April 24, 2014

EVMs: How rugged are they?

A thought came across my mind:
So more than half the nation has voted for the 2014 Parliamentary Elections by the time I have written this article.
Are the EVMs(Electronic Voting Machines) being used water proof, Dust proof, shatter proof, bullet proof and theft proof? Is there any testing done by banging it with a large hammer? This type of ruggedness is important in a nation like India where conditions can go to extremes like ink/water being thrown, EVMs being stolen, etc.
Lets take a situation where a person, angry with the elections goes in and tries to damage the EVM with H2SO4(sulphuric acid), failing which he/she bangs it hard with a hidden hammer, or steal the EVM as a final option. Who knows, there might even be a gang around the polling booth just waiting to destroy it by shooting it with a gun by expert snipers. This might not have happened yet, but may happen anytime and the EC needs to be prepared for the worst.

1. Does the EVM withstand acid attack of the highest intensity? If so for how long can it withstand immersion in water or acid?
2. How are the results stored? Are they stored locally inside their circuitry? If so is the storage medium a sensitive hard disk or the latest SSD(Solid State Drive)?
3. Is there any backup storage like saving in an encrypted form in the cloud?
4. How will the police track a stolen EVM? Does it have GPS that cannot be turned off and with an embedded battery that is always on and how long can the batteries survive before draining out?
5. How secure are the databases and the memory that store all the votes? Any AES-256 bit encryption?
6. What is the body made up of? Cheap plastic or unbreakable carbon fibre that can withstand even a bullet attack?

I just wonder how they are all built and how well are they tested and if tested, by whom.
As an after-thought, India is still awaiting internet voting and it remains a dream(Gujrat has implemented it in 2011 for the Municipal elections in Gandhinagar, but nothing was heard since then).

With love.. Anil

April 18, 2014

Amazing Photospheres!

Photospheres are a tricky form of photos. Even though I took only 1 photosphere, I still feel a lot can be done to enhance the app and improve the stitching logic used by Google. It is a good one nonetheless and once we get a good hold of the shooting procedure and follow them meticulously, we can be rest assured of a good photosphere.
Some of my favorite photospheres are shown below:

With love.. Anil

April 16, 2014

Main tera hero..A good rehash of Kandireega!

A couple of days back, I was watching the Hindi movie "Main Tera Hero" and was surprised to see that it was a remake of Telugu hit film "Kandireega". the storyline of the film and the setting is obviously different, having a David Dhawan look to the film, but overall, the story closely resembles that of Kandireega. The comedy that goes alongwith the story is good to watch and makes you want more.
The interval twist was a good one and keeps the audience guessing. Production values are good as expected and the director has used the actors well.
Coming to the actors, when we see the hero's characterization, we get reminded of Govinda for whom these kinds of roles would have been a cake walk. Dhawan's obsession with Varun's body makes us feel if we are seeing the rise of another young Salman Khan, with so many shirtless scenes! Illeana feels short of energy as she looks to have lost too much of weight and it is visible even in her expressions. Nargis Fakri looks like a wooden piece with not much scope for performance, similar to the role in the Telugu original.

Overall, when we compare these two films, we feel this is a lot more better and well adapted to the north-Indian audience. The film has been narrated very well with no boring scenes at any point of time and kept the story crisp and entertaining with witty dialogues. Music is so-so and nothing much to write about.

With love.. Anil

April 14, 2014

Media's new habits.

There is this strange habit in the media that when Kejriwal criticizes Modi more than Rahul, they start talking of a secret deal between AAP and Congress. AAP is like an honest child. Its nice, good choice but not the right choice to vote(atleast not in the present circumstances) for if we want a strong, stable govt at the centre. After what happened at Delhi, AAP needs to mature. Once it matures in the right direction and grows in strength, no one can stop it since it's basics are solid: it's candidates are corrupt-free, and I admire it for that. It is more like a beta version of the latest android OS. Needs more testing and stability trials before making an impact at the national level.
As far as BJP is concerned, this has to be their best chance at the centre. Any mistake or loss in 2014 would be a big blow to not only Modi but the whole party. 2009 was the last chance for Advani and 2014 will probably be the same for Modi. It is not because of his age but due to the analysis that will most probably happen in case of a failure.
I just hope there is a change at the center and Modi seems to be the best option right now. As usual there will be the so called secularists who know nothing about civic sense. Appeasing minorities is not secularism and in fact any undue appeasement just negates the meaning of secularism, which in any way cannot be considered real. As long as all religions co exist peacefully, secularism really doesnt matter and the media needs to explain to the public the real meaning of secularism.

With love.. Anil

The fake concept of "Mr. Perfect"

Yesterday I was watching the movie "Mr. Perfect" in the evening and a few thoughts came to my mind:
The logic shown in Mr. Perfect is nonsense. Pure nonsense. No one can change for someone in this world and feel the same after years of relationship. A compromise can never be a basis of any strong relationship.
The movie is good for the glamour of Prabhas, Kajal and Taapsee but people who take examples of sequences from that movie should stop the stupidity of taking useless
examples from fictitious stuff. Emotional blackmail and emotional games just dont make the world. True, some compromises are necessary, but both need to
compromise without any internal disappointment or an empty feel. Else what we get is fake smiles, show-off parties and master-slave combos. If the relationship was born out of compromise, it will either disintegrate in a short time span or it will perpetually remain in the master-slave model, where one of them will continuously fire the shots and the other just obeys, and get used to it over a period of time. That is dangerous for the family and society at large.

With love.. Anil

April 11, 2014

An illusion called secularism

Whoever coined the concept of "secularism" would have committed suicide if he/she were to be alive today and witnesses how the term is being abused by one and all. First of all secularism is an unnatural concept. Nature has never been secular and never will. There has always been inequalities and will exist in the future too. It is only because of inequalities and differences that the world is moving and the economy growing. For instance, economical growth is nothing but flow of money from one point to another and this is only possible if there is a difference in the levels like the flow of a river. Life on this planet is in itself a constant struggle between the strong and the weak. We cannot curb the natural instinct of any living thing.
So when the congress keeps patting its back by calling itself a secular party and calling all secular parties to come forward to defeat its opposition, it is merely trying to paint a fake picture of the society.
It takes pride in meeting a minority community and calls the meeting secular meeting whereas others who refuse to support them are termed communal.
The society remains peaceful not because it chooses to be secular but because it chooses to be warm towards others. As long as there is no hate-speech, every nation is and will remain peaceful and we don't need an overly abused term called "secularism" here.

With love.. Anil

March 24, 2014

The logic of mobile co-processors

I have always had a fascination about how much a device can become a part of our lives and after so many years of wandering through the technology reviews, user reviews, spec-war and heavy apps, I have found a kind of holy grail of mobiles that will soon emerge as the top feature in every phone that will come up: The mobile co-processor.
A mobile co-processor, as the name itself suggests is a processor that handles sensory data or contexual data that is fed to it from multiple sensors of a mobile.
Why not have all done by the quad-core or octa-core processors coming up in the mobiles these days? The main advantage of this system over the normal setup is that it consumes very low power and keeps the main processor in hibernation mode as it takes care of the continuous monitoring of activities like voice, movement, proximity sensor, etc. The uses are innumerable and Moto X was just a beginning. Others that followed suit are:
iPhone 5s(With its M7 motion co-processor)
Sony Xperia Z Ultra, Z1, Z1 Compact and the upcoming Z2(With Sony's sensor co-processor)

Of course all the above had different ways of integrating co-processors with their main processor, but the way Moto X integrated the hardware and software is amazing to say the least.
Soon we may see similar features from others like samsung, htc, lenovo, etc..

With love.. Anil

March 21, 2014

Exectations from the new Moto X(2014)

Its been around 6 months that the Moto X was released and a lot has happened in between. Some may say it is outdated, but some are still fans of its features. Whatever it may be, the excitement over Moto X's successor this summer is surely on the rise and expectations are running high.
For me, I have some things that I would love to see in the new Moto X:

1. Water proof, dust proof design
2. Expandable memory
3. Front facing stereo speakers(Need not look like HTC One, but hidden like the Xperia Z2).
4. Camera with OIS and take better low light pix.
5. FM Radio
6. Denim back covers.
7. E-reader mode that converts the display to e-ink display(if possible, just a wish).

With love.. Anil

March 11, 2014

A blueprint for future development of Samaikhyandhra: Part 2

This is a continuation of my series of articles that I believe can make capital cities to be the centres of development of Samaikhyandhra and not create another situation like hyderabad/telangana. Let me be clear that there should be multiple capital cities which are so well connected that they effectively function as a single mega city.
Lets assume that the administrative capital has been decided and they are planning to build the secretariat. What should be the main requirements of the same?
1. Uncongested large land ready to be developed to build the state secretariat/office complex, which should be like a township.
2. Transport facilities: Continuous and robust connectivity by all modes: Road, rail and air, in such a way that all areas of the state can be reached within a short span of time(and thus saving money too). A helipad on top of the secretariat and a runway nearest to the office area should be built.
An unused runway in a large open field should be a good option as that can be extended in the future.
3. Good water resources as well as 24-hour electricity with emphasis on using renewable energy.
4. Avoid concentration of financial activity and let that be spread across other cities like Vizag, Vijayawada,
5. Ability to plan from scratch with a blueprint similar to Chandigarh of Punjab/Haryana or Gandhinagar of Gujrat.
Tirupathi, Kurnool, and develop them with expansion of their respective satellite cities.
One of the areas that satisfy all the above criteria is the area near Nagarjuna sagar:
Easy accessibility to Kurnool, Hyderabad, Guntur, Vijayawada and Ongole(All reachable within 4 hours by road).

The new capital city needs to set an example of how a city should be planned that is both environment-friendly as well as good for the people with good modern facilities like fiber network, secure wifi, well maintained footpaths, wide roads, option for cycling lanes, greenery, biodiversity, etc, so that it can help in a healthy lifestyle and environmental balance.
Since Nagarjuna sagar is a prestigious area with lots of scope for improvement, it can be a good candidate for taking up the important job of having the secretariat without getting bogged down by the congestion of Vijayawada or Vizag which are already saturated.

The main reason I opt for the above model of development is due to the fact that the telangana issue has been a big lesson which needs to be learnt by not just the remaining state but by all Indians. When a part of a state feels neglected, it can create problems in the future and this needs to be avoided.

With love.. Anil

March 10, 2014

James Cameron's Titanic Experience. Relived!

Last weekend, I experienced titanic again on romedy now. A perfect mix of narration,performance, screenplay. A rare movie that never bores even after 4 hrs! Is it a perfect depiction of realistic drama or a dramatic reality? I wonder! The background score never deviates from the theme that James Cameron chose. Every character had a beautiful role to play, even the supporting cast! No film beat it's numerous uno position even now after 18 years of watching it in the erstwhile sapna theatre in Bangalore! The sets and the SFX blend so seamlessly into the movie that they collectively become a character in themselves!

The same big screen amazement nearly 2 decades old remains when watched on a small screen today! James's obsession with the details is unbelievable.
It is strange to write a review or analysis of a movie that was released nearly 17 years ago but here it is:
The below scenes stand out, just picking a few from many!:
1. The entire sequence where Jack runs to board the Titanic in the last minute was beautifully shot, by capturing the excitement on everyone's faces. The footage looks so authentic that it transports you to the times of 1912!
2. Titanic racing with the dolphins is a scene I cannot forget.
3. Rose jumping off the life boat and onto a deck to meet Jack.
4. Rose singing lonely, surrounded by deathly silence all over and eventually her reaction to Jack's death and blowing the whistle for eternity.
5. The final scene where she throws away the Heart of the Ocean and meeting everyone related to Titanic and getting united to Jack in her dreams.

With love.. Anil