Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reality Is A Farce

Today I got to read 2 extremely brilliant articles which propound a line of thought to which I subscribe whole-heartedly. Interestingly these articles might have seemed a bit politically incorrect had there not been an economic slowdown.

A little secret that will make the world fall apart

Most of the time, the valuelessness of money doesn't really matter. As in a Ponzi scheme or a run on the bank, unless everybody tries to cash out at the same time, nobody ever notices that the bank didn't actually still have all the money you gave it in deposits. Conversely, unless everybody tries to actually exchange their money for goods and services all at once, nobody realizes that the economy didn't actually have all the goods and services you thought you could pay for. When people realize it all of a sudden, that's when you get inflation.

-- Does not this post reflect the title of this blog itself!

The future is… boring

Computers again. We made text editors; text editors expand until they can read email. We made web browsers; now web authors spend half their time choosing an optimal shade of blue and tweaking animation timings. We made software installers with automatic downloading and dependency checking; now systems like Debian split each package into infinitesimal pieces just because they can. We made spreadsheets; they were done by 1995, so we added Clippy instead. We made fancy GUIs with detachable, customizable toolbars and subwindows; now we have non-detachable, non-customizable ribbons and tabs. We made email, then newsgroups, web forums, blogs, and now twitter; the same thing over and over.

And yet we keep trying. Technology fixes a problem, and then it overfixes it ...

-- Is not this the reason why our generations can fancy a 4-Hour Workweek? My father and his father’s father never had any time to kill…

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Indian Diaspora – View

“You are our permanent ambassadors”, the delegates were told by one minister. India believes it would not have passed the Indo-American nuclear deal last year without their help behind the scenes. Barack Obama, then on the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, told the International Herald Tribune in 2006 that “there appears to be a very co-ordinated effort to have every Indian-American person that I know contact me”.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Is ‘Satyam’ An Isolated Case?

2 Eye-opener news -

India’s Bourses Have Hundreds of Satyams

There're hundreds of Satyams listed on the stock exchanges. Good coporate governance seems to be last in the priority list as over 1,200 companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (^BSESN : 9156.31 -250.16) have yet again failed to comply with corporate governance norms for the quarter ended September 2008.

"In terms of Clause 49 of the Listing Agreement, 1,228 companies have not submitted corporate governance report," the BSE says. The exchange has been putting out almost the same number of companies in the list of those of violating Clause 49, quarter after quarter. The Indian Express had earlier reported about this menace but the exchanges and the regulator are yet to tackle the issue. (Link to the story)

Wipro Shares Tumble on World Bank Contract Ban

Shares in India's No 3 software company, Wipro Ltd (WIPRO.NS : 226.85 +-24.1) fell more than 12 percent on Monday after the outsourcer said the World Bank had barred the company from its direct contracts, citing a conflict of interest.

The decision, taken by the World Bank in June 2007 and effective until 2011, was being announced now under revised disclosure policies, Wipro said.

The World Bank said in a separate statement from Washington that the ban was for "improper benefits to bank staff". It had also earlier barred Satyam Computer Services (SATYAM.BO : 36.15 +12.3) for eight years.

(Link to the story)

Monday, January 5, 2009

How To Download All Issues of JPG Magazine In One Go?

JPG, a magazine devoted to images, has made available its archives as pdf downloads on the site. Here is the list of downloads available.

JPG Mag page1Since, every issue of JPG is a gem and these are legally free downloads, I was searching for a way to download all issues.

In the conventional tedious method, you click on each link and then download. Yawn!

JPG Mag page2

There are @ 50 such pdf files to download!

Better way is to use DownThemAll extension in Firefox. This extension allows you to download all files in a webpage.

JPG Mag page3

You can add URL of the webpage and then Downthemall offers to download all files on the page. Here is a problem though. The pdf files are not located on a single page…only links to the files are compiled on the page. Now what?

In situations like these, Google Search comes to your rescue. Search Google for filetype:pdf site:

You will get the search results page like this -

Downthem All for Blog

Go to Google search preferences and select ‘100’ as the value of results to be displayed per page, and hit save.

Now, add the URL of search results page to DownThemAll and bingo!

Depending upon your connection speed, all pdf files will be downloaded. You can consider pausing some downloads to speed up process.

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