Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I am an author now :)

Couple of months back, I posted a blog entry about my Bad(???) Luck while traveling back to my hometown (Mumbai). Couple of days back, I posted it on MSN India Contribute (and it has been quite a hit!)

If you did not read the original story, go ahead read the version published on MSN

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Listen to the PLAN


I hope you still remember how I had got annoyed with idiotic phone calls from ABN AMRO call-centers. Well, after I wrote a post dedicated to one such call, I sent a link to ABN AMRO and after a few more calls, things got cleaned up. I don't get any calls from ABN AMRO now and the extent of satisfaction I feel is only known to me :-)

You will soon know the reason for the eternal satisfaction that I feel. Read on...

What do you mean by tarika warika ?

Today, Times Of India reported something that clearly illustrates how miserable the situation is. A judge in a sessions court in U.P. got a call from one such call center. Check out the excerpts of the conversation:

Caller: "I have several plans for you..I have called up to explain the plans.."
Judge: I am a judge... presently busy with the court work.. this is no manner to compel any one to listen to your plans especially if the person is not ready to listen to them. yeh koi tareeka nai hota ...
Caller: What do you mean by tarika warika ? This plan is for your benefit...
Judge: Who is calling?
Caller: That does not matter.. just listen to the plan.
Judge: Will you please shut up?
Caller: You shut up... (and the caller put the phone down).

In case you do not believe me, read the full story here.

It's no secret now

Now you know why I feel so satisfied. Actually, satisfied is probably is not a word that can express what I feel like. Add a lot many words in the superlative category -amazed, overwhelmed, feel out of the world, etc. The reason is simple. I am one of those lucky humans in India who do not get unsolicited calls despite owning a cell-phone :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

IM Me from my blog

Here is something that I had been waiting for since long.

Since you have visited this page, you might have already noticed the new control that appears on the right-hand side "IM me on Windows Live Messenger" right below the "About Me" section. With the help of this control, now you can have a real-time conversation with me right from this page. If you want to get this control for yourself for hosting on your website/blog, you can get it here.

This is a part of the super-cool stuff Microsoft has been doing around Web 2.0.

Monday, November 5, 2007

XYZ is your Yaar!

I am sure you would have received a lot of emails with subject line similar to the title of this post. I have. And I have received a lot of them. So many social networking sites have come up in the last one year. Practically uncountable number of them. Most of these emails come from social networking web-sites. Usually the junk email filter learns that this is most likely spam. But in this case, these emails come from your friends. And the junk email filter wouldn't bother to put these emails in junk. This is even more annoying. Have all of your friends gone crazy or something?

As a temporary solution, I created an email rule for such subject and asked for marking all of these emails as spam. I run that rule once in a while and I am happy (well.. not so much. But it gives me some relief at least).

After having had so much pain with it, I had to investigate what's wrong with all of my friends. And it turns out that something is wrong with all of us (that includes me as well).

Here is what I did -

I went to one of the social networking sites and registered there. In one of the registration steps, it asked me for my gmail username and password. This drove me curious. I went back and read the "Terms of Service". I am not going to replicate everything here. But in a nutshell, it said "you give us all right to send invitations to everyone on your address book just by registering".

This is really alarming. And it is alarming in two different senses. For one, we do not read any of the licence agreements or terms of service (if we did, we probably wouldn't even care to sign-up. I wouldn't). And secondly, online companies exploiting this weakness of web users and spamming our email inboxes.

From a legal standpoint, none of these online companies can be blamed or held accountable for these viral marketing tactics that they are using. It's something to do with our ignorance. We ignore the EULA, we pay the price. We hear the scolding from our friends. Like it or not, the mistake is ours.

I don't know to what extent it is ethically correct though. Is it ethical on the companies' side to exploit on this weakness? Maybe not. Hopefully someone someday will recognize this and file a PIL :)