UberVU – Monitor Social Media

Social Media ! Social Media !! Its all over the place. No realm of business is complete without a presence on Twitter or Facebook or Diggit or XYZ. Companies can monitor their ‘reputation’ on the social media using tools like UberVU

“uberVU is a social intelligence platform designed from the ground up to be unbelievably easy to use, lightning fast yet amazingly powerful. It covers the whole social media life cycle, from strategy to execution & social media management yet you can learn to use it in minutes, not days.”

Sample Screenshot-

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Emirates is the flight to be in

Day: 10th July, 2011
Time: 04:00 am
Location: Mumbai International Airport, India

I was boarding the Emirates flight to Dubai. While still in the boarding queue, I had a casual look at the cream-colored costume of the ground staff of Emirates. And i must admit that my initial impression wasn’t good. The strange white scarf (or whatever you call it as) connecting the top & the red cap seemed unusual. The extra kilos put on by the staff made me feel that the flight might be boring. Also, the boarding for a scheduled flight of 04:30 had not started; many anxious faces eagerly awaiting their turn to enter the BOEING-777.

Finally when boarding started & I entered the flight, I was pleasantly amazed to see the flight – beautiful orange & lavendar color adored the interiors. Comfortable reclining seat, good leg room & wonderful window view added to the ‘class’ of emirates. Generally flight take offs scare me a little. [See – I accept the fears I have :-)]. But this flight had the most smooth takeoff i have ever experienced in my life. Though the in-house entertainment wasn’t the latest; I was happy with the food offered and mood lighting. Each time before the meal they provide warm hand towels to clean your face & hands. I liked this hygienic idea.

All and all it was the best flight travel I ever had. Clearly a 9/10 rating for Emirates from me.

Oh! Did i forget to tell that I got the same experience in A380 jumbo jet from Dubai to NY? 🙂

5 steps to control corruption on roads

Some weeks ago, Anna Hazare sat on a ‘dharna’ to get the Jan Lokpal Bill introduced in the Parliament. After 2-3 days of national drama, the government had to accede to his demand.

The Lokpal Bill is supposed to be the first step towards ending corruption in India. Corruption runs like blood through the veins of administrative & political class of India. It may be as big as passing a large-scale government contract or as small as bribing the traffic cop.

The bribe giver & bribe taker – both are equally responsible for this malice. So any solution to tackle corruption has to be two-fold – fix the problem from bribe givers’ side AND from bribe takers’ side.

I can think of some possible steps which can be taken to solve the problem of bribery in case of traffic cops.

Step 1: Allocate hoardings at prominent junctions which will show the traffic rules violations & their fines. Most often, traffic cops take ANY amount in the name of signal cutting. Official fine for signal cutting is only Rs 100/- But these cops charge anything like Rs 200 or so.

Step 2: Raise an RTI query with the RTO & demand the list of traffic rules violations & their respective fine charges. This RTI application can be done for Rs 10/- & you SHOULD get a reply within 3 weeks. Very often I have seen cops asking for vehicle’s papers. Now who on this planet carries vehicle papers with him everyday? Recently I learnt that asking for PUC by traffic cop is not a rule. And even if thats a rule and a person does not have one, the cop is supposed to give him a warning & allow him to leave (i.e. without any fine).

Step 3: Install CCTV cameras at all major junctions which can constantly monitor the surroundings. This can be used to find traffic cops accepting bribes. Agreed this can be tampered but mere presence is enough to keep the cops at bay.

Step 4: Stop congregation of traffic cops in one particular junction. More often I have seen half a dozen traffic cops in small-small junctions. Add to that some 3-4 constables & a mazda van. Why do they need so much machinery to just regulate traffic flow? that too when traffic signals are doing their job. This mob outsizes normal citizens & gives them an opportunity to harass the people.

Step 5: Traffic cops should undergo yoga session 3 days in a week. This will keep them grounded & make them selfless (hopefully) 🙂

I guess this 5-step program can check day-to-day corruption levels to some extent.

What do you think ? write a line or two in the comments section & let me know…

Tell me why…

I have lived on this planet for about 28 years now. There have been many questions which are left unanswered till now –

1) Being a software engineer by profession, I have come across many chart based applications; most use varied colors especially RED & GREEN. But ever wondered how these charts will be seen by color blind people. Would they make any sense to a color blind person?

2) India has been blessed with many historic monuments; all across India. I was fortunate enough to visit some (Gateway of India, Ajanta caves, Elephanta, etc). But I have not found even a single place which provides access to wheel-chaired Indians. Why are we insensitive towards them? Why can’t they see Elephanta Caves (which needs a nice hour long climb)?

3) A billion strong India is one of the largest democracies in the world. Our general elections cost more than Rs. 400 crore. I have been a voting loyally since I reached 18. But never have I seen a postal ballot [or now EVM] having Braille for the blind. Shouldn’t their vote count in general elections?

There are many such illustrations which can be quoted – each distancing the disabled from the mainstream India. Many public places in India – Cinema halls, Shopping places, government offices remain elusive from a GOOD design, inclusive enough to all Indians irrespective of their physical (in)ability.