Category Archives: Randoms

University of Moratuwa tops GSOC 2009

University of Moratuwa has been able to top the Google Summer of Code program, yet again. With 22 participating students university of Moratuwa was far ahead from the second place, University of Campinas Brazil which had 12 participating students. I’m glad i was a part of this success. Here are some stats of GSOC 2009.


When Linux crashes

Yes Linux been another piece of software, gets crashed once in a while. Once I used to work with a Ubuntu machine that after 10 hours of work would always get stuck when trying to shutdown. Luckily for Linux users there are some options before reaching for the power button.

You can use a sequence of <alt + sysreq(Prnt Scrn) + key> to issue commands straight into the kernel even when the system is in a total non responsive state.

For example the following sequence of commands can rescue you from a crash and would execute a safe reboot.

ALT + SysReq + r
ALT + SysReq + s
ALT + SysReq + e
ALT + SysReq + i
ALT + SysReq + u
ALT + SysReq + b

Here you can find what each command actually does.

For the easiness of remembering the commands, the idiom, ‘Raising Skinny Elephant Is Utterly Boring’ is used.

Remember that the above commands would only work when the system is in a non-responsive state. Otherwise it would just throw a bunch of print screen windows at you.

Got my brand new Nickname

I got my brand new nickname courtesy of Sawyer. Try out, you know how generous sawyer is.

[clearspring_widget title=”Lost – Sawyer Nickname Generator” wid=”4925b56eca26576e” pid=”497ab24858746f65″ width=”180″ height=”150″ domain=””]

Message by Lanka Dissent

LankaDissent which was an alternative news site is closed down about three days ago. I am sure most of the readers are aware of the closing down of LankaDissent but I am writing this as LankaDissent is giving out a very important message to us, of course if we are willing to look in the mirror. This is the reason they say that prompted them to close down the web site.

In USA, which doesn’t have a 2000 year old history which is at least theoretically a secular society and which doesn’t have a great culture(according to our cultural supremacists) Monica Lewinksy is still alive. I provide this example not because it is relevant to our current situation but because it is something we all know but ignore to ponder a little bit about. Politicians are corrupt wherever(in different scales of course) but how can our ones escape so easily? I think it is just a matter of how the public react to these things. I laughed my head off in the last few days seeing how easily we allow our corrupteds to escape by providing all the foolish arguments our self.

Of course some would say that lankadissent is on a agenda to tarnish the image of ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ or some could say it is a part of the ‘international conspiracy’ against Sri Lanka. Or there is something better, accuse me of something because we are very good at shooting the messenger. Whatever you accuse me of, don’t let it be the one that goes on the line of ‘you are a colombo elite who don’t want to see the power been transferred to a rural Sri Lankan’ because I am ten times more rural than most of you and your politicians you protect. Also it is ridiculous to call President Rajapakshe a rural. He is an old boy of Thurstan College and is the son of a Sri Lankan Minister. Power got temporarily transferred in the times of president premadasa and prime minister Wijethunga but here it is again, right in colombo. Again it should be best man for the job. Who cares if the president is from colombo as long as the country is in the path to prosperity. Any way I am writing down the message of Lanka Dissent because I think it is something we should seriously give a thought about.

Message by LankaDissent

Sinhala Buddhists who believe this land belongs to the most compassionate Lord Buddha and constitutionally calls it the “Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”, sing with pride “In wisdom and strength renewed / Ill-will, hatred, strife all ended / In love enfolded, a mighty nation / Marching onward, all as one / Lead us, Mother, to fullest freedom.” as their National Anthem.

And….. in this compassionate, democratic Buddhist land enfolded with love, in wisdom and fullest freedom, media is forbidden to raise a dissenting voice. Media is forbidden to criticise the “law” of the ruling regime. The media is forbidden to speak for the people.

Many who thought they as the media have a right to freedom of expression, they have a right to information, that the people also have the same right and that it is a fundamental right in a modern civilised society, have been told very bluntly and at times most brutally, that it isn’t so in this land of the compassionate, democratic republic, run by a “patriotic” regime.

The Tamil media in the North were the first to have been told this bluntly and ruthlessly while the Colombo media did not want those dissenting voices in the North, heard elsewhere. They had to learn that lesson, first hand.

And….that was a lesson learnt by some, who are not with us to tell their story. That is a lesson learnt by some, who don’t have the right to say it, because they have a right to live some time more. For a lot, it was their station “Sirasa” that went ablaze with that lesson. It was their station that was smashed and set on fire to teach a lesson.

For Lasantha Wickramatunge, an editor with a passion for uncompromising media professionalism, it was a challenge to face. A challenge he never minced words, in meeting. He had his own aggressive style in meeting the challenge. Admired and respected but left alone without political backing.

And….. he, therefore, could not surmount this challenge, all by himself.

A lesson learnt, that needs no repeats to learn. This compassionate Sinhala Buddhist land does not tolerate “dissent”. Those who would not want to learn that living, would have to learn that in death. We who live, would come back when “dissent” comes back as a democratic right, accepted and enjoyed in a modern land of compassion.

Till then, good bye!

Editorial Board

Over to you Sirasa TV

So the Sirasa got attacked and there is nothing for us to be astonished about this. That is the direction where the country is heading right now it would continue to do so for some time. No don’t go away this is not about media freedom, I know you are fed up with that debate. We all are.

Whether we hate sirasa or not we would have to live with the fact that Sirasa TV is the best when it comes to the marketing game within local media organizations. So maybe sirasa TV could use something like ‘පැත්ත ගියත් අත්ත කියන සිරස’. As they would say, over to you Sirasa TV.

One quick quick note. I don’t think media organizations should enjoy any more freedom than ordinary citizens. But we must strive for a society where freedom is enjoyed to the max by every citizen, and that includes media personal.

Steve jobs on economic situation

Time and again Steve Jobs comes up with that inspirational speech or talk that catches you completely off guard. Here is what he has to say about the present economic situation.

“We’ve had one of these before, when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren’t going to lay off people, that we’d taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place — the last thing we were going to do is lay them off. And we were going to keep funding. In fact we were going to up our R&D budget so that we would be ahead of our competitors when the downturn was over. And that’s exactly what we did. And it worked. And that’s exactly what we’ll do this time.”

Makes sense.

Kareem Amer the blogger who went to prison

Abdul Kareem Amer is an Egyptian blogger who was sentenced to four years in prison for, well obviously having a brain. Kareem first caught the attention of the law enforcement officers of Egypt when he criticized the Islamist violence against Alexandria Christians in 2005. He continued to write in his blog before he was finally arrested and prosecuted on February 22, 2007.

Kareem spoke courageously against what he saw as political repression, religious extremism, and discrimination against women in Egypt. He maintained secular views and often criticized the militancy of Islamic leaders. He also spoke against what he saw as the hypocrisy of his university and his government.

And here is the best part, Kareem was disowned by his own family after he was sentenced to prison. So much so for the so called forgiveness and kindness of religions. 

If this is how they plan to maintain their religious grip on the society i can only predict the downfall of the religion they are trying to save, but certainly not in this century. Maybe people like kareem are the pioneers of what to come in the future. I can only hope so.