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Comment Very good news... (Score 1) 4

Now, NOVARTIS will start making generics.

Generic drugs made by third parties are sorely needed by non G8 nations across the world. Indian companies are the leaders in making generics....like Chinese companies are the leaders in making electronics / hardware. The argument of multinationals pharma companies like NOVARTIS claims the high cost of R & D for inventing new drugs for keeping up the high price. This has been debunked by the report on TIME (and many other sources) which proved the same drug or treatments costs vary highly depending on who pays. And such costs are amortized from G8 nations itself. Also none of these companies are making any losses in their balance sheet whatsoever...what they demand is permanent 'rent seeking'.

There is no way any Indian - except for the 2-3% of the elite - can afford a $2600 ~ Rs 130000 / - cost for a month long treatment. This is a country with no health social safety net other than public medical colleges and affordable primary health care facilities and medicines. (Private Health Insurance is a new phenomenon, slowly catching on, the advantages and disadvantages we know...we have to look at USA.)

The only argument which can be made against Indian generics - "if you can't afford the drug, why don't you suffer the consequences". I guess even the most hard nosed penny pinching corporate drone is not THAT heartless.

Instead of fighting the generic manufacturers, NOVARTIS should create their own special generic versions and beat them on a price point. But the suits running the show looked at some powerpoint and decided, lets first fight, if we lose start making generics.

Submission + - India dismisses plea of Novartis for patent of cancer drug (indiatimes.com) 4

An anonymous reader writes: The Indian Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the plea of Swiss pharma giant Novartis AG for getting its blood cancer drug Glivec patented in India.The court rejected the claims of Swiss pharma giant and said the patents would be granted only for genuine inventions. This paves the way for Indian companies to manufacture generic drugs for cancer and make it available for rest of the developing world as well.

Comment Zombie Yahoo (Score 1) 88

Yahoo is seriously dead.

They were murdered by an ex Hollywood hack they hired as the CEO - Terry Semel - who probably knew how to massage egos of Hollywood actors but had no idea on science, internet, technology and so on. Remember Yahoo buying broadcast.com - I still don't know what was broadcast.com - other than the fact it was a nice URL. Mark Cuban and a lot of people who brokered the deal got rich by sales commission from Cuban - that's all.

Jerry Yang and David Filo are no Sergey Brin and Larry Page. They are not even a Zuckerberg.

No one can turn around Yahoo. It is like trying to rejuvenate Blockbuster in the Netflix age. Marissa Mayer made a serious error in judgement by signing on to be the CEO of a dead duck. If she does not think of an exit strategy she will be the next version of Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina - seriously boneheaded chief executives whose only qualities are they are excellent in PR and networking (not 'computer networking', they won't know a CAT5 from Pussy Cat.)

Comment Nokia and HTC should merge... (Score 0) 180

Both Nokia and HTC are under serious threat from their competitors. They can survive if they merge. The resulting hybrid can put out the Windoze phones - which no one buys right now - and Androids which can be a credible alternative to Samsung.

Plus they should stop patent cases...the issue with the patent trolling / litigation is not the cost of lawyers, it is the shift of focus of upper / senior management / C Level from innovation and better products to courtrooms. We all have - including the evil and socio-path chief executives - only 24 hours a day.

The recent troubles of Apple (to an extent) can be attributed to Steve Jobs shift of focus from 'better rounded corners' to 'lawyers defending rounded corners'. Its a pity Jobs died before he could experience his idiocy first hand...all we have is the great beautiful multimillion dollar Philip Starck yatch and lawyers defending rounded corners. Tim Cook is an unlucky bugger...he is sloshing in the poop Jobs left behind as his legacy.

Comment Da Big Bang... (Score 1, Funny) 245

Big Bang is only a theory. As far as I know it is the theory with the most number of followers so it is assumed to be truer than others.

I have a feeling the Deterministic school of thought which governs science is failing to answer the big questions. I am not saying the alternates available - religion and other other super natural stuff - is better, but we need a third model.

And until a new model is found, lets collectively gasp at da big bang!!!

Comment Re: The difference between science and religion (Score 4, Insightful) 245

This is nonsense. I live in a country with all the issues of sanitation you can imagine - India.

It is not practically possible to dig a hole and bury your waste in urban environments anywhere in the world. Even in rural environments there are severe limitations.

There are good lessons and moral / ethical fables in Bible and other religious texts, but it is hopelessly outdated.

Comment Ballmer, Whitman, Fiorina, Elop and every oil... (Score 0) 121

Ballmer, Whitman, Fiorina, Elop for obvious reasons and every single oil company CEO and Director Board for pursuing some of the most short sighted and disastrous policies and ideas which will really hurt this planet in the long run.

The guy who ran BP should be handed over to Taliban. The same with the guy who runs Foxconn and Walmart if they don't change their offshoring, outsourcing and labor policies.

The Zynga / Facebook crowd does not deserve a mention, they made mistakes, they are yet to create a disaster.

Comment Long time convert... (Score 1) 465

I am a convert to E Books from 2005 onwards - starting with a primitive Sony E Reader (by the way Sony still makes good E Readers - the software was coded by Monkeys though.)

I use a Nook and an iPAD. The former for books - classics, non fiction, fiction and all that, the latter for magazines - mostly The New Yorker, comics etc.

This is an incredible age...I have on my fingertips, anywhere in the world any book or any magazine as long as I have an internet connection. No printed dead tree book idea / shelves / stores can come close. The only paper book I bought in the recent past was a paperback edition of Roberto Bolano's 2666 (arguably the first classic in 21st century) for a lovely friend who is dead against any E Reader.

Yes, people will buy printed books...but they will go the way of DVDs. Someone somewhere will come with a solution for a "digital shelf" in the living room...where all the books and magazines are displayed and anyone can borrow / read through their device (or borrow a device itself.) For this to happen, a lot of interoperability and standardization needs to happen and a few of the "walled gardens" should go the way of Berlin Wall.

Comment Cost vs Value... (Score 4, Insightful) 716

There are two issues - 'value of college' and 'cost of college'.

As many other posters have eloquently put, the value of college for most of us is priceless. Very few of us have the entrepreneurial spirit. For every successful entrepreneur or 'self made millionaire', there are thousands who did not make the cut. In a winner takes all society, we forget the majority and we focus on the minority and aspire to be a part of that rarefied circle. This is at best wishful thinking, and at worst will have disastrous consequences to ones morale, prospects, motivation and energy. This is what the guy who says "in Silicon Valley, being a drop out is a badge of honour" fails to notice.

The actual issue is 'cost of college'. There is no reason - absolutely no reason - for a four year degree to cost more than $20 or $30K without scholarship or stipends. The classic American aphorism "follow the money" should be applied to find out "why college costs a bomb"? You will end up in the door steps of American government, lending agencies, universities becoming a profit centre and other vested interests.

Americans should fight "cost of college education", not "value of college education".

Comment Overestimation... (Score 5, Informative) 398

Only about 20% of the Indian population is of anywhere near middle class status.

The situation varies from state to state - in my state Kerala you can conclude 70% is middle class and Kerala population is on a long term decline (like Japan), health and development indexes are comparable to European nations etc.

The situation is the opposite in rural Bihar and other big northern states.

But the 20% officially middle class is a huge number - little less than the population of United States. Still if marketers and consultants conclude they are going to buy plastic crap from China in huge numbers they will be disappointed.

Western corporations regularly make an entry to India. The first mistake they make - overprice their products and Indian competition kills them on a price point. The second mistake they make is in overestimating the consumption patterns and excess inventory gets piled up - example: original Reebok and NIke shoes end up sold on the footpath.

But I have a fascination for the management and MBAs running these organizations. They are so clueless the errors they make are laughably stupid. Compared to them George Bush was a genius.

Comment Good idea... (Score 1) 101

I hope the "ban" stays.

The filthy POS bastards aka marketers were such a nuisance. The DND (Do Not Dial registry) never worked well...so "ban" is the way to go.

About the exodus...it is a minor event, in a country of 100 billion there is an exodus or pockets of violence almost every day. Indian Railway (South Western Railway to be precise) will beat the market...quarterly revenue will be excellent. Few nameless Railway babu's will get better bonuses. Their wives are going to buy costly and gaudy sarees.

Whoever else who made money spread the rumors which started the shebang.

Comment Re:the moral to the story (Score 4, Insightful) 923

Having sex in Sweden can get complicated

Yes, but the moral of the story is "mistakes destroy you, whether Assange or United States of America."

Generally we wonder "how can such an evil (corporation | government | politician | dictator) survive". They survive and do well only until they make a mistake. Being evil and survival has no connection. Luckily the evil are prone to make mistakes...so the world more or less works.

Assange made a mistake...he should have controlled his emotions. If he is innocent he might have fallen for a honey trap - a classic n00b mistake. If he is not innocent he made a bloody epic mistake.

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