Oct 29, 2016

"Mere piiche maa hai"

In an interesting gesture, Indian cricketers are wearing jerseys with names of their mother instead of where their first/last name would be. Not sure whose idea it was, but since Star, both the sponsor of the Indian team and the sportscaster for the series, has used this in their promotions, it's clearly a PR/marketing choice.

Call me cynical, but I thought this was a fairly hollow gesture. Not so much because it's obviously driven by a PR objective (which seems to have worked well - fair amount of online chatter and coverage), but because it doesn't feel very authentic. None of these players, from what I know, have been associated with this line of thinking before, and it's not associated with the brands of the BCCI, the game of cricket, or Star. And assuming it's a one-off gesture, this is going to be ultimately meaningless.

Compare this with:

* Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali who has adopted his mother's name in his own

* The Pink days at the SCG to raise awareness about Breast Cancer by the McGrath foundation (because of a deep connection with Glenn McGrath)

For this gesture feel 'authentic', it ought to be * reflected in everything the brands behind this do from here on (including supporting women's cricket?). I'm sceptical. Will this just be one piece of trivia for a future cricket quiz, or can one expect more meaningful outcomes along with a PR success?

Oct 19, 2016

Cynics and dreamers - the aisle seat is for neither.

Apropos this Economist article.

I used to prefer aisle seats on domestic flights until I realised one day, I'm going to end up murdering people sitting in the middle/window seats who want to get into the aisle as soon as the plane has landed so that they can stand uncomfortably on the toes of mental midgets like themselves. Have had quite a few if-looks-could-kills and actual arguments.

So looks like the cynics should prefer the window seats, and are better off dreaming about a future where everyone remains calmly seated as the plan comes to a halt instead of wanting to instantly eject out of their seats (which I would gladly help them accomplish while in the air, if I could).

"Cat Pictures Please"

Here's the winner of the 2016 Hugo for Best Short Story. In keeping with the flavour of the season, it features an AI. It's pretty good.

Sep 25, 2016

It's been 2 years since the Mars Orbiter Mission (also known as 'Mangalyaan' when it's at home, sipping tomato juice) officially began its orbit around the Red Planet. They hoped it would be there for six months - another 18 months and it seems to be doing just fine.

I wrote this piece for Architectural Digest last year about MOM on its first orbital anniversary. Here's to MOM painting the town red for some more time.

Sep 22, 2016

Chrome Fume

The biggest personal productivity boost in recent times has come by unchecking a single checkbox: the one that says 'enable hardware acceleration' in Chrome's settings (on Win 10). I haven't quite figured out why this option had caused such a slow down, but apparently, it's something to do with the display drivers.

I've often had to wait for as much as 10-15 mins after the laptop resumes from sleep for Chrome to come back to life.

For once, a silver bullet.

Jun 15, 2016

Brian Bilston, the 'Poet Laureate of Twitter'


Her interest in him

had waned,

then gradually eroded.

Like an update

to Adobe Reader,

he’d never be downloaded.

I discovered Brian Bilston's Poetry Laboetry. He is wonderful to read. (Probably because I can understand what he says and there is whimsy involved.)

Points to the Iceland football team

Not only did they draw their first ever tournament match, they made Ronaldo whinge. (Not that he needs an invitation to.).