Friday, November 3, 2017

Aadhar link to Mobile through OTP

In my last Post  I had expressed severe reservation of failure of biometric recognition in Aadhar. Now it is well confirmed that UIDAI  has come down to relax the requirement to OTP confirmation for linking the cell phone. No need to visit the store or biometry as per the latest notification. It is messaged through their twitter handle

Why Decemebr 1st ?  Why not with immediate effect ?  May be some technical glitch to set right!

How many SIM cards can be linked with one Aadhar card?

However the basic question which I raised remains " what is the purpose of biometry if it is going to fail in important  identifications or implementation?  How to make it more reliable and fail-safe ? These are the questions UIDAI ask themselves to offer better service to the nation.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Aadhar verification failing while linking mobile phones

One of the major claims of achievements of both governments (NaMo and Manmohan ) is the successful implementation of Aadhar card with its unique biometric tracking.

This is considered fool-proof  unlike Election ID cards where manipulation was rampant.

Anything has to stand the test of time before big claims are made. In case of Aadhar card it seems to be premature.

I can share my experience (five case studies) with regard to biometric verification. 

Case 1.  Self - BSNL -Bangalore - After the failure to get verification from any of the right hand fingers, the left thumb matched. My Aadhar got linked with my mobile -success

Case 2. A friend  65 years old. Same BSNL  office- None of the fingers in both hands could tally with Aadhar data base

Case 3.  His wife  58 years - Same as her husband , none of the finger prints could be tallied. 

They were sent back with an advice to visit Aadhar Kendra to update their biometric profile and they have time till end of December 2017

Case 4. Airtel , Bangalore.  My father, age 85.  Struggled for fifteen minutes. The  staff taking pity at the super senior citizen did not give their trials by repeatedly requesting him to place his finger in different orientations and finally managed to get one finger authenticated. Success due to the patience of the staff.

Case 5. Vodafone , Mysore, wife's mother age 80.  Spent nearly half an hour each at two different centres but could not get verified. She too was advised to visit Mysore-One Service Centre of Govt of Karnataka and update  the biometric profile. Subsequently  when visited the Mysore-One Kendra they informed that it is of no use and refused to carry out the update.

They advised that retina (or iris) verification is dependable as the finger prints are bound to differ due to skin wear and tear over a period of time.  The question is who is to tell the government. Meanwhile SMS keeps pouring in for linking the cell phone with Aadhar otherwise face disconnection.

It is only the tip of iceberg.  Imagine the  wastage of man hours involved in various mobile centres and millions struggling to get their mobiles linked to Aadhar.

The service person at Vodafone  said there is time till February. Good, the deadline  has been moved from Decemeber to February 2018. 

I understand that they are making  Aadhar Card  mandatory for school children also.  If adults themselves find it difficult how do one expect growing children to have matching biometrics  in the years to come?

Where is it going wrong? Is it in the sensitivity of sensors used or the training of staff  and how quickly it can be resolved ? 

If efficient governance is desired these are the questions to be urgently addressed. Otherwise Aadhar cards also will face natural death like Election ID cards.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Time that Home Appliances are made available in DC, too.

This Post is somewhat  a  sequel to  my earlier one in Novemeber 2016.

I made certain improvements for better data collection and utilization of electricity generated from my 2 KW roof top PV panels.

1) Extended the connection to Ground Floor with a change over switch and requested the tenents to use solar energy from morning  8 am to 5 pm everyday.  This had improved the average generation from 6.5 kwh per day 8.5 kwh  due to live consumption.

2) I attached a separate energy meter and measured the actual consumption. I wanted to know whether what is being generated is fully utilized or lost something due to inefficiency.

This is where I had a shock to find that only just about 55 %-60% of the generation is accounted in useful work. A closer watch helped me to understand that 25 to 30 % is lost in the MPPT inverter which goes on converting DC to AC  or AC to DC back and forth.

My search through internet revealed that each time  when this conversion takes place, there is a loss of 12 %. To put it simply  1) Solar to Inverter ( DC to AC)- 12% 2) Inverter to Battery ( AC to DC) -12% and  again Battery to Inverter ( DC to AC) another 12% ie  about 36% . This may vary with type of electical load, time of utilization, temperature etc.

Just see the values I recorded recently below :

What is shown in the red color is the consumption by the inverter for every kwh (or units) it deliverd. This is pretty constant showing that we are losing  0.41 kwh for every kwh used.  That is HUGE !!

What I understand is that, it is inevitable if we continue to use  230V AC home appliances. Best way  to reduce this loss is, to use appliances that run on Direct Current (DC).

Incidentally the DC appliance needs lesser energy compared to AC appliance to do the same job. For example  a 60 watt, AC ceiling  fan  can be replaced by  27 watts DC ceiling fan. This is attributed to better torque delivery by DC machines.
An interesting study at NIIT Trichy,  published in Dec 2016, showed that to operate a home wet grinder of same capacity, the DC motor needed lesser energy as compared to conventional AC motor.  This in turn reduced the number of Solar panels from 12 to 6 !!   They found similar trend with a dough making machine also.  IIT ( Madras) too taking efforts to promote the concept of Direct Current utiliztion in micro grids  to reduce the conversion losses.   

For a wider acceptance of solar roof top electricity generation, thus, the home appliances need to be made available by the OEMs ( Original Equipment Manufacturers). This also reduces the size of solar panels and overall investment to a great extent. This should dawn on the Policy Makers.

Now, Government  should step in - like they did to promote LED bulbs- through some subsidies or tax incentives to develop and promote DC appliances including refrigerators and air conditioners. This will pave way to decentralize energy generation towards self sustaining economic model.
I am sure in a few years this will become a reality and hence  I can do More with my investment than what I originally thought !!

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