Nut Neutrality -2

You have media houses like Times Group, NDTV  supporting net neutrality. You telecom operators like Airtel saying that they are not opposed to net neutrality and they don’t plan to throttle or block content. Then you have internet social sites like facebook and google wanting it for obvious reason. You have the e-commerce sites like flipkart and cleartrip now suddenly discovering that they were on the ‘wrong’ side. If everybody is agreeing to ‘it’, what is the problem, you will ask.

That is what our telecom industry man TRAI  cheief Khullar is saying :

In exclusive comments to the Indian Express, TRAI chief Telecom regulator Rahul Khullar had also said that the furore had been sparked off by a ‘ corporate war’ between a media house and a telecom operator, which is ” confounding already difficult matters”. (source Firstpost ). Lo, he is confounded‘. The man whom we pay to be stay clear of corporate wars take an informed stand for larger public good is confounded!  Whether he is genuinely confounded or not is another matter. Read this:

“It looks like Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its consultation paper, has copy-pasted from submissions of telcos. India has a robust and at times, overbearing IT Act,” IAMAI President Subho Ray was quoted as saying by PTI. “

I call ‘Net neutrality’ as ‘it‘ because it defies definition much like secularism, freedom of expression etc. Even the Congress supports it now! Since the devil is in details it is best to lay down clear principles (see https://raverantreflect.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/nut-neutrality/ ) We can’t depend on assurances of Airtel Chief or some other corporate bosses. They have their respective jobs to do.

All the above corporate lobbies have one thing in common: build something and seek rents. These rentiers care two hoots for your or mine privacy, unfettered and un-influenced access to internet.  All these companies may have their own rent  seeking business models. But public policy can’t be decided by their business models. We expect Khullar to not just to stay neutral but also to be competent and well informed to form an independent policy which will uphold public good.

We also expect RS Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology to stand when a confounded Khullar fails. Can we expect that?

 

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Nut Neutrality!

These are the days! Movies hit 100 crore jackpot in days. Samsung and Apple sell millions of smartphones each costing more than a bike in weeks. Apps and songs downloads hit million mark in days. Videos go viral infecting millions in minutes. By the time you realize something is a hit, it was a hit. By the time you open your morning newspaper the news it carries are stale. I wasn’t looking and this Nut Neutrality hit the ceiling. Flipkart supported Airtel in its nut plans and withdrew it at a speed that will put the likes of Mulayam to shame. Since I am deeply suspicious of anything that Airtel does -I think they mix up my MB downloads and re-lable them as GB – I was instinctively ‘inclined’ to ‘neutrality’.

But what got me annoyed was -Vishal Dadlani, Diggy, TOI, Rajdeep, and Barkha were also dropping their secularism and ‘siding’ with ‘neutrality’ even though there are clear signs that Ravishankar Prasad and Modi Sarkar are going to lean towards neutrality.

To add to my confusion it seems that TRAI is opposing it. Now TRAI being a body ‘representing’ telecom operators, as a customer my views are by default opposite of TRAI on most matters -until I verify and change my stand.

So here I am stranded helplessly, deciding which side of the nut I would prefer. My problem is compounded because everyone supports it like they supported the reservation policy, Haj Subsidy, Old Land Acquisition Bill,  and The Climate Science blaming Carbon. Unanimity of this kind makes me uncomfortable.

Therefore I decided to chuck the word neutrality. Here is what I want:

1. The internet is a public good, public utility like water or roads. No one except the public can own it and do to it what they please. Every private or government party has been licensed to build it, provide it, and charge money in return.

2. The internet protocols are by definition neutral or agnostic to what data (or content) they transport and it is open. That is the reason it has grown, become enormously useful, and is now a public utility. Differentiating the data streams according the content inherently violates this basic foundation.

3.  We wish to pay for our internet use. If you want to give it free you should do it without disturbing internet’s technical structure -it means you can’t sniff data packets to adjust your cash counters. We don’t want such innovation.

4. If you invest in building internet infrastructure you should do this according to your business plans. Don’t expect us to agree to change public policy just because you will make losses or make less profits. You got internet service licence, stick to its terms. Nobody forced you bid those high prices for spectrum. Nobody forced you to take on additional subscribers without having spectrum and infrastructure in place. So stop cribbing about your losses and pay attention to voice and data quality.

5.  We need good service from you the telecom operators. And open your data download metering to public scrutiny.

6. By the way, when I watch video on youtube your data meters start spinning wildly -so what are you complaining about?

7. It is not inconceivable given your (telecom operators and other tech giants like google, IBM..) ‘innovative streak’ you may already be throttling \ speeding some content based your business model(s) without anyone looking. In the US, Comcast was hauled over coals for blocking some content. I recall I used to face huge problems in accessing some web sites ( twitter.com, linkedin.com) on PC, while their app versions worked like charm on my mobile. Was it because twitter and linkedin wanted to promote their apps, like every e-commerce site wants to promote app use (you can steal a lot user data from mobile)? Did they pay you guys? Looks suspicious.

Now stop being Nuts and don’t sniff and snuff my data.

But I know that unless the the TRAI is overhauled and unless Mr. Khullar is shown the door you (telecom and tech companies) can do what you please.

Shrikar Pardeshi (outgoing head, PMPML) lecture on Pune’s bus transit system improvements

Amit Paranjape's Blog

PMPML PMPML (image credit: wikipedia)

Attended an excellent lecture by Shrikar Pardeshi (IAS, 2001. Outgoing head of PMPML) this afternoon. This program was organized PMP Pravasi Manch and Sajag Nagrik Manch.

After the lecture, Pardeshi was felicitated by dozens of citizens groups. Pardeshi has achieved a near ‘rock star’ like status among his fans (many citizens of Pune)…A long line of people were queuing up to thank him! This is not something you would see happen very often, especially when it comes to a bureaucrat! Clearly, the work he has delivered in his various roles (PCMC Commissioner, Revenue Dept,….in addition to the short stint with PMPML) has been impressive.

For far too long, the PMPML has been in a pathetic condition. It was created in 2007, after the merger of PMT and PCMT. Even before 2007, the PMT was not exactly a great public transport service, compared to services in other…

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About being ‘Green’

I received this piece from a friend. Credits: unnamed author.

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Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.

The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

The older lady said that she was right — our generation didn’t have the “green thing” in its day. The older lady went on to explain:

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But, too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.

We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.

Back then we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “greenthing” back in our day.
Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief(remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up oldnewspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a r azor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull..

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the”green thing.” We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person.

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off… Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much.

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Our generation did not invent political correctness, but we can fight it

Claire Lehmann

Political correctness is not a new phenomenon. The fact is that many dangerous questions are currently walled off by the baby boomers who dominate our universities (and large sectors of the media). Today’s culture war likes to scapegoat young people for the rise of the illiberal Left, but the responsibility really lies with the generation who came before us.

Each one of us has the ability to generate a hypothesis. A hypothesis simply comes from asking a question about the world and then using our imaginations to answer it. Almost every advance in human history first came from a person willing to look at the world, or the status quo, from a different angle. But if questions and hypotheses are going to have any impact they must be articulated. Questions have to come out of our minds and into the world around us.

The problem with P.C. is that it…

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It’s my turn, OK?

image

That’s what the boy seems to be telling his Tai (sister). She just had a ride. The bicycle is new, not all packing stuff has come off yet.
Couldn’t get close enough to the kids and had to shoot at my waist level. So couldn’t look at the screen properly. A heavily cropped pic.
From my morning walk today.

Hemant
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