"A meek endeavor to the triumph" by Sampath Jayarathna

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

brain teasers: Girl and two pebbles!

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of
owing a large sum of money to a village
moneylender. The Moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer's
beautiful Daughter. So he proposed a bargain.

He said he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his Daughter.
Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the Proposal.
So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let Providence decide the
matter. He told them that he would put a black Pebble and a white pebble
into an empty money bag. Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from
the bag.

1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her
father's debt would be forgiven.

2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's
debt would still be forgiven.
3) But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into
Jail.
They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer's field. As They
talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he Picked them
up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two Black pebbles and
put them into the bag.

He then asked the girl to pick A pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have Done
if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you Have told
her?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag And
expose the money-lender as a cheat.

3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order To
save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with The
hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral And
logical thinking.

The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with Traditional logical thinking.
Think of the consequences if she chooses The above logical answers.
What would you recommend to the Girl to do?
Try to answer before scrolling down.
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.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
. ****
Well, here is what she did ....

The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without
Looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path
Where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the Bag

for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I Picked."

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had Picked

the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his Dishonesty,
the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into An extremely
advantageous one.

MORAL OF THE STORY:

Most complex problems do have a solution. It is only that we don't Attempt
to think.****


MY ANSWER
There's another way to solve this same problem. What if the girl ask moneylender to choose a pebble from bag? Again he dared not admit his dishonesty. If he choose black girls fathers dept payed and girls stayed, if white again girl's fathers dept payed but girl needs to go with moneylender.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The most Expensive cars of 2012

1. Bugatti Veyron Super Sports $ 2,400,000

2. Aston Martin One-77 $ 1,850,000

2. Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster $ 1,850,000

3. Lamborghini Reventon $ 1,600,000

3. Koenigsegg Agera R $ 1,600,000

4. Maybach Landaulet $ 1,380,000

5. Zenvo ST1 $ 1,225,000

6. Hennessey Venom GT Spyder $ 1,100,000

7. McLaren F1 $ 970,000

8. Ferrari Enzo $ 670,000

9. Pagani Zonda C12 F $ 667,321

10. SSC Ultimate Aero $ 654,400


Monday, December 24, 2012

The Worst US Bank : Chase Bank USA

After almost 7 years of experience here in US, I'm proudly present you the worst bank ever with their customer service, The JPMorgan Chase Bank. If you ask me why is that, here are the reasons!
  • I used to bank with Wells Fargo, CITI and Chase among all of these, Chase is the only bank who doesn't give you free starter checks. Come on, if you do more than $2000 deposit and then if you make direct deposit to their bank how come they cannot make that simple courtesy of giving couple of free checks. I don't need a 100 pack check books. I just need couple of checks in case if I want to use it. Both Wells Fargo and CITI generously gave me couple of 100 starter checks and also pack of checks through mail without a cent. So, I can't believe or understand the idea of not giving free starter checks for a customer. Also what they offered me is just 1 check, but for that I need to go to their branch and get printouts from them. That utterly ridiculous. 
  • Again, I can understand the use of account fees and if they want to keep a $1500 daily balance or a direct deposit to avoid any service fees on the checking accounts. I had the same issue with Wells Fargo but they were courteous to remove the fee if I asked them to do so. There may be reasons like I change my job and it takes couple of months to get the direct deposit back to bank account or may be some other reason. But they were professional in considering my requests, and they at least wait for couple of months before charging this fee from the accounts. When I open up Chase account I knew that my condition is to keep $1500 daily balance to avoid their $12 service fee. I had $650 apartment rent deduction every month the first day and for some reason, my rent was deducted 30th of the previous month and it was a Friday. So I did a deposit to make my account again $1500 by the 3rd which was Monday of the next month. You know what, after 10 days there is a $12 fee added to the account because of the laps in making $1500 balance (only during the weekend).
So, for these reasons, I'm pretty much fed up with Chase and I'm only staying with Chase until the 6 months period so that I can keep the $120 bonus gave it to me for signing up. I'm pretty happy with my Wells Fargo service and I'm going to stick with them for the rest of the years.

So what is your Chase story?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Craigslist Scams emails :Beware of these scam artists!

I recently posted an ad in Craigslist to sublease my apartment. After years of experience in dealing with all sort of scam artists, I guess I'm pretty good at finding genuine users from the scam artists. This is an email response I got from one of such scam. Remember, I already had most of these information the person is asking like the monthly rent, and other details like apartment availability etc. Also I specifically mentioned about my phone number so that people who are genuinly interested can directly call me or at least post their phone number with the initial email. But the email I got straightaway showed the hints of possible scam. Look at the first email I got

Hi,
I want to make inquiry for the sublet/room shared space you advertised on craigslist
What is the final price per month,date of it availability and other things have
got to know about the it.
I will be glad if you can kindly get back to me asap ...
Thanks

Even though I suspected this a possible scam, I sent couple of lines out of curiosity, and within 2 minutes, I got a reply and I'm pretty sure it takes more than that for a genuine person to reply

Thanks for the quick response,am okay with the price and date of
availability am very much interested but am not in the state
presently.
I'm Ms. Stéphanie Quentin, Female,23 Years, Switz. Was born and bred in
Zurich,Switzerland.
Am an international Student.
I am a christian,a Catholic to be precise, Single
My hobbies are watching Movies, Reading, Soccer, Traveling.
And for My nature I have a Great sense of humor,easy going and very out
going.
Drinking/Drugs/Smoking:social Drinker,don't do drugs nor smoke.
For the payment that is not a problem at all. My Guardian will be
responsible for all my payment all I have to do is to confirm the
amount of the room including the utilities and then get it sent to him
including the information of the person which the payment will be
issued to. So all I require of you is for you to send me your:
FULL NAME:
FULL ADDRESS:
ZIP-CODE:
CITY:
STATE:
PHONE:
EMAIL:
So that I can forward it to my Guardian because my guardian will be
paying for the rent, my flight and some other things so all you have
to do is that as soon as you receive the check he will send. You will
deduct your rent fee and the utilities from it and then get the rest
back to my flight manager so that my ticket can be booked. Waiting to
hearing from you. I will want all this information for quick payment
asap pls
Whenever someone starts with a guardian and international, I get the feeling of possible scam. So posting this out in public so that if you see similar email for your online ads, beware of scam artists like this.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Survivor Philippines" (Season 25) - My Best Prediction...Success!

I'm pretty much like Nostradamus when it comes to Survivor winner predictions, and my recent prediction is pin point accurate with 2 out of 3 of the finalists predicted correctly including the Sole Survivor of the "Survivor Philippines" (Season 25).

I did my prediction on November 08, 2012 when the tribes were merged and the first cast away voted out to be in the Ponderosa, Roberta "RC" Saint-Amour.

here the previous blog post "Survivor Philippines" (Season 25) : Winner Prediction

And the winner was announced during the 2 hour season finale last Sunday, December 16, 2012.

Denise Stapley is the Sole Survivor and Lisa Whelchel almost got it but lost because Jonathan Penner revealed her true identity (her nine-year role as the preppy and wealthy Blair Warner on The Facts of Life) at the final jury voting.

I'm excited to see the next season :)


Survivor: Caramoan — Fans vs. Favorites is the twenty-sixth season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor, which will premiere on February 13, 2013.[1]

Much like Survivor: Micronesia, the first season to have the "Fans vs. Favorites" subtitle, this season will initially feature a tribe of ten returning contestants from previous seasons opposing a tribe of ten new players. It is the eighth season overall to feature returning players. Filming of the show took place in the islands of Caramoan, Camarines Sur in the Philippines, the same filming location as the previous season.

The Voice : Season 4

Season three of The Voice just ended last night, but already time to focus on season four, which will have Usher and Shakira replacing Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green at the giant red chairs.

In this first promo featuring Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and the two new judges, Shelton picks the newbies up in very countrified vehicle, with a red chair in the back of the pickup, natch. On the way to their destination, the four superstars get into a fight over the radio, until finally settling on a song that pretty much everyone can agree on. That's when things get awesome.

Check out the promo below, and let me know how you think Usher and Shakira will fare on the new season of The Voice, premiering March 25, 2013

Yay! Blind Audition begins!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

7 Years of Blogging : What a day to celebrate 12/12/12

It's time to celebrate. In 2005 (12/12/2005) "Open Maze" launched and now seven years later, the blog is growing with thousands of visits every month.

Please find my first blog post : String BlogName= “Sam’s Open Maze” ; // Initialization
Yep, you can guess, I was a Computer Science undergrad at Peradeniya and exactly thats what came to my mind as the first blog post title.

Some stats

"Open Maze" has grown much the last year and has now more than 8000 page views per month and  over 40,000 visits all these seven years. I hope to grow "Open Maze" much more, have more blog posts and develop a rich content for you to enjoy.

Pageviews last month 8,980
Pageviews all time history 42,643

Top hit posts:

"The Voice" Season 3 - Winner Predictions   Oct 3, 2012  
Page Views:  3511

Google Nexus 7 $99 tablet this Thanksgiving (Black Friday)?  Oct 31, 2012
Page Views: 3473

How to remove AVG Secure Search option from Mozilla tabs  Oct 25, 2011
Page Views:  3252

Robin of Sherwood (Links included) - Best TV Series ever...  Mar 7, 2012
Page Views: 2204

World fastest cars - Top 11 new ranking     Nov 16, 2007
Page Views: 1288

Friday, December 07, 2012

2012 Nibiru : planet x

Astronomers fear the dark side of apocalyptic rumors. 


NASA scientists have been debunking pseudoscience and fantasy about the Mayan apocalypse partially because they worry frightened teens might commit suicide over the hoax.There are literally millions of people who are afraid who think the world will end, said David Morrison, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center. One particularly pervasive rumor concerns a fictitious planet, which Sumerians supposedly discovered, called Nibiru. On its current orbit, the fictional planet is slated to crash into Earth on Dec. 21, this years winter solstice, according to the hoax. Some people are so worried about the supposedly impending apocalypse that they cannot sleep or eat. Others have even started contemplating suicide as a way to avoid the chaos of end times, according to Morrison."While this is a joke to some people and a mystery to others, there is a core of people who are truly concerned," said Morrison. On behalf of NASA, Morrison routinely answers scientific inquiries submitted by the public. However, over the last few years, legitimate questions have been overwhelmed by questions about a 2012 doomsday. Morrison claims to have received many letters and emails from anxious people but he is particularly concerned about the effect end-of-days rumors might have on young people. I think it's evil for people to propagate rumors on the Internet to frighten children," said Morrison. Nibiru was originally predicted to collide with Earth in May 2003 but when that month came and went without cataclysm, doomsday prophets pushed the date back to December 2012. This move linked the suspected catastrophe with the end of a cycle in the ancient Mayan calendar, according to NASA. 



NASA scientists emphasize that there is no basis for this claim. If a planet were heading toward Earth, astronomers would have started tracking it at least a decade ago. People would also be able to view it with the naked eye. It would, in fact, be the brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon. You can dispel this rumor yourself. You don't have to ask the government or ask scientists.


Just go out and look at the sky. You will find no new bright object heading for the Earth.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The most and least corrupt countries in the world (with Map and ratings)

I can't believe we (Sri Lanka) are better and less corrupt than most of other South-East Asian countries!
Here are some of the ratings from recent most and least corrupt countries list. Remember 100 is very clean and 0 is most corrupted.  After all sort of corruption in our country, specially among the politicians, I still can't believe we are in 40s, I suspect somebody bribed the Transparency International to put us ahead, just a thought :)

Sri Lanka -40
India - 38
Nepal - 27
Pakistan - 27
Bangladesh -26

Corruption can often be hard to track, so each year, one watchdog group puts all of the bribery, back-room deals and other nefarious practices going on in the world on one technicolor map.

Transparency International just released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index on the perceived level of public sector corruption in 176 countries around the world, and once again, Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan rank as most corrupt, with scores of 8. (Burma, also known as Myanmar, joined them last year but has since moved up two spots, to just ahead of Sudan).


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Free Boat Tour - Port of Houston and Ship Channel Boat Tour

This is a free tour for about 90 minutes. Few important things to remember.
  • Please have a valid reservation before you go there. You cannot just show up and ride the tour boat. You need to go online at Port of Houston web site and go to Outreach section where you can make a reservation. Also remember to make reservations for all your members including the children. 
  • Tour boat capacity is for 100 people, most of the time people cancel it last minute, so you can modify the reservation accordingly by calling or sending an email to them.
  • I guess this should be an appropriate tour for a family with young children.
  • Remember to have the IDs for all the members above 18, they will not allow you to enter the place otherwise.
  • You can take camera's with you and take pictures. Please don't listen to other reviewers. Yes the notice says no photographs, but I guess its the port authority surroundings. During the boat ride you can take pictures. I was so frustrated after listening to the previous reviewers, I just kept my camera at the vehicle, but later noticed everybody else had one during the ride and they took pictures. I had to rely on my iphone. :( 
  • They will serve you some soft drinks during the ride back (after the first half of the ride). Thats a nice surprise :)


Its a nice tour, don't worry about the mild smell of the channel, and what other reviewers say. Its not that bad at all. There are some places so dirty, but thats how it is when its a working port. Its a comfortable ride, there's AC inside and you can relax inside during the return trip so you don't have to watch the same thing again.

It is difficult to find the location of the boat. Initially there are signs, but the sign pointing to the final turn at the entrance gate is not posted. After you get your e-mailed confirmation, call the number on the confirmation for detailed directions including the gate number. This may be why they tell you to arrive half an hour early - you need the half hour to drive around in circles and eventually pull over and make the call for help.
There are many signs posted that video and photography is not permitted, but remember to have one during your boat ride :)
As others have stated, visitors are more likely to like this if they are interested in ships, marine industry or related industries. This is a marine and industrial boat tour... it passes by several refineries, a gypsum plant, grain elevators, navy ships, and other container vessels. Soft drinks, but no healthy alternatives such as water available onboard.
The back of the boat is nice with a comfortable seats, there are no seats in the outside front area. No seats around the outside of the boat. You have enough seating inside the boat.
They open the line exactly as stated. So if it is 10am, be there before couple of minutes. They will check the names only when you get on to the boat just 5 minutes before the ride starts. You have to stay around if you go early.

Here's the link for registration : Sam Houston Boat Tour
Visited September 2012

iPhone Concepts: (iPhone 6 or iPhone x.x) or future mobile phone features

These are the round of features I want to see in a future iPhone or any mobile phone. I must say, most of these are conceptual and would make an iPhone something pretty darn interesting again. Not the same o same processor power, ram power, number of pixels, thinnest, biggest etc.
  • Holographic Siri
  • Transparent LCD
  • Projected laser keyboard with zoom in and out features
  • In-build projector
  • flexible OLED display to make iPhone wearable. Similar to Nokia 888 concept
  • Easily attachable to your car as the main display unit for speedometer, GPS, wifi enabled audio/video entertainment
  • Eye tracking biometric system
  • Language Translator
  • DSLR lens mount
  • Surround Display (there's no front or back, you can pretty much turn any side and phone can detect which side is facing you)
  • Surround sound with subwoofers
  • 3D display



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Best Laptop deal so far this holiday season (Black Friday)

Finally I got my self a deal I must say the best so far. I normally don't believe any of these black friday deals or Cyber Monday deals or Christmas deals. But I was looking for some laptops this holiday to replace my water damaged laptop and was looking for high-end ones with Ivy Bridge I7 processors. Most of these deals were in upper $700 limit and the max I was planning spend was around $650. There were always some systems I was tempted to buy because of their elegant designs like Lenovo U410 which was super thin and merely just $749 this black friday.

Please see my previous post about how to find good electronics deals and couple of my recommendations for an online sites which shows good deals with some descriptions.

While searching deals in dealnews.com , I so another tempting deal, HP Core i7 Quad 2.4GHz 16" Laptop w/ Win 8 for super awesome $599. I was kind a skeptical once, thought this was a Sandy Bridge processor (2nd generation) but later I figureout this was indeed an Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4GHz Ivy Bridge quad-core processor with some cool specs. Here's the full specs for this.

5.7-lb. HP ENVY dv6t-7200 Quad Edition Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 2.4GHz 16" LED-Backlit Laptop, model no. C0L27AV, for $899.99. Coupon code "HOLIDAY220HP" drops it to $679.99. With free shipping, that's $105 under our our mention from two weeks ago (which included a larger hard drive and better graphics) and the lowest total price we've seen for any HP Envy laptop with 8GB of RAM and Windows 8. Sales tax is added where applicable. Features include an Intel Core i7-3630QM 2.4GHz Ivy Bridge quad-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LED-backlit LCD, 8GB RAM, 750GB hard drive, DVD burner, 802.11n wireless, webcam, 6-cell battery, and Windows 8 64-bit.

The deals said, it was $599 but in the middle there was an update which says $679.99 at HP.com. I was perplexed. Again, I saw another note in the bottom said there was indeed an offer from Samsclub.com for members for $599. Woo hoo. I'm already a member at SamsClub.com and I was eligible for this offer.

Update: Of note, Sam's Club offers offers the HP ENVY dv6-7247cl Quad Edition Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 2.4GHz 16" LED-Backlit Laptop, model no. C2L34UA#ABA, with the same specs as the above model for $599 with free shipping. Sales tax is added where applicable. Non-members pay a 10% fee.

 So, finally I have one of these cool HP Envy laptops with a Beats Audio; HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer.  I'm super excited and waiting for the delivery end of this month.

If anybody else is waiting, there is a low-quantity stock still available live at SamsClub, click the following link to find the deal.

http://dealnews.com/HP-Core-i7-Quad-2.4-GHz-16-Laptop-w-Win-8-for-599-free-shipping-updated-/638080.html

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Heisman Trophy 2012 - Winner Prediction (Johnny Manziel "Football")



I'm really not a big fan of American Football (hardcore Sri Lankan Cricket Fan), and I don't even know the ABCD's of this game, but its hard to escape the heat when your school is one of forerunners for this 2012 prestiges award.  My college, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel wasn't even on the radar of the Heisman Trophy betting odds earlier this season, but a stellar campaign highlighted by an upset win over then-No. 1 Alabama has Johnny "Football" (nick name) as the favorite to win that trophy. And remember, no freshman (first year undergraduate) never won the Heisman Trophy in the history, but Texas A&M Aggies and Johnny Heisman "Football" is here to change the History Books for the Heisman Trophy.

History of Heisman Trophy

The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award (usually known colloquially as the Heisman Trophy or the Heisman), is awarded annually to the player deemed the most outstanding player in collegiate football. It was created in 1935 as the Downtown Athletic Club trophy and renamed in 1936 following the death of the Club's athletic director, John Heisman (former Brown University and University of Pennsylvania player; head football coach at Auburn University, Clemson University, Rice University, and University of Pennsylvania; and football, basketball, and baseball head coach and athletic director at Georgia Tech).

The award is presented by the Heisman Trophy Trust in early December before the postseason bowl games. It is the oldest of several overall awards in college football, including the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and the AP Player of the Year. The Heisman and the AP Player of the Year are the only awards to honor the most outstanding player, while the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award recognize the best player.

All football players in all divisions of college football are eligible for the award, though winners usually represent Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

Heisman.com states that sports journalists are to be the determinants of the award since they are "informed, competent, and impartial." However, fans also vote for the award; a survey collected by ESPN.com counts as one vote for the award. In addition, previous Heisman winners are given a vote; this includes winners who are, occasionally, also current candidates for the award.

145 media voters are selected from each of six regions, for a total of 870 media voters.As of August 2012, there were 55 eligible former Heisman winners. (All living winners, except 2005's Reggie Bush, who returned his award amidst controversy.)

Each voter identifies three selections, ranking them in order. Each first-place selection is awarded three points. Each second-place selection is awarded two points. Each third-place selection is awarded one point. Voters must make three selections, and cannot duplicate a selection.

The accounting firm Deloitte is responsible for the tabulation of votes, which has moved almost exclusively to online voting since 2007. 

Predictions:

The updated odds to win the Heisman Trophy at BOVADA have Manziel listed as the 2/5 favorite, and he enters Saturday's game against Missouri with 3,047 passing yards to go along with 1,114 rushing yards on the season.
Manziel has tossed 21 touchdown strikes this season, and has rushed for 17 scores; he'd be the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy.
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is then the second-favorite at 5/2 on the odds to win the Heisman Trophy. Klein has thrown for 2,306 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, while running for 787 yards and 20 scores.
Notre Dame linebacker Mante T'eo sits third at 4/1 on the Heisman Trophy odds at BOVADA , and he's been a big reason for the success of the top-ranked Fighting Irish's stalwart defense this season. The last defensive player to win the Heisman was CB/PR Charles Woodson of Michigan back in 1997.
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has longer 20/1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy; he's passed for 1,850 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushed for 1,214 yards and 13 scores on the season.


Odds to Win the Heisman Trophy at BOVADA :
  • Johnny Manziel (QB Texas A&M) 2/5
  • Collin Klein (QB Kansas State) 5/2
  • Mante T’eo (LB Notre Dame) 4/1
  • Braxton Miller (QB Ohio State) 20/1
Award Watch : Johnny Manziel 

Currently As the presenting sponsor for the Heisman Trophy, Nissan has the unique privilege of casting one official vote on behalf of fans (the college football fan). The current leader-board shows,
  • Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M 30%
  • Manti Te'o LB Notre Dame 28%
  • Collin Klein QB Kansas State 9%
  • Geno Smith QB West Virginia 7%
  • Braxton Miller QB Ohio State 5%
  • AJ McCarron QB Alabama 4%
  • Kenjon Barner RB Oregon 3%
  • De'Anthony Thomas RB Oregon 2%
  • Tajh Boyd QB Clemson 2%
  • Matt Barkley QB USC 2%
  • Giovani Bernard RB North Carolina 1%
  • Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina 1%
  • Marqise Lee WR USC 1%


Please cast your vote to win Johnny Manziel this years Heisman Trophy 2012.

http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/contests/nissan/heisman/2012/ballot/voteHeisman
and
http://www.voteobrien.org/

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How do i transfer a Motorcycle (Moped, Scooter 150CC) Title in Texas?

This is my personal experience in titling a 150cc scooter (moped) in Texas. I was looking for all over the places on how to title transfer a used 150cc Scooter in Texas. I recently brought a used TAO 150cc scooter from Craigslist and wanted to title it in my name. Few things to remember  when you buy a vehicle whether its a used car or a motorcycle.

Title - This contains all the information of the scooter like the VIN, License Plate, Mileage, Body color etc. My seller signed the back of the title and wrote the correct Mileage in KM. Remember some of these Chinese scooters comes with the Odometer in KM not Miles. So remember to ask your seller to write the correct Mileage on it.  I also wrote all the required information in the title.



Tittle Application - Please download the title application from your Texas DMV link. The seller needs to provide his information in the darked color area and the price sold. Also you need to have your information as a buyer like name, address etc. There are two places that the Seller needs to sign. Also remember the title application is same for Vehicles and Motorcycles.

Insurance - I brought GEICO Motorcycle Insurance for about $100 per year. There was a $3 discount for having a car insurance from GEICO. Still I guess the amount should be around $100.  The title office checked the insurance before they transfer the title to my name.

Fees I paid at the County tax office.
My title application shows following fees
Title application Fee: $13.00
Texas Mobility Fund Fee: $15.00
Sales Tax Fee: $xx.xx
Transfer Fee: $2.50

I already had the license plates in my Tao 150cc with valid registration. Before I go to tax office, I thought you have to get a new license plates with the registration if title a motorcycle. Thats what I read in the web, specially in Texas if it is not a vehicle, then you can't keep the license plates from the previous owner.  But thats not true, the tax office told me that I can keep the license plates from previous owner as in any other vehicle transfer in Texas.

Remember, you have to pay tax on the Motorcycle whether you buy it from dealer or private party from Craigslist. If buying from an individual, when you apply for a vehicle title the motor vehicle sales tax (6.25 percent) on either the purchase price or standard presumptive value, whichever is the highest value must be paid. The standard title, registration and local fees will also be due. Contact your county tax office for the exact amount that is due and to learn which forms of payment are accepted. Acceptable forms of payment vary by county. There is a covinient fee about $3 or I guess something like 2% charged on paying these fees using a credit/debit card. So have a check with you to pay for it without additional fees.

Note that when I checked the standard presumptive value for my TAO TAO 150cc scooter, it showed as $0. So the tax amount was the 6.25x scooter cost which I paid for the seller which was stated in my title application. So its possible that some vehicles will not have this value listed in the DMV database.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Best Electronics (tablets, notebooks, cameras) deals - how to find deals online?

I'm back in laptop hunting. My two year old son killed my 2007 HP Pavilion DV9700 laptop, he poured a coup full of water on top of it. So, yes I panicked and forgot good old tick of turning it off soon and keep it till the moisture is out, instead I kept on trying to switch it on and it actually came alive up until the windows boot screen logo to my joy! but yeah that was a short lived triumph, it straight went to sleep of dead.



So, I'm back online and lucky during the thanks giving Black Friday, Cyber Monday frenzy of tech deals. I personally don't believe that we actually get better deals during those long lines of cold night Black Friday door-busters, and not once I had some bad experience waiting to buy a better deal online without a single good deal, both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.



Personally I think the best time is when you really need one! Yeah right!

Here's what I'm looking for right now. My experience says I need to buy the top of the line processor and max possible RAM with possibly a bigger hard drive and Windows 8. Yes I want to keep my laptop/notebook at least couple of years so that I don't really get depressed after I see all these touch screen tech laptops coming with top of the line Ivy Bridge processors with windows 8.

Lenovo 437629U IdeaPad U310 Notebook Laptop (Google Affiliate Ad)

So, the big question, where should I check to buy one? Walmart? Oh crap, I will surely buy from Walmart one of those crappy laptops if I ever want to return and get my full refund. Smile and you know what I'm talking right?

Amazon? Again surely there are some deals, but not always.

I used to buy most of my laptops online, so that I can read the reviews, look at the Youtube channel to see some unboxing videos and couple of reviews from CNet and others and compare and contrast what I really get for most of my bucks.

Lately I found couple of good deals sites with some reliable laptop deals with swifts updates throought the day, so I can keep up with the deal and the summary of the technology specifications and a percentage of money I can save with that. In addition there's a cool feature which says what was the last know price of this brand across online or in stores and how much in reduced the price. Thats pretty cool Ha, up close and personal.

Apple MacBook Pro 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 Notebook Computer - MD102LL/A (Google Affiliate Ad)

I'm a big fan of deals2buy but they update once a day most of the time and sometimes I feel that some manifactures pay for them to display a particular deal top of the list to attract some buzz. But I found couple of more sites which actually updates pretty frequently during the day and give a sneak peak of what you really get from the deal.

Dell Inspiron 14z Laptop Intel Core i5-2450, 500GB, 14" - Red - Dell (Google Affiliate Ad)

So, here's my top 3 picks during this Thanks Giving, Black Friday , Cyber Monday and Christmas what not for deals loving fans, and hope you get what you really looking for.

www.techbargains.com - Here you will find press releases, recent media coverage and the latest information on tech trends and deals. Techbargains has been finding the best products and services at the lowest prices since 1999.

www.dealnews.com - where everyday is Black Friday. We bring you the best deals, coupons, and promotional offers from over 2, 000 online retailers every day.

www.deals2buy.com - has a plain simple look to its home page listing all the deals for the day paginated.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

if your internet connection gets disconnected frequently

Recently my Internet connection started getting disconnected every once in a while during the day. Every time I have to unplug the cable modem connection and plug it back which would eventually start the network connection. I thought its something to do with my ISP Suddenlink.

Netgear N600 Wireless DB Router WNDR3400-100NAS (Google Affiliate Ad)

But after some look around, I guess I found what is going on. My computer power management is setup to go to sleep mode in every couple of minutes and my cable modem power management setup is also setup to turn it off to save the power.

Motorola SB5101 DOCSIS 2.0 Cable Modem (Google Affiliate Ad)

Here's how to remove these power management setup.

In windows 7,
  • click on Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Device Manager
  • Then expand the Network Adapters
  • Right click on your device (Cable Modem, Router etc.) and select properties. 
  • click on Power Managment tab
  • Remove the check mark from "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" option. 

Fast track US Citizenship for F1 Student Visa (Without Perment Resident Status) (and other legal non-immigrant visas) - MAVNI Program

Please see below for further information regarding Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program details. The "Sinhalease" language skill is also included as a criteria and this would be a good opportunity for Current Sri Lankan F1 visa holders studying in US with a valid status.  There are other visa categories included with this program. Please spread the word, you can also share this blog article using the icons below (facebook, twiteer, or Google+) or reblog. The age limit is 35.

Go Army! Rectangle Sticker (Google Affiliate Ad)

MILITARY ACCESSIONS VITAL TO NATIONAL INTEREST (MAVNI)
RECRUITMENT PILOT


Secretary of Defense authorized the military services to recruit certain legal aliens whose skills are considered to be vital to the national interest. Those holding critical skills – physicians, nurses, and certain experts in language with associated cultural backgrounds – would be eligible. To determine its value in enhancing military readiness, the limited pilot program will recruit up to 1,500 people per year, and will continue through May 15, 2014.

U.S. Air Force Survival Handbook (Google Affiliate Ad)

ELIGIBILITY
1. The applicant must be in one of the following categories at time of enlistment
            a. asylee, refugee, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or
            b. nonimmigrant categories E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U, or V

2. The applicant must have been in valid status in one of those categories for at least two years immediately prior to the enlistment date, but it does not have to be the same category as the one held on the date of enlistment; and

3. An applicant who may be eligible on the basis of a nonimmigrant category at time of enlistment (see 1b above) must not have had any single absence from the United States of more than 90 days during the two year period immediately preceding the date of enlistment.

4. An applicant who is eligible under #1-3 above is not rendered ineligible by virtue of having a pending application for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence. In the specific case of an alien with H nonimmigrant status at the time of filing a pending application for adjustment of status who has lost such status while his or her application for adjustment was pending, and who is otherwise eligible for enlistment under the MAVNI program, the military Service may on a case-by-case basis waive the requirement that the alien be in a status described in 1 above at the time of enlistment.

NASA Open Source Agreement (Google Affiliate Ad)

Health Care Professionals
􀁸 Applicants must meet all qualification criteria required for their medical specialty, and the criteria for foreign-trained DoD medical personnel recruited under other authorities
􀁸 Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English
􀁸 Applicants must commit to at least 3 years of active duty, or six years in the Selected Reserve
􀁸 Applicants must possess specific language and culture capabilities in a language critical to DoD Enlisted

U.S. Army Sniper Training Manual (Google Affiliate Ad)

Individuals with Special Language and Culture Backgrounds
􀁸 Applicants must demonstrate a language proficiency
􀁸 Applicants must meet all existing enlistment eligibility criteria
􀁸 Applicants must enlist for at least 4 years of active duty

(Services may add additional requirements)

Languages
􀁸 Amharic
􀁸 Arabic
􀁸 Azerbaijani
􀁸 Bengali
􀁸 Burmese
􀁸 Cambodian-Khmer
􀁸 Cebuano
􀁸 Chinese
􀁸 Czech
􀁸 French (limited to individuals possessing citizenship from an African country)
􀁸 Haitian-Creole
􀁸 Hausa
􀁸 Hindi
􀁸 Hungarian
􀁸 Igbo
􀁸 Indonesian
􀁸 Korean
􀁸 Kurdish
􀁸 Lao
􀁸 Malay
􀁸 Malayalam
􀁸 Moro
􀁸 Nepalese
􀁸 Persian [Dari & Farsi]
􀁸 Polish
􀁸 Portuguese
􀁸 Punjabi
􀁸 Pushtu (aka Pashto)
􀁸 Russian
􀁸 Serbo-Croatian
􀁸 Sindhi
􀁸 Sinhalese
􀁸 Somali
􀁸 Swahili
􀁸 Tagalog
􀁸 Tajik
􀁸 Tamil
􀁸 Thai
􀁸 Turkish
􀁸 Turkmen
􀁸 Urdu
􀁸 Uzbek
􀁸 Yoruba

BACKGROUND

Non-citizens have served in the military since the Revolutionary War. The Lodge Act of 1950 permitted non-citizen Eastern Europeans to enlist between 1950 and 1959. Additionally, the United States officially began recruiting Filipino nationals into the Navy in the late 1940s, when it signed the Military Bases Agreement of 1947 allowing U.S. military bases in the Philippines. In total, over 35,000 Filipinos enlisted in the Navy through the program between 1952 and 1991.

U.S. Army 1st Aid Manual - Paperback (Google Affiliate Ad)

Today, about 24,000 non-citizens serve on active duty, and about 5,000 legal permanent resident aliens (green card holders) enlist on active duty each year. Law ensures that the sacrifice of non-citizens during a time of national need is met with an opportunity for early citizenship, to recognize their contribution and sacrifice.

US Army Survival Handbook (Google Affiliate Ad)

In fact, today's service members are eligible for expedited citizenship under a July 2002 Executive Order, and the military services have worked closely with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to streamline citizenship processing for service members. Since Sept. 11, 2001, over 78,000 (as of April 2012) members of the Armed Forces have attained their citizenship while serving this nation.

Please see more information here or at GoArmy.com

Thursday, November 08, 2012

"Survivor Philippines" (Season 25) : Winner Prediction

My favorite reality show is back, the Survivor Philippines (Survivor Season 25) and the 3 tribes are merged to a one final tribe and who ever voted out will be sent to Ponderosa (the place where voting members from last tribe will be kept).

It has been renewed for two more seasons (seasons 25 and 26) for the 2012–13 television season, with Jeff Probst confirmed to return as host and executive producer. Season 25 was filmed in Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur, Philippines.

Survivor Love Bumper Sticker (Google Affiliate Ad)

The game started as Three tribes (Matsing, Tandang and Kalabaw) of six, including three returning players . Each tribe features a returning player who was forced to be medically evacuated due to injury or illness on their previous appearance; first season with a merge at 11 (Dangrayne tribe); First season to have a tribe (Matsing - before the merge) that did not go to Tribal Council.

After Jeff Kent (8th Voted Out, 2nd Jury Member, Day 22) have voted out yesterday episode, now its the time for me to make some predictions for the final 3 standings and the "Sole Survivor" of this Season 25, "Survivor Philippines".

SURVIVOR SEASON 1:GREATEST & MOST OUT BY SURVIVOR (DVD) (Google Affiliate Ad)

Before that I must say the players who are my most and the lest favorites (personally, and I don't care who win the final sole survivor title)

My most favorites Survivor players of this Season 25: Survivor Philippines
Denise Stapley - She is awesome, fit, down to earth.
Jonathan Penner - Winner of the first ever Survivor "Cook Islands", Cunning, and Cool and Calm.
Malcolm Freberg - I like him so far, and hope he is not going blow that up. So much remind me of Ozzy Lusth and James "J.T." Thomas Jr.

Tribal Warfare: Survivor and the Political Unconscious of Reality Television (Google Affiliate Ad)

My least (hate) favorites Survivor players of this Season 25: Survivor Philippines 
Peter "Pete" Yurkowski
Abi-Maria Gomes
I don't have to explain my choices, this cauote from one of viewer is enough I guess
"Is it just me, or does Abby look like an "old" young woman. Must be her attitude and personality...bitter, ugly, scorned."
Now for the official business.

I'm rooting for Penner, but my gut feeling says he is not going to win this season.

Final Three: Denise, Lisa and Artis

The Sole Survivor : Denise Stapley

Who do you think going to win this season





Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Google Nexus 7 $99 tablet this Thanksgiving (Black Friday)?

I'm bit confused what happened to all those 8GB Google Nexus 7 tablets? When the Google announced their 32GB Nexus 7 tablet for $249 in US market, the 16GB Nexus 7 is $50 downed from $249 to $199 and suddenly the 8GG versions are no where to find other than few online retailers like Amazon.


Are we waiting for a surprise thanks giving door-buster giveaway this holiday season?
What do you think? Are you thinking what I'm thinking? A $99 Google Nexus 7 tablet, anyone? 

When I do a keyword search like "Google Nexus  7 $99 rumors", I don't see any hits. 

So, I'm thinking this may be the great "Google Santa gift" we are going to see this holiday season!


Even WalMart.com is now selling a new 32GB version of the Nexus 7 tablet for $249.00. (The Nexus 7 was previously available in only 8GB and 16GB configurations.) And it reduced the price of the 16GB from $249.00 to $199.00. So, what happened to those 8GB Google Nexus tablets? I don't think Asus or Google recalled all those tablets or somebody took those home.  
No matter the iPad mini for $329 or Amazon Kindle Fire HD for $199, such a Nexus 7 $99 tablet would certainly be a sweet surprise for the holidays, I'm just not holding my breath.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Today is 10/11/12 and 13:14pm

The way we display the date in  US is,
Month/Date/Year.
So today is 10/11/12

And I totally missed the opportunity to make this post at 10/11/12 at 13:14pm

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

"The Voice" Season 3 - Winner Predictions

Its just the first couple of weeks and the end of the blind audition of "The Voice" season 3. I'm already rooting for couple of contenders for winning "The Voice" and the wining team and coach.



Honestly I don't see a good set of contenders in this season. Only couple of singers with a limited vocal ability in my personal opinion. Some additions in this Season 3 are utterly ridicules, like "Daniel Rosa", come'on Voice, are you serious? And the husband and wife duo, Beat Frequency? Are you kidding me?

Maroon 5: Adam Levine and the Band (Google Affiliate Ad)

I'm so much disappointed in the way that the coach selection in this season. When Adam and Christina turned around, Black doesn't wanna turn? And does Cee lo is there just to cover the forth coach bench? It seems to me that Cee Lo is somewhere else.......just having fun with the opportunity and not wanting to win at least this season. And Christina mocking the contenders faking to click on the button? How ridicules is that?

And also, I dont know why they want to make it some emotional shit with brininging up some family health issues, or contenders health issues etc. Come on, we are here to listen to their voice, not their past history!

First Act Adam Levine Acoustic Guitar Pack (Google Affiliate Ad)

So, I'm rooting for Team Adam this time. I'm pretty sure one of contenders from Adam Levine's team is going to win the sole "The Voice" title of the Season 3 this time, unless some other coach snatches the contenders with the Season 3 twist.

My predictions for this Season 3 are,

STRIPPED BY AGUILERA,CHRISTINA (CD) (Google Affiliate Ad)

Avery Wilson, Melanie Martinez, and Benji.  I like Bryan Keith too. But I dont hear the same gravel tone of his (Signature Voice as Christina Aguilera correctly said so) in the studio version.

This years list after blind audition is damn big, so I cannot exactly predict with a sure tone. May be I should come back and update while the voice progresses.

Here's some of the studio versions (complete songs) from the blind audition which I think the best of this Season so far.

 
 



Friday, September 28, 2012

SL2College.org Forum Question: Taking the GRE in India / Will the SUBJECT test be a plus?


If you know anyone who took GRE exam in India, please share your experience (comment here) or you can post an answer in the SL2College forum.  

Here's the link for the original post: 

Taking the GRE in India / Will the Subject Test be a plust?
by HansiniG » Sep 25th, '12, 03:05 
HI, 
I am planning to take the GRE at Chennai, India, because the next date in Lanka is too late. Has anyone done it like that before? I need some tips/ advice. Please help. 
well, my other question is, will doing the subject test add points to my application. I have a GPA of 3.7. If I can invest my time on the general test, I am sure I can get a good score for it too... I feel that I don't have enough time to prepare for the Subject Test. Please advice
Thank you

T20 Cricket World Cup - My Predictions for Semi and Finals

I'm looking at the live match of the T20 Cricket World Cup Group 2 between India and Australia. Seems to me, Australia is winning, at least they are somewhere in gettable 140 mark in after Indian innings. So far, Sri Lanka and West Indies are ahead in the Group 1 standings and probably Pakistan cricket team and Australia going to be on top of Group 2.

Time for me to do some predictions for the Semi Finals and Final match. I don't really go with the statistics of previous matches or current matches and rankings. I have never played Cricket for my school team nor I did play any professional cricket. I'm just another hearty cricket spectator (tennis ball) like anyone else, who gets up even mid night to watch a match (if only Sri Lanka is playing) even it is 5 day test (all day) or One Day International Cricket. I'm on the other side of the world, still I pretty much addicted to this  game like any other subcontinent spectator. I don't really an extreme cricket lover by the way, I don't fancy to buy an expensive ticket to go and watch live in the ground. I'm pretty much in my comfort zone, in front of TV or here in US, in front of my laptop (5am in the morning US Central time) watching the live streaming thanks to ESPN. I pretty much love the fact that I can see the replays and listen to the commentators than the loud and live experience in the cricket ground.

OK, enough rambling, time to go back to predictions :)

Group 1
Pakistan
Australia
India
South Africa

Group 2
West Indies
Sri Lanka
New Zealand
England

With the current standings and how each team play, I must say, the most possible scenario for the Semi Finals are,

Group1: Australia, Pakistan
Group2: West Indies, Sri Lanka

So, the Semi Finals

Sri Lanka Vs Australia
Pakistan Vs West Indies

Finals
Sri Lanka Vs West Indies

and yes I'm rooting for Sri Lanka for winning this T20 Cricket World Cup. Go Lions!

What do you think? No statistics, just by heart?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Google Nexus HD $199? and iPad mini $250? I'm soo ready!

With the roaring 7-inch tablet market right now, I'm more inclined to buy one than the iPhone 5. I'm pretty much satisfied with my iPhone 3GS but something with bigger screen and better battery life (of course siri too) would be cool. But the price tag for the data is not the ideal for my pocket. Just $20 bucks for a data plan and another $60+ something would definitely going to put me above $100 monthly margin again. With my current monthly package, I'm already paying close to $100 bucks and almost 2 years. So, its time for me to move on (bye bye AT&T) from monthly packages (this November 2012 after my 2 year contract ends) and find may be $30 Tmobile prepaid package.  

Still with my home wifi and TAMU wifi, I can definitely spend some money for a tablet. Not the iPad, thats crazy with a $400 price tag, who wants to spend that much for a tablet? My ideal price tag is $200-$300 and even upper bound is not something I'm willing to pay for a device which is going to lose the shine after other competitors comesup with new specs. So, I'm looking right now for the rumored iPad mini, which is said to be in $250 price range (probably $300), and Google Nexus HD in $199 price range. If the rumors are correct, iPad mini is going to be revealed this October 2012 and Google Nexus in late November before X'mas season. 

So, what I expect? Here's my ideal hardware specs for a tablet device. If Google comes any closer to it with a $199 price tag, I'm sold in pulse. If not, iPad mini seems to be the way to go,

My ideal hardware specs (September 27, 2012)
Cameras: Front and Rear Facing Dual cameras
Screen: 7+ inch
Processor: 1.3Gz, Quad-core
RAM: 1GB, ideal 2GB
Expandable Storage: upto 64GB
Speakers: Dual stereo with Dolby
Resolution: Retina or something 1280x800 , 216 ppi
Connectivity: wifi only (3G ideal but I don't think in $200 price range)
HDMI-out: Yes definitely
USB: Yes definitely with capability to plug in external hard drives or thumb drives
Storage: 16GB

With that, look at the current specs of the best 7 inch tablets in the market. Seems to me Kindle HD is the best but hopefully Nexus HD and iPad mini will trump the specs within couple of months. 

No matter any hardware specs, such a Nexus HD tablet would certainly be a sweet surprise for the holidays, I'm just not holding my breath.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Best Sri Lankan Books (Political Joke)

One of the best piece of Sinhala Joke I read for a while.....lol
Author unknown, but I must say, its a pretty good and unbiased. Made me chuckle while reading... :)



Saturday, September 22, 2012

Best of "The Voice" Season 3 - My Favorites

The Voice Season 3 has started with the blind audition and I'm already rooting for several of the singers. My votes so far for,

Melanie Martinez's - "Toxic",
Bryan Keith's - "It will Rain"
Benji's  "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"

 
 
 



Friday, September 21, 2012

Reading and displaying tf vector content of Apache Mahout SequenceFile

This java code segment reads through the Apache Mahout SequenceFile (generated by the Mahout seq2sparse tool), to display the tokens and their tf values. The code uses the dictionary file to map the token index to token in the dictionary.

You can read the Mahout Wiki on creating vectors from Text Documents. I have created tf vectors from a directory of documents and followed the process explained in the wiki.  You basically need to run Mahout seqdirectory tool to create intermediate SequenceFile and then seq2sparse tool to create the tf vectors and dictionary file. Then you can use my code to examine the content of the SequenceFile and identify which terms in a document get higher term frequency and do further research.

In first few lines, the code reads and populate a HashMap of the dictionary file created by the Mahout seq2sparse tool and next the reader reads the tf-vectors of the SequenceFile and each of the token of the tf vectors are mapped from the dictionary map.  You may need to import some of the followings,

import org.apache.hadoop.conf.Configuration;
import org.apache.hadoop.fs.FileSystem;
import org.apache.hadoop.fs.Path;
import org.apache.hadoop.io.IntWritable;
import org.apache.hadoop.io.LongWritable;
import org.apache.hadoop.io.SequenceFile;
import org.apache.hadoop.io.Text;
import org.apache.mahout.math.NamedVector;
import org.apache.mahout.math.SequentialAccessSparseVector;
import org.apache.mahout.math.Vector;
import org.apache.mahout.math.VectorWritable;
import org.apache.mahout.math.Vector.Element;

public static void readMahoutSequenceFile()
{
 Configuration conf = new Configuration();
 FileSystem fs;
 SequenceFile.Reader read;
 try {
  fs = FileSystem.get(conf);
  read = new SequenceFile.Reader(fs, new Path("/Sparsedir/dictionary.file-0"), conf);
  IntWritable dicKey = new IntWritable();
  Text text = new Text();
  HashMap dictionaryMap = new HashMap();
  try {
      while (read.next(text, dicKey)) {
         dictionaryMap.put(Integer.parseInt(dicKey.toString()), text.toString());
      }
   } catch (NumberFormatException e) {
       e.printStackTrace();
   } catch (IOException e) {
       e.printStackTrace();
   }
   read.close();
         
   read = new SequenceFile.Reader(fs, new Path("/Sparsedir/tf-vectors/part-r-00000"), conf);
   Text key = new Text();
   VectorWritable value = new VectorWritable();
   SequentialAccessSparseVector vect;
   while (read.next(key, value)) {
        NamedVector namedVector = (NamedVector)value.get();
        vect= (SequentialAccessSparseVector)namedVector.getDelegate();
        for( Element  e : vect ){
           System.out.println("Token: "+dictionaryMap.get(e.index())+", TF-IDF weight: "+e.get()) ;
          }
         }
         read.close();        
  } catch (IOException e) {
   // TODO Auto-generated catch block
  e.printStackTrace();
 }
}

Friday, August 24, 2012

Amex extended warranty - Amex the best credit card ever!

My first experience with any of the extended warranties from credit cards. I brought a Canon printer from Walmart (online) with their site-to-store option which cost me about $32. I guess after 1 year, the printer started breaking, there was something wrong with the head unit and my printouts are slightly slanted with some fade marks on the corners of the printout. Still the photocopy/scan options work though.

I'm using my Amex card for most of my online purchases, because of its outstanding reward options. I normally get 5% cash back from money spend on grocery, gas and medicines and 1% in anywhere else. And also I know they have an extended warranty program which normally covers upto 1 year of manufacturers warranty if your purchase suddenly malfunction or the manufactures doesn't take the returns. Normally Walmart is pretty good with return policy and you can always return your product within 3 months for a full refund, even without a receipt.

So, I had a chance to test out the extended warranty of Amex when my printer starts bad last week. I thought its going to be a lengthy process with calling to an amex agent and submitting my receipts etc. I was pleasingly suprised how easy it was, I had to submit a single online form which asked about the device, the problem, buy date, amount and manufacturer's warranty.  So, I did that and thought I'm gonna get a call later with all sort of questions why/how/when and probably need to submit some sort of paper work before it is processed and most probably its gonna be a declined claim.

I just checked my Amex account, surprise, surprise..there is a $32 benefits payment in my account from the approved Amex extended warranty.

I'm definitely gonna recommend the Amex credit card to everyone!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Quotes:

friEND
girlfriEND
boyfriEND
bestfriEND

Everything has an ...END.....except,

famILY....which has ILY = I Love You!


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Been There

This is a running list of places I have been to in the United States and around the world. No particular order or date.

North America
  • Texas
    Austin, Bryan/College Station, Corpus Christi, Houston, Laredo, San Antonio, San Marcos 
  • Mexico
    Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo  
  • Washington
    Seattle, Redmond
Europe
  • Italy
    Catania, Milan, Verona, Venice
  • France
    Paris
  • UK
    London, Becontree
Asia
  • Sri Lanka (most places except northern part) 

Suddenlink Monthly Usage Allowance (Data Cap) - FAQ

How can someone monitor usage or change my future notification options?

Most Suddenlink customers already have access to an online usage summary that is updated daily. If that summary is available in your area, it can be found by logging in to your online account at Suddenlink.net, choosing "My Account," and then choosing "My Internet Usage Summary." If you do not yet have an online account with suddenlink, visit Suddenlink.net; follow the registration instructions provided there; and then, when complete, choose "My Internet Usage Summary."  You need the pin and account number to create your online account. To view, click on My Suddenlink > My Account > My Internet Usage Summary. If you do not see a link to "My Internet Usage Summary," it means it is not yet introduced this resource in your area. Importantly, Suddenlink will not apply allowances to any Internet account until the online usage summary is available. Finally, where the usage summary is available and a monthly allowance has been established for residential Internet accounts, those customers can – after receiving their first overage notification – change their future notification options by visiting their Internet usage summary page.

Will un-used gigabytes roll over to the next month, like un-used cell phone minutes? 
Not at this time. Usage allowances are reset each month, for each billing period.

What happens if I'm one of the few who exceeds the monthly allowance?
After you are notified that a monthly allowance has been applied to your account, the following steps will be taken for the very few who go over their allowance:
After the first overage, the customer's Web browser will be directed to a Suddenlink notification page. The customer will be required to read that page, select how he or she wants to receive future notifications (by Web browser or email), enter the account number, and then save the information.
From that point forward, future notifications on this subject will be sent each time an account reaches 80% of its monthly allowance and again when it exceeds 100%. Those notifications will be delivered through the means selected on the first overage, unless customers change their notification preference by visiting their Internet usage summary page at Suddenlink.net.
Customer accounts will not be billed for exceeding their monthly allowance until the third overage. On the third and subsequent overages, the monthly allowance will be increased in installments of 50 GB at a cost of $10 per installment.

If the maximum advertised download speed is...
Less than 10 Mbps
150 GB  Cap

10 to 30 Mbps
250 GB  Cap

Greater than 30 Mbps
350 GB  Cap

Read mroe at : Frequently Asked Questions: Suddenlink Data Cap




Friday, August 03, 2012

How to stop email notification "You requested a new Facebook password"

Lately I was getting at least couple of these notifications "You requested a new Facebook password" and sometimes more than ten email notifications per day. Also I guess because I have couple of emails associated with my account, this each notification get forwarded to all of my email accounts.



I think this is another way of spamming these days, and you need to be cautious dealing with these and most probably these are some of newer ways to steal your account information or to take you to some phishing sites.

Facebook for Dummies By Abram, Carolyn/ Pearlman, Leah (Google Affiliate Ad)

I remember some of similar phishing attacks,
1. You get an email from (or similar to) your bank saying that you need to change your password for security  purposes. If you respond with your account details (most probably with the form given with email), somebody else is getting this or it will take you to a phishing site. Always remember to check the email address and the URL (whether the additional s like in https:\\ whether this is a secure transaction).
2. You get an email from someone who wants to transfer millions/billions of dollars worth of money or gold or some hidden treasure. If you initiate any discussion, they will ask you some money for initial processing or some paper work. Same thing with big lottery win notifications. Be cautious, no body going to give you a free money unless this is one of your own relatives :)

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook By Hasday, Judy L. (Google Affiliate Ad)

OK, back to Facebook notification. What is this and should we do something about it? Again, be careful when you responding to even official emails from facebook. There may be a catch somewhere. This is just my opinion, but if you have some other information different from what I suspect here, please do reply.

The email notification is seems to originate from facebook and seems legit,

Hi Sampath,

You recently asked to reset your Facebook password. To complete your request, please follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/recover.php?.........................

Alternately, you may go to https://www.facebook.com/recover.php and enter the following password reset code:

 xxxxxxx 
Please note: for your protection, this email has been sent to all the email addresses associated with your Facebook account.

*Didn't Request This Change?*
If you did not request a new password, let us know at:

https://www.facebook.com/login/recover/disavow_reset_email.php?........

Thanks,
The Facebook Team

OK, here's what I think what is this. Your facebook account associated emails and publicly visible, anybody can record one and try to modify your password. But for any password change to work, you need to click the given url or enter the password reset code at facebook. But what is the catch here, if you do one of above, you don't know the password but somebody else now knows both your user account login email and password. Now he owns your facebook account. Done deal!.

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If this is not what I'm suspecting, it may be a phishing email, and eventually take you to some bogus site. I don't want to click and check, so be my guest if you want to check and let me know :)

Now the real problem, you know that you didn't initiate the change of password or how to avoid getting these emails or avoid anybody trying to modify your password in the first place. Simple, just change your email visibility in facebook account. Here's how to do that.

If you have new facebook timeline, just click on your profile and then click "Update Info" right under your cover picture. Then goto Contact Details and click Edit. Now you can see all your email addresses and then the visibility options. Change each emails to "Only Me" or "Friends". I advice your to make it "Only Me", because even friends (you think) can trick you (may be your Ex-)  to take control your account.  Also remember to hid emails from your timeline. If your real friends want to contact you, then they should know how to find you, so no worries!

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