Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

New Invention for Sleep at Airports

The airport Industry is considered the peak in commercial automation in terms of the technologies in use, of course there is Industrial Automation, Military Automation as the other parts or you could say peaks. But in Commercial Automation, working on an Airport is like working on a Spacecraft. The airports often throw up technologies and or gadgets that may in fact one day move into daily life a few examples of these would be travelators, escalators, and image recognition through security cameras etc. I am working on the Dubai Airport expansion project and recently came across this interesting little device from the consultants who have designed the Dubai Airport, Airport De Paris International (ADPi) that they have installed in the Paris Airport as a sample.

Sleep Machines, that allow people to sleep or rest while they wait for flights these seem like amazing machines. It looks just right, the perfect place to catch up on your sleep between long flights. We like its clever design, with sheets that are automatically changed by winding from one roller to another, just like a conveyor belt. Each Sleep Box is decked out with an LCD display, Wi-Fi, a place to stash your luggage, and plenty of sockets for charging up your laptop and cell phone. Sure beats sleeping in a chair. Check out the pictures of the same here below and also the video below.


Dirty Facts … Some dirty infographics

[tweetmeme] Infographics are awesome, representing complicated information with just a few graphical representations. There are so many infographics online and there are lists of great infographics, all over the internet. But some designers are taking this a little too far, hilariously far. Imagine preparing an infographic for flatulance or poop for that matter. Well, interestingly I am presenting them here on my blog.

Lets start with a personal favorite : Using BIC pens to explain mostly everyone’s sexual orientation.

via [source and source]

Facts about Farts

via 9gag

Facts about Poop

via 9gag

More interesting (and useful) infographics lists here :

My tryst with Burj Dubai oops Burj Khalifa now finally opened …

Dubai has become what it is today partly through defiance of normal expectations: here are islands shaped like palm trees, the world’s only seven-star hotel, the world’s richest horse race. But the result is a place that lacks coherence, both physically and psychologically. In many ways, it resembles a glorified film set, awaiting the arrival of the swashbuckling hero to tie all the loose strands together and give this fantasy some credibility. But this most unconventional of places is not immune to reality.
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Amidst all of this, the city state has just opened the tallest tower in the world. And having the pleasure to witness this once in a lifetime event made it an amazing experience for me personally. Driving in towards the ‘Burj’ we could witness the crowds anticipation of the opening ceremony, there were proffessional and amateur photographers at every location conceivable where they could get a good picture. The local newspaper also has a contest running for the best picture of the tower. The iconic building of Dubai which Dubai spent the last 4 years publicising however does not show the name of Dubai.  The tower is now called Burj Khalifa, in honor of the sheikh who helped save dubai from their credit default last month.
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[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=burj+dubai&iid=7454601″ src=”0/0/4/8/The_Opening_Of_57af.jpg?adImageId=8801596&imageId=7454601″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /]
At a height of 828 Meters, this is a very impressive building. Last night as I watched the fireworks around the tower light up the night sky, I was reminded about my brush with the giant tower. During my work with NG Global, we were stationed at the tower for about 6 months trying to figure out some issues with the Building Management System and during my visit was lucky enough to have visited the hightest manned floor in the world, the 162nd floor of the Burj. Have some pics attached of the views from there.
Getting back to the opening ceremony, it was one hell of a fireworkd show. Just begining to comprehend the logistics of lighting up a tower of 828 Meters with fireworks, let alone syncronising the fireworks, is a huge task. Check out the videos from Youtube, and some pictures from various friends. I still need to upload my pics which I will soon, and will update the same as I do it.

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Change as an engineer

For the longest time I thought that change is for the good, why would anyone make a big deal of change. Being in an industry where people work for years and years, I would always think of the “Oldies” as some sort of mental blockers in accepting that their landscape is changing. Their reluctance to accept new technology etc is something that we all know of but even people, they would be very skeptical to accept even new people.

On the contrary, they also know that, if we all resisted change all the time, we as designers of course would not be able to improve and advance technology.  Change is, without question, inevitably necessary to evolve our products, procedures, efficiency etc. If the guys making the first car would have never changed or evolved we would have amazing gas guzzlers that would provide 1 km per gallon and would cost a few hundred thousand, wait the American cars still do that. 🙂

Working in a similar landscape I realized that we engineers go through rigorous scientific process when making decisions.  We rely on experiment, trial, hard data, user experience, cost analysis, potential and future benefit, and product efficiency to evaluate new tools, products, and design flows.  As one can imagine, this often takes a hefty chunk of time and effort.  We engineers decide to put in the time and effort now, and plan on using the eventual choice for many recurring projects.  It is a significant investment for both the engineer and the company to evaluate and make these difficult choices.  The motivation for change must be painfully obvious and very compelling else the inclination towards it is not even there.

Like they say necessity is the mother of all invention, we believe that laziness is the key to all efficiency. Quite frankly. I can state maybe 2 examples to show this. One being my computer, where the shortcuts, look and feel, customization of menus, bookmarks etc are meant to maximize my computer using experience. And when I say that I mean get all my stuff with the minimum effort. Even the routine excel files that I use are all with formulas, etc to ensure that I am able to provide the required reports etc with minimal effort. Maybe that is why most of us DO NOT like anyone to fiddle around with our computers. Even the place where I used to live as a bachelor was a small 8sqm studio which was made up to accommodate most of my whims and fancies at that time. It was also an efficiency masterpiece to be able to enjoy all of my stuff with minimal effort. Again what might seem as laziness to a lot of people is definitely the efficiency of the process.

I also do believe that engineers do embrace change, but it takes  a lot for them to do so. Like it is aptly put there should be painfully obvious to make the change.

Engineers should embrace change if it provides an immediate opportunity to increase their own personal skill sets.   This applies to learning new software, new programming languages, new management techniques, and of course new design methods. In the industrial world, new products and materials can provide unforeseen improvements to high-tech designs.

The long-term gains available should be embraced by the engineer, given appropriate runway and deadlines.  This is where upper-management normally misses the boat. When all is said and done, the goal is to make money.

The Management’s mantra to lower costs is not entirely evil; it should be everyone’s goal to help the bottom line.  Again, the key is balance.  If there is a significantly cheaper option available, whether it be software, tools, or parts, it should be evaluated in detail by the company’s best engineers.  It is up to them to determine the technical capabilities of the new toy.

And these things are something that I am now getting to see while slowly moving up the corporate ladder. I wonder would it have made a difference if someone had spoken to me during my college days I mean made it more management type discussion then I might have adapted accordingly. Well that Is something of a discussion that needs to be taken another time. For the time being it is clear we as engineers are as stubborn as a donkey on some issues. And yes I am admitting it, finally.

India Vs India

There are two India’s in our country. One India is straining at the leash, eager to spring forth and live up to all the adjectives that the world has been showering recently upon us. The other India is the leash.

One India says, give me a chance and I’ll prove myself. The other India says, proves yourself first and may be you will have a chance.
One India lives in the optimism of our hearts. The other India lurks in the skepticism of our minds.

One India wants. The other India hopes.
One India leads. The other India follows.

But conversions are on the rise. With each passing day more and more people from the other India have been coming over to this side. And quietly, while the world is not looking, a pulsating, dynamic, new India is emerging. An India whose faith, in success is far greater than its fear of failure. An India that no longer boycotts foreign-made goods but buys out the companies that makes them instead. History, they say, is a bad motorist. It rarely ever signals its intentions when it is taking a turn. This is that rarely-ever moment. History is turning a page.

For more than half a century, our nation has sprung, stumbled, run, fallen, rolled over, got up, dusted herself and cantered, sometimes lurched on. But today as we began our 60th year as a free nation, the rise has brought us to the edge of time’s great precipice. And one India-a tiny little voice at the back of the head – is looking down at the bottom of the ravine and hesitating. The other India is looking up at the sky and saying it’s time to fly.

India, Rising. Is there an explanation ?

The idea that India is a poor country is a relatively recent one. Historically, South Asia was always famous as the richest region of the globe. Ever since Alexander the Great first penetrated the Hindu Kush, Europeans fantasized about the wealth of these lands where the Greek geographers said that gold was dug by up by gigantic ants and guarded by griffins, and where precious jewels were said to lie scattered on the ground like dust.

At their heights during the 17th century, the subcontinent’s fabled Mughal emperors were rivaled only by their Ming counterparts in China. For their contemporaries in distant Europe, they were potent symbols of power and wealth. In Milton’s Paradise Lost, for example, the great Mughal cities of Agra and Lahore are revealed to Adam after the Fall as future wonders of God’s creation. This was hardly an overstatement. By the 17th century, Lahore had grown even larger and richer than Constantinople and, with its two million inhabitants, dwarfed both London and Paris.

What changed was the advent of European colonialism. Following Vasco da Gama’s discovery of the sea route to the East in 1498, European colonial traders — first the Portuguese, then the Dutch and finally the British — slowly wrecked the old trading network and imposed with their cannons and caravels a Western imperial system of command economics. It was only at the very end of the 18th century, after the East India Company began to cash in on the Mughal Empire’s riches, that Europe had for the first time in history a favorable balance of trade with Asia. The era of Indian economic decline had begun, and it was precipitous. In 1600, when the East India Company was founded, Britain was generating 1.8% of the world’s GDP, while India was producing 22.5%. By 1870, at the peak of the Raj, Britain was generating 9.1%, while India had been reduced for the first time to the epitome of a Third World nation, a symbol across the globe of famine, poverty and deprivation.

In hindsight, what is happening today with the rise of India and China is not some miraculous novelty — as it is usually depicted in the Western press — so much as a return to the traditional pattern of global trade in the medieval and ancient world, where gold drained from West to East in payment for silks and spices and all manner of luxuries undreamed of in the relatively primitive capitals of Europe.

It is worth remembering this as India aspires to superpower status. Economic futurologists all agree that China and India during the 21st century will come to dominate the global economy. Various intelligence agencies estimate that China will overtake the U.S. between 2030 and 2040 and India will overtake the U.S. by roughly 2050, as measured in dollar terms. Measured by purchasing-power parity, India is already on the verge of overtaking Japan to become the third largest economy in the world.

Looking back at the role Europeans have played in South Asia until their departure in August 1947, there is certainly much that the West can be said to have contributed to Indian life: the Portuguese brought the chili pepper, while the British brought that other essential staple, tea — as well as the arguably more important innovations including democracy and the rule of law, railways, cricket and the English language. All contributed to India’s economic resurrection. But the British should keep their nostalgia and self-satisfaction surrounding the colonial period within strict limits. For all the irrigation projects, the great engineering achievements and the famous imperviousness to bribes of the officers of the Indian Civil Service, the Raj nevertheless presided over the destruction of India’s political, cultural and artistic self-confidence as well as the impoverishment of the Indian economy.

Today, things are slowly returning to historical norms. Last year the richest man in the U.K. was for the first time an ethnic Indian, Lakshmi Mittal, and Britain’s largest steel manufacturer, Corus, has been bought by an Indian company, Tata. Extraordinary as it is, the rise of India and China is nothing more than a return to the ancient equilibrium of world trade, with Europeans no longer appearing as gun-toting, gunboat-riding colonial masters but instead reverting to their traditional role: that of eager consumers of the much celebrated manufactures, luxuries and services of the East.