Sunday, May 31, 2009

KTWV 10 Issue 13: Reason for excitement

(Also posted on all my major blogs.)

Many of you have emailed me to ask why I was so excited with the software "Cooliris".

There are many many reasons, but I will highlight the two major ones:

1. There is an old Chinese proverb which says: "A picture is worth a thousand words."
2. You can browse thousands of pictures in a couple of minutes, unlike text.

This is now the era of the photo-journalist. If he / she can succeed in capturing the truly great image that depicts an event and add a single one line caption to it, the number of hits one can get to that image or video, and subsequently the caption and then the text, even if the Google Search result was likely to be on the 50th page, is going to be amazing.

Just search for "Jacob, Oulu" on Google Search and you get 95,800 links. It will take months to through those links.

Search for it on "Cooliris" and see how much more you get and you can get to even the 5000th result in a jiffy!

Don't believe me - take any random name of a friend and see what you get!

Truly amazing results. And, you can go through all those tens and tens of results in a flash.

Beware of one problem with "Cooliris".

You can get motion sickness as you race through the thousands of images.

I tried various search combinations yesterday and was thrilled with the results.

But, when I got up from my office table, I was tottering as my eyes had been working overtime going through this huge bonanza of results.

Yes, there is a reason to be excited, but also a warning that this could seriously affect your brain!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

KTWV 10 Issue 12: Rarely am I so excited

Also posted on the Seventh Heaven Blog, Kooler Talk Blog, CHAFF Blog and the Oulu Best Buy Blog.)

Rarely am I excited about new computer software. Today I came across one which sent shivers down my spine in what it can do.

I downloaded separate versions for SAFARI, the Mac only browser and for FIREFOX, probably the best browser online presently till Google comes up with its Chrome Browser for the mac.

The software is called "COOLIRIS" and it allows you to see many thousands of images and videos from your computer or the web in the blink of an eye.

My time is so limited that I hardly have time to go through all my pictures on the computer. But here I could see all of them in a 3-D type motion and I could see all the top story pictures before you could say "COOLIRIS"

I suggest you enter "Cooliris" in your Google Search facility and then download the version suitable for your browser.

I found a great video called "Slam Dunk Kitty" amongst the literally thousands that came up as I flew through the selection that came before me.

And you can use this software with Facebook, Google, UTube and also your computer images and videos!

What's the bet that Google will acquire this software - which is absolutely FREE, before the lamb shakes its tail!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

KTWV 10 Issue 11: Montek Singh Alhuwalia on BBC World

I got home rather late yesterday and found Annikki flipping through TV Channels.

As she skimmed through BBC World, I shouted "STOP".

There was the familiar blue turban shooting across the screen.

I knew that could only be one person with those turban tying skills - 63er Montek.

Annikki asked me whether Montek could hear anything as he pins down his ears so tightly. She suggested he might punch some holes in the turban at strategic places. I assured her that Montek never had a hearing problem! :-)

I have not seen Montek for 46 years now, but noted besides his turban, all his mannerisms have remained intact. His ability to put across his point of view cutting his adversary to mincemeat had, no doubt, sharpened with experience.

It was a repeat of a program: Global Recession: A Developing World Emergency?

They were talking about Globalisation, the G 20, the stimulus package, the bank bailout (vs. what Montek pointed out as the unwanted "bankers bailout"). Luísa Dias Diogo - Prime Minister of Mozambique, Robert Zoellick - President of the World Bank, Bob Geldof - Campaigner and Pop Star turned advocate for poverty stricken Africa, Montek Singh Ahluwalia - Deputy Chairman of the Indian Planning Commission and Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul - German Development Minister, along with Moderator Zeinab Badawi, made up the debating team.

I was not much interested in this topic, but what I did hear from Montek was an intelligent spiel!

Nice to see one more of our 60s crowd on international media.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

KTWV 10 Issue 10: I was certainly wrong

(Also posted on Jacob's Blog and the Kooler Talk Blog.)

I now realise how divorced I am from Indian Politics and especially the mentality of the Indian people.

This was just in:

Only a few results have been confirmed so far - they included a win for former UN diplomat Shashi Tharoor for Congress in Kerala's capital, Trivandrum.

In the old days, an outsider would never have got in this easily as Shashi did. I remember how K. T. Chandy, who had been Chairman of Hindustan Lever, tried and failed to get into Kerala Politics in the Seventies. He was called a "foreigner" by the Keralites!!

I do hope this change also ushers in a new form of Government, especially in Kerala, where the school final failed party members have dominated the Government.

Also the antiques who have dominated Kerala Politics for a couple of decades should now call it a day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

KTWV 10 Issue 09: The experience of our lifetime

(Also posted on Jacob's Blog and the Seventh Heaven Blog.)

I just loved this email I received from 49er Dawn Brown. It sums up our experience, vis-á-vis the kids of today.

My daughter explained that times are different.

True, but do the kids wish it were the same as our time or not?

To us'ns who are considered to be "over the hill" by the young uns': Huh!!!! Not only are we surviving - we are thriving and loving life. I have to admit though that my children are not in this group - the first three mentioned above!!





1920's, 30's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks some of us took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a Ute on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway or Red Rooster.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Fruit Tingles and some fire crackers to blow up frogs and lizards with.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and cubby houses and played in creek beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape or DVD movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears!

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross buns at Easter really!

We were given BB guns and sling shots for our 10th birthdays.

We drank milk laced with Strontium 90 from cows that had eaten grass covered in nuclear fallout from the atomic testing at Maralinga in 1956.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

Footy had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

Our teachers used to belt us with big sticks and leather straps and bully's always ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

Our parents got married before they had children and didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade'.....

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 70 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned


And YOU are one of them!


You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

PS - The big type is because your eyes are shot at your age.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

KTWV 10 issue 08: Am I disappointed?

(Also posted on my Jacob's Blog.)

Being Sunday night, I watched the Fareed Zakaria GPS programme on CNN.

Shashi Tharoor, fellow Stephanian, was on.

Was greatly disappointed to hear that Shashi is standing for the Indian Parliament and that too, as a member of the Indian Congress Party.

Shashi should be an independent Rajya Sabha Member as he is a man of immense international standing and should not stoop to the level of Indian general politics.

On his politics web site he gives his vision as the following:

My Vision
An India where everyone is able to have enough food, clothing and shelter;
An India where everyone is able to receive a decent education;
An India where everyone can have access to health care, sanitation and clean drinking water;
An India that is committed to economic growth but also attentive to the needs of its poorest and most vulnerable people;
An India which is strong enough to protect its borders and ensure the safety, security and well-being of all its citizens;

Even more interestingly he gives his Credo as:

My Credo
I enter political life in the firm belief that:
Politics is an opportunity for public service, not for self-advancement;
Government exists to serve the citizen and not the other way around;
Honesty and integrity are fundamental in public life;
The principles and values I have upheld all my life should not be altered to suit the political convenience of the moment; and
My only purpose is to work for the well-being of the people of my country, my state and my constituency
I have great pride in India and believe I can work to make it an even better land for all its citizens.

Interestingly, he is standing from Kerala. That is wherein lies the rub.

Keralites with 99% literacy will not normally elect an "outsider" to represent them.

However, we will know the result in a few days.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

KTWV 10 Issue 07: Driving 1100 km on the same day

(Also on Jacob's Blog and the Seventh Heaven Blog..)

After a hectic weekend, when I went to Tampere with Sunil, in a van taking materials to set up four apartments and which included a side trip to Helsinki to check on how Raantel apartments were doing there, we left Tampere late on Saturday evening to return to Oulu so that I could speak at the Free Speech Day in Oulu Otto Karhi Park.

We arrived back at Oulu about 6 am on Sunday morning. I had a nap and went with Annikki to the public park, equipped with my speaking stand.

The opening procedure was just taking place and the Chief Editor of Kaleva Newspaper, a new person, was making the welcome remarks.

He ended by saying that each speaker would be given 5 minutes at the mike.

My talk, which this year was about "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied" would have taken the good part of 1 and half hours.

Ii approached the gentleman and asked that I set up my own stand as in previous years and be allowed to speak. He rejected the idea saying he had no powers to allow that. After much persuasion, he pointed me to a lady. She said that I could do that away from the main central area.

But it was clear that they did not want to move away from their prepared script. Annikki and I decided against making a speech this year under these conditions.

In short - this was no copy of Hyde Park Corner as this was a very controlled exercise to make Finns believe that they have Freedom of Speech - which they don't.

I had promised to meet Ajeet on Monday in South Finland. He and Sari are on a flying trip here to take part in a couple of conferences. So our Alumni meets were scheduled for Monday at 10:30 am, and this time in Toijala, wher he was staying.

I left Oulu by car at 3:50 am and because of the GPS Navigator (the cheap one), I did the trip to Tampere in just 5 hours (477 km). After attending to some Raantel work there, I drove on to Toijala to be greeted by Ajeet and his wife, Sari.

Our joyous Cathedralite and Stephanian Finland Chapter Alumni Reunion was a working one. 100 % attendance as usual!

I exploited the combined legal expertese of Ajeet and Sari.

Ajeet confirmed he would be in Bombay for the November 12th Cathedral Founders Day event. After my 50th year Golden Reunion Celebrations are complete, Annikki and I will go to Ahmedabad where I will give a talk at the Indian Institute of Management about the new developments in technology taking place and their implications on world society.

Then we would all spend a few days at Mount Abu, where Annikki and I have never been.

I left at 14:30, stopped at Tampere to attend to some more Raantel Oy work, left Tampere at 16:30 and arrived back in Oulu at 22:30.

A 20 hour round trip of 1100 km - and because of the hectic weekend of travel and work, this one partially knocked me out.

I got a good scolding from Annikki who thought I was on a leisurely train trip to Tampere!!