Have you sometimes been so floored by the simplicity of a solution proposed by somebody you were trying to impress with your superior knowledge that you are left absolutely open mouthed. I do not know about you, but I found myself in such a solution … Continue reading Wait, how did you guess that?
Very often when I want to get something done that is unpleasant, the most likely process is – I start -> I feel uncomfortable -> I give up. This happens a couple of times, and then finally when the task to be completed just cannot be ignored, I end up completing it grudgingly.
One such activity I have struggled with always is meditation. Yes, I know meditation is not unpleasant. Isn’t that supposed to make you all at peace with yourself and align your senses to what is happening around you. Yes, it is. But that is the result, not the process. The process itself is disorienting and uncomfortable initially. It is also when one becomes aware of the most obscure muscles in one’s body that want to make their presence felt by starting to twitch or hurt. You suddenly remember what it is that you wanted to get done last week or last month or the plan you have to put in place for the promotion you have been desperately seeking. And off you wander on the trail of thoughts forgetting all about your breathing and the focus muscle you are attempting to strengthen.
I have been trying to develop a practice of meditation for so long now that I have lost count when I started and which attempt is this latest one. However what is different this time is that I am committing to logging my progress and sharing it with the world. Does that make me an expert or a proponent – NO! But it does make me accountable.
In the daily rush of getting the job done, one tends to forget the patterns that one can apply from one area of their life to another, or even with the same area.It is not that we do not know patterns exist, it is just that we do not make an effort to actively search for them.
It was a pretty cold evening, even by New York standards. I had just come back from work and was waiting for the lift to get to my apartment. There was this middle-aged man also waiting for the lift. He was there to make a … Continue reading The empty lift
Having lived in Melbourne for 5 years now, I am addicted to the coffee here. Call it whatever you like but I prefer the locally owned coffee houses and the local cafe chains. Starbucks somehow does not cut it with me. One such place that … Continue reading The Melbourne coffee experience
In the last 4 years when I was working full-time on my PhD, I always struggled to keep my mind free of clutter. It was not that I had trouble remembering my todos. The countless todo apps I tried helped no doubt. However I sometimes … Continue reading Do you use paper?
Last year I ran my first half marathon at the Melbourne Marathon event 2017. Incidentally it was also the 40th year of the event. Having trained for over 6 months, I was happy with my preparation, but had never run 21.1k in an event before. … Continue reading Keep running superhero. You are an inspiration
We had always purchased the regular liquid hand wash at our house. Last month howevet my wife purchased a bottle of foaming hand wash. The ones where the soap inside is still liquid, but as it comes out, it passes through an arrangement in the dispenser that causes it to come out as a foam making it easy to lather on to one’s hands.
I had never given any thought to the utility of this fancy dispenser until my 7 yo son commented, “Dad, this soap dispenser gives me a headstart. I do not have to spend time on foaming up the liquid myself, and can finish washing my hands quicker and get to my breakfast”. I am sure the inventors of the foaming hand wash would have never imagined that their invention would be considered as a means to a head start.
It also left me wondering, what other inventions do I have around me, that give me a headstart? Maybe I am not aware of them, and take them for granted. It may be a good time to investigate and appreciate the headstarts I receive.
I also started thinking about what I should do, to give my customers a head start in their daily lives. What is it that they require to lead their competition
I do not have the answers yet, but I am sure to be more mindful of the foaming hand washes around me. Maybe you should to. You never know what you may find that surprises you.
With Google being the search engine that it is, search is no longer what we do, we Google our questions, we Google the weather and also the best name for our newborn.
It is no surprise that not many people know of other search engines that also inhabit this space. There is of course Bing – the search engine that is a default in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, followed by Yahoo Search which surprisingly is still around (it was one of the earliest in the game). Others such as http://www.ask.com are also around, but not as popular any more.
we don’t collect or share any of your personal information.
Plus they do not show any ads and they do not track browsing behaviour in or out of private browsing mode. Sounds fantastic. However the downside is that whenever I want to quickly search for the movie playing at the cinema next to my house, I have to type the name of the movie, cinema, city and country in the search bar. If I do not do that, then http://www.duckduckgo.com points me to a cinema with the same name in a totally different country.
If you are okay with obtrusive ads, but are unhappy that these ads are filling the coffers of large corporations, there is http://www.ecosia.org. They are a browser that funnel 80% of their profits to supporting tree-planting initiatives worldwide. Quite a noble thought I would say. So far they have helped plant ~17.2 Million trees and they have a goal of planting a Billion trees.
So the next time you are in the mood for some “Googling”, pause for a second and think – maybe you could try one of these alternatives.
Update: The correct website for the ICCCN 2016 conference is http://icccn.org/icccn16/
I am new to this game, just two years in the research industry. However that does not mean I do not get hounded by the question “So, how many publications do you have?” Unfortunately my answer with a bit of hesitation is a low key “None”. I had my paper accepted at a conference, but because of a goof-up from my end, I could not travel to present my paper, and so lost on a chance to get my first PhD publication. That however did not deter me, and I set about searching for conferences that I could submit my work. I went about searching on the IEEEexplore website for upcoming deadlines and conferences that people in my area of research had published in. I came across the name “International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks” quite often and thought of checking if the deadline is coming up soon. It was not, so I made a note of checking again after a couple of months.
I was surprised to see two conferences with almost identical names and the same acronyms being held at almost the same time. I though this looked a bit fishy, and so started investigating a bit more. This is what I came across.
ICCCN 2014 and 2015 held at exactly the same venues – Singapore and Zurich during the same period for the past two years. The only saving grace being that the photograph on the landing page of the Singapore conference page had been changed since 2014.
Digging a bit deeper, it occurred to me that WASET, the organiser/parent body of these conferences has these events organized up until 2027! That is really astounding. IEEE only has its most prestigious conferences, scheduled 2 years in advance, and here WASET had conferences scheduled 12 years in advance. Another point that I noted was that the 2014 ICCCN was the 16th in this series. This meant that these guys have been around since 1998 most likely, if the “16th” in the name is really genuine.
I then decided to find out what the research community felt about WASET in general, and was not disappointed to find that I was not the first to discover this. People have been informing the research community about the dangers of predatory publishers and about conferences and journals with dubious credentials for some time now. A few articles that I came across are
By the way, I did manage to finally find the link to the genuine IEEE ICCCN 2015 conference. http://icccn.org/icccn15/ I am now waiting for the 2016 conference CFP to come out soon. I still have to get my first publication, and a genuine one at that.