Issue 4 | 2019

The movie ‘PM Narendra Modi’ finally released on 24th May, a day after ‘real’ PM Modi retained his office (& 2 weeks after its scheduled release date). 

While the reviews are horrible on major platforms, let’s hope the BJP’s second innings at the helm of the nation opens better than the movie.

Anyway, today we’re going to tell you a bit about the challenges that Modi & Co will have to overcome ASAP, how India’s Telecom Industry is getting normal again, why the co-founders of Facebook want to take it down & how the definition of Kilogram has changed forever. 


The Telco’s finally settle down

3 years after Jio’s entry, we have peace ๐Ÿณ๏ธ

Source: The Economist

3 years ago, Jio stormed the telecom industry with plans to offer free data & talk-time to millions (thanks to the deep pockets of Reliance) as it forced major players to either raise the bar (i.e lower their price) or watch their customers leave. 

The battle forced some to merge (Voda-Idea), to acquire loans, to cut jobs, to partner with content kings (Netflix/Prime) and more – while the price per plan was decreasing constantly.

However, this chaos has subsided (so don’t expect plans to get cheaper). Now, the focus is on serving the set of customers each company has retained. Poaching has dropped and ironically, some of these telco’s are even pushing out low-value customers as they want to increase average revenue. 

Still, Jio’s greatness cannot be undermined. An insightful report published by OpenSignal gives Jio a 4G Availability score of 97.5%, which is the highest any telecom company has achieved in any country – globally. Airtel remains the fastest (& best for video experience) whereas Vodafone-Idea provides the highest upload speed. 

Also, use the MySpeed App instead of Speedtest.net if you want TRAI to keep telco’s in check.


“It’s Time to Break Up Facebook”

A world without FB? ๐Ÿค”

What happens when the people who help start one of the biggest companies in the world want to take it down?

With Phil Hughes latest op-ed with the New York Times, 4 of the 5 initial cofounders (yes, there were 5!) have now publicly condemned Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg indirectly or directly saying that it is too much power and responsibility for one man and one company.

With Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram as well as WhatsApp, Zuckerberg has an unchecked monopoly in the world of social networking, photo-sharing and internet messaging. 

Hughes sees this as a major blunder of the US FTC in ensuring that no monopolies exist in any industry. He believes that the governments already have the tools to keep in check online tech companies; they just need to start implementing them better.

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal early last year, and the cofounder’ public outlash, the public opinion on Facebook’s monopoly in the world of social networking seems to be headed towards a downward spiral.


Don’t let the Na-Modi-fications in the Stock Market distract you!

Time for the real test ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

Source: GIPHY

As BJP emerged victorious yet again on Wedneday, the reaction on the stock market with the Sensex breaching the 40,000 mark (for the 1st time in history) clearly indicates what most Indian investors (if not all) think of PM Modi & Co. 

A vast segment of our population accepts the outcome of this year’s election wholeheartedly. More so, they accept PM Modi as the ‘right’ candidate for securing India’s economic future.

However, a recent study indicates that the outcome of elections does not have any significant impact on growth of financial markets & investor returns in the long term. 

Note that experts and analysts are still divided on how Modi & Co. have performed over the last 5 years. 

Even though India remains the fastest growing economy in the world, the extremity of several factors suggest that a slowdown is brewing with unemployment at its highest, a crisis in the banking sector, decreasing exports, the NPA crisis & more. 

Perhaps, It is time for the BJP govt to get back to business!


The Kilogram Redefined

The KG just got lightheaded โš–๏ธ

May 20th onwards (130 years after it was established), the magnitude of a kilogram would be “set by fixing the numerical value of the Planck constant to be equal to exactly 6.626 069โ€ฆ ร— 10(^โ€“34) when it is expressed in the SI unit s(^โ€“1) m(^2) kg, which is equal to J s.”

Just as scientists had to set the speed of light at a fixed number in order to define the meter without the platinum bar, they set Planckโ€™s constant (a huge number of photons) at a fixed value to get rid of the mutable kilogram.

So basically, the kilogram will now be defined by the weight of a bunch of photons. That chapter on optics back in school suddenly sounds very interesting doesn’t it?