Category Archives: From the web

Apple Music for $5 per month is not a bad idea

Buying music was never my thing until I was introduced to iTunes. I used to listen to radio or just pirate my music whenever I really wanted to hear those famous songs. Yes, I downloaded music when I was staying with my parents and paying for my tuitions. everyone out there does that, so get over it.

Now I buy music but, now that is an old thing too! Last year when apple released their Apple Music streaming service I was excited because it came with 3 months of free subscription. In those 3 months I really didn’t use any streaming because I had all the latest music that I really really wanted to listen to and didn’t feel the need of buying any new music. Once the free trial period got over I absolutely did not want to pay $10/month for the music I love and not keep it with me if I choose not to pay monthly fees anymore.

Recently I came across one amazing option that will still allow me to listen to new music and just in half the price. I sure am a music love and absolutely cannot live without it. So to stay sane in life $5 is really not a bad price. iTunes is one of the reliable source to the highest quality music out in the world.

Even though I think Apple Music is the best quality music streaming service out there I still wouldn’t pay $10/month for it. So how to get Apple Music for $5/month? You need to have a student’s account. If you are a student, you can get Apple Music for half the price of their individual subscription. You can validate your account with your school email. Click the link below and verify your account as student account and start using Apple Music for $0.99 for first 3 months and at discounted price later.

Visit https://www.myunidays.com/perks/view/applemusic/online for validation of your student account.

Caution: If you reach 48 months of Student Membership or they find that you are not a student anymore, your membership automatically becomes an Apple Music Individual Membership. Because, once you’re hooked on them they will rip you off any way. Until then, enjoy!! 🙂

Date on your checks have no meaning

Almost all the banks in the US now provide online banking and E-check options to their customers. Writing a real check to pay for services is becoming a thing that your parents used to do. Recently I wrote a check after really really long time, in fact I was lucky to find my check book in the first place. I had to deal with one of the service providers who refused to take any kind of electronic payment for the services they provide.

It was just a check, nothing special. I wrote it and dated it to say, 2/15/2016. Now there is nothing new in there, it’s just a check, I have money in my account and everything is good. Until, I had to help my friend on 2/10/2016 who promised me to pay by 2/14/2016 because I informed him that I have to clear a big amount from my checking account.

Now if I were in India there is nothing wrong in this scenario. My check is dated 2/15/2016 and I will have promised money in my account before 2/14/2016 (I trust my friend) so all good. But, that is not enough with the banks here in the US (not sure about anywhere in the world). My payee deposited check on 2/13/2015 and guess what, my bank (Chase) cleared the check and paid the money which I didn’t have in my account. Of course, they charged extra $35 for having insufficient balance.

So I called my bank hoping to get an explanation on why they cleared my check two days before if the date on check was 2/15/2016? The bank said and “This is between you and the third party. If the check is deposited we will clear it”. They couldn’t give me a satisfactory answer on my argument which was, “If I trust Chase Bank and not the third party with my money, why would the bank honor the check before the date I ask bank to release my money to the third party.”

How much money did the 2016 US election candidates raised so far?

The amounts are staggering and Hillary leades them all with whopping sum of over 200M in raised money. Look how other candidates compare to the topper.

Amount raised so far by candidates: $720 million
Amount raised so far by super PACs supporting them: $446 million

(Darker bar represents outside money; lighter bar represents candidate committee money)

For more information head to opensecrets.org
Source: OpenSecrets.org

Donate while shopping

Always think about donating for that cause you believe in? You can do it while you are shopping on Amazon. Just always visit smile.amazon.com when you want to shop on Amazon. 0.5 percent of any purchase made via smile.amazon.com will be donated to the charity organization of your choice.

You might not receive any tax benefit but you sure can do some good while shopping for your gadget or product.

2015-05-13_8-57-17

Once you sign in the website will also prompt you to install Amazon Smile 1-click extension for Chrome, do install it to make sure next time you will hit smile.amazon.com. Please also change your Amazon bookmark, if you have one.

Happy shopping!

Connecting the world

Ever wondered how easily you get online and punch a few keys to visit that website half way around the world or send messages to your loved ones instantly? Ever thought about how you can do live video chatting with people several thousand miles away? If you are thinking about those communication satellites hovering around the globe make this possible then your information is marginally correct.

Underwater communication lines: Before humans even thought about satellites, we knew a better way to send electric signals between two places kilometers apart. Human communication has been relying on cables for decades before first satellite launch. Engineers just took that thought to the extreme by deploying long and huge communication lines on our ocean beds. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Submarine cable with repeater showing in the picture

Submarine cables have Multi-terabyte bandwidths making them an ideal solution for future of communication. Today our satellites only count for 1% of international communication. Growing network of these submarine cables provides really high reliability incase of a cable break. Engineers can deploy these cables with help of specially designed ships. However, these submarine cables have limitations. Signal through these cables weakens over long distances so manufacturers have to incorporate these cables with repeaters every 6 to 9 km. Another disadvantage is that, in case of a cable break the repair crew has to deep dive to replace whole affected segment and that makes repair work very risky. Advancements in the filed are now allowing robots to do any hazardous underwater work.

Submarine cable deploying ship
Fiber optic submarine cable design

Submarine cable vs. Satellite
Why does most of our data still travel via submarine cables instead of satellites?
Data traffic through undersea optical fiber cables offer advantages in terms of reliability, security, capacity and cost.
Microwave satellite signals take about 0.2 seconds to travel roundtrip from the ground to an orbiting satellite, while optical submarine cables can send data across the Atlantic in 1/20th of that time, resulting in lower latency.
The microwave spectrum available to satellites is limited, while the spectrum available for optical communications has more room for increasing IP traffic.
Wavelength division multiplexing technology increases the capacity carried by single fibers and thereby reduces the number of cables required; deploying fewer and smaller cables is then more cost efficient for the amount of capacity versus the high cost of deploying and maintaining satellites. [osa-open.org]

If you are curious, check the map below to get some idea of how the world is connected or click here to view an interactive updated map.

Submarine cables map, 2009

29 Fascinating Photos You’ve Probably Never Seen Before [StumbleUpon]

Some cool photographs you probably have never seen before.

The lava lake of the continuously active volcano Erta Ale, Ethiopia

The-lava-lake-of-the-continuously-active-volcano-Erta-Ale-Ethiopia
Where the Great Wall of China ends
Where-the-Great-Wall-of-China-ends
A geyser right before eruption
A-geyser-right-before-eruption
Bavarian town of Nordlingen built in a 14 million year old meteor impact crater
Nordlingen
A huge dust storm that hit Western Australia in early 2013
A-huge-dust-storm-that-hit-Western-Australia-in-early-2013
A rare 360 degree rainbow captured from an airplane
A-rare-360-degree-rainbow-captured-from-an-airplane
Climbers going up Mount Everest in May 2013
Climbers-going-up-Mount-Everest-in-May-2013
Daytona Beach 1957
Daytona-Beach-1957
An aerial view of a scrap tire dump
An-aerial-view-of-a-scrap-tire-dump
Bagger 288, the largest land vehicle in the world
Bagger-288-The-Largest-Land-Vehicle-in-the-World
A cross-section of an undersea cable
A-cross-section-of-an-undersea-cable
Inside one of Google’s data centers
Inside-one-of-Googles-data-centers

 

Einstein’s desk hours after his death
Einsteins-desk-hours-after-his-death
Michelangelo illustrated his grocery lists so that his illiterate servants would know what to buy him.
Michelangelo-illustrated-his-grocery-lists-so-that-his-illiterate-servants-would-know-what-to-buy-him
The inside of a FedEx Boeing 757 without any cargo
The-inside-of-a-FedEx-Boeing-757-without-any-cargo
Overcrowded prison in El Salvador
Overcrowded-Prison-In-El-Salvador
Hitler’s office
Hitlers-office
Enormous statue of Genghis Khan in Mongolia
genghis-khan-96
What pugs looked like before selective breeding
What-pugs-looked-like-before-selective-breeding
Octopus eggs
Octopus-eggs
George Washington’s teeth
George-Washingtons-teeth
A watch belonging to Akito Kawagoe which stopped at 8:15, the exact time of the Hiroshima bombing in 1945
Akito-Kawagoes-watch
A microscopic image of a human tongue
A-microscopic-image-of-a-human-tongue
Five pounds of fat compared to five pounds of muscle
Five-pounds-of-fat-compared-to-five-pounds-of-muscle
Cancer cells under an electron microscope
Cancer-cells-under-an-electron-microscope
X-rays before and after treatment for scoliosis
X-rays-before-and-after-treatment-for-scoliosis
The clearest photo of Mercury ever taken
The-clearest-photo-of-Mercury-ever-taken
Mars in true color from the Curiosity Rover
Mars-in-true-color-from-the-Curiosity-Rover
The northern lights from space
Northern-lights-from-space

Source: StumbleUpon

Automatic Soap Dispensers

I have always been fascinated with automated systems. Automated processes are almost always smart ways to cut efforts of performing redundant and obvious activities.  

Let me elaborate this by giving example of automated doors. The idea is to avoid activity of ‘pushing/pulling the door’. If any person is approaching the door it is most likely that the person will push/pull the door to pass through it. The idea is most effitiently utilized at entrances to public places, like airport or hospitals.

This same principle can be applied to your household appliances and it works pretty well for automatic soap dispensers. After trying about a couple of soap dispensers and returning them, I came accross one brand which lived upto it’s promises. Simplehuman Automatic Soap Dispenser is one of the best auto soap dispensers in the market. I would like to say it’s the best you can get under $50. 

   

Above two models are the most selling ones and ideal for bathroom and kitchen respectively. I have tried, BetterHomes, iCooker and some other wierd brand before ending up with Simplehuman.  Choose wisely.

Of course, Simplehuman auto dispensers  are cheap on amazon and other online stores but, you can also find them in your local stores in case you want to return them. In fact, I got them from Macy’s at a discounted price which was definitely lesser than any online stores. Be aware that both models above have chrome finish. There are a few other colored options available which are about $10 cheaper than chrome ones.

Truffol Case for iPhone

No matter how beautiful your smartphone looks, your phone case definitely makes it less appealing and bulky. I personally am not fan of using case on my phone because of very same reason. If you are like me, then new truffol case for iPhone might change your opinion. 

This very light and sleek all aluminum made bumper comes in different colors and a complementary sticky two cards wallet. Using the bumper and wallet together makes it a perfect skinny case for iPhone. 

Premium product like packaging

Very small profile, my friends couldn’t even tell that my phone had case on.
  
Easy snap-on locking mechanism.
  
Optional wallet has two cards capacity.

 You can buy one on Amazon.com for just $25. This aluminum case has very low signal disruption compared to the competition. 

Summer movies of 2015

Here is list of summer movies of 2015 with set release dates. Enjoy the summer.

Friday, May 1
The Avengers: Age of Ultron Action 
Far From The Madding Crowd Drama 
She’s Funny That Way Drama 

Friday, May 8
Before I Wake Suspense 
Hot Pursuit Action 
5 Flights Up Comedy 
Noble Drama 
Saint Laurent Drama 
Skin Trade Action 

Friday, May 15
Mad Max: Fury Road Action 
I’ll See You in My Dreams 
Pitch Perfect 2 Comedy 
The Connection Thriller 

Friday, May 22
Spy Comedy 
The Vatican Tapes Thriller 
Tomorrowland Adventure 
Aloft Drama 
Sunshine Superman Documentary 

Friday, May 29
Aloha Comedy 
San Andreas 3D Action 
Hillsong – Let Hope Rise Documentary 

Friday, June 5
Entourage Comedy 
Insidious: Chapter 3 Sequel 
Love & Mercy Drama 
Pigeon Drama 

Friday, June 12
Dope Drama 
Jurassic World Action 3D/2D
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Drama 

Friday, June 19
Inside Out Adventure 
The Transporter Refueled Action 
Infinitely Polar Bear Drama 

Friday, June 26
Ted 2 Comedy 
Big Game Drama 
The Outskirts Comedy 

Wednesday, July 1
Magic Mike XXL Comedy 
Terminator: Genisys Action 

Friday, July 10
Gallows Thriller 
Minions Comedy 
The Bronze Drama 

Friday, July 17
Ant-Man Action 
Trainwreck Comedy 

Friday, July 24
Pan Action 3D/2D; IMAX
Paper Towns Comedy 
Pixels Action 
Poltergeist Thriller 3D/2D
Irrational Man Drama 

Friday, July 31
Mission: Impossible V Action 
Self/Less Drama 
Southpaw Drama 
Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickum… Documentary 
Untitled Blumhouse/Joel Edgerton… Teen 

Friday, August 7
Masterminds Comedy 
Ricki and the Flash Drama 
The Fantastic Four Action 

Friday, August 14
Straight Outta Compton Drama 
The Man From U.N.C.L.E Action 
Underdogs Family 

Friday, August 21
Criminal Thriller 
Max Adventure 
Me Before You Drama 
Sinister 2 Sequel