Accept Yourself to Find Peace

I came across this recent post on Reddit, where a 46 year old person called John confesses where he went wrong in life.

In summary, he feels that he threw away the beautiful life clinging to the safety of a 9-5 job.

The merits and mistakes of a job are safely dealt with later, but what matters here is the human feeling.

You feel bad that you did not complete your education with higher grades. You do not like the fact that you had been too busy in your job to care about health, family, or having fun. You imagine often what you could have turned out to be only if you had joined that company which offered a lower salary but an exciting job.

The list goes on.

The premise remains the same across these arguments. You strongly feel some phase of life could have been better, and since you cannot really change that – you create your own hell, and you revel in “what if” scenarios.

Since we do not have a working time machine, these thoughts go nowhere but jet along in your head.

dont regret past

And, you will not get anything else done. Who doesn’t love to blame others for their problems – here you are just blaming your past self.

 

Accept what you are

The first thing you do when you are in a situation is to accept yourself.

Yes, there were instances of glaring stupidity in display. There were indeed problems that could have been addressed better. You could have changed the course of history be deciding to take the 7:30 metro instead of starting 10:30.

All this could have happened, but they did not. Accept it. There is no point thinking about the past and regretting it.

Today is a new day. This moment is the new moment.

It is never late. Even if you could not become the greatest football star today, there is always a chance of participating in senior Olympics!

Yesterday, last year, last decade do not matter. You have learnt your lessons, apply those lessons and move on. Think about what you want to do now.

Today is what you focus on.

But, do plan for tomorrow. It may not be a good idea to head over to Spain this moment – unless you can afford it. Strategise on what you want to do, split that into goals and take action.

enjoy today. plan life for tomorrow

You have the satisfaction of living life you love this moment. And, that’s what counts.

3 Apps to Make Free International Calls

Gone are the days of haggling with unknown numbers, calling cards, and fidgeting with complex methods to reach out to a friend.

Internet has revolutionized the international and domestic calling space, and all you have to do now is to do a couple of taps to get to the dear one.

Of course, not all apps are born equal. Here are 5 apps that I really liked.

 

1. Skype

Skype has gone through a revolution of sorts, and has morphed into something more complex than a VoIP phone. While continuing to provide a consistent superior experience, Skype (under Microsoft) has stayed free and focused on its goals.

skype phone

You can do multiple things on Skype –

  • Audio call
  • Video call
  • Chat
  • Create groups
  • Use Skype on your desktop computer, Android/iOS/Windows phone

I liked the privacy settings on Skype since it allows me to choose who I talk to or chat with!

 

2. Coco

A relative newcomer to the field, but Coco grabbed my attention with simplicity.

You just install the app on your Android, iOS or Windows phone to get assigned a number. The app is pretty slick and fast, your number on the phone gets verified within no time, and you can get started chatting away.

icoco voice chat call

You can use the Coco number from anywhere – probably a double take on people who feel the need to remember a number against a person.

  • Audio call
  • Chat
  • Create groups
  • Send voice messages
  • Create/join chat rooms
  • Use the app on Android/iOS/Windows phone

Coco probably sees itself as a social platform that is mobile-first. You can capture moments within your life and share with others, or create/join local groups – “make new friends” as the app puts it. Looks like they are targeting an younger crowd.

Coco is still a startup. The quality is great, it is completely free, and ads do not distract.

Coco is something you could use when you desperately want a number assigned against yourself.

 

3. WhatsApp

Although WhatsApp gained immense popularity as a chat tool, it started testing audio calls about an year back. It looks like they have opened the gates to everyone now (except me – I do not see this enabled on my phone!).

The excellent WhatsApp capabilities got enhanced by the Voice call. Since everyone including my neightbour’s dog are on WhatsApp, it makes connecting with them all the more easier.

  • Audio call
  • Chat
  • Share videos and voice messages
  • Create/join groups

whatsapp

WhatsApp is supported on Symbian, Nokia phones, and on BlackBerry in addition to Android, Windows and iOS. This makes the app reach more people in the developing markets.

 

I have known other apps including Viber (too gimicky with stickers, spams Android notification bar), WeChat, Line, Messenger (by Facebook, probably does not have a bright future), Google Hangouts and Hike (only chat, made in India!). All good apps I am sure, and most promising to remain free for the indefinite future. But, none of them has the lasting impression as the three mentioned here.

 

Robochop: future of our industry?

People talked a lot when 3D printing came into the fore.

We could easily establish whole industries using one machine – that too local to the consumer. 3D printing certainly has its uses, but is constrained by the material it can use. The size of the finished product is limited to what the printer can do. You could produce parts that can be assembled after the printer finishes its job, but more such innovations are yet to be realized.

If you are the “live in today” type, all hope is not lost if you want to be served by our robot overlords. Robochop may be just the answer you were looking for.

robochop the future of industry

From March 16-20, internet users anywhere on the globe can use two robots to sculpt anything on a 40X40X40 cube through 2 robots. Part of the demonstration in CeBit 2015, these robots also go a long way in establishing the effectiveness and ease of instructions required by the human operator.

You design anything unique through the Robochop app. The robot picks up the high density foam cube and cuts it to shape on a hot wire. The sculpting process is automatic, but your design needs to be manually approved. You could make a stool, a small chair, or anything abstract. The finished product will be shipped to you at no cost provided you are on earth.

design prroduct on your own using robochop app

Future of CNC? Future of our industries? You can bet on it. The CNC machines of today require very precise instructions and whole engineering disciplines are based on that.

While the cube that you design may not have many practical applications, the technology demonstration goes a long way in establishing credibility of what can be achieved today and now.

Imagine a world where any human operator can do designs assisted by an easy-to-use computer program/app. You have considerably less manual intervention, reduced man power requirements, more efficiencies, and a quicker process.

We can then start populating Mars with all the man power that we don’t need here on earth.

Within the 5 days of CeBit, the two robots will process some 2000 cubes. So, you better hurry up if you want your design to be picked for the products.

Head over to Robochop website to start your design.

10 video websites that you didn’t know

You can never go wrong if you think videos are entertaining.

You can replace one idiot box (the “TV”) with the other (the “computer”), and have the same idiot (“you”) – it is still the same lethal combination.

But, the internet is vast and there lies the problem. So as an one time favour to you, I have collated all the world’s entertainment in one post. This post alone has the potential to point you to years of fun – all without leaving your living room (or garage, or bathroom, or wherever your computer is).

 

1. Vevo.com

Head over to http://vevo.com to check out what is popular at this moment. If you are in one of the fortunate souls outside the designated regions blessed with this service, you can always head back to Veevo on Youtube!

If you ever get tired with all the popular videos at the moment, you could use different categories to head over to the past on the same website. Amazing, I know.

 

2. BestofYouTube

No, this is not YouTube.

This is the best of YouTube.

interesting video sites

 

Hand picked, or handiwork of bots that look out for most likes, or anything that the site owner fancies for, BestofYoutTube.com will get you videos of the past, present and future that are popular on YouTube.

 

3. Funny or Die

This was quite well known to me until I completely forgot it existed. FunnyOrDie has some great exclusive videos, and a lot more collated ones that are, well, funny

 

 

funny videos other than youtube

 

4. Wimp

No, I am not insulting you. Wimp.com is a real site.

amazing video collection websites

It is a collection of videos from multiple sources that are entertaining, educating, and more.

 

5. Blinkx

Blinkx gets the most viral of the videos to you on one platform.

videos to pass time

 

6. Stupid Videos

You have to watch this if you are confident about the future of humanity.

entertaining video collection

 

7. Fark

No, I did not misspell it. Fark.com has witty comments and some good collated videos. You can contribute as well if you like.

great funny video websites

8. Devour

Not the food, just the videos. Devour.com serves you hand picked videos that are fun to watch.

devour.com

 

9. Need for fun

Need for fun features funny videos from everywhere.

funny video sites

 

10. The Most Amazing Videos

The most amazing videos from YouTube (and other sites), or not. This website is most definitely comprised of videos pulled in from various sites using automated scripts, but has lately become a window to YouTube. You are forced to be a source of ad revenue by watching countless hours of fun.

amazing video websites

 

Know of other crazy video websites, comment and let me know!

Cable prices go north

We received additional à la carte rates for specific TV channels from our cable operator.

 

 bengaluru cable price revision

While this is quite common for people with DTH services, it is being rolled out to households with cable connections in the last year or so.  You could not miss the advisories on hindi language networks from the people you trust – people who acted in numerous “TV serials” (series) just to confuse you (was Aditi in Serial A, or B? Is she the mother or sister of the good guy in so & so series?).

When all this hoopla was going on,we did what thousands of others around us did. We left it to the best judgement of our cable operator to decide what is good for us. As expected, all that accumulated karma got back to us today.

Our trusted cable operator started demanding money at à la carte prices, when he perfectly knew that families like ours select the “all you can eat”, or the buffet option – families that avoid à la carte like the plague.

“There is no reason for us to select à la carte when you can get everything for reduced prices” – thus goes the reasoning.

We discussed and decided they went a bit too far with the cable prices this time. While we pay Rs. 200, which is cheaper compared to other parts of Bengaluru, we believe that it is because people in those parts do not know the “real” rates. Demanding additional money for specific channels from smart middle-class people did indeed flabbergast us. What’s more – additional money was being asked for the channels that we know only when we using remote like a machine gun – flipping channels like our life depended on it.

 

Dissection of channels that cost extra

Udaya TV group of channels  is quite well-known,  but seldom seen at home. At Rs.87 per month, we can as well settle down to DD. But I quite do not know whether our beloved DD still exists, my search is on.

More over, the entire Sun group of channels has declared war on cable operators (or vice versa) for some strange reason. The combination of Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam channels cost a whooping to Rs. 260. My nephew  helpfully suggested  that  it was the  same cost  for 26 CDs of movies that you *like*. I shut him up for the fear of my neighbours overhearing  about that illegal activity of pirated CDs – they may raid all the neighbouring CD shops to dust with their Rs.260’s.

I was the only one who saw Star Movies, Star World, & NGC. My daughters do not count since they watch any channel that is on. For the life of me, I could not remember when I switched to those specific channels to watch specific shows (except for The Simpsons on Star World). That was indeed horrifying because those are symptoms of a TV zombie. I immediately made note to remember the channels and shows that I watch. I also mentally reassured myself that the additional channels do not add an ounce of entertainment that I cannot get elsewhere.

The best part however was this – I had not even heard about some of channels that are about to have their prices bumped up. Whoever heard of Baby TV, Jalsa Movies, & Nat Geo People? 

As for the rest – it did not evoke any kind of reaction. I knew of their existence because they came in between when I wanted to flip to “the usual channel” (keying in numbers is stressful, and the back/forward buttons have this habit of taking you to a dream world).

 

The war cry

I rallied my entire family to my viewpoint, and we decided enough was enough.

“No more Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, or Bengali channels for you” – we told our 4 year old daughters. We quite cannot gauge their reaction sometimes, but I do think they completely agree. So, a decision was made rather quickly.

We’re not going to spend Rs. 600 plus on ridiculous channels. We’re not going to feed into the corporate ego  and we will not allow these entities to demand additional money  for questionable entertainment. A few of these channels are entertaining only because of the ads – we can get that for free from other channels. Why, we did not even notice that they were off air since for months already.

I was quite pleased with myself to have driven an unanimous decision, which is seldom the case in a family of six.

Once all this was done, I was again thankful to my cable operator. He helped fast forward the process of bringing some evil corporates to their knees – at least until they decide to revert back to prices and become good corporates .