in deep existential crisis..

A Journal by Sara

Akamai’s Rankings of Internet Broadband Speeds and Penetration

Uhmm, I stumbled upon this piece in Rediff about the top internet speeds across the world. The list crowns South Korea as the leader of the pack with the average connection speed of 15Mbps. Bro, it is 15 Mbps, arghhh! How dumb I am all along, I never thought the connections existed beyond top speed of 5Mbps in any part of the world. But, here not even the top speed, but it is the average speed that South Korean government is dishing out to its citizens. Oh my God! A HD movie which could be downloaded in say 10 minutes, a torrent worth a huge video file in 15 minutes, a HD webcam transmitting without having to pause for ages and I can dream on for tons of possibilities. Bull crap, we might think, but in fact it is accessible just somewhere in this part of the globe. And the countries which are proud leaders in this segment are taking initiatives to bring even higher speed connectivity, including Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). Also, mind you, the average connection speed of the globe is 1.5 Mbps.

South Korea is also ranked first in terms of higher broadband connectivity with its majority of the subscribers (69%) getting at least minimum speed above 5Mbps. But, it is understandable the success of the broadband penetration given the relatively smaller and highly denser population of South Korea.

Who else? Japan ranks second with 54% connections above 7 Mbps, Hong Kong at third with almost similar average speed of Japan, Romania fourth with 5.7 Mbps joining closely with them is Sweden at fifth position, followed by Swiss over speed of 5 Mbps, but only leading the seventh seeded Netherlands marginally. Belgium, Slovakia and Norway occupy the last three spots with an average of 4.5 Mbps.

Oops! No wonder that girls of Romania and Slovakia are regulars on webcam sites. You can’t help but admire the great benefits of such high speeds.

akamai_soi_4q08_51

I could largely see a pattern associated in this graph, which is all the nations at the top are relatively smaller in size and population. Though, that cannot be the reason for incompetency of other 203 countries in the list barring few hopeless countries we at least have 100 countries still left with .

Expectedly, India comes almost last in that 100 country with Rediff quoting that we are dismal with the average Internet connection speed of 772 Kbps. Excuse me; 772 Kbps? Average speed in India? I beg to differ with this stat, when I last heard the Internet Penetration in India hovers somewhere around 2.5% of the entire population. i.e the number of users stand somewhere around 30 million. It’s also a fact, according to the India Online 2007, that only 37% of the users come from top 10 cities. Hence, a staggering 63% of the available users are from rural households. This is contrary to my belief that 90% of the subscribers come from top cities.

Let’s first have a look at these urban Internet users. If we agree, the speeds such as 2 Mbps or more is largely consumed by the corporations and enterprises with majority of the individual users having either 256 Kbps or 512 Kbps keeping in mind the price to utilization ratio. If we consider the rural areas, they don’t even have the options of 1 or 2 Mbps connection available for them. Already the urban’s average falls between 256-512 kbps, put rural majority also into the mix, which would bring that average connection speed miserably further down even, roughly leaving us around the figure of 300-350 Kbps as an average net connection speed. Keep in mind the another horrible fact that of the 30 million subscribers said above only 2.5 million use Broadband or superior connections, which even brings my figure to its nadir somewhere around 60-80 Kbps. Refer here to the TRAI’s 2007 telecom report. I think the average Internet Speed of 772 Kbps (half of the global average Internet speed) is a far cry for us, with our hopes still rooted to the ground.

Oof! Ironically, did you know that Congress Government declared 2007 to be the “Year of Broadband”? This is one among their innumerable promises and their constant stressing on how they are pro-reform and pro-development striving government. May be they thought that India would be much better off without people having instant access to the information they seek.

At its best, India managed to inch ahead of Nigeria in Broadband penetration.

Forget about the Broadband, India stands nowhere as far as even the Internet is concerned. But that’s another story reserved for another day.

P.S: Between I checked my Broadband speed and I am jubilant enough that I get 14 Kbps more than my subscribed speed and it stands beamingly at 270 Kbps. Check for yourselves below.

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April 8, 2009 Posted by | eWorld, Information Technology, Infra Structure, International, Internet, Issues, World | 2 Comments

The iPhone App Store – A tempting market

iPhone App Store

You can’t help but admire the potential of iPhone to unleash a fresh novel market for programmers writing application for App store. At their best, if they could cobble something together and put up a new app that could do a charm in the iPhone, yes, they could see fortune kissing them right on the head.

If there is ever an iPhone hall of fame, Mr. Nicholas’s portrait might hang next to that of Kostas Eleftheriou, a young Greek entrepreneur who lives in London. He and two friends wrote a program in seven days called iSteam, which fogs up the face of an iPhone like a bathroom mirror. They made more than $100,000 in three months.

The market that is up for taking, which actually tempts programming gurus to try their hands on, has already been catching up fast with people all over the world.

Nicholas ran up huge debts, in the recession economy, with finances tied up in every possible ways. That’s when he heard of the guy who made a quarter-million dollars in a hurry by writing a video game called Trism for the iPhone. Nicholas had a thought, sat 6 weeks in a stretch managing his work at Sun Microsystems, while putting everything he could writing an artillery game for iPhone. Result, he created iShoot, sent it for approval to Apple and the very next day it was released into the online App store. Few days gone, it was downloaded more than 2 million times.

Now it is a life changing experience for Nicholas, “That’s when he called his boss and said, ‘We need to talk,’ “And I quit my job.”

There are now more than 25,000 programs, or applications, in the iPhone App Store, many of them written by people like Mr. Nicholas.

As for Mr. Nicholas, he has sprung for a family vacation to Washington, hired a nanny and founded a company called Naughty Bits Software to keep developing iPhone programs (so far he is the only employee). “Oh, and I bought myself a new laptop,” he said. “I figured I deserved that.”

April 6, 2009 Posted by | Electronics/Products, eWorld | 1 Comment

India sleepwalks to Total Surveillance by GoI

 

The IT Act 2000, one of the crucial laws for security actions against cyber crimes, the first in Indian history was passed by the NDA government. NDA government also set the parameter stating as the cyber crime is highly dynamic and often complicated in nature, it would set up the panel to update the law to keep it relevant.

The amendment for the aforementioned bill, called as The IT Amendment Bill 2006, was passed by UPA government. The amendment was passed in a hurry on the December 22 2008 in less than 5 minutes without any debate which is regarded as one of the most controversial laws to have ever been passed in the nation India. Let me put it in simple terms, the amendment allows the government to intercept messages from mobile phones, computers, and other communication devices to investigate any offence, not serious offence of the grade of terrorist attacks, but any silly offence that you might negligently commit.

As one website puts it in more detail of the whole amendment,

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Any email you send, any message you text are now open to the prying eyes of the government. So are the contents of your computer you surfed in the privacy of your home.

Around 45 amendments have been made to the original Act, which now treats both publishers of online pornography and its consumers on equal footing. A law so sweeping in its powers that it allows a police officer in the rank of a sub-inspector to walk in or break in to the privacy of your home and see if you were surfing porn or not. It’s the personal morality of the official that will decide whether the picture/content you were looking at was lascivious or appeals to prurient interest.

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More info here.

March 31, 2009 Posted by | Economics, India, Information Technology, Internet, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Politics | Leave a comment

AIG – to pay bonus to its top executives

 

You might read AIG as ‘American International Group Inc’, as they have stood for, else call ‘All Investments Gone’ as the reality calls for and read the title of this column.

Since few days, AIG has drawn lot of flak and public outrage, after the news poured in that AIG has paid its executives, bonuses amounting to $165 million. Obama has vowed that he would try every possible legal avenue to stop such bonuses being paid out.

AIG has 80% stakes of United States government, after receiving four bailouts totaling to $170 billion. AIG has been questioned on the transactions that were made with the tax payer’s money and finally it has listed the transactions with payee’s consent.

The largest single recipient was Goldman Sachs ($12.9 billion). Other recipients include 20 European banks that received a total of $58.8 billion and Merrill Lynch ($6.8 billion), Bank of America ($5.2 billion), Citigroup ($2.3 billion) and Wachovia ($1.5 billion).

Big foreign banks also received large sums from the rescue, including Société Générale of France and Deutsche Bank of Germany, which each received nearly $12 billion; Barclays of Britain ($8.5 billion); and UBS of Switzerland ($5 billion).

Altogether, the disclosures account for $107.8 billion in A.I.G. bailout money which leaves us wondering about the rest of the money. Another $30 billion was added to the A.I.G. bailout pot this month and must be accounted for as soon as it is spent. That leaves some $32 billion unaccounted for. Where did it go?

If you get a measure of how a certain $165 million spent out of that $32 billion, it sure does sting. A staggering $165 million handed out as bonuses for employees of a company that nearly took down the financial system. And heck, the taxpayers, own nearly 80 percent of A.I.G.

A senator was fuming hearing about the bonus payments,

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“A.I.G. has been trying to play the American people for fools by giving nearly $1 billion in bonuses by the name of retention payments,” Mr. Cummings said on Sunday. “These payments are nothing but a reward for obvious failure, and it is an egregious offense to have the American taxpayers foot the bill.”

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Obama On an interview,

The Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, appearing on “60 Minutes” on CBS on Sunday night, said: “Of all the events and all of the things we’ve done in the last 18 months, the single one that makes me the angriest, that gives me the most angst, is the intervention with A.I.G.”

He went on: “Here was a company that made all kinds of unconscionable bets. Then, when those bets went wrong, they had a — we had a situation where the failure of that company would have brought down the financial system.”

In deciding to rescue A.I.G., the government worried that if it did not bail out the company, its collapse could lead to a cascading chain reaction of losses, jeopardizing the stability of the worldwide financial system.

The list released by A.I.G. on Sunday, detailing payments made between September and December of last year, could bolster that justification by illustrating the breadth of losses that might have occurred had A.I.G. been allowed to fail. Some of the companies, like Goldman Sachs and Société Générale, had exposure mainly through A.I.G.’s derivatives program. Others, though, like Barclays and Citigroup, stood to lose mainly because they were customers of A.I.G.’s securities-lending program, which does not involve derivatives.

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AIG is the source of global financial disorder, as viewed by most experts across the world, for their risky financial practices and short term target achievements. Indeed, as the system, says what is your worth for this financial quarter and as it evaluates you on YoY basis, even the executives have just seen the quarters ahead of the decades. Consequence, he gets a performance bonus for the fiscal quarter whereas the entire world goes bust on YoY basis.

Should not the top executives of the firm apologize in front of the people, pleading guilty for their unpardonable acts rather than filling their pockets with the abuse of the entire world?

May be, is he rewarded for meeting his previous quarter’s target, in fact exceeding by far miles. What could one do if he chose to say that he is only answerable to his firm and not to the world outside the firm? It sure does sting, and leads to the inevitable question of who is accountable to whom?

Suddenly capitalism looks down at its depth !

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Business/Industries, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Finance/Markets, India, Infra Structure, Issues, Policy/Strategies | 1 Comment

Low Tech Fixes for the High Tech Problems!

Here are some of the Low Tech Fixes for the High-Tech Problems. Looks like you can get through any failure of any expensive e-devices yourself, if you care to have a refridgerator and a set of basic tools.

February 20, 2009 Posted by | Electronics/Products, Modern Trendss | Leave a comment

Decade at Bernard Madoff!

 

Paul Krugman, while analyzing the American Economics debacle, looks back at the great depression which was eventually followed by World War II, which in turn, set up mass employment, rising incomes and substantial inflation.

Since nothing of such sorts on offer in the current state of affairs, he concludes that the debt people ran up so blithely would take years to be worked off.

Ghewwww! A thought on reverse way!

A good political system is often a necessity to bring in prosperity and wealth to people driving up economic fortunes and stability to the country. The system has swung in all directions so long and so much that it has rested itself in an upside down position, warranting a bad political system and instability among countries to drive up the weaker economics which in turn would lead to prosperity and goodness of citizens.

It’s the kind of self-digging which sometimes force you to think Adam Smith is the forefather of Adolf Hitler.

February 17, 2009 Posted by | Business/Industries, Economics, Finance/Markets, Issues, Policy/Strategies, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An undelivered parcel for Obama…

 

Alfred Brock, 64, of Winnfield, Louisiana drove up to one of the barricades of U.S Capitol with a rifle in his vehicle and when blocked told police officers that he had a delivery for President Obama. Earlier to this incident, couple of months back, two others were arrested in Colorado and Florida for posing threats to Obama.

Hmm…President Obama seems to be a tough opponent, be it anything .. Imagine him screaming aloud in a rock concert with a guitar on his hand … singing …….either run me down or gun me down..you know I will win you hands down …. phewww!!!

February 11, 2009 Posted by | Crime/Violence, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

I drew with computer!

Hoo! Hoo! At last I managed not to lose yet another game with Yoto Yotov’s Chess IT3 Version, but I did not win the game either! It was damn interesting; I managed to stalemate the computer. Hov! And how? It was a very special case, even I was not aware of this case of a stalemate. My king was in the first rank, and computer’s rook and pawn were in the second rank. I had few more powers too!

Now, the computer’s move, surprisingly it chose to move pawn to 8th rank and promote with Queen, where I thought I am on a direct checkmate! But the game ended in a draw, throwing a stalemate

Though it is considered an inferior way of drawing the game, yet I was happy to have made computer such dumb ass!

P.S: .I was surprised to have learnt a new stalemate variety after these many years!

September 14, 2008 Posted by | Miscellaneous, Other, Sports | 1 Comment

Launching the Cool gadget!

Billions of devices are made till date and to maintain the edge, companies have left no stone unturned.We have a company, whose employees are also vigorously trying to turn one such stone, with a lot of muscle power. Yes, our famous, super cool company known for its innovation, ‘Dapple Inc’. The popular ‘Blueiff’ website has come with a cool headline quoting ‘Wherever you are, run to Dapple Stores immediately’, excited, all ran.

‘Dapple coming up with yet another promo event, introduces (rather gift, such affectionate they are) iNothing to the world’. Of course, it is an ultra light thin, iNothing. Yes, world has at last got iNothing, thanks Dapple. Dapple Chairman proudly unveiled nothing, oops, iNothing and was carefully detailing his presentation slides to the dignitaries.

Our brand new iNothing box consists of nothing; (okay not again), iNothing, a data cable which can only charge the device and surprisingly stronger battery, reason explained later. Our iNothing is as usual, thinner and lighter than our competitor’s products. Though this time, we have made a superior ergonomic iProduct, which is our special case of iNothing. iNothing has a flat smooth surface at the front side, so much so that, neither we bothered to put in buttons spoiling the smoothness, nor we have added the touch controls which surprises users most often, with its own inimical style.

Though, we have to sacrifice on the features front of iNothing, to an awful extent that it has really got nothing inside, but still we have come up with something for its hefty price, that your battery stands for 2 full moons, and to play around with iNothing, you just have to show the rear side to the full moon, which has the Dapple logo glowing in the moonlight, also effectively saving your battery. To sum up, we have an innovative product, coined iNothing which has a battery that could last for 2 full moons, even after that just with a full moon. Show us one competitor who has such an effective battery incorporated?

Now, the news spread out like a fire about the Dapple i-launch and people all over the country has lined up for buying iNothing at Dapple Stores. Our Blueiff journalist, caught hold of an i-fanatic, in the queue who looked he’s straight out of his bathtub to the Dapple stores. We asked, what are you here for? I am here to buy the Dapple product, he said. What product? He said in a low tone, just to let only us know, that he don’t know, but heard that Dapple has come up with yet another iStuff, which he heard is pretty cool. Our journalist was kind enough to let him know that he is about to buy the cool gadget called iNothing, for which he raised his brows ans said thanks! Mate!

Journo asked, do you at least know what iNothing is used for? He answered, ‘iNothing, a freaky name, I am sure it would be used for everything. By the way, after a minute he blinked at him, asking does he have an idea or two on that?, Journo said, Well, as far I gather from reliable sources, I am afraid to let you know it really is used for nothing and is really nothing except for the cool logo. And not to mention its price!

The guy replied, Cool, Not an issue! I like the logo embossed and is actually more important for me to let folks know I have an iProduct. If it’s nothing, don’t worry! Mate! They will really come up with an i3.0 or i3.1 version of iNothing, fixing them all. I am confident! Money, Ha! Never an issue, as long as I have my credit card!

Little did he know, he is going to buy really nothing, but his bank statement will show him something.

P.S: ‘Blueiff’ has ordered its editor to prepare a report describing all the future iProducts and also some captivating headlines. The future iProducts are coming soon!

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Electronics/Products, Miscellaneous, Modern Trendss, No Disclaimers | 2 Comments

The next blogsite coming up …..

I was thinking for a little too long now, to kick start a blog in Tamil and continue posting and interacting with you all there as well. Now, I will work on that and try to bring the site up in a day or two. Hope everyone continues to support me in this new outing too!

September 11, 2008 Posted by | Miscellaneous | Leave a comment