Sunday, April 23, 2017

Quick notes: IT churn, Reservations again...

  • Carnage in Indian IT? Visa norms, AI and automation are weighing heavy on India's IT workers
    ..Isn't IT always about automation? What's new, can someone explain?


  • Land of the Pure: Why Telangana's Expanded Reservation To Muslims Is Not Grounded In Facts


  • Are Christian and Muslim nations ok and Hindu nations not? Hindus do not, unlike Christians and Muslims, divide humanity into those who are chosen by God and those who are eternally damned. Hindu children are not taught to look down on those who are not Hindus, unlike children of the dogmatic religions who are taught that their God does not love those others unless they join their ‘true’ religions.


  • Pure capitalism fails in health care:


  • Batteries + Gas Turbines:  Batteries can serve as a shock absorber, ramping up to meet these signals while allowing the turbines to run less frequently, to meet sustained peaks in market demand. 


  • India can use: Travis is a handheld translator with 80-language support 

Plans for Making Smartphones Extinct

Facebook's Zuckerberg is planning for the day when smartphones are made obsolete, trying to come up with the next superior device:

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-f8-mark-zuckerberg-augmented-reality-2026-2017-4


Elon Musk has announced Neuralink, his own effort which involves direct brain-machine interface:

https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/20/elon-musks-neuralink-wants-to-turn-cloud-based-ai-into-an-extension-of-our-brains/

Here's an explanation on why brain-machine-interface could revolutionize society:

http://waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html

Here's a critique on why it may be too difficult to accomplish in the near future:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604254/with-neuralink-elon-musk-promises-human-to-human-telepathy-dont-believe-it/

Rich Young Kerala Muslims Join ISIS 'Dream'

A group of young Muslim families from well-off backgrounds disappear from Kerala to join ISIS:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/five-indian-families-including-young-children-disappear-to-join-the-islamic-state/2017/04/22/05d7ece6-2456-11e7-928e-3624539060e8_story.html

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fwd: Mobiles May Make Banks Extinct


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vaidyanathan R


https://rvaidya2000.com/2017/04/17/mobiles-may-make-banks-extinct/

Mobiles May Make Banks Extinct

April 17, 2017                                                                                          Prof Vaidyanathan

 

The mobile phone is now being used for small-time financial activities, such as information on prices, billing settlements, etc. We have service providers like Air Tel/Jio providing internet based TV channels which will provide competition to Dish TV /Tata sky etc. Over period of time satellite based TV channels might be extinct if the number of TV towers serves well to offer hundreds of channels.

This is one major disruption .But more important is the service provider replacing banks.

Service provider as banker

Already Jio is tied up with, SBI and Air Tel with Kotak bank etc. This is to act as payment banks.

One step more is required to make mobile revolution complete in the Banking services. The important development that service providers and bankers should work towards is to make it drive a retail credit revolution. One observes that in the boat markets of Bangkok, one can either pay by baht, the local currency or get charge cards from the service providers and pay through them.

The service providers initially provide an overdraft or revolving credit facility to the retail trader, which is adjusted on a daily basis by crediting the retailer for every debit incurred by the buyer. The payments made by customers are used to bring down credit given in the morning. This is one of the interesting possibilities, wherein the retail trade network is provided a credit facility and which reduces their cost of borrowing. It requires one mobile instrument with them and periodic crediting of their account based on received calls, which are mostly available free.

The share of trade, [around 10 per cent of the national income] is at Rs 17 L crore. The trade sector would have needed Rs. 14 lakh crore as credit requirements (since, in trade, the major portion of capital is working capital). The combined financing to trade by all banking sources was around Rs 5 lakh crore. This implies that around 30 per cent of credit requirement is met by banking channels and the remaining by non-banking ones including money lenders. So, the potential available for mobile phone service providers is a market of the order of Rs9 lakh crore for digital-based lending.

Even assuming only Rs 1 lakh crore of this is tapped in the next, say, five years, at an interest cost of 20 percent (retail credit today in the `open' market is around 48 to 60 per cent) the sum to be earned is Rs 20,000 crore. We can call this digi-financing.

Instead of permanently singing the WalMart kirtan, we should think of innovative ways in which technology can facilitate the vast base of self-employed groups. The millions of entrepreneurs involved in the retail trade, instead of being dismissed as "unorganized," can be made more effective by the credit enhancement and price discovery process simply by using mobile telephony.

It is not required for WalMart to come here and squeeze our farmers and small manufacturers and sell their produce/products to consumers at "lower prices". We can think of leveraging on telecommunications to make all factor markets more efficient and lower consumer prices.

The most important thing about the mobile phones is that — unlike computers — even people who are not literate can use them. The only requirement is ability to speak and/or hear. We need not worry about language or massive software development. This small communication device provides phenomenal power unthinkable by economists or financial experts some ten years ago.

Hence the interesting question is if the service provider will swallow the banks or other way. Here the technology savvy service provider can give banking services easily compared to banks becoming tech savvy. So banks may become endangered species to be shown on animal planet or National Geography channelsJ

The appropriate thing to consider is to make the mobile sets—more so the "smart" ones- free goods for the poorer, self-employed groups. This can be done even through SHGs, wherever they are active, as they may be better able to identify the right beneficiaries. The Central and State governments, as well as various aid organizations, can give the handset free to many in these segments.

It must be seen as a process of asset creation and making markets work and should not be condemned, by the metropolitan experts, as a populist scheme. Most of the time, these beneficiaries need to receive calls rather than make them. If we have a market of 800-1000 million smart sets, the unit cost can be brought down to even less than 000rs. But the Government seems to think that the service sector is the economy's milch-cow, rather than the engine of India's growth. It may now be taxed at 18 per cent, and the argument is that their share is more than 50 per cent in our GDP and, hence, they should contribute more.

The impact of telecommunications on the self-employed and more particularly among the poorer groups has not been fully understood or appreciated. Mobile phones have created a sort of tsunami among lower level entrepreneurial groups like plumbers, carpenters, masons, small time construction contractors, painters, cooks, repair mechanics, winders, welders, water suppliers, tea suppliers, vegetable vendors, retail traders, flower vendors, auto drivers, priests, astrologers, etc. Actually, more than three hundred categories of self-employed entrepreneurs.

Since the growth in the economy is not due to the Government but in spite of it, the least it can do is to allow million of these entrepreneurs to flourish for a vibrant and sustained growth process.

_______________

Prof R. Vaidyanathan; Cho. S Ramaswamy Visiting Chair Professor of Public Policy SASTRA University; Professor IIMB[Rtd]

 

    ______________________         

               Prof. R.VAIDYANATHAN                                               

                Bangalore

 




--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

maybe i am giving #trump far too much credit, but see what he's accomplished

just a few measly tomahawk missiles, and you have:

a) entire MSM wagging their tails, sitting up and begging
b) putin monkey entirely off your back, nobody's talking about it at all
c) humiliated the chinese strongman

in return for all this, what did trump do?

1. tossed brannon under the bus (the guy is butt-ugly and crazy to boot)
2. created stories about dissent in his ranks
3. told the syrians about the tomahawks so they moved their planes out

if i am reading this right, HUGE political win for trump, and HE has tamed the #deepstate.


--
sent from samsung galaxy note3 neo, so please excuse brevity

Thursday, April 20, 2017

China's Blackmail of US Over North Korea

US President Trump is now openly acknowledging that his posture on trade relations with China is linked to China's actions on the North Korean threat. This really amounts to just letting the cat out of the bag and finally calling a spade a spade. China has reaped great extortion benefits from the US through this nuclear blackmail game involving North Korea.




China knows its game with the US involving North Korea is now reaching its limits, so China is trying to create other similar games involving Iran, etc:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-china-idUSKBN17M0XS

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

ISRO to Use Private Sector to Build & Fly PSLV Rockets

ISRO will enlist private sector partners to manufacture its workhorse PSLV launch vehicles:

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/120416/firms-get-chance-to-build-pslv.html

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/isro-plans-joint-venture-with-industries-for-rocket-building/articleshow/58222430.cms

https://defenceaviationpost.com/hal-lt-join-lead-industry-partners-isro-making-space-rockets/


“We are limited by capacity though this (PSLV) is a very good launch vehicle. We want them (industries) to form a consortium to build PSLV and launch satellites. Our target is to have 12 PSLV flights in a year first, then scale it up 18 and even 24 in a year,” A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO, told Deccan Chronicle.

It's good that ISRO isn't wasting time on this. Now that the new era of the GSLV-Mk3 rocket is being ushered in, the veteran PSLV rocket will be spun off to the private sector for manufacturing and launch operations. This will allow ISRO to focus on GSLV-Mk3, as well as development of newer vehicles. Now India can get a head start on building a private sector ecosystem in space launch technology. Let's also see if the private sector pups can show older dog ISRO some new tricks.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Quick notes: AI in medicine, Fairness creams..

Pak Army Using Jadav As Card Against Nawaz

A not too shabby piece from Barkha:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2017/04/16/pakistans-move-to-execute-alleged-indian-spy-may-be-a-ploy-to-sabotage-the-prime-minister/

Friday, April 14, 2017

Uber Wants to Conquer India

Uber, the ride app which is disrupting the personal transportation market, wants to conquer India:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/technology/uber-india.html

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Team Wins Competition for Portable Diagnostic Device

A winner has been announced for an X-Prize competition to build the best portable medical diagnostic device:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/seven-member-team-led-by-four-siblings-wins-star-trek-inspired-competition/2017/04/12/a0dcbc94-1fb5-11e7-ad74-3a742a6e93a7_story.html

Just as cellphones have done great things for personal communication in India, likewise devices like this could have a major impact on health and disease.

Bannon May Be On Way Out

Atlanticists and other establishment forces are eager to see nationalist Steve Bannon tossed out of the Whitehouse, and are making dire predictions about his departure:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inside-bannons-struggle-from-shadow-president-to-trumps-marked-man/2017/04/12/1f5aabc0-1f99-11e7-ad74-3a742a6e93a7_story.html

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2017/04/12/trump-undercuts-steve-bannon-whose-job-may-danger/XUH4O5EMM1juJhDu4R6MbI/story.html

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/roger-stone-steve-bannon-alone-west-wing-n746216

He's the other guy besides General Michael Flynn who could have tilted the playing field against jihadism. The ouster of both from the Whitehouse could mean a return to the same old establishment geopolitical alignments in Washington.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-reverses-himself-on-nato-china-russia-and-more/2017/04/13/81b26ddc-2019-11e7-bb59-a74ccaf1d02f_story.html