Yahoo connect problems with Pidgin

If you are facing problems with Pidgin connecting to Yahoo (for the YMSG protocol i.e. )  then you’ll need to upgrade to the latest version of Pidgin (2.5.8 at this point). From the changelog, looks like this might have been fixed in 2.5.7

Yahoo Protocol 16 support, including new HTTPS login method; this should fix a number of login problems that have recently cropped up

I was using Pidgin 2.5.2 and ran into problems with Pidgin connecting to the scs.msg.yahoo.com server. I tried few suggestions of changing the hostname to IP addresses but that didn’t help. So, the easiest way out is to upgrade to the latest version. And if you are wondering what Pidgin is – it is a cross-platform multi-messenger client. A single UI to connect to them all. You can read more on the Pidgin homepage.

Tax exemption for saving fuel

One of the things that is different from most of the firms (specifically in the IT and ITES sector) in India and the US (even if it is the India arm of the firm) is the provision of transportation to work. Firms like Infosys rent the state transport busses to ferry their employees from their homes (or close to their homes) to work and back. Some firms provide for their own transportation.

This transportation is provided as a substitute for the inefficient / ill-equipped / congested public transportation. By providing this facility, the companies are able to keep a considerable percentage of their employees off the road (who would otherwise have no choice but to use personal transportation). This is a considerable efficiency when it comes to saving fuel and keeping the roads de-congested. And this kind of provision is definitely welcome for the employee who would be more than happy to be not frazzled by the daily commute.

The employee willing to use the common transportation and the company willing to provide that are both helping the environment by burning lesser number of greenhouse gases (not to mention the savings in the consumption of fossil fuels). In such a case, shouldn’t the government provide an economic incentive for both the parties to continue what they are doing ?

For the employer – by providing a substitute for the generally inefficient public transportation, the employer has managed to encourage the employee to use the company transportation. The employee, is willing to take on a little inconvenience (the struggle to stay on time, and sometimes commute to the home from the drop-off point) too. Even though one can argue that the employee or employer are actually trying to make the best of the given situation and needn’t be incentivized, I would disagree. I would say that the common transportation is helping the environment and even though the result is not seen immediately, there are long term impacts to it (has someone noticed how the peak-temperature in Bangalore and Hyderabad has shot up in the recent past?).

So, as a way to encourage more people to jump on the bandwagon (quite literally !) I think it might be helpful if the government provided a tax exemption of a small percentage for people using the company transportation. For the companies providing this transportation too, there might be a tax-holiday for a certain period of the year. By doing that, people who are willing to use the common transportation but don’t have enough incentive to do that will atleast think about doing it.

Of course, this scheme falls flat when the common transportation is not efficiently used. When busses from two adjacent companies both going towards the same area are both going half-empty, then you know that the problem is not a simple one to solve. But in some cases, the problem becomes an inter-company one than one of efficiencies of scale. I shall write about that later.

I would like to know what you think about this. Do you think the government should incentivize the act of saving fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions ?