Sunday, October 16, 2016

~ Butterflies ~

Was looking for something on my Instagram feed and then came across one butterfly photo. Then thought let me go down the memory lane and see how many of these colourful flies I have captured one my smartphone.

Was pleasantly surprised to see the number of clicks. Here you go! 

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

A photo posted by Vivek (@vevck) on

Thursday, October 13, 2016

~ AIR Bengaluru | FM station ~

I was only aware of the AIR (Android) app through which I used to listen to Raagam station. Thanks to Harsha's tweet I got to know that All India Radio (AIR), Bengaluru also broadcast their radio stations on internet. 

Two options:

1. Listen to below stations on AIR Bangalore site 

2. Via Playlist - Have created a playlist of all the above stations, which allows easy switching of stations while commuting / working, without having to visit web-browser. Import the playlist in iTunes or VLC & you are set to stream. Download the playlist file.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

~ Killing time in Bangalore traffic ~

I lose (spend) 3 hours of my day in Bangalore traffic. That's significant amount of time for me. Here are some ways I kill (utilise) time while commuting in office shuttle. 

  1. Read a book - kindle fits the need
  2. Listen to music - if I need to relax
  3. Talk to friends - helps me keep connected with friends regularly.
  4. Twitter - mostly evenings
  5. Sleep - if too tired
  6. Youtube Offline - Dev Talks, TED, Documentaries, John Oliver, NewsLaundry, etc
  7. News / Blogs - Mostly aggregate content on Pocket. 
    1. Pocket - really cool app if you are an avid reader. 
    2. Medium, has some great content too.

If you are an urban commuter in Bangalore or elsewhere, who happens to spend gruelling hours travelling in traffic then I would like to know how do you kill your time?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

~ Jingalala Part 2 ~

After 9 months hiatus, I had my second jingalala moment with TATA Sky. Here is Jingalala Part 1, in case you are interested.

This time around it was related to the renewal of my annual subscription of MEGA HD pack. Renewed it on 7th Jan evening and noticed that the renewal wasn't reflecting. Hence, called the customer support to check what could be the issue. Below is the gist of the conversation between me & the CSR executive 

Vivek: Hi, have renewed my annual subscription but it doesn't seem to be reflecting against my TATA Sky account & still a message on the TV screen.
CSR: The renewal has not been activated; should I go ahead any initiate?
Vivek:Yes, please proceed with the activation.
CSR: Sir, there is a slight problem.
Vivek: What is it about?
CSR: Actually, there is a slight difference in the annual subscription fees. Its not Rs 7500/- but Rs 7990/-
Vivek: Sorry, that price is never listed on your website. I paid for what was shown to me during the renewal.
CSR: Sir, actually there is some glitch on the site and hence the latest prices are not reflected on the website. So, you will need to pay the difference amounts for me to proceed with the activation.
Vivek: *Surprised to hear that*. Told, will not be paying anything extra as it wasn't my fault in the first place if the site didn't reflect the correct amount. I paid for what the site displayed.
Vivek: Have shopped on any of the ecommerce sites; What do you pay for - what is listed on the site or the invisible price that should have showed up?
CSR: Yes sir, I have used ecommerce site and agree it is not your fault. But, you need to pay the difference in order to activate.
Vivek: Am not paying the difference, coz it ain't my fault nor yours. The fault lies with your business, marketing and QA teams who failed to validate the correct pricing on the product offerings. Please ask the respective team to correct the same so that in the future you don't need to fight with customers.
CSR: Sure will pass on the details to the team, but you need to pay the difference.
Vivek: I would like to talk to a superior in the chain of command.
CSR: Sure sir, please hold the line.

Conversation with Sr CSR 

Sr CSR: Yes sir, how would I like to help you.
Vivek: Have the same conversation once again and same response.
Sr CSR: No sir, you need to pay the difference.
Vivek: Lost my patience, told him about Jingalala Part 1. I can once again escalate it to your CEO South region and get this problem rectified, if you don't activate.
Sr CSR: Sir, What is your subscriber number? Is your TV & setup box on?
Vivek: Yes.
Sr CSR: Sir, activation completed. Your subscription has been renewed.
Vivek: Thank you. But TATA Sky has lost the difference amount thanks to bad validation from Business & Marketing teams. If the pricing isn't updated then customers will not pay the amount and your company will loose the amount.
Sr CSR: Agree sir. Will pass on the message to the internal teams.
Vivek: I shall check your site after 24 hours and see if you have updated the amount on your website.
Sr CSR: Sure sir. Will get it fixed.
Vivek: Thank you. Good night.

4 days later, nothing has been changed. It still lists the price at Rs 7500/-

A bit of googling provided the info on the number of DTH (78million) subscribers in India. According to TRAI, there are 39.74 million active DTH consumers in India. Going by the 20% market share of TATA Sky sums up to 7.94 million or 79 Lakhs subscribers.

If we go with 5% of them as Annual Subscribers then we have 395K or 3.95 Lakhs Users. Off these 395K, if we go with various % of users who do their renewals in January then below are the lossese for TATA Sky due to wrong pricing on their website :)

  • 19.35 Lakhs @ 1% in January
  • 96.77 Lakhs @ 5% in January
  • 1.93 Crore @ 10% in January

P.S: Not sure how many subscribers would challenge TATA Sky for the pricing errors & not pay the difference.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

~ Messi & Ronaldo ~

Two contrasting individuals in the world of football. Both play their games differently and compete fairly on pitch while playing for their respective clubs. 

Last month when the documentary on Ronaldo was announced I was surprised to hear from CR7 that he wanted the documentary made. He wanted the world to know about him. After watching the documentary, it appeared narcissistic, massaging his big ego.

He happens to be so jealous of Messi winning Ballon d’Or four times he states, “To see Messi win four in a row was difficult for me. After he won the second and third I thought to myself: ‘I’m not coming here again.'”

This week I stumbled upon Messi's documentary, which happened to have released in 2014. It captures the life of Messi from childhood to international stardom. The numerous videos of Messi filmed during his childhood show how talented he was as a little boy then, till now at FCBarcelona. He definitely found the right home & coach at Barcelona.

Watch both the documentaries & decide yourself who is the better one :)

Just yesterday, Messi made his 500th appearance for FC Barcelona against Real Betis. After scoring a goal last evening he increased his goal tally to 425. No doubts for guessing, he also holds the club’s all-time leading scorer. The game also was historic coz they have 180 goals for this year, bettering Madrid’s milestone of 178 from 2014.

Here is the club's tribute to Messi on his 500th appearance.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

~ James Kingston | Don't look down ~

The risks urban climbers take to scale new heights. This documentary by Channel 4 captures the life of, James Kingston, an urban climber from the UK.

If you didn't know, James Kingston did hang atop a crane at Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore last August.

You can watch the Bangalore video here 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

~ Bangalore commute ~

Has been 2 years & 6 days since I changed my job & that's how my date with Whitefield started. It has changed my daily lifestyle from my previous job. 

Earlier, my commute was 3kms to my workplace with an average of 5 minutes (via bike). Now, it takes an average time of 75 mins (via company shuttle) to reach office, covering 25 kms with 10 pick-up points doing North Bangalore darshan.

The journey to home gets even better in the evening based on when I exit office
  1. 5pm shuttle will take an average of 90 minutes to reach Hebbal
  2. 7pm shuttle will take an average of 110 minutes to reach Hebbal
  3. 9pm shuttle will take an average of 65 minutes to reach Hebbal
On rainy days, one requires 45 minutes to just cross Whitefield & Mahadevpura area. In a nutshell, here is my commuting timecard:
     Mornings = 6 hours 25 minutes / week
     Evenings = 8 hours 33 minutes / week 
     Total Commuting per day = 2 hours 55 minutes (3 hours round off)
     Total Commuting per week = 15 hours

Assuming that I went to work for 202 days in a year (i.e. deducting 50 days for Leaves & Work From Home) then the total commuting hours sums up to 606 hours (25 days). 

So, I loose 25 days of my life in Bangalore traffic every year discounting weekend commuting :)

I had thought of writing this article last year but that never materialised. Today, after reading this article The upside of living in the cities with the worst commutes, it motivated me to compute the hours I loose in commuting.

Am still better off than the Urban American who is spending 40 hours commuting every week. But, imagine the total number of hours wasted by all of us in traffic jam. Companies should pro-actively need to adapt remote work for better work-life balance & productiveness of their employees.

Here is my list of longest commutes in Bangalore.

Would like to hear how much time you spend commuting to work in Bangalore or which ever urban city you live in.