Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Beware of Photoshop(ed) ADs

So much of confusion is created in the consumers' mind with the modern technological tools and many make believe stories are created everyday.

I came across this comparative photos 'Before & After' as part of anecdotal claim to make your teeth white and prevention of yellowing.

While I have no opinion about the product per se, what prompted me to write this post was they are trying to convince the reader using a digital manipulation technique.
It is very easy to see  both the pictures are identical  except for the color of the teeth. Compare the areas of red line on the left with that of right. 

If the product has taken some time to work ( ~ one month, if I recollect correctly) they cannot be identical with respect to light, angle of picture shot etc. 

Those who practice digital art know that it is very easy to change colors with a click of your mouse. It is no magic that the yellow becomes white or even any other color you wish.

Many whatsapp photos are also sent viral by this digital image manipulation. You can see a five headed cobra  or a big temple on a high rise boulder sitting in the lake etc. Whenever you see some unbelievable picture, look for smudge marks around the areas or color patch-up. These may not be visible in a smaller resolution pictures. If we magnify the same in picture editor it will show up. 

I only hope this manipulators don't have time to read this kind of posts. Otherwise in future they become smarter even to get trapped like this :))

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

BHIM vis a vis the Prepaid Cards

Since yesterday I have been trying to configure my BHIM app  in my Calling Lenovo tablet but all in vain.

Though claimed to be simple in operation with simple one line UPI address for cashless transaction my experience has not been satisfactory. I am suppose to receive an OTP which will enable to generate  6 digit UPI PIN.  However I was repeatedly getting Error after  following the procedure of enetering last six digits of my DEBIT/ATM card and its expiry date.

It was falling in to a loop of asking for Debit card digits and showing error in OTP generation. suddenly I received 3 OTPs  all having 10 minutes validity. I entered the latest one and when it came to  UPI-PIN confirmation it once again said 'error ' in accessing bank.

I went to user's review in Google play and was pleased to know that I was not alone and many others have had various other problems.  I am sure it is because of the different models and hardware compatibility things are not that easy and it will take time remove the bugs or it will have natural disinclination from both user and vendor point of view with very limited usage.

Compare this complex process with simple Prepaid Swipe Cards where there is no need for mobile phone ( and hence no model dependent technology upgradation). It is far more easier to configure at the Banks or Post offices with equipments of standard features and network. Only GPRS based POS machines with the vendor enables completes cashless transaction.

Moreover suppose one wants to give children in college or school hostels ( where cell phones are not allowed)  some pocket money the prepaid cards are safe. Aged persons or ladies travelling alone carrying substantial cash in the form of Prepaid Card are more secure against fear of theft or loss by absent mindedness. 

Any technology can become successful only when it is user-friendly. By eliminating the bank-account linking of customer for every transaction (by not employing a phone)  the need for data transfer comes down in the internet highway. This alone may save substantial cost for the banks in making the process feasible  for Prepaid Cards.

Visit the Presentation on Prepaid cards

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Creating loopholes - an Appeasement Strategy

To days  ( 17th Dec 2016) Headlines :

To Quote..  ( click this to read full article)
“Dekhiye, if it is a deposit in  the account of political parties, they are exempt. Lekin agar individual ke account mein, kisi ke bhi account mein jama ho raha hai, toh woh toh definitely the information will come on our radar (See, if it is a deposit in the account of political parties, they are exempt. But if it is deposited in any individual account, in anyone’s account, that information will definitely come on our radar.)

NaMO must have faced heavy opposition not only from Mamta didi and Rahul Gandhi but from his own party men  " Are there no elections to come ?"  ( Mr. Modi quoted Mrs Gandhi  discouraged YB Chavan  when he suggested demonetization )

The result is the new announcement about political parties being exempted from tax deposits made till 30th December. Others have to pay 50%  tax.

An official route is created for all black money holders : Now they can safely deposit their money in the name of some political party, however insignificant it is and draw the amount later under some context  or other for their intended use not necessarily in the interest of public.

Thus they can not only avoid tax but also safely convert the Black to White

The gullible Indian voters are once again taken for ride.

Correct me if I am wrong. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Cashless- prepaid cards-No Mobile phones

Government of India is announcing  many incentives to encourage cashless transactions.

What surprises me is that I could not find a prepaid card procurement and transacting it through point of sales outlets. It looks simple to implement.

In the present card transactions the main deterent seem to be the  2% transaction fee which VISA or MASTERCARD or PAYTM charges from the vendor.

 Government of India can step in here and make it less than 0.5% as the volume is high. This can be collected even when the card is purchased so that the the vendor is not charged anything at the time of payment.

This arrangement should be gladly acceptable to every one.

Now POS machines have become very affordable -less than  Rs.5000 - by any shop owner.
The whole scheme will work as shown below:

I am sure the day is not far as our country is full of financial geniuses.

For more FAQ watch this slideshare

Monday, November 28, 2016

Are you going for a second car ?... think !

Have you  installed your roof top electric generation ?
I could have afforded a luxury car. I never plan a second car as I consider it is improper ISR ( Individual's Social Responsibility) particularly under city's choked roads and pollution. Now a days there is so much talk on CSR -Corporate Social Responsibility. In my opinion there is equally an ISR where every citizen demonstrates that he (or she) does contribute by adding value to the way of life.  
Coming back to the decision of  car purchase,  I decided to settle down for a more fuel efficient car  partly and  invest  in a roof top 2 KW solar power generation unit. I did not go for net metering  to export power to grid due to reports of  long queue of applications  and  ‘unofficial extras’ for approval.  
After installation it is generating 6.5 Kwh to 7.2 kwh per day and totally independent of grid supply.
Our electricity bill has come down by Rs 900 per month since july 2016. We are paying grid the minimum of Rs 120 to 140 to keep a standby system. We retain this for heavy duty appliances like air conditioner, microwave oven etc

A few well wishers and neighbors  wanted to question the wisdom by way of ROR –rate of return. In their point of view annual saving of Rs 10800 for an investment of Rs 2.7 lakhs is just about 4% simple interest. An investment in FD or NCD or Gold ( if not Equity) would be more than double !!
My counter question to them is, does it make them independent of grid for electricity ?
 Look it this way. A solar installation has more than 20 years of life with positive contribution of energy and saving GHG ( green house gases). A luxury car only depreciates with contribution to GHG over the same number of years.  The former makes you self reliant but the latter is subjected to market vagaries like international crude prices and in turn rise in running cost.
Another fundamental question rises when we think of real estate and housing sector. People are willing to invest anywhere between 60 lakhs to several crores for a residential villa or apartment  particularly in metros. Is it too much to expect them to invest in Rs. 3 or 4  lakhs in solar electricity so that they do not become a burden to the power grid ?

The public wealth (or savings) is grossly stored in unproductive ways. What is meant by ‘unproductive’ is that wealth not being utilized for generating more food or water or energy. It is lying in equity share markets, Fixed Deposits  and Gold. To make it productive some government legislation or incentives may be necessary. Now in Karnataka every newly built house should mandatorily install a solar water heater.

As of now there is no incentive for volunteered installations of power generation for self use while the Solar water heaters get Rs 50 reduction in monthly electricity bills.
Energy is more valuable than gold as it is in constant demand by every strata of the society. If governments come forward to acknowledge the savings on investment in power plants by encouraging Roof-top units.This  can be done by subsidizing the battery replacement required once in four years and make the scheme more investor friendly.

This is a good beneficial  way in making people use their wealth in productive self sustaining (public) cause rather than demanding complaining citizens about governments’ inefficiency for lack of power. One can compare the ways of investment as shown below. 

Basis  12000 Km/ year
The car : what I desired
The car  I bought + 2KW Solar panel
Investment requirement
Rs 7.8 lakhs
3.1 Lakhs+ 2.7 Lakhs=  5.8 Lakhs
Petrol consumption
  667 lit (18 lit/km)
521 Lit ( 23 lit/km)
Contribution to GHG#
 1600 Kg CO2
1250 Kg CO2
Power saving ( per year)
  Nil (-2555 kwh from grid)
2555 kwh
GHG by use of electricity
 5360   Kg CO2    
 - 5360 Kg of CO2**
Net  GHG generation
-5710  (6960-1250)
#   Every litre of petrol  releases  2.4 Kg of CO2 in to atmosphere
**Every kwh power generation through thermal power releases 2.1 Kg of CO2

In other words I contribute directly  a Carbon Credit of 5.7 tons per year which can also be a basis for incentive calculation.

Economically looking, any car or vehicle would have lost more than 80% of their value in 10 Years while  the solar panels continue to generate power for another ten years. With inflation, the power tariff  will be higher and the savings will be much larger than what is perceived today. To give example, as per simple inflationary trend of 10% , in 2026 the tariff will be  around Rs 15 per kwh as against the present Rs 6.90 per Kwh. 

What makes me happy is, albeit in a small way, that  I could  avoid  about 5360 Kg CO2 generation through solar electricity and further 350  Kg of CO2 release in vehicle emission  apart from becoming self reliant in my energy need.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Solar Energy and Electric Vehicles

It is quite sometime I wrote in this blog. The main reason is, now a days for some reason, I am reluctant to make critical comments about other's creativity. Creativity is a thing of evolution.

For every original creation there may be ten pseudo creations, akin to trend in movies or music. The originals survive the test of time. Some creations are ahead of time only to be recognized several years later like 'barcode'  inventions

However sharing our views and concern regarding what is happening around us need not stop. Hence I decided to share things -though they are not blog specific - with one and all.

In this issue I wish to share the power point presentation I made regarding electric vehicles which are environmental friendly. The summer temperatures of Bangalore  touching 39 degree Celsius is hitherto unheard of.

The obvious reason is increase in traffic on roads emitting smoke and heat. Not only Bangalore all towns and cities face a similar situation.  The picture shows the news item how two wheelers dominate the Indian roads.

Any true solution can emerge only if we understand the root cause of the problem. The pollution caused by vehicles on Indian roads  is mainly from  scooters and motor cycles,

Please go through the following presentation and  inform what comes to your mind. Your feedback will be valuable for other readers also.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Medicine or Adjuvant ? : Dabur Lal Tail

For quite some time I wanted to write on this subject of Natural remedies.
The recent mail from Indiblogger triggered that interest in me to  open the web link of Dabur’s Laltail and  two things  caught  my attention. One was  the hindi  word for 'oil' ( sanskrit thailam). It could have been spelt 'thel' or 'thail' which are definitely different from 'Tail'. Some one should not make fun that the child would end up with a 'red tail' - ha ha just in lighter vein :) 
The other one is  the statement  “ Ayurvedic Medicine”.  Is it medicine or adjuvant?
We will come back to this later, as I like to touch upon why I wanted to write on natural remedies.
Ever since my father, in his 80+,  was successfully cured of his nervous disorder through an ayurvedic doctor in Kerala I wanted to write on this subject viz Chemical based Allopathy  vis a vis Nature based Remedies.
In 2010,  suddenly his speech started to slur and developed difficulty in eating. We thought it was facial palsy which could be temporary and with some physiotherapy he would recover. It was not to be.
After treating for more than four months under special supervision at NIMHANS Bangalore and other specialists in the field,  we were losing hopes of his recovery. He could not swallow even normal liquid food and had gone in to deep depression resulting in loss of weight. All that the specialists could do was prescribe a tablet –costing nearly Rs 57 per day- that temporarily strengthened his nerves in throat and mouth so that he could eat some food. After an hour the problem would be back with a bang. Slurred speech and uncontrollable saliva secretion made his days quite miserable.  The name of the disorder was myasthenia gravis.
A sinking person would cling to anything that offers hope. Our attention turned towards ayurvedic remedy. Through fortunate circumstances he was led to an Ayurvedic specialist near Palakkad and better days began. He did not mind the extreme bitterness of couple of decoctions nor the trouble of preparing them fresh everyday. Supported with few  ayurvedic tablets his condition gradually improved. Within next six months his speech returned to near normal he could eat food without any difficulty and  started gaining the body weight!!
One of my uncles who visited him later considered it as a “miracle” recovery. I responded saying 'our body itself is a miracle'. Nature has gifted  everyone with a programmed mechanism to recover from injuries and ailments and diseases provided we know how to recognise it.  We needlessly intervene in its mechanism with our own chemical based correction which not only supresses the symptoms of one disease but also creates many undesirable side effects !!
Today most natural therapists recommend fasting and resting as the pre-requisite to help the body to work on its damage control.  Ayurvedic herbs mostly help as very good adjuvants in strengthening the mechanism of repair rather than directly dealing with the disease.  They provide the necessary tools to the system to  correct and eliminate undesirable toxins which are responsible for the disease unlike the allopathy  that suppress and accumulate undesirable chemicals inside the body. Thus it aggravates the problems further to complicate the life of the individual.
 During the treatment period my father was also prescribed medicated oil massage  which  very religiously he used to apply everyday. That reminded me of the frequent appeals of my mother for weekly oil bath a typical south indian tradition in our younger days.
She is a staunch believer of regular oil bath for cooling the body the way oil cools the auto engine. She never gave up that comparison despite our protests that a steaming hot water bath after oiling the body could never cool the body. Little we understood the connotation of cooling in traditional  system is different from external bathing condition. However with passing years it dawned on me that even the exposed skin is a living cell and can absorb and transfer the molecules by osmotic diffusion that can help in absorption of useful nutrients through blood

Coming back to Dabur’s Laltail, it is good to see traditional knowledge is being experimented and  getting validated through modern way of scientific experimentation.  This will go a long way in reinforcing the new generation  that what is traditional does not mean outdated belief systems but very much live and kicking to be noticed for the benefit of mankind.

Since the use of Laltail is being recommended for all babies for a healthier growth, it is preferable to call it as an Ayurvedic Adjuvant rather than Ayurvedic Medicine. In my humble understanding of English language the word medicine connotes that which helps "to cure a disease " whereas an adjuvant is the one which supports and accelerates the benefits of a nutrient or medicine.  
Thanks to indiblogger for inviting bloggers  to share their  views on this important issue of remaining healthy through natural ways.