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Few days ago, entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk revealed the initial ideas and design for a revolutionary ‘fifth generation’ transportation system called ‘Hyperloop’, which when put in place,  will take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes.

He designed Hyperloop as a better alternative to the recently approved “California High Speed Rail“, a $68 billion USD project that will reduce the travelling time between LA and SF to 2 hours and 38 minutes with average speed of 164 mph (264 kph). He says, according to the figures, the high-speed rail does not reduce the travel time or travel cost in the proposed route.

Mr.Musk released a 57-page white paper describing the proposed designs of an ‘alpha’ version of Hyperloop. Briefly, the Hyperloop involves two major components – a capsule and a tube. The  solar-powered aluminium capsules (or pods) rides on a cushion of air through a tube which is partly vacuüm. The capsules can move at around 700 mph (1,130 kph) inside the tube propelled by linear accelerators placed at various locations along the length of the tube.

Hyperloop conceptual diagram

There are two version of the Hyperloop capsules; The passenger capsule can carry 28 passengers and departs every 2 minutes (or 30 seconds) from LA or SF. The passenger plus vehicle capsule will accommodate 3 vehicles in addition to the passengers and will depart as often as the passenger capsule. Each capsule will be separated within the tubes by appox. 23 miles (37 km) on average.

Conceptual diagram of Hyperloop Passsenger Capsule

Conceptual diagram of Hyperloop Passenger Capsule

Not surprisingly, this futuristic design raised many eyebrows. Some said that this is not a ‘new idea’, others scrutinized the economics of the Hyperloop plan and still others raised security concerns. Yet there are reasons why the Hyperloop could be made into a reality.

Whether it is over-hyped or not, this looks very interesting indeed. If it were ever to become real then it will surely be a revolution!

And, at last, just for those with a hell lots of optimism, if Hyperloop comes to India ever (yeah!), it will take just 2 hrs and 30 mins between Kanyakumari and Dibrugarh, compared to around 83 hrs taken by the Vivek express currently!


Magnifier (Windows)

Magnifier (Windows) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are using Windows 7 then Magnifier is one of the cool feature that you should try out whether or not you actually are going to use it (by the way to get it, just type magnifier in the start menu search box). Although magnifier is a handy tool, I’ve noticed that it is notorious for getting stuck in the ‘docked mode’, which I should say is the view mode which I like the least. Once this happens, then there is no way to change to other more better modes like the full-screen mode (which is my favorite). I’ve had difficulties in the past trying to figure out a way to get my other modes working and, I must say, it took me a long time and a lot of search keywords to find a fix for this problem (all thanks to posts in the Microsoft Answers forum).

Magnifier (Windows)

Magnifier (Windows) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With a small change in the windows registry, you can get back the functionalities of all the different viewing modes of magnifier. Here’s what you should do:

1. Close the magnifier if it is opened.
2. Sometimes if you had set the Aero theme to active, it will be automatically disabled after the magnifier locks itself in the docked-mode. So if you want to get your aero theme back on, just type ‘find and fix problems with transparency and other visual effects’ in the search box in the start menu and follow the troubleshooting process.
3. Type ‘regedit’ in the start menu search box and click the result. This will take you to the windows registry.
4. Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER by clicking the arrow next to the folder icon
5. Find ‘softwares’ and expand it as done in the previous step.
6.  Find ‘Microsoft‘ and expand it. Then navigate to ‘ScreenMagnifier’ and click it.
7. On the right side, among the several entries, double-click on ‘MagnificationMode’
8. In the pop-up window, set the ‘value data’ as 2. Click OK, and close the registry editor
9. Open Magnifier.
10. Sit back, relax and enjoy! Now you can change the views from, well, ‘views’.

Well, in the first place I never ever had even thought about posting an article on Facebook on my blog. Never. But, I am really frustrated, just like everybody else, by the frequent status updates from my facebook contacts pleading (and even ‘threatening’ towards the end!) to protect their privacy on facebook. These frequent posts were enough to prick on my nerves. So, I thought I want to say my part of this story to the world and at least stop one or two from re-posting those stupid messages.

The message goes like this (there are a number of versions in circulation since facebook implemented ‘Graph Search’):

Kind Attention : All of you who are on my list of contacts of Facebook. I would like to ask you a favor…. Given that Facebook has changed its privacy configuration once again. With the new “Graphic app”, any person in Facebook anywhere in the world can see our photos, our “likes” and our “comments”. During the next two weeks, I am going to keep this message posted and I ask you to do the following and comment “DONE”. Those of my friends who do not maintain my information in private will be eliminated from my list of friends, because I want the information I share with you, my friends, to remain among my friends and not be available to the whole world. I want to be able to publish photos of my friends and family without strangers being able to see them which is what happens now when you choose “like” or “comment”. Unfortunately we cannot change this configuration because Facebook has made it like this. So, please, place your cursor over my photo that appears in this box (without clicking) and a window will open. Now move the cursor to the word “Friends”, again without clicking and then on “Settings”. Uncheck “Life Events” and “Comments and Like”. This way my activity with my family and friends will no longer be made public. Now, copy and paste this text on your own wall (do not “share” it!). Once I see it published on your page, I will un-check the same for you.

This whole this is a hoax just like the ‘New Facebook Guidelines Policy‘ circulated last year. I expect a little common sense from those who blindly copy-paste this in their status box because this ‘exercise’ will not give you any privacy benefits. In fact, if you follow this and do as the post said, you are definitely going to miss some of the important happenings in that friend’s life! To put it blankly, whatever options you happen to uncheck in your friend’s ‘settings’ you will not receive any updates from that friend in future meaning that you are going to miss for eg: the comments and likes they make, their life events, their status updates, photos, etc. Graph search is definitely creepy and has raised many privacy concerns, although Facebook says that Graph search is ‘personalized’ meaning that if you search for “Restaurants my friends went to” will produce different results for you and your friend depending up on the privacy levels employed. So the whole process of making graph search less creepy resides in setting the privacy setting right.

So, here is my tips for making your Facebook life less creepy-like. I’m sure there are hundreds of such articles/blogs, but I don’t care. This is what I suggest:

See what is in ‘public’ about you

This is the first thing. You should know what the heck is out there is public about you that you don’t want. There are different ways to do this. Since there are not a lot of people with the new ‘news feed’, I’ll follow the options in the old and more ‘general’ Facebook interface. So to see what others see in your profile: Go to profile and click the settings next to activity log. Select ‘view as’. Here you can go for view as public or view as a specific contact in your list. See what all info about you is visible when it is viewed as public. If there’s anything that you don’t want there, go to those individual sections (including the general info) in your profile and change visibility to ‘friends’ or ‘only me’ etc.

See who can see your posts

Facebook has at least made it easier to do this. Click the privacy lock button next to your ‘Home’ button and select ‘who can see my posts’. There you can edit the audience for your future posts. To limit the audience for all your past posts, you have to click ‘settings’ next to the privacy lock button and then ‘limit old posts on Timeline’. In this section you can also decide who can look you up by searching with your email ID/Phone number and make search engines to link/not link to your Timeline.

Photos and Tags

To see all your photos and their audience, from your profile, go to activity log and then to photos. In the top, you can filter your photos based on its audience and have an idea about what all things are in public. If you want to change the visibility of one of your albums say for example, you can go to profile, then to photos and to albums and change the settings there for each album. If there are any tagged photos of you that you want to remove, you should untag yourself from that photo. In the photos section mentioned above, you go to photos of you (which shows all the photos uploaded by your friends in which you have been tagged). If you hover over a photo, you can see an edit button where you will get an option to remove/untag the photo. Now, as you probably know, you can not just remove that photo by one click. The person who has uploaded that particular photo has the control over it, but sure you can untag yourself.

Note: Untagged photos are not deleted, and hence can be viewed by anyone if it is shared with public. For the worried ones, I would suggest to activate the tag (and Timeline, if you want) review options in settings->Timeline and Tagging settings. If you enable these things any posts with your tag will needs to be reviewed by you before they show up in Facebook.

Location sharing

Location privacy is a little weird in facebook. Read this section from facebook and follow the route that best suits you.

Review your ‘likes’

This is as important as any other privacy settings in Facebook. Take a moment and ask yourself before you click the like button – ‘Do I actually like this?’. If you want limit the visibility of things you liked, go to your profiles and then to likes and edit the privacy options. If you decide to dislike the already liked pages, go to your activity log, then to likes and then dislike the pages you don’t like anymore.

Review the Apps you use

This is another important area that requires much attention but is seldom given. You can see all the apps you used with Facebook from settings->Apps. From there you can do lots of stuffs:

  • Remove an app that you don’t want to be associate with Facebook
  • Edit the visibility of app and you data that is accessible to each app
  • Control what info about you can others bring with them if they use an app.
  • Turn on/off instant personalization

Friends and Relations

Believe it or not, even your friends and relationships can appear in search results, and if you read this, there are areas in Facebook that can not be controlled by users. So it is important ot limit the visibility of your friend list and your relationships to be safe.

To limit the visibility of your Friend list, go profile and then to friends. Click the edit button and select edit privacy. There you can edit who will see the list of your friends, followers and people whom you follow. Like the page says, ‘your friends control who can see their friendships on their own Timelines’. So it will be a lot useful if people post how to do this in their status update rather than just pasting a hoax message thinking that they are all safe!! To edit the privacy of your relationships, head over to your profile, then to update profile. From there go to Family, and click the edit button on the top-right. Here you can adjust the visibility of each of your family members.

Review settings regularly

Most of all, it is important to review your settings at regular intervals so that you are always updated about the things that are going on in Facebook.

More from the blog:

Install Apps to SD Card on Your Android Phone Without Rooting it

[Fixed] The ‘always online’ problem with Google Chat

How to get rid of the new Hangout app and revert back to Talk on your Android Phone (for the good, that is!)

Consano brings the power of crowdfunding to boost innovations in the field of cancer research

Consano brings the power of crowdfunding to boost innovations in the field of cancer research

For those who are in the field of tech startups, music, charity, personal financing, etc. Crowdfunding is no longer a newer idea. But, the idea of raising funds from public has attracted serious attention from the world one expect the least – the science world- as a way to fund innovative academic research, especially with the recent slashing of research budget across many of the top funding agencies in the world.

When Molly Lindquist heard that the lump on her breast was  ‘strongly suspected to be a cancer’, she could not think of anything other than how to save her two daughters, to whom she must have passed on those genes she inherited from her grandma Caroline who died of breast cancer at the age of 46. That thought Molly says changed her life and inspired her to start Consano, a project that will help people to donate directly to those medical research project that means something to you.

Consano which revolves around ‘3H’s – Hope, Honor, and Heal has made collaborations with several of the research institutions and has put together a list of projects to which the people can directly donate to. And you can do this in simple steps: Find projects that you want to contribute to, pay the money (small or large amount), receive quarterly updates from the researchers. Consano will give 97.8% of your money directly to support the project (rest will be taken as PayPal processing charge).

If you are a researcher with a life-saving idea which the funding agencies considers otherwise, Consano can also help you get the public fund that project. Just email your details and get started. Once you submit the application the rest will happen fast. A scientific advisory committee of Consano will sit together to review your project, will communicate their suggestions on improvements if any, and after that your project is up there in, all this in about 2-3 weeks!!

Currently there are about 7 projects available in Consano including those from UCSF and UW Medicine and the numbers are only going to increase.

So the next time somebody says you don’t have the brains for research, don’t despair..tell them you’ve more than a brain – a kind heart!

You can watch a video on Consano here and another one below:


Champions trophy has undoubtedly been a 'winning' series for India!

Champions trophy has undoubtedly been a ‘winning’ series for India!

41100 runs from 50662 balls in 100 matches at 4.86 runs per over. That’s the ICC Champions Trophy for in numbers!

Over-popularity of T20, resurrection of Test cricket, a new budget, 2G Scam, Delhi Gang-rape…whatever be the reason, ICC has sacked the Champions Trophy..

So, let’s just look back and see what the series meant and has produced – in terms of numbers. Who’s scored the highest runs? Who’s the best all-rounder? Who’s taken the highest wickets?

Have a look at them right here -> I mean HERE!!

Don’t forget to share your views in comments below!

Game of Thrones is definitely one of the best series ever created and it has recently has finished season 3 with record-breaking ratings. Reports say that the next season will start in Spring 2014. A long wait for the fans!

Compared to all other season finales, I must say that season 3 finale (S03E10, Mhyasa) gave me a relief. Season 2 was really a cliffhanger with the closing scene showing the white walkers’ army marching towards the wall. This season there is no such cliffhangers, instead, there is a lot of ‘homecomings’ to sort of ‘calm your mind’. Sam returning from the North, Jon escaping from the wildlings and coming back to Castle Black, Jaimie coming back to home..all these gave a chance to get our breath back from the heart-breaking events of the previous episodes.

At this point, here I show you two of the best scenes of the season 3. Unlike many other ‘best scenes of the season’ out there that gives much attention to the ‘visual delight’ and the ‘breadth of the screen’ the following scenes are not so. These scenes are enlivened by the sharp dialogues and the performance of the actors (not to mention the smart direction of the scenes!).

Watch these scenes here:

Did you like these? or what are you favorites scenes then? Comment below!

Update 1: See a nice video tutorial about installing apps to SD card HERE.

Update 2: A bad news for owners of Google Edition of Samsung Galaxy S4.

Mike is crazy about apps. He likes to pack his android phone with many of the coolest apps out there in the marker. But there is one problem – curse his device manufacturer, his device has so little internal memory that he can barely install few of his favorite apps.

Sounds familiar? This is an inevitable problem faced by most Android users. You can make more space to install your apps by deleting the stock apps that came with the device when you purchased it (most of which will definitely be useless). But in most cases you will have to root your phone to uninstall these ‘bloatwares’ and in the process you will void the warranty of your device. An alternate option is to set the install location of the apps to your SD card. Many people this that this process requires rooting.

The truth is it doesn’t. Here’s how to do this:

Here’s what you will need:

1. An Android device, of course.

2. Android SDK (Download it here). It is quite a big file, so Relax!

3. Windows PC or a Mac.


1. Download Android SDK and unzip the contents to a folder.

2. Enable “USB debugging Mode” in your android device. To do this, go to Settings -> Applications -> Development and enable ‘USB debugging’

3. Connect your device to your computer in “charge only” or similar modes but NOT in ‘USB Storage’ mode.

4. Go to the folder where you have unzipped Android SDK and navigate to to ‘sdk’ folder

5a. Windows users: Go to ‘platform-tools folder. Hold down SHIFT key and right-click anywhere in the folder. From the pop-up menu, select ‘Open command window here’. This will open up a command prompt screen.

5b. Mac users: right-click ‘platform-tools and choose [New Terminal At Folder]

6. Now, in the command prompt window, Windows users:

type: adb devices

Mac users:

type: ./adb devices

and press enter. You will see the name of the device connected at the moment.

8. Then windows users type:

adb shell

Mac users type:

./adb shell

and press enter

9. Next, type:

pm setInstallLocation 2

and press enter. (If this command fails, use this: pm set-install-location 2)

Install Apps to SD

10. Done!

11. To verify, type:

pm getInstallLocation

and press enter. If you see an output ” 2 [external] ” means that the process is successful.

Now, in your device, go to settings->Applications->Manage Applications->On SD card (in some devices it may be USB Storage), and check the apps that you would like to move to your SD card.

Also see:

If you are a Samsing Galaxy S Duos and like install games on your SD card, XDA Developers has got a nice post on this.

Also, if you are a Samsung Galaxy 5 user and won’t mind to root your phone, this guide should help you.

If you like to use an app to do this, try AppMgr III (App 2 SD) or Link2SD (Note: Some apps will work only with rooted devices).

More useful posts:

Your Guide to the Ultimate Privacy (well, sort of!) on Facebook

Tired of the new Hangout app!? Read how you can get your old Talk back.

Is Google chat preventing you from going invisible. Fix the problem now.

Cricket fan? Check the cool infographics on Champions trophy.

The new Google+ Hangout has failed to incorporate many of the handy features of Talk

The new Google+ Hangout has failed to incorporate many of the handy features of Talk

Google just did a stupid thing recently.  They replaced Google Talk app for Android (and iOS) completely with the new Hangout app. And why exactly is this stupid?? Here is the answer from me (people may differ).

1. I can not see which of my friends are online..In Talk, I used to see a green/red/yellow icons next to their names so that I know their status (available/busy/idle, respectively). With the new Hangout app, I am completely blind about this..heck, I don;t have any idea about who’s online.

2. I can’t set my status (available/busy) in Hangout. Forget about being invisible – that’s not at all possible which means you are exposing yourself to that nagging friend/co-worker of yours!

How do I get back my Talk app?? I can’t find it in Play Store..

Interestingly, this is what some of the people at Google had to say about this. Read it, it is very funny:

“We’re upgrading Gmail video chat to Hangouts for all Gmail users over the course of the next few weeks. If your account has already been upgraded, there isn’t a way to return to the old video chat, as we are now going to be using a more modern video calling technology.

Thanks for your understanding!”
Here’s another one:
“I’m sorry to say but Hangouts is going to replace talk at all once it has been rolled-out globally.

Don’t worry that much about who’s online or offline, the great thing on Hangouts is, your messages are delivered for sure – no matter if the person is online or offline!
However, on your mobile you see friends that are currently not “online” at that time grayed out. Online members are displayed in “full” color and on the web extension you’ll see a green line below their photo.
Hope that helps.”
Yeah, really that was ‘really helpful’.
So, THIS is WHAT you SHOULD do TO GET BACK YOUR TALK APP in ANDROID phone. BTW, I am using and HTC device.
1. Go to Settings and then to Applications.
2. Select Manage Applications
3. Select ‘ALL’ to see the list of all the applications installed in your phone.
4. Scroll down and find the ‘Hangout’ app.
5. Click it
6. Select ‘Uninstall’
7.  You will be asked to confirm your command, say yes.
8. That’s it!!!
Now, go back to where you saw ‘Hangout’ app in your device and voilà!! there the old Talk guy sitting!!
Liked this article!? See more Android tricks and tips here.

1000 Genomes Project

What do you think about 1000 Genome Project ?