Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Goodbye, Adsense

Today I bid a no-regrets farewell to my Adsense account. No, I didn’t check the balance. In my work with Google Adwords, I come across that company's oft-changing policies that leave account holders at loose ends.
After hearing and reading (first-hand and reported) Adsense horror stories, and experiencing Adwords’ whims and fancies, I took the decision to un-clutter the sidebar in this page. Sour grapes? So be it. I have doctor's advice to stay away from them!
For some light read: 10 reasons for hating Google Adsense
I wish to be fair though. There must be success stories too – here they are


Monday, April 28, 2008

Tagged- a variation

Indrani's 'Tagged' gave me an idea.
Here's a saying in Tamil
நிறை குடம் தளும்பாது. (nirai kudam thalumbaathu)
The English equivalent is probably 'Empty vessels make most noise'
I invite interested bloggers to post equivalents in other languages.

Labels: ,

Kudos, ISRO

The sight of any object reaching upwards is a wonderful image that implies a sincere attempt to do well and rise above the ordinary.

ISRO's PSLV-C9 presented just such an image this morning as it carried ten satellites to their orbits, in its 13th flight. The entire team at ISRO and all its labs, and the private players who have helped in this mission, deserve the warmest salute from the entire nation for this achievement.
We wish that Team ISRO continues to complete even bigger projects and ISRO remains a place where 'tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection'.
Picture courtesy: ISRO's website

Labels: ,

Lots of progress, but what about 'green' attitudes?

It's nice to be called 'one in a lakh', isn't it? That too repeatedly. That's how the local greengrocer welcomes us, and our shopping bag, on our visits to his rustic, well-stocked outlet. It's two years now since we began frequenting this friendly neighbourhood grocer for weekly supplies.
In all this while, we have noted several changes in these still rural precincts.
- The narrow highway became a well-laid four-lane runway including median and new road lights,
- Two-wheeler riders switched to cars, and small car users switched to SUVs and plush sedans,
- Newer showrooms displayed gadgets, trendy clothes and fancy stuff
- the local ISP grew from 1 customer to several hundred
- the sabziwala added a fresh juice counter for the benefit of thirsty highway traffic.
But the grocer continues to give away plastic carry bags to his 'valued' customers. He's actually forced to spend Rs 3000 on gifting garbage every month, all because the Kings and Queens (remember Customer is King) can't be bothered to bring their own shopping bag. And neither can they trouble themselves to sort vegetables for the refrigerator, so the grocer may please pack them in as many bags.
And that's why I prefer this grocer: to be addressed as 'one in a lakh', once every week.
We tried to tell him that he could announce an incentive for his regulars who 'carried their own bags', but he's wary of losing his well-built base to an upstart competitor.
The Coimbatore Corporation now fines plastic bag users and sellers alike. A small beginning!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My ISP's woes

What kind of sound would you like to wake up to? BhoopAla rAgam? Wake-up bugle notes? The tweet of a warbler here and the coo of a cuckoo there? The landline’s dial tone will do nicely for me, thank you.
In the last three weeks the phone has been dead and / or the broadband (ISP: BSNL, enabled by an ADSL Ethernet modem / router) was not ops, so there was frequent enforced abstinence from the Web. The routine read: no dial tone/ no adsl link - register complaint at 1500 (BSNL’s universal helpline) - then call local NIB helpdesk or the server office direct, then wait.
At these times, I'd remember Indrani’s phobia predictions and Raji’s ISP experiences, while catching up with offline and ‘home’ work. After several hours or several days, the phone’s dial tone and the modem’s blinking lights would gladden the heart for - pardon the repeat - several hours or several days. Then my 1500-dialing fingeritis would afflict me all over again. Yesterday was one such. A neat Net conference was going on, and the link was severed by an unknown hand…. Out went the 1500 complaint and the heels, by now well trained to cool rapidly, froze.
In this case it turned out that the ‘unknown hand’ was actually the menacing arm of a JCB. Where we live, the Trichy Road is being four-laned, and for the 67th time in 68 days, the underground cable was severed. Out on a walk in the evening, we glimpsed the familiar faces of the local JTO and the linesman, standing over a wide pit where a couple of workers were busily trimming, joining and jacketing colorful fibre optic cables. The weary but smiling JTO listed out his woes: 200 connections affected this time, his team ‘lage rahe’ and, how, in a 100 metre stretch, the JCB’s arm continued to wreak havoc despite BSNL’s requests. And shared with us a glimpse of times to come - in a month’s time the sewage department is due to commence the laying of pipes, "…and I might as well set up a tent here and stay put…”
PS: Between the time I drafted this entry this morning, offline, and now, as it goes to press, the ADSL link misbehaved only thrice, and I registered my complaint twice.

Labels: ,