Thursday, June 30, 2005

tech happenings

jun 30th

lots happening in tech these days.

google hits $300. amazing. i thought they were overvalued at $200 and so did not buy. now i wish i had. i'd sell now if i had shares, although i am impressed by google. this is frothy valuation.

what's this about google earth? sounds like a great product, but when i went to download it, they had taken downloads off the net. allows you to 'fly' around a virtual globe using satellite photos. i've found the new google maps very good, esp the ease of navigation, and the satellite photos are quaint. the google earth technology sounds orders of magnitude more interesting.

palmone has acquired the rights to the 'palm' name from the software company, palmsource. palmone is doing well on the basis of the treo, which got a dazzling rave review in the nytimes. i have been a palm user for almost 8 years, but now i have an ipaq as well. what do you guys think, does the palm have a future? i like the palm much better as a simple, single-purpose device rather than the ipaq which is a computer. but the ipaq screen is much better. i synchronize with avantgo for news from the net, and it's easier to read text on the ipaq.

how does one move palm contacts and datebook data to the ipaq? is there a simple way to migrate palm data to the pocket pc? is there some utility somewhere? i am certainly not planning to retype all the contact and datebook info.

the amd suit against intel seems to be pretty broad and vicious, and perhaps has an element of truth in it.

sanjay kumar, ex-ceo of computer associates, has been accused of paying off someone $3.7 million to not reveal damaging information to the feds. that man is in a lot of trouble. editorial: indecisive india

jun 30th

this is not indecisiveness, it's an elaborate charade or mating dance between the congress and the marxists. the marxists pretend to protest some sensible policy, such as the SEZ loosening of labor laws. the nehruvians pretend to be shocked and horrified, wring their hands in despair, beat their breasts a few times, sigh mightily, and say, 'because the marxists don't want this, we are forced, alas, to drop this sensible policy.' in reality both groups want the same end result: poverty persisting in india, so that they can pretend to be the saviros and hoodwink the electorate. this we have seen time and again in the disinvestment area, as we do now with the hoo-haa over BHEL.

in the weary and immortal words of elton john, 'i've seen that movie too'. yeah, many times. too many times.

So keep your auditions for somebody
Who hasn't got that much to lose
`Cause you can tell by the lines I'm reciting
That I've seen that movie too

and the british media colludes in all this -- after all, they prefer to keep india down. here is the financial times exonerating the nehruvians in this editorial

if you want the full url, here it is:

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

christopher hitchens: more on jefferson's barbary wars

jun 29th

more from the KQED Forum podcast on 'jefferson', the book by christopher hitchens.

it appears that the barbary pirates were arab slavers from libya, algeria, morocco, tunisia, etc. who operated around the straits of gibraltar, the mediterranean, and out in the atlantic. they not only took the ships, but they took the ships' crew as well: they had enslaved 1,500,000 white people, and this is what led to the jeffersonian war.

'with great ruthlessness and dispatch' jefferson put them down.

whence of course the 'shores of tripoli' stuff in the us marine hymn.

i wonder whether you could say this forgotten battle foreshadows america's role in the arab world these days: once again responding to an arab assault on their nation.

it seems the us navy then had a much easier time of it than the us infantry in today's barbary wars. although jefferson opposed having a standing army or navy, he was quite happy to use them when he became president.

i have never paid any attention to the barbary wars, maybe it's time i did some wikipedia searching.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

the new heroes: robert redford hosts social entrepreneurship show on PBS

jun 28th

fyi. got this from the stanford b school mailing lists, alas, a bit late.

some indian entrepreneurs are getting into this sort of thing, for instance vinod khosla with grass-roots micro-lending and so forth.

i am forwarding this information without seeing the show, so i have no idea whether i agree with the show or not.

Please help us spread the word about The New Heroes, a PBS documentary series celebrating social entrepreneurs! The series will premiere tonight (Tuesday) on PBS stations across the country. Most PBS stations will air the series June 28 and July 5, from 8 to 10 p.m. The exact timing will vary due to the national Presidential address scheduled this week, so please check local listings:

Hosted by Robert Redford, The New Heroes tells the dramatic stories of daring people from all corners of the globe who, against all odds, are successfully alleviating poverty and illness, combating unemployment and violence, and bringing education, opportunity and freedom to poor and marginalized people around the world. Known as "social entrepreneurs," they develop innovations that bring life-changing tools and resources to people desperate for viable solutions. They are the best hope for a brighter future for us and for our children.

As part of our mission to invest in, connect and celebrate social entrepreneurs, the Skoll Foundation underwrote the production of The New Heroes. We have officially launched our national house party campaign to encourage people across the country to watch the series with their friends and talk about the power of social entrepreneurs to solve some of the biggest problems facing our future.

If you are inspired by these stories, you can join hundreds of others across the country and around the world by hosting a New Heroes House Party. The Web site at provides everything you need, including a free DVD with four of the stories from the series and a full House Party Tool Kit to help you invite your friends and host the party. If your group wishes to donate to projects of any of the New Heroes, the Skoll Foundation will match your contribution (up to $100,000, through August 31).

For more information about The New Heroes, including the trailer and video clips from the series, online discussions about the series and social entrepreneurs, a quiz to find out if you are a social entrepreneur and much more, go to

Please forward this email to your friends and help spread the word! We hope these stories will inspire people across the country to believe in the possibility of a brighter future and the power we all have to be part of that future.


The Skoll Foundation ( is proud to sponsor The New Heroes, a PBS documentary series hosted by Robert Redford and airing nationwide June 28 and July 5 from 8 to 10 p.m. The New Heroes tells 12 dramatic stories of social entrepreneurs successfully using business skills to tackle "impossible" social problems. You can host a New Heroes House Party and help change the world! Visit


bbc: benny hi(ll)nn show -- 'damn, i just lost 4 million dollars'

jun 28th

this is ROTFL funny :-) and it's getting closer and closer to the benny hill comedy show day by day.

benny hill(nn)'s god == mammon, aka the almighty american dollar. poor yahweh is left in the dust.

looks like not too many wanted to be saved in nigeria. maybe all the money has been made already by the religious entrepreneurs and there is nothing left to suck out of the people.

i tell you, there's nothing more lucrative than creating a christian cult. just ask the bakkes, oral roberts, pat robertson, billy graham, jimmy swaggart, all mega-millionaires. there are hundreds of suckers born every minute.

podcasts and google video

jun 28th

thanks to san for the pointer to google video, this sounds like a great idea. yes, we can all become little subversive broadcasters, with our little camera phones. the marxist stranglehold on the indian media cannot survive when there are battalions of ordinary people out there on the streets who can contradict in real time the manufactured stories they indulge in. the time for guerilla journalism may have arrived. if this experiment takes off, it can be the equivalent of what happened with flickr and suchlike in digital still photos.

apple has done its bit for podcasts, by incorporating the functionality into the latest version of itunes, 4.9, available for free download from the apple site. no need for ipodder any more: you can search for and include podcasts in your playlist via itunes 4.9. you too can be a podcaster and you can advertise your podcast on itunes. i am very tempted :-)

Deutsche Bank: Bullish on India for 2020

jun 28th
the germans seem quite optimistic about india's prospects. they are in fact more interested in india than in china.

KQED Forum: christopher hitchens on thomas jefferson

jun 28th
a most interesting forum from may -- an hour of conversation with hitchens, whom i admire for his candor and his wit. he wrote a definitive biography of jefferson, it appears. (podcast available, no need for an ipod, just get itunes and ipodder on your computer and enjoy all the podcasts in the world).
sally hemmings, thomas jefferson's slave 'wife', comes across as the heroine of story. hitchens in fact calls her the 'mother of the country', if jefferson is the father. she was a quadroon (father and grandfather were both white), very beautiful, very bright, and she bore him several children who were manumitted (probably on sally's insistence) and who probably passed off as whites.
interesting irony: jefferson was a humanist and an abolitionist, yet he does not mind sleeping with and repeatedly impregnating a woman, sally, who was his wife's half-sister, *and* his property, his slave.
there are inherent contradictions in the things even rather great people say they believe in and what they practise. jefferson was, after all, the author of the us constitution, and a renaissance man: a scientist, etc. he also didn't particularly trust the us congress, and behind their backs authorized the attacks on and the slaughter of the barbary pirates, arab pirates from libya and so forth who were a menace to merchant ships in the mediterranean and the atlantic.

well, we are used to politicians saying one thing and doing another, aren't we?

i haven't read the book, but it sounds fascinating. has anybody on this blog read it?

Washington Times: chinese dragon awakes

jun 28th

while minister natwar singh and friends repeat the mantra of bhai-bhai and other antediluvian shibboleths, and buy into the 'peaceful rise of china' bullshit, the chinese have gone about briskly building up their storm troops. one of these days panzer divisions of the 'people's enslavement army' will speed towards central asia (oil and gas) and then towards europe (after all, the mongol empire extended to the gates of vienna, and the han chinese, although they too were conquered people, have manufactured the mythology that the mongol empire is their natural lebensraum. this is what they teach in schools there, minister arjun singh please note.) isn't it amazing how history can be manufactured so easily? the marxists do it every day in india, of course.

it really is no fun being a cassandra (and being ignored, as she was cursed to). i have been shouting from the rooftops about this nazi analogy for years, and i got nothing for my pains, alas.

i am sure the marxists of india are already developing plans to greet the invading chinese ships at the gateway of india and in cochin with garlands of marigold. this, i am glad to say, will be just moments before they are lined up and shot as undependable traitors by the respected visitors from their fatherland.

thanks to reader san for the pointer

somebody on my blog complained that my prediction in 2000CE about a chinese invasion of taiwan by 2002CE had not come to pass. all good things come to those who wait, i say in response.

Monday, June 27, 2005

nyt: japan may move its investments away from china and towards india

jun 27th
yes, and about time, too.
thanks to reader gopalam

new zealand herald: us plays dangerous with india

jun 27th
you are so wrong, gwynne dyer. china is india's enemy, par excellence. and it is the us' enemy, too.
i have been saying for years that it is the new nazi state (reader san please note): extreme jingoism, memories of imperial hauteur and then great humiliation. the big difference is that china is a continent-sized nation with 150 million peasants it is willing to sacrifice. germany was only a medium-sized nation surrounded by wary neighbors roughly equally capable. as far as china is concerned, the only equal nation is india, but it has so successfully infiltrated india with its missionary marxists and stalinists that india is a virtual colony already.
this beast needs to be disciplined. remember the ghostly butler in 'the shining'? china needs to be 'corrrrected'.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

bbc: huge gas find off andhra coast

june 26th

this is good news! this means india has a fair amount of offshore gas. this reduces the need to ask the bangladeshis to export gas to india. also, this increases the rationale for LNG terminals rather than the idiotic iran-pakistan-india pipeline.

or will mani shankar aiyar refuse to accept this find because narendra modi's govt owns the exploration firm?

nytimes: kristof on glide path to ruin

jun 26th

yet another alarum being raised by nicholas kristof about america's profligacy. these are getting to be pretty frequent. the answer, alas, is to lower the standard of living in america, and go to fewer wars, or if the latter is not possible, to be more efficient in getting others to pay for your wars.

this is why it's a bad idea to tie india's or one's own personal future to america's. diversification is a good idea. i am bearish on china (as may be rather obvious), bearish on europe (the defeat of the referenda dooms europe to fractiousness -- i recommend an excellent kqed forum discussion as to why), bearish on russia. i am bullish on southeast asia (for cultural reasons -- they are likely to do well), india, and much of the asia-pacific (it is going to be the asian century after all).

Friday, June 24, 2005

moi on rediff: kerala's future water wars

jun 24

kerala will have water scarcity entirely because of keralites' stupidity and cupidity.

there is a price to be paid for reckless environmental destruction.

but as the late lamented james watt, ronald reagan's secretary of the interior, once said charmingly, the world's going to end (he thought in 2000 CE), so what me worry?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

economist: who loves uncle sam (and who loves uncle mao)?

jun 23

thanks to san for this link

i was initially very entertained to see the data. uncle sam is basically friendless, except for indians! what a pass the world and the sole superpower have come to!

and, in passing, the pakistani's dream home is, drum roll.... china! they clearly haven't heard that the maoists line up and shoot terrorists. they have been doing that systematically to uighurs. for the last few years, china has been executing, get this, more people than the rest of the world put together! and a large number of these have been 'splittists' like uighurs and tibetans. i can't wait for all these pakistanis to go to their promised land. and why don't they want to go to saudi arabia? answer: they are treated like dirt there even though it is the islamic heaven.

the pew guys must also not have asked the many maoputras in bengal, kerala and the english language media. because they would have certainly opted for china as their promised land. (of course a short vacation in one of the chinese gulags would cure them for good.)

but on second thought, the indian obsession with america is disturbing for two reasons.

one, that  although i love it dearly, america, all things considered, is becoming a spent force, and it is waning. the american century is over. the diamonds are in our own backyard and the asian century is upon us. wisely, nobody else wants to depend on america for their future.

two, that it once again shows, as i have long suspected, the 'messiah syndrome': indians are waiting for someone, something, to come and save us. it's high time we learned there are no more messiahs. this syndrome is the reason we have elevated various and sundry mediocrities -- we shall name no names, as we have lately become the soul of discretion; but you know who they are -- to demi-god-hood.

how do we inform the indian public that there are no saviors? you have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, not wait for that manna or that messiah to drop from heaven.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Fiction Alert: Why more US companies are choosing China instead of India for Offshore SW & IT Sites

jun 22nd

this is hilarious. this guy is taking 'marketing rhetoric' to extremes. the commies haven't quite figured that lying through their teeth isn't quite the same as marketing.

yes, turnover is low in china while it is 'shooting up' in india. that's because we in china shoot those who want to change jobs :-)

and costs in china remain low, because we don't have to repay the loans we get from the state-owned banks :-)

From: Frank H
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2005 7:34 PM
Subject: Take a virtual tour & find out why more US companies are choosing China instead of India for Offshore SW & IT Sites.

Dear Sir.,
Nowadays, more and more US companies are setting up Offshore Development Centers (ODC) in China instead of India. Some even start to move their existing India sites to China. Among many of the compelling reasons, the followings are the most cited ones:
  • Significant cost savings over India sites: While the India sites cost shoot up 20% a year over the past 5 years, cost of running similar China sites remain flat during the same period;
  • Very low turnover rate: While turnover rate at many India sites shoot up to over 60% a year, those in China remain well below 10%;
  • Much easier to recruit & maintain quality teams for extended period: While it is becoming an impossible task to maintain a stable team in India for more than 6 months, most SW professionals at China sites stay with the team for many years;
  • Much better infrastructure than average India sites: while things become intolerable outside the boarders of a few SW parks in India (bad road, dirty water, bad phone connection, frequent power outage, etc.), everything look nicer every where you go in China. Even Indian staffs prefer to work at the China sites;
  • 8 hours less flight time than going to India: To get the job done, face time counts. So getting there 8 hours sooner makes a huge difference to the US staffs who manage the Offshore sites;
  • Much easier time-zone management than India sites: In the afternoon hours of US time, while staffs at India sites are still sound asleep, the staffs at China sites are already in the middle of routine conference calls with their US counterparts; 
  • Follow the customers: While it might be years before our clients' customers would set up any type of operations in India, many find their customers demand immediate local support in China today.
To take a vitual tour of selected SW ODC sites, please click on the following links:

You are also invited you to visit our China sites in person anytime at your convenience. Please feel free to contact us for additional information.

    VP Business Development


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guardian (uk): richard stallman on intellectual property

jun 22nd

richard stallman, the guiding light behind the free software foundation, talks about the absurdity of patents. it is an interesting thought that patents and the current western idea of 'hoarding' rights to inventions may not be the obvious and right thing for society or humanity as a whole. stallman's suggestion here is that it is not even the obvious and right thing for the individual inventor.

there was a good analysis by petra moser of MIT (search the nbaer site) that showed that patent law did not significantly improve innovation in 19th century europe, contrary to conventional wisdom.

in fact, it is quite likely that the current western-biased patent system is not good for india at all. in particular because the new WIPO rules will be overseen by the us, european union, japan and china! yes, china, the king of IPR violations!

where is india in this, one might ask. very good question. where are you, minister arjun singh? perhaps you could think of doing something useful about this?

in fact, ancient india had a radically different perspective on innovation. you invented, and put it out there in the public domain, without seeking monopoly profits and usually without even signing your name to the invention. it is clear from the explosion of innovation in ancient india that this mechanism was highly beneficial to society in general.

i think the entire patent system needs to be reconsidered from a deontological, ethical perspective, and even from a teleological perspective it may be flawed. (boy, i have been waiting to use those big words somewhere :-)

patent system murdabad! WIPO murdabad! (see, i have used a hindi word. a reader was complaining that i was allergic to hindi.),12449,1510566,00.html

yahoo: Klansman convicted of 1960's killing

jun 22nd

this is why one has a certain respect for the american criminal justice system: even after forty years, they do convict the murderers. goodman, cheney and schwerner -- two jews and a black -- were killed by white racists in 1964 (see 'mississippi burning'), and in 2005 at least one person is convicted.

will the godhra murderers ever face justice? of course not. india's criminal justice system, once considered incorruptible, is not any longer. it has become an instrument of the predatory, fascist, stalinist state.

will the murderers of rajan during the emergency ever be brought to justice? of course not. see the heartbreaking malayalam film 'piravi' (the birth) about the aged father searching in vain for his son who 'disappeared'.

Monday, June 20, 2005

jk's rebuttal to ayaz amir: india did have a history

jun 19th

reader jk sent me a link to his blog responding to ayaz amir (dawn) and his rather disingenous notion that india was sans history before the muslims invaded.

jk shows that there was historical writing especially from foreigners before the muslim era, thus puncturing amir's assertion.

i would go one step further and suggest that a tremendous amount of puranic writing is actually history, thinly overlain with myth. indian history (itihasam) has however been reduced to the status of myth by the marxists and colonialists in yet another triumph of 'truth by repeated assertion'.

in a telling event, they celebrated their collaboration a few years ago: oxford university gave romila thapar an honorary doctorate. if you read the citation carefully, it says in more or less says that the award is for turning indian history into myth!

let me cite a few instances off the top of my head to support my contention that actual events were retold with a patina of myth in the puranas

1. the slaying of the water demon vrtra who stole the waters, by indra: this was the damming of a himalayan river in kashmir by a landslide and the subsequent release of the waters

2. the raising of the land of kerala from the sea by parasurama who threw an axe out into the ocean: through a tectonic movement, the western ghats and the land came up from the sea. evidence: on the peaks of the western ghats, you can find the fossilized remains of sea-bottom-dwelling creatures

3. the flooding of dwaraka after the mahabharata war, and of mahabalipuram by jealous demi-gods: tsunamis and/or tectonic movements flooded these areas and the manmade structures on the ocean floor are evidence

all this is no different from homer's illiad being treated as a pure myth until schliemann's discovery of troy which showed that the ballad had a historical basis. when the indian equivalents of troy are discovered, the jnu cabal comes up with totally illogical objections to prevent their acceptance. just about the only evidence they will accept is actual videotapes of ancient events. then they will complain that the video tapes have been doctored! of course, no evidence is required for the jnu versions of history. their assertions are sufficient proof. after all, they are 'eminent' historians and how dare you ask them for evidence?

what is also ironic is that on the other hand, christian/western historians tend to treat as 'history' the mythology of christianity. the events attributed to jesus christ, including his very existence, for instance, have no independent historical corroboration (joseph flavius is an enigmatic aberration), and should objectively be treated as pure mythology (which can be accepted as useful allegories, of course). but they are treated, unambiguously, as 'scripture' and as truthful records of actual events.

VoIP comes of age: the rise and rise of Skype

jun 19th

skype, the free VoIP-based service for PC to PC phone calls, claims it has had 100 million downloads. it is fast becoming the gold standard for voice-over-IP, and the few times i have used it, i have not been disappointed: it seems better than other services i have used in the past. of course, the advantage is that it costs you absolutely nothing to talk to someone else on a PC anywhere in the world: the only requirement is a broadband internet connection and a headset/mike combination at both ends.

they also offer PC to landline calls at some 2 cents a minute. i have never tried it. they have also now started a mechanism landline to PC calls. some entrepreneur is planning to also offer mobile-to-skype calls, i just read about it somewhere.

this skype thing could become a phenomenon.

the founders of the scandinavian company were those behind kazaa, the peer-to-peer music and file downloading software.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 Welcome to Eurabia! By Stefania Atzori

jun 18th

this was forwarded to me by someone.

some italians are concerned about the bending over backwards by europeans to accommodate islamic assertiveness. (the same italians would not be concerned about the bending over backwards by indians to accommodate italian/vatican/ratzingerian assertiveness, but that is another story).

a major reason for the failure of the euro vote in france and holland recently is fear of creeping islamization: they were scared of what would happen when turkey (and eventually bosnia-herzegovina and albania, all muslim-majority states) was allowed to join the EU. it would mean free movement of muslims from these states all over the EU.

there were other, economic reasons too, but this backlash against a growing islamic presence was a significant factor.

as in india, in europe too the marxists are the willing fifth columnists for the islamists. there was a remarkable article about the ichneumon wasp (that lays its eggs in the paralyzed body of a living host like a caterpillar: think of the film ALIEN). the marxists think they are doing islamists a favor by supporting them. on the other hand, the islamists don't need any such favors.

Welcome to Eurabia! By Stefania Atzori
When freedom of thought becomes an exception that confirms the rule, it means that a civilization is going back to the darkest era of human history, rather than evolving in direction of individual freedom and Human Rights. This is exactly what is happening to Europe , thanks to Islam. It's not a secret anymore; we are serving on a silver platter our countries to Muslims. They are flocking to Europe in droves and with arrogantly intend to change our lives, our laws and our values. Civility presupposes obedience to the laws of the country that host you; but it seems that Muslims, not only cannot respect any law other than Sharia, they also want demand that we live by their archaic laws. Our countries are being shaped to meet their needs. Because we are polite, we ratified The Declaration of Human Rights. We try to be understanding. Overall, we are reckless. With defiant disregard for consequences, our governments are subjugated by their demands, even though it means to penalize the natives.

Not long ago, we enjoyed the freedom of thought and could expose our politicians, the Vatican and any religion without fear or intimidations. Then, Theo Van Gogh was murdered for "hurting Muslims feelings" and now Oriana Fallaci is sued by the head of the Muslim Union of Italy and the Italian IADL, because her book, The Force of Reason, is considered "defamatory to Muslims".

Suddenly, criticizing or exposing Islam has become illegal and dangerous. Magdi Allam, an Italian journalist, writer and a great man of Egyptian origin, is living under protection for death threats received from Muslims. The same goes for a politician of the Lega Nord party, because he has criticized Islam in several radios. In this atmosphere, a few weeks ago, some Muslims founded a so called IADL [Italian Anti-defamation league]. Their job is, as they have stated in their mission statement, "to respond to the slandering of Islam and the Muslims community, by those who spread hatred and racism". They monitor blogs and web sites searching for what they call "racist, calumnious or anti-Islamic remarks".

A Muslim reported my site to this Islamic Gestapo and they wrote ordering me to shut down my site and threatened that should I not obey, they would ask my Internet host to close my blog. They also ordered me that I should put a logo on my site saying: "This blog promotes racial hate."

A similar request was forwarded by some Muslims in France when they asked the judge to write on Oriana Fallaci's book: "Warning! This book might be dangerous to your mental health!"

Should I not comply with their demands, they warned me, they would file a lawsuit against me and drag me to court for "slandering" Islam as they did with Oriana Fallaci.

Today, in Italy, my own homeland, I cannot express my opinion about an obscurantist, intolerant hate filled cult, because some bigots Muslims has decided to shut me up in every possible way. Since Muslims can't tolerate criticism of their faith, anything we say about Islam will be labeled as "racist". They call us Islamophoebe, racist while they portray themselves as victims of a modern Holocaust. We are bullied, threatened, spied, and forced to shut up. If this is not Fascism, in what ways it differs? While they call us infidel, immoral and filthy, they cry to be victims as soon as we say this belief is wrong. Their cult orders them to kill the kuffar, to make jihad against non Muslims, to murder the apostates, and still they have the chutzpa to portray themselves as the victims.

Muslims are taking over our countries. They are destroying our values, our laws and our culture. They are encroaching on our rights with the consent of our politicians, in the name of the so called multiculturalism and cultural relativism. While this is going on, communists march on the streets destroying shops and chanting anti-American slogans; Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian communist journalist, calls Islamic terrorism "resistance"; Leftist parties condone Palestinian suicide bombers; and anti-Semitism is rampant among Muslims. Well, welcome to Eurabia! japan and india can gain from stronger ties

jun 18th

it looks like some japanese at least are beginning to see the value of indo-japanese cooperation.

may their tribe increase!

Friday, June 17, 2005

nytimes: friedman on bangalore product innovation

jun 17th

belatedly. now it's no longer available on the nytimes page free of charge. hence here it is from the orlando sentinel.,0,3676990.story?coll=orl-opinion-headlines

really, nobody's paying tom friedman to be so bullish on india? he's giving india publicity that money can't buy. he must be india's best brand ambassador around, now that poor dewang mehta has passed away (was bumped off?). friedman spoke at the TiE annual shindig in the silicon valley and was mobbed afterwards.

BBC: restrictions on foreign investment in media relaxed

jun 17th

i guess this is good news in that it may loosen the stranglehold of the china-funded and saudi-funded papers. the bad news is that now we'll see more vatican-funded and baptist-funded papers :-(

notice the graphic on this page: prominent is a malayalam paper (probably the christian 'malayala manorama', can barely tell because the masthead is cut off) ) with the massive headline about ratzinger becoming pope and the half-page photo.

when the pope circus was going on acres of newsprint and oceans of ink in india were spent on it, and the sonia government chipped in with the famous three-day state mourning.

when swami ranganathananda (swami who, you ask?), head of the ramakrishna matham, died at the age of 90 -- and he was a renowned scholar and monk -- hardly any papers carried anything about him.

apartheid against hindus as usual.

Reuters: Indian airline IndiGo orders 100 Airbus jets!

jun 17th

this is certainly impressive. looks like there is a mad rush for aircraft for the indian market. all the action at the airshow seems to have come from india.

wonder what this will do to high-end, relatively high-margin train passenger traffic. maybe laloo's railways had better get their act together and make themselves more attractive to freight traffic. else it may find itself in the same boat as the american railroad system: limping along.

100 airbus jets! even with rakesh gangwal on board, that seems like irrational exuberance to me. where exactly are they going to find the pilots, for one thing? recently rono dutta, another veteran of air wars in the us, and now chief of sahara, had to cancel a bunch of flights because pilots defected en masse.

maybe in the next few years air travel will become much more rational and affordable. now it costs more to go to delhi from trivandrum than it does to go to singapore. once again, the dead hand of economic planning has distorted prices, skewed availability and generally screwed things up.

free market ki jai!


Thursday, June 16, 2005 michael dell says he will sell apple os

jun 16th

this is quite interesting. dell has been selling linux based boxes for some time. this is a major fallout from apple's recent embrace of intel chips for its future boxes.

can't paste the article from david kirkpatrick, as it screws up the formatting. sorry.

HP splits up PC and printer businesses

Jun 16th

vyomesh joshi loses the (loss-making) PC business after getting it a few months ago in one of carly fiorina's last big acts. is this preparatory to selling off the printer business?

The Australian: Musharraf's true face

Jun 16th

An excellent, hard-hitting piece of the type you rarely see in the Indian press

Lesser of two evils

16 June 05  Greg Sheridan The Australian

HERE'S a nice irony of timing. On the day Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was telling Canberra's National Press Club about his wonderful program to empower Pakistani women - and hailing the presence of two Pakistani female politicians in the room as evidence - The New York Times was editorialising on the travel ban Musharraf's Government has placed on another Pakistani woman, Mukhtaran Bibi.

She is a Pakistani teenager who was sentenced by a tribal council to be gang-raped, allegedly because her brother had a relationship with a woman from the wrong caste.

After the gang rape was carried out, Mukhtaran was forced to walk home, nearly naked, to the catcalls and taunts of a crowd. With incredible courage, she brought charges against her attackers and achieved some international fame. She was invited to the US to discuss women's rights but Musharraf's Government, fearing she would "malign Pakistan", had her arrested instead. Her attackers, on the other hand, were set free.

The Howard Government is right to sign a memorandum of understanding on counter-terrorism with Pakistan, and to offer it some scholarships. Presumably it sees this as part of the US-led effort to bring Pakistan more fully into the Western camp and the war on terror.

This is a hard-headed choice. Often international relations offer you only the lesser of two evils. Musharraf is certainly a lesser evil than the al-Qa'ida style terrorists he is fighting. But the tributes that both John Howard and Kim Beazley offered Musharraf are a bit rich when you consider his record. On nuclear proliferation, support for terrorists, support for rogue states and the suppression of democracy, Musharraf has one of the worst records in the world.

Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, has been exposed over the past few years as perhaps the greatest nuclear proliferator in the history of the human race, selling advanced nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, Iran and Libya. He also had intimate and extensive nuclear contacts with Saudi Arabia. And, as my colleague Paul Kelly wrote on this page yesterday, Pakistani nuclear officials certainly had meetings with al-Qa'ida.

When all this was revealed Khan went on Pakistani television, confessed his guilt, exonerated his government of complicity and is now under house arrest. Musharraf has formally pardoned him - Khan will not face any trial - and will not allow US officials to interview him.

There are only two explanations of Khan. One is that he managed to deceive his own government, despite using a vast network of supporting officials, countless international trips, the shipment of large quantities of materials and so on. Musharraf repeated this line in Canberra. Of course, were it true it would mean that Pakistan is the most incompetent nuclear state in the history of the world.

The other possibility is that the Pakistani Government, in which Musharraf has been a critically influential military figure for many years, knew all about it. That would mean that Islamabad's deliberate actions have been the single most important factor spreading nuclear weapons around this planet.

Then there is Musharraf's record on terrorism. At his Press Club speech he bewailed the formation of Afghanistan's Taliban in the mid-'90s and said Pakistan was not to blame. Yet many analysts describe the Taliban as precisely a creation of Pakistan, especially of the notorious Inter-Services Intelligence Agency. The Taliban was a perfect expression of Pakistan's long-term strategic aim to hold Afghanistan as a sphere of influence.

After the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, Musharraf made the most dramatic play of anyone, turning 180 degrees and helping the US destroy the Taliban. Until then, Pakistan had had extensive links to al-Qa'ida as well. Certainly in recent months it has been active in battling al-Qa'ida, rounding up a number of its leaders and handing them over to the US.

Musharraf has earned endless US, and even Australian, praise for his post-9/11 switch. This is understandable. The war on terror needs all the allies it can get. But in truth the switch may owe less to vision and more to desperation. Given the mood of the US in reaction to 9/11, it is not at all clear that Musharraf would have survived had he remained allied to the Taliban.

It all raises the question of Musharraf's real ideological commitments. He was perfectly happy to go along with the radical, nasty Islamisation not only of Afghanistan, but of many of the institutions of Pakistan itself, before 9/11. Even now, intelligence reports suggest Pakistan is not taking serious action against the Taliban forces that have regrouped in Pakistan. Similarly, the infiltration of Pakistani-based terrorists into the Indian territory of Kashmir continues.

This is an old game for Musharraf. In 1999, when then Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif was holding a peace summit with his Indian counterpart, Musharraf was secretly infiltrating troops into Kashmir for what nearly became a full-blown war. And of course Musharraf came to power in a coup and has a tame-cat parliament to endorse him. Within that parliament he relies mostly on the support of Islamist parties even while he proclaims himself an opponent of Islamism.

What is he doing in Australia? The only logical explanation is that Pakistan is obsessed with India and tends to make an effort wherever it sees India doing well. And the Australia-India relationship has been growing in leaps and bounds.

While it's sensible to encourage Musharraf in the right direction, the Australian system should not make any false equations between a semi-rogue nation retreating from the brink, such as Pakistan, and Asia's largest democracy in India.


indian makes it big in online gambling

jun 16th

PartyGaming, the world's leading online poker site, announced details of its forthcoming flotation in London. The company, based in Gibraltar, is valued at around £4.8 billion ($8.6 billion), about £1 billion less than most recent estimates. Maybe 90% of PartyGaming's customers are based in the United States, where the legal status of online gambling is unclear.

cofounder and biggest shareholder (40%?) is an indian software guy. chief of marketing is also an indian, both i think 1990's grads from iit delhi.

Fwd: FT: bad monsoon ahead?

jun 16th

would it be fair to say that the weather gods dont like sonia and manmohan singh and sitaram yechuri  too much?

nehruvian rate of growth comes back right on schedule. expect the CMIE estimates to keep falling until it hits the magic 3% again. i hate it when my predictions look like they will come true :-) industrial production has already fallen from last year, now agriculture will be in the tank.

Fwd: IMF: effect of china's wto accession on india

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rajeev Srinivasan <>
Date: Jun 16, 2005 9:37 AM
Subject: IMF: effect of china's wto accession on india

jun 16th

the answer: not much.

see the tables on india's comparative advantage vs. china in various sectors. interesting. india doesn't do too badly at all.

also interesting how the imf has been browbeaten into saying 'taiwan province of china'.

jagdish bhagwati: china shows trade is the right answer

jun 16th

note, en passant, what he says about the NDA government: they were the victims of their own success in raising the economic bar.

no such problems with the UPA government. with this year's failing monsoon, we'll soon be back to the Nehruvian Rate of Growth of 3%. and everybody will be a happy camper.

Christian Science Monitor: US-china trade war

jun 16th

thought this might be of interest to some of you.

the trade war is long overdue. and when the americans go in for trade war, they actually think total war. this should be interesting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


jun 15th

i have been impressed by the whole concept of podcasts: personal freedom to listen to stuff when one feels like it.

some of the stuff from the bbc and some from public radio is good. but the fiction i have found is a little um... crummy. any recommendations by readers for great podcasts?

one of these days, i may start podcasting instead of writing text, or in addition to. consider this fair warning :-)

Dharma Summit Aug 13,14,15 Rutgers Univ, NJ

jun 15ht

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ved Chaudhary <>
Date: Jun 15, 2005 3:25 PM
Subject: Fwd: Dharma Summit Aug 13,14,15 Rutgers Univ, NJ

        Dharma Summit 2005      


Date: May 15, 2005




Dharma Summit 2005 is being organized on August 13, 14, 15
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
The purpose of this conference is to bring together
all Sampradayas, Devalayas, spiritual institutions, and organizations to exchange thoughts and ideas, and share experiences on
how to impart spiritual and cultural education to our future generations, and remove bias and misperceptions about our faith traditions from the society, in order to maintain the Dharmic traditions
of our community, with dignity, in North America.


The conference is being planned with the collaborative efforts of
many organizations, with the inspiration and spiritual guidance of
Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukul, PA.


The purpose and motivation of the conference, tentative agenda,
directions, lodging information and the Registration form can be accessed
at the following website:

Click on the Dharma_Summit button .


We cordially invite you to attend this event.  

Pl fill out the attached registration and send it back to me.

I will appreciate hearing from you
and look forward to seeing you at this conference. 
Please feel free to call me at 732-972-1489.

With love and peace,

Ved Chaudhary


Ved Prakash Chaudhary, Ph.D.
General Secretary, Dharma Summit 2005
22 Jackie Drive, Morganville, NJ 07751
Tel: 732-972-1489    FAX 309-417-5503


Dharma Summit 2005

Under the Guidance of and Inspiration from Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati

            Sponsored by:                                    Co-Sponsors:

                              Arsha Vidya Gurukul                        Greater Baltimore Temple

                              Arya Pratinidhi Sabha America        Hindu Student Council          

                              Hindu Council Against Defamation  Hindu Society of NE Florida

Hindu University of America             Sri Meenakshi Temple , TX

Jain Associations in North America  Dr. Sudhir Prabhu, FL

Sadhu Vaswani Center                       Dr. T. Ramakrishnan, PA

Sri Venkateshwar Temple

Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America


Purpose : To bring together Heads of all Smapradayas, Devalayas, spiritual institutions, and intellectuals

*       to exchange thoughts, ideas and share experiences on

*       how to impart spiritual and cultural education to our future generations, and

*       remove bias, misperceptions about our faith traditions from the society, in order to

*       maintain the Dharmic traditions of our community with dignity in North America.

Dates:             August 13, 14, 15, 2005

Venue: Rutgers University, Student Center, 126 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ


            Tentative AGENDA  Saturday Aug 13
9:00  AM        Conf Inauguration –Swami Dayananda Saraswati and others

10:30-12:30    Session 1 --  Panel discussion:           Future of Dharmic Traditions in North America

                        Theme: Transmission of our traditions to next generation is in jeopardy unless we                                   protect its image in schools and media, and evolve our temples to involve our youth.

1:30 – 4:30      Session 2 -- Panel Discussion:           How to evolve Temples/ institutions to teach Dharma                                 Sunday classes            and involve our young generation to participate in temple activities.
5:00 – 6:00      Non-Violent Communication (Workshop)
6:00 -  6:30     Meditation session 

6:30 -  7:30     Samuhik Yagna – involving spiritual HEADS of all Sampradayas

8:30 – 9:15      Key Note speaker – Swami Satguru Bodhinath of Kauai Monastery

            Tentative AGENDA  Sunday Aug 14
9:009:45        keynote speaker: Swami Chidananda (Muni ji) of Parmarth Niketan

9:45-12:00      Session 3 – Panel Discussion: Reaching Out to the larger community with Seva and                                 Education, and removing misperceptions about our Faith Traditions

1:00 – 4:00      Session 4 – Panel Discussion: How to Protect Dharma from Distortion:
                        Biased and distorted views of Dharma in schools, colleges, and in the media.

5:00 -  7:30     Session 5 – Panel Discussion –          Path Forward: Recommendations for follow up

8:30 – 9:15      Key Note speaker (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - invited, not confirmed)

            Tentative AGENDA  Monday Aug 15

9:00 – 12:00    Session 6: Workshop on Temple Management and Administration

                        Organized by the Hindu University of America: Priest Training, Priest immigration                                  issues, Board elections, By-Laws, Zoning ordinances, etc.

1:00 –   4:00    Session 7 Workshop on Temple Management / Paurohitya program  

4:00    PM                   Adjourn

Panelists: David Frawley, Rajiv Malhotra, Ved Nanda, Bhudev Sharma, Piyush Agrawal, …

For Information and registration, see website
or Contact one of the following:


North Jersey

Jyoti Gandhi



Jyotish Parikh


NY area

Ram Sachdeva


New England

Nachiketa Tiwari


South Jersey/PA

Veena Gandhi


North America

Ved Chaudhary




Registration Form


Your Last Name: _______________________________________


Your First Name: _______________________________________


Your Institution____________________________________________


Your title/function in the Institution: ________________________________


Your Street Address: _______________________________________________


City _______________________________ State_________ Zip code _________


Phone no.  _______________________    Cell phone:_____________________


Email :____________________________________________________________


Your Signature: ________________________________  Date: _____________


Please mail this completed form to:

              Dr. Ved P. Chaudhary, 22 Jackie Drive, Morganville, NJ, 07751            

                      or  Email:                          Contact: 732 972 1489

Monday, June 13, 2005

Japan Times: US planning aggressive defense posture against China

jun 13th

if there has been a sea-change in the american perception of the chinese threat, and if japan is also going to show some backbone vis-a-vis chinese bullying, that will make it harder for china to pursue its imperialism in asia.

the recent, loud chinese rejection of japan's security council aspiration seems to have been the straw that broke the back of the japanese camel. if japan is going to stand up to china with us support, that opens up a serious new front for the chinese. their tactics of arming north korea and threatening taiwan and japan could very possibly misfire.

this is good for india because that will mean china will have less time for mischief in the subcontinent and in the indian ocean.

uk telegraph: mark steyn bashes china

jun 13th

strong words. link courtesy sulekha:

who can stop the rise and rise of china? the communists, of course

the emperor's new clothes are beginning to excite some rude commentary. there has been a veritable lemming-rush lately by american commentators to downplay china, and that makes yours truly quite happy to have been in the vanguard of those shouting from the rooftops that the chinese miracle is really smoke and mirrors.

on the other hand, this could mean the americans are beginning to get scared of china.

moi on rediff: class and gentrification

jun 13th

how class identities have changed dramatically because of people taking advantage of the free market and freedom of choice.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

in memoriam: anne bancroft

jun 11th

i remember seeing 'the graduate' many years ago, when i was an undergraduate. later, when i saw it again the locales made sense to me, including berkeley, which i had no idea about when i first saw the film.

anne bancroft was awesome; so was dustin hoffman. hard to believe, but dustin was only about five years younger than anne when they did the film. and those hilarious scenes: dustin's eyes traveling down anne's body to her crotch when she appears naked before him and says, 'i am available to you'. sort of a teenager's fantasy, isn't it, the older woman making herself available?

the scene where dustin stands at the bottom of the pool in all his scuba gear, refusing to come out.

and the immortal line: "remember son, i have just one word for you. plastics!" (or something along those lines).

and the best of the lot: dustin and mrs. robinson at the hotel for their first rendezvous, and she asks him: "aren't you forgetting something?". and he: "oh... i love you.", and she: "the room number, please". also him checking in with his toothbrush :-)

not to mention the absolutely fabulous sound track: simon and garfunkel at their best. those songs are a staple on my ipod, which has become my favorite toy, after resisting it for some years.

the curious case of jet airways vs. jet airways

jun 11th

reminds me of the war of the roses. rather intriguing, these goings-on. personally speaking, i have always thought jet airways (india) does a great job of flying people around. they are a little like jetblue, only better service, in my opinion.

are they a front for dawood? i have no idea. but it's an interesting little allegation.

Fresh 'terrorist link proof' filed against Jet India

Lalit K Jha (

Minneapolis, June 11, 2005,00050001.htm?headline=Fresh~terror~link~proof~filed~against~Jet~India

Maintaining its allegations of terrorist connections of the Jet Airways
(India), the American Jet Airways Inc. on Friday filed another affidavit
before the US Department of Transportation along with documents and a
compact disc (CD) in support of its charges against the popular private
Indian airliner.
These documents and the CD, containing 'confidential information' and fresh
evidences collected by the Jet Airways Inc. against Jet Airways in the past
ten days, has also been submitted to the powerful Department of Homeland
Security and the Department of Treasury for further verification and
authentication, the affidavit revealed.

Despite repeated strong rebuttal of the allegations and announcement of
proceeding with legal defamatory action against its rival by the Jet Airways
India this week, the president and chief executive officer of the Jet
Airways Inc, Nancy M Heckerman, in her affidavit, seems to be more focused
and bold in reiterating her allegations against the Indian airliner and its
chief, Naresh Goyal.

"Naresh Goyal is trying to enter the United Stats to fulfill his obligation
to his Al-Qaeda creditors. Jet Airways Inc is fighting to protect the United
States from another invasion by a well known Al-Qaeda Specially Designated
Global Terrorist," she alleged.

Heckerman in her affidavit claimed that the new evidences substantiate
Goyal's alleged links with Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar. "It is through the Kaskar
family that the Jet Airways India received most of the original funds from
1991 to 1993," she alleged.

It also alleged that Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar was the financer of Jet Airways
(India) and is involved in the fuel business in India. "Anyone in the
aviation industry in India is aware of this fact," Heckerman claimed in her

Reiterating her allegations, the affidavit said: "The Jet Airways India must
prove beyond a reasonable doubt that its owner is not associated with Dawood
Ibrahim Kaskar and the Al-Qaeda. Naresh Goyal has a long standing
relationship with Dawood Ibrahim."

Stating that it was still in the process of collecting information against
the Jet Airways (India) and the issue was also under investigations by
Department of Homeland Security, the Jet Airways Inc. urged the Department
of Transportation not to give its decision till that time.

Another few weeks to determine the truth and the proof of facts of the
allegations is not going to affect the status of both the companies, but the
seriousness of the matter would affect the outcome of the DOT's decision an
the security of the United States, it argued.

Commenting on the Jet Airways (India) charges that it was a "shell company",
the affidavit said: "Whether the Jet Airways Inc has never flown or is a 20
years old airline is not the subject matter; the reason for the objection is
the applicant's Al-Qaeda ties to its airline".

The Jet Airways Inc. claimed its charges were not 'scurrilous' as alleged by
Jet Airways, but they were "actual and intended predicate and over acts
because of their origin".

It alleged that most of the money raised by the Jet Airways (India) IPO was
pumped into the market by Dawood Ibrahim through "hawala". It has been
informed that some of the Jet Airways (India) IPO stock was bought through
parties under this system.

Raising a series of questions for the Jet Airways (India), the affidavit
asked: "Where are those copies of the original transfer for the initial
$10,000,000 that Naresh Goyal claims to have started his airline with in
1991 and where did they come from? Why does Jet Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. Own
the Jet Airways (India) brand name? Who receives all of the benefits from
Tail Winds?"

There is an urgent need to investigate these allegations by the Department
of Treasury and through a competent jurisdiction of a US District Court, the
affidavit urged the Department of Transportation.