Category Archives: blog

World Player of the Year?

It has been a topsy-turvy year this one in football. The gap between big and small teams has become smaller, and to win, tactics have proven to be more important than the individual skills of the players. A much debated question amongst fans and experts alike is who will win the player of the year this time around. It may be noted that during the years that have had a world cup, the World Player of the Year has come form the winning team: Romario in 94, Zidane in 98, Ronaldo in 2002 and most recently Cannavaro in 2006. I have compiled a small list..See if you can add to it.

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April 1st Edition: You just got pwned!

This prank is sure to work. You will need

1. Access to the computer of the person you wish to prank.

2. Refer 1

What to do? Change the home page of the person to javascript:alert(“your message goes here“)

Whenever the person opens his browser, he should be getting a message that looks like this. I put it up on college computing facility computers and have heard a lot about it already 🙂

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DIY Laptop Stand from PET bottles

This is something I tried out a few weeks back. It works wonderfully well;you begin to wonder why people sell cooling pads.

Anyway..
To make the stand, you will need

1. PET Bottles(I used 600 ml ones)*3

2. Tie Wraps: You can buy them cheap from your nearest hardware store

3. A Laptop!

What do I do now?

1. Align the PET bottles next to each other.
2. Make Tie wrap chains by inserting the tail of one to the head of the other. Each loop should have 5 tie wraps.
3. Place one of the loops around the bottle necks, another around the centre.
4. Tighten the loops by pulling. You may want to have someone near you to hold the bottles in the right alignment.
5. Cut off excess Tie Wrap threads.

You are done!
You get a laptop stand, that is cheap, insulating and channels all the heat outwards(due to the shape of the PETs).
This is what it should look like:

How I keep myself updated with my mail, twitter, and the blogs I follow when I am not able to access the Internet

I shall be joining IIT Madras in some time now. Rules there don’t allow LAN and Internet access for the first four months(No idea why; they say you need to experience IIT life, as once you get  your computers, you get hooked to LAN/Internet gaming, and you will hardly enjoy  the campus; This is true for a lot of people, from what I have seen from my last year at NITK). So I felt the necessity to keep myself updated. So, with a little help from Google, and a bit of tweaking, I figured out how to get regular updates by SMS(this works only in India, though you could use some alternate services to work it elsewhere; this does not cost anything, and is way better than using GPRS/3G).

So here is how it works. Gmail and Twitter have authenticated RSS feeds. This means that feed readers trying to read these will prompt the user for Username and Password. Hence authenticated feeds are not supported by most readers. Moreover, to view these feeds, there needs to be an interaction between the user and the reader, and hence an internet connection is needed.

So we use something called a Feed-Proxy. These are sites, that automatically supply the login details when asked, and export the feeds to thier own RSS feed. In simpler words, they convert authenticated feeds to unauthenticated fields.

Google Labs India has a feature called SMS channels, from which one can subscribe to Channels created by other users. You can create your own channel, and RSS feed updates can be sent. So we use these SMS channels to send the updates to your mobile as the unauthenticated feed supplied by the Feed Proxy(Most blogs have their unauthenticated feeds, and can be accessed in a similar way).

I shall post some useful links here:

Gmail Feed(Authenticated):

Twitter Feed(Authenticated): http://twitter.com/<username>/with_friends

Feed-Proxy: FreeMyFeed-Enter the authenticated  feed address, username and password. The RSS feed link is to be used later;Copy it somewhere.

Google SMS Channels: You need to login using your Google account.If you have not already done so before, you need to verify your phone number. Click on the create channel link, select RSS feed, and paste the feed address appropriately. Fill the rest of the details and you are done.

Edit: Use tinyurl to convert your feed proxy feeds from relative URLs to absolute URLs as relative URLs may fail on SMS Channels.

SMS Channels takes some time to activate, so be patient

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Los Galacticos: Then and Now

Then…

Now..

Madrid are bloody Copy Cats!

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Blackberry Apple Ad Wars

Blackberry tried to take a bite at Apple with this ad.

So Apple hit back

Now this is entertainment!

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One Nation, one system!

With a debate raging in Maharashtra on the 90-10 quota for admission to junior colleges, the Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal came out with a series of proposals, to reform the aging education system in the country. India is a big country, with a number of states, and most of them have their own education boards. Each board has their own rules, and often, the rules are arbitrarily set, and is the source of controversies in many situations. Among some of the recent cases, the Maharashtra government has proposed a 90% reservation in junior colleges for students from state board schools, and the remaining for students from CBSE and ICSE boards. This percentage has been based on the percentile stats across the states, but has caused a stir in the Urban areas, where a greater percentage of students go to schools from these other boards. In a number of states, the local language is forced upon the students, and this can be a big problem for students, who move to that state at a stage, where it would be difficult to pick up the new language. Sibal has called for the unification of all these boards, so as to have a uniform system throughout the country. Sibal has also proposed to do away with the 10th board exams, which he considers unnecessary. Quoting Sibal, “Education is not meant to traumatise the parents and students. This is unacceptable”. He also proposes to have grades for these examinations, instead of a numerical score.

I feel that this is a wonderful move, and will be very helpful for students as well as parents, who are often more concerned than the students themselves( ask me about that aspect 🙂 ).  Another area where this will help would be in the admissions for institutes of higher education, which has become a rat race of tremendous proportions. I have just come out of this rat race, and hopefully, I am one of the last few, who have to go through this stage. The situation may be bad until 10th standard, it worsens after that, because this is the stage where it really matters. All states have their own entrance examinations, with different rules for each. I know of many people who found it difficult to get admission in higher colleges, solely because they had not stayed in that state for a certain number of years( a lot of states have rules, that allow a student to take up such exams only if he/she has lived in that state for a certain period of time, usually 6-8 years minimum ). I find this very unfair and hope that it gets sorted out with the reforms. Another thing that I have observed is that in many states, the board exams in 12th don’t really matter. It is the various other entrance examinations that count. I have seen many cases where colleges have tie-ups with coaching institutes, wherein the colleges give complete attendance for the student, without him/her having to attend college, leaving him/her free to devote all of his time towards these competitive exams. I know of many people who have gone through their 11th-12th years attending college only for their practicals. The system is prevalent in Kota, Hyderabad and a few other places, from what I hear. What is more alarming is that many of these coaching classes follow a heavily examination oriented approach, which turns out bad for a number of students in the years to come.

I sincerely hope that this is only the beginning, and the reforms actually get carried out, which would certainly help students, as well as parents, and lead to the overall development of the country.

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