Thursday, December 7

mumbai - forever in love

I found these prose abt Mumbai on a travel website and found it really interestng. check the blue font

“If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home, from the very earliest days when man began the dream for existence, it is Mumbai!” These words of Romain Rolland say it all. Mumbai is the nagaria of dreams. People come in from all over the country to make their life here, some succeed and move to the tallest and posh-est of homes others are reduced to nothing and pass their nights on railway platforms. It is also a city of contrasts. Huge contrasts. A strong regional movement turned the name of the city and its institutions around, Bombay became Mumbai, Victoria terminus became Chattrapati Shivaji terminus and a lot many more…but the heart of Bombay has not changed. It will take you into its folds no matter what your status or signature.

The city of Mumbai is actually nothing but a collection of seven islands, and a lot of reclaimed land! It’s true, whether you believe-it-or-not. In the yester years Bombay consisted of islands –Colaba, Mazagao, Old Woman's Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel, and Matunga-Sion. Through the years these passed through various hands – the Hindu rulers, the Mohammedans, the Portuguese (A lot of structures like the Afghan church, Mahim Mosque have been built in this era. In fact some say Bombay got its name thanks to the Portuguese who called it "Bom Baia" which in Portuguese means "Good Bay". The truth behind the name is still not very clear, most original Bombaiites (kolis) believe the name origins from Mumbaidevi, the goddess of Mumbai).

Anyways, the islands were then gifted to Charles II of England in 1661, as a dowry for his Portuguese wife Catherine de Braganza. These were in turn then leased out to the British East India Company in 1668, for as little as an annual sum of 10 pounds in gold! Yes that’s what Bombay meant to them. A mammoth engineering project began in 1817 to merge all the islands into one. The kolis, the original folks of Bombay moved out to smaller areas mainly Backbay reclamation, Mahim, Bandra, Khar, Bassien and Madh island where they continue to live.

Over years, the city grew into a major urban centre archaic and gothic building dotted the face of Bombay and in 1930, Bombay got its current world famous BSE building. Bombay has played a very important role in the independence especially at the time of the Quit India Movement. Post independence Bombay was the capital for both Maharashtra and Gujarat as we know them today. Post 1950 however Bombay became the capital of Maharashtra and continues to grow and glow by the day. Some time in the late 90’s Bombay became Mumbai.

A note from history “As a result of a mysterious fire which started in the docks of Bombay, on Friday April 14, 1944, the ship "Fort Stikine" (7420 tons) blew up here. At the time the ship was about to unload a lethal combination of cargo of dried fish and cotton bales (loaded from Karachi), timber, gun powder, ammunition, and gold bars from London (the latter to stabilize the Indian Rupee, which was sagging due to the Second World War and fear of invasion from Japan). The gold bullion was valued at approx. two million Pounds Sterling at that time. The two explosions were so loud that windows rattled and/or shattered as far away as Dadar, a distance of 8 miles. The destruction in the docks and surrounding area was immense and several hundred dock workers were killed instantly. The population of the city was panic stricken as rumours spread rapidly that the explosions signaled the commencement of hostilities by the Japanese on the same style as the surprise attack on Pearl Harbour in the Hawaiian islands in December 1941. The Japanese were in fact nowhere near Bombay since they were engaged in fighting a losing battle with the British army in Burma at that time. Nevertheless, the Bombay Central (BB&CI) and Victoria Terminus (GIP) stations were packed to capacity with terrorized people fleeing the city in whichever train they could board for their villages with all belongings they could carry. At the time of the explosion, one of the gold bars crashed through the roof of the third floor apartment of a Parsi named D.C. Motivala more than a mile from the docks. He promptly returned the gold bar to the authorities. Almost all of the other gold bars were subsequently recovered from different parts of the city; the last ones to be found were hauled up from the bottom of the sea in the docks. However, during normal dredging operations carried out periodically to maintain the depth of the docking bays one or two gold bars were found intact as late as the 1970s and returned to the British government.”

-- excerpted from Ardeshir Damania’s note on Bombay

Saturday, November 18

PS3 in Debu in US

Thousands camped outside stores on Friday to be among the first US buyers of Sony Corp.'s new PlayStation 3 video game player, but violence marred the debut when one man was shot in a robbery attempt.

But in many cities, with hundreds of gamers waiting outside stores, the wait turned into a social event. Finger food was showered upon weary shoppers outside Sony's midtown Manhattan store, while thumping music blared. Some turned discarded bags of shredded office paper into billowy chairs and a lamp shade sheltered one man from the rain. Investors are closely watching the PS3 launch as a key test of Sony's grip on the $30 billion gaming industry, particularly as it faces rising competition from rivals at Microsoft and Nintendo. Sony is expected to rake in millions of dollars in revenue on Friday alone, with about 400,000 units expected to be available, one week after the initial launch in Japan.

Data on how many consoles had been sold was not immediately available. Depending on the hard drive, each PS3 sells for either $500 or $600 and Sony aims to make 1 million units available in the United States by the end of the year. On Friday, hundreds of new PS3 owners made their own profit by reselling their $600 machines on Internet auction site eBay. As of midday, 564 had sold for an average price of $2,711, and 2,037 more units were on offer, according to eBay Marketplace Research. Outlying bids reached $30,000. The video game shopping frenzy will be capped this weekend by the debut of Nintendo's much-anticipated Wii console on Sunday. Some industry watchers predict the lines outside stores could be bigger than those that formed for the PS3 launch.

Angel Paredes, who waited four days through rain storms in New York, was the first to buy a PS3 in the United States, and vowed he would not put it up for sale. Kamau Romero, 24, an educator, who was No. 3 on the line, was not so certain."It would take a lot to get it out of my hands, but it is possible. You never know," Romero said.

The PS3 buzz is a welcome break after a tough year for Sony, following a recall of nearly 10 million of its computer batteries, delays in the PS3 and a growing price war in the flat-screen TV market. Sony is expected to lose money at first on each PS3 sale. The unit can also be used to surf the Internet, download video and music and play movies with a Blu-ray high-definition disc drive. But high production costs have dragged Sony's game unit into a deep loss for the year through March. Experts suggest each PS3 could last 10 years and go a long way toward helping Sony stay atop the gaming market, as well as make Blu-ray the standard for next-generation DVDs.

Russian Consolidation

The Great Russian Consolidation - The Mr.Putin Plan

The rise of mega companies is part of a concerted Kremlin effort to lend a competitive edge to Russian industry and extend its reach into global markets.

ON NOVEMBER 2, the Russian Government approved the merger of the country's main aircraft design and production assets, including MiG, Sukhoi, Ilyushin, Tupolev and Yakovlev, in a state-controlled United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). On the same day, the Government sent a bill to Parliament to clear the way for rebuilding the vertically integrated Soviet-era nuclear industry complex from what is today a fragmented assortment of commercial and state-owned enterprises.

The moves reflected Russia's new strategy of forming giant national champions capable of becoming global players.

A month ago two private Russian companies and a Swiss commodity trader announced a merger that would form the world's largest maker of aluminium. Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom earlier this year emerged as the world's third biggest company in terms of capitalisation after buying some oil assets.

Unfolding consolidation stands in sharp contrast with the policy of breaking up, bankrupting, and selling off giant state companies the government of President Boris Yeltsin pursued in the 1990s. The policy aggravated the economic crisis triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

After taking over as President from Mr. Yeltsin in 2000, Vladimir Putin sought to reverse asset fragmentation. He began by consolidating the natural resources industry, the most viable sector of the Russian economy at the time. Gazprom led the way. The company, which claims to control a third of the world's natural gas resources, has diversified into oil production aiming to become the world's biggest energy company in a few years.

Back in the 1990s, way before he became Russia's leader, Mr. Putin wrote a paper for his Candidate of Science degree where he argued that globalisation "demands all possible state support for creating strong financial-industrial corporations with an inter-sector profile on the basis of resource extraction enterprises." These entities should be "capable of competing on equal terms with Western multinational corporations." It is this programme that Mr. Putin is implementing today. He has consistently pushed for consolidation in "strategic sectors" under state control.

"Resource extraction" was the first target of Mr. Putin's policy. Last year the Russian government raised the state's stake in Gazprom to a controlling 51 per cent. The Kremlin also promoted a medium-sized state-owned company Rosneft to become Russia's biggest oil company. Rosneft snapped up the main production assets of the private Yukos company crushed with back-tax claims last year and is planning more acquisitions. Thanks to Gazprom and Rosneft, the share of the Russian state in oil production rose from 10 to 30 per cent over the past three years, and may go up to 50 per cent next year.

The idea is to create 30 to 40 large holding companies in a range of fields in which the state will control at least 50 per cent of the shares. Following the pooling of aircraft-building assets, plans have been drawn up to consolidate nuclear energy, aircraft engine building, tank building, electrical machine engineering, and some other industries.

Mr. Putin's plan also provides for consolidated Russian companies to aggressively expand globally through mergers and acquisitions. This will help Russia to get access to Western markets and advanced technologies, which the West is still reluctant to share with Russia, even though the Cold War is long over and the COCOM lists of Western technologies banned for export to the Soviet Union have been abolished.

"We are still meeting rigid curbs on transfers of high technologies to Russia," Mr. Putin said.

Mr. Putin is encouraging Russian corporations to buy their way into European industry on a grand scale to form a giant highly competitive market encompassing the Russian and European Union economies.

Kremlin has a powerful instrument to help advance Russian corporate interests abroad — the country's vast energy resources. Mr. Putin made it clear Western companies would not get access to Russian oil and gas unless Russian industry — both commodity and manufacturing — was allowed to expand into Europe. A month ago Gazprom reversed its earlier plans to invite foreign partners for the development of the world's biggest gas field, Shtokman. Explaining the surprise decision, which dealt a blow to Western multinationals, such as ConocoPhilips and Chevron, Mr. Putin said Western companies had failed to offer comparable assets in exchange for a stake in Shtokman.

Moscow has demonstrated readiness to play it rough if its commercial interests are not taken into account by other nations. When the former Soviet state of Lithuania unwisely decided to sell its only refinery, which runs on Russian oil, to a Polish company rather than a Russian bidder, the Russian state oil transport monopoly, Transneft, just cut oil shipments to the disputed refinery citing pipe safety fears.

Russia's hard-nosed strategy is paying off. Earlier this year, Gazprom won a 50 per cent minus one share in Germany's BASF gas distribution network in exchange for a stake in the vast Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field in Siberia.

Internationalisation of the Russian corporate sector deserves closer attention from the Indian business community if it does not want to miss new opportunities on the Russian market. Aircraft building is one example. At the Airshow China-2006 earlier this month, Russia invited China to join forces with Russia's UAC to create an aircraft building centre on a par with Airbus and Boeing. Meanwhile, India is in a far better position to form such an alliance with Russia given their long successful record of cooperation in combat aviation. In fact, the head of Russia's Irkut aircraft corporation, Alexei Fyodorov, who has been appointed to lead the UAC, has consistently favoured India over China for strategic partnership in the aircraft industry.

Extracts from an article by Vladimir Radyuhin

Saturday, November 4

Reliance retail rolls out

Billing counters at the Reliance Fresh store in Banjara Hills got busy scanning barcodes as the Rs 25,000-crore Reliance Retail venture clocks its first day in business.

Its template, when translated into action, has all the trappings of creating a retail behemoth. The blueprint of Reliance Retail envisages covering 784 towns, spanning 100 m sq feet retail space and targeting a top line of Rs 1,00,000 crore by ’10-11.

Reliance Fresh, the 2,300 sq ft format, will stock high-frequency consumables. Its other formats like hypermarkets may spread across as much as 1,50,000 sq ft. The company is likely to trigger a regime of aggressive pricing in items of daily consumption as it competes with the mom & pop stores, cornerside vendors and rival retail chains.

Wednesday, November 1

HD goes Wireless

The world's leading electronics makers have teamed up to develop a wireless technology to carry high-definition video and eliminate some of the cable spaghetti that links televisions with set-top boxes and other equipment.

Seven companies were to announce Tuesday that they formed the WirelessHD Consortium to free high-definition TVs from the tangle of cables connected to cable or satellite boxes, gaming consoles, DVD players, or even camcorders and other portable multimedia gadgets.

Industry analysts predicted the first products to carry the WirelessHD technology won't hit the market until at least 2008.

The format is designed to work within ranges of up to 32 feet — and within the same room — using the 60-gigahertz radio frequency band, said John Marshall, chairman of WirelessHD.

It will transmit high-definition video that has not been compressed digitally so users should experience the same image quality they currently get with wired HD-capable video connectors.

The WirelessHD group has been working quietly for more than a year and aims to have the technical specifications completed next spring. It intends to integrate the technology into HDTVs and a range of other audio-video equipment, as well as make it compatible with other wireless and wired video formats.

Transmitting HD video seamlessly and wirelessly requires a large amount of radio bandwidth and poses technical issues involving picture quality and interference.

Though WirelessHD hasn't released full details of how its technology will work, the consortium claims it will deliver high-definition video at multi-gigabit data rates — faster than any other radio technology in development.

A few chip-maker startups, such as Radiospire Networks Inc., Tzero Technologies and Pulse-LINK Inc., are using a different radio technology to develop products to stream high-definition video wirelessly, O'Rourke said, but the adapter-like devices expected to use their wireless chips will likely cost several hundred dollars.

Tuesday, October 31

HoldON - PS2 is still not obselute

Ushering in the era of high definition is 'in thing' no doubt, but what if you don't have oodles of dough to spend on that high definition TV or the latest graphic card, what then?

While all of those Game producers have abandend XBOX in favor of XBOX360, PS2 still remains a hot favorite for new titles. If the next big five releases for PS2 is to be seen, PS2 still will continue to remain in our drawin rooms for atleast another year.

In the past two months, we've hade some awesome games like Yakuza, Bully, Okami, and God Hand (I liked it ok?) grace the PS2, but for some reason, if you still don't think that's reason enough to hold onto your PS2, kindly take a look at our list that may end up changing your mind.

God of War 2

God of War was one of the best action games to grace the PS2 last year with an epic story line, grand musical score, awesome voice acting, bad ass protagonist and some insane violence that made it an instant favorite with the community. GoW2 continues from where the first one ended with Kratos being crowned the new God of War after decimating Ares. Unfortunately, the Gods of Olympus aren't as noble as one may think and they end up betraying Kratos (bad move people). To rectify things, and retain his spot as God (now who in his right mind would want to give that title up?), he must travel to the end of the earth to seek out the Sisters of Fate; violence, mayhem, bloodshed and a lot of maiming ensues.

Yakuza 2

Yakuza was a fairly entertaining brawler and if the game's cut-scenes didn’t give put you into a coma, you could actually enjoy the game's intricate plot that unfolded in a very cinematic way. Yakuza was one of the first games to explore the Yakuza (Japanese mod) culture and it performed so well in Japan, Sega is planning on spawning a sequel to the game in less than a year.

Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles

Contrary to what many of you may think, Naruto: Ultimate Ninja was a pretty enjoyable fighter.. Unlike Ultimate Ninja, Uzumaki Chronicles will be more of a third person action adventure and will offer players a chance to dive into a fully 3D world where you can hone your Ninjutsu skills. If you're a fan of this series, this is definitely something to look forward to.

Guitar Hero II

Due to the lack of a guitar controller, I never got a chance to play Guitar Hero, but I heard that it was an awesome party game once you and your friends were a couple of drinks down. Like its predecessor, GHII will pack an OST that 'encompasses all forms of rock and metal music including classic rock, hair metal, heavy metal, modern rock and alternative rock' and will also pack more venues and newer play modes.

Blackhawk Down: Team Sabre

If tactical shooters are your thing, then you're pretty much screwed here as the PS2 doesn't offer a healthy dose of games in that genre, but it seems lady luck has smiled upon you as Vivendi Universal is planning on porting Team Saber to the PS2 next month and the it will be a stand alone game unlike its PC counterpart that was an expansion to Black Hawk Down. The PS2 version will ship with two new single-player campaigns, new weapons, new squad commands, and new characters and new Multiplayer modes.

Hmmm, that means , for all indian PS2 owners can wait n watch out how the HD batte between Sony n MicroSoft spans out, before goining in for the next gen console.
But then, for me, its only PS3. It is gona OWN the HD gamin scene for the next 3 yrs.

Courtesy: Tech2.0.
Author is a longtime gamin fan and technology follower, but do not claim to be nuetral

SUB 50K Gamin PC

Buildin a 50K gamin PC that actually can bring in excellent visuals seemed to be a dream.. not now...check this out.

We now can build a mid-level gaming machine with a very powerful CPU,1 GB of quality ram, an excellent graphic card that can play games like F.E.A.R easily, a great 17-inch screen, a quality 2.1 speaker system with a powerful sub-woofer. storage is taken care by a top-of-the-line DVD Writer and a fast HDD with lots of storage space.

All of this under Rs. 50,000 makes for a kickass deal.

Specification Table
ComponentsModelPrice (Rupees)
Processor Intel E6300 Core 2 Duo
MotherboardAsus P5LD2-VM 4500
RAM TwinMos DDR2 533 512x2
Sound Onboard7.1 channel Realtek ALC882M Controller NA
LANOnboard, Intel 10/100/1000 NA
Graphics Leadtek Winfast 7600GT TDH 9,800
Optical DriveAsus DRW-1608P3S 16X DVD Writer 2200
Hard Disk Western Digital SATA II HDD 200 GB 3800
MonitorSamsung 740N ( LCD 17 Inch) 10300
Keyboard/MouseMicrosoft Optical Keyboard & Mouse Set
CaseVIP 755 with 350 watts PSU 1650
SpeakersAltec-Lansing ATP3 2700
Total 49900

Indian Scientist Builds Solar-powered Fridge

An idea that germinated on the dusty streets of Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. Rajendra Shende, the head of the OzonAction Unit of the United Nations Environment Programme and the brain behind the idea, remembers clearly the moment when the idea struck him—during a bus ride in the western African nation of Burkina Faso in 2000.

"I thought that if we could develop a vaccine cooler that uses the solar energy so abundant in Burkina Faso and other developing countries, and if we develop a vaccine cooler that uses the solar energy so abundantly available there, and non-CFC (ozone-friendly), non-HFC (climate-friendly) refrigerants, it will be an environmentally perfect product," Shende told IANS in Paris.

Shende says that the president has been keenly following the progress of the project ever since he heard about it over a year ago.

"When I informed him about the project, he was very keen and requested me to keep him informed on the progress. The president could see the huge importance of SolarChill for the developing countries, particularly in saving the lives of the rural children and women who do not have access to electricity and effective vaccines," recalls Shende.

"It was found to be important to get SolarChill known to the world community. I recalled my discussions with the president in 2005 and wrote to his office. I was immediately informed that the president is not only keen to install and operate two units in the clinic of the presidential complex (around Rashtrapati Bhavan) but was very keen to buy these units and not to get them free," says Shende.

The technology has already made waves around the world, winning the prestigious 2006 Cooling Industry Awards in the category 'Environmental Pioneer' for refrigeration in London earlier this year.

The project is truly international since it involves a total of seven international organisations from all over the world. Besides the UNEP, the partners in the project include Greenpeace International, UNICEF, World Health Organisation (WHO), GTZ Proklima, Programmes for Appropriate Technologies in Health (PATH) and the Danish Technological Institute.

The SolarChill technology is publicly owned and will soon be freely available for any company in the world interested in producing the units. Once it receives WHO approval, the partners will work with interested refrigerator manufacturers, ministries of health and environment, foundations and others to have it commercialised and deployed across the globe.

WOW, appy to see that India is still innovating. Thanks to Dr. Kalam. I think he is the greatest president India had in the recent years. He is a great combination of Innovator, Teacher n Motivator.

Thursday, October 26

PS3 -come Nov 13

At the ongoing 'Gamer's Day' conference, Sony released a plethora of information regarding the PS3.
First the cost : Dollar conv. not sure whether they would be the actual applicable price in IND.

  • 20GB HDD PS3 - $499 (Rs 22,615)
  • 60GB HDD PS3 - $599 (Rs 27,137)
  • SIXAXIS (Wireless Controller) - $49.99 (Rs 2,264)
  • Memory Card adapter for PS1/PS2 memory cards - $14.99 (Rs 679)
  • Blu Ray Remote – $24.99 (Rs 1,132)
  • HDMI cable – $49.99 (Rs 2,264)

If you're lucky (or rich) enough to get your hands on one of the first 500,000 units, you'll be entitled to a free copy of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (whoopdifreakinggdoo)

The entry way into PLAYSTATION Network is XMB (Xross Media Bar), which is the navigation system that enables a complete suite of entertainment experiences in three key areas: gaming; network and web connectivity; and other entertainment contents such as movies and music. The XMB interface allows PS3 users to experience multiplayer games across the network; communicate with other players via chat, voice or video; browse the web; download gaming content; store/view pictures and video; download and listen to music; and shop online.

Once users create a unique, secure PlayStation profile, not only can they communicate with other PS3 users, they can also utilize an electronic wallet to purchase content in the PLAYSTATION Store. Downloadable first party games will cost less than $15 at launch. More content will be added on a regular basis.

Titles being released simultaneously are

  • Resistance: Fall of Man (SCEA)
  • Genji: Days of the Blade (SCEA)
  • Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWII (Ubisoft)
  • Call of Duty 3 (Activision)
  • Fight Night Round 3 (Electronic Arts)
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Bethesda Softworks)
  • F.E.A.R. (Vivendi Universal Games)
  • Full Auto 2: Battlelines (Sega)
  • Madden NFL 07 (Electronic Arts)
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (Activision)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: CROSSFIRE (Namco Bandai Games)
  • NBA 2K7 (2K Sports)
  • Need For Speed Carbon (Electronic Arts)
  • NHL 2K7 (2K Sports)
  • Ridge Racer 7 (Namco Bandai Games)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega)
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 (Electronic Arts)
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas (Ubisoft)
  • Tony Hawk's Project 8 (Activision)
  • Untold Legends Dark Kingdom (SOE)

Start saving people, start saving.

Monday, October 23

Diwali Nights in Mumbai

Lucky enough to see Diwali in its full glory in Mumbai

Queen's Necklace

I am forever in love with this Place

Fuel your WanderLust

They say Journey is the destination. You could ride chasing the sun from the east to the west, but, the horizon always seems far beyond reach. As for you, the rider: until such time the horizon ceases to exist, the ride is never complete.Until then, allow MOTORCYCLE GETAWAYS to make your ride the getaway of your lifetime.

Check out this incredible service to make your next roadtrip the GETAWAY of YOUR LIFETIME

I am eager to getaway to Ladak.. on that rocksolid Bullet...when will my time come...whenever it is .. i am sure, i will be there..n with motorcycle getaways..things seems easier..riding with a proffesional group with all necessary backups is "SAFE"..but will that take away the "what might happen next" uncertainity n the thrill associated with it???

Thursday, October 19

Reliance Retail to span Asia, Africa- The Economic Times

Reliance Retail to span Asia, Africa- The Economic Times

Reliance Retail has decided to simultaneously foray into international markets. Identified countries include Sri Lanka, Nepal, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Maldives, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania.

The company will enter into specific retailing activities which include a range of products from cheap and quality consumer durable to fruit, vegetables and garments. Sourcing would be done from both India and China. When contacted by ET, an RIL spokesperson declined to comment.

According to industry sources, retail operations would be drafted specifically for each country. Priority will be given to sourcing cheap fruit, vegetables, garments and consumer electronics from China to these countries. The various legalities of the operation is being worked upon.

The company’s larger plan consists of three types of operations: supply of agricultural products to countries in shortage, supply of consumer goods, garments & other household goods to agriculturally rich nations and opening organised retail outlets in smaller countries

These guys are going crazy...wat on earth are they up too.. anyways ..CHeers

Tuesday, October 17

Blu-ray vs HD DVD: State of the Division - Engadget

Blu-ray vs HD DVD: State of the Union Division

Well, as far as HD DVD vs. Blu-ray goes, it looks like we've pretty much passed the point of no return now; with each passing day it seems less and less likely that a compromise will be reached on a next-gen format. The ongoing peace talks between the two camps, which have been on-again, off-again for months now, seem to have finally dissolved. It's disappointing, but however you feel about the fact that the HD DVD and Blu-ray factions squandered countless chances to make it right and come together, it looks like in just a few short months they're going to be duking it out mano a mano right in our livingrooms. There may not be a lot we can do to fight back — apart from refusing to adopt either format out of sheer spite of their pigheadedness — but no matter what we might as well at least arm ourselves with the knowledge necessary to understand the nature of the situation at hand.

Here's the background:

Philips's development of the Laserdisc in 1969 yielded many of the technologies Sony carried over and adopted when they partnered with Philips to create a little something called the CD way back in '79. Both companies were hard at work together once again in the early 1990s on a new high-density disc called the MultiMedia Compact Disc (MMCD—original name, guys), but their format was eventually more or less abandoned in favor of Toshiba's competing Super Density Disc (SD), which had the vast majority of backers at the time, such as Hitachi, Matsushita (Panasonic), Mitsubishi, Pioneer, Thomson, and Time Warner.

The two factions cut a deal, brokered by IBM president Lou Gerstner, on a new format: DVD. Toshiba wound up on top after the dust settled in 1995/1996, and Sony and Philips, who weren't cut in on the standard (and royalties) nearly as much as they'd have liked, immediately started work on a next gen system. The Professional Disc for DATA (aka PDD or ProDATA), which was based on an optical disc system Sony had already been developing in the side, would eventually become the Blu-ray disc. Toshiba, not to be outdone by the pair, also started work on a next gen system, the Advanced Optical Disc, which eventually evolved into the HD DVD. After thirty-five years of optical audio/video disc development we're back where we were years ago: two money-grubbing factions fighting each other and threatening to wreak havoc on the consumer electronics industry. Apparently history really does repeat itself.

So here's the technical nitty gritty before we drop the graphs n' charts on ya. Both systems use the same kind of 405nm wavelength blue-violet laser, but their optics differ in two ways. Since the Blu-ray disc has a tighter track pitch (the single thread of data that spirals from the inside of the disc all the way out-think grooves on a 12-inch vinyl single vs. an Elvis Costello full-length album), it can hold more pits (those microscopic 0s and 1s) on the same size disc as HD DVD even with a laser of the same wavelength.

The differing track pitch of the Blu-ray disc makes its pickup apertures differ, however - 0.65 for HD DVD vs. 0.85 for Blu-ray - thus also making the two pickups technically incompatible despite using lasers of the same type. HD DVD discs also have a different surface layer (the clear plastic layer on the surface of the data - what you get fingerprints and scratches on) from Blu-ray discs. HD DVD use a 0.6 mm-thick surface layer, the same as DVD, while Blu-ray has a much smaller 0.1mm layer to help enable the laser to focus with that 0.85 aperture.

Herein lies the issues associated with the higher cost of Blu-ray discs. This thinner surface layer is what makes the discs cost more; because Blu-ray discs do not share the same surface layer thickness of DVDs, costly production facilities must be modified or replaced in order to produce the discs. A special hard coating must also be applied to Blu-ray discs, so their surface is sufficiently resilient enough to protect the data a mere 0.1mm beneath - this also drives the cost up. The added benefit of keeping the data layer closer to the surface, however, is more room for extra layers.

Still with us? No? Blu-ray discs are more expensive, but hold more data - there, that's all.

So now that you know why Blu-ray discs cost more and why Sony/Philips and Toshiba are all harshing on one another so much, we can get to the really important stuff: the numbers, and who's supporting who.




ROM single layer:
ROM dual layer:
RW single layer:
RW dual layer:
Highest test:
Theoretical limit:

23.3 / 25GB
46.6 / 50GB
23.3 / 25 / 27GB
46.6 / 50 / 54GB

Single layer:
Dual layer:
Highest test:
Theoretical limit:





Microsoft Video Codec 1 (aka VC1, WMV HD, etc.)
H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC

Microsoft Video Codec 1 (aka VC1, WMV HD, etc.)
H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC




Mandatory HDCP encrypted output
ROM-Mark watermarking technology
BD dynamic crypto (physical layer)
Advanced Access Content System (AACS)

Mandatory HDCP encrypted output (for HD)
Volume identifier (physical layer)
Advanced Access Content System (AACS)

Studios (movie and game) listed as supporting members



20th Century Fox
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Electronic Arts
MGM Studios
Paramount Pictures
Sony Pictures Entertainment
The Walt Disney Company
Vivendi Universal Games
Warner Bros.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
New Line Cinema
Paramount Pictures
The Walt Disney Company
Universal Studios
Warner Bros.

Format founders
Blu-Ray HD DVD
Sony Corporation
Royal Philips Electronics
Toshiba Corporation
Hitachi Corporation

Companies listed as Members of the Board or Managing Members
Blu-Ray HD DVD
Apple Computer Corp.
Dell, Inc.
Hewlett Packard Company
Hitachi, Ltd.
LG Electronics Inc.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Panasonic (Matsushita Electric)
Pioneer Corporation
Royal Philips Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Sharp Corporation
Sony Corporation
TDK Corporation
Twentieth Century Fox
Walt Disney Pictures and Television
Memory-Tech Corporation
NEC Corporation
Sanyo Electric Co.

Companies listed as Members, Associate Members, or Contributors
(may include duplicates and/or subsidiaries, major companies are bolded, major companies common to both camps are also italicized)
Blu-Ray HD DVD
3oh!5 Creative, Inc.
Adobe Systems
Almedio Inc.
Alpine Electronics Inc.
AMC Co. Ltd.
Anwell Technologies USA
Aplix Corporation
ArcSoft Inc.
Asahi Kasei Microsystems Co.
ashampoo GmbH & Co. KG
ATI Technologies Inc.
AudioDev AB
B.H.A. Corporation
Bandai Visual Co. Ltd.
BenQ Corporation
Broadcom Corporation
Canon Inc.

Ciba Specialty Chemicals Inc.
CMC Magnetics Corporation
Coding Technologies GmbH
Conexant Systems Inc.
Cryptography Research Inc.
CyberLink Corp.
D&M holdings, Inc.
Daewoo Electronics Corporation
Daikin Industries
DATARIUS Technologies GmbH
Deluxe Media Services Inc.
Digital Theater Systems Inc.
Dolby Laboratories Inc.
Eclipse Data Technologies
Electronic Arts Inc.
Elpida Memory, Inc.
ESS Technology Inc.
Expert Magnetics Corp.
Fuji Photo Film Co.
Funai Electric Co.
Horizon Semiconductor
Imation Corp.
Infomedia Inc.
Intersil Corporation
InterVideo Inc.
Kadokawa Holdings Inc.
Kaleidescape, Inc.
Kenwood Corporation
Konica Minolta Opto, Inc.
Laser Pacific Media Corp.
Lead Data Inc.
Linn Products Ltd.
LINTEC Corporation
LITE-ON IT Corporation
LSI Logic
M2 Engineering AB
Maxim Integrated Products
MediaTek Inc.
Memorex Products Inc.
Meridian Audio Ltd.
Mitsubishi Kagaku Media Co. / Verbatim
Mitsui Chemicals Inc.
Mitsumi Electric Co.

Moser Baer India Limited
MX Entertainment
Nan Ya Plastics Corporation
Newtech Infosystems Inc.
NEXAPM Systems Technology Inc.
Nightjar LLC
Nikkatsu Corporation
NTT Electronics Corporation
nVidia Corporation
Onkyo Corporation

Ono Sokki Co.
OPT Corporation
Optodisc Technology Corporation
Pixela Corporation
PoINT Software & Systems GmbH
Prodisc Technology Inc.
Pulstec Industrial Co.
Ricoh Co.
Ritek Corporation
Sanyo Electric Co.
SDI Media America
ShibaSoku Co. Ltd.
Shinano Kenshi Co. Ltd.
Sigma Designs Inc.
Singulus Technologies
Sonic Solutions
Sony BMG Music Entertainment
ST Microelectronics
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Taiyo Yuden Co.,
Tao Group Limited
Targray Technology International Inc.
Teac Corporation
Teijin Chemicals Ltd.
Toei Video Company Ltd.
Toho Company
Toppan Printing Co.
TOPTICA Photonics AG
Ulead Systems Inc.
UmeDisc Ltd.
Unaxis Balzer AG
Universal (inc. Music , Vivendi Games, Pictures)
Victor Company of Japan (JVC)
Vidiom Systems Corporation
Visionare Corporation
Yamaha Corporation
Yokogawa Electric Corporation
ZOOtech Ltd.
Zoran Corporation
Acer Inc.
Almedio Inc.
Alpine Electronics, Inc.
Altech Ads Co.
Arcsoft, Inc
B.H.A Corporation
Bandai Visual Co.
Canon Inc.
Cyberlink Corp.
D&M Holdings Inc.

Daikin Industries
Digion, Inc.
Digital Site Corporation
Digital Theater Systems
Disc Labo Corp.
Diskware Co.
Enteractive Gmbh
Entertainment Network Inc.
Expert Magnetics Corp.
Finepack . Co.,Ltd
Fuji Photo Film Co.
Fuji Seiki Co.
Funai Electric Co.
The High-Defition Marketing Company
Hitachi Corp.
Hitachi Maxell

Hoei Sangyo Co.
Imagica Corp.
Imation Corp.
Intervideo, Inc.
Jp Co., Ltd
Justsystem Corporation
Kadokawa Holdings, Inc.
Kaleidescape, Inc.
Kenwood Corporation
Kinyosha Printing Co.
Kitano Co.
Konica Minolta Opto, Inc.
M2 Engineering
Mcray Corporation
Memory-Tech Corporation
Mitomo Co., Ltd
Mitsubishi Kagaku Media Co. / Verbatim
Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.

Moser Baer India Ltd
Nec Corporation
Nec Electronics Corporation
Nec Fielding

Nichia Corporation
Nihonvtr Inc.
Nikkatsu Corporation
Omnibus Japan
Onken Corporation
Onkyo Corporation
Paramount Home Entertainment

Pico House Co.,Ltd
Pixela Corporation
Pony Canyon Inc.
Ponycanyon Enterprise Inc.
Prodisc Technology Inc.
Pryaid Records Inc.
Pulstec Industrial Co.
Ricoh Co.
Ritek Corporation
Sanken Media Product Co.
Sanyo Electric Co.
Shibaura Mechatronics Corporation
Sonic Solutions
Sumitomo Heavy Industries. Ltd
Super Vision, Inc.
Taiyo Yuden Co.
Teac Corporation
Teijin Chemicals Ltd.
Toei Video Co.
Toho Company, Limited.
Tokyo Laboratory Ltd.
Toppan Printing Co.
Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba Digital Frontiers Inc.
Toshiba Entertainment Inc.
Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corporation

Toshiba-Emi Limited
Toyo Recording Co.
Transmix Co.
Trendy Corporation
Tri-M, Inc.
Ulead Systems, Inc.
Unaxis Balzers Ltd.
Universal (inc. Music , Vivendi Games, Pictures)
U-Tech Media Corp.
Vap Inc.
Video Tech Co.,Ltd.
Visionare Corporation
Warner Home Video Inc.

Other interesting facts:

  • The Nichi Corporation, who holds the design patents to the Blu-ray’s laser system, sits as an associate member of the HD DVD Promotion Group.
  • Even though Apple sits on the Blu-ray Board of Directors, its DVD Studio Pro software supports authoring HD DVD media.
  • Blu-ray, unlike HD DVD, requires a hard coating on its discs because it’s 0.5m closer to the surface. The polymer coating it uses, called Durabis, was developed by TDK and is supposedly extremely resilient and fingerprint resistant.
  • The Java platform is mandatory on Blu-ray as it’s the standard for menus/multimedia (i.e. all Blu-ray systems must support JVM)
  • Though Microsoft has not officially sided with either format, it has a number of long-standing IP cross-licensing deals with Toshiba. HD DVD systems will run Windows CE; the standard is currently the only next-gen optical standard with announced support in Longhorn, and an HD DVD version of the Xbox 360 is rumored for the future.
  • The first consumer Blu-ray device in the US market is expected to be the PlayStation 3.

I am with SONY

Bravo MTNL

" Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and IOL Broadband have rolled-out India's first IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) service. IOL Broadband has entered into a strategic partnership with MTNL for providing Content Delivery Network.

IPTV is a system wherein digital quality television service is delivered to consumers using Broadband connection. According to IOL sources, IPTV services are gaining tremendous momentum world-wide, since the beginning of 2006, and this roll-out is poised to bring India into the bracket of technically advanced countries, while making next generation entertainment services available in the country.

It is estimated that already 2 million IPTV connections have been booked world-wide. The subscriber base is expected to reach 10 million by year 2007. MTNL will offer IPTV services to its existing 2.2 million subscribers in Mumbai in the first phase."

Way to go, MTNL. gone are the days when MTNL n BSNL were considered to be lagards in taking technology seriously. Days when, even i used to wonder, what would hapen to the copperwire based giants, loosing market to mobile n wireless telephony.
Technology rewrites the company's future. now these two giants provide the best of services at the best rates. superfast internet and now even IPTV.
Now i wonder, what will hapen to WLL services from reliance n TATA. might be, technologial innovation will rewrite their future too...

Saturday, October 14

LEh, at its best!!! I am comming...........

road to heaven

Is this the road to heaven???
One road I have always dreamt about driving through!!!when wil that day come...
when i cruise through the nearly untouched wilderness of LEH...on the highest motorale road on earth...and reach out...

Thursday, October 12

Thirunelli Temple

Thirunelli Temple 1
Originally uploaded by mohith.
this pic brings back fresh memories of my trip to wayannad..
i hink that was the last time i went on a vacation with my whole family..
near 4 yrs... gone are those days when i was happy

Monday, August 7

Thirumullavaram Beach

Thirumullavaram Beach
Originally uploaded by RAWKERON.
This is one place .. i hve been so attached.. from my childhood..I still remember the days when I used to continuosly fail in malayalm exams n I used to come in sit on those rocks..

wonderin...why do i keep failin in such a silly subject.. Frankly.. I still havnt learned the art of writing Malayalam.. i am here, thanks to those malayalam teachers who had mercy on me..

well talkin abt the beach... i hve shared my fun moments here too..
n this was the place where i first tasted beer...when one of my seniors got into IIT...

Interestingly this place is also called papanashanam.. where u can take a dip in the sea n wash away all your sins.. that might be the reason I am always there,,, so many sins.. Countless!!!!!!

Sunday, August 6

when God takes a photograph

when God takes a photograph
Originally uploaded by dhyanji.
Kali's sword: lightning in Amritapuri, Kollam, Kerala.

Wonderin Abt Kollam

I am a memberof Kollam Community in ORKUT... N there was this topic abt URBAN Development in Kollam ... below is wat i thought abt it..

Basic fault is - city administration ( both elected n buerocratic) is so busy engrossed in meetin day to day activities n stuff, that there is no formulation of clear vision, that needs to be evolved..

Once when we hve a vision, a dream that, we can work towards it..
We should learn as to how world class cities are grown, I stress on Grown, n not run, as we dont hve to learn how to run worldclass cities till the time we create or atleast look forward to creating one.

For a sustainable City growth , we should look at europe, one a lesser level PUNE..the base of the city should be its Human resources or Skill Level.. We need atleast 10 colleges lke TKM n 2 med colleges, n then u can see an automatic arrival of Knowledge Industry at our door steps...

It necessarly doesnt need to be Eng or Med colleges, bring in quality Hospitality managements instiutes or Film training institutes .. the CITY will grow...

HOW many of US , in this community of 500, are willin to activily get involved and create a vision.. Might be avery few.., cause we too dont hve time..Very Very Very busy..during mundane repetitive tasks day after day.. with the only vision possiblily being.. finishing of the credit card bills n emi's

PHEW!!!After reading What I have written above.. i remember my Boss's fav. words..ARON!! MAn this is Utter BullSHITT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 13

Spirit of Bombay

Dear Terrorist,

Even if you are not reading this we don't care. Time and again you tried to
disturb us and disrupt our life - killing innocent civilians by
planting bombs in trains, buses and cars. You have tried hard to bring
death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony
but every time you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our
life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee? If you
wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed
miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewhere, not here.

We are not Hindus and Muslims or Gujaratis and Marathis or Punjabis and
Bengaliies. Nor do we distinguish ourselves as owners or workers,
govt. employees or private employees. WE ARE MUMBAIKERS (Bombay-ites, if
you like). We will not allow you to disrupt our life like this. On the
last few occasions when you struck (including the 7 deadly
blasts in a single day killing over 250 people and injuring 500+ in 1993), we
went to work next day in full strength. This time we cleared everything
within a few hours and were back to normal - the vendors placing
their next order, businessmen finalizing the next deals and the office
workers rushing to catch the next train. (Yes the same train you targeted)

Fathom this: Within 3 hours of the blasts, long queues of blood donating
volunteers were seen outside various hospitals, where most of the injured
were admitted. By 12 midnight, the hospital had to issue a notification that
blood banks were full and they didn't require any more blood. The next day,
attendance at schools and office was close to 100%, trains & buses
were packed to the brim- the crowds were back.

The city has simply dusted itself off and moved one - perhaps
with greater vigor.

We are Mumbaikers and we live like brothers in times like this. So, do
not dare to threaten us with your crackers. The spirit of Mumbai is
very strong and cannot be harmed.

Please forward this to others. U never know, by chance it may come to hands of
a terrorist in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq and he can then read
this message which is specially meant for him!!!

With Love,

from the people of Mumbai (Bombay)

Courtesy: Unknown

Wednesday, July 5

Mumbai Monsoon Morning

Mumbai Monsoon Morning
Originally uploaded by Anindo Ghosh.
Monsoon in Mumbai is an odd mix - miserable if you are a commuter, yet awe-inspiring if you are an observer of nature. Mumbai essentially has two seasons, "sweat" and "swim" - and the world has seen many images of this swimming season during the flash floods of 26th July 2005.

Yet, if one will take a moment to look upwards, especially around dawn, the sight is one to behold!

This photo is one of a series taken just before dawn, at the "magic moment" when the reflected light from the sun hits the clouds before the sun itself rises over the horizon. No spectacular tourist spot this - these photos were shot from the window of a fourth-floor apartment in Bandra's narrow and winding Chapel Road.

The city glows, the city grows

A great pic..that brings back my memories abt Marine Drive

Mumbai skyline

Mumbai skyline
Originally uploaded by Soumik.

Mumbai skyline

Mumbai skyline
Originally uploaded by Soumik.
MAN ..I miss this PLACE...

Friday, May 12

Kollam Deepastambham

One of the main attractions of the (former Dutch/Portugese/British) seaside hamlet of Tangasseri is the light house, built in 1902. The 144 ft. light house stands as a sentinel, warning seamen of the treacherous reefs of Tangasseri. Visitors are permitted to visit the lighthouse between 3pm and 5pm, with an entry fee of Rs5 per adult and Rs3 per child or student. Interestingly, photography is not allowed inside the lighthouse premises.

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
and on its outer point, some miles away,
the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.
Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same,
Year after year, through all the silent night
Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame,
Shines on that inextinguishable light!
"Sail on!" it says: "sail on, ye stately ships!
And with your floating bridge the ocean span;
Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse.
Be yours to bring man neared unto man.

- extract from "The Lighthouse" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow