• Vancouver housing issues

    A perspective on extra school tax

    Here’s a very well thought out comment from one of the articles in the media : Seniors and changing times. It seems that we all feel that Seniors are hard done by. It is certainly true that Seniors in the previous generation, especially those who were born in the early part of the 20th century, went through a period where people lost everything and they had to build from nothing. My grandparents, on both sides, lived good lives, had good jobs, yet retired quite poor, with little in home equity and little in the way of any income – such as OAS or CPP. This was very common, especially until…

  • Vancouver housing issues

    Face of hypocrisy in Vancouver

    These and similar signs went up in various locations around Vancouver following NDP’s announcement of the extra school tax on homes which are worth more than 3 million. Now there are several things just wrong with this banner not to say people who oppose the school tax on these grounds are just being hypocritical, selfish and entitled. This banner is so wrong in so many ways that honestly I’m dumbfounded. The extraordinary land values in Vancouver today were not earned by “hard work”. In fact, as a recent report suggest, these extra ordinary land values were generated by low property tax rate relative to the house assessment value (this reducing…

  • Vancouver housing issues

    Get a perspective

    I don’t think I’ve shared this experience of mine with any of you because for a long time I debated whether or not it was worthwhile to share. Some realizations are best kept to oneself. Yesterday I read a couple of comments from Dave Eby’s townhall in point gray area in Vancouver, BC, my hometown which made me rethink. So here it is. I’ll mention the specific comments after I describe my experience. Last January I was in New York for few days. There was a cold wave sweeping the entire east coast and days were sub zero. One evening after dinner, I decided to take a walk across the…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    Poor experience with Cathay Pacific.

    I live in Vancouver, Canada. I was visiting India during the festival season. My fight was from YVR to CCU via HKG and back. Cathay Pacific all through. I was carrying with me my DSLR and lenses and also my laptops and my ipad so that I can take photos of the festivals. When I boarded my flight from Vancouver, everything went smoothly and no one complained about my carry on luggage weight. I was carrying mostly my laptops and my camera + lenses with my carry on. I also had some basic minimal spare clothes and couple of small books for light reading. When I was checking in for…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    Open Mind.

    We live in a strange world today. Technology has created an environment where getting data and crunching numbers becomes easy. Once the numbers has been crunched, social media has enabled us to publish the data and our own thoughts and interpretation on it. The data and the interpretation is then consumed by the mass population in an instant through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. There has never been a time where social networks has been such powerful platform for interacting with the mass population and potentially influencing them. This has created a very interesting opportunity for cunning crafty individuals who can potentially use this medium towards their advantage. Throughout history politicians…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    silver lining

    So if you think about it carefully every negative or difficult experience in our lives has a positive effect as well. Often it is possible to turn a negative situation into a more constructive positive experience if we want to. For exsmple we might have a dofficult and frustrating experience at work. Well we can grudge and complain about it or basically accept the fact that for the most part, we can not change the overall situation. However what we can do is that we can  change our own outlook. Try to get a project that excites us, find something that perhaps we wanted to do for a long time…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    Gene Roddenberry had a point!

    So this thought has been lingering in my mind for a while now. Gene Roddenberry had a point when he introduced the concept of universal translator in the Star Trek universe. I remember having a conversation with my supervisor at grad school about this. He told me that he thought one such device could change the world, solve a lot of the current challenges in a modern society and even prevent wars. I didn’t delve into this thought any further in those days. However, I now think that he did indeed had a good point. If you think about it, often we spend so many years of our lives trying…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    (500) Days of Summer

    “If Tom had learned anything… it was that you can’t ascribe great cosmic significance to a simple earthly event. Coincidence. That’s all anything ever is. Nothing more than coincidence. There are no miracles. There is no such thing as fate. Nothing is meant to be …” So this year, on my way towards visiting my folks in India, I watched this movie on our Lufthansa flight (twice over). Whereas I am still trying to digest the movie, one thought kept lingering in my mind as I closed my eyes and tried to sleep. This thought has prompted me to turn on my laptop while we are flying at about 35000…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    Are developer egos a problem in the open source development model in general?

    Response from Con Kolivas to APC magazine: I think any problem with anydevelopment model has multiple factors,and ultimately, it is humans that make decisions. I won't commenton the humans themselves.If there is any one big problem with kerneldevelopment and Linux it is the complete disconnection of thedevelopment process from normal users. You know, the ones whoconstitute 99.9% of the Linux user base.The Linux kernel mailing listis the way to communicate with the kernel developers. To put itmildly, the Linux kernel mailing list (lkml) is about as scary acommunication forum as they come. Most people are absolutely terrified of mailing the list lest they get flamed for their inexperience, an inappropriate…