Sunday, November 30, 2008

A few thoughts on the Mumbai attacks of 26 Nov 2008

The past few days' events have filled me with a sense of sadness and gloom. There are so many thoughts going around in my mind that I just decided to "blog them away". So here goes - the list is not ordered, as it mirrors what I am thinking ...

  1. When will our government learn?

    This is not directed at any particular political party. I am pretty sure that had any other party other than the Congress(I) been in power, the end result would have been the same.

    Our "leaders" are very reliable - you can rely on them to do anything other than the right thing. They play the politics of vote banks, communalism, casteism, reservation, etc. etc. - anything to avoid doing the right thing.

    We do not have a comprehensive anti-terror policy. We do not have co-ordination amongst security agencies. We do not have proper equipment for our police forces.
    We do not have anything other than the bravery of our armed forces who lay their lives down for our country selflessly. A country that does not even honor them enough.

  2. Spend money on anti-terror freely and wisely.

    News reports said that 100 policemen responded to the attacks immediately. But out of them only 7 had guns. The rest had lathis!! (canes)
    Only 7% of the policemen had guns? Could there be anything more pathetic than this? In the US, each and every policeman/policewoman has a gun. That is more like it.

    In India, most of the gun-toting policemen are sent to guard politicians. These politicians are mostly people who, if killed, would be more a reason for celebration than sadness!! Why can't we reduce the security of such goons-in-political-clothing?

    The equipment that the police had was faulty. The bullet proof vests could not stop bullets from AK-47 rifles. Ditto for the helmets.
    Instead of spending more money on foreign tours of our "leaders", it would be better to spend it on such items.

    Another article said that the Navy did not get the money needed for effective patrolling of the sea coast. We have outdated radar, and outdated ships / less ships than required. This is disgusting!!

  3. Choose the right men for the job.

    Just now heard the news that the home minister, the "honorable" Mr. Shivraj Patil, has resigned and has been replaced. Too little, too late.

    Mr. Patil should not have been made the home minister in the first place. A post that was held by stalwarts like Sardar Patel is now being held by people who change their dress 4 times during the day but don't do what they are supposed to.

    Another colossal mistake that happened was that the NSG is situated only in Delhi. This meant that it was a good 9 hours before they could come to Mumbai. 9 hours!! If that had been reduced to 30 minutes, a lot of lives could have been saved ...

    To take this to another level, we must choose the right people to man the security agencies. Make them co-ordinate with each other. Make sure that all information is given to all the concerned people.

  4. Finally, please spare a thought for all the people who died in this dastardly attack. All the army and policemen who lost their lives. All the commandos who fought so bravely. All the innocent civilians who died an unnecessary death.

    Rest in peace, my friends. Rest in peace.

Insensitivity never dies !!

After the horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai on 26-Nov-2008, once expects that others would be sensitive to this fact and respect those who lost their lives.

But no. Human nature never ceases to amaze me - both positively and negatively. In this case, it was the negative.

We live on Baner road in Pune. There are 2 marriage halls near our home. This being the marriage season, there were marriages held on Saturday (29 Nov ) and Sunday (30 Nov).

That the marriages were held is perfectly fine - life has to go on and you can't cancel an event that was organized a long time ago. But one did expect them to be sensitive to the fact that terrorists had wreaked havoc in a city that is less than 3 hrs away from Pune.
No such luck. Both times there was a band playing loud music that lasted for one hour!! Not 5 mins, 1 whole hour!! Amazing ...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Footwear designed specifically for diabetics

A Pune, India based doctor – Dr. Manisha Deshmukh - has designed footwear specifically for diabetics as they are prone to suffer from a lot of foot related problems.

The article doesn’t mention where to buy the footwear, but I think she works at K.E.M. hospital -->

I have put the scanned article at

Monday, November 17, 2008

The 9/11 photograph you didn't see

This article is 2 years old, and the snap is 7 years old. But still does it make a comment on the times we live in?

Link: The 9/11 photograph you didn't see. - - Slate Magazine

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New garbage collector G1 available in JDK7 / OpenJDK

Ø Snip from

G1 is supposed to provide a dramatic improvement on existing GCs. There was a rather good talk about it at this year's JavaOne. It allows the user to provide pause time goals, both in terms of actual seconds and in terms of percentage of runtime.

The principle is simple: the collector splits the heap up into fixed-size regions and tracks the live data in those regions. It keeps a set of pointers — the "remembered set" — into and out of the region. When a GC is deemed necessary, it collects the regions with less live data first (hence, "garbage first"). Often, this can mean collecting an entire region in one step: if the number of pointers into a region is zero, then it doesn't need to do a mark or sweep of that region.

Ø White paper describing the “Garbage-First Garbage Collection” algorithm:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Youtube - “We’re sorry, this video is no longer available”

YouTube was pretty reliable - until now. Nowadays I frequently get the following error message for videos:  “We’re sorry, this video is no longer available”.

Now this error message used to come for videos that had been removed from YouTube either by the uploader or the web site itself. But now it comes even for valid videos.

There is a fix for this (courtesy For any video that gives such an error, append one of the following to the URL (in the browser's address bar)
  • &fmt=6
  • &fmt=16
  • &fmt=18

would become

Original Post:
Marc » Youtube - “We’re sorry, this video is no longer available”