Showing posts from September, 2013

Tatasky and Star World Premier HD channel

A new TV channel Star World Premier HD has been advertising in Star channels the last few days. Today (24 Sep) is the launch date.

I switched on my TV and Tatasky HD set top box and tuned into the specified channel - only to be greeted with the message.  "Send an SMS to subscribe.  Rs.60/- per month".

Hmm!  I thought I had taken an annual Tatasky package "Mega South HD" which entitled me to any channels in Tatasky for a year (plus a few Showcase movies to boot).   I logged into their website to find that this new channel is now part of "Special Services" (along with another channel called Topper).   Not only that, the subscription plans have changed.  There isno longer an "HD fee" of Rs.100/- and so on.  In short, by doing some manipulations, Tatasky has successfully ensured that despite having chosen the highest subscription, I end up needing to "pay more".  I am not the only disgruntled guy here.

Now, I could argue that the day I su…

Rules of the road regulations

Each time we have a discussion about bad driving on Indian roads, a question gets asked, "What are the road rules?  Where is it available?"  We tell how comprehensive the rules are in US and how easy it is to access the rules.  We talk about "the right of way", "the right way to turn right", "high beams", "overtaking" and so on.

The last time I checked, I could not find any such rules on the Net.  I decided to give another shot at it today.

Searching for "Indian Driving rules" brought up Indian Driving Schools as the top result. The Traffic Rules link in that is just giving some funda - good for nothing!

Moving down the search results, I found a link to Delhi Traffic Police. "Ah, this is what I want", thought I.  Learn Traffic Rules, said a link and hovering over it revealed the true picture - Traffic Police Hand signals, Traffic Light signals and so on.  Not road rules.

I then changed my search and hit upon the we…

Upgrading to ios7

It is that time of the year when apple launches a new phone models as well as new version of their OS.  (Interestingly no more iPad versions?  I don't recall seeing news items, if any)

So iOS 7 update came at 10.30 PM IST (I think - I didnot check after 9 PM) yesterday (Wed, 18th Sep).  As a person, who aspires to live in the bleeding edge of technology (and often bleed because of that), I itched to update my iPhone.  One decision by Apple, which allows them to sell their iPhone 4 even today in India (a colleague of mine picked one a couple of days back), is to allow OS upgrades even on that model. When we contrast it with the plethora of android phones, which are stuck in older versions because the decision to offer upgrade rests with the vendor and not Google, we realize this is one area where Apple scores.

Considering it is a 600 odd MB upgrade, the question was - to do the update in office or home.  In recent past, our office internet has been a bit of an issue (one of the ma…

Bangalore roads after rains

I had no intention to write this, but the other day, I met up with a friend after a long time and he asked, "how come you are not writing about the state of the roads?"

My response was, "I thought I had written enough - about riding with cows, poster menace, comparing Bangalore roads with software, speed breakers and road rules (partially defined). There is nothing new I can add...".

Nevertheless, this is as good a way to vent my frustrations as any.

Pretty much all the roads in our neighbourhood were tarred ahead of the Assembly elections, as part of the last-ditch effort to woo the voters.  As it turned out, the sitting MLA was trounced.  In hindsight, that was the best thing to happen, considering the plight of the same roads today.

The roads, which looked swanky have all but disappeared giving place to potholes, pits and craters.  The reason is not far to see.  The tarring was so superficial that the first wave of rains exposed them for what they really were -…

Strike - the modern day Poirot?

The Cuckoo's Calling is a detective novel by Robert Galbraith - the first novel by an author with this name.   The author sold about 1500 hard copies and 7000 e-copies and would have been yet another novel, but for a revelation on 14th July 2013 that Robert Galbraith was J K Rowling, the author of the popular Harry Potter series.
Anyway, I got around to reading the novel primarily because of the author.  
You can find the plot in any book review site.  Here it is in short.
Lula Landry is a supermodel who fell to her death three months back.  After extensive investigations, her death is concluded as suicide. Her brother, John Bristow approaches a detective Cormoran Strike to investigate the matter since he believes it is not suicide, but murder.  John's brother Charlie and Cormoran were friends.  Though Strike is reluctant to take up the work, he does it due to his recent financial and personal crises.
Cormoran is ex-Army, who lost a leg in Afghan war.  Through a series of inte…