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Showing posts from January, 2012

It's Republic Day!

The Republic of India has given us a lot to cherish. The constitution gives us freedom of speech, expression, assembly, freedom to move and settle in any part of India, and rights to equality, life and religion.I am grateful to be born in a country where democratic rule has prevailed.I may speak my mind out and not be afraid of being charged with blasphemy.Our country does not censor the internet.Our country has over two thousand ethnic groups with people belonging to almost every major religion, living peacefully in a society with traditions over five thousand years old.Our country has pioneered the Non Aligned Movement.Our country gives us a safe home, a place where we may stay and work without fear.Our country has prevailed.Republic Day is the day that we should be glad of being Indian. Let the national flag fly high all over the country. Let us make a vow to protect and preserve our motherland.A happy Republic Day to all.


This was the subject of an email I received from someone I know. The message asked for my review of the Aakash tablet, a low cost tablet which the Indian government in promoting. I replied with a verdict: uninspiring.My reasons were thus: The processor was pathetic; I cannot expect an ARM running at 366 MHz to provide any reliable computing. My mobile phone runs Android 2.3, and has a 600 MHz processor. Yet, I find it sluggish. To compound the problem is just 256 MB of RAM. I really cannot expect any performance from this tablet. Pathetic configuration is the first thing that ruins a computing experience.Further, the tablet has no 3G or GPRS, only WiFi (This is set to change in the next release of the tablet, with a better processor and Android 2.3 and GPRS connectivity, but still, I really cannot understand the point of including WiFi over 3G. After all, how many people who are the target audience of the government possess access to WiFi. If they did, why would they buy Aakash over a…

Die Facebook Trolls

\begin{rant}Sometimes, I wonder about the trolls that exist in the world. Earlier, this species would be found forwarding email which was grossly incorrect, or just plain stupid. The categories of these emails used to be one of the below
A picture/s of cats or some similar irrelevant objectEmail humour, jokes, comicsSome grossly incorrect story/information about a public figure, public project or some god-damn thing in public lifeEmails with a forward this or Jesus will disembowel you messageEmails with a picture of a dying child with a promise to donate 3 cents for every forward of the email.... (build this list further)I used to wonder, "Can anyone be as dumb as to fall in for such stuff?" This was almost always followed with a sigh and a don't they have anything better to do in their lives kind of thought.Recently, these emails have stopped, thank god! But wait! Such trolls have taken to Facebook now.It starts with invitation to Mafia Wars, Crazy Taxi, Farmville, Shitv…

Speculative currency trading

Ever since I started understanding the little economics that I do know, I wondered whether it was possible to make money using currency (to be precise, speculative trading in currency). Currency changers have long been making money trading in currency, using different rates for buying and selling.No, this post is about making money in the time dimension: Is it possible to make money by utilizing the fluctuations in the exchange rates? Ideally, the answer would be that it is impractical, that better returns shall be obtained with other investments. However, the roller coaster ride of the rupee vs the dollar has got me thinking about this again.The rupee was at around 45 rupees to the dollar until at least August or September 2011. Now it is at around 53 rupees to the dollar as I write this article in January 2012. Which means that in a span of around 4-5 months, the rupee has been devalued by around 7 rupees to the dollar. Let us assume that I purchased a lot of dollars in August, say …