|Anurag Jain's Blog|
Thursday, March 31, 2005
The Self-Obituary Thing!
You know the Greeks didn't write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: "Did he have passion?".
(a Quote from the movie Serendipity)
Now I am no Greek, and hence I guess I would need an obituary. Well, then why not be proactive and write my own? Actually, I have been aware of Self-obituary method for last 2 years or so. It's a fantastic tool, increasingly being adopted by b-schools worldwide, to introspect and to know what you wanna do in life. Just like I was totally taken by the idea of writing self-obituary when I first heard of it, the Bangalore Times journalist Vinita Shetty also got quite keen on the idea when I discussed it with her first some 3-4 weeks back. As a result of our discussions, just two days back, Vinita published the article (text only version) in Bangalore Times, Times of India (Mar 29, 2005).
More thoughts on Self-obit methodology.
# No, no dont get me wrong. its not like digging my own grave. Its what follows when my grave is dug (by anyone, and not necessarily me!).
# I came across this idea about 2 years year back in some magazine or website. Can't recall where.
# Idea is to write your own obituary in third person, as read by someone close to you at your funeral. Why? Because it gives you an opportunity to introspect, to understand yourself better, and to see your life as you would like it at the end of it! Also, it allows you to see what kind of impression you would like to leave behind. That impression should translate into an action plan for your remaining life. So it helps in creating an ambition/aspiration road-map!
# It's a dynamic document that can/should be changed every year or so.
# It has to be short: There has to be a difference between autobiography and self-obituary! In that sense, self-obituary is more akin to what is called elevator-pitch in VC circles, as opposed to biography which would be a more comparable to a detailed B-plan.
# The problem with Self-obituaries is that they usually tend to be self-praising. People seem to take it as an opportunity to write 'only' about their achievements in life. The majority of people skip any negative references to their life! That is why, if done properly, Self-obits are even more important as they enable one to get a realistic, balanced view of one's own life.
# Going by the point above, self-bias is definitely an issue with Self-obits. But then, if the objective of the exercise is clear, one would automatically strive to be fair, to achieve a balance in self-obit.
# From http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/311/7006/680 (Stephen Lock 'seems to be' the originator of idea)
"Self written obituaries were introduced several years ago with the aim of getting the facts right as the basis for an appreciation by somebody else. Even so, I am not sure that they have been a great success (and I can say this because the original idea was mine). Too often, the attempt turns out to be a self justification or an apologia, and, though there are exceptions (such as the much quoted self obituary by Archie Cochrane3), I think that appreciations by disinterested colleagues are to be preferred--as they are to be preferred to the panegyrics written by spouses or children."
# For more, type "Self-obituary" and "own-obituary" in google.
Before I end this post (not my life!), I should tell you that I'll publish my Self-obituary tomorrow right here. :)
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
AG Krishnamurthy's The Invisible CEO Book Launch
Event: Book reading & discussion
Title: The Invisible CEO
Author: Mr. A. G. Krishnamurthy (of Mudra fame)
Chief Guest: Mr.Chenraj Jain – Chairman Jain group of Institutes.
Guest Speaker: Mr.Lakshminarayanan – Executive Director – Mudra Communications.
The Invisible CEO is a repertoire of very deep thoughts and reflections of a person, who till recently, led one of India’s best advertising agencies. The book includes a critique of brands and advertising and goes well beyond all of that into what touches our lives and living. The core of the book resonates with the following theme:
“No matter how different you are, or how much of an ‘odd man out’ you feel, if you believe strongly enough and long enough, it is possible to continue to be who you are and to make a success out of doing what you love.”
Written by A G Krishnamurthy, it covers:
The Mudra Story
What I have Learned*
What I have Liked*
(* Selected from AGK Speak, Business, Standard)
For query please call Madhu at 25582411.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
This guy is pursuing his dreams!
A teeanger starts an airline! Martin Halstead, 18, has started an air service between Oxford and Cambridge, in the process reviving an air-route that was last active during 1930s only! Man, that's following one's passion. Inspiring.
Anywhoo, Happy Holi to all you wonderful folks. Will be off to home/Delhi starting tomorrow morning till 28th night. If you are in Delhi, we can catch up on 24th, 27th and 28th March.
26th March: Jazz for CRY
Radio Indigo is organising a Jazz concert in aid of CRY called "Jazz for CRY". The Jazz concert will feature 2 jazz bands - Just Jazz from Goa and Groove Suppa from Mumbai to be held on 26th march 2005 , at 7:30 pm at the Royal Orchid Lawns , Off Airport Road, Bangalore. Part proceeds from ticket sales will be forwarded to CRY supported projects.
The tickets are priced at Rs. 250 each. Please encourage your friends and family to buy tickets for this show. Do call 98441 36900 for tickets.
Look forward to seeing all of you at the Jazz for CRY concert!"
Monday, March 21, 2005
Of all things intelligent and 'memorial'
MSN Search is gonna sponsor Amercian Mensa's events (via /.). Feels good to know that 'cause I am a Mensa member too. Damn, waitaminnit. That reminds me to renew my membership for this year!
Talking about forgetting things, here's something just the opposite: Ram Kolli, a Business analyst from Cap One has won the USA National Memory championships (via /.). A good joke on this: "oh man, I was supposed to compete this year, but I totally forgot... " The best joke doing rounds though is: "A guy named RAM wins the memory championship! Come on.."
(PS: On a totally unrelated note, download this total dhinchak number Lorna & El Chombo - Papi Chulo. Be careful though, as it has sounds that some might interpret as sex-pumped beats! Very difficult to find English info on this number. All I could find was this. EnJoY!)
Sunday, March 20, 2005
No signs of IT outsourcing abatement
Seems like every IT vendor is committing to enhancing its outsourcing share, specifically to India. In the last one week alone, Accenture has announced scoping up India delivery centers, Perot Systems decided to move seven more divisions to India within the next 15 months, and Dell announced the opening of 3rd contact center. Some numbers: Accenture doubled its India headcount to 11,000 (10% of global headcount) in the past one year; India operations' share of Dell's revenues: 8.5 %. Perot Systems: 1/3rd of employees in India. To increase by 1800 per year.
Friday, March 18, 2005
As the placement season goes on around the b-schools, I wonder about the dream jobs students have in mind. Usually, the choices are: To be an I-Banker, a Strategy Consultant, an IT Consultant, A hardcore (read FMCG) marketeer, and so on. So far so good. Now, let's look at the firms that come calling. All the companies that come for campus placements at b-schools are doing booming business, and hence they need more management grads to grow the business to even greater heights. Fair enough. But, wait a minute. What about the companies that are not doing well? Companies that are either almost dead, or on the verge of getting there? In nutshell, firms that are the poor corporate cousins. Consider a few once-great corporate names:
# BPL. # Mafatlal. # Bombay Dyeing. # Modi Group. # Videocon. # Any other supposedly corporate basket case you can think of.
To make the point clearer, these are examples of firms that MBA grads wouldn't touch with a bargepole. Isn't that ironic though? Don't you think that the firm A which is not doing all that well, needs more management talent than firm B which is doing soaring business? Then why don't some management grads consider opportunities with these firms as a challenge? Whatever happened to "When the going gets tough, the tough get going"?
Well, you are right, there are reasons. 1) Bleeding firms obviously don't come to campus placements. But does that stop students to approach these firms? 2) Also, if you think companies-in-red can't pay well, think again. Mind you, I am not talking about charity or social work here. Still, more than money, this is about challenge, and about proving your management skills. 3) Third valid objection could be that the firms in red most probably already have management talent. True. Probably all these and other companies in question have their share of MBAs, including from top management schools. But, hey, young blood and fresh perspective can only help.
Another point of view could be that Strategy Consulting (think McK, BCG) firms exist for this very purpose: for providing management talent to turn around in-the-red firms. Two points here: a) But, at what cost? Management Talent on contract is much more expensive than In-house management talent. And still, the consulting firm doesn't fully understand the intricacies of your business. b) Usually, consulting firms have more of a validation value than the content value: Outsider's opinion is more agreeable than insiders'. So with this consulting perspective, MBA grads have a choice: a) Join a consulting firm and consult sick firms, or b) join a sick firm itself. Which option is more rewarding in the short-term? Which option is more rewarding in the long-term? Take a guess!
But hey, with all the euphoria and dreams around placements, this all sounds like recommending a healthy man to go to the hospital! Never mind. These are just some random thoughts, not incarcerating anyone, and certainly not prescribing anything. Just wondering aloud.. My bad.
In a not-exactly-related theme, I came across a really neat statement about opting neither of above options, i.e. Entrepreneurship, in the latest (21 March, 2005) BusinessWorld India article: "But what about those who fool themselves into believing that getting placed at X company is their dream? And not just a job which pays enough to keep them from ever dreaming? "
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Whither Corporate Debt Securities?
According to a McKinsey report - Mapping the Global Capital Markets - world's fiancial assets have risen to $118 trillion in 2003 from a 'paltry' $12 trillion in 1980.
The financial assets of an economy broadly consist bank deposits, equity securities, government debt securities, and corporate debt securities. Financial depth, the number of times financial stock is to the economy's GDP, of Indian economy is 1.4. That makes India quite a liquid economy, but much lower than the depth of world's level (3.26).
The interesting observation for India would be that even though the debt component of financial assets is the one that's the poster child of this 12-to-118 $trillion growth story, India registers rather low growth on debt securities (government and corporate)! India's financial stock of $1 trillion consists of 45% Bank Deposits, 32% Equity Securities, 22% Government Debt Securities, and a miniscule 1% Corporate Debt Securities.
This 1% of corporate debt is explained by 0% growth in corporate debt securities during 1993-2003! Why is that so? Why are the Corporate Debt bonds not picking up in India? Two reasons come to my mind: a) Debt is relatively (to equity) more expensive to raise in India than anywhere else. b) Pending financial market reforms.
This deviation raises two curiosities too: Is it just a structural anamoly resulted by the years of market reforms negligence? Or, are there opportunities for entrepreneuers here (entrepreneurs outside the companies raising debt, of couse)?
Monday, March 14, 2005
Swar Kalyan- Brides of God. Play at Rangashankara.
"The show is on the 18th and 19th at Ranga Shankara. Tickets are available at Bayleaf Koramangala,Ranga Shankara JP Nagar and 100FT Indranagar. The play is a presentation of the single-minded devotion of Mira and Akka Mahadevi, presented through music, dance and drama. Concept has been developed by Bharati Balakrishnan who has also composed and directed the music, dance choreography by Kathak dancer Bharati Vittal, script and direction by Aliyeh Rizvi."
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Interesting Concept Puzzle!
Reproduced from today's Mindsport (A weekly column by Mukul Sharma of Mindsport), a great concept puzzle.
Let's say you get a terrific idea one day - one which sends your head reeling into trans-Uranian orbit immediately. Assume you've discovered how to encode the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica onto a tiny scratch on a six-inch bar of metal. And as if that wasn't enough to rock Neptune around the Sun, that scratch of yours wouldn't even contain any information on it like those old vinyl short, medium and long-playing records used to. While the whole world falls at your feet in delirious astonishment, you produce your starburst.
There are, you explain to them gently like one talking to a bunch of silent lambs, fewer than 100 different letters and symbols in the print encyclopaedia. What you plan to do is assign a two-digit number to each of these symbols. For instance the letter A might be 01, the letter B something like 02, a semicolon could be 34, a space between words, 99, and so on till you have them all covered. Now, just like with this cipher system the word "bat" could be encoded as, say, 020120, you can also, and obviously, encode the entire encyclopaedia into one huge number.
As many Earthlings faint with awe, you then unleash your master stroke by putting a decimal point in front of this monster number and converting it into a decimal fraction. Then you place a scratch on the bar dividing it precisely into lengths a and b so that the fraction a/b equals the decimal fraction of the code. All you have to do now is, have a supercomputer measure the rod, compute the fraction a/b, and print out a copy of the entire encyclopaedia! Two questions: (a) Is there anything theoretically wrong with this premise? (b) Could it work in practice?
For your take on this write to MS at this email ID: mindsport AT touchtelindia.net Or, if you were sleeping through the technology boom, write to him by snailmail at: D-268 Sushant Lok-I, Gurgaon, Haryana 122001.
Anywhoo, here's my take on this: Theoretically, I am not sure if anythng is wrong with this idea. About implementation, however, there would be a few issues:
# The decimal fraction would have huge amount of digits. To arrive at that fraction, super computer must be able to read the two lengths a and b, irrespective of measuring units, to a huge number of decimal places.
# To be able to read the precise fraction, the scratch mark should be highly precise. Nanometers of deviation could read the whole Encyclopedia as some alien code.
# We are only talking of raw data here (no formatting). Hence, either we are assuming that the original Encyclopedia itself is plain text, or else we are willing to forego the formatting.
# I am not sure if with the available computing power, we can calculate the two lengths a and b (2 parts of fraction) so as to yield the gigantic fraction.
As long as we are fantasizing, here's a brilliant idea I had once: I thought of burning the Encyclopedia, dissolving the resultant ash in the water (or beverage of your choice, as it won't really affect the molecular structure of Encyclopedia ash :-), and drink it in the belief that I'd get the whole knowledge contained in Encyclopedia in a jiffy! Only ptoblem was that my mom wouldn't lemme burn the Encyclopedia, or any other book that I was willing to sacrifice for the advancement of science! (That's why Calvin and Hobbes say "Mothers are the necessity of invention". )
You can also compare this hare-brained idea to the Matrix-style knowledge transfer from machines to humans through an electronic/data plug in our bodies! But hey, what do I know. I am a mere non-sci-fi mortal!
Friday, March 11, 2005
The HBS 119
Apparently, a number of top B-schools in the US have been using the services of Apply Yourself for their onlie admission processes. At the beginning of this month, a b-school applicant (candidature to HBS included) discovered a simple URL modification technique in the online admission system of Apply Yourself to find out one's application status/decision. He then posted the instructions on Businessweek magazine's discussions group. (The 'hack' has since been removed by BusinessWeek, but its available here to see.) The word spread around, and quite a few applicants took a peek into their application decision. When B-schools found that out, they took a higher moral ground saying such unethical behaviour was unacceptable. Carnegie Mellon (Tepper School of Business) was the first to 'react' in denying admission to those who had tried to look into their application status. Next was Harvard Business School, which ascertained that 119 applicants had tried to look into the online system to find out whether they had been accepted or not, denied admission to all 119 'hackers'! Stanford is still waiting and has not given a verdict on its 'peekers' yet.
It's definitely wrong on part of HBS/CMU to deny admission to so-called 'hackers'. It's their fault to have contracted the services of a not-so-foolproof systems company. Applicants were just being curious. Moreover they looked at their own records only, and not that of other applicants. This is hardly hacking. Heck, if this is hacking then I must be a great hacker as I use URL modification all the time to get around sites that do not have a good navigation/sitemap in place.
Coincidentally, If you recall, last year there was similar brouhaha in India about IIMs results leak. The only difference in that case was that IIMs were much saner becuase they categorically stated that it was during the early live testing of results on server when some applicants might have peeked into their results. Now, that makes sense. Making applicants scapegoats for system issues, in the case of US B-schools, is unwise, and high-handed. (Why does this whole episode remind me of the Bobby Fuller classic "I Fought The Law (and the Law Won)"?)
Amidst all this, one of the 119 applicants has decided to use this opportunity to make a bit of money on the side. He's come out with Free the HBS 119 T-shirts, mousepads etc! Remember Rhett Butler of Gone With the Wind, or Rick Blaine of Casablanca? :-). Just kidding. I like the spirit of this guy! Don't forget to read The Great Moments in Ethics at HBS at the back of the t-shirt.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Why do I blog?
I Blog. Therefore I am a Blog People.
Or am I? Am I Blog People because I Blog or I Blog because I am Blog People? Why do I Blog?
In the quest to answer these blogxistential questions, consider the following Calvin and Hobbes comic strip.
Funny, eh? Well, my reasons of blogging are similar. No, no don't get me wrong. I ain't no kid and I certainly ain't on dope to dare imagine being ever so highly successful one day so as to be able to find audience for my autobiography! The real reason I blog is that it allows me to maintain a record of my life. By my life I don't just mean what's happening with me, but also the things and topics that interest me at any given point of time. I can always come back at later point in time and see what my life was like at a time t in the past.
Further, I already have had a personal website for last 5 years (since mid-2000). Then why did I get into blogging at the end of year 2002? Because, unlike website, I don't need to worry about neatly categorizing the content on blog. I can just write whatever I fancy. I am not bound by any structure. That makes my blog an info dump, doesn't it? But hey, do I care? No. Why? Because my purpose of archiving info is served!
Some questions: Do I expect any visitors/readers? No. Do I write for visitors? No. Do I like visitors? Yes. Do I have any visitors? I think, yes! Why not a private blog (equivalent of a personal diary) then? Why open the blog to whole public? Well, I think life should be an open book. If your life consists of deeds that are so dark so as to be not revealed publicly, you better not maintain even a private blog!
Ergo, to answer the question at the beginning, only because I Blog am I the Blog People and NOT the other way round. I like that distinction to be pretty clear in my mind.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
"Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it." - Eileen Caddy
The theatre workshop is aimed at helping people get acquainted with theatre.. and all that it holds for them...the only pre-requisite required is an eagerness and a curiosity to explore theatre.. in the three hour workshop they will be working on theatre concepts and developing a play..
The play will be performed at 5.45pm- the "performance" is open to people who will get an opportunity to watch the participants on stage.. and be a part of the experience. there will be no entry fee to watch the performance.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Although I think that he's being rather harsh, and also even though I dont agree with his views on the utility and efficiency of google/search engines, I do, however, agree with some of what American Library Association president Michael Gorman has to say about blogs (via /.) and 'Blog people':
"[The] Blog People (or their subclass who are interested in computers and the glorification of information) have a fanatical belief in the transforming power of digitization and a consequent horror of, and contempt for, heretics who do not share that belief... Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs."
Granted that Mr Gorman seems to be a condescending Luddite who is probably of the view that the 'new generation' doesn't know any better. Nevertheless, I agree with his points on the quality of blogs. Most of the times, blogs just link to other pages (like this post itself!) without any value add. Worse, sometimes, bloggers just ctrl-c/ctrl-v content from other webpages (e.g. this blog, copied from this blog without even acknowledging!) without even crediting the original page! And worst - even though one good thing blogging has accomplished is the mental empowerment of people - a lot of bloggers seem to have an inflated view of their capabilities. Those who are taken by, or proclaim, that "Blogs are the next big thing" are being naive, and probably the ones most affected by faddism. Blogs are nothing but easily-updatable, interactive webpages. Nothing new there, as companies like geocities have been offering similar services since almost the beginning of the Net. Come on people, come to terms with it, go home and sleep it out. Don't get ahead of yourself by thinking it's the end of the world and bloggers are the only species chosen to be in Noah's Ark.
Some more food for thought on the topic. Here's some real neat comments on Blogs/Blog People story at /.:
# And a note on the word "blog"...
# To claim that one lifestyle is superior is hypocritical, egotistical, and superficial.
# Couldn't be more true: 1, 2
# Noise issue
# What's More Is, He's Write
Sunday, March 06, 2005
"Kolkata Blues" in Bangalore
Levi Strauss presents "Kolkata Blues" where Kabir Suman and Anjan Dutta, two legendary musicians from Kolkata will perform together in Bangalore for the first time, in support of India Foundation for the Arts, at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall on the 19th of March (Saturday) at 7 pm.
While The Chancery, DTDC and IBM Developer Works, MAAM entertainment and Café Coffee Day have come forward to support this effort, IFA will raise funds for its grantmaking by selling donor passes for the performances.
Donor passes for Rs 300 and Rs 200 will be available from 6th March, at the following Café Coffee Day outlets: Jayanagar (30902888), Koramangala(30903012), Indiranagar(30902935), Lavelle Road(30902889), Fraser Town(30902886), Bangalore Central(30902788), Crosswords(30902885), Malleswaram (30902971), Sadashivnagar(30902855) and Super Market (Brigade Road - 25581248).
They will also be available at the following Levi's stores: Brigade Road - Mota Arcade, Brigade Road - Opposite café Coffee Day, Brigade Road - Sports Station, Commercial Street - Next to Woody's, Koramangala - Forum Mall, Jayanagar - Gentry Plaza, 11th main, 4th Block. They will also be available at the two Bengali restaurants Bangaliana (Koramangala - 98453 66458) and 36, Chowrangee Lane (Langford Town - 98863 02578/51240979) and online at www.fabmall.com.
For corporate/ group bookings call Joyce at 23610583/4 or email to us at contactus AT indiaifa.org
For more information check our site.
5.1-Channel Sourround Sound MP3 bliss.
So far, we've been used to 2-track mp3 music. Well, no more. MP3 surround is here. It's from Fraunhofer institute itself, the Germany-based organization that came out with original mp3 format. Actually MP3 surround sound format has been here for quite sometime now: Thomson Releases MP3 Surround (Dec 02, '04), 3D Sound by Creator of MP3 (Jul 25, '04), MP3...in Surround Sound (Mar 22, '04).
And that's not all. There's been even talks of MP3 Going the Way of the 8-Track? (Oct 21, '04). And while we are at it, here's some links about general state of affairs of PC Audio/music technology:
# The Future of Digital Audio (Dec 08, '04)
# The Future of PC-Audio: Interview With Keith Kowal (Nov 04, '04)
# An Overview Of Present, Future of Music Technology (Sep 12, '04)
# The Successor to AC'97: Intel High Definition Audio (Jan 18, '04)
But I ain't happy. Why? Because there's not much 5.1 surround sound mp3 content! Waiting for the day when I can listen to Winds of Change (Scorpions) at 5.1 surround sound MP3!
Friday, March 04, 2005
Mail from a visitor. This is regarding my post Ode to Scooter. This reminds me that a Prof in our campus seems to have one of those electrical scooter thingies. The best part is zero sound!
Rangashankara March'05 events
If you look at the number of events that Rangashankara has been organizing, looks like its on the theaterical equivalent of NOS! Here's the activities lined up for March '05.
Thursday, March 03, 2005
When did Ramayana take place?
Quite sometime back, I had a discussion with Anuradha about the period/dates when the events in Ramayan (Englicized: Ramayana) might have taken place. Later, she sent me the following info from an egroup on the subject. Apparently, it all happened just 7,000 years ago (5114 BC)!!
"This is Pushkar Bhatnagar from New Delhi.
I would like to share something which must interest many of you.
Perhaps, you might have heard that the actual dates for the various events that took place during the lifetime of Lord Ram have been discovered. This work has been completed by me by using a powerful planetarium software.
Maharishi Valmiki, who wrote Ramayana, was contemporary of Lord Ram and in his book, Valmiki has mentioned the position of planets in the sky at different points of time. For instance, the position of all the planets has been mentioned for the day when Lord Ram was born. Moving forward, he mentions that when Lord Ram turned 25 he was supposed to get the kingship of Ayodhya but was eventually exiled for 14 years. He mentions the position of planets again for the day he left for forests.
Later on, Valmiki mentions during the last quarter of the 13th year of his exile he fought a battle with Khar and Dushan and on that day a solar eclipse was seen. Not only the eclipse, the author also describes the position of planets in the sky on that day. Further ahead, six months later, another solar eclipse has been mentioned to mark the death of Bali at the hands of Lord Ram. Again, after about another six months when hanuman went to meet Sita at Lanka, a lunar eclipse has been described to have occurred. Besides these, everal other planetary positions heve also been mentioned spanning over these 39 years (25 years age + 14 years of exile).
With the help of the planetarium software, which generates the sky view on the desk top for any given period of time it has been found that the planetary positions mentioned for the date of birth of Lord Ram had occurred in the sky at around 12.30 p.m. of 10th January 5114 BC.
Not only this the position of planets after the 25 years of the birth of Ram tallies exactly with their description in Ramayana. The software shows that the solar eclipse had indeed occurred during the last quarter of the 13th year of exile and even the position of the planets were also the same as described. Not only this even the subsequent two eclipses had actually occured at the specified dates. In this manner the entire sequence of the planetary positions gets verified and all the dates can be precisely determined.
The entire dating has been conducted objectively beacuse the software does not permit any manipulation and the verses of Ramayana are also free of any doubts. I have substantiated the findings with the help of archaeological evidences also which clearly show that Lord Ram had walked on earth about 7118 years ago from today.
All of you, who want to know more about this work may please reply at Pushkarbhatnagar AT hotmail.com and seek information / clarifications."
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
I am dumping sundry info here that I have come across of late. Thats what blogs are anyway: dumping ground for heaps of information.
# Skype's radical technology
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2004 06:40:19 +0530
Subject: Skype's radical technology and marketing threaten the very foundations of telecom
Way back BillG is his book " The Road Ahead" mentions of the Death of Distance in Telecom..He saw the vision where the both Audio and Video has to be FREE and Telecom Organisation organisation will have to survive on value add on services ..
Rightly said, RK. VoIP is gonna change the way voice communications are conducted currently. It is one of those disruptive technologies whose time has come.
It is a highly specialized field, and there are only a handful of (Skype-like) products available in this domain. One such happening product is actually an 'Indian product' in this space: VQube! Its from Esqube Comuincation Solutions Pvt Ltd. (Cranes s/w has invested in Esqube). Product can be downloaded from download.com.
I know the founders very closely. Lemme know if anyone is interested in (business/demo/etc of) this product.
#A history of ringtones fFrom NewYorker magazine article
"In 1997, your cell phone could make two kinds of sounds. It could "ring"-our anachronistic word for the electronic trill that phones produce when you receive a call-or it could play a single-line melody, like "Für Elise." If you've ever heard a cell phone bleep out Beethoven without the harmony, you'll understand that this wasn't much of a choice. At about this time, Nokia, the Finnish cell-phone company, introduced "smart messaging," a protocol that allowed people to send text messages to one another over their phones, and Vesa-Matti Paananen, a Finnish computer programmer, realized that it would work equally well for transmitting bits of songs. Paananen developed software called Harmonium that enabled people to program their cell phones to make musically complex sequences-melodies with rudimentary harmonic and rhythmic accompaniment-that they could forward to friends using smart messaging.
Those familiar with Linux, the freely available, open-source operating system developed by Linus Torvalds, another Finnish programmer, will not be shocked to learn that Paananen, in a nationally consistent fit of altruism, put Harmonium on the Internet for anyone to download, thus passing up a shot at becoming a billionaire. Companies called aggregators, which collect and distribute digital content, capitalized on Paananen's innovation, using his software to create what is today known as the polyphonic ringtone."
# Billion Dollar Babies from MSNBC article. Infosys and Wipro achieved $1billion mark last year, approx in 14 years. Not bad!
"Relative youngster Google has been lauded for reaching $1 billion in sales in just six years. Well, Amazon did it in four, Yahoo in five and eBay achieved it in seven. Compare those companies with Wal-Mart, which aged to 18 before it could slap the phrase, "the billion dollar company" on its annual report; and McDonald's took 24 years to hit the benchmark. Of course, eBay, Yahoo and Amazon piggy-backed atop the World Wide Web, which exploded in a relative eye blink."
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Of B-schools and their products..
Neat article in the Economist (Feb 17th 2005): Business schools: Bad for business?. The regular stalwarts of MBA education (the way it is currently) critique, Mintzberg and Ghoshal, quoted at their best.
In the interim, do read this funny, hypothetical, queer, and funny Memoirs of an MBA (Sidin, IIMA. This guy writes real funny stuff.)
American Splendor and Love Actually
Recently watched these two movies. Some neat quotes from 'em.
# American Splendor
Harvey Pekar: Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.
Real Harvey: I felt more alone that week than any. Sometimes I'd feel a body lying next to me like an amputee feels a phantom limb. All I did was think about Jennie Gerhardt and Alice Quinn and all the decades of people I had known. The more I thought, the more I felt like crying. Life seemed so sweet and so sad, and so hard to let go of in the end. But hey, man, every day is a brand new deal, right? Just keep on working and something's bound to turn up.
Mr. Boats: "Avoid the reeking herd! Shun the polluted flock! Live like that stoic bird, the eagle of the rock!" You know what that means, son?
Harvey: Yeah. It's from an Elinor Hoyt Wylie poem. It means stay away from the crowds of common ordinary people and do your own thing.
Mr. Boats: Nope, it means don't compromise yourself for women. Ain't gonna do you no good. Get away from them as soon as you can!
Harvey: Well, I ain't got no woman now. So I'm living like the stoic bird, man.
Mr. Boats: The only way to live, son.
Toby: [to Harvey] You know, you should try believing in something bigger than yourself. It might cheer you up.
Mattress Guy 1: So how smart is she?
Mattress Guy 2: I don't know. I guess she's about average.
Mattress Guy 1: Average? Hey, man. Average is dumb!
Real Harvey: It seemed that real, salt of the earth people like Toby and me were being co-opted by these huge corporations. We were getting held up and ridiculed as losers in the system. What can I say, it was the '80s, man.
"But don't think I buy into any of this 'growth' crap, man... Everybody's always talking about how BAD experiences cause you to grow and all that cliche'd stuff, man...
"And I'd had enough BAD experiences with growth to last me plenty. (sigh)
"Right now, I'd be glad to trade some growth for happiness.
# Love Actually
Sam: Daniel, I have a plan!
Daniel: Thank the Lord! Tell me.
Sam: Well, girls love musicians, don't they? Even the really weird ones get girlfriends.
Daniel: That's right. Meatloaf got laid at least once. For Christ's sake, Ringo Starr married a Bond girl!
Sam: [looks at him strangely] Whatever.
Jamie: You learned English?
Aurelia: Just in cases.
Daniel: Aren't you a bit young to be in love?
Daniel: Oh, OK, right. Well, I'm a little relieved.
Daniel: Well, you know - I thought it might be something worse.
Sam: [incredulous] Worse than the total agony of being in love?
Daniel: Oh. No, you're right. Total agony.
Billy Mack: I realized that Christmas is the time to be with the people you love.
Billy Mack: And I realized that as dire chance and fateful cockup would have it, here I am, mid 50s, and without knowing it I've gone and spent most of my adult life with a chubby employee. And much as it grieves me to say it, it might be that the people I love is, in fact... you.
Joe: Well, this is a surprise. Ten minutes at Elton John's and you're as gay as a maypole.
Billy Mack: I left Elton John's, where there were a large number of half-naked chicks with their mouths open, to hang out with you. It's a terrible mistake, Chubs, but you turn out to be the fucking love of my life. And to be honest, despite all my complaining, we have had a wonderful life.
Billy Mack: Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free.
Colin: American girls would seriously dig me with my cute British accent.
Colin: I am Colin. God of Sex. I'm just on the wrong continent, that's all.
Colin: Watch out America, here comes Colin Frissell!
[pauses and turns, holding his hands out as if describing a large fish]
Colin: [in a much deeper voice] ... And he's got a big *knob*!
Stacey, American Dreamgirl: [points to beer bottle] How do you say this one?
Colin: Uh, Bottle.
Stacey, American Dreamgirl, Jeannie, American Angel, Carol-Anne, American Goddess: [giggling, mimicking accent] BOHT-el!
Jeannie, American Angel: [points to straw] How 'bout this?
Stacey, American Dreamgirl, Jeannie, American Angel, Carol-Anne, American Goddess: [mimicking accent] Strohw!
Carol-Anne, American Goddess: [points to table] And this?
Stacey, American Dreamgirl, Jeannie, American Angel, Carol-Anne, American Goddess: [starting to repeat] Tab - Oh, the same. It's the same.
[Colin nods apologetically]
Sam: Let us go get the shit kicked out of us by love.
[to a portrait of Margaret Thatcher]
The Prime Minister: Did you ever have this kind of problem? Yeah - of course you did, you saucy minx.