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Showing posts from August, 2015

Book Review - The Einstein Prophecy

I have been fascinated by science fiction stories since my childhood. From Jules Verne's wonderful "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" to Andy Weir's "The Martian", sci-fi books have never been boring. Till I read Robert Masello's "The Einstein Prophecy".
This book was suggested by the Kindle bookstore as number one popular book in sci-fi category. With a print volume of only 326 pages, I immediately bought it on my Kindle.
The story is set in the World War II era with the Allied powers facing off the Axis powers. The story moves briskly at first with good description of the environment and the war situation. Our hero is a US military officer Lucas. Yes, despite the book's title Einstein is not a major player in the story. Also, he does not make a prophecy. Lucas is trying to find an ancient object which will allow Allied forces to defeat Germany. Apparently it is something so important that even Hitler is also looking for it. After s…

The Amazon story and future of (IT) jobs in India

I am sure many of you must have by now read the New York Times article which paints a very unflattering account of Amazon and the way it treats its workers. Examples are cited where a worker was given low performance ratings because she missed work as she was suffering from cancer. In another instance, a worker was asked to go on a business trip just a day after suffering a miscarriage. There are many others instances cited in the article.
While these are horrible stories, I am not here to criticize Amazon. Thing is, that these are the practices followed by nearly every organization. Every company exists to earn profit and they want to squeeze as much out of their resources to maximize it. This is also true of Indian IT industry. In general, the work done by the Indian IT industry is monotonous, not innovative and something which their "onsite" counterparts will prefer not to do. Indians are ready to take these up at much lower wages and thus work comes here. Even with cons…

App-pocalypse

Have you recently tried to shop on any Indian e-commerce website? If you have, you too would be frustrated by the constant nagging done by these sites to download their app. Myntra has gone ahead and shut its website down completely! Others like Flipkart won't let you browse any product in peace and will immediately try to "connect" you to their app - even when you are already at their site and trying to buy a product. Amazon India will release "app-only" offers and discounts.

All this is done in the garb of making customer experience better.

@mayankMSFT We direct users to the mobile App in order to provide better shopping experience. We have passed your feedback along. — flipkartsupport (@flipkartsupport) August 7, 2015
Only problem is that it makes user experience even worse. These companies are trying to lure the consumer into a walled garden so that they make bad, misinformed buying decisions. Let me elaborate.
On a desktop browser, you can easily search fo…