Friday, December 13, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weird dream i've ever had ......

Mood - :) Energetic

Song -David Archuleta Crush

It was around 5 am in the morning, i' can feel my hands and legs numb cause i was all soaked in cold breeze all night.

In Dream

There are two people in my dream one is my best friend (male) and the other one is someone i adore but nothing personal with her (female). In dream we were all friends and were spending the most wonderful days of our college hanging out, to movies, nights outs and other stuff that i don't remember. Its was a great feeling. You know sometimes the dream world seems so real and the feelings almost seem so true, not until you wake up you don't know that you were dreaming. I wish i could have dreamt a little more to see where this was going.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Woke up with a mild headache ...

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="200"]woke up with a mild headache... all i could think was this ...![/caption]

Yeah, I stopped using Alarm clock so that i can get enough sleep during holidays. But none of this really helps like tick-tock of the clock, my brain woke me up today at 5:12 AM with a mild headache.

I thought of going back to sleep but then i wasn't feeling too good. So i powered up PC and here am I 'Blogging'.

First real drink i had [Ted Effect]

This was 2-3 years back when i was in my high school. Ok before we do this let me tell you, I'm so wasted and literally full of Coke, like i can hear liquid rolling in my stomach. [that much]

It was with my cousins, back at my hometown. Dad and I (whole familia) went to celebrate something. (i dont' know what it was, it was kind of celebration time). So me and my brothers, including this fella here went to hang out. It was just boys at that time.

We drank this thing i don't know its name in English (can be related to a beer), i mean it had same amount of alcohol like beer has. I was so f**kingly wasted that day. Totally knocked out for 8 hours straight, its like my body doesn't go well with beer. I never had any real drink before, i was just a boy then.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hacked a Govt Website using Backbox (PenTesting)

Little did i know about hacking before i got to know Backbox. There was a time when i used to think how cool & awesome were the people who'd know hacking. And now i know what it feels like to be one. Although i wouldn't call myself a hacker but i'd like to be known as a Penetration Tester. (You know all that grey hat stuff people do).

2days ago, i downloaded Backbox, there are other more popular linux distrubutions too apart from backbox which offers more in dept knowledge in terms of pentesting and security but i choose backbox since its organised and is very fast (lightweight too). 

Previously i had Ubuntu 12.04 LTS running Gnome installed on my machine but Xfce (which comes with backbox) is much much blazing fast.

It took me 1 day to understand all the Audit Tools in backbox to understand. I already worked with few tools (metasploit, beef, armitage) previously so i know more than half the tools that's present in this linux distro.

Seafile 2.0 final released

Seafile v2.0 - dropbox alternative for self hosted cloud storage

Privacy Protection

  • Deploy on your own machine

  • Encrypt files with your own password

  • Keep password only on clients

Reliable and Stable

  • Reliable file syncing and conflict handling

  • Full version control

  • Complete guide on backup

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sci-fi Insight

All of our Puranas & Vedas tell us that life & death is more of a cycle. which keeps on repeating and there’s no end to it. But the real fact is Science and Religious superstitions are both closely related to each other. Just like the two sides of a coin.

[After Death] There are people around the globe who have/had near death experience and their say’s all point towards one and one thing only. I.e White light everywhere & being carried away in a hole (tube) like structure.

Why is that so ? Is it coincidence ?

[Believe it or Not] Scientists now say that they have found an astonishing answer to all of this. They think this makes sense. Continue Reading→

Friday, October 18, 2013

Canonical launches Ubuntu 13.10 representing a “very significant push towards mobile devices”.

Canonical has announced its free Ubuntu 13.10 Linux operating system (OS) release, which is available for both PCs and smartphones from today.

Canonical is touting the Ubuntu 13.10 release as the "first step to mobile [and] PC convergence" as it unites all devices.

Oddly enough, Ubuntu 13.10 arrives on the same day as Microsoft's remedial Windows 8.1 service pack update.

13.10 is one of those rare operating systems releases that get it right. It's obvious that Canonical has put enormous amounts of work into making this release the crowning jewel of everything they've been working on for the last six months. It's fast, responsive, stable, and usable for just about anyone. With 13.10, Canonical has finally delivered what Linux has promised for years: making a distro that grandma can use without many problem.
Canonical founder and Ubuntu creator Mark Shuttleworth ahead of the launch, who told  that Ubuntu 13.10 represents a "very significant push towards our first mobile devices".

Considering that 13.10 is the last release before the next LTS, a lot was riding on the company to get things right. If they screwed up this release, the LTS six months from now would likely have been a complete disaster. Had they done something silly, like include the Mir display server when it wasn't quite ready for prime time, both this release and the 14.04 LTS would have been garbage. Thankfully, they over promised with 13.10 but then backed that up by over delivering too. Continue Reading→

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Github is wonderful open source database but itself is closed source

As far as my googleing has led me I cannot find the source for GitHub anywhere, so unless (and I might be wrong) I missed something I think the platform is closed sourced.

That would not concern me much, but given the recent hype in the media regarding influencing developers to release their software as open source, and the number of open source projects they host etc I find a bit bothersome.

On the one had there can be no doubt that they are providing a great service for open source projects, on the other hand as a figurehead of opensource they might not be the best choice.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Poem for today..

I remember endless aching
Timeless nights spent sleepless, taking
Anything to stop the shaking,
Anything I'd found -

Thinking nothing - feeling hollow,
Planning all the highs to follow;
All the pain and pills to swallow,
Stolen; hidden; downed.

I remember darkness creeping
Up and out and sinking, seeping,
Crying in the night and sleeping,
Lost without a sound.

Memories can serve the warning -
Now it is I wake to dawning
Sunlight most of every morning...
Glad to be around.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Problem with Open Source Games

I'm going to use this space as my soapbox feel free to leave a comment if you disagree with me. I want to have a discussion.
Open source games suck.

There, I said it. And it's not because of the open source model.

The best open source games are rip-offs of commercial titles

Here's a list I found: (Note: I haven't played most of these games, but I know what they sort of look like)

And these are some of the best games the open source community has to offer. Yet they aren't original or ground-breaking. Why do open source games play it even safer than some major game publishers?

These games have another thing in common:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

El Ten Eleven - "Connie" (live) - [Progressive/Experimental]

Something about the song makes me think of my ex. Probably because I discovered it around the same time when things were new and exciting with us, and partly because of the 'intimate' undertones of the song. I just can't help but still love the song, no matter what feelings it stirs up in me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

why I ditched Ubuntu and went to Debian

Hello. I'm not doing this for the drama. The thing is some of my friends ask me why I ditched Ubuntu and went to Debian, and I'm tired to repeat the same things over and over. Also, I want to be able to just point to this post instead of repeating things again all over on the Internet.

With reasons, I mean ethical/moral reasons, not preference reasons (eg: "I don't like Unity"), said objectively.


  • Libhybris used by Canonical to promote Mir as it was developed by them.

Earlier this year however, I discovered that a well-known company had taken the code - disappeared underground with it for several months, improved upon it, utilized the capability in their advertisements and demos and in the end posted the code utilizing their own source control system, detached from any state of that of the upstream project's. Even to the extent some posters around the web thought libhybris was done by that company itself.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

I wish more people realized this kind of thing

As corny as it sounds, it's never okay to do a mean thing. I've been an adult for some time now and I'm still surprised at how many of my contemporaries find it okay to pass the buck or find cold dishes delicious. I've done bad things in my life. I've done very wrong things. I don't look down upon people who do them because I have been there. I have had bad things done to me and I have had the urge to pay it back to those who saw fit to do me wrong.

There has to be a point in history when it gets better. You can't simply point out the idea of intent, feel good enough some days to turn the other cheek. Humanity has a ceiling far greater than this. The petty things, the things deemed fine by the fickle hand of the internet, the spiteful things; we have the capacity to stop them.

We all know the arc of the super Villian. We've seen the movies. We've read the comic books. The good ones are sympathetic. The good ones wish well for the world until the wrong ones wish them ill. I beg for all of you who read this to do one less petty evil to the world. Hug your co worker who won't return your stapler. High five the roommate who won't wash his dishes. Forgive the friend who has spread rumors about you. Speak with the ex who still sends you texts. Do your part to turn things around. Evil is not the natural state of life, it is learned. You do not have to take the good with the bad. It is never an excuse.

Please, pass on the right side of life. Life really does return what it gets.

I'm 20. This is what I've learnt thus far.

  1. I'm an introvert and proud, was pretty asocial but now working to be more social and less of a perfectionist. I've socially deprived myself (don't do this) and now cringe at conversations that go well as a result. At the same time, I have learnt I am not socially inept (from a recent school residential), as much as I like to self-pity myself that I am. I know that I still can't handle being the center of attention. I'm still the same as I always was. Being a child who had a tantrum every birthday, I just express my anger differently, inwardly now.

  2. I have a love-hate relationship with people. My default template or defense mechanism is to be pessimistic and cynical about them and the world. I can sometimes lapse into being almost misanthropic. But finding beauty in everyone should be mandatory and is rewarding.

  3. I find beauty in everything and I love being inherently curious. It's best to stay open minded and not be too judgmental, nobody's perfect.

  4. I don't mind arrogance, as long as it can be backed up. I have heightened respect for people who do good, are working at their passion or simply do their job well.

  5. I forgive people too easily and I am a people pleaser. Don't be taken advantage of and don't be too much of a conformist. Be you, be different.

  6. People are inherently selfish, but this is a good thing. In social conversation you'll be considered a good conversationalist by others, even if you just ask the other speaker questions continuously.

  7. There is no meaning to life. The earth in its form is a blank state, we apply our own meaning. If I was to apply my own meaning for people it would be to creation, working at your passion and cooperatively making the world a better place. Life is not about comparing yourself to others, it's your own self-improvement game. You should help people with theirs and maximize your own.

  8. You've got to strike a balance between thinking and doing.

  9. Surprise yourself, apply yourself. Stop reading stuff on the Internet, go out and make mistakes.

  10. My memory is damn bad. Improve your memory, take pictures of memorable moments but don't live in the past.

  11. Don't underestimate the inevitability of change and your ability to manipulate tough situations you may be in.

  12. I like summarizing things, as this list exemplifies. I can use these summarizing words to describe myself but at this moment in time, I do not know myself. As Einstein notes: "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."

  13. I'm a man. I think with my d**k. I'm not going to say all I care about is personality and not looks because I don't. The 'halo effect' is such a strong phenomenon, that it's incredibly easy to think that there is no one else who could replace this person, but there always is.

  14. Music connects with me like nothing else. Having a song to go to for every mood I'm in is such a luxury. I like electronic music, as it is a fusion of many branches of music. Here is my favorite song for when I'm down:

  15. Read and travel. Culture yourself goddammit.

  16. Positive honesty is a highly valued attribute as well as modesty. Compliment people, it will make you feel better and make their day. It's nice to be warmed to.

  17. Life is for living. I often think that people who sleep considerably more than others are boring. This isn't really true but you should sleep enough to be healthy. Although remember that you can sleep when you're dead.

  18. No one gives a shit. You are atoms, Hitler killed millions, you just failed your exam.

I know the above seems a little pretentiously profound and cheesy, but I hope you enjoyed reading my general tangents.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why the specs used in the hardware beta definitely won't be the final specs

"The Steam universe is expanding in 2014."

Image representing NVidia as depicted in Crunc...

The new GTX 8** series will probably be out by the time Valve's Steam Machine is coming out. It would make sense for them to use the newer cards.

Also, the prices won't be as high as everyone is saying ($2000). Since neither console used nvidia this time, nvidia is almost certainly giving Valve a price cut to use their hardware. That's why nvidia has been saying things like

"Consoles will never be on par with PCs" (completely true, but unusual for a hardware company to come out and say that)

"We're making open source drivers"

"We're working with Valve for SteamOS"

And also literally every prototype has nvidia cards. I know I just said the hardware beta isn't finalized but I was referring to the series; the final hardware will almost definitely be nvidia.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I am Super terrible at making new friends

I realized today I'm terrible at making friends. Don't get me wrong. I believe I'm a fairly interesting person, and at least average in terms of looks and everything. I'm also a really good friend to my current friends. I'm fairly outgoing around them. However, Its been 3 years since I started college, and I am doing SHITTY at making new friends. I'm bad at making small talk. I find it super awkward. I also find it incredibly hard to approach people. Even when I try to talk to people in the common area playground/classroom or whatever, I usually end up sitting and watching. It's fucking depressing.

I just want one thing.

What i really want is one thing. nothing to much, its really not that hard, yet it pains me everytime i think of it. I want a true friend. I have only had one true friend, someone who i could always trust, and we were so close, i knew him for less than a year, and we were better friends than my friends i was with for 10. He was nice, awesome, funny, trustworthy. But that's not the important part. THe one thing that made him my true friend, my best friend, I could be myself with him. I cant be myself with my family, my church, my classmates, no one. Him and God, they are all i got.

A rant about the word 'of' replacing 'have'

I can't fu***ng stand it anymore. I don't know if it's just me, but the frequency of people replacing the word 'have' (sometimes contracted 've) with the word 'of' seems to be increasing every day.

For some reason I find this infuriating. Even more so than other grammatical errors. It's not just a spelling mistake. IT'S THE WRONG FU***NG WORD.

Sure, you could argue that phonetically they can sound very similar or even identical when 'have' is contracted to 've. That's no excuse. In my mind, whenever I'm writing my thoughts become words and then the words are signaled down to my hands where I write them onto paper; or more commonly type them out onto a keyboard or into my phone. There shouldn't be an error somewhere between interpreting what words your thoughts have constructed and how they sound.

The worst part about this mistake is not only is it becoming increasingly common, but people just accept it and continue to go on acting like nothing is wrong. Complacency in the face of disrespect for the English language.

I may not be the most articulate person. In fact, I'm sure someone could find plenty of grammatical errors in this post alone. But I believe there is a standard to be upheld, lest the pillars of written language be torn from us by the careless and the complacent.

Would you sit idly as are words beak um in dusting wishable? Do you see how ridiculous this is?

Please. Linguists, brothers in pens. Join this worthy cause. Don't succumb to this infection. This festering wound on the flesh of our written word. Purge the world of this sickness. Be a beacon of light in these dark times and we may see the light of literacy. Raise your phones, your keyboards, your tablets! Fight the good fight. Together we can win this battle, but you must rally with me.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A brave new Networked world ...

A topic that I have not noticed being discussed in any depth yet (I may have missed it ... ) is what will have become of the internet and other communication / media networks in the time period of cyberpunk world?

To my mind, I like the idea of the internet as we know it right now having collapsed during some all out "historic" cyber warefare event.

New networks have emerged, fragmented, no longer as dependent on major corporate controlled backbones. A global mesh / peer-to-peer network of some type, perhaps? With everyone able to become a node in the topology of the network.

I like the idea of the evolution of VR / AR etc. The ability to access and/or visualise the network(s) in different ways is interesting. For the elite cyberheads, directly plugging your brain in may be possible if we are going down the route of that level of augmentation tech

For others, advances in wearable computing, such as full VR / AR rigs worn externally but providing various levels of interaction including a totally immersive experience. Mirror Shades, anyone? :)

Couple the idea of AR / VR glasses with haptic feadback & full body position tracking cloathing, and

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Update - VLC Major Release (2.1.0) is out!

Despite the best codec support, I can't take it seriously as a media player because I still see two major issues with it that have been broken for a long time.

  • Gapless playback (though it seems there is less of a gap in this version)

  • It still doesn't preserve a playlist while you restart the process, losing state.

That said, the weird clicking it used to do when I paused a track has been fixed in this release so that's an improvement.

I know its free software developed by volunteers and if I had any time I'd fix these issues myself but I don't, and the other developers don't either (evidently), so you can't take it seriously as a media player.

Top 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu to improve workflow

You are an Ubuntu user because you want to solve different problems that require some knowledge about computers. Or at least should require. It is well-known that the more you know stuff you know about Ubuntu , the faster you will be able to get things done. This article will help all Ubuntu (and Ubuntu based distro) Users to get used with some of the shortcuts available in for Linux systems. If you spend as many hours online and think of you as a “power user”, like we all linuxers do, you will find this “Top 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu” article very useful to improve your user experience and workflow.

Top 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu

1. Ctrl + X/Ctrl + C/Ctrl + V = Cut/Copy/Paste. Like I said in Windows 7 and Windows 8 articles these are fundamental productivity shortcuts for Ubuntu and everyone should know them, but in case you don’t know, you shouldn’t call yourself a computer user. (It’s true!).

Ctrl + X = Cut                   Ctrl + C = Copy                    Ctrl + V = Paste

Top 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu to improve workflow !Statement: “Super” key is the Ubuntu alternative of Windows key

Pears Linux OS is purely a rip off of iOS and Mac OS X. Nearly everything is copied [Period]

Pears Linux OS is purely a rip off of iOS and Mac OS X. Nearly everything is copied [Period] [Click on the link to visit the site]

I'm pretty sure that is the point. It's for people who like Linux but want the Mac look. I don't blame them for making it look the same. Osx is beautiful and stylish.

But Personally, I sorta like the Unity ui of Ubuntu as well as the Cinnamon ui (popular with LinuxMint). But this does look pretty slick.

That's what I love about linux based OSs. Wanna give it a try? Boot it from a live CD (or USB) and give it a whirl!

Electrum was recently added to the main repositories in Debian testing

If you'd like to see it added to Ubuntu in the next release, read this.

I noticed Electrum recently got included in the "Testing" repository in Debian GNU/Linux, which is excellent news. This means that Debian users will most probably get Electrum in the next Debian stable release, but most importantly, all its derivatives will too. That's a lot of people!

To have an idea of the significance of any package making it into Debian, consider this graphic of the Debian derivatives family.

Ubuntu will eventually also get this software packaged and available by default to all its users, with feature + security updates. Unfortunately there is a schedule for automatic inclusion of new Debian packages in Ubuntu, and the arrival of Electrum into Debian Testing happened after the "Debian import freeze" date.

I filed a bug report to request a sync anyways, hoping for an exception, so Electrum makes it ASAP into Ubuntu.

This astounding video just took projection-mapping to the next level

This is what you get when you combine robotics, the projection-mapping of 3D computer graphics, and an actor all working together in perfect synchronization. It's a five-minute short film called "The Box" — and it's nothing short of revolutionary. [Unable to load the Video, please click the link to watch it on Vimeo. Viewers Discretion is advised]

The short film was produced by San Francisco-based design and engineering firm Bot & Dolly. It's the first of its kind — an achievement the producers believe will "radically transform theatrical presentations and define new genres of expression." The creators describe the film as being both an “artistic statement and technical demonstration”, one that explores “the synthesis of real and digital space through projection mapping on moving surfaces”.

Computers are too difficult and People are computer illiterate

There are quite a few things that prevent people from learning and acquiring new skills. This isn’t a bad thing since what many of these ‘blockers’ have in common is that they tend to help us in unfamiliar environments and new problems. Some of these ingrained heuristics are biological (i.e. infants begin to exhibit them early). Some of them are cultural.

We have an internal built in physics model that helps us interact with the world around us. It’s accurate enough for day to day living but it’s wrong enough to interfere with our understanding of how physics actually work. Many of our instincts and preconceptions prevent us from internalising a more accurate physics model.

Another habit of ours, at least in the west, is to perceive dichotomies—binary opposites—in our surroundings. It’s a tendency that can be useful: it helps us quickly pick one action among alternatives. “Do you want to go out for a drink or stay in tonight?”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Flash will no longer support Linux after version 11.2 (current).

[caption id="attachment_3106" align="alignright" width="388"]Flash will no longer support Linux after version 11.2 (current). Flash will no longer support Linux after version 11.2 (current).[/caption]

Adobe has delegated Flash development on Linux to Google. Chrome's bundled Flash is currently at version 11.8. Works with Chromium, too.

So, I've been running flash free for a while now, it incumbers me to things like youtube (where I usually just use youtube-dl to grab the vid, watch it and then delete anyway)- however I was forced to use flash for a speedtest so my ISP could do diagnostics on my connection.

that was the very lovely message I was greeted with on the flash download page.

my main reason for posting this is- how likely is it the open source variations of flash will be useful for this kind of thing, the last time I tried gnash it was painful.

or, a better question: when will we be able to run without flash unencumbered?

GStreamer Core and Plugins 1.2.0 - Release

Gstreamer Logo

The GStreamer team is pleased to announce the first release of the stable 1.2 release series. The 1.2 release series is adding new features on top of the 1.0 series and is part of the API and ABI-stable 1.x release series of the GStreamer multimedia framework that contains new features.

Binaries for Windows, Mac OS X and Android will be provided in the next
days and will be announced separately.

The 1.x series is a stable series targeted at end users. It is not API
or ABI compatible with the 0.10.x series. It can, however, be installed
in parallel with the 0.10.x series and will not affect an existing
0.10.x installation.

The stable 1.2.x release series is API and ABI compatible with 1.0.x and
any other 1.x release series in the future. Compared to 1.0.x it
contains some new features and more intrusive changes that were
considered too risky as a bugfix. Distributions are encouraged to
upgrade to 1.2.x now. Soon after this release the new 1.3.x development
release series will be opened, which will later lead to the next stable
1.4.x release series.

The versioning scheme that is used in general is that 1.x.y is API and
ABI backwards compatible with previous 1.x.y releases. If x is an even
number it is a stable release series and all releases in this series
will only contain important bugfixes, e.g. the 1.0 series with 1.0.7. If
x is odd it is a development release series that will lead to the next
stable release series 1.x+1 and contains new features and bigger
changes. During the development release series, new API can still
change. To learn more about the changes, Visit Here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Best Open Source apps you must try for...

These open source applications continue to fly under the radar but they are strong candidates to replace more popular software choices.

It used to be that open source as a whole was the underdog. Now, as the popularity skyrockets, there are certain software titles that have easily risen above that status. But there are still some hidden gems. Why these particular applications continue to live out of sight and out of mind, is baffling, but with a bit of exposure, these open source projects might become solid replacements for other more popular software.

You might never have heard of some of these, or perhaps you have, but you've dismissed them because you already have a program that does the same thing "just fine." However, I think these are worth a second look for their numerous features and solid functionality.  Let's take a look and see if I can introduce you to some new software titles.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

FOX Uses Negative Reviews To Promote New Sitcom Dads

FOX Uses Negative Reviews To Promote New Sitcom DadsWe’ve all heard the saying, “it’s so bad, it’s good.” Clearly, FOX is banking on that type of mentality to entice viewers to sample it’s new sitcom Dads premiering next Tuesday. I admit, I’m a little intrigued.

When the networks unveiled their fall schedules a few months ago, the Seth MacFarlane-produced comedy was one of the least well-received. I admit, at first glance I thought it was a serious contender for one of the season’s first cancellations.

The Most Inspiring Video Game Quotes

>> Life is a negotiation. We all want. We all give to get what we want.- Mordin Solus, ME2

>> ”The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.” - G-Man

>> Death is inevitable. Our fear of it makes us play safe, blocks out emotion. It's a losing game. Without passion you are already dead. -Max Payne

>>  "Max... dearest of all my friends."

>> "The genius of the hole: no matter how long you spend climbing out, you can still fall back down in an instant."

>> "I sit in my cubicle, here on the motherworld. When I die, they will put my body in a box, and dispose of it in the cold ground. And in all the million ages to come, I will never breathe, or laugh, or twitch again. So won't you run and play with me here among the teeming mass of humanity? The universe has spared us this moment."-Anonymous, Alpha Centauri

>> "Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong." Mordin Solus

>> "Stand in the ashes of a trillion dead souls and ask the ghosts if honor matters. Their silence is your answer." -Javik


Well now your turn hit your replies in the Comments ...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Why do i use Linux being a Non-Developer ?


One of the developers on Facebook recently asked me why I was using Linux (Ubuntu here) on the desktop if I'm not a developer.



I hadn't really thought about this in some time so it took me a few seconds to come up with a reply. For me it's about having the freedom to do whatever I want with the system. Linux provides me with a full feeling of ownership which I have never had with with Windows.



On top of that there's the 'feel good' factor that I am using something that is free and open. So why do i use Linux ?



I'm working towards becoming a developer, but I'm not there until people start calling me that. So here are my reasons.

  • Free. I'm a starving student. And paradoxically I don't like pirating software. Everyone deserves the meals they earn. Linux allows me to have my software and feel ethical about it too.

  • Easy setup - Sure Windows isn't hard to install. But the BS of re-downloading drivers and finding all the application exe's is a pain in the ass in comparison to Linux, where the drivers are there and the software is an apt-get, zypper, or yum away.

  • community support (and free upgrades). It's pretty easy to ask for help or find solutions through the Google god. It's also nice to always have the latest system and a system you don't have to pay extra to get all the features (I'm looking at you, Windows 7 Ultimate)

  • Sane updates. I swear to god If I had a dollar for every time windows has forced me to update when I need to get up and leave (RAGE), I wouldn't be on crappy computers.

  • UI. I actually like Linux UIs more than Windows. I've had friends disagree, but since the hell that was put upon us by early KDE 4 and early GNOME 3, the interfaces have become really good again.

  • Hardware longevity. When I found a PC for my dad it was running XP (Dual core, 2GB of RAM). XP is nearing its end of life, and I wanted my dad to have a well supported OS. I've been running the latest Mint on it with no problems, and I expect it to work as a perfect computer solution for him for a number of years to come.

  • Choice and Control. In line with the above story, I have a lot of control to administer my dad's computer, and so the amount of support I've had to do has dropped considerably from when he was running XP. I can also tweak and control MY system to how I please.

  • Privacy and Freedom. The older I get, the important issues like privacy and freedom have become to me. I want to use my system and be absolutely sure it's mine, and not spying on me.

GNU/Linux is my only system, and I use it because it has no restrictions other than technical. If I want to put it on a thumb drive I can. If I reinstall, I don't have to worry about having my system blessed by a central authority. And package management.

In Depth Freedom & Options

Freedom and options.

I can (and have):

  • Boot a Ubuntu live disc through DriveDroid on any Android phone on a customer's computer, and reset the password.

  • Boot over the network to test hardware if I'm feeling really lazy

  • Run a fully fledged server in my home, that manages all Ubuntu updates

  • Change the way anything acts - (GNOME/KDE/LXDE etc)

  • Customise it to a grain of sand - my kernel is a shitton smaller than the default one.

  • Run complete backups and complicated partition management

  • Run pretty much anything without rebooting

  • Update pretty much anything without rebooting

  • Logs are SANE - "error - unknown codepage cp4387" vs "contact your system administrator"

  • Does some windows stuff better than windows - I have had hard drives refuse to come up in expensive data recovery programs in windows, only for them to come up near instantly after plugging them into my PC

  • Configuration is SANE - plain text files vs various UI-themed dialog boxes

  • Symbolic links - much better than shortcuts, easier to use than NTFS links

  • Direct data management - dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb to securely wipe a drive

  • Moderately easy to fix - Got Inaccessible boot device on windows xp? You are buggered. Linux? Check with a live disc and boot with that kernel.

  • Hardware management is SANE - I don't have to wait 20 seconds for a thumbdrive to work the first time in Linux. Also, I can pull my hard drive out of my laptop and boot it in almost any other recent machine, given that I use a stock kernel.

  • Not friggin retarded console - I can use one of any size, and can be fairly sure that the program will follow certain standards.

  • Diversity - I can use a 700MiB distro, or a 10MiB one.

  • Repositories.

  • Full disk encryption - Haven't tried this, but looking into it.

All of this I have not paid a cent for (other than hardware).

Joe Blow average user would call that insane, though. He wants something where he can navigate by screenshots and not have to do a week of reading just to change how long it takes for his laptop to turn off the screen when it's on battery. Let's not play that bullshit game of preferences - and if you bring up the damned windows registry, I'll remind you that we've got one of our own - thank the GNOME devs for the steaming pile of shit that is gconf.

Let's keep in mind, not everything we do is exactly right. There's a lot of awesome things that Linux does, and there's a bunch that are downright stupid. I have yet to have sleep work on my own devices at all without causing severe problems with ACPI and thermal management, which is a "it just works" moment in windows. I can have a much quicker boot in Linux, sure, but why not put the device to sleep? It has its upsides...but it also has some significant downsides.

When I tell my Linux system to do something it just does it. If I want to reboot and 20 different programs are open, it just reboots right away no questions asked.
TL;DR - Linux doesn't treat me like a retarded idiot

There's probably more, but the above is a start.

So what are your Reasons for Using Linux ? Hit me up in the Comments :)

13 Ways To Improve Your Luck on Friday the 13th

Circling Friday the 13th date on calendar with...

If you are of superstitious nature, then today is definitely not your day: Friday the 13th. I learned an interesting fact that Friday the 13th will happen at least once a year but never more than three. If the month begins on a Sunday, then you are destined for a Friday the 13th. The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia.

According to history, there was no sign of a Friday the 13th phobia before the 19th century. One thesis states that the superstition came from the amalgamation of two older thoughts: that 13 is an unlucky number and Friday is an unlucky day. I also read that during the last supper, there were 13 sitting at the table. Therefore, it brings the idea that if you dine with 12 by your side, death may come to one who eats with you. Crazy theory I know but really interesting when you think that Jesus ate his last meal with his twelve disciples and then was hung from a cross. (Meanwhile, everyone reading this article is cancelling their weekend dinner plans or adding more to the bunch.)

So is there any way to save of us from the perils of the cursed day? In my hunt for research on why this day is so damn unlucky, I also came across some ways to keep yourself safe from the things that may (or may not) happen to you on this day of doom. Try them out, they may be helpful to you.

1. Keep Your Fingers Crossed

When you make a sign of the Christian faith (aka crossing your fingers), it is said to prevent evil spirits from ruining your good fortune.

Keep Your Fingers Crossed2. Knock On Wood

It was once said that good spirits lived in trees and by knocking on anything wood, you summoned the spirits to protect you.

3. Find A Four-Leaf Clover

Folklore tells us that four-leaf clovers will help you see evil spirits. How does that help? Well now, with the power you posses, you can avoid them.

4. Put Your Clothes On Inside Out

This superstition has an undefined start date but many follow it including baseball players who wear their ball caps inside out on game day.

Put Your Clothes On Inside Out

5. Look At The New Moon Over Your Right Shoulder

A new moon is seen as the ripe time to take on new challenges. The fortune of that depends on which you shoulder you see it over first. Make sure it’s your right.

Look At The New Moon from Your Right Shoulder

6. Sleep Facing South

Sleeping with your head facing south is said to bring on good health and fortune. Feng shui practicers will agree with this as well.

Sleep Facing South

7. Break A Clear, Uncolored Glass

If you think you have fallen victim to any misfortune today, break a clear glass as it is said to take upon the misfortune for you. Thanks glass!

8. Walk In The Rain

Rain has always been a sign of good luck. In times before irrigation on crops, a rainy season meant a prosperous one.

9. Sleep On Un-Ironed Sheets

I don’t even know if I’ve ever ironed my sheets. The only ironed sheets I have ever seen were in a hotel. Guess I’m super lucky.

10. Avoid Cracks In The Sidewalk

“Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.” This is also a good rule to follow if you don’t want to find yourself tripping as well.

11. Carry An Acorn In Your Pocket

The acorn, the fruit of the ever sturdy oak tree is an ancient symbol of fertility and long life. Carrying an acorn sounds good any day of the week.

12. Sneeze Three Times Before Breakfast

The number 3 is a lucky number in many cultures including Europe where three represents the trinity. Just don’t get any snot on your eggs.

13. Pick Up A Penny, Pin, Pencil Or Piece Of Coal In The Street

Finding and claiming any of these items is said to bring good fortune. “See a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.”

Alberto Belli's Parody Clip 'It’s Not Porn… It’s HBO'

[caption id="attachment_2938" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Alberto Belli's Parody CLip 'It’s Not Porn… It’s HBO' Alberto Belli's Parody CLip 'It’s Not Porn… It’s HBO'[/caption]

Directed by Alberto Belli , this one shows a bunch of actors telling their loved ones about their latest acting gig. As they describe their respective scenes, their big break sounds more like a scene from a cheesy skin flick. Obviously hearing the plot, their friends and family are disgusted and saddened they’ve resorted to porn. When it’s revealed that it’s for an HBO sex scene, all parties rejoice. With 108 nominations, it’s not porn… it’s HBO. Right?

Check out the cute clip below.

Try to figure out which HBO show’s steamy scenes they’re referencing.

It’s Not Porn…

'Open Source' a Threat, Federal Courts Issue Bizarre Warnings

Should we fear open source software? Of course not. But that hasn’t stopped federal courts from issuing bizarre warnings like this:
The court would like to make CM/ECF filers aware of certain security concerns relating to a software application or .plug-in. called RECAP … Please be aware that RECAP is “open-sourcesoftware, which can be freely obtained by anyone with Internet access and modified for benign or malicious purposes … .

To understand this strange edict, we need to review the history of RECAP and why it might be unpopular with court officials.

Open courts are essential to an accountable, democratic legal system. With some notable exceptions, court proceedings in the United States are public. But if you want to access these public records online, you will be hit with a big fee. The official PACER system charges for almost any activity (e.g. searching, viewing dockets) and charges 10 cents per page. These fees vastly exceed the actual cost of providing electronic access. And while 10 cents per page may not sound like much, the costs can quickly add up. PACER’s exorbitant rates hit litigants, non-profit media outlets, and citizen watchdogs alike.

In 2008, Aaron Swartz and others began a pioneering campaign to liberate public documents from behind the PACER paywall. At first, Swartz used free library access to collect the documents. When the courts shut down that program, the campaign turned to crowdsourcing – with individual PACER users submitting documents to a public archive. To facilitate this, the Center for Information Technology at Princeton University created a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome called RECAP (which ‘turns PACER around’). Users with the extension automatically send documents uploaded from PACER to a repository hosted by the Internet Archive. RECAP takes great care to protect private information. It only archives public documents and quickly deletes any private information mistakenly released by the courts. Since 2009, the RECAP project has liberated more than 2 million public documents.

The government has responded with hostility. First, in an eerie precursor to his later prosecution for downloading documents from JSTOR, the FBI investigated Aaron Swartz for purported violations of the overbroad and draconian CFAA. After the FBI dropped that investigation, courts began warning lawyers not to use RECAP because it was “open source” software and might facilitate the sharing of sealed documents. These messages were widely criticized as misleading. Yet, years later, a number of courts still insist on posting the same misguided scaremongering.

Of course, there is no reason to fear open source software simply because it is open source. The courts might be under the misconception that RECAP development works something like Wikipedia, where any contributor's changes are adopted immediately. Instead, RECAP, like other open source software, has a maintainer to coordinate its development, actively reviewing all proposed changes to decide which ones to include or reject. (In RECAP's case, the Firefox version is maintained by Harlan Yu, Timothy B. Lee, Stephen Schultze, and Dhruv Kapadia, and the Chrome version by Ka-Ping Yee. These individual developers are directly responsible for the content and functionality of the RECAP software—they just don't try to keep how it works a secret.)

For any sort of software, whether open source or proprietary, the provenance of particular downloads is of crucial importance—since anyone could make a fake download site with malicious versions. So users should always be careful about where their downloads come from and how they know they're authentic. As for RECAP, the best way court officials could help protect user security would be to direct users to the correct RECAP site.

Unfortunately, the federal court RECAP warnings are not the only example of scaremongering and technophobia in the justice system. The government routinely treats computer expertise as stand-alone evidence of nefarious intent. And prosecutors seek excessive sentences in computer-related cases, such as the vindictive prosecution that ended with Aaron Swartz’s tragic suicide (it is particularly sad to see the absurd RECAP warning posted by the Federal Court for the District of Massachusetts, where that prosecution took place). Whether these actions are the result of deep ignorance or deep cynicism, we deserve better.

Aaron Swartz’s campaign to open access to court documents was just one chapter in a brief and extraordinary life. On September 19, we will honor him with an EFF Pioneer Award. Another small way to honor his work is to install the RECAP extension and contribute to open government one PACER download at a time.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Who is your Celebrity Crush?

Celebrity Crush - My Top 5

Emma Watson

I remember back when she did her first Harry Potter movie ( i was 15 at the time) and I told all my friends she was going to be gorgeous when she got older. They didn't agree... but man they hate me now when I bring it up

Mary. Elizabeth. Winstead

I tried to figure out how to put in words why she is so hot. Lots of girls have pretty faces. Lots of girls have nice shapes. With her, she just seemed so unique and I think I finally got it. She is crazy healthy. She is tall and not skin and bones. She is kinda thick (although that is a horrible word) because she had a lot of muscle.

Mila Kunis

I really fell for her, I used to loathe her as well, but once I detached her from the nasally "Hey Michael," or "Everyone pay attention to me" voice I was able to better appreciate her beauty. She just seems cool enough to know as a person.

Kristen Bell

God she is so cute and adorable. Not to mention hot! And now I'm a 20 year old guy, who watches Gossip Girl mainly to hear her voice...

Chloë Grace Moretz

Everyone else is waiting for the day she turns 18 so they can flood the Internet with "OMG SHE'S SO HOT" posts, because that's how biology works. :)

Let me know who's your Celebrity Crush in the discussions below ?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If Hollywood continues to badmouth 'Open-source' software, especially in children/teen shows, what hope do we have?

One day, I was just sitting around with my younger cousin who was watching a show called 'Shake it Up' on Disney Channel. She loves the show, and I am sure many other kids love it too.

But I was shocked when the following scene came up: A group of children are sitting around when they hear about a computer virus that is about to ruin their dance show. So, they turn to this 'genius kid character' and he says, "So, did you use open-source code to save time, and the virus was hidden in it? Rookie mistake."

I was shocked to hear that, and was quite insulted by that statement. Although technically possible, it doesn't portray majority of open-source software in the right light. The thing that annoyed me the most was the fact that this is a children's/teen's show, watched by children/teens at the age where they believe and are easily influenced by mass media such as movies/TV shows/music etc.

I am sure there are other examples in Hollywood of incorrect portrayal of not-only open-source software, but other issues as well.
Stereotyping is alive and well and not just limited to open source. The producers are making cheap, consumable shows; it's up to parents and guardians to guide kids and not depend on TV to do their job.

I find it ironic that Disney and Pixar do all their 3D rendering on Linux, albeit with the proprietary Renderman software. In all honesty it sounds like they had writers that knew very little about computer technology.

So you believe there is an underlying agenda? Hit me up in the comments ...

Before he died, Aaron Swartz was working on an open-source Project called the Strongbox

Strongbox and Aaron Swartz

[caption id="attachment_2789" align="alignright" width="300"]Aaron Swartz was working on an open-source, anonymous inbox Aaron Swartz was working on an open-source, anonymous inbox[/caption]

Posted by New Yorker.

Aaron Swartz was not yet a legend when, almost two years ago, I asked him to build an open-source, anonymous in-box. His achievements were real and varied, but the events that would come to define him to the public were still in his future: his federal criminal indictment; his leadership organizing against the censorious Stop Online Piracy Act; his suicide in a Brooklyn apartment. I knew him as a programmer and an activist, a member of a fairly small tribe with the skills to turn ideas into code—another word for action—and the sensibility to understand instantly what I was looking for: a slightly safer way for journalists and their anonymous sources to communicate.

There’s a growing technology gap: phone records, e-mail, computer forensics, and outright hacking are valuable weapons for anyone looking to identify a journalist’s source. With some exceptions, the press has done little to keep pace: our information-security efforts tend to gravitate toward the parts of our infrastructure that accept credit cards.

Aaron was attuned to this kind of problem. I’d first met him in 2006, when he and two other coders sold the social-news site Reddit to Condé Nast, the parent company of Wired, where I’m an editor, and of The New Yorker. The three of them moved into a converted conference room in the corner of Wired’s San Francisco headquarters. Aaron stood out from his colleagues—he was moody, quiet, and blogged about how much he disliked working there.

Aaron Swartz at a Boston Wiki Meetup

Then, one Monday, he left the office to spend the day at a nearby federal courthouse where oral arguments were unfolding in Kahle v. Gonzales, a Constitutional copyright battle being waged by the law professor Lawrence Lessig. When he got back, he asked me, somewhat shyly, if he could write something for Wired about the proceedings. The resulting seven-hundred-word blog post was crisply written and clearly laid out the issues. I wondered about this young tech-startup founder who put his energy into the debate over corporate-friendly copyright term extensions. That, and his co-creation of an anonymity project called Tor2Web, is what I had in mind when I approached him with the secure-submission notion. He agreed to do it with the understanding that the code would be open-source—licensed to allow anyone to use it freely—when we launched the system.

He started coding immediately, while I set out to get the necessary servers and bandwidth at Condé Nast. The security model required that the system be under the company’s physical control, but with its own, segregated infrastructure. Requisitioning was involved. Executives had questions. Lawyers had more questions.

In October, 2011, Aaron came to the Wired office and we whiteboarded some of the details. In the intervening years, Aaron’s quiet withdrawal had shifted into a tentative confidence, his sullenness replaced by a disarming smile and a gentle generosity. Before he left, I walked him over to the new, much larger Reddit office next door. He stepped inside, looked around, and walked back out without anyone recognizing him.

By then, Aaron had been indicted for bulk downloading four million articles from JSTOR, an academic database, from M.I.T.’s public network, and the case must have been weighing on him. But he wouldn’t talk about it.

He lived in New York then, so my interactions with him from that point on were mostly electronic. The system, which we came to call DeadDrop, was a back-burner project for both of us, and Aaron had a lot of front burners. I learned his protocol: when he had the time to code, I could reach him on the phone or on Skype. We had long exchanges about security and features; Aaron rejected the ones he thought would overcomplicate the system—individual crypto keys for every reporter at a news organization, for example.

In New York, a computer-security expert named James Dolan persuaded a trio of his industry colleagues to meet with Aaron to review the architecture and, later, the code. We wanted to be reasonably confident that the system wouldn’t be compromised, and that sources would be able to submit documents anonymously—so that even the media outlets receiving the materials wouldn’t be able to tell the government where they came from. James wrote an obsessively detailed step-by-step security guide for organizations implementing the code. “He goes a little overboard,” Aaron said in an e-mail, “but maybe that’s not a bad thing.”

By December, 2012, Aaron’s code was stable, and a squishy launch date had been set. Then, on January 11th, he killed himself. In the immediate aftermath, it was hard to think of anything but the loss and pain of his death. A launch, like so many things, was secondary. His suicide also raised new questions: Who owned the code now? (Answer: he willed all his intellectual property to Sean Palmer, who gives the project his blessing.) Would his closest friends and his family approve of the launch proceeding? (His friend and executor, Alec Resnick, reports that they do.) The New Yorker, which has a long history of strong investigative work, emerged as the right first home for the system. The New Yorker’s version is called Strongbox; it went online this morning.

Nine days after Aaron’s death, his familiar Skype avatar popped up on my computer screen. Somewhere, somebody—probably a family member—had booted up his computer. I fought the irrational urge to click on the icon and resume our conversation. Then he vanished from my screen again.

Online Anonymity can bring out the worst in people

During my teenage years, revealing your identity online was just not the done thing, and especially socially unacceptable for females.

[caption id="attachment_2751" align="alignleft" width="300"]Online Anonymity can bring out the worst in people Online Anonymity can bring out the worst in people[/caption]

At that time most online interaction took place in forums or via instant messaging apps, such as MSN and Yahoo. People would typically use nicknames to interact online.

Then came Facebook and Flickr, followed by Instagram and Twitter. Social networks have gained a great amount of popularity, in the UAE and worldwide.

Many people who have moved to social media networks have brought with them the practice of maintaining online anonymity.

And many have even created more than one account on the same social media website. A new study by Performix Middle East and North Africa indicates that 61 per cent of social media users in the UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia have more than one account on the same site.

But what could possibly be the reason to have multiple identities online? This phenomenon needs to be studied in depth, both psychologically and socially. Psychologists suggest that this practice could be due to a range of reasons. Users may fear facing society, or being rejected by other people because of their personalities or opinions, or getting into trouble with their families or employers or co-workers due to their online activities.

Some conservative parents still don't allow their daughters to communicate with men outside the family. Some workplaces don't allow their employees to discuss certain issues online.

In the West there has been a continuing debate surrounding online anonymity, but in this region the idea has been widely accepted and embraced for decades.

In the West, online anonymity, particularly on social media, has long fuelled some social and political conflicts, and now that phenomenon is coming to this region, as society develops.

Many studies have linked the relative anonymity of internet commenting, and the lack of social cues inherent in online communication, with a rise in cyber bullying via social media.

"Trolling" is also on the rise in the region, as those who cannot disclose their hideous thoughts in real life and are too afraid to show their faces to the targeted person use social media to express themselves.

A leading neurologist, Baroness Susan Greenfield of Oxford University, has suggested that the absence of body language in anonymous online communication is giving people the ability to express "the worst side of human nature".

She told The Telegraph that face-to-face human interaction includes "biological handbrake" signals - eye contact, body language, facial expression and voice tone. Without these, some internet users gradually develop the confidence and authority to reveal their thoughts to others.

That can mean, she said, that "we have the problem of the 'monstrous' things people are saying online, when they have the anonymity of the blogosphere."

I often see prominent Twitter users complain of being targeted anonymously. Discussing controversial social or political issues on social media can attract many trolls, some of them defaming people or even making threats of physical attacks. Psychologists warn that trolls can generate low self-esteem and depression in their victims.

Trolls can also misuse social networks to spread false information and rumours about others, or to publish inappropriate material - all while hiding behind their screens. Some men - even married men - use Twitter, for example, to stalk or sexually harass women. Experts say surreptitious use of social media has given rise to "cyber infidelity" that has led to many marital disputes, and some divorces.

In all these types of abuses, trolls can get away with what they do, from defamation and cheating to inducing hate, only because they have anonymity online.

Many media sites are moving to eliminate anonymous comments and to require approval or moderation at some level. But it is much more difficult to control social- media communication. How can we deal with this?

I myself have received many inappropriate Twitter comments, mostly from unknown users. Before I respond in anger, I take a breath and try to imagine myself in a room with the other person, and what it would feel like to respond face to face. And so I wait until I'm calm, and then reply, or just simply ignore their comments.

We need to move away from anonymity in our social media interactions. Being more open about who we are could make us more self-conscious, and help us all maintain our integrity online.

Technology is freak-ish-ly addictive

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="206"]Evolving Technology Evolving Technology[/caption]

Evolution is a wonderful thing. Start with some initial conditions, put in a need to survive, and evolution will find some of the best solutions possible for survival. If the initial conditions are “I have a product. The audience is not paying attention. Unless they pay attention I will die,” then I will find the most optimum way of taking a non-participating audience and make them involved, make them happy. If not in this generation and this technology then in the next one.

When I was a kid people lamented the fact that folks spent too much time on TV. Like every generation, the old folks told us that we were lazy and stupid, and wasted our time a lot. But hey — it’s not like TV gave you the shakes, or made you sick or killed you. It’s just a bunch of images on a box. Hell, it’s educational. And it’s all voluntary. Nobody makes you spend your time there. If I remember correctly, I spent just as much time out in the yard running around as I did watching TV. But the evolution of media was still young.

Then came video games. Cool little pieces of programming designed to let you spend as much time as possible having fun. Once again, the games that were short or non-addictive died off. Evolution kept evolving games better and better at taking your time and turning it into joy.

Then came the internet. It was like radio was to music — it allowed all of this fun game time to be spent with other people. We can now play dynamic multi-player games with millions of other people around the earth. Instead of hitching the horses to go to the dance, we can flip a switch and see all of our “friends” of FaceBook, MySpace, or a dozen other social networking sites.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="550"]Technology is freak-ish-ly Addictive Technology is freak-ish-ly Addictive[/caption]

Meanwhile, entertainment technology keeps evolving. The sites and games get more and more intricate, fun, time-intensive, and immersive. Rational, normal people have a harder and harder time putting these things down and doing other things. That’s by evolutionary design: the most addictive online content site wins. If it doesn’t keep you attentive even when you should be doing something else, no matter how important the other thing is, another site will come along that will be able to.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="298"]Technology is Heroin Technology is Heroin[/caption]

Technology is Heroin.

It’s still very early. We’re still in the phase of expecting some even better technology to come along and save us from this problem. Programmers are creating “no procrastinate” options for their web sites in order to help users not spend so much time there. Programs are being written to track online time to show users where they are spending all of their energy. The new addictive program will eliminate the ills of the old one.

Meanwhile, people get fatter and fatter, unable to get around or physically accomplish normal chores from a 100 years ago. Intelligence is going down as fewer and fewer books are being read (news flash: the printed book industry is on the way out unless this trend stops), and social organizations like churches and civic clubs see fewer and fewer members attend their meetings. The skills that are increasing? Reflex time. Ability to solve abstract, short-timespan problems. Basically the skills we need to interact with our entertainment. More and more, Indians and Chinese — people coming from cultures who have been shut out of the technical world until recently — are writing software for hardcore western appetites to consume.

Now that sight and sound are covered, new internet appliances promise to offer touch, smell. Locomotion is old hat. Eventually there will be a direct brain interface. There has to be: competitors will become so strong that only by direct brain stimulation will technology be able to continue to evolve.

People say that this is a good thing — as technology evolves we will become trans-human: we will integrate in with machines and be able to process and work a thousand times faster than before.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="352"]Evolving Human along with Technology Evolution of Human along with Technology[/caption]

This may be true. But if so, it would be a side-effect, not a direct result. That’s like saying it’d be great to get hit by a train because you’ve always wanted a train ride. The driver here is the competition between various pieces of technology and brain-time. Whatever controls the most brain-time wins out evolutionarily over any other product, not matter how valuable it might be. World of Warcraft beats Wikipedia hands down. That driver will continue. It’s foolish and pollyannish to think that somehow it’ll all work out. Unless the conditions for the evolving threat cease, it will keep growing and adapting, no matter how much better, stronger, and faster we are.

It’s all happening slowly, much slower than it did with heroin. We don’t have the time-intensive life we once did. Heroin was a simple substance that had immediate, clear effects; this is a process of adaptation and survival that is taking generations. Heroin hit you in the face and still it took 50 years for us to figure it out. This is slowly creeping up our leg and strangling our minds, our souls, millimeter by millimeter, year by year. By the time we figure this one out, it might be too late.

No matter what, it will once again change our definition of what it means to be human.

If you've read this far and you're interested in Agile, you should take my No-frills Agile Tune-up Email Course (on the right top of the site), and follow me on Twitter.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Open Source Career Opportunities Continue to Abound

Regardless of the health of the overall IT job market, open source is one area of the tech market that's always growing. In addition to traditional areas such as scripting languages and server operating systems, mobile app development, the cloud and big data offer new open source opportunities.

In a turbulent economy and an uncertain job market, open source jobs remain a consistent source of career growth for technology professionals. From scripting programming languages to open source server operating system to mobile applications developers, open source continues to offer opportunities for job seekers.

Shravan Goli, president of, offers these statistics based on jobs posted on from August 2012 to August 2013:

  • The number of available jobs for Python programmers grew 22 percent year-over-year, from 3,578 to 4,360.

  • The number of available Ruby on Rails positions grew 15 percent year-over-year from 2,307 to 2,654.

  • While the number of available Perl positions fell from 5,025 to 4,880 (a 3 percent decline year-over-year) and PHP positions remained stable at 3,619 available jobs in 2012 and 3,627 available in August 2013, the numbers show a continued demand for open source developers.

Counting on the Community

Goli says that the open source's community approach to development is what makes it so appealing, because it can accelerate an organization's technology development and adoption.
Open Source Career Opportunities

"Ten years ago, open source was all about Linux and Linux-based technologies," Goli says. "Now, with the cloud, social media, big data and analysis, search and mobile applications all maturing so rapidly, it makes more sense for companies to leverage the community effort to accelerate development and deployment," he says.

Having a community of developers devoted to improving the code and continually adding functionality can help businesses shorten the adoption cycle and more quickly leverage new and emerging technologies to their benefit, Goli says.

"Just think how much impact the Cloud, big data, mobile applications, software-as-a-service (SaaS) models have on business. Companies that can quickly adapt and leverage these technologies will reap the benefits much sooner than those who don't," he says.

Open Source Is Everywhere

"When you look at the technology stack, open source is everywhere, from the front-end -- including newer technologies like HTML5 -- all the way into the middle and the backend server operating systems," Goli says. "Programming languages are certainly one aspect that remains in demand, but search technology, the cloud, big data using Hadoop, security - it's everywhere," he says.

Bret Tartaglino, regional operations manager for Waltham, Mass.-based MSP mindSHIFT Technologies, says many of his clients use open source technologies to not only accelerate technology development, but to get around exorbitant licensing costs.

"For organizations with more than about 20 or so servers, it's much more cost-effective to hire skilled open source developers and pay for their expertise than to pay for proprietary software licenses," Tartaglino says. "Since open source software is freely available, you don't have to pay twice - once to buy software licenses and a second time for personnel with the skills to work with proprietary software," he says.

What Others are Talking about Open Source ?

Watch Exclusive from People about the Career Opportunities in Open Source, GET INSPIRED !