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Hacktivists

Since last few months there has been a flurry of attacks on prominent websites by 'Hacktivists'.  Calling the victims of these attacks 'websites' is an understatement, they are corporations, government agencies and even banks.  It roughly started after the sensational release of classified US cables by WikiLeaks. 
This was entailed by DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks against PayPal, Visa and MasterCard by a group to retaliate their blocking of payment service to WikiLeaks.  It was perhaps not taken seriously then, as the attacks entailed disabling the websites.  No data was lost or stolen.  The message was clear, though, anyone playing with freedom will have to play the price.  They called themselves 'The Anonymous'.  Their punchline is :  "We don't forgive, We don't forget, We are legion, Expect us".

'Anonymous' launched hack attacks against the agencies that did harm to freedom of speech or challenged them directly.  In…

A stroll into the realms of atheism

Recently, I watched an episode of the animated series 'South Park' wherein one of the characters (Cartman) who is a selfish, foul-mouthed and a modern version of Satan inherits a million dollars from his deceased uncle.  He buys an entire amusement park and keeps it to himself.  He does not allow anyone, especially his friends Stan and Kyle, because he hates them.  He enjoys all the rides alone.


Kyle, who believes in God and is good at heart, angers at this.  To make the matter worse, he contracts  Hemorrhoid and is in immense pain.  He begins questioning his beliefs.  He is angry at God;  he curses Him for treating a bad person like Cartman with riches and him with a hemorrhoid.  He becomes hopeless which worsens his condition.  Doctors say he may not make it unless someone instills his lost faith.  He almost concludes that God does not exist.  His parents try to revive his belief by reading the Bible to him, but it only diminishes his hope.


The story goes on for a while throug…

India and the notion of freedom of speech

Kashmir is a weak pulse for India.  Anything related to Kashmir evokes dramatic emotions among the politicians and the countrymen alike.  It's natural, for we have been hardwired, through education and propaganda, that Kashmir is a matter of pride and honor for us.  True, it is.  But the forced innateness has caused us to be dogmatic and intolerant towards any opinion voiced in favor of separatism. 
I personally am against a separate Kashmir as it is an integral part of India, but at that same time I want to make the point that any opinion in favor of a separate Kashmir should be dealt with politically, rather than emotionally and provocatively. Right winged nationalists, befitting their nature, threaten violence in such cases. 

Such a case is the recent comments by rights activist Arundhati Roy.  She said that Kashmir was never a part of India historically.  These comments were received very critically by the media and the government.  No harm, as a democratic society gives its …

It's never too late to learn....Anything

It's never too late to learn anything new, said a great man, not sure who exactly, so let it be me. In past, when it came to cooking something, except fake heroic stories depicting me as THE ONE, I felt an emotion which can at closest be described by the word 'YUK'. Always. It was always like someone cooked and the king gulped. The king would damn if it tasted bad. But times change.

The king had to move out of his home town to far off lands in search of bread. He was told he had grown up and should earn his own broth. He came to Pune and started staying with friends. Slowly as the years passed and he was forced to rely on maids and restaurants and messes to cook for him, a friend came to his life who happened to have a special skill. Cooking. The king at first teased him of possessing a feminine hobby, jokingly of course, as the king was lazy, but not a male chauvinist.

But when the king tasted the hand cooked meal of his friend, he realized what he had been miss…

To Ashes

Heart broken. That’s how my plight was when Hussey fell to Schwann. Defeat was imminent after Ponting ran recklessly, possibly to give a farewell gift to Freddie, who accepted it with pleasure. Actually, defeat was on the horizon after their first innings fiasco. The Aussies looked impetuous right from the word go. Their usually rock solid bats lookied wavering. The once mighty & invincible Aussies fell, like everything that rises does. Gone are the days when the Aussies would rout the English mercilessly in their own backyard. Earlier, the English aimed to loose the series by the smallest possible margin. They would gratefully accept a 2-1 defeat; ask Nasser Hussain, Alec Steward or Caddick.

But now, things have changed after the fateful departure of the greats of Aussie cricket: McGrath, Warne, Gilli, Hayden, Langer, Martyn and others. Aussies now struggle for victory, unlike in past when triumph came naturally to them.

People hate the Aussies, mainly because of their h…

Redefining an Operating System, the Google way

The traditional view of an operating system is something that loads when we switch on our computer, and shows us a desktop with icons, and which has a start button at the bottom left corner, so on and so forth. So basically, a plebeian idea of an OS conjures up images of either Mac , Windows, or at the most Linux. Can someone revoltingly usurp the traditional view, and more importantly, ideate something new? Well talk of revolutions and it rings(or Bings :) ) 'Google'. The frizzy braniacs at Mountain View have embarked on a journey just to do that. By winter next year, we will witness, either a farce or an exemplary new OS. I am vouching for the latter possibility. The news that Google is going to launch a Chrome based open-source(duh!) OS, based on Linux kernel, has received extreme reactions. Most people are thrilled, few say they anticipated it, and others have started flunking it.

They(the techies, who else!) say that they saw it coming when Google announced Chrom…

We the Consumers...

Marketing managers place the almighty consumer at the center of their efforts. And nothing wrong in it, after all the consumer is the king of the market. But does this make him arrogant? With increasing choices, a consumer does not think once before disposing a mean demeanor. To quote an example, some time back I went to crossword to indulge myself in reading. It was Saturday and something around 10.20 in the morning. What a morning it was, clear sky and light breeze. A perfect day for vacation.

Fresh and clad smartly, I entered the kingdom of books. Although I find almost the same books at the same place every time, the place thrills me. While I was looking around, picking and dropping books, I observed strange glances. The staff was looking at me rather uncomfortably. I ignored and continued my quest for the book I would partially read that day. I was the only 'outsider' in the shop then.

Some time later, a middle aged lady entered the shop. She looked in a hurry. …