Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most. - (Mark Twain and me)

Monday, January 03, 2011



Wow, it's been more than 1.5 years, since I touched my blog. Just like 'touch'ing a source code which I hadn't made changes to in a long time, would like to do the same here =)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Ubuntu bug


Saturday, April 11, 2009

is the tax system fair? its pretty common sense that the tax is proportional to one's income, but is it fair the person is not getting the benefits proportional to the tax?
the govt probably spends the same amount per person in providing benefits like roads,running schools and other govt entities, but why is the (tax) charges so varying?

ofcourse we cant have a tax system where each person is taxed based on the benefits (s)he is consuming, bcos that wud leave 0 benefits to most ppl and extremely high tax to the families and rich ppl. and also we cant have a flat tax system, where each person pays the same amount irrespective of amount, bcos the taxes paid by rich being averaged out would mean ridiculous tax for the poor.

hmm, looks like there could be no tax system which could be fair afterall, unless ofcourse if it wants the govt and citizens to be doomed.

Friday, March 27, 2009


How companies (normally) screw their customers

1. Insurance companies:
Method adopted: Give customers a false sense of security and if they come back on a claim, overwhelm with time/effort needed on their side by asking for more evidence or try to make simple policies sound complicated and hope they give up.

Personal exp.:
I have been going back and forth with my health insurance and hospital care on a claim(for a cough, which they conveniently said "you can use whatever syrup you would normally take and oh btw, please pay us 950$ for the 2 minutes of consultation with me" ) for over 5 months and my car insurance company for 1.5 months to get a simple answer("Will this be covered by the other insurance company or do I have to get it done myself". Is that so difficult to answer?)

2. Most online subscriptions:
Method adopted: Make the subscription recurring automatically and make that info almost unknown by auto-selecting etc. Make the unsubscribe, not through a website but intervene a human. Eg: Call a toll-free number or email support etc inorder to cancel something.

Personal exp.:
I was naive enough to enroll in a credit protection agency which while signing up for a new credit card, they automatically decided thats right for me. They charge only 3$ or so p.m, and I have to call and wait on the toll free for 30min in order to cancel it. Finally I did it after almost a year. The small amount works good for them, as customer wouldn't mind to cancel it immediately. When I asked few ppl about vonage - "Don't even get me started on thier cancellation policy" was all of thier reply.

3. Claiming rebates/discounts etc:
Method adopted: Similar to #2, basic idea is to capitalize on customers' laziness. Good sales tactic to make seem the price lower.

Personal experience:
Not only did I not mail lots of rebates,but I did submit a rebate for my camera with everything perfect, haven't got any rebate. Of course, if I spend some insane amount of time in follow up, I can get it, but is it worth it? To most people not, either the amount is not that big or mostly they are just lazy.

To all companies:
Please don't say "We value your customers more than anything, they are our first priority" or crap like that which don't mean anything to us anyway, when the way you treat them seems like your motto should be "We screw our customers and we really enjoy doing it".
In addition to providing a quality product so we cant stop bitching about you(apple),make it easiest to return (amazon/costco) or easiest to unsubscribe membership(netflix) or better yet tell me whats good for me like suggesting competitors(zappos), then you have me for life(well, atleast few more sales directly or indirectly). This may seem like losing out on your business but ironically does the opposite(I dont know why; maybe its consumer's psychology or loyalty or their love to occasionally hear a tiny amount of transparent truth from a gigantic corporation ). Not only that - we tell our friends and blog about you. Thanks for listening to my rambling which you are clueless about anyway.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


one ceo i admire

Jeff Bezos. (ofcourse second to Craig Newmark).

This should have not really been a blog post.
Anyway like any reader would ask "Why?" - reasons are simple, not just the way they run the companies, but thier attitude towards thier employees mostly and also customers and personal views in general. Ofcourse I know these only from reading blogs and listening to thier interview over a period of long time.
I would write a big blog on this, when I feel like it sometime later :)
It has got nothing to do with my love of Amazon or Craigslist as products although I wouldn't discount a small bias :)

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Brand advertising

i was trying to recollect the brand name of the consumer(household/food) products i use on a regular basis and many of them daily. in 30s, hardly i cud remember beyond berkely farms and after a min - tide and tropicana.
all the other brands i remembered were already that i knew before i was in US.
for eg, still i dont know the brand names of things which i use almost daily like salt,egg,bread,oil,ketchup,noodles etc

though i have to personally visit the grocery store and pick the items one by one myself, i dont even recollect the name of any of the brands. i just recognize them by cover of the box or can or watever. in fact, i wud be easily tricked by an immitating low quality brand.

in india, though i was mere carrier of grocery items, in the sense i never had to pick any items, my mom wud just gimme a list and i wudnt even be in the store to pick up, until everything was put in the bag and the bill was ready. inspite of that i remembered and still remember most of the brands for many consumer items which i havent used or even heard abt once in the last 6yrs.

the reason being that i wasnt slapped with that much ads due to my zero TV watching and unconsciously ignoring ads on webpages. so much the TV advertising is effective on brand recognition.
inspite of television ads being so untargeted and stuff moving online, i still think for brand recognition nothing works better than TV ads(atleast for me). maybe due to the fact of watching video ads are obviously better for memory esp if some of them funny/catchy etc and if not by accident, who clicks on ads on webpages anyway?.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Its a common sense that happiness out of doing
something is affected by the expectation of doing it, prior to actually doing it.
But how much is the expectation contributing to the actual happiness than the actual 'thing' itself?
I think expectation plays an even bigger role(not just a small role) than the act itself.

For eg, a person maybe thinking that he'll be happy if he gets a new car or a house. But after he gets that, the happiness he gets out of it was probably dictated *more* by the expectations and perceived notions prior to getting the car than the actual happiness derived out of its possession. Hence the happiness will last only shorter and probably cause disappointments caused due to expectations.

So, key to happiness is to play with your expectations. (this was probably obvious but we might have underestimated the role of expectations in happiness). Going by this I think, people who do a lot of planning ahead or organized could be less happy in general.

We could try to play with expectations slowly. For eg, when choosing a movie, don't try to chose a movie based on reviews,plot or asking friends. Most of the times, when you hear lot of good things about the movie you are surely not going to like it as much if you had chosen the movie by random. If you see movies at random, you will also end up with a lot of bad ones which may make you appreciate the good movies even better, which brings up another theory that, in order to be happy u also have to be (or expect) sad many times.


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