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It has finally happened. In a cheeky and unique IPO, Google announced that it would seek to raise $2.7 billion in its IPO offering. Well to be more precise, it cheekily announced that the exact amount was going to be $2,718,281,828, which is well, $1 billion times the base of the natural logarithm. It announced that during the recent quarter (ending March 31, 2004), its revenue was $389.6 million and had a profit of $64 million. The business press clearly sees the frenzy and interest in Google's IPO as a once in a decade sort of theme, starting from Intel in the 70s to Microsoft in the 80s and finally Netscape in the 90s.
You read it here first while the folks who read The Hindu read it this morning in my letter to the editor.
The US Army comes under attack, not in Najaf or Fallujah, but at home on CBS' 60 Minutes II report on their story of abuse of Iraqi prisoners of war by American GIs.
Pervez Musharraf's announcement that Pakistan will be trimming its armed forces by around 50,000 in an attempt to trim the tail and arm the teeth is very obviously a farcical attempt at aiming to prove to the outside world that it is reducing its troops. In reality, the cuts would reduce the number of orderlies, cooks, personal staff and would in no way affect battle ready forces. It is really an attempt at modernizing the army by getting rid of antique traditions and instead the money saved would be most likely used to buy modern weaponry aimed at who else - India.
However, the excellent PR man that he is, Musharraf's moves would no doubt result in the US and other powers putting pressure on India to follow suit. Summer has nearly set in and the snow will start melting in the Kashmir peaks in a month or so. The timing is impeccable. While the world asks India to reduce its troops, especially in Jammu & Kashmir, more terrorists and Pakistani armymen will sneak into Kashmir. There have been militant attacks during political rallies virtually every day and just about every major Kashmiri politician has been the target, ranging from Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to his daughter to Faroukh Abdullah to Maqbool Dar to Omar Abdullah. The Indian government needs to bring this to the notice of the superpower who wants to poke his nose everywhere and who shall not be named. Israel's policy of targetted assasinations certainly must be worth thinking about in such a situation.
Ho hum. If its technology it has to be about Google's forthcoming IPO.
Perhaps there're some majorly misplaced priorities here. A survey indicates that more employees prefer using the internet for personal purposes at work as compared to a morning cuppa.
In an obvious attempt at domestic consumption, the NY Times has a report on how not all companies are happy when they outsource to India and end up running shop from the USA.
The horror tale of a Saudi Arabian television presenter on the BBC's Outlook programme.
Labels: jammu and kashmir
Yahoo! v/s Google is the flavour of the day/week/month/year.
Pakistan's madrassas are teaching computer and Web literacy as a way to gain respectability.
China's recent move against having direct elections to its territory, Hong Kong's legislature, is yet another indication that China will do its utmost to prevent any sort of democracy in its borders, well at least any sort of half-decent and functional democracy. Predictably, the US and the UK have condemned this. However, the riposte from China indicates that China is obviously not going to accept any interference in this issue. Contrast this with the way the US and UK approach Pakistan, which is about as much of a sham as a democracy as China is.
BBC Sport looks at some streaks which arent related to Australia winning all and sundry in cricket.
With Google on the verge of filing for an IPO, the NY Times looks at the high and the mighty who own some chunks of Google and on how Google continues to infuriate the investment fraternity.
Having been through this recently, I could empathise.
Stuart MacGill's decision to not tour Zimbabwe with the rest of the Australian squad is perhaps one of the first instances of a cricketer taking a stand on a moral issue. Previously cricketers have refrained from touring other countries, when a whole bunch of Kiwis refused to tour Pakistan last year or the likes of Croft (Robert, not Colin!) & Caddick refusing to tour India, citing security reasons. It shows that MacGill is one of the few cricketers who seems intelligent enough to have a viewpoint on the issue and go by his judgement. In contrast, many of his teammates are okay with touring Zimbabwe because they see themselves as cricketers and thus do not want to have anything to do with politics. Obviously they believe that sport is sport and politics is politics and the twain shall never meet, to paraphrase Kipling. As I've pointed out so many months ago here, nothing could be further from the truth. Sport has always been used as a means of enforcing a political viewpoint, whether it is to boycott a country or whether it is to (re)establish diplomatic relations. So how can the two be looked at in isolation?
It seems to me that very few cricketers nowadays seldom have a well-formed or educated opinion or seem intelligent enough to realize what is going on in the world beyond the boundary. Perhaps, they really ought to read CLR James or do any other sort of reading which opens up their minds. They should take positions on issues of importance, whether it is in improving the state of pitches or how to streamline domestic cricket or whether it is right to tour Pakistan etc. I think they're quite happy doing the playing and letting the media make its own judgement.
In case you're wondering whether this stance of mine contradicts my earlier positions on England refusing to tour Zimbabwe, I'd still say there's no contradiction. England is well within its rights to refuse to tour Zimbabwe on political, security or moral grounds. However the ECB forfeited the right to take a moral stand when it promised to tour Zimbabwe if Zimbabwe toured England last year. Mind you, this is the same Zimbabwe with who England refused to have any truck with and in fact forfeited its game in the World Cup at Harare. For monetary reasons, the ECB convinced the ZCU into sending Zimbabwe to England. Yet, when it comes to the ZCU making money, the ECB gets squirmy about playing in Zimbabwe?
CBS is copping a lot of flak for its investigative show aired yesterday about Princess Diana's death.
S Gurumurthy has a REALLY LONG rant on Sonia Gandhi becoming PM being a national disaster.
Thanks to the Acorn, I found this column by veteran journalist and MP, Kuldip Nayar on the blatant misuse of the Rajya Sabha by political parties.
Mr. Nayar just about touches on the solution I suggest - only Lok Sabha members must be allowed to become ministers or hold any offices of cabinet rank. Unfortunately, retrospectively applied, this means that Manmohan Singh would never have become a minister in 1991 or like Mr. Nayar says, Jaswant Singh or Pramod Mahajan in 1998. So be it. The fact that most of the members of the Rajya Sabha are elected by the MLAs obviously gives scope for misuse. Perhaps that is what needs to be modified. Maybe we could have the Rajya Sabha be constituted by industry bodies who would send in their nominees. That way industry could also be officially involved in national decisions, rather than lobbying which is what happens now. In addition we could have various persons in the fields of art, literature etc. also be nominated.
How fickle-minded are search engine users?
I read somewhere that since the Chinese government uses a very extensive proxy server & firewall system to censor, monitor and control Internet access, analysts call it the Great Firewall of China.
The BCCSL has written to the ICC about Chris Broad, the match referee who reported Murali for chucking, socializing and "boozing with Australian cricketers" during the recent series. The board claims that these actions of Broad's were in violation of ICC rules. I wonder if the BCCSL is doing this because boozing requires a certain degree of bending of the arm, which would obviously be illegal under ICC regulations.
In response to Shekhar Gupta's column in the Indian Express, I dashed off this email to him. Let's see if it draws a response.
Hi Mr Gupta
While I agree it is entirely plausible that political developments in India have been to a certain extent governed by their economic implications, I dont quite share your view that things will become better between India & Pakistan with contribution from this cricket tour.
To me, the bonhomie in the stands, off the field and at a political level, seen in this series is far from reality. The success of the tour is a brilliantly stage managed PR campaign by Musharraf & co. India played into his hands by accepting the tour, going ahead with it while conveying its security fears and now at the end of it all, we have the cricketers saying security was not a problem and that Pakistan was as safe a place as any other to play cricket in.
Now Musharraf, armed with India's verdict on Pakistan being safe, will feel extremely pleased and promptly announce himself as President and Army chief for life, in the national interest. He'll also look the other way when the snow melts and infiltration starts in J & K. The timing of the infiltration, and the obvious response from the Indian army, will coincide with his threat to not be party to the talks if Kashmir wasn't discussed in July. He'll make it appear as though its India's fault all the way. Meanwhile he'll continue to look the other way in Afghanistan even as Osama and al-Zawahiri continue their activities. To placate the US, once in a while he'll ensure some small fry local al-Qaeda/Taliban commander is captured. He'll then roll his fingers on his chair and say 'Musharraf khush hua!'
Ever wondered what the actual White House Presidential Daily Briefing just prior to the Sep 11, 2001 attacks looked like?
In the last half dozen years or so, there has been an increasing tendency for everyone and his dog to claim that a certain book/work of art/movie had derogatory references to religious, political or social leaders/dogmas etc. and instead of encouraging a debate, as you'd expect in a democracy, they go ahead with causing so much of a ruckus by destroying property or bad-mouthing the author/film maker/artist and demand the banning of the book/movie/whatever. Eventually the government, which seems to encourage extra-institutional censorship of this nature, steps in and in national interest, bans the work.
Yesterday, full-time Madhuri-Tabu fan, part-time painter and part-time film-maker Maqbool Fida Hussain announced that his just released movie Meenaxi: Tale of 3 cities will be withdrawn from theatres after a few Muslim organizations and know-it-alls had objected to the lyrics of a song which was used to describe the heroine's beauty, but in reality, according to the Quran, these lines described the Prophet's persona. The take, as usual, is that it affects the sentiments of the people/community. Who gave these people the right to decide what is right and what is wrong? MF Hussain is a Muslim himself. What is wrong with using creative verse to describe beauty, even if it interferes with someone's interpretation of religious works? Even worse, the film is a damp squib. So hardly anyone, barring the censor board [the official one] and these self-styled censors, would have even seen the movie/heard the songs. So the percentage of people whose sentiments would have been affected by seeing the movie is so ridiculously low. A few months ago, the goon Sena, attacked the Bhandarkar Institute in Pune, because there were derogatory remarks about Shivaji's parentage in a book written by James Laine. The Vanar Sena, has on earlier occasions, destroyed/threatened/forced bans on works by MF Hussain, movies by Deepa Mehta along with digging up pitches before Pakistan toured India for a cricket series.
However, it is not just artists who are affected. Around a couple of weeks ago, the various political parties got together and decided that opinion polls and exit polls, when conducted before elections, were a bad thing. They raised this issue with the Election Commission, which in its infinite wisdom, went with the parties, and agreed that opinion & exit polls affected the voters' perceptions to such a degree that the voter would either go with the tide & support the party which the opinion poll indicated to be the winner or the voters would vote en-masse for the underdog, the party which the opinion poll predicted wouldn't make it at the hustings. Thankfully, the Attorney General made it extremely clear to the Government and the EC that such a ban would be contrary to the right to freedom of speech, expression & information. The government (and Prasar Bharati) has hopefully noted the difference between this situation and the farcical situation of a month or so ago when TEN Sports was armtwisted into sharing the telecast rights with Doordarshan. Yogendra Yadav, from the Centre for Study of Developing Societies makes a wonderful statistics based case for not banning these polls. The irony is that this is in fact the second time such a request from the EC has been struck down.
This Indian team continues to improve with every series. Yesterday's win at Rawalpindi sealed India's first ever test series win in Pakistan (obviously, considering this was the first time we won a test there) and a series win abroad after 10 years (obviously you dont count the one test against Bangladesh!). To someone like me who grew up watching Miandad's six at Sharjah, Aaqib's hat-trick, Imran & Wasim toying with Indian batsmen while Anwar, Malik did the same with Indian bowlers, playing Pakistan and losing to them (except at World Cups!) seemed to instill a psychological block in Indian cricket. That bogey has now finally disappeared. Perhaps it was a good idea not to play Pakistan so frequently in the recent past.
The team building which started somewhere around 2000, when Ganguly took over as captain following the sudden resignation of Tendulkar, has resulted in a situation where there're more expectations from this team in every series. If drawing in Australia was an achievement, what was really wonderful was the fact that the team believed that they'd underachieved and that a win in Australia was in fact possible. You can put this new philosophy/attitude down to many factors: the abundance of talent (just about every youngster takes his chances - Yuvraj, Sehwag, Chopra, Harbhajan, Irfan, Balaji etc.), a very good work ethic and fitness regime enforced by Wright, Andrew Leipus, Greg King (and Le Roux earlier) and most importantly, the will to hang in there regardless of the situation and play the percentages, take care of the process rather than bother too much about the end result.
Ganguly's role in the transformation of this Indian team from perennial under-achievers to being able to compete on par with the best of the world, under any conditions, cannot be understated. When he took over, Indian cricket was pretty much at a crisis point. The match-fixing episode had just broken out and excellent players like Azhar, Jadeja & Mongia were besmirched by it. Tendulkar resigned in a huff, following a series defeat to South Africa. Ganguly had to then rebuild the side and his single biggest contribution to Indian cricket will be the way he backed talented youngsters who were willing to give it everything, rather than cast them away after a few failures. Undoubtedly Ganguly's personal experience of the 1991/92 tour to Australia, where he hardly played a game and wasn't anywhere near the national side until 1996, affected him and he didn't want this situation to occur with other youngsters. Ganguly's abrasive and aggressive nature was never going to endear himself to former cricketers or even the media. But as the results started trickling in, the attitude towards Ganguly's nature changed and he is now a cult hero all across India, not just in Calcutta. Ganguly's only weak point is that his batting is not as consistently good as it used to be. Obviously India can do without a situation like Australia faced in 1997/98 when Taylor was in the side purely for his captaincy without being much of a rungetter.
Tendulkar's metamorphosis from the perennial one-man army to finally having the pressures lifted off his shoulders has come about because of the coming together of Indian cricket's possibly all-time best middle order. Strangely though, he seems to play with even less freedom than earlier. Maybe there's a volcano waiting to explode later this year during the two big series against South Africa and Australia at home. There'd be a case for a middle-order of Amarnath, Vishwanath, Vengsarkar, Shastri or Amarnath, Azharuddin, Vengsarkar, Shastri or Manjrekar, Tendulkar, Azharuddin, Kapil also being a fearsome one to contend with. But the fact is that these lineups have come nowhere close to what Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman & Ganguly have achieved. It is similar to the situation Australia faced throughout the 1970s when they had the 2 Chappells, Marsh, Lillee & Thommo and West Indies through the 1980s when they had an awesome batting line up as well as the best ever bowling lineup. More recently, Australia's middle-order lineup of Ponting and the Waugh twins with bowlers of the quality of McGrath, Gillespie and Warne, evoked a feeling of awe amongst opponents and spectators.
Dravid's evolution from perennial second-best/bridesmaid but never the bride to being the fulcrum of the Indian team has played a huge role in taking the load off Tendulkar as well as providing the team with enough runs & solidity to think of victories abroad. In all of India's historic wins in the last 3-4 years, he has played a part, with the exception of the Multan test. His 180 at Calcutta was completely and unfairly forgotten in comparison with Laxman's 281 special but his 148 at Leeds, the 233 & 72 notout at Adelaide and the 270 at Rawalpindi finally mean that he has earned the right to be called India's best batsman. Add in his 4 centuries on a trot in 2002, his brilliant slip fielding and the fact that he is now the Indian wicket opponents covet most, there is an obvious gem we're looking at. Certainly he'd rank in India's top 4 batsmen of the last 50 years, the others being Gavaskar, Vishwanath and Tendulkar. Its difficult to compare these people with former greats like Hazare, Merchant or even CK Nayudu, so lets not even bother.
Someone like Laxman makes batting look so ridiculously easy. If Dravid has been at the epicentre of almost every Indian win in the recent past, can Laxman be far behind? These two have become twin-scourges for opposing captains and bowlers, the world over. They do the good cop-bad cop routine to perfection. One grinds the bowling down and forces them to bowl to his strengths while the other doesn't care if the ball is on/outside offstump and caresses it to midwicket or cover. He has the brilliant ability to make a pitch look far better for batting than it actually is and that is a wonderful quality to have because it instantly takes the pressure off the rest of the batsmen.
Sehwag's recent rise from unknown & risk associated quantity as an opener to being a batsman feared by opponents for the way he can set the pace in a test or onedayer (they mean the same to him anyway. In a onedayer you have 50 overs to play with, in a test there's no limit - thats the only difference). His century at Trent Bridge was a superb display of disciplined batting in the first session and then he cut loose. His knock at Melbourne was similar too but at Multan, he went for his shots from the start. His method is very straightforward - see ball, ball in the slot and begging to be hit? Ok hit and oblige. I hope his partnership with Chopra isnt sacrificed to include chaps like Yuvraj/Kaif because it has been a very successful one. Chopra is bound to start getting the big scores one day and Ganguly must persist with him, the same way he has backed so many other younger players.
India's weak link in the recent past has been the bowling. Harbhajan seems to be living in the glory of 2001 while Zaheer hardly ever seems fit, Agarkar and Nehra are either unfit or inconsistent ... or both! There's thus so much of an opportunity for Balaji and Pathan, who've improved tremendously since the Australia tour, to cement their places and question the automatic right of Zaheer, Agarkar or Nehra to be included when fit. Kumble's presence has made so much of a difference to the bowling. You cannot miss out on the experienced seen-it-all head he offers. You cannot argue with nearly 400 wickets in 84 tests. His best days are certainly not past him.
What India does need now is a better way to manage, detect and prevent the frequent injuries which're afflicting the bowling resources. If it means that bowlers will not play in every mom & pop one-day game, so be it. If it means that they can be included in a test or onedayer only after they've proved their fitness in a domestic/warm-up game, so be it. Not too many teams do well after losing their first choice bowling attack, as India did in Australia and Pakistan. Then again, not too many teams are Team India.
However, India's incident free tour of Pakistan has provided Pervez Musharraf with a great opportunity to tell everyone that Pakistan is a nice place to be in. As I mentioned in an earlier piece, the bonhomie is extremely artificial and in my opinion (the same as that expressed in September 2003), Pakistan remains a dangerous place. Now we can all look forward to Musharraf arm-twisting the new Indian government, firmly seating himself as President and army chief, continuing to deny Pakistan's hand in nuclear proliferation or terrorism, getting aid from the US for his assistance in Afghanistan, the same place where he stage manages skirmishes or attacks to make it appear as though top al-Qaeda members are nearly caught and letting Osama and al-Zawahiri escape while catching some small fry to satisfy the US. Advantage Musharraf, yet again!
Google's GMail continues to a big discussion in the tech community. Here're two views, he likes it and he finds some accessibility issues.
Abhimanyu Acharya tells us how to say no at the workplace.
Is Amazon building a competitor to add to the search wars between Yahoo!, Google & Microsoft?
Link of the day
Have you ever, most likely during work, sent a help request email to a huge mass of people hoping that at least one of them will reply? Well chances are the trick didnt work. Greg Barron and Eldad Yechiam from Harvard Business School have studied this and come to conclusions on why this never works.
Time Asia profiles the Indian diamond cutting & polishing industry.
Triple centuries suddenly seem dime-a-dozen nowadays. 8 out of the 19 triple centuries scored in tests have been made post 1990, 4 of those 8 were made post 2000. Is it an indication about the lack of quality bowling nowadays that everyone and his dog manages to make a triple ton? Consider this. Of the current players, Lara and Tendulkar are in a race to get to 10000 runs, with Lara well in front now on the back of his amazing quadruple ton, the first ever in test cricket. In fact Lara is now exactly 400 runs ahead of Tendulkar. Amazingly enough, both of Lara's triple centuries came at St. John's, Antigua, just as both of Bradman's triple centuries came at Leeds. England's Thorpe is the only English player who was chasing leather on both occasions, including when Lara broke Sir Garfield Sobers' mark of 365 nearly a decade ago. In fact Lara himself is the other player who played in both the tests with Shivnarine Chanderpaul missing out narrowly after he was dropped for this game. Spookily enough, umpire Darrell Hair has been an umpire in both these tests! Anyway, back to the topic: when you leave those two aside, there're no batsmen who've made more than 7000 runs. There're very few current batsmen who've made even 6000 runs. The only ones who have are Inzamam (6890), Dravid (6595) [both as of end of the first day at Rawalpindi] & Ponting (6019). Kallis and Thorpe are just short of 6000 runs.
The quality of bowling, especially in the last half a dozen years or so with the retirements/waning of Ambrose, Walsh, Donald, Wasim, Waqar, Warne, Kumble etc. has been at an all-time low. Yet how do you explain the fact that there're hardly any batsmen who've made more than 6000 runs. All of these batsmen made their debuts sometime in the last decade (Inzamam in 1992 is the earliest of the lot while Kallis & Ponting would be the latest debutants).
The now declassified full text of the intelligence briefing of 6 August 2001, prepared for US President George Bush, concerning al-Qaeda threat to the United States.
Forbes Magazine profiles Google's GMail
Jesus Christ must have had it extremely easy in life. He definitely never wrote any exams, because as you'd definitely have known by now, Jesus never fails. He never worked in any company. Why else would he opt to resurrect himself on a Sunday rather than on a Monday and let go the opportunity to provide us all with a really nice & long weekend. Imagine having Friday and Monday off. Life'd be so good. If we go by gospels and other such works, Pontius Pilate refused to condemn Jesus, but was forced to execute him by a hysterical Jewish crowd. The crucification happened on Friday. So that's why we have a long weekend. If only Monday were a holiday as well ...
As an aside, did you know that the word excruciating originated from crucification because crucification was supposed to be so painful?
Things seem to be going downhill for team India. A team, which for the last couple of years, has seemed to look like India's best and most united ever team, is bound to feel the strain when there're rumours of dropping one half of a well settled opening pair to accomodate a replacement who has played very well in the two tests so far. Akash Chopra has done little wrong so far in his career, starting from the series v New Zealand at home, on the Australian tour, till the first test at Multan. He failed in both innings at Lahore. Yuvraj Singh has also done little wrong in this series with a brilliant counter-attacking century at Lahore. With Ganguly declaring himself fit (should he have done that?) for Rawalpindi, it's now down to who will be axed from the side to accomodate the skipper. Will it be Chopra, Yuvraj or Laxman, if the rumours are true? If Chopra is axed, who will open the batting? The Indian team can do without all such innuendo before a critical test match. In my opinion, Yuvraj should sit out. He was a replacement for Ganguly. Ganguly's return implies he takes his batting slot and so Yuvraj must be 12th man. I agree he is a very good batsman who seems in great form. But you must pick your best 2 best openers, 4 best middle-order batsmen, best keeper and 4 best bowlers. Yuvraj's time will come, for now, he must be on the bench. Akash Chopra's mistake so far has been in not converting his 40s into centuries. If he had, then there'd be no talk of him being left out. Leaving out Laxman, who is one of the most likely batsmen to win you a test, would also be nonsensical. Remember, he was playing horribly in the early part of the one-dayers but when he turned it on in the last game, there was no stopping his show.
Well it doesn't entirely concern cricket, but Mathew Engel edits the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. This is a lecture he gave at the Centre for Journalism Studies.
Several questions related to privacy have been raised regarding's Google's Gmail announcement a few days ago. Several privacy advocacy groups and individuals have sent an open letter to Larry Page and Sergei Brin, the co-founders of Google.
Link of the day
Is your luck related to the month in which you were born? That is what this experiment aims to achieve.
The US Presidential campaign is providing a great opportunity for talk show/late night show hosts to poke fun at the candidates. Jay Leno takes a barb at John Kerry's wife Teresa Heinz, who is reportedly worth $500 million: John Kerry may be the first Democrat in US history to raise $50 million in his campaign. Actually he raised $500 million in just a second, he said 'I do'. Leno also came up with this: John Kerry accused President Bush of catering to the rich, as opposed to John Kerry who just marries them.
Business & Technology
Keith Hammonds on how Wipro's transformation in the last decade from being a FMCG to being a software giant is an indicator of how India is moving.
If you've ever doubted the veracity of claims by Indian philosophers, historians or the Hindutva brigade that ancient Indian mathematicians and philosophers invented/discovered virtually everything that is claimed to have been done by the Arabs or European mathematicians/astronomers etc, you should have been in my place on Sunday morning. As part of a religious ceremony, I was asked by the sastrigal to recite the Gayatri Mantra for as long as the various priests present displayed their knowledge of the few million mantras which exist in the scriptures. I have never really been a non-believer with regards to the achievements of the ancient Indian astronomers, mathematicians and life-science specialists. However, given the number of times I ended up reciting the mantra, I was forced to concede that I had seen the light and that it was indeed the ancient Indian mathematicians and philosophers who came up with the concept of infinity.
Amongst the mantras uttered were ones which beseeched Lord Indra to bless us with sons and grandsons to carry forth my ancestors' lineage. Given the advanced pre-natal scanning techniques available nowadays, I wonder if we'd be refunded the cost of the religious ceremonies along with a hardship cost for sitting at the altar, having had very little sleep in the last couple of days, if and when we did have a daugher rather than a son. If Lord Indra was happy with our prayers and he did bless us with a son, I plan to name him Indra. Indra, being the Rain God, is typically feted bigtime in Madras where there's an acute water scarcity. I hope I can buy him a toy elephant and toy horse and call them Airavata and Ucchaisravas. I hope he'd not end up having 1000 eyes as the original Indra did (or is it does?).
Google's plans to launch its email product GMail could be seriously jeapordised if a British investment research house has its way.
Link of the day
The longest single word (unhyphenated) .com domain name in the world.
Technology & Business
Apparently Microsoft chief Bill Gates said his computer wrote it when he was asked during the anti-trust trial if a certain incriminating mail sent from his email address firstname.lastname@example.org wasn't written by him!
Movies & Music
Fairly well known site, but decided to blog this officially. Indian inspired film songs is a very interesting place where you could possibly find out which song a new ad/movie song has been inspired by.
Harsha Bhogle writes in the Indian Express about India's win at Multan about India's performers and about how typically Pakistan play cricket in Brownian motion.
A historic win at Multan, built around Sehwag's triple-century, the first ever for India in Pakistan, is hopefully only the starting phase of the upward movement of the Indian side. The aim must be to get to the #2 slot, currently occupied by South Africa, within the next year. Between August 2003 and now, Australia's rating has gone down by 2 points, South Africa's by 7 and New Zealand's by 6 points while India's rating has increased by 7 points. South Africa are currently on 112 points and in 2nd place. The difference, as of yesterday, between India and South Africa was 12 points. Surely it will not be improbable to continue the improvement and defeat South Africa and Australia at home, along with a win over Bangladesh. Considering that South Africa defeated India on its last tour here, a win for India would result in a substantial points increase. However, what must happen first is to continue the winning ways and win the series, without losing any of the next two tests. On quite a few occasions, India has let slip 1-0 leads or hasnt been able to maintain the momentum after a win. In the West Indies, India lost 2-1 from being 1-0 up and 3 tests to go. In England, the team picked itself up from the 2nd test and won the third but could only draw the final test. In Australia we let slip a 1-0 lead, handed Australia the 3rd test, did all the running in the final test but couldn't nail down the series win.
Google has announced the launch of its email product, called gmail. I really like their logo where they juxtapose the M in mail to make it look like an envelope. Gmail claims to offer users huge mailboxes and better mail search.
Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has riled India for the second time in a month with his statement yesterday that he'd no longer be party to the peace process if there is no progress in Indo-Pak talks on the issue of Kashmir. While Pakistani officials deny it, this is what he exactly said: The foreign ministers will meet in July-August. If we don't move forward, I am not in the process. Earlier during a videoconference address during the India Today conclave, he had insisted that Kashmir was the central issue. Effectively his argument during the conclave called for both sides putting all ideas on the table and then rejecting those that do not find favour with one side or the other. While this sounds extremely sensible and sane, it'd mean that you'd have a clean table halfway through the discussion, because, in my opinion, the intersection of Pakistani and Indian thoughts on the peace process is a null set. Musharraf's bellicose sabre-rattling may be born out of domestic compulsions, especially as it comes in the wake of the military offensive in Waziristan against suspected Al-Qaeda militants and commanders. However, he is smart enough to recognize that the Indian government had committed itself to the peace process the moment the NDA/BJP started shouting from the rooftops that they were responsible for the thaw in relations, which led to the feel good factor. Now the BJP/NDA cannot force the government to backtrack on the peace process, neither can the government stay mum because clearly it has to react to Musharraf's recent diatribes. Effectively, its advantage Musharraf now!
Here are the top 10 April Fool's day hoaxes of all time and a chronological index of April Fool's day hoaxes.
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