Indian Bureaucracy At Its Worst

This is no different from Nepal's politicians and bureaucrats blocking four billion dollars in global aid from reaching Nepal's earthquake victims. This is insane. You'd think India would want to celebrate the fact that there is an Indian sitting atop Google right now. It is a big deal. More than that, Internet is water, Internet is air. The Internet is the oxygen the people need. This is insane. This is outrageous.

Follow the money. Obviously there are ISPs in India who think their markets will shrink, markets they have not even bothered tapping and have no plans to tap. No immediate plans. This is tragic.



A Potential Blow to Google’s Project Loon: Indian Official Throws Water on Internet Balloons
Project Loon, Google’s pie-in-the-sky plan to blanket the globe with Internet through a chain of balloons floating in the stratosphere ...... India, the country with the largest number of unconnected people (after China). ..... comments from India’s top telecom government official ..... Google has moved to purchase spectrum in the country for Loon. Here’s what Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s minister of communication and IT, told the nation’s upper house of Parliament about the purchase: “The proposed frequency band to be used in the Loon Project of Google is being used for cellular operations in India and it will lead to interference with cellular transmissions.” ..... In other words, India might not let Google fly its balloons....... We’re confident we can address any questions any government officials have about cellular interference, and are looking forward to working with them to conduct initial tests and validate our non-interference analysis. We have already successfully tested integrating the Loon system into the infrastructure of several major telcos. We believe that we can operate a balloon network on shared spectrum in a way that will enhance coverage without impacting existing operations, just like a telco can roll out new towers to expand coverage without causing interference....... (Kashmir, India’s disputed territory, is among the most militarized worldwide) ...... In October, Access — a separate Alphabet company from Google or Loon’s X — announced a deal to outfit India’s railways with Wi-Fi technology.
Google’s Project Loon in trouble due to spectrum interference in India
Google, under its Project Loon, is using big balloons floating at a height of 20 kilometers above earth surface for transmission of Internet services. It has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California (the US) and Brazil. As per Google, each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter using a wireless communications technology called LTE or 4G....... To use LTE or 4G, Project Loon partners with telecom companies to share cellular spectrum so that people will be able to access the Internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices. Google uses solar panel and wind to power electronic equipment in the balloon throughout the day.
In The News

Allowing women to do more aid work could hugely boost India's GDP
Indian women can add $2.9 trillion, or 60 percent to annual GDP, by as early as 2025, if allowed to participate in the workforce on an equal basis as men ...... Indian women's contribution to the economy is the lowest on a global scale, at 17 percent. .........

Gender inequality, a lack of education and childcare facilities, social pressures and rising crime in cities are all cited as reasons for women opting out of the workforce.

..... Limited financial inclusion, with women getting less than 10 percent of all loans granted, along with a preference for a male child and rules such as the ones that mean

a woman needs to get her husband's signature for even a car loan

, have all contributed to women being left behind in the Indian economy ....... Manju Taneja, a 42-year-old who asked that her real name not be used, has an MBA from the top ranking Indian Institute of Management but has not worked for the past 10 years. She gave up her job when she had her first child and today spends most of her time looking after her three children. ....... Out of the 30 girls in her batch at the IIM, 15 are currently not working. If Manju had not left the workforce, today she could have been earning 10 million rupees ($150,000) a year ...... In India 48 percent of women drop out of the workforce before they reach middle management positions ...... "Childcare facilities are the biggest push to get women into the work force" ..... "Studies across the world have shown that working women's children are better fed, better educated, thus building social capital for the economy. This is called a double dividend" ..... women spent 93 percent of their earnings on the family's nutrition and education, while the men spent only 60 percent on family needs, the rest on their personal expenditure. ..... women are great multi-taskers and work harder to prove themselves, according to managers ......

companies that achieve diversity in their management ranks attain better financial results

...... companies with the most female board directors outperformed those with the least on return on sales by 16 percent and return on invested capital by 26 percent. ......... gender balanced teams at companies lead to greater innovation and result in more patents ......

women perform 9.8 times the amount of unpaid work than men in India

Why smartphones could be dead in 5 years
In its place will be artificial intelligence which will "enable interaction with objects without the need for a smartphone screen". ..... they will be able to talk to household appliances as they do to people. ..... AI will take over many common activities, such as searching the net, getting travel guidance and as personal assistants ..... Nearly half of those polled (44 percent), think an AI System would be good as a teacher, a third would like an AI device to keep them company, and 29 percent would feel more comfortable discussing their medical condition with a n AI system than a doctor.
Russian fighters are joining ISIS in record numbers
"Despite Putin's repeated statements of alarm at the problem posed by returning jihadist fighters, the Kremlin's campaign to prop up the Assad regime is, over the long term, likely to make the terrorist threat to the Russian homeland even greater"
Ex-Russia Fin Min: We need 'painful' structural reforms
"We need structural reforms in various areas. That will lead to diversification .... the reform of the pension system, decentralization of the budget and allocation of more funds for infrastructure." ..... whether or not privatization and de-monopolization of certain industries will take place. .....

this is a country which in 2013 depended on natural resources for an estimated 18 percent of total GDP

Here's why it is so warm on the East Coast
"Arctic Oscillation" is a change in air pressure at the North Pole that affects how far south cold air travels from the Arctic. ..... The polar vortex is a ring of cold winds that swirls around the north pole (there is one at the South Pole, as well). Low pressure keeps those winds — and the cold air they carry — wrapped around the poles. At the furthest perimeter of this vortex is a jet stream of fast-moving, cold air. ..... The cold weather in the early months of 2014 was largely attributed to that shifting of the polar vortex away from the Arctic and toward the equator — a "negative" Arctic Oscillation. Over half of the United States was covered in snow, and some regions saw record cold temperatures. ..... Currently, the Arctic Oscillation is exceptionally positive, and the polar vortex has been stronger than average. The cold air that would otherwise chill the northern regions of the country is staying around the Arctic. ...... the temperatures in Florida are puzzlingly high right now
Marine Le Pen Far From Humbled by National Front’s Bruising Defeat
The party “doesn’t realize that in order to win power, it has to make allies and expand its audience,” said Sylvain Crépon, a political scientist and an expert on the National Front. ...... “Their ideas continue to repulse over 70 percent of the French,” Mr. Crépon said...... Both right and left freely steal from the National Front’s ideas, with the left often sounding law-and-order themes and the right vowing to crack down on immigration. “The other two parties wage their campaigns around the Front’s ideas,” Mr. Crépon said. But they are always careful to avoid its extreme xenophobia ......

The party’s dilemma, never resolved, is that “if it is too radical, it marginalizes itself, but if it normalizes itself, it becomes too commonplace.”

..... “With all this immigration, and then the immigration leading to terrorism; she said it, and nobody was listening,” said Nellie Viaro, a National Front municipal councilor from the Paris suburbs. ...... He added, referring to France’s flag, “With the Socialists, there is no blue-white-red, there is only red.”
Marine Le Pen Lost a Battle But May Win the War in France
The Front National may have been shut out of office, but the party’s overall strong showing points to the its arrival as the third major force in French politics. The 6.8 million votes cast for the FN yesterday was a record high, and there is no sign that support is ebbing
Galaxy S7 likely to get pressure-sensitive display and high-speed charging
Apple added a pressure-sensitive display to the iPhone 6S earlier this year, allowing the phone to interpret the added force on a screen touch to create a different response. .... The reported fast-charging port is a USB Type-C, allowing a full day's charge in under 30 minutes or faster. LG and Huawei have already offered such a feature in smartphones.
Facebook Is Killing Photo Syncing, Asks Users To Download Its “Moments” App Instead
The move also comes at a time when rival Google is seeing success with its own standalone photo-syncing app, Google Photos, now a top 20 “Photos & Video” app on iOS, and a top 10 app on Android.

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