What I desire from life

The world is a cruel place. We are consistently trying to compete with the same people we love and care for, and do so in the hopes of creating a better future. Something seems wrong. We have re-aligned our notion of being content and happy in order to accomodate materialistic and “venomous” gains that are more often than not actually against the premise we started out with. We end up hurting others and ourselves.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something I could do to make everyone around me happier. It feels so great to be able to bring a smile to some person’s face. Is it possible to separate materialistic ambitions from neutral “pleasing” aspirations? I wish we celebrated atleast one day every week where we would make someone’s day a happier day. From now on, it is my goal to brighten at least one person’s day everyday.

Life is short.

Is satellite radio really the ultimate in radio broadcasting?

I have been using XM Satellite Radio for about the last month or so. I have to say that it is actually a giant leap forward in radio programming, and I am addicted to its programming. The fact that I can easily tune into any kind of music or talk radio programming is very enticing. Not to mention the commercial free music. The hardware is also revolutionary, and I use a receiver that works in my car, home, as well as in my pocket. Satellite radio is here to stay. Bye bye regular FM.

Or not?

Is satellite broadcasting the ultimate in “national area” digital transmission? I can count some things that satellite radio lacks at present:

1. There is no way to send user statistics back to XM Radio to help them calculate demand for a particular genre.
2. It is non-interactive.
3. I still cannot listen to anything on demand.
4. The number of channels is strictly limited in proportion with the broadcast quality. There is little room for expansion unless a new codec comes out.
5. Any technological changes/innovation would result in making the current breed of receivers obsolete (read inability to update firmware).
6. It is still not global, and is fairly expensive to deploy, although the costs diminish once the systems are in place.
7. Satellite transmission is not enough. There are terrestrial repeaters throughout the nation that broadcast the digital channels to crowded urban areas, i.e., a generous land based infrastructure is still required to provide coverage.

There are many more drawbacks of this technology. In a way, satellite radio companies (2 at this time – XM and Sirius) have deployed a terrestrial network not unlike a mobile communications company. This is because each of these repeaters has only a limited range and uses a freuquency not very far away from those used for cellular communications.

Now, when we talk about anything digital, the first thing that comes to the mind is the Internet. It is the world’s biggest digital network that reaches almost every point on Earth. I, for one, believe that the Internet is the best content delivery mechanism for anything digital.

Could Internet radio ever take over satellite radio? I believe the answer is yes. The Internet is duplex, and has the potential to provide many more services than just radio, for example. The way I look at it, Satellite radio is just a transitionary phase from FM to nearly pervasive digital radio based on the Internet. Already, there are companies with plans to blanket the nation with high speed wireless networks that connect to the Internet. All that is needed is a “peaceful” way to establish internetwork traffic and tariffs.

From a content provider’s view, I could focus solely on content rather than the underlying infrastructure if I use the Internet as a delivery vehicle. This also opens up the business so that there are more competitors, and better choice for the consumer. In fact, Internet radio obliterates almost every drawback I enumerated earlier. But, I believe it is still quite far away, and until then I am going to enjoy my XM Satellite Radio!

Reality TV at its worst ?

I am a night person, and do most of my work late at night while watching TV or a movie to create a non-dull ambience. Lately, I have been watching two dating shows, Blind Date and Elimidate almost religiously every weeknight. As you can tell from their names, these shows are supposedly reality shows with the ultimate aim to set up a guy with a girl while making it an educational and interesting experience for the viewer.

Now, if you have never seen either of the two shows, I really suggest getting hold of a couple episodes of both. I just love Blind Date. The show is more often than not pretty hilarious and actually pleasant to watch. I love the witty thought balloons and Roger Lodge’s sarcasm. Elimidate, on the other hand, is one of those “reality” shows that disgust you, but you, nevertheless, watch them just to see how low they could really go. The participants have no other objective than to humiliate each other as badly as possible. They have the same kind of dialogs and activities in every episode, which makes me wonder if it isn’t as real as they make it out to be.

I would really like to see a followup to these episodes. Do the contestants wonder the next day for being so stupid drunk the last night? Do these shows really work for them? What kind of releases do they have to sign before they get on the show? These are some of the questions that pop up in my mind while I watch the shows come to an end.

It would be great to see an Indian dating show, with the guy trying harder to please the girl’s parents than the girl. Imagine the possibilities. I am thinking that the show would be much more “intelligent” as well. Maybe one of these days Star One would run a dating show!

I am getting there !

I have been spending all my gaming time playing with Kameo lately (as in controlling her on the TV :-P), and should be done with it pretty soon. Definitely one of the best video games I have every played. Great graphics, too.

2006 is here !

The year 2006 has arrived. It is time to make new resolutions for the new year, and reminisce about the good and the bad of the previous year. 2005 was a very eventful year from every aspect. It was marked by natural disasters, economic growth, groundbreaking breakthroughs in science and technology, and various other events.

On the personal front, the previous year was quite eventful as well, with lots of everlasting memories and lessons in the game of life. I just hope that 2006 is a much better year for everyone, including myself.

Happy New Year, and may God bless us all !