Thursday, June 02, 2005


I don't know if it is the heat that starts to get to people, but this appears to be silly season. We have a mad Health Minister who wants to ban smoking everywhere, then we have HT take out a ad in ToI and then sign a 'no-poaching' agreement with each other (as well as rope in ABP). Now as someone (not directly) impacted by this 'no-poaching' agreement I would like to question its legal validity. Now what if I was still with former employers and wanted to move over to Jain and Jain Company Limited? Would they say, "You see, we are an equal oppurtunity employer but you come from Madam Bhartiya's pay therefore we can't hire you." The way I see it, no poaching agreements are a load of bull. And anyway, Jain and Jain Company Limited signed this non-legally binding piece of paper (and I have a funny feeling they know that it is not legally binding) AFTER they had hired half of HT's desk and a lot of people from BusinessWorld. You have to admit those suits over at Times House are really clever. And anyway the common enemy is after all - DNA. I don't know why, but even though I know that DNA has hired a lot of 'ethically unsound' journalists and people who don't know their ass from their mouth, I really hope they manage to do something in the media market. They have the money, they have the marketing knowhow, if they only had the editorial resources.
Anyway, the papers are rather boring today morning, and I have quit watching the evening news on TV as I find it excruciatingly boring. The only thing that caught my eye was a story about night drag racing on Nelson Mandela Marg in HT. Now this story was not written by an insider, because no insider (until he had a major attack of guilt pangs brought on by safety concerns) would want such a thing publicised. Expect the cops to shut this racing down rather quickly.
I got a new phone to try out - the O2 XDAIIi, now O2 is actually a virtual phone service provider and the main sponsor of my favourite EPL team - Arsenal. What O2 does is sell high-end PDA's with their own branding along with a high-end data service. Now in India, Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO's) are not around, as yet. So O2, which gets their devices put together by Flextronics sells these devices as high-end mobile PDA's in India. The problem is the cost of the service. I subscribe to GPRS on my regular Nokia 3200 handset, but for a PDA you need something called 'Hutch Access' which costs Rs 199 a month and here is the killer - 50p for every 10kb of data downloaded. Gigantic rip-off or what?
Anyway, the XDAIIi runs of Windows Pocket PC2005 and surprisingly it hasn't crashed as yet. But then again nor has my PC with Windows XP SP2. At office on the other hand, since they give us a seven year old operating system, a ten year old PC, but the loss making stuff on the other floors get newer machines. No fair. Every other major PRINT media organisation get fancy machines - at Jain and Jain they get P4's and even Madam Bhartiya doles out AMD Athlon systems. The saying I believe used in first grade is 'Kanjoos Makhichoos'.
Back to the XDAIIi, so far so good. I like the screen, I like the camera and because it is Windows, it is easier to sync with my PC.
Anyway I have to leave for work now. Or should I wait for the presser to start, with petrol prices going where they are I ain't driving back and forth.

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