How Do You Use Facebook?

I use it a lot like most people do. I share some thoughts and comments. I share news articles and I often share funny pics that other people, groups or pages post. I share some funny clips and trailers of upcoming movies that I think would be awesome and ofcourse I share my favourite music videos.

Some people only add their close friends in real life, cousins, uncles, aunts and other relatives who they are close to as their Facebook friends. This is a close section of people and means secrecy is involved. There are usually few surprises and arguments because these people know you well and they expect or share several of these ideas and views of yours. I on the other hand, like a lot of people on my Facebook friends list, add a lot of people I have never met in real life before but have met and become friendly on other Facebook groups, blogs, Twitter etc. The problem here for some of us is that these people will only share one of our interests/views but do not have the same interests or views in several other things.

It depends, sometimes you make a lot of good friends that way and they remain friends for a long time while others end up pissing you off or unfriending you because of things you disagree on and say nasty things about you when they get upset.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

How Should Parents Address Internet Pornography?

How Should Parents Address Internet Pornography?

I remember having this very discussion on a Facebook post that I shared where a former schoolmate of mine, a mother of a teenage boy, was furious that I had mentioned that I didn’t want to ban pornography. Her argument was that young kids would see it and get affected by it. Another friend joined in the discussion and he was with me : we don’t want to ban pornography but we don’t want kids to be exposed to it. If you are worried about your child watching porn online, monitor their internet usage and be more active in controlling what your kid sees online.

I honestly believe that if you have young kids at home and you plan on giving them a laptop / desktop with Internet access, do not give them the connection in their room. Keep their personal laptop or tab with them but restrict their internet usage to a system kept in the living room or dining table or whatever, in plan view of the rest of the household. Be near them when they have to go online. Put parental locks or controls or whatever needed to restrict certain websites.

Look at the end of the day, he or she is going to see something that you don’t want them to see. Either by accident or they might be with a friend who has unrestricted access to stuff online or otherwise. Educate your kids, let them know why you don’t want them to watch this stuff. Tell them that there are genuine concerns that could affect their thinking. Do something constructive and treat them like you respect their opinion too but care for them.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

It’s A Text, Text, Text, Text World

How do you communicate differently online than in person, if at all? How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?

Well for starters I do not use “emoticons” in real life. Or say LOL, ROLF or ROTFLMAO out loud. I also do not share funny pics and images as a reply to other people’s statements or questions. And I do not type ‘K’ online or say that in real life either.

I admit that my people are a text / SMS crazy lot and when Whatsapp came along that became like the thing to do and almost everyone who has a data plan is on Whatsapp as it is free and quite convenient to keep in touch and pass along information, images/photos and even video on it. Since you can carry it with you wherever you go, it has become close to essential. I myself am in a few groups and cannot escape from the almost constant barrage of messages being passed along on a minute by minute basis.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Youtubers Whose Videos I Watch Religiously

I have a humble Youtube channel with a handful of subscriber but these guys really rock their channels with good content. These are the individually (or in some cases a small group) done videos not backed by a big production (Like Fung Bros or Buzz Feed) and in some cases are very simple with little to no editing done but they have fun, entertaining and interesting content. Therefore I watch them. I just realized that 11 is not a big enough number for me when it comes to channels I watch but for now these are the top 11.

Changes In Asianet’s Basic Unlimited Plans

Two  good things I  got to know this morning with regards to broadband internet in India. One : Even though the government haven’t taken any steps towards implementing it, the NTP 2012 recommendation of minimum broadband speed of 2 Mbps is supposed to be rolled out by 2015 year end. And two : my ISP, Asianet, has taken a self initiative to increase their unlimited basic broadband plan speeds. Now these are not blinding speeds that you usually see in developed countries in the West. But for me these match my current requirements.

For example the two Unlimited basic plans were the Rs.450 plan which had 512 kbps speed and the Rs. 510 plan which has a 700 kbps download speed (the latter is the plan I have signed up for). Asianet now offers, as of 12-Jan-2015, a 700 kbps for its Rs 450 unlimited plan up from 512 kbps and 1 Mbps for Rs 510 unlimited plan from earlier 700 kbps.

Post FUP speed for other unlimited plan still remains at 512kbps. These plans provide ultra affordable true unlimited broadband at decent speeds. Most ISPs were reluctant to increase minimum broadband speeds to current 512kbps when it was implemented last year. Even though NTP 2012 recommendation of 2 Mbps is still a long shoot, it is good to see a regional player like Asianet has made a small step towards it.

Updated : Mozilla Firefox 33.1

My system automatically upgraded to the new version, 33.1, of Mozilla Firefox. It has three new features:

Use Forget to cover your tracks or escape from sites you don’t trust

Remove browsing history from your computer
Erase website information after the fact
Add it above for quick, easy access

DuckDuckGo lets you search anonymously

Get great results with no tracking
Make it (or any other) your default
Find what you’re looking for, your way

Private Browsing: Our original privacy tool

Keep history and other info off your computer
Browse without recording where you’ve been
So others using your computer can’t see it

I’ve had some problems with Firefox for the past year or so and it has caused major problems with my laptop. So much so that I only use this browser for blogging, searching images & some news articles and my email (no Youtube or Flash heavy stuff). I hope this is a drastic improvement on previous versions.

Orkut Says Goodbye & So Long

Tomorrow, September 30, Google is going to shut down its Orkut social network as announced earlier. Orkut was the search giant’s first foray into the social networking space, which failed to take off due to tough competition from rival services such as Facebook and Twitter. Google later launched another social network called Google+, which has fared much better than Orkut although in no way is it able to compete with the popularity & useability of Facebook.

Orkut was launched in the same year as Facebook but struggled to get a fan based in countries other than India, Brazil and I guess the Philippines. Indeed almost every 2nd used was an Indian and the “hai friends”, “good morning friends” and “good night friends” posts kept on coming. I created my account or rather my cousin sister created my account for me one evening in late 2005 or early 2006. The main attraction was this family group filled with all my cousins that we used to keep track of one & another and share info. I barely used Orkut as I soon got tried of the format. I got bored with the constant drivel being shared back n forth among the users.

I deleted my account a couple of years back as I hadn’t logged into it since 2008. So Orkut, goodbye and so long – thanks for all the flashy glitter gifs!

Internet Hoaxes – Best National Anthem

As one more friend shared this stupid silly hoax message on their Facebook page I just must jot down my 2 cents about this issue. Since 2008 there was an email being shared around the net among Indians and on Orkut, Facebook & Twitter once Social media took off. On a design-less simple white background it says congratulations to all of us Indians as UNESCO has declared the Indian national anthem, Ja Na Ga Na Mana, to be the best national anthem in the world. It then says “proud to be an Indian” and to share this message.

First of all – what???!! What the fuck! And normally smart people have fallen for this hoax! It’s not real and yet this shit hasn’t died out since 2008!!! Alarmingly silly and shows just how easy it is to spread a hoax as long as it sounds pleasing and appeals to your ego. Nationalistic ego I might add. A little research will show you that the statement is not true and it is in fact a hoax.

India Today magazine, even wrote UNESCO about these stories and got a confirmation message from UNESCO that these messages are simply hoax, and that they did not select Indian or for that matter any national anthem as the best in the world.

Breaking The Ice

The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.

I am actually trying to catch up with the videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I have seen about 10-15 so far and there are like 20 coming out each day from just the musicians, sportspeople and actors that I like. This thing is massive. I like the fact that this internet trend is for such a good cause and that it has been raising a lot of money for the ALS awareness stuff and I hope there will be a cure some day out there.

The first time I heard about ALS is through an RSJ article on guitarist Jason Becker who suffers from it. Becker was a prominent neo-classical metal guitarist who made his mark in the later 80s and was famous for his band Cacaphony which he has started with fellow guitarist Marty Friedman. After a solo album, he later joined David Lee Roth’s band and recorded one album with him. However, Becker’s success was hampered by his then-diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and he was given three to five years to live. In 1996, Becker eventually lost the ability to speak and now communicates with his eyes via a system developed by his father. Despite his disability, he continues composing by using a computer and has since released Collection, a “best of” album of his favorite songs and three new songs.

ALS is a crippling disease and seeing someone suffer from  it is difficult but nothing compared to the person going through the effects of it. I believe in this awareness drive and I hope scientists will find a cure and even a prevention for it. I haven’t gotten involved in this or anything like this, but might be tempted to do so.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Back Online With A New Connection From Asianet

It’s Done! Screw Fucking RELIANCE ASSHOLES! I am now on ASIANET BROADBAND! Hope this is a better experience.

Already a promising start, they under promised and over performed in terms of activating the connection for me. I had enquired about taking up a new connection from Asianet by calling their customer care call center a few days ago and they forwarded my number to a saleman from the area who called me later that same day. I told him that I wanted to wait for a few days to sort out the problems with Reliance and that I would call  him in a few days. Well I called him on Friday and later that night I met the salesman at 8pm at my residence and after I paid for the activation he said it would take 3 days, as per procedure, meaning Tuesday to get the connection up.

However on Saturday, the very next day, two guys showed up at my apartment and they setup the cable and even then they said that it would take time till Tuesday as Monday is a holiday. I said ok and called up their office number to confirm that the cable has been setup in my home. She told me that it would take time till Tuesday but that they would try and see if they could make it earlier. I was pleasantly surprised that the technician called me up this morning asking for directions to my place – on a Sunday! He came here by 12 pm with the modem and in a few minutes he activated  my connection and so yes my internet is up today – yes on a Sunday!

I am happy about it and the speed seems fine and I am not really noticing any difference from the higher plan and speed I had with Reliance. This is fine for now. By the 1st my old connection should be completely terminated and I can said a goodbye to them – don’t let the fucking door hit you on the ass on your way out!

The Ongoing Saga Of Reliance Internet Limbo

I’m really saddened by the state of my internet connection. After I gave the cancellation request to Reliance’s office I was told that it would take 7 working days for them to cancel my connection. I expected as much but the connectivity issues still persist so – am I expected to pay the rent for these days as well when I am not getting proper service? Atleast now they are responsding back via email and are trying to retain me with their service. For what? From the 11th of this month till today the 25th I have got exactly 2 days of proper service. Not two full days but 48hours split across 3 days. The connection has been patchy from the 18th evening onwards and now for the past 3 days I am getting 2-5 hours of connection and then the total outage – the connection goes down! The tech guys have been here to my place twice in the last 2 days and they are stumped.

These are contract staff hire by Reliance and they say that they have checked everything – the DSL box, my system and the modem here, the cable and everything else they can think off. They cannot give me an answer as to why I am not getting service. The final thing they said, which is beyond their responsibilities, is that there is a tower congestion in this area as Reliance is also working on enabling 4G services for their cellular customers and that tower is shared between their phone connections and their broadband connections and this is hindering my services and the connectivity for this area. So what do they want me to do? And finally after all the checking and me telling me about my woes, I asked them a question : “In all honesty would you still remain with this ISP if you were in my place?” And they reluctantly replied that “No” they wouldn’t. They have done all they could but now it remains in the hands of another department of Reliance to clear out the problem and these guys have given up.

Initially I thought I would wait for a few more days before I applied for the new connection with Asianet but I’m getting bored and frustrated so I have applied for a plan with the Asianet representative who came over to my place last evening. He signed me up, filled the application form and I gave the activation charges & the advance rent. They will get me the connection by Monday or Tuesday and until then I am at the mercy of Reliance – hoping to get a couple of hours being online a day or whenever they feel like giving me service.

Gave A Cancellation Request To Reliance

Well it’s done. I went to Reliance’s Kadavanthara office, the main office for their wireline broadband section, and after waiting in line at the customer care for 10 minutes found out that I had to go to another office on the 1st floor and around the back. I went in signed at the register and told them that I want to cancel my connection. I was asked to sit at a table and since I hadn’t brought a letter requesting the same, I took a paper and a pen from them and wrote a letter that basically stated :

I wish to cancel my connection and please do so at the earliest as you are unable to provide me with a proper connection. Please refer to my numerous complaint nos that I had registered with your customer care call center. Also please have someone come to my residence and remove the cable from my apartment once the connection is cancelled.

I waited until the person at the counter was free and then handed it to her. She told me that it would take 7 days for the connection to be deactivated so that means I won’t take up my new connection with Asianet until the 1st to avoid two connections at the same time. She also confirmed to me that one of my waiver requests has been approved but the other has been escalated to a higher section since it is disputed.  I said fine and then she told me that I will have to bring the modem back to their office – they are too fucking busy to come and collect it I suppose and the guys who will remove the cable can’t do it either. I said perhaps next week.

You know what? No attempt at retention was made. If, during my time with Idea or Vodafone, any customer care representative was caught not attempting a retention of the customer’s account when they called or showed up for cancellation – the employee would be sternly dealt with. These morons do not care I guess. No problem, I don’t want to stay. They still don’t know how to fix the issue. So goodbye and good riddance to bad rubbish!

Cancelling Reliance Broadband Connection

I have finally taken the steps to cancel this stupid connection that I have with Reliance Broadband. I am fed up of this ISP as they obviously do not care to fix the problems and only want to take your money. For the past two months I have been facing numerous outages and problems with these idiots and they haven’t bothered to address the issue properly. Not only that they have denied me the waiver due on my rent for the month of June which I had raised as I had over 4 days of no connectivity. But their complaint handling section had denied it saying “We see activity on your account” – how the fuck can I use the connection if your cable has been disconnected for over 4 days you morons!!

Their customer care sucks, their escalation team sucks and their appellate desk sucks! Their technical department sucks. What does it say about a company if their own contract staff, the guys from the local company who have hired to lay the cables and replace faulty modems, tell you – the customer – that they themselves are fed up of Reliance as the problems were pending for long and to get permission they have created so much red tape and the advices are falling on deaf ears? I saw the change as being inevitable but I really do not want to leave this plan. The current plan I have is a good one – for just Rs.610+ taxes I get an unlimited download at 1mb speed. That is really great for my usage and that’s all I want.

But what is the point of having a great plan with such lousy service? They close the complaints without fixing the problem or checking with me to see if I am getting the service properly. I don’t need that.