Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where's the bin?

Waiting for an epidemic? Scene at Pycrofts I Street.

Where's the bin?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Parampara and tulasi

I happened to attend a programme by Parampara recently at their Alwarpet HQ to popularise tulasi / tulsi (Holy Basil). Though their intentions may be noble, I was stunned by the lack of sensitivity of the organisers.

A few school girls had come in their full dance costume. I saw one of them struggling to find out where to go and wait. All the organisers were busy welcoming and attending to the VVIPs such as Suhasini Maniratnam and Vyjanimala Bali. There was none to help the poor girl. Finally her teacher, who was in the audience, noticed her and asked her to come and sit near her.

There were some technical hitches with the ancient sound system, which is normal. But I was surprised to see the Parampara chief shouting at the sound system guy in full view of the crowd. I also saw her telling one of her assistants that it was getting late and there was no need for “these dance programmes”. This happened in full earshot of a poor kid waiting to dance.

I saw the father of the same kid asking the organisers (including the chief) after the programme for a place for his daughter to change her dress. While one of the organisers was kind enough to ask for a few minutes’ time, the chief almost brushed him aside!

There is no point in trying to promote what is a noble concept if you can’t understand the sensitivities of human beings, especially children. I feel the main reason for all these were the presence of too many VVIPs and VIPs. The organisers were so busy attending to them that they hardly realised they were doing it at the cost of hurting others.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Facebook Rolls Out New, Simplified, and Improved Privacy Features


(from Lifehacker)

There's been a lot of talk recently about Facebook and privacy (with good reason), but the settings weren't always user-friendly. Today, Facebook began rolling out their new simplified, yet feature-rich security settings to keep its users on top of their privacy.

It doesn't appear to be out for all accounts yet (my account has yet to change), but if your account has been switched, you should be prompted to set your security settings as soon as you log in. In fact, it will keep bugging you until you do set them—forcing users to take an active role in their privacy (which, for the many users who haven't even looked at their privacy settings since 2005, is probably a good thing).

The settings in the wizard have been narrowed down a lot to avoid confusion, and really only give you two choices—Facebook's recommended setting for that feature, or your old settings. However, once you go through the wizard, you will have a new feature on your profile that allows you to set who can see each individual status update, wall post, or any other individual post you make: everyone, friends of friends, only friends, or something more specific (blocking certain people, for example). Regional networks have been done away with in favor of this simpler "friends of friends" approach that, with how large networks have become since the college-only days, makes quite a bit more sense. What do you all think of the new privacy features? Sound off in the comments.

New Tools to Control Your Experience [Facebook Blog via CNET]