December 13, 2008


Together their IQ stands at 100

Some 300-odd real estate brokers from Surat have decided not to do any business transactions with Muslims. They cite local support for Mumbai terror operation as their reason.

Here is a suggestion for them. Please get the list of all criminals (murderers, rapists, robbers, extortionists, smugglers, drug-dealers, etc.) from the city police headquarters. Never mind if this list contains names of public office bearers. Sort these unwanted elements of society by their religion. Don't act shocked if your religion figures in that list. Now issue the statement that you will not do any business with anyone from these religions as members of their clan have been involved in heinous crimes.

Do these guys even have some grey cells of rational thinking?

December 07, 2008


Data card tariff comparison

In a TV commercial of Reliance Netconnect, they position the USB modem as the SIM card of laptop. The ad is unimaginative, but the essence is if you have laptop, you are going to need the data card. I have tried connecting through my phone, but it simply doesn't work.

I am an user of Reliance NetConnect for almost an year. I can't really say a happy user as I would say about their mobile phone service. It merely addresses the need of the hour like sending mails. No heavy downloads and watching YouTube is blasphemy.

We have subscribed to 1 GB plan, which costs Rs 730 per month (inclusive of taxes.) I recently came across plans of Idea Cellular which are much cheaper. That made me think about state of other operators. So, here is the comparison of plans from various operators. The quality of the service/bandwidth may not differ much from one telco to another. So, price seems to be the only decider.

Telco 512 MB/Month 1GB/month Unlimited Data Card Price
Airtel 350 599 999 2999
BSNL - - 550 2800
Idea 299 399 849 2490
Reliance - 650 1500 2490
Vodafone 499 699 - 2999
Tata Indicom 500 650 1099

Verdict: Idea is the clear winner by wide margin. If you are buying a new connection, the decision is obvious.

Unfortunately, you can't switch the operators once you have bought the device. So, the only hope for existing users is to wait for their service provider to become competitive some day.

I had written to Reliance about the offering from Idea and told them how their service is far more expensive. In reply they sent me a long templatized mail describing the advantages of USB data card and one single line saying they are looking into it. So much for "customer care."


December 06, 2008


I am on twitter

OK. I finally throw in the towel. After resisting for almost two years, I am on twitter - @kshashi. All thanks to Navin, (@ngkabra). Navin talked about Twitter at last week's Pune Bar Camp. His presentation titled "Why you should use Twitter" is embedded below.



Google Trends : Curious inconsistency

Google trends for websites is a good service if you wish to look for traffic estimate of a website. Interesting part is you can see traffic to a site from various geographies.

I observed some curious behaviour of the service.

Here is chart for's traffic from all over the world.

Here is chart for's traffic from India.

While traffic from India hovers between 2M to 3M visitors a day, for the world, the same number is closer to 1.4M. The traffic for the world needs to be at least as high as that from India. How can it possibly be lower?

The traffic stats for Wikipedia look consistent, though - 3M from US & Japan, 1M from India and so on.

Beats my tiny brain!


December 05, 2008


Few Questions

The Home Ministers at Central & State govt and CM have resigned taking "moral responsibility" of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai few days back. During last 5 years of UPA rule, India has become a playground for terrorists. In all these attacks, from North-East to Gujarat and from Kashmir to Bangalore, the number of casualties varied from less than 10 to more than 200 in the latest attack. But, the ministers resigned only after the recent incident. Few questions cross my mind. I am trying to find out the special thing about Mumbai attacks that the ministers have resigned for.

Is it based on the count of fatalities in an attack? Should it be 10, 20, 200? Why not 1?

Is it based on the count of fatalities in terror attacks till the date? (More than 700 have died in 20 major attacks during tenure of this govt.)

Is it because the attacks were targeted at places where the powers-that-be often visit? Surely they don't travel in local trains.

Is it because the innocent victims include foreign nationals?

Is it because the attacks grabbed headlines across the world?

Is it because the event was televised live across the world?

Is it because the leaders of World's Superpower have spoken about an incident in faraway country?

Few more questions.

How gruesome should the attacks be for President of the country to cut short her trip and return? Clearly, this one is not serious enough that President kept touring the South-East Asia during crisis.

Is the death of innocent due to terrorism any different from the death arising due to sheer negligence?

With 60 hours of non-stop coverage on media, why is the information content so less? On one of the evening during crisis, a TV editor held a group discussion with 6 people from different parts of the world and asked them a single question - "Where does this lead to?"

Why do people think that they are an expert, or at least more competent than the authorities, on India's security problems and offer solutions? Or is it the case that anger and rage have adverse impact on rational thinking?

Why do we call it "India's 9/11", when the termite of terrorism has infested the country since two decades?

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