Monday, November 30, 2015

Scream Queens question : Why doesn't the Red Devil kill Pete in Episode 2 ?


This question has been nagging at me for weeks now. In the second episode, we see Pete rummaging around Dean's office looking for clues to who were Kappa members in 1995. The Red devil attacks and renders him unconscious . But does not kill him. Pete is left hanging unconscious with a note which says MYOB.

Later we see the Red Devil killing people who are not Kappas and simple innocent bystanders. So, why wasn't Pete killed ?

The City is Slowly destroying itself


But maybe I should say we are destroying the city, because the city was always here. We are new. I am talking of Bangalore of course. It known the "Silicon Valley of India", which is ironical because there is huge different between the work done here and in Silicon Valley. No innovation has ever come out of Indian IT companies , ever. The focus on every company here is cost, cost,cost. That is the whole point of outsourcing, to reduce expenditure by giving the job to cheap labour. But still , Bangalore is one of those few cities in India were new-age engineers can practise their craft. For decades the cool & breezy weather here has attracted young engineers in hoards. But it seems that we are approaching a limit , the city is packed full and is about to break at the seams.

It has been two weeks now since that last heavy downpour battered the city. Well, this happens every year, but this year was particularly bad. One might think that two weeks is enough to be on the mend. Hardly. Even now the traffic everywhere crawls at a snails pace, and there is water  logged throughout. The roads have really taken a hit, even the two ring roads which were designed to handle the bulk of the traffic,  now has gaping holes. Running out of words to describe these dangerous potholes, the media is now using the word "craters" !




Employees of IT companies are now "working from traffic", if that's even possible. The collective opinion is that Bangalore is no longer the best place to work at any more.

And its not just the traffic and the roads. The city has had a drinking water problem for years. In summer months, water dries up, and companies and apartments order water in (often illegal) tankers. But then , during the rains, all the water received in on the roads, and not properly used. Even during peak rains, the city was experiencing power cuts due to load shedding,  upto 5 hours a day.  Garbage management is another problem. There is filth everywhere, and again often dumped illegally.

I first came to the city 10 years ago, because that's where the company that hired me wanted to me join and work from. Then I was transferred elsewhere, but then returned to Bangalore about 5 years ago ,and have been living here since. All my life I have been a stickler for public transport. I have always travelled by bus or train (Chennai trains were fun.), and started using the bus systems here from day one.  I used to look out the window and laugh at those who had to drive their own vehicles, while I enjoyed the comfort and safety of BMTC buses.


I used to wonder why people bought cars when there was a excellent bus system. And then after 2 years of bus travel,I found the answer. I used to get on the morning bus at the same place and time for 2 years, and reached office in 1 hour before 9:30. But I noticed that everyday it took more time to cover the exact same distance. The 1 hour to travel to office soon became 2 hours, and I was pushed to become a latecomer. One fine day I got an earful for being hours late, consistently. It was then that I decided I had to get my own vehicle. Two weeks later I got myself a motorcycle. Navigating the terrible traffic was a totally different matter which took me months to master. But at least now I am on time , every time.


People are getting their own vehicles because the public transportation system is broken. In the service industry, time is everything. There is no point in fixing a problem hours late, it was to be fixed within time. And getting their own vehicle is the sure shot way of being in control. Some have suggested that vehicle registration be regulated. The people are doing whatever they can to reduce traffic, carpooling, walking, biking..but without a reliable public transportation system in place, they cannot throw away their vehicles.

I hope things get better soon. Its too early to see this city crumble under the weight of its citizens.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bellandur's toxic foam now visible on Google Maps


Bellandur's toxic foam is making news for all the wrong reasons, lots of news channels have covered the growth of the damage. But now , you can even see it from high above ! If you look at the area on Google maps, you can see the white foam on the canal leading from the lake.


This is the main choking point, the canal flows next to the road to Bellandur and sees the foam flying off in the wind. It can be seen that the area is heavily occupied, there are lots of people staying all around the area.

The second catchment area is further north, under the Yemlur bridge.


There are a lot of people staying around this area too,  and there are new luxury apartments coming up on the poisoned land.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Dropbox Paper feature turns off your Public folder


If you started using Dropbox before 2012, you know of its awesome Public folders features. Basically, anything you put there can be shared as if it were on a public webserver, the public link enables others to download or see your file without any authentication. It is a great way to make files available for direct linking or downloads.

Recently, dropbox announced its Paper feature, providing a way for groups of users to share notes and files. But if you turn this feature on, dropbox turns off the public folders feature. There is no easy way to revert it either. It does not delete any files, but all your public links will stop working and require a basic authentication.



To get your public folders back, you need to turn of the Paper or Teams feature. Follow the steps here.



Score -1 to dropbox. Hope they get these bugs fixed soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#olaboat trending


News companies around the world are rushing to cover the olaboat news in Chennai.


The ‘Lol’ Emoji is Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year



Oxford Dictionary’s lexicographers study linguistic trends every year and announce a word annually. In the past words like ‘GIF’ (2012), ‘selfie’ (2013) and ‘vape’ (2014) have made it to the list.The close contenders this year were ‘dark web’, ‘refugee’, ‘they’ and ‘lumbersexual’, among others.



I found this thought piece somewhere on the Internet.



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Winters Back


It has been a rain socked Bangalore for the past couple of weeks. No complains there. But now it has also become increasingly cold, chilling cold. Temperature outside went below 18 degrees, and its even lower inside. Time to bring out the room heaters.

Further south, its raining elephants in Chennai. Its flooded everywhere, and they have brought out boats into the streets.





It is a pity that even though India is known for its monsoons and huge torrential rains, the country still gets submerged in even the slightest downpour.

While the death toll from the rains is still climbing (60 at the moment), cricket-crazy-dumbos are complaining that a test match between India & SA had to be cancelled due to the rain.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Google-Doodle reporters


Google is now releasing more of their doodles, more frequently now. And this has opened up a few job openings, at traditional news agencies ! I couldn't help noticing that every time a new doodle comes out, all of the nations dailies put aside a separate article about it.

Here's some from a few days back. Google released a doodle on Hedy Lamarr's birthday.


And it can be seen that every paper in the world is covering it.


The individual articles are examples of worst news reporting. They are nothing more than content from the subject's Wikipedia article.


The NDTV article was written by a Aditya, and it seems all this person does is cover Google doodles.



Friday, November 6, 2015

Skype Adds new emoticons & Skype - Outlook Integration


Skype is getting more fun to use. They still have their boring old user interface in blue, but they are adding more new emoticons just for the fun of it. First they added the characters of the Pixar movie 'Inside Out' when the movie came out.


But now they have gone ahead and added a tonne of Indian themed emoticons along with Halloween charachters.


There's the dancing punjabi  bangara, 80's style disco dancer, and even chicken tandoori and chai !  They don't convey any emotions, just for fun.

Oh, did you know that skype can integrate to your outlook connection ? Just add your official email address to your skype profile, and skype will start showing you all the profiles of your official contacts.


So you will start seeing green squares next to your outlook contacts, showing their availability on skype !

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to get Windows 7 Weather Gadget to work again


The weather here in Bangalore, India is acting funny again. Rain destroyed the city for the last three days, and just when the met department predicted more rain for two more weeks, it stopped raining. It is now bright and sunny (and dusty).  You have to depend on Google weather to find out the predictions for the coming days. When Windows 7 shipped, they had this cool new thing called Windows Live, and the sidebar, which had gadgets. And the weather gadget was my favourite, it would just stay there un-intruding your  work but tell you the weather outside. About two years ago, Microsoft killed the weather gadget's service, because they wanted to focus on stupid Windows 8 and 10…and this meant killing the ecosystem of 7. The weather gadget stopped workings, and simply showed the error : "Service not Available".

Here is how you can get it working again.

Step 1. You have to replace the cache file for the weather gadget with an older one. Download this file.

Step 2. On your Windows 7 machine, go to [\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Services\Cache]. Delete/Backup the  Config.xml file present there with the one in the downloaded zip file.

Step 3. Now go to the desktop and drag the Weather gadget back into the desktop


Thats it !

Now the default location will be New York. And changing the location from the gadget wont work. To change the location to your own, you will need these additional steps.

Step 4. Open up your task manager ( Ctrl + Shift + Esc) , and kill the sidebar.exe app.


Step 5. On your Windows 7 machine, go to [AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar]. Delete/Backup the Settings.ini file there

Step 6. Open up the Settings.ini file in a text editor and change the code of WeatherLocationCode to the code of the place you want to see.

Step 7. You can get the code from Just to there and search for the place, and take the code from the generated URL.

For instance, the code for Bangalore is INXX0012.


Step 8. Save the Settings.ini file.


Step 9. Open task manager again. And go to File -> New Task -> and run sidebar.exe.

Voila !


Have fun !

The Mr Robot effect, now every TV show features the Dark Web


Mr Robot , the hit 2015 summer hit on US television, brought focus onto hi-technology, hacking, 90s culture, and .. the dark web. The very first episode of Mr Robot had talks about Tor and dark web. Well, the effect of that Pilot episode is now visible across US Tv programming. In the past two weeks, I have counted three episodes from three different TV shows which talk about the dark web now.

The Blacklist: S3E5, the fifth episode talks about an online bounty being placed on Elizabeth Keen on the dark web, and the FBI is not able to bring down the servers due to its anonymity. Reddington has to stage Liz's death to take down the bounty.

Quantico: S1E5, the third episode of Quantico details how Alex does an online interview which is broadcast on the dark web, and again, the FBI cannot bring it down. All they can do it trace it, which takes them 5 minutes.

Blindspot: S1E6, Blindspots 6th episode features  the darkweb, they have made  an app which can track government agents. Again, due to the anonymous nature, the FBI is helpless, and have to burn down the servers to bring down the services.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Man from Uncle


The Man from Uncle is a fun cold war era spy movie. Its a shame it did not get the publicity and recognition it deserves. Armie Hamers hilarious Russian accent is well, hilarious ! I think modern spy thrillers with huge bomb explosions and guns has spoiled audiences.

Good Watch !