Friday, January 30, 2009

Bangalore Chief Minister Wants To Ban Pub Culture In Karnataka!

Close on the heels of the heinous attack on women by the Ram Sena morons; our very own Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has decried the ‘pub culture’ saying, "We will not allow pub culture in Karnataka.” He has also refused to ban the morons, blaming dirty politics.

Dear Mr. Chief Minister, how about banning the following as they too are not part of our culture:
  • Ban cell phones and revert to the good old Post Office system.
  • Ban transportation (including buses, cars, two wheelers, metros, aero planes and trains) and use bullock carts.
  • Ban shopping centers and malls and depend on Government’s ration shops for our needs.
  • Ban all clothing brands and make ‘khadi’ the official dress code for Karnataka.
  • Ban all kinds of sports except kho-ko, hockey, wrestling and kabbadi.
  • Ban pucca houses and start living in huts.
  • Ban hospitals and depend on ayurveda and witch medicine.
  • Ban television, computers, play stations, music players, film theaters’ and every conceivable form of entertainment and immerse ourselves in folk songs, Yakshagana and Byalatta.
  • How about making farming compulsory for everyone in Karnataka, so that there will be no more working in the call centers, BPO’s and other industries.
Ohh…did I forget? How about banning the political system and revert back to the good old system of Kings and Kingdoms. Are you willing to give up your seat Mr. Chief Minister? Or will you play coy and pass the buck to the next government, cause there is no way you will be re-elected.

I am pretty certain that you will think about banning a lot more things other than those listed above.

Bangalore has been renowned as: The Garden City, The Ham Radio Capital of India, Pub Capital of India and the feather in the cap “IT and BT Capital of India.”

We do not want dirty politics/politicians, moral brigades, corrupt government officials, pollution, encroachment of lakes and cutting down of trees. Can you ban any one of these Mr. CM? If you do, you will be in contention for the Nobel Prize!

Save Bangalore.

Monday, January 26, 2009

India Shines On Its 60th Republic Day Celebrations!

The Constitution of India came into effect on January 26, 1950. Henceforth, this day has been celebrated as The Republic Day in India. It is a national holiday.

Today India celebrated its 60th anniversary of becoming a Republic under the watchful eyes of our President, Pratibha Patil.

While back in Mangalore, pub revelers at “Amnesia” were beaten up by the activists of a self appointed, moral watchdog – The Ram Sena.

What a beautiful contrast!

We have a woman president presiding over the Republic Day celebrations in the capital while women were molested and beaten up by the Ram Sena activists in Mangalore.

The news channels, throughout the day replayed this ghastly incident. The fact that most of the perpetrators were young was disturbing. The incident that was played on the news channels showed women being shoved around, slapped, molested and beaten up.

I can not imagine how some soul-less people appoint themselves as moral watchdogs. I can not imagine why the government allowed such groups to mushroom in the first place.

But what I can not understand is how the media news channels came to know of the incident as they were there on the scene, to capture it. If the media was there capturing the incident, why wasn’t the police there too! Did the media, desperately looking for content, did not inform the police? What has happened to the moral obligations of Mass Media?

When rogue groups like Ram Sena indulge in such activities to garner fame followed by political clout, why is the government taking its own sweet time to react? Such groups should be banned and action needs to be taken in order to prevent similar incidents from happening elsewhere. A precedent has to be set.

India should not allow itself to be Talibanised. We do not want groups like RSS, Bajrang Dal, MNS, Ram Sena and the likes dictate to us on our lifestyle. It is about time the government quits dilly-dallying and takes stern measures. These organizations should be declared as terrorist organizations as they terrorize people.

Image Source:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shelby Building An Electric Supercar?

What do you get when one puts an “electric powertrain” into the “World’s fastest production car?” The “World’s fastest production electric car.”

The Guinness World Records has already certified that Shelby’s Ultimate Aero TT supercar is the fastest production car in the world with a speed in excess of 412 km/h (256.14 mph).

With that record in that bag, Shelby is aiming for another. This time it’s the “World’s fastest production electric car.” Shelby is planning to incorporate its “All Electric Scalable Powertrain” into the Ultimate Aero super car pictured above. Shelby feels that this model will act as a high visibility outlet to demonstrate the capabilities of its new Green powertrain. The new electric car has been dubbed as the Ultimate Aero EV.

Basically Shelby is out there trying to prove that electric powered vehicles will not only match but also provide more linear power (electric motors have 100% torque at 0 RPM) and overall performance than internal combustion cars.

According to Shelby, the Ultimate Aero EV can cough up an astounding 1000 hp and 800 lbft of torque enabling it to rocket to 60 mph in a mere 2.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 208 mph. The Ultimate Aero EV will have a range of 150-200 miles on a single charge, with its patented onboard charging system that will recharge the battery completely in 10 minutes on a 220V line. The car will sport a 3 speed automatic transmission rendering shift times of .24 seconds. The entire AESP is liquid cooled allowing it to run for extended periods of time at peak performance with no overheating issues.

Shelby expects to roll out its first full scale, pre production Ultimate Aero EV in the second quarter of 2009. Ultimate Aero EV deliveries will start as early as fourth quarter 2009.

For further reading, please click here.

Source: Shelby Supercars

Sunday, January 18, 2009

They do not build them anymore

The date is still fresh in my mind, February 25, 2005. The key to my very first and the only bike was handed over to me on that day. It had a gold wing on its tank, very much like the star on the forehead of a Unicorn, after which it was named. It was black and muscular, instantly evoking comparisons to a thorough bred stallion.

I remember my first instructions, run in the engine at speeds below 40 for the first 500 kilometers. Then for the very first time I rode her to a temple of all the places. My parents had insisted that I offer my obeisance to the gods and in return they would protect me from any mishaps. I did it, grudgingly. Next thing I did was to go to a petrol pump and fill up the tank to the brim. And it has been ever since, the same. I always fill the tank to the brim. No half measures.

I had nurtured it through her run in period, took care of it and kept the bike spotless by cleaning it everyday for two years. I fell of my bike when I took it to college for the first time. Apart from a few scratches on the visor, there was no damage done, thanks to the crash guard.

Anthony Hopkins quote comes to mind and sort of been an anthem to me: “You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime”

I had foolishly tried to find my limits and that of the bike resulting in a couple of near death incidents. After that I had sobered down, partly due to Bangalore’s ever increasing traffic. Now did my obeisance to the gods pay off?

It has been almost four years, and I have already a couple of lifetimes worth of memories.

Yesterday, I guess fate had caught up. I had given the bike for servicing and the mechanic calls me to say that there is a problem with the bike’s thumper. “There is some sort of noise coming from the engine and it has to be dismantled in order to find out why” he said.

It seemed to me that the grim reaper had finally paid a visit. But why? Bike’s pretty new, has run 14,995 kilometers. I could not fathom.

I guess I had made a mistake or was it pure chance. It simply can’t be! It was a Honda. Honda is known for reliability. Shut it and forget it mantra still rings in my ears. My bike was unique as I had wanted the electric start version, waited for it to be introduced in India and it was in the first shipment (the dealer had proudly told me).

It has not sunk in yet that the engine has to be completely dismantled. It is the heart and soul of the bike. One thing I know, it will not be the same again. The mechanic assured me that he will dismantle the engine in my presence on Monday.

They do not build them anymore. Bikes that last. They do not build them anymore.

My father had bought a LML Vespa in 1988. It is still running in good condition. I had hoped for something similar.

It was a Honda. The day my bike was introduced in India, I remember reading an article that said that many people had invested their life savings in booking the bike the moment it was launched, simply because it was a Honda. Honda had that legendary reputation.

Unfortunately, I had witnessed the reality at the service center. I couldn’t control my rage when I saw my bike stashed away in a corner, haphazardly with other bikes. When the mechanic was explaining to me about the engine, another dropped a bike. He then nonchantly picks it up, adjusts the twisted mirror, ignores the scrapes and drives it out to deliver it to the customer. This was the impeccable Honda?

I wonder how many times my bike has met similar treatment. It did completely shatter the myth and aura that I had for Honda.

The estimate for the engine work is around 8 grand.

The thought keeps pinging in my head. They do not build them anymore. Bikes that last.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

3G Touch Watch Phone From LG

It has been a whirlwind of a show, at least from a crazy media analyst’s perspective. The general consensus however, tells a different story that the CES has lost its sheen and there have been very few products and less excitement. Blame it on the recession.

Apart from Palm Pre and its new webOS platform, only LG comes to my mind. Its 3g touch watch phone did make some news before Palm took the center stage and hogged all the limelight. But LG was no pushover. Fourteen LG products were awarded the CES Innovations Awards. My favorite? The 3G touch watch phone a.k.a. LG-GD910.

LG says that this is a follow up to the prototype that was introduced at CES 2008. How did I miss that? Well like they say, better late than never. Here’s the low down on this watch phone or should I mention it as a phone watch? Never mind.

With the watch one can make phone calls, send text messages, video phone calls with the help of a built in camera, look up contacts using voice, have the watch read out messages and other information loud (being lazy, wouldn’t I love that? Except that people around you can also listen to it.), listen to music with the help of a built in speaker and stereo Bluetooth.  The watch also boasts of a touch screen interface with flash support, 7.2 Mbps 3G HSDPA compatibility, 3.63cm (1.43-inch) screen and it is only 13.9mm thick.

LG says that this phone watch or watch phone will be available sometime this year in Europe. I am guessing Japan. Any bets?

While writing this post, I did come across another statistic telling me how dismal the ongoing recession is. Channel Insider has, after thorough research of all available reports on layoffs, concluded that there have been more than 100,000 layoffs since October in technical, sales and marketing positions.

If I were LG, I wouldn’t bet on many of these watch phones or phone watches selling.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Honda NSX Mugen Concept RR

Came across this beautiful concept car from Mugen. The site was in Japanese and the google translator was not much of a help. So feast your eyes on the pictures. For more information please visit Mugen.

Source: Mugen


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Palm Pre at CES

This was a first time experience for me, when I got overwhelmed by the amount of media coverage that was devoted to Palm Pre and its new platform. I have covered other phone companies before when they had launched a slew of models. But Palm was different. Palm has a huge loyal following over the internet. I have heard that Apple has a similar if not bigger fan following on the internet. But when the iphone loyalists started posting sarcastic posts to the effect that Apple deserters have come up with an iphone killer, I knew that Palm had rattled their cage.

On the first day of the CES, Palm unveiled a new mobile platform called webOS and a phone that is based on the new platform called Pre.

Palm claims that webOS has been built from the scratch and keeps the user constantly connected to the internet.

Palm Pre, oval shaped with a slide out QWERTY keyboard, 3.1 inch touch screen with 24 bit 320x480 color display. Now the icing on the cake: it has a 3 mp camera with LED flash and a 3.5 mm headset jack!

It has also got 8 GB of internal memory, a proximity sensor that automatically disables the touch screen and turns off the display whenever you put the phone up to your ear, a light sensor which dims the display if the ambient light is dark (to reduce power usage) and a ringer switch that silences the device with one touch.

Weighing at 135 g, the Pre’s connectivity includes support for Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), integrated GPS, Bluetooth 2.1; along with EVDO Rev. A or UMTS HSDPA high speed internet connectivity. It also has an accelerometer and Outlook. It also supports POP3 and IMAP.

Palm Pre is scheduled to be available first in the United States exclusively from Sprint in the first half of 2009, and will be followed by a world-ready UMTS version for other regions.

Source: Palm Press Release

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Global Economic Slump Hits Motorsports

Honda was the first to pull out of F1, followed by Suzuki suspending its FIA WRC activities. Then came Subaru’s withdrawal from the FIA WRC.

Now the shocker. Kawasaki has announced that its factory team will not race in the 2009 Moto GP season.

Global financial crisis is how they chose to explain their exits. Fair enough.

Kawasaki’s announcement leaves just 17 bikes on the grid. However the WRC has become a two horse race with Ford and Citroen.

Honda and Suzuki however have confirmed their participation in the 2009 Moto GP championship, after quitting from F1 and WRC respectively.

I have been kind of wondering, is there any alternative to money? I mean we had the barter system ages ago, that was replaced by money. Isn’t it about time that money gets replaced by something else?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mobile phone made from recycled water bottles!

As a build-up towards CES, Motorola has unveiled a mobile phone that has been manufactured entirely from recycled water bottle plastics. MOTO W233 Renew is being claimed by Motorola as the world’s first mobile phone made using plastics comprised of recycled water bottles.

Motorola also says that the phone is 100 percent recyclable and is also the world’s first carbon neutral phone. Through an alliance with, Motorola has offset the carbon dioxide required to manufacture, distribute and operate the phone through investments in renewable energy sources and reforestation.

Even the packaging and the materials inside are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper.

The company has also included a postage-paid recycling envelope inside the box, making it easier for customers to return their old Motorola mobile phone for recycling for free.

Coming to the features of this phone, Motorola says that it as a no-nonsense phone and it is the most basic phone. One can only make calls and send & receive messages. That’s all. A simple phone.

Well, this is a huge step for Motorola, once again creating and setting the standards in a non-existent product category. That is the true spirit and soul of Motorola, which was missing in its products that was manufactured after the Razr era. I had once written a post on Motorola describing it as a phoenix that will rise from the ashes. Is this the moment? We have to wait and see.

Feels good! I am writing about Motorola after quite a long sabbatical.

Source: Motorola Press Release

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Insanity Rules!

“My dear Leopard, for you, a thousand times over.”

A ghastly incident has taken place in village called Dhar, in Madhya Pradesh. A leopard was brutally beaten to death with sticks, stones and swords.

After pouring scorn on policemen in Chicago for shooting dead a cougar, I truly hang my head in shame for what these villagers’ of Dhar have done.

An eyewitness account by one of the villager shows how ignorant these people are. It seems that the villagers had gathered around the fields and were moving in a group towards the leopard. The leopard then attacked a child, following which the animal was beaten to death.

What were they thinking? Crazy villagers! It is not a village fair or a circus show. It is a wild animal, for crying out loud. Did they expect the big cat to shake hands and let them pat its head? What was a child doing there in the first place?

In a video clip that was being aired on a news channel, the villagers were still beating the dead leopard. Senseless brutalism coupled with ignorance and pseudo aggressiveness? Bloody villagers!

Apparently, the wild cat was lynched right in front of the forest officers, who in turn watched helplessly, being out numbered at 20:1. Priorities are highly screwed up here in India and it is a sad fact. Holding on to one’s job, licking politicians arses; sadly ranks very high up there, priority-wise. Nobody gives a rat’s ass to wildlife and other earthly matters. What a fucking joke! (This has become my favorite punch-line after reading The White Tiger).

Raghuvendra Shrivastava, District Forest Officer of Dhar, was more worried about the compensation that would be given to the injured people and was least bothered about apprehending the villagers who were responsible for this ghastly act.

When I googled for leopards, the first 10 results were all about leopards being killed at various parts of India. I tried to dig up a statistic on how many leopards were being killed everyday and how many were left. Unfortunately, no official figures turned up. Blame the Indian bureaucracy.

An outdated piece of information from the Wildlife Protection Society, whose website is not functioning, said that so far 141 leopards have been killed in 2008. Saving grace?

I did not want this to be my first post, this year. But I have no choice. “My dear Leopard, for you, a thousand times over.”