Global merger mania has just begun

First IBM-Lenova, then Maytag-Haier and now Unocal-CNOOC (wonder why India’s’ ONGC didn’t bid on this?). Suddenly, you have a hue and cry from all corners of the US, fears of security and what not. I think these large global mergers are just beginning.

With globalization and the current US Govt’s obsession with the spread of freedom and democracy and its pre-occupation with Iraq, the US economy has been sinking steadily. As companies continue to under perform (like Unocal) and their values drop, such mergers and acquisitions are bound to happen. Rather than get into protectionist mode and prevent such mergers, I think these mergers should be encouraged. Its just the inevitable result of globalization and the growth of Asian economies. So “let’s bring’m on”

IE6 doesn’t like Google Maps

I use IE6 on Windows 2000. I mostly use Firefox except in a few cases where I use IE. I went to http://maps.google.com in IE and viola! the browser crashed with the familar “send” , “dont send” links. This is repeatable. Wonder what IE7 has in store! Crash Google video, maybe! 🙂

If you are wondering what this image is about, I was just trying the new add image feature in blogger, way cool stuff!

Google video viewing: A Quick take

Google released a video viewing capability. The results of any search are a bunch of screen shots of the video starting at several points during the actual complete video — i.e., start of 1 minute, 10 minutes etc. You also have the ability to search within that video produced by the original search. Double clicking on the screenshots gives you the video in full screen mode. You can also sign up to upload your own videos for potential inclusion in future versions of Google videos. I am sure there are a lot many more wonderful features that go with this service.

As always, pretty cool, but from the first look of it, appears quite preliminary. The search was very slow and very often results were returned with screen shots but no video! Try searching for “Bachchan on Charlie Rose”. You have to go through a couple of screen before you find the text “Video is currently not available”. (this text can be more “in your face”).

Further increase in toll!

Read over the weekend that come 2007 the toll on bay area bridges are going to be increased by a dollar. The toll will be $5 for the Golden Gate bridge! This toll increase is simply insane. Combined with the ever increasing gas prices, simply getting to work is slowly becoming such an expensive affair. No wonder jobs are going overseas!

Aussies are back to their winning ways

With two successive victories, the Aussies have put to rest any doubts about their continued domination of world cricket. These two victories highlight just how critical Symonds is to the team. A suspension for drinking followed by two outstanding performances. Man, this guy is awesome!

I think they are going to win all the remaining one-day games of this series. (I predicted their victory over England 🙂

Movie Review: Parineeta

Starring: Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan
Hindi, romantic story based on Saratchandra Chatterjee’s book.

Indian movie film makers have now resorted to the easy way out. Simply remake old movies! Inspired by the success of Devadas, follow other remakes such as Parineeta (apparently already made twice), Paheli (original appeared in the early 70s), and in the works is the remake of Don! Since I have not seen the earlier versions or read the book, I was pretty open minded about Parineeta.

Like most Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s movies (1947, Kareeb, Munnabhai, Mission Kashmir etc.), this one is a made with a lot of attention to detail. The music is excellent and blends perfectly with the film. The sets are very impressive and the overall quality of the movie making is excellent. Newcomer Vidya Balan has put in a very creditable performance and is an excellent choice for the role. Saif Ali Khan, gradually emerging as a commercially viable romantic hero (Hum Tum, Kal ho Na Ho and now Parineeta), has put in a good performance as well. Sanjay Dutt (a fixture in Vidhu Vinod Chopra films) appears to have gained weight and aged significantly. The rest of the cast does their part.

The storyline as such is nothing new or for that matter earth shattering (as made out by some reviews and other movie promos). Typical stuff — childhood friendship, grows into romance, some misunderstanding, love triangle develops, hero agrees to marry another girl (small role by Diya Mirza), realizes his mistake, melodrama ensues, and the couple come together. Someone has to be a villain. In this case its the hero’s Dad. Saif plays the hero, Sanjay Dutt completes the love triangle, while Raima Sen helps fix the traingle. Rekha appears in a dance number to enhance the star power. The strength of the movie lies in the treatment of the none too new plot, the excellent music and the overall production quality.

If you are the type who generally enjoys commercial romantic films, this movie is a very safe bet.