Banks penalizing cash payments for credit cards

In another ridiculously anti-customer move, banks like ICICI and Standard Chartered are charging Rs. 100 for any cash payments made for credit card dues. This move is ostensibly for reducing footfalls at branches but seems like another revenue stream adding gimmik. Actually from the look at the note attached with this month’s electronic statement, there are a number of quite disturbing changes at ICICI credit cards: Firstly, it is the flat charge of Rs.

Why I returned my Mac

I realize the title of this post is a bit provocative, but I could not think of any other way to put it. Some weeks back, I got a new Mac Book Pro at work. This was my first exposure to Apple’s computer products, and after the initial few moments of aah-ooh’s wore off, I started using it for what I was supposed to do - work. It so happens that after about a week of use, I returned the MBP and went back to the other standard (and much less expensive) HP notebook used in the company.

Fight terror, but don't turn India into a police state

8 blasts in Bangalore today (at least till 6pm, there are rumours of a 9th). As much as I am concerned about terror in this country, I am more concerned about the knee jerk reactions of the insanely incompetent police force and government in this country. And I am as much sickened by the attitude of my fellow citizens in letting the police and government having their way in imposing stupid restrictions in the name of security on all of us.

Copyright renewal list now available for download

If you need to use a work on the Internet, you need to be aware (and careful) about its copyright. After all, copyright restrictions are becoming more and encompassing by the day. But what if you want to use content which is specifically in the public domain? How do you find out if the work you are thinking of using has passed into the public domain? For work created in US, the following applies:

My first 419 mail in hindi!

419 mail in hindi! Came to the moderator address of ILUGD. Interestingly, it was sent from a gmail account but asks you to mail to an yahoo account instead.

visabillpay security

Uh oh. Doesn’t increase confidence too much, does it? … Crap. You can add billers to the website, but you got to call up customer service to remove them? @#$@#$% (testing blogging from flickr) Update: Instead of just griping like me, Balaji went ahead and wrote to Visa Bill Pay. It only got him canned responses though. Update2: Testing pingbacks for balaji.

The network effect of Flickr's social photography

On April 8, 2008, Powerhouse Museum based out of Sydney, Australia, released their publicly-held historical photographs for access on Flickr, becoming the first museum in the world to do so. Earlier on Jan 16, 2008, the Library of Congress had released over 3000 photos on Flickr. What is common between these two contributions was that the rare photographs were in the public domain - they had no known copyright and are therefore free to reuse by anybody in the world.

The reasons behind the OOXML appeals

The story so far: December 2006: 7 ECMA approves OOXML as ECMA-376 December 2006: ECMA submits ECMA-376 to ISO for consideration as an ISO standard under the fast track process September 2007: ISO ballot process votes against adoption of the specs as a standard April 2008: OOXML gets approved as an ISO standard South Africa, Brazil, India, Venezuela, (possibly Denmark too) have for the first time in ISO history, appealed against the decision to make OOXML an ISO standard.

Atheists are not the skeptics they think they are

A very interesting critique on atheism and the methods used by atheists to explain their position. The author Edward Tingley, a philosophy professor, bases most of his arguments against the material written by Blaise Pascal on applying the scientific mind to discover the existence of God. The professor goes on to demonstrate how, in his opinion, it is hypocritical for atheists who profess a scientific approach to disregard the very fundamentals of the scientific temper that they are supposed to defend.