[Internet] Wikipedia. I donated. Did you?

Dear Venkatesh,

You are amazing, thank you so much for donating to the Wikimedia Foundation!

This is how we pay our bills -- it's people like you, giving five dollars, twenty dollars, a hundred dollars. My favourite donation last year was five pounds from a little girl in England, who had persuaded her parents to let her donate her allowance. It's people like you, joining with that girl, who make it possible for Wikipedia to continue providing free, easy access to unbiased information, for everyone around the world. For everyone who helps pay for it, and for those who can't afford to help. Thank you so much.

I know it's easy to ignore our appeals, and I'm glad that you didn't. From me, and from the tens of thousands of volunteers who write Wikipedia: thank you for helping us make the world a better place. We will use your money carefully, and I thank you for your trust in us.


Sue Gardner
Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director

For your records: Your donation on 2011-11-19 was USD 20.

Tags: #Internet #Wikipedia #Donation

[All in a day's work] Back to the basics

Reading Time: NA

Last week was a bad week to take a resolution like "Will start using the stairs instead of elevators at office". I should have checked my calendar before taking the resolution. Multiple meetings back-to-back and in different floors (I sit in 3rd floor. People I work with sit in 6th and 7th floor) did test my resolve. But, I succeeded by taking the stairs every time, all the time. Knees did hurt for the first 2 days making me realize that it’s been a while since I took the stairs. The 3rd day was less painful physically, but the sweet automated voice in the elevator was inviting and I still resisted. Days four and five were business as usual. Now I have got the rhythm of using the stairs and even started enjoying it.

The other side. Unlike the elevators where you get to meet lot of new faces every time, the stairs contribute to meeting few faces (You will get familiar soon. I did. Let’s see if I can make new friends) who use the stairs regularly. My assumption is that they are on their own resolutions.

And the resolution to take the stairs has nothing to do with this experience of mine. :)

Tags: #Life

[India] Need of the hour. Safe Nuclear power.

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Read this well written piece of article in Hindu

My thoughts
Most of the people reading Hindu know or have some amount of awareness about the benefits of nuclear power and its need for power sustainability in the future. Not to mention, the economic and overall development of the country in the future is direcly dependent on accessibility to power/ energy. What is more critical at this juncture is to take this awareness to the Muniyandi's and Munuswamy's and Papathi's and Rajathi's in various villages/ towns and cities in India, where they protest against nuclear power. Most of the times, they are in the dark and protests are instigated for professional/ political benefits and ambitions. Without getting into the details and digressing from the topic, the need is awareness on "Nuclear Power".

What would also benefit is to give facts to organizations (and politicians??) which (who) protest against nuclear power. The organizations should also be careful in what information they are advocating/ spreading. They should advocate stronger safety measures and force governments to strictly adhere to them when nuclear power plants are constructed, instead of telling that "Nuclear Power" is bad. Get real and get the facts right.

Tags: #India #Nuclear #Power #Energy

[All in a day's work] Whatever

Reading Time: NA

Yesterday, at office, I was hurrying for a meeting and when getting out of the elevator, this lady stopped and told me that I should always let women to get out of the elevators first. I said "whatever" and moved on. In retrospect to that event, I was wondering if I was wrong and convinced myself that it is not the case. No disrespect to women/ anybody, but still "whatever".

Completely unrelated... but when I was writing this post, I also got reminded of the data structures class by one of my professors (Mr. Manavalan) back in college. In one of the classes he introduced us the concept of Stack and mentioned that the elevator is the most simple example for this concept, but with human involvement, of course. I use the term "human involvement" whenever humans get involved and things do not work they are supposed to work. 

I should take this lady through the "Stack" Data Structure. That would be fun.

Tags: #Life

[Opinion] My two cents on the latest Google Reader update

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Google has recently updated their famous RSS feed reader, Google Reader. Updated is a bad term. In the name of design experiments, they forced users to add value to their Google+ initiative. Overall it is good, and makes more sense as a business decision (with very little or no value to consumers), but they could have avoided the "I am Google, I am big and I will do what I want to do attitude." in their design experiments. Say for example, the official blog reads "If you decide to stay, then please do send us your feedback" and "If, however, you decide that the product is no longer for you, then please do take advantage of Reader's subscription export feature." (basically telling "Get Lost" :)) That attitude is because Google knows that there is no worthy reader alternative out there, unless somebody develops a killer one on the Facebook platform. That would be fun. Moving to the new platform will also be easy with Google's "Take your data with you" stance.

For now, I am staying with Google Reader. Managed to customize the new reader to fit my needs, but couple of pain points do exist... like
  • For some reason I think I have to scroll a lot, to read the contents, than before. There is lot of empty/ white space on top which could be reduced and given more space for contents.
  • Earlier, there was an option to hide the feed list and expand the reading pane. It was very useful when you read lot of stuff, but that is gone now.

Tags: #Tech #Google #Reader