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+ - Indian Government Mulls Giving Away Mobile Phones to the Poor.->

Submitted by jalfreize
jalfreize (173125) writes "The Indian government is finalizing a $1.2 billion plan to hand out free mobile phones to the poorest Indian families (around six million households, according to some estimates). The Times of India reports:

"Top government managers involved in formulating the scheme want to sell it as a major empowerment initiative... While the move will ensure contact with the beneficiaries of welfare programmes (sic) ..., there is also a view the scheme will provide an opportunity for the (government) to open a direct line of communication with a sizable population that plays an active role in polls.""

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Comment: Not true (Score 5, Informative) 123

by jalfreize (#39900317) Attached to: Pirate Bay, IsoHunt Blocked In India

This is not true, or at least wildly inaccurate. The main Indian Government-owned ISP, BSNL, has not blocked any of these websites. Many of the private ISP's haven't either. There is one private ISP -- Reliance Infocomm -- which is owned by the Reliance ADA Group, which happens to also have considerable interests in content generation (they produce bollywood movies, and also are major financial backers to Spielberg's Dreamworks SKG). They are known to block torrent/video sharing sites during prominent movie releases.

Comment: If we're done with all the call center/curry jokes (Score 0) 160

by jalfreize (#37636382) Attached to: Indian Mathematician Takes Shot At Proving Riemann Hypothesis

The reason I posted this bit of news, is the rather unconventional crowd-sourcing/collaboration approach to science, coupled with the idea of involving non-specialists in his attempt. Would like more informed opinions on this approach to doing science. Even if he fails at the attempt, would, say, a person with an engineering background participating in such a workshop stand to gain anything?
Is this a ponzi scheme or good science with a dash of showmanship thrown in?


+ - Indian Mathematician takes shot at proving Riemann->

Submitted by jalfreize
jalfreize (173125) writes "Indian Mathematician Rohit Gupta (known by the moniker @fadesingh on twitter) has announced an online workshop which he intends to "conclude by attacking an important problem in front of (the participants), in public view". The problem is the Riemann Hypothesis, first proposed in 1859. Rohit outlines his approach based on quasicrystals first outlined by Freeman Dyson. His audacious plan, coupled with this recent news about quasicrystals, has kicked up a storm of interest in the Indian twitterverse."
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Comment: US is still your best bet (Score 1) 386

by jalfreize (#26261189) Attached to: Study Abroad For Computer Science Majors?

I worked for a while in India, and am now in the US finishing my Masters in CS. Here are my two cents.
Computer Science education in the US is still leagues ahead of any other country in the world. The IITs and IISc in India are good institutions but still do not have significant research programs that compare with any of the top universities in the US. I suppose the story is similar across the world. Given the option, everyone in the world would like to be educated here in the US :-) -- if you are being given this on a platter, why let go of the opportunity???
I applaud your intentions of exploring the world -- I do believe that Americans should be more outward looking and understand the world around them better. Also many of the new business opportunities will likely arise out of South Asia and China in the next few decades.
However from a technical perspective, US is still the place to be as far as CS is concerned.
You would be much better off getting the best training that the US has to offer, and then going out into the wider world -- your skills will be much appreciated, and you can make a more substantial contribution to the world.
I am much impressed by the scientific culture that American universities inculcate in their students, and I do believe the world would be a better place if that culture were propagated more aggressively.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe