Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

March 4, 2024

Watch Article 370, the movie if you haven’t already

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 1:41 PM

Watched the movie ‘Article 370‘, the movie yesterday and I loved it. Each and every Indian should watch this movie as it walks you through a slightly dramatized version of what it took to get Section 370 revoked and which the revocation was required. A lot of people don’t realize how bad the situation in Kashmir was before 370 was revoked and I am glad that the stories of the atrocities over there are now coming out with movies like Article 370 and Kashmir Files.

The acting in the movie is phenomenal and when they show the Article passing in the Rajya Sabha the entire theater burst out in cheers and clapping. Same happened during a lot of the other scenes as well. Its been a while since I have watched a movie that made you think so much and made you proud of the people who work in the shadows, on the frontlines and in the halls of power.

After the movie, me and Ronak were talking and just wondering how much more India could have been if we had Sardar Patel as our PM instead of Nehru. With him in power Pakistan would still be part of India, Kashmir would be a non-issue. We would not have lost land to China and would be taking back our rightful place as one of the leaders of the world. Instead what we are doing now is working on undoing the generational harm done to the spirit and confidence of India.

Imagine if we actually taught people about how advanced and civilized India was in the past. It wasn’t for nothing that India was known as sone ki chidya (Bird of gold/Land of the riches). Folks are taught about how the burning of the Library of Alexandria was so bad but hardly anyone talks about the burning of the Taxila and Nalanda universities. Centuries of records were burnt and all teachers and students killed so that they couldn’t share their knowledge with others.

Our books hardly talk about the achievements of Ancient India but mostly focus on Mugal and British rule. Even though the Chola dynasty ruled for more than 1,500 years, making them one of the longest-ruling families in human history, if not the longest we hardly learnt about them; instead everyone keeps talking about how long the Romans ruled even though their empire lasted only 844 years which is little more than half the time the Chola FAMILY ruled their empire. All this is because we were taught to be ashamed of being Indians by keeping us ignorant of our own history.

The history books keep teaching Nicolaus Copernicus was the first person to come up with the theory that the Earth, along with the other planets, rotated around the Sun in 1543, completely ignoring the fact that the heliocentrism had first been theorized by Yajnavalkya, an Indian philosopher sometime between 9th-7th Century BCE. There are so many examples of how advanced India used to be and how far we fell because people wanted to take advantage and the best way to rule a population is to convince them that they were nothing before the benevolent rulers came and took over for our own benefit.

The interesting trend is that earlier people who knew the actual ancient Indian history tried teaching it via books, articles and seminars etc but most people found them to be very dry and ignored it. Now, we have movie makers taking the stories of the glory of ancient India along with their trials and achievements and creating an engrossing tale that everyone loves. RRR showcased to the world some of the atrocities that were done by the British. Ponniyin Selvan: I (PS: I) showcased the Chola empire to the world and similarly many other movies are now showing our rich heritage to the world. This is bringing the actual history to the masses (with some masala and a lot of special effects added to make them fun to watch)

Well this is all for now. Looking forward to more such movies and India actually becoming sare jahan se achha (Best in the whole world).

– Suramya

March 2, 2024

EU adopts euro instant payments rules, which India has had for over a decade

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 3:42 AM

Most people don’t realize how much advanced the Indian Banking system is as compared to other countries. Last week EU adopted euro instant payments rules that would allow customers to transfer money within 10 seconds to any account both within the same country and to another EU member state. What is interesting is that this is being portrayed as a major breakthrough advance in Banking technology.

In India we have a service called Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), which is enables instant inter-bank electronic funds transfer in India. Funds transferred using IMPS are credited to the receiver within seconds and the service is available 24×7 throughout the year including bank holidays. This service was launched in 2010, i.e. over 13 years ago.

The UPI (Unified Payments Interface) is built on top of IMPS and that can be used to make payments/transfers to select countries outside India. List of countries where UPI can be used is available here.

I just find it amusing that something we have been using for over a decade is being portrayed as a breakthrough innovation outside India. Although, to be fair for good amount of time in 80’s & early 90’s things/systems which were common outside India were launched in India as an innovation. So I guess life is a cycle.

Source: Reuters: EU adopts euro instant payments rules to take on Visa, Mastercard

March 1, 2024

If buying isn’t owning, then piracy isn’t stealing

Filed under: Computer Software,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 12:27 PM

Nowadays it is quite common for folks to move from having physical copies of books, movies, TV series etc to having digital copies of the same. I like having digital versions of things because they are easier to store but that brings a whole lot of problems. Basically having an electronic item specially something that is hosted on a service or needs an external system to approve your right to open that file/game/book then it means that you don’t really own that item. The service can arbitrarily decide to remove it from their system, alter it without telling you or decide to reduce functionality and make you pay more for something that you already paid for.

We have so many examples of this happening, such as services removing movies that you bought from your systems because they figured it was more cost effective to not renew rights to the movie. Amazon Music has removed music that was paid for from their system or have changed it. Books were removed from Kindle by amazon when they felt it needed to be inspite of the users having purchased it.

Earlier this week in example no 400035 that shows that we don’t really own the digital content we ‘bought’, Sony deleted content that they had promised would be there forever with little to no recourse for the users to get their content back when though they had paid for it.

Funimation, a Sony-owned streaming service for anime, recently announced that subscribers’ digital libraries on the platform will be unavailable after April 2. For years, Funimation had been telling subscribers that they could keep streaming these digital copies of purchased movies and shows, but qualifying it: “forever, but there are some restrictions.”

But soon, people who may have discarded or lost their physical media or lack a way to play DVDs and Blu-rays won’t have a way to access the digital copies that they were entitled to through their physical copy purchase.

A little while ago Philippe Tremblay, director of subscriptions at Ubisoft made a comment that gamers need to get used to the idea they don’t own their games anymore and embrace digital downloads. This is absolutely ridiculous and should not be normalized. If I own something I should be able to do whatever I want with it. Unfortunately that is not the case because the content is protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management) which is supposed to be a tool to prevent piracy but instead is a tax or punishment for doing the right thing and buying content legally.

If I pirate a movie or a book I can do whatever I want with it and watch it wherever I want or convert it to another format that is easier for me to consume (mobi->epub for books as an example) But when I legally buy something the DRM on it stops me from doing the same thing as it is a felony for me to remove the DRM so that I can access stuff I paid for in a way that is convenient for me.

Before streaming services and digital stores became popular, at times the only way to get content was to pirate it. To give an example, back in 2007/2008 books by most of the authors I like were not available in India so if I wanted to read a book I would have to buy it from Amazon and have it shipped to India. Amazon used to charge $10 PER book to ship it to India at that time even if you ordered multiple books and paying that for a book that costed $7 made absolutely no sense. Same was the case with movies and tv series. With streaming and digital media taking off, I can now buy a digital book when it is released or watch a new TV series when it is launched legally. Now with this nonsense of deleting stuff that people have bought, we need to start keeping copies of all the stuff we buy offline so that I still have access to what I paid for even when a corporation decides that it is more cost effective to delete/remove access to it.

Source: Here We Go Again: Sony Disappears Digital Content That Was Pitched To Customers As ‘Forever’

– Suramya

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