Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nothing much

I havent posted on this blog of mine in a long time. If you consider a week to be a long enough interval between blog posts that is. I am spending aimless days at home watching unreal reality shows on TV, sleeping for days on end,
and gulping gallons of booze
and enjoying the occasional adrenaline rush everytime I hear my mobile phone shout (sing rather, or lets say play) 'Its too late to apologize' (yes, I'm still not over that song. Heck, it was the most downloaded song of 2008!).

Anyway, I was wondering what to do with my ample spare time. Its really a shame that when one is neck deep in shit (aka work/studies), one craves for free time and when one finally gets it, its difficult to figure out what to do in that spare time. (Life is so fraking complicated!)

In the absence of any constructive thought cropping up in my brain, I did some pretty old school stuff. Browsed the internet. (Remember those days when the phrase 'browsing the internet' was in vogue? Back then, browsing the internet was a perfectly feasible feat. One could actually browse most of the sites on the web. Fast forward to 2010 and the internet is as endless as the universe we live in. How endless is the universe? How do I know? Ask that guy in the wheelchair)

So, I signed up for sites/forums/web pages I'd never even dream of opening. Of course, only to be frustrated and pissed off at my terrible decision. For example, I signed up for a 'geek' site (lol okay dont start laughing already) only to find out that I was among thousands of Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift fans (who by the way, called themselves 'geeks') and who had absolutely no idea what they were doing in those forums and who somehow considered themselves geeks coz they used Windows (???). Yeah yeah I know what you're thinking.
I was pretty drunk, evidently.

What else did I do? Erm...I signed up for Google Buzz which turned out to be pretty crap (read the post exactly before the current one), expectedly. And...oh yes! I have been discovering! No, not paleolithic artifacts. But, music! Bands, rather. From Europe. I have found that my true genre of choice to be symphonic metal (yes that is a genre and its not pop, so stop thinking in those lines!) thanks to Last.fm which has kindly allowed me to listen to 30 tracks (yeah, thats what you get for a FREE account after which the website dedicates itself to endlessly reminding you of its excellent paid services every time you want to do something useful or interesting). There are quite a few bands from Europe, like Sirenia, Nightwish, Therion, etc., quite unheard of in the international rock arena, coz their records dont become platinum or diamond or ruby or uranium or whatever! But trust me these bands rock, they are awesome!

I also happened to discover YouTube's new service at www.youtube.com/disco where they let you listen to tunes from some new artists/bands. Still in experimental stage (as with everything Google, hell Google is an experiment!), but very useful...theoretically.

And I also found out that I cant be half as funny as Richard Hammond, even when I write. (Okay I stretched it too far, but you dont have to rub it in!) And so, with a heavy heart (not just because I cant be funny, which I cant, but also because I'm really tensed about things outside the cyberscape), I end this stupid post of mine. If you have read this till the end without wanting to destroy your monitor, honestly, you deserve a Nobel Peace Prize more than the current US President.

Peace... (okay now I'm desperate to make this post funny, so this is how they spell forceful laugh ... llooll)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google Buzz

Another Google product! Grrr....

Wait, only this time, its about...hold your breath Social Networking! Erm...do we need any more social networking sites? Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Digg, Stumble Upon, MySpace, the list goes on and on. Hasnt the networking bubble already burst? I mean, havent we 'networked' enough already?

Apparently Google thinks we havent. And so it endeavours to set foot on the only territory on the web which it hasnt been able to conquer so far. If you are from India, or from Brazil, you probably have used something called Orkut. For millions of others, Orkut is a social networking site created many years ago by Google. It became quite a huge hit in India and at some point, almost every net surfer had an Orkut account. It all changed when we discovered Facebook. Facebook, the most popular social networking site on the planet had so far remained completely oblivious to us, Indians (Or is it the other way round?).

Until recently, when all of a sudden Facebook and Twitter seemed to be the latest buzz word around. Everyone started shifting to facebook, partly because it offered more security, better features etc. and even more because it was a matter of keeping up with the Jones, although in India its more like keeping up with the Rams and the Shyams.

Okay, I'm getting completely lost here. Back to the point. So you see, Google really had to come up with something very unique in order to hold on to its subscriber base. Renovating Orkut didnt work, actually it backfired; for most Orkut users dont like the new Orkut (or lets say the facebook-wannabe-Orkut).

So now, Google reinvents Orkut in a way (which I'm sure many of you might've noticed) very intelligent indeed. Google integrates Google Buzz to their most popular offering, Gmail. Smart thinking, Google! Now every Gmail user logging in, will be asked the question, 'do you want to try out Google Buzz?'. 9/10 times a user will think, why not? And hence one gets to explore the 'buzz'.

So what is it? Its basically a 'sharing' web app (if I may categorise it as such) which allows you to share your favourite links, photos and videos, and share it with the world. I'm quite surprised as to how much it resembles Google Wave. Google Buzz in my opinion is Google Wave with more options.

It has no separate interface since it integrates with your Gmail account, which makes it quite boring to be honest. As of now its not exactly lightning fast, which really doesnt contribute to the wow-factor anyway. It allows you to comment on anything and everything posted and even 'Like' a post (No 'Un-like' option here, unfortunately, as Google has vowed to copy facebook feature by feature and not add anything else)!

However Buzz automatically adds all your Gmail contacts (who have signed up for Buzz) to your Buzz followers (have I heard that word somewhere else?). Hence you are not exactly alone (like most of us who have used Google Wave when it launched were).

Its neither facebook, its not twitter and its not anything relevant. To me, its just another failed attempt at replicating the magic of facebook.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Save Our Tigers

Tiger in South IndiaImage via WikipediaIts inspiring to see people taking the initiative and joining a movement. Save Our Tigers is an attempt to create awareness about the critical situation of tigers in this country.

According to the monitoring exercise by Wildlife Institute of India in association with NTCA, Government of India in 2008, 1411 is average estimate of India's wild tigers.

There are various ways you can support the initiative (some of them as simple as simply joining a facebook group), check out the website for more details.

Save our tigers...its our national animal.