The phenomenon that is Boston Globe’s Big Picture…

The phenomenon that is Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog.

  •    Started by someone with an eye for opportunity and good photographs.
  •    Powered on by the community with hundreds of comments and thousands of shares on each post.
  •    Turned into a closed network by a marketing maven who thought of harnessing the community info by linking in FB’s comment engine.

I discovered the blog sometime in 3rd quarter of 2008 (that’s the earliest share of that URL I can find in my rss). My visits to that treasure trove reduced a little after Alan Taylor, the good fella who started the blog, left. I stopped visiting completely, in frustration, after they removed the blog’s own commenting system and instead introduced the Facebook engine. Having quit FB in 2008 and being glad for it, I wasn’t going to join that waste of a site just to comment on BP.

Visited the blog again today after ages. Was happy, and sad. The feeling was similar as that when you visit your old school. The building, the memories, even some of the teachers are still there. But there are new guards at the gate now, who tell you, you no longer belong there. That love-longing-belonging-outcast feeling :(

[Feeling sad now. Don’t know if it is about the BP Blog or about the school I can never visit again]

Ian Bell was just being selfish in the…

Ian Bell was just being selfish in the aftermath of being of having acted foolish and arrogant.

However, I can’t understand that what was Strauss doing going to the Indian dressing room asking for Bell’s recall! Did he go begging bowl in hand? Or did he go threatening them with dire consequences on and off the field if they didn’t recall Bell? Or was it that he & his team suddenly remembered that cricket has a ‘spirit of the game’ that they can mould according to their needs and flout it about for getting a decision reversed?

Not one of the many people discussing the incident in Sky studios said that Bell had been wronged. Almost all of them went out and said that Indian team’s appeal was not against the spirit of the game. Nasser Hussain accepted he would have acted in the same way as Dhoni in appealing for the decision. English hero Ian Botham was clear in his belief that Bell should have gone. Still, Strauss had the balls to go into the Indian dressing room and ask for the recall!

Can’t figure how he’ll sleep with his decision tonight. It was clear from Bell’s behaviour that he knew he was out and that the protest could get him out. He acted in a manner to incite the situation and use the crowd to force Indians to recall him. However, I expected Strauss to remember that Cricket isn’t really a Gladiator’s arena – crowd doesn’t decide what’s wrong and what’s now. My disappointment is in Strauss, for I expected better of him.

Play snake on Youtube!

Just made an interesting discovery. Remember that circling dot that you see when a video is loading on Youtube? You can now play snake with it. All you have to do is use the arrow keys on your keyboard and the circling dot will start moving in a line like snake with another dot somewhere that the snake has to ‘eat’.

Nice, little, quirky discovery :D

BBC-F1-Sky!

The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, described the deal as “tough but fair” and reassured the BBC’s commercial rivals that it would no longer be used to “blast them out of the water”.

In other words, Msr Hunt apologizing to the masters in Sky and offering them F1 coverage as a peace-making present after the NI-BSB deal got scuppered.

Further, what I don’t get is why keep half the races? If they were sharing the other half with a free to air channel like ITV, I could get the idea but in the current deal, BBC is just acting as a teaser for Sky – we’ll lure them in with half the races free and then you sign them up for the other half!  Heck, instead of paying £33m, BBC should be getting paid by Sky for generating subscriptions. But then that wouldn’t go down too well at the next conservative-NI-Sky dinner party, would it?

I have Sky at home and still hate this deal. I love the presenting team on BBC and will be distraught if that is split up, as seems likely from Martin Brundle’s tweet. Yet another reason for me to say – Screw you Conservatives!

Out.

P.S.: The Hunt quote is from here.

Why the bookstore chains are dying

Two of my favourite authors have published new books this year and I’ve been waiting to read them for some time. The books:

Last man in the tower by Arvind Adiga, and
River of Smoke by Amitava Ghosh

I ventured into the Waterstone’s store 100m from my house with an intention to buy the books. They had only the hardcover versions (expected) priced at £20 & ~£18. I wasn’t willing to pay that much for the books. Checked a few other books around, paperbacks all. None was cheaper than £7.99. Didn’t like anything much, so walked out.

Came home and checked on Amazon – the £18 book was priced at £8.99 while the £20 book was available for £11.99 – new copies in hardcover. Immediately ordered the £8.99 book and added the other to wishlist for ordering after I’ve finished the current book and the ordered one. By then that book may be available in paperback too.

P.S.: If the chain bookstores, with their scale, centralised buying and logistics networks can’t come close to competing with Amazon, how can the little, standalone guys survive? And frankly, I’ll miss the small, standalone neighbourhood bookstores a lot more than the likes of Borders and Waterstones

NotW is no more Whattay brilliant move by…

NotW is no more.

Whattay brilliant move by The Empire – the subject of all that bad publicity disappears, the key people in the publication are safe, Dave Cameron gets something to present as outcome of his tough talk … and, eventually, get rewarded for their swift corrective action with the ownership of BSkyB.

As for the other media organisations making a big thing out of this, they were clearly warned by Dave Cameron yesterday when he announced that the new enquiries will focus on behaviour of not just NotW but all media organisations in the country. Barely a veiled threat from a PM who has one ex-head of NotW as his personal head of media relations and another as his close friend and neighbour.

I doubt if Ed Mill shouting from the rooftops can do anything to hurt the Conservative-NewsCorp alliance.

It’s 5:30 AM and I’m still awake Spent…

It’s 5:30 AM and I’m still awake. Spent half the night reading on greader and, just as sleep started to envelope me, got an invite to Google+ in my mailbox. For the last hour or so been creating my profile and testing out the features.

Like it so far, perhaps this will become my alternative to Facebook (quit 2.5 yrs back) and Twitter (been inactive for almost 2 months now).

Thanks Harry prah!

P.S.: Missing my Nexus One even more, what with the G+ app on android.