A widescreen voice-controlled home theatre for less than 400$?

Here is how I set up a voice-controlled Cinema experience, without any ads, for less than 400 dollars.

Before we start, there are certain prerequisites which I assume most people have at their home anyway:

Electricity, Wifi, A wall to project on and a smartphone.

If you are ready with the above, let’s start

First of all, get a Google Home Mini,

Image result for Google Home MiniI like it here. This should not cost you more than 60 $. There are other products available, like Amazon Alexa etc, but I personally prefer the Google home.

Next, I recommend you buy a projector.

Image result for projector

You can get good ones at unbelievable prices here. You can get good ones for less than 150 $. But if you already have a TV which can take HDMI input, then you could still continue to use that, but to experience true theatre, you know that size does matter!

Now to connect the two the best option is the Google Chromecast.

Image result for Google chrome cast.There are several options to buy it from, like the Google store or Flipkart, to name a few. Cost? less than 70 $! Ofcourse there are other options out there, but they may not work easily with the Google Home. 

So now we have the vital components ready, and we have spent hardly 280$. What do you do with the rest of the money you may well ask since I gave you a budget of 400 $.

Well, we will come to that!

But first things first…

So how do we set up this home theatre?

It is really simple.

Just two steps! Yeah, that’s right!

Step 1: Welcoming Mini to your home: Install the Google Home app on your phone, connect to the home wifi network, power on the Google Home Mini and add it to your Google Home app.  Here is help on how to do it. Give the mini a name.

Step 2: Setting up Chromecast on your projector:

Then set up Chromecast, which is also very easy to do.

For setting it up, power it on after you connect it to the HDMI port of the Projector, or TV, and follow the on-screen instructions.

Your Google Home app will help you to link all three together.

Now comes the extra bits: You can take a Netflix account or Amazon Prime.  Netflix will cost around 20$ per month. Amazon prime costs around 14 $ per year! The advantage here is that Netflix plays directly by voice on to the cast via Google Home. Just say, Ok Google, play Sherlock from Netflix and viola!

Of course, if you want to cast from your mobile device to the projector you do not even need the Google Mini, but that is not what your smartphone would ideally be doing for hours together!

Another vital bit of hardware you would now need are good speakers. Projectors have audio out which you can connect to your home theatre sound system, or to a good portable speaker.

Image result for Bose SoundLink Color II

I find the Bose SoundLink Color II  to produce extremely good audio.

It costs around a 100$ but that completes the 400$ target as I promised!

Image result for home projector set up

Here is to happy viewing! Do pass the popcorn 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best investment I know of.

Investing and saving for the future is something we all want to do, and we are taught to do right from a small age. We call people wise when they are not short sighted but rather save for the long term, saving for the future when they are not likely to be earning.

So how far into the future should we be saving our treasures? And do we know a way to invest our treasure so that it is not destroyed.

As I write this, the share market in India is going through a slump. People are wondering where to invest and are not sure how the economy will turn.

Image result for investing

If you wish to know of the best way to invest your treasures, your wealth, for the long term, read on….[ The best investment consultants in the world will not be able to come up with something better that what I am going to share here.]

Laying up treasures for ourselves

Jesus Christ said do not lay up for ourselves treasures on earth.

In the Bible in the Gospel of Mathew, chapter 6 he presents us with a completely different way of investing!

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Serving money brings with it one free bonus, worry: Because money is impersonal, doesn’t satisfy our need for love and acceptance and relationships
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

[This is not what is advertised, rather one is told that life is all about these things]
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they? [This essential truth of the worth of human beings is not taught in schools, in fact they go to the opposite end here and say we are just llike the animals and birds]
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Mat 6:19-34 NIV)

Let these words sink in. They are profound and have influenced millions across the ages to see the world in a totally different way.

Now listen to what the Apostle Paul said “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
(1Ti 6:17-19 NIV)

Wow. God’s word clearly tells us what not to do and what to do.

What not to do:
Be arrogant
Put hope in wealth
What to do:
Put hope in God [who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment]
Do good
Be rich in good deeds
Be generous
Be willing to share

Ultimately investing in eternity is investing in relationships, firstly with the living and loving God who created you, and also with the people he places in your life. Hope you will do likewise.

Note: This will be truly possible only when you are  born again in the Spirit of the living God. Please do not try to put the cart before the horse. God bless!

Block chain and Medicine

As a Medical Doctor I ask myself what are some potential uses of blockchains in healthcare?

Okay, so for those who must be wondering,

What is a blockchain?

home

In general a blockchain is defined as a distributed system which records and stores transaction records.

Blockchain more specifically is defined as “…a shared, immutable record of peer-to-peer transactions built from linked transaction blocks and stored in a digital ledger.”

Blockchain is also similar to a database which stores information, however the main difference is that the data is located in a network of personal computers called nodes where there is no central entity such as a government or bank controlling the data.

How can blockchain be used in healthcare?

  • Drug Traceability where each transaction between drug manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacists and patients can be tracked to verify and secure drug product information important for tackling issues such as counterfeit drugs.
  • Improvement and authentication of health records and protocols on record sharing.
  • Smart contracts where certain rule-based methods are created for patient data access. Here, permissions can be granted to selected health organisations.
  • Clinical trials where altering or modifying data from clinical trials fraudulently can be eradicated.
  • Precision medicine where patients, researchers and providers can collaborate to develop individualised care.
  • Genomics research via access to genetic data secured on blockchain
  • Electronic health records (EHRs) 
  • Nationwide interoperability
blockchain2

The future of Total Person Care

As a medical Doctor who is also interested in Total person care and treating each individual as equal and worthy of dignity and respect, blockchain technology gives me the technological possibility of actually implementing my values in practice.

I look forward to more developments in the field of Blockchain in healthcare. God bless.

How old is your hearing?

If you ever wondered how old your body really is, here is a great way to find out.

As you know the ear is a marvelous bio engineering marvel. As your age advances changes occur in the hearing parameters.

The rate at which our bodies age is a matter of intense interest to all, and we do many things to try to stay young!Figure3-copy

If you really want to know how your body has aged relative to your actual age, here is a simple way to test for sure how old your ears are, which will roughly indicate how old your physical body is. Do test and share!

High-Tech_Hearing_Aids_hero

 

Click here to know how old your ears really are!

 

Evolving controversy

Evolution theory. It has been a subject close to my heart for many years. Why is it controversial now?

For starters, recently [first week of Jan 2018] in India Union minister Satya Pal Singh , who is the minister of state for human resource development had stoked a controversy saying that our ancestors have nowhere mentioned that they saw an ape turning into a man, thereby casting doubts on Darwin’s evolution theory.

In January 2018, he stuck to his claim that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution of man is “not scientific” and called for an international debate on the issue to decide if it merits a place in school textbooks.

Blaming the media for fuelling a controversy over his statement, Singh said the issue calls for debate and not controversy. “In the last 100 years, many evidences have come out against the theory, in favour hardly anybody. It is not my statement. So many world scientists have said it,” Singh, the former Mumbai Police Commissioner, said.

I felt this is  good time to try to clear the murky atmosphere of Evolution.

What do I mean by evolution? It may be totally different from what you understand, so let me explain by defining it as I understand.

Evolution is a change in the characteristics of a living being over generations. 

Sounds simple, right?

The problem starts when people start assuming or rather over estimating the degree of change that this simple process can bring about.

For example, let us look at the dog.

Dog breeds

If you call this evolution, fine. I would agree. Dogs have been selectively bred by intelligent human beings to give them desired characteristics over hundreds of years.

But look at this picture

animalsEvolution

Creative Imagination

The above picture is what I call stretching your imagination 🙂

It is okay to think that dogs can evolve, but to think a dog can evolve into a cat? It just shows how ignorant these people are about the complexities of life and especially about genetics.

Let me explain in simple terms:

There are millions of species of living beings on earth [and the numbers are fast declining every day]

Each species is unique and cannot breed or produce viable offspring when mated with another, no matter how similar looking.

I believe that an intelligent being, popularly called God, created species and defined them some time in the past.

He also gave the creatures he created the ability to adapt and survive in this physical world that we inhabit. This is again a testimony to his wisdom, his ability to see beyond time and space, into the future, where he knew that we humans would be altering the world due to our greed and mindless consumption.

This ability to adapt and survive is being stretched beyond its designed parameters and hence we see species getting extinct these days.

However many species do adapt and survive, some better than others. For example pests like flies, cockroaches and mosquitoes seem to thrive in these conditions.

But there is a limit to how much a species can adapt or change, and that is written in its DNA by the one who made it in the first place.

The problem with us humans is that we like to think we are gods. That we can decide what is true. That we can simply issue a statement and it will change the facts:

For example, the United States National Academy of Sciences states:

Today, many religious denominations accept that biological evolution has produced the diversity of living things over billions of years of Earth’s history. Many have issued statements observing that evolution and the tenets of their faiths are compatible. Scientists and theologians have written eloquently about their awe and wonder at the history of the universe and of life on this planet, explaining that they see no conflict between their faith in God and the evidence for evolution. Religious denominations that do not accept the occurrence of evolution tend to be those that believe in strictly literal interpretations of religious texts.

— National Academy of Sciences, Science, Evolution, and Creationism[24]

The confusion caused by the definition of Evolution adds to this. If you go by the simple definition that I gave earlier of dogs, it is nothing but adaptation. If you try to go by the definition proposed by some over-imaginative “scientists”, it would mean something like the Creative Imagination picture I posted.

That, dear reader, is what mainly causes the controversy. The degree of change considered possible by this process of ‘Evolution’.

And of course among other things the refusal to consider that there even exists a loving and intelligent being who could have created you and me and the entire universe.

The God who created you and me so wonderfully, has also given you free will to choose absolutely anything. You can decide what or whom to believe. Ultimately it is a matter of the heart.

I do not want to give you enough scientific reasons to make you realize the fallacies of the 2nd picture, but I want to plant a seed of a desire to find out for yourself what is true. Because in that way the faith you find would be truly yours.

 

 

 

 

 

Hackers, Cyberattack and other random processes

Researchers at Lancaster University, UK have taken a hint from the way the human lungs and heart constantly communicate with each other, to devise an innovative, highly flexible encryption algorithm that they claim can’t be broken using the traditional methods of cyberattack.

Information can be encrypted with an array of different algorithms, but the question of which method is the most secure is far from trivial. Such algorithms need a “key” to encrypt and decrypt information; the algorithms typically generate their keys using a well-known set of rules that can only admit a very large, but nonetheless finite number of possible keys. This means that in principle, given enough time and computing power, prying eyes can always break the code eventually.

The researchers, led by Dr. Tomislav Stankovski, created an encryption mechanism that can generate a truly unlimited number of keys, which they say vastly increases the security of the communication. To do so, they took inspiration from the anatomy of the human body.

In nature, different systems within a living organism often interact with each other, exchanging matter and energy. The interaction between two such systems (for instance, that of the human lungs and heart) can be described by a so-called “coupling function.”

aggies-anatomy-lungs-chiron-brain-heart-as-future-pineal-and-human-brain-twin-organs

Rather than relying on a single system for the encryption, the researchers decided to use two, and use the coupling function between them as the encryption key. Although somewhat laborious, this method has the advantage of creating an infinite number of possible keys, meaning that eavesdroppers cannot simply bruteforce their way into
sensitive information.

For the more technically minded, here’s how it all works. An information signal reaches the transmitter and is used as a parameter in the coupling function between two self-sustained systems, both generated inside the transmitter. The two signals are then sent over the public channel. At the other end, these two signals synchronize
with the receiver and, using a private key that contains information on the coupling functions, the algorithm can infer the original parameters and decrypt the  information.

The scientists say that their method is highly resistant from noise, that it can easily transmit several signals at once, and that it is highly modular, making it suitable to a wide range of applications.

A paper describing this patent-pending algorithm appears in the journal Physical Review X.

http://www.gizmag.com/human-biology-unbreakable-encryption/31504/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=94c7968484-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-94c7968484-90398925

Life and its processes are really complicated. This somehow does not fit in with what is taught in schools these days, doesn’t it? We are taught that random mindless processes [taught to be Evolution] somehow created life in all its complexity. I guess it is time to revisit the foundations of our belief 🙂082113_1025_HighDefinit2.png

Choosing between a Smart or a Green city?

I asked a few people, including myself, to imagine what a smart city would be like for those of us living in 2016:

It should take us from point A to B in the shortest time possible, automatically deciding for us which route to take.

  • It should provide free and fast internet either wired or wi-fi access, of course, in every nook and cranny.
  • It should have charging stations in every public place to charge our power hungry smart devices
  • It should of course have electricity 24X7
  • It should enable seamless connectivity of all transport methods
  • All devices, cars, trains, buildings and people should be able to communicate with one another
  • Intelligent planning of facilities
  • Self-repairing roads, drains, and what not…etc etc

This picture of a smart city sounds like a tall order for us living in Mumbai, even though it is the commercial capital of India! It also sounds extremely power hungry.

But can a city be both green and smart?

What do I mean by a green city? It would be somewhat like a forest. For starters, a green city ecosystem, like a forest, is a scientific and design miracle. Each and every component is recyclable. Forests produce more oxygen than they consume, are carbon sinks and earn huge carbon credits silently, and they mutually help one another to thrive and grow, not just survive! The parts of this ecosystem are self-propagating, require almost zero maintenance, have sophisticated feedback looks both positive and negative, are self-diagnosing and self-repairing, adjust their position and growth as per various variables like the temperature, sunlight, wind, water availability and nutrients.

Wow, now that simple forest sounds really smart when you look at it in that way!

 

Okay, but no one can stay in forests, right? So what is the next best option? How about something that looks like this?

smart-green-city

Imagine a smart and green city of dreams…

 

A city that is both smart and green? Some would dismiss this as a utopian concept, but I am confident that given enough freedom, creativity and encouragement, the future generation can create living spaces that are at once green and smart.

Let us see where we can start if we really wish for our city to be smart and green. I feel there are three very important pre requisites if we really wish to create a smart and green city:

Firstly, there has to be basic value and respect for human life and a recognition that life has a purpose. If life does not have a purpose, one might as well live in a filthy slum, who cares.

Secondly we must be humble enough to admit that there are designs in nature from which we can learn. The field of bio-mimetics has produced some extremely clever inventions by copying what God has created in his marvelous creation.

Thirdly there must be a culture that respects and encourages creativity, honesty and truth.

In such a city, there is no end to the possibilities that can be created, and a smart and green city would indeed be a reality. Hope we in India can reach that stage sooner than later.  Jai Hind!