Thursday, June 25, 2009

Is This India's SSN?

SSN is all sacrosanct in USA. Now, India is setting up an agency to provide Unique ID (UID) numbers to all citizens.

Now considering that one of the aims of this is to provide citizens access to services like Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (for people below poverty line), I wonder whether this is a move towards the social security structure of USA. My understanding of social security in US, and I might be technically wrong, is that the government promises to give employment, medical care, housing to all its citizens; and in this way, UID sounds similar.

One good thing about the implementations in India: Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani has been made head of the agency for implementing UID.

PS: Junta in US, did you know that SSN is not mandatory. People can opt out if they want to. Read more about this at the Wikipedia entry on SSN.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why is Safari Sticking to (new) Windows?

So what with the release of Safari 4, I decided to finally shift from Firefox to Safari on my Mac. On my PC, I use Google Chrome. And I dare say that Safari does not come close to Chrome in terms of the beauty of the user interface. But Chrome has not yet launched for Mac, so Safari it is for now.

Since yesterday, I was annoyed to see that in Safari, links opened up in new windows instead of new tabs. According to me this is pure sacrilege. So I Googled "safari open link in new tab" and got the solution at the bottom of a forum thread. Here it is for easier reference
1. Open terminal. Cut paste the following line:
defaults write TargetedClicksCreateTabs -bool true

2. Restart Safari. And voila. You are done.

E=mc... WHAT!!!

This reporter at ITN news has found a way to travel at the speed of light. According to him, flight speed sensors in the doomed Air-France flight became defective and this might have caused two things - ONE, the plane stalled and went straight down, or TWO, the plane approached the speed of light and the plane disintegrated at that high speed.

Did he say speed of light? I think I can hear Einstein turning in his grave.

Watch this video from around the 1:10 mark.

Well, that's what you call a silly mistake. That reporter must be getting a good leg-pulling from his friends today.

Finally my sympathy lies with the victims. And what a shame for technology that days have gone by and all bodies or the filght's black box have not yet been found.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Ai Chin Can Tok

Recently, I thought I should start to learn the Chinese language.

And so I Googled the keywords - "learn Chinese". Google suggested "learn Chinese in 5 minutes" and I found out the language is not so difficult after all. I am pasting the tutorial below. All you need is to speak out the tutorial loud.

...which led me to this awesome awesome website which collects all these funny images. Which led me to spend zillions of mouse clicks browsing one image after another. Bad Bad PC.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Since Seeqpod seems to be down, I tried out Grooveshark. This is the link.

And here's a sample playlist of Yanni created on Grooveshark.

A Classic F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Scene

Ross and Rachel have had their first kiss. Rachel relates the story of their kiss to her lady-friends the next day. Ross does the same, only this time, he is talking with his guy-friends. The contrast in perspectives is hillarious.

See the first few minutes of this video - and enjoy!!!
(PS: Unfortunately embedding of this video was not allowed)


Car enthusiasts would love this...

"Drifting" - this is a particular style of driving in which the driver purposefully makes the car skid while making a turn. The trick is to maintain control over the car even while doing the skid/drift.

YouTube has been promoting this over the last few days. See the following video to see how drifting is done in the nation where drifting was born - Japan (skip the first 1 minute 30 seconds, and be ready for a visual treat thereafter).

Or this explanatory pic (click to expand). Image credits: