Tuesday, September 19, 2006

How we work on problem sets at IUB

Watch here ;-) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqNeeoT92gc

And what we do during lectures - Watch here
BTW if you are wondering, that's last semester's "Dimensions of Space" USC.

Videos courtesy Md. Jehanzeb aka JJ.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Nerd stereotypes

So I was a bit annoyed by all the "You must be new here" comments on every article on Slashdot, and was referred to Wikipedia to understand what it was all about. While reading the article about "Slashdot subculture" I came across common nerd stereotypes popular on that site. Gosh......... who can guess how many of these apply to me??

Nerd stereotypes are extremely common on Slashdot. The most common stereotypes are:
  • That Slashdotters are male
  • That Slashdotters are single
  • That male Slashdotters have poor social skills, particularly in relating to women
  • That female Slashdotters are rare, unattractive, non-existent, or in reality males hiding behind a feminine name
  • That Slashdotters spend inordinate amounts of time in front of computers
  • That Slashdotters use the GNU/Linux operating system on their computers
  • That Slashdotters have poor hygiene
  • That most Slashdotters usually live with their parents (often expressed as "living in their mothers' basements")
  • That Slashdotters are obsessed with pornography and/or masturbation (example: "500GB hard drive? How am I going to fit all my pr0n in that?!")

Music labels are now officially mad

So Warner Music signed a deal with YouTube to "legally" allow using its music videos and songs on the site in return of advertising. Sounds good so far. Now read this -
The technology would also enable Warner to review homemade videos and decide whether to approve or reject them.
So now they want money if someone decides to do a lip sync to a popular song.
My reaction - "UP YOURS WARNER!"

Seriously. They can keep their Madonna music, I don't give a shit. I'd rather listen to indie artists and bands which are against this insanity that is plagueing (however you spell it) the music industry. Maybe I'll wait for the day when these big record label honchos remove the pieces of rock from their skull and put some white and grey cells in. Till then there's enough awesome indie artists to listen to.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Lucky Ali's song "Kabhi aisa lagta hai" ...

...has a big flaw. It seems to me that in the recording studio, one of the monitor speakers were wired incorrectly... as in, +ve went to -ve and -ve went to +ve terminals instead of the other way round. And so the whole recording (or at least the bass drum) turns out to be phase inverted with respect to the stereo channels.

Consequently, if you listen to the song on a speaker system with two separate bass/woofer drives, it sounds a bit different, but when you listen to it on a 2.1 system where there's only one subwoofer, the left channel bass cancels out the right channel bass and so you hear NO bass drum at all....

I have MP3 collected from two different sources and they sound the same. I wonder how such an obvious error got through to the mastering stage and was pressed on to CD's which are now sold in the market.... ??

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spontaneous sampling of real-world OS usage

I'm in my Information Theory class right now, sitting in the last row. I see 15-16 students (this is not a popular course), most with their laptops turned on. Professor is teaching about probability spaces and decides to count the number of 1st year, 2nd year and 3rd year students and other such things to illustrate a point. I decide to do my own survey silently. The result is as follows -

6 - Windows XP
4 - Linux
1 - Mac OS X

I can't say for sure whether it's 6 Win XP and 4 Linux or 7 WinXP and 3 Linux, because this one guy in front of me is booting up WinXP from inside of his Linux desktop using VMware........ yes IUB is really diverse ;-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Here's a suggestion

If you need to refresh your mind and you decide to watch a movie, don't watch "Vanilla Sky." It will flip your brain and tie it in knots. It's crap. And how does it end? Almost like those 4th grade stories we wrote in English Language classes which end in... "and then I woke up."

The only good bits in the movie are -

- Tom Cruise running around in an empty, devoid-of-traffic Times Square. When I saw that I was thinking, how the hell did they do it? Computer generated imagery maybe. But Wikipedia says they actually shut down Times Square for 3 hours on a Sunday. That requires some effort (probably the only place where they actually put in some effort)

- All the Penelope Cruz goodness ;-)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

MacOSX vs Ubuntu

Interesting discovery on Google Trends -

Mac OS X vs. Ubuntu

And I'm not even typing Linux there.... just one distro! Of course adding Windows blows the whole thing out of proportion, but Windows Vista is still below Ubuntu.

Coming up: The (Great) Linux Party 1 & 2 at IUB Fall 2006 ;-) Hehe.

An article on Slashdot.org

In Elektra v. Wilke, the Chicago RIAA case in which defendant Paul Wilke has moved for summary judgment, the RIAA has responded to the summary judgment motion by filing a motion for 'expedited discovery', alleging that it needs expedited pretrial discovery because it does not have sufficient evidence to withstand Mr. Wilke's motion. The RIAA's lawyer said: 'Plaintiffs cannot at this time, without an opportunity for full discovery present by affidavit facts essential to justify their opposition to Defendant's motion.' The motion and supporting affidavit are available online.
Anyone have an idea what's going on? Anyone?

Then I look at comments. Someone says - "could'nt he just fucking translate the submission into english before posting"

Another guy clarifies -
"Defendant: I'm tired of this bullshit. Show me what you really have so we can get this over and done with.
RIAA: Uhhh... shit. We don't have a thing. Your honour could we please search everything the defendant owns in order to find something?"

Friday, September 08, 2006

Version numbers, Google, Woh Lamhey

Here's a quiz - which software is the newer version? Version 2.14 or Version 2.2 ?

Does anyone else find it weird that 2.14 would be newer...? Even though according to ordinary intuition, 2.2 > 2.14 .... it's slightly annoying to me that because 14 > 2, 2.14 is newer.

On a different note, has anyone else noticed that the "Google" image on google.co.in is sliced into 3-4 parts while the same thing on google.com is one single image? I guess Google knows how pathetic most internet connections in India are.. so they don't believe that the 10 kb google.gif will download all at once :P

BY THE WAY: Anyone who was trying to download the Woh Lamhey cover track and couldn't do so - I HAVE FIXED THE LINK.

Far away from the Line of Control...

...we do stand together.

Borders merge.

Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalese, Germans, Brazilians, Egyptians, Romanians....

That's IUB for you. A melting pot of the world's cultures.

the megaparty you don't wanna miss

Spass 2006 :: "Sessions"

"This country is very very tolerant"

A Ugandan newspaper has published first names and areas of work/profession of many men who are allegedly gay. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and a lot of uproar is going on about this list that was published. This is what an editor of that paper has to say about it -
We don't want to expose them (homosexuals) to the government and the police has never contacted us to investigate the list. This country is very very tolerant.
LOL! Of course, as this second quote clarifies -
People are calling here (the paper) to make sure they're names are not named; others are calling and cursing us