Saturday, June 27, 2009

Exam stress

Apologies for not being in touch with the blog. I've got exams from Monday, and after that, I'll be more regular.

It was our last day (not including exams) yesterday in the university, the same day Farah Fawcett and MJ passed away sadly. RIP to them both.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Google's getting Binged quite quickly!

Just saw this on TechCrunch's article: Bing's share is nearing 12%, courtesy of comScore's stats.

I swear, this is getting quite interesting, after Microsoft taking out a makeshift patch for the prevention of explicit content from being automatically played over a hover.

I have to say, Bing ain't all that bad, y'know!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Your next birthday present: Wikipedia

Image taken from The Sun's article

News reports surfaced sometime early previous week (I couldn't put it up on my blog) that there is now an offline version of Wikipedia.

Really, you ask? Yes, really really! It's a book - with 5000 (yes, 5000) pages!

Some excerpts from the Daily Telegraph article are as follows:

Made by Rob Matthews, the book contains 437 featured articles from the popular internet resource and comes up to his knee when stood on the floor.
"It was difficult to produce, there was a little bit of trial and error when it came to binding, as I'd never tried to produce a book of that scale before". Rob, a graphic design student from Brighton, Sussex, took two weeks to make the book as a statement about how people are now dependent on the internet for information.

Izotope Ozone, anyone?

The average Joe may not have heard of this slick company, but if you're a real music buff, you'll know what these guys do.

In short - they make your sound sound better! You can browse their website and see their product catalog. The one I'm hooked on to is Izotope Ozone (currently running version 4.03 at the time of writing this blog). I use it at home, not with a sound editor, but with Winamp!

I could upload a preset here for Izotope Ozone, but not sure if that's acceptable. The software doesn't come cheap (around $250 or so), and you may find other plugins in the market that do a similar job (or better) but this is a 6-in-one plugin module. Beat that!

Oh - if you're not into multiband compressors, don't fret - I'll put up a small blog post sooner or later explaining the use of multiband compressors. You may want to check up Wikipedia and other websites. A quick summary would be: they make your sound clear and loud. They can be used to distort or enhance certain frequencies too - practically every radio and television station uses these (hence, the music on these channels sound better than they tend to do on your PC).

While I don't condone piracy, you can get a torrent from different sites for the key-gen (you can download the EXE file from Izotope's website, for free, but it'll run in trial mode till you key in your license)

Work load - almost ended

Today was a horrible day. So horrible that we had our presentations, and our entire project is wrong. First of all, our teacher refused to accept our project writeup because we forgot to insert one letter in his name - he says he's so particular about his name that he just cannot get ANYONE's name right in our class. A toast to hypocricy... but anyway, after fixing it, he decided to take it in.

Then came our presentation, and in the start, he asks us to show some of our excel figures. Guess what? Because one figure is wrong, the rest of the project is wrong. Yeah, WRONG!

Bad, BAD day today. We've been working our butt off (my group) for the last so-many days, and when this happens, I think we all need a major heat sink... the same ones used in the PCs.

And that's why I've been away right now. I've fired up Winamp and am now listening to Sophie Ellis-Bextor's "Mixed Up World". Coincidence, yes, cause I used a playlist generator.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Now I'd really like an impartial response here: what blogging platform would you prefer - Blogger or OnSugar?
And when you do poll, please state why in the comments. :)
Update: one advantage of OnSugar is that I get a nice name. On Blogspot, I have to use - which sorta loses it's essence: here, it looks like "caffeine ON sugar" in the URL - which is something I was aiming for got.

PS: the poll is on the sidebar of this blog. Please vote ASAP.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fedora > Fed up

I decided to download the 700MB .iso package and put it on a CD.

First of all, I made a major blunder by writing the ISO file as it is onto the CD - and well - it didn't work (I've never written ISO files before, and Windows doesn't do it natively).

After getting that done, I decided to give it a spin on my system. The desktop is all nice and blue, but I couldn't really use it.

For starters, it took me a while to figure out the network settings. Windows has this pre-configured. Not sure about Ubuntu - I'll try it out someday.

I couldn't find the application manager (or I didn't look for it hard enough).

The LiveCD for Fedora was actually slower than Ubuntu's LiveCD (strange, but true).

Fedora's file manager/explorer is clunky. Have a look at Ubuntu's, and you'll know what I mean.

I read somewhere you can run Windows programs on Fedora without having to use Wine - since Fedora has some other compiler installed. I tried running an EXE - didn't work. I'm sure I did something wrong, but well - it wasn't in the applications menu.

So back to Windows for me. I lost patience that I couldn't do anything efficiently on it - heck, I wanted to see how fast OpenOffice was, but couldn't.

The best part doesn't stop there - when I wanted to quit (shut it down), it got stuck at the blue splash screen. Brilliant, eh? I had to force-reset my PC to get back to Windows (instead of letting it restart automatically).


Well - not the smell (though it is getting hot lately), but the amount of work I have to keep up with handed by our lovely university. Right now, I'm trying to finish the grammatical errors of a group member who has "finalized" a project. Not that I mind it (since I hadn't done much work myself) but when you have a backlog of tons of things (and when you're trying to make an attempt to be regular at your blog, things don't sum up that well).

Work stinks. The university stinks. So do my teachers - and the guy who travels next to me in the van (he smells!)

Need a way to beat the heat? First of all, travel in an air conditioned vehicle. Next, look everywhere but your university (or office, if you're employed). Thirdly, settle down for watermelons (no, I'm not hinting at anything...) - they're a good fruit for the summers.

Or go have some ice. Does the same thing, but for free!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Google owns approx. 72% of the internet video streaming market

Image says it all!
Image taken from TechCrunch's article (read more on TechCrunch)

Pakistan's Outsourcing Light Shines!

Ok - don't expect me to give you an in-depth analysis of what this means (I could, but I think I have better things right now, and I'd like you to come up to your own conclusions). A BusinessWeek article says:

Pakistan has become the 20th most attractive outsourcing destination,  according to consulting management firm A.T. Kearney. Even as concerns increase about Pakistan’s stability and the growing displaced population due to ongoing military operations with the Taliban, the country made a significant jump on A.T. Kearney’s 2009 Global Services Location Index released May 18. Pakistan went from #30 in 2007 to #20 in 2009.

I know we're number 20 - but hey - what else can you expect? If you're in a top ten list, I don't think we'd ace anything... well - okay, maybe a few things. But this is good stuff. India's losing it's edge slowly (due to increasing costs, and the fact that not all outsourced agents can sound foreign... more to come on that later) and other countries are crowding in. I recall doing a project on South Africa, and I came across somewhere that Shell had a call center there!

... and Bing(o) was his name-o

Microsoft decided to bring into the market a search engine called Bing. I'm not too bothered about the epistemology of the name, but hey - it's catchy!

Anyhoo, Googling Google reports that Bing has overtaken Yahoo (in terms of the market share) and is now "stealing share from Google".

But hey - there are reasons for this. First (and foremost), it's getting quite a bit of fanfare. No surprise.

Secondly - they've hijaced IE6's search bar! By accident or otherwise, Microsoft is saying that they're looking at it, but is it really something that was done intentionally in order to grab a lot of market share, or...? It's anyone's guess.

Now for the extra junk: if you go to, you'll see that there's a background image that changes, and if the mouse hovers over certain portions of the picture, small snippets appear. That is neat, especially for a search engine.

What's not so cool is that videos get played automatically if you hover the mouse on them. And yes, that works for porn too. I don't condone pornography, but well... a major booboo on Microsoft's part. They say that there's a small workaround to that - but it's not permanent.

Let's see if Google gets Bing Bong'd on it's door... BetaNews is doing a story on Google vs. Bing here, here, here and here. There could be more comparisons around the internet - feel free to search.

PS: I'm horrible when it comes to online formatting - if the logos are disjointed, it's because I've decided to blog regularly - for the first time :P

UPDATE: WXPNews will be carrying out a Bing and Google Comparison

Lost in translation...

... though I've never seen the movie (or if I have, then I can't remember... tough luck!), this was an interesting find from the Telegraph

(image copied-pasted from the Telegraph's site. If it doesn't open, then the link may be outdated; visit the hyperlink above to try viewing the photo on the Telegraph's site)

     Sign Language
All copyright belongs to the owners of the website/image:
Website: Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2009
Image: Bob Oaks/Signspotting
PS: I'm new to this copyright thing. If I'm violating any copyrights (I hope I haven't, since I've given due credit), then let me know.

T20 in Pakistan

Well - in case you haven't figured out by now, I am writing from Pakistan. I won't reveal my name (the name you see in "posted by" is just an alias), and don't bother asking me to.

That said, let me come to the subject.

The other day, I was in my university, and one of my friends was like "oh I saw the T20 match between Pakistan and last night" and the usual raving followed. Turns out that Cinepax (in Rawalpindi... sorry guys if you live elsewhere) shows the matches in which Pakistan is playing!

Ooh - and it doesn't end there - they'll show the semi-finals and the finals too. Best parts: huge screen, and live (yes, live). I don't think it can get any better, unless you're living in fantasy land!

There's some more on ProPakistani's article, and this apparently isn't the first time it's being done!

Djuice and Cinepax have been doing a great job and putting tremendous effort to bring the best possible entertainment for the public. Recently, they held Djuice Machine Mela and screened final match of UEFA Champions League live for the public which brought in huge audience... Now once again, Telenor has partnered with Cinepax Pakistan to bring Live Screening of T20 World Cup for all the cricket fanatics out there at it’s Rawalpindi theaters

There you have it! Something new for me... and possibly for you too!


Sorry for that. I've been away from my PC for the last two days. Turns out that I am now an uncle... again.

And I've been pooped with work. Tons and tons of work. And well - this stupid sound is constantly playing in the background. Here's how:

> I installed Windows again (did you know that Windows has a half-life of each installation?)
> Installed Live Messenger (w/o the Flash plugin)
> skip tons of days in between - I don't have an entire timeline built
> my cousin chats with me, sends me a wink (the animated Flash animated things w/ sound)
> the chat window tells me to install Flash.

So I open Explorer (well - that's what the chat window opened, though I use Firefox religiously) and it installed Flash. I had closed the chat window. And now that Flash has been installed, it's making weird kissing sounds.

So what's delayed - MSN or me returning to the computer? :P

EDIT: just saw that it's my Explorer window, and the kissing sound comes with the animation on MSN's page, basically showing a confirmation Flash is installed. Now THAT is silly of me LOL.

More later.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


This post marks the first day of the blog.

So what exactly is Caffeine? Nothing, really. It was a random name that I thought of when my sister was thinking of starting a blog and making some money.

Caffeine, in short, will feature posts about different things - mostly things that are either weird, interesting, or just plain amusing.

Your next question will be "why". Why? Good question! The reason I'm making this blog is so that I have an avenue of expressing the sad state of affairs around myself - you'll get to know about more things later on. There are so many (exciting...) events that take place around me that it's unfair to leave them undocumented.

But this blog won't be focused only on events - it'll feature tidbits from here and there (anyone seen Lifehacker? I don't intend to take away their traffic - those guys do a splendid job, and I read them daily... what I'm saying is that I'll follow a similar pattern) so the viewers don't get bored (nor do the AdSense guys!)

It's 11.12PM here in Pakistan (we're following DST) and I gotta lock up the house. Till tomorrow, ciao.

EDIT: tomorrow = day time, but today.