3 Steps to safeguard your credit card from operator’s innocent mistake

 

Be careful wheb you enter card pin

Jagdeesh, my colleague, told me an story one day. A doctor was travelling with his driver and they passed through a toll booth. Doctor paid 40 bucks as toll tax using his credit card and moved on. When he read the SMS, sent by the card issuer, around 15 minute later, he as satrteled. He has been charged 400 thousand bucks. Since his credit card has limit, the transaction went through. Although he came back and settled the things with toll company and his bank, I could never understand how that can happen. Well, not untill yesterday when I was about to pay 27 million. Of course, I do not have such limit in my card.

What actually hapened was that after entering the amount, the petrol pump attendant missed to press the enter button. As he handed over the swipe device to me, I entered the pin without looking at the little lcd screen. However, I happen to look at the screen before I pressed the enter button. I noticed the amount, took a moment to understand what has happened, and returned the machine to attendant to cancel the transaction. She looked at the amount, stranged look came on her face as if she has seen a ghost, and she immediately pulled out the card. I was relieved and saved.

The amount was 2704.83 and I after added 4 digit pin, it became 27048311.11 (pin changed to 1111). This is 27,048,311.11 i.e. 27 million. Although the transaction would not have approved because of insufficient limit in my card, it was a very good lesson for me.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Always have a second look at the amount. You must know how much you are actually paying.
  2. Always look where are you typing and ensure that you are typing at the correct screen.
  3. Always press enter after you have entered your four digit pin.

Image source: pixabay

Flushing in ASP.NET MVC

nik codes

I’ve written a follow up to this post that answers many of the common questions about flushing early. Be sure to check it out.

The Setting

Before the beginning of this decade, Steve Souders released two seminal books on the topic of web performance: High Performance Web Sitesand Even Faster Web Sites. The findings and subsequent suggestions that came out of those books changed the face of web development and have been codified into several performance analysis tools including Yahoo YSlow and Google PageSpeed.

High Performance Web SitesEven Faster Web Sites

Most professional web developers that I’ve met over the past five years are familiar with Souder’s recommendations and how to implement them in ASP.NET MVC. To be fair, they aren’t that difficult:

  • HTTP Caching and Content Compression can both be enabled simply via a few settings in web.config.
  • Layout pages make it easy to put stylesheets at the top of a…

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The internet of everything: 5 big ideas at Structure Connect about connecting everyone and everything

Gigaom

Between the smart home, wearables and the industrial internet, we’re hearing about the internet of things all the time. But before we start connecting devices, we need to connect people in more places, improve connectivity in our homes and offices and even figure out how we can connect our web services to these new products that you control via an app.

It’s a lot to take in. That’s why we’re excited to host Structure Connect, a conference dedicated to the challenges and opportunities that ubiquitous connectivity in everything from sensors to smoke detectors is creating. The conference will take place in San Francisco on Oct. 21 and 22 at the Mission Bay Conference Center. We’ll use the event to discuss how we turn the theoretical promises of energy savings, smarter cities, automated homes that anticipate your needs and more-efficient businesses into reality. You’ll want to be there, so register…

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Got Chrome for Windows? Your extensions have to come through Google’s Chrome Web Store

Gigaom

Google announced in November that it was going to start cracking down on Chrome extensions, particularly on the Windows(s msft) platform. The warning became reality this past week as Google is now enforcing the policy it laid out last year. If you run Chrome(s goog) for Windows — either the Beta or Stable channel — all of your browser extensions will be had through the Chrome Web Store. Chrome Canary and the developer channel of Chrome on Windows are exempt from this; these channels can still install Chrome extensions from any source.

Why the new policy? There have been too many reports of malware-infested extensions for Google to ignore. Some extensions were doing things behind the scenes and unknown to users, such as, according to Google, “silently installing extensions on your machine that do things like inject ads or track your browsing activity.” And that’s a no-no. So…

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Google is harnessing machine learning to cut data center energy

Gigaom

Leave it to Google (s GOOG) to have an engineer so brainy he hacks out machine learning models in his 20 percent time. Google says that recently it’s been using machine learning — developed by data center engineer Jim Gao (his Googler nickname is “Boy Genius”) — to predict the energy efficiency of their global data centers down to 99.6 percent accuracy, and then to optimize the data centers in incremental ways if they become less efficient for whatever reason.

Part of Gao’s day-to-day job at Google is to track its data centers’ power usage efficiency, or PUE, which demonstrates how efficiently data center computing equipment is using energy. Traditionally many data center operators were seeing about half of their energy consumed by cooling equipment, but in recent years data center leaders like Google, Facebook(s fb) and others have focused on tools like using the outside air for cooling, or running the server…

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4 mistakes engineers make when building a SaaS company

Gigaom

Before I joined Loggly as CTO and VP of Engineering, I built seven cloud-based products. From my perspective, four mistakes separated the SaaS companies that stumble from the best.

1. “Adoption for our offering will take time, so we can build fast now and build right later.”
Look at how steep the technology adoption curve has become. Every SaaS product needs to be built for scalability and robustness from the start.

technology-adoption

Image courtesy Udayan Banerjee

2. “Our customers have predictable behavior.”
Be ready for something unexpected that will threaten to break your service, and have processes for managing out-of-policy activities. For example, Loggly must deal with customers that send a huge burst of log events, inadvertently or during a fire, 24-7.

3. “We don’t need operations automation.”
Operations is at the heart of every SaaS business, and they shouldn’t be treated like sysadmins. By automating defrag of ElasticSearch, Loggly devops saves about 15…

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How to Manage Verbal Requirements

imageAll the project management practices advocates that the requirements should be properly documented. I agree to this. But it is not very infrequent that you get the requirements over the phone or verbally. Someone just called in and asked you to some changes in the module that is currently being developed. And if you are not unlike me, you know the consequences sometimes are  very drastic in nature.

Let me explain this by an example. Once there was a psychotherapist – highly educated and very talented. He decided to open a clinic in the city. Once everything was done, he called up a local painter and asked him to paint his signboard. The painter did his job very well but when our psychotherapist saw this, he fainted. He then starts shouting at the painter. And painter was not able to understand what went wrong. What actually happened was that the the painter was asked to pain ‘Psychotherapist’ on the sign board. However, he painted ‘psycho the rapist’.

I hope you can now imagine what happens with the verbal or telephonic requirements. So how to cope with these? In practical scenario, you cannot avoid verbal requirements. I follow a process, which I call ACR (or Accurately Confirmed Requirements, as my teammates call this) to cope with such situations. The three step process goes as below:

  1. Accept the verbal or telephonic requirements – since you cannot avoid this, it’s better to accept this strategically.
  2. Confirm – once you have received the verbal or telephonic requirements, review them in your head to make them more clear. Once you know clearly what the caller wants, draft a mail. Write down what you understood and send it back to the person who gave you the requirements. Ask him to confirm whether your comprehension of his thoughts is right. This will help you both to be on the same page.
  3. Record – After getting the confirmation from originator of the requirements, document it. You may need to update the requirement documents or project scope statement.

ACR is always followed by the planning and execution on the new requirements.

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