Routine Order

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Apple’s New Airport Extreme – The Unsung Hero

January 9th, 2007 · No Comments

So macworld expo is on, and the iPhone has been getting its share of very well deserved coverage.

One little other thing has me interested.

airport extreme
It is the Airport Extreme. It is a wireless networking hub that makes it real easy to share. Share your Printer or USB Hard Drive effortlessly in your network. Sounds like a dream to me. Imagine having a network printer without paying a network printer price, or buying a network adapter. Or imagine having a backup server without having to buy a computer to act as the backup server. The mind boggles even as the eyes gobble the beauty of the Airport Extreme box. I heard Jobs did not as much as talk about this during his keynote address.

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Can I Have it Please?

January 9th, 2007 · No Comments

Dear fencinggerbil,

Can I have please?

Pretty please?

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India’s shopkeepers brace for Wal-Mart

January 9th, 2007 · No Comments

Walmart’s Entry to India should NOT be smooth, and hopefully, there should be no Walmart in India, ever. The reason I say this is, unlike in the US, employment and livelihood is a lifelong commitment for most. In the US, if you lose your job which was flipping burgers, you can move on to trimming lawns – not so in India.

If you want to be a waiter, you start at a young age, clean tables, and keep doing so till you get that waiter’s job, and then you hope to remain a waiter till you die. If you are puzzled at why this is so, just think “specialization” and “population pressure”. If Walmart ever steps into India, it will be the end for so many small businesses and shop owners and their employees – it is unthinkable. Walmart might make HUGE profits but every cent of that profit will be at the cost of the local economy and I don’t believe a single cent of the profit will go to India – India will gain nothing, absolutely.

Most Indians are complacent now (See excerpt from an article below), but that just reminds one of when the British East India Co. came to India to “do business” and ended up ruling the subcontinent for a couple of centuries!

India’s 40 million shopkeepers brace for Wal-Mart effect |

This is most shopkeepers’ perception of Wal-Mart: Western-style glitz at Western prices. It begets disquiet, but not panic. The local market will continue to survive because it has always been cheaper, they say. But when he is informed that Wal-Mart’s philosophy is to sell large volumes at the lowest prices, Mr. Bhatia’s countenance drops.

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Dark Side…

January 8th, 2007 · No Comments

dark side 1
dark 2
dark ride
dark 4
dark sinc
dark slide

And more…

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What is the Lazyweb and How Can I Use It?

January 7th, 2007 · No Comments

Time and again you might have seen people start posts with “Dear Lazyweb” on their blogs requesting help with their problems. The wikipedia defines the lazyweb as:

LazyWeb is the idea that if you wait long enough, someone will implement that wacky idea you had… (or already has!) Alternatively, that if your blog or other publishing outlet has enough readers, a reader will know and provide the answer to a question you are too lazy to research yourself.

So the idea is, you ask the collective wisdom of the interweb and get your answers.

There was this website where you could send a trackback from your lazyweb post. The question you asked or the idea you propose would then appear on the website, and others could then help you solve the problem. However, due to trackback spam, the website was closed on 25th April, 2006 by Ben Hammersley, the owner.

If Akismet can stop trackback spam, then maybe a brilliant showcase for Akismet’s kung-fu skills would be to use it with the source code of the lazyweb to reincarnate Lazyweb. Better still, maybe someone can make the lazyweb thingy work on pingbacks instead of trackbacks – so you could just link your lazyweb post to and let the pingback do the rest.

How’s that for a lazyweb idea?

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How to Convince an Agnostic – from

January 7th, 2007 · No Comments

The Economist list of the top books of the year 2006 is interesting in itself, but what really got my gut was the following description of Richard Dawkins‘ latest book, “The God Delusion,” — as a wavering agnostic myself, maybe I should grab the book, and give it a half-chance of swaying me either way. Maybe it will just end up as another book on my Amazon wishlist, that stays there forever. Lucky are those that get gifts. :)

The God Delusion
By Richard Dawkins. Houghton Mifflin; 416 pages; $27. Bantam; £20

Atheists will love Richard Dawkins’s incisive logic and rapier wit and theists will find few better tests of the robustness of their faith. Even agnostics, who claim to have no opinion on God, may be persuaded that their position is untenable waffle.

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Know Which Seats are Good on Any Airline!

January 6th, 2007 · No Comments

seat map

map legend

Gosh, I wish I had find much, much earlier. I did recently, thanks to boing boing.

The site tells you which are the cool seats, and the bad seats on all airlines. It also tells you what amenities are provided on different airlines. Information about the airlines… man this is cool!

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Use Google to Bypass Most Web Browsing FireWalls

January 5th, 2007 · 2 Comments

This trick amazes me when I think about it – oh why did it not occur to me sooner!

You can translate a page from one language to the same language using Google. For example you can translate this website from English to English! – Here are the results.

The URL, if you notice it is:|en&

The “en|en” specifies that the site has to be translated from “English” to “English”. Of course, now you must think I am crazy – how will this help you cut across that corporate firewall, or your dad’s firewall, or the Great Internet Wall of ?

Easy, the translated page is a cached(sort-of) version. So bingo, just ask Google to translate the page from whatever language to the same language and you’re all set!

If you forget the URL, you can always go to and use the tool there to translate the webpage from one language to another. If necessary, change the URL in the browser to make the languages the same.


BookSwim: NetFlix for Books

January 4th, 2007 · 4 Comments

BookSwim promises an online book rental service that works like Netflix does. I am wondering if it will get off the ground, as much as whether it will be successful.

  1. Books have a much lesser audience these days
  2. There are a lot more books than Movies released every year
  3. Readers have pretty specific tastes, especially when it comes to non-fiction — where a person might want to read books on something that might sound obscure to me
  4. Books might just cost more than DVDs in some case – think hundreds of dollars
  5. Books have a limited re-usable life after which they get dog-eared, torn, ripped etc
  6. Unethical customers might tear out a page – making the book un-reusable
  7. Libraries are still alive and kicking
  8. It takes 3 hours to watch a movie, around 3 days to read a book – so subscribers get less “value” per dollar with books, for the same subscription amount – how much cheaper will bookswim be, and how will hey manage it?

Considering all these factors it is difficult to see how they will make any profit, given the no-late-fees, free-postage deal they are offering. The site is set to launch this first quarter of 2007, but it looks like they are still looking for financers. There is a brochure touching upon why bookswim is an appealing idea, but it is superficial in some respects.

Thanks to the distant librarian who brought this in my field of view. The site he links to has some commetary too.

I’ll have to wait and see what rates and benefits they offer before signing up – owning a good book is still pretty high on my list of priorities, so renting a book does not seem too attractive – if I like the book, I’ll probably end up buying it, so it would be neat if bookswim offered the possibility of renting-to-own, for a small additional price.


The Pleasure of a Long Hunt

January 4th, 2007 · No Comments

Through Anil Dash, I ended up on this post at about a John Adams quote, the original version of which seems to be:

The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.

I couldn’t help smiling at the pleasure the author of that blog must have got when he finally discovered the quote he was searching for, after lots and lots of looking for it, asking around, etc. And hey, wikiquote says the quote is from a Letter to Abigail Adams from May 12, 1780.

P.S.: Since I quote so much, and would like to cite my quotations AND have the citations visible, in a sematically correct fashion, I should install the block quotations plugin from Chetan Kunte. Someday, soon.

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