Sunday, 21 February 2016

Where has all the love and humanity gone?

         Earlier this week, I was traveling by a train from Chennai to my hometown. The train goes all the way to Howrah. It was a regular smelly journey as always in a long distance train till 4:45 AM. I woke up to the yelling of a lady at a man. I was completely taken aback. I got into my senses and looked down from the upper berth and saw a lady holding a man by the collar abusing him. By the time anyone reacted she picked up her sandal and started slapping him. One of the passengers jumped down and separated them. On asking what happened, she said he was not only touching her private parts in her sleep but inflicted a lot of pain in the process. She was almost in tears. Sadly, it was all men who reacted to what has happened. He begged sorry, touched her feet and everything. Not knowing who was right, I thought calling the police was the right thing to do. I called up Railway Police and they boarded the train in the next stop.
        On further probing, he said he was looking for the light switch because he couldn't find his berth and in the process he tripped and fell on her. No one bought his version of the story. When asked for his ID, he took out his passport and he was a Bangladeshi. The Police asked her if she wanted him to be beaten up and taught a lesson or take him to the police station and file an official complaint. She wanted him to go to jail. She was hell bent on it. At the next station, Vijayawada, she got down at the police station and she was informed that if she filed a complaint there, she had to break her journey to complete the formalities and if needed she had to come back. Some one offered another solution saying that she could just make an entry in the General Diary and submit a letter and later file FIR in her hometown. She thought it was a better idea. That man was held in Vijayawada Police station and she continued the journey. After an hour or so, two police men came again and told her that if she filed a complaint it's going to be a big issue because the embassy will get involved and she will have to roam around the courts multiple times. Finally they convinced her to withdraw the complaint. She insisted that he stayed at the police station for at least three days and learnt a lesson for what he has done.
         As the journey continued I overheard people talk. Why is this girl making such a big scene about this? Do you think she'll win even if she filed a case?

Too many questions propped up after this incident.

1. How safe are women in a 3AC? (I generally thought there were not many creeps in the AC. A policeman told me that this was a fifth incident in the AC compartment this year!!! Scary!!)

2. Was the woman right or the man?(Who's side to take? You didn't witness the situation)

3. Was I right in calling the police? ( Because finally the girl was convinced to withdraw the complaint. Recently a girl committed suicide because she was labelled a prostitute when she was fighting for justice?)

4. Was it right on the part of the police to convince her to withdraw the complaint?

5. Why do people have to judge? (Why do we always judge when we are not involved in the situation and don't help them in the first place)

6. Why not use lie detectors in cases like this? (There's no role for human rights in such cases. So why not use them?)

7. Why can't we all be more human and love one another and spread love? Why can't we help a fellow being than hate?

A concerned Indian

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Net neutrality should prevail

My answers to TRAI questions

Disclaimer: It's my view as a common man. I am no law man or an expert in this.
Just my thoughts only.

Image source:

Dear Sir,
Internet is such a boon to India. How the mobile phone revolutionized India bringing everyone together, internet has been and is growing the same way for couple of years now. Helping a few big guns and undermining the start ups is such a terrible thing to do in a country like India especially when make in India is our campaign. I sincerely request you to maintain the net neutrality like it is in the rest of the world.

  Question 1: Is it too early to establish a regulatory framework for OTT services, since internet penetration is still evolving, access speeds are generally low and there is limited coverage of high-speed broadband in the country? Or, should some beginning be made now with a regulatory framework that could be adapted to changes in the future? Please comment with justifications. 
Ans:  India is still a developing economy where lot of people are still illiterate. But every person uses the internet. Every person knows what it is. As a doctor I see patients come to me with a partial solution to their problem. It doesn't cure them but they can at least know the gravity of the situation. What if the access to that website is blocked because he doesn't have those services? Possible, right? It's just an example. Internet is just a medium. It just cannot be regulated. I never faced any network sluggishness because the servers were overloaded. The services provided by telecom operators are bad. Before 3G came in, EDGE was fast enough as my daily requirement. Now with EDGE you can barely access a webpage. 

Question 2: Should the OTT players offering communication services (voice, messaging and video call services) through applications (resident either in the country or outside) be brought under the licensing regime? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: Voice messaging and video calls should not be regulated by telecom operators at all. Internet is not their medium. Internet is for all. Robert and Vent when they developed internet did not regulate it and it has grown into a huge medium. Internet offers a wide range of opportunities for a common man. Whatsapp became famous because they could provide an amazing service which SMS of telecom operators could not provide. If they need to fight it they should become competitive. A common man like me should not be burdened. If, for example, skype wants to charge for the services they provide, they have all the right to do so. But Airtel can't charge me because I am using Skype instead of voice calls on Airtel network. It's cheating beyond imagination.

Question 3: Is the growth of OTT impacting the traditional revenue stream of TSPs? If so, is the increase in data revenues of the TSPs sufficient to compensate for this impact? Please comment with reasons. 
Ans: Every thing has a rise and a fall. It's just survival of the fittest. Telecom providers had their time when no other service could provide such facilities. Internet came in and now the trend is shifting. The internet can not be regulated by the same people for their own benefit. I still make voice calls much more than the video calls on my phone. 80% of the money I spend on my phone is for the call and messages. 20% is for my internet. They can't encroach upon that 20% and try to make an extra buck from that.

Question 4: Should the OTT players pay for use of the TSPs network over and above data charges paid by consumers? If yes, what pricing options can be adopted? Could such options include prices based  on bandwidth consumption? Can prices be used as a means of product/service differentiation? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: This question can be answered only if the stats are provided to me. Unless a specific service cripples the network I don't think they can put the burden or the losses or the lesser profits they are making on the OTT players or the consumer. Internet is free for everyone. The seller and the buyer. It just cannot be regulated especially in democratic country like ours.

Question 5: Do you agree that imbalances exist in the regulatory environment in the operation of OTT players? If so, what should be the framework to address these issues? How can the prevailing laws and regulations be applied to OTT players (who operate in the virtual world) and compliance enforced? What could be the impact on the economy? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: Internet can not be regulated. The players who are doing well are because they were innovative and struggled their way up. Like everyone they pay their taxes and everything. Virtual players are not ghosts. I think these rules can not exist in a developing economy like India especially when rest of the world still believes in net neutrality. I think it's a shame if net neutrality is abolished in India especially because of the interests of some big players.

Question 6: How should the security concerns be addressed with regard to OTT players providing communication services? What security conditions such as maintaining data records, logs etc. need to be mandated for such OTT players? And, how can compliance with these conditions be ensured if the applications of such OTT players reside outside the country? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: The stuff on internet can not be regulated. I think however you try to have regulate it, it can just not happen.

 Question 7: How should the OTT players offering app services ensure security, safety and privacy of the consumer? How should they ensure protection of consumer interest? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: Bio-metric scan and voice verification probably have to be the standard and at the time of registration probably they have to cross check with the bio-metric scans of the Aadhar card. 

Question 8: In what manner can the proposals for a regulatory framework for OTTs in India draw from those of ETNO, referred to in para 4.23 or the best practices summarised in para 4.29? And, what practices should be proscribed by regulatory fiat? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: I am not sure how these stuff can fit in. If the communication services are being charged they should not charge for the data used. The communication services should still be at the bare minimum probably a little more than the internet charges and as fair play the OTT player should receive it or the Telecom and Internet service providers have to be two different things.

Question 9: What are your views on net-neutrality in the Indian context? How should the various principles discussed in para 5.47 be dealt with? Please comment with justifications. 
Ans: Net neutrality should be there because it not only gives the consumer what he's getting into but also knows what he's paying for and how reliable the service being provided by OTT player is. India by itself is corrupted from the roots. If the net neutrality is killed this way then I think it would become like any other system in the country. So far internet has been free in India. Imagine if it is regulated as it is in China or Pakistan or other similar countries. How does it make us democratic? How are we better than them?

Question 10: What forms of discrimination or traffic management practices are reasonable and consistent with a pragmatic approach? What should or can be permitted? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: No discrimination can be made. If the network becomes congested, a panel should be made to analyse the internet usage and which service is crippling the network with complete transparency and panel involving not only from TRAI and Telecom operators but also from the public. This panel should analyse and let the people decide the best thing for the industry. Then probably telecom operators should sit and make deals with the OTT players and come to terms. The internet service providers can not take the revenue from this. Suppose, facebook jams the internet then Facebook will be questioned by the Airtel and Facebook will pay Airtel for any upgrades necessary. In turn Facebook can charge the customer or bring in more ads on the page. Then the consumer has still the option of choosing between facebook or other service on the same Airtel network. What if Airtel itself charges for every OTT service used. The consumer is crippled. It's just not fair!

Question 11: Should the TSPs be mandated to publish various traffic management techniques used for different OTT applications? Is this a sufficient condition to ensure transparency and a fair regulatory regime? 
Ans: Yes. They have to publish the traffic details very transparently. Experts need to evaluate it. They also need to provide what extra effort they have put in to relieve the congestion. What other countries with similar problems have done for such a problem. Why not provide extra wifi hotspots in major congested areas and free the traffic? Major cities all over the world have wifi hotspots everywhere. 

Question 12: How should the conducive and balanced environment be created such that TSPs are able to invest in network infrastructure and CAPs are able to innovate and grow? Who should bear the network upgradation costs? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: Network upgrade costs have to be borne by the telecom operators themselves. Unless and until they provide the cutting edge facilities which are available in the rest of the world people will not be ready to shell out a penny more than what they are paying now and it's not even fair to ask for more. If I need to bring in more people to avail my services I need to give them a reason. Just like that.

Question 13: Should TSPs be allowed to implement non-price based discrimination of services? If so, under what circumstances are such practices acceptable? What restrictions, if any, need to be placed so that such measures are not abused? What measures should be adopted to ensure transparency to consumers? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: No discrimination can be made whatsoever. Everyone has to have their share. If I start a website I should have the same opportunity and power to bring in more people to my page based on the content I provide, not because my telecom operator thought so.

Question 14: Is there a justification for allowing differential pricing for data access and OTT  communication services? If so, what changes need to be brought about in the present tariff and regulatory framework for telecommunication services in the country? Please comment with justifications. 
Ans: Differential pricing for net access is the main culprit for killing net neutrality. It should not be encouraged no matter what! If 3G services are being provided charge for the whole pack as a whole. No differential pricing should be allowed. We are the second highest internet users in the world. When the world is moving towards 5G we still are paying high price for 3G. There are hardly any wifi hotspots in the country.

Question 15: Should OTT communication service players be treated as Bulk User of Telecom Services (BuTS)? How should the framework be structured to prevent any discrimination and protect stakeholder interest? Please comment with justification.
Ans: This thing solely depends on the security of the nation. The defence and cybersecurity have to jump in and they need to regulate and make demands of the minimum requirements. I think even here telecom operators have no say. If the security is the problem and revenue has to be made from the communication OTTs, the money has to go for tightening and upgrading cyber security in the country and has to be totally transparent.

Question 16: What framework should be adopted to encourage Indiaspecific OTT apps? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: This is definitely beyond me. Programmers can only answer this.

Question 17: If the OTT communication service players are to be licensed, should they be categorised as ASP or CSP? If so, what should be the framework? Please comment with justifications.  
Ans: No idea.

Question 18: Is there a need to regulate subscription charges for OTT communication services? Please comment with justifications.
Ans: No the teleccom operators have no say. The OTT communication service providers and the TRAI and the cyber security have to decide what is to be done. Subscription charges can never go to the telecom operators.

Question 19: What steps should be taken by the Government for regulation of non-communication OTT players? Please comment with justifications. 
Ans: Non-communication OTT players can not be regulated by the government. It's just like any other library. There are no specific guidelines for the maintenance of libraries and there should be none for the non-communication OTT as well.

Question 20: Are there any other issues that have a bearing on the subject discussed?
Ans: TRAI has to put it's foot down like it's done in many a situation and should not let the Telecom Operators and big OTT players decide what an average consumer can see or avail. It's purely a discretion of the consumer and consumer alone. When you go to a shopping market, you don't pay extra money to enter the APPLE counter or a Samsung counter. It should be equal for all.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The death of Cyanogenmod and MIUI to me

   The first time I heard of android OS was way back in 2009 probably the early days of android. I still remember the salesman trying to convince me to buy a java or symbian phone. I just ignored his suggestion and went on to buy the Samsung Galaxy Spica. It was a beautiful phone and more importantly the first android phone in India. I felt like I was carrying a laptop in my hand with the android cupcake on it. LOL!
Galaxy Spica with those beautiful red accents
   I explored all new launchers then and was amazed at how fast the phone was. The more fascinating thing was the green robot seen all over the OS.
   A year later Samsung came up with Galaxy Nexus S. And, I got mine as well. It was a gorgeous phone and more importantly a Nexus. As I kept using the phone I wanted more and more from my phone. Eventually I went online searching if I was the only one with these crazy ideas. To my surprise I was not the only one. There were quite a few. There's a website for all these crazy fellas. It was 'XDA Developers'
   I wanted to customize the status bar, the drop down menu, options, fonts and many more. I was a crazy fan of the Sonysketch font and I could put it on my phone myself. How cool is that! Thanks to Cyanogenmod. I could do a lot what my friends couldn't do on their phones. Felt like God! Then my OCD even kicked in further. I wanted a white background in the menus everywhere and also wanted similar sized icons everywhere. I went searching and found MIUI. It was like a one time solution. Everything was more organized. But the drawback was that it was a chinese startup and many translations sucked big time. They still do at few places like it still says 1 missed calls.
   I kept switching between Cyanogemod and MIUI until one fine day when I madly fell in love with the android lollipop. I felt like it was the solution to everything. The awesome Material design and the subtle animations. Yeah, it is not the penultimate. You can not still choose how the status bar looks, can't change the themes and also cannot change the power button menu and more. But, those are things I would now trade off for a more secure phone.
   As the stock android started getting better and these custom ROM giants also came out with their own hardware or collaborated with other companies and brought out low range phones with the ROMs which once I thought were on a whole different level, I felt like it was no more a cult thing. Hence, my choice of OS shifted from the custom ROMs to stock android.
   Even though I am not using a android phone right now, I am waiting for Project Ara aka Phonebloks to become a reality. It's just awesome and a whole different level. I would ditch my iPhone 6 plus the very moment I could get one ARA phone.
Project Ara very close to reality than you can imagine!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Why the doctors in India have always been the soft target?

     Just another day goes by and another person passes a comment against doctors. A high ranked politician says he will chop off the hands of doctors who are corrupt. I totally agree with him that it's not fair to take bribe or be negligent. That doesn't mean every doctor is corrupt. You can't say things like that especially when there are so many people following you. Those may be just the words for him. But those words may turn out to be the inspiring words for someone. What if that person turns out to be a mentally unstable person? Who would be responsible then? 
      About an year ago, a famous actor who proclaims to be a perfectionist gives a speech in his program faking his tears and says no doctor should take fee and should be selfless. As a doctor every person always thinks or tries to do his best for his patient. The cause of failure may be numerous. The lack of knowledge because of his busy schedule trying to make his ends meet, the lack of resources in the remote areas, the lack of adequate number of personnel, the inadequacy of the instruments or the outdated instruments. The list can go on. A doctor is a human being. He cannot be right all the time. Why can't there be a public-private relationship or between a doctor and a non-medico. Together we can do wonders. So before any of you say a word against a doctor or anyone else for that matter, put your hand on your heart and say what you have done selflessly or anything that you have done that brought smile to people around you. I can very proudly and confidently say that as a doctor I have seen a sense of satisfaction on the patient's face when they left after the treatment. How many of you can proudly say that? 
      CORRUPTION. That is there on every level in India. Show me a place where there's no corruption. You want a movie ticket on the first day, you need influence. Starting there to highest level, every level is corrupt. The change has to come from within. Nobody can impose it on you. As doctors I am pretty sure that all my fellow doctors will work to help people. But why should it be just us? An engineer can do his job, a lawyer can help the doctor in the medico-legal purposes, a businessman can provide funds starting from a rupee, a common man can organize things in free camps, pharmaceutical companies can provide free drugs, government can provide funds and provide better ambulance services and infrastructure. When so many things can be done by so many people why should DOCTORS alone do it?
      Rural service for doctors. It's a thing I don't understand. I have not been given scholarship by the government. I have not studied in a government college. I wasn't given any extra mark or a reservation for my seat. I have earned it. If I have to work in a rural area for an year, so should you. What gives you the right to be free when I am bound to work in a rural area. When things are so unfair to just one group of people, it's just unacceptable. 
     Before I end this, I just want to ask the perfectionist if he had contributed anything for the people affected by Hudhud cyclone in Vizag? Did he do anything for the poor people after the episode he made downgrading doctors?  Publicity is not the only thing that you need. When you say something, you need to abide by it. Self respect and a sense of satisfaction is important.
     I can very confidently say today that I will work day and night for a year in a rural area, but it shouldn't be just me. I need a team, not  team of doctors but a team of people from different fields who play their part. Are you ready? As long as the above answer is no please stop targeting us all the time.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Spigen neohybrid case for S4, a cool new look to your phone

      Galaxy S4 has a very rounded corners and a plasticky feel. You don't get the feel of holding a premium phone in your hand. I have been looking for a case that looks cool and protects the phone as well. After a very very long search I came across the Spigen Neohybrid case. It's a simple bumper case and has TPU and polycarbonate components. Both feel very nice in hand. You don't get the feel of a cheap case in your hand. Each penny you spend on this is worth it. You get to choose from 6 different colors for the frame and you can as well buy only the frame if you choose to do so. The box contains the case itself and three jelly buttons. The best part of the case is that the buttons on the phone are 'clicky'. You don't lose the feel of pressing the buttons on your phone directly. But I have been taking too many screenshots unnecessarily because of the prominent buttons. I wouldn't mind because the feel of the case is much more important to me.  
Reventon yellow feels as premium as Lamborghini Reventon

The case adds a little bulk to the phone but yeah it protects from accidental falls and also from scratches when you put the screen flat on the table

The left side just has the volume rockers and the right side has a subtle neo-hybrid engaving

The back TPU case has a spigen engraving and also makes a mention of 13 MP on the top

     There are a few cons for the case though. All the default cables that come with S4 fit perfectly with the case but most of the third party accessories won't. That's the price you have to pay if you are willing to get the case.
All my accessories won't fit in now
    All my OTG drive, battery pack, third party cables and chargers don't fit with the case on and I need to take the phone out of the case and access the micro USB port.
    I would definitely rate this product 4.5/5 and would definitely suggest it to anyone who would like a bumper case for their S4. 

Friday, 18 April 2014

Phonesuit, a terrible disappointment!

Mobile phones have gone a long way from their time of invention by Martin Cooper. Phones these days are not used for just calls and messages anymore. Few months ago I have got my Galaxy S4. It's a beast. I still enjoy it with MIUI ROM on it. But the enjoyment lasts about twelve hours with extensive usage. Sometimes you cannot find a point to charge your phone and you need a power bank on the go. I was looking for something elegant, tiny and that fits in the pocket. I came across this Phonesuit charger which just matched my requirements. As usual, most of the products I crave for are not available in India and had to get it through friends. 
       The look and feel of the product is exceptional. It just feels very premium. It has an aluminium build with a micro-USB pin and a plastic cap. There's no power on and off button but there's this electrostatic button that shows four blue dots indicating the level of charge left. Everything about the product is just great. I took out my S4 plugged in the battery pack and it started charging. It's heavy. In a way it feels good because once you hold the battery pack with the phone docked into it, you don't have to hold the phone with the other hand and trust me you won't feel like it would drop off. The other advantage of this battery pack is that it charges with the micro USB port and you don't need a separate charger. With the phone docked into the battery pack, you can charge both same time. Neither you need an extra charger nor an extra port.

The blue lights that flare up with touch feels great.
Lovely aluminium body
Perfectly placed micro USB pin and the subtle logo

       I realized what a disappointment it was only the next day when I put the battery pack to test. I plugged it in and slipped it into my pocket. Every time the screen goes off the phone stops charging and I have to remove it and plug it in again to keep it charging. I thought it was some problem with my phone or the battery pack or the ROM I am using and contacted the customer support for the same. I was taken aback with their reply. It says, "Unfortunately for the S4 the only solution you have is to go to the settings>developer options>stay awake and it charges the phone without problem."
       I definitely wouldn't recommend this product to anyone and if any of you out there decide on buying it, I would say DON'T! How can you keep the screen awake and drop your phone into your pocket? Why does the charger have to stop when the screen goes off?
A big NO until the bug is fixed.
Looks and feels very premium

Feels very solid and doesn't wobble much

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Where are we headed this year?

Last two years had seen the introduction of a new segment in electronics, the tablet. Initially the idea seemed stupid considering the fact that it is neither as portable as a mobile phone nor is it as functional as the laptop. Most of us are used to and are very comfortable with the windows OS. When we think about serious work, we definitely need a laptop. That's till last last year.

iPad as usual had captured a major market share and there are definitely a lot of apps for it. But it still cannot replace your laptop. For Only Mac lovers there was an option of a fully functional tablet PC developed by Modbook Inc., The Modbook Pro.What they did was, take your Mac, build a complete new chassis, added a Wacom pressure sensitive stylus and more importantly, runs Os X Mountain Lion. Here's the link to the website but before you hit the link, it costs you 3,499$.

Last year with the entry of Microsoft into the tablet arena I was little positive about the outcome. The announcement of windows RT tablet was disappointing because it was just another tablet and none of the native windows apps work on it contrary to what they promised. The Microsoft Surface Pro on the other hand sounded very convincing and felt like a true replacement for the laptop. But is it quick enough considering the fact that most other major companies have announced and some of them already released their Pro tablets??

I couldn't wait longer and had purchased Acer Iconia w700 and it's definitely worth it. The packing is great and comes with a dock, bluetooth keyboard, a flip cover and looks exceptional. Boot time is greatly reduced and the new tiles interface is not so bad either. It's not totally bugless but so far I didn't see the need to take out my laptop.

The best part is, it starts from 750$ roughly depending on the processor and I must say, it's definitely worth a try. 

Considering the fact that more people are using the internet on the mobile devices loately, will the trend of laptop being used for your business and work shift to tablet PCs or will it fail?? Only time will tell!.