Imagine buying your SIM-free mobile phone from a local electronics store and logging into your Google or Apple account as soon as you turn the phone on for the first time. Then imagine having the phone ready to use for voice calls with a phone number provided to you by Google Talk or Skype, and ready to access email, YouTube or Facebook.
That same phone automatically hooks to your home Wi-Fi or any of the available 3G, WiMax or LTE networks without you even knowing (or caring) which specific network its running on at the moment. No longer do you have to belong to a specific carrier — your phone automatically picks the strongest and cheapest network option at any given time. Your network access, along with voice, app/in-app purchases and everything else are provided to you by the mobile platform provider. The carriers are only there to run network infrastructure and sell bandwidth to two to three mobile platform providers.
Let’s face it, the only two things that still connect carriers to consumers are the voice number and billing for the network access. SIM card technology is rudimentary — you can easily conduct user authentication using a simple login, just like Apple does on iPods when you want to buy apps or songs from the iTunes store.
Looking into the future, even the phone number itself will disappear. Why bother with all these numbers when you can just place a call directly to anybody’s Facebook profile?
This future is inevitable, and the changes are coming very soon. With mobile platform providers running the show today, carriers simply have no way of stopping the process. Not having any control over the platform vendors — for instance, via a consortium that would centrally license Android or other mobile platforms to equalize the balance of power between the platform provider and the carriers/OEMs — they will eventually give up on their ambitions to control the user. Just read the Google/Motorola/Skyhook story to see how it happens.
It only takes one carrier to crack and start selling bandwidth to Google, Microsoft or Apple; all other carriers will simply have no choice but to follow. It’s like the prisoners’ dilemma from economic textbooks: If both prisoners don’t talk, both win. But if separated and one is promised a way out (or an easier sentence) and he talks first, then game theory suggests the winning strategy for each prisoner is to talk. In other words, one of them will crack. They are nowhere close to being united enough to stand together, even in the short to mid-term. Look how effortlessly Apple, then everyone else, took over their app distribution businesses — something that only five years ago would have been totally unthinkable.
Most likely, these first-to-crack carriers will be tier-two low-cost carriers outside the U.S., possibly acquired by, but likely just partnering with, the big platform players. Those carriers will have a high incentive to enter such partnerships, as their networks are already optimized for low costs (lean, efficient cost structure without heavy marketing, support, premium services overheads, better network logistics, etc.). Short to mid-term, the strategy will be against tier-one carriers, who have a high marketing/operations cost burden. The UK actually looks like a very logical place to start, especially when some UK carriers have already been experimenting with Skype phones, which were successful to the degree that price-sensitive younger audiences actually started to carry Skype phones as their second device.
It will probably be a while before most users fully switch to non-carrier-provided voice/network services — maybe five to seven years — but it’s only a matter of time, as the new model is so much more compelling to the consumer. Signing up for multiple phone numbers as easily as opening email accounts, getting the best and the cheapest network at any given time in any spot (finally, no more service drops!), free and unlimited voice/video on WiFi networks, cheap roaming even when overseas on a local service, and so many more benefits are poised to take off.
Once this happens, carriers fall into a very undesirable position. Network access becomes an absolute commodity, much more so than in the case of landline ISPs. The latter at least have relatively high switching costs, while a mobile phone is already connected to every network available in its physical location. This means carriers compete head to head over who sells the cheapest bandwidth to Google, Apple or Microsoft, and only those most economically fit with the strongest network logistics survive in the game. This time, the brand, handset subsidies or any other marketing tricks are of no help — it’s all about economics.
What’s really interesting is what could happen with next-generation networks. As carriers see their margins disappear almost entirely and the profits shift to mobile platforms, operators won’t accumulate enough profits to be able to invest in next-generation networks. Nor does the marginalized economics of the network business promise them high ROI. Mobile platforms do the opposite: By that time, they’ll have accumulated profits for all the value-added services, so they’ll have both the money to invest and the strong economic incentive to do so. This will also be very lucrative to mobile platforms politically, as owning services end to end, from cloud to network to devices, enables a whole new level of control and market power.
by Ilja Laurs is CEO at GetJar
The Arabtimes, Kuwait, today reported:
“The Criminal Evidence Department has submitted a report to the Cassation Court, stating that a certain brand of mayonnaise available at a cooperative society contains three percent alcohol, reports Annahar daily.
The company which imported the mayonnaise has been charged with endangering the lives of citizens and residents as it did not properly examine the ingredients of the product. Sources say the cooperative society which sold the product too has been charged in the case.”
Well, if 3% alcohol can endanger the lives of the citizens of Kuwait, maybe the investigation report should be sent across to UAE, Oman, Qatar & Bahrain; so that their brothers from the other GCC citizens can learn from it and take effective measures to stop alcohol sale.
Wonder what a detrimental effect ‘it’ must be having on the citizens of other countries?
We were taught that work is worship. If you do your work and duties promptly and in the right manner, it is equivalent to prayer.
But my perception (rather most of those living in the Arab World) of Ramadan is that this is a time when people (since they are fasting) take it as an excuse to shy away from work and show anger to those who make them work. Why?
Mohammad Faris, CEO and founder of Productive Muslims, said that history teaches us Ramadan was a time of great achievement and industry.
“If we look into history, we learn that Ramadan was a productive time for the Ummah.
It is in this noble month that many great events occurred in the history of Islam like the victory of faith over disbelief in the Battle of Badr, the conquest of Makkah, Battle of ‘Ayn Jaaloot and other decisive battles,” Faris told Gulf News from his Jeddah offices in Saudi Arabia.
“This indicates that there are many lessons of success to draw on from this month in the history of Islamic civilisation. In a similar manner, Ramadan is a time where Muslims must fight their own inner battles to gain victory of becoming better Muslims and more productive in order to have success in this life and the next.”
Those who are observing Ramadan must work to dispel stereotypes through personal goals of becoming more productive, he said.
“Unfortunately, Ramadan today is being accused of being an ‘unproductive’ month by many Muslim — and non-Muslim — employers working in the Muslim world.
“This misrepresentation of Ramadan is highlighted by the actions of some Muslims who unfortunately use Ramadan as an excuse to be lazy, not get work done, and follow unproductive habits such as staying up all night at cafes and restaurants, thus feeling sleepy during working hours.
“This is very important, as there are many sincere employees who want to work hard and be productive during Ramadan, but do not have the techniques or skills to do so consistently,” Faris said.
“Businesses could arrange workshops with Muslim productivity experts to help their employees or they can encourage their employees to sign up to online courses that specialise in this sort of training.”
Businesses must also adopt a co-operative approach with workers to ensure that deadlines are met and production does not slip.
“Second, businesses need to encourage a resilient mindset among their fasting employees, for example, a mindset that whether it’s Ramadan or not Ramadan, work has to get done and employees need to find a way to keep up with the work pace,” he said.
“There should be zero tolerance to people who use Ramadan as an excuse for being lazy or unproductive, and signs of unproductivity or people using Ramadan as an excuse for being unproductive should be stamped out or rebuked publicly.”
To help workers help themselves, Productive Muslims offers a ist for a more productive Ramadan:
1. Have sincere intentions and work hard for an ultimate productive Ramadan.
2. Plan each day of Ramadan the night before. Choose three important tasks you want to achieve the next day and record them in your diary.
3. Never EVER miss Suhour, wake up at least an hour before Fajr and have a filling, balanced meal.
4. Start working on your most important tasks right after Fajr and get at least one or two done.
5. Try to take an afternoon nap, not more than 20 minutes, either just before or after Dhuhur.
6. Plan your Ramadan days (and life) around Salah times, not the other way round.
7. Block at least one hour for reciting the Quran each day.
8. End your fast with dates and milk or water, go to Maghreb prayers, then come back for a light meal.
9. Give lots of ‘physical sadaqah’; get involved in organising community iftars, charity drives, helping orphans etc. Earn rewards working for others.
10. Don’t miss an opportunity for Dawah. When someone asks you why you’re not eating, give them a beautiful explanation of Ramadan and Islam.
Keeping up with internet meme and internet fads will now find you looking at Horsemaning sometimes spelled as Horsemanning. On the new Facebook page dedicated to this new fad is found the description. So What is Horsemaning? ‘Horsemaning started in the 1920s and is basically a fake beheading, where people lies down with the head hidden and another person hides behind the same object leaving the head exposed. It was started by a member from Buzzfeed and has now become the new planking. After planking there have been a couple of internet trends and fads trying to become the new planking like Batting and Owling but could this be the new planking.
Ever wondered why the Indian Media is biased on Hindus and often mislead the public on trivial issues?
Who owns the media in India ?
There are several major publishing groups in India, the most prominent among them being the Times of India Group, the Indian Express Group, the Hindustan Times Group, The Hindu group, the Anandabazar Patrika Group, the Eenadu Group, the Malayalam Manorama Group, the Mathrubhumi group, the Sahara group, the Bhaskar group, and the Dainik Jagran group. Let us see the ownership of these media agencies.
NDTV: A very popular TV news media is funded by the Gospels of Charity in Spain which supports Communism. Recently it has developed a soft corner towards Pakistan because the Ex-President Musharraf had allowed only this channel to be aired in Pakistan. Indian Division CEO Prannoy Roy is the co-brother of Prakash Karat, General Secretary of Communist Party of India. His wife and Brinda Karat are sisters.
India Today which used to be the only national weekly who supported BJP is now bought by NDTV and since then the tone has changed drastically and turned into Hindu bashing. No prizes for guessing why.
CNN-IBN: This is 100 percent funded by Southern Baptist Church with its branches in all over the world with HQ in US. The Church annually allocates $800 million for promotion of its channel. Its Indian heads are Rajdeep Sardesai and his wife Sagarika Ghosh.
Times group list: Times Of India, Mid-Day, Nav-Bharth Times, Stardust , Femina, Vijaya Times, Vijaya Karnataka, Times now (24- hour news channel) and many more. Times Group is owned by Bennet & Coleman. ‘World Christian Council‘ does 80 percent of the Funding, and an Englishman and an Italian equally share balance 20 percent. The Italian Robertio Mindo is a close relative of Sonia Gandhi.
Star TV: It is run by an Australian, who is supported by St. Peters Pontificial Church, Melbourne.
Hindustan Times: Owned by Birla Group, but hands have changed since Shobana Bhartiya took over. Presently it is working in Collobration with Times Group (refer above).
The Hindu: English daily, started over 125 years has been recently taken over by Joshua Society, Berne, Switzerland. N.Ram’s wife is a Swiss national.
Indian Express: Divided into two groups:The Indian Express and The New Indian Express (southern edition): ACTS Christian Ministries have major stake in the Indian Express and later is still with the Indian counterpart.
Eeenadu: Still to date controlled by an Indian named Ramoji Rao. Ramoji Rao is connected with film industry and owns a huge studio in Andhra Pradesh .
Andhra Jyothi: The Muslim Party of Hyderabad known as MIM along with a Congress Minister has purchased this Telugu daily very recently.
The Statesman: It is controlled by the Communist Party of India.
Kairali TV: It is controlled by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Mathrubhoomi: Leaders of Muslim League and Communist Leaders have major investment.
Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle: Is owned by a Saudi Arabian Company with its chief Editor M.J. Akbar.
I pledge not to waste food this Ramadan. Will you join me is this pledge?
Ramadan is the period when people fast during the day. Naturally, when they break their fast at iftar and during dinner, people tend tend to hog on. First by cooking more than necessasry and then by taking onto their plates (more than what the stomach can take). This ends up as waste, which does down the sewage.
This holy month is a time to show courtesy to our brethen, wherein people donate money to those needy. By limiting our food consumotion, we are doing a greater charity.
The famine that has affected Africa, is well known. People there are starving to death. Those images on the TV are pitifully moving.
So this Ramadan, join me (by putting “I PLEDGE NOT TO WASTE FOOD” in the comments). This is the least that we can do to help those starving.
Since, charity begins from home; lets start from our house.
I PLEDGE NOT TO WASTE FOOD.
Fellow bloggers can put this link on their blog, to support this cause.
Time to patch-up
Time to let go of your egos
Time to smile
Time to celebrate
Time to fast
Time to binge
Time for everything…
The head of the Dubai Police has said that courtesy and discretion will be the watchword as his department gears up to enforce Ramadan regulations across the emirate.
“We train our officers how to deal with different nationalities and to respect non-Muslims who may inadvertently offend Muslims during Ramadan by eating, drinking or smoking in public places during the day,” Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim told Arabian Business.
“We show them that these things happen, and they are to deal with it in a courteous way so that they would refrain from doing it again.”
Can the non-Muslims expect a similar courtesy in Kuwait, specially considerting that it is summer time and temperatures cross 50 deg and that not everyone’s body can sustain such abstinence for long?
Neat little portable pack for charging all Apple products while on the move.
Aviiq’s new Portable Charging Station -acts as a sort of USB hub in a bag, this little black travel sleeve lets you pack and power three USB devices — even an iPad — with one outlet. What’s more, the station allows for easy syncing by way of a retractable USB port.
Cost – $80
The many faces of Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, the savvy Foreign Minister of Pakistan.
Hina Rabbani Khar was born on January 19, 1977 in Multan Daughter of Veteran Politian, Ghulam Rabbani Khar. Proud of her ancestral village and all that life gave her, Hina is a buoyantly zestful lady. A business woman by profession and hailing from one of the least developed parts of Pakistan.
Hina graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) from Lahore University of Management Sciences in 1999, and received her M.Sc. degree in Management from University of Massachusetts, U.S.A in 2001. A graduate of ‘University of Massachusetts – USA’, she has all that it takes to be a leader.
Ghulam Rabbani Khar
Her father, Ghulam Rabbani Khar, drove Hina into politics, setting her on a different path from the hotel management career.
A businesswoman by profession. She had been pursuing with great zeal. She is a co-owner of the Polo Lounge, an upscale, popular restaurant located on the Lahore Polo Grounds.
Personal and Marriage Life
She is married to Feroz Gulzar, a businessman and they have two sons and one daughter.
That flirting smile.
Stylist & savvy
very cute baby (& babe!)
Executive with the Birkin bag
Now that’s definitely a DIVA.
the professional at work
with the wedding ring (so no poaching!)
Wonder what’s next?
10 things you didn’t know about her
1 Hina Rabbani Khar is the niece of one of Pakistan Peoples’ Party founders, Ghulam Mustafa Khar. He made headlines when Tehmina Durrani, one of his seven wives, wrote the famous book on him, My Feudal Lord, in 1991
2 A polo enthusiast, she has a stable of horses.
3 She also owns a restaurant in Lahore called Polo Lounge
4 She has more than 20 Facebook fan clubs
5 A trekking enthusiast, she’s been to K2 and Nanga Parbat
6 Her Wikipedia page labels her a ‘Pakistani fashionista’
7 She mostly carries a Hermes Birkin bag on official visits
8 She became the first woman to present Pakistan’s budget in 2009
9 She eats healthy, and preferred green tea over other beverages during her stay in Delhi’s ITC Maurya Hotel
10 She is mother to two sons and a daughter.
Her contact info at the Pakistani Elections Website
Her gossip – Emraan Hashmi made India’s Minister of State for External Affairs to counter Pakistan’s pretty Hina Rabbani Khar
Can’t do without a mouse, but the laptop finger touchpad mouse is irritating? Conventional mouse is too bulky to carry around?
Well, how you put your CD-convertible-mouse into your CD drive?