Wednesday, January 25, 2006

TN introduces the Cable Bill

Following months of inactivity after Chennai gained the dubious distinction of being the ONLY city in the whole country to implement the Conditional Access System from Sep 1, 2003, the Tamilnadu government announced that the State would take over take over all cable TV networks. This includes the operations of multi-system operators (MSOs) like Hathaway and SCV(Sumangali Cable Vision), which is owned by the Maran family.

I guess we can now look forward to more fights over the remote control if other family members seek to view more interesting programmes and not just weepy soaps.

I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the day when I can get to see all channels for a nominal amount, as in the pre-CAS days without forking out more than Rs.250 per month in addition to purchasing a set-top box.

Curiously, the DMK chief has, in a statement welcomed the move. Surely, there is more to this than meets the eye ?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sometimes I wonder if...

1. Shah Rukh Khan eats SunFeast biscuits.
2. Amitabh Bachan uses all those products from Boro Plus to Dabur Chyawanprash to Rin.
3. Kajol uses Whirpool appliances.
4. Ajay Devgan uses a Tata Indicom mobile phone.
5. Surya drives a TVS Star DLX.
6. Maddy uses Clinic Hair-fall Defense shampoo.
7. Govinda uses Navratna Tel.
8. I should be getting back to work now.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Tom The Baby Scanner

is the headline of this article on Sky News. Tom Cruise has bought an ultrasound machine so that he can take a peek at his unborn kid anytime he wants. Boy ! Talk about being an overzealous father !

Kinda reminds me of that Friends episode, where Ross shows the gang the sonogram of his unborn son :

ROSS: Well? Isn't that amazing?
JOEY: What are we supposed to be seeing here?
CHANDLER: I dunno, but.. I think it's about to attack the Enterprise.
PHOEBE: You know, if you tilt your head to the left, and relax your eyes, it kinda looks like an old potato.
ROSS: Then don't do that, alright?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

HP and the Goblet of Fire - Review

Shanthi and I watched "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" yesterday at Sathyam.

Caution : Here be spoilers !

The movie is fast paced and bristles with action. So much so that there is little scope for emotion. The only real emotive moments appear at the very end of the movie when Amos moans the loss of his son Cedric and Voldemort(Ralph Fiennes is brilliant) spews venom at Harry. Although Dumbledore appears largely listless when breaking the news of Cedric's death to the students of Hogwarts.

If, like most, you have read the book, you will surprised at just how much has been left out from the book. For instance, Rita Skeeter has been reduced almost to a cameo role. Winky, the house-elf, who acts as Barty Crouch Jr's guardian in the novel, is missing too. Of course, all this is not too suprising given the fact that Steve Kloves had to pick and choose the most important events from a 600-plus page novel. If so, I am not sure how Sirius' appearance in the fire merits any importance to the progression of the movie.

In terms of magic, the movie brings two new elements to the screen - the Portkey and the Pensieve. Both of them are well done and the visualisation of the effects adheres closely to whats described in the novel.

Two characters really stand out in this movie - "Mad Eye" Moody and Voldemort. Moody manipulates the events that lead to the climax, which features the resurgence of the Dark Lord Voldemort. Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes turn in excellent performances in their roles.

All in all, the darkest movie in the series so far, featuring as it does, two deaths, is certainly worth a watch as it sets the stage for the "dark and difficult times" that lie ahead.

"Support" for Kushboo

Perhaps stung by the criticism that the Nadigar Sangam (Actors Association) seldom looks after its own, its General Secretary Sarath Kumar belatedly decries the tendency to turn actors into soft targets.

As for Mr.Thirumavalan, he denies that the PMK and the DPI were behind the agitation ! Surprise, surprise ! But what about all those people ? Well...they were just "spontaneously" protesting against the statements made by Kusboo. But they were carrying his party flags, werent they ? He doesnt know too much about that...perhaps they just happened to have his party flags lying about at home. I can just imagine the checklist as the eager agitator sets out from his home. House keys - check, wallet - check, rotten tomatoes - check, chappals - check, DPI/PMK flag - check.

The Left, not to be left out, also issues a statement to the effect that people who wish to protest must resort to "healthy, democratic means".

Here's a round-up of all the Kushboo "supporters".

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sony's Spyware

Bruce Schneier weighs in on the "Real Story of the Rogue Rootkit".

The article also provides links that guide the reader from the time that Mark Russinovich first reported this on his blog to responses from SonyBMG , First4Internet(the company that developed the XCP program).

More power to the blogger and to the blogosphere !

The Kushboo Affair - Round II

After the events of the first round in the Kushboo Affair, it was left to Suhasini to rake up the issue and bring it to the forefront of South Indian news.

Well, this set the stage for Round 2 and then DPI, PMK and other "progressive" outfits, representing the "hurt" womenfolk of Tamilnadu once again joined forces to target Suhasini. Her effigy was also burnt by "good and just" people clamouring for action against Kushboo and Suhasini.

And again, as before, the person concerned apologised.

Although other prominent people like Sania Mirza and Narain Karthikeyan and organisations such as AIDWA have spoken up in support of Kushboo, one is shocked at the narrow-minded attitude and hypocrisy displayed by those who have condemned the remarks made by Kushboo.

What is wrong if a woman dares to state that pre-marital sex is fine for women, as long as they take adequate steps against HIV/AIDS etc ? Would there be such a hue and cry if a similar statement had been made about men ? I think not.

But then, gender equality has always been joke, hasnt it ? Its ironic that those who invoke the names of "Periyar" E.V.Ramaswamy and Subramania Bharathi have paid scant attention to the thoughts and philosophies, especially in terms of equality for women, of these two gentlemen.

HP and the Goblet of Fire - Movie

Harry Potter returns to the box office for the fourth time and this time, he means business. The movie has received rave reviews from most and is considered the best of the series so far. With darker movies like "Order of the Phoenix" and "Half-Blood Prince" yet to come, I believe that the quality of the movies can only improve(keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed).

The movie releases in Chennai today, as with the rest of the world and I hope to catch the movie soon.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Star Wars - The greatest postmodern art film ever

Despite this somewhat grandiose and arguable proclamation about Star Wars, this article on Slate does a good dissection of the Star Wars series.

Quite an interesting read.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It's raining, man ! Hallelujah !

No...this isnt a reference to the Geri Halliwell song.

Its a reference to the incessant rains that have been lashing Chennai since the North-East monsoon set in on Oct 12. Over 20cms of rain have been recorded since yesterday night. And it doesnt stop here - more rains are predicted over the next 48 hours due to a depression in the Bay of Bengal.

Speaking of predictions, the current rains were "predicted" or "hinted at" by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa more than two months back. Prescience ? No, just history.

Update: A colleague suggests that the depression in the Bay of Bengal may be named "Cyclone" Amma ! Ha ha !!

Dilbert joins the blogosphere

Read it here.

Thanks to Rat for the info.