AWS Workmail – 0d review

I am a long-time user of Google Apps Free version for a long time with a handful of users. I use primarily email, but some assortment of other apps also. Google promised to always offer a free version, even when there are for-price versions. It continues to do a decent job of keeping up with the promise, although I sometimes… Read more →

Paradigm of Hypothermia

If you watched (or read) Into Thin Air, there is a point in the narration where the mountain climbers are in a high-risk, high-altitude part of the climb where you need oxygen tanks for breathing. One of the climbers realizes he is going to be out of oxygen soon and asks his buddy to reduce the rate of flow, so… Read more →

Crowd-funding

It seems the newest rage in the startup world is crowd-funding. Crowd-funding is different in that the startup is not looking to raise money from investors, at least not entirely and exclusively, rather raise money from the very public that will eventually use the products they make. If you are a startup this is great news – because all you… Read more →

The war has just begun

Its season again to track the budget. A budget proposal is essentially a document to propose how and how much the US government will spend money for the next fiscal year and how it will manage its debts. The next fiscal year is FY2016, which is the time between Oct 1 2015 and Sep 30 2016. What’s making news is… Read more →

The next big thing

The next big thing is about to happen. If you noticed, that is. Phone OEMs like Apple and Samsung crushed the economics of phone buying, hitherto completely dominated by the carriers, with little or no say from the OEMs, even on their own profitability. Even the mainstream devices were feature-locked and enabled only with the carrier’s blessings. In other’s words,… Read more →

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Book Review – Cockpit Confidential

If you have noticed, there is a pattern. My previous book review was about a flight attendant writing about flying – and this book is about a pilot writing about flying. Patrick Smith is a first-officer (I think) who writes about flying – or more specifically, answers the FAQ of flying. Why we should turn off our phones, what the… Read more →

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Book Review – Cruising Altitude

Among the many books I have read and reviewed on this blog, I bet the topic of this book is different. This book is about a flight attendant’s account of a career in the air travel industry – part memoir, part tell-all, part tips and tricks on how to make your journey pleasurable to yourself or miserable to others (your… Read more →

India is #3 on black money

I had written previously about Modi’s almost single-minded focus on hunting down black money in India. His effort to make Swiss banks open up their books and his efforts to open bank accounts for everyone are but part of the larger effort to reduce the might of black money. Black money is a menace. It condones (and is an effect… Read more →

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Book Review – Outliers

I am a sucker for empirical analysis of larger-than-life phenomenon – especially those that make suggestions along the lines of “this is what conventional wisdom suggests…but here’s the REAL reason”. Outliers is a brilliant book – at its core, it says successful people become successful for reasons beyond what meets the eye/ media/ rags-to-riches fairy tales and he attributes majority… Read more →

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Album Review – Bombay Makossa

There is a thing with the term fusion music. The word itself has lent itself to lot of hyper-generalization, abuse and a “catch-all” genre for the music labels and sometimes the musician themselves. I prefer the word collaboration, but that doesn’t really sound like a name of a genre. In any case, when you have listened to enough “fusion” albums,… Read more →

Software defined phones

There was a time when people’s “cool” factor was measured by how small their phones were. Innovations in hardware and manufacturing segments allowed phone makers to pack more transistors into the same form factor and as a result, phones got better and smaller. There is now a reversal of trend of making bigger phones – mostly to offer the convenience… Read more →

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U Shrinivas

The death of musician and mandolin player U Shrinivas is subtly exposing the “small minds” of people. The death of U Shrinivas was followed by headlines such as – Ananthapur mourns… Andhra Pradesh mourns… Music lovers in Vijayawada shocked by Shrinivas’s death Musicians are truly global citizens – they do not care about divisions of country/ state/ city/ religion/ caste/… Read more →

Waiting for the cable guy costs us $38 billion

Or so says CNN. But the study ignores the fact that $38 billion includes many hours, whose worthiness is defined very loosely, often assuming that the people that wait don’t do anything worthy during that time. Most salaried people continue to get paid, in several industries, it is possible to be productive while working from home. On the other hand,… Read more →

Bank account for everyone. What?

Modi is on news for one thing or the other. The latest one is what the media has dubbed as a step towards “financial inclusion”. By some report, he has enabled the opening of 15 million bank accounts. He is proposing each household to have at least 2 accounts and incentivizing people handsomely (line of credit, interest rates, debit cards,… Read more →

Composer’s Breath

I reviewed a song in grueling detail many months ago. It was a magnum opus of sorts, with a heavy mix of western style orchestration and Indian ragas, by none other than Ilayaraja, which brought memories of several of his early-career hits. There is lots of news about IR making music for his 1000th movie. I wonder beyond the 4500-5000… Read more →

Quid pro quo

Hassle-free, minimalistic search engine is a USP that belongs to the yester-decade and Google has changed little, if any. While this may not be a bad thing in and of itself, it is certainly negative when Google is not the only search engine around. Bing for example, is doing truly innovative things. Be that as it may, it still had… Read more →

NSA – Who pays for it all?

I have mentioned in my blog before the justification for NSA to collect, store, analyze large-scale data should not just be based on constitutionality or its ethics or even its outcome. The question people should ask and a government funded by people should certainly ask is – is this benefit worth the effort? The headlines today read, “Obama calls for… Read more →

CarPlay

Apple has long delayed its debut of what they now call CarPlay. Truth is people are already using phone, music and map capabilities inside the car, thanks to Bluetooth technology. So is there a market space? Are people going to buy, and much worse, wait to buy cars that are essentially locked to their phone brands? For one, CarPlay is… Read more →

Minimum Wages

I am very confused by Obama’s speech on Federal Minimum Wages (FMW). Though I am not completely neutral to political ideologies, let us assume I am for the purpose of this discussion (hence I wont question whether minimum wages are required at all). I also do not have the expertise to say what is the correct value of FMW. Is… Read more →