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A Down Twitter is anyway better than a Thousand up Identi.ca

A Down Twitter is anyway better than a Thousand up Identi.ca

Well, there is strong reason to make such a bold statement as I made through the title of this post. Let’s start with breaking the news, if you already don’t know that twitter with small, little blue t was down for more than four hours today from around 2:20 pm GMT till 6:29Pm GMT. I was shocked. I was exasperated. I was worried. I was searching all over the Google for the answer, posting questions on Plurk (another micro-blogging site), asking people on identi.ca (yet another micro-blogging site) and Facebook, and updating my status message on Gtalk (which eventually pushed one friend of mine to ask me what happend). And the answer I got convinced me of the twitter’s status. I was sad, and was waiting to see twitter happening again – I am so hooked – but this is not the reason behind the pronouncement I made in the headline. I said so because of what happened when twitter failed. Twitter did not made me feel too bad – yes, it did for sometime, or rather till the time I did not search Google – because of the things I found. After failing to connect to twitter despite pressing F5 countless times, I searched Google with this phrase, “Is Twitter Down?”. And the result I got was as exciting and as minimalistic as twitter itself. The first link was to a website with a page title, “Is Twitter Down?” (URL: http://istwitterdown.com), which had just one word written Yes with big red Y (by the way, if you click it now, you will get no with big, bold, proud N as an answer). Although it confirmed my doubt, yet, it left me wondering, and I exclaimed, “What the heck!” and I went to the second organic link. The landing page on the other side of the link was more entertaining than twitter itself. The page tittle of the website read, “When Twitter is Down” (URL: http://whentwitterisdown.com). I decided to check, what happens when twitter is down, and you know what, I was welcomed by a cool twitter-like blue, less-than-140-character message. It was not the physical look of the message (aphorism) that made me so excited about the failed twitter, but it was the message itself. I later realize, the message was clickable, and on clicking the message, I got yet another message, equally entertaining, and I kicked off from there. The message was started with something like When Twitter is down, it’s probably because you used it wrong. And went on to When Twitter is down, something is technically fucked up. When Twitter is down, move on to the next thing When Twitter is...

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Is Google Becoming the New Microsoft?

Is Google Becoming the New Microsoft?

Google is launching its own operating system, Google Chrome OS. The news came yesterday directly from the horse’s mouth. This development is worth noticing. It might be the beginning of the end of Microsoft’s thirty years of domination in the operating system market. Or is it so? Can Google beat Microsoft in its own game? Everyone is raising toast and welcoming the presumed victory of Google Chrome OS over Microsoft Windows, but I am skeptic about this. Very skeptic about this! I do not believe the new goliath (Google) will beat the old goliath (Microsoft) in the OS Game. Reason? This is what I am going to talk about. Once upon a time, Microsoft was a beast that needed to be tamed. Macintosh failed, so did Linux, which anyway is not one operating system. It appeared then that Microsoft is not just the new black, but it’s the black that is going to color the whole world in its own color. And then came internet and entered into the arena two starry-eyed individuals from Stanford University with Google. The discussion again started revolving around the table, particularly when the Google with its pristine white homepage became a huge success. Year in, year out, Google kept on launching one after another successful products. Google seemed to have the Midas touch. Everything that Google touched, from blogger (acquired) to Gmail to YouTube (acquired) to Picasa to Google earth to what not, was becoming a huge success, and with each product-launch the discussion over the dominance heated up. The fairy tale The story so far seemed like a typical biblical tale: David slowly proceeding ahead with its crusade against the Goliath (Microsoft). But what everyone did not realize or pretended not to realize is this: Google registered almost all its success in the fields where there was no Microsoft or where Microsoft, the elephant sat on its laurels (obviously I am referring to Hotmail), and didn’t attempted to dance. Google did wonderful job in search market. Why? Because despite Bill gate’s prophecy about internet in his book, The Roads Ahead, Microsoft was not very serious about the Internet. Microsoft was too delighted with its Personal computer domination to think about the change in the paradigm. Like many other biggies, Microsoft also became too big to notice small but important changes around. Hotmail is one example: despite being arguably the first company to use e-mail and paperless office (as claimed by Mr. Gates in his aforementioned book), and despite having the first mover’s advantage, Gmail dethroned Hotmail in the game that Hotmail itself started. Why? Because Microsoft became too complacent to innovate. The company remained stuck into its...

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My Personal Memories of Michael Jackson

My Personal Memories of Michael Jackson

I never knew Michael Jackson, nor did I hear much of his songs (almost none), still I liked him (I am not sure why). And the news of his demise shook me. Like many of his fans, I too never thought he is a mortal, and couldn’t associate death with this Pop Icon. He is dead now, or is he? I am still finding it hard to believe. Was Michael Jackson a mere mortal like you and me? I find it hard to believe; rather I never thought that way. Like me, there are millions of people out there who never thought Mike is just another mortal. He was not. As written above, I was never big fan of his songs, but I was always in awe with his fairy-talesque life, of his rise to greatness and the numerous faltering in the way. But I still have my share of memories of Michael Jackson. I was a kid when I first heard about this (then living) legend. I heard people talking about him. Being from a small Indian Town of 80s, English songs and Hollywood movies were not something I was very much aware of. I was 6 or 7 then. The name, Michael Jackson, itself overwhelmed me with awe, though I knew nothing about him. It was the time, when there was no Internet, no cable television or FM radio, and in a small town finding an English audio album or a Hollywood (non-dub) movie was a luxury, but fortunately, after months (2 or 3 perhaps) of searching I found one of his album. I, somehow, managed some money to buy the audio cassette. I was not very excited, was just happy to find the prize I was looking for. I went home and played the song. You got me right, I did not understand even a single word; rather I was unable to figure out any single word midst the deafening beats. The music seemed noise to me. It was complete nuisance for me. I scolded (not really) myself for wasting money. On the second thought, I felt proud for having an English-songs album in my living room to show off to visiting friends, relatives and family friends. Despite the fact that none of them had any idea about English songs and Hollywood movies (even dubbed). They were ignorant of anything outside their immediate environment, and that included Hindi newspaper, All India Radio and DD1 news, along with other things. This was my first encounter with the legend. Either to understand Michael’s music or just because I studied in a good boarding school then, I started indulging in Hollywood movies, not really...

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DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography is an art or not? This debate should be left for the critics to fight and decide, whatever its final status comes to be, no one can deny the way photography has affected visual storytelling. Started with cave painting, visual storytelling has reached the masses, crossing the class boundary of fresco paintings and the time consuming process of the film cameras. Every device has a camera now, be it your computer, your cell phone or even your music players, and this revolution of film-less photo techniques of 21supst/sup century has truly democratized the art of visual storytelling. Gone are the days when someone had to be Caravaggio, da Vinci or Rembrandt to catch the essence of the moment and mesmerize the audience. With digital photography everyone is capable of capturing the moment and that too more precisely then did the great masters of yesteryears. Digital photography has changed everything, from the way we click images, the way we process images, the amount of pictures we take and share to the way we take notes. The impact of photography is so monumental that a section of post-modern art schools has stopped teaching their wards the art of drawing pictures; instead they are teaching the art of clicking pictures for preliminary...

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Thinking Media

Two things happened recently. One can be labelled important, while another should be called a piece of scrap. What’s important is the timing, how they coincided. I, just finished, Anderson Cooper’s, CNN foreign correspondent, book Dispatches from the edge and couple of days back got trapped into watching, Jugaad ki Jawaani on Aaj Tak, (had won many India’s best hindi news channel awards). The title was juicy and the program was devoid of any. Don’t take me wrong, though sometimes interested in other kind of juices as well; this time I was looking for something invigorating, something insightful but like every other time, it was sheer waste. Every now and then something will happen that calls for raising our perceptual defence even higher. And while cementing the boundaries up, a thought struck me, it came not as a sudden spark but it was sneaking slowly below the radar. I found it hiding in the crack formed by recent rampages, when I bent down to pick a brick in one hand while balancing cement mixture on the trowel in the other hand. The subject matter for the book and the program was all together different but difference was more in the treatment. Book was thoughtful, thought provoking, it’ll make you standstill and force you to think about several issues. It was a memoir; a firsthand experience of various calamities covered by the journalist in 2005 where as the program claimed to talk about benefit, risk and cost associated with cosmetic & plastic surgery by using imageries of Bollywood divas. Profound topic and quite a timely program, in this rapidly changing mindset of Indian urbane class, nothing can be more important to know. It can be a question of life and death for many. I don’t have any objection to its validity. My question is, after investing nerve-wrecking half- hour what new did we get to know? Was the sole object of the program was to inform which celebrity has got which part chiselled? Even if this was the objective, the program was way off mark. And why is it so with every program? Why every program ends similarly? Why substance is lacking from news business? Big names are big fuss. There are some real good names and worthy too in Indian media, likes of Karan Thapar, Vir Sanghavi, Kadambri. Today is the time for Barkha Dutts, who is seriously lacking in content. I read three of her articles and there was nothing cerebral about them, those were very myopic. If you happen to disagree with my claim, wait don’t trust me compare it yourself with their foreign counterpart and please don’t try to sell me...

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Fallacy of life and Permanency of a picture

Holding corpse in your hands is enough to kaput all the romantic notions of death. This was the lone experience I had of holding an about-to-speak-but-would-never-speak body of any being. The situation indeed was saddening but not less thought provoking, It left me thinking silently for hours (unlike me). The attempt to encapsulate the entire being, into one or rather series of pictures was equally heart-rending. Number of attempt were made to capture (I hope those will be successful) the essence of the being that was to be burned to ashes. She was wife of my father’s friend, the cremation ground was, Nigambodh Ghat and the perpetrator was AIIMS. Despite all the glaring news and reports of India’s economic growth and despite reels and reels of wastage on how India is faring, a medical institution as esteemed as AIIMS failed to save a not-so-valuable-to-them-but-valuable-to-her-family life of a patient suffering from mild form of Tuberculosis. It’s a simple case of crime amounting to the inculpable murder. Well, we all (Indians) are quite aware (rather more exposed to than aware of) of the defunct medical system. Every day we hear lot about such incidence, which indeed is not as glamorous as ‘prince’ falling in a well. After all, where is the money? I am not against profit making enterprise but I am surely against the entire corporate endeavor undertaken with profit-making motive. I do believe capitalistic socialism (or call it inclusive capitalism) is the cure to the evils of human race. Pure socialism didn’t work so did fail pure capitalism. I do believe, it is the profit making motive and competition in Indian media that has brought in light most of the issues relevant to common mass, which otherwise wouldn’t have seen light of the day. But why all the profit needed to be reaped from the advertisers? In other word why only and only advertising is the revenue source for media? And why all media (without any exception) has to depend on the advertising revenue for functioning? If this is the only way, then how will media make money, if there won’t be any advertising? This situation might not appear to be likely very soon but it is not at all improbable, and it will happen eventually. It’s not the case that there isn’t any other way to book profit, every media has potential to make profit by acting purely as pro-social rather than pro-profit or pro- advertiser or pro-market (whatever we wish to call it). It’s also not that companies are not practicing this. There are companies, though very few, likes of National Public Radio (NPR) and Wikimedia Foundation (owner of Wikipedia) practicing the...

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