Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thank You Milk Cooker

Doodh Doodh Doodh Doodh
Doodh hai wonderful
Pee Sakte Hain Roz Glassful
Doodh Doodh Doodh Doodh, wonderful Doodh

Remember this song? It used to be troublesome enjoying this milk earlier since I didn't have a milk cooker. Used one for the first time today and was intrigued to explore the funda behind it.

Read the explanation here. Interesting that a Senior Scientific Officer from the IGCAR, DAE has provided the crisp, scientific explanation.

BTW, hear the full song here.

Moonsoon - Attitudes Before, During and After

It's by now common knowledge that the monsoon is the most eagerly awaited season in India. The extent of its importance can be gauged by the fact that ALL the sectors critically depend on it for improvements.

This monsoon was very interesting from the perspective of people's attitude towards it. The word people would include many - myself, friends, relatives, colleagues, random strangers; you get the drift, right? :-)

Till the rains come, the constant gripe is about how hot it is, how severe water cuts are; what a scorching summer our country has; how greenhouse gases are gonna smoke us all out of the earth etc

The first rains are the most welcome - people start describing romance like it has just been discovered, there is a sudden expression of love for the smell of moist earth and getting drenched is treated as the 'Yo' thing. Trips to hill stations like Lonavla, Khandala become the rage; trekking in the rain is considered 'the must do' thing; women in wet sarees & chai-pakora become the rage ;-)

As the monsoon steadily builds up, the initial romantic euphoria leads to spewing of statistics - deficit/excess/normal being the defining adjectives. The meteorologists are on trial everyday to assess if their prediction of the rain is correct or not. A constant watch is kept on the level of the water supply sources.

The next stage in this complex relationship is grumbling - clothes don't dry, i'm constantly drenched, vehicles move slowly, visibility is sometimes poor, the roads are rubbish, so may deaths due to flooding, so many homeless etc

The last stage is an absolute "when will it end" phase - This is where everyone prepares to be Noah about to disembark from his Ark.The irritation with the rains is written clearly on the faces of people.

After that, what? The cycle continues till the end of a scorching summer when the parched earth sighs and gasps and moans for the first drops of rain!

I'll close this with a wonderful kannada couplet

maLe bantu maLe, koDe hiDidu naDe

The rain has arrived; start carrying an umbrella

daariyallli koncha biddu, baTTe ella koLe
Having fallen down on the way, all the clothes are dirty

bisilu bantu dHage, koTu tOpi tege

The sun is out now; remove your coat and cap

baaviyalli neeru sedi, sopu haaki oge
Draw water from the well and wash the clothes with soap


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kalajamoon Theories

The hullabaloo over access to emails routed through Blackberry is consuming more and more newsprint and online space. So thought, "Let me also add my 2 cents (or more) worth" :-D

Firstly, I've never been a fan of the Blackberry. Let me apply the fine print to that point - I'm not a fan of the Blackberry being used for office email. Call me odd, but that's how I am. Use the Blackberry to check your gmail/your facebook - perfecto! But if it comes to your office mail - naah!

However, its not just been the personal vs office mails angle that I've thought of. I've also been thinking in a quite serious manner on the topic too. What I have understood is this -

Blackberry provides 2 types of services to clients - enterprise (large corporations having their own servers on their premises protected by their own encryption keys) and individual (those who get their Blackberry services via some service provider like Airtel/Vodafone etc

If, as Blackberry claims they cannot provide the encryption keys for enterprises; still what is the big deal? In any case in India lots of business is done via the crony capitalism route. So, how much time will it take the Home Minister to call up these enterprises and ask them to covertly share their keys with the IB or RAW?

That would solve the problem of enterprise users, and for individuals - call a meeting of the telecom head honchos and ask them to share. I know snooping is a debatable topic, with shades of gray; but is there ANYTHING that we can do to prevent snooping by the intelligence agencies AND avoid misuse of Blackberry services by troublemakers?

There are more serious and better thinkers & analysts on this topic. The Economist is one of them. What they are basically saying in the article is that either RIM will be forced to accede to the government's diktat or the government's will find a way out. Have a read it's a good article