Tides of Dreams

I do dream. I have been dreaming of doing things, all through my life. Often, my dreams disappear like tides on the sand. I forget them – once in a while. When I dream again, they are not the same again. Dreams constantly change. They say: change is the only thing that does not change, well add my dreams too. I do dream now.

Like tides on the sand, my dreams reappear, again and again. Like tides they are different every time.

Spiderman : Alain Robert in Singapore

I came to know about this guy only yesterday. He is Alain Robert, a true Spider Man. He is French. He climbs the buildings bare handedly. He never uses any other instruments or such. It appeared pretty weird to me at first, but giving it a second thought, it really takes enormous courage to do that. Climbing 176M high – 46 storey – Suntech tower one building bare handedly is no joke.

 

He has done it on Saturday. Previously in 2000 when he tried to climb a 63 storey OUB building, he was arrested at the 23rd storey. But this time he was cheered. And even lucky draws were held. Times change, Singapore is no exception!

Google : Helps and keeps us dumb.

When I say us, I refer to programmers.

Most of the programmers I have seen use Google to find a quick solution.Its no doubt that Google makes the life of programmers easier. Everything is at their finger(s) tip. Type what you want in that small textbox and click search. That’s it. We search and find solutions in seconds. But do we remember what we have done? Do we remember that solution? Do we learn anything through this process? That’s one true hell of a question.

Whenever I go to Google to get a solution, if my boss is at my desk, he would question : why don’t you think a solution yourself. He would add: I am not asking you to keep on thinking, but there is nothing you gonna loose if you think for a minute before you ping Google. He has a point. But I wouldn’t listen to him. I would say myself: Oh comeon, why do you want to reinvent the wheel? Its already there. Someone has found a solution, I am just going to use it. Why would I think and waste my time and of course the company’s most valuable billing time. I have a point.

We search and find a solution for PROBLEM 1 through google. We implement it. How? Mostly cut-copy-paste of the code snippet. And then we forget it. We have another problem. PROBLEM 2. We happily go to our grandpa, yeah that’s what we call Google. He readily gives the solution. We again do the simple job of cut-copy-paste. But after some period of time, if we again face the same PROBLEM number 1, we don’t know the solution, we have implemented previously. We again ask Google. And this process continues.

Google helps us to find a solution and also helps us to keep our brain dumb. I don’t say that we have to keep on thinking, but once we find a solution through Google, we have to pay some attention and really learn what we have implemented, just cut-copy-paste would lead us to nowhere.

ventures

The Godfather of Google’s cash cow AdSense, Gokul Rajaraman is starting up a new venture named ChaiLabs. He is yet to unveil the secret of what this new venture is about. But there is a lot of anticipation already. I am breaking my head – well, virtually – to guess what this ChaiLabs is about. I don’t have a clue.

And when I and my friends were talking about this, the topic suddenly turned towards Shabir Bhatiya. And when I checked his latest ventures, there are a lot. Like BlogEveryWhere, SabSe Bolo and LiveDocuments. I don’t know what is so unique about Sabse Bolo. After all, the buzz is about conference calls and the calling charges apply. May be I am too naïve to understand this, may be one of you will explain me. But this Live Documents has got a gloss, I guess. For a long time this protection of word documents is challenging and too weak. With this Live Documents, that can be a breeze. The documents can be protected with the accounts from Live Documents. You will be able to open the document only if you have account with Live Documents and then, obviously the author of the document must include your account in AUL list. In that way, the document could be protected in a way, for sure. This entire Live Documents is built upon Office, as they say. But it would be a hard fight for Live Documents, with the web2.0 providers like Google and Zoho.

Zoho has already introduced building applications online and it’s a breeze to create an application, mainly data gathering something link polls and all. I tried it and created a data form to gather data against Indian Airlines.

Apple has launched video rental, and I see a similar effort – well in early stage – from Rhydun. Rhydun is a product of MusicIndiaOnLine. You can listen to songs online. Of course, you can choose your songs. The quality is good, as they claim. And importantly there are surveys asking: how much will you pay and money related questions. I can guess where it will lead to.

There are lots of ventures. Like chailabs I may go for ParottaLabs. There is a considerable market for parotta (Rotti-Cenai) in Malaysia and Singapore. Like pizzahut I may go for RottiHut. Online parotta ordering and delivering. Sounds good, huh? I came across HeyMonkeyBrain.com – a venture from Squidoo. They (Seth, in particular) say it is the fastest growing internet company. But I am not sure, what he mentions! HeyMonkeyBrain is about picking up a topic and arguing. Arguments are always endless. But what you get in the end? What is there for Squidoo? Revenue from advertisement?

Creating just a site is easy but making an impact is the toughest thing.

Kids and Dreams

I was reading this book, The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, in the train, as I returned from my office. It’s a long journey, back to home. Almost 45 minutes. I average 40 pages per hour. So I would read 60-70 pages a day in the train. So obviously I am reading a lot these days. I don’t read a thing at home – let alone the novels.

I am not going to say anything about The Lovely Bones now, in this post. By the way, if you had known about this novel, probably you would have also known that Peter Jackson’s next project is The Lovely Bones, being starred by Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz. I like Mark Wahlberg in a way, particularly in The Departed. I enjoy the scene in which he irritates De Caprio by questioning. He has got a character.

When I was reading this novel, The Lovely Bones, I came across a line that triggered my thoughts. The girl named Susie Salmon who is the central character in the novel, wishes a career. She dreams of a career – A Wild Life Photographer.

When we were Kids our dreams were entirely different. Our ambitions were high. Our hopes were Ideal. We thought anything is possible. But as age falls over us, we realize our potential. We define reals. We draw lines, circles and rectangles. And we stay with in those structures defined by us from that time onwards. Forever.

Kids are always the same, where ever they are. Indian kids too have different career dreams. Apart from those whole lot induced dreams of becoming Doctors and Engineers, some still dream of becoming Reporter, Photographer, Gardenist, zoo keepers etc.

But as the time flows by, they become software engineers.What ever they study, electricals, electronics, mechanical, civil, whatever, they become software engineers. They get inputs from the endusers for First Name and Last Name and then, they store to the databases.

Of course, they write the program to retrieve those details too.

Gift Vouchers are not dollars.

Every time I sit to write something, I end up asking me, should I write? Is it, that important? Two months back, I brought my wife to kinokuniya book shop in Takashimaya shopping complex, in the Orchard road. I am so very surprised to see all those books in that place. God, where in the world, this many numbers of book came from? Hell a lot of books, you wouldn’t see – I guess – any where else in the world. It took me 3 hours to browse through the fiction section. Actually my company gave me a gift voucher for 120$ – which I could use any where in Takashimaya – as a New Year gift. So I thought of spending it on the books which I was eying for quite sometime now: 20 books you must read before you die.

Me and my wife, browsed through the entire fiction section, and finally after an hour or two, got all those books. And you know what, the cost of the books summed up to 121$. I was so much happy. That I had found all the books I wanted for just 1$ top up. But then it struck me, only then, what if the shop didn’t accept the voucher. It is possible. I told my wife, for which, she gave a confused – rather a bit angered – look and just she wouldn’t understand why I spent this 2 hours, stupidly collecting those books, with out even asking about whether I could use the voucher or not. Nor did I understand.

 

As I doubted, the lady at the counter confirmed and refused to accept the gift voucher. And she added that, kinokuniya book shops rather have their own voucher. I thought of asking her, do you have your own dollar? I mean your own dollar format? If not, why in the world you have your own vouchers? After all, vouchers are supposed to replace dollars, isn’t it? Dollars are unique, but ironically, vouchers are not. You see, there is a conspiracy here. Well, against me. kinokuniya does not want me to read all those books-you-must-read-before-you-die and in that way stopping me from becoming a literature-lad.

 

I didn’t buy those books, in the end. My wife, after seeing my disappointed face, insisted me to buy those books, by using cash or card or whatever, which I sternly rejected. I told her, I would buy one book a month. I got out of the shop, as quickly as possible, after throwing a longing look on the basket, which was filled with book, collected by us.

 

I cannot guess, what the kinokuniya person would think about us, when she sees the basket full of assorted books?

Sleeping Umpires and Cheating Autralia

Wrong decisions in Cricket might cost a country a match. And that’s why we have technology. Then why the hell you need sophisticated technologies and a third umpire? If you are sleeping in the ground, and missed some action, you umpires, must consult the third umpire. There is no shame in consulting the third umpire. After all, you too are a human, and there is no shame in sleeping while working. That happens always.

Steve Bucknor, in the on going second match in Border – Gavaskar trophy, between India and Australia, failed to give out for Symonds. He was stumped and the video clearly showed that his leg is in the air. Steve Bucknor, with his huge experience, must have known that, if the batsman’s leg is in the air, during the action of stumping, he should be given out. Unfortunately he forgot that. No problem. In that case, he should have consulted the third umpire. Whats wrong with consulting third umpire? Steve Bucknor, now tell me, are you not in talking terms with the third umpire. If that is the problem, let us know, we can easily sort that out. And after a good lunch, if you feel a bit drowsy, take a nap, that’s not a sin. But accept that you have drooled and consult the third umpire for crucial decision. Don’t spoil the match. Because I have subscribed and paying 30$ just to hear your stupid snore.

And today on the final day of the second match, it happened again. Now the umpire is not Bucknor, the bad decision is from MR Benson from England. Ok now, all the umpires in the world, lineup and conspire against India. I don’t know what has got in to their mind. The stupid decision repeated again. Again the decision is against India. And it is against Ganguly. Clarke just fielded the ball. Its not a good catch. Its good fielding, that’s it. Nothing more than that. But that guy, Clarke, acted as if had tried hard and caught that ball. . Anyway that’s a good acting, supported by Ricky Ponting. Obviously, Ricky Ponting wants to win that match, so that he can increase his count of consecutive wins. Apparently he didn’t forgot the bad experience he got in India, in 2001. India stopped the so called non-stoppable Australia. India put an end to their stupid march. Ricky Ponting is realy scared now. He doesn’t want to be stopped. But he forgot an obvious fact that, you cannot go on and on, for ever. If you wish that, I tell you what, don’t schedule a match with India.

The video replay cleared showed that ball touched the ground, before Clarke got hold of it. Even after that, after getting the ball in his hand, Clarke rolled over, to prove that the catch is taken, and put the ball to the ground. He fielded the ball, rolled over, dug a pit in the ground, put the ball in that pit and stands up to celeberate his pit-digging-ball-putting action. That is clear in the video. Ganguly had seen that. And he waits for the thid umpire decision. But this umpire, who obviously, had missed all the pit-digging-ball-putting action, immediately says Ganguly is out. And he consults Ponting. Ricky Ponting raises his hand to Ganguly and says he is out. Who is the umpire? Benson or Ponting?

ICC must come out of their sleep and must punish the umpires. When a player is punished for questioning the umpires, who will punish the umpires, giving wrong decisions?


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