I get loads of spam

And I don’t know why. I mean, look at this section of my logs. The 2250 is the number of unique non-spambot people who visited. They visited some 28,000 pages this month. The 474,479 is the number of spam bot attempts. I have whole ip ranges blocked to prevent these nutcases. Here’s a little warning to anyone else using WordPress. The comment moderation queue stops working after 16,000 comments. It just doesn’t open.

Awstats - Showing the number of blocked hits - Thumb

If it’s too late and you’ve ended up in this situation, you can try marking them all as spam using phpmyadmin and sql.

Numerical Methods

This was one of those annoying papers where, for the most part, you learn a bunch of formulae without a proof and when you’re given the proof it’s all funny. Boring, but easy since you don’t have to do much work. However, sometimes you just need all the formulae, you need a cheat sheet, because the exam is tomorrow. Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage that, so a lot searching, a little deriving, and some searching for old books allowed me to type them all up and print them up. Might as well save some other soul some trouble. Go to Mathworld for the proofs. You could also wander around the Springer Encyclopaedia of Mathematics or PlanetMath.

Most of the stuff is particular to the course we’re doing, so some things are assumed. For example, the Runge-Kutta method refers to the Fourth Order Runge-Kutta method and stuff like that. Also, parts may be technically inaccurate or may be plain unhelpful :) , but that’s because that part will just jog the right part of my mind. Sorry.

And here you go:
Numerical Methods, List of Formulae, B.Sc. Math, Semester V, Madras University [PDF]
Numerical Methods, List of Formulae, B.Sc. Math, Semester V, Madras University [ODT]

Dumbledore is gay

Well, I suppose that once your only bestselling series of books is done, there’s little you can do to attract attention. I have nothing against gay people, just that this is a ridiculous addendum. Everything after the words ’19 years later’ is ridiculous. Really! I mean, I’m no great Harry Potter fan, and I actually enjoy the trouble the Church goes to ‘warn people about the dangers’ of Harry Potter, but this is … I don’t know. It’s just…odd.

Palse Report!

Today, when we were at the Connemara Public Library, Pipe encountered a family from Jharkhand. They’d come to see the Museum, which is closed on Fridays. The following conversation ensued: (in Hindi, unless otherwise specified)

Dad: Why is the Museum closed?
Pipe: *shrugs, shows hands with palms out*
Dad: What is this? (pointing to pumpkin broken on the road inside the Museum campus for festival)
Pipe: That’s a pumpkin. In Tamil Nadu, they sometimes break pumpkins to celebrate festivals.
Dad: (obviously, very puzzled) [en anglais] Why are they wasting begetables? *shakes head*
Pipe: *shrugs*
*conversation in Hindi*
The family now wants a photograph in front of the Museum Theatre. Pipe is going to take the photograph.

Following conversation in English unless otherwise specified.
Kid: [in Hindi] Film over! Camera full!
Dad: How many photos?
Kid: Thutty-six!
Dad: (to Pipe, obviously trying hard to speak English) How many?
Pipe: Sometimes you can get 37.
Dad: (whacks kid on head) Palse Report! How many photo?
Pipe: There’s 35. (shows monitor showing 35)
Dad: (whacks kid on head) He alway give Palse Report!

Dad: Where are places to see in Madras?
Pipe: Uhh, beach?
Dad: Already seen. Next?
Pipe: Umm, Valluvar Kottam?
Dad: Flower pot, eh?

Palse is pronounced between Palse and Balse. Photo is pronounced nearly Bhoto. Nice bunch, that pumpkin question is good. Also, I hope they managed to get to see something in Madras. And no offence, but they’re crazy funny, you know?

Two to Ubuntu 7.10

Two days to Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon’s release. They say that dual-monitor support has increased lots. That makes me so happy!

Scale in Feisty - Thumbnail

By the way, I’m not a great fan of the default wallpaper for the Gutsy Release, looks like something someone pulled from Fyre (which, as I’ve mentioned before, is a decent tool to make ‘abstract’ wallpaper with), so here’s what I think should have been default. They’re all derived from animals, I particularly love the Lion desktop background.

India and OOXML

I never bothered to check the ballot results, I was just happy that OOXML wasn’t fast tracked. There are innumerable problems with the standard and greater men than I have opposed it. Anyway, I’m just glad to see that the Bureau of Indian Standards (formerly the ISI) categorically rejected OOXML and said they wouldn’t support it unless the proprietary bits (like “linespacinglikeWord95″) were removed from the specification. India is a P-member, so we have no choice but to vote, and when we vote we’ll likely vote against OOXML being accepted as an ISO specification. Fascinating.

Hurrah for standards and freedom.

Turtle walks

You know, it’s been a while since I’ve gone on a turtle walk and it’s going to be that time of year soon enough. It’s rather fun, really, walking down the beach in the middle of the night. Hell, it’s a nice idea even if you’re not an eco-nut, the experts handle the tough parts of unearthing the nests and all that but you can hang around and touch the eggs and photograph the turtles if you wish. With the new rules and all the patrolling, I don’t think there’ll be any drunken nuts on the beach anymore, so you don’t have to be scared of those. As a matter of fact, the bows of the catamarans are probably the most dangerous things on the beach (other than the glass in the sands, of course).

So join the walk, and maybe you’ll learn something. I had no clue about Olive Ridleys until I went on one of these walks a long time ago. Trust me, it’s fun.

PS: Today is Blog Action Day. Just remembered :)

It’s a kitty!

Little Kitty


Gitanjali and Isha let me take this adorable little kitten because they couldn’t keep her in the hostel in college. She’s the friskiest cat we’ve ever had and spends all of the time either running around attacking a stuffed hedgehog tied up with string or biting and clawing our hands and arms. I think she’s a bit of a nutcase, because she doesn’t eat fish unless it’s been fried, she’ll eat any cooked chicken but no uncooked, and she’ll eat all kinds of mutton. The funny thing is, she loves human company and sleeps only when there’s someone around. This means that in the middle of the night she’ll crawl onto my pillow and curl up to sleep, sometimes with one paw on my head.

The crazy bit is my dad isn’t really fond of cats. He can tolerate them, but he’s not actively crazy about them like the rest of the family. Unfortunately, Cleo insists on sitting on his lap whenever possible and is always running around his legs. It’s patently hilarious, I tell you. Oh, and xkcd was right.

Looking for an EN-EL1 Charger:

All these photos were with the remaining charge on my digital camera. Unfortunately, the charger is broken (I think). I’ve tried to charge both the original EN-EL1 and a replacement Camelion battery but neither seem to have charged properly. Does anyone know where I can get a cheap charger? I’ve looked around and I managed to find a CTA Digital MR EN-EL1 Charger but Amazon doesn’t accept Paypal so I’m stuck now. I’ll just have to go to Ritchie Street now. That sucks. Those buggers are all frauds and their prices are inflated, not in little part due to the idiot import duties we have on electronics. What good do they do anyway, stupid duties. So high.

Spam Assassin

Kushnir with colleaguesOnce upon a time, before we had Gmail we used to curse spammers and sometimes even swear to kill them. I know that I banned whole IP blocks from Russia because this blog can’t handle the 200,000+ hits they make every few days, WordPress’ comment moderation just stands still. Well, all those threats to kill? Someone actually acted on them.

A Russian Penis Enlargement Spammer shot dead by hitmen. Two years ago, another big spammer was killed brutally, with more effort taken in hurting him than in killing him. There’s that little twinge I feel, it’s there every time I hear about a killing, but I must say that I have few qualms that these people have been killed. I wouldn’t do it myself, but I will thank the one who did, so long as he isn’t trying to “move in on” the dead man’s business.

It really is very hard to feel sorry for these men. Ah, such is life.

“I’m a citizen!”

There was once a boy named Jee, who studied in Madras. While in this college, he met another boy, slightly older, called Diwali. The two got along rather well, and spent a lot of time with potted plants. Indeed, it seemed quite a passion. One day, in anticipation of some very creative work for a Saturday that was to come, the two decided to attend to their plants with a couple of Jee’s friends, Dren and the Breeze. After enjoying themselves that night, Jee and Diwali decided to return home. It was two in the morning.

In Madras, no one walks around at two in the morning except incredibly pot-bellied policemen on bicycles, a hilarious sight for a normal man and patently side-splitting for our heroes. With great restraint, they passed the policeman and walked on, carrying Jee’s laptop on which they had watched some anime. Diwali liked anime, very much, and so did Jee. The policeman, however, exercised no such restraint, possibly because he liked anime but had none. Mumbling like a cow, he summoned the duo and asked them for all sorts of things. At this point, outraged by this assault upon his person, Jee, endowed by the power of botany, counter-attacked, “I am a citizen!”, he said, “I have the right to go where I want in public in this country!”. The policeman was fat, and he had a funny hat, so he responded with some accusations that Jee was drunk. Jee was not, in fact, drunk. He was in a state that the Taliban puts women in when the women are accused of adultery. Diwali, however, understands policemen at two o’ clock and the things they like to do, so with a deferential tone in his voice and a polite bow he asked forgiveness and removed both of them from the scene. The policeman stood in silence and contemplated the purpose of his life.