April 7th, 2003

this is the internet

By way of a conversation I was just having with someone, I realized how easy it is to find out all about a person. It's a simple step-wise deduction process by which you can get that person's complete personal details.

I also realized how scary it is for an average user to find out that the complete stranger you just met on the Internet knows so much about you.

Some years ago, you'd need to hire a detective to do this sort of stuff. But in this age of information technology, all you need is some logical deduction skills, and an Internet connection.

Let me give you a very very basic example of this. When you sign up for email, you enter a desired username, along with lots of private, priviledged information like date of birth, address, etc. So when the username is taken, the email provider conveniently suggests alternatives like username_74 or username_Delhi. A crime in the name of usability, in my view. The user quickly chooses one of these IDs without much thought, but from now on, every person that he writes to knows that Mr. User is 29 years old, or he is from Delhi.

April 5th


A few entries back I asked people to get RSS feeds on their weblogs. So if Blogger Basic users have spent hours trying to get an RSS feed to work with the link I gave, sorry for wasting your time. I had no idea Blogger did not have multiple index templates. I spent some time with Blogger, and did some searching to come up with this:

How to get RSS working on Blogger Basic

  1. Use a 'scraper' to scan your HTML page and generate an RSS feed for you.
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April 5th


My one paragraph is on page 8 of today's Hindustan Times. It's heavily hacked and paraphrased, but it does maintain some semblance of what I wrote.

In other news, Aishwarya Rai has been offered a Bond movie role! Break a leg, girl! oh sorry... she's done that already.



Am I the only Indian to have won a Bloggie?


April 4th

outlook for blogs

NewzCrawler is becoming my weapon of choice to handle the evergrowing list of weblogs I read. The aggregator helps me organize my blogs, and a simple F5 polls all the RSS feeds from the blogs and gets me all the new posts.

However, life would be a lot easier if some of my favourite blogs had some syndication mechanism in place. So people, please go to Mark Gardner's website, where you

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I just realized I've become such a happening person! Here's some of the things I haven't told the world about, so here goes:

idya rocks IP Univ.: We took our software to InfoeXpression 2003 at Indraprastha University, and won 1st prize! IP Univ labs have 100kbps internet... wow.

5th Sem results out:I'm second in class, 7th in the whole university! Thank you God!

Writer, Hindustan Times: Make sure you read the GenNow page on Saturdays in HT - the Weekly Web Wonder column is where I get to scrawl my sentences.

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great oefl

Just made a Rs. 12, 000 phone call today. Just the fact that I was spent so much money during a 2 minute call freaked me out. I could almost feel the money slipping out from the credit card I had in my hands as I provided the details. The lady on the other side was like:

"Ok, so what date would you like the TOEFL exam?"
"Um, is 30th free?"
[pause as she checks]
"Yes it is free. Would you like me to book it for you?"
"uh, no. Is 1st free?"

So it's fixed: I'm giving my GRE exam on the 29th of September, and TOEFL on the 1st of October.

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april fool banaya

Ok, so it wasn't a really clever one, but I had to come up with something! My mother (yes, she reads this blog) was pretty mad at me when she read it, but otherwise, it was fun...

Did anyone notice the names of the first four people who left comments in the post? they were from Farah, Omkar, Oujwal, and Lavanya - no one noticed that!


April 1st


hello everybody, this is Arnab's mother here. A lot of you must be wondering why Arnab has'nt been writing for so many days... well, Arnab has had a relapse of his psychological condition, and hence has been forbidden from using the computer. However, he keeps telling me that his readers will miss him, so I thought I would keep you in the know. It would be great if you can send him some best wishes via comments to this post or email - so that I can print them out and read them out to him.

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March 23rd

hic cup

Australia wins the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, defeating India by a huge margin. You could tell from the first ball of the day. Something was wrong with the planets, I tell you. Wide balls, no balls, dead balls doled out like blankets before election time. Fielders running after catches as if it was a slow motion love song in Mithunda's next movie. To top it all, Tendulkar and ilk playing shots even Anna Kournikova would dread to in her sport. Add to that, the formidable Aussies. I fell asleep during Ricky Ponting's batting - seeing him hit six after six got monotonous.