Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sri Lankan girl Natalie Anderson wins the Survivor Season 29

About Natalie and Nadia: Natalie and Nadiya Anderson are twin sisters who were born and brought up in Sri Lanka but are American citizens who completed their secondary and tertiary education there. By the way, Natalie got a tattoo of Sri Lank sketch in her left hand. Best Sri Lankan ever!


After 39 days of battling the elements and competition in Nicaragua, Natalie Anderson walked away with the million dollar prize and the title of sole survivor on the finale of "Survivor: San Juan Del Sur" Wednesday night.

Anderson, Keith Nale, Jaclyn Schultz and mother-daughter duo Missy Payne and Baylor Wilson fought hard in the final immunity challenges, but it came down to Anderson, Schultz and Payne at the final tribal council. And after the jury's vote, host Jeff Probst announced 28-year-old Anderson as the winner at the "Blood vs. Water" reunion show.



Turns out, Probst has been a fan of Anderson's game, telling Entertainment Weekly before the finale, "I think Natalie’s big plan is that you have to do each thing at the right time and you have to have certain numbers at a certain point in the game, and then there’s a point where you can get rid of your nemesis." And that's what she did when she blindsided Schultz's boyfriend, Jon Misch, in last week's episode and set herself up for a path to success.

Runner-up Schultz had a good shot too, but Anderson definitely outwitted, outplayed and outlasted in the game.

Suddenlink Internet Speeds Increased for FREE

Got an email from Suddenlink! Wow they moved the 15Mbps speed to 50Mbps for free. Yay!

Dear Valued Customer,
As part of our "We Promise" Guarantee, we continue to make major investments in our communities to bring you the speed you need, now and into the future. As a valued customer, you are among the first to hear your Internet speeds are increasing for FREE. In many instances, speeds will double.

Internet - Speed IncreasesCurrent Speed (Mbps)New Speed (Mbps)Monthly
Allowance* (GB)
15.0 Mbps50.0 Mbps250 GB
To take advantage of this upgrade, simply power cycle your modem.
Unplug the power cord from your modem for one minute.
Reconnect the power cord.
Restart your computer and enjoy!

We hope you enjoy this free speed upgrade. Please call us at 844-790-7477 if you have any questions.

Thank you for choosing Suddenlink.

Friday, November 14, 2014

"The Voice" Season 7 - Final 4 Predictions

Most of my predictions for the 12 playoff contestants are spot on. I'm happy that most agree with these are the best right now. See my previous post "The Voice Winner Predictions before live playoffs"

OK. Here's my predictions for the final 4 from each team and "The Voice" 2014 Season 7 ultimate winner. This may be too early for the ultimate winner prediction, but here goes,

Team Blake: Craig Wayne Boyd
Team Adam:  Damien
Team Gwen:  Taylor John Williams
Team Pharrell : Luke Wade

I really like Luke and Craig they both have a very commanding stage presence. But whether they win or not depends on the song selection. But my bets are on the young "Taylor John" he seems very poise, talented and surprisingly haunting. So I think depends on how well Taylor handles his stage presence and song choice, he seems to win this season.

So my prediction: Team Gwen : Taylor John Williams to win the ultimate "The Voice" Season 7





Friday, October 24, 2014

"The Voice" Season 7 - Winner Predictions (Before live playoffs)

This years The Voice Season 7, there's no clear cut winners so far. I'm not exactly sure which contestant is the front runner from each team. The talent pool is not really good compared to first couple of seasons.

But, here you go. Some of my predictions for the possible winners,

I feel like Team Pharrell got some of better contestants, next Team Adam. But there's still the "Steals" available so this possibly make some team dynamics changed.

My predictions for the live playoffs,

Team Pharrell: Luke Wade, Elyjuh

Team Adam: Damien, Chris Jamison

Team Gwen: Taylor Jhon

Team Blake: James David, Griffin

Monday, August 11, 2014

Amex (American Express) get $20 back after you spend $40 or more at Amazon.com (deal ends on August 31, 2014)

First you need to add/enroll your Amex credit card for the Amazon.com payments. Then simply buy something worth of $40 or more from Amazon.com

Enjoy the deal till is valid by August 31, 2014


AAA Texas New Member Admission Fee Discount/Coupon

I recently purchased the AAA Texas  Classic membership for my cross-country drive from College Station to Wyoming. The membership for the classic is about $52 plus $20 for a new member admission fee.

If you are purchasing a new membership from AAA Texas, remember to give them a call first and check whether they can waive the new member admission fee. I was able to get a waiver for the new member fee and for automatic renewal they reduce another $4.

Its always good to ask before you buy online :) Enjoy.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

NFL Preseason and Regular Season Free Streaming Links

Wizwig TV got several links live for NFL preseason and regular season games.

Here's the link http://www.wiziwig.tv/ 

If you are a Johnny Football fan, should be excited about the start of this preseason. Fingers crossed tonight with Browns V Lions

Monday, July 28, 2014

Acrobat SDK Plug-in Development: How to extract all the terms from the PDF document and create an index (COS Dictionary)

This code snippet will explain how to extract all the terms from a PDF document and then create a COS dictionary (similar to Java HashMap). You can use this method to collect all the terms and their offset value and use these offset of each term for other purposes such as highlighting terms.

I assume that you've already know how to implement basic plug-in functionality using Acrobat SDK. The version of the SDK used in this code example is Acrobat XI SDK. I also assume following requirements,
ACCB1 void ACCB2 termExtractor()
{
	// try to get front PDF document 
	AVDoc avDoc = AVAppGetActiveDoc();

	//Display words of the pdf file. 
	PDDoc currentPDDoc =AVDocGetPDDoc(avDoc);
	AVPageView currentPageView = AVDocGetPageView (avDoc);
	ASInt32 pageNum = AVPageViewGetPageNum(currentPageView);

	//Create a PDWordFinderConfigRec object;
	PDWordFinderConfigRec pConfig;
	
	//Set the DWordFinderConfigRec object's attributes
	memset(&pConfig, 0, sizeof(PDWordFinderConfigRec));
	pConfig.recSize = sizeof(PDWordFinderConfigRec);
	pConfig.ignoreCharGaps = true;
	pConfig.ignoreLineGaps = true;
	pConfig.noAnnots = true;
	pConfig.noEncodingGuess = true;

	//Create a PDWordFinder object
	PDWordFinder pdWordFinder = PDDocCreateWordFinderEx(currentPDDoc, WF_LATEST_VERSION, false, &pConfig);

	// Acquire all the terms inside the PDF page. 
	ASInt32 numWords;
	PDWord wordInfo;
	PDWord *pXYSortTable;
	PDWordFinderAcquireWordList(pdWordFinder, pageNum,&wordInfo, &pXYSortTable, NULL, &nWords);

	// Create COS Dictionary to keep track of all the words and their offset. 
	CosDoc cd;
	CosObj Dict;
	cd = PDDocGetCosDoc(currentPDDoc);
	Dict = CosNewDict(cd,false,nWords); 
	PDWord pdNWord = PDWordFinderGetNthWord(pdWordFinder, nWordCounter );
        for(int nWordCounter = 0; nWordCounter < nWords; nWordCounter++)
        {
		// Get the word as a string
		char stringBuffer[125];
		PDWordGetString (pdNWord, stringBuffer, sizeof(stringBuffer));
		pdfCorpus << stringBuffer;
		
		// Add each term into COS Dictionary to use it later with highlighting method
		// Offset is the location of each term in the document. First term offset is 0 and next term is 1 etc. 
		bool keyExist = CosDictKnown(Dict,ASAtomFromString(stringBuffer));
		if( keyExist == true) // To-do: Duplicate term
		{
			// To-do: catch duplilcates
		}
		else // new term
		{
			CosDictPut(Dict,ASAtomFromString(stringBuffer), CosNewInteger(cd,false,nWordCounter)); 
		}
	} 

Acrobat SDK Plug-in Development: How to create Text Highlight

This code snippet will explain how to create text highlight plug-in using Acrobat SDK. I assume that you've already know how to implement basic plug-in functionality using Acrobat SDK. The version of the SDK used in this code example is Acrobat XI SDK. I also assume following requirements,
  • Read PDF 32000-1:2008 12.5.6.10, “Text Markup Annotations”, for further information
    wwwimages.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/pdf/pdfs/PDF32000_2008.pdf
  • There already exist a COS Dictionary with all the terms in the PDF document. COS dictionary is similar to a Java HashMap. It stores <Key,Value> pairs and in this case <term,offset> values.
  • Offset of a term is the index inside the PDF document. As an example, first term of the PDF document starts with 0, and next 1 so on. 
  • You can use PDWordFinderAcquireWordList() method to get the total word list and then use a loop to create the CosObj Dic. Read my previous post about how to extract terms from PDF and create COS Dictionary
void highlightText()
{  
 // There is a term "explosive" in the Cos Dictionary Dict  and get its offset
 CosObj offset = CosDictGet(Dict,ASAtomFromString("explosive"));
 //Create Highlight HliteEntry object to keep track of the offset (start index)
 //and the length which is how many terms to highlight. 
 HiliteEntry hilite;
 hilite.offset = CosIntegerValue(offset); 
 hilite.length = 1;

 AVDoc currentAVDoc = AVAppGetActiveDoc();
 PDDoc currentPDDoc = AVDocGetPDDoc(currentAVDoc);
 AVPageView currentPageView = AVDocGetPageView(currentAVDoc); 
 ASInt32 pageNum = AVPageViewGetPageNum(currentPageView);
  
 PDEElement pdeElement;
 ASFixedRect boundingRect; // bounding rectangle of the term
 PDPage pdPage = PDDocAcquirePage (currentPDDoc, pageNum);
 PDAnnot pdAnnot;
 
 // Set the color you want to highlight your text
 PDColorValueRec red;
 red.space = PDDeviceRGB;
 red.value[0] = ASInt32ToFixed(1); 
 red.value[1] = 0; 
 red.value[2] = 0; 

 // highlight 
 AVPageViewSetColor(currentPageView, &red); 
 PDTextSelect textSelection = PDTextSelectCreateWordHilite(pdPage,&hilite, 1);

 AVDocSetSelection(currentAVDoc, ASAtomFromString("Text"),(void *)textSelection, true);
 AVPageViewDrawNow(currentPageView);
 AVDocShowSelection (currentAVDoc);
 
 // make text selection and get the bounding rectangle of the selection. 
 PDTextSelect selectedText = static_cast(AVDocGetSelection(currentAVDoc));
 PDTextSelectGetBoundingRect(selectedText,&boundingRect);
  
 // use the bounding rectangle to create a highlight annotation QuadPoints
 // and bounding rectangle Cos objects. We need these 2 to create highlight type. 
 CosObj ArrayObj, RecObj;
 CosDoc cd = PDDocGetCosDoc(currentPDDoc);
 CosObj cosPage = PDPageGetCosObj(pdPage); 
 
 ArrayObj = CosNewArray(cd,false,8);
 CosArrayPut(ArrayObj,0,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.right));
 CosArrayPut(ArrayObj,1,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.bottom));
 CosArrayPut(ArrayObj,2,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.left));
 CosArrayPut(ArrayObj,3,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.bottom));
 CosArrayPut(ArrayObj,4,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.right));
 CosArrayPut(ArrayObj,5,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.top));
 CosArrayPut(ArrayObj,6,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.left));
 CosArrayPut(ArrayObj,7,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.top));
 
 // Now create bounding rectangle points
 RecObj = CosNewArray(cd,false,4);
 CosArrayPut(RecObj,0,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.left));
 CosArrayPut(RecObj,1,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.right));
 CosArrayPut(RecObj,2,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.bottom));
 CosArrayPut(RecObj,3,CosNewFixed(cd,false, boundingRect.top));



// These are the properties to set in order to create a text highlight
// PDF 32000-1:2008 12.5.6.10, “Text Markup Annotations”, Table 164 and Table 179
 CosObj cosDict = CosNewDict(cd, true, 4);
 CosDictPutKeyString(cosDict, "Subtype", CosNewNameFromString(cd, false, "Highlight"));
 CosDictPutKeyString(cosDict, "QuadPoints",ArrayObj);
 CosDictPutKeyString(cosDict, "Rect", RecObj);
 
 pdAnnot = PDAnnotFromCosObj(cosDict);
 PDPageAddAnnot(pdPage,-2,pdAnnot);
 PDPageNotifyContentsDidChange(pdPage);
 PDAnnotSetColor(pdAnnot, &red);
 AVPageViewDrawNow (currentPageView);
 PDPageRelease (pdPage); 
} 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness - Walk through : LEVEL 13: THE HALL OF SEASONS : How to go past Red Ghost!

Yeah, I found my summer time fun, another game like Indiana Jones Infernal Machine. Time to cross out another one from my bucket list. This is one of older version from Tomb Raider game series, but it simply reminds me the good old days of simple 3D graphics and first-person shooter style. 

If you are stuck in the Level 13: The Hall of Seasons with the Red Ghost, and you want to know how to beat it and grab the First Obscura Painting, heres a simple walk-through. I took part of the description from Stella's Tomb Raider page.

RED GHOST/BROTHER OBSCURA: The goal is to grab the FIRST OBSCURA PAINTING from the hands of the statue that's holding it, but the ghostly guardian is not going to give up his treasure easily. If he so much as touches Lara, her health drains away. To further complicate the process, the painting moves randomly from statue to statue. (It glows blue so you can tell where it is.) Also, you can't take the painting unless the ghost is stunned. If you try, the painting will just move to another statue. So you'll need to shoot at the ghost until it stops moving, which only lasts for a few seconds. During that brief window you must run to the blue light and grab the painting.

The ghost can't harm Lara while she's crouching, so immediately duck and start crawling around for the pick-ups. You'll find a large health pack, 2 boxes of V-Packer shells and the V-PACKER SHOTGUN (if you don't already have it) along one edge of the room and 2 more boxes of shells on the other side.

Now figure out which of the standing statues has the blue light. Crawl toward it but don't get too close or the painting will move to a different statue. Remember to save before this step if you find a statue with blue light. Try the closest position to the statue while crawling few times. Stay bit side to the center of the statue with blue light. Now save one more time. Now get health boost (click tab, while holding crouch position). Also get the draw the shotgun. I found that the statue to the left of the main statue (or the front statue when Laura comes to the room) is the best position.  Once you're in position, save your game. When the ghost moves away, stand up, draw the shotgun and crouch down again. (Here is a screenshot of Lara in one of the spots that worked for me. If you need an extra visual aid, check out Jeff's excellent YouTube video, which shows the whole sequence.)

Shoot at the ghost and then duck when it swoops toward Lara, but don't put away that shotgun. Wait till it moves again from back to front side of you. Also Red Ghost moves bit further away from you sometimes. So fire during this time because when stunned you have more time to run and collect the painting. Eventually it will be stunned (shotgun got lots of ammo's, make sure empty rounds and reload when ghost is behind). It's a bit difficult to tell when the ghost is stunned, but if you look closely, you'll notice that when it's not stunned, it sort of leans toward Lara and inches forward before swooping toward her. it takes about 22 shotgun ammo's to stunned the ghost. When it's stunned, it just hangs in the air motionless for a few seconds. When this happens, quickly holster your gun (otherwise Lara can't run straight) and run toward the statue with the blue light. As soon as you see the Hand icon, press Action to grab the painting. Here it may help to approach the statue slightly off center and grab the painting from the side. Then crouch again, check your inventory to make sure you have the FIRST OBSCURA PAINTING and save your game. (Whew!)

Monday, June 16, 2014

You know that Kerala Matta Rice is somewhat similar to Sri Lankan Red Rice?

I recently found that the Kerala Matta rice is pretty similar to Sri Lankan variety of Red Rice. Specially if you are in this part of the world (North America), its pretty hard and expensive to find the Sri Lankan red rice unless you have an Indian grocery store close by with a big Sri Lankan section. After moving from Austin, Texas to College Station, I found that its not easy to get the red rice I used to eat anymore. Luckily, one of Indian store in town "Bryan Mini Mart" got the Rose Matta which is pretty similar in-taste to samba red rice. There's couple of different versions of Matta, "Rose Matta" and "Kerala Kuthari Matta" which I think very similar in-taste and in pinkish color.

Matta rice and kerala red rice are same. Brown rice is unmilled, has only the husk removed, and retains 100% of the bran. Red rice is semi-milled, with the husk and some of the bran removed. White rice is milled and polished to remove the husk and all the bran. Unlike white rices, brown/red rices are high in fibre, have a wonderful array of nutrients, and possess properties that help control blood lipids, and blood sugar levels. 
Similar to brown rice, red rice has undergone minimal processing, still has its bran layers and takes 45-50 minutes to cook. Brown and red rice are somewhat chewy, fiber-rich and chock-full of B vitamins— thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. Red rice also has a nutty flavor, but many find it more savory than brown rice.

The caloric density for red rice is similar to that of brown rice, so one-third cup has about 80 calories. Whether your rice is brown, red or white, one-third cup counts as one diabetic exchange—the amount of a particular food that contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate such as 5 crackers, a slice of bread or 3 cups of salad greens. But high-fiber, high-carbohydrate foods like brown and red rice have been shown to improve blood lipids, blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin (Hemoglobin A1C), a longer-term measure of blood sugar control. Both have more to offer than their white rice counterpart.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch Coupons (San Antonio, Texas) - Save up to $16 for 8 people.

You need only 1 coupon for up to 8 tickets. Give a copy of the coupon to the ticket gate, and get about $16 off from the ticket price. Current Natural Bridge wildlife ranch tickets costs about $19 per adult, $17 per senior, and $10 per child. 



Thursday, May 01, 2014

Google Voice support for Talkatone is ending on May 15, 2014. Google Hangout App for free WIFI Calling

As you may already know, Google is ending support for XMPP based calling with Google Voice. What this means to you is It simply shuts off access to Google Voice via third-party XMPP clients. Your Google Voice phone number will continue to work just like it does today. The service isn't shutting down, so creating rumors about numbers being canceled or porting refused is preposterous.

Basically my free over the wifi Talkatone is about to end. I’m one of a few hundred thousand customers enjoying free wifi calling through Talkatone. But on May 15th, Google is dropping support for the XMPP protocol that makes this work.

So, what other options you have? Talkatone is asking for you to sign up for a paid subscription phone service. Anything else they are not saying? Yeah, While Google Voice and Hangouts will still offer free calling :)

It seems like Google Voice, free VoIP phone-call, texting, voicemail and voicemail-transcription product will soon merge with the Google+ Hangouts apps on both iOS and Android leading to the complete elimination of Google Voice as a separate service.

I recently tried the Google Hangout iOS app, and it works perfectly for my purpose, just an alternative for my poor 250 minutes AT&T Go-phone service.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Quick and easy way to write a research paper publication

First prepare the figures.
Be sure that everything has been done n=3 or more, and be sure to do the statistical analysis (t-tests to compare 2 things that have roughly Gaussian distributions, Mann-Whitney otherwise; use ANOVA if there are three or more things you’re comparing). Something is different if p < 0.05, otherwise its not a statistically significant difference. And remember to put size bars on all the micrographs.


Then sit down with each figure and write a results paragraph for it
Results section – you can write a new paragraph every 5 minutes.  If you have writer’s block, sit down with the figures, and have someone take dictation as you answer the following questions for each figure.
The following set of sentences allows one to easily create a typical results paragraph:

  • what we wanted to find out
    “To determine if extracellular cAMP regulates.......”
  • what has been done before
    “We previously observed that ...”  (these first 2 sentences can be swapped) 
  • how we did the experiment (don’t give details, as these are in the Methods)
    “Control and xyzA cells were starved for six hours and cAMP was added....” 
  • what we saw, starting with a connection between the control and what has been done previously (if applicable)
    “As previously observed, wild-type cells showed a significant decrease in …” 
  • and then compare the mutant or treatment to the control
    “Unlike control cells, the xyzA cells showed no cAMP-induced....”
    or
    “Compared to the control, cAMP caused a significant increase in …” 
  • what this means
    “The data suggest that XyzA is required for ....”
Congrats, you’ve done a paragraph for your first figure!  Now repeat for all the other figures.

Then for each figure do a methods section. 
Pretend you are writing a lab protocol for someone – list exact composition/ concentration, volume, time, temperature if not room temp to do that experiment.  If there is a published paper that has the procedure in it, or you did something following the manufacturer’s directions, just reference the paper or write “..was done following the manufacturer’s directions.” 

The introduction will now be easy to write.
Print out the Results and Methods sections.  Get a red pen and circle all the big words or unusual techniques, and write a simple explanation for someone not in the field.
So for a paper showing that filamin is required for normal circadian rhythms in Dictyostelium, I’d write 3 paragraphs, adding references for pretty much each sentence or statement
  • what’s known about Dictyostelium
  • what’s known about circadian rhythms, and what’s known about them in Dicty
  • what’s known about filamin in general, and what’s known about its function in circadian rhythms and in Dicty
Depending on how things sound, you can swap the paragraphs around; start with the broadest/ most important topic and narrow things down.  So maybe you could start with circadian rhythms, then Dicty, then circad rhythms in dicty, and then filamin.

The Discussion is also easy.
Gather the ‘What this means sentences from the Results and glop them together for the first Discussion paragraph. 
  • “In this report, we have shown that ……”
  • Now start going through that first paragraph of the Discussion, connecting each of the sentences to other things in the literature
At some point do the figure legends, and you’re pretty much done!

This is an extract from Professor Richard Gomer's how to write a paper. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Skip the Line with NEW Chef-Made Bowls at Genghis Grill! - Coupon Code



The Voice - Season 6 - Winner Predictions

its time for my predictions for the The Voice Season 6. Just before the live performances of the best of 12. Here's the current team standings,

Team Shakira: Tess Boyer, Kristen Merlin, Dani Moz
Team Adam: Delvin Choice, Christina Grimmie, Kat Perkins
Team Usher: Josh Kaufman, Bria Kelly, T.J Wilkins,
Team Blake: Sisaundra Lewis, Audra McLaughlin, Jake Worthington

This year the teams to beat are Team Usher and Team Blake.

Here's my final three

Josh Kaufman, Sisaundra lewis, Delvin Choice

I'm actually rooting for Josh Kaufman but my gut feeling says Sisaundra Lewis gonna win this years Season 6 The Voice.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Asia Cup Cricket - Free Online Streaming Links

Here are couple of reliable free streaming links for Cricket games. Specially webcric, they always have links available for all the Cricket Series. The crictime is a most reason link I found which is bit slow but play around with different server links and it should work. Also remember to use Chrome or Mozilla browser with Adblock enabled so that you don't have to view those annoying screen ads. You can download Chrome AdBlock from the webstore for your chrome browser. If you know any other reliable links, don't forget to comment below. Enjoy and spread the word. Click the share buttons below to share these with your facebook, Google+, Twitter friends or reblog.


http://www.crictime.com/

http://www.webcric.com/

Monday, February 24, 2014

Kids Eat Free Tuesdays at Genghis Grill! - Coupon


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Justin Timberlake parodies (Beyonce - Single Ladies)

“Don’t worry about the other dancers, B-Town,” Paul Rudd assures a nervous Beyonce, who doesn't know who she's about to perform with. “All these guys are pros.” “These guys,” she asks, confused. Sporting the obligatory black leotards and high heels, Justin and two others joined Beyonce for a hilariously clumsy rendition of Bey’s most lauded video. “I’m not feeling this,” a disgusted Beyonce says after Justin backs it up and grinds on her. Those watching in their homes were, though.
video

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Texas A&M Johnny Manziel : NFL 2014 Draft Prediction