spam comments ? What next.....

I was casually browsing through websites searching for some information on periyar wildlife sanctuary and I happened to stumble upon a blog by a person named anita.

Although the blog didn't contain any information that I was looking for there was something interresting which I noticed.

In the comments section there were comments from Adult DvDs, debt consolidation which really shocked me (Take a look at the comment section in the post).

Till now my understanding was that these were just part of spam mails. This is the first blog where I have seen such spam.

Probably spam is still in early stages in blogs. But I am sure that pretty soon this is going to be a menace as it is now with respect to mails.

So are we going to see some move from the blog server regarding this problem ? (Keeping my fingers crossed). And till that time probably we need to moderate our comments (painful task if those comments are going to be spam ads).

My Best Friend's Wedding

This monday, 27th June, one of my best friends, Vasanth got married in the city of salem. He united in wedlock with yogalakshmi.
My roommates have been pretty diligent in reporting the event in their respective blogs (lord's blog and baby's blog). One of the better habits of being a e-otting member ? ;-)
The marriage photos are also posted at rajastravel, one of lord's lesser known photo blog.

The marriage was an opportunity to catch up with the happenings in my friends' circle.
I met my college classmates senthil kumar (both smart and solai) , veera , senthil nathan , velayudham , film (karthikeyan) , nambi, ravi shankar , nandakumari , thangam and her husband prasad , some of my juniors harish , ganguly ( his nickname, I still don't recollect his real name! ) , suman , jai ganesh.

Our stay was well taken care of by Vasanth and was a very good break from the ususal weekends. The only problem was the weather in salem. I was visting salem after 4 long years and the weather hasn't changed a weebit.

But we made a short trip to yercaud that offered us some respite from the salem weather.

Yercaud datasheet:
location - a small hill-station around 35kms from salem.
travel route - takes around 1.5 hrs from salem by road largely due to the 20 hair-pin bends.
size - around 64 villages.
crops - coffee , pepper.
places to visit - lady's seat , gent's seat , pagoda point , raja rajeshwari temple.

As with all the other hill stations in south India, it was established by the British (probably since the weather suited them). Also it has magnesite mines from which aluminium is extracted.

The 2 days brought back the sweet memories of the college hostel times, the round table (mokkais) , the overnight movies. There was not even a single moment when I felt alone or bored.
And the final card game on the train was the jewel on the crown. Although I felt that it would not be possible, vig simply made it possible. Hats off to vig's sporting spirit. This trip definitely goes down as one of the best moments.

KDE Improving !

First, for the uninitiated KDE is one of the many desktop environments available for Linux. Other notable ones are GNOME , wmaker , XFCE.

This blog entry is about an interesting article in LWN(Linux Weekly News) published today, about Usability studies in KDE.

Usability studies improve the quality of GUI and analyze if from the point of view of the user rather than the developer. Most commercial OSes do usability studies on their GUI to improve user WOW experience.

Till now, my general feeling has been that open source applications don't do any usability analysis. As a result they ususally don't have an intutive UI inspite being rich in features. The features will ususally be hidden somewhere, waiting to be discovered by the user ;-) [ Just my thought, no flames needed]. Or in case of applications that have a good UI, they are generally based along the same UI design and apprearance as the commercial version.

So today I was suprised to find that there is an OpenUsability movement which aims to brings together open source developers and usability experts so as to improve the quality of open source applications.

It is good news that some thought has gone into these aspects keeping the general user's interest in mind. This is a welcome sign to all Linux users. So with improvements in KDE and other open source applications we can soon expect a more user friendly Linux desktop.

Solaris Opening Up !

Sometime back MS created waves by sharing Win CE source code , although with a limited capability for the community to develop or contribute.

But it was really surprising to see Sun open up its latest version of Solaris - Solaris 10 to the Open Source Community.

OpenSolaris is based on the CDDL License which is a OSI approved License which is more open that what MS did. Also by granting the use of around 1600 patents somehow Sun is trying to pull developers from the Linux community.

Although on the face of it , it looks as if Sun is trying to embrace the community, there is still some missing link. The patents can be used only if the derivative is also CDDL licensed( according to the intial news, I haven't seen the license text) and not any OSI license as IBM had done sometime back with around 500 licenses.

In broader terms this means that they want to restrict Linux from using these patents. Also it offers a nice reason for developers to move from GNU(read Linux) to CDDL(read OpenSolaris) since they are offering indemnification from infringement.

Let us see if Sun can pull this one trick on Linux.

Kappi - Oru Amirtham

The one thing I surely miss while I am away from my home in Coimbatore is a refreshing cup of hot brewing filter coffee. Coffee plays on ones visual as well as olfactory senses. The imagination of a hot, brunneous kappi with a nice froth on top with a unique bitter-sweet taste makes my mouth water.

Most coffee lovers like their coffee bitter with a tinge of sweetness. The milk should be thick and shouldn't be diluted with water. The coffee decoction should also be thick and should have a strong colour.

To get the right decoction you need a good coffee powder ( obviously you would say... ) . It should be mixed with the right amount of Chikory. Chikory makes the coffee decoction stronger.

For the conniseurs even coffee is available as beans in the market. The beans can be roasted and powdered as and when needed.

And Better to use a filter rather than a coffee maker.

So here are the steps to produce a fresh hot kappi, the palakkad brahmin way ;-) .
1. Boil the milk without any water.
2. Make a fresh decoction of coffee. Take care not to make it too watery.
3. Add the decoction to the coffee till the colour is a deep brown. Add small amount of Sugar.
4. Use a container and a glass to create the froth on the top. Good thick milk makes it easier to create a nice froth.

And there you go !!! Have a good morning....

For other coffee delicacies goto

Incessant Rain in Bangalore

The recent 2 weeks has seen bangalore suffering under a heavy lash of torrent rain. These are some clippings taken with my Nokia 6600.

A Flooded Street in BTM Layout - Taken from an Auto.

Curious Onlookers

What happened to the Drainage System ?

Atleast one thing to be happy about is good supply of water this summer ;-)

But humour apart this rain has left lot of poor people on the streets ... :-(

Posted by Hello

To be (Duped) or Not To Be

I recently read one of my friend's posting at Police On Board.

That reminded me an incident which I had personally experienced some time back.

I frequently keep visiting my home town Coimbatore, where my parent stay. This happened during one of such innumerable travels.

It was a saturday morning. I had got down from the train and was waiting for the town bus to arrive. The sun having risen quite some distance from the horizon. People were scurrying around like ants. Auto-rickshaw drivers were trying to get some customer. The Taxis vying with them for the same purpose.

I was physically present but my mind was thinking about what I was going to do for the next 2 days ( Usually nothing other than staying at home). That is when I saw this old woman( must have been around 65 years of age). She looked very weak and was toterring towards the bus stop.
I heard her saying to a nearby person, "I have to go to the Government Hospital. I haven't has any food for 2 days. Please give me some money". The person just ignored her as if she was non-existent.

She continued her walk and presently came to me. Frankly speaking, I usually ignore beggars. But some thing made me react. I told her that I will not give her any money but instead will get her some food. I took her to a nearby tea shop and bought her a loaf of bread and also gave her 5 rupees for travelling to the hospital.

That was the end of the incident and I had totally forgotten about it, until some 2 months later I chanced to see the old woman again.

I was on one of my usual 2 day visit to coimbatore. And suprising I had stirred out of my home to go to Gandhipuram. I had just parked my bike near the "Souma Complex" when I saw the same old woman begging around.

I was angered to find that I had been clearly duped by this old woman. I was infact even thinking about having a word or 2 with ehr about it. But then I choose to ignore her and returned home.

Then later on when I thought about it, I felt that I had acted very childish. Here was an old lady who couldn't work and didn't have any body to depend on in her old age. Still I felt duped/frustrated by her behaviour at the railway station.

And there have been numerous such occasions where I have been cheated or I felt cheated. But lets remember the better things in life ;-)