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Showing posts from February, 2011

GMail accidentally resets user accounts

So here's an update on the latest mess up by Google. Apparently, Google has accidentally reset the GMail accounts of an estimated number of 150,000 customers. Though the percentage of user's who's accounts have been affected are less that 0.08%, nevertheless, the situation seems scary enough.A loss of years of mail on a GMail account is a scary prospect. We often have loads of files, critical data and important conversations on GMail, and to log in and not be able to see any of these would be enough to wreck someone.But we don't pay Google for the service, you may say. So why is it Google's responsibility to ensure the safety of our mail? The answer is that by participating in GMail, we are entering Google's business model and it is through our participation that Google earns its revenues. So it is indeed Google's responsibility to ensure that our data remains safe, so that we remain within their business model.So how hard have the users of GMail been affec…

Trying out FlightGear - Initial comments

As promised in my previous post, here are my initial comments on FlightGear.The installation of FlightGear went like a breeze. FlightGear is cross platform, so it requires OpenAL and OpenGL. So make sure that your graphics card supports OpenGL.The first thing that struck me when I saw the manual was that FlightGear has to be launched with the command line. The position of the aircraft, the type of aircraft, the weather, time and many other options are passed as command line arguments. However, there is an easy GUI launcher that manages this for the user. Another disappointment was finding that most of the aircraft models shipping with the simulator were still under development. I tried my hand at the Cessna 172P, which was a production aircraft, meaning that it was not under development. Again, I must remind you that the only experience I have of sitting in the pilot's seat is in other simulators, so I can only draw contrasts with the other simulators.The first difference that I n…

Trying out FlightGear

Exam time is generally free time. So here's one more post to add to all the spam that I generate. It is a software review. The software is an open source flight simulator called FlightGear.I have been a flight simulator enthusiast for over 10 years. I started off with the DOS based 19SF, now a free download. Then I moved on to JetFighter 3 published by Mission Studios, then to FLY! by Terminal Reality, and recently to MS FlightSim X Acceleration. Why FlightGear then, you may ask. The simple answer is that I wished to see how good a free and open source flight simulator will be.FlightGear may be downloaded from http://www.flightgear.org. It is a 291MB download. The scenery comes separately, but there is an option to download scenery on the fly. Aircraft can be downloaded separately. Because of the open source nature, there seem to be loads of aircraft models out there. FlightGear can also be purchased on DVD, for a cost of US$49.99, which seems steep, considering that it is not as …

Don't correct me

Must have happened with you. At sometime or the other, you must have met someone who has the most irritating habit of correcting you at every word that you speak. Nodding your head in agreement? Well, read on...I can summarise my opinion about these people in just these words, Dude! So &^#%@*&^#* irritating! That would be the natural response of most people. However, courtesy dictates that we keep such comments to ourselves and then disclose them on blogs like this one, where no direct mention is made about the person who is the apparent target of the author, but subtle hints embedded in the content of the post inform everyone knowledgeable about the person who has unwillingly (or willingly, as the case may be) become the subject of the post.Well, I must have already lost many of the readers because of the most uninteresting first four seconds that decide whether they stay on this blog or check out other blogs. But I rant on.It happens every time in magazines, newspapers et ce…

With all due respect...

We Indians care a lot about social standing. Which means that we like to be shown respect. Which also means that we show respect to everyone.Why am I mentioning this? Because, erm, I find it funny.Sir, I don't understand this.Dude, the ^#%&# just cannot explainIf you are new to India, try going into any government office. Even the clerk who accepts the bill payment has to be called Sir, otherwise, he shall stall you as long as he can. That's all, just one word that is required. In fact, it is a word that is conspicuous only by its absence. Try to get a driving license, but forget to address the inspector as Sir.So it's no surprise to find such an email one day, on a mailing list meant to disseminate official notices: Sir, wth al du rspect, i hv lst my blk jcky undrwear can you please forward this mail to the institute i will be greatfull to you if ne1 finds, pls rtrn. to rm***/hstl**. *regards And when someone (another post on such people to follow) makes fun of such …

Some changes in the design of this blog

Since I started this blog, I have been looking for ways to make it more appealing. Though I always claim that this blog is just an outlet for the many thoughts that pass through my (relatively empty) brain through the day, there is no denying that I do get a lot of pleasure looking at the number of people who visit my blog.So, I try to put in a new post the moment I see my page-views falling. Also, I put the blog on Facebook and Buzz, forcing it upon my friends(who, by the way make up 95% of my blog's viewers). And I look for ways that the random people who visit my blog by accident share the blog with their friends. Hence, I added the buttons for easy sharing of the blog contents to my blog.But as luck would have it, my blog's page-views did not go up appreciably. Instead of accepting the fact that I write rather poorly, I decided to blame the poor visibility of the default quick-share buttons. I asked a few people (those who hardly look at my blog) whether they could see the…

Download estimates

Damn You, Jobs!

Steve Jobs is a genius. He manages to make the most crappy products instant best-sellers.But he does not stop there. He manages to make his customers feel stupid when his product does not work and blames their lack of understanding. And people feel stupid.Take the example of the iPhone. This crappy phone has all the features that may be found in any Android. However, you cannot change the battery of the phone yourself, the phone takes up to 15 minutes to boot up (a friend of mine has an iPhone, because of the boot time, he cannot afford the phone to switch off), and most annoying of all, you cannot even fit your own SIM card in that phone. It has to be hacked to microSIM proportions before it can be used. That simply means that one cannot use the same SIM card in any other phone. Shipping the phone for repair incurs a courier charge comparable to the cost of a new phone. And yeah, many people are locked on to their network service providers due to the iPhone.The iPad. Every sane perso…