Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wireless Internet everywhere for everyone

Free the Airwaves... This is a very exciting project Google is supporting!
If you have ever tuned an old idiot box (aka TV) you must have seen fuzzy static between channels... the unused spectrum, in technical terms. More than three quarters of these radio airwaves is unused! How about using it, using it well!

Google is supporting a project 'Free The Airwaves' that could offer a revolution in wireless services, including universal wireless Internet.
Man, Google really knows how to revolutionize things! I love the way they come up with amazing ideas!
You got to read this about page to find out more on this project. You can even support the cause by signing the petition.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Last Week of Internship at Google

Three months have breezed away since the day I came for internship and it feels as if it was just last week that I was packing towards becoming a Noogler!

I had wonderful 3 months during my stay in Calif and work at Google. Blessings from my lord and loved ones, Google, good work, brilliant co-workers and superiors, warmth of good old friends, support from my close ones, nice weather, some amazing and some bad trips, some new friends, the famous Google 15 (see the notes below),
volleyball games, and my Godfather's visit to me last week (though only for half an hour) is what I think have made past few weeks amongst the few pleasantly memorable days of my life. In retrospect, it seems difficult to pack so much action in just 3 months. And still there is a lingering feeling that I could have done and achieved much more.

I managed to go to only 2 of the Google picnics neither of which I talked about. Of the nicer ones that I recall, I missed the Great America Trip and the famous Summer Cruise. There were other numerous outings. But the 2 that I did attend were fun enough. You can see the photos here:
0. Google Intern Scavenger Hunt

1. Google Summer Picnic

(2. Read about Summer Intern Cruise on my friend Alex's blog).

The upcoming Fall 08 semester is going to be fun in its own right: the excitement of graduating, the pain of interviews, exultation of getting a decent full-time job offer, the feeling of leaving Alma mater, increasingly unsurmountable desire to visit India and hugging the loved ones tight (culminating in my planned trip immediately after the semester ends!), shifting to new (and a little better than my Fall 07) apartment, and the fear of unknown :)

All of my co-workers have been more than helpful, all my old colleagues exceedingly sweet towards me. This, I trust, is one of the reasons for the feeling of emptiness within while moving back to school. I want to thank all of you who, knowingly or unknowingly, made my stay in California and work environment at Google more than an enjoyable crusade. I trust I have made at least a few new friends worth keeping in touch with, some at professional and some at social levels. I wish they feel the same.

Note: The Google 15 is a (true) legend, it states that most
(if not all) of the Nooglers, i.e. new-Googlers, gain at least 15 pounds of weight during their initial days of hogging at wonderful healthy Google cuisines. And I'm a living proof of this legend.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Visiting the hell hole: Las Vegas

To begin with I was soooo excited about the Las Vegas Trip. In fact, all of us have been looking up to it since Pittsburgh. I have heard so much about this place that I wanted to know what the hullabaloo is all about. I swear, but, this place is nothing short of a hell hole! Just a few days before the trip, I had a strong intuition that I should not go to this trip, and I won't enjoy it. But commitment was already done, and arrangements made. I had to go against my intuition, someone that has never failed me.

I won't go into the details of WHY I didn't like the place. Boozing, promiscuity and gambling probably would top the list. Suffice to say that most of the world's black money flows in and out of here. All the vices culminate here, are born here, nurtured here that too !@$#ing OFFICIALLY! Everything that you wouldn't want your kid to do, or taste, is done here.

Trying to survive the 133F+ heat! From Las Vegas

Part of disappointment also came from the fact that no one wanted to play gambling and yet (some of group members) wanted to visit every @!$#ing casino! Damn, once you have seen one, they all look bloody same. The mercury was soaring 120F+ (50C+), and food wasn't good. Nothing, not a single thing was exciting on this trip. Even the extravagant hotels look the same after the first few.

Hotel Bellagio From Las Vegas

Hotel Luxor From Las Vegas
To quote Chief Navigator (aka Vikram): I personally believe that if the entire city of Las Vegas is shut down, then there will be a significant impact on global warming (IN A GOOD WAY!) What a waste creating a random city like that in the middle of the burning desert. That's why everyone must go to Vegas once in their lives and like it or hate it!

In Death Valley, detour on the wayFrom Las Vegas

If you don't like to booze, gamble and promiscuity turns you off, don't spend more than a night here. Spending the 4th July long weekend here was a criminal waste of precious time :( Hope you would be wiser.


0. My Picasa Album:

Weekend outing with Anna and Su

This weekend was a nice break for the regular (and kinda boring) routine of mine. Since that last Vegas trip I haven't been out of home for other than going to office. So I was all charged up when Anna (aka, n30bli7z, Arun) planned to visit me during his Usenix Security Conference 08.

He would spend the day at conference, and would pick me up late evenings at Google! Wow! I was feeling like a VIP, been a while I have had the luxury of someone picking me up :D The first evening we spent good part of 3 hours touring Google campus and he seemed even more excited than I was my first week! Since he is a coffee fanatic, he loved the espresso made from freshly ground coffee beans in the micro-kitchen. But the fun was yet to start... it started when Su (aka Suchi, Suchitra) was supposed to come down to Sunnyvale and I would get to meet her. Su is the girl Anna has chosen as his significant other! These kids have decided to marry this month when they go India. Up to this point I was starting to wonder if I'll ever meet Su before these kids marry. My oldest chuddy-buddy getting married, we both in the same country and I don't even get to see my bhabhi-to-be. But thank goodness!

Love Birds: Su and Anna, while under my interrogation about their love story

The 2 years of journey from knowing each other through this decision to unite, it wasn't easy for Anna and Su. Everything that could get in way, did. And worst of all, I wasn't with them to share those painful moments :( Probably GOD wanted them to endure the pain, alone... damn, I hate that thing. Good to know, though, that fate had already decided things for them: to consummate their relationship into a permanent knot.

I was soooooooo excited to see them together. Man that was enough to charge me up through the weekends. From there on, we spend the whole of Sat-Sun playing catch-up with and giving invitation to colleagues. Met my Surdy-Buddy(Harjeet), Spot Reduction(Sonyo), Rama Kini(Nevis colleague), and Anna's relatives. I had moved with my stuff to his hotel for 2 days and 2 nights! We also saw one hopelessly pathetic and sadistic movie: Kismet Konnection (I have recommended this movie as a special torture aid for POWs. But, Vidya Balan is looking amazing).

I have seen a lot of positive change in Anna, since Su has come in his life. I so so so want to write an account of their love story here, but I would leave that for Anna to fill in. I don't want to breach his privacy, as he puts it :) Putting the photo itself took a little convincing. BTW, Su has got one of the sweetest voices ever, plus she speaks my dialect of Bumbiya Hindi :D Anyone would feel at ease with her in first meeting! I can vouch for that!

I'll miss his wedding. I missed my another buddy (Shaw's) wedding too, this year. And not to forget my sweet cousin, Janu's wedding. I hate to miss celebrations with loved ones (read: I hate to miss seeing wonderful crowd at such functions :-P )

Anna, Su and Me, after hogging at subway.

Anyway, since I won't be there for the celebrations, you two kids, Anna and Su, have my heartiest blessings, Tathastu!