National Geographic Photo of the Day

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Troubled by torrents

Long ago in 2004 a certain film studio reportedly wrote an e-mail (in a rather legal notice fashion) to a well known torrent search web site asking them to remove some copyright infringing content. The response they got must surely have had them wondering "Now what did we do to deserve this?".

The link is Dreamworks_response.txt

Indeed the technicality that they're not based in the US helps them a lot.

Read the letter as well as the site's response and have a good laugh.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Deal is Done

While most people on a Saturday afternoon would be having a nice nap, I had a different agenda. Having been keeping track of the Nuclear deal right from its conception, I was totally glued to the TV set past 1pm. The morning's Times' article only served to increase the "What IF" factor, as in what if all this was for nothing, what if the NSG in its infinite wisdom decided to NOT give India a clean chit.

Openly, six nations - Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Norway - stood in the way of India and an assured nuclear fuel supply. That opposition had dwindled down to Austria and Ireland in the past two weeks and after New Delhi issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to Non-Proliferation. One major player though - our "friendly neighbour" China - operated behind the scenes trying to make sure India never got the exemption. Earlier in the year they'd been all smiles, hoping that their Communist comrades in our country (they think more about China's good than India's) would have stalled the deal at the Parliament itself. The tables however were turned with the CPI hoping that China would block the deal. As Congress Spokesperson Dr. Abhishek Singhvi put it, had the deal not gone through, the happiest people would have been Shanghai, the BJP and the Left. China would do well to remember that they were in bed with Pakistan proliferating to their heart's content not too long ago.

Come 3pm and the "Flash news" area on every half-decent news channel said that the waiver had been given. Finally, it became clear that the US could indeed open a lot of doors when it came to putting pressure on unrelenting opposition. All it takes is a few calls from an American President to set things in motion. The fact that the NSG operates by consensus, which has until now been a major hurdle, turns into a formidable asset now that the waiver has been finalised. In the event that India does indeed need to conduct a test in future, all countries in the NSG would have to agree that the waiver must be cancelled. And that would most certainly be a bit of a roadblock (to the NSG - not to mention an added advantage to India). Kudos to the negotiating team who stood steadfast in their views and did not significantly alter the text of the draft agreement.

Now it shall finally go on the Anvil at the American Congress.