23 February, 2013


I have been running BOINC projects for a number of years on my personal desktops.

BOINC is the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing.

BOINC is a way of allowing CPU cycles (and some memory and I/O) on laptops, desktops and servers to be used as shared resources for compute intensive tasks that are in the public domain and are executed as distributed applications.

BOINC users get credits ("Work done") for units of work for various projects.

My current credits (23-Feb-13) are :

  • Einstein@Home  :       119,886
  • SETI@Home      :        72,030
  • Milkyway@Home  :        70,586
  • climateprediction.net : 48,333
  • malariacontrol.net :    24,766
  • Spinhenge@home :        13,514

09 February, 2013

Financial Journalists as Heros

In India, it has become regular conduct to publish exposes and reveal "scams".

However we must sometimes wonder if the journalists do undertake due diligence.

Take the case of Reliance Life ULIP mis-selling: Justice served.

Here are a few points I wish to make :

a.  It is not clear if the refund was following an order by IRDA (which wouldn't be issuing such an order) or the Insurance Ombudsman.  The magazine claims that "The issue was top in the list of life insurance memorandum submitted to IRDA chairman when he addressed the Moneylife Foundation event on 16 May 2012" .  Now, why would the IRDA chairman look at such a case ?  If there is suspicion of mis-selling in an individual case, shouldn't the issue go to the Insurance Ombudsman ?  Why did the magazine approach the wrong person ?  So that it could highlight that it has access to the most important person in the industry ?

b. Mr Injamuri, according to the article, is a resident of Solapur who buys policies from the Colaba ("in south Mumbai") branch of Reliance Life.  Now, why would he be buying policies from that branch ?  Who was the agent who sold these policies ?  Which branch was he affiliated to ?  Not Solapur ?  If I were in Solapur, I would be more comfortable with an agent from Solapur !  (Yes, I've checked Reliance Life Insurance's website which does list the address of a Solapur branch).  I smell something strange here.

c. The company "shared with him the very lucrative “Fantastic Contest” that it was running for its advisors".  And he bought into it ?  He's not an advisor.  OK, let's say that he ("a standard 9th failed") is not educated enough to understand that he is not an advisor or agent or distributor but a *customer* !  Nevertheless, didn't he get suspicious ?

d. I don't understand the sentence : "He was seriously, and correctly, worried about inaccurate personal details, wrong or unidentifiable photos, PAN details of sister when she had never applied for one and forged signatures in the policy documents have rendered them worthless, since there are bound to be issues if and when a claim has to be made.".  It starts with something and then walks down another path.  Syntactically, too, it isn't consistent. What does the magazine wish to assert with this sentence ?  That he knew that some of the applications were forged ?

e. Reliance's reply "The customer has purchased and cancelled a total of 18 policies in a period of four months. His pattern of buying and cancelling policies in quick succession falls under ‘unusual’ transaction category and is being investigated."  raises a HUGE RED FLAG.  18 policies in 4 months ? Purchased and cancelled ?  Who was playing the game ? Mr Injamuri ?  The Agent ?  Is Reliance Life alone culpable of ... yes... suspicious behaviour, not just unusual behaviour ?  Wasn't the magazne or it's journalist interested in asking Mr Injamuri and/or his agent more probing questions ?

f.  Reliance also then says "As of today, nine policies are active, five have been cancelled under the Free Look period, and the customer issued “stop payment” advice on four applications.". We are talking of someone who is "a standard 9th failed" and who has ostensibly purchased 18 policies.  He has also gone on to issue stop payments on four applications.  If not the journalist, I am very curious about the modus operandi.

What say you ?