29 September, 2010

fossphosis: My tech blog

After two years of mixed blogging, and with lots of opportunities to publish the confused jugglery I perform in GNU/Linux on technical grounds, I have streamlined the posts by channelizing GNU/Linux related technical posts to a new blog at the url
net-works-by-gnu-linux @ fossphosis

fossphosis, is a an abbreviation of two different terms, which I came up with for use in a different but related context. Nevertheless, for now, I shall be using it as the URL to this blog.

free and open source software (foss) + metamor(phosis) -> fossphosis; 

Well, let me clarify that I shall not be logging very geeky posts out there, for my abilities with respect to coding are minimal. I shall be chronicling mostly details pertaining to minor tweaks and variety of applications, targeted at consolidating the rich and fascinating FOSS tools I come across and personally use to perform my work (related to computer networks).

The motive behind this new blog is primarily selfish - for, I forget the nuances of the configurations and applicability of tools in an almost volatile manner. It is mainly to facilitate my short term memory in retrieving these details, that I shall be blogging at fossphosis.
In turn, I also believe these posts will be helpful to at least a small set of people to ease their tasks of networking using GNU/Linux.

net-works-by-gnu-linux :)

26 September, 2010

It's only a profound mumbling...

I lay afloat, but still drown in a sea of impulsiveness,
My body is tired, but my mind is bubbling in randomness;
Inhibitions are set free, made unconditional, with no boundary,
Thoughts emanate,surpassing the aura of the smelting iron within a foundry;

The day's life slips me into a shield of cowardice,
Making me grow numb and blind towards my own real needs;
Undaunted questions recursively haunt me,
For, all of this I did, to please me, or the rest of thee?

When I'm lost, and unaware of my existence,
That is when I see the futility of all thy acceptance;
I don't boast of any possession abnormal to humankind, 
Not an open heart, or not even a fearless mind.

All I own is a struggling mind and a compromising heart,
And this realization has what made me rise and start,
To push the envelope beyond the obvious,
While striving not to make my reality oblivious.

Filling the flaws within, with and with alone my passion,
Knowing it's done, only when it turns to be an obsession;
For, the best of me is not what I now confess,
It is more to do with what I shall go on to possess.

22 September, 2010

Godly Chauvinism: Who is to be blamed?

Ubuntu logo: Humanity to Others:: Tweaked Ubuntu Logo; Humanity amongst Indians! (colors symbolize 3 major religions in India)

I have spoken furiously about the highfalutin mobs who are observed consistently in all sects, more appropriately communes of people. I used to believe that education would better this dreadful and communicable logic/reasoning deficiency disorder of the masses, but the recent Telengana issue proved me wrong, where it was the students who went berserk.

Religion is one of the wisest creations of man, which was initially invented to wrap up the ignorance he was shameful to admit, by attributing it to God. Subsequently, with increased use, he discovered the potential of a weapon which he had unintentionally invented. A weapon that could directly attack the mind, and collapse the ability to reason in the person's belief system, replacing it with a fabricated tell-tale story of legends and myth (true to all religions being practiced). This was so successful in masquerading the truth that it has made people to believe the 'untruth' more than their own reality and existence. Yeah, Inception works, and well on large scale!

Talking about how this became the 'Magic Weapon' of the power-seeking leeches is a known and clich├ęd reality, which we have grown blind towards.

From the Ignorance of softheads breeds fear, and this fear is transformed into havoc by the wiser softheads.

Except for in text books, I have never seen compelling and consistent public instances of India being secular or tolerant. Forget about being tolerant, people can barely bear each other (other as in, other religion/caste/state/or any trivial segregative clause). And, that, my friends is the reality.

Prejudices, media-fed opinions and zero self reasoning are the main causes for this deteriorating state of affairs in India. The ultimate winner though is the power-seeker, who successfully capitalizes on the stupidity of his subjects and further uses them as assets (? or stocked ammunition !) when need be, by instigating or encouraging more of atrocities.

The eternal losers are the people, who fail to live a life, but forever remain pawns in the hands of exploiters.

Amidst all this chaos, if there was a genuine motive ( I believe, there was at least one), behind the conception of God and Religion, those noble ideas are being lost, after having swollen with the increasing events of disgrace to these identities due to the ruckus created by the morons and mindless maniacs.

When the reality is so clear in front of people, with their life and a universe of opportunities at their disposal, I cannot still, and maybe never fathom the need for people to go wayward, ruining their own lives and the society as a whole.

Just an open and shrewd mind is what is needed; A shrewd open mind....
The question is how each of us could  get to possess one such rarity!

18 September, 2010

Why Software Freedom?

This is one question not many of us, who are not involved with the Free Software Movement would be even aware of.

When knowledge becomes a commodity, the society built around such a knowledge market is prone to grow diametrically polarized. This in turn, perilously reflects on the economic status of the involved sections of people. Depriving knowledge from people puts them in a handicapped position, and renders them a life, which is more of a struggle against unequal opportunities for survival. This, on a prolonged period of time, culminates into a society which has nothing but a glaring disparity in the conditions of its population, staring at a bleak future. 
India, is the best example that can be taken into consideration. 

With the Digital revolution at its zenith across globe, and also in India, the knowledge we just spoke about has/is being digitized. Apart from the commoditization of knowledge in its real form, the extra commoditization of its digital form inherently has been more successful, only in a capitalistic point of view.

In a nationalistic. or a humanitarian perspective, all that has come to be of Digital Knowledge is that, it is a costly commodity, like a sports car or a posh flat. 

In India, or any developing country, enabling people by imparting them skills that will help them lead a decent life is what is most required. In today's world, it naturally converges to using technology. But, when the knowledge behind the technology is being used to create a gradient in the society, as it is a commodity in the hands of profit makers, it is imperative that all the knowledge is brought back into the community, and used for the betterment of the community. 

Free Software Movement, has this far succeeded in its attempts of setting this knowledge free, free as in freedom (also in monetary terms, either zero or little cost).  When the society owns the knowledge, it knows what it has to produce for its growth, rather than some monopoly deciding what the society might need. 

Talking on these important lines, Freedom in the Digital world is very much necessary for the society to grow equal, so that we do not allow deep opportunity gradients created everywhere.

Freedom at a user level in terms of privacy and security are also facets of the movement. But, in an Indian context this Freedom makes more sense in the 'gradient lessening' aspect. 

15 September, 2010

Freedom Matters with Eben

Prof.Eben Moglen, Founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of Software Freedom Law Center, and also the architect of GPL v3 is in Bangalore doing a series of talks and interactions pertaining to the freedom in the digital world.

Today, Prof.Eben visited St.Joseph's College, Bangalore in an event organized by FSMK. FSMK has come up with a Free Software course of 120 hours with an elaborate introduction to the world of Free Software in an application oriented approach. The syllabus can be found at this link.

Prof.Eben delivered the first lecture of the series, and hence inaugurating the program officially.

In his talk, Prof.Eben introduced the concept of Free Software to the keen but novice audience, drawing analogies from Free Science to Free Software, with emphasis on the Freedom aspect. Talking about the course proposed by FSMK, Prof.Eben said that it was the best course currently in the world for such a cause, which can be emulated world across to incorporate Free Software in the education system. He urged students to take up this course, for it would also prepare them for the industry.
This talk went on for 20 minutes.

In his second stint, during the interaction with the audience, for my question about "Monetizing Free Software", he ended up by saying "Put some free software into your brain, and that brain is much wanted by all major players!".

Later on, when asked about the Google-Oracle law suit, Prof.Eben dramatically elucidated the case going on, the benefactors, the temporary allies and the losers of the lawsuit. He apprehended about a prospective Oracle-IBM lawsuit on JAVA lines, for that would hurt the freedom of users.

He also spoke about the reasons for the current state of M$( failure of Windows Vista, 7...), which has grown obese with its baggage of proprietary applications. He also touched upon the architecture specificity(/rigidity) of M$ which hasn't been able to compete with omni-architecture supporting GNU/Linux.

He gave insights into the Intel Atom and the Nokia 'cynical' deal that is going nowhere, and the troubles Intel is facing with its Meego and Atom projects.

Most importantly, Prof.Eben also spoke about the cause he is batting for, with respect to 'securing privacy of users', with the OpenPlug,GNUplug like devices with a Free Stack, to curb the privacy infringement by the cloud and cloud application developers.

It was an amazing experience, witnessing Prof.Eben; As one of our FSMK activists mentioned "He is one of the 100 Most Influential Speakers of contemporary world" ,and not surprisingly he pleasantly overwhelmed us, by getting us acquainted with the different facets of the Freedom Struggle in the digital world. Every interaction with Prof.Eben transforms into a strong motivation, which would drive us to take up the Movement further, in creating a "Free World( Free,as in Freedom)"

14 September, 2010

Software Freedom Day-2010

Dear Friends and Patrons of Swatantra Software,

Software Freedom Law Centre, New Delhi(SFLC-ND) and Free Software Movement-Karnataka (FSMK) are celebrating Software Freedom Day, by organizing Talks and events by one of the mavericks of the Knowledge Freedom campaigns and an affiliate of SFLC-ND - Prof.Eben Moglen,Founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of Software Freedom Law Center. SFD with FSMK

In this visit to Bangalore, Prof.Eben Moglen will be participating in three separate events organized by FSMK.

1. Inaugural Lecture of Free Software certificate course at St.Joseph's College,Bangalore on the 15th September 4 p.m.
St.Joseph's College, Bangalore has incorporated 120 hours of free software sessions to be handled by FSMK and other like-minded Free Software Enthusiasts. 

2. Prof.Eben at Ambedkar Community Computing Center (AC3) at 5pm on the 16th of September

Before two years, RMS and Prof.Eben visited AC3 with only a few students who were being taught computers using Free Software. Today, these handful of young free software activists from the community are running three other Community Computing Centers completely on their own. Prof.Eben will visit AC3 for a community discussion.

3. Interaction with Prof.Eben Moglen on the Freedom in the Cloud at Indian Institute of Science, on 17th September , 3p.m – 5 p.m, faculty hall IISc. 

Everyone wants a piece of you these days: Google, Facebook, Flickr, Apple, AT&T, Bing. They'll give you free e-mail, free photo storage, free web hosting, even a free date. They just want to listen in. And you can't wait to let them. They'll store your stuff, they'll organize your photos, they'll keep track of your appointments, as long as they can watch. It all goes into the "Cloud."

How we got here is quite a scary story. But nowhere near as scary as getting out again. This talk will discuss how much worse things have become since the pre-cloud era and explain what you can do to reclaim your freedom in the era of Web 2.0.

I cordially invite you all to come and celebrate Software Freedom Day along with us at FSMK and SFLC-ND during these events. 

12 September, 2010

Why innovate?

Those of you who have been following this debate on my social networking profile, might already know the stand I have taken on this debate. Before I reiterate my stand on this forum, I would want to elaborate the premise and context of my opinion. And before I get into my argument, I would want to re-quote NRN:

"IT companies must innovate to beat US outsourcing curbs"
For a moment, let us imagine that we are US citizens, and also acknowledge the fact that we still haven't grown enough to seek "Universal Fraternity", and are mature enough only to reach only a nationalistic feeling ( with forced efforts of course).

So, what would I want to do when more than half of the jobs which could employ my own fellow countrymen are being directed to another country where labor is cheap, so that the monopolies make more profit, with an addendum of tax evasion. I wouldn't happily let it go, even if I were the USA.

Now, let us get back to being Indian citizens. We very well know what the IT has given - Accelerating disparity ( ubiquitous vistas of IT parks adjoined to slums!) and a mediocre and servile work force (no apologies on this rudeness), which seldom gets opportunity to do anything new with the "Please the (their) customer motto". This being the harsh truth, not all of us want to see what has become of a couple of generations of youth in India. Entrepreneurship is discouraged and servility to monopolies is much encouraged, starting in the education system, and unfortunately has also penetrated the family system.

Also, let us look at what tangible technology IT force has returned to our own country, which meets the real needs of India. It has always been outsourced work which has been done prominently, and 'most' of that work doesn't apply to our system's realities. In fact, almost all of it is of no use in the Indian context  ( we have the least developer for every 1000 individuals, only after China in the FOSS community, and we still are struggling to get a stable OS and applications in our regional languages!)

Talking about Innovation, not all innovators are mavericks who can rise out of any circumstances. When we train minds to appropriate conditions with the necessary facilitation, the number and quality of innovators will certainly increase.

Lack of innovation ( also innovation in Indian context) in the IT sector has been transparently visible to everyone for all these decades of its reign in India. Now, when US wants to curb outsourcing, you can't spontaneously transform this crowd into innovators. We should have been conscious of this from the start, and must have given more importance to "innovation to excellence", rather than using it as a back-up plan after the failure of political gimmicks.

Innovation is a trait emanating out of refined and independent minds. And, I do not want to comment on the quality of the subjects under the scan, for it is evident.

What we need is a renaissance in the work culture and a reformation in the context of the work we will be doing. And, this discovery shall lay the foundation to innovations.

11 September, 2010

The Legend of Hindu Mythology

With Gowri-Ganesha festival in an hour, recollecting the legacy of Indian mythology would be appropriate.

The greatness of these epics are the time periods when written and the grandeur of imagination incorporated into them.

To start with, the roles of the Trimurtis: Brahma-The Creator, Vishnu-The Sustainer and Shiva- The Destroyer, and the legends behind each of these deities are excellent pieces of literature, and unsurpassable for the variety and the logical intricacies in them.

I personally love the the stories of Vishnu, and his ten incarnations, which have intriguing stories interrelated in multiple frames of time.
Of all the incarnations of Vishnu, obviously apart from the versatile Krishna, I personally like Narasimha (a futuristic hybrid of man+lion, of the recent likes of liger!). The cause for his incarnation- Demon king Hiranyakashyapa, and his son Prahlaada, and the immortality boon and the shrewd cracking of the boon to kill him, awe me for the sheer diligence in the work that is so ancient.
Talking about the two major epics from Hindu mythology- The Ramayana and The Mahabharata, the latter easily beats the former with its grand scale, plenty of rich and complex characters, in an elaborate but meticulous plot. In Mahabharata, the negatives of the dominating positive, and the positives of the wronging negatives are exemplified in an impeccable manner. For, it is usual to show the right as right,and the wrong as wrong  throughout. But, if observed in Mahabharata, all the facets of all the characters are excellently presented, without the prejudice of them being principally right or wrong. The various facets of characters manifested throughout the epic, with all their nuances and subtleties make it undoubtedly the best Epic written hitherto in any country in any period of time.

Although, I haven't read these, but have heard, and been hearing the stories, or watched them on TV. They have had tremendous positive influence on me. Mahabharat, Jai Hanuman,Sri Krishna and numerous other mythology based chapters in Indian TV have come by. But, today I apprehend, even with hundreds of channels there is very little of accurate mythology being shown, and more of fabrication even in the little of these classics, to fit the imperfect society of today's world.

With the growing global convergence, we seem to be losing firstly the cognizance of, and secondly the authenticity of such mastermind epics. Colleagues mentioned that in Chota Bheem, Bheem plays 20-20! Hope he's not on Facebook too, else the kids might include FB to be part of the Hindu mythology...

Creativity in the real sense, is lacking today, and by properly infusing the Hindu Mythology to the newer generation we could expand their realms of imagination. And, not to forget the diverse stories from these classics which are eternal in the truest sense.

PS: Well, if you were thinking I was talking religion - Nope, it was about creativity...

08 September, 2010

Time Swift

Time flies.. Yes, it does.
But, when does it fly? 
Not when you are stuck on a lazy afternoon, or while conversing about irrelevance of relevance,or vice versa with a seemingly irrelevant person, or when you are at the troughs of your personality.

Time does fly, but only when you most need it to slow down. And yes the famous analogy of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity does hold good in many cases. But, it more often flies when you have lost yourself in your endeavors. 

Like recently, when I was on work, and was doing something really cool for the first time ( Load Balancing  for Servers:). As it was something new and with monstrous machines to work with, I was so engrossed in my task that, in a reverse inception-like situation, I was feeling that one hour had reduced to ten minutes, and continued to till the end of the day. 

This is only one recent instance of accelerated time. I'm sure all of you would have experienced this many times. The beauty of such phases of time is the gratification, but at the same time the insatiability it renders.  

Now we can analyze further sating that the rate of time acceleration purely depends on the individual and his interests, and that again is relative. But, we can very well do only things which we are interested in, so that we are always in this ecstatic time-swift... 

05 September, 2010

People [Live]

Off late, if you have been reading my posts, there has been a lot of open criticism and cynicism about the News and Media houses, for all the hampering they are rendering to the opinions of people and running of the country. Let this not imply that I am getting all to obsessive about this attack. These are only small vents of my disappointment from the anomalous consequences of Free Press and Free Media.

In such a grim situation, an attempt like Peepli [Live] is important within the realms of the real Indian scenario. Kudos to the team for such an effort. It can be genre'ised as a 'dark satirical comedy', but it does more than that by throwing some much needed light upon the mechanism behind the news manufacturing process, and the apathy of the politicians towards the real people.

By real people I mean people, who are not influential enough, but are only daily-bread seekers: That alone is their ambition in life -Mere Survival.
We can rule out most of the urban population from this discussion, and entirely confine on the rest of the huge population from the rural corners of India. The worth of these people to politicians is 'One Vote' during elections, and a hot-selling story for the media. These people are like Use & Throw commodities.
People who have no idea of their rights and who are naive about the exploitation they are being done to.

From mining scams to land acquisitions, the corruption feeds on not only the resources of these people, but on their lives. Literally, driving them to suicides as a political gimmick.

People like P Sainath, who brought to light these haunting issues are needed in more numbers. We need to do our part in clearing this sewer-like filthy system..

PS: Read P Sainath.

02 September, 2010

Ideal Insomnia

Rarely it happens to people that the pursuance of an idea keeps them awake, while the desire to go for it pulls them repeatedly out of bed, starting from the latest of nights to the earliest of the mornings.
Being in such a wave of euphoric enthusiasm is the best feeling; Nah, the best experience :)

Infatuation towards certain one or two, has yes, kept me anxiously happy and awake, and those I call were consequences of naivety, which i wouldn't repent about. Whereas, insomnia because of the train of thoughts and blasting mines of ideas within the mind is inexplicably enjoyable, and is the impeccable driving force (The force is so much so that it can defy the drowsiness of paracetamol!)

Undying urge, mixed with a dosage of patient pragmatism and efforts to suffice, is what I prescribe myself for this adventure.

Ideas aren't immortal alone, they're insomniac as well :)


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