Monday, 26 March 2007

Housekeeping

Over the last few months, blogging took second place—well, actually it was much further down in the queue—to a bunch of more important stuff. (Yes, Virginia, there are more important things.)

We did religiously file our columns, though, except that we didn't update the online archive. That, we have been doing over the last few days. Mousetrap is now up to date. And Your Cheque Is In The Mail, which has all the released press work, has had the gaps filled up too. And, what's more, it's all labelled (that's what the new Blogger calls tags), nice and pretty like, so you can find stuff by publication, subject, genre, etcetera. (And, by the way, this is one area where the new Blogger kicks Wordpress's butt: you can select a bunch of posts and tag, er, label, 'em all at the same time, unlike bleddy WP which makes you edit each post, tag one by one, gnash teeth..)

Yennyway. For the two of you who do read them things, go, knock yerself out. May your tribe increase. (But work on that after you're done catching up, hm?

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Waves To Friends

To learn more about our 24-Hour Telephone Phobia Program, please call us at [deleted] ([deleted] from outside the USA) for a complimentary consultation to discuss the problem, or contact us using the form below.
(Here, if you're interested. But let's save you the click. It's a triumph of the SEOed-to-the-gills, one-template-fits-all school of content creation, where all the phobias have the same descriptions and treatments. Yes, there is a page about Arachibutyrophobia too. Heh.)

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Ten top tens

We just posted about a book that brought together top ten lists by authors (over at Kitabkhana), when we stumbled on ten more lovely lists at C-Net. (Yeah, it's an old set of links. We just found 'em. Sue us.)

But first, the top ten 1995 tech.

Right then. Here ya go. The Top Ten..
1. News
2. Downloads (: We have all of these, except Napster, which we deleted at some point :)
3. Tech we miss
4. Web fads (Number 4, check. And, erm, Number 8 too.)
5. Buzzwords ("Eyeballs" anyone? 'Ow about "Y2K?")
6. Biggest dot-com flops (If you came of age in the last five years or so, you probably haven't heard of most of these. Figures.)
7. Sexiest gadgets (Sigh, we own just one of these.)
8. Video games (Yay Quake!)
9. Products
10. Worst products

Oh, and while you're there, check out the super-cool dream gadgets page. And take the 10-year IQ test. Hmm. Actually, take the test first. If you ace it, you won't need the other links.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Syllogomaniac

That's us. Or perhaps we're a disposophobiac. Or an infohoarder.
The web is awash with self-declared "digital packrats" who swap horror stories about hard drives bursting with unneeded MP3s and JPEGs. Like font collectors in the late '90s, these digital junkaholics swap suspiciously boastful confessionals: "You think that's bad? You should see my porn collection." And so on.
Not us, natch. Porn? No mum, not us.
Infohoarders are doing more than just amassing files. Like their physical counterparts whose lives eventually become unbearably cluttered -- such as New York's Collyer brothers, who died under piles of collected rubbish in 1947 -- they're sliding down a dangerously slippery slope. Reinardy admitted that most of her hoarders "are very high-functioning people (who) just got caught in this behavior."
Highly functional? Ooh! That's us.
"It starts with good intentions. 'I'm going to get all of these movies while I can.' But then what happens? It becomes such a huge selection that if you want a particular movie, you have to look through thousands and thousands of others to find it," Reinardy said.

In practical terms, the collection becomes useless.

[..]

But there are warning signs. According to Reinardy, infohoarders avoid making decisions because they need to get all the right information before acting. "They oftentimes aren't getting things done at work," she said. "Or it takes them a tremendously long time to get things done because it takes so much time to collect all of the information."
But there is hope:
Dr. Michael Jenike, a psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has also seen cases of infohoarding, but curiously, one of them was cured by Google.

"Last year we had a retired nurse who did this with all kinds of data," he said. But "once the person realized that she could get any information she wanted by a simple search, her need to hoard diminished dramatically."
Read the whole thing at Wired.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Yeh hum nahin

Via Publia, fellow blogger at WWH and all its ancestors, and Awab Alwi (a.k.a. the Teeth Maestro), who we first encountered around the time of the blog block thingy, this video:



Download the song (mp3), visit the site in English or in Urdu.



For the record, we think the video has poor production values, and is a little too dizziness-inducing in its angles and pans. But we forgive all that in the bigger cause. There is, however, another area of discomfort that we haven't quite been able to put into words yet. Will try and do so if time permits and the inclination persists. Five bonus points and a cup of coffee when we next meet if you can figure out what's bugging us. But we're posting this anyway. Because, we think, the message—even in this form—is important, and deserves to reach as many eyes, ears and hearts as it can.

Utterly plagiaristic?



Sent to us by the good folks at a travel magazine we are not unacquainted with.

What's your call? Does a certain icon of Indian advertising bear not a little resemblance to the cherubs here? What do you think?

Saturday, 3 March 2007

So where do you go to get a little nookie, then?

(We have removed the names of the project creators at their request, since the project is now disbanded, but are leaving the post as it is because it was an interesting idea.)
No kissing in public. No privacy at home. So where to go?

Where do lovers make out in Mumbai if they cannot retreat into a private space? And where is the sex happening? At home, there is often a lack of privacy. At work, lovers may be forced into hiding and can flirt only on MSN Messenger. And in public, they run into voyeurs, disapproving aunties and uncles, and even worse, harassment by the police.

But love faces up to these challenges. Lovers are seen frequenting parks, beachfronts, cinema halls, coffee shops – spaces they have to share with everyone else. They often ignore the intrusive gaze of the public and create transient intimate zones for themselves. Many snuggle behind beach rocks and tetrapods, others rent inexpensive motel rooms, still others borrow daddy's car for the night.

Are you and your lover distressed by such situations? Or do you enjoy the hide-n-seek game? Whatever your view, we want to hear you. We, [name removed] and [name removed], are working on an independent photo and text project that asks: How do lovers find intimacy in our beloved but crowded mega-polis? What problems do they face? Where do they escape to? What are the best places? What are the worst places? How hard do they try? What excuses do they make up at home? Do their families really believe these excuses? How often do they meet?

We are interested in your stories and your valiant efforts to find privacy in our sometimes love-unfriendly city. And we would love for you to take us to your favourite make out spots. Don't worry, we can keep secrets.

So please don't hesitate to tell us, and forward this mail to your friends!

We can be contacted at:
[removed at the project creators' request]

Photo Call

For all of yer who carry them new-fangled camera-phone thingies, here are a couple of interesting contests.

On National Geographic, Asia:
Windows Into Asia Awards 2007
Showcase your photography skills and win a National Geographic expedition to Mongolia at the Windows Into Asia Awards 2007!

Thats not all; you can start your own collection of photographs with one of the 7 sets of the coveted Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot phones to give away! Click here for prize details.

Simply fill in your details in the form below and submit it together with a picture taken with your camera phone. The photo submitted should reflect the theme of Windows Into Asia as follows:

Capturing diverse cultures, lives, activities in the EAST, anytime anywhere.

Its not just about capturing landscapes, sceneries and beautiful colours, but to see the world in a different perspective, with an inspiring and fresh angle

Submitted entries will be judged by a panel of experts from National Geographic Channel, based on creative interpretation, capacity to innovate originality, artistic execution and adept use of the camera phones technical abilities.

So whip out your camera phone and start capturing Asia with a novel angle!

*This contest is open only to residents and permanent residents (who are 18 years or older as of 1 January 2007) of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
and on the BBC:
We want to see South Asia through your eyes - or to be more exact, through the lens of your mobile phone camera.

The theme is "My Changing World".

Just send in your best mobile photos to the first ever Mobile Phone Photo Contest for South Asia - from bbcnews.com - and you could win exciting prizes.

Every week, we will feature some of the best and most interesting picture entries.

And there will be prizes for what we judge as the best photos:

* 1st prize: Ipod video

* 2nd prize: Digital camera

* Worldspace satellite radio

In addition, there will be a chance to win BBC prizes each week.

The contest closes on 31 March 2007.