Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts

Monday, August 17, 2020

Monday, January 2, 2017

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why you should not support Free Basics

11:35:00 PM

Lately I see people who supported Net Neutrality, supporting Free Basics because they are misinformed. Let us see what is Free Basics in context of the physical world

Arjun is in a city with 10 to 20 malls and around 500 to 600 small retail shops, where he can buy all his stuff from groceries to apparels. He regularly fuels his car and drives down to whichever outlet he wishes to buy from - This is today's internet

One day Big Brother says "Arjun, If you buy from shop A, you will get free pickup-drop, thereby saving on the fuel costs and on top of it, you will also get discounts in our shops. You can go how many ever times you want and avail the services"

"Wow, that's a steal! This shop isn't near my place however I can travel for free and also get discounts" thinks Arjun and he signs up

He goes there every week and is quite happy with the free services & discounts. Within a year, he observes more and more people are signing up for this wonderful program

Two years have passed and Arjun realises that the discounts on products have stopped and he gets to buy only specific brands; if he wants a different brand, he would have to pick it up from outside and when he ventures out, it dawns on him that most of the shops which existed earlier are closed because customers had stopped visiting them

So in short, although the program initially seemed great, it killed competition and created a monopoly with no choices for Customers

This is what FreeBasics is in the Internet World

Free Basics is where Facebook and Telecom Operators will tie-up with large companies and allow their mobile apps and internet sites to be made available for free to the user with zero internet charges, which would mean users would stop visiting other sites; eventually running them to the ground

The only reason these companies are ready to invest billions of dollars is to increase market share and to obliterate competition - In its current form, Free Basics is the opposite of Net Neutrality

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Can Technology help in preventing road accidents?

11:10:00 PM

Last week I had met with a minor accident. A two wheeler had crossed the road where it shouldn't and I was going faster than I should have. Luckily with only minor injuries, we both parted ways

In India, the statistics shows 11 Lakh people have been killed and 48 Lakh people have been injured between 2002 to 2011 in road accidents. The graph shows the rising year on year trend of the reported accidents



We need to understand why road accidents occur in order to prevent it. Broadly, it could be due to lack of training, lack of skills, negligence, road engineering issues, etc

So far, we have tried to prevent it through deterrents such laws, policing, increasing fines, etc. As the above data shows, we cannot solely depend on just deterrents

In all these accidents, there is a human error which caused the accident irrespective of the cause - the cause could be bad roads, road engineering issues, misjudgement; however ultimately a human judged incorrectly and lost control

If we can remove the human factor in driving, then we would have a more predictable and safe journey. Imagine the day when your car will be connected to a central GPS traffic navigator which controls and routes not only your vehicle but also other vehicles including the traffic signals

All you need to do is enter the destination, preferred route, preferred time of arrival and sit back & relax. Your car will navigate and take you safely to your destination. In fact this way, you are more likely to be able to predict and maintain your travel time

Though not exactly on the same lines, Google has been experimenting with driverless car in US

I am therefore expecting a day when driving is going to be illegal; if you are a driving enthusiast, you would have special driving tracks to enjoy your hobby!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why Apple could lose its earliest iPhone loyalists

12:36:00 AM

Few years back when I bought my iPhone 4, I loved it for its ease of use, intuitive gestures and loads of Apps. It almost replaced my need to log-on to a computer. You could e-mail, send attachment, tweet, Facebook, all this with a very touch responsive screen

Earlier to this, I was using an HTC Windows 6.0 mobile OS. The difference between Windows & iOS was phenomenal. No other manufacturer or OS came close to the experience iPhone gave its users. I loved the experience so much that I couldn't imagine using any other 'clunky' phone. The attention to detail and the thoughtfulness embedded into iOS was awesome. I became an evangelist for Apple. I explained what people missed and some followed suite in buying an iPhone

With time, Google's focus on mobile increased; more and more of Google Apps were developed. It dawned on me that while I loved my iPhone, I strangely wasn't using any of Apple's Apps! My frequently used apps were Facebook, Twitter, Smartrun, Google, Google Plus, Google Maps (Extensively), Google Drive, Google Docs, Blogger!

As a user I was happy since iPhone & iOS integration was great and Google was filling my needs. I was a happy man

In the latter half of 2011, Apple launched iPhone 4S. They had improved the processor and added Siri. I was happy, I wasn't losing anything much - Nothing to motivate me to upgrade

In the latter half of 2012, Apple launched iPhone 5, well yes, a slightly longer display (one more row addition, huh!) & a better processor but my phone too was running the exact same software (iOS 6). I get almost everything what an iPhone 5 user was getting. Am I crazy to spend half a lakh on a new iPhone - Duh... NO, especially since we do not have contracts, unlike the US

Then came iOS 7, the much awaited new look, along with iPhone 5S. Should the upgrade be done now? I didn't think so, coz I still get to download iOS 7 and the cost is now three forth of a lakh! So I update to iOS 7, happy to see the new features, not so happy with the new look, but still satisfied because hey its an iPhone!

After iOS7, I start feeling the pinch, my iPhone has become less responsive & slow. Most of the recommended tweaks on the internet would make my "Smartphone" into a "Dumbphone"!

Now I start thinking, should I upgrade? Is there anything to motivate me to do so... buying a 5s is going to make me feel the same as my iPhone 4 - I've known the OS in & out - there is no newness or refreshing factor, the only difference that I would feel would be in my pocket

So I started looking around and stumbled on Nexus 5. The reason iPhone is great is due to the hardware and software integration and here was a phone from Google, made solely for Google Android by LG. No thick layers of customization from Samsung or HTC or LG, further my predominant usage is Google Apps suite and to top it the price is one-third of iPhone 5S!

I am not the only one switching from iOS to Android, many others are too. If Apple needs to keep their existing "older Customers", they would need to innovate rather than just do spec upgrades or lower their prices. The decision to move out of the ecosystem is easier now because unlike a few years back, there are other players who are equally good, if not better than Apple

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Food For Thought: Know your future!!!

12:07:00 AM

Do you see the stars twinkling in the night? Did you know, what you see 'right now' is not what is actually happening up there i.e. in reality the star that you see now, may actually have blown up and you must be seeing past! Why is that?

This is because of the speed of light. Light travel at 3 x 10^8 m/sec. The star that you see now, maybe many light years away... Light years is the distance that light travels in one year in vacuum. There are over 100 stars within 20 light years from the Earth.

Can we travel faster than light? As on date, the answer is NO according to Einsten's equation E = mC^2 i.e. in common man's language, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light and so far it stands proven

Now what's that got to do with future? Take the above example of a star... now it is proven scientifically that because of the distance of the star and the time lag taken for us to see the star (light); we are seeing today, the state of the star that was millions of years back; So in fact we are seeing a past event and assuming it is the present state

Now suppose you have a medium through which you can accelerate light 2x times, what happens? As you observe the star through the medium, you find the state of the star, 2x years ahead of the state that you will observe when you look through your naked eye; so here you are in the same place but by just looking through a medium, you can tell a friend of yours who is looking through the naked eye that, in another 2x years he will observe the star disappearing! Did you predict the future? Apparently not, you still are in the past but relatively closer to the present than your friend!!!

Take this corollary in our day today life. Our human mind is tuned for adaptability, if you keep doing something regularly or are conditioned to think in a particular way, the human mind tends to adapt to the change and consider it as normal. Why is this important?

Lets say, you use this medium and observe our world through this, what do you expect to see? Since what we see is only a reflection of the light reflecting from the object, in the real sense, what you see in the normal world has actually happened but our mind is conditioned to interpret this 'delayed sight' and respond appropriately. So if we speed up the light between you and the world, you may actually see things much much earlier than the other people who are not using the medium

Voila, what does this mean? It simply means you can tell the 'future' to the rest of the world, as you can view it through the medium!!!
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