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Showing posts from May, 2013

Encrypted pdf and passwords

It has become the trend now for various institutions to send information by email through encrypted pdf documents.  Bank statements, credit card statements,  income tax returns, mutual fund statements - to name a few.   Some go to the extend of encrypting the document when you download them from their website.

Each of these need a different password to decrypt and open it.  They vary from your date of birth in ddmmyyyy format to a combination of first four characters of your first name and the date and month of your date of birth.  PAN numbers in upper and lower cases, pin code of your residential address, folio number of your mutual fund are a few other passwords.

What is the difference between website passwords and these passwords?

a) Website passwords are chosen by the user.  The user knows the password for each website that he/she specifies and keeps track of them.   Pdf passwords are chosen by the system/website/institution.
b) Website passwords can be changed.  Pdf passwords c…

Reliance Fresh and wholesale buyers

I frequent a Reliance Fresh store a short distance from my home.  I usually go on a Saturday or Sunday around 9 AM, when fresh stock of vegetables arrive.  The vegetables used to come around 8 AM earlier but of late it is closer or after 9 AM.

There are two-three reasons why I get vegetables from Reliance Fresh against vegetables shops near my home or a vegetable market.

I can get the quantity that I want - it could be 3 carrots or 10 chilliesI can pick and choose from the displayI can pay by card
Each time I visit the shop, there are one or two buyers, who are evidently not retail buyers - they pick large quantities of all vegetables.  Perhaps they run some hotel nearby or mess.   These buyers often pick the vegetables right off the containers when they are brought into the shop.  Sometimes they grab large quantities of items by hand and stuff them into their baskets.  They position themselves strategically close to the store stock room so that they have the first access to the veget…

Apple - an addiction

It started with us getting an Apple iPod shuffle by redeeming some credit card points.  I was impressed by the fact that a one square inch device could hold 2GB size worth of songs and could actually play it.  The concepts were amazing - you just had one interface - to be used both for earphone as well as for charging.  You had to charge it connecting it to a USB charger (or your computer).

That was a few years back.  I then got into an organisation where I could choose a Macbook Pro - an amazing computer that I fell in love with.  Then it was an iPad which I picked during a US visit - succumbing to the temptation to own a tablet.

iPhones were never popular in India - Apple had a deliberate strategy of not addressing India market.  That changed with the launch of iPhone 5.  Apple (post-Steve Jobs?) recognized the size, value, purchasing power and other features of the Indian market and launched a substantial marketing campaign.  And it bore results - I know of at least two non-Apple…

The cop the phone the helmet (or not)

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I caught a cop driving without helmet and to top it talking on his cell phone and driving dangerously while doing that.  Luckily I was behind and he didn't see me take his snaps (for what is worth).



Yet another election

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It is Sunday, 5th May - Election Day in Karnataka for the State Assembly.  There has been unprecedented campaigns to get people to vote - through FM stations, hoardings, newspaper ads and what not.
For the first time, I got to know the list of all contestants in my Constituency online.  I got a shock seeing 30+ nominations, 20 of whom were independents.   For each contestant, there was link to his/her "affidavit", which I suppose gives information about his income and other details.
I could also get my polling booth details online (I guess the same has been made available through SMS as well, if you had an EPIC number).  (The modern EPIC and, epic part 2 are different stories)
I and Mrs. went to the polling booth (literally a stone's throw away from our home - but a five minutes walk unless we wanted to jump the compound wall, which is lined with broken glass pieces), after lunch.  
We had been given the so-called "voting slips" by a political party.  The only…