The Long Silence..

It has been an year that I stopped writing on this blog as I was gifted with a lovely baby girl last year. From that day on wards, my life has been better and busier. Although few topics came to my mind I could not find a time to write things down to a blog.

I love to wake up to hear her scream in the morning, (a good thing, really) and just delighted at how she is picking things up from our behavior and how fast she is.

I break this silence and thought of writing at least 3 blog posts for a week as I became influenced and driven by a set of videos on you-tube. (The links are below.)

Ok, there you go, let’s meet on the next post.

The Truth About Your Calling With Seth Godin

Seth Godin | Advice that Changed My Life

Get Out of Your Head & Start Expressing Yourself 

 

Sri Lanka – Photo Diary (Part 1)

Captures on my limited travel days of last year at various places in the lovely island of Sri Lanka.

Was spining to Credence Clear water Revival albums throughout the journey. 😛

Part 2 ..coming soon. Free to share or download.

Data Privacy – A timely act for the Sri Lankan citizen

Few years back I used to give out my email address for anything and everything that retail/marketing companies put out for. But today, all these promotional messages/phone calls are becoming a nuisance.

Here’s the breakdown on the promotional SMS’s that I get to my phone within a period ofa week;

  1. 2 -3 messages Pizza promotions every Wednesday and Friday
  2. Deals for electronic items – which I do not even remember giving my phone number to.
  3. 2- 3 messages Deals for travel/dine ins etc.
  4. At least 2-3 dialog messages for promotions and a phone call upselling products and services

For some institutions I call them and usually unsubscribe but the texts still comes in (Such as Sizzles in Colombo!). Please do not spend any marketing budget on me, it is your good money; hope you guys understand.

However, I was concerned about how vulnerable I am with all my accounts at these places, as I have carelessly given my email and passwords which can be easily decrypted by a 5 year old.

These are easily cracked with one or two line of codes in any programming language.

“It is your information. You have the right to choose who gets what and who does not”

However, my rant stops here and let’s get serious about the laws of data protection.

There are laws for protecting user data,implemented successfully in 1 st world countries such as Canada’s The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA or the PIPED Act) is a Canadian law relating to data privacy.

“The law governs how private sector organizations collect, use and disclose personal information in the course of commercial business.”

With malicious attacks of hackers not only through the internet, but even through social engineering private data is at stake nowadays more than ever.”

Especially when big data is corporate world’s new found diamonds, we as common people should have the right to know what is done with our information.

In a business standpoint, customers having confidence in their information being secured at any point within their transactions/exchanges will increase trust in that particular engagement. Therefore, institutions should make the collection and retention of user data encrypted, backed up to an offshore site or outsource to third party security companies who are extremely competent in what they do.

Organisation policies should be updated in line with the above said security measures and every stakeholder/employee should be well trained and practiced with changes.

In a country like Sri Lanka, this might still be at an infant stage, but being a leading technology outsourced service providing country in the world, IT professionals need to look into this privacy matters and its policies in detail.

10 Privacy Tips for Companies : (courtesy of Big Data University)

  1. Proactively invest in data security.
  2. Sign non disclosure agreements (NDAs) where applicable and strictly adhere to the terms of signed NDAs.
  3. Avoid file-sharing programs.
  4. Avoid malware and phishing messages.
  5. Restrict the use of USB memory devices or use encrypted ones.
  6. Be responsible with social media.
  7. Data should be backed up daily to a secure cloud service or remote server.
  8. On completion of projects, all materials relating to the project (including backups) should be deleted.
  9. Use an Secure Sockets Layer, SSL, an encrypted link between a web server and a browser.
  10. Use strong unique passwords.

References:

https://www.atkearney.com/documents/10192/430128/Country_Competitiveness_Study-Sri_Lanka.pdf/7d3033a4-5935-41d8-bf99-a1462bf7d553

ICT Workforce Study of 2013

http://island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=150498

ICTA workforce survey of 2013

http://www.cbsl.gov.lk/pics_n_docs/02_prs/_docs/speeches/speech_20150515e.pdf

https://priyanthawords.wordpress.com/

https://courses.bigdatauniversity.com/

https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/privacy-laws-in-canada/the-personal-information-protection-and-electronic-documents-act-pipeda/

Free Education…

No, I am not going to talk about the right for free education in Sri Lanka. A different topic, that is.

This post is centered around the ways of new learning and the rise of self learning on the web.

Here are some of them I have used. One of my favourite being Lynda.com (which compelled me to take on a course on Songwriting!!)

  1. Lynda.com
  2. Coursera.org is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.
  3. Khan Academy – Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well organized interface.
  4. Udemy -Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

These are the ones that I use very frequently.

You can find more following the link below.

Source: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/money/25-killer-sites-for-free-online-education.html

 

Citrus Hikkaduwa – Unique and

Well, to start out you do not have to take this review in to your books as a good or a bad one since this is only just another hotel review of one of the nice hotels around Hikkaduwa.
I am sure one can find out a lot of ratings on sites like Tripadvisor  with 300 something user reviews and a lot of photos and stuff.
I would not classify this property as a super luxury resort, but for a 3 -4 star grade facilities it is quite a good value for money for the middle class Sri Lankan spender.
There is very less things to do, other than roaming outside the hotel and jumping in to the pool. The property is relatively small but very neat and clean. The staff was very friendly I must say, (since us Sri Lankans are well known for our hospitality) and does a good job of keeping the property environmentally friendly.
However, the downside is that the access to the sea is heartbreaking as I was hoping for a sea bath after a dip in the pool. The problem was instead of a beach, they have a destroyed coral reef (not sure how it ended up that way). Therefore, no swimming but good for photographs and endless selfie creations.
If you want to spend a lazy weekend down south, here’s the info.
Address: 400 AH43, Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 91 5 560005

My beloved demoness – A Review

I purchased this book at the last year Colombo international book fair -2015, and took no notice of it until recently. Spinning through and cover to cover a dozen books from the fair I failed to sink in this gem until February 2016.

The first moment I read the preface I knew that I am going to go through a master piece. Of course, it is unconventional, contemporary and got my head spinning inside another magical realm or a dimension which is very close to earth.

Very seldom I read about 10 pages and went in to an imagination of my own for hours, and lost in the bewildering thoughts of the demoness on the first few pages.

I must admit I was blown away from the very post modern thought and writing style which sometimes represents our own 3rd world country and sometimes the writer glides us through the streets of Paris.

The other area that I found refreshing is the proses that are clinged on to most stories. The proses are refreshing when the reader is going through a fantasy of his/her own.

However, I must admit that I have only managed to read 150 pages, but this is already some book that I would recommend to anyone. (Or not, will be suitable for 18+ as it has exploitation of drugs and related content)

The role of the poet and the Heemitiya was very entertaining. Been influenced by stories in the likes I enjoyed the story with a smirk on my face eventually my wife exclaimed.

On a seperate note, my partner has only read 2-3 pages of the book and she still says it is rubbish. 😛

Well, in conclusion this could be either you hate it or love it kind of a novel.

With the book festival coming up in September, I wish to pruchase some gems like this hopefully as it is absolutely a rare classic.

පත්තු කරලම සංසාරය බෙදාගනිමු!

Poetry from the author:

! kaviyamw1

 

Transportation Problem

The transportation problem on the transportation industry is a very interesting concept and the linear programming applications are vital in deciding the optimum transportation schedule by  minimizing the cost that is applied for the transportation of the goods.

While researching for few hours, i found loads of knowledge for this domain and went through most of the methods/models used in achieving the above.

In reality the transportation problem is applied for many cases such as,

  • determine low cost location
  • Optimum route to deliver the goods
  • Find minimum cost production schedule
  • Optimizing various Distribution systems

The main two types of the problem is known as Balanced and unbalanced transportation problems. (More on the unbalanced problems later, as it is a commonly used in reality; however, only a dummy location or a demand is added to the equation, that is all :P)

Simply put the balanced problem always have the supply equals the demand and the unbalanced the is not.

When divided the problem into to two phases;

The first is to find an initial feasible solution and the second one is to optimize it.

To find out the initial feasible solution the following methods can be used;

  • North west corner rule
  • least cost method
  • VAM – Vogle approximity method
  • Row/column minima method

For optimisation;

  • Stepping stone method
  • Modified distribution method (MODI)

You can find a lot of domain knowledge on this on channels like below:

Operations and transportation problems

 

 

Going “Lean” for Transportation

Going ‘LEAN’ is the new way of doing a business. Putting it in a simpler way, it is all about creating more value for customers with fewer resources.

A lean oriented business entity understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste.

lean-process

DMAIC – Improvement Cycle

Applying this in to the transportation domain (the domain I am into these days), there are 8 lean transportation thinking,according to the popular website Cerasis.com.

More on DMAIC on future posts. 🙂

Namely,

  1. Right Materials
  2. Right Quantity
  3. Right time
  4. Right Place
  5. Right Source
  6. Right Price
  7. Right Quantity
  8. Right Service

All these points are means to achieve lesser expenses and better rate from the carriers or Delivery Agents (DA’s).

Have a look at the challenges that one can experience in a supply chain in the below image. (courtesy of www.capgemini.com)

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SCM ladder

For long term stability of the customer driven supply chain it is essential that,

  • There should transparency of the the order fulfillment process for all related stakeholders.
  • Obtain the best rates for deliveries through delivery rate optimization.The rate optimization is an algorithm that is based on cost and speed variables.
  • Customer value is essential to the order fulfillment process.
  • Follow best practices of Supply chain and deliveries (to be continued.)

 

Skuggsjá – A Piece for Mind and Mirror -Album Review

SKUGGSJÁ-1024x1024 A brilliant piece of music for the dark/atmospheric music fan, Skuggsjá lets the listener dive into the mesmerizing world of Norse mythology and the traditions.

I have not been a fan of the genre, but almost Wardruna like traditional Norwegian sounds made me realize that the offering is a  work of Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) & Einar Selvik (Wardruna).  

Having said that, even though I have no understanding of a single word on the lyrics (note that the lyrics are in Norwegian) the entire album was a very spiritual experience for me.

For the parts that were a bit Black metalish (extreme) the heavy impact and energy you can absorb from the songs is very strong and most definitely makes the album a worth the listen. The vocals ranging from female male clean voices and absolute shrieks and growled vocals specific to the Norwegian scene adds the variety that is expected for such a genre.

In a nutsell, listening to an album in this  ‘A Piece for Mind & Mirror’ will vary from person to person. But one thing is for sure that this album is one of the best to come out in 2016. (Use a good headphone. 🙂 )

 

Artists: Ivar Bjørnson & Einar Selvik’s Skuggsjá, Kvitrafn, Ivar Bjørnson
Release date: March 11, 2016
Label: Season of Mist
Track list:
1. Intro: Ull Kjem
2. Skuggsjá
3. Makta Og Vanæra, For All Tid
4. Tore Hund
5. Rop Fra Røynda – Mælt Fra Minne
6. Skuggeslåtten (instrumental)
7. Kvervandi
8. Vitkispá
9. Bøn Om Ending, Bøn Om Byrjing
10. Outro: Ull Gjekk

 

Spotify playlist!

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Spotify playlist is the best thing ever!

Why I say so;

The good

  1. Access to fresh materials – Trust me, there is a lot of good music inside.
  2. better quality – The sound quality is good
  3. UX is something to admire about – From the icons that are used for the moods (since when did a safety pin became an icon for punk?) and the layout itself. (I hate the Lastfm UX)
  4. The followers history – Good to see what others are listening to

The bad

  1. Getting stuck very often when clicked a category – not sure this is because of a data overload since there are collections that loads under 4 seconds.
  2. Some categories are empty!  – e.g. Gaming
  3. Genre stations are not working since the day I  installed the desktop player
  4. Where can I find the lyrics/song meaning? – would be cool to have the text in a corner and the song meaning.

The Ugly

  1. Not available in the local app store (iOS)
  2. The algorithms used to create personalised radio stations relies on your listening history and are better tuned on Lastfm than on Spotify.( I heard this from a friend but could not find an official source)

Found this one already published for some reason, even though it was in draft. .my bad. 😦