Friday, April 7, 2017

Its Summer time: Are you drinking enough water ?

Its summer time, and believe or not - water is next to God if you are moving out. According to a recent study, more than 50% of world’s population suffers from dehydration. The bizzare thing is sometimes we do not even realize that we are dehydrated (talking about mild and average) which can lead to serious health problems in the long run. 

The following inforgraphic (Courtesy-Bright Side) will help you understand whether your body is getting enough water or not and the ways in which dehydration can have negative effects.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

How to make video calls in WhatsApp?

Good news. 

WhatsApp video calling feature has arrived. Although, the video calling feature isn't in the main build yet, but it has finally shown up in the beta version as an actual working feature.

Here is what you should do –

For Android Users:
  1. Go to play store and search for WhatsApp...
  2. Open WhatsApp's Google Play listing
  3. Scroll dow towards the bottom of the page
  4. Towards the end, you can see an option  that says Become a beta tester tap on I'M IN (See the image)
  5. Confirm on the next screen and wait for a few minutes
  6. Come back to WhatsApp listing page on Google Play
  7. You should see an option to Update WhatsApp to beta version
  8. Update the app
  9. Enjoy WhatsApp videocall.
For iOS and others:Keep visiting this page for updates

How to make video calls –

Making a video call is just like making an audio call: open a chat with the person you want to contact and then select the Video Call option. The other person, for now, will also need the beta version of the app installed, else you'll just get an error message.

UPDATE: WhatsApp release video calling features for all (iOS, Android and windows) on 15th Nov 2016. 

Tags: WhatsApp, Video Call, Android, Mobile

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Facebook ‘Copyright Hoax’: don't be stupid my friend

NO…NO..NO…Facebook is NOT making all of your photos public.

And please stop posting the hoax on your FB page. It’s not because, I am very concerned about you and I am your well-wisher, it's simply because….I am getting frustrated by seeing this crap for last few days.

My dear friends (in FB) use a little common sense before believing anything you read online. Given how popular this message was back in 2012 and 2013, it really is a surprise that many Facebook users continue to be duped by such a hoax, yet here I am, once again concisely explaining that this is just nonsense.

A version of the post (it has many versions with few changes):

All your posts can become public tomorrow . Even the messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. After all, it does not cost anything for a simple copy and paste Better safe than sorry is right. Channel 13 News was just talking about this change in Facebook's privacy policy. Better safe than sorry. I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You must copy n paste.

Let me dissect the whole news –

1. Channel 13 News – I have never heard of such a news channel. Yes, there is a channel named as News 13.

2. L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property law: the only thing that holds some merit is the article numbers (the guy who spread panic among users, has done some homework to get article number, good job man J ) . Under the Subject of Copy Right chapter,
  • Articles L111-1 to L111-5 deals with subject to copyright by nature of copyright
  •  Articles L112-1 to L112-4 deals with subject to copyright for protected Works
  • Articles L113-1 to L113-9 deals with subject to copyright for owners of copyright

But, it has nothing to do with the message. Facebook has a data policy that governs how information is shared and states that users select what information is public and private. Only users can turn their posts, photos and so on from private to public.

3. UCC 1-308 1-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute:
  •  UCC (the US Uniform Commercial Code): The UCC deals with commercial law in the United States, and nothing to do with privacy and social networking
  • Rome Statute is about global laws from the International Criminal Court covering war crimes and genocide, and NOT for the INTERNET

And, if you are still confused and not convinced, please check Facebook India page with this Link ( 

Facebook responded to the hoax status on Wednesday (29th June 2016), saying: “You may have seen a post telling you to copy and paste a notice to retain control over things you share on Facebook. Don't believe it. You own your content and can control how it is shared through your privacy settings.”

If you are really worried about privacy -

If you are concerned about their privacy on Facebook, there are settings that limit strangers from accessing any posts, photos or content that has been shared by you. The Privacy Settings option, which can be accessed from the top right-hand menu, allows users to review posts, limit the audience for posts, choose who can send friend requests, lookup using the email address, phone number provided on the profile. In fact, Facebook allows users to block specific people on the platform.

Last words:

Social media can be a great way of sharing and disseminating information, but this great tool is devalued every time misinformation manages to shoot across social media as rapidly as this nonsense has.

Monday, September 14, 2015

#MeatBan: Votebank politics hits a new low

Food and eating habits have by no means been at the centre of Maharashtra’s politics for the past many a decade. However since the BJP government came to power last year, food particularly the non- vegetarian kind has become an important political issue in the state.
After the banning of beef in March which drew limited protests from largely Muslims and Dalits, the state is witnessing yet another attempt to curb non-vegetarian eating habits.

The MNS which has been fast losing ground and political relevance in Maharashtra has been raking up the issue of vegetarian terrorism in the city. I think the internet is overload with news on #MeatBan that is imposed by the Maha govt because of the annual Jain festival, Paryushan.
People have started criticizing in social media and now are on streets to express their resentment and seek removal of the ban. However, it staged a new low in political arena with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)’s Thane unit protested by displaying gates (torans) made out of meat right outside a community hall of the Jain Community in Vishnu Nagar where the festival was going on. They even tried to cook non-vegetarian food right in front of the hall's gate.  

Would Shiv Sena & MNS protest the same way if this ban was during upcoming Ganeshotsav #JustAsking

Following the ban or protesting it is a personal choice. However, protesting like this is downright disgusting, what’s your take?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Book Review: Blink - a tale of love at first sight

Book Name: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Genre: Non-Fiction

The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
The book is about the power of first impressions, and I would also like to begin with my first impression of the book. For me, it was ‘awesome’ in one word.

The book starts with the story of a Kouros, an ancient Greek statue that was to be purchased by the Getty Museum in California. The story revolves with the normal purchase process with a team of analysts spending around 14 months doing research on the sculptures, till a historian named Federico Zeri was taken to see the statue, and in an instant he concluded it was fake. Another two historians too sensed something wrong leading to an investigation on the sculpture which unraveled the forgery scheme. Citing the story, Gladwell emphasizes on the initial hunches by the historians than the established process.

He focuses on a backstage process, which works subconsciously and has the capacity to sift huge amounts of information, blend data, isolate telling details and come to astonishingly rapid conclusions, even in the first two seconds of seeing something. In a nutshell, ‘ Blink' is a book about those first two seconds.

If you go beyond, the book walks quickly through a series of delightful stories, all about the backstage mental process which we call intuition. The story of psychologist John Gottman is the one I like the most which depicts an interesting tale in which Gottman can predict with 95 percent accuracy whether a couple will be married 15 years later by just after watching an hours of their conversation through a videotape. The interesting part is that he can usually predict whether a marriage will work after watching just three minutes of newlywed conversation. ‘Blink’ couldn’t have a more interesting topic to connect with the current genre. If you are not laughing, can I say the book ‘Blink’ favors ‘Love at first sight’…you decide.

Gladwell also observes that we are innately suspicious of this kind of rapid cognition as we assume that long, methodical investigation yields more reliable conclusions. But, ‘Blink’ focuses otherwise and argues that "decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately."

The 277 page book has dozens of stories about thin-slicing, from Pentagon war game to New Coke and so on.

As I already mentioned, my first impression on ‘Blink’ is simply superb and fascinating. However, my brain does not digest the concept whole heartedly and wants something more concrete than the thin-slicing concept. I too have the thick-slicing side that wants more than a series of remarkable anecdotes and searches for a comprehensive theory of the whole. It wants to know how all the different bits of information fit together.

Gladwell never tells us how the brain performs these amazing cognitive feats; we just get the scattered byproducts of the mysterious backstage process. In some of his stories, it's regular people who are making snap judgments; in others, it's experts who have been through decades of formal training. In some experiments, the environment matters a great deal; in others, the setting is a psychologist's lab. In some, the snap judgments are based on methodical reasoning -- as with a scientist who has broken facial expressions into discrete parts; in others, the snap-judgment process is formless and instinctive. In some, priming is all-important; in others, priming is disregarded.

Moreover, I feel that while it would be pleasing if we all had these supercomputers in our heads, Gladwell is overselling his case. Though Gladwell describes several ways intuition can lead people astray, he doesn't really dwell on how often that happens. I would like to recall the book "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis, which tell how a baseball executive used rigorous statistical analysis to beat fuzzy-minded old pros who relied on their gut impressions. And to the contrast, ‘Blink’ argues on how impressions can be as reliable as data. I am not sure how to reconcile both. What is the relationship between self-conscious reason and backstage intuition? Which one is right more often?

However, I like the book very well. If you want to trust the ‘Blink’ in my judgment, go for the book; it’s a must read. But I can’t refrain from citing a caveat that few of you may be frustrated, troubled and left wanting more.

Reviewer's Note:
I read books of any genre and sometimes do review. If you like my review, please feel free to add a comment.