Random Thoughts, Cricket, Movies, Music ...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Indian Cricket : 2 steps forward, 1 Step back

India lost 4-1 to the West Indies in the 1-day tournament. I agree the score does seem like an eye sore but the series was tighter than what the final scorecard shows. Here is my complete take on the series:
  1. The turning point of the series was the last ball dismissal of Yuvraj Singh by Bravo, when India were so close to winning. That left a psychological scar which was difficult to overcome. A similar incident which had a damning effect was the spraining of ankle of McGrath in last year's Ashes series. England won that test and after that, there was no looking back for England. Having said that, India hardly played to its full potential, though.
  2. The problems started at the top of the order. The openers hardly got a decent partnership goin - 56, 25, 1, 13, 0. Probably, the strains of not playing with Sachin is showing now? - but India has actually done decent in the past but then experience is also a factor.
  3. Inconsistent performances from the toporder - Dravid, Sehwag, Raina, Dhoni & Yuvraj all have got starts and then got out. Dhoni and Raina, India's stars in previous series failed utterly in this series.
  4. India's bowling also lacked any kind of fire and/or variety. Pathan's speed or rather, the lack of it, is a worry but he has always made it up by wicket-taking ability and his batting prowess. Both deserted him in this series.
  5. Indian spinners hardly had any kind of impact as was expected. Bhajji bowled well but did not pick up wickets. Powar picked up some wickets but went for quite a few runs as well.
  6. All in all, it was a series, where things did not click well at all. I don't think, there is any reason to panic. They have been playing well for the past 11 months or so - as Dravid himself said "... you need to get up, dust yourself and keep going".
Go India !
-- Thyaga

Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Evening Audio Blog

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Google Launches Contextual Video Ads

Google has done it again. It has extended its Adsense technology and incorporated it into videos. So what happens now is that all the partner sites and Blogs whichever use AdSense, can now incorporate Video Ads based on the context. I think it is a cool idea because it will allow advertisers more control on their campaign and help to make it more successful.

We will wait and watch :-)

-- Thyaga

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tendulkar to miss the Windies tour

So the verdict is out - Sachin WILL NOT travel to the Windies for the Test series. That is indeed a huge blow for India. Sachin is yet to recover fully from his shoulder operation and so, he has been advised more rest and rehabilitation - lets hope he gets fit before the World Cup at least. On the other hand, it gives a perfect opportunity for the young turks such as Raina, Venu etc to stake a claim for a Test berth. Lets see how it goes.

-- T

Friday, May 19, 2006

Alexaholic ...

Alexaholic is a website traffic comparison site - this is actually a light weight Ajax client pulling data out of Alexa. Many of you might have noticed the similarity with Google Trends. Check it out - it is simple to use and most importantly, it gives quite indepth details of the page views. For example, check out the differences in page views for searches in Google, Yahoo! and MSN

With the power of mashups and APIs and Ajax, Web 2.0 is indeed coming of age. Lets just keep watching.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Cricket on Sportingstreams

I have used various sites to see Cricket live on the Internet - Willow, Echostar, Sgstream, Sky TV etc and I have found most of them good as far as quality is concerned. The latest discovery is Sportingstreams. They are currently offering 2 months of cricket which basically covers the West Indies - India series and the England - Sri Lanka series for $13.50.

I was initially reluctant to signup because the website is pretty creepy to say the least ! - also, I was not sure of the quality of the stream. But I did take it and well, let me tell you that the quality is absolutely great. The biggest problem is the huge setup time. But if you go through the tutorial on their website, then it becomes relatively easy.

After you are done with your setup, the link looks like this:

Happy viewing !
-- Thyaga

Friday, May 12, 2006

Random Thoughts

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Google Launches Google Trends

Google launched Google Trends yesterday - this is another great tool from Google. This allows you to see how often specific search terms are being entered into the Google search engine. In addition, you can do multiple trend searches at the same time - check it out and you will soon see why it is so cool.

"Search Trend" analysis on Sachin Tendulkar

I did a "search trend" analysis for my favorite cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. The surprising part of the result was that most of the searches originated from India (not surprising) followed by UAE (surprising indeed - is it because ICC headquarters has moved to Dubai ?;-)) followed by Pakistan. Most notably, countries like Singapore and Hong Kong seem to be more interested in Sachin Tendulkar than Australia - so what was all the fuss of Sachin and Bradman all about :-).

Play around with it and you will soon get some interesting trends - let me know if you get something really interesting.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Spring time in the Valley

Looks like spring is here in full bloom. Check out some of the snaps - some taken from inside our house and some of the garden behind.

Its indeed quite beautiful.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Starting a new Blog

Hello All,
I just wanted to inform you that I am starting a new Blog about the Cricket World Cup 2007 - http://worldcup07.blogspot.com/

I want to use that as a forum to track the World Cup 07 in Caribbean. Let me know if anyone of you is interested in contributing to that Blog.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Online music subscription gets interesting

Napster today announced that it aims to compete in the online music subscription/downloads market through ad-supported free music streams. Obviously, this is an aim to have an edge over its rival ITunes. However, there is a catch - users can listen to any of its 2 million song inventory for a maximum of 5 times (they need to register first). After that, it is 99 cents a song for unlimited listening or subscribe to 2 ad-free subscription offers.

This news is quite interesting because we were doing a similar case study on RealNetworks' Rhapsody music service (case was dated back in 2002) and they were figuring out how to make money out of the online music subscription/download business. Although they planned on having an online digital radio for users ultimately, we felt that they were probably ahead of their time because connectivity was not ubiquitous even today.

However, an ad-supported model probably made better sense - I am still not sure whether users would want to pay 99 cents / song to listen to it forever. Probably, they could have made it 99 cents to download the song for good after listening to it 5 times for free.

We will soon see how visionary they were :)