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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.


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