Author Archive for Smeeta Basak

01
May
10

Bluetooth watch

Heard about this watch which has Bluetooth in it. Sometime in 2007, Sony Ericsson launched its new Bluetooth watch, called MW-150. It has now 3 versions of the same; the classic as well as the business and music versions.

Some benefits of the watch:

  • It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and displays caller information. You can use it to answer or reject calls probably while you are driving
  • You can use your Bluetooth Watch as a music remote control when your phone is on the other side of the room or if you’re using it to listen via your home speakers. View tracks, adjust the volume, change the tune or switch your music off, all from your watch and without getting out of your chair
  • The watch gives a vibrating signal when your phone goes out of range

Read more here.

29
Apr
10

Longest exposure photograph

The adjacent picture is one of the longest exposure photographs. And the exposure was for 15,552,000 seconds or 6months!!

Photographer Justin Quinnell strapped the camera to a telephone pole overlooking the Gorge, where it was left between December 19, 2007 and June 21, 2008–the Winter and Summer solstices. This dream-like picture shows each phase of the sun over Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge taken during half a year.

The image was captured on a pin-hole camera made from an empty drinks can with a 0.25mm aperture and a single sheet of photographic paper.

Solargraph’ shows six months of the sun’s luminescent trails and its subtle change of course caused by the earth’s movement in orbit. The lowest arc being the first day of exposure on the Winter solstice, while the top curves were captured mid-Summer.

(Dotted lines of light are the result of overcast days when the sun struggled to penetrate the cloud.)

28
Apr
10

Common faults of the human mind

Stumbled upon this page which talks about the 10 most common mistakes of the human mind. Was intriguing to see  so many of these happen every day to all of us.

For example, reactance is defined as the urge to do exactly the opposite of what you are told to do. Found mostly in teenagers, but then I could think of so many situations where I would argue with my manager over a certain way to do things, not because I don’t agree with him, but because I don’t like being told what to do!

Again, self-fulfilling prophecy is engaging in behaviors that obtain results that confirm existing attitudes. An example given is the following:

“Economic Recessions are self-fulfilling prophecies. Because a recession is 2 quarters of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline, you cannot know you are in a recession until you are at least 6 months into one. Unfortunately, at the first sign of decreasing GDP, the media reports a possible recession, people panic and start a chain of events that actually cause a recession.”

24
Apr
10

Teaser rates

ICICI Bank cut home loan rates by bringing back its old teaser home loan rate product till the end of the month (read news).

Wanted to find out what teaser rates mean.

Investopedia says:

“An initial rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). This rate will typically be below the going market rate, and is used by lenders to entice borrowers to choose ARMs over traditional mortgages. The teaser rate will be in effect for only a few months, at which point the rate will gradually climb until it reaches the full indexed rate, which will be a static margin rate plus the floating rate index to which the mortgage is tied.”

In most cases, a teaser rate will be quite attractive to the prospective customer. The rate is usually less than the current market rate for comparable services, which helps to grab the attention of consumers. Along with the introductory rate, the provider also quotes the rate structure that will be in place once the short-term teaser rate expires. Unfortunately, many consumers tend to overlook this data until the expiration takes place, and find themselves saddled with a rate that is above current market standards.

23
Apr
10

New Coke

New Coke” is the unofficial name of the reformulation introduced in 1985 by The Coca-Cola Company to replace the original formula of its flagship soft drink, Coca-Cola (a.k.a. Coke). Properly speaking, New Coke had no separate name of its own, but was simply known as “the new taste of Coca-Cola” until 1992 when it was renamed Coca-Cola II.

The American public’s reaction to the change was poor, and the new cola was a major marketing failure. The subsequent reintroduction of Coke’s original formula, re-branded as “Coca-Cola Classic”, resulted in a significant gain in sales, leading to speculation that the introduction of the New Coke formula was just a marketing ploy.

The Coca Cola Company claims it was “arguably the biggest risk in consumer goods history”. Read more about “Coke Lore” here.

22
Apr
10

Pale Blue Dot

“Pale Blue Dot” is the name given to this 1990 photo of Earth taken from Voyager 1 when its vantage point reached the edge of the Solar System, a distance of roughly 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometres).

The late astronomer Carl Sagan eloquently tried to express how he felt about this photo in his book Pale Blue Dot:

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

More stories about the discovery can be found here.

A video from the same book is below.

21
Apr
10

Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot

Kenya’s Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot won the 114th edition of the Boston Marathon in record time on the 19th of April (read news article).

How Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot is different from other athletes is that he is considered to be a true marathoner” who rarely races other distances. Also, he has finished fifth or better in all four marathons he has entered.

Aged 21, Cheruiyot’s international debut was at the 2008 Frankfurt Marathon. Since he was not experienced, he had to purchase his own way and turn in a time under 2:14:00 to be reimbursed. He proceeded to surprise everyone, including himself, winning in the race with a course record 2:07:21!




So what’s this blog about?

Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.
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