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Comment To track or not to... (Score 1) 394

A few days back I was driving from Baltimore to the border of New Jersey and New York...a lot of Pennsylvania with Trump and Gary Johnson signs to cross.

On way back I stopped for gas. It was a rural Pennsylvania gas station on US-30. The only purchase I did the whole day was a pint of chocolate milk from the gas station. A brand I had not heard before, local to Pennsylvania. I paid cash $1.13.

Today I am seeing a "suggested post" on Facebook - organic milk of the same brand!

I don't use Facebook on phone. My phone has no data plan.

But Facebook found out I bought chocolate milk!

They know a purchase of chocolate milk from the gas station as the cashier had to scan the item. From the cellphone tower records (a T-Mobile prepaid connection) they narrowed down the choice. I was in the area when the purchase was made.

T-Mobile would have saved the pre-paid account activation IP, which Facebook knows too which I use to browse. They know the SIM was at the gas station.

The moral of the story...they are going to track and infiltrate whether you use cash or coins!

Comment Hindus in US... (Score 4, Informative) 539

Hindus come out on top, as they have for some time now: evidence that the more gods you believe in, the more successful you are in life.

A majority of Hindus in US will the upper caste (start from Brahmins) upper class who had the advantages of traveling to US for study (or work) and settled down. They are generically called "caste Hindus", they would be materially wealthy whether in US or India.

The right wing Hindu movement (not all of them are bat-shit evil, though quite ignorant) has a lot of support from US, so when the Indian PM Modi shows up at Madison Square Garden, he gets a full house.

In India, they assert their power forcing down vegetarianism (this is a complex issue, which can be argued on moral, ethical and functional terms, here is a primer, the usual fear of minorities, which includes Christians, lower caste Hindu's themselves, and other standard issue conservative and regressive ideals.

In USA, they will be seen as archaic with the next generation and the current Millenials, who had the fortune to study in secular American schools which promote some version of tolerance and humanism, which is closer to the core tenets of Hinduism in its truest essence...Tat Tvam Asi.

Comment Re: Completely wrong.... (Score 1) 618

Wow...classic FUD.

I am an Indian. I have no idea what you are talking about.

You can get a degree in India in one year, and if your parents are well connected you don't have to attend classes - just the threat of losing your job is enough to make teachers give us pass.

Do you think the above is a common occurrence in India (or anywhere else in the world) or some one off event?

The rest of your assertions is also utter nonsense. Are you Donald Trump by any chance?

What the university did is stupid! But your hypothesis is worse than stupid, its bordering on xenophobic fear mongering.

Comment Re:I hope they do a better job than with Android (Score 1) 146

They gave way too much power to developers, so now Android may be an extremely flexible and powerful mobile OS, but it also requires every user to act as a sysadmin, constantly monitoring resources, manually killing apps, etc etc. Battery life is abysmal, and malware is ripe in the android ecosystem. And that's on top of the myriad landfill android devices which are so breathtakingly shotty that they arn't even fit for purposes as simple as a basic e-reader.

An open OS / image will be used by people/organizations to their liking or preferences. This will include everything you mentioned, including the fact that the low entry barriers make the ecosystem affordable to all and sundry.

When I am in Mumbai, the guy who owns vegetable shop uses a slightly advanced Samsung Note, and the youngsters manning the counters use a cheap entry level Android. Both play videos, and allows most common apps. In other words, they are using the same software, and that's what matters. This is a revolution of unimaginable magnitude. The entry levels Androids - the $30 to $50 versions - are the first communication device for most of its customers.

The attitude Google showed towards Android is the reason smartphones became a commodity, as ubiquitous as the older feature-phone Nokia's. This is by large a positive development for society.

Comment Re:Talent can be situational (Score 1) 130

I've seen no evidence to support that thesis. Do you have information not available to the rest of us?

Half of the success is showing up, and she seems to be very good in that. She's talented to put up a show, may be like The Donald. There is no evidence of any particular skill other than the aura she projected which apparently fooled even people like you.

There is not a single good decision I can think of she took when she was at Yahoo. What Yahoo needed was surgery and re-invention, a surgery which might have even killed the company. Instead what she gave was band-aid and placebo.

Comment Ms Mayer made a miscalculation... (Score 1, Funny) 130

Yahoo also acknowledged that Tumblr â" its biggest acquisition under its current chief executive, Marissa Mayer â" was now worth only one-third of the $1.1 billion that Yahoo paid for it in 2013.

30% of $1 billion is $300 million! Tumblr is worth $300 million!! Indeed a revelation!!!

Ms Mayer made a miscalculation. If she was patient and not going into Yahoo, she had a chance to become the first woman CEO of Microsoft. Her competition Nadella is the poster child of mediocrity and she would have wiped the floor during CEO search.

Imagine the damage and the headlines she would have created if she played with M$. Yahoo is too small for someone of her talent.

Comment Re:TRANSLATION (Score 4, Interesting) 360

I am your Indian software developer.

If a developer is not capable, its for the organization to do something about it. If the organization/enterprise prefers a developer because he/she charges less though he/she is incompetent, then blame the organization, not the worker.

Also, most of the enterprise software work - for that matter most of web application development, including Android - needs someone who can understand the process and connect the dots. Genuinely good and imaginative programmers will be bored out of their wits in no time.

It seems you are mediocre yourself.

Comment Your question misses the point... (Score 1) 274

Do you want to live a life of fun, good food, fun entertainment and hot beverages, then die at 70, or do you want to live a life of measuring everything daily in a state of panic that you might get cancer and then die at 74 - that is, if you don't accidentally walk in front of a bus when you're 40?

Do the fun, good food, entertainment, hot/cold beverages and all that stuff you may die at 70. Agreed.

But how will you die? You will probably die of some medical complication attributed to your lifestyle choices which makes such a hit on your quality of life that death is probably a better option.

Comment FB did everything wrong... (Score 2) 32

Maybe the Free Interweb idea had its merits, but FB and their advertisement / PR goons went about publicizing the worst way possible...the ads showed poor people beaming with joy as if internet access is going to eradicate hunger, poverty and other social ills. This was the 21st century version of "fairness cream" advertisement.

What FB should have was test the service in selected areas, or may be one or two circles before planning a pan-Indian roll out.

Also, I doubt if the feature phones used by a majority of poor / lower income strata citizens (including some of the tech agnostic well off crowd) will have any meaningful browsing experience.

Comment Does he make sense? (Score 1) 172

Hossein Derakhshan's became a political prisoner for voicing his opinion.

Countries like China, Saudi and Iran leads when it comes to imprisoning you for voicing an anti-establishment opinion, or highlighting their idiocies. In India you will be trolled, and sometimes authorities (or their tools) may take you to court. I guess its a mix of everything if you are in Russia...including executions.

That said, I don't think his complaint is very valid. Let me quote him...

Blogs were gold and bloggers were rock stars back in 2008 when I was arrested. At that point, and despite the fact the state was blocking access to my blog from inside Iran, I had an audience of around 20,000 people every day. People used to carefully read my posts and leave lots of relevant comments, even those who hated my guts. I could empower or embarrass anyone I wanted. I felt like a monarch.

He is upset he is not getting 20000 people every day. The original audience he will have to rebuild and it will take time (whether on Facebook / blog.) Once he does that and if his audience finds him relevant - this is the tricky part - the quality and quantity of comments will increase.

Will he be censored on Facebook? The answer lies in the arrangement Facebook has with Iranian "Ministry of Truth and Harmony".

Comment Gates Foundation and Indian Television (Score 4, Interesting) 156

Last week I was at a post production studio in Mumbai. The editor was working on an Indian Hindi TV series - MAIN KUCH BHI KAR SAKTHI HOON (I Can Do Anything.)
The show is set in rural India, follows the usual Hindi or Indian cinema/television melodramatic hyperventilating style. Here is the beef...rather than inane plots on good versus evil, bad mother in laws and familiar Indian TV soap tropes, this show had female protagonists who were bucking the system and bringing out change in the society.
The familiar style they used made sure a majority of the audience will feel comfortable.
Gates Foundation was one of the Producers. This is thinking out of the need a bit of 'good old propaganda' to support you when you go to rural communities to change their perception on unhealthy practices.

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