Monday, August 30, 2010

Likejacking - beware facebook users!

Facebook is 'the' most popular application in the social networking space today.
It's a hit and people are loving it!

Like all other applications, this too has pitfalls!
The modus operandi is all too simple.
All of us have heard of such things before, but some people just don't care.

An external link is posted on a profile which is rather enticing in nature.
Gone are the days when a porn inspired quote got the attention of the users.
These days, the quotes are more sublime, docile and a bit funny.

The probability of people clicking on such links is very high.

For example,
"This boy fell straight on his face after this girl slapped him"

You have to 'like' this post to view the video.

Here comes the trick.
The like button is a new feature of FB which allows a developer to build a plugin.
Then the users profile details are accessed (ofcourse with permission, nobody's complaining!)

The code on the button click can be customized to show a thumbnail of a page, a picture and title of the page. This makes the trick more authentic.

Before you know, you are transported to a rogue page with malicious content which hooks the trojans on to your machine!

And to rub more salt on the wound, since you like it, it gets posted on your wall for other to see.
And one by one everyone 'likes' it!
This is like a virus which spreads systematically and nobody suspects because so many people 'like' it!

One way to tell the 'malicious like' from the 'normal like' could be that the malicious ones always appear like a button on mouse-over.
Something like this :

The normal ones are generally just like a hyper-link.

All I can say is... just be aware and do not let unknown rogue applications access your profile data.
Forget the people you are spreading you to, you are also, in the process risking your own laptop/desktop.

Some more example pictures(now this post obviously points to malicious content because of the tag line:-) ) :

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Britney Spears - one more time please!

Britney Spears has always been a teen icon!
Back when I was a teen, I followed Brian Adams and boy bands like Backstreet boys and Boyzone.. they were a rage back then.
But most people dished out similar things...
As guys.. me and my friends always wanted some young lady take the lead!
The answer came in the form of Britney Spears.

I remember, Jan 1999, when her "Baby, one more time" debuted, it became a rage in the US and the ripples were felt the world over!
She looked cute, a girl next door.. who was a great performer..
Apart from that her first song had a video where she was dressed as a new college goer! So it struck the chord immediately with us.. who were also just getting over with school. (School in India is till grade 10). Thereafter its college.

The SONY BMG music cassette costed Rupees 180... which was about 4 and half dollars then.
It was big money for me, I got about 50 rupees as pocket money then for my personal expenses.
I saved up for a couple of months, pooled in my past savings, and got the cassette finally!
I was the first among my peers.. immediately my cassette got booked for a few days.. all my friends wanted to take it home and record the songs on a blank cassette!!
That was back then...
when Britney was cute.. she was our age..

Then over albums and years, she became a cult figure... I started losing interest in her albums and songs which became more pub friendly.
Too much of mixing and beats made her voice obscure.
The times of "hit me baby one more time" and "U drive me crazy" were clearly over.
She had become like the rest of the generation and lost her youthful next-door charm. :(

Years later, I came across a song 'Toxic' The video was fun, but she had lost the charm by then.. she had grown up to be just like one of those American singers.

She did crazy things like having the shortest marriage which lasted only 55 hours.
The slide continued, with another failed marriage, Kevin Federline was at the other end this time.
She had kids, I wonder what they think of their mom!
These guys, if they go to school, must be having an equally hard time there with all the kids around knowing of all the stupid things that keep happening with their mother.
She later allegedly hooked up with some driver or something called Adnan Ghalib.
Can it get any worse??
Rumours of a sex tape flew thick and fast... the tabloids were all in anticipation, though its another story that nothing of that sort came.

Now, when I look back, I cringe to think of what the icon of millions of teens back then has done to herself.
She must be close to 30, but already looks too tired of life.
She gets most of her pictures air-brushed when appearing on covers of magazines.

I guess this is what happens when someone can't handle the fame and adulation which comes too early.
She is only a sad shadow of her past now.. I feel sad, but considering her middle class upbringing, expected her to be stronger.
There are lots of such cases out there... rehab is their second home.
But alas, that's what we have come to be.

For years, we yearn to succeed, we work hard to succeed, but when we achieve something quantifiable, we go into the self-destruct mode!

The latest I heard today, Madame Spears, plans to get married again by the end of this year. to Jason Trawick who was her manager! Phew!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Milkshakes - 1987 to Pamela to Mallika to Koena

My memory goes back to sometime when I was just 5. That was 1987.
My mom must have made me milkshakes even before that, but that's only how long back I can remember.

My mom always told me that they are a good substitute for breakfast and evening snacks, she said that they will give me enough energy to play cricket for 3 hours.
She told me they had lots of proteins and other nutrients.
I used to gulp down the tasty shakes in a matter of seconds.
Back then, in homes, the shakes were pretty plain, simpler and totally not exotic.
It was a banana shake or a mango shake or a strawberry shake!

Milkshakes were loved by kids and elders alike, because they were smooth, creamy and colourful and totally yummy!

I loved the legacy of milkshakes till I was a teen.
Not that I started hating them, but just that I had been out of home for a long while... for higher studies.

Years passed, I hadn't had milkshakes in ages.
One fine day on television, I see an attention seeking Indian actress making her own milkshake on television.
At first I thought it was some cookery show gone glam.
Then it struck that it was for 'Millions of milkshakes' at Hollywood.
Wow, the weird and bizarre trend of naming recipes around celebrities had reached the Indian shores as well!
In amazement I looked on... milkshakes were never 'oh-so-sexy'!
Have a look :

1. Taste the raspberries, unhygienic, but the populace doesn't care, when it's Mallika hissing.. oops kissing the berries.

2. Maximum eyeballs, because it's a banana!

3. Some milk finally..

4.Yup, almost done

5.Some cream to top it up!

6.And here you go!!

The shake is not the centre of attraction here, probably the girl in the frame on the back tasted it already, even her eyes are puking!

This photo shoot became a huge hit in India!
Catching the hint, another wannabe Bollywood actress, Koena Mitra who's out of work back home astonishingly got herself a milkshake!

Relatively, some uninspiring pics of the disaster and her milkshake here :

This trend has caught on.. from the wannabes in Hollywood, Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Pamela Anderson, and the preposterous Kardarshian sisters : Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian & Kourtney Kardashian.

Pamela notably, looked the ugliest of them all at her milkshake photo-op.
Have a look :
The poor milkshake is a sidekick here

and OH-MY-GOD!(If you find this appealing, please click on the pic and enlarge)

Had my mum showed me the last picture of the milkshake in 1987, probably I would never have tasted milk ever nor would I shake my cough syrups before drinking!!

The journey of milkshakes has just begun in the eastern world..
The other day, I saw a school kid, waiting for his school bus with google search on his iPhone, the search string was :

Could anyone of you post the recipe of this milkshake? I don't still consider myself too old for it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

One of the cutest ads on Indian television

Yesterday me and a couple of my office buddies were partying ..
The discussions veered from morality, human nature to aliens to college life... it was all guy-talk, but then when we talked of college, we were all mushy mushy for obvious reasons and then ...
sometime around mid-night, this advertisement came up on the TV.. and 3 of us, got hooked onto the TV set.
41 seconds later, all of us, said the same thing in different languages..
"This has to be the cutest ad this year."
I just love the sitar music at the end.. it sounds so fresh!
The girl and guy have that brilliant look of their 'first-meet-vulnerability'.
All of us were actually transported back in time..
It was truly, madly and deeply a - "Blast from the past".
Have a look :

For those who don't understand Hindi, here's the transcript with the time factor.
Boy : Excuse me, could you give me a small bite of your Dairy milk chocolate? (0:02)
Girl: Do I know you (0:08)
Boy : (Nods) No
Girl: So? (0:10)
Boy : My mom tells me that before you start doing something good, you should always have something sweet. (0:12)
Girl: By the way, what's the good thing that you wanna do? (0:23)
Boy : I was thinking... I can drop you home (0:26)

The thought at 0:12 is a typical Indian tradition of having something sweet before you embark on something good.
The belief is that it will bring good luck and success in the task.

Sometimes, these small things make you happy and bring a smile on your face!

PS : The above advertisement belongs to Cadbury's. This post is just a reference to the brilliance of this advertisement which I wanted to share.

Rumblings of the mind

Rumbling(verb) - is a deep, resonant and persistent sound that often induces people into a state of trance.

How would you feel when one person whom you have nurtured, believed in, invested in, one fine day without notice start drifting away from you?

Would it evoke a reaction from you? Would you feel sad or cheated or lonely?

If I were that person, I would not feel ‘sad’ because I was the one who nurtured, believed and invested in the person. If at all anything was, it was my mistake.

I would not feel ‘cheated’ because the other person chose to walk away, and 'cheated' is a grave term and should not be used until something is proven.

I would also not feel lonely, because loneliness is only in the mind. As long as you want to feel lonely, you would, the world would seem gloomy, dark and overcast.

But if you choose to forget, then the world would seem green again.

But words are easy to pen, not follow.
Even though I would tend not to feel cheated, sad or lonely, I would feel 'wronged'.

I would feel wronged for the reason that I trusted a person who could not repose my faith.

I would feel wronged because if I held that person whenever she fell, she just walked when I fell.

I would feel wronged because if ever and whenever there was something she wanted to share, she shared it first with me and now I no longer get to see that from her side.

I would feel wronged because of being made a second fiddle.

I would feel wronged because I am a fool who made a bigger fool of myself.

Maybe I was in an 'inceptionized' state where I only dreamt and nothing actually existed.

Maybe I expected too much from her because I am a Virgo... and hence the feminine side always interferes with my 'guy attitude' and makes me feel miserable.

Maybe I should stop, think and listen to my brain.

Yeah maybe..

Maybe it's time now to stop loving everyone around.

And frankly the world seems greener now! Just by writing this.

But I am afraid, the day this person comes back, I am going to melt again.. I am going to forget all that I am writing..

Because someone has said and quite truly,

"Dil to bachcha hai ji.. thoda kachcha hai ji"
(The heart is a kid, a little inept)

And in the end, the great game of human emotions would win again and I would be reduced to being just a character who lost the game.

This is actually a re-post of the same post posted a week earlier, the trailer is attached because a few people asked me if everything was allright!! Yeah yeah.. it's still heaven out here! These are just rumblings. Fiction sounds very true many times!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Is happiness = M(money) ?

A very good debate question!
Is happiness proportional to money?

But what exactly is 'M' here?
In terms of physics or mathematical formulae, you could call it a 'constant'
Something like what 'K' is in the below equation for spring constant :

½mV² = ½k*x²

In our case, 'M' would stand for more. Because when it comes to money, nobody gets enough, everybody wants more.
So, the equation would stand as below :

Happiness ∝ Money.
Now, if there is a constant 'M' thrown in, we can equate the 2 sides.
Happiness = M(money).

Now M could be 2 for a street urchin.
It would be 100 for a regular job guy.
It would be 1000 for a well-to-do business guy.
For John Abraham, it could be 10000, for SRK may be 1 million.
For Brad Pitt it would be 100 million, because he has Madame Jolie to take care of and a multi-coloured army too!

3 days back, I had a discussion with one of my friends where we were discussing exactly how important is money?
This is not a straight answer, alas!
His opinion was that when you just start earning, it is THE most important thing in the world for you.
Few years down the lane, when you have just enough... when I say that, I mean you have a decent amount in your bank account and you are still left with some disposable income, then you start thinking... Ok, this is not important enough.

This is exactly what happens to many of us including me.
Typically this state approaches you when you are close to 30.
You know yourself better and are more confident about what 'else' you need from life!
When you have something apart from fulfilling your basic needs, have a decent bank balance, you start thinking about the vagaries of life.

At this juncture, just stop and think,
Is money driving you to do things you would otherwise not have done?
For most, the answer would be yes.

I am just 27, but when I rewind my life, say 15 years, when I was in fifth grade, I find a culture shock, a lifestyle shock between what I was then and what I am now.

India as a country has changed so much in the last decade, that it is almost umimaginable to think that I had a acai-berry tree in my backyard!
I was never brought up in the countryside, all these were big Indian cities which had so much space just 2 decades back.
It was my dad's company provided quarter where we had a front yard, a back yard with a small kitchen garden.
On sundays I picked up 2 brushes, an old soft rag and shoe polish.
I took my dad's shoes, my school shoes and my mom's footwear occasionally and polished them!
The shine gave me happiness.
I played cricket till I dropped. That gave me happiness.
We did not have a car, but had a scooter which was pretty old.
My dad disposed it off and got a new scooter, I used to shine it up every weekend too like an energetic kid. That gave me happiness.
Probably everything that was not money in that age, gave me happiness.

I am sad when I compare that scene with today.
There are no big open yards in houses anymore. If there are, then you gotta be neo-rich to have them.
Plus even if you have them, you would probably employ someone to take care of the garden and the farm.
That because you don't have any time left for all this.
The kids in school these days, and this is a fact, are the most frequent visitors to pubs.
Hardly 15 something, armed with cash from their Arab-like cash rich dads, come in droves and smoke life away through a hukka nozzle!

Nothing is out of reach for the X-box generation.
Their happiness lasts till the time the credit limit on their dads' add-on cards last!

Sigh, its all about money and the constant 'M'.
The money will always be the same, but life has now been reduced to a constant journey of this 'M' from 2 to maybe 100 million.
So what if Jolie is taken, there will always be some local, maybe even more attractive versions available closer home!
Everyone dreams to be a Brad Pitt someday.

PS : I am a culprit of this spending-mela too, but maybe because I am already past being a teen, I spend a lot lesser than the empowered people today!
But, three cheers to the teens! They are what it takes to keep the recession away!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Barack Obama - from torch bearer to a mere president

This post, I am sure would not go down well with true blue Americans who pride themselves in calling themselves Americans and love everything that is American.

Nov 4th, 2008

This was the day when Barack Hussein Obama became the beacon of a very motivated America.
All the Americans hoped and prayed that this will be the end to all the illnesses of America from the Bush era.
As a schoolboy I had read this proverb in one of school text books :

"Don't lose hope as hope is a rope that swings you through life"

To an extent, Mr. Obama did succeed in filling every American's heart with hope.
His speeches were inspiring and had very good intent, to say the least.
America thought it was a new dawn.

Few months down the lane, Mr. President was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, hitherto awarded to someone of the stature of Martin Luther King Jr.
Apart from America, the world, took it with a pinch of salt.
Sir Obama had actually done nothing but talk. If that was the criterion, then Oprah Winfrey should have been awarded before Obama.

With a hiccup, the world still embraced the decision and cheered the new President's victory.
Over the next few months, his charisma grew ..
till the recession hit the world's biggest economy.

People lost their jobs, the unemployment index skyrocketed and America went into shambles with big boys of Wall street falling like eucalyptus trees in a tornado.

The world is dependent on America because of its multi-trillion $ economy size.
Any quake in the mecca of trade world would send tremors across the golbe that reach far and wide.

With this, the peace loving President's image took a beating and so did his popularity ratings. His ratings were at an all time low.

Now, to resurrect some of the lost pride, the politician with his coterie is back at wooing hearts with his gift of gab.
Whipping up political frenzy, rhetoric and jingoism are all traits of politicians across the world.

Simple thumb rule :
When the crown is in danger, divert the attention.
Clinton did it by attacking Iraq in a surprise attack when faced with Lewinsky scandal.
Bush did many stupid things, but Afghanistan and Iraq were his biggest mistakes.
The Iraq war has costed America more than a trillion dollars now!

But, but but.. Sir Obama cannot tread the same path because he has been awarded a nobel peace prize. Damn!
So what does he do? Divert the attention by whipping up frenzy and bringing on the heat on immigrants.

I completely understand that it is needed for America to save its interests.
But the methods are downright cheap and disgusting.

For example, the latest border security bill passed by the senate a couple of days back.
This is blasphemy, you want to charge a couple of thousand dollars extra over what you were already charging.
You are a multi trillion dollar economy, you don't twitch before doubling the amount
for the war in Iraq, you give a billion dollars a year to terror friendly Pakistan, but for the border security of your own country where you need $650 million, you want the fund to come from outside sources?
Is $650 M for a country like America that big an amount?

You want to charge the law abiding immigrant for stopping illegal immigration?

In the name of protecting jobs, the short sightedness of this decision is only going to impair America's razor sharp technological edge in the world.

The US industry has also reacted strongly to this act.

Check this :

The united states of America is a loved country worldwide because it is a microcosm of all races. It has the colours of the world and hence is far ahead of any other country because every country has only a few colours or races to boast of.

United states is a dreamland for people from India, China, Russia(damn the administration, the Russian people love America and its movies ;-)).
The short sighted congressmen will one day ruin this equilibrium with their draconian methods of protectionism.

And Mr President, his highness, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama is endorsing all this in broad daylight.

In my opinion, I can only say, Sir, with all due respect, you are only a shadow of your 2008 Avatar now.

I sincerely hope that you do not end up being 'just-another-president' like your predecessor.

I want to see America transition from the throes of darkness to light again and in the process see you regain lost ground.

From this :

And this

To this

PS : Also ask Michelle to be a little discreet about her holidays :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is something cooking Stella?

Some people are shy.. some sly, some plain stupid and some private.

Put all of them in a situation and give them a girl/guy whom they secretly admire.
99 out of 100 would choose to hide that they like the other person.

Why I fail to understand this trait is another story.
For now, I can tell this from my experience where I have seen 3 of my friends doing this.
First they tell the world, that its just a figment of 'our' imagination.
Then like celebrities, say, we are just friends.
6 months down the lane, they come up with a smile and tell me..
Friend :
Hey... how have you been?? You know something? Well I have something to tell you!

And though I know what's coming, i sound excited and say, Whaatt?? Dont tell me that you...

Friend :
Yeah, I am getting married to her!

Me :
Duh! You came to know last! The whole of the college/Nagpur/Gachibowli knew that!
Anyways... yippiiiieee!! I am so happy for both of you!!

Now, I am really happy for such friends.. but the thing is that it baffles me why everyone tries to hide it initially when it is so evident to the world around them!
This I have seen thrice!
And it doesn't end here, I am seeing it even now!
Like I mentioned in one of my earlier entries, the 'aashiqui' thread is something that connects all generations, all kinds of people around us.

1. Nagpur is the 10th most populous Indian city in India where a lot of 'aashiqs' reside.
2. Aashiq would mean 'fanatic lover' in Hindi(a popular Indian language)
3. Gachibowli is a suburb in my city where a lot of IT companies are housed ]

5 ways to find a budding 'something-cooking' thing :

i) Person X chats only with person Y continuously.
ii) If some person accidentally lands at his place, Person X scrambles to minimize the chat windows. He starts the 'business-as-usual' as soon as the person leaves.
iii)Person X does not refer to the 'adorable' person with his/her name directly. He/she either create an abbreviation or some kind of a reference-name to avoid prying eyes.
iv) Person X almost creates a scene or makes a face at the mention of the 'adorable' person.
v) Person X has 3 pressing situations where his/her presence is needed. No prizes for guessing the one he/she chooses first!

Hope this helps!
Not the people, but the 'aashiqs' to realize that they are not the only intelligent ones!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Take down ma numb homie...

Move over X-Gen. The Y or whatever Gen is here.
Some call them Yo-Gen
Mohandas Pai calls them the Facebook generation.
Andrew Symmonds calls them the X-box generation.

Whatever you call them, it's hard not to cringe when you see them.
They are everywhere, they have invaded India and created such a frenzy that even Reliance India Mobile could not in the year 2002.

Recently I went to a coffee shop, there was no space to sit. After a while the guy at the shop showed us a table.. we went in and saw hordes of the 'barely-twenty-but-already-a-star' people.
Everyone was being cool in his way.
A guy with an outlandish hair-do waved at the guys at the next table and said, "Yo homies, hows the fun going?"
The guys at the next table, equally despicable of course, replied - "Koul"
I wanted to pee on them.
Homies?? What the F? Too much of watching the b-grade hollywood movies where every black-goon is a homie to the other ugly black-goon.
And 'Koul'? What the hell is Koul?
Had heard of equally obnoxious terms like kool, kewl.. but what on holy mother earth is koul?
Is it the name of ekta kapoor's owl?

I always had a problem with the word 'cool' too which was a rage back then in the 90s.
X : How are you?
Y : Cool!

What's cool? Are you a reptile or a cold-blooded animal?
Is your body temperature below zero and does it change with the temperature outside?
Total non-sense.
And the Americans call the Brits stupid.
Despite the accent, the Brits at least have a cleaner tongue.
The Americans basically have Mumbai-ised the British English.

But maybe because I grew up with 'Cool' or 'Kool'(like it became in the late 90s), I have got used to it.
But the current breed, the oh-so-SMS-friendly crowd is way ahead.
Their arthritis-ridden fingers are so adept at SMSing, that they could put a piano player to shame. Such is the speed that you sometimes have to go wow, however disgusting it is.

To quote Andrew Symmonds,
"When I mention having a beer to some of the new generation guys, they look at me like I am from another planet. They want to run off to their rooms and play Xbox."

So the concern that I share is not isolated.
The whole generation is getting crippled. The manly and womanly characteristics are vanishing.
Under outrageously fashioned hair-dos, there sits a mind which could have been brilliant, but chooses to be whatever they call 'koul'.
I still cannot understand what the heck is 'Koul'.
I know it must be just that guy. Maybe he wanted to say 'kool' but his oral cavity was so full of hukka smoke that he went 'koul'.

They are in swarms everywhere on the television too.
The gelled hair rising from the centre of the head like a volcano from a burning mountain.
The improvized stubble with a few designs on it, a chest hugging tee with tacky lines like :
"Am I dead, Angel? Cause this must be heaven!"
"Hello, I'm a thief, and I'm here to steal your heart"
"Do you know karate? Because your body is really kickin'"
OR this one for the pencil thin females :
"I'm wearing Revlon colorstay lipstick, want to help me test the claim it won't kiss off? "

Worse still, they are all over MTv and Channel V too.
But one has to concede that they look good. Its only when they open their mouth, that it stinks.
Now don't get me wrong. There are many good, intelligent and brainy people too.. but its just that they have been grossly outnumbered by the 'bubbly-youngistan-ka-wow' generation.

To add to the ordeal, they have made Facebook their mouthpiece.
They use it to tell the world, when they got up, what they are seeing, when they are going to the loo and what they are doing there.
They also tell the world how ugly and idiotic their dad is.
They have to 'like' almost any message that someone posts on FB.

Mr X is bored and wants to scare the shit out of his pet hen.
Mr. Y, Mr. Z and 3016 others like this.

Some more salt on the wound.. i was checking my own FB which is relatively a lot 'cleaner'.
A friend had this written on her wall by a 'kid homie' :
"Take down ma numb and mak sum plan. Lets all cum on saturday"

Take down ma numb and mak??
Holy mother of Jesus Christ, whats wrong with the kids today? Have they been snorting cocaine?
'Ma numb' meant 'my number' for the uninitiated antediluvian creatures.
Why has the poor 'make' been circumcised to 'mak'? Does your keyboard charge you for every letter you type?

And the second second sentence.. "Lets all... whatever... eww... eww"
Your imagination is as good as mine!
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