Re: Combination Generator

1
Related to my post on Combination Generator, I received some email requests for some other variations. While answering one such request for generating nCr combinations, I did some search. As expected Perl did not disappoint me and I got to know of the awesome perl module for Combinatorics. To give an idea of how simple it is to use, here is the code for nCr generation.

use Math::Combinatorics;
my @n = qw(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14);
my $combinat = Math::Combinatorics->new(count => 8, => [@n],);
while(my @combo = $combinat->next_combination){
print join(' ', @combo)."\n";
}
output:

Barkha Dutt and NDTV in action

4
Found a lot of noise about withdrawal of an emotional post by a blogger who wasn't happy with the way NDTV and more specifically Barkha Dutt covered the Mumbai terrorist attack. Here is the withdrawal link.

http://ckunte.com/archives/withdrawal

I read a cached copy of the post and completely agree with what he wrote. While watching the coverage when it all happened I wasn't happy with her reporting either. Here is what I had to say at that time. Hysteria and dissatisfaction form the core of everything I have seen her doing including her program "We the people" which I can't stand any more after watching it once. The topic was about stopping prostitution where Kiran Bedi and Barkha Dutt were trying to tell a prostitute that she was forced into it even though she felt otherwise. She seemed quite happy with the way things shaped up in her life.

Leaving this aside, there isn't much I have to add to what people are already writing on blogs, but I guess I will do my bit by adding another post in the already long list of posts opposing her.

As a parting note, interestingly this is what wiki has to say about her:

According to a study by Newswatch, a media watchdog based in Delhi, Barkha Dutt was the worst anchor in terms of sensationalizing the Mumbai Terror Strikes.[13] Perhaps most disastrously, during the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008, Barkha Dutt shared and telecast critical information live on television regarding

  • the location of civilians hiding in hotels (thus potentially endangering their lives),
  • the then ATS chief Hemant Karkare's safety preparation (showed him wearing a helmet and a bullet-proof vest in excruciating detail live on television: the officer succumbed to bullets in the neck),
  • the exact number and location of commandos defending the hostage locations at the Taj and the Oberoi hotels (information easily available to the terrorists via television or sat phone),
  • contacting the head of Oberoi to release sensitive information regarding the current hostage situation in the hotel which drastically contradicted the sanitised information released by Indian security agencies in order to keep the rescue operation uncompromised,
  • she further went on to say that even though the govt said that there will be no negotiations with the terrorists, her diplomatic sources – she named the diplomat – said that negotiations are underway.
  • It has been reported by a survivor(Lynne Shaw) that this information was used by terrorists in Oberoi to get to some of the hostages. There are also reports that this information may have let terrorists to the next steps by the armed forces.

Scalable Professions

1
I am currently reading "The Black Swan" and it mentioned the concept of "Scalable profession" in passing. A scalable profession is one where your rewards are not directly proportional to the effort you put. Most of the creative professions like creating music, writing books will fall in this category. Some examples of non scalable professions are manual labor, doctors etc. A little caveat - A scalable profession sounds like a great idea but only if you are good at it

I think all of us have realized the existence of scalable and non scalable professions but I never tried and categorize it that way. Before I started writing this blog I did a search on "black swan scalable profession" and got this blog which explains the exact same concept and a little more. So, no more on this topic, why rewrite when you can reuse!

Ghajini for a Software Engineer

1
Came across this really funny poster


Spam Art

2
When you have too many holidays in a month, not really slogging your butt off at work, getting enough sleep on a daily basis, things take unexpected turns. And just in one such situation a friend of mine and I started killing time by looking at the spams. After all the talks of size does or doesn't matter, spam proves that its only the size that matters and there are people on a mission intent on making the whole world go huge. Here are some of the gems from the creative studs generating the subject lines of those emails.

Turn the worm in your pants into a python
Get the largest instrument in town
Drop your pants and stun her with this
If the nature wasn't generous to you, we are
Turn your grass snake into a python

Python seems to be the flavor of the season :-)

PS: Just by writing about the tension free, comfortable life in the first few lines, I think I have jinxed my next few months.

Mahabharata

0
Some time back I was having a discussion with a friend of mine who is into epics and scriptures. We discussed Mahabharata only to conclude that it wasn't a tale of good vs evil. Rather it was a tale of tact vs tact forming a foundation of politics henceforth. The winner takes it all and gives it a favorable twist for future generations to follow. However, Mahabharata, has very many interpretations, some of them unfavorable to Pandavas who were the winners and survivors at the end.

It is one of the most fascinating tales of all times. It scores over a lot of other epics because of the richness and complexity of characterization which lends itself to infinite interpretations. There are some Mahabharatas floating around in the blogging world also.

A wicked look at Mahabharata which is defined as a tale with plenty of sex and violence. Too bad this blogger did not take it to its conclusion.

Here is another perspective, from the eyes of Bhima by veteran blogger Prem Panicker. Enjoy!

Ghajini

2
There is no doubt about the movie being a super-hit owing to the box office collections it has garnered in a week. The movie has mostly received an above average rating from critics, but found a few very negative reviews on blogosphere, some of them from famous bloggers. The movie is receiving flak for the fact that it's a copy of a copy (tamil Ghajini which is 'inspired' by Memento), a second level copy.

Now I haven't seen Memento, so I don't really have much to comment on the extremely intelligent or complex plot it had. Nor could I appreciate how Ghajini in Hindi failed as opposed to the one in Tamil. So, my reaction to the movie is without any baggage or benchmark.

Overall as a potboiler, it delivered to its promise. I would be surprised if someone really thought it was going to be an accurate documentary on anterograde amnesia.

There are stupid moments (Air Voice's executive team saluting their MD on road) and some over the top scenes (like the "60 by 40 me chaddi wale poster" scene). The villain might have looked stupid and might be flawed in his plots or reactions. There are flying bodies, endured-without-a-flinch rod hits and much more unbelievable stuff. However, even before I entered the hall I wasn't expecting it to be a logically and technically accurate realistic movie. If you needed to watch the movie to realize this, you certainly wouldn't have understood the complex plot Memento had created (again this is on the basis of claims by people, no first hand experience on Memento).

The movie is meant to be a hyperbole in violence and you don't try and find logic and technical accuracy in the trajectory of bodies flying around. Nonetheless, Amir Khan building an almost impossible body for the film to lend credibility to action sequences is commendable. I thought as a masala movie, the action sequences were very well done. They weren't too realistic to be boring or too unbelievable that they look ridiculous (like flying and reaching to a roof). I don't know if those who criticize the unbelievable action would actually enjoy watching two guys rolling on the floor fighting, pulling each others' hairs and doing other believable stuff.

Much has been said about Asin's OTT portrayal, I would agree to some extent, but then a movie doesn't need to be perfect to be enjoyed. The un-concluded love story I think is one of the high points in the story transforming a common man literally into an animal.

I watched the 3.5 hours long movie, didn't get bored for a bit and enjoyed it thoroughly. It helped that I wasn't really trying to spot inaccuracies because I assumed they were there but didn't really matter.