Ego cogito, ergo sum

A compodium of my published aritcles, features, etc. on technology, IT and everything else; sourced from CyberMedia publications, Financial Express, Free Press Journal,, etc……

Archive for February 2009

Schadenfreude Millionaire

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It’s evening time at the posh Lincoln Plaza Cinema, in Broadway, New York an Amy Wilder is sitting perked up and looking with disbelief at the film running on the big screen ahead. Though, she has never really visited India, but has heard a lot about the country especially due to the job losses in the US. Like many else she believes that every white-collared IT worker that is retrenched in US is replaced by a brownie in some obscure city of India. Over the years, Amy, and many like her, have come to believe that India is no merely a land of elephants, snake charmers and the rope trick artists, but a potent threat to the workforce because of its laborious and educated workforce. The stereotype had steadily been effaced.

Yet, sitting in the Lincoln Cinema, she witnessed an image of India that she has often heard about but was not sure that it existed; an impoverished country wherein people were reduced to despondency, fighting, bickering, cheating, and killing each other. Thanks to the ‘Incredible India’ buses that flitted on the Broadway Street, her image of India as a third-world country had been replaced by that of an emergent and mystical land, the country of IT and that of the Taj Mahal. But Slumdog Millionaire got her thinking again

Seeing the two little orphans scampering across the cramped and filthy streets of Mumbai made her realize that India was not really a country that should be loathed, but rather pitied. In fact, on coming out of the theatre, Amy felt better about her existence, even though she was facing tough times in the face of job loses and defaults on mortgage payments, but at least it wasn’t as bad as in India, where small boys were blinded and made to beg on streets, or mobs of religious fanatics went about killing people just like that. Thank you lord for not making me an Indian, she heaved a sigh. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shashwat DC

February 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Space debris a concern: ISRO chief

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Recently, when I spoke to ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair (one of the best interactions I had in a long time), I could not resist but ask his views on space debris in light of the latest collision of US Iridium satellite with that of a defunct Russian satellite.

According to experts, there are currently at least 17,000 objects measuring 4 inches or greater circling the Earth. The US government estimates that there are 200,000 objects in the 1-3 inch range and tens of millions smaller than an inch. Thus, it poses a major hazard to any space mission, including the upcoming ones from ISRO.

Hence, I asked Mr. Nair, his views on the subject, and this is what he had to say:

“Space debris is a real issue and a serious concern, though the threat as of now is not very high as the probability of a collision happening is very bleak, approximately one in a million, less than that of a road accident. We have been facing this issue and need to take care of it because these objects are
travelling at around 7.5 km/sec and any collision at that speed can be
quite disastorous.

Of course during the launch of satellite, we keep a track of a catalog
of known objects and we ensure that they are taken care of. But beyond
that there is a lot of minute and small objects that are hovering
above the ear and pose a threat to any mission. Fortunately, an American agency has made a detailed catalog of the objects and they share it with us all the time. The issue of space debris will get more critical in the coming years as the clutter increases in the time to come.”

Coming from the man behind the Chandrayaan mission, this is indeed a serious concern. The big question is whether there is anything that we can do??

Written by Shashwat DC

February 15, 2009 at 1:30 am

A Mama am I

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Yesterday, precisely at 2 pm in the afternoon, a small bundle of joy made a grand appearance on planet earth; a charming lady with a cute little nose. While the arrival was not surprising, as she had been in transition for the past 9 months and some 6 odd days, nonetheless, her grand coming was a great joy and relief to many.

The lady (nameless, as of now, since the parents are still bandying over the name) has already changed the way a lot of people are called or will be known henceforth. Like some writ from the monarch who doles out peerages and lordships, we all have been bestowed with various titles, Parul, my sister will be Ma (mother) and Anish, my bro-in-law will be Papa (or pop). My mom will be a Nani and my dad a Nana (grandparents). My little sister will be a Mausi (aunt) and best of all, I am bestowed with the title of Mama (uncle).

Now, ever since the Mama-izing news was delivered to me, I have been pondering over the matter, what are the pros and cons, what are my rights and of course the duties? Should I be an indulgent Mama, the one who keeps pampering, or a snooty one, that any child will not necessarily like to have. I have also been thinking, what is exactly expected out of me, considering the enormous responsibility on my shoulders, as I am a MA-MA (that is twice mother, as the Hindi equivalent of Ma is Mother). There has to be some grave reason why I am a Ma-Ma (mother-mother).

Sadly, the role models that are available are not really rolemodel material, for instance, there is Mama Kansa who tried to get rid of his nephew Krishna by sending heinous monsters. Then, there is of course the popular Shakuni Mama, who misguided his nephew Duryodhan and literally dragged him and his brothers to doom. Apparently, and if I am not wrong, Ravana took the help of his deceitful Mama Marich, to abduct Sita. Thankfully, it ends there in mythology, as there are no more gnomish Mamas in literature, or if there are, they aren’t all that popular.

For some strange reasons Mamas continue to be reviled in modern framework, being portrayed as scheming villains in scores of Hindi movies. The precedent set by literature is hard to get rid of.

But, there is one benevolent Mama, that looks down upon us every night, expect a couple every month. Smiling, reassuring that all will be fine. Chandamama is indeed the best Mama of the lot.

So returning to the charming-lady-with-no-name-who-has-made-me-a-Mama, I will try and be like the Mama we all love, good ol’ Chandamama, smiling, happy, and observant. I just pray that the task is at least as easy as it sounds. As of now, looking at the cute little lady, anything else is unimaginable.

Written by Shashwat DC

February 10, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Posted in Lonely Monkey

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