Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gmail adds Automatic Email Encryption- But for a Price :-)

Don't worry Gmail fans, the price doesn't involve money; it involves performance (at least Google things so.)

From the day it launched, Gmail has supported something called "https". Https keeps your mail encrypted as it travels between your web browser and our servers, so that other's WiFi can't read it.

Encryption of your Gmail messages, as opposed to just encryption of your password when logging into Gmail, isn't new. It's been around for some time, but you had to to to a different URL, meaning

But now, and rolling out gradually, as every new Gmail feature does, you can set all you email to be encrypted simply by changing a setting (as noted above).

Now while Google specifically warns that "Your computer has to do extra work to decrypt all that data," and that you may see a performance hit, I've never seen any difference when using Google also says that encrypted data doesn't "travel as efficiently across the Internet," I have to say: come on. It's encrypted, but it's not like their adding 3x as much data to the data stream.

I guess it's a very good move by Google.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

~ BMW M - Zero ~

M-Zero is a car concept inspired by BMW M series which also consider Mercedes Benz (as the backlight) and DB9 Aston Martin (the global silhouette of is definitely inspired by the DB9).

MaĆ«l Oberkampf, the designer of M-Zero actually tried to make a model which could be considered as the equivalent of the R8 from Audi. And the result is M-Zero, a car concept that is the “synthesis” between the actual BMW design and a high an performance car which could become the most powerful model of the BMW legacy.

The exterior looks great, very BMW style, but we are hoping to be able to see the interior design, BMW bet it’s futuristic.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Who Moved My Cheese?

Who Moved My Cheese? Published nearly a decade ago; me just now got the chance to read :-)

Author : Spencer Johnson
Genre : motivational
Published on: 1998

It Starts with a group of friends meeting up after their high school reunion. One of the friends begins to tell the story of "Who Moved My Cheese?" and at that point the author begins to describe, symbolically, the manner in which so many people in this world deal with change in their lives.

Four characters (Sniff,Scurry,Hem and Haw) live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. The maze is where you spend time looking for what you want. It may be the organization you work in, the relationships you have in your life, or the community you live in.

Two of the characters named Sniff and Scurry are mice. They represent parts of us that are simple and instinctive. Hem and Haw are the little people, representing those complex parts of us as human beings. Sometimes we are like Sniff, who anticipates change early by sniffing it out, or Scurry, who quickly scurries into action and adapts. Maybe we are more like Hem, who denies change and resists it out of fear, or Haw, who learns to adapt in time when he sees something better. Whatever part of us we choose, we all share the common need to find our way in the maze of life and succeed in changing times.

Haw comes to many realizations during the story that help him move on, and he writes them on the wall as he goes. Here's the summary he writes in the end:

Change Happens
They Keep Moving the Cheese

Anticipate Change
Get Ready for the Cheese to Move

Monitor Change
Smell the Cheese Often So You Know When it is Getting Old

Adapt to Change Quickly
The Quicker You Let Go of Old Cheese, the Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese

Move with the Cheese

Enjoy Change!
Savor the Adventure and Enjoy the Taste of New Cheese!

Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy it Again and Again
They Keep Moving the Cheese

After the story, the friends take some time to discuss its meaning. One of the most insightful parts of the narrative is when they realize that they can apply these principles to their personal lives.

It's really worthy & quick read at just 96 pages, and it addresses life changing principles that can greatly alter our degree of satisfaction in life.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Intel turns 40 - what will the next 40 years bring?

Intel,founded in 1968 by physicists Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce,celebrating its 40th anniversary, and as part of that, they unveiled the World Mural Project.

The project is a Web-based digital art piece that includes visual and written contents from the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, which stretches around the world.Intel asked 500 kids in 21 countries what they expected the next 40 years of computing to bring us.

Their answers are collected in Intel’s World Mural Project, where the youths involved submitted both a picture and completed the statement, “In 40 years, computers will empower us to…” The mural itself is a Flash application that allows users to select a continent and then view the responses generated by students in the region.

According to Intel spokesperson Agnes Kwan,

Some of the themes that the kids have expressed are: having multi-function, wearable computers, achieving a greener environment on Earth, greatly improved healthcare, vastly improving our brain power, experiencing virtual education, communicating through holograms, teletransport, living more relaxed, peaceful lives, and living on Mars.

Check out the Mural for some more possibilities and surf the rest of the site for information here.

For those interested, Intel also has a Flickr set to celebrate its 40th anniversary , with some vintage stuff, like a picture of a 4004 CPU and the original IBM PC.Clickin here to watch the Flickr.

Tell me, what next 40 years of the Digital Age can bring us?

Friday, July 18, 2008

JETTA from Volkswagen

Onemore Bigshot has come to the Indian automobile market... its none other than Volkswagen with Jetta... :)

Volkswagen India has launched one of its globally successful models, Jetta, in India. The Jetta sedan, assembled locally at Volkswagen’s Aurangabad facility, will be available in three variants and two engines — Jetta 1.6L petrol engine with a five-speed manual gearbox, a 1.9L TDI diesel and option of a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed DSG automatic transmission version.
The price of the Jetta 1.6L is Rs. 12.97 lakh and the 1.9L diesel Trendline Rs. 14.22 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. The top of the line 1.9L diesel Comfortline with DSG automatic transmission is priced at Rs. 16.67 lakh.

The car will be available in campanella white, red spice, reflex silver, platinum grey and deep black.

Volkswagen Group India sold 10,366 vehicles in the first six months of the current calendar year, a 69 per cent growth over the year-ago period, and is pushing to achieve deliveries of 20,000 units for the full year. The company is planning to sell 1,200 units of Jetta this year.

Volkswagen Group India spokes person when addressing to the media, said, “Jetta is now being assembled in the Skoda facility in Aurangabad with parts coming in from our Mexico facility. Volkswagen Group have accelerated work on the Chakan plant and it will make the VW Jetta and Skoda Fabia from the first half of 2009 with a high local content. Volkswagen Group will receive a sales boost by 2010 when they launch their compact car from their Chakan (Pune) facility based on their Polo model but which has been tailored for India.

Few Snaps.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mobile Phones and Driving

Yesterday, on the way to my office, It happened to witness a bad road accident due to the Car driver using mobile phone while driving.I was upset with that incident thro'out the day.

It still amazes me how many people continue to use their mobile phone whilst driving and I wonder whether they are aware of the other bad sideof this habit.

Government forms many law against this; conducts many awareness programs; publishes innovative advertisements... and so on.

I wonder whether these will have an effect on people who routinely do this, I guess for most of these messages won't get through until they actually meet an accident.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dasavatharam - Lord Vishnu - Kamal Hasan

How the Mythological 10 avtars of Lord Vishnu inspired Kamalahaasan's movie Dasavatharam!

(Macha Avthar - Nambi) - Nambi is thrown into water in an act of trying to save lord from being thrown into sea...

(Koorma avatar - George Bush) - The lord is the turtle/tortoise that helps in stirring the ksheera sagara and bringing out the amruth. This essentially creates war among the devas and asuras. Similarly today Bush facilitates war between you know whom… May be Kamal also indicates that this avatar is a bit dumb like the tortoise…

(Varaha avatar - Krishnaveni paatti ) - In varaha avatar lord actually hides earth so as to protect life forms. Here too krishnaveni hides the germs - life form inside the statue so as to protect.

(Narasimha avatar - Shingen Narahashi ) - The name itself is a play on the words singam [means lion in tamil] and narasimha [the avatar being symbolised]. Lord Narasimha manifests himelf to kill Hiranyakashipu.In the movie, he shows up to kill the killer fletcher! and is also a teacher.. Lord Narasimha had to kill the asura with bare hands and hence the martial arts exponent here..

(Vamana avatar - Kalifulla Khan) - In vamana avatar, Lord Vishnu takes the vishvaroopa, that is the giant form! Hence the giant kalifulla here symbolises vamana avatar

(Parasurama avatar - Christian Fletcher) - Parasurama is actually on an angry killing spree and killed 21 generations of the particular kshatriya vamsa. Hence the real KILLER… Guess what, thats what our Fletcher is! He comes around with the gun [modern upgrade for axe] and kills everyone around

(Krishna avatar - Vincent Poovaraghavan) Lord krishna is actually a dalit, he is dark-skinned. He saved draupadi when she was being violated and he was the actual diplomat in mahabharatham. Lord krishna dies of an arrow striking his lower leg. Now look at how vincent was introduced.. He appears when Asin is about to be molested and he saves her like draupadi. Vincent is the dalit diplomat, fights for land issue [soil issue to be exact] and dies from the metal rod striking his leg.

(Balarama avatar - Balarama Naidu) As the name suggests and the role personifies Balaram naidu RAW officer, helps kill the villain

(Rama avatar - Avatar Singh) - Lord Rama stands for the one man one woman maxim, kind of symbolising true love.. Here Avatar portrays that spirit by saying that he loves his woman more than anything and wants to live for her.

Kalki avatar - Govindaraj Ramasamy) The hero in kaliyug can be none other than the Kalki avatar!!!

Of course Kamalahaasan is the best person to explain how he got inspired! Us being mere mortals have to contend with such information from EMail forwards and the like!

Seagate's new 1.5 TB Desktop Drive

Seagate has unveiled the industry’s first 1.5-terabyte desktop and half-terabyte notebook hard drives to meet worldwide demand for digital-content storage in home and business environments.

The debut of the Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB hard drive, the eleventh generation of Seagate’s flagship drive for desktop PC is a half-terabyte increase from the previous highest capacity of 1TB. The Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive combines proven PMR technology, components and manufacturing to provide 1.5TB of reliable storage for mainstream desktop computers, workstations, desktop RAID, gaming and high-end PCs, and USB/FireWire/eSATA external storage.

These new drives will ship at Q4 of this year. Pricing is unknown as of now.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Project Management is just about managing TO-DO list ?

The discussion happened at the lunch table with some of my colleagues, inspired (fired :-)) me to scribe this post.

There is a sick in project management called TO-DO listing and the infection is spread by managers who think the project management is nothing more than making a list of everything that everybody should do.

This TO-DO methodology mainly focuses on activities, leads to team members who mindlessly follow the project manager's lists,even if all the steps are not necessary ( like the one's we do just for the so called "Process" :-) ). It also creates team members who have no faith in the project and no interest in active problem-solving or overcoming obstacles. They just follow the to do list.

Is this all about Project Management ? Pitchin with your views.

Friday, July 11, 2008

~~ Funny Quote of the day ~~

“ Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. ”

-Rick Cook

What you Say ???