Timelapse videos in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

So, I was recently travelling to Dubai and decided to try out the new Timelapse video feature on the iPhone. I was impressed with the results. Sure, you will be. View the videos below. Make sure to select high resolution (1080p).

 
Sunset at Abu Dhabi beach – timelapse video

Dubai to Abu Dhabi by car Timelapse video

Dubai metro timelapse video

Rotimatic

Calculating ROI for Rotimatic – The Robotic Roti Maker

The Rotimatic product video looks incredibly cool and saves time spent on making the chapati dough and preparing the actual chapathi on the pan. Just feed it with wheat flour and water. Chapathi comes out at 1 chapathi per minute.

Here is the product video I found on Youtube:

I was wondering whether it makes sense to buy this machine due to it’s high cost ($999 or AED3600 or INR68,000)

Let’s do the math.

Cost of Rotimatic: $999
Time spent in making a Chapathi: 1 hr per day (breakfast+dinner)
Assuming an nominal ballpark cost per hour of labor for me/wife: $15 (which could be spent on other productive things)
Total number of hours to get return on investment: 67 hours
No.of days to reach return on investment: 67 days or 2 months and 7 days. (@ 1hr/day)

Assuming that this thing comes with a 1 year warranty and works perfectly for approx 2 months straight, then the return on investment would be achieved.

9/10 – would buy!

Rotimatic

Rotimatic, Image credit: Mashable

Too bad that they are now fully booked, I have made a preorder enquiry though. Hoping to get the invite for purchase soon. Visit Rotimatic website for more details.

PS: Reading through the article looks like it’s a sort of paid endorsement. I clarify that it’s not and there is no association of any kind between Rotimatic and me, except that I love the concept of this robotic roti maker!

Evolutionary reason for gagging when someone is vomiting

Most of us would gag if we ever see someone else vomiting. Why is our gag reflex triggered when we watch others in action?

Same question was answered on Columbia University Q&A.

Scientists believe that this response is the seat of empathy. Humans have been social animals for a long time in our evolutionary history, with survival-rooted interdependence — living and working together in groups. In the case of throwing up, it may have been true that people who were easily affected by another’s sickness were more likely to survive, as you guessed, because such a response would result in an individual releasing a harmful substance more quickly.

 

PS: This post is dedicated to my dear friend Bibin, who inspired me (back in 2007)  to think about this question!Wink Wink

Transfer funds between NRI account and account in India

I learned the hard way, that it is indeed not possible to transfer funds from savings account in India (State Bank of India) to my NRI account (NRE account in State bank of Travancore).

When I initiated the transfer, the fund got debited from my account. The next day, the fund was returned to my savings account and the status of the transaction was mentioned as “Failure – Credit to NRE Account”.

Called up the customer care at SBT, who said it is indeed not possible to transfer funds to my NRE account, and I may credit funds only via currency exchanges here in UAE.

Failure - Credit to NRE Account.

Failure – Credit to NRE Account.

It is now confirmed! Do not attempt to send funds from savings account in India to another NRE account!

Uber taxis in Dubai

I always assumed that Uber drivers are freelancers who drive their own car for an extra money on the side. Atleast that’s true in the case of India and elsewhere. I was taken by surprise that Uber taxis are also regulated by RTA in Dubai. Conversations with a Uber taxi driver in Dubai revealed the extent of regulations under which Uber operates in Dubai.

  • Uber X taxis are not really owned by the taxi drivers.
  • Uber X taxis are owned by Tourism companies who hire drivers to work for them for 10-11 hours a day
  • Uber X drivers get a salary of AED3500 per month with accommodation and typically drive for AED8000-12000 per month

The Uber X drivers are well trained to behave courteously with the customers unlike the RTA taxis who frown at people for taking shorter rides and expect all rides to go all the way across Dubai! And they provide free water bottles plus the taxis are super clean. All Uber X taxis rolling out recently are Toyota Fortuner. Weekly, 5-10 new Uber X Toyota Fortuner taxis are hitting the road.

For anyone wondering about the cost of the trip, its AED68 for Business Bay to Ibn Batuta.

For anyone wondering about the cost of the trip, its AED68 for Business Bay to Ibn Batuta.

One important benefit that the Uber Taxis have over Abu Dhabi Silver Taxis or the Dubai RTA is that they are allowed to pick up people from any of the Emirates. That is, a driver from Dubai can pickup someone from Abu Dhabi if they are in the vicinity and got booked through the app.

For the uninitiated, taxis from one Emirate are not allowed to pickup passengers from another Emirate, even if that means the taxis just travel empty for 100+ kilometers. For example, Taxis from Dubai can only drop passengers in Abu Dhabi, but cannot pickup anyone at Abu Dhabi and have to return empty all the way from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. The waste of fuel and costs to the environment is appalling.

Back to topic, Uber! Uber X taxis are slightly costlier than the RTA taxis when Surge pricing is not applied. (Updated)

AED60 bonus applied for my trip

AED60 bonus applied for my trip

Update: Uber offers AED60 as bonus for new users who sign up using the promo code from existing members. I got the following code from Uber which others can use to avail the AED60 bonus:

bharathm385ue

Full disclosure: Apparently, Uber also gives me bonus credit when someone uses my code to signup.

Welcome to my new home on the web

Thanks to cliparts.co

Thanks to cliparts.co

 

Welcome to Bharath.Info, website of Bharath Manoharan (that is, me!)

After my earlier website (bharath.name) got missed in renewal, waited for the domain to release for so many years. Finally, gave up on the name when the info TLD became available with my name. There we go. A new home on the web. Feel free to browse around. Use the contact form or the comments to get in touch.

Thank you for visiting. Thanks for your time.