Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Collaboration Sites

Dear Ashish, Your friend XYZ has invited you to join him/her at XXXYYYZZZ.com
XXXYYZZZ.com is the new way to stay in touch with your friends .... Yada Yada Yada

Are you also sick and tired of subscribing to half a dozen collaboration sites in order to stay in touch with friends... seeing their blogs... checking out their photos... and ***ing them online? And then after signing up at all these places do you find that you're still keeping in touch with you friends over e-mail/mobile/SMS/over drinks...

Maybe, it's high time someone comes up with a 'panacea-like' protocol which allows one to exchange all of one's friends' data (maybe even something as simple as reusing/enhancing the vCard RFC) so that one can choose only one collaborative tool, based on it's features, thereby eliminating switching costs based on data-locking.

If wishes were horses,....!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Exams and devious answers

Today has had heavy traffic on the mail forwards front.... especially examples of sarcastic/humorous answers to various exam papers...

Thus... me feels the need to spread such pearls...

Another one I'd got aeons back... good read though

The following is an actual question given on a University of
Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so
"profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet.
Bonus Question:

Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law
(gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or
some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

"First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So
we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate
they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul
gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different
religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state
that if you are
not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is
more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to
more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of
souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because
Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in
Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand
proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1) If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which
souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will
increase until all
Hell breaks loose.

2) If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls
in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until
Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Sandra
during my Freshman year, "...that it will be a cold day in Hell before
I sleep with you",
and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in
having an affair with her. Then #2 above cannot be true, and thus I am
sure that Hell is
exothermic and will not freeze over."


* I obvously don't garuntee that these were actual answers to actual questions at actual exams!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Yada Yada Yada...

What a week....

The weather in Bangalore hass been a bitch... maybe Murphy's bitch... Either I or my plans got drenched everyday without fail... gaaarrhhhh.....

Workwise... crashlanded into the world of c++ and pointers(!!) after yearlong hiatus in the non-pointy world of Java.....

Not even boon meeting my reading quota... been struggling with a book called the 'Assasini'(by some chap called Thomas Gifford), supposed to be the precursor of "Da Vinci code..", everytime I pick it up I keep getting the creepy feeling that this is exactly the kind of book Ludlum would have written had he ever broached the genre; vague and action packed with the blundering hero going through the motions of top-ten-ways-to-almost-die....

Am planning to pick up the book 'MBA: Mediocre but Arrogant', which sounds like a promising book going by it's title... and of course the hoopla created by the much-fabled and many-figured paychecks and the recent mega-success of 'Fivepoint someone...'

The only silver lining(doesn't that make you think of coke?) this week was discovering the ability to spread my yada yada... across the world... yep, right I'm talking about Google Talk man it kicks every1 else's @#$%... the best thingie being the not-so-adverted advantage of it's penetratiing through my company firewall(yay... Finally)!!!
Also, after checking out such sexy (free) software... Steve Ballmer's recent four-letter explosive vow sounds real hollow...

Hoping for an arid weekend....

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

first steps... think-typing

In the post-lunch/part-siesta period today, I was perusing my daily digest of the NYTimes news, when I came across this article about the success of KBC2.
No, hold on.... I'm not gonna bore you with the pots of money StarTV is hoodwinking out of gullible Indian dreamer-viewers(I consider that a just penalty for idiot box addiction).... nor about Big B's ability to attract such viewership/ad-moolah at this age...

What caught my eye was this line in the article
About half of those who called in to "Kaun Banega" on a recent weekend live outside the country's 26 largest cities. Even in the smallest of villages, ones with no running water, schools or hospitals, there are mobile phones and battery-powered television sets.

If cell-phone operators and TV content-providers can reach out to these 'smallest of villages' and make money out of providing (relatively) hi-tech services to the 'poorest-of-the-poor', why can't the government farm out basic-need services to private organizations. From what I heard at a lecture by CK Prahlad at iiit-B on his paper The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid he managed to convince a large audience of powerful businessmen that this is a viable, untapped market!

I am sure this question has been asked a gazillion times already.... but whats the answer(s)?

As the dichotomy continues...