Thursday, September 17, 2009

Morning News (Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo): September 17, 2009

Kerala has always lamented on being the Johnny-come-lately in IT in the company of the other southern states. But now, they have Mister (oops, sorry) Minister Twitter. Can anyone predict the ending of this Twittergate scandal which started with the question “Can a minister pay from his own pocket for a room in a five-star hotel?” and might end with “Can you call a holy cow in the party holy cow?” If the people who voted for him in Trivandrum are not complaining (please do remember that they have been quite busy with quotation gangs recently), why should anyone else complain? Unfortunately, India might face problems due to the bad monsoon; there are lots of people below the poverty line; there are other elections to think about; and, it is not only those taxpayers there who pay for the various government guest houses and his salary in the Ministry for External Affairs. And, I always thought that that Ministry taught “a weapon lost from your hands or a word (tweet) from your mouth (fingers) cannot be taken back”.

Twitter reminds me of the other networking wonder, Facebook, which has managed 300 million users in 5 years. It is now supposed to be profitable and there could be an IPO in the very near future. Please refer this for some statistics. Roughly 300 million active users (50% using Facebook every day); fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old or older; average user has 130 friends; 2 billion photos are uploaded to the site each month; 6 billion minutes spent worldwide each day. Thus, each friend could get about 2 hours a year. I suppose that is enough.

Sticking to financial news, the equity markets everywhere seem to be doing quite well – though noone is really sure why. People seem to think that the recession is probably over and that we might have hit the plateau at the bottom with no reason to expect a double dip recession. Please refer to “Macro situation notes” from Paul Krugman which states “…There’s a tendency to treat worries about a double dip as outlandish, as something only crazy people like the people who, um, predicted the current crisis worry about…”

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