Memoirs of Solo, Indoor Cricketing
Not all kids with no siblings are introverts but those that are play more of the solo-cricket than the others who, at the first sign of a gully match, would rush to join the legion and toil in the summer grounds for their chance at the crease. I’ve played more indoor solo cricket than the usual form of the game that comes to your mind, irrespective of whether or not you’ve been...
How We Killed Time. And a few boys.
The post-lunch summer was no deterrent to the students playing in the corporation ground, adjacent to Kendriya Vidyalaya (Gill Nagar) - better known in the neighborhood as the ‘Central School.’ The corporation plot served as the playground for the school which had - unlike most other KVs in Chennai - no playground of its own. About ten or fifteen minutes before the lunch break was...
Ah! The Winters!
4th May, 2013 A soggy wet towel is wrapped on my torso and I’ve gulped down three cups of water from the matka in under five minutes. The old fan, getting ready for a Sunday wash early on the morrow, pushes a warm draft downwards. It is unpleasant. The soggy wet towel dries to a crisp in another fifteen minutes and I’ve gulped six more cups of water by then. Bottom line: it’s...
Prativaadi Bhayankara Sreenivas
When he stepped out of the white Ambassador on a decidedly harsh and sunny late morning, the first words he spoke were, “simmering summer.” The alliteration was lost on me then but the dozen or so pens in his pocket - a seemingly unnecessary load for a fragile man like him - caught my attention. He inched his way onto the dais amidst the usual applause he must have gotten widely used...
The Art of Making Tea
Preparing tea has an exalted status in the Zen realm of which I, like several others, fall prey to in a very positive light. The rudiment, so goes the tale, is comparable to that of the persistent Zen theme: the art of being present, of mindfulness. Since many a writer has dabbled in glorifying the art of making tea leading to a convoluted description of its spiritual reflection, it so becomes...
What Happens After The Novel Ends
Let me tell you how the usual, popular espionage story travels: an enticing prologue, an unusual story with a few twists and turns - some of them permissibly unexpected - and then a climax or an anti-climax that either makes you happy or sad. This man, John le Carré, writes nothing of the sort. The other night, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy ended like how most of his other novels end. And it left...
Come to think of it, it’s the interstices that bothers a soul. It’s summer and all theories of cross-ventilation don’t hold good on the arid planes of Vejalpur in one corner of Ahmedabad. The old fan, thankfully not rickety, does offer some solace but it is tired all the same. Seventeen days. Or sixteen. I am not good at math. Sixteen, let’s say. My Mum has stayed sixteen...
A Dead Streak
It wasnt really sultry. A little warm draft was playing across the room, not enough to make you sweat but to let you know that the summer’s settling in. Slowly, steadily, but definitely. George Smiley was with Lacon and Guillam and one other guy. Ricky Tarr, I suppose. I don’t really remember his name. Tarr was narrating a story to no one in particular, mostly, and to Smiley...
On "Timeless" Design
Frank Chimero says, pretty much, that there’s no such thing as “timeless” design. This is something I couldn’t accept - unlike I could with several other posts of his - so I had to write this. I admire Frank and in fact the very first post on this blog (after the old blog was purged and the new one built atop) has his name on it. His “Roses from Bullshit”...
Here's To The Crazy Ones
I saw Ballmer jumping around like a chimp and the only meme that I could think of at that time was this. Today, on my Facebook TL, there’s this news item: Blackberry’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, is saying that Android and WP aren’t mobile computing platforms. Yesterday, or sometime before that (because I’ve lost track of time seeing stupid shit happen in the tech world), one of...
A Vanity Fair
I had to write this. The other day I stumbled across a post on my Facebook timeline. It was a frivolous thing actually: a post about a “short teaser” for an upcoming short-film of no particular importance to the world. As is always the case, I had to ignore this and continue scrolling. Ultimately, as luck would have it, I decided to check out the “teaser” (ending up in...
And the saga continues. Android gets the step-motherly treatment. But talk about fragmentation and developers are more than happy to focus on just one platform for now. And that’s why iOS is a charm for developers and naturally for users. I’ve heard enough people trash-talk Apple and I’ve written about iOS stagnating. But the thing is, it’s got this exclusive thing...
About the “About” Page
The “about” page of this blog was slapped without much forethought. I’ve never felt comfortable drafting the “about” section for this blog. Should I write about what I do for a living? Or about what interests me? Or about what I read? Or what my philosophy is? Bloody hell. By a stroke of luck, I realized that my “about” page on this blog looks perfect as of now. And it’s all thanks...
A Subtly-Heavy Redesign
After thinking about it, dreaming about it and basically short of writing the code on paper Woz-style, I finally got around to rewriting the code of the entire blog. Like I feared, it took me sometime; I started the doctype declaration at something like 5.00pm and it’s about 11.40pm now. You don’t have to do the math. I was just saying it took me that long. What’s Changed ...
Vishwaroop(am): Let's Be Honest. Really.
TL;DR – “Haters gonna hate” (this review) but let’s truly be honest with Mr Haasan’s attempt. It’s shallow. Let me make certain things clear before I begin tearing down a serious effort. I am a strong fan of Kamal Haasan. And when I tell you that I’m not talking just about his talent, I mean it. He is a thinker, a philosopher and a person with a keen sense of...
இன்று மட்டும் ஏனோ புரியவில்லை, பிரிவின் பின் சேர்ந்த காதலியைப்போல் கெட்டியாகக் கட்டிக்கொண்டது தனிமை.
For years, mankind – or more specifically the fraternity that tries to figure out the underlying philosophy of physics – has known that there’s an intimate connection between the very nature of consciousness and the quantum realm. There’s a blur of distinction between the two and the deeper you go, reason, logic, intellect and even the very idea of knowledge appears to be of little or...
Gas Price Hikes & the Indian People
It’s particularly funny how people go up in arms - not on the streets but on Facebook walls - whenever the Government raises prices of one of the most essential thing that almost runs the economy of most nations in the world: oil. As a commoner, people deem it absolutely necessary to critique the injustice the government has frequently been performing through several price hikes in the...
For two years, I studied in Vivekananda College (Chennai) and for two long years, I saw how the name of Vivekananda got entangled with needless religious rituals and insensible religious fervor. His core values of secularism, harmony and social upheaval where ignored, often thrown to dust while a collection of saints that thought of themselves as God-men used his name, nay, misused his name at...
A Status Check After Long
Time for a status check here. 1. I’ve got to center-align the blog and change the font family. I’m getting tired of this design. This means some personal time with CSS and since I also intend to make this responsive (or at least, fluid), this would also mean I’ll get to handle CSS media queries. 2. I meant to write a long long long post about 2012 - the year that brought a sense...
Dashboards & Smartness
I read two interesting articles about dashboard analytics today. This and this. Both were smartly written although I must admit the latter was specifically intended as a branded content promoting a dashboard product. Smart as they were, I guess I wouldn’t agree with most of what was written. Anil, for instance, says - after showing a screenshot of sample graphs from Facebook and Chartbeat: I...
TNW Only for iOS
This month’s magazine will be the last Android optimized issue. Starting 2013 we will only publish for iOS. » This is precisely why Google has to think ‘hardware.’ I hope that’s what they’ve got in mind now that they’ve got Motorola acquired. Despite being a fan of the iOS ecosystem, I can’t imagine an iOS-only ecosystem. It kills.
Time's Predictions for 2013
The Android and Windows sides of the tech market are moving quickly to create tablet/laptop combo devices, and business and consumers alike are showing interest in these kind of products. » Now this is something like a foregone conclusion. We need tablets that are like laptops. Or laptops that are like tablets. Yeah, a hybrid that will make navigation as easy as touch and still have features of...
planting the seeds
I don’t like harvesting, I like planting the seeds, and helping them grow into fully flowered plants. That’s where I get joy from my job. - Fred Wilson. » Reminds me of that famous dialogue fromThevar Maganwhere Sivaji Ganesan says something on similar lines. On a side note, happy new year. ;)
There’s a big difference between what you intend to say and what you end up saying. Sometimes, it’s because you can’t find the words. Sometimes, it’s because you just can’t say. Even if you have the words. »
I honestly didn’t know what to think. My mind was a blank because I just didn’t expect it. The name seemed to come out of nowhere. It sounded more foreign at that moment than its actual origin. » Don Melton on what happened when he heard the name ‘Safari’ for the first time. For someone who had been a part of the team that built the first native browser for Mac, his website...
New Flickr App for iOS
And if it continues to innovate and update the service, Flickr could even become the next Flickr. » This could be a direct result of this.
Mona Lisa From Genetic Code
This is “wow!” material.
Google's Maps Has the trademark Flat Design
After Apple’s heavy-handed realism and Microsoft’s harsh minimalism, it’s nice to see that Google is also beginning to find its voice. This is a great use of both axes: keep the left-right axis for switching between screens, and use the top-bottom one for providing additional info within a single screen. »
You're Being Watched & Listened To
You’re being watched (and listened to). » Ah, the pleasures of living in a second world country. Our awareness is a little less than the level where we become paranoid about stuff like this when it happens.
Human Limitations & Adaptive Systems
The more you can do by intuition the smarter you are; the computer should extend your unconscious. - Mark Weiser. Because if you focus your energies in making the system smart rather than yourself, you are risking the corrosion of your intuitive knowledge. We’ve come a long way on this path, though. It is said that our ancestors could recognize countless herbs easily and even though they...
Trends for Mobile Apps
Right this moment, a few things have taken the lead in mobile applications. 1. Responsive Design probably takes the cake for being one of the most important considerations not just for websites but for web-based apps too. The mobile ecosystem is not just the iPhone and the iPad but it’s also, increasingly, a plethora of Android devices. Even if they aren’t competitive or comparable to...
Getting Rid of File Management
And eventually, the file system management is just gonna be an app for pros and consumers aren’t gonna need to use it. » File management systems – in Windows, in Mac, in Linux – have been a pain in the ass but since they’ve been here right from the start, no one really cares. Except, of course, guys like Steve who have a flair for the technical aspect along with a lot of emphasis on...
Miguel: Google Plus was a big bet. Page: Is a big bet. » Is. Someone got owned? May be. Google Plus is certainly happening. But not for squatters that occupy Facebook and – to a large extent – Twitter.
An Honest Resume
Stumbled on this wonderful resume today. In my portfolio, you will see that unproduced package redesign for Squirtburst, inspired by kinetic typography popular in the West Coast concert posters of the 1960’s. In this designer’s opinion, it creates a visual appeal unprecedented in the beverage aisle. The client called it “uninspired” and said it would make kids “vomit if...
Tim Cook on Apple TV Reminds Me of Something
TV has been left behind - Tim Cook. » Strangely, I am reminded of the two people – one, my grandmom and the other, my maternal aunt – offering the spare television lying around in their house. TV doesn’t have much use here in a bachelor’s room. Yes, Mr. Cook. TV has been left behind.
Technology is imperfect and So Are People
Please use common sense people. » People in the first world have this total reliance on technology. When you rely/trust on someone a lot (or blindly), you often end up making a fool of yourself. I guess the same goes with technology. On a side note, I relied on Google Maps yesterday to locate Hotel St Laurn (to attend a wedding reception). The ambiance of a 5-star hotel is always...
Smart Big Brother
This sounds illegal to me. I’m sure they triangulated some information but how could they pin point to personally identify me? Is this common & so blatant (or even legal)? » A guy goes to a website, doesn’t do anything but just takes a look at it. No emails given, no forms filled, no links clicked that would give away personal information, no signups. Nothing. And yet “One day...
Rethinking the iPhone Lockscreen
Apple would have to become Google to do all this.
Sometimes, just sometimes, you stumble on great innovative stuff (fun-seeking 9gaggers would go ‘Oh no not another innovative sh*t again!’) on 9Gag. My first thought when I saw the disappearing doorknob was: this would stop burglary attempts! I guess it might just reduce the chances. Like, a not-so-desperate thief looking at a door without a knob decides to skip this one and handle...
Perils of A Responsive Design Fetish
Dmitry of the ultra-popular UsabilityPost finally puts into words what many people have been suspecting in the responsive website design patterns followed across the web. While I like the style direction, I think these sites are trying a little too hard to work like apps, and in doing so, they surrender the strengths of the plain website, namely: simple, responsive navigation mechanisms. » A...
Eric On Patent Wars and Apple
So I stumbled on this article today. The adult way to run a business is to run it more like a country. They have disputes, yet they’ve actually been able to have huge trade with each other. They’re not sending bombs at each other. - Eric Schmidt. Schmidt’s assertion about patent wars affecting not the big guys but startups is so true but who’s listening? Apple sure ain’t....
The constant drumming of “Internet Explorer X is the new Internet Explorer 6″ is getting very old. Microsoft has done a lot to try to correct their past transgressions, and it seems like there are still too many people who aren’t willing to let go of old grudges. - Nicholas Zakas » I was once a part of that group with the grudge against IE (6, specifically) back when I had to account for...
The Age of Password Security Is Gone
The age of the password has come to an end; we just haven’t realized it yet. » Storm’s coming. Again. Mat Honan, who wrote that piece, is the guy who lost several years of digital data (and his identity) when hackers got into his Apple and Amazon accounts. It’s devastating to know how easy it is to hack into systems, online accounts and steal information right under your nose...
Apple bids adieu to Samsung
Apple Likely to Dump Samsung for iDevice CPUs in 2013. » I imagine someone in the top rungs of Samsung’s leadership having said, in a coarse baritone, “Storm’s coming.” Apple did some custom stuff with A6 right? Or was it A6X? If Samsung had been smart enough, they’d have anticipated this and more severing of ties between Apple and itself.
Qeexo wants to bring new dimensions of touch to interactive surfaces, and make better use of the natural richness of our hands. - » I was flipping through technology picks on Flipboard when FastCompany’s cover about these guys caught my attention last night. The project seems very ambitious and creative. Not to mention, very useful too. The idea is to explore and apply the possibility of...
ipad mini's pricing
I’d argue that the $329 price tag is setting up for the second generation, retina-display iPad mini. This leaves them room for a more aggressive pricing move downward when the iPad mini 2 is released. » Now that’s a point to note. That iPad Mini 2 would arrive with Retina Display is almost a foregone conclusion. If Apple had priced iPad Mini at $299 and then raised it to $329 with the...
The problem with our system is that people who practice unity, peace and tolerance are doing nothing other than preaching and those who practice everything else rule the world.
When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. -Laozi.
No Social Buttons Here
If what I wrote is really worth sharing, it should prompt you to do so. A piece’s worth speaks for itself. Either that, or the piece stays right here. No tooting. Likes, tweet buttons, share buttons, +1 buttons: extra baggage for an otherwise minimal site. Extra baggage I’ve done away with. A long long time ago.