Sachin - A tribute

I have always been a supporter of underdogs. I never liked anybody run away with all the glory and records. Be it Schumacher or Federer or Sachin. I always supported Kimi, Nadal and anybody who would come close to Sachin’s record. First it was Dravid, then Ganguly, Ponting and now Kohli. On several occasions I have said that Ponting will break Sachin’s records which my friends won’t let me forget.
To make it clear, I always liked, admired and loved Sachin. As with anybody else, my question always used to be “Score? How much Sachin?” But he was never my favourite cricketer. Probably in our insignificance, Sachin critics (sometimes me as well) could never fathom that somebody could be so great, so loved and so respected - by so many people at the same time. Personally I could not accept that somebody, anybody – could not stand somebody standing heads and shoulders above others.
But Sachin, You are not just anybody.
If there is anybody who could unite the whole of India, it is You, Sachin. Divided by states, United by God. Nobody else deserved the Honour, Respect and Love with which we said our goodbyes than You. It was great that Your retirement was separated from the others because You do deserve that special GoodBye. You were the greatest batsman but a much much greater Man.
Not only do I love, respect and admire You. I, like 1.1 billion other people am now your devotee. I can’t be a true Indian otherwise. I was wrong. You did not run away with all the records and glory. You earned all Glory, Records, Love and Respect.

The new Digg Reader

Being  a Google Reader user for more than 4 yrs, I'm suddenly  thrust into the world of RSS feed aggregator sites, none of which have the features or the useability like Google Reader, and its getting increasingly tougher to keep myself updated. It is difficult to point any 1 feature out but G R filled all my needs perfectly. Whether it was Starring or Sharing or commenting or just mark as unread. Its very surprising that features which seem insignificantly mundane have not been included in the newer readers.

The Digg Reader gave me a lot of hope but it does not match up either. But it does seem the best among the alternatives available. Some of the features they could add/ modify are
  • I cannot see how articles are unread. And if I do not know how many articles are unread, then I will not know how long it takes for me to finish that segment and in that confusion I lose the interest to read. 
  • I do not have the mark as unread feature.
  • While adding a new feed, I discovered Digg's very well hidden Browse feature. It would be extremely useful if that option was highlighted.
  • In Google Reader, the fonts, layouts and colours were such that each post seemed separate from the other. In Digg, all the posts seem a huge cluster and it feels intimidating to start with.
  • I again cannot stress enough how important the unread count is for me.
  • The dull theme in Digg is boring. Bright white in Google Reader is energizing as well as increases clarity.
I am posting these suggestions to Digg as well. I hope they are added in the list of features to be implemented.

What should Whatsapp do?

Whatsapp has taken over Mobile SMS and has sort of become the defacto messaging standard. They were probably responsible for the fall of Blackberry, especially in India. With constant updates making the App easier to use and more beautiful, at some level Whatsapp is the biggest App on the web. I for one use it a lot more than any other App. So if Mobile is the future, Whatsapp has the most firm footing on that front. Infact whatsapp like google is now a verb in the urban dictionary
The only problem, how do they make money?
At the moment Whatsapp charges the user a small measly amount per year. The amount also depends on the OS and the country. Windows OS and Android is free for a year and after that is $0.99 per year, iOS has a one time fee of $0.99. In India they have not yet started charging. I have not paid for the service and am using it for more than 3 years.
Now Whatsapp cannot start charging higher than they are right now. Users will simply shift to another cheaper App and developing an IM App is not rocket science. Whatsapp should also be wary of Google. The search giant has killed a lot of companies by coming up with already existing services. The most recent being Drive and Keep. They just might tweak their GTalk and make it an effective competitor for Whatsapp.
Whatsapp backs up all their user data. At 10 billion messages a day, that is a lot of storage. To aid further development they do need funds, however efficient they are as a company.

Whatsapp in my opinion has 2 options

  • Sell to Google, Nokia or Samsung - make a cool truck load of money and leave. Those companies I am sure are ready to pay top dollar to integrate the world's most popular instant messaging App onto their OS.
  • Develop related services and increase dependencies by linking and integrating all those services, just like how Google does. This would make Whatsapp a mini OS under the main OS. 
Recent rumours were that Google was looking to buy Whatsapp for $1 Billion. Now that would put Whatsapp on par with Instagram. But I personally think Whatsapp has more potential and with a little financial backing, can reach for the skies.

Universe through glasses made on Earth

The universe originated with the Big Bang. According the science we know, that is the most plausible explanation. But that exactly is my point. Every thing we presume in the universe is based on what we know. Which might not be the same everywhere.
For all you know, gravity might be a repulsion force.
We might have discovered that the earth is not at the centre of everything, but at heart we still believe it does.
Parallel Theory does acknowledge this, but then ends up saying that is a different universe.

The Best to-Do List on Android

Productivity tools are great. A great calendar App and a good to-Do list App are a must for any power user.   Being extremely interested in getting organized (following through is another matter), I went on a quest to find the best to-Do list out there.
Lets get to the requirements.

  • A good looking to-Do list on android market
  • Should have a web version so that I can add tasks while working on the laptop
  • Easy to use
  • Should have a nice widget which makes my tasks visible without spoiling the look of my home screen
  • Preferable if they have an extension on Chrome
What one might need or like in an App is extremely subjective, so I suggest you get the one that works for you.

Samsung memo
This is the stock one I got with my phone. Hardly any features to talk about.

A nice good looking App. But the widget is not that elegant. Plus at the time I installed it almost 6months back, they did not have any task repeat features. At that point I needed an App which would give me the option of repeating several tasks

A lovely App. An extension in Chrome as well. Nice and Easy to make lists. A decent widget on the home screen. Again not task repeatability.

A nice App. Has sync with Google option which is good I assumed. But basically Google has a very bad product in the form of Google tasks. I wonder why that is though, considering they are making so many Web applications, a decent Task functionality and a simple Note taking App shouldn't be that hard. 
I started making a lot of mundane tasks repeatable and added them to the list. After sometime, looking at these mundane tasks show up and cover the entire widget area, hence restricting visibility of the important tasks made me realize that I needed to prioritize tasks. Unfortunately GTasks did not have that feature, so out it went.

This App was perfect. Easy to make lists. A nice web App. Task repeatability and priority options. This was perfect until the notifications for the several repeatable tasks started bugging me. The App seemed too noisy at that time.

The most beautiful to-Do list App by far. Had all the features I needed. The inbuilt dictionary and word prompt was very handy. I could link it to my contacts. For Eg: Call X, would link it to X's contact so I could call directly from the App. Also it would remind me of missed calls. A Chrome extension. Overall very nice, very neat. Only problem was the user. I realized that putting mundane everyday tasks on your lists in repeat mode was actually a dumb idea. For that I suggest you use Routinely or Habit Streak
So I decided to remove all existing tasks and set it up again. But the App does not have a clear all tasks option. Extremely ridiculous. And deleting tasks the repeat is a hard troublesome task on this App.

Anyways I shifted back to wunderlist. But the problem with wunderlist is that some pending tasks which I do not have to finish by any time are not displayed on the widget. Only Today's tasks are displayed. It shows an empty screen if there are no tasks today but not the pending tasks. 

Finally shifted back to Astrid which with out my several repeatable tasks is perfect for my needs. Works like a charm and I have nothing to complain about at all.

If you need a to-Do list App, I suggest you try Astrid first.


Ever since I started using Evernote, I have been constantly following them as I think they come up with some good stuff. So after a long wait for Evernote Hello ( the ios app was out a while back) I finally downloaded a coupla weeks back. The app was good. The idea behind it was nice. Probably the me of a coupla yrs back would have definitely used the app. But I am not in the novelty-for-novelty-sake phase anymore. I really could not see myself doing the whole shendig to add a simple contact.
What Hello does or says is there are ways a person remembers thru people he meets. So Hello is supposed to help you sort your contacts in that manner. The app itself has a nice UI. I liked the look and feel. The idea of saving contacts in a why your brain remembers them is innovative as well. Some features are a little buggy but I am assuming Evernote will iron these out. 
What I did not like is I cannot sync all my contacts from Google to Evernote. I need to do them one at a time.
The whole process of how you meet a contact is complicated. You really will not have the patience to complete it out in a regularly. 
So far I have not been able to change the gps tags of the few contacts that I did add. It doesn’t seem to be a bug. I just don’t have the option to.
I hope Evernote comes up with better sync and integration options. Else it will just be an app people might download but never use.
* Just tried to add a new contact. It randomly chooses my current location as the the location where we met which is understandable. But it links the note I edited just before as a related note. That was a note about my bank details which is a bad mistake. 
I uninstalled the app

I'm Getting Back!!!

I am looking to get back to blogging after a loooong looooong time. I was also contemplating shifting to Tumblr. I probably can maintain both and keep them in sync. Looking forward at getting back though!!