Skip to main content

Net Effect

We've had a lot of talk lately about something called "Net Neutrality" in India. The basic idea of net neutrality is not that fishing nets don't have a gender - that's already been established, thank you. It's about our ability to visit whatever websites we may choose to without paying extra. You see, all these telecom chaps - the guys who give us our internet connections - hit on a brilliant idea. They could have all the large conglomerates pay them extra money and then allow their users to visit only those sites for cheap, charging extra if they want to use another website.

That may not sound too bad, but the implications are huge. Say, for instance, that you wanted to visit my blog (and if you don't, why not?), you would have to pay some company that's already making way too much money even more. Sites like Google.com, YouTube.com and so on would be available to us at sensible rates, but everything else would be insanely expensive. Call me picky, but I find that a tad outrageous. What if I want to (not that I would) use Bing?

 As a programmer, I use sites which distribute open-source software quite a bit, not just because it's free but also because it's very often as good as the paid stuff that companies like Adobe would love you to use. These sites rely on net neutrality to get visitors. If our wonderful telecom boys began charging us to visit these sites, we'd be forced to pay extortionate sums to big companies.

What I really wonder about is how this could ever become an issue. India is still a democratic country, right? I mean, I know China censors everything that they view as damaging to their citizens (which includes Google searches, for some reason), but we don't do that. The internet is the last truly free place on Earth. Couldn't we keep it that way for just a bit longer?

As of now, the TRAI (Telecom Regulating Associated Idiots - oops, I mean Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) is mulling over a bill that could very well legalize doing this. These are the guys, let us note, who blocked adf.ly as being somehow threatening to national security - though I fail to see how a URL shortening/monetizing service could possibly be an invitation to a national crisis. For all of you out there who would like to use the internet in peace, there's a petition you can sign over at change.org. Now stop reading and go sign it! After that, though, come back quickly and tell me what you think - before TRAI makes you pay for it!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Weighing In

Today, I'm writing about something I'm actually rather proud of. Today, I'm writing about my weight loss. Over the past ten months, I've lost 12 kilos.

My parents have been begging me to start exercising since eighth grade. When I was 13, they'd boot me out of the house every day at 5:00PM and make me go running. I hated it. I barely even bothered to run, let alone push myself or stick to a diet. I ate like a trash can, sat in front of the computer all day and did nothing at all about my rapidly swelling pot belly. By the time I'd turned 15, even Dad had given up any dreams of seeing me with a flat stomach. I'd trained myself to stop looking in the mirror, and I stayed out of pictures as much as possible.

Fast-forward to the present day: I weigh 69 kilos. My stomach has all but vanished. Looking in the mirror is a satisfying experience, and I even have some muscle on my arms. I can now fit in medium-size t-shirts, and whenever I wear my old jeans, I look li…

5K:) - 2017

If you've been following my blog for a while - since the end of 2015-beginning of 2016 - you'll probably remember a post I did last year about the Thousand Smiling Faces project (I also wrote another post about it immediately after). For those of you who are too lazy to click through those links, the Thousand Smiling Faces project was a bunch of us teenagers getting McDonald's Happy Meals for 1000 kids in orphanages.

I was planning to this again on New Year's Day 2017, but couldn't get it to work out. However, Independence Day is coming up, and we're going to do it again, but this time, we've gone a little crazy - instead of working with 1000 kids, we're aiming to deliver 5000 meals! That's roughly  ₹5,00,000's worth of Happy Meals, a lot of burgers by anyone's standards.

We've also got another twist to the thing this year. Seeing as we're doing it on the 15th of August, which is India's Independence Day, and seeing as how McDon…

Talking Trouble

I want to begin this post by saying that I don't volunteer to speak. I'm not one of those guys who's always MCing this or giving a speech about that. I speak in public only if I have no other choice, and those situations come by rarely enough that I've had very little experience actually being on stage and talking.

Last week, though, I was at an NCC camp, and the PI (Permanent Instructor, for you non-NCC folk) staff decided that I should host an event on account of I spoke decent English. Normally, I would refuse, but in the NCC, if they ask you to jump over a cliff, you need to have been over that cliff five minutes ago. You don't get to ask why you're jumping off of a cliff, you just jump. So it was that three days into the camp, I found myself on stage with a co-MC I didn't really know, in a uniform that I had lost the knack of wearing and holding a mic that caught, oh, about 50% of the words you spoke into it.

At first, I was incredibly nervous. The pr…