August 31, 2005

Naruto...

Wired talks about the various Anime series and how US mainstream media is just picking these up. The part I liked the best was:
One possible successor to the throne caught the eye of Lycos 50 two weeks ago. It's another martial-arts comedy, called Naruto, that premieres Sept. 10 on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block. The site noted that the popularity of the series in web searches has risen dramatically as the release date draws near.

What is it about Naruto?

"Naruto, the main character, is a ninja who is host to a powerful demon," said Nick Civitello, a fan of the show who lives in Connecticut. "The people in his village have come to think of him as the demon that he houses. In spite of it all, Naruto wants to prove everyone wrong.

"He represents resolution and hope. Eventually, everyone starts looking to him for strength and guidance. At the time I discovered Naruto, I was deeply depressed. Watching it just made me happy."

The show promises to attract viewers who grew up with Dragon Ball but now find its kid-oriented content a bit tiresome. "Naruto takes everything that was great about Dragon Ball and cuts out all the crap," said Civitello.
Beautifully put... Whenever I feel down, I go back and watch a few episodes of Naruto. It fills me with hope and energy, it peps me up. If you havent watched it, go get your copies right away.

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Interesting Links

20% of Americans think that the sun revolves around the earth.

How would the Vi editor look if it were designed by Microsoft?

Watch a computer think before making a move in chess.

The problem with Google Talk

Google Hacked?

Everything you need on a USB drive.


Folding a shirt

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August 30, 2005

What if...

... Google acquired a Telecom company?

Wi-Fi plans, Google Talk and Dark Fiber purchases... would they make any more sense?

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Books & DVDs

Had been to my old haunt: Paperbak (at Thane) to pick up some new books. If I have not pitched Mahesh's shop earlier, let me do so now. If you live in/around Thane and are desperately looking for books, just email Mahesh at paperbak at vsnl.com and you can be sure he will get them within a week or so.

Anyway, onto the books. Flow had been recommended to me by quite a few people. Was lucky as Mahesh was able to find a copy for me. Mohith had strongly recommended I pick up Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. So that too went into the bag. Finally had to choose between Eldest and Love in the Time of Cholera. I had read Marquez recently and loved One Hundred years of Solitude. But sod it! Fantasy continues to remain my first love. So I picked up Eldest (a decision which I now regret!).

Later in the evening, Nilesh passed on the 12 DVD Director's Cut of LOTR which I had been waiting for quite some time. Even though, the whole thing set me back by an amount equal to the GDP of Burkina Faso, I think it was well worth it. :)

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Could Not Authenticate to Server

For the first few days after the launch of Google Talk, I had a wierd problem. I could log into GTalk from office but not from home. Whenever I tried from the laptop at home, Google Talk would give the error message "Could Not Authenticate to Server".

What made it really strange was the fact that the office laptop was behind a firewall/proxy combo while the home laptop was directly connected to the Net. Initially I thought the Google servers may be overloaded (stupid of me, I know) and therefore didn't give it much thought. After a couple of days, I realized something was funny.

After much head scratching, I discovered the problem. My computer was back dated by an year (some err... umm... licensing issues you see...) and this was causing the barf-up. By setting the correct date and time, I was able to immediately login.

Why would Google Talk need a correct date/time on my laptop, I dont know. Any answers?

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August 20, 2005

Horrors of War...

Close your eyes and think of someone very close to you. Now imagine someone:

- Piercing this person's ears with hot rods
- Puncturing this person's eyes, gouging them out
- Inflicting burns on his body using cigarettes
- Breaking his bones and teeth
- And after torturing him in this brutal fashion for over 22 days, shooting him dead.

This is what the Pakistani army did to Lt. Saurabh Kalia of the 4th JAT Regiment of the Indian Army during the Kargil war. Imagine the plight of the old parents of this young man who received his body in such a state, imagine their rage and helplessness.

We talk so much about the power of the blogosphere. What use is that power if we can not help these parents by raising this issue so that it is heard by International Human Rights Organisations? We have seen instances of main stream media in the US championing issues that were raised by bloggers. Why not in India?

I am making this post with a very clear intent. I want all those who read this post to please raise this issue on their blogs. I realize, making a general appeal like that and expecting others to post will not work. Very specifically, I would like you Chandroo and you Sambhar Mafia to raise it on your blog and make two of your friends responsible for publishing it on their blogs. If everyone does that, geometric progression will take care of spreading it to all blogs in the Indian Blogosphere.

If nothing else, just sign the online petition of Lt. Saurabh Kalia's father.

Links:
Online Petition by Lt. Saurabh Kalia's father
Geocities Page on Lt. Saurabh Kalia

Rediff Article on Lt. Saurabh Kalia

Dilip D'Souza's Post

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August 19, 2005

Another Small Quiz...

Chand Man... For you!

Q1. Shildon Glashow, Gerald Weinberg and Steven Feinberg are all Nobel laureates in Physics. When they were schoolmates in the Bronx High School for Science, they regularly wrote for a science fiction magazine called ETAOINSHRDLU. What is the origin of this rather weird name?

Q2. Johannes George Bednorz and Kane Alexander Mahler of IBM won the 1987 Physics Nobel Prize for their discovery of high temperature superconductivity in oxide ceramic materials. This was, however, not what Bednorz and Müler were actually searching for. What were they actually trying to find?

Q3. "I have watched through his eyes, I have listened through his ears and tell you he is the one. Or at leaxt as close as we are going to get" are the starting lines of which classic Sci-Fi novel?

Q4. The sitter of the lot: What is special about the words: 10-22-38 ASTORIA?

Q5. Which movies title comes from a William Burroughs story about people who supply medical instruments to outlawed doctors who can't obtain them legally. The movie had nothing to do with this but the director liked the name and obtained permission to use it.

Answers:
1. The magazine name composed of the most frequently used English alphabets in descending order. Read "The Dancing Men" in which Sherlock Holmes cracks a code based on this fact.

2. The were trying to discover the perfect insulator. Instead they ended up discovering the perfect conductor.

3. Orson Scott Card's Enders Game

4. First words to be photocopied

5. Blade Runner

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August 17, 2005

Gmail Server Error

Gmail is temporarily unavailable. Cross your fingers and try again in a few minutes. We're sorry for the inconvenience.
If you know the service is gonna be down for more than a couple of hours (as is the case with Gmail currently), kindly let the users know. Telling them to try again in a few minutes is simply wrong.

Rant aside, does anyone have any idea what is wrong with Gmail and why it is down for such a long period?

PS: Looks like I am the only one having problems with Gmail. Bugger! :(

PPS: Latest update.... my account is working just fine now.

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August 15, 2005

Trivia Time...

  1. Claude E. Shannon first used this word in a 1948 paper. Shannon's bit is a portmanteau word for binary digit. What is the word?
  2. While working on a project constituted by Sun and Apache to create a web server for Java servlets and JSPs, the team would often meet in a conference room named ______. They later used the name of this conference room as the name of the project. What project?
  3. What is the term used to describe 4 bits or half a byte?
  4. ________ is the lowest-cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system which can be mass-produced by unskilled labor -- (NASA, 1965). Just fill in the blank


Use comments to answer... And please, no Googling. :)


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August 13, 2005

Photography Links

Some useful links for the photography enthusiasts:

Wikipedia: Photographic Terms Page
Luminous Landscape: Tutorials
Jodie Coston: Photography Tutorials
BBC: How to take good photographs
Good Tutorials
Earthbound Light: Photo Tips Archives
DPreview: Photographic Composition Techniques
AgfaPhoto: For the total beginners
Ken Rockwell: How to do anything photographic

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August 11, 2005

Long Time No Posts...

Net connectivity at home is down. So no posts for a long time. Hopefully should be up in a couple of days. Meanwhile, check out some new images that have been uploaded to Lightsensitive.

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