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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Best of AnthoBLOGy

Unripe Revolution
Rooster's Dharma
Don't Know Jack
No Love for Condi
Blogger's Block
Father of  the Bride
TinTin's Diary - I
TinTin's Diary II
Hate Bollywood
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M.F.Husain Guilty
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Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat


Misc. Notes. Durable Link to this BLOG
Today is Diwali festival. My greetings to all readers of this blog.

Aperture: Diwali Album

Legacy of Arafat

I cannot think of a present day leader other than Clinton and Bush, who had more name recognition than Yaseer Arafat, and whether you call him a freedom-fighter or a terrorist (I prefer the former), in his death the world has lost an important leader.

See how everyone is jumping on the media bandwagon in calling for renewed peace talks? All these people are interested in peace; but none of them is interested in justice.

For me, the legacy of Araft is marked by two events. First is the transformation of a guerilla leader into a statesman. The second is his failure to seize the opportunity in the last days of Clinton administration and make a lasting deal.

SimplyBlog Upgrade

By popular request, I am releasing an upgrade to SimplyBlog source code this weekend. So send me your wishlist by tommorrow.

Thumbs Down for MSN Search

Microsoft has launched (yet again) new MSN Search today, which got a lot of publicity. I tried it, it is no good.

New Idea: Googly!

I have a new idea for a revolutionary product. I call it Googly, an obvious twist on the now popularly rumored GOOSExternal Link (Google Operating System) platform. Googly is a massively-distributed scripting/programming language that leverages the strength of the Google platform. It is built upon an old, distributed computing idea of tuple-spaces, where a participlant node is given work (compute) and data to perform the task. You can call it Google-space if you like

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, November 11, 2004
Last Modified: 11/11/2004 9:06:21 AM


New Version of SimplyBlog Durable Link to this BLOG
SimplyBlog V2

A new version of SimplyBlog with many defect fixes is now available to download. If you are an existing user, there is no need to change the database schema; just overwrite the files -- but remember that you will lose any customization to code that you might have implemented.

Some Release Notes:
• Due to customer demand, I've changed the way new entries are logged.
• Added support for multiple sort options (you can sort entries by Date of creation, Blogdate or date of last edit)
• Removed support for PublishURL, and made RenderURL editable
• Support for multiple Clipboards for the same blog
• Fixed a bug in Session Management

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, November 14, 2004
Last Modified: 11/14/2004 6:54:23 PM


Experiments in Ad. Layouts Durable Link to this BLOG
For a many many years, Kamat's Potpourri did not feature any advertisements, honoring the wishes of its creator. Then I argued and convinced my dad that for any institution or publication to survive and grow, it must support itself, and started carrying carefully chosen, non-obstrusive advertisements.I have thus far strongly resisted the demand to carry pop-ups, pop-unders, and even intense animations.

Now, due to advertiser pressure, I am experimenting with the new big, bold advertisements on Kamat's Potpourri. It looks like these box ads (as they are known in the industry) seem to be here to stay.

Like Bob Dole used to say "I just can't win!"

See Also:
• (Feb 02): Net Banners Getting Bigger
• Flash is 100% bad and how to turn off Flash.
• Non-intrusive Text Ads


Update Nov. 20, 2004: I have yanked the box. Sorry, no distracting advertisements for you!

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, November 15, 2004
Last Modified: 11/22/2004 8:40:49 PM


Why Condi gets No Love Durable Link to this BLOG
On Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice (Condi) is from Birmingham Ala., where I live.

I am told that she grew up in a house not very far from where I once lived, where her father ran a small church and was a preacher, and where her mother played the piano. Condi's father conducted biracial Bible-studies and I know of ladies who remember the seven year old sportive Condi playing piano and helping with errands.

I am very proud that a colored woman from Birmingham has grown for the highest offices in the world. While I do not share her views or policies, I was proud of her appointment as National Security Advisor then, and even more so now for her appointment as Secretary of State.

© Vikas Kamat
Condoleezza Rice

But apparently the African American community of Birmingham is not proud. She is even treated with contempt.

When I heard this, my first reaction was what?!

Then I dug deeper, and here are my thoughts:

  • Condi is despised by blacks, not for her shortcomings or qualities, but due to her association with President Bush. I am convinced of it.
  • Perhaps Condi doesn't represent the blacks. Just like the newly elected senator of Indian descent, Bobby Jindal (R. Louisiana) doesn't represent Indian Americans.
  • "What has Condi done for fellow African Americans?" one could ask, and the answer would be "nothing". It is the same accusation against Colin Powell. Their contribution to the African-American community pales compared to someone like Jesse Jackson. However, I am disappointed to ask why can't a black man (or woman) get recognition for rising above the racial politics? Abe Lincoln belonged to us all, not just to whites or Republicans. Gandhi is a role model to us all, not just for Hindus or Indians.
  • My prediction for 2008 polls: It is going to be Condi Vs Hillary election. Woman Vs Woman. Black Vs White. Brilliant Career Vs Brilliant Career. (Condi has recently been chanting "My dad told me I could become President of USA, even though I couldn't buy a hamburger in Woolworth's then")

Update Nov.20. Many readers have written that Condi gets no love, because she is untrustworthy, and a manipulator of facts.

Update Dec. 8 '04. I saw Donald Knuth (who is like a demigod) withdraw his warm opinion of Condi. (via Rogers Cadenhead)

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, November 19, 2004
Last Modified: 12/7/2004 10:42:50 PM

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