Archive for 2012

Sri Lanka’s (Delayed) Satellite Launch

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

I initially thought the video above was a bunch of Sri Lankans watching their money disappear into the air, like Mihin Space. However, it seems that it’s not a government launch, per se. It seems that it’s a private company called SupremeSAT which has Presidential son Rohitha Rajapakse as an engineer, fresh of his bachelor’s degree in Russia.

News Flash: Kottu And Fried Rice Bad For You

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

According to a study of 200 people, eating kottu and fried rice all the time does bad things to your cholesterol and liver. The problem seems to be the oil, which is also used to fry other stuff. They also mention cockroaches getting chopped in there but I think that A) this is exaggerated and B) insects aren’t bad for you. There seems to be a scientific point (fried foods are bad for your health) mixed with a bit of speculation (the food is massively unhygienic).

Watching Cricket Via MS Paint

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

The Indian Board Of Cricket Control banned a lot of independent news agencies from the recent India-England series. The stated reason seems to be that they wanted to provide their own images, but the result was that a lot of mainstream media pulled out. So there wasn’t much coverage for fans. On the plus side, however, outlets like the Telegraph did their own sorta coverage, in this case through drawings in what seems to be MS Paint.

How Passwords Suck

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

ATM Number PadWired has a great piece on how insecure passwords are, written by @mat, a fellow who got hacked quite thoroughly. Passwords have two constraints, they have to be hard to crack and easy to remember. The problem is that there’s an inevitable tension between the two, since the latter is based on human memory and the former is powered by brute computing power. People can’t remember passwords, and thus people are able to hack you through password recovery tools and the fact that you probably use the same password on many sites. It’s madness, and there needs to be a better way soon.

What Gets You Arrested In India

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Noted, well, racist and popular politician Bal Thackeray died on November 17th. In response the entire city of Mumbai shut down, partly out of loyalty and muchly out of fear. One girl, however, wrote something rather innocuous on Facebook, basically her opinion. Then her and one friend who ‘liked’ the post were arrested. India is sitting on a tinder keg of tensions on a good day, so there were obviously being cautious. This, however, was a bit silly and a bit much.

Dredd 3D: A Review

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

This film has just stopped playing at the Savoy, which is a shame, because it’s really good. I caught it a few days ago and it’s really surprisingly good, and better for being in 3D. Too many action movies have the conceit of being about major issues or trying to be funny. This is just a simple, comprehensible slaughter of bad guys. They pay attention to the details, like slow motion blood spray, and ignore the broader nonsense that makes most action movies so dull.

ikman.lk: Your Local Swedish/South Asian Classifieds

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

This new site ikman.lk has been growing quite fast, advertising heavily online and now on TV and radio. It’s also pretty good, a simple site with more than the critical mass of classifieds to become a market leader. So who are they? It says copyright Saltside, so I looked that up. It’s a Swedish/Dubai company now launching the same classifieds system in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

YAMU Mobile (Beta)

Monday, November 19th, 2012

YAMU Mobile ScreenshotJanith’s finished a beta version of the YAMU mobile site. You can check it out at yamu.lk/m. It should detect your location (after asking) then you can click ‘Find Places Closeby’ [sic] to do what it says on the button. This uses GPS or cell tower or WiFi location, whatever is available, so it can be rough, but should give you a general sense. Below that you can see a list of the nearest places.

Rajapaksas Control 72% Of The Budget

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Mahinda CountrySarvi has a brilliant piece on the budget in The Daily Mirror. Seriously, read the whole thing, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry. I’ve highlighted some of the bon mots here.

The Other Election: China

Friday, November 16th, 2012

china electoral mapAs you can see from the electoral map above, China’s recent election was a landslide. While America has a symbolic electoral college, whereby representatives choose the President, in China it is for reals. The 2000+ members of the National People’s Congress (themselves selected by other representatives and not directly) choose the members of a Central Committee who select the Politburo which is actually already chosen in advance. AFAIK.