Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Airtel: ek baar bhi connection laga ke to dekho..

nigahen nigahon se mila ke dekho...the brand campaign of Airtel has done real well..But what good is the marketing, if the service sux so badly. I have seen many people who switched to or took airtel just because of its popularity and marketing strategies. But all in vague..

I took Airtel connection around 2 years back for my first phone (Nokia N-gage). I changed the handset , but not the number. I could have switched to a corporate connection, a BSNL, a postpaid or whatever. But I didnt because I was "happpy" with Airtel.

"Fate! I guess, is not without a sense of irony." (Morpheus!) that I am being forced to change my connection now. Since 3 weeks Airtel is $ucking big time. Not just my connection, but the whole god-damn network is kinda down. Whenever someone calls me he gets the sukking

"This phone is currently switched off, or out of coverage area" crap

Well! if Madhapur/Hitech region is 'out of coverage area' then really Airtel will lose not less than 1 lac customers. We (Three of us) called the customer support 2 weeks back and got all crap from them.

"No sir, the network is totally fine"
"Please get your handset checked by the nearest Airtel office"

I have missed so many important calls and so many SMSes that I feel like SUEing Airtel. But Alas! I dont have the time and money to fight against them. My phone is lying like that deadphone in Flop-show of Jaspal bhatti which rings only once in a while. I have waited long enough for Airtel to "de-bug" this problem. Cant help it if they cant make things working in 3 weeks...and pi$$ all their customers off so badly...

GoodBye Airtel!!!
I hope this message is spread across people and nobody takes Airtel connection.

PS: If anyone from Airtel reads this, file a de-famat1on suite against me, I will atleast SUE you in return...

Friday, June 9, 2006

Google Research prototypes ads based on TV

A team from Google Research has developed a prototype system that uses a home computer’s internal microphone to listen to the ambient audio in a room, determine what is being watched on TV and offer web-based supplemental information, services and shopping contextual to each program being watched.

Its really wonderful to see how Google is gaining its grasp over internet, but isnt there a limit? Users might really like to know some details about stuff they are watching on Television but this really looks like an overkill. Finding what a person is watching on TV is too personal to be sent over internet. Obviously the microphone thats taking input 10 feet away from TV wont leave the conversation the user is having with a friend or a business partner. Now who will filter that information? May be google will come up with another tool that would enhance privacy for its users.

Privacy concerns were addressed in the prototype by compressing captured audio on the user’s computer before transmitting summary data to the database for comparison and by offering a mute button in the program. Given Google’s recent ethical issues, these privacy measures may not be enough to assuage some people.
Reference : www.techcrunch.com (http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/06/08/google-research-prototypes-ambient-audio-contextual-content/)

Monday, June 5, 2006

trip to srisailem

A trip so good that it brought me back to blogging world after full 40 days and 40 nights (no other meanings intended ;)). Amit, Manjeet, Nitin and I went to srisailem last weekend in indicab. After few small delays in the morning (2 hrs, thanks to AC) we started off at 7:30. The climate was in our favour all along. Thank god for that. The onward journey was pretty good with a break in an udupi hotel (thanks to AC for the great vadas we had which are nowhere available in hyderabad ;)). We had plans of going by bikes but due to some last minute (read week) changes we switched to a better means of roaming (i.e. taxi). And obviously, we are not regretting it. We saw 3 accidents in all. A bike and a scooter, an overturned auto (in front of our eyes :(, 3 seconds more and it would have hit our car :( ), and a bike hit a cow (the guy was injured badly).

The first beautiful stop was appx 70-100 kms before srisailem i.e. Dindi Dam. It was really good to see the vast water body. It looked like a sea shore with a dam (damn! thats not possible). The breeze was real cool. Curious to know the temperature of water, AC almost drowned himself. Alas! he didnt and we had to go through his torture all through the trip. We spent little time in Dindi and moved forward. The next stop was the Temple.

It was some 'Ayappa-sth' temple (sorry to forget the name). We were told (by AC) that the darshan would take nearly 3 hours, but we were through in 1/2 hour itself :D. It was a bit sunny but still climate was cool enough. There were so many gods in the temple that I got confused :(. Bothra god ashirwaad from a cute Elephant who took dakshina in its trunk. It had started raining already so we decided to take a hotel.

We took a room in Ganga Sadan.An okie dokie place to stay for night. We checked in and after putting our stuff decided to go for lunch. The lunch was close to pathetic. I dont know why but there doesnt seem to be any decent place in Srisailem to eat (finding north indian food is close to impossible..may be because mostly south indian frequent to that place). After lunch we had to visit another temple and then had to go to the Ghat for boating.

The weather was still cool. We reached the Ghat around 4:30 or so and went for boating. We had plans of playing Cricket with those already playing on ghat but the plans didnt materialize. The boat was very different from a traditional boat. It was shaped like a tasla (the small thing in which labors carry cement/bricks) and made up of mostly bamboo sticks and painted black with tarcoal from bottom. It could carry 10 people at one time but we were only 4 :) . There were plenty of fishes in the water. The shore was mostly rocky so walking barefoot was a pain, but we managed :) . After the ride Manjeet wanted to get into the river for bath. Initially I was ready but after seeing fishes inside I was a bit hesistant. Nitin had brought his laptop so we thought of finding a place where we could sit and watch a movie :D . But finally I ditched Nitin :( and went with AC and Manjeet to take bath in the waters.

God blesses us as soon as we got into water with rain. The whole place was isolated with people running for shade. Only some jigar-walas (read strong people) like us were still inside the water. The whole place around looked awesome with lush green watery hills and rain. It was awesome. We played in water until rain stopped. Nitin came back and took some photos :( .
We went for another ride in the boat and came out. While coming back to main srisailem from ghat we stopped at a site-seeing point. Bothra ate a chocobar (highly recommended to all icecream lovers if they want to stop eating ;)) and we took coffee which was really good. Bothra had heard of some tunnel where there are lotsa bats and all. The place sounded pretty creepy but we decided to give it a try.

It was 7:30 when we reached close to that place. But when we enquired we came to know that we have to take a trolley and a boat (32 kms by water) to reach that place which is anyway closed for some reason temporarily. There was another place shikharam which we had thought of going as a fallback option but on enquiring we came to know that its closed too for the day. So there was nothing left but to get back to our hotel and having dinner.

The dinner at punami hotel's restaurant was still ok. The thali was pretty good for famished people like us. The hotel looked really good though a bit expensive (for staying). We had planned to go to a quiet place with some scenic beauty in the night but all of us were very tired as we had slept less the previous night (thanks to oracle party :) and the gr8 DJ night) and had travelled most of the day. So we retired to our hotel room and watched YUVA.

Bad habits die hard. We could have slept at 10:30 but we stayed awake till 2:00 and played dumb-charades :D. Me and AC had a team and Manjeet and Nitin were the opponents. We fought/shouted so many times that I cant forget that night ;)) . Finally we slept around 2:00 AM.

The next morning was equally beautiful. We got up and ready and left the hotel for breakfast. We played football (with hands and a cricket ball) on the table of that restaurant by passing kicks (or hands :P). After breakfast we went straight to the trolley/boating place and took the trolley ride. The view was breathtaking from there. After getting down from the trolley there were two ways. One was to the boat ride (only boat ride as the caves/temple were closed) and other was an isolated broken track to nowhere. Obviously we took the isolated track. After moving for say half a kilometre and finding nothing we started throwing stones in river. Now we were not sure of whether the stones were reaching water or not. So we applied our physics skills and discussed at what angle the stone should be thrown to reach maximum distance. We literally drew diagrams, sat and started (Manjeet started) deriving the equations and the relation between distance, time and theta. Huh! after 1/2 hour or so we thought better not to waste gr8 time and enjoy. We came back and were pretty tired and thirsty. AC drank 3 Mazaas after that. We discussed about our next trip to Andaman nicobar and after the discussion we had frustrated AC so much that he was fuming with anger (What an oxymoron, fuming AC ;) ).

We went to shikharam from there and the temple was beautiful. There was a giant iron structure (around 40 feet or more) which was in the shape of shivling and had bulbs on its body. The bulbs are turned on in the night and the lighted shivling looks beautiful from far. The air here was better than anywhere in Srisailem. We could not help giving other people the way to go ahead to stay there longer. We came down and started our journey back to Hyderabad and reached pretty quick. It had started raining on our way back and 1/4 rainbow was also visible. The journey was cool (as in wow! cool) and cool (as in cold cool) :D.

After coming back we saw all pics and went to Nihal to eat. Though we felt that we were not hungry but because of eating bad food for 2 days we ate alot in Nihal :D. I slept for 11 hours in the night and am still feeling sleepy and can bet that others are feeling similar :D.

Srisailem Ratings:
place: 3.5/5 (for general people) 4.5/5 (for religious people).
time to visit: Visit in rainy season or winters
must see: ghat, the main sri-sailem temple, shikharam temple and the trolley ride
places to stay: hotels on main road (ganga sadan (3.5/5), and one adjacent to it, or punami hotel)
how to go: if u r adventure crazy go by bikes, else play safe and take a taxi
time in srisailem: One day trip is enough if you dont have enough time, else stay for the night and get out second day's afternoon.