Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Driving skills training

This blog was sent to me by one Dr.Adhiraj Joglekar who commented on my blogs on bangalore traffic and I found it very useful and thought this should reach every Indian.

watch the videos and forward this to anyone and every one you know in India irrespective of they drive/ride or not. Ofcourse don't just watch videos try to follow them while you drive, than just crib about the mayhem we see on our roads or curse the others. most drivers in India are not even aware of the fact that there are road rules and what that white/yellow lines that you occasionally see on some roads are meant for.

These videos teach some small things which we overlook while driving but this can have major impacts on quality of driving and saftey on our roads , but most importantly is an attempt to change the image of India around the world as an object of ridicule when it comes to traffic management and civil/road sense. I am starting a email forward campaign in the hope it will educate some of the so called educated who use the net and then have a snowball effect. Hope.

last but not least do drop a line of appreciation for this man who made these videos.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My dream mobile device - the perfect and complete handheld computer

These are the features I would expect in my dream handheld mobile device. Although my N95 already has most of them it still lacks a lot more.

here is a list

Core Features
  • Phone - a full featured quadband, 3.5G/wimax phone with all features, video conf, VOIP, PTT, conference, multiple sim, modem, handsfree speakerphone etc, the usual in most phones today. physical Phone dial keypad
  • Imaging- 5+ megapixel camera with true digcam quality(CCD not CMOS sensors) and atleast 3x optical zoom(both video and photo) and dvd quality video recording with DV/handycam like features, on device movie maker/picture editor etc. automatic lens cover. xenon true flash., redeye reduction etc.
  • MultiMedia - Digital media player like ipod video/n95 with full bass support internal speaker and inear boom bass headphones with external play control as in n95. media support for all codecs like in a PC, DRM and 3rd party add-on support.
  • DVB-H - live digital TV
  • stereo FM radio
  • home networking UPnP
  • 80GB highspeed internal storage - atleast 32 GB (which is now technically possible in flash/microSD)
  • Bluetooth 2 with a2dp
  • Internet - good internet integration like the N95 and an excellent browser like safari on n95/iphone, flash and other plugin support, native youtube/flash videos etc as in a PC,podcasting, blogging and other internet 2.0 application support like in n95
  • UserInterface - multitouch/stylus UI like iphone with themes, acceleratometer based guestures for all applications like screen orientation, menu movement, music control etc, rotating gallery, active standby like S60 and menus like windows mobile. 320x480 resolution on mobile screen, higher resolutions when connected to TV or monitor. inter application integration/OLE as in N95.
  • speech recognition + handwriting recognition for input, Text to speech to read out anything
  • GPS with voiceguidance as in n95 + detailed maps/traffic info/ location based services in india/around the world. A-GPS and quick lock to satellite. offline maps.
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n wimax?
  • Security - Strong emphasis on phone and data security like in a laptop or more. stealth modes, notify on sim change, password protection to access sensitive data etc.

Other technical details

  • Hardware - 500Mhz - 1Ghz multicore processor (TI OMAP ?) , enough RAM to multitask like a PC(128 mb for Series60v3/may be even 256 MB?) and 3d hardware accelerator
  • Form factor - Candy bar or slide up with dimensions/screen size of iPhone and intuitive design like N95. i.e., feel like phone when using phone, feel like mediaplayer when using media, feel like camera when using camera etc. Phone should be slim and not bulky. iphone form factor is ideal with quick access buttons like N95, joystick like SE phones, jogdial if possible.
  • Operating system - symbian 9.x or similar OS with wide application/developer support
  • java j2me cldc midp
  • OpenGL
  • Battery - excellent battery life enuff to play music for 24 hrs, multitask for 1 day, bt/wifi for a day at least. work on direct power when connected to a wall socket. vibra support, changeable battery.
  • Higher resolution lcd (160 ppi?) than qvga screen as in iphone.
  • Infrared(optional)
  • onscreen virtual querty keypad using stylus + Physical laser key pad .
  • motion sensor, ambient light sensor
  • TV out and high resolution/HDTV support, Dolby 7.1 audio out
  • USB storage device, USB charging, USB2+ speeds
  • industry standard accessory adapters like in N95/no proprietary accessories.
  • hotswap microSD support upto 32GB or more
  • A hotsync cradle like a laptop docking station for use of the device like a normal desktop/docked laptop for laser keyboard projection, TV/monitor/speaker connectivity etc. may be even attaching a real keyboard/mouse would be nice. so its like I carry my PC in my pocket and dock it to work on it like a PC.

Misc features

  • voice recorder with no time limit and record calls at press of a button as in nokia7710
  • advanced integrated PIM/PDA features
  • exchange and internet mail client separate from sms/mms app with push email support.
  • Office apps with editors
  • profiles, themes
  • other default software like adobe reader, ebook reader, flash player, calc, currency converter with online updates, world clock, weather applet, zip, wallet, safe, file encryption, expense tracker,3d games, multi protocol instant messenger client , blacklist, answering machine, filemanager with power user mode etc
  • User upgradable OS like nseries (but with a good backup/restore so applications need not be reinstalled after OS upgrade)
  • offline/flight mode
  • good call and activity logging journal controllable by user.
  • visual voice mail
  • copy/paste
  • no service provider locking
  • face camera (front camera) can act as webcam when using on device IM client or when connected to PC.
  • business card reader, document/image scanner using camera.
  • location based remainder, location support form camera
  • timed SMS

Last but not the least, such a device should be affordable. probably at the price range of $500 -$750 or Rs20,000-30,000.

Slashdot Slashdot It!

Now, wait a minute!!!!! :O, is nokia already on it? oh no, I don't plan to spend another 35K on my 4th nokia smartphone in 4 years. hope they send it to me as a replacement to the N95. ;) :P

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The chakravyuh at KR puram - the traffic mayhem that I go thru every day.

The Chakravyuh

Note:- this video was not taken during the peak hour jams(8 am to 10:30 am and 5:00pm to 8:30 pm) but taken during non peak hour at 1:00 p.m. when the route was relatively free. Even at this time this one KM stretch took 10 minutes to cross. Two other bottlenecks which follow immediately after this railway underpass pass at the flyover crossing and another under the cable bridge were relatively free at this time (which other wise is choked during peak hours) and also Whitefield road which gets vehicles piled up for 2 kms from the bridge was free at this time. Otherwise it would take more than 1 hour to travel from Narayanpura bus stand in Whitefield road (one KM from KR puram bridge) to Big bazar on old madras road or the reverse way. A distance of 3 kms.

the following steps can make traffic flow freely and make this area into a region of world class infrastructure.
1. By just expanding the Beniganahalli railway underpass to 8 lanes width (Ironically the bridge just a few hundred meters away at NGEF-kasturi nagar road is 8 lanes wide while the road under it is just two lanes, whats the problem with railway engineers? did they reverse the contracts by mistake?)

2. add one more lane after the Eeniganahalli railway bridge between the left turn to flyover connecting ORR and end ramp of the flyover from rammurthy nagar ORR. it is just two lanes now. there is enough space to make way for 3 lanes by taking space from the unmaintained park under the ramp.

3. fix the medians and road islands. the fence from these are protruding making vehicles avoid the lane close to these.

4. reduce the length of the ramp to the cable stayed bridge by a few hundred meteres. you dont need a 700M ramp to this bridge which is just 6-8 M high. Remove the busstop at the beginning of the bridge. provide a pedestrian underpass as the road width becomes 12 lanes here. mark bus bays and make sure bus stops only in these. the bus bay present after the HP petrol bunk is not used now and busses park in the middle of the road which is a crossing area for vehicles from below and above the bridge.

5. remove the lorry repair garages, encroachments and indiscriminate parking of trucks on the left lanes of the stretch.

6. remove the encroachment by KR puram railway platform of 2 lanes of road under the cable stayed bridge on this stretch. this is really the peak of it. a railway station encroaching on a national highway and creating an acute bottle neck.

7. expand the road to atleast 8 lanes on the stretch between the underpass of the cable stayed bridge and whitefield road/ORR junction. This stretch is now just 4 lanes which cannot accomodate traffic from the 4 lane whitefield road and the 6 lane ORR and its 2 service lanes.

8. on the stretch from the cable stayed bridge underpass(KRpuram station enterance) to the HP petrol bunk near Pai layout the road suddenly becomes 2 lanes from 4 lanes due to an encroachment by a shop and the entrance to a mosque. I guess this can be corrected and made into proper 4 lanes even without disturbing the mosque building.
if possible provide a service road to Pai layout and make sure vehicles coming in and out of this layout do not criss/cross the traffic on the main road.

9. last but not least lay pothole free quality(atleast as good as toll national highway) roads and mark lanes clearly. mark main lanes, service lanes, bus lanes, cross over areas and lanes leading to the various flyovers etc. this is really important.

just these nine steps is enough to make this stretch a world class infrastructure with smooth flow of traffic. Of these steps expanding the railway underpass and clearing the 4 other bottlenecks (ala ramp length, railway platform encroachment, 8 lane between KR puram station and whitefieldroad/orr junction, and mosque encroachment) alone can make this stretch traffic jam free.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Applications for N95 and S60v3 multimedia devices - review

Here I will review and post information on some interesting and useful free/commercial applications that can really enhance the productivity of your N95/Nseries or other symbian series 60v3 phone.
Do watch this space as I will keep adding new software information as I find time.

Security Genius

This is one must have software that could help you possily trace your phone if someone stole your phone or you lost it.
This program is started automatically(and thats the only way to start) when you boot the phone and runs in the background.

the only way to access it is by dialing the access code *#123456# (which can be changed). once you get to the screen you can ser the password, 2 phone numbers to which this program will send SMS to in case someone changes the SIM card without your knowledge. you can also customize the message that will be sent to the numbers.
Since this is a security software it resides in stealth mode, i.e., not listed in the menu or installed applications list and cannot be uninstalled.

Download the trial version from one of the popular shareware sites for series 60 like , , , etc . official site is
tip:- the trial version can be reinstalled any number of times after expiry.

DivXplayer for series 60
Looking to play your dvds from your mobile, here is the right software for it. DivX's official player is free to download. All you need to do is register at and download it.
more details here

Now rip your dvds in divx without loosing quality transfer them to your mobile and watch them on the move.
smart movie is another popular software for the same purpose but its not free. though cracked versions are common, why use them where there is a free option. DixX player also brings in generic avi file support.

coming soon...
Google mail/(mg)maps/calender
yahoo Go!
handy safe/best crypto
vnc/rdesktop/putty and more
im+ - multi protocol IM
spodtronic/ parkcast/internet radio
mail for exchange
handy taskman

Nokia N95 review

.....coming soon

Bangalore Traffic Photo blog

Here are some photos I took when travelling in bangalore to/from office or other travel to reach my destination and was stopped and diverted or caught in a traffic jam for absurd reasons like someone suddenly built a tent in the middle of the road or buffaloes were happily grazing in the median in an arterial road during peak hours or a conservancy worker was stopping the choke-a-bloc traffic just for cleaning the road at 6 pm.

Big daddy just took over the road. sorry the way belongs to him now.

this ancient piece of metal which still has an engine and called as a lorry in india just blocked the 20 ft road at is the only exit road to my block of city. now I dont have a way to get out of my road. question them, oops you might get beaten up. call the cops? they dont care and wont come unless you pay them the cost of the lorry.

This was a picture I took before the 16 floor Mantri Altis, the most posh and expensive apartment in downtown bangalore, in cunningham cross on cubbon road opposite chinnaswamy cricket stadium. yes downtown bangalore still has medows where buffalo herds still graze during peak hour traffic.

hai hai! tch tch! wondering what that is? the greatest indigenous vehicle invented in India. the bullock cart. still rules the roads of bangalore. and this one was blocking the lead road to my block and all I can do is go behind this at 2 Kmph with my 105 BHP car. Overtaking ? not possible.the road is just 20 ft in which 10ft is encroached.
I wonder why they sell cars in india.

What do you think that is? a lane or gali? nope. thats the main road to a full 4-5 blocks layouts behind manipal hospital on airport road. this 20 feet road which narrows down to 10 feet after the gate is the only way to access these layouts where it is not possible for 2 big cars to pass parallelly. this is not an exception but a norm in bangalore. most mainroads in private layouts are just 20 feet and that too partly encroached.

oh! thats not someones backward. thats the 9th main (LOL here main roads are just 20 ft wide) road new tippasandara. one family here decided to take over the road for a couple days for a family function. what do road users do? well go back, they dont care if u go to work or not but they need the road today for their family. the shamiana (tent) was just being built when I took this pic. for the next 2 days they had a complete shamiana with walls on all sides. question them? well! du want to get beaten upby a family and all their relatives? call the cops? oh I tried. looks like they were already tipped ;)

Supply chain! a coke supply van parked in a no parking zone at 9:30 a.m, blocking traffic. this is the scene every day during peak hours on this road and many. you can also see garbage collection trucks and other supply chain vehicles blocking traffic in almost every road in bangalore. Conservancy work, garbage collection, supply chain etc always hapen only between 9am and 11 am here blocking traffic. I guess 6 am is midnight for the bangalore corporation. or may be they just love traffic jams.

Attraction? Distraction in traffic? relaxation in a jam? ;)

a panaromic view of Malleshpalya! one of upcoming layouts inside kaggadasapura. 100s of 5+storied apartments of all shapes and sizes. 10s of 1000s of houses all locked inside this area called mallesh palya inside this maze locked on all sides without exit roads. the only entry/exit point into this maze of apartments is a 3KM long 15 feet road which connects to the 30ft BEML to kaggadasapura dead end main road somewhere near the middle. houses houses every where but no roads to reach them. soon helicopters and flying machines will be the only means of transport in Bangalore.

Haphazard growth, condo clusters, skyscrapers, ghettos, slums, villages, manufacturing industries, software parks all mixed up without a proper plan and zoning. more views below.

ahh! thats just the way construction steel is carried. this is pretty safe. i'll add more pics of steel rods protruding 2 meters out of the truck and probably poking some bikers in their face or breaking a windshield. this is the de facto supplychain standards in india.

more vehicles with extra fittings as promised.

The reason why Bangalore is a clean city. thats the conservancy workers dumbing garbage collected from near by areas into a truck at 10 am in the morning blocking the narrowest point in Nagavarpalya main road and helping traffic pile up on either side for few hundreds meters and giving office goers some stress to start with before the enter the mayhem on the arterial roads.

no its not some rural village where I took this pic. this in in the heart of indranagar bangalore. Tractors are the standard way of transporting water, household items, gas cylinders etc. its the pickup truck in bangalore and also help in creating designer pot holes on muddy roads using its tyres and occationally topple over to block traffic for half a day. this along with stray cows/dogs, bullock carts and mud roads help feel the aura of a rural village right in the heart of bangalore. you never know, we might soon find paddy grown in the medians.

Drivers delight ends with a nightmarish surprize. The NICE peripheral ring road around bangalore. this is the section connecting mysore road to bannergetta road. the road is amazing, best by any global standards 4 lanes + 2 service lanes with walls on both sides and a 2 lane lawned median and shoulder and central drains. 200KMPH will be a breeze here if you have the horsepower but surprize surprise. the politicians in bangalore dint want this to happen. so they made sure a farmer who wont sell his land which is needed to complete the last 200 mts to connect bannergetta road built a wall just to stop the road abruptly and even the mud paths to the side of it to reach bannergetta road are badly dug up so if you wanna try some adventure sports and smart enough to maneuver your car thru a 5 feet wide ridge without toppling it you can proceed to bannergetta road.

Traffic jam on a 6 lane(+service lanes) expressway for miles together. This was when I travelled from bangalore to chennai on NH4 expressway. Apparently the highly intelligent and scientific traffic police of Bangalore had setup Nakabandis (baricades which block the roads completely and would let just one vehicle pass it after turning the steering to extreme right once and extreme left once) before and after every junction and dint care to remove them during peak traffic. this helped traffic pile up for 15 kms continuously on NH4 from electronics city to hosur border. it took me more than 2 hours to travel 20 kms on a 6 lane _expressway_.

Apparently Bangalore police had learnt some dangerous life threatening brute force techniques to control the unruly traffic from the Tamilnadu police like nakabandhi to check speed/alertness of driver, road bumbs called speed breakers which break the bottom of your car or can trip a two wheeler rider caught unawares and kill them and so on. Unfortunately they over did these in numbers (thinking with the one grey cell left in their brains) like have a road bump every 100m and a nakabandi every km that too at peak hours. Also they ignored to learn the other skills needed to make these tools effective from the TN police like employing brute force, rowdy nature, hard work(like working 16 hrs a day), some pragmatic sense and most importantly to report to duty , patrol at night, be around to put the tools to use and remove the tools when it makes the situation gets worse.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

comparing the iphone and N95?

Surely the iPhone is just big time hype of apple. its surely going to bomb for all the viral marketing and hype apple has made for a phone which is technologically 3 years behind today. by the time it is released in India it would be ancient if not prehistoric technology. except may be for the multi touch UI and larger screen.(but the phone is much bigger than the n95)

and dont even compare it with the N95 feature wise. just look at this tech specs and hold your jaws before it falls off.

the only 3 things n95 missed in todays leading edge techno are touchscreen UI, DVB-M receiver and larger storage (hope we get a 8GB micro sd soon in the market). and I also hope nokia releases the Nseries speech dictation/tts and vpn/push email for the N95 soon.

iPhone does not have 3/3.5G, no addon storage, no gps, no add-on 3rd party apps, camera is basic 2mp, and most importantly if I am correct, it does not support a SIM card and will be permanently locked to the service provider and no way of unlocking it. As of now it is going to be available only for at&t Cingular in the US. and these are only hardware features I am talking about. software wise N95 is not just highly customizable or add new features with 3rd party addon for its symbian series 60v3 OS, which is the most popular OS on mobile and probably has
every possible software for mobile devices, N95's default software set is really feature rich. again the iPhone can do just 5 things. Phone, iPod, maps, photo camera(and yes it CAN'T take videos while n95 can take Dvd quality video), browse(and widgets which is also avl for N95) nothing more.

The iPhone runs a modified version of OS X but hey apple does not intend to make it an open OS for 3rd party apps anytime soon as is the case with symbian. no wonder this OS is going to be the mac of mobile devices while symbian is already the windows of mobile world.

price wise its cheaper than the n95 as the 8GB one is $640 with taxes (+at&t service costs min $6o p.m) but pretty close. N95 was more expensive but has already fallen to such prices or even lower.

In short N95 has everything iPhone has (except multi touch and larger storage, which is coming soon with 8GB microsd) including the much hyped safari browser/widgets of iPhone, but iPhone does not have even half the features of N95. and the level of service integration in N95 is excellent(and surprise for a nokia phone). for example local yellowpages/yahoo search, linked with maps, location based services, voip integration in standard phone dialer, upload photos directly to flickr or other services, lifeblogging integrated with all actions of the device automatically like a journal, video/photo editing and movie maker on the device and integration over the air or thru usb/bt to pc/mac apps and so on.

N95 is anytime a better choice for an informed techno geek. may be the novice would fall prey to the hype of the iPhone, well they dont use the features anyways its just a show off device they need just to join the gizmo freak bandwagon which they have no idea about.

Still want to do a feature comparison, here we go



3.5G hsdpa(2008 trechnology)/umts(2006 techno)/edge quadband gsm

2.5g edge (2003 technology) quadband gsm

wlan 802.11 B/G

wlan 802.11 B/G

332Mhz arm 11 TI OMAP cpu with dedicated DSP, 64MB ram, 160MB internal flashmem, add on micro sd (1GB default, 2 GB available, 4/8gb expected soon) and 3D Graphics HW Accelerator

665 Mhz arm11 cpu :-) :-)

ram info NA, internal flashmem 4-8GB . no add on memory card, 3d hw?

Volume: 90 cc

Weight: 120 g :-)

Length: 99 mm :-)

Width: 53 mm :-)

Thickness (max): 21 mm

2.6" 320x240 tft dispay :-)

Weight: 4.8 ounces (135 grams)
Height: 4.5 inches (115 mm)

Width: 2.4 inches (61 mm)

Depth: 0.46 inch (11.6 mm) :-)

3.5" 320x480 scratch proof glass display :-):-)

video conferencing with face cam :-)

no 3G features no video conf

Symbian OS9.1 series 60V3 with 1000s of 3rd party apps and a huge developer and user community

OS X for mobile no 3rd party apps and apple not yet promoting developer community for the mobile edition.

No touch screen

touch UI - best feature of iphone :-)

5MP autofocus camera with carl zeiss lens, flash, digicam like features and ctrl , dvd quality video recording*640x480 at 30fps in mp4 format) :-) with video stabiliser

2MP basic camera(autofocus?)
no video recording. no digicam like buttons or functions

digital music /video player with true surround and standard headphone jack. external control module

support mp3, wma, aac, eaac+ |
real, ogg, 3gp, mp4 and many |
more formats. divx and avi |
support from add ons. :-) |
playlist and equalizer

WMP and nokia PC suite sync support

dedicated physical buttons.

rotating 3d gallery view

equal to an ipod nano video

not all formats are supported

Proprietary headphone?

external control module?

no dedicated physical buttons.

might have a 3d gallery view not sure

Built in GPS and navigator software with voice guidance. Gmaps also available

No gps, only gmaps

safari browser with minimap,visual history and plugins like flash player :-):-)

Safari browser but no plugins or flash player :-)

landscape and vertical display manual change using slider :-)

Automatic landscape or vertical display based on movement :-) :-)

TV out -use TV as monitor
browse watch videos on TV :-), play hw accelerated 3d games on tv screen. wow now that makes in a gaming console too.

no tv out

Home networking with wifi :-) and UPnP

no home networking

Bluetooth 2.x with audio GW :-)

bluetooth 2.x +edr :-)


No Ir

gprs/edge/umts/hsdpa modem :-)


Phone keypad - support for bluetooth keyboard.

full qwerty virtual keyboard. :-)

Voice recognition and TTS engine (talking ringtone , SIND etc)

Not available?

All format ringtones supported

Not all formats ipod supports can be made ringtones. i.e you cannot set an mp3 or song as ringtone L

Push to talk

No push to talk

Build in internet telephony (VOIP)

No voip

Java j2me midp cldc


Photo and video editors, blogging, podcast, online album, movie director, Instant messenger, yahoo and local yellowpages search, quickoffice, voice recorder, zip, file manager, adobe flash and pdf , wireless keyboard support, notes, calender, pda functions, and 3D openGL games

Not many built in apps, just basic pda funtions and maps.

Visual radio

No radio

Java based Widsets also available . similar to iphone widgets.

Widgets to provide 3rd party features

USB2 storage device

? only itunes supported.

Poor battery life. Max 4-6hrs music play back

Need to recharge everyday.

Needs to be tested but apple promised 24hr music playback or equivalent use. bad news is the battery cannot be removed.

The list is not comprehensive.
bottom line is n95 gives you unlimited possibilities in s/w and is not a restricted device like the i-Phone. N95 wins over iphone handsdown by all comparison except may be a couple features of iphone like UI and storage.
essentially n95 is a leading edge technology while iphone is a generation behind but class. if Iphone's next version can catch up with the then latest Nseries topend phone like the N95(N97?) then Iphone have a better chance to compete but apple need to go a long way in catching up with the developer community of symbian.

and if at all you want to compare N95 with contemporary phones, do it with the p990i, blackberry' curve, samsung blackjack, LG prada , treo or or such leading edge phones and m sure N95 still beats all of them handsdown and looks better than any of them except the iPhone.

here are some more comparative reviews. see the user comments against the official marketing.,239036203,339279031,00.htm

the real competetion for the N95 are still in development stages. may be we will see some this year. I would especially like to see a N97 with all features of n95 + a larger screen +touch screen + dvb-h + larger storage like 20GB or more + better battery life +....