About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

12 May 2007

My New Toy

I have wanted a Digital SLR camera for a while now, primarily because I want to get better at taking pictures, and also take better pictures. So, I have finally got myself a Canon 400 D and a Sigma 18-200 lens.

I bought this, primarily thinking of my South American jaunt, where I wanted a decent optical zoom capability but did not want to carry too much equipment around. And, this was the best package I could get overall.

And, I have been busy - the Boland Badminton Open was on this weekend, and I exhausted the battery already, after about 300 plus shots!

Music: Unit.R and The All Star Funk Four

I went to the album launch of The All Star Funk Four's new album, Control Alternative Delete, not to see them, but the support act, unit.r. My friend Mary (also known as my editor, Mary) was so enthusiastic about them, I just had to see them play.

And unit.r did not disappoint. They are a mix of electronic and heavy rock, with some interesting lyrics, and even more interesting music. They were simply a great band at a party, and were, in my opinion vastly superior to the headline act. In many respects, unit.r has what it takes to become successful, and this is a crossover act that works! Incidentally, the drummer, Aleks was in my honour's class.

The All Star Funk Four, was a disappointment. They are best described as a rock band with a rap singer (and lyrics). While that worked with Linkin Park, the problem with the band is two fold. Firstly, the lyrics are not clever, and it seems like he is trying too hard ... another Eminem wannabe really ... very much like that guy in the VW Polo ad, trying to get street cred. Secondly, the rapping introduces very jarring music, to coincide with the rapping, which, for me, just did not work. However, looking at the number of people in the mosh pit, maybe, I am just being unfair ...

10 May 2007

A good problem to have?

As many of you know, I am almost finished with my thesis, and should be handing in at the end of the month. Many of you also know, that I intended to take a 2 odd month backpacking trip across South America. The trip has sort of been put on hold (although I still intend to do it), but the reason why I have to put it on hold is the source of the problem ...

I have been given a firm offer for internship at the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories in Berlin between mid July and Mid October. This fits in great with two conferences I wanted to attend, first in Germany at the end of the internship period and then ACM CCS 2007 in Washington DC two weeks later. I would be associated with some general security projects, and would be a nice break from DRM in a way.

I also have an opportunity to do an internship at Fraunhoffer IIS (the inventors of the MP3) in Erlangen. The internship period is quite flexible, so should be able to fit in the conferences. The only problem is, I have yet to get a confirmed offer from Fraunhoffer. At IIS, I would be associated with some DRM projects, notably the development of the next step in the OMA DRM specifications, and thus would actually get to use my degree for something!

09 May 2007

Movie: Fierce People

Diane Lane plays a single mother, massage therapist, with a drug and alcohol problem. The young son, is just about to be reunited with his father (a world renowned anthropologist, studying the Yanomani tribe in the amazon rain forest), when he is busted in a drug raid, destroying his summer holiday. So the two of them, pack up and end up living in the estate of a billionaire (who needs a massage therapist). The movie, is effective a study of the rich people tribe ... surely just as different to the common people.

Brilliant acting, great story and Donald Sutherland makes a great patriarch. There is a bit of a murder mystery, not that difficult to spot really - but over all, a great movie to watch.

08 May 2007

Theatre: The Lesson

Another PlayGround reading performance - and a lot more entertaining performance. The Lesson is a play by Eugene Ionesco, about a young lady who goes for a lesson at the house of a renowned professor. The play is brilliant in its absurdity ... trying to enunciate the difference in languages, but using one language as the medium or the absurdities of simple arithmetic. And the performances were great to boot - even if it was just a reading and not a full blown performance.