Rocketboom – pioneering Video Blogs

In one of my Blogs earlier this year, I had mentioned that Video Blogs (or vlogs) were growing in popularity. One of the pioneers of Video Blog, Rocketboom got a mention in Businessweek today. I checked it out and well, I wasn’t too impressed with it.

Firstly, the video took a long time to buffer and once it did buffer, it kept on getting stuck time and again. I was on a high speed DSL line.

Secondly, the instructions on how to see the video on the website are not clear. It took me quite a while to figure out what exactly I was doing wrong. Other people may not have the same patience to navigate through the site and check out the video.

Having said all that, I must say that their content is quite good. They post a 3 minute daily video and that covers all the recent headlines and news. It is definitely worthwhile to check it out once. There is a lot of scope of improvement and I am sure the coming months will see a sharp improvement in this once more and more people start visiting the site.

Bye !

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Remembering India’s famous victory

India might be struggling to beat any world class team right now. But 34 years ago, on this day, India had created one of the greatest upsets of all time – defeated England in England. Put in present day context, this is similar to Bangladesh going to Australia and defeating them. Now, what are the odds for that?

In tribute to this fantastic victory, Rediff carried a wonderful photo feature and a special report. Enjoy it.

Hope India notches up victories such as these in the coming years. For that to happen, we need a miracle and forgive me if I sound repetitive – this can only happen if Sachin is there.

Cheers to these wonderful heroes.
Thyaga

Google Talk

Google Talk, which marks Google’s entry into the IM market was released today. This is probably one of the first products of Google that is clearly divergent from what they are famous for – an obvious ploy to take the market share from the Yahoo!s and MSNs of the world. I tested the Voice Chat with this and it seems to be at least as good as Skype. One good thing about the Google thing is that it is based on a standard platform called Jabber – this will help you to connect with various other IMs – i.e. you should be able to connect with Yahoo! or MSN IM’s through Google Talk. But this feature is not yet enabled right now. I plan to test drive this for a few weeks with our India team – hopefully, this will stand the test of time :).

Cheers,
Thyaga

Wrap up – 08/24/2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Trip to Alcatraz

Today morning, on the 21st of August, 2005, we (myself, Susmita and my parents) had gone to Alcatraz islands in San Fransisco. This island is just a mile and a half away into the ocean but this, at one time, was the home to one of the most harshest prisons known to mankind. Some of the famous criminals who were kept at Alcatraz was Al Capone, Robert Stroud etc.

We had booked the tour in advance from the Blue & Gold Fleet. I was really surprised by the popularity of the tour – all tours are booked way in advance and so, it was no surprise that the boat was full of people ready to start off on their mission. It was a glorious day and one could see the majestic skyline of San Fransisco from the boat while heading north to the island.

Once you land on the island, you need to walk a mile or so up a hill to get into the actual cell chambers. While you enter, you will be given a head-phone and a player. You just need to follow instructions and play the audio as you move along the cells. It is quite eerie to see the dirty and small cells and it is scarier to think that people could have stayed in such “holes” for so many years. The only good places in the whole of the cell house was the library and the dining room. From the dining room windows, one could see San Fransisco at a distant – apparently, these were means of letting the prisoners know that the world outside was so beautiful and they were missing all that.

I must say that you cannot come out of that place unnerved. My mother was clearly shaken and was not able to take it for a long time. Once you are out of the cell house under the clear sun, world looks beautiful again :). After coming back to San Fransisco, we spent some time in the neighboring Fisherman’s Wharf and then drove back home.

It might be a little eerie, but it is definitely a place worth visiting, in order to know what price some people had to pay for the crimes that they had committed.

— Thyaga

Weekly Wrap Up – 08/19/2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Sultans of Swing

In the early and mid-nineties, when Pakistan toured England, England was bowled out stock and barrell thanks primarily to the “swinging” exploits of the Sultans of swing – Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. The stumps cart-wheeling all over the ground was a familiar site. Today, England seems to be using the same medicine on the Aussies and so, swing bowling is really the hot topic nowadays. Even more importantly, reverse swing has become music to the ears of the Englishmen and the death knoll for the Aussies. While the Aussies spend some timeout figuring out this whole reverse swinging business of Harmison, Jones, Flintoff and Hoggard, here is a useful primer on swing bowling – this should get you started.

Time to sing and become the “Sultans of Swing”, eh ?

— Thyaga