Wednesday, April 30, 2008

PSLV scores again

Can ISRO turn India into a major hub for Satellite Out sourcing industry ? ISRO has all the right ingredients to secure more market share in the Global satellite launch industry. With the successful launch of 10 satellites together , it can really make a difference in the space programs for many space aspirant nations. I think instead of putting money on the lunar program , ISRO should invest more on the next generation launch vehicles.

- sachin

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is proving to be hugely versatile. On April 28, the launcher successfully carried no fewer than 10 satellites and ejected them with precision into their designated orbits. Since its first successful launch in 1994, the rocket has gone from strength to strength. In the course of 12 flights, the PSLV has carried 10 Indian remote sensing satellites, 14 small satellites for foreign customers (including eight launched on Monday), an amateur radio satellite, a meteorological satellite, and the country’s first recoverable space capsule. There have also been two dedicated launches carrying foreign satellites. Later this year, the highly dependable rocket will take Chandrayaan-1, India’s first lunar probe, on the first leg of its voyage to the Moon. The PSLV was conceived as a launcher to take India’s remote sensing satellites to a polar orbit. In its first successful flight, it carried a satellite weighing about 800 kg. Since then, scientists and engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have steadily developed the launcher’s capabilities and today the rocket can carry a payload that is twice as heavy.

The availability of this launcher has been a crucial factor in ISRO being able to set up a large constellation of earth-observation satellites. These satellites produce data that serve myriad practical purposes, from better crop acreage estimation to providing inputs for disaster relief. Monday’s launch saw the PSLV put into orbit two more remote sensing satellites, Cartosat-2A and the Indian Mini Satellite-1. ISRO has ambitious plans to expand the number and range of its earth-viewing satellites in space — and those satellites too will no doubt go up on the PSLV. Although the rocket has earned an enviable reputation as a rugged workhorse, India is still a relatively small player in a commercial market dominated by launch vehicles like Europe’s Ariane 5 that can carry heavy communication satellites. This is not a market segment that can be served either by the PSLV or the current generation of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). India can begin to think of competing in this area only when the next generation GSLV Mark-III becomes operational. Its first flight could take place in a year or two from now, according to the latest annual report of the Department of Space. The PSLV has proved to be a terrific asset, but Indian launch vehicles have quite some distance to travel and bigger payloads to transport before they can take on the best in the world.

The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : PSLV scores again

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Off late , I have been looking at a lots of DIY ( Do It yourself ) content for my son's holidays. I came across many sites and magazines which offer excellent DIY ideas , projects . Make Magazine was one of them . However there is very little Indian DIY things to do. I only see a chain of shops Hobbys Ideas in Mumbai selling DIY projects of very basic concepts . Is this due to the culture we are brought in ? We Indians are always used get things done by others. How many times you call plumber , electrician , carpenter for small things which could have been done by you with a hand ful of tools. How many of us even have a proper tool set in our house? I think this attitude is the reason why we dont get to see many DIY projects.

With all due credit to Dilip Chabria ( DC ) , we dont see many MODs coming from India.



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

History of Video Games


This is a super cool collection of the History of Video games which will take you to the memory by lanes and remind you of all the hours spent on your ATARI , PC XT . I still love to play some of these using emulators on my Dual Core VISTA machine.

Bollywood vs Hollywood - The Complete Breakdown « The Great Indian Mutiny


This reports compares the organised film industry in India and in US. Indian content market is huge and increasing by day with TV software also adding zing to this battle. However the numbers are skewed because of the purchase parity issues and piracy , however sheer size of Indian industry is amazing. In recently concluded FICCI Frames 2008  the size of Indian Media & Entertainment industry is estimated to touch Rs 1,15,700 crore by 2012 with a compounded annual growth rate of 18 per cent between 2008-12, according to a latest report by FICCI and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report that pegs the size of the industry at an estimated Rs 51,300 crore in 2007 up from Rs 43,800 crore in 2006, noted that the sector was now in a phase of steady growth supported by stable economic growth in the country. “The performance of the Indian entertainment and media industry has surpassed the performance of the Indian economy and most other industries in 2007.


Indian media is full of reports about Bollywood’s increasing influence in the world movie industry and how it is catching up with the big boy Hollywood. Let us look at some facts.

Bollywood was born in 1899 with the production of a short film and Hollywood’s birth happened 11 years later in 1910 with a Biography melodrama.

Hollywood produces 500 films per year on average and has a worldwide audience of 2.6 billion whereas Bollywood produces more than 1000 (not consistently) films every year and has a worldwide audience of 3 Billion. In terms of viewership, Bollywood overtook Hollywood in 2004 and has been leading ever since.

Hollywood’s Domination
Bollywood made a revenue of $1.75 Billion in 2006(estimated to rise to $3.4 Billion in 2010) which is only half the revenue of what one Hollywood studio, Walt Disney made in 2006 - and that is saying a lot. However, while Hollywood’s market inside the US has almost saturated, India’s 500 million population under the age of 20 will ensure that the market inside India will grow exponentially in the coming years.

Although Hollywood produces only a fraction of the number of films made all over the world, it garners a staggering 75% of total revenues. Also, 50% of its earnings(expected to grow to 80% in the next 20 years) come from the foreign market whereas for Bollywood it is 20%.

Hollywood has an overwhelming domination among the top grossers worldwide - almost all of the top 50 movies are made in Hollywood. It has virtually eclipsed all other film industries except Bollywood - for instance, the European film industry cut down to 1/10th of its size since 1910.

Spiralling Production Costs and Risks
The average cost of producing, marketing and distributing a Hollywood film is more than US$60 million though a Star Wars or Harry Potter costs around $100 million and only one out of ten succeeds. At the same time Shekhar Kapur’s ‘Paani’ which is tipped to be the costliest film ever to be made in Bollywood will cost $20 million and the average cost of a big movie is around $ 5 Million. 50% of the movies produced in Bollywood are never released and on an average more than 95% of those released results in losses.

Bollywoods NRI Connection
Around 15 million Indian expatriates living in different parts of the world account for over 65% ofBollywood’s earnings. An estimated $800 is spent by NRI’s in Indian movies and music. US (2 million Indian expats), UK(1.5 million) , South Africa(1 million of Africa’s 2 million Indian population) are major markets for Bollywood.

The Bottomline
Despite the hype surrounding Bollywood’s increasing influence in the world movie industry, it is a long way from being a threat to Hollywood’s influence.
Revenue-wise Hollywood movies does not depend on ticket sales alone. It follows the time-tested ‘franchise-formula’ where a major part of the revenue comes from other segments like TV networks, magazines, home-videos etc. Ofcourse, Bollywood is toying the same line but it is too early to say if a successful process is in place.

A few years ago, 70% of the money for movies made in Mumbai came as liquid cash from traders in real-estate, jewellery and the Mumbai underworld. Things have improved, but the financing of Bollywood movies is still shady business coming largely from the non-organised sector and with virtually no financing from the banking sector unlike Hollywood where production studios and the organised sector treat it as an industry and has a well established network. Bollywood was officially recognised as an ‘industry’ by the government only in 1998.

And if Bollywood basks in the glory of dubious ‘Shah Rukh Khan has more fans than Tom Cruise’ reports for too long, it may not be a happy ending afterall.

Sources: Variety International Film Guide,, Reuters

Source : Bollywood vs Hollywood - The Complete Breakdown « The Great Indian Mutiny

Top 15 geek blog sites



I did not know this collection till I hit yesterday. I also follow one desi blog which is good but not mentioned here.


Some blogs educate, help people collaborate, spark ideas and just plain expand our thought universe. Others stir emotions and anger us or make us laugh.

Sure, the list is subjective, but  this is one of the best catalogs of blogs that has ever been published. The entries ran the gamut, from serious technology news and reviews to commentary on games and the latest tech gadgets.

1) Lifehacker
Lifehackers' motto says it all: "Don't live to geek, geek to live." This blog offers timesavers of just about every stripe, from Firefox shortcuts to tips from the "Getting things done" faithful.

2) IT Toolbox Blogs
IT Toolbox has a number of "in the trenches" IT pros who talk about technology and management issues. There are specialist blogs dealing with security, databases and project management, among other subjects. It's a versatile site.

3) Valleywag
Bring in the noise, bring in the snark. Valleywag is for those who believe that the tech industry lives or dies by the scuttlebutt pinging around Silicon Valley. And it's amusing for those of us who prefer that the lotus-eaters of Northern California stick with the dishing and tongue-wagging, leaving the rest of us to get the real work done.

4) Kotaku
Kotaku is the snarky, gamer uber-blog. It has everything from reviews and gossip to cheat tips. Just about anything you'll ever need, including which game to buy and how to play it.

5) Danger Room
Wired's military and defense blog writes about some of the coolest and scariest military technologies -- not to mention scandals, debates and other military news. Lots of video and imagery are included.

6) Gizmodo
Gizmodo's got the scoop on all the latest toys and cool and wacky inventions -- from high-def TVs and coffee makers to booze belts and USB drives. You've got to love a site that publishes photos of a solar-powered bathing suit. Yeah, they also blog about serious technology news too.

7) O'Reilly Radar
This is where you can read Tim O'Reilly (founder of O'Reilly Publishing) and others discuss networking, programming, open source, intellectual property, politics, Web 2.0 and emerging technology.

8) Techdirt
Techdirt is a newsy, "tell it like it is" blog that frequently features debates on the hot issues in the Internet and computer fields. Scandals are a specialty. Simplicity is its hallmark.

9) Groklaw
Groklaw's raison d'etre is needling SCO in its long-running legal fights against IBM and Novell, but the discussion sometimes veers toward other issues that involve technology, intellectual property, and government regulations.

10) Hack a Day
Want to learn how to add USB to a cheap Linux router? Create a snake robot? How about an XBox 360 laptop? Hack a Day has these basement projects and many more. This site is for the serious techie. At the same time, it's good for a laugh or a new hobby.

11) Engadget
As Coke is to Pepsi, so Engadget is to Gizmodo. It's all about gear, gossip, techish issues and the occasional rant. It's got great product photos, and the editors have access to pre- and early-release gadgetry. Also, some really funny homemade junk. But we prefer Gizmodo.

12) Feedster
Like drinking from the hose. This Web page brings together blog sites about technology, sports, celebrity gossip, food, personal experiences -- you name it. It also offers a blog search feature that allows you to input words or phrases, and it has a very cool RSS aggregator for news feeds. It also injects some great humor into technology news. An all-around great site.

13) Forever Geek
Forever Geek is a great site with a myriad blogs on diverse topics, from technology and general interest news to movie and game reviews. Definitely a geek paradise. If you want to learn about the upcoming Iron Man movie or read a review of Photoshop CS3, this is the place to go.

14) Rough Type
Nick Carr -- of "Does IT Matter?" fame -- has a sharp-minded blog that discusses all manner of issues and trends relating to technology. Always an entertaining read, Rough Type often locks horns with companies, people, technologies and policies that rub Carr the wrong way.

15) Smorgasbord
Billed as a site for gadget- and game-loving geeks, this blog also serves up articles that cross over into the political and celebrity news of the day. The combination of entertainment value and tech news make Smorgasbord a top contender.

Honorable mentions:

1) The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)
TUAW offers collection of independent bloggers -- that is independent but not undecided or uninformed. It's a good source for Apple-related news. The only reason it didn't make the top 15 was its singular topic focus.

2) Elliot Back's blog
A self-professed computer scientist, Elliot posts everything from his opinions on why XML sucks, to the Titanic's passenger list and reviews of movies like 300. This site is diverse and well composed, offering great tips on topics such as increasing system performance and blocking spam.

3) Ed Foster's Gripelog
There is a new crop of blogs that highlight poor customer service for consumer electronics, bad UIs and outright rip-offs, but Ed Foster has been doing it longer than anyone else. Check out these recent topics: Defective DRM, tricky warranties on plasma TVs and bad mobile phone service.

4) Gadgetell
This is a great site if you want to get the latest gadget and game news along with some topical opinion pieces.

5) 4sysops
This is a very useful with well-written tips and how-to's for Windows admins.

Courtesy :

Possibilities with Microsoft Surface

myspace graphics

This is a fantastic quick view of possibilities with the new toy from Microsoft - Surface. The original video is modded with a new service called Gickr available through

If you want to wantch the original video , click on