moto modding

The RAZR usually shows the T-Mobile logo on the outside screen when the flap is open. Thankfully, the phone has a very nice filesystem inside, which you can access using Moto4lin. This allows me to modify anything inside the phone, including the logo, which is a gif file you can easily replace. Hence, I am no longer a walking-talking advertisement for T-mobile — I’m now advertising!:

Installing MP3s for ringtones is as simple as a copy / delete / reboot, as described here. The requirements on the page seem to be too stringent, my current ringtone is the intro to Joe Satriani’s “Why”, which is available in mp3 form from his website.

The next step is to get this syncing somehow with Evolution, however writing a conduit for such things is usually too complicated for what it’s worth.


tear o rism

(courtesy apo)

Dr. Suresh writes:

So let me get this straight:

We live in interesting times.



Meebo launches MeeboMe. You can do things like start chatting with people who’re currently visiting your website — you can actually initiate the chat… I think that’s pretty cool.


bloody indian

Bloody Indian:

“The standard-issue Bloody Indian goes abroad and talks only to other Indians. He or she will eat only rice and daal cooked in the communal kitchen where Bloody Indians gather. They complain about foreigners, their loose women, their dirty ways and their disgusting food. They will, however, religiously and respectfully put away these foreigners’ high-exchange-rate money every month.”
“The prime-grade Bloody Indian will go abroad and get a full-blown accent on the walk from the plane to immigration (some even get one on takeoff, and some of the worst offenders get one even before they’ve left home). They suck up to all the Westerners they meet and try very hard to prove to them that Indians are just Westerners in disguise.”

update, Nov 2010: Haha, I seem to be getting hate mail for this blog post! A quick clarification: the quoted words aren’t mine, they were from a website called “Bloody”, which has since shut down. The site featured fairly stirring commentary on stereotypes of Indians abroad. I’ve updated the link to point to Internet Archive, so you can read the contents of that old website.

funny commentary

From a post on a gadget weblog about a 12×30” LCD screen set up:

I am a starving indian boy and while my mom is away working at the dell call center I have to use this stupid hand cranked pc to get on the internet and post this comment, afterwards im going to bath and get a drink from the same body of water. Vishnu? Why does this guy have 12 monitors…why are you punishing us? OH VISHNU WHY?!?!


child's play

For a while, little Tommy had it all: enough toys to swim in, his own castle with a robotic arm, and a large number of curious bystanders taking pictures of him.


digg people and the indian outsourcing opinion

I couldn’t resist citing the hilarity at Digg regarding an Indian outsourcing post. A sampling of the comments:

Original post (emphasis mine):

And there she goes, one of the last computer companies that had all tech support centers in the USA. One of my biggest selling points to my customers has been that Apple cares about their customers and had all there support from someone that spoke proper English.


I think that you will find that English is the “offical” language in India, and that they have probably been speaking English longer then your family has. (given that they most likely emigrated from some european nation – perhaps Germany)

I’m so upset I think I’m going to sell my Mac and buy a Dell! At least THEY care about the American worker!

I have no problem with Indian tech support. Speak clearly, listen clearly, and you’ll get your question answered. If you call up speaking like a yokel and they don’t understand you, it’s your problem, not theirs. It’s a global economy, there’s no use in fighting this stuff, this is just the way it is and this is the way things are going to stay. Deal with it.Who cares if the person has an accent, they still get your problem solved. I’ve spoken with many very intelligent very technical Indian support reps.

I resent what this guy said about speaking proper english. You know, I’m just a regular white American dude. But I DO know that in India, English is the de facto national language, used in combination with regional second languages. They speak wonderful English. I work with several Indians and they speak better English than I do.

maybe they did that in consideration of their Indian customer base that are sick of talking to techs in the USA that speak crappy Indian.


wise brouhaha

Superstar Thread about the NLD10 release, the controversy, and open-source development philosophy. Read the whole thing; if not, then atleast the initial emails.

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From “Greg”:

As Mike points out, one way to get people to switch is to be obviously better. That’s what Google did to Altavista to steal the crown.

No, that’s not true. The real reason Google is popular is because Yahoo! switched from Inktomi(in a way, AV) to Google as their search engine, complete with “powered by google” signage. So you have the #1 website on the Interweb telling everyone that Search = Google. Then, when search became important (because the Internet exploded in terms of content, and hence usefulness of web search), people had no trouble to switching from a huge portal to a dedicated search engine they already used.

multisite drupal: the importance of the sequence

Recent versions of Drupal have the oh-so-cool feature that allows you to host many websites off a single Drupal codebase. The coolest part about this is that you can share some tables accross multiple websites; which means you can do things like have a single username/password table accross all the websites. This can easily be done, as specified in the settings.php comments as:

* $db_prefix = array( * 'default' => 'main_', * 'users' => 'shared_', * 'sessions' => 'shared_', * 'role' => 'shared_', * 'authmap' => 'shared_', * 'sequences' => 'shared_', * );

Now here’s an important thing to note: The first table you have to share is the sequences table. This is the table that handles all the id counters, so if you don’t share this one, something like this can happen:

[you shared only the users table]

1. User 1 signs up on Site A, gets user id#1
2. User 2 signs up on Site A, gets user id#2
3. User 3 signs up on Site B, gets user id#….? The correct answer is not 3!

This happens because you didn’t share sequencesSite B uses it’s own sequence generator to render a duplicate userid… which the user table would not accept, and this would go on till the Site B sequence catches up with the Site A sequence, and then things would be normal. The code quality in user.module helps protect the user table from data corruption, but you will have many signups disappear into thin air with a set up like this. Hence, all you need to do is share the sequences table along with the users… and you’re all set!

Btw, hello Planet people!