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Messages - nosh [ switch to compact view ]

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@40, please post links to the 0.0000001%. I'm really curious about that stuff now! ;D

Living Room / Re: What the heck has happened to Google search?
« on: October 25, 2011, 05:12 AM »
Am I really late to the party or did Google just drop the + operator from their search syntax? Is it some bizarre decision related to their Google+ service? (I feel silly even suggesting that.)

I noticed for the first time today when I got this message at the top of the search results:
The + operator has been replaced.
To search for an exact word or phrase, use double quotation marks

So now double quotes signify both "whole phrase search" and "required in results"?
What if I want to include a phrase in my search that doesn't necessarily have to be in the results? How do I frame my search query then? WTF, Google!

Update: OK, I see it is a recent development.

The plus operator was useful for single words and it was intuitive, considering that the minus operator is employed to exclude results that contain a certain word.

Wasn't simplicity one of the virtues that helped Google become a household name? Looks like it's time to seriously start looking at alternatives.

Yeah, and you really don't wanna miss out on Tru-3D p0rn!  :P

Fair enough.

Social media has been around for what? 10 years? The internet (in its mass-reach avatar) for a little longer. I'm guessing all these unrelated concerns: organizations violating personal privacy, rampant online piracy, wikileaks and similar organizations exposing state secrets, botnets for sale, organized CC theft, etc - are pushing us all in one direction -> serious internet regulation. I wonder what things will be like in another 50-60 years...

Putting Wikileaks out of play could create a dangerous vacuum. It wouldn't serve anyone's interest if some faceless new "organization" that doesn't even make a pretense of going by the book, becomes the de facto go-to place for anyone wishing to air some dirty laundry.

You may shut down Wikileaks but you can't stop the leaks.

Living Room / Re: What happens after a Cloud changes Types?
« on: October 24, 2011, 07:54 AM »
The revamp shouldn't bother most people.

Louis Gray (G+ evangelist, hired by Google) said:

To clarify, Google Reader remains a stand-alone product. What is being announced is threefold: 1) Addition of sharing to Google+. 2) A new modern design. 3) Retiring of the dedicated sharing model.

This statement ( It will be impossible to use Google Reader as a standalone product) is incorrect. You can continue reading your feeds in Reader independent of Google+.


Living Room / Re: Post Your Funny Videos Here [NSFW]
« on: October 21, 2011, 12:00 PM »
Siri trolls Japanese guy. It's a good thing they don't sell it in India.

Heads up at 1:40  ;D

+1 for what 40 said:
I wouldn't go too overboard with partitioning. Segregating the drive into one partition for the operating system and programs; and a second partition for user data should be sufficient for general use. Basically this divides the drive between what needs to be reloaded from CD and everything else that will get lost if it isn't backed up.

with the added qualification mentioned by MerleOne:
There is one situation where an extra partition is useful, IMHO : game installation.
...basically anything that's so large that imaging it with the OS isn't worthwhile. Mostly games, but also includes CD/DVD dumps or virtual drives.

Living Room / Re: Post Your Funny Videos Here [NSFW]
« on: October 20, 2011, 09:37 PM »
Hahahaha!  ;D

Living Room / Re: Libel, webmasters and veiled threats.
« on: October 19, 2011, 08:21 AM »
Wouldn't want to be the reason for a fellow human losing any sleep. :P

Living Room / Re: Libel, webmasters and veiled threats.
« on: October 19, 2011, 07:09 AM »
Ha ha! OK! It's no biggie. I can PM you if you're going to lose sleep over it. :D

Living Room / Re: Libel, webmasters and veiled threats.
« on: October 19, 2011, 06:23 AM »
 ;D <-- *nosh pretends he understands what IainB is talking about*

I just read through the Grimm's version and am still clueless. :P
Do you mean you find all this hard to believe?

Living Room / Re: Post Your Funny Videos Here [NSFW]
« on: October 19, 2011, 12:04 AM »
blind cat vs. a hair dryer

Hahaha! Adorable!

Not funny, but interesting... am I the only one who thinks this would make for an awesome locale for a heist movie?

Living Room / Re: Libel, webmasters and veiled threats.
« on: October 18, 2011, 09:48 PM »
Google has a tool for removing pages from their cache -

It worked pretty well when I tried it the first time, I don't recall exactly how many days later I checked but it wasn't very long before the links were gone. The catch is, the pages in question need to be non-existent/changed on the site of origin. To verify this, Google asks you to enter words that are in the cached page but no longer on the actual page.
(The header in the screenshot is slightly misleading, Google did remove the cached page but that doesn't go hand in hand with removing the page from the search results.)

The good part here is, the webmaster is not required for this. If the pages have changed or are down, anyone can make a cache takedown (more like update) request - that's the way it worked for me anyway.

Getting the search _results_ removed requires the server to return a 404 or 401 for the page. This is what most people who're unhappy with whatever, would be looking for (for the page to not show up on Google at all) and it's not easy without the site in question cooperating. If the webmaster just modifies the page on your request but the url is intact the hits still show up. Even after a successful cache takedown, the old page title persists in the search results.

If the info is still on the original site, Google will help, but you have to jump through a few hoops. I haven't had to take this route, thankfully - I'm sure they make quick exceptions for extreme cases like child porn or terrorism, but they don't make it easy (it's why they're still a leading search engine for novice pirates. :D )


PS - Thx wraith! :)

General Software Discussion / Re: iPad2: alternative to Stanza?
« on: October 18, 2011, 08:54 AM »
For PDFs I use GoodReader, which is pretty awesome feature-wise. You can sync using Dropbox, there's even a "Local Servers (via wifi)" option there, dunno exactly how it works though - I transfer files via SCP (jailbreak perk). I can't really speak for its speed, since I have nothing to compare it to... I read 20-40 MB magazines (full graphics) there and am quite happy with it.

Living Room / Libel, webmasters and veiled threats.
« on: October 18, 2011, 04:40 AM »
A couple of years back, a friend, who was a management student then, needed to interview some people for a dissertation. She asked me to air my opinions about the city we live in. I agreed, with the understanding that whatever I told her would be between me, her and her college staff.

A few months back, I google my name and find a long rant with racist undertones posted on some essay writing site. The title of the essay "An interview with Mr. [my name]" - Whoa!

Now - a) I'm a Zoroastrianw (apparently, there are more elephants in the world than people belonging to my community) and
b) Even within my community I have a rather uncommon surname.
This makes my name totally unique. I have yet to meet another person who shares my name for the simple reason that he doesn't exist. If you search Google for my name you KNOW that all the results refer to me. (On a tangent, is it wiser to give our kids generic names in the intertube age?)

Some of the stuff posted in the essay, I remember saying, some genuinely doesn't sound like stuff I'd ever say. The end result is, I come across as a half-witted racist. The me-being-half-witted bit has occasionaly been debated by my friends and associates, but I definitely don't want anyone who ever googles my name to end up seeing the article.

So, I do a whois and get the administrative contact's email (a UK based SEO company). I tell him there's libelous material on the site, my name is being used in an interview I never gave (a white lie, IMO, which I use since I don't want to get into a bickering match) and could he please pull it down?

He puts me onto a lady, she's really co-operative and gets the tech staff to pull the links down, no questions asked. I'm left feeling impressed and grateful.

A month later, I google my name and Bingo! 3 hits to the same site with the full essay visible. I mail her again and am met with silence. I wait for around 10 days and mail her one more time... again, silence. I mail the admin contact who had put me on to her... silence.

Suddenly, a wild idea appears...

I sent them both the following mail today (it's a little melodramatic but if you've read this far you're obviously immune to that kind of stuff)

Hi R and J,
I had approached you both a couple of months back reg. an article that used my name in an interview I had never given.
You R, put me on to J with whom I had a very amicable interaction - she helped take down the article.
A few days later the same article appeared again on the site.
I have mailed you, J twice and R once regarding this. Not only is the article still up, neither of you have bothered to even revert back to me.
I'm not going to BS you guys, I don't have the time or the resources to take legal action to get this piece that hurts my reputation taken down. I think it is callous and cruel to not help someone in my postion. And it is arrogant to not even take a minute to revert back.
So let me make this a tad more personal and ask you, R [full name] and J [full name] this. How would you like it if some aggrieved party with enough technical understanding about the working of the internet took it into their heads to sully your reputations? Would you be as silent and unconcerned then?
Thanks for your time.
Best regards,
(Feel free to Google my name if you'd like to know more about me. There are a couple of interesting links you might find. :)

So I get the nicest possible email, (within the hour!) from the lady who's already taken every possible link she can find, down. She goes on to explain that the techs had reconnected the old db and that caused all the problems. She offers more help if I need it.
Needless to say, I'm pleased with the outcome - and TBH, quite amused at the prompt reaction the mail got. I've experienced this IRL too, people hide behind a corporate facade but the minute you target them personally and their own wellbeing is at stake they become way more cooperative.  :)

Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: (another) Linkman Review
« on: October 18, 2011, 02:25 AM »
Ouch! Ok! I just upgraded and the box didn't show up where it normally did. Let me roll back and see if it makes a diff... (to be continued)

You're right. I could have sworn the window opened at the same place everytime. :| Guess I'll AHK my way around the issue.

Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: (another) Linkman Review
« on: October 18, 2011, 01:13 AM »
When I use the add&edit a bookmark function from Firefox (via hotkey), the bookmark properties window now pops up wherever the mouse cursor is. Can I get it to show at the same location everytime?

General Software Discussion / Re: iPad2: alternative to Stanza?
« on: October 17, 2011, 10:35 PM »
Don't know any alternatives, I only use iBooks (since Calibre converts text to epub) but it's become progressively slower with iOS upgrades [insert conspiracy theory here], which is a shame. Rolling back the OS on a JB device comes with its own set of problems, since a lot of apps don't have backward compatibility.

BTW, are you using an iPad 2? It would really suck if iBooks was slow on there too!

(I'm waiting for an untethered JB before I go near iOS 5 - Pic somewhat related  :D)


Living Room / Re: Anyone got an iPad and like it?
« on: October 12, 2011, 10:22 PM »
From my experience buying a tablet, any tablet, without 3G support is a very bad idea. Being able to access content and stay in touch anywhere anytime is essential.
-lotusrootstarch (October 12, 2011, 09:57 PM)

But then what you can do with the content is limited by the iPad's capabilities, or lack thereof. Unless you're slinging a laptop along too.  :)

Living Room / Re: Anyone got an iPad and like it?
« on: October 12, 2011, 10:13 PM »
I bought a remote control app to control windows, but it locks the screen, which isn't what I wanted. i.e. Control windows from laying down on the couch.

Probably coz it uses RDP? I use iTap VNC w/ TightVNC running on the PC. No system locking and supports multi-mon. Great for controlling the music player (audio system) from the bed, even better for pranking clueless friends surfing on my PC. Loading random porn sites when they're trying to check their mail or whatever! :D

Living Room / Re: Anyone got an iPad and like it?
« on: October 12, 2011, 09:39 PM »
I have one and really like it. But you need to start looking at it as what it is - a casual use device, rather than a mission-critical one. I'd recommend a wifi only model, something that can be used in addition to your main machine.
There's a lot that you can't do on the iPad, jailbreaking makes the situation a little better. But there's enough I can do on it to justify its purchase. I lost my Internet connection for a couple of days some months back and what I missed most was surfing on the iPad. Whenever I buy a device that I don't really need, once the novelty wears off, I get real and it ends up eating dust somewhere. The iPad gets used heavily every day (mostly web browsing, email, twitter & ebooks). But people need to stop thinking of it as a laptop replacement, just coz Steve said so. :)

Living Room / Re: Real life version of a Half Life 2 map
« on: October 12, 2011, 10:55 AM »
I could count atleast 20 spots where I would be guaranteed to fcuk up and die. And I'm talking about HL, forget reality!

Living Room / Re: Centurylink is on CracK
« on: October 09, 2011, 10:36 PM »
If you have the time and resources to be constantly watching the entire web for references to your company name, why can't you make a similar effort to get a responsive support and service department into place?

Vodafone bots in action:

Quote Originally Posted by nosh View Post
Guys, guess what? Vodafone has no security when it comes to recovering a PUK code. I needed to recover my PUK and I called up the helpline 9820098200. The system just asked me to enter the no. for which I wanted to recover PUK and read out the PUK. I expected to speak to a person who'd verify my authenticity by asking for some personal details before giving me the PUK, after all you need the PUK if you've done something like entering the incorrect pin thrice on a locked phone.

Next time you want to hack into someone's locked phone, remember, Vodafone will be glad to help you out! Because the other option of having you speak to a human being (who actually needs to be paid a salary!!!) is just too unbearable!

Is this standard policy for other operators too?
Hello Sir/Madam,

Thanks for writing to us. We are sorry for the inconvenience faced. Please share your number with us at Vodafone India - Complaints - Requests - Enquires we'll get back to you with assistance at the earliest.

Vodafone Customer Care

Living Room / Re: The All New Kindle - ripoff!
« on: October 09, 2011, 01:17 PM »
No kindle comes with a backlight that I know of.

Last summer I spent several hours every night for two weeks reading my kindle with a flashlight in one hand :)

I know - I was trolling the previous poster to see if he was for real, I see that post has been deleted now. :)

The iPad is not the perfect reading solution I thought it would be. It's too damn heavy, I was actually happier reading on my Nokia 6600 (total workhorse, still around as a backup phone). I find the Kindle attractive because of its weight... don't like the idea of a battery case though. Guess the next phone purchase should do the trick.

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