Sunday, June 24, 2007

Apple: fishy fishy...

Earlier this month Apple released Safari for Windows. Why this sudden generosity from Apple? Why did Apple suddenly jump into the browser market.. I mean sure Apple had its browser on the market for a long time but it was more of a passive player. Even the most ardent apple fanboys used firefox on Macs. The great Stevo himself confessed that he used firefox, so why put all the time and effort porting the browser to a different platform??

At the WWDC Steve Jobs mentioned that they would like to have a sizable market share in the browser market. In fact he predicts that IE7 and Safari would be the only two browsers left in the market. Call me a conspiracy theorist.. but I think thats a load of crap. Knowing Mr Jobs, I don't think he had the browser market on his mind. If you have a Windows installation, give safari a shot and you'll know what am talking about.

Safari on Windows is definitely faster than Firefox and IE. I am a huge Firefox fan but the superkewl interface of Safari makes me wanna boot into Windows. Although the font rendering is not crisp, just the speed and Apple's zen like interface designing approach makes browsing a totally different experience. To top it all, apple went through all the trouble of retaining the tiny special effects like rollover in their browser. I have a big appetite for effects and beryl on Ubuntu takes care of that pretty well but you gotta give Apple the credit for putting those effects where its least intrusive and least expected.

90%(maybe more) of the Windows crowd do not have access to a Mac and have never heard of Linux. By providing a windows app, Apple is using Microsoft to advertise its technology. These simple effects are enough to blow the socks off any casual Windows user. Most computer users just want an eye candy pc for browsing or word processing... Apple computers do that and look good too. An app as simple as a browser showcases Apple's technology and their capability. Its a perfect setup to woo Windows users. In my opinion Apple's not eying the browser market.. but the OS market. The timing couldn't be better.. MS is trying to change its product line and challenge Google. We are witnessing a clash of titans, Google, MS and Apple. The evil geniuses of Bill Gates and Jobs, and the combined minds of thousands of geniuses employed by Google makes the outcome totally unpredictable.

I guess we can grab our bag of popcorns and watch the show.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

American Television...

After 6 years of spartan college life, I finally have a television set in my room. Now torrents and few online video websites are all that I need to cure my video itch, but I decided to give this hassle free medium a shot. I have been watching television for about 20 days now and I get about 75 channel. Here's my analysis:
  • 25% of the channels are in languages that I don't understand.
  • There is a 99.9% probability that Discovery channel will show either the Mythbusters  or Man Vs Wild
  • FOX and TBS will only show reruns of popular old sitcoms.
  • Rest of the channels will air some sort reality shows.
What irritates me the most is the sheer volume of Apprentice type shows. In the past 3 weeks I have seen numerous shows; 3 of them with cooking theme (Hell's kitchen, Top Chef and some stuff on the Food channel), one to select a hair dresser (Sheer genius), one with movie direction as a theme (the contestants make their own short movies), yet another one shows a contest between two set of ladies in their 20s and 40s to win a guy in his 30s.. the list is endless. Another show (America's got talent) takes stupidity to a whole new level by allowing the contestants to do anything they like.. how one can compare a song, a dance and a standup is beyond me.. they lie on a argand plane, they are too complex disciplines to be compared. Just today on the same show, an old lady in her 80s sang a classical song and a guy from Pakistan danced to bollywood tunes.. how do you compare them??

And what's with the advertisements!! they are almost as long as the show itself and the amount of bullshit in the ads needs another blog entry altogether. Hybrids are shown as if they are going to solve all the world's pollution problem in a jiffy.. no mention of the pollution caused by the manufacture and disposal of the Li-ion batteries, has its own stupid "The Algorithm" advertisement... let the app speak for itself, Home Depot encouraging minors to gift their dads on father's day!! take a look at their inventory. How is a 10 year old supposed to get money to buy his dad a GPS device or a gift card to buy it??

For the past six years, I have been watching pure, unadulterated, pirated video.. I guess this is the reason why most people pirate media even after being able to afford it. I hope the Cable TV folks learn their lessons fast, the end user now is not as stupid as he used to be...

Friday, June 08, 2007

My way of saying "I Hate You"

I never intended this blog to be too public. Just known amongst the inner circle.. seemed like a good way for people to know me. The problem arose when I didn't want people I know to know me.
I hate when people read this blog and evaluate me after reading just a single entry. I never had to slander anyone till now but the realization that I can't do it on my blog robs away my sense of independence and freedom.

For the past few days, I have been mulling over this problem. I was consciously trying to avoid posts that will hurt certain segments of the society or adversely effect me. It's certainly may be categorized as "unethical". But I guess it's wise to not say anything rather than let the world know what/who you hate. So folks if you think that I should be writing about something and am not.. then in all probability I am not fond of it.(to put it mildly)... and yeah.. I have another blog which I use to vent out my frustration.. something like going into the woods and shouting out loud.

Can you hear the screaming silence??

Friday, June 01, 2007

The end of the beginning..

My academic life has now supposedly ended.. you know with me graduating and all... I have moved to Santa Clara and would be working for Mailshell. Hopefully I will not succumb to the complacency or frustration that I have seen so many people succumb to after stepping into the real world. Anyway.. This entry is dedicated to people who influenced my life in Syracuse and have a big hand in what I am and who I am:

Dr Marc Howard: There are really few people on earth who don't judge a person by their past(I mean work experience.. not parole history :P) but what they are. He is one such guy. People want experience, they want something on paper.. something that speaks of your achievement. When I met him I had none.. During the initial interview.. my answers to almost all his questions were: "I dont know".. I was hired.. probably because our shared hatred for microsoft, because I loved Linux, because I was a vegetarian, because I was a coder stuck in a food court job.. I dont know the reason. Frankly I thought that I did not fit in well.. I had no knack for cognitive mathematical research(although was interested in it), but somehow he always found me something that I was interested in doing and something I was good at doing. I worked with him for an year and met some most amazing people; Vinayak, Vijay, Jennifer, Donna.. they were all gurus in their field and kept Memlab machinery running smoothly.. Dr Howard if you are reading this: Thank you for being there...

Dr Wenliang(Kevin) Du: I worked as a research assistant under him for an year and it was a rocking year. One after another, the super kewl projects kept my adrenaline levels insane. Remember when you were a kid and you so badly wanted that bike or that GI Joe set or that comics.. remember how you felt when you got them; I felt the same about the projects I did(that I wanted to do). Dr Du gave me direction.. I always wanted to do the projects I did for him, but when he sponsored my 2 semesters in Syracuse University, paid me stipend, I didn't have to worry about anything else.. I just did what I loved to do. My lab became my haven, a utopian land where nothing went wrong.. life was too good. Thanks alot Dr Du for letting me play with what I loved to do and building my resume on the way.

Dr Per Brinch Hansen: Now I have already written loads on him so wont overdo it. He reminded me of two professors, Mr ATC and Mr Sridhar M, of my undergraduate college. You know what the common thing amongst all three is: Every one suggests not to take their courses, most of the people who take their courses have their ego hurt and hate them(some open hate groups), all three are considered difficult... but I liked all three of them, they were excellent teachers, and somehow I didn't find them that strict and found their courses extremely easy contrary to the popular belief, all three of them helped me alot in my career. It was an honor being his student and that too in the last compiler design class he taught.

Dr Jim Fawcett: Most people in Syracuse University would brand me as a hypocrite if I say that I am a "Fawcett Fan".. The word "Fawcett" has become an adjective in Syracuse University. There are Fawcett courses, Fawcett Fan club, Fawcett quotes.. etc etc. I know people who take all the courses he offers (8 I think).. I took two of them and really loved the Object oriented Design course. IMHO It should be made a core course. The mere fact that I just took only two of his courses and I work on Linux, causes many guys to think that I am not a "Fawcett fan".. but I am. I have never in my life seen such an energetic person with so much industrial and academic experience. What is more interesting is that he is really affable and can teach the a dimwit to write the most elegant C++ code. Dr Fawcett.. I salute you .. and I am a "Fawcett Fan" for life :)

Syracuse University: Lastly I would like to thank my alma mater. After all I met the afore mentioned people here. The infrastructure here is aeons of geological time ahead of any place I have been. It gives your own niche. You can find people to "Party" and you can find people to "geek out" with you. Almost any legal activity you can think of, you can do it in SU.. for free. Man.. I love that place.

PS: Click on the first and the last photos to view pictures in the related sets.