How to prepare schools for future lock-downs

This lock down left schools, teachers, kids, parents, community as a whole without any options. (At least in WA state)

Everybody trying best not to leave kids – but realistically speaking there is not much anybody could do. It is a lost year for kids.

How to prepare for future similar incidents?

We can learn from IT brethren ;
Because they are working from home on and off. Most of the times on the average once every week or bi-weekly. The transition of full WFH is no transition. It is just business usual. The processes, resources, technology everything is already set.

The only way for preparing school to virtual teaching is to have regular virtual classes. We can not have virtual classes on week-days, as that will get big resistance from parents. Nobody want to baby sit them on a weekday.

One way is every second Saturday one hour class. But this also don’t get much votes from both parents and teachers. Everybody has plans on weekends.

That leaves us with only one option – there is already a day called early release. On that day kids can have an hour of virtual class in the tail end of school hour. So if they come home at 1:30PM they can have an hour of virtual class at 3:00 PM to 3:45PM.

This should work for both parents, teachers and kids.
Only uncovered scenario is kids having post-school day care. Assuming kids can take their laptops with them on this day and internet is available for that hour – this should work even kids in after school care.

Added bonus advantage – schools don’t need to close on snow days! They can go virtual on those days.

Another added advantage – kids gets used to technology much sooner!!

Space is new Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny may be politically wrong term, as there are perceived winners and perceived losers (especially without any of their fault other than being at wrong place with wrong crowd) ;

But make no mistake, Space is new manifest destiny.

Initially we thought earth is extremely special we have everything for life. But the more we venture out the more we realize it is not so special,

We thought earth is with abundant water, ==> Wherever we poke on space, we are finding water! (Moon, Mars, exoplanets, asteroids etc..)

We thought milky way is our galaxy and the galaxy with one or more possible in the universe. But you adjust Hubble telescope lenses and you view ten’s or hundred’s of galaxies. They are everywhere.

There are billions of stars, three times more planets, three times more moons, ten times more asteroids. Probability of colonizing few of them is very high, provided humanity plays its cards well.

Current Capitalism, Current religion are not enough to drive humanity onto space. We need better tools.

Changes we will see to our shopping habits in five years

Self driving smart shopping carts

Shopping carts becomes more smart. Many intriguing features comes to them. Some of them –

  1. self driving ; you summon a cart and a cart comes to you.
  2. After unloading, you say bye-bye and cart automatically goes away.
  3. You can ride on the cart mostly by standing on the back of it.
  4. You just put stuff in the cart, it will show total bill, alternative items, adds more suggestions similar to the stuff, shows reviews, asks to add review. Whole inside-outside of shopping cart will be one big screen.
  5. No need to wait in line and pay, you can pay to your shopping cart.
  6. No need to unload stuff manually to your car, shopping cart and adjust height as per your car trunk height, and it can roll stuff onto trunk without you heavy lifting.
  7. Shopping carts will be charged automatically when needed.
  8. It even remembers your previous shopping history and shows you an auto generated personalized shopping list.
  9. Once you sign up on a list, it even gives you a map to navigate store for optimizing your time and to ensure delicate items are kept on top (infamous example: onions goes below, tomatoes goes on top 🙂 )

No need to bring along shopping cart (option 2)

You take your mobile phone and scan items you need and enter quantity. Pay and wait in your car. With in five minutes a shopping cart will come to your car with all the stuff you selected.

Mini autonomous stores in every community complex

In your apartment complex or gated community – a mini sans-human, complete autonomous store will be present. You can walk, pick and come out. If you need anything else, place order and you will get it by evening. You can even order from your bed and just walk in to collect your complete packed goods.

Autonomous food-trucks

Self driving, sans-human food trucks will be norm. You can vend your favorite lunch or dinner from them. Either it is burger or biryani or pasta all are prepared freshly in the morning and packed for you, heated and served.

Autonomous honey-pots 🙂

Name says all! Hopefully they will be better than current versions.

Autonomous mobile stores for countries like India

For countries like India, a mobile store will travel to rural areas with single human presence. (mostly for security reasons) ; People will vend stuff. Even mobile book stores go to school. Mobile book libraries from charity orgs will be norm.

The line between online – offline shopping will be blurred.

You don’t feel like specially online shopping or offline shopping. Offline will technically present as if you are shopping on your screen. Online will present as if you are shopping in a physical store. In the end both will be merged. Everybody comes to a new balance of what to buy online vs offline. What to buy in which stores.

A better photo editor – its almost time!

We have so many photo editors, painting programs – but they all suffer from one big drawback. “None of them are good for common human”

It is almost time to completely change the direction of these photo editors, painting programs. We can improve their usability greatly by incorporating voice commands.

Anybody remember Star Trek Voyager Fair Haven episode and how Captain programs his holo-crush! Editing a photo or painting should be as easy as this.

A probable photo editing episode

Computer open my photo Gallery

<here you go…>

Select Third photo on second row.

<Here is your photo selected>

Let us edit this a bit


Auto adjust

<I am applying auto improvements. How does this look?>

hmm.. Better. Save and Continue

<What else do you want to do?>

Crop by 75%

<Does this looks OK?>

No. that’s a lot, add 5% back.

<How about this?>


(You get the picture>

A Probable painting session

Computer ! Let us do some painting …

<OK, here is canvas>

Change background color to gray


Paint two pairs of eyes.


Make them green


Insert two small clouds in those eyes


Reduce the size of clouds by 75%


Let the clouds rain


Let the rain appear like tears dropping from eyes


Save and Continue …

(You get the picture!)


The technology is already there. We just need to piece it together and productize it.

An idea to save Twitter from itself : InDoor

Twitter is great – for celebrities, media and folks inside media.

But for common-man twitter is chaos. Nothing much to offer for them other than keeping up to date which also not possible due to its infinite chaos. Even if one follows ten people, it is impossible to feel satisfied. It is always unfinished – forcing people to run away to other social networking sites or moving on with life.

One idea to save Twitter from this self destructing nature. InDoor

Allow people to make their own twitter.

  1. Anybody can create an indoor twitter.
  2. Example or
  3. Tweets inside indoor are for members only.
  4. Every member follows every other member by default this setting can be changed either globally or per member by moderator.
  5. One can unfollow any member.
  6. One can retweet public tweets to indoor only.
  7. Once on indoor there won’t be any confusion whole twitter interface remains same, except everything now applies to indoor account. Users can easily exit indoor and go to public twitter.

This should make twitter more useful to common members who are not celebrities. This will put twitter in direct competition with What’sapp for family/friend groups + slack/teams for office groups.

Once basic structure is there – we could go on innovating much more.

Circular script – A daring redesign of script for modern humans.

After watching for Arrival, I had this creative urge to design a circular script for humans. This could be used like a human-readable QR code. Current QR codes are only readable by computers, how about having all the benefits of QR code + making it human readable too!

On Nov 11th 2016 1:50 PM EST this is what I wrote in a notebook purchased at Miami airport.

Circular Script.

Background: Today I watched Arrival film along with Katta.Vijay in Miami. In that movie aliens uses a circular script with very complex form to represent words, ideas and even sentences.

Then it occurred to me, if we can use the same circular script to write human languages we could save lot of space. In one circle we could write one letter or one word or partial word or multiple words. By saving space we could make reading even faster.

Goals of new script:

Goal 1: It must be on, around circle.

Question: Why not square or rectangle or triangle or spiral?

Answer: It could be on any of them. So the circular script designed will be easily usable, portable onto any other geometric shape. Over time users will stick to one or more of these shapes.

Goal 2: Symmetry :-> The script should be symmetrical in more than one ways.

Goal 3: Script must be easy to write.

Goal 4: Script must be easy to read.

Goal 5: Script must be easy to learn.

One of the biggest advantages of Latin alphabet is it is damn simple to learn. Kids, adults as first language script or second language script it is easy to learn. Of course there are historically done research and tool development to make this possible.

Goal 6: Script must be readable even if circle rotates.

Goal 7: Script must be independent of thickness of line. Making it bold, bolder, boldest must not change its meaning.

Goal 8: Script must be independent of size. Making it large or small should not change the meaning. Of course making it smallest could make it unintelligible.

Goal 9: Script must allow artistic liberties.

Goal 10: Filling or un-filling a shape must not change its meaning. For example O and O with inside also filled dark holds same meaning.

Goal 11: Redundancy is allowed.

Goal 12: The alphabet (not word) must be same irrespective of the direction we read it. for example

Goal 13: Color must not change meaning.

Goal 14: By keeping two letters next to each other it must not give another letter. It must be same letter twice.

Goal 15: Squares and rectangles must be considered as same letter. Similarly for other shapes.

Goal 16: The mirror image must not give another letter. But it could be different shape representing same letter.

Goal 17: By putting two same or different letters side by side without anybody gap must not give us different letter. even the mirror image.

Goal 18: A curve and line must be treated same. Doesn’t apply to half circle.

Goal 19: The shape must be complete. can not be open. They must be Purna.

Even if they are not complete, it must not become different letter once completes.

This is still incomplete project ….

Idea : Rating Display Card for retail shelves

One big difference between online Vs offline retail shopping experience is its rating experience.

Why not retail shelves include a rating card for for all its items on shelf? Customers can view current rating and enter their rating.

It is challenging, but not impossible.

Some of the challenges

1. How to avoid duplicate rating ?

2. How to authenticate users?

(Adding Finger print based rating will solve both above problems. Again which finger? How sensitive is this finger print data? What are security/privacy implications? How to provide accessibility? )

But all these are solvable and fun to work on.



Background : I purchased a scrub in QFC (supposed to be better than the one we buy in costco), it cleans OK like in between steel scrub vs sponge scrub but thats where the goodness stops, it spoils everything it touches! For some reason it puts dirty marks on the sink and floor. If the same item is purchased in any online store, I might have read reviews/ratings and may not have purchased the same.

An idea to keep Microsoft Windows relevant for another decade

Microsoft Windows, a must have for every middle class home is no longer true. Everybody is buying phones. Either Android or iPhone and occasionally WinPhone. Windows Desktop is no longer relevant. All the developers moved to Browser or Mobile. All the users happily moved to web or apps. Except office, Adobe no major apps continue to innovate for Windows desktop. Is there any miracle in pipeline to reverse the tide?

Doesn’t seem to be so. Microsoft is trying to move towards single OS for all screens hoping it will somehow solve its developer problem. But no positive signs in that direction.

At the same time Microsoft is concentrating on enterprise market and cloud market. Both of them turning out to be its bread and butter for future. At least stock market thinks so.

What else it can do?

Idea: Introduce Home-Server concept!

No more home-PC, it will be home-server. Or PS – Personal Server! Unlike the past – now middle class homes are generating too much of digital content. Everything is either going to specific clouds or to Google servers! Introduce a concept of MyData, MyHardware, MyControl. Every home will have servers. (no more PCs); Developers can take advantage of APIs and can write data, analyze the data, improve customers life greatly. Data is the most valuable asset. Complete ownership, privacy, security is divine gift one can wish for!

This will nurture a new developer echo system very soon.

For example based on the data in PS’s we could have apps around

  1. What is my ideal sleep time?
  2. How is my health?
  3. Where is my daughter now? Where is my family in past three days?
  4. Most liked photo in my album.
  5. My video dairy
  6. How much time the light is on in past week?
  7. How many times garage door opened?
  8. When is water filter change time?
  9. Auto prepare my shopping cart for the week.
  10. What am I doing 10 years back.
  11. Auto write my auto biography so far!
  12. How to be happy?
  13. what makes me happy?
  14. what makes me sad?
  15. What are my strengths? weaknesses ?
  16. etc..

Taking IOT concept, edge computing into consideration. Allowing sharing of data with friends and family servers. We could have much better app scenarios.

  1. What is the fad in neighbors now?
  2. Who are potential friends I haven’t yet met in my neighbors?
  3. Who had three D printer in my neighborhood?
  4. Display garage sales happening
  5. What is my father doing now in India?
  6. Suggest new hobbies for me
  7. Who can give me training on xyzzy?
  8. who needs training on abcd?
  9. etc..

May be all is not lost yet.

Opportunity: Every damn innovation now a days requires gathering data. But all the data belonging to a home is widely scattered. There is simply no way to cross reference data, unless both solutions are coming from same company. Once PSs comes live any solution can input data to PS in predefined format. Same can be queried by other solutions after proper permissions sharing handling. Of course no direct access to data is allowed only via predefined APIs yadha yadha!

This will also be biggest blow to its competitors. Who’s bread and butter is selling users data in one form or other form. Now Users own their data, it is not straightforward to sell it!

What more? There are thousands of patents as the arena is very new!

Idea2: Phone is PC. (Phone + Docking station + Screen)

Just like after laptops the desktops are optional. after phones we could make laptops/Desktops optional. We need to make docking stations innovative. Everything else we need will be in phone. Phone is new PC. Microsoft should start selling these docking stations which makes any phone (Android, iPhone, WinPhone) as PC! The Phone + docking station + screen (either smart TV or a separate monitor or existing laptop/desktop screen). All the Windows apps will run on docking stations but uses data from phone, writes data to phone. User folder will be on phone. (that is MyDocuments, MyPictures, etc.. will be on phone instead of PC).