With eReturns being filled this year, a concept which took a lot of air was digital signatures. Although this is something thats been around for a long while and is heard about now and then but during this eReturn period it really took off and everyone has now his or her idea of what digital signatures are and what are they meant for. Getting one of these from the agencies can cost you anywhere between Rs. 400 to Rs. 1200 for a year. What a DS does is exactly what your signatures do on a bank cheque, affirms the authenticity of the document.
Anyways, this isnt exactly what I wanted to discuss (or may be it was, dont remember). There is another concept of Digital Signatures as well, only amongst developers though. Heard a conversation between two of my friends one day while we were driving into the city after a adventure trip –
Dude (to Gal) – I guess its been more than an year since we last met, what have you been doing recently ?
Gal (serious disinterest) – Yaa, I guess so. I been on a project with this mobile phone company, making components of their UI.
Dude – Sounds great, how do you find it.. is it challenging ?
Gal – I dont know… actually not much. Its pretty much like anything else. Just had a release last Friday.
Dude – Hmmm. And did you sign it ?
Gal – Sign what ?
Dude – Cmon, you know stuff. You always sign a software that you make.
Gal (getting interested now) – I’m lost…
Dude – You really are. Its like… you always leave a tweak in the software that you make, like a signature or a trademark. Get it?
Gal – Why?
Dude – You just do. Its like.. every gun has its bullet marks, everyone has finger prints… just the same way, you always sign your project.
Gal – Like what.
Dude – Could be anything, just leave a mark, a tweak which noone by you know of, and soon enough people would recognize you work by your signatures.
Gal – Hmmm. Would think of something next time. Hey, why dont we get together for a movie or something afterwards.
Dude did get lucky with the signature stuff to get a date for sure. Its like a norm, whenever developers get experienced and confident, most of them start leaving tweaks in their products in their own special ways. One of the guys I know had a specific pattern of logging in his code and you could just make out from the logs who would have written the code without his name appearing anywhere in the logs at all. Another dude I know, would always keep a funny swear word somewhere in this response encrypted or otherwise, not to be noticed by a common user. Another female friend of mine would leave a cat face in the code comments. Also, a lot people put in action to administer their server tasks within their user applications. Thats what I call digital signatures.
Whats your signature ??
Last night, surfing TV channels for a movie, I came across a movie “Freedomland” casting Samuel L Jackson and Julianne Moore. The cast was attractive so I started watching it.
The backdrop of the movie is twin suburbs with slight racial tension underneath. The movie surrounds a white woman who has a missing 4 year old son which, she claims, has been abducted by a black guy in her stolen car. As expected, the racial tension increases in the towns and the council handling the case, a black man portrayed by S. L. Jackson, takes the onus of investigating the case after he has a gut feeling that he hasnt been told the whole story. He pulls in a group for searching for the boy and as the story unfolds, it just becomes harder and harder to get away from the movie. All in all a fantastic movie (I didnt wanna give away the end)
Julianne Moore’s performance during the whole movie was amazing and Samuel L. Jackson was his usual class as well. The way this movie has handled the subject of racial issues is truly commendable. All in all a movie worth watching !!!
I happened to visit a music show in the city for the Gypsyies. There is an organization called NOW (Nomads of the World) which organized a music workshop over the last week for world peace. The important thing though, was the participants which included some nomads from Rajesthan, school kids from the city and a composer from Italy whose first name is Andrea (coz I dont remember his full name 🙂 ).
Now, the schools kids composed, during the workshop, a song on world peace which they performed with an amazing zeal and passion which can be seen only at that age of innocence. This was followed by a series of Jugalbandi between the Italian composer and the Rajesthani nomads which was kicked off by Andrea singing the Gayatri Mantra. The jugalbandi was not always enticing, however, what was fantastic to see was, the people who didnt even have a verbal communication channel and used a translater at all times off the stage, had an amazing chemistry on stage during the performance and how they took to each other’s culture with such respect. I dont think the Italian understood what the lyrics of the song sung by nomads for Meera really meant but he sung it with the same passion as the nomads did and the same stood true for Andrea’s compositions being performed in tandom with the nomads. The special part was to see chemistry between Andrea and Rakesh, an 8 year old nomad who rose to the occasion and never lost control of his instrument during the dance steps that he never looked like stopping. He was just in a zone where he just couldnt see or hear anyone but for the music he was so lost in. Both the people never had to share a word, but change in the tempo or scale in one’s performance would immediately reflect in other’s right after an eye contact. It was so amazing to see.
Truly one of the best and most teaching experiences of my whole life.