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A life ordinary by Amit Sarkar - Issue #18

Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar
Hello friends,
Welcome to another edition of my newsletter.
This week I finally saw the stars and a faint line of the Milky Way galaxy with my naked eyes at Ditchling Beacon. It was cold, and windy but clear and I spent almost an hour at the car park.
I did my regular 5kms Bromley Parkrun with my personal best (PB) time of 23mins 49secs at this course.
I also watched Eliud Kipchoge break the Marathon world record in Berlin. He ran the distance of 42.195kms in 2hrs 1min 9secs breaking the earlier world record by 30secs. The earlier world record was also held by him. He has run the fastest marathon ever as part of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge when he ran the marathon distance in under 2 hours. He is a joy to watch and one of the few greats in athletics who has dominated this sport for some time now.
I caught up with a few friends over the week. Later during the week, I ended up watching Brahmāstra: Part One - Shiva. This is the first Indian film that is aspiring to create a universe similar to the Marvel and DC film universes, called the Astraverse. But it’s rooted in Hindu mythology. Astraverse is nothing but a combination of 2 words - Astra which means weapon and verse means a chapter. I loved the ambition of the story and the vision of the director, Ayan Mukerji. It does seem to be inspired by many famous Hollywood films. But in his defence, I must say that copying something is not easy.

📡 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
I and Rinat recently talked about GNSS in our podcast and wanted to share some information about the same. Many people know about GPS but not many people know that there are other positioning systems in the world as well, operated by other countries.
A global navigation satellite system (GNSS) is a network of satellites broadcasting timing and orbital information used for navigation and positioning measurements.
A simplified version is that satellites transmit signals that report where they are at what time, with that information being used to determine where you are in the world. Through a complex series of trilateration calculations, your technology computes your location based on your position in relation to at least four satellites.
Source - Novatel
The various GNSSs in the world today are as follows -
  • Global Positioning System or GPS (United States)
  • Global'naya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema or GLONASS (Russia)
  • NAVigation with Indian Constellation or NavIC (India)
  • Quasi-Zenith Satellite System or QZSS (Japan)
  • Galileo (EU)
  • BeiDou (China)
Each country, mentioned above, has created their own GNSS so that it can safely rely on its services in case the other countries’ GNSS are blocked/hacked/jammed.
Each GNSS has three segments as outlined below -
Space Segment
The space segment consists of a nominal constellation of operating satellites that transmit one-way signals that give the current GPS satellite position and time. 
Control Segment
The control segment consists of worldwide monitor and control stations that maintain the satellites in their proper orbits through occasional command maneuvers, and adjust the satellite clocks. It tracks the GPS satellites, uploads updated navigational data, and maintains health and status of the satellite constellation. 
User Segment
The user segment consists of the GPS receiver equipment, which receives the signals from the GPS satellites and uses the transmitted information to calculate the user’s three-dimensional position and time. 
Source - https://novatel.com/tech-talk/an-introduction-to-gnss/what-are-global-navigation-satellite-systems-gnss
Source - https://novatel.com/tech-talk/an-introduction-to-gnss/what-are-global-navigation-satellite-systems-gnss
The GNSS is used for the following applications
  • Location – determining your position in the world
  • Navigation – identifying the best route from one location to another
  • Tracking – monitoring an object’s movement in the world
  • Mapping – creating maps of a specific area
  • Timing – computing precise timing within billionths of a second
Source - Novatel
GNSS operate at different bands, frequencies and signals but most operate in the L band.
The L band is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) designation for the range of frequencies in the radio spectrum from 1 to 2 gigahertz (GHz).
Because L-band waves penetrate clouds, fog, rain, storms, and vegetation, GNSS units can receive accurate data in all weather conditionsday or night. There are circumstances in which GNSS units may not receive signals accurately, such as inside concrete buildings or under heavy forest canopies.
Source - https://surveyinggroup.com/why-do-satellites-mostly-operate-in-l-band/
In case you are interested in knowing which GNSS your smartphone uses, then head to GSMArena and check the specifications of your smartphone. It will mention which positioning system it uses.
🚢 Dropshipping
I have been looking at options to generate a passive income and something that always comes up on the top is Dropshipping.
Say you have an online store. Your customer comes to your store and places an order to buy a product from your store. Your store doesn’t have a warehouse from where you ship the product. Instead, you have a supplier to whom you send the order. The supplier takes the order and ships the product directly to your customer.
Dropshipping is an order fulfilment method where a business doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, the seller purchases inventory as needed from a third party - usually a wholesaler or manufacturer - to fulfil orders. The biggest difference between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory - they act as the middleman. 
Source - Shopify
The online store could be created using Shopify or Etsy in this example. The supplier could be Printful, Printify, AliExpress, etc. You can sell anything from clothes, mugs, accessories or electronics.
Selling without owning, is the idea behind Dropshipping.
Source - https://www.oberlo.com/blog/what-is-dropshipping
Source - https://www.oberlo.com/blog/what-is-dropshipping
✍🏻 Kindle Scribe
Kindle Scribe Revealed
Kindle Scribe Revealed
Amazon recently announced its new Kindle device called the Kindle Scribe that you can use not only to read but also to write.
I have been using Kindle for many years now and the e-ink technology it uses is very relaxing to the eyes while reading, and also makes its battery efficient.
There have been various e-ink devices launched since the advent of this technology and this device from Amazon could be in the right direction.
Time will tell how the device is received by the various consumers. But the possibility of not carrying my notepad but just the Kindle, for both reading and writing, makes me very excited. Imagine the possibilities.
📌🏃 Real-Time Race Tracking (RTRT)
My wife is planning to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon on 09-Oct-2022. As part of the race, they have already sent out her race pack and an email providing the race day booklet. The booklet mentioned downloading an app called RTRT to track the runner in real-time as a spectator.
Now, how cool is that? I can track my wife in real time and follow her along the race course with my son. We can be there to cheer her up and also see other runners.
Running a half marathon is not easy; my wife will be running this half marathon after becoming a mother. Kudos to her determination. I can never do what she can. She has already run three different 10Ks at different London parks to prepare herself for this run.
I have taken a screenshot of the app (using an incredible tool called scrcpy) to show what events you can track.
The way the app works is that the runner participating in an event first registers themselves in the app and starts it when they start their run. The app tracks the GPS location of the runner’s device to tell every spectator, following the runner on the same app, the runner’s real-time location. This is quite useful and can be used in so many ways.
Source - Screenshot of RTRT.me app from my OnePlus 9 Pro phone
Source - Screenshot of RTRT.me app from my OnePlus 9 Pro phone
Thank you so much once again for reading my newsletter this week. Please feel free to Buy me a coffee if you are enjoying what I am sharing.
Until we meet again next week, please stay peaceful, listen more, find new ideas, and enjoy more.
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Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar @amit_Sarkar007

Newsletters are the new form of blogging where instead of you coming to the blog, the blog comes to you. Every week I will aim to publish my newsletter to talk about things I have done, read, heard or watched. The idea behind this newsletter is to talk about my ordinary life in the hope that you might find something interesting in it.

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Bromley, Greater London, United Kingdom