Month: July 2011

it ain’t over … i’ll be back

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Initially I had decided to take a pause from blogging after a hundred posts, but i’ve had a change of heart and I am stopping after 99 posts. why? – shortage of time/ lack of ideas? Actually no. I had a post written that could have been the 99th and this could be the hundredth, but I decided to delete it – don’t think that it was so nice!. So I am stopping after 99th post and this is the 99th post.

Also I want to leave this as “incomplete business” and want to leave with a message that – I’ll be back (just like arnie in terminator)…

I am bad at goodbyes (even when they are just pauses instead of bye forevers, like this one), so I don’t want to make it long, just last few points –

To those who read this blog – well I do hope that it was worth your precious time, I appreciate u taking out ur time to read it… (Also I will be back blogging – not sure how many of u want me to, but that’s what it is!)

Also, I think blogging is good fun – you should try it sometime. I enjoyed it.

I hope the only damage that I caused was to the “w” key… Everybody who read this are all, I guess, in the same mental stage as before (the nutty ones are still nutty and not so nutty ones are not so nutty) …

Finally, I thank all of you and the world for all the ideas and material for all the posts that I did – wouldn’t have been possible if there was not so much craziness around me.

So, I’ll sign off with what I always say – So long and thanks for all the fish !!!

Ps. – let’s see how many days I can stay without blogging … I’ll miss it I think 😦

singin @midnight

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One major advantage of staying alone (apart from having full control of the remote and running around naked at home when there is a rush to get ready for work) is that you can sing even though you may be a lousy singer. And better still you can sing at any god forsaken hour without worrying that someone (your roomie/flatmate) can poison ur next meal for their peace of mind…

So your truely, like everything else at my disposal, enjoys this freedom to max possible extend. And so I really like to sing every night – around midnight!!!

Well I am not a particular good singer, but like I say that whatever I lack in talent, I try to make up with enthusiasm (not the best thing at all… Enthu without talent is truly deadly – I mean you can end up like himesh reshmaiyyah (I think I am already well on my way) …

Anyways let me focus on the main topic of discussion here, so why do I feel like singing @ midnight, here are the possible reasons –

1. Its my way of taking revenge against my neighbor’s daughter. If she would’t let me sleep in the morning then I won’t let her and family sleep at night !!!
2. I think I am a fantastic singer and that I can sing some really nice songs really well (naah…)
3. I feel like taking out all my “pain” and “suffering” (from all the shady questions that folks ask me and all the shady things my team mates do) in form of “not so melodic” songs – ppl tortured me all day, I am going to torture them at night!!!

I leave it upto you to decide why I exercise my vocal cords with full enthu at night 🙂

Here are my fav. sing along songs (in no particular order)-

Guncha koi
Neele neele ambar par
Ek taraf uska ghar ek taraf mehkada
Kal chaudhavi ki raat
Sweet child of mine
Bittersweet symphony
Cats in the cradle and silver spoon
Comfortably numb
Dream on
Romeo and Juliet
Kandisa
Good riddance (time of your life)
Beautiful day
Don’t look back in anger
You and I
What’s up
Hand in my pocket

finally i dreamt while sleeping …after 5 years

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I almost thought that I will never dream (while I am sleeping; while I am awake ofcourse I dream all the time!). I had not had a dream definitely for last 5 years or so, probably more. I was quite proud of it and always told ppl that it’s because I only sleep when I get so tired that I no longer can stay awake. Anyways having dream-less sleep is supposed to be good…

But last night I had dreams – I am trying to think why did it happen suddenly, for one I did not do much yesterday except reading the book – one hundred years of solitude (its a beautiful book, marquez has made the town macondo come alive atleast to me, the characters are all quite unique and interesting and as a reader you get to understand and appreciate them in quite a intimate way!!!, anyways I digress). So anyways I did not do much to get tired and in a way it is understandable that I did dream (it conveniently reinforces my previous theory).

So what did I dream – logically I should have dreamt about the book/characters but actually I dreamt about myself – I dreamt about playing soccer as a kid, making it to the team… The dream ended with me playing a game a shooting the ball towards the goal (but I don’t know whether the ball went in or not, probably it was slightly missing!!!)… Then I also dreamt about having to make a business trip to US – but the thing is that I am very unprepared for it – I don’t have forex, not sure if the hotel is booked, no insurance etc… Anyways I go to the US and find that the room is booked but it is extremely shady (I can’t believe NY can have such a shoddy room!!! – but then it was a dream and everything is possible), then I met a friend (don’t ask who, no names remember!) but then she (now that’s a clue) was also quite hysterical and had her own set of problems …

So in a nutshell it was quite a sad dream… There were some nice things but there was also a inherent underlying sadness to the whole thing… Now that I think about it, it was a bit like the book that I am reading (aah, so the book did have something to do with it afterall – I somehow knew it!). The book and the characters, while extremely vivid and beautiful, have a inherent sense of sadness to them… I think that affected my dream as well …

But good dream or sad dream, atleast I dreamt while sleeping after so many years, that’s not so bad eh!

Ps. On a separate note, another “event” happened after 5 years (or maybe after a decade) – I broke the glasses of my specs 😦 – don’t even remember when that happened last time

funny spike milligan quotes

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A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree.
All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.
And God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light, but the Electricity Board said He would have to wait until Thursday to be connected.
Contraceptives should be used on every conceivable occasion.
For ten years Caesar ruled with an iron hand. Then with a wooden foot, and finally with a piece of string.
How long was I in the army? Five foot eleven.
I have the body of an eighteen year old. I keep it in the fridge.
I shook hands with a friendly Arab. I still have my right arm to prove it.
I spent many years laughing at Harry Secombe’s singing until somebody told me that it wasn’t a joke.
I’m a hero with coward’s legs.
I’m not afraid of dying I just don’t want to be there when it happens.
It was a perfect marriage. She didn’t want to and he couldn’t.
Money can’t buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
Money couldn’t buy friends, but you got a better class of enemy.
Policemen are numbered in case they get lost
If a man dies when you hang him, keep hanging him until he gets used to it.
I told you I was ill! – written on his epitaph

google vs facebook – the battlelines are drawn, the war is about to begin!!!

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I am not the biggest friends of social networking sites like facebook, in past I have written about why I spend time blogging than on facebook and why I moved away from facebook – all personal reasons. But I can sense literally a war waiting to take place between google and facebook to gain supremacy over the social networking space (the “that” part of internet)…

Interestingly google and facebook traditionally have viewed and understood internet quite differently, so it will be interesting to see if google changes its traditional view and adopts the facebook approach (less algorithmic, more human and social) to beat facebook in a game that it seems to have mastered… I think it will be fun to see the two giants and two approaches compete with each other…

The following 2 articles are quite interesting if you like to understand the different ideologies and how the battle is shaping up, interestingly mark zuckerberg is already on google + and is the most followed person on that network … – now isn’t it shady that the “biggest enemy” has been given an invite to join the network but nice chappies like me are still waiting for their google plus invite, disgraceful I say 😦 …

Anyways if you are interested in this whole google – facebook drama, do give the below articles a read, they’re quite interesting I think…

There Will Be Two Internets. Or, What You Really Need to Know About Google+

Posted by Allie Townsend

July 6, 2011 at 9:00 am

The voyeurs of social media would have you believe that people want to connect with other people on an instinctive level, that humans are purely social animals. And who can prove them wrong? Mark Zuckerberg and his peer wunderkind have built the framework to our digital connections and we’re lured in again and again. We fill them with our thoughts, our relationships, our cereal choices. And it makes Google nervous.

Last week’s beta release of Google+ was a triumph for the company, whose history with social networking is one “almost” after another.

Orkut, Google’s first social network was a huge success … in Brazil. Released in 2004, the service failed to materialize a strong user base domestically and eventually, it seemed like Google just tired of it.

Meanwhile, Facebook thrived in Google’s blind spot. Born out of Harvard’s dorms, the site created a shadow web, a walled-up version of Internet activity that Google can’t read. Google+ is the company’s social fledgling designed to take on Facebook, or, to wipe the embarrassment off of its chin after previous failed attempts at entering the social stratosphere.

Social media isn’t really something Google saw as a priority until Facebook locked them out. Facebook activity – user information, shares, Likes – can’t be indexed, archived, or even sold against by Google. The Internet as seen through Google is now only a piece of the greater web story – and the company is scared.

In 2010, Facebook’s web consumption grew 69 percent, making the traditional, indexed Internet much less relevant. Within the last year, All Things Digital reported that Facebook’s share of users’ time online grew from one out of every 13 minutes of use in the U.S., to one out of every eight.

This took more than half a billion hours of use (more than 800 lifetimes) away from outside sites like Google. Ben Elowitz, founder and CEO of Wetpaint describes it well: “And here’s what’s different when you connect people, as opposed to pages: Now, the Web knows who we are (identity), is with us at all times wherever we go (mobile), threads our relationships with others (social), and delivers meaningful experiences beyond just text and graphics (video).”

This leaves impersonal, algorithm-focused Google an antiquated web relic of searches past.

So far, it seems like Google+ is a worthy challenger to Facebook’s social throne. The reviews, the buzz, they’re all largely positive. But Google’s motivations for moving into the social game are far deeper than simply proving it could. There is less and less activity happening online that Google is able to see. Plus it’s the search behemoth’s attempt to win you back. This isn’t a battle for your attention, or even your personal information. It’s an all-out war over where you’ll be reading the Internet.

Before Facebook and rise of the social sharing, SEO was king. To be successful online in the last decade, sites had to play Google’s game. Publishers obsessed over keywords and search-friendly page names while Google’s spiders crawled. The only shadow was the darkweb, a vast, anonymous alt-Internet, a haven for pedophiles or hacker types. If it was worth seeing, it was indexed by Google. At least until a Harvard geek gave us the power to provide for ourselves.

The rise of Facebook is more than just a fundamental change in the way we use the Internet, it’s a collision of cultures. To Google, the Internet is a math-based life form. The company depends on its team of engineer hotshots who operate under the belief that algorithms can solve everything – the Google creed. It’s sheer brute force, but that doesn’t mesh with social nuances. Google is apprehensive to create or participate in anything that puts power in someone else’s hands. Competitors like Facebook and Twitter see the web as a people-based entity. There’s a war brewing between these two ideals, which means users may have to identify their personal “digital carbon” sooner than they think.

Thankfully, Zuckerberg’s social giant has one major flaw. Facebook has made waves in the past few years over user data and privacy gaffes, something the strategic-minded Google group is happy to exploit. “We are a platforms company,” Google’s SVP of Social, Vic Gundotra told Twit.tv. “We believe that the data belongs to the user.” Don’t believe him? With Data Liberation, users who choose to leave Google+ are able to export all of their data before they go, a not-so-subtle jab at Facebook.

So, welcome to the new, new social, a network of people dreamed up by a team of engineers. Not only has Google managed to finesse a workable social experience to fit around its classic algorithm-based web experience with Sparks, its interest aggregator, it’s managed to lure you back to Googleland, where you’re just a tab away from Gmail, Docs, News and, of course, search.

There’s no stopping the current transition from a computer-friendly web, which Google and its army of algorithms dominated, to a people-friendly web. But instead of remaining stuck on the outside, Google might have found its window just in time.

Still, it’s almost impossible to tell where this is really headed. Facebook and Google are competing spheres on a collision course. In the past 10 years, we’ve seen the web morph from this linear, cataloged file cabinet of information, to being partitioned by gated social sites.

And in the end, this might be actually be the worst part.

In some not-so-distant future, users may have to choose which Internet experience they want to view. Google and Facebook do not see the web in the same way, which means they present different portraits of the Internet as they continue to chase different goals. In the meantime, users have some trying on to do. Turns out, one perspective might not fit all.

And interestingly (and funnily) …

The Most Followed Person on Google+ Is Mark Zuckerberg

Posted by Chris Gayomali

July 5, 2011 at 10:00 am

Well, this is awkward. It appears that by a substantial margin, Mark Zuckerberg is currently the most followed person on the new social network on the block, Google+.

According to the Google+ Statistics Counter, the Zuckerberg account has nearly 10,000 more followers than Google’s co-founder Larry Page, with 29,543 and 19,878, respectively. Rounding up the rest of the top five are (in order): Google VP Vic Gundrota, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and technology blogger Robert Scoble.

To be fair, Mark Zuckerberg is pretty much synonymous with the social networking world — especially when you consider his visibility in things like award-winning movies and a certain TIME Person of the Year issue — but you have to admit: It’s still a little weird for Google.

It’s kind of like if MySpace’s Tom Anderson took to Facebook in 2004 and immediately became the social network’s most befriended person. But mind you, 29,543 friends still pales in comparison to Zuck’s following on his other social network profiles (which you can check out here and here); even his puppy has 142,000 likes.

In terms of filling out his Google+ profile, Zuck has a single introduction line: “I make things.”

should prisoners have access to pornography…

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My understanding (and I could be wrong, but I think that I am not) is that prisoners do not have access to pornographic material. Now that’s ofcourse tough on the chappies – maybe the authorities think that it acts as a disincentive (don’t commit crimes, because if you do then you go behind bars – not the ones that
provide drinks, mind you – and there will be no access to porn!!!). If I were to act cheeky and shady then its like saying that gabbar tells to thakur that I won’t let you meet any women and I’ll cut your hands off too – boy that’s tough, I say. Even gabbar was not so cruel – he just cuts thakur’s hands. He did not stop thakur from meeting women… Anyways let me stop this shadiness now (the adv of having a fairly private blog is that I can write such shady arguments, without too many ppl giving me shady looks the next day)…

On a more serious note, if we are saying that our jails are like reform centers where sinners go to get reformed (not all sinners go to jail mind u, some just hang around free!!!) And that we ought to treat prisoners with dignity and respect (afterall gandhi did say – paap sey grinha karo paapi sey nahi) so I think it’s only fair that we ought to provide the chappies some private time and space where they can watch porn if they feel like. Poor chaps are away from their wives and girlfriends (wags) and porn will just help them to relieve themselves of their sexual frustration and make them less aggressive and frustrated – now isn’t it one of the objectives of jails, to make people less aggressive.

I am surprised that no NGO has picked up this “cause”, it may not be the most fashionable and glamorous cause but I think someone ought to fight for this cause for the chappies in jails…

In the US, a young (and probably restless) chappie has filed a case against the state of Michigan, saying that denying him access to porn amounts to “cruel and unusual punishment”. I for once agree with the chappie and I think its rather inhuman for the judge to consider these complaints as “frivolous”. Oh come on now…

Read the below article for details –

Does Banning Porn from Prisons Violate the U.S. Constitution?

Posted by William Lee Adams

July 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm

An inmate has sued the state of Michigan, arguing that his prison’s ban on porn constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment.”

In a five-page, handwritten lawsuit, Kyle Richards, 21, claims that the Macomb County Jail is breaching his civil rights by refusing access to erotic material. “Such living conditions have been used as a method of ‘psychological warfare’ against prisoners, in order to both destroy the morale of inmates and break the spirit of individuals,” he writes in the lawsuit, adding that he must cope with “sensory deprivation” and “a poor standard of living.” He also claims to suffer from “chronic masturbation syndrome and severe sexual discomfort,” and says that pornography is an essential part of his treatment.

The Michigan Department of Corrections does allow inmates to keep pornography (with the exception of materials that depict simulated rape, sadomasochism and bestiality). But that doesn’t mean Richards has a strong chance of winning his case. “Prisons have a lot of leeway to regulate the material that comes in and out,” Michigan ACLU Executive Director Kary Moss told the Detroit News. Unfortunately for Richards, county rules ban smut at his particular jail. It doesn’t help him that a judge has dismissed three of his previous complaints as “frivolous.”

Police charged Richards with bank robbery in January after they followed a trail of loose bills and footprints through the snow from the crime scene to his apartment north of Detroit. He pleaded guilty.

why i don’t support the under-dogs

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In real life I don’t support under-dogs (in movies, I do – gotto support the hero, afterall). I tend to support a team that I have always supported because of whatever reasons (now this team may be a under dog in the particular match, but I hope you understand that this is quite different than supporting the team/player because it is under dog). If two of my non-favorite teams are playing then I support the team that’s playing better. My logic is simple – I am out there to support “my” team or to support good players. why should I support a team just because it is a “under-dog”.

The problem with supporting the under-dogs is also about lack of loyalty. The under-dogs (I hope) will eventually improve and will eventually become “over-cats” (just joking, I mean favorites), so based the supporting the under-dog logic, now you can’t really support the player or the team coz they are no longer the under-dogs. So, like I was saying there is no loyalty… And now that I think about it, in absence of loyalty how can you “really” support…

The other (and bigger) problem that I have with supporting the under-dogs is that I think most people who are doing that are just playing safe. Let me explain. Supporting the under-dog is like a win-win situation; if the under-dog wins you can just be so happy that “look I supported the under-dog and the team/player won”. On the other hand, if it loses, then you can always console yourself saying that it is ok, the team/player was afterall a under-dog, but well tried anyways. Its almost like fooling yourself and being in a “safe” emotional place – which I don’t like being in somehow, atleast as far as sports are concerned.

So you see I never support under-dogs, never have, never will… I shall always be loyal to my fav teams/ players and support teams/players who play well… I want to watch sports for sporting skills, movies are there if someone feels like watching drama…

Also, here is a interesting article below on the “comfort of defeat”… Do give it a read…

The Cubs and the comfort of defeat

“LET’S go watch the Cubs lose!” said the driver last Friday, as the crowded subway car made its way to Chicago’s Wrigley Field for the first of a three-game series between the great cross-town rivals, the Cubs and the White Sox. Half the car groaned; the other half cheered.

This kind of banter is the lingua franca of Chicago summers. Like all sports rivalries, it has a civic function; it gives people something to talk about, a channel for feelings that might otherwise go unexpressed, and a sort of shorthand for where they stand. The cultural dimensions of Sox and Cubs fandom are slightly opaque and probably exaggerated, but it seems to be that the Sox, with their Yankees-esque pinstripes and 2005 World Series rings, are grittier. The Cubs have a more cuddly face and the longest losing streak in baseball, having not won the World Series for over a century. Cursed (according to lore) or simply doomed, they happen to be the most lovable losers left in baseball.

But watching the game on Friday, I was sceptical. The Cubs have a slightly smaller payroll than the Sox—a typical indicator of underdog status—but they’re still one of the most expensive teams in baseball. My favourite player on either team was Juan Pierre of the White Sox. “He’s pesky,” my brother said, explaining that although Mr Pierre is not one of the sport’s celebrities, he’s a reliable hitter, a fast runner, and quick to steal a base when the chance comes up. Mr Pierre turned out to be as pesky as billed; he was busy the whole game and hit a two-run triple in the seventh inning, bringing the Sox to a 6-4 victory. The next day the papers would herald the “unlikely hero.” By contrast the highly paid Cubs star Alfonso Soriano, loitered around left field looking at a fly ball that eventually landed fair.

It raises the question: does a team become a lovable loser simply because it loses? Is there something about losing that is inherently lovable? In a recent book called “Scorecasting”, Tobias Moskowitz and Jon Wertheim consider such “hidden influences” on how sports are played and won. In particular, they examine the effect of “loss aversion”—the tendency to care more about avoiding a loss than about making a similar-sized gain—on decision-making by players and officials. As The Economist explained earlier this year, Tiger Woods, for example, is more likely to hole a putt to save a par than to make a birdie.
 
Is something similar going on with spectators? To pick a team that is known to lose is technically to anticipate a loss, but in a manageable, predictable way. There is no real loss to avoid; a win would merely be an unexpected bonus. Backing a more successful team raises the stakes by making wins just as viable as losses, so losing is more of a loss.
 
Teams like the Cubs give people a safe space in which to lose. Fans get the benefits of commiseration without incurring any real costs. The predictable losers also allow other teams to win. So really the Sox fans should be grateful for the Cubs. Such losers may not be so lovable on scrutiny, but their ineptitude has an extra civic function: they take one for the team. They’re a sacrifice fly.