Skip to main content

Waka Waka... No Way!

Now that the FIFA World Cup is over, I finally summoned up the courage to write this article. If it offends sentiments of any of my readers, let me be clear, I was not talking about you. ;)

"Who are you supporting - Spain or Netherlands?", I was inundated by numerous chat messages when I logged into my laptop on the eve of the FIFA World Cup finals. I had a tough time convincing my friends that I was not supporting anyone (gasp!) and that I do not even watch football (more gasp!). My only knowledge of football is at most limited to Paul, the octopus or Larissa Riquelme promise. Before you fall off your chair unconscious by my brazen honesty, I will explain you my reasons.

I was not born in any of these two countries (or for that matter any nation playing in the world cup) and also I have never visited them even once. I do not identify with their culture, food or language. I don't have any friends or family in those two countries. This makes it kind of hard for me to have any passion for them. Also, I have options other than football when it comes to the matter of entertainment.

Now I have many many friends who pretend to be absolute lovers of football. They were going nuts about it and in the process spamming every social networking site that they had their profile on. If that was not enough, every celebrity, big or small, was spamming Twitter about their love for the "beautiful game". Hell, even my uncle who knew nothing about football was complaining how the referee was being partial in a particular game.

I don't want to sound cynical but most of these so-called passions seem fake and just for scoring some brownie points, "most" being the keyword. (I understand that some people truly love football but they are far and few). I fail to understand how can one have such heated passions for a country that's not his own. When I quizzed a friend about this, he said that since India was a long way off playing in the world cup, so he had to support someone. Now, that's a ridiculous excuse. It sounds more like out of peer pressure than out of true love for football.

The feeling was best summed up by one of my friend's mom when I went to their house during the world cup. My friend as usual was going nuts about some match that was in progress. 
Excitedly, his mom asked, "What? Is India winning?" 
"Mom! This is football. India is not playing." 
"Then what are you getting so hysterical about? Now, give me the remote. I have to watch Pavitra Rishta."

The expression on my friend's face clearly made my day.


Popular posts from this blog

Pi Hole - Ad blocking (Turbocharged!)

The entire internet is now made up of ads. To easily navigate it and find the information you are looking for, most people use ad blocking software. It improves page loading times and also uses less data (sometimes by up to 10 times!)
Google Chrome is the de facto browser of choice for most people. Google's main business is advertising. So you can see how ad-blocking software collides with Google's business objectives. When Chrome was trying to be popular, it started allowing plugins like AdBlock Plus etc. Then slowly it started partnering with them for "Acceptable Ads Program" for a lot of money. Now after cementing its position as the most popular browser, Google is now coming down hard on ad blocking software. It is turning off a Chrome API (webRequest API) which most ad blocking plug-ins use to block ads.
Enter Pi Hole. This is an amazing use of Raspberry Pi which blocks ads before they enter your network. It keeps a blacklist of most popular ad serving domains …

Centralized Configuration for .NET Core using Azure Cosmos DB and Narad

We are living in a micro services world. All these services are generally hosted in Docker container which are ephemeral. Moreover these service need to start themselves up, talk to each other, etc. All this needs configuration and there are many commercially available configuration providers like Spring Cloud Config Server, Consul etc. These are excellent tools which provide a lot more functionality than just storing configuration data. However all these have a weakness - they have a single point of failure - their storage mechanism be it a file system, database etc. There are ways to work around those but if you want a really simple place to store configuration values and at the same time make it highly available, with guaranteed global availability and millisecond reads, what can be a better tool than Azure Cosmos DB!
So I set forth on this journey for ASP.NET Core projects to talk to Cosmos DB to retrieve their configuration data. For inspiration I looked at Steeltoe Configuratio…

IoT on Google Cloud Platform

Google wants people to use its Cloud Platform for connecting and managing IoT devices through IoT Core and use other GCP components like BigQuery to analyze data produced by those devices. While these products are fantastic, they also have some real world challenges.
IoT Core provides a managed service for connecting IoT devices. It talks with both HTTP and MQTT protocols and features one-click integration with Cloud PubSub easing most of the infrastructure tasks. However there are some limitations:
You cannot use any random MQTT topic to send/receive messages as you would expect on a custom MQTT bridge. There are special topic formats to send messages and also to receive commands.IoT Core uses Public-Private Key cryptography to secure devices. All IoT devices must first authenticate using the Public Key in a JWT token and then start sending and receiving messages. While these may seem like reasonable restrictions, one has to keep in mind that hardware vendors are still stuck in the 9…