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February 2005

Finally an online music download site for Indian songs

Hey! Now you can download Indian songs. The price is reasonable: 99c for each item, 69c each if you purchase 10 items. It's about time! The service looks similar to Apple's iTunes and other online music stores. You can download to your portable music player as long as it is Windows Media Compatible and supports protected WMA files. That rules out Apple's iPod! Sigh!

Till now I was holding off on purchase of a portable media player as I don't listen western songs that much and I don't download Hindi songs illegally. But now, I can't wait to get my hands on one.

Update: Sepia Mutiny is skeptical if money from sale of songs will ever reach the original artists!

I am smart, I am always late

Andrew Chamberlain has a very fascinating post proving that punctuality is inefficient.

Update: I have a doubt about the analysis presented there.

Based on his analysis, if people decided to be deliberately late by starting late then would the distribution curve shift to the right? That is, if the meeting is at 5:00 PM and it takes around 10 minutes (most likely time) to reach the place, then a person must start around 4:50 PM in order for the distribution curve (shown in the figure titled, "When Will I Show Up?") to be true. Isn't it?
If the person deliberately wants to reach late by starting at 5:00 PM, the curve in the above figure will shift to the right by 10 minutes. Will it not?
In fact, same analysis applies to the case in which the person setting the invitation deliberately sets the time at 4:50 PM in order for everybody to show up on time.

What if Iraqi elections were held before US presidential elections

It was really great to read the reports of record voting in the Iraqi election and see people dancing in the streets showing off their ink-stained finger! The Iraqi people and those in charge of the security in Iraq proved naysayers completely wrong!

In fact, if you think of it, Iraqi people just gave a huge vote of confidence to American and Iraqi security forces (trained by Americans)! Somehow I think that if Iraqi people did not feel confident about their security to a reasonable extend they wouldn't have bothered voting. This is not to say that they did not act courgeously in voting. They definitely did. I just wanted to point out that the fact that the Iraqi people enthusiastically voted inspite of threats and actual acts of violence says a lot about their confidence in the security aparatus.

What would have been the impact on the US presidential election if the Iraqi election had taken place before it? At a minimum, John Kerry would have been forced to stop repeating ad-naseum that "invasion" of Iraq was a big mistake. His main position on Iraq, that he would have handled Iraq in a better way, would have fallen completely flat on its face! Successful Iraqi elections would have given lie to his another claim that US is isolated in the World because of unilateral actions of US administration. Most likely Bush would have won the elections by a much more bigger margin. In itself it does not change much, but the margin of victory would have forced the much needed introspection in the Democratic party!

This is not to score points or to speculate how Bush would have made a political capital out of the Iraqi election. The thing I want to stress here is that John Kerry fought the election completely on a negative agenda. He could convince nearly half of the electorate that situation in Iraq was bad only because there was no way to demonstrate that Iraqi people are happier after removal of Saddam Hussein. Only successful Iraqi election could have shown that Iraqi people are eager to participate in a democracy and that all the sacrifices and expenses were worth it. John Kerry and the Democratic party betted on negative outcomes heavily! They stressed negative aspects of the situation in Iraq repeatedly with full co-operation of the MSM. Successful Iraqi election would have exposed the the whole picture in Iraq and voters in US would have been able to judge the campaign rhetoric and judge the two candidate properly. Going by the statement made by John Kerry after the Iraqi election, Iraqi election have not forced introspection in the Democratic party. An electoral loss by a huge margin would have done just that!

Update: The Sun-Times columist Mark Brown, a liberal, asks "What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?"