Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grand Kerala shopping festival: How can we improve it?

The grand Kerala shopping festival is a recent initiative by the government of Kerala to create a second shopping season in Kerala. There is an existing shopping season during Onam season when companies flood the market with discounts and offers. Now the government is trying to create another during the Christmas season to boost the economy. The Kerala economy has a great dependency on the service sector and consumer market. So the concept of boosting economy with a shopping festival is good, in fact brilliant. But just announcing gifts and mega prize for the shopping alone won’t do the trick. As a keralite I think we have to do more to improve this concept and make it really useful for both consumers and the entire economy.

I would like to make some suggestions on the same:-

1.       Promote Electronic currency:-     

      We can use this season to promote electronic cards (credit or debit) for shopping. May be government can give some tax cut for using cards for shopping above say 10000 Rupees (or it could be any other method). Promoting the use of cards among consumers will bring more transparency in billing and reduce the flow of fake currency. It may not show direct impact but still, over years we can make more and more transfers through the bank accounts and I believe it will help to bring many advantages to the economy.

2.       Make it more entertaining:-              

      As the name shopping festival suggests it should be moulded into a festival environment. It should not just end with prizes; we will have to bring in more entertainment value. The treasure hunt game is conducted successfully in many Kerala colleges along with some tech fests to make it entertaining. We can take some inspiration from them. Say if we can design a statewide treasure hunt event with participation of shopping malls and public that would be interesting. And we can bring in more cultural events along with this to make people more active.

3.       Conduct some international events:-                                                                                                             

       We can plan some international events in connection with shopping festival.  We are conducting many film festivals, schedule it along this period .Such an event can bring in more tourists and media attention. Remember the effect we had when the Argentina football team toured India. So there are a number of options in this area.

4.       Change the prize model:-                                                                                                                                                                    

       Our ultimate aim is to increase economic activity in the state. So prize given for such an event should help the process. Now instead of directly giving gold or money, gave shopping cards with specific amounts as a prize. They will have to spend it on retail purchase and we will get a chain effect directly on the economy.

5.     Promote Kerala’s own business models:-                                                                                                  

     Kerala has a unique business model in gold loan and selling sector also financial products like chities are also a feature of Kerala. Ensure the growth of companies in such unique sectors. Already some Kerala based gold loan companies have attained national and international attention. Government should frame policies to help them to increase the growth. Growth of Kerala based companies will help youngsters to build a better career.

6.       Make use of internet resources for promotion:-                                                                                           

      Social networking sites and other online resources can be used to increase the awareness of  this initiative among youth. Kerala has gotten a high rate of literacy and great presence in online communities. Online promotion doesn’t require large amounts of money. So we can get a low cost advertisement for the festival.

7.     Participate educational institutes and other organization:-                                                                 
      Kerala has got some premium institutes like IIM-K.  If we can bring in their management skills to this event, it will be great. It will provide a great exposure for faculty and students of IIM-K and at the same time it can help state government to bring in some professional management brains to the event. During the workshop conducted for ministers by IIM-K, they said they were looking forward to provide more useful services to the state. Also they  have become trend setter among IIM’s  by reducing fees and increasing number of women students. So I believe they will be happy to take  this challenge.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Simon Pegg movies

            They says that once an art is created artist dies and what remains is people who enjoy the work of art.This is applicable even to movies which is the most modern art form. The writer and director may produce whatever he wants onscreen  but it is ultimately viewers who decide whats it all about.
             Now coming to Simon Pegg movies, I like to enjoy those movies as a take on conventional beliefs. Take hot Fuzz as an example, a village and people living there who are unwilling to accept the changes and willing to do anything to prevent their village from the changing and forcefully tries to implement their moral beliefs and thoughts on entire society. I don’t want to see it as a mere action movie. I like to visualize it as a symbol of real world where moral police tries to control the entire society with what they think right or wrong. In the movie the villains are depicted as old. So they are the people who have deep routed beliefs .They are unwilling to change themselves and they won’t allow others around them to change.
                Same is with Shaun of dead. More than just a zombie movie one person infected with these moral values is trying to bring others to their group. It spreads like an infection or disease. Only a few with luck and courage can survive. You may ask all the zombie movies have same concept so what’s special about this, because this is a Simon Pegg movie. His dialogues like “Are you men of god?” makes me to believe that his movies are more than just simple movies. The more recent movie Paul about alien has more direct indications like the dialogue on Darwin’s evolution and all.
                You may agree or disagree with me, but movies are all about how you want to enjoy it. By bringing these symbolic concepts I feel the movie have got more beauty and value. Philosophies are not boring only if you are a good teacher. And I believe Simon Pegg is an extremely good teacher for such philosophical concepts.

My hope on West Indies cricket team

West Indies cricket team has always been one of my favorite teams in world cricket. Even though  I haven’t seen best of west indies team, the stories about their aggressive fast bowlers and fearless batsmen has built great sense of admiration for  this team from my childhood. Also players like Brian Lara have been an influence in selecting them as my  favorite. It is always a disappointment to watch your team performing poorly, that too for such a long time.
                But this tour of India raises some hope for all fans.  Darren Bravo seems to be all set to be new hero. Attitude of Kirk Edwards was good. Powell, Barath and couple of others also seems to be promising. Couple of centuries will definitely boost Bravo’s confidence and if he can carry on the form he has the talent to become one of the best batsmen in world cricket. He is stylish to watch, has good temperament and can handle both spinners and fast bowlers really well. He will have to learn to keep his body and mind fit for playing long innings. By the term long I meant a double or triple century innings. Now another guy to look forward is Kirk Edwards. I liked his attitude, he is fearless and positive. He seems to be a good fit at the number three slot. So the middle order seems to have a great future ahead if they work hard together. The main problem is with opening slot. I think presently they are too much defensive . They need at least one attacking opener who can give them good starts and a mental upper hand.
                Now having said good words about the batting unit, I don’t feel the same way about the bowling unit. In spin department we cannot rate Bishoo yet. We will have to wait for one year or so to judge his abilities and limitations. Now with pace attack they need some fundamental changes. Given the conditions of pitches and changes in cricket, old fashioned short pitch bowling won’t work to great extent these days. You need at least one genuine swing bowler who can master both conventional and reverse swings to test modern day batsmen. Along with, if you can bring in an aggressive all out attack bowler then the pace attack will be greatly balanced. Swing seems to be most efficient weapons in modern cricket. So West Indies team should find a bowler who can hit the seam on regular basis and move the bowl sideways at a lively pace.
                Since there are a number of great players in West Indies history, the young players won’t be short of guidance. I hope with proper guidance and planning they will once again rise to top of the world.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Solve the code below If you are brilliant enough.........

Key:-  Xn+Yn=Zn   where X,Y,Z are positive integers and n is an integer>1
349 261 173 361 632 173 143 68 320 333 5 3 9 81 450 723 644 3 6 25 544 196 251 372 9 5 261 632 25 34 

traditional health practices

My grandmother and other seniors in family follow many simple health practices. I don’t know if they have any scientific base for such practices. But still some of them seem to be highly effective.

Powder from sizzling tree for skin
             A powder made from this tree is a natural skin softener and its antigerm properties make it a good solution for many skin problems like scabies. Check the link below for more details.

Skim of milk for skin
            Skim of milk is rubbed over skin before bathing to increase whiteness of skin .You have to keep the skim for 5-10minutes before washing.

Red small onion for wounds
            You can crush the red onion and place it on the wound for curing. Keep in mind that there will be some irritation when onion comes in contact with wounds.

Ginger and sugar for stomach
            Incase you are having trouble with stomach take a teaspoon of ginger juice with sugar

Honey and lemon juice for cold
            A mixture of honey with lemon can be used for sore throat and cold.

Pineapple  for good digestion
Eating pineapple after food will help for easy digestion . Especially if You had a heavy meal.

Red small onion for ears
During my childhood when I suffer from irritations in ear my grandmother used to put 2-3 drops of juice from crushed small red onions in ear, which worked for me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Technical: Pico Projectors

The widespread development in fields communication and integrated circuit technology have resulted in miniaturization of most devices. Most handheld devices are capable of carrying  large amount of data. They handle small office documents to high definition movies. But the reduction in size of devices have resulted in reduction of area available for viewing screens. This reduction in size of screens is a barrier in reducing the size of multimedia devices below a particular level. If we can provide enough viewing area without increasing the size of devices then it will provide a better experience for the users. Only way to accomplish this is by incorporating the technology of projectors to handheld devices. But todays projectors are bulky and their  size cannot be reduced to meet our requirements. The research in this field have lead to the development of ultraminiature or pico projectors.It is basically extremely small projectors which fit into tiny devices.
            First generation of pico projectors produced low quality images and have to be cabled to a computer.  Due to  these limitations it did not get much recognition from common people. People wanted mobile phones, laptops or portable mp3 player capable of producing big, bright and sharp images or an extremely small projector which is compatible with these devices. The recent developments in this technology seems to satisfy these requirements. We are about to watch next generation pico projectors  which will come embedded in cameras, media storage devices and smart phones. Over next few years we will see more products which will use this new technology to its advantage.
  Embedded :-The pico projectors which comes embedded inside the mobile devices like camera and mobile phones.
  Plug and play:- The projectors which are plug and play compatible with the handheld devices.
Media players:- These types of pico projectors have got internal memory and are capable of carrying images and videos and can be used as media players.
Pico projectors can also be classified according to the technologies used for projection. Four technologies that have been developed for projection at such small level are LCoS[liqud crystal on silicon], DLP[digital light processing],  scanning mirror systems or laser beam steering and Holographic projection technologies. Among these technologies LCoS and DLP are used in normal projectors and they have been adapted to meet the requirements at small size. Others are recent developments in this field and have got their own advantages.
 Picture browsing
             Nowadays mobiles and cameras are capable of taking high resolution pictures. But due to the small size of screens we have to plug it into computers to watch it in actual resolution and analysis. Pico projectors can be a solution for this problem. These projector phones will allow us to share photos in mobile phones or cameras with a large audience. We can analyze the photo at the spot of taking and retakes can be carried out if required.
             Mobile gaming will be taken to the next level with the advance pico projectors. Full possibilities of handheld projector gaming can be only realized in future. But gaming companies will get a new market and they will explore its possibilities.
Movies and channel broadcasting
            Another field which will be benefited from pico projector  will be mobile television. A large audience can watch movies or other channel programs from a single mobile device. With advance of 3G and 4G technology mobile broadcasting will become more common and pico projectors can improve its possibilities

Monday, November 14, 2011

Test cricket: New rules to save the game

I am following cricket from 1996 onwards. I like the test cricket for its ability to test skill, concentration,athletism and team spirit over a period of 5 long days.No other sports would test a teams skills over such a long period.If you watch old videos you can see how intense the matches have been.It was a really a test for both batsmen and bowler.
            Now the days have changed. With the advent of shorter formats like one day cricket and t-20, batsmen have the upper hand in cricket. Pitches are becoming more and more flat. It doesn’t have anything for bowlers in it. They can bowl deliveries at batsmen so that they can watch them being hit.They can only pick wickets if batsmen make any mistakes.
            A contest is interesting only if it is even.Both batsmen and bowler should get equal chance . Todays cricket rules and pitches are more in favour of batsmen. We should bring the balance between bat and bowl so that test cricket become more interesting.
            We all like to watch intense cricket. If a fast bowler runs in hard with his complete energy and bowls , and batsman at strikers end just leaves it  easily, its not a great sight to watch ,atleast for me.And if the batsman continues to just defend it or leave it to keeper for long time it’s a boring situation for spectators and bowler. In such cases I think cricket rules are making bowler totally handicapped.
            To make test cricket more interesting rules have to be changed slightly. Make the batsman attack more deliveries.My suggestion would be to frame a new law which gives bowler option of taking wicket by denying batsman chance to take run.
  •  If a batsman face a complete over of bowler without taking runs and bowler doesn’t concede any extra runs, then he can be declared out by umpire.That is the rule should give bowler a chance to pick wickets by bowling maiden over at a batsman.
  • This should be applicable even if non striker becomes run out or by any other case non striker changes.
  •  If striker changes due to any case(wicket fall etc) this law should not be applicable.

The advantage I find with such a rule is that it will definitely increase the pressure  situations in test cricket,which will make the game more interesting. Batsman will have to attack the deliveries more.It will give some hope for bowlers throughout the day.And also spectators will get more lively game.