Friday, December 29, 2006

orkut is under construction. please check back soon (=

I came to office in the morning today and as a habit refreshed my ORKUT window left on from yesterday.
To my horror, I hit the "orkut is under construction. please check back soon (=" screen!
Thinking it could be temporary glitch as usual, I kept refreshing. But alas! its still down after 12 hours! No communication from Google yet so that was more frustrating. Seems like a non-user friendly move from Orkut team.

What could be the cause? Maybe someone didnt do the upgrade drill properly...and screwed up himself and sight...he is sure to get a sore ass tonight LOL.
Or a virus or cracker attack? This certainly isnt a planned downtime.

I guess this is first time any prestigious site is down for so long in unplanned manner.

Would definitely like to know in details what caused the mess....

We need to change our Heroes

This is a news published somewhere at the bottom of a local newspaper.

A saloon owner in Pune married a prostitute rescued from a brothel! A a small news, quiet unnoticeable without any photos.

He saw the girl in brothel and fell in love with her. Later when the girl was rescued from the brothel, he persisted for more than 2 years for her. His efforts won at the end and they both got married now. Not surprisingly her parents have disowned her after they came to know about her past.

The same story was behind a movie "baaghi". It came few years ago. Was not a major success but the people who made it, still got their money and people who watched didnt mind spending money to go and see it. The actors were still their favorite. But when such things happen in real life, people are hardly bothered.

A casual look at the newspaper shows 2 prominent clicks - Vilasrao Deshmukh waiving hand at crowd and Shrisant giving autograph to fans on SA ground.

Whats the connection?

Its quiet sad that there is a social stigma attached to various people in this country. Each of them would have dreams and hopes but not all come true. The society is so much divided with caste, community and other useless boundaries.

People often judge others by the work they do. And while not realising that every work is important, they carry forward their social beliefs to their next generations. Ironically, there are people in this country who take proud in being called backwards and claim reservation due to same!!!

The generation still grants the politicians, sportpersons (or just cricketers?) and filmstars a heroic status. Politicians keep dividing the country under social/caste barriers so that they continue to cheat the people and make money. Getting into cricket has become another business or a "Kaun banega Crorepati" (Who wants to be a millionare) contest. Once you are in, play a few matches, you are all set to act in ads, drink cola and mint money.

- Will ever a cola company come forward to sponser the saloon owner. The local police and NGO were the only one to sponser the marriage day treat and gift them utensils so that they can cook their daily food!
- When a politician is mis-treated by a foreigner sportsperson, his supporters fume in anger till an apology is seek. But do the supporters do anything beyond putting up posters of the politicians and dancing on tunes of their leader?
- Superstars advocate cola products and tell how safe they are. But do they realise that most people in india dont get safe drinking water everyday?
- People dont bother to check who is next to them in a movie theatre or a mall. But they dont tolerate anyone when it comes to going to a temple or a shrine.
- Cricketers get a ransom even if they dont perform for months and then there are numerous other athaletes who are yet to get their own house promised by Government.

There is often so much fuss over matter of pride than on matter of necessities. Will this stop anytime? I guess yes but I am afraid that it would be too late. But if its stopped on time, it would help the people and their own country a lot.

Its a general outcry that every generation hears: "The generation needs an awakening". But its often true. I also believe that the social heros must change. Infact the heros need to change their heros and turn their mind from money to people.

I would like to see the day When this country learns to treat their own people with respect and free them from social, communical, regional and economical shackles....I guess that day my country would be truly independant Republic Nation.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Best and worst products in history

The 25 greatest PCs of all time

The 100 best products of the year

The 25 worst tech products of all time

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A lot more can go behind the screen when you text

Today is time for doing some research on predictive text input systems on Mobile phones.
I have used most mobiles phones available from different vendors. Didnt know that Nokia and others use the same algorithm (T9) but Nokia didnt use the name. Have used Motorola iTap too and found that quiet better.

Info about few systems...

T9 -



BTW, Do you remember the Infinite Monkeys Theorem, there is a cool site that relates to it and actually tries to find if it can be put to use :-)

Friday, December 15, 2006


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Omega Speedmaster)

The Omega Speedmaster, the legendary "Moonwatch", selected by NASA for all the Apollo missions.Launched in 1957 by Omega, the Moonwatch is a type of Omega Speedmaster watch which was selected by the NASA for the Project Apollo. As such, they became the first watches worn on the Moon, gaining the nickname.

The Speedmaster passed NASA's numerous tests, which included exposure to extreme temperatures, vacuum, intense humidity, corrosion, shock, acceleration, pressure, vibration and noise [1], whereas the Rolex, Breitling, Bulova, Longines and TAG Heuer, notably, all failed.

The Speedmaster is the only watch to have been worn on the moon (except for the Waltham Watch Company wristwatch worn by Dave Scott after the crystal had popped off his Speedmaster), and the only watch flight-qualified for EVA use by NASA. It is the watch chosen for use in outer space by the Russian space agency NPO Energija.


Back of the Omega Moonwatch.When the step-by-step procedures of the Project Gemini space-walks were first mapped out, NASA realized that they had overlooked the requirements for specialized personal timekeeping devices for the Astronauts. NASA did not have an approved wristwatch for space travel.

The normal procedure of soliciting bids for the design, manufacture and testing of special “Space Proof” wristwatches was a time consuming process. To save time, NASA sent two systems engineers into downtown Houston “incognito” to purchase several reputable “off-the-shelf” chronographs to be tested for possible use in space.

Five different brands of chronographs were purchased and returned to NASA for testing. After the first round of tests, two of the five brands were disqualified. After the second round of tests, only one wristwatch, the “Omega Speedmaster”, survived. NASA ordered several more watches of each of the brands tested, including twelve Omega Speedmasters.

The tests were completed on March 1st, 1965. At the completion of the tests, three of the chronographs from different manufactures were still running, but only the Speedmaster had passed without any of the serious discrepancies encountered with the others. The Omega Speedmaster was adopted by NASA as the “Officially Certified Wristwatch For All Manned Space Missions.” At this point, Omega was completely unaware of these activities.

The first Omegas were issued to the Gemini 3 crew, Grissom and Young. The watch was worn on the outside of the pressure suit with a long black Velcro band. On Gemini 4, Edward White left the space capsule with an Omega Speedmaster on his wrist to become the first American to walk in Space.

The Omega Speedmaster was the first watch to be worn on the Moon with Apollo 11. In April 1970, it was used to manually time the secondary rocket burns to bring the crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft back to Earth.

The Omega Speedmaster was re-certified in 1972 and in September 1978, for the Space Shuttle missions.

Today, all NASA-issued wristwatches are government property and must be turned in once the astronauts return to Earth. Astronauts are permitted to check the watches out before launch and take them home to familiarize themselves with the watch’s operation.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bullworker anyone???

Hey folks!
does anyone of you remember Bullworker??????
while travelling home today my friend had a book with him in the train. It was about workouts, especially ones that involve own bodyweight rather than actual weights.
I remembered having a Bullworker at home when i was in KG....dunno where it gone..Not sure if its still available in market...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Where illiterates help teach!

It was first journey by train yesterday after recovering from fracture, after more than a month. My roomy, Buddy was along with me. Due to the train burning incident a day ago, train was not crowded. Most had preferred to stay back home.

As train approached Karjat, two girls entered the compartment as usual. They were trying to sell something along with other tea-coffee and food vendors. When they approached my seat, I could see what they were trying to sell.

The girls looked homeless. They wore handmade Indian skirt n top and sported typical Indian styled pony on head. There was a dull look in their eyes, which apparently is ever present in numerous homeless people trying to make up their lives in the world.

They had a bunch of small brightly coloured sketchbooks and English alphabet books in their hand, each being sold for Rs.10. Few were bothered to take a look at them and those who did, would just browse through most of them, buy 1 and return rest. While people browsed books, the girls would either stand next to them or take the other bunch to next aisle. The person next to me checked out few of the books and chose to buy A sketchbook with Tom n Jerry on the front cover. As he kept it aside for buying, I could notice that the both girls looked at each other, smiled and one of them said "Tom n Jerry!".

While they were in the train, other kids might be wearing designer cloths, funky hairstyle, watch Cartoon Network and sip their favourite chocolate drink before they go to bed. Or yet many more like these two girls are trying to sell something and make money on streets.

I wondered if the girls go to school or are privileged to actually have fun watching those cartoons on tv. I wonder if they knew how to spell ABCD at least! Nevertheless, books were helping to earn them a days bread.

Can I say they were teaching world how to color something, how to write ABCD and on top of that, strugle in life to live each day!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Something worth reading on World AIDS Day


Having HIV, holding hope
Shabana Patel
When my husband tested positive, his family threw him out and he died due to lack of medical support. A month later, I realised I too was HIV positive…

My husband was tested positive in 1998. Unfortunately, back then, there was not much information on HIV or AIDS — even the doctors were scared to treat the infected and the government was not running as many programmes as it does today.

To make matters worse, there was a social stigma attached to the illness. Neither of us realised how crucial confidentiality was and spilled the beans. While my parents were supportive of us, my in-laws and a few relatives boycotted us. They cut all ties with us. My husband, as a result, did not receive the much-needed medical and emotional support and succumbed to his illness in October, 1998.

I was still recuperating from the shock when a month later my family revealed that I too had been tested positive. I had been tested in August but my father who had kept the fact hidden from me for he thought it will be too much for me to take. I sought medical aid but was told that I would not survive beyond a few months. I panicked, but like before, my family extended their full support and stood by me.

After stigma, society showers you with sympathy…I wanted to show the world that apart from a virus, there was no difference between me and a regular person…

In 1999 I approached Asha, a BMC programme that works to prevent STDs. I was told that though I am HIV+, I am not suffering from AIDS and will definitely not die in a few months. I was relieved. But the next stage was that of sympathy. People would look at me with that sympathetic look in their eyes. They would treat me like someone who is suffering from a contagious disease and expected me to be bedridden. This irked me and made me want to prove it to them that apart from a virus that I am harbouring in my body, there is absolutely no difference between them and me.

We started as a group of nine, today our organisation does work in 22 districts of Maharashtra…

It was during one of the counselling sessions that I came across another infected person. Over a period of time we realised that we shared the same goal — helping the affected. By the end of 1999, I was informally working with the affected, helping those who were in need by counselling them and their families to help them cope and accept the reality.

By 2001 we were a group of nine (all HIV+) and we formally launched the Mumbai Network of Positive People (MNP+). We knew we were in a better situation to help people since we had ourselves been through the same hell.

The biggest challenge in our work is dealing with families of the affected. It breaks our hearts to see that people succumb to the misconceptions and ill-treat the affected. A few days back a village couple came for counselling. They also brought their two children along who were not affected. During the session I approached one of the children and took him in my arms. The couple started crying! I got scared and asked them if I did something wrong. They told me that in their village their children are treated as untouchables!

Our organisation has now been around for five years and cover 22 districts all over Maharashtra. Though there is a lot that still needs to be done, we are glad to see that government is taking a serious stand on the issue and working towards it. It's a long and tough journey but I'm glad that there are people who are willing to tag along.

As told to Dipti Nagpaul

How to cope with the stigma

Dr RN Jerajani, psychiatrist and founding member of WHARF, an association that develops programmes to educate the health care fraternity about AIDS, has been working with HIV/AIDS patients for over 25 years now. Here's what he has to say…

There are four stages of reactions once a person comes to know that he/ she is affected. First is that of denial — they don't want to accept the fact that they're affected. Then comes anger, where the person asks himself/herself 'Why me?' The third stage involves questions like 'How long will I live?' and 'Will I be able to sexually relate with my partner?' This is followed by depression. The affected fluctuates between these four stages till s/he accepts the situation. And it is at the acceptance stage where healing begins. But to reach the acceptance level, one needs to understand and remember the following:

* Every AIDS and HIV infected person is not going to die immediately. Today, given the research and medical facilities, an affected can live reasonably longer and lead a normal life.

* These infections are chronic manageable illnesses like diabetes or arthritis, which do not have a cure but where a proper plan can keep the illness under control.

* One does not have to feel guilt or shame since one is capable of leading an otherwise normal life.

* Why think about the illness? Think about health and focus on a proper and disciplined diet and exercise plan as that is what will help you living longer and healthy.

Help’s at hand

Here’s a list of a few AIDS and HIV helpline numbers:
* MNP+ Helpline: 952515634939
* PSI Saadhan Helpline: 23892222
* Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS): 24100088/24100099
* GLAXO: 24983444
* Salvation Army (HIV testing and counselling centre): 23093566
* Kripa Rotary Helpline: 26429158.