ECom sites – an update…

Just a small update on the previous post where I mentioned a couple of international sites that I would be trying out. Well, I am still waiting for the delivery of my first small order from DealeXtreme, I already have some delivered from AliExpress.

I also joined the affiliate programs for FlipKart, Amazon India, Snapdeal and AliExpress to get a better idea of what is going on in that area.

Continue reading

The Great Courses – Must check this out!

I came across this one accidentally when someone was watching one of these courses. I checked out the site and it is definitely worth spending some time on.

They have a huge variety of courses in subjects ranging from History, Literature, Mathematics, Sciences to Cyber Security and Big Data. Although a bit pricey when compared to some of the purely technical course sites, but, seems to be worth it given the quality of the content.

Some of the fundamental courses seem to be great for school and college going students. I only wish these kind of resources had been available when I was in that age group.

There are previews of the courses and a synopsis that you can check out for each course.

When I tried to access the site a few days ago, it was down for some upgrades and I got the following message with a $10 discount coupon in case someone is interested.

Since you've "caught us" during the upgrade, you get a special coupon code!
Use code NEWTGC to get $10 Off Any Order * placed by Sunday, August 3rd, 2014.

Delhi power tariff hiked by 8.32% – Scientific Reasons?

As the power hikes in Delhi continue unabated, the power companies along with the DERC might have a new, scientific reason, to quote for the hikes…Electricity consuming bacteria!

Yes, bacteria that thrive on electricity are not all that rare. Check out this article on the New Scientist for more details.

It is an interesting coincidence that both these news items are published hardly a day apart.

Happy New Year 2014!

Wishing You All Very Happy New Year 2014.

As our learning through the years continues, here are some apps that iOS users can check out. Some of these are also available on the Android platform.

Udemy offers quite a few courses on a variety of subjects for free. These apps also allow you download the content for offline viewing later.

CodeCademy is great for learning to code.

Coursera is a massive collection of open online courses (MOOCs).

The MIT OCW is yet another great resource.

Khan Academy needs no introduction. In case you want some of these for offline viewing, check out the Khan Archiver app. For selected courses from Khan Academy, check out the this link.

Happy Learning!

Most commonly used Passport photograph size

A lot of people are now printing passport size photographs at home. One of the things I keep forgetting is the most common size for the same. Turns out that the most common size is 3.5cm x 4.5cm, or, around 1.37in x 1.78in. This translates to approximately 412 x 530 pixels.

BTW, check out the new calculator in google using a current browser. Try a search like “3.5 cm in inches” and the new, changed, look is nice.

Electronic Cigarettes

For smokers, there are 2 vendors in India that one can look at.

Both have similar offerings.

SteamLite is somewhat more expensive, looks and feels better and has a very responsive sales team and a just about working site. Do not try to pay online as it will take you to Paypal and wants you to pay in British Pounds. Not sure if this is legal, asking for payments in Forex for an Indian company. CoD costs Rs.99/- regardless of the value of the order. The infused flavors are extremely mild and one might not even feel them. Their atomizers and brown cartridges seem to have some major issues. Don’t bother with their e-liquid pack, it’s expensive and useless. Stick to the black cartridges and cartomizers and forget the brown ones. They are constructed differently and therefore the difference.

SmokeFree on the other hand, has a debatable customer support, badly done web site, but, okay product wise. BTW, they have just raised their prices for the products recently, although still lower than SteamLite. Overall, this offers good value if you forget about customer support of any kind. Most accessories like USB chargers seems to be permanently out of stock and you would need to purchase a more expensive kit to get an additional charger. CoD costs nothing additional if the order value is over Rs.1000/-. They also give you smoke points for every order which can be redeemed for the next order. Unfortunately, the points system does not seem to work as expected. Despite all the negatives here, the infused flavors are good, specially the coffee and menthol. The recent addition of the tank atomizer makes it a better choice. Ideally, don’t bother with the other products and just get the new premium kit which has the tank atomizer with the e-liquid. Although not very well designed when it comes to re-filling, it works better than the conventional e-cig and cartridge packs.

In either case, get a kit first and check out which flavor and brand you prefer. Both have decent kits around the Rs.1000/- range.

To conclude, it would have been a difficult choice between the two, but, the new tank atomizer on SmokeFree wins for now. If SteamLite also got a tank atomizer and improved the quality of the e-liquid flavors, then, there would be no competition and they would win hands down.