Friday, December 14, 2007

Bangladesh Under 19 defeats Pakistan Under 19 by 3-2

I didn't see mush news on the web about Bangladesh Under 19 defeating Pakistan Under 19 in a ODI series last week by a 3-2 margin. Bangladesh lost first 2 games and won the last 3 games consecutively. The series was hosted in Pakistan. The only test between these 2 teams ended in a draw.

http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2007-08/OTHERS/BDESH-U19_IN_PAK/

Now Srilanka Under 19 is visiting Bangaldesh and so far they are level with Bangaldesh 1-1 in the 5 ODI series as Bangladesh U-19 won the 1st ODI and Srilanka U-19 won the 2nd ODI.

I believe all the journalists and bloggers are so overwhelmed with India's 1-0 test series win in India last week that nothing else got focus to them. Ganguly had a dream 2007 in terms of cricket year and was awarded man of the series. I am expecting him to get the palyer of the year award for 2007.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Clear Lake Visit


Last weekend we went to Clear Lake for a quick tour. I, Shusmita and our 1 year old son Ahyan was joined by our friend Nitol and Liju. Our friend Muthu Prakash joined us in our resort
WorldMark for Wyndham the following night. As I always say that the best part of living in America is the long drives like this. We started around 8:30 PM Friday night (30th Nov) and came back Sunday evening (2nd Dec). The first night we reached very late so next day morning we went out to sight seeing (circling around the whole lake) just a little earlier than noon. At night we made barbequee and Prakash reached around 10:30 PM at night. More of our friends from Fremont were supposed to join us but they had to cancel the program at the last moment due to their other involvements. Sunday while returning, we went to Napa Premium Outlet first and did shopping for our upcoming New York visit this month. While coming Liju drove the car and while going back Prakash took Nitol in his car and Liju again drove back. So I got a great chance to sleep in the car pretending that I am helping Liju as a navigator! Above is a short video of our Clear Lake tour although I believe the best view of the lake is from the balcony of our townhouse resort. We had plenty of space as the upstairs is the big master bed room with attached bath and downstairs were another bed room, bath, large living room, kitchen, balcony. I was feeling more satisfied to stay in the resort and gossip with the friends rather than going outside for sight seeing. Here follows a few photos taken during the tour.

http://picasaweb.google.com/nitol.shabbir/ClearLake

After joining Salesforce, first week I volunteered in a food supply program in San Francisco Food Bank from office and the second week I went through a comprehensive training in office. This week also I am going through another exhaustive training in San Mateo at Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of AT&T. I bought a new Dell laptop loaded with Vista Home Premium for Shusmita at home that reached yesterday. And yes, even before starting for the trip my Honda Civic Sedan crossed 20,000 miles when I went to San Mateo to attend my new hire orientation program early last week followed by another food supply volunteering from office a Glide Church in San Francisco.

My parents are going for Hojj in Saudi Arab the day after tomorrow. I talked over phone to them a little earlier and felt how hard it is for children and parents to stay in two different countries. Career, life style, money keep them separated for long time. It's something that can only be felt, can't be described by a novice writer like me....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cyclone Sidr Hits Bangladesh

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Sidr Hits Bangladesh at Nov 15th early morning with winds blowing at 250 km/h and gusts of 305 km/h.The storm from Bay of Bengal caused large scale evacuation and after it hit the SouthWest part of Bangladesh, so far 2388 death has been reported. This storm is at decisive as 1991 and 1970 cyclones and the death toll is rising in every hours report.

I have tried a lot to contact my family back home and could get them only the day before after 28 hours electricity black out finished. All of my relatives and friends are fine as most of them are in Dhaka, although the storm went through 85 miles away from Dhaka with weakened force by the time it reached the center of the country.

Pray for Bangladesh. We have seen a major flood this year and now this one - too much in one single year.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Meaning of my name

Today I got an email from a sports journalist and chess fide master of Belgrade asking the meaning of my name Ashik. The word Ashik, derives from Arabic word Asheq (عاشق), and means the one who is in love. Zaman is derived from Zamana, an Urdu/Hindo word that means the age or time. So Ashik Uzzaman means one who is in love with his time. In other words, Ashik Uzzaman is the lover of the age. I live in information age, its my profession as well and I love it. So to me my name resembles that I am the lover of information age.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

GMail 2.0 and Windows Live Hotmail

I have been using the newer version of GMail for the last few days and I like it very much. The first thing I noticed is that it's faster than the older version. But the feature that I liked most is the Filter Messages like these action. Its wonderful and is saving me so many more minutes everyday. The other new action Mute takes out the message from my inbox, but I am not sure whether it archives it or deletes it do what with it. The replies by you are marked with a > sign in a discussion thread to easily distinguish between your responses vs the others responses. And of course the Contacts section has changed significantly in terms of visual appearance compared to other parts of the GMail. The embedded google talk now gives optionto show the list of contacts to chat in different sizes - tiny, small, medium, large.

MicroSoft made its Windows Live Hotmail available for general registration. I tool my new live id ashik@live.com . At first look, I think the calendar, calendar sharing and task integration in it will be useful. They are giving 5 GB space to start with which is cool. Let's see how it goes.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Joined Salesforce Yesterday


I joined Salesforce in San Francisco yesterday as a Software Engineer. So far it has been a wonderful and competitive corporate environment. My manager took me to a Thai Cuisine for lunch and explained me how Salesforce is growing so fast! I will be probably be assigned to AppStore and Phoenix projects soon after I finish my admin training next week.

Last Friday (2nd Nov) my Philips colleague gave me a farewell lunch at Red Kwali in Milpitas. Although Jeff could not attend it and instead gave me a phone call to say good bye; everyone else in Philips Milpitas R&D team joined that - Imtiyaz, Brian, Dan, Jade, David, Tho, Ba, Franca. It was a nice time with them.

In that evening I, Shusmita, Ahyan, Nitol, Ezaz, Shaki and Mahi started for Klamath Falls, Oregon with our hired 7-seater Minivan. We reached the Trendwest Resort there at 3:30 PM. The long drive was quite wonderful with all of us singing by turns. The next day (Saturday) we went to Crater Lake first. We returned in the evening and Ezaz led the barbequeee party. The next morning (Sunday) we went to see Lava beds and chimney near Merill town. We forgot to take flash lights and could not go upto the end of the dark caves. While returning Nitol even got hit in head head by the sharp rocks. While returning back home in the evening, we took exit to see Shasta Dam as Ezaz, Shaki was not with us when we saw it last time in July this year. It was a wonderful trip. Here are some pictures from the trip.

http://picasaweb.google.com/shusmita/Oregon
http://picasaweb.google.com/nitol.shabbir/Oregon
http://picasaweb.google.com/shakilab2002/OregonAndShasta

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Survived 5.6 Earthquake a few hours back

We survived a 5.6 earth quake a few hours ago. It started at 8:05 PM and stayed for 20 seconds. The center of the earthquake was North San Jose and even in Fremont we felt it so strongly. I was playing with Ahyan and Shusmita was in kitchen when saw the whole housing started shaking violently. We gathered together in the middle of the living room until it was over and went out of the house to join many other people in the street after a while to avoid any follow up earth quake.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071031/ap_on_re_us/california_earthquake

This is our second earth quake within a year. The earlier one was not as violent as today's one although in richter scale that was 4.8 or so. Our neighbor Kathy/Preston and Tofael Bhai were shocked to have this experience. Preston was like - Welcome to California, the place of earth quake.

Update: 5 Minutes earlier 31st October Wednesday 3:52 PM, we had another earthquake which I believe is the aftershock of yesterday's one. It was milder than yesterday's and we were in fact waiting for this as within 24 hours it is supposed to have as the follow up of the previous one. I am still in office and checked if my family is okay back in Fremont. Shusmita ran down to street with my son Ahyan and told she felt it quite milder than last night's.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ahyan's First Birthday

Ahyan's first birthday went 12th of this month. Due to Eid-ul-Azha at 13th of this month, we celebrated the party at the following weekend at 20th October. Around 65 guests came in Chandni Restaurant in Newark. We booked the hall's one portion from noon to 4 PM. All the invitations were mostly maintained by evite. The birthday theme was Finding Nemo and all the baloons, table cloths, goody bag and the wonderful tiramisu cake wre decorated with this theme. Ahyan got som many beautiful gifts and love from all. We missed my friends and relatives back home in Bangladesh. This is the irony of living abroad that even happiest moments are touched with sadness.

Here are some of the pictures from the party that Nitol uploaded in his picasa web album.

http://picasaweb.google.com/nitol.shabbir/AhyanSBirthday

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bangaldesh Moves to 2nd Round of Twenty20 World Cup by Defeating West Indies

Twenty20 World Cup 2007 just started and we are already with many exciting results. A few hours earlier, very late night (or early morning) my time, I followed Bangladesh vs West Indies match where Ashraful's record fastest half-century (61) and Aftab's 62* knocked West Indies out of the tournament while Bangladesh proceeds to second round. Great job done my country!

Here are few links to follow on this.

http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/twenty20wc/engine/current/match/287857.html
http://worldtwenty20.yahoo.com/videos/wiba1309.html
http://rezwanul.blogspot.com/2007/09/hurray-bangladesh-won.html
http://www.banglacricket.com/

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Watch out fraudulant companies

I have been recently subject to victim of Travel Life Go Direct/Florida Direct/Lucid online fraudulant circle.

I recieved a vacation package offer early June from Florida Direct and enrolled myself in a 30 day trial. During the registration, they took my bank account information and sent me the details of vacation information which are operated by Travel Life Go Direct. They also offered me an optional phone service from Lucid. I agreed to try those as well.

But once I recieved the package in a week or so, I found those are not interesting. So I called Florida Direct at June 20 (approximately 2 weeks and still within the 30 day trial period) and cancelled my membership from them. Then I called the Travel Life Go Direct number and Lucid Phone service that I found in the papers mailed to me just in case to make sure I don't get any charge. I cancelled all those to make sure there will be no charge on my account.

Unfortunately within 2 days at June 22, I found one of those companies - Travel Life Go Direct / Florida Direct charged $149 via an electronic check from my CitiBank checking account. So I called Florida Direct and they gave me the number of Travel Life Go Direct to talk about the refund. Travel Life Go Direct customer service was fine with me during phone conversation and they told me to send the papers they gave me earlier with my signature in 2 of the pages so that they can refund me the money. I did so and followed up by phone call (providing my cancellation number) that they have recieved my papers in 1st week of July. They informed me that I will get a $149 refund check shorly via mail. But even after waiting a week as I did not recieve the refundcheck, I called them again and this time they confirmed me that I will recieve the mail by the end of July (and that time was around July 15). But the whole July finished and I did not recieve the refund. From last week of July I started calling them, and last one month whnever I call them I see that their customer service is facing problem and they will restore the services shortly. I have left voice message with my number and they never called me back. I have even email them without any response. So I talked to CitiBank customer service at 1-800 # to dispute the transaction and they suggested me walk through the local CitiBank branch in Fremont, California where I live. well I went there and they took my online fraudulant compaint to dispute the transaction. The day before yesterday, I recieved a mail from CitiBank that they can not help me in this situation. How come, I contacted them within the 60 days time limit period and provided all the information! While I called them yesterday again they suggested me to walk over to the local branch. I will walk tomorrow and I believe whol-heartedly that it's my bank's responsibility to protect me from such fraudulant sufferings. In the meantime see what "Federal Regulation E: Electronic Fund Transfers" talks about such situations -

"Regulation E provides a basic framework that establishes the rights, liabilities, and responsibilities of participants in electronic fund transfer systems such as automated teller machine transfers, telephone bill-payment services, point-of-sale (POS) terminal transfers in stores, and preauthorized transfers from or to a consumer's account (such as direct deposit and social security payments). The term "electronic fund transfer" (EFT) generally refers to a transaction initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, computer, or magnetic tape that instructs a financial institution either to credit or to debit a consumer's asset account."

In such situations, my bank should reverse the transaction in my favor and catchup that company with their lawyer or bear the loss themselves. This is why we depend on our banks, do business with them and refer our good friends to do business with them. But unfortunately my bank (Citibank) refused to refund me the money as it was an electronic check.

Watch out and be aware of fraudulant companies!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My First Car Accident in San Jose

Last night I was returning from a very successful AABEA event in Cafe Dhaka late at night. Shusmita, Ahyan and Nitol was in my car and Shahriar, Shochi and Safwan was in the car ahead of me. At arround 10:45 pm I wass going to take exit at 880 South in Montague Expressway. My intention was to take exit at 880 North which is only 300 feet ahead. As I realized that I am taking the wrong exit, I quickly looked at the left lane and looked over my shoulder and decided that I will come back to the original lane as their is no one to hit me at that lane. But while returning to the lane, I missed to see a small concrete trialngle divider and I directly hit that divider from the right side of my car. Result? The car flew a little and came down to earth and I had to drive around 50 feet to keep the control of the car and stop it at the last edge of the shoulder.

Thanks to almighty, none of us were injured. Even the air bag did not come out which means the hit was not as hard as it sounded initially. But both my right wheels, front and rear, were broken and the tires were worn.

Shahriar came back and gave a backup of light so that other cars don't hit my car. I called 911 and Farmers insurance. Shusmita and Ahyan went with Shahriar's family while I and Nitol waited long late night before towing car reached and took us with the car at my home.

Sometimes you need lessons to learn in life! Did I get my one?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Geni: Online Family Tree

I came to know about Geni from FreeBase a while ago. As soon as I saw it, I was amazed. allow people to graphically view and edit family trees. I was looking for such an application for a long time and now I have started my family tree. It will be not only useful and fun but will be a great way to socialize with the relatives.

Geni is a tool for understanding and staying in touch with your family. Geni lets you create a family tree through our fun simple interface. You can expand your tree by adding relatives’ email addresses. They will be invited to join your tree and can add other relatives. Your tree will continue to grow as relatives invite other relatives. From a technical point of view, the web site is so great in delivering exactly what a person would like to see in a family tree gradually that I am speechless! I don’t remember any other application stuck me with so surprise probably other than Facebook.

What are you waiting for now? Start your family tree in www.geni.com or join if one of your relative has already started the tree.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ICC CRICKET SONG WORLD CUP 2007

I recall how wonderful this world cup cricket 2007 was for Bangladesh. Life sounds more meaningful at such happy moments. Here is the ccricket hip hop song that Dish network developed for this world cup. Enjoy!

....aaz dekhenge bhai ham
....kisme hey kitna dam
chakka mar de, mar de
chakka mar de
are bare bhai, chakka mar de....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Lifeline Visit and Roaming Around Boston

We six engineers from Milpitas Philips R&D team came to visit Philips Lifeline in an official tour. Our flight for San Francisco to Boston airport Monday noon. The flight was only of five hours and we reached at Crown Plaza Natick at 10:30 PM despite the 3 hours time difference. I had a steak with french fries in dinner very late at night in Uno Chicago Grill which was quite tasty!

The whole day today (Tuesday) went so busy in Framingham (Lifeline) that I seldom got time to take a breath. In the evening, we came back in hotel for 15 minutes. Ron (Dutch) joined me, Brian, Dan and Jade in our visit to Cambridge and Boston. First we went to MIT campus and then to Harvard which is close by. It was an amazing experience to visit these 2 places. We had dinner at Grandel Den's and again I picked a steak with mash potato. This teak was even tastier than last night's! Before coming back to hotel, we had ice cream from a famous shop there.

Update: Wednesday we presented PTS and Motiva proeducts to Lifeline engineers. In the evening Rich Ryche invited us to a dinner party at Naked Fish where I had the best steak in my life, Tuna Fish Steak! After dinner Dan, Brian and I went to Cambridge to have a walk around. The last day (Thursday) we checked out from Crown Plaza at 9 PM and went to Anodover to Philips Medical Systems US Head Quarter. We caught the evening 6 PM return flight from Boston to San Francisco. It was a very useful trip for me indeed.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Death Clock

Do you want to know when will you die? Well it can be the very moment when you are reading this post. But let's see what our expert death clock system tells you at http://www.deathclock.com . When I calculated my one, I found it's way more than what I expect.




When are you dieing?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

AZAAN

Today I recieved an email that I would like to share with my visitors here.

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Merciful & The Most Beneficent"


"AZAAN"

Assalam-o-Alaikum Everyone,

Amazing as it sounds, but fortunately, for the Muslims of the world, it is an established fact.

Have a look at a map of the world and you will find Indonesia on the eastern side of the earth. The major cities of Indonesia are Java, Sumatra , Borneo and Saibil. As soon as dawn breaks on the eastern side of Saibil, at approximately 5:30 am local time, Fajar Aazaan begins. Thousands of Muazzins in Indonesia begin reciting the Aazaan.

The process advances towards West Indonesia. One and a half hours after the Aazaan has been completed in Saibil, it echoes in Jakarta . Sumatra then follows suit and before this auspicious process of calling Aazaan ends in Indonesia, it has already begun in Malaysia.

Burma is next in line, and within an hour of its beginning in Jakarta, it reaches Dacca, the capital city of Bangladesh . After Bangladesh , it has already prevailed in western India , from Calcutta to Srinagar . It then advances towards Bombay and the environment of entire India resounds with this proclamation.

Srinagar and Sialkot (a north city in Pakistan ) have the same timing for Aazaan. The time difference between Sialkot , Quetta , and Karachi is forty minutes, and within this time, Fajar Aazaan is heard throughout Pakistan . Before it ends there, it has already begun in Afghanistan and Muscat. The time difference between Muscat and Baghdad is one hour. Aazaan resounds during this one hour in the environments of Hijaaz-e-Muqaddas (Holy cities of Makkah and Madinah), Yemen , United Arab Emirates , Kuwait and Iraq .

The time difference between Baghdad and Alexandria in Egypt is again one hour. Aazaan continues to resound in Syria, Egypt, Somalia and Sudan during this hour. The time difference between eastern and western Turkey is one and a half hours, and during this Alexandria and Tripoli (capital of Libya) are located at one hour's difference. The process of calling Aazaan thus continues throughout the whole of Africa . Therefore, the proclamation of the "Tawheed" and "Risaalat" that had begun in Indonesia reaches the Eastern Shore of the Atlantic Ocean after nine and half hours. Prior to the Aazaan reaching the shores of the Atlantic , the process of "Zohar Aazaan" has already started in east Indonesia , and before it reaches Dacca, "Asr Aazaan" has started. This has hardly reached Jakarta one and half hours later, the time of Maghrib" becomes due, and no sooner has "Maghrib" time reached Sumatra , the time for calling "Isha Aazaan" has commenced in Saibil!

When the Muazzins of Indonesia are calling out "Fajar Aazaan", the African Muazzins are calling the Aazaan for Isha.

If we were to ponder over this phenomenon thoughtfully, we would conclude the amazing fact that there is not even a single moment when hundreds of thousands of Muazzins around the world are not reciting the Aazaan on the surface of this earth.

Even as you read this material right now, you can be sure there Aazaan !!!

Allah said:

"If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you." If you are not ashamed, pass this message on...only if you believe.

"Yes, I love Allah. Allah is my fountain of Life and My Savior. Allah keeps me going day & night. Without Allah, I am no one. But with Allah, I can do everything. Allah is my strength."

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Yahoo Trip Planner

August 6 to 9th, I am visiting Philips Lifeline in an official trip with 5 of my other colleagues. I thought it’s good time to try a travel planner web site now. After looking around for a while I realized that Yahoo Trip Planner is the best that I have found so far.

I like Yahoo’s most of the services more than MSN services and only marginally behind Google’s services. But in trip planner application, Google still doesn’t have anything although they are wokring on one.

Its so wonderful that I can put all my travel related info in one place and whenever I need any info, I can lookup in my Yahoo Trip Planner. Here is the one that I am using as my first experience on handling travel data.

http://travel.yahoo.com/trip-view-1251130-visit_to_framingham_with_colleagues

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nominate the New 7 Wonders of Nature (Cox' s Bazar and Sunderban)

Last week (07.07.07) the list of New 7 wonders of the world has been declared. Many of us voted his/her choices in the website. Many of us were enthusiastic about the matter, as we all have been listening about the Great 7 wonders of the world since our childhood. Although the ancient and middle-age 7 wonders were nominated by research from UNESCO, modern 7 wonders of the world was based on 100 million votes over internet from all around the world and hence is not part of official research or declaration from UNESCO. Still this is the only declaration of 7 modern wonders of the world. i am particularly thrilled to see Taj Mahal and Great Wall of China in this new list, representing their great economic progression in this flat world.

The New 7 wonder foundation has started another campaign, named New 7 wonders of Nature . You can nominate your own choice there. Can't we all try to nominate something from our own this time? May be we don't have something like Pyramid or Tazmahal...but this time, we have 2 of our assets... Cox' s Bazar and Sunderban. Can't we spend few minutes from our valuable time to nominate these 2 greatest natural site from our own Bangladesh?

Please forward this appeal to everybody you know. We all can make this happen.

Here's the link http://www.natural7wonders.com

click on the Nomination link located at the upper left corner and nominate

Sundarbans : Largest Mangrove forest - Category: Forest Wood
Cox's Bazar : Longest natural sea beaches - Category: Coastline

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Habib's Concert in Sunnyvale

Saturday 16th May 2007, we attended an excellent concert of Habib accompanied by his father Ferdous Wahid and Milia Sabed in Sunnyvale Convention Center. So many Bangladeshi people gathered together. As far as I know, 600+ tickets were sold of $35, $50 and $100 each. My previous idea was probably around 2000 Bangladeshi lives in San Francisco Bay Area. But now after talking to many people, I got feedback that around 6000 to 7000 is the most probably number. I hardly can remember anyone I know who missed this event. We enjoyed it so much.

Habib really does sound engineering as he claimed, and its of a different sort to classify. Ahyan got very used to the noise after his recent A R Rahman's concert experience. People of all ages were dancing from near the seat or close to the stage. Although Habib's full team couldn't come, he made an excellent show by picking all his good songs.

Here are few pictures of the concert.



And here is a YouTube video of the program.





We are very very small

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A R Rahman Live Concert in Oakland

Yesterday me, Shusmita, Ahyan and Liju went to A R Rahman Live Concert in Oracle Arena, Oakland. The 20,000 audience capacity was almost full with Local Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people. A R Rahman, Hariharan, Sukhvinder, KS Chitra and a fluent speaking rapper were singing recent and old Hindi and Tamil songs of A R Rahman. The live performances of the singers and various dancers were impressive. I liked the concert so much because I am a big fan of A R Rahman's songs.

It was a big test for Ahyan as he was afraid of the sound of loud speakers and peoples voices. Shusmita had to run towards corridor often to control him.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Good and Bad News

I have a few good and bad news from last week. The bad news first. I got a $361 red light violation ticket by postal mail with $29 processing fee for attending the driving classes as well. I didn't realize I will get this ticket when I was driving back to office from lunch at 2 PM close to my housee in Fremont. When I opened the mail, I found they gave 4 photo snaps as well as an internet link with PIN# to watch the video of how I violated the red light rule. This is California! Everything computerized, you can't deny. This is my first traffic ticket in USA and not an exciting one. :-(

Last Friday my manager in Philips cacme back from an Andover visit and amongst many other updates, he informed me that he talked to HR and Finance about my Green Card processing. :-)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lake Tahoe in early Summer

This memorial day long weekend was the last weekend before summer and was a perfect candidate for a vacation. I, Shusmita and Ahyan were joined by Nitol and Liju for a Lake Tahoe trip with one night stay in Cal Neva Resort near King's Beach which is in the border of California and Nevada.




We started for Lake Tahoe just before noon Saturday. I expected cold as more than a year earlier I came in a winter here with my friend Prakash and it was ice and ice everywhere. But it was warm and green now. We enjoyed the stay in hotel and roaming around Lake Tahoe. At night we went to Reno which is a very small version of Las Vegas. The next morning we checked out at noon and rounded the whole circle of Lake Tahoe stopping in several vista points. Its beautiful... very beautiful...

The whole trip Ahyan was very happy but he didn't eat cereals. From our hotel we could see the lake and hills very closely. It was a good driving experience and wonderful vacation!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

An eventful Week

Well this current week has been full of events. Let me remember in order.

Monday night, me, Shabbir, Shusmita and Ahyan went for a half-an-hour grocery shopping in Namaste Plaza. When we came back home, we found the house is full of smokes. Shusmita forgot to switch off one stove and thats why it is. If we would be a little more late, as Liju pointed out when he joined us in dinner the house would be under terrible fire!

Tuesday afternoon around 4:30 Shusmita called me and told that Ahyan jumped from bed into the floor. I was in the office and rushed towards home instantly. We took him to Fremont Urgent Care and he seemed to be fine without any injury. Even though we have monitor and pillows around Ahyan, he woke up from sleep and silently crossed the pillows (thats why Shusmita didn't hear anything from the kitchen's monitor) to catch an electric tower fan eventually falling in the floor. However the floor has thick carpet thats why he was not hurt. Same night, some of our friends here together went to a surprise birthday party to one of my friend's house.

Wednesday night (yesterday) I bought a P4 2.8Ghz, 512 MB RAM, 17" LCD monitor from Livermore. It was a nice hilly drive to buy this used desktop PC from an office who are moving out.

Liju informed me that Zeeshan vai has selected one of his Java/J2EE candidate for a contract position in CISCO whom I forwarded. Also Bangladesh played very well against India in the 1st ODI although lost by 5 wickets. Here is the scorecard.

When I went to lunch for home, I saw BabiesRUs delivered Ahyan's new crib and matress. Shusmita is quite excited about it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

19 Year Old Boy Killed In Front of Our Apartment

Yesterday, I took Nitol to Napa Valley where me and Shusmita attended a marketing presentation to recieve our vacation package to San Diego. Nitol liked Napa Valley a lot. On the way back we went to San Francisco for a while. After dropping Nitol at his new flat, I came back home tired with 200 miles driven. My car crossed its 10000 miles just 3 days back and serving me quite well.

Late at night police knocked our door and asked whether we heard gun shot or someting unusual. We were too tired to hear anything. The cop reported that a boy is shot just opposite to our apartment and the whole area we saw full of polices. Shusmita was excited and scared. After all, we thought we are in one of the safe areas of California. Later today in news we found the mexican boy Aaron boy was shot and later died in hospital. Here are few links.

http://www.orovillemr.com/news/bayarea/ci_5782641
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/04/30/BAG5JPI7LN15.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Potentially Habitable Planet Found

Scientists started finding planets outside our solar system a few years ago. But this is the first time when a planet other than Mars seems to host environment favorable to life. Have a look at this -

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070425/ap_on_sc/habitable_planet

Monday, April 23, 2007

Gil's Video on Me and Jade

My colleague Gil Lemke always does interesting staffs. Last week he caught me and Jade for being model in his experimental video/photo session. Here is a highly reduced portion of that video he prepared.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Visited Napa Valley



Morning today I, Shusmita, Ahyan and Prakash started for Nappa Valley, a place of scenic beauty and famous for producing good wine. The visitor center was a 70 miles drive from my house and we caught the Silverado trail which was another 20 miles. Bliss, the default Windows XP wallpaper is actually the the photograph of one of the hills in Napa Valley. We had lunch in an Italian resturant which was huge in size but not-so-good in taste. Shusmita got some chane to do shopping. The place that we plan to come back again and again is Sterling. We returned home by 8 at night.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

While I am working recently with Year 2007 Daylight Savings Issue in USA, this post caught my eyes about day light savings initiative in Bangladesh.

http://banglacricket.com/alochona/showthread.php?t=20159

Friday, March 23, 2007

Shusmita had her surgery by Dr. Shakira yesterday successfully. It was a short out-patient one and I took care of Ahyan the whole day until Shusmita started holding him from evening. Alhamdulillah, everything went fine!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

This cartoon mimics my state well.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Campaign by NRBs to Help BD

Campaign by NRBs to Help BD

Every dollar you send through unofficial channels, that might helps a corrupt culprit to transfer their wealth.

This article is aimed specifically to all the non-resident Bangladeshis who are working hard to make a fortune in foreign lands. Almost all of us, except for those who are hiding in foreign lands with their illegally earned money, are very happy about what is going on in Bangladesh during the tenure of current government. In addition to reading the free newspapers on the internet and feeling happy, is there anything that you could do to help Bangladesh?

Everybody in Bangladesh is adjusting their lifestyles to match the changed political scenario. NRBs also had to take part in that, though infairly, since the crackdown started on the illegal VoIP businesses. Through this column, we have earlier mentioned that there were alternative ways that the CG could do without harming the NRBs by disconnecting them from their family members. Our guess is that the corrupt within the BTTB, BTRC and law enforcement did not want to take that route. Rather they wanted to show unnecessary stringency without using their brain, so the CG faces a problem.

Anyways, todays article is about two other things that NRBs could do to help their motherland.

1. We beleive that most of the NRBs know that every dollar that you send to Bangladesh through unofficial channels like hundi, that helps the corrupts to transfer their money. However, NRB do not usually think much about this for two reason. One reason is purely financial, since they get a better rate through hundi. Another reason is that they get few dollars of less transaction fee. Corrupts take advantage of this carelessness of NRBs and uses those hundi to transfer their stolen money out of Bangladesh. Given the current crackdown that is going on in Bangladesh, the demand for these hundis must be very high. The NRBs should think again before using an unofficial channel again. Please use official channels to send money home even if that costs you few extra dollars. Also, talk to others so everybody does that. This is the least that we should do to help
the CG and future of Bangladesh. Let us make sure that every hundi businessman goes out of business from this month of March. We can do it if we want to!

2. The NRBs must have noticed many come from Bangladesh in investor category in different countries and they start buying cars, houses using hundreds of thousands of dollars cash! It is not very hard to think where did they get those money staying in Bangladesh. Through social channel if you know somebody who is a sure corrupt, think about how to help the authority to catch them - no matter whether they are legal immigrant or not. At the best, you can write letters to your local law enforcement office, local lawmakers about your suspicion - mention that you are doing it out of your sense of social responsibility. Tell them that it is your hunch from the lifestyle and social interaction, unless you have a definite proof to implicate. You can use your knowledge of the salary of a Bangladeshi government official and raise a question how certain official could earn that much money so they can apply for INVESTOR category immigration? Or how could somebody buy a house or two (and a car) by paying hard cash after having a 10 or 15 years of career in Bangladesh Government Office? If you take initiative in this regard, please do not hesitate to forward copies of those letters to your local Bangladeshi Embassy and the Foreign Ministry in Dhaka (http://www.mofa.gov.bd/).

3. Please do not engage in party politics of Bangladesh in foreign lands. If any of you think you can actually do some good to the country by doing this, we are forced to say that the best thing that could be said about you is naive! We think that it is a shame to have branches of political parties of Bangladesh such as AL, BNP, JAPA, etc. A new recent phenomenon is the remaining independents of NRB are considering to make committees of Nagorik Shokti in foreign lands. We are very disheartened to see this aspect to be copied by the latest promising political party of Yunus. We are also disheartened to see that many of the people that we like are considering to engage into this practice without thinking much. We want to make one thing very clear, if you do not live in Bangladesh physically, do not try to do politics of Bangladesh in cities in Europe, Middle East, North America or other Asian countries. Well, you can do that - but that is if you want to help yourself. But if you think you are helping Bangladesh by doing this - all we can say is this: God bless you with more understanding of politics!!

Now there is a valid question that can be raised. Are we saying the NRBs can not or should not contribute into the politics in any way? Certainly they should do that. NRBs can be politically involved in two ways.

4A. In the domicile countries, they should participate into the local political parties to represent the communities, to build bridges and to serve the country in which they live. We see some elected officials in London, UK and Hamtrammak, Michigan, USA, but this should happen in many other cities around the world.

4B. For Bangladesh, NRBs should form pressure groups, lobbying groups to make meaningful reforms in the politics of Bangladesh. These political groups should not be linked to any political parties directly, rather they should cross party line. Some of the burning issues that these groups may adopt are as follows:

(i) Stop party affiliated politics in all professionally elected bodies, including those of Students, Teachers, Engineers, Doctors, etc. This is not a matter of Banning the politics legally, but to make sure that those bans are followed in practice. NRBs can raise fund and hire lawyers in Dhaka to achieve this goal.

(ii) An important issue could be to empower individual MPs of the parliament of Bangladesh. One immediate issue on this could be to support to those politicians who publicly promise to work towards changing the Article 70 of the constitution where the MPs are prohibited to cross party line while voting for a bill. There may be other ways to empower the individual MPs.

(iii) An important issue could be to make a rule that an MP can not become a minister. The reason behind this issue is the fact that whenever an MP becomes a ministers, he or she becomes a manager for serving the government, rather than representing the his or her people. For the same reason, the parliamentary committees on different matters are not being strengthened. Also, there should be a provision that the first business of the parliament would be to complete the parliamentary committees so the MPs can get to their work right away.

(iv) An important issue could be to strenghthen the office of the president. One way to achieve that is to support the politicians who thinks that the President should be elected by the local government representatives and other national bodies (who will form the electoral college) instead of the current method of being elected by the MPs. The problem of the current system is that President is always elected from the government party. This creates too much power for the governing party. Also, the current presidential post is too much powerless. The way they have designed the president post is exactly similar to the Queen/King post in other countries. But a King or Queen goes there by the birth right, so the system make sure that those posts are nothing but a relic to remind and honor the past. But in our system, the post of president is not selected by virtue of birth, rather some one is selected for that post since he or she has some capability. So we should be better empower this post.

(v) Local government bodies should be empowered. The current system of assigning funds to serve there local areas should not be encouraged. MP should stay in Dhaka, make policy that effects the whole nation. Also, he or she will be represented local areas when a local area specific things come to the national parliament. But there are rather rare occassion when a local issue comes to the national floor. MP should not go to mingle in the local development, unless he or she goes to the local government bodies out of personal interest. Local bodies should be empowered. There should be more elected position including a law enforcement position (similar to Marshal). Also, police forces, engineering departments, etc should become local bodies. The ministry which is called LGED is a joke. It should be fragmented into many many local bodies. But this can not be done in a day. A pressure group which make sure that this happens in stages will be very useful for the nation.

(vi) A proportional system of national election should be adopted, many agrees. This could be a very important pressure group or issue along with other issues. Currently, it is possible that a political party can be second in all 300 seats of parliament but end up having "no representation" in the parliament. This is a tricky issue. But the current system has an inherent injustice and inefficiency. There are many countries around the world, mainly in Europe, who has worked around this injustice. We could work on this issue. If this can be done, the things like "Jalil's treaty with Shaikhul Hadis" will be gone. This will reduce opportunism in politics - in general.


(vii) There is a crying need to have an additional TV channel which is free from corporate business interest. One NRB group could be formed to build such a TV channel with public support. This channel may work on the social business model - no profit no loss. If there is profit, that will be invested into the company. This channel can have two supplimentary channels - a TV guide and another something similar to C-SPAN in the USA. So, what we are saying is that to create an electronic media company that will bundle TV-Guide channel, PBS channel, C-SPAN channel together with other news outlets - but that would run on a no-profit no-loss model using Yunus' social business model.

Here we mention seven issues. You do not have to agree with all the issues. If you agree on one issue, work on that one. There could be one or more pressure groups who would work to achieve one or more of the above list. This should cross party line. Any politicians who agrees with these issues and promises to work on it, should be supported on an individual basis. If you can contribute, do that. Or you know somebody who may contribute in any of these two issues, please forward this article to them.

Thanks for your time,
Innovation Line

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Note: This is a freelance column, published mainly in different
internet based forums. This column is open for contribution by the
members of new generation, sometimes referred to as Gen 71. If you
identify yourself as someone from that age-group and want to
contribute to this column, please feel free to contact. Thanks to
the group moderator for publishing the article.

We have not seen the Liberation War, but we know if we can free the
country from corruption first, we will eventually get to other
dreams soon. Because of corruption, we could not even get into
information highway for years, let alone other dreams!

This is the kind of article for which we started this column. Because
of ongoing mess, a gift from our older generation, we often get
diverted. Now that it seems some sanity is returning in Bangladesh,
we would try to go back to our original plan.
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