Archive > February 2008

Writer Sujatha (a) S. Rangarajan, has passed away

Ashwin » 28 February 2008 » In General » Comments

One of the versatile and forward-thinking tamil writers, Sujatha, has passed away last night.  I like him very much, especially for his science fictions and short stories.  He has made his mark in the Tamil Cinema industry too, with his screenplays.  An engineer by profession, he has facilitated the reach of technology to the common man, through his writings.

Tamil Nadu will surely miss you Sir.  RIP!

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My views on Yahoo! Buzz

Ashwin » 27 February 2008 » In Web 2.0 » Comments

I spent close to 30 minutes this morning on Yahoo! Buzz, to get an idea on what it has to offer me.  Emulating the Digg model, Yahoo! Buzz tries to mashup popular news from different parts of the world.  Ranking is based on the popularity of the news item, assigned by the readers.

Seems to be a good Web 2.0 application!  But, coming from the ‘Google Reader World’, I was able to notice a few things that begs for improvment.

 ”more>” is more messy

First one is about the “more>” link on a new item.  I found out that clicking on the “more>” link reloads the entire page.  Also, on clicking the “more>” link displays only a little more information, that what you see at the onset.   For instance, I saw the following info about a news item at the onset - “China, with the help of state-controlled news agencies, can sometimes pull one over on the people.”.  On clicking the “more>” link, I could see the following - “China, with the help of state-controlled news agencies, can sometimes pull one over on the people. But not this time—pesky environmentalists and photography nerds have exposed a fake photo published by the Chinese media, leading to a rare apology.”  You can notice that the entire page reloads on clicking “more>”, just to achieve the following - i) one more line on the news item, ii) updating the bottom section with related news.  Instead, I would love to see the news section, for the corresponding item expand with the elaborate news (as against reloading the entire page), in ‘Google Reader Style’, from where the user can go (if necessary) to the real news item in the appropriate page.

Enhance the filter criteria…

Right now, the filter criteria under a particular category is time based.  One will be able to filter news based on hours, days, months etc.  This can be improved, to provide context based filter criteria.  For instance, under the “World” category, a filter criteria based on regions or major countries would be appreciated by international readers.

These were the couple of things that came to my mind.  Add your views on Yahoo! Buzz, as a comment to this post.

Overall, I loved Yahoo! Buzz and waiting to see the toppings, that Yahoo! plans to add :)

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Tags: Yahoo! Buzz

Is this really warranted?

Ashwin » 22 February 2008 » In Uncategorized » Comments

Everyone of us are already aware of big money, that is attached to the game of cricket.  But it has come into the limelight, with the bidding of players for the IPL.

With an average cost of about $5,000,000 for the players in a team, the total player cost for all 7 teams combined together comes to $35,000,000.  Some players who had strong recent performances, were bid for unprecedented amounts (Ishant Sharma, Andrew Symonds…).

Couple of questions come to my mind.  Is such a costly bidding necessary for pulling players into the teams?  I understand the logic in case of foreign players, who have to be lured to participate in IPL.  But why the same for Indian players?

Secondly, will IPL be a hit in the cricketing world.  I have my misgivings on this.  There were mixed responses to the 20-20 world cup.  So the response that IPL evokes, is something to look for.

At this juncture, I remember the quote from our Thalaivar in Sivaji.  “Rich get richer, poor get poorer” (Substitute “Cricketers” for “Rich” in the previous sentence) :)

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Tags: Cricket, IPL

Comic strip with a Strong message

Ashwin » 22 February 2008 » In Social » Comments

I think it was in the ‘The Economic Times’, Chennai Edition on Thursday.  I don’t exactly remember the name of the newspaper, but the message that a comic strip had, is something I will never forget. For that matter, I would not even wish to call it a comic strip.

The strip  showed the family of a beggar, eating on the wastes that were thrown out from a hotel.  The Kid was telling his dad, “If everyone eats like us, then there would be no waste in the city, Papa”.

This single strip, had hit two messages like a nail on the wall.  Wastes being thrown on the roads and some families using it as their source of food.  Both of these are something to be ashamed of.  Can we do something?

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