Feb 5, 2012

Sears: Now shipping to Maldives ...


Sears is now shipping to Maldives. Its good to see more online shops shipping to Maldives.
I usually shop on Amazon, but not everything on Amazon can be shipped here to Maldives.
I herds Macy's now ships to Maldives, too. Good stuff.

Jan 20, 2012

BurstSpeed: Speed when you need it the most ...



Internet has become an integral part of our daily life. We use the internet to consume all sorts of information from catching up on our daily news headlines, connect with our family and friends, listening to music or watch videos.

Though the usage pattern may differ across a wide spectrum, its a given that almost everyone spends a fair amount of time on the internet everyday. While everyone wants the best internet connection with breakneck speeds, most of us settle for the lower home plans with limted speeds and allowances. There is nothing wrong with home plans. I've been using a home plan for several years now and I'm quite happy with it. It has been stable, reliable and quite speedy most of the time.

However, there are times when I wish my internet was a bit faster for at least a few hours. There are certain days when I would be more than happy to pay for higher speed internet. Like the days when I upload lots of photos and videos to share with my family abroad. The days when I'm backing up my files to a cloud-based service, days when I'm downloading an update for my current operating system.

A quick google search showed me that this service does exist in other countries. SpeedBurst, BurstSpeed, TurboBoost, PowerBoost, different internet service provioders call the service different names, for obvoius reasons, but it basically serves the same purpose. It gives you more speed when you need it the most.
A "burstable" internet service is one that allows you buy a certain amount of bandwidth, usually on a prepaid model. In theory, it essentially enables you to utilize higher speeds without paying for the bandwidth you do not use.
It is a service that increases Internet speed temporarily when your online activities require higher speed Internet than usual. This service is cost-saving and supports the heavier usage of Internet. You can request for the extra speed for certain periods from your service provider.
I wish we had a smiliar service in Maldives. I would gladly pay for a such a service. What say you?


Jan 19, 2012

The first rule of the Synonyms Club ...


The very first rule of the Synonyms Club is that you do not in any circumstance talk or,

1. Babble: enthusiastic or excessive talk, or meaningless sounds or nonsense words;
to talk in this manner
2. Back talk: a disrespectful response; to respond disrespectfully
3. Backchat: see back talk, badinage, and gossip
4. Badinage: light, witty talk
5. Banter: see badinage, with a connotation of good-natured teasing or arguing; to engage in such talk
6. Barb: a hurtful and/or critical comment
7. Blandish: see cajole
8. Blandishments: see cajolery/cajolement
9. Blarney: nonsensical talk
10. Bluster: boastful or threatening talk; to speak boastfully or threateningly
11. Cackle: see chatter (verb only)
12. Cajole: to persuade with soothing or flattering remarks
13. Cajolery: talk with the intent to persuade
14. Cajolement: act pertaining to cajolery
15. Causerie: see chat (noun only)
16. Chaff: see badinage; also, to tease good-naturedly
17. Chat: an idle or inconsequential conversation; to engage in such talk
18. Chatter: quick, extensive, and/or aimless talk; to talk in such a manner
19. Chin music: see chat (noun only)
20. Chinwag: informal talking; to talk informally
21. Chitchat: see badinage
22. Circumlocution: evasive or verbose talk
23. Comment: an opinion or observation; to say something of this type
24. Confab: see chat (also, a formal meeting)
25. Confabulation: see chat and confab (also, something made up)
26. Confer: to exchange opinions or seek advice
27. Conference: a meeting, or an event consisting of presentations and/or meetings
28. Confess: to admit to a thought or action considered improper or shameful
29. Conversation: a talk between or among two or more people
30. Converse: to speak back and forth with one or more people
31. Crack: an uncomplimentary comment; also, to quickly say something, as when spontaneously telling a joke pertinent to a situation
32. Dig: see crack
33. Discuss: to engage in serious talk
34. Discussion: a serious talk
35. Dish: see gossip
36. Double-talk: intentionally confusing or ambiguous language, or talk that is at least partially meaningless; to engage in such talk
37. Fast-talk: to persuade or influence by deceptively authoritative and/or flattering speech
38. Flibbertigibbet: see gossip
39. Gab: see chatter
40. Gabfest: talking consisting of gab
41. Give-and-take: an exchange of ideas or comments
42. Gossip: see chat, with an additional connotation of talk or talking about the personal lives of one or more other people (also, someone who engages in such talk)
43. Jangle: see chat
44. Jaw: see chat
45. Jest: a humorous or mocking statement; to make such a statement
46. Natter: see chat
47. Negotiate: to talk in order to reach an agreement
48. Negotiation: a talk in which the speakers seek to reach an agreement
49. Palaver: a discussion or conference, especially one between unequal participants, or deceptive speech, or see chat; to talk idly, try to persuade or deceive, or come to terms
50. Parley: see confer, with the possible connotation of talk between antagonists to agree to terms to cease hostilities; to engage in such talk
51. Patter: quick or monotonous speech, as in delivering a humorous speech or in rote delivery of prayers; to speak in this manner
52. Pillow talk: romantic talk, such as would be engaged in while the speakers are in bed
53. Pleasantry: polite, inconsequential talk, or see banter and jest (nouns only)
54. Quip: a spontaneous observation or response; to say something of this type
55. Raillery: see banter and jest
56. Rap: see chat and patter
57. Recital: public delivery of read or memorized material, or of details or answers
58. Recitation: an official or ceremonious recital
59. Recite: to deliver read or memorized material, or details or answers
60. Remark: a statement of judgment or opinion, or a reference to something notable; to comment in this manner
61. Repartee: an exchange of clever, witty statements, a single such response, or skill in talking in this manner
62. Schmooze: see chat, with the connotation of one conducted so as to gain personal or professional advantage; to talk in this manner
63. Small talk: see badinage
64. Spit: to talk about things or opinions a listener disagrees with or disapproves of
65. Straight talk: frank, straightforward talk
66. Sweet nothings: flattering talk intended to charm a potential or existing romantic partner
67. Sweet talk: talk intended to persuade, or to endear oneself to the speaker; to engage in this kind of talk (the verb form is hyphenated)
68. Table talk: informal talking such as that heard during a dinner party
69. Tete-a-tete: an intimate or private talk
70. Waggery: see banter and jest
71. Wisecrack: a clever or sarcastic comment; to make such a comment
72. Wordplay: witty, playful talk
73. Yack: to talk at length
74. Yammer: to talk relentlessly, or to complain
75. Yap: excessive talk

about the Synonyms Club. There is no second rule!

Jan 14, 2012

Wataniya: Please fix your mobile internet ...



Here in Maldives, none of the telecom companies offer an unlimited mobile data plan, unless you buy a blackberry from Wataniya, which in essence is not a very attractive deal as it is for most people.

As most telecom companies around the world, both Dhiraagu and Wataniya offer tiered rather than unlimited mobile data plans.

I used to subscribe to Wataniya MobileNet 149. I paid MRF 149/- each month for 60MB of data. When Dhiraagu introduced their GB Pack for MRF 160/- per month, Wataniya scrambled to offer a similar (or a better) deal, and around a month later launched their MobileNet 159 package. I was to pay MRF 159 for 1.1GB of data each month. That sounded like a good deal to me, only MRF 10/- more to get about 18 times more mobile data than I used to. I jumped onboard and subscribed to this new package the very first day.

The first few weeks were good. Wataniya mobile net almost always worked. However, few months in, I started getting disconnected quite often and had trouble re-connecting. Now its worse. You have to be lucky if you could even connect to the internet in the daytime in general and especially in the working hours. It still works as used to to if you try in the early mornings. Very early morning, like around 3am to 7am.

I'm not the type who abuses a service. Surely, not the services provided by my Telcom. I have been with Wataniya for around 3 years now. I pay my bells on time. I've never activated my free numbers, nor have I activated my friends and family discount numbers. I have never fully used my 1.1GB allowance. Not once. I'm almost always around the 400MB mark. Since I can't use mobile data as I want to, I've been using WiFi most of the time. This defeats the purpose of actually subscribing to a mobile internet package.

Also, I've been having trouble sending and receiving text messages from Australia. I've called up Wataniya and brought this matter to their attention several times.  Its been more than a year since I filed an official complain with them, and I've called them numerous since then to remind them about it. The matter is yet to be resolved. This is bad!

I'm seriously thinking to switch back to Dhiraagu. The only thing that's holding me back is Wataniya offers an a very good IDD add-on. If Dhiraagu offers such an IDD add-on, I'll switch to Dhiraagu in a heartbeat. There is only so much one can do to support the underdog!

Wataniya, Whatever you are doing wrong, fix it, and be quick about it.


Jan 9, 2012

USPS: Delivery time to Maldives ...



I've been ordering some stuff from Unites States lately. Every time I tell someone that I've placed an order, they ask me about the shipping methods I go with and delivery time frame.

Since shipping charges will very much depend on what you order and shipping weight, the delivery time remains almost the same for most of my orders. I do not use Fedex or DHL. I use the cheapest shipping available, that is United States Postal Service.

I mostly shop on but I'm sure most of the online shops would let you choose if you want USPS Express Mail service, or the standard Priority Mail International Parcels. I have tried out both of them and I share the details below:

Service Type: USPS Express Mail International Parcels
  • Delivered, November 28, 2011, 1:59 pm, MALDIVES
  • Addressee not available - Will attempt delivery on next working day, November 27, 2011, 3:45 pm, MALE, MALDIVES
  • Arrival at Post Office, November 27, 2011, 1:29 pm, MALDIVES
  • Customs clearance processing complete, November 27, 2011, 1:25 pm, MALDIVES
  • Customs Clearance, November 27, 2011, 1:18 pm, MALDIVES
  • Processed Through Sort Facility, November 27, 2011, 11:15 am, MALDIVES
  • Processed Through Sort Facility, November 23, 2011, 11:16 pm, ISC NEW YORK NY(USPS)
  • Arrived at Sort Facility, November 23, 2011, 11:15 pm, ISC NEW YORK NY(USPS)
  • Shipment Accepted, November 22, 2011, 8:53 pm, BROOKLYN, NY 11256
  • Electronic Shipping Info Received, November 22, 2011

Service Type: USPS Priority Mail International Parcels
  • Delivered, January 8, 2012, 10:59 am, MALDIVES
  • Addressee not available - Will attempt delivery on next working day, January 05, 2012, 9:59 am, MALDIVES
  • Arrival at Post Office, January 04, 2012, 10:23 am, MALDIVES
  • Customs clearance processing complete, January 04, 2012, 10:23 am, MALDIVES
  • Customs Clearance, January 04, 2012, 10:21 am, MALDIVES
  • Processed Through Sort Facility, January 04, 2012, 10:20 am, MALDIVES
  • Processed Through Sort Facility, December 29, 2011, 6:10 am, FOREIGN CENTERJERSEY CITY NJ 099
  • Arrived at Sort Facility, December 29, 2011, 6:09 am, FOREIGN CENTERJERSEY CITY NJ 099
  • Depart USPS Sort Facility, December 14, 2011, KEARNY, NJ 07032
  • Processed through USPS Sort Facility, December 14, 2011, 5:53 am, KEARNY, NJ 07032
  • Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility, December 14, 2011, 2:56 am, POUGHKEEPSIE, NY 12603
  • Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility, December 14, 2011, 2:55 am, POUGHKEEPSIE, NY 12603
  • Electronic Shipping Info Received, December 14, 2011

Express Mail costs only around USD 5/- more than Priority Mail but as you can see above, it is way more faster.

Hope this help you make an informed decision when choosing a shipping method for your orders from the United States to Maldives. Needless to say, these details are for shipments for myself in recent months. Your mileage may vary, but I guess, not by much.


Jan 6, 2012

Facebook Groups: Seriously ... WTF ???



I have been on Facebook for a long time. I might not be as active as some of my friends, but I do maintain an active account nevertheless.

I have always had issues with Facebook. This is a not a Facebook bashing post. I have done it enough on Twitter as I went along. I'm sure you've heard some of the horror stories.

Facebook isn't all that bad, they do good things sometimes. If I really think hard for a few minutes, maybe I can think of something good to say about Facebook.

When Google+ arrived without much fanfare, Facebook scrambled to give the controls over to the users and they did roll out some cool features. I like Google+ and I think Facebook did too little too late.

Anyways, the problem I'm having now is with Facebook groups. I have searched around in the account settings and privacy settings, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to stop people from adding me to groups. Most of these groups are stupid and I want no part of it. You know you have come across a few groups like that too, right?

We All Support "X" as (Upper North Province) President:
I may even support this guy, but I'm not from that area and I can't vote for him even if I wanted to.

I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who hate Manchester United:
I bet you can, but I'm not one of them. I am just indifferent about soccer on TV.

World of 7-Billion:
I know. So what can I do? I don't think it something I want to celebrate. Leave me out. Thank you.

Various Dhivehi island/atoll news website groups:
So you slapped on -live behind your island name and made a local news website? Good for you. Well I don't want to read it, and I definitely dont want to be on a Facebook group promoting your hatred, one way or the other!

Free The Kimboo:
This may be the first ever Maldivian group I was invited to. I was invited by primary0. I think every social network thereafter had some group or petition to free the Kimboo. On second thought, I think I'll stay in this group just for the heck of it.

After a little Googling, I found out that I actually have no control whatsoever on who adds me to groups or what groups I'm added to. If I don't want to be in a group, my only option is to go to that group and manually leave the group. This is infuriatingly stupid!

Talk about Facebbok and giving users the control of their content and delivery. Sucks!


Jan 5, 2012

Earthrise: It is unimaginably beautiful ...



I don't really know where I got this picture from, but it has been sitting on my Desktop for a long time.

I think this is an absolutely awesome picture. I admit that perspective may be a little bit distorted, but if a picture could ever convey a message, this picture sure does! For me, it conveys a powerful, expansive and a beautiful message.

This one image says so much about us as a species, us humans, about our ambitious ideas, long journeys, successful endeavors, proud achievements and accomplishments.

It also tells a lot about our hunger for knowledge, ability to learn about the unknown and how little we know about our selves and our yet undiscovered universe.

I hope we will keep looking. I hope we will adapt. I hope we never quit!


Jan 3, 2012

NetworkedBlogs: Syndications errors …



I've been using NetworkedBlogs to syndicate posts on this blog to Facebook and Twitter. I set it up about a year ago I think. It has been working just fine up until last week.

I don't know what went wrong, but I've been receiving syndication failure notification emails from NetworkedBlogs. This happens with almost every other post on this blog. Some posts get through just fine. That makes me think that I've actually not messed up the feed settings and am thinking it could be a something went wrong on their side.

When I visit NetworkedBlogs and go to syndication page, it tells me:
Authentication error blocked publishing recent posts!
This error is resolved now, and future posts will publish as usual. It's listed for reference only. No further action required.
When you change your Facebook password or permissions settings, Facebook may revoke publishing permissions, which causes syndication to stop. Visiting this page renews these permissions, so you're all set. This error message will disappear after the next post gets published successfully.
But surely it didn't get resolved, and my posts are not being published successfully.

Has anyone of you been experiencing this with NetworkedBlogs lately? Did you manage to fix it? If so, please let me know. Thanks.


Jan 1, 2012

Wall ad for a bespoke tailory ...


Found this advertisement near the SinaMalĂ© flats.
Heard that many women are setting up their own businesses these days.
Am told there are loan schemes targeted only at businesswomen.
I think this is great. The days of stay home wives are over?
Maybe not, but things are looking better.