Creative common license

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wordle

New theory:
"Too much time waste results in more time waste"

So some blog that i follow wrote something about wordle. And after that i was fiddling with it for 2 hrs. And on top of that now i am writing a blog to document my time waste giving rise to the above theory. But in any case wordle is a cool tool, uses an interesting visualization algorithm and some cool coloring templates.
Here are some examples that i created

A way to look at this blog tags


How this blog plays with words




And here is another way to look at my resume

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Free web

Thanks to Justin, he forwarded me a brilliant presentation by Lessig on Free culture. I loved it, got inspired and then thought that i should also contribute in my own way. So i have signed up for Creative Common license.
I have a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alikelicense meaning
(0) Its free.
(1) Anyone who uses my work has to attribute.
(2) It is for non-commercial purposes.
(3) And if you share or add to it you have to use the same license.

We do not think about these small things but there are always agents taking our freedom away from us. First, there are patents/copyrights against which i had blogged earlier. Then there are these rating organizations like MPAA or Censor board in India who have their own way. Few days ago comcast was controllong airwaves by banning torrent sites. Since they are ISP they were controlling what flows through their pipes but recently supreme court put an end to it.

Now also, there are hundred of such things. GNU made a big break through and now its creative common which is taking it to the next level.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nice things over web!

Documenting some very cool things over web that i am using. Now, since i am one of the slowest guy to move to a new technology (i love inertia), these apps are awesome in the sense that they made me sit up and take notice.

(1) imeem: A must recommend. I started using it about 2 years back and for some reason stuck with it (because they were streaming music for free). But this company has attracted a lot of attention over the last quarter. RWW has covered it twice in last month. Why imeem is so good? They are the onle ones out there who are attempting to legalize streaming music over web. They have contracts with companies, they have advertisements in between, song previews chosen randomly and hundreds of things. Plus they have a very good base of music lovers. [My imeem profile]

(2) Phulki: An aggregator for hindi music. Thanks to gurshi for pointing it out to me. A neat interface for frontend and a fundoo idea to aggregate different streaming sources at backend. My fav hindi music listening site. Loved it after the first time. Only thing i hate is that i dont have replay option which is a must have for me. Nevertheless, i love it!

(3) Google reader: Since i now fit into the world of blogger and blog readers, google reader is inevitable. Feedly is the next step to take, i am exploring it but still the inertia is there.

(4)Humrahi : Not a app that i use regularly but a great idea. Again thanks to gurshi for this one. It is a site where you can ask for help if your parents/children are traveling from us to india or reverse. Humrahi means companion and thats the purpose.

(5) Buxfer: Now acquired by google. This one is way better than bill monk. Buxfer is an app to manage expenditure at personal level and at a group level. Ideal to be used when living with roommates.

Slowly, slowly i am also moving towards facebook. Some friends are sharing some cool articles/links over it and thats the only reason for me to log in to fb.

And i am keeping my fingers crossed for this website to work : Green mango. A good initiative to promote small scale service industry in India. Based in Hyderabad, they have already got good number of people interested!

What can i do?

But what can i do?
asked a 10 year old.
I have my homework to do,
I have to play in Sun,
and tease my sister.

But what can i do?
asked a 20 year old young adult.
I have got my semester to finish,
I have to earn and take care of my family
and build a house.

But what can i do?
asked a 30 year old adult.
I need to raise my children,
I have to pay my mortgage
and take care of my elder parents.

But what can i do?
asked a 40 year old mature adult.
I have got a daughter to marry,
and take care of my son's college tuition.
Plus, i am getting old.

But what can i do?
asked a 50 year old person.
My knees hurt, back pains,
I need to save for future
and i am getting tired.

But what can i do?
asked a 60 year retired person.
My strength fails, health decays.
I worked and worked.
Don't i deserve a little time for myself?

But what can i do?
said a 70 year old.
Young people, they don't listen.
Mature adults, they are busy in themselves.
I have time to spare but
there is a generation gap
and i don't fit in the current scheme of things.

But what can i do?
said a 80+ year old
My life is over,
just let me spend my last few days in peace.
I have done all that i could.
Now its the job of today's youth.
Go and ask a 10 year old.

Life in july - aug23 2008

Too late to update my activities for the past month. Well lets focus and remember. Key things were:

Long weekend was celebrated with gurshi and nandini and partly with Piyush. Pics can be found at the usual picassa place.

Then followed the workload to finish internship work. Time flew, but blogosphere was quite active and same can be said for Naman.

Watched Dark knight in multiplex. Alone :(. Good movie!

Went to San jose Gurdwara on Gurshi's bday. I always love Gurdwaras (and its not because of free food only)

Gave intern presentation, summed up intern work and played the go game on Aug 8.

Went to New York for a week. A different city on its own. Had a great time with my cousin and his family. Ate classic home cooked indian food :) .

Went to Albany for a day. Nice trip!

Visited statue of liberty and immigration museum at Ellis island. Loved the museum, its very well maintained. Only thing i hated was that the fact that America's positive spin off to the whole thing. By the facts, it looked like a horrible place to live, risky work atmosphere and yet they are telling that people wanted to come here. Why? Was it that bad in their countries? Some facts were missing or misrepresented. In any case, loved the exhibition and audio tour was very helpful.

Visited Central zoo - a small zoo but still was impressed by the fact that animals were kept in natural environment as possible. Purists may disagree but i have seen worse.

Best part of visiting NY is to walk on the streets of Manhattan. It is a whole new culture out there. I may even add a different species of homo sapiens as well :) . But on the way i saw Charging bull. WTC construction site, Time squar, Battery park, and other tall buildings.

Came back to atlanta. Moved to Homepark from Centennial place. Laptop broken, Laptop repaired. Life without laptop was not that bad! I didnt expect that! And the semester has started. Courses for this sem are: Advance opertaing system, WWW: Internet and its applications, Pattern matching and Cognition and culture.

[Pics whenever applicable will be updated soon on picassa album :)]

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Golden gate

Golden gate bridge

Walking on the golden gate bridge,
I felt like a writer
who has lots in mind to write
but can't find any words.

I felt like a blind man,
who can feel the cool sweet breeze
touching his face, wallowing his hair
perceiving all sensitive sensations
but can not picture the view,
can not imagine the scenery

I wondered about those 900
who commit suicide every year
by jumping from it,
what pain they must be suffering
what trauma they might have endured
that even this atmosphere can not soothe.

Walking on the Golden Gate
I felt satisfied yet incomplete.
I felt emotional yet inexpressive.
I saw heaven yet demanded more.
I felt immortal yet glad to be mortal.
I was happy yet felt a pain somewhere.
Walking on the Golden Gate,
I experienced pure life.

[This was written some day in July but put in drafts]

Music from the Inside Out

I am running very, very high on music these days. This is evident as this is my 4th post on music in the past 5 days. But this one is different. I have just finished watching a documentary on music : Music from the Inside Out.

The movie begins by asking musicians from Philadelphia Orchestra - What is music?
Everyone is speechless at first and then ideas come, visualization come, definitions come, and then comes the history, the future as was expected in past, past as seen through present and all this in context of music.

It is an okay movie from cinema perspective, from camera, editing etc but its the content that makes it a brilliant film, a must watch for every music lover. (In Justin lingo - feel ke pujaari).
We get to see lives of people associated with orchestra, how they got into music, what keeps them going, how does it feel and why do they do what they do?

One gets to see a peaceful face, confidence has a color and almost all musicians have that color on their faces. Contentment, yes that's the word, one gets to see satisfaction on the faces of musicians.

Music from the inside out

I often hear a voice in my head
a voice urging me,
a voice beseeching me,
begging me
to play some music

I often hear a voice in my head
a tune, a humming note
drifting me away
into the depths of thin air
drowning my eyes in salty water

I often hear a voice in my head
a melody, a harmonious rhyme
i dance while standing still,
i bang my head, i tap my legs.
The lines on my forehead tell a story in themselves

I often hear a voice in my head,
longing for that dream which i remember i had yesterday
but cannot recall what it was
but still the taste is there of what it was
that feeling, that ecstasy!

I often hear a voice in my head,
I am sorry, but you can not hear,
Forgive me, but i can not share
It is one with me now.
You see me and you have seen it
You know me and you have known it
yet, you can not reproduce

I often hear a voice in my head
Its music from the inside out



[Written on 30 July 2008, posted on 24 Aug 2008]

NY, NY!

Q: How do you tell whether a man works in wall street or not?
A: Ask the man to go to second floor from first floor on an escalator. If he still climbs the stairs of an escalator, he works on Wall street.

Q: How do you check if a man is from NY or not?
A: Ask the man to walk 5 blocks in down town Manhattan. If he does not stops at any stop light showing red, he is a pure New Yorker else he is just visiting the city.

NY,NY! a city with its own feel, its own pace. NY is American Bombay (or may be it was just the monsoon season).

The best was the stop light for pedestrians. It has a different meaning in NY context. People dont stop and wait for the WALK sign to appear. Whenever a NewYorker sees a red stop light, he observes it, acknowledges that the light is red, and some enjoy the brief microsecond to take a deep breath while others don't need it. And then they continue to move forward. NewYorkers dont need a WALK sign to walk. There were only 2 kinds of people who stopped at red light - (1) People having maps in their hands. (2) People talking to their friends/kin in a langugage that was not english. In both cases aka tourists.


On every street there is a sign says "No Standing" meant for vehicles that they cant stand. But i think it applies to pedestrians as well. They never stand, never ever stand.

Other observations:
(1) Before Penn state station arrives, people start queueing up to get down 5 minutes before the stop comes so that they save that extra 30 seconds of life.
(2) At a Walgreen pharmacy, there was a queue of 5 people ahead of me and all of them were talking on phones. Time should not be wasted while standing in queues.


[Disclosure:All generalizations were made by roaming around Manhattan for 2 consecutive days.]

Timestamp

Today is Sunday, 24 Aug and today stands as one of the timestamp days in my life.
I got my laptop back after a week (its LCD got broken somewhere in between New York and Atlanta) and its working fine now.
So today, i will timestamp all the tasks that were meant to be. There are some 5 drafts waiting in dashboard and plus i need to document my life in july and aug.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

2 in 6 months

It happened again!
I was going home from NY. There i was waiting at the Penn state station to catch the next train and he waved at me. He was also waiting for the same train at that station. He stands for Sahil Nijhavan, a good friend from NSIT undergrad. What are the odds?
The total NSIT batch size was 400. So there are 399 people excluding me. Off which i would recognize about 300 of them. And total US population is in millions/billions. And on top of it, add the time factor, same place at the same time. What chances?

It happened before when i met Piyush at Atlanta airport taking the same flight and going to the same destination.
I guess the god of serendipity(if there is one) is very loves me. i wonder why?

But lets see what are the takeaways, what should i learn from all this?

I can not go to a nude beach anymore. That idea is dropped now. Earlier the assumption was , i would be alone, and if anyone sees me then i would not know that person. But that assumption is proven wrong.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hey Alchemist! Answer this

We all have read the famous novel - Alchemist, by Paulo Cohelo. One of the biggest takeaway from that novel was that you should see omens around you, you should be able to read them and interpret them accordingly.

Now Mr. alchemist, i believe there is a serious contradiction between your ideology and "perseverance"

1. Suppose i call my parents and the phone line says - "All lines in this route are busy. Please try again later". I believe this is an omen telling me to not to call them now. May be it is telling me that they are busy now, or asleep at the moment. Or should i persevere more and dial it again?

2. This one is even better! My exams are tomorrow. Lots of things to study. I sit down on my table to being my preparation. I switch on my table lamp and it goes boom! The bulb fuses. So is this an omen telling me to not to study? Is it so? Or should i really focus and get all these distractions and get down to work?

3. I have my interview and i am getting ready, polishing my shoes and trying to get the tie knot right. I reach the station to catch the metro train that will lead straight to the interview place. But there is an announcement that all trains for today morning are canceled because of some technical problems. What does this mean? God doesn't want me to work at that company? That company is not good for me? Should i go back and sleep? Or should i look for an alternate mode of transport?

These are examples where the theory of watching omens fails. My suggestion to the alchemist: Come up with a complete list of omens possible and their clear cut interpretation. Else go to ...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Benjamin Zander: Classical music with shining eyes

Thanks to Nandini for telling me about TED, to Gautam for posting this link on facebook and facebook for not closing my account(yet). Enjoy!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hypothetically

Hypothetically, Hypothetically
In some circles,
he was revered as a God
But in his own square,
his existence was unknown.
In cub(icl)es
he was as adamant as he could be
But for a point
he was just a plain narcissist.
Hypothetically, Hypothetically.


(Dedicated to a dedicated blog reader)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Jaane tu ya na jaane na

I cant believe Nandini talked me into this. The background is that she painted a very beautiful picture in my head on what i should expect in this movie. And i would have been very happy had the movie followed only those things that she told me.

So first things, watch it on a dvd and remove all its songs.You will save a good 20 mins of your life. But even after that,my reaction to various scenes varied from nice, interesting! to oh! crap and sometimes wtf?
The good:
Ratna Pathak on screen, she is such a talented actress and her inner tussle with her husband(Naseer bhai) shown in a full sized picture frame. That was very nicely done. And the second best part would be Paresh Rawal singing "Happy Birthday to me". Another interesting part would be the hero living without a cell phone. Had they emphasized it more, i would have been very careful in my rant below but still love the character development there.

The bad:
Cliche where the e come with an accent. Yes, that was the character introduction scene , the last scene, and every other frame of the movie. Her boyfriend in one scene is shown as a good guy, her brother arbitrarily takes him into his room and wow 5 mins later, he says that this guy is arrogant and in the next scene this guy becomes arrogant. Come on! there was no reason to show him as negative other than that he is not a hero. And on the other side, the hero's temp girlfriend, well she is all nice, they are happy and one day she invites him to a dinner, where he gets to see that her parents. Her parents are not doing well together, and she is trying to turn a blind eye towards it. Even with that temp girlfriend's horrible acting in this scene, i got the idea but based on this he decides to break up with her, based in this scene he realizes that he is in love with the actual heroine, I do not get it. I can interpret it totally differently.

The ugly:
Any frame having Sohail Khan or his shadow was ridiculous. That whole idea, dont get me started on this, reminds me of that Govinda-David dhawan era. The second line of actors after the protagonists, (yep his friends) act as such big items.

I can downgrade my I(A-Z)Q and see that those 3 reasons of becoming a rathore is good humorous fiction, but with that premise, i expect to see that the reality is treated with due respect.

What would have been a more interesting ending - that policeman shooting the hero in final scene (for which he had all reasons to btw) and he dying just after she gets the news that he fought for her. And then the song Jaane tu in Kishore Kuamr's voice playing in backgorund would be a good ending. He will be a martyr in the field of love as his father was in the field of slapping others.

[Disclosure: On Tuesday, i had watched a beautiful documentary on music - Music from the inside out, on wed - i watched The counterfeiters , two absolutely beautiful movies and then came JTYJN, so you see my bar to appreciate any movie was way high.]