* Posts by pradeepvasudev

29 posts • joined 15 Feb 2016

India flies Mach 6 scramjet for 20 whole seconds

pradeepvasudev

The people of India will figure things out for themselves, we will deal with our problems, so kindly stop advising us on what our priorities should be.

We are not blaming Westerns for our issues, but really, telling us that we need to spend money on something that YOU think is high priority, as this whole discussion has been, is just sad.

pradeepvasudev

I remember this line that Lee Kwan Yew had about Western journalists coming to Asia and gaining deep insights into the issues of thousand year old civilizations and knowing the solutions, all within 3 weeks of landing up.

Same thing with all these expats - albatrosses all of them - fly in, shit all over the place, and fly away.

pradeepvasudev

Re: Most dangerous for women

When you are facing the constant threat of war from Ireland and France, then I'd like to see you talk about wasting money on defense.

India faces serious threats from both China and Pakistan and still spends less than 2.5% of its gdp on defense.

pradeepvasudev

Think about this: why does every corrupt dictator, businessman, oligarch run to the UK whenever he is in trouble. Indians have been fighting to get back Vijay mallya, nirav modi and a dozen others since half a decade even though India has a treaty with UK.

The UK is the decadent bolt hole of every slime bag in the world because they know that the system has been designed to protect them.

Reality: the average Brit has been fed this story about UK being a haven for freedom and rule of law, but in reality, the edge cases of the law have been designed to protect the corrupt from all over the world, as long as they can pay for it.

As nations like India become more and more powerful, they will continue to lose respect for the UK, because they see what's going on, but they can't do much about it for now. Eventually when they can change things around, the UK will also lose its soft power, its influence and it will become just a chilly backwater on the edge of Europe.

pradeepvasudev

Re: Amazing.

https://dfidnews.blog.gov.uk/2018/12/27/uk-aid-to-india-uk-no-longer-gives-any-money-to-indian-government/

It took India 70 years to undo 150 years of British depradation but we are good to go now, thank you. So from now on please blame your sucky non existent program on your own inefficiency.

Forget Fortnite and FIFA: India wants to develop games based on local legends

pradeepvasudev

Re: "What is the problem in doing Hindu first politics?"

The reason why Indians voted for Modi again and again (full disclosure: I did not), is because they believed, justifiably IMO, that certain groups were being privileged and he promised that such would not be the case any more. The groups, contrary to popular belief, were not all Muslims, even the most rabid Hindu knows that Muslims were treated like a 'vote-bank' and fared worse in real terms than many other communities. The privileged groups were:

- the 'intelligensia' - the elite, western focused, english educated, secular*, movers and fixers who dictated the conversation and referred to the 'idea of India' without ever pulling into the conversation the average Indian. (Secular in the western sense. In India, a land where belief in divinity is woven into the very fabric of the civilisation, secular meant respect for belief in the divinity of the universe around us.) When these folks decided to disempower the Indians by shutting them up, redefining secular in Western terms and then decided to talk down to the average Hindu for their beliefs, the result was pushback.

- the conservative Muslims- who thought it was OK to push for ideas like Sharia law, Islamic banking, uncontrolled use of loudspeakers and public spaces for prayers, single sitting divorce without assistance to the woman and whose leaders (priests) were allowed entry into the political space as influencers while Hindu religious leaders were frowned upon.

This is why, for example, many Hindus who vote BJP are comfortable with Azim Premji in business, Zaheer Khan in cricket, and AR Rehman in music - it is not Islam they have a problem with, it is the idea of an unfair matchup - Muslims encouraged to stick to their most conservative beliefs (and rewarded for doing so), while Hindus being told to suck it up.

In 2013, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh literally said in public that minorities have the first right to India's resources - notice that he did not say everyone has equal right, or the underprivileged have first right - it was the minorities who have that right, according to him. Is it a surprise then, that the majority voted against his party?

pradeepvasudev

Consider that for most Indians, their mobile is their first computer, and suddenly the penny drops, innit? Usually a good idea to consider cultural, economic, and other such differences between peoples before dropping random comments, methinks.

pradeepvasudev

Re: How much are Bollywood movies successful outside India?

so? whats your point? that its not a global market? who cares as long as its a solid one.

pradeepvasudev

Re: Modi

I am going to chalk this up to lack of understanding and will spend a moment explaining it.

When India got mobile telephony, it was very difficult for local language speakers to get access to local language agents - the IVRs were always pure English. When Internet plane and train booking became available, there were always available in English only. Even as recently as a year ago, Amazon and Flipkart were in English only. This is because the top 10% of the country, which dominates industry and media, uses English for all business. The other 90% can go fuck themselves, until they assert themselves by pushing the local leaders to take a stand. For example, Vodafone and Airtel refused to have Marathi as the IVR and messaging option in Mumbai, holding off until they were given an ultimatum by the local leaders, who also took the additional step of throwing black paint on their stores and even at their corporate offices. Now, 60% of the agents serve in the local language - because that is what the local people wanted.

You may not like it - but language and cultural imperialism continue in the form of unrecognised privilege exercised by the Western-educated, English-speaking elite, who have usually looked down on the 'vernaculars'. They also find it a problem to serve that market - why bother when its easier to talk to the global, english speaking elite instead.

My advice: next time you want to have a opinion about a nation of a billion people far far away, don't.

pradeepvasudev

Re: So in other words

Now, what is so bad about Jerry Falwell's comments? There probably exists a large unaddressed market for Bible-based video games but conversations around that have been zero. If he points that out, and some entrepreneurs do chance it, what exactly is wrong with that? Either the market exists and they make money, or it does not, and they lose some - I am not really sure I understand.

Let's see about pro-hindu too. What is so wrong about being pro-Hindu? Does it automatically become anti-Muslim/Xtian/Jew or something? That's pretty exclusivist thinking, isn't it? Here is an interesting insight - Gandhi was pro-Hindu, would pray publicly to Lord Ram every day, and it still did not make him anti-whatever. Bloody hell - it did not even make him anti-British - lord knows he had plenty of reason to.

pradeepvasudev

Re: Modi

Lets see: I have a 300 mbps Fiber Optic line to my home, I have a 4K TV, and I am typing this on a MacBook. India has a population of 1.3 billion; 600 million belong to the middle class, 500 million plus have smartphones (compare with 55 million in the UK). In short, many of we'd like to have our own games, reflecting our own ethos, thank you very much.

The challenge with fixing our basic needs (like toilets and running water) was not that we had no capability to do it, it was that the political will to do so was missing. Modi may get many things wrong, but he talks of simple everyday realities: cooking gas for the poor, sanitary napkins for women, toilets for everyone, running water and electricity in each home - and he works hard of delivering them; he is willing to pay for this - that is commitment and that is what everyone admires about him. Screw the intellectuals who state that he said 100% access to toilets when only 95% have access - its still a huge leap from the 30% when he took over - that is what people see. So yes, we are fixing our basic and pressing needs, but at the same time, we'd like to enjoy our culture more and in more avenues than just books and TV, if thats all right with you.

pradeepvasudev

Re: Modi

As it turns out, all of India and especially the Hindus really do enjoy Tamil culture - from the food to the movies. After all Bahubali is a South Indian movie that was dubbed in Hindi and it still made it as one of the biggest hits of last year. Kindly go back to beating up Modi on the Islamophobe front - leave the Tamils alone.

As for Hindi, Modi may speak Hindi very well indeed, but his mother tongue is Gujarati, so again, while he may want a common India-born language (like Hindi) across the country, he is well aware of the importance of regional languages. Again, kindly go back to beating him up on the fascism front - leave the regional languages discussion alone.

My suggestion: if you do wish to have an opinion about something as complex as the nature of secularism in India or the debate of the 3 language education policy, please read all sides of the debate from the local media, rather than form your impressions from Western mouthpieces like the Beeb, Guardian, and CNN.

India explores blockchain-powered voting but not to enable online elections

pradeepvasudev

Some explanation might be useful.

I believe that the reference is to VVPATs (Voter verified paper audit trails). India has had electronic voting for almost two decades now, thru specially manufactured electronic voting machines (EVMs) that are NOT connected to the internet. You vote by pressing a button on one of these machines, which are then taken to a common counting centre for each constituency and the votes per candidate are collected from each of the the machines. But when the BJP was winning more and more seats across every level of government (local, state, central), questions were raised about whether the EVMs have been hacked by the BJP. To ensure that no such thing was happening, VVPATs were introduced in 2019, which allow a voter to verify that his/her vote was not digitally manipulated in favour of someone else. This was pushed by the Supreme Court to ensure voting fairness.

This is what he is probably referring to - how do I verify, in a blockchain world, that my vote was recorded correctly.

India drops the bar on e-commerce seller's listings: You want to sell it? Tell us where it came from from then

pradeepvasudev

You got it. The idea is to let people know if they are ordering something that was made in China (or any other country), so they can decide.

pradeepvasudev

Re: We need those rules too.

Its not as useless as you might think. Foxconn may only be doing assembly in India and all the parts may come from China, but it ensures that India too can grab Foxconn by the short and curlies if needed. Also, if the final point of manufacture is in India, then it radically simplifies local distribution, return policy, warranties, localization, data protection, tax enforcement and so on for the Indian Government.

In fact, referring to TikTok, even before it was banned in India, TikTok had moved its Indian customer data to India-based servers, which in turn made it easy to legally manage and control.

India bans 59 apps it says have privacy, national security problems. In a massive coincidence, they’re all Chinese

pradeepvasudev

Realpolitik

The simple reality is that, like all nations, India will have to handle this alone. America has its own fish to fry (Afghan withdrawal requires Paki cooperation; Pakistan and China tag team on India), the Europeans are lost and pointless, the UK is too involved in its own Brexit underwear and in any case prefer to avoid pissing off big powers, Russia is now equidistant between China and India (though it will be happy to sell all the arms India needs). Its a good thing both sides stuck to the no-firearms agreement or we'd have war by now.

Im sure someone is going to come up with points about how this action has little effect on China, so its all symbolic. But that's the point - symbols serve a purpose and the decision to ban this has come after immense popular pressure on the government.

Indian app that deleted Chinese apps from Androids deleted from Play Store

pradeepvasudev

It wouldn't have found any for American or European apps either. After all, China pretty much makes sure that home-grown is the only choice, right?

pradeepvasudev

Re: the common denominator in all of those disputes.

Hindus. They are hard-core Hindus. In fact until about 15 years ago, nepal was the only Hindu nation in the world. India is secular, btw, and now nepal is too.

Internet blackout of Myanmar States that are home to ethnic minorities enters second year

pradeepvasudev

Re: Puzzled

The reason why he was so loved in Burma was because he fought against the british and supported the japanese. and when they came and occupied burma brutally, he had the guts to admit his mistake, in public, to the people, and then asked them for support to throw out the japanese too. perhaps we all need leaders who are that self-reflective, humble, and honest.

Another point: everyone here is going on about how the Rohingyas are being ill-treated. Sitting here in India, still a few thousand miles away, we have a slightly different perspective. The Rohingya changed the demography of north burma by force settlement, much like Bangladeshi illegal immigrants changed the demography of the border districts of Assam state and West Bengal state in India. Add to that, the forced conversions, rape, and mass murder of the minority-within-minority hindu rohingyas at the hands of muslim rohingyas.

Are the rohingyas being ill-treated? Yes. Big time.

Are the rohingyas being bastards as well? Yes. Would be big time if they had the firepower.

Everyone is in the gutter here.

pradeepvasudev

And others

https://thediplomat.com/2019/03/balochistans-great-internet-shutdown/

https://www.farwestchina.com/blog/truth-about-xinjiangs-internet/

Tough neighborhood.

IBM Sametime could rise again as HCL makes shortlist for India's home-grown Zoom clone

pradeepvasudev

Slightly misleading

The real challenge for the Indian government has been this: The mobile market is overrun by Chinese phones and a significantly large number of apps are Chinese too (tiktok, helo and so on.) The collab market is either Zoom (Chinese, insecure, probably sending data to the Chinese govt) or the American kinds like Webex (slow, expensive, and probably sending data to the Americans). Why should the government trust either party when it needs have its own conferences?

India really is in a difficult geo - on one side is Pakistan (avowed safehouse of Islamic terrorists from everywhere), which can't be touched because the 'mericans are still trying to work things out on the Afghan side and on the other is China, with lots of border disputes.

For Europeans and Americans, Islamic terror is an on-again, off-again thing, and China is an abstract threat. For Indians, both are real, every day, existential challenges.

And the West is only occasionally supportive and even then flaky in its support. When China tried to embarrass India by bringing up Kashmir in the UN SC, it was supported by only one other country - the United Kingdom (though it changed tack later).

No wonder the average Indian still thinks of Russia as their only true all-weather ally. And France a close second.

Google India says Play store policy, not geopolitics, behind removal of Chinese-app-deleting app

pradeepvasudev

Tiktok versus mitron: What a crock

If duplicate functionality were a reason to remove apps, then the PlayStore would be a very empty place. He is just lying - straight and simple. I am sure its got very little to do with China, but I am pretty sure its something to do with a certain coziness between tiktok and the goog.

India reveals plans to make electronics manufacturing its top industry

pradeepvasudev

Re: Maybe but...

Let's see: Wipro is owned by Azim Premji, a muslim, Yusuf Khwaja Hamied owns Cipla (one of indias biggest pharma companies, all the top Bollywood heroes are Muslims (ShahRukh, Salman, Aamir), India's favorite music composer is Muslim (AR Rehman), India's UN representative until he retired was Syed Akbaruddin, India's most popular president in in the last 50 years has been a Muslim (Abdul Kalam) who was also the head of the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Muslims have the right to open their own educational institutions, they get subsidies to visit Haj, in many states - the imams are given financial aid by the state government, something that Hindu priests do not get.

FWIW, India's treatment of its minorities is substantially better than the British or American treatment of blacks and other people of color. Things are just 'whitewashed' better in the West.

Tata Consultancy Services tells staff to go to their rooms and stay there, even after the pandemic passes

pradeepvasudev

And employees will be happy too, since they can avoid spending hours traveling in traffic and save significant money too. I already have a big fat fibre connection at home, with full generator backup. So my work is unaffected but i am avoiding traffic, travel stress, and even people interruptions. It really is a good deal for a lot of people too.

Facebook takes $5.7bn stake in Jio – India's largest mobile telco

pradeepvasudev

So the thing is that Gpay, PhonePe and other such apps ARE UPI, exactly as BHIM is. The exceptions are the older wallet-based apps like Paytm and Mobiquik, which also used to give out QR codes similar to UPI. So, the merchants that you went to had older QR codes, which worked for Paytm (or Mobiquik or others) but were incompatible with UPI - this is why you had trouble.

About Big Bro, I'd much rather trust my government than FB and Google, and I have a gmail account and I have WhatsApp, so UPI is just fine by me.

pradeepvasudev

The payment service is via Whatsapp. India has the most advanced online payment system in the world called Unified Payments Interface. Designed for immediate money transfers between any two parties. Its remarkably simple - a single company, co-owned by major banks, provides a payment infrastructure (connecting all banks) that one can connect to via a standard API. Companies (like Google, Whatsapp, Truecaller, Walmart and Paytm) create apps that connect the bank accounts to individuals. Each bank account gets one or more handles linked to it (myhandle@bank). Individuals can then transfer money between themselves or from them to companies or vice versa, simply by knowing the handle of the other party. Transactions are now simpler than sending emails. Fees are zero.

Whatsapp has been trying to get it to work for some time now, but keeps running into trouble because they want to store more data than allowed. Once it works however, Whatsapp immediately gets access to a 400 million strong customer base - it becomes a WeChat equivalent.

Did you know? Internet money lender Opera also offers a free web browser

pradeepvasudev

About murky waters and all that....

I am a user of Opera in India, and would like to point out something to people who beat up the little company for getting into the financial industry - with "short-term, high-interest" loans. The thing is: in a country like India, with a high growth, high interest rate regime, what may look like extortion to Westerners is very very routine for us. Here are some points:

- Inflation is between 4-5%, so any business that charges less than that is losing money.

- Banks offer savings accounts with 6% interest on savings.

- My credit score is perfect, so my home loan is as low as it can go, at 8.5% per year.

- My bank offers me a personal loan at 14% and its regarded as low. I've avoided personal loans for 2 decades, of course.

- My credit card company charges an interest of 45% on outstandings! This is high, even by my standards.

- Companies like earlysalary offer short-term loans ("payday loans") at 2.5% per month, which is 30% per year, and they have a 98+% payback rate.

In short, 33% may look look like loansharking in slow growth Western economies, but its utterly normal in India.

I have, in all honesty, only glanced at the Hinderburg report and I am uninclined to investigate further (mostly because I have zero intent to be their customer), but the point I am making is that in a credit-starved nation, short-term, high-interest credit from Opera is far better than going to loan sharks.

'Year-long' delay to UK 5G if we spike Huawei deals, say telcos

pradeepvasudev

Re: 9 Months delay?

Wow! Seriously? I am sitting here in India and my Vodafone connection gives me 200 GB per month on a 4G connection, with all India roaming and a one year free Amazon Prime connection, free antivirus (for the noobs). Total cost is Rs 400 per month, comes to 4.5 pounds. Speed is a little low - 4.5 Mbps right now.

You folks are getting ripped off.

Cisco's Chambers mulls Indian manufacturing base

pradeepvasudev

@allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

No surprise, but Tata could've chosen Anand in Gujarat or NOIDA in Delhi or Chennai in Tamil Nadu. They chose Pune, which means the city made a pretty attractive offer.

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