Sunday, July 30, 2006

"Love more, score with more"

An article in today's Times of India, titled above, begins like this -
Danella and Michael are happily married, but they also like having sex with other people, and so, with each other's permission, they do. That's polyamory. What Danella and Mike want is more love and intimacy than they can get from a monogamous relationship. They are not interested in being unfaithful. Neither do they want to be promiscuous. What they like is having a relationship. They like relationships so much, you might say, that they want to have more than just one, writes William Leith in The Observer.
All I have to say to Danella, Michael and Mr Leith is - FUCK YOU!

This particular part made me cry out of laughter -
They are not interested in being unfaithful. Neither do they want to be promiscuous.
I know I'm being conservative here, and I'm not, but if you are so manically left-wing, you can go to hell. See if I care.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

hi wutsup

I hate it when people begin an IM conversation with "hi" and then continue with "whts up" ... the answer to which is invariably "nuthin much." It screams and begs to be answered that way.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Vedanta University ?

Today's Times Of India's back page has a fullpage color ad about a soon-to-be-opened "Vedanta University". It is supposed to be a "re-incarnation" of the ancient Nalanda University (which, it is said, was the world's leading center of education in its time).

The ad mentions that the 10,000 acre campus (oh my god) will house 100,000 students (oh my god again). It also says that it's going to be as good as or better than "Ivy League universities like Harvard, Stanford and Oxford." True that Oxford rhymes with Stanford but since when did either of the two become an Ive League university ??

That said, I can't wait to see how this idea turns out. I was really wishing for something like this, and sincerely hope Vedanta University turns out to be the ultimate Harvard-killer in 25 years.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wow. Unbelievable.

I cannot believe this.
Indian government has decided to start blocking and censoring websites on the Internet, taking China's lead.

Read more here

I am devastated. After the 51% quota nonsense, now censorship on the Internet. Wow. Well done Mrs Gandhi. I applaud your government.

Here is the Slashdot article (with a lot of discussion)
And here is the Google group

Saturday, July 15, 2006

He's a computer guy. He must be boring.

Nerd stereotypes are aplenty, mostly false. But when it comes to computer nerds (male, programmers) it can sometimes be true. Here's an advertisement for an online programmer's community website... showing a "hot chick" (why exactly, is anyone's guess). I saw this on another programmer-related website (

Now, using women for advertising unrelated products is nothing new. What is funny is the discussion that ensued following this ad's appearance.

Read -
Some are especially humorous.. like the second one.. and #81802. They don't sound like sarcasm to me at least ;-P

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Heh? IM affects people in strange ways

A potpourri of some recent Yahoo madness. Here goes :

Someone commenting about my display pic on Yahoo! -
Person: wats dis xpression on ur face ???
Person: it seems 2 be sumthin like cruelty !!
merc: lol !
merc: cruelty ??
merc: woh kaise? (how so?)
merc: i think it's more like a smile
Person: ohhhhhhh thanx
*** Person has logged off.
Um.. thanx??

And another one by some random person I don't know -
karanahuja567: hello howz u
merc: hello
merc: i'm fine thank you
merc: who's this ?
karanahuja567: this is binish..........
merc: ok
merc: your ID says 'karan ahuja' ..
karanahuja567: ya ...
karanahuja567: muy name is karan........
karanahuja567: my.
karanahuja567: wat abt u........
merc: but you said binish.. ? i'm confused
merc: my name is mercury
karanahuja567: u r nt binish..........
*** close window and run
Yet another one -
jacky_disouja: hi
merc: hello
merc: who's this ?
jacky_disouja: jacky
merc: i mean i know you are 'jacky'
jacky_disouja: no u dont kno me
merc: please introduce. thanks.
jacky_disouja: r u male
*** Put on ignore.
And a ridiculous request:

Guy: will u do me a favour?
merc: depends on whether i can do it or not!
Guy: its very simple
Guy: i hv made aforum
Guy: (website address)
Guy: go to this site
Guy: and plzplzpzlzplzplzp
Guy: register urself
merc: and then?
Guy: and then
Guy: keep posting stuff
Guy: and readin them
merc: what the ..

I didn't know this person (he added me one day and I decided to be polite). Turned out he had just finished his Class 10 board exams. Unfortunately I had my semester finals during that time, so I couldn't be any more understanding.
Some trivia about the site -
Categories on the forum: jokes, hollywood, bollywood, songs, gossip, sports, cars and wallpapers
Number of registered people: Three (at that time, around 10 right now)

And the best is yet to come. This happened about a month ago while I was in the Programming:1 chat room in Yahoo! Someone sends a message saying he has a great deal for student programmers to earn money over the internet. Now I have made money before by programming for random people, so I decided to get more details. Read yourself -
merc: whats the deal
profcharlessoludo0000: im a cashier
profcharlessoludo0000: i work in a bank
merc: and?
profcharlessoludo0000: so i need a hacker that we can work together
merc: sorry, what you need is a cracker.
profcharlessoludo0000: nop
merc: spam around more, someone will take up the offer
profcharlessoludo0000: someone to transfer into my account i will pull out and we share it
***Oh great. Let's play with him a bit.
merc: what surety do i have
***Guy logs off.

Bad example of web "designing"

To continue the web annoyance series -
Site in question:

First annoyance: When you go to the webpage, it displays some information about the site (since obviously we can't guess what this site is about from its address). And then it has an "ENTER" link. Well, what do you think I came to your site for? As if there is also a reason to leave the page (under 18?). I really don't appreciate websites that display a "splash screen" first (especially those with Flash intros) and then display an "Enter" button (shouldn't there also be a "Don't enter" button?). Also ridiculous are multi-megabyte flash intros which have a little link at the bottom saying "Skip Intro" ...... The main homepage of such sites is invariably called "index1.html" (useful tip).

Second annoyance: The whole damn index page is composed of images. GIF images. At the bottom is some text (copyright and all that) but the rest of the page is just sliced images. The designer probably designed the entire site in Photoshop and then cut it into pieces and put them on the webpage. HTML consists exclusively of IMG tags. I wonder, why not just put up the whole site as ONE big GIF or JPEG file and then use image maps to make clickable areas... I mean, come on. Images are for images, text is for text. But some people are bent on using images to display text (in Arial font). And there are also programs which create HTML formatted text which shows up as an image (obviously these ASCII-images fulfill their purpose very well, taking 5 times longer to load than a GIF or JPEG of the same thing). One day I'm going to create a site in which all text is made of BMP images (uncompressed of course) and all photos are created by using ASCII-art (font size 1 for finer resolution).

Anyway, after this point (seeing my browser window filled with about 40 image placeholders), I decided to close the browser window. Guess they really should have had a "Don't Enter" link on the intro page. Though the author of this site was sensible enough to include an "index2.html" page and explain nicely that index1 is going to take a while to load so you better ENTER HERE INSTEAD !

Saturday, July 08, 2006

How stupid can a web programmer be ?

In connection with the last blog entry, I went to, and look what it said about time around the world -

19.5:57 - Los Angeles
22.5:57 - New York
03.5:57 - London
05.5:57 - Paris
06.5:57 - Moscow

You get the idea...

And of course it's correct, because India Standard Time is 5.5 hours (5 hours and 30 minutes) ahead of GMT. So the bright programmer takes my computer's local time and my time zone information (script kiddies..), and subtracts the no. of hours my time zone is ahead of the GMT from the local time. Then it adds the appropriate no. of hours to get the time at each city.

But what about the minutes? Fractional hours?

Nepal, for instance, uses GMT +5:45 .... I bet the times from there are going to be something like 19.25:57 in LA, 22.25:57 in New York and so on.

Long live computer education. (we did this hour-minute adding subtracting program in grade 8).

Sunday ho ya Monday: ask the BBC

Either the BBC is slightly confused or I am.

Maybe I've had an amnesia attack and/or all the clocks near me have slowed down or something equally drastic has happened. Like the BBC laying their hands on a time machine.

According to this breaking-news report, a plane crashed in Russia at 2300 GMT Sunday. At the time I am posting this, it is currently 03:15 GMT (at least I think so, since it's around 8:45 AM in India right now). The accident seems to have happened at "0300 Monday" local time (at accident site).

The problem is, Monday (July 10th) hasn't arrived anywhere in the world yet. According to, it's still Saturday or Sunday on earth, depending on where you are. Some prophecy going on here..

So now that I am blogging this, either BBC, or I am going to get laughed at.. and I really don't know who it's going to be because I'm still.... confused.

EDIT: An hour later, the page has been updated. Except that now it says 0800 on Monday local time, BUT still 2300 GMT Sunday.... um, did the accident site change its location ? Jumped a few longitudes maybe.

Anyway, 1.5 hours later it's fixed.

Here is the full text of the original -

Passenger plane crashes in Russia
BBC breaking news graphic
Up to 150 people on board a Russian airliner are feared dead after the plane crashed on landing.

The Sibir Airbus A-310 plane had flown from Moscow when it crashed at Irkutsk airport in Siberia.

Russian media reported the plane slid off the runway and hit a building at about 0300 on Monday [2300 GMT Sunday].

News agencies quoted emergency services as saying at least 43 people were injured .The plane was carrying 192 passengers and eight crew members.

It was reported to have caught fire after crashing.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Amazing Tips & Tricks

Some people go a bit too far with providing hacks, tips and tricks about computers. For example, here's a page which describes a Windows registry 'hack' about how to remove a service. It explains: Go to regedit, open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE...find the entry blahbalh... and that, sometimes you have to set permission, some services are cunning..blahblahblah... check the page out yourself.

Hmm... so... why bother with all that when you can hit Win+R, type "sc delete servicename", and BOOM: service deleted. Hee hee.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Max Payne 2

Max Payne has got to be the best RPG ever. When the original one was released, my entire CS class in high school went crazy. All of us played during the same week, trying to outdo each other. Malyaj managed to finish it first, while I placed 2nd, finishing it a whole day after him.

Now, 2 years after Max Payne 2 has been released, I decided to try it out too. Right now in Part III Chapter 7.

EDIT: I finished it today.. wow, what an end to the story. Mona does die, though. But Max manages to kill Vladimir Lem, and that too in quite a dramatic way. Also, the end theme, "Late Goodbye" by a Finnish rock band is really nice.. this whole thing is a freakin movie, nothing less.

The graphics are TOP NOTCH, and gameplay is awesome as before. There are some new weapons like "The Striker" and MP4 Carbine and MP5, AK-47 Kalashnikov etc. in addition to the usual ones like Desert Eagle, 9mm Pistol, Ingram. Colt Kommando was missing! So was Barretta but Desert Eagle makes up for it. Molotov Cocktails and Grenades are the only two secondary weapons, apart from good old (useless) melee. Bullet time is also enhanced and is much more stylish.

This time Max also has a love interest - Mona Sax, a murder suspect. Although there are no candle-lights or bird-songs. The bad thing is that I heard Mona dies in the end... which is tragic, considering the original began with the death of Max's wife and child.

In some parts of the game, you are even required to control Mona instead of Max. At one point, Mona is covering for Max, while he tries to find a way in. There is also a great addition - playing the same chapter twice, once from Max's point of view and again from Mona's.

And the "nightmare" chapters are no longer as 'nightmarish' as before - it is actually quite easy to get past them. Although you might want to wander a bit just to admire the awesome graphics (everything seems to float and twist as if under water).

It's a great game. Ich liebe.