Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Futuristic Hotel Room

I am staying at the Citizen M hotel in Amsterdam, while attending the ESEC/FSE conference (I am presenting a demo here tomorrow of our sensor network toolkit).

My hotel here has won many design awards, and a look at the room explains why. [Note that the rooms are manufactured off-site, and plugged in to the main building. They also have a Philips moodpad to control the lights/sounds/TV of the room.]

Here is a video I took yesterday, as I arrived.

[Official page on room info, including flash tour is here]

Pretty unusual and futuristic, isn't it? Half of us here from INRIA love the room, while the other half hate it.

So, what do you think?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vers Amsterdam!

Yes, I am back in the Thalys/TGV, going to Amsterdam for a conference. Will be back on Sunday. Ciao!

--sent from my Google HTC Magic--

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eye Update

In case you don't know about this yet, read the first and second posts on this issue.

Latest Developments
This past Tuesday, I went to see the eye surgeon, who did a full eye-scan, including visual acuity test and the whole shine-light-into-eye-after-dilating-pupil torture :-).

The Good News
She said that she will not be doing the surgery. No forceps will find their way into my right eyeball.

The Bad News
She said the above because she believe that surgery will NOT help my case at all! As far as she is concerned, I should go home, do nothing, and be watchful in case I have a relapse of toxoplasmosis and things get _worse_. Given she only spoke French and my knowledge of the language is not top grade, I was not able to ask her super detailed question. But the short version of the story is: "The scar from the toxoplasmosis in your eye is right on top of your fovea centralis (center of retina), and we cannot remove it by operation." (To be fair, she _did_ do her best to explain to me, and to keep me calm, despite the language barrier.)

Next Steps
Of course, I am not taking this lying down. I will be meeting my ophthalmologist soon, who had initially recommended surgery to me, to ask why there is a disagreement between him and the surgeon. I will also get an appointment at the eye hospital in Paris where PGR's dad was operated. And finally, I will get digital copies of all my scans on a USB key, to send them over to friends.

What _you_ can do
If you know someone who can have a look at my case and give a second/third/nth opinion, let me know. I will be happy to send over my scans.

The "Healing Prayer" Angle
Some of you have asked me if I have tried the healing-by-prayer approach. Given I am an agnostic, I don't think that will work for me, especially if it involved _me_ believing in an almighty God. I do, however, believe in _you_, and your love/care for me, and therefore won't stop you if you want to ask your favorite super-being for help :-). As far as I am concerned, I will focus on eating right, exercise, and meditation - the stuff I _know_ keeps the body strong and helps it heal.

That's it for now. See you later! ;-) [I think this particular smiley properly represents my current right-eye-blurry vision status]

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Long Years Ago

we said that the time has come "to redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially".

Not sure how much we have redeemed it in the last 62 years. As for myself, I must say I have fallen short on various ends - NeverForget needs a lot more to be done, but at least Sanjha Choolha is in good shape (thanks to D, mostly), so something is happening on the desh-seva end.

Anyways, time to get back to work. Will keep you all posted about the eye, about which so many of you inquired (thanks for that).

Jai Hind!
P.S. Something to remember those days:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eye See You

This is what my right eye looks like right now (after dilation of pupil, so that the doc can see inside). After looking inside, the doc said that my condition is worse than before, and eye surgery is strongly recommended.

Will meet the surgeon next week.

--sent from my Google HTC Magic--

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Where Joan of Arc was Burnt

--sent from my Google HTC Magic--

Friday, August 07, 2009

Something Funny is Coming to Indian Internet

I have talked earlier about the fact that it is time for India to have its own "Daily Show", and it seems that Abhigyan (of the Movers and Shakers fame) and Varun (my good friend from ITBHU, of the daily tamasha fame) were listening :-).

So here it is, Jay Hind (facebook page). They start (online only) on August 15th. Their first guest: Savita Bhabhi!

I hope this fills the void in good satirical Indian TV.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Protection Thread

or Raksha Bandhan is an ancient Indian tradition, and I am missing my sisters today :-|.

On the bright side, I got one rakhi in post yesterday, and many e-cards and e-mails today, so life is not so bad :-).

To my sisters, I give this:

miss you all.
-A (bhaiya)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

I Have a (Google) Voice

830-448-DESI (or 830-448-3374)

that is the number you can call (or send SMS) to reach me in the USA.

Sorry, I won't be able to receive your calls myself, but you can leave me a voicemail, and I will be sure to listen in (and respond).

All this is thanks to Google Voice, using which I can check my voicemails online at its website. It also transcribes the calls for me :-).

(sadly, I cannot make it auto-forward calls to my France number, hence the voicemail trick)

And this is how a voicemail looks like on my dashboard [from Gaurav, my ex-roomie, who gave me my gmail ID :-)]

That's it for now. ciao!

P.S. Sorry, It is not possible to send friends "invites" like gmail, this service is only available if you go on their website and sign up for an (upcoming) invite.
P.P.S. Interestingly enough, I cannot set up my account if I am using a non-USA IP address, but can access it. How cool! :-)
P.P.P.S: Just discovered I can send SMSs to US numbers for free. From the web interface. Yay!