New WordPress Plugin Released


I have released a new WordPress plugin, please check it out here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/auto-save-remote-images/

Anand Karaj (wedding) videos

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Poem: Blessings of Guru Dashmesh (10th Guru of Sikhs)


This is a small piece of poetry I wrote about the Sikh identity.

Since this blog is read by non-Sikhs as well, here is the vocab –

Dastar – Turban worn by Sikhs
Kesh – unshorn hair (mandated by Sikh religion)
Dashmesh – the 10th Sikh Guru/Prophet, Guru Gobind Singh Ji
Khalsa – synonym of Sikh, usually used for initiated/baptized Sikhs

I love my Dastar, I love my Kesh,
These are the blessings of Guru Dashmesh.

Please don’t cut, don’t ever trim,
Why defy the almighty “Guru Gobind Singh”?

Guru Ji made us kings, and royal queens,
The identity of Khalsa is worth cherishing!

Please don’t give up to the peer pressure fight
Khalsa stands out, even in the darkest night.

There maybe many look alike Bollywood heroes,
But Khalsa is one and the only Superhero!

You were made to stand out, not blend in!
Come on, get real! Please stop imitating.

The Camera That Lets You Shoot Now, Focus Later: Peter Pachal


Ever snapped a photo and only noticed it was out of focus after the fact? A new kind of camera from an ambitious startup could make such focusing mistakes obsolete. Able to take so-called “living photographs,” the Lytro camera captures images in such a way that viewers can change which part is in focus while viewing them.

“I am thrilled to finally draw back the curtain and introduce our new light-field camera company, one that will forever change how everyone takes and experiences pictures,” Lytro CEO Ren Ng wrote in a blog post. “Lytro’s company launch is truly the start of a picture revolution.”

The camera is based on light-field photography, a method of taking photos that captures much more information than regular photography. Regular digital cameras only record the sum total of light rays hitting the image sensor, according to the Lytro site, but the Lytro camera records the color, intensity, and vector direction of every individual ray. Not only does it result in images with flexible focus, but it also can create 3D images from a single lens.

The idea of light-field photography has been around for a long time, and has been used in professional circles for years (it’s the same method that created the groundbreaking wraparound special effects of The Matrix movies). Typically, such a setup requires multiple cameras and a lot of computing power to render the images, but Lytro says it has put the tech into a single camera that’s “portable and stylish” via sophisticated optics and algorithms.

The Lytro website posts a gallery of “living” photos to show off the light-field technology (you can see one of the pics below). With a simply click, viewers can re-focus the pictures on any part. The effect is impressive: a photo can take on entirely new meaning, depending on which part you focus on. For example, a picture of two cats looks like a simple close-up when focused on the one in the foreground, but zeroing in on the background cat almost implies an ominous threat.

When contacted about when the Lytro camera would be available, a company spokesman only said the camera would debut “at the end of the year.” There are no pricing details yet.


osFileManager Issues + Bugs


osFileManager is an open source PHP application that allows you to upload/download files from HTTP (instead of FTP). I was asked by our IT team to fix some bugs in the tool and I searched around online but could not find much help. It doesn’t seem like the application is being developed anymore.

For anyone having issues installing/configuring the tool, please make sure of the following –

  1. You need PHP 4 to run this tool. PHP 5 will work okay but you will have to comment some code. This is line 245 which deals with displaying an image based on the file’s mime type. osFileManager is relying on mime_content_type however this method is deprecated in PHP 5. If you are installing this tool on a test server, you can install XAMPP 1.6.8 as that comes with a copy of PHP 4. Make sure you switch the PHP version after installation though!
  2. If you have no option to use PHP 4, open index.php and comment out line 245 ($type = mime_content_type($userdir.$d.$fileinfo);)
  3. In index.php, make sure to set the $config[‘db’][‘pref’] to osfm_ (Thanks to: http://code.google.com/p/osfilemanager/issues/detail?id=18)
  4. If you get some division by zero error, make sure you have set the file storage limit for the user.
  5. Finally, I want to confirm that this tool works fine on Windows (I tested it in Xampp) and you don’t need suPHP. The link in #3 actually has a copy of osFileManager, try that in addition to the above bug fixes if you are still facing problems.

About osFileManager –

osFileManager is an open source file management script written in PHP. Includes User CP, Admin CP, and many basic file creation/modifying tools. File Functions include: List, Open, View, Edit, Create, Upload, Rename and Move. User Functions include: Change password, and Change color scheme. Admin Functions include: New user, Edit user, Delete user.


Los Banos 2010 Kirtan Videos


Please click on the “playlist” button (next to Play) to switch between recordings.

Innovative USB Adapter


This is what happened to a friend’s USB keyboard/mouse receiver –

And since I didn’t want to risk breaking mine, I made this –

Presentation: How to Code HTML Email Newsletters


This is a great presentation which demonstrates how to code HTML email newsletters.

View more presentations from Tim Slavin.

This is how we crash…


I am a big fan of Google Chrome browser. Ever since I have installed it, I rarely use IE, FF or Opera for personal browsing. This is despite the fact that Chrome has bugs which need to be fixed. Almost everytime I save a document from the web, Chrome hangs and results in the problem I have captured in the following screenshot –

Video: Undesired by Walter Astrada

In India, all women must confront the cultural pressure to bear a son. The consequences of this preference is a disregard for the lives of women and girls. From birth until death they face a constant threat of violence. See the project at http://mediastorm.com/publication/undesired
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