Facebook learns to deal with Death

We lost a couple of friends over the last few months, one who ended his life and another who was in a very bad car accident. Both their losses are felt throughout the friends circle, more so in their homes.

A few posts ago I had raised an interesting question about your digital self after you die. Although it is one of those topics which people are not really interested to talk about; it is something that everyone nearly takes interest to at least read. Or at least they should, because your digital self lasts a really long time after you are gone.

Facebook, like most times has taken note of this and has put a step in the right direction. When someone leaves us, they don’t leave our memories or the social network. To reflect that reality, Facebook created the idea of “memorialized” profiles as a place where people can save and share their memories of those who’ve passed.

The service from Facebook allows friends or family contact Facebook to request that a profile be memorialized. By memorializing the account of someone who has passed away, people will no longer see that person appear in their Suggestions, since Facebook is giving a lot of friend suggestions these days.

When an account is memorialized, they also set privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in search. They also try to protect the deceased’s privacy by removing sensitive information such as contact information and status updates. Memorializing an account also prevents anyone from logging into it in the future, while still enabling friends and family to leave posts on the profile Wall in remembrance.

If you have a friend or a family member whose profile should be memorialized, please contact Facebook, so their memory can properly live on among their friends on Facebook. As time passes, the sting of losing someone you care about also fades but it never goes away. You can still visit that friend’s memorialized profile to remember the good times you had and share them with your mutual friends.

This is to Gopal and Vilas, may you guys rest in peace.

You can check out the Facebook blog with this information here http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=163091042130

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.

Slideshare Rockstar !

Well, this is something interesting that happened today, I received a mail from the Slideshare team and they actually sent me complimenting that I am a slideshare rockstar. Check out the mail below …

Hi misterjester,

We’ve noticed that your slideshows on SlideShare has been getting a LOT of views in the last 24 hours. Great job … you must be doing something right. 😉

Why don’t you tweet or blog this? Use the hashtag #bestofslideshare so we can track the conversation.

Congratulations,
-SlideShare Team

So I am actually blogging this ! lol … well on a serious note I have learned a lot from the presentations on slideshare.net. And i think that there is an awesome requirement for more sites like this which allow people to freely publish and exchange everything from their knowledge to personal opinions. And whats more this one is some amazing presentations approach.

I have put up 8 presentations and am finishing my 9th to upload on slideshare. You can see these presentations on

http://www.slideshare.net/misterjester/slideshows

The Letter 'M'

I got this on face book, and think that this should be fun to do, so I am adding it here as well.

Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real…nothing made up (things you actually like beginning with that letter)!
If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question. and tag me too cause i wana know the answers cause i wana know toooooooo

1. What is your name : Melvin

2. A four Letter Word : Mast !!!!!

3. A boy’s Name : Marlon

4. A girl’s Name : Michelle !

5. An occupation : Money Making (Dont we all want to do that !! )

6. A color : Maroon

7. Something you’ll wear : Muffler!

9. A food : Makhan Chicken or butter chicken quite literally !!!!

10. Something found in the bathroom: Mirror

11. A place : Mangalore

12. A reason for being late : Mangled hair (that could happen)

13. Something you’d shout : Moron !!

14. A movie title : Munna Bhai MBBS

15. Something you drink : Milk

16. A musical group : Maroon 5

17. An animal : Monkey

18. A street name : M G Road

19. A type of car : Magna

20. The title of a song : My heart will go on !! cheezy but thats what i could think of

21. T.V. show : MASH

22. A dessert : Malai Kulfi .. OOh like that one !

23. Something found in the kitchen : Me

24. Book : Marley & Me

25. Designer: Mango

Hmm … tat was not too difficult!!!!!

The Quacks of Dubai

It has been long a topic of debate, the medical facilities and the responsiveness of doctors especially in Dubai. I am still scared to go to the DOC in Dubai, I have a ligament that is over stretched and needs help, i am working with medication and some crape bandage. Reading the article below makes it even more difficult … I lost my dad in a cardiac aliment in Bangalore where I was certain the doctors tried everything. But here in Dubai it would not normally be the case, so I can really understand what the family would have gone through. My heart goes out to the family. My humble condolences to Shaila, her sisters and her Mom.

What use are all these discoveries and new methodologies in the field of medicine, if staffs lack basic code of conduct and are negligent beyond words to describe? … What do you call these people … a bunch of Quacks !!!

One day when I was feeling unwell, I decided to take medication on my own to treat my illness. Since it did not subside I decided to go see a doctor at a clinic. The doctor reprimands me saying ‘Have some respect for our profession. What are we doctors sitting here for, if you decide to treat yourselves?’.

Now what will you say, if you have a patient who is in the ICU of a government hospital, recovering from surgery, who complained right from day 1 post surgery of his uneasiness and pain, showed no signs of his condition improving like other patients after their surgery and yet the nurses were not bothered, didn’t insist on following up with the doctors. All this of done in spite of the helpless family members requesting for help !!!

This same patient prior to surgery was an active, healthy and bubbly man, who only had a heart block and needed heart bypass surgery based on doctor’s advice. From a healthy man he was butchered to become a vegetable. What will these same people do when it comes to their families and loved ones … butcher them ????

This is what exactly happened to a man who was a loving husband to a wife and a father to three children. He left his life totally in the hands of the staff’s who turned out to be heartless and cruel in the name of humanity. In his pain he went over and above to do anything the doctors said though it caused him severe discomfort. An innocent life was lost due to the negligence of the nurses at the Intensive Coronary Care Unit of Dubai Hospital.

The patient Mr. Valerian Joseph Pinto underwent Cardiac Bypass Surgery on 23rd March 2008. On 25th March, he was shifted to the Intensive Coronary Unit. The patient suffered from Bronchial Asthma and the nurses never attended to the patient or called for the doctors until the relatives had to alert the nurses of his condition and the Chest Physician was only called the next day in spite of him having breathing problems and being dyspneic. The patient had not slept the entire night. His condition was not diagnosed properly as the Chest Physician didn’t do a regular follow-up to monitor recovery.

The patient insisted on calling doctors as he was suffering from gas problem and breathing difficulty and no action was taken until family members insisted. Repeatedly the nurses kept saying ‘this is what patients go through, we have cases like this’. They never monitored his intake and output. Patient never passed stools 4 days after the surgery. Being an ICU, care was not taken in proper monitoring. If this is an ICU, where are the dedicated nurses for the patient? Do you generalise all patients saying this is normal, even after he complains he is unwell?

The canola was improperly inserted into the left-hand artery causing the medicine to flow outside into the flesh leading to swelling of the hand and the palm and discoloration. The swelling disfigured the left-hand and numbed the thumb, index and middle finger which resulted in the blood getting clotted. This also the family member had to notify the nurses to check. They called the on-call duty doctor to insert the fresh canola. He received a phone call and left the patient there. During this time the nurses were experimenting pricking the canola on the right hand thereby puncturing all the veins. After unsuccessful attempts, they called the Anaesthesia Doctor who came from a surgery and he could not find any artery and confirmed that all are punctured and went off.

There were no IV lines on either hands and they didn’t even start the central line. For 2 days the patient was not given Lasix to help him urinate. This led to urine being accumulated within the system. The patient complained he was restless and had severe perspiration. Did any nurse check on this or call the doctors?

One member of the family wanted to be with the patient overnight to help him as he was completely immobile but the nurses chased us out saying that visiting hours are over and ensured that the security guard was there till we left. The patient had even received doctor’s approval for a family member to stay overnight, but it went to deaf years of the nurses and the nurses chased us out.

The right medication was not given on time and his case was generalised like all the other bypass cases but Mr. Pinto needed extra care since he developed complications. All we kept hearing from the nurses is that ‘we get cases like this’. Our question to the hospital is – are all cases generalised like this? Would these same ruthless people say this if it was their husband, father or brother?

The nurses had a very unwelcoming nature. Hours before he breathed his last , it was a case of emergency but the attitude of the nurses showed pure carelessness. A case of emergency was handled in the midst of three patients who had already undergone open heart surgery and were in recovery. Equipments were not brought in on-time. The seriousness of the matter appeared like a joke to them. The nurses in the room were laughing and portraying cold behaviour when a human was fighting for his life. They were unaware of where the equipments were kept and were moving here and there to find the medication. The General Physician wanted to take an x-ray of the patient’s stomach; there was no portable x-ray machine available at the time.

The night (29 March) before the patient passed away he was very restless and uneasy and kept pressing the bell calling out to the nurses for attendance, as he was desperate and needed to see a doctor. First the nurses would take their own sweet time to attend and after some time they would disconnect the bell so that the patient does not disturb them. In his time of need he was not able to request for help as the bell was disconnected during the night.

After the patient passed away, not a single nurse offered condolences to the grieving family members and continued their cold hearted behaviour. There was no compassion towards patients. This is nothing but butchering a human being. From a lively person who only had a heart block, after the surgery they made him a complete vegetable.

Such inefficient people cannot be a part of an ICU Team. They were neither proactive nor reactive but very sloppy. They paged doctors 3 times and since there was no response, they didn’t follow up. Is this how you treat an emergency?

The cardiac surgeon put the patient on the ventilator; there was no anaesthetic doctor available. They waited for the heart beat to drop till action was taken. Moreover, they are no on-call doctors available. Life support was not given on time.

Oral medication was given instead of supplying through the IV line. IV was stopped as all veins were punctured in both hands.

For one ailment of the patient they complicated it all and caused him to suffer by not providing the right medical aid. The nurses were highly inexperienced who are not aware of the stock the ICU owns. E.g. Flatus tube

We saw the inexperience of hospital staff in treatment, service and reaction of nurses and doctors in handling and treating patients. Right from the male nurse who
delivered the mobile ventilator few minutes before the patient died to the so-called Doctor who wrote the Death Certificate. The nurses were cold hearted. The nurses were not aware whether a flatus tube was available when the cardiac doctor enquired.

When we asked the doctor what was the cause of death, he verbally confirmed saying its Pulmonary Embolism and on the death certificate he wrote the cause as Cardiogenic Shock which is completely different. Till date the hospital has not reverted on the complaint lodged. It took them 6 days to end a life and they need a life time to investigate.

You may investigate and try to cover up your positions but mind you the Lord God up above will not let you cover your position on the day of our eternal judgement.

We lost a loved one in the hands of Quacks.

– Grieving Family of Late Mr. Valerian Joseph Pinto

Connected !!

After going through the hazzles of shifting there were a few more things that required to be sorted out, and one of them definitely was the internet connection. In this day and age of being part of the cyber lifestyle, places like Gmail, Google, Orkut, Blogger, Flickr, Picassa, torrent searches have become part and parcel of my life. I have not been on the cyberworld for the past week, more so because I have been very very busy at work. And saying I was very very busy is still an understatement. Not drifting away from the topic, after chasing the landlord, and all the related people I have got my internet connection at Last.

After waiting for 45 sweet days without internet at home, I finally have it now. Awsome !! My excitement is very visible I guess. It would have meant more if this blog was done through that connection. But well, compromise at the moment.

Speechless ….

There are some things that can leave you emotional, sorry and speechless at times. … a time when shame and silence takes over. Read an article on the net today, I will add it on My Blog … you can read the same here at the source.

Vivek Pradhan wasn’t a happy man. Even the plush comfort of the First Class air-conditioned compartment of the Shatabdi Expresscouldn’t cool his frayed nerves. He was the Project Manager and still not entitled to air travel. It was not the prestige he sought, hehad tried to reason with the admin guy, it was the savings in time. A PM had so many things to do!

He opened his case and took out the laptop, determined to put the time to some good use. “Are you from the software industry sir,” the man beside him was staring appreciatively at the laptop.Vivek glanced briefly and mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now with exaggerated care and importance as if it were an expensive car.

“You people have brought so much advancement to the country sir. Today everything is getting computerized.”‘Thanks,” smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a detailed look.He always found it difficult to resist appreciation. The man was young and stocky like a sportsman. He looked simple and strangelyout of place in that little lap of luxury like a small town boy in a prep school. He probably was a Railway sportsman making the mostof his free traveling pass.

“You people always amaze me,” the man continued, “You sit in an office and write something on a computer and it does so many bigthings outside.” Vivek smiled deprecatingly. Naivety demanded reasoning not anger. “It is not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a questionof writing a few lines. There is a lot of process that goes behind it.” For a moment he was tempted to explain the entire SoftwareDevelopment Lifecycle but restrained himself to a single statement. “It is complex, very complex.””It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly paid,” came the reply. This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint ofbelligerence came into his so far affable, persuasive tone.

“Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in.””Hard work!””Indians have such a narrowconcept of hard work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned office doesn’t mean our brows don’t sweat. You exercise themuscle; we exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing.”

He had the man where he wanted him and it was time to drive home the point. “Let me give you an example. Take this train. Theentire railway reservation system is computerized. You can book a train ticket between any two stations from any of the hundreds ofcomputerized booking centers across the country.Thousands of transactions accessing a single database at a given time; concurrency, data integrity, locking, data security. Do youunderstand the complexity in designing and coding such a system?”The man was stuck with amazement, like a child at a planetarium. This was something big and beyond his imagination.”You design and code such things.” “I used to,” Vivek paused for effect, “But now I am the project manager,”

“Oh!” sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over, “so your life is easy now.”It was like being told the fire was better than the frying pan. The man had to be given a feel of the heat.”Oh come on, does life ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only brings more work. Design and coding! That isthe easier part. Now I don’t do it, but I am responsible for it and believe me, that is far more stressful. My job is to get thework done in time and with the highest quality. And to tell you about the pressures! There is the customer at one end alwayschanging his requirements, the user wanting something else and your boss always expecting you to have finished it yesterday.”Vivek paused in his diatribe, his belligerence fading with self-realisation. What he had said was not merely the outburst ofa wronged man, it was the truth. And one need not get angry while defending the truth.”My friend,” he concluded triumphantly, “you don’t know what it is to be in the line of fire.” The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if in realization.

When he spoke after sometime, it was with a calm certainty that surprised Vivek.”I know sir, I know what it is to be in the line of fire,” He was staring blankly as if no passenger, no train existed, just a vastexpanse of time.”There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in the cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top. Therewas no knowing where the next bullet was going to come from and for whom. In the morning when we finally hoisted the tricolor atthe top only 4 of us were alive.””You are a…””I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in Kargil. They tell me I have completed my term and can opt for aland assignment. But tell me sir, can one give up duty just because it makes life easier. On the dawn of that capture one ofmy colleagues lay injured in the snow, open to enemy fire while we were hiding behind a bunker. It was my job to go and fetch thatsoldier to safety. But my captain refused me permission and went ahead himself. He said that the first pledge he had taken as aGentleman Cadet was to put the safety and welfare of the nation foremost followed by the safety andwelfare of the men he commanded. His own personal safety came last, always and every time. He was killed as he shielded thatsoldier into the bunker. Every morning now as I stand guard I can see him taking all those bullets, which were actually meant forme. I know sir, I know what it is to be in the line of fire.”Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of his reply. Abruptly he switched off the laptop. It seemed trivial, even insulting toedit a word document in the presence of a man for whom valor and duty was a daily part of life; a valor and sense of duty which hehad so far attributed only to epical heroes.The train slowed down as it pulled into the station and Subedar

Sushant picked up his bags to alight.”It was nice meeting you sir.”Vivek fumbled with the handshake. This was the hand that had climbed mountains, pressed the trigger and hoisted the tricolor.Suddenly as if by impulse he stood at attention, and his right hand went up in an impromptu salute.It was the least he felt he could do for the country.

PS: The incident he narrates during the capture of Peak 4875 is a true life incident during the Kargil war. Major Batra sacrificedhis life while trying to save one of the men he commanded, as victory was within sight. For this and his various other acts ofbravery he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra – the nation’s highest military award.

Well truly amazing is this story, I certainly remember Major Batra, when he was asked by Barkha Dutt about his feelings about the war, he had to say “Yeh Dil Maange More”. This gets me thinking, I am a tiny speckle of sand on the beach of life. There are people with more issues to deal with than I have to, I just need to relax and everything will be alright. This Melosys post is definately dedicated to Major Batra, and big warm Thank you, for keeping us safe when we slept at night. Jai Hind.

Konkani Kogul … Wilfy Rebimbus

The undisputed king of Konkani music, a living legend Wilfy Rebimbus has made a special place in the heart of every music lover of the coastal region. One can hardly find any subject on which Wilfy has not written a song. His fans in this part of the world love his old sentimental numbers.
World-class hits like ‘Mog Tujo Kitlo Axelom’, ‘Maria’, ‘Philomena’ and many others still ruling the Konkani music world are all-time favourites. Although by the time i heard him, he was a well knows figure in Konkni music, the songs still struck a chord in our hearts.

The track ‘Mog Tujo Kitlo Axelom’, has a special place in my heart as it is one track that connects a lot of my friends, specially the ones in Dubai. The track turned so influential with us that we ended up adding another paragraph to the amazing number while singing it. Infact when I met Lavina, it proved helpful in whooing her as well, as the fourth paragraph that we added was done keeping her in mind. I am not sure if there are many Mangee’s out there who have not heard of Wilfy.
I just happened to get an invite for the Wilfy Sentimental Nite in Dubai, Needless to say that the name ‘Wilfy’ meant the talented group led by “Konkann Kogull” Wilfy Rebimbus, joined by “Konkan Mynah” Meena Rebimbus together with Vishwas, Veena, Ivan Sequeira, Ratan Castelino and Stany D’Souza. The troupe took us music-lovers down memory lane. The memorable event was also marked by a candle-light dinner in a cosy atmosphere of the Al Bustan Rotana Ballroom, keeping the gathering tapping their feet to the tunes of golden olden songs from one of the greatest Konkani singers of all times.

This time a warm melosys tribute goes to Mr. Wilfy Rebimbus, for his perstince in providing us mangaloreans with loads of entertainment for all eternity.

Pressure to relax

Being in the mechanical world or the concrete jungle, we often tend to forget the smaller and various joys of life. We tend to be into the race for the first, most successful, most wealthy etc. And for sure I know there are hundreds of people who have written about this. What I am going to write is the pressure associated with the fact that we should relax. Initially when I started writing this blog, I used to always think that it’s a way to just indulge in me for that moment of time. Excited about the fact that I am writing, I actually started to tell close friends and associates about the blog. They have been reading it and telling me to update it, cos they think it’s interesting. Well it would be cos it’s a story, it’s MY story. Well not drifting away from the discussion at hand, well I have not been able to find time or not able to rack the brains enough to find a decent topic to write about. Well of course I have now moved into the new home (will post pics soon) and have had a few interesting dinner encounters but nothing out of the ordinary.

Well for one the fact that I am not writing about the events can be termed as apathy or actually lack of time to jolt down the emotions floating inside the head. It’s a point of view, I would say. Either way, the fact of the matter is that I have not blogged for about a week now, and strangely I am feeling pressurized. I though that I will make a point to blog at least once in a day, this seems vaguely impossible at the moment. Anyways, I will be trying to keep up with myself to update this. I did not think that relaxing would be such a pressure.

A spark that grew into a blog i mean fire.

image of phonecian numbers

Studying engineering trains ones brain into thinking analytically or rationally or let me say, inquisitively to make it a bit broader. Ever since I have completed my engineering, or maybe even before that, I have always wondered about things. Nearly everything I see or interact with needs to have a reason for being there, if not knowing how to get it there. As an example, working in the construction industry and looking at finishes interfaces with service elements, you get into a mood of looking and trying to figure out certain aspects of everything you see, for example how would a light fitting be well mounted into a ceiling so as to provide light as well as not spoil the appearance of the well made ceiling. This got me into trouble once, as in, I have been asked to stop at the Dubai Airport Immigration by the police as I was looking into all the cameras and moving around. The intention was actually to look at how they have managed to place a rather boring looking camera into a very well designed aesthetic ceiling.

This mindset is difficult to let go once you are out of work, everything you see, touch, feel, experience is another mystery to be solved, although it is not required. Although I might know that the camera was fit in a very aesthetic fixation so as to not look like a swollen pimple on the face of Cameroon Diaz, still the mindset gives the inquisitiveness to check how it was done. I have not been able to loose the mindset even while thinking of religion. I am a Christian by birth, and have confirmed myself to be of the faith in my adolescence. But now the inquisitive nature of the mind has given way to many questions related to Religion.

Christ, The Bible, Genesis, The Grail, The Ark of the covenant, endless mysteries lodged into the soul of Christianity and waiting to be solved. Although of course I know that I am not the first one to think this way, there have been many people in the quest and have been many journeys that they have taken. I might not be able to leave my current life in the search of trying to solve any of these mysteries. But definitely will find comfort in trying to find information from the research of the greats who have pondered over the same questions again.