Youtube vs Google Video

I have watched videos on both Youtube and on Google Video. My personal experience has been much better on Youtube. The interfaces are almost identical but I find the video from Google constantly interrupted — stop and starts. Happens almost always on Google video but almost never on Youtube (I don’t think it has anything to do with the Internet connection because I have tried both using the same internet access). There is no question that Youtube has far more videos than Google Video. As for Yahoo Videos, its not worth talking about at this point!

Nasser Hussain: Very Insightful

Check out Nasser Hussain’s analysis of the captaincy, captian-coach relationship and England’s captaincy issue. If you have heard Nasser’s commentary I am sure you’ll agree that he is one of the best minds in the game today.

Brilliant analysis overall and very insightful indeed!

However, I disagree with his comment about Strauss. Firstly, Strauss hasn’t been tested a whole lot on the job. His batting consistency has been very impressive thus far and is sure of a place in the team on his own merit. Besides, one could argue that Flintoff is too critical to the team to shoulder the additional responsibility of captaincy.

Nasser also finds fault with Strauss’ demeanor. Personally, I don’t think captains should fit a certain profile. They can come in various forms and many grow on the job (read Shastri’s (another astute thinker of the game) comments on Dravid. Mike Brearley always fielded in slips and did not have an imposing presence from what I recall.

Strauss in-charge with Flintoff in the team might just re-create the Brearley-Botham kinda magic!

Movie Review: Perumazhakalam

Title: Perumazhakalam
Language: Malayalam
Starring: Dileep, Meera Jasmine, Kavya Madhavan, Vineet, Biju Menon

A very nicely made film. The Director deserves credit for his superb handling of an unconventional theme. Barring what I thought was a small gap in the script/storyline (I prefer not to discuss that here because it is hard to not give away the story!), its an engaging and moving film. This is a women oriented film and both of malayalam’s leading heroines Kavya and Meera deliver very impressive performances. The movie is definitely worth watching. The music is good and blends well with the film though the songs appear to borrow heavily from old hindi tunes. The photography is outstanding. Set in the raining season in Kerala, showing homes on the river banks, the picturisation exploits Kerala’s natural beauty to the fullest.

The story revolves around two families, one muslim and the other an orthodox hindu brahmin family. Its a common Kerala family phenomenon with the husband in the gulf and the wife and kid in Kerala. The Brahmin and the Muslim are close friends but the Brahmin is killed accidentally by the Muslim in the midst of a fight that breaks out among friends in the gulf. It was an accident but as per the law of the land the accused will face a death sentence unless the family of the victim issues a written pardon. The movie is about how these two families deal with the crisis and in particular how the Muslim family approaches the Brahmin family to seek their help.

Cricket: Some Professionalism Won’t Hurt

The recent “ball tampering” accusation in the England Pak Test has spun completely out of control. Hair’s request for a golden parachute and the ICC’s handling of the crisis stinks to say the least. Why would the ICC release Hair’s email to them? Isn’t this a complete breach of confidentiality? What good is it for the ICC chief to proclaim the end of Hair’s career even before the investigation gets underway?

Pak’s handling of the crisis is equally pathetic. Its not clear who is in-charge of Pak communications on the issue! Woolmer issues statement on and-off, firstly about quitting, then about get rid of the ball tampering rule (Is this a pre-emptive strike?) altogether. Inzy’s lawyers are happy with the extension of the hearing date. Shahryar Khan meanwhile is issuing his own statements as is Zaheer Abbas!

The game has clearly grown over the years to attract some serious amounts money, sponsorship, match collections etc. Unfortunately the overall management both at the ICC level and that of individual nations leaves much to be desired. Another case in point is the upcoming World Cup and the complete mismanagement by the WI board as far as preparations, distribution of tickets etc. are concerned.

Perhaps its time for some experienced management to run these various organizations and bring in some much needed professionalism. This might mean looking beyond former cricketers and politicians turned administrators. If this does not happen soon enough the game is going to suffer as a whole.

ICC corners Pak with a master stroke!

The hearing on the ball tampering issue was scheduled for Fri. But suddenly it was postponed because Madugalle had some personal issues to take care off! This is a master stroke by the ICC that can put even the greatest politicians to shame. Moving the date achieves a number of things.

1. It lets things cool down.

2. It ensures that Pak does not back out of the ODIs and hence helps the English board with the match collections.

3. Pak can’t afford to insist on the hearing before the ODIs. If they did they would be in deep trouble for refusing to play an already planned ODI series. As a follow up to the forfeiture this makes Pak look really bad.

4. Madugalle is such mild mannered guy that even if he returns a month later he isn’t the type who will make any drastic calls. The official incharge remains an easy going guy.

5. ICC comes out completely on top. The hearing will in all likelihood have no impact on the umpires. Inzy will probably endup with a reduced sentence. The matter will be forgotten for the most part after the ODI series.

While the ICC strategy is very clear, one can’t help but ask:

1. Didn’t the ICC know about Madugalle’s unavailability when it scheduled the hearing for Fri?

2. Why is Madugalle the only official who can oversee the hearing especially when he was not even around when it happened? If not being around is a plus why not bring in a “special prosecuter” of sorts!

3. Given the gravity of the issue can’t they assign a special official to oversee the hearing?

4. A team that has been accused of ball tampering could do the same in the ODIs. So why would you not settle the issue before letting the same team play again?

5. Inzy is obviously denying any charges of ball tampering. Considering that the umpire actually granted the penalty runs, it does imply that the team was guilty. How can a team that has been accused of a ball tampering be allowed to continue to play at the international level?

6. The Pak camp has welcomed the extension since it supposedly gives them more time to plan their legal strategy. While this might be true, what happened to Pakistani pride, the insult on the team’s integrity, the flagrant affront on its people etc. etc.

Google Groups vs Yahoo Groups

Google has been slowly launching all the regular Yahoo features one after another. First it was free email, followed by photos, groups, news, froogle, IM, voice chat etc etc. I use both Yahoo groups as well as Google groups and I must say that Yahoogroups is far superior. If you are thinking o starting a new group I would highly recommend Yahoo. There are many so called social networking sites that could do the job, but Yahoo has the inherent advantage of having been around longer than most. The other day someone sent me a few photos while I was in Yahoo Messenger. I was pleasantly surprised that I could select the pics that I wanted and save them directly to Yahoo photos. Cool bit of integration.

The database feature in Yahoogroups lets you maintain a phone book online of all your members. It supprts photos, files, calendar, and polls as well. In comparison Google groups has hardly changed visibly since its launch. Google seems to launch a whole bunch of competing products but doesn’t seem to be doing justice to most of them.

Movie Review: Chithiram Pesuthadi

Language: Tamil
Starring: Narain, Bhavna

I picked up this movie because I had heard that it was this years surprise hit. Man, what a disaster of a movie. The direction was awful. All the actors were so loud and hysterical it was impossible. The hero and the heroine are Malayalam imports. Narain (Sunil in mallu) portrays his character in the most irritatating manner! Bhavna was needlessly hysterical like most others in the movie. Middle class girl falls for thug and the rest is the usual stuff with some twists. Bad and a complete waste of tme.

Avoid this film if you can!

Pak-Hair scandal

Here are my top 10 thoughts on the recent scandal involving the Pak cricket team and Australian umpire Darrell Hair.

  1. Darrell Hair thinks he is bigger than the game of cricket and the cricketers. He has been trying to throw his weight around for too long and deserves to be cut down to size.
  2. Darrell Hair could have at least discussed the issue with Inzy before changing the ball or granting the 5 penalty runs. He was obviously trying to act like he was the “boss”.
  3. Mike Proctor should have summoned the captains and the umpires and addressed the issue during the break to avoid all the unneccassary drama. He should be docked a few matches for being so spinless and not taking charge of the situation.
  4. Darrell Hair must explain his decision and provide the proof. If its valid and substantiated, Inzy and co. should pay the price. If not, Hair must face serious consequences.
  5. If Hair’s claim is not substantiated Bill Doctrove must be docked a few matches for being a tagging along with Hair in all his showmanship.
  6. Ranatunga deserves credit for his comments on the issue. Most sensible of all I have read so far.
  7. It will be useful to know if Duncan Fletcher had lodged a complaint with the Procter when he met him the morning of the eventful day.
  8. The ICC must take complaints seriously and act on them unlike they have done in past to avoid such events in the future.
  9. It is imperative that the ICC take steps to ensure that similar events don’t occur again (either by instituting serious penalties or some other means).
  10. Lastly, the Indian Board should shut up till the events play out and those who are throwing around charges of racism must cool their jets.