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Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cyber Warfare And The Internet Of Things



Internet outage in the US and parts of Western Europe on Friday, after waves of cyberattacks on a major DNS host Dyn may not have made much news in India and other parts of the world but it is unlikely to be an one off incidence and something that if repeated is unlikely to affect the Internet users in the US only. The attack made some of the widely used web services and websites such as Twitter, Spotify, PayPal,Reddit,Github,CNN, WSJ and many other service inaccessible. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have been launched against websites since the time hackerdom came into existence but lately they have been becoming increasingly effective/disruptive with the use of botnets. However, what is really alarming is the fact this attack was carried out using botnet of not zombie computers but Internet connected devices including routers,webcams,DVS and commodities collectively called Internet of Things (IoT). 

Posted By danish Ahmed 4:38 AM

Monday, October 10, 2016

Political Slugfest Over Strikes

This is a follow up of my previous post on changing dynamics in India-Pakistan relationship after the terrorist attack on India military base in Uri, in which I tried to confine my views to conflict analysis rather than politics but now the whole issue seems to be spilling into domestic political landscape. Ironically, Indian government's offensive including the surgical strike was political in nature, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's terse statement in the UNGA, scrapping of SAARC summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad after five out of eight members boycotting it, talks about Indus Water Treaty were all part of a multi-pronged offensive. But politics here meant political offensive against Pakistan and political pressure on international community to persuade Pakistan to mend its ways. Yet things now seem to be going in the other direction. 

Posted By danish Ahmed 3:15 AM

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Indo-Pak Relationship: New Rules of Engagement


Unarguably Modi government's latest engagement with Pakistan marks a clear paradigm shift in the Indian establishment's policy towards it's unreliable neighbour. In a multi-pronged offensive including surgical strikes on terrorist launchpads inside PoK, diplomatic isolation, move to take away MFN status and using Indus Water Treaty (IWT) as stick to warn Pakistan is a stark message to Pakistan to stop sending in militants from across the border to carry out terror attacks on Indian soil. Denial by Pakistan of any such raid having been carried out by Indian Army hints at its reluctance to retaliate which makes this a tactical victory for India but the what can be expected in this new paradigm is yet to fully make itself clear. 

Posted By danish Ahmed 11:51 PM

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Who Gains From Syria's Fragile Ceasefire

As the Russia-US brokered deal for ceasefire agreement enters the third day, it is still unclear if the deal described as "last chance " for Syria can in fact halt the humanitarian catastrophe underway in Aleppo and other regions of the embattled Arab country. The level of mistrust among all actors in the region is so high that even if no civilian fatality has been reported since the commencement of the ceasefire,the humanitarian aid has yet to reach the besieged population. Much has changed since I last blogged about the situation in Syria but not the brutalities and mistrust which makes lot of people wonder if this cessation of hostilities has been largely accepted by all sides to look for a solution or simply buy time to consolidate their positions,rearm and work out new strategies. What adds to the skepticism is the fact that the trust deficit is not just between middle eastern actors but also between US and Russia who are already on the opposite sides in the Ukrainian conflict. The effort to break the siege of Aleppo to deliver humanitarian aid could well have led to a full fledged proxy war between US and its regional allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Russia and Iran. This is perhaps another reason why the US and Russia agreed to the ceasefire deal but how long it can hold cannot be predicted given the complex situation in the war ravaged country.

Posted By danish Ahmed 2:21 AM

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Book Review : Harry Potter and The Cursed Child




Courtesy : pottermore.com
For a long time I have been in two minds about writing a review of the  Harry Potter series' latest instalment. The fact that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was made for the theatre and the book released is a script and not novel as the previous instalments were,did bother me even  before I started reading it but what bothered more was the knowledge that even though the original story is by JK Rowling,the script was written by Jack Thorne and director John Tiffany. But then as a Harry Potter fan, there was no way I was going to ignore this one.  I have never reviewed a Harry Potter book on my blog before,this time I want to precisely because it is part of yet different from other books of the series.
Do note that I haven't seen the play,this review is of the script released in the book format and also that though I will try to avoid including spoilers,I don't offer an entirely spoiler free review especially in the first act.

Posted By danish Ahmed 2:37 AM

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Battle of Speeches

Last week was an exceptional one as we were exposed to four epic speeches which went viral, an unusual phenomenon especially since the country is not in election mode and the Parliament is in session. Now I do realize that Parliament IS the place to make eloquent speeches but last many years it has been known more for disruption-adjournment-repeat.

Posted By danish Ahmed 3:03 AM

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Kanhaiya Kumar: One Trick Pony Or Rising Political Star


JNU Students Union President Kanhaiya Kumar has suddenly become a political sensation with prominent TV news anchors and journalists lining up to interview him and politicians across party lines giving sound bytes on live TV. Of course it followed his electrifying speech in JNU campus, hours after being released from jail which was broadcast by most TV channels and went viral with #KanhaiyaKumar trending globally on Twitter and his speech on YouTube, websites and other social media platforms getting millions of hits. Some pundits were quick to pronounce the birth of a new political star but one of the sanest voices in Indian media, Ravish Kumar actually asked the question, partly to Kanhaiya whom he was interviewing and partly to the viewers, if the student leaders new found fame is a flash in the pan or there is a possibility of it becoming something bigger. Though Kanhaiya made a brilliant and noble plea to delink personalities and individuals (especially himself) from battle between ideologies and principles, it is but a fact that it is because of his oratory skill that he is in the spotlight today,the political dynamics of the country have become too personality driven to be wished away.

Posted By danish Ahmed 12:24 AM

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Revenant - A Brutal And Beautiful Saga Of Survival And Revenge

The Revenant (n. One who has returned, as if from the dead.)
After earning Oscar for Birdman, director Alejandro G Iñárritu comes up with another masterpiece, The Revenant, a movie on the legendary American frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass whose gritty survival story is brought to life by the absolutely brilliant performance by Leonardo DiCaprio, excellent direction by Iñárritu and the overall outstanding effort of his crew members. And when I say brought to life I mean it. The movie is executed so flawlessly that it draws the viewers into the torturous ordeal of Glass as he suffers from tremendous violence of wild nature and savagery and malice of fellow-humans to the point of death but returns overcoming untold hardship with an unyielding zeal to survive and extract revenge.

Posted By danish Ahmed 3:10 AM