Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Square Root of Three

This definitely would come under the lame poems category if you sing it to your valentine. But for some reason, I found the poem very interesting and good. Maybe, that's the geek inside me speak (and perhaps the poem was meant to be for geeks only) but then again, it's a well thought - of poem 'arithmatically' if not romantically. Read on... 

I’m sure that I will always be
A lonely number like root three

The three is all that’s good and right,
Why must my three keep out of sight
Beneath the vicious square root sign,
I wish instead I were a nine

For nine could thwart this evil trick,
with just some quick arithmetic

I know I’ll never see the sun, as 1.7321
Such is my reality, a sad irrationality

When hark! What is this I see,
Another square root of a three

As quietly co-waltzing by,
Together now we multiply
To form a number we prefer,
Rejoicing as an integer

We break free from our mortal bonds
With the wave of magic wands

Our square root signs become unglued
Your love for me has been renewed

--- Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Welcome To Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is the second largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania with a population of 312,819. The population of the eight-county metropolitan area is 2,462,571. The city's downtown retains substantial economic influence, ranking at 25th in the nation for jobs within the urban core (and is sixth in job density).
The characteristic shape of downtown is a triangular tract carved by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, where the Ohio River forms. The skyline features 151 high-rise buildings, 446 bridges, two inclined railways, and a pre-revolutionary fortification. Pittsburgh is known colloquially as "The City of Bridges" and "The Steel City" for its many bridges and former steel manufacturing base.
While the city is historically known for its steel industry, today it is largely based on healthcare, education, technology, robotics, fashion, and financial services. The city has made great strides in redeveloping abandonded industrial sites with new housing, shopping and offices, such as the SouthSide Works. While Pittsburgh faced economic troubles in the mid 1970s as the steel industry waned, modern Pittsburgh is economically strong. The housing market is relatively stable despite a national subprime mortgage crisis, and Pittsburgh has added jobs in 2008 even as the national economy is in a significant jobs recession. This positive economic news is in contrast to 30 years ago when Pittsburgh lost its manufacturing base as those jobs moved offshore.
In 2007, Forbes Magazine named Pittsburgh the 10th cleanest city, and in 2008 Forbes listed Pittsburgh as the 13th best city for young professionals to live. The city is consistently ranked high in livability surveys. In 2007, Pittsburgh was named "America's Most Livable City" by Places Rated Almanac.

44th President of the USA

So finally, after months of campaigns, speeches, speculations, polls, skepticism it came to an end last night - Democrat Barack Obama wrote his name indelibly into the pages of American history on Tuesday, engineering an upheaval to become the country's first Afro-American President-elect in a runaway victory over John McCain. The 72-year-old McCain quickly called his opponent to concede defeat and congratulate his rival in the longest and most costly Presidential campaign in American history.

And since the speculations come to an end - autopsies begin. My News feed is flooded with articles like Why McCain lost or End to the Palin - McCain relationship, 10 reasons why Obama had to win....

C'mon, wasn't the pre-election exciting enough? Can we all now rather worrying about why Obama won and McCain lost, be concerned about how our new president is planning to steer the most powerful democracy in the world out of the troubled times? Stop spamming my inbox with news articles of poll results I already know. Everybody is sharing the same article again and again. My Google reader alone has the article "The US elections--World parties as Obama wins" sent to me by 52 peers as article I should read!

Congratulations Obama for being the 44th President of the USA. We're expecting a lot from you. I do hope you will be able to cap the inflation, stabilize the stock market and get us out of this credit crunch. And the global economy depends on it.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Fallingwater is the name of a very special house that is built over a waterfall. Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most famous architect, designed the house for his clients, the Kaufmann family. Fallingwater was built between 1936 and 1939. It instantly became famous, and today it is a National Historic Landmark.

Why is it so famous? Think about it! A house that doesn’t even appear to stand on solid ground, but instead stretches out over a 30’ waterfall. It captured everyone’s imagination when it was on the cover of Time magazine in 1938.

Fallingwater was entrusted to The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in 1963 by Edgar Kaufmann, jr. who said, upon its dedication: “As the waterfall of Bear Run needed the house to enter the realm of art, so the joint work of art, Fallingwater in its setting, needed the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to enter a new life of public service…. I believe the Conservancy will give nature, the source, full due, and art, the human response to nature, full respect.”

If you're interested in conserving the place then you can become a Friend of Fallingwater at the level that is most comfortable for you. Beginning at the $100 level, you’ll enjoy a suite of privileges and benefits at Fallingwater and through the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy as well.

You can also make Donations otherwise or you can even sign up as a volunteer if you're passionate about Fallingwater.

And if nothing else, you should make it a point to visit this place at least once. It presents itself beautifully and very differently in every season. With Frozen creek and snow covered landscape in the Winter to the lush green landscape and cool flowing water in the Summers. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy really care about the natural environment and use recyclable products which in a way even moves you to do the same.

Go trek, hike, sketch, paint, click pictures. If you're an outdoor loving person then mark visiting this place in your "... Things to do before I die" list.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Summer Classes for Men

(This is what my girl sent me the other day...)

Summer Classes for Men at

by Friday, August 17th 2008

Class 1
How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays--Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll--Does It Change Itself?
Round Table Discussion.

Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours. 

Class 3
Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub?--Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5
Dinner Dishes--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning
at 7:00 PM

Class 6
Loss Of Identity--Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups.

Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7
Learning How to Find Things--Starting With Looking In the Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.
Open Forum

Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8
Health Watch--Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes.

Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost--Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined

Class 10
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
Driving Simulations.

4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11
Learning to Live--Basic Differences between Mother and Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing

Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion
Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 13
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy--Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling when you’re Going To Be Late.
Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 14
The Stove/Oven--What It Is and How It Is Used.
Live Demonstration.

Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Happy to Help

The questions below about Australia are from potential visitors. They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have an excellent sense of humor.

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK).
A:  We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q:  Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia?   (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q:  Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q:  Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia?  (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not... oh forget it. ..... Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross.  Come naked.

Q:  Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q:  Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q:  Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A:  Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...oh forget it.  Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races.  Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You're a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name.  It's a kind of bear and lives in trees.  (USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.

Q:  Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q:  I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia?  (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q:  Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q:  Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first!

Daughter's ESP

A father put his three year old daughter to bed, told her a story and listened to her prayers which she ended by saying  "God bless Mommy, God bless daddy, God bless grandma and good-bye grandpa."

The father asked, "Why did you say good-bye grandpa?"  The little girl said, "I don't know daddy, it just seemed like the thing  to do."

The next day grandpa died.

The father thought it was a strange coincidence.

A few months later the father put the girl to bed and listened to her  prayers, which went like this: "God bless Mommy, God Bless daddy and good-bye grandma."

The next day the grandmother died.

Oh my god, thought the father, this kid is in contact with the other side.

Several weeks later when the girl was going to bed the dad heard her say, "God bless Mommy and good-bye daddy."

He practically went into shock. He couldn't sleep all night and got up at the crack of dawn to go to his office. He was nervous as a cat all day, had lunch sent in and watched the clock. He figured if he could get by until midnight he would be okay. He felt safe in the office, so instead of going home at the end of the day. He stayed there, looking at his watch and jumping at every sound. Finally midnight arrived; he breathed a sigh of relief and went home.

When he got home his wife said "I've never seen you work so late, what's the matter?"

He said "I don't want to talk about it; I've just spent the worst day of  my life."

She said "You think you had a bad day, you'll never believe what happened  HERE.

He asked "What??"

She said "This morning our neighbour James suddenly died.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Knight – Enlighteningly Dark

Why So Serious?

Holy Smoke! Till now I thought that superhero movies are all about action, bloated egos and special effects but not deep. The dark knight which is sequel to the 2005 Batman Begins is without question one of the most demonic, pure incarnations of nightmarish instant classic movie.  I am so very over awed by the movie and still so very reeling that I cannot even put my own thoughts together and pen down anything which could be coherent even at the slightest level. I am just putting together below what I’ve heard other people say or write about it. The Dark Knight' offers a glimpse into the darker places within each of us, which might be cathartic for some, but others will simply be afraid. It is a supreme achievement in its genre. It doesn't transcend its comic book origins, but rather faithfully represents them, wholly unembarrassed to deliver its story on its own terms.

It deals with the so-called post 9-11 era and America's response to 9-11 if you want to look at it with a political undertone. Think about it - joker is the ultimate terrorist, all he cares about is destroying order; he doesn’t care about tangible things such as money or gaining power like the other mobsters. He tells us that when he burns huge pile of money in front of the mobsters, he’s introducing us to a different class of villain. That’s what the terrorists did on 9-11; they didn’t attack America because they really wanted to kill a couple thousand of people in the world trade centre or in the Pentagon, but wanted to destroy symbols of our society. They wanted to set off a chain of events, change the world order that they perceived to be unfairly dominated by America. These people and the joker are despicable and deserved to be stopped because killing people is not the way to effect change but the parallels are impossible to miss.

The political undertones are so obvious, Lucious Fox objecting to batman's use of the sonar technology to hack into to all of Gotham's cell phone conversations. Batman stating its only for this short term use, this movie is a social commentary on the patriotic act, use of torture to combat terrorism, and just the entire way the world has gone about attempting to stop the threat of terrorism.
Heath Ledger's Joker self-mutilated danger junkie, misery loves company chaos freak in hellish warpaint may be gone, but will never be forgotten. The oft-mentioned violence is not of one of gore, but more of the heart—and thus potentially more terrifying. 

The main thing is that it is a very dark movie. So dark that it binds you to your seat even when the show’s over.

Monday, July 14, 2008


You have probably read these "rules" before, but when I received them today I decided to put them here as a tribute to a man that I thought was a one of a kind, rare person. He was no "saint" - he never professed to be one. He just always told it "like it was".


New Rule: No more gift registries.  You know, it used to be just for weddings... Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting. 

New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for! There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days --- mowing my lawn. 

New Rule: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Lobster?

New Rule: If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you're a dope. If you're a kid, the cards are keep sakes of your idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of men. 

New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: Do you have two of them? Good! We're done. 

New Rule: There's no such thing as flavored water. There’s a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket... water, but without that watery taste.  Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That's your flavored water. 

New Rule: Stop screwing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis. 

New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a 'decaf grandee,  half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low, and One NutraSweet,' Ooooh,  you're a huge asshole. 

New Rule: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from  sliding my card, entering My PIN number, pressing 'Enter,' verifying the  amount, deciding, no, I don't want Cash back, and pressing 'Enter' again, the  kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy. 

New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you Spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to 'beef with broccoli.' The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

New Rule: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN Recently televised the U.S. Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait, they're already doing that. It's called 'The Howard Stern Show.' 

New Rule: I don't need a bigger mega M&Ms. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two. 

New Rule: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what’s playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie. 

New Rule: And this one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint like I just had sex with George Michael. I can't even tell if he's supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. I don't want to be on your webcam, Dude. I just want to wash my hands.

New Rule: When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to hear '27 months.' 'He's two' will do just fine. He's not a cheese. . . . And by the way, I didn't really care in the first place. 

New Rule: If you ever hope to be a credible adult and want a job that pays better than Minimum wage, then for God's sake don't pierce or tattoo every available piece of flesh. If so, then plan your future around saying, 'Do you want fries with that?'

Rest in Peace, George.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

iPhone3G – Phone, iPod, Internet and More

iPhone3G – Phone, iPod, Internet and More
Go ahead and get yourself one. Seriously! I mean it.

You have to admit (I too have to admit it and I do so vehemently and irrespective-of-my-previous-post) iPhone definitely has the Wow factor!

And no matter what the Non-iPhone-Cell-Phone-User community (myself included) has to say or crib about its limitation (read my previous post), people will buy it, no matter what! Most of them will buy it just for the Zing, and I hate it. Like one friend of mine who has the 1st Generation iPhone uses it to simply text and call. He eternally hopes that his flashing of his iPhone in clubs will get him the much needed attention from the fairer sex. Get real dude! On other thoughts, let me know if it works! I can do with some female attention myself. It might be the motivation which may drive me to buy an iPhone.

Then there are those (who command a lot of respect from me in a way) who probably have dissected their iPhone ‘n’ number of times and put it back again and have uncovered features which Apple Developers wouldn’t  know themselves existed (few of them helped me list down the limitations of the first Gen iPhone). Like the one who’s been desperately trying since the dawn of iPhone to somehow get some crappy local GPS software to work with his iPhone. Good luck pal!

So why Am I writing this post? 
Well, one to let those know who’ve taken a hint from my earlier post that iPhone sucks! I admit – it doesn’t suck that bad and you never know what the next-Gen iPhone has to offer (on the limitation side yet!). Go ahead and buy one if you want to, personally I don’t care. Apple isn’t going to pay commission to me for every iPhone they sell nor will they stop me from blogging against it. They perhaps (if ever they visit my blog) would know that hardly anyone actually reads the stuff I put here.

So why buy the iPhone? I’ll stick to my earlier post and still say that don’t get the 1st Gen iPhone even if someone gives it to you for free. I won’t - I’m kinda’ idealistic that way. It’s not worth the trouble of moving your contacts, mails, settings etc to a new phone and then frustrating yourself with it later. And I’ll be smirking and saying “I told you so…”

Okay, coming back to point again, why buy the new iPhone? 
Well, for starters, it’s half the price (at least with the AT&T plan). I’m not sure if it’s available without a plan in the States, but it sure is available in other countries but with a heavy’ premium’ price (of course)! Then it’s twice as fast because it’s 3G. Or at least that’s what they (at Apple) say. My Nokia N70 is also supposedly 3G and it’s still the slowest phone I’ve ever owned. Anyway, so no more clicking on your contact list, going for a cup of coffee and coming back hoping that it would’ve opened.  I thought of putting some technical details about the speed test but that would be a bore and as if this blog isn’t already such a drag.

Also, they’re kind of clairvoyant – they fixed quite a few of the limitations which I cribbed about in my previous post (even before I posted it)  :D

You now do have a text box search support in the contacts along with the older cute index thingey. You can now select MULTIPLE items at least in the mailbox and do mass move and delete.

They have a better (than before) email attachment support. You can now even open power point files in your mails. They’ve thrown in a scientific calculator and complete dictionary sets for multiple languages (I care only for the English one still).

They’ve added push email, calendar and contacts from work if they’re on a Microsoft exchange server. Lookey here, Apple’s endorsed Microsoft. Who says, MS sucks. Well I do, but then that’s beside the point. So with these features and plus a few more like enterprise-grade networking capabilities for Cisco IPSec VPN, WPA2 and even 802.1x authentication. So if you own a blackberry you might ‘just’ think of trading it in for an iPhone.

Then they’ve got GPS as a standard application and you can access the App Store (applications for iPhone from Apple) through your iPhone. And if you’re ready to pay and subscribe to MobileMe, you’ve got your synchronizing problems solved. Well, I personally think MobileMe will be a really cool feature, especially if you're a geek like me who likes to tow a dozen of devices everywhere you go.

If you’re still speculating whether to buy an iPhone (rudely ignoring whatever I’ve already said) then you might want to consider Samsung Instinct too. It comes with a plan from Sprint in the States for about $129 USD (even when iPhone was priced at $399 and above).  It’s quite a competition to the iPhone as well as to the LG Vu. 

Otherwise, go ahead and buy one if you want to. With the price cut down, one can venture into the unknown. You know what - I might even go ahead and pick one too for myself. If nothing else, I can still try flashing it around in a club trying to get some female attention.

PS: This is a very ‘iPhone’ cool link I found. The very first 10 people to own a 2nd Gen iPhone in the world. Check ‘em out!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Why I hate iPhone

Why I Hate iPhone

I love Apple. Seriously. I in fact, would endorse and with quite a bit of pride too, different products Apple has to offer. Take for instance, I prefer using Apple Safari on my Windows box and not IE or firefox; iPod is a must when I workout (Fitness One plays pathetic songs) or when I am on those long haul, you-can-do-nothing- while-on-board, international flights. And I was quite ecstatic when I heard the first time iPhone’s being released. 

Why? Well, for starts it’s from apple; then there are those cool ads you see on the net and on the TV as how and what all you can do with your iPhone; then the fact that I am a total complete gizmo freak that too in a typical ‘nerd’ kind of way. (I have like a dozen or more cell phones; My PC is jam-packed so badly with peripherals that most of them just hang out of the box with a mesh of wires so tangled up that I would’ve have to cut through half of them if ever I have to move it to someplace else… you get the idea).

So my friends were surprised when they saw me coming out of an apple showroom without an iPhone. And while iPhones are still a rage, I was surprised to find that the iPhone is a lot more limited than I expected. And I’m not talking about lack of wireless broadband support, either. Perhaps, I should’ve put this post earlier. You never know – it might’ve saved someone’s green-backs.

It turns out that, despite Apple’s claim that “This is not a watered down version of the Internet” on the iPhone, it is a watered-down version. I don’t even need to get overly technical. The iPhone doesn’t support Flash. Seriously? No Flash support? I can't live off YouTube videos. Even when using YouTube, you can’t save the clip on the phone. Its support for JavaScript is limited to five seconds. It doesn’t handle frames well. A lot of Web sites won’t display properly, or even well, on the iPhone.

Then why can't you select just a specific bit of the text? Why delete all those characters?

I am browsing the web or perhaps, visit the iPhone Wallpaper gallery. I find my image I want. And then I... wait, I
can't download it? I can't choose to set it as wallpaper? I have to go to my PC, browse to the URL again, download the photo, purchase and install iLife, import the photo into iPhoto, set it to sync with the iPhone, open up iTunes, hit sync, then browse to it on my iPhone and set as wallpaper? 

Let’s talk about the camera now shall we? My girl friend’s ancient Sony Ericson k750i has better quality than the iPhone’s 2 MP camera! There are absolutely no options available – No zoom, no exposure and no resolution control. I take a little pride in my photography skills but c’mon, any movement and you get a blurry image. No video capture? That does it!

How we all love texting! So here are some notes on iPhone’s SMS incapability. No MMS - which century are we living in btw? You can't forward the SMS; can’t call chat-buddy from SMS view - WTF? Can't send phone numbers via SMS; when receiving phone numbers/contacts, e.g. VCARD, you can't save them to contacts; crashes if receives alphanumeric SMS sender; can't click on MMS notification to go to Safari to view.

Other not so nice limitations

You can't select multiple ANYTHING, which becomes most prevalent in Mail. So if you have 10 messages you want to delete, you have to individually delete every one of them.

No Contextual Menus - Where are they? You'd think holding your finger on an item for a couple seconds would bring up a contextual menu with items like Delete, Copy, Move, etc depending on what you had selected. These menus are also not available via a button anywhere - they just aren't there. This brings me to the lack of copy and paste functionality.

There is no way to save files which are attachments in your Mail, nor from Safari.

They want Business users? I am a power user and I can do with a text box kind of search which can find names, company, categories, anything?

They give you a Bluetooth headset, a f***ing expensive Bluetooth enabled phone and no voice Dial? Bluetooth stereo headsets work perfectly well when you are on a call. But due to a redundant Bluetooth stack, you cannot stream your music. What good is Bluetooth then? You are not calling people all the time, but you are listening to music all the time.

I agree that iPhone is still quite a buy due to the wow factor, but I guess, I still would want to stick to my O2 XDA II for some more time.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Beer Prayer

(Found it floating on the web and had to put it here.)

Our Lager,
Which art in barrels
Hallowed be thy drink.
Thy will be drunk,
I will be drunk,
At home as in the tavern.
Give us this day our foamy head
and forgive us our spillages
as we forgive those that spill against us
and lead us not into incarceration.
But deliver us from hang-overs,
for thine is the beer,
The bitter and the lager
forever and ever

Monday, June 30, 2008

The inevitable 'Change'

They say that change is the only constant (and hence the name of my blog). I’ve heard so many times people exclaim that they need change to happen. But do we really like change? I think, being creatures of habit, we of all hate changes. We are in fact, are scared of change, when our existence depends on it.

Though we loathe at the idea of being governed by habits we humans like any other nature’s creation are a creature of habit. Have you ever noticed that we always will keep our wallets or keys in the same place every day, or take the same route to work or home? Even at work, we have predictable patterns and preferences of how we begin our day. Some like to read the news the first thing, while some would check their mails. Some would rearrange their stuff, while few will head straight for the coffee machine.

Of course, there are things we do change. Like our clothes every day for hygiene purposes or cell phones from time to time. But that’s either that our previous one is mal functioning, or it doesn’t have the features you want or maybe it’s not hip enough. Maybe, if you’re like me, you’ll change it just to break the monotony of using the same device. But these changes are only to our peripheral being or towards our superficial interaction with the society. We all hate to come out of our comfort zone otherwise.

History as we know has often showed us that the ones who don’t change are the ones who face extinction.  And this reason alone drives us to accept the change, whether we like it or not. Like in 2000, when a lot of Software engineers went out of jobs because, they were not equipped well enough to handle the new technologies. Or you pick up a new process; introduce new schemes to stay a step ahead of your competitors.

Yet, there are those who in spite of the changing times survived being what they are. Consider the species like the cockroach and many others from the reptilian family. They adapted to the change but did not go through radical metamorphosis as many others. The key word here and to which I want to emphasize is ‘Adaptation’.

Adaptation by definition is: “to make suitable to requirements or conditions; adjust or modify fittingly”. Ninety nine times to one, a change can be predicted. Rarely did you hit an inflection point without having a hunch or visibility into it. Whether you have enough time to adapt to it then becomes the point in question.  And that’s what we’ll talk about in the next post.

Friday, June 13, 2008

'Touchy feely’:: article by Chetan Bhagat

(Well, I have seen this article circulating for past couple of months until it recently bumped in my inbox again. Since, I do not have anything better to put up - I decided to post this today! One word of caution - people only claim that this has been written by chetan Bhagat... No where did I find a proof that it was actually written by him. But still, it's a decent read)

I remember the incident - I was in a restaurant and one girl in our group
was especially charming. So I, like any other male, tried to put on a
wooing act. You know the routine, a nanosecond extra eye contact, a few
more nods to whatever she says, and attempts to throw in those one-liners
which you know you wouldn't if she weren't there. And it seemed to be
working. She leaned forward when she spoke to me, and every now and again,
we'd have a small conversation of our own, separate from our group. She
laughed at my approach with the fork and knife, and I teased her about her
hair band, which had little teddy bears. Yes, we were flirting. A while
later, she asked me the question what did I study? I said engineering, 
without any particular meaning attached to it. And then like a cold metal
rail, she went stiff.

My jokes weren't funny any more. Her eyes wandered to everyone else.

What was it?

Why? Why? Why?

Two days later, I still couldn't get over my great start that had
dissipated listlessly upon mentioning my education. Engineer? What was
wrong with that? My mom had wanted me to become one since I was five! I had
to call her. 'So what happened to you that day, hot and cold, missie?' And
then she said, trying to be nice, 'Well, it's just that I am skeptical
about engineers as friends. I don't know, they can be, you know, very
logical and everything...not very touchy feely'.

Not touchy-feely. Now what the heck did that mean? Well, she obviously did
not mean it literally, since girls don't really suggest that sort of stuff,
certainly not in the first meeting across the table. I guessed it was 
something to do with feelings, sort of having an emotional side. The
stereotype being, the nerdy guy who sees relationships like laws of
physics, to whom love is just a bunch of chemicals going crazy in your
brain, and getting to know a person means obtaining their bio-data.

It's time to set the record straight.

It's true that a lot of what engineers study (and they end up studying
quite a lot), has to do with formulaes, laws and numbers. No matter how
hard we try, some of the vocabulary we read all day gets into our language.
So when my mother said, 'Are you getting married next year or not?' I was
liable to say, 'Well, at this moment in time, the probability is relatively
low,' and felt it was completely normal to say it. And when my sister went
sari shopping and couldn't explain the shade she wanted, I told the
shopkeeper the percentages of pink, orange and red in the sari.

Yet, ladies, I don't think we're bad at relationships, love and getting to
know people. We too, can be touchy-feely, as that is part of our education
as well. The reason for this is that most engineering students live in the
this 'touchy-feely' thing. Relationships. Imagine eating, sleeping,
brushing your teeth, bathing (ok rarely this one) and partying with the
same people all the time. So, when you are kicking that bathroom door down 
for the tenth time, or when you stand in line for 'gulab-jamuns' in the
mess, and when you are done with the vodka bottle and sharing all your
secrets, you know it is good practice. Yes, hostels maketh the man.

So, next time you are in a flirtatious situation with the techno types, go
on, flirt a bit more. Of course, I am biased towards my kind, but if you
find the conversation turning too geeky, just ask them, 'So, what were your
hostel days like?' and chances are, you'll see a heart behind the
calculator. Coming back to my missie, I thought of what would make me win
her over. Flowers... too cheesy. Music... don't know her taste (nor trust
mine). Teddy bears... don't even go there.

Desperate for some good lines, I just turned it right back at her. 'Yes, I
know what you are saying about engineers. The thing is, unless people with
depth like you start hanging out with us, we won't get any better. Can you
meet me some time for some touchy/feely... oops, I mean coffee/tea?'

She giggled. When they giggle, you have won.

- Chetan Bhagat

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Road to Nowhere

From Michigan West...

Today’s one of those days when I have this strong urge to reflect my thoughts and to pen down something, no in fact, anything in my blog but my astute lack of creativity and a total void in the left lobe of my brain has left me with no ideas but to stare blankly at the clean white interface of my text editor. I know it’s one of those days when no matter what or how much I try I cannot get even a glance of an inspiration. I’ve been holding out onto this idea – of blogging about nothing for a good (rather, bad) time. I guess the time has come – This could be the marking of the death of the inner writer I have within me.
And why this intense urge to write? Well, the other option would be to try fixing a piece of code - a task which for past two weeks I have failed miserably at. I know I won’t succeed at it today also or at the least right now. So why not sit squat, pretend that I am working and write out this blog itself. Maybe, I am looking out at this blog to be the vent of all the frustrations I’ve been holding up since the dawning of this script in my life.
Now the worse part it, as soon as I am done fixing it –and I hope I would be able to since the deadline is already crossed, I have to move to a new line of work which I have no clue about and to a place where I am considered to be an ‘expert’ of all sorts. Me and my big mouth! So much for working happily ever after.

Hmmm, I already feel better or maybe I've accepted the inevitable! Now where's that Script I need to fix? Well, lookey here...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Frantic Dilemma

“To acquire balance means to achieve that happy medium between the minimum and the maximum that represents your optimum. The minimum is the least you can get by with. The maximum is the most you're capable of. The optimum is the amount or degree of anything that is most favorable toward the ends you desire.” -- Nido Qubein.

But how do I know what’s my maximum? Do I have to push down myself to the limit until I break down to realize my potential? What if I cannot get up again? Or even if I do strive out to find my best, what if it’s not good enough? How can I just pull out at the last moment when I’m going full-speed and can’t stop myself from crashing? Is staying in my cocoon and being safe is better or risking out everything my only chance?

People I’ve heard talking out about balancing life and work are the usual out-of-the-mill types. Though they’ve done better than their peers and risen in rank, it’s mostly just because they’ve done more than others around them to make them stand out. Well, at this point you might be thinking isn’t this blog about ‘balancing’ the whole crap and not hitting either extremes. Well, it’s not! Or maybe it is, for me whose life seems to be about hitting extremes of late. There are those bursts of energy in me which keeps me from collapsing even when I know I’ve burnt all the fuel and now I’m running on reserves. Do I wait until I burn it all or wait to catch my breath? Wouldn’t life by then have moved farther away and all the work done by me to catch up with it is all futile? And from where do I gather the force to decelerate myself at this speed? It’s like riding a bike full speed, downhill and realizing you don’t have brakes on. Do I jump off and be content with couple of bruises than being a total wreck, or do I cling onto it hoping to be able to steer and control even at speeds I’ve never been on before? What if an angel is watching over me and I might get away with it safely? What if there’s not? Is it my destiny to see to it till the end or to crash and burn and never get up?

Why I fret so much about it when I can lead a normal, day-to-day life like everyone else? Well, you’ve answered it yourself. I’m not your regular just another kid on the block. Most of us have a vision and are the hunger to achieve it. Let’s just say that right now my vision is to have a vision and my hunger for its fulfillment is insatiable.

Whether the attitudes that I have are parasitic or symbiotic, I still have to figure out and it’s still a long way downhill with lots of time before I decide to bail out.

yours truly,
A messed-up mind

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Mood Pendulum and the Theory of Relativity

(This document is marked as work in progress (W.I.P.) and is a draft version 0.1)
The thing about mood swings is that we men do not have the same biological frame of reference of those of women and hence, we fail to hold any empathy to what they’re going through.

Okay, we might be able to get it that it’s one of the days when nothing’s going right for you girls. But often have we not tried and though failed every time to try in to please you pretty girls? It’s not that we’re indifferent in any way – it’s just that, what’s the point? No matter what we do, we get it wrong. And to top it up, either our efforts go unnoticed or we get condemned to the depths of frustration with the acrid sarcastic feedback that they (our efforts) aren’t enough.

I am sure than many resourceful and geniuses have spent quite of their time on trying to work out a plan around the swings. I’ve tried to capture quantative as well as qualitative data of many of my good friends to try and find the dimmest glimmer of hope of finding a predictable pattern in the realms of mood swings. But even after days, weeks and months of observation I’ve gained no ground. Not on any two days have any two moods been repeated in the same manner than before. And there is absolutely no defined time-interval indicating the next mood swing. Nor have I been able to notice any sociological, facial or body language change which would indicating us men that the next mood swing is in progress. In fact, the mood swings have happened over such short intervals that I’m not even sure I can even measure the time period.

When Einstein came up with the theory of general relativity, and predicted that nothing can move faster than the speed of light, I’m sure he hadn’t considered the moods of a lady. To quote an illustration from theory of relativity, Einstein said that in our world where everything has a speed lesser than that of light we have the cause and effect. This means that one has to shoot a gun before the bird dies. This is what happens in our 'normal' world. He speculated though in a world in a parallel universe where there are things moving faster than the speed of light there would be an effect and then a cause, which considering our previous example would mean the bird would die before the gun is fired – or in other words, the gun was fired because the bird died. Now over many years of experience of co-existing with the fair members of homo-sapiens, I’ve noticed many a times that the Effect almost invariably precedes the cause! Something happens first and you get blamed for it. So much for parallel universe and theory of relativity.

While I mull more over the thought (and I should be because it is believed that anything which does not verify the theory of relativity is wrong), I may be able to apply theory of relativity over our little problem if I make certain assumptions and approximations and consider certain paradoxes – but the only conclusion I’ve been able to come to is that either the theory of relativity has an exception (which is a dreadful thought) unless we consider the metaphorical reference to our medieval literature and assume that a woman holds a universe in herself. This will explain the effect and cause scenario and if we consider the individuality or every woman to be different, it may even explain the unique ‘mood swingness’ among women. It does have some certain flaws like the existence of a universe within a universe and other non-trivial singularities. Otherwise, another assumption can be made that women are aliens who’ve come from a parallel universe whose space-time continuum is entirely different from ours and the observations made in one universe do not hold any consequential relevance in the other. This may even explain the fact, that why we men are never been able to understand women. But it may also indicate that we men are under attack by aliens from other universe wanting world domination and us surrendering into complete slavery with no freedom of action or thought.
(I am also trying to come up with a nomenclature to identify the universe within a lady. The conventional method of identifying a lady and communicating within other fellow men for further observation is something like “36-26-36-red skimpy dress-located 9 O’clock”. Most of the men can easily aware of these universal conventions. Women on the other hand, do not bother yourselves with it please. Like I earlier said, any observations made in our universe are of non consequential relevance in your universe and any attempt to comprehend it will lead you to interpret out intentions with disastrously wrong results! )

Being low on resources and of limited social acceptance in the world of our friends from the ‘other universe’, my research has to go a long way. It is but very imperitive though that this crucial work must continue for the sake of happiness of ‘mankind’. Because as of now, irrespective of whether we’re the ones incapable of understanding them or they failing to realize that we don’t ‘get it’, we men, are always the victims. So much for Gender equality!!