31 December 2007


தாய் மன்னே வணக்கம். தமிழ் மன்னே வணக்கம்.

I'm back to Bangalore, India. Back to Madras for good from 15th January. Yeah, it does feel good when I say that. Regular posts (lots of them ;-)) coming up over the next few days!

Hopefully enough, I can post some nitty-gritty stuff about the "Heaven on Earth" called Madras ;-)



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 3:40 PM 0 comments

22 December 2007

No Mercy

"They have insurance, and there's no reason that the doctors' judgment should be overrided by a bean counter sitting there in an insurance office,"

This just goes to prove that no matter how people look at United States; as heaven or haven, there is still no place for compassion and humanity over business ideals. You are at the mercy of your insurer when you are ill. Michael Moore, after all, was absolutely spot on with his movie "Sicko". Sad. I hope someone somewhere wakes up before it is all too late.


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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:33 AM 3 comments

21 December 2007


No, I am not talking of Microsoft products, since they already _are_ vaporware. I am talking about wired's list of vaporware. You can read it all here



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:36 PM 0 comments

17 December 2007


I find it strange that while my everyday hit count of my blog keeps moving higher and higher, my Technorati rating just keeps dipping !

What is even more strange is that the more frequent I write down something, the faster that my ratings seem to dip.

Yeah, while it is easy to observe that my writing borders on crap, I think technorati should not make things this obvious !!



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:54 PM 2 comments

Monterrey Marathon

And so I ran my fourth marathon of this year. Monterrey Marathon. I did it in almost the same time as my New York Marathon, which was around 4.50. Too much work left me with little time to practice. The course was quite flat, which provided ample scope for me to improve on my timings. Well, I guess I have to target the Bombay Marathon for that.

And so the Chennai Runner's have one more location where the flag has been successfully hoisted :-)


PS: The finisher's medal is quite heavy, and feels much better than my NY, San Diego and Los Angeles medals !
PPS: I am inching closer to my target of five marathons every year. Let me see how 2008 fares up.


Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:47 PM 0 comments

16 December 2007


It was many years ago, (15, to be precise) that I chanced to read this book. Imagine the surprise, shock and a multitude of other feelings that ran into me when I chanced to lay my hands on this book again today, in a library here in Monterrey.

Time to read it once again, and relive those amazing days when holidays meant curling up and reading some book !



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 3:17 AM 0 comments

15 December 2007

Spread the word

I think it is time the blogger community did something concrete so that something like this; a horrible and inhuman act does not happen to any one of us.

Now, will the so-called high and mighty government of United States of America come down to its knees and apologize for ruining this man's family ? No, they won't. As long they do not have the humility to apologize for their mistakes and atone for it, terror will always keep coming to their shores. Nature, is not without its sense of ironies.

Read the entire article here.


PS: Spread the word dear readers. Let us at least increase the level of awareness.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 12:29 PM 0 comments

14 December 2007


Given the fact that there are quite a few of my friends who have asked me to get some Tequila bottles on my way back to India, in the event of my getting caught at customs, here is an interesting idea that I can follow ;-)



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:52 PM 0 comments

13 December 2007

Who else ?

It was around 2005 when Radiocity, the FM station in Bangalore, switched completely to Hindi songs. During one of my trips to IISc by the Bangalore buses, I heard this song "Saathiya Tune Kya kiya". At the first listening the song sounded quite catchy, which was a rarity for a Hindi song. What was more puzzling to me was the instrument arrangement, which was quite close to what the "King" Illayaraja himself would do, including the violins, and most importantly the flute interlude. Anyway, check out the song here.

And then, true to my instincts, it turns out to be a Telugu song, tuned by, who else but Illayaraja of course. Check out the song(dubbed into Tamil) here:

Needless to say, the song picturization in Hindi is downright hilarious, especially towards the end, when the lead pair strum an acoustic guitar, but the audio has a soft bass guitar ;-)



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 5:11 AM 0 comments

11 December 2007


I am just wondering aloud here. We Indians wrote KamaSutra. No doubts about that. Our grandfather's generation, to put in S.Ve.Shekar's words, were of the "Muttai ittu kunju parikkum" (raising a brood of kids) generation. With all this background, how did we become such hypocrites, that the society vehemently raises up to censure even remote talks on the subject of sex-education ?
What made the society, and any average Tom, Dick and Harry, think that they are the protectors of the so-called culture ?
Me thinks that the Mughal invasion lead to this kind of hypocrisy. Any enlightened soul out there who can throw some light on this ?



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:23 PM 2 comments

08 December 2007


There is a huge craze for fuel efficient cars in the United States. The car companies are vying with each other to give their fuel economy numbers, 28 MPG (Miles per Gallon), 33 MPG e.t.c, e.t.c. But, the fine print in those advertisements says it all-- "Manual Transmission".

And yet, in spite of this craze and advertisements, cars with automatic transmission outsells the ones with manual transmission.

Grow up you Americans. Stop using automatic transmission; switch to Manual Transmission, save the earth and your fuel bills.


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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:59 AM 0 comments

07 December 2007

Somebody out of Nobody

Still do not believe me when I say that the internet can make somebody out of a nobody ? Then read the story of Tila Tequila here, and keep wondering what the heck this internet is all about ;-)

Closer home in India, people may counter back that kribs (Kiruba Shankar) is also one of this kind, but then again, his recent role as editor of Blognation India may run into some problems !! ;-) (Update: Well, Kribs may be saved after all. Techcrunch has some updates)

I would, on any day, wager my bet on these two guys, to survive this bubble.


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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:33 PM 2 comments

06 December 2007


Polladhavan(2007). A movie that reminds us as to why, in general, tamilians do not look anywhere else (read Hindi movies) for quality movies. Of course, notable exceptions are Malayalam movies of the Adoor Gopalakrishnan times.

A detailed review, in both English and Tamil, would be up shortly.



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:36 PM 0 comments

என்ன உலகமடா சாமீ

என்னோட நண்பன் ரகுராம் சொன்னத போல இத பார்த்தா ஒருத்தனுக்கு ஏன் கல்யாணம் ஆகலன்னு கேட்க கூடாது, அதுக்கு பதில உனக்கு எப்படிடா கல்யாணம் ஆகும்னு கேட்கணும் !


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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:18 AM 0 comments


It is a myth that lower temperatures in a desert would not leave your throat parched. It is always the same.

(Observation after practicing for Monterrey Marathon at 4.00AM when the temperature hovers around 8-9 degrees centigrade.)



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 12:25 AM 0 comments

Sandisk Sansa E280

I had already written about the fact that I own a Sandisk Sansa E280.

However, the scroll wheel of that player got bad and hence, I got it replaced as it was still under warranty. What do I get in the replacement ? A Sandisk Sansa E280 V2 !! The second version of the player, which unfortunately does only MTP and no MSC. For the uninitiated, MTP is Microsoft's Media Transfer Protocol for media players. More on that is up here. MSC is a generic protocol for accessing USB devices. More on that here. That totally sucks.

Now I am forced to download some extra software for my Mac to maintain playlists on the player. Luckily, there is a free alternative called XNJB.

There is however a hack I found on the internet to switch the Sandisk Sansa E280 V2 to MSC mode. Here it goes. First, switch off the player. Now, move the hold key, found on top of the player, to lock all the keys. Now, while keeping the |<< key pressed, connect the player to a PC. The player switches on and gets recognized in MSC mode. Now, you can use the remaining space in your player to store any kind of files that you want.

But, one thing is for sure. I am not recommending Sandisk Sansa E280 to anyone from now on, for the simple reason that they force people to use some shitty M$$ protocol. Any iriver owner wants to trade his/her player with me ?

Update: XNJB locks up my player, and quite horribly at that. Time to see which other software I can use to sync up my player and my Mac.


PS: Yes, I do admit that Sandisk Sansa E280 V2 kicks some serious ass when compared to the previous version. The buttons feel better, the scroll wheel is nice, and most importantly, the quality of FM receiver has gone a few notches higher.

PPS: Update: As of 18th December, Sandisk has released a new firmware for Sansa E280 V2, which enables one to force MTP or MSC mode. The MTP mode still does not work with XNJB, which I am sure would be sorted out in the next few days. Sanity at last !!

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 12:14 AM 2 comments

04 December 2007

Talent never goes down the drain

I had earlier written about actress Pooja Umashankar, cribbing about the fact that she seems to be virtually un-noticed.

Well, looks like someone heard me ;-)

Check out this article which describes her popularity in Sri Lanka !

As usual, talent never goes in vain ;-) :-)



Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 11:57 PM 0 comments


Now, everyone knows that flying within, into and out of the Unites States is a nightmare. You cannot carry that, you cannot carry this, you have to remove your shoes, belt before the screening point, and all that jazz. Basically, the TSA makes sure that you are almost stripped butt naked ;-)

Having flown into and out of the United States on an almost monthly basis for the past year or so, I found something that is quite puzzling.

You are not allowed to carry water bottles, if you purchased it prior to the security screening point. However, you are allowed to carry it if you purchase it _after_ the security screening point. If the purpose of the whole exercise is to prevent inflammable liquids and such, how did they allow the shops, which are situated after the security screening point, to stock water bottles ? If they did some kind of check on those water bottles before allowing the shops to stock it, why cannot they do the same check on those passengers who carry the water bottles ?

I mean, the security check for those shop attendants cannot be any different from the travelers right ? If they are, well, I guess I just pressed the panic button for quite a few people ;-)

Puzzling indeed. And to think of there are a lot of people protesting against these kinds of stupid acts. Read here and here. There have also been reports that investigators have been able to take in explosives, undetected, across the so called secure scanners.


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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:20 PM 0 comments


Well, in case you were unaware, MPAA, the Motion Picture Association of America, has been going around various universities in the United States, distributing copyright violation and take down notices to many students, as if they were research grants ;-)

And so what do they get ? A copyright violation notice in return ! As you sow, so will you reap indeed.

They violated the GPL and were served a successful take-down notice.

Check here.

Fate, it seems, is not without its sense of irony after all. (Morpheus in Matrix)


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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:06 PM 0 comments


Sorry to disappoint some of those who were wishing I disappeared, but, I am still alive and kicking. Just that due to some exciting things that might happen over the next few months, I am pretty busy ;-)
Hopefully enough, I would return to regular posting in the next few days.


Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 6:15 AM 0 comments