Another one with Random Rants

This time its truly random, so you, unlike last time, you can’t screw my life by posting this on females’ scrapbooks.

BSNL

My net connection was down the whole of yesterday, apparently there were some server issues at Bangalore, so I am guessing the whole of South India faced downtimes. Today, we noticed that there was some 13GB added to our usage.. around Rs. 11000 worth of download.. in well less than a minute. This was around 1300 IST, on Jun 6th.

We contacted them — apparently other customers have also had issues. Check up your usage if you’re on BSNL, and save your folks a heart attack when they see the month’s bill.

Movies

Have been making good use of my 500GB Maxtor… and have watched quite a few movies I brought from CMI. Believe me or not, I watched The Matrix completely for the first time! Was definitely dissappointed with The Matrix Reloaded though, there isn’t much of a story if the protagonist is all powerful. Also seen: Adaptation (7), Amores perros (7), The Lives of Others (8), Bourne Identity (6, good idea, bad story), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (6.. first time I’m seeing an Indiana Jones movies, umm.. why the hell is it on IMDB’s top 250? It has got a pathetic story, pathetically done.), Sincity (7, umm.. no story at all)… and some other less known films.

I have also watched some movies a second time (I never watch a movie a second time). Fight Club and Old boy lose all their charm when you watch them a second time.

Music

Having a CMI lan at home can mean lots in terms of experimenting (listening!) with new music. I think I’m moving up the rock ladder one rung at a time. Right now it seems to be at Pink Floyd.. and some U2 and Coldplay.. and Bob Dylan (ok.. Dylan’s not rock.. but Knocking on Heaven’s Door finally sounds good!). Was listening to the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of all time and, well, I hope I never reach that rung.

Programming

I have been doing some stuff with the Google Reader Integration with Liferea, after a week of temporary distractions. A little wiresharking led me to discover this Google Reader api (if I can call it that.. it’s not documented anywhere): I can now make a query to Google Reader, and in one request Google will give me the last-updated times of all my subscriptions. What this means is I can actually implement efficient feed downloading: right now every time I do an update on my feeds I lost about 2MB of bandwidth and 20 seconds of my precious life. 2MB of bandwidth is not good if you’re using BSNL and if you’re experimenting with Liferea. After I am done with this little piece of coding, I will know exactly which subscriptions to update instead of blindly updating everything. I also discovered that it is possible to retrieve more than 20 (or less than 20) items in a single update call, so you can expect “True Synchronization”… even if you’ve forgotten to do an update within Liferea for the last two months.

Sketching, and Facebook, and Orkut, and some crap

Oh well, I rejoined (I had deactivated my account) Facebook just for the sketching. I needed motivation :D Hopefully my future girlfriends (ooh! I’m optimistic!) will never find that .private directory that contains so many females’ pictures nicked from Facebook. (To Potential Future Girlfriend: if you’re reading this then believe me, that previous statement was a joke. I wouldn’t hide anything from you, would I?)

Applications on Facebook are really getting on my nerves now. These days I am wary of clicking somebody’s profile link, because it is likely to take up another few MB of my bandwidth: some lonely souls have hundreds of applications. (Tomorrow’s Cleartrip ad will have a guy aboard a flight saying: “I’m going to Delhi to visit my friend, it’s cheaper than visiting him on Facebook.”)

And most of these applications don’t serve a purpose.

Which brings me to a question: for our desktops we know that it’s good to have competing applications, different applications doing the same thing in different ways perhaps.

Does the same hold true for Social Networking sites? In Social networking, it’s the connections that matter, applications work on the connections — not the persons themselves. So you can’t choose your applications. The connections you have, choose the application for you. If there are competing applications then either: One, you can subscribe to duplicate applications which do the same thing just to maintain the connections with other who might be using only one of the two applications. Two, everybody uses one of the two (two hundred?) applications and miss out the connections to friends who use the other (one hundred and ninety nine?) applications.

So therefore, I decided to take the third route: and removed all my applications. I kept the last.fm (for music) application and an iRead (for books) application. (I would’ve kept Flixster — for movies, but it’s just too complicated. It tries to do much more than what it should be doing, and so it sucks at everything. Also it doesn’t work with Firefox. Also I don’t want to maintain duplicate ratings on both Flixster and IMDB.) I do not want to prove my IQ by doing weird quizes (and then display them on my profile page so that Potential Future Girlfriend can see them), I do not want Facebook telling me that I’m like Ross in F.R.I.E.N.D.S, or that I have the 47th Best Smile among my 47 friends, or predict for me that I’m going to stay single all my life.

I don’t think my gesture of removing all applications will be reciprocated by my friends. After all The Game Must Go On.

All applications should be compulsorily open source, that way people can improve upon them rather than make competing products. Open source applications also tend to focus on professionality and simplicity rather than the attention seeking colours, images and the 72 point fonts that current Facebook applications are about.

Orkut has been copying a lot of Facebook features blindly these days, but so far Orkut seems to be much more selective of what applications are available for general use[EDIT: I was wrong, from the last time I last checked they’ve added a hell lot of applications. The social networking version of bloatware]. (Orkut does innovate though: it created lightweight version of its site — possibly targeted at BSNL controlled users like me — that truly rocks.)

The Real Exciting Stuff that I’ve been Doing

Nothing. Hope you didn’t enjoy my blog.

Advertisements

5 Responses to Another one with Random Rants

  1. arpith says:

    oh, to be first

  2. dpgodct.od says:

    Did you try (to) UnFuck Facebook?

  3. arnstein says:

    @arpith: Congrats. A few years from now you can tell your kids that you were once the first to comment on one of Arnie’s post.

  4. Jayanth T N says:

    @“I’m going to Delhi to visit my friend, it’s cheaper than visiting him on Facebook.”:Mallu joke; but, I still laughed! Is the joke good or am I getting worse!?

  5. ochod says:

    very smart of you arnie…to slip in a few notes to your future girlfriend(s?)… learning from other’s mistakes are we? ;)

    @jayanth – i laughed too…i think it was a good mallu joke…a rarity but yeah!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: