Clear on cloud

There’s a lot of buzz about cloud computing these days.  The basic idea is to not install any software or application – but instead pay someone else who installs and runs it for you using their hardware – while you use it over the internet (aka “the cloud”).

While I am not fully informed on the subject – which anyway will not stop me from proclaiming that my vote goes to the cloud computing idea. I think its an idea whos time has come.   Why ? Because deploying and maintaining enterprise software is difficult, complex, overwhelming, yup, here’s the term I was looking for – its fucking painful.  It reminds me of the acronym – FMGWACS – Fuck Me Gently With A Chain Saw. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s what IT folks says when deploying enterprise software.  Order freakingly expensive hardware, invest in a rainbow of licenses, coordinate with a billion folks for a myriad variety of tasks – network teams for loadbalancing, OS teams for deploying, SAN teams for storage, cluster configuration teams and <insert-your-favourite> team. Its crazy, expensive and a time-destroyer.

I’m sure that companies will pay good money to get this monkey off their backs.  That’s why I’m betting the cloud model will kick ass someday.

Soaking Saturday

Its been absolutely pouring for the last 36 hours in Chennai because of the North East Monsoon.  Check out the clouds in this satellite picture(focus on south India), you can hardly even see the Tamil-Nadu state outline!

Satellite image of the north east monsoon
Satellite image of the north east monsoon

And here’s a slightly closer-to-the ground look :

View from my apartment
View from my apartment

I desperately want to get out, but dread the thought of wading in sewage-mixed water in the road.  I can see that the water is already touching the 3 feet mark on the road and  am starting to worry on how  much further Chennai’s notorious drainage can cope up. I definitely don’t want to be in a situation like this.

Chennai Heat

I am based in Chennai for some time on work.  I’ve been here for about a month and I’ve painfully realized that the south indian food I like so much is practically uneatable here. Why ? Because it is so goddamn SPICY. I am Indian and I can safely claim that I am used to higher levels of spice than folks from elsewhere, but the food in Chennai is way too hot even for me.

It wasnt like this. I wonder why the spice levels have increased intolerably.  Every freaking thing has extra spice in it, from the plain old sambar to even curd rice with minced green chillies. I mean, seriously, WTF ?!

Where, oh where can I find a decent south indian thali or just about anything in Chennai which is not over-cooked, over-spiced and dripping with grease ?

Grossly unhealthy food – biryani’s and anything fried – are high on the popularity charts here in Chennai. I am not surprised that the city has one of the highest heart attack rates in country.

It seems to me that the days of the stereotypical spartan Tamilian are long gone. Sigh.

Fanatical Support

Of all the corporate slogans that I’ve heard of, I really like the one this company called Rackspace has. It’s called “Backed by Fanatical Support”. Whilst it is not the most clever sounding, with amusing puns etc, the statement is solid and reassuring without being drab or filled with meaningless inanities that so often make slogans.

The level of technical support can make or mar one’s experience with technology products. Technology is wonderful when it works well,but can be extremely frustrating when it does not.  Technology (like women) can be very whimsical. At such times, it is extremely relieving when someone calm, collected and knowledgeable,  hand holds you and gets you through.

Entire companies make their fortunes just through support – point in case, the whole enterprise open source model. Take a free product,  learn it well enough, slice, dice and package it smartly, and charge for committed levels of support.  e.g. Red Hat through Linux.

That’s why I think slogan “Fanatical Support” makes sense, and not only just technology companies, but if every business believes in it,  the world will be a better place.

South East Asian Gender Bender

I was on a vacation to the Philippines last month.  During the course of traveling via Bangkok and spending a week in Manila, I discovered something interesting.  A significant portion of men in South East Asia tend to be er…somewhat effeminate.  Many men – actually look quite feminine – they are lithe, have soft voices, and exhibit a general lack of “male-hairiness”.  Lots of men seem to work in fashion stores in malls hawking perfume and pantyhose.  This leads to assume that such behavior is more or less accepted by South East Asian society . Well, after all Thailand has their legendary lady-boys or Kathoey and Manila is supposedly the gay capital of Asia.  But some Googling reveals that this is perhaps not because of a “liberal” society with a true understanding of LGBT rights,  but rather that South East Asian cultures tend to avoid conflict and value tolerance.

Two words will throw all these theories of south east asian men not being macho enough to the wind – Muay Thai. It is a brutal martial art sports where attacks to every part of the body are allowed except the head. Allied forms of such hard martial arts/kickboxing are wildly popular in South East Asia.  Check this astonishing gender-bending story of Nong Tum, a famous Kathoey Muay Thai boxer. Wow.

Annoying ICICI Prudential Man

You must have seen the ICICI Prudential “Jeete Raho” ad. You couldnt have missed it. Even if you live under a rock and crawl out once in ten years. Well, the ad is incredibly cheesy, with a little brat, a kinda pretty but irritating wife, but the most annoying character is the husband. I hate the goddamn guy, not only the character, but if I met the actor in real life I would probably blow him up with a Panzerschreck. Why ? For starters, he has this goddamn smug look. Second, he has big nostrils. I cant pin it down, but something about big nostrils is inherently off-putting. An uncle of mine has big nostrils too and I hate him as well. I seriously recommend people with big nostrils to get plastic surgery.  Look at the video and judge for yourselves:

Anyway, back to the ICICI man, he’s also in another ICICI Prudential ad where incredibly, he manages to look even more stupid, by sporting a hair patch under the lip and spouting further smug inanities. ICICI Prudential has probably lost a million new cutomers because of these ads. Seriously guys, do the world a good deed by taking these ads off.

Stuck in a time warp

Ever read The Hindu ? Its a newspaper in India thats been around for a very long time. Very conservative, very old fashioned. Very suitable for anyone who’s say above 80 years old. In one word, the most crushingly boring paper you can ever read.  Allright, thats my opinion.

But, heres one major rant I have against the Hindu. They are stuck in a time warp. They have a city supplement called Metro Plus. Every other day theres an article about oh-how-glorious-it-would-be if everyone would stop writing emails and instead pick up a pen (fountain-pen) and paper and write reams of letters. And how great it was be in the days where we used to watch Doordarshan and there was no cable. And how great it was in the days where there were no mobile phones. You get the drift ?

These guys want to get back to the 60’s or maybe the 50’s.  It’s funny, the reporters routinely come up with stuff like this (almost every week) and these guys are what ? 25-30 years old. I dont believe it.  Come on you lazy idiots, stop bitching about how the old days were better. Get busy and start reporting about interesting stuff in Bangalore instead of dishing out the same bullshit every other week.

Musical Talent ? Crap.

There is an insanely large number of musical talent shows on Indian TV Channels. Every time I flip channels on the remote, every other channel has some kind of talent search bullshit going on. Most of them are related to unearthing the next great kid singer. The format is instantly recognizable :

  • A wide eyed little brat dressed in some garish costume – ( I saw a kid wearing a shiny silver suit once !).
  • A panel of three “judges” who sit around wearing headphones. Mostly these are some sort of former music directors, film personalities who are currently unemployed or have lost relevance.
  • A moron as an ‘anchor’ who keeps mouthing inane words of encouragement
  • Finally this is the most disgusting –  The audience. This mostly consists of the kids’ overweight parents who sit in the hot studio wearing their best. They are accompanied by neighbours, aunts, uncles, grandparents, the neighbourhood watchman, the dog and what-have-you.

Now the kid starts “singing”. This is mostly an old film number which the brat completely screws up – it sounds terrible. However once the kids is done, the judge(s) are usually appreciative, predicting what a great singer he would turn out to be in later life, whereas the parents indulgently look on.

This part is actually what is depressing. The audience – they seem so happy, so thrilled, so blissful. Take for instance, the kids dad. This is his life’s finest moment – a pinnacle of achievement when his progeny is on TV, bleating away.  He then goes back to his dead end job, informs his colleagues that his son/daughter will be on TV, basks in the momentary attention and feels on top of the world.

Get a life people, dont put your sons/daughters in dog and pony shows and think that its cool.

Nailed

Women who paint their nails red are an instant turn-off.  I don’t know why red nail polish has been tolerated for such a long time, its abominable. Its plain ugly.

Image from fivezero.wordpress.com

White’s a probably little better I guess.

Image from fivezero.wordpress.com
Image from fivezero.wordpress.com

If you just think about it, nailpolish is absurd. It does absolutely nothing aesthitically to enhance beauty.  I dont know why, but women who use nailpolish tend to have long nails. And long nails are like perfect dirt and muck carriers. Somehow long nails have never look clean. I’m also sure nail polish contains weird crap chemicals that end up screwing with the environment and causing cancer and global warming and what not.  Women, stop using it, make the world a better place. Please.