The surprisingly delightful musings of a humble Virginian whose satiric paeons to a plausible utopia implicitly shame the cynical zeitgeist of our times, causing it to cry, as 'twere, 'Damn, what was I thinking?' or words to that effect.

July 2018

Pipe Dream or the Next Big Thing: You be the judge

Or better yet, how about if we let Munesh Chandra Trivedi decide?

I had just finished feeding a ravenous scold of partially tamed blue jays by depositing chopped peanuts on the railing of my upstairs balcony, when I suddenly took it into my head to canvass the state of steganography on the World Wide Web. For a long time, I had been contemplating the creation of a breakthrough video application based on the ability to hide information inside images, and I now considered it high time to discover if anyone could advisedly salute my brainstorm after I had run it up the flag pole of intelligent scrutiny. I knew my idea was theoretically doable, but was the state-of-the-art in this fledgling field mature enough to bring my ideas to honest-to-goodness fruition? Better find out once and for all, I reasoned, lest I impulsively buy a Jeep Cherokee on anticipation of a payday (both figurative and literal) that will never come.

(True, the Cherokee I wanted need not be brand-new, but even the used ones are ridiculously expensive if you ask me. Yes, an online search reveals some very promising prices, indeed -- but then one soon realizes that the figures being quoted reveal the amount that you can save if you act now, and are actually just a fraction of the real-world price tag for the SUV in question.)

So thinking, I betook myself to Googling the appropriate terminology ("steganography, video," etc.) when my attention was arrested by the disproportionate prevalence of one Munesh Chandra Trivedi in the search results. Everywhere I looked, it was "Munesh this, Munesh that." Here was a man who obviously stood out in the field of steganography, even among the plethora of eggheads that appear upon a search of such a relatively abstruse subject. Just reading the title of the books that he had published was depressing insomuch as it amounted to an implicit rebuke of my feeble attainments on the scientific and technological front. Here, after all, was the esteemed author of "Electronic Commerce," "Systems Analysis and Design," "Practical Approach of Software Engineering," and even "Artificial Neural Networks Technology." Did somebody say "egghead par excellence"? One can hear the stand-up comedian now asking: "Yes, but I wonder what Munesh does when he's not frittering his time away on his technological hobbies!"

But it wasn't until I saw the book entitled "Digital Image Processing" on Munesh's seemingly endless resume that I knew I had found the ultimate touchstone for the validity of my technological idea. Munesh would tell me whether I had the "next big thing" or whether I was doomed to tool around forever in my Pearl Red Toyota Corolla that I purchased 18 years ago at Car Max in Fairfax, Virginia, for a mere 5,000 clams. Not that the Corolla wasn't holding its own, mind you, considering the fact that it had now been to the moon and back with 12,000 miles to spare, but one does want to keep up with the Jones's, however belatedly. And the windfall from my brainstorm might help me do just that. (Pardon my strategic vagueness as to the details of my conceptual breakthrough: suffice it to say that it would save a pretty penny for broadcasters and video owners alike and change forever the way that subtitles and captions are created for motion pictures. But I will say no more. Indeed, I fear that I may have already tipped my hand to the deductive diligence of any Detective Dupins out there, to whom I can only say this: patent pending, baby. Patent definitely pending. Humph!)


Done. I just e-mailed a detailed letter to Munesh Chandra Trivedi regarding my proposed video app based on steganography. Now, I can just sit back and wait. (Dum-dee-dum-dum... Let's see, how much time has passed? Only five seconds? You've got to be kidding me! Seems more like five minutes to me!)

I know what you're thinking: "What if Munesh steals your idea, Brian, and creates this mysterious application of yours by himself? Then how are you gonna purchase that Jeep Cherokee that you've apparently got your heart set on?"

Well, first of all, the Munesh that I know would never do such a thing. True, I only know him via his chock-a-block professional resume, but one can intuit therefrom a most generous soul indeed (based on nuanced considerations which are, however, far beyond the scope of a post like this one, destined as it is for a mere casual readership). Moreover, I could never parley my idea into "the next big thing" without help from a brainiac of the first order. And if that brainiac sees fit to fleece me, I will happily chalk it up to fate.

No, my real fear is that this Munesh person might never even reply to my missive, in which case I would be forced to address my concerns to the many lesser lights in the firmament of technological braininess, in which case, the devil only knows what advice I might get.

No, I'm just going to sit here and wait for Munesh to get back to me, thanks just the same. (Dum-dee-dum-dum... Hmm. Still no response.)

Oh, wait a minute. It looks like Munesh lives in Ghaziabad, India, where he's a Professor, no less, at ABES Engineering College. No WONDER he isn't getting back to me in a timely manner: He lives on the other side of the freaking globe! Note to self: Let the man sleep, for goodness' sake!

Well, I'll give him another 12 hours then: Better yet, another 14 hours, so that he can get his coffee and have a nice shower before he gets back to me.

Ooh, I can't wait.

The cool thing is, I don't even have to make a penny from my proposed app: I need merely convince some venture capitalists that it's the next big thing, and they'll start throwing money at me like I'm a belly dancer at a stag party -- or rather like Heidi Klum is a belly dancer working on my behalf, skipping across the countertops of someone's basement bar, sashaying now to the left, now to the right: in short, shaking it like she really does in fact mean it. "Go, Klum! Go, Klum!" (Now THERE'S a dance-hall imperative that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.)

I don't want to put the cart before the horse (or the Jeep Cherokee before the Toyota Corolla) but a quick jaunt down to Harrisonburg, Virginia, might be in order, to visit my new local CarMax, just so I'll be prepared in case Munesh decides to form a business partnership with yours truly, and/or provides me with the technical insight wherewith to milk this cash cow by myself. It can never hurt to eyeball the merchandise in advance of actually buying it.

First things first, however, as the partially tamed blue jays are at it again, evincing their rapacity with the customary infernal screeches. Sigh! ("All right, already, I'm coming, guys. Honestly!")

Copyright 2017, Brian Quass (follow on Twitter)