30 March 2007

To Americana

They have an amazing sport called 'football'
Where the bladder hardly touches the foot at all

Straight-clothed people race cars on a straight road and the sport is called 'Drag'
And it is indeed abnormal if you try to 'bum a fag'

'Peace-out' doesn't involve participating in Dona Nobis Pacem
NPT is for us, their military might you can't matchem

They play a game with their neighbors and call it World Series
And NASA might have rockets aimed at colonizing Ceres

Love them or hate them, you really can't ignore them
They gave us the N-Bomb but they also gave us Ogden Nashem

26 March 2007

Career Guidance for Indian Cricketers

Usually, emails with 'Funny Pics' in the subject line are politely escorted to the Trash folder by Prometheus. Usually.

Prometheus recently wrote about cricket. India's religion. Cricket buffs, whether Indian or not, put India's chances at winning the 2007 World Cup at an all time high. And ka-boom. India got knocked out in the first round. Some ardent fan of Indian cricket made this labor of (jilted) love. And passed it on. And it came to Prometheus. And he wants to share it with you.

Presenting, Alternative Careers for the Distinguished Members of India's 2007 World Cup Squad:

Robin Uthapa

Robin Uthapa

Virendar Sehwag

Virendar Sehwag

Saurav Ganguly

Saurav Ganguly

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh

Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Ajit Agarkar

Ajit Agarkar

Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble

Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan
We wish you success at your new occupation, gentlemen.

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22 March 2007


Warning: Contains technical language. No nudity.

For those of you still reading, SEO, if you didn't already know, is Search Engine Optimization. Like the name suggests, it means tweaking your website / blog to make it easy for search engines, and consequently web surfers, to find your website / blog. As with things technical, what began as simple and honest tips has now morphed into something George Lucas could make another futuristic good v/s evil epic out of. There are these White Hats, or people who use White Hat techniques. Derived from cheesy westerns where the good men wore white hats. These are the Jedi. They use honest means like dilligently writing META tags, sharing links with relevant sites, regularly writing good and original content and then, waiting for the search engines to rank them high. Slow and steady, straight and narrow. Then there are the Black Hats, or people who use Black Hat techniques. Derived from aforesaid cheesy westerns where bad guys wore black hats. These are the Sith Lords. They use linkbaits, pay and accept money for link sharing, put machine-generated or even copied content, and do those kind of things that are aimed solely at jumping the search engine ranks and content be damned. Search Engines spend top dollar and top synapse trying to weed out sites using these techniques. And then there are Brown Hats. Derived from some color-blind moron who thought brown in midway between black and white. These people walk the knife edge between good and bad. That was SEO 101 for you.

Prometheus knows a few blogs that have an unusually high Technorati rank, even though the posts aren't regular or topical. And Prometheus has received offers to link share with sites and blogs just for the sake of jacking up that rank figure. Familiar, innit? Prometheus can hear you (figuratively speaking) say that you don't give a retarded rodent's rear to your Google Page Rank or your Technorati Rank or your Alexa Traffic Rank. Some of you would own up to being edgy about comments, checking on them like a miser counting his money over and over again. But hey, that's White Hat, innit?

  1. Surprise 1: Umm.. those memes that we do are, theoretically, Brown Hat. Specifically those with a daily theme and a blogroll widget to indicate participation. The only Wordless Wednesday Prometheus did shot his Technorati rank from 104K to 28K.

  2. Surprise 2: Page Rank works on the basis of counting the number of inbound links (sites linking to you) and outbound links (sites you link to). Which means not linking back to someone who links to you, or quoting a website or blog without a hyperlink to that site, are Black Hat.

  3. Surprise 3: This post is Brown Hat. What place does search engine whacking have on the Moving (Middle) Finger Writes? Had it not been for the fact that Prometheus wrote this original content after being poked in the head by that Thinking Blog Award below, this post with those rich keywords (SEO, Black Hat, Page Rank, Traffic) would be downright Black Hat. Uh.. the words in the last parentheses contribute further.
So does that make Prometheus evil? Write your comments here. Prometheus will be checking every half hour for new ones. And the bestest comments will win a reciprocating linkback to their site.

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20 March 2007

Rise, Sir Prometheus

Queen Mimi, Empress of Memes and Stewardess of the Peace Globes has conferred upon this blog The Thinking Blogger Award. Prometheus requests readers to desist from filing a class action suit upon Queen Mimi for inflating an already over-inflated ego.

This award is a Meme in Award's clothing. Prometheus may blog about the linklove undercurrent sometime soon. In the interim, he has decided to pass on the honor bestowed upon him (Prometheus was tempted to unleash a pun that read 'Winner Tags All', but he resisted since he can't tag all. He is required to tag five blogs that stimulate his cortex. He quotes the Queen, as she spook, on the subject of the rules of this Award/Meme:

"If you choose to carry this meme forward, remember to tag only those bloggers who stimulate your cortex....or something like that. Please make sure you pass the rules to the blogs you are tagging.

The participation rules are simple:

  1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think

  2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme

  3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award'
    The Thinking Blogger Award

And now the winners, in alphabetical order:
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18 March 2007

It Ain't Cricket

In India, its religion. And cricketers are Gods. Prometheus is an aberration, an Indian who is not mad about cricket. And Prometheus suspects most of his readers are neither Indian nor crazy about cricket and are also not aberrations of any kind.

So why cricket? Well, its the World Cup. This one is every four years and there are more than two countries playing. Prometheus was the envy of his cricket-loving friends last World Cup when he won a trip to South Africa to watch two matches. He was nearly lynched when he said he saw a match at some place called Wanderers or some such. Apparently Wanderers the Holy is to cricket devotees what Monaco is to Formula 1 freaks like Prometheus.

Yeah, so why cricket? Three reasons:

  1. An Indian gent is willing to sell his kidney to raise money to buy a ticket to the West Indies. -- Radha already wrote about this --

  2. A company in Dubai will buy air tickets home for 11 Indian men freed from Dubai jails every time Sreesanth, an Indian bowler, gets a wicket. -- more here --

  3. Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa has become the first cricketer in the history of the World Cup (third in all of cricket) to hit six sixes in an over (that is a six each ball, the theoretical maximum). -- Though Sir Garfield (Gary) Sobers of the West Indies was the first one in all of cricket to do it and Ravi Shastri of India was the first Indian to do it --

  4. Bonus: Cricket is a matter of national pride. It is war. Specially in the subcontinent, people may forgive the Finance Minister for raising taxes yet again; but forgive a cricketer's boo boo at a crucial (each one is) juncture? "Snowball's chance in hell" is an understatement. It is quite common to inquire about the lineage of cricketers when they make an aforesaid boo boo. Sure, there are the World Series and the NBA playoffs and Soccer World Cup. To an Indian, Pakistani or Sri Lankan these are games. Cricket is THE GAME.

Right now India will be ODed on cricket. It is contagious. It is genetic. Did Prometheus say he is not cricket crazy? So when was the last time you took him seriously?

Go India Go, get the World Cup. Who the f... got that sonofa..... Sehwag to open the innings?

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15 March 2007

The Amazing BrowserCam

Prometheus has heard of his blog being unrenderable under certain browsers. In non-geekspeak, it means his blog was not visible to some folk using certain browsers. Given that the computers of Prometheus feature nothing but the best and latest in technology, and that he had no problems posting and reading his blog (or anybody else's), he could not understand what was bothering these nice people.

Realization dawned when he used a public (yecch) computer with IE 6 to view his blog. He was aghast to see a blank white page. A few moments under the hood and he could see that IE 6 rendered the blog correctly, but shrouded it with an ominous white blanket. Assuring himself that IE 6 does not have clairvoyant powers, he embarked on a quest to check his blog under various browser and operating system combinations. This was a tad painful, since he either had to find multiple computers with varying configurations or junk his lovely machine with crappy emulators.

He trawled the Internet looking for emulation services. He came upon BrowserShots, which works in a mysterious way akin to what some people call God. In the interest of avoiding digression (oh look, birdy!), it suffices to say that Prometheus trawled further.

Before you could say "Lo and Behold!", Prometheus came upon the amazing, stupendous, fantastic BrowserCam. And when Prometheus, Lord of Geeks, says amazing, stupendous, fantastic; it means something beyond 'awesome' and 'cool'. He signed up for a 24-hour test account. They sent him a verification link by email. Once in, he saw the most perfect interface ever designed (yes, this coming from Prometheus the Great Picker of Nits, means something beyond 'awesome' and 'cool' too). He selected his blog as the target site, selected nearly 53 OS-Browser combinations and set the image format to JPG. Even cooler was the ability to set a delay before BrowserCam takes a screenshot of the target site, allowing the page to completely render. One can even set a scroll parameter, which scrolls the loaded page by the specified amount before taking a shot. Having set these options, Prometheus hit the button.

Pretty soon, he received an email telling him that his job was done. He logged back in to BrowserCam to see neatly tagged JPG screenshots of his blog, as viewed under those 53 OS-Browser combinations.

The image below shows the metaphysical difference in IE 5.5 and IE 6.0. While the former paints the entire screen in the color of the header of this blog, the latter paints the entire screen in the color of the body of this blog.

No trashing his machine with emulators and stuff, no hunting other machines for configurations, nothing. Prometheus is happy. He has seen many of those so-called Web 2.0 services. And most of them suck. Well, this one ain't Web 2.0 and it is simply amazing. Oh yes, there is more to BrowserCam. They have this Remote Access service where one can remotely use the variety of machines in BrowserCam's server farm.

Moral of the story:

  • This site is best viewed by the sighted, using any browser but IE 5.x and 6.0. Prometheus suspects that setting your screen resolution to 1024 x 768 may enable some of these browsers to display this blog correctly. But hey, get IE 7 or FireFox 2 or even Opera 9. It ain't like changing your religion ya know.

  • BrowserCam rocks. Proof of the proverbial pudding is that this isn't a PayPerPost or any such scheme that reminds Prometheus of the world's oldest profession.

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    13 March 2007

    So whadaya think?

    Prometheus is feeling particularly democratic today. He has been retrospecting. For those among us who have a car, that's like looking in the rearview mirror. For those that don't, get a rearview mirror and look in it as you walk backwards very slowly making 'vroom vroom' sounds. So retrospecting it is. He felt that he had been churning out entertaining (if watching nose hair grow is entertaining) posts. And he's never asked readers what they think of it (like it matters).

    Inspired by a few of his blog friends (since he has no other kind of friends, he will henceforth not specifically address them as 'blog' friends), he thought it might be a good idea to ask all one and a half of his readers to tell him what they liked and what they didn't and which were his best posts and which were not so amazing and what they'd like to see next and what they wouldn't. He first began writing a disclaimer that said "any suggestions like but not limited to 'bin it', 'shut up', 'put a lid on' and related terms will result in a hex (courtesy: Lexa) that puts purple, pulsating, puss-filled boils on the rather embarassing parts of the anatomies of the suggestors". But since Lexa was rather busy (putting a pox on that Rowling woman for gross misrepresentation of facts, one suspects), he dropped the disclaimer and instead turned to his speech-writers for an inspiring speech to elicit proactivity and citizen-participation in the governance of this blog. And they came up with something about there being known knowns and unknown unknowns in the matter of the posts on this blog, before going on to say something about reading Prometheus' lips when he is supposed to ask what you can do for this blog. So far so good, but Prometheus began to worry about stretching it a bit too far when they wanted him to actually say on record that he cannot tell a lie. And they began to get wholly inaccurate when they said that this blog was actually started some four score and seven years ago by Prometheus' father.

    Prometheus' belief that the only thing one can count on is an abacus was further cemented by the above incidents. Having given up on doing it himself, he decided to simply let it be and ask people to drop him a comment or an email (especially if the suggestion is not exactly fit for public consumption). You get the drift, don't you?

    PS: Those speech-writing ghouls put another idea into the head of Prometheus. They went on about blogging of the people, by the people and for the people. That led Prometheus to think about getting someone else (like you) to write a few posts for him. Though not a brilliantly original idea, he thought it might appease the spirit of America that has been hurt by so many jobs being Bangalored by actually (put American city of choice)-ing his job of writing drivel.

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    10 March 2007

    Stats Don't Lie

    No, Prometheus ain't seeing Shakira (though that wouldn't be such a bad thing). Proof of the fact, dear readers, that Content is King, lies in those nifty little things called stat counters.

    The blog of Prometheus was an ornery place till it hit big time when he relocated to Here. Then he kept shuttling between Here and There. Now, he was born and raised There but he also loves it Here. One major difference betwixt Here and There is that Here gives him ample time to blog since there is no work. So, here, Prometheus is blogistically happier than there. Sadly, no work also means the only green stuff he gets is the moss that grows on his ears.

    There, on the other appendage, Prometheus has to work his posterior off thereby resulting in blabsence (defined as absence from blogging). Further, the rather mundane and sapping work blinds him to all things bloggable, thereby resulting in blogstipation (as if he would've had time to blog even if he had something bloggable).

    Statistical evidence of the theory above is furnished herewith:

    Moral of the picture: Content is King. And this blog, if it has to stay alive, must provide exactly that; failing which, all Prometheus' friends (and his horses and other ornery critturs) can't put the blog together again.

    He is now artistically torn and origamically folded into The Thing That He Wants To Do and The Thing That He Ought To Do. The stakes are heavily loaded in favor of the latter, unless someone comes up with a great 'Get Paid Obscene Amounts for Blogging' scheme.

    The soundtrack for today is Bob Marley's 'No Woman No Cry'.

    Why? Because Prometheus wants to:
    • Tell Shakira that he can put her music on this blog if she goes out with him (not that he went out with Bob). And

    • Get nostalgic to
      'Said - said - said: I remember when we used to sit
      In the government yard in trenchtown,
      Oba - obaserving the ypocrites
      As they would mingle with the good people we meet.
      Good friends we have, oh, good friends weve lost
      Along the way.
      In this great future, you cant forget your past;
      So dry your tears, I seh.

      No, woman, no cry;
      No, woman, no cry.
      ere, little darlin, dont shed no tears:
      No, woman, no cry.

      Said - said - said: I remember when-a we used to sit
      In the government yard in trenchtown.
      And then georgie would make the fire lights,
      As it was logwood burnin through the nights.
      Then we would cook cornmeal porridge,
      Of which Ill share with you;
      My feet is my only carriage,
      So Ive got to push on through.
      But while Im gone, I mean:
      Everythings gonna be all right!
      Everythings gonna be all right!
      Everythings gonna be all right!
      Everythings gonna be all right!
      I said, everythings gonna be all right-a!
      Everythings gonna be all right!
      Everythings gonna be all right, now!
      Everythings gonna be all right!

      So, woman, no cry;

    Poingnant, eh?

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