Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
I identify as a potato (The Funny Side)
Ludivine, a two-year-old pet, stepped out of her home and saw humans starting to run.
 
It's 2055. Phones are painted ono our palms. Being transgender is compulsory, except for Popes, who have to be female. All countries have combined into one big nation, North Zuckerberg.
 
No, wait. May be life won't be that weird in 2055. It will be that strange much sooner, like may be in the next week or so.
 
The day I realized exactly how bizarre life was becoming started normally enough, when a reader sent me a heartwarming news report about a dog that accidentally won a race.
 
Ludivine, a two-year-old pet, stepped out of her home and saw humans starting to run. She joined them and ran the entire 21 kilometre trail, coming first in her age group and seventh overall. Officials chose to formally "identify her as a human" so she could receive a medal. Her surprised owner said that the dog had been let out to poop in the woods and must have decided to run the Alabama half-marathon on a whim.
 
This impressed me, as I need a lengthy period of psyching myself up just to move from sofa to fridge. I once watched a 40-minute documentary on Latvian railways because the remote was on the next armchair.
 
That email was immediately followed by one with a link to a news report about Hobo, a UK goat who thinks he is a dog and likes to go "walkies" twice a day. Pet goats are illegal where Hobo lives, but the authorities agreed to issue a special permit since "he identifies as a dog".
 
I mentioned these news items at lunch with a group of journalists and found that they were rather angrily struggling with the whole "identifies as" issue. One worked for a major news corporation which had issued an edict that if a person born male identified as a woman, reporters had to use the pronoun "she", and vice versa for people born as women. This seemed fine to her until she had to sub-edit reports about a natural blond who identified as a black American and an oversized adult male who identified as a little girl.
 
A feature writer who defies the laws of physics by being lazier and more sluggish than I am said that under the new "it's the individual's choice" policy, he identified as Brad Pitt and all women should henceforth be legally forced to respond accordingly. The women present enthusiastically acclaimed his proclamation with synchronized vomit gestures.
 
The next day I heard from friends in Bangkok that Thai Airways has said it now recognizes luk thep (fashionable life-sized child dolls) as humans and sells them air tickets. Some restaurants already accept seat-bookings for luk thep, although I foresee disputes regarding buffet charges. Diner: "The doll didn't eat anything." Waiter: "That's what they all say."
 
As a Modern Scientific Person, I think only thinking creatures should be allowed to identify as sentient beings, so that takes dolls, bacteria and nationalist politicians out of the loop. As for us coach potatoes sitting on sofas staring at screens, we're kind of in the grey area. Anyway, most of us already spend most of our time in the vast empire of Zuckerberg.
 
And if I identify as a potato, from now on you should address me as "vegeto-human".
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Commerce ministry launches 'Twitter Seva'
New Delhi : The commerce and industry ministry on Thursday launched a 'Twitter Seva' to address queries and grievances on matters relating to the ministry.
 
“Through this Twitter Seva, queries on matters relating to Department of Commerce (DoC) and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will be answered,” the ministry said in a statement.
 
The service was launched here by union minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 
 
“All officers have been sensitized to respond to the tweets within a short time frame,” she said.
 
Anyone desirous of assistance from the ministry can use the hashtag #mociseva. 
 
An institutionalized mechanism with a special Twitter cell has been created in the ministry manned by officers, who will monitor and direct all the tweets to the concerned officers.
 
Queries regarding SEZs, tea, coffee, rubber and spices boards will be addressed by the ministry while that on manufacturing policy, industrial corridors, investment promotion, Make in India, Start-up India, Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), FDI, Intellectual Property Rights, patents, trade marks, copyrights, light engineering industry, cement and rubber industry will be addressed by DIPP, the statement said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Call drop penalty least invasive, TRAI tells SC
New Delhi : Telecom regulator TRAI on Thursday defended, in the Supreme Court, its decision to impose call drop penalty on the telecom service providers (TSP) describing it as a "least invasive way to deal with the issue".
 
Defending the Delhi High Court order upholding its call drop penalty order of October 16, 2015, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) told an apex court bench of Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman that telecom service providers (TSP) must enhance their investment in infrastructure as they were earning huge revenues.
 
The high court's February 29 judgment had come as it dismissed the TSPs' plea for the stay of TRAI's compensation policy, under which a rupee would be credited to the mobile users' account for every call drop (restricted to three per day) starting January 1, 2016.
 
Assailing the contentions raised by the TSPs, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that there was huge gulf between the revenue being earned by the TSPs and the investments being made by them on augmenting the infrastructure.
 
If between 2010 to 2014, the revenue of TSPs has increased by 48 percent, the investment in infrastructure in wireless access service segment rose by only 4.6 percent from Rs.2,02,399 crore in fiscal 2012-13 to Rs.2,11,691 crore in fiscal 2013-14, he said, adding that investment in telecom infrastructure in 2015 here was $5 billion where as in China it was $50 billion.
 
He noted that there was limited spectrum and it could not be that TSPs would go on adding to their subscriber base without making investments for improving the infrastructure. The attorney general quoted statistics showing that from 2010 to June 2015, the number of subscribers increased by 61.9 percent from 62.13 crore in 2010 to 100.6 crore in June 2015.
 
"You (TSPs) don't spend on highway (spectrum) and you will not spend on infrastructure and cry far minuscule issue of call drop charge," Rohatgi said meeting the contentions by the petitioner associations - Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the Association of Unified Service Provider of India (USPAI) - which had challenged the TRAI notification.
 
Telling the court that penalty for call drop was least invasive way to deal with the call drop issue, he said that the government could have done much more, citing the case of China where 25 percent of revenue must be invested in infrastructure.
 
Rebutting the contention of the TSPs as to how could it be decided whether the call drop was network-related or user-related, Rohatgi said: "System has the capability, and that capability has been demonstrated and it can't be said that user-related call drop could not be separated from network-related call drop."
 
He placed before the court documents to demonstrate that different kinds of call drops are identified and recorded by the system.
 
Contesting the TSPs claim that it would be a financial burden on them, he said that the total number of call drops (outgoing) in the entire network was 800 crore in a year and if TSPs are made to compensate for all of them, then it would amount to Rs.800 crore per annum.
 
But after exempting the user related call drops, the amount of compensation would come to Rs. 512 crore, and get further shrunk after the capping the penalty to three calls a day, the court was told.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Param

10 months ago

i understand the customer sensitive point of view, but i have one key question from business point of view:
when businesses bid for licenses, was there a restriction in terms of allowed call drops? if not, is this not akin to changing the rules of the game while the play is on? will govt allow bidders to revise the price including this new condition?

best a govt can do is publish facts with transparency & let people decide if they are getting value for money. switching today is so cheap & easy & MNP allows retaining the number as well.

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