Monday, May 25, 2009

Writers on Star Trek

George RR Martin thinks the new Star Trek Movie sucks.

"No spoilers here, just a resounding thumbs down. Take a pass."
"the writing sucks start to finish, and the science fictional aspects are ludicrous even for STAR TREK."

Orson Scott Card thinks it was good.

"this movie has everything else I could have wished for: good writing, good acting, a powerful story, and the kind of ethical-dilemma philosophy that Roddenberry faked."

I found it interesting that two excellent writers had two diametrically opposite opinions on the quality of the writing!

Now, I am no trekkie. And I haven't seen the movie yet. I always thought Star trek was more soap opera than science fiction.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Interesting technical jobs in India?

The Indian IT "industry" has long been known for its tendency to hire people to grind through ultra grungy work that no one in the West wants to do and so is outsourced here.

As an "independent consultant", I hear all kinds of oddly structured project proposals and job offers and I am not sure if it is a trend, but over the last couple of weeks, I have been hearing about jobs with very non standard requirements - I know of a company using Erlang to do some AI-ey things, another doing Natural Language Processing with Scheme, yet another looking for people with Scala experience, and quite a few looking for strong C skills + deep algorithmic knowledge.

As I said, I am not sure this is indicative of a groundswell of good jobs, but I think it s great that *some* people are trying to move away away from crap J2EE/RoR enterprise crud (pun intended) jobs.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

LTTE leader Prabhakaran rumored dead.

A preliminary report is here.

And I say, good riddance to bad rubbish. This inhuman s.o.b assassinated an Indian Prime Minister, (Sinhalese) politicians, rival Sri Lankan Tamil politicians, recruited children to be cannon fodder and led thousands of his followers into death and desolation. On principle, I oppose anyone who kills innocents in the name of some holy cause of religion or ethnicity or political belief.

Parallelly in India, the voters of Tamil Nadu have voted against the pro LTTE parties and handed them a convincing defeat. It is insane for a vocal minority in Tamil Nadu or the West to ask India to interfere in the another nation's internal affairs just because some people there speak the same language as some Indian Citizens. If this kind of reasoning is valid, Pakistan's meddling in Kashmir is valid too. At best, it is a superficial activity like our own NRIs (Non resident Indians) pontificating about what policies India should adopt while working towards American citizenships. Hypocrites all!

No matter what happens in SriLanka, it is matter for *Sri Lankans* to resolve. India can use peaceful means to try influencing Sri Lanka for sure but sending the Indian Army to fight in Sri Lanka and arming/ tolerating the LTTE before that was stupidity of the first order. Sri Lanka will work out its solutions as per the wishes of the Sri Lankans.

To conclude, congratulations to the Sri Lankan Army. Now, if the Sinhalese leadership can follow military victory with a halfway decent political reform/reconciliation effort, that will be the end of this insurgency and this part of the world will have peace.

Here is to hoping the Islamic terrorists get wiped off the pages of history as well. Hopefully Osama Bin Laden and his gang of fanatics will soon hang from the lamp posts too. Then the rest of us can get on with our lives in peace.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Election Results today

The results to the parliament elections will be known in a couple of hours. Just a short note here to record my appreciation of how lucky I am to be living in a democracy. If I were born in China (for e.g, or North korea or Saudi Arabia ... ), I would probably have gone to the wall long ago.

Even with all its ills and the wrong people winning sometimes (e.g Mr Shashi Tharoor, an audacious carpetbagger, is leading in my home constituency as I write this. Ugh!), democracy is still the best system in the world and I am blessed to live in one!

PS:Still many things to improve. Web coverage of the elections is abysmal. The Election Commission's website crashed. They run the site on IIS/ WinXP (!!!).

JSF RoadKill

My friend Peter Thomas wrote an excellent blog entry on the evolution (if zombie like undead shambling monstrosities can be said to "evolve") of the JSF "framework". If you work in enterprise programming you owe it to yourself to read this. If you don't work in enterprise software, but like horror stories, give it a quick glance. (and thank Merciful Heaven that you have better ways of putting bread on the table!).

Oh and if a so called "architect" in your organization reccomended JSF for your project, strangle him with the nearest power cable!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Anyone (in Bangalore) interested in a D&D (or GURPS) campaign?

I am putting together a campaign in between bouts of coding. Will probably be a while before I finish, and still haven't thought of the logistics (where to meet, how often etc) so this is more to gauge interest.

If anyone is running a group in Bangalore already, please let me know, I'd like to drop by and see how you run a (D&D or GURPS) campaign.

Friday, May 8, 2009



I am not completely convinced of the awesomeness of Twitter, but it seems useful to jot down thoughtlets not big enough for a complete blog entry.

We'll see how it goes.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Ruby on Rails Soap Opera

The RoR "community" has the tendency to break out into episodes of frenzy over the most absurd events - a "feature" I am personally grateful for, since it helps said community attract and retain a very specific type of software developer, thus keeping him away from the more pragmatic and well engineered frameworks, an unstinted blessing for the rest of us un-hip developers.

The latest kerfluffle is about a presentation someone made at a conference. (The one before that was the programmers at Twitter converting a chunk of their *own* code from Ruby to Scala - you get the idea).

Anyhoo, if you have a couple of hours to kill and/or feel strongly about feminism/free speech, Martin Fowler does a good job of extracting the main threads out of the maelstrom and clarifying the issues. The conclusions are a little shaky (especially the "win against the suits by promoting women" idea), but a brilliant job nonetheless.

So, beyond the fact that I am happy that this long dead and decaying horse is being whacked less and less as the days go by what do *I* think about the fundamental issues?

"I pensieri stretti & il viso sciolto."


No, I don't think what you think I think , but pensieri stretti anyway. :-)