Thursday, April 30, 2009

India's USD 10 Laptop - The Entire 'Story'

katie-eide-1 OLPC_XO_Laptop_2

So, this is how it all started (well some what) Indian Engineers Aiming for $10 Laptop. Then came the interesting point that India’s USD 10 laptop is actually a USD 100 laptop.

Now, this was definitely embarrassing and damage control was needed. This is when big mouths started making claims in the media that the USD 10 laptop will be made in India and will be displayed and it will be a reality, irrespective of critics, expert views and news reports to the contrary.

This was followed by a big deal being made about the much anticipated 'unveiling' of the damn thing. Rs 500 laptop display on Feb 3.

Obviously everyone was disappointed, because there really wasn't anything to unveil. Mostly, only the specifications (or the lack of) were given out. A very basic working model with those specifications would still end up costing USD 20 (as per initial claims and promises that this will be brought down).

Most interesting part was - if anyone who knows what a computer is, was to look at what is being offered here, he would definitely conclude that India’s USD 10 laptop is not a laptop after all. Oh and btw, NOW it was stated that the device would cost USD 30 (well, can't call it a laptop anymore, now can we - hence the term 'Device').

With all this noise being made about a super affordable laptop and big ball talks about the need to provide quality education to the Indian students and blaaa blaaaaaaaaa blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.. this is how they end up trying to resolve the matter. With no $10 laptop in sight, India buys 250,000 OLPCs.

And to think how much they had opposed the OLPC project in the beginning.

India shining eh... Sure.

Chak de became the anthem of the country, then Singh is King became the anthem for (at least one part of) the country. The latest is Jai Ho. I think a more appropriate one will be - Dikhaawon pe mat jaao, apni akal ladaao. Fits well and would really help if people would follow it too. At least occasionally.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Seven Pounds



Boring. Seemed like Will Smith was trying too hard. Perhaps the makers were trying too hard to make this one of the contenders for the Oscar or something. I don't care if this sounds insensitive, but the movie, the characters - everything about this movie was boring. The first 20 minutes or so were fine, but then it just got so damn slow.

I am told - had I watched the movie till the end, I would have liked it. My response to that is - How the hell do you expect me to sit through something like this? You have decent start and a great ending. Wonderful. What about the gap in between?! How about something interesting there as well?

I don't know the people Will is trying to save. I don't care about the characters. All I want to know is why does Will look like he got run over by a bus. That's all. And that part of the movie is rather predictable and I don't need to subject myself to the torture of watching this till the end.

JFTR - this might be over simplifying the entire thing, but .. the makers seem to have the intention of glorifying a person who is committing suicide because he can't deal with the loss of his love. Someone who feels responsible for a fatal road accident.

The pain of living through something like this is unbearable, for sure. The idea of suicide hitting the head repeatedly, would be obvious. But making him a hero by turning him into an organ donor who is seeking redemption and escape at the same time... hmm not sure, but that seems like a rather disturbing point of view. A bit like buying your way into heaven!? I am sure there are other ways of helping people (err, sorry.... NICE PEOPLE) out.

This wasn't entertaining. The ending might be powerful (I don't know for sure and I don't care either), but it would require a lot of effort to sit through to see the end. So, either you watch the first 20 minutes and then fast forward to the end, or just chuck the movie.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


All morning I was worried about her father. I was genuinely concerned. I was cursing myself for being responsible for bringing up this situation.

All that time, I was under the impression that he had some genuine fears and doubts. I thought he had some reasonable justification. I thought he was worried if I will insist that his daughter converts.

My views, throughout the morning were - all i have to do is sit with him and talk it out and convince him that his fears and concerns, though reasonable and justified - are not warranted, since all of this has been discussed and agreed upon already between me and his daughter. I was sure that I could talk to him and convince him and put his doubts and concerns to rest.

But when I found out why he has been whaling all night.. I just couldn't help but grind my teeth.

What will we tell the people!! how will you attend social gatherings and community functions!! how will we face our relatives!! THIS THIS NONSENSE is more important than your own daughter's happiness!!!!

You would marry her off to a bloody goat if the goat was from your village/town and shared the same faith as yours, but you refuse to marry her off to someone who she chose on her own because YOU DON'T KNOW HOW YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS WILL MINGLE WITH THE GROOM!!!!!


Sorry honey, no disrespect intended.. but....


Just want to scream till I die.

Never really thought I would come across anyone who would have complete disregard for the feelings of his / her own child and give more importance to trash like 'log kya kahenge'. I will be honest, I have heard about such people alot, and I always concluded - there has to be more to the story. It can't be just this.

People talking about becoming global , and here we have individuals who can't even crop up their heads from being regional.

Your daughter's happiness is apparently not as important as .. 'How will you attend social gatherings from our community' 

It's so weird. There are individuals who will gladly let their daughter go with someone they have known only for a few months and have elaborate parties and functions for it. But if the girl wants to go with someone who she has known for over 12 years, trusted for 12 years and loved over the years.... it's UNACCEPTABLE.

Obviously, her happiness is secondary. What's more important is - We should be able to sit with OUR PEOPLE and not be ashamed or embarrassed. In the process, if the girl is unhappy - well so be it. Shit happens.


Blackberry App World

For those of you who are outside the US, UK and Canada and want the Blackberry App World, well you can get it by going to these links directly from your Blackberry. (use the relevant link, depending upon your OS version, 4.5, 4.6 or 4.7)

In case anyone is feeling lazy to type all that on the Blackberry, well Copy the links, paste them into your email editor and email it to your blackberry.

Someone had left a rather fitting comment on one of the blogs. He mentioned, that given the geographical restriction, the software should be called Blackberry App [for some of the] World


Monday, April 27, 2009

Jet Privilege


Jet Privilege is the FFP from Jet Airways. I really like the name. I also like flying Jet Airways. The service is to my liking, the seats are good enough and most of all, the timing of the BOM – KWI flight suits me. I get to spend a good part of Saturday in Bombay, with papa, and then make it to Kuwait in time to get some rest and go to work the next day.

The problem is (along with the one I have highlighted in my previous post) the Jet Airways office in Kuwait doesn’t have a Jet Privilege cell. So when I have any queries regarding their FF program, I have to call up their office in Bombay. I could opt for email instead, but the reply usually takes at least 2 days, if not more.

It’s just pathetic. You have a FFP for passengers taking your international flights, but you have no customer support services in place to answer their queries.

The woman I spoke to over the phone (in the Kuwait office), kept insisting ‘sir, the information you are looking for, is on our website’. I tried to remain calm for as long as I could, and then I blasted off – trying to keep my voice as low as possible – ‘If the information was on your website, I wouldn’t be calling you, now would I?’. She paused for a second, I think she was rolling her eyes, and then she said she will check and help me out. I tried to be patient while she accessed the website and then surfed through the website, only to come back to me and tell me ‘sorry sir, it seems the information is not available, I will call up our Jet Privilege cell in Bombay and get the information for you. Can I have your contact number, so I can convey the response to you?’

Well, she did call the next day, she did have the information I was looking for, but I had already managed to get the same the previous day itself by calling Jet Airways office in Bombay.

I have to admit, their office in Bombay is very helpful, extremely courteous and they do their job well. It would be nice though if the offices here had a way to transfer the calls to the same call centres. I seriously doubt it would be that difficult to implement.

I did send off an email to Jet Privilege, yesterday – about the above and also about my missing JP Miles, for my last flight (the Claim Missing Miles option on their website, is unable to locate the details corresponding to my PNR number) . Still haven’t received a reply. Not even an acknowledgement that they have received my email.


Got a call from Jet Privilege - Bombay, today. All issues resolved and they did mention that my suggestions were being considered.




I might be wrong here, but I always thought - the whole point of E-ticketing was to make the process paper-less. Perhaps it wasn’t the sole intention, but I am sure it was an important aspect.

When travelling from Kuwait, all I have to do is show my passport at the check in counter, and that’s pretty much it. I don’t even need to give them the e-ticket or PNR number, let alone carry a print out. But this isn’t the case in Bombay or B’lore or Kochi (may be in other places too, who knows). I just don’t get it.

What makes matters worse is - at Bombay Int’l airport, there is no ticketing counter for Jet Airways, outside the airport. Implying - I have to go to the domestic airport, get a print out from their ticketing counter and then go to the Int’l airport.

Alternatively - take a print out of the ticket from my email or the web and carry it with me. Which might not always be feasible. In my case, well I am shacked up at a hospital - it isn’t exactly a priority for the hospital staff to provide me with a printer. But these guys are helpful, provided you talk the right way. I have said this before, being a prick – helps. But then again – this is a personal issue and it’s my problem or an issue with Jet Airways, which can be discussed later.

Coming back to the point I was making – the last time I was travelling, I had downloaded the ticket (PDF File) from my email into my phone (accessed the email from the phone itself). I had saved the file and I presented the same at the entrance of the Bombay Int’l Airport (Zoomed to 150% to show my name and flight details clearly, scrolling up would show the airlines logo). Needless to say, it wasn’t acceptable.

Thankfully I had gone to the domestic airport, the previous day itself and collected the print out for my e-ticket, so it wasn’t a problem and I didn’t have to argue this time around. The reason I tried it with the phone thing was - I just wanted to see if they would accept the digital format or not.

I fail to see how this (insisting on a print out) enhances the security at the airport. Come on, if some terrorist / anti social element did want to execute a lethal plan / mission at the airport, he has already made it till the entrance with his tools. You think he would care if he created havoc inside the building or outside?

Lets assume that he did.. now, here is a person who is resourceful enough to have managed to get his hands on controlled substances and is walking around the city. He has now made it to the airport without having any problems and now intends to carry forward with his mission. I don’t see why he would be having any problem in getting a ticket issued for himself and presenting it at the gate and walking in. Do you?

So, what exactly is the logic behind presenting the print out at the gate? I think it’s a valid question. Put up a metal detector at the entrance. Frisk the people walking in if you have to, get a bloody X Ray machine installed at the entrance itself to scan the baggage. None of this is set up, at present – not in Bombay, not in B’lore not in Kochi, not in Kuwait either. 

These might cause more inconvenience than presenting a printed ticket, but at least there will be SOME logic behind subjecting one to this inconvenience.

Hell, the airport in Kuwait is a mall. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. In fact, I love it. I get most of my shopping done at the airport. Plus, I really like the idea of having a 24 hr Starbucks, Zain customer centre etc etc. Love the idea of a bank branch that operates 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. This is probably why I don’t complain much about the Kuwait Airport. It’s convenient. I like it.

I am going on and on about the airport in Bombay (and other places in India) simply because they have security measures in place that really don’t do anything to enhance the security but do cause a lot of inconvenience which could be avoided if the people coming up with the rules had a bit of common sense.

Dikhaawon pe mat jaao.. apni akal ladaao.

Transporter 3


I usually enjoy watching Jason Statham movies. This one, however, left a lot to be desired. No eye candy what so ever. Natlya Rudakova is ugly (I am being polite), can’t act and is annoying as hell. I probably wouldn’t have hated the movie as much, if it weren’t for the chick.


twilight poster

Yes, I know it’s an old movie. I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it – as soon as I saw the promos – but then, I needed a break and this was downloaded and resting on my desktop, so just hit play.

Ok, so may be I got this wrong, but – throughout the movie – doesn’t it look like the lead pair is about to throw up?

BTW, does anyone remember Blood & Chocolate? A similar and equally pointless movie.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Haven’t really had the chance to catch up with my emails yet, but will be getting to those in a day or two. Seriously, there is a lot of things to attend to.

Thank you everyone, for your prayers.

HUGH – THANKSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Really thankful. Don’t know what to say or how to show my gratitude. Thanks mate.

SALIMM – yaar.. ab kya kahoon.. Thanks for being there, mate. Will never forget this. Thank you so much.

I am truly thankful to god for blessing me with such great friends. Thank you guys. I mean it.


And I am back in Kuwait. Happens every time the plane begins to descend towards the landing strip at Kuwait Airport – I just end up saying Home Sweet Home. Yes, feel more at home here than anywhere else.

So what is the first thing I did after landing in Kuwait (obviously, after calling my folks in Bombay and informing them that I had made it to Kuwait)? Well, the first thing I did was – got a haircut. Hair was a mess. I usually get a trim once a week, and if I am too busy then a haircut once every two weeks. But this time around, it had been 2 months!

Catching up with work. Done with some of it. Some more left to look into. Taking a break for a while.

Thursday, April 9, 2009





I believe they are a generation behind!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wife Is Leaving – Kill The Kids!!??

A man who fatally shot his five children and killed himself had just discovered his wife was leaving him for another man, authorities said Sunday.


Ok, I don’t get it.

Your wife is leaving you. Probably she is trapped in a loveless marriage, probably she is in love with the other guy, may be she is a slut, perhaps you are pathetic as a husband. Either ways, how does that imply that you should go and kill your kids?

Ticked off with your wife, then kill her – not that I approve but (well try talking first, but if you are going to go all crazy and start off on a killing spree, would make sense to start with her). You want to kill yourself over this issue – fine (again, not that I approve, but – whatever). I am sure someone would definitely take care of the kids. Even if no relatives, there is always Child Services or whatever they call it.

Unofficial Google Chrome For OS X

Google Chrome can now be built and used natively on Mac OS X. While it is far from stable and ready for daily use, it is stable enough for the Chrome Developers to use it to dogfood basic browser functionality.


For those of you who are still waiting.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sarah Connor blaaaaaaa

Started off with Episode 16. Just too blaaaaaaaaaaa for my taste. Switched it off, and deleted all of it. Including the following episodes I had downloaded.

Total crap.

Sarah Connor Chronicles – Season 2



Just got done with Episode 14. Now watching Episode 15. The words that come to mind – stupid, boring, pointless, pathetic. Not really sure I want to continue watching this nonsense.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yes, I am watching TV Shows now. Back at it. Well, I spent a good part of today morning at my office catching up with everything trying to make sure that everything was in order. Managed to sort out most of the things.

Sorted out the things around the house – at least the ones I could, anyways. Hopefully will get papa’s car passed this week as well. Shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Got the insurance done, and someone should be taking the car from the parking, getting the registration renewed, and parking it back. 

Other than that, well.. my leg seems to have gotten a bit too bad. Getting hit by the car door every now and then doesn’t seem to be helping matters (Yes, I am rather clumsy). Basically bored and nothing to do. Sitting here, in front of my mac. Checking out all the stuff that has been downloaded over the days. So, I have lots of unwatched episodes of Lost, Smallville, Heroes, Knight Rider, etc. Have some movies as well.

Heroes – Season 3


Watching Season 3, Episode 15 onwards. Have to admit, it did get a bit better. Parkman is a little less lame, but still lame, Dr. Suresh is pathetic as ever, Claire is annoying – nothing surprising over there, Hiro continues to be the worst of the lot and I seriously wish he was out of the show.

But like I mentioned, the show has improved a bit.

The only thing people are good for.. is disappointment

(got that line from Heroes)