lunatechian (lunatech-ian)

one relating to, belonging to, or resembling lunatech

Dark side of start-up acquisition

Quoting from a news article about a recent startup acquisition in Bangalore:

On the very next day after the acquisition, as many as 20 of the firm’s 50 employees got pink slips from the company, according to a report. The people asked to leave were employed in project management, engineering, user interface, testing and marketing. The reason cited by one of the employees was that the company no longer had suitable roles to offer to the employees.

The lay-offs highlight a dark side of the start-up culture in India, where initially high-profile acquisitions grab headlines, but not much is said about what happens after these deals transpire.

rants by Kapil Sibal, with lolcats

Kapil Sibal, India's Telecoms minister has prompted an uproar after it was revealed he met with executives from Google and Facebook to pressure them into screening 'objectionable' content.

A side effect of Kapil Sibal trying to censor the internet is that he has been given a goldmine of comic quotes. And any quote looks adorable with a kitten. I converted his quotes to lolspeak and put them with pictures of cute kittens. The kittens should countereffect the increased blood pressure caused by his idocacy.

Without further ado, here are the cats with Kapil's quotes

U go and delete information on the Internet that might offend the sensibilities of people in India

U go and delete information on the Internet that might offend the sensibilities of people in India

We have to take care of the sensibilities of our people. Cultural ethos is very important to us.

We have to take care of the sensibilities of our people. Cultural ethos is very important to us.

There is some content on the Internet.. that any normal human being would be offended by

There is some content on the Internet.. that any normal human being would be offended by

I have seen subject matter which was so offensive that it hurt religious sentiments of large sections of community

I have seen subject matter which was so offensive that it hurt religious sentiments of large sections of community
I decline to define what, exactly, is offensive content I am not offensive

Image credits

Happy Holi at Stanford, California, USA!

Holi is one of my favourite and I really love all aspects of it - colours, the burning of the bonfire the day before Holi (Holika Dahan), Bhang and the food! I had not had a good Holi celebration after I moved to Bangalore (2005).

However, I had a GREAT Holi yesterday when I joined thousands of others from Bay Area in the Asha Stanford's Holi celebration. I had tons of fun coloring my wife, friends and random folks, having yummy food and enjoying a beautiful day in the sun.

We had planned to take the train to one of our friend's (N) place and then accompany him and his wife to the Holi celebrations. The day started at 8 AM and we had a hiccup when we missed our train to get to our friend's place. We had to wait another hour to catch the next train. However, things started looking better after this incident. We ran into another acquintance Of ours on the train station and they got on the same train as us. We passed them a few tips about which places to visit in San Francisco (they were on their way to SF for some tourism).

We got down at our station and N. came down to pick us up. We went to his house, chit-chatted for a while and then started off for the venue to Stanford.

I was expecting a jolly good time and that is what I got :-) . The holi was in full swing when we got there. One of the playgrounds had been cordoned off for the holi festivities. We took our tickets and jumped into the festivities. There were lots of colors and lots of people. After we had colored each other, we started putting colors on random people. After 30 minutes with colors, it was difficult to recognize each other. There were some dance performances by some Stanford groups. And then the dancing started. And then we put color on more random people. The festivities ended around 3 PM. We had some food and then we came back home. Back home, we had to scrub ourself for around 15 minutes to clean out the colors, but it was a minor hassle.

Overall, I had a very good time and I hope to go back to the Holi celebrations again next year.

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some commentary on Bangalore traffic

The most favorite activity that Bangaloreans indulge in is Trafficking. It is a social activity surpassing the bounds of caste, creed or religion. Every morning and evening all the people in Bangalore come out on to the streets with whatever vehicle(s) they own and create a mass procession. They honk, rev engines, brake hard, bump, double park, shout, jump traffic lights ... its a mass revelry. — Taken from Uncyclopedia

After living here for three and a half years, I think I can say with some authority that commuting in Bangalore is a daily adventure. Every day there is something unpredictable that will happen and will affect the flow of traffic. Either a truck would be parked on the wrong side of the road, or a car would have broken down, or the traffic police would mark one of the roads as one-way.

There is a "magic window" in the Bangalore traffic. This is the time when the traffic flows without the interruptions of the traffic police and the heavy trucks have not yet come out on the roads. If you are able to get to your destination in the magic window, your day will be relatively tension free.

The amount of time wasted on the streets is staggering. If we add the cost we pay in terms of health and peace of mind, the costs would be enormous. To give you an idea, the route to reach my office is around 12 kilometers from my home. However, it takes me around 30 minutes to cover this distance.

In my opinion, a two wheeler is the best way to navigate your way around Bangalore. It is easy to work your way around cars and trucks waiting at the traffic signal. Not to forget, the savings on the petrol bill.

Speaking of cars, I don't understand why people buy luxury cars in Bangalore. I have seen quite a few traffic snarls caused by one luxury car going slow or waiting to take a turn.

Anyhow, enough of my rantings.

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hiring and retaining

There has been a thread going on in the india-gii list about hiring and retaining talented coders in india. Here is the email that the original poster had posted

Over the past few weeks I've met with several people who are all
having the same headaches

1. Hiring talented coders 2. Retaining talented coders

The first is usually down to lack of talent (coders directly out of college just don't have the "new " skills (for example) in things like ajax, ruby, but have core knowledge of things like C, and what I call "old" languages), and also salaries wanted, especially if you are trying to sell abroad and compete with pricing abroad, i.e brazil, russia, ukraine offer lower prices these days.

My thoughts about this

When hiring freshers, I don't think you should look for what languages
they know. Instead you should
- try to gauge how much of the fundamentals they know
- if they (freshers) are self-learners

Point 1 can be checked by asking them about sorting/searching algorithms or networking or process management (basically the topics which are covered in their operating system course or their data structures course).

Point 2 can be checked by seeing if they have contributed to any free software project and actually asking them to show their code (it is after all free software and there is no NDA). If a fresher has worked on an open source project, it usually means - he knows about version control - he knows about mailing lists - he can work without much supervision - he can work with a distributed team - and most importantly, he can work with a team

In the email, the original poster had also mentioned this point

the big guns (tcs, infosys etc) hire like 10K users in a go, and its
seems that the prospects of getting a good wife/husband are directly
linked to the name of the company on the CV (again this maybe biased,
but am seeing it more and more).

WTF!! ROTFL!! :-)

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why 'proud to be an indian' ?

The Hindu has a thought provoking article on Isarel's militarism. The most striking line in that article is in the first paragraph.

AS a Jew, I've been asked if I'm ashamed at what Israel has been doing in Lebanon. And the answer I give is that I am disgusted, I am angry, I am appalled, but, no, I am not ashamed. Why should I be? I bear no personal responsibility for this criminal activity — except, of course, in so far as I fail to take whatever action I can to stop it.

If you are on any of the mailing list or if you have had an email id for at least one year, you might have received an email titled "jai hind" or "proud to be an indian" around 15th August. The email has a bunch of questions and answers like

Q. Who is the creator of Pentium chip (needs no introduction as 90% of the today's computers run on it)?
A. Vinod Dahm
Q. Who is the founder and creator of Hotmail (Hotmail is world's No.1 web based email program)?
A. Sabeer Bhatia

and so on.

The email ends thus

Say proudly, I AM AN INDIAN. Please forward this email to all known INDIANS...............

I have always been baffled by this chest beating. As an Indian, why should I take credit for the success of Sabeer Bhatia, Azim Premji and Vinod Dahm - what contribution did I make to their success ?

I am totally unpatriotic.

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India may scrap gay sex law over HIV fears

Yahoo! news has a coverage about this

The government's main AIDS prevention agency has filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court, supporting a request by an AIDS activist group to scrap the law.

The National AIDS Control Organization, part of India's Health Ministry, argued in the affidavit filed last week that the 1861 law creates a public health risk.

"So long as the gay community is forced to go underground, it limits the access to them and makes it difficult for the AIDS prevention campaign to reach them," Sujatha Rao, who heads the AIDS Control Organization, also known as NACO, told The Associated Press.

I hope this law gets scrapped. This is covered under the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860.

"of unnatural offences: Who ever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.

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