Honk India Honk!

I know, we have quite a few (virtual) reality shows on TV with a similar name. This one is a unique pure reality show, though! 😉

Welcome to THE SHOW OF THE 3rd MILLENIUM! We’ve had contestants from the 2nd MILLENIUM as well, right from the time the vehicle horn was invented. The show wasn’t as competitive, popular & successful then, as much as it is now!

Great? So how do you participate?

Damn simple! If you drive a vehicle in any part of the country, you already are a participant in the phenomenal success of the untold, unregulated & the free-for-all – “Honk India Honk” pure reality show.

Your sole ‘task‘ is to HONK HONK HONK HONK & HONK! (Yeah, jussst make a lot of *NOISE*! If you hit high decibel levels, they stimulate your, as well as other’s vehicles to perform better!) 😉

Tips to give your best “performance:

  • Honk to check if your vehicle’s battery is alive, even with the ignition off.
  • Honk when you start your vehicle, just to check if the battery works. (Though it worked fine to start the vehicle, in the first place.)
  • Honk to get the security guy to open up the gates for you. (Special tip: Repeat again, when you come back.)
  • Honk to call your family & friends (F&F) to get into/onto the vehicle.
  • Honk to just call your F&F to their window/balconies to talk to them loudly from your vehicle.
  • Honk to announce the arrival of your “cavalcade” to all the low-beings on and around the street. MOVE SOME DIRT!
  • Honk to get on to the road from your street; honk to get off the road onto your street
  • Honk to get the vehicles before you to get off the road and make way for the ROYAL YOURSELFNESS!
  • Honk if you’re late for work; honk even if you’re on time. BIG DEAL!
  • Honk angrily if the signal just turned RED. DRATS… *@$%#^!
  • Honk in frustration if the signal doesn’t turn GREEN quickly. WHAT-A-PAIN!
  • Honk impatiently if the vehicles in front of you don’t move quickly when the signal has turned GREEN. DAMN THESE DUMB SNAILS!
  • Honk just to irritate the drivers ahead of you, especially if one of them has given you a dirty look for honking already. WTF! HOW DARE HE/SHE?
  • Honk at the traffic ahead of you; honk at the traffic coming from the opposite direction. SECULAR HONKING!
  • Honk at the cud-chewing cow sitting right in the middle of the road. How come she DOESN’T KNOW that you’re in a hurry?
  • Honk at the guy who just cut your path from the left. WHAT AN A*SEH*LE!
  • Honk at the guy whose path you just cut from the right. WHAT AN IDIOT! Who gave him the license to drive?
  • Honk at the crowded procession ahead of you. BLOODY ANTS!
  • Honk at the large vehicles, honk at the small vehicles. NO DISCRIMINATION!
  • Honk especially where there’s a NO HONKING sign. You score more points for sheer guts!
  • Honk even if the road is empty & there’s no one to honk at. WHERE’S EVERYONE?
  • Honk for NO REASON AT ALL! What the heck!?

More tips, from a popular e-mail in circulation – “Why do you honk your horn?“:

  • Because it is there.
  • It adds auditory colour to the intricate visual tapestry of day-to-day street existence.
  • I bought it; I’m gonna use it.
  • It is part of an essential bat-like sonar echolocation system.
  • I beep, therefore I am.
  • It stimulates milk production in the cows.
  • It scares off potential attackers as I run the gauntlet.
  • My horn switch has only one position.
  • A hammer is to pound things with; a horn… duh!
  • It helps keep me awake. (Popular with over-night bus drivers)
  • Not honking through the fray
  • Without my horn
    • I feel forlorn
    • I beep it all the day
    • I cannot see…
    • How I could be?

If none of the above appease you to participate vigourously – you can also “Honk if you’re lonely tonight“! And/Or just for fun?

Interesting behaviourial explanation: Why we do what we do?

WordPress Bug: Incorrect count of comments? – Solution

Yeah, I’d been noticing it over the last few days that the count of comments for the posts was incorrect. And it was consistently missing out later posts. 😐 I was unsure if the ‘bug’ existed in WordPress or it was due to the theme that I use (if that mattered).

I first thought, it probably didn’t count posts by the same person – or by the author… but that theory didn’t match for every post.

Googl’ing for the problem resulted in top 2-3 results which were tangential to my issue. So avoided that.

Tried some typical tricks… and finally, got the solution/”fix” for it: Just edit the comment for a post whose comment count is incorrect. You can simply add some character and delete it back, and then save it (Update Comment). You’ll now see that the count is corrected! 🙂

God bless the WordPress programmers! They’re doing an awesome job – albeit some bugs (they’re kinda obvious, in software development). 🙂

Enjoy!~



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Vande Mataram: One Day, Maa Tere Hum

When was the last time you saw the Independence day flag hoisting or Republic day parade, live, or on TV?

Me: I seriously don’t even remember seeing it in the news – later in the evening – for the last few years. 🙁

When was the last time you sung (or even hummed on) the national anthem?

Me: Well, the last time I tried to – I forgot/mispronounced a couple of words. 🙁  This was something we used to sing *daily* during the school & college prayer-time/assembly. Growing old, eh? 😉

Though these were a couple of the “symptoms” we used to proudly show-off to demonstrate our “patriotic fever” towards our motherland, they seem to have faded away in our past – drowned in our current life-style. We used to love pinning/sticking the Indian Tricolour on our shirts, T-Shirts, bikes, cars, doors, etc.; running & cycling around with the flag held high; and wishing everyone a “Happy Independence Day” or a “Happy Republic Day”. Nostalgic, aah!

These “symptoms” used to get us a “high” and were on “display” only a couple of days before the 15th Aug and the 26th Jan — Hence, I’d coined it as “One Day, Maa Tere Hum“… (Read it like: Vande Mataram!).

Sujalam Sufalam Malayaja Shitalam Shasya Shyamalam Maataram Vande! (Note: I didn’t Google for the lyrics; these were verbatim from my memory! Aaah!)

Whenever you have some time to spare (about 2-3 mins.) please read: http://me.enirav.com/?p=594
and post your comments at the site, after reading. Thanks! 🙂

सुजलां सुफलां मलयजशीतलाम् शस्यशामलां मातरम् वन्दे ।
Visit here and read it with its English meaning, I recommend. (Googled only now!)

The fever has lost its fervor and here we are, still high on patriotism, but bogged down with other things in life. A PH – public holiday – to relax, travel, shop, have fun; that’s what the Independence days or Republic days are meant for now. 😐

With the country completing 62 years of independence, what’s on your to-do list for this 15th Aug 2009?

Me: I plan to get up early and watch the Independence day flag hoisting with my 5 yr. old daughter, Stuti. It will probably be her first Independence day “celebration” – the reasons for which, she’s yet to learn & understand. 😀

Chak De… Chak De… Chak De India!

Jai Hind! 😀

Visit: http://india.gov.in/myindia/myindia.php

The Flag of India
The Flag of India

Indian National Anthem (Audio)

Indian Nathional Anthem (Video)

Controls & restrictions at the workplace

All offices have numerous controls & restrictions in place, to avoid/reduce the obvious misuse of the facilities offered for work. Access restrictions to hardware device(s) (like CD/DVD Drives, USB ports), restrictions accessing the internet, blocking/limiting uploads & downloads, to only allow restricted software to be installed, and likewise; are very common. Deploying & administering such controls & restrictions are also relative easy today, especially with the system administrator-friendly tools & utilities available today.

However, my primary thought was, no such controlling software utility can be robust enough; And I proved myself right when I was able to (rather easily) break through 2 such strong products (Eureka moment! ;-)). One of the products is a resource hogging anti-virus software (forced onto my computer by my office policy!) and another is an endpoint device blocking system. Me; a tiny petty hacker as compared to the grandmasters of the underground; being able to do this – meant such product developers have *work* to do! 😉

Almost all these utilities do the following to block the unwanted devices and secure their own files/services:

  • The device blocking utilities hook-up themselves to the OS and intercept any calls to the devices they are programmed to block. They detect & allow valid calls to the devices, while blocking the unwanted ones. So – if a USB blocking utility intercepts a new USB device being connected; it checks if its an allowed device – like a USB mouse or a USB keyboard; or if its one of the devices to be restricted – like a USB Stick or an iPod or an external USB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) – and behaves accordingly. The utility passes the allowed device calls through to the OS’s handler, and discards the other calls – to achieve its purpose.
  • These utilities are typically developed as a Windows service which run at the Windows startup. These services cannot be started or stopped by the user.
  • To employ better security these utilities also have a seperate process or a thread or another service running/polling to monitor if the primary service is running. If it finds the service stopped – it restarts the service immediately.
  • These utilities also block the access to its installed folders/directories – such that there’s no way one can venture into the directory and delete/rename/tamper with its files. The blockage is typically in place even in safe-mode or command prompt mode. Probably if the HDD is connected to another computer, as a secondary drive there – the folder restrictions would not apply. (Haven’t tried it myself.)

I’ll talk about the endpoint device blocking product, GFI EndPoint Security (to block iPods, USB Sticks & other such endpoint devices). You can review the $25 per computer product’s features here.

NOTE/DISCLAIMER: I strongly suggest you against doing the following on your office computer – to avoid breach of your office’s security policy & inviting serious trouble for yourself. Well, we can argue about this – however I didn’t disable the GFI product to forcibly breach my office policies, but I had received an external USB HDD from our Las Vegas office, and wanted to access it from my machine. Me; disliking any controls and/or restrictions, and me; being anxious/desperate to break out of the virtual chains – are ‘tangential’ here; if I may plead so. 😉  I was testing the ‘strength’ of the security products, as well as my skills. 😛

All I needed was one free & powerful utility Process Explorer, from Windows Sysinternals (erstwhile SysInternals.com by Mark Russinovich & Bryce Cogswell).

  • I launched the ProcessExplorer and suspended the GFI’s monitoring service (I am not going to name the service here)
  • Next I launched the Windows Services Manager & changed the “Startup Type” to “Disabled”, for the GFI service. The service was left running, untouched. Alternatively, you can also use the AutoRuns utililty from Windows SysInternals again, to disable the service.
  • Finally – just restarted the computer to start to a successfully disabled GFI’s monitoring service.
  • I then renamed the folder name – to ensure it wouldn’t start again – *if* the office’s network policy re-enabled the service when it was redeployed afresh to my computer.

That was all! FREEDOM for my computer’s 4 USB ports! 😀

Similarly (not the exact same method), I was also able to disable the McAfee Viruscan which used to hog my CPU (90-95%) & RAM (upwards of 180 MB) whenever I used Microsoft Outlook or opened/extracted any ZIP/RAR files. There probably is a leak in their real-time scanning module, in the version we have at the office, or the problem occurs only on Windows Vista (which I use); because the hogging is comparitively low on my colleagues’ Windows XP Pro computers.

Nevertheless, instead of implementing such controls & restrictions, if the companies undertake imparting regular education to their employees on workplace ethics, I think it would go a long way. This is just like the traffic policemen standing *after* the traffic signal posts or in the *middle* of the one-ways, to catch the violaters & “extort” fine/bribes. Instead (& I always crib about this), why can’t the traffic policemen stand *at* the traffic signal and STOP the potential violaters from breaking the law in the first place? Similarly they should stop any drivers from entering into a one-way, in the first place. This topic is for another blog, however couldn’t avoid blurting it out.