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Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Blues: Be the solution

I watch a lot of stuff and negativity around me. Negativity about situations, conditions in life, street, prices, budget, stress and a lot of other things but there is no solution for all these being even thought of. Today be the one who works out a solution. Be the solution. Be the spark that moulds people, changes things and shifts the gear. Take charge and get things done.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Blessed Assurance

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song;
Praising my Saviour all the day long!
(Fanny Crosby , 1823-1915)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Being Dad

I am a hands on dad. I like to be part of everything that happens - quite literally. Much to the amusement of other people, relatives and sometimes even my wife, I love being there and enjoying every moment of my little daughter and she loves it so much too! Hopefully she would do the same once she grows up :) Here is a wonderful video you might have already seen but I felt like worth sharing. Only if you take part in your child's work and you would appreciate what your wife and mom would have gone through. Celebrating #BeingDad.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

My abiding place

I take, O Cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
Content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss;
My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the Cross!
(Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1830-1869)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What should I wear today?

One thing you can wear to work any day is a smile. Wear one to office today. Be cautious as it may be contagious. I am sure no one would complain though. The ability to smile relaxes you and the environment around you. Why dont you try it as the #OOTD today?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Open UP!

I started this photo feature about 7 months ago and it has been an emotional journey and a pleasure to share with you all so many stories of amazing people, stories of courage, choice, humanity, persistence and joy. I am sure you would love them too. Here is the link to the facebook album for the stories. Do share and like.

Click here to view the facebook album.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

10 things I expect from Narendra Modi's #SuperBudget

  1. Make in India: Boost manufacturing (Auto, chemicals, pharma, defense, leather, tourism, food processing...) with funds, tax breaks, faster clearances, FDI >  boost jobs, technology, education > improve lifestyle
  2. Smart cities - let us build them. Educate, empower, embrace, encourage, ensure
  3. Food sustainability - Research, reclaim, encourage sustainability and show a road map for sufficient production
  4. Improve infrastructure - roads, transport, water, power, hospitality, tourism, reduce food costs, improve education
  5. Reduce, simplify personal taxes - increase the exemption to 5 lakhs, travel allowance to 5k, insurance exemption to 60k, medicals to 70-100k, higher tax benefits to women, higher exemptions to pension plans, home loans, education loans, government bonds
  6. Encourage traditional arts, culture, education, manufacturing, public investments
  7. Simplify tax laws for service sector, reward quality
  8. Give incentives to start-ups, cleanliness drives, recycling, sustainability, education
  9. Jan Dhan: Increase the BPL and help people grow out of it
  10. Bring back black money and avoid generating more
#SuperBudget #ModiBudget

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Economist explains How airborne Wi-Fi works

AN ALWAYS-connected lifestyle is a blessing for some and a nightmare for others. Aeroplanes used to be the one respite in a typical business traveller's itinerary—a place to escape from the e-mails and phone calls for a few hours, and perhaps even have some good ideas. (Travellers with long memories might remember seatback phones in some countries that allowed exceedingly expensive, poor-quality in-flight phone calls; fortunately, nobody ever used them.) Starting in the early 2000s, however, this blissful seclusion started to come under threat, as airlines started to provide internet service at 10,000 metres. In-air Wi-Fi is now increasingly common on domestic routes in America, and on long-haul routes elsewhere. Given that many routes fly largely over water or over uninhabited areas, how do you connect an aeroplane to the internet?

Delivering radio signals to a plane is nothing new, but the usual ways of doing it involve low-bandwidth links that would be painfully inadequate for internet traffic. Voice communication remains analogue, even in the digital age. The Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) provides digital links via VHF signals from the ground, or via satellites, allowing planes to send brief bursts of telemetry information. But ACARS operates at data rates comparable to dial-up models, measured in thousands of bits per second (Kbps). These voice and telemetry systems are designed for international compatibility, reliability and resilience. In-flight internet requires something much more zippy, but with less of a requirement that everything must work perfectly at all times. Two approaches have emerged, one based on ground-to-air links and the other on satellites.

Boeing led the first efforts in the early 2000s, leasing dedicated transponder capacity on geostationary satellites that appear to hover at a fixed point in the sky, and designing an enclosure (or "radome") to be retrofitted on top of its aircraft, and those made by other firms. Its Connexion service provided suitably equipped aircraft with an internet link running at a few megabits per second (Mbps), divvied up among passengers. Boeing also had to retrofit Wi-Fi (and, in some cases, Ethernet cabling) inside planes. But the service never became financially viable, in part because of the high cost of installing and operating the equipment, and Boeing discontinued it in 2006. That same year another firm, now called Gogo, purchased a thin sliver of air-to-ground spectrum in the United States, and began service in 2008, deploying dozens of ground stations that point upwards at aircraft, rather than downwards at people on the ground, and use a variant of 3G mobile-data technology called EV-DO. Service was extended to Canada in 2014. This provides enough bandwidth for e-mail and basic web browsing; Gogo blocks both streaming video and internet telephony to ensure that one user cannot hog all the capacity.

But satellite never entirely went away. After Boeing's early, failed attempt, satellite equipment became lighter, cheaper and more capable, and newer planes are designed to accommodate Wi-Fi gear. Several firms now operate in-flight internet service via satellite; some own the satellites, like Panasonic Avionics (United's contractor for its newer internet service), while others, such as Row 44 and OnAir, license the necessary capacity. Gogo has added satellite-based internet to its options as both a standalone new service and as part of a hybrid service that combines, where available, ground and satellite transmission. Meanwhile, speeds are poised to skyrocket as satellite operators expand service from the lower-frequency Ku band to the higher-frequency Ka band. Data rates should jump from a maximum of roughly 10Mbps to 50-80Mbps per plane. And America's telecoms regulator will auction 500MHz of ground-to-air bandwidth in the near future, which could allow connection speeds of up to one gigabit per second for planes travelling over land. Travellers who worry about feeling out of touch while airborne will welcome these improvements. Those who prefer being disconnected can take solace in the fact that thousands of aircraft worldwide still remain unconnected—for the time being, at least.

Original article is from here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

What makes a house ‘green’?

Green is in vogue. Many buyers begin their search with a strong interest in green, even if what they understand by a “green home” is vague. While the growing interest in green homes is an exciting and positive development, some buyers are falling victim to green washing, the practice of marketing a product as eco-friendly when it really isn’t. So, if you want to buy a green home, you definitely have to do some extra homework.

The first thing you should do is ask yourself why you want to invest in a green home. It’s an important question because people tend to buy a green home for one of the three reasons, and while each of those reasons overlap to some extent, they determine what the buyer really means by green. Green can be as simple as saving on energy costs, which means buyers will want to focus on energy-efficient appliances, weather-proof windows and good insulation. A green home can save 30-40% energy from day one of occupancy, which, our research shows, can light up 35 village homes per year. Similarly, water savings are 20-30% above a conventional home. This can provide water to one village home for an entire year.

Alternatively, some buyers define green in personal health terms, so they want a home that uses non-toxic materials. Lastly, some buyers define green as contributing to a sustainable future. For those buyers, it’s often important to look for building materials that are locally sourced and sustainable.

Unlike earlier, when energy-efficient or water-efficient homes could get away with being called ‘green’, new rating systems ensure that a green home needs to address all facets of environmental concerns. Everything from the site of the building, water, energy, materials and indoor air quality are considered in the rating system. A green home isn’t just a green structure; it’s a home that makes the best use of the land and the resources around it. Asking simple questions such as which direction the home is oriented toward can tell you a lot about the home’s green credentials.

Let’s look at the different parameters and how they matter:

Site selection: Here the focus is local building regulations, soil erosion control, basic household amenities, natural topography, heat island effects, parking facilities for visitors and design for differently abled people. Something as simple as the house’s orientation determines how much sun exposure it gets, which affects heating and air-conditioning use.
Likewise, it’s important to understand prevailing winds, because these have an effect on temperature inside the home.

Water efficiency: Evaluate the property on the basis of whether it has rain water harvesting systems, efficient plumbing fixtures, landscape design and waste water treatment systems. A good tip is to pay attention to the landscaping. If it’s dominated by non-native plants, that should raise alarms for green buyers. In some parts of the country, water is a serious issue, so non-native plants are going to raise your costs and make it harder to be green. Apart from sustainable landscaping, you can also use water conserving taps, which save you up to 35,000 litres every year.

Energy efficiency: This rating is based on use of chlorofluorocarbon-free equipment, enhanced energy performance, on-site renewable energy, solar water heating, energy saving measures in appliances and other equipment and energy metering. The simplest fixture you can have is a solar water heating system. You can also have more complex solar systems for providing energy for lighting as well. Also, as a house owner in a green project, you could spend as much as 40% less on energy bills every month. So, clearly green homes are not for any particular economic segment; it is a choice about making smarter energy-efficient buildings.

Materials and resources: Rating parameters for this are based on household waste segregation, organic waste management, handling of construction waste materials, reuse of salvaged materials, materials with recycled content and local materials. You should ask your builder if they plan on using green building materials such as autoclaved aerated concrete bricks, which are not only lighter but also more eco-friendly than regular red bricks. Solid waste collection and disposal that involves composting is essential in minimizing waste from your home.

Indoor environment quality: Parameters considered under this head are based on measures for tobacco smoke control, minimum artificial lighting during day time, fresh air ventilation, exhaust systems, low volatile organic compound materials, paints and adhesives, building flush-out, cross ventilation, and others. You can design the house to maximize ambient light during the day to reduce the use of artificial lights. One can also use special building materials that help to reduce indoor temperatures and thereby decrease air-conditioning costs.

Design innovation: This is all about following standard sustainable design practices. Your house or building can give you significant savings over the long run if designed cleverly. Nobody buys an eco-friendly home just because they are inclined to be green. They see the value of cheaper costs of energy and greater security on water. You can do without the water supply board, bore wells or tanker water suppliers. The energy bills can be minimized and can reduce your dependence on the external grid to just about 30% of all the electricity usage.

It’s a matter of choice.

Prem C. Jain is chairman, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).

Read more here.

Monday Blues: A warfare

Every day is a race, a fight, a warfare. Let us face the reality and move on with what is important, what we should focus on and how we can perform well when faced with multiple choices. When we face the reality and focus on what is important, we would be able to negate the chances of reducing the stress. Usually we would be going towards the easy ones which is a wrong thing to do. 

In pursuit of excellence, we should focus on what is important and what is of high priority. In the words of N. Emil Jebasingh, Director of Transworld Radio, India, Lions are playing a havoc on the nation; but we are hunting the rats! Let us focus on the lions.

Let me hide myself in Thee

Rock of ages cleft of me;
let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
from Thy riven side which flowed
Be of sin the double cure,
cleanse from wrath and make me pure!
                (Augustus Toplady, 1740-1778)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What are you doing?

The three bricklayers!!!
When asked "What are you doing?", the first bricklayer replied "laying brick". The second answered, "Making $9.30 an hour". And the third said "Me?I am building the world's largest Cathedral"
So, What are you doing?

Stolen from a friend's facebook post.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Gillette turns Indian

Most non-Indians would never understand what cricket means to us. Thank you for this wonderful ad Gillette.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Reflections on the Delhi election 2015

1. Interesting to see Anna Hazare warming up to Arvind Kejriwal!
Power changes status I guess. I would respect Kiran Bedi more than Anna Hazare.
2. While Aam Aadmi Party is rejoicing today, they should remember power and trust are double edged swords and comes with great responsibilities. If you don't keep promises, the Aam Admi is watching.
3. The center - state relations would be interesting to watch.
4. The winner is clearly the one with the better marketing strategy!
Congrats Arvind and team. Sleep well tonight for tomorrow you got to get out and deliver.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Imagine there is no heaven

This is a rendition by "Imagine" by Emmanuel Kelly on The X Factor 2011">"Imagine" by Emmanuel Kelly on The X Factor 2011. Stop complaining!

What a mum to have!