Tech and Culture

Login enforced apps

One of my newest technology pet-peeves is apps that require an account even before giving me an opportunity to try them out or learn more about them. It’s not just the small players that do this, increasingly, but rather big name app providers like Microsoft.

Just this morning, I downloaded Microsoft’s latest To-Do app. Intuitively, my task list is something that could just as well reside on my smartphone without ever requiring to be synced onto the ‘cloud’, but, no, Microsoft would have none of that logic. The first screen is a login screen. I can’t even preview the UI without as much as sharing my phone number and other personal details.

How’s this for a To-Do – don’t download apps that need me to register before trying them out.

Life and Personal

Phoenix Redux

Phoenix is the name I chose for this blog years ago. At that time, my goal was to publish a few times a week, ramblings and ideas about anything and everything. This helped me get past one of the most important phases of my life. And then, my world changed a little – I got married, moved around a fair bit, and changed jobs and careers. Social networking became the hot thing where everyone interacted with others. Original thought all but died as we started measuring our network-i-ness by the number of likes and re-shares we accumulated. Apps were, and continue to be, the only way to gather knowledge and ideas.

If you were not building your personal brand you were doing it all wrong.

I have come to believe that the world-wide-web is much more than a backend for our apps. It continues to be the one medium which is still colorful, diverse, and full of the same vigor that it had a decade ago. It also remains the best place to be whatever you want to be. The only rules are your own.

Everything has a tendency to come around full-circle.

And so, here I am again. The phoenix has arisen. I will be writing in the same tone and with the same optimism about our future as I did 10 years ago. There’s a lot more to come!


Life and Personal

Rich Nannies

Want to use that college degree to make higher than average money? It’s simple – become a live-out nanny! I used to think that nanny jobs were typically low paying teenager jobs until I actually made a friend who worked as a nanny. Now, this girl was college educated and could have probably found at least a receptionist job at an office, but she really loved her nany job. For one, she enjoyed spending time with kids. The benefits from her job weren’t too shabby either. She made about half a grand a week, and perks included paid leaves as well as gasoline for transportation! You could say she was getting the perfect training in being a future mom, and getting paid for it. Sure, she was making less than 50 grand a year, but it was more money than being a homemaker.

With the couple having their own day jobs, child care and development has become a very important issue for the new age parents with lots of disposable income. This is more true for celebrity or executive parents. These are the people with personal jets and a payroll for the domestic support staff. The live out nannies (those who don’t live in with the family) make as much as $50k a year on top of the regular benefits like health insurance, paid leaves, and sick days. This is no small change.

A casual Internet search would reveal at least a dozen nanny agencies specializing in training and placing them. This is especially interesting if you consider that Phillipine women remitted over $7 billion to their country in 2001, creating the country’s second biggest source of hard currency after electronics exports. There is tremendous demand for bilingual qualified nannies.

Another way to think of this would be to appreciate how you actually save $50k a year by marrying a homemaker, and how she deserves at least part of those savings!