Saturday, 26 June 2010

Possible attack page

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"Check before you click"

There are a lot of malicious sites out there, and they have innumerable ways of getting to you. Some of them give you the software that you need for free (pirated) and they would have put a payload of malware, trojans etc. in it. Or many pornographic sites have had a history of installing random toolbars and embarrassing spyware on your system, some sites that redirect you to some other sites, some lawyer or old lady who has a large amount of money wanting to share that wealth with you for some strange reason (scam, incidentally) and so on...

Of course, you are aware of these. I just found a new one, and thought I must share it with you guys. I got a mail from facebook, which the facebook team had sent. A very neatly designed mail, that masquerades exactly like the facebook type pages. Just have a look at it

(Just click on the image to enlarge)

It says that the facebook tem has sent me a message. It also has the mail domain name as facebook. It also has a link that shows facebook. However, when you move the mouse arrow over it, read the link to which it is pointing to in the status bar. This is not facebook and is some malicious site.

Set your browser security settings to high, and install an antivirus as well, just to be careful. Of course, another typical workaround would be to type the link that has been sent rather than clicking. This, I don't believe is feasible because the links are typically too long, and have too many random characters, and we are just plain lazy to type to press so many buttons, when we could have just pressed one.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Nine words women use

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"When I had opened the empty book titled 'What do men know about women', I nodded and said that it was going to be a best-seller"

A very interesting mail that I received. But it seems to be very true

Nine words women use...

1.) Fine
This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2.) Five Minutes
If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3.) Nothing
This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4.) Go Ahead
This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5.) Loud Sigh
This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6.) That's Okay
This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7.) Thanks
A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.

8.) Whatever
Is a women's way of saying F@!K YOU!

9.) Don't worry about it, I got it
Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to #3.Then you RUN!

Send this to the men you know, to warn them about arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminology. Send this to all the women you know to give them a good laugh, because they know it's true.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

How to make a scrapbook

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"Memories can be cherished over the years if they are recorded beautifully"

After being together with your friends for four years, you find that pretty soon, things are going to change drastically. People will move in different directions to pursue their own goals in life, and staying in touch is next to impossible. Probably writing on the wall on facebook, or perhaps on some days chatting, as most of the times, timezones and work would prevent you from doing this.

So, I thought that the perfect way to, have memories etched permanently is to create a scrapbook of some kind, where you can store memories forever. The following is MY interpretation of how a scrapbook can be designed. If you liked it, please do drop in a mail or comment. Also, let me know your suggestions.

This scrapbook is designed for a group of people, and therefore, it is not feasible to use conventional paper, glue, photo sticking and writing. Therefore, the entire scrapbook will be designed using a software such as Corel Draw and by professionals. And then you can have it printed and bound. So you might be wondering - If a professional is designing it, why is the title How to make a scrapbook? You can do this by hand as well, but making more than one becomes hard and time consuming. A book designed using a computer can be printed several times with ease. Like I said, it is how I would have loved to make a scrapbook.

The book should be a hard bound book. Soft bound books, unfortunately, develop crease marks on the cover, and might also get dog ears, and you will feel bad later on. A hard bound book on the other hand, will be long lasting. Since we are going for a hard bound book, the outer cover should be a book jacket. The outer covering should have a high resolution photo of a group of friends standing and posing together. There are two ways of doing this - Either stand in a formal manner like this, or in an informal manner, probably like this. These are merely ideas, and you can of course choose your own way of posing. However, remember that the photo quality needs to be really good. For two reasons - One, it is a blown up version, and two, it is the outer covering. I, therefore recommend that you go to a professional and get it done. Although it will be a little more expensive than taking your own picture using a digital camera, the end result will be worth it, since you will have a better camera and good lighting conditions (that you will most likely not have normally)

I liked to have a title with the Friends logo, just like in the Friends book. And have the caption as "The One With All The Memories". This is just to go in accordance with the Friends naming pattern, and this makes us Friends fanatics feel this to be really cool. It will be a really good idea to have another group picture at the back, fade it out a little, put a beautifully written blurb on it. Also, put a bar code at the bottom, just to make it look like a regular book. You can add other things that you like, as long as you don't over do anything :P

The first page of the book should have the title and caption - Friends: The One With All The Memories written in black, and below it, it would be a great idea to have a caricature of your group done. There are many caricature artists who will do this for a nominal amount. (Try calling up Just Dial for caricature artists and you will get quite a few) This will give it the fun aspect of it, and will make it look really funny. Give your descriptions to the artists, probably one guy with an overflowing glass of beer, or big shoes, or jacket, etc.

Following this, the book should be full of testimonials written by friends to other friends. How would you organise this? Collect all the testimonials about all people written by all people.
Take one person, and pick out all testimonials written by everyone else about that person, and put it in a folder. Repeat till all testimonials are sorted. Then, pick out photos which have the person about whom the testimonial is written along with the person who has written that testimonial. Preferably these two only in the photo, but some with three people are also nice. Possible arrangements of text and photos for testimonials can be something like these images.

The first one in case the text is more, and the second one, in case you have lesser text. At the bottom of every page, you can either put funny sentences or moments, preferably one liners, that were made by your friends. You can also put a cloud of words that best describe the person.

Also, don't forget to have a page of calendar events. If you are doing for a large number of people, do a calendar that spreads over two pages (middle sheet) and has all birthdates and other memorable dates. If it is fewer, then a single page with only important dates should suffice. The designer can add icons, and choose good colour combinations for the same.

It is also a cool idea to have a "Did you know?" page, where you can write certain things that other friends may not know. It will really fun to read it and say - "Oh yeah? I didn't know that..."

You can also have pages of photos to share memories of events. For example, a birthday party or a trip, or could be miscellaneious. You can modify the photos to look like polaroid camera ones as shown. You can also put some nice captions, and this will look really great!

Also keep some pages, depending on the number of people, for people to write something personally, with their handwriting. Use multi-coloured marker pens for this. This will add the required personal touch to the computer designed book. If you make the whole book by hand, it will look beautiful, but it will be very time consuming to make more than one.

These are some things that I felt would make a great scrapbook.

The Buffalo Theory

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"The buffalo theory definitely is a law worth remembering while working in a group"

The buffalo theory is something that I remember from a long time. It goes as follows
A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it’s the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.
And this is something that I completely agree with. Many times, when you are working in a group project or activity, that involves the participation of a certain number of people, the overall progress of the project or activity is dependent on everyone. You might be really good, but then, If there are elements that are slow, then the overall performance drops due to these weak links.

Interestingly, there is another quote that says that the chain breaks at the weakest links, and I am a firm believer of this. Therefore, it is better to have fewer links in a chain to reduce chances of breaking. But sadly, fewer elements, implies that the entire burden falls on the shoulders of the fewer links themselves. It is important to strike a balance between these two. Don't think that by reducing the number of links, this attitude is making you a "non team player". On the contrary, you are resorting to this because working as a team seems to be counter productive. I know a couple of people, and personally I myself also feel several times, that if something can be done alone, it is best to be done that way. This reduces the risk of failure and collapse by a large margin.

The above discussion was a serious one. In case you want a small, lighter bit to read, then read the subsequent part of the buffalo theory. This is from a famous sitcom called "Cheers"
Cliff expounds his "Buffalo Theory" to Norm:

“Well, you see, Norm, it’s like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it’s the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine.

And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The One Way Street

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"When life is out to screw you, the whole universe conspires to ensure that it happens"

[Artistick makes fun of Bangalore Traffic here]

This is the current road network close to PESIT on Ring Road where the road branches out to connect to the Nice road.

There is a lot of traffic that comes from the short cut that connects Mysore Road to the Ring Road, because one can avoid the traffic signal and jams at Nayandahalli. However, at this junction, if you go on the right, you can directly join the Ring Road, and saves you about 800 metres of driving, which you would have to do if you took a left. So, people used to do this. They then put a 'No Right Turn' board at point A... Now, all traffic continued to go on the right, and I was one of the handful who thought to myself "I will have no moral right to criticise others for breaking rules, if I myself am breaking them" and started taking a left at that junction.

Then God (in association with the Bangalore Traffic Police) decided to test my faith. They blocked the right turn at the point B, which was originally a gap in median, and I had to go in the direction away from my destination on Ring Road, and then after riding a little ahead, take a U turn and come back. This meant I had to ride about a kilometre extra to stay on the right side of the law, while people who took the right turn (wrong turn actually :P) at the junction were reaching faster and saving fuel.

I thought to myself, "Ah yes, keep doing this, till one day there will be policemen awaiting at the spot labelled High Revenue Spot and then we shall see who has the last laugh (muhuhahaha)" And then BAMMM!!! Justice Delivered??? Far from it... Someone put down the 'No Right Turn' Board! It was completely bent forward and nobody could read the sign.

Suddenly I was aware of all the rule breakers standing around me, pointing and laughing at me. Yeah, the same "muhuhahahaha last laugh". Now, since there was no "No Right Turn" board, I also started going on the right, since I was not legally breaking any rules. A few days later, the board was back in place, and there was a traffic policeman who was standing at the junction signalling people to move in the right direction. I was pleased, thinking that finally people will be compelled to drive properly. A few more days later, the number of traffic boards had multiplied to three, and there was a 'One Way' board at point B. They had also created the gap in median at the junction B, because they realised it was meaningless to not have it.

Now, whenever there were no policemen, people would continue to flout the rules, and when present, they would ride normally as if nothing would have happened otherwise. Then they added another 'One Way' board at point B, and the traffic policeman now stands at the 'High Revenue Spot' just like I thought he would be, and occassionally if people don't see him from the junction, get caught and pay fines.

You might think that this would have pleased me... But another interesting thing happened. I was riding yesterday, minding my own business, took the left at the junction and was proceeding from point A to point B, when around the curve I heard a constant blare, and all of a sudden, appeared a policeman (khaki) out of nowhere, riding on the wrong side of the one way street. I avoided him, of course, but he (was not wearing a helmet either :D) turned back, and shouted at me, pointing his hands. I was extremely annoyed since he broke the rule in the first place, and he is bullying me on top of that, so I also shouted and pointed hands at him... Even, are we? Nyah! I said, and continued riding, thinking of how his face would be, his jaw would drop when I show him the one way board if he comes back to confront me...

And when I reached the junction B, and saw the 'One Way' board, my jaw dropped, for someone had erased the arrow mark (only a small trace remained - a black spot) of the 'One Way' board, and only the canceled red line remained, which means that now it is a No Parking board!!

Comments from Buzz

Prashanth Bhat - Oh.. poor you!!! :-P
On the stretch of ORR I travel, There usually is no Traffic police with a speed gun. So I always ride fast. I did not notice a police jeep parked with a speed gun. I was very happy that I was ahead of everybody. Noticed the jeep too late. Should see the result yet... :)