Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blogger with word verification

Google's Blogger use to have word verification for the posts. When you create / edit a post, the word verification has to be done before publishing the changes. Though it prevents the spamming of the system, some times it is cumbersome to understand the words shown for the verification.

Apart from the sheer lengthy words, the display use to be convoluted which increases the frustration. Off late, I see blogger has removed word verification and does auto save as draft. Way to go!

Finally, I figured out that word verification gets shown for a blog that gets classified in spam category (because of the high number of posts). However my blog turned out to be false positive. Over a period of time (and some tune up to the algorithm), gave a clean chit to my blog . Hence no more word verification.

Bye Bye Side Middle Berth

Over last year, Indian railways came up with the ambitious plan to increase the number of berths in trains to increase the revenue. To cut costs, they came up with the innovative idea of having side middle berth (SMB) concept.

This concept was flawed in many ways.

  • Did not give due consideration for comfortable travel
  • Getting in and out is difficult
  • For day time travel, the person with SMB ticket has to share his place in the other side coup
  • The booking system could not be updated with SMB option

There were lot of complains about this SMB approach. Finally the railways gave up the idea this year for the benefit of the people.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hampi Trip

Trip time:

Bangalore to Hospet - Hampi Express
Hospet to Hampi (14kms) - local autowala (haggle for ~100Rs)

Ranjana Guest House, Hampi (~1000Rs for a day)


The best website to know all about hampi. Has extensive details on all aspects.

Best time to visit:
Winter season (rest of the year, it will be hot)

Day 1:
Cover the sacred part of hampi
Virupaksha temple, Hemakutta hill, Vitalla temple, Kadalekalu Ganesha, Sasivekalu Ganesha, hampi bazaar and adjoining areas

One can do this section by walk. Otherwise could hire an auto or moped to do a tour.

Day 2:
Tungabadra dam (5 kms from Hospet) and Royal Enclosure section of hampi
Underground Shiva temple, King's palace, Noble men's quaters, Queen's palace, Queen’s bath, Lotus Mahal and Elephant Stable

Need an auto / moped to cover this part.

Day 3:
Krishna Temple, Lakshmi Narasimha and Virupapur Gadde (other side of TB river)

Can hire a bicycle or by walk.

Hampi is a historical site. Prepare yourself to face rocks, boulders, stones, carvings, dilapidated temples and ruined palaces. The scared section of hampi and bazaar are infected by local tourists and looks in bad shape. Rest of the places are less crowded (comparatively).

Prepare yourself for a basic stay and facilities. Hampi is still a village with lot of foreigners. Being a typical tourist place, arm yourself to fight against getting cheated at all the places.


Virupaksha temple

Dilapidated mantap @ Hemakutta hill

Bazaar @ Virupaksha temple

On way to vittala temple

Vittala temple gopuram @ dusk

Vittala temple

Musical pillars @ vittala temple

TB river enroute to vittala temple

TB river enroute to vittala temple

Postcard shot of boulders

TB dam

From the gardens @ TB dam

Underground shiva temple

Ruined noble mens quaters

Near King's palace

Ruined mahal @ dusk

Stepped tank

Another monument

Lotus mahal

Elephant stable

Lakshmi Narasimha

Monday, January 05, 2009

Airtel misuses Cell Info

Another bashing at Airtel.

Cell Info is provided to notify the users about the cell (tower) to which the phone is hooked at the moment. But most of times in Airtel, I see ads running in that.

Hope TRAI notices this and takes evasive action. This is kind of thrusting ads to your phone without your consent.

Digital fuel gauge

How about having digital fuel gauge to neutralize the rampant fuel theft by pump operators?

The recent cars displays predictions on the odo, about the distance the car can go with current fuel quantity in the tank. Then why not have digital fuel gauge. Before refilling, note how much fuel is in your car's tank. If you add 10 lts of fuel, check whether it reflects in your odo.

This will prevent fuel theft by the pump operators.

Where am I? - mobile service to find location

Wish to start the new year with an idea!

Last week when I was traveling in a train during night, wanted to find out where am I? The best tool I had was my mobile. Tried 'Cell Info', but found advertisements from the cell phone service provider or some location name which was difficult to identify (say like EB Bhavan, CHB colony).

How about having a "Where am I?" mobile based location service. Send a SMS request and you will get a short map with the cell location. For revenue purpose, the reply can include local hotels/restaurants (more like Google Map search).

This might not be as accurate as GPS enabled service. Since the location could be on the border of the cell or there could be overlap of the signals from different cells.