Recent Quotes: Iraq

“When America gives its word, it will keep its word” US President George W Bush on his surprise visit to Iraq (now that the coast is clear of Zarqawi).

“You crusaders, what will happen in the coming days is something that will turn your children’s hair white — battles that will reveal the falsehood of (your) might, the weakness of your soldiers and your lies”, Zarqawi’s successor. Full Report

What’s with these people? It sure sounds like both parties rent similar bollywood films! Well, at least they have something in common.

Firefox buggy?

I am using Firefox 1.5.0.4 and I find that it crashes more often than the earlier version of Firefox. Wonder why.

I go to a website and click on a link to see another page and this just causes it to crash! It happens randomly with no apparent pattern. I wonder if it has anything to do with browster incapatibility with the latest Firefox? Maybe not. Just a thought, because I have the same Firefox installed on another computer with similar specs which does not crash as often.

GM vs. NY Times: Big Plus for Corporate Blogging

In case you are not aware, there is a very interesting battle brewing between NY Times and GM. In a recent article, Tom Friedman of the NY Times heavily criticized GM for a bunch of things starting with their gas rebate for one of their supposedly gas guzzling vehicles (personally, I think it was nothing more than an excellent marketing ploy).

The column went on to say that GM posed a serious threat to America’s future! Obviously, the PR guys over at GM wanted to respond to it. They sent a letter to the Editor of NY Times, who in turn wanted to publish the letter after some serious edits. Finally, the two could not come to an agreement and neither version made it to the press. What makes this interesting is that, the old world behemoth, GM, which not to so far back jumped into the corporate blogging bandwagon, published both their original response and the NY Times edited version on their blog (including the email exchange with the Times editors!)

Ironically, the original piece by Tom Friedman is available only to paid subscribers! (Btw, if you subscribe to SJ Mercury News hard copy, you get to read NY Times columnists’ articles).

To get the low down on this check out the GM blog.

This is clearly a big positive for Corporate blogging. Traditional PR folks strongly believe that blogging can backfire for a company and does more harm than good. For such skeptics, this is a good case for how blogging can actually benefit a company if done right. While one could argue that Tom Friedman’s article has “some” merit (though I think he was stretching it way too much!), GM has clearly come out on top from a PR perspective. As always, in the blogosphere, things happen fast and recovery time is almost non-existent. In this case, what the original article said is almost off the table as a topic of discussion. It has become more about NY Times not giving GM adequate “space” to appropriately defend itself and GM finding its listeners in blogopshere instead! Another example of how bloggers step in when traditional media attempts to exercise excessive control (especially, when bordering on unfairness!).

I am sure left to himself Mr. Friedman might wish to respond (defend himself!) directly to GM’s response. But in the “command and control” world of traditional media this is a definitely “no-no”. The Times is clearly on backfoot on this one and maybe its time for the it to even re-think its Times Select paid service?

Blogger Bug?

Blogger seems to have a problem with “justify” in WYSIWYG mode. When I try to publish it gives some error message about some embedd tags. I get around this by removing those tags from the edit html mode. If you don’t “justify” its not an issue.

Krishh: Brief Preview, cool effects

Saw a brief preview of Krrish, the sequel to the Hrithik Roshan hit, Koi Mil Gaya. The effects were pretty cool — Hrithik Roshan flying around a la Superman/Spiderman! The trailer was way too short to pass a judgement or fair recommendation of any sort.

Koi Mil Gaya borrowed heavily from ET, sounds like Superman/Spiderman is Papa Roshan’s target this time.

Team India regains form, gradually

The Indian team rallied from a position to grave weakness to almost pull of a Test victory. The team as whole deserves credit for this. Under the circumstances, it was a wonderful comeback.

Team Composition: The team management deserves some kudos for their guts. Going in with an inexperienced bowling combination was quite a gamble. The team certainly gained a lot from this experience without it proving too costly. I suspect Pathan will be back after a much deserved break in the next Test. Playing the extra batsman seems like a must at this point, though its a safer strategy than an aggressive one. Though Bhajji was certainly missed in the bowling dept., it might have been too risky to play him at the expense of a batsman as pointed out by Chappell. India might have been better served by an all rounder in place of Karthik in the 15. This would certainly have given the team management some more options.

Jaffer Strikes: Jaffer chose a perfect moment to come up with a fine knock. He has certainly cemented his position in the team for the rest of the Test series at a min. His tendency to flash outside the off stump so frequently, even at the start of day 4 (after a long innings on day 3) might be a serious weakness. It will interesting to see how he does against someone like McGrath who can bowl so easily and consistently within the “corridor”.

VVS must grab these opportunities: VVS threw away his wicket after being decently settled in both innings. He needs to grab these opportunities to seal a permanent position in the Test team (and not be an object of experimentation!). Its painful to see a batsman of his calibre squander such chances to shine. Hopefully. he’ll come good in the rest of the series.

Last over gamble: Who should have bowled the last over? It is easy to speculate after the fact. But lets look at it once again. In the last few overs India had to pick up one more wicket. This meant that there was a very high chance that India could go into the last over still requiring one wicket. Under those circumstances, it makes sense to have the most experienced bowler bowl the last over. This individual is without doubt Anil Kumble. I suspect that Dravid might have missed a trick here by not saving Kumble for the last over of the Test match. One of the prior overs could have been shuffled to give Kumble the last over. Easier said than done, but might well have been worth a try. Big player, big name, big over. Might have been a perfect setting for India’s bowling hero over the years to deliver the “jumbo” strike. But then…..

Constitutional amendment, glad it failed

Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. This is clearly a pre-election stunt by the Republicans. Thankfully it failed in the senate. At a time when issues like the worsening Iraq crisis should be getting max attention, its a pity that such (needlessly divisive) issues are being unneccessarily dragged to the forefront. Having failed twice in two years, it probably in the best interest of the country that this issue not be brought up again.

Sehwag fined, Lara fine!

While Sehwag was fined for excessive appealing, the match referee thought Lara’s on field behavior was perfectly Ok. This is completely ridiculous to say the least. Its a clear sign that the referee simply didn’t have the guts to take on the local hero. I hope the BCCI or the team management would at least make their displeasure known to avoid such inconsistencies in the future!

Regarding Dhoni’s dismissal (which triggered Lara’s tantrums), shouldn’t the benefit of doubt have gone to the batsman when the on-field umpires and the third umpire could not make a decision?