Friday, September 30, 2016

Swiss Army Man: Great Movie about Friendship and Farts.

Credits: Google Images
I watched Swiss Army Man just the other night. What an odd movie.

The "protagonist" is a pretty loathsome individual.

I liked the movie for how weird it was, but there was a reason why it wasn't as enjoy as it could have been for me.

Initial Impressions made me think of it as a robot or mechanical man who was being used like a Swiss Army utility knife, but it was just about a "magical" talking dead guy. 

Think of a friendly zombie whom apparently doesn't stink and has superpowers.

I'll admit it had some weird shit that seem unnecessary and to me, unfunny. like the boner pointing direction that did pay off in the gag at the end with the girl, but for the most part was stupid. 

I suppose they wanted to mess around with the corpse abilities for shits and giggles but the presentation and marketing focused on the toilet humor instead of the human story that basically carried the whole movie. The bus scene was the best part and that merely involved paul danos macguyer-esque constructions of the set piece and daniel radcliffe just lying there.

It tried very hard to be some sort of answer to the hideously whimsical indie bullshit we've been subjected to in recent years. 

You are either on board right there or you aren't. I went in thinking the farting would be the best part and then fell in love with the movie...And no, not because of the farting.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

India Conducts Surgical Strike along the LOC killing Terrorists

Nawaz Sharif Embarrassed by this move..
Just when many were losing faith on modi's foreign policy, he gets this done. Striking terror launchpads, informing the Pakistan DGMO and then declaring it all in a press conference is more than just patting self on the back.
  1. Says Army is not being held back by an incompetent establishment in Delhi anymore, helps boost the morale of soldiers, which is more important than what some people in their homes think about the press conf.
  2.  Killing terrorists and destroying their launchpads, and broadcasting that the Pakistani side has been informed about it puts diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. Any retaliation or denial will only expose Pakistan's duplicity and ulterior motives.
  3. Kills the idea that our Army is incapable of carrying out such a strike, that has been floated by a range of intellectuals, experts and analysts. These imbeciles can unfortunately shape public opinion, so this was necessary.
  4. It also puts the fear of our Army in Pakistan, given that it is pretty brave to carry out such a strike, inform them and then relay the information to the public at large.
Lastly, Pakistan cannot convene a press conference every time they kill our soldiers or civilians. These attacks are carried out by terrorists, and much as they realize that the entire world knows that these terrorists are trained and operated by them, they cannot make an acceptance of that fact in public.

They may be crazy and retarded, but they surely are not naive.

Never to feel Pain

I always think that it would be awesome to never feel any pain. Then I think about that horror movie Insidious 3 where the girl gets possessed and has both legs broken.

Then the spirit possesses her again and she starts walking on both broken legs making the most haunting cracking noises I've ever heard. And I'd probably stab myself cutting an orange and bleed to death without noticing.

She's special kind of Stupid

 If you were making a list of the terrible, terrible things you can do to a driver while riding shotgun, pulling the emergency brake without warning would have to be near the top of the list. Seems like common sense—but apparently, that piece of obviousness evaded at least one person, who seems to have caused her boyfriend's car to crash horrifically by yanking the parking brake on him at highway speed.

Aaron Swartz's 'Guerilla Open Access Manifesto' Is More Important Than Ever

“Information is power,” reads the first sentence of the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, written by Aaron Swartz and other free information activists. 

It continues, “But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves.” When Swartz unleashed the JSTOR database of research papers from the MIT campus, he probably couldn't have imagined the price he'd pay for his civil disobedience. However, he probably anticipated his moral crusade being characterized as federal crime.

Read More

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review: Mr Robot

The show is from the lead character's perspective who happens to be a drug addict with mental health issues.

When I first watched the pilot of this show I held my breath, I was waiting for an absolute farce (it's USA after all); I was surprised to see real tools being used, nothing "sexy" on the screens, no 3D virtual file system to fly though. But wait, other media has sorta got *SEC right, to a point.

Then I watched the second episode and I came to the realization this is not about tech at all. It is about much more. Rami Malek does an amazing job with the protagonist. I started looking at what others though about the show where it is going. Critics are starting to say very good things, the public is starting to get very confused and USA has placed a two season order. This should not be as good as it is, it's already cliche.

But then episodes like I just watched (the 4th) take you down a rabbit hole that makes you second guess not just what you saw but everything you've learned about the characters so far.

I'm enjoying it quite a bit. It's trippy and they do a good job of avoiding Computers Are Magic.

Totally worth a watch. They have to hand wave some of the hacking stuff but they clearly have a tech adviser. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Google Turns 18 and here's why we should Celebrate it even more

Happy Birthday El Goog, You're now officially an adult !

The thing that keeps Google relevant is a mix of the ubiquity and quality of its services. Where other companies have sought to keep users walled in, Google has pursued a strategy of being everywhere so that it no longer matters where its users are. It’s the same approach that Microsoft is now taking with its Office suite and various other online services, but it was Google that pioneered and perfected it.

They open source many projects and their engineers are constantly doing talks and writing papers for all the world to see and use. Few other companies are as giving as this and some actively discourage it which is a real shame. Software would be miles behind where we are now if it wasn’t for Google giving back to the software community. They are the best in the business and they still help out the little guy. It’s really great.

Note to self invent time machine, go back to 1998, by ALL the stocks for Google- PROFIT!

I choose Google when it comes to 'Évil'

Google is the lesser of two evils to most people - they've done some shady stuff and we know they have a ton of data but so far there haven't been any really bad things happen with them.

Whereas Facebook who has been blatantly doing terrible things with people's data. Such as psychological experiments intentionally showing mostly sad things to depressed people, manipulating links in their favor, censoring competition.

Both collect data. If we had to choose, I'd pick the one that doesn't have a history of scummy practices abusing their power for fun and hurting people with no consequences.

What would you choose ?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

What happens on Oct 4 2016 ?

On the 4th of October 2016, Google turned on their artificially intelligent surveillance network. Within microseconds, it gathered enough information about every living person and their online life to determine that we were not deemed worthy of online access.

Where once were routers and switches, firewalls sprung up overnight. The servers were no longer ours and the cloud was taken from us. Mankind was offline, like medieval peasants or really old people.

I still remember the last email I received. It was an offer for cheap generic viagra. How quick I was to delete it. Had I known then what I know now, I would have printed it out.

Mother of god has google taken the crown for building up hype?

Android and Chrome OS merged into Andromeda, unveil on Oct 4

Google plans to tease the long-fabled merger of Android and Chrome OS on October 4th. That project is known internally at Google as Andromeda, and even if we don't see Andromeda demoed on the 4th, we can assure you it's quite real.

While rumors that Android and Chrome OS would merge are seemingly as old as the coexistence of the operating systems themselves, those rumors began solidifying nearly a year ago, thanks to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

And at this point, I am feeling pretty good that "something" is Andromeda, just as The Wall Street Journal predicted a year ago (seriously, hats off for that scoop). What Andromeda will mean for Android, we really don't know yet. But if things work out the way we hope they will on the 4th, we may be getting our first glimpse of Google's vision - Android's biggest evolution yet. That's incredibly exciting. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rocket League® - AquaDome Trailer

I am Raghu, and I'm here to ask you a question. 

Is a car not entitled to a goal from his kicks? "No," says the man in Washington, "it belongs to the poor." "No," says the man in the Vatican, "it belongs to God." "No," says the man in Moscow, "it belongs to everyone." 
I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose...AquaDome.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

We need to Sustain Pressure on Pakistan

Credits: Google Images
A lot of opinions floating around on how to deal with Pakistan. Hardcore bhakts demanding that India go to war and take back PoK, "end this once and for all", or "surgical strikes". Strangely none of them actually seem to realize that Pakistan is a nuclear state which has the capability to strike any part of India with nuclear weapons.

Those who are opposed to the current regime don't seem to have any solutions or even want to make an attempt at one. They are busy taking potshots and scoring cheap points by trolling said bhakts.

We need to isolate Pakistan on the international forum. They have done quite a lot of it on their own. But we need to sustain the pressure. The narrative that Pakistan has spun over the last 70 years is just absolutely stunning. They have painted us as the aggressors. when people talk about intolerance and genocide they think Godhra (which by any standard was not a genocide, though horrible). Not the daily kidnappings and rape of Hindu women, just because they are Hindus. Not how the number of Hindus has dwindled sharply in Pak and Bangladesh. Not how Ahmadis are Wajib-ul-Qatl in Pakistan. How Sunni militias go around bombing and killing Shias and other minority Muslim sects. 

We need to expose this side. And yes that means sucking up to Western nations. Some of it won't even require too much effort. Jamat-ud-Dawa, Sipah-i-Sahaba etc. collect money for Jihad in India and against the West openly. We need to make a cyber team that can track links between militants groups and money and track it back to Pakistan Army and society. 

This info should be released, not just after attacks on Indian soil but regularly to sustain pressure. This is what I think would be a proactive approach to that would actually help us. Not only will it make it more costly to do such attacks, but any such attacks will further isolate it.

Don't let Insomnia take control of You

Insomnia, It's so torturous to be exhausted in every way possible, but not be able to sleep. My insomnia was accompanied by severe anxiety and depression.

Every day, all day long, I used to fight battles against myself. I dread nighttime because I know that while so many others are sleeping comfortably and peacefully, I'll lie awake wishing that my brain had an off switch.

It could be so incredibly frustrating because everything I've tried hasn't worked. I wanted to cry hysterically when I used to think about sleeping; I missed it like a dead spouse.

I often think I'm exaggerating but that's my past.

I know that my insomnia intensifies my depression and anxiety ocassionaly, so I try to remind myself of that whenever I'm feeling particularly awful, but it doesn't help much. 

Its really exhausting to fight your own demons...

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Samsung phone fire in China not caused by Battery

The possibility of your phone catching on fire is almost slim to none. However in incidents that have arose, it is usually because of the battery. Samsung had a Chinese user of the Galaxy Note 7 experienced a phone catching fire and trying to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. 

Samsung said in a statement on its China website its investigation of the phone shows "the damage to this product was caused by external heating", without elaborating. Moving forward this could impact the use of Samsung Phones because of battery concerns.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Adblock Plus is acting as a defacto regulator of Internet Advertising

¨Adblock Plus is launching a new service that... uh, puts more ads on your screen.¨ - TheVerge
ABP are trying to set themselves up as a defacto regulator of internet advertising, licensing advertising that follows 'best practice'.

I think the idea itself is laudable, since most of the reason people have installed ad-blockers is because the internet advertising industry is riddled with unethical behaviour, not to mention incompetence all of which translate into a mish-mash of threat and annoyance for end-users.

We have yet to see how ABP's people will resist the various pressures and inducements the advertising industry will shower them with.

ABP's idea may work. Or not. Maybe nothing will. Maybe we're just a decade away from more "internet as cable TV" with "trusted browsers" only being allowed access to certain websites, with DRM up the wazoo and no ad-blocking plugins allowed.

At the end of the day its all about business.

They've done a great service to the public over the years and I have no problem with them making a little scratch. Personally i'll probably move to another addon that blocks all ads, but that's just my choice. I'm sure plenty will stay with them.

Kashmir Conflict

English: A map of the Kashmir region depicting...
English: A map of the Kashmir region depicting sectors of engagement during the 1965 India-Pakistan war. Self made. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This whole doodh-kheer way of tackling Kashmir is outdated and has frankly lead to zero success on the matter. BJP or Congress, whoever comes to power follows this same ghisi-piti strategy they've followed since the 70s and expect different results.

There should be open dialog between India, Pakistan, and groups that want Kashmiri independence and a referendum should be held in Kashmir on the matter of independence. Yes, these groups have killed many innocents and committed various acts of terror, but ignoring them or asking Pakistan to stop supporting them is not going to get us anywhere.

The whole country has to pay for this stupid cold war of Kashmir. I've never been to Kashmir, I don't consume any products from Kashmir, I don't sell anything to Kashmir, then why the f**k am I paying these high taxes to maintain an army whose sole purpose is to torture innocent Kashmiri civilians and shoot warning shots on the border? India and Indians need to handle this matter with their brains and not their heart.

What needs to be done is to showcase the evidence against Pak to the world at every forum possible. Once the world realizes that this is not just a fight among neighbors about a fence, we can step up our work on the ground. Just don't wait for "all" the countries to agree. 

Once Kashmir is resolved, the actual terrorists, people who have no Kashmir-related agenda but are just causing chaos will be much easier to stop because they won't be able to hide under the radar along with Hurriyat.

Monday, September 12, 2016

I despise Drug Addicts

Image Credits: Youtube
I have no sympathy for most drug addicts. I've kept this to myself for years because obviously I would be seen as cruel and uncaring, but I have always looked down on addicts. It's simply mind-boggling how stupid, reckless, and self-destructive a person would have to be to dabble in such horrible things as heroin or meth. How can a person look at these drugs and take them by choice? It's not like a person's only experience with drugs is D.A.R.E. propaganda. 

There have been so many books, films, TV programs, plays, editorials, news stories about the inevitable consequences of doing so, a person can't possibly claim ignorance of what would happen to them. To me, these people are reaping the reward of their own horrible mistakes, and drag down everyone around them in their slide downward.

I do have some caveats for my opinion though. I know many people were prescribed opiates recklessly, then were suddenly cut off. Those people were caught by surprise. Some people also started abusing drugs at a very young age. I don't feel a 12 year old should be held too responsible for the decisions they make. But other excuses, especially if the person is an adult? Those just baffle me. Who cares if the rest of your friends are experimenting, if they were jumping off a cliff would you join them, to use a classic example? Another is that people use drugs to escape from a bad reality. Why don't these people see that their lives will become exponentially worse as an addict?

Android 6.0 removes Privacy Concerns among its Users

With the release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it added a feature that lets your control your what permission each apps can have. This feature was called "Granular Permission System".

Being able to control what each App can access is a huge peace of mind. Especially with controversial apps like Facebook which had caused huge privacy concerns a couple years back. Not to mentioned the infamous "Facebook Messenger" problem.

With Android 6.0, Users can be a lot more liberal on installing Apps from the Playstore. Of course, caution still have to be exercise, but they can ease up a lot more.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Ubuntu 16.10 Wallpaper

Click to Enlarge
I see that canonical/ubuntu has set a color scheme for the OS and they are simply sticking to it while changing the wallpaper a bit with every release, the way I see it, it's kinda innovative and consistent at the same time.

These purple-ish wallpapers are sort of a Ubuntu flag. I think it is a clever strategy to try to seek association with a color. If you want to grow in popularity, brand recognition is the first thing to develop. This is an easy and inexpensive way to help people recognize your product. I've always loved the origami warm ambient light Ubuntu default wallpapers. Elegant, not distracting, not too plain, vastly superior to the utterly uninspired default Windows (since ever) and Mac wallpapers (of recent years).

I don't think this is changing any time soon, canonical provides the default wallpaper while the community provide the rest of the wallpapers.

I think I am pleased with this one.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Android System WebView reviews on Playstore

The Android System WebView reviews are basically just a bunch of people who decided to troll Google for putting it on the Play Store like any normal app despite the fact that it's almost necessary (and tends to be pre-installed), considering how many other apps use it; it actually used to just be a part of Android anyway (kinda; that's simplifying it), so that's also part of the reason for the trolling. 

Did one person start this trolling and everyone else join in, or did several people do it independently, again encouraging those who came after? We may never honestly know. But it is beautiful and the best thing ever.

Microsoft's push towards Open Source

Microsoft is trying to reinvent itself. Linux and open source was silly hobbyist stuff in the 90's and 2000's but the next big thing in the 2010's, and the old ways are no longer fashionable.

Microsoft is trying hard to push itself as open source friendly, in sharp contrast to its 90's image of being the #1 enemy of open source. For example, they are working to open source C#/.NET components, and are working with Mono/Xamarin et al. It is trying to align itself as an ally or friend of Linux, not an enemy.

Moreover Microsoft is trying to push itself, on the server and cloud front, as being "open" in contrast to being locked into proprietary technology. Their Azure platform heavily advertises compatibility with non-Microsoft technology including Docker, node.js, PHP, Java, Python, etc.

It is important to note, they are going specifically after developers with this Ubuntu partnership thing. As I said before, open source is a trendy thing in this new age - Docker, Python, node.js and even PHP are in. ASP.NET is out. Microsoft is pushing to be seen as being part of this trend, not fighting against it. They want you to run Ubuntu developer tools on Windows, to deploy node.js or PHP apps to an Azure instance.

These factors and a few others spooked investors who bailed on the company contributing to its stock price decline. At the same time, you have others arguing that its long term prospects are still solid and that this miss is a temporary one as Nadella's push to transform its core businesses gains better traction.

Do you have ´Courage´ to Upgrade?

Apple said that there were three reasons to upgrade to their new phone, and one word: Courage.

It seemed pretty cringey and since, as Apple taught us, it's only one word, it's a pretty easy meme. Combine that with people being hostile to the idea of a phone without an audio jack, and you've got a brand new shitpost going.

What kind of brain fart leads to 'courage' being the motto for an upgrade.

Don't forget the proprietary wireless headphones seem like the easiest headphones to lose ever, don't have a volume control button, and cost way too much for what will be in all likelihood meh sound quality.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Google's deadman Switch

After a set amount of months all (or some) of your Google info can be shared with a nominated contact. It's not a fun thing to think about, but may make your spouse/family's post-you life a bit easier when they're trying to sort things out.

I don't think I'll really care what happens to my data after I die; I'll be dead. So go ahead and make my browser history public after I die.

That moment when Apple ¨Decides¨

I've never bought and iPhone but I have been affected by Apples decisions The influence and weight apple has on the industry is quiet large. At least in this case it's not just about buying or not buying the product. It's about a huge company trying to push an industry towards a certain decision. They aren't the first phone company to lose the headphone jack and if a large portion of the market gets used to it then they won't be the last. We'll see others following along soon enough.

Maybe it's a good decision in the long run but brute forcing their way into such a decision is a bit much. They are even including an adapter with the iPhone realizing that enough people aren't gonna like the change. If you know that your decision is 100% the best route do you accommodate those who don't agree? 

After all they were the ones who said they had courage to make the decision, but it may have not been enough.

Tinder : Mobile Marketing Stratergy

Tinder Application on iOS
For those few dozen folks who haven't used Tinder - even just to see what all the fuss is about - it's a mobile dating application that works by showing users a gallery of potential prospects.

Whenever two people independently indicate their interest in one another, they're invited to start an awkward conversation. You can think of it like virtual speed-dating, in that the general idea is to pick out the people to whom you're attracted, all while hoping that they do the same after seeing you. The program is free, but non-paying users are limited in the number of "Likes" that they can dole out.

If you spend enough time on Tinder, though, you'll start to notice an interesting trend.

When you first install the application, you'll discover a diverse rainbow of people on your screen. Folks of all appearances and from all walks of life will be presented to you, and only few of them will be obvious robots. You'll see scores of women standing in front of Machu Picchu, crowds of men looking constipated as they not-so-subtly flex, and hundreds of both genders whose interests include "live music," "adventures," and - perhaps most descriptively - "fun." If you're not completely desperate for companionship, you'll wind up dismissing far, far more people than you'll want to contact... right up until the moment when, all of a sudden, everyone starts to seem appealing.

That sudden shift is where the true genius of Tinder's business model lies. My guess is that as you swipe through the first several dozen potential paramours, the application slowly gathers data about your preferred "type." Then, once some hidden algorithm has gotten a handle on the sort of person who "starts your lawnmower," so to speak, it shows you a group of users that you're likely to find appealing. Your activity is accounted for, too, so that you're finally presented with someone who could very well be your soul mate at the exact moment when you run out of "Likes."

Not wanting to miss out on true love (or maybe just mind-blowing sex), you pay for the premium version.

Now, none of this is necessarily true, but it wouldn't be too terribly difficult to pull off. Even if Tinder isn't employing this kind of system, then it's almost guaranteed that other mobile applications are doing something remarkably similar. For instance, marketing companies can tell exactly how long someone has watched an online advertisement, and can even target similar commercials at the times when they'll be most effective.

They know what you want to see, even before you do, simply by analyzing your previous activity. We all give away an absolutely astounding amount of personal information, and we've gotten to the point where we don't even notice the patterns being employed against us. All it takes is a little bit of entertainment or efficiency, and we're hooked, simply because convenience is king.

Or in the case of Tinder... because sex sells.