"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
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

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.
. ****
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.


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

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

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 ...

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
I'm Ms. St├ęphanie Quentin, Female,23 Years, Switz. Was born and bred in
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
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:
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