Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.


The Final Chapter of The (Face)Book!

Okay, it's official...... I've quit Facebook! The whole concept of QuitFacebookDay got me thinking about FB, not just the point of Privacy issues but also as a complete social networking site. And here's what I concluded: Facebook Sucks!

People who know me well have heard me talk for hours at a stretch on how I hate FB, and prefer other social networking sites (Infact, I'm arguably the last surviving member of my species who still uses Orkut!). But just to get the points through: Here's a list of reasons why I'm leaving FB:

I'm leaving FB Because Of:
  • Privacy Issues: Yes, it does concern me that Suckerberg thinks he can make all the data I trust his site with public. And no, I don't buy into the "If you don't want it broadcasted, don't put it online" philosophy. That is kinda like saying "Your car may catch fire. Walk to the store instead". No, I won't walk.... I'll build a better car instead! And that's what the web is all about. We're moving towards a world where everything is going to take place online (and already is to a large extent). And data safety is of prime importance, especially since it now can be given a monetary value.
  • The Business End: Something I realised a few days ago. Who do you think the consumer of Facebook is? You? Me? That Sudanese kid you just accepted as your friend? No mate, sorry if this shocks you, but we're just cogs in the system.... just a resource! Facebook's real consumers are the advertisers, who pay FB to showcase their ads. And while selling my and your info to them may seem fine to some ("after all, it's just targetted advertising", or so they say), to me it's a breach of trust! Oh, and did I mention that Zucky thinks we're all Dumb F***s?
  • Ethicality: I read a great book called The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich a few months ago. The book tracks the story of the creation of Facebook, which is more scandalous than most hindi TV soaps! Suckerberg broke every rule in the book in his aim to create TheFacebook , right from stealing code, lying, breaching trust, to even stealing data. As a ambitious webtech guy myself, I frankly don't think it's ethically right for me to remain on a site built on a foundation of lies!
  • This:
    formattingformattingfBTW this goes on for 3 more screen lengths!
  • The Fotugraphers: I have tonnes of friends who're awesome photographers, and use sites like FB and Flickr to showcase their art. However, there has slowly emerged this new group of morons on FB, who seem to think that every pic they click is a gem. I hate seeing my timeline flooded with 22 pics of a cat's tail followed by 15 pics of a guy sitting on a chair (mind you, NOT even posing!). And that really gets on my nerves! I've been on Flickr for over a year, and have seen what photography can be! Infact some of my friends on FB, like Prasad Pankar, Sharafat Khan, and Suyash Kamat have some mindbogglingly brilliant pics in their albums! It's sad to see some people degrade the art of photography to such a low level! Thank you, but I don't want to see that unfocussed pic of a toothbrush in my timeline! Grr! Oh, yeah, and special mention needs to be made of the morons who upload a pic, and then send out "Comment on my pics" messages to everyone on FB!
  • The Photo-Taggers: Another category of FB users are the Photo-taggers. These are basically 4Chan trolls who seem to have moved onto Facebook. Every pic of theirs is tagged with a 100 names. Over the last month or so, I've been "tagged" as a tree, a road, a shoe, a bird, a cricket ball, and a monkey (can't really say anything about the last one! :) ). And it pisses me off having to untag myself each time this happens! Why not just disable tagging you ask? Well, because, along with these pics I've been tagged on some truly awesome pics as well. Pics from my school days, my farewell, even pics from my Kindergarten days!!
  • The Over-mature Kids: Kids in my age were just that, Kids! Yeah, I know I'm sounding old now, but frankly I can already see the generation gap! Kids on FB have gotten a whole lot more, how do I say this, Phil-hollow-sophical. They aim to show they're philosophical, but are actually as hollow as my skull! I hate stupid kids who invite me to "groups" discussing sensitive issues without even understanding the issue and making jackasses out of themselves there. Sorry mate, this ain't the Miss Universe Pageant. You want world peace? Get off your ass and do something other than creating a "Peace for Everyone" group on FB!
  • The FraandSheepers: These are the asses who've brought down many Soc Net sites down with their moronic activities, and they've now come onto FB! Just before closing down my account, I was ignoring all these requests (Twitterers probably know that I've been having a Fraandsheep count since May 1), and took this screenshot after ignoring 7 requests:I've (arguably) not added anyone myself since the first few days of FB! Just been accepting requests depending on whether I know the person or not! :)
  • Mafia Wars /Farmville/Zynga: enuf said!
  • Social "NotWorking": Well, this whole premise that FB is built on is the concept of Social Networking. And with a friend's suggestion in mind, I decided to investigate this. I took a short trip down memory lane right upto my first FB update and here's what dawned upon me: I have barely networked at all. Most of my FB usage has been Playing stupid games/ answering lameass quizzes/ linking FB with Flickr/Random rants. Come to think of it, I've networked more on IRC than on FB (which is kinda shocking, considering my stats show ~300 friends on FB). The people with whom I've spoken most on FB are the people who I meet everyday, and the people I want to meet on FB, are almost never online! So frankly the whole concept of SocNetting takes a beating there!
  • The Family Conundrum: It's official, my whole family is now on FB. And I'm talking about my extended family here. Right from my parents to my uncles and aunties to my cousins, everyone is on FB. And that brings in a new problem. I generally rant about issues that I'm thinking about and tend to use quite a bit of foul language. Now I definitely don't want my 70 yr old uncle to read my "update" telling my OOPD teacher to Sod off. And I definitely don't want my 7 year old cousin to see the results of the "Which Angelina Jolie tit are you" quiz I'd taken a few hours ago (left, incase you're wondering! :P ). It's not that I don't like these people... it's just that it isn't right for them to know everything I do online! And changing privacy settings isn't really worth it because who knows when Suckerberg decides to change rules again?
So am I considering shifting to some other soc net site? Well, not really.... Answering quizzes/playing flash games is something I've almost completely stopped. For photos (real photography, I mean), I have Flickr, and for ranting, there's always Twitter. There's a whole bunch of topic specific sites I'm a part of, and as of now, no soc net site brings it all in a single package for me.

So to all the morons who don't get the idea of social networking, right from Suckerberg and his minions to most of my "friends", here is a humble gesture of my love:

And to the 2% of my friends who I actually networked with on FB:

And am I going gaga over other soc net sites (read: Diaspora)? Naah, not yet atleast. Because there's one thing I don't understand: Why the hell are people posting alternative solutions to Facebook, when the only solution is to quit living your life in a computer and stop being so self absorbed. Sorry, I hate to break this to you, but you are not THAT important. If you belong to a social networking site and you can't seem to stay away from it, then you're addicted and you have a problem. You're in denial and guess what? It's time for therapy to get you back on your feet again and turn you back into a whole, complete person.

I'll leave you with this amazing comic by The Oatmeal: How To Suck At Facebook (trust me, I had dozens of each type!)

So long FB, thou shalt not be missed!

Exam Time!!

The last answer sheet is (hopefully) not mine!Best of luck to everyone answering their semester exams! :)

Global Warming!!

Thank God that everything on the net is not true!In other news, 55% of Hummer owners said that Global Warming is a scam!


BTW that is the first thing off my bucket listIncase you're wondering, a Harshad number is a number that is divisible by the sum of its own digits! Awesome eh?

Open Letter To General Fonseka

Dear Gen. Fonseka,

I'm an Indian writing to you on behalf of a certain section of society that has gotten tired of our government's lack of interest in well... governing. I've heard that you're currently out of a job in Sri Lanka after the whole LTTE hoo hah and the presidential election mumbo jumbo, and have an offer for you. Why don't you get up here to India to tackle a similar situation that's been brewing up in the forests of Jharkhand and a few other neighbouring states?

Well, the basic problem is this... some faggoty pussies have been waging war against the entire nation, while other faggoty pussies in our capital are all being diplomatically dickheaded, and refusing to get rid of the aforementioned faggoty pussies. And the reason being argued is the some of the latter mentioned faggoty pussies believe that the initially mentioned faggoty pussies are innocent tribals who've taken up arms because they have no other alternative.

All of this rings a bell right? Well, yeah, I can see you nodding your head there. Kinda reminds you of the situation in your own Ravana land Sri Lanka doesn't it? I agree that the tribals have problems, but these guys ain't downtrodden tribals! They're just asses who have a great time blowing up police cars with landmines, and taking on dudes from the CRPF in some weird TNA Impact style handicap matches simply because their neighbourhood multiplex isn't screening Kites! And frankly, do they really think that we'll believe them when they say they don't have money for food, but yet manage to brandish equipment that is superior to the army? Well, in case this is a bit too confusing, I've attached a picture with this mail as well, please do check it out.

Oh, and of course there are more similarities. Remember the a*****e you guys had shot through the head? Well, guess what? A new a*****e is in town, and his name is Kishen .... known as Kishenji by the effing news channels who still haven't figured out that the "ji" is just a sign of respect that his moronic followers give him! Wikipedia says his real name is Mallojula Koteswara Rao, but I'd just like to call him Weird-name-fetish guy. Well, this dude is more or less as effed up as that Prabhakaran guy. You see, this guy is the face of the naxalites, but well, his face hasn't ever been shown on TV. Dude has stage fright, I think (much better than anti-Semitism don't U agree?) and always faces away from the camera... but not to worry. Using our latest CID technology, ACP Pradyuman and his team of super-talented agents have managed to flip his photo to reveal his face. Here it is:

Yeah, I know, he's suffered a small flesh wound (we'd all heard of that), but here's what he looks like otherwise (again thanks to ACP Pradyuman's Flesh Addinator 5000 gizmo):

As a added bonus, we've already provided you a head start: We've given the mission a ubercool name! Now that we've taken care of that difficult bit, you can take care of the easy bit of taking out the bad guys!

Okay, I'm convinced that you've made up your mind to come visit the land of the dude who burned down your land many many years ago. So let's talk specifics. Yeah, I know you're kind of in a tight spot with the whole arrest+court martial+Where's a calender when I need one controversies going on, but don't worry, we've already assigned our top lawyers to your case. We'll expedite you from the country, just as soon as we finish erm... working out the kinks (read: Hang Kasab) . Or else we can always hope that Martin Scorsese and/or Woody Allen may come to the rescue. After all you haven't even raped a 13 yr old. All you did was cure a 26 year old gangrene, that certain sections of society wanted to drag along.

Oh, and talking of gangrenes, did I mention Arundhati Roy, whoops, slip of pen, I meant have you heard of naxalite sympathizers? Well, they've been really active on Twitter and FB, churning out pages in support of the downtrodden naxalites. I'm just guessing, but maybe Mr. Kishen has threathened to kill them if they don't, because I frankly see no other logical explanation to educated individuals supporting brazen terrorists. Oh wait a minute, The "e" word is the reason.... I get it now! If you ever have 3 hours to kill (and I literally mean "kill", since that's what you'll want to do after 2 hours or so), then read this article by the grammatically gifted Ms. Roy, where she makes the most extreme use of "may" s and "maybe" s.

We've read all your military tactics, but have somehow been unable to implement them perhaps since the IPL and the world T20 has kept us kinda busy. Anyway, we're all back on track thanks to the true patriot of the nation, Ravindra Jadeja, who showed us which matters are of higher priority. Infact, we were sending over some Ammonium Nitrate to you for your approval, but it seems it got stolen along the way!

I'd have offered you the president post, as an incentive to victory, but I've really grown fond of my own president. She may be a hundred and fifty years old, but she definitely knows how to be awesome! Don't believe me? Check out the attached pic!

And guess what? She's been on a jet as well ....and NOT died of cardiac arrest during the flight! What more could I ask for?

I'm hoping that you accept my offer and get rid of this problem before we again need to disturb some viking dudes from Norway to mediate talks between us and them!

Talk to you soon


P.S. If this helps, Rajapakse Sucks! :)

  • The above post is a work of fiction. Any names other than that of the awesome Mr. Fonseka, Why-isnt-he-dead-yet Kishen, Maybe-coz-this-guy-isnt Kasab, The goddess of small things Ms. Roy, the Viking dudes from Norway, Hollywood's answer to Dev Anand Woody Allen, kickass filmmaker Martin Scorsese, The probably fictional Ravana, conniving bugger Rajapakse and the awesomest guy alive ACP Pradhyuman are purely coincidental.
  • All facts mentioned are true, or atleast the truest to my Googling abilities!
  • Getting serious, this is a very lame attempt at satirical writing by the author and no sentiments are intentionally harmed ....except if you liked it, in which case it is a well thought out philosophical treatise on the naxalite problems plaguing the Indian state! :)

Stuff I Did This Semester - The Bucket List

I watched this movie a few months ago called The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson which showed two terminally ill guys going on a wild ride, trying to complete a wishlist of to-do's, before they die. The movie was brilliant, to say the least, and I really connected to it at an emotional level.

The current stage I'm going through in life, there seem to be infinite things to do, and just a little over 2 years (in my case) to do them all! And so, I present the 4th part of my "Stuff I Did This Semester" posts, this time as a bucket list! This is stuff I want to do over the next semester i.e my fifth semester.

Some of this stuff is crazy, some of it is impossible, but most definitely, all of it is awesome!! And I don't really want to have a regular bucket list, so here's how I do it:

I have my Sem 5 bucket list down here, though in an encrypted form (yeah, encryption is indeed one of my fields of interest), and as I complete each task, I'll decrypt that line. Silly, I know, but it's my blog so what I say goes! :P

So here it is:
  1. Get Into Hostel...... Finally (Yeah! :) )
  2. Kcr sn y pybgm qwqrck rm qrpcyk ksqga 24v6 (kw amkn lccbq qmkc pcqr) gl fmqrcj
  3. Start actually drawing the comics that I keep thinking of in my head! (The first)
  4. Ycr Krpygefr Xpmk Lfc Empml (KXLE) zyai ml rpyai!
  5. Become GS of the Computer Sciences Student Body, CURSOR (Won Unopposed!)
  6. Setup a site for CURSOR (Site ready, but will go live next sem)
  7. Organise atleast 1 workshop for the students of CURSOR (1: HTML/CSS Web Dev 2: Intro to RoR)
  8. Go on atleast 2 wildlife treks. (1: To Tambdi Surla Waterfalls 2: Mollem to Collem)
  9. Post atleast 1 post on LoN every month (Done with ease! :) )
  10. Read atleast one complete technical book and two complete non-technical ones (Check Readernaut)
  11. Tsgjb yrjcyqr mlc pmzmr.. qmkcrfgle A'tc zccl nsrrgle yqgbc dmp dyp rmm jmle
  12. Deliver a legen...wait for it...dary speech (A motivational speech delivered to juniors, which apparently got them high on adrenaline! :))
  13. Opgrc y SA zyqcb afcqq npmepyk
  14. Convince atleast 5 Windows people to try a Linux distro (On last count: 9)
  15. Argue with a teacher... and get him/her to admit he/she is wrong (An argument with my DBMS teacher on 27/08/2010 regarding my project,at the end of which she finally let me have it my way! :))
  16. Get a girl...or atleast ask one out! :) (Really awesome story... wait for the blogpost! )
  17. Dcypl yrjcyqr rfc zyqgaq md mlc glqrpskclr (Lfgq gq ufcpc A pcyjjw lccb fcjn)
  18. Go without bathing for 3 consecutive days(Won't say when, but yeah, it happened!)
  19. Watch atleast one complete TV series (Took the easy way out: Watched all 3 Seasons of The IT Crowd ...can't wait for Season 4 to start airing!)
  20. Umknjcrc yjj rfc yzmtc ryqiq zw rfc clb md rfc qckcqrcp!!

Phew! That's quite a long bucket list, and covers diverse fields of interest. But as Chef from South Park rightly put it: There's a time and place for everything. It's called College!

I'm hoping that I'll be able to complete most, if not all the tasks on this bucket list by November 2010!

Wish me luck, and keep checking back for the tasks I've completed!

P.S. Incase you're wondering about the encryption, it's a pretty simple piece of code that I've myself written (in C++) out of boredom... here's a screenshot of the program at work on the blogpost!

You can try decrypting the text yourself if you like, it's not really all that difficult! :)

Oh yeah, and the "Stuff I Did This Semester" post for this semester (4th) will be out soon!

Related Posts:
Stuff I did this semester (Sem 1)
This Semester... (Sem 2)
S4TD -Sorry For The Delay!! (Sem 3)

I'm Too SEQC For My SoQs!

A Report on Sunday Evening Quiz Club (SEQC) Summer of Quiz (SoQ) , a quiz camp for school kids that I partly organised (agcfsktIpo) :

Over-excited kids, even more excited QMs and truckloads of brain picking is what you'd have witnessed if you lurked within spitting distance of the International Centre Goa, Dona Paula anytime on the 10th and 11th of May, for this was the epicenter of the event that we’d humbly named the Summer Of Quiz (SoQ) 2010. After months of torturing kids with mind-numbing questions at the monthlies, SEQC has had a stretch of children specific events, and SoQ, a quiz camp for kids in the 10-16 age group, was another way of us thanking the youngsters for maintaining a straight face through the gruelingly difficult monthlies (and introducing newbies to the world of Quizzing).

Despite being an event that was organized in a very short timespan, a bit of targeted publicity helped quite a bit, and about 30 young quizzers signed up for the quiz camp. And these 30 young guys and gals along with the quizzards from SEQC embarked upon the two day SoQ journey.

Day one had consecutive general quizzes by Amit Shet and Anant Lawande . These two quizzes were, to say the least, marvelous! The aim of these quizzes was to get the participants in the groove of quizzing, and boy, did they get into the groove of things. They say a building is only as strong as it’s foundation, and these 2 quizzes set up a Reinforced Carbon-Carbon (RCC) foundation for day zwei.

Day two had topic specific quizzes on Sports, Entertainment and Cartoons & Comics by Amit Shet, Adish Talwadker and yours truly, besides a treasure hunt and an innovative game called Around the World in 80 minutes, both organized by Annie Sen Gupta. The treasure hunt was by far, the wildest event of the day, with kids running around the ICG premises like geese on an icy lake. Infact, they had so much energy that it did actually seem that they were high on sugar coated …well, sugar! The quizzes were great, and most questions the QMs posed were answered, albeit sometimes with a clue or two thrown in. Around the World in 80 minutes, a NatGeo Genius style around the world trip, was a great addition, and was well received by the participants. We witnessed history in the making, as a team actually managed to complete the around the world trip, at the last breath of the tournament, with a little help! :)

A bit of late night photoshopping and a some early morning bhaaga-daudi later, we had our cheekily named “Certificate of Quizzitude” ready for the quizzers who’re gonna rule the quizzing world in days to come! Curtains were brought down on the event after the certificates were handed out, and promises to meet again at the next SEQC kids event were made.

Quizzitude is a state of mind! :)

The entire event was a resounding success, to say the very least! Many participating quizzers suggested we make this an annual event…. others suggested we make it bi-annual! So we may very well be looking at a Summer of Quiz Winter Edition as well! :)

Over the 2 days of the event: I slept for 4 hours, nearly got mauled by a bunch of 12 year olds, had a bad headache, had my laptop hacked into (unknowingly) by a 14 year old, was requested by a kid to play a certain song with highly explicit lyrics, was mocked by teenage girls, realized that managing kids ain’t as easy as it seems, realized that kids nowadays are weird (as Adish puts it, They actually like quizzing!), signed 36 certificates along with a bunch of other SEQC-ites, phew……. And now they want a sequel??


Originally published on the SEQC blog as "SoQ it to me!"


Finally after all these years, here's to the beginning of what was there, what is there and hopefully what will remain!! So here are my thoughts & words -Online!!

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