Thursday, January 17, 2019

Replacing American parts with good-enough parts from Europe, Japan, or Russia is the quickest way for Sukhoi to create a non-American version of Superjet 100 for export to Iran [COMPACTIDEA]

It won't be easy, but it's possible if there's enough will and enough action. Iran desperately needs these planes. Russia desperately wants to sell passenger aircraft - and Iran will buy hundreds if Russia can provide. US-made components stand in the way. Europe isn't a pussy that its companies cannot provide substitutes for American components. Japan and Russia itself can also be alternative providers [maybe Canada too]. Russia must seize this opportunity presented to its airplane manufacturers and supply the airliners Iran needs and wants.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

It's quite disconcerting that great leaders of past and present have sometimes willingly put their own lives at stake in the pursuit of greatness and success

A good example is the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. As beautifully detailed in this latest Mustard video about the legendary Tupolev Tu-114 turboprop airliner, Khrushchev knowingly and willingly risked his own life by choosing a somewhat experimental and unfinished Tu-114 airliner [instead of the complete  / finished / tested albeit less glamorous Tu-116 variant] in order to make a grand entrance / landing in the US. He wasn't / isn't alone. Great leaders have sometimes chosen to put their own lives at stake in the pursuit of greatness. It isn't always technological confidence or knowledge that drives them to take risk - Khrushchev was no aviation expert [he did carry onboard pretty effective non-technical confidence-building means though - the son of the Tu-114's designer, no less!]. Instead, it's a burning desire to make an impression, to be seen as big and tall, that drives these men to endanger their own lives.

No one should be fooled that risking one's own life is an essential quality for big successes. No one should assume that the so-called "calculated risk" [MBAspeak bullshit] is not going to be fatal because it hasn't been fatal to great leaders. The great leaders that we know about are only those who risked their lives and happened to survive the risk. We never hear about or know about those men who just never made it - whose lives got ended during the risk-taking activity. It's essential to include these dead men in the probability / statistical calculation in order to arrive at a more realistic picture.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Meaning of arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's CFO, and how China should respond [COMPACTIDEA]

In one word, China should retaliate, and should retaliate immediately and forcefully. Immediately arrest one or more American CxO level folks on [otherwise genuine] charges ranging from helping America's illegal global spying operations and also aiding USA's killing of innocents in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere. Let the message spread worldwide. Let the world know the reasons for China's arrests - at least America's murderous wars will get ample news media coverage on the world stage. Let America know that it cannot touch China. The Americans have deliberately arrested a prominent Chinese woman in order to humiliate the Chinese even more, and it'll be better if the Chinese arrested one or more American female executives rather than male executives.

Monday, November 26, 2018

There's now pent-up demand in India for a Bollywood movie similar to Corporate or Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year [COMPACTIDEA]

Both of these movies are excellent. And have been widely praised and loved by the public. But there aren't too many movies like these in Indian cinema. It has been a long time since Rocket Singh, and now a good amount of pent-up thirst exists in the Indian audience for a movie similar to these. A movie that shows the lives of employees - lower, middle and higher level - in both large and small Indian companies.

These two movies quite accurately and comprehensively cover things that totally happen in reality in Indian companies - bullying by co-workers, casual or serious flirting, dreams and aspirations of young folks, hard work, theft of tangible or intangible company assets, jugaad, mistakes employees or interns / trainees make, rough relationship with your superiors, the different types of people that exist in identical job roles, tough life, limited money, frustrations and tensions, fun-filled office parties, female employees sleeping with their male bosses or with their male co-workers to get jobs or promotions, desi slang and also abuses, our obsession with not wasting our petrol, the role of politics and politicians, and so on.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Not championing Russian homegrown electronics, semiconductor, and software industries is a weak point of President Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin of Russia is astonishingly good in so many areas. But one weak area that's very important yet not discussed is that you haven't heard much from him - if at all - about the need for Russia to have strong domestic industrial base in electronics, software, Internet services, communication networks, semiconductors, and the like. It's possible that Vladimir Putin doesn't properly understand "stuff" such as Internet, computers, microprocessors, operating systems, routers, etc., and hence doesn't appreciate their power [compared to visible power of missiles, aircraft and ships]. What I term "strategic technological sovereignty" in these areas is crucial already, and is going to become only exponentially more important, as more and more devices/products become connected, and the civilization needs to be shielded from spying and thought manipulation by Western corporations/nations. Even if this independence comes at the expense of technological parity [meaning thereby that homegrown Russian technology stays a bit behind the latest Western technology], that's a more acceptable scenario than depending on West.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

For strategic technological sovereignty as well as national security, Russia needs at least a few domestically-designed microprocessors

Russia has been historically weak in semiconductors generally and microprocessors in particular [though the situation in software is somewhat better]. Near-total dependence on America's Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, etc., is not good at all for the nation. In the long term, Russia needs at least one decent-sized functional foundry inside its borders which both churns out domestically-designed chips at a medium pace, and also manufactures chips with classified / secret capabilities [you can't ask Samsung or TSMC to build these]. In the short term though, Russia urgently needs a fabless chip designer that designs chips based on both x86 and ARM architectures [possibly one SPARC and one MIPS chip too].

The reasons for this are both development of domestic semiconductor industry and also national security. I also mention, what I call "strategic technological sovereignty" as another important reason. As is stopping and possibly reversing brain drain of Russian talent to the West. For government needs as well as mission-critical tasks, only Russia's self-designed processors should be used, and not Intel's or AMD's.

China's Huawei's HiSilicon is such an excellent example of what Russia needs. It designs chips based on standard ARM architectures, and doesn't alter these designs [unlike Qualcomm and Samsung]. This keeps things easy and simple and manageable. China doesn't have to depend on Qualcomm for SoCs for mobile phones. Russia too needs a domestic chip designer. Sufficient domestic demand can be artificially created for this company by making sure that all government computers, smartphones, location devices, laptops, tablets, servers, etc., use chips designed by this company. Like a mutual funds tracks an index, different Russian chips should be pegged to specific Western chips [as if these Western chips were targets to be achieved or beaten], and attempt should be made to at least equal the Western chips in terms of price, durability/quality/reliability and specifications. Over time, the Russian public can be encouraged / nudged to prefer domestic chips rather than US-designed ones, particularly when Russian designs become broadly equivalent or superior to their Western brethren.

Update [9-Oct-18]: I just read this very long and fascinating article on Bloomberg, and realized how well-timed my blog post was. This article strongly reinforces the idea that Russia needs its own chips, its own code, and its own men working on its own machines. No one else can be trusted.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

When China acquires Taiwan, it will get access to many high-end technologies that it has been trying for a long time to gain [COMPACTIDEA]

By acquiring Taiwan, China will instantly get ownership of such gems as TSMC, MediaTek, Foxconn, as well as several dozen well-known and established computer hardware companies with large product lines and significant sales. The Made in China 2025 plan will get a significant boost from inclusion of Taiwanese companies, their research, their existing and prospective technologies, sales networks, and their partnerships, coming under the ownership and control of Beijing. Ownership of Taiwan is critical to China's 2025 plans specifically, and China's technological self-dependence more generally.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

In its relationship with America, India is behaving like that poor man who feels rich, elevated and important when dealing with a high-society person

I feel quite sad when I see multiple news stories these days showing how India is slowly drifting towards America, leaving our trusted friends - Russia and Iran - behind. Among other harmful steps of the Modi government, this one stands among the top worst. India doesn't realize that for USA specifically and Westerners generally, India is merely another pawn on the chessboard through which it wants to maintain and extend its global hegemony. It's very sad that India is foolishly "excited" to be working with, and to be seen working with the Americans. As if this somehow "elevates" India to the level of a more superior country than India is.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Can there be a version of the Airbus A320 aircraft called the R320 - powered by engines from Russia's Aviadvigatel?

I've always advocated that Russia, Iran, China, etc., shouldn't purchase Western [especially American] passenger planes [as far as possible], so as to not send billions of dollars of their money to the West. But this isn't always possible - at least not until Russia's own Irkut MC-21 and CRAIC CR929 airliners are ready for prime time. Till then, Russian airlines like Aeroflot, S7, and Rossiya are forced to buy Western equipment. Fine. But two steps should be taken to reduce the negative impact of this forced purchase of Western airplanes:
  1. Buy/prefer Europe's Airbus over America's Boeing. Better to buy A320s rather than Boeing's 737s. Why send billions to the most evil nation in mankind's history?
    1. Where possible, buy/prefer Bombardier or Embraer instead of A/B.
  2. Try to "Russify" the A320 by partnering with Airbus to produce a version of the A320 with Russian powerplants from Aviadvigatel [PS-90A2 and later PD-14]. To clearly distinguish it from the regular A320, call this one R320.
Why would Airbus agree to such a variant? The answer is orders and money. If Airbus can be convinced that by providing the R320, it can effectively shut out its main competitor Boeing from the Russian civil aviation market, there'll be ample financial and strategic incentive to make such a move. The A320 brand would remain untouched because the name R320 is sufficiently different. Further, if the Russian government or a Russian lessor asks Airbus for a few hundred R320s, Airbus probably won't be able to refuse such a large order for which relatively little customization might be needed [such a large single order will effectively be a pooling of smaller orders from various Russian airlines, collected into a single order placed by a single dominant entity, in order to increase the bargaining power of the buyer].

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Given enough time, all videos on YouTube can get large-looking number of views, thus signaling quality to a user without actually having quality

Since YouTube shows aggregate number of views for every video, the total number of views can go in only one direction - upwards. After "enough" time [without defining the term], even mediocre videos can collect thousands or tens of thousands of aggregate views [the headline number that is shown in search results], thus falsely implying to a user [in many cases] that the video is of good "quality" [where quality refers to the video's pixel resolution in only a small part]. The screenshot below is from such a video - an overall useless video that makes you click it because it has several thousand views and you feel that it should be at least decent.

A possible solution to this problem is to be able to specify to YouTube that "Show me number of views for each video from the last two years only.", or something along these lines. Or you could ask YouTube to also show the "per day views" ratio for each video, so that normalization is possible [one video might be 10 years old, while the other could be only 10 months old].