A New Beginning.

The first post on this blog happened on 10th July 2007! Already over six years old. Naturally, as it goes for everyone, a lot happens in six years. For one, I am 30 now, not 24. But less importantly Textdrive, my previous host for the website, has become non-responsive now. Infact, they moved my website to a different server and for some reason, they know best, decided to move only a part of my website. Fortunately, this was caught in time and I was able to make a backup. Unfortunately some of the photos were lost in the process and you might see broken photo links in some posts. I apologize for that, but what has happened, well, has happened. For now, I am moving to DreamHost, and hopefully the relationship will go on for ever.

With the move, I have done some changes to the website.

  • The Theme: Is now minimalistic, flat and responsive. Have been wanting to have such a look for a long time and now am happy with the overall look.
  • The Photoblog: Is gone! Although I will keep a hidden backup, but no longer I have been posting to pixelpost so it is not required anymore. All my photos will be hosted on Flickr from now on.
  • New About Page: http://www.confusionart.com/about 🙂

ch891205

Back In San Diego

Been over two weeks, since I retruned to San Diego from Italy/India trip. A common question when one returns from anywhere is “How was it?” Althought most of the time a simple “t’was good” suffices, its zero information content makes me cringe. I’d rather not answer that question that to give a “it was good” brainless answer. But alas most of the times the question itself carries no interrogative kernel to beget an answer. Anyhow, “the trip was fulfilling” is what I have been using to signify a little more information. Yes, from the five trips to India in the last five years, this was the most fulfilling of them. Somehow even though was not able to spend enough time with everyone, it feels like it was qualitative time spend.

Along with social fulfilment, it was an fulfilling trip with respect to photography. I guess 24GB of raw images would be an indication of the amout of photographs taken. Although, a major chunk of the photos are from three marriages, and my 8 month old nephew, there are some others that are photographs for its own sake. Have been able to process, but before I start posting them, a handful pictures of San Diego. To my utmost satisfaction, it was been raining incessantly past week.

BeachBeach 2Rain 1
Rain 2Rain 3Rain 4
Rain Window 1Rain window 2Rain window 3

Looking Back

It goes on. It never stop. Life.

Every moment a change. Ever so gradual, ever so slight. Ask oneself, am I any different from what I was a minute back? an hour? a day? a week? a month? an year? two years? 5 years? 10 years?… Some where in this spectrum of time the answer changes from a no to a yes. We change, everyone does. But with that change most often is lost what changed. What remains is just the change. The present. What also remains is the future. The desired change.

Dig out an old album, flip the pages. Read through those old scribbles, smile at the thoughts. Have those thought bubbles pop above your head… Always fun and funny to look back and see oneself. Its like looking in a mirror, only that the mirror is not a regular one. Its one of those distorted mirrors we once used to laugh looking at in carnivals. Some distortions we liked, some we abhorred. Its the same feeling. Looking back the distorted mirror of time. Sometimes it feels like what has become of oneself, sometimes its hard to believe I could have ever been that.

Nostalgia, a funny feeling.

Rubios hai hai!

They have done it again. And this time it deserves a ‘hai hai’ (disapproval) post.

Rubios is (or in current state of disapproval I am, I should say ‘was’) my favorite place to eat inside price center for it is the place with nice vegetarian burritos complemented by great chips’n’salsa, which feels like a complete meal. The first time rubios disappointed me was an year back when they cut down upon the variety of vegetable they used to carry, inspite of those vegetables being popular in UCSD. They stopped keeping stri-fried peppers and onions, lettuce and corn. which were the items that always used to be in my burrito and I sincerely believed that burrito without them would be half as tasty.

But then what could I have done ):, in about a years time, the mere mortal I am, I got used the non-pepper-onion-lettuce-corn burrito. Whenever I had dinner at Price Center, I never used to think what should I eat – and rubios slowly caught up back gaining the top spot. The chips’n’salsa was the deal maker, acting as pseudo-papad and pseudo-chutney, infact I also started taking the jalapenos, which were like pseudo-achars. All this, with a peg of sprite at the end was in my opinion perfect for a price tag of $4.19. But today they did the unthinkable.

The first shock I got was when I had to pay $4.62 for ordering the ‘same’ meal. Thats like a whole f-o-u-r-t-y t-h-r-e-e cents more that it used to cost me. That like 10% raise in the price without any raise in my income. Thats like night light robbery. Thats like I dont have words to express it. Rubios again slipped my charts, but still hung on the first place owing to its huge lead, but the real shock I got was when the ‘same’ meal no longer remained the ‘same’ meal but now was a ‘different’ (read stripped-off-pseudo-papad-) meal. How would you feel when suddenly everything ‘same’ becomes ‘different’ Huh? How can rubios ever do this! Not to give your loyal customers the love of their meal. Thats even worst than chipotle not giving its UCSD customers the customary free drink. Comeon rubios, do you really want to loose of of you most loyal price-center-dinner customer?

New Ideas…

There are a couple of ideas floating around in my mind from some time now. I think these are brilliant ideas and if anyone implements them soon, it should be really useful to the pubic. I dont have the cost analysis, but will hopefully do some research to find its profitability. However, in todays world, more than often it happens that whatever idea you have, someone has already thought of it before and at times even implemented it. An my humble self has not done any googling to find if the solution exists. If you know of some products that solves the problems mentioned below do let me know.

Wireless Speaker

Now, if you think that a wireless speaker already exists, you are right you can purchase a good set of wireless speakers for about $100. Even a good wireless headphone comes for about $90. But my problem is exactly that. While I can buy both wireless speaker and headphones separately, it is inefficient as

  1. The ‘wireless’ part in both speakers and headphones is common
  2. I cant use my existing speakers and headphones
  3. Its expensive and there is no wireless version of ‘cheap’ headphones or speakers for travel use.

My solution to this problem is to have a wireless unit decoupled from the speaker. The base will connect to your sound device and it will have a receiver in which you can plug in any speaker or headphone.

The technology for this already exists and just by doing behind the envelope math, I think it could be easily sold for $10 – $20 which in my opinion is the right price for a ok quality product useful for the masses.

Personal Pandora

For those of you who dont know pandora – its an online personalized radio station. They have paid professionals to tag thousands of songs and then do matching based on those tags. You specify a song or an artist and they will play streaming audio, trying best to match the properties of your chosen artist/song. But

  1. It only for english songs
  2. I cant use it on my personal collection

My solution to this is to have a simple software that captures basic features of a song – beat, tempo, instruments, style – and matches them with other songs on my local harddisk. Now this one is a bit challenging. There is a lot of research going on in finding what are the best features to use to find similarity of two songs, but those people like most researchers are trying to ‘solve’ the problem, but what I need is a ‘noisy’ solution. It does not matter to me who composed the song or who sang it or what are the instruments playing, I just want something that automatically selects the songs based on ‘some’ basic features. Something like, “Give me the product right now and keep improving it later”

An extension of this could be used in personal parties where you need a DJ to find high tempo songs.

Super-resolution using videos

Now this one is half baked idea which just came to my mind today, and a thing of the future. The problem here is that how do I take photo at the right moment! Its difficult to time the shot in fast motion – like a person falling. And many motions cant be repeated with ease. Is it possible that you take a video of the motion and to rebuild one frame using information from the adjacent frames?

any takers?