From the recent supreme court judgment on quotas for OBC's : "Nowhere else in the world do castes classes or communities queue up for the sake of gaining backward status. Nowhere else in the world is there competition to assert backwardness and then to claim that we are more backward than you."
I tried out jajah today. So, what is jajah ? Well, it is web activated telephony.
You head over to jajah and get yourself an account. Initially, you get one dollar to try out their service. I just spoke to my parents and it was pretty smooth ! No hassles and it was easy.
You need to provide an phone number when you sign up. After you sign up, when you want to place a call to someone, you provide the caller's phone number and your phone number to the website, and click on call. Your phone rings, you pick up and start talking. It is that easy !
So, why is this convenient ? When you want to call people who do not have an internet connection, this definitely makes life easier !
The call rates are pretty cheap though. I would like to see how it compares to skype. The only issue I see with skype is that you need to have a PC to make calls. More often than not, people who use their computers from work would not be able to use skype. So, even if you need to spend a few more cents, jajah would make things a bit easier.
And finally, If you want to place calls between jajah users in United States, it is free. I have a jajah account myself. If you live in United states and have a jajah account, let me know, and let's get talking.
For all of us coming from the Linux world, there is no multimedia player that comes even close to mplayer. Well, there are binaries of this wonderful piece of software for those of you who are stuck with windoze ;-) Take my word and try it out. You will be amazed.
So, after I got my Mac book pro, I naturally decided to get mplayer working on it. After installing MacPorts, I got the initial system in place. I also managed to get the necessary dependencies compiled and ready.
Imagine to my surprise that mplayer will now crash on playing .wav files. Yes, on Intel Mac OS X, mplayer crashes while playing wav files.
Luckily, Dr.Google is always around to defuse these kind of situations. I found this and this. I followed what they had recommended, and now, I have my favorite multimedia player on OS X too !
I will repost what they have posted in case the links become obsolete or something. Basically, you need to open the file loader/Makefile and replace the line "CFLAGS= -Idshow -DMPLAYER -D__WINE__ -DNOAVIFILE_HEADERS" with this one "CFLAGS= -Idshow -DMPLAYER -D__WINE__ -DNOAVIFILE_HEADERS -mstackrealign -fno-unit-at-a-time". Please do remember that this is for the system that I use, which is MAC OS X 10.4.8/9 with gcc 4.0.1. I have not tested this on any other systems and hence, I cannot lay any other claims.
One of the reasons why I use mplayer is that the sound output is awesome. I think they use some kind of direct sound card write or something. Secondly, I can adjust the AV sync. That is very very important for me when I want to watch downloaded files. And finally, this was the only player which produced amazing output without framedrop on my previous HP Pavilion ZE 1250.
As I said before, YouTube is simply magnificent. A search for "Ilayaraja" gave me these gems !
Made my weekend.
This has some amazing orchestration, especially before the first paragraph. Is the heroine Poornima (Bhagrayaj's wife) ? Comments please.
Need we even talk about the preludes and interludes for this song ? An all time classic. As song goes "Yendan degam maraindhalum isaiyai malarven" and "Yendhan moochum indha paatum anaiya vilakae", you will always be immortal "Raja". For ever and ever.
It is indeed sad that Sachin Tendulkar should go out of world cup like this. But then again, he never had a good track record of bailing India out of critical situations didn't he ? And so, India's World Cup campaign comes to an end. I pity the organizers who will now loose out a lot of revenue !
And I distinctly remember a certain Mr.Chappell saying that he is making changes with a view of world cup. Crap. Load of Crap. He has been successful in transforming a world beating outfit into a bunch of whimpering nobody's.
This is a brilliant advertisement (Not because I own a Macbook Pro ;-)). The punchline, of course, is the last line. "You are coming to a sad realization. Cancel or Allow". IMHO, that takes the icing !
Vishwanathan Anand wins the chess No.1 title. More here.
Since I have a long weekend, I am off to Guanajuato (pronounced as o-na-hua-to) and San Miguel De Allende. It seems they are the places where Mexican revolution of Independence originated. So, it should make for a good trip. Needless to say, i _will_ do a trip write up that can help others planning to make similar trips (unlike my 10 day South Indian trip which I am yet to document!).
I will, of course, be traveling with my new Nikon D40 and hence, expect to see some photographs.
This is plain crazy. I mean, when the current software wars are being fought for control over the internet and cross platform applications, Cisco buys out a windows-only product and that too for billions !
Someone is laughing all the way to the bank. I have used webex and yes, it is indeed a good product. But, as mentioned in that article, there are much cheaper and better alternatives out there.
This is an interesting counter-argument to the acquisition game !
Speaking of acquisitions, Microsoft's buy out of TellMe seems to be on target. I think it would be interesting to see what Google's move would be now !
Update : Obviously enough, Google has indeed moved. Check Here for more !
And so i have treated myself to a DSLR. Nikon D40 it is.
The D40 comes with a stock 18-55 lens. (The above picture was taken with a 18-200 lens).
However, the real "treat" part is when i treat myself to a 18-200 lens (which is currently quite rare and expensive to get !).
The above shot was taken with the stock 18-55 lens.
And here are some sample pictures taken with the 18-55 lens. I am yet to figure out the controls completely. But, yes, the camera rocks !
I was unable to get some real "dangerous close up" (Where you thrust your lens as close as possible to the object) shots. It could also be due to the fact that I did not find out the right setting. I should try that too, and would be doing it over the next few days.
Denizens of Monterrey, Mexico, beware. You now have a shutterbug on the prowl ;-)
Living far away from home when the Cricket World Cup is on is a painful thing. During the last world cup, I was in San Diego and hence, I was able to watch Sachin and Sehwag maul the Pakistanis. This time on, I am in Mexico where crickets are insects that are consumed down south.
So, after some spending some quality time with Dr.Google, I have listed a few sites where you can see the World Cup Cricket matches online. Please note that most of these sites may require at-least 512kbps connection and hence, may not be viewable in India. But for people in Mexico and US, this may help. Also, I cannot vouch for the quality of the broadcasts from these websites.
So here they are:
1. www.willow.tv. Very very expensive at some 200USD subscription charges !!
6. BBC provides a ball-ball audio commentary. Currently, it says that this is available only for residents of UK.
7. There is always Cricinfo which provides text commentary.
8. If someone in US has a dish subscription, then you can ask that person to get a Sling Box which will internet enable that television, and thereby you can watch the broadcast ! This is my original idea and in case you implement it, please consider paying me some royalty. Or at-least, let me know the Internet address of the box, so that I can watch it too !
Update: Here are some more links. They were posted as comments and i moved them up here, so that RSS feed readers (If there are any ;-)) will also get to know of them !
5 down, 95 more to go ;-). The flag of chennai runners was hoisted in LA. The timing was slightly bad. 5.30. Could have been better, but what the heck. An unprecedented ligament pull in the back of the left knee has left me immobile. But, the feel of the finishers medal far outweighs the pain.
Thanks go out to the residents of LA, who stood all along the course handing out ice cubes, and the Japaneses business association of South California, who were massaging the weary legs of the participants. You were great guys and i dont think i could have completed without your support.
A big sense of gratitude goes out to the "King" Illayaraja, whose wonderful songs that were playing in my player helped me in no mean terms.
A big thank you to my friend from IISc days, Rajkumar and his roommate, who hosted me here in LA.
Thanks go out to Sandisk and Apple in particular. Ipod is no mean invention ! All along i never thought that ipod will help in such a manner. Of course, i do not own an ipod, but my player, Sandisk Sansa E280 is a shameless rip-off from ipod ;-) And yes, i _need_ to loose some more weight and follow a training regimen if i ever plan to cut down on that finishing time. Yes, it will happen in due course.
And finally, the weather in LA sucks and sucks big time. I have never finished a marathon in a dry T-Shirt. The humidity was pathetic. So dry it was that if you wet you shirt in a mile point, by the time you reach the next mile point it would dry out. I would have consumed atleast 6 or 7 litres of gatorade and water. In case you are planning to run in LA sometime, please note the humidity factor !
The flight from Houston to Los angeles was delayed by one hour. Reason : Late running of the incoming flight ! Hence, it is not that we have these kind of problems only in India; they are there everywhere !!
Lots of desi's all round ! NICE ;-)
Lunch buffet in Annapurna rocks. 10$ and the cashewnut cake was awesome.
The LA Marathon build up looks good (Sometimes too much. I got five mails last week asking me if i wanted a personalized dvd for myself ;-)). Lots of stalls and stuff advertising anything and everything related to marathon.
A decent finish in marathon looks promising, and at the same time, difficult. One minute it is hot and the next minute a cool breeze comes over !
So, more updates after i finish. (Of course, i will finish. Just that the time needs to be improved upon!)
In the words of Borat, "California, Here i Come!". I will be in Los Angeles during this weekend. Doing What ? Eh, running the LA marathon of course ! In case you are in the vicinity (either running or coming over to watch), drop me a mail and we can have a mini-blogger's meet. My Running BIB number is 12265.
"The true tragedy of a routinely spent life is that its wastefulness
does not become apparent till it is too late." Amitava Ghosh in his book
"Hungry Tide". Code monkey, marathon runner, bicyclist, motor biker & general crazy-ass guy