Smriti Irani leaves “Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”

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This is major! Probably old news by now but it’s interesting to know that Tulsi Virani is no more! And it’s very interesting in how they end her:

Tulsi tries to escape from the tunnel, but is not successful as the doctors capture her. Tulsi again makes a valiant attempt to escape from the asylum, she poses as a dead body ready to be taken to the cremation ground? Lady Luck smiles on Tulsi as she gets into a truck, but will this same good fortune end up being her last journey? It seems so, as the driver driving the truck is totally drunk and this proves fatal, as the truck goes down in a valley and blasts..
Burnt parts of the truck and burnt bodies are recovered from the valley. The Doctors find Tulsi?s asylum tag near the accident spot and call Tanya to give the Virani household, this sad news. The three bahu?s enter the accident scene and are horrified to see the burnt remains of Tulsi. They decide to complete the last rites in Omkarnath and this marks the end of Tulsi?s existence in this Flagship serial of Ekta.

[via India Forum]

Mumbai University x2: Sam Pitroda

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Due to an increasingly large student population attending college, the Universities in India are tightly packed and competition is at an all time high. National Knowledge Commission chairman Sam Pitroda made a “wild” suggestion – why not run the University in shifts – that would automatically double all capacity. Start the day at 6:00 am and end it by 3:00. Start another shift at 3:30 and end it at midnight. This is a low cost of way of increasing capacity since we would be reusing a lot of the infrastructure.
Mumbai University has taken this suggestion seriously and is working out how this can be practically implemented – for starters they found that this would increase the capacity by 60% rather than 100% since not all courses would demand 2 shifts.

Sam PitrodaI didn’t know Sam was the chairman of the National Knowledge Commission. I am glad he is. The right person, at the right place, at the right time. We can not forget how he was instrumental in facilitating the Communication Revolution in India. I hope we see something good become of our education system as well. I do like how the system has finally realized that being adaptive and responsive to the industry is very important for a University.

Google Gears: Browser up, OS down!

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We all knew this was coming and it has finally come. The final problem of offline access to web-based services has been addressed by Google Gears which was released last week. Today, I saw the first instance of it being available to the end user via the Google Reader.
Google Reader with Google Gears
You can have consistent, transparent access to all your favorite websites/web applications through the browser. The OS becomes less important now and the need for natively installed OS specific applications is greatly reduced.

It would be interesting to see the changes this will bring in our world!

Facebook friends visualization tool for Many Eyes

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Sameer Halai's Facebook Visualization at Many Eyes

I wrote a small Facebook application that scans your friends list and finds how they are related to each other. It prepares the data in a format compatible with Many Eyes. You can visualize this data in Many Eyes to see the connections between your friends.

About the visualization: The people on the left are my high school friends, the dense nodes on the right are my current grad school friends and people on the fringes are college friends and other common friends.

Please head over to http://apps.facebook.com/manyeyes/ and visualize your data. I would love to see what other’s people’s data looks like!

Facebook Many Eyes Visualizer screenshot

This also opens up another interesting dilemma: I accessed information about my friends since I am their friend and they know that I can access it. But I am sure they do not expect me to make a text dump of it and visualize it on a publicly viewable website. I have been thinking hard about my right to do so or their incorrect expectation in this regard. I trust my friends with my information. But if they are not trustworthy, the only thing I can do about that is remove them from my list – this the advice Facebook itself gives to get rid of stalkers and bad wall-posters. I am very interested in hearing from my friends (it’s your data in this visualization) about what they think about this.

[Edit: You might find the following applications interesting as well:

Joost is the new TV

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I have tried Slingbox and I have tried Democracy TV. Joost is different. Community features, high quality programming, full screen smooth video. It’s a joy, a pleasure. I was captivated for hours as I kept watching show after show with a numbed, retarded expression on my face. The PC is the TV now and I am loving it.
And did I mention how cool the interface is? Check out these screenshots:
Joost NatGeo

Joost NatGeo

More screenshots
Note: click on the images to see the full size. When was the last time you saw free streaming internet video of that resolution? It’s a joy that even my Slingbox doesn’t provide despite a 3MBPs connection at both ends thanks to the low upload bandwidth of ADSL.
Note 2: It’s not yet open to general audience, you need an invite to get started.