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I just won £500,000.00 GBP

Oh my god, I am rich. Oh my god, I am rich.  So long suckers.

See what I got in the mail 🙂  The only confusion is about who the hell is giving me the money? Is it the Google Rediffmail Lottery or the esteemed GOOGLE GMAIL CORPORATION or perhaps its the SPRINGFIELD SCHOOL. I can’t even ask anyone as the mail is privileged and confidential and protected from disclosure. 

 

*refreshes the bank account summary page*

____________________________________________

Dear Winner

You have won a prize money of ( £500,000.00 GBP ) by Google Rediffmail Lottery in conjunction with the GOOGLE GMAIL CORPORATION.
How ever you will have to fill and submit this form to the events manager.

1. Full name…………..2. Contact Address……..
3. Age………………..4. Telephone Number…….
5. Sex………………..6. Occupation………….

(Contact Director Lottery Department)

Mr Ray Williams
Tell +448713159178
Email: gglclmsoffice@gmail.com

Note:  The information contained in this message may be privileged and confidential
and protected from disclosure.  If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or
an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, you
are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is
strictly prohibited.  If you have received this communication in error, please notify us
immediately by replying to the message and deleting it from your computer.

Thank you.
SPRINGFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Questions unanswered

Sitting and looking back at the decade gone by, I can not help but ask myself this, Is this where I had hoped to be after 10 years, 10 years ago?
Have I achieved all that I wanted to achieve, or anything at all?
If I could talk to my 10 years younger self, would that be a happy conversation?
Could I, possibly, explain what I am, where I am, and why? Do I believe in the why?
Think of all the decisions you made in the past 10 years which has brought you to this point. Hind sight is supposed to be 20/20. Is it?
Do you know, even now, what decisions you should have made? And how your life would be different if you had?
The college that you chose to go to? The course that you decided to take? Would you still have the same friends that you have now? How much would it matter if you did not? Would your “could have been” friends be much different from the friends that you have now?
Think of all the mistakes you made. What would be different had you tried a little harder? If you had studied a little harder for that exam? Worked a little harder on your writing/singing/dancing/speaking/painting? Are you ready to learn from those mistakes?
What if you had the guts to do the things you wanted? What if you had the guts to tell your parents what you wanted to be? What if they agreed and supported you? What if you had the guts to tell that girl/guy that you like them? Would you still be with them? Would you be happier if you did?
Is it too late to fix these?
Think of the things that you would tell your 10 years younger self, if you had a chance. The advice that you would give him/her. Mistakes that could and should have been avoided. Things that you have learned in these 10 years . Things that you would do differently.
How many of those advices still apply and would still be there when you do the same thing 10 years from now?

The Bollywood conundrum

I love movies. Like most Indians, I grew up on a staple diet of Hindi films. Later when I diversified, for nutritional benefits, I realized that there are some things that only happen in Bollywood movies.
Of course some of the following have exceptions, which rule doesn’t?
Here are 19 things, feel free to add your own
  • Rule of the bathing girls: Even in utmost privacy, all the girls in the movie will bathe with their torso wrapped, from shoulder to knees in a saree or a towel. Soap will be applied only on the exposed parts and a shampoo shall never be used.
  • Mystery of the abandoned hut: How many times have you seen this, the hero and heroine are lost in a jungle on a stormy night. They are running helter skelter. Lo and behold, a hut, in decent working condition, appears. Which is always empty. Unless one of them is injured, in this case, there is generally, a blind guy there to help them or if the romance has not yet blossomed, then the hut would be occupied by some evil guys who will try to jump the heroine. The hero will save her. Their love will blossom.
  • Sacrificing the fiance at the altar: The ‘twist’ in the story goes like this, the guy/girl realises, on the ‘mandap’, right before the ‘pheras’, that the heroine/hero is in love with someone else. They then proceed to sacrifice their love. This act also distinguises the side hero from the villain/villain’s kid.
  • Rapists have an upper arm fetish: Since time immemorial the bollywood rape algorithm has been
step 1: Tear the blouse/top at the left(mostly) upper arm.
step 2: Try to kiss the chin/neck while the victim swings her head furiously.
step 3: Repeat step 2 until the hero comes
Of course if the victim is hero’s sister then the attacker will manage step 2 and the attempt will be deemed succesful.
Being the hero’s sister is, without a doubt, the most hazardous job for a girl.
  • The floating dance troupe: The hero (sometimes the heroine) decides to woo the girl (guy) of their dreams by singing them an impromptu number and doing some nifty aerobic moves. A random group of dancers materializes, at the exact moment with the exact moves, to backup our guy (gal). They also seem to know the lyrics of the song.
  • Hurricane temple: Whenever the lead character goes to the temple, under intense duress, mighty winds blow. The strength of the winds is directly proportional to the distress of the said character. These temple visits invarialby end up producing a miracle. The occurance of the miracle is signalled, to the clueless viewer, by either a flower falling in the characters semi-folded palms or by automatic ringing of the temple bells.
  • Bullet resistance: The villain either dies of a single gun shot or comes to life after being shot so that other characters get a chance to shoot him to show their loyalty to the hero. No one ever checks if the villain has actually died the first time around nor does any one deem it necessary to remove the guns lying around injured bad guys before going to the hugging and crying mode.
The hero on the other hand can take an entire clip of bullets and still manage to punch and kick until the bad guy is downed. After which he immediately collapse and comes to only when the heroine/mother takes his head                             in her lap.
  • Master of disguises: All that is required to hide ones identity, completely, is some highlighting in the hair and either a fake mustache or sunglasses. The best way to reveal the identity to a confidant and make them aware, telepathically, of the whole plan is to pull down the glasses slightly or pull out the moustache a bit and wink. This immideately makes them aware of your identity and the complete rescue plan, down to the minor details. Of course everyone else is, still, completely unaware.
  • The dying undying love: What is the best way to prove one’s undying love? Bollywood offers a few suggestions. Drink poison, it should be from a small bottle with “poison” written across in a large font. Jump from a cliff/tall building. Slit your arms or engrave the person in question’s name on yourself. Guys have one more option, get beaten by a group of thugs and don’t fight back until the heroine says “I love you”. Of course all injuries caused by the said methods shall be cured with a song.
  • Homing photo: If the heroine is being married to someone else and her father is unaware of her past romantic liasons, a photo of the heroine with her loved one, in a telling position, will end up in the father’s hand right before the binding marriage rituals.
  • Animals are smarter than people: If the lead characters have a pet, it will have an IQ greater than all the villain’s henchmen put together. They will have an acute awareness of the goings on and will always know how to help.
  • Dream songs: Let’s be honest here, if they picturise actual dreams, it will be mighty difficult to get a censor certificate. What I can not understand, though, is if the hero/heroine can write such lyrics and compose such tunes in their dreams why are they still poor?
  • Love/Hate at first sight: The first time the hero and heroine lay eyes on each other they either fall madly in love or become mad with hate. Bollywood does not have a concept of gradual love. Perhaps it is difficult to cram it in the 3 hours.
  • Whose kid is this anyway: If either the hero or the heroine is seen with a child, its not theirs. If, on rare occasion, it is theirs then the spouse is invariably dead.
  • Choices for love: If one of the lead characters is from a rich and powerful family, their love interest will either be from a very poor family or from a family with whom they have a feud since generations.
  • Fight bang with a bang: If someone gets an amnesia due to head injury the best way to fix them is by giving them another head injury. Rinse and repeat.
  • No one ever blocks a punch: In a bollywood fight, no matter how slowly the punch is thrown, no matter how much back lift it has, the punch will always land on the target. Blocking/Ducking is for sissies.
  • Platonic romance: If the guy and the gal are best friends then they will inevitably fall in love but they will only realise this at the end of the movie. All those tight full body hugs, late drunk nights etc. evoke no emotions whatsoever.
  • Car trouble no trouble: If a car breaks down in a movie, it can invariably be fixed by putting some water in the radiator. All the cars/jeeps always have a can present when the said breakdown happens.

Twitter hacked!!

Twitter has been hacked by someone claiming to be the “Iranian Cyber Army”. Interestingly they are using gmail as their service provider. They have managed to fly a green flag on the site and the text in the footer roughly translates to

Abnam x
Its address Yek Irani Dar Pasokh by Dkhalt haye شیطنت Amesz این Dhendh Managed by the Constitution of the shrines آمریکایی der things داخلی کشورم)
این strona its address Hishdar هک می Chaudes

– Courtesy Google

I wonder what the text on the flag says.

Green flag of Iranian Cyber army flying on twitter main page
Hacked

I was pretty stupid as a child. Some will say I have retained that quality. They might be correct but that topic is out of scope for this blog. This blog is about my stupidities as a child.

When I was about 8 or 9, there was a large Gulmohar tree infront of my classroom. The tree had low hanging branches, perfect for kids to pretend they were Spiderman. Without the outer-under-wear, ofcourse. No funny masks either.

In a bout of such super-heroedness, during lunch, I was swinging away on the branches, locked in a fierce battle for world domination, with my friends. All super heroes, real or otherwise, outer-under-wear or not, have their arch nemesis. The main villain of this story was the school office clerk. He some how got wind of our super hero activites and we were summoned to the office, post lunch.

The school office was a large room in the main building, attached to a small storage room. The storage room was used to store school stationary and other equipment used in the school. It was a small and stuffy room. It was in this room where the group of, now slightly scared, super heroes found themselves locked.

We were locked for the remainder of the day. The thing I remember most about the locked up period is that we had a lot of fun. We had lots of props around us and the comedy acts never stopped. We hoped that the sounds did not carry outside and so our captors remain unaware of the merriment going on inside the tiny, semi-dark and stuffy room. You can lock up heroes but you can not lock up their spirits or something like that.

An hour after the school time was over, the door opened. We had heard the footsteps approaching and assumed a sufficiently stressed out and scared look. It was friday. We were allowed to leave with only one statement. “Please collect your TCs on Monday”. TCs (Transfer Certificates), for the uninitiated, is what you get when you either leave the school or are thrown out of it. In my mind, I went from being the prodigal son to the black sheep in 3.6 seconds. Beat that Ferrari.

I thought there was no way I could face my parents with this news (due to the aforementioned stupidity). So, I did what any normal 9 year old would do. I decided to run away from home.

A plan was hatched, I told my mother that there was a comedy competition in the Town hall and I was participating. I told her that the competition is on Sunday and rehersals on Saturday. I packed a few cloths for the “dress rehersals”. I had participated in contests in the Town Hall so the story did not make my mother suspicious. Off I went.

The plan included one other kid. Both of us met at the Town Hall. We picked up a road and decided to go till the next town. According to the milestone, it was 18 km away. The Jeep fare for going there was Rs. 2/- per head. We decided to save money and walk all the way. It started getting dark after about a couple of hours of walking and as Mr. Murphy had predicted, with darkness came a slight drizzle.

Now my partner in crime, who shall forever remain nameless *cough* Abhishek *cough*, was not fully sold on the idea of running away in the first place. I would like to believe it was my how_can_you_show_your_face_to_your_parents speech that pushed him off the proverbial edge. Soon after the drizzle, he started getting restless. He mumbled something about wanting to go back to mummy but continued the march forward. Soon enough the sounds of sobbing from left overtook the sounds of thunder from above. This was when I decided to head back.

It was pretty dark and raining. I am from that part of India where street lights mean fireflies. We started the long trek back. A few minutes later a Jeep heading back to town appeared on the road. This time we decided to not worry about the money.

The passengers of the Jeep looked pretty concerned on finding two kids in the middle of nowhere on a dark and rainy night. I gave them a story of trying to go to Aunt’s house, not being able to make it because of the rain and hence returning. Who cares if they were convinced or not. I was going home.

It was pretty late and I was sure my parents would be pretty worried by now. They were. I remember getting one tight slap and that was pretty much it. The topic never came up again. Until now, that is, when I was looking for a story for my funny blog 🙂

Testing wptogo

Trying to blog from my phone using wptogo. Seems convenient.

Android note taking apps

As promised in the previous post, here’s a review of popular note taking apps for Android.

What’s the point of having a smart phone if you can’t jot down the priceless quote some one made, in the office meeting, for water cooler talk later, or perhaps a compilation of quotes for your blog.

With the number of choices available in the Android market, choosing the perfect note taking app for your Android phone has become a non trivial pursuit.

I have compiled a table of features for the popular notepad apps from the Android market, I have put the features that I thought would be useful.

I only tested the free apps, some of the following apps have paid versions which include more features.

Voice Paint Pic Labels Sync Links Backup Tags Alert SendTo Folder
3Banana No No Yes Yes Yes Yes SDCard No No No No
AK Notepad No No No Yes No Yes SDCard No Yes Yes No
ColorNote No No No No No No No Color No No No
Evernote Yes No Yes No Yes No Online Yes No Email No
Foxnote No No No No No No SDCard No No Email Yes
GDocs No No No No Google Yes Online No No No Yes
Note Everything Yes Yes No No No No SDCard No No Yes Yes
Note Me No No No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Notepad No No No No Yes No Online No No No No
Paint Note No Yes No No No No SDCard No No Yes No
Ultra Notes No No No No No No SDCard No Yes Yes Yes
Wiki notes No No No No No Wiki SDCard No No No No
Status note No No No No No No No No No No No
OI Notebook Yes No No No No Yes SDCard Yes No Yes No

Some applications have some other features worth mentioning that are not in the table. Here are some that I found note worthy

3Banana:

It has a good web interface. The web interface can be used while taking notes on the comp and it syncs with the phone app. It can read and store barcode data. User’s don’t need to create an account they can sign-in using their Google account. 3 Banana also supports location tagging this way your note will automatically contain context information.

AK Notepad:

AK Notepad comes bundled as an uninstallable applications in some of the custom Android ROMs. It is a pretty decent option if all you want to do is take text notes.

ColorNote:

The main USP of this application is that the notes can be color coded and sorted based on the color. Other than that this is a simple app for taking text notes.

Evernote:

Evernote is perhaps the best known name in this list. They don’t have a release version out for Android yet, so I tested the beta version that can be downloaded from their site. Evernote  definitely has best online presence amongst the listed apps. Their desktop app is too good to ignore. If you are a Windows or a Mac user then this is definitely worth a very serious look. Me, I am waiting for them to release a Linux version.

Foxnote:

This application is supposed to sync with Google Docs but I was unable to get it to work.

GDocs:

GDocs integrates pretty well with Google docs. It allows the user to download their documents from Google Docs and edit them. The editing can be done offline. Documents can be created offline and  can later be synced. If you use Google Docs then you should definitely give this application a try.

Note Everything:

This is a feature rich note taking application. Most of the features for which it says “no” in the table are available in the Pro version which has Photo notes, checklists, encryption, reminder etc. I did not try the Pro version.

Note Me:

Note Me has a slightly busy looking interface with lots icons at the bottom of the screen. It has filtering by tags and a send to calendar feature which is similar to the remainder feature that some other apps have.

Notepad:

This is plain vanilla  note taking app, it provides syncing through its own servers at http://pad.helicoid.net

Paint Note:

This is not a normal note taking application. This is meant for taking picture notes. You can open any picture from your album or SD Card, add notes to it and share it using one of the many photo sharing sites. You can also create your own drawings and share them in the same way.

Ultra Notes:

This is another feature rich application. It is one of the few application that support encryption. The home screen, by default, contains a list of folders which can be used to categorise the notes.

Wiki notes:

This is useful for creating wikis, all wiki words (text with more than one capital letter) become links to notes of that title.

Status note:

This is another app which is not a simple note taking app. This puts an editable note in the status bar.

OI Notebook:

Open Intents (OI) have a pretty large suite of apps for Android platform. Their note taking app, OI Notebook, is a pretty decent application. The USP of OI Notebook is that it integrates well with other OI products like OI Voice Notes, OI Safe, providing additional functionality.

Update: Evernote is out of beta now. I use evernote and ultranotes on my phone.