#SMDayCMB The Hashtag That Made Me Lugh Hard.

If you don’t know (like I didn’t know until 5 P.M yesterday, when a friend of mine asked me whether I was at the Mashable Social Media Day), there was something called Mashable Social Media Day at Excel World, Colombo. I don’t know what happened, whatever happened I guess it’s about social media.

And the hash tag for the event was #SMDayCMB, and when I logged into Twitter at 11 PM and checked some of the tweets, they were like this :

And I was thinking this,

http://twitter.com/RukshanR/status/219121987862278144

http://twitter.com/ipv10/status/219123263199117313

If you don’t know Twitter started rolling a feature called Tailored Tweets, where trends are made according to your location, the websites you frequently visit and the tweets you make.

And it didn’t appear tonight, it was rolled 2 3 weeks back by Twitter.

There are no such thing as word wide trends, you can get the world-wide trends if you opt out from tailored trends.

I think the best thing for all the people to do is to know more about what’s happening in social media, rather than “troll” in for a social media day. Thanks for making us (me and @ivp10) laugh hard. I’m so rude.

PS : At least please read More Mashable, before going to their events.

http://twitter.com/RukshanR/status/219132370710827009

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Why People Need To Stay Away From Cyber-Vigilantes.

Yesterday I came across this post “We don‚Äôt need cyber-vigilante¬†justice“, which is must read for people who want to become hackers or cyber-vigilantes and why people shouldn’t be like that. Being a cyber vigilante to show that you are a l33t hacker is one not good idea, but joining and making partnerships with equally not a food idea.

One way or another, all these cyber vigilantes are criminals, just like our ordinary day-to-day criminals but these people live online. However the unfortunate thing is these vigilantes gather followers, and these followers try to make their own way towards e-fame either by hacking of helping these vigilantes of their work. I guess it’s not like a gang but like a cult.

Anonymous has their own set of followers, LulzSec had their own followers, Jester has his own set of loyal fans. May be these vigilantes like this e-fame, anyway most of these followers are ordinary hackers or, just another scrip kiddies. When they follow these vigilantes and try to show they are also l33t, the end result is them making more havoc by hacking  websites, disrupting services and posting personal information on the internet and in the end getting caught.

If you look at Anonymous, they grew up to a point where Anonymous became a cancer to the internet, some of these Anonymous were elite hackers hacking big websites. Anonymous became famous and later Anonymous gathered followers that were no more than script kiddies that started hacking, defacing every small website that comes in their way.

Finally what happened is that most of the top members of the Anonymous got arrested and, most of the followers inevitably got arrested or either got their personal information exposed or posted on the internet. Even we had our own AnonymousLK and we had the utmost pleasure of exposing them.

It’s not just Anonymous and LulzSec, even people who are supporting the so-called “patriotic” hacker Jester has also suffered when their personal information published on the internet, and recently the websites that Jester supports like the Wounded Warrior Project was also brought down, and personal information of LeRes was published online by the UGNazi hackers who are against Jester.

The best thing is not to take sides, not to support people like Anonymous, and people like Jester who is “hacktivist for good”. There is no such thing as hacktivist for good. It’s illegal and there is no difference between Anonymous type hackers. Helping cyber vigilantes is same as helping everyday crooks, you never know when you’ll get in to trouble thanks to them.

So people need to think twice about becoming online vigilantes or taking their sides. Not only the people who are being targeted by the vigilantes are affected, but also people who take sides are also affected in the cat fights between hacktivists. Stay safe.

“The law of celestial mechanics dictate that when two objects collide there is always damage of a collateral nature”

Staying Frosty On Facebook.

We say we’re living in a digital world and how people are connected¬†through the internet more than ever. However, when it comes to using social networking most people are still very primitive. The latest addition to this came yesterday when a teacher was blackmailed on Facebook into sex by the suspect who befriended her on Facebook (News Here).

I think the reason for people to act differently online than in real life is a very complex one, social networking has only been here for like 10 years and most people on Facebook have been there¬†since¬†2008 or later so most probably they’ve been social networking for only 4 years or less. It’s a new thing for all human beings and people have failed to understand the¬†differences¬†and similarities in real life and life online.

  • What makes people not to share their photos with everyone in real life while sharing them with everyone in the world on Facebook?
  • What makes people not be friendly and talk with¬†strangers¬†in real life while people accept every friend request on Facebook¬†without¬†even knowing that person exist in real life?and believe what they say.
  • What makes people not to share their private¬†information¬†in real life while they share everything what comes to their mind on Twitter?
Some good comments on the article¬†“Teacher blackmailed into sex on Facebook” :¬†

I think people, specially children needed to be¬†taught¬†how to be safe on social networking and internet safety¬†practices¬†before they starting to use internet as we do with other things in real life. However, the¬†fascinating¬†thing is because internet and social networking has been there for a very short time it’s a new thing even for parents, and parents themselves don’t know how to be safe when it comes to being online.

I think I was lucky in that way¬†because¬†I started learning about computers and internet when I was 10 (I didn’t have my own computer, I got my first when I was 12) and I read the news and stories about how people got into trouble thanks to the internet. And when I got my own internet connection in 2010 when I was 20, I know how to protect myself on the internet and for me so far so good.

Being blackmailed into sex on Facebook is not the only thing that can happen to a person, there is an increasing trend where beautiful photos of girls are being posted on popular forums and sometimes even on porn forums, which can affect you for the rest of your life. These photos are then being used by other people in making fake profiles under fake names.

It’s amazingly simple for a fake profile on Facebook to get information from someone that they normally don’t share in real life, from mobile numbers to¬†personal¬†stories. Specially if you use a female profile it’s really easy to get information from both males and females alike.

This video on from Tom Ryan shows how easily how got access to military classifid information by using a fake profile called Robin Sage  : Tom Ryan | Palantir Technologies

There is another danger that you don’t understand in adding unknown people on Facebook. You can hack ANY, YES ANY Facebook account, if you can add 3 profiles in to your target profile.¬†I won’t going to reveal the process, but trust me it’s very simple to hack any Facebook profile if you can slip 3 friends.

How to stay safe : 

  • Try to stay anonymous as¬†possible, don’t even give your real date of birth to Facebook, Facebook only need it to confirm you are above the age to have a Facebook account.
  • Don’t add unknown people on Facebook, if you do make sure they don’t see personal stuff you post on Facebook.
  • Always use two factor authentication, so it’ll make your Facebook account almost always bullet proof. You can activate two factor authentication from the security settings on Facebook.
  • Don’t post any photos of you on Facebook, and it’s better to not to let others take photos of you if they are going to post them on Facebook.
  • And¬†importantly¬†learn how to be safe online before you jump into it.

Raggers Must Not Go Unpunished.

Yesterday a post on¬†Ceylon¬†Today News website¬†caught¬†my attention, it was titled “IUSF claims raggers are innocent!”.¬†Ragging has been there for a long time at¬†universities, as years gone by the¬†severity¬†of ragging incidents have increased to such an extent that some have even died due to harsh ragging.

Luckily  for us our university has no physical ragging, this is not because of any rule by the government but because the student themselves have stopped physically ragging to the new comers. Pulling a prank on juniors is fine so seniors can be friends with them, but hard physical ragging is something that must not happen in universities.

However, in some universities like Peradeniya the physical ragging has become so harsh that some of these ragging methods make us think whether Peradeniya is a university for studying or for ragging.

However, it’s sad to see¬†organizations¬†like the IUSF (Inter¬†University¬†Student Federation) taking the side of the raggers and tries to protect them, if ragging has been taken place, then the people who are¬†responsible¬†must not go¬†unpunished, if raggers walk away without¬†facing¬†any trial then that is encouraging the others to rag the juniors next year.

If the people who are under arrest are not responsible for ragging, IUSF must help the police to find the people who are really responsible for ragging. Making totally nonsense stories will not help the student who got injured due to ragging, and the students who are hoping to enter universities this year because protecting raggers will only encourage others to rag.

One must not forget that only 1% of the ragging incidents come to the surface because of the¬†magnitude¬†of the incidents, almost all¬†other¬†physical ragging incidents go without¬†making¬†into the news. Most of the students don’t complain and don’t help with police investigations about ragging incidents because they are too afraid. Therefore, these incidents that do make it to the¬†surface¬†must be¬†thoroughly¬†investigated and the people who are responsible of ragging must be punished or should not be¬†allowed¬†to enter¬†universities¬†again.

Read Ceylon Today’s post¬†IUSF claims raggers are innocent! :¬†http://www.ceylontoday.lk/16-4230-news-detail-iusf-claims-raggers-are-innocent.html

Why I Didn’t Like The Colombo Hakcathon.

Winklevosse Twins

The first ever Colombo hackathon is now over. I first read about the hackathon from indi’s blog post about the event, at first I was really excited about the event because I’m a fan of start-up culture, a thing that is lagging in Sri Lanka. However that only lasted until I heard about the financial¬†backing¬†of the event and the idea behind the event.

I followed the hackathon very closely from the beginning, I know you can’t organize such an event without financial backing, however the hackathon was presented as a non-profit¬†event organized to encourage people in¬†building¬†their own start-ups. There were no mention about the VCs behind it even at the hackathon website. It was only from a blog post by indi¬†I got to read the people behind the event and the idea behind it.

There’s also an exit, ie, you can cash out, theoretically. Venture Engine is looking for business proposals which get polished and put in front of actual investors,including the Indian Angel Network.

Yes, I know you can’t start a start-up by yourself, you need funding, money and the people to work with, and you can’t¬†build¬†a start-up without telling your idea to anyone. But, there is a right time to tell your idea to the world, and you have to be very careful when you present it to investors.

Facebook beat MySapace down under, but one must not forget about the start of Facebook, it was the Winklevoss twins¬†gave Mark Zuckerberg their idea about making a social network, and asked Mark to help with the twins’ project. Mark Zuckergerg stole that idea and used it to make Facebook. The Winklevoss twins told their idea at to the wrong person at the wrong time, and the end result was disaster for the Winklevoss twins. If Winlkevoss twins didn’t tell their idea to someone line Mark Zuckerberg and go on to build a social network? The outcome might have been different.

That’s why people need to think twice when revealing their ideas to someone, and the hackathon is not a good place to reveal your ideas with investors around, putting up the idea to a start-up is ¬†then going for VC is better in my opinion than showing the idea to everyone. There is a clear difference between an idea and a start-up.

The way to beat an idea is to come up with a better idea.¬†But, once you are up and running it’s harder even for a better idea to beat you. This is why no matter how good ¬†Google+ is it still can’t beat Facebook, because Facebook is up and running and it’s hard to take the people away from Facebook.

Can you build a start-up with in 36 hours?¬†No, what you can build is an idea and a business model. And¬†revealing¬†your to everyone,¬†especially¬†to investors is not a good thing. So what¬†guarantee is there for the start-ups that their ideas won’t be stolen? There is no such¬†guarantee that your idea won’t be stolen and used to build something better that your idea.

However, it’s too early to comment right now without knowing what happened to the start-ups. May be I might be wrong, but I’m not the only one with this opinion. For now I’m not a supporter for this hackathon.

UPDATE : 

This is the whole point about writing this post. . “You need to commit to it and execute”¬† that’s right but if you reveal your idea to the everyone even before starting it then, someone else will steal your idea and you’ll end up as a Winklevoss twin.

UPDATE 2 :

I think most people have missed my point in this post, I never said anyone to work in isolation, or not to get feedback from others or not to collect funding for their projects. All I said was the time and place (cmbhackathon) is not right for an idea to be presented to everyone. Do you need a hackathon to present your idea? can’t you find like minded people without coming to a hackathon.¬†After all an idea is an idea.¬†

And ipv10’s comment also makes a valid point I missed before :

If the people who went to hackathon are thinking that you did something awesome, why couldn’t you do it before? Without getting excited, just relax and think.  Рipv10

Post Colombo Hackathon post at RandomCoding : http://randomcoding.com/2012/03/working-in-a-vacuum/

Indi’s blog post about the hackathon :¬†http://indi.ca/2012/03/colombo-hackathon-cmbhackathon/

Challenging The Challenge.

Life at medical college has been very challenging so far, and keeps getting increasingly challenging everyday.  Exam is one month away and I guess everybody is starting to feel the heat of the examination.

Although,¬†many people like to do medicine as a¬†child,¬†I find studying medicine is a painful experience, it’s not my thing and I suck at it big time. Medicine is just too static, there is ¬†nothing innovative you can do in it, there is no sense of¬†achievement, the thing is if you have studied then you know the answer to the questions, if you didn’t study then you don’t know the answer, there is not option like “I can work out and find the answer” in medicine.

Although I knew that I suck at medicine , I couldn’t find the answer why I hated medicine. I know I hated medicine but didn’t know why, I just did. Recently my brother asked help from me for some chemistry problems that were hard for him to solve and I took the challenge of doing that. ¬†It took me some time to work out the answers because I have’t done chemistry after I left school. However, I managed to solve the problems and I found answer to the problem why I suck at medicine.

When I finished the chemistry problem, I had a feeling, a feeling I had when I was schooling. It was a happy feeling but it was more than just plain happy, it had something that can’t be expressed by words. It was the feeling of¬†achievement, I had to work hard and think hard to find the answer and at the end I can say it that it’s my answer, I figured it out by myself. If someone is passionate in doing something it’s because he enjoys doing it, there is a sense of¬†achievement¬†in hid work, this drives him forward in what he does.

However, I realized that there is no such thing as a feeling of¬†achievement in medicine. This makes me hate medicine more and more because there is not happiness in doing medicine. All you get at the end of the day is stress, nothing else. I think this is why I suck in medicine. I think because of this everyday I do medicine it makes me hate medicine more and more. Sometimes I get the feeling that medicine has ruined my life and I should have done something else. I think it’s the feeling of regret.

I never wanted to do medicine from the beginning, all I wanted to do was pass the Advanced Level examination and do my higher education in some other area where I like, the results were better that what I expected and here I am at medical college. Everything happened to me because of luck.

You cramp up books, you fill your head with things that you can’t even remember. Face an exam and score marks. So what’s the¬†achievement¬†in that? You don’t have to use your brain one bit to finding answers, only thing you need is memorizing what’s in the book. I now feel anyone can do medicine all you need to have is the ability to memorize everything. You don’t need anything else to do medicine.

However, running away from the problem is not the answer, running away from the challenge is easy and anyone can do that, but facing the challenge is better and challenging the challenge is far better. So I;m going to take studying medicine as a challenge and I’m going to challenge the challenge. And if I¬†survive¬†then it’s awesome, if I fail it won’t matter either because I gave my 100% and there is nothing more I can give.

You might think differently than me and very well feel that I’m mad, Yes I know that’s just me.

Valentine’s Day. Food For Thought.

Valentine’s day is finally over and this year to it has been just another day at college for me. I really don’t know why people celebrate a Valentine’s day? I think it’s just another ordinary day, where companies have made it to a multimillion¬†dollar business.

However every year I enjoy going to my friends and asking from them how they celebrate the Valentine’s day.

From the guys that I’ve talked to at medical college the most popular¬†choice¬†among boys were¬†chocolates, I’m sure¬†Cadbury is feeling like X’mas on Valentine’s days. However the most insane present that I came across today is one of my friends giving a high-priced smart phone to his¬†girlfriend, his girlfriend has also done the same by buying him some high quality jeans.¬†My¬†foreign students at college will be going to Colombo today to have some fun with their loved ones.

However when it comes to my personal view I don’t think Valentine’s day is a day that should be celebrated, in fact people need to love their loved ones every single day as if it’s Valentine’s day. It’s okay to have fun on Valentine’s day, but it doesn’t matter how much you show your love to your partner on Valentine’s day, if you don’t show the same love to your partner in the rest of 364 days there is no point of celebrating a single day at all. And I believe that the best gift that you can give to your partner is being trustworthy to him/her.

So hats off to the people who celebrate day, and for all the single people like me out there, let’s enjoy our stay on planet earth. Being single has its own advantages.

For the record because I love myself, I bought myself a chocolate. ūüėÄ