Why uberAUTO is no evil

Yesterday I was present at the uberAUTO launch in Bhubaneswar. At the event, Shri Anant Narayan Jena, Mayor of Bhubaneswar, told that Uber should work towards making auto rickshaw unions happy. As the tariff of uberAUTO in Bhubaneswar is almost one-third of the tariff decided by the Govt. Otherwise, they may go on a strike. When it comes to the public transportation in Bhubaneswar, auto rickshaws are a staple. So, if auto rickshaw unions go on a strike, it will be a problem.

I don’t agree with the mayor that uberAUTO’s tariff is almost one-third of the Govt. tariff. If you are riding with uberAUTO, then you need to pay Rs. 15 as base fare and pay Rs. 1 per minute during your ride. Only the Rs. 3/KM sounds cheaper. So, uberAUTO’s tariff model is more complicated than normal auto rickshaw tariff prescribed by the Govt. So, it might not be one-third of the Govt. rate. I am trying to find the tariff prescribed by Govt. Once I find that I will update this section. I guess you understand why it’s hard for me to know Govt. prescribed rate. I will talk about it next.

It’s good to know that the mayor has some concerns about auto rickshaw unions and looking for a healthy competition. But when was the last time you saw an auto rickshaw with a working meter? When was the last time an auto rickshaw charged you as per the Govt. tariff? Has the mayor taken any step to make sure that all auto rickshaws use meter and charge customers as per the Govt. tariff? So, the mayor is not concerned about citizens of the city, but the auto rickshaw unions.

Normally, auto rickshaws in Bhubaneswar charge double the amount of the actual fare as per the Govt. tariff. So, it was very hard to negotiate and hire an auto for anything. So, when Ola launched its service in Bhubaneswar, it was a relief. Even Ola costs cheaper than a traditional auto rickshaw. And it comes with many advantages. Four people can travel comfortably in an air conditioned car. And the best part is you don’t need to go to auto stand and negotiate, pay less than the average auto fare. But auto rickshaw unions never liked this idea. They attacked Ola drivers. Then Uber launched. And then there came Jugnoo. Jugnoo is like Ola/Uber for auto rickshaws only. Jugnoo is cheaper than Ola or Uber.

Now Uber launched its service for auto rickshaws in Bhubaneswar. If the auto rickshaws would have used the meter and charged customers as per the Govt. tariff, the suggestion by the mayor would have made any sense. Almost a year ago, when Uber launched uberAUTO in Delhi, the customer needed to pay the fare as per the Govt. rate in cash directly to the driver. That model could have been applied here in Bhubaneswar without much complaint.

On the other hand, shared auto service works well in Bhubaneswar and no service available now can harm it.

If you have not signed up for Uber yet, then sign up with code debiprasads20ue and get the first ride free up to Rs. 100. Sign up here or download the app.

Yesterday, Ola also launched its auto rickshaw service. It looked like they launched it in a hurry, as Uber launched its uberAUTO. If you are already using Ola, then you can get your first auto ride free*. If not, then sign up with code 7EE6YM and get a Rs. 50 coupon. Download the app here.

Sometimes, you may like to use Jugnoo for some reason or the other instead of using Uber or Ola. If you have not installed Jugnoo, then sign up with code DEBIPRASAD585515 and get 100%* cashback on your ride. Sign up here or download the app.

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Thought Processes of an Engineer

  • I am an engineer.
  • I code for a living.
  • The word “pride” is associated with LGBT Pride.
  • Facebook had created an application to celebrate and show your support for the LGBT community, by adding a rainbow filter to your profile picture.
  • It’s recommended to reuse the code.
  • I will reuse the code of a good application which was developed recently to build a similar application, provided the license of the code allows that.
  • Engineers improve by experience.
  • It’s difficult to name properly to all variables, classes, methods, IDs etc. in a code.
  • If I am developing an application for cats, I don’t think I will use the name ‘tiger’ in a class or id.
  • Engineers can be wrong.
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Beware of OnePlus Two Scams

Few days ago a friend asked me whether I can arrange a OnePlus One invite for her. After a couple of days I received an email with an OnePlus Two invite. When I waked up in the morning I saw that email and got a little surprised and a little excited to get an OnePlus Two invite so early. Either I was not fully waked up or due to the excitement, I missed to read this on the email: “We have tied up with Aliexpress and we ship worldwide through Aliexpress only”. What I read on that email is “We will not be able to offer country specific invites anymore
All phones come with an international warranty” and I translated it into “This is not a country specific invite, which comes with an international warranty”. The email looks so legitimate that I immediately shared it with the friend.

OnePlus Two fake invite

Later in the day, I got little suspicious as how I got the invite so soon. Then I checked the email sender and found that it’s from invites@oneplus2.co. Then I clicked on the link and found that it goes to Aliexpress. (I even did not read the email properly then. I read it properly while writing this post. I noticed “We have tied up with Aliexpress and we ship worldwide through Aliexpress only” just while I started writing this post.) I realised that it’s a scam and I have made a mistake by sharing this with my friend. I immediately informed her not to purchase the phone from that link and luckily she had not purchased it by then.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw an ad on Facebook regarding OnePlus Two invites giveaway. I did not feel much suspicious as it looked so legitimate. And I submitted my name and email ID. Normally, I don’t fear spam, so I don’t think much before sharing my email ID. But this one was more of a stupid act of mine. On the next page, when it asked me to share this with my friends on Whatsapp, I got suspicious and realised that it’s a scam and I was so stupid to come this far. But I also saw similar ad on Facebook one more time. I clicked again to see what does it say this time. It recognised me as a returning visitor who has already provided his name and email ID before. So, it showed me some interactive stuff to win OnePlus Two as a prize and share it with more friends. I thought I should write about this scam. But I was so lazy to do that and later I even become more stupid to share the email from them.

OnePlus 2 scam ad on Facebook

OnePlus 2 scam ad on Facebook

Facebook is so greedy that it does not verify ads for scams.

Today I decided to look under the hood as I thought to do previously. I found that this scam is run by a person named Rajesh Patel from Gujarat, India (as per the Whois info of the domain oneplus2.co). So, friends beware of such scams.

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How WikiPedia and Google can fight against vandalism?

I wanted to find some information about Marissa Mayer and what could be better option than searching on Google? But I got amazed when the saw something unbelievable in Google Knowledge Graph. It says “Marissa Ann Mayer is the current president and CEO of KD Interactive since August 2014.”. She recently completed 2 years as CEO of Yahoo! Inc.. When did she move to KD Interactive? WTF is KD Interactive?

Screenshot of Google Knowledge Graph displaying Marissa Mayer

WikiPedia is perhaps the quickest source of knowledge. Anyone, even your neighbour’s dog or a monkey in the jungle can edit WikiPedia. So, someone had vandalised the information on the WikiPedia page about Marissa Mayer. And Google was too quick to index WikiPedia and update its Knowledge Graph.

As anyone can edit WikiPedia, I undid those couple of vandalisms. But this incident raises some questions. Open Source software can be contributed by anyone. But the community takes care so that no one can harm the software. Similarly, the community of WikiPedia should be stronger to act again vandalism. And Google should get some intelligence, instead of blindly copying content for knowledge. Knowledge can’t be gained by just copying something. You need to understand it.

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It’s their mistake

Recently Delhi is suffering due to major power crisis. It’s duty of the Delhi Govt. to restore the situation. Well, where is Delhi Govt.? There is no Govt. at Delhi. There is president rule in Delhi. So, it’s the duty of Central Govt. of India to solve all the issues in Delhi. But instead of doing their duty, they started blaming other. They blamed Congress who were in power for last 15 years and AAP who were in power for just 49 days for current situation. This situation created after a storm. Instead of doing their duty, how can they blame Congress and AAP for this? It’s understandable that Congress might be responsible for a bad infrastructure for electricity distribution in Delhi. But what AAP could have done in just 49 days to improve it?

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What AAP’s Bismaya Mahapatra should learn or change

Personally I don’t 100% agree with what people Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) say or do. But I support and advocate most of their vision and action, as they are the best alternative to any other traditional political party. If someone asks them about their ideology, most of the leaders of AAP, including Kumar Biswas (who speaks well and a lot), go blank. If you ask them about what are their vision regarding foreign policy or economic policy etc., either they ignore or divert the question by answering about corruption, Jan Lokpal Bill and Swaraj Bill. However, party’s leader Arvind Kejriwal smartly answers that Swaraj is the party’s ideology and if we will solve the issue of corruption, everything will be alright. Unfortunately, the people who asks about ideology, foreign policies or economic policies etc. to AAP, never ask those questions to other parties and their leaders, at least in my knowledge. I don’t think a common citizen of India understands what the economic/foreign policy of Congress or BJP/Modi.

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Irony of Indian Cricket Fans

Sachin Tendulkar is a great cricketer. And he will continue his legendary. He is god of cricket. After his retirement everyone will miss him. But what’s going on since past few days is ridiculous.

Some people are saying that Sachin is not retiring from cricket, cricket is getting retired from Sachin. What kind of bullshit is this? I have seen use of this kind of sentence for funny lines. And you are saying this seriously with tears in your eyes?

Some people are saying this there is no cricket without Sachin. Probably they will stop watching cricket after this. Sachin has retired from T20Is and ODIs, since a long time. You stopped watching those formats of the game? I bet no one is going to stop watching cricket after this match.

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