Mysore city “Public Eye” project: a few thoughts

Let me begin by stating the obvious: probably nobody from the Mysore city police force will read this, but I will make a few notes here nonetheless.

What we need is not — at least not most of the time — an elaborate online form to make complaints. Like me, I am sure half of the human population hates forms. Call me irresponsible, but I have no idea if a priority-B control centre number exists; it would help spread out emergency calls and increase efficiency of police functioning.

The police in New Zealand, for instance, have a *555 FREE dialling order in place. The idea is that non-life-threatening calls are made to *555 FREE and top priority emergencies are to be reported at 111 — their equivalent of 911, 999, 100 etc.

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Restoring screen rotation on rooted Samsung Android smartphones

Bloatware is Samsung‘s middle name. (For the curious, the company is actually Samsung Group, so there is a last name.) Every Samsung phone comes with half its internal memory filled with apps Samsung provides which half of us never use.

(Tossed all over this article are images of my newly rooted Note 3 — just because.) And there is a problem here, which we will discuss and solve.

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Today I was published in the Deccan Herald

My article was published in the Deccan Herald today. It is a national newspaper. And it does call for an enthusiastic celebration.

Titled (originally as) Congress’ defeat: a lesson in marketing, the article was an examination of how the Hindu nationalist political party — the RSS backed BJP — used several proven strategies all too familiar to ad men, successfully, to win the 2014 Indian election in a landslide.

If you are interested you can read it online too (if the embedded pdf below carries text too tiny for its own good).

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7 OS X Terminal commands you should know

Having been a Windows and Ubuntu user, joining the Mac tribe was extremely refreshing for me. And one of the things I noticed was that somehow, my Mac seemed to be made for me out of the box — leaving me with only a couple of minor tweaks to make.

That is not to say Macs are perfect; but they are a lot more understanding of humans than Windows. That means a majority of Mac users never explore the Terminal that comes with their computers: a lovely UNIX footprint available on the Mac.

But using the terminal, while not strictly necessary, is fun to do once-in-a-while. So whether you hope to get started or just see what the fuss is all about (and if you have a Mac) then these are seven OS X Terminal commands you should know.

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The soft bigotry of low expectations

I will throw this out there, so never blame me if it seems sudden or unplanned. As I sit here at my desk, a strange mass of words comes to me: the soft bigotry of low expectations.

What does it mean? Often, what we hear in our minds is nothing more than what we have once heard aurally. I set out to find the origin of this — almost weird — phrase, and I managed to track it down to a little speech that the former U.S. president, George W. Bush, had delivered at a National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) convention.

So what did Mr Bush — or his speechwriter — mean by this? He was speaking in reference to the education system and these words gave rise to several opinions, all based on similar lines.

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Using ICC profiles on Windows and Mac

Colours are a wonderful thing of nature, but only so far as our own eyes are concerned. When it comes to electronic devices, colours are only a range of binary digits, so a scale of some sort is required for, say, a computer, to interpret these colours.

In effect, what an International Colour Consortium (ICC) profile does is help your computer understand what colour you mean when you pass a certain electronic pulse signal.

Incompatible ICC profiles this can have a terrible effect on the work of visual artists — photographers, videographers, designers and the like — to such an effect that they may start looking like different photos or videos altogether on different machines and media. Here is how you can correct that.

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How I threw SEO out the window

Like a bane, search engine optimisation, (SEO) has long driven bloggers looking for visitors towards a meta-tag-heavy, Flesch points-restrictive style of writing. That needs to change.

When I started blogging seven years ago, I had to adopt the same practice and, while there is no doubt it worked, I always felt it hindered my style of writing. There is some sense in such optimisation, but the actual method of weighing writing is far too inhuman.

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