Sunday, June 22, 2008

EQL Quiz 1... The saga starts

Enquire, the quiz club, kicked off our 'Enquire Quiz League' at Bhavan's Varuna Vidyalaya, Kakkanad, Kochi on Saturday, June 21st. With over 56 teams from schools all over Kochi attending, the quiz league began with a roaring success.

Enquire team, including yours truly, with participants
Innovative and interactive rounds such as 'Blockade', 'Liar Liar' and 'Divide & Conquer' sets apart Enquire quizzes from the traditional quizzing structure.

Participating teams and schools are rated on a point system, depending on prelim scores and finals performance in each quiz in the league.

The top scorer for this quiz was none other than quiz master Sebastian J Pattom, who cracked 208 'Pattrocious' Jokes (PJs) during a gruelling 3 hour period... really, we kept count.

Seriously, though, it was Bhavan's Vidya Mandir, Elamakkara who won the title this time, and walked off with precious 30 points under their belts.

More details:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefox 3 Download Day is here !! I watched as the Firefox website was slowly updated to provide users with Firefox 3. After that came a mad rush to download, and the download counter hit 1 million just about an hour after the release!

I have to laud the mozilla crew, even though connection to the site was slow due to the heavy traffic, download speeds were not compromised at all.

Downloaded my copy, and got the Download Day Certificate, custom made.

As of now, within the first 8 hours or so of the day, the download counter has hit 3.7 million!! It is almost certain that team Firefox will be able to break their own target of 5 million before the end of the day, even after eliminating duplicate IPs.

Now I'm off, to install and test this wonderful software...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Spread Firefox Challenge
Download Day 2008

For something as taken-for-granted as a browser, Firefox has generated more popularity and discussion than any other software of its kind. The challenge against monopoly that it represents, its fully customizable and extendable features, introduction of tabbed browsing, and fast start-up and browsing speeds have set apart this browser from the rest. For me personally, I fell in love with Firefox the first time I used it, and have been relentlessly imploring others to share my experience.

With Firefox 3 just around the corner, the Firefox team is attempting to round-up their faithful users, and set a world record for the most software downloads in 24 hours. The attempt will occur on 'Download Day', which is the Firefox 3 launch day. The date is yet to be announced, but it is confirmed to be in June 2008 itself. The Firefox team is looking at a target of about 5 million (That's right !!), to completely outclass Firefox 2, which had 1.6 million downloads on the day of its launch.

What can you do? Pledge to download Firefox on Download Day at Download Day HQ, and ask others to do the same. Those who download would get their own Guinness World Record certificate. A list of things that you can do for the cause is listed here.

With 14000 improvements over the previous version, Firefox 3 promises much, much more, in terms of speed, security and customization. The beta release has received great reviews, so lets pledge, wait and download...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Response to Facebook Note by my Friend Girish Varma
Original URL

Girish and Vatsil had some interesting comments on the recent fuel price hike in India, which has created a lot of tension between the Govt. and the people

Original Post:
Here is the transcript of a discussion i had with my friend, arun regarding my previous post on fuel prise hike (with his permission):

1. arun: n hey i read ur petrol blog post; u should read "Who are the common men of India" by Arjun Sengupta n others at NCEUS
2. arun: did u know that 77% of Indian population survive on less than Rs.20 per day?

3. me: ohh. all i was saying is the companies and government have their breaking point on how much they can bear. Which if get over will cause years worth of hard work {to be wasted}

4. me: 90 % of all the leader who are against price hike are totally ignoring this fact. Congress does not deserve this much ridicule

5. arun: the point is the people who are affected by price hike are around 90%; whereas those who lose out a little of their profit (not loss) is only a few thousands; the people who survive with less than 20 Rs a day (837 million or 77%) will be affected drastically; as petrol price hike increases all prices
6. arun:

7. arun:

8. me: if those few people loose out, on a long term everyone will be at a loose, as they cannot provide jobs or growth to the country.

9. arun: hehe; what use are jobs if they cant survive? read the first link


We all have to agree that [a] is true. A large percent of Indians do live on what even their fellow coutrymen would think is a small amount. The question is, what approach does the govt. adopt for their development?

The govt. can either
(1) Take matters into its own hands, run all the essential services in the public sector, and keep the economy isolated from the ups and downs in the global economy. This is what was happening right from Independence upto the beginning of the 90s. And we all know how slow the economic development of the country has been then.

(2) Allow private investment, and hope that the jobs so created and the huge amount of investment, especially from an open market system, will improve the economy, which in turn will help the impoverished, albeit only at the very end of the line. As the overall growth in the economy shows, this strategy has paid off, but the benefits of the rapidly growing economy is yet to reach the bottom layer.

In the current scenario, it is the duty of the govt, ant govt, to protect the interests of the masses and the private companies, the latter so that the investment potential of the country is not harmed. Granted, the private companies do keep their own profits in front, but they also tend to be socially conscious and provide steady and large sources of labour, if only to appease the country's govt and people who ultimately decide their future.

The Indian Govt. has clearly masked the effects of the global oil price hike from the population for as long as possible, but there has to be a breaking point. At this point, the loss of all private investment in the oil sector is simply not affordable. So, there has to a decision, even though a hard one, to set the balances right.

PS: These opinions are my personal ones. Please feel free to criticize.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The last Nightout... I'm sure gonna miss this place...

Tomorrow, I bid farewell to the place that has given me a new identity,,, my college. For four years, I have identified myself as part of this wonderful place, and as the last moments arrive, I feel a sense of being abandoned. When I return to this place, whether it be a few weeks or a few years later, I won't be a student anymore. The feeling is overwhelming.

I watch helplessly as my friends leave... wondering why I did not leave sooner. Saying one goodbye to all is definitely better than having to say goodbyes to so many... wondering when we'll be able to see each other again... Ruthless corporates have tossed almost all of us to every nook and cranny of the country.

Last night, four of us - Rejith, Amal, Ravi and me snuck into the Open Air Theatre at night. The night was perfect for stargazing... no moon, no clouds, just we beneath the stars. Listening to 'I'll miss my college days' under a starry sky, reminiscing about the uncountable adventures of the past four years, might be an oft-repeated cliche, but this frame of mind deserves a cliche. Afterwards, the four of us roamed around campus, plucking mangoes and jackfruits from the abundant trees.

I sit in the computer center now, typing out these lamenting lines. I wonder how much longer my login will last. Perhaps they are deleting it right now.

Thank you my friends, for making me who I am.
Thank you my teachers, for having faith in me. I can only hope I have done justice to you.
Thank you my college, for giving me the best years of my life.

I'll miss you all

Friday, April 25, 2008

Writer's block... the quintessential sign of literary naivete... A good friend of mine recently commented how my last two posts on the blog have been rantings and ravings about my inability to come up with a decent post. Ranting about ranting seems to be the 'in' thing to do at the moment, but I am trying to pull myself out of it. So, with this post, the 'Trilogy of the Infrequent Blogger' comes to an end. The next books in the series would be part of the 'n-logy of the Frequent Literary Genius'.

To all those reading this post, please spam me if you do not see another one above it: that means I haven't started yet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sorry to my meagre cadre of online fans who have been vociferously complaining about my inability to put together a paragraph to grace this cobweb-ridden page of mine. I sincerely apologize to those brave souls who are still trying to get me off my sorry ass and long to tell them to live their own life and let me be. Seriously, the last 2 months have been so hectic and lively that I never felt the need to waste a few precious minutes to put my life on screen and tell the world what I'm doing. That doesn't mean I'm jobless now...

My vacations started off with preparations for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and off I went to Bangalore, troubling my good friends Raghuram and Dorai and their families in the process. The exam was on May 2nd, and I performed well, to my surprise, scoring 1460 (Thank you, Thank you...). Considering that my preparation time was exactly 13 days, I consider it my good luck that my performance was on an appreciable level.

Came back, dozed around for a week at home, and again went to attend Industrial Training at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore. The training was quite interesting and informative. Of course, the fact that it was in Bangalore came as an added bonus. I've never had so much fun as I had in the month I was there. Going out and roaming around everyday became a force of habit. So did mouthing hard-to-digest aeronautical terms... Adour, Artouste... anyone?

Came to know of an interesting robotics workshop at Delhi, decided to attend it, and here I am, at the Indian capital, during the romantic transition between oven-hot summer and cool wet rains... writing to my hearts content. For a history buff, there are few places as fulfilling as Delhi. Wait a minute, why am I here? There's a bazaar outside, and things to buy, and places to see...