Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Poor quality of service on order via TinyOwl

The lure: TinyOwl pushed a notification telling me that I had INR 50 wallet balance that would lapse soon.

The need: My cook took a day off. So, maintaining my lazy behaviour, I decided to order food.

Sequence of events:
I ordered from Pita Shop at 9pm. The delivery was supposed to be at 10pm. After the restaurant confirmed the order, I was waiting for the order to arrive. At 9:53pm I got a call from the delivery boy and I explained to him the route to my place. From the restaurant to my place should not take more than 10 minutes. 5 minutes past 10, TinyOwl app asked me if the order had arrived and in response to my negative answer, it triggered a call to a customer service representative who dug up some info and told me that the delivery boy should reach any minute. I thought that was fine and that I could wait a few minutes more. Around 10:15pm, I started ringing the delivery boy to see if he was having any issue with the route but every time I called his phone is either busy or he let my call ring and disconnect. Five minutes later, I started a conversation with TinyOwl support on the app to ask them to look into the matter. They engaged the shop owner who called me to ask about the delivery. He asked me the number of the delivery boy. He told me that he did not employ the delivery boy so he didn't have his number. I was a little surprised but I gave him the number. Finally at 10:40pm the order was delivered. I told the delivery boy to dial the number of the owner of the restaurant. He replied that he didn't have that number. When I told him that the owner should have called him some time back, as the owner had taken his number from me, he told me that he did not get any such call. When I enquired about the reason for the delay, he told me that he had to deliver another order at a place around 4 kms away from my place so he went there first resulting in the delay.

Analysis:
1. The delivery boy wasn't picking my calls but was busy on phone twice. So, he was deliberately avoiding my calls.
2. The shop owner did not employ the delivery boy so his orders will not be on priority.
3. The fact that the shop owner never called the delivery boy only shows his disregard towards customers.

Further observation:
There was no printed bill in the package that was delivered to me.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Old encryption used in academic websites

Two of the premiere educational institutions of Europe are using very old SSL ciphers. I disallowed some old ciphers in Firefox and the sites started failing.




Wednesday, 5 August 2015

HTML5 video in YouTube

After Firefox blacklisting all versions of Flash, YouTube started annoying me by asking to enable the plugin for the same. So, I decided to try HTML5 video. So, I requested for it. However, I was only getting 360p videos. After reading a bit about it, I found that I had to enable the following options in about:config page of Firefox.
media.mediasource.enabled
media.mediasource.mp4.enabled
media.mediasource.webm.enabled
media.fragmented-mp4.exposed
media.fragmented-mp4.ffmpeg.enabled
Also, to get H.264 codec, I had to install gst-libav package. That solved the issue and I can get all resolution options after that.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Ghostery messing up site

With Ghostery turned off.

When Ghostery is turned on.
I tried turning AdBlock Plus on and off but it does not impact the behaviour.

Monday, 27 July 2015

WDFME.exe using up resources

Recently, I found CPU usage stagnating at 100%. Task manager showed that aggregated CPU usage of all my processes consumed was much less than that. Check processes owned by all users, I found WDFME.exe consuming CPU heavily. It seemed quite unnecessary as my hard disk is of Seagate and the "WD" in the name suggested "Western Digital". So, I killed it. It is essentially the software that comes along with Western digital external hard drives. As it turns out, it is not necessary and it a known resource hog.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Concatenating wide character strings

Today I was looking at concatenating multiple wide character strings. I was dealing with PWSTRs. As it turns out, I needed to use wstring to do it. The following code illustrates the method.

std::wstring mywstring(mystring);
std::wstring concatted_stdstr = L"hello " + mywstring + L" blah";
LPWSTR concatenated = concatted_stdstr.c_str();

However, the above gives us a read-only value for the concatenated string. We can use wcsdup() to get a writeable copy. Otherwise, we can cast the read-only string to a writeable one as follows.

PWSTR value = const_cast (concatenated);

Monday, 6 July 2015

Failed optimization probably

Uber drives are taking a longer route because of some misbehaving optimization in Google maps it seems. When a cab is booked near the main gate of Pearl Village (as shown below) the route shown to the driver is optimised one. However, when a booking is done from the far end of the society, the cabbie is shown a rather long route. A part of this way is actually a dirt road. Uber should consider feedback from its drivers regarding such cases.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

HolidayIQ share feature broken

The HolidayIQ app did not have share facility before so you could only read their blogs when you get a push notification but not share it with somebody. Recently, I was glad to see the share feature in their app. However, when I tried using it by sharing on WhatsApp, it seems they messed up again. The shared URL is a shortened URL so the problem is not quite apparent on first sight but when a person opens the URL in a browser on a phone that does not have the app, the URL does not work with a message that the URL was not understood (This message was from Firefox. Other browsers will have similar issues.). The problem is that the URL specifies incorrect protocol. Instead of http:// the shortened URL expands to one starting with holiday:// With phones that have the app, this URL is opened in the HolidayIQ app and causes no issues. However, I think they should use a http:// URL while sharing.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Idle windows isn't really idle

My laptop running Windows 7 using using 50% CPU when it is idle. I don't know why but this allows me very less resources to run other programs.
No programs running.
Any suggestions are welcome.