Sep 25, 2007

Indian Cricket Vision Twenty20

Cricket has been revived in India once again. A new team of young members without the usual hyped players participating, has gone on to lift the ICC Cricket Twenty20 world cup. A team not highly placed has outperformed all expectations. The runners up Pakistan also did better than anybody gave them credit.

The 20 overs cricket format is not taken seriously by most dedicated afficionados of the game. It's percieved to be a gimmick for TV viewers with little time to follow a full day or 5-day match. Designed to be fairly quick, it favors the batsman to make big hits on a smaller ground. However, the well-organised tournament got some serious commentators very involved in the proceedings.

Prevously, India had been bundled out of the last One-Day-International World Cup in the very first round. The following disenchantment with the game and the Indian Cricket Board was unprecedented. Some have taken the opportunity to create a rival cricket league, whose future remains to be seen. This victory will strengthen the hand of the existing cricket board.

One of most interesting aspects has been the emergence of Mahender Singh Dhoni as a very impressive captain. Displaying a well-balanced outlook of the game, he has been able to fend off media and public pressure on the team. There's an intriguing post-tournament interview at the official tournament site.

Sep 20, 2007

Zero Value Currency

A close relative passed on to me this very interesting development.

Zero Rupee Note

It's described here in the following context

The movement called ‘Freedom From Corruption’, launched in all 30 districts of Tamil Nadu early this month [August 2007], will make its Mumbai debut in the city’s schools and colleges. “It is an effort to empower every citizen to fight corruption,” said M Vijayanand, the president of Fifth Pillar India.

It remains to be seen if this catches on.

Out of 163 countries where the 1 is least percieved corrupt and 163 is the most percieved corrupt - Finland, Iceland and New Zealand share spot number 1, followed by Denmark (4), Singapore (5), Sweden (6), Switzerland (7), Norway (8), Australia (9), and Netherlands (9). The countries percieved to be most corrupt are Haiti (163), Myanmar (160), Iraq (160), Guinea (160), Sudan (159), Congo (156), Chad (156), and Bangladesh (156). India is ranked midway at 70, with a confidence-scale score of 3.3 out of 10, which is actually not bad.

Global Percieved Corruption Index

Sep 14, 2007

Thinking up Trademe

A very interesting presentation by Trademe co-founder Rowan Simpson. Rowan has been presenting TradeMe's story in several conferences, I had seen him at Webstock 2006. Trademe is acknowledged as New Zealand's most popular website. Like eBay it is a place where people auction and bid for goods. I've found many a good deal myself, such as this laptop I'm writing on. On to the Trademe Keynote presentation at Microsoft TechEd2006 ..

Rowan has come comments on this presentation on his blog.

Sep 4, 2007

Printing Wikipedia

Everybody who has studied in school and university would have seen, touched and interacted with the print edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It consists of over 30 hard bound volumes of printed text, illustrations and images, probably as shown below.


What happened if we were to print out a copy of the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, in a similar format? For the August 2007 edition of the English language Wikipedia, the result is below


The creator of this images describes it as

Using volumes 25cm high and 5cm thick (some 400 pages), each page having two columns, each columns having 80 rows, and each row having 50 characters, ˜ 6MB per volume. As English Wikipedia has around 7.5GB of text (August 2007, length of wikitext counted by myself) ˜ 1250 volumes. Note that this is a conservative estimate, as it doesn't include images, tables etc. which take up more surface than the text which describes them.