Sunday, February 14, 2010

German Bakery Blast

Bombing at German Bakery (link here)came as a shock. I have been there couple of times and it sure is a nice place. In addition, I had passed by just couple of hours earlier, as my daily commute takes me through the Koregaon Park area. I am really sad about the innocents who (as usual) lost their life. Here are some random thoughts about it...not necessarily in order and some might be too sarcastic but this is what I feel right now.

- This bombing delivered the terrorism to my doorstep. It is no longer something that happens in other cities to other people but something that affects me personally.

- Yesterday when I was returning home, I passed by Gold Adlabs multiplex. Because of the "My Name is Khan" drama, it had one busload of SRPF and one more van (I think it was Quick Response Unit) of police. Now it seems a big irony that we are trying to ensure that some movie is run (that too of a person who wants to hire Pakistanis at other business of his, basically to earn more money) than protect the citizens.

- I did not read today's "Saamna" newspaper. But I think that Shiv sena's arguement has suddenly got a big boost. One important lesson, for all of us is that no matter what we call ourselves and no matter how much we fight amongst ourselves, our enemies will still butcher us because we are Indians. In a sense, death unites us as Indians. This lesson is relevant to all those who fight based on factors like language and even for those who are trying to break apart Indian army by calling it army of north Indians.

On a side note, I find it irritating how Saamna is called Shivsena mouthpiece. My suggestion to news media (especially English) is that they should start doing the same for all the newspapers. Saamana is at least honest and follows Shivsena's thoughts. For the rest of the news media, I know that they have sold their souls for money but I don't know to whom!

- I really wonder about the people who went ballistic over the hiring of Pak cricket player issue. They are silent so far. I am very sure that they will remain that way, especially that no foreigners are killed; just us Indians. I am mad at the newspapers who are running ads in newspapers and media on India-pak peace. I want them to spend that money for helping the Police force or the families of people who died.

- It would be a good idea just to pay enough money to "My name is Khan folks". So they don't have to show the movie (why spend money to screen the movie, if one just gets the money). If not anything, it will at least free up poor Police dept to do more useful things like preventing bomb blasts...

- Talking of Police folks, I can see the bad situation that they are in. Now there would be a lot of pressure to catch the people behind the bombing. At the same time, the press would be after them to prove that Police force was negligent/ incompetent and did not do it's job.

- I don't think that our Police have been negligent. For last two months, I have seen enough random "Naaka-Bandi" in and around the same area. At that time, it seemed without reason. Knowing what we know now, it seems that they might have had some vague information and they were responding to it.

- Talking of the bombing, the perpetrators seem to have done their homework right. The target was well selected. (In Koregaon park area, lot of foreigners because of Osho ashram, avoided Gold Adlabs which was strongly protected thanks to "My name is khan", also avoided the business hotels which dot the area but have at least visible security.) The timing well chosen (Valentines day is more tempting for more number of people out but has the risk of bigger police presence.). I don't think that the actual bomb and it's delivery worked that well (and I am thankful for that)

- The location of bomb delivery does not make sense though. Apparently the bomber left a package near the kitchen which exploded when a waiter tried to open it. One of the reason could be that the The choice of bombers wanted the gas cylinders in the kitchen to explode. Some other web sites are reporting that the bomb was left in the backpack in the eating area. That seems much more logical. Targeting kitchen staff does not make sense but targeting the customers does.

- The death count and the visible damage do not match up. The damage to the property is a lot. However with the death count of 9 people, it seems that the bomb had less amount of shrapnel (and just a lot of bang). Alternately, a low grade explosive (Ammonium nitrate or gelatin sticks) would have been used. That might explain the big bang but comparatively low body count.

- Considering planning and execution, this bombing was planned well but the execution does not show the sophistication. It does not seem to be a Kashmiri terrorists bombing. they tend to use a lot of suicide attacks and prolonged engagement to bombings. (it is as if it is a show for the media) Seems more of a act of Pak funded south Indian groups. It is similar to their way of working. In addition, it would be their "Badla" for the IM module that they lost here.

- A remote chance would be that some Hindu militant group be responsible. (remember the accidental explosions in Goa and Malegaon blasts?) If the explosion is attributed to gelatin sticks, it would seem a lot more possible.

Anyway, all this is speculation and I really hope that Police are able to solve this and catch the people behind this act. My heart goes out to all those who lost their loved ones.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Trek to Tikona

DSC00349, originally uploaded by rajan_welankar.

This is a nice snap from my trek to Tokona fort.. The trek turned out to be really nice. We had a small group, mu family, Swanand, Tushar, Nikhil and Keshav.
In this snap, Nikhil and Keshav are trying to catch up with the rest of the group. It was rainly and lack of clear sunlight, makes this snap interesting...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Great PR Move

There is a lot to learn from Infosys's way of handling taboo topics. These days, IT companies are giving pink slips and getting bad press about it. This is what Infy has done:

Rediff reported following:

India's second-largest information technology services provider, Infosys Technologies, has issued letters to its employees stating they could opt for a one-year sabbatical to engage themselves in philanthropic activities. They would continue to draw 50 per cent of their salary during the period. Infosys crossed the 100,000-employee mark in India in the quarter ended September 30, 2008
The company said that while the move may have coincided with the global financial turmoil and slowing growth rates of IT firms, it should be perceived as a pure voluntary act by employees who are prompted by altruistic motives and inspired by the example of its chairman and chief mentor, NR Narayana Murthy.

Why is this a good PR move
  1. Instead of giving pink slip, Infy asks the employees to go and do some charity work, continues to pay 50%. If I am an employee, I would prefer 50% salary to getting fired. 
  2. Infy gets some cost saving. It is not as great as other companies but still 50% of CTC is still good.
  3. When these bad times are over (and they will one day), Infy has a better chance of getting these people back. None of the companies that are giving pink slips are going to get those people back.
  4. On top of all this, Infosys gets a good press about how it is "giving back" to the society.

So in the end, Infosys saves some money, has a good chance of retaining "half pink slip" people, gets good press about social service and does not get bad press about firing people. What else can be called as a good move!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are my personal views. These are based on the information available in public domain. This is true of this entire blog but more true for this post. Some might see this blog post as a cynical view of a noble cause. But with all that is going on around, one learns not to be naive... 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Trouble @ Microsoft MSN/Windows Live?

I have been using MSN/Hotmail user for a long time. In fact, My Hotmail account signature carries an image, which identifies me as a beta tester for Windows Live Mail.

However lately, all is not well in the MSN. Very recently, Windows Live Mail underwent a major upgrade. It was meant to make it faster, better etc... However, what it did was to really mess up the UI. Rather than the nice and Jazzy UI, it looked amateurish.

To top this, I came across this web page I am using IE6 and it is looking horrible. I cannot imagine a Microsoft web page, not rendering correctly under IE6. Ugh... In addition, the page design is not at all professional (color scheme, header, images and text mixing into each other...)

For the curious few, here is the URL to the page: Or just take a look at the screen shot below

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Accidental death/Suicide of a young engineer in Persistent

Last evening a 26 year old Persistent employee (Sandeep Shelke)fell/jumped to his death from the top floor of Persistent office. The news is already on net and everyone is jumping on to the "IT is a bad career choice, kills young people" bandwagon.

For last three years, I am working in Persistent. I have worked in many software companies and I can tell that Persistent is a really nice place to work. It's still has an "young company" atmosphere and it is a very open, supportive and fun place to be. I am not saying that there is no work pressure. But bottom line is that the Persistent is the last place where someone would feel like taking such a drastic step because of work. I can't really believe the stuff that media is saying/is going to say.

Anyway, a young life has been lost. I feel really sad thinking about the lost possibilities and the loss felt by the engineer's family.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Firefox 3 Beta is here!

I downloaded Firefox 3 Beta 1 from here this morning. This post is a summary of what I saw

1. Firefox 3 is certainly faster. Installation goes fast. The startup time is less that Firefox 2 (but still more than IE). The page loading appears to be fast, even faster than IE.

2. It is available in more than 20 languages. Of Indian languages only the Gujrathi version is available. This is surprising as one would expect Hindi or Tamil version to be out.

3. Installation works well. Only thing that I realized after installing was that many of the add-in were not supported. But then it was too late. I am going to miss Selenium, Xpather and host of other add-ins.

4. At the time of closing Firefox asks if user wants to open the same web pages the next time it starts. This is pretty clever. Good to see a feature which was hidden deep into product settings being made available.

5. Firefox handles the passwords (say proxy) bit differently. Initial "login ID/PW" popup does not have the usual "Save password for this site" check box. I think that is asks that question when one moves away from the web site. This would be a nice thing to have, although it would take some time to get used to it.

Overall, it looks to be an interesting product to use.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

How time flies....


It's been almost a year since I posted last. It seems really hard to believe...

Well, the last one year has gone by like a whirlwind. I have had my share of sweet victories, bitter defeats and irritating "status quo"s. But overall, it has been a great year and allowed me to do things I like.

Right now, uploading this post as a test post for the "Windows Live Writer" beta. Overall this is a pretty cool product. Rather than deal with Blogger's kind of clunky interface, I get a desktop app which allows offline blogging and sync-up capability.

I just hope that I can have more posts now on