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Oct 252007

In a six-month-long sting operation, investigative magazine has royally screwed Gujarat Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Narendra Modi over the 2002 communal riots that led to a wholesale massacre of Muslims in the state.

According to the Tehelka story, Modi blessed the violence that led to mass killing of the Muslims in Gujarat after the Godhra train burning incident in which some Hindus lost their lives.

The sting included interviews with Hindu activists using hidden cameras.

According to the Tehelka transcripts, the Hindu activists boast on tape of having engaged in violence against Muslims with connivance of the police and the state administration.

In the bold expose, Tehelka blames the Gujarat administration headed by Modi as well as the state police for the massacre of many Muslims.

In the introduction to the elaborate sting account of the lage-scale violence against Muslims, Tehelka Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal writes:

Of the many things that are uniquely appalling about Gujarat 2002, three are particularly disturbing. The first that the genocidal killings took place in the heart of urban India in an era of saturation media coverage — television, print, web — and not under the cloak of secrecy in an unreachable place. The second that the men who presided over the carnage were soon after elected to power not despite their crimes but seemingly precisely because of them (making a mockery of the idea of the inevitable morality of the collective). And finally — as TEHELKA’s investigation shows — the fact that there continues to be no trace of remorse, no sign of penitence for the blood-on-the-hands that — if Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky are to be believed — is supposed to haunt men to their very graves.

Responding to the Tehelka sting, the BJP blames it on its rival Congress party and charges Tehelka with acting as the CIA, an abbreviation for Congress Investigating Agency.

For its part, the Congress party lost no time in blasting Modi. Congress party spokeswoman Jayanti Natarajan said:

If the constitution of India is to be upheld, if we still call ourselves as a civilised society, if the right to life has any meaning at all, if human rights are to be upheld, Narendra Modi should immediately step down from public office.

Over the last few years, Tehelka has established a fearless reputation for doing investigative stories targeted at the political establishment using hidden cameras.

Oct 252007

Apple’s new Leopard operating system has received favorable reviews from two key technology critics – Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal and David Pogue of the New York Times.

Writing on Leopard in today’s NYT, Pogue notes:

Leopard is powerful, polished and carefully conceived. Happy surprises, and very few disappointments, lie around every corner. This Leopard has more than 300 new spots — and most of them are bright ones.

WSJ’s Mossberg, a fan of all things Apple, is equally enthusiastic on the latest version of Apple’s OS X:

[W]hile it is an evolutionary, not a revolutionary, release, I believe it builds on Apple’s quality advantage over Windows. In my view, Leopard is better and faster than Vista, with a set of new features that make Macs even easier to use.

Leopard will debut on Friday and come preinstalled on all new Macs. Apple fans can also buy Leopard for $129 and install it on their older Macs.

Unlike the many versions of Windows Vista, there will be only one version of Leopard.

Highlights of Leopard include a cool Time Machine automatic back up feature, new techniques called Cover Flow and Quick Look to quickly view contents of files without opening any programs, built-in Boot Camp to run Windows on the Mac and beefed up parental control capabilities.

Oct 252007

Virtualization software vendor VMware’s profits tripled while revenues rose 90% in its third quarter ended September 30.

Net income in the third quarter was $64.7 million (18 cents a share) compared to $19.2 million (six cents a share) in the year earlier quarter. Revenues climbed to $357.8 million from $188.8 million in the year earlier period.

VMware CEO Diane Greene was upbeat about the company’s prospects:

Increased customer-adoption of VMware Infrastructure was a significant driver in growing our revenues 90%.

During the third quarter, VMware launched four products including ESX Server 3i, an upgrade to its server-embedded hypervisor.

The September quarter was VMware’s first quarter as a public company following its IPO in August.

Shares of VMware surged 11% to $115.03 in mid-day trading on Thursday giving the company a market capitalization of $44 billion.

VMware’s sky-high market cap catapults it among the top five software firms in the world.

The company’s widgetry lets companies cut hardware costs by running multiple operating systems and applications on a single machine and is a key enabler of server consolidation.