Musing of a verbose mind. It borders on all that takes a skeptical and highly critical view of whatever is happening or has happened in our world..... do read it and post your comments..... discourse is welcome.....



Posted on Sunday, November 29, 2009 | By Gautam | In

Don't be evil!!!


Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 | By Gautam | In , , ,

Don't be evil.

But is it?!!

This is an adage by Google which has captured many imaginations. Whatever Google does invokes strong reactions. Its all over the place. Everyday. Literally. With a technology company which permeates deep into our everyday lives, such reactions are natural. All this is reminiscent of the Cold war era when the world was bipolar. It still is when it comes to information indexing and Google. There's Google which knows many things about you (for now. Eventually it'll be EVERYTHING!!!) viz. your search patterns (yes, they know what all porn sites you've visited). And there are governments across the world which need Google's help. So they're pretty much okay with the idea of Google invading your privacy (sorry EU guys, but you'll eventually bow in front of Google). And there are the privacy rights group who want all their searches. For free. And no invasion of the privacy. Breaking news guys- There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Gmail. Chrome browser (this neat piece of sexy code is a malware to put it mildly. Don't believe me? Well it sends all user data. Without the user knowing. Malware). Gtalk. Gtalk client. Google Docs. Wave. And now Chrome OS. Yes, the list is not exhaustive, but these are those nifty free codes which have come to define communication as we know it.

And Chrome OS is what is scary. Linux based. Light. Sexy graphics. Awesome. Free.


Coming back to why Chrome rings doomsday bells in my head. Its all of the above. Just imagine this- as such Google is snooping on all our mails (and hence the targeted ads on the right side), our chat, our search history (if it hadn't been porn, google wouldn't have been GOOGLE. Right? Wishful thinking.), a malware called Chrome browser, our online docs and now an OS which integrates all this and much more. What do we have? A hundred million network of bots which relay every bit of information they can lay their hands on to their master. And snooping becomes all too easy. Its centralised now. And we turn a blind eye to all this. Why? Ease of use. Governments around the world don't care much about the privacy of their citizens. Heck, they would do anything to know what's going on beneath the sheets. And Google gives them just the opportunity.

All the brouhaha created around the world as to how long these guys can retain information about people is a farce. The fact is that they have become a perfect tool of surveillance. Its fine tuning time. Google is ready to help Indian government with the UID project. Are they so philanthropic??! No. We all know how Google bowed down to the whims and fancies of the Chinese government. Or did they? Lets first capture the market guys. World domination is next!!! So much so for not being evil. Couple Google's indexing and storage capabilities with this fact- they are investing heavily into genetics. The genome project is already on its way. Scary? I thought so.

And this is really cool- Is Google the new NSA, CIA, Mosad, et all? If intelligence is what we are talking about, it is.

It has been a silent paradigm shift. They are monopolitive. Akin to a Microsoft. But unlike the seemingly bad guys at MS, the Google guys have managed to pitch themselves as a panacea.

Slavery ahead.....

PS: Don't block my services. This post was an aberration. Won't happen next time.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.....


Posted on Saturday, November 21, 2009 | By Gautam | In , ,

Tum nahi samjhogi Anjali, kuch kuch hota hai!!!

The said lines made an entire movie hall gasp into a helpless 'awww' and a few seconds later, applauds erupted out of nowhere. As someone ready to step into the teens, I watched the movie with excitement. Each scene presenting an extravaganza of emotions which though sublime made girls coo for SRK (Damn it! He scores every-time.). The grandeur of sartorial excesses (casuals only) made kids and teens alike crave for a certain Polo t-shirt brand. Yes, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is a case study in itself. The film is an institution. Its landmark cinema at its best. And not because any of the actors were able to pull a la Al Pachino. Even the director did something which in common parlance is attributed as a formula-film. No, Karan Johar did not pull off a signature Subhash Ghai. The story was a run off the mill love triangle (and the vox-populi dictated that Aman played by Salman-the-shirtless-khan as the one making the sacrifice. Touchy.). Screenplay, narration, cinematography- sufficient. So what makes this film an institution???

Aspirations. Yes, the aspirations of a middle class, waking up from a slumber of a don't-know-how-many-years. The film made a strong comment on the sartorial senses of how we'd wanted to dress all along. It gave us a sense of style. The C-O-O-L necklace went on to become a best seller within days. Friendship bands became a rage. The glares sported by SRK were nice. Skateboards. And the college life portrayed by Rahul and Anjali was simply awesome. Everyone now wanted to play basketball. Heck, I wanted my school to finish asap so that I could attend college which was..... cool!!! Yeah, and how can I not mention summer camp. Every demanding kid worth his/her salt wanted to go to a summer camp. Gah.

So how does all this make sense?? Well for one, the timing of the movie couldn't have been better. It had been 7 odd years since our markets had opened. We had finally started to appreciate the idea of a free market. Everything phoren was cool. It was a marketing blitzkrieg when KKHH released. I remember getting a box of Kellogs Chocos just because they gave away the music cassette of KKHH. And parents were shelling money on their kids (spoiling them :P) because their disposable income had risen. Sure Yashraj Films had already started with all such things, but KKHH proved to be the last straw to break the camel's neck!!! KKHH proved to be a tipping point of all sorts. And kudos to Karan Johar for that.

Here's to one of the greatest movies in Indian cinema in the words of Barney Stinson- It's Legendary!!!

Are we done with 2012???


Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 | By Gautam | In , , ,

Circa winter solstice of 2012 and the world is going to end. The Mayan calender says so. The Bible seems to indicate an Armageddon up the sleeves. Nostradamus warned us in advance. All the major religions have a hunch (so to say) that the end of the world is near (forgive my ignorance but why didn't Hindus have a doomsday prophecy?! Laggards.). Doomsday sayers are having a ball. And the world ends in a couple of years (too bad for all those dying virgin. My sympathies!). And yes, news channels never had it better. Aaj Tak, India TV (#fail), Star News and all those pseudo news channels who have nothing better to report lest the plunging hemline of Kareena being the cause of markets falling and how the planetary motion is going to screw my life. Every other disaster, major or minor alike, is being treated as a precursor to the END. And the ripped off scenes of 2012 is only adding to the titillation of masses gorging on these news(?) pieces.

The release of 2012- the movie is proving to be a tipping point of all sorts. Like the world ending and a pretty violent end at that. The reasons for the end are as varied as they come. From the earth's magnetic field changing its polarity to solar winds to the firing up of the Large Hadron Collider creating a mini black hole (isn't it exciting that according to some intelligent souls, we can now have our own black holes!). The director of the movie would have never thought how certain scenes he'd shot are going to be a part of news stories of sensational media often mistaken as news in India. Yes, that's what they are. Instead of reporting facts and giving us unbiased insights, a bunch of clowns under the pretext of journalism are feeding us crap. And being the nation of Bollywood crazies, we want our news to be sensational to say the least. Else, we're not interested.

The biggest grunt of mine with the sensational media (read news channels) stems from the fact that they're not discharging their duties as they're supposed to. Panic is the last thing they're supposed to create. But no, a panic struck person on the screen ranting about his ordeal is any-day good business. The real news can wait. How else does one classify the manner in which these clowns handled the Swine Flu panic in India, Pune in particular. The recent outing of Phyan and its just brushing Mumbai was covered with much enthusiasm. Felt like it was a star or something. People interviewed were happy (Look Mom, I'm on TV!!!). But it did jeopardise the fourth pillar as such.

The fact that the title of fourth pillar has been christened onto the news media (electronic and print alike) is an indication to the fact that how important it is to any democracy. They shape democracies. A strong media means that truth will find its way to the populace. Remember Deep Throat bringing about the eventual downfall of Nixon? It's that strong. But with great powers come great responsibilities. And this is what the current generation of rumour mongers (again read news channels) have forgotten. They want all the special concession they're entitled to, all the perks of being a journalist is what they want. But zero responsibility. And zero accountability too. Is this journalism? Sorry clowns, it ain't. And that's a breaking news. Period.

The way they are behaving with all the clippings of 2012 downloaded from YouTube (atleast get some HD footage) makes me sick. It also proves one thing. Their getting away with such reporting and masses hooked onto their pieces is an indication- we want to be titillated. And news is no exception.

Earth, Rest in Peace.

PS: All those virgins around, you might want to reconsider. Just in case.....

MBA is not for you if.....


Posted on Saturday, November 07, 2009 | By Gautam | In ,

MBA..... For the last few years it has become a glamorised degree, what with all those MBA grads minting money. It has come to a stage where it is considered a sort of a panacea, a cure for all societal ills, including getting a girlfriend!!! But is it as lucrative as it sounds? Perhaps for all those herders who run MBA collages(?) in a two room flat! But I'm not going to write about the industry it has become. No sir. This post will be aimed at all those who are aspiring to join a top notch b-school and land in a million dollar package. Well dreaming is good but living in an opium eaters paradise is a felony in itself (pun intended!!!). And since I've completed 75% of mine, I suppose I have the moral and intellectual right to comment on the rats ready to join the race. Here's a list of reasons why you should NOT join a B-school. Don't feel offended, don't take the post personally (even if you do, I'm not going to apologise. And don't even think about threatening me, my neighbour's dad is an SP). So here it goes. Read on.....

  1. You are poor with numbers. MBA is about number crunching, sirs. Don't worry if you aren't, the entrance exams will take care of it. You won't be able to clear the cut-off and the world will be saved!!!
  2. Your communication skills are poor to say the least. Sorry to break the bad news, but B -school is certainly not the place where one can improve per se. What makes you think that you did not work on it for the last 24 years of your existence and suddenly 2 years are going to change everything?!!
  3. A B-school is not a place to gain knowledge. Its where one learns the skills to apply what he/ she has known for so long.
  4. Common sense is not common in common people. MBA=Common sense. Henceforth the mango people are barred from all B-schools.
  5. If you are the toppers type who have only one goal in life- to study day and night and fuck the CGPA, I suggest get a life. MBA is not for those who can mug up entire dumps and puke it all over in the exam paper. Thou shalt be called CGPA chasers henceforth.
  6. There exists a glass ceiling for men. Accept the fact and move on. (If you are unable to comprehend the meaning of a glass ceiling, its pointless to read the rest of the post!!!).
  7. Make way for the pretty girls. A fair demographic mix of the sexes ensure a good batch. So all the male losers who did not make it, STOP WHINING.
  8. You must not be technologically challenged. If you find it tough to press a button on a computer because you're afraid the hard disk will come spinning off and behead you, its not true (the hard disk's got better things to do). And google what productivity tools like MS Office can do.
  9. All those people who have filthy rich parents and join a B-school in management quota to fool and screw around, better don't get your asses down. People like me and the CGPA chasers will make your life hell.
  10. You are a successfully unemployed graduate who feels that MBA is the shortest way to get a job, well its not. Its not a straight line joining two points. Period.
  11. All those who are committed, forget MBA. MBA kills all the romance (Snapshots from Hell).
  12. You are clueless as to how to use the net as a tool to generate (read ctrl+c, ctrl+v, plagiarism, et all) handsome reports and presentations.
  13. If you are the hard working guy. I cannot stress more on smart-work!!! (Gals, don't be offended but a hard working gal is a oxymoron).
  14. Girls, if you have run away from the sword of marriage looming on your head ready to strike any-time. You'll end up getting married anyways after two years. HAH. So please don't waste the seat. Use it judiciously.
  15. If you have the habit of getting your assignments done from your ass, err boyfriend. Start doing things on your own for a change.
  16. If you use unsuspecting testosterone laden men to get your work done!!!
  17. Stupid dumb men who would keep their assignments on the back-burner to honour the commitment of formatting the report of a beautiful damsel.
  18. If you don't booze. (#fail I'd say).
  19. If you cannot stop yourself from salivating at the mere sight of a girl because you never got the chance of studying in a co-ed!!!
  20. If you are already working and have no ambitions of growth in life (also the happily content types splurging their husband's salary). And don't give the peer pressure excuse. Grow up instead!!!
  21. What? You want me to write the 21st one too? Forget it. Get your own excuse!!!

If it wasn't for Pamela.....


Posted on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 | By Gautam | In ,

The Internet recently celebrated its 40th birthday. From being a niche research baby of the American Department of Defense and all those men who roamed about in a lab in white coats, the Internet has come a long way where the Google homepage has become a shrine, a page which is visited by the masses religiously. If Internet was a religion, Google would be its god, undoubtedly. I, for one, cannot imagine my life without a net connection (a high speed one for that matter). But a 40 year old spider's cobweb also brings with itself a whole lot of nostalgia. Some sweet memories of using the Internet in the cyber cafes still linger in my otherwise volatile memory.

Like millions of other kids, I too grew up in the post liberalization era. Cable TV was (and still is) a staple diet. Everything American was cool!!! And with all those movies playing out on Star Movies, the one's which showed that two computers could connect and communicate were watched with gaping sighs. And then it happened. Internet was ushered in my city in late 1998 in the form of those (in)famous cyber cafes which, time and again have been blamed for corrupting the minds of the impressionable youth (as if we ourselves don't want to get corrupted!!!). 

But back then, the Internet was the cool thing. It was obscenely expensive. Surfing rates were as high as 100 bucks/hour. Surfing speeds, if one was lucky enough, during peak hours would peak out at 10 odd kbps!!! Some speed there compared to todays easily accessible 1 Mbps networks. And since we'd have limited financial resources at our disposal, it usually required 4 people to pool in money to enjoy an hour's worth of drive on the information highway!!! 

But the major credit of attracting men towards the Internet was Pamela Anderson!!! Being the sex starved nation that we are, people would flock to the cafes to get a good look at her incredible anatomy. So you see, the Indian government should confer upon her some award for hooking an entire nation to a phenomenon. If Internet had a brand ambassador, Miss Anderson would be it. And its not as if this is true only for India. No sir. Its true for most of the world. The Internet's traffic, 80% of the precious bandwidth is still hogged by adult content (now don't expect me to put a link for that!!!). Also all those unknown hackers who have wrecked havoc should thank Miss Anderson as they would embed their malicious codes in her photographs and some unsuspecting lecherous prick would download it, just to find that their system is fucked!!! 

Only later did we realize that apart from all this, we could actually use the Internet for some good use. Like ripping off material from the net to make reports. MBAs would be doomed had there been no net. My acknowledgements read till date- I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude towards Larry Page and Sergei Bin without whom this report wouldn't have materialized. 

Here's for Pamela Anderson..... the Internet owes you much.   

PS: I hope I satisfied some souls there!!!