Archive for January, 2009


Terrorists are like animals: Supreme Court judge
http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20090127/812/tnl-terrorists-are-like-animals-supreme.html
Tue, Jan 27
New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS)

Equating terrorists with animals, a senior Supreme Court judge on Tuesday said people speaking for their rights are actually advocating ‘animal rights’.

Those who violate the rights of society and have no respect for human rights are not humans but animals. And people fighting for terrorists are actually supporting ‘animal rights’,’ said Justice Arijit Pasayat, addressing a conference organised by the Indian Law Institute.

Speaking on ‘Investigation and Prosecution of Offences Related to Terrorism’, Pasayat called for a united effort to fight terrorism.

Blaming society for the spurt in terrorist attacks, Pasayat, the third most senior judge of the apex court, said: ‘We are hypocrites and speak in different tones when it comes to terrorism.’

Advocating stringent anti-terror laws, the judge said: ‘It is important to have special laws to deal with terrorists and we need to give enough time to our investigators and prosecutors to prepare the case with strong evidence.’

Echoing Pasayat’s views, senior advocate Fali S. Nariman said terrorists could not be equated with those accused of petty offences.

Nariman advocated taking away the right of silence from terrorists and advised the government to re-consider the Malimath Committee’s recommendations that suggested amendment in one of the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code to combat terrorism.

‘If an alleged terrorist refuses to answer the court’s query, the presiding judge should be empowered to draw an adverse inference against him,’ said Nariman.

Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati said since Pakistan was unwilling to assist India in combating terrorism, it was time to strengthen the criminal justice system.

‘If a lawyer does not want to fight for Kasab, we should not force him or her to do so. Let Kasab defend himself before the court, if he can speak another language other than terrorism,’ he said, referring to Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during the Nov 26 Mumbai attack.

Advertisements

Mr Jaswant Singh made bold to suggest that the Government had to keep the nation’s interest in mind, that we could not be seen to be giving in to the hijackers, or words to that effect, in chaste Hindi. That fetched him abuse and rebuke. “Bhaad me jaaye desh aur bhaand me jaaye desh ka hit. (To hell with the country and national interest),” many in the crowd shouted back.

“We want our relatives back. What difference does it make to us what you have to give the hijackers?” a man shouted. “We don’t care if you have to give away Kashmir,” a woman screamed and others took up the refrain, chanting: “Kashmir de do, kuchh bhi de do, hamare logon ko ghar wapas lao.” Another woman sobbed, “Mera beta… hai mera beta…” and made a great show of fainting of grief.

The Truth Behind Kandahar
Dec 24, 2008 Kanchan Gupta, dailypioneer.com

Was it really an ‘abject surrender’ by the NDA Government?

There have been innumerable communal riots in India, nearly all of them in States ruled by the Congress at the time of the violence, yet everybody loves to pretend that blood was shed in the name of religion for the first time in Gujarat in 2002 and that the BJP Government headed by Mr Narendra Modi must bear the burden of the cross.

Similarly, nobody remembers the various incidents of Indian Airlines aircraft being hijacked when the Congress was in power at the Centre, the deals that were struck to rescue the hostages, and the compromises that were made at the expense of India’s dignity and honour. But everybody remembers the hijacking of IC 814 and nearly a decade after the incident, many people still hold the BJP-led NDA Government responsible for the ‘shameful’ denouement.

The Indian Airlines flight from Kathmandu to New Delhi, designated IC 814, with 178 passengers and 11 crew members on board, was hijacked on Christmas eve, 1999, a short while after it took-off from Tribhuvan International Airport; by then, the aircraft had entered Indian airspace. Nine years later to the day, with an entire generation coming of age, it would be in order to recall some facts and place others on record.

In 1999 I was serving as an aide to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the PMO, and I still have vivid memories of the tumultuous week between Christmas eve and New Year’s eve. Mr Vajpayee had gone out of Delhi on an official tour; I had accompanied him along with other officials of the PMO. The hijacking of IC 814 occurred while we were returning to Delhi in one of the two Indian Air Force Boeings which, in those days, were used by the Prime Minister for travel within the country.

Curiously, the initial information about IC 814 being hijacked, of which the IAF was believed to have been aware, was not communicated to the pilot of the Prime Minister’s aircraft. As a result, Mr Vajpayee and his aides remained unaware of the hijacking till reaching Delhi. This caused some amount of controversy later.

It was not possible for anybody else to have contacted us while we were in midair. It’s strange but true that the Prime Minister of India would be incommunicado while on a flight because neither the ageing IAF Boeings nor the Air India Jumbos, used for official travel abroad, had satellite phone facilities.

By the time our aircraft landed in Delhi, it was around 7:00 pm, a full hour and 40 minutes since the hijacking of IC 814. After disembarking from the aircraft in the VIP bay of Palam Technical Area, we were surprised to find National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra waiting at the foot of the ladder. He led Mr Vajpayee aside and gave him the news. They got into the Prime Minister’s car and it sped out of the Technical Area. Some of us followed Mr. Vajpayee to Race Course Road, as was the normal routine.

On our way to the Prime Minister’s residence, colleagues in the PMO provided us with the basic details. The Kathmandu-Delhi flight had been commandeered by five hijackers (later identified as Ibrahim Athar, resident of Bahawalpur, Shahid Akhtar Sayed, Gulshan Iqbal, resident of Karachi, Sunny Ahmed Qazi, resident of Defence Area, Karachi, Mistri Zahoor Ibrahim, resident of Akhtar Colony, Karachi, and Shakir, resident of Sukkur City) at 5:20 pm; there were 189 passengers and crew members on board; and that the aircraft was heading towards Lahore.

At the Prime Minister’s residence, senior Ministers and Secretaries had already been summoned for an emergency meeting. Mr Mishra left for the crisis control room that had been set up at Rajiv Bhavan. In between meetings, Mr Vajpayee instructed his personal staff to cancel all celebrations planned for December 25, his birthday. The Cabinet Committee on Security met late into the night as our long vigil began.

Meanwhile, we were informed that the pilot of IC 814 had been denied permission to land at Lahore airport. With fuel running low, he was heading for Amritsar. Officials at Raja Sansi Airport were immediately alerted and told to prevent the plane from taking off after it had landed there.

The hijacked plane landed at Amritsar and remained parked on the tarmac for nearly 45 minutes. The hijackers demanded that the aircraft be refuelled. The airport officials ran around like so many headless chickens, totally clueless about what was to be done in a crisis situation.

Desperate calls were made to the officials at Raja Sansi Airport to somehow stall the refuelling and prevent the plane from taking off. The officials just failed to respond with alacrity. At one point, an exasperated Jaswant Singh, if memory serves me right, grabbed the phone and pleaded with an official, “Just drive a heavy vehicle, a fuel truck or a road roller or whatever you have, onto the runway and park it there.” But all this was to no avail.

The National Security Guards, whose job it is to deal with hostage situations, were alerted immediately after news first came in of IC 814 being hijacked; they were reportedly asked to stand by for any emergency. The Home Ministry was again alerted when it became obvious that after being denied permission to land at Lahore, the pilot was heading towards Amritsar.

Yet, despite IC 814 remaining parked at Amritsar for three-quarters of an hour, the NSG commandos failed to reach the aircraft. There are two versions as to why the NSG didn’t show up: First, they were waiting for an aircraft to ferry them from Delhi to Amritsar; second, they were caught in a traffic jam between Manesar and Delhi airport. The real story was never known!

The hijackers, anticipating commando action, first stabbed a passenger, Rupin Katyal (he had gone to Kathmandu with his newly wedded wife for their honeymoon; had they not extended their stay by a couple of days, they wouldn’t have been on the ill-fated flight) to show that they meant business, and then forced the pilot to take off from Amritsar. With almost empty fuel tanks, the pilot had no other option but to make another attempt to land at Lahore airport. Once again he was denied permission and all the lights, including those on the runway, were switched off. He nonetheless went ahead and landed at Lahore airport, showing remarkable skill and courage.

Mr Jaswant Singh spoke to the Pakistani Foreign Minister and pleaded with him to prevent the aircraft from taking off again. But the Pakistanis would have nothing of it (they wanted to distance themselves from the hijacking so that they could claim later that there was no Pakistan connection) and wanted IC 814 off their soil and out of their airspace as soon as possible. So, they refuelled the aircraft after which the hijackers forced the pilot to head for Dubai.

At Dubai, too, officials were reluctant to allow the aircraft to land. It required all the persuasive skills of Mr Jaswant Singh and our then Ambassador to UAE, Mr KC Singh, to secure landing permission. There was some negotiation with the hijackers through UAE officials and they allowed 13 women and 11 children to disembark. Rupin Katyal had by then bled to death. His body was offloaded. His widow remained a hostage till the end.

On the morning of December 25, the aircraft left Dubai and headed towards Afghanistan. It landed at Kandahar Airport, which had one serviceable runway, a sort of ATC and a couple of shanties. The rest of the airport was in a shambles, without power and water supply, a trophy commemorating the Taliban’s rule.

On Christmas eve, after news of the hijacking broke, there was stunned all-round silence. But by noon on December 25, orchestrated protests outside the Prime Minister’s residence began, with women beating their chests and tearing their clothes. The crowd swelled by the hour as the day progressed.

Ms Brinda Karat came to commiserate with the relatives of the hostages who were camping outside the main gate of 7, Race Course Road. In fact, she became a regular visitor over the next few days. There was a steady clamour that the Government should pay any price to bring the hostages back home, safe and sound. This continued till December 30.

One evening, the Prime Minister asked his staff to let the families come in so that they could be told about the Government’s efforts to secure the hostages’ release. By then negotiations had begun and Mullah Omar had got into the act through his ‘Foreign Minister’, Muttavakil. The hijackers wanted 36 terrorists, held in various Indian jails, to be freed or else they would blow up the aircraft with the hostages.

No senior Minister in the CCS was willing to meet the families. Mr Jaswant Singh volunteered to do so. He asked me to accompany him to the canopy under which the families had gathered. Once there, we were literally mobbed. He tried to explain the situation but was shouted down.

“We want our relatives back. What difference does it make to us what you have to give the hijackers?” a man shouted. “We don’t care if you have to give away Kashmir,” a woman screamed and others took up the refrain, chanting: “Kashmir de do, kuchh bhi de do, hamare logon ko ghar wapas lao.” Another woman sobbed, “Mera beta… hai mera beta…” and made a great show of fainting of grief.

To his credit, Mr Jaswant Singh made bold to suggest that the Government had to keep the nation’s interest in mind, that we could not be seen to be giving in to the hijackers, or words to that effect, in chaste Hindi. That fetched him abuse and rebuke. “Bhaand me jaaye desh aur bhaad me jaaye desh ka hit. (To hell with the country and national interest),” many in the crowd shouted back. Stumped by the response, Mr Jaswant Singh could merely promise that the Government would do everything possible.

I do not remember the exact date, but sometime during the crisis, Mr Jaswant Singh was asked to hold a Press conference to brief the media. While the briefing was on at the Press Information Bureau hall in Shastri Bhavan, some families of the hostages barged in and started shouting slogans. They were led by one Sanjiv Chibber, who, I was later told, was a ‘noted surgeon’: He claimed six of his relatives were among the hostages.

Dr Chibber wanted all 36 terrorists named by the hijackers to be released immediately. He reminded everybody in the hall that in the past terrorists had been released from prison to secure the freedom of Ms Rubayya Sayeed, daughter of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, while he was Home Minister in VP Singh’s Government. “Why can’t you release the terrorists now when our relatives are being held hostage?” he demanded. And then we heard the familiar refrain: “Give away Kashmir, give them anything they want, we don’t give a damn.”

On another evening, there was a surprise visitor at the PMO: The widow of Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, whose plane was shot down during the Kargil war. She insisted that she should be taken to meet the relatives of the hostages. At Race Course Road, she spoke to mediapersons and the hostages’ relatives, explaining why India must not be seen giving in to the hijackers, that it was a question of national honour, and gave her own example of fortitude in the face of adversity.

“She has become a widow, now she wants others to become widows. Who is she to lecture us? Yeh kahan se aayi?” someone shouted from the crowd. Others heckled her. The young widow stood her ground, displaying great dignity and courage. As the mood turned increasingly ugly, she had to be led away. Similar appeals were made by others who had lost their sons, husbands and fathers in the Kargil war that summer. Col Virendra Thapar, whose son Lt Vijayant Thapar was martyred in the war, made a fervent appeal for people to stand united against the hijackers. It fell on deaf ears.

The media made out that the overwhelming majority of Indians were with the relatives of the hostages and shared their view that no price was too big to secure the hostages’ freedom. The Congress kept on slyly insisting, “We are with the Government and will support whatever it does for a resolution of the crisis and to ensure the safety of the hostages. But the Government must explain its failure.” Harkishen Singh Surjeet and other Opposition politicians issued similar ambiguous statements.

By December 28, the Government’s negotiators had struck a deal with the hijackers: They would free the hostages in exchange of three dreaded terrorists — Maulana Masood Azhar, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Ahmed Omar Sheikh — facing various charges of terrorism.

The CCS met frequently, several times a day, and discussed the entire process threadbare. The Home Minister, the Defence Minister and the Foreign Minister, apart from the National Security Adviser and the Prime Minister, were present at every meeting. The deal was further fine-tuned, the Home Ministry completed the necessary paper work, and two Indian Airlines aircraft were placed on standby to ferry the terrorists to Kandahar and fetch the hostages.

On December 31, the two aircraft left Delhi airport early in the morning. Mr Jaswant Singh was on board one of them. Did his ministerial colleagues know that he would travel to Kandahar? More important, was the Prime Minister aware of it? The answer is both yes and no.

Mr Jaswant Singh had mentioned his decision to go to Kandahar to personally oversee the release of hostages and to ensure there was no last-minute problem. He was honour-bound to do so, he is believed to have said, since he had promised the relatives of the hostages that no harm would come their way. It is possible that nobody thought he was serious about his plan. It is equally possible that others turned on him when the ‘popular mood’ and the Congress turned against the Government for its ‘abject surrender’.

On New Year’s eve, the hostages were flown back to Delhi. By New Year’s day, the Government was under attack for giving in to the hijackers’ demand! Since then, this ‘shameful surrender’ is held against the NDA and Mr Jaswant Singh is painted as the villain of the piece.

Kandahar decision won’t have been easy: Chidambaram
NDTV Correspondent, Thursday, January 22, 2009
(New Delhi)

Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday that there is no set formula for dealing with terrorists.

When asked if India should have a policy not to negotiate with terrorists, he said that while this worked in principle, in reality, when the human element came into play, he was unsure of how he would deal with the crisis.

“I do not know how I would have reacted if 150 families came to my door and pleaded that their loved ones in that aircraft must be saved. It is easy to criticise but if one is in that position, it is a very difficult decision,” he said at the NDTV’s Indian of the Year Awards function in New Delhi on Wednesday night.

The NDA government’s decision to release dreaded terrorists in exchange for hostages in the Kandahar hijack 10 years ago had come under attack from several quarters but Home Minister P Chidambaram is “not sure” saying it is a “very difficult” decision.

The decision of the Vajpayee government to release three dreaded terrorists including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar in December, 1999 received a lot of flak from various political parties including the Congress, more so because the then external affairs minister Jaswant Singh accompanied them (terrorists) to Kandahar.

Azhar’s name has subsequently figured in the December 2001 terror attack on Parliament and the attack outside Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in Srinagar in the same month.


Druvaa is a Pune-based startup that sells fast, efficient, and cheap backup software for enterprises and SMEs. It makes heavy use of data de-duplication technology to deliver on the promise of speed and low-bandwidth consumption. Let see what exactly data de-duplication is and how it works.

Definition of Data De-duplication

Data deduplication or Single Instancing essentially refers to the elimination of redundant data. In the deduplication process, duplicate data is deleted, leaving only one copy (single instance) of the data to be stored. However, indexing of all data is still retained should that data ever be required.

Example

A typical email system might contain 100 instances of the same 1 MB file attachment. If the email platform is backed up or archived, all 100 instances are saved, requiring 100 MB storage space. With data deduplication, only one instance of the attachment is actually stored, each subsequent instance is just referenced back to the one saved copy reducing storage and bandwidth demand to only 1 MB.

Technological Classification

The practical benefits of this technology depend upon various factors like –

  • Point of Application – Source Vs Target
  • Time of Application – Inline vs Post-Process
  • Granularity – File vs Sub-File level
  • Algorithm – Fixed size blocks Vs Variable length data segments

A simple relation between these factors can be explained using the diagram below –

 

Deduplication Technological Classification

Deduplication Technological Classification

 

Target Vs Source based Deduplication

Target based deduplication acts on the target data storage media. In this case the client is unmodified and not aware of any deduplication. The deduplication engine can be embedded in the hardware array, which can be used as NAS/SAN device with deduplication capabilities. Alternatively it can also be offered as an independent software or hardware appliance which acts as intermediary between backup server and storage arrays. In both cases it improves only the storage utilization.

 

Target vs Source Deduplication

Target vs Source Deduplication

On the contrary Source based deduplication acts on the data at the source before it’s moved. A deduplication aware backup agent is installed on the client which backs up only the unique data. The result is improved bandwidth and storage utilization. But this imposes additional computational load on the backup client.

Inline Vs Post-process Deduplication

In target based deduplication, the deduplication engine can either process data for duplicates in real time (i.e. as and when it sends to the target) or after its been stored in the target storage.

The former is called inline deduplication. The advantages are –

  • Increase in overall efficiency as data is only passed and processed once.
  • The processed data is instantaneously available for post storage processes like recovery and replication reducing the RPO and RTO window.

The disadvantages are –

  • Decrease in write throughput.
  • Extent of deduplication is less – Only fixed-length block deduplication approach can be used.

The inline deduplication only processes incoming raw blocks and does not have any knowledge of the files or file-structure. This forces it to use the fixed-length block approach.

 

Inline vs Post Process Deduplication

Inline vs Post Process Deduplication

 

The post-process deduplication asynchronously acts on the stored data. And has an exact opposite effect on advantages and disadvantages of the inline deduplication listed above.

File vs Sub-file Level Deduplication

The duplicate removal algorithm can be applied on full file or sub-file levels. The full file level duplicates can be easily eliminated by calculating the single checksum of the complete file data and comparing it against the existing checksums of the backed up files. It’s simple and fast, but the extent of deduplication is very less, as it does not address the problem of duplicate content found inside different files or data-sets (e.g. emails).

The sub-file level deduplication technique breaks the file into smaller fixed or variable size blocks, and then uses standard hash based algorithm to find similar blocks.

Fixed-Length Blocks v/s Variable-Length Data Segments

Fixed-length block approach, as the name suggests, divides the files into fixed size length blocks and uses simple checksum (MD5/SHA etc.) based approach to find duplicates. Although it’s possible to look for repeated blocks, the approach provides very limited effectiveness. The reason is that the primary opportunity for data reduction is in finding duplicate blocks in two transmitted datasets that are made up mostly – but not completely – of the same data segments.

file-bocks


For example, similar data blocks may be present at different offsets in two different datasets. In other words the block boundary of similar data may be different. This is very common when some bytes are inserted in a file, and when the changed file processes again and divides into fixed-length blocks, all blocks appear to have changed. Therefore, two datasets with a small amount of difference are likely to have very few identical fixed length blocks.

Variable-Length Data Segment technology divides the data stream into variable length data segments using a methodology that can find the same block boundaries in different locations and contexts. This allows the boundaries to “float” within the data stream so that changes in one part of the dataset has little or no impact on the boundaries in other locations of the dataset.

ROI Benefits

Each organization has a capacity to generate data. The extent of savings depends upon – but not directly proportional to – the number of applications or end users generating data. Overall the deduplication savings depend upon following parameters –

  1. No. of applications or end users generating data
  2. Total data
  3. Daily change in data
  4. Type of data (emails/ documents/ media etc.)
  5. Backup policy (weekly-full – daily-incremental or daily-full)
  6. Retention period (90 days, 1 year etc.)
  7. Deduplication technology in place

The actual benefits of deduplication are realized once the same dataset is processed multiple times over a span of time for weekly/daily backups. This is especially true for variable length data segment technology which has a much better capability for dealing with arbitrary byte insertions.

Numbers

While some vendors claim 1:300 ratios of bandwidth/storage saving. The Druvaa customer statistics show that, the results are between 1:4 to 1:50 for source based deduplication.

REFRENCES

The Official Blog of DRUVAA- COUNTINOUS DATA AVAILABILITY-  http://blog.druvaa.com/

The original post – http://blog.druvaa.com/2009/01/09/understanding-data-deduplication/

How do Cookies Work ?

Posted: January 14, 2009 by Shishir Gupta in Computer Articles, Operating System
Tags: ,

What is a Cookie?
A cookie is a piece of text that a Web server can store on a user’s hard disk. Cookies allow a Web site to store information on a user’s machine and later retrieve it. The pieces of information are stored as name-value pairs.

Where can you find it?
On Windows
– directory called c:\windows\cookies. You can remove all the Cookies by selecting all of them and deleting them.
On Firefox 3.x – Mac
-Open Firefox and go to Firefox | Preferences.
-Click Privacy.
-Click the “Show Cookies” button and then click the Remove All Cookies button.

For example, If I have visited goto.com, and the site has placed a cookie on my machine. The cookie file for goto.com will contain the following information:
UserID    A9A3BECE0563982D    www.goto.com/

Goto.com has stored a single name-value pair on my machine. The name of the pair is UserID, and the value is A9A3BECE0563982D. The first time I visited goto.com, the site assigned me a unique ID value and stored it on my machine.
A name-value pair is simply a named piece of data. It is not a program, and it cannot “do” anything. A Web site can retrieve only the information that it has placed on your machine. It cannot retrieve information from other cookie files, nor any other information from your machine.

How Does the Cookie Data Move?

  • If you type the URL of a Web site into your browser, your browser sends a request to the Web site for the page. For example, if you type the URL http://www.amazon.com into your browser, your browser will contact Amazon’s server and request its home page.
  • When the browser does this, it will look on your machine for a cookie file that Amazon has set. If it finds an Amazon cookie file, your browser will send all of the name-value pairs in the file to Amazon’s server along with the URL. If it finds no cookie file, it will send no cookie data.
  • Amazon’s Web server receives the cookie data and the request for a page. If name-value pairs are received, Amazon can use them.
  • If no name-value pairs are received, Amazon knows that you have not visited their site before. The server creates a new ID for you in Amazon’s database and then sends name-value pairs to your machine in the header for the Web page it sends. Your machine stores the name-value pairs on your hard disk.
  • The Web server can change name-value pairs or add new pairs whenever you visit the site and request a page.

How Do Web Sites Use the Cookies?
Web sites use cookies in many different ways. Here are some of the most common examples:

  1. Sites can accurately determine how many people actually visit the site. It turns out that because of proxy servers, caching, concentrators and so on. The only way for a site to accurately count visitors is to set a cookie with a unique ID for each visitor. Using cookies, sites can determine:
    -How many visitors arrive
    -How many are new versus repeat visitors
    -How often a visitor has visited
    The way the site does this is by using a database. The first time a visitor arrives, the site creates a new ID in the database and sends the ID as a cookie. The next time the user comes back, the site can increment a counter associated with that ID in the database and know how many times that visitor returns.
  2. Sites can store user preferences so that the site can look different for each visitor (often referred to as customization). For example, if you visit msn.com, it offers you the ability to “change content/layout/color.” It also allows you to enter your zip code and get customized weather information. Most sites seem to store preferences like this in the site’s database and store nothing but an ID as a cookie, but storing the actual values in name-value pairs is another way to do it.
  3. E-commerce sites can implement things like shopping carts and “quick checkout” options. The cookie contains an ID and lets the site keep track of you as you add different things to your cart. Each item you add to your shopping cart is stored in the site’s database along with your ID value. When you check out, the site knows what is in your cart by retrieving all of your selections from the database. It would be impossible to implement a convenient shopping mechanism without cookies or something like them.

Problems with Cookies

  • People often share machines – Any machine that is used in a public area, and many machines used in an office environment or at home, are shared by multiple people. Let’s say that you use a public machine (in a cyber cafe, for example) to purchase something from an online store. The store will leave a cookie on the machine, and someone could later try to purchase something from the store using your account. Stores usually post large warnings about this problem.
  • Cookies get erased – If you have a problem with your browser and call tech support, probably the first thing that tech support will ask you to do is to erase all of the temporary Internet files on your machine. When you do that, you lose all of your cookie files. Now when you visit a site again, that site will think you are a new user and assign you a new cookie. This tends to skew the site’s record of new versus return visitors, and it also can make it hard for you to recover previously stored preferences. This is why sites ask you to register in some cases — if you register with a user name and a password, you can log in, even if you lose your cookie file, and restore your preferences. If preference values are stored directly on the machine then recovery is impossible. That is why many sites now store all user information in a central database and store only an ID value on the user’s machine.
  • Multiple machines – People often use more than one machine during the day. For example, I have a machine in the office, two machines at home and a laptop. Unless the site is specifically engineered to solve the problem, I will have four unique cookie files on all four machines. Any site that I visit from all four machines will track me as four separate users. It can be annoying to set preferences four times. Again, a site that allows registration and stores preferences centrally may make it easy for me to have the same account on all four machines, but the site developers must plan for this when designing the site.If you visit the history URL from one machine and then try it again from another, you will find that your history lists are different. This is because the server created two IDs for you, one on each machine.

SUNIL GAVASKAR

Posted: January 13, 2009 by Shishir Gupta in Cricket
Tags: , ,

sunil-gavaskar5Sunil Manohar “Sunny” Gavaskar (born 10 July 1949 in Bombay, Maharashtra), was a cricketer during the 1970s and 1980s for Bombay and India. Widely regarded as one of the greatest opening batsman in Test match history, Gavaskar set world records during his career for the most runs and most centuries scored by any batsman. He held the record of 34 Test centuries for almost two decades before it was broken by Sachin Tendulkar in December 2005. He was widely admired for his technique against fast bowling, with a particularly high average of 65.45 against the West Indies, who possessed a four-pronged fast bowling attack regarded as the most vicious in Test history. His captaincy of the Indian team, however, was less successful. The team at one stage went 31 Test matches without a victory. There were incidents like crowd displeasure at Eden Gardens in Calcutta leading to multiple matches being disrupted, in response to the poor performance of the Indian team. Turbulent performances of the team lead to multiple exchanges of captaincy between Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, with one of Gavaskar’s sackings coming just six months before Kapil led India to victory at the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

sunil-gavaskar21FULL NAME : Sunil Manohar Gavaskar
NICKNAME : Sunny
BORN : 10 July 1949 (1949-07-10) (age 59) Bombay, Maharashtra, India
BATTING STYLE : Right-hand batsman
BOWLING STYLE : Right-arm medium
ROLE : Opening batsman
RELATIONS : MK Mantri (uncle), RS Gavaskar (son)

INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION

Test debut : (cap 128.) 6 March 1971: v West Indies
Last Test : 13 March 1987: v Pakistan
ODI debut : (cap 4) 13 July 1974: v England
Last ODI : 5 November 1987:v England

DOMESTIC TEAM INFORMATION

1967/68–1986/87 :  Bombay
1980 : Somerset

CAREER STATISTICS

                                         Tests       ODI  
Matches                        125        108 
Runs scored                10122     3092 
Batting average           51.12     35.13 
100s/50s                  34/45      1/27 
Top score                   236*       103*  
 
Balls bowled                380          20 
Wickets                           1            1
Bowling average        206.0      25.0
5 wickets in inns             0            0
10 wickets in mtch           0        n/a 
Best bowling              1/34       1/10 
Ctchs/stmps             108/–       22/–

PERSONAL LIFE
Sunil is married to Marshniel Gavaskar (née Mehrotra), daughter of a leather industrialist in Kanpur. They have a son Rohan who also has played cricket at the national level and also played a few ODI’s for India.

sunil-gavaskar6DOMESTIC DEBUT
Growing up in Mumbai, Gavaskar was named India’s Best Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 1966. After scoring 246*, 222 and 85 in school cricket in his final year of secondary education, before striking a century against the touring London schoolboys. He made his first-class debut for Vazir Sultan Colts XI against an XI from Dungarpur, in 1966/67, but remained in Bombay’s Ranji Trophy squad for two further years without playing a match. He made his debut in the 1968/69 season against Karnataka, but made a duck and was the subject of derisive claims that his selection was due to the presence of his uncle Madhav Mantri, a former Indian Test wicketkeeper on Bombay’s selection committee. He responded with 114 against Rajasthan in his second match, and two further consecutive centuries saw him selected in the 1970/71 Indian team to tour the West Indies. He is the first batsman to score 10,000 runs.

TEST DEBUT
A diminutive player, Gavaskar stood at just 165cm. After missing the First Test due to an infected fingernail, Gavaskar scored 65 and 67 not out in the second Test in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, hitting the winning runs which gave India its first ever win over the West Indies. He followed this with his first century, 116 and 64* in the Third Test in Georgetown, Guyana, and 1 and 117* in the Fourth Test in Bridgetown, Barbados. He returned to Trinidad for the fifth Test and scored 124 and 220 to help India to its first ever series victory over the West Indies, and the only one until 2006. His performance in the Test made him the second player after Doug Walters to score a century and double century in the same match. He also became the first Indian to make four centuries in one Test series, the second Indian after Vijay Hazare to score two centuries in the same Test, and the third after Hazare and Polly Umrigar to score centuries in three consecutive innings. He was the first Indian to aggregate more than 700 runs in a series, and this 774 runs at 154.80 remains the most runs scored in a debut series by any batsman.

sunil-gavaskar1
Gavaskar’s arrival in England in 1971 for a three Test series generated substantial publicity in light of his debut series. He was unable to maintain his performance, making only two half centuries. He was involved in controversy when taking a quick single from the bowling of John Snow. They collided and Gavaskar fell over. Snow was suspended. Gavaskar’s 144 runs at the low average of 24, led some to question Gavaskar’s worthiness in international cricket.
In 1972-73, England toured India for a five Test series, Gavaskar’s first on home soil. He was ineffective in the first three Tests, accumulating only sixty runs in five innings as India took a 2-1 lead. He scored some runs in the final two Tests which India drew to complete consecutive series wins over England. His first home series was largely disappointing, aggregating 224 runs at 24.89. His English critics were placated when India returned in 1974 and Gavaskar scored 101 and 58 in the First Test at Old Trafford. He managed 227 runs at 37.83 as India were whitewashed 3-0.
Gavaskar’s 1974-75 Indian was interrupted, playing in only the First and Fifth and final Test of the series against the West Indies. He scored 108 runs at 27, with an 86 at Mumbai the closest the Indian public got to seeing a century. The Test was the start of a world record streak of 106 Test appearances.
The 1975-76 season saw three and four Test tours of New Zealand and the West Indies respectively. Gavaskar led India in a Test for the first time in January 1976 against New Zealand during the First Test in Auckland when regular captain Bishen Bedi was suffering from a leg injury. Standing in despite having scored only 703 runs at 28.12 since his debut series, Gavaskar rewarded the selectors with 116 and 35*. As a result, India secured an eight wicket victory. He ended the series with 266 runs at 66.33. On the West Indian leg of the tour, Gavaskar scored consecutive centuries of 156 and 102 in the Second and Third Tests, both in Port of Spain, Trinidad. These were his third and fourth centuries at the grounds. In the Third Test, his 102 helped India post 4/406 to set a world record for the then highest winning fourth innings score. The Indians’ mastery of the Caribbean spinners on a turning track reportedly led West Indian captain Clive Lloyd to vow that he would rely on pace alone in future Tests. Gavaskar totalled 390 runs at 55.71 for the series.
Gavaskar had not scored a century on home soil until November 1976. In an eight Test summer, three and five against New Zealand and England respectively, Gavaskar scored centuries in the first and last Tests of the season. The first was 119 in front of his home crowd at the Wankhede Stadium in Bombay, helping India to a victory. Gavaskar scored another half century in the Second Test to end the series with 259 at 43.16. In the First Test against England at Delhi, he was mobbed upon becoming the first India to reach 1000 Test runs a calendar year. A steady series saw him finish with 394 runs at 39.4 with a century coming in Fifth Test at Mumbai and two half centuries.
In 1977-78 he toured Australia, scoring three consecutive Test centuries (113, 127, 118.) in the second innings of the first three Tests at Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne respectively. India won the third but lost the earlier two. He finished the Five Test series with 450 runs at 50, failing twice as India lost the final Test and the series 3-2.
1978-79 saw India tour Pakistan for the first series between the arch rivals for 17 years. For the first time Gavaskar faced Pakistani captain and pace spearhead Imran Khan, who described him as “The most compact batsman I’ve bowled to.” Gavaskar scored 89 in the First Test and 97 in the Second, which India drew and lost respectively. Gavaskar saved his best for the Third Test in Karachi, scoring 111 and 137 in the Third, but was unable to prevent a defeat and series loss. His twin centuries made him the first Indian to score two centuries in one Test on two occasions, and saw him pass Umrigar as India’s leading Test runscorer. Gavaskar had finished the series with 447 runs at 89.40.

sunil-gavaskar8CAPTAINCY
Gavaskar was captain of the Indian team on several occasions in the late 1970s and early 1980s, although his record is less impressive. Often equipped with unpenetrative bowling attacks he tended to use conservative tactics which resulted in a large number of draws. During his tenure Kapil Dev emerged as a leading pace bowler for the country. He captained India to nine victories and eight losses, but most of the games were drawn, 30.
His first series in charge was a West Indian visit to India for a six Test series. Gavaskar’s several large centuries contrasted with several failures. His 205 in the First Test in Bombay made him the first Indian to score a double century in India against the Caribbeans. He added a further 73 in the second innings of a high scoring draw. After failing to score in the Second Test, he scored 107 and 182 not out in the Third Test at Calcutta, another high scoring draw. This made him the first player in Test history to achieve centuries in both innings of a Test three times. He managed only 4 and 1 in the Fourth Test in Madras as India forced the only win of the series. He posted a fourth century for the series, scoring 120 in the Fifth Test at Delhi, becoming the first Indian to pass 4000 Test runs. He aggregated 732 runs at 91.50 for the series, securing India a 1-0 win in his first series as captain.
Despite this, he was stripped of the captaincy when India toured England in 1979 for a four Test tour. The official reason given was that Srinivas Venkataraghavan was preferred due to his superior experience on English soil, but most observers believed that Gavaskar was punished because he was believed to be considering defecting to World Series Cricket. He started consistently, scoring four half centuries in five innings of the first three Tests. It was in the Fourth Test at The Oval that he produced his finest innings on English soil. India were 1-0 down needed to reach a world record target of 438 to square the series. They reached 76/0 at stumps on the fourth day. Led by Gavaskar, India made steady progress to be 328/1 with 20 overs remaining on the final day with a record breaking victory still possible. An Ian Botham lead fightback saw Gavaskar removed, with India still needing 49 runs from 46 balls. With three balls left in the match, all four results were possible. India ended nine runs short with two wickets in hand when stumps were drawn. According to Sanjay Manjrekar, it was “Vintage Gavaskar, playing swing bowling to perfection, taking his time initially and then opening up. Nothing in the air, everything copybook.” He ended the series with 542 runs at 77.42 and was named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year.
Gavaskar was restored to the captaincy for the gruelling 1979-80 season, with six Test home series against both Australia and Pakistan. The first two Tests against Australia were high scoring draws where only 45 wickets fell, with India taking a first innings lead in both after making scores over 400. India broke through for a 153 run win in the Third Test at Kanpur, where Gavaskar scored 76. He made 115 in the Fourth Test in Delhi, where India were unable to convert a 212 run first innings lead, resulting in a draw. After another stalemate in the Fifth Test, Gavaskar scored 123 in the Sixth Test in Bombay, where Australia collapsed by an innings after India posted their fourth first innings in excess of 400 for the series. The series against Pakistan was similarly high scoring, with four draws, three of which did not reach the fourth innings. India won the Third and Fifth Tests in Bombay and Madras. At Madras, he made 166 in the first innings and was unbeaten on 29 when India brought up the winning runs. Having secured the series 2-0, Gavaskar was stepped down as captain for the drawn Sixth Test. This occurred because Gavaskar had refused to tour the West Indies for another series immediately afterwards, asking for a rest. As a result, Gundappa Viswanath was appointed so that he could prepare his leadership skills for the tour. In the end the tour did not go ahead as the West Indian board were not interested in a team without Gavaskar. The season ended with a one off Test against England in Mumbai, which India lost. In the 13 Tests that season, he made 1027 runs at 51.35 with three centuries and four half centuries. This ended a 14 month span in which Gavaskar played in 22 Tests and the 1979 Cricket World Cup. In the time, he scored 2301 Test runs including eight centuries.
The 1980-81 season saw Gavaskar returned as captain for the Australasian tour, but it was to be the start of an unhappy reign for Gavaskar and India. He managed only 118 runs at 19.66 in the three Tests against Australia, but his impact in Australia was a controversial incident. At the Melbourne Cricket Ground, when Gavaskar was given out by the Australian umpire Rex Whitehead, he ordered his fellow opener Chetan Chauhan off the field. Instead of abandoning the match, the Indian manager, SK Durani persuaded Chauhan to return to the match which India went on to win by 59 runs as Australia collapsed to 83 in their second innings. India drew the series 1-1 but the following three Test series in New Zealand were to signal the start of a barren run of 19 Tests under Gavaskar of which India were to win only one and lose five. India lost to New Zealand 1-0, with Gavaskar managing 126 runs at 25.2. He finished the Oceania tour with 244 runs at 22.18, with only two half centuries, making little impact.
The 1981-82 Indian season saw a hard-fought 1-0 series win over England in six Tests. India took the First Test in Mumbai, before five consecutive draws resulted, four of which did not even reach the fourth innings. Gavaskar made 172 in the Second Test at Bangalore and reached a half century on three further occasions to compile 500 runs at 62.5. India reciprocated England’s visit in 1982 for a three Test series, which was lost 1-0. Gavaskar made 74 runs at 24.66 but was unable to bat in the Third Test.
The 1982-83 subcontinental season started well for Gavaskar on an individual note, as he made 155 in a one off Test against Sri Lanka in Madras. It was the first Test between the two nations, with Sri Lankan having only recently been awarded Test status. Despite this, India were unable to finish off their novice opponents, the draw heralding a start of a winless summer. India played in twelve Tests, losing five and drawing seven. The first series was a six Test tour to Pakistan. India started well enough, drawing the First Test in Lahore, with Gavaskar scoring 83. Pakistan then defeated India in three consecutive matches. In the Third Test in Faisalabad, Gavaskar managed an unbeaten 127 in the second innings to force Pakistan into a run chase, but the other two losses were substantial, both by an innings. Despite holding on for draws in the last two Tests, Gavaskar was replaced by Kapil Dev as captain after the 3-0 loss. Despite his team’s difficulties, Gavaskar remained productive with 434 runs at 47.18 with a century and three half centuries. Gavaskar went on to the West Indies for a five Test tour purely as a batsman, but could not reproduce the form that he had shown in the Caribbean in 1971 and 1976. He managed only 240 runs at 30, as India were crushed 2-0 by the world champions. Apart from an unbeaten 147 in the drawn Third Test in Georgetown, Guyana, his next best effort was 32.
The 1983-84 season started with a home series against Pakistan, with all three matches being drawn. Gavaskar scored an unbeaten 103 in the First Test in Bangalore, and made two further half centuries to total 264 runs at 66. This was followed by a six Test series against the touring West Indies at the height of their powers. The First Test was held in Kanpur and India were crushed by an innings. Gavaskar had his bat knocked out of his hand by a hostile delivery from Malcolm Marshall before being dismissed. In the Second Test in Delhi, Gavaskar delivered his riposte to Marshall, hooking him for a consecutive four and six to start his innings. Gavaskar, unwilling to be dictated to by the Caribbean pacemen, hooked the short pitched barrage relentlessly, reaching his half century in 37 balls. He then went on to score 121, his 29th Test century in 94 balls, equalling Don Bradman’s world record. He also passed 8000 Test runs in the innings, and was personally honoured by Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India at the ground. The match was drawn. Gavaskar’s 90 in the Third Test at Ahmedabad saw him pass Geoff Boycott’s Test world record of 8114 career runs was insufficient to prevent another defeat. During the Fifth Test in the series, India were defeated by an innings at Calcutta to concede a 3-0 series lead. India had won only one of their 32 most recent Tests and none of their last 28. The Bengali crowd singled out Gavaskar, who had made a golden duck and 20. Angry spectators pelted objects onto the playing arena and clashed with police, before stoning the team bus. In the Sixth Test in Madras, he compiled his 30th Test century, with an unbeaten 236 which was the then highest Test score by an Indian. It was his 13th Test century and third double century against the West Indies. He had aggregated 505 at 50.50 for the series.
With India having failed to win for 29 successive Tests, Kapil was sacked as captain and Gavaskar resumed leadership at the start of the 1984-85 season. The two Test tour of Pakistan resulted in two further draws, with Gavaskar compiling 120 runs at 40. The First Test against England in Bombay saw India breakthrough for its first Test victory in 32 matches. It proved to be a false dawn, with England squaring the series 1-0 in Delhi before another controversial Third Test at Eden Gardens in Calcutta. The hostile crowd watched as India batted for over two days to reach 7/437 after 203 overs. Angry with the slow pace of India’s innings, the crowd chanted “Gavaskar down! Gavaskar out!” blaming him for Indian performance. The local police chief reportedly asked Gavaskar to declare to placate the angry crowd. When Gavaskar led his team onto the field, he was pelted with fruit. Gavaskar vowed never to play at Eden Gardens again, and duly withdrew from the team for India’s next fixture at the Bengali capital two years later, ending his record of 106 consecutive Tests. The match was drawn, but India conceded the series after losing the Fourth. The series ended 1-2, and with a poor display of 140 runs at 17.5, Gavaskar resigned, although he had already announced his into to relinquish the leadership before the series. The change of captain improved the form of neither Gavaskar nor India as they toured Sri Lanka for a three Test series. India were embarrassed 1-0 by the Test minnows, with Gavaskar managing only 186 runs at 37.2.

The Two Greats Together : Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. Incidently both of them are know as the Little Masters!!!

The Two Greats Together : Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. Incidently both of them are know as the Little Masters!!!

INTERNATIONAL FAREWELL
In 1985-86, India toured Australia, playing against a team in a poor form slump. India were unable to capitalise as all three Tests were drawn, but Gavaskar did. He scored an unbeaten 166 in the First Test in Adelaide and 172 in the Third Test in Sydney, ending the series with 352 runs at 117.33. A three Test tour of England saw him score only 185 runs at 30.83, which India won 2-0 despite his unproductivity. In 1986-87, Gavaskar’s final season in Test cricket, India faced a long season of eleven home Tests. Against a team as the worst to leave Australian shores, Gavaskar made 90 in the second innings of the First Test in Madras, giving India a chance of reach the target of 348, which ended in a tie. He scored 103 in the Third Test in Bombay to end the series with 205 runs at 51.66. The First Test against Sri Lanka in Kanpur saw Gavaskar’s 34th and final Test century of 176. He scored 74 and 5 in the next two Tests as India won the three match series 2-0. The five Test series against arch enemies Pakistan was to be his last. Gavaskar scored 91 in the drawn First Test in Madras before withdrawing from the Second Test in Calcutta as he had promised. In the Fourth Test in Ahmedabad, Gavaskar’s 63 made him the first batsman to pass 10,000 runs. With the teams locked 0-0 leading into the final Test in Bangalore, there was to be no fairytale. Gavaskar was dismissed for 96 in the second innings as India were bowled out to give Pakistan a 1-0 series win.

STYLE
Gavaskar was also a fine slip fielder and his safe catching in the slips helped him become the first Indian (excluding wicket-keepers) to take over a hundred catches in Test matches. In one ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah in 1985, he took four catches and helped India defend a small total of 125. Early in his Test career, when India rarely used pace bowlers, Gavaskar also opened the bowling for a short spell on occasions if only one pace bowler was playing, before a three-pronged spin attack took over. The only wicket claimed by him is that of Pakistani Zaheer Abbas in 1978-79.
While Gavaskar could not be described as an attacking batsman, he had the remarkable ability of keeping the scoreboard ticking with unique shots such as the “late flick”. His focus of technical correctness over flair meant that his style of play was usually less suited to the shorter form of the game, at which he had less success. He infamously scored an ignominious 36 not out carrying his bat through the full 60 overs against England in the 1975 World Cup, leading Indian supporters to storm the field and confront him. Gavaskar almost went through his career without scoring a one-day century. He finally managed his first (and only ODI century) in the 1987 World Cup, when he hit a blistering 103 not out against New Zealand in his penultimate ODI innings at Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground, Nagpur.

His Autobiography : Sunny Days

His Autobiography : Sunny Days

OUTSIDE CRICKET
Gavaskar has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan. In December 1994 he was appointed the Sheriff of Mumbai, an honorary for a year. After retirement, he has been a popular, sometimes controversial commentator, both on TV and in print. He has written four books on cricket – Sunny Days (autobiography), Idols, Runs n’ Ruins and One Day Wonders. He also served as an advisor to the Indian cricket team during the home series against Australia in 2004 and currently serves as the Chairman of the ICC cricket committee.
His son Rohan is also a cricketer who plays at the national level in the Ranji Trophy. He has played some One Day Internationals for India, but could not cement his spot in the team.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy has been instituted in his (co-)honour.
He is also known to be a very big devotee of sri satya sai baba. He also says that he values a ring that was given to him baba the most in his life.
He has also acted in a movie called MALAMAL as himself.

A Scene from the Bollywood Film "Malamaal" where he was seen with Nasserudin Shah.

A Scene from the Bollywood Film "Malamaal" where he was seen with Nasserudin Shah.

CONTROVERSIES
In a notorious ODI performance in 1975, he opened the batting and managed just 36 (not out) off 174 balls (scoring just one four). Replying to England’s 334 from 60 overs, India managed only 132 for 3 from the 60 overs. It was alleged that Gavaskar deliberately performed poorly in that match, due to his annoyance with the promotion of Srinivas Venkataraghavan to captaincy. He later claimed that he could not adjust to the pace of the game.
Recently, he has been involved in a string of controversies as an ICC official. He has been criticized for supporting changes in cricket rules that tend to favour batsmen. In addition, his role as the chief selector for ICC World XI also came under criticism due to some controversial selections, which resulted in one sided matches against the ICC World Champion, Australia.
On 25 March 2008, Malcolm Speed, ICC chief executive, told Gavaskar “very clearly”, during a meeting between the two at Dubai, that he would have to quit his post at the ICC if he failed to give up his job of commentator and newspaper columnist, in which capacity he has frequently criticised his employers and levelled serious accusations of racism. He sparked especial controversy in early 2008 for his comments on the contentious Sydney Test Match: “Millions of Indians want to know if it [match referee Mike Procter’s verdict against Harbhajan Singh] was a ‘white man’ taking the ‘white man’s’ word against that of the ‘brown man’. Quite simply, if there was no audio evidence, nor did the officials hear anything, then the charge did not stand.” Australian writer Gideon Haigh subsequently pointed out that, if Gavaskar genuinely believed this, “then he should almost certainly resign, for if the ICC is a bastion of ‘white man’s justice’, Gavaskar bears some of the blame for having failed to change it.”

REFRENCES

1. wikipedia.com

2. cricinfo.com


Principles behind the Agile Manifesto:

  1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
  3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
  7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  10. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
  11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  12.  At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

So your organization has decided to implement Scrum, but you’re stuck, wondering what to do first. That is understandable. For all of Scrum’s detailed processes, what is the process for starting the process? Let me put it in another way, how does a team prepare for its first sprint? For many Scrum professionals, the answer is a sprint zero, a preliminary sprint exclusively dedicated to preparing for the first sprint. But which activities it includes, how long it lasts, and what it’s called are all debatable points.

This sprint is best spent focusing on the team’s physical environment. This might include setting up computers, creating a team room, optimizing work stations, etc. Others, however, conceive of sprint zero as a chance to prepare the team for its first sprint planning meeting. For those Scrum professionals, that means sprint zero involves adding a few substantial items to the backlog and writing a piece of functioning code — no matter how small it is. If the first sprint kicks off with the sprint planning meeting, a Product Owner will want to have some estimated items in the backlog.

Since spending too much time on gathering requirements can lead to analysis paralysis, this sprint should be as short as possible — only as long as it takes to accomplish a few preparatory goals. Others, however, argue that sprint zero should be the same length as a regular sprint to help teams adjust to a regular work. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that those who argue that sprint zero should be the same length as any other sprint also assert that it could just as easily be called sprint one. According to these Scrum professionals, the basic goals of sprint zero are — design, infrastructure, process improvement, implementation, test, and validation – are the goals of every sprint.

Sprint zero is contentious among Scrum practitioners. Though they might not all agree on its name or how long it should last, sprint zero preserves the principles and processes of the sprints to follow.

REFRENCES

The original post is at : http://scrummethodology.com/scrum-sprint-zero/


everest1

ABOUT THE SHOW
Everest: Beyond the Limit
is a Discovery Channel reality television series about yearly attempts to summit Mount Everest organized and led by New Zealander Russell Brice.

Format : Reality television
Starring: 

  • Season One – Russell Brice, Max Chaya, Mark Inglis, Mogens Jensen, Brent Merrell, Terry O’Connor, Tim Medvetz, Brett Merrell
  • Season Two – Russell Brice, Rod Babar, Mogens Jensen, Tim Medvetz, Monica Chavarri, Phurba Tashi, David Tait, Katsusuke Yanagisawa, Fred Ziel

No. of Seasons :  2
No. of Episodes : 
14 
Running time :
 60 Minutes
Broadcast Channel :
Discovery Channel
Original Run : 
November 14, 2006 – December 18, 2007

THE SEASONS
A 17 member production crew followed 11 climbers, three guides, and a team of Sherpas up the mountain in April and May of 2006. The first season’s six part series included double-amputee Mark Inglis‘ ascent and footage of British climber David Sharp, who died in the attempt. The series was shot using high altitude equipment and helmet mounted cameras worn by Sherpas.

In the second season, biker Tim Medvetz and Danish asthmatic Mogens Jensen returned to successfully summit despite Jensen’s initial unwillingness to use oxygen and Medvetz’s accidental fall and hand injury. Jensen nearly died on the descent when a piton attached to a rock pass came loose and he fell a few feet off the slope. Rod Babar ascended ahead of Medvetz with a cell phone battery taped to his chest, which upon summiting he used to make a mobile phone call to his family. Mountaineer David Tait attempted the first double-traverse of Everest, planning to ascend the north side, descend the south, and make the return trip. Tait reached the south side base but declined to complete his plan as he had lagged behind Phurba Tashi. He respectfully felt that Tashi would purposefully have to let him reach his objective first to secure the record. Fred Ziel completed his first summit of Everest from the north side (he had previously failed twice after climbing the south), while Katsusuke Yanagisawa—at age 71—became the oldest man to summit Everest as of 2008. Yanagi experienced intermittent throat pain but was otherwise completely healthy upon his return to base camp. The following day, Brice presented him with a gift before packing up camp. Following the last four episodes of the second season of Everest, the Discovery Channel aired an After the Climb segment similar to the Deadliest Catch series’ After the Catch. Phil Keoghan hosted discussions on several subjects with the show’s participants and several well-known climbers, including Peter Hillary. Common topics included meteorology, dangers such as frostbite and oxygen starvation, equipment (especially the use of oxygen), and the workings of Brice’s business.

LIST of EPISODES
Season 1

  •  “Summit Dreams” – November 14, 2006
  •  “The Gatekeeper” –  November 21, 2006
  •  “To The Summit” –  November 28, 2006
  •  “Into the Death Zone” –  December 5, 2006
  •  “Mutiny on the Mountain” –  December 12, 2006
  •  “The Final Cost” –  December 19, 2006

Season 2

  •  “Dream Chasers” –  October 30, 2007
  •  “On the Ropes” –  November 6, 2007
  •  “Judgment Day” – November 13, 2007
  •  “World Record” – November 20, 2007
  •  “Long Way Down” – November 27, 2007
  •  “The Death Zone” – December 4, 2007
  •  “Breaking Point” – December 11, 2007
  •  “Now or Never” –  December 18, 2007

Controversy over David Sharp’s death
Sharp
was a former mathematics teacher who possibly reached the summit of Mount Everest on his third attempt. He obtained his climbing permit through Asian Trekking, paying $6,200 for logistical support up to the advance base camp. He made no provisions for Sherpa or guide support for his summit bid. He also carried no radio with which to contact Asian Trekking, primarily because Asian Trekking lacked the capacity to effect any rescue operation. The following week three other climbers from Asian Trekking also died during summit attempts, Vitor Negrete, Igor Plyushkin, and Thomas Weber. Their deaths garnered less media attention as they were not connected to Everest: Beyond the Limit.
New Zealand double-amputee climber Mark Inglis revealed in an interview on May 23, 2006 that Sharp had died, and that he had been passed by 40 other climbers heading for the summit who made no attempt at a rescue. Sharp died under a rock overhang alongside the main climbing trail, approximately 450 m (1,500 ft) (elevation) below the summit and 100 m (330 ft) (elevation) above Camp 4.
The Inglis party and most other climbers passed Sharp without offering any substantial assistance. Everest guide Jamie McGuinness reported that on reaching David Sharp on the descent some nine hours later, “…Dawa from Arun Treks also gave oxygen to David and tried to help him move, repeatedly, for perhaps an hour. But he could not get David to stand alone or even stand resting on his shoulders, and crying, Dawa had to leave him too. Even with two Sherpas it was not going to be possible to get David down the tricky sections below…“.
Inglis said Sharp was ill-prepared, lacking proper gloves and oxygen, and was already doomed by the time of their descent. “I … radioed and [expedition manager] Russ said, ‘Mate, you can’t do anything. He’s been there x number of hours without oxygen. He’s effectively dead’. Trouble is, at 8500 m it’s extremely difficult to keep yourself alive, let alone keep anyone else alive”. Statements by Inglis suggest that he believed that Sharp was probably so close to death as to have been beyond help by the time the Inglis party passed him. Russ however, denies the claim that any radio call was received about the stranded climber until he was notified some nine hours later by the first ever Lebanese climber of Mt Everest Maxime Chaya, who had not seen Sharp in the darkness of the ascent. David had no gloves and severe frostbite at this time. The lead climber of the Inglis party said that his chief responsibility was to his team members and that not enough blame has been leveled at David’s own climbing team. Far greater efforts were made to assist the dying man on the way down than were given to him on the ascent. By contrast, on May 26 Australian climber Lincoln Hall was found alive after having been declared dead the day before. He was found by a party of four climbers (Dan Mazur, Andrew Brash, Myles Osborne and Jangbu Sherpa) who, giving up their own summit attempt, stayed with Hall and descended with him and a party of 11 Sherpas sent up to carry him down. Hall later recovered fully.
Sir Edmund Hillary was highly critical of the decision not to try to rescue Sharp, saying that leaving other climbers to die is unacceptable, and the desire to get to the summit has become all-important. He also said, “I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mount Everest has become rather horrifying. The people just want to get to the top. It was wrong if there was a man suffering altitude problems and was huddled under a rock, just to lift your hat, say good morning and pass on by”. He also told the New Zealand Herald that he was horrified by the callous attitude of today’s climbers. “They don’t give a damn for anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn’t impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die” and that, “I think that their priority was to get to the top and the welfare of one of the… of a member of an expedition was very secondary.” Sir Edmund also called Mark Inglis “crazy” .
Linda Sharp, David’s mother, however, believes that David was responsible for his own survival, and she does not blame other climbers. She has said to The Sunday Times, “David had been noticed in a shelter. People had seen him but thought he was dead. One of Russell’s Sherpas checked on him and there was still life there. He tried to give him oxygen but it was too late. Your responsibility is to save yourself — not to try to save anybody else.”
Since these comments, however, more details have emerged. In July 2006, Inglis retracted his claim that he was ordered to continue his ascent after informing Brice of a climber in distress, blaming the extreme conditions at altitude for the uncertainty in his memory. The Discovery Channel documentary Everest: Beyond the Limit showed footage indicating that Sharp was only found by Inglis’s group on their descent. All Inglis party members still confirm that they did discover him on the ascent, but they do not confirm that Brice was contacted regarding Sharp during the ascent. By the time the Inglis group reached him on the descent and contacted Brice they were low on oxygen and heavily fatigued with several cases of severe frostbite, making any rescue very difficult.

REFRENCES

1. wikipedia.com


In Scrum, the teams that complete the work assign effort estimates to every user story. Of course, that assumes that a team can reach a consensus for an appropriate estimate. What happens when a story includes too many unknowns to tell just how big it is? Or what if the story’s requirements are known, but its effort is too huge to complete in a single sprint? We call these stories “epics.” While a team should be able to tackle a typical story in four to sixteen hours, an epic is a story that would require twelve or many more to complete. Most Scrum experts suggest that any task requiring twelve or more hours should be decomposed into several smaller tasks. These stories will not only be smaller in scope, but also more narrowly defined. Basically, breaking down epics helps the development team translate its work into chunks that can be accomplished in a single day.

Is there any danger to estimating an epic? Quite simply, the answer is yes. Estimating epics can be harmful because it creates a false sense of certainty for the Product Owner, who begins to believe that the belief that the requirements, tasks, and effort of the epic are known. When a team estimates an epic, that estimation is just that — an estimation — but it seldom remains a best guess. It is often used for forecasting, which, in turn, becomes the basis of a budget. When that happens, that estimate is now an inflexible projection that binds the team to complete an unknown amount of work while respecting an established budget. This strategy is akin to a trip to the supermarket with a fixed amount of money to spend, but no idea what needs to be purchased. It’s safe to assume that anyone in that situation would have plenty of questions. What am I making? What ingredients are in it? If I can’t afford all of the ingredients, which ones are the most important? Basically, this shopper is left in a tough position: He knows he has a meal to prepare and ingredients to buy, but, apart from that, he’s in the dark. The same could be said of the Product Owner who commits to an estimated epic.

REFRENCES

The original post is at : http://scrummethodology.com/scrum-epics/


Cowboy coding is a pejorative term used to describe software development where the developers have autonomy over the development process. This includes control of the project’s schedule, algorithms, tools, and coding style.

A cowboy coder can be a lone developer or part of a group of developers with either no external management or management that controls only non-development aspects of the project, such as its nature, scope, and feature set (the “what”, but not the “how”).

Cowboy coding can have positive or negative connotations, depending on one’s opinions on the role of management and formal process in software development; “cowboy coding” is often used as a derogatory term by supporters of software development methodologies, such as Agile. However, the term has been reclaimed to some extent by those practicing within the community.

I have found a very good article so just pasting it over here. I guess this will explain the topic much more in detail.

“This is a frequently asked question. Let me first explain what is Cowboy Coding. Cowboy coding is the absence of a defined method ,i.e. team members do whatever they feel is correct. Cowboy Coding is a term used to describe a software development where the developers have autonomy over the development process. This includes control of the project’s schedule, algorithms, tools, and coding style. So i guess the explanation itself says that these two terms are not equal.

  1. Agile software development re-evaluates plans frequently, emphasizes face-to-face communication, and values the working software over use of documents. However, most Agile teams do follow defined (and often very disciplined and rigorous) processes.
  2. The Project schedule is not a prerogative of the team in Agile. It is the marketing team which takes the call on this important aspect of the project in Agile Software Development.

There are still a few people who say that the Agile Software Development is similar to or equal to the  Cowboy Style Programming because:

  • There is no documentation.
  • There is change anywhere what so ever.
  • There is no method to define the maintenance phase.

Again, I would say that all this is an individual’s perception and an emphasis on definitive processes for everything. Nothing in Agile stops you from saying no documentation or little documentation – they only ask you to value the cost of the documentation – which is a good thing to do. If there is a value and cost-value graph is good, then documentation should be made. Agile is based on building frameworks and teams which accept changes. This is based on a lot of engineering practices like refactoring, unit testing and automated tests [which leads to cohesion and coherence – both desired qualities of a good code] as well as having a good framework for product managers and coders to interact through out the product lifecycle. Rather than working on the principle that changes are caught early in the development lifecycle which are easier to fix, Agile focuses on creating processes and environment where changes at any stage can be responded to readily, i.e. it makes it easy for development team to suggest alternative ways to get quicker to market as well as get feedback quickly. It also enables them to align their code and design from a business standpoint. This along with engineering practices, helps the team to respond quickly to the changes. 

Actually if seen carefully it is not a question of change or no change but the market environment:

  • Can any good product manager give you solid no-change requirements for anything longer than 02 months in current business environment anyways?
  • What is best – to have a slow response to these requirements or rapid responses?
  • If your product is now in the market, probably maintenance will be one area you want maximum attention. Nothing in Agile makes you focus less on maintenance and more on new product development.

Agile is a value stream – whatever brings you value, inspect for that and adapt it. It emphasis the system as a whole with clearly defined roles – something which Cowboy Coding does not unless the only way you can derive success is by having everything entrusted to group of developers – which can very well be the case only during the initial stage of your project.”

REFRENCES

The Original post is at : http://agilediary.wordpress.com/2008/12/30/is-agile-software-development-equal-to-cowboy-coding/