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Heres all the stuff you could buy for the price of a

first_imgCNET Samsung’s just-announced Galaxy Fold is one of the most lust-worthy tech products in a long time. See, it’s a phone that unfolds to become a tablet. Or, if you prefer, a tablet that folds up to become a phone.However you italicize it, it’ll cost you: The Fold starts at $1,980. Let me just check under the couch cushions real quick, and… yep, nope.I’m not saying it won’t be an amazing product, just that my $1,980 could be put to much better use. Indeed, I started thinking about everything I could buy for that kind of money and came up with the following list. It’s not meant to duplicate the Fold’s functionality, but rather to sanity-check the expense. Sure, you’ll get a fancy phone and a tablet, but also a whole bunch of other goodies.Samsung Galaxy S9 unlocked: $600 at Amazon. Still a flagship phone, now at a lower price.Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: $199 at Samsung. Preorder Samsung’s upcoming smartwatch now and get a free Wireless Charger Pad. The Active is loaded with fitness-minded features.Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet: $60 at Amazon. Just use your phone’s hotspot feature for anytime, anywhere connectivity. Amazon’s 8-inch tablet does just about everything you could want. Mentioned Above Samsung Galaxy S9 (64GB, Midnight Black) Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. TCL 6 Series 55-inch Roku TV: $550 at Best Buy. It’s the best picture for the money, period.wheeler-power-reclinerWhy not? Costco Wheeler Power Fabric Recliner: $440 at Costco. The only thing better than watching TV is watching TV while reclining. And charging your phone, which you can do via the built-in USB port.Four Tile Mate trackers and a Google Home Mini: $60 at Best Buy. This is a deal I just happened to catch earlier today. You can’t always get this particular bundle, but you can right now, so why not throw it into the mix?Wyze Cam Pan Wi-Fi security camera: $38 at Amazon. Hey, there’s money left over, so definitely grab one of these. It’s a surprisingly full-featured camera for the price.Five months of Hulu: $30. Starting Feb. 26, the streaming service will drop its with-commercials rate to $6 per month — meaning you can enjoy it for five full months without tipping the $1,980 scale.Those are just examples, of course. You could swap out that chair or TV and buy yourself a decent laptop. The point is, $2,000 is a lot of money to spend on a single gadget, especially when there are less-expensive alternatives that give you the same capabilities.What would you buy for that kind of dough? Now playing: Watch this: See it Preview • Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus: Hands-on with Samsung’s new phones (updated) $599 News • I bought a used Samsung Galaxy S9 for $315 — and I liked it $599 See It 60 Photos Amazon Google Samsung CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! See It Share your voice See It 7 Samsung Galaxy S9 Sprint $319 Amazon Close up with the Galaxy Fold screen, notch and hinge Comments 8:28 Phones The Cheapskate CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Review • Galaxy S9 review: The Galaxy S10’s arrival means a cheaper S9 for you Tags Best Buy $599 Samsung Galaxy Fold and S10: Editors reactlast_img read more

Kerala Model Crony communism in the time of flood

first_imgPersonnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local people help with rescue operations in hill areas hit by landslides in Kerala.@NDRFHQ/TwitterHas Kerala Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has lost the precious connect with the people that every democratically elected ruler should have? He has, and it hardly surprises anyone that Vijayan hasn’t realised the bitter truth yet. From one laughable lapse to another, his rickety apple cart is chugging on. The Left leader, a prisoner of the time-warped Stalinist thought process, seems to be holding on to the belief that making Kerala a police state is the best route to suppress criticism.The latest example is the widely carried out witch-hunt against mediamen, activists and social media users who criticised the government’s handling of the disaster relief funds. The sloppy management of the flood disaster in 2018 had earned Vijayan and his government deeply rooted disaffection among Kerala’s general public. The state survived the disaster because a highly socially aware and committed general public raised their game even as a the government machinery squarely failed. However, what heightened the sense of betrayal of the Kerala public was the blatant misuse of the food relief funds that followed. General public, not just political opponents, vented their anger when a second flood havoc struck the state this month. However, Kerala’s new police state had an easy way to smother criticism. File cases against social media users and media outlets that criticised the government. “The cases have been registered for spreading false campaigns on the relief works and all such people would be arrested and proceeded against as per the law,” State police chief Loknath Behera said after booking 19 people. The swift police move came a day after Vijayan called whistleblowers and social media voices “anti-social elements.”  Was the criticism false and motivated? Pinarayi VijayanPTIThe Vijayan government loves to believe that the money and muscle power of the Marxist Communist Party give them the mandate to steamroller critics. The government floundered on many fronts when the flood disaster struck Kerala in 2018. The clueless government was in denial when hundreds died. When fair criticism mounted, the critics were easily termed villains and hunted down by the cyber wing of the Marxist party. So, did the government misuse the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF)? Yes, it did, multiple times, and brazenly. But if you say that aloud in Kerala your chief minister calls you an anti-social and his police would slap charges that attract imprisonment up to three years. That’s so much for the party that preaches the virtues of freedom of expression and tolerance.”CMDRF is an official system and the money received would be used for distress relief only… The fund is used for helping the poorest among the poor. All the allegations that the fund was being used for any other purpose is wrong,” Vijayan said. He added that those who said otherwise were commiting the most “heinous crime” and should be locked up.A lot of people in Kerala believe he was lying through the teeth. A look at incidents widely reported in the media will help. When CPI-M MLA KK Ramachandran Nair died, Vijayan’s cabinet gave the family Rs 25 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) in flagrant violation of norms. The disaster relief fund is not meant for paying off bank loans of party leaders. In another blatant violation of norms the CM misused the disaster relief fund again by giving Rs 25 lakh to the family of Uzhavoor Vijayan, the state chief of NCP, an ally in the ruling coalition. An equal amount was doled out to the family of a CPM worker who was killed in an accident. Again, from the chief minister’s disaster relief fund.However, the most disastrous of the indiscretions was Vijayan’s travel in a chartered helicopter to attend a party meeting using funds meant for disaster relief. The CM spent Rs 8 lakh from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) on a chopper ride to attend a CPM meeting in February 2018. When the media reported it widely the government cancelled the original order.  In January 2019, the Kerala Lokayukta admitted a case against CM Vijayan and the state government over the misuse of the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. The case before the Lokayukta was that the CM and ministers showed “favouritism” in giving hefty financial help to NCP leader late Uzhavoor Vijayan and former CPI(M) MLA K K Ramachandran Nair. The complaint also highlighted that Rs 25 lakh was allotted from the CMDRF to the family of a civil police officer who died in an accident while escorting CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.What is CMDRF?As per rules, money from CMDRF can only be used for providing relief to people affected by natural calamities. If money is allotted for medical treatment then the beneficiary should be from below the poverty line. CMDRF is not a party fund that the CM can distribute as he pleases to his henchmen. But the CM’s army of advisers failed to tell him that. And when the people said that on public channels they became anti social elements! Fattening the cronies Another disgraceful farce is the skewed priorities at the Rebuild Kerala Initiative (RKI), which was set up to coordinate flood relief efforts. Though basic relief hasn’t reached tens of thousands of victims a year after the disaster struck, the RKI has gobbled up Rs 10 crore for its own establishment costs. The most shocking breach of public trust was the Vijayan government’s decision to rent out a building owned by a party fellow traveller as office for the RKI and furnish it to the hilt. Passengers travel in a truck to a safer place as flood waters ravaged the National Highway 47 in Ernakulam district of Kochi on August 17, 2018AFP/Getty ImagesThe government is spending Rs 88.5 lakh from the RKI funds to furnish the rented property, the Times of India reported, citing an order issued by the planning and economic affairs department. The building is right next to the state secretariat. It’s not as if government buildings can’t be found in the capital city to run the RKI office from. But it’s clear that the government is hell bent on fattening its cronies in the name of flood relief. The money in the CMDRF is the sum total of the contributions, large and small, from people everywhere in the world who wanted to help the flood-hit state. This government breached the trust element underlying a disaster relief contribution. But those who questioned it, and aired concerns over the intentions of the government, were booked under Section 118 B and 120 O of the Kerala Police Act. Section 118 B of Police Act against criticsSection 118 B provides for “imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees or with both” for the offence of ” knowingly spreads rumours or gives false alarm to mislead the police, fire brigade or any other essential service”.Section 120 O stipulates punishment of up to one year for “causing, through any means of communication, a nuisance of himself to any person by repeated or undesirable or anonymous call, letter, writing, message, e-mail or through a messenger.”These case just show the audacity and brazenness of the government. Raise your voice against incompetence, corruption and nepotism, the cyber coolies will bury you under a sleaze load first and then the police will hunt you down. It’s a pity that a communist government in Kerala is stooping so low to protect its image. Perception management, Stalinist style?(The author is Managing Editor, International Business Times, India. Views are personal. Reach the author at j.jacob@ibtimes.co.in) Close Kerala Floods | Rain, landslide play havoc in state, 17 killed; CM chairs review meetinglast_img read more

Need to promote Indias art and culture

first_imgEminent practitioners of art and culture today spoke on the role of culture in development at the 88thAnnual General Meeting of FICCI on Saturday.Shovna Narayan, the ‘Kathak’ exponent said that art should be seen as a venture capital which helps in creation of uniqueness and identity for our country. She stressed on the preservation of art & culture the need to take its advantage in the most economical manner. “We are competing with the West, but we should strive to become centres of excellence and become focal points to act as magnets.” Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Prof. Rajeev Lochan, Director, National Gallery of Modern Art, emphasised the need for creation of space for interaction and exposure for the art and culture. He said that there is a need to create a platform for art where it can be utilised for the economic development in an effective manner. Going ahead, he said that adequate avenues have to be created for the healthy evolution of art and culture in the nation. He also mentioned that the art and culture in the country could benefit from CSR activities of companies.  .Sharon Lowen, ‘Odissi’ dancer, said that art has played an important role in the national integration of India in the post-independence period. She said that art gives Indian citizens an edge.last_img read more