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Monthly Archives: April 2008

Sita Sings the Blues

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Came across an interesting article on Wired.

NEW YORK — Amid the documentaries and live-action features at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival is a first for the event — a feature-length, computer-generated animated film rendered entirely by a single animator, working out of a home office.

Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues, which makes its North American premiere Friday at the festival, tells two parallel stories: the ancient Hindu epic the Ramayana and the breakup of Paley’s 21st-century marriage. It does so through four distinct styles of animation, a “greek chorus” of Indonesian shadow puppets and wildly imaginative musical interludes that use authentic 1920s blues recordings to link narratives 3,000 years apart.

The article has got an interview of Nina Paley as well as a trailer of the film.

From what I read from the article, it features Rama leaving Sita.

Wired: You voiced the role of yourself, and that leads to the film’s most excruciating scene, in which your character asks your husband to take you back.

Paley: [Laughs.] Isn’t that pathetic? I wanted people to feel my pain. And believe me, that’s just a little taste of it. [Laughs.] When this sort of thing happens to you, it’s so shameful, so humiliating. Which is why I included that scene of Sita sitting there on the banks of the river saying, “I must have committed a terrible sin in a previous life to deserve such suffering.” There’s always a sense that, if something bad happens to you, that there’s something really wrong with you. And I love that even Sita believes this, because she’s completely stainless, that’s the whole point of her character. I feel that airing this stuff out is the way to take the shame out of it. Plus, pain is funny!

The Ramayana says that Rama chose to leave Sita because of his duty as a king. In the otherwise spotless character of Rama, I feel, this is a huge blemish. And so do a lot of people. Many “experts” though have felt otherwise.

Should be interesting to see how Ramayana and the character of Sita is treated in this film.

Links :

Wired article : http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/news/2008/04/sita?currentPage=all

Site of the film : http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/

Filed under films
Apr 26, 2008

Are lecture notes copyright infringement?

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University of Florida professor Michael Moulton thinks copyright law protects the lectures he gives to his students, and he’s headed to court to prove it.

Moulton and his e-textbook publisher are suing Thomas Bean, who runs a company that repackages and sells student notes, arguing that the business is illegal since notes taken during college lectures violate the professor’s copyright.

This would be funny if this wasn’t an actual court case.

Doesn’t common sense revolt at this very idea? What is worse is that a Professor, someone who is supposed to spread ideas and mould the young, has taken this step.

Perhaps the day is not far when copyright notices will be put up in lecture halls and agreements signed before the beginning of each lecture in the temples of our learning. Perhaps the day is not far when true culture will cease to exist.

Filed under politics
Apr 6, 2008

CUSAT site cracked

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CUSAT site cracked

The official website of Cochin University of Science & Technology got defaced by crackers. I guess they’re trying their best to restore it. The crackers call themselves “ProgenTR JAWNAX TEAM”.

Filed under Uncategorized
Apr 4, 2008

Why is there no broadband in India? :(

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Happened to read this at Slashdot :

An anonymous reader notes that Comcast is offering a new 50-Mbps / 6-Mbps package for residential customers for $150, starting in Minneapolis-St. Paul and extending nationwide by mid-2010. The new service will use the DOCSIS 3.0 standard, which is nearing ratification. We’ve recently discussed Comcast’s BitTorrent throttling and promise to quit it, and their low-quality ‘HD’ programming. How attractive will $150 for 50 Mbps be compared to Verizon’s FiOS offerings?

http://tech.slashdot.org/tech/08/04/03/1427227.shtml

This is crazy!!! And totally unfair! :( Here in India the fastest “broadband” that we can get is a 2Mbps ADSL connection that comes to around 500 rupees (excluding tax). And just compare prices. Makes my heart break :( I’ve heard that broadband services are better and cheaper (than in the US) in some other countries (Korea? Japan?).

I wish affordable Broadband comes to India. It isn’t like there is no market here for proper broadband. The demand is there, the supply is absent.

Filed under technology
Apr 4, 2008

ISO approves Microsoft’s OOXML

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The International Organization for Standardization(ISO) has approved Microsoft’s OOXML as a standard.

ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML file formats, has received the necessary number of votes for approval as an ISO/IEC International Standard.

Approval required at least 2/3 (i.e. 66.66 %) of the votes cast by national bodies participating in the joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, to be positive; and no more than 1/4 (i.e. 25 %) of the total number of ISO/IEC national body votes cast to be negative. These criteria have now been met with 75 % of the JTC 1 participating member votes cast positive and 14 % of the total of national member body votes cast negative.

http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1123

Lots of us in India were happy that BIS had decided to vote against OOXML. Short – lived happiness as it turns out.

Filed under technology
Apr 2, 2008