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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

BehindWoods Gets Inspired

Anusha tipped me that an article in Behindwoods (a site which carries news and gossips about Kollywood) bears some resemblance to the Namitha article that I had written couple of days ago. The comparison is for you to see. I wouldn't claim that my article featured any stylish writing. Behindwoods has used the exact magazine covers that I had featured and also elaborated on some of the data points that I had given. A screenshot has been featured alongside in case they decide to take off their article. The following extract is what I consider as bearing resemblance to my earlier post:

Both the vernacular media as well as the English media is obsessed with this latest syndrome. She has become something like a permanent quotient or a constant who figures in the covers of the magazine or inside with some inconsequential news.

The entire media both the print and the visual should owe a thing or two to this voluptuous Gujarati beauty. Even the prestigious and the most popular newspaper ‘The Hindu’ also seems to be bitten by Namitha bug. In the past two months, there were articles in this daily about the weight loss programme of Namitha and its modalities.

Then, there was SS channel, which came out with ‘Anything for Namitha’ wherein many youth considered this to be of national importance and participated just to spend an evening with her.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Gujarat's Loss Is TN Media's Gain

Most Tamil magazines have started featuring Namitha on their cover atleast once every three weeks. Even if Namitha is not featured on the cover, there is some crappy article about Namitha inside the magazine. The English media is no exception. The Hindu runs stories when Namitha goes on a slimming spree by consuming Subway sandwiches and also when she takes part in a dream date contest which was organized by a music channel. If you are a Namitha fan, you should also patronize Gadgetguru, as Namitha is one of the promoters of Gadgetguru. For all you know, the site might offer a free lunch / dinner with Namitha for select customers of Gadgetguru :-)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

An Ovrdoz of SMS Lingo

It might be kewl to use SMS lingo in non-SMS situations but one gets a fatigue if it is used by MSM in an inappropriate way. An Economic Times article on making money through blogs repeatedly uses the word 'Sayz' instead of says. Such SMS lingo is still acceptable if it is used rhymingly with a headline, but such usage in a news report is ridiculous.

“It was one of the most anticipated topics,” sayz Kiruba Shankar an organiser, who is also director of interactive services, Sulekha.

So what is it that will drive traffic towards your blog? “The way to make money (from your blog) is to focus on a niche subject,” sayz Mr Shankar.

For example, Mr Shankar sayz he knows a lot of people who make ‘decent money’ from writing cooking recipes.

Mr Abhinav, who was one of the speakers at Blogcamp, sayz, “Personally, I would like to see a good art blog.

Monday, September 25, 2006

SBI at the receiving end, but no surprises

When the SBI Debit Card Campaign ("Welcome to a Cashless World") was launched earlier this year, it evoked some strong responses from the blogosphere. Although the damage has already been done, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has directed SBI to stop using the commercial.

The visual of the ad made by Mudra Communications, depicted Bholu, an ex-pickpocket going through various stages of vigorous hard work and having dry pieces of bun at the end of the day with a sad look on his face. The punch line in the TVC says, "Welcome to State Bank Debit Card, welcome to a cashless world." The complaint made that the ad by implication tends to incite people to commit crime by conveying that the advantage of being a pickpocket far outweighs the hardships of physical work.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Big Bazaar Takes The Online Route

Kishore Biyani’s Future Group has been dreaming big and it is tough to ignore the extensive media coverage that they are receiving. Future Bazaar, their online venture has not created enough buzz as yet, but could very well go on to be a permanent fixture in the Indian online marketplace.

To start with, Future Bazaar’s tag line sounds like a rip-off of the popular one used by Walmart. It says “Lowest Prices – Everyday” as against “Always Low Prices” used by Walmart. Future Bazaar intends to be a one-stop shop and currently features products like Cameras, Computers, Books, Mobiles and Consumer Durables. I am surprised to see some really high-end products (costing more than Rs. 1 lakh) like laptops and Plasma TVs being listed on the site. Customers who intend to buy such expensive goods are more likely to visit the stores rather than order online.

One of the main reasons for this post is the book shopping facility offered by Future Bazaar. I thought it would be a natural extension of my earlier post on book shopping which receives a large number of hits through search engines.

Nothing much has changed since I wrote the last post. Prakash Books and Indiatimes still offer the best prices. Landmark offers the largest range. Fabmall claims to offer a large range, but would fall short of Landmark.

Future Bazaar’s book collection is not impressive. It has about 100 titles listed under it. It promises 20 – 30% discount on its entire range. If Future Bazaar ramps up its collection, it could very well establish a name for itself in the book retailing industry.

Text Book

Another interesting development is taking place in the book retailing industry. Oxford Bookstore has launched an SMS Alert service whereby customers are alerted about new launches and best sellers. I’m not sure whether people can order by responding to the SMS alert. With the rapid growth in mobile penetration, it would be interesting to see the impact of this move.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

RmKV's Irreversible Decision

The RmKV ad featuring Jyothika was the talk of the town especially in the run up to Jyothika's wedding with Surya. RmKV could not have thought of a better time for the launch of the much talked about reversible sari. Even TV channels took advantage of the developments and screened Surya's TVS Motor ad immediately after Jyothika's RmKV ad. Jyothika's wedding sari was a matter of intense debate and one of my favourite columnists devoted quite a bit of column space on this issue:

Last week I read an interesting piece of gossip when I visited Chennai. Jyotika, the famous Tamil film actress who is slated to marry another famous Tamil actor, Surya, went shopping for her wedding saris. And where did Jyotika, the celebrity endorser of the high-profile RmKV Silks, shop? If reports are to be believed, the celebrity shopped with an entourage for the wedding at (hold your breath) Tulsi Silks!

(Before writing this column, I once again checked this out with my niece who lives in Chennai who said that Jyotika had bought her wedding saris in RMKV too, as per a later report. This confused me but my niece didn't seem too worried as she was more concerned about her heartthrob Surya getting married!) But for me, at least, the damage was done.

I don't know whether the guys at RmKV read Ramanujam Sridhar's column but they have decided to withdraw the campaign featuring Jyothika. This should go down as one of the most successful ad campaigns in recent history. Jo fans would probably need to wait for some more time to see whether she resurfaces in the ad circuit. For all you know, Jyothika might follow Simran's footsteps and might start accepting silly ads like Udhayam Paruppu.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Payback Time?

The DMK government has been making lot of noise about the distribution of Colour TV sets and land to the public. All this has been timed quite well to influence the voter's mind before the local body elections. Dayanidhi Maran (whose daily objective is to appear atleast once everyday in Sun News) has gone on record saying that the people should vote for DMK in the local body elections as a kaimmaru for the goodies doled out by the DMK government. It has also come to light that some families who already have a TV were also given the free Colour TV as complete enumeration was not possible.

‘‘After receiving so much of welfare measures, what would you give to the thalaivar (Karunanidhi) in return ?...do not be satisfied with just expressing your goodwill in words... your conscience should work during the ensuing elections to the local bodies (ungal manasatchi varum ullatchi therthalil velai seyya vendum)’’, Dayanidhi Maran said.

Maran, more or less, confirmed that no proper enumeration of families without televisions had been done before the launch of the scheme, and that at least some families which already had television were also included among the beneficiaries.

‘‘When we passed through some areas in the colony, I saw cable (TV) connections here and there...but colour television sets will be given to all 2,745 families residing in this area’’, the Union Minister assured. (Source: New Indian Express, Link not available)

MK seems to be adopting a different approach:

I expect nothing from you for implementing these schemes. It is enough if you follow the ideals of our great leaders Periyar and Anna (DMK founder C N Annadurai). We should strive to create a society with rationalist ideals and without caste differences.

Goodbye Sun TV, Hello Vijay TV

Viewers in Singapore finally have some choice. You don't have to put up with Sun TV's non-stop mega-serial menace during primetime. After the recent change in Sun's programme schedule, even the 8.30 pm slot usually reserved for film-based programmes has been taken over by Meena's mega-serial. Vijay TV's entry into the Singapore market could not have come at a better time. A press release from StarHub states that Star Vijay will be available in Singapore from 18th Sep.

VIJAY will be accessible round-the-clock via channel 28, and will comprise of a variety of programme genres, including talent hunts, music shows, sitcoms, dramas, thrillers, reality shows and Hindi blockbusters.

When did they start showing Hindi blockbusters on Vijay?

Friday, September 15, 2006

In Love With Masala Dosa and Hotel Connemara

Office Tiger was one of the first few BPO success stories from India and its co-CEO Joseph Sigelman has already won quite a few accolades. I'm wondering why Joe is staying put in Hotel Connemara for the last 7 years. Although location might have been a criteria, wouldn't he have been better off (financially and otherwise) if he had chosen a rented house in a proper residential locality?

Why Chennai? "We looked at the various cities in India. And what tilted it in favour of Chennai was my love for masala dosa! I remembered the taste of the masala dosa I tasted when I was 12!" Joe chuckled.

On a serious note, Joe added, coming from the US, he didn't want to be in a bigger city like Mumbai or Delhi. "Bangalore was like the Silicon Valley and we preferred a quieter place. And it has been a great, great experience in Chennai."

On reaching Chennai, they checked in at Hotel Connemara. The hotel receptionist asked them, "How long will you stay here?"

That was in 1999. By 2006, Joe has not checked out yet. He still lives in the same room at the same hotel. (Link to the original Rediff story)

Joe proudly claims that he doesn't drive around and relies on autorickshaws for commuting within Chennai. That's some achievement for the foreigner.

Dial A P0rn Video

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Captain Becomes Dravidian Captain

From now on, Gabtun Vijayakanth will be called Dravidian Captain. Being a new politician, one can clearly see that Vijayakanth is being bullied by the likes of DMK and PMK. I personally feel that Vijayakanth should not have gone for a name change. Tomorrow, the PMK might protest that Captain is not a Tamil word and Vijayakanth might be forced to change his name again :-)

Hyundai's Second Home

Reuters reports on how Hyundai India (HMIL) takes care of its Korean employees in India:

Determined to make its 60-some Korean employees feel at home in Chennai, Hyundai is raising 50 white Yorkshire pigs and growing vegetables alongside its car and engine factories, offering its expatriates familiar cuisine.

Pork is rare in Chennai, where many people are vegetarian. For Koreans, who depend on the meat for much of their protein intake, that's a tough adjustment to make.

And adjusting is key, Hyundai says, because with more than $1 billion earmarked for its Indian operations, the world's sixth-biggest car maker is here for the long haul.

In addition to the scallions, peppers and radish grown at the lush 13,000 sq metre farm, the company arranges two grocery shipments a year from South Korea that expatriate workers from all Hyundai group firms in Chennai order by email.

Ford Motor Co. takes the opposite approach by expecting all its staff -- from the managing director to factory floor workers -- to share the same canteen serving Indian food. Its staff, including the chief executive, are mostly Indian.

Hyundai, whose Indian operations are more than 10 times that of Ford's, says its gastronomical arrangements do not mean that its staff are sheltered from the local culture.

All Korean employees new to India go through an induction course to learn about local etiquette and working conditions. They can also dine in the canteen that serves Indian fare if they choose and the Indian staff can also try out Korean food.

The Hindu Runs Out Of News

Shilpa Shetty visits a dentist and that makes it to the news. I think The Hindu is building strong barriers of entry for ToI in the Chennai market.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Online Option For Bus Tickets

With online train and flight ticket bookings becoming extremely popular with the Indian traveller, it was just a matter of time before the bus operators joined the party. KPN Travels was probably one of the earliest ones to offer this. redBus is the latest entrant in this space. I guess redBus will tie up with lot of bus operators and in turn offer a wider choice to the passengers.

A general observation is that the bus operators open up their booking only few days / weeks before the actual departure date. Indian Railways allows you to book tickets upto 60 days in advance. IIRC, the maximum period a bus operator allows is a 2 / 3 weeks before the actual departure date (those in the know can validate this info). In order to cater to people who plan their trips in advance, the bus operators could open up their bookings earlier so that the passengers needs are met.

I tried querying for some random dates in October for a trip from Bangalore to Chennai. The search results currently offer tickets in Sharma Transport for Volvo A/c (Rs. 525) and Volvo A/c Semi Sleeper (Rs. 550). The results don't offer any other choices. One possible reason could be that redBus currently offers only tickets in A/c buses. If redBus attends to some of these issues, it can cruise to victory.

Indic Blogging gets a boost

A Bangalore based startup has come up with a software which uses the intuitive way for transliteration of content. Tachyon Technologies, the company behind this venture currently offers this software for Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi users.

The latest from the Tachyon stable, released yesterday, is a transliteration-based Indian language software, Quill. While other transliteration software products are already available (such as Baraha), Quill is different because it allows an intuitive use of language since it is driven entirely by commonly accepted phonetic rules.

I was using the Unicode interface of JaffnaLibrary for creating Tamil content earlier. As per this, I would have to type vaNakkam to get the Tamil output as வணக்கம். However, if I use Tachyon's Quillpad, I just need to type vanakkam to get the desired output. Quillpad currently works with IE 6.0 browser only.

Let's hope that such tools lead to a spurt in the number of blogs in Indian languages.

Out Of Reach

A new book about Chennai is priced at Rs. 2,500. At this price, even libraries would think twice before buying it and ordinary individuals might not even consider buying it.

The essays are interesting, offer variety and the language is simple enough to interest the layperson. Both the Madrasi and the Chennaiite (if such a distinct difference is to be found) will enjoy the book.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Beware Of Seekmo Spyware

Many Indian bloggers have installed a script from Fast Online Users to track the number of visitors viewing a particular blog at any given time. I was also using this till recently. Few blog readers started pointing out to me that they see a spyware pop-up message from Seekmo spyware when they visit my blog. Further investigation revealed that these people visited the blog through search engines. Since I didn’t know the source of the problem, I just ignored it. Regular readers who either type the URL (click on it from their bookmarks) and the ones who read it through a RSS reader never experienced such spyware problems.

Neha then sent me a screenshot of the spyware (shown above) and also highlighted the script that was causing trouble. After this, I have removed the Fast Online Users script and hopefully such a spyware message should not pop-up yet again. For those using Fast Online Users, this is a gentle request to take it off as you might be inconveniencing your readers even without your own knowledge. Here is a live example of the Seekmo Spyware. Click on the first search result in this link. When you visit the site, you will be experiencing the spyware message. Pls spread the word.

Kollywood Wedding Of The Year

The wait is finally over. Although the Surya - Jo wedding was supposedly off limits to the media, pictures have started appearing in Sify and even Sun TV seems to have carried it. Looks like they permitted 'influential media' to cover the event. Among other things, RmKV would have definitely made a killing with the buzz around the reversible silk saree. Anusha has some pics from the Mehendi function as well.

(Pic Courtesy: Anusha)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Another Show Begins In Mega-Serial Land

S Anand of Outlook writes about the delivery of CTV sets by the DMK government and says that TN is expected to reach record levels of TV penetration (assuming DMK delivers all the TV sets that it has promised).
After the midday meal scheme pioneered by Kamaraj in 1957 (covering one-third of all schoolchildren) and cemented by M.G. Ramachandran in 1982 (extended to all primary schoolchildren), the proposed supply of 90 lakh CTVs by the DMK regime has created a sensation. But first, some figures. According to the latest National Readership Survey, TN already has the highest TV penetration in the country, at 76.2 per cent. And of every 100 TV sets, 60 have cable connection. By this reckoning, of TN's 6.2 crore population accounting for 142 lakh families, only 35 lakh are likely to be without a TV. Karunanidhi, of course, wants everyone to have a colour TV. With the oversupply of 90 lakh units benefiting several families which already have a TV set, TN is set to emerge as the first state with 100 per cent media literacy.

This should be good news not just to Kalanidhi Maran's Cable TV Distribution business, but also to PMK and Zee Group. PMK just launched a Tamil channel which would not carry any film-related content (let's see how long they survive). Zee Network also has plans to enter the Tamil segment.
Now a TV without cable is like a bulb without a filament. Most beneficiaries in TN are aware that Karunanidhi's nephews own the Sun Network, and that the Sun-owned Sumangali Cable Vision controls over 85 per cent of CAS connections in the state. They also know they'll have to pay a minimum of Rs 100 per month for even free-to-air channels.

One just hopes that alternate modes of Cable TV distribution like DTH and IPTV(?) should catch on so that the near monopoly in the Cable TV distribution business becomes a thing of the past.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Vroooms For Rent

Some of you might have heard of Benzz Park Tulip, a business class hotel located in T.Nagar, Chennai. I haven't been there before and hence didn't know that some top boss there has a liking for automobiles. This observation is not just based on the usage of the word Benz(z) in the hotel's name. The restaurants have been named Lexus, Porsche and Ferrari. The banquet halls are called Rover, Rolls Royce and Volvo. Since most of these auto majors (Toyota and Volvo) already have a presence in India and the rest of them also have serious plans of entering the Indian market, I'm surprised how such usage of the brand name has not caught the attention of the automobile companies. I can understand usages like Ferrari Snack and Cool Bar, Lexus Hair Cutting Saloon and Volvo Newspaper Mart in our neighbourhoods, but how can a prominent 3-Star hotel located in the heart of the city miss the eye of the company officials?

Blog Camp Blah Blah

The Hindu's E-Paper: Better Late Than Never

The Hindu and it's sister publication Business Line are finally joining the e-paper family, which currently includes most of the Indian MSM. New Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle, Deccan Herald, Indian Express, Financial Express, Economic Times, Times of India, Dinamalar, Dinakaran and Tamizh Murasu already offer their content in the e-paper format.

Those who prefer to read their newspaper in the same format as the printed one would definitely take to the e-paper format. The slow navigation and the irksome free registration are the main factors which work against the acceptance of the e-paper. The press release says that there will be no access fee for the e-paper, atleast for the moment. So far, none of the Indian MSM have started charging users for reading the e-paper. Since most of the online news is available for free, I don't think any of the Indian media establishments can hope to make money through the e-paper. Indian magazines like India Today, Business Today, Vikatan and Thuglak charge users for accessing content online, but it is not clear whether they are really making sizeable money through this.

With The Hindu offering city specific e-papers, would we get to read supplements like Downtown, which are currently available only to the readers of the print edition? The Hindu should really think of integrating the interface and registration of the various e-papers offered by the various publications under The Hindu banner. Under the current structure, The Hindu and Business Line have separate registration / login screens. This creates some discomfort as the user would need to create multiple user accounts to access content from the different publications.

Same Blood

For Namitha fans, there is some reason to cheer.

My Title Has Been Stolen

A call from my parents brought to light the recent mention of my blog's title in a neighbourhood newspaper in Chennai. My initial reaction was a sense of excitement. I prodded my folks to read out the entire article as I assumed that the blog name / title would have been mentioned in the context of blogs / Chennai or atleast the thiruttu VCD related article that I had written recently.

My joy was shortlived after I realized that the article was in no way connected to any of the topics mentioned above. Apollo Times is a neighbourhood newspaper in Chennai and their T.Nagar edition (dated 3rd September) carried an elaborate piece (that too on the front page) on the rise of Indra Nooyi in the global corporate world. I somehow feel that the neighbourhood newspaper is misleading the public by going for an unrelated caption that doesn't make justice to the article.

If you are a blogger who has a unusual / wacky / funny blog title, better watch out as the MSM folks might use it in some form as they seem to be running out of choices.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Glorious Career That Came To A Grinding Halt

People who follow table tennis would definitely remember the trauma caused to former national champion V Chandrasekhar as a result of the wrong treatment given by Apollo Hospital.

In September 1984, V. Chandrasekhar, three times national table tennis champion and Arjuna Award winner, went to Chennai's Apollo Hospital for treatment of a seemingly innocuous injury. He needed a minisectomy to remove a loose cartilage in his knee, but in a classic exhibition of callousness during the operation, the oxygen supply was turned off for a few minutes, leading to the death of some brain cells.(A healthy person will not be affected if oxygen supply to the brain is cut off for up to four minutes; seven minutes will kill.)

Chandrasekhar lost his speech, vision and body co-ordination. He slipped into a coma for nearly two months, and was completely blind for over eight. Today, because of narrow field vision, he cannot drive; finds taking the stairs and turning his body difficult. His thought process is lucid, but there's a gap between thought and speech.

Chandrasekhar demanded compensation from Apollo, but they refused. He sued the hospital, the surgeon and the anaesthetist in the Chennai High Court in September 1985 -- and initiated a legal battle that lasted over 10 years. The case was finally settled by the Supreme Court, which awarded Chandrasekhar Rs 19 lakh as compensation in February 1995.

The man has fought against all odds to escape death and has now presented his experiences in the form of a book. The book is aptly titled, My Fight Back From Death’s Door. Let’s hope that Chandra can realize his dream of building a top-notch TT Academy in Chennai.

Shopping and Parking in T.Nagar

T Nagar is widely regarded as Chennai's premier shopping district as it is home to most of the prominent jewellery and saree shops. Even though the traffic and parking situation have gone beyond control, people still flock to Usman Road, Ranganathan Street and Pondy Bazaar. What's amazing is that there is no off-season period for this shopping belt. Business Line has a feature on how T.Nagar's shopping landscape has changed over the years.

Back in the early 90s (when cable channels were yet to find favour with the audience), Sunday evening was a safe bet to venture into Usman Road as most people would be confined to their homes, watching the feature film on Doordarshan. In the recent past, the crowd levels are supposedly lower when India plays a cricket match.

Sight-seeing in a South Indian Restaurant

Colin Todhunter, author of Chasing Rainbows in Chennai, writes an interesting piece on the sights and sounds one witnesses in a South Indian restaurant. The scene could be very well based in Saravana Bhavan, except for the banana leaf and the pricing.
What springs immediately to mind whenever I think of such a place are the pictures or figures of various Gods garlanded with marigolds near the entrance, puja being performed with burning incense that tinges the air and bare-chested staff hauling huge canisters or sacks of produce down the aisles and into the kitchen. I anticipate eating in a place where banana leaves are used instead of plates and where the menu comprises uttapam, idlis, and plain dosas, rava dosas, special dosas and… yes, more dosas.

Supervisors patrol the passageways that separate the endless neat rows of tables, shouting orders to the staff and uniformed and sometimes bare-footed boys clear tables by placing leftovers into large metal buckets. Waiters scurry around and shovel out various dishes from gleaming, smaller aluminium buckets, serving unlimited vegetarian ‘‘meals’’ for a fixed price of twenty rupees or so. And the most striking feature of a South Indian restaurant: the sense of urgency and anticipation that prevails. As soon as a customer sits, someone approaches almost immediately to place a banana leaf in front of you or pour water from a metal jug into a matching shiny mug. And when the food arrives, people eat as if there is no tomorrow. It’s fast food both in the way it arrives and is eaten.

Little, old women sit, sprinkle the banana leaf with water and then proceed to pack away mounds of rice and sambar in a matter of minutes, when I am struggling to finish even half of what they have eaten in twice the time. These restaurants overflow with passion – a passion for eating!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Luxury Redefined

Business Line and New Indian Express have some coverage of the ultra-luxury apartments being promoted by Mantri Developers in Bangalore. This should probably go down as one of the most expensive apartment complex atleast in South India.
Mantri Altius is a 17-floor super premium apartment which occupies a built-up area of 85,000 sq ft in a prime locality in the city. The owners include three or four people from garment exports, three to four from the IT industry and two NRIs.

What is unique about this project is that its occupants were personally chosen by Mr Sushil Mantri, Chairman and Managing Director, Mantri Developers, based on factors such as similar interests and non-competing businesses. The 15 families to occupy the flats were picked from a list of 40 prospective buyers.

Each floor accommodates a house over a built-up area of 5,515 sq ft; the Mantris themselves will occupy the flat on the top floor. The building also consists of a clubhouse and a main lobby, replete with a reception area and a bar. The 11,300 sq ft clubhouse across two levels has facilities such as a gym, squash court, TT table, billiards and a carom room. There is also a party hall, a library and a bar lounge.

The Rs 40-crore project took two years to be completed. While the first flat was sold for Rs 3 crore, the last apartment went for Rs 9 crore.

The owners are bound by the condition that while selling his or her apartment, 67 per cent of the other residents must approve the sale. This has been done to ensure a similar profile of residents, said Mr Mantri.

Why would somebody fork out Rs. 9 crores for an apartment when he/she can probably(?) get an independent house meeting similar specs?

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Australian Way Of Keeping Scalpers At Bay

Cricket Australia (CA), the governing body for cricket in Australia has cracked down on scalpers who are trying to resell the Ashes tickets through eBay. CA has said that the tickets bought through eBay will not be accepted at the venues. Although the intent to stop profiteering is understandable, it is the execution that has raised concerns. Targetting scalpers who use one particular online medium / marketplace is unreasonable. It is like targetting eBay for being the most popular online marketplace. Scalpers would continue to use other online and offline mediums to make a quick buck. Even FIFA allowed entry to people who bought World Cup tickets on eBay. If CA is not able to monitor and control all forms of resale of tickets, it should stop policing the eBay users.

Cabin Pressure

At a time when we already have increased security threats because of the terror alert, we don't want such funny incidents to add to our agony:
The pilot of a Canadian airliner who went to the washroom during a flight found himself locked out of the cockpit, forcing the crew to remove the door from its hinges to let him back in, the airline said Wednesday.