24 Mar 2008

Acre. Care. e-Car. Race.

... or like a gujju would pronounce 'rash'.

Starring: Akshaye Khanna, Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor, Sameera Reddy, Johny Lever

Director: Abbas Mastan

This is a story of the relationship between two brothers and their 200 million dollars worth of insurance policies. Like Detective Robert D'costa (Anil Kapoor) says - where there is a huge money involved, accidents are bound to occur. One of the brothers is thrown off the roof just before the intermission and the detective investigates and unveils the truth behind the mystery.

Things that I remember:
  • The 'taweez' on the arm of Anil Kapoor
  • The clock intentionally showing 6:28 in the digital clock when Akshaye Khanna is waiting in the office
  • 'Zaraa Zaraa' and Atif's rendition of 'Pehli Nazar' both of which are shameless rip-offs of a chinese and a korean song... even 'dum da dum da dum' in the vocals has been lifted
  • Kapoor, w.r.t. a stick of sugarcane, "Gannaa khaoge? Waise toh isay chuste hai, magar 'chusoge?' aise pooch toh nahi sakta"
  • Johny Lever playing his small but entertaining part where he narrates why mobile phone is better than a wife... i remember that more because my chuckle was followed by a phattack on the lap
  • During the car race, I was wishing that both the cars would explode and everyone should die and it should finally end it all

  • All the actors are big stars during the release of the movie
  • Everything is shot beautifully and stylishly
  • The going on is highly unpredictable and the tempo is mostly kept up
  • Abbas Mastan are doing what they do best - thriller mystery
  • Great stunts and fresh action scenes

  • Too many twists to the tale; makes the audience feel exhausted; a bit too much effort is applied to make everything unpredictable
  • 'Zaraa zaraa' and the title song are out of place, just like Anil Kapoor
  • I find the the title of the blog more interesting

Recommended if:
  • You liked Naqaab
  • You have an appetite for chakris and jalebis

15 Mar 2008

Moral of the story

"Fuck!! There are fucking millions of pounds involved. Don't you go around fucking with it. What the fuck do you think you guys are here for! Do you even fucking know how it should work?" This was the yelling that Ram would hear from Steve almost every morning.

The deadline was a day away and Steve, the paymaster, was yelling expletives at the placent technical leader, Ram. While the entire team stood in silence, it seemed unreal that Ram was holding his nerve in the face of a wealthy boss who throws 'fucks' into practically every thing that comes out of his mouth.

Nonchalantly Ram said - "You will get it by the agreed date." The silence prevailed even after Steve had left. Ram had been away from his country for the duration of the project. He had been the brain behind this technically complex and highly priced project. For the business, it was as big as a rocket launch is for NASA. As usual, Ram's team spent the evening and the next half of the day toiling at their desks, which was followed by the usual round of the User Acceptance Tests. By the end of the week, there were cheers all around and the work was proclaimed to be a success.

Ram sat at his desk and sent a mail to Steve.

Mr. Steve,
This is to inform you that with the success of the project, my role as the technical leader at your company is now complete. I am glad that this would mean the end of the 5 year period of your needless expletives. It gives me immense pleasure to note that the efforts of the team have borne fruit. I hope that you have noticed how it is important to fuck to create something beautiful.
You must have also noted that we skipped some of your suggestions and instructions over the period of time in order to finish what we had initially aimed for. The technicalities have always been our domain and were implemented with the usual finesse. The results are out there in the form of the happy users. Since it is the users that fuel your business, we have undoubtedly saved your day. So, do not teach your father to fuck.

2 Mar 2008

The war

Over the last couple of decades, companies involved in all forms of digital content are investing exponentially increasing amounts of money and efforts for the Digital Rights Management (DRM). Each of these efforts have resulted in solutions that followed months of engineering and the work arounds have ironically been quick, simple and downright free.

Reminds me the anecdote about NASA splurging millions of dollars to manufacture a pen for their astronauts that could write in conditions like underwater, zero-gravity, vacuum etc; while the Russians simply gave their astronauts a pencil!

To curb piracy, Sony launched a multi-million research-backed technology to protect a CD/ DVD from being copied. In the very next hour, a group published that the workaround is to simply mark the inner most ring on the CD with a black permanent marker because that is the part where the validation logic is stored.

A few years back the public (and their lawsuits) forced the DRM on audio CDs to be taken down. The audio companies realised that they were wasting too much money and time on something that is merely a puzzle game for the crackers/ hackers out there. There is a constant race between the various hacking groups for releasing the hack.

Undeterred by all this, Microsoft regularly tries to push out OS updates to identify pirated Windows. They have every right to protect their income! Their previous attempt at locking out a Windows XP had a disastrous effect on some of the customised/ OEM copies of the OS. There were reports of computers left unusable after the update was applied. Recently, MS released another 'Windows Genuine Advantage' (WGA) update for Vista that when installed checks for the installed OS being legitimate. By definition, this could very well be a spyware, no! Those with legitimate product keys are unlikely to have any issues and those using a pirated copy, will simply choose to ignore the update. So the only point in the update is, perhaps, catching those unwitting users who inadvertently install it without thinking!

And so the war continues...