Monday, July 28, 2008

uTorrent - Frequent Error

If like me you are using uTorrent and keep getting the error: "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process", then the issue might be something very simple... like Google Desktop.

After searching for a fix for this issue on the net and not reading the very apparent messages, I switched so BitComet. Bitcomet used to be good once but not any more, it locks up the entire system after it starts.

To fix the issue, check if you are running Google Desktop and then:

  1. Go to its preferences page
  2. Go to "Do not search these items" option.
  3. Select the folder where the file you are downloading is being saved.
If you are not running Google Desktop then there are other options like Unlocker which I haven't tried (so cannot recommend).

Good news in the Morning

Sleeping on Friday night after hearing the news of Bangalore blasts was bad enough, waking up on Sunday to the news of Ahmedabad blasts made very bad news for the morning. Monday morning, no bad news, should I feel happy or should I feel sad for those who passed away?

The poor average Muslim joe in Gujarat now has to fear more than anything else as he might have to wake up to something like Godhra news again. The Hindu fundamentalists now will come out in full force, no thanks to those Muslim fundamentalists who planted the bombs.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blogs I read - Futility Closet

If you have an afternoon to spend reading fascinating stuff, the you probably would like Futility Closet. A Sample:

The first arrest by telegraph took place in 1845. John Tawell poisoned his mistress at her home at Salt Hill and fled by train to London, but police sent the following memorable message ahead to Paddington Station:
Read rest of the story here.

1 Trillion pages on the internet

Official Google Blog: We knew the web was big...
Google now indexing 1 trillion pages and counting. If you read the post above, they say it may be infinite as new pages keep getting created every minute, the crawlers will have a tough time keeping up.

In a college assignment to create a search index for an article containing 1 million words, my program took about 30 seconds to execute. 1 Trillion web pages with so many words in them, it is awesome just to imagine that.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Blasts in Bangalore

Again, these bastards (whoever they are) did this. 2 dead as per reports. All the hype about how the Indian spirit won't die and people will go back to work tomorrow will be played over and over again. And if there was a cricket match scheduled it will go on.

No one will take long term steps to fix this. Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jaipur and now Bangalore. While the government will continue playing cash games in the Parliament.

Hopefully not many people are affected and more hopefully, the Indian government now takes some concrete step about this.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Knol - A review

I write this like I write some movie review which comes after much awaiting by fans. This is not a movie review. Unless you have been living in a cave you probably know about Knol by now. Knol is Google's answer to Wikipedia.

So, the search engine giant has created an online encyclopedia for us, so that if wikipedia's answers and the numerous web links wikipedia provides isn't sufficient then we can go over to Knol to get brainier.

I went over and checked the site out. It is impressive the way Google has set it up. Here is how I understand it works:
1. You write a Knol (or an article).
2. Some others who read it make suggestions.
3. You have the control to either make edits based on their suggestions or not.

This throws up many issues: As with Wikipedia Edit Wars, if you disagree with someone you can create your own knol on the subject or worse, can write a very biased article about someone or something and get a few people to agree with you and get your article popular. Imagine how politics would be played on Knol.

The articles themselves are very good and would probably take an afternoon or two just to go through one of them. See the articles on Type 1 Diabetes and While the depth of the article and the knowledge of the author is appreciated, there certainly is lots of information to go through.

What does the above picture mean? Probably nothing. Late nights on TV there used to be ads about random stuff with women just smiling and only at the end of the ad you would realise how dumb those ads are. The articles have pictures very unrelated to the actual article. Not sure what they want us to look for here.

Also, as someone pointed out there are no actual links to other articles within articles. When I first learned about wikipedia it was hailed as the perfect example of internet working with links to other places within articles so that internet grows. None of this here in Knol.

While there are certainly other concerns about search results (will a Knol article rate higher than anything else?) or about how multiple articles on the same subject will be handled, Knol is certainly a good way to get quality information from qualified people.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Australia - No Fair Go!

When trying to look for work as a student, I hit many blocks. It wasn't the number of opportunities available, Australia has been having a very good run of low unemployment rates with a large number of jobs still being advertised. Currently, this report shows that there is a very low unemployment rate in Australia (around 5%), and at the time of this writing, jobs website is advising 212,700 jobs online.

I cannot count the number of applications I made for specific and relevant jobs, but never even got a call back. The same jobs were being advertised time and again, but no go for my application. When I did get one lowly call center job, I met with so many over-qualified professionals working with me, I knew I wasn't alone. That was five years ago.

Now my wife faces the same issues. This is not a rant about not getting a job, but more of a pattern that I see emerging as even my wife's colleagues are still overqualified professionals getting by with a job which will pay the bills, barely. No amount of overseas experience or qualifications matter as she and her colleagues keep applying for different jobs.

Then I read this opinion article in The Age, the author Helen Szoke talks about the something similar:

At a time when we are hearing so much about labour market shortages and skill shortages, Harnessing Diversity reveals stories of people who have lived in Victoria for some time, can't get their overseas work experience recognised and can't get a job. How can this be so, when we know that some sectors of the job market are running at 20% vacancy rates, when employers are using all sorts of strategies to retain workers because of labour market shortages?
This part of the article is certainly very demeaning:
Take, for example, the research on people with Arabic-sounding names who failed to win an interview until they changed their names on their applications to ones that sounded Anglo-Saxon.
If someone looked at this in a different light, they probably would call it racism as this is systematically avoiding outsiders. May be not racism, but some kind of bias towards people only with Australian experience, but you probably see my point. The people who are struggling probably won't be able to speak up as they are too busy worrying about their career.

Helen also says, "The land of the fair go is an illusion for many migrants.", lets hope people in charge of hiring actually do something about this.

Picture courtesy: Auckland Art Gallery

Dark Knight: A different look

Blog LifeDev has listed 8 ways The Dark Knight is different to other movies, I happen to agree with all of them. On Saturday we had to go to two different cinemas to get a ticket for this movie and also had to wait in the for about 20 minutes to get a good seat.

There are only a few movies that break the norms and become something special because they didn’t do what everyone else did before them. The latest Batman movie The Dark Knight is just one of those movies.
Read the rest of the post here.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


No words!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Crime in Melbourne - Part 2

As previously noted on my blog, Crime in Melbourne is pretty non-existent. I keep getting traffic through search engines about this issue and here are a few points I would like to make:

  1. Assault type crime is lower in Victoria (of which Melbourne is the capital) is lower than the national average, even lower than in NSW, as per this.
  2. The last major scare in Melbourne city was 2007 CBD Shootings. It wasn't a terrorist type scare, nor was it organised or pre-planned.
  3. There aren't any street muggings, at least none are reported.
  4. Victoria Police have released their Crime stats here.
  5. While Footscray and some other areas used to be a problem earlier, they are much safer now.
  6. Late night train rides can be an issue with drunks and druggies creating nuisance for others, however, they do not interfere with others.
Rest assured, I feel as safe in Melbourne on the streets as I would feel in Hyderabad or at my home.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Indian Caste Discussion on

Was reading this story on

PEOPLE cross the street to avoid Baby, a sweet-faced young woman dressed in a cherry-red salwar kameez. It is the wide iron pan and wire brush she carries that mark her out as someone to be avoided: these are the ancient tools of the “manual scavenger”, a euphemism for those who clean up the faeces from houses that lack flushing toilets.

A couple of delightful discoveries in the story:
  • Sulabh International has been started by a Brahmin.
  • The same Dalits who were not allowed to enter temples are making wicks for oil lamps.
Great story, greater moral for those high-caste idiots who think they are superior.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama to target Pakistan

In what seems to be perhaps the most logical step being taken or even considered by the US, Barack Obama says he would target Pakistan if he becomes the president.

But Obama, who also promised to use diplomacy to end Iran's nuclear program and renew US alliances, promised to switch the focus of US military action overseas from Iraq, to Afghanistan and Pakistan.


This is great news, as someone finally is looking at the right way towards the whole Al-Qaeda issue.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Otway Forest

The wife's birthday on a weekend was just a very good time to visit the Otway Forest just along the Great Ocean Road. When all the weekend pack of tourists were away on the snow mountains, we went to some place where fewer visitors planned to go.

Great Otway National Park is 3 hours drive from Melbourne. The natural rainforests features Australian wildlife and also some great Waterfalls, which unsurprisingly very few people bother to visit.

Slowing the shutter speed when taking pictures of a waterfall produces the silky effect that can be seen here. Without a tripod, I think I did ok.

It also has Otway Fly, memo to Australian government: Constructing a high tower in the middle of a forest and ripping off visitors by giving them access to it is not appreciated.

Want to go to the top? That will be $20, thank you.

Otway remains the younger brother of attractions when compared to the Great Ocean Road, but is much more beautiful if you want to work for it. (The walks down and to the waterfalls is only for the very fit).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Comma rules!

Some rules about how to use the comma in daily use are here.

One of the examples:

10. Use commas to avoid confusion. For example: Tell the doctor, pepper is one of your asthma triggers. Or better yet: Tell Christopher, Columbus discovered America..

Also, while on the topic of a comma, read up on the Oxford Comma.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Epic India is Epic!

Click on pic to view larger version.

Found this on Wikipedia, here.

Interesting to note the familiar names of places after watching Ramayana and Mahabharata on TV when I was young. Places of note are:
Kuru of Kauravas
Panchala of Draupadi's father
Dwaraka of Krishna
Anga of Karna
Gandhara of Shakuni (note the geographical location, Afghanistan perhaps?)

Also of note are kingdoms of exotic tribes in Pink. Yakshas, Rakshasas, Asuras etc were referred to as different types of beings with special powers, Rakshasas were for example simply demons as depicted in Ramayana. As I haven't read Ramayana myself, I am not too sure about it now. This maps certainly is a good way to read into India's ancient history.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

6 Reasons I won't get the iPhone tomorrow

Tomorrow the new iPhone 3G will start selling in 23 countries including in Australia. I won't get the new iPhone because:

1. It is too costly. If I wait at least 2 months, I would probably get an upgraded model or the same thing for cheaper.

2. It is a new model (3G) and with all electronics there may be a few technical glitches that may need fixing.

3. Contract. Sure, in Australia I have a choice with three different providers, but if I want to move between providers I will have to break the contract and pay termination fees. I should be able to buy the phone outright and then plug my SIM card in and be able to use it.

4. I am with Three. The only mobile carrier which is not offering the iPhone. This may change in the future.

5. Everyone will have it and it is not a novelty anymore. Whenever the price decreases, I can be able to point and feel smug about how I still have the same thing they have and I didn't have to mortgage my house to get it.

6. And the number one reason I won't get the iPhone tomorrow, is because I am broke. :(


This made my day in the morning itself.

Found here.

Friday, July 04, 2008

AVG 8.0 now malware

As per this.

Even my favourite site Whirlpool has been affected by AVG sending out DDOS attacks to Whirlpool. Around 12 per second.

For someone who has recommended AVG to so many friends and colleagues, this is disheartening. I used to trust this software and now in the guise of protecting us from the internet malware, AVG itself has turned into one.

It all started when grisoft launched 8.0 and the pop-ups started coming up to upgrade, this was annoying in itself. The installation needs one reboot and the first scan needs another reboot. And now I am giving it the boot.

Free alternatives are:
1. As per Simon:

If you follow some basic rules — don't download dodgy crap, don't use IE6, use a virus-filtered email service like gmail, and stay behind NAT routing — you can avoid most everything out there.

2. Avast
3. Avira

UPDATE: Peter Cameron from AVG has released an update here:

As promised, I am letting you know that the latest update for AVG Free edition has addressed and rectified the issue that Simon and other members of Whirlpool (and others) have brought to our attention. This update has now been released to users and has also been built into the latest installation package for AVG Free.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Indian Scientists Firm Believers

My father was at best an agnostic, refusing to bend to norms but still leading us into the rites on a major festival. Understandably, this drew criticism from my mom about how even our family doctor was clearly very religious. "Are you wiser than him?", she would ask. The comparison of course meant that the doctor studied science and still is religious.

Seems like my mother had a point. As per studies it has been reported in The Hindu (lucky coincidence) that:

A survey, by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture of Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut and Hyderabad-based Centre for Inquiry, found that religion and faith had deep roots in the minds of Indian scientists.

The upside to this is that the religious scientists refuse to develop any kind of weapons, a concept that makes one wonder how much better our world would've been if all scientists thought this way (Not religious, but against weapons).

On the 150th Anniversary of the Theory of Evolution, this news has been brought to you by the very irony that also made Robert Oppenheimer (contributor to the Nuclear bomb project) who quoted Lord Krishna's words, "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds".

Hancock: Review on Wired

I am looking forward to this movie. has put a review for it here.

Yes, he can fly, yet the hard-drinking, bulletproof superhero is so reckless that his life-saving rescues destroy property and prompt lawsuits, jail time and snarky comments from bystanders.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Books I am reading

A frenzy of book buying has got me a ton of books at home, like a child with a big piece of candy, I am slowly reading through them.

The books I am reading are:

1. Amartya Sen, The Argumentative Indian (Preview: Engaging, Interesting)
2. Cervantes, Don Quixote (Preview: Old School, Amusing, Satire)
3. Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers (No preview, haven't started)
4. Homer, Illiad (Preview: Read it once in school before, want to read it in full)
5. Alexandre Dumas, The Man in the Iron Mask (No preview, haven't started)

If you have read any of these, please provide a short review in comments.