August 02, 2005

Computing Freedom

DRM. Digital Rights Management. The one word that's meant to protect the rights of the publisher, at the cost of the consumer. It is a scheme that employs cryptographic measures to prevent people from copying/distributing media content, especially music.
What DRM can do for you:
  • You'll be asked to Pay-per-use of music, video, software that you already bought.
  • Allows the content producer to disable your rights to the published content through hardware measures, including permanent hardware disability, any time they wish to. Which means the music you bought, or the DVD your purhased may not be usable tomorrow, whenever the producer decides to do so.
  • Discourages indie content publishers from making content, because of the royalty involved. Which means sending people the video you shot or the music you composed or the software you wrote could cost you a fortune.
  • Curbing the freedom of the consumer, and milking him, by pushing him to pay a lot of money for a commercial service, though an alternate free service may be available. The latter may not be functional once the DRM comes in.
  • The law might, in the view of protecting the producers may enforce mandatory DRM, which means that your old DVD player or PC might become illegal, and owning it might equal a criminal offense.
  • The rights of the conniving capitalistic regime, who have the money to make content VS The rights of people like you and me.


And now, after Slashdottin', I read this article today, on Apple implementing a protective system (called TCPA) on their new hardware. Which means that the customer may not be able to install free operating systems like Linux, FreeBSD or Solaris and may be forced to BUY and install OS X or Windows Vista. This doesn't stop here. The customer might be forced into buying propreitary hardware, software and services by the respective hardware vendors.

And the vendors have made it very clear.
Make hardware to run only DRM enabled software. Make software run only on DRM hardware.


Which means that all future software, with futiristic capabilities, advanced features, and all the goodies will be signed with a DRM-2048-bit-key and will only work on DRM-enabled hardware, and not on your current PC or Mac. And those who fail to realise this shall purchase a new DRM-enabled PC or Mac, hence killing all the independant hardware/software manufacturers, in the quest for relishing the state-of-art in today's technology.

Which again proves my point. The system is BOGUS. A damn cruel, selfish scheme meant to quash the competition, using unfair oligopolistic means and political muscle. Do you want to lose your consumer freedom? Think again. Voice your opinion. Fight for freedom.

Against TCPA!

July 23, 2005

The meaning of Life

At last! I've discovered it. At least I think I do.

I didn't run butt-naked on the streets shouting "Eureka!", but it was nevertheless, a realization for me. Before I tell you the meaning of life, a few words:


  1. The whole world runs on faith. If you have faith in my words, it shall probably make you a happier person. I'm not asking for money, or anything. I'm not asking you to ditch your religion or culture. I'm not asking you to do anything exotic. All I need is just your faith. With that, this might be the religion of the future.
  2. I'm not promising you a better life, or anything for that matter. You may probably get peace of mind if you follow what I say, or anything, or nothing as far as that goes.
  3. This information is being passed as-is and without any warranty of any kind. So if you don't find what you're looking for, DON'T SUE ME.
  4. I could as well put the whole propaganda into a book, into TV, advertise it online.. Whatever. I'm not going to do that. A blog is the perfect place for it to be: the best things in the world come for free.
  5. You aren't probably going to get eternal salvation after reading this.
  6. You may probably have known it, but you thought it was meaningless.
  7. If you are just looking for plain old fun, read it. ;)
  8. If you think that I've gone mad, keep your thoughts to yourself.
  9. If you don't like any of this, don't do anything. But, If you want to pass this on, for ridicule or otherwise, you are free (and welcome!) to do so.




The meaning and purpose of life, our very existence is: to endure it. That's right: No other reason. We can't get away from the shackles of existence, till we die. Though it may sound religious, it's true that we are reborn again, and again, and again.


We aren't born to accomplish anything. We were born with absolutely no work in hand. Because accomplishment was never meant to be static. As you accomplish something, you go on.. that's what happens in life. There are lots of things happening in life and you know that. But you don't know all of what's happening out there. As you try to learn, more things crop up;


But life never changes. It evolves constantly. But then, we get trapped into thinking that we are supposed to be working towards betterment, which we already are into doing. So this doesn't mean that you stop innovating, but it means that it's time we looked back into what we were meant to do. The more we want to get involved in the real world, the more we think, the more we worry, the more we struggle and the more we think of doing it, the more we get whipped by the lashes of ignorance.


Do your job, love people, work hard, be right, be creative! That's the secret of enduring existence. Good luck!

June 26, 2005

The Lazy Life ...

... a.k.a. I'm Lovin' It!


My typical day begins at 10 AM. I wake up, and mom makes the bestestestest filter coffee! Then bath, then eat (mmm.. BURP!). Then TV+siesta! Then go out. Then come back, eat dinner (uff.. mommah, i'm becomin' a baloon!) TV+Sleep. What a busy schedule!


When it comes to food, I never complain at home. My mom's been an ACE COOK, and have never stopped relishing her food. I am eternally thankful to the almighty for the same.


Mention TV and think CAS. CAS is the root of all evil. FTA channels are ohhkayy, but I'm missing out on all those nice movies and soaps thanks to CAS. Have started tuning to VH1... It's cool, plays some wonderful music. and no CRAP! So, there was this show called The Fabulous Life of the Hilton Sisters .. I was all like: "Wow! These two are this spoilt that they decided to make a whole series out of it!" but then, some time later, after watchin J-Lo's fabulous life, I decided that the Hilton sisters weren't all that fabulous after all. Heh heh. Then there's always POGO and ANIMAX; Watch Shaktimaan and Ghosts in the Shell: Standalone Complex.


Where there's a vehicle, there's a way. So there's my mom's Kinetic Honda (Curse the petrol price hike!) and I'm on it.


Going on a short trip to Kanyakumari. Shall be back and fill you guyz up on the details.. Happy hols, keep blogging!

June 06, 2005

King Size Life

Last weekend was AWESOME!!




This Saturday, myself and Sandeep went to Adlabs IMAX, the only IMAX Dome theater in India. There are only three IMAX theatres in India, the other two being in Hyderabad and Ahmedabad respectively (both are flat IMAX 3D theatres). There, in the gaming arcade, we zipped on a nice bouncy ride in Thrillarium, in a short film called "Mazy Mine". Then we got to play a real game of Pong, and we tied at 6 each. Then after a quick bite, we went to see Robots.



First, we were overwhelmed by the IMAX (Think big) experience. IMAX supposedly features a projection system that's very powerful that it can use the moon as a screen, and a sound system that delivers a whopping 12KW of power output; Cool! We were greated by an intro IMAX movie of A. R. Rahman's Maa, Tujhe Salaam ... it filled us with an immense sense of national pride to see our tricolor on the magnificent dome screen.


Robots, the movie
Second, we loved the movie. The story features a young robot named Sparky who grows up to pursue his dream of becoming an inventor. As he moves on to Robot City, he discovers that the times have changed for the worse, thanks to the villains. A charming story, woven with brilliant humour and screenplay, ends with an action-packed climax and Sparky saves the day.


Third, I loved the graphics, and as realistic and complex as it can get. The animation was quite smooth and had a lot of elements to the scenes. Blue Sky Studios have done a lot of work, and CGIStudio has apparently grown since Ice Age. (And watch out for Ice Age 2!!) It is interesting to note that CGIStudio uses a renderer which can use direct 3D equations to generate the mesh/patches rather than polygons, resulting in better, easier, faithful modeling of the real world.. (the other renderers use simpler primitive polygons!) Making these movies involves a lot of effort, including Model sculpting, Rigging, Material creation, Volumetric effects, Dynamic Lighting through raytracing, Virtual Cameras and then Animation. Rendering each frame (1/24th of a second), calculating IK, multiple passes, post production and storage can take hours on a renderfarm (with hundreds of fast computers!) Blah this, Blah that! So there ... i've proved that these things can be very complex!


There are a few more excellent animation studios, and they are releasin' some nice movies this summer ... I can't wait to watch Cars by PIXAR and Madagascar by Dreamworks Animation SKG.


On Sunday, we picked up some trinkets at Big Bazaar in the MovieTime mall, Goregaon. After tucking in some Russian Salad and Pasta (mmmmm, Yummy!), we went to watch our second weekend movie ... D.


The D Himself


It's a very realistic story about how a man once lovingly called "Deshu" became the biggest underworld don ... the D. It's a very violent movie, and strictly not for kids. The movie was quite straightforward and fast, though I somehow felt that they squeezed the climax. The introductory "All characters ... are fictious. Any resemblance to ... is coincidental" made us laugh, but then ... you gotta make a movie legally and what not.


Overall, a smashin' weekend, and had lotsa' fun!! :)

May 24, 2005

Another Weekend

20 years of darkness. 7 days of hell. No one could survive it. We did!


This saturday, we watched NAINA. A nice movie, for one. Gave us a jolt of the BHOOT experience. Urmila plays the role of Naina Shah, who gets supernatural eye-sight after her eye operation. So that's what the movie is all about... A few observations/conclusions:



  • Indian thriller movies are special in their own way. They rely more on silly things like falling objects, illusions, darkness and sounds. The THX surround sound system always adds on to the effect.

  • Indian movie physicians are exceptionally trained to transplant the choiciest of organs into the Hero/Heroine.

  • People who recieve eye-transplants don't usually watch TV/go out with da hunk hero the very next day (as it happens in many movies). It was well depicted in this movie. Kudos!

  • Indian movies always revolve around conventional ghost technology for thrillers. It's time we got ourselves updated on that.

  • An Indian movie without filmi dance/music is usually not-distracting and worth every buck you spend.

  • Don't get interested when movie ads use any or all of these keywords: inspiration, musical, love story, classic, epic, passion and fear. Go for the more practical movie.

  • In general: Don't judge a book by the movie. Don't judge a movie by the trailer.



Then myself and Sandeep went to the Bandra Bandstand. We played in the waters for a while, and saw a very lovely sunset. Also noticed that this was an official public-display-of-private-affection-place, coz people come over there to do nothing but just that. :P


Then we went to the Marine Drive, and sat on the rocks beside the sea. The experience was enthralling, and the sea-breeze was fantastic! Then we hitched on to Mani's Lunch Home in Matunga, where you get authentic South Indian cuisine. I felt like I had never eaten food in years. We ate and ate until our bellies started paining ... Home is where the stomach is.

May 09, 2005

Controversy sells more than Fact

I am a common man. My sources of information are the daily news, the hoardings and the biz. What I get to read, feel and percieve is what they write, and needn't be what is, or what should be. Which is why I am writing this.


End of the Day


What I get to read everyday is nothing more than plain "controversy". So, there are a hell lotta' things happening in and around the world I live. However, the ones who feel the brunt of the media aren't the Joe and Jill somebodies. Only when you are popular, rich or when the media can make some money outta' using your name, do you make it into the media, the Page 3.


So, this article doesn't, in any way mean that media is all about making money. But media is about making money too. What you get is written by people and not by machines. Which is why we should treat news with caution and discretion.


Simple example: Britney Spears makes it to the headlines, and your friendly neighbourhood pickpocket doesn't. Not unless he's committed quite a few crimes and has got away with 'em. Who cares a damn what happens to any celebrity, when It is definitely more practical and meaningful to know about your own locality. I think that newspapers ought to realize this and print more "meaningful, practical and useful" material than "stuff that sells".


Comments, please?

May 08, 2005

Shiva - Elephanta Caves

Sandeep and I decided to go out this Saturday... First, we went to the Mahalakshmi mandir, and took a darshan of the beautiful, ever merciful goddess of wealth.

From there, me went via Churchgate, to the Gateway of India. From there, we hitched a ferry on to the Elephanta island. It was the farthest I had gone on sea.. and the cruise was magnificent!

The island got its name from an elephant statue which welcomed the first Britishers on these islands. Before that, It used to be called Gharapuri, or the island of caves.

It's a bane that tourists get milked and exploited so much, in India. First you have to pay to get in, and pay to see the caves, and pay more to drink water, eat food and what not ... Well, after paying enough, and a small uphill trek, we could get a glimpses of those caves. It appeared to us, as a half-constructed Shiva temple, with lots of nice statues and lingas. Most of the statues were destroyed, thanks to the ignorant firangees before us, who supposedly broke these down for fun and amusement... what a shame!

Trimurti, Elephanta


Then, we went on the back side of the hill, climbed up to see the mighty bandhuks on the Cannon hill. The view was breath-taking from the top! It kinda' reminded me of playing Age of Kings. Well, we were quite tired after that. We climbed down and waved goodbye to the enchanted island and it's marvellous relics...

May 06, 2005

Quality of Life

So, all along, we have been making our processors faster, software more portable, rockets fly higher, stock markets zippier, food more efficiently and money more fluid...


But how many of us have made our lives any simpler and qualitative? When have we ever sat back to relax, to take a break, to give our life more meaning as "a whole"? All along we've been doing TQM and Six Sigma to our products, our processes, our office.. Doesn't our own life count?


Let me explain this: So, beyond a limit, no matter how fast your processors run, no matter how your money flows through your assets, there are always things in life that need you. Without you, they just don't make sense. So, if all you need out of your PC is just being able to hook up to the net, listen to music or type a few documents, you don't bother if your PC is a P3 or a 64-bit Duron. You are there, things happen just the way you want them to, and nothing else matters to you. Right? Just like that, if all that you require out of your life is a job, a family, some wealth and nothing more, you should learn to be satisfied with your life and make fuller use of it.


Why make more than what's required? Beyond a certain limit, what you make out of technology or research becomes probably a wonderful concept in science, an achievement.. but nothing more. So, if you know that you have reached that limit, why push furthur? I mean, you haven't certainly haven't seen that many innovations in ear buds, have you? Because ear buds are "just right". You don't need to add a tooth pick and call it "ear pick" or "tooth bud" .. it never works. Rather, you find ways of packaging ear buds, selling them, making money out of them.


Now that i've said what i've wanted to say.. Think, Live a better life!

February 01, 2005

The cream of life

Mumbai has a lot to offer, when it comes to food. The best part about this city is, one can choose to live life as he/she pleases. Extravagant or affordable, It's all there. For example, there is this Park View restaurant, where we eat. Opposite to that, I found one very interesting ice cream shop. The best thing is, it's all made right before your eyes, the way you want it. Rose Falooda and Fruit Salad are the chef's specials there;If he likes you, you'll get another full scoop to wash down. You wouldn't wanna spend a mini fortune eating ice creams in Park View. Get the point?

January 25, 2005

Practice School

There are many things about practice school.


First, if you are in a city like mumbai, you'll spend one fifth of your time in travelling. It gets worse when you get bussed for as much as two and a half hours in the mornings.


Second, if you really have nothing to do, then start a blog.


Third, if you really like your work as much as I do, then work hard. It pays off in the long run. You'll end up feeling like you have achieved big things in a day.


Fourth, it's not a rhetoric evaluation thingie where you keep writing diaries and reports. The focus is on the job.


Fifth, enjoy life! You are probably going places, so why not have a good time? ;)


PS II