Wednesday, August 27

A Dream called Vizhinjam

I chanced on an article called Vizhinjam 2050, and liked it. It was posted on Trivandrum Rising, where Ajay (author) has imagined a rosy scenario for Vizhinjam Seaport by year 2050. In fact, I am really impressed by the research he has done for the article and also his concepts which are radical yet seems to be ideal solutions. 
ON his post, Ajay talks about Vizhijam Seaport in Kerala becoming one of the most busy seaports in South east Asia by 2030 and how de congestion of this sea port by using Kollam and Kolechal ports will help Vizhijam becoming the leading transhipment port by 2050. 
He also talks about other innovations that can turn advantageous to Vizhinjam, although most of his views seems very radical now, they might be the rules that change the game in 2030. Check out his post here at TVM Rising
I liked the post and wrote a small comment which then went on to be a post in itself. here it goes:
I really wish Vizhijam grows into such a great port, at least become an important port for India by 2020. Vizhijam nevertheless is bestowed with natural advantages like a very deep sea floor and other locational advantages like being close to international sea routes.  

But there are problems that are centric only to Kerala. Its thickly populated geography and a highly politically aware society. Kerala has always faced the problems of a powerful leftist political liking and also a very high resistance to change and to accept change. 

On the Tangaserri Port:

It was initially touted as a major achievement by the state goverment, when the central government gave approval for the port. It was inaugurated with much fan fare and zero infrastructure. Suddenly a sleepy fishing harbor was being touted as a international sea port. It was inaugurated without even having a road that can bring in a multiple axle trailer truck, let alone turn it.!!!!!!!!
My home is just a km from the said site and during my last vacation , dad said, the port  haven't taken off due to protest from near by fishermen and also public in general. They don't want trucks moving around with containers, will loose sleep, you know!!

I could just laugh.. what else can be said..But then they shouldn't have even thought of that place as a port, its so thickly populated, Government wont be able to acquire land for a four way access road, let alone hinterland for cargo. 

On Vizhinjam Port:
1. If it even grows to become half the size of JNPT, then the tourist centers of Kovalam and even Varkala could be destroyed.
The environmental impact might be very large and much more noticeable in a state like kerala. But if we look at the economic gains, then certainly a huge port can bring in 100 times more revenue than Kovalam, so we can sweetly ignore that issue.

2. If at all Vizhinjam grows to big, then feeder terminals at 100 km vicinity becomes viable.

In Such a scenario, Kolachel and Tangaserri ports will be important for vizhinyam port's long term success, . As the business plan is based on ships with more than 10m depth, dedicated rail /road corridors into vizhinjam port's  massive hinterland stretching upto kollam and kolachel will be required. These corridors will be critical in de-congesting vizhinjam, ideally all feeder ships should dock only in kollam and Kolechel, and transhipment happens through the corridor. 
 
The Kerala Challenge:
Such a huge port, means it will engulf the entire districts or Kollam and Trivandrum, let alone parts of Tamil-Nadu. Supply chain demands will require the major container managers including the government owned CONCOR to acquire massive tracks of land in the thickly populated areas of Trivandrum and Kollam, land tracks of minimum 500 acres each.

Will our LDF or UDF goverments bite the bullet to help build such a port by relocating lakhs of people?

Bigger challenge will be the change in lifestyle, the relaxed malayali having tender coconut and discussing international politics at the bedi kada will suddenly be surrounded by super huge cranes, trucks and aggressive people..

Companies and contractors who wont heed to nota kuli, and our poor atimari thoyulali will have to start working in a port that runs on delivery efficency, not votebank.

As the current revenue sources for labor community "so called vote bank dries up" ( there wont be much cocunut trees to climb or individual houses being build or small markets), they will inevitably have to take up jobs with the port and allied industries which wont give them the current liberties like 80 + hartals an year.

So the underlying fact is, none of the left wing political parties will be really interested in effecting this change, as it will nullify the reasons for thier very own exsistence.
 
Words from a Former Communist "SaKhav"
Some time back, my very senior uncle said, Communism and marxism thrives only in the land of poor (economicall backward and poverty ridden regions). As people grow up the value chain, their association and liking for communism also reduces. Well there are a few idiots (so called idealist) and another few cunning ( pro communist industrialist) that exsist for very obvious reasons.

If Vizhinjam works, I will be a billionaire, if it doesnt, I am still a Billionaire ( how many in this world can afford a a month vacation to the prestine beaches and back waters of kerala, let alone own a lake front villa, a buch of coconut or rubber trees, and let the paddy fields lie barren, for the migratory birds to come a nest, all through november, year after year. 

Somewhere, a Selfish me says, Kerala should remain the way it is now, be it  80 or 100 hartals, there shouldnt be industrialisation. its beaches and lakes should remain sparkling. The sky always blue.


Image Courtesy: Wikipedia, Jaxer, googlemaps

Saturday, August 23

Thanks for purchasing iPhone 3G.

The Welcome mail from Apple on 3G iPhone purchase

The reason why i have it here is because, I didnt purchase one recently, but they have send me an email saying thank you!!!
From: Apple <News@InsideApple.Apple.com>
Date: 22 August 2008 9:32:36 PM GMT+05:30
To: aron333@yahoo.com
Subject: Thanks for purchasing iPhone 3G.
Welcome to iPhone 3G. We can't wait to show you around.apple.com/iphoneApple Retail Store
Learn quick tips and tricks.Tips & Tricks is a user's guide that's also user-friendly. It'll walk you through how each feature works. Learn more
Check out new applications.Over 500 incredible games and applications are ready for your iPhone on the App Store. Learn more
Tap into more info.The iPhone User Guide is bookmarked in Safari, ready for you to tap into on the go.
Take a tour of your iPhone.Sit back and see a full demonstration of the features on your iPhone 3G.Watch a guided tour
Come to shop. Return to learn.Learn better in person? Stop by your local Apple Retail Store and take a workshop or get free technical advice and support from a Genius.
See what we've got in store for new iPhone owners.Pay a virtual visit to an Apple Retail Store, and you'll find it's a lot more than a store. Take a tour
Find top-rated iPhone gear.The reviews are in. Discover which accessories fellow owners really like. Shop now
This email does not serve as proof of purchase.
Some applications are not available in all areas. Application availability and pricing are subject to change.
Space for workshops is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Copyright © 2008 Apple Inc. 1 Infinite Loop, MS 303-3DM, Cupertino, CA 95014.

Friday, August 22

Apple iPhone3G NOW available

Yet another SMS invite for the  Apple iPhone product launch n sales, this one from reliance: "iPhone3G NOW available@iStore.Master the iconic iPhone from an Apple Product Expert only@iStore by Reliance Digital,Warden Rd.Call: 40040606.Get Reliance One Points           Reliance One(Reliance One)"





Me, being in Kerala, missed the huge iPhone cake n launch parties by Vodafone and Airtel. Out here, I was told that, the stores haven't received any of those coveted cubes nor have they received instructions on plan and rates.

That's sad story, many I know are wanting an iPhone desperately, as they see me typing this text, at ease on my v1.0 iPhone.

Today morning, I met two guys who reportedly paid an Airtel shop and a Vodafone store 5000 rupees each, as advance for Apple iPhones in July this year, They even showed me payment receipts supporting the same.

As per them, they were promised "4 GB iPhones" at Rs. 15k on the day of launch itself. The stores told them that those were specially made for India!

Voila!

I wonder whether Mr. Jobs ever even thought of a 4 gb device, let alone making one only for India.

Anyways those guys have been promised a refund or an adjustment against bills if they purchase the iPhone as per the new published rates of Rs. 31,000 and was given a delivery date of September 12 2008.

I, I wont by this phone for a ridiculous price tag of Rs. 31k which is coupled with a pathetic voice and data plan, from both Airtel and Vodafone. I would rather go for the new Touch Diamond from HTC, at least it can do more , is cheaper and iPhone has been around for more than an year.!

Or  hmm...well

Am I saying all this because, I have been using an iPhone for an year now
, and thus finding the new one ridiculously overpriced? For even I shelled out near 30k equivalent in dollars way back in august 2007 to secure my iPhone. The first week of joy was indeed worth the 30k, so small wows and excitement this little device gives me, even now, its priceless.

Looking back at the experiences I had over my year of Apple iPhone experience, I take back my earlier comment that its overpriced, I now feel, its still under priced.

YES, its WORTH the 31k rupees in India.

And yes, the whole text above has been typed on my iphone's much criticized touchscreen keyboard using just my thumb!

Sent from my iPhone,
Arun 
Follow me at www.proTLH.com 
The Author has used and tested most popular business and lifestyle mobile phones including BB, Palm, Wmobile and Symbian platforms.

Sights@Kerala - leela kempenski

More pictures from The Leela property in kovalam, Kerala. I liked the pool view, by the sunset set.

The pool turns emerald green by the night.

This beach property is the best sea side property in Kerala, located on a cliff overlooking the famous Kovalam beach


Post: dated aug 22, delayed publish in error

Thursday, August 21

Apple iPhone launch invite

Atlast the iPhone invites have started pouring in.

Where are all those who announced the rupees 8000 and 16000 rupees
iPhone? Ducking away or changed stance?

Below is another invite to the iPhone launch. Now what should I do? Go
attend with my iPhone v1.0?

Probably I can sell mine of for 20k and go for the iPhone v2.0 at 31k.

"now Croma The Electronics Megastore invites u for launch of Apple
iPhone at Croma Juhu,Malad & Bandra at 10am on 22nd Aug.Book ur iPhone
@ Rs.10,000 today mGinger(mGinger)"


Sent from my iPhone,

Follow me at www.proTLH.com

Arun

Wednesday, August 20

Sights@kerala - Celebrating our 82nd Hartal

An over enlightened Kerala
Celebrating our 82nd Hartal
Its the 82nd HARTAL, here in Kerala. A hartal is an equilant to a general strike plus no transportation, where, Road and rail transport are stopped , distrupted by pro hartal protesters by force.
Kerala was the first state to have banned road and rail blockage in the name of Hartal based on a order from the high court of Kerala. This order also held the pro hartal political parties responsible for damage to public property. That order have'nt made an impact, with 90% support for hartal coming in by way of public fear to venture out risking physical injury and damage to property.
So Kerala, today, woke up to its 82nd one, in ease. Well we are too much used to it. Children happy, not going to school, parents happy not working, all seems happy.
Here, We are politically over enlightened, having a problem with everything and anything to do with development and America. The above said being the root cause for most hartals announced in Kerala.
And we these days 'celebrate' hartals in style. My uncle had arranged for good chicken, drinks and movies yesterday itself. This hartal is a good thing in bringing families together. Nobody can travel or venture out for work and studies. That means, everyone is home, just like onam.
This year Kerala had, on an average, 4 hartals per month and there are still 4 more months to go. So here I am, enjoying this hartal, as a part of my vacation here, watching cricket along with pineapple shakes and tapioca chips.
I m loving it, but don't have a clue as to what is the reason for today's hartal. Someone told, its the rising inflation, but we had a hartal last week for that one. Probably because, last one didnt help bring down inflation.
But why are we malayalees worried about inflation? We still buy the most number of cars, pay the biggest telephone bills, buy LCD Televisions at ridiculously high prices and have the worlds largest jewellery shops dotting our small sleepy towns!
Instead, Shouldn't we be happy!, that dollar is strenghtening, that gold is getting weaker, and rubber prices are soaring. Common let's rejoice, we will get more rupees for the dollars we recieve from our brothers and cousins in gulf and America, we can buy even more gold and that white sticky gum you get by cutting rubber trees, that's getting costlier than gold.
If all that we enjoy is thanks to America and its international moves, why are we so averse to them, why do we pretend to hate bush and anything American?
Come let's announce another hartal for Friday, thanking America for having us work at its hospitals and IT companies, and thanking American dollar for strenghtening and making us even more richer.
I remember the Ramsteein Song - Amerika
Author: I am a true blue malayalee wondering and trying to Reason the contradicting political and economic signals send out by my little state of Kerala, also known as the Gods own Country. I couldnt include images as I didnt want to risk myself being pelted by rocks.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 19

Sights@Kerala - kovalam

More of views from the Leela Kempenski in kovalam, Kerala

Sights@Kerala - kovalam The Leela

A view from the gods own Leela beach resorts, overlooking the Arabian
sea @ Gods very own Kovalam beaches, in south Kerala.

A view thats worth a thousand clicks.

The sun had set and the lights were dying out by the time I reached
here.
Hope to get better shots when I am back here on Saturday.

The place and view is just awesome, even for me, who have spend most
of my childhood, right here, in the laps of Arabian sea.

Enchanting !

Sights@Kerala - brass lamps

The traditional Kerala Hindu lamp, which is omnipresent in every
temple and hindu home in Kerala. Size varies though.

This one is kept at the Karal kada, one of the traditional n ethnic
wear retailers in Kerala, and a popular stop for all most all who
visit Kerala.

Monday, August 18

Sights@Kerala - Orchids

Bringing in the ONAM

Yet another tropical orchid blooms under the bright clear skies of the
Gods Own Country.

The monsoon seems to have taken a break, and the sun is beating down
harsh, yet plants seems to love if. All of them getting ready to bloom
n welcome Kerala's most important festival of Onam.

Oman is coming up in the next 15 days, this harvest festival is the
prime and quientessence of being Malayalee, saans faith, color or
wealth.

Anyone malayalee, look forwards to Oman with equal fervor and
excitement. So am I.

Sights@gods own country - orchids

Orchids flourish n bloom over a mango tree in this tropical rainforest
aka my aunt's garden.

The hot humid sweaty irritating weather out here seems to favor
orchids a lot.

The colors are brilliant. This one is nic named 'the dancing girl'

Fwd: Sights@Kerala

>
>

> Sun rising by the sleepy kollam railway station. As typical of
> Kerala, hoardings are dominated by jewellery biggies.
>
>
>

Saturday, August 16

Sights@kerala

That SUV is moving so close to the truck. As if that toppled truck is
just another lamppost on the highway

sights@Kerala

An overloaded timber truck toppled on the highway.

Others move on as if nothing happened at all, wtf!

Saturday, August 9

Ah, the Diamond of Windows Mobile : HTC touch diamond

Ah, the Diamond of Windows Mobile, hyped to be the iPhone Killer, reviver of Windows mobile based smart phones.

From the time Airtel in India launched HTC touch diamond as an exclusive at 26k, I have been tempted to jump for one. From the pictures, its touch flow interface looked way to classier than Apple's iPhone, and as all know, Windows mobile certainly does let the user do more.

But my only worry is, whether HTC Diamond will be at least as responsive as my iPhone, when viewing contacts and media files. The review by Trusted Reviews doesn't seems encouraging. Though the images look brilliant, as per the reviewer, Diamond is a laggard and keeps you waiting.






But the 3D Touchflo UI is so captivating, I need to go and check this handset out in detail and then decide whether its worth the switch from an Apple iPhone 1.0 to HTC diamond or Should I wait for the Apple iPhone 2.0 launch in India. I dont have the patience to wait till SE Experia launch in October end.

awaiting the challenger - X1 preorder

Its Saturday morning, err, morning for me at 1.30PM :)) The search for buzz on gadgets is on.

Google alerts have taken me to the play.com, a online retailer based in UK, which has started of with Sony Ericsson experia X1 (sim free) pre orders at a whopping 600 pounds!. The handset is due on October 30, 2008.

Now, even Trusted Reviews share my opinion, to wait and watch. Like all super hyped movies, a very few hyped devices actually deliver, deliver more than our expectations. With i Phone raising the expectations to the next level, its wait and watch, whether the highly customized windows mobile 6.1 interface can entice the user.



Aug 22, is the timing right?

Atlas, a confirmed launch date for Aplle 3G iphone on Indian Airtel networks. After many speculations, Aug 22 seems to be the D Day. Now that ET, BS and Bloomberg having published this news, and macWorld covering this story, it seems credible enough.

But, I dont understand why Airtel and Vodafone want to launch this in a hurry now, wouldnt it have been a better option to launch this along with their 3G offerings comming up at the end of this year. 
It would have been easier for them to push 3G and iPhone together as a package.Selling the iPhone without 3G network takes a bit of sheen of the iPhone, moreover, by the time 3G is launched, iPhone users would be used to EDGE network speeds and then a change at a higher price will be unlikely for many.

Apple iPhone on 3G would have given a steriod effect for
  1.  iPhone is the best handheld device for internet browsing
  2. 3G will accentuate the experience, especially the youtube and chat applications.
  3. iPhone 3G on grey market will be less competitive, hence operators do have time on their hands
  4. other than X1 experia by SE, no other handset in the near future is gona rival iPhone on the user interface, simplicity and internet browsing capabalities.

The argument that most of latest handsets in India is already 3G capable, I don't think anyone will pay for 3G networks to browse on the small screens of devices like SE k850. That is where iPhone has the advantage, seems like, its purely made for internet.
I still somehow feel the timing isnt just right for the iPhone launch in India, now that the 3G policy has been announced. 
I personally will upgrade to the iPhone 2.0 only after 3G network launch. Till that time, my iPhone 1.0 does the job very well.

A long with India, Apple is launching its star device in 20 different countries across the world including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Uruguay, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Romania, the Philippines, Hungary and Singapore. H
How many are apple guys manufacturing to feed all these countries. Though these countries arent economically as good as the list of countries were it was launched on July 11 ( excluding singapore and poland), they still should entice enough demand to keep the device in short supply.

Image Courtesy: Mobiletor 
New Courtesy: TR

Wednesday, August 6

update: iPhone Launch date @ tech2.0


Now, as per Tech2.0, Airtel is going to bring Apple iPhone home on Aug 22. Its really an encouraging news, but I couldn't find the actual press release online, neither have Tech 2.0 mentioned, where and when Airtel disclosed this information.

Hope this one is true.

Check the Tech2.0 post here . Another India centric site, pluggdIn quoting "Reuters" confirmed this launch date of 22nd aug. Now, if Reuters has said 18th, it cant be wrong. But Airtel's media information  and press releases page doesn't have any update on this latest news.

Jammy@ProTLH



Idea Interesting

I liked this one.So now the Vodafone network in India will follow you till your grave.

It came in as a mail forward, I liked the idea and simplicity with which this image conveys the "avoid cellphone talk will driving" social message


Click image to view

Monday, August 4

sizing up: HTC Diamond,Apple iPhone and SE Experia X1


Roaming around, I got something interesting... a size comparison between HTC diamond, iPhone and SE experia X1.

Now after seeing this pictures, I find the SE Experia a bit clumsy and outdated in looks. HTC touch series, no doubt excels in looks, from touch to diamond all of the range are real classy in looks. Apple iPhone, probably after me using for an year, I don't really find it as a "wow, it looks cool" kind of design. It certainly was, last july.

SE eXperia, with its rather huge qwerty slider which made it clumsy, seems to have that true blue business phone looks. I certainly wont mind a bit more of bulk, if the Xperia can make use of its screen realestate to the optimum. Say, i wish Xperia X1can show 2 or more apps on screen at the same time, howabout my contacts or IM widget at the left end and a real web browser occupying the rest of the screen!, just the way we have it on widescreen notebooks.

For the browser, I expect something even better than iPhone, see iPhone has made people raise expectations. Before iPhone, I would hve been just happy with the old Windows mobile IE and the Opera mobile would make me jump in joy.

Not now, today we expect stuff better than iPhone. custom web apps, intelligent keyboards , the list goes on.

Credits; Via - SIBLB