How / Why did Rakhi trend – A case study

August 3, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, fakereviews, humour, Internet, spam, Technical, twitter, Visions | 10 Comments
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I assume that most of you are still recovering from last night’s events. Totally surreal stuff, I must say. Triple Baaraats, 3 grooms , 2 idiot MC’s and of course the multiplee talented Rakhi Sawant. A by-product of this whole ruckus was that India witnessed yet another trending topic [after #indiavotes09 etc ]

This was a pretty interesting experience to watch, as well as to participate in, as one could clearly see the effect of opinion snowballing, and mass-hysteria eventually taking over.

This is all I can say about ‘why’ did Rakhi trend. Well you see, ‘ The human mind is a complex system, and…”.

Oh, ditch that. It’s the ‘how’ that’s explainable.

So, how did Rakhi Madamji muster so much mojo?

Well, the obvious answer has to got to be – “due to a lot of tweets in a short timeframe”.

For the uninitiated, I’ll provide the same background that I wrote on http://whatthetrend.com/trend/Rakhi [ which incidentally, is a wonderful site to know why a topic is trending on twitter. So the next time you see something like “Cash for Clunkers” or ” Bob Saget’s gone bonkers” trending on twitter, you know where to look for answers ]

Rakhi Sawant is an Indian film actress who participated in a Reality Show on National Television (Channel – NDTV Imagine) called “Rakhi Ka Swayamvar” to select a bridegroom for her. In the Final show aired tonight (2-aug-2009), she selected “Elesh Parujanwala” from Canada as her husband to be.

[ I’d throw in an image but for the fact that I couldn’t find a single decent picture, and even among the bhajan variety, there were none with a Creative commons license. Perverts, please search here ]

So, with this much info, lets dive into some statistics.

[ Note: ATPS – Average Tweets Per Second ]

The show started at around 9.00 p.m [ I.S.T], and for the initial 10 minutes the tweet flow was quite slow, at around 5 ATPS ]

Soon, some celebrities [or  twittebrities, if that floats your boat ],  joined in the action, and all hell broke loose. Some samples.

gulpanag

[ Ah, the marvels of good liquor ]

pritish_nandy

[ Sums up the nation’s opinion with this tweet ]

Soon enough, the twitter universe was flooded with retweets, ” what the eff ” ‘s, <brain explodes>, ‘shoot me. shoot me now‘ ‘s , on one end.

Not to be perturbed by this, the positive Rakhi Chee forces retaliated with tweets like ” Go Elesh“, ” I’d marry Elesh, He’s cho cute“, ” OMG, Rakhi Sawant looks so hot  ya“.

But it was mostly the apathetic crowd that both cheered and jeered [ I know that doesn’t make sense on many levels, but work with me on this ], that was the peach of the tweetset. Sample these.

shaaqt

[ Witty that one ]

schmmuck

[‘Main is Desh ka damaad Hoon’, but in a canadian accent. Sounds vaguely familiar]

By this time [ around 9.30 p.m], the term was buzzing on Twittscoop at around 10 ATPS. The next best term was “Shark week” at 30 ATPS, which had already started to trend. So, on an a normal day with not much news happening [ no plane crashes, no celebrity deaths, no white police / afro-american professor drinking chilled beers with the U.S president ], we can make a decent speculation that there has to be atleast 30 ATPS for a topic to trend.

This by itself is no mean feat, so Kudos to Rakhi for keeping us glued to the telly. Assume that the average twitterer, even in the heights of their frenzy tweets about 1 tweet per 10 minutes.

[ The power twitterer does about 1 tweet in 2 minutes say, and the other twitterer who’s just an innocent bystander,just pops in to say ” Oh, why’s this topic trending”. say 1 tweet per 30 minutes].

In some universe with a favourable averaging scheme, the number 1 tweet in 10 minutes figures, and I’ll use that.

To achieve a critical state of 30 ATPS, for say about an hour, for the trend to be noticed, we’d need,

1 person can tweet 1 tweet in 10 minutes = 1 / 600 ATPS

x people need to tweet 30  tweets in 1 second. 30 ATPS

So, assuming an equal distribution of tweeting in the timeframe, we needed about 18000 people to start the trend, which is quite reasonable and achievable, since there around 25 million twitter users globally out of which around 2% are Indian, [1] [2], which makes it a potential 500,000 Indian users.

This was the tweet density for yesterday. This is what a one-time-wonder trend looks like.

rakhi_sawant_tweet_density

So, as you can notice, ‘rakhi’ was in the limelight for around 2 hours[ mentally visualize chopping off the curve where the height reaches 30 ]

[ graph courtesy: Twittscoop ]

There were some obvious side-effects of this inane exercise. People not used to seeing their twitter stream getting littered like this, got extremely pissed off, and started issuing death threats in all possible directions. Sample.

andi

[ My my, such strong emotions. Now you know how provocative Rakhi’s aura can be ]

So, in conclusion. Bah, easy peasy work. We can make anything trend, given enough determination, teamwork and resolute joblessness.

Hum honge #kaamyaab ek din. [ Loosely translates to ” May the #manForce be with you” ]

P.S: Respect to all the twitterers featured in this post. I come in peace. Don’t shoot the messenger.

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Honey, I shrunk the Url…

July 26, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, humour, twitter | 6 Comments
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For numerous reasons, I don’t like bit.ly so much. Some of them being –

  • They don’t have a middle layer which acts as a NSFW [ stands for Get Kicked Out of Office if you open This here] warning. There’s the append ‘+’ at the end of the link hack. But seriously, who does that usually? You barely have enough time to click on links these days, save reading their contents as well.
  • They’ve a “This page has been reported to serve malware in generous doses” middle layer, but since it’s Mr.Twitter who’s one of their major link sources, this has to be more ‘realtime’. Depends on what realtime means, yes. But everyone’s using that word nowadays, so what the heck.
  • They’ve a twitter monopoly. You’ve got to hate the leader. It’s a rule.

So, Should I plan to start my own Url Shortening service, it wouldn’t have all these issues. And just to humor myself,  I shall call it id.ly

And since there’s no Country Top-Level domain with .da, I’ll have no competitors like va.da . Humour monopoly, FTW…

Pre-(Post-Script):

Is there a Mai Ka Laal, who can gift Mr. Veerappa with a moi.ly domain… He’d be the cool-kid on the block, instead of the peddler-like grumpy face that he flaunts usually.

You know, as genuinely awesome as the chap to the right, who’s currently booked under the Limca records, for the fastest fast in India. [ No, I’m kidding. Maybe]

Moily-Karunanidhi

Obligatory Show-off Post-script section :

Whate pity. Honourable Son of the Soil can’t get the prized gow.da. He’ll have to settle for de.ve , I guess.

Today’s Special – à la carte

June 21, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Posted in Bengaluru, criticism, music | 2 Comments
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Bonjour!

“Tout ce que dit en français, des sons de classe” – ‘Anything said in French, sounds classy’ – Monsieur. Abhishek, Circa 2009.

Well, enough of dillydallying.Yesterday, Akshay and I, had been to the Fête de la Musique, at the Alliance Française de bangalore. A cozy place, and a Cultural hangout for the French, in Bangalore. We had no clue of the lineup, and I, had almost thought that it was the ‘Galeej Gurus’ who’d be performing.

I saw the calendar, and it said “Today’s Special“. And that, was the name of the band. Band names[ and songs] mostly come out as as the aftereffects of drunken revelry. [ Considering that this band cites whiskey and beer to be some of their driving influences, my guess isn’t that far-fetched 😛 ].

And needless to say, it’s a decent pun as well. I suppose they get stuff like, ” And Ladies and Gentlemen, Today’s special performance is by well, Today’s Special”, all the time. Much like when there was this bunch [including Frank Noon], who called themselves The Next Band“. [ And the Next band is ……] , or even better, this group that performed at Decibels at Saarang 2009. It was simply called “The Previous Band“. Man, the confusions.

‘Today’s Special’ was listed in the lineup for Saarang as well. I couldn’t see the entire Decibels event, hence must have missed them there.

Anyway, about yesterday’s performance. Absolutely loved it. Primarily funk based music, and the fact that they can dabble in with a bit of metal as well, makes them extra special.

Today's special

Now, that’s some branding. Bound to impress.

Here’s what the band has to say about themselves.

We are a Bangalore based blues rock band, mostly into classic blues, blues rock and retro hard rock, with an added flavour of funk.We cover songs of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Phish and the likes, and also compose originals that fall in the same taste.”

Some would call it confusing and disoriented that they have so many influences, but the fact that they switch easily between these at will in their tracks, makes them versatile, I feel.

The Band’s line up [ I picked this from the website, I’m sure about at least the vocals and the bassist], and my opinions about them:

Aditya : Vocals – Roaring, High voice at times, which suits the retro style very much. Could do a semi-growl if need be, I guess. The lyrics are very much set to the swing style [ Elvis -like ], and this chap sings fast-paced as the style demands.

Dhruv : Guitars -Very Naice, Sir. Nice techniques, the sweep Picking was awesome, and the riffs were very distinct.

Sathwick : Drums – Brings the song into picture right from the start. The bass and the drums combination is probably the signature of this band, from what I could make out from most of their numbers.

Shalini : Bass – Let’s get out the most obvious fact first. A Female bassist? Yes, that’s something really rare. Unique enough to feature an independent wiki.

Ok, once the whole hullaballoo and temporary jaw-dropping was done, we were actually in awe of her performance. One hell of a bassist. And as I said just two lines before [ were you noticing?? ], the bass+ drum intros defined the course of the song.

Yesterday’s performance featured originals like “Aloo Tikki” and covers like “Hush – Deep Purple“, and “Woman – WolfMother“. The wolfmother cover was nearly identical, and the highlight of the gig, for me.

One minor complaint is that once I tried to some post-concert searching for this band, its tracks and lyrics, I was thoroughly pissed off.

It’s a pain googling for them. Try some innocent search term like “Aloo Tikki Today’s Special”, and a hajar Tarla Dalal like cooking sites pop up.Aargh. With a little Search engine kungfu I could manage to find their myspace page, and some two tracks. Seriously guys, A Blog comes for free these days.

Kindly to be setting one up soonly. Thank you.

Akshay pointed out yesterday that Rock n Metal music seems to have dried up in Bangalore for the past few months, what with absolutely no gigs of interest happening.

Genetically mutated concert organizers, Please take note.

Be there, or Be Squared?

June 4, 2009 at 11:51 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, fakereviews, humour, Internet, Linux, Microsoft, narcissism, Politics, sarcasm, Technical | 6 Comments
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In a desperate attempt to bridge the gap between WolfRam Alpha and itself, Google released something known as Google Squared. [ The service ] [ The official Post].
My conspiracy theory is that this is a majorly quadratic statement by Google in the light of the Tiananmen Square Incident Anniversary, which happens to be on June 4th[ i.e, Today ].

To all those crazy lunatics over there, let me fuel it further by saying that June is the 6th Month, and 4 is the date.  Oh . Holy Moly, that’s 6 and 4.  => 64? Get it? That’s a perfect square…

Go ahead, I’ve made your day. Send all those crazy forwards, and troll in all possible forums out there, because deep within your stupid hearts, you know it to be true.

With all due respects to Google, Wolfram Alpha still continues to totally arouse Geeky researchers ( and trivia hunters), with the same feeling that people used to [ and still get ], when randomly bouncing off wikipedia pages.

And in keeping up with my holy tradition of keeping the kernel of the post in the very end, and most often than not, missing it entirely, here’s them goodies…

google squared

[ Open the image in a different tab, if you wish ]
Well, there has been no editing absolutely. There in lies my integrity [ as well as differentiability, from other arbit meme creators out there ]. Don’t believe me, check it out.

http://www.google.com/squared/table/ageTYAeHzVe5UFezJFN2MFtg

Now, let me expertly dissect this information, as a certain annoying Arnab ComeSwami would.

Some Salient Features:

  • Vajpayee proves why he’s still the best out there. He’s a DLF maximum, and a citi moment of success all rolled into one smooth package.
  • Karat’s priced at 2 Dollars. he he. Take that you pseudo-communisty bleddy red-chaddis. No Marx for you this time. For all that dirty Lenin that you washed in public, serves you right.
  • Advani’s priced slightly higher than Mr.Singh. That’s just the added value of viral marketing, and internet flash ads. And him being the Iron Man of India, to boot.
  • Lalu foxes even Google. Even the mighty know-it-all search engine cannot figure out how much stash the Bihari-Bond is hiding.
  • Sonia Gandhi –  well, I refrain from commenting, in accordance with previously maintained policies. Respect mam, or as they say in fluent Italian, ‘KThnxBai‘.

In other search engine news : Microsofty released their new polished search service, which they call Bing.
which apparently stands for ” But It’s Not Google”.
Several scapegoats have confirmed this fact to be true, and have unanimously bleated out that a search engine so lousy, cannot definitely be a clone of Google.
But, do not shoo off this Bingy thingy so soon. If history has taught us anything, [ other than about one crazy dude pillaging through other another crazy dude’s city, and general voyeuristic/hedonistic activities of folks with lots of cash ] , it is this.
Services/Movements/ Tools/ Softwares with recursive names might not be successful commercially, but will definitely end up being a major pain-in-the-ass of the opposite party concerned. ”
off the cuff examples being, GNU, LAME, WiNe.
So, watch out. Microsoft hopes for some Bing Bling soon…

Oh, and by the way. This happens to be my 50th post.[ Hurrah, yippee yay. Saavdhaan, Vishraam.]
Muchas Gracias to all of you for all this nice readership thing that’s happening so far.
Keep up the good work 🙂
If there was an award for the highest blogging throughput, an award for the most prolific and active blogger out there, you know, the person with all the witty regular posts, and amazing rapport with the readers…..

I wouldn’t have got it.

N-Blox Reloaded…

January 20, 2009 at 12:29 am | Posted in arbit, chappar, criticism, Ethics, Internet, nitk, protocol, Visions | Leave a comment
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Not exactly a post. [ Ergo, something better.]
/***************************************************************************************************/
[Btw, My hiatus is surprisingly, not due to a writer’s block. This is your chance. Enjoy while it lasts…For be warned, Soon, I’ll be back. With my regular doses of textual – harassment. Phew, I can’t be booked for that] /************************************************************************************************/
My love for tetris has been documented pretty well over here. So I’ll not kutch further.

I discovered N-Blox some days ago, when chappar , wanting to get some cheap highs, was looking at psychedelic visuals on this site. And sent it to me.

Turns out Paul Neave is a brilliant Flash designer, with a passion for Retro games. Kewl. And I found Tetris. Blissh.

The gameplay is superb[ Considering that there’s not much scope for innovation]. But as it turns out, Neave is a bit of a N*gger [ Southpark fundaes]. With the sole intent of pissing off fans, he sets out and puts a score_reset which is called at the stroke of midnight.

I could think of only a few possible excuses that he could have.

  • Probably to save on diskspace of the scores.txt file. [Wtf]
  • To give every newbie a chance to figure on the highscore board. Turns out they already do. Through simple,stupid, “Injection” techniques. [Come on, Man you…]
  • “It’s my game.”  “Respect Mah Authoritah“…[ Awesome ]

Well, the third reason seemed the most logical, and we laud his spunk n all that, but we didn’t like it in principle. He could have at least given people the source code and allow us to tinker with it. But that’s his choice and we respect that.

But, we did want the game.

So, The php whiz from college, and myself, tweaked around the flash file for a while to send the scores to a different location. And the php to receive, process the scores at this remote location, and send back the results back to the flash file. No edits to the gameplay/graphics. Honest.

Did someone miss a beat? Never mind, Let me beat you again.

Me n php? Ha ha…

Well, truth be told, he did both of those. Great work dude, and btw, the Inci site rocks, as usual.

And me, with my stupendous Html skills, set up an oldschool website, which is approximately Web 0.2. So, enjoy Nblox on the site shown below ( while it lasts), and u get to post ur highscore as well.

So, without much ado, here’s N-Blox Reloaded peoples…

Phree Publicity: Check out http://byethost.com/   Free, and Hassle-free webhosting, with php support, and nice technical support as well.

Feisty Fatwa on hackneyed Humour

November 6, 2008 at 1:46 am | Posted in arbit, Bengaluru, criticism, Ethics, humour, nostalgia, sarcasm | 6 Comments
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I, Sheikh Abhi, ( who’ll be known as Sheikh Abhi-Dulha at the time of marriage), decree the following fatwa. This fatwa aims to radically improve the ‘Post-Nehruvian Indian Humour quotient’.

Editor’s note: “Nehru bit” added for extra scope, and does not suggest the writer’s extensive political repertoire.

Abstract:

Its a surprise, and deep shame, that generations after generations have endured shoddy satire emanating from rusty retired maamas,as pale as Stalin. Or athletic Aaanties, as stale as Palin.

They did not rise up to them, or flip ‘em the bird. They didn’t chuck these jokes out of their humour vocab. They didn’t. No. No.

They instead chose to tell it to us. Oh, the Humanities!!!

But, enuph is enuph. Its time for Change.

Background:

These jokes are easily identifiable with any Indian kid’s disturbed childhood. To avoid lethal exposure, I will be jotting down only some of them. Feel free to add more if you’re itchy.

The List, and its interpretation:

  • “Which is the most dangerous city?” asked  Master Maams. What ? What ? asked we, in full awe of Maams’ general knolij. “Electri-city”. Get it? Ha ha ha. Maams used to reply.

        It’s a pity we weren’t using WTF back then.

  • A particularly putrid, bengalurean variant would be the dreaded, “ Which is the biggest stick”? Maje-stic, maams would say, hardly caring about the kids writhing in agony.
  • Or its perverse inverse verse from the alternate universe. Which was worse. “Which is the smallest stick”?Lip-stick”, apparently. No one would have dare guessed.

         I’ve not heard these for nearly 5 years. Hope they decay soon.

  • And there used to be this mother of all J-bombs. I’ll provide a short recap. For the uncut version. Run ‘line 1 – line 2’ some 5 times in a loop.

         Ramu:- “BJ.Franklin discovered Elecktri-kitty”.

         English Teacher:- “No, Ramu. It is pronounced as ilek’trisitee ”.

         I still don’t get the morbid fascination about electricity in so many of these jokes.( There are more like these, believe me) Probably that was the most happening thing back then. Positively shocking. The joke continues….

          Ramu’s Dad:”What seems to be the problem, Teacher?”

          Teacher:”Your son can’t pronounce ilek’trisitee”.

This joke’s punchline. Boy Oh boy!!!

           Ramu’s Dad:” What to do teacher. That is his Kapak-itee.”

So, basically suggesting ramu and his dad had some kind of speech impediment was supposed to knock your socks off, in times yore. Man, George Carlin would have created an 8th swear word, if he’d heard this joke.

  • And of course, the ever so popular, and recurring, “I don’t take any decisions, My wife is the home minister” joke. And all its mutated variants.

Khushwant Singh protested in vain,in some of his books, against this genre, and then for some reason, started vacillating between Sardar Jokes and chaddi-ke-neeche waala humour.

  • And we all know that it was your P.T Sir who was the stupidest man in the entire universe. And only he made the, “Stand in a straight circle” joke.

Now, If your P.T teacher was involved in a love-triangle, it offers some interesting punning propositions, of geometric proportions.

Results:

Here is an irrelevant experimental graph.

Conclusion:

I’m putting these and any that I may receive from fellow victims, in permanent quarantine. And I ‘umbly request you, not to pass on these family heirlooms to your kids. And one more fatwa – All future fatwas must always be in the paper publication format. I want to see the exact reasons behind the Mickey Mouse one.[1]

And, ya, I’m one of them.[2]

Vista – On the Rocks. Azure in the Clouds…

October 28, 2008 at 11:24 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, humour, sarcasm, Technical, Visions | Leave a comment
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Seeing this brilliant piece of satire by America’s Finest news Source – The Onion News, made me think.

With Vista having chosen the Red Screen of Death , as its official time-please message , the devout and loyal fans of a much peaceful colour were very disappointed. Having to see the altogether familiar shade just on special occasions like the Beijing Olympics, did take its toll on an XP zealot.

BSOD was  ZOMG level in funnity. It was the zen in awesomeness. It unleashed previously unseen waves of creativity amongst the developers [ to use that time on a different OS, I must confess].

Anyways, here is the kinda froody things that you could do with them blue screens. [ Statutory Warning : Not safe for Work, especially if you’re at Microsoft]

bsod-fun 

Cheaply mashed from the following sources [1 ],[2].
Anyways, the point of this painstakingly researched article is to, waht-else, reveal a conspiracy theory of course…
The people at microsoft, ever so attentive to their customer needs, have heard our earnest pleas.
They are rolling out a new and improved version of BSOD on the clouds…Call it BSOD 2.0 if you must.
You don’t believe me, do you? I knew it. But I have ball-clinching evidence to this effect.
What do they name their Cloud computing OS as? What better a name to support my theory, than “AZURE”. [1 ],[2 ]

A reasonably accurate dictionary defines:
Noun: azure
1. A light shade of blue
Verb: azure
1. Colour azure
Adjective: azure
1. Of a deep somewhat purplish blue colour similar to that of a clear October sky.

The clues are out there, on the cloud .
See, don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you before.
Happy Computing. I’m on Cloud 7 already…

BAD, Very BAD…

September 14, 2008 at 2:20 pm | Posted in criticism, Politics, protocol, Technical | 1 Comment
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      A standard procedure when the comment to a post grows longer than the post and is mostly disconnected to it, is to write a new one. Hence drawing from this, I continue.

      The Monty analogy fits the situation perfectly. Resilience at its stupid best.

      And now there is this new thread that Narendra Modi had pre-warned the PM, and M.K.Narayanan – the N.S.A , regarding a clear threat to Delhi. Several people might wonder why Modi didn’t bring this out to the public.

      The idea of any intelligence/security related pre-warnings is that the government/authority is to be made aware of it before a public disclosure. Standard protocol.

       As an analogy it is something followed even by white-hat hackers/ exploit researchers as well. The 30-90 day disclosure rule. So that the vendor [ in this case , the Government of India ] can act on it much in advance, without tipping off the adversaries.

       So, this brings an interesting situation. Why, even in the face of an imminent threat, was there no clear cut action taken? Why are bombs defused only after some go off?.. and so on.

I would completely understand if this is just the Home ministry going lax, on what is just a tiny issue of National Security. But if this is childish cross-party obstinate behaviour, something that we are all to used to by now, it raises some serious concerns.

        Especially since the PM wants to create a Federal Agency to tackle terror. A federal agency is built on the premise of state-centre co-operation pertaining to every aspect regarding the security of the nation. Now, if this isn’t a major example of a BAD game of Chinese Whispers, I’m not sure what else to call it.

        Now, to the newly cropped up development of hacking Wi-Fi Networks, and then using that to send terror emails to media organizations.

        Wi-Fi networks are not safe. Lets face it. For chrissakes, there have even been comic strips about it.

For a government that is so obsessed with getting a backdoor entry into the 256-AES encryption algorithms used by RIM-Blackberry , isn’t this a bigger and more feasible a threat to ignore?

         I mean, an absconding tech-trained terrorist would find it a piece-of-nilgiri-cake work to hack into some fat-american’s un-protected wifi network, than strut around with a neat Blackberry sending Indian Mujahiddeen mails on the fly.

          Then, there is the issue of security pepped up all around the major cities as soon as an attack is done. Previously, there used to be a large time-frame between two attacks. So, it was almost passable that the security didn’t know it was coming.

           Now, that attacks are happening just weeks apart, one wonders, what exactly this pepping up is all about.

           For an honourable minister of India ( Kapil Sibal @ War of Words to Arun Jaitley ) to tell that these attacks are a result of the BJP’s antics in Gujarat 2002, is nothing short of a lame excuse. These do nothing other than incite a political flame-war, doing more harm than good. What any party at the centre needs to realize is that the situation has changed drastically since 2002.

           For the major worry, in the recent set of attacks, is the choice of soft-targets. Be it local trains, or busy markets; hospitals, or bus stops. As one Mr.Das of the TOI puts it, prior to POTA being removed, most attacks were by so-called Pakistani para-troopers, militants born, brought-up, and trained in Pakistan. Post-POTA has seen an influx of home-grown terrorism.

           I’m not stupid to believe that Correlation implies Causation . That is the job for conspiracy theorists. All I say, is that current mechanisms are not adequate. If the POTA was a draconian law, improve upon it. We don’t need something as uncivilised as the U.S. Patriot act, but we sure need something effective and soon.

          India has seen different methods of attack over its resplendent history. It has survived through each of them, and in most cases, has emerged out stronger.Unfortunately, that opinion is being shattered in the wake of these recent developments.

          In dark and troubled times such as these, the country should stay united and focussed, sense should prevail, and actions be taken at the earliest, lest these insane acts crumble the beautiful ethos of the nation, that is India.

 

——————————————

As of writing this post, there have been two major updates:- (September 22, 2008)

Update 1: Indian Government successfully installs Deep Packet Inspection. This means better sniffing of all your emails in realtime. Yay. Read here.

 

Update 2: IB has successfully cracked the BlackBerry Code. Without help from RIM of course. Yay Yay.

Read here.

 

Both of these developments happened after yours truly wrote this post.

But as I said before, I am not implying  that “correlation implies causation”. 🙂 🙂

The Life and Works of Sir Takal…

August 24, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Posted in arbit, Bengaluru, chappar, criticism, Ethics, fakereviews, humour, literary, news wagon, nitk, poetry, Politics, sarcasm, Technical, travel, Visions | Leave a comment
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Drawing on this extensive article; the sole biography of Sir Takal in existence, I choose to limit myself, and write only about his magnificent works, with particular emphasis on some of his recent views about everything of consequence to the neo-modern chinese cult-societies in Bangalore.

Takal doesn’t read my blog, so I presume I am safe. [ Sincere apologies in advance ].

Inspirations: [ with the equivalent deft delicateness of Anu Malik ]

  • Appar’s exhilarating review of his best friend’s literary masterpiece.
  • A superb book review of “The 2007-2012 Outlook for Tufted Washable Scatter Rugs, Bathmats, and Sets That Measure 6-Feet by 9-Feet or Smaller in India” – the most scholarly book ever written in this field.

There are two kinds of literary critics in this world, one who totally adore Sir Takal’s succinct analogies, and metaphorical embellishments at times, and the others who haven’t read him yet. I proudly say that I belong to the first variety.

You see, when you read Takal ( a metonymic reference to something written by him ), you not only get the perception that the author is trying to convey an issue of importance, but also the subtle realization of the deeper meaning that this exalted mind offers.

Through innumerous surreal examples, chiefly drawn from the author’s experience with life, and his in-depth knowledge of the Bengalurean city-life, as well as his profound insights on global politics[ with a categorical expertise centered around topics related to the Chinese and Tibetan domain ], Takal clearly convinces of a dark and shady conspiracy that the system[ The Indian Government ], is running in the background of a hazy “India Shining” campaign.

Some Excerpts, and a Detailed as well as a Figurative analysis :-

  • I don’t know why I wrote this post. It is bad. Or may be not . I am not sure. “  Never since The Tale of Two Cities, has a enantiosis, the figure of contraries, of this nature ever been displayed in English Literature.  Walking on both lines of the  paradoxical line, he gently prepares the reader for a tumultuous article ahead. He continues….
  • It was Friday. It was when I went to piss at 4 o’clock that day, that I saw that it was a haze of grey outside . Well, with only work in my mind, I went back and hardly gave a thought to the heavy rain. ” – Metaphors be damned. This is God himself writing. When was the last time you had such a phantasmagoric visual treat lined up for you[ In the most literary, straightest sense possible ].
  • “Well, when I came back home, another shitty thing happened. Power went off.” – A powerful, yet hidden message to the Yeddy government.
  • “ And it is the engineer’s duty to do everything at the last moment. So, thinking I had all the time in the world, I disregarded the increasingly heavy rain, and started to play candle-lit carrom with Kela.” – Inspirational substance, and a brief hint at an on-going romance.
  • “I went and saw to my horror that there were only girlie umbrellas available. But, when I searched properly I did find some black umbrellas. So, I decided to buy it. But wait, I saw the label, and here it was for 667 rupees only. Well, with no time, and having more than a goat’s brain, I decided to adjust with a girlie umbrella for a day( which was available for 220 rupees), I got the umbrella.” – Sir Takal is a champion of the woman’s liberation movement, and he breaks all stereotypes, and urges the reader to do the same. Notice how he assigns a higher price to the “Black Umbrella”. Yes, you guessed it. Sir Takal loves the Afro-American Community as well. He is a maestro in the field of Zulu Dancing, though he is very coy about it.
  • “Thus, it should be clear that a torturer is a torturer, whatever language he speaks, and whatever country he belongs to. The driver was talking to people in singular whatever, I don’t remember the word. It was as if he thought he was the lord. It was as if he was enjoying the overcrowding of the bus. I realized what sadists felt like. He was feeling comfortable in his chair looking at the crowded bus. I felt what a concentration camp felt like, and I for the first time sympathized with the Jews, Borat notwithstanding.” – Just two words :- Drawing parallels between a BMTC ride and the Holocaust, Sir Takal takes the reader to an epochal period and drops him there. Also of importance are the tyrannical analogies of the bus-driver, who here is being compared to Adolf Hitler himself.   Did I say two words?.. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

And this is just one of his works. Imagine the greatness of a man who has managed to put so many critical issues in such an eloquent manner.

I could go on an on, but I do not wish that the reader misses out on exploring Sir Takal all on their own. A chance that everyone must take.

Takal is a genre in itself. Kafkaesque creations seem pale in front of this divine force of literary grandeur.

Some blurbs from some more reputed sources:

  • “This is the 98956’th Indian Origin author that I have been asked to review. Please give me a break. God Damn it.” – Shashi Tharoor.
  • “To reduce such a richly diverse book to a couple of main themes is a disservice, for there is much here to reward the careful reader (notably two startlingly educative essays on the ancient roots of relations between India and China). Particularly pleasurable is Sir Takal’s masterly reclaiming of Rabindranath Tagore’s reputation from the unjust misjudgment of him in the West as a mediocre mystic poet rather than the rationalist and humanist genius and polymath Takal convincingly depicts. But — disservice aside — two principal arguments emerge from this collection: an affirmation of India’s political and cultural heterogeneity, and of the ‘reach of reason’ in India’s intellectual traditions.” – Shashi Tharoor on cannabis.
  • “I think of the glorious Tiananmen square days, when I read Sir Takal’s works.” – Long Dong, The Times of China. he continues, “Actually, I always think of those days.” ,he clarifies.
  • “I so adore Takal because he posts his articles mostly at the break of dawn. I love to wake up and read Takal, with the cup of coffee in my hand. WoW, Sir Takal. You’re totally on my favorites list. ” – Chetan Bhagat.
  • “Pardon me for this infantile indulgence, but pray allow me to savour the poetic mastery of Sir Takal. I fear that if I don’t quantify it into my already vast intellectual cache, I shall miss out on something very special, the stuff that mortals are faintly aware of.” – Noam Chomsky, not on cannabis.
  • “TB rules. TB is my hero. TB is GoD .” – Hashish, The Arizona Daily Star .
  • “Ashish to Ashes, Dust to Dust” – Sir Takal, The Davangere  Daily.

Normally I don’t recommend authors, but in his case, I doubly do so.

Venture into the unknown,

for there is where true beauty lies,

Do not miss this literary Oasis, O’ pensive traveller,

Not a shadow of doubt, I premise.

Dinga Product Launch. Audio-Phish a.k.a De-Reshammiya Filter

August 2, 2008 at 4:34 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, humour, music, narcissism, sarcasm, Technical | 7 Comments
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[written with absolute permission from Dha, and Moral Insurance from Takal (just in case) ]

It was a festive atmosphere in the Dinga Electronics ™ campus on Thursday. A small gathering witnessed the launch of a revolutionary product in the field of consumer electronics.

Shri. Muthappa Rai, renowned reporter of the world-famous newspaper “Karavali Ale”,      was in Udupi to cover a murder scheduled later that evening.  After a pressing request by Logik, that this report would fetch him the PULL-it-Saar prize, he reluctantly came to     cover the event.

Chief Dingologist P.S.L.V. Babu, and Senior Dingineer Sadagopan Ramesh, described       their motivation to create the Audio-Phish™.

” It was just unbearable. We couldn’t tolerate it any more. People like Himesh Reshammiya were inflicting aural torture the likes of which, we have never heard before”. ” And then there were these countless reality shows as well. Mindless retards. Horrible Horrible. ” – Mr.Babu said reflecting his profound thoughts to our now, hapless reporter.

“We felt we owed it bigtime, to the society, and to the future generation. We realized      the need for a product that would obviate these crass voices once and for all. ” said Sadagopan Ramesh, looking obviously pleased, with this new found attention.

Ramesh continued. ” We hit a roadblock mapping Reshammiya’s voice to current noise models. Even Gaussian seemed melodious compared to him. Which is when we took the aids of Dha, a man so well known in audio processing circles.

” Of course. What were you thinking? Gaussian it seems.Pfft. The Himeshian model is so so complex. It is not just-white-noise. ” remarked Dha, in between games of Minesweeper, slyly gaining some Google-juice in the process.

After months of hard-work, The Dinga team has proudly launched the Audio Phish [ codenamed De Reshammiya Filter].

” This is still a prototype. We have just managed to make him sound like Sonu Nigam as of now. It will take us at least months, if not years, to get some decent sounds.” quipped Ramesh. ” Questions from anyone in the media? “, he said, obviously pointing to the one and only Muthappa.

” Now, what if Himesh comes to know of this, and sticks it down his . umm. throat? Wouldn’t that limit your sales to just one piece, and achieve similar results.?” asked Mr.Rai, beaming at having come up with such a brilliant doubt.

” Actually, make that two. One for each naris/nostril. Yes. That is a valid point. Which is why we are not seeking much publicity. We are just planning to put all this info up on a third-rate blog. And now, your paper as well. ” Mr.Babu replied, delicately avoiding any references to the atrocious piece of trash, that is Karavali Ale.

” Any copyright suits expected?”

” Probably just one. For flicking that pic from HHGTTG“.

” That’s it gentlemen. This is a joyous moment for us, for we know, that in our own humble way, we have saved millions from an imminent brain-freeze.”

Mr. Muthappa Rai looked exuberant as this pathetic show came to an end, and he bouncily jumped in joy.

The dingologist, and the dingineer rejoiced in their unique way.

“Hey, isn’t that the Bingo guys?. Are you planning on a merger?” asked the ever-inquisitive Rai.

” Listen, dude. Question time is over.” “Damn. The news shouldn’t have come out so soon. Yes , we’re planning on a new food-products division. We are yet to decide on a name though. ”

Bingo-Dinga, and Dingo-Binga both sound like African cuss-words”. mentioned Logik, haughtily considering himself so important that he had to do a self-reference.

Regular readers might be aware of the deal. Takal obviously irritated with the lack of publicity for Davangere Food Products, took on Dha in a verbal duel.

Dha says – ” You know what. You’d anyway be killed in that weird incident, by Sads, who would be taking over Davangere Semi Conductors. And if he doesn’t, I’ll certainly sh00t you, and take over Davangere Food Products”. , fondly reliving his glorious days on Dc++.

Takal says- ” Ha Ha. D.F.P’s output would just be self-sufficient for its CEO then.” taking a violent jab there, and making a below-the-belly joke.

Dha replied- ” Don’t ejaculate with joy there, Yoga-Boy. I know all about your deeds. ”

Looking exasperated after this vicious remark, Takal left the scene, vowing to avenge this defeat.

While the day drew to a close, the absence of famous Wildlife Photographer, and avid Hornithologist S.U.Saravanakumar, was deeply regretted. Despite an official invite from Logik, it is said that he went off to  Manipal, to watch the cheer-babes at the newly formed Udupi Premier League Kabaddi matches.

Dha, obviously gleaming with joy, at having directed such a great project, went on to address the gathering.

” This, in my not-so-humble opinion, should be the IEEE standard for Indian Humour blogposts”.

He also shouted ” All Hail the Son of Bosey“, for no apparent reason, before he was whisked off for security reasons, still maintaining the ambiguity in the minds of the readers, whether this was a tribute or a parody.

Cheerio.

Choti Si Baat…

July 20, 2008 at 1:30 am | Posted in arbit, Bengaluru, Carnatic, criticism, humour, nitk, travel | 4 Comments
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Disclaimer:- This post is not a review of this Amol Palekar movie. Which happens to be one of my favourites, btw. It however deals with a similar aspect of life.

Claimer:- Too much fundae_putting for a very small issue. Excusus Maadimus.

Location: A semi-posh hotel in the heart of Bengaluru. Woodlands a.k.a Woody’s it is called.

So here I was, happily staying at this hotel [ albeit at company’s expense, but don’t ruin the moment ], which is supposedly famous in B’ lore for its breakfast. Not many star hotels can boast about that.

Aha, if that’s not enough, there is one more USP to this place. At all the dining venues, this mallu-run hotel plays Carnatic Music to give that xtra aambience effects.                  Yes. Good-ol’ Classy stuff that sits well with most of the senior Tam folk who seem to form a majority of the customers here [ and with me as well – if you still didn’t get the point ].

I think this must be an corollary/extension of that experimental research that, cows gave more milk when exposed to western classical music.

In the mornings, they play Mandolin Shrinivas. The same CD every day. I still liked it.

At dinner, for some weird reason, they play death-note Shehnai/saxophone. Morose funeral-ish stuff. I didn’t quite get the funda, but since the food was quite good, I didn’t bother much.

Well, enough of bitti publicity. Back to core issues. Or the lack of it.

So, one day at the breakfast, the hotel features the Southie menu filled with awesomeness, the Idlis, the Vadas, dosas…. and also some mandatory nuisances like the Upma [ a.k.a Uppittu. as if an alias changes the hideousness ]. And being a devout member of the caffeine cultus, I order a coffee as well. Wait, let me rephrase.

A true-to-Bengaluru-tradition Cothasian fresh, piping hot, delicious cuppa coffee, with a frothy layer as a visual bonus.

Ya, it was something like that. I’m a bit restrained with appraisals.

It was of course sugar-free, to suit the oldies. So, I take the  semi-crystalline, semi-powdery sugar sachet, and pour it down. It made a small hole into that layer, sinking in slowly. Maybe I was already high in anticipation of the coffee, or maybe bengaluru’s   early-morning cold had excited my mind, in either case, this sight brought a smile to my face. I assume the classy people around me thought I was some downmarket crazy oaf. That is, if they hadn’t already thought of that, while I came to have the breakfast in my pair of jazzy bermudae.

To me, however, it reminded of old cartoon characters. When they used to fall out of planes, or space, or anywhere else… Dropping through columns of white clouds, making appropriate look-alike cut-out holes in the process.

Maybe I’m imagining a bit too much. “Much ado about nothing”- ing about a petty issue.

Signing off with a recent chat with Akella. [ Expletives included ]

Me : Hey, I found a house in Wilson Garden. Pretty neat. And near as well..

Akella : So, when are you shifting to a proper house?

Me : Wtf, this house is closeby, has a maid, and a TV as well.      You can’t get properer than that.

Akella : No, I meant why are you staying in a Garden?

Me : You Whore.

Some people never change…

And that is good…

And that is all…

Chetan Bhagat – The three mistakes of my life.

June 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm | Posted in criticism, humour, literary, sarcasm | 58 Comments
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chetan Bhagat
presents…………
The three mistakes of my life…….

  • chetan Bhagat
  • chetan Bhagat
  • chetan Bhagat

This is the primary reason why people don’t approach me for book-reviews…..

Anways, jokes apart. The reason his first book was good[ again, my opinion, shoot me], was because it was a novel attempt[ nah. no puns]. And primarily because, I’m an engineer and this book was about IIT. After that, friends, the charm has faded away.

I haven’t read the third book yet. Ah, A lying,nasty, cynical,hypocrite you say.
No. What prompted me to put this up, was some lame comments on a ‘genuine’ review page.

  • just loved it…….i hav only read three novels in my life…n they r all by chetan bhagat…         I sincerely hope that this guy is joking. Or is this Chetan Bhagat himself?
  • hi chetan i must say u always rokzzzzzzzzz n plz nxt time try to write something new not the same scripts yar waise i must say u r great. No Comments
  • i must say its a rocking come back chetan uncle i am a big fan of your i read your five point someone ,than a night at call center…….. but i must say that you are a perfect writer…. i am plnnin to take your book “three mistakes of my life” so how has been your experience for been the best seller for 70 weeks ?????? it must be fellin great ????? Chetan Uncle? Wtf. You btter be plnnin hard. I’m fellin awesome btw.
  • being a die hard fan of chetan..i can say dat dis book jus rockz…but a little less dan his previous books…its worth reading once..some ppl commented dat they can write better books dan this every week..dude..if u could have done dat..then u wud nt b here postin reviews for smeone else books….is dat clear???        Yes Sir. All- Clear. The job of a critic down the drain.

Ok. I thought I’d be unbiased and put some comments that actually dissected the book for what its worth. Some of them were too shallow, and most of them involved obscenities. Hence I present you the link.

What I didn’t like honestly was his division of reader-mentality on his blog.

  • Core Readers – hardcore fans who will read all CB books
  • Fringe Readers- My fringe readers are those who do not like my books, but read them anyway. They are “I’ve read all 3 books , all are crap” variety.

[ Sir, I thought your 1st book was good. and 2nd was bull-crap. I haven’t read the third one yet, Do I qualify?]

  • Critics – “the reviews were not as bad as I expected. Maybe they liked the book, or maybe they had a change of taste or maybe they realized that a few million, English speaking, educated Indians can’t be wrong.”

Mr. Bhagat- Sir,  witnessing the exquisite linguistic skills of your elite fan-base. I wouldn’t take that opinion for granted.
And he continues criticizing the critics….

  • “but if you call yourself a critic or an expert, you must offer some original, analytical insight about the work – good or bad, to justify your job. Summarizing the plot and repeating past interviews is not that. Anyway, less slamming this time, so I am happy. Thank you guys.”

The problem is the moment you end up slamming him, you’re automatically promoted to the 2nd set of readers.  What do we do?

Anyway. Go ahead. Read his book. He’s after all the “biggest-selling English-Language novelist in India’s History”.

P.S: Chetan Bhagat rokzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

Well, You know, I tweet. Sometimes.

June 7, 2008 at 2:46 am | Posted in arbit, criticism, humour, narcissism, sarcasm, Technical, twitter, Visions | 4 Comments
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As you all are well-aware by now, there is this regularly dysfunctional site called Twitter which allows several critters like me to post the answer to the greatest question the human race has ever asked.
Which is……..
“What are you doing now”?
To be answered in 140 characters or less. Phew. Now, that’s a toughie.
If only it was as simple as the answer to life, universe, and everything.
Barring mundane, obscene,irrelevant, personal, and utterly inane tweets[ more on this annoying term later], a normal person would not find much to tweet about.
Thusly, twitter is out of business.

Wrong on two counts.

  • My assumption that people wouldn’t want to share such routine stuff.
  • And that the kind of people who refer to this act as tweeting are sensible to begin with.

Now, for their technical issues. For starters, they tried to do too many things at the same time.

  • web-service – good
  • Im service – good
  • Mobile-tweeting – good , so that you can say ” hey there is a monkey walking on the street”. I’m not sure which retard would actually write something like that. But their site says this is the single most important reason that led them to E-nable this feature.
  • Iphones[ no no.. they are not just cell-phones. They are I-PHONES], twitterfox, opera twitter gadgets. Heck, any text-entry mechanism ever-built has some twitter client attached to it by now. There was this kid, who tweets from his command line. I pity the fool.

All at once, with limited resources to handle it. Bad.
Well, all would have been fine. They didn’t expect one thing. You guessed it. The no. of users.
So, every now and then their service goes down. Which is more often than ever.

The irony of course lies in this aspect. There was this tiny little site run by this nice chap, with a well-defined purpose. That site of-course was, Is Twitter Down . Now I say ‘was’ because since the time twitter went comatose today, even this site has. You could call it the Slashdot-esque effect, . Wait, I’ve an even brilliant idea. You’ve been twitted . Ha ha….
“Is twitter down” is down? Hey, maybe I can open a new site to check that. But how far can we go in this stupid endeavour when the faults lie deep within Twitter.

So, gear up folks. Use that crisp 15million bucks to good effect.

For Pete’s sake. Let a man tweet.

Well, about tweet. This is one of the most annoying web2.0 terms that I’ve heard. However, its not something new. Guys who do similar stuff also have stupid names. Jaiku, Pownce
What’s it with micro-blogging and icky terms?

P.S: The author tweets at

twitter

Additional twitter information: Wiki , Killer-Apps [ Cho Tweet].
And a twit-toon.

One more, that asks me to politely stop this post.

Self-Spam

May 30, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, humour, image processing, sarcasm, spam, Technical, Visions | 9 Comments
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A small technical exercise testing the effectiveness of gmail to combat spam, which on their site says “Fast, searchable email with less spam”.

This is true mostly. However, there is a downside to gmail spam filters w.r.t false-positives, i.e (filter mistakenly flags a good mail as spam)
These numbers are particularly high in case of gmail. I’m comparing it to, say using Spam-Assassin , or Akismet as your spam filter. I’ve had a sufficient number of good mails, not so useful, but not spam either-> which have been flagged off as spam.
This is unacceptable. In my case, I’ve the patience, and also a weird interest to go through my spam messages everday. But, busy people would consider this to be a “costly nuisance”.
The Nuisance is obvious. It’s also costly as the flagged message might have critical business information.
Most people however do not worry much about this. Because they trust their spam filters to weed out only the bad guys. As Matt Cutts of Google says about Google Search so elegantly,

“Sure,I could stop all the spam in the world if I didn’t have to return any search results.” 🙂 [source]

What people don’t like, however, is the appearance of { stimulating/enlarging/Nigerian King bequeathing his 100 million $ /cheap adobe software or Rolex-es / mortgage loans at unbelievable rates } mails in their inbox. This is totally irritating, and this does more damage to the lay-user than the previously mentioned almost-rare case.
Spam filters involve many techniques which are constantly under development. These chiefly include heuristic[ drawing from previous experiences, a learning method], bayesian filters, simple database matching, matching ip’s with regular spammers, and lots more involving complex probability/statistical models beyond my wildest dreams.
So, being the evil chap that I am, I did this nonsensical thing. I sent a spam mail to myself.

Self Spam
Granted, this is stupid. Gmail should place a trust on the sender[ me], and the sending server[gmail.com], and hence classify this as a legitimate mail.
So I repeated this exercise with a well-known email spoofer, www.pranketh.com . What this nifty project [written by two brilliant chaps from University of waterloo] does is pretty simple.
As the site says – “It allows you to send an email, that looks like its sent from someone else.” Or in simple terms.
I can send an email from id’s like mukeshambani[at]reliance[dot]in, or soniagandhirocks[at]congressrocks[dot]gov[dot]in.
[ note the delicate usage of “rocks”, Blogger belongs to google. I don’t want no risks]. A screenshot of pranketh’s page.
Pranketh Page
Yes. I know your doubt. If its so easy, why do nefarious miscreants use stupid yahoo/gmail id’s to threaten people, or send smokescreen bomb-footage, to the extremely retarded tv channel Aaj Tak[ self-proclaimed to be “Sarv-Shresht].
The point is the email server, folks. Your id is spoofed. But the smtp server name. No no. I couldn’t dream in my distant dreams to get a gov.in smtp[ Since I don’t happen to be a chinese (govt-sponsored) hacker 😦 ]. As a test case, try sending a prankethmail to your own id. And check the “original mail” option in gmail.
Ah. The post digresses from its core issue. Lets come back to the main point, shall we.
An important reason to gmail, not blocking my self-spam, was that it trusts my id, and its servers.
I tried sending the same text through pranketh. Guess what. It thrashes the mail left and right, before it even leaves their servers. Why?. They use Aksimet.
Pranketh Spam

My advice to gmail [ In the remotest probability that Matt Cutts is reading this,], and other mail providers is this.
Google’s servers are checking all our mail-contents for generating their automated ads and stuff anyways. So, there is no illusion of privacy. So, the next time, I’m sending a mail, check the contents before hand. Warn me if its spammish. Keep the thresholds appropriately such that I’m not regularly annoyed with these warnings.
If all smtp servers start this routine, we can see at least some major changes.

1. All the worlds emails would take a longer time to reach their destination. [ There’s got to be some catch.This is it]

2. Say I send one mail to a big bunch of people, it’d be scanned for spam-behaviour only once. Then some certification can be piggy-backed along, saying its reliable, and not spam. The experts can handle that bit. Not too difficult.

3. Botnets prevention. Say, some dumbo privately runs a smtp server, and has been been subjected to a backdoor/trojan attack. And this is currently acting as a zombie sending out bunch of viagrish mails to innocent people, who’ve left their email id’s lying out in the open.

I’m not saying you give up your earlier approach. That’d be foolish. But if its absolutely obvious that a mail is spammy[ self-spam for eg.]. Block it before it leaves your grounds.

Now, a general warning to all those who think spams are obnoxious. Your bigdaddydog@rediffmail.com might be the prettiest email id around. But don’t leave it on some arbit website, for all the world to see. One syntax-based text crawler and you get thousands of them.
Believe me, some of these spammers are millionaires[ Not the Nigerian kind]. And run their business professionally. And have awesome technical expertise too.
If anything, don’t make their job easier. Let them just fight it out with the big-guys[ yahoo, google, msft et al].

I reiterate. If you desperately want to put your email id on the net, use images like these.

email id
And, a word of caution. Even this is not safe. Within 1-2 years, google image search is going to search the contents in images. And character recognition. Piece of cake.
So, what do you do next. Do not fear, I have the ideas.
1. When you must, put your email id’s with re-captcha. I’d written a post about this some time back. My email id through this schema would be abhi@gmail.com .Go to their website and register for their free service. The only reason this idea is safe, however, is because Spammers, like all of us, are average-ramesh hard-working people. They do not have time to fill your captchas. Where as, your friends and people who want to see your email id so desperately, do.
2. Use images, but this time, write them with 3-d blocks. Even by extreme image processing hacking standards, this is nearly safe for 5-6 years.
3. Do not put email id’s on the internet.

This is probably the first in a series of spam-related posts to come.

P.S: I kinda remembered the first word of my blog’s title, and how I hadn’t paid any attention to it, for the past few months.

And, let me clarify. I love gmail.

Holiday Hoo-Hahs

May 23, 2008 at 4:20 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, Ethics, humour, Linux, narcissism, Technical, travel, Visions | 7 Comments
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I’m a particularly strange person. I don’t like vacations. They seem to drag.
Especially the post-college-no social contact ones.
Makes me feel like a social retard. [ Nice post, dude].
Without much nonsensing, here’s some peculiarly interesting/irritating incidents that happened over the past few weeks.

I arrive back from college. Mom’s lambasting me on my apparently obvious weight-loss. Unlike some hoggers, I lost nearly 5-6 kg’s while at college.
Most relatives think that its due to my burning of the mid-night oil-esque studying.
I don’t like to disturb pretty thoughts.

She proclaims with full gusto. “ Before, you leave for Bangalore, I’ll make sure you gain at least 8-10 kgs.” Its gone off to a point where I actually said,
“ Amma, I’m bored. Eat, Eat, Eat… Give me a break ”.
So, Ladies, the next time you see me, in addition to the awesomely dashing, supremely bright looks, I might also be slightly chubbier. Be prepared, lest you be swept off your feet.
[ ROTFL]

Needless to say, gone are the days when Parle-G used to be my
breakfast/lunch/dinner.

Whole family went on major temple touring. Dharmasthala, Kukke Subrahmanya, Aane Gudde[Near Kundapur], Kota Amritheshwari…. yada yada. I hope that this fulfils my religious affiliations for this year.

Non-faith reasons aside, these visits were still pesky. Getting up at 4 in the morning, AND taking a bath, both on the same day, is quite an ask.

On the Aane Gudde- day, I had only one T-shirt left to wear, and by an act of cosmic co-incidence, it happened to be one with the awesome Black-Sabbath band pic on it. Was laughing to myself at the apparent irony. Mom asked why.Told her about the whole satanic/atheistic stuff about Black Sabbath.
She laughed at my stupidity.
Now, That’s a Wardrobe Malfunction, I feel.

Last year. December to be precise, I went to Strands Book Exhibition in Bangalore. Nice place, books at decent prices. One of the many books that I purchased that day was “The Devil’s Alternative”- by Frederick Forsyth. I finished it last week. Ace book. They even called it unputdownable. But that’s how I read. Shame…

Boarded a bus from the M.G.M stop[ My P.U college, I miss it very much too,
but too much senti is not good, so I skip intro]. The conductor saw me and gave me a C.
That’s a half-ticket in Udupi/Mangalore lingo. There used to be a time, when
my friends and me were immensely pleased at this 1-2 Rs. savings.
But C’mon. At 21? You got to be kidding me. Probably I need to look a bit more refined/mature.
I think I should sport a beard. Maybe I will.

One major improvement over the past vacations, is that I finally am getting to surf through Broadband this time. Dial-Up’s a pain in the Bottom if you ask me. [ Did you spot the pun. Ya right there, that’s it. Read on].

Here, I’d like to mention the extremely suave, gracious BSNL folks who came over to my house, installed the ADSL modem+router, and made sure that the connection’s up n running. Granted, its their job. But, it is nice to see govt. officials who are courteous.
It restores my faith in the system.

Now, I surf at nearly 200+ kbps. And as Dha says, I can now download anything that “tickles my fancy”.

Oh ya. I take only the legally downloadable movies, music, sitcoms, software.
After paying for it, of course.

Ah. My board. With Sarcasm written in large letters. Where’s it?.. Better hold it up high.

A Linux guru from Bengaluru, Atul Chitnis does more justice to BSNL’s efforts.
It is also a stepwise guide to the whole deal of getting a dataone connection.
He’s written it better, hence I won’t dare repeat it here.
Read Maadi. His first opinion on this was cynical, and then he changes his mind in this entry after getting the connection. Likewise in my case.

To Atul : I installed it myself on Linux. You took their help. Ha ha…

P.S

Atul says: kill -9 ‘pidof logik’

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