Serious comeback by Yahoo!

Check out http://maps.yahoo.com/beta

Man, these guys have fought there way back. I had thought that maps from Google where too cool and that I would never bother with Yahoo maps again. But these guys have done a phenomenal job with their new maps.

1. You can save addresses/routes so you can recall them when needed.
2. Live traffic updates are included.
3. You can look for anything (say “Indian restaurants”) around an address and “boom” its marked out on the map!
4. The maps have an inset showing the larger view that remains always on the screen.

All this and possibly more in addition to showing all of what Google has (barring the satellite pictures!) is quite an accomplishment in such a short time.

Have you checked out Yahoo voice chat? Its great! Very often works better than Skype. Has cool vmail capability too!

No question, Yahoo is coming back strongly against the competition.

Movie Review: Chandupottu

Title: Chandupottu (means “bindi” in Malayalam)
Type: Family Drama
Language : Malayalam
Starring: Dileep, Gopika.

This is a story of a fisherman’s family. The grandma in the family is longing for a female grandchild to be born because all the grandchildren are males! Unfortunately, she ends up with another grandson. Frustrated, she ends up bringing him (named Radhakrishnan) up like a girl — long hair, painted nails, make-up, bindi etc. Despite being a boy, he talks like a girl, walks like a girl and hangs out with the girls. However, he falls for one of the girls. There is some historic family rivalry courtesy of which a villain (a fine performance from Inderjit, son of the late mallu movie star Sukumaran), is introduced. As expected after some twists and turns the lead pair comes together (as if you didn’t guess!). This is a family story with plenty of masala, but some of it like the basic theme of the film is pretty creative, though not necessarily remotely realistic. There is some truly enjoyable hilarious comedy as a part of the main story itself as opposed to the deliberately inserted plug and play comedy that you see in most films.

Hats off to Dileep for a fantastic performance as Radhakrishnan. Gopika does justice to her role as the heroine. The movie is running to packed houses despite having crossed the 100-day mark. After a long time, I saw the movie in a jam-packed theatre in India! Overall, a very enjoyable film.

I am pretty certain that remakes of the film in other languages will soon start to appear. But the hero’s role is a very challenging one and not may heros might be willing to take this on.

England’s defeat, Pak’s win, Test vs ODI

Hats off to Pak. These guys are looking like a different team under Woolmer. If Inzy is around in this form for the next World Cup, I think these guys have an excellent chance to pull off a World Cup victory.

On a pitch where Pak scored more then 600 runs, England team could not survive for a day to save the Test. Surviving to bat through a day on a pitch that was a batting delight was a no brainer in the past. But these days its a different story. Batting is mostly about stroke play. 90 overs a day producing over 300 runs seems to be the norm for one day of Test cricket. The classic Sunil Gavaskar style of cricket is “out the window”. Its all about slam bang. How else can you explain the complete failure of the England (supposedly a team in supreme form) team to bat through a day?

England sorely lacked a Dravid equivalent. Someone who can “park his ass” in the middle and frustrate the opposition to the point of submission. Graham Thorpe would have been a great asset in this Test match.

Test cricket now produces results more often than ever before. But there is still room for cricketers in the classic Test cricket mould. Unfortunately, we are not going to see them as long as teams gravitate towards playing the same team for Tests and ODIs. Have you noticed that there is hardly any difference between Test and ODI teams for most countries?

Survival at the wicket without necessarily scoring a bunch of runs has become an art form of yester years, thanks to ODIs. Test cricket is more entertaining, no doubt. But….

Help! How to transfer Junk mail controls in Thunderbird?

I have been using Thunderbird mail program for some time now. I really like it and highly recommend it.

I am facing an issue right now with Thunderbird. When moving from one computer to another I can’t figure out how to transfer the junk mail filters. After you have used it on certain PC for a while Thunderbird automatically figures out the junk emails and moves them to a folder. In other words, it learns over time.

Is there a way to transfer that learning when I start using Thunderbird on another PC?

Book Review: Five Point Someone

Title: Five Point Someone
Type: Fiction
Author: Chetan Bhagat

This is a book based on life at IIT. It revolves around three guys who meet at IIT and become great friends through their four years at IIT. They end up as “bottomers” (based on grades) and hence the name “Five point someone” (five point referring to their GPA).

The book is a very easy read, and perfect for a long plane ride. The author has a very casual writing style. He does a wonderful job of story-telling. There are a few filmy sections (like the dream about Prof. Cherian’s speech) but overall a very enjoyable book with plenty of humor.

If you went to IIT then there is no question this book will bring back memories and is one that you can certainly relate to. Even otherwise I think this is a worthwhile read.

I noticed that the book cost Rs. 95 while most other books by Indian authors sold for over Rs. 200. Wonder why?