Tring Tring Tring

That is the familiar sound of a phone ring. All the 90s kids would know 😛 Actually not just the 90s kids. Anybody who has heard EDM music and wondered what it is, would know. Nowadays we have these fancy smartphones in which you can load fancier ringtones like “Pardesi pardesi jaana nahi” and “Baabuji zara dheere chalo”.

The latest entry to this is the iPhone X. Some people point out that it is pronounced “ten” and not X. It costs the same amount as what at once Ratan Tata promised to give us a car. If I am paying that much for a phone I can call it X,Y,Z whatever. Hell, I should also get an option to rename Siri to Ramu kaka for that kind of money.  It supposedly has a glass front and back. So now when you drop your phone and break the glass, you can not only hear your heart break to a thousand pieces with amazing clarity, you can also see reflection of you crying on both the sides. And if your imagination is any good you will also hear “Sheesha ho ya dil ho toot jaata hai..” play in the background.

Our phones these days are not just communication devices, they have a wealth of information – our contacts, personal photos, to do lists, notes with bank account numbers, emails, digital wallets, bank apps and what not. So now if we lose our phones, we just don’t lose our phone we lose all that data. And if this reaches the wrong hands we also run the risk of id theft, misuse of our personal data and possibly money from our bank accounts and digital wallets. I know the pain of losing a phone having lost it once and another one just drained in a bucket of water and committed suicide! Blue whale was not even a thing back then! I still mourn both the devices and the data in those devices all the more.

I went to the Koramangala police station and told them I lost the phone in front the police station. They said that road comes under the Adugodi police station! Like the road in front of the police station. Our police require a separate post altogether. There isn’t enough space to talk about them here. I had this option on my Samsung phone where on changing the SIM, my chosen contacts would get a message.  So as soon as the new owner changed the SIM we got a message and we called. Of course he was in no mood to give the phone back and the fact that my phone had reached from Bangalore to interiors of Andhra Pradesh made it even more difficult to recover.

A friend of mine who bought an expensive Samsung Galaxy also bought insurance for her phone. So at least  money wise she is covered. And when she lost her phone she claimed for the insurance. It was rejected because she had kept the phone in the back pocket of her denims in a market area which constitutes as reckless behaviour. This is the same company who advertisement shows a girl leaving her phone at a restaurant while out with her friends as the case for buying an insurance. Now apart from her phone money my friend also lost the money she paid for the insurance.

Another friend of mine lost his phone while he was boarding a bus at the Anand Rao circle in Bangalore. And not a city bus but a VRL bus where the seats are reserved in advance and only relevant people are getting in. Or so you think. He was speaking on the phone while boarding the bus and the next moment he is speaking into nothing and his hands are empty. By the time it sinks in, the phone is probably half a kilometer away.

Well why am I telling you all this? Losing your phone is easy but we can still do a few things to avoid the grief.

  • Don’t keep your phone in your back pocket! For that matter even your wallet or anything important. It is way easier for a pickpocketer.
  • Avoid talking on your phone while walking at the busy junctions or even on empty roads or while boarding a bus or when you have other things as well in your hand. Basically anywhere where it is easy for another person to flick it from your hand.
  • When you are sitting in a cafe, airport or anywhere with the phone on the desk or the table, keep an eye on the phone or even better keep it in your pocket/purse/bag.
  • If you are going to the washroom, keep your phone in the bag instead of keeping it on the counter. Much lesser chance of somebody else taking it or you forgetting it there.
  • Store some ICE(In Case of Emergency) numbers in your phone, which will not only help in times of an emergency but also in case of loss. If it reaches a good person he/she knows how to get in touch with you. In case you did not know your ICE contacts can be called even when your phone is locked. That’s how it can be used in an emergency. Screenshot below in case you don’t have them on your phone yet. Please do this for your own good and for the family who loves you. If you are the kind who only Jesus can love and nobody else, then it’s okay.
  • If at all, you do lose your phone you can still do a few things to ensure your data is safe. I know iPhone erases the data after some wrong password retries. Not sure of the details. If some iPhone user is reading this please comment on the details.
  • If you are an android user, there are many apps most of which are freemium apps. Checkout the Google Play Store. You can use the Android feature even if you don’t have any apps. This helps you track your phone or delete all the data if required. Go to Settings -> Lock screen and security -> Device administrator -> Find my device and activate it. Refer screenshot.
  • In short stay alert stay safe and keep reading my blog 🙂

Google turning twelve

Google 12th Bday Doodle


It is Google’s 12th birthday today. The Doodle is a simple cake with Google’s name on it and the L substituted by a candle.  Guess it doesn’t want the resources strained more after the “Google Instant” release. While I find it a waste of processing power, I thought people liked it. But found out of late not everybody is in its favor. Anyway considering that Google is a libra it may be a part of the libra vanity 😉 . 

 The Google 10th Bday page was a particularly interesting one. There was also a fake google 12th bday page with balloons and gifts which popped up when users made a spelling mistake and typed goggle instead of google.  Looks like someone wants to make the birthday more meaningful 😛 

Anyway Happy Birthday Google 🙂 

Flintstones 50th Anniversary

 Today’s(30th Sept ) Google Doodle for Flintstone’s 50th Anniversary. Must say I am loving it 😀


Finally Google is going the Bing way.  It has started including images in the background 🙂

Alternatively you could also choose your own image or photo to appear as the background to your Google homepage. You can choose an image from your Picasa Web photos, your computer or a Google public gallery.

Happy Searching!!!

Search Quest

I am back may be for the nth time 😛 At the cost of losing my readers though 😦

One of my initials posts(when Bing had just launched) included a poll: Google or Bing (in which very few people participated 😦 ) . But the answer was obvious: It was google all the way. No competition!!!

Today I happened to open Bing after a long time coz I was unable to find something on Google. I always loved the unique collection of background photos on Bing. The square boxes that redirect to some interetsing piece of news was a surprise for me. I loved the feature and the search engine inspite of it being from Microsoft 😛 . And to my joy also found the page I struggled to find on Google. I went ahead and added bing to my favorites bar.

For first use of the new shortcut, I decided to open Bing for my daily dose of news and Google news appears second in the list wheras it appears third in Google!!! Go ahead and bing for the info ( Oh I almost forgot yahoo is also a search engine. Do any of you use Yahoo for searching?)

Google Goggles

First of all, Wish you all a very Happy and fun filled New Year. May all your dreams come true this year. 2010 is hailed as the year of hope 🙂

And today it happens to be Isaac Newtons birthday. Today’s Google Doodle shows an apple actually falling from an apple tree in an animated doodle.

Google Doodle on Newton's birthday

Google Doodle

. Happy Birthday Newton !!!

In one of my previous posts I had commented how nice it would be to have an image search With the current pace of innovation it wasn’t too far and such a feature has been brought out by none other than Search Giant Google called Google Goggles (Youtube video). But right now it is only available for mobile phones running Android 1.6+. Lets hope very soon we can see one for web as well…After all we have just bid adieu to a decade of innovation…

Security Paranoia

Mordac, the information preventer

No, this is not another Dilbert comic strip that I am copy pasting.  I just used it to convey the message how paranoid we are getting about security. Understandably so. Coz most of the work that we do these days is online.  Our bank account passwords, credit card numbers and all important personal information is at risk . Insisting on strong passwords, firewalls, multi-layer security are some of the necessary evils.

But there are times some measures sound just ridiculous.  A lot of times Usability takes precedence over security.  While I understand that it is for our own safety, the only way to be perfectly safe is to lock your data in a locker and bury it six feet underground in a location known only to yourself. Even that is susceptible to accidental discovery or satellite discovery.  Some amount of trust is essential to keep things going. We need to strike a balance between security and usability.

Even in everyday life, we trust somebody or the other for our existence.
You trust the DBA that your account is not tampered
You trust your doctor to give the right medicines
You trust your lawyer for the legal advice
You trust the local beautician for your grooming

and the list goes on…

It is difficult to decide: How much security is enough and how to strike that balance. But the problem seems to be that nobody is interested in striking the balance. Everybody seems to be interested in increasing security and playing it safe and rather than trusting fellow humans. Is the world getting increasing paranoid about security?

What a waste!!!

There was one story that our physics sir at school would love to narrate.

There was this waterfall in Mysore and everybody admired it. Poets wrote pages on the beauty of the Kaveri river. But there was one man who saw it and exclaimed “What a waste!!!”  That was Sir. M Visvesvaraya. He said that because he saw the potential hydro energy being wasted and untapped.

He went on to become the chief Engineer of the Krishna Raja Sagar(KRS) dam, Mysore built in  1924. This dam remains an engineering marvel and one of the popular tourist attractions till date. It was the first dam to be built with ‘surkhi’  a mixture of limestone and brick powder instead of cement. He built many dams later which are still functional.

He also honoured with the Bharat Ratna for his contributions. It happens to be his birthday today(the 15th of September) that we celebrate as “Engineers Day” as a tribute to the engineering wizard.

Let us hope he inspires lot more engineers to acheive greater heights and come up with more viable and cost-effective solutions for the problems of the real world.

Happy Engineers Day!!! to all the engineers out there…