Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dawn of the most important year

Simply I am stepping in to the most important year of my life up to now. In my memory after the years of O/L and A/L, haven't had any year which has dawned with such importance. 2012 is definitively different and even the minute of the dawn is going to be tensed both professionally and personally .

I am not a person who usually cares about specific dates, but for some reason by co-incidence Jan 1st 2012 has become an important date. Not only the first the whole of the year! I can only disclose publicly few of the reason's on why it's important, so I am listing only those,

Yarl IT Hub

YIT's logo will be decided tonight at 12 midnight. Kajan's design looks certain to clinch the title. [ - scroll through the whole album to see the design's submitted]  The response has been overwhelming, I can remember the chat I had with JK on this and we told our selves that we will be happy if  we get 3 decent logo's for the competition. But then the community just showed its power by putting forward some amazing designs! On some days I was struck for words on seeing the creations.  To be honest I liked each of it and if you look carefully I had 'LIKED' each of them! The perspective's they had thought through, they all were genuine efforts and showed the passion people have towards this cause. Its wonderful to know that a lot of people share this dream.

In 2011 we conceptualized and organized ourselves and did the initially ground work in Jaffna. 2012 is the year in which YIT will be one year old and the execution will commence. Fingers crossed.

140 for Trinity [ 1872 - To date ] 

Trinity College, the land of youth and dream. A place which I am indebted for life, will turn 140 this year!

Personally I would have to accept that I am an old man now and embrace 30's, on top of that I have a whole lot of resolutions for 2012, too long to be listed here. So now let the games begin!

Wishing all of you a very prosperous new year!  
May it be the year in which all your dreams come true!

Friday, December 30, 2011

The year in pictures

Started the year in Style at Taj Mahal. It was an adventurous beginning to the year!  Based on the place of visit there were people who were making predictions for the year and we had proved them all wrong! ;)

As soon as we returned from the 'pilgrimage' to the Himalaya's was sent off on an African 'Safari' the first of the three of its kind. Crossed from East to West of Africa during the January visit. This Cheetah is a special memory. Thanks I am spared! 

Made a trip to Ella and this was a peach of shot. Probably the most luckiest thing to have happened to me when with a camera!

Ended up going to Africa for the Third time withing the year and this time it was a month's stay. Which meant a safari each weekend. This is from hell's gate.

3rd time lucky to see the lion in wild. Not just one it was too. Had a field day squeezing the body out of the car  to take pictures while the lions made love!

Third week was to Nyeru - A time of the life and then you see this magical picture! you couldn't even bribed them to pose like this!

Completed the big five sighting with a very rare African leapord sighting! Life is a journey!  Even the guides toasted for the leopard sighting supposed to be the closest even for them at Neyuru!

On a day where I forgot to charge my battery while taking a stroll in Udawathakele. A snake with his catch!

Some beautiful moment between my uncle and his cat in Jaffna.  Its a series of pictures I love to see over and over again!

Then again finally the squirrel hunt in Jaffna, while doing some meetings for YIT and getting it off the ground. . Great to be there - I mean in all sense !

While all this was happening - starting from last April I had been keeping my promise to post a blog each day. This is how I do it! YES I AM WEARING A SHOE! Its not photoshop ;)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Test cricket's year of glory

Liking for test cricket is a perceived taste, just like a liking for classical music or green tea, first you need to go through an initial period of learning process to enjoy it and then you become fully addicted to it for life.

Give green tea to a person who hasn't had it and the first comments are usually very harsh, in the same way for a youngster who had grown up listening to rock listening to classical music is the most irritating thing, same applies to a person from a non-cricketing nation when he sees cricket specially test cricket which takes 5 long days its quiet irritating. But then for us South Asian's this probably the only sport we are good at 'world' level so basically we love it.

If you are a person who falls into test cricket lover category, Year of 2011 was the best you could have asked for. Some of the twists that the matches has had is unprecedented. The SA vs AUS series was the epitome of the celebration of test cricket. The rest of the matches including matches between Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, NZ vs Zimbabwe, SL vs England, the India Vs WI draw, NZ Vs Aus and then finally the unprecedented come back by the SL team to beat SA, all had been top class cricket matches.

I am having this eerie feeling that test cricket is having its last flash before it dies off. I sincerely hope I am proven wrong on this.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Good try - Better luck next time

Some amateur artist at office had tried his level best and drawn up this line art on the white board over the weekend. I have this policy of encouraging such people who are trying to get some recognition by trying different art forms. So the best I could give him was some coverage on my blog.

Btw Thank god - you put an arrow and named it or else a lot of confusion would have prevailed.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Results mess - History repeats

Ten years ago when we were awaiting our A/L results all of a sudden we were told that a new scheme is being introduced and the ranking will be done using 'Z-Score'. We had no clue on how Z-Score was to be calculated and it was time to go and find out what it was. Up to that point the the total marks obtained from all the subjects was used to rank students, the z-score change meant that a mark of Chemistry was not equal to a mark obtain in Combined mathematics.

To be honest, I for one had not been studying properly for the A/L's and didn't deserve to gain any sort of university admission for being lethargic for the larger part of my A/L studies. I can assure you even if it was based on total marks I wouldn't have got a big change in rank, although my head knew this my heart refused to accept reality and at that time I kept on feeling that this scheme change without prior notice was to be blamed for my bad ranking. At that time I was frustrated about the system and the failure of it. I was furious about the lack of transparency even more pissed that they didn't educate us before we did the exams. It sounded all too fishy, the rumor mills were working full time over this and were adding more salt to the perceived wound.  I personally know a lot of my friends who have a lot of scars left in their minds due to this change, specially the ones who missed entrance by a a whisker, whom rightfully felt that the local educational 'gods' had deprived them of their fundamental right. Some of these types lost faith in the system and refused to sit local exams, some others joined revolts. A/L is the exam which is perceived by a larger part of the Sri Lankan society to be the 'make or break' point of a student's life and to see this type of unplanned fiddling with the scheme was frustrating. Later on I started to think that it was just one batch that had to face this and it was settled once in for all.

That was until today, when the I read on the news web sites the latest results fiasco. I could understand and empathize with what was going through the minds of those youngsters who had sat the exams and the frustration they will be having at this moment. The department should at this point of time come out and make a transparent disclosure of the failure, the general public has a right to know what went wrong. Its hard for me to understand that the sorting algorithm of the computer didn't work properly. I can understand that people at the department are human's and it could have been even a very simple error of some sort, but considering the magnitude of it, its a must that there should be a public disclosure and complete transparency. If not there is no way which even a pinch of trust can be brought back with regard to our examination process. Also the explanation should not be something like "we used a geometric equation to solve a statistical problem!" Or rather it seems like all these years people had wrongly taught me that geometry dealt with shapes, sizes, positions and properties of space.

Finally to the young ones, your frustrations and concerns are genuine there is no second thoughts in that. What has happened has happened, take it as a challenge that has been thrown at you and keep your mind open to reject all sorts of forces, units, unions which will try to attract you and use you guys as pawns in their own battle. Don't fall pray for them. In 10 years time the world will not remember that you guys went through this and empathize with you when they offer you a job, its your life and your future so act wisely, be strong and make the right moves keeping the end in mind.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

என்னை வியக்க வைத்த தொலைக்காட்சி நிகழ்ச்சி

எனக்கும் தொலைக்காட்சிக்கும் வெகு தூரம். ஆடிக்கு ஒரு முறை அமாவாசைக்கு ஒரு முறை தொலைக்காட்சி பார்ப்பவன் நான். மிஞ்சி மிஞ்சி போனால் யாராவது சமூக வலை தளங்களில் பஹிரும் கிளிப்  பார்ப்பது உண்டு. நேற்று நான் வீடு வந்து இருந்த போது  டிவி ஐ போட்டு வைத்து விட்டு அனைவரும் தங்கள் தங்கள் வேலைகளை பார்க்க போய் விட்டார்கள் அது தன்ற பாட்டில் அழுது கொண்டு இருந்தது ஓப் பண்ண போன  நான் ஒரு விசித்திரமான நிகழ்ச்சியை பார்க்க கிடைத்தது. 

தமிழ் மொழியில் வார்த்தை விளையாட்டு, இந்த நிகழ்ச்சியில் பங்குபற்றியவர்களின் திறமை வியக்கவைத்தது , தமிழ் நாட்டில் இன்னும் இந்த அளவில் தமிழ் அறிவுடயவர்கள் இருக்கிறார்கள் என்று கண்டது, அதிலும் பார்க்க ஒரு பெரிய மகிழ்ச்சி. தமிழ் சினிமா வை பார்த்து இனி தமிழ் மெல்ல சாகும் என்று முடிவுடன் இருத்த என்னக்கு எது ஒரு பெரிய சந்தோசத்தை கொடுத்தது. 24th மார்கழி 2012 நடைபெற்ற ஒரு வார்த்தை ஒரு லட்சம் - முடிந்தால் இந்த நிகழ்ச்சியை முழுசாக பார்க்கவும். 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2012 Technology Predictions

I am trying to play the role of an astrologer and make technology predictions for 2012.

Year of Cloud
It's going to be the year in which the cloud fad peaks. Cloud Computing has been lurking in the sidelines for the last three years and 2012 will be the time for its hour in spotlight. The cloud craze will no-longer be a distance thing spoken by enterprises, it will transform in to a consumer level technology and impact on individual life styles. Cloud based email services, cloud based document management systems, cloud based CRMs, cloud based HRMs, cloud based ERPs will be seen in organizations more and more. It has enough tricks in its bag to sustain the year before the cloud bubble bursts in future. Like all the other infant technologies cloud will also be perverted as much as being really used during 2012!

Year of Android 
Android which has been playing second fiddle to apple in app market will have it's year in glory, since it would have a better penetration because its available on cheaper handsets. Apple would continue to be good in it's space. This will be the year in which Apple will feel the void left by Steve when it comes to selling to a global audience. I can safely write off Microsoft and Nokia in mobile space , and say they are not going to make much of an impact in the mobile space within 2012.

Rise of Mobilets ( Mobile + Tablets ) 
Looking at the Samsung Galaxy note and the attraction that it's getting I am sure there is going to be more similar devices in this space. Not sure whether this can be a big enough space in it's own right but it will be interesting to see. If this concept picks up we would see the irony of life in cycles. From a culture which wanted mobile phones to be small and called the bigger ones a brick - few years later the bricks with a different feature set might become fashionable again - That will be a full cycle!

Not going to be an year for Facebook
Facebook's year of spotlight is over and it's bound to be indulged in more privacy rows. The company will stay true its core values of being 'bold' - So wouldn't be surprised to see more controversial features being pushed and see more disgruntled techies quitting. Google+ isn't going to be a winner either. I would see 2012 where the sun sets on the social networking boom and realities starting to dawn on them. People would start to realize where the social networking tool fits in to their lives. Where as earlier it was new and people expected it to change everything and anything for them.

A lot of 4G 'talks' - But not going to see the real implementation
We are going to hear about 4G/LTE roll outs and implementations right through out the globe. At least in this part of the world this will be far from reality and would continue to be a marketing gimmick to keep the audience enthralled. I would be pleasantly surprised if they can at least give good 3G coverage which doesn't switch to EDGE/GPRS in half the locations.

Note: All views expressed in this blog are my personal views and doesn't in anyway represent the views of the organization I am employed by. 

Friday, December 23, 2011


Being sick today gave me an excuse to sit and watch a couple of Tamil movies. When I say a movie its not really the full movie I watch, in most cases I forward the fights and the songs which had been artificially forced in to the movie and end up finishing certain movies in less than 30 mins. There are movies of 2 actors whose movies take even lesser time, let me not name them, but I am sure your guess is good as mine.

So today I got two movies one called as Sathurangam and Karungali. Karungali wasn't my type of movie.

Watching Sathurangam left me with mixed feelings. The script had occasional bursts of brilliance. In certain parts I was in awe, for example the scene in which the girl explains why she wishes that the boy's parents object to their affair. Certain other scenes too plucked different notes which are unusual in Tamil movies. Those part were beautiful.

When I finished the movie I noticed that it was a Karu Palaniappan movie, the man whom I was very much impressed about after watching manthira punnagai. This was a big surprise for me, so I google to find whether it was true, apparently he has also won an award for Sathurangam script. I've no doubt that he is a good script writer, but sir, although you had won the best script writer award for Sathurangam, personally for me Manthira punnagai is your best up to now!

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Annual 'Pilgrimage'

Last year at this time of the year we were 'conquering' the Himalayas. We had a super adventure, which I had already documented to the best of my limited ability as a series under Himalayan Heights.

We tried to make a promise to make this an annual trip, but unfortunately this December wasn't the right time to travel out, due to some commitments. I was wishing to make a backpacking 'pilgrimage' to the biggest religious structure in the world - Angkor Wat. Probably the gods didn't want us to visit them this year ;) . 2012?! Watch this video of my childhood hero Ian Wright visiting Angkor Wat.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A symbolic picture

Students' standing in front of a Arumuga Navalar's portrait. The architect who created a educational revolution in Jaffna which has enabled generations to reap what he sow!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Dear Great Leader!

Its a nation with a little above 20 million people. The national television's purpose of existence is to dedicate itself to educate people about the feats of its great leader. They describe that on the day of his birth there appeared a double rain bow and a bright star on the sky. He is hailed as a god like figure in the nation, a great patriot, a  living saint and every other thing people got were gifts to the people from the Great Leader!

The great leader started his succession planning when he got a few health hick ups, so the process of starting to groom his favorite son was being executed to perfection. So the state media played  it out well to show what the son is the great successor to take over the regime so that the throne stays within the family.

The nations greatest ally is China and today its also the biggest trading partner of that country. I am talking about North Korea! The nation that's making all news with the demise of its 'Great' Leader ( Great leader is actually the son of the Dear Leader, what will be his son's title). A secretive nation and at times it gives you goose bumps when you read about that country as painted by the western media. A nation that doesn't apparently have a mobile operator or access to internet but crucially has  nuclear power. Interesting. Its always nice to read about North Korea.

Monday, December 19, 2011

250th Post!

In my marathon blogging exercise, with the target of 365 blog posts on the trot, today I reach the 250th post! So thought of doing some chest beating and bragging ;)

To be honest the amount of grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and factual errors that I made in the posts had been uncountable.Despite of all that there are indeed a lot of nice people with such perseverance and tolerance levels to read them.

Personally during this exercise, I also understood how bad I had been in encouraging other people. Its only when others wrote to me or gave feedback or left a comment on the blog I realized that I had been very stingy in giving credit and encouragement where it is due and constructively criticize when it was due. By experiencing it, now I understand that people who do this, are people with a very rare quality and at times we ignore or take these people for granted and fail to appreciate their role and contribution.

I didn't have a habit of hitting a like button for nice creations, I never commented on someone else's blog when I read them, I never wrote to others to thank when someone's writing or product was useful to me, never really valued the wikipedia contributors unselfish contributions to make others lives easier, never wrote a review for a book I read, but the perceptions on all the above has now changed to the positive side during the last 250 days. I now try to write personal notes to people when their contribution has been useful or nice or inspiring. Now I am more lavish in clicking Likes. Probably now I realize the value of them more than I did before. This continuous blogging exercise has now become almost like a spiritual experience and forces me to forgot about all the chaos around me and think about what I want to write or post for the day.  It reminds me on a daily basis that I had spent one more day from my time on the planet. This in turn reminds me of "THE END". When my teacher said our motto is "LOOK TO THE END" I never understood that, but now on a daily basis when I sit down to write it reminds me that I need to keep the end in mind and look to the end!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The debate on the Values of YIT

Initially when we defined the values of Yarl IT Hub (click here to read the earlier post). We defined the following as our values,

* Not for profit initiative
* Transparent
* Apolitical
* Technology and corporate independent

When this was published "The MBA" at home was critical of the listing. The criticism was that, all the values listed are negative. The listing is what are the things as a community we wouldn't do, but it has missed to have the listing of what things we would do as a community. Initially at least I was hesitant to listen, but on second thoughts I felt a bit awkward so when the team met up last week I explained the dilemma and the team unanimously agreed with her argument.

So we thought of amending the listing and include some positive things too (So altogether we would have 7 Values),

1. Nurture and develop IT talent
2. Empower the community with IT
3. Innovation

Nurture and develop IT talent
To achieve our vision of making Yarl the next Silicon valley its of utmost importance for us to nurture and develop IT talent. We would strive to create a conducive environment for IT talent growth and IT start ups. This would also serve as a platform to network and share knowledge on IT.

Empower community with IT
We strive to use technology to positively influence the livelihood of the community.

If we are to make a mark on the globe, its a must that we innovate.  We as a community would live a culture of innovation and and would dare to try and encourage innovative means and ways.

Please feel free to give us feedback at all times - we listen and value it!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Yarl IT Hub Logo Competition - Voting

Yarl IT Hub's logo competition is in full swing. Now there are 9 logo's competing, I am pretty sure there will be a few more during the next couple of days. Its been very encouraging to see the creativity, enthusiasm and participation the community has towards this shared dream. Please do take time to visit and 'LIKE' what you like ;)

A collage created using some of the logo's submitted for the competition
It will be open for voting till the 25th of December - So please do visit the page as often as possible and see what comes up new and do not forget to click LIKE if its your choice for the community logo!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Current affairs as described by train commuters

The train is a funny place, you hear everything from family problems to politics being discussed. In recent times I had not been following local politics and happenings and the 3 hours of travel was enough time to hear all of it.

Of course the first topic was the race! Train commuters after being forced to leave offices early to get the train were really 'pleased' about the fact that there would be Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, porches, etc all parading on our own streets. Such privilege when an entire city center is closed for a race. One suggested that the race could have happened at the highway instead of the city center.  It sounded a good idea! Someone appoint him an adviser!

Then another started the vegetable issue - he suggests that the rule is a generation too early. He recommends that his generation already has enough  immunity in the system to survive with a bit lesser hygiene. He is worried about the potential rise in the cost of vegetables and even markets trying to sell at super market prices. No one argued with him and started to echo his sentiments. Then a lady joined in and said all these developments show a swing of preference towards the "dhanawath panthiya" (the rich man). She say that we don't need highways since its not going to be used by commoners. Sighting that you need a vehicle and then a need to pay a handy sum to take a ride through it. All of a sudden even the good thing of implementing infrastructure development is also being blamed on. Sri Lankan's go through huge mood swings!

Then a young man started to complain by saying, look my father has never bought me even a bicycle for me, but look at that father even with such a modest salary he had made a saving to buy for that 'baby' all of this to ride. If anybody is reading Warren Buffets investment secrets book, forget about it and wait for a better version which can ensure faster returns.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Search for technology dips

Out of curiosity I was checking the search trend for technologies. First I tried to search for MySQL and found that over the years the number of people who are searching for MySQL had been declining. Then I tried to compare with the oracle and ms access patterns and they too showed the pattern.

To explore more I searched for the trends of Linux, XML, Java , etc and the similarity was striking. The number of searches had steadily declined. Except for the mobile technologies the rest seems to have become less attractive for people to search about. Interesting - Is it because these technologies had matured? Or are they past their hour of spotlight. Not sure - Confusing!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

To my dear secret santa

At office we have this secret santa thing and this is my open letter to the secret santa about my wish list.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I thought I would write this to give a guideline on the do's and don'ts for the presents you wish to buy for me.

- Please kindly avoid buying me boring things like ornaments and soft toys. Since my table is already too crowded
- It might look like a good idea to buy me a comb, but then remember even my father tried the same trick as a birthday present 5 years back. But nothing has changed.
- Don't buy me a gift voucher - I already have about 3 gift vouchers on my table approaching the expiry date and I am sure it will expire without being used.
- Don't get me tshirts - I have a full stock of unused new tshirts recieved as gifts although I wear my old MySQL tshirt on a daily basis
- Don't buy me chocolates - I don't eat them and the planet is full of chocolate theives 
- I am a vegetarian so don't buy me food

- If you are filthy rich you can think of buying me the phone that I was looking for in an earlier blog - But then I don't think they give phones for 300 Rs for that matter the phone that I want cannot even be bought for 300 USD. So that's not going to work - forget it!
- By reading the do's and don'ts you would have recognized that it's impossible for you to buy something for me. So the best you could do is contact me before hand and get a present for the person for whom I am supposed to be the 'Santa' - That could be the greatest gift that can be given to me at this point of time - because I am too lazy to go shopping for it. Deal?! ;)

Your earliest response on this is most appreciated.

Thank you,

Yours Truly

Monday, December 12, 2011

Culture of problem solving

There is this facebook group where my relatives interact and share things. If you take the average age of the active users in that group, I am sure it will be touching 35 or even a bit more than that. But strangely you would see puzzles like,

Replace the question marks! 
3 9 1 2 8 3
9 ? ? 2 1 9
1 ? ? 3 9 1
2 1 9 3 8 2
8 3 9 1 2 8
3 8 2 1 9 3

8 3 3 8 8 2 2 8
8 2 2 8 8 3 3 8

being posted and members solving such puzzles with child like enthusiasm. Solving puzzles and asking puzzles is the favorite pass time in our culture. If you take my home, at times as soon as they get the English news paper, except me all the others rush to pick the news paper take the Sudoku page and copy it down on a peace of paper and retreat to different place armed with a pencil in hand and for the next few minutes the house goes dead silent. No body really checks whether they completed or not there aren't any awards on offer for it but its an inner calling for them to solve problems.

Similarly when I was a kid I can remember when children from our community met up one of the things that they used to do was to ask tricky puzzles and try to trick each other. It keeps on getting harder and people spend a lot of time trying to find them and also others spend even more time solving them. At times for people like me, it has been irritating, when I wanted amma's attention she would be doing a Sudoku  or when I wanted to play or read a book someone keeps on annoying me with puzzles for which I do not have the capacity to solve.

While being a kid I never ever thought that this was a useful thing, until I joined the Software industry. The way I was selected and now, the way I select people at interviews also greatly revolves around puzzles and problem solving capability. At that point it just clicked to me, what ever puzzles that I was forced to do as a child has helped me in improving my problem solving skills.

Later on when I started to travel I started to observe people and cultures and then realized that this was not just a family thing but its actually a cultural thing. In reality its one of the most richest things of our culture. This ability has made us in to what we are. In pursuit of industrialization and modernization we are now failing to notice the value of this culture and how unique it is. Being in such an environment of experiencing problem solving is one good thing that can happen to any child. Hope who oppose everything of culture realize to filter the goods part if it!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A green Jaffna

Its been raining for a while here in Jaffna and most of the places are looking lush green. At times if not for the imposing Palmyra trees I would have easily mistaken it for Kandy. The colours are so nice so that I had a field day chasing this squirrel whom ran through the vivid colours in the back ground to pose for me. ;)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Full moon and our obsession with it

Today apparently its another full moon day and I was told that there is a lunar eclipse happening right now. While a periodic planet motion is happening, some astrologers had given 'advise' on how to behave during that time. Some Indian media had picked the advise and had gone to town with the story asking people to avoid eating, travelling, cooking during that time and also to avoid eating any food cooked between 6 PM to 9 PM. To my utter dismay it has been taken all too seriously and at least a few genuinely concerned people asked me to eat early. We already had complicated full moon so much so that we don't work on those days and now to add to that "you shouldn't eat". What a world rather what a moon!

Anyway out of curiosity I stepped out to watch the lunar eclipse in the night and took a picture. Sorry I missed by tripod badly.

Friday, December 9, 2011

How he values each cent

There is this old dude probably in his 50's got in to the bus and sat next to me. Suddenly the lady seated in front turned and asked him "where is the computer?" He panicked, searched for it and then got down and tried to chase the three wheeler. After 10 mins totally tired and frustrated. He was blaming his fate. Said that "vithi vilayaduthu".

I too started to feel very sorry for him. I was imagining the fate that would befall on me if I loose my computer all of a sudden, cost on one hand and the data on the other. It was sending a shiver down my spine.

Then he started to speak to me and I tried my best to listen to him, which was the best I could do to console him. Slowly it was revealed that he hasn't lost his computer but its his new monitor. So I felt a bit more ok than before, but still I was imagining him to be a humble man who is deservedly whining about this after he has lost a few months of his savings.

After about 30 mins the topic is still the monitor and now it becomes more clear that this was a free new replacement monitor he has got himself after he went and argued with the seller saying that the old one is damaged after he has used it for an year. After some time he started to explain to me that he is the main agent for an important retail product for two regions and with 10 outlets fully owned by him. He travels to india and canada as if its his next door, but still whining for 2 hours non stop about the lost monitor. Finally he tells me that he is so tensed after loosing it and wants some water to dry his throat. I just realized a quality and value system that has made him in to what he is today. For whatever reason most of the successful Sri Lankan businessmen have this quality.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Yarl IT Hub - Logo Design Competition

To live up to the spirit of a community initiative, Yarl IT Hub is running a logo design competition among the online community. The winning design will be chosen and 'crowned' as the Yarl IT Hub’s logo. The logos designed by the community will be put on display on facebook and the design which gets the most number of "likes" will be made the logo of Yarl IT Hub!

The rules are

  1. All designs should be posted on the Yarl IT Hub fan page at and the logo with the highest number of likes by the 25th of December 2011 (12 midnight IST) shall be picked as the winner.
  2. The winning logo will become a property of the Yarl IT Hub (vision / values)
  3. Yarl IT Hub reserves the right to reject any design if it’s deemed to be incoherent with the vision or core value of the initiative.
Winner gets a complimentary copy of the first memorabilia created with the Logo.

Now time to show off the creative side of the online community! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Which phone to buy

For months now my phone has been "playing up" very often than not. It decides to take sabbatical leaves at random and then all of a sudden after a few days of repercussion starts working again.  Its now a ticking time bomb and I am pretty sure that on one important day it will just go dead. I had been happily postponing the purchase of a new one, since I enjoy a phone less non intrusive life. After some thought now I've decided I am going to get myself a replacement.

Just been searching for the 'right' phone for me and still largely undecided. The range that's in for sale is so large and confusing. Once bitten twice shy, the only decision that I had made is that its NOT going to be a phone with Windows mobile OS! As of now main contenders are a few android phones. btw I am not one of those android Martyr types and consider all other phone users as traitors of open source. Its just that out of the options I found to be available only this range had something that could fit by bill and purpose. If I find some other OS phone which is better off would definitely buy that.

The main options which I am think about are the Google Nexus S and Samsung galaxy note. From the little I played around with Google nexus seemed a good phone. The price range was also was not too bad. When I was almost convinced about this I came across the Samsung Galaxy note, now this is expensive but its crucially a hybrid between a tab and a mobile phone. I wouldn't buy a tab in near future anyway hence paying a bit extra to get a bit of tab like future also seems an exciting prospect. But then you know carrying around a phone of the size of a brick :( Damned confused. If anyone has any recommendations please let me know.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

No SQL making all the headlines

In the last few months No SQL has been in the news for the "right" and the "wrong" reasons. The Mongo DB rumor was doing the rounds and was giving coverage to No SQL for the wrong reasons. While this was happening, on the sidelines few interesting things were also happening.

Venture capitalists were stepping up investments on No SQL solutions. One report claimed a whooping $350M has been invested by the venture capitalists on No SQL. At the same time seems as if Oracle is also feeling the pinch from the No SQLs and seems as if it has stepped up the activity to provide No SQL features. Its by combining the MySQL clusters NDB API and memcache. The MySQL cluster 7.2 trunk has direct memcache integration via the NDB API, through which No SQL operations are enabled.

Looking at the signals, where on one hand its coming under heavy attack in the form of rumors,  while there is heavy investment on it. The signs seems to be obvious, No SQL is here to stay.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Risk of an artist

Sun between leavesThere are certain pictures, which I thought were nice, but never liked by others. This picture is one of those. I posted it on facebook got about 1 or 2 likes and didn't get much attention on flickr too.

If I cannot predict how its going to be accepted by others for a simple picture. Imagine how the people who bet their careers on doing creative films. Seriously it takes a lot of courage to do different things and try different genre of films.

For whatever reasons people like Balachander, Maniratnam, also the young directors of films like "7G rainbow colony" (Selvaragavan) and "Manthira pungai" (Karu Palaniappan) are the first people who come to my mind. Ah then of course, I will rot in hell if I do not mention "Bala". These are people who had consistently chartered uncharted territories on celluloid but also made sure they knew the tastes of the audiance with very high  hit rates.

Thank god I do a technical job and not a creative job :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kolaveri - The tipping point

Its been ten days since I first blogged about Kolaveri Song.  It has continued to attract attention and now gone more international with many variants of it coming out of different places. Even an unofficial female version of it has by itself got nearly 2.4 million hits on youtube! The latest version of it is also a must watch.

It has got a lot of international media coverage including getting Air time on BBC radio, MTV etc, mention on the Time magazine, Economist and dominating the web sites of all the Indian main stream media.

While the kolaveri "killer rage" is sweeping by and becoming an international anthem, purists are annoyed with the success of it and our full of complains. Unfortunately purist forget to identify the fact that being popular by no means imply that its the best. For something to become viral or popular it doesn't have to be the best. If you look at recent history, Twitter went viral, but doesn't mean that technologically it was the most advanced or the best social networking site ever developed. The Arabic spring went viral but it doesn't mean that people never tried harder to protest before that in Arab. Facebook went viral but doesn't mean it was the best designed social network at that point of time. 

In Malcolm Gladwell's "Tipping Point" he tries to explain this kind of mysterious sociological changes and here is my own (poor) attempt to fit "Kolaveri" in to the "Three rules of Epidemics". 

Rule 1: The law of few - It talks about the "The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts". When you view the video as an outsider it looks as if its been sung by a next door kind of guys and gals. But , the people involved are Superstar Rajinikanth's daughter (director of the movie in which the song is to be in ), Rajinikanth's son in law - Dhanush (He is also a national award winner for acting) and Kamal Hassan's daughter. Now these are the people with the rare social gifts of having parents who have captured the minds of the Tamil audiences. If you are in to Tamil movies you can either a Rajini fan or Kamal fan or sometimes a fan of both. So when their children are involved in a creative piece of work the Tamil person who watches this has more chances of sharing it and planting the seeds of going viral in the social networks. So that's what initially happened it was the Tamil audiences who started to initially share it and then as they say is "history".

Rule 2: The stickiness factor. The rule is described as "the specific content of a message that renders its impact memorable". Being dumped by a girl (soupu boy) is a global phenomenon and normally its best communicated when the dumped guy gets drunk and the song just does the same. Plus since its mostly in English its understood by non Tamils too. The lyrics and simple non intrusive music just creates the much needed stickiness factor. 

Rule 3: The power of context. If I am not mistaken up to now Tamil movie songs are not officially published on the youtube. But in this case apparently this song was leaked on youtube even before the other songs of the movie were ready . Hence the crew decided to or rather in away forced to release the song on youtube to counter the leaked version. The context that this has set up is phenomenal and turned out to be a blessing in disguise! 

I had become a fan of the Science of social epidemics from the day I read Tipping Point!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Random UI thoughts and local web sites

After a very long time from last week I had been spending time on doing some HTML and CSS work. Incidentally I was playing around with JQuery UI parts - Was pretty impressed on how easier this has become. Years back when Ajax became a fashion,  when we wanted to build nice looking sleek modernist sites we used Dojo and if I am not mistaken at that time jquery was at its infancy. Today of course both these projects had matured well and is much more stable. Its impressive to note how interesting open source projects grow to these levels within a few years from their start. They had now build an eco system around them and continuing to grow.

These had made it so easy so that the developer doesn't have to have any clue of how Ajax message passing happens. At the initial stages - we had to write the java scripts to handle the newly introduced XML tag for this at that time. I remember at that time lecturers of the earlier generations complaining that our generation is escaping away from any low level programming, justifiable complain since we didn't do much on C and were more inclined towards Java and PHP when it came to projects. I am sure the next generation is moving another level of abstraction higher.

Although this level of sophistication is available I cannot still believe why most of the local news web sites resemble "thorans" (pandols). Having blinking xenon lights on the web sites and trying to mimic the psychology of  attraction towards colorful flowers in web design, a concept from the pre-Y2K era.

I just checked the Daily mirror site it had more than 10 blinking things on the homepage. Ada derana also has 10 and makes sure that its not lagging behind in the blinking "competition". Did someone say simple - minimal design - Oh sorry he is dead now!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Signs of getting old?

The other day I was scrolling the daily mirror site and found a heading which read that "Chandimal fined", I didn't bother to click the item and read it. I was under the prejudice that the youngster would have obviously done something nasty and has been deservingly punished.

This same ME, few years back, used to jump and read such news item written about the cricketers being fined. For example Sanga used to have a liking to get fined every other match and I would read it with a lot of sympathy towards him and curse the older generation people who try to tell that he should learn to shut up and play. For me he was a symbol of a cricketting rebel, whom was only second to Arjuna, anyone who condemned them were traitors.

After a bit of thinking I thought probably I was influenced by the mental personalities I had created about the different cricketers.

Then on the other day I was travelling on the train and I settled into a seat and pulled my kindle and started to read. At one of the stations I see a set of people seated on a platform and play cards, for a moment I thought - "what a waste of time". Ironically, the guy who is thinking like this has a Bachelors degree in card games ( specializing in 304 ).

In another case interestingly I was talking to a person who has three children and in his late thirties. He was very happy that the government was doing moral cleansing. I said when I was at school I would have really hated it, if someone tried to make sunday school compulsory. Then I reminded him that "dude even you used to complain a lot while you were at school when you were forced to do things". He replied "your opinion will change with time". "You would get old and forget the youthful delight".

Now whenever I get these thoughts I question myself "am I expecting a different thing from others than what I did or was capable of doing". Someday I don't want to be the old man who had forgot the youthful thoughts, acts and deeds.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device