QuitePlease source code

It has been an year that I decided to write an app. Got it to near completion and left it there at end. It is a working app. Just had plans to get a cop voice to tell people to behave and stuff. But never got to it.

 

If anyone want to take the source code for iPhone App ‘Quite Please’ and use it, please do. The source code is available at QuitePlease and Sounds. I don’t mind if you use my name or not. Just take it, use or change it.

iPhone App: Quite Please

iPhone app Quiet Please screenshot 001

Issue: Sometimes Loud talkers are annoying. Ever though “Quite Please”? If so, keep reading..

We can’t tell them to keep quiet at all times (for social manners sake) or we lost patience telling them to keep quiet. Whether it be at home, work or trains/buses. It could be a conversation, argument or they just talk loud. Most of the times they don’t realise they are being loud.

Solution: Let your iPhone watch for loud talkers and tell them to keep quiet automatically. Just install the app and turn it on. It will be FREE.

* Some situations you could use it:

  1. Your partner is yelling and says they are just talking.
  2. Colleague who talks so loud on phone that everyone else can hear.
  3. Meeting room arguments where some people think loudest will win the arguments
  4. Kids are driving you nuts and you don’t have patience to tell them to keep quiet.
  5. Friends at parties
  6. Children at classroom.
  7. Let me know if you think of more in comments, please?

* How does it work exactly:

  1. iPhone detects a loud talker and tell them to keep quiet (Say Shhhh). But it they keep talking loud it will tell them differently with bit more intensity (Say “Keep quiet, I’m working here”). If they behave, its ok. Otherwise intensity will grow (Say “Shutup will ya”). Essentially it will have a list of things to say and it will play next if they miss behave.
  2. It has Manners mode (on/off). When manners is on, it will let the person finish talking and then it will tell them off.
  3. Show a loudness bar at bottom with green, yellow and red volume indicator.
  4. Has multiple modes you can use.

* What will it say:

  1. Funny voices
  2. Serious diplomatic voices
  3. Just everyday voices, what a normal person would say.

*Note: You know more situations you would use it, ways how you like voices, how it should work? Put it in comments, I will consider all your ideas and feedback.

Is our society really advancing?

Yeah, surely we are inventing. Yes our rate on invention is better. If we invent more, shouldn’t this make new inventions easy?  Better tools=Easier inventions? I feel we are a bit slow in past decade. I looked up http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/us_stat.htm and it says 90,000 patent applications were made in 1963 and 400,000 in 2009. I believe that rate of inventions is not an arithematic progression (like 1000 new ones a month). It has to be a percentage increase (10% increase a month). And because things are invented to make life easier, it should also make life easier to invent more stuff. Thus making it a percentage growth. Inflation is a percentage growth, so are house prices. What are our people doing – just enjoying the benefits of inventions? Its ok to enjoy BBQ, new gadgets and stuff. But we should invent as well. Lets look at some examples:

Space journey: First rocket to enter into space was in 1944. We (humans) have landed on moon in 1969. So if it takes 25 years to get to moon, am I expecting too much to say we should have gone to mars by 1989 (+20 years). Established a colony in mars by 2000 and more?

Computers: I think computers have done a good job till 2000, they were growing at a good percentage rate. But hardware seems to have stopped. I remember Intel making a statement in early 2000s that home PCs we will surpass 10GHz processor in few years. Damn we are in 2010 and are struck in 3Mhz and just have to buy more processors to get more speed.

Transport: We got good cars they work, how much faster are they really going? Do we have any new vehicles that do better work? How much percentage is our flight time from Melbourne to London reducing by every year? Trains, yeah they are fast Melbourne to Sydney will be 3 hours soon. I think not real progress.

I think I will try and collect evidence that support my arguments in next few weeks. I am not convienced that we are inventing enough and we need to step up.

Are there people who have both good technical & management skills?

We seem to be a industry where many people believe that a person can only be good at technology or management. I have seen and worked with people who are good at both. I guess this is an opnion of mine, so I dont have conviencing proof at hand. Again this goes back to my core value “Impossible = I’m possible (you just need to find a space & ‘)”.

Managers and leaders

We know about managers who’s sole purpose is to getting work done. But are they leaders and who are leaders?

Leaders are people who will lead others by example. They help their team and show them how things can be achieved. Not necessarily doing the specialist skills but things like providing better environment to team, having a vision, passion and so on. Ideally we wish all managers are leaders. Leaders can exist at any level of the organization.

Leaders have ideas to increase results/work ratio. They add value to business, customers and/or employees.

What makes a person Smart?

You often see people call some wow she/he is smart and he/she is dumb. But what is it that makes a person smart.

A smart person can solve their problems and even solve problems for others?
I think so.

So how does he do it?
Many might say “a person is smart or not, you cannot make a dumb person smart”. Well I want to challenge the word CANNOT.

So how exactly does a smart person solve problems?
Well see these key things:
@ intention to be smart, so it has long term benifits.
@ studying the problem and identifying the options that could change the outcome. This process need a lot of patience when you know nothing about it. I don’t believe time is a problem it’s paticence. Upon practice time taken will come down.
@ trying out some options. Failure of an option means it’s a new lesson. It’s better to learn from other peoples lessons
@ identifying some patterns and remembering them helps speed this process

Want to do this quicker?
@ Try to solve same problem differently
@ optimize continously
@ discuss with other about your approaches and understand their think process, solution is not the important aspect it’s the method to get to solution

Suddenly you realise how simple things get. You will be laughing at silly ways of your past thinking.

Risk and impact

What is it?
How can we measure it?
What is ideal?

Everyone takes risks, I don’t see exceptions. We sit on a chair and there is a chance it may break. We stand but the ground may collapse. Yet we still stand.

I see this concept as risk and impact. Risk is the chance that certain event may happen. Like there is 50% chance that a coin flip turns out to be heads. Impact is confused with risk by many people. Impact is the amount of damage when the risk happens.

Example 1:
Sitting on chair.
Risk: it’s not often you see chair break but you do see it. Let’s say 1 in 2000 times.
Impact: if the chair breaks then we fall and there may be pain for maybe 2 days for me. Remember the same fall could have more impact on people with brittle bones. Let’s quantify this using pain-2days.

Example 2:
Taking a flight.
Risk: we do hear around 20-50 flights crashing a year. So it’s like say 1 in 7000.
Impact: the flight crashes and person may die. Family suffers the loss. So pain of 3years maybe. Mind you people will adapt to new way of life. Initially the pain maybe every second but eventually the frequency decreases. So impact is 3×365=1095. So impact is 3 years times number of suffers.

So ideally a persons decision making is dependant on risk x impact. So let’s say if the risk is 1% and impact is just 2 days of pain. Many people will take it. If you say risk is now 50% people may not. If we put risk back to 1% and say impact is breaking a leg, most people will avoid it.

 

P.S. In PM world they classify risk into two parts impact & probability. I think I would have confused PMs when i called probability as “risk”. Sorry

How to catch burglar?

Some one got into my car in November and yesterday. I have a old car its easy to get in and stole little things like little speakers & etags. How do one person protect oneself against these things? Buying a brand new merc/ferrari nor the security systems which cost upto $1,000’s is not a good option. We should be able to protect & catch burglars with few hundres dollars.

I was thinking along the lines of how about a smart camera that can fly? That can be programmed to think like human for some common senarios? It should keep watching our assets (house/car/whatever you want). Recognise the intruder, just record their actions like a fly on wall, which moves around for better view without noise & still cheap to buy/develop. Alert us, as soon as the intruder is detected. So we can ring the cops. Follow the intruder may be to his home or till battery dies, so it can pin point the location of intruder to cops. It is insane to hear that car theft is most common crime as told by the cops lady over the phone. I have seen videos where police leave cars with intentions to let someone try to steal it. Which they record the whole thing & bust them.

I told to my mates about this idea, obviously they tell me I am dreaming too much. Thinking about this i thought we need some high level components:

Desired Features

  1. Solution should cost only couple of hundred dollars
  2. Should recognise intruder
  3. Should be able to fly
  4. Should be less noisy
  5. Record the theft by going to proper locations, yet maintaining safe distance
  6. Should use less power, by may be using alternatives like get into intruders vehicle or something
  7. Should be small enough, so intruder cannot recognise it
  8. Should patrol house and car off street
  9. Should alert owner once intruder is detected – SMS or something
  10. Should record into computer in the house and may be use a temporary memory while inflight
  11. Relay video through wireless, if possible
  12. Hopefully last an hour on battery, so cops can catch the intruders

Hurdles to cross at this stage

  1. Where do you find cheap programmable CPU (8086 maybe?)
  2. Will the solution drain lot of battery even though it is small?
  3. How small can we get cameras?
  4. Why is lego soo expensive & huge? Do we have alternatives here?

Best location to implement caching?

There was a question at Server Side .net about best place to implement caching at http://www.theserverside.net/discussions/thread.tss?thread_id=59118.  It questions the best location to implement Caching – UI, Business or the Data Layer. This is my opnion.

I think to answer that, you need to understand the word Cache. There are lot of definitions out there. I treat its as:

Remembering the result of a frequently executed task

So the best place is the place whereever there is less change in result considering loads. So potentially you can end up implementing Caching mechanisums in multiple layers. Which i think its good and required for high demand systems, just don’t double cache (cache same task’s result in multiple layers, unless you really neeed it).

Data layer senario: if you are quering your DB frequently and the data does not change much, then it makes sense to put cache in data layer.

Business Logic Layer: If your result does not change often for requests, then this is good place.

Presentation Layer: If your UI does not change, then this is the place. There are situations where you Cache at Data/Business Layers, if the resulting data is same, but the presentation is different based on user’s preferences – Themes say like Tree View, Grid View and so on.

.net has various Caching mechanisums for various levels, see http://quickstart.developerfusion.co.uk/QuickStart/aspnet/doc/caching/default.aspx for more info

Java Class Not Found

Getting class not found? But the Class is available in classpath? Well it usually should work, but I have seen a senario where it does not. Its because the ClassLoad is null, we had this issue when using Cold Fusion 4.5. One could argue that its bug in Cold Fusion’s class loading mechanisum. Regardless it was not a time to play the blame game, we needed to resolve the issue and we cannot upgrade the Cold Fusion due to Corporate policies & tight deadlines. The hack which worked is:

ClassLoader cl = Thread.currentThread().getContextClassLoader();
if(cl==null)
Thread.currentThread().setContextClassLoader(ClassLoader.getSystemClassLoader());

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