Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Hypocrisy of Indian Media

I don't know if it would have been actually better if ULFA had not called off their boycott of the 33rd National Games being held in Guwahati. Perhaps then there would have been some news coming from Games venue, even if related to security concerns.

I am actually shocked by sort of complete blackout of any news related to National Games! Not even any hint of the event on the news scrollers! Not even a 2 column report on page 13 of any daily! And this is at a time when news of Superbowl is beginning to flood us, not to mention live telecast of English Premier League soccer! How many of us actually care to know if Beckham is going to any Los Angeles club or what was the goal difference between Barca and Chelsea in their last league match?

But the sportspersons playing in Guwahati are our own countrymen and best of them would be representing us on international level. Forget patriotism (it is too much to ask from these hypocrite media organizations!), don't we deserve the news even from a journalistic point of view?

And when these athletes don't win medals in Asiad and Olymipics, 'experts' will be called in the studios to discuss the falling standards of sports in India! All sorts of theories will be given and the fact that media itself is shying of its responsibilities will be conveniently swept below the carpet.

I have come to believe that only big bucks sell. So after cricket, EPL and SuperBowl will come. Indian sports and sportspersons can go to hell.

If you want any information about games, you can visit http://www.33rdnationalgames.nic.in/

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Mint Fresh Upgrades!

Mint Fresh: Hindustan Times Group launched two new brands recently in Delhi market. Their long-awaited business publication "In Association With The Wall Street Journal", which will be available in Mumbai also, is titled 'MINT'. (The place where they make coins, not the Polo or Mint-O, you moron!) Also making waves, or rather sound waves, is Fever 104 FM, launched in association with Virgin, UK.

Lately many media houses have taken the collaboration route to get direct access to global markets, money and content. CNBC-TV 18 was the pioneer in Indian Business channels. Both CNN-IBN and Times Now (Times Group and Reuters collaboration) have completed 1 year and their success shows that the trend is there to say. In print media most of the Indian papers are on content sharing agreements with foreign (mostly US and UK papers like Washington Post, New York Times, Guardian etc.) dailies.

The first impressions of Mint are very good (I have seen the online version!) and it looks very refreshing and inviting. But it remains to be seen if mint is able to make enough money to dent the popularity of leading bizz dailies like ET, Business Standard, Financial Express etc.

'Upgrage': Just read an article in The Guardian that coined a new word 'upgrage', which means 'the uncontrollable anger which occurs whenever a software upgrade deemed to be either essential or beneficial proves to be a pointless waste of your time'.

The article titled, 'The Vista upgrade saga' also says that Vista will render thousands of graphics cards, RAMs, monitors or even whole computers useless as very few computers fulfill the hardware requirements of the new MS OS.

You need to install a software called Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor which will scan your system hardware and installed software to inform you, which Vista variant your system can run (Vista Ultimate, Vista Home Premium or Vista Home Basic) and the reasons (insufficient hardware or 'compatibility issues' with installed programs!) if you can't.

The Advisor goes online to look for updates, so even if you pass the test currently, I don't think you can sleep peacefully for long!

I haven't had the Vista version of upgrage but definitely I have experienced it earlier. When Yahoo! 'highly recommends' upgrades for Yahoo! Messenger which do little from making Yahoo.com your homepage and Yahoo Search your default search engine, if you are using Firefox. Or when Real Player stops playing songs claiming an upgrade is available (ditto with QuickTime) and Acrobat showing popups asking you to download recent upgrades.

I recalled this article by Richard Stallman as I read this report. For long sci-fi writers have painted a rosy picture of independent programs managing themeselves and you without your intervention. Stallman's version puts the future in a different contrast!