A New Favourite!

It’s clearly been eons since I’ve written anything on this blog. I’m now writing to introduce you to my darlingest sister and her entry (finally!) into the world of blogging. 😀 She intends to write mostly about food (being the best cook I know of!) and also about life and a little bit of this and that. If you love food and a little less pretentious writing than my own — I highly recommend you read and follow her. Her blog is here. Go read!


New Pages

Lots of new stuff coming up:

The all new start-page is online @: http://varna.sr.googlepages.com/

A new tumblrlog for random stuff on the web is online @: http://varna.tumblr.com

The delicious bookmarks page (cleaned up) is online @: http://del.icio.us/varna

A new photojournal is online here @: http://varnavisuals.wordpress.com

I shall start publishing on these pretty soon. 😀


The web has had a lot of interesting stuff floating around this week- or maybe its just that I have had more time to sit up and take notice lately.

Web Worker daily has a fascinating post about a positive web presence and getting a good job. Green technology just got a thumbs up with Tesla Roadster, a 100-percent electric car inspired by PC technology that is clean, green and the ultra-cool machine.

More exciting stuff on the PC front- Yahoo is doling out unlimited e-mail storage to its mail users— one could now consider forgiving them for the awful YahooMail Beta interface. PC Mag has a nice article on Web 3.0 and an even nicer one on customizing Vista if you’ve made the Vista transition.

CSE (although I disagree with most of what it says most times) has some interesting analysis of social sector spending in the union budget. It is also offering an opportunity to work with NREGA evaluation, if anyone is looking for voluntary work in the summer. The CSE controversy on pesticides has also reached a resolution of sorts- read about it here.

Happy reading!

Cyber Style

Twitter is one way to feel less lonely. Take a look at twittervision and you’ll figure how popular Twitter really is. After you’re done looking at that take a look at Skype’s newest feature called Skype Prime— you get to charge for calls if you want. The potentials of both Twitter and Skype Prime are enormous, and people say technology ain’t everything?!


Sometime ago, I wrote a post entitled ‘Praying to Trees‘, the point I was trying to make then was about turning environmental protection into a religion. Environmental fanaticism is neither new nor pretty, in fact sometimes its clearly off-putting, even for those who are inherently sympathetic to the green cause. Take a look at PC Format’s report on Antony Lewis.

For those of you, who don’t know Antony Lewis is the architect of the rather brilliant and extraordinarily useful freeware utility- WordWeb.  I’ve used WordWeb for a long time and quite happily. Perhaps that is why the attempt to sing the green tune by its maker is painful.

Lewis in an interview says, “Climate change is an international crisis. By linking prices to customers’ carbon footprint we can provide an incentive for people to cut down. WordWeb is used worldwide, including in many countries such as India with rapidly expanding economies where awareness of climate change is growing only slowly. Software developers and Internet companies can reach an international audience consisting precisely of those people who are most likely to have unsustainable lifestyles. We hope the new licensing model will increase awareness of the high environmental cost of air travel and encourage people to fly less.”

Sigh. I have several questions, of which the pertinent ones are these: How on Earth are frequent fliers going to be told apart from other users? Unless of course you intend to illegally monitor surfing habits and draw correlation, in which case I would rather unhappily call WordWeb Spyware now. 

I’m all for green incentives, but this really is not one of them! Now if Microsoft were to do something about dirty manufacturing I would understand–but targeting Indian’s who have just about started off with low-cost airlines is a bit much! Here’s the problem, the idea of free software is a commitment to free as in freedom and not a space to push ideology that not all people necessarily buy!

More importantly, daft things like this takes away from the seriousness of environmental movements, that have in the third world much more to do with marginalised communities and subsistence livelihoods as opposed to over-consumption. Skewed incentives, is what it is. Sigh.

Blog Mad

Blog Mad is the newest on blogging traffic exchange. What do I like about it? The fact that it has a whole host of really fun games and that not you don’t have to have obligatory buttons on your website to surf random blogs…. Its good stuff so far. Blog Mad is in invite mode only right now, so if anyone wants to join leave me a comment and head to pages>referrals>vote for Me! and I’ll invite you.