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Apr 142014
 




Kickstarter Project on Rape Culture in IndiaRape Culture in India Project gets Kickstarted
(Pix courtesy: Kickstarter)

Boston student Eric Holland has tapped crowd funding site Kickstarter to create a short film about the so called “Rape Culture in India” and how it can be stopped.

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The 20-minute documentary will identify cultural and political factors that perpetuate rape culture in India.

A standalone photo essay will accompany the film.

Who is Eric Holland?

Eric is a second-semester freshman at Northeastern University in Boston.

The young fellow hails from Apple Valley in Minnesota and has acted in a short film about depression.

Rape Culture in India will be Eric’s first time behind the camera.

Last week, Eric raised $1,010 from Kickstarter to buy camera equipment and software for the Rape Culture in India project.

Strange Goal

Laudable as Eric’s motive is, I can’t fathom the key goal behind his mission – To raise awareness about the Rape Culture in India.

WTF!

In today’s 24/7 world of a million newspapers, billion TV channels and a gazillion blogs, is there anyone anywhere in this galaxy unaware of the rape problem in India?

Truth be said, the world is over-saturated with information about rapes in India.

Even if there were a mythical goose unaware of rape in India, surely the Nirbhaya incident of December 2012 would have raised his awareness too since it brought discussions of rape to the surface in India and elsewhere.

Here’s an excerpt about Eric’s upcoming Rape Culture in India film odyssey as noted in his Kickstarter funding page:

The ultimate purpose of our project is to raise awareness about the rape culture in India that enables the ghastly gang rapes we see on the nightly news. By using India as a case study and producing both a short film and research article, our team hopes to take the issue of rape culture down to a personal and emotionally tangible level, while still producing and disseminating new knowledge on the subject. In the process, we believe that we will see that our own cultural attitude toward rape is not very different from India’s. From this, our film and paper will identify steps that everyday people can take to eliminating prevailing attitudes about rape. If this short film stops just one victim from being blamed for being raped or even prevents just one rape, this entire project would be worth it.

Why Not Prison Rape in U.S.?

Prison rape is widespread in the U.S.

Although the issue has received some media attention, it’s nowhere near the coverage a rape in India gets. Continue reading »

Apr 102014
 

FBI Continues to Profile Ethnic Communities inside America

As anybody with a functioning brain knows, it’s White trash who commit the biggest crimes in America and outside but the FBI conveniently forgets that and engages in racial profiling and surveillance of ethnic groups.

America’s White Trash Killers

The list of big-time White trash criminals in America is a long scroll and one that includes:

* Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma bomber)

* Robert Hanssen (FBI agent who spied for Russia)

* George W.Bush (used non-existent WMD as pretext to attack Iraq, which killed tens of thousands of innocent Americans and Iraqis)

* Ted ‘Unabomber’ Kaczynski (does this White nut-case need an introduction?)

* Donald Rumsfeld (pushed American troops into the battlefield without proper equipment like armor for military vehicles)

* Dick Cheney (Bush’s accomplice in using non-existent WMD as pretext to attack Iraq and kill innocent Americans and Iraqis and encouraged use of torture)

* Tommy Lynn Sells (recently executed serial killer with 70 victims)

* Edgar Hoover (FBI director who spied illegally on all and sundry for decades including on JFK)

* Jonathan Pollard (spy for Israel that President Obama is considering releasing under pressure from Israeli politicians)

* Terry Nichols (Oklahoma bomber and accomplice of Timothy McVeigh)

* Wall Street titans (dominated by Whites) who triggered the worst financial crisis in the last eight decades

Even the big school massacres in America are committed by White whackos like Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook Elementary School killer) and Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (Columbine High School massacre).

FBI Profiles Ethnic Groups

Yet, the FBI bizarrely insists on profiling various ethnic groups (including Muslims) and Americans of foreign origin arguing that these groups are waiting to unleash their weapons on Americans even as all the evidence points to White trash as the biggest menace to America.

Horrendous killings and other crimes by White trash Americans pale before the crimes by other ethnic groups in America.

But the FBI willfully ignores White crimes and potential white criminals.

Ostrich-like with head buried deep in the sand, the FBI insists on profiling ethnic groups in America by mapping residential localities, recruiting informants, spying on religious establishments and illegally monitoring bloggers.

In recent years, the FBI has aggressively moved their 24/7 illegal surveillance apparatus and profiling to the online arena. Continue reading »

Apr 102014
 

In an undisguised bribe, one of America’s most loathed companies a.k.a. Comcast doubled Internet speed yesterday for me and millions of other customers (Xfinity Internet Blast tier) in the Northeast from 50Mbps to 105Mbps at no extra cost.

Comcast Internet Download Speed Before Upgrade to 105MbpsSI’s Internet Speed Before Doubling

Comcast Internet Download Speed After Upgrade to 105MbpsSI’s Internet Speed After Doubling

Comcast’s decision to boost Internet speeds is aimed at minimizing opposition from consumers and consumer advocacy groups who are deeply opposed, and rightly so, to the company’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

The speed increase came on the same day as Congressional hearings in the U.S. Senate to determine whether Comcast should be allowed to buy Time Warner Cable.

Comcast also boosted speeds for its Extreme 105 tier customers to 150 Mbps (formerly 105 Mbps).

Abusive Monopoly

America’s largest Internet service provider, Comcast is already a monopoly in many parts of the country and if it’s allowed to buy Time Warner Cable its power will only increase further.

While Comcast has previously enjoyed a vice-like grip with broadband consumers despite rotten service and high prices, the acquisition will no allow the company to squeeze content providers if the acquisition goes through.

It’s safe to assume that if the Time Warner deal goes through, Comcast’s profitability will increase significantly because it will have the content providers (like ABC, ESPN, HBO and countless other programming outfits) by the cojones. If content providers refuse to yield to Comcast’s hardball tactics and drop out, it will have the effect of reducing consumer choice.

Because of monopolies like Comcast, America has one of the lowest average Internet speeds for a developed country, way below countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Iceland and Japan.

U.S. consumers also pay some of the highest rates for broadband Internet service.

While PC costs, microprocessors prices, computer storage costs, smartphone and tablet cost etc keep going down or remain steady, Comcast has repeatedly increased Internet access rates and forces consumers to buy bundles (Internet, TV and phone) through pricing gimmicks.

Comcast has already made it clear it will not cut prices for consumers even if the Time Warner acquisition goes through.

Comcast also has a terrible record of customer service and tremendous hostility toward American workers. The company has outsourced troubleshooting customer problems to countries like Philippines and Mexico (if you think Indians have a ‘bad English accent’ try listening to a Mexican or Filipino attempting to speak English).

In a recent survey by Consumer Reports on Internet service, both Comcast and Time Warner Cable were graded ‘mediocre‘ on overall satisfaction.

I desperately hope Comcast will not be allowed to purchase Time Warner Cable but since our politicians are in bed with large corporations I’m not that optimistic.

Speed Increase

To get the speed boost from Comcast, just unpower your modem for a minute and then plug the electric cord back in.

I did a speed test before and after the speed boost (see images above).

Before the speed boost, my download speed was 57.71Mbps and upload was 11.80Mbps.

After the speed host, the download speed jumped to 120.92Mbps while the upload speed remained constant at 11.80Mbps.

One reason I got such high speeds was because I did the tests at 1:34AM in the morning when my neighbors were sleeping. Were my neighbors awake and watching Salman Khan videos (ha ha ha) on the Internet, then my speed would have been a little lower.

Does the higher speed make a difference?

Yes!

It took just a few seconds to download the 569-page The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 PDF report to my computer.

Related Comcast Stories:
400,000 People Protest Against Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger
Comcast Stealthy Promotion Doubles Internet Speed to 50Mbps at Same Cost
Sneaky Comcast Sells Customers’ Internet Connection To Make Money Off WiFi
Apr 092014
 

Young Indian teens in America are often derided as socially awkward geeks who have a hard time fitting in with their non-Asian peers.

But one thing Indian kids know, and know well, is how to keep their legs tightly clamped together.

Or Indians, Chinese, Koreans, Pakis, Nepalis and Bangladeshis are more adept at birth control than their peers.

In other words, Indian kids know how to wear a condom or diaphragm the right way and, ergo, have a very low young teen birth rate.

Young teens, those in the 15-18 age group, are dropping their litter at the rate of 1,700 births a week. The CDC estimates that 86,000 young teens gave birth in 2012.

Indians have Low Young Teen Pregnancies

Asian Young Teens – Low Birth Rate

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that Asian/Pacific Islanders have the lowest young teen birth rates in America.

Birth rate per 1,000 for young Asian/Pacific Islander teens in 2012 was a mere 4.1 compared to 25.5 for Hispanic teens, 21.9 for non-Hispanic Black teens, 17 for American Indian/Alaska Native teens and 8.4 for non-Hispanic white teens. Continue reading »

Apr 092014
 

Macaw We Design Tool Debuts

The Good News for Macaw Fans – Web site design tool Macaw is ready for download and use.

The Bad News for Macaw Fans – Macaw is ready for download and use.

Sweetie, there’s no contradiction there.

Macaw is a much anticipated product thanks to a phenomenal response on the crowd funding platform Kickstarter in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Its release must surely have been welcome news to its backers and many others who were keen on using the product.

But response to the recent official release of the much anticipated Macaw software has been less a thunderous ovation than vocal criticism over bugs and missing features with some irate customers even demanding a refund.

So while Macaw fans were at first eagerly looking forward to the release of the software, now they’re angry over the release of a very buggy product.

Macaw, which appears to be a tiny startup (four developers??), was a big hit on Kickstarter last year and received a commitment of $275,929 from 2,752 backers against a target of $75,000.

I’m not completely surprised the two early commercial releases (not beta) of Macaw are buggy.

Like it or not, that’s the way much of software development works. Unless developers slip and fall off the software development cliff into some deep crevasse, applications usually get better with each update. I do agree the typical application development cycle is little consolation for stressed out users encountering crashes and a variety of bugs.

Complaints Galore

Macaw’s problem is that when they launched with a slick presentation on Kickstarter, they went overboard on the promise:

The next generation web design tool. Powered by the world’s most intelligent design-to-code engine.

With Macaw, there was no need to wade into the slush of writing HTML or CSS.

Its ease of use and drag-and-drop capabilities were sold as big pluses on Kickstarter last year:

The canvas is fluid; the grids are fluid; even the elements you draw are fluid. So, designing percentage-based layouts is made dead simple. Drag and drop elements where you want them and Macaw will take care of the calculations for you.

Macaw was touted as “the first web design tool to blend the fluid and intuitive interface of an image editor with a powerful design-to-code engine.”

The tiny outfit boldly promised it was “striving to make life easier for designers and developers.”

With such a feverish pitch to potential investors and users, not surprisingly expectations among Macaw’s Kickstarter backers and other web designers and developers about the software’s capabilities ran sky-high.

When Macaw version 1.0 for both Mac and Windows debuted March 31, 2014 and the product failed to live up to the hype, some users erupted in anger over the unacceptable quality of the product while others littered the Macaw forums with reports of bugs galore. Users were livid that even “basic features” were missing in the software.

Responding to a fury of protests, Macaw quickly put out Version 1.0.1 on April 4 but that didn’t calm the mob because  new bugs cropped up.

One user (MJWBOISE) complained:

I have new problems with v1.01 that I didn’t have before. Program locks up which didn’t happen before. Color picker locks up now.

Issues with the initial two releases Macaw are far too many to reproduce here in their entirety but some of the problem areas include login, process of updating to 1.0.1, missing stuff like hover, click states and the ability to share common elements among multiple pages, missing fonts (on the Windows version) etc.

Macaw also goofed by not putting up some How-tos and videos.

The bottom line is that Macaw does not seem to be ready for prime time yet.

For instance, see this complaint from user zeebaf on April 8, 2014:

It has been a week you have released an incomplete software to public which is useless at this point of time which always ends up crash and breaks down. It’s unfair for me as I paid for it and sent few emails to support and never get replied, what kind of support you are giving to your customers here? I feel I have been robbed in day light.

Another user Jaem01 was no less blunt:

Another very disappointed customer here! Promises was huge, demo was outstanding, first impression was very good, I like cool UI, but…

After few hour of playing (yes, in this time it is nothing else, but game) I’ve figured, that I waste too much money for nothing…

Frustrated over absence of properly functioning basic tools for lists and tables user Jaysylvester vowed not to buy any software in future before using it, in other words not to fall for the hype of tall promises:

I know, it’s new software. But they should have extended the beta and opened it up to more users at a deeper discount. I think this is the last time I pay for any software before I can use it, discount or not. It just doesn’t do what I expected it to do, and I watched the video before buying. Continue reading »

Apr 072014
 

HBO's New Silicon Valley Debuted April 6, 2014

Having missed the premiere of the new HBO TV series Silicon Valley on Sunday, I watched it online today (if your cable subscription includes HBO you can stream the show to your PC).

I didn’t get too excited with the first episode.

But it was definitely watchable and had a few funny moments.

The first episode was 30-minutes long and I believe the remaining episodes will be of the same length.

The New Hollywood

Silicon Valley is so much like Hollywood – The self-generated hype far outweighs the real contribution to society at least 100-fold.

If John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart and Elizabeth Taylor were our icons in past decades, today’s youngsters genuflect at the altars of Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Marc Andreesen and Vinod Khosla.

A satirical take on the inflated self-importance of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, programmers, incubators, venture capitalists and tech billionaires, the first episode touches on all the key points about the tech epicenter that excites the hordes in America and around the world.

The opening episode centers around a bunch of Silicon Valley youngsters (including an Indian) who have developed a hot compression algorithm that has wide application in the business world and quickly gets acquisition and investment offers.

You see the show’s characters mouthing oft-heard nonsense from real-world Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, CEOs and executives like next big thing, making a difference, giving back, making the world a better place, game-changing, dropping out of college, cradle of innovation etc.

Having gotten used to binging on high quality Korean TV shows, I found Silicon Valley a bit crude and lacking in slickness.

I couldn’t help feeling it was a low-budget affair and not that well-written.

But I’m curious to see where the show’s creators take it in the coming episodes and plan to watch the entire series (eight episodes in all).

The next episode of Silicon Valley airs on HBO at 10PM on April 13, 2014.