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Corona and Medical Advice Dilemma - Do we know someone who knows?

One of the major challenges of Corona Pandemic is that one always feels the need to get informed advice on various aspects of preventive care from it. While the Covid vaccines are sometime away, what does one do, if we feel some anxiety about any other ailment that requires medical advice? Fortunately, we have Ayurveda and other forms of wellness advice to look at. Dr Pankaj Chansarkar is an accomplished Ayurveda Specialist, Holistic Healing and Wellness Coach, who is just a video call away.

Open Source moves on, and c,mm,n, here's a car

Wikipedia defines Open Source as follows:
"Open source is a set of principles and practices that promote access to the production and design process for various goods, products, resources and technical conclusions or advice."

Note the broad definition.However, in common terms, Open Source is widely perceived to be something related to software, worse still, Microsoft vs Redhat.

So, when I read about a car being made 'Open Source', I halted to read about it. At the Dutch auto-fair Auto RAI 2007, The Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment and the three technical universities of Delft, Eindhoven and Twente launched what was termed as their stimulating vision on mobility. In plain language, three universities have come together to design a car on the collaborative movement called Open Source. The car of the future is called c,mm,n (pronounced 'Common'). Essentially, that would mean, collaborative, shared designing of a car('a car' -isn't that an oxymoron in the context of Open Source?!) by car design enthusiasts. The blueprints are available for anyone to download, improve and productionize if you wish, provided, you plough back your improvements to the common knowledge pool.

Hang on, the cars aren't rolling off the assembly line anytime soon(and certainly you would never download the car from Sourceforge), we are just talking about the initial phase of this new idea. If you would like to see a visual of c,mm,n, Core 77 has a picture of the concept car showcased at Auto RAI 2007.

Car design is a complex and very expensive affair. Maybe, like Linux avatars, a bunch of talented car designers form a 'kernel', from which many derivative models can be made. Maybe the frame, the engine, the powertrain designs would evolve in public domain. That is the idea behind this Open Source Car movement.

Another related point. As cars become more complex, they carry more an more of embedded software for control, in a field called infotronics. Not sure how far how much Open Source movement really fits into that, since most of the infotronics (some estimates put it over 10-15% of overall cost of some categories of cars) is believed to be proprietary, and in a very competitive space.

Overall, brings the concept of Open Source to the physical domain. A very interesting idea indeed. Move over Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Tata. The kids are on the drawing board and they know what they are doing.


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Google organized Wordmasters Challenge in several cities in India recently (30th September,2006). Word is that close to 3000 people participated in this event.
(See Harshad's report on the event here) The winners are supposed to be declared today.Wonder who won it and what did the winning entries look like. Does anyone have a clue on this?

Updated:Nov 9 , 2006:I just decided to send a self-addressed-stamped envelope to Google. If and when I get a response, I will update this post.

Updated:Nov 16 , 2006: One week and no response received. Yes, a self-addressed stamped envelope with a covering note was indeed sent to Google's Bangalore office on the address specified in the event leaflet. Snailmailed on 9th Nov. So much for the mission to organise the world's information and make it accessible to everyone :)

Updated: Nov 29, 2006: I did send a second letter to Google, this time by courier, assuming the previous postal mail failed to reach them. The contents of my letter to Googl…

TOI Chennai Launch - How would the Hindu react?

Of course this post is speculative in nature but then isn't that the case with lot of things :)

The question is, how will market leader the Hindu react to the Times of India's proposed launch in Chennai:

Do nothing, no one can shake me - 0% probability.
Do nothing on the surface, work on the distribution control - 10 % probability.Start outdoors before the TOI does, buy hoarding spaces - moderate probability.Go for a drastic price cut and start a price war - almost certain to happen ( Do remember price positioning is not good but then you just lost the chance)Make the paper better - which means not saying a leading star hotel in Nungambakkam but saying Taj Coromandal instead- 10 % probability.Start publishing more color photos- 50 % probability.
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Humour:A conversation between Presidents Kalam and Musharraf that never happened

(Indian President A.P.J Abdul Kalam invited President Musharraf of Pakistan to a meeting. For good measure he suggested the meeting be organized over video-conference. Since Aiwan-e-Sadr did not have VC facilities. Bush bailed him once again and Musharraf took a flight to DC to take the VC from the White House)
It was 6:30 PM IST, which was 9 AM EST.

Kalam: Good morning Your Excellency.

Musharraf: Good morning President (Musharraf forgot the time difference). Kashmir…..(cut short by Kalam)

Kalam: Yes, Kashmir. Few minutes back I was in the herbal garden of Rashtrapati Bhawan, where we have some of the herbs especially brought from Kashmir. The ancient science of Ayurveda, emphasized a lot on the importance of herbs in our life. They give you vitality(pauses and sips something, which he emphasizes is Kashmiri drink Kehwa, organically grown). Infact, you must take a pledge that you would only consume herbal products. I have a pledge for you(picks up a card next to him but is cut short by M…