Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Adobe Buys Macromedia

CNN Original

Computer document company, Adobe buys multimedia software firm, Macromedia to create one of the greatest buys in the tech industry, for a huge $3.4 billion in stock, aiming to extend its market lead in the digital market and desktop publishing segments.

Bruce Chizen, CEO Adobe, will remain the CEO of the new company Adobe Systems, Inc., while Macromedia President and Chief Executive Stephen Elop will become president of worldwide operations at the combined venture.

So, what was this deal for ? Just to make money ? I guess so, its a monopoly now in the desktop publishing industry. Or is it that Adobe was getting stagnated off late, with just its PhotoShop, Illustrator and Acrobat Reader products ? In any case, I guess its a smart move for Adobe. I last heard the deal hasn't been done yet though.


FOI: Japan rail disaster - 25th Apr 2005

CNN Original

A packed commuter train jumped the tracks on Monday, 25th April 2005, at around 11:48 PM ET in Ibaraki prefecture, north of Tokyo, and hurtled into an apartment complex.

According to the Japanese police around 90 people are known to have died and another 450 injured. Investigators are focussing on the speed of the train and the inexperienced 23 year old driver , with just 11 months of experience. The driver is missing and still under search.

To shake the confidence of the Japanese commuters further, the day immediately after Monday's wreck, a commuter express train collided with a truck in northern Tokyo suburb, derailing the first car of the train. Fortunately, there were no victims this time, just the truck driver was injured.

These train accidents, the mostly deadly ones in Japan in the last 40 years are considered "possible criminal negligence" and are being investigated rigorously.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

FTP: 10 most stupid questions

one of my best reads - 10 most stupid questions' people usually ask in
obvious situations :

1. At the movies: When you meet
Stupid Question:-
Hey, what are you doing here?
Answer:- Dont u know, I sell tickets in black over

2. In the bus: A heavy lady wearing pointed
high-heeled shoes steps on your feet...
Stupid Question:-
Sorry, did that hurt?
Answer:-No, not at all, I'm on local
anesthesia.....why don't you try again.

3. At a funeral: One of the teary-eyed people ask...
Stupid Question:- Why, why him, of all people.
Answer:- Why? Would it rather have been you?

4. At a restaurant: When you ask the waiter
Stupid Question:- Is the "Butter Paneer Masala"
dish good??
Answer:- No, its terrible and made of adulterated
cement. We occassionaly also spit in it.

5. At a family get-together: When some distant aunt
meets you after years
Stupid Question:-
Munna,Chickoo, you've become so big.
Answer:- Well you haven't particularly shrunk

6. When a friend announces her wedding, and you ask...
Stupid Question:- Is the guy you're marrying good?
Answer:- No,he's a miserable wife-beating ,insensitive's just the money.

7. When you get woken up at midnight by a phone
Stupid Question:- Sorry. were you sleeping?
Answer:- No. I was doing research on whether the Zulu
tribes in Africa marry or not. You thought I was
sleeping.... you dumb witted moron.

8. When you see a friend/colleague with evidently
shorter hair...
Stupid Question:-
Hey have you had a haircut?
Answer:- No, its autumn and I'm shedding......

9. At the dentist when he's sticking pointed objects
in your mouth...
Stupid Question:- Tell me if it hurts?
Answer:- No it wont. It will just bleed.

10. You are smoking a cigarette and a cute woman
Stupid Question:- Oh, so you smoke.
Answer:- Gosh, it's a miracle was a
piece of chalk and now it's in flames!!!


FTP: Hitch - my experience

"No matter what, no matter when, no matter who, any man can sweep any woman off her feet". This is no male chauvinist saying that, but rather the motto of Alex Hitchins, the Manhattan date doctor who turns nerds into Romeos for a profession, in the movie 'Hitch'.
No expectations did I have with this movie, though a friend of mine had info'd me earlier that it was a sweet one. As the movie started unfolding itself, I knew what I was in for - 2 hours of hilarious romantic comedy. Men In Black star Will Smith plays Hitch almost to perfection with his easy charm, and ability to remain simultaneously funny and sincere, while making romance happen even for the most inept of the male suitors, and I didn't find it even slightly farcical. I especially liked the scenes when he approaches Sara (played by Eva Mendes) for the first time at the bar. The conversations and dialogues were worth appreciating, and truly walked away with the audience's applause at the theatre. People were rolling in laughter when Hitch coaches Albert (Kevin James), a chubby and socially-awkward exec, to propose to his biggest crush, a heiress Allegra (played by Amber Valetta, a distant look-alike of Cameron Diaz is what I felt). Kevin played his role to glory, as funny as it could get.

The script was so cleverly written, especially for Sara, with which anyone could have pulled the movie, but Eva did a great job too. She did look convincing for her role in a few occasions especially during her date conversations with Hitch, although I didn't feel she was really hot etc. as she was claimed to be.

So, for those who are trying to get inspired by this movie, "The basic principles....(pause), there are none", is what Dr. Hitch has to say.

Overall, I enjoyed and appreciate the effort, not that it has revolutionized romantic comedy. I would rate it a 3/5, and declare it a must-watch. This would be a good date movie.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

United Online buys PhotoSite

BIZ.Y Original

United Online acquires PhotoSite, the online digital photo sharing business of Homestead Technologies Inc, for about $10 million, in cash. We also signed a related licensing and support agreement with Homestead tech.

PhotoSite is a photo sharing service that allows amateur and professional photographers to display photos on their personal website. We plan to integrate PhotoSite with our exisiting services including Netzero, Juno and ClassMates Inc.


Classmates Online launches new platform in Sweden

BIZ.Y Original

ClassMates Online Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Online (NasdaqNM: UNTD), recently announced that its service, the no. 1 reconnection service in Sweden, would now function as part of its StayFriends platform and brand. ( launched today and now serves more than 396,000 students and 7000 schools in Sweden.

`We combined the strengths of our companies StayFriends GmbH in Germany ( and Klasstraffen AB in Sweden to create a new StayFriends platform that provides members of both services useful new features to find, connect and stay-in-touch with friends,'' said Classmates CEO and President Michael Smith.


FTP: Chandramukhi -- my serious comments

Movie is great! Period


Toyota's Pod car, will it be a success ?

CNN original

"Japanese car maker Toyota is working with Stanford University in the U.S. and Edinburgh-based company Affective Media to create the car that can read your feelings.
Toyota has already unveiled a prototype of its Pod concept car, which has headlights that fade from bright to dull and change color to indicate happy, sad or angry moods, depending on how the driver inside is feeling.
The car would be able to detect, for example, if the driver was stressed about running late and tell them the best possible route.It would give certain information that would help. If they were in a hurry, the car would work out the safer, faster route instead of, perhaps, a scenic route. The in-car voice would talk to you in an attempt to improve the state of your mood."

So, this is a good use of technology and the first one of its kind. I appreciate that. But will this concept car be a success for Toyota ? I have my own doubts. It can reflect the mood of the driver, so what ? big deal! I don't think it will succeed in improving the moods of the drivers on most cases, because technology is being used as a substitute for psychology. This might turn out to be a good experiment, we'll have to wait. Anyways, the prototype car in the above pic. doesnt even look good to me, and thats my foremost criteria. Hope they change it, not that I have the money to buy it.


S^2: Einstein's legacy

CNN original

He stopped traffic on Fifth Avenue like the Beatles or Marilyn Monroe. He could've been president of Israel or played violin at Carnegie Hall, but he was too busy thinking. His musings on God, love and the meaning of life grace our greeting cards and day-timers.
Fifty years after his death, his shock of white hair and droopy mustache still symbolize genius.

Who else could it be but Albert Einstein?

Einstein remains the foremost scientist of the modern era. Looking back 2,400 years, only Newton, Galileo and Aristotle were his equals.
Around the world, universities and academies are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Einstein's "miracle year" when he published five scientific papers in 1905 that fundamentally changed our grasp of space, time, light and matter. Only he could top himself about a decade later with his theory of general relativity.

Here is a brief chronology of his miracle year:
March, 1905: Conventional physics described light as a wave and could not explain how light can knock electrons off metal. Einstein showed that light is made of tiny packets of energy, or quanta, that can behave like individual particles, too.
This duality is the basis of quantum theory, a pillar of modern physics. His explanation of this "photoelectric effect" won him the Nobel prize in 1921.

April: Based on cafe conversations over tea, Einstein submits a paper that determined the size of sugar molecules by calculating their diffusion in the liquid.

May: He shows how particles (like pollen) that appear to be independently moving in water are being jostled by atoms in water that are moving chaotically. Known as Brownian motion, Einstein's calculations confirmed the atom's existence and by extension, the makeup of chemical elements.

June: Einstein's paper on "special relativity" separates him from the mainstream physics crowd. Scientists had concluded that light was just one of many kinds of electromagnetic waves moving through an unseen medium they called ether, and the speed of light is always the same.
Einstein recalled a teenage daydream of racing a light beam. According to the physics of his day, if he moved as fast as the light, then the beam would be stationary in space. Einstein said the speed of light is constant at 186,282 miles per second. But it will appear different depending on where you are and how fast you are traveling.

November: Einstein publishes an extension of special relativity regarding the conversion of mass into energy, noting that the "mass of a body is a measure of its energy content." In 1907, he abbreviated it to what would become science's most famous equation: The amount of energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, or E=mc2. This became the theoretical basis for both atomic explosions and atomic energy.

"Each of these papers is a landmark in physics," said University of Maryland physicist S. James Gates. "And yet all of his work in 1905 is a prelude to his greatest composition -- the theory of general relativity."

Einstein described relativity this way: "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity."

It is heard that as an old man, Einstein, rightly one of the greatest scientists of all times, used to say in a melancholy tone:
"The physicists say that I am a mathematician, and the mathematicians say that I am a physicist," he said. "I am a completely isolated man and though everybody knows me, there are very few people who really know me."

But his legacy, like the universe, keeps on expanding.