if heaven and hell decide

My dear beloved reader,

I know you’ve read more than one post similar to this one. It is unfortunate, but I do have to write you another “please don’t be mad I am insanely busy” post. As the experienced weblog reader may know, the verbosity of any blog is usually inversely proportional to the activity in the author’s life. And in my case, work, play, and Life in General has been too fracking intense to describe in a short, excuse-making post. It is sad though — because these are the days one would like to journal meticulously, penning every single detail for friends and family to read, and for my own future entertainment. Instead, I will have to do with faint, faulty, fragmented memories from my defective mind; and make up the rest of it in my favor. I guess I’ll have to ask you to do the same.




Brewster Kahle’s Bookmobile Project: A van that allows you to print from one of thousands of public-domain books, and serves it up in bound form, all for under a dollar.


chewing gum flavor song

Chanced upon this gem of a song in my collection. It’s called Does your chewing gum lose it’s flavor, by Lonnie Donegan:

Oh-me, oh-my, oh-you
Whatever shall I do
Hallelujah, the question is peculiar
I’d give a lot of dough
If only I could know
The answer to my question
Is it yes or is it no

Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight
If your mother says don’t chew it
Do you swallow it in spite
Can you catch it on your tonsils
Can you heave it left and right
Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight

Now the nation rise as one
To send their honoured son
To the White House
The nation’s only White House
To voice their discontent
Unto the Pres-I-dent
To ask this burning question
That has swept this continent

Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight
If you pull it out like rubber
Will it snap right back and bite
If you paste on the left side
Will you find it on the right?
Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight

Here comes a blushing bride
The groom is by her side
Up to the altar
As steady as Gibraltar
The groom has got the ring
It’s such a pretty thing
As he slips it on her finger
The choir begins to sing

Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight
Would you use it on your collar
When your button’s not in sight?
Put your hand beneath your seat
And you will find it there all right!
Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
On the bedpost overnight

apple macbookpro

Apple releases the MacBookPro, and I am not impressed. Actually, I’m kind of stunned. This one is way, way below Apple’s standards. Let’s enumerate:

  • No choices on size? When did that happen?
  • The color is weird. It’s not exciting white, it’s not exciting titanium, it’s… dull gray.
  • The website is weird, and looks like a last minute job, or an uninspired one (by Apple standards)
  • The design of the MacBook is… weird. This doesn’t look like something Apple made. An Apple product is almost always “aesthetically-complete”; i.e. you can’t point at any attribute and say that it does not belong there. Every part of the product is in its place, and that place is the best place for it. Can someone explain why the camera is misaligned?
  • The magnetic power cord thing is the only thing I liked, but that thing too doesn’t look that good!

Either Apple is losing its fizz, or maybe the MacBookPro was only a hack job to apease Steve Jobs and the Apple fanatics? I want my 700$ FlashRAM based 12” iBook with Intel Dual Core, and I will wait till then.

Update: Also read my post about the Apple MacBook.

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An Introduction to Digital Watermarking

With the recent spate of cases involving fake currency, no one needs to be reminded of the importance of watermarking. A watermark is a form, image or text that is impressed onto paper, which provides evidence of its authenticity. Digital watermarking is an extension of this concept in the digital world.

Tag Soup

Here's a List of all the tags(categories, labels, whatever you call them) used at arnab.org:

captchas and racism

From #drupal:
arnab: and the fact that captchas are, well, stupid
chx: yes, visual captchas are stupid
chx: I think the textual ones are better
chx: if you REALLY want some captcha then something textual
UnConeD: Welcome to my site! To register, please answer the following captcha!
UnConeD: What is the 312455th digit of Pi, in base 42?
chx: UnConeD: LOL
arnab: heh
arnab: exactly my point.
chx: rather “what is the eleventh letter in this sentence?”
UnConeD: well
UnConeD: that sort of stuff is easily cracked with regexps
UnConeD: some guy once made a math expression captcha in text form
UnConeD: in a patch to the module
chx: yes yes
UnConeD: i followed up the issue with a PHP script to break his code ;)
chx: I liked that one
chx: Well I think I can rather easily make a textual captcha you won’t be able to script
arnab: chx: make one, I’ll crack it :D
UnConeD: you are no match for my dangerous RegExping skills
***UnConeD casts Capturing Parentheses (opponent’s movement reduced by 50%)
chx: UnConeD: beware, I’ll grep the CIA World Facts book and ask questions based on that and you can eat your regexps.
UnConeD: err
UnConeD: but grep is itself regexp based :P
chx: I mean, I’ll compile a huge list of facts based on World Facts wikipedia whatever
arnab: chx: I have an indexed, parsed dump of Wikipedia on my HDD, will break your CIA thingy in 2 minutes with it
chx: and questions like “Is Ghana in Africa?”
UnConeD: i’ll hire an indian fellow with an encyclopedia
arnab: UnConeD: I AM an Indian fellow with an encyclopedia
arnab: rofl
UnConeD: ;)

and people thought I was boring

Guess what I saw when I logged in to Orkut today:

Orkut.com: you have 37 fans out of 40 friends

37 out of 40!! Imagine! Even rockstars don't have that kind of approval ratios!

Ok, so it's an orkut bug. everyone has more fans than they can imagine. But it made me happy for a while :)


reader's blog entry

Since I've been suferring from a sudden drought of creativity, I take a page from Aadisht's book: The next blog entry(and more if possible) will be for the reader, from the reader. Use the Contact Page to send me questions, comments, bouquets, brickbats, marriage proposals, anything. I shall then repond to your messages in the forthcoming weblog entries.

So what are you waiting for? Fire away, my dear readers!


phiraiya dao amarei gaan

Somewhere around 2 years ago, I attended a concert where the famous Bangladeshi rock act Miles played a song called Phiraiya dao amar prem, which in Bangla means "give me back my love" It's hard to believe, but I was witness to a rather spectacular scene: a stadium full of Delhi-ites rocking to the music of a language they did not understand. I turned into an instant fan of Miles, the kind that has all their albums, etc.

Cut to 2004, the world's cleanest music composer does the music for the movie Murder. Along with the hit "Bheegey Hont Terey" there are two more popular songs, "Kaho Na Kaho" and "Jana Jane Jana". When I first heard "Jana Jane Jana", I recognized it immediately, everything from the arrangement to the guitar riffs was identical to the bangla number. I thought Anu Malik had commissioned Miles to render their song in hindi, which meant a big thing for me, since it meant Miles was now getting the attention it deserves.