Friday, July 01, 2011

Why I think I like Google+ better

Initial thoughts:

The fundamental difference -I can add who I want to my circle and they need not have me in theirs. I don't have to approve any friend requests like Facebook; this to me is a game changer! It saves everyone's time and people need not speculate on how well they know the other person to call her/him a friend before sending a friend request.

Does this pose a problem if anyone can add anyone to their circles? Not really. Because if I add someone and they don't add me, it will become a case of me following that person (only her/his public posts, Twitter-like). And she/he won't see any of my posts as I am not in her/his circles? Which means I can share what I want with who I want, they can choose to see it or ignore it.

To me it looks like the whole concept of socializing made nice and easy yet not compromising on the control the users would always like to have.

This is just the initial thought, need to see what other things they will add to it (apps and stuff), lot of details that needs to be understood and pondered on etc. but I do think that it's a great step towards making what is so hip today (Facebook) irrelevant ;)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Today a dear friend of mine got a small design I created inked on his shoulder! And it made me so very happy :) He had told me that he was thinking getting a tattoo a while ago. He wanted a Trishula (three-spear) and had asked me to design one. Now he is a guy with a strong mind and a gentle heart. So I tried a few concepts like the third eye in the middle spear of the Trishula, a Trishula like a flower bud, and a Trishula with its spears on fire etc. There was one where I had an Om and the Trishula as the Chandra bindu (moon and dot) of the Om. And I also had one where the Trishula was made of the special characters we use in coding, this one was my favorite because he is one of the best C++ programmers I have come across :) He seemed to like the Om one and the one with code characters and we had to decide on one. So I ended up combining the two designs and he seemed to like the final one and he said he would get it done sometime soon. But today when he said he actually got it done, I was so thrilled. Many thanks to him! I realized how wonderful it feels to know that a friend chose to have my creation permanently inked.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

I never thought

in the wildest of my dreams that I would be in a lineup outside an NHL team store, on a weekday, waiting in rain for the store to open, in an attempt to buy the team jersey.

But there I was, in front of the Vancouver Canucks team store today at around 9:45am. The store was to open at 10:00am and I had a meeting at 11:00am. I finished one of the meetings at 9:00am and started from office, grabbed a quick breakfast on the way and reached the store to see a line-up with people with umbrellas! I stood there, waiting for the store to open and hoping to find a jersey of size "small" for Vinay. It's anyway very hard to find that size but we were told there would be new stock coming in today and hence the hope. The guy in front of me told me that the store would open at 12:00 today and I asked him if it was true in a such a shocking/dramatic tone that he apologized immediately and said he was only joking. The store then opened and I found out that there were no small jerseys available after all. The new ones that came in were already sold out as they first make them available to the ticket holders in the stadium during the game (which happened yesterday). Sigh. So I had no choice but to return disappointed, thinking how else I could source a jersey before the next game etc.
That's when it hit me, I had never thought that I would one day be following NHL or Hockey like this. I still don't do it as religiously as Vinay does but the facts that I have watched almost all the games in the playoffs, have not missed any crucial ones and have celebrated the goals like a happy fan were enough to wonder how I caught this hockey madness. Here goes the rationalization 1. Vinay is such a sports freak, that it's almost impossible to stay away from them. 2. Hockey is celebrated in Canada or at least in Vancouver; the city, people, media are all so much into it, it's only fair to get into it and fly a Canucks flag from your car. 3. It's fast! that's a great reason for me to start falling in love with it :)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Helsinki as I saw it

I have to start with this -
I have always had trouble in placing my carry on bag in the overhead bin, thanks to my height and strength! So most of the time I have travelled alone it's some guy who helps me put it up but this time in the Frankfurt to Helsinki flight when I lifted my bag as if I needed no help (I do this every time :D) and after it was evident that I needed help, I saw a lady get up and say "I'll get that" and she put the bag up there and smiled beautifully and took her seat. I thanked her with a big grin and my joy knew no bounds.
Then it was not difficult to notice that in Helsinki women were less hesitant than men. It also looked like most of the jobs that needed interaction with people frequently were taken by women. Later my colleague put it rightly that in Finland women socialized more than the men.

Next the weather -
Almost all the days I was in Helsinki it was bright and sunny. It was cold, yes, the lowest temperature was around -32 deg Celsius but it never was gloomy. The fresh snow and the brilliant sun was a perfect combination to brighten the mood. And there was Sauna to beat the cold anyway.

And then the people -
I have always thought these Finns are wonderful people, based on my interaction with a whole bunch of them at work and of course because I was a big fan of Kimi before I interacted with any Finns. A trip to Helsinki only confirmed that, they are simply nice and honest. Maybe the Finns in Helsinki are rawer. That's probably why I saw a guy cycling at -7 deg Celsius (and it was dark already) or why a taxi driver knew so much about Nokia, mobile platforms, Meego, Apple and the ecosystem they created etc. or why it looked safe for people to walk around the bus loop at 2:00 am in the night or why an elderly man tapped on my shoulder and asked if I was okay when I was sitting on a couch in a mall (I was all tired and jetlagged).
And then there were my friends from Bangalore, it was great to meet up with them and spend time talking like there was no tomorrow. And as a cherry on top I had the pleasure of sharing my trip with this gentleman from Vancouver who I call an-unusual-Finn as he can talk more than me!

And their art -
Like the people their art was also raw, honest, straight and some were brutal too, specially the contemporary art in Kaisma (Sara's Ekstrom's Limbus was on exhibit there). Ateneum had the Illusions of reality with the theme of paintings being the realities of a modern society and everyday lives of people.

And finally the roads -
It was so hard to walk on those slippery roads, it demanded my full attention. It almost felt like they were saying this - Stop running towards something all the time, do some justice to me, look at me, be with me, walk with care! And I did appreciate those roads in more ways than I imagined :)