Friday, September 17, 2010

High Tech Fish Trading In Thrissur Fish Market :)



SMSs tend to arrive at all wrong times.But more than 200 people in Thrissur City and surroundings look forward to C I Devassy's 6:30 AM SMS.

Devassy's family has been in fish business for more than 60 years and the members have been inhabitants of Shakthan fish market ,Thrissur district which is in southern most state of India-Kerala, ever since it was established 24 years ago.But it required a combination of the youngest member of the family and a modern gadget to come up with an innovation that would capture imagination of the public.

Earlier Devassy used to get a lot of calls from people who wanted to know the prices for the day.It used to take lot of Devassy's time to tell every single one of them the rates for every type of fish..He tried to introduce a couple of more phones in the shop, but it still was'nt enough to answer all the customer queries.This was when an innovative plan began to take shape in Devassy's mind.

He started using Reliance free SMS pack to text fish prices to around 100 s of regular customers.That was four years ago and Devassy hasn't looked back since.He got more than 200 subscribers now.Every morning his wife texts the fish prices for the day to his customers, and all they have to do is choose the fish,quantity and how they want it and then wait for delivery boy to arrive at their door step.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tech Notes:-Using US Number In India Mobile And Making Free Calls To US



Recently I had a requirement. Need to call US whenever I require from India. I found the solution.Here is what you require.

Requirements

1. Wifi enabled phone or 3G enabled connection-->I use BSNL 3g on HTC Touch t333
2. A free account from Voxalot.
3. Registration with IPKall for a free US phone number.They will provide you a number from Washington.
4. SIP client for your mobile. I use Portego.

Steps

1. Register for Voxalot account Registration is fairly straight forward.

2.Register for a free IPKall Washington State number. Use the following on the sign up page: Choose your account type – SIP, Choose Area Code for your IPKall Number – ANY, SIP Phone number – , SIP Proxy – “us.voxalot.com” (no quotes), Email Address – , Password – , # of Seconds to ring before hanging up – “120″ (no quotes).You will receive a mail from IPKall with your configuration

           SIP Phone Number: 6 digit number 
SIP Proxy: us.voxalot.com
Email: your email address
Password: password that you configured


3. Download and install Portego SIP client for your mobile phone from portsip

4.Configure Portego
UserName: Username that you received in IPKall mail . 6 digit number
Password: Password that your received in IPKall mail
SIP Server: us.voxalot.com
SIP Port: 5060
Domain Auth Name:
Username that you received in IPKall mail . 6 digit number
You need to select codecs G711U,G771A,GSM if not already selected

Once you are done with the configuration, click login. You are all set to use your US number on your mobile in India either over wifi or 3G.

One more enhancement that you can do is to use your Google Voice number to forward calls to your IPKall number.Its important that you use PortGo here because other SIP clients like Fring may not allow you to accept Google voice calls due to its limitations with keypad(You may not get option to press 1 once you receive a google voice call).

How it works

Google voice will connect any two USA numbers or a USA and a Canada number. IPKall will give us a free USA number so we can receive (and make web activated) calls from Google Voice. IPKall then takes that incoming Washington State number and turns it into the SIP protocol and delivers it to a Voxalot SIP address. Voxalot Maintains contact with your hardware or softphone to be able to deliver incoming calls to it as required.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Tech Notes-Changing IIS IUSR And IWAM Accounts After Server Rename


Recently I found a server which was renamed.There were two IUSR and IWAM accounts.One with the new name and one with the old one.Read on to see what you can do to get rid of old accounts and use only the new ones.
Ones you rename the machine and reboot it, you might still find the old IUSR and IWAM accounts .Now even if you delete these accounts, it will get recreated as soon as you restart IIS.Follow the below steps to get rid of the old accounts

(1) Open C:\WINDOWS\system32\inetsrv\Metabase.xml in Notepad
(2) Search for AnonymousUserName and change the value to IUSR_NEW (or any name you like) for all instance
(3) Search for WAMUserName and change the value to IWAM_NEW (or any name you like) for all instances
(4) Save Metabase.xml
(5) Start –> Run –> Services.msc –> Right click on IIS Admin Service and choose to restart.
(6)Delete the old accounts from Local Users and Groups

Now configure anonymous access with the new account in each Virtual Directory that you have created.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Calling Phones From Gmail



Rumors have been buzzing about since June, but Google just made it official -- the company's baking Google Voice calls right into Gmail today. Like the Google Chat text, voice and video chat integrated into the web-based email client in prior years, full phone calls will also be an option using VoIP technology from the Gizmo5 aquisition.The new facility makes it possible to call phones from the mail interface itself.Call to US and Canada is free at least for the time being. For other countries they are following the google voice rates.

Incoming calls pop up as a chat window in Gmail (and ring your Google Voice-equipped phones simultaneously) and you press a "Call phone" button that appears near the top of the Chat window to send an outbound call, at which point a dialer appears where you can copy and paste numbers or tap them in manually. Users can screen incoming calls or send them to voicemail with a single tap.

I just tested calls from Google,Skype and Yahoo messenger. Felt like google is better...



Saturday, August 7, 2010

India Pay Payment Processing Platform To Compete With VISA & MasterCard



An Indian payment processing platform named Indiapay is emerging to compete with global giants VISA and MasterCard.This system will be fully functional in two years and is being developed by National Payment Corporation Of India and has support from Reserve Bank Of India.

Leading banks like State Bank Of India,ICICI Bank,Punjab National Bank,HDFC Bank,Citi Bank ,HSBC are major promoters of Indiapay. Launch of Indiapay will launch fresh battle for supremacy in growing Indian credit market with clear advantage at this point for banks going with Indiapay because of low transaction rates.

Number of people using cards for transaction is increasing day by day and the number of plastic cards now amount to 4 crore with majority of them using VISA and MasterCard as platform. Each time we use these cards for transactions, bank has to pay processing fee to VISA/MasterCard and this amounts to crores. As such Indian banking system is expected to embrace Indiapay platform whole heatedly.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Teaching Online-Indian Teachers Have Great Opportunities Ahead



After software and BPO jobs, the next wave of jobs coming to India is Online Teaching where English speaking Indian teachers coach students in US and other countries over internet.The fee for online tutoring is hourly or even monthly as per the student agreement. Some offer hourly rates of $25 to $30 instead of the $50 to $60 hourly charges typical of on-site tutoring.

Online tutoring has picked up a big way in Kerala with many companies providing online coaching in various subjects including Mathematics.According to Beena George, Centre Director of Kochi based Growing Stars Infotech, subsidiary of California based Growing Stars Inc, they have catered to the needs of about 2500-3000 students in US since the company was formed in 2003. Coaching is provided on subjects like Maths, Pysics, Chemistry, Biology and English. Now they are handling about 900 customers with about 120 staff based in various locations in Kerala.

Students are spread across the world including China,UAE,Egypt etc.The interesting thing is some of the online teachers are very young and are well versed school students.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tech Notes- IIS-Checking As Well As Synching Password For IUSR & IWAM Accounts


Usually the IUSR_ and IWAM_ passwords are set automatically and are never known. However, I've seen cases in which for some reason the passwords get out of sync or corrupted and need to be reset. The easiest way to reset these passwords is to extract the passwords that Microsoft IIS has in its metabase and update the accounts in Local Users and Groups to use that password.

To accomplish this you first need to update the adsutil.vbs script, which you'll find in the AdminScripts folder under the Inetpub folder, to display sensitive information (e.g., passwords) in plain text.Open the adsutil.vbs file in Notepad and search for the text "IsSecureProperty = True", replace this text with "IsSecureProperty = False" and save the file

Now run the following commands to return the passwords in plain text

/anonymoususerpass is the IUSR account
/wamuserpass is the IWAM_ account

C:\Inetpub\AdminScripts>cscript adsutil.vbs get w3svc/anonymoususerpass

Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2001. All rights reserved.

anonymoususerpass : (STRING) "bv6iC9d|liM)`y"


C:\Inetpub\AdminScripts>cscript adsutil.vbs get w3svc/wamuserpass

Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2001. All rights reserved.

wamuserpass : (STRING) "9oAFA"L8|HD2Kl"



Now you have two options.Either you can set the password for users IUSR account and IWAM_ account in Local Users and Groups same as above or if you have already set the password in Local Users and Groups set the same passwords in IIS metabase using the following commands


C:\Inetpub\AdminScripts>cscript adsutil.vbs set w3svc/anonymoususerpass "Password123"

Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2001. All rights reserved.

anonymoususerpass : (STRING) "Password123"


C:\Inetpub\AdminScripts>cscript adsutil.vbs set w3svc/wamuserpass "Passw0rd"
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2001. All rights reserved.

wamuserpass : (STRING) "Passw0rd"



You should now run the command below to sync the password from IIS with Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) and component services


C:\Inetpub\AdminScripts>cscript.exe synciwam.vbs -v

IIS Applications Defined:
Name, AppIsolated, Package ID


Now just reset IIS using the iisreset command


Saturday, July 17, 2010

US Highway Naming Convention



Atleast 10 might have asked this question to me.How do you find out whether a highway is running east-west or north-south?. Well the answers are here.

The procedure for naming the highways is US is systematic and followed some rules Major routes are designated by single or two digit numbers. If a route runs north-south, it is given an odd number, and if a route runs east-west, an even number. For north-south routes, numbering conventions begin in the west. Thus I-5 runs north and south along the West Coast, while I-95 runs north and south along the East Coast. For east-west routes, numbers begin in the south.Major routes usually traverse cities and are the shortest and most direct line of travel. Connecting interstate routes that travel around a city carry three-digit numbers.The interstate system totals 46,300 miles. All interstate highways are marked by blue signs with red tops.

U.S routes also follow a systematic naming.The north-south routes have odd numbers, with 1 to 3 digits. These numbers increase from east to west (just the opposite of the interstate system). For example, U.S. 1 runs along the East Coast (starts at Key West) and U.S. 101 runs along the West Coast.The east-west routes have even numbers, with 1 to 3 digits. The lowest numbers are in the North and increase moving south (just the opposite of the interstates). For example, U.S. 2 runs along the Canadian border; U.S. 90 runs through Texas.U.S. routes are posted in black letters on white signs.

Three highways run from coast to coast: I-10, I-80, and I-90.Seven highways run from border to border: I-5, I-15, I-35, I-55, I-65, I-75, and I-95.


Good Samaritans Are There Everywhere



This is a typical scene in a village from south Indian state of Kerala. A packed bus in which commuters were stacked like sardines screeched to a halt to pick up more passengers. The next available bus in this stretch is only at dusk hence the bus was unusually crowded. The passengers comprising of shoppers, government employees,students,fisherman,farm workers etc young and old were trying to get a toe hold at the foot board when a good Samaritan popped up from nowhere from the crowd. He started to mind the crowd and to yell out the names of the bus stops for people to get down easily.

This supportive act helped the hapless conductor who is in charge of issuing tickets after collecting money a lot as he was finding it very hard to issue the tickets and to manage the doorbell in the milling crowd all at once. Soon, things fell in place and it was a smooth sail till the bus reached its destination where this helpful guy got down after a commendable endeavor.I have experienced this several times while travelling in bus when I was very young and usually gets lost easily in the crowd without even a view of the outside.

Though going by the books, this overzealous act may not go well with the general public, most of the commuters were all praise for this selfless act, which grabbed a few eyeballs of the curious travelers. Nonetheless some were heard whispering at hushed tones that he might be on a high, which made him lose the sense of reality! It is interesting to note that as always, this selfless deed has also won bouquets and brickbats all at once!.But I am always in praise for these good samaritans in Gods Own Country-Kerala :)


See how a crowded bus in Kerala looks like


How To Submit Blogger Sitemap To Google,Yahoo,Windows Live,Bing And Ask


A sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for a site. It allows webmasters to include additional information about each URL in their site, when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently. Sitemaps are a URL inclusion protocol and complement robots.txt, a URL exclusion protocol.

Sitemaps are particularly beneficial on websites where:

* some areas of the website are not available through the browseable interface, or
* webmasters use rich Ajax, Silverlight, or Flash content that is not normally processed by search engines.

The webmaster can generate a Sitemap containing all accessible URLs on the site and submit it to search engines. Since Google, Bing, Yahoo,MSN and Ask use the same protocol now, having a Sitemap would let the biggest search engines have the updated page information.

Sitemaps supplement and do not replace the existing crawl-based mechanisms that search engines already use to discover URLs. Using this protocol does not guarantee that web pages will be included in search indexes, nor does it influence the way that pages are ranked in search results.

Sitemap Protocol is based on xml tags.Here is a sample sitemap that includes all optional tags

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"
xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9
http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9/sitemap.xsd">
<url>
<loc>http://example.com/</loc>
<lastmod>2006-11-18</lastmod>
<changefreq>daily</changefreq>
<priority>0.8</priority>
</url>
</urlset>


Submitting blogger blog sitemap to google is easy. Below youtube video explains it clearly.



For submitting sitemap to bing, paste the below URL in your browser after replacing blogname with name of your blog.

www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?siteMap=http://blogname.blogspot.com/atom.xml


For submitting sitemap to yahoo, paste the below URL in your browser after replacing blogname with name of your blog.

http://search.yahooapis.com/SiteExplorerService/V1/updateNotification?appid=SitemapWriter&url=http://blogname.blogspot.com/atom.xml

and

http://search.yahooapis.com/SiteExplorerService/V1/ping?sitemap=http://blogname.blogspot.com/atom.xml

For submitting the sitemap to Windows Live paste the below URL in your browser after replacing blogname with name of your blog.

http://webmaster.live.com/ping.aspx?siteMap=http://blogname.blogspot.com/atom.xml

For submitting the blog to Ask paste the below URL in your browser after replacing blogname with name of your blog.

http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=http://blogname.blogspot.com/atom.xml


Friday, July 16, 2010

How Do You Type The New Indian Rupee Symbol In Computer Keyboard



Indian Rupee symbol has been announced .The new symbol, designed by Bombay IIT post-graduate D Udaya Kumar, was approved by the cabinet today -- reflecting that the Indian currency, backed by an over-trillion dollar economy, was finally making its presence felt on the international scene.Kumar's entry was chosen from 3,000 designs competing for the currency symbol. He will get an award of Rs 2.5 lakh.The finance ministry selected the currency sign after short-listing five from entries received in a competition announced last year, according to information on its web site. The government had recommended in the contest guidelines that the symbol should represent India's history and culture and must be acceptable across the country.

If you are wondering how will you type the rupee symbol using your keyboard, well it might take sometime to get the symbol in action (to gain acceptance in India) and probably an year for international acceptance.

Vendors say they will roll out the symbol as soon as the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) sets the guidelines, since it takes only a minor software change to incorporate it.It takes only a simple internal coding to assign an additional function to any one of the existing keys that currently holds a single function. But it will be interesting to see which key is going to take that function.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Your Social Media Profile Can Affect Your Education and Job Prospects



Social media has taken off in a big way within the past few years. Now Hollywood’s most elite celebrities – and even the White House – have their own Facebook and Twitter pages. But the faces that we are so accustomed to seeing on television are not the only ones on the social media kick – college students are savvy social media users as well, twittering and updating Facebook statuses so deftly that it is surprising to learn that such outlets only became a cultural mainstay as little as five years ago. Yet, the very tools that allow for users from all over the world to stay connected are the very same things that could be sabotaging their education and job prospects.

Many hiring managers now regularly turn to looking up job candidates on social media websites to find out more about the candidate. After all, an applicant’s resume rarely offers a glimpse into his or her personality and work ethic. Seeing how an applicant chooses to present him or herself on social media sites is an excellent way for hiring managers to gauge whether the applicant would be a good fit for the company. Screening job candidates through social media is becoming more commonplace, especially with the ever-increasing popularity of such outlets. In this way, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media venues like Myspace and LinkedIn can be great tools for college students and recent graduates. These sites allow for students to showcase the best traits that they have to offer. However, social media can also be used irresponsibly by young adults. Some users may twitter every passing thought, which sometimes can be decidedly inappropriate or even incriminating.

But employers are not the only ones that college students need to keep in mind when writing on their friend’s Facebook wall or posting up new pictures. Even the students’ schools could use unprofessional conduct on social media against the students. One such case was that of Stacy Snyder, who was a student-teacher at Millersville University. In 2006, Snyder was refused a teaching because the university discovered a photograph labeled "drunken pirate" on her Myspace page, according to the Washington Post. The university felt the photograph indicated that Snyder was not fit to teach due to her inappropriate behavior. The photograph showed Snyder dressed in a pirate hat at an off-campus costume party holding a plastic cup, the content of which was not evident from the picture alone. The case shocked avid users of social media who did not know that their activities on such outlets could be used to deny them an education or a job.

However, students do not have to constantly worry about what consequences their social media use can bring about. The most important thing that students need to keep in mind when enjoying the fun of social media is that their activities can be seen by anyone with access to the Internet – even employers and school officials – so it is better to refrain from posting anything too intimate or scandalous.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Adding You Might Also Like Option To Your Blog

Displaying links to "related posts" beneath individual entries on our blogs is a tried and trusted method of providing useful and interesting reading material for our readers.
Ever wondered how some blogs have a very well organized link with in option?. Adding this option to your blog does not require programming knowledge or even html knowledge.I use LinkWithin to show the "You might also like" articles on my blog.They have great instructions to help you get it installed. You just start filling out the info on the front page and it guides you through the process for various blogging platforms (blogger, wordpress,etc.). I use it on a blogger platform. (I was a little worried at first that the widget would show up in the wrong place, but it works!)
LinkWithin is a free service offered by a small team based in New York. This free service enables us to display related posts with thumbnails below our blog posts (the thumbnail is taken from an image within the post it links to).The posts chosen to appear as related posts are based on several factors including:

* Relevance
* Popularity
* Recency

At present, LinkWithin is not ad-supported and is completely free to use. As explained on the FAQ page:

We plan to introduce revenue-sharing features in the future, but they will be optional.

At present, there is little documentation for us to be certain of these factors, though after testing LinkWithin in a few different sites, I'm pretty impressed by the choices generated for each post!.The "related posts" solutions for Blogger which I've used until now have all relied on label feeds. That is, the recent posts generated by such scripts collect recent posts from the same label (category). This often means that posts deeper within our archives are generally ignored, even when they may be far more relevant than the more recent posts displayed.LinkWithin parses all posts from our blogs, and chooses the posts to be displayed using more complex and relevant factors. This ensures far greater relevancy which is better for our readers and also ensures that older posts are included in the display.

If you're using a standard, uncustomized Blogger template, the method for installing LinkWithin is fairly straightforward. Simply visit the LinkWithin website, fill in the form on the right-hand side (choosing Blogger as your platform) and follow the instructions provided.This will install the related posts in your template as a gadget beneath the main posts section, though you'll find the "You may like these related stories" section will be displayed beneath each of your blog posts (before the post-footer section). It will also display on each and every page of your blog, including the main, archive and search pages.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

FreeRice.com-For Each Right Answer To The Quiz They Donate 10 Grains Of Rice Through World Food Programme

The idea behind this site is very and very creative like the design of the site. They have a vocabulary game in their site and you can play this game without any kind of sign up. For each question answered correctly 10 grains of rice will be donated by the sponsors to help people living in poverty. Creativity behind this idea is visitor get to play the game as well as improve their vocabulary, FreeRice get the traffics, advertisers get their exposure, and most important thing is people get the free rice. I think it's a nice idea to spread around the community. Please help to spread out the word. You can find details from their FAQ page.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Electronic Cigarette Can Help You To Quit Smoking

The electronic cigarette is one of the greatest cigarettes that are famous to this new generation. It is just like a cigarette but without tobacco, no smoke, no tar and don't need to be lit. The device will just heat with the heater inside. If you buy this cigarette you will have electronic cigarette cartridges and the equal of these cartridges is half pack of the cigarette. Therefore each cartridge is equal to half pack of the original cigarette. So that means it's cheaper to buy an e-cigarette rather than the regular cigarette.

Aside from that e-cigarette is also healthier. In buying e-cigarette there are options for you to choose whether you want high, med, low, and non-cartridges. This idea could help smokers to reduce their habit from with nicotine to none. Once a person reached from none nicotine that could be the start of his healthy life style without the risk of the cigarettes. It is the most effective solution for smoker who really wants to quit smoking.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Common Public Media Platform


Are you a listener of NPR?.I am. I like the programs they broadcast especially 'All things considered",The Diane Rehm show", "On point" and so on.

Now public radio and television have kicked off an ambitious effort to develop a digital distribution network that will allow public broadcasters and web producers to combine, create, share and distribute their news and cultural content.The effort is being spearheaded by five national producers: American Public Media, NPR, PBS, Public Radio International (PRI) and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has provided nearly $1 million over the next six months to create development plans and a working prototype of what the partners are calling the Public Media Platform (PMP).Fully developed, the PMP will serve as a powerful technology backbone enabling today's non-compatible systems to connect, allowing for unprecedented access and flow of content.

The goal is to develop a broad digital network that will invite and support innovative uses of public media content, and match - or exceed - the impact of public radio and television today. Currently 37 million people listen to public radio stations every week, experiencing a seamless mix of local, national and international news, and music largely neglected by commercial radio. Public TV educates, entertains and informs over 118 million viewers every month.

The PMP will allow public media producers – and potentially others outside public media – to combine their content in a shared platform and make it available for a wide variety of public uses, from news sites to educational curricula.At the core of the PMP is an open Application Programming Interface (API) that will simplify the task of sharing, combining and distributing news and educational content to member organizations and the general public.

Here is WLRN home page
http://www.wlrn.org/web/index.php

Enjoy WLRN 91.3 Live from Miami, FL
http://live.friendsofwlrn.org/

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Is There Something Called Multitasking?


I have never claimed to be a good multitasker. In fact, I am a horrible multitasker. I can generally manage two truly simultaneous tasks if I am only weakly committed to one of them, but that is the limit. The more I learn about multitasking, though, the more I determine that there is no such thing as a good multitasker.

I started thinking about this when I came across a Wall Street Journal article that questioned whether the Internet was making humans more shallow thinkers. The premise is that Internet activity is inherently full of distractions and interruptions, and this does not allow for deep, contemplative thinking. The article then goes into an explanation that people who appear in life to multitask are merely people drawn to constant distraction, and that doing this too much damages the brain's ability to focus.

What's strange is that I, even with the discomfort I have regarding multitasking, frequently find myself attempting to do multiple things at the same time. This happens more now than it used to, and it id definitely enabled through technology that was not available to me earlier in life. I actually find myself rationalizing that I am saving time and reducing stress, though I may be doing the opposite. There are some times when multitasking is useful, but if I am honest with myself I will admit that those instances usually occur when one of the tasks I am performing is truly meaningless. So, if I get more accomplished because I types some emails while dialed into a meeting, that is only because my attention was never really needed in the meeting in the first place.

While many people believe that multitasking improves efficiency because you are accomplishing multiple things at once, multiple studies indicate that multitasking has a negative rather than positive effect on work. As an example, researchers at Stanford found that multitaskers were no better at doing things than anyone else, but they were simply more easily distracted than the rest of the population. They may appear to be doing five things at once, but this is just because those are tasks that are started rather than those that are completed. One of the study's authors went so far as to say, "We kept looking for what multitaskers are better at, and we didn't find it."

A primary disadvantage of multitasking is that it promotes the illusion that people can do two things at once, and nothing could be further from the truth. Research by neurological physiologists and other investigators into the way the brain works confirms (not reveals - it's already been revealed) that the brain is a "one-thing-at-a-time" kind of machine. Even computers are "one-thing-at-a-time" even through you here the word multitasking in context of computers as well.The strength of the brain is in its ability to switch very rapidly from one task to another(so do computers). And because the brain is, in general, pretty good at switching, this gives rise to the illusion that people can do two (or more) things at once. They cannot, and nothing could be further from the truth. As the brain doesn't do two things at once, a driver is actually not in control of his/her vehicle for the time it takes to do use a cell phone or do something else. This creates danger beyond calculation. We'll never really know how many people are killed or injured in auto accidents (huge dollar loss aside) initiated by someone who is driving and "multitasking" on a cell phone or in some other way. Happens every day. It's happening now.

Remember the deadly train collision of a commuter passenger train into a freight train in the Los Angeles area. The engineer was killed, but was texting up to about 20 seconds prior to the crash. He was killed, along with two dozen of his passengers.)This engineer ran red stop lights and "engineered" the collision.

So, if you happen to be wandering by a Starbucks and see someone sipping a coffee, talking on the phone, typing an instant message, reading a book, tapping a foot to some music, and shopping online at the same time, rest assured that he or she is not doing any of it well. If you are that person, you probably haven't gotten this far down in the post to notice anyway.

Are We Wasting Energy By Exercising?

After having a good sleep at night I woke up in the morning and while looking through the window I always find that in the park there are lots of people doing exercise. Some of them walking, some of them running, some of them jumping up and down and so on. There are different people doing different kind of exercise. Everyone in the park is trying to burn calories. People who don’t have the luxury of parks nearby, finds ways to burn calories at gym.

Everybody eats high calorie food during morning, noon and night and some will have even snacks in between and then they want to burn it out. May be they are working in an office, where minimum physical activity is required. Most of them are not in good shape also. So they need to do something to burn the energy as well as to get a good shape. This kind of work out is not required for the people who do physical work during the day. Also most of them who do physical work are in good shape.

But it is very strange to see that those who are coming to walk in the park are coming by car or motorcycle. Why don't they come by foot and save energy? I can't understand this myth. The gymnasiums and parks where people waste their energy (burning calories) is a national waste. So how do we make it for productive? The simple way which I used to follow and which most of us could is to work in farm activities. Every day morning instead of going to gym or park engage in some farm activities-most of them are physical. That way you will be in good shape and you might earn some extra income. Some of us might be reluctant to follow this path for different reasons may be some may not like the shabby environment or some may not even have the option to have a farm. So another idea is to attach machines to gym equipments which can do useful work .I am not aware of any such gym equipment in market. This way you can save at least save some bucks on monthly gym fee of course based on your work out. I hope somebody picks up this idea

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tree Tops Park , Davie,FL


Tree Tops Park located in Davie,FL is a 243-acre park with a 23-acre marsh area accessible by a boardwalk, including a 101-acre Pine Island Ridge. Pine Island Ridge, boasts the highest natural elevation in Broward County. Also available at Tree Tops are nature trails, walking/biking paths, equestrian trails and horse field, picnic areas, playgrounds, a butterfly garden, safety town, a gopher tortoise preserve, boating, fishing, and horse/pony rides.

Canoes and paddle boats can be rented from the marina/park office for use in the waterways for $7 per hour on weekdays, weekends and holidays. Rentals are available from morning to 5pm; the last rental goes out by 4pm.This will be very good during winter as during summer it will be pretty sunny.



Horse rides On weekends, horseback riding is one of the most popular activities at Tree Tops. There are more than seven miles of designated horse trails that will accommodate both horseback riders and energetic hikers alike. Experienced and inexperienced riders can choose from either a half-hour or full-hour trail ride led by experienced guides.For people of ages seven and older it is for $27.50 per hour. Pony rides for younger kids are also available in the corral for $1.50 per ride. All rides are weather and conditions permitting, so call ahead to make sure they're available before you go.



Picnic shelters are available for rental for parties. Large shelters hold 100-120 people and rent for $162, and small shelters hold 60-80 people and rent for $102 on weekends (weekdays are cheaper).

Tree Tops Park has a large hall that holds hundred 180 people. Large parties, weddings, birthdays, are held at this beautiful facility. Near the hall is a medium-sized patio that is also rented. The patio offers a beautiful setting for the wedding ceremony or for a medium size party.

Safety Town, sponsored by Memorial Health Systems, teaches pedestrian and bike safety, park safety, fire safety to name a few, to school aged children. This facility is available for school field trips only.

Butterfly Garden is another attraction here.Butterflies are not restricted here with nets.Its natural.The University of Florida’s department of zoology has recorded 54 species of butterflies on the ridge, of which three are uncommon in other areas of Broward County. A recent Environmentally Sensitive Land inventory notes that 148 different plant species grow here.Among the rare butterflies that we have in the park is the atala,Its larvae (caterpillars) feed only on one type of plant, the coontie plant, which is there in abundance at the park.


Nature Trails here features nature and equestrian trails winding through dense woodland, including a magnificent live oak hammock. It has three hiking/nature trails: the Live Oak Trail and the Seminole Trail are wood-chipped, and the Pine Island Ridge Trail consists of both paved path and wood-chipped trails, plus an observation tower. We could find Florida Orange trees full of Oranges here.One thing we need to be careful here is spider nets on the way.Together, these trails total about two miles.The observation decks along the marsh are perfect for observing both songbirds and water fowl, in addition to turtles and a variety of dragonflies and damselflies.







The Ridge here has been inhabited for more than 5,000 years, starting with the Tequesta Trace Indians. Myriad individual archaeological sites are located on Pine Island Ridge and its very name reveals its geological, ecological and archaeological significance.




Saturday, June 5, 2010

World Is Getting Smaller But Are We Coming Closer???...

The world indeed has become very small.Facilities like video conferencing , IP phones, chat,instant messengers,social networking sites etc helps us to remain in touch with our friends and loved ones always!.How ever ones we step out of this virtual world,things are getting murky.This phenomenon is now slowly spreading even to villages with the advent of internet facilities.

I happened to meet one of my school friend who is currently working in a high profile multinational IT firm.After having a quick update about our old friends and latest happenings,he started introducing his colleagues to me who were there with him.I moved a step closer and exchanged warm hand shakes.Suddenly my friend started fumbling and trying hard to recollect the name of one of his colleagues. This incident came as a sort of eye opener for me

Though we all sit very close to our colleagues at our work , are we restraining our self to a reclusive space disconnected from outside world ? The work pressures and the mad pace of the modern life is making us all self centered and mechanical?.Its time for us to seek a way out of this vicious circle.There is no single word solution to this. Each one has to think and find out their own.....

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tech Notes--Using Tail..

I found this command very handy in numerous occasions both in Unix/Linux and Windows.Tail command is used mainly for monitoring logs, especially real time monitoring.In unix/linux, its as easy as opening a shell and typing

tail -f .
Example:- tail -f /var/log/message

It will start displaying you the system log messages on screen with details, like time, machine name, process related info or warning or message.This will continuously display messages.To stop it we can use "Ctlr + c"

There is a windows equivalent. This is not part of OS. You need to install "Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools"

1. Go to the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 download section at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/downloads/tools/default.mspx. Or, if that link does not work, visit http://www.microsoft.com/ and search for "Windows 2003". Once there, choose the "Downloads -> Tools" link.

2. Select the link "Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools".

3. Click the "Download" link.Follow the instructions to download and install the product. The default install directory is "C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\".

Once the Windows 2003 Resource Kit is installed, you may need to reboot your machine for the directory "C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\" to be added to your path.


I found this command useful to tail IIS logs real time to check traffic and troubleshoot connectivity issues from remote host.

To get help regarding the command enter the following
tail /?

This tool can also be used for different purposes other than real time log monitoring. For example to see the last ten line of windows update log
C:\>c:
C:\>cd \windows
C:\>tail -10 "Windows Update.log"

Other options:

C:\>tail -n "Windows Update.log"

Display the last 'n' lines from file Windows Update.log. For example, view the last 20 lines in the Windows Setup log:

C:\>c:
C:\>cd \windows
C:\>tail -20
"Windows Update.log"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lion Country Safari,Florida

If you want to feel like you're on an African Safari,then take a drive to the Lion Country Safari.Lion country safari located at West Palm Beach,Florida is one of the favorite attraction for kids.This open drive-thru safari is located approximately 20 miles West of Downtown West Palm Beach,approximately 59 miles north of downtown Ft. Lauderdale and approximately 78 miles north of Miami.

Safari opens at 9:30 and closes by 5:30. Visitors can purchase tickets and enter the safari in their own vehicle and drive at their own pace,slowly and carefully through approximately 5 miles of paved roads running through the fenced area where animals are kept. A CD is provided along with the ticket which provides a recorded narration.

Some animals such as giraffes, rhinoceroses,zebras,ostrich etc are allowed to roam freely, even crossing the road in front of vehicles. Others, such as lions, chimpanzees,elephants etc are segregated behind fences or water barriers.It was amazing to see an Ostrich as close as within a yard.The Ostrich started pecking the viper of my car.I guess it was interested in some insects.See the video below



For those that want to continue their fantastic reality day, the park also features a walk through exhibit. On display here you will find such things as snakes, turtles, alligators, macaws, monkeys and more!. After the titillating safari, free parking and more excitement awaits you. You can begin games, rides, shopping and more. Or you can sit and relax and have food from the restaurant which has all variety of food.

There is an animal theater where you are instructed about the animal and its habitat. After a wonderful and enlightening presentation you can have a question and answer session and learn more. We are not done.You Bet! You can take the Safari Queen on an authentic Jungle water safari, ride the paddle wheel boat carousel and then experience the touch of some animals at the petting zoo.Kids can play golf,water gun attached toy boats,play at the water play ground,enjoy merry-go-round,Ferris wheel and feed Giraffes :).They have a collection of bird eggs which include that of Ostrich,Emu,Sarus Crane etc. .That seems like a full day. “What if I wanted to stay a few days at the safari game preserve?” you may ask yourself. Well… there is always Safari Camping among the stars and surrounded by rivers, jungles and of course the wonderful exotic animals and birds. You read that right! You can stay and hear a lion roar at dawn or and elephant mightily trumpeting at dusk. They have an award winning KOA camp ground with heated swimming pool, a store, and all the hook ups for hassle free and relaxing stay. Call ahead and book a stay (don’t forget to ask about what discounts available) or just drive through for an enchanting day trip. Lion Country Safari is a classic, timeless adventure at every turn.

http://www.lioncountrysafari.com/

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nutmeg – Money shedding trees...




Nutmeg trees are large evergreen tropical trees which grow average 12 Meters and can even grow up to 20 meters,based on the nutmeg type. Nutmeg is seed of the tree and weighs between 5g and 10g (0.2 and 0.4 oz) dried, while mace is the dried lacy reddish covering or aril of the seed.


The nutmeg tree is native to the Maluku (the Spice Islands) and is now cultivated in various parts of the world. Major nutmeg cultivation areas include Banda islands in Indonesia, Penang in Malaysia, Grenada in the Caribbean, and Kerala a southern state in India.

In 1512, Vasco de Gama reached Maluku, which is part of “spice islands”, belonging to Indonesia at present and claimed the islands for Portugal. To preserve their monopoly Portuguese and later the Dutch restricted the trees to the islands. They were cautious about keeping the seeds within the island. To protect against seed propagation, the Dutch even bathed the seeds in lime, which would prevent them from growing. However, birds carried the seeds and scattered it. When there was an abundant harvest, the Dutch even burned nutmeg to keep its supply under control. Despite the precautions, the French led by Pierre Poivre a French horticulturalist, smuggled nutmeg seeds to the island of Mauritius, near Madagascar. In 1796 the British took over the Maluku and spread the cultivation to other East Indian islands and then to the Caribbean, mainly Grenada. Nutmeg was so successful in Grenada it now calls itself the Nutmeg Island, designing its flag in the green, yellow and red colors of nutmeg and including a graphic image of nutmeg in one corner.Nutmeg has been a major foreign exchange earner for Grenada, accounting for 23 per cent share in European nutmeg market. It was the biggest exporter after Indonesia, which has 70 per cent market share in Europe.

Nutmeg was introduced in India by the British in the 18th century. Viswashree, the nutmeg variety developed by scientists at the Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) in Kozhikode, is now a favorite with farmers in Indian states. Viswashree is in many ways unique since it is the only nutmeg variety in the world that has been developed by scientists.Authorities in Grenada, West Indies, invited IISR scientists to offer solutions to the crisis in the nutmeg sector there after Ivan, a hurricane, devastated nutmeg trees in large numbers. Nearly 90 percent of the nutmeg trees in Grenada were uprooted by the hurricane, precipitating a crisis in the country's economy.Though Viswashree may be the answer to Grenada's nutmeg problems, it would need the Indian Government's approval for growing this variety.

Like in any other filed, India is prospering to become the world's largest nutmeg producing nation.

Traditionally, small farmers have used "volunteer plants" as seedlings for planting. These seedlings have their origin from fallen seeds that have germinated and grown in and around the parent plant. The farmers may use seedlings at two stages of development, the young undeclared plants, plants which have not flowered, or the more mature declared plants, which have flowered and thus the sex could be identified. In the latter instance plants that produced female flowers and then fruits will be selected.The best practice before planting young nutmeg tree is to pre-establish shade.Plantain can commonly selected as the crop of choice to provide temporary shade for young nutmeg plants.


When the planting material is undeclared seedlings the common practice is to plant three seedlings at a planting site, 60 cm apart in the form of an equilateral triangle. The shade requirements for transplants are:

Up to 2 years 50% overhead shade plus ground shade
2 to 4 years 40% overhead shade plus ground shade
4 to 5 years 30% overhead shade plus ground shade
6 years 15% overhead shade plus ground shade
7 years and older No shade



Shade should be reduced gradually so as to minimize shock. At the first flowering usually at 4-7 years, the male plants are destroyed leaving one female per planting site. Some farmers may leave a few male trees in the field to encourage cross-pollination. This practice is declining. However, no studies have been reported that show the correlation between presence of male flowering trees and the quantity and quality of fruits and seeds that are produced by the female plant.

There is all to gether a different variety of nutmegs which grows in Myristica swamp area of western ghats in south India. The species is Myristica malabarica(kattujathi in malayalam).This is now in red list of threatened species.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Visit To Houston,Texas

Are you planning to travel to Houston?,Well if you are I thought I could let you know about some of the things that you might want to do or see while you are there.

To start with, let me tell you how to get there.If you are traveling by air there are two major airports and numerous smaller airports that you can fly into.

If you are flying commercially, though, the two major, international airports will likely be where you end up. George Bush International Airport (IAH) is commonly known by Houstonians as Houston Intercontinental and is located on the North side of town. If you are flying in from an international destination this is probably where you will land. This airport is huge and is served by most, if not all international airlines. Houston's other major airport, Houston Hobby Airport (HOU), is located just South of downtown Houston.Both airports have most of the car rental agencies located on or near the airport. Shuttles are available to take you to them if they are off site.You may have to get an International Drivers License before driving in US. Use this URL to read more about it
http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Foreign_Visitors_Driving.shtml

I you have never driven in the United States, remember the driver sits on the left and when you are on the road, the driver in the car approaching you will be on the inside of the lane. As with any trip of this nature you may want to get a guide to help you if you are unfamiliar. Most rental car agencies will have GPS available. If you don't know your way around this can be very helpful but be careful because it can put you in a bad part of town where crime is high. Ask around so you know where NOT to go as well! Houston is a very large place and it can be confusing finding your way around. Just like any other large city out there. The city and surrounding metro are covers a HUGE land area and driving distances from one part of town to another can be as much as 30 miles.

If you don't want to rent a car, you can either look for a Taxi or Limo available just outside of the baggage recovery areas at both airports..If you are looking for a more economical option then Supershuttle is there for you .SuperShuttle passengers share the ride with others going in their direction in one comfortable blue van.You have option to book Supershuttle in advance through their website
http://www.supershuttle.com

If you are a simple person who likes traveling in City buses, you can utilize the buses run by Metropolitan Transit Authority. City is well connected by metro buses. This is probably the of the cheapest options to get around.But you may have to learn the schedules and transfer points.You can get more information from the website.
http://www.ridemetro.org/

The major highways connecting Houston are Interstate 45 ,Interstate 10 and there are two loops as well. The inner loop is known as Loop 610 and the outer loop is the Beltway 8 or Sam Houston Tollway. Beltway 8 is a toll road. There is a North-South Tollway also known as The Hardy Toll Road . HOV lanes are available for any vehicle with more than 1 occupant. I-45 Will take you to Dallas about 300 miles North or Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico about 50 miles South. I-10 Will take you as far as the west coast in California or if you are East bound all the way to the east coast in Florida.

If you are going to drive in Houston, please bring tons of patience with you. People in Texas do not believe in signaling their intentions. If you see a turn signal it is purely accidental. :) Do not drive on the inside (left) lane unless you are doing a minimum of 75 MPH! Do not slow down at Yellow lights or you WILL BE rear ended. DO NOT HONK at other drivers as some Texans are known to carry guns in their vehicle.

All joking aside...be careful out there. There is a lot of road construction that is not properly marked and you could find yourself in a dangerous situation if going too fast and you encounter a city vehicle stopped in the lane in front of you unexpectedly.

Fog is another road hazard that you should be concerned with. Typically it is only a problem in the winter and spring but when it is present,slow down !!!

Flash flooding is another dangerous thing and can happen unexpectedly.Do not drive through water if you do not know how deep it is. People drown every year because they do this.

As far as your stay in Houston is concerned, you have n number of hotels in Houston.You can get rooms as cheap as $25 a night.Be cautious of what part of town these cheap rooms are in since they might be in high crime areas that are unsafe.Since Houston is so big you may want to find a place close to what you want to see.I was staying at Hedwig Village at the outskirts of the City.

There are many tourist attractions in Houston, which can thrill, delight, educate, or promote relaxation. Houston is the fourth largest city in the US, so activities can be found both for day and night. It’s unlikely you’ll find yourself bored visiting this city.


One of the main tourist attractions in Houston is the Houston Space Center, which through a variety of exhibits chronicles the history of the NASA Space Program. If you are interested in the stars and our space travels thus far, this is a perfect place to visit. There are theaters, tours, a gallery of astronauts, and terrific kid’s activities. You’ll find interest and adventure for the whole family at this museum. The Space Center is open seven days a week, and may have extended hours during the summer months. It may even have longer hours on holidays, but always check before you go to be sure all the exhibits are open.





If watching wildlife is your favorite thing to do, there are a number of tourist attractions in Houston or the surrounding area, which will definitely satisfy. The Downtown Aquarium features 400 different marine creatures, with a massive 150,000-gallon center aquarium. The Houston Zoo has over 4000 animals to visit, and the Armand Bayou Center in nearby Pasadena features 2500 acres of true Texas wildlife,native plants, and hiking opportunities.

Houston’s proximity to the water provides some wonderful activities. At the Port of Houston, you can take ferry rides, and watch ships dock and unload.


Houston is known as a patron of the arts, and the sheer number of museums certainly supports this title. You can visit museums of both contemporary and fine art. The Museum of Natural Science remains one of the delightful tourist attractions in Houston and a favorite of city residents. Numerous historical museums catalog the rise of the west, the growth of railroads, progress in health care, and the Holocaust. In all you can visit over 20 museums in Houston, which can take up quite a bit of time.


Hermann park is a major attraction at Houston. This park hosts a variety of attractions.A picnic area, a playground for children,golf course and jogging trail are among them.Hermann park railroad has a toy train ride which takes us through a scenic quick tour of the park The garden center at Hermann park is a meeting place for over 20 Houston area garden clubs. Outside the center are over 2,500 rose bushes in a variety of colors, and an international sculpture garden.Another attraction here is Museum of natural sciences. This museum is the fourth highly attended museum in US.You can enjoy the Wortham IMAX Theater, Cockrell Butterfly Center, the Burke-Baker Planetarium, or one of the permanent exhibits here.Houston zoo and Japanese garden are other major attractions here.Hermann park is reachable through Metro Rail. You need to get down at Museum District station.

You might wonder why you don’t see many people walking around in Houston? It’s because they are all underground :).A majority of the downtown office buildings are connected by underground tunnels, and in this underground tunnel system there are various shops, restaurants, banks, barbers…just about, well, anything you would find above ground. There are maps posted on the walls showing you the various routes you can take. The tunnel system is color-coded and is almost 7 miles connecting around 77 buildings. If you feel like you are lost, stay at the the tunnel loop, which connects all the tunnels.Other cities, notably Montreal, Toronto and Minneapolis, are renowned for their extensive tunnel and sky-way networks. But Houston may be alone in the extent and nature of its pedestrian circulation system of tunnels and sky-walks that become particularly popular on days like Aug. 12, 13 and 14 when temperatures hit 102 and 101, or tropical storm days which flood many streets.