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Jul 212014

Raghunandan Yandamuri Trial May be Further DelayedFor the first time ever, a Telugu butcher (who has already confessed to his killings) acted as his own lawyer in a capital case in America today.

After firing his court appointed public defender attorney a few months back, Raghunandan Yandamuri elected to fight his murder and kidnapping charges in court on his own despite not possessing a legal background and despite facing the death penalty.

Before his arrest on October 26, 2012, Yandamuri was a software programmer.

Yandamuri is on trial for the killings of baby Saanvi Venna and her grandmother Satyavathi Venna in their King of Prussia apartment on October 22, 2012 in a botched kidnapping for ransom attempt.

Trial Delay Again?

On Monday, Yandamuri stood up in the Montgomery County courtroom of Judge Steven T. O’Neill and made some unusual requests during a pre-trial hearing.

In a move that could delay his trial further, Yandamuri wanted the court to “appoint a forensic pathologist and computer animation expert to reconstruct the crime scene,” according to media reports.
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Yandamuri explained to the court that he wanted to call them as defense witnesses during the upcoming trial.

The Telugu bidda is also asking for his DNA to be tested against three beer bottles that were supposedly found at the crime scene.

Although Yandamuri initially confessed to the killings (that he claimed were accidental) on October 26, 2012, he subsequently spun a bizarre yarn and blamed the murders on Matt and Josh. Yandamuri’s claims about the involvement of other people in the killings have not been found credible by Pennsylvania police. Continue reading »

Jul 212014

Kindle Unlimited Review - Not Worth It

Unlike Apple or Netflix, Amazon has never had class.

If you ask me, Amazon is merely a more efficient version of Walmart and the Post Office combined.

What I mean is that Amazon lets you get cheap stuff delivered to your house or office fast.

Kindle e-reader and Kindle tablet are both cheap plastic junk targeted at those who lack the class and the ingenuity to beg, borrow or steal an iPad.

And Amazon Prime Instant Video is mostly old stuff for people who thrive on leftovers.

Given my knowledge of Amazon’s lowbrow offerings, I did not expect the just announced Kindle Unlimited e-book subscription service to be anything remarkable.
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Still given my passion for reading, I took a deko at Kindle Unlimited.

My Passion

Since reading is my refuge from the tedium and turbulence of daily life, I quickly signed up for the $9.99 per month Kindle Unlimited service.

Kindle Unlimited is kinda like an all-you-can Indian buffet in the U.S. (btw, only Chinese and Indian restaurants offer buffets in America).

Of course being a desi, I quickly took advantage of the free 30-day trial for Kindle Unlimited.

You can borrow  up to ten books at a time from the Kindle Unlimited catalog and read them on up to six devices or reading apps.

You have to sign up for the program. Since I already had an Amazon account it took just 10-seconds to sign up for Kindle Unlimited. And then to fire up the dormant Kindle app on my iMac and registered my account, it was another 10-seconds.

Most of the books I searched for were not available on Kindle Unlimited.

Finally, I settled on The Order of Things: Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders and a couple of other books.

Once I added a book via the browser on the Amazon web site, I could send it to both my Mac as well as the Kindle app on my old iPad 2. If the book doesn’t appear on your PC or tablet, hit refresh and you should see the e-book. It took less than a minute for them to appear on my computer and tablet. I did not test the service on my Kindle e-book reader but I have no doubt it’ll work on any device registered with Amazon.

But easy signup and fast delivery of e-books to the PC, tablet or other devices are only two aspects of Kindle Unlimited.

More important is the breadth of quality books available on the service.

Lacking Good Content

Amazon is making a big deal about the 600,000 titles available on Kindle Unlimited.

The service also includes a few thousand audiobooks.

But Kindle Unlimited’s glaring weakness is that a ton of good content is missing on the service.

Decades-old classics like Nabokov’s Lolita and Pnin are not available on Kindle Unlimited. It’s like Netflix not carrying movie classics like Casablanca, Star Wars, Citizen Kane or Forrest Gump. Continue reading »

Jul 212014

Thanks to Brokeback Mountain (2005), depictions of sexual and romantic relationships between macho adult men is no longer a novelty on the big screen.

Or as some angry grandmas would complain, gay porn went mainstream in 2005. ;)
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Ang Lee explored the doomed relationship between two cowboys so beautifully that no one was surprised when Brokeback Mountain picked up multiple Oscars and Golden Globes in 2006.

Since Freier Fall (German, 2013) has been touted as the “German answer to Brokeback Mountain,” comparisons between the two films are inevitable.

Freier Fall

While German film Freier Fall (English title: Free Fall) traipses down the same ‘gay’ road, this time the rugged, macho men are two young beefy police officers Marc Borgmann (Hanno Koffler) and Kay Engel (Max Riemelt).

Stephan Lacant directed the film based on the screenplay he co-wrote with Karsten Dahlem.

Brokeback Mountain was set in 1960s America while Freier Fall plays out in present day Germany.

Marc’s girlfriend is pregnant and the couple is expecting their first child when Kay initiates an initially reluctant Marc into a relationship that quickly turns sexual.

As the title of the movie suggests, Marc’s life soon starts to unravel, first at home and eventually at the police station as well, once he embarks on a secret liaison with Kay.

Several Issues

Freier Fall is not a bad movie overall but falls way short of Brokeback Mountain in several respects. Continue reading »

Jul 192014

They (NYPD) harassed him until they killed him. – Esaw Garner on the Murder of her Husband Eric Garner by the NYPD Thursday in Staten Island First and foremost, Eric Garner is an American tragedy! No, a human tragedy! No man deserves to die the way Eric Garner died Thursday, July 17, 2014. An unarmed [...]

Jul 182014

New York Police Department officers murdered Eric Garner, a 400-pound unarmed, asthmatic black man, by choking him to death in broad daylight Thursday. Eric Garner was not threatening the police or posing any kind of danger to the cops. The murder happened in the Tompkinsville neighborhood of Staten Island. I Can’t Breathe In the above [...]

Jul 172014

Of the 298 people (283 passengers and 15 crew) killed in a missile strike on a Malaysia Airlines plane Thursday, at least 11 were Indians. It’s not clear if the 11 Indian victims included both passengers and crew members. 41-year-old Sanjid Singh Sandhu was one of the Indian victims. Sanjid, who was a flight steward [...]