I've now made this entire site work through HTTPS rather than HTTP seeing that SSL is becoming increasingly the norm to serve content and also the availability of free domain-level validation certificates. I use SSL for free which uses Let's Encrypt.
Hari's CornerHumour, comics, tech, law, software, reviews, essays, articles and HOWTOs intermingled with random philosophy now and then
This site is now on SSL
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Posted on Fri, Oct 25, 2019 at 21:23 IST (last updated: Fri, Oct 25, 2019 @ 21:23 IST)
Colleague Portrait/caricature - 6
Posted on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 21:50 IST (last updated: Wed, Aug 28, 2019 @ 21:50 IST)
Portrait/caricature of a colleague. Painted in Krita with my XP-Pen Artist 10S.
Portrait of actor Dhanush
Posted on Sat, May 25, 2019 at 17:27 IST (last updated: Sat, May 25, 2019 @ 17:27 IST)
Actor Dhanush. Painted with Krita / XP-Pen Artist 10S.
Papa Hari Social Media to replace all other media in the World
Humour and Nonsense by
Posted on Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 21:51 IST (last updated: Tue, Apr 2, 2019 @ 22:14 IST)
Papa Hari News Service
Alarmed at the recent trend in social media of increasing censorship and content restriction, the Papa Hari World Government has enacted the "Papa Hari Social Media Act" which will govern and regulate all social media in the world in a fair and unbiased manner and one that is subject to complete transparency. But instead of mere regulation, which is ineffective and inefficient the President has announced that a new social media service, called "The Papa Hari Social Media" will replace all other social media sites which will be banned with immediate effect. In fact, the Papa Hari World Government has made it mandatory for every World Citizen to register on the new network and post selfies in all different angles (front and side views mandatory) within 24 hours of registration. To increase the fun factor, Papa Hari World Government has made the network completely free of cost, except the initial non-refundable administrative charges (with Tax). The fee can be paid through challan that can be deposited via any Papa Hari approved Bank. Further, the user has to submit an identity proof and address proof to verify the account which will unlock features such as uploading media and sharing posts. Such verification will ensure that each individual is morally and legally responsible for the content they create and share.
In a press conference announcing the new network, a Papa Hari World Government official expressed hope that the new social network would lead to a "vibrant and healthy" democratic discourse. "We are hoping that citizens will share their views freely and without fear," he said, "Of course, the content would be subject to the guidelines released by the World Government." He said that the guidelines would be published online and also available as a 859 page manual in stores and the same would ensure fairness and objectivity in content regulation. Each and every post would have to adhere to the guidelines "in letter and spirit".
"Today social media sites are struggling to regulate their content and censor content in a haphazard and completely opaque manner," he said, "But the Papa Hari World Government has solved that problem. The Papa Hari Social Media will ensure that people are subject to only the Government guidelines and not some random and completely opaque terms of service of a private entity. In fact, freeing up social media from the hands of corporate giants would ensure that people's data is not used for marketing and other purposes."
Further, on the aspect of enforcement of regulations, he added that the Government controlled social media would be in a position to actually impose real-world penalties like imprisonment and death. When users repeatedly violate the guidelines, the punishment would include not only a ban from the social network but also imprisonment of a minimum of 5 years imprisonment with hard labour and death in the rarest of rare cases. He said that democratically minded people have nothing to fear, since only those who violate the guidelines would be subject to punishment. "You can boldly criticize the Papa Hari World Government, but you need to keep within the guidelines" he explained further, but when one reporter pointed out that one of the regulations mandated that any criticism of the Papa Hari World Government would be subject to an objective review from a designated Government Officer who would then decide whether the content was acceptable or in violation of the guidelines, and that could hardly be termed as a fair procedure, the official politely disagreed and insisted that his suggestion could be interpreted as propaganda for the opposition. Further, "propaganda for the opposition" is a banned topic, he added, and gently advised that raising such topics could lead to penal action from the Government. Later on, in a show of solidarity with the press media, the reporter was cordially invited to attend a special programme at the Papa Hari Institute for Media Persons for a brainstorming session and also getting his doubts resolved. The reporter was accompanied out of the conference venue by a few armed police officers for his protection.
Explaining the regulations further, the official said that a few important guidelines included acknowledging all new Official Government postings by liking and sharing; viewing at least one Government approved educational video per week and expressing interest in further such videos; fairly criticizing people who spread false and negative propaganda against the Papa Hari World Government; by positive and constructive criticism of Papa Hari World Government which would avoid hurting the sentiments of any group or persons; and also actively blocking people who refuse to follow the above guidelines.
At the end of the press conference, the official formally invited questions from the audience, but nobody raised any queries, indicating the quality of his communication, effectiveness and clarity in conveying the objectives of the World Government. Further several reporters expressed praise and hope that the Papa Hari Social Media would prove to be a worthy successor to the likes of FaceBook, Instagram and such other funky single-word entities.
Why I shoot in Raw format
Software and Technology by
Posted on Sat, Dec 29, 2018 at 21:57 IST (last updated: Sat, Dec 29, 2018 @ 21:57 IST)
A few reasons why I've completely switched to shooting Raw with my Canon EOS 550D camera. You'll find these reasons in a number of photography websites, but I still wanted to record my own reasons here:
- Because it preserves the entire sensor data and allows manipulation losslessly.
- JPEG processing in-camera is usually inferior to processing JPEG through a proper software.
- Because powerful, open source Raw processing software like darktable and rawtherapee exist!
- Because using a single Raw file, you can generate multipe JPEGs with different effects/processing and experiment without losing the original data.
- Because shadow/highlights can be recovered better with the raw data due to higher color depth/dynamic range.
- Because it feels good to output your own version of the image captured by the camera, rather than accept the "default" processed image that the camera gives you.
- And finally, because it is fun.
Leaving Flickr for good
Internet and Blogging by
Posted on Sat, Nov 3, 2018 at 15:23 IST (last updated: Sat, Nov 17, 2018 @ 17:49 IST)
Edit: 17 Nov 2018 - Since writing this, I have thought about it and decided to give Flickr another chance. Since I already deleted my old account, I am starting afresh and seeing how Flickr turns out. New account can be found here
Am leaving Flickr for good. Why? This.
For me, the decision to limit Free account users to a maximum of 1000 photos (hard limit) is pretty much the final nail in the coffin, whatever other goodies might be offered to paid users.
Flickr has always been a site for casual (but very competent) photography enthusiasts, and non-paying users have pretty much been the backbone of this community. This is the sole reason I was on Flickr for such a long time, even though after the site overhaul in 2013, the community aspects of Flickr got damaged almost irreparably but at least the free users were spared and you could continue to use the website freely without worrying about hitting any hard restrictions. However, now, the new owners of Flickr have decided to restrict free users from posting more than 1000 photos and with this, the reasons to stay with Flickr have pretty much evaporated.
Here's a message I left on the official Help Forum which pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject.
Let's be honest. The only reason most of us are at Flickr is because of the wonderful community that existed prior to the site overhaul in 2013 or thereabouts. I could visibly see the community aspect damaged after those changes. Now I feel it is not worth paying for a pro account just for unlimited photos because you have generous space in Google photos to store pictures and Flickr just doesn't have the community that it used to. I rarely spend time on Flickr these days and I came over to this Forum only after seeing the announcement.
I never went beyond 1000 photos till date. But I am close to the limit now.
It seems today Flickr is just "Flickr" by name and everything else about what used to be Flickr is gone now. The new owners seem to want to milk the cash cow by using the brand name to its maximum extent.
Anyway, will have to decide whether to keep my existing photos here or simply remove the account lock stock and barrel. Am inclined to protest this decision by deleting all my photos and posting simply one picture which records my protest.
Truly, when a brand is taken over by a competing entity or business rival, it appears that the soul of the brand is lost. Flickr is just a name now for a service that is totally different from what existed prior to 2013, and this latest move appears to be the final nail in the coffin.
In future, I will restrict posting entire albums on Google photos and for the social interaction on individual pictures will probably continue on Facebook. Flickr is truly neither here nor there, with the thriving community long gone.