The Evolution of WhatsApp

WhatsApp – the instant messaging platform is one of the most popular apps with a user base of 1 billion in 180 countries. Starting as an alternative to SMS in 2009, today WhatsApp has revolutionised the messaging platforms. It now has the support to send and receive a variety of media: text, photos, videos, documents, and location, as well as voice calls. Let’s have a look at the business model of WhatsApp and how it became popular:

It all began in 2009, when two former employees of Yahoo – Brian Acton and Jan Koum decided to work on WhatsApp. The iOS App was launched first in order to target the US Market. Later, the Symbian version was launched in 2010. Android was growing at that time and hence they decided to quickly come up with a version for the OS. The Windows Phone and Blackberry 10 version was launched in 2013. The Windows Phone and Blackberry 10 version was launched in 2013. They initially charged WhatsApp users based on first time installation (for iPhone users) and every year (for Android).

One of the main reasons for the success of WhatsApp was due to its simplicity. It was simple, secure, and fast. It was also free to use. The developers from their previous experience knew that users didn’t like ads and hence decided not to have any ads in the app. The major milestone for WhatsApp was the acquisition by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion – the largest acquisition to date.

Initially, it was an instant messaging app and the ability to send photos was one of the first feature addition. The ability to send GIF images was released in 2016. Group chat feature was launched in 2010. Voice messaging feature & support for Android Wear Smartwatches were added in 2013.

After the acquisition by Facebook, WhatsApp underwent major changes to support voice calls, Read receipts feature & WhatsApp web. This created a havoc among telecom operators who were already unhappy with WhatsApp replacing SMS to a great extent. More features like End-to-end encryption, document sharing, video calling and two step verification were added in 2016. In 2017, a Snapchat like feature called “Status” was added to WhatsApp. Users can upload an image that allows users to upload photos and videos to a 24-hours-lifetime feed that is visible to their contacts.

However, there are many issues related to the security and privacy. On 25th August 2016, WhatsApp changed its privacy policy to allow sharing of data from WhatsApp to Facebook. This was a concern for users since data sharing affected privacy. WhatsApp also offers measures such as two-step verification and encryption. In January 2017, an article published in the Guardian claimed loopholes in WhatsApp’s end to end encryption. WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption protocol was developed by Open Whisper Systems, who make their own secure messaging app Signal. Finally, the introduction of ‘read’ and ‘seen’ features were perceived not very privacy friendly.

What’s the future for WhatsApp ?

WhatsApp will continue to add more features with the upcoming updates. Change is inevitable part of any app development and they have to stay ahead with the competition to survive.

WhatsApp is expected to launch payments soon in India. They have obtained permission from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to allow users to make in-app payments and money transfers using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). WhatsApp will also soon launch support for business verified accounts on its platform.

The Application to Person (A2P) messaging market is innovating rapidly and we may see big changes very soon. Currently, it’s difficult for WhatsApp to allow third-party app integration due to privacy and encryption concerns. However, this is expected to change by WhatsApp opening it for developers. This will help integrated apps to WhatsApp and it could have a Chatbot feature like Facebook Messenger. WhatsApp may also have a Natural Language Processing (NLP)/AI integration that will provide assistant to the user when he types in the chat. You never know, WhatsApp may even turn into an e-commerce portal and even allow you to purchase online by messaging.

WhatsApp is also expected to become more personalised. The app in future will learn about a consumer’s preferences and offer deals based on their geographical location. In the long term, we can expect WhatsApp will evolve into something greater than just a messaging platform.

The Hegemony of Feminism

Feminism as an idea has emerged through the ages. Started as a campaign to assert the basic Rights of women, the idea of feminism has been exploited by a few. Christine de Pizan was considered as the first writer ‘to take up her pen to defend her sex’ in 15th Century. Later, the first wave of feminism began in late 19th century to assert political rights (Right to vote and Representation). Adding on to this, the second wave of feminism began in late 20th century to assert sexuality, workplace and reproductive rights. The demands are evolving with the time and it is beneficial for the society. All these reasonable demands can be genuinely addressed with political will, but in the name of dignity, there are few under carpet demands which ought to be blatantly opposed.

A World Bank study in 2001 found that for every one standard deviation increase in female representation in Parliament, there would be 20% reduction in corruption. But a recent study points out that the impact of gender on depends on the societal norms. If the corruption is widely accepted in a society, then women tend to be as corrupt as men. Those women who successfully climbed the ladder by asserting their rights are not averse to the greed of money. It will definitely not hold to everyone. But, while demanding for their rights and dignity, are women forgetting the cost of assertion? Is it resulting in selfish feminism?

Few women emphasize their rights only when they need it. This irony can sometimes be observed around us. It is always an issue if someone asks dowry to marry ‘her’. But when it comes to her brother, he should be ‘well paid’ as he is the sole breadwinner. It is completely fine if her father accepts a bribe to buy her a new iPad. But, it is a big issue when a Chandigarh police officer accepts the bribe and refuses to file a FIR. She also demands a better earning husband though she has access to similar resources. Only when a husband earns more than her, he deserves the respect. Sometimes, even the concern for her security is being viewed as imposition of patriarchal norms by her parents.

The demand for 33% women reservation in legislature, entry of women into temples, stringent norms against marital rapes are all valid. From abolishing Sati to passing a strong Nirbhaya Act, Indian feminism has pocketed many successes. However, different levels of intervention are needed for different geographies, religions and castes across India. Sex ratio is skewed in Haryana where the sex selective abortions are rampant. So, government duty is to fight against female foeticide in these parts of the states. In rural areas, the patriarchal norms are still rampant. Here, the cultural intervention by NGOs is necessary. Muslim women face even more subjugation. Thankfully, Supreme Court abolished Triple Talaq and provide them a hope in Indian Legal system.

A wide range of disparities in Indian society is the dilemma for most of the feminists. As women gain more power and respect in the society, they should not forget the fact that their fight is for EQUALITY and not for HEGEMONY.

Let’s get ready to embrace new norms !!

Three recent complimentary Supreme Court (SC) judgements have broadened the liberal nature of Indian society. Judgments on Triple Talaq, Right to Privacy and Section 377 sent very strong messages to the government and the society at large.

Triple Talaq was declared unconstitutional as it is not a Fundamental Right under Indian Constitution. Article 25 specifies that every citizen has the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of Religion. But, Triple Talaq invalidates the marriage without any reconciliation between the spouses. Supreme Court highlighted the patriarchal nature of the practice and now empowers women to have a fair divorce. The baton is now passed on to the Parliament for the appropriate legislature.

In another judgement, SC declared Right to Privacy as Fundamental Right. The judgement is based on the premise that the privacy is the inherent and natural right of every human being. SC has just made it explicit by recognizing it as Fundamental Right. Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees Protection of life and Personal Liberty. Right to privacy is now a part of it. Article 21 has been evolved with the changing patterns of the society and the addition of Right to Privacy is a mere affirmation to liberal values. For example, Right to go abroad and Right against public hanging, Right against delayed execution have been recognized as part of Fundamental Right under Article 21. SC also validated the use of Aadhar for purposes other than Welfare activities. Thus, providing respite to the government.

In line with these decisions, Section 377, which criminalizes the homosexuality, was struck down by SC. By saying that the law affected a Minuscule population, SC had done a grave mistake of going against the basic principle of Democracy. Now that it has corrected its mistake, the insensitive law is buried passing on smiles to LGBT community. Though the population of LGBT community is unknown, going with US numbers, it might be around 10% of total population. As a collective society, we should try to accommodate these minorities. Further, the constitution just recognises linguistic and religious minorities. It’s time to recognize the minorities based on sexuality.

Above judgements have socio economic and political repercussions. The government may have to invest heavily in infrastructure for securing the digital data collected. The litigation costs for the government may also go high in case it has to go against big corporate giants (Google, Facebook). They are alleged to have collected a large amount of inappropriate data for their business needs. Abolition of Triple Talaq strengthens government resolution to push for Uniform Civil Code. Political leverage can be garnered among the Hindus by BJP. And the economic consequences of recognizing Right to Privacy as Fundamental Right is still unknown. Also, as a society, we need to broaden our thoughts, open our hearts, extend our hands and pull the LGBT community on board to integrate the nation.

Blockchain 101 – Understanding what blockchain is and how it works

If you are interested in finance or technology, you would probably have heard about the emergence of blockchain. Many companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM are developing the block chain technology and it is expected to significantly dominate the cloud computing arena. The most widely use of block chain technology in the space of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Let’s understand what Blockchain is all about and how it works.

So what is a Blockchain ?

It is a shared, distributed ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. In simple words, it’s a master document that records every single action related to it.

Imagine, you are a business owner who transacts daily with customers. You will record your transactions for the day in a ledger. However, your customer may record transaction differently in his ledger. This is a recipe for error, fraud and inefficiencies. There could also be a lot of intermediaries in transactions and can cause delays. It is also an expensive process. A blockchain basically makes it better by eliminating the complexity involved.

Traditional document sharing involves sending files to individuals and asking them to revert back. It involves delays and confusion on the versions and edits made especially in the case of a large document. But with Cloud document sharing, you could send a single file that would be edited by multiple users and will have the option to track the edits. A blockchain is something similar.

How is a blockchain created ?

The word “Blockchain” gets its name from the way it stores transaction data – blocks are linked together to form a chain. As each transaction occurs in a business, it’s put into a block. A block contains the details of a particular transaction. Each block contains a hash – a digital fingerprint or unique identifier. Each block is connected to the one before and after it as it occurs. It is added to the next in an Irreversible chain. Finally, all transactions are blocked together.

A network of “nodes” make up the blockchain. A node is a computer connected to the blockchain network using a client. It performs the task of validating and relaying transactions. It also gets a copy of the blockchain, which gets downloaded automatically upon joining the blockchain network. Every node is an “administrator” in the network.

How does Blockchain technology help Businesses?

Bitcoins would be the best example to explain the blockchain technology. Bitcoin was a digital currency launched in 2009 by a mysterious person (or persons) known only by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is actually built on the foundation of blockchain, which serves as bitcoin’s shared ledger. To know more about Bitcoin: A Bit of Coins

You must note that Bitcoin and blockchain are not the same. Blockchain provides the means to record and store bitcoin transactions, but blockchain has many uses beyond bitcoin. Bitcoin is only the first use case for blockchain.

For business, blockchain technology benefits them in multiple ways. It helps them reduce time and cost. Settlements happen faster because it doesn’t require verification by a central authority. There is no need of creating duplicate records. Since there are less intermediaries, both time and costs are reduced. The security features also give protection against tampering, fraud, and cybercrime. It enhances trust across a business network. A better name for the technology would be Blockchange – because it changes the way how businesses operate.

We believe that the future of any business transaction would be dominated by blockchain technology. The world has already witnessed Bitcoin and its applications. We expect more industries to adopt this technology. We also have to closely watch the Hyperledger project – an open source blockchain and related technologies project started in 2015 by the Linux Foundation to support and develop technologies based on blockchain distributed ledgers.

The Android Story: The Past, Present & Future

More than 85% of the phone is powered by Android making it the most popular mobile OS in the world. Let’s look back at the history of Android to know how the OS was developed and how it became successful.

It all began in 2003, when a young group of computer experts – Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White decided to create “Android Inc”. The early intention was to develop an advanced operating system for digital cameras and then pitch in the idea to investors. However, they figured out that the market was not large enough and then they decided to develop a handset operating system. At that time, Symbian was the most popular mobile OS. However, they were running out of cash in 2005, and Google decided to acquire Android Inc.

The introduction of iPhone – the first full touchscreen phone in 2007 certainly influenced the development of Android. All major mobile companies believed that consumers will not accept a phone that doesn’t have an external QWERTY keyword. However, Google had different plans in their minds and decided to develop an OS that supports full touchscreen phone. They had initially developed ‘Sooner,’ an unreleased prototype device (also made by HTC) which looks like a Blackberry device with a full QWERTY keyboard with a 320×240 display. They decided not to launch the phone and went back to the drawing board.

The first android phone was launched by HTC in October 2008. It was called the HTC Dream, also known as T-Mobile G1. The first apps in Android included Gmail, Google Maps, Search, Google Talk, You Tube etc. And of course, it consisted of other regular apps like calendar, contacts, alarm etc. Many other mobile manufactures like Samsung and LG were developing a full touchscreen phone. However, they need an OS to work on.

The reasons for Android’s success are many. The main reason was that it was Open Sourced – it made smart devices cheaper. Manufactures who were part of the Open Handset Alliance put their effort in Android because of the expertise that they possessed. They could customise the OS based on the requirement of the phone manufactures. The OS also offered great interface and lot of features. A larger market share led to more developers developing apps in the Android which bought in more users.

In 2009, CyanogenMod was launched which become the most widely used custom Android ROM. It is basically a tweaked and edited version of Android OS that you can install on a phone or a tablet in place of the official version from Google. However, it has been discontinued in 2016, due in part to internal conflicts within Cyanogen Inc.

In 2010, Google started developing the Nexus line of devices based on the Android platform by partnering with mobile hardware manufactures. These devices became “reference” devices for Google to enhance user experience in the Android OS and venture into hardware. Another reason could be that they don’t want to take down the big players who used Android OS. Google’s own device at that time would upset the manufacturer and they would start developing their own OS. Google also had less visibility in the mobile arena at that time. However, Google launched Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone in 2016 in order to compete in the mobile hardware market.

Since 2008, Android has seen numerous updates that have improved the OS by adding new features and fixing bugs. Each updated of Android versions is named after a dessert or sugary treat in alphabetical order – Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread etc. So, what is going to be the future of Android OS ?

Android OS is not just going to power smartphones. Google has already developed Android Wear for wrist watches, Android TV for televisions, Android Auto for cars and Brillo (later renamed Android Things), for smart devices and Internet of things. Android might also make its way into laptop and even desktop OS.

Google is also developing Fuchsia – a real-time operating system (RTOS). Chrome OS and Android are based on Linux kernels (which are getting outdated) whereas Fuchsia is based on a new microkernel called “Magenta”, derived from “Little Kernel”. It could also be modular in nature allowing for it to be customized for different applications. There is no definite timeline when Fuchsia will enter the market. It may even be an Android update or replacement.

As of now, the Android OS will keep improving via updates that adds new features and fixes bugs. Most Android has some serious shortcomings that Google is well aware of – most devices run outdated OS & they are also involved in numerous patent lawsuits. This will be a big challenge for Google to overcome.

Food wastage – A leading cause of poverty

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It’s said that there is more fruit in a rich man’s shampoo than in a poor man’s plate. In a world covered with 31% forest area, 13.5% of the population suffer undernourishment. Almost one third of the food produced around the world is never consumed.

The Global Report on Food Crisis, 2017 compiles the food insecurity around the world every year. This year four countries – South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, North East Nigeria are identified as possible countries to be affected by famine. If you had ever heard of a country called Yemen, it has 27.58 million population with 14.1 million people suffering from the food crisis which is as high as 50%.

A country might go into a food crisis due to different reasons. It might be due to armed conflicts (Yemen- 3.2M/14.1M) or natural disasters. Food insecurity is generally measured on a scale of < 0.5->2.0. Most of the African countries fall into this bracket along with countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tibet, Afghanistan and Burma. The situation in Africa is further worsened by the superstitious beliefs like accusing the children of witch craft and deserting them away from the normal society.

Each year approximately 1.3 billion tons of food is getting wasted in the world accounting to $990 billion dollars each year. On a happy note, the wastage per capita in South Asian countries is approximately 6-11Kgs when compared to 95-115Kgs in Europe and North America. This scarcity is resulting in one person’s death in every 3.6 seconds out of which 75% are children. To give a frame of reference, in Europe an average person wastes 375 boxes of meals per year. This is throwing a meal box every day.
Though Indian Food Security Law covers 67% of the population, the right to highly subsidised food grains, 25% of the world’s hungry poor still stay in India. Laws has been made to spend Rs.125000 Cr. each year for the supply of 62 million tonnes of basic grains. Yet, the time it will take and the funds required to change the current situation in India is still unpredictable. India has already seen 10 greatest famines in the history including the Bengal famine of 1943.

Food production also requires water. So, in a way, we waste water as well by wasting food. This water can serve all the world needs. To talk business, the production cost, manufacturing/processing cost, packaging cost, logistics cost and marketing cost everything goes waste. The major items that account into food wastage every year are the fruits and vegetables. So, what exactly can be done about this problem?

Here are some possible ways to avoid food wastage

  • Make better purchasing decisions – More conscious you are about your meal requirements, less tendency to buy excess grocery and lesser the wastage of food.
  • Recycling of food – Most of the famous food outlets now adopt food recycling techniques. Compact food recyclers are available for household usage
  • Serve smaller portions – In restaurants and at home, serve smaller portions which can reduce food wastage as you can always serve second time. Try to pack the leftover food at restaurants and donate to hungry on roads.
  • Better production and storage techniques – Higher yield and longer storage facilities can increase food production and time of consumption of the food.
  • Discounted price for unsellable but edible fruits or vegetables in super market. It is seen that fruits and vegetables of irregular shapes are not sold. These can be either sold at lower prices or donated to the needy.

In the history, Norman Borlaug, father of green revolution has saved 1 billion people from starvation by inventing modernised and advanced techniques to develop high yield variety of grains and fertilizers. M.S. Swaminathan played a crucial role in India by adopting the same and further developing High Yield Varieties of seeds. Verghese Kurien’s white revolution idea of Operation flood – world’s largest dairy development program also helped address the food crisis in the past.
If one cautious step of yours towards the food can save one life, it is definitely more sacred than any offering to god. As it is always said, helping hands are better than praying lips. It’s not the prayers that we need for those people its self-realization and awareness creation. There is enough food in this world. It just has to be utilised or served well.

Article Originally Written by Bommineni Jyothirmaie Reddy

Slowdown in economy is acceptable but not a death of single child

Heart thumping rhetoric by the government in guaranteeing the improvement in the standard of living is far from belief. The prospects of the GDP growth rate is at a lower end of expectation, the markets are saturated, and Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is declining. External factors can be blamed for all these developments. But, what about the disturbing death of 70 children at the Gorakhpur hospital. The inquiry report submitted by the District Magistrate blamed the Oxygen cylinder supplier and two doctors for the cause of death. However, the interim report submitted by the Magistrate stated that the deaths are due to uncontrolled events. It also shamelessly said that the deaths in 2017 are comparatively less than the previous year. And that there is some improvement in facilities provided.

According to a PwC report, India is set to reach the world’s third largest economy by 2030. The basic assumption in concluding this outcome is the strength of Indian youth. But, if we lose potential scientists, entrepreneurs and potential politicians at this pace, will we be able to achieve our aspirations? Just because the Oxygen cylinders are not provided by the supplier on time, we cannot afford to lose a life. The reasons like these are not acceptable from a place which acts as a referral Hospital to all the nearby villages. We are already losing two children per every hour. The Under-five mortality rate in India is 43 i.e., the probability that a child born in a specified year will die within 5 years of age is 43 per 1000 live births. A shocking figure to hear even after the celebration of 71st Independence Day

Article 45 of the Indian Constitution directs the government to strive for the childhood care. But, only 2.5% of India’s GDP is allocated to the health sector. It is grossly negligible. To put things in perspective, Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has diverted 13% of the funds to loan waiver schemes which are supposed to be allocated for Development. UP is the hub of communalism and it has developed the latest fad of protecting cows while their children are unable to walk out of hospitals in which they were born. The newly formed government should focus on strengthening the relationship of Mother and her child rather than separating people in ‘relationship.’ Only when the state resolves to focus on critical issues, the country will be prosperity.

India also has the credit of not achieving the Millennium Development Goals related to Child mortality rate. Here, the mortality rate is one of the highest in the world. We couldn’t reduce the mortality rate by two thirds by 2015 from 1990 levels. May be our beloved politicians neglected those little children as they do not possess voting rights. We need to take lessons from countries like Nigeria which was able to substantially control its Infant Mortality Rate through effective immunization. Here, we are unable to avoid Japanese Encephalitis, which is another cause of death in Gorakhpur. With one hand, we are bargaining for UN Permanent membership and with the other hand, we are killing our own children without supplying Oxygen cylinders. What an irony!!

Road Accidents in India – Reasons beyond comprehension

“Accidents, and particularly street and highway accidents, do not happen, they are caused” – Ernest Greenwood

Some people say that even your death should be an inspiration for others to live. Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Bal Gangadhar Tilak sacrificed their lives for the country. Soldiers across the borders leave their lives for protecting their mother country. But, there are around 6 lakh Indians who lose their life every year just because of over speeding. We, as a country, effectively fought against extreme famines in 1940s and 1970s. Successfully tackled Pakistan’s aggression and China’s rage. But, we are unable to address the domestic issue which is taking away thousands of lives every year.

‘Road Accidents in India-2015’ is the only publicly available latest government report. According to it, for every hour there are about 57 accidents leading to atleast 17 deaths. The number already sounds humongous, but a study conducted by Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi inferred that the number of deaths would have been underestimated by a factor of 4. Which means that there are around 68 deaths per hour in our country. Out of which 77.7% are attributed to the negligence of driving/driver’s mistake. Since, government doesn’t like to blame itself for road accidents, let us bring down that number to 60%. So, around 40 people choose to die per hour in India. This figure is startling. Out of these, 61% are due to “Exceeding the lawful speed.” So, around 46% of the accidents happen just because we choose to drive with high speed. So, around 6 lakh people die every year just because they want to drive fast. Out of which majority are in the age group of 15 to 35.

There are many reasons for speeding on roads. It might be a mere thrill or it can even be an impending emergency. Whatever be the reason, nothing is more important than life. So, what we can do is to be aware of these accidents and to protect ourselves from road accidents. Analysis of available data on accidents may help us with the same:

  • Two wheelers accounted for most number of accidents (31.5%). Given a choice, a four wheeler would be a good option.
  • ‘Fault of other drivers’ and ‘bad weather conditions’ are next big reasons for cause of deaths. So, leave that Ego aside at least when you are driving.
  • Deaths due to overloaded vehicles are increasing year on year. Think twice before getting into that over-crowded share auto.
  • Junctions around the traffic signals account for the most number of deaths. So, just be aware before hitting the breaks.
  • Tamil Nadu accounts for highest number of road accidents. So, doing MBA here might have increased the probability of getting into an accident.
  • March and May account for the highest number of accidents all through the decades. Maybe there is some relation between Sun and accidents.
  • Time slot between 15:00 to 21:00 accounts for the most number of deaths.
  • Knowing this at the back of your mind may make you more cautious while driving at these hours.

Rahu or Kethu doesn’t stop you from getting into accidents. Only science will help. Probability of getting into an accident can be drastically reduced by being aware of the past incidents.

Have a safe journey!!

Sarahah: The Anonymous Feedback App

Spotted a friend in social media sharing screenshots of a teal speech bubbles that hold an anonymous message? Well, then it’s probably Sarahah – an anonymous feedback app that has gained momentum very quickly and is spreading like wild fire.

Sarahah is an app “helps you self-develop by receiving constructive anonymous feedback.” In simple words, it’s just an anonymous feedback form that has an open ended question. It was developed by 29 year old Saudi programmer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq and was initially launched in Egypt. The App named after the Arabic word for “honesty,” was apparently designed for employees to submit anonymous feedback to employers.

In February 2017, Sarahah was opened up to the general public. People who sign up in Sarahah receive a link they can share on other social media sites – inviting anyone with access to their profile to send messages anonymously.

Sarahah is not the first anonymous messaging app in the market. Ask.fm in 2012 was initially an anonymous social media platform. Secret was another anonymous messaging app and had to shut down following legal battles and claims that it encouraged bullying. Sayat.me was also a similar website. YikYak, was an anonymous messaging app once valued at $400 million. All the platforms have been criticised by several media articles regarding cyberbullying and have been linked to suicides. There were a huge number of reported cases of anonymous offensive messaging and suicides apparently resulting from such bullying.

So, how is Sarahah unique ? The app has the ability to block offensive users based on their IP address, even if they are not registered on the site. It can also filter out certain offensive words automatically. Sarahah also doesn’t have in-app advertising and doesn’t seem to have a revenue model in place.

Sarahah was branded itself as a “honest” and “constructive criticism” app. The developers knew the potential effects of cyberbullying. Honestly speaking, the real world has nothing to do with honest and people don’t seem to know how to send constructive messages. People are taking advantage of the anonymous nature of the app and bully or troll others. Most people who engage in these activities are often motivated by anger, revenge or frustration. They do it for entertainment or because they are bored or have too much time on their hands. Some people even post for mere fun.

Cyberbullying has grown as a major problem in recent years, afflicting children and young adults. There have been studies that have shown that cyber-victimization and cyberbullying on social networks involving adolescents are strongly associated with psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders. One must understand that children’s coping mechanisms may not be as strong as adults and they suffer grievously – resulting in tragic outcomes like self-injurious behaviour and suicides.

Read more about it at Common Sense Reasoning for Detection, Prevention, and Mitigation of Cyberbullying

The app is a reflection of how disgusting our society is getting every day. One must also understand the security risk associated. What if the app was hacked and your names were leaked along with your messages ? The app is still in its development stages and would have already attracted the hacker’s eye.

You must also understand it’s not difficult to track who has posted if you are an expert in online tracking. If you are sharing the link on WhatsApp status or Facebook Stories, it’s easy to know who has seen the link and then match it with the timestamp of the messages. Trust me!! Don’t attempt this – you will be in for a shock. With privacy settings in social media, you can also control the visibility of your post.

One must be aware that these apps are designed for fun. Sarahah diligently is a good idea. But be aware of the positive and negatives of any app.

Want to give a constructive and honest feedback of Pandas Wisdom? Click here pandaswisdom.sarahah.com

Amazon Web Services: Opportunities in India

Amazon.com is the world’s largest online retailer and offers various products and services like Kindle E-Book reader, Fire TV, Prime Video, Echo etc. However, you may not be aware of Amazon Web Services (AWS), the section that is responsible for a full tenth of Amazon’s revenues. We hope to give you a glimpse of AWS and the opportunities it has for Indian business.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) sells cloud computing solutions to the outside world and its own businesses. It sells various cloud-based solutions like database storage, bandwidth for websites, content delivery and other functionality that will help your business to scale and grow.

So what is Cloud all about ? It’s the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more—over the Internet. One of the main advantage is that Cloud Computing offers you an opportunity to scale your business without the need to purchase any servers or IT infrastructure. It means that you have less capital expenditure and low variable costs. You should also understand the difference between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) because they determine your development strategy.

Launched in 2006, AWS is today used by many top India companies including Hike, ZEDO, Freshdesk, Inmobi, Tata Motors, Hotstar, Getit, Ola, Practo, Redbus, NDTV. It is used by about 8,000 companies in India to reduce its internal IT staff and cut IT costs. In 2016, Amazon introduced its first data center infrastructure in India with the launch of two data center locations in Mumbai.

Amazon Web Services has categorised its services into compute, storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security and enterprise applications. Storage and computing is the basis of almost everything you would want to do on the internet. Amazon offers two core services for compute and storage. They are Amazon EC2 and S3.

  • AWS Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) is a web service that provides re-sizable compute capacity in the cloud. It basically helps you to increase your computation power to process data faster by making use of power processors in the cloud.
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is used for storing data in the form of objects in the AWS Cloud. It helps you store images and other assets of business and even keep backups and share files between services. It also lets you host static websites.

Some of the other popular solutions include:

  • Amazon RDS – a managed relational database service that does routine database tasks in familiar databases like Amazon Aurora, MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostgreSQL.
  • Amazon SQS – a fast, reliable and scalable message queuing service (it has nothing to do with SMS or Email). It is basically a place to put things and take things out and is perfect for jobs that should be processed asynchronously.
  • Amazon Lamba – used to execute backend code snippets of JS, Java or Python to do discrete tasks. It helps you run your own code irrespective of the background architecture.

They also offer Big Data service solution including machine learning and Kinesis (a real-time streaming data platform), Elastic MapReduce (a tool for big data processing and analysis) & Redshift (data warehouse service). The list of services goes on and on. For more details, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/products/

How to get started ? Head on to the “10-minute” tutorial section at AWS https://aws.amazon.com/getting-started/tutorials/.

The Pandas expect that growth in each of these categories and services will continue as long as organizations realize the benefits and ease of using these technologies in India. Amazon needs to market AWS services must better in India. There are lot of enterprise and SME’s who would benefit from the AWS services. India now close to 4,750 tech startups – the highest number in the world after the United States and Britain. This is a huge opportunity for Amazon to scale. However, they face stiff competition from Microsoft’s Azure Platform which also offers similar services. Microsoft Azure already has three data center locations in India.

And Personally, I feel that Amazon should consider renaming some of the services. It is really confusing! Try reaching out to young engineers & business professionals to encourage the use of AWS.

Do let us know if you have used AWS or thoughts in the comment section below