The face of the rupee -> Udaya Kumar does chennai proud

By now its all over the news, the government have decided to adopt a symbol for the indian rupee, instead of the old and boring Rs. And as nation with its all its culture diversity and its huge population everyone was looking forward to what the new symbol would be…

With all that hype they couldn’t afford to disappoint, and after a  really long screening process an entry by Udaya Kumar of Chennai has been chosen as the winner. The prize money apart, to look back 30 years down the line and say “I designed the symbol for the rupee” is something which is price less!!!!

On a quick glance all of you who can read hindi .. or sanskrit will notice the ‘ra’ symbol… officially the ‘devanagiri’ script and then the letter R can also be seen. Yes it looks pretty neat.

There have also been people who have started with their predictions. Some go the extent of, this symbol will bring power to the rupee. We will see it value rise slowly but gradually. I’m all for it but the last i checked the currency market depended on the markets, economy and stuff like that …

Still we’ll just have to wait and see what this new symbol has in store for the rupee… The government says the roll out will take6 months in the country and about 2 years to reach the international scenario… when it reaches the keyboard, one can safely assume its become popular

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Tremor in Nicobar Islands -> Chennai – June 13 2010

Was trying to shift email servers at the office when my chair shook… I thought to myself, that I was imagining it half asleep… Decided i needed a coffee and went to get myself one… And there once again i could feel the ground shaking…

Now for a second i was perplexed… Suddenly I notice all the night shift employees running outside… “What in god’s name?” I run out too… All is silent… Yet there is a small crowd of people gathered outside… yes my hunch was right, it was tremor…

My guess is it occurred at around 1:08am (20 minutes back) local time and i think it’s hardly high on the Richter scale. Damage should be nil and same goes for life loss…

After calling up friends (some of whom are cursing me right now), I gather that most people didn’t even feel it… This means that it was so light that some people didn’t even feel it… Funny thing is, apparently even my dog didn’t feel it….

An experience different from the rest

UPDATE: Apparently there was a quake at Nicobar islands with 7.7 on the Richter scale and we just got the side effect

More here -> earthquake.USGS.gov

UPDATE : Now there’s a tsunami alert… look here… keep watching this space for more info 😛

UPDATE: We seem to have had all the info within about 20 minutes after the tremor and The Hindu got to it 45 minutes later… The common man rules… Not to mention the apparent lie by them (pointed out by Gowrishankar) where they state  ” people were standing outside for more than an hour” whereas the article had been published only 45 minutes after the quake … Nice one…

All is back to normal now… great experience 😉

Indian Politics -> Just a show or cornered by the Media?

You probably heard about the plane crash at Mangalore Today. An air India flight from Dubai to Mangalore crashed while landing. 158 people were killed on the spot and there were 8 survivors. More here

So what did the aviation minister have to say about this? Well flipping through the news channels all I noticed was ‘Praful might resign’ or ‘Praful submits resignation.’ Stand up man! The first thing the politicians seem to want to do on the wake of a national calamity seems to be to resign. Sheer Cowardice. Isn’t it now that they ought to jump to action, to find out what the cause was, to get things rectified, to console the dear ones of the deceased?

This makes me wonder, what is the Indian Government upto? Sitting ducks with our money? Then again sometimes i think its the media’s fault. We all know how the ruthless media work. They decide to turn someone into a hero, wallah – its done. Should they decide to screw you – you are soup. The first question asked to Praful Patel today (by a reporter of NDTV Hindu – if my memory serves me right), “Sir, are you going to resign?”

Why in the blo**y world should he resign? But the media is all powerful and should you decide not to do so, that would be the headline for the next one week! Have we given the media too much power with – “freedom of the press??” This in no way means the politicians are right… Are the politicians and politics cornered by the media. Could they do better without this pressure? Food for thought!!

The ELCC gets a xero – RIP letter ‘Z’

I’ve heard stupid things before, but this is outrageously stupid… The English Language Central Commission has decided to scrap the letter z from the alphabet.

This screws things up entirely… recite the alphabet and you realize the tunes all gone!!!

Their reason  –

After carefully considering and debating the matter for over two years, the ELCC came to the conclusion that the letter “Z” should be removed from the English alphabet. The main objective of this change is to simplify the phonetic aspect of the language, and to unify the American and British spellings.

Come on this is no way going to unify the spellings… americans are still going to use ‘color’ instead of ‘colour’ and ‘gray’ instead of ‘grey’… how are you going to fix that?

and what about all the words using ‘Z’???

letter Z

Words using the actual Z sound will be replaced with x … that means

  • zero becomes xero
  • zoo becomes xoo
  • zone becomes xone
  • zodiac becomes xodiac

Words using ‘z’ with the ‘s’ sound, will now be written with the “s” (apparently this unifies the American and British spelling)

  • visualize becomes visualise
  • analyze becomes analyse
  • materialize becomes materialise

The second category is fine to me, but the first one… so does buzzer become buxxer???

Talk about how new keyboards will be made that ought to be real messed up!!!

So come June 1st and the letter Z disappears…But i have feeling that this is just going to be official,people will continue to use Z and keyboards will have z for years to come!!!

RIP letter ‘Z’

All browsers fail at Pwn2Own, IE8,safari and sadly even firefox

Most of us our in a bubble that we use a browser that can’t be hacked… or rather we use the best browser… Well we’ve always known IE is shoddy piece of coding brought out just to keep Microsof in the race… The only reason they are still alive is cos they distribute with their OS’es…

Peter

IE8 toppler - Peter Vreugdenhil

Getting back,  in Vancouver Canada the CanSecWest Pwn2Own competition was on, and guess what the following browsers were exploited to gain access to the machines… -> IE8 (obvious), Safari (hmm, thats new) and firefox (god damn, totally out of the blue).

Most of you using chrome must be thinking, “yeah i run the best browser”, unfortunately we’ll never know because no-one tried to hack chrome this time round… As for you firefox fans, the firefox on 64bit version of windows 7 was hacked… So what about the edition on the more common x86 (32 bit ) edition.. again remains unanswered so far…

IE8 users, I’m hardly surprised, its about time you lot change to a more stable browser…

But here’s something even more interesting… They managed to hack an iphone… not a jailbroken one but a fully patched one… and guess what they were able to access.. messages.. including the deleted ones…  (Apple, what went wrong?) And apparently the hacker claims he could have got anything else he wanted from the phone…

Time for the browser creators to look up and solve all these issues.. before these are used by some on who ACTUALLY wants to hack systems…. (lucky this was jus a contest!!)

Read more about the IE exploit here.

Read more about the firefox exploit here and the iphone hack here

Fast Pipe to Asia on its way!!!

At last a chance for people in Asia to rejoice (I’m so happy)!!!! Google and group of other companies have invested about $300 million dollars in developing a super fast internet cable (laid under the pacific)…

Internet Speed

Improvement in net speed!

Apparently this cable can supports speeds up to 7.68Tbps (Tera bits per second)! WOW… SO this means it’s not long before people in Asia start seeing an increase internet speeds…

The Unity Consortium, consists of Google,  Global Transit, Bharti Airtel,SingTel, Pacnet, and KDDI, has nearly completed the testing of this new cable.

Reports say that Google gets 20 percent of the bandwidth for its own operation. All this seems fine till you come across news which says Google is leaving China on April 10th. (This may be bad for Google and probably china as well) but from my point of view (very selfish, I know) this is great news. Why? , you ask, well mainly for the following reason

  • More bandwidth from the fast pipe (under Google’s 20%) will help Google deliver faster internet access to users in other Asian countries

Here’s what Google had to say,

The need for information is a global requirement. As the economies of Asian countries continue to grow, data traffic and the use of the Internet expands. Google is a global company and is committed to providing the best quality of user experience regardless of geography.

All this apart many of us were hoping Google would become an Internet Service Provider(ISP) (and bring out something like their fiber to home project in the US) but it looks like that’s not going to happen , not right now anyway.

It’s expected that Google will formally announce the completion of this amazing project next week… When will our speeds improve? (that’s the question for which i am still searching for an answer)

Google converting software to Open Source?

Google

Google - our Hero!!!

Google always does something to ensure it stays on the front page!!! Most of the times this appeals to users , sometimes not!!! But this time they have certainly succeeded in amassing goodwill (especially among the programming/open source community)

How did they do this? – Google bought reMail in mid february. reMail is application for the iPhone which allows the user to download his/her mail to the iphone and thus make all mail available offline! This app gained a lot of popularity because accessing mails became faster, cheaper and quicker!

Google first did something really funny by killing reMail (removing it from the app store). This did not affect those who had already bought the app (as it requires only the iPhone and has no server).

They brought it back 2 days ago… How does this earn goodwill u ask me??? They brought it back alright but now its open source. Yup you read it right. Google bought reMail and gave the code to the world.

Here’s what Founder(of reMail) Gabor Cselle had to day about this

As someone who is passionate about mobile email, my hope is that developers interested in making email-related apps can use reMail code as a starting point. Part of the reason email apps are hard is because you have to pay the tax of figuring out how to download email via IMAP, parse MIME messages, handle attachments, and store data. reMail has already solved these problems. If you have a great mobile email idea, I hope you will find reMail’s source code helpful in your quest.

We know that Google never does anything if it doesn’t benefit from it, but I’m seriously clueless as to how this helps them! They did something very similar to this last year, Google acquired etherpad as it was going to shutdown and made the technology open source too.

Thats twice now.  Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope to god that this continues!

Whether this is good for Google I don’t know, but I do know that the open source community has something to rejoice about! Lets hope they keep this up and convert more such technology to Open Source