Fight for a project

If you are like me and have been chasing the IT ( information technology) desk in the office to install a MS Project and have been shocked to be informed that it would cost 2000$ - there is a way out . Just download the open source Project from the below link

The look & feel and usage are similar to MS Project - infact it is better than in overall layout.


i happened to stumble on this exciting site by Andrew Vande Moere, it is a interesting site that captures data visualization and visual communication. looking forward to track this site often

How Australia got scratched this summer

Absolutely fascinating summer of cricket – Australia started with some – ‘gunboat cricket’ by unleashing their ‘arrogance’ , ‘intimidating’ way , or as mentioned by Steven Waugh – ‘Mental disintegration’ on India. This entire ‘on the face’ cricket has badly boomeranged on Australia. Their captain woefully out of form scratched though out the whole summer and stamped that he still the bunny of Harbajan, their leading players instead of focussing on the game – was trying to ‘weed-out’ Indians. Adam Gilchrist undoubtly best wicket Keeper batsmen ever- sledged, cribbed, appealed and dropped umpteen catches to survive this summer, but in the end he had to hang his boot. Mathew Hayden went chest beating and proclaimed to whole world how ‘Cricket Australia’ thinks, talks and measures their opponents - especially a wily off spinner who has out foxed their captain time and again. Now the latest stunt was organised by Australian media, which was doing fairly unbiased reporting till now, by publishing a picture showing Harbajan scratching the armpits and indicating the same as monkey gesture . It is surprising to note that leading newspapers would publish something so inaccurate and misleading , where did the dictum of publishing something only after checking ‘corroborative evidences’ all go ? . BCCI and Harbajan should sue Sydney Morning Herald for defaming him and for brandishing him as a racist. In the end of the long summer Australia is left licking its wound.
- bag full of old players with few of them on the verge of retirement
- India produced few sensational young players
- BCCI put ICC in its place
- Steve Bucknor – atlast been told that he is fit to plays cards at home than officiate international match.

The post-warne era looks bleak for Australia, they have to play consistent good cricket on the pitch than sledge, complaint & chest beat.

Whispers of March now a reality !

With 10 straight wins - USofA - is trying to affirm the greatness of a nation not because of the height of skyscrapers, or the power of military, or the size of economy; but pride based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal......' they might elect first black president in Barrack Obama. He has successfully dogged away from the 'plastic' campagin of Mr&Mrs Clinton.

What Clinton's Wisconsin Loss Means
By ALAN FRAM – 46 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton's defeat in this week's Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary wasn't just any old loss.
Exit polls of voters show it was a serious collapse that saw Barack Obama erode — if not capture — much of the heart of her support. As the two rivals turn their attention to crucial showdowns in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania, here is a look at what Wisconsin portends for the road ahead.
Q: How bad was Wisconsin for Clinton?
A: Very. Of the types of voters who usually support her, only older people — especially whites over age 65 — remained solidly loyal. She and Obama essentially split the votes of many groups she has carried easily in previous primaries, including white women, whites with no more than high school diplomas, white Democrats and whites earning under $50,000 annually. In one remarkable turnaround, white men without college degrees supported Clinton in previous primaries by a combined 52 percent to 37 percent, but in Wisconsin they backed Obama 60 percent to 38 percent. The Illinois senator also improved his usual healthy margins with the youngest, most liberal and best educated voters.
Q: Does Obama's success in Wisconsin with groups that usually support Clinton mean he will hold onto them in the next big states?
A: No, but it does demonstrate that it's possible. Last year, before voting began, polls showed Clinton had sturdy-looking leads with those voters, so it's clear that Democrats of all stripes are showing a willingness to listen to him — and to abandon her. Keep in mind the Wisconsin results were not unforeseen, since Obama had been closing the gap with Clinton among some groups of voters last week in Virginia and Maryland and in some Super Tuesday states the week before.
Q: Won't the upcoming big states remove some advantages Obama had in Wisconsin?
A: That's true. For one thing, Wisconsin borders on Obama's home state and parts of southern Wisconsin are heavily influenced by his nearby home town of Chicago. Obama ran up some of his biggest margins in that part of Wisconsin. In addition, Obama had the aggressive help of Wisconsin's governor, Jim Doyle. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell have endorsed Clinton.
Q: Obama was also helped because Wisconsin allows people of other parties to vote in the Democratic contest, right?
A: Yes, but so do Texas and Ohio, which vote on March 4. In Wisconsin, more than a third of voters were either independents or Republicans — a large number. About two-thirds of them voted for Obama. In the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries, almost three in 10 Ohio voters were independents or Republicans, as were a quarter in Texas, so these are substantial sources of potential strength for him. Pennsylvania's April 22 contest is for Democrats only.
Q: What about the racial makeup of the next states?
A: One potential edge for Clinton is in Texas, where Hispanics comprised a quarter of Democratic voters in 2004 and could be even more this year. Across the party's primaries so far in 2008, six in 10 Hispanics have backed Clinton. There were few of them in Wisconsin. In 2004, one in five Texas Democratic voters and one in seven in Ohio were black, a group that has voted in near unanimity for Obama. There were no exit polls of Pennsylvania Democratic primary voters in 2004.
Q: If Clinton's advantage has been with the elderly, white women and less educated whites, do any of these states have significant numbers of them?
A: Just over half of white Democrats who voted in Ohio in 2004 and six in 10 in Texas lacked college degrees, compared with 45 percent of whites who have voted in Democratic primaries so far this year. Of the Democratic primaries this year, about one in three voters have been white women, and Ohio had slightly more that in 2004, while Texas had a bit fewer. Neither state has unusually large numbers of older Democrats.
Q: With Texas one of the country's more conservative states, whom does that help?
A: Though Texas may be conservative, the overall ideology of its Democratic voters is similar to many other states, in part because of the substantial Hispanic and black populations, according to 2004 exit polls. Actually, Ohio was a bit less liberal than Texas. Over the first two months of this year's voting, Obama has had an edge over Clinton among those calling themselves very liberal — he won that group in Wisconsin by 16 percentage points. The two have run about evenly among all liberals and moderates, and he has had a slight advantage among party conservatives.
The data is based on exit polls conducted Tuesday in Wisconsin; in 21 other states that have held contested Democratic primaries this year; and in 2004 in Ohio and Texas. The margin of sampling error varies by survey and subgroup.

Dubai Metro - Pictures of the new train

Much awaited Dubai metro trains have finally arrived it seems !

Punting is back

Time for late night watching, printing your team sheet, calculating the points and betting how much your team would have won

My revised team for the last 16 is this

Casillas – GK – RM would surely make through and he would play
Bruno Alves
Zanetti – I was tempted to take Maldini though
Cristiano Ronaldo – captain – probability for doubling the scores
Deco – hope he is in the starting
J cole – Chelsea should make through
Kaka –
Ronaldhino –
Ibrahimovic – he was out with injury, should come back strongly
Tevez – Manu United should make to second round – and he should play.

I have not taken any single player from Arsenal – which should not be surprising keeping in mind the form they are in.

Marketers like sad Customer !

Hezen has posted a interesting article in his new blog - indicating a Harvard study that - sad customers spends more than a happy one !. Many be this is why the spurt in sales for healthy feel good products, more about this on :

Region and roles-the success of regional fried chicken outlet – Al Baik

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, other than pumping 19MT of crude every second, is a vast expanse of land which lacks the hurried growth of Dubai or Doha. But it is a huge swath of a marketplace for any marketer. Port city of Jeddha has stretch of road which is lined up by numerous malls ( I counted atleast 18-20) selling Armani to Aston Martin and Riyadh packs the punch to match any top draw city. Amidst all this foreign brands a local fried chicken chain is teaching the lots of KFC’s and McDonald a lesson or two in running a food chain successfully. You would find MNC food chains aisle empty or near deserted (same is the fate of Carrefour). At Al Baik chain the story is different …people were queuing up.

The differentiation were the following

1. Product – offering was uniquely different- the inner crust of the fried chicken has a special coating of condiments which was very tasty.
2. Execution of the product: Speed at which they served order was amazing , even though there was a long queue ( 25- 30 people before me ) I was served in under 10 minutes.
3. Viral : word of mouth – ‘You are in Jeddah and not tried Al Baik ??’
4. Exclusivity: Al Baik is limited to western part of the Kingdom.

Insipid food and some pictures

After much deliberation we decided to visit a restaurant that we had zeroed in few months back- chef Lanka in Burdubai area . We wanted to try some spicy food from Sri lanka - but it turned out to be a disaster. Like any good product hotel should also provide at least few basic things

1. Warm Food
2. Waiter / server suggesting and helping us in making the right choice

both didnt happen at chef lanka ..and we ended up eating some cold spicy food ....
the interior had some demon mask ......reminding us of the food we ate

Long Shadow of meat eating ....

Mark Bittman's article on NYT on ' Meat -Guzzlers' is interesting

he writes -

a study last year by the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Japan estimated that 2.2 pounds of beef is responsible for the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the average European car every 155 miles, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.

more on this :

The Monkey Wrench Gang

Absolute must read if you border the thoughts of being a solider in the 'eco defense'...Edward Abbey's proactive defense of nature in an era of hyperindustrialism.

how 'House Poor' are you ?

It was intriguing to note that SEC classification across the world differs. So this term - 'House Poor' is significant classification- especially since in certain countries/cities this affects almost all !

House Poor :
A situation that describes a person who spends a large
proportion of his or her total income on home ownership,
including mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and
utilities. House poor individuals are short of cash for
discretionary items and tend to have trouble meeting other
financial obligations like vehicle payments.

If your are a expat living in a city like Dubai then you have to replace 'ownership' with 'Rent'..

New year resolutions - and how to solve problems

Most of us would be facing some sought tough decision at work and life and would be grappling with them- at times wondering how to solve it . Read seth's tips

There are three ways to deal with a problem, I think.
Lean into it.
Lean away from it.
Run away.
You lean into a problem, especially a long-term or difficult one, by sitting with it, reveling in it, embracing it and breathing it in. The problem becomes part of you, at least until you solve it. You try one approach and then another, and when nothing works, you stick with it and work around it as you build your organization and your life.
Some people choose to lean away from the problems that nag them at home or at work. They avoid them, minimize them or criticize the cause. Put as little into it as possible and maybe it will go away.
And sometimes, a problem is so nasty or overwhelming that you just run away.
I'm a big fan of the first approach. And sometimes, quitting isn't such a bad idea. The second approach, alas, is the one that many of us end up with by default, and the one that's least likely to pay off.
If that helps with this year's resolutions, it was worth thinking about...