We don’t need a religion

Ahhh… this is going to be controversial topic. To start with, I m not all against any religion. Religions have been existed since civilizations came into existence, and probably religion/faith was the root and foundation of these civilizations. That was then… thousands of years ago Before Christ (BC), when religion actually played a role in building the society & civilizations. But for the last 2000 years, religion is the cause of more bloodshed than any other reason.  If that is the case then how can religion be good?

People have long forgotten the original principles of their religion. Most of them may not even know the origin of their religion. Islam may probably be the most misunderstood religion of the world. In the name of religion, it is the politics that is the cause of all evil. The fact is that the roots of politics are too deep in the religion. That is why I say that we don’t need religion in its current form.

Take an example of Hinduism. How many of you know that the word ‘Hindu’ is not there in Sanskrit or any other language or dialect spoken in India. The origin of the word Hindu is the result of mispronunciation of the word Sindhu. Ancient Persians could not pronounce ‘S’ correctly, and thus it was replaced by ‘H’, which resulted in ‘Sindhu’ becoming ‘Hindu’. So Hindu was not referred to a follower of a religion, but rather someone living in the geographic area around Sindhu (Indus) river. If you still go by this logic, then half of the population in Pakistan will be Hindus, as major part of the Indus not flows thru Pakistan.

I will leave this point here, but will iterate again that we don’t need religion in their current forms. We need to understand the origin ad true meaning of our respective religions and then follow them.

PS. Thanks Vishal for bringing up this point during our drinks, I got something to write. ;-)

Highway on mobile – Hyd-Pune

Home Media Automation – Part 2

In my last post, I showed how to use Apple TV & iTunes to see all you movies on you LCD and listen all your music on your home theater. Wireless played an important role for syncing the media, but you can also use wired connection.

Now let’s take this a step further. There was time when there were no remote controls, for time you have to change the channel or volume we had to go up to the TV or music system. Those days are long gone. So in your home media automation, you will definitely not like to go up to your computer to change the media. The good thing will be if you can get a remote for your computer as well. Even better will be the ability to use your remote across rooms/walls, such that you can increase & decrease the volume of your system or change the song from a different room.

Adding a new remote to your Apple TV

Steps to follow:

  1. Download “Remote Control” application for iTunes store and install it on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
  2. Open Remote Control app on your iPhone/iPod and go to settings. Select “Add Library”.
  3. Open your Apple TV settings. Under that go to Remotes. Enter the pin as you see on your iPod/iPhone.
  4. Again, select ‘add library’ on Remote App on iPod/iPhone.
  5. Open iTunes, you will see your phone or iPod name in the left bar. Enter your 4 digit pin as displayed on the Remote app in iTunes.

You are ready to go. You iPod Touch or iPhone now acts as a remote. By using your iPod Touch or iPhone, you can now control your media, sitting in a different room.


Adding new media library to your Remote App in iPod Touch or iPhone


Controlling your Apple TV from iPod Touch or iPhone


Controlling songs playing on iTunes on your computer

Home Media Automation – Part 1

Gadgets are men’s best friends, aren’t we all fond of them! :) We, men, always want simplicity in life. Somethings are in your hands, of which you can be proud of. Automating your home media is one way to achieve it.

Sexy and expensive home theater system are for the rich, but that should not mean that other should be deprived of it.

Here are list key requirements for home automation -

  • Most likely you have tons of mp3, photos, & movies on your computer.
  • You have a home theater system connected to your LCD.

Basic expectations -

  • Play music on home theater (probably 5.1 channel system)
  • Watch your movies & photos on your bigger LCD screen

Value add -

  • Able to control your media with a remote, irrespective of source & target

The solution here is only specific to Apple products, but you can look for other alternatives if you are not an apple fan.

PrerequisitesTelevision and Apple TV

  • Tons of media
  • iTunes on your computer
  • Apple TV 
  • LCD TV
  • iPhone or iPod Touch or iPad (Optional)
  • Wireless Router

 

Once you have all the prerequisites, all that you need is to configure them to work together.

imageThe first thing to start with is setting up your Apple TV. AppleTV has an internal storage of up to 160 GB, so it can store your media from computer. It has ability to sync itself over the wire or wireless. I prefer wireless, after all who wants to see wires running between the system  tv. I have given the sound output of Apple Tv to my home theater and Video output to my LCD

After setting up AppleTV, you should be able to see it in iTunes. One of the very interesting thing now you will notice is that at the bottom right of iTunes you will have multiple speaker option. You can now choose which speaker you want the output to – computer or apple tv. This is how you can listen to your favorite songs on the much better home theater system. Note that you can not stream video this way. But there is a solution to that too.

Now, the catch is that AppleTV can only play MP4 videos, but the good thing is that MP4’s are better then AVI’s in quality and you even get High Definition (HD) videos. 10022010049

As I said earlier, Apple TV has up to 160 GB of storage space, you can store all your media on it. But in care you have much more, then this is not the suggested approach. Instead configure your AppleTV to stream all kinds of media from your computer rather than storing it.

On Apple TV, go to Settings—> Computers, select “Add shared iTunes library’, proceed as per instructions.

Once you have done this, you shall be able to see all you media [movies & music] listing in Apple TV. 1002201005210022010054

Your are now ready to play all you mp4  & mp3 on your computer on your LCD, without copying your media on a CD or USB drive.

Books I read…

Earth needs an Avatar to save her…

Varaha, or the Boar Incarnation of Vishnu.
Mahdya Pradesh, 9th-10th century.

Avatar is a Sanskrit work, which literally means incarnation. Avatar is a very common referenced term in Hinduism, and almost every God has an avatar. For example, Siva has twenty-eight avatars, Vishnu has 10, also referred as Dasavatara (Das = 10), Ganesha has 8, and so on. Rama & Krishna are the two well-known avatars of Vishnu in human form. Both these avatars were to get rid of evil from earth.

Anyway, I m not going to talk about Hinduism, but rather about the latest James Cameron’s movie – Avatar. It is one of the highest grocers of all time (crossing $ 1 Billion mark). The film is set in the year 2154 on Pandora, a moon in the Alpha Centauri star system. Humans are exploiting the natural resources of Pandora, and in doing so threaten the existence of the local race Na’vi and its ecosystem.

One important thing shown in the movie is the literal connection between everything that exists there; the neural network between na’vi, animals, & ‘Tree of Souls’, plugging their ponytails into the creatures’ nerve systems or binding with tree’s branches. Humans are shown in their true color in the movie, what we really do is destroy, not realizing that on Earth everything is connected – trees, animals, weather, food. Everything…

We need a new avatar on earth to save her from the evil clutches of humans. Probably humans should be re-engineered so that they become more sensible and learn how to coexist with others.

Truly Communist!

I was a kid, but I still remember the news flashes of Tiananmen Square massacre on 4th June, 1989. The protests were mainly led by students and intellectuals demanding political liberalization, free market reforms, right to freedom of speech & access to information. In all, the protest was a demanded for democracy.

More than two decades have passed since then, but there is no change in the Chinese way of shielding & hiding information from rest of the world. Last year in June, the Chinese authorities blocked internet access to Twitter, Flickr, Bing, Live.com, and many other social networking sites. Google’s China search engine & map show filtered content. In a recent event, many hackers from China tried to hack Google server. The hack was not just limited to MNCs, but also targeted towards nations. According to recent news, number of Chinese hackers tried to hack India’s PM’s Office servers. As expected, all such incidents were denied by Chinese government.

What is it that China fear so much that it does not allow free press, freedom of expressions, right to share and access information?

Another interesting thing I read today was that Chinese authorities have pulled the Avatar (2D) from some of its cinemas over fears that it could cause political unrest. The plot of human colonists attempting to demolish an alien village for its resources comes close to China, where millions of people were evicted from their homes to make room for high rises and government infrastructure projects. Reason of not pulling Avatar (3D) is that there are not many 3D theaters in China, and hence no threat.

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