lunatechian (lunatech-ian)

one relating to, belonging to, or resembling lunatech

touched by an angel

I was in a very sour mood while I was driving back from work today. When I stopped in one of the frequent traffic snarls that adorn the roads of Bangalore, I saw that next to me was an autorickshaw with a small girl and her family. The small girl reached out and touched the rear view mirror of my bike. I made my don't-mess-with-me face at her and she just smiled at me. My reflex was to smile back at her and my bad mood was promptly broken. Sometimes I wonder how many of these small opportunities to make someone's days better have I have missed.

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"friends, romans, countrymen, lend me your ear" translated to Doglas Adams fan-speak "Friends, afdaniains, furry creatures. Lend me your babelfish." - seen in newsgroup (afd) afdaniains refers to the regular posters of afd.

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emails and IM

Dina points to "email is dead" in reference to teens by Danah Boyd

"Now, let's talk about youth. They have email accounts. They get homework assignments sent there. Xanga tells them that their friends have updated their pages. Attachments (a.k.a. digital Netflix/Amazon packages) get sent there. Companies try to spam them there (a.k.a. junk mail). Sifting through the crap, they might get a neat penpal letter or a friend might have sent them something to read but, by and large, there's not a lot of emotional investment over email.

That said, take away their AIM or MySpace or SMS or whatever their primary form of asynchronous messaging with their friends is and they will start twitching and moan about how you've ruined their life. And you have. Because you've taken away their access to their friends, their access to the thing that matters most to them. It's like me taking away your access to blogs and email and being forced to stay at the office just because you showed up late for work.

There is a difference that I see in the way IM and emails work. On an IM, you get messages from a set of accepted people - who talk about stuff that (mostly) matters to you. On the other hand, your email account is a dropbox for a bunch of uninteresting stuff - mostly spam. However, if you think about it, email has its advantage too - it can be archived, encrypted, signed, personalized, sent across networks (i.e. your account can send an email to email id, but you cannot chat with your yahoo! messenger friends from gtalk.

Maybe something equivalent to your IM-buddy list can be done for emails too. You have an email account and that accepts emails only from a whitelisted set of email-ids. Whenever you get an email from a new id, you can either add him to the buddy list or you can report the message as a spam and block the email id. Next step would be to integrate the notifications of new messages into you own desktop and an online presence indicator.

Just some food for thought :-) .

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breaking the tv addiction

When I moved to Bangalore, my brother and sister came here with me. However, sometime back both of them got admitted into MBA colleges in Pune and Mumbai respectively and I have been living alone. This has lead to a sort of tv-addiction. I come back from work and switch on the tv and bham! two hours have gone past just like that. Or on a weekend I take my lunch and sit in front of the tv and bham! it is soon dinner time.

To get out of this groove, I unplugged the cable that brings me cable television from the TV. Then I went one step further. I took a bit of string and the cable to one of the window rods. Now when I want to watch the tv, I will have to get up, untie the knot and plug the cable into the tv. Since this is too much work, I will not do it :-) . However, there are some serials (like Simpsons) for which I would do that much work. This will reduce my casual tv surfing to null.

It has been two days now and this experiment has been successful till now.

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