Wednesday, 29 November 2006

about my job

(translated from actual chat in marathi)
chinmay: tera kya chal raha hai?
kartik: khas kuchh nahi.....
monday ko maine ~1500 lines code likha,
kal usme se ~500 lines delete kar di aur ~300 new lines likhi
chinmay:maine bhi ek 1500 lines ki SQL query likhi..
aur ab usko debug kar raha hoon
kartik:hehe.... THIS is software !!!

Though I love the bheja fry being done during this coding.

Saturday, 25 November 2006

smoking kills

It has been proved again and again that smoking kills. I wondered whether smokers consider their addiction above their (and others') lives. Then I realized that most of the urban people smoke at least two times a day - once leaving home and once returning. This form of smoking is found to be more injurious passively than actively.

Two immediate solutions thought are electric vehicles and hydrogen. Elecric vehicles on 2, 3 and 4 wheels are already available (in indian market itself). Albeit, I rarely see these on road premierly due to shortcomings such as low acceleration, high charging time and limited life of batteries. Hyddrogen as fuel (directly or as fuel cell) is yet to come up with viable economic designs.

The real question unanswered here is does it stop pollution? Unfortunately right now, most of our electricity production relies on non-renewable fossil fuels. Even if we turn to nuclear fuels to solve our energy crisis, safety and disposal of wastes become a major issue. Any more dam construction will only invite more propaganda and politics. Other renewable sources such as solar energy, tidal energy and wind energy are yet to make it big.
So that leaves us back to energy sources which cause pollution of some sort.

When electric vehicles were introduced in US, they didn't succeed. See about documentary "who killed the electric car?". Apparently there are more political interests in sustaining fossil fuel business than to think about well being of the globe (What else should I have expected from politicians). Here is a trailer.

I started with "smoking kills". Now the subject also touches energy crisis, politics and imperialism. Is all in despair?

We will have to wait for another technology revolution to answer that.

call me a hypocrite, but I have decided to buy a (petrol-based) bike to survive the long distances in Bangalore. And if you see a blank space instead of a video, wait till youtube finishes trying out new formulae.... Somebody has a good sense of humour describing youtube's architecture in layman's terms

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

personality test

Inspired from a blogger, I took a personality test. As it turned out to be, I don't like revealing myself, which is true but contradicts this blog, mainly because of my curiosity to take this test.

Here are the reults.
Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||| 40%
Stability |||||||||||||| 53%
Orderliness |||||||||||| 46%
Accommodation |||||||||||||||| 63%
Interdependence |||||||||||||||| 70%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||| 70%
Mystical |||||||||||||| 56%
Artistic |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Religious |||||||||||| 50%
Hedonism |||||||||||| 50%
Materialism |||||| 30%
Narcissism |||||||||| 36%
Adventurousness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Work ethic |||||| 23%
Self absorbed |||||| 30%
Conflict seeking |||||||||| 36%
Need to dominate |||||||||| 36%
Romantic |||||||||||| 43%
Avoidant |||||||||||| 43%
Anti-authority |||||||||||| 43%
Wealth |||||||||||| 43%
Dependency |||||| 30%
Change averse |||||||||||| 43%
Cautiousness |||||||||||| 43%
Individuality |||||||||||||| 56%
Sexuality |||||||||||||| 56%
Peter pan complex |||||||||||||| 56%
Physical security |||||||||||||| 56%
Physical Fitness |||||||||||||||||| 77%
Histrionic |||| 16%
Paranoia |||||||||||| 50%
Vanity |||||| 30%
Hypersensitivity |||||| 30%
Female cliche |||||| 30%
Interesting thing is that it finds my nature pretty much right here, but the trail snapshot contradicts this analysis on some traits (such as adventurousness). Physical fitness, where thin is supposed to be healthy (!!) was definitely not expected :

trait snapshot:
does not make friends easily, secretive, introverted, reclusive, observer, dislikes leadership, somewhat socially awkward, does not like to stand out, dislikes large parties, values solitude, solitary, avoidant, ambivalent about fitting in, not dominant, unassertive, suspicious, prudent, unadventurous, worrying, weird, intellectual, frequently second guesses self

otherwise the result is quite soothing - the way I want myself to be :)

You can take the test for yourself here.

Saturday, 18 November 2006

did you know?

While those forwards keep pouring our mailboxes, only few are remembered. This post specifically refers to one such forward - "useless facts". To respect the original author, i too have added comments to follow each fact (or group of them)

40 useless facts about animals (and my opinion about it)
1. A 1,200-pound horse eats about seven times it's own weight each year.
2. An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
3. Starfish don't have brains.
('I know some people like that' category of facts)

4. Howler monkeys are the noisiest land animals. Their calls can be heard over 2 miles away.
(this also fits the category, calls being on cellphone)

5. When ants find food, they lay down a chemical trail, called a pheromone.
(this also fits the category. When they find food, they fart.)

6. A newborn kangaroo is about 1 inch in length. Young kangaroos are called joeys.
7. Large kangaroos cover more than 30 feet with each jump.
("mommy, teach me how to jump...... mommy.... where are you mommy? Michael.....?")

8. A rat can last longer without water than a camel can.
(rats should infest deserts, they have a strategic advantage and core competence)

9. A zebra is white with black stripes.
(i thought it was a brand of bra, white with black stripes)

10. Pet parrots can eat virtually any common "people-food" except for chocolate and avocados. Both of these are highly toxic to the parrot and can be fatal.
(corner house must have tested their innovation (DBC) on parrots.)

11. The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.
12. It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
(What a pain for squids... one such was seen digging its own grave after catching common cold)

13. An electric eel can produce a shock of up to 650 volts.
(between two electric eels - "oh! look at poor Electra, how shocked she is at her boyfriend's survival, he knew it was her.")

14. If you keep a Goldfish in the dark room, it will eventually turn white.
(out of fear)

15. Beaver teeth are so sharp that Native Americans once used them as knife blades.
(if native americans had gone to switzerland, may be a beaver would have been seen today having 25 teeth, each suited to a different purpose)

16. Catnip can affect lions and tigers as well as house cats. It excites them because it contains a chemical that resembles an excretion of the dominant female's urine.

17. Cheetahs make a chirping sound that is much like a bird's chirp or a dog's yelp. The sound is so an intense, it can be heard a mile away.
(bird - "chirrp" cheetah - "CHIRRRRP"
the bird flies off, the cheetah builds a rocket, flies out of atmosphere and chokes to death.)

18. Hummingbirds are the smallest birds - so tiny that one of their enemies is an insect, the praying mantis.
(such a mantis was seen praying - " Oh Lord, give us today our daily hummingbird")

19. In its entire lifetime, the average worker bee produces 1/12th teaspoon of honey.
20. The honeybee kills more people world-wide than all the poisonous snakes combined.
(a swarm to a honey-eating man - "you ruined our lives. asshole, take this.")

21. Moles are able to tunnel through 300 feet of earth in a day.
(there was news of underground metro-railway being made in Mumbai and Bangalore, too late for Delhi.)

22. Pigs, walruses and light-colored horses can be sunburned.
(see pic for proof, she really got tanned on the beach - after all a hippo is a water-horse....)

23. A woodpecker can peck twenty times a second.
(that was what previous post on this blog was about - Ig nobel awards and why woodpeckers don't get headache)

24. Snails produce a colorless, sticky discharge that forms a protective carpet under them as they travel along. The discharge is so effective that they can crawl along the edge of a razor without cutting themselves.
25. The fastest-moving land snail, the common garden snail, has a speed of 0.0313 mph.
(may be these two facts are corelated, it must be difficult to keep on shitting just to walk millimeters. but the fastest one must really have been exhausted.)
26. A snail can sleep for 3 years.
(Must have been the fastest one.)

27. The bloodhound is the only animal whose evidence is admissible in an American court.
("were you present when the culprit committed the crime?"
"woof woof"
"so is he guilty?"
"woof woof"
"in that case he will be convicted for a hanging. do you have anything else to say?"
"woof woof"
"so you were paid a million bones to testify against him?"
"woof woof"
"and daily free lunch at KFC?")

28. No two spider webs are the same.
(does that include spiderman? was www made by him?)
29. The average human eats 8 spiders in their lifetime at night.
(we lose such a diversity of webs, just out of ignorance!)

30. The largest animal ever seen alive was a 113.5 foot, 170-ton female blue whale.
(so who says it is a male dominated society?)
31. All clams start out as males; some decide to become females at some point in their lives.
32. Amazon ants (red ants found in the western U.S.) steal the larvae of other ants to keep as slaves. The slave ants build homes for and feed the Amazon ants, who cannot do anything but fight. They depend completely on their slaves for survival.
33. Only female mosquitoes bite.
(naturally, after seeing those ants...)

34. Dolphins sleep with one eye open.
(new reasearch proves that dolphins like metallica more than other music)

35. In 1845, US President Andrew Jackson's pet parrot was removed from his funeral for swearing.
("die you jackass". his opponents called him jackass, and he liked it for some time, and eventually his party took the symbol of donkey.)
36. More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.
(this was the election campaign of the republicans this time - that's why they lost)

37. The tsetse fly kills another 66,000 people annually.
(Santa - "If I kill this particular fly, will I be awarded Nobel prize for peace?"
Banta - "If not, you will surely get the Ig nobel prize")

38. The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained "cats and dogs" and led to the current expression.
(have you heard the song "it's raining men?", maybe she sang that during a flood.)

39. The world record frog jump is 33 feet 5.5 inches over the course of 3 consecutive leaps, achieved in May 1977 by a South African sharp-nosed frog called Santjie.
("and the gold medal in triple jump goes to...... can you see him on the podium?")

and this is the punch -
40. The Kiwi can't fly. It lives in a hole in the ground, is almost blind, and lays only one egg each year. Despite this, it has survived for more than 70 million years.
(a polititian often flies, lives in big house on top of a hill, is fully blind to society, and lays multiple eggs each year. Despite this, it has survived for all the time democracy has been established)

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

nobel or ignoble? (world is full of humour and stupidity too)

reasearch combined with humour, joblessness and queerness, gives birth to ig nobel prizes (yes, that is not misspelt, it is ig nobel, not ignobel, nor ignoble). Just like there are spoof academy awards - Golden Raspberry awards, or Pigasus awards given for extraordinary claims in para-psychology, there is an award spoofing the reverred nobel prizes. this is something which first makes you smile and then makes you think - the extraordinarily innovative research.

Scroll through the list and don't miss out on noticing how jobless these scholars are.
Here is a glimpse of what to expect - the list of research topics of this year's winners.

Ornithology(birds) - for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.
Nutrition - for showing that dung beetles are finicky eaters (gourmets!).
Peace - for inventing an electromechanical teenager repellant — a device that makes annoying noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults; and for later using that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible to teenagers but not to their teachers. (checkout the teen buzz)
Acoustics - for conducting experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping on a blackboard.
Mathematics - for calculating how many photographs a person must take to almost ensure that no one in a group photograph will have their eyes closed: "Blink-Free Photos, Guaranteed." (this turned out to be elementary prob-stats, even i could have published this paper)
Literature - for report "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly." (seems like the author was inspired for this prize beforehand)
Medicine - for medical case report "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage"; and for another subsequent medical case report also titled "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage." (what a coincidence... both ways)
Physics - for insights into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces: "Fragmentation of Rods by Cascading Cracks: Why Spaghetti Does Not Break in Half."
Chemistry - for study "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature." (and did you know that an elephant cannot jump? i really wanted to know about such pieces of information)
Biology - for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet. (and i thought only i do something like writing blogs to get rid of joblessness)

and yes, before i forget, i should mention the cleverest lot amongst us, who eventually exited from the gene pool, winning themselves the darwin awards (so called because darwin talked about 'natural selection' as a consequence of 'survival of fittest'). this really made my day, combining the utmost stupidity and consequent humour.

The previous post talked about some intelligent people on a blue planet. This stuff is no less exquisite.

p.s. random wikipedia led me into this/previous post, but i've since improved from linking wikipedia directly to linking homepages of these stuff by scrolling down on those wikipedia pages - oh that lazy joblessness.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

world is full of clever people

a world full of shrewdness - precisely defines internet and its growth. it has always been about money, traffic, ads, and hacking other's stuff to promote yours (exception may be like google, which was first about product then business model build around it. (btw, did you know that gmail does not support dot, is same as or any other combination with more number of dots, but i can login only using kartik.rdburman as my id. (and did you notice how gtalk is now improved to support offliners? (and did you notice how orkut is now integrated with gtalk? (these days one part of my job has been a part-time google testing team member as they keep adding features, and another part being required to match parentheses))))).

well, most parts of the blog are my poor understanding to already known phenomena on the web, but i just could not skip the revelation - more about human nature than about these tricks.

while the viruses and trojans have been ubiquitous, techniques known as pharming (farming trojans by hacking onto a server) and phishing (fishing an unsuspecting user into a seemingly innocuous but specious webpage, and asking him to reveal personal information) have been being used for some time now. remember any page on geocities/members.tripod which asked for your respective domain id/password? remember mails in your mailbox seemingly sent by your friends (and also not reported as spam by the mail service) containing such traps? before you blast your friend, think about why your password still remained same (if it did) and coincidentally your friend got such spam.

based on the flaws of the hastily built software systems, the so called hackers have always exploited the web for their own welfare (fun, money, challenge). some have gone forward to such an extent that they target a particular service (similar to spear phishing). AOHell was targetted at AOL, with a goal to have "20,000+ idiots using AOHell to knock people offline, steal passwords and credit card information, and to basically annoy the hell out of everyone". see its features here and here, it included simple tricks like ghost , scroll, finger (feeding chat screen with multiple lines/ascii art, like seen on dc++ chat), some kewl tricks (like fake account creator, IM Bot), some nasty tricks (like mail-bomb), and some really specious (like credit card number simulator)...... mind you all this intelligent programming was done only to take revenge on AOL administrators who used to shut hacker chatrooms down, but not chatrooms like childporn/pedophiles.

does that sound something like a sunny deol movie, setting the world around him right in his own manner - "kanoon haath me lena"? let me remind you that this is www=wild wild web. and no one cares what goes inside out of another server as long as it does not bother your system.

i can't find any reason to blame them (hackers) if ordinary mortals find the trick too intelligent to evade. similar but relatively well-known practices have been being followed in "traditional" business, and many still keep falling prey to them. you don't blame these business savvies because they dupe people to make money. this is precisely like a nice soft voice on your phone telling you that you need to pay a small amount of money by creditcard in order to get double balance deposited in your bank account, or somewhat like politely saying "give me 5 bucks and i will (if i wish to) give you back ten thousand" forgetting that the wish is inherently biased and your expected return should be zero. to someone more stupid, i would rather say "f*@# you !"

clever has a shade of intelligent, and a shade of cunning. it's like a movie - the protagonist can be a criminal, or can be a gentleman, it only depends on what character YOU find a connection with.

Saturday, 4 November 2006


a bass guitar with a cover bag - Rs 6500
an amplifier to make it rock - Rs 5700
playing your favourite songs on bass after so long - Rs 11500 (yeah, I got some discount)

playing music with your beloved friends - priceless

there are somethings in life money cannot buy.
for everything else there is monthly paycheck.

so am I not happy with my new bass? Definitely I am, just a bit nostalgia has eclipsed that happiness.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

my own digging the internet for miscelleny

if you are familiar with digg, you might find this blog pretty much plain.

it all started with wikipedia's today's article one day.

molecules with funny names - includes bastardane, miazole & urazole, arsole, DAMN, dUMP, ASS, SEX, erectone, megaphone, cummingtonite, moronic acid, fukalite, fucol, (broken) windowpane, the painful Antipain, penguinone, performic acid, diabolic acid, magic acid, lunatoic acid, erotic acid, small-breasted-dog.......
so much for someone who thought chemistry profs are not profane.

speaking of organic chemistry, there are some really "beautiful" molecules, such as cubane, tetrahedrane and dodecahedrane (platonic hydrocarbons), adamantane and other diamondoids, fullerenes, Mona Lisa of reaction chemistry

so much for chemistry, now mathematical beauty in the underlying geometry
platonic solids - the best part is when you see that a cube is a dual of octahedron and dodecahedron is a dual of icosahedron (and vise versa, of course)
archimedian solids - and their duals (catalan solids)
johnson solids (if you are too keen)
a nice java applet on this
(whatever, nothing beats fractals and conway's game of life in beauty in maths)

enough geeky matter, how about some humour, something new, if you were not happy with funny names of molecules?
apart from uncyclepedia and somethingawful, there are so many sources of hilarious articles on the internet such as
the discovery of a new element,
some stupid news on google,
hide and seek in spaceshuttle,
dinosaurs were no more impressive than ‘a collection of bored amoeba’

then there is something cute - cats

ok, enough arbit stuff now..... that proves i am
mostly workless..... and reading h2g2 :)

that also reminds me of a recent purchase of a book on Murphy's laws. You might have seen some of the corrollories of the ever-correct axiom of a developer's life as my recent status messages. This book is highly recommended to any smiling reader.

here are some of the classic quotes in the book -
"If anything can go wrong it will (at the worst possible time)"
and "If something cannot go wrong, it will."
"Murphy was an optimist."
"It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious."
"You may know where the market is going, but you can't possibly know where it is going after that."
"An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing."
"If mathematically you end up with the incorrect answer, try multiplying by the page number."
"Any attempt to print Murphy's laws will jam the printer."
"The day you wash your car, it will rain"
and "Washing your car to make it rain does not work."