Blog moved to http://karteek.selfdabba.com

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Moving out of Blogger

Well, its the time for me to part from Blogger.

I was with blogger up to now for the following reasons -

  1. It's a service from Google
  2. It's a service from Google
  3. It's a service from Google

Finally, I'm moving to my own domain. Things taken care of are ...

  1. Didn't use Blogger service there. It's wordpress !
  2. No black design. A friend complained a lot about color
  3. All the posts and comments migrated to the new blog

So, its time to announce my new blog

http://karteek.selfdabba.com/

And, btw, if you think you are close enough to me or good enough as a blogger and interested in blogging at yourname.selfdabba.com, let me know at karteek [at] selfdabba [dot] com or my personal email which you would be knowing. I'll do my part.

Anyway, Catch you at Self Dabba

PS : Don't forget to update your bookmarks/blogrolls/feed readers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Road Not Taken

The following is the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost which I saw in my school days.


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Wondering what is so special about this poem ? The poem can be related to all our lives. All our decisions. When you are going to take some big decision, you think a lot, you take advice from your friends, relatives, seniors.

After all that, you take some decision - which is going to change atleast some smaller or bigger part of your life. You might feel that the decision which you made is not good for you or may be the choice which you didn't select was a great one. Well, there could be a chance that you can trace back and do the missed option. But, not every one could be that lucky.

I've taken many not-so-big decisions up to now - like "Further Studies" or "Job" ... Actually, I don't know whether it's big or not. But, I can certainly tell that, my decision was completely biased one. Job looked desperate for me when I was taking that decision. To be clear, Job @ My Current Employer looked like LIFE to me. But, after took that decision, life was steady for 6 months. Then, the factor which made be biased towards Job felt like nothing. I started thinking about the Road Not Taken ... but, I actually never felt that I did something wrong just coz, I'm happy with my Job even if life wasn't so happy.

Now, I've a decision to make. A road to be taken. Both roads look good to me. One road is a high-paced all-comfort all-people-want-to-go road which all usually prefer. One road is a different-yet-great scenic-country-road which I would enjoy to the core. But, here I'm not biased towards any of those roads so that I can take a faster decision like I did previously. I wish, there's a reason as strong as my previous one which would make me biased towards one of those roads.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gutsy Gibbon - A Step Ahead ?

Tribe 3 is on the move now to become Gutsy Gibbon next Thursday, which actually managed to impress most of the people out there. Gutsy Gibbon is coming; with lots of hopes on its shoulders.

If you are thinking what the hell is this ??? Well, never mind, I'm talking about the new release of Ubuntu Linux Distribution. Probably, you want to read about Vista rather than this ;)

If you are wondering, what is Gutsy Gibbon bringing with it; It's bringing hopes of several Linux lovers of Linux becoming a desktop ready OS. Dell and some other vendors are already selling some of their Laptop and PC models with Linux pre-installed in them. But, the present day situation is little different that Linux is not really so friendly that any one can just start using it as simple they use Windows.

If you are probably a Linux user already, the features worth looking forward in Gutsy Gibbon are

  • Faster Desktop Search
  • Compiz Fusion by default
  • AppArmor security framework
  • Improvements in Firefox plugins
  • Better support for audio/video codecs
  • Graphical configuration tool for X.org
  • Faster User Switching in shared machines
  • Printer auto-detection
  • Better handling for commercial drivers
  • Better support for NTFS

What is Gutsy Gibbon doing to Linux ?

Well, Ubuntu is just one flavor Linux, and it's giving it's best to take Linux one step ahead of becoming a Desktop OS.

What is so good about Linux ?

This question surprises me a lot. To be very clear, everything is great about Linux. It's got a sexy interface, if you don't trust me, take a look at what Compiz can do. If you don't want any GUI interface, you are TEH GUY for Linux, it welcomes you with a very useful shell. It's got almost every tool you use on windows, check LinuxAlt for more information. It gives you more control on your computer than windows. It lets you do MORE useful stuff with your computer rather than burning your computer cycles for checking those stupid commercial DRM rights. If you are a casual user, you need not spend thousands of your hard earned money just to buy one crippled OS which never gives you for your money.

Is Linux nearly a step ahead of becoming Desktop OS ?

Well, the answer is not with just me. It depends on the "particular" user. A user like me will be comfortable with Linux obviously coz, it does everything what windows do, but, if you are some games freak or if you need Photoshop, well, Linux can't help you much other than giving you some decent alternatives.

What does it mean if you are still reading this post ?

It means nothing that you are little bored of your Windows, and you are little scared of trying/buying the new OS from Microsoft - Vista. And, yes, you are thinking about something good. Just, grab your LiveCD from Ubuntu, and pop the CD and reboot. Ubuntu will boot from the CD without installation. If you like it, you can install it beside your "windows" installation without doing any harm to your files.

You can download the ISO of the CD from Ubuntu site or order a free copy of Ubuntu from its "ShipIt" service.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jaiku is acquired by Google

Opensource collaboration suite Zimbra was acquired by Yahoo few days before. Now, Jaiku - A Twitter wannabe or a twitter killer or what ever you want to take it as, is acquired by Google.

If you don't know what's twitter and what can be done using twitter, It is a micro-blogging platform that allows users to send updates via SMS, IM or email. If you want to know what it does, there is a simple and straight forward tip posted at nexuz.

If you want to see the comparison between Jaiku and Twitter to make your choice of selection of the service, here is a very good prizefight between Jaiku and Twitter @ CNET TV.

For Google, it's count++ on mobile services as well as social networking. I started to love these 2.0 wars, let's see what's the next thing going to be sold on the market.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

x/10 of rediff :P

Well, when you hate something, you've to accept that it got your attention in a way or other. So, you tend to think about it. I'm no excuse. Just coz, I hate rediff, I started looking for XSS (Cross Site Scripting) bugs. Well, there are a total of listed in XSSed and I found a good number to prove that rediff is a very-bad coded portal. One can view this page to see the bugs and see the elite-ness of rediff.

The important services of that are vulnerable, which are offered by rediff include its homepages and shopping. If you remember those dark old days of orkut when those so-called hackers took over communities they hate, it was done by exploiting the XSS vulnerability in orkut, that time. Now, you can understand, whoever have their homepages on rediff, or/and people who do shopping @ rediff are not using a secure service.

PS: Having XSS in a site doesn't make it a worst site as even MS, Google, Yahoo had/have them. Even the MNC which I work for, had a similar bug in their portal, but, it was fixed as soon as they were notified through a specific channel. But, I don't know why portals like rediff and mouthshut employ stubborn webmasters who hate to accept that their code has bugs. They must have either ignored or never read my mails.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Nobel, Peace and The Currency Guy

He is a British-educated lawyer
He is the first "colored" lawyer admitted to the bar in South Africa
He invented a new weapon for fighting - Ahimsa
He is the Father of the Nation which boasts being biggest democracy

The above hints might not be helpful for current generation to identify our Bapu. But, certainly there are couple of hints which might be of very helpful for them in identifying him.

The old guy who talks to Munna Bhai in Lage Raho Munna Bhai movie

This hint might be very helpful for the current generation kids to identify him. But, in India, politicians, often being under-educated than a sixth class student would be knowing a lot about Abu Bhai or Dawood Bhai, but not the "first" Bhai of "South Africa". I've a very easy hint for them to identify the person who made India to appear on World Map as India.

Politician uncle, I'm talking about the smiling person on our currency notes

Now, I don't think there would be any Indian who didn't manage to recognize the hero of this post. I'm not a fan of him personally but I'm a very big fan of one of his weapons to fight against Injustice - Non-cooperation. Sorry, I don't remember the exact dialogue, below is "form" of a dialogue taken from one movie

Do whatever you want. I will accept the punishment you give. And after it's over, I will do the same what I've done for what you've punished me

In the movie, he states that he learned this technique from his wife, and the fact is I've seen same form of war-tactic in almost every girl/woman I've seen.

United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution declaring Bapu's birthday (2nd October) to be the "International Day of Non-Violence." Bapu, being the person who flashes in any person's mind when he listens to the word "peace" was nominated for the Nobel peace prize five times, in 1937, 1938, 1939,1947 and 1948, but wasn't given the Nobel Prize. However, recently, Michael Sohlam, the Executive Director of Nobel Foundation in Sweden said that not awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize was a great mistake done by the Nobel Foundation. May be, it was Bapu's wish not to be awarded the prize given on the name of the inventor of "dynamite" and owner of "Bofors"

No doubts about it. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi a.k.a Bapu a.k.a our Currency Guy is one of the Greatest Gifts given to India by God.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Artificial Love

 [Taken with Canon Digital Rebel XTi on 30 Sep 2007, 12.20 AM]
I'll give you all I got
If that's what you want
I'll give you what I got and more
But just see me through and through
That's all you got to do
But don't you dare give dare give dare give me
Artificial Love
 [Taken from Bambi - Artificial Love]

 
I like flowers, especially flowers with water drops on them. When ever I see them, I couldn't stop myself from capturing them. Almost all the snaps I take are special to me. I see them again and again. While taking them, I take so much time that my friends usually get frustrated by the time I take to take a single shot. As I try to give 100% of myself to that particular shot while framing it, some times, I get decent shots like the above one.

You need not observe the picture carefully to find that the flower is artificial, but if you have to see carefully to find that those drops are not water drops. I really don't have anything to tell anything about the camera or the shot or the mode or the focal length used to take the shot. There is something different I sense from the picture.

It's beautiful. But, it's fake ... just like that special "someone" you met in your life. Everyone of us would have met that "someone" atleast once in our lives. That "someone" could be the person whom you've loved sincerely or the person whom you would have considered as your best friend or even a person from your family. If you think that you haven't, the truth could be you haven't sensed it or you are just one lucky person in this world. But, when you come to know that you are not a lucky person, all you would be doing is tracing through the steps written in one of my previous posts.

Everyone of us would have had some minor to major crushes or even serious loves which failed. For "you" who is reading this right now and comparing the artificiality of this flower to the artificiality of love that your "Ex" showed you ... I've one thing to tell you.

The flower is fake just like her love
No big deal of blaming her now
The drops are fake so were your tears
Even a cyclone stops as the sky clears
You moved on for the greater future
That's the same you would get for sure
 [Some random rhyme is never a crime]
 

I wrote this blog post without thinking. One random thought and a very random post. If it makes any meaning, good; otherwise sorry for wasting your time. In a nutshell, I wanted to tell you one thing - If you are a victim of artificial love, just move on. It's everywhere.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Check De India

Even though, all my optimist expectations on World Cup became true, I had a very pessimist expectations on outcomes of Indian win.

  1. Twenty20 World Cup will be conducted once in every two years. Does that mean, once in two years, there are more chances of mobs burning effigies of cricketers or cricket board as well as state governments pouring money on cricketers.
  2. Yuvi is given 1 crore as well as a Porsche 911 by BCCI for his 6 sixers on England and 70-run knock in Aussie match. India played like a team where Yuvi made his mark in 2 out of 6 matches, where as contributions of players like Gambhir, Uthappa, RP Singh, Irfan Pathan, Bajji and even Sreesanth were of greater use in remaining matches. We need to remember that Yuvi was indirect reason for the defeat with NZ giving 38 runs in 3 overs (20 odd runs in single over) runs in single over and scoring just 5 runs in the match. When each and every player played an equally important role in the series, those two giant goodies from the board went only to Yuvi which can certainly make remaining players think.
  3. Goodies given to the players by their respective state governments is a different thing. But, this is made an issue by players of another game, Hockey. Indian Hockey Team, which won Asia Cup without losing a single match and with record performances like thrashing Sri Lanka with 20-0 certainly couldn't withstand the step-motherly treatment for the national game by central and state governments and is now planning to go on a hunger strike.

When a go-straight brain like mine could see so many problems, I wonder what would those complicated brains perceive all this.

Taking all these complications into account, Indian Government either has to check all these goodies given "only" to cricketers or it should start giving bank checks with similar numbers on it to players of other games too.

Update: The complicated brains have started analysis on "Why was Team India in the back row ?" while the front row was occupied by great ministers of Maharashtra and greater BCCI crowd. Great to see that it became a political heavy weights' meeting rather than the function to honor the World Cup winning team.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Good Luck Chak De and Analysis

If you are sent here by a search engine when you were looking for the English Movie "Good Luck Chuck", please click here.

Wondering whether a movie can bring Good Luck to a nation ? A definite logical answer to the question is "No". Not Just "No", but it's "NO!!!"

But, let's trace through this time line

  • August 10, 2007 - Chak De India starring SRK is released
  • August 29, 2007 - Football, India won Nehru Cup [1]
  • September 9, 2007 - Hockey, India won Asia Cup [2]
  • September 24, 2007 - Cricket, India won T20 World Cup [3]

Lets do the analysis on the above wins.

1. Football, I knew that India had a football team, but never knew that it can even win a cup. The only cup it wins is South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup participated by Maldives (165), Pakistan (179), Afghanistan (191), Sri Lanka (166), Bangladesh (175), Nepal (185), Bhutan (197) and of course India (145). The numbers in brackets are rankings given by FIFA to the national teams of respective countries. Don't wonder if there are 197 nations in the world looking at Bhutan's rank, there should be; atleast according to FIFA, there are 200 ranks and 208 nations. As per the above rankings, India should be the obvious winner of SAFF Cup. On the other hand, participant nations of Nehru Cup '07 are Syria (123), Kyrgyzstan (149), Cambodia (178), Bangladesh (175) and India. Obvious finalists are India and Syria and India won with 1-0 score which no-one expected as India never reached Finals of Nehru Cup.

2. Hockey, despite being national game of India is often neglected. But this year, Asia Cup is a very special tournament for India as they entered as defending champions. India started this tournament with a very mediocre win of 1-0 on China. Later, India played at its best while thrashing Sri Lanka with 20-0, Thailand with 16-0. In final, they out performed Korea with 7-2, all the seven goals being field goals. India ended the tournament with 57 goals and just 5 goals against them without a single defeat.

3. Cricket, after the dismal performance at 2007 World Cup, no one expected India to win Twenty20 World Cup. Seniors understood that they can't play this type of fast paced game and took leave from this tournament. Guess, this was the new beginning for the team with just love for the game and hardly any experience. Knocked out two great teams South Africa and Australia and won a thrilling match over the arch rivals Pakistan in finals. No other win can be sweeter than this.

Football, After 13 tries, Indian Team won Nehru Cup
Hockey, India thrashing Korea to defend title, not with Penalty Corners but with high quality Field Goals. BTW, Entire Chak De squad were there to support Team India for the final.
Cricket, After world cup first round exit, just after losing ODI series to England, with experience of JUST ONE International Twenty20 match, leaving seniors behind, with a captain who is leading his first tournament, with performances not by a single player, India WON the first Twenty20 Cricket World Cup. SRK was there on the final.

All this happened just after the movie is released. I'm being silly trying to convince that Movie could be the reason for India's luck. But, I'm sure that all the three teams must have followed what SRK told in the movie.

Play for India first, then for the team, if anything is still left then play for yourself

Any Indian cricket fan can tell that this hardly happened in our team, till this tournament. Chak De India !

Monday, September 24, 2007

India Did It :-)

I always had hopes that India will reach finals of any tournament I thought I would never see them as champions. Finally, thanks to captaincy of Dhoni and God of luck; India did it.

Won final of a tournament - Made me happy
Final of World Cup - Made me damn happy
Final against Pakistan - I'm jumping with joy !!!

I jumped with joy as soon as India won, but I forgot that I'm sitting the living room where there is a fan above my head running at its highest speed. Result - India won, I had a very bad cut on my hand (I can see a nerve !!!) First thing to do in the morning is .. to consult a doctor.

Thanks to Dhoni, Gambir, Pathans, RP, Sreesanth, Jogi, Imran Nazir, Misbah for a great final. Thanks to Yuvi, RP, Irfan, Dhoni and Sreesanth for a great tournament. Thanks to Agarkar for staying outside final eleven. Even bigger thanks to Sachin, Sourav and Rahul for staying out of the tournament itself. BTW, to be very neutral, Pakistan was at its best today. They played a very good game - just, the God of Luck was looking at us.

Update : Cut was too deep. Had to go to doctor now itself. Came out with two stitches :-)

Jack of all trades - The Darker Side

The following is a technology related stuff and The Darker Side of Me and a very very very long "essay" about me. Be warned.

Gone are the days when I didn't know how to shut down a windows PC. When I use to call those so-called "engineers" to fix my PC and shell out an extra buck to get some games installed on my box. I remember the day when my cousins made fun of me for switching off that PC as if the OS was DOS. Good old days and nights of "Age of Empire". Hours and Hours of "Road Rash" and "Need for Speed". One fine day, which almost changed my life in a smaller sense, a friend of my dad forgot the password for a word Document he kept and asked me whether I can do anything to find it.

It was the day, I saw the darker side of the Computing World, the security world. I searched in Google (that time, its a cool new search engine introduced by my cousin. Thank You Ark) to find out how password of a word document can be cracked. I managed to find one software which can crack it, but it was shareware. Then, I saw that it was software one has to buy, but my cousin Ark told me that there is a software named "Serials2K" which will have serial number for any software. I was pretty much impressed by the software, but, being little different, I wanted to know how the guys find those keys. My question was answered by a process named "Reverse Engineering". But, it wasn't enough for me, I wanted to learn how to do it. Then, I found a forum where some folks claimed to know that art and are teaching guys there. That forum had over 4000 members with weird names a.k.a handles. I became one of them and started learning about computers. But, my skills weren't improving in the skill I wanted to learn (Reverse Engineering) but at Social Engineering. I became one of the moderators of the board, then one of the administrators of the board, then administered their IRC server. When having admin access to  the board, I learned PHP, Perl and Python. As part of my curriculum, I learned C, C++, Java, VB. Then, being at a board, I saw the culture of "clans" in the board, where another board members use to come to our board and spam/flame/do_crap at our board. Our answer was a simple deface of their site, which introduced me to the lowest level of computer security skills. Then, my interests changed to VIRUSes and then I collected source codes of 1000 viruses, through which I wanted to learn coding viruses but never earned those skills or simply never tried to be malicious.

Then, the greatest turn of my life came, when I was introduced to a site named "try2hack" which dealt with so-called "hacking" simulations. This is the start of the brighter side of my internet life. I left all those kiddie and illegal things along with those boards, closed my clans, ditched those emails, forgot those net-friends a.k.a clan mates (except one) and then I solved all of them within couple of weeks and then started looking for similar sites, then I finally found the site which helped me to learn so many things - Net Force.

Net-Force is the site which doesn't support any illegal a.k.a hacking activities but it gives a very good simulation at the real stuff. There are 8 categories (Javascript, Java Applets, Cryptography, Exploits, Cracking, Programming, Internet and Steganography) with a total of 93 challenges. Challenges of various levels from basic tutorials to very hard challenges. I managed to solve 82 of them up to now. I learned something from each and every challenge and I'm glad that I learned them. The domain of challenges is so wide that you will learn atleast a little about a wide variety of topics.

I'm what I'm right now with little knowledge about a wide variety of topics - Jack of all trades. I never mastered anything up to now. But, I want to be a master in one. I've chosen two topics in which I want to be more than a Jack. One of them being XSS and another is SQL Injections. I started learning about XSS already. My progress is at XSSed. It is an archive of XSS vulnerabilities in various web applications as well as sites ordered by PageRank. I wish, one day, I will be a master at something.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pay Back Time

23 March 2003, South Africa
Finals - World Cup Cricket. Dream of a nation and prestige for a nation. Dream shattered by The Mighty Oz.

22/23 September 2007, South Africa
Semi Finals - Twenty20 World Cup Cricket. A team of youngsters with most of them playing their first international series. On the other side, its The Mighty Oz, but without their kingpin Ponting. Odds of winning for the World Champions were double than that of India as per newspapers, former Indian cricketers etc etc.

Indians started slow, but Yuvi came out with a brilliant knock of 70 in 30 balls to help India in keeping a respectable target of 189 on the board. Aussies made a decent start and were on the winning edge till 14th over. Daemon named "Hayden" was walking down the pitch to hit the balls over the boundary line. Same thing happened in 2003, when Ganguly couldn't do anything and gave up trying something new. This time Dhoni had a trick to support his bowlers. He kept just behind the wickets even for the pace bowlers to make sure that the batsmen won't walk down the pitch and not only just hit sixes but also hit down the confidence levels of the bowlers. I don't know whether this worked out or not as those sixes didn't stop, but bowlers were atleast not on their worst confidence levels. Sreesanth was aggressive, extremely good in his bowling and sent two dangerous batsmen - Gilchrist and Hayden to pavilion. Bajji was very good in saving the runs. Indians were never tensed through out the game even when Aussies were in a commanding position of the game, thanks to new skipper Dhoni. They just played a comfortable game. Finally, its the pay back time. Indians took their revenge after four years by sending the Mighty Oz out of the tournament by winning over them for the first ever time in any World Cup.

I'm sure that Aussies are no Gods but daemons but, today's match reminded me one quote from the movie Superman

For Surely As Night Follows Day, There Comes A Time When Gods Must Die

My optimist side of brain was correct in sensing the best ever World Cup final, Cricket can have - India Vs Pakistan. Pakistan never won on India in a world cup. The max they achieved was a tie in this world cup. Pakistan is playing extremely well. It undefeated in the total tournament. But, Now, my optimist side of the brain senses the best ever World Cup win India can have - A World Cup final win by defeating Pakistan. Lets see what's going to happen. Good Luck Team India. Still, My biased heart loves you without Sachin and Sourav.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Unlucky RSA and the lucky Oz

No !!! I'm not going to talk about RSA algorithm for signing and encryption, but about Republic of South Africa. And its about South African cricket team.

Even though I'm not a hardcore fan of cricket I follow the results of almost all the matches. As an Indian, Team India is the team which I always want to win. But, if the match is not RSA Vs India, then my obvious favorite is RSA.

They always start great, but most of the times, they end up coming out in * Finals. They've won only two big trophies - ICC Champions and Commonwealth Games in 1998 even though they deserve many more wins.

Coming to 2007, First ICC Twenty20 World Cup, they started great with a good win on West Indies over a mammoth score of 205. Then, decent wins on Bangladesh and England booked their spot in Super Eights. Another decent win on New Zealand. By the last match in Super Eights, South Africa is the only team which didn't lose a single match. As usual, their bad luck followed them, and they lost a crucial match.

One single match - One loss in the total tournament - Their dreams shattered - They are out of race - Not even in the final four.

On the other hand, in the deeper parts of my biased brain, there is a team which I always hated. I hated them not because they are no. 1, but because of the reasons I never knew. I hated them even before they were the champions. The team is none other than the Mighty Oz. They were very lucky in this particular tournament. They lost to Zimbabwe in their first match. They lost to Pakistan in Super Eights. I'm completely biased in calling their emphatic win over Sri Lanka as a lucky win as I felt like it was very unlucky day for the Lankans as they hardly play that pathetic.

On the optimist side of my brain, I sense a very much awaited final in the history of cricket - World Cup Final between India and Pak. Lets see, what's going to happen. Good luck Team India. My biased heart loves you without Sachin and Sourav.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yahoo! acquired Zimbra

If you've seen a collaboration suite which is completely browser based and works like charm ... you must have seen Zimbra. Well, if you haven't seen anything like that, you can take a look at Zimbra demo page.

Well, it's bought by Yahoo! Guess Google guys were sleeping when Yahoo! was doing this deal with Zimbra. Hope this works out very well. Yahoo! has committed to keep the open source edition open.

Yahoo! is excited about Zimbra and is planning to implement it inside for its own employees. BTW, Satish Dharmaraj, CEO of Zimbra made the deal for $350M in cash.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

D.O.A.P - Fiction Doped for Acceptance

I realized today that I can easily be influenced by a movie. Of course, not by any movie; but certainly by a very good movie. Michael Moore's two documentaries Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko made me believe what ever he has shown in the movie. I almost believed some of those Theories after watching few documentaries.

Today, I realized that I shouldn't believe everything that I see in those documentaries. The reason behind that realization is "Yet another documentary".

So, what is that documentary about ?
It's about Assassination of President Bush.
What ????? Documentary ???? About President Bush ?? Was Senior Bush killed ??
Come on .... None is killed.
Then WTF is that documentary about ????
It's about .... assassination of George W. Bush, current President of USA on 19 Oct, 2007
Dude, WTF are you talking about ???

I'm talking about a documentary named Death of a President which was released in 2006. Its a fictional documentary. But, if you keep me in a dungeon for one total year without newspaper or television or internet and show this documentary after an year, I would certainly believe that this total documentary is true. Director took interviews of people, how used archive footage, he even used computer effects to make us feel like we are watching real stuff.

Its obvious that documentary was very well taken. But, I wanted to understand what the director really wanted to convey with this movie. Wikipedia tells that the film covers topics of civil disobedience, racial profiling, the reduction of civil liberties, sensationalism and just-war theory. But, my thoughts were not limited to just those topics.

I was constantly thinking about those old documentaries which I watched and liked/believed so much. I was thinking about dialogue in the movie "Die Hard 4.0" - "The news is completely manipulated". Those fake sting operations, the unnecessary media attentions, what ever is happening right now in this world made me feel one thing. Should I really believe what I'm watching on those news channels ? As some great person once told ... For every story there are three versions ... Your version, My version and The Truth.

What ever my thoughts, I understood one thing. No big deal in documentaries, they can biased or even wrong. What else can I understand, I just saw a documentary taken so well about the assassination of a person who is alive and who would be thinking about another war right now. Now, I've to rethink about old documentaries too.

Finishing touch and question for you ... Can 21st century media be defined as Fiction Doped With Sensationalism for Acceptance ?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Denial to Acceptance

This post is going to be lengthy. I've decided not to miss or skip anything unless I make myself clear; very clear. I read about this in a management book by Andrew S Grove - Only The Paranoid Survive. The book is about exploiting crisis points that challenge every company. Those crisis points which can make business diminish or make them grow enormous.

While reading that book, I understood one thing - Crisis points not only challenges any company. There are so many crisis points in our individual lives. Points like ..

  1. Failing in a dream-examination
  2. Dumped by your loved one
  3. Losing your loved ones
  4. Even ... a kid losing his favorite toy

All those points, which influence your life more or less can be taken as crisis points in your life coz, they change your lifestyle; for atleast some time.

Andy Grove tells that each crisis point is taken by a company in different states. On further research, I found some page on the net dealing with some health disorder which tells that most individuals face those crisis points of their life in five stages - Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. For some individuals, some stages are lengthier, some are shorter, some stages don't even come. In brief, the stages can be explained as ...

1. Denial - The "No, not me" stage
This stage is filled with disbelief and denial. Company or individual thinks that what ever is happening in their life is NOT happening. They think that its a bad dream.

Individual who failed the exam won't accept the fact that he/she failed. The person who was dumped prefers to think that its a nightmare. If the person is dead, individuals won't accept their death. You could have seen people talking to dead bodies for some time.

2. Anger/Resentment - The "Why me ?" stage
This stage results in anger at the person whom you perceive as reason for everything.

Failed guy scolding the examiner or his friend who disturbed him during his preparation. Dumped person's anger on the guy/girl who was close to their loved ones. God would be usual target for family of dead person. Kids jumping at some one near by them when they've lost their toy.

3. Bargaining - The "If I do this, you'll do that" stage
Negotiation for the change in the situation is the objective of this stage.

Can I bribe and get myself on passed list ??? You could have heard that atleast once in your life when your friend's have failed examinations. Dumped cases - I will quit smoking, I will quit drinking, I will quit doing this, I will quit doing that .. just come back to my life. When people are lost, the very common dialogue you heard from old people is .. "Why him ... why not me ???" They really want to bribe themselves for the lost person's life just coz, it won't happen ;)

4. Depression - The "It happened" stage
Realization of the fact happens in this stage. People do realize that whatever is happened is truth.

Damn, I should apply for the exam again. Man, Its pain. I can't work so hard again. Not again !!! Dumped cases - Long beard, bottle in hands, poetry on lips, face in heart, tears on eyes, suicide as an option, depression as whole. People who lost loved ones - Crying; lots of crying. Nothing else. Same as kids who lost toys.

5. Acceptance - The "Its over. What next ?" stage
Changes accepted. Points noted. Everything's over. Yes, its already out of control What should I do now ?

Okay, Now, I've to apply for the exam again. When's the exam date ? I should start preparing well for the exam atleast this time. Dumped cases - She is gone, but I'm not. I really should find someone else who wont be such a bad bch to leave me. That babe looks great. Will she be a good choice ? God, wish me all the best. Dead people are dead. They are lucky that they are dead. What's the plan for tomorrow ? That old toy is gone. Now, DAD !! I want a new Play Station 3 !!!

What ever Grove wrote about Crisis points and how companies deal with is true to core even in our personal lives. Things do happen like this. Just the fact is that, people with higher Intelligence Quotient and lesser Emotional quotient traverse through the above five stages faster than the others.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Magician with stick in his hand

There is one Indian Portal which writes articles like ... who is the hottest item girl, Sharapova in sizzling red etc etc, but it won't write that today (Aug 29) is National Sports Day. That is why Arjun awards as well as Khel Ratna awards are given today.

Why do we celebrate Aug 29 as National Sports Day ? It is coz, its birthday of a great guy, who can be compared to Pele, Sir Don Bradman when it comes to his particular sport. To be frank, he is considered as the greatest player ever played that game. But, it is sad that we don't know him as much as we know Anna Kournikova or Sania Mirza even though they are mediocre in their game.

His game was superior that many people thought that he is magician. Tokyo officials broke his stick to search for magnet in it and tried to console themselves telling that he added some sort of glue. He was supposedly offered a place of Field Marshal in German Army by Adolf Hitler. Guess, you got it now. He is none other than Dhyan Chand. It is very sad that I can't see/hear his name on any portal or a news channel today when National Sports Day is celebrated on occasion of his birthday.

To finish, He was part of India's first three Olympics Gold winning National Hockey Team. Team India reached finals of Olympics eight times in a row and won seven Golds and one Silver. In this not-so favorite game of Indians(favorite being Cricket), India won eight Olympic Golds and Aus, with four Olympic Golds is second in the table.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Don't Eat My Cookie

Uhmmm, will you guys understand if start writing about XSS ??? If you understand, good, if you don't, great, as it tells that you've so many other things in your life to worry about than mere security on a web site. But, in order to understand what I'm writing here, you've to know little about XSS - Cross Site Scripting.

XSS, in simple terms is a computer security vulnerability found in web applications which allow code injection by bad guys. The bugs can be exploited to craft powerful phishing attacks including stealing credentials.

Why am I writing about this ? Yesterday, I found couple of XSSes in two big Indian web sites. Rediff and MouthShut. I've reported to MouthShut about the vulnerability, but not rediff (Sorry rediff, I hate you) The below screenshot is XSS in MouthShut. If they've fixed, you can see it here.

As I hate rediff, and I didn't report to rediff, I don't want to post about rediff's XSS. But, You can see that rediff is STUPID by giving some weird chars (hint : Vulgar fraction for ½ brained rediff) as input in its search box.

So, how do you escape from such kind of attacks ??? See my last post. Fire-up your fox with NoScript. It saves you from bad guys of this world.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fire-up your fox !!

Before firing up my fox, I want to write few lines about the synonym of internet - Internet Explorer

MSIE has been the most widely used browser. It had usage share of about 95% in 2004. The share was very high coz of few reasons like ... Most of the desktops run on Windows. IE is the default browser in Windows and most of the users dint give a damn about what they are using as long as it finishes their work. Opera was an alternative but wasn't free. Netscape navigator became one "buggy" product without any innovation which was a super hero among browsers in 90s.

But, in the second half of 2004, a new kid of entered the scene and started to take over the screen. Name was Phoenix, Mozilla Phoenix. Later the name was changed to Mozilla Firebird then to Mozilla Firefox coz of trademark issues. It decreased the usage share of MSIE from 95 to 86 in 2 years !!!

Firefox is considered as the best browser by many companies but not limited to Forbes, PC World. Firefox dint become a great browser all by itself, but by the features as well as the big developer community which develops plugins for it to do various tasks. Well, now we will see how to Fire UP our Firefox to do various tasks.

  • NoScript - Extra extra Java Script protection for your firefox
  • Greasemonkey - Customize the way your webpages look with thousands of free scripts from userscripts.org
  • Adblock plus - Get rid of all those ad banners
  • FoxyTunes - Control any media player and find lyrics, covers, videos with single click
  • Fasterfox - Tweak performance of Firefox
  • FireBug - Web development evolved ;)
  • Themes - Make your great browser look great ;)

You will certainly feel that Firefox is 200% better that IE6/7 with all the extra added security as well as features. BTW, take a look at new product based on Firefox, Mozilla Firefox Campus Edition

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Register ? Globals ? What ???

I deal with little PHP at my work. Some of my teamies also deal with php. One of my teamies who left for some other company, created a great application which is a shopping cart with certain _damn_cool_ features. He used php do some stuff.

Someone else wanted to see that tool again, and another teamie tried installing it on a laptop. He was reading Installation Manual for the application, where I saw one point as .. "Set register_globals to ON"

As a security enthusiast, I always read about "how not to do" a lot. I still remember that most controversial change in php of setting default value for register_globals was changed to ON from OFF. When I came back to the scene, I can smell one thing. One possible security breach. Registering Globals can really go fatal for the application sometimes when the logic is bad.

Consider the following code snippet

<?php
if (authenticated_user()) {
$authorized = true;
}
if ($authorized) {
    include "/highly/sensitive/data.php";
}

?>

In the above snippet (from php.net) if you can see that if the user is authenticated, a variable $authorized is defined with value "true". If value of variable $authorized is true, highly sensitive data is included.

The logic doesn't look flawed from the exoskeleton of the code. But, it is very bad logic to code such kind of application ... especially when register_globals are on.

When register_global are set to on, one can create a variable through a request. Now, if we call the above code as

access.php?authorized=1

What's going to happen now ? If I'm authenticated_user(), fine. I've every right to access the data. If I'm not, $authorized is created with value 1 as we are creating it using our GET request and this gives me access to the sensitive data which I'm not allowed to access. Here, this can be avoided by creating $authorized with value false on top of the code.

You can know more about this security issue at php.net If you are using php << 4.2.0, Don't forget to change the directive register_globals to OFF or take proper care to secure your code. If you are using php >> 4.2.0, you need not worry much about this as the default value is OFF. This directive is going to be removed from php 6 onwards. 

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Alice, Bob and Lahycxpajyqh

Wondering what's that L.. word in the title ? You guys are supposed to use Google search engine once in a while.

...

...

Okay, okay. You really don't want to search now and find what the hell is that. What if I give you a couple of hints ?

  1. Julius Caesar was a great Roman political leader.
  2. Julius Caesar was one of The Nine Worthies

Still no idea what's happening here ? Great. That's what this science was developed. This science is considered to be a branch of Mathematics and Computer Science and it is called Cryptography

The Hints were Caesar and Nine. The Crypto I used is Caesar Shift and the shift magnitude is 9. That converts  "Cryptography" into "Lahycxpajyqh". Caesar shift is one of the simplest and most widely known encryption techniques.

Now, coming to Alice and Bob. Those names are first used by Ron Rivest while presenting one of the most famous encryption algorithms RSA. Well, about RSA, its an encryption algorithm which uses two big Prime Numbers to encrypt as well as decrypt data. The bigger the primes the more secure it is against attacks.

All crap apart. Coming to daily life usage of encryption and decryption. You guys might be sending some mails. Some of them would be very personal. You might be knowing that mails go thru several servers and some server admin can just read your mail. How do you make sure that your mails are read only by the person who is intended to read it ? Well, The process is easy but it has to be mutual. Both the sender and reader must know about the process.

What's the best/easiest method of doing this ? (a.k.a method I use)

  • Download GPG (GNU Privacy Guard)
  • If you are scared of command-line then GPG4Win would be a better option
  • Create a new keypair
    • Private Key for yourself
    • Public Key for everyone else
  • Generate a revocation certificate for your public key (If you forget your password or if your private key is lost, this certificate is used to tell people that your public key is no longer been used. It can also be used to verify your signature)
  • Give your public key to people who mail you (so that they can encrypt their mails)
  • Use your private key to decrypt the encrypted messages.
  • You can also use your private key to sign your messages and readers can verify that the message is sent by you.

With all those GUIs and plugins for the browser (FF) which are available, the entire process is made so simple. Just right now, I'm not doing anything of very high confidentiality and I really don't want others to think that I'm paranoid about security by forcing them to verify my signature or encrypt their mails.

PS: If you are sending a love letter, I know that you really don't want any one else to read your email .. even then, DO NOT ENCRYPT the mail even if you find girl's public key in a key server. Not every girl is Alice to prefer decrypt a mail before reading it ;)

BTW, a public key server is a server where people upload/publish their Public Keys.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No patch for human brain

Life is good. It's so good that I'm happy with everything that's happening around me. I'm happy for clouds showering on my head as soon as I enter heavy traffic where I can't stop or find a shelter. I'm happy for my boring life to think about silly things. One of those silly things is one silly bug that crept into one advanced application in a Great Company.

It's not about 'a' project among thousands of projects. It's about one project that actually is common to every person of our company. A web application for which you get access even before you get access to your company email-id. In fact, your email-id selection can be done only through that application.

What's good about that application ? Well, it's cool. It's complicated. It's advanced. It makes my work easy (almost :P, atleast I don't have to run around carrying papers)

What's bad about that application ? Silly messages. Yes. Very silly messages. If you press "ctrl" or "alt", you will get a message box telling you "You are not allowed to press that button" .. What .. WTF ?? I'm not allowed to press a button on my keyboard ??? Come on dude. It's heights of "being secure". Well, yeah. A person who just started using computer can certainly think that the application is so secure that it even detects my key presses.

Yeah, As a person who uses computers little more than an average computer engineer, I found that .. exoskeleton of the application is so weak that any kid can break it. There are some basic principles in coding a web application. I've no clue whether they've followed every principle or not .. but they missed principle Numero Uno.

What is that ? They send password back to my browser. WTF ??? Yep. They send password back to my browser, unaltered, unencrypted. Just plain 0xPassword, thinking that no user will press other buttons when they tell that he can't press certain buttons.

So, that's the only bug that has crept into ? Well, the answer is no. There is a whole family of bugs inside that application.

They use one 32 letter word (*cough*  *cough* its a hash) to login to certain place of the application. Guess, what's funny ? That word is same for you through out your time. It's not changed even if you change your password of that application. Someone grabs it, you can never help it.

If the above one was funny, this one will make you laugh even more. They transmit your username and password as variables using HTTP GET. Which in other words mean, If you use a proxy and you access this application, even though, they use SSL, the proxy admin can see your password as URLs themselves are not encrypted. WTF, in our company we use proxy all the time !!! Which means, my admin can see my "secret" password if he wishes !!!

Application coders can fight with me, come on dude, we've implemented sessions so well that if you don't do anything on the application for sometime, your session will expire and we take you to login page automatically. My response to that would be .. Wow, I'm speechless. Many users. Yes, I do mean, many users of the application forget to logoff and leave the browser window open and leave. Which means that their session is expired, but window is just showing the dead "session" there on the browser. But, our coders forgot Rule Zero that any browser on hitting refresh button will resend the HTTP query. I just pressed shift button and refreshed the browser. Tada !!! My browser asks me whether to resend that data. Here DATA is my username and password. If I click on Yes. My dead session will get renewed and using bug one, I can find the password.

Well, there is one fact. After you join the company, they give you some guidelines for using the application. If you follow them, you are safe. But, our guys forgot one basic thing that "Applications can be patched, but not human brains"

I know how to fix those bugs. I've told them how to fix those bugs. For two times, they've fixed bugs after couple of months. The other times, they dint even read.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ashtasiddhi

Lord GaneshaI saw a very beautiful idol of Lord Ganesha hiding somewhere in the living room of my uncle's place. I thought to capture it and show it to you guys. I loved the photo too.

After capturing the photo, I wanted to know more about the favorite and most-worshipped Hindu God. Best place would be some old person, but, I wanted to know unbiased version. So, I jumped to Wikipedia, where a good number of topics are neutral.

While reading about Lord Ganesha, I saw a painting by Raja Ravi Varma, whose paintings are considered to be among best examples for the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art. In the painting, The Ashtasiddhi are shown as attendants of Lord Ganesha. As a person of higher curiosity, I read about Ashta Siddhi.

Siddhi literally means "accomplishment", "attainment" or "success". It is also used as term for spiritual power in Hinduism and Tantric Buddhism. There are nine main Siddhis, Eight primary Siddhis (two different versions - Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam versions) and ten secondary Siddhis and five Siddhis of Yoga and Meditation.

After reading the classification, the only thing in my mind was .. I always thought that "Siddhi" and "Buddhi" are wives of Lord Ganesha. I was not disappointed by my "knowledge" about Lord Ganesha, as I'm not a very religious person. But, I always thought that I know "little" more than an average guy in his twenties.

To be frank, my "religious beliefs" are little complicated which I couldn't understand up to now. But, being a person who believes that there is only one God, I read about other religions to know their beliefs, their theories, their way to seeking the Supreme Power. Now, I understood that I've to read about the world's oldest extant religion, Hinduism.

Friday, August 17, 2007

MySQL db Password ?

Note: There is nothing new in the following post. Just some redundant info that can be found on web.

I'm from a project which calls itself a research lab. I've never done a serious research till I came out of the project to help a teammate who was doing some other project.

When I was in lab, I use to suggest my teamies to use MySQL rather than heavier databases from MS or Oracle. MySQL is free, lighter and PHP's best friend. We have installed MySQL in almost every desktop and every server in our control. In most of our Projects, we saved usernames and passwords in the MySQL database. What about MySQL's password ?

I remember the cases where my teamies forgot their password and ended up in reinstalling MySQL. Well, that's not at the solution for the problem. Very simple solution is to skip authorization checks and starting MySQL and resetting the password. Login as Administrator or root into the machine and then

  1. If MySQL is running, stop the server
    • Command in Linux : $ killall -9 mysqld
    • Command in Windows : C:\net stop mysql
  2. Start the MySQL server using the following command
    • Linux : /path/to/mysql/bin/safe_mysqld -- skip-grant-tables &
    • Windows : C:\path\to\mysql\bin> mysqld-nt -- skip-grant-tables
  3. Now, you don't need a password to login to MySQL as root
  4. mysql -u root
  5. Mysql> use mysql;
  6. Mysql> update user set password = password ( "newPassword") where user = "root";
  7. Mysql> flush privileges;
  8. Mysql> exit
  9. Restart MySQL server using mysqladmin command
    • mysqladmin -u root shutdown -p
  10. Start MySQL normally

Out of "What the hell is my password ?" to "Hope, I wont forget my new password"

Friday, August 10, 2007

GME - Mashups Made Easy

Note: Following content deals with computer related stuff. Reader discretion is advised.

Mashup. What is a Mashup ?

A mashup is a web page or application that integrates complementary elements from more than one source

Yes, thank you. I understand the {English} definition. But, give the definition of in Lay Man's English. Okay, here is your definition.

Mashup is a web application which takes data from more than one source and displays the integrated for better use

So, what ever takes data from more than one source and displays to me is a mashup ? So, My RSS Feed reader is also a mashup as it takes data from more than one site.

NO. NO. NO. Your RSS Feed Reader, is a web FEED reader. Nothing else. Mashup might take two or more feeds and gives you an integrated experience of those feeds.

Great, give me an example. I don't think I will understand unless you give me a very good example.

Okay master. Your wish is my command. For example, you are on a world tour. You were planning to visit USA. You want to know which cities are safe and which are not. I would take the data from a service link this one which gives me data about America's most unsafe cities. And I will take the data and display the same cities on map. On a click on the city, I will display their rank and some photos which I took from another services like flickr and some videos from a service like Youtube. This web application will help you not only see the names of the cities which are not safe, but also, show it on a map with some other details about the city which is an obvious integrated experience

Okay Okay. That's great. Can I do my own mashups ? If yes, what is the best possible method to do that ?

I know that you will ask this question. It actually depends on what kind of a person you are.

If you want a simple GUI to create a mashup and you're a fan of Mr. Bill, I suggest Popfly from Microsoft. Its very easy to use. Interface is cool. Some wicked features. Just not good enough if you want advanced customization

If you don't want anything from uncle Bill and you still want a good GUI, Yahoo Pipes is a very good alternative. It got nice GUI as well as good customization. But, something between us, I really dint feel like using Pipes. Not my type.

Well, if you are type of a "computer" person who admires what ever is done by Google. You've yet another product from Google. Its simple. It offers a lot of advanced  customization. Its for programmers. The name is Google's Mashup Editor. I'm in love with GME already. It's  for folks who love to code rather than drag and drop. It's  definitely not for weak hearts who can't code or who wants a GUI.

Hey, I'm not a programmer. I'm really interested in creating some mashups. You stay with GME, I will certainly take a look at Popfly and Yahoo Pipes. 

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Free {legal} alternatives

Note: Following content deals with computer related stuff. Reader discretion is advised.

Most of us in India use WinTel machines. WinTel as in Windows -Intel machines. Yes, you are wrong. I'm not going to campaign for Linux right now. I'm going tell more about software rather than Linux. Windows is also a cool OS to have if you can pay for it.

As far as I know many people when they use computers at their homes, they tend to use illegal/pirated software. When I was student, I never had a second thought about pirated software. But, when I became part of the IT industry where my company bill my client for the code I write, why shouldn't the guys who coded the program which I use demand the money ... just like I do. They need money for their code as much as I need money for my code.

But, there is always another version of my stories. Yeah, those programmers who code for money should get their money. But, what about poor guys like me who can't afford every software they want to use. Well, people who want the quality/fame of those commercial tools, SHOULD BUY those commercial tools or take a little time to migrate to Open Source/Free alternatives.

Yes, this is about the software. The software which I use every day for my personal use. The software which all use every day to meet their requirements. These are the type of users.

  1. Who BUY their software
  2. Who download their ILLEGAL software
  3. Who look for ALTERNATIVE

I've no comments for users of type {2}. I'm indeed a user who come under {1} and {3} I bought my OS along with my dell lappy. And about remaining tools, I tend to look for an alternative. For everyone out there, who wants grab their free {legal} software, take a look at http://www.osalt.com/ - site which is dedicated to give details about Open Source Alternatives to commercial software.

Whenever you feel guilty for using pirated software (if at all, you realize one day) before checking your pockets for money to buy the commercial software, check Opensource Alternative site. If you change your mind to be a real !windows guy, and you want to switch to Linux, the site which can help you a lot in your transformation is Linux Alternative.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Coding Conventions

Note: Following content deals with computer related stuff. Reader discretion is advised.

I was helping(read as 'trying to help') a teamie in coding today. That actually made me to touch "My-Bic = Easy Ajax"  for coding a web application in PHP which includes lot of Ajax. I told my teamie that use of My-Bic "framework" makes Ajax work very simple.

It's true that My-Bic makes work very simple. But, I was wrong in using one term there. Whenever I use that word with My-Bic I feel tingling in my head that I'm using a wrong term. Yeah, the term is "framework". My-Bic is a basic state of mind system rather than a frame work as per ajaxpatterns.org and also, its simple, fast and easy to use. Actually, this blog entry is not to write about My-Bic, but to write about something else. Yeah, about the title "Coding Conventions". I will come to that after telling thanks to My-Bic for my "Happily Ever After" combination of Ajax and PHP. Guys, thanks a lot for moving pain of many programmers to /dev/null

Now, coming to Coding Conventions. I had a feeling that coding convention is a same thing across all the programming languages. Yeah, I ended up as a stupid with wrong assumption. Today, I saw that there are so many conventions for each and every programming language though only one is standard. Yeah, one standard convention for one programming language.

For fellow PHP programmers reading this page out there, I just saw a set of conventions on a site which gives opensource Ajax Framework (I'm going to try it very soon as its a Framework) The name is Mouse, TigerMouse. It's considered as a very good framework available now. I will confirm whether its easy to use or not (If I can use, it MUST be easy to use) it very soon after trying that out.

Some of the conventions given are (except naming class file, all the following are same in php and Java)

  • class names in PascalCase (e.g. ClassName)
    • I do follow this convention YAY !! (+1 point)
  • methods, properties and local variables names in camelCase (e.g. methodName)
    • I follow this one too !!!! (1+1 = 2 points)
  • class files <class name>.class.php
    • I've coded a class today and I dint follow the above one. Its not same in java. (2 - 1 = 1 points)
  • only one class/interface per file
    • Yes. I do that in both java and php (1 + 1 = 2 points)
  • keep { in the same line as its respective if, for, function, class, etc.
    • Arghh, I always hated this thing. I always keep { in the next line. Duh @ this convention (2 - 1 = 1 point)
  • document your code using Doxygen tags
    • Excusez moi, did I just use the word "document" .. uhmm. //No Comments ( 1 - 1 = 0 points)

Man, being a person who actually codes (not a lot, but, I do code) with conventions in my mind, I scored 0 points for PHP and 1 point for Java. Those conventions make your fellow programmers' lives simpler if they have to hack your code. Just for my friends who follow this blog, though most of them are not into programming now .. I guess, but, if they've to code sometime (in any language, not just php/Java) please take sometime to read conventions of that specific language, and do follow them while coding and give your fellow programmers more time to hack the code rather than try to understand the code.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's a Dog Eat Dog World

When ever I see Michael Moore movies, the most I like about them is their banner - "Dog Eat Dog Films"

Well, I'm not going to write about MM or his films or any dogs that eat dogs. I'm just writing about a forward I got from one of my teamies. <masala>It's about two friends in a jungle</masala>

Two friends went to a jungle. They saw a hungry lion there (Don't ask me how do I know that lion is hungry. It's looking at them just the way I look at KFC ;) Come on, just concentrate on the story) As soon as they saw the lion, they understood that they are going to be history. One of those guys took a pair of brand new Nike shoes and started wearing them. His friend was surprised at his action and asked him "Do you think that you can run faster than lion with those shoes on ?" This guy replied him "Dude, I need not run faster than the lion. I just need to run faster than you ! "

Ending is simple. The guy without running shoes has "Experienced Certainty" for having such a cool friend who carries a pair of Nike all the time ;)

Are you thinking about the moral of the story ? It's simple. It's a Dog Eat Dog World. Competition is ruthless and you've to look out for yourself.

Well yeah. I know what you guys are thinking. I never end my posts so normal. Yeah, I've something else in my mind. It's not about lion. It's not about shoes. Not even about forest. It's just about the friend. It's about every friend you leave behind and run when you are chased by a lion.

<philosophy>Life has a very simple rule. Rule is to turn little hard some times and very hard some other times. When it turns very hard on you, only person who can help you is a friend. Even though this is a Dog Eat Dog world. Even though the competition is ruthless. Just, don't make it a habit of running away leaving your friend behind when they need you. One day, when your another friend leaves you behind and runs faster, the guy whom you dint leave will certainly help you.</philosophy>

<utopia>Yes. I know that I shouldn't be using the terms "friend" and "running away" together because a "true" friend will never run away leaving you behind. Friends are here to run with you, not run faster than you ;)</utopia>

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Einstein's Intelligence Quiz

This so-called quiz is written by Mr. Einstein and it seems that he stated that 98% of people in this world cannot solve the quiz

Here it goes.

  • There are 5 houses in 5 different colors
  • In each house lives a person with a different nationality
  • These 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet
  • No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same drink.

Here is the question. Who own's the fish If

  1. The Brit lives in a red house
  2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets
  3. The Dane drinks tea
  4. The green house is on the left of the white house
  5. The green house owner drinks coffee
  6. The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds
  7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill
  8. The man living in the house right in the middle drinks milk
  9. The Norwegian lives in the first house
  10. The man who smokes Blend lives next door to the one who keeps cats.
  11. The man who keeps horses lives next door to the man who smokes Dunhill
  12. The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer
  13. The German smokes Prince
  14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house
  15. The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water

I tried to solve the problem and yeah, I solved it  *genius-smile* .. wait, don't go, BTW, I used Excel and Google to solve it ;)

 

Hey, I've another puzzle for you. This is for you DJ !!

Why does INFY recruit people by giving them puzzles when they give both Excel and Google to their employees after recruiting ?

Answer : It expects it's employees to pass time by thinking about puzzles when they are on bench for 6 months ;)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sicko %@#$%@#$^^

I watched latest documentary/movie of Michael Moore(MM), Sicko. It was not just a documentary on some topic. It's a very good try to Change His World and make it better for people living around him.

It presents only facts, which chill you to the bone. He could've been biased while showing stuff. But, certainly he dint show anything which is not a fact. The way he presented is very good. He presented American HMO in such a way that, any guy who has sensible emotional quotient would feel like beating the blue out of those companies for doing business on lives of people.

One scene goes like this. A guy while cutting wood with a saw, cuts two of his fingers and doctors give him a big offer. If you want your ring finger, we will do that for 12 grand, if your choice is your middle finger, we will do that for 60 grand.

But, at the end of the movie, MM did a mistake by making it public that he helped the guy who runs moorewatch.com when he needed money for his wife's operation. When he helped him anonymously, he should have stayed anonymous rather than making it public in his documentary. It shows that he wanted credit for the help and he wanted to make the guy who hates him to look like a loser.

As soon as the movie is over, I went to moorewatch.com and saw some topics there. Yeah, its clear that MM is biased but what the hell is owner of moorewatch, Mr. JimK trying to do ? One guy is trying to change the world by doing his part, and he is trying to stop the change by telling what ever he is showing is biased. Well, yeah, what ever MM is doing is for fame&money. But, people who are watching his movies are understanding what's going around them atleast 10% of what's going around (One point for MM) May be, they are understanding little more than facts (minus one for MM, that gives him zero) Whatever Mr. JimK is doing, only people who don't like MM would appreciate (So, no big deal, zero of JimK) When both of you guys are zeroes, what's the big deal of wasting MY TIME by letting me know that you are fighting to save the world ?? Real Sickos !!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Me, Myself and an Artist

Hi. I always knew that I look bad. Well, bad enough to tell that I'm bad. But, certainly not F-Ugly. I really can't scare anyone with my looks (though, I can with my words) Karteek

Many of my friends tell me that I take very nice photos. Yeah, most of the photos I take look decent enough to be called as good photos. For most of my friends, I've take atleast one photo to be called as one of their best photos. But, the sad part is that I don't have any good photos of mine. I really can't expect my friends to click a good photo of mine. Come on, they can take a good photo only if I was little good for the photo. Being not so experienced in making ugly people look better, they never managed to take a pretty picture of mine.

After I bought a pretty new DSLR, I wanted to take a self portrait and I took some picture of mine. And I managed to take a picture which looked decent enough to blog. Well, the picture was good or atleast, it was good looking to my eyes. Then one of my friends commented that .. "Every one look ugly to their eyes" and my cousin commented .. "Every one is pretty for them self" .... Hmm .. which one should I believe ? Finally, I took both of their comments. I looked good in this photo. And I might be bad too. So, I edited the image so that it looks like a drawing. The one you saw is my final output. Hope, you will agree that I'm not an ugly creature :-D

 

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Namesake

Okay. I know what's going on in your head. You think I wrote a review to the movie Namesake. For hell sake, I'm not a review writer. I write about only movies which are too good to miss or too stupid to miss. So, I guess now you are clear that I'm not writing a review of the movie Namesake.

Its about my name. My name which troubles me most of the times. My name which troubles others when they have to read it. The very common thing that happens with me is .. when someone is reading out a list of names, and if they are stuck at one name, it must be mine.

All this started 22 years before. My parents wanted to name me "Karthik" as of God "Karthikeyan" (Second son of Lord Shiva) But, some guy (must be some stupid astrologer) told them that my name should start with 'S'. That is the start of my problems. They dint want to change "Karthik" and meaning of name too. So, they added another name of God "Karthikeyan" which is "Saravana". My name became "Saravana Karthik E". Do you think this was end of my story ? Then you are wrong. The story started after 15 years.

I was in my tenth class and when I'm supposed to write exams, I was filling my application and my headmaster called me and he told me that my name's spelling is "Saravana Kartheek". I was shocked and I argued with him that I know my name better than him. He gave me stupid reasons that my name is  कार्तीक but not कार्तिक (well, though I was not convinced, he was my head master and I had to accept it) Well, this is also not the end of the story. When I saw my 10th class hall ticket, I saw my name as "Saravana Karteek" and I had no other option than to go to him and ask. He had another story for it. He told me that my name is कार्तीक but not कार्थीक to keep "th" which stresses the 'T' sound. I was nothing less than shocked and pissed off. But, still I'm a tenth class student and he is my stupid head master. This is also not END of my sad story.

I was "Saravana Karteek" till my Intermediate (12th class) end. I've the same name in my Intermediate certificate also. But, when I reached my B.Tech, I saw my name in my B.Tech first year hall ticket. OMG, the big clear and smooth space was missing. Yeah .. the important space between "Saravana" and "Karteek" was missing. I thought it was a mistake and I checked my tenth class certificate. You know that they type names in Upper case in certificates. That was the reason I never found that there is no significant space between "Saravana" and "Karteek" and it is "SARAVANAKARTEEK". This is my story of becoming "Saravanakarteek" from "Karthik". Seriously, my name is so odd. This "Saravana" makes me sound like a Tamil which I'm not. So as "Karteek". When I'm in Madaras, if someone shouts name "Karthik", atleast 20 people will look at him. If its Saravana, then the count rises to 30. If its my name, then those 20+30 people will look him.

End of the story. "Karthik" to "Saravanakarteek" but called as "Karteek" or "Karteek E"

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Crash into each other

I'm really not "intelligent" enough or "experienced" enough to talk about this topic. But, I really want to talk about it just because its scaring me. Just because of what's going on around in the world, I'm losing trust in the world around me. I'm lucky enough not to experience it directly (but, I've experienced indirectly)

Well, the topic is ... Let me tell its definition first. It is a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human so-called races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior. Yeah, you got it right. Its "Racism".

The main reason behind terrorism, hatred, extremism and all other <cool> bad things is racism. It is the root for hatred, which creates an instinct of hurting others. It is the root for superiority complex, which creates a feeling they are great and every one else are below them. Which is the direct or an indirect reason for every big problem in the world.

Its such a sensitive topic that it can create problems any where and everywhere. When an American calls an Indian as a Pakistani, they call it racism. It just doesn't end there by creating an issue and getting our privilege. The same North Indian guy who was from UP don't consider abusing a Gujju as racism. The same Gujju who was abused never considers abusing a south Indian guy as racism. The same south Indian Telugu guy feels offended when he is called a Madarasi. The cycle never ends.

Every one is racist in one or other way. We just create stereotypes for each and every race. White guy is a racist so are Germans. Blacks are dangerous so are all Africans. Arabs are terrorists so we take every middle-east guy as an Arab. Indians are dark with bad English accent who eat all those spicy curries. Rich people are very bad. Poor people are cheap and dirty.

Its just not in people to call it as Individual Racism. Its in our institution itself. Britain gave knighthood to Salman Rushdie and Pakistan was angry with that and they wanted Britain to take his knighthood back. When Britain dint do that, they gave the title "Saifullah" or "Sword of Allah" to none other than Mr. Bin Laden. They gave a very good reasoning stating that "If a blasphemer can be given the title 'Sir' by the West despite the fact he's hurt the feelings of Muslims, then a mujahid who has been fighting for Islam against the Russians, Americans and British must be given the lofty title of Islam, Saifullah."

Well, when I read all these, I'm nothing but scared of the world around me. Every third person hates the fourth person. When all of us are sent by the same God to live in this world, we are not doing it but we are just crashing into each other's lives.

As I told you already, I'm really not intelligent enough or experienced enough to write all this. I might be completely wrong. Just wishing that I will atleast know that I'm wrong and if I'm correct, I wish everything will change in near future.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The world of assumptions

I assume a lot. You assume a lot. We assume a lot.

While writing this, I assumed that my friends will read this blog and post their comments.

While reading this, you might be assuming that this entry is crap as you really don't assume a lot. So, wrong assumption made by Karteek in ground zero (I meant line zero)

Actually, what ever you assumed that you don't assume a lot .. might be just your assumption and in fact you might be assuming a lot.

Leaving the argument aside, I want to tell you guys about my world of assumption. These are my assumptions (I assume that they are not crap)

1. No one is perfect in this world.

2. If someone is perfect, then the fact is that he isn't perfect as #1 is true.

3. If someone who is not perfect and tends to move himself towards perfection by fixing him step by step is perfectly normal.

4. Its just NOT better to give than take. If everyone wants to give but not take, then who on Earth will remain taking ? So, its certainly not better to give than take. Just try to give, if not possible take.

5. If you think about someone, they JUST DON'T feel it. As I've read in so many books that when you think about anyone constantly they will feel it. Well, I do think about someone atleast 20-30 times a day and they never felt it. (Here, Your assumption : It must be some girl, my answer : Your assumption is wrong, it can be Bill Gates, Google guys or even Abdul Kalam)

6. You don't know the art of living when you can win in the life. You know it only if you know how to compromise in your life.

7. If an intelligent guy finds a 100 rupee note, he will search for the person who owns it and give it back to him. If its a 1000 rupee not, he will keep it with him !!! (Here, your assumption : To hell, he dint talk about 500/- note, my answer : come on guys, use your brain atleast when you find money)

8. Trying to be perfect takes you no where, just be yourself unless you want to reach "no where" like me ;)

9. Just know that one or all of your assumptions are nothing but WRONG.

Here, when I used the word "perfect person", I meant him as a person who is "little good", "little bad", "little intelligent", "little stupid", "little mischievous", "little caring", "little soft", "little arrogant", "straight-forward", "heart follower" and most important "a person without any assumptions". I never meant a person who is really perfect just coz, No one is perfect in this world (well, its an assumption made by an assuming idiot)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Friend or acquaintance .. this is so unfair

This entry doesn't make any meaning. Reader discretion is strongly recommended.

<sarcasm>I've so many friends in this world</sarcasm> This is what I tell myself once in a while. Whenever I tell this to myself, I end up in a weird situation. Actually end up with a question. Is friendship a mutual feeling or not. As per so many stupid philosophies I read, or the stupid movies I saw, I know that .. Love need not be mutual. It can be one-side feeling. Actually, more movies suggest that when you love someone you shouldn't expect samething in return. Well, those guys missed the lower form. What about friendship ???

They missed it completely. So, friendship must be a mutual feeling. Ain't it ? Come on ... still not convinced ? There are sooooooo many guys who "love" film stars. They know that they can't expect love in return. They are hardly any people (I've n't seen a single person in 22 years of my life) who tell that they are "friends" of a star(when that star don't even know them) Little confusing ? Must be, coz, I'm confused a lot right now. I've so many people around me .. whom I consider as friends and who really don't care about me. There are few people in far distant places for whom I really matter and I don't care about them.

If friendship is JUST giving ... then why the hell those philosphers or authors of big books or simply idiots define friendship as mutual understanding (one definition). If friendship is mutualism, how can that "mutualism" be measured ? Okay, I know what you are thinking now. Why the hell this idiot wants to measure "feeling" ? I've an answer for this. Just because of that pseudo-mutualism so many people get hurt every day.

You are going on a road, you see so many people travelling with you, and you just dont care. You are travelling in a train, you see so many travellers travelling with you and you feel like talking to one. You are travelling the journey of ur life, you meet so many people and do you call people whom you often meet as friends ??? If your answer is "Yes", you are lucky as you dont think much about life. So, you can hit the [x] button on the top. If your answer is "No", lets continue.

Only few of them become your friends. You get close to them. Sometimes very close to them. And one fine day, you will understand that the importance you give them is just one way. They really dont care what you feel. They really dont think about what you want. To them .. you are just one traveller in this road of life. What should you call them ? A friend .. ? or just an acquaintance ? To me, this question arises quite often. This is so unfair.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A curse ???

I was watching a movie and it made me think for a while. Nevermind, its a boring thought. Now let me tell about some stuff which is kinda different.

What would be the first thought that will flash in your mind when you find a girl whos very pretty is being promoted or given the best rating ???

Well, it depends. Some "very good" "text book" people will think that .. wow, she is intelligent too. These type of people are ... uhmm could be 7% .. or around. And yeah, they are boring guys, so, we will leave them.

What will other 93% or around people think about her ? Somethings "fishy" !!! And people who have thinking like "Madhur bhandarkar" (Director of movies like Page3, Corporate etc) They will declare that ... there is some conspiracy theory behind that girl getting that rating or promotion. I always was in that remaining 93% and I wanted to think on behalf of that one pretty girl .. who is intelligent once. JUST ONCE.

What if that girl is really intelligent ? It was the only one good question. Why couldn't we (I) learn to respect other aspects of her ? Just because she is so pretty, it doesn't mean that she is useless in every other aspect. What ever goes in favour of her is something, why should it be just something thats related to her physical appearance ? Why do we(I) think that she doesn't deserve something even if she deserves it ? Is her beauty a curse to her ? Just she is pretty, people tend to help her sooooo much making her lazy/useless in real and in other's minds too.

Oh. Just stop here kid. You are thinking too much. Just stop here and start doing your part to respect them. Next time you see a pretty girl whos promoted faster than you or who is given a better rating than you, DONT THINK that its JUST coz she looks good. Let her beauty be a gift to her, not a curse.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

This part of my life is known as ... Loneliness

Loneliness is an emotional state of in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation. Loneliness is more than just the feeling of wanting company or wanting to do something with another person. Loneliness is a feeling of being cut off, disconnected and alienated from other people. The lonely person may find it difficult or even impossible to have any form of meaningful human contact. Lonely people often experience a subjective sense of inner emptiness or hollowness, with feelings of separation or isolation from the world. The definition taken from wikipedia.

Well, I experienced a flavour of Loneliness today. Friends left Madaras one by one on different missions. A very few were here but were busy with their lives. I tried reaching couple of special friends, but they were very special to each other and I couldn't disturb them. I tried going to some place where loners are welcome. But, whereever I go, I found only people in groups. I couldn't find a single place where I can sit alone and have my dinner. I took my mission as to have my dinner "alone". Yeah, the feeling rocks. Where ever I go, loners are just NOT welcome. Well, finally my mission got little compromised and a biscuit packet became my dinner and beach became my hotel.

I've a serious problem of trying to find someone to blame when something really goes wrong. Today, everything went wrong. I wanted someone to apologise me for a very bad evening. Yeah, finally someone apologised me ... and not to my surprise, it was my Self. The reason for my loneliness was me. Well, being optimist, I hope I'm gonna fix everything soon.

 


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

I'm not a lawyer to tell this in a perfect framed sentence. Frame it by yourself if you are so concerned.
Dont think about the content of this blog. Every byte is owned by its rightful owner.
Rest © 2006-2007 Karteek