Equifax advertisement fail on Facebook

equifax

 

I know it’s a woman with hand on chin! LOL!

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A humble beginning

Just started a forum for Telugu folks – www.gongura.net
Gotta build good audience for that.

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Time suckers at work

Sometimes, I feel I’m wasting too much time at work and then working after I get back to home to cover up. So, I decided to eliminate the time suckers at work one by one. Surprisingly, the productivity boost is good. Here are the most biggest time wasters:

  • Facebook – I’m not a facebook tester to keep browsing facebook all the day. Well, that’s what facebook wants their users to do, but I say “Not at work!” I asked my wife to change the password and not tell me (very low self-control when it comes to facebook :-| ) and only use my home computer and mobile phone to browse facebook where I’m logged in already. This saves hell lot of time.
  • e-mail – How often do you check your physical mail box? If it were urgent, wouldn’t they have called you? Check it in the morning or after you go home. This saves hell lot of time.
  • Newsletters and blogs – If you really need to follow them daily, not a bad idea to spare some time for them. But if you have too many of them, alas!
  • Music/Music Videos – If you have a playlist ready, just play it and start working, otherwise, it’s worth creating one for work and playing that. Don’t waste time on going to youtube to decide what to play next.
  • IM – Both personal and work IM could be wasting your time. Try going invisible on both if not absolutely required.

These saved a lot of time for me, probably will for you too. Work while you work, play while you play!

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No Machine and other Remote Access clients

Most of software engineers might be working on multiple computers. For example, you could have a windows laptop you use for checking your mail, writing documents and browsing. And a Linux desktop that is used for software development. This is a common scene in most companies now. You might wonder what’s the best remote access tool that you should use. Here is what I do and I’m kinda satisfied with the tools I use.

I’ve using multiple computers at work since 2006. I’ve used mainly two remote access tools – putty and VNC. I have stopped used VNC and started using ‘No Machine’ since last year.

Putty

This is extremely useful when you need to do a thing or two on a remote server and wrap up after some time. This servers the basic purpose of remote connectivity, but not very powerful. Just save your sessions, keys etc. and it would be very easy to login to remote machines.

Putty is extremely painful when you are on a fleaky network or when you need to connect to multiple machines at once. One network connection drop – you need to reconnect again.

Putty + Screen

I use this combination to maintain sessions with multiple production servers. Open a putty session to your desktop and create a screen with multiple sessions and there you go, it’s going to help even when putty crashes, or network connection drop or you just need to hibernate and connect back at home. All your sessions are live in screen, and you just need to connect once to your desktop and open screen. Screen is a great multiplexer. And by combining screen and putty, you can enjoy maximum speed for light operations like only executing commands. For more information on screen, read this - http://www.gnu.org/software/screen/

VNC

I used VNC some time back, but I recently (an year back) switched to No Machine. VNC is a remote access software. This needs to be run both on server and client. This is useful when you need to develop some software on a remote server using an IDE. Usually, I use it when I want to connect to my desktop from home to use an IDE for software development. I found it slower than No Machine. See http://www.realvnc.com/

No Machine

I started using this late last year and I’m really impressed. You will need to install No Machine on both your server and client. Just install No Machine on your desktop, connect from your laptop using No Machine client. It’s very fast, you won’t feel the difference and feels like you are working on the desktop directly. In fact, I completely stopped using my desktop monitor [returned it to our IT team :) ] and connect to my desktop only using No Machine. Now, less clutter on my desk, I use only one monitor that’s connected to my laptop docking station and No Machine does the rest. I would recommend using No Machine for all heavy GUI use like coding on eclipse etc. See http://www.nomachine.com/ (NX Server)

Hope that helps.

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Honesty

There was a farmer who sold a pound of butter to the baker. One day the baker decided to weigh the butter to see if he was getting a pound and he found that he was not. This angered him and he took the farmer to court.

The judge asked the farmer if he was using any measure. The farmer replied, “Your Honor, I am primitive. I don’t have a proper measure, but I do have a scale.”

The judge asked, “Then how do you weigh the butter” The farmer replied “Your Honor, long before the baker started buying butter from me, I have been buying a pound loaf of bread from him. Every day when the baker brings the bread, I put it on the scale and give him the same weight in butter. If anyone is to be blamed, it is the baker.”

What is the moral of the story? We get back in life what we give to others.

Honesty and dishonesty become a habit. Some people practice dishonesty and can lie with a straight face. Others lie so much that they don’t even know what the truth is anymore. But who are they deceiving? Themselves – more than anyone else.

Source: Gems of wisdom by ISKON

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Lessons from the epics

Sometimes I feel that we lost too much in transition from the old India to new India. It doesn’t matter you believe in Ram or not – but it does matter that Ramayana has a lot to offer to our way of life. It doesn’t matter if you believe Kurukshetra is a real war or a cooked up story – but it does matter that Mahabharatam an Bhagavat Gita has a lot to offer to us.

I came across this wonderful presentation called “Lessons from Vidura’s Neeti“. Don’t know who Vidura is? Read this.

Though it’s from Mahabharatam, the presentation has no reference to God or Krishna. It’s just Vidura’s neeti – the facts of life. We discover these through leadership trainings in corporates – which were told to us hundreds of years back!

There is a lot we can learn from the epics, mind you if you do not believe in God – don’t miss these wonderful things, just remove God from Krishna and just take him as a charismatic leader.

Examples that relate to our life:

People who suffer from sleeplessness
• Lovers
• People with no moral values
• People with Skills lacking resources
• People usurped the wealth of strong people through deceit

The following aspects to examined in detail before undertaking any major project:-
• The aspects with which they are related,
• costs and benefits,( in the lomg-term)
• resources available,
• the strengths possessed,
• the major impediments and then take a decision.

The Wise man knows that following SIX if not properly taken care of will leave us:
• Cow, Wife, Employees, agriculture, friendship with people from low status and KNOWLEDGE.

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September is gone, when will I get my 3G?

I thought the operators were supposed to provide 3G services by October/November. But where is it? Looks like operators are still in the process of forming alliances to roll out services in missing areas. If this news is to be believed, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea will form an alliance to provide their customers 3G services even if the operator doesn’t have license in the circle – through other operator in the alliance.

But will the operators make money that they have paid up for the licenses? Looks like some European company has posted losses after they paid for the licenses.

Can operators make money through the masses? How will 3G reach the masses? Daily serials? Reality Shows? Live streaming of cricket matches?

Wait and see what happens!

By the way – do you have any Airtel or Idea stock?

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Five billion and counting

Five billion? Are you kidding? The world population crossed six billion when I was a kid. What are you talking about?

When any one talks about billions, the first thing that comes to our mind is money, the next thing is population. But what’s this five billion? It’s the number of mobile lines in the world. According to Ericsson, the five billionth mobile line came into existence on July 8. That’s a whopping 73% of the world population according to the World Population Clock!

How did this happen? Just because of the low cost handsets and cheap call rates! Back in late 90s and early 2000s, people were afraid to share cell phone numbers with others – reason being incoming calls were also charged. But now, it’s the reverse – dude do you have my reliance number? yeah? ok, take my docomo number. This seems to be fashion of the day and not to mention – the two SIM card phones are pouring in to the market.

If there is any technology that became a true mass market one, I should say it’s the mobile phone!

And soon, the number of mobile connections will overtake the number of people in this world.

By the way, did you know Droid X is now sold by Verizon and Droid Incredible release date is pushed to the future? And an Apple engineer and AT&T raised concerns about the iphone 4 antenna problems?

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Google helps Hindi Wikipedia grow by 20%

Google continues to be the smartest kid, and help the Internet population. Recent article on Google blog says that they are trying to accelerate translation process of Wikipedia.

We selected the Wikipedia articles using a couple of different sets of criteria. First, we used Google search data to determine the most popular English Wikipedia articles read in India. Using Google Trends, we found the articles that were consistently read over time—and not just temporarily popular. Finally we used Translator Toolkit to translate articles that either did not exist or were placeholder articles or “stubs” in Hindi Wikipedia. In three months, we used a combination of human and machine translation tools to translate 600,000 words from more than 100 articles in English Wikipedia, growing Hindi Wikipedia by almost 20 percent. We’ve since repeated this process for other languages, to bring our total number of words translated to 16 million.

It’s interesting to see how Google is trying to use their search traffic analytics. Analyze popular articles read in a region, create stubs in wikipedia in those regional languages and then get volunteers and machines to help translate them.

Bravo, I love Wikipedia. Thanks Wikipedians and Google!

Read the release here: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/translating-wikipedia.html

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A mom hacks school waiting list

We all know that school waiting lists are getting longer than waiting lists for any other damn thing. A desperate mother from London seems to have found a (extreme) way to get her child up the waiting list. Guess how? By getting the other child who is up the waiting list. She created a fake email account, and by giving the right details of the other kid who is on top of waiting list, she requested the school to remove the kid from waiting list. And then her kid moved one spot up the waiting list.

Don’t believe what I’m saying: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/11/school_id_fake_ruse

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