Sunday, November 23, 2008

What an awesome wedding!

Not sure how I came across this blog but here is a totally cool couple who got married in a totally awesome and nerdy way :)

To all my tech friends, you will know you have the girl of your dreams when she says YES to a wedding like this.

May this be the litmus test.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Google Tracks The Flu

I don't know if I am seeing more Flu stories just because I got the Flu and am therefore noticing much more or if there is suddenly a spurt in Flu related activity but the latest is that even Google is now tracking the Flu.
Well, in the US anyway - with their FluTrends page.

You can access it here

And if you are wondering about my Why I am seeing more of Flu theory - try this simple experiment. On your way back from work or college or wherever, tell yourself you are going to spot color red (or whatever color you want). Suddenly you will notice it everywhere.

This has to do with the automatic filtering by our brain. But that is a topic for another post - automatic filtering and assumptions!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Firefox Issue - Solved

I filed a bug yesterday with deviant art about my post below and their super helpful team got back to me today morning.

The issue was quite simply that browser's get messed up with embedded color profiles.

Idea is to NOT embed it.

And sincei  just moved to CS4, I didnt realise that the profiles were embedded by default, and I need to uncheck everytime I don't want it.


Oh well, atleast it now WORKS! :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

STRANGE Firefox Issue

When I edit some of my photos in photoshop and upload them to my deviantart gallery, firefox seems to be having a serious issue rendering the images properly...

Look at the screen shots of the SAME webpage in both Firefox 3.03 and Safari.
See how the colors in firefox are completely faded but are fine in Safari?

I've tried everything - from embedding RGB profiles into the photo to increasing saturation for it to look better on FF (which is a terrible idea in general
 btw and was more for the sake of science) but nothing seems to work.

And this is not the only image - it happens on other photo too! But there is no pattern.
It doesnt happen on ALL the photos. And on those that it does, they arent really from the same batch or anything so I am really at a loss to know why this is so.

See for yourself - original page here and my screenshots are below

What to do when you have the Flu?

By now you know I have been struggling rather furiously with the Flu.
Sitting inside my quilt with the fan switched off - I'm the butt of jokes of such originality as "Look at him! he is the Kung FLU Panda"

yes - it helps THEM that my cold ensures my equally witty reply of "get the *&^% out of my room" comes out like "get the cough cough cough cough cough cough - breathe " x3

As with most of my problems - I turned to the internet to see what were some of the solutions the world offered for Flu

And interestingly enough with all the technology at our disposal, we still really have no clear idea of what the hell to do with the Flu.

1. We are still suggesting chicken broth or chicken soup as the number one cure.

2. Most suggest - stay this way for a week - it will cure itself. (These people have most likely NEVER had the flu - which could mean that they are aliens. HA!)

3. Others have suggested (including my friend from the Czech republic) to drink 1 bottle of Czech Brandy.
I guess the concept of the remedy is to get the Flu virus so inebriated that it forgets what it's supposed to do and steps out of your body to clear its head(s?)
Ofcourse it could also be that 1 bottle will keep you drunk for a week - enough time for the Flu to pass.
Basically the same as #2 but atleast you are more comfortable because you are passed out!

4. Some say that you should NEVER try to cure the fever as that stops further formation of the virus and gets the body to make more antibodies.

Finally though, After much research I came across this product called the Sambucol.

It is a unique extract from Black Elderberry. And the way it works on the virus is not by killing it - but by ensuring it doesn't replicate.

A virus cannot reproduce on it's own and needs a healthy cell to do so.
To break open the healthy cell, it has these spikes. What Sambucol does is it blunts the spikes, so a virus cannot pair with a healthy cell and basically sits around doing nothing.

Apparently, it has a 93% success rate of curing the diseased in about 2 days. That sounds so good to me right now I could cry.

Caution - If you happen to be in Europe and find these shrubs, dont just pluck and eat them. They are apparently poisonous and need to be treated before being edible.

Well, I still don't have a cure in my hand but atleast now I feel better that science is atleast working on it seriously - rather than just looking for extra terrestrial life and sending probes to Mars.

After all, if an Alien Ambassador came over and caught the Flu and instead of a quick fix we told him, oh to cure this, you just gotta wait a while, it might make us look galactically stupid.

The Speech - See the Video

Obama's Victory Speech Video
If you don't wanna read the whole speech below - here is the video in surprisingly good quality on BBC.

I saw it full screen on my 24" monitor without pixellation.

Yeah, you need decent broadband for it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama Wins

I have mixed feelings now that Obama has actually won.
To be sure - I was totally behind him - even to the extent of taking the pains to put it on facbeook!
But as they say - if it sounds too good to be true - it probably is.

Is he just an awesome orator and the product of a brilliant PR/campaign machine?
Or is he genuinely going to pursue what he promised everyone - Change We Need.
After all - hitler too was a brilliant orator and a charismatic leader.

Here is how I see it:

He has taken the high road in many potentially advantageous positions. He has spoken honestly and throughout his campaign, his actions have been consistent with his messaging.

Whether it was sticking to his reverend friend, or calling and apologizing to the 2 muslim women who weren't allowed to stand behind him, or whether it was Sarah Palin's daughter's teen pregnancy where he said:

“I think people’s families are off limits.  People’s children areespecially off limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It hasno relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as a governor or her potentialperformance as a vice president. So I would strongly urge people toback off these kinds of stories.”

He fired people when they tried to take the dirty road by calling Clinton a "Monster"
And many many more such incidents.

He has accepted his mistakes and learnt from them.

The honest and infact honorable campaign that he has run needs to be aplauded and replicated.
He has basically given everyone hope. And that is incredible.

Will he be good for India? Will he be bad?
The honest answer that no one will give you is - no one really knows.
We will just have to wait and watch.

However, if he is every bit as incredible as his speeches and his campaign conduct - then quite honestly, he really WILL be the change we all need.

Not just for America but politics itself and politicians themselves.

I can only hope and wish that our very own upcoming elections will give us Indian's someone who will give us the Change that WE know we NEED.

Amen to that.

Obama's Acceptance Speech

This is Barack Obama's acceptance speech.
Compare this with George Bush's for 2004 here:

This Victory Belongs To You

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.
I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Monday, November 3, 2008

To all my friends about to get married...

Suddenly - marriage is in the air.

Many of my friends and acquaintances are in this frenzy of tying the knot. Some infact, with each other. From now till feb next year, I know 11 people getting married. yeah, that's about 3 a month or one every ten days.

BTW - what is it with people JUST about to get married? Why is that the first question they ask you is - when are YOU getting married?

I get it that you are excited and happy but does it mean that you have to:

1. Spend hours talking to me about how this is PERFECT for me?
2. Tell me how all my habits will need to change after I get married (which is what confuses me about 1. how the hell is that perfect?)

This does not apply to you 3 getting married in December - thankfully, you are the exception that proves the rule!

So ANYWAY - what comes after marriage? (no, after honeymoon)

Babies! And on that, I have some excellent advice that I came across.
You can see simple pictures depicting profound techniques here.

If you like this, you can buy the book here.

And yes, you are welcome.

And no, I wasn't reading up on baby care - just came across this.
Yeah, think about the stuff I DON'T post on the blog.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Where in the world? Is very cool!

If you have a picasaweb account, goto the new "explore" page and play the "where in the world" game.

It will give you a map and a photo and you have to guess where in the world is that picture taken.

You get points depending on how close your guess is and google will tell you how far off you were.

Interesting as hell! Also - addictive.

The photos are now online!

I have been practically flooded with requests for seeing my recent holiday snaps - from both people I know, and those that I do not (well, not outside of the virtual world anyway!)

On the right you will find all the "selected" pictures from my recent holiday.

I am not done with adding captions to all pictures yet so bear with me :)

And incase you are wondering, they are selected because the original lot was just too big.

If you need hi-res of any particular image for your wallpaper or whatever, let me know and I will send you one :)

Yeah - I am THAT nice ;)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This is a test

Moving everything over to the Mac is certainly turning out to be slightly trickier than I thought.

I am yet to see ONE software which is FREE and is as good as Windows Live Writer.

I cannot believe the piece of junk floating around disguised as "good blogging software"

Right now, posting from a google designed widget. This is even more idiotic because I cannot add simple things like - PHOTOS!
I have to add that manually from the web interface.

C'mon Eric Schmidt! You are on the Apple board for godssake! This is the best you can do?

Stop thinking about being the "CTO of America" if Barack wins and start focusing on Google - your software for Mac is terrible.

Steve, fire his ass.

How to become a supermodel.

No, this is not one of those things you read about in fashion mags or watch TV shows (most notably, the most hopeless - America's next top model)

You don't need diets or yoga or pilates. You just need your neighborhood geek who is a pro photoshopper (one way to tell if he is an expert is if you let him take pictures of you and they end up on the internet stuck on a body you do not have - but want to)

Everything is fixable - your dark circles, face marks, love handles (btw, why are they named this?) and ofcourse the rest of your body can be increased or decreased to a "size" and "shape" you prefer.
And here's the kicker - it takes about 10 minutes to do it.

For the skeptics amongst you - watch the video below and apologize for ever doubting me :)

Oh and btw - if you are a guy, never ever learn photoshop. Run far far away from the merest mention of the term because if you do end up learning it, for the rest of your life, you will never be able to look at hot women pictures the same way.

Here is what you will be thinking when you look at them -
hot figure - liquify filter
smooth skin - surface blur, airbrush
sparkling eyes - dodge, contrast and more