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5 Simple Steps to Implement System Call in Debian

5 Simple Steps to Implement System Call in Debian

Ever thought of doing a function that a computer performs, on your own? Fascinated by what happens within the kernel? Well, let’s get started by learning how to implement system call in Debian.

Open source distributions allows us to manipulate the original source code and customize it to our need. It’s a great platform to experiment with the conventional methods and processes done by the operating system. Debian Linux distribution has been used here.

What is a system call?

Before we start implementing system calls, let’s just understand what it actually is. A system call is a way of requesting the OS kernel to do something on your behalf.  Rather than jumping to some code, your program has to ask the CPU to switch into the kernel mode and then go to a predefined location within the kernel to handle your system call. Since all you need is a table entry and a few codes here and there, it’s quite easy to implement your system call. Worth a shot, right?

A note for the readers:

Since this tutorial involves getting a copy of Linux source code, manipulating and finally booting it; if you’re not confident enough to directly try it out in your system, it’s best to try this on a Virtual Machine (VM). To setup a VM in your Linux pc : Read

How to implement system call in Debian:

Step 1: Get the kernel source using APT

The following command will download the kernel source code with Debian patches:

$ sudo apt-get install linux-source-3.16

Next we’ve to create a new directory to extract the kernel source into

$ mkdir ~/kernel-src

and change into that directory

$ cd ~/kernel-src

Extract the kernel source into the current directory

$ tar -xaf /usr/src/linux-source-3.16.tar.xz

Step 2:Add the new system call source code

Change into the linux source directory

$ cd ~/kernel-src/linux-source-3.16

Make a new directory for the system call source files and change into it. Let’s call it helloworld

$ mkdir helloworld &&amp
cd helloworld

We need to put a Makefile inside this directory so that the make build automation will be able to compile our source code. Make is a build automation tool that automatically builds executable programs from source code by reading Makefiles which specify how to derive the target program.

$ touch Makefile

Now let’s add the source code and name it hello.c

The next step is to modify the Makefile. This will ensure that our source file hello.c will be compiled and included in the kernel.

Then, add the helloworld directory to the kernel’s Makefile. So change back to the linux-source directory and edit the Makefile.

$ cd ~/kernel-src/linux-source-3.16/

Find the line (#842) in the system call table which says

and change it to

After that we’ve to register the system call in the linux system calls table. So change into the syscalls directory.

$ cd ~/kernel-src/linux-source-3.16/arch/x86/syscalls/

For 64 bit systems

Edit syscall_64.tbl and append the following line at the end

Note: The syscall number might be different in your case. Just add one to the syscall number in the previous entry (319 + 1 = 320). Also keep note of the syscall number for later use.

For 32 bit systems

Edit syscall_32.tbl and use i386 instead of 64 as ABI, the rest is same for both.

Finally we’ve to include our system call in the syscalls header file, for this:

Change into include directory and find syscalls.h

$ cd ~/kernel/linux-source-3.16/include/linux/

Edit syscalls.h and append the following line at the end of the file before #endif

asmlinkage long sys_hello(void);

Install Build Tools

$ sudo apt-get install fakeroot build-essential

Step 3:Configuring the Kernel

Since we’re compiling the same version of the kernel with our system call, the configuration will most likely be the same. So we can use the same configuration proposed by Debian without too many modifications.

Copy the current configuration file.

$ cp /boot/config-3.16.0-4-amd64 ~/kernel-src/linux-source-3.16/.config

Note: The config filename might be different depending on the kernel version

Update the configuration by running

$ make oldconfig

If you hadn’t used an old configuration then run the following command to configure everything manually

$ make menuconfig

Step 4:Compiling the Kernel

Once the configuration process is done we’re ready to compile the kernel. The following command will start the compilation process

$ make -j5

where N in -jN is the number of build jobs to be run in parallel (which is usually the no. of cores+1).

The process usually takes 2-3 hours to complete.

Packaging the Kernel

In Debian it is possible to install the kernel, just like any other software, from a deb package. Using a deb package is easier and safe. So we’ll package the compiled kernel.

The following command will generate the required Debian packages

$ make deb-pkg

Step 5:Installing the new Kernel

Now change to the parent directory

$ cd ~/kernel-src/

Install the generated Deb packages

$ sudo dpkg -i *.deb

After installation reboot the system. Choose the new kernel while booting.

Testing the System Call

Compile and run the following C program.

Copy the contents of the file :

If you’ve done everything correctly “Hello World!” will be printed in the kernel log, which can be accessed using the following command,

$ dmesg

The final Output after implementing system call will look like this:

custom-syscall-output

 

Congratulations! You’ve implemented and tested your own system call!

Have fun with kernel development 🙂

Google Play Music – Launched in India

Google Play Music – Launched in India

Google has finally brought its Google Play Music to the Indian audience at an introductory rate of Rs.89/month. Competing with the likes of Apple Music, Gaana, Saavn and Wynk among others; Google Play Music allows users to stream, download and listen to a wide range of songs offline.

googleplaylogo

Offering a catalogue of over 40 million local and international hit songs, you can search for your favourites by language, artists and music directors, and even watch their videos then and there. Various contextual and machine learning tools have also been integrated which would recommend songs based on the users’ preference, location etc.

google-play-music

There’s also a facility to curate playlists for specific occasions. Personalised music, now who wouldn’t want that?
With Google Play Music subscription, Indian subscribers can listen to music across a variety of languages, including the regional ones.

To access the Google Play services you need a Google account. A genre selection screen containing a plethora of regional and international music will appear before you, once you’ve signed in. To download the app visit the Google Play Store or the App Store. The service would be available at Rs.89/month to users who sign up within the first 45 days.
https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0

DOTA 2 7.00 Update – The New Journey

DOTA 2 7.00 Update – The New Journey

The biggest update yet in the realm of DOTA 2 was released by Valve just a couple of days ago and it sure as hell is exciting.

the new journey

Titled “The New Journey“, the update is well over 6GB and has brought about massive changes to the game, a new hero- Monkey King; redesigned map and terrain; the skill-tree; and the “Shrines”. Just like the other updates, 7.00 has its own share of chaos and confusion. Let’s have a quick glance of what the new journey is all about.

 

 

  1. The Monkey King:

    monkey king

    The much awaited hero, the Monkey King is a melee agility carry that reminds you of the Chinese mythical character Sun Wukong(our hero goes by the same nickname). Mischievous by nature, the King has a wide range of abilities allowing him to sit atop trees and leap, to slam his powerful staff on the ground, to disguise himself and to summon soldiers to fight for him. The Monkey King also arrives with a brand new terrain, a cool Arcana set and an announcer pack.

     

     

  2. The new HUD and interface:

    monkey king plus selecting hero

    It’s a lot. Increased visibility and options; one click level up for abilities; mana cost is displayed on items; a new shop view; common items and guides; buyback indicator and courier controls; every hero has a backpack (you get to carry 3 additional items that you’ll have to swap with the ones in the main slot (6) to use it).

     

     

  3. The new pre game:

    pregame animu

    monkey king plus selecting hero

    The pre-match battle screen animation is wicked. The hero selection interface has also been tweaked. In addition to the basic filters there are hero suggestions and team compositions followed by the strategy phase (about 30sec) where you can plan out the laning, warding and make initial purchases.

     

  4. The Heroes and their Talent Trees:

    drooww

    Every hero can choose a particular “branch” of the skill tree at levels 10/15/20/25 to attain special bonuses for the hero or his/her ability. Each hero has a unique tree. So, this is really cool as it provides a huge boost to the supports who find it hard to earn XP or gold. And also the ultimate levels are now at 6/12/18. The Aghanim’s Scepter has also undergone a few changes (discussed at the end).

     

  5. The map and terrain:

    roshaan

    The entire map has been remodelled and it will surely be a while to get used to. 4 bounty rune spots in the jungles, 2 power rune spots, new creep camps (2 new ancient creeps) have opened up and almost every jungle has been completely redesigned. Roshan has been moved to a new pit to the north of the river. This would probably cut out the Dire’s advantage of sneaking in to claim the Aegis.

     

  6. The Shrines:

    And then we have the Shrines.

    shrine

    Shrines are a new set of buildings which when activated grants a quick burst of health and mana to the heroes in its radius. They are especially relevant when you need that sudden regen after a fight.

     

So, here’s a brief list of what 7.00 has done to your heroes:

  • Alchemist’s Greevil’s Greed Bounty Rune multiplier rescaled from 3/4/5/6x to a constant 2x.
  • Added a Scepter for Anti-Mage. Causes Spell Shield to passively block and reflect a targeted spell once every 12 seconds. Disabled with Break.
  • Arc Warden’s Tempest Double cooldown increased from 40/35/30 to 60/50/40.
  • Added Scepter to Bounty Hunter. Allows Shuriken Toss to bounce twice on each hero (bounces on everyone once, then bounces through each one again)
  • Brewmaster’s Drunken Haze miss chance rescaled from 45/55/65/75% to 70%
  • Bristleback’s Quill Spray now deals damage as it quickly expands outwards.
  • Chaos Knight’s Chaos Strike now lifesteals for 50% when it crits. Illusions benefit from this as well and a scepter bonus reduces cooldown by 20 seconds and allows Phantoms to be cast on an allied hero.
  • Reworked Crystal Maiden Scepter so that it now applies Frost Bite to any unit that has been standing in the Freezing Field for over 2.5 seconds. Frostbite affects an enemy only once..
  • Dark Seer‘s Wall of Replica no longer deals damage when heroes walk through it but instead applies a 1-second 76% slow.
  • Dragon Knight’s Dragon Tail is now a fast projectile while in Dragon Form.
  • Elder Titan’s Natural Order now removes 40/60/80/100% of the base magic resistance, rather than a fixed amount.
  • Enigma’s Black Hole now slowly rotates enemy units as it pulls them into the center.
  • Lycan’s Feral Impulse no longer provides 15/20/25/30 Attack Speed.
  • Meepo clones now share full attributes without Scepter.
  • Necrophos’ Sadist replaced with a new ability, Ghost Shroud. Turns you Ethereal for 3/3.5/4/4.5 seconds and grants you a 600 AoE slow aura that reduces enemy movement speed by 12/20/28/36%. While you are in this form you take 20% more magic damage but any HP/MP you heal is amplified by 50%. Cooldown: 28/24/20/16
  • Omni Knight’s purification mana cost reduced from 100/120/140/160 to 70/90/110/130.
  • Added Scepter to Phantom Lancer. Causes Spirit Lance to bounce on nearby enemies. Bounce Range: 400. Bounce cap: 5.
  • Phoenix’s Sun Ray changed from Pure to Magical damage type.
  • Added a Scepter for Riki. Increases ultimate duration by 4 seconds. Allows you to target an allied hero, hiding inside them for the duration. The radius that you attack in follows the allied hero. 1000 Cast Range.
  • Reworked Shadow Shaman’s Mass Serpent Wards Scepter. Now causes Serpent Wards to have a split shot, attacking two units each for full damage.
  • Treant Protector’s Nature’s Guise is now a passive ability. Whenever you are within 265 range of a tree for 6/5/4/3 seconds (without attacking), you gain invisibility and 16/22/28/34% movement speed bonus. When you attack out of invisibility, you bash the target for 1/1.4/1.8/2.2 seconds. Your attack out of invisibility cannot miss. You can cast while invisible.
  • Reworked Zeus Scepter. Grants you a new ability, Nimbus, that creates a storm cloud anywhere on the map. The cloud casts Lightning Bolt automatically on a random enemy within 500 AoE once every 2.5 seconds (scales with cooldown reduction). Clouds last 50 seconds. Cooldown: 50, Mana cost: 275. Requires 8 hits from ranged heroes to kill (4 from melee heroes, 16 from non-heroes), and has a 100 gold bounty.

In addition to this, there are other minor changes. Viper, Slardar and Enigma have new skins. Bot matches allow the inclusion of community authored bots. Bigger trees, grasses, and wind effects are present.

drow

This update would probably force players to approach the game from a new perspective since everyone would be a freshman. Some are taking it well, while the others are lamenting about the loss of DOTA 2’s pure form due to the slight similarities of the update to the ones in LOL (League of Legends) and HOTS (Heroes of the Storm).

 

To quote Meister Eckhart, a German philosopher: “It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings”.

A new journey awaits..

 

To checkout the changes in detail click here.


PlayStation VR: A Review

PlayStation VR: A Review

We all know what VR devices are, some of us might have even tried them on but do we want one? 2016 was bound to be the year of VR (Virtual Reality), but it’s anything except that.  The price of the technology, the additional equipment required for it and the unavailability have left the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on the shelf. This was the scenario until Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) came along on 13th October 2016.


playstation-vr

 

 

 

 

 


The PSVR is an affordable (it begins at $399 – $499 while the HTC Vive costs $799) way of experiencing virtual reality at your home. It offers simplicity in assembling and usage.

PSVR Features:

  • 7” OLED SCREEN
  • 360 degree vision
  • 120 frames per second
  • 3D Audio
  • Built-in mic
  • PS Camera
  • DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller

Although the cost of PSVR is low, the specs aren’t as good as Rift and Vive.  But the game library that comes along with the PSVR is impressive already.

Some of the available games are:

  • RIGS Mechanized Combat League
  • Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
  • Batman: Arkham VR
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
  • Statik
  • Here They Lie
  • Battlezone
  • Tethered
  • Driveclub VR


rigs

 

 

 

 


Moving on to the spec part, I’d say the main problem faced while using PSVR would be the “persistent shudder”. Even while you are perfectly still, your in-game controllers seem to be constantly moving, as if your character is shuddering.

The camera doesn’t do a great job of tracking your head’s movement. It fails to track your full range of motion.

The PSVR headset is fairly light and manages heat effectively. But it does contain a lot of interlocking and breakable parts.

In a nutshell, PSVR is an excellent experience. Its shortcomings are noticeable only if you analyze it critically or if you have a lot of VR experience.

“PlayStation VR is the latest member of the PS4 family – so whichever PS4 console you own, you’re PS VR ready; connect the headset to your PS4, add a PlayStation Camera and leave reality behind.” – PlayStation


Say Hello to Allo!

Say Hello to Allo!

google-allo-cover

There are too many ways to text someone and the much talked about Google Allo has finally joined the club. It is a smart messaging app released by Google for Android and iOS users. It does what you expect from a messaging app: sends texts, pictures, stickers and have fun group chats. So, what makes Allo stand out from the pack? Well, it has Google. Google has integrated its AI Google Assistant which uses Google’s machine learning capabilities to answer your queries, into Allo.

Features:

  • Smart Reply: Allo helps you to respond quickly while you are on the move. Using Smart Reply you can message your friends with just a tap. It also suggests responses for photos.  The suggestions improve over time and adjust to your style.

 

  • Photos, Emojis, Stickers: Allo provides you with a rich canvas to convey your emotions. Text and emojis can be resized by dragging the send button vertically. Photos can also be doodled upon to give them a personal touch. Moreover, it comes with more than 25 custom sticker packs to choose from.

  • Google Assistant: As mentioned above, Allo contains a preview version of Google Assistant. You can converse with the Assistant, ask it questions and allow it to help you out. You don’t have to leave a conversation to search something as you can bring your Assistant to the chat using @google.
    • Making plans: You can easily make plans for a movie or for dinner with your friends. Just add the Assistant to the chat and ask it for movie timings, restaurants or even search for flights and hotels.
    • Having Fun: The Assistant can be used to invoke games in a group chat- for instance you can play a game wherein you’ll have to guess a movie title based on a series of emojis.
    • Get Answers: Google. What more do you need?

 

  • Privacy: Allo allows selective end-to-end encryption. This means that you can chat with selected contacts in the Incognito mode. When you are in Incognito, the notifications are discreet and you can set timers to the chats.

Switch to Allo?

So, the big question is should you switch to Allo? I can only answer vaguely due to the flailed attempts of Google when it comes to messaging (Hangouts, Google Plus). But now, messaging is at the center of the world and Google had to amend its ways with Allo. With the preview of the Assistant looking promising, this works out to be pretty good even though the app is limited to the mobile platforms. But as with any fresh app, Allo still needs some work.
google-play-badgeapple

Doodle Army 2: Mini Militia Tips, Tricks and Chat Codes

Doodle Army 2: Mini Militia Tips, Tricks and Chat Codes

Doodle Army 2: Mini Militia is one of the best games ever developed. With over 5 million downloads, the game has evolved to be one of the most demanded one on android and iOS platforms. Mini Militia is all about intense multiplayer combat with up to 6 players online and 12 players over local Wi-Fi.


minimilitia

Train with the Sarge and sharpen your skills in the offline modes in order to prepare yourself for the online warfare. Mini Militia offers you a wide range of weapons to choose, from the standard Uzi and Magnum to Laser and EMP guns. Grenades, mines and shields are another addition to your weaponry. A jetpack that recharges over time is also provided. The maps in the game are another awesome feature, each with its distinct characteristics. Upgrading to a pro pack would enable you to wield dual weapons and use certain guns which aren’t usually available (Laser, EMP, Sniper).

Tips and Tricks

  1. Melee Attack: Most of the players ignore or rather underestimate the melee attack. This option is useful when the enemy is quite close to you. The attack offered through melee can be upgraded at the shop in exchange for some battle points.
  2. Grenades, gas and mines: These are quite handy in almost every situation. Throw a grenade at a group of enemies huddled together and earn some kills. The gas bomb is quite deadly. Using it at a spawn spot would definitely make the other players hate you but you get massive kills when the number of players are high. These are especially relevant to players who find it difficult to aim well.
  3. Crouching: Crouching can be used to reduce the damage caused by a grenade that fell somewhere near you (not directly on you).
  4. Investing in BP: BP (Battle Points) are a very big deal in this game. More points, the more upgrades you can buy. Earn BP by playing online.
  5. Regens: Regens help you to last longer. Boost regens and health regens should be bought from the shop using  BP because these are crucial for your survival as they replenish your health and boost.
  6. Chat: Typing long sentences while playing can be disturbing. In order to avoid that, make use of the chat codes that are already available. Some of them are:
    • BI – Bring It
    • LG – Lets Go,Yeah
    • RU – Ready Up
    • GS – Get Some
    • NN – Noooooooooooo
    • HH –  A perfect fighting machine
    • CM – Cover Me
    • CB – Come on Boy
    • MO –  Move Out
    • WP – You wanna piece of me!
    • GG – Good Game
    • NS – Nice Shot
    • GM – Oh, they got me!
  1. To improve your boost speed, melee while flying. Meleeing will give you an extra boost.
  2. Committing suicide when the health is quite low is much better than giving points to the other player for killing you.

Keep these in mind, play a lot and consequently you’ll get better and be promoted to higher ranks. Do let us know if these have helped you!

Find more tips here.

 

 

 

N for Nougat!

N for Nougat!

Android N

And now it’s official! Not Nutella, nor Neyyappam but it is N for Nougat. Google has announced that Android-N, its latest version will be named Nougat. For those of you who don’t know what nougat is, it is a sweet made using whipped egg whites, roasted nuts, sugar and candied fruits ( it is a component used in Snickers).

Nougat which has been in the developer stage for the past few months since being announced by Google in May will be the 14th version (Version 7.0) of Android.  Most of the previous versions were also named after sweets or confectioneries from its third version – Cupcake followed by Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, to the most recent Marshmallow.

The name has evoked mixed reactions from all around the world. Nutella was a global favorite, but in India campaigns were even conducted for sweets like Neyyappam. I read somewhere that Google decided not to use Nutella because it sounded more like Nadella (Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corp.)

Anyway, Android-N is something everyone is looking forward to.

Features of Nougat

The main features of Android-N at a glance are as follows:

  • It introduces a split-screen multi-window mode in which two apps could occupy two sides of the screen. An experimental free form multi-window mode is also available.
  • Notifications Shade:

    The notifications have undergone a shade change. And you can even reply to a message within the notification shade. Multiple notifications from a single app will be “bundled”.

  • Doze Changes:

    The doze mode helps to save your battery power. In the previous version of Marshmallow, Doze would be a activated only when the phone remained idle for sometime. But in Nougat, Doze starts once the screen goes off. This helps to save your power even more.

  • Data Saver:

    The name says it all. You finally get to control which apps have access to your data. Although this feature is already available in various handsets, now it will be a feature of Android and hence every device will have it.

  • The settings menu will also spot a new look. It’ll be giving out more info without the user having to select any options and going deeper.

Nougat is slated to reach all devices by August or September 2016. What are the new features that you’ll be looking forward to? Do let us know.

 

How to Play Age of Empires 2 Online – Using GameRanger

How to Play Age of Empires 2 Online – Using GameRanger

Age of Empires is a series of strategy games developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Studios since 1997. The series includes: Rise of Rome, the Conquerors, Age of Kings, and The Asian Dynasties among others. Each game comes with the multiplayer option. At present, you are able to use a few third party websites which support the game in order to make use of the multiplayer facility. And one such method is to use GameRanger. GameRanger is a multiplayer online gaming for PC and Mac.



Given below is a detailed instruction on using GameRanger to play Age of Empires II:

Step I: Downloading

GR Download

 

 

Download GameRanger client from their website.

Step II: Installing and Creating an Account

Install it on your PC or Mac and create an account on GameRanger.

GR Email pwd

 

 

Create your account by choosing a username and password. Now you’ve successfully joined the GameRanger community. You can change your username later on.

Step III:  Locating Age of Empires Servers

GR TABLE

 

 

  • Make sure you’ve the required game.
  • Open GameRanger.
  • Checkout the list and choose any game you want to join provided you have the same game on your system.

For example, suppose you have Age of Empires: The Asian Dynasties. Then you can only join those rooms which are hosting this game. You can’t join Age of Empires: Rise of Rome etc or any other game for that matter.

The rooms with the green dots mean that the game is currently in session and you can’t join. So find a game and just enter the room. The host will decide the rest. People can freely come and go from a game room and you are able to kick users from your room if you are the host.

If you want to host a game, follow STEP IV.

Step IV:  Hosting the Game

GR Hosting

 

 

  • Choose the “Host” button in the GameRanger window.  Ctrl+G is the shortcut key for hosting.
  • Select the required settings and select OK. You’ll be redirected to your room.
  • Once you have the sufficient number of players in your room, select Start.
  • The game will load automatically and you’ll be redirected to the Multiplayer page in AOE where you can choose the game settings and begin the game.

 

NOTE: If anyone in the room has their name in italics it implies that there are some connection issues between their computer and yours. So, you can NEVER play with them even if you are in the same room. Usually, the guy ends up being kicked out. Secondly, everyone in the room should have the same version of the game.

Enjoy!

 

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – A Review

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – A Review

Memoirs of a Geisha is a historical novel written by the American author Arthur Golden and published in 1997. It recounts the tale of a geisha working in the Gion District in the Kyoto prefecture of Japan before and after the WW II.
The main characters: Sayuri (Chiyo), Mameha, Hatsumomo, Chairman, Nobu.

 

Memoirs of Geisha Book Cover

Although it is a work of fiction, narrated in first person perspective through the eyes of Sayuri, the feeling is actually quite real.

Like many a fairytale, the story begins in a poverty stricken village called Yoroido on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Chiyo aged 9 and her elder sister Satsu are the children of an aged fisherman and his ailing wife. But unlike her sister, Chiyo is a beautiful and bright girl distinguished by her lovely gray eyes that resemble those of her mother’s. But the girls end up being sold into slavery by a local businessman after their mother’s death. Chiyo is sent to a geisha house (okiya) run by the Nitta family in the Gion District and her sister Satsu into a house of prostitution. Chiyo makes a futile attempt to escape from the okiya, find Satsu and run away. Later on she is introduced to the life of a Geisha. She masters various art forms and begins to dress up in ornate clothing, makeup and accessories. She befriends another geisha around her age, nicknamed Pumpkin who lives in the Nitta Okiya. Chiyo the village girl blossoms into Sayuri, the geisha. En route to becoming one of the most popular geisha Kyoto had ever known, Sayuri must endure her rival Hatsumomo who is more or less like a witch.

Mr.Golden allows Sayuri to narrate in a simple manner using chatty and colloquial terms. The reader is able to relate to her feelings and the ordeals she has to undergo while being a geisha. We get to know how a geisha gives company and how she acquires a wealthy patron (Danna). The story is so convincing that you feel like you are beside Sayuri throughout her journey.

The element of suspense is encountered here and there.
Will Hatsumomo undermine Sayuri and her reputation? Will Mameha, her mentor, protect her? Will she end up with a wealthy doctor as her Danna? Or will it be Nobu, the ugly but kind business partner of the Chairman? Or is it the one she loves, the Chairman who becomes her Danna? This results in such an entertaining plot with a lot of twists and it holds the reader rapt. The author presents before us the portrait of a Geisha and the beauty of a largely vanishing world.

The book was described as an “overnight success” for Mr.Golden. But Memoirs of a Geisha came after 15 years of hard work and research. The best-seller was later made into a movie. The book and the author received flak for misinterpreting facts and information and defaming a geisha. Even then, it is worth reading.

 

Buy Flipkart
Buy-Amazon

 

The Day a Computer Became an Author

The Day a Computer Became an Author

Artificial Intelligence. Quite a common word these days. Some get excited at it. For others, it’s a terrifying thought. Most people are worried that the robots are taking over human jobs. Be it in industries or stores or any such place. But no one would’ve even thought of robots turning into authors, wielding their metal alloy fingers to pen away stories. And it has already happened!

 

A Japanese AI program has co-authored a short story titled “The Day a Computer Writes a Novel” (Konpyuta ga shosetsu wo kaku hi). It was co-written by Hitoshi Matsubara, a computer science professor, along with his team at the Future University, Hakodate, Japan. The story is about how a computer writes a novel and thereby stops working for humans, in order to pursue its passion. The novel was entered into a writing contest for the Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award. Surprisingly, it passed the first screening round in the contest.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I writhed with joy, which I experienced for the first time, and kept writing with excitement.”
“The day a computer wrote a novel. The computer, placing priority on the pursuit of its own joy, stopped working for humans.”Almost 80% of the novel had a human involvement in some way or the other. The professor and his team decided on things like the plot and the gender of the characters. They also selected some prepared sentences which helped the AI to bring the book together. While the book didn’t win the award, it showed the potential of an AI. The creative factor, made the AI’s achievement quite impressive. Moreover the novel was rather well structured ignoring some minor errors here and there.


_If an algorithm could do so well in such a field, a field that requires creativity, then no occupation is safe from the machines. But, only a half of this achievement could be credited to the AI. The other half belongs to Prof.Hitoshi and his team. The professor now wants to research on the creative side of a machine. So, some groups of people argue that an AI works better when partnered with a human. The AI-human combo can easily defeat another AI or a group of human. _
_This “artificial author” has resulted in a huge development in the field of AI research. Hopefully we’ll be smart enough to not let the machines take over everything. We don’t need that I , Robot movie happening in real life now, do we? _