IT vs other engineering fields

Cringely puts it well in this article: IT used to do this, decades ago, but no more. Today, IT is based mostly on selling general ideas. The requirements gathering process is superficial. The project proposal is mostly a “shell of an idea.” IT projects have lots of meetings, lots of issues to be resolved, lots of management to coordinate things. The workers rarely spend more than 35 percent of their time actually accomplishing something FOR the project.

When inspiration and plagiarism cross

Is our heritage of culture and knowledge all based on original ideas? There have been countless plays written around scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Kalidasa, Premchand, Rabindranath Tagore, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhya and innumerable others. These people or works of art have themselves been inspired by the litreature and culture in their times. Isn’t that what heritage is all about? You build upon your history and create the present and the foundations of the future?

Serious and Funny coffee making tips

I am starting off a new category of blogs called Pop Cuisine. I call it that ‘coz I am no elite food critic, but I enjoy food good enough to talk and gush about it. My comments on food, or my views on how food should be, is solely based on taste - my taste. So if I find something good (or good enough), and you don’t … too bad. This is my blog.

Preventing mobile phone theft

After my cellphone was stolen from my car dashboard a few months back, I was left really mad, and I tried to convince my mobile operator Hutch to blacklist the phone IMEI. The operator told me that it was not worth the trouble because the IMEI of stolen mobile phones could be changed, and anyway there was too much paperwork involved in blocking the phone by IMEI. There is currently an interesting thread at India-GII about this.

My college photo gallery tops search results for my college!

Aargh! Just discovered from my logs that my college photo gallery is the first result given by a Google search for “REC Jalandhar” (Check here). Even before the college website itself! Since I have forbidden robot access to the Photo gallery (to keep it a little more private, if such a thing is possible), I expect this “anomaly” to get corrected in a month or two.

Extending Wordpress’s RSS excerpts

Wordpress has a queer default RSS excerpt limit of 50 words while creating rss feed content. And regardless of the “use full text” setting in the syndication section of the reading options, the description field of RSS, which is used by some news readers, is limited to this length. While syndicating content at - the ILUGD members blog aggregating site, I found out that all Wordpress sites were belching out tiny excerpts, while Drupal sites exported more content.

Opensource catalyzes a paradigm shift in the computer industry

Going through the daily drudgery of earning to survive, one always keep wondering - “where are we going with all this?” or “which way should I turn now?” or if you are a business, then “which way should we take today so that we are where others would try to flock to tomorrow?”. You are always crying out for a larger view of things. And from time to time, you find the words of someone else with a theory that can shed some light on that possible path.

The Importance of American Elections

I have been watching the happenings in the US election with some interest. And at the same time I keep wondering why there is not so much interest in India about this election. What most people dont realize is that the US election is sometimes more important to every Indian than, say, the way assembly elections in Maharashtra is important to us in Delhi. And look at the difference in media coverage!

Election opinion polls missing out on the mobile revolution

Cringely has come out with a insightful article on how opinion polls are missing out on the mobile phone revolution in US. This is even more relevant to Indians. According to Cringely, most of the opinion polls are conducted over telephone. I am not sure how many exit polls are conducted at the voting booths in India, so I can vaguely assume that this holds partly for India too. The problem is that lesser and lesser mobile younger people/college-students/ are taking landline connections because of all the installation hassle, as well as the perennial problem that these group of people are unlikely to be found at home for anything but sleeping or studying.