Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I am losing weight ever since I came to Melbourne in the third week of Feb 2003. I came here with my belt in the first buckle and presently it is in the third and fourth buckle. I am not doing anything special to get my fat down, just that it happens. Anyway, I am feeling light in weight and I am haaaappy.

Indians targeted in latest drop in H1-B visas.


Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Scope is an interesting technology that Microsoft is presently researching on. It relies on the fact that all the tasks are presented to the user in a circular plate and the fact that the task at the center of the circle carries more priority than that in the periphery. Take a look at the demo for more understanding of this concept.

Writing an article ? This program will determine your sex. By using subtle differences in the way that males and females write, the computer program claims to determine the author's sex.

Printing Currency notes at Home ?? This is to become a reality and maybe most of us are caught by the police if we ever try to do that. According to the printer makers, it is quite possible to do that.


Monday, May 26, 2003

People over the phone : As I have mentioned earlier in this blog, I am working at a call center for Optus (subsdiary of SingTel) at Australian Cable and Telephony (AC&T). My job is designated as a Telemarketer. I have to call up people and canvass them to take up Optus Phone and Optus Internet. Ysy I was talking to an lady (she turned out to be very old) - and I print the conversation below:

Me: (After explaining the deal) - Well madam, are you interested in trying out this service ?

She: I cannot help you there my love, but can I ask you to do me favor ?

Me: Yes ma'am.

She: I lost my husband.

Me: Oh! I am very sorry about that.

She: I also lost my dear nephews in the Bali bomb.

Me: I am really sorry for that.

She: So, I am asking you to just keep talking to me for sometime. Will you ? please. Its just that I live alone and none to talk to and I am 78 yrs old.

Me: ??? (tears in my face)

After that, I talked to her about the Footy game in Australia and she seemed very eager to talk about it. She was more interested in Indian cultures and the type of cooking that we do. I was talking to her for about half an hour and at the end of it, I did not get the sale, but it surely made me feel like a saint.

Reg the Footy game, well, I will explain about it another day.


Sunday, May 25, 2003

Sun TV takes the lead : By launching Suryan FM channel in Madras, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli, the Sun Group has split the family like FM radio for working males and sitcoms on Sun TV for the females. This has also boosted the sales of the FM radios in these places. The FM channel provides 24 hr non stop entertainment. One more feather in the cap for Kalanithi Maran.

Truth behind the CAS : Sucheta Dalal writes about the conditions of CAS and who will be benefitted from this scheme. She says that there is some chance for the customers, but advises most people to play the wait and watch game.


Saturday, May 24, 2003

Who is the winner ? The tale of the rollbacks in the telephone sector as announced earlier in the fortnight, is it so true that the middle class people can enjoy forever ? What makes the TRAI or Arun Shourie not making a similar decision next year ?

IITs in trouble ? Some of the premier institutions of technology, the IITs (New Delhi, Madras, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Bombay, Roorkee, Guwahati) are heading into trouble with the alumni funding being routed through a nodal agency, courtesy of Murli Manohar Joshi.

A Martian's View : First view of Earth from Mars, this is how Earth would look when viewed from the Red planet.

The most downloaded software on the net ?? Is Kazaa the most downloaded program on the Net ? Sharmaan Networks says so, with over 230 million downloads.


Thursday, May 22, 2003

Top Ten Hindi films of all time as rated by Aashish. He has written some good comments about each of them also.

Did you know what is the 'O' in Irish names such Peter O'Toole ? It means it desecendant 'of'. Peter O'Toole means Peter descendant of Toole.

Einstein's writings online : Albert's Einstein's writings published online some of them in their original format. Here is the site.

Faux pas by Anna Uni : Anna Uni commits a mistake in declaring the TNPCEE results on May 3. Latest list of toppers released.


Wednesday, May 21, 2003

It is tough getting a part time job in Melbourne. I was in fact one of the luckier ones, I managed to land up a call center job within a month. I just wish that everybody lands up a job pretty soon, especially my close friends. One of my classmates got into a contract job ysy for a group of scientists. He has to stay awake for around 30 hrs with a thermometer like rod stuck into his backside. I dunno what measure of discomfort this would be causing him, but he seems raring to go. Anything that requests for - food, TV, Computers would be provided and he will paid A$ 250 at the end of the session. I am awaiting his report on this matter.

Great Western Travel by Jayanthi Natarajan explains how the British political system works compared to the Indian system.


Tuesday, May 20, 2003

First experience of getting an email virus. Ysy I had my first look at a email virus. A worm that disguised itself as Microsoft Support Center with a single line.

Kamal Hassan diagnosed with stones in kidney. But the evergreen actor leaves for Cannes and forms an unique relationship with Intel Corp.


Sunday, May 18, 2003

Schumi wins in A1 Ring on Sunday, after a heartstopping fire during his pitstop. He is now 2 points behind Kimi Raikonnen in the overall standings. Go Schumi, Go.


Saturday, May 17, 2003

Viva Narayan Murthy : Chairman of Infosys wins accolades over the handling of Phaneesh Murthy scandal with Reka Maximovitch. Perfect example of corporate courage.

Anti Apartheid hero Walter Sisulu laid to rest in Soweto. A worthy associate of Nelson Mandela, he leaves behind a lot of people who are alive today because of him.

Full Text of Jeffrey Archer's latest short story. (from S.Anand)


Friday, May 16, 2003

Are you a keyboard lover like me ? I simply like using the keyboard more than the mouse, from my UNIX days. Wonder if you can replace some of the mouse actions with keyboard actions? Rediff shows you how.

India's answer to Corbis ?: Dinodia seems to be the one. Dinodia is the latest Indian Online Photo Library.

Sports Marketing Guru Mark McCormack passes away at the age of 72 years. He never recovered from a heart attack suffered around four months back and was in a coma. He died peacefully on Friday. Read about his life here.


Thursday, May 15, 2003

TN Higher Secondary results have come out today afternoon. These are available at Site 1 and Site 2. Earlier the Entrance Examinations results also came out on the web. A great change from my days (circa 1994) - we had to wait for the paper which would print the list of passing candidates and then we had to wait for one more day to get the marklist from the school. Some of us would be thoroughly harassed. I have heard many a story of the papers printing wrong information and students taking extreme measures in depression.

Prez saves his namesake: President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, added a number of years to the life of a young boy also named Abdul Kalam with the help of the telemedicine project.


Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Good News that I received ysy evening, while at work. Philip Ruddock, Minister for Immigration in the Aus Govt has toned down the Immigration rules that were supposed to come into effect from 1 July 2003 and thus putting hundreds of international students like me in peril. According to the latest media release, he has said that if I wanted to stay on in Aus after my studies, I can do so under the existing rules itself because I have commenced studies before 31 March 2003. I am feeling very happy today. But I also know that this is not the end of it. As my father says, 'Dont Count the chickens before they hatch'.

Jupiter has more moons - the latest study from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, says that scientists have found around two dozen more moons. Still more to come ??

Brave new face of women's lib in India, Nisha Sharma got her bridegroom arrested mins before the wedding on charges of dowry.

Some stills of the unreleased video of Madonna's American Life. She later withdrew this video without releasing out of respect to the American forces.


Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Latest virus on the block. Fizzer flies across computer systems in Asia and Europe at an amazing speed and creates extra traffic on the network. It does not seem to take out personal files.

Weird as it may sound, but people have progressed (!!) from tatoos, body piercings to tongue splitting. From piercings in ear, navels, eyes and now to the tongue. What next, any guesses ?

Namma Blog : How to write a blog in native Indian language ? Rediff shows you how. This article came out in 2002, but was browsing through when caught hold of this.

Email in Mom's handwriting : This maybe the latest fad in mailing. Write your mails with wireless E-Pen and send it across to anybody in mail.

Browse the Internet while you are in the toilet ? Not a good idea for me, though, somebody at Microsoft thought it as a great product and developed the iLoo (spoofed from iMac,iTunes?) and now the software giant finds itself in a mess that could have been avoided. Rumour has it that Microsoft tried to manufacture toilet paper with popular website listings.


Monday, May 12, 2003

Marriages : Some of my best friends are getting married in the next 2-3 months.

Karthikeyan & Sandhya - Second week of June 2003
Kirti, Jayaram & ?? - First week of July 2003
Sriram & Lakshmi - August 25, 2003
Shanthi & Ulaganathan - Second week of June 2003

Too bad that I would be missing all the marriages, the price of living in Oz Land !!

Indian Govt backtracks on the latest TRAI ruling for hiking the BSNL calling rates to mobile phones. Good news for the basic phone users.

US Institute predicts good rains for this year in India, which comes only a month after the Indian Met Dept predicted otherwise. Another goof up, one for the Rain Gods to answer. The failure in predicting last year's monsoon has already claimed its first victim.


Sunday, May 11, 2003

Foto of Mercury : A foto of Mercury spinning across the sun on May 7 (from Indian Express)

Google News : Indian version of Google News released.

Infosys Law Suit : Infosys settles lawsuit with Reka Maximovitch for $3 million. But the result of the payout has been a war of words with former employee Phaneesh Murthy.

80 Days from CNN : A gallery, video, special report form a packet that CNN is offering about 80 days that changed the world.


Saturday, May 10, 2003

Unbelievable : Indian citizen killed while on phone with wife in India at Sydney.

150 Years : University of Melbourne completes 150 years this week.

Andromeda perturbed : Oh !! Its not a Aussie girl's name, maybe it is, but I am referring to our nearest galaxy Andromeda. We are in the Milky Way galaxy and Andromeda is the next door girl. New photograph suggests that Andromeda has been perturbed by an intruder galaxy. All is not well next door in outer space !!!.


Thursday, May 08, 2003

Kamal's Interview : Read about Kamal Hassan views about the cinema industry and the making of 'Anbe Sivam'. Truly one of India's actors with astounding intellect. I can watch Anbe Sivam any number of times.

Momswords : I should have atleast put this up when I started this blog. I am proud to be associated with Momswords. I had written couple of articles for them long time back and since have not contributed any thing else. But I am pretty much happy to see the site progress from strength to strength. I hope to write some more articles for them.

Rock Climber Ordeal : A rock climber who cut off his own hand to save himself. A true story of pure determiation to stay alive.

Water Trouble : A funny thing happened today. We had just moved into a new house in Melbourne by the first week of March. We got the utils bill today. People in India should be fuming on seeing this. We just paid A$26 for gas for the whole of 64 days. We use for cooking and as well for a gas heater that we use because of the winter in Melbourne. One good thing and the next thing is obviously bad. The water bill is around A$64 for the same period. It says that we had used up 15,000 liters of water during this period. Actually, if you are buying water from a store, say like Indian Bisleri, then you might be better off drinking a can of Coke or Pepsi. Bottled water is actually costlier than aerated drinks and beer. We have complained to the Melbourne Water Authority and they have promised to look into the issue.

Bill Payment : How do you pay your bills in India ? Phone bills, credit card bills, Internet bills ? All these can be paid over the counter and as well as through the net, i suppose. But did you ever hear of paying your house rent at a post office ? Well, aussies have managed to do it. When you land up a house, your property agent provides you with a card which has a bar code number on it. Take it to any Post office and just pay the rent. One more good thing, you can pay individually, meaning, if there are 4 guys in a place and one of them is not good at handling money, the other three can pay up and the agent just ticks the fourth guy alone. This bill payment system is called as BPay. They are using the Post Office to excellent use out here.

Matrix Reloaded : The Melbourne Uni Computer Science Assoc is taking all the students to the first day show of Matrix Reloaded on May 16. I have just booked the ticket for that, and it has cost me A$11. Actually, people say that it is pretty cheap to get into a city cinema for just 11 even with the student concession.


Monday, May 05, 2003

Sky Spectacle : Mercury in the same plane with Sun and Earth on May 7. Will be visible in India, dont know for Melbourne.


Sunday, May 04, 2003

Rahul Bowled Over : Indian cricketer and Vice Captain, Rahul Dravid married Vijeyta Pendharkar ysy at Bangalore. Slide Show from Rediff.

New Look Blogger : I am typing in a new look Blogger interface and is very good. Very professional.

Death of G V : I should have put this up ysy, but was unable to comprehend the news that G Venkateswaran (G V) had committed suicide. One of my most admired persons. It has been mentioned that he had his financial troubles - maybe he finds the peace now he needed the most.


Thursday, May 01, 2003

Bush Talk : This is the full text of the speech by George Bush on board the USS Lincoln on May 1.