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May 13 13

What does a SSL Certificate mean? – Secure Sockets Layer

by Capt. Samarth Singh

This article explains what SSL is like you were a complete tech/IT novice. The reason I’ve decided to answer this question is because as of 2013 a lot of small business owners are toying around with the idea of getting their websites SSL compliant.

SSL expanded is Secure Sockets Layer. Its rather simple. Lets start with who needs SSL. A lot of small business websites offer use e-commerce to route payments for purchases made online through their website. This requires the website user to enter credit card and other sensitive information that could lead to potential identity fraud and loss of money. Why does this happen? When an end user enters credit card information on his computer screen and hits submit, that information is transmitted to the server where the requesting website is hosted. To get to that server, the information may pass through many servers because of the physical distance between both the parties. Sometimes, this information gets intercepted and misused somewhere in the middle. An SSL certification ensures that the information entered by the user is transmitted encrypted only for the destination server. Every server it passes through in the middle, may not be able to process what’s being transmitted.

So, long story short, every small business owner looking to make his site a little more reputed and offer some added security to customers should consider getting an SSL certificate. They’ve become fairly reasonable nowadays, are offered in various tiers and are easy to install.

Now, who does NOT need an SSL certificate and this is important to address because there’s no point getting one when you outright ‘Don’t need it.’ A site that does not collect any personal or sensitive information whatsoever from its users like credit card numbers, addresses, family names, phone numbers etc. does not need an SSL certificate or rather it will not add any practical value to the website.

There is talk about an SSL certificate reportedly improving SEO scores, but there’s nothing on the web that talks of concrete results on that front.

Nov 6 12

The Dilemma: A Standalone Mobile Website or Responsive Design?

by Capt. Samarth Singh

A coder’s nightmare, no doubt, cross browser compatibility now seems a thing of the past. It has become the lesser of two evils; with the world having unknowingly stepped up the challenge owing to the rapid introduction of mobile devices and the browsers that go with them, in a very short span of time, roughly 2007 – 2011.

A few years ago, website owners and operators across the globe were faced with the age old herculean task of having to deal with Internet Explorer standards, versus the other, more Web 2.0 friendly browsers like Firefox and Chrome. That was soon to change with the advent of the iPad, other Android Tablets and the constantly evolving touchscreen smartphone range. What used to be a standard fixed resolution website, soon turned into one that sprawled all across the screen and was expected to adapt to different screen resolutions and aspect ratios. This becomes even more of a challenge, design wise, with Apple, for instance, conveniently deviating from Flash standards, as with several other low end smartphone and mobile devices. Not just compatibility, data connection speed poses a huge challenge to running a common PC and Mobile website, especially for many countries where 3G speeds over data are virtually unheard of, let’s not even get into 4G.

But what’s the biggest challenge developers’ face today? The 2 options are simple:

  • Implement bulletproof code and design which can get impractical and frustrating sometimes.
  • Launch a whole new mobile version of the website, which practically doubles administration effort and possibly the associated costs, even with a common content or data pool.

Most would advocate that the first option offers simplicity of administration given that the developer manages one set of files. On the contrary, opposed to popular opinion, multiple style sheets to serve different environments could in fact lead to a bigger mess than two separate websites.

What the developer – website owner team eventually chooses is more of a judgment call. One can never take away from the fact that the core essence of any website lies in effective content exchange while maintaining 100% workability which translates to 100% compatibility, round the clock!  Short of that, a little extra effort towards either of the two options is warranted and will most certainly be required till a more acceptable browser gets developed, or one of the current players manages to crack the cross compatibility code.

Jul 20 12

Travel Kerala in India

by Capt. Samarth Singh

India is huge and given today’s fast paced world clubbed with the time constraints, it may not be possible to traverse all of the land in one go. HybridTravels helps you plan a short and well times getaway to Kerala, a state small enough to cover given limited time in hand, but large enough to offer an average western traveler a host of entertaining activities and memories to last a lifetime! Along the Arabian coast of India lies a beautiful natural creation, what earlier was just a novice destination has developed into a bustling tourist spot with loads in the offering flanked with the western ranges on one side, the Arabian sea on the other and filled with lagoons and backwaters. The natural vegetation makes for a beautiful sight! One of the biggest advantages of travel in India and more so travel to a state like Kerala is the fact that most Indian states are reasonably sized, some being the size of an entire European nation. So the weather and the sheer expanse of activity is bewildering! Some of the places worth visiting in Kerala include the sunny, sandy beaches of Kovalam and the lagoons at Veli. Ancient temples pristinely preserved await you at Kerala and are strewn at convenient distances so irrespective which part of Kerala you’re in, there’s a lot to see. Kerala’s medicine and ayurvedic therapies put an average city side spa to shame so for the westerner looking to rejuvenate after a long stint at work, this is the place to be. Looking for something semi-adventurous, rent a houseboat and sail the backwaters for days on end while you enjoy and savor authentic Keralite cuisine on board. On board, you witness pristine environment comparable to nothing less than the South American Amazon River. Kerala is a state we are very well versed with and recommend it to all cadre of travelers alike. Whether you’re traveling with family, fiancé or solo, Kerala has a lot of traditional goodies to offer a westerner. Definitely something worth putting on the bucket list, after all, where else in the world do you get to experience ‘God’s own country’ except, right here in India!

Jul 2 12

Brochure Content – 10 Effective Rules

by Capt. Samarth Singh

An article that lists 10 simple rules on how to Write Brochure Content.

Rule # 1: You brochure is a 10 minute introduction to your company, the brochure content should by far take the client through the past present and future of your company. So make sure your Brochure talks about where you came from, what you’re doing and what your future plans are.

Rule # 2: By far the most important aspect of Brochure Content and the most misunderstood, keep it short! Brochures are about visual representation and your clients do not want to spend too much time reading.

Rule # 3: Keeping with rule # 2, you have very little text to play around with, so make sure your Brochure Content does both, explain the visuals and talk about your services.

Rule # 4: I’ve noticed a lot of clients trying to utilize the front page of the brochure for brochure content. Bad idea! The front page is not for services and quality policies, its just a place for a few visuals, your company name and possibly a brand punch line.

Rule # 5: Brochure Content is about the accolades of the company and not the owners. While it is good practice to incorporate a write-up about the management to acquaint clients to the people in your organization, do not use up too much of Brochure Text Content count doing this.

Rule # 6: Know your target audience, and make sure your Brochure and Brochure Content is aimed at them. For example, if you are a field service provider wherein your client will hardly ever meet you at your office, there’s no point going on and on about a plush 2 storey setup, just a mention will do.

Rule # 7: As much as a Brochure is an offline mode of marketing, do not overlook Search Engine Optimization for your Brochure Content. There are virtually thousands of agents and brokers out there who will advertise your services using the text from your Brochure, in most cases online!

Rule # 8: In a standard 12 page brochure, with brochure content on 12 sides of 6 sheets, try to keep 2 sides aside for just concept pages which are essentially a page with an attractive picture and a punch line that suits your organization. These pages help reduce redundancy while reading through the Brochure Content.

Rule # 9: Brochures are your chance to show off, so make sure you are as positive as possible while explaining your services enumerating the various frills that come with them.

Rule # 10: Often an overlooked aspect of Brochure Content, make sure you maintain text standardization across the entire brochure. By that I mean, pick one text size for the running Brochure text, one for the Headers and one for the Sub-Headers. Stick to these and make sure the brochure content orientation and alignment is standard across the entire Brochure. Believe me, this helps!

Jun 24 12

Teri Meri Kahaani – Review

by Capt. Samarth Singh

NO SPOILER ALERT – This article speaks of the movie’s plot, and touches upon some very basic aspects of the storyline, nothing that spoils the movie for you. Read on …

Starring: Priyanka Chopra, Shahid Kapoor

After loads of contemplation, and hopes that could hardly be defined as high, Teri Meri Kahaani seems like a very well blended movie. Director Kunal Kohli may have faltered a little on the sets, a little on the story bit you’ve got to hand it to the man for blending it all together amazingly well!

Teri Meri Kahaani is comprised of 3 different mini-stories with 3 different scenarios played in 3 different times, namely pre-independence 1910, 1960 and 2012. Not many may like this, its isn’t very convincing that all 3 mini-stories feature Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor falling in love within a matter of minutes!

The movie starts off a little slow with the 1960 scenario and while the Director has tried to portray an accurate picture of 1960 Bombay, hasn’t done a good enough job, given the kind of work we see Hollywood doing nowadays. Most of it looks computer generated, “in the face!” But nevertheless, to the not so tuned eye, good job. The pace doesn’t really pick up till scenario 2, which is set in Great Britain and Scenario 3 and arguably everybody’s favourite, Lahore in 1910 and a very gorgeous, very sexy looking Shahid in a pathani suit.

One of the biggest downsides of the movie has got to be the song sequences. This is a short, snappy state of affairs, DO AWAY with the songs!

All 3 scenarios feature a very flamboyant Shahid and a very pretty Priyanka Chopra. Teri Meri Kahaani has something for every age group. Its definitely worth a watch, and we rate it a 4.5 on 5. Watch out for the end where the Director’s very convincingly created a silent link between the three scenarios and what a job he’s done!

Upsides: Energetic in a lot of places, original idea, well blended, good looking star cast, some great acting by Shahid

Downsides: Sets could be a lot better, accents leave a lot to be desired, female outfits for the 1960 timezone are all wrong, many factual errors, too much of singing and dancing

Verdict: 4.5 /5

Jan 16 12

Hair Styling, Tattoos and more …

by Capt. Samarth Singh

Anthony and Joanne formulated their dream into a reality, and that’s when Studio Nine was born. A European-styled tattoo and hair parlour located in the heart of Navi Mumbai, this place promises you much more than just a mere haircut or tattoo – a heady ‘cloud nine’ feeling, that will have you coming back for more! Here’s an interview with Team Studio Nine …

When did you conceptualize Studio Nine?

Joanne and I had both dreamed individually of having our own set up for quite some time. We have been friends for several years. We trust each other and work well together, which is the basis of any partnership. A few months ago, a casual talk turned into a full-blown discussion and we decided to pool our talents into a business partnership. Our dream materialized and here we are!

Why Navi Mumbai? Was it just to save costs or does the crowd appeal?

Navi Mumbai definitely has the crowd. Studio Nine now offers them a salon experience that they would earlier travel to town for! Besides, this has been our home for quite a few years now. We couldn’t think of a better place to start!

What kind of clients have you been receiving so far?

All kinds of clients walk in to check out the studio because it is unique in its design and visually very appealing. Several of our former clientele have come in for services; we have had walk-ins converted to actual service experiences and recommendations from those who have experienced our services. On the whole, we have already dazzled our existing and potential clientele with the high level of integrity they receive in their individualized consultations and services that follow.

Tattoos are a very competitive market nowadays, given that parlours are literally all over the place. How do you price your service given this scenario?

Competition is relative to expertise and most of our clients are recommendations from those who have experienced my services. Joash Manning, the owner of Zync Design, has personally designed the interiors of this place. The feel is very ‘French’. My clients pay for these eye-catching aesthetics, high quality, hygiene, and safety, so the competition is dealt with deftly.

What kind of quality assurances do you offer?

Hygiene is of prime importance. We choose our inks and colours with exceptional caution and all our equipments are specially imported from the US with certified FDA ratings. We only use industry level products that comply with the International Safety Standards. Of course, all our equipments for every tattoo are disposable, maintaining our clients’ safety and hygiene as our topmost priority.

What services do you offer? What should a customer look forward to at Studio Nine?

In the Tattoo section, we do permanent tattoos and also take care of covering up old, messed up tattoos with fresh new ones. In the Hair section, we offer all kinds of services for hair including cuts, styling, makeovers and restyling.

Having said this, Studio Nine is not a place to merely get a tattoo or hair service. The experience leaves you with a lingering feeling like you’re on Cloud Nine, the inspiration behind our brand’s name. You will definitely keep coming back for more.

Studio Nine is located at Sector -29 in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Call them on :

+91 98334 14197 | +91 98194 66066


Jan 11 12

A Solo Trip to India – The Lowdown

by Capt. Samarth Singh

Whether you’re the avid adventure-seeking fellow, or a tentative beginner, travelling solo is something that every traveller must experience once in his lifetime. And when the destination in mind is India, you know you’re in for a delightful treat.

That, India is a mesmerizing country, is a gross understatement. Whether it’s trekking up the icy slopes of the magnificent Himalayas, rafting down a rapid, rappelling down a cliff or going on a jeep safari, we at Hybrid Travels guarantee you an unforgettable experience that you shall cherish for the better part of your life.

Often, aspiring backpackers are wary of traveling alone and wonder if flying solo (no pun intended) is the right thing to do. With packages as economical as ours, and add to that the company of our well-versed tour managers, which first-timer would not be tempted to give it a shot?

Paragliding clubs are available in droves in various states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Rajasthan. Irrespective of whether you’re a novice para glider or one who has already explored the heavenly skies, there is not a better place in the world to take to the skies than in India. Thanks to relaxed air-space restrictions, a few clubs offer drop zones at close to 10,000 feet! The sheer thrill will have you coming back for more. Don’t tell us we didn’t warn you!

Does skiing through scenic snowscapes define your idea of a vacation spent perfectly? Then, the period of mid December to mid March is the ideal time for you to be in India. Hill Stations like Kulu and Rotang Pass in Himachal Pradesh offer vast natural slopes with plenty of ski-equipments for rent and truly economical spot instructors. An experienced skier would know that for this fast-paced adventure sport, the perfect combination of pleasure and economic relief can be found best in North India.

Intending to travel to India and haven’t planned on experiencing the Camel Safaris in Rajasthan? Unpardonable. The surreal weather in Rajasthan finds an interpretation in every traveller’s unique experience. A stark contrast between the chilly nights and the dry days – one needs to spend just a day here to appreciate its beauty. Though, keeping your comfort levels in mind, Camel Safaris are organized in the winters.

May to November marks the water rafting season in India. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the river rafting in Ladakh. The Ganges, too, is yet another hotspot to unleash the water-baby in you!

HybridTravels understands the single traveller’s mindset well. Whether it’s taking a flight, booking a train or hopping on to a cruise bike, be rest assured that we shall take care of it.

We consolidate our efforts to transform your reluctance on traveling alone to a far-off country to a memory you’ll treasure for a lifetime!  You’re here to take time off your busy, mundane lives and briefly live life on the edge, you’re here to feel the adrenaline surge through you and we’re here just to see that this desire materializes perfectly for you.

Count on us to help you create a memory.

Jan 11 12

A Spiritual Calling that is India

by Capt. Samarth Singh

Open Spirituality is fast becoming the order of the day. Religion has begun to abolish  barriers with people across the globe no longer wishing to be bound by their religions. If you have a spiritual leaning, India is an apt place for you. It is not often described as the Land Of Religions for nothing!

If you’re looking to explore more religious places and customs of worship, don’t think twice,India is the place for you to be.India is one of the very few countries that offers travelers of varied religious and spiritual descents  to look deeper into the mystifying religions of Hindu, Islam, Sikh and Buddhist.

In the heart of Mumbai, famously called the ‘New York of India’, lies the enchanting shrine of Hindu tradition – the Siddhivinayak Temple. HybridTravels helps you organize the perfect visit to this holy place that will keep you mesmerized right from the time you set your foot in. Not far from here, the Haji Ali Mosque, situated in the sea, bewitches you the moment you lay your eyes on it. Take the long jetty that connects it to the coast, to take in the splendor of this Islamic marvel.

A short flight to Chennai, following a quick road trip brings you to one of South India’s oldest and most revered shrines – the Tirupati Mandir. Annually, this place of worship sees visitors, both Indians and otherwise, wait devotedly in long lines to catch a glimpse of the idols.

The north Indian city of Amritsar, best visited in the winters, houses the Sikh Shrine called the Golden Temple with its huge solid gold minaret. The Golden Temple has perhaps one of the most breathtaking architectures, looking quintessentially lit up in the sun on a bright, cool day. The capital city of New Delhi offers the pristine silence of the Bahai Temple also known as the Lotus Temple where reverberations of a simple footstep transform into beautiful audio patterns.

HybridTravels is well versed with all these religious locations and offers the western traveller a chance to not just visit these places, but also learn a lot along the way. With our team of competent tour managers, we guarantee you that every pilgrim site and every religious destination shall be etched in your memory forever.

From Jain Temples in Gujarat to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, count on us to help you get intoxicated by this blessed place called India.





Nov 25 11

Soldier, where’s the fortune?

by Capt. Samarth Singh

Ever felt you were born to do something? That everything else seems pale when compared to the one thing you’re best at. The setting was perfect the day I was commissioned at the Army officer’s training academy. Everything from the crease in my uniform to the weather that day to the post I was headed to, perfect! And all of this belittled by the raw adrenaline running through my veins. After all, what bigger honour exists than to be charged with the protection of your country?

The memory of my father haunted me right through my childhood. He fought in ’65 and then in ’71 and then one day like the blink of an eye, he was gone. Missing in action, MIA, the three letters that would pave the way to my future in the armed forces didn’t really feel very pleasant back then. A meager government settlement, a medal and a flag, that’s all we were left with. But still, by the time I was ready for college, I couldn’t see beyond the armed forces, I knew I had to finish the journey my father had set out for.

I came up the ranks pretty quick, much of it being attributed to my fauji upbringing. I have a wife and two beautiful kids who are more than worth coming home to in the evening. They live a nice, sheltered, stable life within the cantonment, a perfect place to bring kids up in today’s corporate infested, fast paced India.

Then one day, the inevitable clouds of war came our way. I made Station 7154 at Batalik a short-term life objective and set out, away from family. They were concerned alright, but sure enough that I’d be back soon. I didn’t hear from them weeks on end, mail takes it’s time to get to where I was.

Our regiment lost many men and a few were from my company as well. My company outperformed practically every other company in the theater and I fast became a topic of conversation at the officer’s mess. I wasn’t aware the other side was monitoring us closely. It didn’t take them long to put me on their bounty list, and the list was short.

Last night at 2000 hours, the enemy surrendered. But who was to call the bounty hunters off their chase? They followed me on my way back home, and riddled my car with bullets. I remember the last two things that went through my mind before I gave in to my injuries. That I felt regret for having lost my life, in peace time, to such an insignificant cause. And that even though I had done my country a favour, protected it when it most needed me, my wife and kids were left to fend for themselves. If only my protection went a little further.

-Written as a scenario for an Insurance firm

Nov 22 11

Get your 2013 Diary and Calendar Printing done at Hybrid Content

by Capt. Samarth Singh

Hybrid Content offers an array of customizable 2013 diaries and calendars. Our range of products is a lot better than last year and the customization even better! Get in touch with us here: