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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Now using Opera 8.5

With much despair, I admit I am now using Opera's latest (free of ads) offering, version 8.5. While I still maintain that Firefox is a better option (as I maintain with the button on this page), I just wanted to see what the fuss was all about.
For one, Opera does not have a rich text editor (hence, this post is also being typed without it and am not sure what font would be displayed on the page). Second, the number of extensions that are available are too few and an even fewer number of these is of any use to a power user.
RSS feeds are received a la e-mail and this can be quite cumbersome instead of having something like the InfoRSS reader I had in Firefox.
The look-and-feel of Opera, though, is far superior as is the functionality. The added integration of an e-mail client also helps (but this can be a negative since one crash crashes it all).
If you are the adventurous types, give it a whirl. Else, stick to FF.

@ Mozilla: I think it's time you guys cured the security flaws that have been cropping up. Else, I (and many others) can learn to live without a rich text editor!

p.s.: Sorry, can't link to anything using this. I am also too lazy to type the entire line of code just to link you to InfoRSS ( or the Opera download page (

posted by Scribbler @ 12:01 am |

Monday, September 26, 2005

It's here! The blogging handbook for dissidents

The blogging handbook is finally here!
Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) has launched "
Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents".
RSF, it seems
has "produced this handbook to help them [reporters in countries where the mainstream media is censored], with handy tips and technical advice on how to to remain anonymous and to get round censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation. It also explains how to set up and make the most of a blog, to publicise it (getting it picked up efficiently by search-engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles.
Noble attempt. I have just downloaded this and will attempt to know if I am indeed one of 'them' and if the book is of any use to me. The PDF can be downloaded.
Also on TECH

posted by Scribbler @ 1:40 am |

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Free Ads for celebs?

Even I want this! Just because she has two flats of about 1300 sq ft each allows DNA to place an ad for her on their front page? they may as well have labelled it 'For Sale: Aishwarya Rai's flats'.

This is just getting out of hand!

posted by Scribbler @ 12:10 am |

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Isn't that a shame?

Cricket in India is now the same as politics. Because of this.
And if the events (like this and this) of the last few days are anything to go by, it's quite a shame. I have a couple of theories...
Saurav Ganguly chose to announce how he was being mishandled by the new coach bang in the middle of a Test match. Soon enough, this dispute is resolved (no matter how farcically).
The elections for the Indian board president's post are coming up. And then this: The cricket board today said that its annual general meeting will not take place unless all court procedures were completed.
Now how in the name of W G Grace are these two connected you ask... fair question!
The timing (as has always been the case with Ganguly's batting) was perfect. Ganguly announces how a foreigner coach has mishandled him and then apparently reconciles (despite the real story being to the contrary). Soon enough, Dalmiya realises he might lose control over the BCCI if Sharad Pawar were to compete since his dummy candidate (aka the current Pres.) is neither too ambitious nor conniving. Bummer!
So he tries to build this sympathy wave (Aamar Bangla!) and has now actually gone about and gotten this election postponed. Hmmm... far-fetched? Let me know and we'll debate!
All these guys are just playing the Indian fans more than the game, I say.

posted by Scribbler @ 6:00 am |


For long I have pondered over why the Internet crashed back in 2000. And only one reason comes to mind: Free stuff.
Just too much of this was being peddled about then and at a time when none of the online entities could afford to do so. By no means am I suggesting that they can afford it now, but one would safely assume that it's fiscally much better now than five years ago. But was it so bad?
Here's some stats:
In 1999, there were 2,161 initial VC financings of start-ups, and 40 percent of those are still alive and kicking (private and independent), with only 32 percent out of business. Rounding out the rest, 3 percent are publicly held, and 25 percent acquired or merged. In 2000, there were 2,680 financings, and 47 percent are still alive and kicking, with 34 percent out of business, one percent publicly traded, and 18 percent acquired or merged. [Via] [Also this]
Compared with back then, it's not so grim but my fear is that if this appetite for free stuff is whetted any further, the scenario cannot get much better. Look at Google... they made their money in the stock market and honestly may not need to have regular income for a long time anymore (of course, I'm exaggerating!). But (all of) what they offer is primarily free and with their kind of portfolio, there's very little chance for any competition.
At the other end of this spectrum is Microsoft who charge for every little thing. For once, I might be inclined to to think that this, in the longer run, might be better for budding corporates and the user. Why?
Because Google is free, we can't really ask (unless you are an investor) whether they really are collecting all the information people claim about. With MS, you can always demand an explanation. In Google's case, because of the free stuff, all the 'Beta' versions they release are acceptable. For MS, they need to come out with a finished version sooner rather than later. But does this in any way mean that MS is helping the advancement of personal computing any more than Google? But then, they are both in different domains; somewhat!
Coming back to the point, my feeling is that if this continues (and it will) from the bigwigs, there's no way the smaller guys can not do the same. In the bargain, and looking at Google's overvalued stock, another bust could happen. When? I don't know. If I did, I could make a lot of money off some stocks!

posted by Scribbler @ 5:34 am |

Sunday, September 18, 2005

That's an ace!

Now, I totally dig this chick and like the author of this article rightly says, "if she plays like she talks, we are in for a feast".

Another word: To all the groups who think it's necessary to police what she wears and does, shut up.

This one on Sepia Mutiny is a good 'un too!

posted by Scribbler @ 10:31 pm |

New Blogging Software

RocketPost, a new blogging software developed by Manish Vij of Sepia Mutiny is perhaps the only one I know of that allows such ease of use and convenience in posting and managing multiple blogs.
If you are a compulsive blogger and have different blogs for different purposes, this is a godsend. one good thing is the possibility to write offline and upload all at a go (a la POP mail). Some bugs need straightening out but this is something that can only happen on an ongoing basis. I would strongly urge anyone who blogs to get it (full version 30-day trial free).

If you’re an active commenter here or have donated to the blog before today, email me and I’ll hook you up with a free copy. Otherwise, it’s totally free if you use Blogger. It also works with Movable Type and WordPress, and TypePad is coming soon. It’s Windows only for now, but we’re looking for a good Mac developer.

It's a touch expensive, but please him and he may just give it for free! (Don't say I sent you!).

posted by Scribbler @ 5:14 am |


It's not just out of compulsion that I write this, but I have some points to ponder over.

Ever since the tragedy struck, there has been an outpouring of help from all parts of the world. The recent debate about remarks by some US bloggers about India sending aid notwithstanding, fact remains that Indian bloggers (Dina Mehta for one) and the blogging community on the whole has had a huge part to play.

Even a corporate the size of Microsoft set up Katrina Safe and helped the victims. But the one dampener in all this was the PayPal issue where the founder of the Something Awful site had to refund almost $28,000 because PayPal could not donate to Red Cross. What a shame.

Technology, though, did play its part right from blogging to Skype and was heartening to see that it's not just for entertainment that the Internet and its armchair activists exist. This, of course was amply visible during last year's Tsunami. Good show.

posted by Scribbler @ 4:49 am |

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Human Zoo

These Poms are real nuts!
Late last month (Aug 25, I think), they had this exhibit where humans were placed at the world famous Bear Mountain in a cage as if animals in a zoo.

The 'invitation' for participation put up on the ZSL site read as follows:
Do you fancy showing off at the Zoo?
We are currently looking for individuals who would like to take part in a unique event.
The August Bank holiday will welcome an extra special exhibit to London Zoo as a flock of Homo sapiens gather on the world famous Bear Mountain.
Presented to the public with only fig leaves to protect their modesty, the humans will become an important feature of zoo life as they are cared for by our experienced keepers and kept entertained through various forms of enrichment.
The four day event aims to demonstrate the basic nature of man as an animal and examine the impact that Homo sapiens have on the rest of the animal kingdom.
If you would like to take part in this exciting new exhibit fill in the form below and tell us, in 50 words or less: Why do you want to take part in ‘The Human Zoo’?
Apparently, "The four day event aims to demonstrate the basic nature of man as an animal and examine the impact that Homo sapiens have on the rest of the animal kingdom."
Has this also happened elsewhere? Wonder what it would be like to have this in Mumbai or Delhi!
Reports about it on Yahoo! and Ananova. Also on the Beeb Online!
Here's a photogallery too!

posted by Scribbler @ 6:10 am |

Monday, September 05, 2005

Carpooling in Mumbai

Basic as the idea may sound, this is truly a first-of-its-kind effort in this city. Also, the use of technology is mind-boggling and I feel this can actually work.
Check it out here (C*S*F) and then go sign up (@ Patang!).
I already have!

posted by Scribbler @ 9:30 pm |

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