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Comments

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Amazon's eBook Math

bayankaran Re:Disengenous (229 comments)

Publishers have a similar role to record companies. Somebody else creates the product, they edit the product, but mostly they are just the marketing firm. Why should they be getting a bulk of the profits?

Publishers ARE evil, but they do more than being middlemen.
Even good writers need good editors. Look at the complaints on Slashdot summaries...the issue is poor editing, and that's a skill different from being a good writer. Editing is more than correcting spelling mistakes/grammar. On many occasions a book becomes much more enjoyable when a good editor spends time and energy on the manuscript.
Fringe benefits like an advance on an upcoming book. Even if they take the rights perpetually, and the advance is too low, an advance is important.
The books they reject may not be worth much even they got published. Look at the all the books in Amazon...a majority of books are worthless, they were made/published only because they could be published. For every example of a good book being rejected by publishers there are hundreds of examples of a bad book being rightly rejected.
A writers job is to write. In the world of Amazon he/she will have to wear different hats...the marketing person, the editor (or find the editor), do the cheer leading to make his/her work standout etc. I have no idea how a real talent can emerge out of this madness.
But the world will adapt and evolve and my fears are misplaced. For every publisher who closes shop, there will be people announcing their skills for a fee. In the end a new publishing order will appear, which is probably going to be the old itself, but working on smaller margins.

8 hours ago
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The NSA's New Partner In Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police

bayankaran Saudi Arabia is ISIS (125 comments)

Saudi Arabia is ISIS, the only difference...Americans think "they are bastards, but they are our bastards".

5 days ago
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FBI Studied How Much Drones Impact Your Privacy -- Then Marked It Secret

bayankaran Re:Transparency (139 comments)

What most of us - including the politicos - forget is the fact that the "idea of being the POTUS" is attractive, not actually "being the POTUS."
BO was sure he is going to create history. And he did create history being the first black prez and all that. But then the actual job sucks. I have no idea how sane people willingly fight for this!
Still its better the illusion remains. Else the top decision makers will be much more worse than what we have now.

5 days ago
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Amazon Fire Phone Reviews: Solid But Overly Ambitious

bayankaran So so phone... (58 comments)

Amazon is the worlds best organization for packing and shipping stuff. If they expect the money they can spend will give them an advantage in creating an exciting phone...its called hubris. A smartphone is a piece of jewelry. Its not like a book reader.
Amazon's smartphone breakfast, lunch and dinner will be eaten by companies like Xiaomi http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-22/the-latest-slick-cheap-smartphone-from-xiaomi-chinas-rising-mobile-power?google_editors_picks=true. They do only one thing...and they do it well.

about a week ago
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What Came First, Black Holes Or Galaxies?

bayankaran Neither... (76 comments)

Not black holes, nor galaxies, but da chicken came first.

about a month ago
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George Lucas Selects Chicago For the Star Wars Museum

bayankaran Is there any 'value' to Star Wars? (98 comments)

When the current generation who grew up on Star Wars go away, will it remain in public memory like paintings or music, or even cinema? And that too at Chicago, home to excellent museums.
Me thinks there is no permanence to Star Wars. Its already looking dated and silly.
Meanwhile '2012 A Space Odyssey' still feels fresh.

about a month ago
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Android Needs a Simulator, Not an Emulator

bayankaran Emulator with HAX (167 comments)

I am a web developer, now working on Android.
I use Android Studio (far better than Eclipse). With HAX - hw accelerated execution - enabled and emulator running in fast virtual mode I don't notice much difference between any run/debug on any virtual device and debug/run on a Weblogic/Websphere/Tomcat server on top of some CMS/Commerce Engines.
Both are slow, but not unreasonably slow.
May be when the apps get complex there might be a difference.
I don't see how a simulator will make a huge difference, but I can see how upgrading from my current i3 processor to an i7 and running the whole shebang on some type of RAM DISK might make a difference.

about a month and a half ago
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Can Google Connect the Unconnected 2/3 To the Internet?

bayankaran Re:Does it really matter? (99 comments)

In real life scenario, your produce reaching "another market in another city/town" is remote and you making a profit from all that effort is even more remote.
This is why I said you are spouting nonsense from some text book which makes sense in some make belief world.

about a month and a half ago
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Can Google Connect the Unconnected 2/3 To the Internet?

bayankaran Re:Does it really matter? (99 comments)

Lets not debate on "real world understanding".
The scenario you described is from some text book.
In real life its not usually the above...if there are brokers then they usually collude on price, or fix the price. So any benefit of reaching broker X or broker Y is not there.
The situation will be better if there are no brokers. But that's not going to happen.

about a month and a half ago
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Can Google Connect the Unconnected 2/3 To the Internet?

bayankaran Re:Does it really matter? (99 comments)

Read what I wrote...I did not say it was "not useful"...I said the benefits as far as finding better prices for produce is hyped up.
Of course, better communication is overall better.

about a month and a half ago
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Can Google Connect the Unconnected 2/3 To the Internet?

bayankaran Re:Does it really matter? (99 comments)

Or the African farmers who say that now with cell phones, they have an easier time trying to find better markets for their produce? Etc.

I think the above benefit is overrated.
In practical terms if you have produce to sell, especially perishable items you have to worry about shelf life more than a better price at a market far away from you.
For non-perishable items - I am from a state which is the largest producer of rubber - even before internet and smartphones the farmers used to get the market prices from newspapers. And you don't need to check the prices more than once a day, you are not playing high frequency trading with your crop.
Now, powerpoint presentations from clueless MBAs will always show "farmers fetching higher prices from smartphones" as a reason for technology. I think smartphones are a great way to communicate, but you need not add "better prices for poor farmers" to the mix.

about a month and a half ago
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Amazon's 3D Smartphone As a (Useful) Gimmick

bayankaran Re:Already (68 comments)

True, but Amazon is getting into an area where it has no core-competency. Its expertise is stocking and selling stuff.
The Amazon E-Reader worked because no other serious electronics company made a decent device - my first E-Reader was a Sony PRS, back in 2005, it sucked, but it sucked less. And E-Readers are for only reading. Still, even if Microsoft took that market seriously - for that you needed someone who is capable of throwing more than chair at the helm - Amazon would have found their Kindle a hard-sell.
A smartphone is a different animal. I understand Amazon needs one of their own, running some flavor of Android, but I don't see any reason they will create something different, a device we want to carry around with us, almost our primary identity as far as devices go. Will it be a good phone, yes. But you need to create a great phone - at least a Xiaomi or a Moto G.
This will be like the Facebook phone or the Facebook home screen...I don't think even the unwashed masses working at Facebook, the true believers themselves cared for that phone.

about a month and a half ago
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Snowden Rallies Privacy Advocates In New York City

bayankaran Re:Snowden For President (72 comments)

May not be President, but he deserves the Nobel (way more than most, including your current guy holding one for who knows what!)

about 2 months ago
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Is Google CEO's "Tiny Bubble Car" Yahoo CEO's "Little Bubble Car"?

bayankaran CEO in a Bubble (190 comments)

Marissa Mayer is the same class as Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman and others. They are going to remembered for blowing up their own organizations. What all these nincompoops have in common is a "severe lack of imagination". There is no cure for that.
She's is right about the bubble...she's in one.
The cheapest car in the world - TATA NANO - failed to make a mark. The other bubble car - Mercedes Smart is a failure in every sense of the word.
And the Google bubble car will be as popular as Segway.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Wants To Run Your High-Performance Databases

bayankaran Amazon and Google... (142 comments)

Seems Amazon and Google see the writing on the 'internet wall'.
Their core products/services are not going to bring them anymore revenue than what they get now, and can shrink further when nimble competitors or new ideas happen. So the only way is to branch out.
Google thinks it will be driver-less cars, automation, internet balloons, thermostat etc., while Amazon thinks it will be AWS, cloud and so on.
Surprisingly both these behemoths are not branching into life sciences. May be no has made good impressive power points yet.
The one company terribly lost is Apple. They are buying into an arthritic rapper!!!

about 2 months ago
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Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

bayankaran Trust vs Desperation... (331 comments)

True, its about desperation, not necessarily an extra layer of 'internet trust'.
The US is unique in developed economies - luxuries are cheap...big screen TV, a car and so on. But necessities are expensive...healthcare, decent education, and to an extent housing.

about 3 months ago
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In the US, Rich Now Work Longer Hours Than the Poor

bayankaran Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (311 comments)

There is no longer any room for doubt that we are living in a plutocracy, not a democracy. And according to a recent NASA study, that is a prime indicator that we are a society on the brink of collapse.

US might be a plutocracy, but not a society about to collapse.
US has a great middle class, and even with the current crises, they are yet to get into lower class/poor. And even when you are poor, you don't starve.
Unless a huge shift occurs and the current middle class starts starving the collapse you are worried about won't happen.
The Arab spring occurred in countries where the middle class was not really strong - in numbers and social indicators. In Tunisia a man self immolated out of the tragic circumstances of not being able to feed his family. This seminal event kickstarted the uprising.
Saudi Arabia for all purposes is ripe for spring cleaning, but the middle class gets a lot of handouts from the rulers and they get fat and lazy. So there will be a lot of diabetes and heart attacks, not society collapsing.

about 3 months ago
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Our Education System Is Failing IT

bayankaran Re:oh (306 comments)

Here's why you are wrong on all counts.
First of all, you happen to *know 3 Indian IT* workers and you arrive at a conclusion on how good/bad/patriarchal they are. If this is not *generalization* then I do not know what is !!!
Second, India is a large country, our population is 1 billion. There will be ten or twenty Indian IT programmers for every Russian you can find. Plus, Indian IT companies are majorly into US market, there is no Russian equivalent of an Infosys, TCS, Wipro and so on. With that large pool of talent, you are going to find few who are horribly mediocre. Its simply law of averages.
There are excellent programmers, good and mediocre. They include Indians. And that's all.

about 3 months ago
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Obama Says He May Or May Not Let the NSA Exploit the Next Heartbleed

bayankaran Barack Barack Bork Bork (134 comments)

If you have the exploit, you can exploit the exploit.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Arvind Kejriwal - Magsaysay Award Winner to be the Chief Minister of New Delhi

bayankaran bayankaran writes  |  about 7 months ago

bayankaran (446245) writes "In the dramatic development of the worlds biggest democracy India, the anti corruption campaigner Arvind Kejriwal, ex-civil servant turned politician of AAM AADMI Party (Common Man's Party) is to be sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state of Delhi. AAM AADMI party did not win an outright majority, but is forming the government with the backing of Indian National Congress.
A former civil servant, the 44 year old Mr Kejriwal was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay award for Emergent Leadership, widely described as Asia's Nobel prize, for social work and initiatives to fight corruption in 2006.
Two years ago, he set up a group called India Against Corruption aimed at putting pressure on the government to bring about tough anti-corruption laws.
For India, this is the first time in post independence history a new political leader has emerged with strong middle class pan-Indian support and an anti-corruption platform. The other major sociopolitical movements in the last thirty years have been regional and based on people empowerment — whether it is the right wing Shiv Sena organized by Bal Thackeray in Mumbai or the Dalit/untouchables/lower caste Hindu's coming under the umbrella of Kanshi Ram of BSP — Bahujan Samaj Party.
Kejriwal's cabinet members are between 27 and 46 years of age. True to form, Kejriwal and his cabinet members will be reaching the Ramlila grounds for swearing in traveling in the Delhi Metro."

Link to Original Source
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bayankaran bayankaran writes  |  more than 7 years ago

bayankaran writes "New York Times (registration needed) carries a report on Kerala's (south Indian state) plans to encourage use of open source and free software. One of the problems with the "report" of NYT/IHT is the unnecessary tone — the news will further unsettle foreign investors in this state.

Kerala recently banned Coke/Pepsi when a CSE (Center for Science and Environment) study showed that Coke/Pepsi products had high levels of pesticide content and that decision is coupled with the promotion of FOSS to portray the state as anti-market/anti-capitalistic. Recently there was a long standing agitation against a Coke bottling plant in North Kerala as it was depleting well water in nearby areas (though banning the products was a political knee jerk reaction). You would be also interested to know that Coke/Pepsi are used by Indian farmers as a pesticides controlling agent.

Kerala has more than 90% literacy and its human development indices are comparable to western countries."

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