Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to Book Rail Ticket through SMS

IRCTC's ambitious SMS-based ticketing system is a reality now. Railways minister Mallikarjun Kharge launched this new system yesterday and said that the service aims to "empower the common man who does not have access to internet and cannot afford to buy smartphones."

The SMS-based ticketing system, a pilot project by IRCTC, will also effectively eliminate the menace of touts fleecing unsuspecting travellers at the time of booking tickets. Kharge added that this new system will prove especially beneficial to labourers and workers when booking tickets to their native towns. Such a system is apt for them since it is quick and hassle-free.

This SMS-based ticket service can be availed through two numbers - 139 and 5676714. Those looking to book tickets by sending an SMS to 139 will have to first register their mobile numbers with IRCTC and their banks. Over 25 banks are offering this facility at the moment. Users will then receive an MMID or Mobile Money Identifier and OTP or one time password from the bank for payment authorisation. This SMS-based service is available to all mobile subscribers.

To book the ticket, an SMS will have to be sent in the following format -

BOOK [TrainNo][FromStn.Code][ToStn.Code] [TravelDate (DDMM)][Class][Passenger-Name][Age][M/F]

Upon sending this SMS to 139 users will receive Transaction ID alongwith other details. To make the payment, they will have to send an SMS to 139 in the following format -

PAY [Transaction ID as received][IMPS][Your MMID as received from the bank][OTP ][IRCTCUserID

Users can also book their tickets by sending an SMS to 5676714. They will have to first register their mobile number with IRCTC and m-wallet, and send an SMS to 5676714 in the following format -
START [irctc user Id]

To book the ticket, users will have to send an SMS to 5676714 in the following format -
BOOK[From stn.code],[to stn.code],[DDMMYY], [Trainno],[Class],[passenger name],[age],[M/F] 

Once they have sent that SMS, users will receive the transaction number on their phones. A second SMS will have to be sent to make the payment. The format is as below -

"PAY [transaction no], MPAY, [m-PIN]" for authorizing payment through MPAY 


"PAY [mobileno],[mmid],[amount],[transaction Id],[OTP]" for authorizing payment through IMPS.
Once they've made the payment, users will receive a booking confirmation SMS on their phone.

The SMS-based ticketing service through BSNL will require users to have a BSNL SIM card, a Java-enabled phone and an Andhra Bank Prepaid card. This system in particular is a menu-based one, meaning the user will have to enter details in a step-by-step process. To register, they will have to first install the application and select the "Register" option to get the Mpin. To book tickets through BSNL, users will have to first click the BSNL Prepaid Card icon and select Ticketing > Train (IRCTC). They have to provide details of their journey such as the name of their starting and destination stations, train number, date of their travel, class, quota, and passenger details.

To read more visit: www.tech2.com 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): How to Make your Digital life more Secure

A password is not enough to keep your accounts safe—take some extra precautions so that if the site you’re on gets hacked, your data isn’t lost.

If you’ve followed technology news in recent months, the hacking of popular online services has been making headlines more frequently than not. There have been frequent mishits at Twitter since January, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook admitted to being victims of hackers in February, Evernote’s 50 million accounts were compromised in March, and LivingSocial was attacked in April.

To counter the growing threat, all the major online services and technology companies are now adopting two-factor authentication (TFA, T-FA, or 2FA), which requires the presentation of two or more of three authentication factors: 

· Knowledge: Something the user knows; for example, password, personal identification number (PIN), pattern.

· Possession: Something the user has; for example, ATM card, smart card, mobile phone.

· Inherence: Something the user is; for example, biometric characteristics such as a fingerprint.

TFA is not a new concept, it has been used for financial or government systems for a long time. More recently, consumer services have started to adopt it. So, for instance, when a bank customer visits an ATM, s/he uses the ATM card (something s/he has) and follows it up by entering a PIN (something s/he knows) to corroborate credentials.

As of now, you can’t use TFA everywhere on the Web, but services like Google, LastPass, 

Facebook, Dropbox, WordPress and Microsoft now offer it. So check your account settings and opt for it—it’s not mandatory yet. TFA requires user participation and adds an extra step, so it tends to be less popular.

Eve Maler, a principal analyst serving security and risk professionals at the global research and advisory firm Forrester Research, believes it’s only a matter of time before TFA is accepted and adopted by mainstream users. On her blog on the Forrester website, she writes: “The writing is on the wall. What was once anathema is going to be unilaterally required by online service providers—and accepted by users—within a couple of years, at least for especially sensitive operations. The only type of security education that really works is the school of hard knocks. Breaches that expose passwords are massive, frequent, and newsmaking events these days. Once enough ‘low-information’ consumers find themselves undergoing account recovery and password change processes due to breaches, strong auth will seem like a much better idea.”

Mobile apps

If you cannot receive text messages on your mobile phone (not all countries might be supported by the service, for example), you can use authenticator apps. These apps can also be useful if you’re not near your phone, but have your tablet or iPod handy, and work with most TFA implementations:

· Google Authenticator —Android/BlackBerry/iOS

·Authenticator —Windows Phone

How to opt for TFA

Gmail (Google)

· Sign in to your Google Account settings page by clicking on your name or picture on the upper right corner of the screen and then clicking Account.

· On the left tab, click Security and then Settings under 2-step verification. This will bring you to the 2-step verification settings page.


· Visit your account settings page.

· Under Account security, select “Require a verification code when I sign in”.

· Click on the link to add a phone and follow the prompts. This doesn’t work with all Indian providers yet so Vodafone users, for example, will have to wait for now.


· Login approvals is a TFA system that requires you to enter a code Facebook sends to your mobile phone via text message whenever you log into it from a new or unrecognized computer. 

· Once you have entered this security code, you’ll have the option to save the the MAC (machine address code) of the device you’re using to access Facebook, to your Facebook account so that you don’t encounter this during future logins.

Outlook.com/SkyDrive (Microsoft)

· Sign in to your Microsoft account.

· Under Password and security info, click Edit security info.

· Check your phone or, alternatively, email for the code, enter it, and click Submit.

· Under two-step verification, click “Set up two-step verification”.

· Click Next, and then follow the instructions.


· Sign in to the Dropbox website, and click on your name from the upper-right of any page to open your account menu.

· Click Settings from the account menu and select the Security tab.

· Under the Account sign-in section, next to Two-step verification, the tab would read “disabled (change)”, click on “change” to enable the function.

· Once you’ve enabled two-step verification, you can choose to receive your security codes by text message or use a mobile app for the same.


· The Google Authenticator plug-in for WordPress gives you two-factor authentication using the Google Authenticator app on your smartphone.

· The two-factor authentication requirement can be enabled on a per-user basis. You could enable it for your administrator account, but log in as usual with less privileged accounts.

Apple devices 

· On My Apple ID page, select Manage your Apple ID and sign in.

· Select Password and Security.
· Under Two-Step Verification, select Get Started and follow the instructions on screen.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Best Job Sites in India

Here in this post I will try to cover three websites from India, North East India and Assam that provide job vacancies freely to its user. The ranking is based on my personal experience with the sites.

Jobs in India

1) Indian Employment News (http://www.iemploymentnews.com/): The site with Alexa Traffic Rank 983,796 created on 26th February, 2012. It’s amazing to see its growth. The site generally posts five job vacancies in a day. One of the best features of the website is its geographically and categorically listing of job vacancies and arrangement of the job vacancies in the reverse chronological order of last date of application for easy browsing. Highly recommended for you.

2) Sarkari Naukri Blog (http://sarkarinaukriblog.com/): This is India’s most popular job site with Alexa Traffic Rank 9,918. This site was created on 21st October, 2009 and perhaps the oldest job site in India (excluding jobs sites run by corporate agencies). It generally posts five job vacancies in a day. The site’s architecture is somewhat puzzling with ads. Recommended for you.

3) Employment News (http://www.employmentnews.gov.in/): This website is created on 27th April 2005 and Alexa Traffic Rank is: 28,375. The site usually posts three job vacancies in a day. The website does not provide much content to the free users. Not recommended for you.

Jobs in North East India:
In this category I don’t found any site that can be “Highly Recommended for You”. If I miss something kindly let me know.

1) Sakori.org (http://www.sakori.org): The site with Alexa Traffic Rank 268,881 created on 15th March, 2010. Though it targets to post job vacancies from all over North East India, but in reality most of the posting is from Assam. Generally it posts four job vacancies in a day. Recommended for you.

2) ACS Naukri (http://www.acsnaukri.com/): This website created on 3rd January, 2011 and Alexa Traffic Rank is 17,294,733. The site generally posts 1 job vacancy in a day. The site though claims to cover job vacancies from all over North East India, but in reality its coverage is very poor. Not recommended for you.

Jobs in Assam
1) Sakori.co.in: (http://www.sakori.co.in/): This website launched on August 21, 2012 and its Alexa Traffic Rank: 13,379,065. This site generally posts five job vacancies from Assam in a single day. Highly Recommended for You

2) Sinaki (http://e-sinaki.blogspot.in): Sinaki launched on 15th October, 2009 and have the Alexa Traffic Rank: 889,386. It generally posts three job vacancies in a day. Recommended for you.

3) Axomor Sakori (http://www.assamgovernmentjobs.com): This site with Alexa Traffic Rank 11,237,209 created on 20th August, 2012. The site generally posts one job vacancy in a day. Not recommended for you.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

How to Know When Your Friends or Family Members are in News

Want to know when any of your friends, family members and business contacts are quoted in newspapers or get mentioned on one of the popular blogs?
You are probably aware of a tool called Google Alerts that will send an update as soon as Google discovers a news story or blog post that mentions your friend. You just have to create an “as-it-happens” email alert with your friend’s name and Google will help you keep a tab on him or her.
That’s one of the ways but wouldn’t it be nice if you could setup this kind of news monitoring for a bigger group of people – like your entire friends list?

When your Friends Make News

Meet newsly, an online tool that will automatically discover news articles and blogs that mention any of your friends. It gets you friends list from Facebook and LinkedIn and lets you know when they’re mentioned in news article or blog posts.
Newsly create a Pinterest style grid with all the mentions but you can also choose to receive alerts by email similar to Google Alerts.
Other than friends and professional contacts, you may also use the tool to follow news articles mentioning politicians, celebrities or your favorite people from the technology world. That said, if you friend shares a popular name, be prepared to see tons of useless news articles in your feed.
While we are on this topic, also check out a similar service called uFollow.com.  While Google Alerts and Newsly are good at finding mentions of a person in news articles, uFollow helps you find news articles that are written by a particular person. This is a good tool for tracking stories written by your favorite journalists and bloggers.
Thank you Marshall Kirkpatrick for the tip.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Top 5 Benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Health Care Technology (HCT))

Health information technology is becoming increasingly recognized as a valuable way to improve the functioning of the healthcare system, with electronic health records (EHR) at the forefront of the technological upgrades. Requiring hospitals and medical facilities to make the transition from traditional paper record keeping and filing to an integrated and standardized electronic database is one of President's strategies of healthcare reform. The plan is to standardize all medical records by 2015, using government subsidies to ease the transition. Though standardizing the nation’s healthcare records may not be easy, quick or cheap, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial costs and obstacles.

Top 5 Benefits of Electronic Health Records (EHR)
1. Increased Efficiency and Productivity (Reduced Costs)
·         One of the most obvious benefits of EHR is reducing wasted time and money spent on cumbersome administrative tasks. Rather than sifting through charts, pulling files, scheduling appointments in datebooks, mailing, faxing and generally wading through piles of paperwork, all patient records will be instantly accessible from a computer database.
·         EHR has the potential to revolutionize the way medical facilities operate, cutting down on paperwork and instead streamlining the constant flow of patient, insurance and health information, leading to more effective and affordable treatment overall.

·         The financial savings will be significant. Harvard researchers reported in 2005 that the U.S. spends about $400 billion per year on healthcare bureaucracy. EHR can go a long way in reducing that expenditure, saving about $75 billion per year simply by upgrading to an electronic database.

2. Better Quality of Care and Patient Satisfaction
·   Reducing time spent fishing for charts or handling paperwork almost directly translates into better quality of care for patients. Doctors can make referrals, order tests and lab results, and pull up information without letting the search for information distract from patient-doctor interactions.

·         From reducing time spent in the waiting room to facilitating better at-home communications and medical billing and coding procedures, EHR has the potential to make going to the doctor much less time-consuming and painful. Literally, improved drug information and better monitoring technology can lower health risks and reduce hospital stays.

·         Some doctors already have the capability to send e-prescriptions straight to pharmacies, saving a trip for the patient.
·         Finally, automated medical alerts and reminders can improve patient tracking and easily notify hospital staff when it’s time for a check-up.

3. Better Communication and Secure Accessibility to Records

·         Having a standardized database of medical records doesn’t just increase the capacity for storing information, but allows that database to be accessed from different locations, rather than in one office or through phone, mail or fax. This keeps doctors, their staff, patients and family all better connected and leads to quicker response times. Essentially, a patient’s records should be accessible from any doctor’s office or hospital that is equipped with EHR, meaning less red tape and possibly even lives saved in critical situations.

·         EHR is a reliable safety net of information that is also customizable to fit each patient’s needs, meaning different sets of information can be highlighted, prioritized or explored in the same way information can be organized on a standard computer.

4. Reduces Likelihood of Human Errors
·         Doctors aren’t very often known for their clear and legible handwriting, so using a computer to keep patient records and make notes will significantly reduce the probability of human errors, also improving inter-office communication in general.

·         Increasing effectiveness of communication by reducing medical errors won’t just make it more convenient for hospital staff to read each other’s memos. It will likely contribute to saving a good portion of the 100,000 American lives lost each year due to easily preventable medical errors.

5. More Jobs Created and More Affordable Healthcare
·         According to one government estimate, around 212,000 jobs may be created along with the transition to EHR. Health information technology is a quickly growing field of the allied health sciences, which added 299,000 jobs to the U.S. economy in 2010. EHR will create a wellspring of opportunities for people pursuing technicalmedical careers.

·         Ultimately, improving the efficiency of healthcare will lead to financial savings for consumers and the nation as well. The U.S. pays more per capita for healthcare than any other industrialized nation, yet often falls short on comparable scales for lifespan, infant mortality and obesity. Cutting out time and money wasted on outdated methods of recordkeeping and moving forward into more efficient ways of managing health information can only lead to more affordable healthcare plans for consumers and a better system of healthcare overall.

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