Saturday, August 29, 2009

Little things

Firefox: Allow one the option of saving the password for a web site after the site has received the password and has indicated successful authentication.

IE: Prompt for saving the password before sending the request, which may result in storing an incorrect password (because of a typo).

Is it just me

... or does this image remind one of -- never mind.

(yeah, that's right, guy #1, move your left hand towards guy #3, just a little higher... perfect! Hold it right there. Guy #3, take your left hand, and...)

Exports to touch same level as last year?

... according to this story. Quite unlikely, considering the quite steep year-on-year dips in the export figures for the initial months of the year.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Dear Farrukh Dhondy,

I have been a regular reader of your columns in The Deccan Chronicle, and have always enjoyed your wit and intelligent insights. However, you have outdone yourself today:
Neither is there much evidence in favour of the bloggots (blogging idiots) who contend that Afghanistan is strategically important because someone somewhere wants to lay a pipeline through it to send petrol or gas to someone else and earn zillions of dollars thereby. Look at a contour map of Afghanistan (and get a life)!
Bloggots. Take two unrelated words, 'blogging' and 'idiots', conflate them together, thereby forming a new word that was simply begging to be coined, a word that succinctly captures the misplaced contempt that professional columnists (aka people who have a life as compared to us poor bloggots) have for folks who are doing an end run around them, and that too for free, and voila, there's your winner for the next year's competition.

Sincerely yours,

Bloggot #76981

P.S. About the whole Afghanistan thing: I suggest you Google for these terms: "grand chessboard", "Melvin Lattimore" and "Ali Mohammed". Spending some time at History Commons and the RI Data Dump won't hurt, either.

P.P.S. And I have been wondering about this for a long time: who the $%@& is Bachchoo?

Pension funds

Here's an example (via Mish Shedlock) of the dangers we would be exposing ourselves to if we allowed our pension funds to be invested in -- ahem -- "non-moribund investment patterns":
As of March 31, Calpers's $17.6 billion real-estate portfolio, a majority of which is invested in commercial properties while about 5% is invested in residential, reported a one-year decline of about 35% in its value.
I'd take a measly inflation-adjusted single digit return any day, thank you very much.

Friday, August 14, 2009

India aims for robust GDP growth despite drought

The Commerce Minister has opined that we can maintain our GDP growth in the current year at the same level as the previous one. Good to know that; the only problem is that the entire article contains not a single factual argument that supports his statement. Things like
"Our domestic demand and consumption is strong. Fundamentally, our economy is strong"
"India keeps substantial buffer stocks of food grains after our two successive years of buffer [Ed: I think he meant 'bumper'] crops. We have enough of what we have to sustain availability of food"
"We are not overlooking the challenges that we have. At the same time, we are not overwhelmed by them...we hope that this situation will not be there when the next sowing season comes in January"
are not exactly confidence-inspiring, absent any convincing arguments.

I came across this piece immediately after reading an investment advisory about the impact of the drought on the economy -- the detailed analysis it contains shows up the hollowness of these statements even more starkly.

Adieu to social networking

Last week I deleted my Facebook and Orkut profiles, for reasons I've mentioned elsewhere. I am going to delete my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts as well, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe I'll spare LinkedIn, but Twitter has to go -- no two ways about it.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Thank you

Someone finally calls out on this pretentiousness:

This goes not just for tweeting twats, but also for blog commenters.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

You give research a bad name - Part 2

From Yahoo:
A new piece of research suggests that what an organization promises to employees-training opportunities, benefits, compensation, etc.-do not matter nearly as much as what the organization actually delivers.

Samantha Montes and co-author David Zweig, professors at the Rotman School of Management and the University of Toronto Scarborough, have found that the influence of promises has little effect on employee's emotional reactions toward the organization, their intentions to stay with the organization, and intentions to engage in citizenship behaviours.

In their study paper, the authors write that people care more about what they receive from their organization, not what they were promised.
Gee, who would've thunk that?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Operators are standing by as we speak

Yeah, that's exactly what the world needs more of right now: a gold-plated guest house complex, when millions are suffering from disease, malnutrition and other crises.