Net Neutrality or Why I have picked up Tor

The recent Net Neutrality debate has me scared.

The very notion that the internet (which has always been considered as a free medium) needs to be regulated and controlled by a select few gives me the creeps.

India has been always pro for regulation, and this has resulted in fewer scams, but take the Telecom bandwidth licensing issues for e.g. The whole reason why telecom companies are crying out murder against OTT (read the internet) services is this.

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Thoughts on Net Neutrality and TRAI’s Regulatory Framework Proposal

On 27th March 2015, TRAI has released a Consultation Paper proposing a regulatory framework for Over The Top (OTT) services.

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On Being Trolled and 66A

Everybody who is on the internet has probably heard of this term. Trolls or being trolled is fairly common. In fact there are sites such as 4chan where the sole purpose of the community is to troll on different activities.

Reddit is also one such community, where a lot of users are actively trolling and are being trolled. Being a long time lurker on Reddit, I used to read through multiple posts where fellow redditors would make hilarious comments (often to diffuse a situation). Funny, but at whose expense?

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Half Girlfriend

On a lazy Saturday afternoon, during the Diwali weekend, I saw this book lying unread on our bookshelf. Chetan Bhagat is an author who did huge waves with the launch of his first book, however book after book have been thrashed. There is something about CB and numbers.

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OLX is not only Badi Badi Baatein

If you have missed out on the Badi Badi Baatein ad which has been running on the television for quite some time now, do check it out. I am embedding the ad below as well (I love the melody and the jingle … not to mention that sometimes I do identify with the procrastination tendencies as well!!)

OLX is the india classifieds of the internet. Where people go to the site for searching good deals, selling their stuff or even offering professional services.

Online Marketplace

The market for local online market places is heating up. The once free model of Craig’s List has suddenly seemed more viable and profitable by a lot of Indian players. However, do not worry, the local marketplace model is not only Badi Badi Baatein … there is huge money in this business.

How does this free model turn profitable?

Well, lead harvesting for one. Providing correct information to the people seeking it for another. Essentially creating a marketplace where otherwise there was only ignorance.

Where else would I go for finding a second hand slightly used Samsung Galaxy SIII for INR 20000?

As I said before there are multiple players in this game … but I feel of the lot, OLX is different.

OLX stands out

With a clean User Interface (UI), simpler forms and very easy user experience, I have found that OLX is the easiest to operate. Yes, I do use the site for promoting my companies offerings in the different targeted cities.

The good part about the OLX site is that when my ad goes beyond the listing due to inactivity, I get reminded via an email … clicking on the email automatically logs me in and lets me edit my listing. This way, I can fine tune my listing and hope to generate more business.

Success is not only defined on how well the website looks … if you have gone through any of the different and varied category/city listings on OLX, you will suddenly see a plethora of different listings … people wanting to purchase something or the other, people offering services … the perfect online souk.

Going ahead

In any market, there initially is a lot of people who are shouting and vending their wares … over a period of time as the market matures, the successful businesses buy out the lesser successful ones and the market quietens down. And from there a clear leader emerges. I won’t be too surprised if OLX is among those leaders of online local marketplaces in the future.

The fact that they have received their Series A funding simply goes to point out that people are willing to put their money where their mouth is and that this business is a profitable one.

Indian politics: A conundrum of choice

This can also be titled, why I do not bother to vote any more. But lets keep that aside for the moment.

Here’s the thing, there are basically only two major national parties (yes there are others who claim to be national parties, but who are we kidding). The Congress and the NDA. There are other small time players which keep on switching sides as they see fit.

Over the past 15 years of my conscious life, I have seen the rules of both the parties (sadly more of Congress and less of NDA … but that really does not matter).

Both the parties have proved that they are corrupt and have some really royal scams to their names when they were in power. Both the parties have similar agenda. Both the parties hardly live upto expectations (however there are some exceptions to these, but they will never make it to the top of the pyramid).

Another facet in this conundrum is the fact that the Constitution of India mandates that all political parties declare themselves as upholding the socialist values of the country (at least on paper that is!). I don’t know how Mamtadi has a communist party which is against the constitution, but when have politicians really adhered to rules? So lets not bark up this wrong tree.

The point here is that the constitution more or less forces all parties to uphold the same ideological values (if any!!). Add to it that many MLAs switch sides to get something more for themselves from these two parties.

So at the end of the day, instead of debating on ideological differences, we end up seeing a simple mud-slinging campaigns between the two parties. Look they swindled x thousand crores and look how corrupt they are. At the end of the day the party going to rule is going to swindle. And that’s the sad moot point.

To the common man, it really does not make any difference whether Congress or NDA are the ruling party. All initiatives taken are so miniscule in nature that they end up being money making schemes for the ruling party (and in some cases for the opposing party as well).

So I hope the conundrum is pretty clear here … which party to vote for? The end result is the same. Choice is just an illusion.