Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Golden Jubilee

So now I have 50 followers on this blog. Actually 51, but it took me that long to decide that I did want to comment on it. First I was thinking why make a big deal. But in fact, it IS a big deal! There are blogs that have 100s or even 1000s of followers so why is it a big deal? Well, mine is a very humble little blog. I am not a celebrity so it's not a status symbol to follow my blog, nor do I have a team that could publish 7 psots a day making it imperative that you check every 2 hours. I write about simple things and I write as and when. So each follower is someone who liked something in my blog, in what I write about or how I write about it. And that, my friends, is a warm feeling. So excuse me while I enjoy this moment! 

Essentially, all writers, including myself, write for the sheer pleasure (?) of writing. It's kind of like a disease, they can't help writing, whether anybody reads it or not. But would they continue writing if nobody ever read it? Well, Dev Anand is still making movies, isn't he? But seriously, would I continue to write, if nobody read my blog? I doubt it. 

Even though the writing habit is like a disease and I write when I think of a topic where I want to sound off it still is wonderful to get comments from the readers. To get a comment that makes me think or one that makes me want to snub the commenter (only happens if it's an Apple fanboi being himself), it is a lot of fun when the blogging is more interactive than just one-sided. 

There are several bloggers whose blogs I myself follow and admire their writing. Irfan(http://irfanurs.blogspot.com), Bikramjit (http://mannbikram.wordpress.com/) , Purba(http://purba-ray.blogspot.com), Always Happy (http://dilkibaatblogkesaath.blogspot.com/), Red Handed(http://anuglyhead.blogspot.com/), The Technical Author (http://thetechnicalauthor.blogspot.com) are just some of them. It is such a joy to be able to share ideas and interact with such people so easily because of this wonderful thing called the Internet. Did you know that the internet was originally invented for porn? No, just kidding! It might well have been though, don't you think? 

When I was a software faculty I used to give these seminars to my students, one of the topics was the internet. And one question I was always asked, "What can we do with it?" This is way back in the 1990s when the net was not so widespread, especially in India. And my answer was, "There are 3 million users on the net. What can you do if you have access to 3 million people?" And here's the answer - interact. To share ideas, to tell jokes, to regale them with the stories of your childhood, to ask advice and to bore them with your discourse on why Apple sucks. 

So, you see it IS a big deal that there are 50 people who think that my blog has what it takes to make it into their reading list. 

A big thank you to all of you! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Purba's Sita

Fellow blogger Purba has written a 3-part story of Sita that is so hilarious that it'd be a crime not to share it.

Therefore, here are the links. Warning: You might fall off the chair with laughter, so if you are reading in office, be careful!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apple King - A Royal Story

It's from an iphone owner about the App store. A good read in any case. 


An Apple Rant - Not from me this time

Apple-made stuff never actually changes, just things get unlocked. I have a 2nd gen iPod Touch, and it came with built in Bluetooth…. It wasn’t until I applied the 3rd gen firmware upgrade (for $10) that the Bluetooth was actually active. That really pissed me off that I had to spend extra to use something that was built into the device by default. Did you know that if you bought an Apple MacBook or MacBook pro before mid-2008, it came with built in 802.11n support, but you had to pay about $5 for the 802.11n drivers… Otherwise you’re stuck with 802.11g.
Apple sucks ass, their business practices are shady and greedy, and their devices are childish. I’m never buying an Apple product again, I’d rather buy a MP3 player that uses BASH as it’s interface before using another Apple interface that is so over-simplified that it insults my intelligence and technical superiority.
What is the absolute worst though is how restrictive Apple is with their devices. By default, you can only use Apps that Apple explicitly approves, meaning that even though you purchase the device, they dictate how you use it. I shouldn’t have to jailbreak something that I rightfully purchased and fully own. It should allow me to do what I want to without me having to modify the OS. Hell, Apple hates flash so much that they actually blocked a program that converts flash to an iPhone OS friendly format, just to be certain that you can’t use Flash content on an iPhone/iTouch no matter what.
What were we talking about again?


Apple's 3 Laws of Developers

Apple’s Three Laws of Developers

  1. A developer may not injure Apple or, through inaction, allow Apple to come to harm.
  2. A developer must obey any orders given to it by Apple, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A developer must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
— I. Developer

Credit: Isaiah's weblog


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MixReq.com - Please don't get taken in

Not that you would be naive enough to be taken in by this but just to be safe I am posting this warning here.

You can read more about this on the link below. There are some good reasons to suspect that it's a fraud and the same points you should keep in mind any time you come across a website that looks like a real great opportunity.

In the same article you'd see a screenshot from the mixreq.com saying, you get paid $4 for doing a survey and you can do the same survey 3 times  a day. That made me laugh. No legitimate data-collector would let you take a survey more than once. Once you fill the form, second time around you will either enter the same data or untrue data, both are useless for statistical analysis.

So, beware. Please be careful on the internet. Not everybody is as honest and truthful as you are, tread with caution! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Funny Quotes from Wayne's World

Just some funny quotes from the classic 90's movie - Wayne's World. They are so hilarious, I had to share them.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jagjit Singh - Koi Chaudhvi Raat Ka

Koi Chaudhvin raat ka chaand bankar, tumhare tassavvur mein aaya to hoga.
Kisi se to ki hogi tumne mohabbat, kisi ko gale se lagaya to hoga.

कोई चौदहवीं रात का चाँद बनकर तुम्हारे तसस्व्वुर में आया तो होगा,
किसी से तो की होगी तुमने मोहब्बत, किसी को गले से लगाया तो होगा

It's a wistful ghazal. And a little bit vindictive. The poet is addressing a proud beauty who has been admired and proposed to by many including, presumably, by the poet himself. But the poet says that even she must have loved someone. Someone must have been on the receiving end of her hugs.

This is a ghazal from Jagjit Singh's album Mirage. And I will never forget that name because I had to hunt long and hard to find the name of the album from the song. And after that I had to hunt to find the song itself. All for this last sher:

NigahoN mein shamm-e-tamanna jalakar, taki hongi tumne bhi raahen kisi ki,
Kisi ne to waada kiya hoga tumse, kisi ne tumheN bhi rulaaya to hoga.

निगाहों में शम्म-ए-तमन्ना जलाकर, तकी होंगी तुमने भी राहें किसी की,
किसी ने तो वादा किया होगा तुमसे, किसी ने तुम्हें भी रुलाया तो होगा.

With the light of hope in your eyes you must have waited for someone.
Someone must have made a promise to you, someone must have made you cry.

Goes without saying that it's a million times more beautiful in the original Urdu. But the beauty of this ghazal is in the words that create an image in your mind. Just the words are enough to put you in a wistful mood but when sung by Jagjit Singh in his smooth, velvety voice, they come to life and become a thousand times more powerful!.

Finally, the video.

Two Obituaries

Despite not following the news I came across these two items.

Steve Jobs

Recently, Steve Jobs passed away. People, my friends who know only too well how much I hate Apple, expected me to have a position on it. I don't have one. Simply stated, I didn't hate Steve Jobs as a person, but I did hate what he stood for. Nothing has changed. He was good for Apple, he was good for the stockholders as he did the company good and made money for the stockholders. I can't deny that and I am not going to try. He was horrible to the users of his devices and perpetuated a shitty device or rather a piece of crap range of devices. I hated that and I hated him for it. Nothing has changed. So, I would say that it's a great loss to his family that he passed away. I refuse to accept that it's any loss to the technology world, in fact, nothing is going to change, for better or for worse.

Jagjit Singh

I came across this item through a friend's Facebook comment. And was shocked. Jagjit Singh, for those who don't know, was an Indian music composer and singer who was an institute in himself. He took the Urdu poems known as Ghazals, composed music for them and sang them. He made this form of poetry popular among the common man. Even before him, there were other composers, other artists who used to sing ghazals. The difference was that they selected ghazals that were in pure and difficult Urdu and they sang them in Indian Classical style. Both these things made it harder for the common man to understand and enjoy this form of poetry/music. But Jagjit Singh started the trend to select ghazals in simple langauge, so close to Hindi that anyone could understand them, and he composed the music for them that was close to the film music but retained its unique Indianness. He introduced Western instruments in his music which made it ever more popular without losing the original charm of the poetry or music.

I myself started enjoying his ghazals while I was very young and that made me a regular listener of ghazals. So much so that I started discovering and enjoying other artists as well and could even enjoy the classical style of ghazals, as sung for example, by Ghulam Ali.

Now Jagjit Singh I consider a real loss to Indian music and to humanity. I feel that artists are real humans, because they are not propelled by the primal need to feed themselves or to make loads of money. They are motivated by the inner spark, the urge to create something beautiful and that something connects them to the high spiritual powers. I just wanted to devote this space to Jagjit Singh and say that we will miss him terribly! May God bless him!

Filtered News

Most of my readers know that I don't follow news. I don't read newspapers and I don't watch newscasts. Most definitely it's not the right thing to day. But then when did I claim to be a doer of right things? I do things as they suit me. As do most people, they just delude themselves. If you didn't like reading newspaper, you wouldn't.

My contention is still the same - reading newspapers doesn't make you feel good. If there's bad news, being a good person you feel bad about it. If there's good news, it happened to someone else, and you would feel jealous or at the very least, envious.

But still, I miss some things by not following the news. Each news item aside from being good or bad also gives us new things to think about and sometimes opportunities to learn something new.

There have been times in my life when I did make a conscious effort to follow news. For example, the time when I was trying to learn the stock market. The share market is impacted by all things so it's useful to stay on top of the world news if you really want to be good at it. I never got anywhere with it. It was too boring to follow news even with that extra incentive.

There was that time when all my classmates were reading newspapers in order to improve their English. I stuck with stories and storybooks. Worked great for me. Much better than the newspaper readers.

There have been periods in my life when I did read newspaper regularly. But I only read two sections - the comics and Bollywood. The latter for the photos, the articles and gossip bore me even in that.

However, even though I don't follow news, I do get my news, indirectly. I read blogs almost regularly. And I look at the Facebook newsfeed from time to time. And I do talk to a lot of people on the internet. Through these and other such channels I get my news, filtered as it were.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tower Heist - Waiting for it

Some movies you go, see and forget. Some movies you wait for. Tower Heist is one such. Even though I hate Ben Stiller (I find him annoying, I don't hate him like I hate Apple) at the same time, I admire and adore Eddie Murphy as a comic genius. And for that reason, I am going to watch this movie as soon as it comes out which is announced to be 4th November 2011.

I loved Eddie's performance very much even in this trailer. Watch and listen for the very last thing he says. It's so simple and yet hilarious!

P.S. I also love Tea Leoni

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Quote - William Penn

"If you protect a man from folly, you will soon have a nation of fools."

- William Penn

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Causal Loop - An Essay

I am going to talk about something technical but fun. No such thing? Yes, there is. It's called Science fiction!

In science fiction exists this thing called Causal Loop or Causality Loop. I will explain this slowly and simply, even at the risk of sounding patronizing. :)

In regular, non-sci-fi life, there is something called cause and effect. For example, you walked to office and hence reached the office. Someone buys a car, and then they can drive in that car. Two lovers have a fight and as a result they break up. These things are simple and straightforward. Jake talked back to his wife and had to sleep on the couch. It's easy to see what is the cause and what is the effect.

In a causal loop, these lines are blurred. Causal Loops, so far as I know, can only be caused by time travel. At least the ones I have seen are. In a causal loop,it's hard to say which event is the cause and which one the effect. Both are both actually. If you have heard the question, "which came first, the egg or the chicken?", then you have heard of a causal loop.

Let's take a fun example. Have you seen the movie The Terminator? The first part I mean. Do you understand the story?

When I saw this movie the very first time, on a rented VCR with a bunch of my friends, I don't think any of us understood more than 50% of the story. We were just happy to see the "hot" scene in addition to all the fast-paced action and shooting by our friend Arnie the Terminator. So,let's recoup the story for all of us in simple terms.

-A defense firm Cyberdyne creates a computer network called Skynet.
-Skynet is an artificially intelligent network and becomes autonomous.
-As Skynet tries to take over the Earth and kill all humans...
-One man, John Connor leads the resistance against it.
-Skynet sends a killer robot, a Terminator, to the past to kill John Connor's mother Sarah Connor so that John connor is never born.
-The humans, at the same time, send a human, Kyle Reese, back to the same time, to protect Sarah Connor
-While Kyle Reese is running around with Sarah Connor, trying to keep her safe from the Terminator robot, the two have sex, Kyle and Sarah, not Sarah and Robot, ok?
-From that copulation is born John Connor...
-Who later leads the charge against the machines and...
-Sends Kyle Reese back to the past to save his mother who....

See what I mean? If John had never sent Kyle back, John would never have been born and so on. It's a circle. cause becomes effect and vice versa.

It's also called the Predestination Paradox. You can read more on the topic on Wikipedia.


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