Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fwd: Why Lord Mountbatten finally decided to leave India ?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kumar Nair
Date: Feb 13, 2007 4:48 PM
Subject: Why Lord Mountbatten finally decided to leave India ?

Why Lord Mountbatten finally decided to leave India ?

Monday, February 12, 2007

freewares - Mozilla Firefox add-ons revisited - from

Mozilla Firefox add-ons revisited
Various modules enhance power substantially
The reasonably fast and feature-packed browser, Firefox, is getting
better with time.

NEW BROWSING aids meant for the Firefox browser are discussed in this
edition of NetSpeak

Setting-up an efficient/secure browser, equipped with relevant
add-ons, forms an important step in having a productive online life.
The feature-packed and reasonably fast browser, Mozilla Firefox,
(featured in this column many times), is getting better with time. One
of the reasons for Firefox's success is the availability of various
easily installable extension modules that enhance its power

In the past, several such extensions have been featured in this
column. Here we take a look at some of the new/innovative ones tried
out by this author recently.

Archiving pages

While moving from one page to the other, you may wish to archive the
page completely or partially. For this, many alternatives exist. You
can post it on a blog with comments or save it on to an online service
such as Furl. One obvious handicap here is the inability to access the
archived content offline. Further, though the solution is fine as long
as one needs to save only a couple of pages, it crumbles when one
attempts to save several pages or a complete web site. Of course, one
can save the page on to the local storage using the browser's `Save
as' option. But managing pages saved thus is really a cumbersome
process. If you want to save only a part of the page, the solution
becomes rather inefficient. And to save a complete web site you will
have to hunt for a utility (like Httrack). If web page archiving is a
problem for you, the feature-rich Firefox extension Scrapbook has all
the answers.

Scrapbook ( lets you save a
web site or a web page or a snippet from it, with a couple of clicks.
You can save them in separate folders and access them using the
extension's search feature. Once the extension is installed on
Firefox, you will find the menu option `ScrapBook' in its top menu
bar. And for storing a page snippet, just block the required portion,
right-click and access the option `Capture Selection' from the menu
that pops up. Another notable feature of this free tool is the
facility to download a complete web site.

So, from now on you can even forget about web site copiers.

To accomplish certain online tasks, we need to go through a set of
specified steps. For instance, to check email we need to access the
provider's log in page, key in the account details and move over to
the inbox page. Each of these steps has to be repeated whenever we
check mail. If such tasks could be accomplished by just clicking a
browser button, life becomes simpler. The Firefox extension, DejaClick
(, created for helping you record multi-step
online tasks and replay it later with a mouse click, could serve such

Once installed, DejaClick adds a tool bar on to Firefox. To record a
session, first click on the `Power On' button available on the
left-end of this toolbar. Now, click on the `Begin Recording' button,
go through the various steps as usual and when you are done, click on
the `Stop recording' button. You can click on the `Replay' button and
make sure that all the steps are recorded properly. Now create a
bookmarklet and place it on to the browser's toolbar (using the Deja's
button with the `Star' icon). Once the bookmarklet is successfully
created, the same task can be repeated by just clicking on this

He can be contacted at:

Sunday, February 11, 2007

gmail is now available for signup without an invitation

Friday, February 09, 2007

justice {?} Bhalla & Rangarajan

S. Rangarajan passes away

Congenial Chairman during a significant phase of The Hindu's growth

S. Rangarajan at the 125th anniversary celebrations of The Hindu in
Chennai on September 13, 2003.

CHENNAI: It is with deep regret that we record the death of S.
Rangarajan, Chairman of Kasturi and Sons Limited, proprietors of The
Hindu group of publications. The end came at his Parthasarathy Gardens
residence in Chennai on Thursday afternoon after a spirited and
prolonged battle against cardiac disease and renal failure. He was 70.

Mr. Rangarajan, known as "Rangappa" to his large circle of friends,
was a congenial personality with varied interests, including sport. He
was the younger son of Kasturi Srinivasan, a great Editor of The
Hindu, and a grandson of S. Kasturiranga Iyengar, who took over the
newspaper in 1905 and set it on a new path.

He is survived by his wife Shanta Rangarajan; his son Ramesh
Rangarajan, Director, The Hindu; two daughters, Vijaya Arun and Akila
Iyengar; and six grand-children. His sons-in-law are Arun Sarathy and
Vijay Iyengar and his daughter-in-law is Harini Ramesh.

Born on April 10, 1936, Mr. Rangarajan had his school and college
education in Madras. He became a Director of The Hindu in 1958 and a
whole-time Director in August 1965. He succeeded his paternal uncle,
Kasturi Gopalan, as Publisher in December 1974. He became the Managing
Director in January 1991 and was elevated to the position of Chairman
in April 2006.

Sports lover

Mr. Rangarajan presided over the company during a significant phase of
its growth and expansion. He had a sharp eye for proof and grammatical
errors on the newspaper page. He took a keen interest in the coverage
of sport in The Hindu and other publications of the group. He had
special concern for the welfare of employees. He was deeply devout.

He was a keen promoter and follower of sports, in particular cricket,
tennis, and horse racing. His passion for cricket was life-long. He
promoted and captained a successful first division league team, Jolly
Rovers, in Madras in the early 1960s. Much before league cricket
became corporatised and professionalised, Mr. Rangarajan sponsored
Test cricketer Salim Durrani and even the West Indian fast bowler, Roy
Gilchrist, for a while to play for his team.

Till the end, he followed all major cricket and tennis tournaments
round the world. Mr. Rangarajan was a Steward of the Madras Race Club
and the Hyderabad Race Club. He took pride in owning his first
racehorse at the age of 18.

A dog lover from childhood, "Rangappa" was Chairman of the Kennel Club
of India for a quarter century. He was one of the best-known Indian
faces in the international dog game. Over the decades, his kennel
featured top-winning dogs of various breeds, the most famous being his
beloved whippet "Saga," known to the dog show world as Ch. Shalfleet
Showman of Courthill. He was inducted into the international panel of
all-breeds judges in 1961.

Mr. Rangarajan was often described by his friends as "one of the last
of the sporting owners." One of them said on Thursday: "He had an eye
for horses and dogs and could judge them very early. Some of the
horses he sold went on to become all-time greats."

He was associated with the film industry and produced several films in
Tamil, including the award-winning Gouravam and Payanam. Another
production, Ore Oru Gramathile, won a national award. It also set off
a debate relating to the reservation issue and led, in the year 1989,
to a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court setting new standards for
the protection of freedom of expression.

The final obsequies will be performed on Friday at his residence, 15
Parthasarathy Gardens, Chennai 600018, between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m; and
the cremation will take place at the Besant Nagar electric crematorium
between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fwd: Incredible India - todays arab news - by editor

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: V. V. Narayanan
Date: 8 Feb 2007 07:23:29 -0000
Subject: To:

Dear Nam,
How did you miss to circulate this piece!

Incredible India - todays arab news - by editor

ARABNEWS - 03-02-2007

India, I Salute Thee
Tariq A. Al-Maeena,

Over the Haj holidays, I surprised my kids with an announcement that I would be taking them to India for a short holiday. My distinct memories from having visited the country with my parents when I was a child had left me with impressions of cultures and civilizations that one reads in history books. And then there was the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

And wanting to repeat that experience for my children, I decided to give them a taste of India by planning our trip to encompass different regions of the country - Chennai in the south, Delhi and Agra somewhere in the central, and Mumbai in the western part of the Indian Subcontinent. In the days preceding our trip, friends and acquaintances of both my children and myself were somewhat alarmed and bemused and quizzed us with the same question: "But why India?" And why not, I would ask them. Their answers were somewhat patronizing and sympathetic. India, they would say, is dirty, crowded, and backward and we'd be sure to catch one of many diseases.

I would be exposing my children to viruses and bacteria of gargantuan proportions. Malaria, diarrhea, cholera and the plague were commonplace, and were I that insensitive or naïve to expose my children to such deadly threats, all for the sake of seeing some old monuments?

I would patiently explain to these naysayers that I wanted my children to see India firsthand, and not to take in the impression that unfortunately a lot of us Saudis and others have of that country. And I wanted to expose them to a diverse culture that they had not experienced before. And I thanked them for our health concerns, but assured them that we would be taking all necessary precautions.

But their concerns began to create some unsettling feelings within myself. Was I being rash expecting to get through India without some debilitating medical condition?

And what about my children? Was I foolishly exposing them to transmissible diseases and possible harm? With a population of over a billion people, was I being immature in not giving worth to my friends' concerns?

I was adamant on this adventure though, but to be on the safe side I must confess that I did call upon the Indian Consulate in Jeddah and inquired about any specific medical precautions that we would have to take. "Drink only bottled water, and eat only in the hotels you would be staying in" was their soothing reply.

Armed with that knowledge, we began our trip. But to be on the safe side, we popped in malaria pills as an added precaution. As we spun through Chennai, Delhi, Agra and Mumbai, my kids were amazed. And they loved it. The hustle and bustle of Chennai with its serene shorelines dotted with resorts and retreats offering world-class service, the grandeur of the Presidential Palace in Delhi, the beauty of Marine Drive in Mumbai, topped with our visit to the majestic Taj Mahal had my children chirping in unison that it was the trip of a lifetime.

The preservation of historic monuments, unlike our own, were some of the things they marveled at.

And from our observations, we were pleasantly surprised to find parts of India cleaner than our own city. Their roads, although crowded, were not run down as ours, and the Indians seemed more prosperous than imagined.

In a conversation with the vice president of marketing in the chain of hotels we were staying at, I remarked that I was amazed that five star hotels, once known to be the haven for only Westerners and rich Gulf tourists were primarily being occupied by Indians today.

"Yes, my friend," was her reply. "India today is booming in heavy industry and technology. IT, pharmaceuticals, steel and medicine are the backbone of our economy. Education is a top priority and some of our universities are among the leading ones in the world. People are more affluent and spend freely. Over thirty percent of our population is now middle class..."

"Thirty percent, that's good," I interrupted.

"Yes, my friend, that translates to over 300 million", she said with a bemused look at me as the force of that staggering number dawned on me. Three hundred million! And here we are, not even twenty million Saudis, and many not anywhere near middle-class.

What right do we have to thumb up our noses on India, a country on the move upward? Yes, we drank only bottled water, but also ate in local restaurants. We witnessed wealth and we saw poverty. We learned about their great history and we observed massive new projects in the works, designed to make life easier on the Indian.

In spite of their diverse cultures and religions, India is tolerant and moving forward, and not bogged down by what we witness here...intolerance and rigidity on the part of a few who seek to impose their views on the rest of us.

Indeed, India...I have to salute thee. And thanks for making my children's' visit a memorable one.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Kerala to become first `total banking' State

Kerala to become first `total banking' State

Every household here to have bank account by June 30

PALAKKAD: Kerala, which has many firsts in literacy, health and
infant mortality, will become the first `total banking' State in the
country by June 30, 2007.

Every household in Kerala will have a bank account. The work to enrol
the families who are not having a bank account now is progressing.

The project on `100 per cent financial inclusion' by opening
`no-frills' account or `zero balance' account, especially for the
poor, is taken up by various banks in the State.

Lead Bank Manager of the district Sathyanadhan told The Hindu that
the State-level Bankers Committee (SLBC) gave the target to the
district-level banking committees. The individual banks were engaged
in enrolling the families.

Palakkad became the first `total banking' district in the country on
September 30, 2006. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan would make
formal declaration in February, he said.


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