XBMC vs. AppleTV

There’s a big community that popped up around AppleTV even before the product came out. Then came the hacks almost instantaneously. Even I found myself checking the somethingawful.com forums 5 times a day. People have ported apps, games, rss readers and what not onto the little device that could. People can open it up and install a new hard disk, but the last time I checked AppleTVHacks.net nobody has been able to mod it without cracking it open yet. Why did Apple not make it better? Sure, they are coming around to it by making ‘enhancements available for download’ sometime in the future. Who cares?
XBMC or Xbox Media Centre is the best out there. I have an original XBOX in my living room with the latest version of XBMC running smoothly. I can play every single media file known to man, stream it from the network or the internet, use plugins to interface with almost every well-known website and much more. Why has this software not been ported for mainstream use yet? Why have smaller hardware makers not embraced it for use on their proprietary machines? I recently heard about the Team XBMC hiring Linux developers for the same purpose. Wonder what can we expect to come out of this? Only good, I bet.

Jana Gana Mana – A. R. Rahman style

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Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Jaya He
Bharat Bhagya Vidhata
Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha
Dravida Utkala Banga
Vindhya Himachal Yamuna Ganga
Ucchala Jaladhi Taranga
Tubh Shubha Name Jage
Tubh Shubha Ashisha Mange
Gahe Tubh Jaya Gata
Jan Gan Mangaldayak Jay He
Bharat Bhagya Vidhata
Jaye He ! Jaye He ! Jaye He !
Jaye, Jaye, Jaye, Jaye He

Its over 6 minutes, but completely worth it. The national anthem of India done right by A. R. Rahman & Bharat Bala Productions and a whole crew of superstars, including:

Vocalists

  • D K Pattamal
  • Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
  • Lata Mangeshkar
  • Pandit Jasraj
  • Dr Balamuralikrishna
  • Jagjit Singh
  • Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty
  • Shobha Gurtu
  • Begum Parveena Sultana
  • Bhupen Hazarika
  • Ustad Rashid Khan
  • Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan
  • Smt. Shruti Sadolikar
  • Dr S P Balasubramaniam
  • Sudha Raghunathan
  • Asha Bhosle
  • Hariharan
  • Kavita Krishnamurthy
  • P Unnikrishnan
  • Nityashree
  • Saddiq Khan Langa
  • Ghulam Murtaza Khan
  • Ghulam Qadir Khan
  • Kaushiki Chakrabarty

Instrumentalists

  • Flute: Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia
  • Sarod: Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Bangash, Ayaan Ali Bangash
  • Santoor: Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Rahul Sharma
  • Ghattam: Vikku Vinayakram, Uma Shankar
  • Mohan Veena: Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt
  • Saxophone: Kadri Gopalnath
  • Chitraveena: Ravikiran
  • Veena: E Gayathri
  • Sarangi: Ustad Sultan Khan
  • Sitar: Pandit Kartick Kumar, Niladri Kumar
  • Violin: Kumaresh, Ganesh

Orchestra

  • Conductor: K. Srinivas Murthy
  • Cello: Ramsekar, R K Vijayandran, Bidyur Khayal
  • Tympany: Kumar, Karthikeyan
  • Violin: M Kalyanasundaram, Jerry Fernandes, Cyril Fernandes, R Joseph, K Murali, B J Chandru, B Balu, Murali, Dinakar, Rex Isaac, Debu Ashish, PJ Sebastian, P S Ramachandran
  • Mridangam: D A Srinivas
  • Harp: R Visweswaran

Emmy Awards 2006

I am trying out some ‘live blogging’. Love Conan O’Brien (funniest guy on tv after Jon Stewart).
Best Supporting Actress (Comedy) – Karen from Will & Grace
Best Supporting Actor (Drama) – Alan Alda from The West Wing
Best Supporting Actress (Drama) – Blythe Danner from The West Wing
Best Supporting Actor (Comedy) – Ari from Entourage [Entourage kicks ass!]
Best Supporting Actress (Miniseries/Movie) – Kelly MacDonald from The Girl In The Cafe
Best Variety/Comedy Show – Daily Show with Jon Stewart [Wasn’t even a close competition]
Best Guest Actor (Comedy) – Will & Grace
Best Guest Actress (Comedy) –
Best Director (Comedy) – My Name Is Earl
Best Writer (Comedy) – Greg Garcia from My Name Is Earl
Best Guest Actor (Drama) – Christian Klemenson
Best Guest Actress (Drama) – Patricia Clarkson
Best Directing (Drama) – Jon Cassar for 24
Best Writing (Drama) – Terrence Winters for Sopranos
Best Supporting Actor (Miniseries/Movie) – Jeremy Irons
Best Director (Comedy/Variety) – Louis J. Horvitz for 78th Oscars
Best Writing (Comedy/Variety) – Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Best Lead Actor (Miniseries/Movie) – Andre Braugher from Thief
Best Lead Actor (Comedy) – Tony Shalhoub from Monk
Best Made for TV Movie – The Girl In The Cafe
Best Reality Series – The Amazing Race
Best Director (Miniseries/Movie) – Elizabeth I
Best Writing (Miniseries/Movie) – Richard Curtis for The Girl In The Cafe
Best Miniseries/Movie – Elizabeth I
Best Lead Actress (Miniseries/Movie) – Helen Mirren for Elizabeth I
Best Lead Actress (Drama) – Mariska Hargitay for Law & Order SVU
Best Lead Actress (Comedy) – Julia Louis-Dreyfus for New Adventures [Elaine’s my favorite]
Best Lead Actor (Drama) – Kiefer Sutherland for 24
Best Comedy Series – The Office
Best Drama Series – 24

Bottomline

“Couples that are truly right for each other wade through the same crap as everybody else, but the big difference is they don’t let it take’em down. One of those two people will stand up and fight for that relationship if it’s right and they are real lucky. One of them will say something.”
– Dr. Cox

I am Collar-Blind

Steve Carell could be one of the funniest things that came out of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart but his role as the intrepid boss in The Office just seems to get better with time. His character was recently seen quoting ‘I am Collar-Blind’ and what ran through my head was another famous quote and from the mother of all quotable sitcoms – ‘Thats Gold Jerry. Gold!’. I have recently been applying to jobs and I found it to be an interesting exercise the methodology that one uses to sift through the various opportunities out there. Which ones make the cut, tell a lot about how you perceive yourself and also how you would want to see yourself. Maybe we should all be collar-blind, maybe that would make for a more peaceful world.

World Cup 2006

Italy took it in the penalty shoot out. Maybe old news now, but it was quite something for me as I stood in a very crowded Little Italy in Toronto when that kick landed in the corner. I was able to get in the crowd and in the mix, the Italianos aren’t shy about celebrating, that’s for sure.