Koombiyo – A Creative Dissonance.

Yesterday at the A&K literary festival, the ‘Koombiyo’ panel discussion was a revelation. The panel had the 2 creators ( Lakmal and Dhamitha), 2 actors ( Thumindu and Yureni) and the official from ITN (Wimal) who made sure Koombiyo got the air time. Wimal has played a major role, because Koombiyo was refused by many parties, because it was not main stream. They were brutally honest and candid with their responses. They appreciated the complex changes happening in society, attraction of online video streaming services and social media. Everyone could feel their energy resonate inside the dome of the Empire ballroom of Mount Lavinia hotel. The creators mentioned the fuel for their creativity was never the money or the desire to get it aired on a TV channel. Rather they wanted to do something ultra fun (අපි ආතල් එකට මේක කලේ). Come to think of it, ‘Koombiyo’ is the only Sri Lankan teledrama I watched again and again since ‘Palingu manike’.

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Uber Eats & Pickme Food : A new social dimension.

Yesterday I ordered my first Uber Eats. A vege fried rice got delivered in 35 minutes. Very impressive service. What uber and pickme have done to taxis, was not a thing until it was introduced. Now it is the new normal. Uber Eats and Pickme food will change food industry with in 2 years, that we will not be able to think of a colombo with out 30 minute food delivery. Right now, both are serving a very small area in Colombo. Testing times for both. Burning money for both, I guess. Because Uber eats did not charge me for delivery. Idea is to get more people try the service. These services need thousands of users to make it viable. Scale is the game. While we customers enjoy the convenience, most of us have no idea what a rough sea this delivery business is. Pizza hut do 30 minute delivery with their own cadre of delivery army. They do pizza

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Safety first, online.

Yesterday I started helping a friend of mine to recover his facebook account. The process is still on. His account is hacked. The linked email account is hacked too. The hacker is sending messages to his friend list asking for weird things. This can easily happen to you. There were recent hacks in to many accounts of FB. But hey, it is not just FB, there are multiple breaches every day in many digital services. Have a good digital hygiene. Here’s a previous post of mine. Change your password. Make it a better password.  I have posted this earlier too. If you or a friend of yours is affected by hacking and online harassment, drop me a email ( isura.silva@gmail.com ) with details and links.

Doing the impossible

In a brainstorming session at a recent workshop, I listened to a banter between two participants. It made me laugh. It was also profound. A: “It’s a dream you are proposing. It’s impossible. How can we make impossible happen?” B: ” You mean, you don’t know how to do the impossible?” A: ” yes, that is why it is called impossible” B: “well the way to do the impossible is to do it. “ Later in that day I watched “First Man”, the movie about Neil Armstrong. As a kid, when I learnt about Neil, it was just a fact. Neil was the first man on moon. On that day in 1969, 530 million people watched him take the ‘giant leap for mankind.’ The movie shredded my perceptions about landing on moon. I never knew the hardships in many fronts. How Neil struggled at home with sick kids. His daughter died at age two suffering from a malignant brain tumor. Never

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Why we need after 6 months review.

Youtube is flooded with celebrity state tech reviewers. I watch a lot of them. I learn a lot. But there’s a catch. A new phone comes to market. They rush to do the ‘first-to-do’ unboxing and reviews. I found out all those new giga specs on paper that is celebrated , seldom translate in to durable performance, let’s say after 6 months. So what we really need to watch is phone reviews after 6 months of usage. To do that, reviewers actually have to use a phone for 6 months. A rarity.  There are plenty of reviews from not-celebrity tech enthusiasts. If you are frugal about your spending on phones, and you want good value, those reviews are your life savers. I am so much happy with Galaxy Note 5, which still serves me well for more than 2 years. How did I make the decision? I watched a ‘Note 5 after 6 months review’ in Youtube, two years ago.

Do we really care about our data ?

It’s 3 days since the facebook data hack. It appears there’s so much more to the consequences than we thought. Because facebook is larger than life with more than 2 billion accounts and we are so connected to it for our daily work and life, we carry on despite all the warnings out there. The activists, governments and policy makers do not have much leverage in the face of rapid fire technological advances. There’s a concern, but nobody seems to know how to keep ourselves connected and secure at the same time. Let’s try with basic hygiene as a starter in this blog post. So what can we do to gain some control of our FB data ? Beginner Steps: I strongly suggest you, Change FB password now. Don’t use facebook login for other apps like airbnb, booking.com, spotify etc. At least in future don’t use facebook login for other apps. Advance Steps: Go to  Facebook’s ‘Security and login’ page in

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I was logged out of Facebook

I was at a conference today (September 28, 2018). I wanted to post something on Facebook. In my phone, I felt some kind of a lag when opening facebook app. Then FB app logged me out and asked me to log in . Strange, I thought. I typed my password and logged in. Then FB messenger asked me to do the same thing. Weird, I thought. Back home, I opened facebook on my laptop. FB logged me out and asked me to log in. Again. Then a news article caught my eye. I immediately changed my password. Facebook Network is Breached, Putting 50 Million Users’ Data at Risk More than 90 million Facebook users were forced to log out of their accounts early Friday, a common safety measure taken when accounts have been compromised. Facebook said it did not know the origin or identity of the attackers, nor had it fully assessed the scope of the attack. The company said

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Why we need curators for a better internet.

With internet we have seen the dramatic shift from hierarchy to networks. From centralised control to decentralised control, powered by humans from sharing and consuming things they never thought they would. People now share not just their diaries, but innermost feelings/ data: from political views, religious views, medical reports, their finances, secrets of family and friends to sexual desires. With many aspects of our lives shared and consumed due to easy access to internet, we think our problems can get solved. Some smaller problems, yes. Major issues in our societies are still unresolved. Chaos reign. Access to information, a knowledge base is just a start. To get the best for a society we need some dose of top down approach. It’s a must. Ok, when I say top down, it’s not the traditional command and control hierarchy. It’s much more nuanced. It’s a ‘middleman’ role. “Internet removes the middleman in everything”, I hear this a lot. Not really. If you

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Do I have control over this?

Motivation is plenty on internet with inspiring quotes to adrenalin pumping videos. We watch them daily on our social media feeds. It’s like drugs. You need more and more each day to feel the kick. Why? Your motivation is directly linked with how much control you have over your work and surroundings. When you have motivation, you jump and do things. That’s why people gossip about sports and politics. Gossip is all we can do, because we don’t have control over what happens in sports and politics. We are spectators, nothing more. Think about office gossip. It’s kind of the same. When we do not have control over our work and environment, we opt for gossip. It’s easy. But when we are clear about what we have to do and given control, we are hungry for work. We stretch and do things that were impossible at the beginning. The confidence built from doing even a simple thing adds up to

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Employability – What’s wrong with Sri Lankan degree?

I will start this blog post with a must read article on employability. 5 steps that could help freshers bag jobs in greater numbers. It focuses on Indian context. If you are lazy to read it, here’s the bombshell. Graduate unemployability: For years, employers used degrees as a lazy filter to shortlist interview candidates. But, now that it is clear a degree is not what it used to be—60% of taxi drivers in Korea, 31% of retail sales clerks in the US, and 15% of high-end security guards in India now have a degree—employers are shifting their focus to employability and skills. This means candidates from outside the top institutions, or those without degrees, can differentiate themselves through certifications, soft skills, apprenticeships, projects, work experience, career growth, and more. Almost all Sri Lankan employers I meet complain about candidates not having right skills and attitude, not just among freshers but also among seniors. Degrees are not relevant, they say. Yet the young

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