Monday, July 18, 2011

Surrey Fusion Festival 2011

The team from were out at Surrey Fusion Festival 2011 this past weekend. Some highlights from the most anticipated acts are available below! Raghav and Jay Sean headlined at the event which took place on July 17, 2011 at Holland Park in Surrey. The festival is in its second year, and is put on by the City of Surrey, with the aid of many generous corporate sponsors.

For more information on the event check out the Fusion Festival Website

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Location awareness with Django

A common problem faced by large, directory-based websites is that of directing their users to the most appropriate content. At, we would like to show new users relevant businesses and events as soon as they land on the main page. One way to accomplish that, and this is used by many websites, is to prompt a user to select their location on their first visit. Prompting for input can be frustrating for new users and may result in a loss of page hits; the modern internet user wants his or her information quickly and has little patience for websites polling for personal information.

A second method, and the one we employ at, is to use the client request data (specifically the client IP address) to determine the user's location and serve the appropriate information to the users without nagging them. The GeoIP geolocation library included with GeoDjango makes this task extremely simple. GeoDjango is a "world-class geographic web framework" that includes numerous other indispensable geo-spatial libraries and is included with the latest versions of Django (Django 1.3, 1.2).

Setting up GeoIP to obtain a user's city of origin can be accomplished with the following simple tasks:
  1. 1. Download the MaxMind city and IP address datasets that will be used by GeoIP.
  2. 2. Configure GeoIP to use said datasets.
  3. 3. Poll GeoIP using the request IP address to get the city of origin.

GeoIP requires a database to map IP addresses to cities and these must be obtained from an external source. The best (and free!) option is the MaxMind GeoIP dataset. To obtain these, simply download the two files GeoIP.dat.gz and GeoLiteCity.dat.gz inside your Django project. Note that you must download the datasets in binary formats, GeoIP does not currently support CSV.

Next, unzip the two datasets using the commands:

GeoIP also needs to be told where to find these datasets, and this can be specified by setting the GEOIP_PATH in your Django project's file.

Finally, the GeoIP API can now be used to determine the user's city using the following short snipet of code:

And that's it! You can now determine where your users are from and direct them to the most appropriate section of your website without any need for annoying popups.

Security issue when deploying production website with Subversion (SVN)

If you use Subversion (SVN) to deploy your website, there is a security issue you may want to consider.

All the hidden ".svn" directories in your deployment may have their files accessible by Apache. As a result, Apache will happily serve these files, that often contain private information, to the entire web.

If you perform a quick Google search using the syntax below it becomes apparent that many websites have this security hole:

intitle:"Directory Listing" inurl:".svn/text-base"

There is an easy way to resolve the issue. Add the following line to your website's Apache configuration:

RedirectMatch 404 /\\.svn(/|$)

This will direct Apache to redirect all requests to files/folders in a ".svn" directory to a 404 page. Thus extinguishing the threat.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Diwali at Deepmala

Diwali is a festival to rejoice victory of the good over the evil, a day to mark fresh start and new beginnings. Of the 10 or so Diwali events happening around town Ekam decided to be part of last week's Deepmala; Diwali celebrations by UBC's Utsav Club. The event was held at UBC's campus in Vancouver. Beautiful display of fireworks kicked off the evening that only got better with amazing preformances from Vancouver's upcoming talent Shivangi Bhanaya, and Rene Chandra. Bhangra by a team of young students, punjabi folk singing, and a classical dance performance added masalas to the flavor of the evening. A hilarious hindi skit by UBC students, Cheer Haran, was just the kind of finale that was fit for an event like this. Organizing team and voluteers consisting mainly of students should be commended for putting together a splendid display of Indian culture and festivities.

Ekam Wishes everyone a Very Happy Diwali!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Desi Events

It has been our goal to offer our visitors content that is new and unique. The launch of South Asian events section on is a step in that direction. Here are a few words to explain why we think it was important to have events on ekam.

Its no secret that we South Asians have loads of festivals. These festivals, celebrations, parties often go unnoticed. Word of mouth and other advertising routes can only reach a limited population. The initiative to launch desi events on Ekam has been a result of this need. A one place for all events should also make it simpler for event promoters. And since ekam is well indexed in google, there will be limited need to host individual event websites.

The task of keeping events content fresh and up-to-date is challenging and we are working hard at it. However, to make this initiative a success we rely on your help. We ask you to encourage your friends, and family to make use of this free service. Together we can build a network that is more connected and thus more useful for the community.

Join Hands with Ekam Team is now looking for new team members to join us in our desi adventure. New team members would be resposible for initiating new contacts and informing South Asian business owners about Ekam's paid advertising features. You can learn more about our paid advertising features in our "Advertise" section,
It is a great way for businesses to step ahead of their competitors. It is also an exciting way to make some extra cash during free time while increasing your personal contact list. So if you or someone you know might be interested, please contact us at

Team Member would have:

* Good Communication skills. (Languages Preferred: Punjabi, Hindi, English)
* Experience in Marketing/Sales with the South Asian community would be nice.
* Ability to travel locally to meet clients.

Ekam Offers:

* Attractive continuous revenue sharing terms for businesses signed up by you.
* Very Flexible work schedule.
* Opportunity to make new contacts.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Being online can mean checking e-mails, finding resources, getting the latest news or satisfying Facebook cravings. Now some desi UBC engineers have created a technology that will add to that list. Being online can now also mean finding desi businesses close to home and desi events that are happening around town. is a search engine that makes it easier than ever to find South Asian businesses and events. Say you are looking for video or fashion stores, you can search using related terms like bollywood, saree or mehndi! Results from these searches can be displayed by the shortest distance from your home (walking, biking, or car ride) or by the appropriate category. offers directions and maps to each of the businesses. For those of us who are not spelling bee champions, it comes with a reliable spell check feature.

Do you miss out on going to South Asian events? Ekam’s Events section now covers all types of South Asian events in BC. With pictures, maps and sorting by date, you can be up to date with the latest in town and plan your weekends well in advance.

Ekam provides a platform for the South Asian businesses to compete with the rest. Ekam listings are well placed in Google search results. This tremendously improves the online visibility of small businesses. It gives these businesses a chance to reach for customers that are searching for local businesses on major search engines.

Ekam is definitely a tool worth checking out. Go