Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chrome vs Firefox

To a lot of people what browser they use might not be a big issue.  For me, it is :).  I have been following the browser wars for a long time and have every possible browser installed on my laptop, and I upgrade to the latest versions asap.  Call me crazy, but I think the future of computing will be back in the "cloud", what we call the Internet and therefore Browsers will play a bigger role than operating systems.

Therefore, the moment I got wind of the news that Chrome, a new browser from Google, was being released I jumped up in joy.  Well, not exactly.  Ideally, i would have wanted Google to take Firefox as it is and fork it to develop a much better browser.  What they did was to take the best of firefox and re-engineer a browser from scratch.  The resulting Chrome is definitely a right step towards exploiting the future cloud, but is still a long way to go.  The good thing is that Google announced that it woudl continue to support Firefox for another three years, and , together Chrome and Firefox are sure to bring down IE and with it MS.

The best feature is the multi-processing capability of Chrome.  The browser treats tabs as different processes and therefore does not slow down as you open more tabs.  Moreover, if a particular process in a tab crashes, the browser itself doe snot crash - a gift, given the instability in many java based applications. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

heard officially

Unbelievable it is, when a Republican commentator goes on record saying that Americans would understand when told that Sarah Palin does not even have a passport. Apparently, whether a politician has a passport or not could be an indicator of their foreign policy credibility! 

Other things I have heard on news:

  1. Being the governor of the state that is closest to the new belligerent Russia will help her credibility in dealing with Mr.Putin (good luck to that).
  2. She was the mayor of a town with a population of 7000 and a state with a population of about 700,000 - that qualifies her and  apparently makes her even better than Mr. Obama (who by the way beat the mighty Clinton machine with his organizational skills).
  3. She is a working mom and therefore understands the issues of women better - well, this seems reasonable.
  4. She is pro-life; I don't understand how this would benefit women though.
  5. She believes in creationism - hmm, it must be a miracle of nature that someone with her credentials is getting national stage. So, let's give it to her on this one.
  6. A republican strategist claims she is a great administrator because she sold a plane on ebay!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Why telugu cinema disgusts me

I must say I have watched my share of Indian movies in the past.  However, over the last few years the share of Indian movies in my movie-viewing pie has gone down considerably, reaching an almost nothing. More particularly, I must say that telugu movies really disgust me.  The last few that I had watched enabled me to really reflect on why this disgust really came about.

First and foremost, the violence in mainstream telugu movies in almost unbearable.  I remember watching a movie called Gajini with a friend a few years ago. Characters in the movie were shown slaughtered as if they were no more than chicken.  It was disgusting to watch the blood being spilt - although, I know it was for cinematic effect those scenes caused a visceral reaction in me.  I could not believe it when I saw parents with little kids in the theatre.  Are Indian cinema-goers just immune to this onscreen violence?  Many studies have shown that continuous exposure to fictional violence is detrimental to the proper development of kids. Telugu cinema in particular does not seem to believe so.  Faction movies, gangster movies, college violence is a rage - do movies reflect the society, or do they shape it? I am not sure, but I do think these are reinforcing each other.

Second, and no less important is the treatment of women in telugu cinema.  On on hand, we have the industry stalwarts going on record saying telugu cinema is great, artsy and that it has contributed so much society. Yes, maybe there are a few gem of a movies once in a while.  However, the mainstream trend is to treat women with utter disrespect.  It is not uncommon for the lead actress to have a meaningless role in the movie.  She is dumb, has little imagination or ambition, and all she is allowed to do is dress pretty and wait for the hero to take care of her.  Nothing can be farther from the truth, when you consider how women in andhra are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the telugu society.  You look around, and one of the striking features of professional life in andhra is the increasing number of women on the job.  And, how does telugu cinema celebrate this rise of women - by portraying them as pretty damsels in distress.  To add insult to injury, most male characters in the movies treat the women characters with utter disrespect.  Industry leading male actors have to take a look at the characters they portray and how those characters treat women more carefully. 

Telugu cinema has a rich history - of having a role in shaping the telugu society of the fifties and the sixties.  Great movies questioned social evils, and some even provided plausible solutions.  These solutions did not always involve killing the bad guys in gory violent showdowns.  Women were treated with respect and were shown as intelligent caregivers. The state of telugu cinema now is outright disgusting and does not deserve any support from society. It is neither art and whosoever even watches such movies are probably guilty of perpetuating the evil that comes with it.

Unless a change comes from within telugu cinema cannot change.  There must be a way of making classy, relevant movies that are a celebration of the culture that gives rise to such art - yet, being commercially successful. Unless this happens, telugu cinema will merely remain a form of entertainment that is a purely fictional, fantasy ridden noisy affair that it no
longer relevant.