Sunday, June 22, 2008

Addiction revisited

What it addiction??? It is something that you do, that you do not need to do yet you have to just do it. According to, it's the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. And today I discovered that I was addicted to the most unlikeliest of things, the morning newspaper. I got up a bit early for a Sunday, and like every other day, I went to get the days newspaper, but it wasn't there. It was 7 n I decided to wait, n I was pacing up and down the road, waiting for the newspaper guy. Finally at 8, I had given up hope n had my morning glass of milk without the paper. It was then that I realized that how much I needed the newspaper. I considered going out to buy it, but gave up the thought out of sheer laziness.
Is it just me or has the quality of the newspaper (Times Of India) gone down. The comic strips have had the same strips printed since I was 12. I don't read the comic strips anymore, I just glance through em. I am yet to come across one that I haven't read since the last 5 yrs. I now subscribe to a few comic strips online instead. Even R. K. Laxman's strip, and the other one that's there has repetitions. I did go through the e-paper today instead, but it's not at all fun. It only reminded me I had missed the Formula 1 race again. Just the other week, there was an entire page that was a repetition from the previous days paper. It was the section called Times Trends and in case you really like that section, do check out the last page of the Classifieds section, that is where you can find it on most weekdays that you have the classifieds section on.
This was me a week ago, I forgot I was writing this post and come next sunday (yesterday) I was reminded of this post as my paper didn't show up again. What is it with the paper guy and Sundays? Is it his day off? Any way, I didn't repeat last weeks mistake and sent for someone to get me the paper. I am at home n my parents are away for a fortnight, so I have to take all the tough decisions :D Any way, the paper cost 5 buck, which is considerably more than what I remembered it to be. May be because it was the Sunday paper. It was filled with crappy news, n crappier gossips. I read a few reports that made me sad, some kid who couldn't cycle in the common wealth games because he was run over by an under-age driver. There was stuff about people who were duped, people who were rioting, people urging others to fight for their cause. It's really depressing sometime. They should probably put news relating to tragedy and crime on seperate pages/sections. I switch over to the Mirror, which is being provided as a complimentry copy for the past... damn it, it's been so long that I can't even remember. Being a Tabloid, it is usually entertaining, but the cover story here too was that of the CYG dream being shattered. I wonder how the paper has survived this long without having to face the wrath of the Thakreys. With the images as well as the investigative reports they publish in the papers, I wouldn't be surprised to read about their offices being trashed. Though it is probably the power to influence the readers that provides them this immunity. Any way, crappy or not, I am in a sense addicted to it, n i need it with a glass of milk each morning. Another one of my addiction.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Opera 9.5??? Was it ever in for the browser wars?

Infinity shared this post on google reader, right after I posted the firefox post. So this post says Opera 9.5, the fastest and most powerful browser available, but I beg to differ. I downloaded Opera 9.5 and installed it. The address bar was below the tab toolbar, crap. So this was supposed to be the fastest browser. I used one of my posts as the test page, I loaded the page 5 times in my firefox and Opera alternately. Opera took a consistent 35 seconds to load the page fully without any cache, while firefox loaded the page between 29 and 35 seconds each time. I know what some of you ppl might say, cmon man, this ain't how you measure browser speeds, there are a lot of parameters you check. In case you want to point me to this, let me point out that it is an outdated test on configurations which aren't meant for the new softwares. And this link here, it clearly states that Opera is faster in loading time, but what am I gonna do saving a 100 miliseconds loading a javascript if the browser can't retrieve the script fast enough? Let's just forget the whole speed thing. I used the browser a bit and the magic wand (a button for remembering login details, that fills n automatically logs you in) feature was one of the cool features in it. I opened up gmail n the first thing I noticed was that it loads up the old version of gmail, or atleast that's what I assume, since the new loading page that gmail has put up did not appear and there was no option for reverting to the older version of gmail. I checked it out in my IE6 and the same thing happened there too. I wonder why. And another thing I noticed was that the drop down thing that blogger has in its archive, it acts kinda funny. When you click on it, the page reloads sometimes and sometimes the page strangely scrolls up or down. Next I tried installing a widget on it, and it did not work. I donno, I am not impressed with the browser. For me, firefox rocks, and apparently even for my blog visitors. My stats shows me that the from the last 500 visitors (excluding me) 2% used opera, which us the same number as those who used konquerer, 3% used safari , 24% used Internet explorer n the rest 69% used firefox. Though this doesn't reflect the browser of choice accurately. Before I started blogging about my OS n all, the stats were pretty closely matched for IE n Firefox, with a close fight always going on between the two of them, and there was no Opera anywhere.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Firefox world record

Okay, It is final now. Mozilla has finally announced the release date of it's stable version of firefox 3. The other day I was looking for a certain add-on for my firefox 2 (no I am not a big fan of beta versions) and the add-on site, it already has certain add-on meant only for firefox 3, I had to install an older version for my firefox 2 (Older versions don't bother me as long as they are functional). My point being people are already making my browser the older version even before the next version is released. Any way for those of you thinking Duh! What's the deal about firefox... I'd like to say duh! dude, have you ever tried using add-ons with your browser? Okay, so what's new about this new about this new version? The only feature I liked was that you don't have to remember the names of the sites you have visited before. Check out this video to learn all that firefox 3 would have to offer. Oh n I almost forgot, don't forget to download firefox on the D-day (17th June '08) and help them set a record.

Download Day - English

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Yesterday the government of India announced a hike in fuel prices whereby petrol prices were increased by a colossal 10% (and a slightly lesser increase in diesel prices). Although it was a move that has been anticipated for a long while, especially since the crude oil prices have reached a whooping $135 a barrel, this hike was received with a lot of opposition. People in some cities even took to the streets to protest against this hike. Even to opposition parties seized this opportunity to deliver a blow to the ruling coalition government. But what could the government have done? How long could it have sustained the losses from subsidizing petroleum products? With crude oil prices expected to breach the $200 a barrel mark by the end of 2009, I don't suppose it'd be a viable option for long. With the country's petroleum companies going broke, because of the government restricting their prices, things were really getting out of hand. Although the government was kind enough to offer subsidies to the public sector retailers, private retailers like reliance continued to sustain losses and were forced to shutdown their pumps. Now, Reliance plans to start exporting petroleum products to the lucrative European markets, in order to earn profits. It would be ironic that the nation would have significant diesel exports as well as imports. Although this hike would have a negative impact on the economy and increase inflation rates, as the effects of the hike actually trickle down into the system, it should have a positive impact on the environment, by forcing people to be more sensible when it comes to fuel consumption. I wonder if it was just a coincidence or did the government purposely choose the world environment week to announce the fuel hike? This rise in price, doesn't quite affect me, because I used to get fuel worth 500 bucks each time n I still will put in 500 bucks worth of it :P On a more serious note, my monthly budget went up by about 150-200 bucks (Thats in rupees(INR)) :( Was this increase in price avoidable? IMO, TINA (There Is No Alternative).