About a week ago, round about this time, my Mum called me up and and told me a piece of news which I would never in my wildest nightmares would have imagined, would happen to me.
Last year, I’d written a 2011 year in review, thought that was a nice way to recap the year. Continuing the same trend, here’s how 2012 went by
Gadgets /Software bought/acquired/reviewed
So, that’s about it for 2012, I guess. Happy New Year all & here’s wishing the upcoming year is as awesome as it was last year.
If you’re ever stuck in a situation where you need to contact Bank of America from here in India, but don’t have International outgoing available, here’s a quick tip:
This should work with any organization which uses AT&T and accepts Collect Call, but I haven’t tried with others. I’m writing here because I want to document this for my future use.
This will come in real handy especially in situations where BoA detects Irregular/Fraudulent card activity and wants you to verify the transaction by dialling in – but you have no way of reaching out to an International number. Have your card number & other details ready
Way back in late November/December last year, I took part in reddit’s /r/secretsanta. I found it was pretty cool, to (hopefully) get a random gift based on my barren, lurking reddit account, though a small search would reveal a lot more about me.
Anyway, after Ashwin’s feedback(“my santa didn’t send anything. I was reassigned. second santa also nothing. #foreveralone”) I didn’t expect anything. A month or so later, however, my secret santa confirmed shipment of the gift. And I received it couple of days later.
This is what my /r/secretsanta sent me (at Borg Cube) [pic] — path.com/p/2oFaso
— Sathya (@SathyaBhat) December 26, 2011
Sweet! What I didn’t realize, till couple of weeks ago, was that the folks at /r/secretsanta were trying set a Guinness World Record for “the largest online secret santa game” and were successful at that! So that made me a Guinness World Record holder too! Woohoo!
Soon enough, I put forward an order for my Guinness World Record certificate and things were all set. Or so I thought. Couple of days ago, I received an email from Guinness stating that due to high volume of orders, the shipment would be delayed by another couple of weeks. That was fine, but then the person who sent the email did the biggest goof up ever.
The person put the email address of about 1,072 people in the “To” field. Not even the cc, the frigging “To” field.
Here’s how it looked like
Naturally, I wasn’t too pleased
The morons at Guinness World Records just sent an email to all reddit secret santa participants with email address in To field. WTF?
— Sathya (@SathyaBhat) September 4, 2012
and neither were the reddit folks. Kicker was the contents of the email, with a disclaimer stating:
The contents of this e-mail from Guinness World Records Limited are confidential and intended for the addressee only.
If you are not the intended recipient you must not copy or further distribute this e-mail, and delete this message from your computer system.
Marco Frugatti, SVP Records, however did send an email apologizing the data breach
I am writing to you from the Guinness World Records Management Team regarding our company’s recent breach in relation to email data for a group of our record-holders for Largest online secret Santa game.
I can confirm that this breach was a human error by one of our own staff. Naturally, we take this matter extremely seriously and are conducting a formal investigation to ensure an event like this never happens again. I would like to offer you our unreserved apologies for this situation and any inconvenience it has caused.
However, I fear that this breach will have even more serious repercussions, given how lax people are with passwords. Good thing is that Guinness owned up to the mistake and have confirmed that they have initiated refunds for the payment of certificates. Time will tell who’ll be hit more – Guinness or the individuals in the email. My bet is on the latter.
Attending an interview tends to be a scary, nerve-wracking event for most, me included. It’s like college exam 2.0 – you don’t do anything building up to the event, panic & do a splash and dash the previous night(though in my case, it’s more like “ah, fahgettaboutit”), start wondering and worrying what’s about to be asked prior to the event, with your mind racing about – “what if x comes, oh shit I forgot about y”, the big moment where you stammer, blabber and spit out something and then keep worrying till the results are out.
Last week, I got a call from the HR team asking if I’d be available and willing to come to office on Saturday. The reason? We had a weekend hiring drive and they wanted me(among others) to be an interviewer. My first reaction was – “mm okaaay but I’ve never done this before”(though never is not true, I did take up an interview, but that was for my team & was more of accompany-the-project-leads-and-ask-a-few-questions). This case, however, was different. It’d be a face-to-face interview. With people willing to join the organization. I decided to say Ok. Hey, it’d be a different experience.
I’ve been wearing contact lenses for more than 10 years now. Switched to contacts from my clunky spectacles when I started my PU(aka 11th).
When you use something for 16x7x365 (I won’t say 24×7, since the lenses are off when I’m sleeping), you tend to know it inside out. And especially when it’s something like contact lenses, which sit on your eyeballs, every little change will result in instantaneous result. For instance, if you put on your lenses with an every-so-tiny speck of dirt that it’s bloody invisible, trust me, you will know about it & you eyes will water like there’s a big pump pushing out all the tears.
Anyways, all these years I’ve been using Bausch & Lomb’s SofLens monthly disposable lenses. They’re great. Actually, scratch the great part. They’re fantastic. Fits perfectly, no shifting, no dryness nothing. If coloured lenses are your fancy, they come in various colours, but I’ve been on the stock ones, which have a light-blue visibility tint which is awesome if you ever do the scary part of dropping your lenses on the ground or in the kitchen sink.
I’ve tried some other lenses, mainly B&L’s “permanent” ones(in reality, they’re supposed to be changed every year or so), but these didn’t suit my eyes & would go bad in less than 3-4 months. Also tried Johnson & Johnson’s contact lenses, they were fine, but not as comfortable as SofLens.
Over the past few years, we’ve had HD shoved down our throats – everywhere from video to audio. Heck even FM stations started touting “HD quality radio” crap. And joining this “we have HD” queue is… *drumroll* B&L. Yes. Bausch & Lomb claim their lenses have “HD” optics.
Whatever the heck that means. And on their webpage they have pretty, pretty pictures(albeit served as Flash, so if you’re on a laptop, move it away from your thighs else you’ll have a Seekh Kebab down there) showing what happens when you wear their “HD” lenses. Apparently “blurred” images become crispy, squeaky clean & sharp. No more halos. Excuse me you brilliant folks at B&L PR and marketing, all those (blurred images, halos) are signs of a person wearing lenses NOT suited to them.
Curious to see how they actually work – I took the bait & bought them. For a pretty steep price. Lenskart took about 10 days to deliver them. They forgot to ship the free lens solution & case which was to be included as part of the offer, but after a support ticket, they sent them to me via courier.
Been wearing these for about 2 months now. And as expected, the HD’s just marketing gimmick. Everything looks the same. And to answer those who asked me on twitter, wearing “HD” lens and viewing a “HD” movie on “HD” monitor doesn’t give you a 2160p display. Har, Har.
It’s not just the ludicrous steep price that bothers me. These lenses don’t have any visibility tints. Trying to find where the lenses are in the case itself is like fishing in the deep sea with your eyes blindfolded. Don’t bother searching if you’ve dropped them. While there has been no “shifting”, the lens tends to get dry a wee bit faster. And not to forget, the lens is a dirt magnet. Picks up dirt way faster than anything else that I’ve tried.
So to sum up: Don’t buy ‘em. HD or no HD, you won’t find any difference. And you’ll save some cash to buy another pair of lenses. Or for some shopping. Or beer. Whatever you prefer.
2011 was a roller coaster year. Here’s the year in review, in bullet points
Overall, a fab year. Happy New Year – and best wishes for the year ahead.
… for a fortnight, that is.
Although, I was not *strictly* Bangalored, barely a week after joining Logica I was asked to come over for Bangalore for 2 weeks for some training sessions. Now since this was a company sponsored training, my travel and accomodation was handled by them.
Reached Bangalore on Sunday, May 1st morning via the Jan Shatabdi Chennai-Mysore train at 10:45am. Ashwin was kind enough to come over to the railway station to pick me up. Headed over to At-home Guest House at Koramangala, which was to be my place of stay for the duration of the visit. With no agenda being set, Ashwin & Me were wondering what be the next thing to do. Ashwin & Me remembered Ashwin Murali ( “Cruise” to avoid any confusions” ) tweeting about TGIF having reopened in Royal Meenakshi Mall, and that’s where we decided to move next.
just put in my resignation
… and there goes the goodbye mail.
I had tweeted these 2 simple sentences, the former about 3 months ago, the latter yesterday. Yep, after nearly 4 years, I’m moving away from 3i. It’s been an interesting experience – I’ve ranted and raved about my journeys on twitter, and often blogged about my experiences and misadventures in 3i ( if you have same free time, go read through the archives – good stories there). In these past (almost-)4 years, I started out as a trainee, creating patches & shipments, moved onto to GUI development using Oracle forms, switched over to backend stored procedures development using PL/SQL. Then came the big challenges – client interaction & data migration. Moving data from a 30-year old legacy system is no easy task, and with the constraints & adherence to business logic to be followed – was no doubt, the most challenging task that I had undertaken. Big props to all my colleagues, team mates, peers who helped me along and encouraged and motivated me. Also, a special Thank You to the Ruby gang.
So what’s next? I will be moving over to Logica, starting Monday. I’ll still be in Chennai, though. Here’s for the new challenge ahead.
I’ve been absent in posting here – more because there’s hardly anything interesting going on. Well, there’s laziness as well. So here’s a recap.
For the past couple of months, my colleague had returned back to India, which meant me having no company. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I decided to pay a trip to my cousin sis’ place in Allen, TX. With no car with me & bus service from Austin to Allen non-existent – I decided to rent a car from Enterprise.