Dec 26, 2010

Manmathan Anbu

"Truth alone triumphs", is the single line i could draw outta the 156-minute movie. Kamal is known for his trying-out-things-differently style and he re-affirmed that once again. I wonder how many different love stories are going to come in future. While all possible combinations seem to be tried out already, such movies prove it otherwise. I heard poor reviews for this movie, with the most outright  attacking one being the single tag, "Manmadhan Sombu", given by one of my best friend, Karthik. I expected the worst outcome while entering into the theatre, and I was very satisfied while coming out. "Never have any expectations in life", said my brother always. This is one example why. It results in lesser disappointments.

When you are a Kamal-fan, watching the movie on Day #1, eagerly looking forward to it after the expectations it built, you have more reasons to get disappointed. Story isn't that gripping, as it moved too slow. Sound recording is slightly dull due to which I missed out some of the dialogues at the end.  Except for one amazing song, "Neela vaanam", written and sung spectacularly by Kamal himself,  the music is slightly lagging. Devi Sri prasad is a very good composer, upon whose brilliance, I have no doubt with. The theme music played in the trailer is very attractive and entertaining. It  makes/drives you to jump and just jive. I was thinking hard, who gave voice for Trisha as her character sounded different in this movie. As it turned out, I was shocked to hear that it was Trisha's OWN VOICE. Well, not every female lead here has done that but for the time she has spent in south India, there is no wonder she spoke native-tamil at ease.

Kamal brings in interesting insights into the story of an actress (Trisha), whose day-job involes intimacy enactment with the male lead. Two-timing suspicions from her fiance (Madhavan), forces him to set up a spy (Kamal) on her activities, which eventually leads to disaster in the end as he loses her trust and then herself. Trisha falls for the truthful man and dumps her fiance. "Trust alone triumphs", is another moral you can take out.

All the tamil movies move in a casual manner and turn to serious-mode during the climax. Manmadhan Anbu is the exact opposite. The last 20 mins is the most hilarious part of the entire show. Only at that moment, I felt like watching a Kamal-KSR movie. The problem is the ultimate brought out in Panchathanthiram. Once you 've seen such a movie, your expectation increases. You don't expect half-centuries from Sachin, do you? He already crossed Double Hundred in ODI's. Panchathanthiram is a similar kind of Double Hundred. Such flicks will not come often. Like Sachin did it once in 400 odd, ODI games. Walking into the theatre with very less expectations will give you an enjoyable ride. Overall, it's same as a Cruise in Paris. If this is released in English, could well be titled as The spy whom I Loved !

Dec 22, 2010

Wherever, and Whenever !

Have a group of people you want to reach out to? All them own a mobile phone? Do you think SMS is a best way to reach them? Don't worry much about the implementation costs of building such a system. Google is working on a research project for SMS Broadcasting, and it is presently, absolytely  FREEEE !
The project name is Google SMS Channels. It works more like Twitter. Tecnically, it is more like a JMS Topic. There will be one person who publishes a message and it is texted to everyone who subscribes to his service.

So if you ask me where you can implement such systems, I will say, "Wherever". Mostly, News services can go ahead with such services. Stock prices. Business updates. Daily messages/quotes/Special Offers. Everywhere, you will find it useful. Even Blood donors can be reached out to easily, if they are all subscribed to a same group.

Say, i will create a group called, Indian Blood Donors, and whenever i want blood, i will publish a message. Need B+ 3 Units, Mylapore - Chennai, Contact: 9876543210. A message goes to all donors, and whoever is near the location and willing to give, can sync up with the pertaining person and get things done. This is a unique, and generic service which can be made use for virtually anything. Time will definitely uncover new, intuitive ways of utiliing this service. It's all about reaching a particular group of people through SMS. As simple as that. So, does anything strike you now? Like a suddenly lit bulb? TING !

13 - 360° in 3 Seconds

After a long time, blogging about a personal life experience. I was coming back home in a local bus, lucky to be seated amidst the hugely crowded bus and suddenly, a break. Trrrrrrrr.......All those who stood, got a good hold to somewhere except for one little girl, who had no idea how to stick to, shouted...Aaaaouuuuuuuuuuuu...I thought she smashed something but thank god, she escaped. Chennai MTC buses has the credit of breaking bones on a lot of occasions, with their densely packed, devastatingly maintained buses. Everyday, it happens, with a little swelling being the lesast possible and it can get as worse as a severe fracture.  
What's surprising here is her facial expressions in those fraction seconds. You could see all those organs in the face doing a 360°, 13 times in less than 3 seconds..Eyes lit up, teeth typing from A to Z, mouth wide open....So much of reaction happen in such a short time...Only women can do that i guess...I haven't seen much of a reaction from men...but women, yeah...Movies have shown us a lot of excited expressions..I was talking to my friend about this and made a deal.
One day, i will shoot a HD video of a suprised/excited woman for five seconds, split up the entire clip in to 100 frames and see if they actually resemble with one another...And when i do that, i will write the rest of this blog...

Stay tuned till then...

Dec 21, 2010

Reading stuffs in a HTTP Request

A HTTP Request has unimaginably more content than you think it will have. In Java Server programming, all your requests are contained in a HTTPRequest object and you are supposed to read the request and send back a response.
There are certain common or business fields that you may want to preserve across the application. Like the logged-in user's name, or a shopping cart that contains the list of items that the customer added to his cart. You have three options to store/retrieve such general details. Header, Session and Cookies.
Below is a piece of Java Servlet code that will help read HTTPHeaders, HTTPSession variables, and HTTPCookies. Based on your situation, you can add conditions/modify them as per your needs.

Code to read the available cookies:
Cookie[] cookies = request.getCookies();
if ((cookies != null) && (cookies.length > 0)) {
  for (int i = 0; i < cookies.length; i++) {
   Cookie cookie = cookies[i];
    System.out.print("Cookie Name: " + cookie.getName());
     System.out.println("  Cookie Value: " + cookie.getValue());
     }
   } 
else{
System.out.println("no cookies found");
     }

Code to read the available variables in the HTTP Header:

java.util.Enumeration names = request.getHeaderNames();
  while (names.hasMoreElements())
   {
    String name = (String) names.nextElement();
    System.out.print(" "+name+": "+request.getHeader(name));
   }        

Use this code to read the available variables in the HTTP Session object.

java.util.Enumeration sessionVars = request.getSession().getAttributeNames();
while (sessionVars.hasMoreElements())
{
String name = (String) sessionVars.nextElement();
System.out.print(" "+name+": "+request.getSession().getAttribute(name));
}        
     

Dec 20, 2010

One more ☆

I am writing with joy from the bottom of the bottom of my heart that the Country's only Son surpassed yet another milestone. "Would like to dedicate this to my father", said Sachin during his post-match interview after compiling a majestic, hard-fought century that took his total test ton count to FIFTY in a flawless, flamboyant manner.
© Gallo Images
Sachin was not so majestic when it comes to fourth inning heroics especially when compared to his performances in other 3 innings' of the five-day format. His best 4th innings knock came against the all-time rival, Pakistan, in Chennai, fighting against a cramp, driving India toward Victory. It was very sad to see India losing the game despite Sach's heroics. Even after reaching 50 hundreds, he agreed that this was his best and toughest. "I think my knock of 136 against Pakistan at Chennai was toughest. Wicket was really deteriorating and quality of bowling attack was outstanding!", said Sachin. Again, this game against SA is no exception as he kept running outta partners, only to remain unbeaten at the other end, seeing all his folks, walking in and back, one after the other. Dhoni's plaudible partnership shocked the South Africans who went speechless with their strikes but were fortunate to have a monstrous man named Dale Steyn. Even Steyn's amazing aggression couldn't get rid of the God to surpass the milestone.
Had Dravid/Raina/Lax stayed a lot longer, it would've been a more memorable game. But Sachin's stand-out innings will definitely remain memorable. To note down the positives out of this game, the 2nd innings fight-back is appreciable, especially after the disastrous first innings tumble. He concurred with this point saying this.
"It was extremely important to bat well in the 2nd innings. It was even more important to send loud and clear message that we can fight back strongly. I think we have done that."
Being the world's best team, the expectations were high on our team. Logically, we cannot win every game like Sach cannot score a hundred in every inning. It was a very good game of cricket and the  rest of the contest will be definitely interesting. My Next wait, like i mentioned once, will be his 100 Hundred's in both forms of the fascinating game.

Listen to the master, speaking about his milestone, as said to cricinfo.

Sachin Tendulkar reflects on reaching 50 Test centuries following his latest ton in South Africa (03:25)

Dec 15, 2010

World’s youngest CEO !

I never knew such a brilliant boy has made wonders in my own industry. At an age not even eligible to own a bank account, this boy was in the advisory board of WORLD BANK. When kids at his age are busy playing cricket on the streets, he started building websites. At an age when one enters college, he already started a company on his own. Not only he did all these but he is a very successful entrepreneur today. At the age of 22, he owns a 8-year old company, Globals Inc.,

Such an effort and determination is what it takes to do something extraordinary. I am proud to tell you that this boy is an Indian and is also the world's youngest CEO!


When 14-year-old Suhas Gopinath started Globals Inc ten years ago from a cyber cafe in Bengaluru, he didn't know that he had become the youngest CEO in the world. Today, Globals is a multi-million dollar company with offices in the United States, India, Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Singapore and the Middle East and has 100 employees in India and 56 abroad. Among the several honors that have been bestowed upon this young man, the most prestigious is the invitation to be a member of the Board of the ICT Advisory Council of the World Bank..

In 2007, the European Parliament and International Association for Human Values conferred 'Young Achiever Award' on him. He was also invited to address the European Parliament and other business dignitaries assembled in the EU Parliament. He is also recognised as one of the 'Young Global Leaders' for 2008-2009 by the prestigious World Economic Forum. Suhas is the youngest member ever in the World Economic Forum's history. The other members include the Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, Hollywood star Leonardo Di Caprio, musician A R Rahman, Prince of Brunei,etc.

Suhas Gopinath with former President APJ Abdul Kalam
In this interview from his office in Bengaluru, Suhas Gopinath talks about his decade long journey and his dreams for the future.


On his childhood:
I come from a middle class family. My father worked as a scientist for the Indian Army. I used to study in the Air Force school in Bengaluru. As a child, I was more interested in animals and veterinary science. But when I saw my friends who had home computers talk about it, I had this urge to learn and talk in their wave length. But we didn't have a computer at home. In those days, computers were very expensive and we couldn't afford one. So, what I did was, I located an Internet cafe near my house. With my modest monthly pocket money of Rs 15, I couldn't afford to surf the net every day. I noticed that the shop was closed in the afternoon from 1 PM to 4 PM. So, I offered to open the shop for him after my school hours and take care of the customers. In the bargain, he let me browse the net for free. That was the first business deal of my life and it turned out to be a successful one.

Suhas with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates
On building websites using open source technology:
Once I got the chance to manage the shop and browse the net, I started building websites. It became my passion in no time. I got hooked to open source technology after I started looking for e-books on how to build websites. They were not available as they were created in propriety sources. So, I started using open source to build websites.

On getting the first contract to build a website:
There is a freelance marketplace on the web where I could register and offer my services to build websites. I registered myself there as a website builder. The first website I had to do was free of cost as I had no references. It was for a company in New York. My first income was $100 when I was 13 for building another website but I didn't have a bank account. so, I told my father that I built a website and got paid for it. I was not excited to get the money because money was not a factor that drew me to it. It was the passion for technology that attracted me. I used to build websites free of cost also. I was only a 9th standard student. After that, I built my own portal and called it Coolhindustan.com. It was focused on NRIs. It was a portal where I wanted to showcase my skills. After that, many companies approached me to be their web designer.

Suhas Gopinath speaking to students' at a conference in Austria
On buying his first computer:
When I was in the 9th standard itself, I had made enough money to buy a computer for myself. At that time, my brother was studying engineering and my father thought he needed a computer. In no time, I also bought one for myself. But we didn't have a net connection at home. My spending hours in the net cafe working on websites did affect my studies. I spent the entire summer vacation after the 9th standard in the cafe.

On rejecting a job offer from the US:
When I was 14, Network Solutions offered me a part-time job in the US and they said they would sponsor my education in the US. I rejected the offer because that was the time I had read a story about Bill Gates and how he started Microsoft. I thought it was more fun to have your own company. Many US companies used to tell me that I didn't even have a moustache and they felt insecure taking my services. They used to connect my ability with my age and academic qualifications. So, I wanted to start my own company and show the world that age and academic qualifications are immaterial. I decided then that when I started a company, I would recruit only youngsters and I would not ask for their academic qualifications and marks cards. I follow that in my company.

On starting his own company at 14:
Soon after my 9th standard summer vacation, I started my own company, Globals Inc. I wanted the name Global or Global Solutions but both were not available, so I named it Globals. I registered my company in the US as in India, you will not be able to start a company unless you are 18. It takes only 15 minutes to start a company in the US. I became the owner and CEO of the company. My friend, an American who was a university student, became a board member. I was very excited because that was what I wanted to do. From that day, I started dreaming of making my company as big as Microsoft.

On doing badly in school:
In my pre-board CBSE exam, I failed in Mathematics. The school headmistress was shocked because that was the first time I had failed in any subject. She called my mother and said she was horrified by my performance. At home, like any typical South Indian mother, my mother made me swear on her head that I would focus on academics. I told my mother that the world's richest man Bill Gates had not completed his education. Why do you force me then, I asked her. She then said, I am sure his horoscope and yours are not the same! 

I come from a family where entrepreneurship is considered a sin. My mother was quite upset. She wanted me to do engineering, then an MBA and work in a good company. As per my mother's wishes, I took a four-month sabbatical from my company and studied for my board exam. I passed with a first class. I still feel that you cannot restrict yourself to bookish knowledge. I believe that practical knowledge is more important. In the first year, the turnover of Globals Inc was Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000). The second year, the turnover went up to Rs 5 lakh (Rs 500,000).
Suhas receiving the Incredible Europe Innovation Award at Vienna
On looking at Europe as a market:
Till I was 16 or 17, I didn't tell my parents that I had started a company. I kept it a secret because I thought they would object to it. They only knew that I was a freelancer. We used to build websites and also offer online shopping and e commerce solutions. We even gave part time work to a few programmers in the US when we got many projects but we never had any office. When I was 16, I saw that there were enormous business opportunities in Europe as a majority of the Indian IT companies were working for American companies. When I contacted a Spanish company, it rejected my offer saying Indians do not know Spanish. As an entrepreneur, you can't accept rejection, especially when you are young. I hired five student interns from some Spanish universities and told them they would be paid based on their successful sales. They were the people who met the companies and bagged the projects for us. By now, we decided to have a home office in Spain. I replicated the same model in Italy. I contacted some Italian university students.

Suhas meeting with Sheikha Nayhan, Minister for Higher Education, the UAE
On going to Germany to talk about entrepreneurship:
The American newspapers were writing a lot about me as the world's youngest CEO at 14 from India, from a middle class background. It was a good story for the BBC also. I never expected to be in the limelight. For me, starting a company was like realising a passion of mine. On seeing these stories, a B-school in Germany invited me to talk to its students on entrepreneurship. I was 17 then. By now, I had completed my 12th standard and had joined Engineering in Bengaluru. When I was 18, we set up an office -- the European HQ in Bonn. Then, we moved to Switzerland. Six months back, we started our operations in Vienna as well. That is how we spread our operations from a small Internet cafe to become a multinational company with significant operations in Europe, Middle East, the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, etc.

On registering a company in India at 18:
The day I turned 18, I registered our company in India as Globals, opened an office and recruited four people. I opened the office next to the Internet cafe where I started my career. By then, he had closed shop and joined a factory as an employee. Whenever I met him, I used to tell him, 'you made me an entrepreneur but you stopped being one.'

On moving to creating products:
We wanted our company also to be a product development company and our focus was on education, like the software that manages everything about a child while in school starting from admission till he/she leaves school and becomes an alumnus. It is a nasty software which students are going to be quite unhappy about! This software was aimed only at the Indian market. I want to be the market leader in ICT in education. Our software is being used in more than 100 schools all over India, Singapore and the Middle East. We are now in the process of raising funds. Once we do it, we will separate the company into two -- service and product development. I want to concentrate on products as I can't sail on two boats.
World Bank president Robert Zoellick
On meeting former President Abdul Kalam:
I met Dr Abdul Kalam when he was the President of India. I was 17 or 18 then. My meeting was scheduled for 15 minutes but we had such an intense conversation that it went on for one-and-a-half hours. I didn't feel that I was talking to the President of India. We talked like two friends. He was sitting in his chair across the table but after some time, he came and sat next to me. He isi such a modest person that it was a learning experience for me.

On being on the board of the World Bank:
As per the wishes of my parents, I joined engineering but didn't complete my engineering: like Bill Gates! When I was in my 5th semester, the World Bank invited me to attend their board meeting. I am the only Indian on the board of the World Bank. The objective was to explore how ICT can improve the quality of education in the emerging economies, by bringing in accountability and transparency in their financial deeds. Robert B. Zoellick, the president of the World Bank, decided that they could not have only Americans on the board and needed people from across the world. As they were focusing on education, they wanted young minds to add value to the work. He preferred a young mind from an emerging country and that was how I got the invitation in 2005. Not even in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be on the board of the World Bank. The invitation was the most unforgettable moment in my life. I report directly to Robert B Zoellick!

Some of the others on the board are the CEO of Cisco, the vice president of Microsoft and the CEO of SAP; all Fortune 500 companies and me, the only Indian! I am helping the World Bank set policies on ICT in university education so that employability can be enhanced. My aim is to reduce the number of unemployed eligible youth in the world. Right now, we are concentrating on Africa. Soon, I want to shift the focus on to India. It has been an amazing experience for me. But I had to discontinue my engineering education at the time I joined the board, as I didn't have enough attendance in college!

On his dreams for his company:
I have always believed that IT is not just technology but a tool that can solve the problems of people. That is what I want to do in my company. I want my company to be a market leader in software solutions concentrating on education. When I was younger, I didn't care about money. Now that I am responsible for my employees, I care about what we make. If I am not bothered about money, we cannot scale up our business. When I started my company from a net cafe in Bengaluru, I never ever imagined that one day my company would be a multi-million dollar company and I would be on the World Bank board as a member. What drives me is my passion and it has been an amazing journey so far.

Movie: Chikku Bukku

 Movie review Chikku bukku சிக்கு புக்கு  
© mp3scorner.com
Just came home after a nice ride in chikku bukku. Little bumpy here and there but an enjoyable ride overall. No big story to scribble about. Reminded me of the pair-travel-together-throughout-movie types like Uthamaputhiran and Paiyaa. Just another love story (Two infact), screened  in parts subsequently on frequent intervals. Difference-element in this story is that a guy gives up his love for his best friend. Somehow, their children fall in love later on and they get together in the end.

The first-half runs very fast than the later and is also more interesting and fun-filled to watch. Thanks to Santhanam, he steals the comedy scenes with his Lollu-saba teammate, pairing him up as his 'Papa'. We were jumping outta the seat during most of his scenes.
The screenplay should 've been made more gripping as the story appears easily-guess-able. Not too many twists around and all you feel most of the time is like watching a slow+boring episode of a TV Serial.

Had Genilia been given Shreya's role, chemical reactions would 've yielded better products as this one is her typical type. She is just match-less at a jumping-all-day-charming-girl role...

No other good movies running these days. So this is worth watching on a fine weekend with your family or friends. And this is the amazing theme of the movie is: "If you run away with your friend's GF, one day, your daughter will run away with his son." Or in tamil, i would say, உலகம் உருண்ட டா.

Dec 12, 2010

On India and education

I opened blogger and happened to see that i wrote 99 posts so far. "Wow", i exclaimed. "I am going to write my 100th post. What should I write? Shouldn't that be something special?". 
Everytime something interest me, I will MARK that topic in my bookmarks for writing . Later, during the weekends, I will start working on them and publish them. There are some blogs which I write for months, by frequently composing them part-by-part and I will save them in drafts before I finally publish them one day. The bookmark list is close to some 20 now and I couldn't steal that extra time to blog them these days. I was hovering over the list as I spotted a topic on Indian Education. Thought it ought to be a pressing problem and I choose it right away. 

That Pressing Problem:
It read, "India doesn't figure in world top-100 universities". "Whaaattttt???", i jumped outta my seat and clicked the news article. Someone, somehow managed  to take a list of top universities across all the continents. My country did not make it to the top 100. The most prestigious institution in our country is IIT's and IIS'. Even they managed to end-up just near the 130-spot. I was simply shocked to see that.

First, Is this stat REAL? On what basis, someone adjudges an institution? Did s/he graduate from all these institutions and took a note of each? Truly Madly. Definitely not that case. So, do they prepare standard parameters and throw questionnaires at students? or Take Polls? How can someone actually do that? I will be surprised If the metrics are indeed right.

If what Chetan wrote about IIT Standards in Five Point Someone is true, then I wouldn't be surprised with this ranking. Like how Aamir Khan ask in 3 Idiots movie, How many International papers have been published/presented by All the Indian Universities put together? How many all over the world and what is the % contribution from India? If the answer is a pathetic number, again the rankings holds good.

It's % the real-problem !
Why is that we are not able to dominate this arena? Aren't our people creative? Except for those who drives themselves on their own toward innovation, students are not directed in the right path. Except for some spectacular teachers, students are not guided properly by teachers. TEACHING is NOT just a job. It's beyond everything where someones puts his heart-out to bring the best out of a generation. Other noble roles are Doctors and Army. Such people do not (and should not) strive for money. They should have it as a passion to be there. Of course we do have studious students and terrific teachers. We also have moderate students and ordinary teachers. The problem is the percentage of later being well over the former. I have no right to call them 'ordinary' but I feel the way they teach is ordinary.

The typical type:
Apart from the teacher, the moderate students have no interest in going beyond the books. You can see such rare personalities one-in-a-class and they are the group I referred to as those who drives themselves on their own toward innovation. I definitely don't belong to this group. I did not have the maturity during my graduation to go beyond text books. Even, I did not have the interest to go throughout the textbook. Just like any standard Indian student, I aspired for grades. I went to college for four years and had fun. I study the night before every exam. With a decent score, I passed outta college. There are cases where a tremendous Teacher was never approached by a moderate student as well as a tremendous student not being guided by a moderate teacher

That Golden Egg:
They are very few students who went beyond all these barriers, did things the way it should be and these are the people who integrate semi-conductor chips in Intel, Optimize search engines in Google and narrow down to nano-meter calculations in NASA. This means, the Little few HAVE NOT given back what they learnt to the country. It's like your hen lays once in one hundred days and the only hatched chicken runs away. If the best students are choosing other options, Teaching positions are filled by moderate candidates. They  in-turn produce moderate students. If the above two steps keep repeating again and again, one fine day, all that will be left is way-below-the-average.

The origin of 'Change':
The change should originate from all layers. From the student, to the teacher, to the management and include the government if you want. From what I have seen, Students in general never aspired for inventions and innovation. Part of those who did, had no idea how to do it. They weren't guided properly and they got lost in the crowd. The remaining were smart enough to find the way on their own, not only to innovation, but also the way to go outta the country. Youngsters simply want to enjoy life in college, settle in a moderate job, reasonable enough for a living. "Software education not that good in India", said Kaspersky CEO. He quoted the inability to do complicated tasks that requires strong knowledge in Mathematics and Cryptography as the reason. Though India is a major IT hub in the world, the kind of work done here isn't that complex. My assumption may be wrong but I strongly feel it that way. The kind of work that I (and people around me) do today, rarely or hardly involve a complex mathematical computation. Most of the software engineers are just a skilled White-collar Labor. Just compare the No. of R&D centers and Development centers of top firms available here and everywhere else.

Importing the exported:
The leading universities in that ranking list are from the U.S. I have no idea about the quality of education carried out there, but there should be a difference. After all, we are comparing two entirely different democratic countries and so there is no wonder in the difference. Also majority of the best students and teachers are somewhere in the U.S, the rest in Europe, UK and other places. These ran-away chickens can consider coming back to their nest, become a part of where they were before, produce more such chickens and help make education better. Not only they bring along themselves, but also the kind of education they were imparted.  For the change to happen, the way education is carried out should also change. Some talks are already in progress

The bigger picture:
Edison did not invent the electric bulb for America alone. He gave it to mankind. None of us are going to live for a light year. The little time we spend here, can try and make life for mankind better than what it was now rather than fighting/complaining against each other. Moving out of the country is the individual's interest but it's just that we need some assistance here as the balance is missing somewhere. Let's hope It will get better. I liked the idea proposed in 3 Idiots movie. That's the way education is meant to be!

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