Monthly Archives: February 2009

Solar panels are not us

NICE PIECE on the Examiner today – yeah, I’m biased – about solar panels from Subhankar Kundu. The semiconductor companies are cheesed off with the Indian government not helping them enough.

We had a chat about this. A fab costs $2 billion at least to build. Orders are falling, falling, falling. This is the first time the clearly cyclical semi business has experienced this. TSMC is at 40% capacity. So will the fabs shift to producing polysilicon for the solar panel business? It’s not so easy. All it will take is for photovoltaic panels to become cheap and the famous Moore’s Law will kick in. And countries like India which have heaps of sun will benefit.

Will it happen?  Probably not for a good while. It’s a crying shame. ♦

Cow keeps to the right side of the road

A BEAUTIFUL COW, well trained in British traffic values, wanders up the Domlur Road in Ole Bangalore today.

She knows that it is perfect sense to go with the flow, and to walk sedately up the road in the same direction as the cars, autos and trucks.

Except! Can you see just ahead of her a road on the left? And can you see a barrier in the middle of the road? Vehicles coming down this road have no choice but to turn right, and go against the traffic flow because the barrier won’t allow them to execute a proper right!

Our cow was safe and passed the accident black spot without event. We have seen so many dogs limping on the 100 Feet Road that we suspect even intelligent pooches have trouble reckoning where the traffic is going. And us pedestrians have the same problem too.

How now, brown cow?

How now, brown cow?

 

How to re-invent journalism

TOM FOREMSKI at Silicon Valley Watcher, came up with some interesting ideas in the last few days on how newspapers can be re-invented.

Foremski, formerly a correspondent for the Financial Times, lit out on his own a few years ago to do his own thing, and we’ve had several interesting conversations since then about the future of journalism.

He makes the very valid point that if newspapers generate a lot of you can only read it here material, there’s more likelihood that people will read it, and therefore people will pay for it. That’s my idea with The News, which will start generating much more original content from now on, and also have opinions on a myriad things.

He has a number of ideas which chime with mine, and other ideas which I confess I hadn’t thought about.

One point on which we’re fully agreed is that journalists should not just sit in their ivory towers, but go out into their local communities. I believe there’s a million stories out there, and plenty to photograph and to comment here. It’s not too late to prevent journalism becoming a corpse.

The good Dr Drashek is either asleep or dead

ONE OF this bog’s most faithful commentators, the good Dr Drashek, should wake up to a new commenting opportunity.

Both The News and the IT Examiner allow comments – albeit subject to immoderation by the immoderators.

We are very much looking forward to immoderating DrashekWare on both titles. Chevron obviously decided to risk it for a friskit!  Oi’ll be astonished if the Good Doctor does.

Builders play chess with stone chippings

THE BUILDING next door continues to rise, with few caring about the fate of the coconut dream axed in a dream of consumerism.

But today we went out and saw the labourers playing a game, so we felt compelled to ask Subhash, who works in Bangalore, for The News and the IT Examiner, what the heck was going on.

They, he said, are playing a board game, similar to chess, although the name of the game they were playing escaped him.

There are three things to note in these two photos. First, the ingenious use of wood instead of metal scaffolding. Secondly, the car in the broader picture appears to be a Reva (pronounced Raver), an electric car which appears to be Subhash’s car. Thirdly, the strategy involved in this game of chess. Chess, as everyone knows, was invented in India. ♥

boardgame

board_detail

Bangalore is hot, but crumbling

HERE IN BANGALORE, the temperature is much nicer than in the UK. But here in Bangalore, more and more fine buildings and trees are going to be replaced by concrete blocks. I’d say that if this continues, the birds, the bees and butterflies will all flit in a couple of years. Which would be a great shame for Indiranagar. I’ve been so busy on The News that I’m falling behind on this bog a bit. But there is a great piece in The Economist about how Bloomberg, AFP, AP and Reuters may swallow up all the little newspapers – which take their feeds – and we’ll end up with the Daily Bland. That isn’t going to happen on The News, as long as my vital signs keep ticking.

Snowdown in Oxford, goodbye to barf

OXFORD LARGELY escaped the snow that engulfed London earlier this week, but we got our come uppance this morning with about four or five inches of barf.

Still, next Monday I’m off to Bangalore and to temperatures that will thaw me out, no doubt. Unlike Oxford

8AM today

View from the Tower of Light: 8AM today