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Vote for South Park!

By on Apr 20, 2009 in Reviews, Stop The Press | 0 comments

photo credit: otherthingsSouthParkStudios.com – the official website of award-winning TV series South Park – has been nominated for a Webby Award in Entertainment (Humor) category! The Webby Awards are the ‘Internet-equivalent’ of the Oscars, previous winners being the Who’s Who of the online world. Webby Awards is famous for its acceptance speech rules: the acceptance speech by any winner must be no longer than five words. (I believe the rules may be changed to make it ‘140 characters’, IF Twitter finds a business model AND becomes a sponsor of the Webby Awards.) I wonder what Trey Parker and Matt Stone are going to say when (if) they win this award. SouthParkStudios.com can also win a Webby People’s Voice Award. (One set of Webby Awards is chosen by a jury, another set is based on votes from the general public who vote online on Webby website.) You’ve time to vote till 30th April, and then the results will be declared on 5th May. So all South Park fans (and even if you aren’t a fan) please go and vote now for South Park! If you don’t, I’ll come over to each one of my readers who doesn’t vote and kick them squaw in the nuts. SouthParkStudios.com is beautifully designed and offers a lot of ‘stuff’ for fans too. You can watch complete episodes of ALL shows online, watch shorter clips (embed them on your site even), create your own South Park avatar, download ‘crap’, discuss with others on forums, get behind-the-scenes news, […I’m running out of breath now…], ask questions directly to the creators of the show…[drops due to exhaustion]. My point is, there’s a LOT on the site – and it’s definitely funny. I’ll leave you with a joke from a recent South Park episode Fishsticks (it only works with guys): Q: Do you like fishsticks? A: Yes Q: Do you like putting fishsticks (pronounce as ‘fishdicks’) in your mouth? A: Yes Q: Then what are you, a gay fish? RAPPER KANYE WEST WAS PARODIED IN THIS EPISODE AND HE WROTE A RESPONSE ON HIS BLOG IN ALL CAPS. In the episode’s climax, Kanye West has an epiphany and realises that he’s a gay fish. That whole song was sung by Trey Parker. Listen to complete, uncensored version of the song Gay Fish by Trey Parker (so hilarious!). I’m seriously. Just go and vote for South...

Download IIT JEE 2009 Solutions

By on Apr 12, 2009 in Stop The Press | 15 comments

The IIT Joint Entrance Exam 2009 was held today, with around 3.6 lakh aspirants giving the exam. Seems that the number of students fighting per seat has gone down, but that is expected with the a number of new IITs starting up. There are more seats now in the IITs, although not significantly higher. Government’s decision to give more reservations seems to be ‘paying off’ – with around 40% candidates for IITJEE 2009 from the reserved category. You can download solutions for IIT JEE 2009 by clicking the links below. These solutions / analysis have been provided by Career Launcher’s ARC programme. IIT JEE 2009 Analysis (PDF, ~116 KB) – An executive summary of format changes and expected cutoffs for IITJEE 2009. IIT JEE 2009 Question Papers along with Answer List (ZIP file containing PDFs, ~3.2 MB) – JEE ’09 question paper with the answering key. In case you want only the answer key for individuals papers, click the following links to download IIT JEE 2009 Paper 1 Answer Key and download IITJEE 2009 Paper 2 Answer Key (both PDF files less than 100 KB in size. In a bit of shocking news, it has come to light that there were errors in the IIT JEE 2008 paper which might have cost candidates up to 18 points! This was discovered after Professor KD Joshi went through the JEE 2008 paper and the model solutions posted by IIT online. While this may not affect everyone, for those aiming for top ranks it might have made a signifcant difference in their eventual ranking. What is even more surprising that errors actually slipped though an exam of the level of JEE. While looking up for the JEE ’09 solutions, I went to the Career Launcher website. I knew about their logo redesign, but they also seem to be taking many steps to ‘modernize’ themselves (this from a company which is already pretty cutting edge when it comes to the use of technology in the classroom) and harness social media including an active YouTube channel for Career Launcher. Career Launcher has a blog for engineering aspirants too – kinda dormant though. It’s good that at least some companies in the education field in India are making efforts to make studies more engaging and interactive for students. Wishing all exam aspirants luck with their IITJEE result and forthcoming...

BITSAT 2009 Test Instructions

By on Apr 4, 2009 in On A Whim | 10 comments

Some of you students who are giving BITS Pilani’s entrance test BITSAT 2009 this year might be having problems accessing the hall instructions after printing your hall ticket. The PDF version of the hall instructions are not available on the BITSAT site server and returns a 404 error. The HTML version has problems of its own – it seems to have been placed in a password-protected directory and keeps prompting you to authenticate (but shows the page anyway). If you’re facing these problems too, download a PDF copy of the official BITSAT 2009 Hall Instructions by clicking here (~360 KB). It is important that you read this beforehand because you definitely don’t want to waste time on the day of the exam reading up all this. And remember to take a photocopy of your class 10 Board marksheet / birth certificate / school photo ID along with your hall ticket (in case you don’t want to waste time filling up a form saying “Sorry, I’m a derp”). PS – To find more posts related to BITSAT on my blog, use the search form given...

Downloading made easy at G2P.org

By on Mar 27, 2009 in Reviews, Tech Takes | 0 comments

Disclaimer: The information given below is intended for informational purposes only and not to encourage piracy of copyrighted material. In the world of BitTorrent networks, P2P networks and music download sites are almost dead. IMO though nothing beats the speed of transferring files directly from a server. You don’t have to bother about share ratios, finding seeders, uploading yourself, etc. Especially for those one off downloads. BitTorrent is extremely efficient at transferring large files but not so much at small files. Maybe not due to technical reasons but because of the fact that torrent trackers mostly list large files. G2P.org (a take on P2P – stands for Google-to-peer) allows you to search the web (via Google) for files you want. The concept behind it is simplicity itself – it uses special search operators to search Google for files you want in openly listed directories on Apache servers. (On Apache, if you don’t disable directory listing everyone can browse the directory structure – including Googlebot.) G2P offers predefined categories (see its sidebar) to narrow down your search. Once you hit search it opens Google results in a frame. If the results don’t match what you want, you can modify the search expression yourself (although you’ll need to be fairly well acquainted with the syntax used). G2P is not a search engine but simply a frontend to one which makes searching for ‘stuff’ easier. The data is hosted on by others listed in open directories; you may or may not find what you’re looking for. But for one off cases where you need to download something quickly without bothering about finding seeds it’s a great idea. For webmasters: If you are a webmaster and own a site, it’s generally not a good idea to keep open directory listings (where directories / folders are shown when the ‘default’ files as specified in your Apache config are not present). Sure, if you’re in a philanthrophic mood and want Google to index ‘stuff’ you put up it’s OK but in other cases it’s quite often a no-no for privacy / security. Rectifying this issue is trivial. Open your .htaccess file and this one line to it: Options -Indexes ..and that’s it. This will turn off directory listing for all folders and child subfolders. Trying to access a directory root should return a ‘403 Forbidden’ error. Using this option does not prevent you in using any files yourself listed under any of those directories – if you enter the full path to a file it will still be accessible. The other option is to use a robots.txt exclusion, but I’ll drop that for the moment because although it will prevent compliant (this is important) search engines from indexing that directory it will not actually prevent the listing in case a user tries to browse using a web...

WordCamp India

By on Mar 18, 2009 in Personal, Tech Takes | 23 comments

“All your participants are belong to us!” Phew…I finally get down to writing my post on WordCamp India (#wci on Twitter). This was held on 21-22 February 2009 (the first day of WCI was clashing with the second day of freed.in) at the Adobe India office in Noida. WordCamp is conference similar to BarCamp (except for the ‘un’ bit) for WordPress users. The organizers hit jackpot by getting the founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg himself to come for the event – along with top blogger Om Malik of GigaOm fame. We had free WiFi courtesy Adobe so a lot of us did live tweeting / live blogging there. (Signing on to that network was another story. We all had to read agree to a long EULA, sign up for a guest account on the Adobe network. All pretty cool, when you consider that their network was rock solid.) Guess what? Our collective effort made it the most discussed topic on Twitter throughout the world on both days! You can check out all tweets tagged #wci related to WordCamp India on Twitter. I’ve also uploaded photos from WordCamp India in my photo gallery here (mostly contributed by Prashanth), and you can see photos clicked by other people at WordCamp India here. WordCamp India – Day 1 Reached the Adobe office somewhat late because I had trouble finding where it was. Once you know what it looks like it’s kinda hard to miss because of the funky color scheme the building has (see picture above). The souvenir we got turned out to be…pencils. Now that was a dampner. But they were also giving out WordPress tattoos, stickers and badges. I had one tattoo of Mozilla Firefox on one cheek (from MozillaCamp Delhi). At WordCamp, I got some WordPress tattoos, the other cheek was populated soon. Some called me ‘cheeky’ (pun intended), but everyone did recognize me as ‘The Tattoo Guy’ – including Matt Mullenweg. I was also wearing multiple multi-coloured badges. You see, when these goodies are distributed people jump on them as if they’re hungry refugees getting aid from the World Food Programme – as evidenced by how greedily they were ‘attacking’ the box where the badges etc to be distributed. Yet, not a single person apart from me bothered to actually wear these. (Even for that matter, nobody other than me used the stickers given at MozillaCamp Delhi.) Love it? Flaunt it! When you’re a user of an open source project it is your duty to be an evangelist. There is no corporation full of moneybags to sponsor any publicity. YOU, as a user of open source software, have to contribute in any way you can. (This is the same sick mentality as those who order multiple Ubuntu CDs via ShipIt – or forget multiple, even single CDs for that matter – and never bother to distribute / use them. Morons. A lot of money goes into that programme. The least you can do is have a conscience and not misuse it if you plan to sit on the CD like a hen for eternity.) Adobe Noida seminar hall (free bald head included) On Day 1 there were around 200 people who were attending – most of them bloggers. I found it surprising that hardly any developers were present. Sessions on Day 1 were: Keynote session by Om Malik; welcome session by Twilight Fairy: I missed both these because I reached the venue late. Implementing a radio site using WP (by Shreyas): This session was about how RadioVerve customized WordPress (the website currently runs on that). I refused to listen to this session on principle – because he had used Comic Sans font for displaying code in his presentation. How to get started after installing WordPress (by Abhijeet Mukherjee): This was a useful session for those who hadn’t used WordPress – and quite surprisingly there were quite a few of these folks. The presentations touched base with the most important stuff and was a good beginners’ guide to WordPress. (Partial video of Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” session) State of the Word (by Matt Mullenweg): Matt Mullenweg spoke of how WordPress started of, it’s current state, and where it’s headed. The quick history lesson included screenshots from a bygone era when WordPress was young, goofy photos of Matt, photos from other WordCamps, statistics et al. There was this one photo of Matt from when he was in high school – and very geeky looking. Implementing SEO in your WP blog (by Abhinav Gulyani): Totally lame session. It prompted a many to comment that screening of speakers should have been done at WordCamp, apart from inspiring many caustic tweets. I’d have given a howlarious picture here if it wasn’t for SlideShare not working properly. Even the presentation he used was copied from here! You can see the presentation which Abhinav gave here. That bring me to my other point – too many people seem to be using boobs to get a point across. Now now, I’m not complaining against hallowed traditions such as booth babes at CES (or any expo) but inserting pictures of Ah-Tah every second slide doesn’t make sense. That guy didn’t even have the balls to show this slide! (As soon as he came to this slide, he switched to the next one and ended his presentation.) Optimizing Google AdSense on your WP blog (by Amit...