25 Aug 2011

App engine charts Greasemonkey script

For everyone who manages more than a few App engine applications, this greasemonkey script adds an inline chart to each app-id on the dashboard. This way you don’t have to click through to each application page.

GAE demo

// ==UserScript==

// @name          GAE graphs

// @namespace     pratham.name

// @description   Adds inline graphs for GAE apps

// @include       https://appengine.google.com/

// @include       http://appengine.google.com/

// @require       http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js

// ==/UserScript==

function main() {

  $('a[title="view dashboard"]').each (...
08 Jun 2011

EveryDNS to shut down in August

EveryDNS, my DNS host of choice, has informed its users that it will shut shop on August 31.

DynDNS, the new owners, will charge a 5$ redeemable fee for this transfer. Apart from that each hosted domain will cost 30$ per year (20$ for the first year). Note that EveryDNS used to be free for 20 domains.

I’ll be moving my hosted domains to Namecheap FreeDNS, who I anyway use as...

29 Apr 2011

Rajiv is the most common India CEO name

Indian CEO names

According to LinkedIn, the name “Rajiv” is the most common Indian CEO name. Oddly, the name “Rajeev” - an alternate spelling for “Rajiv” - also comes in at no. 8.

08 Mar 2011

Django recently deleted the documentation of the 0.96 version, the very same version that Google App Engine uses for its default templating engine. Luckily someone has mirrored the entire documentation.

04 Mar 2011

Review umpiring errors with Bad Umpire

Bad Umpire

Did a cricket umpire commit a major error ? Now share your feelings on Bad Umpire.

08 Feb 2011

Normalizing free form text input

If you’re accepting free text from users that needs make sense, you need to normalize it. For instance, if you’re accepting the name of a film actor, you need to understand that “Shahrukh Khan”, “Shah rukh Khan”, “SRK” or even “Sharukh Khan” point to the same actor.

You could use a dynamic drop-down to force a certain style of text-entry, but that gets a little intrusive.

Here I demonstrate a simple way to ensure consistency...

28 Jan 2011

RBI cripples PayPal in India

After struggling to comply with Indian regulations for the past year or so, it seems RBI has fatally crippled PayPal. In an email to all its Indian users, PayPal notifies us about the upcoming changes.

With effect from 1 March 2011, you are required to comply with the requirements set out in the notification of the Reserve Bank of India governing the processing and settlement of export-related receipts facilitated by online payment gateways (“RBI...

20 Jan 2011

Mobile Number Portability finally goes live today

After what has seemed an eternity, Mobile number portability will finally go live today. The MNP, which has already missed three deadlines last year, was introduced in Haryana as a pilot case in November. Since then, as the deadline approached, major player have started campaigns to woo prospective users.

Just in case you’re not informed, here’s what MNP is and is not.

  • You can retain your numberwhile moving from network to network. Or...
13 Jan 2011

Anatomy of a WordPress Theme

WordPress Theme

If you’ve ever had to dig into the internals of a WordPress theme, this is a priceless infographic.

01 Jan 2011

Simple HTML internet status checker

My BSNL internet connection has been especially flaky lately, so I’ve written this simple HTML script to notify me when internet is back up.



  <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="60">



  <img src="http://www.example.com/icons/a.gif" onload="location.href = 'http://www.welcometointernet.org/';">



The page tries to load an image, and if successful redirects to this site (WARNING: loud sound). If not, it tries again in 60 seconds.

14 Dec 2010

LinkedIn disables accounts affected by Gawker hacking

If you just received a mail from LinkedIn informing you that your account has been disabled, it’s probably related to the Gawker data breach.

LinkedIn Mail

As confirmed on their official Twitter account, LinkedIn seems to be checking if your email was part of the breach, then disabling your account and mailing you to change your password.

07 Dec 2010

Tumblr, which went down today due to a database issue, has not yet come up.

Incidentally, since I earlier moved away from Tumblr to self hosted Jekyll, this blog was not affected.

24 Nov 2010

Bank of Baroda site down on OpenDNS ?

For the past couple of days, I’ve been seeing this OpenDNS error page on the netbanking site of Bank of Baroda.


At first I thought it was a routine outage, but when the problem did not go away in a couple of days, I decided to investigate. I loaded the site using a proxy and managed to successfully load it. I then checked the OpenDNS cache pageand discovered that all but one (London)...

21 Oct 2010 ReCaptcha in Indian languages

Did you know ReCaptcha had Gujarati words in its database ?

15 Oct 2010

Why do new laptops keep losing screen height ?

This one has bothered me for quite a while now. Every single laptop on the market today is a 16:10 aspect ratio, with the 4:3 ones all but disappeared. While it might make sense for people who use their laptop solely for watching movies, it gets pretty annoying for any kind of work.

The situation gets more farcical with netbooks. On my Acer aspire one, with a resolution of 1024x600, I’m unable to reach...

15 Oct 2010 Supersimple daily task manager

Daily Todo is a simple tool to track your daily tasks.

22 Sep 2010

Mercator projection - Africa vs Greenland

The Mercator projection, a map projection of the earth onto a cylinder, is known to greatly distort areas near the poles.

Greenland takes as much area on the map as Africa, when in fact Africa’s area is approximately 14 times greater than Greenland.

To test the above, I’ve overlaid Greenland (blue) on Africa (red) based on the standard Mercator projection map compared to the actual geographical size.

Mercator - Africa vs Greenland

Greenland, in fact, is smaller...

21 Sep 2010

Why do websites block the ALT key ?

While browsing this site yesterday, I pressed the ALT+D combo to focus on the address bar and was greeted by a “You don’t have permission” warning.

I examined the code and found the javascript snippet responsible for this behaviour.

if (k.keyCode==18 || k.keyCode==93)


  alert ("Sorry, you do not have permission to press this key.")

  return false;


The keys 18 and...

20 Sep 2010

GoDaddy is selling domains - .COM, .US, .MOBI, .BIZ, .NET, .ORG, .CA, .CO.UK or .IN - for only 0.99$. This offer, limited to 1 per person and only credit cards (no Paypal), expires on 5th Oct or 10,000 registrations. Use the coupon FALL99

12 Sep 2010

Wholesale bandwidth prices in India

While reading this piece on India’s internet woes, I came across this interesting fact.

So while the slow speeds and tiny data-caps and FUPs may seem like profiteering now, at the current pricing levels (under Rs 2000), mandating an increase to a minimum of 2Mbps to call the product “Broadband” would seriously damage profitability of ISPs whose costs can be up to Rs 20/GB

Note that the prices are for wholesalebandwidth for ISPs....

10 Sep 2010 Create your own Google style bouncing balls !

With Dotty-Dots, create your own Google style bouncing balls logo. Note this site uses HTML5, so it’ll only work on Chrome/Firefox/Opera.

09 Sep 2010
In [non-cooperative] cases, we flood the website with requests, which results in database error, causing denial of service as each server has a fixed bandwidth capacity. .. At times, we have to go an extra mile and attack the site and destroy the data to stop the movie from circulating further.

Indian company that claims to DOS file sharing sites.

18 Aug 2010 Google search trends

Did you know you can check out the hourly/daily/monthly trends of your Google search activity ?

18 Aug 2010

Exploding mobile kills man

Nokia 1209

This is scary. There have been multiple hoaxes of deaths due to exploding cell phone batteries, but this appears real.

23 year old Gopal Gujjar was found dead with serious injuries to his ear, neck and shoulders. Police believe he was killed by the device after discovering pieces of the Nokia 1209 handset, a basic model released in August 2008, scattered nearby.

When similar such incidents had occurred in 2003, Nokia had claimed that...

05 Aug 2010 Which famous writer do you write like ?

Check which famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers.