Dec 30, 2006

The 'Old' India returns!

Well, well, well. India lose at Durban. Sounds just like the 'good old' days, no? The bowling did pretty well, especially Sreesanth. We sure do need to get Munaf back in for VRV Singh. VRV still has a ways to go.

In any case, we did not lose because of VRV, or any of the bowlers. We lost primarily because our batting did not stand up, and secondarily because Asad Rauf is a horrible umpire at best, and a cheat at worst. Dravid was NOT OUT both innings, and Sachin was not out in the 2nd. What the heck was Rauf thinking!?!

Having said that, I still maintain that the India batting is not up to par for a South African wicket. I am not just saying this, I thought so right after the super win in the 1st Test.

We really need to get Jaffer out of there, and get Gambhir in. Also, Ganguly isn't really doing much, after that 1 fifty in the 1st Test. Dravid needs a break from the umpires, and needs to think of his batting first. We need him more as a batsman, than as a captain. Tendulkar, well, he showed signs of coming alive, and that is a good thing. Dhoni showed he can fight, and play through pain. That was real positive for Indian batting in the 2nd Test. Sehwag needs to get a little rest, much like what Pathan is getting right now. I don't know who will open for Sehwag, and I sure hope the management does not think that Dravid should do that. That is not a good solution! Maybe we need to keep Jaffer and bring in Gambhir, and give Sehwag a 'rest'. Laxman is doing well, and being as consistent as anyone in this series.

Onto the 3rd Test. I hope the batting comes good, because the bowlers are doing their thing. And with Munaf Patel coming in for this match, there is a good chance that South Africa fail to break 250 in either innings.

Hopefully Rauf is not the umpire!!!

Dec 28, 2006

Ashes - It's Really All Over!!

A few weeks ago, I had talked about the Ashes being over as a real contest. It seems that the England team agree. The way they folded in the 4th Test, this after tons of chatter about pride and courage and character, shows that they really did not ever believe that they could play with Australia.

I am not surprised at the result - Australia winning the Ashes back, but the manner in which England folded was truly disappointing. I don't think this series really deserves the coverage that it gets.

Flintoff is completely over his head here. His comments after losing the 4th Test show no fight at all. Hardly inspiring stuff from the captain. I think he had a good tour of India, and winning that 3rd Test there to 1/2 the series was quite an achievement, but this tour has truly exposed his leadership.

I guess now the only bet there is left to make is whether England suffer a whitewash. The odds look in favor of that result. In fact, I think that is what is going to happen.

England can only look to the next series, which will be in England, and the Aussies will be without McGrath and Warne. That alone should give England some courage. And more than likely, Austrlia will be without Gilchrist, Ponting, Langer and Hayden. The new bunch of Australians batsmen and bowlers, though competent, do not look at dangerous as the present stars. And England look to have a great crew of young batters - guys with averages in the mid-40s and 50s (Peterson). So, on paper, England could win it all back next time - though that is on paper! And in 2 years, Clarke, Hussey, et al, might just establish themselves as word beaters.

Here is to history - and a Ashes whitewash!

Dec 25, 2006

Brilliant Move!!

The Indian team has decided to send Irfan Pathan back to India. This has got to be one of the best moves that I have seen then pull off. Pathan is a very good asset for India, especially in the 1-day matches. With his batting now improving every game, he is almost an all-rounder.

But, the man has got to take wickets, early in the innings. That is his strength - swinging the ball around when it is new. He and Sreesanth in the early overs, and then Zaheer and Munaf when the ball is a few overs old is what we need. With Pathan's batting, we can even afford 5 front-line bowlers, if Pathan can take some wickets.

So, getting him match practice is crucial, and like Dravid said, they cannot get him into matches on the tour.

What do you think about this move?

Dec 21, 2006

Finally the editorials pick up on Musharraf's falsehoods

It seems like Musharraf has been getting a free pass for a long time in the US media, in addition to the free pass he has with the administration. The guy supported terror - cross-border terror in Afghanistan and India. Heck, he nearly started a war with India with his brilliant but mis-guided plan to capture the high ground in Kashmir, across the LOC in 1999.

But, 2001 gave him a pass, as he quickly lined up behind Bush's 'War on Terror'. However, this was in words only. Nothing but unkept promises. No substantial action.

The mainstream media is finally beginning to challenge Musharraf, and the Washington Post editiorial today addresses this quite well.

Dec 20, 2006

Another example of lawyers run wild

Everyone has heard of the problems being seen with the Nintendo Wii. It is a heck of a game console, other than the propensity of the bands to break down. I am sure Nintendo wants to fix this and will be doing it. The market pressures will ensure that.

And in fact, Nintendo is already well on the way to take care of this issue. They are already shipped fatter straps on the new consoles, and have published details about how to replace the straps on their website!

However, our friendly helpful legal eagles at Green Welling LLP (note that this firm specializes in class-action suits, where traditionally the majority of the money goes to the firm and not the wronged) have jumped into the fray to protect the consumers and have filed a class-action lawsuit! If you are interested, more detail about the lawsuit is here.

Why file a suit over something that has already been addressed. And if it is because folks are breaking their TVs or hurting their elbows, or whatever, then that is not because of Nintendo, but because of user error! I for one am all for a video game console that actually forces you to move more than just your thumbs!! Heck, a couple of boxing matches on this, and you actually can skip the gym!

Ad wars - they are better outside America

The American advertising scene is just too 'politically correct'. I guess with the constant threat of lawsuits we just don't know how to have fun. Here is an example -
  1. BMW starts the war against Audi
  2. Audi replies
  3. The we have a 3rd party joining in the war, without provocation, I must add
  4. And finally, the coup de grace, from a 4th party!, who was not in the picture earlier at all!!

Just fantastic. Check out this blog that shows this.

Dec 19, 2006

Baptism by pace!!

Graeme Smith promised to not let Indian batsmen forget their inability to play pace in the 1-day series. He promised a fast and bouncy wicket. Maybe for the next Test he should ask for a true batting wicket. His batsmen need that more than the Indians!

India won the 1st Test, so it is a bit easy to get euphoric and say that we have turned a corner, and I am totally guilty of that as well as all my friends and folks on the net. I think the bowling has done a fantastic job. Sreesanth bowled great, and so did Zaheer and Kumble. In fact, these guys totally outbowled the South African attack.

BUT, I am not convinced that our batting has turned the corner yet. Sehwag still is struggling, and so is Jafar. Dravid is going to come good, I have faith that he will, so I am not too concerned about him other than that the pressures of being captain might start to play on his mind when he is batting. However, Tendulkar continues to just ride his reputation and the past. and Ganguly was gutsy and showed signs of his fluent stroke-making, but is not there yet. Dhoni looks like he could do some damage, but always gets out when he looks like he might be in there. We ended up relying to big scores from our bowlers - VRV and Zak, to get challenging scores on the board. The 1 exception was Laxman, he was truly in control in the 2nd innings. Complete mastery.

These guys still need to do some work in the nets. We need Dravid and Tendulkar to fire, along with Laxman. And Ganguly to continue to show his bloody-mindedness. You know that Kallis and his boys are going to get a good score sooner or later, and then if our batting is not up to par, we're going to be in the same place as before.

Here is to the hope that Graeme Smith continues to struggle with the bat and with the handling of his team. I don't know, for some reason, I truly don't like this guy. Maybe it is because he has Slinky Minki :)

Dec 16, 2006

India Strikes Back!

Just when it looked like this tour of South Africa was going to be a complete, unmitigated disaster, India finally show some teeth. The 1st test has been fantastic so far. The batting was not too special, but Ganguly is making people, including me, eat humble pie.

In an earlier post, I had opined that Ganguly will not be able to handle the fast short pitched stuff that was going to come at him. He sure has handled it with a top score of 51 not out in the 1st innings. And he is still at it in the 2nd. He has not looked pretty all the time, but sure has been effective. Go Sourav! Let's see if Laxman can also justify his recall.

The bowling has been the 1 bright part of the tour for India, leading up to the Test matches. But, have they outdone themselves in the 1st innings here. Zaheer has truly been exceptional, and he is showing the way. Sreesanth, a bit of a hyper aggressive nut, is backing up his talk with the walk. Exceptional display by the bowlers.

I do not think the South Africans, who promised India hell with pace, really expected to be at the receiving end of a pace battery. But, you live by the sword, you die by it.

Now to bring this home. Need to close the door on the South Africans. The batting needs to put but a score where the lead is about 350, and then the bowlers need to carry on the carnage of the 1st innings! Go INDIA!!!!!

Dec 7, 2006

Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise Content Management

Enterprise Content Manager (ECM) - any of the strategies and technologies employed in the information technology industry for managing the capture, storage, security, revision control, retrieval, distribution, preservation and destruction of documents and content. ECM especially concerns content imported into or generated from within an organization in the course of its operation, and includes the control of access to this content from outside of the organization's processes. ECM page in Wikipedia.

In my experience working in the ECM arena, I have seen numerous deployments where the client is focussed on a particular business problem, or maybe is trying to address a particular set of regulatory guidelines/requirements. What seems to be lacking is a true understanding of how a content management solution fits into the Enterprise Architecture.

My personal view is that most ECM deployments, and this is on the vendors and systems integration/consultants who deploy these solutions, are not really architected to fit into a corporations 'Enterprise Architecture'. Furthermore, the discipline and rigour of EA is not really followed as ECM solutions are developed.

At Indigo Arc, we are working with clients to help frame ECM architectures better and in terms of the corporate Enterprise Architecture. I am interested in learning of other folks engaged in similar efforts.

Dec 5, 2006

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007

Is this just hype, or is this really going to have an impact on the ECM arena? That is a question that I have not been able to get my arms around. I have seen postings from folks around the Sharepoint server, and to be honest, most of them just seem to be more of a repetition of the Microsoft sales pitch.

I am interested in hearing from independent sources, folks who have looked at this technology in depth and have an opinion on the capabilities of this technology. How does it handle basic document management function, how well it is integrated with Office and how easy is it to make the user experience seamless, while still providing the robustness that a document management system needs to provide.

How does Microsoft handle workflows - simple and complex workflows that encompass 1 or more business processes. Does the workflow work if human points in the workflow want to get creative about how they handle their workflow tasks, etc.

What is the Records Management aspect of this look like? Is it relying on some 3rd party software to provide that functionality, or are we looking at something built into the system.

How hard is integration with this server, integrating other ECM platforms, as well as integrating structured data platforms and legacy systems.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head about this new Microsoft 'offering'.

Ashes - It's all over!

The Ashes series, underway right now, has sure turned out to be a disappointment. England, who did not really look very convincing in the lead up to the series, have basically folded. The 2nd Test looked great for the 1st 4 days, and it looked like this was the turning point in this incarnation of the series (much like the previous one).

But the morning of the 5th showed that this England team really does not have the level of skill or audacity that is required to effectively take on Australia in a Test match series. It was quite ridiculous, the defensive tactics being employed by England on the 5th day. They should have, and I believe the Vaughn England would have, come out agressive on the 5th day and tried to put some quick runs on the board, and then put Australia in to have a go at them.

Defenders of England will say that the aggressive tactics were not really an option once they lost a couple wickets. Bah humbug, I say. England went into a shell that was ridiculous. They just helped the Aussie cause by building up more pressure on themselves, and letting the Aussies have the run of the field. The coach and captain surely must be faulted for this ridiculous tactic. [India have been guilty of this tactic before, and even great batsmen like Dravid have fallen into this totally defensive mode, and the results have been the same - A big win for the other team, usually Australia]. The Australians showed everyone, and England had the best view of this, during this very Test how some aggression works to relieve the pressure. They were facing 550+ runs, and were 65 for 3 (or thereabouts), and they came after the England bowling - Ponting, Hussey, Clarke and then finally Gilchrist. England should have learned some lessons...but, alas!

Now all that is left of this series, is to see if Warne gets to 700, Ponting gets to the record that Yousuf just broke (after that having stood for 30 years), Brett Lee gets his groove back, and if Andrew Flintoff can survive the whole series without ruining his ankle and his career as a bowler.

Nov 29, 2006

The insipid display continues

This is beginning to border on the absurd!! The inability to play pace bowling is now embarassing. The Indian bowlers did a fantastic job, but the batting was woeful. Zaheer and Kumble were on top of their game. Even Sreesanth showed he belongs at this level. The part-time spinners stepped up their game as well (now only if these part-time spinners, who are full-time batsmen, can do their primary jobs 1/2 as well as their secondary jobs, we'd be in good shape).

We so cannot do without Dravid. At least he can stay around and hold one end up. Sehwag and Tendulkar are just not cutting it. Kaif has not had a good game for a long time. Karthik has not shown anything yet, but I guess he is young and needs a chance. We sure are missing Yuvraj on this tour.

I hear this clamor for Ganguly and for VVS Laxman. Since the problem Indian batters are having has to do with pace and bounce, I am not sure how Ganguly is the answer. Have folks forgotten how uncomfortable he looks when the ball is coming up into his rib-cage? Do we think that South Africa have forgotten about that glaring weakness in Ganguly's batting in the year that he has been out? VVS Laxman might be a good bet. But I remember the look of total astonishment on his face when a screamer from Shoaib Akhtar took his stumps out, like a deer caught in the lights.

We need the 2 guys who are hurt - Dravid and Yuvraj. They have shown that they can place pace and bounce. I am afraid we are in big trouble without these guys.

I am looking forward to the Test series now, as long as Dravid can recover from his injury. A part of me wants to see how Ganguly will fare against Ntini, Nel and the like as they aim for his ribs. Who knows, the Ganguly of old might come out and then it will be fun.

Nov 28, 2006

India's debacle in South Africa

So far, it looks like a debacle. The warmup game was a disaster, and then the 2 matches so far have been sick. Other than Dravid (who is now hurt and out for the rest of the tournament) and Dhoni (who does not seem to be reliable yet), not one batsman even appeared to know what they were doing.

The batters seems to lack technique, and gumption. I hope and man am I hoping hard, they turn this around in the next match. It is easy to blame Chappell for this crap display, but the players really have to deliver. The bowlers are having some trouble as well. I mean how do you have SA down in the dumps and let Kemp and Hall take you apart?

Boy, do these guys have a tough road ahead. And the mood at home does not seem to be too forgiving these days. I guess that comes with the territory - they are the best paid cricketers in the world. And right now they are playing like schmucks.

CSI: Miami Episode 11/27/06

Well, I used to think that Bruckheimer does his research quite well. However, this latest episode of CSI: Miami had some silly errors. Makes one wonder if the writers/producers just were not jumping on this Iraq bandwagon, without much thought.

The whole idea seemed a bit out of whack. And the side plot seemed quite weird. The idea that someone would be arrested for murder in the United States, for accidentally shooting a Marine during a fire-fight, seems preposterous. The contractor who was arrested, accidentally shot the Marine, while under fire. That is a tragedy, but does not quite seem to be a murder. He left the scene - it is hardly the same as leaving the scene of an accident in the US, no? Totally ridiculous.

The side plot of the kid who the Marine recruiter labeled as a security risk. Well, the story makes him out to be of Iranian descent. The ID of the mother listed her nationality as Iranian, but her name was 'Lakshmi Batra. Batra is a populan Indian last name, and a Hindu one at that. Lakshmi is a name of a Hindu Goddess. There is no way an Iranian family will call their daughter after a Hindu Goddess. A 5 min research efffort on Google would have sufficed in finding that the name does not work for an Iranian. I am surprised at the shoddy research here.

Anyways, that is that. Comments are welcome.