The Predicate


< February 2008 >

Thursday, 28.02.08

Sujatha - Life at the age of 70

Sujatha wrote this article in Vikatan when he turned 70. It shows the essence of what the man was and what he achieved. Re-reading it at this time seems to be apt. It has all of Sujatha's swagger and humor (read the part about his preference of going to hell instead of heaven). At 70, Sujatha was contented, had achieved all he wanted in life and had moved on to the last phase of his life in peace and tranquility.

Thanks to Hari for digging this out.

Read the article below.

- Balaji.

[read more]

balaji - pencil 04:26:00 - General - pencil permalink - [15.03.08 22:31]

Wednesday, 27.02.08

Writer Sujatha

I just heard that writer Sujatha passed away a while back today.

(From flickr).

எத்தனையோ புத்தகங்கள் இருந்‍தாலும், ஒரு நாள் சிறிது நேரம் அமைதியாக படிக்க நான் எடுப்பது சுஜாதாவின் புத்தகங்கள் தான். போன வாரம் கூட ஒரு பொது இடத்தில் காத்திருக்கையில் "ஸ்ரீரங்கத்து கதைகள்" தொகுப்பை திரும்ப படித்துக்கொண்டிருந்‍தேன். அப்போது அங்கேயும் ஒரு தமிழர் அதைப் பார்த்து என்னுடன் சுஜாதாவைப் பற்றி பேசிக்கொண்டிருந்‍தார்.

சிறுகதைகளில் அவர் அளவிற்கு தாக்கத்தை ஏற்படுத்தியவர் வேறு யாருமில்லை. தனது கட்டுரைகளின் மூலம் எத்தனையோ விஷயங்களை எளிமையாக எழுதினார். இலக்கிய உலகில் ஒரு சூப்பர் ஸ்டாராகவே இருந்‍‍தார், பலருக்கு எரிச்சல் வருமளவிற்கு.

இனி மெக்ஸிகோ சலவைக்காரி ஜோக் என்ன என்பது தெரியாமலே போய்விடும்!

balaji - pencil 01:01:00 - General - pencil permalink - [11.03.08 17:33]

Sunday, 24.02.08

Pakistan vs Youtube

In a bizarre turn of events, Pakistan "banned" Youtube. This was because Youtube apparently contained "blasphemous content", specifically the reproduction of the Danish cartoons showing Prophet Mohammed. The story turns interesting in the way Pakistan's ISP chose to impose the "ban".

So an ISP in Pakistan decided to announce a route that would re-direct anyone trying to get to YouTube to some other site that probably hosted a warning about the blasphemous content. Results were predictable. YouTube itself disapeared from the Internet, And, I suspect that most of Pakistan is experiencing performance issues as they are receiving ALL of the YouTube requests from around the world. By 2:30 the Internet watch guards had alerted the backbone provider for Pakistan to filter out those malicious route announcements and alerted YouTube to announce more granular routes that would supercede the Pakistani routes, at least in the US.

Someone in PieNet didn't understand BGP and ended up hijacking the IPs of Youtube instead! This results in enormous amount of traffic through Pakistan and as a result, Pakistan itself is hosed from the internet.

The telecom company that carries most of Pakistan’s traffic, PCCW, has found it necessary to shut Pakistan off from the Internet while they filter out the malicious routes that a Pakistani ISP, PieNet, announced earlier today. Evidently PieNet took this step to enforce a decree from the Pakistani government that ISP’s must block access to YouTube because it was a source of blasphemous content.

So what was happened was that the Pakistani ISP started advertising a different IP address for Youtube (to divert their traffic to a different address). But due to the way BGP works, the address change percolated all the ay through and as a result, Youtube's IPs were effectively hijacked. This led to a downtime of more than an hour for Youtube. The traffic through Pakistan was enough to overwhelm its pipes and as a result, most of the traffic to Pakistan was cut off.

I wonder if Google has a case in its hands for getting its IPs hijacked by the pakistani ISP, leading to its website being down for more than an hour worldwide.

On the higher level, One, it is a bad sign if a government can cause such disruption to the internet. Two, the cartoons have been available on the net for a long time. By doing a high profile ban of Youtube (and angering its citizens), the Pakistan government may be trying to take the spotlight away from the election results and its aftermath and the increasing pressure on Musharaf.

Click here for the latest news on this incident.


1. Renesys Blog has the technical details. Apparently, the new IP prefixes propagated in less than two minutes.

2. According to All Things Pakistan, the censoring was political rather than religious. The videos in question may be those related to election rigging in the recent elections.

balaji - pencil 15:13:00 - General - pencil permalink - [27.02.08 01:30]
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