Thursday, February 28, 2008
Sometime back, I wrote a post titled A Nightmare on the Dalal Street. It was about the fall of Indian Stock market and the terrible performance of Reliance Power IPO. The next day when I checked, I saw four (out of six ) ads about how to avoid a nightmare and get a good night sleep. One was about Google Adsense program and the last one was about some personal loans by ICICI bank. So, it is a 16.67% coverage area for a related ad and the rest goes for totally unrelated stuff. So, where is AI?
Well, George Gutowski has some interesting notions about an asymmetrical algorithm to replace the currently symmetrical (or maybe dull!) algorithm. Read about it in Is Google's Algorithm Okay? from Seeking Alpha.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The internet is literally flooded with admirers of the 1987 malayalam movie, Thoovaanathumbikal. Just a look at the Orkut community for P.Padmarajan will show the kind of admiration this movie has got. And far more, my two close friends were mouthing always about this movie. So, finally, I decided to get a DVD from one of them and watched it last sunday.
To be frank, I didn't like the movie. Or maybe, I liked the story, but I didn't like the way it was shot. Apart from the storyline and fantastic music (both songs and the background), everything else sucks.
Mohanlal just delivers an average performance. But, the way he tries to squeeze Thrissur accent made it horrible. And the joke is that half way through the movie, he seems to have lost the Thrissur accent.
What some people might say is that this is a trick by the director to show the change of his character without directly referring about it. But, even if that is true, that really eats into the performance of the character.
Sumalatha and Parvathi are both charming as usual. And Parvathi portrays a really powerful girl, much ahead of his age. This is a characteristics of many Papettan movies where he is able to present a strong and sharp woman. (Remember Thakara, Desadanakilli Karayarilla, Rathinirvedhan, Shalini Ente Kootukaari, Nombarithipoovu etc..?).
Ashokan puts a good performance. His portrayal of the slow transition from the "sorry" state to a more "strong" state is impressive. Jagathy Sreekumar's role, which looks like a loose comedy relief fails to hit the point. (Remember Kavala in Moonam Pakkam?)
Other actors have given a below the mark. Babu Nampoothiri gives his worst performance ever as Thangal. The acting of the friend's of Jayakrishnan is also bad. Maybe Pappetan casted someone who is new to the field to get the different style.
Music is fantabulous. Both the songs and the background. No comments about it. So, as a round up, Thoovaanathumbikal, like all Padmarajan movies, has a great story and a wonderful script. But the way the director tried to depict that on celluliod was a failure.
Many small nuances like the usage of rain in the movie is a repetition of his own work. (Think of the climax scene in Rathinirvedam. By the way, it was directed by Bharathan, but surely Padmarajan would have been a part of the crew). Anyway, this can be interpreted by the name of the film, Butterflies (or moths) in the drizzle.
Padmarajan is a great script-writer and a good director. He is one of
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
articles that talk about various points of view, analysis and...everything!!
The latest one that I found was about Microsoft trying to follow Game Theory of John Nash.
Like the way Microsoft revolutionized personal computing by its Windows, the would be
Microhoo! will be able to make itself the "Windows" to the Internet.
Well, it's just a hypothesis.
Read about it in detail at A Beautiful Mind : Microsoft over Google from Seeking Alpha.
Monday, February 25, 2008
It has become a tagline for most of the businesses and products in internet.
"Webmail - It's free!"
"Unlimited Storage. Free!"
This was an idea that was first propagated by King Gillette in 1895.
This is still followed by thousands of marketers today. Read about a detailed analysis about the Free culture in Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business from Wired.
This is the first post of a series of post that I intend to write about the various useful freebies available, mainly from the internet. Check out all my posts on Free!
The law in its majesty never takes vengeance; men do. He did!
/* Warning Spoilers begin here */
As mentioned, Janardhanan plays the CM. He tries to mimic some gestures of Achuthanandhan, but the similarity ends there. In Roudram, CM is portrayed as a not-so-good guy and having connections with the underworld and gangs. But, in the end, by the power dialogues (that shows off the Double MA in English and Malayalam), CM is back on the right track.
Friday, February 22, 2008
And here's what Wikipedia has to say about it.
It happens every year in February - March. Millions of Lady Devotees, without any age bar or caste bar, assemble together in the city of Trivandrum, Kerala, India to pray to the Goddess Kali. They gather in the small streets, the main roads and the highways, make a fireplace out of bricks and take part in the Pongala festival. (Pongala, comes from the Tamil Word Pongal. It is rice cooked with jaggery, coconut and spices). Pongala is made as an offering to the Goddess.
In 1997, around 1.5 million devotees participated in the festival. In 2007, it became 2.7 million. That stats saw Attukal Pongala entering the Guinness Book. And this year, it is all set to break its own record.
You can read more at Attukal Pongala Blog and Temple Website.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
forming the Microhoo!.
All starts with the man behind Google, Eric Schmidt. He was hunted all the way from Sun to
Google via Novell by Big Bro, Microsoft. And here's what Steve Ballmer, the villian in our
story remarked about Eric.
Read a great take on this by Jason Kelly in Seeking Alpha
Monday, February 18, 2008
Google - Well, this is a default entry. Search, news, weather, etc etc.
Wikipedia - Who wants Encyclopedia Brittanica these days. Even though some articles in Wikipedia are not so right, still it has an entry on everything in the world; almost.
Digg - It is the daddy of fun. You get to know all kinds of things going around. Be it really educational ones or 100% fun, everything is there in Digg.
Moneybhai - As I wrote in an early post, this will be the only game site which will not be blocked in your office. Enjoy the gamble game of stock trading with out shelling out a buck. And mind you, if you play well, you end up winning cash!
Twitter - This site might be blocked in some offices, but still, it is a concept that is catching up fast. A kind of instant messaging, but it's not just IM.
Techcrunch - For all things in the Web World, Techcrunch is the encyclopedia. Products, research, acquisitions...all the things at one place. Subscribe to the RSS feed and keep track of the Web.
Blogger - This should have been already mentioned. Want the world to hear (and sometimes respond) to your thoughts? Log on to blogger, select an interesting url and a template and start writing. Let the world hear your thoughts..
IBN Live - I don't go there for the serious news. If you want to know the things going around you, politics,economy and such stuff...go somewhere else(try BBC or NDTV). This is just for the fun lovers. From hi-fi gossips to lo-fi news...you get everything here..
Economic times - For the news from the Indian Market, subscribe to their RSS. And if you wanna read todays ET or Times of India or Mumbai Mirror, you get it here for free!!(Not like The Hindu)
Gizmodo - This is specifically for the Gizmo guys. All kind of gadget freaks will find it interesting.
Silicon Alley Insider - Similar to Techcruch, but sometimes I feel that SAI report it faster.
Wired - All news and gadget freaks will love this...
Snopes - Ever thought "what happened to the girl who had some dreadful disease and got money for operation from the 10 cents thay you gave by forwarding a mail!!"
These are the Urban Legends. There are lots of it circulating as chain mails. Try Snopes and you will be really find it interesting - they way people weave out stories!!
What else? Did I forget someting?
Ya, of course. For improving your health and wealth; for sharing your thoughts and views; for finding interesting things that you will not find anywhere else (Even if you find it somewhere else, why should you take all the pains and Google around?).
Just logon to bonchibuji and...well, enjoy...sunbscribe to my RSS and keep up to date...And don't forget to vote in the poll.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Latest news is that Newscorp will help Yahoo! to come of the pit which Microsoft has dug. So, what do you think? Comment your views and thoughts.
Here's what I wrote previously about this
Red Microsoft and Blue Yahoo!
Cyber Wars - Return of the Gates
Write in what you think about it.
(This is my 50th post)
Read about what is Technorati and how they started.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Internet was called the "Messenger of Death" for print publications, especially, newspapers. [Anyway, it was not predicted by Nostradamus and has proved wrong (at least for the time being)]. Around 2 years back, The Hindu started their epaper service. I registered on the first day itself. They had specified that it will be a free service for sometime(around 90 days, I think) and will be charged after that. Anyway, its free for the time being and they didn't ask for my credit-card info. I started reading online sometime and one day, I got a mail that "We are going to change to a subscription model and 'go to hell for free service'". Being a loyal reader, I checked for the subscription fee details. I was flabbergasted!! (This is from the wayback machine as The Hindu has removed the page)
"What!! Do they think that they are the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) of India??" Rs.400 per month was the astronomical subscription fee!!! (Even WSJ charge only Rs.263 per month($79 for one year) and think of the amount of info you get from WSJ!). I quietly closed the window and on the way home in the evening, told my newspaper agent to sent The Hindu "print edition" the next day onwards. (He gave a smile. Was that because he was getting back a customer or because he knew about the subscription fee!!)
After this episode, I stumbled upon The Hindu website sometimes from Google and other sources (I have even linked to The Hindu sometimes in my blog). The other day, I saw a flashy ad in their website. "Epaper subscription fee reduced...Now just Rs.150 per month. That led me to think of something else.
"Why can't they give it for free?" In today's frenzy net, everything is free. And the new slogan is "free and the best". Think of Firefox. Think of Linux or Safari. Think of iTunes. "The best of the net are the freebies."
So, why can't The Hindu give it for free. They have an Alexa international rank of 18,755. They have an Alexa India rank 668. God! They are in the Top 1000 visited sites from India. And also, around 50% of their traffic is from India (Rest from USA, Singapore, UAE etc..).
Malayala Manorama, the largest circulated vernacluar newspaper in India, maintains a really well built website. It is among the Top 10 newspaper sites in the world (by traffic). Why? They give everything for free. They have free epaper, free email (which is based on Gmail platform), shopping, free music and movie clips, web specials and lots. They cash completely upon the latest advertising platforms. When world is witnessing a war for internet advertising, is The Hindu not brainy enough to cash on it (Or even does it require brain to do this?).
A request (or advice) to The Hindu - Give the contents for free. Give a free epaper. You might have a little drop in print subscriptions (But I think it will be unnoticed). The returns are too good. You get loyal readers. You create better content (As you have more competition). The creativity of your staff increases ten-fold. You get more traffic (In one month, you can go up to Alexa 10000 or even Alexa 1000!!). Finally, you make more money than you ever think of.
To the readers - Thanks for reading through this data-filled post. Hope I didn't bore you. If you support what I have said or if you have a different view point, please comment about it. Hope someone from The Hindu will find this. (May be they will Stumbleupon this blog, who knows?)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I have written a handful of posts about the Indian stock market. I am listing all:
Nightmare on the Dalal Street
Indian IT - An Orbituary?
The Greatest Fall
Bowling O M R W Econ
S Sreesanth 3 0 48 0 16.00 (1nb, 2w)
I Sharma 4 0 26 1 6.50 (2nb)
IK Pathan 4 0 30 0 7.50 (1w)
Harbhajan 4 0 15 1 3.75
Tendulkar 2 0 15 0 7.50 (3w)
V Sehwag 2 0 14 0 7.00
(Courtesy - cricinfo.com)
Have you seen the stats above? 48 runs from just three overs. Economy of 16.00. What a fantastic figure!!
I am talking about the "aggressive", "cunning", and "useless" guy of Indian team. (Well, after some rethinking, I feel some more are there in this list!). Wikipedia says he has an "exuberant and emotional behaviour".(Nowadays, everyone has a Wikipedia entry!). I am talking about the only malayali in the Indian Cricket team, the legendary Sreesanth.
To be frank, sometimes, I have enjoyed his bowling. Sometimes, I have hated it. So, on the whole, he is just another fast bowler. (Did you know that he used to be a leg-spinner in his early days! It's there in Wikipedia!)
But, actions speaks better than words. In this case, "stats speaks". So, having an astronomical economy rate will surely lead to his early demise. And don't forget, Chappel is no more there to support and speak for him.
So, Sreesanth alias Gopumon, I request you to pay more attention to your bowling skills rather than doing things like going around the pitch with bat in one hand, hitting the pitch with hands(you will finally end up hurting your hand!) and other nonsense....At least, make Malayalis proud for the good reasons.
Monday, February 11, 2008
"India on, Power on" was brought out to make a change over in the perception of Indian's to IPOs. It is reported to be the costliest marketing ever for an IPO (sources put it to as close as 27 crores of rupees). What seemed to be a safe-bet has been turned out to be a huge flop.
The issue price of Reliance Power was Rs.450. It was listed today morning at a 4.5% lower price of Rs.430. During the first day at Sensex, it went down till Rs.390(-13.33%) before returning back to a decent(?) price of Rs.420(-6.6%).
What went wrong? Well, lot of things. Read about it in CNN-IBN. (Mind you, it's too technical!!). Anyway, it can declared unanimously that Reliance Power is the first prey of the recent frenzy Dalal Street.
As a child who attends the first day at school, Anil Ambani will be crying in the privacy of his house. It's a pity that the Ambani Sr. is not there to pity him. Maybe, Mukesh (once upon a time, he was the richest man on earth!!) can comfort him a little.
Anyway, along with the nightmares, the ringing bell is going haunt the "poor" Ambani in the coming days. I have only one advice. Put the blame on others (especially Manmohan, Chidambaram, Damodaran and their minions) and pray to God!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
The Flowers Of Manchester
One cold and bitter Thursday in Munich, Germany,
Eight great football stalwarts conceded victory.
Eight men will never play again, who met disaster there,
The flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester.
The Busby Babes were flying home, returning from Belgrade,
This great United family all masters of their trade.
The pilot of the aircraft, the skipper Captain Thain,
Three times tried to take off and twice turned back again.
The third time down the runway disaster followed close,
There was slush upon that runway and the aircraft never rose.
It ploughed into the marshy ground, it broke, it overturned.
And eight of that team were killed when the blazing wreckage burned.
Roger Byrne and Tommy Taylor, who were capped for England's side,
And Ireland's Liam Whelan and England's Geoff Bent died.
Mark Jones and Eddie Coleman and David Pegg also,
They all lost their lives as it ploughed on through the snow.
Big Duncan he went too, with an injury to his brain,
And Ireland's brave Jack Blanchflower will never play again.
The great Matt Busby lay there, the father of this team,
Three long months passed by before he saw his team again.
The trainer, coach and secretary and three members of the crew,
Also eight sporting journalists who with United flew,
And one of them was Big Swifty who we will ne'er forget,
The finest English 'keeper that ever graced a net.
England's finest football team it's record truly great,
It's proud success mocked by this cruel turn of fate.
Eight men will never play again who met disaster there,
The flowers of English football, the flowers of Manchester.
Courtesy : http://www.flowersofmanchester.net/
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Today is the 50th Anniversary of Munich Air Disaster, that involved Manchester United players. One minute of silence for their souls.
- "Cut down in their prime,
- In silence, on that day,
- February 58, they got what they need,
- From Belgrade and back home to sleep"
Microsoft-Yahoo! (here after referred as Microhoo!) is one of the biggest and strategic deal mankind has ever seen. (Isn't it? What do you think about it? Check out my poll). The entire world is talking about it. While some supports Microhoo! and its fight against the Goliath (read Google), some are reversing the roles - Google as Goliath and Microhoo as David. Anyway, lets look at it differently.
Ever heard of Blue Ocean Strategy? Well. It's not flaunted in the media and not even by business think houses. It's a simple idea.
The Red ocean and the Blue Ocean represents the markets. The Red one is where competition is very fierce and growth is strictly restricted. Even, the ocean became red due to the wars between the competitors. (Off the track, I want to add that the "sharks" were attracted and they made it bigger than the existing ones, who were bleeding).
The Blue Ocean represents the market which is untapped. There are no business rules in place and anyone can make it big. Surely there is no war and bloodshed. (And of course, there are no sharks, but only sharks in dolphins coat!! VCs!!).
So, Microsoft is currently in deep red ocean (or shit!). They are attacked by sharks (read antitrust guys!). They sense that Yahoo! is a cruise to the Blue Ocean. So, they just buy the entire cruise.
Well, what are the Blue's that Yahoo! offers? First, a direct stake and control in Alibaba.com, China's foremost search portal. And China is considered as a perfect Blue Ocean by China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou. Other than China, is you want to know what else are "Blue" for Microsoft in this deal, read the article, The New Internet : Where Microsoft can Win from Seeking Alpha. Read it and let me know what you think about it. Are there some "shark-in-dolphins clothing" waiting??
To conclude, I would like to put one more dimension, or say, one more color into the picture. Why not create a new ocean called Yellow Ocean where it's ruled by one and competition is impossible. Like Google for search and Microsoft for desktop software. Let's wait and watch what happens...
Check out about Blue Ocean Strategy in Wikipedia. And here a blog on Blue Ocean Strategy - Value Innovation
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Left Behind is a short story by Soul Witness. It is a good read. He has painted the canvas nicely and has put poetic dialogues interspersed. Read on..
Monday, February 4, 2008
Is Indian IT dead? Economic times says so. At least in the Dalal Street, it seems so. I am not gonna write it over here. Read the article and have your say.
Here's what I wrote sometime back about the future of Indian IT sector.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Microsoft has bid for Yahoo. I had longback expected a bid for Yahoo, but from Google. But this was unexpected. And as to shatter my dreams, Microsoft has openly stated that if Google bids for Yahoo, it will lead to antitrust problems.
So what are we actually heading to? Two weeks back, Yahoo announced 1,200 job cuts. Now, Microsoft comes with an open bid. And Google has been warned by Big Brother not to bid. By getting access to Yahoo's customers, Microsoft's database will almost double its size. And with a superior search service, it can get more internet traffic. But, aren't Microsoft's and Yahoo's products and services(I am talking about net-based alone) overlapping?
Since Redmond is keen on this deal, they should have worked out some innovative ideas to deal with this problem. I can only speculate some.
First, all hotmail users should be given an option to migrate themselves to Yahoo Mail. Intially make it as an option and after some months, give a warning that the hotmail ids will be deleted. So, migrate all users by atleast an year. It will see the end of a prestigious product by an Indian, but no other go.
But, then what about Windows Live and other prestigious projects that Redmond announced?
Similarly, slowly redirect all searches to Yahoo. Scrap Microsoft search program. Let only the MSN survive.
Anyway, Google has to look around for a new partner. Maybe, they can localize themselves and start by acquiring India's own Rediff. Wait and watch. Anything can happen.
Friday, February 1, 2008
These pics are samples from a mail that is forwarded these days among my friend circle. (I got it thrice!!) The subject line is "Google OS:coming soon.." and the content is just some screen-shots. We see almost all Google apps on the screen and if you are a Linux user, you can easily identify the cool desktop of Linux.
This is not a Google OS. It is gOS. Their punch-line is "gOS - A new operating system is born." Well, I disagree with that because it is not a new one, it's a modified. Anyway, all Linux distros are modified from previous ones which all trace back to the child of Linus Torwalds. But, gOS is based on Ubuntu 7.1 distro. It uses Enlightment window manager instead of the regular Gnome or KDE. That's why you get a stylish Mac kind of screen.
I started writing this because some of my friends mailed me to ask about the so called Google OS. That is when I have the site of gOS a visit.
It turned out to be a very small site(in terms of number of pages and features). It even doesn't have its own FAQ facility. Instead, they give a link to faqly.com. Anyway, they provide a torrent for downloading the OS. (At least now, torrent technology has been put to good use!!).
This page caught my attention[see below]. Just below this disclaimer "Google, the Google logos, are trademarks of Google Inc. gOS is not affiliated with Google or their partners," they have this -> "Search powered by Google". Didn't they do it on purpose to mislead people? And were the heck is the search?
One more thought. Since some one and a half years back, there has been lot of rumours and hype that Google will be soon bringing out its own OS. While Google never really admitted this, the general perception is that they can sponsor or come out with its own Linux distro. Now, since g OS (by the way, the company is called Good OS LLC, that's where the 'g' in OS comes from!!) has already brought out a Google-compatible (is it the right word??) version, I don't think there is any negatives to Google acquiring it. Anyway, Google has always been on an acquiring spree and I believe that is what a small time entrepreneur thinks as the best thing.
Morning I get up and feel that a lump has started developing in my throat. When I drive to office, I feel it increasing in size. After my breakfast(which tastes like, you know what!), I sit down in front of my computer. I feel dizzy. I feel that I want to puke. I sweat like hell eventhough I am sitting in A/C which is set at 20 degrees. I feel that the lump has become big. I feel difficulty in breathing. I feel that I am going to die.
Well, these are the symptoms of Sueldo Fever, or in English, Salary Fever. It is very common among the young Indians, especially working in the IT industry. There is no specific remedy. It's natural. The lump goes as soon the payslip comes. Everything is back to normal within five minutes.
I believe most of you who read this have suffered or still suffers from this peculiar fever. Share your symptoms and remedies...
(This post came to me when I heard of TCS salary cuts. And by the way Sueldo means Salary in Spanish. I love J Lo!!. My another post on Indian IT companies can be found at The Future of Indian IT industry)