Ramakant Yadav the Internet edition

Random Ramblings Of Ramakant Yadav

19 March 2011



You decide to make some money off Amazon Mechanical Turk. The work seems easy, much easier than playing flash games on some site somewhere. So you spend an hour a day doing odd jobs on the Mechanical Turk. After a week, you find your account flush with cash, or maybe a very realistic $5. Ok, so you made some money, now what?

Amazon Mechanical Turk is based out of the US. So if are working from India, you will not be able to transfer any money out to India for free. They charge a whooping $4 for a transfer to India. $4 seems to translate to almost Rs. 200 or Rs. 160 depending upon the rate of exchange. For Rs. 200, you could buy one decent meal in a restaurant on a weekday. Or buy 4 kilograms of decent quality rice. So the $4 is not an option. Hmm... what other options do you have? Matching up images for money is no fun if there is no payoff at the end of the tunnel. Yes, mixed metaphors are a whole lot of fun. Well, if you are like me, you like to read. I love to read. From drama to tragedy, from action to suspense, from the self-published to the bestseller; if someone published it, I want to read it. So I did the next best thing with my $5, I converted it into an Amazon gift certificate.

"Heck, if Amazon won't pay me my money by cash transfer", I thought, "I will just buy one of their books and make myself happy". With that in mind, I hopped over to the Amazon book store. It is on the internet, so I didn't really 'hop' over anywhere. Well, guess what, they charge a huge amount for international shipping. Ouch, I didn't see that one coming.

It seemed that my money was lost for ever. Doomed to roam forever, amongst the motherboards and hard drives of Amazon's global data centers, running round and round from one data center to another, crossing from Europe to Japan, from Japan to America, form America to Singapore. Things were certainly looking grim. Looking for a solution over the internet, I came across an article about the amazon kindle. It is a reading device that retails for Rs. 7000 to Rs. 10000 in India. The interesting thing about it is that you can read the electronic copy of your favorite book on it. So, Amazon was selling electronic copies of its books. Electronic copies do not need to be shipped physically, so there are no charges for sending it over to India. Now, all I had to do was, buy a kindle edition instead of the paperback.You decide to make some money off Amazon Mechanical Turk. The work seems easy, much easier than playing flash games on some site somewhere. So you spend an hour, a day doing odd jobs on the Mechanical Turk. After a week, you find your account flush with cash, or maybe a very realistic $5. Ok, so you made some money, now what?

Amazon Mechanical Turk is based out of the US. So if are working from India, you will not be able to transfer any money out to India for free. They charge a whooping $4 for a transfer to India. $4 seems to translate to almost Rs. 200 or Rs. 160 depending upon the rate of exchange. For Rs. 200, you could buy one decent meal in a restaurant on a weekday. Or buy 4 kilograms of decent quality rice. So the $4 is not an option. Hmm…what other options do you have? Matching up images for money is no fun if there is no payoff at the end of the tunnel. Yes, mixed metaphors are a whole lot of fun. Well, if you are like me, you like to read. I love to read. From drama to tragedy, from action to suspense, from the self-published to the bestseller; if someone published it, I want to read it. So I did the next best thing with my $5, I converted it into an Amazon gift certificate.

"Heck, if Amazon won't pay me my money by cash transfer", I thought, "I will just buy one of their books and make myself happy". With that in mind, I hopped over to the Amazon book store. It is on the internet, so I didn't really 'hop' over anywhere. Well, guess what, they charge a huge amount for international shipping. Ouch, I didn't see that one coming.

It seemed that my money was lost for ever. Doomed to roam forever, amongst the motherboards and hard drives of Amazon's global data centers, running round and round from one data center to another, crossing from Europe to Japan, from Japan to America, form America to Singapore. Things were certainly looking grim. Looking for a solution over the internet, I came across an article about the amazon kindle. It is a reading device that retails for Rs. 7000 to Rs. 10000 in India. The interesting thing about it is that you can read the electronic copy of your favorite book on it. So, Amazon was selling electronic copies of its books. Electronic copies do not need to be shipped physically, so there are no charges for sending it over to India. Now, all I had to do was, buy a kindle edition instead of the paperback.

With that great plan, I headed back to the Amazon site. Things were going well for a while, until a message popped up on the screen: no kindle device selected. So, they wanted me to buy a kindle if they I wanted to buy one of their books. Was there no end to this? All I wanted was my $5. Was I being unreasonable? Is it too much to ask? I was looking around for a solution to my problem when I spied a link on the page that said: "read on your pc". Finally, I had found the solution to my problem. I downloaded the free application and was reading a $5 novel within minutes. Reading on the PC does have its advantages: you can increase the font size and read it as far away from the screen as you want, and there is no need to have a bookcase. The last time I moved, I had all my books packed up in cardboard boxes. After the move, I did not take them out of their boxes. They take up too much space and space is at a premium.

Kindle editions on the other hand, live on the hard drive. I have lots of space on my hard drive. And the new books are cheaper than the paperbacks in India. Most of the new paperbacks or bestsellers are not available in India anyway, so I guess it works out for everyone involved.



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