Sunday, April 25, 2010

Must read for Farmville affcionados

Well, 'afficionado' doesn't really reflect my opinion of those who play this game, but anyway, this article is a must read. A choice passage:
My mother began playing Farmville last fall, because her friend asked her to join and become her in-game neighbor. In Farmville, neighbors send you gifts, help tend your farm, post bonuses to their Facebook pages, and allow you to earn larger plots of land. Without at least eight in-game neighbors, in fact, it is almost impossible to advance in Farmville without spending real money. This frustrating reality led my mother—who was now obligated to play because of her friend—to convince my father, two of her sisters, my fiancée and (much to my dismay) myself to join Farmville. Soon, we were all scheduling our days around harvesting, sending each other gifts of trees and elephants, and posting ribbons on our Facebook walls. And we were convincing our own friends to join Farmville, too. Good times.
Another worthwhile quote, this from an RI forum post:
Here are some recent FB updates from my circle of friends:
"Big Ben to the Raiders? I think you need a little more than just a sexual harrassment claim for your steet cred before acceptance here, beyotch."

"So the President just gave an intro to American Idol where he said to the contestants: "You're all my dogs!". 2010 rules sometimes."

"Farmville neighbors - I need 3 eggs, 1 blanket, and 5 bottles. Thank you very much."
Bliss really is unaware...
Enough said.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thoughts on the IPL Controversy

On one level, it's easy to dismiss the whole thing as a falling out between thieves and say no more, but certain facts stand out:
  1. Not giving Modi the requested five days or so to prepare his response is very fishy. After all, the guy has busted his hump organizing a glitch-free tournament (here's a thought: with the preparations for the Commonwealth Games going as well as they are, asking him to have a look at things -- only for the logistics, not financial -- would work wonders), and denying him this time smacks of vendetta. All the more so when you regularly see the respondents of a show-cause notice given a whole month to, well, respond to allegations against them.

  2. Sashi Tharoor did nothing that his colleagues (both in the ruling party and the opposition) don't indulge in on a daily basis; he only had the misfortune to get caught. The sheer hypocrisy of other politicians in baying for his blood is disgusting. Not holding a brief for him, but one needs to be fair.

  3. If everybody claims to be in favour of transparency, why would Modi releasing the details of the ownership patterns of the teams (which, BTW, is already out in the open, so I don't know what is hidden here) "complicate matters" and should not be done in haste? Which leads me to my next point.

  4. A fundamental issue is the transparency with respect to property rights. In India, it's practically impossible to figure out who owns what. It's not like in the States, for example, where any citizen can walk into the local administration's office and find out that the corner store is owned by so and so. Try doing this in India, and you'll be paid an unwelcome visit by unsavoury characters in the middle of the night. In fact, I'm not even sure this is legally possible here.

  5. Why the fsck don't we ban all transactions originating from entities registered in places like Mauritius? It's a given that these are nothing but fronts for corrupt scumbags. I know, the stock market will lose something like 50% of its value if we do this, but screw it -- rooting out corruption is more important.

  6. To think that all this is came out in the open because of a single intemperate 140-character web post is to dwell upon the delicious strokes of fate that the universe engineers for us mortals from time to time, irrespective of whether we are clueless celebrities addicted to Twitter or one of the 200,000 followers of these celebrities looking on with awe and wonder. Almost makes me believe in the Big Bang Theory.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Quote of the day

In baseball terms, the Contagion Team is at bat. Portugal is in the batter's box and Spain is on deck. Greece is on second base in scoring position. The EU is on the mound lobbing softballs while the IMF is in the bullpen warming up. Germany plays for team EU but refused to dress for the game.
-- Mish Shedlock