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November 27, 2002

 
TheNewspaperToday closes it's doors. When they turned pay-only one year ago, I asked: Is the India Today brandname worth paying the (admittedly affordable) Rs500/$10.50 per year? I guess the answer was no. Existing TNT subscribers can use their subscriptions to access India Today's web edition (normally available only to India Today subscribers). The end of free is more complicated than it appears to be, because it is not clear that all the content on the 'Net -- even the ones I read regularly -- is worth paying for. It may also just be worth living without. Hey, back in the days when I didn't have a IP connection bolted to my cranium, my favorite source of instant news was a pocket radio tuned to BBC World Service Radio. In other news, Time-Warner content, such as CNN and Time, may soon only be available over AOL (or for pay over the Netscape Network). Let's see how that does. At least, given the current web ad market, it can't cause them to lose any (more) money.

 

 
Josh Allen:
Considering that people like Safire focus on IAO, Congress is more interested in serving RIAA, and the Washington Post considers the arrest of three poor people to be a "success" in the war on identity fraud, it is clear that the sheer magnitude of the systemic identity leakage is not a problem that anyone is willing to acknowledge. And since acknowledgement is only the first step toward fixing a problem, it is safe to assume that this one will get much, much worse before it gets better.

 

 
[Cover of the Dec 2002 edition of Solaris] Stanislaw Lem's Solaris is getting its first Hollywood interpretation -- I don't know how well Clooney will render Kelvin's role, but given Soderbergh's Traffic, he oughtn't make a total hash of things. This book is probably one of the most beautiful works of literature ever produced under the SF umbrella, and it's a shame that publishers continue to characterize it as SF. (Solaris is SF no more than A Voyage to Arcturus is). This is one movie I'll look forward to.

 

November 14, 2002

 
Bollywood waits for a December miracle. I don't get these guys. For the past 50 years they've been feeding us rehashes of the same old song/dance + romance + token conflict, and they seriously expect audiences to take it sitting down year after year? C'mon guys, give us a little credit, if we want bad programming we've got cable TV. Why can't I see a film like Bridget Jones' Diary (random example) or Twister (another random example) in Hindi? Oh wait, one's got too much talk about sex (taboo here, 1e9 population be damned) and another's got too many special effects that cost money to create and which Bollywood is no good at anyway. Whatever they do, I don't think that churning out the same old indistinguishable bubblegum romances (with the same motley crew of wannabe actors, er, stars) is a recipe for profit. Oh well.

 

 
Chidanand Rajghatta of the ToI is writing breathless, inaccurate articles in bad English (this guy's a foreign editor? He could use some editing himself) about how Indians are God's gift to software development, and how MS is determined to keep the Indian development community in their bag, and how much keeping the brains of India firmly wedded to Windows matters to MS.
But its not so much the revenue bucks from India that matter to Gates as the brains. From all accounts, he is now convinced that India has it to be the next software hub. So the new Microsoft strategy is not only to aim for the market, but just about every level of the playing field, from the central, state to the local governments, to schools, colleges and universities. Earlier this year, the company chose senior faculty members from the best tech institutes in the country, including IITs and RECs, for what was dubbed a Microsoft Research faculty summit in the US.
So why aren't the shared source programs for Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows .NET Server 2003 available in India?

 


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