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Supergirl - drama series

Post dedicated to Thala Ramesh 😎

The only superhero I knew for a really longtime during my childhood was Superman. The bulging biceps, well-oiled mop of black hair, billowing red cape and shiny blue body suit were irresistibly matched with x-ray vision, heat rays and above all his ability to fly, made the comic hero a real superhero. When the cartoon series used to play on and off on DD, the starting of the series would have a mini-intro about Superman, like how the man of steel, came from Krypton as a child, his ability to outrun a train or be faster than a bullet. The most famous tagline/catch phrase of all being, “it’s a bird.. it’s a plane..its SUPERMAN”. Unfortunately I never had a chance to watch the toon series for long for it was discontinued. When I chanced upon the drama series, “Supergirl” I was in two minds before I started watching the series. If at all there could be an antithesis of Superman, the ultimate macho superhero, that would be “Supergirl”, with the name itself…

A midsummer's equation - Book review

This is the fourth book on my Keigo Higashino series. Easily the longest of the four and setting wise quite different from any of the other three. I felt, “Devotion of Suspect X”, probably had the best translator and wish the same person had done the other three as well. The strain of translation is visible at places in this book though not as worse as “Name of the game is a kidnapping”, which was worse right from its title or “Malice”, which had its fair share of mistakes. The other aspect that was notably different in this book was the sheer number of characters. There is an army of them and trying to follow who does what is a tedious task in itself. In almost all the book, there is a leading lady character who is a hostess. Now that I think of, that’s the only profession they belong to on all the four books!! And a teacher character is a repeat across most of them. Probably the author has his own favorite of professions I guess.

Story wise, it’s one of the most detailed and circuit…

Security and Block chain

The concept of public and private in the context of Block chains is less to do with sharing but more to do with who can authenticate a transaction or not. In a public Block chain – like bitcoin –every node can authenticate a transaction. But in the case of permissioned ledger or private Block chain, you select a certain number of entities who have preferential rights to authenticate that transaction. So when we come to access, that’s where we come to the privacy bit.

So what does this do in terms of security and in terms of confidentiality?

On the security front – the database is replicated across different nodes and each can view the transaction – as a result, any change which is made to the database all the nodes in a system have to verify that and authenticate that change. Even in a private Block chain, for example in a supply chain, confidentiality is an issue. Not everything in a supply chain transaction is meant to be viewed by all the actors and you need to restrict access. Thi…

Block chain and equities

The private equity market, while attractive to investors and businesses, has seen little technological investment or innovation in recent years. However, as calls for greater transparency, efficiency and security are made - especially in a world where cyber-attacks are a common occurrence - private equity funds and services need to address the lack. To tackle the problem, IBM and Northern Trust have turned towards the Block chain.

To take the hassle out of regulatory and legal compliance, the technology has also been designed to support current rules and was created by working with government officials and regulators during the process. Ownership stakes can be transferred and managed through the ledger, and the companies say the service offers "one version of the truth" to users on the platform. Current legal and administrative processes that support private equity are time consuming and expensive and a lack of transparency and efficient market practices almost always leads …

Implementing block chain

In a system like Block chains, where all the parties involved are know all the information for a transaction, is it even possible to have privacy?
 If so, what kind of data should be left out of the system?
But first, it is important to distinguish a distributed database and a decentralized ledger system.
A distributed database could very well be where there is a central authority which holds the data and multiple copies of that data is there for others to view it. A classic example of that could be a central government database – say with the taxman, the RBI and others in a governance framework. But that really is not Block chain. In a situation where different actors do not trust each other, what you do normally is that you would set up an intermediary that you all trust. The good example being currency - One wouldn't know if the currency they have has any value, therefore, the RBI authenticates or certifies that it has value.’ That is the centralized intermediary concept. In th…

Bit more on Block chain

How to setup a Block Chain?
The term Block Chain is often bandied with various other terms like “distributed ledger”, “smart contracts”, “mining”, “crypto currencies”. What do they mean?
What will happen to incorrect data, accidentally stored?
How to correct the immutable chain?
If there is a way to fix the data, wouldn’t it be in contradiction to the concept of immutability?
Let’s try to get some answers around these queries.

When cars were first invented, they were called as horseless carriages. Any invention, in its initial release state, is often compared with the nearest service that it would be rivalling or replacing. Likewise, Block chain, if at all can be renamed, could well be called as “Ledger on the net”. With the ever rising rates of BitCoin, one particular area where Block chain can be implemented is already well renowned. But other than crypto currencies, there are lot many areas where the concept of Block chain is creating revolutionary ripples, having far reaching impl…

The blockchain of trust

Ever since I read this post https://www.marketsimplified.com/disrupting-fintech-blockchain/ by mister Goku, have been fascinated by the concept of cypto-currencies and block chain and have long wanted to do a post on them. Have tried my hand a bit with whatever little info that I could understand from the materials online. Feel free to pitch-in to correct anything contrary to what is stated below.

How critical it is in current world to create “trust”, considering we’ve companies that solely run on them – Airbnb, Etsy, Uber, Facebook. These are the current generation’s super giants, who go by the concept of not owning any inventory, but selling the concept of a better user interface. Reputation and trust which their clients have on them is very critical for their existence and survival. How important it is to verify contents when reputations are at stake with fake news taking on MSM? One wrong or false information on the net, with conspiratorial tone, can cause irreparable damage to th…

Dheeran - Adhigaram ondru - review

There is a clichéd thought process in IT world, where “senior” developers often tell their “juniors” that how coding used to be much tougher during “their times” as compared to spoon feeding GUI’s at present. Especially the coders from pre-google era who often complain that developers these days have to learn only one skill – “how to search for codes in google” whereas they had to actually type in the code. When I was watching “Dheeran – Adhigaram ondru” I was acutely reminded of the above fact. Especially during the scenes where Karthik, painstakingly gathers file after file on the dacoits and when the forensics expert, checks each and every finger print manually. To me, if anyone can understand the enormity of the content of these scenes, they would be able to appreciate the movie better.
Police investigation, as against what is shown on most of the movies and drama series, is often tedious, boring, monotonous, painstakingly irritating job, wherein you’ve to labor through volumes an…

The name of the game is a kidnapping

Just finished reading the third book on the trot of Keigo Higashino. Probably the least thrilling of the three one can say upfront. What kept me hooked till the end was, again the simplicity of the thought process and the sheer logical approach towards making the perfect crime. And above all, the audacity with which the story had been lifted and made into a tamil movie – Sarabham. When I saw the movie, without knowing about the book, I was stunned by the twists and turns in the screenplay and the movie was quite a watch. The least the director could’ve done was a nod to the book. (If the mention was really made but I only missed out, it’s my bad)

While movie is a page to page lift off from the story with minor twists, it did really was well “translated” onto the screen. Same can’t be said about the book though. Unlike the first two novels, which made the English version as good as any written in English, the effort on translating the content is literally visible in this book. At many …

Carpe Vitam

As junior takes baby steps towards schooling, all those dormant fears about that “place” raises its ugly head again. Reading books like “Malice” which talks about bullying in school didn’t quite discourage that thought process and the more I read news, more scary it becomes as to the kind of world my kid would be entering into. The more I observe school going kids, the more I get confused that where is the innocence that is usually associated with childhood!! Words that were once taboo for us as kids, are style statements for present generations and nothing seems to be sacred. As news about pollution causing institutions to shutdown, rains causing havoc and summer getting more and more intense, the next decade could very well be witnessing scenes from sci-fi movies I guess. We may soon start living in underground bunkers. With ever increasing trend of greedy and imbecile people lining up for usurping powerful posts in politics, anarchy is just around the corner.

The biggest challenge …

Malice - Book review

My list of favorite authors went up by one ever since I read “Devotion of suspect X” by Keigo Higashino. If at all there was an investigative thriller with such an exquisitely simple premise, I would be really surprised if it would be a shade on the book mentioned. Such was the mastery of the author that, had it been a poker game, he played with all his cards turned upfront and yet won the bet!! “Malice” his other novel may not be in the same category of “Devotion”, yet it stands out on its own merits. And yes, in this book also, the murder happens within twenty pages and the killer is identified in the next score of pages. Yet the book which is over 200 pages long, almost never lags in its pace and seldom loses its hold on the reader, keeping them hooked till the end.

One similarity between both the books being, the relatively lesser mention about local culture, cuisine or setup, but for the names of the characters. It not just makes the theme universal, but also easier to follow. I…

The devotion of suspect X

When I started with the book, I had so many prejudices that any discussion on the reason why would’ve been sub-judice. I’ve a tough time following storylines involving any country other than American or British and even in them the number of characters can’t be more than 5 for I would be confused with each of them. European novels with Baltic/Nordic setup’s and Japanese ones come with even tougher nomenclature and almost every setup would feel alien and difficult to read at the basic level. Even if the scene involves a restaurant, the kind of food the characters eat, right from that, it would be off-putting, for the lines wouldn’t be as simple as “took a bite of a burger or pizza” but something like “quiche” or “Sashimi”’ or “Nigiri”. I would get distracted to imagine how those dishes would look like or whether they are juices? It might sound absurdly trivial, but if I am unable to visualize I pretty much lose interest in the story line. I never had high hopes for this book but had be…

F.R.I.E.N.D.S - VII

For previous parts click here Part 6

“So what is it that you are going to gift Monica this time?” Ross asks Chandler
“Its something I’ve custom made for her..see” Chandler shows a card
“Seriously..a greeting card? That’s the best you can come up with?”
An exasperated Chandler points him to look at the card and  open it to see.
“Wow..a MENU card. How original Chandler. She is a chef so you get her a Menu card for birthday? Even Joey could think better than this” comments Rachel
“Whoa..whoa…whats with me and my thinking?” enters Joey
“Chandler has got a MENU card as gift for Monica’s birthday” quips Phoebe
“Dude..what’s wrong with you? What are the dishes you’ve mentioned in it? Is Meatball sub there in it?”
Chandler plucks the card from Ross and hastily goes to his room.

Monica enters the apartment, looking all dazed and tired.
“Whoa..what were you cooking at the restaurant today? Crystal meth? You look stoned” says Phoebe
“I wish..by the way..why you guys are always here..don’t you’…

The dot on the top of i

Some years back I had posted about finding purpose in the below post. Or rather how I didn’t knew anything about having a purposeful life. http://supershanki.blogspot.in/2012/08/vedikkai-manitharai-pol-veezhveno.html Vedikkai manitharai pol veezhveno?? supershanki.blogspot.in A blog about movie,music,book reviews and on every topic under the sun Do I know the answer now? May not be a resounding yes yet. But slowly there seems to be a pattern appearing in horizon. After certain stages in life, things get into a routine. There is only an extent to which you can rebel against and keep deliberating on what’s, how’s and why’s and thinking about why not’s. End of the day, the routine that is called society catches up with you and wears you down to conform to its norms. May be that is why it’s called “settling down”. Like a dead weight tied to your limbs so that you don’t keep fluttering your wings and drags you into what is exactly called as “ocean” of life. It’s not drowning per se. But peo…

Origin - book review

Usually Dan Brown’s book fall into the below set of process – when you are reading it you will feel the thrill of a roller coaster ride with adrenaline rush, as it reaches climax you would feel the excitement of a kid opening birthday present, after the initial few minutes of completing the book the mind would be reeling with all those information trying to process and after few hours you would be left wondering was the climax worth all those events that transpired in the course of the book. Also his novels will double up as travelogue for the respective city/country of the premise and would definitely send in flocks of tourists, curious to visit those places so beautifully crafted into his stories. In fact, locations have almost played the role of a key character in his books. Origin is no less different. And the guts of the guy to portray the king of Spain as gay!!! If you need any reference in stirring a hornets nest, Dan Brown should be on your speed dial.

Like all his novels, the…

Question for the ages

There was a dialogue in “SPYder” the last movie that I saw recently. It goes something like -If you kill a deer it’s a crime but not a goat. Maybe because their numbers are more. With so many humans abound, makes all the more sense to kill more of them – is the analogy with which the villain operates. With recent Vegas shooting makes one wonder on the psyche behind these psychos. That guy had made such elaborate setup to carry out his attack, it doesn’t look the act of an demented mind but more of determined to destruct. Had the killer been of a different colour and nationality, god only knows how many more countries would’ve been bombed to oblivion by now and how many hundreds of civilians would’ve paid the price with their lives and how many thousands displaced. As a race, we are in a race of our own to make a society of immigrants. Pretty soon those without a state for themselves would far outweigh those within secure borders.
Be whatever the ideology, its nauseating and scary to t…

Waterboarding - book review

Waterboarding – the second of the many to come published books by Brags.
The title might have come into prominence, post the war on terror initiated by the Americans and more specifically on the torture “treatment” meted out to the Guantanamo bay prisoners. The title is an allegory to the mental trauma of the hero, Ved.

The story is told through diary entries of the three main characters, Ved, Sara and Maya. The story opens with Ved, who meets with an accident and suffers amnesia. The missing pieces of his life are filled in by Sara and Ramesh, who hide the details about his girlfriend (ex) Maya. Maya texts Ved enquiring about his condition and seeing a text from an unknown number induces curiosity in Ved, who goes about figuring, who is Maya and why is she not in his life anymore. He also finds out the reason why Sara was not revealing the details and as he comes to terms with the reality and realizes what he wants from his relationships, his health condition has other plans. His ind…

Spider - review

This week-end movie watch was the latest toast of tinsletown – SPYder. Considering that it was a bi-lingual and for a fact that the telugu superstar has dubbed on his own in tamil, it still felt like a telugu movie with him on screen. But for him, the rest of the cast didn’t exhibit that vibe. Somehow it was still not connecting with Maheshbabu. May it’s the baggage of his super hits in telugu or because of so many dubbed versions of his telugu movies in tamil. Somehow, it still feels alien to watch him, despite his best efforts. May be the fact that, at the pretext of underplaying, he was plastic in emoting, didn’t help either. Somehow movie actresses and doctor roles don’t quite tally, at least in recent past. Almost all the loosu characters are shown as MBBS students or even practicing doctors, when their characterization wouldn’t even merit them to be tutorial passed.
After a really long time, tamil cinema gets a crackpot, psychotic and ruthless villain. The last one I could recol…

Attention seeker alert

Attention seeker.
Whenever I find this term bandied around, it makes me stop and observe that particular situation. For I feel, there is no greater insult to ego than being labelled as attention seeker. Agreed, there could be specimens who purposely do and even thrive on such activities. But for the innocent many, it’s a punch in the gut that knocks the wind out of them. The most recent instance I heard of this word was during the infamous “Big Boss” show, where one of the participant was labelled as such. That lady terms herself a failed actress and has been pretty vocal in her efforts to attain fame-dom through the program as her vehicle. She un-abashedly had taken part in every stupid task thrown at her and had “played” at the last legal extent allowed within the rules of the game and even secured top points. Yet the crowds didn’t vote for her and she had to lose out.
It’s just another reality show and the results are pretty much stage managed at every single step of the way. But t…