Saturday, March 27, 2010

iPhone tips!

Want to save on battery power and life?

Try out these tips:

1. Turn off Auto brightness option and select the min brightness.

2. When playing games turn off sounds and vibrate.

3. Turn off location settings and select fetch data option > Manually.

4. Use auto lock with immediate option, the early lock saves display power usage.

5. Download and use applications that you really need.

6. Recharge only when power it option appears.

7. Turn off 3G when not needed, might save money as well:)

8. Turn off Data roaming and wireless when not needed.

9. Keep iPhone in apple recommended protective gear because certain covers especially with magnet clip-ons might cause handset to heat up quickly while using or recharging iPhone.

10. When using iPod in iPhone select songs from normal playlist option instead of going for the album cover display swipes and select.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Press 1 for Sanskrit!

I call up an India Customer Care number and the IVR says Press 1 for Sanskrit, Press 2 for English and so on. I press 1 and hear beautiful intonations in Sanskrit detailing service descriptions and choices...

Oh! I was dreaaaaaaaaaaaaaming!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Funny absentmindedness!

Absentmindedness can be funny. Some of its presents to me...

1. I bought a mobile recharge coupon, topped up my account and threw my handset into the trash bin instead of coupon and the looks I got from passers-by while I scoured the bin for my handset.

2. Inserting a hundred rupee note into the ATM's receipt dispensing slot while waiting the machine to print out the transaction details. I had been thinking of paying credit card dues that time.

3. Opening up a film case cover of Camera which was just loaded with a new roll for changing a pair of batteries.

4. Making a local call from a public booth abroad using Indian coins in the coin slot when we just landed.

5. Mixing a scoop of creamy yoghurt with a bowl of fruit-ice cream salad in a family get-together.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What-not Days?

Today is Father's Day, others say and they celebrate. Frankly speaking, this day is a new revelation to me. I've heard about Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Nurses Day, Teacher's Day, Children's Day, President's Day, Independence Day, Republic Day and what-not days?

I think if we flip thru calendars followed by different nationalities in different parts of the world, we might surely come across a wonderful finding: All the 365 days are Celebration Days.

I feel like we are looking out for excuses (read peoples, places or occasions) to celebrate. Hey no! We're are looking out for new and creative ways to allocate quality time with our near and dear ones.

We've become that busy. And we've become smarter too. Instead of spending quality time, we are ingeniously allocating days to specific special persons/needs as its convenient.

By that way nobody complains and everybody gets their own 'great time'! How clever!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Save Athirapally and Vazhachal waterfalls!

What it takes to make a magnificent waterfall a beautiful memory?

Nobody knows it better than the Kerala State government. Their proposed project to set up a 163 MW Hydel power project near the Athirapally waterfalls spending 675 million Indian Rupees is nothing short of doing exactly that. From day 1, since the project was announced it has been greeted by vehement protests from environmental activists, socially responsible engineers, local populace and social activists urging the State government to drop the plan and were lobbying for denial of permission of the project by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India.

Though the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests in a letter to the State Government on March 16 2001, had denied permission to the project as it would destroy 76.094 hectares of forest and 764.972 hectares of estate area in Nelliampathy, the efforts to secure permission went on.

Recently the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on July 19, 2007 cleared the Kerala State Electricity Board's proposal to build a 163-mw dam on the Chalakudy river subject to certain conditions. Though the clearance has sparked protests from environmentalists and scientists, who say the ministry has sounded the death knell to a one-of its-kind riparian ecosystem in Kerala the state government is in no mood to reconsider the project.

We all know how conditions are met when it comes to implementing them. Protesters also fear it will affect 138.6 hectares of forestland, dry up the Athirapally waterfall and affect tribal families living in the area.

The project when implemented would also adversely affect 80 families belonging to the Kadar tribe. The bio-diversity of the area would be destroyed for ever. But what if 80 or 800 families are affected? What bio-diversity you're talking about? What we need is 163 MW hydro energy (experts say the project would generate 26.7 MW only).

In this context, I have some questions: Is Kayamkulam, thermal power plant working to its full capacity? How many of our present hydel projects are working to its optimum capacity? What about curbing transmission losses and proper upkeep of generation systems?

And what's cost of this Project? 675 crores. Don't get into the false belief that the project would be completed by just 675 crores. Earlier estimates were 400 crores. According to Sukumar Azhikkode, noted social activist, writer, educationist and thinker, it would cost atleast 1000 crores once the project gets underway. And I see no reason to disbelieve him. Our experience regarding other projects haven't proven otherwise.

Let our government spend just half of this amount, for the better upkeep of systems for generation of electricity, its distribution, implementation of rules and conditions regarding its usage etc. Let it be done.

Isn't electricity saved equal to electricity generated. If they could do at least this then its a great achievement itself. Down another five years what we going to face is, hike in electricity and water tariffs and, rationing.

What pains me, above all, is the extinction of two beautiful waterfalls, Athirapally and Vazhachal. I don't think that there isn't a single one amongst us who would not love retreats to nature; love spending some soothing, rejuvenating days in the lap of nature. If you don't belong to this thinking, then its okay. Never mind.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Book: Audition - an autobiography by Barbara Walters

No.1 Bestseller in NYT's for two consecutive weeks. That is something.

Normally, I am not the one who goes for bestsellers, howmuchever best selling they may be. 'Coz I just wait till all that buzz settles down. By that time I would have received some 'one-on-one' opinion about that book also. That's make it worth every penny I spend on it besides the sheer pleasure it offers. But with Audition it's the other way round.

It was kind of an impulsive buy. I was little fascinated by the title itself - Audition - something that's quite 'out-of-place' as far as naming an autobiography is concerned. Once the book reached my hands I got into an intuitive mood, to some extent provided by the look and feel of the book: That this one is going to be an amazing read. And it indeed was.

Barbara Walters's Audition makes you feel the personal (its an auto-biography, I do remember)element in it, more vividly and intensely. You feel like you are indeed one of the invitees to her life, private and public. You belong. You relate. And herein lies the secret why this book has sold more than 425,000 copies at press time itself.

Walters's writes about her career, leaving NBC for ABC, mentally handicapped sister, her relationship with her father and foster-daughter Jackie, her childhood and failed marriages, her interviews with world leaders and men (and women) in the news and so on. There are shocks and surprises too. She tell us about her 2 year affair, some thirty years ago, with an Afro-American senator by the name Edward Brooke.

Her narrative style is magical. She has been quite frank and free while discussing about her life and the impact it had on her mind. This is so remarkable of an autobiography. And this does has its 'effects' on readers' minds also: some passages may leave you emotionally drained - like when she tells about her sister and foster-daughter, failed marriages etc. These narratives are distintive for their psychological insights also.

To sum it up, Audition is indeed a much much readable auto-bio. Worth your time and money. I simply love reading it again!

Off the pad: While asked about why she gave such an odd-title for an auto-bio she's said to have told that she been auditioning all her life. That's quite an explanation; of an odd-kind.

Coming: Dharmic Finance

Dow Jones Indexes, who pioneered the Islamic benchmark almost nine years ago has come out with the Dharmic version in partnership with UK-based Dharma Investments. DJI hopes that this would serve millions of Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains who wish to invest according to Dharmic Rules. The indices have been calculated under five country-specific categories: a global one and one each for US, India, the UK and Japan.

Though the concept is simple its practice is little complicated. First issue is with the concepts basic definitive rules itself. Whats Dharma? The definition itself varies, but they found a popular one propounded by Rishi Kanada. Secondly, what sectors need to be included? While for its a 'No-entry' for Pharma coms while financial stocks and banking is in. Socially and environmentally responsible companies would surely find place in this benchmark defined investment portfolios.

Already a 3519 number list of suitable companies has been drawn including 990 from US, 491 from Japan and 249 from India.

The performance of Dhama Global Index, one among the five Dharma indices, have performed well. Its backtesting shows a return of 115.01 per cent in dollar terms compared to 106.62 of the World Index over the same period.