Feedmug – 1.0

Hello!

As the venerable Google Reader’s retirement comes closer, many are devising their succession plans. After Google Reader what next? There are same old alternatives which still don’t foot the bill and couple of new entrants which though promising, have their pitfalls. It was precisely for these reasons that I started working on feedmug.com with an aim to build a slick and simple RSS feed reader which has the best reading experience.

Today, I’m happy to introduce feedmug.com 1.0. It is a result of constant refinement, bug fixes, upgrades and usage over two years. Its minimalist interface makes it nimble and provides for the most distraction less reading experience. It takes away all the bells and whistles of today’s web interfaces, which make them heavier and unusable(ex. Gmail) and presents you with nothing but what you want to read.

feedmug.com offers:

  • Light weight, simple, fast user interface.
  • Supports RSS/RDF/Atom feed formats.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for smooth navigation.
  • Import/export your feeds using standard OPML files.
  • Organise your feeds into groups using labels.
  • Secure login using OpenID via Yahoo & Google email.
  • Thousands of feeds that are updated and served continuously.

Your quest for the better RSS feed reader ends here. I invite you to try feedmug.com, I’m sure it’ll serve you the best. If you face any difficulties using feedmug or have suggestions/comments, please do share them here or write to me and I’ll be most happy to assist you.

Happy reading! 🙂

Funny tcpdump

Hi,

Last week me and Huzaifa were doing some network packet analysis to figure out why connections were aborting sometimes. He was going through the packet dump using Wireshark, while I was trying to observe TCP hand-shake with tcpdump(8). We saw the weirdest thing tcpdump(8) does while displaying TCP flags. For a successful TCP hand-shake, client & server exchange 3 packets in the following order, with the said TCP flags set.

    Client    —-> SYN —->    Server
    Client <—- SYN + ACK <—- Server
    Client    —-> ACK —->    Server

Now, an intuitive way to display these flags would be to show their initials, like: S=SYN, A=ACK, F=FIN, so on and so forth, isn’t it? Wireshark does it nicely. Even tcpdump(8) does the same, except for the ACKnowledgement flag. For an ACKnowledgement flag they show a dot(‘.’) instead, because a dot(‘.’) says it best, isn’t it? Funny part is, they don’t stop there, they have also documented it in the manual:

===
TCP Packets:
    Flags are some combination of S (SYN), F (FIN), P (PUSH), R (RST),
      U (URG), W (ECN CWR), E (ECN-Echo) or `.’ (ACK), or `none’
      if no flags are set.
===

Why would they do such a thing is a deep mystery. I tried to get some insight by reporting an issue -> https://github.com/the-tcpdump-group/tcpdump/issues/319. But as expected, they don’t seem to know it either. Plus they are unwilling to change this behaviour. That must be because it’s been the default behaviour from dinosaur’s ages I guess.

In general, we attempt to avoid gratuitous changes in output like this.
We are out of options as well.. It was my intention that things like this
would come with a name change to pktdump. pktdump would use all the same
code, but have a different main(), which different (saner) options, and
different defaults.

So, a patch to change this, optionally by flag in ndo->ndo_NEWFLAG
would be welcome, but I don’t think we are going to change the default.

[ 🙂 ] http://seclists.org/tcpdump/2013/q2/127

Water

Hi,

This post is to spread the word – Water. To spare a moment to think about – Water. To help grow awareness about this source of life – Water.

I was thinking of writing this post since I read this column about the must watch environmental documentaries. Initially it was to be more about interesting documentaries to watch. It’s not about documentaries any more. It is about – Water.

Ever since I read that column and saw these movies – Blue Gold: World Water Wars & FLOW: For Love of Water – I’m seeing more and more similar stories and patterns. Ex: In this news they say Egypt is ready to wage war against Ethiopia for the later is planning to build a dam on the river Nile. In another story folks in Chile are protesting against a big multinational corporate which wants to build a dam on their pristine river. And today these pictures about water shortage in Delhi. What could be more ironic than to have one of the oldest river, on the banks of which lord Shri Krishna himself once played and bathed, flowing in your backyard and yet you are thirsty for Water.

Actually, being an Indian, none of this or what they show in the above documentaries comes as surprise or news to me. For these situations and fights are quite commonplace in India. Yet, what surprises me is how less do we talk and discus about these issues in comparison to all the drama and brouhaha about PRISM and surveillance states and digital privacy & rights and gay rights and gun control and if you are in India, you see drama over arrest & pardon of an actor, IPL cricket, spot/match fixing, and to top it all octogenarian senior most politician throwing tantrums like a 10 year old girl and the others cajoling him out of it. It’s crazy! All these things don’t even matter to everybody like Water does.

Even more surprising is how some of us justify wrong doings of big corporate multinationals and powerful bodies. I had heated debate wherein I was explaining about this movie Blue Gold and how people are protesting against big corporates for building dams and pumping billions of galleons of water every day from natural water sources and how it is practically drying those sources. They come back saying private companies are perfectly justified in trying to maximise their profits and value to their shareholders; That is why they exist. I should/could not hold them responsible on moral or ethical grounds. I was stunned and surprised beyond shock for a moment.

I understand that private companies work to maximise their profits. I’m okay with that. But if you pump billions of galleons of water every day for that profit and value to your shareholders, I think it is wrong. It should take less than common sense to see that it is wrong. It is like milking a cow for 50-60 litres every day without really feeding her and caring for her. Sooner than you expect, the cow is going to kick and say sod off moron!

Along with all the global political and financial deficit we carry today, we also have a greater deficit in being able to know right from a wrong and good from a bad.

Some of these links below:-

[0] Narmada Diary – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rexfjg0xGek
[1] Water shortage in Delhi – http://blog.tehelka.com/photo-blog-water-shortage-in-delhi/
[2] Egypt on war against Ethiopia – http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Africa/Egypts-Instability-Triggers-a-New-Proxy-War-Against-Ethiopia-and-its-Allies.html
[3] Chilean protest – http://adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com/2013/06/10/rios-libres-video-2-the-history-of-the-dam/
[4] Environmental documentaries – http://calamur.org/gargi/2013/06/07/lokmat-column-must-watch-environmental-documentaries/
[5] Blue Gold – World Water Wars – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikb4WG8UJRw
[6] Flow – For Love of Water – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmWdco0glEA
[7] Satyamev Jayate – Water – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqVAHBiGLic
[8] Truth About Tigers – http://www.truthabouttigers.org/home/