[ To Express, To Reflect, To Give Back ]

What can you do in a 30 second video?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

This stunning work of art and digital videography will keep your attention for 25 seconds.

Seaweed from Tell No One on Vimeo.

Twitter’s brilliant sweetspot!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I was late to sign up on Twitter but am now convinced it is truly a brilliant idea. It allows me to stay connected and follow anyone who I care about. It doesn’t have to be a person, it could be a firm or brand or whatever meaningful entity that deserves even one person’s attention! It doesn’t matter if that other person doesn’t know me – in most cases they don’t know me, but what matters is I am now as close to them as I virtually can.

In the pre-Twitter days, there wasn’t an easy-quick-and-dirty way to accomplish this – besides visiting websites and subscribing to blogs and news feeds etc. It was even worse in pre-Internet era! All I could wish for was to hope that Esquire magazine would publish an article about Cory Booker for me to know what he is up to. Today? Cory Booker goes above and beyond to keep me informed of what he is doing and thinking. All I had to do is just to follow him on Twitter…How insanely cool is that, especially if he is one of those people who inspires me everyday? He does, for ONE MILLION followers, like me.

Strolling across one of the isles in Barnes & Nobles the other day, I stumbled upon a book called “Procrastination Equation” by Piers Steel. Impressed with some of the ideas he espoused, I wondered if the author is on Twitter so I could stay connected with what’s on his mind. Not surprisingly, he was on and active on Twitter, and in seconds, I was set to keep track of him. Practically speaking, I am all set to stay abreast from one of the best minds on subject of Procrastination. Just a few years ago, that act would have meant writing long letters across the continent! And, no doubt, I would have procrastinated the hell out of writing a letter. Twitter simply eliminated the impulsiveness & the delay in Procrastination. Woh Woh? Hold on. Not clear on that last statement? Here is the Procrastination Equation that Piers writes about:

Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel

Piers thoughtfully clarified the formula (in a footnote in the book) by adding “+1” to the denominator so the division doesn’t go nuts. Motivation=(Expectancy x Value)/[(Impulsiveness x Delay)+1]

With that formula in front of you, now feel free to cogitate on that statement again: Twitter simply eliminated the impulsiveness & the delay in Procrastinating the action of connecting with the book’s author.

Where Twitter becomes a Himalayan challenge is when I start following a lot of people (a lot is say 50 people, at least for me). At that point, I should let go of any intention to “keep up” with everything coming in from everyone I follow. If I try to keep up, I am doomed! I realized Twitter becomes a shallow stream of universal consciousness and all I should and can do is to be content with occasional dips in the stream. I can always selectively dig deeper for particular topics or people – but the stream itself only goes as deep as few days! The world rightfully loses and doesn’t care about last week’s or last month’s or for that matter, yesterday’s state of universal consciousness – tweets!

Even if I am simply using Twitter to just follow – I get so much out of it. When I start tweeting or even better, retweeting some of what I follow, the power and quality of stream multiplies by as many followers as I have and as many people I follow. When everyone start doing the same, this power becomes unbelievably exponential! Not only what I say is heard by some (if not all followers), but I also act as a catalyst in passing every information that needs to be heard! As we have seen in the news lately, that exponential power of Twitter is precisely what is driving social revolutions left and right of Middle East. It first revolutionized the digital world, now it is doing the same for the real world – where revolutions matter the most! So what country is up next? In the universal scheme of tweet-consciousness, nobody knows! Time of course will tell.

Twitter, perhaps unintentionally, ended up in a perfect, irreplaceable sweet spot between one-to-many (radio/tv) and one-to-one (phone/text/IM) and many-to-one (newspaper/magazine) and many-to-many(websites/blogs) communication streams. I am trying hard to imagine what would be next – short of a gift of telepathy for all.

Twitter's sweet spot in (information) revolution

Visual Communication & Teaching Techniques

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Within the last couple of days, I have come across different sets of people and websites that are turning the dial on the visual communication techniques. One of them is using it to teach the world – from basic mathematics to biology to evolution theory. Another is using it to visually communicate powerful ideas from the concept of time to capitalism.

Met Sal Khan from Khan Academy. He has created thousands of video lessons, each around 10 minutes. You really have to visit his website to get a sense for breadth of the content he has created, pretty much all by himself, with just a computer and of course, lots of passion and dedication. His story was recently profiled in CNN Money and it appears he is slowly gaining the global media attention he needs to take this to mainstream. I found his interview in WorldChanging.com even more insightful than the CNN article. I always admire folks with such tenacity, and each one of them virtually knock my head reminding me one more time everyone can make a difference in the world if they we our mind to action. Although he has made tremendous progress with content and format innovation, distribution remains a challenge. It would be great for e.g. for an NGOs such as Pratham to partner with Khan in taking these lessons to schools across India (where there is at least a computer). Another idea is to forge a distribution partnership with forward-thinking publishers such as New Horizon Media. Of course, this needs to be done across many countries to get the best outcome for this laudable effort.

And then I stumbled upon a few videos made by some of creative folks at Cognitive Media based in UK. Based on notes taken during speeches, these guys created some great graphics and videos that’s more effective to synthesize, understand and absorb, cognitively, than if you hear the speeches (or read) without any visual component. You have to checkout a couple to see if these are as effective as I think they are. Perhaps, I am one of those people who is easily inspired, but nevertheless, their work of art, creativity and innovation has touched me.

I particular liked the two videos. The first one is an insightful one related to how money is really not a motivator when it comes to jobs that required cognitive skills (mostly knowledge work).

This other video talks about the geography of time and how younger generation are digitally wired, losing the social skills needed to interact as humans in the real world. At one point in the video, he says most kids don’t wear a watch these days – is it?

I saw a lot of similarities in the way Khan teaches and the Cognitive Media guys communicate. Both augment their audio with visuals – though Khan’s visuals are more down to earth and more-like-mine than UK boys who are professional artists.

Tech star…tup

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Boulder is a city that I really liked though I have only visited it twice during my almost a year of weekly commuting to Denver in 2003. It is also a city high in entrepreneurial spirit, thanks to a vibrant university and the loads of venture capitalists around, and of course, a community that cherishes life and nature (and snow!).

Techstars is a boulder’s way of embracing startups and venture capitalism around the area. Through Techstars, local entrepreneurs are joining together to promote entrepreneurial activity, one summer at a time.

The website claims 80% of last years participants have now received additional venture/angel funding and thats a good statistics proving their selection criteria (10 out of 300+ applicants!) was pretty good. Most of the companies appear to be online, social media types

Now, bootcamps are not new. They have been around for a long time around Silicon Valley. Techstars differentiates in some ways, the best of which I liked was that they don’t want to see your business plan (at least thats what their website says!). So they do want you to pitch your idea but just that is enough. I think this in itself would be a boost for a lot of people to take the plunge. While ideas are dozen a dime, good ideas are still running into millions! Of course, you got to have an idea and a way to create something, so fancy ones aren’t going to make the cut. You probably need an idea that can be built into something over a few boulder summer weeks, with nothing more than a laptop, food and a bunch of mentors and perhaps, lawyers! I guess, if you can program it, you are halfway in!

If you truly have an software-based idea, look to spend your next summer in Boulder. The mentors are mostly local (previously successful & experienced?) entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, so you ought to get something out of those few weeks!

streaming our lives

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Heard life streaming? Then you are not as much wired yet.

lifestream
[source : readwriteweb]

Its the myspacefacebooktwitter economy. Take that to next level, you are hit with life streaming. Do you want to spend your life recording your life? or living? you decide. But if you decide to record, you will be lifestreaming instead of living. So that explains it, isn’t it? Should you do it? Some folks try to convince you, so read it for yourself here.

Google believes lifestreaming in various forms is likely to going to be big…check OpenSocial. A good social app is TypeRacer. I type like crazy (with auto spelling correction ofcourse!) so I am addicted to it TypeRacer style apps.

New Media is gaining momentum

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Eros International (who pretty much control most of foreign distribution of Indian films, especially with the acquisition of Ayangaran, the Eros of Tamil movies) recently announced their FY 2008 earnings numbers. Check the details here.

I noticed Eros’s new media sources alone brought in $28 million. Of course, the portfolio of film and music content they have is huge and compelling that their strategy is clear : monetize every penny out of every bit of content they have. Obviously, they want to operate as a true Hollywood studio.

Its interesting to see the source of these new media revenues : video on demand from US & other foreign cable providers, music sales for mobile phones (likely download of full songs or ringtones) through iTunes and also retail sales through Amazon and WalMart. They also signed deals with Sony Pictures and LionsGate and expect a flood load of dubbed, remade and cross0ver movies across the two continents. Last but not least, they have YouTube channel which produces revenues through advertising. I also read that they have inked deals with Joost and Jaman for online streaming licensing…How is that for milking your cow?? Way to go!

twitterphobia

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Note: Since writing the post below, I have changed my opinion about twitter. See my latest post here Twitter’s Brilliant Sweetspot. After you read my opinion below and my recent observation of Twitter, you will obviously see how ignorant (and rude too!) I was back then.

A friend of mine asked me if I twitter. I don’t. I have come across a while ago but neither did I find any need to twitter nor a need to “follow” other twitters. I actually don’t know who else I know twitters. Even if they did, I am not sure if I care to “follow” them. An email or a phone call or even a stop at their blog once a in a while would be sufficient.

info overlaod

I am a big fan of social software and there are ways to channel its power. But honestly, I think twitter is a noise in the social software arena. Apparently, its creating so much noise (causing scalability issues with its recursive messaging infrastructure!) that its founder says “We will continue hiring systems engineers, operators, and architects, as well as consultants, scientists, and other professionals to help us realize our vision”. Twitter is simply a glorified broadcast instant messaging. Or to put it in a more crude way, its a formalized version of virus that people voluntarily subscribe to! And to even suggest that people should pay $5 as service fee to use twitter makes me laugh. OK, I know I am overly critical. I know many smart investors and hardworking programmers are behind twitter (sorry dudes!). All I am saying is it has no inherent value beyond exponentially magnifying the always-connected networked zombies!

Its India’s turn now

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

So far, it was US turn to acquire firms in India and capitalize on its growth. Not anymore! The trend is reversing. I was watching a CNBC late night show on India Rising and from the interviews of all the tycoons of business in India, I could see the spirit is high. The business leaders of Reliance, Godrej, Tata and many others are extremely upbeat about growth of India, but they are also unusually confident about India’s ability to take over the world of capitalism. Its not a question of “do we have the money to do it?” (though they do have tons of capital). It is all about the vision and courage to go for the sky and conquer the world! This reflects the attitude that was prevalent in the US years ago (perhaps, not as much now in comparison), when American leaders had the vision to be the most powerful country in the world. They didn’t look at in terms of their abilities or money, it was a shear determination to dream and the will to make it happen. I see a similar wave of aspirations in India now and especially among the rich and famous of business, media and entertainment This is likely unprecedented given the conservative history of India.

Following the Spielberg partnership with Reliance group, another group within the reliance world, Adlabs, is looking to grow in the US via partnerships and distribution. It recently made an agreement with the Newyork based ImaginAsia entertainment to oversee some of the theater chains in the east and west coast cities with large concentration of Indian diaspora. This is interesting as it captures & strengthens the distribution value chain for the reliance and media making machines in Bollywood. Last year, Indian theater chain, Pyramid Saimira acquried Texas based FunAsia’s theater properties strengthening their distribution of Indian films in the US. Not only they want to control and reach the Indians in these cities through these theater chains but also earn in $$ for what was mostly produced in Rupees! Good Deal!

The new New Media is Social Media

Monday, May 26th, 2008

User generated video content has exploded in last 2-3 years beyond one’s imagination. Beyond YouTube, Metacafe and Blip.tv (the three that I regularly browse through) there are hundreds of others who scout the world looking for amateur video. All of this in the hope of becoming the next niche media distribution channel within the Internet.

This growth in web of websites for uploading and sharing video now has spawned a few “consolidators”. I recently tried my hands with Magnify Networks at magnify.net. I think they have done a splendid job of providing an integrated discovery and aggregation portal for user generated video. Just as most web 2.0 startups, they are in Beta and are constantly improvising. The registration, as expected was quick and easy. And I was up and running setting up my (dream) project in a no time : http://villagekewl.magnify.net/

I like this search and consolidate model because now I can search across my favorite video portals from one place. I presume the maginify.net guys constantly look to integrate with new video providers and so I don’t have to necessarily “know” who is the new or next YouTube. All I need to think about is what do I want Maginify to search for and how to aggregate and present it on my portal at http://villagekewl.magnify.net. There are other neat set of features such as playlists, user ratings, and auto search etc. to play around with. Check it out for yourself.

Now, the key question boils down to how effective is the video search. Obviously, its basic text search with the title and description of the video and perhaps, few other attributes defined by the host video provider. Beyond that, we got to wonder who has the best tagged video content on the web.

While on the topic, I got to mention CoolIris, which I stumbled as I was trying to get in touch with Sashi Seth. CoolIris has a catch product, essentially a browser plugin that would transform it into 3D browsing experience. So from reading/view a sort of a page from top to bottom or right to left, with text, audio and video what if you were let into street fair or planetarium and find text, audio, video all around you and you can zip through search and view in all directions, as fast as you can? Welcome to PicLens from CoolIris. you can download and try for yourself. So who is Sashi Seth anyway? As good as it looks, He will figure out if CoolIris can make any money out of it!

Simply amazing

Friday, December 2nd, 2005

Krazydad simply is amazing. The image is an high-end art work combined with some mathematical fascination.

adsas

Click on the image above. It will open a larger version of this artwork and you will have a better view of the individual phots that were used to create this photo-poster. Move your mouse there over any one circular photo and click on it to view the original photo. Each photo in itself is a piece of art. This is collaborative creativity at its best.

Incidentally got to hear about Krazydad from this innovative presentation by Dick Hardt. The subject Dick is talking about may be boring to many but the presentation style is gripping. A splendid demonstration of visual vs voice coordination, apparently popularized by Larry Lessig.

Thanksgivings weekend

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

It has been very travel-intense weekend. To Stamford, connecticut and back on Thursday and then to Fairfax, Virginia on Friday-Sunday. We followed the American tradition of burning cheap fuel during the Thanksgiving! [Gas prices went under $2 (rather surprisingly but timely) for the first time in quite some time and my sweet old buddy Honda Accord logged 800+ miles in 3 days!]

As we drove down the New Jersey Turnpike in a bumper to bumper traffic, rest of America was busy on the “Black day Friday” in a shopping mess. Perhaps the only country in the world to designate a day in a year just for shopping. If items sold on this day are truly cheap or truly worth is debatable.

I had been wanting to buy a cheap mp3 player (having bought iPod already no apprent reason besides the “cool” factor) exclusively to listen to Podcasts during my train commutes to class. I found this SanDisk m230 a cheap buy and I couldn’t find a good store online selling it cheaper than what CircuitCity offered me on Black Friday. I grabbed it.

sandisk m230

For under $45 i thought it was a good deal i was waiting for. Besides being the mp3 player, it serves as a USB drive in addition to being a voice recorder. With a decent stereo headphone, a FM tuner and arm-band, I can’t ask for more. I am glad I didn’t have to install yet another music software (plug USB, drop files and good to go!), though it does come with one that supports Rapsody and Audible. With three free books for download from Audible, dude! I can’t ask for more.

The only sucky part of buying a new gadget is opening (I should say ‘failing to open’) the impossibly sealed plastic packaging with no obvious solution even in this Internet world, except this wierd “OpenX”.

pc revolution

Friday, September 30th, 2005

MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte takes a lead and introduced the $100 PC to the world. If all goes well, he expects to produce more $100 PC than regular PCs by 2007. Rajesh Jain has been promoting a similar revolution in India and Business 2.0’s Om Malik wrote a lengthy article just a few months ago.

asdasd
[via engadget.com]

Nicholas claims “For education, the roadblock is laptops”. That would create a endless debate if you start by asking if the poor children need food and good health or a laptop. That topic aside, Nicholas’ ambition seem genuine, monumental and most importantly concurs with what i believe in (and hope to do something about) :

Young people, I happen to believe, are the world’s most precious natural resource. They may also be the most practical means of effecting long-term change: Making even small opportunities for children today will make the world a much better place tomorrow. Frankly, I have almost given up on adults, who seem generally to have screwed things up despite the good work being done in many parts of the globe. So I am increasingly inclined to seek out ways for the 6- to 12-year-olds of our planet to learn how to learn, globally as well as locally. from Pricing the future, by Nicholas Negroponte

Rajesh, does it matter who comes first as long as intentions are good?

American splendour

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

I was watching ‘American Splendor’, a documentary about the true story of Harvey Pekar. How the pathetic wierd-named Pekar inspite of his dishevelled life, became a monumental icon for ‘American’s Common Man”, at least for a short period of time. Out of shear coincidence, I watched the movie ‘Crumb’ which documents the life of Robert Crumb, once famous and notoriously perverse underworld comic cartoonist. Apparently, Robert Crumb played an important role in Harvey becoming a star (Harvey wrote the stories and lent his character for comic books while Robert illustrated them), at least star enough to show up every year in Dave Letterman’s Late Night Show. Robert Pulcini, who plays Harvey was flamboyant. Man! those scenes where his voice gets completely screwed up, he was stupendous. I liked American Splendor more than Crumb, but if you like documentaries and appreciate biographies, you might like both.

I really liked this Elinor Wylie poem that Harvey mentions in one of the scenes :

Avoid the reeking herd,
Shun the polluted flock,
Live like that stoic bird,
The eagle of the rock…

Have you read ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ by Richard Bach? Oh! you should.

who sold it?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2005

I was at the local strip mall in our neighborhood yesterday to refill my fridge. There usually are a couple of stores locked up with a sign ‘for rent/lease’. Interestingly, I saw a new flashy store this time. I had the familiar logos of eBay all around. “Whats eBay doing here?”.

i-Sold it
[from iSold It.com]

A quick closer look revealed that that the store is apparently i-Sold It and invites anyone to drop off anything to be sold on eBay. I have read earlier that small retail stores are popping up in the American cities that ‘broker’ auctions in eBay. I didn’t realize its a fledgling chain business until I checked their website today. Apprently, i-Sold It has 500 stores (open or on contract) across America. Another sign infront of the store asks me ‘Want to be part of $3Billion business?”. I don’t know that but the chain already has small pie in the $3B by taking $38 out of your item that would sell in eBay for $100. Win-Win business I guess.

This kind of busines also makes a lot of sense in India, where millions may have items for sale in online auctions, but not a computer or the expertise to auction it themselves. If thats true, it just a matter of time…

Blogs for opinions

Monday, July 25th, 2005

I am reading a lot these days about how blogs have become mainstream media. But I believe blogs, due to their very nature of ad-hoc, decentralized, individual publishing will never become “mainstream”. Just becoz a mainstream folks such as CNN, WashingtonPost and Forbes have blogs on their website does not make general medium of blogs as mainstream. Besides, the vast majority of bloggers in the world are not anywhere close to be mainstream publishers. By staying away from mainstream, blogs gain their uniqueness and in some cases, authenticity and truthfulness.

It is interesting to note how I have come to use blogs to form my own opinions. I do read mainstream media magazines (mainly, Google news, followed by BBC, NYTimes, NDTV and ChennaiOnline) and newspapers, most of them online. At the same time, I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds (using Firefox’s Sage) from a whole lot of blogs. Outside of these feeds, I scavenge the web randomly to read. All this consolidated, I form my own opinions about things happening around me. I believe this process is helping me get to close to the true value of any information.

As a simple example, I was reading this Anil Dash’s post about Barack Obama. Barack is a upcoming african american senator from Illinois and he came to limelight ( at least to me ) when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention during the last election supporting democratic presidential candidate. His speech was appealing and he seemed to be genuine politician with his personality and profile. The media was all praise for him and showered all the attention he ever wanted, even as far as claiming that he might be the president of US soon! He even released a book, his autobiagraphy, that I saw on the front shelves of bookstores, at least for few days – ‘Make hay/money while Sun Shines!’

Anil, in his blog, pointed to this article by Barack in CNN’s Time magaine. Since I am already impressed with Barack in general, I read it and thought it was a good article. I read thru the part where he was comparing himself with Abraham Lincoln, but didn’t give enough importance to it. For all I knew, Barack could have had an equally tough life growing up before making it as a popular politician. He perhaps aspires for being a President someday, so who else than Lincoln to take for inspiration.

But…I didn’t stop there, I seriously wanted to know what the blogosphere ( the internet world of blogs) had to say about this article by Barack. I searched Technorati, a popular search engine that searches only blogs [just paste the URL/Link to the article in the search text box and search and it will list all blogs referring to it]. I have this strange habit always checking the first and last items in any list! When I moved to the last blog in the search results that was referring to Barack’s article, I had found something different. I found this blog whose author found the Barack’s own self-comparison with Lincoln, undeserving

This author preferred to link to another op-ed article by peggy noonan (my earlier post on peggy’s writing) who clearly brought forth some facts about Barrack :

Transcript from Peggy’s article : (emphasis mine) Lincoln came from a lean-to in the backwoods. His mother died when he was 9. The Lincolns had no money, no standing. Lincoln educated himself, reading law on his own, working as a field hand, a store clerk and a raft hand on the Mississippi. He also split some rails. He entered politics, knew more defeat than victory, and went on to lead the nation through its greatest trauma, the Civil War, and past its greatest sin, slavery.

Barack Obama, the son of two University of Hawaii students, went to Columbia and Harvard Law after attending a private academy that taught the children of the Hawaiian royal family. He made his name in politics as an aggressive Chicago vote hustler in Bill Clinton’s first campaign for the presidency.

You see the similarities!

Hmm…at first thought, it seems to be not a big deal But isn’t that a good information for me to better evaluate Barrack’s own views of the world. I still like him for what he is and what he has accompolished, but he could have been better and I am sure he knows better than this, as I would have to agree with Ms. Peggy. He is perhaps using this strategy of not sharing key facts and hence associating himself more with a common ‘minority’ man, than otherwise.

Just a few years ago I would have simply read just the Time article and it would have reinforced by strong opinions on Barrack. Today, with blogs, and internet and open modern media, my opinions are not simply shaped by mainstream media alone!

Don’t…

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

Don’t…Don’t click this

MTV has plans…

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

Started in the garage of two enthusiastic Brits, Neopets is neat KISS idea. Dont know what KISS is? Keep it simple, stupid!. An online community, or web site or portal or however the technology world wants to refer to it, for users to create and rear virtual pets. All for free. Then offer nice value added fun things and services around the core concept of virtual pets. You should check out the plethora of characters they have created for you to have your virtual pet.

aaa.

If thats not enough, there are instructions to create your own cutie little chubby pets. There is also games and puzzles where you let your pets play and compete againsts other’s. Perhaps, Your time is better spent on their website exploring than me trying to explain it. With close to 60 million registered users ( should we believe? ), a pretty darn achievement indeed in innovation. For the millions of children isn’t it a fun place to be? You bet it is, and for the few million adults who stick to neopets.

aa

Why am I talking about it? A bit silently, MTv acquired this online community becoz MTv has plans…to be an all-round global entertainer…

Here is a question to ponder. What would take an individual in India to create something like this? A vision, lot of brain and a bit of $ is all I can think of…Are we there yet?

10 years of ecommerce

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

eBay is one of the companies I would want to work for. The current edition of Economist has a lessons learnt article on eBay. A must read if you own a business or work for a firm that has a some form of web presence.

Lessons from eBay

And for the other companies I would want to work for? Amazon….Yahoo….

Kung Fu Hustle

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

I am sure every director wants to make spoof movies ( movies that make fun of other movies or other realities in life) but Steve Chow, the director (He also stars in the movie, guess as who? Of course, the underdog: Hero!) of Kung Fu – Hustle, brought it into a serious reality. I forced Harini and my two cousins to go and watch this movie this past saturday and consequently, they didn’t really enjoy the movie. They were less furious becoz it was a saturday night and I paid for the tickets!

aa
[Remember Kamal in Thenali? Chow in KungFu Hustle More pictures here]

So what about the movie? Is anyone talking about it? I think it must be watched, for sure. The question is it is a classical spoof movie and there is more to it than what captures the eye! The movie makes fun of literally a thousands of things and you really have to be a movie fan to understand every sequence and every shot, but its worth it. In between the funny sequences the director has skillfully attached a lot of emotions, from love to astonishment. I think we should get a DVD, and better enjoy it patiently. I felt there was too much distraction in the movie. The worst distraction and incidently, the best part of the movie, is the serious and hongkong-fame kung-fu sequences themselves combined with some literally bone-breaking, video-game style stunt tricks. I was flabbergasted by the scene when the ‘The Beast’ holds a stun gun points a gun infront of his foreherad, fires it, then…proves what it means to be a zen of kungfu. Rajinikanth would surrender right royally infront of this scene! In all, the movie is in a comedy-action-graphics-emotions-insanity genre of its own. Another dimension of comedy is the funny names of characters in English. I wonder if it is also Chow’s creativity. A lesson to be read in the world of movie making.

aa

Positive as my words may sound, there was literally 8 others in the theater! But, the truth must be stated : The movie is super-duper-bumper hit in Asia and is the best money maker ever in HongKong’s film History. I wouldn’t be surprised if it sneaks thru the back doors into the Academy Awards. Would you care to see it?

So simple yet so techie

Thursday, May 5th, 2005

Home
[Thank God! The Satellite zoom doesn’t get any closer! Otherwise, people don’t need any more reality shows, chose among the billions of homes across the globe and peep into anyone’s for the ulitmate reality show, all live!!!]

I would think the above picture is as close as a commercial satellite could get to our house. It is interesting because someone sitting in chennai could get a spectacular ariel view of where we live and where we drive day in and day out. Isn’t that fun? Especially, broadband in India is getting close to dirt cheap and someone as savvy as my mother-in-law could be using Google Maps and Google Satellite to tell us that we can take 202 North for 2.4 miles to the A&P Food Market for a $2.49/Gallon milk instead of taking a 3.8 mile ride in 22 West to ShopRite for a $2.79/Gallon. I won’t be suprised if something like that happens (so much faith in my mother-in-law :D). I better start writing a manuscript for a book titled “Google for Indian moms with Idle Bandwidth”.

Click this link. This will open up the real-time google satellite view of our home. You can click on the map with your mouse, hold you left-mouse button and drag it left and right ! You will soon know more than we do about the place we live! Try zooming in and Zooming out. Check out manhattan just about 30 miles east of where we live. Play with it but thank Google.

You might wonder how far one could stretch a map in consumer market? Check this out before making any judgements. Remember to play with the search/filter options for city, price range and dont forget to click on the color pushpins (or as some might think : balloons! )

[Inspired by India’s launch of its own map-making satellite today!]