Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein executed (updated)

Honestly I don't how to compose this post... I have mixed emotions - I know the guy committed brutal crimes during his regime, and it was important to bring him to justice, but... well... never mind!

AP Photo: This video image released by Iraqi state television

The Video:

Nuerojava has the updated video of Saddam's execution... (Updated: 1/1/07)

Meaning of - Bulleh ki Jaana - by Rabbi Shergill

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Na maen momin vich maseet aan
Na maen vich kufar diyan reet aan
Na maen paakaan vich paleet aan
Na maen moosa na pharaun.

Bulleh! ki jaana maen kaun

Na maen andar ved kitaab aan,
Na vich bhangaan na sharaab aan
Na vich rindaan masat kharaab aan
Na vich jaagan na vich saun.

Bulleh! ki jaana maen kaun.

Na vich shaadi na ghamnaaki
Na maen vich paleeti paaki
Na maen aabi na maen khaki
Na maen aatish na maen paun

Bulleh!, ki jaana maen kaun

Na maen arabi na lahori
Na maen hindi shehar nagauri
Na hindu na turak peshawri
Na maen rehnda vich nadaun

Bulla, ki jaana maen kaun

Na maen bheth mazhab da paaya
Ne maen aadam havva jaaya
Na maen apna naam dharaaya
Na vich baitthan na vich bhaun

Bulleh , ki jaana maen kaun

Avval aakhir aap nu jaana
Na koi dooja hor pehchaana
Maethon hor na koi siyaana
Bulla! ooh khadda hai kaun

Bulla, ki jaana maen kaun

Not a believer inside the mosque, am I
Nor a pagan disciple of false rites
Not the pure amongst the impure
Neither Moses, nor the Pharoh

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not in the holy Vedas, am I
Nor in opium, neither in wine
Not in the drunkard`s intoxicated craze
Niether awake, nor in a sleeping daze

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

In happiness nor in sorrow, am I
Neither clean, nor a filthy mire
Not from water, nor from earth
Neither fire, nor from air, is my birth

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not an Arab, nor Lahori
Neither Hindi, nor Nagauri
Hindu, Turk (Muslim), nor Peshawari
Nor do I live in Nadaun

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Secrets of religion, I have not known
From Adam and Eve, I am not born
I am not the name I assume
Not in stillness, nor on the move

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

I am the first, I am the last
None other, have I ever known
I am the wisest of them all
Bulleh! do I stand alone?

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Sufis, traditionally, spent their lives searching for the meaning of life, and for God, Himself. Those amongst them, who were poets, expressed this search, beautifully, through their poetry. Who is the Creator? What is the truth? What is the meaning of life? How can one find God? Who am I? These are some of the questions Sufis have tried to answer, by disassociating themselves from worldly knowledge and deeds, and moving onto a spiritual sphere, where they are no longer bound by traditionally interpreted religious or material restrictions.

Analyze This...

The following is from a movie I recently watched "Lage Raho Munnabhai"... If you understand Hindi, It'll make you think (I will translate later)

Shaher ki is daud mein daud ke karna kya hai
Jab yehi jeena hai doston to phir marna kya hai

Pehli baarish mein train late hone ki fikr hai
Bhul gaye bheegte hue tehelna kya hai
Serials ke kirdaaron ka saara haal hai malum
par maa ka haal puchne ki fursat kise hai

Ab ret pe nange paw tehelte kyun nahi
Ek sau aath hain channel phir dil behelte kyun nahi
Internet ki duniya ke to touch me hain,
lekin pados mein kaun rehta hai jaante tak nahi.
Mobile, Landline sab ki bharmaar hai,
Lekin jigri dost tak pahunche aise taar kahan hai

Kab doobte hue suraj ko dekha tha yaad hai
Kab jaana tha shaam ka woh bahana kya hai

To doston shaher ki is daud mein daud ke karna kya hai
Jab yehi jeena hai to fir Marna kya hai?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Cowboys - Going to the playoffs, but...

Dallas Cowboys are going to the playoffs for the first time in 3 years, but not with the momentum Championship teams have in December. They have been up and down after a shaky start. But after Tony Romo took over, I was very excited. I like this kid from IL. I think we can build a very good team around him. But the way they lost to Saints and Eagles just breaks my heart...

But I am a die-hard Cowboys fans so I will be watching them on Sunday... They play their last season game on Sunday against Lions. I know they will win it, but I really want is for them to clinch the division (that can happen with an Eagles loss). But I think Garcia and the whole Eagles team is playing with a lot of spirit...

Oh well, division leaders or not, who gives a crap? Cowboys are going to the playoffs and I am so excited. I think they'll end up playing Seattle... Can't wait! Get your popcorns ready!

(PS: Oh by the way, TO, stop dissing, start playing... and this is a team sport - you can will the Super Bowl by yourself - So can you please play with & for the team - once in your life?)

Forgotten Moments Remembered

One of my New Year resolutions is to START GETTING ORGANIZED.... I started doing that with my laptop... and I came across some old pictures, some great memories... forgotten moments... remembered!

In 2004, I was fortunate enough to be in Thandi Nadi, as we like to call it in Hindi (Actually Cool River Cafe in Irving, TX) on the same day Sergio Garcia won the 2004 Byron Nelson Championship.

The next picture is of my band - TATVA - THE ELEMENTS - creating their first song - JalJeera. We started this band sometime around August 2005... in Hidden Ridge, Irving, TX. There were 5 initial member (RR, KD, AV, CC, HY, SG) - Since then we have lost 3 but added others.... we have been able to create some really good music (5 songs so far). I will post some music here shortly....

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

damaka launches VideoMail with its SIP-based, Peer-to-Peer Communication & Collaboration platform

damaka launched its VideoMail service today, that will allow users to leave a video message using their webcam. The new VideoMail service is an addition to the already existing portfolio which offers free PC-to-PC phone calls, free Video calls, cheap PC-to-Phone calls, desktop sharing, file transfer, IPTV (Free Internet TV), Internet Radio, RSS, Voice Commands and much more.

damaka also allows small and medium-sized operators to use its P2P platform for offering triple play solutions (PSPN program).

Roy Williams: Safety, Dallas Cowboys

I felt like writing about the player I always liked, but now, I have started to admire: ROY WILLIAMS, Safety, Dallas Cowboys (#31):

"Safety" (On-the-Field) -- Oh Hell No!
On the field the opposing players are never safe when Roy is there.... Nicknamed "Superman" & "Hammer", he is known throughout the NFL as a very intimidating presence in the Cowboys defensive secondary and can be a game changer with his bone-jarring hits. Williams injured multiple opponents with his "horse-collar" tackle before it was banned by the NFL. Due to this rule, critics of Williams are quick to point out that he is a dirty player. He may be a dirty player on the field, but off the filed, there is nothing dirty about this person.

"Safety" (Off-the-Field) -- Oh Thank God!
He is truly one jem of a person. Kids, single moms, and other people in need always feel safe when Roy is around, because they know he can be trusted to lend a helping hand. I was so touched to see his efforts off-the-field. There are so many NFL players that make millions of dollars but how many of them have the heart of giving something back to the community? Only handful...

After signing his first pro contract, Williams made a $100,000 contribution towards a new strength training facility at the University of Oklahoma, as a part of the school's new indoor workout complex. The new area, which carries Williams' name, complements the main Robin Siegfried Complex at the Switzer Center. As a member of the Cowboys 2002 Rookie Club - a program designed to introduce rookie team member to community service in the Dallas area - Williams participated in monthly charity visits to non-profit organizations serving children. He also participated as a guest speaker at the club's annual United Way Hometown Huddle event for 100 children involved with The Salvation Army. During the 2003 off-season, Williams served as a celebrity escort at the annual Children's Cancer Fund Fashion Show and Luncheon co-chaired by Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach.

In July of 2004, the Roy Williams Safety Net Foundation was formed with the goal of “enhancing the quality of life of low-income single mother households in the Dallas area.” According to statistics, Dallas has the largest percentage of single mother households in the state of Texas, ranking at 29%. Roy has eagerly pulled the weight of families in this difficult situation onto his shoulders.

Roy embraces his responsibility as a role model very naturally. Undoubtedly, his career will continue to prove top notch as he transforms from NFL rising star to Super Star.

Roy also loves to play the guitar, saxophone, and piano.

The real Opportunity - build community around your audience

"The real opportunity for media, in this day and age, is ostensibly the interactive platform, not just online, but mobile and gaming. Basically, promise a way for content companies to get closer than ever to their audience, to build community around their audience, to learn from their audience so they can put out better professional content."

According to Quincy Smith, the new CBS Digital President, in a Reuters interview.

Quincy also appeals to entrepreneurs:
"I want to make sure that this is an appeal to every entrepreneur of every company size... We want to see them all. We want to see everyone in there. And we want to learn.”

Read the complete interview

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Kids With High IQs Grow Up to Be Vegetarians

As a child's IQ rises, his taste for meat in adulthood declines, a new study suggests.

British researchers have found that children's IQ predicts their likelihood of becoming vegetarians as young adults -- lowering their risk for cardiovascular disease in the process. The finding could explain the link between smarts and better health, the investigators say.

"Brighter people tend to have healthier dietary habits," concluded lead author Catharine Gale, a senior research fellow at the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre of the University of Southampton and Southampton General Hospital.

Recent studies suggest that vegetarianism may be associated with lower cholesterol, reduced risk of obesity and heart disease. This might explain why children with high IQs tend to have a lower risk of heart disease in later life.

The report is published in the Dec. 15 online edition of the British Medical Journal.

Read the rest of the story

Friday, December 15, 2006

Obama not Osama! Jeez…

I stumbled upon this post on a great blog - "Almost As Good As Chocolate" by Shripriya. It is so funny!

There is a recent buzz around how Illinois Senator Barack Obama and Osama are so phonetically close. Some believe that Obama's own name will prevent him from the presidency or vp. And if you think that an average American voter knows the difference between Obama and Osama, you are in for a big surprise...

Check out Shripriya's post:

Do you think the average American voter knows the difference between Obama and Osama?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I am now a Technorati Member

Well, I have been wanting to do this for a long time (procrastinator!) - so finally today I signed up with them :-)

Technorati Profile.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Top 10 and 5 Fastest Growing Online Activities

New Internet activities such as blogs, video, and phone calls are the fastest-growing in terms of usage, while email, news/info, and online shopping continue to dominate Internet users' activities on the web, according to a report released by Mediamark Research, writes ClickZ.

Top online activities include e-mail (70.5 percent), reading news and current events (40.2 percent), and e-commerce purchases (34.2 percent).

Voice over IP calling is the fastest growing activity online, with year-to-year increase of 197.7 percent. Visits to blogs increased 163.9 percent from a year ago while use of online video sites rose 123.7 percent over 2005.

The data are a portion of an extensive survey conducted by Mediamark Research in September and October. In-person interviews were conducted in the homes of about 26,000 respondents. The subset of data in this release is limited to respondents with Internet access, about 80 percent of the survey pool.

MySpace is No.1 in Page Views

Fox with MySpace is No.1 in Page Views, Surpassing Yahoo - ComScore

Yahoo’s page views were down 9% month-over-month in November, allowing MySpace owner Fox Interactive Media to take the overall lead in that category for the first time, according to comScore data highlighted in an emailed note today from UBS Investment Research. (reports GigaOM)

Yahoo still maintains its No.1 position based on unique visitors, with nearly 130 million in November, according to comScore data. Fox Interactive is in 6th place, after Time Warner (AOL), Microsoft, Google, and eBay.

Personal Locator Services to Reach 20M Consumers by 2011

Personal locator services based on the GPS-enabled mobile phone will grow from their current low user-base of 500,000 in North America to a total of more than 20 million subscribers in 2011, according to a new study from ABI Research.

Such location-based services, recently launched as "family-finder" options by Sprint Nextel, Verizon Wireless, and Disney Mobile, have now been joined by a new offering from youth-oriented mobile operator Helio. Badged as the "Buddy Beacon," the service allows users of Helio's Samsung Drift handsets to build a "buddy list" and broadcast their locations to each other for display on GPS-linked maps.

"Helio's Buddy Beacon is going to be very popular," says ABI Research senior analyst Ken Hyers. "It's innovative. This is the first service of its kind in North America.

"First launched in South Korea and Japan, personal locator services could reach 34 million Asia-Pacific subscribers by 2011.

ABI Research's "Location-Based Services" report examines the market opportunities for LBS from a handset-based perspective, focusing on location technologies, operator deployment strategies, and GPS-enabled handset evolution.

Video Game Industry is doing good

Video game industry retail sales jumped 34% in November to $1.7 billion from $1.3 billion last November, according to data from the NPD Group. Total hardware sales soared 69% to $771 million on the launch of long-anticipated Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii.
  • The portable Nintendo DS sold in the highest numbers, with 918,000 units.
  • Sony's PlayStation 2 followed with 664,000 consoles sold.
  • Microsoft's Xbox 360 sold 511,000 units.
  • The $250 Nintendo Wii sold 476,000 units.
  • The PS3, which retails for $500 and $600, sold 197,000 units

Worldwide, Both Sony and Nintendo expect to sell 6 million of their next-generation consoles by the end of March.

Software sales climbed 15% to $804 million from $702 million a year ago.

Here comes IPTV...

Seems like everybody's getting into IPTV, from Microsoft to AOL, Alcatel-Lucent to Deutsche Telekom to China Netcom. But do consumers really want it?

Well, to know the answer, just look at the numbers from Gartner:

  • By 2010 the number of households with IPTV is forecast to reach 50 million from 3 million in 2005
  • revenues could rise even more sharply, to $13.4 billion from $399 million

IPTV Around the World

Servicec providers all over the world are are trying to figure out how to build a "Telco 2.0" that delivers TV, Phone and Internet services over broadband pipes.

On Dec. 4, Britain's BT Group launched its IPTV service, setting a target of signing up between 2 million and 3 million subscribers. AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Swisscom , France Telecom, Korea's KT, and China Netcom are also in various stages of rolling out their own services.

It's not just the telcos that have a stake in this. Just about every major tech company wants a piece of the action. Alcatel-Lucent is joined by Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, and Cisco Systems as well as upstarts such as UTStarcom and China's Huawei. The rivalry is expected to help the market ramp up quickly.

IPTV relies on the same basic technology as streaming video over the Web except that the signals stay within the telco's network. If done right, IPTV shouldn't be all that different from the programs you're accustomed to viewing on cable or over the airwaves. Where IPTV has an advantage over standard broadcasts is its potentially limitless number of channels and instant, on-demand access to a vast library of content stored on a telco's servers.

Monday, December 11, 2006

VoIP Grew to 8.2 million Subscribers

Total subscribers to Internet-based telephone (Voice over-IP) services in U.S. grew 18% to 8.2 million in Q3 2006, more than doubling the figure in a year since 3Q 2005, according to market research firm TeleGeography.

TeleGeography predicted the market would grow by roughly 1.5 million subscribers in the fourth quarter to end the year with 9.7 million, or about 8.7% of the nation's households.

VoIP revenues are expected to reach $2.6 billion for the year, an increase of 250% from about $1 billion in 2005.

Top VoIP Providers, by subscribers, at the end of 3Q 2006:

  1. Vonage Holdings (1.95 million)
  2. Time Warner's cable TV business (1.64 million)
  3. Comcast (1.35 million)
  4. Cablevision (1.10 million)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Internet Video Revenues - $7 billion by 2010

Annual U.S. revenues from Internet video services – spanning user-generated content to television shows and movies – will exceed $7 billion by 2010, according to Parks Associates.

“Major broadcasters, movie studios, retailers, and content aggregators are all experimenting with new ways to distribute video content online and attach advertising to their offerings,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst, Parks Associates. “The early results have been quite promising.”

According to the report Internet Video: Direct-to-Consumer Services, online distribution has boosted viewership and advertising revenues for current primetime television offerings and serves a strong differentiator in an increasingly fragmented market.

Read the Press Release

From the Analyst Blog:

Question: What's the revenue forecast for Internet video advertising?
Answer: Annual revenues for Internet video advertising in the U.S. market will grow threefold between 2006 and 2010 to approximately $4.4 billion in 2010. Most of these early advertising dollars will be generated from non-embedded display ads on different video streaming Websites. Later, as the inventory of high-quality embedded advertising increases, we’ll see that ad revenue grow to surpass the non-embedded ad dollars.

Friday, December 08, 2006

VC dollars pouring again....

1. Pinger, a San Jose, California based voice messaging start-up, has received cash infusion of $8 million dollars from Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers and DAG Ventures.
Pinger launched at DEMO earlier this year, and is essentially the next generation voice messaging service. Instead of leaving someone a voice mail, you ping them, and that results in a text message being sent to them, which can be clicked to listen to that voice mail.

Check out this DEMO video

2. Vinod Khosla has invested $6.2 million in iSkoot, the Cambridge, MA-based Skype-to-mobile extender service.

3. Wikia took a second round of funding provided entirely by Amazon (amount undisclosed). Wikia, founded by Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales and led by Gil Penchina (ex-eBay), provides a place for wikis on things that aren’t appropriate for an encyclopedia — most often fan pages for things like a team, product, or TV show. It had raised $4 million earlier this year.

4. Jangl, a Pleasanton, California-based start-up raised $7 million in funding from Cardinal Venture Partners, Storm Ventures and Labrador Ventures. Jangl has raised $9 million in two rounds so far.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Surviving Holiday Spam

Worldwide spam volumes increased from 31 billion messages a day in October of 2005, to 61 billion messages per day in October 2006 — an increase of nearly 100%. IronPort predicts that, this December, the number of spam messages will average 78 billion a day — up from 38 billion last year. :-(

A new technique known as image spam, reached a new high of 25% of total spam volume in October of 2006, compared to 4.8% in October 2005 — an increase of 421%. :-( :-( :-(

IronPort offers ten "do's and don'ts" to avoid the dangers associated with spam and other online dangers:

1) Don't Open
Whenever possible, do not open spam messages. Frequently spam messages include software that enables the spammer to determine how many, or which, email addresses have received and opened the message. A suspicious email is almost always spam.

2) Don't Respond
The best way to deal with email messages from unknown or suspicious addresses is to delete them, or allow your spam filter to quarantine them. If you respond to a spam message, even asking to be removed from their list, you will have confirmed to the sender that they have indeed reached a valid email address and your inbox may become the target of even more spam. If you are unsure whether a request for personal information from a company is legitimate, contact the company directly or type the website URL directly into your browser.

3) Don't Click
If you click on a link (even an "unsubscribe" link) offered in a spam message, you may infect your computer with spyware or a virus. Instead, delete the email immediately. If a message that appears to be from your bank, credit card company, eBay, Paypal, or others requests that you to click through to validate account details—don't. They already have your account details, so validation or confirmation should not be necessary. Simply delete the message. If you have questions about an email from a familiar organization, contact them by phone.

4) Don't Buy
Spam exists because it's profitable. It costs almost nothing for a spammer to send a million messages. If even one in that million people buy something, they're making money. Take the profit out of spam. Never purchase anything from spammers. Tell your friends and family to do the same—no matter how good the offer looks.

5) Don't Use Your Primary Email
AddressUsing your primary email address anywhere on the Web puts it at greater risk of being picked up by spammers. Use a secondary or temporary account for online transactions.

6) Don't Believe Everything You Read
Forwarded warning emails and chain letters are more prevalent during the holiday season. Spammers will harvest good email addresses from these forwarded messages. After a few generations, many of these letters contain hundreds of good email addresses. Consequently, people who were worried about the "missing girl" or the "desperate refugee" find themselves not only passing on a hoax, but also the recipients of more spam.

7) Do Use a Temporary or One-Time Use Credit Card
When in doubt; use a temporary or a one-time use credit card. Most major banks can provide these types of cards to help avoid abuse.

8) Do Check Security Policies
Use caution when posting in newsgroups, filling out unsecured forms on the Web, or posting your email address on websites. Verify the security policy of the website to ensure that your email address will not be shared with other companies.

9) Do Make Sure Your ISP or Company Has Spam, Virus and Spyware Protection
Spam emails are very often connected with viruses, so it's critical to have both anti-spam and anti-virus protection. Spam messages often include links to websites with spyware or malware. Check with your ISP or IT department to make sure you have adequate security against these kinds of threats. Having spam, virus and Web-based malware protection at the gateway can make a significant difference.

10) Do Use Your Common Sense
If it looks like spam, it probably is. Delete it.

Happy "Spam-Free" Holidays :-)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

30 Essential Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows

Here are the top 10:

1. Firefox

2. Thunderbird
3. Sunbird
4. Abiword
5. OpenOffice
6. ClamWin
7. Gaim
8. BitTorrent
9. GIMPShop
10. Gnucleus

For the other 20 click here...