Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Idea Cellular divorced me...

My DCE-days cellular number - 9891681609 - I've lost it. When I returned from South Korea a few weeks back, I was no longer the owner of my own prepaid mobile number. Idea told me yesterday that they had sold my "lifetime" mobile number to some Krishna Sharma while I was in Seoul, without asking or telling me. Not even an email came to my registered email address. Idea folks tell me that there's no way that I can get back my number now. In fact, they tell me that it isn't even my number now. I've been using this number for 6-7 years now. At an average rate of ~20 rupees per day [600 a month], I've paid them in excess of INR 50,000 over the last 7 years. Yes, INR fifty thousand in balance recharges. Maybe even more, since I've extensively used my phone for all types of services - voice, SMS, Internet access and roaming. And Idea didn't give any value to this years-old relationship. All my friends, relatives, business relations and institutions [banks, insurance companies, past employer, etc.] have my this number registered in their records. Now I'll have to change my registered mobile number in all of these records.

This "lifetime" relationship didn't last a lifetime. It's sad, but as always, life is about moving on.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Comparing a suicide bomber to a cruise missile [UPDATED]

This thought came to my mind yesterday, when my family was having some discussions about a news story, while we were watching TV.

What is a suicide bomber like? He's like a very, very intelligent cruise missile. A cruise missile cruises its way to its target. It can be steered during its course, and it explodes and damages/destroys its target when it finally reaches it.

If we forget for a while that a suicide bomber is a human whereas a cruise missile is a machine, a suicide bomber can be thought of as a cruise missile that happens to also have all the nice qualities of a human - intelligence, locomotion, dexterity, etc. A cruise missile might be able to carry higher and deadlier payload [and faster too], but contemporary cruise missiles can't beat the intelligence of a human suicide bomber. The bomber can look around at the situation and can continuously adjust his approach depending upon changing circumstances - his path, his gestures, his timing, etc. - in order to ensure a successful kill. A modern cruise missile cannot do this.

Yet, fundamentally the method and purpose of both weapons remains the same - rapidly travel to the target while evading detection, and damage/destroy the target in a suicidal way.

UPDATE [10-Nov-15]: Armed drones carrying cruise missiles can also be roughly thought of as a type of cruise missile, since both follow a "cruising" path, or more correctly, a path that can be dynamically adjusted in real-time. On the other hand, while missile-laden drones provide photographic and other data, cruise missiles don't [or could cruise missiles be armed with high-speed cameras to provide photos/videos of the path that the missile traverses?].