Friday, January 30, 2004

Lo and Behold - What a solution...

This new KB Article: 833786 points to steps that you can take to help identify and to help protect yourself from deceptive Web sites and malicious hyperlinks. One of the solutions posted in the link really cracked me up:
"The most effective step that you can take to help protect yourself from malicious hyperlinks is not to click them. Rather, type the URL of your intended destination in the address bar"

An even better solution would be to stop browsing the web all together - that way, you can never go to a malicious web page :) :D

Thursday, January 29, 2004

I've reached it

And you might've too but have not realized - so here, I have it for you! Drumroll... The End of the Internet

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

A New Hope...

My cousin Nikita delivered a boy this evening (IST). He weighs in at 5.7 pounds and from the description I got is "pink, red, white, tiny and very cute" (sic.) Interestingly enough, she delivered on her marriage anniversary so now the kid has no excuse of forgetting his parents' anniversary I say! Such luck! Another sign that it's time for me to throw in the towel and actual commit... Yeah Riiiiight! :)

Monday, January 26, 2004

Kill Bill Vol 2 - Teaser Trailer

Here's the link: Enjoy!!! - Especially Mr D :)

Sunday, January 25, 2004

So What! - Updated...

I put a little scratch in the bumper of my car while backing out of the parking lot. I was looking for obstructions in the side view mirror and didn't see the support pillar in the lot. I goofed up but should I kill myself over it? I think not! As Scott Adams says, even the smartest people on this earth can't be intelligent 24x7 and hey, I'm not even close to being the smartest on this earth - so I deserve my leeway :) I'm sorry, but this is something that money can fix so no point feeling like shit about it...

This has been a pretty relaxed week. Saw two pretty light movies too, hung out with Vijay and Anu and tidied up my act. Now I wait for my passport application to be approved and the process to begin - have I delayed too much, I guess only time will tell. Somewhere inside I still harbour the hope that I will find my old passport - wishful thinking.

Dil Chahta Hai is a fun movie especially when you are armed with a remote equipped with the FF button :) As you can imagine, we FFed through most of the serious parts in the movie (those with Mr Akshaye Khanna ruminating) and saw Saif and Aamir do their thing. I think Preity Zinta is immaculately cute (yes so I'm a fan) and it didn't help much to see Kate Bosworth today in Win A Date With Tad Hamilton. After seeing such pretty women it's hard to come back to reality and pick someone to be with. But a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do :) Ohh, now I know why I didn't see the pillar, I was thinking of Kate... :)

Update: The White Girl or Indian Girl dilemma continues...

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Yahoo! News - New Worm Attacks Windows Computers

The worm infects your machine if you click on the attachment, which is an exe. Though in today's day and age, if people are naive enough to double click on an exe, maybe their computers deserve to be infected. Someone has to say it, I did. And like divine justice, my computer might be the first one to actually get infected... :)

Sunday, January 18, 2004

The Sun might rise from the West

I just read this article at Network World Fusion - Sun to Windows-certify x86 hardware - and couldn't believe what I was reading. The Sun-Windows rivalry has become the stuff of lore; the one thing Microsoft hates from the cockles of it's heart is Sun (and I'm sure the feelings are reciprocated). Sun certifying it's computers to run Windows marks the opening of a new chapter in this rivalry - Sun has always claimed Microsoft Windows is an inferior operating system compared to Solaris but it's giving in to the Windows juggernaut indicates that (supposed) superiority isn't bigger than the laws of economics - you might be ostensibly superior but might not necessarily be the most successful or popular among consumers. Just to clear the air though, Windows is Number 1 today, whichever way you look at it...

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Da Vinci Code

I don't particularly read novels; let me be honest here, I don't read too much outside of the Time magazine I get every week and random articles in the news. So when I borrowed The Da Vinci Code from Adana last Saturday night, I was wondering if I would actually take the trouble of reading the book or just return it unread like the other books I'd borrow from the library. I had heard myriad reports about the book; "The best book written in 2003" wasn't the most glowing recommendation since every book seems to have that distinction. But to have 458 holds placed against a book at, that's something. Thought, lets give this a shot...

When I was done with the Prologue, the clock read 4:54am, Sunday morning/Saturday night (it's still night if I haven't slept yet :) When I eventually slept at 8:45 Sunday morning, I had been transported to another world in Paris marvelling at the adventures of Robert Langdon and his unlikely accomplice, Sophie Princess Nevue, a cryptographist with the Judicial Department of French Police. The story starts with the murder of an elderly curator of the Louvre. Left to die in the Great chamber of the Louvre, the curator has just enough time to leave an encoded cipher right by his dead body and calls on the attention of Robert and unbeknownest to the police, his grand-daughter. This single act sets the pace for the pair's treasure hunt through Paris and London, the cipher being the first clue in an involved puzzle that could potentially lead them to the location of the Holy Grail. Two things helped me battle sleep that night; the subject matter of the Holy Grail has become the source of inspiration for a number of books that question the Church's message that Jesus was divine, not human and the actual puzzles that lead to the next clue to actually finding it.

Brunch with the Karans was the only other intermission in the unabated reading spree that ensued that Sunday afternoon. My interest in the book was sustained by virtue of the plausibility of the plot and the manner in which the author enmeshed reality with fiction, to a point that I couldn't tell one from the other. Often times, I'd do my own research to corroborate what I'd just read to determine whether Dan Brown had crossed the line and everytime, he had walked the line to perfection. The chapters were short and unlike many books I've read in the past, each page took the story to it's next logical juncture, dead-end or precipice. And trust me, the protagonists had to pit their wits against some insurmountable odds at some points in the book; solving puzzles with archaic and obscure clues and at times, facing imminent death but living on only to hit their next roadblock. When I was done with the last page, it was near 5am Monday morning and I was exhausted, more from the intensity of the material I had just read rather than from sleep-deprivation... In closing, here is one of my favourite lines from the book:

What is history, a fable agreed upon

A must read... And yeah, the fact that both a Harvard Professor and a cryptographer can be hot gives me hope - I'll find a pretty geek girl too ;)

Bad eating

I want a girl with the right allocations
Who's fast and thorough And sharp as a tack
She's playing with her jewelry She's putting up her hair
She's touring the facility And picking up slack

So where was I again, oh yeah - bad eating. No more cookies, no more PBJs, I'm gonna eat healthy come this very night. But no more cookies PLEASE...

Monday, January 12, 2004

IE CSS/Layout bug

I've spent the better part of the afternoon after lunch trying to track down and resolve a rendering bug in IE that occurs, lo and behold, where else but on the page you are currently viewing :) If you are viewing this in IE, you will notice that the entire page does not get displayed, some updates get clipped. If you are more observant, you will notice that the clipping occurs exactly after the last row of text is displayed in the sidebar (that contains news, links, etc, etc). Interestingly enough, if you slightly resize the IE window, the clipping disappears and the entire page can be viewed again.

Here is my analysis and it's not for the faint of heart - if you aren't into HTML/CSS, you can quit reading right now. The sidebar has lesser text than the mainbar, which contains all my ramblings. Once the browser is done laying out the text in the sidebar, it dictates the height of the page based on the height of the sidebar and clips the entire page based on the height. The resize operation causes the document to be reflowed and that's when the layout engine realizes that the height shouldn't be the height of the sidebar but max{height-sidebar, height-mainbar}.

I don't have a solution to this issue YET - but I'll work on it more at night. Now, time to get back to some Microsoft work I say...

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Hell might partiallly freeze over

According to this article:
HP's blockbuster deal with Apple will have one exciting side effect. The company will be working with Apple to add support for Microsoft's superior Windows Media Audio (WMA) form

Go Microsoft, Go Apple, Go HP!

Friday, January 09, 2004

HP + Apple == Sign of times to come?

Could this be the start of more partnerships between Apple and Computer Makers/Consumer Electronics companies or is this a one-off - HP jumps on the iPod bandwagon - The iPod name has become synonymous with mp3 players, such is the power of the marketing behind the product. Xerox == photocopy, Band-aid == bandage, iPod == mp3 player - it does have a nice ring to it doesn't it?

The key in my opinion is for Apple to capitalize on it's established brand - this is definitely a step in that direction. By licensing it's intellectual property to other companies, Apple is ensuring that these companies don't produce knock-offs that ride on the wave created by it's flagship product (730,000 iPods were sold during the holiday season last year) thereby ensuring that Apple continues to get a piece of the mp3 player pie (read profits) even though the product that sells isn't a 100% Apple.

Question is, will they ever let other companies start cloning Macs or license out their OS? Hmm, that will be day when "Hell freezes over" (the Eagles re-united so there is hope here!)

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Interesting news links

Verizon to spend $1B on Wireless Upgrade

So honestly, if you want to get a new cell phone - make it a Verizon plan. If you work for a company that makes CDMA technology for Verizon, don't sell your shares. And you guys at Qualcomm are the luckiest ever - the company's stock has gone through the roof, up by nearly $20 in the past year - chart

Apple's unlikely Guardian Angel

Who is Apple's guardian angel? It's the firm that Mac users most love to hate, the bogeyman of the Mac universe, the one company whose products some Mac fans refuse to use on principle. You're not gonna believe this, but it's Microsoft

Yahoo! News - Tech Firms Defend Moving Jobs Overseas

Tech companies provide their rationale for the jobs "out"flux. Some of the reasons cited being garnering a foothold in foreign markets among others. For the first time though, the tacit has been made explicit, companies are hiring foreign candidates with more acute math and science skills compared to their American counterparts - is this the wake-up call to American schools at every level to up the ante and focus more on imbibing 'rithmetic and science to the next generation of kids?

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Snow Storm ravages the North-West

What a mis-leading headline - we had so much fun thanks to the snow storm that hit our corridor of the United States yesterday. Lemme give you a brief overview:

1. Most no one showed up at work
2. Everyone drove within the speed limit (more like 20 below at least)
3. Hand-break turns were the norm, not the exception :)
4. My car did a 180 without much motivation - I drove straight back to my carport and parked
5. I slid down any slope in sight on a cardboard box
6. It was TJC
7. The Karans and I ate Thai food without clatter - the service was prompter than usual
9. I slept wishing for more snow ;)

Monday, January 05, 2004

Intel pulling off an AMD?

This article at the enquirer briefly touches upon the thought in the Intel camp to launch a processor like the AMD 64 bit line of processors through an interview with a PR man at Intel. What does this spell for the future of the Itanium Chip into which Intel sunk in millions billions of research dollars? What is even more interesting is the entire slew of links at the end of this short newspiece/article providing pointers to other stories that confirm/strengthen the rumours making the rounds. Manoj scratches chin and wonders... And then he reads this in an article at the Register:
"This fateful step will necessarily consign Itanium to low volume, high end computing solutions as a mainstream, high volume x86 horse-race develops between Intel and long-time rival AMD that will push 64-bit x86 performance well into the low-mid range server territory for which low power Itanium was slated."

Though the Register is known to jump the gun sometimes when it comes to forecasting market trends, it's quoting an analyst who ofcourse, are never wrong ;)

The Limits of Innovation

The author draws heavily on trends in the Computer Industry to show that innovation isn't everything in the world today. Not that this isn't a known fact, the most innovative companies have never been among the money, Apple Computer and Xerox PARC being cases in point. Though verbose in text and repititive (at times) in thought, the article does prove it's point - that an innovative idea must be followed up with a sound marketing idea for commercial success to ensue. In the end, it's the bottomline that matters, not how uber cool the product turned out to be...

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Kumble, Pathan give India glimpse of win - The Times of India

I haven't been able to get any work done just because I've been listening to commentary all day today and yesterday - ruthless. But India can win, India can win :) Reminds me of the way we watched the live telecast on while programming Net Prog Assignments at RPI. Nostalgia I say...