Categories
Technology

Notepad Tips and Tricks

This post, along with all other posts belonging to computer and internet related content, have been moved to my new blog CompuSutra. Click below to read this post at the new location:
Notepad Tips and Tricks

Categories
Miscellany

Are you a communist or a capitalist?

Surfing on the net brings you new surprises everyday. Guess what? It turns out I am only 80% capitalist, and 20% socialist. I used to consider myself a full-fledged capitalist pig.


You Are 80% Capitalist, 20% Socialist


In general, you support a free economy and business interests. You tend to think people should fend for themselves, even when times get tough. However, do think the government should help those who are truly in need.
Are You a Socialist or Capitalist?

But, what is this with the woman’s picture? Is this type of mentality more typical of women?
Wanna see a Hindi translation of above? Look at my Hindi blog.

Categories
Technology

Have you personalized your Google?

This post, along with all other posts belonging to computer and internet related content, have been moved to my new blog CompuSutra. Click below to read this post at the new location:
Have you personalized your Google?

Categories
Miscellany

Is right driving right, or left driving?

After getting used to driving in the US for a few years, it is a challenge to drive in India. Reasons are many – one has to unlearn the traffic rules learned here, get used to the stick shift, and figure out driving on the left all over again. In spite of the difficulties, I always like to drive myself — just can’t let go of the independence it gives.
I used to think that left side driving is just another sign of colonialism that the Britishers have left us, like cricket — and it used to make me feel bad. Until today, when I stumbled on one of the Yahoo! answers on the subject. Turns out, driving on the left does have its logic. In a detailed treatise on the subject, this site on World Standards tells us that

In the past, almost everybody travelled on the left side of the road because that was the most sensible option for feudal, violent societies. Since most people are right-handed, swordsmen preferred to keep to the left in order to have their right arm nearer to an opponent and their scabbard further from him. Moreover, it reduced the chance of the scabbard (worn on the left) hitting other people.
Furthermore, a right-handed person finds it easier to mount a horse from the left side of the horse, and it would be very difficult to do otherwise if wearing a sword (which would be worn on the left). It is safer to mount and dismount towards the side of the road, rather than in the middle of traffic, so if one mounts on the left, then the horse should be ridden on the left side of the road.

Right side driving, according to the site, came from France and with Napoleon’s conquests spread to other countries.  For some reason the right side driving caught on in more countries, and today while only 74 countries drive on left, remaining 166 drive on the right. Population-wise, the left side driving countries have one-third of the world’s population, although it would be interesting to find out data on actual people driving in these countries versus those driving in right-driving countries.
It seems though, there are no contiguous countries driving on opposite sides of the road. Traffic between such countries would have caused quite some confusion.
In Hindi: ए भाई, ज़रा देख के चलो, दाएँ ही नहीं बाएँ भी

Categories
Miscellany

Petrol prices chain mail

A brand new chain-mail has started doing the rounds. It goes like this:

Petrol in Pakistan Rs17 per litr
Malaysia Rs 18 per litr
In Indiait’s 48 per litr 
Why this difference in Asia itself ? World Market CRUDE Oil is not
the reason for this. It’s all Gain for private owners? As we are the
general public, or Common Man as R.K.Laxman wud hv said, we have to
raise our voice, let’s raise thru Emails.
[blah… blah… blah…]

And then it goes on to ask people to not use petrol on a particular day. Curiously, some mails forwarded to me give this date as May 22, while some others have a much later target – September 22. As is my habit, I always research the subject of a chain mail. As a matter of fact, everyone should. It takes as much time to google the topic, as it does to forward the mail to everyone on your contact list.
So, here goes..

  • The price of Petrol in Pakistan, as reported in The Daily Times of Pakistan is Rs.57, not Rs.17 as reported in the chain mail.
  • A nice comparison of global petrol prices is given on this site. Turns out the prices of petrol in India are closer to the median, much lower than those in Europe, and higher than countries like Malaysia, Pakistan and even US.

Similar chain letters have been circulating in the US, and as explained here, they are all humbug.
So, if you get this letter in your inbox, BREAK THE CHAIN.

Categories
News

The Legal Immigrants

The topic of legislation of illegal immigrants is taking up a bulk of the airwaves on radio these days, particularly on NPR. The public radio has also had a series of reports from Jennifer Ludden about various aspects of immigration — legal and illegal. Hearing about people talking in favor of and against Mexican labor always made me wonder — what about the legal immigrants, who come in the front door, but have to struggle through a long winded process of “legalization” i.e., the coveted green card.
Sure enough, the last report in the series from Jennifer was about the H1B-holders waiting for their green cards, and wondering how long a wait is too long. Read about the report here, and listen to it here. As expected, the report mostly features Indian skilled workers, and their advocates. There is a link to non profit organization Immigration Voice too, on the NPR page. Check it out!

Categories
Entertainment

My Radio page

[Go straight to the radio page.]

A number of visitors to my blog come as a result of searching for “des pardes radio”. Well, des Pardes is the name of my blog, and I have been writing about radio in a couple of my posts. So, like a good netizen, let me tell the people who lose their way and land up at this page, that Des Pardes is a desi radio program broadcast from CIAO 530 AM in Toronto area. It has excellent programming but has nothing to do with this site. But, since I am a radio aficionado myself, I found myself searching for Internet radio stations broadcasting Hindi music without too many strings attached — pop-ups, ads, spyware, have been turning me off from Internet radio. Well, I was successful in locating as many as 16 stations (at the time of writing this) available over the internet that can be listened to without as much as opening your browser for the feed (with a couple of exceptions).  These come from places as varied as New Zealand, Mauritius and Netherlands. So, here is my radio page. Enjoy round the clock Hindi music, and let me know if I missed anything.
In addition to the 16 music stations, there are audio news feeds from 7 news channels, and also links to audio from two Toronto stations broadcasting “part-time” Hindi music, including Des Pardes radio programme.  I am looking forward to making this list more exhaustive — but no excessive ad-serving and pay-to-listen stations.
हिन्दी में पढ़ें।