#Jokes: 2020 Mint-Fresh Jokes book target 1320 achieved

Several jokes will be illustrated as well.

What did the SJW tell the Devil when she went to hell?
“This is totally unnecessary. I boil at room temperature.”



SJW in hell with the Devil

SJWs go to hell


#Jokes: Hindsight walks into a bar and the bartender says it is 2020

I know it is not 2020 yet but I want to stake claim for coming up with this joke before anyone else. When it is the year 2020 or by the time this book is completed and published, almost everyone familiar with the ‘Hindsight is 20/20’ saying will be saying they invented it on their own.

Some of the newest jokes in my book “2020 Mint-Fresh Jokes For Everyone”

2020 Mint-Fresh Jokes

More jokes from my book “2020 Mint-Fresh Jokes For Everyone”

The hindsight joke is part of a “bar jokes” chapter.

Bar Jokes

Bar Jokes from my book 2020 Mint-Fresh Jokes For Everyone

BSNL is injecting ads into http websites

BSNL injects Javascript code into HTTP webpages, which makes them load ads and popups.

I use Linux with a firewall. The firewall allows only DNS (53), http (80) and https (443) outgoing requests. All other ports are blacklisted. When I send mail, I manually open the firewall and close it immediately afterward.

The Javascript is loaded from a BSNL Internet Backbone IP on port number 3000. Because of my firewall configuration, the javascript do not load and I do not see any ads.

When browsing a newer version of Ubuntu where no firewall was installed, the ads get loaded. I have not installed the firewall because it has become obsolte and I use the new Ubuntu installation only because the IRCTC website does not work with old browsers. Just when I am about to conduct financial transactions, BSNL loads ads from dubious sources. After I looked up the syntax for IP tables, I was able to block unwanted ports. But, still this is scary because most Linux users think that their OS is virus-free.

On the mobile, I have no firewall and that is why I don’t do any financial transactions on the phone. I was surprised to see my own website serving ads.

BSNL code injection

BSNL has injected Javacript code into my website, which is still on http.

I examined the Javascript code. It was obfuscated and downloads some of the c-r-a-p-p-i-e-s-t ads from several international and Indian ad sources. The Javascript encodes the BSNL subscriber’s IP, some unique subscriber ID, browser UA string, and some other data.

Ads are loaded from a dozen ad servers: Inmobi, Mobvista, Admaven, Adcash, etc.

Initially, I thought some hackers have taken control of BSNL DNS server. I emailed CERT-IN and got no response. It was clear that they knew what BSNL was doing and decided to be quiet.

Some years ago, I found that these ads also interfere with some files that Ubuntu or some application downloads for updates. This process was downloading a particular XML file and BSNL javascript code inside the XML made the program crash.

In the US too, ISPs tried this form of ads but I am not sure if it is still allowed. This problem affects HTTP sites and not HTTPS sites.

The HTTPS Everywhere propaganda people are using this to goad everyone to add SSL certificates to their sites. Google is the biggest beneficiary of this campaign. People are more likely to upgrade their Android phones the browsers are unable to access SSL sites and sites with newer certificates.

I have all forms of ad-blocking – ad-blocking HOSTS file, user scripts, user CSS, ad-safe DNS providers. All of this gets defeated if the ISP inject ads hosted from their own IP address. Lesson learned – never browse without a firewall. Block all unwanted ports. Constantly update your HOSTS files to ensure that no ads are ever displayed.

Good job, BSNL! Thanks for nothing.

Modi wants all Indians to conduct digital transactions and you are not helping, are you? What am I talking about? Even Modi’s app has been reported as a personal information stealer.

ISRO Weather Satellite Image for Indian Cloud Cover and Rain Forecast

Like the famed INSAT pictures that used to be shown on DoorDarshan and printed in newspapers, these images from newer Indian satellites will easily tell if it is going to rain in your area.

Bookmark this link. It is a static URL for a dynamic image where the picture changes every few hours but the URL remains the same.


The sad story of the fun Gilligan’s Island

News of Dawn Wells needing money to meet healthcare bills is the last of many sad stories about one of the the most popular TV comedies.

Gilligan's Island cast members

The Professor (Russel Johnson), Mary Ann (Dawn Wells), Gilligan (Bob Denver), Ginger (Tina Louise), Mr. Howell (Jim Backus), Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schafer) and Skipper (Alan Hale Jr.)

Gilligan’s Island was an immensely popular TV show, which originally ran for three seasons in 1964-67. It was initially filmed in B/W and then switched to color. Except for the starting/ending theme footage, which were filmed in Honolulu, Hawaii, the show was filmed entirely on the sets in CBS studios in California. It also used stock footage of an island, which became famous as the Gilligan’s Island.

The show episodes are about the trials and tribulations of the crew and passengers of a storm-struck pleasure boat that got marooned on an uncharted island. As nobody knows that the island even exists, the island was ignored by all rescue attempts. The stranded people tried to get rescued several times but failed miserably each time. Meanwhile, the marooned somehow managed to bring a semblance of comfortable living with what little they brought with them or what the island could offer.

Semblance is quite a stretch. There comes the comedy part. When the show was being pitched, CBS executives did not think it could be sold to the public. However, the pilots were very successful and the series continued for several seasons. The plots of each episode stretched the limits of believability but the good-natured fun the show provided overcame all that skepticism.

The crew consisted of the captain known as the “Skipper” (Alan Hale Jr) and his mate Gilligan (Bob Denver). Gilligan was an innocent but bumbling fool and was the main reason for the failure of many rescue/escape attempts. Then, there was the Professor (Russel Johnson), an up-and-coming film actress Ginger played by the lanky and beautiful Tina Louise, and the pretty little village girl Mary Ann played by Dawn Wells. The Howells were an uber-rich couple who for unexplained reasons hired the boat to be side-by-side with common folk. They apparently brought with them a seemingly unlimited supply of cash, jewels, and clothing with them. The Skipper, Gilligan and the Professor wore the same clothes throughout. The girls seemed to have packed several dresses and abundant supplies of makeup for the trip.

During their stay, the island was visited by Russian spies, primitive head-hunting tribes, one Japanese soldier who believed the World War 2 was still going on, a South American dictator, an evil scientist, runaway gangsters, a human-hunting adventurer, Tarzan, a gorilla, a Beetles-like music group, Phil Slivers, Mae West and many others. Several unusual things washed up to the island’s lagoon including a navy mine, a secret service attache case, a magician’s box of wonders, a silent movie producing kit, a misguided space capsule and cans of ice-cream! There was a case of homing pigeons. The professor improvised a lot of devices out of salvaged parts, once even creating a transmitter. Mr Howell tried to use his immense money power on the visitors. However, none of these interventions resulted in a successful escape. There was always an ending surprise which ruined everything – the surprise usually being Gilligan.

After 98 episodes, the show was suddenly cancelled by a stupid CBS chief along with several other comedy shows. The producers had told the actors that show would be renewed for another season and had to tell them later that it was not. This apparently brought misery because some of them took on debt and bought properties in anticipation of the continuation of the show, which was doing well at that time.

The producers then sold out. The new owners made a killing as the show continued to be popular for decades in re-runs. Generations of American kids grew up watching Gilligan’s Island after school.

The actors meanwhile were not doing well. They became stereotyped and were strongly identified with the show. Film makers could not imagine them doing other characters. All of the actors, except maybe Bob Denver, had impressive acting credits before the show. They were suddenly left without acting offers.

Tina Louise was upset even when the show was being produced. She initially thought she was the main attraction of the show but became one of seven equally important cast members. After the show ended, she acted in a few films and TV shows but she was not as successful as she expected. Of the others, Jim Backus (the Hartley Benson of the Mel Blanc show) did better as Mr. Magoo and other roles.

After a long legal battle, the producer Sherwood Schwartz settled out-of-court with the owners of the rerun rights. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The cast members still did not get anything from the settlement. [Interestingly, Sherwood Schwartz was one of the writers for I Married Joan. Joan Davis owned the rights of her show (unusual for  woman at that time) and died at the young age of 48. Jim Backus played Joan’s husband in the show.]

When a final TV movie for Gilligan’s Island was to be made featuring the rescue Tina Louise refused to act in it unless she was offered double the money. She knew Schwartz was a cunning fellow and treated him as such. She knew she would get no residuals from any Schwartz production. However, other cast members were anxious for the opportunity to entertain fans and agreed to act without Louise. The script for Ginger’s replacement in the TV movie included sneak attacks on Tina Louise who had to opt for less than stellar film roles. This was typical of Schwartz, who named the boat SS Minnow as a slight against FCC chairman Newton Minnow (who was very critical of TV programs). In the movie, the shipwrecked ride out of the island in a raft they built to avoid a storm. They get a grand reception at Honolulu from where the Minnow was originally operating.

One more reunion TV movie and some documentaries were made of the Island. Bob Denver and Russel Johnson died in obscurity. Alan Hale started a steak restaurant. Natalie Schafer (Mrs. Howell) was already wealthy and did not suffer like some of the rest. Dawn Wells and Tina Louise are the only remaining cast members. I wish them health and happiness for all the fun they provided.

After Dawn Wells was hospitalized for several surgeries & suffered investment failures, she lost her home and incurred a lot of debt. A friend started an online crowdfunding effort, which quickly met its goal. Wells family was embarrassed by it. Wells finally moved into an assisted-living facility. This brings back a dialogue spoken by the Skipper from the Shakespearean play Hamlet.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
Do not forget:
Stay out of debt.
Think twice and take this good advice from me:
Guard that old solvency!

I watched all episodes several times. My kid watches them every day and sometimes speaks like the Howell couple.

All 98 episodes and the TV movies are available on DailyMotion. It is one of those rare shows that never grow old.


YouTube Annoyances Remover 2019.06 Update

Disables ads, turns off autoload/autoplay, adds RSS link, deletes “recommended for you” videos, unhides description, displays all comments, changes profile link to videos page; changes region to US, displays video thumbnail image, lists offline download links, and adds a link to the lighter version on Hooktube if video is not playable for codec reasons.

Youtube video download links

The current video link, the Hooktube video link, and other format/bitrates are linked. These links when used with DownThemAll add-on (renaming option set to “*text*.mp4) 

will ensure the download is completed offline.

This script supports Firefox-based browser up to version 36. Newer versions should use a UserAgent (UA) spoofer add-on. YouTube loads a lighter version of the YouTube page for older browsers. This script will require the GreaseMonkey add-on to be executed by the Firefox browser. The download links can then be sent to the DownThemAll add-on with the file renaming mask “*text*.mp4”.

It seems that Mozilla has effectively destroyed its add-on ecosystem by switching over to Google Chrome’s WebExtensions format. I recently installed the latest version of Firefox and it has no add-ons worth naming in its download portal. DTA is not there and neither is Greasemonkey. If had Google had infiltrated Mozilla and decapitated its top management, Firefox couldn’t be worse. Mozilla’s own management is diluting its brand appeal, frustrating add-on developers, disappointing its user community and effectively throwing Internet users to the jaws of the Google spyware called Chrome. (https://www.thewindowsclub.com/microsoft-disabled-these-chromium-services-features-in-new-edge)

For embedded YouTube videos, use the new script com.vsubhash.js.embedded-video-catcher.user.js.

Unable to stream YouTube and other videos

I have lived in several houses in three South Indian states. In all of them, there are unusual electric disturbances. The net connection is also very unstable. (I wrote the NetCheck desktop and mobile application for this reason – http://vsubhash.com/netcheck-app-for-android.html) When the net connection seems to be stable, the electrical disturbances trips the Internet modem.

For this reason, I am unable to play videos as an online stream. I have to download them first and play them offline on the TV. The downloads have to be constantly restarted because the net connection stops intermittently.

The electrical disturbances destroys electrical appliances. I run the entertainment systems and computers on a UPS and this protects them. But, I can hear the UPS relay clicking incessantly. Earlier, the modem was on the mains directly. Now, it runs of the UPS. Even then, the modem stops net connection for some reason.

Apart from the electrical disturbances, the power supply is cut several dozen times a day – in all three states. In a month, they are off for an entire day or an entire night for at least three or four days. This always happens when I am visiting someone and trying to work on a computer. The UPS supports the modem and the network switch for about 20 minutes if my laptop is powered from the battery. If I am on the desktop, the backup lasts for just five minutes.

I rarely use the mobile now. Here too, the net connection is not stable.

In this video, you can hear the racket created by the relay. In the background, you can hear the fan speed going up and down with the voltage fluctuations.

How to composite videos using FFMPEG

Video overlays are not easy but can be done.

I have two videos and I need to place them side-by-side in a new video. The dimensions first video (blob.mp4) was 1280×720. The second video (aoc.mp4) was 406×720.

The compositing was achieved by using a complex filter:

ffmpeg -i blob.mp4 -i aoc.mp4 -filter_complex "[0:v]pad=1686:720:0:[a]; [a][1:v]overlay=1280:0[b]" -map "[b]" -pix_fmt yuv420p aoc-meets-garbage-disposal.mp4

In the first part of the filter, I specified that the first input video (blob.mp4) will have a dimension of 1686×720, where 1686 is the total width of the both videos side-by-side. A map identifier “[a]” is used for this screen canvas. Next, with a semicolon delimiter, the second video is specified as appearing at 1280 pixels from the left edge at 0. (Yes, it begins at zero. I got a stupid “Overlay area … not within the main area … or zero-sized… Failed to configure input pad on Parsed_overlay_1” error when I thought I had to use 1281 as the starting point of the second video.) The overlaid video is then map identified as “[b]”. This map is then encoded to the output video.

Of course, this video does not have audio. So, I extracted the audio from both videos using FFMPEG, mixed them using Audacity (although I could have done it using FFMPEG as well), and slipstreamed the audio to the composite video using FFMPEG.

ffmpeg -i blob.mp4 -vn blob.mp3
ffmpeg -i aoc.mp4 -vn aoc.mp3

#Created garbage.mp3 from blob.mp3 and aoc.mp3 using Audacity

ffmpeg -i aoc-meets-garbage-disposal.mp4 -i garbage.mp3 -codec copy aoc-meets-garbage-disposal-mix.mp4

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the US Congresswoman, lived in New York where garbage disposal machines were banned and people did not buy them even after the ban was lifted. She recently caused worldwide hilarity after posting an ominous video about her discovery of the garbage disposal machine in her sink. She must have at least seen them in movies or TV.