Jul. 3rd, 2011 01:45 pm
mcgillianaire: (Default)
An essential link to bookmark if you use Spotify. Just check it out and you'll understand. I wish I could just spend the rest of my life listening to music...
mcgillianaire: (Default)

  • 07:35:39: RT @dafnalinzer: MT @yochiNJ Military source tells me #Seals built full-scale mockup of #bin Ladin compound, spent weeks practicing raid ...
  • 07:47:14: RT @ReallyVirtual Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event). << The IT consultant who unwittingly live-tweeted the raid!
  • 07:57:30: RT @Chobr: BBC reporter says 'very unique' on @r4Today. A sad day...
  • 08:44:44: ‎"Everybody knew he was in Pak except the Pak authorities who were in denial." -Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist on @BBCr4today
  • 08:45:02: RT @tomscott: Bin Laden's dead; some Americans party in the streets. I was thinking "not classy, USA" — then I remembered what's planned ...
  • 08:47:53: RT @CulturalSnow: Super quick Osama Downfall video
  • 08:49:16: RT @simonpegg: There's a slight sense in the more sensationalist media that the world just completed a particularly tricky video game.
  • 08:59:04: Checked Google Earth. Most recent images of area around Pak Milit Acad are from Jun 2005 & Mar 2001. Hmm... #obl #osamabinladen #abbotabad
  • 09:00:45: @CulturalSnow Dude, in the immortal words of Richard Keys - your tweets/RTs this morning have smashed it. Thanks for the entertainment.
  • 09:08:51: RT @dannynic: Waiting for Huw Edwards to tell us all about Osama's outfit....
  • 09:13:16: RT @LFCZA: Rumours of Bin Laden being caught whilst wearing his Arsenal shirt remain unfounded.
  • 09:23:29: "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles." -Proverbs 24:17 (New American Standard Bible)
  • 09:27:37: @ReallyVirtual Read your tweets - v.interesting! Wondered how long you've been in A'bad and if was the 1st time you heard a milit op there?
  • 09:28:30: RT @largeburrito: In the early hours, US special forces attacked a house in Pakistan and destroyed Donald Trump's Presidential campaign.
  • 09:29:05: @pappubahry It's reducing by the dozen every minute so I'll live in hope. :)
  • 09:29:37: @pappubahry Oh and it's back up again. I guess I'll ask him in a few weeks time if he's still online!
  • 09:30:25: RT @suellewellyn: RT @kenyanpundit RT @itsthiz: Obama is now America's hero. Just last week he had to prove he was even American.
  • 09:34:09: RT @LSEpublicevents Expert Anatol Lieven talks about Pakistan at LSE on 9/5 ("Pakistan: A Hard Country") #obl
  • 09:42:10: "Coincidentally or not, Panetta was promoted at end of last week, from CIA head to become the next sec of defence." (
  • 09:50:18: The Pakistani High Commissioner is the most deluded man in Britain. Not surprised but still sickening to hear his ilk spew filth. #bbc5live
  • 10:04:03: @pappubahry I never realised there were so many versions of the Bible. I'd like to pick up a copy. Recommend any in particular?
  • 10:08:31: @pappubahry Thanks. Have you read it in its entirety? Do you still read/refer from it?
  • 10:16:53: RT @tweetminster: Twitter first with news of Osama bin Laden's death via ex-Bush staffer @keithurbahn - The Guardian
  • 17:21:41: Can't blame him but Obama had that "I'm the man" look just now. First Trump, now Bin Laden. Two slam dunks in a good week at the office.
  • 17:54:31: All these references to the good Lord above on #bbcradio4 are making me feel just a little bit ill. #obl
  • 18:12:33: "USA! USA!" is the wrong response - -- Couldn't word it better myself. Death is not something to be celebrated. #obl
  • 18:25:50: RT @nytgraphics: Map and diagram of the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad
  • 18:26:04: RT @ogleearth: CIA confirms location of Bin Laden compound, releases aerial imagery (scroll to end of article) | Ogle Earth http://bit.l ...
  • 18:29:53: RT @LondonHistorian: Handy article in the Indy about UK place names.
  • 20:35:43: @pappubahry Interested in any of the these? Can upload.
  • 20:48:15: @pappubahry Also have (except ep1)
  • 22:52:19: Great to see The Canaries back in the Premier League next season. Let's be 'aving you!!! #norwichcityfc #ncfc #championship
  • 23:00:52: RT @maproomblog: I've updated the Bin Laden compound post with additional links.
  • 23:03:34: So you're in a Norman church. How do you know it's Norman? (pdf)
  • 23:05:51: Can't believe Hazel Irvine is trending but I must admit, it was an insensitive question to ask and worsened only by John Higgins's reaction.
  • 23:06:58: RT @geoeye: New @GeoEye High Resolution Imagery Released of Abbottabad, Pakistan (a walled compound)

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Aug. 16th, 2010 04:15 pm
mcgillianaire: (Samuel Johnson)
It's been a while since I shared a useful site and this time I've been naughty, in that I've been using it for quite a while before posting about it. Forvo is a database of user-generated pronunciations. As it states on the tin: 800,789 words / 645,626 pronunciations / 258 languages.

ETA: There is also the obligatory Forvo iPhone app which released last month. I've found it quite useful while on the move.
mcgillianaire: (Statue of Liberty)
Just finished listening to a fascinating radio discussion on the subject of "Entitlement". Here's the blurb from the Beeb's Programme Page:
    "When did what we desire become what we feel we deserve? In an age when foreign holidays have become routine and over 25,000 public sector workers earn £100K a year and more, we tackle this mood of relentless entitlement with Heather Brooke, whose tireless use of the Freedom of Information Act helped to break the MPs expenses scandal; stand up Simon Evans, whose routine includes a description of his accent as exotic 'and that's because it is educated'; and Naomi Alderman whose first novel Disobedience won the Orange Award for Young Writers and who feels our sense of entitlement should be replaced by a purer feeling of gratitude."
Ever since I first heard about Heather Brooke during last year's expenses scandal, I have been extremely fascinated by her contribution to showing up the lack of transparency in British democracy. That it took an American-born journalist (of Liverpudlian parents) to shake up the system did not surprise me in the least. As she has pointed out several times in the past and in the aforementioned radio programme, kids in America are brought up (and ingrained) to believe that they are entitled or have a right to know how their taxes are spent. But in the UK as she discovered upon moving here at the age of twenty, there is a sense of deference in which the public usually accepts that those in power know what's best for us. To which the presenter of the show made a good point, that while in America the founding fathers were able to start from first principles when establishing the constitution, no such thing has happened over here. Moreover it would be fair to say that modern British democracy is largely a muddled result of piecemeal changes to a system dating back three-hundred twenty years to the Glorious Revolution! And even that was not a revolution in the sense of starting from scratch as resulted from American independence.

I'd definitely recommend listening to the half-hour programme which'll remain available on the BBC Radio Four website until 17 June - regardless of where you live. Unlike the Beeb's TV programming which is only available to those resident in these parts (except for some BBC News stuff), radio programmes are available everywhere. However if you are unable to listen to it or for whatever reason would like to download a copy of it instead, click here. People like Heather Brooke are good for society because they inject vitality into democracy. Her second and latest book hit the shelves in April and is titled, The Silent State: Secrets, Surveillance and the Myth of British Democracy. I've already ordered a copy for my summer reading. And if that's not enough, you can watch her BBC HARDtalk interview from 2 April here.
mcgillianaire: (Did You Know?)
Since it's been a while, here's two links that I've particularly enjoyed the past year: Arts & Letters Daily and The Big Picture.
mcgillianaire: (India Flag)

Exactly two years ago, my parents and my sis visited Mumbai. Having just finished reading the novel Shantaram, my sis took my parents to Leopold Café, one of the locations popularized in the novel and the scene of one of last night's audacious terrorist attacks.

That India is under attack is nothing new. It's almost expected. This year alone more than 400 people have died in nearly a dozen terrorist attacks across the country, most of them bombings. No corner of India has been spared. Three attacks alone have occurred in North-East India and killed more than a hundred people. There have been attacks in Delhi and Jaipur in the North, Mumbai and Ahmedabad in the West, and a bombing in Bengaluru in the South. Not all of the attacks have been attributed to the same source. The bombings in the North-East are borne out of a several decades old conflict between the tribal natives (many of whom are neither Hindu nor Muslim) and the Indian government. Most of the other incidents have been attributed to Islamic extremists. And these are just the major incidents. On a daily basis there are innocent people dying in Kashmir, while the Naxalites have established a corridor of lawlessness in vast tracts of Central & Eastern India. And then of course, there is the violence between Hindu extremists and Christians in the Eastern state of Orissa, nestled precariously between the Naxalites to the West and the native tribals to the East. India & England played an ODI in Orissa yesterday.

After a decade of the annual or bi-annual terrorist attack, the security situation in India has simply gotten outta control. It seems foolish to believe that the English Cricket Board were willing to have their arms twisted by the Indian cricket board to play their next ODI match in Guwahati, less than a month after more than eighty people were slaughtered to death in a series of eighteen bombings in the city and other places within the state of Assam. And to think everybody was more worried about the light situation and early sunset. Madness.

As much as it hurts to write this, the security situation in many parts of India is not much better than the situation in most parts of Pakistan. Very few places in India can actually say they are relatively safe. I'm proud to say Chennai and many other places in Tamil Nadu are among these potential safer havens, but as we know all too well about the growing trend of these attacks, anything can happen anywhere. Though it would also be fair to say that some of the terrorist targets have been chosen intentionally: Mumbai and Bengaluru are among the most cosmopolitan cities in India, Delhi is our capital and Gujarat was the site of the worst violence between Hindus and Muslims this century (six years ago). The government in power in Gujarat is still led by Narendra Modi, the leader accused of abusing his power during the communal clashes six years ago. His role in those events have since resulted in US immigration blocking his entry into the USA.

So where to from here? I honestly don't know. For starters, I agree with Shobhaa De of all people that politicians from Delhi should keep away from Mumbai. Their presence in the city will force an unnecessary redistribution of security resources. The total focus should be with the armed forces who once again are doing an incredible job to flush out the terrorists, while saving precious innocent civilian lives at the same time. My heart goes out to the bravery of these men and women who have dedicated their lives for securing our safety. Every story of the death of one of these forces breaks my heart. Compared to the West, our forces are treated like a pile of shit, yet the perks are good enough to convince thousands of them to join them. These people are the real heroes and they deserve every second of attention dedicated to them. I know for a fact that I love life too much to even contemplate putting myself in the same position as them.

For more than a day now, my attention has been fixated on the news. It is incredible how far we have progressed in terms of finding the news. The first Gulf War transformed CNN nearly two decades ago. Then came the internet and everything since has gone through the roof. I find it ironical that sitting here in my flat in London, I have better access to the news than my mum who is staying in the most luxurious hotel in Muscat. She doesn't have an internet-enabled phone and her television in the hotel only shows western news channels: CNN, Sky and BBC. On the other hand, my computer is simultaneously connected to live streams of Indian news chennals: NDTV and CNN-IBN, while I alternate between BBC and Sky on my actual tele, while also running separate tabs for Twitter, Rediff, BBC News, Google News and the Wikipedia entry on my browser. It's a situation I'd taken for granted till my mum called me and there I was telling her what was happening in a city that was only a few hundred miles away from her (as the crow flies). It's moments like those you realize how electronic technologies have transformed our lives. Mobile phones have played a crucial role in maintaining contact with people inside the hotels.

All-in-all, I hope there are not too many more casualties. There have already been a hundred-plus deaths too many. A friend of mine likened the attack to something that could've happened in the West End. That would've frightened a lot of people. Imagine seeing people brandishing AK-47s and throwing around hand grenades in Leicester Square on the night of a major Hollywood premiere. Some 'experts' say that the security situation is so tight in cities like London that the terrorists have intentionally chosen softer cosmopolitan targets such as Mumbai. In this particular attack, they might be quite right but let's also not forget that the vast majority of people killed and injured are innocent Indians. I've gone through one of the list of dead and injured in the hospitals and you cannot hide from the fact that many are innocent Muslims. I also don't think it's right to call this India's 9/11. We have already experienced dozens of 9/11s going back to the 1993 bombings in this very city. Have we learnt the lessons from all of them the way the Americans have? Probably not, but I'd also suggest that it's a lot more challenging to maintain the peace in a country with India's population, with neighbours such as Pakistan and with our significant Muslim population. It's a tricky job trying to maintain a balance between allowing society to function without the State interfering in the lives of all its residents and ensuring the safety of the same. I wish I could offer a better solution. For now, stay safe and goodnight. x
mcgillianaire: (India Flag)

If you live outside India or the Gulf, you can watch live coverage on India's best English news channel. A few minutes ago I heard 12 rounds of gunfire LIVE on tele coming from within the Taj hotel. They're saying the hotel might crumble down... :'(
mcgillianaire: (Ari G)
I've been saving up some awesome links. Enjoy!

1) Historical Kits
An unique time-waster. Not only can you see every single kit used by every single English & Scottish club since league football began (including those of clubs that don't exist anymore), but you can even order your favourite ones (including some from the 19th century!). Don't forget to have a larf in their Room 101 collections. A must-see for every English & Scottish football club lover.

2) Joox
If you are an online entertainment phreak like me, you'll know about Joox already. If you don't, give up already. Not only can you watch movies, tv shows, recorded sports, cartoons, anime, bollywood and documentaries online but you can download the files too (often in divx quality) without resorting to torrents or 3rd party applications. A godsend to folks like me. Make hay while you can!

3) Channel Haven
Unfortunately for most of you this site is India-centric. But for the Indians amongst us, especially those who love Indian television, this site is out-of-the-world. The home page has the CNN-supported IBN LIVE channel embedded into it and by following the links around it, you can watch a plethora of other stuff for free and LIVE! You'll never feel home sick by the time you finish reading this post!

4) Rajshri
I'm not sure if I've posted this here before but even if I have, it's still worth a second mention. They describe themselves as India's #1 Broadband Portal and for those who've used it, it would be a tough claim to deny. Rajshri has an awesome database of Hindi movies, Hindi TV shows, Indian English news channel programmes and more! A lot of stuff can be viewed for free and for the diehard fan, downloaded for dirt-cheap prices. It's not divx quality, but who cares? Where there is free entertainment, I's following closely behind it. (I found this site by following a link that promised a way to watch the famous DD-produced Mahabharata for free and with English, Tamil or Hindi subtitles!!!)

5) Save TV Links
As I'm sure y'all know, TV Links was shutdown in October and a 26-year-old in Cheltenham was arrested. I haven't heard anything about him since but I don't really care. Some good people have taken off from where that chap left-off and compiled a list of all the TV Links alternative sites that allow us to watch everything under the sun for free online. Have fun and till next month, Happy Online-Viewing!
mcgillianaire: (Malibu)
SearchStatus: A Search Extension for Firefox and Mozilla

"SearchStatus allows you to see how every website in the world is performing. For every site you visit, SearchStatus lets you view its Google PageRank, Google Category, Alexa popularity ranking, ranking and more. This combined search-related information means you can view not only the link importance of a site (according to Google), but also its traffic importance (according to Alexa), providing a balanced view of site efficacy. The SearchStatus extension appears unobtrusively at the bottom of the browser on the status bar. If you choose to view backward links for a particular page, they open in new tabs in the same browser window."

Get it now! It's really cool and the more people who use it, the more accurate the results. I think?
mcgillianaire: (Malibu)
If like me you believe in a world where you can watch anything you want for free, you'll love TV Links.
mcgillianaire: (Liverpool FC)

Sorry I didn't share this earlier. Some of you may have SopCast, but I was recently introduced to TVU which is even better. TVAnts has CNN Radio and the CNN channel itself. I haven't tried a couple of the other P2P softwares yet but with what I've got already, you can watch the US Open LIVE (unfortunately it's not English commentary) and more importantly for me now, the Rugby World Cup LIVE with English commentary! It's been fantastic to watch the first game, even though I'm still trying to come to grips with the rules. It would've been better if I'd watched the game with someone who could explain the rules as we went along. I think I could have a lot of it down from just one game. What I have noticed though is that there's been a lot more kicking going on than I'd seen before, and I must've been right because the commentator said the same thing about the Argentines a few minutes later. :)

You can also watch a LOT of LIVE football action with this link. It's how I've been able to catch up with most of the LIVE Premiership action this season, and once their seasons are underway, you can even watch Bundesliga, La Primera Liga and Serie A matches. It's a godsend for sports fans. On a good day, there's even LIVE cricket. Oh, and last week they showed the World Athletics Championships in Osaka LIVE as well. But it was in Chinese commentary so I just muted the channel and turned on some lovely European classical music. It was interesting to say the least, watching the 100m sprinters waltz to Chopin and Telemann.
mcgillianaire: (Sachin Tendulkar)
Catch all the action you missed (or can't get enough of)!

I meant to share this link earlier in the summer but kept forgetting. Like they say however, better late than never! If you love cricket but are not able to watch matches for whatever reason, this website collects all the highlights, and other useful capsules like individual wickets etc. and organises them in a single location. They've changed the layout sometime in the last few days, so it's much easier to find your way around it, and there's also a nice link with a list of cricket blogs. I haven't checked to see how good the list is, but I'm sure all you cricket fans out there will agree that this website is flippin' wikked! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out who actually runs the site, but I'm guessing it's some other cricket mad Indian, or a group of them. In any case, who cares? Just enjoy!
mcgillianaire: (Default)
Windy City lives up to its reputation

My family left for Detroit (via Chicago) earlier today. Thanks to the internets, I was able to track their journey across the Atlantic. When they were somewhere over Iceland, I knew exactly how late they would land in Chicago. A couple hours later, I knew they would have problems landing in Chicago because of the worsening weather situation there. Google News gave me a description of the thunderstorm striking the city. There was even a threat of a tornado. FlightStats told me the flight had been diverted, and the BA website told me where. Ironically, the flight's been diverted to Detroit - their final destination! I don't know if they've been able to end their journey there and collect their luggage. It would make sense, because why would you go "back" to Chicago (which geographically is also in the wrong direction), and then take another flight to Detroit? I think there would've been enough time to offload their checked-in luggage. Either way, they've arrived in Detroit two hours before what they paid for, and that's inspite of Heathrow pre-meditatedly chucking them out nearly an hour late! And to think I knew more about what lay in store for my family than they did!
mcgillianaire: (Default)
Have you been to this site before?

When you click on the website link below, a world map comes up showing what strange & dangerous things are happening right now in every country in the entire world. This "map" updates every 300 seconds ... constantly 24/7. You can move the map around, zero in on any one area and actually up-load the story of what is going on. It is amazing when you can see the things that are happening in this world, sometimes right in your own city.

The Global Incident Map

I have been waiting for a website just like this!! It's ironic that the day I thought about googling for it, my dad sent me this link. I hadn't even told him about my intended googling. Wallahi, what timing!
mcgillianaire: (Default)
There are too many good websites and it's beginning to drive me nuts! Time was when a good website would be greeted with a sense of "where have you been all this time" but now, I sometimes wish it was "enough already!" Don't get me wrong. I love how the internet has the unique ability to inform anybody, anytime, anywhere about anything or almost anyone. Its public dissemination of everything from figuring out the best broadband provider in a specific postal code, to keeping track of live sporting events is indescribably incredible. But it becomes irritating when you're spoiled for choice and don't know which site to choose because they're slightly different, and different enough to confuse you. In a situation where there are just two good websites, it's not too bad, but what happens when you have a choice of four, or even eight sites? Syndication and blogging has in many ways solved part of the problem and contributed to another problem. There are now too many good blogs, and with so much syndication, not enough time to keep up with it all! Like I said, there are too many good websites and it's beginning to drive me nuts. Here's a few useful ones in the UK:

UpMyStreet - Helps users choose new places to live in, find local shops & other useful services (including utilities) by Postal Code!
uSwitch - Helps customers compare prices on a range of services, incl. gas, home phone, broadband & personal finance products.
UKNetGuide - A consumer guide designed to help research products & services online. - "The UK's price comparison engine" - See above.
Buy | 24/7 - See above.
BetterDeals - See above.
Money Supermarket - See all of the above.
Localife - Provides a complete guide to life in the UK.
Citikey - The local directory for eating, drinking, going out & shopping in the UK
InterSites - Your one-stop resource for finding quality, targeted information in the UK.


mcgillianaire: (Default)

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