how it feels to live without facebook!

recently, i came to a realization that i’m spending too much time on facebook. quite often it happened that, i’m scrolling down and down the newsfeed and felt like nothing interesting coming up. at those times, my muscle memory hits cmd + t (open new tab) and types facebook.com in address bar. so, even without actively realizing i’m re-opening facebook and starts reading from top of the newsfeed. in my realization, this is too much. i must control myself.

i also witnessed a number of social problems upon sharing things or checking-in on facebook. even though there are many “friends”, not everyone is really friend! regardless, people has complications (often unintentional, myself included) about good things (often pure show-off) of others. in addition, i hate to say, i’m pretty tired of seeing tons of selfies (blame to me; not the one who takes).

so, on 1st january (2 hours before 2nd january), i felt like i should really take a long break and today is a good day to act. deactivating account sounds like the right solution in this case. however, i tried that in past and it didn’t work very well as facebook automatically reactivates account upon login. so, by forgetting that i deactivated and due to muscle memories, i open facebook.com, login and everything back to normal. they made it too easy! i decided to force myself; and deleting account seemed only viable option.

without further thought (i know, if i start rationalize, i won’t be able to force myself), i decided to permanently delete facebook account. they didn’t make this one easy; so i had to google to find out how to do it.

facts:

  • before termination, you’ll have to deactivate the account.
  • you’ve to visit visit this page to request deletion (take a backup of your site if you are unlike me).
  • facebook said it gonna take about 2 weeks though it took me over 3 weeks (permanently deleted on january 24).
  • facebook must have a bug (or may be related to re-login before you ask to delete) as my friends reported that my account is still active and they can see my profile.

pros:

  • i’ve less online/social footprints.
  • i don’t feel obliged to check-in or post photos as i came somewhere.
  • i don’t have phones in my hand beyond a few seconds when we go to restaurants or somewhere. practically, i can give more attention to real life.
  • i have a lot more time for myself, entertain myself.
  • i feel like i’m living myself, not living a life to show others.
  • immediately after that i met a number of awesome people in my neighborhood. i never searched for anyone when i had facebook.

tl;dr: i’m enjoying the time.

cons:

  • i almost don’t know what happening around me and in friends’ lives.
  • lost contacts of a lot of people.
  • now, i’ve to make real efforts to get a news (with fb, they just come to newsfeed). example: i came to know couple of days later after trump’s eo of travel bans from some muslims majority nations.
  • i used to talk over messenger with my family/relatives. i had to find alternatives.
  • it feels awkward to tell that i don’t have a facebook account and people are really surprised.

tl;dr: it’s much harder than i thought.

to make things clear, i never blame facebook for anything. it’s really good and that’s why it’s making harder everyday to live without.

Winter Hackathon 2016

So, nailed another hackathon at SparkPost. Last month we had our winter hackathon and my team YACC Shavers, won in Partner Integration category. This is fourth consecutive winning of my team (not same members) and 3rd at SparkPost.

Winter Hackathon

During this hackathon, we built an Alexa Skill that will integrate with your SparkPost account and you can ask it questions like

Alexa, what’s my bounce rate? or Alexa, what’s my complaint rate? etc.

 

going all lowercase

at somewhere…in we used to use all lowercase typing. it was really fun. you can just keep tying without worrying about changing case. also for some reason, it hurts my eyes and brain less to read something in all lowercase. that’s probably because i like that.

so, from today i decided to go all lowercase with my blog. it’s important to note, i can just add css to show everything lowercase using css’s text-transform. but it’s not about showing, it’s about writing. so i’ll write them in all lower. however, not sure about the old posts. i may update them occasionally or using programming tricks.

 

Photoblog – BrickHack 2

March 5-6 ignites a weekend devoted to 400 designers and coders sinking 24 hours into learning, building, and creating unique projects. Mentors and industry representatives will also join the fray to lend expertise and share wisdom. The event will take place in RIT’s Gordon Field House for a centralized, communal hacking experience. Expect food, swag, and timeless brick-laden memories.  – brickhack.io

A two (+12) hours tour to Amazon Fulfillment Center, VA

I’ve reserved this tour about a year ago. I always have a fascination for visiting giant factory like facilities. I think I’ve got this when I witnessed my father as a chief contractor for a giant textile mills in Pagla, Narayanganj.

Initially I planned to visit this with my family until, at very late, I came to know that visitor must be at least 6 years old. My daughter is about 5 years early for that :P, hence my wife couldn’t go too. So, I invited 3 of my other friends and among them 2 could make it in this short notice.

We started on 15th’s very early morning even before we saw the sunlight. It’s more than 6 hours of drive from Brooklyn. We reached there about 30 minutes ahead of scheduled time.

The area closed to the facility is so beautiful. The roads are so clean and solid and natures are really soothing. From the outside we could tell how giant this facility is. Though there were a few signs posted about tour guests parking, it was difficult to locate exact place as several roads were closed and there were no detour signs. So we had to make several back and forth before we found a staff and ask for assistance who removed one of the blocker to the  way to actual tourist parking lot.

When we entered the facility we’ve been welcomed by a few of organizers and we were given badges. Then they took us a to classroom where they’ve given us instructions how the tour will be conducted and also gave us wireless headphones. This was extremely helpful as the whole place is too noisy and we could barely hear anything unless we put the headphone on. The noise basically coming from conveyer belts that were throughout the facility.

Then we’ve taken to different areas of the facility including the inbound area where they process all incoming shipments from FBA sellers, MODs where they store all items in smaller quantity, packing area, labeling and sorting area etc.

I remember, when I saw a packer was very quickly taking boxes for putting items in it I wondered whether he decides those himself that fast or the software tells what size of box required. It’s actually the later. As soon he starts processing order, required size of shipping box is displayed on the screen. Technology is amazing, isn’t it?

Then we’ve been taken to the places where shipping labels are affixed. I thought it’s a manually process until I saw it. After a box is kept on the belt, a shipping label is automatically attached at a later step (identified by order barcode that’s affixed by the packer). However, we saw this process is very error prone and there were 2-3 people who fixes those things manually.

It was very clear that lots of technological magics happen there at all times. However, the importance of manual labor is nevertheless. I was really amazed to see the size of the facility. They also mentioned the combined size of 3 floors is equivalent to 28 football fields.

However, during my short stay there, I’ve got an impression that work condition may be very hard there! I tried to pay attention to a number of people and they looked tired and seemed unhappy. Pardon my judgements if I’m wrong (and I’ll be happy to be wrong here) but I found it aligned when I saw at least two people were sleeping in their car at parking lot. I found only one person, other than the organizers, gave us a positive vibe by giving us smile though many of them noticed us. It may also mean they were very busy and/or their job needs undivided attention! To get a better understand on this, I asked the tour guide how often the workers are allowed to take rest. She replied it’s only twice in their 10 hours shift including their cafeteria time (lunch/dinner/breakfast)! Thanks my load; my job is much easier. Coincidentally it reminded me an article that I read recently about how Amazon pushes its engineers beyond their boundaries.

The tour ended with thank you gift that included a 8oz bottle of water and a mini USB car charger, which interestingly I didn’t find on amazon.com.

Very sadly, we were not allowed to take pictures that actually lost 50% value of the tour, though I respect the fact that it’s their own facility and they have rights to impose any policies. But how something can be a tour if you can’t take a photos?

Overall, unlike my friends, I somewhat enjoyed my tour. I believe the tour can be better in several way including reducing the number of people in each tour so that people can take a closer look. I also want to thank you Amazon to let us visit their facility.

I, however, do not suggest anyone else to take such a long drive for the tour. It’s definitely not worthy. Visit a nearby facility.

Gotcha with ng-model inside ng-if

It’s been written clearly in the angular.js official document but still it confused us in an instance. If you’re reading the documentation of ng-if, pay extra attention to the following paragraph

The scope created within ngIf inherits from its parent scope using prototypal inheritance. An important implication of this is if ngModel is used within ngIf to bind to a javascript primitive defined in the parent scope. In this case any modifications made to the variable within the child scope will override (hide) the value in the parent scope.

We had a template structure as follows

<div class="container">
  <h3>{{title}}
  <div ng-if="metadata">
     <h4>Add Category</h4>
     <input type="text" ng-model="categoryValue" />
     <button ng-click="addCategory">Add</button>
  </div>
</div>

In our scope, we properly add title property and addCategory method. Whenever, we click the ‘Add’ button it goes to correct method. However, inside our addCategory method value of $scope.categoryValue is always undefined.

It took us a while to figure out the issue. However, when we figured it completely made sense. The issue is simple and very straightforward.

The block where we’ve used ng-if, a child scope (parent is the scope we had title property, addCategory method) is being created. When we click the addCategory button, being prototypal inheritance, it finds the method inside the child scope. Obviously, the method isn’t there because we didn’t define the method in this scope. So the lookup goes up to the parent. The method is there. So addCategory method is invoked from the parent scope and categoryValue is undefined.

In the child scope, when we’ve used categoryValue, the value will be looked up in the current scope, parent scope and any other ancestor scopes. It’s nowhere! But when we write something there a property in the local scope (child scope that created for ng-if) is created and the value is saved there. So our illustration is like

$parentScope.addCategory

$childScope.categoryValue

Inside the addCategory method, it is looking for categoryValue but unfortunately it is defined that scope’s child scope. Lookup is always upward, never downward.

 

There are a number of solutions to this problem.

1) Replace ng-if with ng-show.

2) If you require to have ng-if, pass the model’s along with method invocation.

<button ng-click="addCategory(categoryValue)">Add</button>

So now the value of categoryValue from current scope will always be passed to the method during invocation and the method just have to accept that as an argument to get the value. Rather than finding the value in the scope, it should just use the passed argument.

Exploring NY – part 2

This is continuation of last post where I’m trying to write my random experiences in New York.

Boishaki Utshob (Bangla New Year) Celebration

Pohela Boishak 1421

Pohela Boishak 1421

This was my first Bangla New Year celebration outside of Bangladesh though I rarely joined mass gathering in this day. In addition to girls, usually boys also take some preparations for celebrating this day. However, as usual, I hate preparations; specially with clothing :P. On the day (April 14, 2014) My wife & her friends (with their family), sister-in-law and her friend and me all headed for Jackson Heights where, I heard, most of the Bengali people join on this day.

We didn’t get the parking around, even a few blocks away, the main gather spot. So we decided to head for the NTV Bhaban (NYC office of a Bangladesh TV channel) where cultural programs happens. We really enjoyed the time there from live songs, Bangladeshi (and/or Indian) foods like Fushka, Chotpoti, Pitha, Jhalmuri etc.

Highland Park, Brooklyn

Highland Park, Brooklyn

Highland Park, Brooklyn

It was my another lone cycle exploring. I, initially, planned to go to Forest Park. On the way to Forest Park, I found this park and thought it’s worth exploring. Above the ground level, it has nice bike lane surrounding a lake (though seemed restricted to public).

Randall’s Island Park

Raita at Randall’s Island Park

Over a weekend we, friends and family, went to Randall’s Island park without any plan. I don’t remember the name of the place we initially planned to go but ended up going to this park and, most importantly, we never regret that :). The weather and the lights were stunning but again, unfortunately, my camera wasn’t with me. However, that didn’t stop us enjoying the beauty of the island and the park itself. Then we all sat and relaxed on the sport field. The kid, Raita, of our friend enjoyed the moment too.

To be continued…

Exploring NY – part 1

It’s been more than 3 months since I came to New York. As I joined my workplace within 2 days after coming here and being my wife unable to move easily and frequently due to her pregnancy, I didn’t get enough chances to go out; specially far. However, my explorer mind kept pushing me to go and look nearby.

My $99 bike from Walmart

My $99 bike from Walmart

The first great thing I did was that I bought was a bicycle from Walmart. Though I had plan to buy little expensive bike (something lightweight with aluminum frame), I ended up buying a cheap bike as everyone was warning that the area I live in is little risky and theft prune for expensive bikes(, and, unfortunately, they are right as someone already tried to steal this bike :(). Though I said cheap; it’s a very good bike and looks great. No one ever thinks that this is so cheap. Everyone I asked to guess the price; they ended up guessing about $300-$400 but actual price is $99 (I assembled it myself). My bike was my companion for all of my not-so-lone adventures.

Gateway Drive

My first lone adventure was Spring Park (not sure if name is correct), north of Belt Pkwy and opposite of Gateway Center. At that time snows were just started to go away but it was still cold resulting almost no people in the park. It was me, my bike and another mom with her child playing alone.

Spring Park, Gateway Dr.

Spring Park, Gateway Dr.

However, the cleanliness and the softness of the park just overwhelmed me. I was just thinking, how beautiful this will be when everything becomes green here. I didn’t feel alone there though no human being was with me. I was feeling just natural. I passed sometime there sitting on the bench, taking a few pictures, pumping my bike, watching birds flying, seeing the high lands on the other side, cars moving so fast outside of the park.

Seeing the highland on the other side, I was thinking the beach is nearby and attempted to go there. As I didn’t notice the bike lane that time I couldn’t go there using those high speed routes which is not legal. I kept that adventure for next time and decided to study the routes in detail before of that. However, I discovered the bike routes to beach in the same day evening when one of friend drove car through Belt Pkwy.

Time Square

Time Square

Times Square

I visited Time Square in 42nd Street with my wife and a her friend’s family. Though I liked the brightness and colorful moments there; I was just unable to figure out whether do people come here to see these ads in televisions or something else (other than eve of new year)?

The Hudson River

I love Friday in New York. There are many reasons. It’s a jummah day. It’s a last workday before weekend. On friday our office provides catered lunch which is, almost, always great :). Finally, friday evening my wife comes to my workplace and, after work, we go somewhere and return home late. So far I remember, Hudson River was the first place we conquered together. At that time our office was in W 24th Street.

The Hudson River

The Hudson River

It wasn’t far from our work. We walked together to the bank of The Hudson River from our office. I must mention one name of my co-worker here. It’s Brian Schmitz. Brian and I often run after the work. Being new, he introduces me to the different things while we run. One day he showed me the route to river bank, which I followed that go to there with my wife.

Some interesting things happened where we were there. For the first time in my life, I’ve seen a gay couple there and they were kissing each other. While we were there, my brother called me from Australia and he also told us an interesting fact about Hudson River that I wasn’t aware of earlier. Few years back a plane had to make emergency landing on the river after it’s engines blew. If you want to know more, you can see on wiki. Also this animation shows what happened that time.

Being a sunny day, which were rare in February 2014, we enjoyed the evening very much. Unfortunately, I didn’t take my camera with me on that day. So I’ve used my iPhone 4 to take some pictures.

to be continued ….