Sunday, September 17, 2017

For me, only a three years old Apple iPhone model starts to seem like value for money [COMPACTIDEA]


It's no joke that I go after value for money [VFM] products and services. For me, the latest and greatest iPhone is always a sheer waste of money. It's usually the oldest iPhone model that Apple is still selling [at any point in time] that seems like the most value for money. No matter what someone else says, I know for sure that the iPhone 5s, even today, is a terrific phone [permanent link] for those whose usage is what can be called "normal". Don't upgrade to the latest OS version, or else the phone will become terribly slow. Stay on the original OS the phone comes with, and it'll feel awesome.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Why America is obsessed with not letting Russian-built anti-missile systems getting purchased and installed by different nations [COMPACTIDEA]

"In 1998…I was being constantly visited by the ambassadors of Great Britain, the United States and EU member states. Their message was the same: that the missile system must not be installed in Cyprus because this would create tensions in the region and would undermine, supposedly, the prospects for a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem and would pose difficulties to the fulfilment of Cyprus’ EU ambitions."

"Of course, behind these arguments lay the concern, mostly of Britain and the United States, over the capability of the Russian missile system to end the exclusive monitoring of the region by British radars." [link]

US is obsessed about it being the only country in the world with a global missile warning and shield system. US behaves like a fish out of water when there's talk about some country thinking of buying Russia's S-300, Antey-2500, S-400, etc., anti-missile systems. US doesn't want Russia to be able to have radar monitoring of various regions of the world. Neither does it want to give Russia the capability of eventually connecting/integrating its various systems deployed by different countries into a single, global system. So US tries its best to stop different nations from buying a Russian system.


"US Goes Mental Over Turkey's Deal With Russia on S-400 Supplies - Erdogan" [link]

Friday, September 08, 2017

Funny conspiracy theory - there could be secret deal between US and North Korea to enrich America's military-industrial complex [COMPACTIDEA]

So trump wants hundreds of millions of dollars for himself and his sons. America's military-industrial complex is ready to provide these funds to Trump for free, provided he gives them billions of dollars worth of orders for new military equipment. So Trump secretly calls up Kim Jong-un, and begs him to do a covert deal - America would use its control over world media to artificially create a threat from North Korea, and North Korea would also respond as if it's ready to attack US/Japan/South Korea. The tensions will make it easy to place orders for new weapons, and the military-industrial complex will be showered with billions of dollars, and Trump will be showered with hundreds of millions, and Kim Jong-un himself will pocket tens of millions. Then a few weeks/months later, some public deal will be worked out, and the dust will settle, but the orders will [of course] stay. Everyone is happy!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

US has more land area than China - if US population grows substantially, it'll be able to counter China's momentum [COMPACTIDEA]

China is attractive because of its size. China isn't very efficient yet, in the sense that its GDP-per-capita is quite low. US has slightly more land than China, but substantially less population [though substantially higher GDP-per-capita]. US has an opportunity to "contain" China by doubling its population. Double population will produce more and consume more and will massively increase the attractiveness of US as a market [and simultaneously lower the attractiveness of China, because total attractiveness is a zero-sum game]. US, no doubt, is already an attractive market due to its size and efficiency, but if US wants to lower China's increasing attractiveness, it must increase its own "size".

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Net neutrality and DTH services for viewing TV channels [COMPACTIDEA]

Net neutrality isn't being followed in case of private DTH services in India. The tariff plans that are currently available from Airtel, Reliance, Sun, Tata Sky, etc., provide higher number of channels for higher monthly rental. This means that if you choose lower rental, some/many channels are just not available to you. This is exactly what net neutrality wants to avoid.

Solution? Give all channels in all tariff plans. Higher monthly rental should allow higher number of viewing hours. But there shouldn't be any limit on which channels are available to whom.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Thoughts on my love for landline phones, and on the voice quality of mobile phone calls in India these days

My feelings for landline [and cordless] phones have grown increasingly positive recently. In India, the voice quality on landline phones is much, much more clear than on mobile phones. Mobile to mobile calls are pure horse shit, while mobile-landline calls are merely acceptable. It's the landline-landline calls that stand out as awesome. Crystal clear sound quality, no disturbance, no weird hisses or noises. You're actually able to peacefully talk and conduct business and convey your thoughts to the other side properly and calmly on a landline-landline call. On mobile-mobile calls, half of your brain is wasted deciphering - through moments of noise, hisses, silence and disturbances - what the other party is trying to say, and this subconsciously confuses your brain and makes it busy and makes you irritated and doesn't allow you to think properly, leading to reduced quality of thoughts and poorer conversations [and thus poorer outcomes]. So many times you have to say "hello, hello, hello" to signal to the other party that you can't hear them. It's sort of torture. This isn't how mobile phone calls are supposed to be. They keep marketing 3G, 4G, etc., but what about the most thing - voice calls?

That's why lately I've started loving landline and cordless phones. No, we aren't ready for a mobile-only world. Landline phones are essential and do things that you just can't currently do on mobile phones - at least not here in India. Fierce competition in the mobile telecom industry and the resultant financial pressure has meant that call quality has taken a nosedive, calls drops have become commonplace, and signal strength has suffered greatly. What's the use of such competition? Even if you're willing to pay 1.25 times the bill, you can't buy guaranteed high-quality voice calls.

Landline phones have another advantage. Plausible deniability. If it's ringing, you don't necessarily have to pick it up [unlike mobile phones which are assumed to be near you]. You can call back later when convenient.

One more benefit of landline phones, which I discovered recently, is that the mobile company "Free" in France offers a cheap monthly prepaid plan to French customers which includes unlimited voice calls free to only landline phones in 80 countries. And guess what, the audio quality of these mobile-to-landline calls is superb. As good as domestic landline-to-landline calls in India. This is how mobile calls are supposed to be. Not the cow shit that mobile calls are currently in India.

Yet another benefit of landline phones is something I discovered recently during the Ram Rahim fiasco. The Punjab government disabled SMS and mobile Internet data services on all mobile phones, but broadband Internet continued to be available uninterrupted via wired connections. Those whose only source of Internet was mobile phones took a hit.

Further, over the last few months, the cellular signal of Airtel has gone down multiple times. During such times, it was either landline phones that came to the rescue, or your secondary mobile phone powered by a different mobile service provider. Redundancy, that is. The service of landline phones, on the other hand, hasn't gone down in at least the last several years.

And who can deny that cordless/landline phones look far more royal, elegant, and professional? And who can deny that cordless/landline phones are more comfortable to hold, especially for long calls? And who can deny that [being geographically immovable and implying the existence of a physical workplace], a landline number feels more "stable" and "corporatish" than a cell number?