Sunday, December 17, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I know it is a bit early. But I am going tomorrow on vacations, so I won't be able to do serious blogging. I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Shine, Jesus, Shine!
Shine, Jesus, Shine!

Shine, Jesus, shine; fill this land with the Father's glory;

Blaze, Spirit blaze, set our hearts on fire.

Flow, river flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy;

Send forth Your Word, Lord, and let there be light.

Shine, Jesus, Shine;
Shine, Jesus, Shine!
Lord, the light of Your love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness shining.
Jesus, Light of the World, shine upon us;
Set us free by the truth You now bring us.

Shine on me, Shine on me!
Shine, Jesus, shine; fill this land with the Father's glory;

Blaze, Spirit blaze, set our hearts on fire.

Flow, river flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy;

Send forth Your Word, Lord, and let there be light.

Shine, Jesus, Shine; Shine, Jesus, Shine!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gmail Server Errors - gmail down?

Server Error
We're sorry, but Gmail is temporarily unavailable. We're currently working to fix the problem -- please try logging in to your account in a few minutes.
There is some problem in Gmail servers today. Few minutes have become 5 hours for some people. Yahoo mail is gaining most out of this.

Google Group for gmail is seeing a heavy activity today. Still no word from Gmail team. A Starnge point to note is that while some accounts are accessible, others are not. People are able to use all service from a Google account except for Gmail.

Most of the people are having 2 accounts and according to Murphy's Law, there primary account is dead. Let's hope to hear from Gmail Team soon.

Update: I am able to login into my gmail once again. I suffered for just 2 hours unlike those who are reporting on Google Group that they had to wait for 5 hours. But Gmail is logging me out if I try to download soem attachment. But this logging-out-if-download problem is in IE-6 only, not in Mozilla.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Race for Optimizing IE7

Both Google and Yahoo try to convince IE6 users to upgrade to their version of IE7. Yahoo does that by promoting the bundle on each and every search results page, while Google bought some AdWords for "ie7".

I wonder if there's a strict template companies should follow or Google and Yahoo are completely unimaginative.

Update: Jeremy Zawodny, from Yahoo, says there's no template and Google copied Yahoo's page. Google changed the page and Matt Cutts wrote a short post about Yahoo copying Google.
I can’t say why someone at Google would decide to do that, but to the Yahoo! UI designer whose page was copied: my apologies. In my personal opinion, it sucks when someone else copies a page layout without attribution.
Worth Reading: Comment by Matt Cutt on Jeremy Zawodny's blog.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Social Networking Websites Being Misused

Do you know what the main purpose of a social networking website is? If you are an avid internet user, you likely do. Social networking websites are online communities that make it easier for internet users to meet and communicate with each other.
We are committed to providing an online meeting place for people to socialize, make new acquaintances and find others who share their interests. Join orkut now to create and connect with your own social circle.
What about an online blog? Do you have one of them? If you do, do you know that you could use your social networking website to promote your blog? Promote your blog? Why would you want to do that? Honestly, if you have to ask yourself that question you probably shouldn’t even have one. The whole purpose of a blog is to document your thoughts, views, and opinions on a particular topic, issue, or subject. What good will your blog do if no one reads it.

Do you own or operate your own website? With the rising popularity of the internet, there is a good chance that you do. A large number of internet users run their own personal websites, but others run their websites as a way to make money. Of course, any website owner wishes to promote their online website, but those who rely on their websites for income are more willing to. Whichever type of website you have, did you know that you could help to promote it with online social networking websites?

With a fairly large number of social networking websites, including MySpace and orkut, having over a millions users, there is a good chance that you could not only make new friends, but find internet users that would be interested in visiting your online website, especially if that website is your personal website. When joining an online networking community, you should be given your own profile page. On this page you could not only describe yourself, your online website. By mentioning what your personal online webpage is all about and providing a link, you should receive a number of new visitors.

When it comes to advertising there are many business owners who literally cringe. Are you doing this now? There is a good chance that you are because many advertising methods cost money. As a business owner you want to make money not spend it, right? Unfortunately, if you believe that all forms of advertising take money, you are sadly mistaken. Although you may have to spend money to make your business what you want it to be, there are ways to promote your business and the products or services that you sell without having to spend any money at all.

Increasingly, I am noticing this malpractice rising very fast in both orkut and Myspace in many different forms! I think its high time when some steps should be taken to clean these social networking platforms.

Orkut was not so popular in USA as in Brazil ( So Google opened the orkut for all and hence, it is no more unique.

Now, when orkut has millions of users (35,800,363) addicted to it, they have opened "Advertise on orkut" for USA and India.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunita becomes 2nd Indian origin woman in space

Sunita Williams on Sunday became the second woman of Indian origin after Kalpana Chawla to venture into space when the US shuttle Discovery, with seven astronauts onboard, rose into the night sky on a 12-day repair mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

The shuttle blasted off with a thunderous roar in a cloud of white smoke and flame and reached orbit about nine minutes later also carrying with it a 11-million-dollar truss segment to add to the space lab.

The crew, of which five have never flow in a space shuttle before, is on a complex mission during which they will give the ISS a new electricity system.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Once Upon a Time by Gabriel Okara

Once upon a time, son,
they used to laugh with their hearts
and laugh with their eyes:
but now they only laugh with their teeth,
while their ice-block-cold eyes
search behind my shadow.

There was a time indeed
they used to shake hands with their hearts:
but that’s gone, son.
Now they shake hands without hearts:
while their left hands search
my empty pockets.

‘Feel at home’! ‘Come again’:
they say, and when I come
again and feel
at home, once, twice,
there will be no thrice –
for then I find doors shut on me.

So I have learned many things, son.
I have learned to wear many faces
like dresses – homeface,
officeface, streetface, hostface,
cocktailface, with all their conforming smiles
like a fixed portrait smile.
And I have learned too
to laugh with only my teeth
and shake hands without my heart.
I have also learned to say, ‘Goodbye’,
when I mean ‘Good-riddance’;
to say ‘Glad to meet you’,
without being glad; and to say ‘It’s been
nice talking to you’, after being bored.

But believe me, son.
I want to be what I used to be
when I was like you. I want
to unlearn all these muting things.
Most of all, I want to relearn
how to laugh, for my laugh in the mirror
shows only my teeth like a snake’s bare fangs!

So show me, son,
how to laugh; show me how
I used to laugh and smile
once upon a time when I was like you.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Join Orkut ????

Couple of days ago, one of my friend tried to sign up for and found this
orkut is unique, because it's an organically growing network of trusted friends. That way we won't grow too large, too quickly and everyone will have at least one person to vouch for them.

If you know someone who is a member of orkut, that person can invite you to join as well. If you don't know an orkut member, wait a bit and most likely you soon will.

We look forward to having you as part of the orkut community.
Today, before going off for my Diwali break, I just logged in to orkut and noticed that now you anyone can Join orkut.

Another new (trivial) feature is
Now you can choose to get friend requests from everyone or only from people that speak your language. Please adjust your settings.
I think that day is not far when something like below will become a reality:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Yahoo Time Capsule (Flash Required)

Yahoo set out on Monday to capture life on Earth in digital formats for a "time capsule" to be buried in Silicon Valley as well as beamed from Mexico into the cosmos.

Yahoo invited people worldwide to contribute pictures, videos, songs, ideas, drawings or anything else they could digitize for a "first-ever electronic anthropology project" to document human life this year.
"We are bringing together this ancient site with present-day culture in the time capsule and at the same time beaming it into space for the future," Srinivasan said. "It is there for whoever is out there," he added.
Submissions will be accepted for 30 days, with the window closing on Nov. 8.

Yahoo said time capsule contents would be archived on data storing hardware and buried at a secret spot on its campus in Sunnyvale, California.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Google buys YouTube

Google Inc. snapped up YouTube Inc. for US$1.65 billion yesterday in a deal that catapults the Internet search leader to a leading role in the online video revolution.

The all-stock acquisition unites one of the Internet's marquee companies with one of its rapidly rising stars. YouTube will continue to keep its brand, as well as all 67 employees, including co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.

The acquisition combines one of the largest and fastest growing online video entertainment communities with Google's expertise in organizing information and creating new models for advertising on the Internet. The combined companies will focus on providing a better, more comprehensive experience for users interested in uploading, watching and sharing videos, and will offer new opportunities for professional content owners to distribute their work to reach a vast new audience.
"We are natural partners to offer a compelling media entertainment service to users, content owners and advertisers," said Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive.
Google's YouTube coup may intensify pressure on Yahoo to make its own splash by buying, the Internet's second most popular social-networking site. Yahoo has reportedly offered as much as US$1 billion for Palo Alto-based Facebook during months of sporadic talks.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Making Sense of Google

To the millions of people who Google everyday, the eponymous company is just a search engine, albeit the best around. Few know or care to know how Google makes money offering free search, not just in English, but in variety of other languages.

Why, when Stanford PhD students, Sergey Brin & Larry Page decided to turn their project to make internet search easier and more effective - into a business in 1998, they were equally clueless about its financial potential.

As money continues to pour into search engine advertising, Web users are helping expand the potential market by significantly increasing their search engine usage.

Suggested Reading :
1. The Search by John Battelle
2. The Google Story by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed

"Don't be Evil" is Google's official motto. Is Google living upto it?

Social networks a hacker's paradise

Social networking sites, where millions of people communicate with friends and family, are emerging as the next frontier for Internet pickpockets.

These hackers and data miners are beginning to tap into the vast amount of personal information stored on these sites to defraud unsuspecting chatters. So far, such efforts have been limited. But security experts believe social networkers could be vulnerable to "spear-phishers,'' criminals who send masked messages to a small number of people that appear to be from someone they know, as well as other, more general scams.

Social networking spam is spam directed at users of social networking services such as MySpace or orkut. Users of social networking services can send notes to one another, including embedded links to other social network locations or even outside sites.

This is where the social network spammer comes in. Utilizing the social network's search tools, a spammer can target a certain demographic and send them notes from an account disguised as real people. These notes typically are embedded with links to pornographic or other product sites designed to sell you something.

While the damage has been limited, security professionals believe social-networking scams could easily defraud young people or even the tech savvy, if they lower their guard when visiting the sites.

Trust me my readers, that at present there is so much personal information on the internet (social netwroking sites plus some other tools) that you can do absolutely anything - starting from selling any product, finding a girl to get laid, getting a job, getting your life-partner!

Random Reading:

The Wealth of Networks

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Stock.Gyan & Stock.Mitanshu: Learn & Play with stocks

To all the people interested in stock markets, here's an exciting opportunity for you.
Log on to Stock.gyan (right click to open in a separate window)

It is a comprehensive module for stock market beginners - what you know and don't know about Share Markets. It's developed by Arindam, a student @ IIMA based on my virtual stock market game.

Go through the site, it's in easy language and very precise. It will give you vital inputs about stock market which you may even need in your interviews.

Get the knowledge and apply it in Virtual stock market (again right click to open in a separate window)

The combo will remove your apprehensions and doubts about stocks.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Tales of CAT aspirants and IIMA stories

It's about getting admission to the most prestigious business management school in Asia-Pacific: the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA). It's a tale from the successful students about CAT and IIMA. It's an insider's view!


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Umpire Hair breaks silence

Darrell Hair said his decision to ask for $500,000 to quit his role as an umpire following the Pakistan ball-tampering furore is not a panic reaction to events at the Oval last week.

Hair has been heavily criticised since the International Cricket Council (ICC) revealed details of an email he sent to officials requesting a one-off payment in return for quitting their elite panel of umpires after the row.

"It wasn't a spur of the moment thing. I didn't do it off the cuff," Hair told Australia's Sunday Mail.

But Hair, who has been vilified in Pakistan's media over his decision and a perceived bias against Asian teams, said he meant no harm with the shock offer to stand down revealed on Friday.

"This correspondence was composed at a very difficult time and was revoked by myself after a period of serious consideration," he said in a statement. "There was no malicious intent behind this communication with the ICC. I am anxious the code of conduct hearing takes place as soon as possible so these matters can be resolved and allow me to move on with my umpiring."

Hair insisted his request had fallen on some sympathetic ears before he retracted it following an intervention from ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Virtual Stock Market

Always wanted help on what stock market is all about ?

Do you have a lot of unanswered questions about stocks and the stock market ? Been wondering about how all this works ?

Learn how to invest online ... Build and manage a virtual portfolio ...

Sign-up today and master the market.

Update :

1. Now you can add the Virtual share rates to your google homepage.

2. There are 218 players/traders in 23 days

Are there limits for sending mail in gmail ?

Gmail has a number of sending limits in place to prevent abuse of the system, and to help fight spam. If you reach one of Gmail's limits, you'll be temporarily unable to send mail. Common causes include:
  1. Sending a message to more than 500 recipients. You can send a single message to a maximum of 500 recipients. Their email addresses can be distributed among the 'To:,' 'Cc:,' and 'Bcc:' fields.
    • If you communicate with the same group of people on a regular basis, you might be interested in Google Groups.
  2. Sending a large number of undeliverable messages.
    • Gmail suggest verifying your contacts' email addresses. Make sure the email addresses you're sending mail to are valid. It's also important that everyone you are sending mail to is willing to receive it. Learn more about best practices for sending a large amount of mail through Gmail.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Update: India state bans Coke and Pepsi

This is related to India state bans Coke and Pepsi.

If Pepsi is banned in India, I would go to the US and drink it,” says the much-in-news-superstar Shahrukh Khan. He was answering questions to the media personnel at a press conference as a Watch Company’s brand ambassador. “ My intention is not to defend the brand I endorse. But I would like to ask the agency (which tested the soft drink for pesticides) whether they have analysed the how safe is the water we drink or if mother’s milk also contains harmful chemicals?

If Pepsi really gets banned in India (I believe that it will not) then SRK does not need to go to USA to drink it. He can drink it in any neighboring country like Bangladesh, Pakistan or Nepal. I wonder that if Shahrukh Khan was sponsored by Coke and what he would say! Would he still say that if Pepsi was banned he would go to USA to drink it?

I visited the website of Coca-Cola India to find Facts on Pesticide Allegations in India

Many people including me have the feeling that Coke and Pepsi are playing a game of hide and seek. They are saying that their products are safe and that's it. Normally, when this kind of accusations arises, the companies try to portray themselves as transparent as possible and provide a lot of scientific evidence in details about their products. It seems that in India, Coke and Pepsi only care for one thing- spending money after advertisements. They did the same thing during the recent crisis. They published huge ads in the newspapers.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Google to Invest $1 Billion In India

A few days after it announced plans to set up a R&D Center in China, Google has now decided to invest up to $1 billion on a back office in Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, according to news reports. The proposed center, which the Indian government just approved, will likely be spread over a million square feet in what is called a ’special economic zone’ in the southern state. Dell’s and Accenture’s investments were also given the go-ahead.

Google currently operates a development center in Bangalore. Google’s India office was responsible for coming up with Google Finance. About half a dozen technology companies have announced plans to invest a billion dollars or more in India.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

India state bans Coke and Pepsi

The southern Indian state of Kerala on Wednesday banned the sale and production of Coke, Pepsi, Sprite and other soft drinks made by the Indian subsidiaries of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, an official said.

Four Indian states have already banned the sale of Coke, Pepsi and other soft drinks at schools, colleges and government offices after a research group in New Delhi last week claimed the beverages contained high levels of pesticide residue.

But the state of Kerala was the first to impose a total ban on production and sales.
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo together account for nearly 80 percent of the $2 billion-a-year soft drink market in India.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

United States Cedes Control of the Internet

The Register is reporting that the U.S. is relinquishing control of ICANN. The story states: 'In a meeting that will go down in internet history, the United States government last night conceded that it can no longer expect to maintain its position as the ultimate authority over the internet. Having been the internet's instigator and, since 1998, its voluntary taskmaster, the US government finally agreed to transition its control over not-for-profit internet overseeing organization ICANN, making the organization a more international body.'

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Google In The Culture: An example

Though I'm not sure Google will use this one for external PR, it's pretty funny, and includes a tour of many Google features (Calendar, Base, Maps, Alerts etc) in the pursuit of one goal.

This article is about using the many Google sites and applications to get yourself a girl and get yourself laid. In it we’re going to use a guy called Johnny McCool. Johnny is a 22 year old Internet nerd. He works as a programmer with some megacorp, went straight from the computer labs in college to the cubicle farm. He needs to get out more and he needs a girlfriend.

Google has so many tools now, it can run your entire life.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

India's growth in Orkut

This post is in continuation to my post on Orkut.

Here are some statistics about % of orkut members :

Brazil : 68.26%
United States : 12.50%
India : 5.40%
Pakistan : 1.99%
Iran : 1.66%
Source : as on 1940 hrs IST 19th June, 2006.

United States 43.11%
Brazil 15.02%
Japan 5.66%
Netherlands 3.49%
United Kingdom 3.28%
India 2.97%
As on 5/14/2004 as claimed by a post on

Indian presence is growing faster than Orkut's growth. And given India's population, I figure there's still room for a lot of growth.

Do you know what could cause the rapid growth of orkut in India ??

Some more data about orkut is at

1. Percentage of users on orkut from U.S. (13.03%) is now(July 25,2006 1544 IST) less than double than that of Indians (6.85%)!

2. I don't know how many of you are following this, but for Indians it has become easy to find their school-mates on orkut. This is because the percentage of orkut users from India is 7.12% (July 31,2006 1744 IST)

3. Right now, Indians have a share of 12% though still on 3rd position (December 11, 2006 1812 IST)

4. 12.69% Indians as against 16.9% from US on January 15,2007 2100 IST

5. Orkut demographics -> 15.22% from India, 18.92% from United States, 1.32% from Pakistan and 1st is still Brazil with lion's share of 55.48% as on June 19, 2007 0720 IST

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Teen Sues MySpace Over Sexual Assault

A 14-year-old Travis County girl who said she was sexually assaulted by a Buda man she met on sued the popular social networking site Monday for $30 million, claiming that it fails to protect minors from adult sexual predators.

Founded in 2003, MySpace has more than 80 million registered users worldwide and is the world's third most-viewed Web site, according to the lawsuit. To create an account, a MySpace user must list a name, an e-mail address, sex, country and date of birth.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

You Are What You Post

This post is in continuation to my post on Orkut

Do you give good Google? It's the preoccupation du jour as Google hits become the new Q ratings for the creative class. Search engines provide endless opportunities for ego surfing, Google bombing (influencing traffic so it spikes a particular site), and Google juicing (enhancing one's "brand" in the era of micro-celebrity). Follow someone too closely and you could be accused of being a Google stalker. Follow yourself too closely: Google narcissist.

But Googling people is also becoming a way for bosses and headhunters to do continuous and stealthy background checks on employees, no disclosure required. Google is an end run around discrimination laws, inasmuch as employers can find out all manner of information -- some of it for a nominal fee -- that is legally off limits in interviews: your age, your marital status, the value of your house (along with an aerial photograph of it), the average net worth of your neighbors, fraternity pranks, stuff you wrote in college, liens, bankruptcies, political affiliations, and the names and ages of your children.

Because anyone, anywhere, at any time can say anything about you on the Web, reputations are scarily open-source. And because entire companies dedicate themselves to recording every inch of information on the Web, it's becoming difficult to unplug from the Google matrix, let alone make anything on the Internet go away. "This takes people's own agency out of how they want to present themselves," says Alice Marwick, a technology consultant and PhD candidate in New York University's Culture & Communications Dept. The Internet started out with avatars and anonymity. Now online and offline are bleeding together. "It's consolidating personal information into the aggregate," says Marwick, even though "our social practices haven't figured out how to keep up with the technology."

Update : Some related information is available here

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Today, I have completed 18 months and 18 days on orkut, with more than 1450 scraps, 28 fans , and more than 200 people in my friend list.

I was thinking for past few days about how does orkut earns? I asked many people about it but didn't got any reply except for :

This is the mastermind behind Orkut community.
Some facts about Orkut:
1)Orkut Buyukkokten(the creator of Orkut) gets $12 when every person registers to this website.
2)He also gets $10 when you add somebody as a friend.
3)He gets $8 when your friend's friend adds you as a friend & gets $6 if anybody adds you as a friend in the resulting chain.
4)He gets $5 when you scrap somebody & $4 when somebody scraps you.
5)He also gets $200 for each photograph you upload on Orkut.
6)He gets $2.5 when you add your friend in the crush-list or in the hot-list.
7)He gets $2 when you become somebody's fan.
8)He gets $1.5 when somebody else becomes your fan.
9)He even gets $1 every time you logout of Orkut.
10)He gets $0.5 every time you just change your profile-photograph.
11)He also gets $0.5 every time you read your friend's scrap-book & $0.5every time you view your friend's friend-list.
12)Many Global Financial Consultants think this person might become the richest-person in the world by the end of 2009.

But an obvious question is : Who pays him this money? Google ??? Why ???

Other question that came to my mind were :

1) How does Orkut earns?
2) Google still earns no revenues on Orkut. Why ???
3) Nearly two in three registered Orkut users hail from Brazil. Why would Orkut be so popular in Brazil?
4) What problems might Orkut solve that Google would otherwise find significantly more challenging?

Just think about it for a few minutes. If you've been thru the Orkut registration process, you know that it attempts to collect a ton of data about you.

This is a pretty good insight into some of the dangers of social networking and website customisation -- marketing and loss of privacy. When marketeers know who your friends are and what you are all into, it makes their advertising a lot more effective. Why is MySpace worth over half a billion dollars without a proper revenue model? Why is Digg allegedly pitched at over $20m (at the last count) without any idea of where money is going to be pulled from? The answer is - data. Information. Marketing. Every detail about you and me. That is where the money is.

What will happen if tomorrow we get something as API for marketers ??

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.
Please reply to me on mitanshu.garg[at]

Update : Visit a nice post at

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

PoK students want seats in IIM/IITs!

Students of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have demanded reservation for them in India's elite educational institutions.

"We want quotas in the Indian Institute of Management, the Indian Institute of Technology and law colleges of India. India should not ignore us," said Shafquat Ali Inqlabi, a resident of Gilgit, told

Inqlabi and other 18 others are visiting India to participate in a conference organised by the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management to discuss 'Alternative Futures' for Jammu and Kashmir on May 19-20.

Inqlabi says, "Indian maps always show Gilgit and Baltistan as part of India. The Constitution of India mentions that we are part of India. In your eyes, we are Indians and Pakistan has 'occupied' Indian territory. Then, why should we not get admissions in the IIMs and the IITs?" he says, adding, "I am an engineer, but now, I want to study law in the best of Indian law colleges. Help me get admission."

One of the demands made in a resolution unanimously passed by the conference -- which had the tacit support of Indian government -- says, 'The Government of India should provide openings in higher, professional and technical educational institutions to deserving students from Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, who are denied necessary facilities for such education.'

Inqlabi, a political activist, says, "India should either accept us as Indians or give up claim on the territory."

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Can you crack the code?

Da Vinci Code Game is better than the book and is, of course, better than the yet unreleased movie. In fact, anything is better than Dan Brown's best-seller.

Da Vinci Code Game features 12,358 original puzzles created by Googlers. They'll be released over the next 24 days, in the form of six different challenges at four difficulty levels.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Reservation will backfire, say academics

The government's move to introduce reservation in all central universities, Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMS) will bring down the quality of education and may backfire in the long run, say professors at these prestigious institutions.

"Proposed reservation in IITs, IIMs and other high learning grounds will certainly affect the quality of education. Reservation will compromise with the quality of student intake and it may affect the quality of teachers as well," said Jagdeep S. Chhokar, a senior professor at IIM-Ahmedabad.

"If they are going to increase the number of seats in these places, the student teacher equation will be adversely affected. Currently there is a shortage of quality teachers in IITs and IIMs and if the number of students increases, there has to be a corresponding rise in the number of teachers," Chhokar told IANS on telephone from Ahmedabad.

"When we are finding it difficult to get quality professors, how can one get more teachers for these extra seats? The only way out is compromising on the quality, which means poor teaching and devaluation of the brand name and the certificate," he added.

On Wednesday, Human resource Minister Arjun Singh said his ministry had decided reserve 27 percent seats for backward classes in all central universities, IITs and IIMs.

Currently, central government-funded institutions reserve 22.5 percent of seats for students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Chhokar said the reservation move could also lead to polarisation among students on the basis of caste.

"Though I think that students in IIMs will not accept the proposal, it will divide students on the basis of caste and social background. When we should feel proud as Indians and respect talent, plans are afoot to inject a sense of casteism and socially insecurity," he said.

"When reservation could not make much difference in the last 60 years, it can hardly benefit the needy now. It's the creamy layer who will take all the advantage", he said.

"Government should not overburden these institutions. There should be focus on creating high-end educational institutes that can compete with IITs and IIMs," said Kothari, who was a former director in charge of IIT-Delhi.

Krishna Kumar, director of IIM-Kozhikode also did not elaborate on the institute's stand over the reservation issue. "We have not received any directive and would not like to comment before that."

Sign an online petition here

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What is Pixel Promotion All About?

There exists a new type of advertising that is going great. Watch out, it could be the next most prominent event since Google Adsense. At present, site owners expend immense amounts of money in order to get visitors to their web page. They try pay per click ads, banner ads, popup ads, and a hundred other, often nefarious, methods of acquiring traffic. The newest way of attracting visitors has become known as Pixel Advertising.

The basic premise is that pixels (the primary unit that makes up a graphic on a website) are made available on a web page. These pixels display graphics that link back to the advertiser's website. The page becomes a mosaic that can often equal the best pop culture art. The outcome is a web page that gets qualified traffic with a link back to their site, this in turn causes sales which, in anyone's book, is the name of the game.

The reasoning behind this new medium is the idea that PPC advertising costs too much. Ten PPC clicks per day at 50 cents per click works out at $1825 per annum. Often pay per click costs a great deal more than this depending, obviously, on the competition.

Pixel adverts are usually a single cost and are valid for years. It is not uncommon to see pixel site owners providing their space for 5 years. With a good quality graphic, it could attract more visitors to your website than pay per click advertising resulting in big savings. Spaces are most commonly sold in 10 by 10 pixel blocks at 5 cents per pixel up to over a dollar a pixel. A 10 by 10 block comprises 100 pixels. The 10px by 10px minimum format is usually the norm as this is logically the smallest functional space. Blocks of pixels generally have to form a square or a rectangle.

Pixel advertising is just in it's infancy. It is much too early to tell where it may lead, but for what they cost, the pixel ads tend to be most likely money well spent. Overall, it's likely to be a small price to pay and could benefit site owners with a good collection of inbound links.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Indians come up with Kosmix to challenge Google

Two Indian computer wizards who studied along with Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University are now launching a start-up to compete with the world's best known search engine.

Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan are betting that Kosmix with its deep search technology can challenge Google by gleaning more about the overall content of Webpages searched instead of their popularity.

Google basically searches pages based on a sort of popularity contest and not necessarily its content, but Kosmix creators says they took a different approach and developed a new kind of categorisation technology.

The two Indians, who were among the co-founders of web database company Junglee, hope their deep search technology can improve upon Google's one-size-fits-all approach.

Kosmix asks users to define a category for a search. If a search term is related to health, users can make a query in a health-related search box. That way, it can find Webpages closely associated in meaning with the search term.

It then looks at what Webpages link to other pages to take a bigger stab at judging the pages subject.

If a Webpage says something similar to the page it links to, you can get enough information to categorise it by topic, says Harinarayan.

The company, set up last year, will officially launch at the DEMO conference for start-ups in Phoenix next week.

Kosmix has already started testing a health search on its Web site. Over the next year, the company will release numerous categories of search?from health to travel, politics and finance. It plans to unveil a general search box within a year.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Potter star receives honor from Queen

Along with twenty-three people who were victims of the London bombings last summer, Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). These honors are given to those who have done something special in life. They are nominated by the Queen of England with the advice of the Prime Minister.