Yours is Lord’s abode.
And everything that is in it.
And what is more.
You will also become the Lord,
My beloved child!

- Swami Sivananda

Came across this poem & thought it was lovely.

Another Speckle joins blogosphere

This could be a good medium to let out my thoughts & Here I come !