Sunday, September 25, 2016

In a way, The Washington Post's online subscription is competing with cable TV subscription, and so on [COMPACTIDEA]

For someone who loves both but can't buy both, the competition is real. Further, The Washington Post's online subscription offers a wealth of professionally-made content - news, commentary, videos, and so on for a relatively reasonable price [especially when bought for a full year]. It could satisfy the bulk of one's daily content needs, if not all [which it certainly won't, but YouTube could start to fill that gap soon]. Similarly, The Washington Post's online subscription also competes with Netflix's, even though the comparison isn't quite obvious [it shows up for those who like/need/want both but can't afford both or don't want to spend on both].




Tuesday, September 20, 2016

KGB is a formidable brand - Russia should resurrect this world famous agency [COMPACTIDEA]

There isn't any function of KGB left that isn't already covered by Russia's current agencies - FSB, FSO, SVR, and GRU. Except one - a dreaded, formidable, respected, world-famous brand name. The word KGB still holds unparalleled recognition and status in the world. Even the word CIA doesn't feel as much exotic, fear-inducing and eyebrow-raising as KGB does. Russian President Vladimir Putin should revive this name, this globally recognized brand that the Soviet Union spent decades nurturing and cultivating into the force it was.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

In a way, Libya's destruction occured because of Russia's abstention from UNSC vote [COMPACTIDEA]

Russia had already seen how US unilaterally attacked and destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet it abstained from UNSC vote on Libya, which the Americans and Europeans quickly [and purposely] misinterpreted as they pleased to launch a murderous blitzkrieg on Libya, an operation that was never sanctioned by the vote. Libya fell, along with its charismatic ruler Muammar Gaddafi, and the once-prosperous nation is now in ruins, being looted bit by bit by the West.
 
Russia has a lot of moral responsibility for what has happened and is happening in Libya. If only Russia had exercised its veto, the hundreds of thousands of Libyans killed in Western bombings ask from the skies.

Why do restaurants in India charge both service tax and VAT on the full basic amount of the bill [COMPACTIDEA]

I don't like this and I don't find this logical, no matter what people say. Service is only a component of the total "experience" we got at the restaurant. Part of the experience was the food [the "product"] and rest was service. Then how can the full basic amount of the bill [before taxes] be entitled to both service tax and VAT? This isn't about the service charge. Either something is entirely a product or entirely a service or part product and part service. Current taxation doesn't seem correct. People are being looted by the Indian government which clearly sees this but stays quiet. And in this CCD bill, there's even some an Additional Tax charged. The basic bill got inflated by ~24% due to taxes. And the money that a person spends on buying this stuff at CCD was already taxed in the form of income tax. This 24% burden is after that 10%-30% income tax burden. Bullshit!


Is Chrome OS of today anything more than a locked-down version of Windows? [COMPACTIDEA]

Ever since I started using Google's Chrome OS on a Asus Chromebit a few weeks ago, I've felt that maybe Chrome OS is nothing more than a highly locked-down version of Windows. Windows can be stripped and locked down so that it'll run nothing but a Web browser. It could be packaged on a USB stick and optimized in a way that booting [and shutting down] would take place in seconds. Other customizations could be made easily as well. What makes Chrome OS different/novel, if anything? Isn't Chrome OS a subset of Windows? Isn't it an OS that can run only one application - the browser? Can't Windows be "reduced" to start mimicking Chrome OS and thus start providing the admittedly many genuine benefits of Chrome OS? It looks very much possible, especially since Google itself constructed Chrome OS by initially starting with Linux. The many shortcomings of Chrome OS could be addressed this way [for example, not having a lightening-fast Notepad to quickly write down something].

Friday, September 16, 2016

Western leaders try to discredit Vladimir Putin's popularity among Russian people because they themselves don't get half as much love

Barack Obama recently desperately complained about Putin's sky-high popularity levels among the Russian people. Not just that, he tried to discredit the popularity by comparing Putin to Saddam and by essentially implying that Putin's popularity "isn't real".

“When the interviewer asks him [Trump], ‘why do you support this guy [Putin]?’ He says, ‘He is a strong guy. Look, he’s got an 82 percent poll rating.’ Well, yes, Saddam Hussein had a 90 percent poll rating. If you control the media and you’ve taken away everybody's civil liberties, and you jail dissidents, that's what happens...” - Obama

In reality, all Western leaders are deeply jealous in their hearts that they don't get even half as much love from their respective populations as much Putin gets from the lovely Russian people. This jealousy, this frustration makes them angry and they try to "explain off" Putin's ratings. Look at the photos below and this full video. No Hollande, no Cameron, no Sarkozy, no Obama, no Merkel, no Blair, no Clinton and no Bush will ever get even a fraction of this kind of love and respect from their populations as Putin gets from his people. Because unlike Putin, these losers aren't true leaders. They'll continue to burn in the fireball of their internal jealousy and frustration.




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A clear demonstration of value-for-money versus brand using Audi and Skoda cars [COMPACTIDEA]

Following screenshots make it clear that if you go for the Audis, you pay more and yet in terms of both size [implying space] and features [implying comfort, convenience, entertainment, safety, etc.], the Skodas are superior on an overall basis [taking a rough weighted sum of various features present or absent in these cars]. So if you go for the Audis, you're sacrificing size/features in order to get the four rings. With Skoda, your brand comes down somewhat but the meat you get to chew increases materially. The A3, for example, stands nowhere in front of the top, L&K variant of the Superb [if you compare the features and specifications in detail - and not look only at the screenshots here], yet it costs a lot more. And don't forget, the INR 38+ lacs Audi A4 petrol has only 1.4 liter engine! Happy wrapping the four rings around your neck :-)




Update [18-Sep-16]: Even the top variant of VW Jetta gives terrific value compared to far more costly yet smaller cars from, say, Mercedes. Of course, the brands don't compare.

Monday, September 12, 2016

DTH set-top boxes are currently locked to operators - this is not good at all [COMPACTIDEA]

It's like buying locked mobile phone that can be used on only one mobile network. Currently an Airtel box works only with Airtel, a Reliance box with only Reliance, and so on. Very bad. Boxes should be universal. Like we can change SIM in a phone, we should be able to change the smart card in a STB to switch to a different provider. Branding on the STB should be of the manufacturer, and not to DTH service provider.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's possible that foreign firms that are subcontractors for American weapons firms slowly start supporting America's wars

The basic idea here is that when the fortunes [jobs/profits] of these foreign firms start to depend upon recurring "orders" from American defense firms [Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop, etc.], then these foreign firms subconsciously/unknowingly start to like and want the relentless wars that America is waging worldwide. Absent these wars, the profitable American orders could/would dry up, leaving employees jobless and also creating ripples in politics. These foreign firms would, therefore, start to push their domestic governments to exercise support for these global American wars on the international stage, so that the factories keep running, even if this results in thousands or even millions killed in the process. In this way, American weapons-making companies are indirectly able to influence the politics in other nations, and are able to "buy" supporting votes for the American government's foreign policy decisions [which, obviously, these weapons companies themselves dictate].


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The full power of Google's Chrome OS will be unleashed when Native Client code starts being used regularly [COMPACTIDEA]

Native Client has been promising desktop-class performance inside the Web browser for many years now, but we still don't see widespread usage of this marvelous technology. I recently started using Chrome OS, and I strongly feel that its true potential will be realized when Chrome OS eventually starts utilizing Native Client regularly and heavily.