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India: Bangalore – Infrastructure and Barcamps

Bangalore is the focus of this post. Bangalore is the capital of the southern state of Karnataka and and is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of India. Once known as the “garden city” of India, the city has morphed into a sprawling metropolis with poor infrastructure and a government that seems to change every few months. A few weeks ago the current state government was dismissed and President's rule was imposed. Churumuri has an excellent post outlining the current political status of the state:

The yo-yo, on-off-on politics in Karnataka would defy Mr Ripley, if he hasn’t given up already. But the key question after Saturday’s developments—when the JDS and BJP once again seemingly came together—is how long will the second honeymoon last? Will it last the full course of 19 months? Will it last less than a year? Will it last between three and six months? Or will it tumble within the first three months?

Alok Mittal, who is into venture capital, shares his experience in VentureWoods on what it is like to make a flying visit to the city.

I was in Bangalore on wednesday for BangaloreIT.in event, and it took 4 hours to go and come back due to traffic and demonstrations. At the evening, it took more than an hour and a half in the security queue at the airport!

It is not surprising that technology and IT tend to be a dominant theme of bloggers from Bangalore. The city probably leads other Indian cities when it comes to hosting Barcamps, the unconference phenomenon that started a few years ago. The next barcamp is slated to be held in mid-November. Rajiv Poddar of Wireless Utopia writes that he has lost interest in barcamp and probably will skip the next one. He writes:

To my mind, BCB3 was the peak and the decline has started. One of the most attractive aspects of Barcamp was its simplicity. It was easy to find who was attending and who was talking about what. With each Barcamp it got progressively difficult to do so. With BCB4 it was impossible to get a quick snapshot and I dont expect BCB5 to be any different.

Jace wonders about Rajiv's line of thinking about barcamps and writes:

That focused events are reducing Barcamp’s significance is indeed true. What Rajiv appears to have missed, though, is that as these communities gain traction and find their focus, they will want to move on and manage themselves, leaving Barcamp to newer communities seeking similar exposure. The collective format is designed around encouraging this.

Bangalore is also home to quite a few major IT companies and their research labs. I recently interviewed Jonathan Donner of Microsoft Research India about the missed call phenomenon around the world. You can listen to Jonathan talk about missed calls in India, Rwanda, Kenya, Jamaica, Philippines and other places.

From technology we move to wine. John and Don of Bangalore Monkey have been reviewing various Indian wines in their blog posts. For instance here is what they have to say about Seagrams Nine Hills Chenin Blanc:

Actually, we think its sweetness might not even work for many appetizers — this would probably be nicest as a dessert wine, or something to sip with a biscuit. It would be a good wine to drink on most occasions when you'd be drinking champagne.

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