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May 27, 2010

Kashmir, India and my thoughts on them

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:18 PM

As some of you know my Mom is a member of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and yesterday (rather today morning) she came back home after a week long trip to Kashmir via several different cities/states.

This trip was made specifically with the aim of flying the Indian national flag at Lal Chowk and the yatra was named ‘Sadbhavana Yatra’ which roughly translates to Peace trip. The trip was envisioned because on 26th Jan 2010 there was no unfurling of the Indian flag at Lal Chowk in Kashmir. Which is sad and embarrassing. To make things even better at no point in time before this trip has the Indian flag flown alone in Kashmir. It is always accompanied by the Kashmir flag at the same height which as you might know is unconstitutional. So this was the first time that the Indian Flag was flown alone in Kashmir.

According to mom, as soon as they entered Kashmir their convoy was harassed in increasingly belligerent tones to take the flag down (All their cars were flying the Indian flag) and it got to the point that they were worried about attacks to their caravan and even a mid-night police raid to arrest them at their hotel. The initial plan was for them to fly the flag at Lal Chowk at 10am but when they saw the amount of anti-nationalism and the threat of attack they unfurled the flag at 5am instead and then left soon thereafter. Even then a lot of the people who saw the unfurling opposed it with one person who tried snatching the flag to prevent it from being unfurled.

Now you might be wondering why this is a case, how can a state act against the country and not fear retaliation by the rest of the country. I am wondering the same thing. How can our Prime Minister, President and the MP’s allow this state to so consistently insult India?

A lot of it is because Kashmir only joined India when it was invaded by Pakistan and the only way it could secure aid from India was to agree to become part of India. But that was 60 years ago, their king made the decision and now they have to live with it. Pakistan poking their noses into it every few years haven’t helped either… along with all the other aid that is being provided to the militant factor in Kashmir to prevent the ‘repression’ of the Muslims in the area by the Hindu’s.

I think its past time that the Indian government grew a backbone and sorted out this problem once and for all.. The loss of life and property in Kashmir is appalling and the situation won’t change unless those in power take a decision and then back it up by force if required.

- Suramya

May 26, 2010

Microsoft’s E&D Chief confirms that the Courier Tablet ‘wasn’t a device’

Filed under: Computer Hardware,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 8:20 PM

The courier tablet caused a big splash when a video from Microsoft that showcased the functionality of the Tablet was released and a lot of people were eagerly waiting for its launch. However when its launch was canceled last month a lot of skeptics wondered if there was ever an actual device or was it all a ‘concept’.

Now thanks to Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Chief Robbie Bach we know for sure. He confirmed in his exit interview that the Courier Tablet ‘wasn’t a device’. In his own words:

Well, Courier — Courier, first of all, wasn’t a device. The project and the incubation and the exploration we did on Courier I view as super important. The “device” people saw in the video isn’t going to ship, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t learn a bunch and innovate a bunch in the process.

So basically it was all a big PR stunt. I not saying that companies should stop publicizing their feature lists or that the company should include every feature in their feature list into the final product. I know that its not always possible to include every feature that you envision into the final product. But still… If MS had a device in production that did a major portion of the features that were touted in the video or even a minor portion of them it would still make sense. But creating a PR hype on a product that they have no intention of releasing and then giving it a launch date is cheating and just wrong. I believe that such devices are rightly called vaporware.

It looks to me like all they were doing was trying to steal some of the hype from the product launches of other companies.

- Suramya

Source: Robbie Bach Q&A Part 3
Thanks to: The Raw Feed for the initial heads up

May 19, 2010

Outsourcing unit to be set up in Indian jail

Filed under: My Thoughts,News/Articles — Suramya @ 11:01 PM

If this hadn’t been on BBC then I would have dismissed this as a joke and a bad one at that. But apparently it is true. There are idiots who think that outsourcing backend processes of Banks to convicted criminals is a good idea. I mean come on… Are you even thinking? If they were doing this with phone bills or utilities bills it would have made sense. But banks… Seriously?

The unit will employ 200 educated convicts who will handle back office operations like data entry, and process and transmit information.

The project will begin at Charlapally Central Jail, near the state capital Hyderabad, in the next four months.


The unit, which is expected to undertake back-office work for banks, will work round the clock with three shifts of 70 staff each.

I want to know what banks will be part of this program so that I can move my money to another bank if required.

- Suramya

Source: BBC News – Outsourcing unit to be set up in Indian jail
Thanks to Schneier on Security for the story.

May 18, 2010

Boot From a USB Drive even when your BIOS Won’t Let You

Filed under: Computer Software,Computer Tips — Suramya @ 11:37 PM

If you are like me then you have gotten into the habit of carrying a Live Linux CD with you at times, I keep mine in my Laptop bag so its there when I need it. However CD’s have a lot of inherent problems like, an inability to update the version without burning a new disk and a susceptibility to scratches.

Having a Bootable USB drive with the latest version of Linux solves all these problems. USB drives are quite cheap now and it makes sense to have one available loaded with the latest diagnostic tools. But till date I didn’t carry a bootable USB drive with me because a lot of the systems I encountered didn’t allow me to boot from USB which made the bootable drive pretty much useless. Now, there is a way to fix the problem. What you need is a Blank CD and the latest version of PLoP.

PLoP is a Bootmanager that allows you to create a boot CD that will enable the system to boot from a USB drive even when that option is not supported by the BIOS. You can download PLoP from here. Installing it is quite easy. You just need to extract the .ZIP file that you downloaded and burn the .iso image to a CD. There are two ISO images on the CD and you can use either one of them, however according to the readme file plpbtnoemul.iso should work “everywhere” so if you have some doubt use that image.

Once you burn the image to the CD, reboot the system and configure it to boot off the CD. When the system boots up you will get a boot menu that will allow you to choose USB as the device to boot from. Once you do that the system will boot off the USB drive as normal and you can proceed from there.

Hope you find this as helpful as I am going to.

- Suramya

Source: Boot From a USB Drive Even if your BIOS Won’t Let You – How-To Geek.

May 15, 2010

Why no new photos in the Gallery

Filed under: My Life,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 4:40 AM

A few people asked me why I don’t upload any photos to the Photogallery anymore so I checked the logs and found that the last time I uploaded stuff to the gallery was in August of 2009. Considering that the photogallery was the most frequently updated section of the site before then, it is a long time to not upload new stuff. Plus even before then it was sporadic and not all trips/events got shared on the site.

This is not because I don’t have photos to upload and share. It wasn’t because I was feeling lazy and didn’t have time. It takes me about 15 mins to create a new section and upload new pics and most of it is spent on creating captions. The main issue is that I have gotten tired of getting crap from people about the photos I post. I spend hours deciding what photos to post and what not to post. The no of photos I post on the site are not even 1% of the total photos I have taken. The gallery wasn’t made to embarrass people, it was made to share photos of the good times I have had with friends.

When people asked me to remove a particular photo or change a caption I usually remove the photo if their reason made sense to me. Then I started getting comments telling me that I always post crappy photos of people on the site to make them look bad. If that’s what you think. Fine. Its your point of view. I am tired of listening to the crap and have people giving me shit. So I have stopped uploading photos to the site.

I take photos because I like it. I don’t HAVE to post it for others. If you want a copy of the photos I take email me and I will put them up in a private section of the site and give you access. But I am done posting these photos publicly for now. This is not a decision I have made today. Its been in my thoughts for a while but this is the first time I am writing this down.

I am seriously considering moving the entire photos.suramya.com domain to a password protected area. No public photos no BS. But its not something I have decided yet. Lets see, I am still thinking about it.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

- Suramya

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