Sunday, January 24, 2010


Allegations on ATSC vindicated

I had blogged about possible skeletons in KSCA's cupboard earlier. Now, UK govt has finally arrested the Managing Director of ATSC. The charges against him? Simple, that his instrument cannot detect bombs! What is surprising is that he could avoid arrest for so long and keep selling his fraud instruments.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


KSCA's explosive "detection device" exposed

Last week, while a Champions League match was about to begin, an explosive device detection equipment went-off, triggering an alarm, and subsequently a controversy over the perceived targetting of Kashmiris.

In the middle of the uproar over the "targetting" of the Kasmiri cricketer, another interesting aspect is been forgotten. It is the effectiveness of the Advanced Detection Equipment device that was used on that day.

As per this Hindu article, KSCA had procured the device from a Hyderabad-based company called Brio Macro Security Services Private Limited. The original manufacturer of the device is a U.K.-based company called ATSC Limited.

Here begins the interesting, darker side of the story. As per several online forums, these explosive detection equipments are a big hoax, perpetrated on the thrid world countries by some western companies. And their USP: Kick-backs.
Some of the online forums that have called the bluff of ATSC are:

The JREF organization even went to the extent of challenging ATSC with an offer of a million dollars in case they could prove the effectiveness of the device! And ATSC's response? Take the company's web-site offline! Which may as well be, considering that ATSC's explanation of the principle of working of the device ranges from "Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance" to "Electro Magnetic Attraction".

ATSC has a silly video of the equipment "used" in Thailand (ah! where else!) in youtube.

Another company similar to ATSC is Sniffex. But their lie was nailed, and US SEC has also given a ruling against them.

A simple search in Google gives links to several more stories about ATSC and some of their ilk.

Now, do we have skeletons waiting to tumble out of KSCA's cupboard?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Is it ethical to make make your child deaf?

A very thought-provoking article in today's Independent on the right of a deaf couple to have a deaf child throgh IVF treatment. I'm astounded by this question: Can a deaf couple decide that they want the child to be deaf? Have we not been told since ages that deafness is a disability? If, as the couple argues, it is on the same lines as been mentally retarded, can a parent then choose to have a mentally retarded child? Is it really as simple, and as equivalent, as been Jewish or black?

The jury, in my mind, is still out on that.

Despair is a narcotic. It lulls the mind into indifference.
- Charlie Chaplin

Thursday, May 31, 2007


The Hindu and itz anti-Hindu bias

I guess anybody who has some interest in Indian MSM will know that The Hindu is a paper that is left-leaning and biased towards the left's version of secularism (which Advani has superbly called as pseudo-secularism). If you delve a bit deep into the psyche of these people, you will also notice that they also support anything that can divide the Hindu society - be it by projecting the likes of Udit Raj has the foremost Dalid leader of India, or giving front-page coverage for the mass Dalit conversion or getting over-eager in nailing the Narendra Modi Govt.

This week I noticed two more instances of The Hindu's biased reporting.

In itz editorial on May-29, Hindu asks for a political president this time. The reason:

There is a consensus among those who have the numbers to settle the occupancy of the Rashtrapati Bhavan that the next President of India must have, in addition to personal integrity, a political background, impeccable secular credentials, a fine sense of constitutional balance, and a conception of the constitutional presidency in a parliamentary form of government that scrupulously avoids over-reach.

What a contrived way of mentioning that the next President should be from Congress! It looks like an apology for Congress' machinations to have itz own nominee as the President, so that he can aid them during the next general elections. Along with it, if he agrees with them to impose Article 356 on a couple of BJP-ruled states, that will definitely not harm the Congress.

The editorial looks like written in the mouth-piece of an UPA magazine. If Abdul Kalam has been a good president, why not another apolitical president again? And of course, no criticizing the Left for not supporting Abdul Kalam the last time.....after all, for The Hindu, the left is above criticisms!

Yesterday's Hindu paper carried an article on a youth beaten by lawyers in full public view. This news appeared in lot of other newspapers as well as TV channels. However, the only other newspapers that reported it with the jaundiced view that Hindu reported it were Sahara Samay (can I call it a newspaper) and TOI.

Now, did the person get tortured because he was a Dalit? No, because it was because of a domestic dispute. The lawyer will beat him is related to him - which means he is also a Dalit. So, why should the headline say "Dalit tortured"?

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Let Team India be

I guess the intensity of reactions after India's exit from the World Cup is quite easily predictable. However, I feel that we need not really create such a ruckus over what is finally just a sport. Okay, have passion for the game....even I do. I watched the complete match yesterday (okay, almost the complete match.....I slept after the 8th wicket fell!), and I do watch most of the matches, but then you still need to realize that itz just a sport.

And nobody is on a higher moral plane on this issue than Dravid. After all, he was the one who said when he was got as the guest editor of TOI on Feb-24 that "There are far more important things to be written about". He suggested that sports and entertainment need not be on Page 1 at all.

I also felt that Dravid handled the post-match press conference yesterday pretty well, in spite of the sensationalism-prone journos trying to irritate him.

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.
-Jackson Browne

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Adieu Inzy

One of the best batsman coming from Pakistan who I have seen - and I have not seen Zaheer Abbas play - Inzy has played his last one-day innings.

Watch the farewell given to him yesterday.

There is nothing so unequal as the equal treatment of unequals.
-Ken Blanchard

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Obituary: Iqbal Saab

Iqbal Saab - a very active person in various online music communities - died this morning of an heart attack. Since the time I have heard the news through the SKS/SJ music groups, I'm not able to reconcile myself to this news :-(

This is the tribute Naresh Khattar paid to Iqbal Saab while doing the hard job of breaking the news to the SKS community.

He was still in his 50s, and had lost his partner a few years back. A loss that he mentioned to me once that he used to find hard to bear at this period of his life. He was a public figure from Kochi, been its councilor and Mayor.

I am shell shocked and don't have words to express my grief. He scrapped me today morning at 5.15AM ( a routine that he has been following daily since he came to know of my sister's illness and the surgery) and I have yet to reply to that scrap :(

Some one who, by his own admission, been exposed to internet only for an year or so; he has been a quick learner. He revived the music groups on Talat and Naushad and have also been writing regularly on SKS, SJ and Lata Groups. Lately he had been very active on Orkut communities contributing everywhere. He also runs a most lovely blog where he had just yesterday uploaded a few Rajkumari songs and wanted me get back to him with feedback.

Praying fervently to that god almighty to give his soul the eternal peace and also give strength to his son and others in his family to bear this loss with fortitude."

I am totally shattered by this news :-( Just yesterday night, I downloaded the songs of Rajkumari Dubey that Iqbal Saab had shared, and put a comment in the blog thanking him. It is a very sad day indeed and HFM has lost a very passionate lover and a very active member of multiple communities. I was always amazed by the amount of energy Iqbal Saab had in learning all the latest happenings in internet and using them to the maximum to promote HFM.

Iqbal Saab has left a vacuum that cannot be filled. I pray to the Almighty to give his family the courage during these hard times. Let us all pray to God for the sake of Iqbal Saab.

If you are interested to know more about how active Iqbal-Saab was, check out his profile on multiply. It will be difficult to find another such music enthusiast.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Rein in the sport broadcasters!

Anybody watching the cricket World Cup on SetMax will agree on the unnecessary hurry consistently shown by the Sony folks in cutting out the game to show the ads. I agree that Sony has paid ICC a huge amount to grab the rights to telecast the World Cup, but that is no reason to take the fun out of viewing the game to the aficionados. After the last ball of an over is bowled, they do not wait for the commentator to even announce the score in their hurry to cramp in a few additional seconds of advertising. And if something interesting happened in the last ball of the over, then thatz left to the imagination of the viewer but some times they do take pity on the viewer and replay it in the beginning of the next over. But if they decide not to, please take it or leave it, dear viewer.

If there is one reason why I prefer ESPN-STAR Sports instead of SETMax, this is it. Even compared to Zee`Sports, Neo and TEN Sports, ESPN-STAR is the best. They actually telecast as if they understand the game and have a passion for it. The rest just come across as businessmen around to make some quick and easy money. And I'm sure a great cricket-passionate person like Harsha Bhogle has contributed in no small measure in this.

I guess itz time the Govt modifies the Sports Broadcasting Bill 2007 and regulates sport broadcasters to cut the game only after the ball has been logically concluded. They can probably give powers to TRAI to take to task the broadcaster in case of breach of this. The bottomline is that game has to be telecast in the right spirit, and if found in breach, the broadcaster needs to be fined.

And along with it if they decide to ban Mandira Bedi from talking about cricket unless she wears her "noodle-straps", my vote for Congress for the next 50 years is guaranteed.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


No English for Pakis!

Bravo Pakistan! The Pak Cricket Board has asked their players to not speak in English in news conferences. I feel this is a right decision...although I feel itz unfortunate it should have come as a mandate. I see no reason why one should be apologetic about his poor English language skills.

Itz a fact that one of the reasons Indians (or South Asians in general) come across as having not great communication skills is because we are invariably forced to communicate in an alien language....a language that you invariably will not use outside your work environment. Itz said that one of the best way to learn a language is to start thinking in that language, and most of us do not think in English. Now, there are two ways to handle this lack of comfort in English language - either you make an effort and get comfy with the language, or you put your foot down and say I will communicate in the language I am most comfortable in. If you are an IT professionsal, or somebody who is planning to emigrate to a English-speaking country, you do not have a choice but to follow funda#1.

But why on earth should the captain of a cricket team be forced to learn an alien language? I do not intend to say that learning an alien language is not desirable. If you have the desire to learn a new language, by all means go ahead and do that. But you should not be forced to do that, and you definitely need not lose your captaincy of the cricket team because you are bad in English.

The discomfot that you get when communicating in an alien language also shows up in the lack of self-confidence. No wonder most of we Indians are so hesitant to speak up when dealing with westerners. Also, as I had blogged earlier, this might just be one of the reasons for our not progressing economically.

Our good and evil deeds follow us continually like shadows.
- Bhagavan Buddha

Monday, February 12, 2007


Duckworth-Lewis under scanner

After I got over the disbelief of England's 2-0 win over Australia in the finals, what got me interested was the declared margin of England's win. As per the D/L formula, England was declared victors by a margin of 34 runs.

Now, letz look at the context. England bats first, makes 246 in 50 overs. Aus chases and when rain curtails play, had made 152 runs in 27 overs loosing 8 wickets. A declared winning margin of 34 runs means, if Australia had made 187 runs in 27 overs at the loss of 8 wickets, they would have been declared winners. But then, in an uncurtailed match, Australia would have still needed 60 runs in 23 overs with just 2 wickets in hand! Now, if I were to bet on who would win, I would definitely not choose Aus!

So, does the Duckworth-Lewis system give more credit to tail-enders than what they deserve? Does it calculate that the tail can wag more than what history has shown?

This life is only a journey. You have come here; you don't belong here.
-Sri Swami Chidananda, The Divine Life Society

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