How to:Transfer, Backup and Management of contacts amongst iPhone, Blackberry and Androids

21 Jun

So you had an iPhone and have recently purchased a Blackberry and you are finding it very difficult to get your contacts transferred to the new phone. Most probably you do not want to do the transfer using Outlook as mediator because in that case, you will need to use iTunes to sync and which may eventually try to delete a lot of apps you may have installed over air, through installous or through Cydia.

So to do this transfer, here’s a step by step quick guide on how to do it.

iPhone aspect:

  1. Pick your iPhone
  2. Go to Appstore and download iDriveLite (if you have iOS4.0+) or else iDriveContacts (for < iOS 4)
  3. Download the app and install it.Its free and fast.
  4. Create an account using the login screen. Your account gets created in a matter of 30 seconds and the contacts are automatically backed up.
  5. Remember the account details

BlackBerry Aspect:

  1. Pick up your Blackberry ( I used BB Curve 8520, so I can vouch for this model. But this should work fine for other models also)
  2. Go to Appworld and search for iDrive. Download and install iDrive Lite
  3. When prompted for creation of account, enter the same userlogin/password you used earlier.
  4. This creates an additional device under the same account.
  5. So now you have two different devices under your account at
  6. Once this is done, your contacts on BB get automatically backed up. So wait.
  7. After this, click on "Restore" and the "restore from other device"
  8. The auto restore will start.

It will feel that it takes ages. But let the restore happen. It wont hang. All you existing contacts will stay and new ones will be added. Duplication may happen.

You can also see all your contacts online on with multiple devices being managed

Similar process will be applicable for Androids.

This application allows for seamless contact management in between iPhone, BB and Androids. I could not find any article when I do google for "Transfer Contacts from iPhone to Blackberry" which gives me this kind of information. So I made this one on my own.


Mantriji 'Mating' Mein Hain !

31 May

A Mantralaya ( don’t ask me which one – in any case, if you have been to one, you have been to all ).

The peon eyed me from the other side of the glass door. I, from this side. Since no peon opens the door once he is confirmed as a karamchari, he, too, didn’t. I pushed the door. I was in. He wasn’t upset. Since no peon is upset after he is confirmed as a karamchari.

YoursTruly: Mantriji hain ?

Peon: Nahi Hain !

YoursTruly: Kahan hain ?

Peon: Mating mein !

YoursTruly: Kya kaha ?

Peon: kaha na mating mein !

YoursTruly: Par mujhe milna tha ?

Peon: Mating mein kai logon ko milna

tha !

YoursTruly: Meri appointment thi ?

Peon: Mating ki bhi appointment thi !

YoursTruly:Yeh sab kuch toh ghar mein

hota hai ?

Peon: Kyun shak karte ho! hall mein chal

rahi hai mating !

YoursTruly: Kabse ?

Peon: Ab mating hai ! ek ghanta toh

chalegi !

YoursTruly: Dekh sakta hun ?

Peon: Darwaza andhar se bandh hai !

YoursTruly: Kaun, kaun hai andhar ?

Peon: Kuch aadmi hai; kuch aurat hain !

YoursTruly: Roz aise hi hota hai ?

Peon: Kai bar din mein chaar chaar

mating hoti hai !

YoursTruly: Mantriji ki patni ko nahi

pata ?

Peon: Ghar ki baat hai ! Bataane wali kya

baat hai !

YoursTruly: Mantriji ke private

secretary kahan hain ?

Peon:Whobhi mating mein hai ?

YoursTruly: Who kya karte hain


Peon: Jo kuch mating mein hota hai, note

karte hain !

YoursTruly: Matlab, dekhte rehte hain ?

Peon: Batate bhi rehte hain kya, kaise

karna hai, kya kehna hai ?

YoursTruly: Mantriji karte bhi hain,

kehte bhi hain ? ?

Peon: Aap samjahdaar hain ! Bina kahe

koi kaise kuch kare !

YoursTruly: Thak jaate honge Mantriji ?

Peon: Sahi farmaya, apne ! Mating se

kaun nahi thakta !

YoursTruly:Yeh sab likh sakte hain naa

hum ?

Peon: Aap sahib log hain ! Likh dijiye

Mantriji mating mein thy !

YoursTruly: Agar yeh pata chal jaata kis

kis se ?

Peon: Likh dijiye, Mantralaya ke afsaron

se !

YoursTruly: Mantriji aur afsaron mein

yeh sab chalta hai ?

Peon: Samay se pehle aur bhagya se

zyada kisko kya milta hai ?

YoursTruly: Sach mein samay badal

gaya hai ?

Peon: Hamare bhi toh bhagya badle hain !

YoursTruly: Mantriji, afsar log, private

secretary aur aap bhi ?

Peon: hum hi andhar jaa sakte hain jab

mating ho rahi hoti hai !

YoursTruly: Sab Mantriji ki hi maante

honge ?

Peon: Bilkul ! Unko khush rakhna zaroori

hai sahib !

YoursTruly:Waise sab kuch hindi mein

hi hota hoga ?

Peon: Beech beech mein angrezi mein

bhi ?

YoursTruly: Acha hum phir intezaar

karte hain ?

Peon:Apse bhi mating ko kaha tha aaj ?

YoursTruly: Kaha toh tha ki aa jaana ?

Peon: Phir mating kar ki hi jayeyega !

YoursTruly: Aur jo sab waiting room

mein baithe hain ?

Peon: Sab mating kar ki hi jayeinge !

YoursTruly: Kuch ladies bhi toh baithee

hain ?

Peon:Whobhi mating ke liye aayee hain

YoursTruly: Kuch toh teen-chaar ki

team mein aayein hain ?

Peon: Mantri ji unke saath bhi mating

kareinge ?

YoursTruly: Matlab ek saath sab ke

saath ?

Peon: Mantriji ko kaafi anubhav hai !

YoursTruly:Aur private secretary yahan

bhi batate rehtein hain ?

Peon: Unka kaam hai bhai ! woh hi fix

karte hain kahan kya hoga !

YoursTruly: Saara Mantralaya issi mein

vyast lagta hai ?

Peon: Humse puchiye mating se toh

Mantralaya chalta hai !

YoursTruly: Aur kisi ko kaan-o-kaan

khabar nahi hui aaj tak ?

Peon: Hum khabar lagne nahi dete ! Jab

tak Mantriji naa kahein !

YoursTruly: Mantriji kab kehtein hain

keh do ?

Peon: Jab unhe kisi se mating nahi karni

hoti ?

YoursTruly: Aisa karne se theek karte

hain ?

Peon: Unki patni bhi yeh kehti rehti hain ?

YoursTruly: Kya ?

Peon: Jo mangta hai mating, usi se kyun

kar leto ho mating ?

YoursTruly: Mantriji se keh dena aaya

tha ?

Peon: Theek sahib, koi sandesh ho ?

YoursTruly: Yeh bhi, ki hum 120 crore

kyun hain !!

(On reachingoffice, the Editor: Did the

MEETING go well ?

YoursTruly: No Sir ! His MATING

was going so very well !!)

(Above is a Political Satire by Aroon Sharma. This is from SME World Magazine (JAN 2011). Original Copyrights with the publisher and writer.)

Looking for the right excuse

26 May

Looking for the right excuse

This is the first warning sign that a project is in trouble. Sometimes it even begins before the project does.

Quietly, our subconscious starts looking around for an excuse, deniability and someone to blame. It gives us confidence and peace of mind. [It's much easier to be calm when the police car appears in your rear view mirror if you have an excuse handy.]

Amazingly, we often look for the excuse before we even accept the project. We say to ourselves, "well, I can start this, and if it doesn’t work perfectly, I can point out it was the …" Then, as the team ramps up, bosses appear and events occur (or not), we continually add to and refine our excuse list, reminding ourselves of all the factors that were out of our control. Decades ago, when I used to sell by phone, I often found myself describing why I was unable to close this particular sale–and realized I was articulating these reasons while the phone was still ringing.

People who have a built-in all-purpose excuse (middle child syndrom, wrong astrology sign, some slight at the hands of the system long ago) often end up failing–they have an excuse ready to go, so it’s easier to back off when the going is rough.

Here’s an alternative to the excuse-driven life: What happens if you relentlessly avoid looking for excuses at all?

Instead of seeking excuses, the successful project is filled with people who are obsessed with avoiding excuses. If you relentlessly work to avoid opportunities to use your ability to blame, you may never actually need to blame anyone. If you’re not pulled over by the cop, no need to blame the speedometer, right?

(Courtesy: Seth Godin’s blog. No doubt all his posts are absolutely realistic and make you think hard about realities of life, businsess, work, ethics, thinking, human nature, decision making, responsibility, ability and various other aspects. This one about excuses makes you truly go back to your earlier life and think when you must have created excuses and used them to hide your failures and avoiding responsibilities)

Revenue generated by mydala offer where you get a chance to win 1.5 ton AC – Approximate Calculation

26 May

Recently the group-buying sites in india have started putting up offers like the following

Buy this offer for company X, at Rs.RR and buy yourself a chance to enter a contest to win product P

Buy this offer for company X, at Rs.RR and buy yourself a chance to enter a contest to win product P, at a discounted price

Now this is simply a strategy to get more eyeballs to enroll for a lottery contest. Nothing is wrong here, ethically, logically and legally it is very much correct way of getting more people to buy into this lottery.

You don’t really get the item. Agreed that investing amount X in this offer and it doesn’t yield, you get a “gift certificate” of equal amount that can be redeemed atht esame website.

So 1/2/3 people may win this product based on a lottery system.

Now this kind of offer is not really group buying and is an intelligent way to generate revenue and possible attract new users.

I just tried to work on the revenue aspects of this offer based on some assumptions.
Now this itself is very much like a lottery. Group buying websites actually running a lottery model in garb of group buying offers may or may not be ethical, but who cares

So at this moment, May 26, 2011 exactly 3.26 pm, there are 504 instances of this deal that were bought.
Following is my analysis and the revenue the website will make based on some assumptions


 INR                            99.00

Number of buys


Total money received from deal sale

 INR                    49,896.00

Actual cost of product

 INR                    25,000.00

Actual price of prioduct

 INR                    30,000.00

Number of give aways


Cost of giveaway

 INR                    30,000.00

Cash accumulated (cash that will go no where)

INR 24,896.00

Total buyers who have been awarded 990 points


Equivalent points awarded


Validity of the points

60 days

Hit ratio (Ratio that users will utilize the 990 points in next 60 days)


Buyers utilizing the 990 points each


Deals getting sold post the offer for redemption of 990 points

Deal Price

%age share of the deals getting sold

Number of buyers utilizing specific deal and using 990 points

Revenue from deals

Assuming margin of  5%

Buyers buying deals worth 99

 INR                            99.00



 INR                   –  


Buyers buying deals worth 199

 INR                          199.00



 INR    10,563.00

 INR           528.15

Buyers buying deals worth 299

 INR                          299.00



 INR    21,126.00

 INR        1,056.30

Buyers buying deals worth 399

 INR                          399.00



 INR    10,563.00

 INR           528.15











 INR                                         2,112.60


 INR  27,008.60

48 Laws Of Power – Robert Greene 48 Power

17 Apr

48 Laws Of Power – Robert Greene 48 Power Laws – Life

1. Never Outshine The Master.

Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go to far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.

2. Don’t Put Much Trust In Friends, Use Enemies.

Be wary of friends they will betray you more quickly, for they are easy aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.

3. Conceal Your Intentions.

Keep people off balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

4. Always Say Less Than Necessary.

When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open ended, and sphinx like. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.

5. So Much Depends On Reputation, Guard It.

Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once it slips, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.

6. Court Attention At All Cost.

Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.

7. Get Others To Do The Work For You, But Always Take The Credit.

Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.

8. Make Other People Come To You Use Bait If Necessary

When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with valuable gains then attack. You hold the cards.

9. Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument

Any momentary triumph you think you have gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is ber and last longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.

10. Infection: Avoid The Unlucky And The Unhappy

You can die from someone elses misery emotional states are as infectious as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster: The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.

11. Learn To Keep People Dependant Of You.

To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied upon, the more freedom you have. Make people dependent on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.

12. Use Selective Honesty And Generosity To Disarm Your Victim.

One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate then all at will. A timely gift a Trojan horse will serve the same purpose.

13. When Asking For Help, Appeal To Peoples Self Interest, Never To Their Mercy Or Gratitude.

If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.

14. Pose A Friend, Work As A Spy.

Knowing about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information that will help you a step ahead. Better still: Play the spy yourself. In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions. There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.

15. Crush Your Enemy Totally.

All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly is smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.

16. Use Absence To Increase Respect And Honor.

Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity.

17. Keep Others In Suspended Terror: Cultivate An Air Of Unpredictability.

Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other peoples actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.

18. Do Not Build Fortresses To Protect Yourself Isolation Is Dangerous.

The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere everyone has to protect themselves. A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to circulate among people, find allies, mingle. You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.

19. Know Who You Are Dealing With Do Not Offend The Wrong Person.

There are many different kinds of people in this world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way. Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spent the rest of their lives seeking revenge. They are wolves in lambs clothing. Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then never offend or deceive the wrong person.

20. Do Not Commit To Anyone.

It is the fool that always rushes to take sides. Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others playing people against one another, make them pursue you.

21. Play A Sucker To Catch A Sucker Seem Dumber Than Your Mark.

No one likes feeling stupider than the next person. The trick, then, is to make your victims feel smart and not just smart, but smarter than you are. Once convinced of this, they will never suspect that you may have ulterior motives.

22. Use The Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness Into Power.

When you are weaker, never fight for honors sake; choose surrender instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you surrender first. By turning the other cheek you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power.

23. Concentrate Your Forces.

Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their best point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another intensity defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the only key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come.

24. Play The Perfect Courtier.

The perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything resolves around power and political dexterity. He has mastered the art of indirection; he flatters, yield to superiors, and asserts power over other in the most oblique and graceful manner. Learn and apply the laws of courtiership and there will be no limit to how far you can rise in the court.

25. Re-Create Yourself.

Do not accept the role that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forcing a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define it for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.

26. Keep Your Hands Clean.

You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds. Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as scapegoats and cats paws to disguise your involvement.

27. Play On Peoples Need To Believe To Create A Cult-Like Following.

.People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power.

28. Enter Action With Boldness.

If you are unsure about a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubt and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.

29. Plan All The Way To The End.

The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead.

30. Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless.

.Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work it only raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you.

31. Control The Options: Get Others To Play With The Cards You Deal.

The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice: Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your puppets. Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose. Force them to make choices between the lesser of the two evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of a dilemma: They are gored wherever they turn.

32. Play The Peoples Fantasies.

The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes from disenchantment. Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses.

33. Discover Each Mans Thumbscrew.

Everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall. That weakness is usually insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small secret pleasure. Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can turn to your advantage.

34. Be Royal In Your Own Fashion: Act Like A King To Be Treated Like One.

The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated: In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.

35. Master The Art Of Timing.

Never seem to be in a hurry hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.

36. Disdain Things You Cannot Have: Ignoring Them Is The Best Revenge.

By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the ber you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt with it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.

37. Create Compelling Spectacles.

Striking imaginary and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power everyone responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then, full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.

38. Think As You Like But Behave Like Others.

If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those that are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.

39. Stir Up Waters To Catch Fish.

Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage. Put your enemies off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings.

40. Despise The Free Lunch.

What is offered for free is dangerous it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation. What has worth is worth paying for. By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit. It is also often wise to pay the full price there is no cutting corners with excellence. Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power.

41. Avoid Stepping Into A Great Mans Shoes.

What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after. If you succeed a great man or have a famous parent, you will have to accomplish double their achievements to outshine them. Do not get lost in their shadow, or stuck in a past not of your own making: Establish your own name and identity by changing course. Slay the overbearing father, disparage his legacy, and gain power by shining in your own way.

42. Strike The Shepard And The Sheep Will Scatter.

Trouble can often be traced to a single b individual the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoner of goodwill. If you allow such people room to operate, others will succumb to their influence. Do not wait for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with them they are irredeemable. Neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them. Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter.

43. Work On The Hearts And Minds Of Others.

Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction. A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn. And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.

44. Disarm And Infuriate With The Mirror Effect.

The mirror reflects reality, but is also the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy. The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact. By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson. Few can resist the power of the Mirror Effect.

45. Preach The Need For Change, But Never Reform Too Much At Once.

Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but in the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt. If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.

46. Never Appear Too Perfect.

Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.

47. Do Not Go Past The Mark You Aimed For; In Victory, Learn When To Stop.

The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril. In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going to far, you make more enemies than you defeat. Do not allow success to go to your head. There is no substitute for strategy and careful planning. Set a goal and when you reach it, stop.

48. Assume Formlessness.

By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack. Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact the nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water, never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes.

–compiled from the Book, 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and Joose Elffers

Book Review : Kingpin: The Hacker Who Took Over the Billion Dollar Cyber Crime Underground

9 Apr

This much niche book came in my purview when I started searching for hackers and books related to hackers, after I completed the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson. One of the characters in the three books is Lisbeth Salander, who is a top class computer hacker. The kind of hostile takeover of another person’s machine was her specialty.

As a kid I used to read a lot about hacking, did programming, wanted so much to be a hacker. I used to go to the cracks and hacks website every now and then, using my 56kbps modem internet connection that would drop off every now and then. The slow connection and the relatively low exposure to internet in India, and in the town I hail from, probably was the reason I was never able to know or learn more about hacking. It was most possible that if I had access to internet in my very early years as a kid, I would definitely have become at least an amateur hacker

This book gives a clearcut picture about the credit card frauds that haunted the US, Russia and the FBI in the 2000’s. Got to know about white hat hacking, black hat hacking, credit card frauds, loopholes, backdoor trojans and orifices. If you have studied computers anytime in your life, you would get these concepts and would get bored if you are a total non-nerd.

It is surprising that people exploited the technological disabilties of the computer systems in the early lifetime of the computer networks and internet, so easily. They actually built empires of fraudulent credit card, debit card and all type of identity selling.

The book also discusses about various websites like, that were pinnacles of these frauds. Global networks of swindlers and grifters on the internet who were scavengers and hunters for any unprotected identity lying around or an ope door to get inside on the computer networks. Hostile takeovers using backdoor trojans was such a prevalent event at that time. Remote control softwares and VNC softwares were flawed and could be used to get inside the computer.

There were many loopholes that were exploited by the hackers viz IE, VNC softwares, Point of Sale softwares, magstripe (the black strip on the card, which is easy to imitate), SQL injections etc.

This is story of Max Butler and similar other computer geeks who were addicted to hacking, but did not find the right "white" job for their skills. They had an inherent want to search for broken systems and try and fix them. The feeling of profiting from this came after they had to earn money but couldnt do it, or may be they were in love with hacking more than legitimate work

Max’s story of staying invisible behind his own computer and at the same time breaking into systems to flush out credit card identities and sell it out to the fraud CC market is unbelievable. You only see it in movies. What’s more interesting is to learn that running an underground cybercrime market is not so easy. Max did it, and also took over its competitors. He took down rival forums engaged in the same business.

When one programmer named Mark Zuckerberg was busy building a global socian network called Facebook, there was another master programmer and hacker called Max Butler who was builder and underground social network and forum to facilitate black trade. If you have noticed, a lot of banking security and online transaction related issues started getting addressed from 2008. There has been a tremendous shift in the amount of security that happen online these days, although the "swipe" based transactions at retail store still remain the same. The global effect of the fraud was realized by all the major banks who were affected by the cybercrime.

Kevil Poulsen has been very straight to the facts and using very simplistic vocab has put across facts and figures about the whole incident that took place over the span of around 7-8 years, including multiple imprisonments for Max Butler, and his rise and fall in the dark side

This book will remain one of my most cherished reads of all time.

Book Review : Millenium Series by Steig Larsson

8 Apr

Finally finished with all the 3 books under the Millennium Series by Steig Larsson

In my previous post here I had quoted the first book in the series : The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The story surrounds a girl suffering from Aspergers syndrome, but is subjected to varying levels of mental, physical and sexual torture for all her child life. The surrounding conspiracy related to an underground spy, a fraud businessman, a new post editor and owner who is hell bent upon finding out truth, and a lot of other consipiracies that are entangled together.

First book deals with the discovery of the girl, Lisbeth Salander, when Blomkvist is on a mission to unravel the truth behind a mysterious disappearance of a girl, which in turn leads to events and findings that are truly mysterious.

The second book, The Girl who played with Fire, deals with the story of the girl, her sufferings and the major event that builts her criminal image in the media

The third and final book, The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest, deals with the search for truth and confrontation by Lisbeth of all the truths. Her fight fo survival and life and justice, where the other character play a major role.

You cannot keep the book down, its not just possible. In my case I would say I couldnt keep my iPhone down.

Steig Larsson has created the masterpiece in such an eloquent manner that with every page, you are presented with so minute details that you are watching a movie getting build inside your head, the characters seem to act in front of your eyes.

Technical aspects used in the book related to hacking, business, reporting, policework and psychology are synced with care to create non-incredible effect. Very logical and very connected from start till end, the book has all the aspects viz. mystery, murder, thriller, courtroom drama, detective work, sex, psychopaths, hacking etc

One of the best reads I had in years in fiction category