Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Radiator

Yesterday night, I woke up to change the temperature control setting in the device situated in the living room.

I noticed that if I set the temperature in the living room to 60˚ F, my bed room temperature becomes 64˚ F, but when I set the living room temperature to 62˚ F, the temperature in the bed room goes up to more than 70˚ F, which is uncomfortable. Ideally, I like the temperature to be 68˚ F.

This is because the radiator's size in the living room is the same as the radiator's size in the bedroom, while the size of the living room is more than two times the size of the bedrooms.

While 62˚ F is not warm enough for the living room, the temperature in the bed room becomes uncomfortably hot.

During the day, if the living room temperature is set to 68˚ F, the bed room temperature becomes unbearably hot and we either sometimes shut down the valve to the radiator, or open the windows slightly.

Most American homes are heated with indirect heating thru radiators. Hot water or steam comes to the radiators from the water boiler, usually located in the basement. These homes are single heating zones controlled by a single thermostat/temperature control device, mostly located in the living room.

The raditor sizes in the home can be changed to keep the temperatures in all rooms more or less the same. However, that would still mean loosing energy costs to keep the living room warm enough in the night , when it is not being used.

Probably, there is a big market to replace the existing heating systems with systems that can save energy costs by keeping the rooms not being used at slightly lower temperatures.

Friday, August 28, 2009


A seemingly ultra-modern city has come up on the outskirts of new delhi, called gurgaon.

It is full of skyscrapers ( the attached picture was taken on the evening of 27th July 2009) and parts of it look like downtown manhatten.

It has a population of a quarter million people, and many more come from New Delhi to work here.

Though the city shows the zeal of private Industries in India, it is a good example of the result of lack of regulation and government support.

A city this large and seemingly modern does not yet have municipal water or drainage/sewerage. Everybody in the town is using ground water for consumption (along with Reverse Osmosis machines for cleaning it) and septic tanks are used for sewerage.

There have been cases of polluting factories putting used water back into the ground.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Concoction of medicines

This comes due to a personal tragedy recently.

Though medicines are exhaustively tested for all side effects, before these are allowed by government authorities (like FDA), I do not think they are tested thoroughly for side effects when taken in combination with other medicines.

Further, how much and how many medicines should be given together should be based on the health and medical condition of a patient.

In the absence of either the ‘experience’ or readily accessible data, patients are many times given too many medicines at the same time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What could be improved in this bottle ?

Commodity products like bottled water have fierce competition. Besides taste, quality and nutrients, packaging plays an important role in the brand positioning of such products.

The 1 liter plastic bottle for water has been there for many years, along with bigger and smaller versions.

However, these bottle designs miss a few things:

For the 1 liter version, either you have to drink the full bottle during a short time or the water becomes stale/warm after opening it, so you do not feel like drinking it later, specially the next day onwards.

You can buy the smaller versions of this bottle and carry them in your car easily. However, if you are traveling by public transportation, you have to manage carrying many of these, which feels cumbersome and is not sleak.

If you have a 1 or a 2 liter bottle while you are traveling with friends/family, it is difficult to share the water unless you have glasses.

One more issue is that you are forced to gulp the water from the bottle, instead of sipping it , which you could do if the bottle had a built in straw.

An alternate design for this bottle could be a small (half pint sized or smaller) bottle, with a modified base which allows another similar sized bottle to be connected to it. This could be achieved by putting grooves/threading on top of the plastic cap to screw/connect the bottle to the bottom of this modified bottle base. Connecting 3 to 4 of these together would make it easy and sleak to carry. It would keep each unit separate from the remaining ones, water could be shared with friends easily, and would keep the water fresh(since all bottles do not have to be opened).

Another degree of improvement can be achieved by changing the design so that the water can be kept cool for a long time. Will leave that for another day..

Monday, January 12, 2009

DVDs: a Jacket would do it

I have been throwing away my old movie DVDs recently. Not because I do not like these old movies, but because these old DVDs collect dust and marks and start affecting the lens of the DVD player.

However hard one tries, the DVDs would go bad at the slightest level of mishandling or would start impacting the DVD player.

The video cassettes /tapes for VCRs had a nice plastic cover where the tape would be hidden from all pollution and would be uncovered only after the tape is inserted in the VCR.

However, the DVDs are open and ready to attract dust and scratches at the first opportunity.

I wish some company recognizes this and starts creating DVDs with plastic covers, along with DVD players, so that the DVD gets exposed only after being inserted in the player.

Ideally, if one can buy a DVD of today and insert it in the jacket to be used with this new DVD player, this could become popular.

Ditto would work for the camcorders with DVDs.

Alternately, once the price of read-only Pen-drives go down, these could be used for selling media.

In today's scenario, a machine with hundreds of usb-drive slots where customers insert thier pen-drive and download media for a charge could be of some use.