Saturday, November 13, 2021

Solo Trip Adventures - Dalhousie

Traveling solo is a different ball game altogether and it's an adventure because you rarely can plan it and just have to make it up as you go along. When I thought of the idea of doing a solo trip I imagined I would have plenty of time to work and get mostly bored. I was googling what people do while they are solo travelling whilst my experience was completely opposite from that. I had to find some quiet time for myself to relax. 

Most Google searches would result in activities such as observing people, observing nature and trekking to an destination but here is what my answer to this question is - You listen, because listening to others is much more theraipautic than any other thing out there. There are just so many stories that are waiting to be heard, so many lives that you can touch just by listening to what other people have to say. Before this banter continues further ahead, let's meet the people on this journey. 

Krunal aka Youtuber

I wish I had half the tenacity of this guy. Why is it still easier to say to everyone that you are an UPSC aspirant than to become a youtuber in India? Clearly the stigma is very alive and very hard to get rid of. After walking 5 million miles he had the energy to speak 5 million words as well, time and again. 

Traveling with him was astoundingly simple - I had very little to take care of. He made sure I got the best deals, best knowledge, best experience and best behind the scenes bloopers. May God grant you a youtuber to travel with. 

Even when God knocks on his door for gateway to heaven, I am sure he would just ask the other God for better discount while the rest of us pay extra. 

Jokes apart, I didn't agree with creative side of his work (obviously that's very little to complaint but as a friend I feel like I have every right to do so). More often than not when we are treading on an off beat path, we try and look for safety and security. Or maybe there is an entire population of India that uses YouTube that I am unaware of, but if I had an YouTube channel it would be entertainment rather than information. 

Nevertheless, it's just making that choice, the first step is the hardest to take and as we go along the journey with resolve it gets easier with time. 

Ustaad Bhai

It's always the local that leave a hole in my heart and ears bleeding. If you are going on a solo trip, make it a point to talk to the security guard , the cook , the driver because it would leave you little astounded and shocked at the same time. Every time I do, I just feel bad to be privileged and growing up with that basic logic of not channeling everything down by my emotional controller. Yes, capitalism is open for all, yes the opportunities do exist for everyone if they are willing to work but for that you need to believe in yourself and have an appetite for taking risks. He was a truck driver previously and had an accident which made his left side pretty much not usable. He became a chef to take care for his family. 

 The "Five Girls" 

 I think there was no arrow when God planned the cupid for me :P 

 I can say that I am omitting the names to protect their privacy but the truth is I don't remember their names. They were staying in the dorm with us and were final year med students or more like final year fed up students. What's interesting was that they were Kota coaching friends. Even I can plan a trip like that. Let's see what those fuckers are upto - asshole, bigger asshole , abroad, abroad, too irritating , too cool to reply to my text. Maybe my friendships were way more real and complex than them :P. Okay, maybe I can't but it was fun bunch of folks and the hangover of their interaction stayed with me even though I didn't sip a single drop of alcohol. Making politically incorrect statements to offend a lot of people is always a lot of fun. 

Arun and Nithin 

I think Arun bhai was the most knowledgeable person in that camp, It was a refreshing experience to understand the policies of Mughals, British India and Indian government over Dalhousie and how has that shaped the culture. His passion for adventure and building a backpacker house was unmatched. On the other hand was Nithin bhai who was a walking example of Netflix and chill and let's just say no more. 


He was the first person I met in the hostel and gave me the boss vibe from day one. He was like that senior in college who has had done everything that is to be done and now just wants to be shining light for other people from his tribe to follow. 

Everyone Else 

There were just lot of nuggets and emotional outbursts not only from other tourists but locals as well. People mostly have plenty of time as they go around visiting places and are open to talking as compared to cities where everything and everyone is a rush (including me). 


If you haven't tried to listen to nature then there is no point of making the trip. You need to close your eyes and listen to the rhythmic beat of your pumping heart, the water trickling down from a crib, the gargantuan calm forest looking down for and at us while we crib in vain on our petty issues.  

Also, I did zip line, paragliding, multiple long treks and visits to waterfall. Posting some of the pics. 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

How should government tax crypto?

 Governments serve a basic purpose - To help the community grow and prosper. They have a singular function of serving the needs of the community. Now taxing cryptocurrencies is very hard but there is also an understanding by the Blockchain community that funds for public good is required. The most simple way to tax cryptocurrency traders and developers is to make taxation voluntary and on chain. 

Once you know that the transaction is on chain you can go ahead and track the end beneficiary of your money and there should be an option to choose your money to be given to local / national cause along with certain restrictions. 

I think taxation can be DAO in totality and this has been the major idea behind DAOs. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Jabra Fan : A NFT powered fan based marketplace

About Jabra

This is an early support based NFT marketplace, mostly aimed at content creators. Imagine getting supported for your initiatives by strangers on the internet who believe in you because of your past track record?

What's in it for these supporters you ask? Well they can sell these NFTs when you become a public sensation. This serves as a dual edged sword as the people who believe in you will also be the advocate of your success and help you reach there faster.

Use Case 1

Imagine you create educational videos on machine learning. You have made 4 videos and now you need some money to create more/new videos. You can mint a NFT on our platform and sell it to your supporters. This NFT would guarentee one-on-one time and certain exclusive features by the creator. Now, when and as channel grows these NFT (and thus the exclusivity) associated with it can be sold to new members of the community.

Use Case 2

Imagine you are a TV actor who is out of work at the moment (as we saw during the pandemic) , now you need some money in order to sustain a certain lifestyle. So you can reach out and mint NFTs and the exclusivity could be the videos of incorrect takes that took place, inside gossips, artworks from sets that you have, behind the scenes footage, reaction of your own memes. Your fans will buy it for certain premium and then as you grow to become a bigger star, these exclusivity can be sold out to the potentially highest bidder.

Technical Architechture

It uses

  • Zilliqa BlockChain
  • Scilla Smart Contracts
  • ZilPay Wallet Chrome Extension is Required
  • ReactJS for frontend
  • Rails Backend for storing some centralized data
  • AWS Amplify and AWS EC2 for hosting frontend and backend respectively.


Demo Video

(Apologies for the low audio)

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Machine Learning Components

 1. Introduction 

Basic Mathematics behind traditional data algorithms, Only topics would be explored for theoretical understanding and no code would be written for the same.

  1. Naive Bayes Classifier

  2. Term Frequency - Inverse Term Frequency 

  3. Cosine Similarity 

  4. Linear Regression 


2. Applications and breakdown,

  • Tabular Data

  • Images 

  • Audio

  • Video

This breakdown along with the detailed analysis on each component would help you figure out how to work on Machine Learning Models.

Most of the research papers whether in computer vision, speech and text need a very good understanding of four things. All of these require thorough understanding along with the code. The idea is to first process them in 3 line definition format and then experiment with the TensorFlow. 

  • Components

    • Recurrent Neural Networks

    • Convolutional Neural Networks 

    • Long Short Term Memory Cells

    • Gated Recurrent Units

  • Topology Used 

    • Encoder/Decoder

    • Bidirectional 

    • Grid LSTM

    • Tree LSTM

  • Additional factors

    • Attention

    • Normalization

    • Regularization 

    • Share/Unshare Something

  • Activation Function

    • TanH

    • Rectified Linear Unit

    • Parametric Rectified Linear Unit 

    • Exponential Linear Unit 

    • Sigmoid

    • Softplus

3. Conclusions and Rules of Thumb for practical purposes. 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

"Real Value" Of CryptoCurrency

I think most people reading this would know about BitCoin and would have some vague ideas about trading in cryptocurrency (apps like WazirX and  CoinDCX). This article is meant for people who would want to start trading in cryptocurrency but have no idea where to start. It should obviously not be taken as investment advice.

The volatility in crypto markets is very high and there are macro trends and micro trends. The micro trends are very hard to predict for any cryptocurrency and for new currencies with less number of coins out there, the percentage change with these micro-trends can be massive in terms of numbers and thus it's advisable to tread carefully.  These trends are often because of trading bots and hypes perpetuated on internal groups. Although, that's something not to worry about if you understand the "real" value of that cryptocurrency. Any currency has value based on the number of people adopting it. So, the more projects are built using cryptocurrency, the more people get attracted to it, the more people use it. This adoption often shows compounded effect given a sensible leadership is heading the project with genuine social good in mind. Often at times the leadership gets' greedy and wants to manipulate the projects to benefit their own greed hurting the community at large that supported them in their endeavor. The current stage of a lot of adoption of this tech is based on the hope of growth and it has shown massive promises. 

As of now the sovereign funds, pension funds have not invested in these currencies and thus acts as an early investment. If any of these big cheque funds decide to pick up any cryptocurrency then it would totally change the shape of it. (Few million dollars is small number for them).

Real Projects are not replicas. 

As I said above the value of any currency is based on projects that use it. If your neighbourhood e-commerce store starts using a coin then you can buy stuff from them without getting into the national currency loop, thus making the currency more valuable. Obviously, every project helps but to truly have massive adoption of any cryptocurrency, the projects built on top of it cannot be "Replica of X in Crypto", the value lies in building something truly innovative and engaging for the community while leveraging the currency. 

If you are just looking for trends to understand so that you can invest, the first and foremost thing to realize it is that do not have a tunnel vision but a long term thought, here are some pointers that you can use. 

  • Wallet address growth
  • The blockchain's transaction volume and growth 
  • Real Projects and adoption 
  • dApp creation and usage growth 
  • Community Address and Resolution of Technical Problems associated with scaling up
  • GitHub work contributed to a blockchain 
  • Developers adding to the blockchain. Are developers growing, stagnant or decreasing over time?
  • Key partnerships that are adding value. Not just announcing the name of someone to put on your website but what the partnership is actually doing to drive adoption and value creation. (Partnerships with bigger currencies)
  • Celebrity Endorsements and Influencer marketing 
  • Reddit / Closed Groups Sentiment 
There are often Red Flags associated, which can be tracked down if you are watching very closely, these are, 
  • How many ICOs are happening? Are we seeing an increase of more and more ICOs raising tens of millions of dollars with no working product?
  • Is the growth euphoric or optimistic? 
  • People will increase their risk appetite to try and get more return as higher returns become harder in the top 50 cryptos because most of that price action will have been exhausted. So investing in big players is indeed very stupid. They are fluctuating with micro-trends and have very little to offer in terms of growth and adoption. 
  • What is the economic outlook in the traditional world? Negative sentiment among the community is to be feared as it spreads like wildfire. 
The biggest and most indicative is obviously Wallet Address Growth closely followed by transaction volume and growth.  Comparing this with other currencies and comparing it with it's own trends over the spectrum of months would give you a good long term measure of the currency's future. 

Is it advisable to invest your life savings in crypto? 
Obviously No. 
My advice would be to make bets to small unheard currencies in a way that losing that money would not affect you a bit. 5% - 7% of your savings at max. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Sheety Chatbots!

Sheety Chatbot!

In this tutorial we are going to learn how to build a notification chatbot which sends you notifications at specific time intervals and talks to you if you want to receive them or not.

For the purpose of this tutorial we are going to build a bot which checks every 5 minutes on a google sheet if the person has marked his work or not and notifies specific **subscriber** on their telegram/slack/skype account if they have. Instead of a google sheet you can ping a website for changes.

> subscriber - the user who has subscribed to the project via Telegram/Slack/Skype

We are going to use following stack for this purpose,

-   DynamoDB - subscribers and habits
-   AWS Lambda -
    -   serverless functions which is invoked when chatbot gets a message.
    -   a cron job which notifies the user for an update
-   Claudia.js - Wrapper to write chatbot for slack, telegram and skype
-   Cloudwatch Rules - To trigger lambda function every 5 minutes


In our database, we are going to have two tables - subscribers , sheetcells

Subscribers is going to have following columns,  
- id  
- slackToken  
- slackId  
- telegramId  
- skypeId  
- sheetId

Sheetcells is going to have following columns,  
- cell  
- value  
- last checked  
- type : enum [ “habit”, “goal”, “day” ]  
- subscriberId

For our main infrastructure, we will have cloudwatch event calling our notification lambda function (called as notifyLambda), which will send the message to our user. The conversations would be handled by separate lambda function which is called (