Phone Recaptured

It’s not often you get to say good things about the police, but they managed to retrieve my mom’s phone, stolen in November, and they caught a store owner selling these stolen phones. My mom managed to find the IMEI of her phone and after telling the police, those guys tracked it down to some guy who claimed he borrowed it from his friend, who claimed he bought it from a store. Well, that’s where the chain ends. Like, major props to those cops. Remember to memorise your IMEI or store it somewhere. You can get it by dialing *#06# on the phone.

You see what you want

I saw this research paper on Slashdot that claimed that you see what you want to believe and the first thought that crossed my mind was Rashomon, a brilliant film by Akira Kurosawa that I really enjoyed back when I saw it. I didn’t know it was based on a short story, but it’s really interesting.

If you want to watch a couple of Kurosawa films and you don’t want to buy the DVD, you can rent them out from Cinema Paradiso or Ric Video. There are some real gems there.

Techofes » Washed Clothes + Seven Days

What a name! Jesus.

I went for the rock show at the end of the technical festival, and there’s nothing I can say. As soon as Washed Clothes started everyone started leaving, and when Seven Days was playing the whole place was nearly empty. It was quite sad. The music, of course, was just fine. Seven Days was amazing, their covers were pretty damn good reproductions of the original versions. It was okay, could’ve been nicer if the stage was lower, if there were more people, if all the expensive lights were used, but these guys were really good, I wouldn’t mind paying to listen to their next show.

Airtel much faster than usual?

I once complained about Airtel, and what a bad experience getting a connection was, but once you’ve got the connection it’s perfectly alright and pretty reliable. I’d signed up for a 256kbps unlimited plan, and today when I was downloading java and tomcat off the ubuntu servers, I got the following readout:
Fetched 51.6MB in 12m5s (71.1kB/s)
Watching the stuff download and timing it, it was correct. I was getting 11 MB every 4 minutes. That’s more than twice the rated speed. I hope this isn’t some glitch in the system, maybe they’re just giving us a look at how faster connections are so that we’ll be tempted to upgrade. I must say that I am. The worst, of course, would be if they’ve accidentally switched us onto another plan with a bandwidth limit. I hate those, you have to keep track of how much bandwidth you use, the Internet shouldn’t be like that. Always on, ready to do what you want at a reasonable pace.

Marc claims that they must be stress-testing their connections, or perhaps letting people have extra bandwidth. That’s an interesting idea and he came up with an even better one — They’re showing off, ‘putting scene’ :D If so I hope they keep having excess space in their tubes :)

It’s still going on, I downloaded the Java SDK at 200 kB/s and now my upgrades are going at anything between 70-100kB/s.

UPDATE: As of now (8:40 IST), the connection is back to rated speed. It was fun to play with some high capacity though. My router mysteriously restarted just before I noticed that speed was back to normal. I hope the two things aren’t related.

When it rains it pours?

I just noticed that Iran just lost another line. So two lines were taken offline for maintenance reasons and then suddenly 3 other lines go down just then? I’m willing to bet that the crew that went in to fix the first broke line broke the second and third through incompetence :D

But seriously, it makes you wonder. Fine, the first two lines were taken offline intentionally, but then within a few weeks they lose 3 other lines. I’m no conspiracy theorist but it looks really weird to me.

Saarang – Day IV – The Rest

Aadi and Bikram were staying with me on Sunday, the last day of Saarang and those lazy bums would never get up so we were rather late. They also take ages to eat, my god, I swear it reminded me of We sit together, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains. Anyway, we finally managed to get there.

Dramatics

There was some simply amazing stuff there, I’m told. I don’t know, I missed most of it. I was just in time to watch the end of IITM’s show whose name I cannot remember but which I’m told was really good. I recognised this chap from Sathyamurthi coaching classes – Unni, but I forgot to go meet him later. Priyanshu Mishra, who also studied with me in those classes, was in the IITM play and was pretty damn good.

The only one I did see for sure was the last one by MIT who did Yes Minister. It was brilliantly hilarious, mostly due to the excellent performance of the guy playing Humphrey — the deadpan expression he had while saying his lines so very well. Amazing really, it was perfect.

JAM

This went rather up-and-downy for us, both Sandhya and James were doing pretty well till the final few rounds when a few objections weren’t upheld, consequently making them lose points. It was unfortunate really, that most of their successful objections were in the first few rounds when the format was +5 for upheld objections and -5 for overruled objections. That was later changed to -10 for objections that were overruled. The JAM itself was pretty funny, and quite enjoyable, even if only because James slept off in the middle and accidentally hit the buzzer without intending to. The JAM moderator was pretty funny and had everyone laughing most of the time. Unfortunate really, we could’ve come away with one place at the least, and possibly two.

One thing that’s really funny about Saarang is the amount of host participation there is. 4 of the 8 finalists were from IIT itself. That’s pretty funny and I wonder how host participants usually do really well (in every college, JIPMER, CMC, IIT,…) – is it because they’re used to the place or the people and so are less nervous, or are they just really good at the stuff, choosing to leave all the other competitions to the lesser mortals. Ah, we may never know.

Saarang – Day IV – Rock Show

I’m posting in reverse chronological order because that’s the way my memory works.

Prestorika

PrestorikaThese guys were awesome, I loved their music … and the name – a play on ‘perestroika’ perhaps. Since then I’ve been looking through the Internet trying to find their music, and managed to get to Prestorika’s downloads page, and to my surprise they had 4 tracks listed there under a Creative Commons licence, fascinatingly evolved idea. I’m pretty sure they played Not My Way at the concert, I recognise the music but I’m a bigger fan of their other songs – Hoist My Soul and Shameless Pride. Near the end of the concert this guy from the audience jumped the barriers onto the stage and hugged the vocalist and disappeared the drummer ended the show with one flashy act – jumping from the top of his drum-set and smashing the high hat on the ground. As soon as the lights and microphones were off some 100 guys near the stage started jumping up and down calling for an encore performance and in a few minutes the whole crowd was back to listen to one hell of a neat cover of Maiden’s Fear Of The Dark. Damn good show.

Firebrands

Firebrands opened for Prestorika — they played a lot more covers among which there was one very interesting version of Another brick in the wall which sent Suren into conniptions. Their music wasn’t something I’m a great fan of, but the rest of the guys there seemed to enjoy it like mad because the audience was jumping up and down like it was a revolution or something. They had a DJ dude who was wearing this hood through out the show (in the damn heat) and who Suren likened to a stock broker. As a matter of fact, Suren had this conspiracy theory that the whole act was a cover up for a raid on NASDAQ (don’t ask). I missed the beginning of the show since I was watching JAM where two of my comrades were valiantly attempting to fight the IIT jabber machine. By the time I was there Marc was already referring to the band’s frontman as Cartman and Suren was comparing his (admittedly superb) guitar skills with the lead guitarist. These guys had the crowd really going, but not my kind of music frankly, or at least not the way it was done. They had a flashy end though where the drummer jumped from the top of his drum-set and smashed the high hat on the ground. Flashy.