Showing posts from March, 2011

Bhuvan - A Review

Swami Nikhilaananda said: " Bhuvan - an Indian project with a great potential... " A lot of people heard about a venture by ISRO to create better quality maps using their advanced satellites, but then didn't hear much about it later. The name of the project is Bhuvan, and it is touted to be better than Google Maps. So, let's see a little about Bhuvan (my experience) Bhuvan - Gateway to Indian Earth Observation The link to the Bhuvan website is here - For starters, the project looks really good, but I don't believe that it is still completely ready to replace Google Maps. In fact, it is far from it. The moment you visit the site, you have an option to Enter Bhuvan in 2D or 3D mode. If you click on the 2D mode, you are taken to a page where you can view the whole world in a flat map-like mode, and you can navigate and zoom in, just like in Google Maps. However, you will pretty soon realise that the maximum zoom level is far from

The Happy Picture

Baba Gyani Triviani said: " They say that a picture is worth a thousand words... It's true! " Whenever I find some time, I draw a random doodle on the whiteboard in my office place... This one was dedicated to one of my friends who was really excited and happy. So, I decided to draw a happy picture. This is not exactly the original one (that one was colourless and drawn only by me) and this one is slightly modified by others two - hence the erasing marks. However, someone found this picture giving them so much joy that they also shared. So, here I am, sharing this happy picture for whatever it is worth... Yeah, it's a worthless doodle in the absolute sense, but for a guy who is really truly happy, it perfectly captured his mood. --- Original unmodified pic (but looks like the camera was shaken during capture)

Earth Hour - Why it is useless

Swami Gulagulaananda angrily shouted: " World Earth Hour is a sham, and I refuse to be a part of tokenism. I will continue to propound aggressive pursuit rather than an hour of foolishness " World Earth Hour: A marathon movement started by WWF (Not the wrestling federation) to generate awareness about environment by turning off all your electrical appliances for an hour on a day in the year. Tokenism (as defined by WordWeb) A policy of formally complying with efforts to achieve a goal by making small, token gestures; especially to hire a minimal number of ethnically diverse or disadvantaged people Swami Gulagulaananda's view The world is rapidly progressing, and with progress, people are getting richer and can buy a lot more things than people could before. I remember, as a school child, that an air conditioner was a big deal, owning a two wheeler wasn't very common and owning a car (White Ambassador or a Fiat Padmini) was considered as being rich. But fiftee

Nuclear Energy - Boon or Bane?

Baba Gyani Triviani said: " Good were the days when people played Duke Nukem, Now people just say Dude Nuke 'em " Nuclear energy has been a controversial topic and a topic of debate from ages ago. In this post, I would like to analyse this from a layman's perspective. Countries are growing rapidly, both economically and by population. And a commodity that seems to be needed more than ever, and the need for which will continue to grow unabated is energy. Energy is needed to do anything - Whether it is to recharge your cell phone, or to power huge machinery, it's a fundamental requirement. And all these days, we were using thermal power for most of the energy. With passage of time and with growing demand for energy and a rapidly declining stock of coal, natural gas and oil, search for alternate sources of energy has become a high priority. And one of the top contenders is Nuclear energy. Of course, there are other sources, but the problem is that they are not

Vodafone customer care has a good sense of humour

Swami Nikhilaananda tweeted: " @VodafoneIN - *face-palm* " When you are using some service online, there is normally a checkbox before you hit submit where you agree to receive mails "Special Offers" and other newsletters. A good web site is one that has this checkbox disabled by default, and before hitting submit, if the user wants to receive it, he will check the box. However, most people don't like getting unwanted mails flooding their inboxes, and end up not selecting this box. So, what some services do is that they keep this checked by default. This is not a good system for the end-user because a lot of them just hit submit without seeing that they are unknowingly authorsing the service to send them mails. Unchecking it each time I perform an operation is tedious, tiresome, arduous, labourious and what not.... So good systems should not enable this. Vodafone has one such checkbox that is enabled by default. So, every time I recharge my phone online,

Fanaticism and Truth

Swami Nikhilaananda said: " When you are a fanatic, even the simplest truths appear untrue " I don't want to talk a lot about this - The statement made above should suffice and prove to be self explanatory. However, if you can follow Kannada, watch the video below. I personally enjoy watching a lot of Kannada movies (not the latest ones, but the ones that were released up to around five years back) and am an avid fan of Udaya Movies and similar Kannada channels. I enjoy all kinds of goofy antics of various actors, some times even slapstick (not if it is too annoying) and a whole lot of other areas... However, watch a short clip that I happened to stumble across when I was browsing through some Kannada clips. This dialogue IS crappy according to me, because there is nothing remotely funny. But go through the comment threads and see what people have written. Some insult Kannada (which is wrong), Kannada movies in general (which is wrong), some defend Kannada (of course,

How Media Messes With Your Head

Swami Nikhilaananda said: " Often, partial information is very dangerous... And what's more dangerous is misrepresentation of facts " Ok, it's been quite a while since I have bitched about Times Of India being immature. So, here I go... But before you think that this is yet another rant, let me tell you that this is just a case in point and that the same is applicable for any means of mass media of any brand. The following is a snapshot of today's TOI front page article. Just read the first line and you will know what I mean. (Click on the image to enlarge) The first line starts off by boldly making a statement that "your effort to defend yourself against a stray dog attack - or for that matter any animal - may land you in jail for 'violent action' "... Notice the word * Defend * that has been used, not attack. It is understandable that you are penalised for an unprovoked attack on a dog that was just sitting by itself, minding its own busin

Bug in Application Protection

Swami Nikhilaananda said: " Every system has vulnerabilities... Sooner or later someone will find it and either report it or exploit it " RuimanInfo has created a fantastic app called Application Protection that does exactly that the name says - Protect apps. I use it mainly to protect my inbox so that prying eyes won't be able to read my messages. The way in which this app works is simple - When someone tries to open a protected app, a password screen gets thrown. However, I found that there was a way to bypass this screen for messages. If you install Google Translate app, there is a feature in that app to send an SMS using a translated language. Now, when I open inbox using conventional method, the password screen is thrown as usual. But, when I try to send an SMS through the Google Translate app, immediately the inbox gets opened by bypassing the Application Protection screen. I don't know if this is a bug with this program or with Google's app... But this w