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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Why the reactions to Aamir Khan’s comments are much ado about nothing

First lets look at what Aamir Khan really said:

He said, “We read in newspapers about what is happening in the country and I have been alarmed by a number of incidents. There has been a growing sence of despondency. When I have a discussion with Kiran at home she considers whether we must move out of India. Now that’s a very disastrous statement for Kiran to make to me.”
Here is the link to the video.

Now, what is wrong about what he said? As an Indian he has every right to voice his opinion. Put yourself in his shoes. You’re at home having a discussion with your wife, family or friends about the news and what is happening around you, discussing your future etc. How many times would you have discussed about studying abroad or settling abroad? How many time would you have criticised the Govt. or the lack proper roads or sanitation and other things? Does that make you unpartioric? Are you less of an Indian beacause of the conversation you have with your family or friends? Are you anti-national? How can people be so na├»ve?

In my opinion this whole issue has been blown out of proportion and the negative reactions only goes towards proving his point.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Removal of +You from the Google Search Homepage

I don't know if any of you have noticed, but it looks like Google has removed the +You from the Search Homepage. If you are logged into your Google account, you will no longer be able to go to Google Plus with one click on your name.
No +You when not signed in to Google
+YourName is no longer clickable after being signed in

Now, to visit Google+, one will have to click on the Chrome browser applications list and select G+. Google has made it more tedious for users now. (Sigh..)

Tedious task of visiting G+



Is Google discouraging new users to join Google Plus or does Google have something else in mind.
I guess we'll just have to wait and find out.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Review: MS Office 2016 Preview for Mac

This is a short review highlighting the pros and cons of this new preview for Mac.
This package will work only on Macs running OS X Yosemite 10.10 and will be valid only for 60 days after which the user will have to update to the newer build.
The Office for Mac 2016 preview is available for download from Microsoft's Office preview site.

Following are my thoughts after installing MS Office Preview 2016 for Mac-

Pros-

  1. It much more polished than MS Office 2011. It is very much alike the Office 2013 for Windows with similar ribbons etc."Microsoft says its goal is to make the software look and feel more like Office for Windows, while not losing the styling that makes the suite feel like it's built for Mac OS X"
  2. The shortcut key for edit has finally been made F2, although control+U still exists. Many other shortcut keys have been changed so that power users of MS Office don't have to relearn all the keys.
  3. Heavy OneDrive Integration. This is a very good thing. You can start off with a document on a Mac or Windows PC, continue it on your Android device and edit and share using your iPad. MS Office is the only office suite that integrates with all OSes. iWork only works with OS X and iOS devices and Google Docs does not have an offline office suite for Windows or Mac. This cross-platform integration is one of the major highlights.
  4. The Office Suite may be free for personal users considering the fact that the preview is free. If this is true, it would be awesome!
  5. It works alongside Office 2011. You can use both if you are not too comfortable with the new preview.
Cons-

  1. The size of the package has increased by 4 fold. The size of MS Office 2011 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint & Outlook) was 1.3 GB. Now the same in Office 2016 has become 5 GB. The size of the final package may be more optimised since this is only the preview. It might be more optimised when the final build is released.
  2. Still no "Save As" option for formats of other office suites such as Open Office. It would be good to have .odt, .ods etc. files to open with Office 2016. Maybe they will bring in this feature in the final build.
If you guys see any cool or new features, do let me know by way of comments below.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Aam Aadmi Party and how it handles donations: My personal experience as a donor.

Recently, there have been reports and news items going around, majorly promoted by other political parties which have also been highlighted by the media that the Aam Aadmi Party launders money.

This allegation was based on 4 donations of Rs. 50 lakhs each in April 2014 which were traced to 4 companies not carrying out any business activities. The money was received by cheques and it was posted in the website of the AAP. Here are the questions which people must ask but are not asking-

1. Why is the issue being brought up now? The funds were received in April 2014.

2. If the AAP had laundered money, why did they put up all these details on their website? They could have easily not disclosed these payments.

I decided to donate some money to the AAP to support them in the upcoming Delhi Elections. At the same time I wanted to test their transparency. Following was my experience-

The following fields were mandatory while filling up the details, without which I could not proceed. (see the Image 1) This ensures authenticity of the donors. I proceeded to donate.

Mandatory Fields (Image 1)

Here is what happened within 10 seconds of my donating-

  1. I got a call with a pre-recorded message in the voice of Arvind Kejriwal thanking me for my support.
  2. I got an email from AAP mentioning the receipt no. of the donation and also received a Donation Certificate (See Image 2)
  3. My name was listed on their website as a donor with the amount of donation. This came in within 2 minutes of my donation timing. (See Image 3)



Donation Certificate (Image 2)

List of Donors on AAP's Website (Image 3)

Here is what happened after 5 minutes-

  1. I got an email from my bank confirming the debit.
  2. I got an SMS from my bank confirming the debit.

How much more transparent do you expect a political party to be?

My above experience only goes on to prove that the AAP is way more organised, better governed and efficient than a private sector bank. I am now totally confident that they will use public funds effectively and deliver when they come to power in Delhi.

My heartfelt thanks to the founding members of the AAP for the IAC movement and when that fizzled out, for not giving up and to continue fighting for the people of India and most importantly for your impeccable integrity and strong moral fibre! We, the people of India are indeed very gracious.
Win or Lose, you have already made your place in millions of lives.

Jai Hind!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

"Ladoo" might be the L in Android L 5.0

Back in 2013 we first saw people campaigning and sending signed petitions to Google requesting them to name the next version of Android by the Indian sweet "Ladoo". In India we distribute Ladoos whenever there is any function or a happy occasion in our family. Be in a Wedding or Graduation, we Indians distribute Ladoos and share our happiness with others.

It looks like Google has finally heard the voices of Indians who are Android Fans. I won't be surprised if Google announced today that the L stands for "Ladoo". After all, the head of Android is Sundar Pichai who is also of Indian origin and there is a possibility that he would have heard the voices of all the people who wanted the version to be named Ladoo. Earlier Indians had requested Google to name the 4.4 version as Kaju Katli which is also a delicious Indian sweet. They were disappointed when it was named KitKat. However, I have a feeling that Google will not disappoint their Android fans this time.

Google has left a few clues by releasing this video yesterday. I noticed in the video that along with all the other sweets (Gingerbread, Doughnuts, Cupcakes), there was a bowl of "Ladoos". It is clear from this picture-


Fingers crossed everyone. Ladoo might just be happening.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Zomato: The Ever Improving Social Media for Foodies!

I am sure all of you have heard of Zomato. For those of you who don't know what it is, I would explain it as - "The Facebook of the foodies, by the foodies and for the foodies."
It was founded in 2008 and has really taken of in the last 2 years and it is gaining importance day by day. They have even brought out their own mobile app and it is really elegant and beautiful.

There are many awesome features but my 3 favourite features because of which I visit the website and use the Zomato app are-

  1. The vast coverage of restaurants with complete details (including average cost of the food and special citibank offers). The app also includes the phone no. of the restaurant so that the user can make a call for reservations from within the app. Its so simple and brilliant!
  2. The newly introduced filters in the Zomato App so that the photos of the food taken can be beautified with special effects.
  3. The categorisation of restaurants (Eg: trending this week, Irani cafes, Hidden Gems, Pocket Friendly, Kickass Burgers etc.) It really makes it easier for the user to search for new places to eat.

However, there are few things which can be improved upon and added. The 3 major things what every Zomato user according to me would need are-
  1. A dedicated search bar for finding friends who are users of Zomato with ease through the website and the mobile app. (Find the screen shots of the website and app attached).
  2. A Zomato user should also be able to suggest which restaurants can be included in which category. Zomato should conduct a monthly/quarterly poll suggesting users of all regions to add a restaurant that they feel should be included in a particular category. Depending on the polling results, Zomato can incorporate the same. It would make the users more enthusiastic. Also Zomato should allow users to start events so that all the foodies can get together occasionally and gorge on delicious food at their favourite restaurants. This feature can be named as "Going Dutch."
  3. In the future, Zomato should slowly enter into arrangements with various restaurants such that a user can directly make table reservations from the zomato website or through the app and with a possibility of making the payment of the bill also through the app. I know it is a huge task but it would really take Zomato to the next level.

There must also be a secondary search bar to search for other zomato users
Same feature must be incorporated in the app too
I personally love the concept introduced by Zomato. This company really has a bright future. Watch out for their name.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Calculation of Leave available for Study for CA Students

Dear fellow CA students.

You must be working really hard the whole day. Morning classes, then your articleship then again evening classes. You must be wondering as to how much time you will get time to study for your CA exams and whether the days will be enough for preparation.

You need not look any further! If you feel you need 90 days then you can plan, if you need 120 or even 150 days, you can still plan. I have created a leave calculator which allows you to know how much leave you have at your disposal. Not only that you can decide how much leave you want to take in order to get enough time to study without having to serve an extension period.

Find the link to the excel sheet here.

Before you start calculating your leave I have taken the following into consideration.

1. In the 1st and 2nd year of articleship I have assumed that you would be working for 6 days a week and in the 3rd year 5 days a week.
2. You can change the dates according to when your articleship commenced.
3. You can make changes in the holiday list.
4. You can pre-decide as to how much leave you want to take in the 3rd year as study leave. You can put your own dates.
5. The calculation of excess will be done for you automatically. You should be fine as long as the excess leave shows "0", else you might have to serve an extension.

I have tried my best to simplify this. Go ahead and download the sheet.
If you make your own calculation and it differs from the one on this excel sheet, then you can either leave a feedback by way of comments or email me with your calculation so that I can make changes and upload the revised sheet.


Your Friend and Fellow CA Student,
Raunak

Note: This is for students who have 3 years of articleship and not 3.5 years.