Suramya's Blog

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June 29, 2015

I have a new niece!!!

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 6:13 PM

At 4:32pm Sara Bhansali was born. Both mother and baby are doing great.

Will post pics later when I have a better net connection. For some reason my phone is refusing to upload a pic.

– Suramya

And the wait begins..

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 8:34 AM

At the hospital waiting to find out if I will have a new niece or a nephew.

Hopefully this time it will be less of a wait, but I am fully prepared in any case 🙂

Will keep folks posted.

– Suramya

June 25, 2015

Life in Bangalore’s fast lane with 3.8km/h speedy drives

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:56 PM

Today just as I was leaving for home Google Now messaged me that it would take me 53 mins to get home if I drove which was 14 mins more than normal. What makes it interesting is that I live 3.4 kms of driving and 1.6 km walking from work. This means that I would have been driving at an amazing speed of 3.8km/h tonight. How is that for a fast drive? No wonder it took me 2 1/2 hours to get back from Whitefield the last time I drove there.

We really need to do something about the traffic situation in Bangalore. The Roads in Bangalore are some of the most haphazard and ridiculously designed roads that I have ever seen. However the situation does seem to be improving a bit thanks to the newly built St Marks road which is very nicely done and for a change seems to be following a logical plan.

In case you are wondering, I decided to spend an hour more at work and then did the trip in 15 mins. Yes, I had the car today. It’s raining and once it rains the ‘sidewalks’ can be re-branded as swamps so I prefer to drive instead of walking.

– Suramya

June 16, 2015

Watch an 8-Bit recreation of Jurassic Park

Filed under: Interesting Sites — Suramya @ 10:30 AM

If you don’t remember the original Jurassic Park movie (or weren’t around when it was originally released) and want a refresher of the movie before you watch Jurassic World then you don’t have to watch the entire movie again (although you should do that anyway because the movie is awesome), you can get the highlights by watching this 8-Bit recreation of Jurassic Park:


Click to watch 8 Bit Jurassic Park on YouTube

Thanks to NerdApproved.com for the link.

– Suramya

June 15, 2015

Winners for the 2014 Underhanded C Contest are announced

Filed under: Computer Security — Suramya @ 10:45 AM

The underhanded C Contest is an annual contest where developers are asked to write code which is clear, readable and as straight forward as possible while doing something evil in a very subtle manner. The goal behind the contest is to make people aware that even code that looks completely benign can be doing something bad either intentionally or accidentally. The contest has been around for 7 years and the solutions people have come up with are amazing. This years winner was Karen Pease and trying to understand their code made my head hurt.

Here’s an extract from the site that explains how Karen gamed the system:

  • We get the cur_time = localtime() and we want to check if
 cur_time->tm_year is a leap year
  • We call __isleap( cur_year = AUDIT(cur_time->tm_year) )
  • this expands into a line of code from nested macros
  • The first thing that happens is a call to check_clock_skew() that calls localtime() on a teensy time interval, overwriting our time structure
  • cur_time->tm_year is now 0, which satisfies all three clauses in the __isleap() macro,
  • Causing AUDIT() code to be evaluated thrice
  • Ow my head, and
  • The year (or rather, the number 0) is written to the audit record three times. This overfills the audit buffer.
  • Thus the final AUDIT call zeroes out a user’s created time, if the user was surveilled.

Looking at this code, it explains how difficult it is to prevent a skilled programmer from adding backdoors or Easter eggs in software and why code reviews are so important.

– Suramya

June 14, 2015

Why cataloging all my books was a bad idea, sort of.

Filed under: Books Related,My Life,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 8:53 PM

A little while ago there was a book sale happening and I wanted to buy a few books but couldn’t remember for sure if I had already bought them earlier or not and I couldn’t check because a lot of my books are in Delhi. I didn’t want to buy the same book twice so I ended up buying a different book but this made me think that I should keep a catalog of all the books I own so that I know which ones I need to buy. So I asked Surabhi to take a photo of all the books in Delhi and over the past few weeks I have been transcribing the names of the books to a text file.

As of today have a list of 334 books (excluding ebooks) that I own. I still have to go through another 5 shelves so the final count will be about another 125 books. Yes, that is a lot of books, but I did tell you that I read a lot.

During this time I realized that there are books from some of my favorite authors that I don’t have in my collection so I made a list of books that I need to buy to complete the collection. The list is not complete yet but I have already ended up buying 18 books in the past 2 months. Thankfully there were a couple of sales happening so I got a whole bunch of discounts but I need to start controlling my shopping sprees before my credit card files an official complain 🙂 as this is turning out to be a very expensive undertaking.

The good part is that I now have complete collections for some of my favorite authors. The remaining books that I am missing are in my queue to be purchased and I will be buying them as and when I see a sale or a discount on books in any of the stores. Interestingly I found that Flipkart is no longer the cheapest source for books in India as Amazon.in beat their prices almost 90% of the time.

Well this is all for now, I am off to make space for the new books in my bookshelf here in Bangalore.

– Suramya

June 13, 2015

Watch Jurassic World if you haven’t seen it already

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:27 PM

Went to watch Jurassic World yesterday and I really loved the movie. When I first heard that they are making another Jurassic Park movie I was a bit skeptical but they did a great job. Thankfully it wasn’t a remake but a sequel. This installment is set 2 decades after the first Jurassic Park movie and has homages to the original all over the place. Basically this one manages to remove the bad taste the last installment in the series left in my mouth.

If you like the series and think you know the movies then you should check out the following quiz created by John Scalzi using
trivia from the first three Jurassic Park films. Get all of the quiz questions correct, and you survive. Miss one or more, and you get killed and possibly eaten by a dinosaur. Which dinosaur? It depends on how many questions you miss. Have fun.

After finishing the movie I was reminded why I loved the first one so much and how awesome the books were so I am going to spend my weekend re-reading the Jurassic Park and The Lost world by Michael Crichton.

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

– Suramya

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