Masala Post

Google’s products are like Rahman’s music. They grow on you, atleast for me. Read ahead.

Google Reader has now become a personal choice for me. I was enthusiastic when G Reader was introduced, the excitement was put down when I learnt the Reader wasn’t compatible with Firefox. Though it was resolved in the next few weeks, it’s only for the last month, I’ve started using only G Reader to read blogs and other news feeds.

Bloglines is such a robust app on the net for news feeds while Google’s Reader is slick and has a very intuitive user interface. The G Reader has an option to read the posts both chronologically and blog-wise. Intially I wasn’t comfortable with the chronologically ordered posts from various blogs. It needed a mind-shift, after being used to read posts blog-wise in Bloglines. Now after using it for well over a month, I’ve to say that I’m enjoying this interface which allows for lazy reading. If you wonder how to migrate from Bloglines to Google Reader, see this help text to export you Bloglines subscriptions as OPML file and this help to import that file into G Reader. Just two steps and you would agree with the analogy of Reader to Rahman’s music.

BTW it seems like Rajini & Rahman‘s Sivaji music would be out by March 10. Kamal plans to showcase the h(a)unting music on March 5th. I’m hoping the news on Sivaji music is just a hoax. Whoever wants the music to be out by march and wait until Diwali for the movie. Shankar must be crazy if he is aiming for this. Thanks Radhakrish for the link.

Data Warehousing in a Flat World

A tipping point has been reached, and going forward, you will need only one kind of database to run both the transactional and BI parts of enterprise systems. There will still be different instances due to performance requirements to support diverging transactional and BI workloads, but they will both operate with the same database. Proprietary systems that operate with special purpose technology stacks and databases are out. Open systems – including de facto standard such as IBM DB2, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server – are in. Open source databases will remain outside the mainstream due to lack of features, functions and experience, but will exert a remorseless flattening influence on the major players in downward pressure on prices.

Just like his other articles on Business Intelligence, in this well conceptualized column, Trends for 2006, Lou Agosta makes a daring thought about the world of Data Warehousing. He throws his views on how companies could derive value from their BI systems by employing open source architecture and low-cost servers. I only wish those corporates who are thinking a zillion times to data warehouse their systems would read this. Build Data Warehouses for cheap and Warehouse the world. For this is what every Data Warehousing guy dreams about.

Blogasm !!

Wrote a quick guest blogpost named, Blogasm for Gilli.

Kick-started recently by Boston Bala and Icarus Prakash, Gilli is a sort of manual aggregator for the Tamil Blogosphere just like Desi Pundit. This regional blogosphere has nearly more than enough blogs than most Indian regional blogospheres. The kind of variety it offers and rich writing it engulfs is so amazing that I’m following more than 30-40 blogs through Google Reader.

I am staying positive that Gilli powered by the passion of its contributors, Bala, Prakash and now Badri, would take Tamil Blogosphere to the next level by aggregating and spotlighting the best of the best. All the best.

Not sporting a moustache !!

Film Fare Awards 2005 – And the filmfare award for the best – film, screenplay, direction, camera, back ground music, actor, actress and child artist goes to the cast and crew of BLACK. Will sport a moustache if this doesn’t come true. Sometimes, even if you are stiff emotionsless critic, you fall shaken with emotions when a movie moves so deeply from the heart. Black is one such gem. A classic that can stand over gimmicks and modernities of film techniques.

This was written in this blog, a year back in the review of Bhansali’s Black. Though that review was written very emotionally, I was sure that those moving images of Black deserved a big applause.

Let’s fact check with the Filmfare 2005 which was staged last week.

Best Actor – Amitabh Bachchan (Black)
Best Actress – Rani Mukerjee (Black)
Best Film – Black
Critics Award – Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Black)
Best Director – Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Black)
Best Supporting Actress – Ayesha Kapoor (Black)
Best Cinematography – Ravi K Chandran (Black)
Best Background Score – Monty (Black)
Best Editing – Bela Sehgal (Black)

Except for Screenplay, which was awarded to Nina Arora and Manoj Tyagi (Page 3), what was written, came true. Hurray !! I am not sporting a moustache.

March of the Penguins

march of the penguins
[Pic – Aaton]

One word. Rocks. Ofcourse, Antartica has ice rocks and glaciers but this is about the Emperor Penguins. Most of us who know penguins only as symbols of Linux, would have a mind shift after watching this dazzling flick.

Luc Jacquet, the director and his crew spent around a year in the icy antartica to shoot this film, March of the Penguins, which chronicles a part of penguins’ lifecycle. At the end of this hearty flick, not only would one fall in love with the penguin bird but also appreciate the risks taken by the crew, during the shoot. Though we all sub-consciously agree that this world has evolved and it’s all about survival of the fittest, its tough to envison how emperor penguins evolved and survived the worst winters of the earth. Writer Ashokamitran once said, A flourishing life is one which is made up of small sacrifices. If one would agree with this, penguins nearly sacrifice their lives for their kids by sheltering them from the winter winds. Father Penguins go more than 4 months without food as they are busy keeping their kids warm. The unique role reversal of penguins is also shot and documented very convincingly.

The reason I am so damn thrilled is also because of the impeccable narration that fits the moving images. Morgan Freeman, my most favorite hollywooder, not only reads the script but also emotes it with his voice, so damn well. He gives life and soul with every stress and pause. Also, the add-on short film, Mens and Penguins which details the making of the film, is also a must watch. If you haven’t watched, do watch atleast for the sheer effort of film-making. Do watch. Do watch.

P.S – If this one gets dubbed in Tamil, an apt title, Thavamai Thavamirundhu.