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Comment: Understanding the Indian retailers. (Score 4, Interesting) 53

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48439807) Attached to: Indian Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Snub Android One Phones
The retail sector in India evolved under very severe capital crunch. The retailer was the king in that environment. It was the retailer who takes the risk and orders goods to be sold, put up the money whether it gets sold or not. Unsold retail merchandise is never taken by the manufacturer usually in India. They borrow using a traditional chit fund system. They borrow at 24% to 36% rate of interest. Sometimes even higher than that. They usually operate at 40% margin, not counting the cost of capital. They cooperate (or collude, depending on your POV) and treat both customers and their suppliers with little mercy.

Indian customers are also very class conscious, they would eschew a cheaper product merely because their servant maids can afford them. They are used to hardball by retailer and any naive implementation of US level customer service will be gamed to death within two quarters.

Google will do well to

1 open its own stores,

2 use its strength in access to capital,

3 introduce products with differentiation so that you would not be using the same phone your driver is using,

4 deliver superior customer service to those who play fair

5 undertake price war for the in market above "servant maids and drivers and cooks" sector and below the "MNC executive, people rolling in black money" sector

Comment: The key word is start ups. (Score 2) 197

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48421639) Attached to: Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?
Once you get to be too big to fail, you also become too big to jail. Banksters like Jamie Dimon would simply call the fed and ask it to call off this investigation or that probe. So it is beyond question lack of moral compass helps the big companies. It is when they are small people are debating about it.

Comment: Re:Link to PNAS article (Score 1) 114

What difference does it make? Instead of pontificating without reading the press summary slashdotters would pontificate without reading the original article. The difference is like that joke about the $unfairly_maligned_ethnic berating his son, "You ran behind the bus all the way home to save the bus fare? Idiot! you could have run behind the taxi and saved taxi fare!"

Comment: No body found the real amygdala. (Score 1) 114

Most pathologists, surgeons, medical students, anatomists, all of them never find the real amygdala. They find a conveniently and conspicuously presented fake amygdala and stop the search prematurely. All the while the real amygdala is hiding in the background, communicating with the fake amygdala using undetectable chemical signals.

Comment: Re:The old woman said: (Score 2) 123

There is only one recorded case of a human being playing possum, tricking a carrion bird into picking him up and then tickled the bird with its own feather when it was near a high way, thus making drop him. Then he hitch hiked back to civilization. I am proud to say he is an alumnus of my alma mater.

Comment: Uber got caught. (Score 1) 299

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48411015) Attached to: Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists
I am sure there are many bigger companies that do it. Sometimes using contractors of contractors to create deniability and to create sacrificial scape goats. I would be greatly surprised if this Uber honcho is the first one to think of smearing and trashing journalists who are critical of them. The bigger companies are older, wiser and they realize the liability involved if got caught. So they must be doing it lot more discreetly, spending way more money than necessary to insulate themselves from the actual actions.

Comment: Re:Too bad for MCPs? (Score 1) 276

There is a third option: The boy is a "paper" MCP. He knows the right answer to the questions, but doesn't understand the reasoning behind it.

What part of Microsoft in MCP you did not understand? There is no reasoning behind it. Other than, it looked like a great way to screw some competition way back when we could do it. The only other reasoning other than that is, "the newbie code monkey hacked it this way and his/her manager was too stupid to catch it code review. Now it is carved in stone".

In other words, the reasons are either malice or incompetence.

Comment: Ideal gas vs Perfect gas vs Real gas (Score 3, Interesting) 135

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48396679) Attached to: Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?
We have all gone through our freshman chemistry, where they first talk about ideal gas, and then say nah, it does not that work that way but there is a slightly better approximation called Perfect gas, and then finally let the cat out of the bag with the Real gas. Most people just muddle their way through that and never worry about it. Except for the aerospace majors who end up memorizing one plus gamma minus one by gamma times mach numbered squared whole raised to gamma minus one by gamma, something seared into memory so hard it would not go away even after twenty five years. Damn you Zucrow !

Same way the ideal gas situation of FCC doing its stuff and the invisible hand of the free market doing its stuff and presto you got fantastic internet speed at the low low price of 9.99$ a month. The real gas situation is, all these companies raking money hand over fist lobby the politicians, the FCC, create misinformation campaign and they continue to exploit their customer base. Pressure builds till some disruptive technology comes in, cherry picks the customers and they leave in droves.

One possibility: It could be cell phone companies stringing up fiber up to street corner pillar boxes, and do the last 100 yards over the air with WiFi or a femto-cell network or something. The only true advantage the cable/phone ISPs have is the actual wire to different parts of the home via cat5 cable. But most homes use a router and use WiFi anyway. Someone could run fiber up to street corner pillar boxes, install a WiFi router per customer and cherry pick lots of customers who don't need more than a few WiFi devices. Wireless in the loop is quite well known and is actually deployed in many parts of India and Africa. My old prof Ashok has been talking about it for a long time.

But there could be other such technologies that peel of some serious segments of the captive market of the cable giants. Cable giants too would not sit idle. They would be the first to spot the threat and possibly buy these companies, or adjust their prices in different markets to keep these dogs chomping at their heels just out of reach. Somehow or the other, where such technologies are viable prices would come down. Where it is not viable, the customers would be at the mercy of these corporations

FedEx and UPS are not serving 80% of the country (by area, probably 10% by population). But at least they get US Postal Service. But the current generation of ISPs are suing to make sure government does not provide an alternative even to the market they don't want to serve.

Comment: Re:Ability to respond != Ability to feel (Score 3, Interesting) 105

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48396469) Attached to: How To Anesthetize an Octopus
They could put some sensors to detect electrical activity in the brain and record it during normal activity. If the temporal resolution of the recording is good, they might be able to sense the difference between processing of incoming stimuli and sending out response. Then when the alleged anesthetic is added, they could check to see if only the incoming signals are blocked, or the outgoing response is also blocked.

On the other hand these animals do not have long term memory, and they might never remember the terror like we do.

Comment: Ability to respond != Ability to feel (Score 3, Interesting) 105

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48396329) Attached to: How To Anesthetize an Octopus
The experiment shows that these octopi lost their ability to respond to touch. It does not mean they lost the ability to feel the touch. It is very much possible their brains felt the touch, sent frantic signals for the muscles and cells to respond, and it would not respond.

Something similar happened to me a couple of times. When one falls asleep the brain to muscle control parts shut down. When it does not shut down properly people sleep walk and actually do things during REM. The order in which you this part shuts down, and the part that gets stimuli-response module shuts down seems to be a little muddled for me, it looks like. Long story short, just as I was drifting to sleep, the phone would ring or something, and I would try to reach over to pick the phone, but my arms and legs would not respond. The sheer terror I felt when I could not move my arms and legs was just incredible. But terror would immediately jolt the adrenal glands and adrenaline would flood the body, wake me up fully with racing heart and profuse sweat. Eventually I went through sleep studies and was diagnosed with very mild apnea and got a CPAP machine that kept my airways inflated with above atmospheric pressure (just 6mm of water, 1 atm= 10.24 meters of water). Then those episodes stopped.

But I will never ever forget the terror I felt when I my muscles would not respond to the commands I was giving them.

Comment: Does it have a "strict compliance" compiler flag? (Score 2) 192

It is all right and great for Microsoft to support all these additional devices. But does it have a "strict compliance" mode where it supports the features exactly to spec, and no "new, exciting and enhanced features" in it.

In Windows world, they could add non standard features to the software and support it in the OS making a mockery of standard compliance, lock the developers into their platforms, and force the cost of working with/around the "de factor" standard. It would not be as easy to do in Android and Linux, since they are not under Microsoft's control. But since Android and Linux are open source, they might try to pull a fast one and come up with "extended" linux/android, and probably try to pay other vendors to use it. But I don't think it would as easy to kill the standards as it used to be.

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"

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