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Archive for Thought

Feature request for mobile phones

You look at the caller id and then decide to ignore the call and never answer it or return it back.
Its boring, I think its killingly boring and extremely passé.

I want to be able to slam the phone down, downright slam it in the middle of conversation or even after a “Hi”. The whole dynamics (and kinetics) of slamming down the phone gives an entire different kind of satisfaction.

Hmm… its a good research question too.

P.S. Not ignoring anyone’s call, just reflecting upon the world in general.
It also ties back nicely to some research I did a while back! Eureka!
Eureka, Eureka :)

T for Trouble, no victors here

Currently, I am living in one of the good housing complexes in Redmond, WA. Any maintenance problem within the apartment is taken care of pronto. I am really happy and have no complaints about the management. (at least till now, I just made it home 2 weeks back) I had a water leakage problem this Sunday and decided to call them to get it repaired. And my call was transferred to some central place and a woman unknown to me answered my call.

And that’s when the story begins.

She asks me for my first name. I give her the answer I have given to a million customer service representatives before. I give her the answer I have given to cashiers behind counters. I give her the answer I have given to bank tellers. I give her the answer everyone understands. “S… H… R… U… T as in Texas… I”. She wants to confirm it with me so goes into “S as in Sarah… H as in Harry” routine. Just a slight problem though. She says “V as in Victor” in place of T. So, I politely tell her that she has got my name right mostly except for 2nd last letter which is not V as in Victor but T as in Texas. “Oh!”, she exclaims, “B as in Boy”. I am sure my expression at that moment must have been priceless. “No, T as in Texas, as in ummmm… teapot”, I say in an unamused voice. “You mean V as in Victor”, she says a bit irritatedly. I lose my cool here. I ask her sternly if she is even paying attention to me, if she is listening to what I am saying. She informs me (equally irritated) some letters are hard to tell apart, esp. on phone. Of course, I could have said many things to her, but decided against it. I give it one more try, “T as in Texas, the state where Dallas is”. She cuts in “Oh! you mean T as in Texas” before I can tell her Austin is also a part of Texas. “Yeah, perfect, thats it”, I say in a staccato manner. What I have been saying all this while is what I think though.

She asks me for my last name and I spell out each letter for her. She does not reconfirm it. (thankfully for both of us) She then asks for my apartment number, “J… for Joker”, I say. Of course, The Dark Knight impression has cut deep in me.

But, yeah I am not amused. This conversation was neither pretty nor expected.

QuickList in YouTube, WordPress 2.5.1, and Twitter

3 things currently on mind:

A) Why can’t I drag and drop the stuff to shuffle my playlist in YouTube’s QuickList?
I am no technowhiz but with all that AJAX stuff out there, it should not be that difficult.

B) And I am loving WordPress 2.5.1! Very nice and clean interface (on the inside). Its a party in here once you log in. However, as always I am still facing some technical problems with the blog.

C) Twitter has been partially useful to me in the past and have been annoying to me sometimes but yesterday I realized the power and importance of easy access it provides to your social community. {More later, (maybe)} All I can say is that yesterday I was thankful to be on Twitter and more than that being a part of my wonderful school.

Recursion and Black Hole

Aargh! My two semester capstone project… Where should I store it—> Fall 2007 folder or Spring 2008 folder or should I be able to somehow magically tag them.
Tagging tends to be disorganized, and somehow tags like Fall 2007 and Fall 07 get created. No; tagging will be too much work, besides it cant be done (right now).
So, do I break up my capstone in two different places. I am not sure how I think about it, as one long piece of work, or this is where I got till Fall and here I begin in Spring. Well, I did have deliverable which concluded my work in Fall. So, I can break it into two. But what about Literature and Research, that is certainly not possible to break in two folders. Additionally, I will be hopping up and down directory structure to find certain something. Document Organization and Management always seem to take a toll on me, and generally raises its head in Spring Sessions (though the numbers are small to support this assumption) as does extreme lethargy and want-to-but-can’t-care attitude. Maybe the snow and rain is to be blamed.

Hebrew or Hindi?

A particular set of my friends often indulge in the phenomenon of chain mails. Chain mails, where people Reply to All (the sender and receivers) and carry out a full conservation. These chain mails are between a set of friends and often full of inside jokes, lots of leg pulling, the general conversation of friends (not the obnoxious, ultra foolish kind which sometimes happen at universities).

So, in one of the chain mails with my friends which I am recently embroiled into is all about one oneupmanship in mastery of Hebrew. Two of my friends are arguing over the use of certain (and very basic) Hebrew words, and their usage. A lot of accusing each other to be using French and calling it Hebrew is also going on. So, ze ( ;) ) thing is, the two of them are now trying to apprise each other of the pronunciation of the said words. And Hindi is being employed to clear out the dark pronunciation cloud.

All this happening over Gmail, and my sponsored links are in … Hindi. For all the fist fighting going on, Hebrew links would have been more informative, really.

Google Reader’s recommendations

Just noticed today a new section in Google Reader. I do not know if it has been here for a while or today was its first day.

I can make out recommendations are (mostly?) based on kind of feeds one is already subscribing to. Most of my feeds are from bloggers from the land of India, and a couple of feeds are commentary about recent happenings (politics, sports, movies etc.) in India or simply put blogs about India.

And, the top recommendations that I get…
Jabberwock
Youth Curry – Insight on Indian Youth
Sepia Mutiny

These three are actually quite popular blogs. I have read them quite a lot, but never frequently.

Maybe these blogs appear with alarming regularity on the blogs I already read or they are blog-rolled to each other. And that is where the recommended blogs were pulled from.

Double check ::
I have a subscription to 41 blogs, out of which 15 blogs (or blog aggregates) are from Indians outside India and 8 from India.
And 1 is of a non Indian who visits and writes about India amongst other countries frequently.

Of course, my perspective about a blog being [published] from India or outside it stems from a reader’s perspective (me, reader and not Google reader). I consider where the blogger is, and not where the blog is being hosted etc.

The new addition was quite interesting to me. I was very hesitant to use a RSS aggregator earlier mainly because I would not be able to look at the theme of the blog so lovingly put up by the blogger. Till today, if I find post extremely interesting or I like the pictures in the post, I jump to the blog from the reader directly (cut down the mediation, please). Obviously, I am also deprived of all the nifty little things people add to their blogs, and their blog rolls as well. When I had not overcome my hesitation, I used to blog hop a lot. Recommendations bridge that gap, but to a bit. People blog hop for reasons best known to them, and recommendations recommend blogs for reasons best known to Google (or others, at least not me in this hour)

Microsoft Surface


Place a Wi-Fi capable digital camera onto the table and watch as pictures spill out on the surface. You can “grab” the photos with your hands – enlarge, stretch and drag them and order prints and postcards.

When shopping, place two items on the table and instantly compare product information.


-Microsoft

Click here to see!

A more comprehensive view of the whole thing here.

Missing features (bugs?) in Photo sharing sites

An online photo album should provide flexibility to people (trusted friends) to add some of the pictures in your albums to their own gallery.

I don’t have a camera (there are long and sob stories behind it, but crux is I don’t posses a camera these days). But that does not stop me from having memorable and splendid time with friends. Such moments are duly clicked, uploaded and the links sent. And then, what next. What am I to do if I want to view/show around those pictures later. Dive into haystack of mails to find that single mail which might hold the clue of the location of MY (not from my camera but mine) photos.

Good will become if the photos are sharable.

Airtel Mother’s Day Offer and ear bursting IVR

I have been a very loyal and high business generating customer of Airtel back at homw. But I am not sure about this.
Mother's Day Airtel Offer
I am definitely interested in numbers and if the numbers are big, then profiles too :P

The other thing I am unsure about is Airtel’s CallHome (USA to India) service.
I used to think that Reliance needs to tone down the voice of IVR till I heard Airtel’s espresso shot generated enthusiasm IVR voice.
That day onwards Reliance’s voice started feeling like pure music to ears.
Till Reliance sniffed competition from its rival and decided enthusiasm was the key and now they have double espresso shot gulped down female blaring and welcoming us on the phone.

Someone please stop them.

Panipuri - An intorduction to perfection in food design

Found a hilarious slideshow for gol guppe aka panipuri, incidentally slides also talk about user centeredness and design.

This slideshow belongs to Thakkar. IMHO, must see.

Late Edit: The creator of the slide posts it in his blog


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