Skip to main content

Why I Support Digital India on Facebook

Supporting a cause on Facebook is the way to go, unless of course, the cause is endorsed by the Prime Minister of India, in which case, either you are an angel or a devil, depending on your political leanings.

Recently, the Prime Minister met Mark Zuckerberg, and asked people to change their profile pictures to be overlaid with a tricolour and a network representing digital connectivity. As you can probably tell from my Facebook profile page, I changed my picture.

Then stuff hit the fan. Apparently, buried in the code was a reference to , a contentious business venture by Facebook to provide ‘free’ internet to poor people in India. Apparently, what Facebook wants to do is provide Facebook for free, which allows Facebook to tap into a demographic that has since eluded it, and which will also prevent competitors from opening up shop in India – we won't have our own Renren.

Now, I support net neutrality, but I don't think that is about net neutrality. A big company wants to provide a service for free, do these commies want the big bad capitalists to provide everyone internet for free?

Of course, Facebook has clarified that the reference was a programming error.

The most recent criticism levelled at us who support the Digital India campaign is that we have no idea about how this idea will be implemented. To such criticism, my response is this – I support the cause of Digital India. The implementation details will be messy, with no right answer. The first step is realising that we need to make India connected and digital, just as we realised at some point that we wanted to be free from British oppression. Would the same people have criticised the Indian National Congress or other champions of our freedom movement for not having an idea about how the freedom would be achieved?

I believe that computers and software have a great potential to make our lives better, but we need to use them the right way. Some steps are already underway. I filed my taxes this year entirely on my computer. I can see the government at work in real time, online. These are good steps in the right direction, hence my support. I don't want to hook up with someone by swiping right. That is a digital India I won't rush to support.

Popular posts from this blog

Progressive Snapshot: Is it worth it?

I turned 25 last year, which in the highly mathematical and calculating eyes of the US insurance industry meant that I had suddenly matured into a much more responsible driver than I was at 24 years and 364 days of age. As a result, I expected my insurance rates to go down. Imagine my surprise when my insurance renewal notice from GEICO actually quoted a $50 increase in my insurance rates. To me, this was a clear signal that it was time to switch companies.Typically, I score really high on brand loyalty. I tend to stick with a brand for as long as possible, unless they really mess up. This qualified as a major mess up. As a result, I started shopping for insurance quotes.Two companies that quoted me significantly lower rates (30%–40% lower) were Progressive and Allstate. Both had an optional programme that could give me further discounts based on my consenting to the companies tracking my driving habits. Now, I am a careful driver – I hardly ever accelerate hard. I hate using the brak…

Build those noise cancelling headphones

So, here's another DIYLet me start by putting the cart before the horse. I shall start with the credits. This project was done while I was working on my Electronics Design Lab, along with my friends, Srujan M and Indrasen Bhattacharya. The work would not have been possible without the generous help received from the staff at Wadhwani Electronics Laboratory, who ensured that the only thing we did right was to leave the lab on time. This project would also not have been possible without the guidance of our dear and learned professors. It would probably have just about become additional dead weight on the head.Enough with the credits, now, I need to dive right into noise cancellation and how it works.The essence of sound is a pressure wave. The pressure wave, when incident on the eardrum sets into motion the complex mechanisms inside the ear, and after a long path, rather like the Cog advertisement, ends up making some nerves vibrate. The nerves send electrical signals to the brain, …

Reading List, December 2017

Brian Merchant, How email open tracking quietly took over the world, in Wired, 11 December 2017. [Online]: is no longer a secret that every website you visit silently tracks you in an effort to maximise ad revenue. What is less known is that emails also track you, through the use of tracking pixels and redirect links. These techniques were used by spammers and legitimate companies alike when creating newsletters or other mass email, in order to figure out their reach. What’s happening now is that private people are also using these techniques in order to create invisible and intrusive read receipts for email, which is incredibly frustrating from a privacy point of view.My solution to the tracking woes? I only open the plain-text component of email, which gets rid of tracking pixels entirely. Redirect links are harder to beat, and I don’t have a good solution for this.Dan Luu, Computer latency 1977–2017. D…