itek powered Raspberry Pi runs for over 7 hours

Summary

I tested a model B Raspberry Pi (512 MB) using an itek power bank (5600 mAh), with Internet enabled. It pinged my server every minute, and ran for about 7 hours 22 minutes.

Raspberry Pi & iTek battery pack
Raspberry Pi & itek battery pack

Set Up

  1. Raspberry Pi Model B (512 MB RAM), running latest updated Raspbian Wheezy build (with no additional background services running) on an 8 GB class 4 SD card
  2. itek power bank (5600mAh)
  3. Internet connectivity through Ethernet

I wrote a shell script to call a web based PHP script on my server. I set a cron to run this shell script every minute. What happens is the shell scripts passes the client side timestamp, and server writes it, along with sever side timestamp to a file.
The source code of both scripts is provided below.

#!/bin/bash

rawurlencode() {
local string="${1}"
local strlen=${#string}
local encoded=""
for (( pos=0 ; pos<strlen ; pos++ )); do
    c=${string:$pos:1}
    case "$c" in
        [-_.~a-zA-Z0-9] ) o="${c}" ;; * )  printf -v o '%%%02x' "'$c"
    esac
    encoded+="${o}"
    done
    echo "${encoded}"
}

CLIENT_TIME=`date +"%c"`
URL=http://example.com/ServerSideLoggerPHPScript.php?t=$(rawurlencode "$CLIENT_TIME")

/usr/bin/wget -qO- $URL &> /dev/null

Conclusion

  • The script started at 4:45:12 AM client time and ended at 12:07:01 PM client time. That’s almost 7 hours 22 minutes
  • The reason to attach the device to Internet was because I don’t see the point of testing a bare naked Raspbery Pi. Most real life applications would require network connectivity
  • That brings me to another realization: I should have used my WiFi adapter instead of Ethernet to test real world situation. I plan to do this soon.
  • I was fortunate not to lose Internet connectivity, but I should have logged the timestamp locally as well
  • 7 hours is all hunky dory but itek is a fairly heavy device, and takes eon to recharge. I don’t see it a very likely companion to my Raspberry, if I intend to shoot them in air sometime.

As mentioned, I’ll test the setup again with a WiFi adapter, and update the results.

How my Kindle cover saved my Kindle, OR How I got robbed of my DSLR and laptop

"Scene of Crime" by http://www.flickr.com/photos/zizzy/4582604955/
"Scene of Crime" by http://www.flickr.com/photos/zizzy/4582604955/

‘Robbed’ not in the strictest sense, but yes there was theft at my house yesterday. The lovely dudes took away my Nikon D90 along with the 18-105 lens, and Dell XPS (my lovely old wife). Yes, I’d recently ditched my wife for a super hot Macbook Air, but she still was a companion. Polygamy is amazing!

The Prologue

I come home from office, all hungry and tired, and find the iron gate without a lock. The first thought that hits me is that maybe my cook’s inside and has forgotten to lock the door. Sigh! If only it was true.
I enter the hall, switch on the lights and find the wash basin broken in pieces and lying on the floor. A whole lot of stuff lying on my study table. Thankfully, my bookshelf seems untouched. My bike is still there. I feel hopeful. I walk with a heavy heart, but high hopes, to Bedroom #2. The camera bag is lying on floor. I pick it up and it feels lighter than ever. I’ve always wanted it to weigh a little lighter while traveling, and my wish is granted. My Nikon is gone.
Then I remember my roommate’s camera pouch, which by the way looks like a camera bag unlike my camera-cum-laptop-cum-lenses backpack, and lies next to it. It’s still there. I lift it. It’s still heavy. Some joy. Some confusion.

Everything else seems to be in its original place, including the camera’s battery charger, and our newly washed and ironed clothes. I remember I’ve a Dell in the other bedroom. I don’t want to know, but I must. Alas and damn the human inquisitiveness.
Her cooling pad is in place. Her power cord is in place. But she isn’t. She’s left me.
Was it me cheating on her with an Air? No no, it can’t be. She still loved me. She loved my polygamy.

Bittu, in the golden days :(
Bittu, in the golden days πŸ™

O’ 3rd generation kindle-cover-with-light, Thank you!

I notice my new and shiny, but slightly twisted kindle cover lying between the cooling pad and the new and shiny “Depths of the Ocean -Sushmit Sen” music CD (which by the way is as amazing as hyped). My heart sinks little more. I pick it up. It’s still heavy. It doesn’t make sense. I open the cover and there’s “Jules Verne” looking as thoughtful as ever (To non-Kindle users, Kindles have standby wallpapers). But he seems a little sad today.
On further investigation, we later realize that they did indeed try to snatch the device out of the cover, and twisted it in the process, but failed. And so they left it. Apparently, they like to travel light. Why else would they leave the laptop’s power cord, or my awesome camera backpack (which also had my small HD video camera in one of the lens pouches, along with my portable HD and some Macbook Air accessories).

Kindle and its cover, twisted but safe
Kindle and its cover, twisted but safe

Oh the plunder! Oh the horror!

At some point -I know not when, and for some reason -I know not what, I realize that if they’ve broken the wash basin in the hall, it is possible that they have made violent love to my other wash basin. Akin to characters who are about to die in horror movies, I open the door of my bathroom adjacent to bedroom #1. These characters in the movies know that what they discover besides the door might get them killed, but they still open the door. And so do I. Alas and damn the human inquisitiveness.

Lo and behold! There’s huge dirty stone lying on the floor along with the the pieces of my lovely wash basin. The basin which I’d cleaned and polished and shined just a couple of days ago. Lying on the floor, like a tired prostitute. (Not that I’d know what a tired prostitute looks like.)

Sadly this isn’t the end of the terror story. As my gaze rises from the floor and falls upon the walls, my emotions run an all time high. If I weren’t shocked with what I saw, I would have surely been proud of my emotions which run so fast and so high like a tide.
They have taken away all the water taps and shower knobs and flush pipes and shower thingy and the cloth hanging rod thingy.
And they haven’t unscrewed them. No sir!. Rather used stones to break them from the walls -an act which as we would later discover, may cost us around 20K. In the end, I do wish they’d unscrewed the components rather than screwing us like that.
I move to the other bathroom. It’s confirmed, they’ve screwed us here as well. Oh yes, how can I forget the kitchen!
Getting screwed at so many different locations in such a short span of time has left me tired. I want to sit down now.

Stone that they used to break it all in the bathroom
Stone, which they used to break it all, lying in the bathroom

12 Angry Men (or may be just 5), and their analysis

So I call my roommate Abhijit, and my friend Dabbu in the meantime. Dabbu also gets his elder brother and roommate with him.
It is important to note that both of these men have had theft at their previous houses. Both have lost their laptops. Yeah, same pinch. I know!

All the five do what any reasonable person who’s had a theft at his place does. Socialize with neighbors and police, analyze, and bitch about it.
No, none of this matters and it seldom makes any difference. But you must. It’s a social custom. Ask Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

We talk to neighbors, call police, analyze and discuss and analyze again. The modus operandi is investigated and debated. Police guy, who is a rather soft spoken guy for a change, notes down details in his diary, sympathizes with us, and leaves.

Here’s how our final analysis looks like:
* It could have be my roommate. After all none of his stuff was stolen
* While we are at it, it may have been Dabbu. Apart from the fact that he loved my camera, he’s studied in a KV (Kendriya Vidyala), the same school where my younger brother went. And we all know how talented KV products are

Abhijit, Dabbu, and the wash basin that was
Abhijit, Dabbu, and the wash basin that was

Reconciliation

The entire post may present a jovial outlook. Part of it is forced, but mostly natural. I owe the jolly response for materialistic loss to a certain event in my life.

Years ago when I was in B.Tech, one fine evening my hard drive crashed. It wasn’t out of the blue. Remember the text mode Linux installations? Yes yes, fdisk and stuff. Yeah! So the hard drive crashed and I lost everything. All the songs, and the movies, and the songs, and the software, and the songs. It was the end of my life as I knew it. I crashed on my bed too.

As I was brooding on my cot, trying to analyze my options of data recovery, one question constantly and repeatedly came up –Now what?
The question was rather simple, and I didn’t have any answers, but it did have a profound effect on me.

It’s funny how we existentialists look around for answers all our lives, and how a simple question can liberate us.
It’s funny how we brood over our problems, and the acceptance of lack of a solution helps us reconcile.

Yes I loved my Nikon D90. I have been getting better with every picture I clicked. I loved when my friends smiled at the pictures I’d taken of them. I was looking forward to handing over the Dell to my brother, who’s been having problems with his laptop.
But well, it can’t be anymore. If it can’t be, it won’t be. If it won’t be, what am I going to brood over?

As Ghalib said:

Na tha kuchh toh khuda tha, kuchh na hota toh Khuda hota,
Duboya mujhko hone ne, na hota main toh kya hota.

[P.S. All said and done, why did those bastards have to take the taps man. There’s no water at home. Sigh! :'( ]

Update 1: Apparently, these thieves may have been addicts. It’s easier and quicker to sell off bathroom accessories.

Update 2: I finally managed to get an FIR filed. One the 11th day, mind you. Yeah, I know. We might be better off without a police department.

Download PHP tidy extension for Mac OS X

Update: You can download the file I’ve hosted and it may work for you, but I’ve come to realize that it’s better to compile the package hosted here http://php-osx.liip.ch/

You will need to download and install Command Line Tools for OS X, and then setup proper symlinks after compiling PHP. Be assured that you will have almost all the php extensions, you will possibly need.
—-

Yeah, I bought a Macbook Air πŸ™‚

I cannot deny that it’s an awesome device and all that, but I’m still getting used to a new OS. The major work’s rediscovering the right tools and, of course, learning OS X’s keyboard shortcuts. Thankfully, it seems like a nice OS and all the work seems worth it.

 

Friggin' spinning wheel
by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mind-hacker/2726423319/lightbox/

That said, I now have a technology startup and cannot afford to just keep on ‘learning’. And that’s why small problems become big issues. All I needed was PHP-tidy to get on with life. Little did I know that it’d take up half of my day. So I’m putting it up here for people to download.

As most people, I got MAMP to avoid unnecessary complications and get on with “the code that matters to me”. MAMP is pre-packaged Apache-MySQL-PHP stack for Mac. My beef with the project is that they seem to be focusing on things that don’t really matter a lot to the target audience, like shiny-gui interface to configure document root, specify ports etc.. However, they seem to ignore few major bugs which seem to date around 2009.

  1. They do not package tidy extension, even though there have been requests in the forum.
  2. Their “pear.conf” configuration file’s broken, due to which neither pear nor pecl binary works, so tidy installation using pecl didn’t work either. The fix is a simple edit to the php_dir param though.
  3. Sadly, pecl still fails due to some issue with phpize.
  4. One solution is to compile PHP with tidy. However, there apparently is (or was) some bug with tidy, so I decided to avoid it and look around a little more.
  5. Then, I found this post that recommends using pre-compiled php-tidy binary that comes bundled along with Zend Studio IDE. I decided to check it out, and thankfully, it worked.

Sigh! Such a crazy way to solve a simple problem.

Anyways, since tidy is an open source project, I figured it may not be illegal to put the binary up for download. (Zend Studio is NOT free.)

You may download php tidy for OS X (tested on Lion)Β  from my public Dropbox folder.

Life, so far…

Apparently the last time I wrote something here was on Jan’26th Mar’ 23rd, 2009 -almost 3 years ago. Obviously a lot’s happened and much has changed in life -or may be nothing’s changed. I recall lines from a Gulzar saab’s poem:

Pal bhar mein sab kuchh badal gaya,
Aur kuchh bhi nahi badla.
Jo badla tha, woh toh guzar gaya

Life
by Jen Son https://secure.flickr.com/photos/jenson-lee/4401334015/

In any case, here’s a few of my experiments I can remember:

  • Left Satyam to join Directi and moved to BombayΒ  from Bangalore
  • Satyam went nearly broke and bankrupt, thanks to Mr. Raju, and the overly emotional and messed up capitalist system
  • Worked on the despicable, and yet vital, online advertisement and traffic monetization business
  • Learned about the awesome algorithms that go behind powering a beautiful, but annoying, parked page
  • Learned the art of writing Firefox addons and wrote a couple interesting ones (none open source, sorry)
  • Joined null security group’s core team and played the role of Mumbai chapter’s moderator
  • Did something I wanted to do for a long time -an experiment of living alone (for an year). Had the painful realization that human touch is an underrated indulgence.
  • Met a lot of crazy (and) talented people, and made some friends
  • Won an Olympus E450 in a photography contest (Yay!). Sold both cameras and bought a Nikon D90
  • Became the proud owner of a 3rd generation Amazon Kindle B-)
  • Became an entrepreneur… eh, no, not entrepreneur. Rather a startup-businessman. Yeah, better!
  • Moved (back) to Bhubaneswar to work full time on the product
  • Volunteered for SPICMCAY’s 26th National Convention and worked on the first ever LIVE streaming of performances
  • Launched two products, including EntranceForms.com
  • Working on a third product -sort of derivative and related, but the one that’s got me pretty excited

Like any startup guy would tell you, every dawn starts with a bunch of promises and hopes, and you’d be super lucky if even one of them materializes by sundown. For now, allΒ  can say is life’s frustrating, irritating, brutal, lonely, rewarding, and fun -in short, fulfilling.

Oh by the way, I’m going to conduct another interesting experiment with a fellow nerdA Road Trip πŸ™‚

ICICI Bank’s stupid “feature” introduces privacy concerns

A couple of days back, I received an sms from ICICI bank informing me that I can view my credit card statement without logging into my account. As you may expect, it blew me away. It still beats me why someone would like to access her/his credit card statement without any password.

No Privacy

No Privacy :'(

To be fair to ICICI, this doesn’t mean that one can simply access the information using the credit card number. It does put three fields forward.

Field 1- Card Number: The problem here is that most of the swipe machines that you come across, at least in India, will print your complete card number on the receipts. One copy is left with merchant where you shop. Moreover, in all probability, you keep you credit card in your purse which is easily accessible to your parents, wi[fe|ves], girl|boy-friend[s], and even friends. Hell, the waiter could jot it down. So let’s face it, it’s not really a secret anymore in the current scenario.

Field 2- Date Of Birth: Doh!

Field 3- Card valid from: Now this one might sound a bit tricky, considering that only the expiry date of your credit card is specified on the receipts. However, please note that:
(1) this date can be noticed by a cursory glance on the card,
(2) the from and end months alomst always are the same, i.e., if your card expiry is 05/2015, the start month, in all it’s probabilty will be 05 (May). Just try a few combinations, and bang.

…and if all this sounds too complex and useless, consider that all of the above information is easily accessible to your family members and close friends. I am not sure about you, but I prefer a certain degree of privacy.

…and if the cynic in you is still not convinced, consider this –the total effort of keystrokes and clicks combing your card number+date of birth (via a date picker)+card valid from will most probably exceed the keystrokes for ICICI userid+password. Unless of course, you are paranoid who writes a poem in 1337 for the password. πŸ˜‰

So although there could be a debate on the level of privacy concern that it raises, there can’t be any debate on the sheer stupidity of this feature. Uh!

[OT] The Rant of a “Republic” Indian Hacker

For me, the very foundations of Hacker-dom is based on three very fundamental steps:
1. Grasp the fundamentals
2. Question everything
3. Question everything, without being a fanatic

As ironical (or rather illuminating, depending on the way you see) it may sound; as I start my very first step to understand the fundamentals of Indian constitution on the 59th Republic Day, I also start to learn to question it. It’s disturbing to learn that the borderline difference between pretending to be a democratic nation, and actually being one, has already depleted. What pains me more is that we “celebrate” the Republic day in the form of a “holiday”, without actually caring about being sovereign and republic.

I am starting to get fed up of getting used to all the abnormalities in the normal flow of life.

[How To] Implementing Shindig.

I should have written an article/tutorial on how to implement/use Shindig to convert your SNS into and OpenSocial compliant SNS. Time, however, has prevented me from doing it so far. May be sometime later.

For now, you can have a look at my presentation on the same topic. I had presented it at Barcamp Bangalore 7, and PHPCamp Pune. It was recommended by Dan Peterson, Google, on the Shindig developer’s mailing list. πŸ™‚

For those who don’t have an idea what I am talking about; I have been (officially) working on OpenSocial for quite sometime. OpenSocial is a specification developed by giants like Google, MySpace, Ning, etc. to provide a common platform (API) for social app developers. Shindig, an Apache incubator project, is what can help your site become OpenSocial compliant.

By the way, I am referring to the Six degrees of Separation in the initial slides. πŸ™‚

OWASP AppSec Conf Delhi – Day 2; and more

The pictures of Day 2 are here.

The second day consisted of 6 workshops – 3 before lunch and 3 after. I was confused on choosing between Sheeraj Shah and Mano Paul’s workshops during the first half; and Jason Li’s talk on “Web 2.0Β  Security” and “Secure Code Review” workshop (originally by Dinis Cruz, but conducted by Gaurav Kumar of Microsoft) on the second half.

Threat Modelling - Mano Paul

Mano Paul

Choosing Mano Paul’s Workshop on Threat Modelling was relatively easier because I am trying to push in Threat Modeling in my company. However, the disappointment of missing Sheeraj’s talk was no less. Although, I must confess Mano Paul is one heck of a presenter. I guess experience always count.

Code Review - Gaurav Kumar

Gaurav Kumar

The decision for the second half was pretty tough. I had finally chosen Secure Code Review talk over Jason Li’s talk, because I’ve a personal interest in Code Review; added by the fact that the workshop was to be conducted by Dinis Cruz. Since we had to pre-select the talks, there was no scope to change it later. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed initially. However, I must also mention that I don’t regret attending it. It was conducted by Gaurav Kumar, Ace Team, Microsoft. The best part about him, apart from the fact that he knows his stuff, is that he took all the M$ jokes sportingly :).

Bipin with Walter and Jordan

Bipin with Walter and Jordan

I also got to meet Jordan Forssman (Armorize) and Walter Tsai (CTO, Armorize), although I regret not being able to spend enough time and talk some Geeky stuff. Oh and yes, Walter gifted me and Amit the 31337 Armorize T-Shirts :D. I also got to meet a couple of more like minded people, though very briefly. I couldn’t share cards with all of them. Today Lava (whom I met during Gaurav’s workshop), contacted me today via this blog. Feel greats to be in touch with fellow geeks and to be able to share the geekiness. πŸ˜‰ I’d like to be in touch with others too. Please feel free to buzz me.

I must admit, the hangover remained for quite a few days. It had motivated us to evaluate the possibility of another OWASP conf at Banglore. We’ll be discussing it at the next meet. For now, I have another interesting announcement to make. OWASP Banglore Chapter is starting Open Workshops for developers, students, and anyone interested to learn about Web Security. The first one is on Sept. 7th, at Microland, Bellandur. If you are interested kindly drop me a mail; or even better, joing the OWASP Bangalore mailing list and put up your details.

OWASP AppSec Conf Delhi – Day 1

Special Note: I don’t have my Canon EOS 350D with me nowadays, so I had to borrow my roomates Canon Powershot. πŸ™ The quality sucks, but still, the pictures are here.

I’ll be honest, going by the conf prices and some of the talk titles; I was expecting OWASP AppSec Delhi to be targeted mainly for managers. Moreover, I didn’t really have enough hopes for the first day talks, at least. It felt even worse when I realized that Dinis Cruz hasn’t been able to make it. I was looking forward to his workshop in App Sec Code Review. But boy, what a day! πŸ™‚

The registration was scheduled to begin at 8:15 AM and I reached at 7:45. As if that was not enough, the registration was delayed by another 40-45 minutes. I like to be punctual, but end up playing the endless wait-game more than often.Β  However, on the bright side I got to interact with a couple of great guys, like Amit Parekh (MPS). Quite surprisingly, I also came across Manjula (Aujas Networks). I say surprisingly because when we had discussed about the conference at a previous OWASP Bangalore chapter meet, she had no plans to visit. I am glad she decided at the last moment. πŸ™‚

Before I mention about the talks, I feel obligated to thank Nitin of OWASP Delhi chapter for letting me attend the conference even though my company has failed to pay the conference fees at the moment due to some strange procedural issues.

Bipin & Amit

Bipin & Amit

The day began with the keynote speeches by Dhruv Soni and Puneet Mehta (OWASP Delhi Chapter), Murli Krishna(HP), Dr. Kamlesh Bajaj (DSCI), Jason Li(OWASP), and Mano Paul(ISC^2). The welcome notes by Dhruv and Puneet were followed by Dr. Bajaj and Murli Krishna’s keynotes. I couldn’t help but wish I could get seniors from the network management unit of my firm. I would love to believe that they would have had a heart change with respect to application security after the keynote πŸ˜‰ . Jason spoke on behalf of Dinis and introduced the newbies to OWASP and a couple of its projects. In case you are unaware (like me), there has been an interesting addition to the OWASP projects called ESAPI. It looks good at first glance. Hopefully, I’ll be having a closer look pretty soon. Finally, Mano Paul provided some interesting metaphors to the security scenario, and also introduced the youngest hacker in the crowd, his two year old son. It’ll surely be fun to attend his workshop on Advanced Thread Modelling.

Following the Keynote speeches, Jason Li introduced the crowd to his AntiSamy project. I especially liked the way he’d organized his talk to compare several XSS mitigation techniques and then prove why AntiSamy’s (or HTMLPurifier’s) approach is better πŸ˜‰ . His talk was followed by Rajesh Nayak’s (HP) talk titled Web App Security: Too costly to ignore. Although, it was more of a sales pitch, it did have some valid points; and we did manage to have our share of fun. When a certain demo of his failed a couple of times and he had to restart his system, I couldn’t control my tendency to pass on loud remarks and asked whether it was an HP laptop πŸ˜› .

Bipin & Amit

Manjula, Sheeraj, & Amit

The much awaited Sheeraj Shah’s talk on Web 2.0 Security came after the lunch. As expected of him, the talk was pretty technical and wasn’t really for the noobs. He also talked about his home-brewed scripts to analyze Web 2.0 enabled/hyped portals. Later, Roshan Chandran of Paladion presented a very interesting case study on Testing 200+ applications in a $10 Billion Enterprise. This talk provoked a lot of techies in the crowd who were silent till now. Finally, Nischal Bhalla delivered a talk on Building Enterprise AppSec Program. This is something I’ve been trying to do at my workplace (with the help of my Bosses) and I guess I’ll be mailing Nischal for the presentation.

To summarize, none of the talks were any ground breaking research that we were not aware of, but the difference always comes in with experience; and that’s what made it an amazing day. It was great to look at things from the perception of these uber hackers. I am eagerly looking forward for tomorrows workshop’s – Advanced Threat Modelling by Mano Paul, and App Sec Code Review by Gaurav Kumar (which was originally scheduled by Dinis Cruz.

Oh and yes! The food was pretty good too. πŸ™‚

No more lectures now…

Randy Pausch, fondly known as the Last Lecture Guy, is no more.

If you have not heard of him, I suggest you watch his “last lecture”. A summary of the lecture and Randy Pausch’s life can be read here.

p.s.:
@Johnny: Thanks for updating me.
@Slashdot-ters: Thanks for not making stupid and mean remarks this time.
@Randy Pausch: Rest In Peace dude.

SecurCamp and back.

I spent the first half of the day at SecurCamp -1 (or Security Barcamp). It always great to get together with the community and today was no different. It came a sweet surprise to me that I have quite a few acquaintances in the community. The best part of the whole day, however, was getting together with Lucky after a loooong time. It’s pretty strange that even after being in the same city, we haven’t been able to meet as often as we could have. So I decided to use the opportunity properly. In fact, I am now at his house, using his 1 mbs line while he’s away for his dance class (and hoping he doesn’t keep a sniffer on).

By flickr.com/photos/fortphoto/2563803794/

I presented on “A conceptual Phishing/Fraud IDS”, something I had worked in Jan/Feb, but have been sleeping on in for all this while. Thanks to Johnny’s pestering, I think I’ll write a small paper on it and distribute for review. I just hope the increased official workload is minimized by the new members joining the team. πŸ™‚

We also used the opportunity to announce the OWASP Bangalore chapter revival. I have personally been working on identifying ways to ensure OWASP’s reach to the colleges, and have prepared a list of colleges in Bangalore. Let’s hope that we make it quick on that front too. Just to re-announce, if you are a student in/around Bangalore, drop me a note and we’ll put your college on top-priority. πŸ™‚

I also had a very strange realization today. I have been a member of several communities (security and otherwise) and differences creep-in at some point. However, they are pretty quick (and a little more obvious) in the security communities. Be it mailing lists, blogs or even physical meets, people respond (and then re-respond) pretty loudly. πŸ™‚ Is it because security is pretty demanding field where there isn’t much scope for a mistake, or is it because we all in the field carry a “I CAN’T be wrong” badge, or is it some other reason?

Time to move now. Hancock at 9:45PM πŸ˜›

[OT] Sad demise of Guru Ammannur Madhava Chakyar

This post is not technical. However, being a SPICMACAYite and an Indian, I felt compelled to let my readers know about the sad news; especially when the news channels are not finding any slot for this legend.

Koodiyattam exponent Ammannur Madhava Chakyar, recipient of the Padma Shri as well as the Padma Bhushan honours by the Govrnment of India. He was not only responsible for bringing the art form Kutiyattam (or Koodiyattam) out of temples, but also with reviving it.

Ammannur Madhava ChakyarThe following news article from The Hindu provides other details.

Koodiyattom expert Ammannur Madhava Chakyar died at his residence, Ammannur Chakyar Madom, at Irinjalakuda, near here, on Tuesday. He was 92.
The end came around 9.30 p.m.
The history of modern Koodiyattom is inexorably entwined with Madhava Chakyar’s life and art.
He did not want Koodiyattam to be restricted to the temple arena. His major contribution to the art was to take it beyond traditional confines.
Ammannur’s debut performance was at the age of 11 at the Thirumandhamkunnu temple, Angadipuram. He played the role of Sutradhara in the play β€˜Balacharita.’ His first-ever Prabandha Koothuwas held at Trikkovil temple at Chendamangalam.
He trained under the princes of the royal family of erstwhile Kodungallur. He played his first major role, Sreerama in β€˜Soorpanakankam’ at the Koodalmanikya temple in Irinjalakuda. He was a recipient of Padma Bhushan, Kalidasa Samman, Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi Award and Kendra Sangeet Nataka Akademi Award. He is survived by his wife Parukutty Nangiaramma.

May his soul rest in peace.

Reviving OWASP Bangalore Chapter

Update – Jan’ 13th, 2014: I’m excited to let you know that Bangalore OWASP chapter has been up and running, and growing for the last three years now. I no longer live in Bangalore, but the chapter and its people remain a source of knowledge exchange (read, nerd-talk). For more information, check out the OWASP Bangalore homepage.
If need be, you may contact the chapter leads Akash Mahajan (akash [DOT] mahajan {AT} owasp [DOT] org), and KV Prashant (kvprashant {AT} owasp [DOT] org.)

—–

The OWASP Bangalore Chapter met after almost an year today, and I was priviledged to be a part of it. As happens often with technical groups, including LUGs (Linux User Groups), they tend to loose participation and go to indefinite hibernation mode. OWASP-Bangalore’s fate was no different.

Meeting room stencil graffiti by -- flickr.com/photos/clagnut/252185030/

Anyhoo! The important point is that we finally met today. There were around 12 peole who turned up, and boy, It’s always an honour to meet enthusiastic people from the Security community. Minutes of the meeting will be posted by Hari, Chapter coordinator, pretty soon on the OWASP-Bangalore mailing list. To cut things short, we discussed and decided on a couple of points to revive the Bangalore Chapter. I’ll personally be looking forward to spreading the information to younger audience. So, just in case you are a part of some College around Bangalore, feel free to drop me a note. We’d love to visit your campus and deliver talks, free of charge. πŸ™‚
As for the regular meetings, we’ve decided to meet every fourth Wednesday of the month. Venues will of course, keep changing.

p.s. I love the song “Jaane Kya Baat Hai” from the movie Sunny. But somehow, I am not able to get the other song,”Aur Kya Ahde Wafaa Hote Hain”, out of my mind since morning. Not that I am complaining πŸ˜‰

Aur Kya Ahede Wafa…

SecurityCamp is here, where are you?

Update: OWASP Bangalore Chapter is meeting on 29th June, i.e. Sunday, morning at 9:00 AM at Indian Coffee House. M.G. Road, Bangalore. Join us, if you can.

I feel extremely glad to announce that Security Camp, the first security Barcamp in Bangalore (as far as as I know) is on12th of July. It’s being hosted by RSA.

by flickr.com/photos/place_light/15355970/

Being a FOSS and NGO enthusiast, I am big fan of communities and highly respect the power they can unleash towards the motive. I have always felt that the Security community in India could be a little more organized and visible. Unfortunately, all I have seen till now is a couple of mailing lists (which are really good btw), some hacker gamers (who game all night long πŸ™‚ ), and a couple of small conferences (like Club Hack, OWASP’s Mumbai meet). Although these deserve respect in their own right, but there’s always scope for a lot more, especially the visibility factor. Now, this BarCamp isn’t going change everything overnight (in fact the number of registrations are pretty low), but I am happy to see yet another one popping up. Luckily, Harinath, the chapter lead of OWASP-Bangalore, has called for revival of the chapter. I am hoping that we meet at Security Camp and come up with a survival plan πŸ™‚

But again, firstly I wish I can make it to the Security Camp. We, at office, are expecting some OpenSocial related work in the first week of July, which probably means no Saturdays and no Sundays 😐 I was also hoping to visit the meet with my Geeky-partner Johnny ;), but he’d be out of town. No complaints though, he’d be talking at GUADEC πŸ™‚ (uh, who came up with that acronym?)

I am sincerely hoping to be able to make it (and may be take my team there too). If I do, I’ll probably talk about a small research I did towards Designing a Phishing/Fraud IDS. Apart from the fact that I tried talking about it during DevCamp (where my lappy didn’t work with the projector and I’d to hold it in my hand πŸ™ ), I’ve been sleeping on it. Mostly because there’s lot to be done to reduce the false-positives, which is anyways the case with all IDSes.