Saturday, September 12, 2015

One time password

What is the point of hiding one time passwords?

  • Since I am entering it for the first and last time in my life, let me see it so that I don't type something wrong.
  • It is OK for other people to see it. It is anyway useless immediately after use. 
I wish Apple opens up a bank so that banks have someone to copy.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Generosity of the few

For a long time I felt that the only solution to the tragedy of the commons is structure - based on money or authority. I have a new contender now. This one is called generosity of the few.  It doesn't really works always but in many situations, generosity of the few is good enough to keep the system in balance. Few examples:

  • After being stuck in a traffic jam for some time and before the police shows up, someone who is probably not even driving any vehicle, stands up and starts managing the traffic, all the while listening to the shouts of angry drivers.
  • On roads without any traffic lights, someone just stops the car to let some pedestrians cross the road.
  • Some people actually answer questions on StackOverflow.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Original Disputable Ideas on Traffic Management

Air Pollution Control

Make sure that exhaust pipes open in front of the vehicle and not behind them. Essentially they should cause visibility problems for the driver, if the vehicle is polluting.  I will like to believe that most people pollute because they don't even know. This fixes the problem of at least knowing when to get things checked. Also with this approach pollution is no longer someone else's problem. It has some implications for the driver also (reduced visibility).

Noise Pollution Control

This is mostly caused by needless pressing of horns. And the reason some of the people keep pressing them most of the time is because it is so damn easy to press it. The idea is to replace the "button" for horn, with a "voice activated" horn. Essentially if someone wants to honk, he needs to shout. The "voice detector" will sound the horn and the intensity will depend upon the intensity of the "shout". Why does this works? How loud can one shout and how long can one continue to shout loudly? Basically we have made "horn" a finite resource, to be used judiciously. 

Lane Jumping 

Lane jumping is not really a problem unless it requires others to apply breaks. The problem with lane jumping is that the one jumping the lane is likely to end up appreciating his skills rather than being thankful to the thoughtfulness of the one who breaks. We have good breaks in cars and they don't make much noise. If we could add that noise back, may be a bit amplified, we at least let the lane jumpers know what they have caused. The silent breaks make it impossible to provide correct feedback to the lane jumpers. Honking doesn't quite have the same meaning because it has a questionable human element.

Safe Pedestrian Crossing 

Pedestrian crossings are safe when they exist. The problem is the absence of them at so many places, making it very risky for people to cross roads. The solution here is to have coin operated traffic lights for pedestrians - just like "sulabh souchlaya". Some way to generate enough money to justify investments from say pubic-private-partnership.

Please share if you think this makes sense. It might happen if enough people want it to happen.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Shot on iphone 6

On commute to office, I saw some huge adds with good photos of nature. Title at the top said: "Shot on iphone 6".  

Some what related to my earlier post on Sent from my iphone