Monday, August 10, 2009
However, for the last one year we have had trouble with the service. If we are downloading data from Internet, voice quality on Vonage phone goes south (well I realize that both data and voice are sharing same Internet link to the home). And sometimes, the voice quality will go bad for no reason (we have all read news reports about cable operators and ISPs giving some special treatment to Vonage ;-)).
Anyhow, I finally did cancel the Vonage service due to it being not compatible with the home security system we just installed. When I called 800 number, I was quickly transferred to a customer representative who very politely handled the call. Upon mentioning my reason, he referred to a website "alarm.com" which provided home security service/products that are compatible with Vonage (interesting!). Anyhow, when I asked how much I will be returned back for the service I did not use for this month (Vonage takes payment at the beginning of the month for the service to be provided for that month)... he told me zero! Vonage does not pro-rate the monthly charges and may be it is mentioned in their not-so-brief contract (an industry standard BTW). Now the amount owed to me was insignificant but I found it a little odd that a company will charge for a service that it did not really provide. So much for good things in life.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Today, I'll mention another enhancement which I believe is equally powerful but on a priority scale I would give this one more priority.
If anyone of you has gone through experience of crashed/malfunctioning hard-drive and have a new hard-drive installed or have an existing hard-drive reimaged, you would probably understand this pain point: you lose the bookmarks of your browser quite a few of which you very likely aggregated over a period of time.
I know one can try to extract the bookmarks from the old hard drive... but how about the following:
Since most people using Chrome anyways have a gmail account, how about Chrome having a facility to upload the bookmarks (could be done automagically as well) and have a facility to download them to Chrome as well. This has multiple benefits:
1) In case of crash/reimage (as mentioned above), you can restore your bookmarks by literally doing one mouse click.
2) Let's say you are working on a different computer and need to access your bookmarks, you would have them readily available. (provided there is an option to delete the bookmarks when you are done without interfering with existing bookmarks on the Chrome that your friend is using.
3) (Google would be happy this)... Google already targets ads on gmail based on your personal emails. They could also target ads based on URLs (or their content) that you have bookmarked.
Seems to be win-win....
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
What happens when the same user is using a cordless phone at home? (As regards to why users may prefer using a cordless phone at home versus their cell phones should be a no-brainer; talk to anyone who ever dared to exceed their day-time minutes and thereby incurring the wrath of cell phone company's per minute charges). Coming back to the original question, the same user who is used to using a bluetooth headset while talking on cellphone would want the same ease of use while talking on cordless phones. One would almost think that the cordless phone manufacturers would have incorporated Bluetooth in their gigantic (relative to a cell phone) handsets.
Its time for a reality check....
Panasonic (world #1 in cordless phone sales)
None of its cordless phones have bluetooth capability. However, they do sell a model which allows one to "link" one's cell phone to the cordless phone over bluetooth so at home you would use only one phone ... your cordless phone. However, the phones handsets do not have bluetooth capability for pairing with a bluetooth handsfree.
Vtech (World #2)
They are doing much better with their high-end models having a bluetooth capability for both linking with cell phone and also pairing with a bluetooth headset. It seems as of now this feature is available in only 3 models (I am assuming that the cost of adding a bluetooth transciever in a cordless phone will only be marginal considering that the technology is fairly standardized and as such I'd expect bluetooth to be a must-have feature in all cordless phones). Vtech currently provides Bluetooth capability in only 2 models:
Gigaset aka Siemens (World #3)
They seem to be doing the best of all by having multiple phones supporting Bluetooth but I must say that even though their phones look the sleekest, they ccompensate their strength in design by creating a technology confusion... have a look at their website and you will see acronyms like ECO DECT (I had heard DECT but what the heck is ECO DECT), HDSP, HSP....
Though I am by no means a professional marketeer, how do they imagine the potential buyers of cordless phones understanding and appreciating this complex terminology. Even though the observation is definitely not new by any means, I fail to understand why companies fail to empathize with their customers.... please talk to us in a language that we speak, understand and appreciate and hey, we will reciprocate by making more money for you!
Uniden (World #4)
Let's not go there....
Monday, July 6, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
In order to separate the recorder from the aircraft would require some mechanical means to eject the unit from the aircraft during the beginning of the impact event, before the tail structure became distorted. The “Launching Charge” must not present any danger of starting a fire and be powerful enough to push the recorder a safe distance from the plane. Think of an scaled down ejection seat, only pushing against a heavy steel box. The box would still be heavy since it would need to suvive the crash in case it didn't eject. The electrical connectors must also release instantly, completely and reliably. Perhaps just cutting the wires with a squib charge.
Now we have to get the box to float. Floatation foam is simple enough, but the shear volume required would make an already unwieldy box even more difficult. Perhaps a self inflating bag, like a life vest? That may work. And if the box is floating, an Emergency Locator Beacon (ELT) would assist in locating it. The recorders are already fitted with a device for finding it if it sinks. This device is called an Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB) and is NOT part of the recorder but is separate and located on the outside of the recorder case attached by brackets.
There we have it: Recorders that jettison from aircraft during impact and float.
So why don’t we have them?
The answer is MONEY.
To design such a system and maintain it would not only cost a large amount of money, but that cost would provide a disproportionate cost-benefit. That is to say it’s not worth it. The purpose of the recorders is to assist in crash investigation but they are not the only source of information and as such are nice to have but not absolutely necessary.. Besides, there have been recorders that have been recoverable in water crashes by other means. Very few have been ‘lost’.
Perhaps in the future we may have a palm sized combination CVR-FDR that weighs mere ounces and be mounted on top of the rudder under plastic film....
Hmmmm……Maybe……..But not today.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
My name is Sandeep Jain and I am a resident of the city of Santa Clara.
I care deeply about state of California and with this letter I want to bring to your kind attention the pressing issue of in California. On its website, the Department of Water Resources mentions that “California is facing the most significant in its history”.
I would like to suggest one approach which can help save several millions of gallons of water per year – through the use of in public places.
States of Arizona and have already enacted bills and to this effect.
Arizona Bill 2276 (effective Jan 1, 2005)
Oregon State Plumbing Board Ruling (effective around Jan 7, 2005)
I sincerely request you to enact similar law for the state of California.
Your kind attention in this matter is most sincerely appreciated.
Thanks & Best Regards,
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
1. Send email to helpyoucarrry at gmail.com to schedule time/pick-up
2. Proposed time: Sundays 1-5pm.
3. Currently servicing requests within roughly 20 miles of Santa Clara.
4. If you do not have your own vehicle, HYC can bring its own car.
5. Pick up from home and drive to the shopping place (preferably close by)
6. HYC will help in shopping and picking items and finally delivering and dropping them off at pick-up place.
In 1994, US Government released a mandate that restricts the capacity of single toilet flush to no more than 1.6 gallons of water. It was a great step to reduce water consumption across every household in US.
If you wish to learn more about water conservation standards mandated by US and individual states, check the following site:
Through this site, I came to know that in
I suppose there is one more way to substantially reduce water wastage: Push-button water-control for showerheads.
Most of us have a lever based water-control for our showers. At the time of entering bath, one has to fiddle around with the right setting of the lever to get the desired temperature of the running water. Due to the effort involved in doing this, I suspect if anyone turns off the shower while soaping. And this is where the problem lies. Assuming an average bath time of 10 to 15 minutes, I would suppose one spends roughly 20% of the time is spent in soaping (during which running shower is not required), we end up wasting around 5 gallons of water per bath (federal standard mandates water flow rate of showers to be less than or equal to 2.5 gallons/minute). Now, if we had a way to turn off the shower at the push of a button and restart the shower which delivered water at the same temperature as before, we can save 5 gallons of water per bath!
Doing some rough calculation (see below), based on
Total water savings/year = $9.80 (modest)
Pride in saving 7300 gallons of water = Immeasurable
Water usage per year = 365 * 5 * 4 = 7300 gallons
Water rate for
1 HCF = 748 gallons
Total cost of water usage per year = 7300/748 = $9.80
Doing some rough calculation based on
Doing some rough calculation based on
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
When you connect a device to your computer through USB, you may have noticed how the computer “recognizes” the USB device and displays the name of the device in the directory. USB standard must have a provision which allows for easy identification of devices connected to the computer through USB.
Let’s move over to HDMI. A High Definition television (Plasma or LCD) contains usually a few of those (1-4 ports). Now, usually multiple HDMI ports are in use simultaneously e.g.,
HDMI port 1 connected to Cable box
HDMI port 2 connected to DVD/Blue-Ray disc player
HDMI port 3 connected to Game console (Playstation/X-Box)
The trouble comes when you have to switch the input to the TV from one HDMI port to another. Since HDMI standard very likely does not have provision of device identification, my TV just displays “HDMI port 1, HDMI port 2,....” leaving me to guess which port is connected to which device.
I wish HDMI had device identification built-in in which case the TV could have displayed “HDMI-1: Cable, HDMI-2: DVD,...” or something like that making it really convenient to change the inputs.