January 29, 2011

My thoughts on MNP!

Hi Guys,

The recent advancements in the Indian mobile service providers have been remarkable. One significant scheme introduced is the MNP or the Mobile Number Portability and the other is the introduction of 3G.

The advertisements broadcasted by service providers for MNP has been interesting. I have not been watching television regularly in the past few days and hence I am not aware of the ads in TV. I hear to FM stations every morning and I noted that Vodafone has got the best marketing strategy. The conversation is such that the mobile number is so important to the person and he can’t change the number, although the service is poor. The other person suggests Vodafone and also gives the toll free number for porting to Vodafone.

I became fascinated in the MNP and surfed through the service provider’s websites. It was just amazing to see that all the companies welcome the porting customers with broad hands and offer them a lot of freebies and there are no such offers for the existing customers. For example, you maybe a 3 year old customer of a service provider. But they won’t mind you and your friend porting to that service provider will make cheaper calls than you. Amusing, isn’t it?

TRAI says that a service provider can charge `19 for the porting. But, the service providers are porting you free and are providing you an initial talk time.  An intelligent person can make use of this prospect. According to TRAI, you can port your number once in 30 days. So after 30 days of the first company, you can port to the next one and enjoy their offers. When the offers get over, you can skip to the next and so on. Anyway the offers will last for a few months only. If you are clever, you can save a lot.

I have been receiving text messages from my service provider saying that they strive hard to provide better service and thank the customers for having been their valuable customer. I’m planning to port my number, so that I can enjoy the offers. But have some talk time left in my account and need to empty that first. Many of my friends have already ported their service providers for the same reason.

Happy Reading!!!

January 24, 2011

Who is the Hero?

Hi Guys,

Just a few minutes back, I was reading an article in a website quoting Julian Assange’s words on what is the difference between him and Mark Zuckerberg.

Both these people have been frequently in the news for the past few months.  Julian Assange, the Whistleblower who has revealed lot of secret cables that have the potential to destabilize governments across the world. Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook which connects 500 million people across the world.

Mark Zuckerberg along with his classmates started Facebook as a university networking site at Harvard University in 2004. It all started as a fun and later learning its potential he spread it across universities and then introduced it to the world.  His story is told in the movie The Social Network. It has bagged many awards in the Golden Globes and it shows the negative side of Mark Zuckerberg. Though he denies that if we look back at the legal issues, we can’t deny it completely. Another common issue that is being told is that Facebook lets out our private information to other companies whenever we use Applications. In other words, they are selling our privacy without our knowledge. Despite all this, Times magazine named Mark Zuckerberg as the Person of the Year.

Julian Assange is the editor in chief of Wikileaks website which is a Whistleblower. Born in Australia, he was well versed in hacking from his early ages. He used it to extract information from some websites and reveal it to the people. Many governments are trying to get rid of him and people are supporting him. He has been constantly on the move and he was trapped in Sweden and is currently in prison. One main video he let out was the US army’s arrogance in Iraq. This has created huge waves. I’m attaching the video of Julian Assange’s interview to TED in June 2009. Please watch the whole 20 minutes and you will understand why the world needs Julian.

He has his own sources of information and is careful in their safety. He has over millions of secret cables in his hands. In the video he says that he doesn’t reveal information that should remain secret (such as between a doctor and a patient). His website has been banned currently saying that he did not pay rent to the server. Can you believe it?

The latest news is that he might reveal the names of people who have their money covered in Swiss banks. If he does so, lot of our politicians and leading billionaires can be caught red-handed. It is a day I’m waiting for.
In my opinion he is the person of the year, not Mark Zuckerberg.

Happy Reading!!!

January 18, 2011

Things that crossed my way!

Hi Guys,

After 4 days of pongal holidays, it was a sad feeling going back to college. But, I can’t ponder much on that and things must move on.

Incorrect Identity Proofs
I went to Passport office to apply for passport last week and I applied successfully. Some of my friends who like to apply for passports are finding it difficult as something is wrong in their identity proofs. Either their spelling is wrong or address is wrong or any other information is wrong. In most cases the information present in 2 proofs will be contradictory. The responsibility lies with our government officials. My father says that when all the details are collected manually and then typed in computer, lot of errors happen. He says that either online application (where we type our own data) or uniform ID cards (then too our details must be correct there) are the only solutions. Carelessness is the main root cause.

Movies I watched recently
It has been very long since I shared with you the movies I watched. Recently I watched the movie 500 days of summer. It was tagged as an offbeat romantic comedy. It was rather emotional at many places. Directed by Marc Webb, it deals with the 500 days of relationship between Tom and Summer. It was a good movie. I watched Se7en, a psychological thriller movie starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt. Directed by David Fincher, it deals with the case of a serial killer, who uses seven sins as the cause of murder. The movie occurs in seven days and the climax is more shocking.

Cricket – Is it right to call the third powerplay as the Batting Powerplay?
If you have been following cricket for the past year, you would be aware of the introduction of batting powerplay. It is the 5 overs chosen by the batting team (mostly at the end of their innings). The main objective of the powerplay is to increase the run rate and make the match fascinating. But, the powerplay rather helps the bowling team. Batsmen try to take advantage and lose their wicket. This also leads to decrease of run rate. In the 2nd ODI between India and SA, both teams lost 3 wickets in the last powerplay. It was an easy to win match for SA and they lost mainly because of wrong shot selections in the powerplay overs. Today too, they have lost many wickets in the powerplay overs. But, SA also showed how to use the batting powerplay properly in the 1st ODI. Teams need to be careful with the selection of the batting powerplay overs.

Dan Brown books – Mysteries, secrets and codes
Two weeks back, I read the book ‘The Lost Symbol’. It is the latest book of Dan Brown. I have already read his previous 4 books and am quite a fan of him. Particularly I love the way he write about secrets that truly exist, puzzles, codes and the way to break them. This book also resembles the previous stories. Robert Langdon is forced to break a historic code in order to save his friend Peter Solomon from the villain. Though the story occurs within a time period of 12 hours, it doesn’t have the pace of 24 hour long Angels and Demons. It is boring at parts and the huge epilogue makes you drowsy. It is not one of Dan Brown’s best. Though people rate The Da vinci Code as his best, I prefer Angels and Demons. The other two books (Deception point and Digital Fortress) are also good.

That’s it for now.

Happy Reading!!!

January 17, 2011

Pictures of my city!

Hi Guys,

I took some pictures of Madurai's temples when I visited them in the past 3 days. I'm sharing those pictures with you.

Teppakulam, decorated with lights
The front tower of Koodal Azhagar Perumal Temple
We went to the terrace of the temple. In the 2nd and 3rd floors you can find Lord Vishnu in standing and sleeping poses respectively. It is one of the very few temples to have him in all the 3 poses
The main tower of the temple. A different type of tower, with a rounded top
The temple street
The outer corridor of the temple
Elephant at Meenakshi Amman Temple. It was busy all the time blessing the devotees
A stone mandapam in the Aadi street (inside Meenakshi Amman Temple)
Pigeons add a lot of beauty to the temple
Though, i knew Meenakshi Amman Temple has camels, it was the 1st time I saw them. They were just magnificent creatures.
One of the many shops selling pictures of different Gods
A view of the Golden Lotus Tank
A view of one of the 4 main towers from inside the temple
From the Golden Lotus tank.
One of the towers from outisde
When we went Rangoli competition was being held in the outer streets (chitirai street) of the temple. It was just wonderful
One of the best Rangolis
Another one
Peacock Design
Hope you enjoyed the pictures of my city.

Happy Viewing!!!

January 9, 2011

Crazy IPL Auctions!

Hi Guys,

It feels good to sit and write a new post after a long time. I have lot of things in my mind and can’t decide what to write. Finally after some research, I decided to write on the crazy IPL auctions that concluded today.

The common views going around is that many players are unworthy for the huge amount they were bought. Recently as the Indian innings of India vs South Africa T20 concluded, I got a message in my phone viewing the same.

Let’s see the players who have grossed huge amounts and analyze their previous performances

Gautam Gambhir - $2.4 mn – The most bid player of the auction. A good opener, but the question is whether he is worth the money. He is a good opener, quite attacking, average fielder and captain. Also, note that Delhi was not much interested in retaining him. But seeing the next best bids, it seemed to me Gambhir deserved this.

Gambhir and Rohit striked gold in the auctions!
Yusuf Pathan - $2.1 mn – The next costliest player. He is match winner. But the problem is he strikes form only once in 10 matches. For example, last time he didn’t have a great IPL after the 37 ball 100 against Mumbai. He is a good bowler. He seems to be hyped so much. He got out for 6 of 8 balls in the T20 today.

Both these players were bought by Kolkata. Something tells me, SRK is again making a mistake.

Robin Uthappa - $2.1 mn – This was the most shocking one. Uthappa is a good T20 player. He can be a wicket keeper too. But, note that there are far too better players and it has been long since he was there in the 15 member squad of Indian team. Whatever Pune thought, Uthappa has got a jackpot.

Rohit Sharma - $2 mn - The next big one. I thought comparing with others he quiet deserves this price. He is also lucky to play for his home team along with his hero Sachin. He has a great time in the previous IPLs (quite shocking that Deccan didn’t try to retain him and Gilchrist). Rohit again proved his worth in the match today, 53 of 34 balls.

Irfan Pathan - $1.9 mn – Much like Uthappa, Irfan also lost form and it has been long since he has been considered for the Indian team. He was not a big performer in the last IPL too. The only thing that might have gone his way was his previous records and the all-rounder tag. Delhi roped him, but the comedy is what followed. Preity Zinta says he her most favorite player in the Punjab team. Then why didn’t they try and retain him?

Pathan brothers have got much more than what they deserve for their current form!

Yuvraj Singh - $1.8 mn – After seeing the prices above, I feel pity for him. He is the best T20 batsman available today, except that he is not in form at the moment. How can one forget his majestic shots, when they remember Irfan’s. One difference is that Irfan isn’t playing and Yuvraj is playing. Anyway $1.8 mn isn’t that bad and I think Pune is lucky.

Saurabh Tiwary - $1.6 mn – He was the best young achiever of IPL3. He played superbly for Mumbai. But except that one series we didn’t see him. Based on that, I think he is hyped so much. Let’s hope this money doesn’t spoil the young Jharkand captain.

The top 6 players are Indians, but the next 9 players were foreigners. To me it appeared everyone were worthy for the money they were given, except for Dale Steyn. He is a good bowler for test matches. But is he a good T20 bowler that too in Indian pitches? Has Deccan chosen wisely? Chennai must have retained Muralidaran, he wished to be in Chennai and they should have preferred him for Vijay. It’s too late and Kochi has grabbed him for $1.1 mn.

The other shocks were Sreesanth - $0.9 mn, Piyush Chawla - $0.9 mn (Is he better than Ojha and Aswin), Abhishek Nayar - $0.8 mn, Umesh Yadav - $0.75 mn (I don’t even know who he is), Ashish Nehra - $0.85 mn.

Sangakara was given only $0.7 mn by Deccan. OMG! He is one of the best T20 players and a good wicket keeper. Is Dinesh Karthik ($0.9 mn) better than him? Deccan has hit a jackpot. Daniel Vettori went for only $0.55 mn. Again he is one of the best spinners on earth. More than that, he is very economical. He deserved better. Ojha, who got the purple cap last time, goes only for $0.5 mn. What does this mean? Deccan Chargers again lucky. It seems Deccan have got all good players at a very low price. Seems, this is the reason why they saved more than $2 mn at the end.

Deccan Chargers got Juan Theron for only $85000. How did Punjab forget his bowling? One of the best T20 bowlers ever. Again Deccan strikes gold.

As far as CSK are concerned, they made good choice retaining Dhoni, Raina and Morkel. But was Vijay the right bet? I think they should have gone for Murali or Aswin. Losing Murali to Kochi seems to be a big loss. But they did well to retain Aswin, Bollinger (considering his fellow Aussie bowlers, Bollinger should be happy with the $0.7 mn), and Badrinath. The highest bid Chennai made was for Badrinath ($0.85 mn). I think this was a fabulous move. This means that, rather depending on a star player, they are depending equally on everyone. It was good to retain Michael Hussey. The first new player, Chennai roped in was Scott Styris, the kiwi all-rounder. They also got Ben Hilfenhaus and Dwayne Bravo. Chennai tried to retain the older players whether they were big or small (it’s clear from retaining George Bailey and Joginder Sharma). They want to retain the team spirit. Hope this works.

The thought that came to me was if the retained players chose not to remain in their teams they would have gone to great heights. Mainly Sachin, Dhoni, Raina, Pollard, Sehwag deserve much better than their current prices. I think the teams will have internal solutions.

These auctions have occupied most of my day today. I have been reading a lot about it. I have been discussing a lot of it with my dad, brother and friends. Finally everyone points the same: the teams have been illogical.

I think that all the big priced players are going to flop and the lower priced players are going to shine, as usual!

Let’s see how it goes in IPL4.

Happy Reading!!!

January 5, 2011

A Post after a long time!

Hi Guys,

Wish you all a very Happy New Year! May 2011, be a successful one for everyone. Also, sorry for the belated wishes. I was in Chennai for a fortnight after my semester exams for In Plant Training in RD cell of an Automobile Industry. There are lot of experiences to share with, but with less time I think I will be able to share only a few things.

I have been to Chennai a lot of times, but this one was different. I have frequently visited the southern part of Chennai, since my brother was residing there. But this time I had to travel through the northern areas of Chennai and the localities were not as good as the southern side. It was completely contrasting. It was full of industries that emitted smoke all the time. There were many other experiences too. I'll try to share it in my upcoming posts.

Happy Reading!!!