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Monday, 31 December 2007

Installed Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy on my desktop [finally]

I had been meaning to install Ubuntu on my system just to get a crack at it (its been ages since my last Red Hat 6 installation), but never mustered up the patience to actually sit through a full installation.





I registered and mail ordered a free copy of the Gutsy version from Canonical Ltd @
https://shipit.ubuntu.com/. Doubting Nepal's delayed mail service, often resulting in mails arriving 6 months after the post marked date, I downloaded the Ubuntu 7.10 iso from opensource.wlink.com.np, burnt it onto a DVD, but was still procrastinating on the Ubuntu installation.

I guess yesterday, was the day to be. I went through the full installation in two goes; two goes because the DVD I received all the way from Holland did not work, hence the expression - free does not mean served on a platter :-(). So, I resorted to the other DVD to reinstall Ubuntu. Save a few kinks, the installation went fine.

Logged into my Ubuntu system, I realized that I was very much handicapped, without most of the application I am accustomed to on my windows platform. And when it comes to linux after 6 years, my knowledge is very rusty and needs a lot of reacquainting to. I could not even connect to the internet from the Ubuntu system. I only found howto entries to wifi connections, not to the conventional LANs.

So inspite of having installed Ubuntu on my system, Ubuntu will have to wait I guess.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Bush acknowledges existence of Carbon dioxide!!![not in a million years]


Funny satirical news from theonion.com,
The likelyness of the aforementioned ever taking place - not in a million years. Bush the nth wouldn't agree to it after being reelected for the nth term. :-).

His oil cartel (who piggybacked him into office) would kick him out of office, if he ever acknowledged such a fact :-(.


Global warming shunned by experts!!!

A post on aftermathnews (originally from WorldNetDaily.com | Dec 21, 2007) was concerning because it detailed of the rejection of the Climate change issue by prominent scientists.

A few qoutes off a scientist (research physicist John W. Brosnahan, who develops remote-sensing instruments for atmospheric science for clients including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.)

"I have not seen any sort of definitive, scientific link to man-made carbon dioxide as the root cause of the current global warming, only incomplete computer models that suggest that this might be the case."

“Even though these computer climate models do not properly handle a number of important factors, including the role of precipitation as a temperature regulator, they are being (mis-)used to force a political agenda upon the U.S.,” he continued. “While there are any number of reasons to reduce carbon dioxide generation, to base any major fiscal policy on the role of carbon dioxide in climate change would be inappropriate and imprudent at best and potentially disastrous economic folly at the worst.”
Nevertheless, my opinions on Climate Change (global warming) are strong. I guess it helps in being a informed person; knowing both takes from global warming advocates and agnostics alike only makes your opinions on climate change stronger (I for one would vote on cutting down on emissions and am pro global-warming-is-caused-by-SUVs bandwagon).

Over years we have bickered over the tragedy of the commons; this time around, Kyoto addresses it (or at least tries to). Even if the issue of Climate Change (global warming) does fizzle out (like Bush's WMDs), in the long term a lot of third world countries will benefit courtesy Kyoto and its Clean Development and Emission trading Mechanisms.

Albeit cutting down on your emissions hurts your pockets, it secures a common future for everybody.

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Sunday, 23 December 2007

heap41a

Heap41a is a worm/virus which constantly annoys you with messageboxes like


“I DNT HATE MOZILLA BUT USE IE OR ELSE…”

or
"Orkut is banned you fool, The administrators didnt write this program guess who did?? MUHAHAHA!!"

or
"USE INTERNET EXPLORER U DOPE"
on trying to opening firefox, accessing youtube or orkut.

I had to go through a particularly annoying half day. Used hijackthis but didn't show any promising results then opted for rootkitrevealer from sysinternals. A full scan later, I realised I had a problem.

After deleting the folder, looked it up on Google to find a number of interesting hits. Some smart aleck from Bangalore (my guess) wrote up this code and had very shitty reasons for doing it. The following links are helpful, if you go through a particularly annoying day with this heap41a worm.

The following forum post from autohotkey.com was pretty helpful for me save the fact that I had to uncheck the system file checkbox on the properties dialog box <(you could always resort to attrib -r -s -h /s inside the heap41a directory if you are comfortable with dos) before I was allowed to delete the svchost.exe file.

Surprisingly AVG free edition 7.5.516 didn't find it complying with their warning that AVG free edition only protects against viruses and not against spam, trojans or malware. Guess free does not mean served on a platter :-(

A list of other links that were helpful...

http://us.mcafee.com/virusInfo/default.asp?id=description&virus_k=142280

http://tec-updates.blogspot.com/2007/07/remove-heap41a-win32usbworm-worm.html

http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.support.firefox/msg/12ba87e2b0e3b7a4

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Mountain GIS e-conference around the corner

The Mountain GIS e-Conference jointly being organized by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Mountain Forum Secretariat (MFS) (Nepal), is around the corner coming new year (2008). It is slated for 14-25 of January, 2008.

Hopefully, this e-conference will help solve a lot of queries particular to the mountains and Geographic Information System(GIS) and also help sensitise the concept of Geographic Information as a science within the mountain community.

If your interests lie in discussing on issues related (but not limited) to GIS, Remote Sensing, the Moutains and related subjects, you should definitely drop in. Registration is free to all.

More details available at: http://www.mtnforum.org

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

these dudes' got issues

Purely on whim, I googled "Nepal" and "blog" and came up with an interesting number of hits, the most conspicuous and interesting being blogdai - a blogger who seems to have been around for a number of years. Blogdai is an anonymous blogger who has an interesting take ( a rather conservative one) on current Nepalese politics and associated geopolitics. A few seem to have tried to find out the true identity of blogdai but efforts were futile.

Another blogger of note, pradhyapak (I wonder if s/he is undergoing a severe bout of constipation or has a cob stuck up you know where; thus the very anal nature of the blog).

I do respect freedom of speech but when your rants are derisive, blogging resorts to slander, and blogs are used as a tool for vendetta against an institution or person, its about time you give it a rest and resort to pillow bashing instead.

I guess some or most of the allegations (1, 2) against the Vice Chancellor and the Senior Management team of Kathmandu University may be true, but I guess even the devil needs a pee break... :-o

Monday, 17 December 2007

Geospamming

I had just started to assimilate a relatively new term for me - "neogeography" courtesy of Wikimapia, Google Earth, Wikipedia, Blinkgeo and Slashgeo. I have been in awe at the wonders what crowdsourcing could do to facilitate a more user generated supported and verified geospatial data that is free for all.

Recently, the spamming aspect of geospatial data or more appropriately "MapSpamming" has come of note.

Here are a few explainations on how "MapSpamming" works.

Yahoo Local Mapspam now appearing near you

Friday, 14 December 2007

Urban legend No. 2. Reusing PET jars causes you cancer!!!

At work, I have been consistently using a pet bottle (a bottle of Kinley product of Coca cola) that I smuggled in from India, for the past 6 months for ferry water from the water dispenser. Over time it has scrunched up and developed grooves all over it body, greatly reducing its capacity for water storage and is an eye sore on my desk (I have been known to douse a little hot water into the bottle now and then to ease my ailing throat).

Nevertheless, I have been using it for my everyday use just so that I may inadvertently contribute to minimize the ailing waste problem.

I have received repeated warnings from fellow workers on the leaching of toxics into my water intake every day, due to my constant abuse (of the bottle) and also because of the prolonged usage.

So, I go digging on Google and found that it has been posted as a urban legend or hoax on a number of websites.

Granted that in 2001, a student from University of Idaho concluded that repeated use of PET plastic bottles releases di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA) which evidently is a carcinogen. Even EPA seems to have taken a bout against the all damning DEHA but later conceded to a less political stand.

Following the student's master's thesis, the media seemed to have attacked the Bottling association for PET bottle usage. However, later studies seems to have nullified this qualm .

Here are few relevant links:

An interesting take on the plastic bottle use and its likely carcinogenic affect.

FAQs: The Safety of Plastic Beverage Bottles from plasticsinfo.org

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Plastic Wraps

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

AGLOGO going bust!!!

I still remember my induction into the Web 2.0 craze and me going all bonkers about a web company supposedly going to share its profits with its user group (that would also include a very exuberant me).

Sadly, the group fizzled out before paying up.

Here's an excerpt of the email I received from AGLOCO:

We would like to update you on the status of AGLOCO's operations. We continue to believe in the AGLOCO concept, but our revenue is currently not sufficient to give Members a meaningful distribution. And though there are increases in membership, the resulting revenue is not enough to support operating costs. As a development team we are unable to continue to use our savings to fund the operations. If any Member would like to pursue continuing the operations of AGLOCO, you may contact us at agloco1@live.com .
Too bad, free dough would have been nice :O)

Hello fortune 500 companies, want to give AGLOCO a piggy back ride?

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Only in America

What's great about America? Everything (maybe).

Its the land of opportunity and the land of freedom. The state respects the citizen's freedom of speech and ideology. Fascists, leftists, chauvinists, environmentalists, animal activists; all seem to have made their niches in the United States of America. It is a good thing that the state respects people's ideology but at times I wonder if the state has been too lenient is this regard.

KKK has been here for a while. Frequent jokes over the media and courtesy Dave Chappelle and his KKK jokes, the word "KKK" has lost its clout. But here's one association that nearly popped my eyes off my sockets.

The NAMBLA is short for North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).


A quote off wikipedia from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAMBLA

The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a New York City and San Francisco-based unincorporated organization in the United States that advocates the legalization of sexual relations between adult males and under-aged boys. It has resolved to "end the oppression of men and boys who have freely chosen mutually consenting relationships," in spite of the fact that such relationships are seen as child sexual abuse where the minor is unable to give consent. It also calls for "the adoption of laws that both protect children from unwanted sexual experiences and at the same time leave them free to determine the content of their own sexual experiences." NAMBLA's webpage claims that: "NAMBLA does not provide encouragement, referrals or assistance for people seeking sexual contacts" and that it does not "engage in any activities that violate the law [or] advocate that anyone else should [violate the law]."
I wonder to what length will deviates go to justify their acts. What next? A bulletinboard to share their escapades or perhaps a NAMBLAwiki to create a knowledge base of partners in crime (other pedophiles). I think such things should be limited to the dark corners of their closets, better yet should be flushed down the toilet.

Monday, 10 December 2007

I pronounce you Chuck and Larry [Homophobic America??]


I pronounce you Chuck and Larry just made to my list of late night movies. I laughed and clapped throughout the movie. Now it does strike me as odd, because it was too late in the night for such antics.



I couldn't help but feel sorry for the homophobic Americans that the movie depicts. The usual Adam Sandler gang repeatedly punctuate the screen with brief appearances. There's Rob Schneider, David Spade among others. Kevin James and Adam Sandler were very funny but Kevin was definitely funnier in Hitch. And to top it off there's Ving Rhames in a very unusual role - a gay guy!!! The whole movie revolves around a very sensitive issue - homosexuality and is very well presented. There's a tad bit of drama and a hint of a love story. After the movie, I realised that I had been waiting for such an entertaining movie for quite some time now. Over all it was an entertaining flick and I would not mind having seconds.

Here's a punch line by Adam Sandler (Larry) that I found very sticky. -"The accepted vernacular is gay." [Said while punching a minister who is protesting against homosexuality]

P.S. :Maybe I was too hasty while drawing a title for the post, but who cares?

Sunday, 9 December 2007

wiki on gay celebrities

On a fresh note, here's a new wiki that seems to have started recently. It is a new wiki hosted by wikia on Gay Celebrities. The take is nice and funny and hopefully, down the lane we will see a lot of celebrity names popping up on this wiki.

A brief excerpt from the wiki's main page:

Who cares about who's gay and who's not?

Everybody does! At least, we do, and if you're reading this, then you do too.

Why make a wiki about it?

Everybody hears rumors and has theories, but we want to know what's true. The best way to figure it out is to make a wiki about it, and let everybody keep track of it together.

Here's the link to the wiki >>>http://gaycelebrities.wikia.com/wiki/Gay_Celebrities

Friday, 7 December 2007

[scary stuff] Hacker sentenced to 110 years for extortion and hacking

Computer world reports of a hacker (Ivory D. Dickerson, 33, a civil engineer by profession) who got sentenced to 110 years in prison for hacking into underaged teenagers computer and extorting them to send compromising pictures.

This pervert (the FBI found later) had a 250 gb external harddrive among other peripherals used to store data (from his vicitims).

The post also reports of the hacker using a bifrost malware which is easily available over the internet to get into the girls' systems.

Read more on the post here. http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9051202

Monday, 3 December 2007

random photoshop antics

I was browsing through stuff in my old hard drive and some how managed to fish out this e-card that I made some time during last year (or the year before last) for my sister in law's birthday and figured it would make a funny post.

It is made a composite of roughly 10 or more images taken over different times and places . The final pictures has family members holding a big plague wishing her a happy birthday.



Here's what is written on the plaque
Aging does seems like a wonderful phenomenon
suddenly you have wrinkles where you had dimples
Everyday is a bad hair day

Highlighting your hair is an everyday necessity
Lard is not just part of your diet but very much a part of you
And there is more, lifting your a$$ is no more the same
(Apparenlty, there is more of it)

Nevertheless, it is also indicative of you wising up
its a sign of you emerging stronger and intelligent
wiser by experience through the things you have seen
and the things you have been through
Nobody can give you that or take it away from you
You are now what your years have made you
for better than for worse
You are stronger and ready to kick a$$

Happy birthday

The picture of the baby rhino "Beauty" was taken during a field visit in Chitwan. She along with another rhino are now in an Austrian zoo courtesy our Crown prince.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

I am facebooking, aren't you?

Its been some time now, facebook seems to have developed into a completely addictive surfing habit. Its not just me, its almost everybody that I know. My friends from high school, friends from college, colleagues at the office, you name 'em and they're in it.

Everybody is all raves about this new social networking tool.

We are even talking of facebook apps in real life,like
how many more in your army before you're an ancient vampire?
etc,

I am sure those still free from the facebook bug get bewildered at our pseudo-nerdy talk, and go "these guys are nuts."

I kick you, Vampires, Slayers, Superpoke are few of the apps on facebook that I frequent besides ilike, and iread. Its about sharing your musical tastes, your bibliophilic inclinations. and is just not limited to sharing bookmarks on del.icio.us or stumbleupon or digg.

Its definitely revolutionary of some sorts and Mr. Zuckerberg seems to have acquired quite a lot of moolah at a relatively young age for having developed it.
A stellar effort dude.

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Things worth checking out on the web

Of late, I have been quite nerdy, i guess; gobbling everything there is on the internet.

To shortlist a few, a wonderful resource for e-books. If you are not tired of staring at the screen all day and want to stare more, try this link. http://www.e-book.com.au/freebooks.htm#2

It hosts links to various libraries that maintain free e-books and how-to's. Its worth losing yourself into for some time.

When you're done elevating your mental acumen, feel free to degenerate yourself by enjoying these trashy but yet funny "yo mama" jokes
http://notorc.blogspot.com/2007/11/99-classic-yo-momma-jokes-insult-humor.html

& http://notorc.blogspot.com/2007/11/insult-humor-66-remarks-guaranteed-to.html

(Toot! toot! American culture; addictive and subversive)

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Corporate Shirks Environment Responsibility (Ecowatch)!!!

Gorkha brewery hit the news lately (for those unenlightened few, it's the brewery that manufactures Tuborg and Carlsberg and San Miguel beer in my country and yes Gorkha Beer and Jolly shandy as well). The Himalayan times reported that scientists from IAS Rampur found that Gorkha Brewery and Bhrikuti Paper mills were responsible for the altered water quality status in the Narayani River.

Why mention Gorkha Brewery and not Bhrikuti paper mills? The latter is and has always been highlighted and save the fact that it is a run down bankrupt company, the former makes quite a big deal about its stringent quality standards.

"....Due to stringent quality control specifications that Gorkha Brewery follows, ........ The entire brewing is strictly maintained and controlled as per the Carlsberg Breweries, Copenhagen standards used worldwide with the help of a state-of-the-art laboratory and a computer
controlled production process...." from http://www.khetan.com.np/gorkha.htm.


The gorkha brewery plant in Nawalparasi also boasts of an expensive full fledged waste water treatment plant, which is often showcased to visitors.

Tried my hands at finding the news article that reported of the incident, but searching archived material in the Himalayan Times website isn't exactly "a cup of tea". Guess, we will have to take my word for it. If Gorkha Brewery wants to have a go at me for slander, I say bring it on. Litigation isn't great about Nepal either.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Google Hottrends

Google trends publishes a daily list of key words people key in everyday across the world; Google hot trends provides an hourly update of the same.

Every time we key in search terms in Google, we also end up providing Google with information regarding our search patterns and interests. While hunting for information on the Google search engine or simply Googling for information, internet users end up dishing out information on the world's favourite on a particular hour/day.

Google also directs traffic to our sites for matching keyword searches. For instance, anyone searching for fafda jalebi will somehow drop into my blog, if s/he has the patience to go through at least the top ten results in his/her google search.

And with this little information that I have gathered, I am about to experiment and am still ambivalent about the results. nevertheless here goes nothings.

The bottom line, "I am desparate for cheap publicity, (I basically copy pasted today's key words listed on the Google hottrends.

P.S.: I have a sinking feeling that I might regret this someday :D

helloworld
2007-12-01T15:46:09Z
2007-12-01T15:46:09Z
dualistic deity
infidel author
world aids day
disney.com/hannahmontana3d
martin chuzzlewit
jon tenuta
worlds smallest horse
army navy game
kookeys
utah road conditions
john paul jones arena
joe ely
kid concoctions
sound advice amphitheater
buzz bake sale
des moines airport
atlanta christmas parade
navi rawat
hannah montana movie tickets
roger of cheers
miss world 2007
kgan
neiman marcus parade
bryce jordan center
adolphus parade
memphis marathon
kcrg
durango mountain resort
robbie knievel
kcci.com
wolf creek ski area
destination truth
new england auto show
proof of life
early warning laser and radar detector
aaja nachle lyrics
christmas tree farms
who can it be now
wcco weather
john nash
dickens on the strand
chrismas songs
eppley airfield
tickets unlimited
hot blooded lyrics
wowt.com
mercurial
sec championship
bogus
george strait tickets
www.disney.com/hannahmontana3d
van halen tickets
kwwl.com
disneychannle.com
cdot
bad santa
jerid sturman camyn
iowa dot
patricia heaton
omaha weather
wnbc.com
reindeer run
neopets advent calendar
kcrg weather
daniel tosh
les miles
coming to america
evil knievel
national hiv testing day
dv 2009
cachet
pokemoncrater.com
dv lottery
super skinny me
a beautiful mind
wowt
hr 1955
taylor stevens
iowa weather
ktiv
kwwl
bill rancic
walk on by
nebraska department of roads
sarah chalke
erik von detten
michigan service tax
jeremiah johnson
nitrome
blackberry desktop software
greek peak
bassmod.dll
ice breakers pacs
flashdance lyrics
www.kcci.com
ew 5015
zoey zander
december 1
december boys
retrokits

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Sicko!!

Happened to watch it after quite some time (the movie being released for quite some time and everything). Its definitely an eye opener, though. The movie was not great to start with, but after a while it picked up. Shortly into the movie, you covet a socialized healthcare scheme in your country as well (that might be a distant dream).


Glued to the idiot box and gobbling up everything there is on America, I guess you tend to get Americanised, and start loving all things American, including "freedom fries". This movie draws on a different perspective and highlights the woes of the middle class of America.

I don't know for sure if the movie/documentary was a work of fiction, but its definitely a good "kick up your butt" that makes you reevaluate the high standards that we (outsiders) have of all things American.

Happy movie viewing and hats off to Mr. Moore for another stellar effort for an eye opener.

On a different note, here's what Lee from Moorewatch has to say about Michael Moore.
(for the unenlightened few, Lee seems to have had a very dispassionate opinion of Michael Moore.)

Friday, 28 September 2007

Counterfeit Beer!!

Always avoid cheap beer that is readily available on the stands near railway stations in India. Judging by the number of small shops full of neatly stacked colourful beer bottles, I am guessing there are quite a few.

A sign that reads rock bottom prices enticed me towards one such stall conveniently located to the railway station gate. The vendor was more than enthusiastic to open up a bottle, even though I just happened to inquire upon the types of beer he had. So, I ended up with a bottle of beer that I supposedly ordered. Moreso, it was shoved into my hands along with a plastic cup and I am guessing I was supposed to sit on a plastic stool near the road and start drinking it all by myself.

I saw more people quietly sipping the brew and I said to myself, "What the heck, I am a foreigner here!" and poured myself a drink only to find the brew has no lather in it. On taking a sip, I realised that the brew had a distinctly watered down taste. I took another gulp just to reconfirm myself, and asked the guy what percentage of alcohol this beer had. He gleefully answered, "2 percent." I took just one sip more, trying to find a hint of the stellar taste of beer that I felt accustomed to.

A lightning bulb struck; I checked the label -it read "Thundervolt" and then I slowly read out the ingredients on the back label. This is when the moment of revelation hit me. The brew, to be precise 650 millimetres of it contained -Citric acid, sugar and carbonated water. I reread the label just in case I missed out the important ingredients like hops, barley or malt. Sadly I saw none.

My friend, I had just been had. I paid about INR 35 (roughly the equivalent to the US dollar) for water that may not even have been boiled before bottling. Bottles of "Keemfisher" and "Haward's 5000" were also being sold, both brands knockoffs of popular beer brands "Kingfisher" and "Haywards 5000".

Morale of the story: Never ever go beer tasting in unchartered territory!!

Friday, 3 August 2007

never thought it would be this difficult!!

Figured I would start a blog and be using it as my pensieve to put in my memories, musings into it so that say ten years from now I would smile at the outlandish thoughts that bemused me during my quarterlife crisis. That never seems to happen.
Why, I may ask...


Originally uploaded by dvdrtrgn

Its just that kickstarting a thing is one thing but to put things into gear and continue feeding the fire seems to be harder than releasing your bowels when you have constipation. Remember the times, when you were having a particularly bad day in the loo and you scrunch too hard and nothing comes out.. ditto!! my friends! I am currently going through much of the same.

So I guess its time for a premature hiatus from the blogging world.

Friday, 20 July 2007

made myself visible on facebook!

Finally, am there after so much ranting from people about facebook this, facebook that! And now, yes I am on facebook and i must say its impressive.
View my gallery in facebook http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=3740&l=064a4&id=593238297



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Wednesday, 18 July 2007

testing my revamped blog

see if it works?

And it did. Using FeedBurner for the first time. It lets you have all these neat links underneath each article/blog post. It also lets you syndicate your posts so that you can actually have people subscribe to your posts via RSS or atom and keeps track of the same as well. Seemed pretty off the charts for starters, but the beauty of it was all this "revamping" was done simply by reading, pointing and clicking. Very hassle free, if I may say so.

The information superhighway at your fingertips. Couldn't have been any easier.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

fire sale! Everything must go!

Saturday - the laziest day of the week!!

I was supposed to enjoy a lazy weekend afternoon watching Die Hard 4.0 with my friends. Being a mere fifteen minutes away from the theatre, I decided to walk the distance. Off the alley and onto the road, I realised a lot less vehicles plying on the road. Supposing a holiday spirit had taken on people, I carried on towards my destination. On reaching the theatre, much to my chagrin and my friends' amusement, I realised that the "Transport Entrepreneurs of Nepal" had announced a transport strike. Hence, the negligent number of vehicles.

Well, I managed to watch the movie. It was interesting to see a behemoth of a country brought down on its knees by a crew of neat hackers. Starting by crippling the transport system, followed by complete chaos in the financial markets, a "fire sale" caused a total shut down of utility services like gas, water and electricity. The shots were dramatic, and the hypothetical systemic breakdown of the United States of America was shown in neatly choreographed sequences.

It made me wonder, what it would be like, if ever such an incident were to happen in Nepal. Considering we are already with an almost empty state coffer, have intermittent bouts of availability of utilities like petroleum, electricity and water (bare human essentials), you would never need a team of hackers to bring transport to a stand still - you would only need to dress up as a policeman and slap a taxi driver. Apparently, that was the reason why our "Transport Entrepreneurs of Nepal" called a strike.

In Nepal, it is fairly easy to disrupt our system (if there ever were one). Lately, strikes are intermittent like the monsoonal rain; you do not need much to start a strike! A personal feud fuels the drive and before you know a a strike ensues- agitators forcibly close down shops, vandalise public property and well a total lock down occurs. All you need is a plausible reason to redirect the people's frustrations and there you have it. People pour out onto the roads, stop traffic and life comes to a standstill.

I often find out about who is responsible for the strike and what their demands were, well after the strike is over. I consider myself mildly well-informed, and it makes me wonder how people less fortunate than me manage.

This is Nepal (TIN) and I am loving it :-)

Thursday, 12 July 2007

make money while you surf???

I don't know much about the Web 2.0 boom. Apparently, its all about the user intervention- managing the web as a platform so that users can create and update the content as per their wishes and ability. And all of a sudden, the social networking sites are a Craze; hi5, Orkut to name a few. Google™ bought Youtube™ for quite a tidy sum. And facebox netlog seems to getting equally popular. Everybody seems to be making money that goes off the charts.

So in my endless pursuit for some spare pocket change, I am supporting some venture capitalist in promoting their venture. AGLOCO™ is this company started by a few guys from Stanford that will give members money simply for surfing. Their slogan goes Own the internet. Too good to believe? I read about the company and it seems that a majority of the founders of this company are the same guys who came up with a similar idea during the dot-com bubble burst - AllAdvantage. AllAdvantage seems to have made quite a buzz earlier and paid out $160 million to its members before finally fizzling out in 2001.

AGLOCO™
promises to pay its members initially in terms of company shares convertible into cash through the bank accounts or through Paypal. They are still writhing about a trademarked software called Viewbar™ which will monitor your surfing habits and generate revenue from ad agencies and cut members into the profit. It has created quite a buzz, but the sad part is Viewbar™ has still not made it (its still under development). People are promoting it and so am I. I have nothing to lose in promoting this "freemium" and hopefully I will gain something out of it. This time around when AGLOCO™ dishes out $160 million I want my piece of the pie:-)

To read what made me to register with AGLOCO™, go here>>

Register with with AGLOCO using my referral id 

Friday, 6 July 2007

Impressive!!

Its impressive, how people find ways to kill time, nevertheless very creative ways.....

http://www.geogreeting.com/view.html?yswzBoCCsFo

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Monday, 2 July 2007

love india


Govt. Authorised Bhang Shopphoto by Tom Maisey on flickr

A bhang shop in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.Rajastan (from:Wikipedia)

Bhang is made from marijuana and is often smoked or mixed in a cool beverage or sweets and served/sold on Holi and Shiva Ratri across the South Asian sub continent. The sweetness and the Bhang are considered a highly potent mixture that gives a real high.

Sale of Bhang is illegal across most states in India, except during Shiva ratri and Holi when the law is more lenient, and yet in the photo above the vendor is showcasing the govt. authorised sign.

funny...

Friday, 29 June 2007

faking biometrics!!

Biometrics is all the rage today, and yet people always seem to find ways around it. Retinal scans, finger prints you name it and again people fake it.

Here's how a german student found a way to copy fingerprints and seems very easy to do provided you have an expensive camera, laptop and printer at your disposal.



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Thursday, 28 June 2007

emotive chain letters

Today, I received an emotive email asking me to petition against the closure of a South African institution in Capetown that polices child abuse. Having read the email, I almost put my name on the bottom and forwarded the petition to unsuspecting friends and family. 

I Googled "Cape Town 9-month baby raped by 6 men" and found that the email was a hoax and the institution in question was never closed. Furthermore, the hoax was rampant during 2001- 2002; I received the mail five years after such a hoax was rampant. 
At first, I figured it was a crafty bastard's handiwork - an impression of a practical joke. Bored out of the quotidian life, s/he crafted a fake petition and forwarded it to friends and family.


It turns out the petition was actually taken out in 2001, among rumours of the close down of South Africa's Child Protection Unit. It has been circulating the internet ever since fueled by the average unsuspecting reader's sympathy for children and execration for paedophiles. 
The fact that, appalled by the news, 434 well intentioned people (among thousands more who received, read, signed and forwarded) had wasted bandwidth and time for a lost cause irritated me. I am sure thousands more will follow suit and only add to the waste.
Furthermore, I almost abetted in furthering a lost cause. 
The road to hell is full of fcking good intentions, ain't it! 

update: 2 November, 2008

On the contrary, the hoax chain mail does serve a purpose - it sheds light on the fact that child rapes/molestations actually do occur. In 2001, BBC reported of numerous incidents of child rapes in South Africa. According to the report, the cause behind the sudden increase in child rapes was the belief among African men that having sex with a virgin cures all STD's including AIDS.

Excerpts of the chain mail
~~~~-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------~~~
Outrage in South Africa … Last week a 3 year old girl was beaten and raped … The man responsible was released … If you are too busy to read this then … The Government is planning to close the child protection unit and this is a petition against it … You may have already heard that there’s a myth in South Africa that
having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS … Recently in Cape Town, a 9-month-old baby was raped by 6 men. Please think about that for a moment … Please don’t be complacent, do something … You can make a difference …
~~~-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------~~~
  Excerpts of news reports of the actual incident

~~~-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------~~~
A 9-month old baby girl is in a serious condition in hospital in Upington after having been raped by 6 adult men, who were allegedly all drunk at the time. The child's teenaged mother was arrested at the same time, also allegedly drunk. ("Raped baby faces series of operations", DailyNews 30 October 2001).
("Not even animals would do this", The Star 29 October 2001). The men's ages ranged from 24 to 66. If they
weren't too drunk to "get it up" and physically rape the child, then they certainly weren't too drunk to know what they were doing. And that's the really horrifying thing.
~~~-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------~~~
There's more on this story here

Read Truthorfiction.com's take on the story.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

pirated DVDs

watched prison break Season 2 untill 3 in the morning and hence a groggy morning at the office. So, now forth!!
No more pirated DVDs..... lol!!

Resolutions, Resolutions!!
So many, and yet so fickle!!!

Prison break Here i come!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

kudos to politics !!!

had an expert lawyer at work today.. talked a lot about international water treaties.. ended up conferring that politics is the best route towards settling disputes!!! politics! dirty game, but happens to solve problems





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Monday, 11 June 2007

On what fafda jalebi is !!!

fafda jalebi is my niche on the web, created just so that I can share my ramblings, rants and raves with fellow netizens. 

Q:Why the name?
A: I wanted to start with a unique name.

Q:Why settle for fafda jalebi of all the other available concoctions?
A
: I have always had a sweet-tooth and also because of a particular incident that still brings a smile on my face.

Q: What of the incident?

A: While
discussing Indian cuisine and desserts in particular over a breakfast or lunch session at the SSDS workshop in Bangalore, a fellow participant (and a very dear friend) burst out,
"Have you tried any fafda jalebi? "
His sudden outburst, and introduction to a completely new entity had all of us laughing; a very nasal tone must have added to the humour. What followed were his exuberant raves about fafdajalebi and us cracking up even more.

Throughout the workshop, everyone called him by his new nickname - fafda jalebi. The name has stuck on my head ever since.

update on Oct 12, 2008
For the unordained millions and the confused housewives who ended up on my blog searching for a recipe for fafda jalebi.

Q:So, what exactly is fafda jalebi?
A: Fafda jalebi, is this supposedly salty sweet concoction of fafda and jalebi that Gujratis and residents of Ahmedabad love. This is a seriously popular Indian delicacy popular around Dussera.


jalebi from flickr
photo by Chiragkpatel on flickr

jalebis by Andra Kirkby
photo byAndrea Kirkby on Flickr

Q: Have I tried any?
A: Sadly, no! But I hope to!

Q: Do I have a recipe?
A: Nope, but they do:

P.S: In case, you were looking for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and ended up here.. stop typing with just one hand... or get a typing tutor.. :)

P.S: Do let me know, how your fafda jalebi turned out in the comments section.

Regards,
Utsav

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