1.5 Ishqiya

I haven’t seen the first part, but the sequel was quite a fun and charming movie with a dash of crudeness every now and then to ground the faux sophistication. At first I was wondering why they had English subtitles, but as the movie progressed and the Urdu got heavier, it began to make sense. They even managed to throw in a couple of guest appearances by the iPhones.

As for the performances, pretty much everyone got under the skin of their characters, and Madhuri Dixit still has that smile and age has not dulled the sparkle in her eyes. Moreover, she managed to hold back the audience from making an exit with the final song of the film that accompanied the credits – a feat that most of the usual credit item numbers fail to do.

All in all, a worthwhile watch.

Google and the slippery slope of privacy

I just noticed a new Google program called Google+ Auto Backup for Desktop installed on my Windows 7 home laptop. Since I had not installed the software explicitly, I was a bit surprised. While this is par for course on Android with Google Apps being silently installed, I imagined Windows to be somewhat more transparent. Of course, Google has done this before with Chrome, but this time they seem to have leveraged the Picasa install base to push through their software.

Granted that the tool is quite useful for backing up photos, and I have set it up to back up my photo library just as it is configured on my Galaxy S3, this kind of behind the scene surprises is quite worrying. After all, Windows installers of many a software come with their share of add-on bundles – remember those toolbars? Then again, we did have the option to opt out of those add-ons. While this behaviour is similar to the Google approach for Android and their other services, it does not inspire much confidence in a company that I trust with so much of my personal data:

  • Google knows where I am all day thanks to the location history on my Android phone
  • Google has comprehensive control over my digital identity thanks to my Gmail ID
  • Google has copies of all my photos clicked on my phone, and now even ones that were on my laptop
  • Google knows the sites I visit and the credentials I use on each thanks to Chrome

I probably trust Google with too much of my data. Coming to think of it, the NSA might as well shut shop and open up a division in Google.

Google is well down its way of the slippery slope with me (and you?) in tow, and I’m pretty worried where things are headed.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Nothing spectacular, but archiving for future reference.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,500 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.