Sunday, May 28, 2006

Is your webpage below 3kb ?

You would think this guy designs shitty pages. Jacon Nielsen however is the guru of usability. See - why his page looks the way it does.

And while we are on the topic of usability, check out Don Norman's list of great designs. I particularly like the multiplication thingy near the middle.

And it takes an American and a Dane to find out that there are poor souls like me sitting in India, crying out for one-click access. Obviously there are other solutions that switching to broadband,

Friday, May 26, 2006

They're real and they are spectacular !

Tribute post.

Here's To one of the best things on television. Ever.

(Trivia : did you know, the person who owns these 'effects' in the episode is Sidra, played by Teri Hatcher - who later went on to achieve much fame, in India at least, with her role as Susan Mayer in Desperate Housewives)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

SEX: It‘s good, says Mao, but not too often.

Nitin Pai calls for a resignation from the Manmohan Singh government following the events in recent past, which have been painfully repeated, across various fora. However, I can understand fully Nitin’s emotions while writing this, and would support everything that he says inasmuch as he does not demand anything as radical as a resignation.

One might recollect the events of May ’68 – the dissolving of the National Assembly and the subsequent and shocking re-election of the de Gaulle government. In fact the title itself comes from one of those famous grèves that consumed Paris during that fateful month. Much happened, much changed – and much did not.

France makes an interesting comparison with India. Though a major difference still remains, France is a developed First World economy, and India a languishing Third World also-ran.

People will tell you about how India is able to compete with China and more shit about ‘hum kisiisein kum nahii’. The truth is far from what is being said. In fact, analysts and data will tell you that China has long gone. It took off before, yes, but the relentless pace of progress has been so stupendous that even an India with Dr.Manmohan Singh’s landmark budget 10 years before would still have languished. Far behind. Unfortunately history has played out it’s hand such that the same man will rub out systematically all the good that he had done.

Getting back to France, what India needs is a similar scale, in terms of sheer percentages to achieve anything as radical as France. 2/3 of the French population went on strike, and though the revolt started as a student uprising, it was widely supported by the bourgeois, working population. Such a revolt is simply impossible in India simply because India is too big a country for anything of this sort to happen. We forget that students form a miniscule percentage of cities which form a minor percentage in India’s total population. The Manmohan Singh govt. relies on its traditional rural vote-bank, one that is un-informed and stoic at these quite ridiculous new laws.

What India needs is also a similar revolt in terms of numbers, but not in terms of ideology. The ‘68 revolts were characterized by mixed messages, pro-communist ones echoing the most loudly. The message that the revolt in India needs to carry has to be more broad-based than just ‘no quotas’. It has to demand liberalization, freedom and less govt.-control over private life and property. It has to demand an environment for growth and creativity. It has to demand all these things, using the channel of these student protests if it has to achieve anything of the same scale.

However, unlike their French counterparts, the Indian middle-class is still coming to terms with its new found economic prosperity. The middle-class will just not stand up in enough numbers for the afore-mentioned principles, although they might support a limited reservation based protest. And here is where the Indian so-called-revolt will break down. Limited scope and not enough public appeal. India is simply not ready for such a massive social upheaval, which is specifically what it needs. The govt. meanwhile is quietly going to play its own game – trade small urban areas for large rural vote-banks. It is playing with its old trump card – safety in numbers.

Welcome to Sports Land

Me and a few friends have started an exclusive sports blog. The contributors for this include sports freaks, albeit with a special liking for their own domain. We have all kinds, nuts for football, cricket and tennis. Yes, we are really nuts for sports and if like General McAuliffe at the Battle of the Bulge, you too have a special liking for the term, we redefine it here.

So Mesdames and Monsieurs, voilà, the new generation of professional sports blogging - Silly Point

Hop over and feast yourself to your brim.

(PS : Shamanth debuts with this nice post about India's chances at the Olympics)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Robert Plummer and the Bowie Theory

If you're cribbing about how expensive it's become to attend rock concerts, most likely you do not live in India and are a sucker for a Madonna gig. If you are a Indian, it is still of interest to find out why tickets abroad are so expensive, while here we can get off watching our fav. bands at a nominal cost of the possibility of broken bones and lathi-charges or at most 500 bucks. Read this - and get into asking why to basic (and probably non-trivial) questions and expect to get answers.
(tip : MR)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Marginally there!

Marginal Revolution the great economics site run by Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok had a logo contest going on and being the avid design enthusiasts that we are, we took part with a in-half-hour photoshop design. Turns out I got a Special Mention on the site for making the final cut of selections.

Tim Harford tells us that the prices of the most sought after commodity is not absolute but relative to the so called 'marginal' product. Hopefully we have not been marginalized too much!

Here btw is my entry :

And here is the winning entry :

(PS : I wholly agree that the winning design deserves to win - but hey, I'm just a college kid with no formal training in design. So there might be future in this line!)