Friday 19 November 2010

X and Wayland

In the context of Ubuntu waiting to ditch X in favour of Wayland, this fortune I got today is interesting:
I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck.
-- Rob Pike, on X.

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be
gone in two years. He was half right.
-- Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong.
-- Jim Gettys

Hmmm, why do I keep getting good fortune cookies today?

Thursday 11 November 2010

Lotus Symphony

I started using Lotus Symphony today[1]. Seems better than upon which it is based. There are good templates from Lotus website too.[2] Let me see how well it performs; may turn out that GNU/Linux has a good presentation software after all.(No, sadly OO is not as good as PPT.)

The templates can be installed easily by copying .otp files to ~/.lotus/symphony/.symphony/user/template


Monday 25 October 2010

Discovery Of The Day

Mess food tastes like real food at 12 o`clock. ;-)

Note to self: Somehow make it mess at 12 every day!

Tuesday 14 September 2010


..once upon a time there was no time.
-- John D. Barrow

Monday 6 September 2010

Bias Against Women

A new study demonstrates that how women musicians dress alters the perception of how they play: an attempt to overcome biases in hiring, most orchestras changed their audition policy, and began using screens to conceal the identity of the candidate.
Female musicians in the top five US symphony orchestras rose from 5% in the 1970s to around 25%. This could have been due to wider societal shifts, so Goldin and Rouse conducted a very elegant study, Orchestrating Impartality: they compared the number of women being hired at auditions with and without screens, and found women were several times more likely to be hired when nobody could see that they were a woman


Friday 3 September 2010


Don’t Judge people by what you have seen in them. Remember… What you have seen in them is only what they have chosen to show you.

-- I don't know(came in an email)

Friday 20 August 2010

A Gadget to Promote SFD

Here is a Google Gadget to promote Software Freedom Day (SFD):

You can add this gadget in Blogger blogs, iGoogle page, Google sites, Google documents etc. Pretty much on all sites that supports Google Gadget API.

I have not hard-coded location and link, so that you can change them if you want to promote some other SFD event(like in JFC, for example). Defaults are Birla Planetarium, Chennai and respectively.

You can change title too. Since every visible portion is made editable, Tamil Blogs can also utilize this. Just change values in textbox to Tamil when blogger asks you to change defaults if necessary.

To Add Gadget:
Go to the page where you can edit page design (in Blogger this is Dashboard-->Design), click on Add Gadget --> Add gadget by URL and give the above URL. Some services like blogger will ask you to change default values and in others you have to change them after adding by selecting Edit Gadget.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Google Buzz Bookmarklet

I noticed that few web pages have this 'share this on buzz' link after few of my friends shared pages using that link. Then I thought, why not make this into bookmarklet like 'Note in Reader' provided by Google Reader.

I searched for it and found that few people have already made such bookmarklet but by using a round-about way of noting in the reader and using the connection between reader and buzz to share it. This will work only if
  • one uses Google Reader and
  • has added Google Reader in Buzz connected sites.
I wrote one which works natively using same URL that was used in the 'share this on buzz' links:

Drag it to the Firefox/Chrome bookmarks toolbar. To share a page just click this button in bookmarks toolbar. Try clicking right now, and share this page. ;-)

NOTE TO PEOPLE READING FROM READER: Google Reader strips scripts from page. If you want the script visit my blog.

Sunday 8 August 2010

கட்டற்ற தமிழ்க் கணிமை செயல்திட்டக் கருத்தரங்கம்

யாவர்க்குமான மென்பொருள் அறக்கட்டளை மற்றும் சென்னை தொழில்நுட்பக் கல்லூரியின் கணினிச் சங்கம் இணைந்து நடத்தும் இக்கருத்தரங்கத்திற்கான நோக்கம் யாதெனில் இனங்காணப்பட்ட கட்டற்ற தமிழ்க் கணிமை தொடர்பான தலைப்புகளில் பங்களிக்க விருப்பமுள்ளோரை ஒன்று கூட்டி ஆக்கப்பூர்வமான விவாதத்திற்கு வித்திட்டு, அத்தலைப்புகளில் மென்பொருள் உருவாக்கத்திற்கு / பங்களிப்புகளுக்கு வழிவகை செய்வதாகும்.

இடம்: ராஜம் அரங்கம், சென்னை தொழில்நுட்பக் கல்லூரி, குரோம்பேட்டை
நாள் : 28-08-2010
நேரம்: காலை 9.00 மணி - மாலை 4.30 மணி
பங்களிக்க விருப்பம் இருப்பவர்கள் தங்கள் விருப்பங்களைப் பதிவு செய்யக் கடைசி நாள்:
கலந்து கொள்வோர் பதிவு செய்யக் கடைசி நாள்:
உறுதி செய்யப்பட்ட தலைப்புகள் அறிவிக்கப்படும் நாள்:

மேலும் விவரங்கள் பெறவும் பதிவு செய்யவும்:

Thursday 5 August 2010

Net Neutrality in Danger?

The news item Google and Verizon Near Deal on Pay Tiers for Web seems to indicate so:
Google and Verizon, two leading players in Internet service and content, are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.

The charges could be paid by companies, like YouTube, owned by Google, for example, to Verizon, one of the nation’s leading Internet service providers, to ensure that its content received priority as it made its way to consumers. The agreement could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users.

Such an agreement could overthrow a once-sacred tenet of Internet policy known as net neutrality, in which no form of content is favored over another.[Emphasis mine]
I think net neutrality is still sacred. Is Google being evil?

Sunday 1 August 2010

Donkey Days


Please stop this nonsense called friendship day and its wishes. Understand that all these friend/mother/women/lover/dog/donkey days are created by these greeting-card/gift/cell phone companies to make more money. Since number of people who got fooled for this 'frandship' day increased year-by-year, I had to pay 50 paise for every SMS today. :-( AFAIK last year this was not in paid-SMS days list. And AFAIK only Diwali, Pongal and New Year were originally paid-SMS days. Thanks to increasing number of fools every year, this paid-SMS days also went up and now it stands at 10 days. :-(

PS: You don't become my close friend just because you sent an 'advance'(read free) 'frandship' day wish/forward. And my friends are always my friends no matter they wished or not. The only day I expect a wish and make a point to wish others is the birthday.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Gender Gap in Earning

From Men Don't Have it Easy Either:[Emphasis mine]
6. Women earn less for the same work than men.
False: For the same work, women earn, on average, the same. According to the book, Why Men Earn More, based on a decade of analysis of government and other statistics, reasons for the "women earn 80 cents on the dollar" figure include that men more often choose careers that are more dangerous (e.g., police and firefighter), uncomfortable (from sewer repairer to crop duster), isolating and difficult (e.g., engineer and programmer) and work longer hours. The average man who says he works full-time works more than six hours a week longer than the average woman who says she works full-time. In addition, men are more likely to work evenings and weekends. For a promotion, more men are willing to move to places that fewer people desire. An offshore oil rig in Montgomery, Alabama, anyone?
Even comparing salaries in the same career tends to be biased against men. For example the Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps together all medical doctors but men are more likely to pursue higher-stress specializations with unpredictable hours such as surgeon whereas women are more likely to be a lower-stress pediatrician, and thus women physician salaries are lower.
Despite all this, today, unmarried women who have never had a child earn 113% of what men earn. That suggests that for the same nature, quantity, and quality of work, women likely earn more than men, and only when a woman makes the choice to have children and thus, on average, is less focused on her work life, does that woman's overpayment dissipate.
The good news for women is that when they make the same career choices as men, they can earn at least as much.
The article has much more info on how the world is getting difficult for men as opposed to women. A must read. [Via Ben]

Sunday 25 July 2010

Close Friends

From Ben Casnocha's recent blogpost:
I just told a friend I was writing this post. She said, "This is a litmus test I use for how close I am with a friend. If s/he doesn't tell me anything bad about their life, I assume we're not very good friends."
Very true. I have been using the same test for many years. :)

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Forecasting Apple vs Microsoft

Paul Graham told in his cult classic Hackers and Painters [2004]:
And it [Apple] hasn’t lost yet. If Apple were to grow the iPod into a cell phone with a web browser, Microsoft would be in big trouble.

From via O'rielly radar.

Monday 12 July 2010


The physical basis for humanity - II: The genesis:
A nice analysis of Eastern vs Western cultures.
If Linux was the most used system in the world…
Most of the Linux is hard statements from people are due to the fact that they are accustomed to the Windows way of doing things. Not because Windows is better designed for usability. A little humorous take on it.
   -Via Kanchilug Newsletter.

Thursday 1 July 2010

Must-do MessagingMenu and MeMenu Tweaks

I've been using Lucid since it arrived on the scene and loved the social integration it provided. But I never had an always-on Internet connection and so didn't bother with tweaking them. Since now I'm always online at office, i tweaked it to my needs:

Adding a Gmail notifier to the MessagingMenu a.k.a. indicator applet:

go to [1] for instructions and package download. I installed the first package which just displays number of messages in selected labels but doesn't clutter the menu with subject lines (it displays subject in the one-time D-bus notification, though). Second one is for people who love clutter. :p

Removing Evolution from MessagingMenu:

Just remove following the file: /usr/share/indicators/messages/applications/evolution [Careful! This removes evolution from the menu for ALL USERS]. There is a way to block it only for you [2], but that doesn't work for me.

Go social from the start:

By default, social apps (Empathy and Gwibber) will start only after manually selecting them from MessagingMenu. Only then status options and textbox appeared in MeMenu. This was annoying for me and I wanted to go social the moment I logged-in.

  • Gwibber has a check-box to start on login in its preferences window; solved.
  • Empathy is the problem. Open System->Preferences->Startup Applications. The command to be added is empathy -h. '-h' is for hidden; no windows, just in menu, logged-in and ready to chat.


Wednesday 30 June 2010

The Funniest Bus Travel

This happened while I was traveling from Taramani to Velachery two days ago. A man(hereinafter called 'X'), who was visibly drunk, boarded the bus in next stop.

[Translated from Tamil]
[Conductor sounds a whistle]
X: You rascal. How dare u whistle at the ladies sitting before you? Who allowed you to sit in ladies side?

Conductor: How else do you expect me to stop and start the bus?

X: Doesn't driver knows where stops are? Or you stand near him and say these things.

[Conductor gives him a ticket to Velachery and sounds whistle at next stop]

X: Won't you listen to me? I'll give petition about you to Kalaingar.
[He comes near conductor and starts shouting after he gives another whistle to start the bus]
I'll complaint to police, MTC and I know minister. What's your name?

Conductor got irritated and sounded a whistle to stop the bus and told him that Velachery has come. He got down in the middle of nowhere, still scolding the conductor. :-D

Sema comedy. I was laughing till I got to bed that day. :-D :-D

Wednesday 19 May 2010

I Became an Engineer

Well, Sort of. :p Yet to get PC.

Saturday 27 February 2010

A Chat With St.iGNUsius

Had a nice interactive session with Richard Matthew Stallman today at Carte Blanche. It was a time well spent. :) And fast. :(

Thursday 11 February 2010

Google Broadband

Google announces an 'experimental' broadband connection to homes with a bandwidth of 1 Gb/s.

Google wants to control every medium through which its services can be accessed, it seems.

Friday 29 January 2010


I hate any technology that restricts the users freedom. Ergo I hate Apple iPad.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Flight Website is Online

This year's Flight website is online. The site is built and maintained by me, using the great Wordpress software.

Its my dream to run a website. I'm happy. :-)

Tuesday 19 January 2010


On the openness of Internet:
So, if we’re going to talk about the value of the open Internet, we have to ask what the opposite of “open” is. No one is proposing a closed Internet. When it comes to the Internet, the opposite of “open” is “theirs.”
Via O'reilly Radar.

The US high handedness in Haiti:
The US occupied and ruled Haiti by force from 1915 to 1934. President Woodrow Wilson sent troops to invade in 1915. Revolts by Haitians were put down by US military – killing over 2000 in one skirmish alone. For the next nineteen years, the US controlled customs in Haiti, collected taxes, and ran many governmental institutions.
Like all of us, Haitians made their own mistakes as well. But US power has forced Haitians to pay great prices – deaths, debt and abuse.
 Via Rahul Siddharthan's blog.

Sunday 17 January 2010



Friday 15 January 2010

Google, China and Evil

I heard of Google -- China fiasco few days back and was waiting for details to emerge before writing this.

This is Google's official statement. (Summary: Someone from China cracked into Google and accessed 'Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.' So, Google, which had been censoring its search results in China, will not do so any more. Further 'We[Google] recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.')

The very first line states 'we face cyber attacks of varying degrees on a regular basis.' and yet Google had never before done even a small degree of complaining. It means only one thing: that Google thinks this attack was executed by the Chinese government agencies themselves. This surprises very small number of people. Definitely not me. (And not after this.)

But then why is Google statement's tone similar to that of someone being cheated? That's because Google has done many many things to appease China from filtering content to showing Arunachal pradesh to be a part of china(Go to .com or .cn to see it. shows it in India) and after all that if this has happened, I guess Google has a right to feel cheated. But that does not justify Google's humorous claims of doing this for protecting free speech. where was Google's righteousness till now?

I don't believe this 'I'm doing this for free speech' thing. This is either a publicity stunt or arm twisting of China in a negotiation.

Following quote by Nat Torkington(see this article) is interesting:
... Is there another deal ("let us into your telco market and we won't shame you publicly with the hacking evidence we gathered that links your foreign department directly with cyberspying, we'll just say your machines were gateways for Russians") that's the real focus?
So much for not being evil.

Sunday 10 January 2010

Dell Sucks

Dell is using a shipment (aka courier) service whose staff don't know where Chromepet is. My bad time, I'm living in chromepet. And using a Dell laptop. :-(

Saturday 2 January 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!!
Here is a wallpaper: (click to go to deviantart and download)

Via lifehacker.