Did You Hear That?! – 4

Have you had an urge to share something with the world but it’s too big for a Facebook update or a tweet and too small or insignificant for a blog post of its own? I do! And this – the Did You Hear That?! series – is my answer to that urge; collect all those tid-bits and put them in a post. Ingenious, no? :P *Pats Self*

Greetings! :)

16. Plastic Money

Plastic money may no longer refer to only cards here as India is trialling polymer banknotes in five Tier II and III cities. First issued by Australia in 1988, currently 8 countries have fully switched to polymer notes with several more switching partially.  I am not entirely sure why this short article in the newspaper caught my attention but before I knew it, I had several dozen tabs open in related reading, including Polymer Notes and the Meaning of Life and a research article that concluded

Within 10 years of the introduction of polymer notes, the net benefit was around $A 90 million ($U.S. 65 million).

That is a quite a lot of money saved, which is the primary objective of this shift. If you too want to, without any reason, read more on this rather silent change (tehehe… change :P #PJ) around the world, go here, here, and here.

17. Flux

In DYHT?!-3, I shared the “single greatest invention in the history of the internet.” In this edition, I present to you another product in man’s quest to make his digital life moar comfortable: Flux

During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun.

Yes they shouldn’t. And Flux makes sure you don’t. Flux automatically adjusts screen display settings according to the time of day. My lighting further changes from fluorescent to dim incandescent as the evening progress, and with about two clicks, I can make my screen adjust to this change as well. Dear fellow late-nighters-oh-not-so-morning-person-ers,  get Flux; your eyes will thank you.

18. “I am so proud of my state government”

Earlier this month, two of my close Taiwanese friends from my Mumbai workplace visited Bangalore, and I had so much fun taking them around my city. On day 2, we headed to a neighbouring city. On our way back, we took the bus. We had booked our tickets online for the State government‘s bus service. (In related news, Kerala SRTC and Karnataka SRTC are legally fighting it out for the brand name KSRTC). Wherever a similar quality of service exists, I always prefer government-run services over privately owned ones. Again, I am not sure exactly why, but I get some sense of (misplaced?) ‘goodness’ in supporting my state and central governments.

Although in some sectors–an excellent example being Karnataka SRTC–the quality of service is exceptionally high, sometimes surpassing that of private firms with larger capital, most government firms, from my experience, lack in ‘people skills’, or to put it in bluntly, a (un)reasonably high percentage of staff fall between obnoxious and rude on the niceness scale. A government job here is the Nokia 3310 of the career world; it can survive pretty much anything. Unless you are congenitally nice, there really isn’t an incentive to be nice if you have 3310 job. I went to my local post office today, staffed by 2 people; and three minutes in, I almost asked, “why are you so frustrated?!”

Given this, guess who was (extremely) pleasantly surprised when I got a call at 20:15 from the conductor, who said that the bus (scheduled departure from our terminal was at 20:00) was running late by a bit. I have not been that (pleasantly) surprised in quite some time. And that is when I said, “I am so proud of my state government.” :)

Okay, maybe I need to raise the bar of expectations a bit. And of course, there are amazing government staff, too. The few experiences that stand out are my interaction with the tourism department staff in Shimla, the passport office (not sure this counts fully because part of the staff are sourced through TCS), and the… that’s it.

I think the bar can stay where it is.

19. 10000 views

Aaand tadaaaa… MADo quietly surpassed 10,000 hits this month… making much ado about nothing… since 2010 :) We have no branches. hahahaha. Oh wait. we do. Oh Summer, I can haz abandoned you.

As a perfect manifestation of the highly engaging audience that MADo draws, a grand total of 000000 people noticed this on my sidebar xD

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20. The Future is Bright

My heart just melted on seeing this. It has a low melting point, but nevertheless, this is simply faithinhumanity&hopeforthefuture-restoring.Much Ado About Nothing Logo

That’s it for now. :)

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