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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

TWIL - Week #31

This Week I Learned:

  • Android is expected to overtake Windows to be the most used platform on computing devices by 2016, with 2.3 billion devices. Popular smartphones have Chrome pre-installed next to their default browsers. Guess, which mobile browser will grow in popularity?
  • The top new features in IE 11 are improvements in F12 developer tools, Touch support, video and introduction of foundational support for WebGL, a set of APIs exposed through the canvas element for rendering interactive 3-D and 2-D graphics.
  • A Right To Information (RTI) application filed reveals that VIPs nominated family members and colleagues for the premier Padma awards in sheer disregard to conflict of interest. Among others, Bharat Ratna, Lata Mangeshkar nominated her sister Usha for the awards, while Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan nominated his sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash.
  • While bikes still constitute 70% of the total two-wheeler market, the nondescript scooter has risen from oblivion and comprises 24% of the 14-million-unit, two wheeler market. India's bike market is over three times the size of scooters.
  • From the Avendus "India's mobile Internet" report (PDF):
    • 62.5% of the 2.4 bn global internet users use mobile internet. 
    • Of India’s >160 million Internet users, 86 million  access Internet using their mobile devices and mobile is the 1st experience of the internet for over 50% of Indians.  
    • India already has over 36 million smartphone users as against 60 mn PC users. 
    • 40% of Google searches in India are done on mobile and 30% of Facebook users are mobile-only. 
    • LinkedIn ranks India among its top 4 growth markets for mobile usage
    • The paid app market in India is estimated at INR 300 Cr
    • 9% of overall Internet page-views in India come from mobile devices
    • 90% of mobile internet access is through feature phones
  • The Economist article How can poor countries afford space programmes? rankled some proud, patriotic, nationalist Indians but there are some good facts in the article and the comments: 

From a distance, India's extra-terrestrial ambitions might seem like a waste of money. The country still has immense numbers of poor people: two-fifths of its children remain stunted from malnutrition and half the population lack proper toilets. Its Mars mission may be cheap by American (or Chinese) standards, at just $74m, but India’s overall space programme costs roughly $1 billion a year. That is more than spare change, even for a near $2-trillion economy. Meanwhile, spending on public health, at about 1.2% of GDP, is dismally low.........Trips to the Moon and Mars may well be mostly about showing off. But most space programmes are designed to get satellites into Earth’s orbit for the sake of better communications, mapping, weather observation or military capacity at home. These bring direct benefits to ordinary people. Take one recent example: a fierce cyclone that hit India’s east coast last month killed few, whereas a similar-strength one in the same spot, in 1999, killed over 10,000. One reason for the improvement was that Indian weather satellites helped to make possible far more accurate predictions of where and when the storm would hit. Otherwise, improved data on monsoon rains, or generally shifting weather patterns, can help even the poorest farmers have a better idea of when to plant crops. 

Everything else
  • The Names Database website lists names of schools graded by city/town, district, state, country
  • What makes Israel with just eight million people, an innovation hub? Their R&D expenditure, educational system, culture & value system - Israel's research and development expenditure account for approximately 5% of the country's $260 billion (Rs16 lakh crore) GDP, higher than any other western country. The country's emphasis on education is manifested in its 57 colleges and eight universities which over the last 10 years have produced six Nobel Prize winners. Israel has 135 engineers, scientists and PhDs per 10,000 people in the work force, the highest in the world. "In Israel, if you have not failed, that is a sign of shame," said Amir Shevat, Google's developer relations program manager in Israel. 
  • Useful keyboard shortcuts -
    • SHIFT+F10 key combo works to trigger any context menu in browsers
    • Ctrl+Shift+Esc can invoke Task Manager
    • Win+B+Enter and then arrow keys can let you select application in system tray.

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