Friday, July 28, 2006

The Colbert Report

This show is amazingly hilarious !
Girish showed it to me the day I got here - and I have been watching it ever since :-)

I had already seen C-Span video where he had toasted George Bush - the chap is hilarious and can be amazingly sarcastic in his interviews :-))

1 Comments:

Anonymous compensation calculator said...

You have shared nice stuff .This is my first time I visit here. I found so many interesting in your blog especially its discussion. Keep your blog updating and good luck!

8/18/2011 11:06:00 AM  

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Odds and ends ...

Just got back yesterday night from the XMPP interop event - written about it a bit here.
The second day of the event , I woke up with a bad case of headache and moderately high fever ... thankfully I had packed some medicines and so I could make it through the day without too much of a problem.
Having the stupid flight delayed by more than two hours did not improve things and I got back to the apartment at one at night ...
So , did not make it to office today - and was watching TV most of the day.
You will be surprised at the amount of ad's on most of the channels ! And interestingly , there are three broad categories for the ad's : a) Prescription drugs and other 'health improvement' products , b) Earn money easy 'schemes' , c) How to save money schemes.
They are as pathetic as they are boring ! Considering how 'rich' this country is supposed to be , this sort of advertising is borderline pathetic :-P

And I better watch what I write here , my manager Jacques browsed over my blog while we were waiting at the airport ;-)
He found the post about focal time particularly hilarious :-P

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The welcome !

Not sure how many have you have felt like royalty ... but I sure was treated like a king the last couple of day !
First off , the trip was 'uneventful' ... and surprisingly I was not at all tired at the end of it.
Got here at around 8 saturday evening - an hour or so late , and yet Girish was still waiting for me :-)
We chatted all the way to my apartment , spent a bit of time trying to 'get inside' and then had an uneventful dinner. He was a perfect host all throughout ... I would have been totally but for him !!

Sunday , I had an appointment with Daku007 :-D
I had a ball of a time with her the whole day : completely forgot all about work and just enjoyed myself thoroughly.
She showed me all around this place , we drove around like crazy (ok , she does the driving and I do the talking ;-) ) , clicked pics like there was no tommorrow and generally psyched everyone around us :-P
Btw , will post pics where daku looks like a Vogue model - courtesy , my awesome photography skills >:-)
And yes , I have bestowed her with my 'amazing luck' for the coming week for being a gem of a host and indulging all my stupid wishes - may all her wished come true :-D All this inspite of the fact that she was dead tired from quite a bit of physical exertion the prev week !!

Monday , back to work :-( Met a few people (most are on vacation) and got back to the business of bugfixing ...

I never thought much of the time difference until now ... When I was going to bed sunday night , I got the kicks when I imagined all my collegues back in Bangalore cursing their way to the office ;-)

1 Comments:

Blogger emanish said...

No Jetlag ? cool...
Say Hi, to Daku when you meet her next.
Enjoy your stay !

7/18/2006 09:04:00 PM  

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Back in 3

It is common chat lingo to say "back in 10" to mean the said person will be back in 10 mins.
In this context, it is back in 3 weeks though :-)

As I already mentioned before , I am off to attend XMPP Interop event at Portland Oregon tommorrow. One week left for me to iron out issues with our server before we head off for the event.
Wish me luck ! Will need it in bucket loads .. Murphy is after me :-(

2 Comments:

Blogger V said...

All the best d00d.

7/15/2006 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger MMN said...

Best of luck susk :)

7/17/2006 11:03:00 AM  

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bombay blasts

I am sure most of you are already aware of the blasts that have shocked the nation and devastated Bombay.
I have my family and lot of friends in mumbai and was worried about them for most part of the evening/night. Thankfully , none of them seem to be directly affected by the explosions other than being inconvenienced by it.
Hope all your near and dear ones are safe and sound.

About 170 people have already passed away 'cos of this cowardly act and many more are injured.
We can pray for the souls of the unfortunate and wish for the speedy recovery of the hospitalised.

3 Comments:

Blogger Moonjungle said...

I think its abt time we thought of chorifying the paki's & blame it on terrorism like they do.

7/12/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Hello from Canada,

Here is Canada we complain if we can't get a seat on a commuter subway train, but we rarely have times when our commuter trains are packed with people like sardines.

Now a days we in Canada finally get to learn about what it is like to live in highly populated countries because we have internet news and world television programs to teach us about what it is like to be in another land.

When I heard of the blast my mind raced to a memory on a travel program of folks jammed and busy trying to get home from work on the commuter train.

I could only imagine what it was like for those who experienced this horrible event. It is aweful that someone purposely chose a place they knew would be very crowded so they could inflict the most personal tragity possible.

They are not humans who choose such evil deeds. There are no sane people who would choose to destroy fellow human beings in this manner.

7/13/2006 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger Mridul said...

@ moonjungle

Let us see what the govt ends up doing ... right now , we have to make sure that people try to recover from the incident and can piece together their lives.

@lynn

Bombay rail network must be carrying the highest number of commuters in the world daily ... and the precision with which is does it is amazing.
I have travelled by it a few times , and 'jam packed' gets a new meaning after you have travelled by it at the time when office close in the evening.
It makes an ideal target for a terrorist strike - minimum effort , maximum damage and highest probability of escape in the ensuing crowd and melle.
The location is chosen not just to spread damage , but if possible to trigger a communal riot similar to what happened to Bombay in 1993.
Fortunately , this latter goal has not succeeded.

7/13/2006 01:31:00 AM  

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Weekend movie mania

That was quite a range of movies I saw this weekend - from the absolute crap to the superlative !
Let us start with the worst first :-)

Superman Returns
I wish that he had not returned. The whole story is told in the title - Superman returns. Thats about it.
The biggest nonsense ever made in movie-making history : and that is saying a lot since we have had other emminently forgettable nonsense coming out of Hollywood recently like MI3 , Oceans 12 , etc ... heck , this movie rivals with the worst of Bollywood for the top spot !
The idea behind the movie is like this - superman is a household name , we want to make money out of it : thats about it.
God knows when moviemakers will realise that special effect's cannot carry a movie : if the story is crap , irrespective of the effects you put in it , it remains crap.
There is no plot in the 'story' (and I use the word loosely here) , we have superman as a super-stalker - leaving no privacy to law-abiding citizens , we have a baddie who is a baddie since the movie needs a baddie and he has to look 'cool' and 'menacing' and do supposedly "Evil (tm)" things.
This is one of those rare movies which remains hopeless even if you are watching it in the companiy of friends :-(
And lest I forget to mention , Hollywood seems to be in a 'romantic streak' : god knows why they are hell bent on adding that unnecessary dash of 'romance' to further muck up the already miniscule plot.
Next thing we know , we will have "Hulk 2" where we have a "hulk" and "hulkess" doing romantic nothings while jumping around arizona locked in a ballet , flattening cities and towns : morons. Hmm , the flattening cities would be fun actually ;-)



That was saturday ... and a very bad week for watching movies : or so I thought !
Sunday was surprisingly good ...
Manoj aka MMN (actually Three Angles :-) ) finally premiered their movies ... and since I woke up a bit late , forgot my packet of rotten eggs and tomatos in my hurry to get to the venue :-P

Of the three short movies they were supposed to screen , the first : Deja Vu (title is not very apt IMO ... but no intellectual discussions about it : Anoop) was their final project as part of their movie-course ... and I had already seen this one.
It deals with premonitions ... and is done well. Too bloody effective maybe , last time I saw it I fell unconscious and had to go to Bombay for 7 months to recover :-P Ok ok , I fainted cos effects of a past food poisoning incident ... but adds a nice twist to the story about the movie , dont you think ? ;-)

The second one , "The Bet" , started off really well ... this was the first time I was actually seeing Vipin's animation in 'action' so to speak :-) Inspite of Vipin not liking this particular work of his that much , I must say it looked pretty good !
I really liked the way the animation merged into the actual movie - slick editing ... and the bike race in the begining was shot really well !
Alas , that was about it - "technical difficulties" ended that movie pretty abruptly.
Considering that there was a software engineer who did electronics engineering , and a hardware engineer as two of the three angles , it is a pity they could not 'fix' this :-P
Proper beta testing was not done before release I think ;-)

The third was 'Causality' ... kind of weird title and starts off with a quote by "Merovingian" , hehehe.
This movie seemed to be of much better quality from the previous ones (of what little we saw of the second) - it was surprisingly good : and mind you , I did go there with high expectations (it was "Cannes MMN"'s movies after all :-P) ... considering the constraints under which they worked , they have pulled off a very remarkable feat indeed ! Congratulations !!
Not going to delve too much into the details , but I will be very surprised if this does not bag a few awards :-D
By the way , this movie also seems to take Quentin Tarantino's approach to violence : they made it an animation :-) ... done by our very own Vipin. The music composition seemed to have a pink floyd touch to it ... very nice.

The actors for all the movies are all supposedly amateurs ... and all of them (except maybe for the maid in the third movie - that is the only part which is not as good as the rest) have done a great job. By the way , the sharp eyed viewer will notice the cameo apprearance by the director in the movie ;-) MMN does a Alfred Hitchcock :-P


The weekend ended with a classic : Shogun Assasin.
This is one kickass movie ! I cant even begin to describe it ... and if you are wondering where you have heard it before , it is the movie BB watches with Beatrix (the bride) at the end of Kill Bill Vol 2.
If you have not seen it , I can only say - watch it.
If you are queasy about seeing blood : too bad , you are missing a treat !
It is the story of a assasin as told by his 3 year old son : need I say more ? :-)

4 Comments:

Blogger Moonjungle said...

Eda, its not Three Angels. Its Three Angles.

7/09/2006 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Mridul said...

Corrected it ... my stupid mistake :-)

7/09/2006 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger MMN said...

Hmm... Choriyeda, chori :). Thanks for the post man, we are getting good publicity. :)
The reasons behind the animation?
1. I thought it will add value to the whole film
2. The whole movie was shot in 22hrs (from 8:30 am one morning to 5:30 am next morning) and I thought we would run out of time (which we did :))
3. /me a big fan of QT :)

And how nice of you to call us "Three Angels" (though we belong to the other type :))

7/10/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger cRaY3 said...

Superman only returned to know that he had a lousy kid..wait for the next sequel...Superman-Hum apke hain koun.

7/11/2006 05:52:00 PM  

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Geek code

The last time I wrote down my geek code was 7 - 8 years back ... seen to have lost all references to it - except what I vaguely remember it to be.
So here is my latest :

-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
Version: 3.1
GCS/E d-? s:-- a- C+++ !ULS P+ L++(++++) !E W++ N- o? K? !w !O !M
!V PS+ !PE Y? PGP t- 5? X- R tv+ b++(+++) DI++ D++(+++)>++++
G+(++) e++ h+ r-- y
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------


For those who cant be bothered with decoding it , click here.
What I found strange was that , for many things I dont like to comment about my opinion ... or find the options listed there woefully ambigous. Things are way too fuzzy now ... and I am more painfully aware of my ignorance now than ever before.
Also , as compared to what I remember my old geek code to be , I think the current one is much more toned down in terms of my 'capabilities' :-) I must have been one cocky chap then ! :-P

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Intellectual Property

*Disclaimer* I am no lawyer ... and know little of law in the first place, so just my thoughts. No flames please :-) This is not a very general piece on IP ... kind of directed towards some disturbing observations and behaviour I have observed : intention not to sermonize.

First off , just to clarify I am not super fond of patents and closed source development - but I can see justifications for their existance ... irrespective of your views , once you start working for a company and sign the dotted line - you are bound by that contract.

And protecting the intellectual property is typically a clause high up in that list.
That would just be one side of the story ... just as it is important to protect your IP , it is also important to not 'steal' others IP under any circumstances : you can use it only if you have explict permission for it.
I think this second clause is either missing or not very prominent ... for obvious reasons : your employment contract also does not say that you cannot use your company premises as a godown for stolen articles !!
Ok , maybe I am being too harsh in comparing things here ... but the impact is , in reality , not much different : can be more severe.


Let us consider a few examples I have actually seen being practised in various companies by developers : in all these cases ignorance is the reason - and it is not a valid defence.

1) Decompiling or reverse engineering and using this info.
There have been cases published online on how companies have actively tried to subvert the spirit of this ... but bottom line is , this is unethical and leads to tainted code and design.

2) Finding ways of subverting a license and 'including' a protected code within your distribution.
This could be in the form of simple renaming of opensource binaries in your distribution or more 'complex' ones like picking up the code , and integrating it within your codebase : without the license requirements being enforced.
Most developers do not even realise the seriousness of their acts when they are doing these stupid acts.

The list is long , but I just wanted to highlight two of the most common cases I have seen.

This usually happens in two ways :
1) Developer needs a quick fix , searchs the web to find a 'good library' and uses it - without giving much thought to the license.
2) He wants to find out how the competitors has solved a problem he is facing and 'takes a dig' at their product with tools for reverse engineering their code, decompiling , or any other practise forbidden by the license.

OR it could be for purely malacious reasons... which we will discount for now : if you know what you are doing is wrong and still do it - you better be aware of the consequences.

(2) is directly falling under copyright and intellectual property rights violation and should not be attempted under any ciscumstances.
(1) is a common enough case ... when you need to finish a prototype fast enough with insufficient time for due diligence , you do end up with hacks like this. The problem arises when you actually find out when the license is incompatible (typically in most companies , you MUST go through a license review of all third party component used in your product before you can get into beta or final release) ... what do we do now ?!
So beware of falling into this trap.

If any of these 'leak' out into your final product which gets released , you are making not just yourself but also making your company liable for punitive damages. Typically , I find this sort of behaviour very common among 'younger kids'. It is usually ignorance and not malacious intent which is the cause of this ....


Now to the first point - protecting intellectual property.
Usually , I have not seen many developers who are stupid enough to violate this when they are in the employ of a company (yes , I do know of incidents of colossal stupidity when they did try this too) - but as soon as they leave a company , the last few days are a flurry of activity.

Acts such as these are actually violating your company intellectual property related policies :

1) Copying your products codebase to a private repository.
Even if you had worked on that product and made substantial contributions - it still belongs to your employer. Once you leave the employ you have absolutely no rights over it and there is no justification to keep a private copy ... typically , I think it is expected that you clean up the private copies you have - not the reverse !

2) Copying and archiving mails.
This is kind of funny ground. Most of us do get personal mails at our office inbox ... so it is reasonable to want to archive those. But archiving anything else - even innocuous looking bugreports would be a violation. The mails sent to your company aliases could include patent claims in the making , design discussions for future products , presentations , competitive information , etc.
This is a very very frequent practise and I even have friends who have tried to justify this !

3) Leaving backdoors around for the purposes of 'keeping in touch' (vpn access , .forward , etc) ... once you are out , you are out. Friends remain , but professionally your relationship changes - respect that.

I think it would be very wise on the part of the companies concerned to make their new hires go through a course on legal implications of their various acts. Intention should not be to scare a new hire , but make them aware of their actions.
Lot of companies already do have these sort of courses (like mine for instance) ... but it is typically attempted and completed by the employees more as a chore than as a means to actually understand and learn something : a pity.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

License to ... kill ?!

Tommorrow is the D-day ... the driving license test is scheduled for tommorrow morning !
Wish me luck :-D


*Update*
International events have forced me to postpone this by a week atleast.
Portugal - France is way too awesome a match to miss :-D

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make sure you play Rollcage and Carmageddon to make sure that your "basics" are in place before you take the test. Also... Good luck. :)

7/05/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

BOL man.. 'Anonymous' does not sound all that Anonymous.. a distinct tone of Hostel-D!

7/06/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Mridul said...

Indeed !
That was uncanny for an anonymous comment :-)
I am sure most of us know this 'anonymous' ... who are you ? Reveal yourself !

7/06/2006 09:41:00 PM  

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AMQP and XMPP

When I started reading it , it felt 'familiar' ... was not able to put my finger on it , but now I think I know what it is - it is describing things which are similar to what pubsub JEP (this and related specs : refer for full list here) in xmpp space tries to solve.
Ofcourse , as things stand right now , XMPP 'seems' to be implemented and used more in IM type of applications , while AMQP is envisioned to be a means of achieving application integration.

One of the things I like about XMPP is that it has tremendous potential - you can extend it in a variety of ways ... it is a pity that people do not do so - fix a few more things to it (added for those who claim there are things to be fixed yet :-) ) , and I guess you could use it as a authenticated native xml stream for a wide variety of purposes - including a reliable message bus. And best part is , federation is a first class citizen of the protocol : not an afterthought.

To say one is the subset of another would be gross simplification and trivialization of both protocols ! I do not understand AMQP well enough to hazard a claim like that - and I would not try to do that ... all I can say is , XMPP could be used (or fixed in case it is not good enough) much more easily than come up with a new protocol - a new protocol will require a new eco-system of developer groups , support groups , libraries , clients/servers , etc ... acceptance might be a tad bit slower.

But yes , compared to the current methods of achieving application integration using WS-* , etc ... I will definitely welcome AMQP - in case XMPP cannot fill the space (for whatever reasons : including political ones !)

*Update*
Found a blog here which seems to echo my thoughts in much more detail and clarity ...

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Monday, July 03, 2006

AMQP

I am begining to like AMQP , the spec is here , take a look ...
The little I read , it sounds really interesting !
It would make a cool project to hack at during freetime ... let me see if I get the time to muck around with this spec ... everything after I get back though.

Hmm , didn't I say I will be maintaining e-silence ? So much for promises :-P

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Business Integration

IBM/Bea/others released "Service Component Architecture" ... I was reading through it a while back and frankly , it was a bit too complicated and I left it at that ... I had beta stoppers to fix :-P
I left it as my lack of understanding the "big picture" as to why I did not immediately 'get' it ...
Refer to what Ron Ten-Hove (JBI spec lead) has to say here and here.
Check out here for more thoughts.
It should be remembered that both Bea and IBM pulled out of the JBI spec : I guess SCA is the alternative that came out of their parallel efforts ...
While we are at it , check out "Advanced Message Queue Protocol" - another interesting spec. (writeup here).
Everything is so complicated ... *sheesh* , so much to learn and understand , yet so little time !

Something else which I am trying to finish is Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell.
Friend of mine showed me the online link ... but just cant find time to sit and read it through :-(
The online library which hosts it is cool though , check it out ! I found some other interesting works too :-D

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Money ...

Be warned : Rambling post ...

Was listening to pink floyd's "Money" when I actually started thinking about money : what it means to me , my thoughts about it and how people behave because/for it ...
Here is a simplified and condensed version of the thoughts that ran through my head.
I have always been carefree with my money : for me , it has been a means to an end - to be happy and contended in life. Possession of money has never resulted in either : and I seriously doubt if anyone has become contented only 'cos of money :-)
Money itself means nothing to me .... and even in most times , what money gets me usually does not make me happy directly. It usually allows me to buy things which on proper use make me happy : like my computers , books , cds , etc , etc .
Mere possession or the ability to buy does not make me happy ... unless I use the comp or play the games I got , etc - what is the point of money ! It is just paper in the wallet or numbers in your account :-P

I have seen way too many people act strangely and out of character when money is involved : which has increased my aversion to money. The way people do strange things for money can be pretty irritating sometimes ... and no , I dont think it is chronic greed which fuels this desire for more money : it is ingrained into human nature I guess.
I have even been "advised" by relatives on how "everything in this world revolves around money" , etc , etc - load of crap , which I patiently listen to (since the said person would be older than me) and then promptly let is pass out through my other ear ;-)
My parents keep telling me that my cavalier attitude to money is 'cos I dont appreciate the value of money - but I suspect I really understand it , which is why I do not attach too much significance to it !
Dont get me wrong , in current world it is not practical to live a life of dignity without adequate money : which makes my relationship with money one of love-hate :-)
I need enough money so that I will not need to spread my hands in front of others : anything more , I tend to spend in pretty much reckless manner (mom's description ;-) )

The pains people put themselves just to more money can be pretty surprising !
And in most of the cases , it is not really justified - I realise that some people can have really pressing need for it ... but I seriously doubt if most people fall in that category.
It is this notion that the more money you have the happier you could become : a vicious cycle unfortunately ....
I always have remarked to friends , I dont want to work for money : as in , I dont want my work to be my source of income.
If only I could decouple both, then I could work for the pure joy of working : of solving complex problems without monetary significance attached to it.
It works both ways ofcourse , if I feel bored , disinterested , irritated , drained , etc : there would be nothing stopping me from quitting , taking a break , etc - that would also take my indifference to all the 'corporate bullshit' to higher levels :-) (Yep , currently at my office I would be one of the most indifferent guys already ;-) )

And no , this is not a unique attitude , far from it ! A lot of my friends share a similar attitude to money : to varying degrees.
Hmm, maybe 'cos I am so carefree about my future , have zero responsibilities as of now , etc this attitude is practical for now ... I guess this could change in the future.
It is what a fellow chess programmer once said in another context "I dont micro-optimize : I hate doing it. But I have had to count execution cycles in critical codepaths in the past when I needed to , and I hated doing it."
If I do need to micro-optimize - heck even optimize my use of money as a resource , I will be quite unhappy !


By the way , this is not idle rhetoric , this is my current attitude to money : and why put it up here ? For posterity :-) Maybe in future I will look back at regret/admire this attitude ;-)
Or maybe I should either start a private blog or start a proper diary :-D

1 Comments:

Blogger emanish said...

Light Blue Touchpaper link is good.

about money...
hummm !!

7/03/2006 12:53:00 AM  

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