Sunday, August 26, 2012

like moon. beautiful & beyond my reach.

Today, there is no money involved. No friends to persuade. Kavita, she is there, alone, 3 cubicles away. All I need to do is go say ‘Hi’. Still, I can’t. This time I do care. I do care what she would think of me. I do care what she would say, what she would tell her friends. I do care this time. Maybe it’s because of the fear of embarrassment, fear of failure. Or maybe it’s because I liked her.Above all, you need guts.

It was all coming back, like a flash-back – the day I had talked to someone, some stranger. “I will give 3000 rupees to whomever goes and talk to that girl sitting over there.” My manager had said pointing one in a group of girls sitting not more than 5 tables away from ours in the food court.It happened 4 years ago. I went and talked to her. I didn’t even know who that girl was. I didn’t care what she might think or what she might say. All I could think of was the money. I was dead nervous yet I managed to go talk to her. I was pretty sure that chances of seeing her again were very less.

Now, it’s different. I make up my mind one day and drop it the next moment. I feel it’s more like gardens. We plan to tend to them. We just always seem to put it off till next week. And to add to that, there is a common misconception among guys that beautiful girls doesn’t seem to share the enthusiasm of making friends with someone who’s hitting on them.

Kavita, she did look serious for I haven’t seen her smiling. Hope she isn’t arrogant. She is kind of modern by the way she dresses;Hindu for sure by her name; Non-vegetarian anddoesn’t look like a nerd. Being serious, not nerdy and being modern perfectly rules out all the possibilities of her not-being-arrogant. Guess she is single too. If not, well, let’s not talk about that. Mostly they tend to be on phone for a long time. I haven’t seen her oh phone at all, maybe once or twice. I heard she is social and jolly and really cool. I never dared to discuss her among my friends. People tend to be reserved when it comes to matters like this. I’m no different.

I knew I would talk to her one day and I did. Out of the blue! I didn’t give her a chance to talk. I was nervous and she was embarrassed I guess. I don’t expect to see her a lot and I’m sure I will save her some embarrassment if I don’t talk to her in front of her friends.

She wasn’t anything that I thought of. She isn’t serious. She looks gorgeous when she smiles. Maybe that’s the reason she smiles less. She is studious; hard-core vegetarian and die-hard religious. I got 4 wrongs out of 5. I don’t want to risk the last one.

She is like rains in Chennai – when it rains, it pours; when she talks, she’s wonderful. Otherwise, I just don’t exist at all.

Photo Credit: Parvez / Image

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

embarrassed. a little.

That’s her, walking towards me. Oh God, she is beautiful. I try to look away. No. I can’t. I try to catch her eyes. She doesn't seem to notice me. She can’t miss me. No one’s around. I try to remember our first meet. It was out of the blue. She was surprised. Maybe shocked. I felt lucky in some way when she didn't take it bad. Kind of a dream come true. We did talk later. A couple of times or maybe a little more. 

I look at her. I smile.

She doesn’t.

Thank god, no one's around.

Photo Credit: Cris Watk / Image / Website

Friday, August 17, 2012

Digitizing Books One Word at a Time.

Now that I've written about CAPTCHA (read it here), let me tell you something about reCAPTCHA.

reCAPTCHA is a free CAPTCHA service that helps to digitize books. Millions of CAPTCHAs are solved by humans around the world every day. In each case, roughly ten seconds of human time are being spent. reCAPTCHA channels the effort spent solving CAPTCHAs online into "reading" books.

Using Optical Character Recognition, the photographically scanned book pages are transformed into text. The problem is that OCR is not perfect.

reCAPTCHA improves the process of digitizing books by sending words that cannot be read by computers to the Web in the form of CAPTCHAs for humans to decipher. More specifically, each word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is placed on an image and used as a CAPTCHA. 

Here is the tricky part. If a computer can't read such a CAPTCHA, how does the system know the correct answer to the puzzle? Here’s how: They give two words instead of one – one which cannot be read correctly by OCR and the next word for which the answer is already known. The user is then asked to read both words. If they solve the one for which the answer is known, the system assumes their answer is correct for the new one. 

What if we can read only one of them? Say, something like this.

I enter the word ‘(Humphrey’ correctly but not the next. In this case, it will be still considered correct but it would not take it for granted. The system then gives the new image to a number of other people to determine, with higher confidence, whether the original answer was correct.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Pain in the ass!

Yes, that’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I come across a CAPTCHA. Until recently, I was completely against CAPTCHA. Maybe because I found it really difficult to identify the words or letters or numbers.

Have you ever thought why did they even bring this concept? I hadn’t too, until yesterday when my friend gave me a short (but wonderful) lecture on CAPTCHA. I always thought CAPTCHA is a word, similar to ‘WHATCHA’. CAPTCHA is the acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.

Consider the ‘Comments’ section on your blog. There are two ‘fields’ there. One is a text box where you can enter your ‘comment’ and another is a ‘Publish’ button. There are only two steps involved in this process. 1. Enter comments in the textbox. 2. Hit ‘Publish’. It’s child’s play for a computer freak to program these. I mean, to open your blog, select ‘comments’ link, enter some text and hit submit. Think of it if he runs this loop a million times? A million comments for your blog. Wow! That’s something good, isn’t it? ;)

Okay. Think if he is doing this on an email registration page. A million user ID’s and passwords with no one actually using it. They can do this with any permutation and combination of alphabets and numbers ranging different lengths. So when you try to create a user id or any user id, all you see is ‘user id already exists’.

CAPTCHAs are designed to be easy for a computer to generate, but difficult for a computer to solve, so that if a correct solution is received, it can be presumed to have been entered by a human. CAPTCHAs have many applications for security which includes – preventing comment spams in blogs, protecting website registrations, online polls, and most importantly, to prevent dictionary attacks*.

So, when an automated program or a ‘bot’ tries to gain access, CAPTCHA GOTCHA!


*CAPTCHAs can also be used to prevent dictionary attacks in password systems. The idea is simple: prevent a computer from being able to iterate through the entire space of passwords by requiring it to solve a CAPTCHA after a certain number of unsuccessful logins.

PS: I found the topic interesting. Thought I will write about it here. Hope its informative.

Monday, August 13, 2012

i'm anything but miser.

To quote Google,
Noun: A person who hoards wealth and spends as little money as possible.

I wear a Tissot. I use a Samsung Galaxy S3. I have 2 Apple iPods - one Touch & one Classic. One Bang & Olufsen earphones (and many other stuffs). I bought all these with my money. I'm not boasting about myself. I've always been extravagant and will always be. Though I'm not taking any credit for that.

I rarely think about money when I want to buy something for myself or my family. I do think when I'm spending money for someone else. It's my money and I've the right to think and will continue to do so. I've never stopped spending money for them though not in the same way I spend for myself. Even so, how can that be counted for a miser? 

I'm not spending money for them the way I spend for myself and so I'm a miser? What the heck? I didn't stop spending money or I'm not saving money in any bank account or anywhere else for that matter.

Does that make me a miser? I mean, really?

Photo Credit: Shilpin Patel / Image

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Line Of Vision by David Ellis - Review

I have been reading a lot of books lately. And I just finished the book - Line of Vision by David Ellis. I thought I will soon write something about this book before I forget the details. After all I've been (wanting &) waiting for something to write on my blog.

Whenever I hear 'Legal Thrillers', I always thought of John Grisham and I never liked him. I've read a couple of books of his and hated both. So, I never wanted to read Legal Thrillers anymore. And then I started watching an English Series - Boston Legal. Its a courtroom dracomedy - combination of drama and comedy. And that's how I got back to legal thrillers, Non-Grisham books though ;)

So, Line of Vision!

Seriously guys, no words to explain. Its just wonderful and I didn't want to keep this book down until I finished it. The protagonist, Marty, is accused of murdering his lover's husband. Paul, who is Marty's lawyer, does a wonderful job in saving Marty's ass. I was so convinced that Marty will be executed but till the last chapter. Oh My God! I actually felt I was in that courtroom. 

There are sequences (very small though) in the novel where I felt a little disconnected - not disconnected actually, but I had no idea about why is he doing a few things. But those few things are really important when it comes to the end. I mean, you will feel no gaps once you finish the book. David Ellis has done a wonderful job and I'm planning to read more of his.

I will give 4/5.

PS: No offense meant to Grisham fans. Its just that I don't like his books. Also, I'm sure this review doesn't look like an actual 'Review'. I hope it conveys the message though.

Friday, August 10, 2012

every year. like clockwork.

So I’m back again. It’s been one year since I wrote anything at all. I haven’t even opened my blog for so long. Anyway, it’s my birthday again.

Another year closer to death.

I’ve been thinking a lot these days about scribbling something here. I never got anything or any topic to write about. I once asked my friend to suggest some topic to write about and she told me to write about Girl-Friends. I don’t know what she meant by just saying Girl-Friend, like, my girl-friend or girl-friends in general. Its way out of my league anyway. Also I don’t want to be reminded of things that I’m learning to forget.

I'm in Hyderabad now. It's a nice place. I always thought ‘Hyderabad? Oh My God! It’s hot there.’ But no. It’s not so hot except for summer. Singapore township is a wonderful place to stay for those who are working in Infosys. ;) But there is no place like home or home town. I can’t wait to go back to Cochin.

I’m not sure what to do next. I mean, in life. After watching Saina Nehwal winning Bronze and Kashyap’s losing in Quarter Finals, I wanted to go into Badminton. I mean I’m not a wonderful player. But I just love the game. After watching Boston Legal, I wanted to become a lawyer. After listening to Buddha Bar’s Secret love, I wanted to become a violinist. I have no idea what would become of my life. My roomies, only-2-year-experienced-and-yet-fucked-up-software-engineers, planning to go for MBA. They are tired of IT. Think of me guys. I’ve been into IT for as long as I can remember. I can’t even write with a pen properly now.

Hope something good will turn out of this, out of my life I mean.

Happy Birthday to Myself by the way.

Photo Credit: Guido Ric / Image
Photo Credit: Mokra / Image


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