Wednesday, June 29, 2016

It is dangerous driving in Bangalore

 

 

Monday, June 27, 2016

VLC’s Plugins

 

VLC, the favourite media player of Tech enthusiasts (geeks), has an awesome plugin feature. Yep, that’s right. And people have been contributing plugins to the movement. And one of the most useful ones of those plugins is the vlcsub plugin, which downloads subtitles for whatever video you are watching direclty from opensubtitles.org, automatically.

First, go get the plugin from here. Follow the instructions to install .

 

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When you are watching a video, check the under the ‘View’ menu to see the VLSub option in the end.

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Clicking on it opens up the subtitle finder window. You can either search by hash, or search by video name. The hash feature is simply awesome. It very accurately finds the righ set of subtitles for your video and populates the window.

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And now you can simply click on one of that enty ,and click the Download button on the bottom row.

 

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Presto ! The subtitle is downloaded and begins playing automatically. The subtitle is saved on your system with the same name as the video you are watching, but with an .srt extension. So it will be loaded automatically whenever you play the video again.

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Ain’t that awesome ?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

BrainDead seems promising

 

Lot of new TV series starting this year. But most of them ridiculous nonsense with no essence. But I have been watching the episodes of the new US political TV series Braindead. And it seems promising. Very interesting. It has that mix of science-fiction and politics, and alien bugs !. And Mary Elizabeth Winstead !

And now they are going to destroy Ustad Hotel

 

After the Bangalore Days remake massacre, they are now going to remake the hit new-age movie,  Ustad Hotel. They are going to retain some of the actors, but it will definitely be localized a lot.

You can surely separate the creative directors from the business minded directors via these remakes. Remake directors don’t have the courage to put together something of their own. So they resort to remakes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Eye in the Sky

 

I didn’t go to office today. Didn’t feel like it. There was not much work, and its raining heavily across the city. The thoughts of navigating through those horrible roads in the torrential rain dicouraged me. So I stayed back, and watched another movie  :) . It is a British-American movie called Eye in the Sky. No, its not a poem. It is about a single day in modern day warfare. A day in the life of modern soldiers, and the buerocratic nightmare they have to deal with while following orders issued by their own countries.

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It does not have the kind of action you see in Bond or Bourne movies, there is a lot of talk. In so may different accents. They just sit and talk and talk, but man, it is rivetting. The movie holds you at the edge of your seats till the end. You really want to see how it plays out. And gives you something to think about too. The general assumption is that technology has made modern warfare much more safer, and easier. These new age satelite video feeds and drones give the armed forces reach into critical places which where way out of their reach earlier. Instead of actually getting into a fighter jet , pilots can control drones remotely, and decision makers have much more time to think and act upon the intel they receive. But that certainly does not make things easier for them. In every war, there will always be collateral damage. And policy makers try to minimize that damage as much as they can.

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So we have a bunch of British and American soliers co-operating a joint task operation to monitor and capture some terrorists in a friendly African country. And what starts a capture operation moves to a strike operation due to the change in the target’s location, and the presence of multiple wanted people there. Among them are three people in the Britishers’s ‘East Africa Most Wanted’ list, and two new radical recruits, one a British and one an American citizen. Looking at the new changed situation, the decision makers - a colonel , some ministers, the attorney general, quickly loose their confidence, and decide they can NOT approve the kill-operation. Thats when things start getting messy. They refer up , in their respective hierarchies, for approval. And those guys are spread across the world, and they too refer further up.

Fun fact- this is how most decision are done in my office :) .

When the green light finally comes in, after many more hours, the novice done pilot (this is his first time firing a missile) now develops crow’s feet, due to the presence of a very young local girl within the blast radius. This starts of another series of questions up the chain. Does saving the life of ~80 people who migh die in a suicide attack soon , justify the death of one innocent girl as collateral damage ?

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There are some really hard hitting dialogues in the movie, around the cost of war, politics, and its aftermath. Sometimes I felt this movie was more of  a propoganda to describe how each drone strike is carefully evualuated, assessed , the pros and cons weighed, and finally approved. But other times, it made sense too. Fighting any war is not easy, even with all the advantage one might have, its human lifes at stake.

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Star of the movie is that little girl playing hoops in this movie. And before I close, Alan Rickman, you will be missed. Snape’s acting in this movie reminds one of what a talented actor he was.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Finding Dory - Splash of Fun !

 

The long awaited sequel to the 2003 animation hit Finding Nemo finally came out this week. And strangely enough, it made me feel young and old at the same time. Seeing the old fish gang back in action in the sea brought back fond memories. But man, I still can’t believe it has been 13 years since the Nemo came out. I feel old.

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This is a fun, fun movie. Fast, emotional, funny and clever, it has all the ingredients which made Nemo a smash hit. But I did feel there were too many charachters and the story was a bit too complex, specially the (spoiler) truck chase towards the end was a little far fetched. For an ocean movie, a big part of this story is set outside of the ocean, at a sea-world kind of oceanarium. There are more humans than before and the fish gang seem just at home taking over the human world. Theres also a giant squid !! Some old charachters are back too, like Crush dude and Mr Ray ! Water is obviously a big deal in a fish story. But the water in Finding Nemo was just implied, something of an animation magic trick with the fish “floating in this virtual air,” But animation technology has improved in the last 13 years, allowing filmmakers to include all the complicated properties of water — from surface movement to the rendering of light rippling through the depths. It’s a stunning improvement.

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But the stars of the show are the two Dorys, and Hank. There is an oh-so-cute little-Dory in the flashback scenes to show her childhood. And Hank, the octopus (or septepus, I don’t know) is Dorys capable partner in crime how helps her in the complex human world. As always , there are a lot of those visual gags and deadpan humor. While Dory played a not so helpful supporting charachter last time sometimes putting Marlin in trouble, this time she is on her own for a longer time. Her disability keeps getting in they way when she tries to find her parents first, and then trying to save her friends again. But thankfully, there are far lesser predators in this movie than last time, and every fish she runs into is friendly and willing to help.

Already there are reviews out which celebrate the movie focussing on the positive message around disability in the movie, and others are criticizing a part of the story which makes fun of  some other charachters which seem a little…underdeveloped. But I think one should take the movie for what it is, pure fun, aimed at kids. And to turn us grown-ups nostalgic. A whole new generation of kids are going to rediscover the strange amazing wonderful life in the sea through this movie.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Happy Jurassic June !

 

Today, June 11, marks the 23rd anniversary of Jurassic Park’s theatrical release. This week also marks one year since Jurassic World was released.

 

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Jurassic Park fans are celebrating the anniversaries once again with Jurassic June, a month long celebration of all things Jurassic!

Join Jurassic Park artist Shannon Shea in drawing a dinosaur every day this month with his30 Days of Dinosaurs challenge on Twitter.

 

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JurassicJune.com, with Tiny Dev Studio, has launched an incredibly addicting and insanely challenging new mobile game app this month called Jurassic Jump for Android and iOS.

And, since the beginning of this month, the original three Jurassic Park movies are available on Netflix 

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Living in India is getting more expensive

 

Well, prices of things are always going up, but now the Indian citizen is getting crushed under a new set of taxes. After introducing the 0.5% Swachh Bharat Cess in November, the Union Finance Minister announced in this year’s Budget that the government would levy a Krishi Kalyan Cess to finance activities related to agriculture and build a fund for the welfare of the farmers. Indirect taxes and charges such as these are an important part of the government’s income from taxation. Of the Rs14.4 lakh crore ($213 billion) of taxes collected by the Indian government in the last financial year, 44.4% came from indirect taxes.

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Meanwhile, prices of petrol and diesel were hiked on June 1. Petrol will become costly by Rs2.58 per litre and diesel by Rs2.26 a litre. This means transport costs will rise, affecting the prices of vegetables, fruits, milk and other food products, among others. To add to household woes, the cost of an LPG cylinder—used for cooking across the country—was also increased by Rs21.

Travelling in airconditioned buses will be costlier from today with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) increasing its fare by 6%, thanks to union finance minister Arun Jaitley, who has imposed service tax on state-carriage AC buses. Not just tickets, daily and monthly passes will also cost more. Monthly passes of AC buses which operate within the city are likely to cost `135 more, and passes of AC buses to and from Kempegowda International Airport will cost `201.

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What a fantastic time to be living in India. And the reality of all this is that after all these taxes and charges, nothing  is going to change in the country.