rakhesh shows …

February 28, 2006

Multi-Booting the Solaris 10 OS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows on a Laptop

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 4:58 pm

Sometime I plan to do this. On my brand new Seagate 300GB (woohoo!) external hard disk. Taking a print of this article for  reading then. §


February 22, 2006

Funny ad!

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:10 am

If you understand Hindi, check out this ad. §

February 21, 2006

MarkShuttleworth – Ubuntu Wiki

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 1:12 pm

Why do I do Ubuntu?

To fix bug [WWW] #1 of course. I believe that free software brings us into a new era of technology, and holds the promise of universal access to the tools of the digital era. I drive Ubuntu because I would like to see that promise delivered as reality. §

Nice read.

Humans: the survivors

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 10:16 am

The popular view of our ancient ancestors as hunters who conquered all in their way is wrong, researchers have told a major US science conference. §

Turns out its possible that early humans might not have been hunters; rather, they were hunted by other species and thus evolved to become more co-operative and take care of themselves. Its funny this article mentions that you know, coz I do remember reading somewhere that man is such a fickle puny two legged creature and yet its somehow managed to outwit all other species. Guess this is how we managed to be survivors. :) And I guess that’s why there’s such a big emphasis on social life and behaving properly in society and being extrovertish and social etc.

February 20, 2006

Retinal Detachment

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 10:13 am

The sudden appearance of spots or flashes can indicate a tear in the retina. A sudden increase in the number and size of floaters may also be a warning that the retina is tearing. This is sometimes referred to as a "shower of floaters."  § §

I don’t want to write much about this (personal reasons), but I’d like to point out readers to the concept of Retinal Detachment. Its something we must all be aware of. I wasn’t aware of it until about 2 years back, and as far as I know most of my friends/ foes aren’t either. 

How to Suck up to a Blogger

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:41 am

Blogging has flipped traditional PR on its head. It used to be that ink begat buzz. Life was simple then: you sucked up to the Wall Street Journal, one of its reporters wrote about your product, and the buzz began.

Nowadays buzz begets ink. Journalists no longer anticipate or create buzz–rather, they react to it: “Everyone is buzzing about FaceBook. There must be something to this, so I had better write a story about it.” This role reversal has fried people’s minds.

The latest development is that blogs beget buzz. Blogs have changed everything because they represent a cheap, effective podium for creating buzz on a massive scale. Technorati provides an easy way to identify the A-listers, so all you have to do is attract the most influential bloggers. Here is a guide to the process. §

A nice post by Guy Kawasaki. I found it funny that I was thinking alone these lines the past few days (coz I have been thinking about blogging in general), and also that I touched upon it very briefly and vaguely in my earlier post; and now I find other people too to be talking about it. :) And even funnier is that one of the other things I had thought about these past few days was whether I should continue having two blogs or not; and now I find that that too is being talked about a lot recently. Interesting. Seems there’s a common "idea pool" somewhere up in the Universe. 


Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:07 am

BlogBurst is an opt-in wire service for bloggers and publishers.

1. You sign up and tell us about your blog, then blog as usual

2. We promote your blog in our publisher workbench

3. Our top-tier publishers display your blog content on their sites

4. Clicks on your byline drive new traffic to your blog §

Hmm, so now we have blogs “bursting” out into news papers too. I guess its good for the bloggers coz most blogs are like anyways mini-publications nowadays. With a lot of thought being given into design and content and comments and stuff like that. For me, blogging is a pastime. When I am bored and there’s nothing much to do, and I have net access and I am reading up blogs — then I go ahead and write a post or few. But for most others, its a very serious activity — so this should be a Good Thing for most bloggers.

February 19, 2006

Botnet Master interviewed

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:55 pm

Hacked, remote-controlled home computers, known as robots or "bots," and large groups of robot networks like the one 0x80 runs — called "botnets" — are the souped-up cyber engines driving nearly all criminal commerce on the Internet. Botnets are used to relay millions of pieces of junk e-mail, or spam, touting everything from cheap Viagra to get-rich-quick business schemes. And the botmasters who control these computer networks are at the heart of ominous and increasingly common online shakedowns known as "denial of service attacks." In such an attack, Web gangsters demand tens of thousands of dollars in protection money from businesses. If the businesses refuse to pay, the criminals order the thousands of computers that make up their botnets to flood the Web sites with meaningless traffic, crippling the businesses and costing them thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. §

Its long and I skimmed through fast from around the middle; nevertheless, its a must read. 

New mobo == New comp

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:51 pm

An upgrade of the motherboard is considered to result in a "new personal computer" to which Microsoft® OEM operating system software cannot be transferred from another computer. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created and the license of new operating system software is required. §

Hehee! That’s funny! :)

Bird Flu

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:44 pm

I am watching Oprah on Star World. Tonight’s show is about bird flu. Some expert is talking about how we should all be prepared; and while the situation does look hopeless, we can make it a hopeful one by being prepared — knowing about the problem, planning ahead on how we would deal with situations like tonnes of dead bodies and patients needing medical aid, etc etc.

I seem be reading/ talking about bird flu all the way since yesterday. My mom warned me yesterday afternoon to refrain from eating chicken. Seems a couple of our family friends have stopped having chicken dishes coz of bird flu, and she was telling me too to do the same. So as I do when I am confronted with something I don’t have much info on, I did a search on Google and read some pages on bird flu. And now I am more knowledgeable about it.

WHO Fact Sheet: for a comprehensive info on what bird flu is all about.

Of the 15 avian influenza virus subtypes, H5N1 is of particular concern for several reasons. H5N1 mutates rapidly and has a documented propensity to acquire genes from viruses infecting other animal species. Its ability to cause severe disease in humans has now been documented on two occasions. In addition, laboratory studies have demonstrated that isolates from this virus have a high pathogenicity and can cause severe disease in humans. Birds that survive infection excrete virus for at least 10 days, orally and in faeces, thus facilitating further spread at live poultry markets and by migratory birds.

The epidemic of highly pathogenic avian influenza caused by H5N1, which began in mid-December 2003 in the Republic of Korea and is now being seen in other Asian countries, is therefore of particular public health concern. H5N1 variants demonstrated a capacity to directly infect humans in 1997, and have done so again in Viet Nam in January 2004. The spread of infection in birds increases the opportunities for direct infection of humans. If more humans become infected over time, the likelihood also increases that humans, if concurrently infected with human and avian influenza strains, could serve as the “mixing vessel” for the emergence of a novel subtype with sufficient human genes to be easily transmitted from person to person. Such an event would mark the start of an influenza pandemic.

Based on historical patterns, influenza pandemics can be expected to occur, on average, three to four times each century when new virus subtypes emerge and are readily transmitted from person to person. However, the occurrence of influenza pandemics is unpredictable. In the 20th century, the great influenza pandemic of 1918–1919, which caused an estimated 40 to 50 million deaths worldwide, was followed by pandemics in 1957–1958 and 1968–1969.

Experts agree that another influenza pandemic is inevitable and possibly imminent.

MSNBC.com readers ask about bird flu. Turns out eating chicken doesn’t spead bird flu — or atleast there haven’t been any reported cases of that so far.

Some more questions and answers on bird flu.

And … (I like this one coz I am hand-washing obsessed) the best defense against bird flu is to regularly wash your hand and have a good personal hygiene. :) 

I wonder what’s going to happen … 

Full Circle with Open Source

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 7:45 pm

If we treat open source like a commodity to be exploited, rather than as a community to be nurtured, we’ll soon find that both the words “open source” and the substance behind them will be dissipated. But for now, we need to keep moving to a point where we can extract more value (read: dollars) from the trend so that we can foster more of it. More money = more development. Up to a point. §

A very nice post from Matt Asay. :)

I read one of the links he cites in the post: another interesting read.

The truth is, according to Love, nothing is for free. “Someone must pay for it. All these small modifications in the code… all this does cost money. To bring it to the point: The only way to make Linux a successful business is to cash in. This is the other side of the medal. In the future, all Linux applications will have a price tag. That’s the job of the movement’s marketing department. You will have to pay for it, but of course less than you would pay for NT products because one thing is clear: our main competitor is Microsoft.” §

Human Chimera

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 6:22 pm

The Chimera is primarily known as a creature of Greek legend – a fire-breathing monster with parts of a goat and a lion with a serpent for a tail. In biology the term has come to refer to any organism that contains more than one set of genes. There are chimera African violets, where the core of the plant is genetically distinct from the outer layers. Animal chimeras, or mosaics, as they can also be called, don’t usually divide so neatly.

The most common form of human chimera is called a blood chimera. This happens when fraternal twins share some portion of the same placenta. Blood and blood-forming tissue is exchanged, and takes up residence in the bone marrow. Each twin is genetically separate except for their blood, which has two distinct sets of genes, and even two distinct blood types. Up to 8% of fraternal twins are blood chimeras, and as the incidence of fraternal twins in the general populace increases with the popularity of in vitro fertilization, the number of blood chimeras should rise proportionately. §

All I knew about Chimeras till date was that it was the codename of the drug or something in Mission Impossible: II. :) Interesting stuff.

This and the previous post via Damn Interesting.

The Crypt of Civilization

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 6:08 pm

In the basement of Phoebe Hearst Hall at Oglethorpe University in Georgia, there is a stainless steel vault door which was welded shut over sixty five years ago. Behind this door lies a 20′ x 10′ waterproofed room containing a menagerie of once-modern artifacts and microfilm records, placed there by men and women in the years between 1937 and 1940. If their goal is realized, the contents of this vault will remain unseen and undisturbed for the next 6,107 years. This ambitious project, which began in the dawn of the Second World War, is known as the Crypt of Civilization; it represents the first concerted effort to collect and preserve a snapshot of human civilization and technology. Though the term had not yet been coined at its inception, it was the first modern time capsule. §

Cool! Now that was news to me! A vault that’s going to be opened 6,107 years in the future … wowow! (That’s to digg for this link. Must say, digg does dig up a lot of good links!) :)

Ubuntu DapperFlight4 released!

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 6:05 pm

This week brings us Dapper Flight 4, the fourth alpha release of Ubuntu 6.04 – The Dapper Drake. Dapper Flight 4 is the product of over 3 months of tremendous effort to mold the latest and greatest software the Open Source community has to offer into a coherent easy to use whole. The most significant milestone for Dapper Flight 4 is the UVF (Upstream Version Freeze). Aside from a few exceptions such as GNOME 2.14 and Espresso, most of what is in Dapper now is what will be in the final release in April. Let’s take a look at what you are going to get. §

I think I’ll download the install CD tonight and give it a whirl on my new laptop (whenver I buy that, that is. Hehehe!).

Scratchproof CDs

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 5:37 pm

One of the most frustrating things about CDs and DVDs is that one bad scratch can render them worthless. Now a Denver startup called Scratch-Less Disc is marketing a version that can be clawed at, dropped–even smeared with peanut butter–and still play like new. To protect their playing surfaces, the discs are made with aerodynamic bumpers around the edges and a clear 4-micron layer of a polymer developed by General Electric. §


Creators, Synthesizers, and Consumers

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 4:30 pm

In the new paradigm of “programming” where there are a million things on at any instant, we’re going to need some new and different models of directing our attention. In the transition from atoms-to-bits, scarcity-to-plenty, etc. instead of some cigar-puffing fat-cat at a studio or label “stoking the star-maker machinery behind the popular songs” we’re going to have the ability to create dynamic affinity based “channels”. Instead of NBC, ABC, CBS, HBO, etc. which control scarce distribution across a throttled pipe… we’re going to have WMFAWC, WMNAWC, TNYJLC and a whole lot more. (The what my friends are watching channel, The what my neighbors are watching channel, The New York Jewish Lesbian Channel, etc.) I expect we’ll also have QTC (the Quentin Tarantino channel) but this won’t be media he made (necessarily) but rather media he recommends or has watched / is watching. Everyone becomes a programmer without even trying, and that programming can be socialized, shared, distributed, etc.

Instead, interestingness relies on the natural activity on and traversal through the Flickr site. It’s implementation is subtle, and Stewart has hinted that a photos interestingness score depends on putting a number of factors in a blender: the number of views, the number of times a photo has been favorited (and by whom), the number of comments on a photo, etc. I would guess that Flickr activity the day after interestingness launched didn’t change much from the day before, i.e. the cryptic nature of the algorithm (”interestingness” is the perfect, albeit arcane term) didn’t lead to a lot of deliberate gaming. But dammit, it works great. §

An interesting first post by Bradley Horowitz of Yahoo! (he began blogging today). Boy, he’s got one hell of an About page!! Somebody’s been busy! :)

For its part, Yahoo! is working with SBC and Microsoft on an IPTV/fiber-to-the-curb initiative called Project Lightspeed that uses Yahoo! software to deliver video-on-demand, instant messaging, photo collections, and music. Meanwhile, chief executive Terry Semel, who spent 24 years as an executive at Warner Bros., has recruited a crew of network personnel in Santa Monica to crack open the contractual vaults containing 50 years of rights-encumbered TV and film archives. And Yahoo! has already become the Internet home of broadcast fare like Fat Actress and The Apprentice. “They’re clearly thinking of themselves as the fifth network,” says Jeremy Allaire, founder of Brightcove, a Net video distribution startup. §

In some ways I find it discomforting that pretty soon my tv and video are going to be in the hands of computer outfits like Yahoo! and Google. That my computer us going to be the centrepiece of everything. Somehow I’ve never associated computers with stability. They crash, for goodness sakes! And they keep throwing up errors or have network problems or god knows what. While tv too has similar problems, somehow they are not as frequent or as “affecting” as those of computers. I mean, when was the last time I had to sit all nite and reformat and reprogram the tv coz some virus was beamed into it eh!?!

Toilet seat covers are not thaaat bad

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 1:51 pm

A University of Arizona microbiology team tested a dozen office surfaces including the bathroom. The scientists found that phone receivers had 25,000 bacteria per square inch, while toilet seats had only 49 bacteria per square inch. § (via Orange)

I’ve always been fussy about toilet seats myself. But for me, it hasn’t  been much about hygiene per se. It just gives me a mental satisfaction to know the toilet seat is clean and wiped and hence not ewww-ey. :) And its for similar reasons that I keep washing my hands whenever possible — I just like them smelling neat and nice. :)


Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 12:47 pm

Discovered via Google Sightseeing: I give you Atomium! :) §

Has the world become a better place?

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:54 am

A damn interesting (flash-based) presentation here by Gapminder. §

Minister offers £6m to behead cartoonist

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:11 am

A MINISTER in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has offered a £6m reward to anyone who beheads one of the Danish cartoonists who outraged Muslims by depicting the prophet Muhammad. §

Gross! Reading this article, all that I thought of was Gandhi’s famous quote: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind“.

Apple Blockbuster

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:06 am

Apple’s Blockbuster product strategy is simple. Start with a new iPod that has video- and audio-out capability. This iPod — which will be just as good at playing songs as any iPod that preceded it – will be more than just a video storage device. It will be a video player. No make that plural – players – a whole family of video-out iPods, some with flash storage and others with little disk drives.

Take your Video-out iPod to Blockbuster, drop it in a kiosk dock then download from the local xServe your choice of 50,000 movies. You can rent the movie or buy it and you can even choose the resolution, which may or may not affect the final price. Take the iPod home, drop it in the dock attached to your TV and watch the movie. H.264 decoding takes place in the iPod in hardware.

For Apple the point here is to sell iPods to people who might not otherwise ever buy one (my Mom, for example), to bring digital downloads to people who don’t have broadband or even a computer, and to make it all incredibly easy. You don’t even have to return the videos when you are done, since they will automatically time-out. §

Hmm, that sounds interesting! Robert Cringely’s posts are usualy quite perceptive … and give you the "wowow" feeling after you read them. And he’s usually quite on target too. :)

Alzheimer’s Progresses Faster in Educated People

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:00 am

Previous studies have shown that people with high levels of education are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. The new study shows that the brains of more educated people can tolerate changes for longer periods of time, meaning signs of decreased mental agility typical of Alzheimer’s disease appear later. When those signs do appear, the disease progresses faster than it does in less educated patients. §

I’m not quite sure what to make out of this report. Does it mean more educated people have higher chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease? Heck, wow, that’s like the first sensible reason I have seen against not getting educated! Mom, Dad, I don’t want to go to school today as I don’t want to increase my chances of getting Alzheimer’s! Wooweee! :)

Flcok 0.5.11 released!

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:44 am

Go get here: §

If you are upgrading from Flock 0.4.10, read the upgrade notes here. The profile paths have changed, so take care: §

And lastly, here are the release notes for a list of the new features: §

Since I have been using one of the Flock hourlies for a while, none of this was too new to me. I’m downloading 0.5.11 now — will install it on my home machine as I am going back tomm. :) 

The evolution of Fedora Core Linux

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:09 am

After core Fedora Core release 5 get’s released, Fedora will continue to evolve. We will eventually see Gnome 3.0 (I can’t wait) and KDE 4 late in 2006, and more than likely we will see the rather amazing XGL implemented. There will be countless other improvements to the operating systems installation routines and user experience. There has to be, in order to compete with Windows Vista which is scheduled for release some time at the end of this year. §

An interesting read on the history of Fedora Core Linux. I just excerpted this para above coz I liked the fact that so many exciting updates are due this year for Linux. Yaay! 

Alt 0167

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 12:27 am

That’s the keys I gotta strike to make this "§" symbol appear. Till date I used to open up "Character Map" (charmap) everytime I wanted to insert this special character, and that was starting to be a pain in the butt. Then just now I figured that there’s a shortcut key shown in charmap when I choose these special characters — Alt 0167 — but trying it out didn’t work. A bit of search on Google showed me that I have to on NUM-LOCK and then type the numbers on the numeric pad — that did the trick! Cool! 

February 18, 2006

Firefox vs Deer Park

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:20 pm

Though the post is in the context of the BSDs, I find the info very useful. I wasn’t aware of this until I read this post; and I used to always wonder why some of the Firefox downloads I ran (the nightlies usually) had a different icon and were called Deer Park. I assumed the Deer Park part was an indication that it was Firefox 1.5 Beta or something, but that never explained to me why post-Firefox 1.5 nightlies are also called Deer Park. Now I know. :) §

Opera Desktop Team Blog

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:13 pm

For all you Opera fans out there, the Opera Desktop Team is now blogging here. And every week they are releasing a weekly build until the final version of Opera 9 is ready. Whoo Whee! :)

February 16, 2006


Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 11:46 am

Today’s lesson is about Jabber. :) I was vaguely aware that something called Jabber exists; and that its a new protocol for chatting, and that its an open protocol and so people are not tied-in into any one client … but boy oh boy, I didn’t know it was a lot more than that! Jabber is awesome!

Go read more about it here. Thank’s to the Psi Jabber client which is from where I got curious about Jabber and started reading up about it.

February 11, 2006

Interview with Mandriva CEO

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 9:03 am

Francois, can you describe your typical work day at Mandriva? When I don’t travel, I leave home around 7 am, and because i ride a scooter, it takes me about 10 minutes to reach the office. Most Mandriva employees come in a bit later, France oblige, so this gives me time to read my mail, reply to most of it, look at our figures and read the professional press.

Between 9 and 10, my productive day ends and real life gets in. I usually attend too many meetings. I try to keep them short (we have some standing meetings for instance). I go through all the offices, and shake hands with everyone. At Aboukir, you are supposed every morning to shake hands with all men and kiss all women on both cheeks. I skip the kiss part, as part of our program to avoid sexual harassment suit, started by our Chairman, Jacques Le Marois. I manage the bad news when they come and deal with them one after the other. On a typical day, I meet Warly, who explains to me why we should give away more stuff, put more things in the Free Mandriva and do a new release every 3 months, I get calls from some shareholders asking me what the hell is going on, why aren’t we raising revenue more quickly, I get e-mail from Gael telling me we should give away the Power Pack version to all the Linux magazines on earth to increase our distribution, I hold a conference call with the Brazilian team explaining why things aren’t moving as fast as expected, I meet with other people who tell me we should change the strategy and the business model, I get back on my scooter to meet with a corporate customer, who wants to know why his project is not exactly on time, I hold meetings with the service people who tells me that they need to hire more consultants to do the job and with engineering who tells me I need to hire more developers to deliver the product, I will meet with the Employee Representatives who asks me when will we raise salaries and could they have more vacations. At the end of the afternoon, things quiet down and I have a bit of time to think and talk to people. I usually get home around eight, and my wife asks ‘hi Francois, how was your day?’ and I say ‘pretty good, as usual!’ §

What Do “GNU” and “Linux” Mean?

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 7:32 am

Good to see people realizing that Richard Stallman had a point in emphasising the “GNU”/ Linux usage all these years. Though, ya, “GNU/ Linux” definitely is a mouthful. Tim Bray takes a shot at explaining all this. §

February 10, 2006

Swimming in syrup is as easy as water

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 1:41 pm

Go read. §

February 9, 2006

Student Develops Software For Digital Panoramas

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 7:31 am

Yes sire! Read the Forbes article here and check out the author’s websites here and here. §

February 8, 2006

Richard Stallman on P2P

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 6:11 pm

Read the interview here. §

The M Cartoons

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 4:38 pm

Lots of controversy regarding the Muhammad Cartoons. People …. goodness! Just waiting for an excuse to pick up a fight or go protest around I guess!

Anyways, here’s a two interesting links I found on this topic. § §

Here’s all the cartoons in question (terribly uninteresting if you ask me). §

And here’s a list of blogs talking about the cartoons. §


Google: Just tell it like it is

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:13 am

I sooo totally agree with the author of this post. §

February 7, 2006

Opera9 TP2 released

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 5:40 pm

Opera 9 Technical Preview 2 was released today. Go get it! §

February 6, 2006

Posting Google Video Video’s to your site

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 3:43 pm

Go figure. §

February 3, 2006

The death of the beta

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 1:43 pm

Interesting post here by Chris Messina of Flock. §

Control Your Text In Word

Filed under: Links — rakhesh @ 8:12 am

Very interesting tips here. §

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