The scary side of mobile phone innovation…

FirmBee / Pixabay

As a kid, I never knew or heard about a mobile phone…well…no one heard about it I guess. In this day and age, I cannot fathom anyone not knowing what mobile phones are and how they keep us connected.

While they do an awesome job of functioning as a computer in the palm of your hand, they have started venturing into more innovative ways to implement security.

Starting from a simple user-name/password combination, passcode locks, pattern locks,to finger-print scanning, and now iris scanning. Imagine this…until now the user had to know what the magic code is to unlock his/her phone to get access to the plethora of information the mobile phone becomes a gateway to.

Today, one does not need the user to even be alive to get access to their personal information on the phone…how hard can scanning a fingerprint or an iris be ? Why are financial institutions embracing these innovations, while it is pretty obvious they are not the right use-cases for this kind of innovation. Thankfully, they also offer the good old username/password combination, but lets be real…how many of us use that feature anymore when we can make do with fingerprint scanners.

Two-pass authentication is good, but is useless when you have the mobile phone already with you. Big shakes that they send an additional code…wonder what they are trying to secure.

What they don’t tell you about the after effects of ACL reconstruction surgery?

It has been two and a half weeks since my ACL reconstruction, and here is a quick note-to-self of stuff they don’t tell you…

  • The recovery time feels longer than it really is
  • If you are a rowdy sleeper (you don’t sleep in one position), you are in for a ride
  • For some people, narcotics do their job of reducing the pain, but don’t have the intended side effect of helping you sleep.
  • The brace is a bitch. Sleeping with it when you are under heavy sedation is easy, but once you wean out of the medication, it keeps you awake.
  • Did I mention, another side effect of the narcotics is “itch”…. and until a friend told me to apply coconut oil or baby oil on the affected area, it was getting annoying.
  • Side effect of the surgery is a part of your leg goes through some abnormal feeling….either numbness or extra sensitivity. Apparently it takes a while before normalcy is restored.

2015 : Goals & Resolutions

My resolutions for 2015 are more of how am I going to establish and improve myself on a consistent basis measured anywhere between daily – monthly. With that in mind, my resolutions for 2015 are simply nothing more than personal goals.

  1. Read at least one business book to better my career every month: I have always been interested in books, but off late am unable to spend the time I want to. To supplement my career, it is very important for me that I look into reading more, and understanding more. And I am focusing more on the business side, simply because of my job. I want to get better at what I do, and hopefully this should help me. And as a part of improving my blog, I shall review each book on my blog.
  2. Learn to play at least 5-6 songs on the keyboard: I purchased a Yamaha Ez220 for my kid for chirstmas (more for me than for her). My hidden agenda was to practice and get better at it on a daily basis. By the end of the year, I would like to see myself be able to read music and play at least 5-6 songs.
  3. Follow an fitness routine from start to finish: So I got the P90x3 set. After Jan 2015, I plan to invest myself into the program, and take it from start to finish. Yes, there might be days I might have to skew a bit, but I shall try my best to be back on track ASAP.
  4. Healthy eating habits: Ever since I switched my job in 2012, I have been eating outside almost every day I go to work. Eating pre-processed food (even @ Chipotle) is not going to help me live longer or healthier, and I very much intend to do both.
  5. Practice good oral hygiene: I do brush my teeth daily…that’s a given, but I do not do it twice. And I do not floss (there… I said it). I am going to try my best to keep my teeth in good condition more as a habit than a goal.
  6. Practice good sleeping habits: I go to sleep anywhere between 9pm – 2am and wake up between 6am – 9am. While I am aware of the benefits of a good sleep system, the realities of life often come in the way. The rest of the days when life is being nice to me, I take it upon myself to be awake late night. So, it ends today. Starting 2015, I am going to try my best to follow a strict sleeping pattern, and when I am unable to, for various reasons, I shall push myself back on track.
  7. Learn a new language: I installed Duolingo on my iPhone almost 6-8 months ago, thinking I shall start learning the next day, and 6 months later, I did not go through even one lesson. My daughter learns spanish at her school, and that was my original motivation, and its free. So, at least one session daily of any language (starting with Spanish)
  8. End 2015 in the GREEN: While I somehow manage my finances, I find myself in situations where there was little to no planning, and I have to scurry around for some extra money. Whenever I am in that situation, I think to myself it shall never happen again, and ta-da..in a month it happens again. So, I am going to use data from the previous year (2014), and be able to predict and plan how my expenses are going to be for 2015, and SHALL NOT be caught by surprise. This also includes setting up a savings plan, and not dipping into it throughout the year.

If I manage the above goals somehow, and have more bandwidth (apart from spending time with my kid, day-job, friends), I would certainly think about the following:

  1. Go through a DrinkMaster course: I always loved to make the drinks they serve at bars. Time for me to start learning the art. Maybe during summer.
  2. Prepare for my higher studies: Don’t know much yet, but I have a few ideas. I guess this year is more for research of what I want to do, and where I want to be intellectually in 2016.
  3. Spend some time tinkering with Arduino: I put this in my Secret Santa wish list, and actually got it. Now, I have no more excuses.

2014 : A look back…

2014 was an awesome year in many ways.

  • Started off the year snowed in. Could not even go to work.
  • Had the most interesting birthday party for my daughter. She refused to play. Later found out she was hungry. Once food went in, she was back to normal. But party time was almost over.
  • Saw Frozen movie twice in theater, and maybe a 100 times after purchasing it from Amazon.
  • Actually PURCHASED children’s movies…and watched them over and over and over with Sanjana.
  • Tagged people in ALS ice-bucket challenge. Chickened out. Hope to do it for sure in 2015.
  • Met all my neighbors for the first time since moving in.
  • Started to stay away from crowds, was shit scared of Ebola.
  • Witnessed first hand how arrogant people with power can be.
  • And in 2 months after that, witnessed how humble and down to earth people with more power can be.
  • Realized how bad a dead-end job can be.
  • Found out how boring some time-off alone could be.
  • Changed jobs.
  • Met some of the most impressive people up close in my professional career.
  • Re-aligned my view of a good business model.
  • Joined my friends in Nike fuelband challenge.
    • Been most active since.
    • Got more focused regarding my health and overall well-being.
    • Kicked everyone’s ass since the challenge began.
  • Went to Busch Gardens with family. (My friend gave me a lifetime pass to Busch Gardens, and I lost it while moving)
  • Thankful for having an awesome family and crazy friends to spend the year with.

Back to Windows 7

I love Windows 8. There you go…I said it. But I just divorced it, and kicked it to the curb. I have an Alienware Aurora (now discontinued for good reason I hope), that I purchased 5 years ago with the top of the line config. My entire rig including the monitors costed me approx $3000. With 2 TB HDD and 12 GB DDR3 RAM, I thought I was future proofing it. Windows 7 was a charm to work with, and when Windows 8 released, even though I did not have touch screen monitors, I went ahead and installed Windows 8 on my system. Then it all started…like my machine was possessed. Typical daily symptoms included

  • All the chasis fans were roaring non-stop.
  • Multiple blue screen of death.
  • I will be working on some document, and suddenly the system reboots.
  • Once the system goes to sleep, it won’t wake up without a reboot.
  • On the rare occasions it sleeps, and wakes up, I should have waited almost 10 minutes (no kidding)
  • My secondary HDD does not show up at times.

I lived with this for almost a year. I even tried to shut down my machine for a few days, just to avoid the noise. But work needed to be done…the show must go on…and I would turn it back on.

But enough was enough. One fine day, I decided to divorce Windows 8, and am trying to patch up things with Windows 7 now. Things are getting back to normal now. My fans don’t roar anymore, NO CRASHES, no random reboots, and it wakes up from sleep mode whenever I ask it to in less than a few seconds.

So, in retrospect, the questions nagging me are…

  • Did Alienware discontinue this because of the hardware problems?
  • Did Microsoft dump the old hardware when Steve Balmer decided to rewrite Windows 8 source code?

With Windows 9/10 on the horizon, Satya Nadella .. the ball is in your court to impress me.

The reason why fitness tracking devices exist !!

I just read this article, and needless to say I am amused.

I am a geek by heart, and I must admit even I use data just to inform me, even though everyone who collects data from me tries to tell me what I need to do. I have had the pleasure of using Fitbit One before…intact I lost the first one, got another one, and lost that too.I don’t intend to rip apart anyone’s thoughts, but I think any fitness tracking device is simply intended to do the following : 

  • Quantify your actions
  • Keep track (history)
  • Give you enough information (data wise) to motivate you to exercise and better yourself.

May it be a wearable or a device attached to some gym equipment, the fact of the matter, is that it serves a simple purpose of keeping your informed and motivated. Yeah, there will always be an error rate, but what are you going to achieve with a ZERO percent error rate … bragging rights ??? and then WHAT? 

PixelPumper : First impressions.

On my search for a free blogging editor, I stumbled upon this. This is my first attempt to try to post something from PixelPumper using a mac. Yeah yeah…I am trying to be frugal here. 

Anyhoo, overall first impression…not bad. 

Pros
  • Nice clean & modern UI
  • Very close to Windows Live writer.
Cons
  • Does not like it when there is no internet connection.
  • Basically I cannot even write anything when there is no network. It just freezes.
  • Very basic WSYWIG editor.
What am I looking for in a blogging client : 
  • Clean UI
  • Intuitive
  • Perform the job it is supposed to do.
  • Be able to manage multiple blogging platforms.
  • Be able to manage multiple accounts.
  • Nerd side