Sunday, December 16, 2007
I was flipping through television channels when I saw the final scenes in a Telugu movie. I do not know Telugu but could follow what happened. Recording it for posterity:
Scene is in a mine shaft - Chiranjeevi appears talking lots of dialogue abusing the villain, Appa Naidu. Appa Naidu looks like a rich gentleman - why is Chiru yelling at him? Because Appa Naidu has Chiru's Mom tied up in a pit. Chiru's Dad is tied up near the roof somewhere, ready to hang. Chiru is mighty pissed at this and nears the villain saying nasty things in Telugu (which still sounded sweet to my ears).
Villain laughs, takes a step back and from top of mine shaft a steel cage falls and entraps Chiru. This further enrages Chiru. Villain is still laughing. Mean-looking guys with Naidu are also laughing. One guy brings what look like fiery tongs. They all poke at Chiru and laugh at him. Chiru's shirt torn off. Chiru seems comfortable in the mine shaft without shirt.
Suddenly, the Mom who is tied up starts speaking to Chiru - she is urging him to beat the hell out of Appa Naidu. Chiru looks at her and seems to ask "Can you see that I am in a freaking cage in a mine shaft?". Appa Naidu now turns attention to Mom (She should have kept her mouth shut in my opinion). Anyway, tap turns on and water starts pouring into pit where Mom is currently situated. Yes, she should definitely have shut up.
Chiru gets all crazy at this and starts mightily pulling at the bars of his cage. Villain and all his employees are laughing. But, wait - the bars seem to be bending. Yes, Chiru is out. Chiru picks up the huge steel cage which he was imprisoned in a minute back - picks it up with one hand and throws at Appa Naidu's staff. Staff exit stage left.
Chiru throws something at Dad who, (let me remind you), was tied up in the roof in very awkward position watching the whole show. Dad freed immediately, jumps down and starts fighting.
Things are beginning to look rosy for Chiru and bad for Appa Naidu.
But, suddenly, camera turns to show the brave Mom; Mom under water.
When camera tuens back to Chiru, Chiru is caught by Appa Naidu's reserve staff. Dad also caught. Mom gone.
(Now, a Malayalam film would have ended right there.)
But, this was, thankfully, not Malayalam; as the Mom was soon to find out. Chiru yells, "Rajaaaaaaa....". I am looking for this entirely new character.
Raja is the friendly neighborhood...elephant standing right there in the mine shaft, watching proceedings with interest. I don't know how he got in, but he did nothing when Mom went submarine. On Chiru's call, Raja comes to senses; picks up water from Mom's water tub and blows it on Villain's people.
Mom is now out of water and is smiling and happy.
She has reason to be happy - the police are here. They have been brought by Radha. The police announce their entry by shooting in the air in an abandoned mine shaft. Clever.
For those of you getting up and leaving the theater, hold on, movie has not ended.
Villain Appa Naidu and his son get Radha and jump into a mine vehicle and race along a track. Sharp Chiru jumps in another mine vehicle and goes after them at top speed. Fights with them, gets Radha transferred to his vehicle and stops vehicle before it goes over hill.
Appa Naidu and son hanging from mountain top. Chiru above, police below. Appa Naidu finally says the magic words - "Chiranjeevilu Niraparadhilu" - which I understood as Chiru is innocent.
Everybody breathes a sigh of relief and Chiru and Radha get married.
I am not making fun or any judgement call of Telugu movies - I have seen some of them and I do not really think that Tamil movies are that different. I thought it was interesting that I could understand the movie without knowing the language and even get some back story (that Chiru had been charged by the police wrongly).
I later found that the movie name is Adavi Donga - which again I could understand - Adavi means Forest in old Tamil and Donga means thief. So it was some kind of native Tarzan movie.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Whenever I discuss Web 2.0 with a group of developers they are confused about what it means. I have referred to O’Reilly’s definition, but it is way too generic. I have pointed out that there is a Web 2.0 style in Graphic Design and that does not interest them. Every service vendor out there is talking about Web 2.0 and job portals have Web 2.0 specialists.
In spite of all this hype, it is still hard to explain what web 2.0 really means. One friend suggested content sharing between users; another mentioned Ajax based websites. There are still lots of technical people who are skeptical that there IS a "Web 2.0".
I have realized that the core fault is in asking if there is a web 2.0 to the wrong group of people – it is pointless asking developers or service providers whether they can code web 2.0 or they offer web 2.0. The true set of people to ask about web 2.0 are web users – not the builders.
Internet users have been using the web since 95. Many more begin to use it every year. These are the best people to ask – do you see a way in which your usage of the web has become different? Do you see a better web to call it web 2.0? We should be asking the political blog writer who writes commentary. We should ask the student who uses the web to research and collect information. We should even ask developers whether they USE the web differently.
Forget about Semantic Markup, W3C compliance or cross browser – what do the millions of web users see different?
As such an user myself, avid follower of political blogs and blog writer, I see such a change myself. (That change has nothing to do with Ajax).
The primary way in which the web has changed for me is in simple services that I am able to avail of and then link with other people around the world very easily. The ability to form a kind of community fast is the primary reason I feel the the web has changed.
One example is del.icio.us. By storing links in del.icio.us, I can actually observe that other people stored the same links and so take a jump in to see if they have more interesting information and so on in a rapidly complex linking mechanism. These links that del.icio.us forms sits one layer above the hyper text linking at the core of web 1.0 itself.
Reddit.com offers similar services – the ability to discuss within a community about an article.
Then of course RSS – that I can subscribe to feeds and pull information from the internet for my own content construction is amazing to me.
If I am a content author, if I want to take my content around to a community (flickr, youtube, blogger), , if I want to establish a community of like-minded people (Facebook, Orkut, MySpace), if I want to have the ability to combine this content with others effectively (Mashups and RSS), then the current web is way different from the original web.
Do not tell me that these facilities existed in some form in the original web - I don't care. These are much more available, visible and usable now and that is what I care about.
These features have nothing to do with the way the websites are built technically. They have to do with adding personal and social value.
I think Wikipedia and similar ideas are the greatest achievements in human collaboration – because they fulfill the original goal of the internet. The original goal was that all human knowledge, historical and otherwise should be available in an easily accessible, hyper-linked form. Web 2.0 adds the ability to form communities on top of this massive data and analyze it and parse it and add additional information.
Just for that, Web 2.0 does exist – it is not a phantom buzz word. It is a real phenomenon and we have to be proud of it.