Monday, December 31, 2007

Year 2007 in words

I want to try and put some words out here which I can pick from Year 2007. This is not necessarily in the order of events of alphabets.

Shilpa Shetty (Thanks to Jade Goody)
Abdul Kalam
Disaster in Cricket World Cup
Lumbini Park
Panjagutta flyover
Narendra Modi
Web 2.0
Sonia Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi
Merchant of Death
President and Astrology
Social Networking
Lord Rama and Ramsethu
Barack Obama
Britney Spears
Lindsay Lohan
Sanjaya Malkar
Amitabh Bachan (The farmer)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Britney Spears - Most Searched Term On Yahoo

Another one from Geek And Poke.
Here is a hilarious cartoon on the subject.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Propose using iPod

The highlight of this post is this:

Best part is that some day this guy's kids are going to ask him about how he proposed to their mother, and they're going to be totally incredulous at the thought of an iPod that can only hold 20GB.

Commercialism killing music - Watch B4MD

Ran into this site:

BEFORE THE MUSIC DIES tells the story of American music at this precarious moment. Filmmakers Andrew Shapter and Joel Rasmussen traveled the country, hoping to understand why mainstream music seems so packaged and repetitive, and whether corporations really had the power to silence musical innovation. The answers they found on this journey–ultimately, the promise that the future holds–are what makes BEFORE THE MUSIC DIES both riveting and exhilarating.

I feel that it's not just American Music. It's the same everywhere. Record labels look for "marketable" and quick money making albums. Check out one of the latest "Outrageous" songs. But, a band like Mekaal Hassan Band does not get promoted enough.

Checkout the trailer:

Buy it here.


It's third anniversary of tsunami. May the souls rest in peace.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

IT in India heading for a fall

Economist in it's post Is India's computer-services industry heading for a fall? talks about the challenges that India Inc. will face.

The reasons that they quote are:
1. Insufficient infrastructure
2. Talent shortage - India Inc. runs on man power.
3. Employee "jumping"
4. Competition
5. Future threats - American economy slump, automation

While I agree to all the points, I have few points to add.

Methodology and capability to deliver

Foremost challenge Indian IT giants face is the struggle to offer innovative solutions. Please note that I am not talking about product companies and only about IT services companies. I have not seen major application development deals being won on the basis of traditional methodologies. There is a lack of ability in solving new business problems.

All IT companies have "Onsite-Offshore model" and their proprietary "development methodologies". Essentially, these are all flavors of the same thing. All of these showcase the company's ability to deliver and how it can help the client go to market with reduced costs. But, you cannot see these IT firms pitching in for new technologies. Atlease not too many of them. If I try to find out, how many IT services firms India have expertise in ILOG JRules or IBM Process Server, there will be only very few who can offer solutions. Unless the client asks for a specific technology to be implemented, or a Software Products vendor recommends a services firm to the client, this never happens. There are CoEs (Center of Excellence) coming up in most of the IT firms to nurture talent and help innovation. But, the effectiveness has to be questioned. Also, the employees in services firms are so busy doing billable work that they hardly find time to spend on CoEs. However, there are new small firms sprouting all over India, trying to provide innovative solutions, but they do not have the nerve to hit big deals. Here comes the other factor, which I want to talk about.


The quality of resources have gone down. IT firms are increasingly relying on Non-IIT graduates, and offlate B.Sc, B.A and B.Com graduates. The justification is that these resources are cheap and the work that we have can be done by these guys. But, with this approach, how will you nurture innovation? Another aspect to the resources issue is career growth. After 2 years of industry experience, most of them wants to get into management side. This, either leads to employee leaving the company, or we end up seeing a lateral hire/fresher.

Quality of recruitment also have be inspected. 80% of the hires turnout to be just machines with no brains of their own. SOA is the latest buzzword. While you see sales team and architects suggesting SOA based approach, how many employees in an IT services firm understand what SOA is? How far can this organic growth go? With dollar value falling and rising inflation, how will we sustain the 10-15% growth in salaries?

Aquisition and merger trend

Yasu Tech bought by SAP. Wipro acquires AMS and Nervewire. Infosys acquires Expert Information Service. And the list goes on ...

This is a good strategy. Inorganic growth, no IT investment required, no more hiring required. Acquiring European firms will definitely help penetration into Non-English market. But, how will they face the challenge of integration issues? We have seen this time and again.

My project lead in one of my previous projects, had told aroudn 2 years back. Most of what we do now will be automated. We will end up becoming machines doing maintenance job. I hope not. All of this when Internet is facing a meltdown in another 3 years.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Biblical Images - Google Earth Style

Guess !!!
It's amazing.

Wipro to bid for Capgemini in Jan

Sudip Nandy, chief strategic officer of Wipro says:

“We would not want to comment on market speculation. Of course, we are interested in larger deals and aggressively looking for inorganic growth options,”

Another speculation in the making? Read more here.

Where do we walk?

If you are in Hyderabad, and do not have your own means of transport, I would like to know how you manage to walk around? In or around Panjagutta, I am sure, it is a nightmare.

Where are the footpaths? In the name of development, and road expansion, authorities have completely ignored pedestrians. One has to see the bus stop at Panjagutta and how people "try to stand" and wait for the bus.

Road to ISB was one of the best roads in Hyderabad with trees on both sides. But, 2 weeks ago, the trees were cut and is evidently an attempt to expand the roads. There was always congestion in that road, but that was not because of the road, but because of lorries and 7-seaters. It needs to be seen if there will be footpath available for people to walk.

Couple of years back, it was the same story with road from Jubilee hills check post to Madhapur. It was one the best roads that you will find. Even in summer, it was a pleasure to ride your bike or walk on that road. It was all planned with wide footpaths. Now, there are no trees. No footpath either.

I don't understand why authorities turn a blind eye towards this. Traffic has always been a mess in Hyderabad and imagine a situation where you have walk on the roads.

Pathetic !!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lost - Season 4 Trailer

It's back. I can't wait for it to start.
Oh yeah! I love LOST. Believe me. I saw Season 2 in 2 days. ;-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Face Of India

Apart from Tendhulkar, Shilpa Shetty, Sonia Gandhi, Sania Mirza (hmmm ...) etc., we have a new face in newspapers - Arindam Choudhari.

Most of the times, I see him on TOI. Now why Planman ads feature most of the times in TOI only, somebody tell me.

Arindam Choudhari is a marketing genius. He is conspicuous in the print media, but is conspicuous by his absence in visual media. He has his hands everywhere. Planman Consulting, Planman Motion Pictures, Planman Technologies, The Great Indian Dream Foundation(GIDF) and Planman Media is what I know of.

His awards include Example to Youth, Personality of the Decade and The Management Guru.

I admire him for GIDF and they have Tendulkar endorsing it. I have not read his books yet, but the theme is progressive. But I still fail to understand how he could get into directing a movie called "Rok Sako Tho Rok Lo". It was a disaster. I regret watching that movie and it's not something that you would expect from a marketing genius who is expected to know the pulse of the market. Roping in Sunny Deol was again a blunder on top of his blunder. I am waiting for his "The Last Lear" and "I M 24".

In his recent write up in TOI, he mentions the significance of marketing and it's role in converting a movie into a block buster. He, however, has mentioned that the story line has to be good (Is it a new piece of information?). Having seen a disaster like his first movie, you better get the story right.

Then, I googled for more information about him and then I dug out this, this, this and this. Ridiculous !!! Must read. I do not want to comment any further about it. The issues have been beaten to death.

As for IIPM, I came to know about it in 2002 when one of my friends joined IIPM. I was also an MBA aspirant and wanted to join a B-School in 2003 and tried to take his input. His input was not too great. One would imagine, after 5 years, IIPM would have grown in it's capabilities to generate better managers and get into a situation where it can compete with IIMs and other premium B-Schools. Well, even after the massive publicity campaign and marketing, I still haven't seen people saying great things about it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Traffic: Initiative

Here is a blog each and every Hyderabadi should read. Actually, it's for everyone: Traffic in Hyderabad


Thanks a lot for taking the initiative. Not too many people do that. We crib and crib and crib, but to go out there and taking it face on is really commendable. You are an inspiration.

For people reading this for the first time, you need know that this initiative featured on CNN-IBN. See it here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

India !!!

We are an ancient civilization.
We are a young republic

40% of the population illiterate.
We are second largest producers of scientists and engineers.

Land where peasant organisations once attempted to close down KFC as a threat to the nation, where a former prime minister bitterly criticised the sale of Pepsi-Cola because 250 million of our countrymen and women don’t have access to clean drinking water.
Land which yet invents more sophisticated software for the world’s computer manufacturers than any other country on the planet

Place where bullock carts are still an indispensable mode of transportation for millions.
Place with one of the most advanced rocket and satellite programs.

A leading nuclear power.
A land where 600 million Indians still have no access to electricity and there power cuts in the capital of the nation.

Non-violence as moral principle.
Bloody riots since the time of Independence.

Bollywood, the largest producer of movies in the world.
150 million Indians are blind and cannot see movies.

10 more Indian names added to the top billionaires list.260 million people living below poverty line.

We boast of IT boom and adding 1 million in IT work force in last few years.
We do not have jobs for 10 million people added to work force each year.

*Courtesy: Shashi Tharoor

We take pride about our "CULTURE", and call this place a paradise. We boast about secularism though religion and caste still remains a sensitive issue which can burst at the drop of a hat. We have so called socialists who have bungalows and luxury cars. If we add up the worth of top dollar billionaires from India, it is more than GDP of most of the nations.

We have a long long way to go !
No point in changing political parties. What we need to change is the politics and administration.

There is always room for a BEER

A recent email I got. Must read.

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items
in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a
large empty jam jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks
about 2" in diameter. He then asked the students if the jam jar
was full? They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them
into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course,
rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the
students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The
students laughed.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the
jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

"Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this is
your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your
partner, your health, your children - things that if everything
else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be
full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your
job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else. The small

"If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for
the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you
spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never
have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention
to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your
children. Take time to get medical check-ups. Take your partner
out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the
house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal." Take care of
the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your
priorities. The rest is just sand."

But then... A student then took the jar which the other students
and the professor agreed was full, and proceeded to pour in a
glass of beer. Of course the beer filled the remaining spaces
within the jar making the jar truly full.

The moral of this tale is: that no matter how full your life is,
there is always room for a BEER.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Traffic: A Bane

My brother forwarded me an article by Shashi Tharoor in The Times Of India. I couldn't agree more with what he wrote about traffic.

Shashi Tharoor writes:

Is the bane of all Indian commuters. Chaos and crowds are hardly unknown elsewhere, but our extraordinary variety of means of transportation has long since outstripped the length and breadth of our roads, and the problem gets worse each month. And the constituents of Indian traffic make for fairly remarkable conditions. Only in India can one get stuck in a jam at a non-functioning traffic light amidst six Ambassadors in various states of disrepair, five Korean vehicles of assorted sizes, a Maruti almost crushed underfoot by a Tata Sumo, two minibuses facing each other both on the wrong side of the road, a tram madly if impotently ringing its bell, three buses heading in different directions with passengers dangling from the tailboards and from each other, six rickshaws, one autorickshaw with a broken silencer, a homesick cow, a small flock of goats milling about at the zebra crossing and some 300 pedestrians picking their way gingerly through the confusion. Exaggeration? It happened to me on my last visit to Kolkata.

Read more here

The Programmer Dress Code

Justin Etheredge writes:

I really want to know what it is about programming, or computers in general, that makes people want to grow a beard, have long hair, and dress like a slob. I can say these things without guilt because while I do not have long hair, I do have a beard and I do in fact dress like a slob. Not horribly sloppy or anything. I am actually pretty fanatical about hygiene, I just am not big on tucking my shirt in or ironing it or shaving. So who was the guy that started the unkempt programmer code of honor? [...]

Read the post here

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Tech Blog

I have moved my blogs about technology to Tech Stop. Going forward, I will be blogging about technology there. Do check out.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Truly Scary Thing About Narendra Modi…

Read this : The Truly Scary Thing About Narendra Modi….

I do not want to say anything more.

Traffic menace

This is a traffic signal on my way to office. I had to go straight, but all the vehicles in front, left and right wanted to go right. I got stuck in this signal for 10 mins which I usually pass in 2 seconds.

300: Simpsons & Family Guy Trailer

This is hilarious !!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

NBA TV Top 10: December 2

Watch for No: 1 by Kobe. Whew!!

Life in reality

I keep getting forwarded emails most of which I delete, but here is one that I found good:

There are two kinds of seekers who become interested in truth. One starts looking for scriptures: he may become a great intellectual, he may become a giant, but inside there will be darkness. All his light is borrowed, and a borrowed light is not going to help in the real crises of life.
I am reminded of a Christian priest who used to repeat in every sermon Christ's saying, "If somebody slaps you on one cheek, give him the other, too." Everybody
liked his sermons, he was quoting such great statements. But in one place a man really stood up and slapped the priest on one of his cheeks. The priest was shocked, because he had just been quoting Jesus. But anyway, to save his face, he gave his other cheek. And that man must have been a real rebellious type; he
slapped the other one, too. Now this was too much!

The priest jumped at the man and started beating him. And the man said, "What are you doing?" He said, "The scripture stops with the second cheek. Now I am here and you are here: let us decide this."

Borrowed scriptures won't help in actual encounters. In life there are everyday realities to be faced. In death the ultimate reality has to be faced. And borrowed knowledge is not going to help at all. The second type of seeker does not go towards the scriptures, but starts searching for a master

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hyderabad development

In relation to my post below about Hyderabad being on of the best places to live, here is one snap that I want put up. Check it out.

This is on my way to work.

Hyderabad is developing, but is there a way we can introduce something called common sense in people? Half the sand you see in the lorry fell on my car and that guy was not ready to give me way.

Wish they had atleast a buffalo's IQ. As for me, I have to clean my car.

Pain in the ***!!

Microsoft: Piracy

Recent post by Ina Fried (Microsoft: Vista piracy rate is half that of XP) on how Microsoft has reduced piracy by introducing more security features in Vista.

A post in Fortune a while back (July '07) narrates about Microsoft's strategy of tolerating piracy to increase the popularity and market share (in China ... should be true in Asia-Pac). They have the market share, but their long term strategy to tolerate piracy was to get traction and then translate it to revenue.

Reducing piracy will actually reduce the usage of Microsoft or may be prompt users to switch to Linux flavors. Apart from corporates, I have not seen huge audience for MS products. With rumors about Operating System under works by Google (Check this), it's time Microsoft starts sweating.

In addition to the pricing of MS OS, here is a snippet from CNET News which featured this post about ex-Microsoft employee moving to Linux(here) due to DRM issues.

Johansson said that DRM software is not only ineffective, but a waste of money that is damaging businesses attempting to use it to control the way consumers use copyright material
"How many billions has the industry spent on DRM schemes that the bad guys break in weeks? How many perfectly legitimate users has the industry annoyed and driven away? How many lost DVD sales has it caused? How many lost sales of Microsoft's Media Center software and Windows Vista has it caused because the DRM subsystem randomly decides that you must be a criminal?" Johansson wrote.

DRM protections have done very little to stop bootleggers from hawking counterfeit software, he wrote, after witnessing a bustling trade in pirated material on a recent trip to Asia. Johansson wrote that he is now contemplating using LinuxMCE to avoid further difficulties

Microsoft is popular in India just because of piracy. The moment Microsoft imposes stringent security measures(which they are trying to), they will see a drastic drop in users.

Government organisations in India are switching over to Linux and open source tools, and with various flavors of Linux available and the kind of education people get about Computers, they do not need professional help in resolving technical issues. Additionally, most of the users do not need technical support from the vendor to fix their issues. Thanks to Google again! You have access to vast amount of information.

Recently, ICICI Bank switched to Open Office. (Check here for the latest Open Office deployments here

MS is, of course, user friendly and has revolutionised the industry. With with the increase in number of users, they need to look at their pricing. If Microsoft opens up, the open source community will be able to take the product to higher levels and not rely on developers who are being paid to write software which they might not be even interested in.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Avial - The Mallu Rock Band

While you notice rock bands cropping up like mushrooms from all parts of India, rock in regional languages has not been getting huge traction.

Here is a band called Avial (website) which explores Malayalam rock which not many have done before.

Check their videos in You Tube. Here is one of my favourites.

Notebooks: DELL Vs Sony

I was reading a review about a budget laptop design.
It compared Dell Inspiron 1420 and Sony VAIO NR160. Factors that are compared are keyboards, profile and looks. It is, however, not a comprehensive list of factors that you would really measure.

My take on this:

1. Sony is easy to purchase in the open market whereas DELL is not. DELL leverages on direct sales. There are no DELL kiosks that you will find in any mall in India(atleast I have not seen any!)
2. Service centers for DELL are much easier to access as they have call-support. On the contrary, there are no service centers you can walk into.
3. Sony is overpriced like its other products(usually ... I have not had a good experience with my Sony Music System and Car Stereo)
4. With DELL, once you purchase with Vista, and later on if you downgrade it, they charge you more for support.
5. DELL can easily be customised online, but Sony is a bit rigid about that.

I would prefer DELL to SONY for its value for money and on call support. With SONY, I have not seen any presence in corporates the way it is for DELL, Lenovo and HP.

Yuo can read the original post here(Dell vs. Sony: Budget laptop design).

The author, in a way, recommends HP pavilion. Also, from what I have read online and seen until now, HP seems to be the one which satisfies the domestic sector with its high quality servicing.

HP is my next buy I guess ....