Saturday, November 26, 2005

Vikram, on TV?

One (dis)advantage of coming here to the US is that I get to watch reruns and reruns of old shows like Friends, Frasier, Raymond and the like. In all of these, I keep a watch for anything Indian (South Asian). Seinfeld had an Indian wedding and a Pakistani restauranteer, Simpsons had an Indian grocer, but there weren't many others.

But, I was watching Friends today, and Ross makes up a boyfriend for Phoebe to convince Mike that she has been in an long-term relationship before. And what is his name? Vikram! Or Vikram Mookherjee, as Phoebe calls him - a smooth-talking kite designer.

Nice. Any others you guys are aware of?

Friday, November 18, 2005

When'll this end?

See what this idiot has to say
I have sent a rebuttal to DH, will post a link to it if it gets published.

Well, DH didn't publish it - here goes:

I was aghast to read Mr. Krishna Prasad's letter, published in the Deccan Herald (DH, Friday, Nov 18th).
Doesn't Mr. Prasad realize that good roads that can handle traffic and that don't become lakes after an afternoon downpour are the right of everyone in the city (or in a village)? And that the IT chiefs whom he accuses of "frothing at the mouth" are as much citizens of this city as he is? And that they are infact doing what every self-respecting citizen of this city should be doing? Asking for their rights?
Since when has it become a crime to ask for your rights? Disparities occur in states not because companies ask for infrastructure in select pockets, but they occur because of lopsided governance. They occur because of an incompetent and corrupt government, and lackadaisical journalism that refuses to ask the right questions, and condemns people that do. So, don't blame the IT companies, Mr. Prasad, blame the government. Ask Dharam Singh why Bangalore became a lake. Ask Krishna, and above all, ask Deve Gowda why he has become such a roadblock to development.
The tirade against IT companies has gone on for too long. The IT sector is known for its high standards of corporate governance. They are paragons of efficiency in a country that cannot even lay a decent asphalted road. When will we come out of this crab mentality, and see the truth - that the IT sector is being targetted by vested interests, only to parade their pro-poor identities?
For heavens' sake, what the IT companies are voicing is the desire of every Bangalorean, be it a slum dweller or a mansion owner. In fact, who suffered more during the recent rains in Bangalore? And why did they suffer? Is it because of the "big, bad, frothing at the mouth" IT chiefs, or is it because of third-rate governance? Better roads, better electricity, better water are everyone's right. And that includes IT chiefs.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What Kapil knows...

Manmoron doesn't...

In particular, Kapil says:

"In other words, there is far more movement than there was earlier. But given the fact that travel time, essentially by road, is extremely slow and taxing, efficiency and manpower utilisation is shrinking.
It’s a vicious circle: if movement becomes difficult or cumbersome, there will be no growth. Suburbs around cities will come up but not get inhabited, there will be no investment and it will contribute to the overall slowdown of the economy. Rural areas will not develop and advance if people do not move. "

What a tragedy. My vote for Kapil, if he ever stands for election.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Educational Improvements

Many suggestions have been floated on how to improve our education system, particularly at the primary level. More teachers, teacher training, mid-day meals, even a law that punishes parents who don't send their kids to school.

Here is my suggestion. Incentivize parents to send their kids to school. Pay parents to send their children to school. The reason why parents don't send their kids to school is because they are only looking for short-term gains. Send the male child to work and you get a few rupees for either your dinner or your drink. Keep the girl child at home, and she'll help with the household chores. Now, there is an incentive to send the child to school - money. There are ways to make this scheme work. Pay more if the girl child is sent. Don't pay the parents in cash - instead, open a bank account, and provide access through the "fingerprint" ATMs that are being developed in India.

Critics of this plan will point out the revenue implications of this scheme. I don't think this scheme has any worse revenue implications than the "National Rural Employment Guarantee Act" that is being proposed. In fact, it should be more welcome as it is now possible to kill two birds with one stone - give money to the poorest of the poor, while letting their children get an education.

What says y'all?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Server market stats

According to IDC, Windows server shipments matched Unix server shipments for the first time ever, in terms of revenue. Interesting, eh?

See this link for more:

Flames, anyone? ;)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Published, at last!!!

Something I wrote finally got selected for publication as an Op-Ed in Indian Express:

Comments welcome, as usual.