Removing quizzes from your Facebook feed

Here's how you remove annoying Quiz updates from your Facebook feed:

If you haven't already, install the Greasemonkey add on for Firefox (, then install the Greasemonkey script to remove the Quiz updates

You can find the Greasemonkey script at

Louise Attaque

I recently re-discovered Louise Attaque, a French Folk rock band. I first heard them live at the Alliance Française de Bangalore sometime in 2005.

Not surprisingly, that was also the first time I'd heard rock in a different European language (I'm fairly accustomed to English!). Although I barely understood a word, I didn't feel lost or out of place. They say music doesn't have a language; perhaps they're right.

Regardless of the genre you listen to, I highly recommend giving Louise Attaque a listen. They've got catchy tunes, with interesting guitar, harmonica, violin and accordion pieces. I don't understand French, but I've been told that their lyrics are pretty interesting too.

The French are a friendly people (see note [1] below for an exception), particularly so at the Alliance Française of Bangalore. If you're in the area and you feel the parisian touch, you might want to stop by.

[1] Overheard at the Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle : "Why do you presume I speak English?"

Incoming Ice Age?

Lake Superior, almost froze over 100% [1] again this season. The accepted theory, is that the Lake has a massive ice cover once every 20 years. The lake was last frozen over in 2003, nearly 100% in 1996, 96% in 1994, 100% in 1979, 95% in 1972, 100% 1962[2].

The Lake seems to have frozen over again, over the 2008-2009 winter. Between 1962 and 1979, 17 years elapsed before the lake completely froze. It took another 17 years before it froze in 1996 and another 7 years before it froze in 2003. Its only taken another 6, before the lake frozen over again in 2009.

If this statistical correlation is to be trusted and extrapolated, then we are looking at a scenario where the lake will begin to freeze over with much shorter cycles, possibly resulting in the lake freezing completely each year.

Is this a sign of the onset of an Ice Age? Most scientific bodies tend to think that this is just an anomaly and that we are in a global-warming phase. Technically, we are still in an Ice age, as Ice sheets in both Greenland and Antarctica exist.

[1] Its difficult to define "completely freeze over". Its accepted that "very little open water areas" is what is "completely frozen" could mean.

[2] Data from

One year...

... since JP Morgan bought Bear Stearns for $2 a share. I hope someone's learnt a lesson.

The iPhone camera

Originally uploaded by Srichand Pendyala
The iPhone's much maligned camera, with a 2 mega pixel "resolution" sensor is actually capable of taking good pictures.

The controls on the camera ("Click") certainly don't rival even the closest point and shoot cameras. But it certainly has its charm. For one, it takes all the technicality out of taking a picture and lets you concentrate on composing your picture and just your picture. The downside of course, is that you don't get to choose any aperture, speed or focus settings. But seriously, its a camera on a Phone!

Picture on this post, is from the tram at the Minneapolis airport. Post processed with the Camerabag application, on the iPhone itself. Click on the picture to see my Flickr stream, with more iPhone pictures.

New photo gallery

It turns out, Flickr's 200 photo limit [1] for their free is actually quite measly. Especially if you're the type who likes to put up every mediocre picture online! To be fair, Flickr has a paid account, called Flickr Pro, which removes the 200 photo restriction.

I could create another Blogspot, or get a Tumblr account, all of which would let me upload pictures without restriction. Sure, searching and previews would be a pain, but then again, what in life is painless? Alternately, I could jut dump all pictures into a folder and let Apache just display a listig. Or I could add all new photos, to the already existing page. Or, I could just get a Flickr pro account...

Except of course, I already pay for a webhost, for . I see little reason to pay up twice the amount I pay for it, just to host some pictures. Of course, the problem with is that, I'm running an ancient version of Coppermine. The thing I do not like about Coppermine, is its Album centric approach to photo management. Every photo needs to be in an Album, requiring me to create, learn and know an entire hierarchy of photos. I'd much rather prefer to have a "bunch" of photos and tag some of the pictures I like and mark some others as favorite. Of course, the ability to create "sets" (Similar to Flickr and Adobe LR2) is an added bonus. The other problem with Coppermine, of course, is its complexity. Somehow, just somehow, at first glance, its interface looks more complex than useful.

And so, I feel the need to move off Coppermine into a simpler gallery system. What do I need? The ability to preview _lots_ of pictures on one page (Certainly not a massive waste of whitespace, the way Coppermine does). A detailed "picture" page, that shows a picture, along with its EXIF data. And the whole AJAX thing, which I've shunned so far, is probably the ideal implementation detail here. It'd be awesome to move between pictures without reloading the page. The same goes for editing the Title, Description and the Tags of the photo, without going to an "Edit" page, for each picture. And yes, batch tagging!

I'm certainly going to look around some existing systems for a bit. I am already beginning to like the Plogger system a good bit. It might need some hacking to support what I want. If not, I'll probably just go get myself a Flickr Pro account anywho.

Image viewer for Linux

Terrible. That's the only word I'd use to describe my experience with F-Spot. Any image viewer that moves files around on the filesystem, without my explicit permission each time, is just terrible. F-Spot's instability is legendary too.

Google's Picasa 3 for Linux is okay for the most part. Except of course, Google's choice to override my Alt+Ctrl key binding for full-screen mode is irritating, to say the least. Anyone who uses multiple desktops on GNOME knows my pain. And of course, you can't upload to Flickr from Picasa directly.

KDE's Digikam has most of the right components in place. Except, that it wants me to look at my entire collection in a Folder centric view. I can't view all Folders at once.

Is there any other image viewer I should try out?

Also, WHY cannot image viewers standardize on tagging formats? I have to tag and retag my pictures each time I change image viewers.

Enough of ranting for today, time to get some sleep.

Mood: Arrr!!!