Showing posts with label fun. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fun. Show all posts

Monday, April 10, 2017

Kozhikode trip

 

Two weeks back we travelled to Kozhikode, to attend a wedding of a friend, and to catch up with others too. Kozhikode is a city in north Kerala, situated right on the west coast in Malabar. I was not looking forward to this trip, partially because I knew how the weather there would be like at this time of the year. But also because I have my own history with the place. The last time I was here was...what..11 years ago ? For my undergraduation I went to an aided college in this district, and had to travel frequently via private buses on this route. There was no direct bus to my college, I had to switch buses at Kozhikode private bus stand, with those half ring curves for its roof. While there, I have had snacks and tea between buses, and very rarely, lunch. And I hated college. Really hated. So when I finally I secured my degree and certificate , I had decided I will never have to come back to this place again.

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Well after 11 years I can proudly say the city has not changed much at all. I remember the traffic was always this bad. Specially around the bus stand, those roads are the arteries of the city traffic. And the weather was always this hot. Being so close to the beach, the humidity is always high. The city has this strange habit of clinging on to its past, modernization comes so slowly. Even in this day and age, most of the establishments do not accept credit card or e-wallets for payment. Except only the high end ones. And people still stare at couples walking together in the big city.

And the hotels, they still cling on to their 12-pm-checkin time rule from last century. We had to pay extra on OYO to ensure we could check in at 7 in the morning. Maybe they take up the entire morning to clean up, thus mandating that checkins are only after 12 noon. But what about early morning travellers ?

It is a similiar irony at the city's most well known shopping mall, the 'Focus' mall. Surprisingly, this is just opposite the private bus stand I used to travel through as a student. There are a few other malls too, but this one seems to be the most well equipped. Puttakke puttakke karimeen puttakke. All the youngsters are there, and even a lot of families. Kozhikode has a majority muslim population, and they dress conservatively. I still cannot understand how they wear those long black burqas under such a blazing heat. So it was ironical that the branded readymade showrooms in the mall were advertizing and displaying a lot of western wear, things which no body in this city would dare to wear. All those shorts and tights and straps, anybody wearing these would turn heads of the 'traditional' population. Neverthless, people were still checking those clothes out.

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The autorikshaw drivers in the city maybe charge the lowest fares in the country. I hope that stays like that for a long long time. We travelled 8 times in autos and paid a total of only 200 rupees ! We would have had to pay about 500 had it been in Bangalore. There is really no need to own a car here, these autos are dependable enough to get around , and they know every nook and cranny and all the secret roads of the city, some I could not even find on google maps !

As always, the city still serves up the best food. Wether it is vegetarian fare, or their cuisines borrowed from Arabia, or their famous biriyanis, the food is lip smacking ! Do visit on an empty stomach. Also one has to visit those famous halwa stands to sample all those colorful halwas, now available in modern flavors of mango and grape !

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And another thing which is thankfully still the same, is the cleanliness. It is still the cleanest cities I have visited in my country. Even the beach area is clean and well maintained. The rest of this country and learn something from it.

 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Too many wallets, not enough money.

 

The problem is cost

Looks like latest technology  startups are interested in are online money-wallets. You know, the system which allows you to keep some money in an online account, and use it for online payments. I guess, they identified something banks were totally unaware of , and built up a system to fill that up. But then, other startups too woke up, and started copying each other.  I only realized how crazy it had gotten when today I was trying to make an online payment, and got this screen.

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Thats 10 different wallets !  Some I had not even heard of. So I got curious and searched for ALL the online wallet systems available in India. And I got this:

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Yup. There are a lot of them. Even some mobile network companies (Airtel,Jio) have joined the race. Some banks have also released their apps. But I am not sure if they are solving the existign problems, or adding to users’ woes.

There has to now be some sort of regulation for these wallet guys. For one, there is now way to transfer money between these wallets, without first transferring to a bank. And some of them charge for those transfers. More on that later.

Second, money in the wallets do not accrue interest, like it does in your bank. That is one advantage the bank apps have.

Third, I am sure all these apps have security problems, specially on their andriod versions. Its only a matter of time before some or all of them get hacked. And the lack of IT security laws in this country means there is no proper protection to the end users.

And fourth, the ultimate problem is cost. These are all private players (except SBI). And they need to make their own profit. Which means sooner or later, they are gonna have to charge the customers for their service. What some online sites call “convenience charge”. Being in the IT business, guys like me know there are huge mulitlayered systems which power these online behemoths.  Even if they use open source, they will still need skilled programmers and support guys to power their frameworks. And all these are going to cost.

This is one advantage traditional cash transactions still have. There are no hidden charges. Unless they figure out a way to charge nominal to the customers, most of these apps are not going to survive.

 

 

 

PS: By they way, I have a PayTM account, the only wallet I used. Because they accept these at my company cafetaria.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

FullTextRssFeed is back . Again.

 

Today morning when I opened my RSS feed reader, I was intrigued by the higher number of articles to read. Then I noticed the new entries were coming from the dead feeds from FullTextRssFeed.com. Its  a free service which converts short summary RSS feeds to fulltext feeds, so you can read entire articles without visiting the feed site. This is specially useful to me, as I frequently try to read these from my company network, where my employer has blocked many good sites under other asuumptions.

Fulltextrssfeed feeds were not working for a very long time now, but its good to know they are back, and I can go back to my reading.

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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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Kapoor and Sons

 

Have you ever went to watch a movie expecting something, and got something else completely ? I mean, there are lot of movies marketted and adverstised  with extreme hype, and then the movie does not live up. It would turn out to be dissapointment, or just your average movie, just marketted for the multiplex. Countless times ? Well I recently had this experience again, but completely in the other direction.

I am talking of the 2016 bollywood movie Kapoor and Sons. Lately all bollywood movies staring young actors are being marketted as young, party kind of movies, with lof of drinking, pubbing, synchronized dancing, bedroom scenes and filthy double meaning dialogues. This movie too has young actors playing the leads, and two party songs, and all the marketting was targetted at them. The stupid sounding club song, and a love triangle was the focus of all the ads. Due to this, I never felt like watching it when it came out. But watching it now on DVD, I am blown away.

I watched this movie without reading its reviews.This is actually a very good family drama. Of an Indian family living today, circa 2016. Not a privileged family living in a metropolitan city. But a middle class family living in the beautiful hills of Coonor , TN. Rishi Kapoor plays the fantastic patriachal grandfather. There is a father and mother, and they have two sons, born during the eighties. The eldest is a successful writer, the younger one is still struggling, but he’s almost there. They live in a beautiful bungalow in the hills, snuggled between hills, embracing the local culture. This is the kind of family everyone wants to have. A picture perfect family.

Except, its not. Like every family out there, this one too has problems. Family problems. Within the first 15 minues of the movie, we see cracks. The grandpa does not act his age, and always pretends to fall down dead ! The parents marriage is in choppy waters, he might be having an affair. There is friction between the sibling brothers. The elder , more successful son (Rahul, played by Fawad Khan) is the favourite of the parents. The younger (Arjun, played by Siddharth Malhotra), seems jealous of Rahul’s success, and of the extra love and care Rahul gets. There is some financial turmoil in the family. They all see each other very rarely. To the world outside, they seem like the perfect family, but personally, they would rather live separately.

And the story of the movie is of they learn to resolve their differences, iron out the issues, and come together again.

Grandpa Kapoor knows he is at the verge of death, and he wants to take a family picture with this family. This is the breakdown scene. Here, secrets are revealed, all wounds open, and some new truths are uncovered. The biggest plot point is that the successful elder son may have stolen the novel of his kid brother , and gained success after that. The presence of Tia (Alia) creates a new rift between the brothers. Harsh, the father, might be having an affair. And the mother is furious that his perfect elder son is in fact, gay. That breakdown scene is the centerpiece of this movie. It is setup, shot and closed fantastically. It starts to rain just after the whole family breaks down.

The story moves smoothly, the cinematography and background music complement each other beautifully. There is some melodrama, but nothing over the top. There are only a few scenes , about 7-8 in total, scenes at the home, some at the hospital, and some others in the hills. But they tell a wonderful story.

This is a really nice, relevant movie for India in today’s world. I would not call it a family movie, because some of the dialogues might make children uncomfortable. But its a must watch. Kudos to the director Shakun Batra, and the team for creating something relevant out of all that mess in bollywood today.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Primary Function Of Water Towers Is…..to pump Water !

 

I didn’t know this. All these years I used to look up at water towers and say “Why did they have to build them that tall ?” Here in India, water towers are used primarily as…landmarks ! The Koramangala water tank is well known, then there is the Sankey water tank. But today I learned that the reason of building the water reservoir on a tower is to let gravity act on it, and the water pressure thus created will let the water rise up into higher floors in buildings. Look at the diagram:

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At first glance, it would be easy to assume that water towers exist to store water. They are, after all, giant above ground vessels filled with anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of gallons of water.

But whether you’re talking about a modest little water tower perched atop an apartment building in New York City or a giant municipal water tower, water storage is not the primary function of the tower (if water storage was the only goal, it would be significantly cheaper to build a reservoir). The primary function of water towers is to pressurize water for distribution. Elevating the water high above the pipes that distribute it throughout the surrounding building or community ensures that hydrostatic pressure, driven by gravity, forces the water down and through the system.

The design helps keep the cost of water distribution lower for two reasons. First, it allows for centralization of pumping and pressurization, and decreases the number of pumping stations needed in the vicinity of the water tower. Second, it allows the water company to pump water up to the tower during off-peak energy times to decrease the expense of running the pumps.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Drumpfinator

 

John Oliver focused on Donald Trump this time, and brought forward various issues and problems with the candidate. But the best was when he unveiled that his team had put together a new browser extension, which would convert all the ‘Trump’ on websites to ‘Driumpf’. And it works !

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Throwback: Magazine CD Days

 

I was back in my home town some time back, and was going through some old ‘garbage’. You know, the stuff you are sure are useless, but you keep around anyway. And I ran into some old magazine CDs I had purchased more than 10 years ago.IMG_20160221_125806755

They are from a computer magazine called CHIP, which they later renamed to DIGIT. The came out in monthly issues, and each issue had two CDs, one with business/work software, and the other had fun/games/videos stuff like that. During the mid nineties these magazines where very popular and sought after by computer enthusiasts. Because the internet had just hit India, but the usage rates were awefully high. Downloading a CD worth of content from the internet would take hours ,and it cost about 60 rupees per hour. So getting two CDs of downloaded stuff for 100 rupees was like a good deal, all the content was nicely documented and arranged in a searachable menu. And the CDs still work till this day !

 

 

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The 2nd fun CD usually came with trial/shareware versions of computer games, and most of us got to play US titles in this way, without having to download them ourselves. I als digged the computer/programmer softwares they used to ship. The CDs I have are dated July 2001, and November 2002.

 

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Digit still gives out discs, though now they consist of DVDs.Today of course the internet has become a lot more affordable, so one can stay online all day without having to empty one’s pockets for all those downloads. But its fun to think how far we have gone since then.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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

 

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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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Today is Back to the Future Day !!

 

Has it really been that many years ? It feels like just yesterday I was watching the 'Back to the Future' series on video cassette. And today is October 21, in the the future year 2015. The highlight of the movies series was of course its modern and stylish take on time travel, what better way to jump timelines than in a cool looking stylish car ? The first movie was about travelling back in time, but the second movie took it one step further ,and took the movie into the future. What would our future look like ? The scenes presented in the movie were really imaginative.  The world of 2015 had flying cars, and mini hovercraft skateboards, instant pizza, 3D movies, and tonnes and tonnes of advertising.

 

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Well, they got couple of those right, specially the advertising part. But watching the movie today is a little disappointing. Most of the movies predictions are yet to come true. Except for a few advancements in the area of real time communication and information sharing, nothing else has changed. Even in the most developed parts of the world, life is pretty much the same as it was in 1985. We have only got to flying drones, and they are still in legal trouble. Flying cars are couple of centuries away, IMHO. It is still a 9 to 6 day at the office, and the education and work systems are the same. The movies depict people in the future having more fun, but if anything today the world is more polar and divided than ever. There has been almost no progress in most aspects of life.

But coming back the the movie, this is a little gem for ages to come. I am sure that this movie will be enjoyed by anyone in the future, but more as a piece of history than anything else. Future generations would want to know what the 80s people thought of the future. And what their past was..in the 60s. The movie does not discuss the details of how that time travel is achieved, that's all taken for granted. Instead the focus is on fun, adventure and being careful not to change anything. For me, I am a 90s kid, I grew up during the 90s and this movie captures a little part of that fun growing up years. If I had that car today , I would dial in a year in the 1991 and decide never to come back.

 

 

 

Back To The Future Day Live: It's October 21, 2015 And The World Is Just As The Film Predicted (Sort Of)

It seems like wherever you go today, you'll see tepid Back to the Future jokes, including on this live blog!

What a glorious occasion!

It must be a bit confusing for those who have not watched the film.

09.05

Apparently Back to the Future Day is going on until tomorrow morning. It is unclear whether livebloggers will be expected to sit at their computers until then (a source says that she hopes that isn't the case).

This tweeter has pointed it out, apparently they actually went Back to the Future after midnight UK time.

Oh, and luckily for us, the DWP have chipped in with some 'banter' which is sure to make all of their many fans amused.

They wrote: ‘Pensions? Where we’re going we don’t need pensions…’ #DontIgnoreIt #BackToTheFuture http://www.workplacepensions.gov.uk/ "

And then on their image, they put "Erm, actually you do."

It's a bit of a weird joke.

08.50
Superfan explains why Back to the Future is so important

Back To The Future Superfan, Charlie Moore, explains why today is so important and what he will be doing to celebrate

08.30
Protesters park a DeLorean outside Parliament to protest the fact that hoverboards are illegal

Hoverboards have been made illegal to ride in public, along with Segways, and this has annoyed some fans of innovation.

We've received a press release from Project 42, who manufacture hoverboards.

Naturally, they are annoyed about the ban so they are parking a DeLorean outside Parliament and will have a Marty McFly lookalike on a modern day hoverboard.

Here is what they said:

"21st October 2015. That’s the date Marty McFly travelled 30 years into the future at the end of “Back to the Future.” He arrived in a world where a can of Pepsi costs $50 and where hoverboards were on every street corner.

"Today, Pepsi remains affordable but the dream of hoverboards seems further away than ever despite thousands of British consumers purchasing the self-balancing devices. On Sunday last week the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) outlawed ‘hoverboards’ and other self-balancing vehicles due to a law that was made in the 1835 Highways Act, 180 years ago!

"Project 42 (P42), a UK accelerator behind the UniWheel, one of the self-balancing products, has arranged for a genuine DeLorean to descend on the Houses of Parliament to highlight how this archaic law could stifle tech and innovative products that were once a dream. With the technology developing so quickly, only now has it become clear that this law will prevent people in the UK from experiencing their dreams and riding hoverboards."

08.18
Back to the Future: Its enduring appeal, and why it should never be remade

The University of Leicester has analysed the appeal of Back to the Future and has argued that it should never be remade (especially, perhaps, by Keith Lemon...)

Here's a snippet:

"In recent years, following the film’s cinema re-release for its 25th anniversary, Secret Cinema’s highly acclaimed immersive screenings of the first film, and technological developments such as Lexus’ hoverboard inspired by the films, the appeal of Back to the Future seems to be increasing. Perhaps this is because nostalgia for the film and its characters has not been affected by attempts to remake or re-boot the series. Unlike many other popular franchises of the 1980s such as Indiana Jones or Ghostbusters there are no plans to remake or extend the Back to the Future series.

"In fact its creators are set against the idea of a remake, with director Robert Zemeckis saying it could not happen until he and the film’s writer, Bob Gale, are dead – and hopefully not even then. In a rather grandiose claim, Zemeckis argued it would be like remaking Citizen Kane asking ‘What folly? What insanity is that?’ (Collins, 2015). But is he wrong to compare Back to the Future to, what is often thought of as, the greatest film of all time?"

07.58

Here are 13 things you may not know about the film franchise, kindly put together by tjhe experts on our Film team.

To start you off, apparently tt was almost called Spaceman From Pluto and Crispin Glover hated the ending...

07.48
The Surrey police force has got in on the action...

They're probably trying to get a few more followers, but their Photoshop skills are pretty impressive:

07:43
Marty McFly's back to the future trainers become reality

This video does what it says on the tin:

07.27

ITV 2 are showing all of the films today and the Keith Lemon Back To The Future trubute...

07.18
Police forces in Aus are trying to outdo each other

It's been Back to the Future Day in Australia for a little while now, and some police forces have attempted to get in on the action.

07.00 What's the plot?

Dr Emmett Brown takes Marty and his girlfriend Jennifer to the future to prevent their kids from "ruining their lives".

Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel to in the screen classic's 1989 sequel<br /><br /><br />

After doing that, Marty buys a sports almanac for 1950-2000, thinking it might help him in his time. Doc finds out and throws it away, but 2015 Biff (now a very old man) finds the book and uses the DeLorean to give the almanac to his younger self.

When Marty and Jennifer arrive back to their own time, they find it has totally changed - Biff is very rich and practically owns the city, (sound familiar?). He is married Marty's mother, killed his dad, and when Marty starts to ask about the almanac, he wants to kill him too.

Doc also finds out that he was imprisoned in an asylum, so the two go back to 1955, the night of the Enchantment-Under-The-Sea party in an effort to take back the almanac.

What did 'Back to the Future II' get right about 2015?

While some of these “inventions” seem laughable, not all have fallen wide of the mark.

Big-screen televisions and video calls

The film features several scenes of characters watching screens very much like the oversize ones we actually use these days. That's saying something, because most TVs of the 1980s were heavy, square appliances with bulky picture tubes. Some of them even came in wood-grain cabinets like furniture!

Also, the "BTTF II" characters talk to the screens just like we do today. Not bad, given that videophones -- though long promised -- barely existed in 1989. With FaceTime and Skype now staples, the video call has evolved from a business medium to an essential of everyday life.

Earlier this year, Canadian inventor Catalin Alexandru Duru broke the world record for the longest hoverboard flight, standing on the back of a Omni Hoverboard, his homemade, propeller-powered vehicle. With its downward-thrusting propellers, powered by a dozen lithium polymer batteries, it looks like a military drone and floats like a giant swimming aid with a man on top.

In May, Duru flew his patent-pending piece of kit at a height of 16ft above a Quebec lake, for 300 yards, on a trip that lasted a minute and a half.

Duru is not the only engineer who believes we can fly. A California company used Kickstarter money to develop the Hendo Hoverboard, which uses electromagnets to zip above a metal floor, while car manufacturer Lexus recently unveiled a wheelless skateboard made from bamboo and carbon fibre fitted with a superconductor cooled by liquid nitrogen to enable it to levitate above magnetic flooring.

To celebrate the date Marty McFly arrived in the future, an advert for the ‘Hover master’ has been made by Universal.

Video glasses

The Back to the Future films also presaged wearable technology, such as wraparound glasses which Marty uses to answer and speak on the phone (Google Glass, anyone?). Microsoft's recently announced Hololensbears more then a passing resemblence to Junior's goggles.As Doc might say: “Great Scott!”

Self-tying shoes

Nike is promising to develop hi-top trainers with inbuilt motors so the laces do the hard work by themselves.

Nike's self-lacing trainers - available by the end of the year?

While we’re no nearer to a flying car than when the film was released in 1989, it got some things right. Biff, one of the series’ main characters, pays for a taxi ride with a thumb print – just like the fingerprint technology used on the iPhone 6 and cashless apps such as Uber, Hailo and Bounce.

Jaws 19 trailer has actually been released

A parody trailer for Jaws 19, the film seen in Back to the Future II, has been released

he scene in Robert Zemeckis' Back to the Future II, released in 1989, when Marty McFly travels in his DeLorean to 2015? In the background, a cinema is advertising Jaws 19. It is an amusing detail; a sly dig at the increasing absursity of the (never-ending) Jaws sequels. But it could never really happen... could it?

What did Back to the Future II get wrong?
Flying cars powered by rubbish

We're not quite at the stage of seeing cars zip through the air - although this guy has given it a good go... And fossil fuels still power our cars despite electric making inroads. What price a flux capacitor. Can someone get Elon Musk on the video phone..?

Power clothing

Now this is one thing we wish 2015 had brought: jackets that dry themselves and shoes that lace themselves up. Look, no hands!

Fax machines

The film went a little too heavy on its predictions for fax machines, which it imagined would be everywhere in 2015. Fortunately, they're not

... And there's one key invention Back to the Future II missed out: smartphones and tablets, undeniably the most important technological breakthrough of the last decade. Apple didn't even get a look-in.

Might have come in handy when Marty and the Doc wanted to escape the future and head back to 1985.

06.45: It's here - at last!

Hello and welcome to our Back to the Future liveblog on October 21, 2015 - the date that Marty McFly and Dr Emmett “Doc” Brown chose to travel forward in time from 1985 in the hit sequel Back To The Future II.

According to the time-bending 1980s sci-fi flick, by October 21 2015, we would be living in a world of hoverboards, flying cars and self-tying shoelaces. And now that the day has actually arrived.

Back to the Future day october 21 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Martian : Novel

 

When I heard about this book I immediately wanted to read it, being a Space enthusiast and very interested in the journey to Mars, I had to know how one man stranded on the red baron planet would try to survive.

Mark Watney an astronaut on the Ares 3 mission to Mars was left stranded following a storm. His crew thought he was dead after seeing his suit lose pressure and had no choice but to evacuate the planet. Miraculously he survived the storm only to realise that he had been left behind. He is forced to ration out his food and find a way to survive until the next planned mission to Mars.
This novel is incredibly scientific and filled with calculations and accurate assumptions about Mars. As a botanist and an engineer it doesn’t take long for Mark to become the first farmer on Mars. Using the potatoes planned for Thanksgiving, Mark prepares them for planting. By cutting each potato into segments with two eyes each he carries Martian dirt into the Hab which are his living quarters. He then mixes the dirt with his own waste to encourage the growth of bacteria for his potatoes. As well as food, Mark needs to increase his water, so it’s not long before he passes hydrazine over a catalyst to help produce water for his survival.

Andy Weir has created a realistic character that has attitude and is wise cracking. Although no one can relate to being stranded on Mars, his emotions can be related to. He admits from the beginning he is screwed but doesn’t bow down to defeat for long before establishing an escape plan. Not forgetting I probably laughed at this book more than I should have. I’m sure your thinking I’m sadistic in laughing at a man stranded on Mars but Mark Watney is one hilarious character. Even during the times when it looks impossible he had some witty comeback or hilarious remark. Without a character like Mark Watney, this book would have been a scientific look at survival on Mars; instead what we have is a realistic look at an intelligent human being stranded on Mars. Apart from the few questionable scientific interpretations, this novel really does capture what it would be like to be the only person on an inhabitable planet.
This novel has come at the right time when NASA plans to reach Mars by 2030 and no doubt this will create some positive press for them and give them that nudge towards the necessary funding they need, that being $80 to $100 billion over the next 20 years. Not to mention the movie released starring Matt Damon as Mark Watney will play a big part in hitting an audience of film enthusiasts about a trip to Mars, even if they don’t read the book.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Mr Robot. Or, the continuous goof-ups of Elliot Alderson, vigilante hacker.

 

There is a lot of buzz online about the new TV series Mr Robot, currently airing on USA network. Breaking away from the procedural and investigate formulaic shows, Mr Robot follows the story of Elliot, a young 20-something cyber security engineer in New York, and how moonlights as an 'ethical' hacker. He is, fortunately, on the good side of the world and the wrong side of the law as he uses this hacking skills to expose hidden criminals and save a few innocents in the process. He suffers from social anxiety, and chronic depression, and it is stated he occasionally suffers from schizophrenic delusions. He is brilliant on-line on any network, but sucks IRL (in real life). The show itself is getting accolades for depicting real life, plausible hacking. But for me, it also hammers home the idea that when it comes to real life situations, Elliot (and others like him) cannot handle themselves responsibly.


 

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For instance until episode six, which aired yesterday, all that Elliot has done in this show is to screw up. Continuously. Repeatedly.

His first mistake  was definitely in the pilot episode, which got rave reviews and set expectations high for this series one month before it even started airing. After a brilliant depiction of DDoS style attack, and his counter hack to prevent further damage,  Elliot is presented with a choice. Up till that point in his life, Elliot had flown under the radar, without getting into trouble with any authorities. But now, he can either expose the hacker group f-society, or frame Terry Colby, his customer's CTO. And Elliot, reacting to how Angela was made to leave a meeting room, decides at the very last moment to frame Terry. Bad choice. We later come to know that framing Terry was just a first step for f-society, who recruit him for bigger and more dangerous things further up. If he had simply exposed f-society, he could have ended it all, and gone back to his hacker-vigilante life. Technically, this goofup was required, this is the action which starts the stage for the later events in the series. So Elliot HAS to make this mistake for the sake of the series.

Second mistake.  Getting Fernando Vera arrested. This happens in the second episode. Now this might not have been the first time Elliot is exposing a drug dealer, but he explains in his voice-over that he gets this drugs from Vera via Shayla. And he needs his drugs to stay in control. Shayla getting abused by Vera was occupational hazard. But he started caring for Shayla, and the only way he could protect her was to get Vera out of the equation. This will lead to two things later on. Without his drugs, Elliot goes through painful withdrawals, which could affect his life ,and could even jeopardise operation destroy-steel-mountain. The other thing, Shayla gets killed by Vera. That was painful.

Mistake numbre trios. Elliot gives in to his daemons. His childhood and back life was not explained till this point, but then it is made clear that his father death to cancer was caused by Evilcorp. And when this truth hits him, he puts aside logic and decides to take things personally, in an act of revenge. This will lead him to think of a way to bring down Evilcorp's servers in a 'humane' way with very little spare time. And for this, he decides to team up with f-society. Big mistake. But I think later the show will establish that Elliot was always part of the group. And we all know that Mr Robot is not real. He is simply an illusion, created by poor Elliot himself.

Fourth one was in the fourth episode. Elliot gets the Chinese hacker group, Dark Army, involved in his plan. He clearly knows that the DA hacks only for profit, and will understand his reason for targeting E-corp. But he gets their help. This gets Angela in danger, her personal life is destroyed, and it might also affect her work at allsafe. And.. the DA turns back at the last moment, leaving Elliot and his team on their own. And all this because he decides to go ahead with a poorly put together plan.

Five. Elliot goes in personally to steel-mountain to install his hack. He does not have the best social skills to talk to people without coming off as awkward. But he does it anyway. This way he runs into Tyler, his nemesis. He cooks up a story about some audit, but the truth is , he has lied. So he will have to back this up tomorrow in a later episode somehow. Which means more lying. Sending somebody else  he could have avoided the confrontation.

And his biggest mistake so far, coming up at number 6. He gets Vera freed from the jail. Once Vera got Shayla kidnapped, there was no plan in which Elliot and she could come out save forever. He should have handled that more diplomatically, could have flatly refused he knew her. But by playing to Vera's demands, he has endangered the two other girls in his life; Angela and Darlene. And with Shayla's death, he could again turn to revenge and do something stupid.

In the pilot episode, Elliot was able to balance his day job, and his nighttime hacktivism perfectly, neither coming in each other's way. But now the two sides have to dangeroulsy muddled up. It will take him a miracle to come out of this.

And some pretty neat hacks.

 

 

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Ratings of this show have declined over time.