ZeroneA The Reverse Way Sun, 16 Nov 2014 00:38:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 10 Stupid Things People Believe About Photographers Sun, 16 Nov 2014 00:36:58 +0000 I’m no photographer but I do have a fancy camera, I had $$$ to blow.  Read this article on PixelPluck, which actually represents my agony of carrying this bulky load called DSLR. This does cover a lot of points, but then there are some which I face a lot too.

  • You spent ₹50,000 on a camera?
    My phone/digicam can take similar photos I can then Photoshop/Instagram it. Looks awesome.
  • I got DSLR.
    Me: Wow! Which One?
    Response: Canon/Nikon. I got an amazing deal with 2 lenses.
    Me: Which model?
    Uh… Hmmm… It takes good photos.
  • Suggest me a camera?
    Me: Budget?
    <Let’s not go into detail but got a lot of research information of models as close to DigiCams>
  • Can you take a photo of me <showing their phone>?
  • Can you take my photo in this pose?
  • This is much better in Hindi, “Abey… Kya yahan wahan ki photo le raha hai? Idhar se le, mast aayengi… Achcha meri is pose me photo le.” (What are you clicking here and there? Take a pic from here, its a great view. Ok take my pic like this.)
  • The worst offender: Your photographs are amazing. You have an amazing camera.
  • You did not get your camera? (I know you mean: Now who’ll take our pics to post on Facebook and get maximum Likes)
  • Can you please lend me your camera for <so & so trip or event>?

Yeah! I’m still learning and an amateur and must have done a lot like this (my experienced friends can tell). The top 3 above are personal choices of people but the rest is “the feeling only a photographer can say”

Do read: 10 Stupid Things People Believe About Photographers.

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A month of (no) Facebook Fri, 07 Nov 2014 13:29:19 +0000 On 01 October 2014, I decided to skip Facebook. This has direct impact on my blog, I wrote little more – I hope.

Other things that changed is I’m getting fewer notifications. Since I’m not posting no more Likes and Comments. Amazingly, no likes on my posts publicised on Facebook either!

I’m spending less time browsing Facebook. Its nothing more than a News Feed. Things looking better as I’m not being told who to wish. Its like everyone will forget your birthday if its not on Facebook and I’m no different. Sunrise Calendar is aggregating all calendar and feeding me and this helps me create a personal touch on who to wish.

Communication is not just Facebook so WhatsApp is getting used a little more. Surprising that even with the separate Facebook Messenger, people are preferring standalone Facebook owned WhatsApp.

I’m exploring YouTube on my own and not just viewing what others want me to – well it helps in perception so I secretly sneak in Facebook and catch few glimpses. Overall, it had been a peaceful one month. I really believe, we can live quite well without Facebook.

Every once in a while its better to switch off this new age technology leash. Facebook is my start. When are you planning to have a day off?

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Show me the green Thu, 06 Nov 2014 01:29:39 +0000 There has been a lot of hue and cry over bringing the black money back to India. Supreme Court is asking Government of India to give a detailed report. We hear Switzerland is willing to share all details of holders. But with all this being said, where is the money and will it ever come back?


Don’t want to go into detail, but my answer will be NO – Never.

What is Swiss Bank? Swiss Bank is not a bank. Banks of Switzerland are Swiss Banks. What is important is they follow Banking Law of 1934 which makes disclosing details of holders by Banks a criminal offence. This was done to protect Jews from Nazi onslaught. For banks, the account holder is a number. This anonymity makes Switzerland the go to place to hide all the black money.

So why is Switzerland giving up details? India is not the only one with black money problems. USA, UK and Western European countries pressurised due to growing concerns of tax evasion. Some laws were amended to allow sharing of information (not sure if India is in list). The Wikipedia article on the Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks is an interesting read.

This law only permits a bank to share information with others in cases of severe criminal acts, such as identifying a terrorist’s bank account or tax fraud, but not simple non-reporting of taxable income. So, it’s difficult to extract data even if you have proof of non-reported income – at least that’s what I understood from the article. There’s something more interesting in another Wikipedia article regarding Numbered Accounts.

… to restrict … numbered accounts … the Council of Europe mandated in 1980 … accounts be subject to international and domestic regulations pertaining to the verification of the identities of account holders and their activities. Under these … banks … may be required by a court order to reveal the owner’s name and financial details, and the identity of the holder or beneficial owner must be examined for obvious fraudulent intentions at the start of the banking relationship.

OK, so there is some mandatory verification of identities. Does it not apply to India? Of course this is from Council of Europe but when every law/rule/mandate as a European connection why not this? Can’t say about verification process but incase it has been done, who verified Indians to open account? But whatever be the case, to get the details from Swiss Banks only Swiss Court can request subject to criminal investigation or tax fraud but not for tax evasion.

The important question –  everything settled – will we get the money? I say again – NO. It’s pretty simple that whoever has an account there is not stupid. When there is so much hue and cry for black money, why will someone leave the money in there? If you are agitating against black money, why will I wait for you to get me – I’ll take my money out first. But If I’m ruling and you’ve black money then I’m sure you’ll also act same.

In that case, we may never get latest status – Yes. Will we get the oldies? – May be. They are banks so will have beneficiaries. If the main holder is deceased, the why will the beneficiary wait? Beneficiary will either use it up or again act as above.

Government submitted some names and Supreme Court has acknowledged. Yes, that has been done but the fact is when was the report generated. If a Governement is seeking information (I don’t know how because as per Banking Law the court should do it), then insiders will be first to grab their own stuffs. There may be some legal process and such people do keep their eyes and ears open. So, we take out some more people from the list. Eventually, the list may be quite small with all big fishes already slipped from the net.

Where does the money go? Do you know where the money from Common Wealth Games Delhi 2010 go? Do you have idea of money gone from 2G scam? The money may be invested in property in India, outside India. It may be lying inside the bed of some one. I could be wrapped in polythene and hidden inside drain. The money could be anywhere but doubtfully not where we are looking for.

May be continued…

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Do you prefer Kutta or Kameena? Sat, 01 Nov 2014 23:24:19 +0000 We should always be with the times but when time comes we either forget it or whatever be the reason – overshoot the margin.

This started as my life long love for “kameena” ishq was called “kutta” and below is my take is on Bollywood songs/lyrics, which seems to be doing too much.

There was a time when “Kameena” (rascal or more popularly – mean) was something related just with Dharam paaji but we had song “Ishq Kameena”. I would sneak to hear the song (some would argue the video but Aishwarya did look stunning). My dad would really frown over the lyrics on how stupid they have become. I would dance to it, so never took a note.

That was 2002 and I was still a teen. Cut to 2014. Suddenly the Ishq has become “Kutta” (dog).

I guess, we still are okay with kutta & kameena. Of course we use such things in our day-to-day life. We use more powerful words though but when a movie does it (Delhi Belly), we go all crazy over and behave as if we have beheaded the Indian culture. In recent times, I can remember of 2 movies for which lot of noise was created and eventually changed the lyrics.

Dabangg had to change lyrics in song “Munni Badnaam hui” for word “Hindustan” (India) to “Gulistan” (land of flowers). Some find it unpatriotic and based on the situation and picturization of the song. But the song was never meant to be patriotic as not all songs are “Aye mere watan ke logon”. Still I can live with the argument of this being changed. But then there was another movie, Shootout at Wadala in which Laila has to “loot” instead of take away.

Did you get the difference? I thought “lena” (taking) is mutual when someone is giving. I would always take the meaning of being screwed literally than actually being as the controversy was. It’s always what you perceive things to be.

That takes us to the latest songs, “G Phaad Ke” – what? They could’ve have easily said G*nd and beeped just as they did for condom in move Hello in 2008. Did these 6 years change something? That’s not all, we are trying to get the “pussy” in mainstream too. So we just translated “coward” to pussycat. We don’t use that in our daily life, do we? So we take that “D K Bose” is not correct but “Pussy”-cat works just fine (pause before cat?).

Reminds me of song Ghagra from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani – Why do you have to go to Agra if you are coming to Delhi from Baghdad? What we are bringing here?

We are all fine with “Subha hone na de” which clearly speaks of guy and girl being alone and not sleeping. “We are just friends” you see!!!

It is nothing like older songs never had those. Classic is “Pyaar hua ikrar hua” from Shree 420. When love is confessed, which love are they talking of? No doubt it was the song for a condom ad.

I do not go against the songs but I want there has to be some sense in it rather than just some racy music with suggestive lyrics and scantily clad women. May be its because I grew up in 90’s and not with the times but when it comes to music, everyone loves a little romance. For those who don’t know romance – it’s excitement, mystery and difference from everyday life; just like the mystery of kissing flowers. Please let the “kutta and kameena” with the action figures.

P.S. – If you think there are too many videos, well it’s because I wanted to try embedding videos in post and went overboard just like current generation of lyrics.

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Shifting Wor(l)ds! Fri, 10 Oct 2014 06:24:28 +0000 I’ve been using WordPress on my personal domain & hosting but it is really cumbersome if something goes wrong. Somedays back, my blog link just stopped working. I thought it to be temporary glitch but when it reached hours, I grew nervous. I should’ve spoken to the hosting service but somehow didn’t as other links were working. Thanks to Jetpack which kept telling me its down.
I decided to get down to it get my hands dirty. I tried to access via directory in browser but no avail. I set up a fresh install and chose same database. It worked to some extent but not really. All links were to old install which was not working. I could not login to admin for the same reason. It started to get messier from here. Instead of changing the the blog location url in database, I deleted the Users table. Now I’m totally locked out. Created new user, provided privileges and logged in but my old posts were not there. All my hard work to have some post was GONE!

Not really… they were in database now but I needed to figure out how to access them without disturbing the integrity. I linked the new user to the posts and voila! I was back – I lost all comments but there were not many. I believe my link was either subject to DDoS (quite unlikely as I’m not so popular) or hackers played some tricks. As this new link was a temporary fix, I cleaned up the original folder and did another fresh install. Exported the temporary blog and imported to the fresh version.

Then I realised it is not an easy task to maintain self-hosted WordPress in this bad world. Hackers, DDoS, server downtime. I logged into a unused and imported the posts backed up above. World was all rosy, till I realised, my photographs were not showing correctly. I could’ve lived with it as the issue was Flickr changed all links from http to https. I had already spent a good amount of time figuring above situation and now this – I was really getting impatient. I corrected some links and they started showing up. So why was this not observed earlier? Simple, Jetpack caches images to its server and they were being sever from WordPress but after I refreshed everything they had already started falling apart. By this time, I had taken WordPress Premium so I had some space, a new domain name option/redirect. Which means WordPress will have to be made my preferred location for photos (since I stopped using Facebook for now). I somehow prefer Flickr or Google+ for photos so it was hard for me. If I load full size image, I’ll loose the space provided quite quickly. As much I know, even resizing after uploading will not save space so have to resize it before I upload. I’m lazy and doing resize all photos was little disturbing for me. Of course, resizing only required photos is a good idea but I love to keep Hi-Res photos. Still, there was some hope but next step broke me. I tried looking for plugins but they were not there. WordPress does not support plugins so no more LightBox-es. Now, uploading photos in WordPress and that too no fancy look! Refund. I applied for refund but kept the domain name to be future proof incase I breakdown and stop using my hosting.

So, I’m back to where I started from. As of now, I’m visiting all links and and fixing up the links to get things working up for now for my images alongside looking for some good plugins where I could just give photo ID and it’ll work out all Flickr stuff but sadly mostly were for photosets, galleries or tags but not for photos. My hunt is on. If you are aware of any Flickr Plugin which will display single pic, comments are welcome.

I tried:

  • Awesome Flickr Gallery
  • Flickr Photostream
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Shure it is! Thu, 02 Oct 2014 19:21:31 +0000 I always loved how the stage artists wore earphones. Of course it took me some time to know why they wore it. The best part was the way they curled over the ears which means all jumping around as they do and it won’t budge. Then I realised they are not which are available off the shelf in malls as well (many are custom-made) and have a different signature sound. I always longed to have one.

I’ve had some headphones and earphones in the past but none of them to be audiophile quality (which I myself claim to be ;-) ) except probably HiFiMAN RE-0 which one of my dear friends took it for a stroll and returned it without one of its tips. I feel sorry for him who probably doesn’t know and understand what an IEM is and the cost I had to pay. They were not too costly but they did cost my pocket $100 in Indian Rupees ₹ plus taxes and that’s when I barely started earning. Sadly I did not have spare tips nor could find better replacements (they were too costly).

From these past 2 years have been stuck with just “earphones” from Nokia or Apple which came with their handsets and vowed never to give my earphones to anyone (let alone IEM). Finally, I took another dip and got a SHURE. I would’ve loved Westone but Shure shines all round for me. For what I could spare, Shure it is… And it’s SE425!

It’s been just a day and couple of hours of listening and I understand why they are the best in their category. Shure SE425 has Dual High-Definition MicroDrivers of which one is woofer and other dedicated tweeter. The wire is strong and it says to be kevlar coated. If that’s not all then the cable is detachable from gold plated MMCX connector (no they are not wireless) so that they could be changed in case of damage to wire, customised and allow rotation for comfort – clever design philosophy. It takes a tad bit longer to get comfortable but once you know it is noise isolating, it’s comforting. Wait till you connect it to your playback device and once the music kicks in, you’ll barely notice you had them. Completely immersive stage sound. They sound natural and I could notice bits I probably missed for past 2 years after my RE-0 became no longer usable. They are soft on bass but I’m OK with it, too much bass usually tires me in long play sessions.

The box also contains S/M/L set of Soft Flex Sleeves & Black Foam Sleeves, 1 set of Yellow Foam Sleeves and Triple Flages Flex Sleeves. 3.5mm to 6.3mm adaptor for use with Hi-Fi systems, wax cleaning tool and a cary case. I think they also have a Black Foam Sleeves set attached to earphones as well which fit me so the accessories are safe for now.

Shure SE425 being Noise Isolating means I can use those comfortably without cranking up the volume which not all devices play well. Shure claims they could isolate up to 30 dB. They adapt to wearing style (the sleeves and wire loop over ear) so in sometime they’ll be as natural fit. They can be worn from back or from front but I’ll prefer from back so that I can hang them (and show-off!) when not in use.  Now I can allow my audiophile-self to take over and just flow with the stream.

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Goodbye Facebook – For now… Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:15:44 +0000 Yes! You heard it right. I am bidding farewell to Facebook. I’m not deleting or disabling my account so Facebook will be aggregating my posts from my blog ZeroneA and all pings to Facebook Messenger will reach me – to which I’ll reply too.

I anyways prefer mentioning only exclusive updates on Facebook so might be coming back just to update my who’s-who. Apart from that, It could be temporary restraining order but I’ll not make any promises now even for those updates on Facebook.

So you could just visit my blog (which have been craving my attention for long) or more active timeline of twitter @SAMdLaw (need to add some boosters here too!).

In case you love to keep in touch, you can use the contact me option in my blog. See you around!

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