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c_class.pngFor the past 10 days I’ve been on American soil and hence the chirping crickets on this blog. I’m back for several reasons: business, personal and what I like to call “damn it feels good to be here.” List of things I’ve done so far:

– Visited the Apple Store on 5th Ave in NYC 4 times
– Mexican food – 3 times
– Watched the reality show “Blind Date” for several hours, I love it because most of it was filmed in LA
– Bought the iPhone
– Drove around the highways of DC, with the windows down – nothing beats fresh air
– Visited the Apple Store at Montgomery Mall
– Checked out the new Mercedes C class
– Wandered aimlessly through BestBuy

Yeah, it feels great to be back and I guess I will always consider the US my home. Just like my dad after living in the States for 35 years still calls India home. It’s really great to see the family and just hang out as well.

Most Annoying Ad

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I don’t watch much TV in India. But when I do, I always see this commercial from HCL. I just hate this smug little IT guy. You get the feeling HCL is everywhere, but it’s not. If this was from Reliance, then that’s another story. Best part is he looks over to the helicopter and says “I’m going overseas for a life sciences project” but he doesn’t say OH-VER-SEAS he say OH-WERE-SEA’s, dude learn to say your V’s.

Another Recall

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mattel_logo.pngThe folks over at El Segundo, CA based Mattel should really look at changing their name to Mettalic in light of yet another product recall involving lead paint. This would be recall number three for them. If you didn’t know lead paint is paint containing lead, a heavy metal.

The company at first blamed China for the lack of quality control which is a bit disingenuous. Its a good excuse till you realize that most Apple products are made in China and their quality is top notch. Granted most Apple users don’t shove their iPods into their mouths like kids do with Mattel products, but it shows blaming an entire country for quality control is a farce.

RUFK: Sony vs. Apple

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sony_logo.pngRUFK – Are You F**king Kidding.

That’s what ran through my mind when I saw the following headline in the Wall Street Journal – “Sony to Challenge Apple in TV, movie download.” Sony is a USD 70 billion company with 163,000 people and they are still clueless on their market strategy. I don’t remember when they lost their edge, but at one point there were the only game in town. Want a TV, buy a Sony Trinitron. Want a portable tape player, buy a Walkman.

What is pathetic is they actually have all the pieces to the puzzle, they just don’t know how to put it together. Some of the companies that make up the Sony Corporation:
Sony Electronics – Bravia TV’s, DVD players, VAIO computers, Cyber-Shot, Xplod car audio
Sony Computer Entertainment – PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable
Sony Picture Entertainment – Columbia Pictures, TriStar Movies and a boatload of TV channels around the world
Sony BMG Music Entertainment – Arista Records, Columbia Records, Epic Records, J Records, Jive Records, LaFace Records, RCA Records

They seem to have it all, yet they don’t have it all together.

Facebook vs. Friendster

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facebook_logo.pngIt’s really not even worth comparing the two social networking sites since Facebook wins hands down. However, it’s worth comparing to show how Facebook kicked Friendster to the curb. Friendster was all the rage back in 2003 and quickly the site was swamped with traffic and never fully recovered. It even told Google to take it’s USD 30 million offer and get lost. I used it for a while but after the increased traffic slowed it down I rarely used it. About a year back I started to hear about Facebook and thought, here we go again another Friendster wannabe.

But this time it was different, the site was written around the highly scalable LAMP architecture. One of the innovative features it had over Friendster was the ability to import your e-mail addresses from a Hotmail or Gmail and quickly find people already using Facebook. The other cool feature was a “mini-feed” that showed what OTHER people were doing on Facebook. If someone added vacation photos or joined a new group you would know about it.

For me one of the biggest selling points to using Facebook was its iPhoto plugin. I could take pictures with my digital camera and then load them into iPhoto as I normally do. Then I could select which pictures I wanted to upload to Facebook and even tag people in the pics…brilliant.

But, it ain’t all fun and games. A friend (ahem, AZ) asked me “dude, aren’t you too old to be on Facebook?” Ouch.