Moving from Wordpress to Octopress

There is no doubt that Wordpress is a wonderful blogging system. But being a dynamically generated website, all the nightmares of scripting languages kick in. Patches come regularly to Wordpress and until you login and update, it keeps nagging you inside and ruins your happiness. There is an alternative - hosting on directly. But not only does it cost unnecessary money (I already have a shared hosting account), it is also severely limited by what you can run on it - no plugins or themes or custom javascript other than what is provided.

The "Windows"-fication of Gnome

For a while I have been puzzled why Nautilus doesn’t allow me to simply unmount an USB pen drive from the context menu. The only options I could see for USB pen drives was - eject and safely remove drive, which was puzzling on its own as them meant the same to me. Selecting “eject” or “safely remove” drive does the same thing for USB drives - it unmounts the drive and powers it down.

DNS resolver changes in Ubuntu Precise (12.04)

One of the first things that irked me after my Precise installation was how DNS suddenly seemed slow. I normally use dnscache for local DNS caching and while setting it up this time, I noticed that oddly, was already setup as my name server. Netstat told me that this was handled by DNSMasq for some reason. No worries, I thought, and I setup dnscache on instead. I added the IP to the prepend nameserver option in /etc/dhcp/dhclient.

Essential qualities of an athlete

… and relevant to anybody who is a competitive arena - be it career, work, etc. When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his or her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.

Why we keep lying to the sales people

Seth Godin puts it quite eloquently: People lie to salesmen all the time. We do it because salespeople have trained us to, and because we’re afraid. … Of course we don’t tell the truth–if we do, we’re often bullied or berated or made to feel dumb. Someone who chooses not to buy from you isn’t stupid. They’re not unable to process ideas logically, nor are they unethical or manipulated by others.

The Pale Blue Dot

The Pale Blue Dot You might need to dust your laptop or desktop monitor to see this one clearly. You see a tiny dot in the photo above? In the middle of that light colored line? That is Earth, how it looks from the edge of the solar system. This famous photograph, that I discovered only today is called the Pale Blue Dot (actually it is the representation of earth in the photo that they are talking about here, but you get my drift).

Ubuntu's ongoing UI meltdown

I kept reading and reading Mark Shuttleworth’s post of how Ubuntu plans to replace menus with something called HUD display. And all I could do is take deep sighs. To summarise, in the new “advanced” Ubuntu releases, instead of clicking the traditional menus, you have to type in a few words in a special screen every time, and select from a drop-down which pops down. 12.04 HUD concept (From Mark’s post)

Ubuntu Oneiric alternate install image is broken

Unbelievable how such a major issue got missed and is, according to the bug status, still not fixed. Thankfully, there is a workaround which worked for me. Just putting it out there so that people can find about this more easily than I did (fume). (Photo by Beate Firlinger)

Creepy data mining by retailers

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did As Pole’s computers crawled through the data, he was able to identify about 25 products that, when analyzed together, allowed him to assign each shopper a “pregnancy prediction” score. More important, he could also estimate her due date to within a small window, so Target could send coupons timed to very specific stages of her pregnancy.

Microsoft's existential threat

Very interesting point made out by this blog post by Patrick Rhone, about how Microsoft’s core business faces an existential threat: MS office on Flickr Microsoft for many years had convinced the world that, in order to get “real work” done, you needed Office. … Then, she explained, the iPhone came. There was no Office. People got things done. Then the iPad came. There was no Office.