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July 2002 — Monthly Archive

Indian ISPs to ask Web Biggies to Pay for Access to Indian Surfers?

A rumor I’ve been hearing persistently for the last couple of days has surfaced in that cesspool towards which all IT rumors are irresistibly drawn (and on /. too). Apparently the ISPAI, a consortium of Indian ISPs, wants web biggies to pony up if they wish to reach Indian audiences. I’ve been searching (in vain so far) for a online source to this, because the Hindustani [sic] Times El Reg quotes does not seem to have a website, and I was unable to find any mention of this on hindustantimes.com.

If true, this would have been a cretinous move. On the other hand, Udhay Shankar points to a post on a silklist thread which purports to come from a ISPAI office bearer:

The ISPAI is not split on the issue. On this issue, the ISPAI speaks with one voice: there is absolutely no intention of blocking Yahoo, Hotmail, eBay or any other popular site. The article is pure bullshit.

Good to see common sense is alive and well in the country. And to all El Reg readers: have you taken your pinch of salt today?

Update: this ISPAI press release may have been the cause of the problem — this is a spat between ISPs licensed to provide VoIP services and services that provide voice chat on their own — MSN, Yahoo, etc. Cretinous anyway. Voice chat != VoIP.

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31 July 2002 10:07 am

Reinventing Language

I am not fond of using — or writers using — ’she’ in place of a pronoun that is inclusive of both genders. (English doesn’t have one, ‘he’ serves the purpose pretty well.) Call me old-fashioned, but this is tokenism. Where does it stop? Since ‘women’ is obviously derivative of ‘men’, should we now change it to womyn? Oh, wait…. But now, either the NYTimes‘ style guide or the Pope has caught on, and is busily turning the (don’t you wish it was so) asexual Catholic Church into something rather more feminine, along the lines of Mother Nature, probably.

“If you love Jesus, love the church,” the Pope said during a homily at an outdoor Mass here this morning that was attended by hundreds of thousands of Catholics, many of them teenagers. “Do not be discouraged by the sins and failings of some of her members.

Typo? Sure hope so. I mean, I would hate to find out that there was a secret worldwide conspiracy by language-tool software vendors to reinvent the English language in hugger-mugger.

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29 July 2002 4:23 pm

Randomly Surf the Web

Mangle. I’ve been looking for this feature for quite some time. www.google.com/random would have been much cooler, though.

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28 July 2002 1:28 pm

Mumbai Vice

In case you are wondering who is responsible for the daily exploitations that go on in India’s large underground porn film biz, it is morons like these. Holy? Films? Get a grip.

The public doesn’t want vulgar films. Have you ever heard of a morcha taken out because the CBFC has cut scenes?

No, the public are too busy ignoring you wholesale, Mr Trivedi, and attending morning shows in Delhi (and quite a few other places, I imagine). They are busy renting out VCDs resulting from shoots like these. There must be a demand for these somewhere, hmm?

There are two ways that a government can react to things that are popular but taboo (marijuana, alcohol, porn — it doesn’t matter): wipe it out in its entirety, or legalize and regulate it. We’ve tried the ‘wipe out’ model with drugs and prohibition, and we know how well those worked. At least with tobacco, there is regulation and an income stream to the national exchequer. But yes, this is India, we don’t talk about sex, we reached a population of 1e9+ through binary fission; and censors who propose (sacrilege!) a “no cuts only classification” policy are hounded out of office. Dumb!

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9:34 am

In Case You Were Wondering…

Indiatimes chat with Aishwarya:

Ritika: Whose thought was ‘Ish’ in Devdas?
Aishwarya Rai: Definitely Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s because it is a very endearing term in Bengali. So we all found it very charming and we even continued with it long after the film (shooting) was over.

Hmm. Was a little too endearing for my taste — seems like the director liked the sound of the word and got carried away with it :-) . ‘Ish’ in Bengali roughly translates to ‘tsk tsk’ in English, with deeper connotations of regret, or in a humorous situation, humour.

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25 July 2002 1:59 pm

IE Rendering Bug

IE Bug: Try to select a couple of words in this post (on Chaoszone’s Home Page) using the mouse (say the words ‘What gets’). What gets highlighted? On my system, the entire left column and all the text upto the word also gets highlighted. This isn’t the correct behavior, and doesn’t happen in Opera/Mozilla.

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5:34 am

NYT Article on the Google Panopticon

If you don’t want Search Engines to find you, maybe you shouldn’t put up a family web page.

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4:48 am

The Point of Riddles in Technical Interviews

Insightful slashpost on the /. technical interviews story. Basically those asking about why riddles at all in a software interview are missing the point. The point is not riddles for the sake of riddles; the point is to, in the brief span of time that an interview lasts, get some insight into the interviewees’ mental processes — especially when s/he’s faced with a (possibly stressful) situation unfamiliar to him before. Does he approach the problem with enthusiasm? Does he try to think through? Or does he tune out? (Tuning out is often a sign of jadedness — something most product companies cannot afford). I’d be more inclined to take a guy who gets things wrong but explores the problem space than a guy who clams up.

And oh, what works for me probably won’t work very well for you — there are at least five worlds in software development, and I think industry veterans can easily think up more.

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24 July 2002 11:36 am

Texas Barbecue

ESR on one of the things Texas does right:

Barbecue, dammit. Red meat with enough fat on it to panic a health-foodist right out of his pantywaist, slow-cooked in a marinade sweeter than a mother’s kiss and eaten with sauces hot enough to peel paint. Garnish with a few extra jalapenos and coleslaw and wash it down with cheap soda, lemonade, or beer. Food of the gods.

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9:07 am

Many CC Recipients Considered Harmful

New Scientist:

Emailing a question to hordes of people is no use if you really want to know the answer, says psychologists. They found that the more people you copy an email to, the more each recipient is likely to ignore it.

Somebody tell this to the cc-philiacs in my office :-(

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22 July 2002 4:07 pm

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