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Friday, October 31, 2008

Sagar Alias Jackie = Desperado!!

See any similarities???

(Couldn't get a high resolution one..)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Life is gonna be 'Pink'!

A declaration - This has nothing to do with homosexuality. I am talking about 'pink slips'.

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has said that there is going to be a 25-30 % job cut in India Inc. It includes IT, aviation, steel, financial services, real estate, cement and construction. Well, that accounts for a lot of jobs. By most conservative studies, the total work force in all these sectors will add up to around 3-5 million. So, at least 1 million layoff!

The optimist in me estimates that at least 500,000 jobs will be cut. And they have named this "Job Scenario post Diwali". What else can be more insulting!

“HR heads of these sectors have drawn up conclusive plans to curtail their workforce by 25-30 per cent, announcements for which is likely in the next 10 days or so,'' said Mr Sajjan Jindal, President, Assocham.

They haven't named any of these companies. But as per this news, it is gonna happen in 10 days. So, is it a Black November?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Google, buy Zemanta

Google has been on the prowl searching for new and great ideas coming up from the fantasy world of startups. Pyra Labs (Blogger), Baidu, Picasa, Urchin Softwares (Google Analytics), Android, Doubleclick, Feedburner....the list goes on. (A detailed list can be found here)Lots of great services. Lots of great softwares. But sometimes, I feel that they have missed out some of the great services out there.

Some of you might have used Zemanta. The great addon that suggests keywords, gets related links, related photos and more. They support browsers IE and Firefox (support for Chrome should be on its way), platforms like Blogger, Wordpress, Ning, Typespace and many others. And also I should say, they have a very great support base. (When I faced some problems with my Firefox and Zemanta, I got to interact direct with the engineers and they got it done very fast)

The only problem that I can see in front of this cute startup is the M-word, Monetization. The only way I can think of is having two versions, one with less features and one with more, and get professional bloggers to pay for it. But I don't think that will bring in much money.

Another strategy that co-founder Bostjan Spetic (Zemanta is based in Slovenia) has in mind is to get affliate links for bloggers from which money can be split between the blogger and the company. It sounds like a good one, but the question remains, "How much money can these bring in for the company?"

Till date, Zemanta has taken around $ 1.5 million through funding. They also have plans to go for a full round funding by this year end. But, in this state of world economy, if they fail to raise money, we don't want them to collapse. 

That is why Google should buy Zemanta. This is one product that goes hand in hand with the blogging facility that Google provides. If they can spent $100 million for Feedburner (which is twice what India spent on its recent exploration to moon!) , they can easily shell out a handsome amount for Zemanta. I am not an authority to put a price tag for Zemanta, but I will say $15 - $20 million is a good amount. Also, we would love to see the addon integrated into blogger platform which will save the pain to install in every system that we use. Zemanta will be the biggest feature addition that Google can have in Blogger. And, they will bring in just 7 employees. So, why the wait? Go ahead and buy them.

(P.S : I have taken for granted that Zemanta is waiting for someone like Google to make an offer that they can't refuse)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Worldspace files for banktrupcty

WorldSpace Inc, the satellite radio broadcasting company has filed for bankruptcy in US. From July 2008 onwards, the company had changed it brand and corporate identity to 1worldspace (listed in NASDAQ as WRSP).

The company had been facing financial difficulties from 2006 onwards. The Maryland based company has a debt of more than $300 million. From the press release:

"The WorldSpace Board of Directors unanimously determined that Chapter 11 reorganization was necessary for the Company to engage in an orderly process to raise sufficient funds to repay its senior secured and convertible notes by means of either a sale of the Company or its assets, or a recapitalization of the Company.

WorldSpace will continue to operate its business and manage its assets as a debtor-in-possession under the jurisdiction of the court and in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and the orders of the court. The holders of the Companys existing senior secured and convertible notes have agreed to provide, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, a debtor-in-possession financing facility of up to $13 million for a period of 90 days in order to facilitate a sale transaction. The financing facility is expected to enable the Company to continue to pay salaries of critical employees and continue operations which are critical to preserving the value of its core assets through the term of the facility."

India accounts for more than 150,000 subscribers which makes up to 90% of the total customer base worldwide. A R Rahman was chosen as the brand ambassador and he had composed a signature tune for Worldspace.

Get this widget | Track details | eSnips Social DNA

Emails sent to India support center and Corporate Affairs remain unanswered. Till then, enjoy the signature tune by maestro Rahman.

Update: Worldspace India has responed to my email. "India operations to continue as usual."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Techie who hit cop has to play cop for one week!

The other day, I read about a techie (translates to software engineer) who hit a cop when he was asked for his driving license. 

Well, today the Assistant Commissioner of Police has decided to hand over a really interesting punishment. Stand with the same cop in the road and man traffic for the next five days, 2 hours per day. It's really a good decision. Instead of handing over a 3 or 6 months sentence and sending the guy to jail, this will make him understand how difficult it is to manage traffic in Pune. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The most difficult job for me - Cleaning my Glasses!

Do I sound crazy? Well, if you think so, then read on my story...

Everyday I ride around 15 kms in my bike to reach my office. That translates to half an hour in Chennai, India. So, after 30 mins through the dusty and smoky roads, I reach my office. Even though I use a helmet and cover my face properly with the helmet, my glasses is a heck when I get to office. The first place I go to is the restroom. And here I spends the next 10 minutes on a rigorous cleaning.

The glasses will have spots of dust. This can't be cleaned with the cleaning cloth that the opticians give. Also, I have got an anti-glare coating that will lead to spreading the dust if I use that cloth. After weeks of testing, I have come up with this innovative (is it? read on and tell me) way to get rid of the dust and have a clean and clear vision. 

Water is the best cleaning agent in the world. So, I go the wash basin and slowly pour some water onto the specs slowly and carefully. Keep the water flow slow and pour water all over the glasses - on both sides. Now, I take out my kerchief (well, a bit off-track thought: Kerchief is derived from the French word couvre-chef and the similar word bandana is from the Hindi word bandhan). Start wiping out the water slowly. It should be done in a fashion so that the cloth will go in circles rather than in straight lines. When I check out how clear it is, I can still see that all I can have is a blurred vision. So, I go to the hand dryer and holds an end of the kerchief so that it gets heated/warmed up. No, I again clean the glasses with the warmed up cloth. This cycle continues till I get a spot free and clear vision. 

Well, I have been doing this for sometime now. The maximum I took was 10 mins on a really dirty day. Given the fact that I sit in front of a computer for around 9 hours a day, spending this 10 mins is really worth as it gives me a clear day. 

So, fellow glass-mates, what do you think? Am I crazy?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"We are not terrorists"

"Yeh hum Nahin"

63 millions citizens of Pakistan have signed this. "We are not terrorists and we don't want to be labelled as a terrorist or fundamentalist nation." 

This is the biggest anti-terror campaign in Pakistan. Even 11 year old boys have participated in this. Considering that kids are trained at this age to become Jihadis, this is indeed a great effort. 

Great effort Pakistan! Hope this will continue and will help the world in getting rid from the clutches of cancerous terrorism. 

Satyam Computer Services again in jeopardy

One of India's largest software outsourcing company, Satyam Computer Services is again in the headlines for bad stuff. If it was the $ 1 billion lawsuit by Upaid some months earlier, the latest one questions the company's ethics. 

News agencies have reported that Satyam employees working for World Bank have been accused of installing spywares onto World Bank pcs that have compromised around 18 servers and other confidential data. 

"I want them off the premises now," World Bank President Robert Zoellick has reportedly told his deputies. 

Satyam has refuted all these reports. "The story has no validity," a spokesperson for the company said. But the World Bank contract for 5 years, which Satyam had won in 2003, expired on September 2008 and has not yet been renewed. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blogger says "Obama" is a spelling mistake!

Well. This is ought to be a funny one. I don't want to talk about the personal connections of Senator Obama as someone else did recently. 

I was typing up for my previous post and the below screen came up when I did a spell-check. McCain is cleared, but Obama loses!

Go on George, it is free!

I came across this funny ad when I was browsing through The Guardian. (Sorry for the small size. Better save it and zoom it up. It's a flash ad. Anyone knows how to save a flash ad?). Its funny and takes a dive at George Bush. Will McCain or Obama see this?

(I saw the ad at this page. I am not sure whether you will find it there again)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Guy Kawasaki says "Mumbai is Crowded!"

Guy Kawasaki was in Mumbai in the end of September. He has snapped some great pics. Check it out here

He seems to be greatly impressed by the Dhobi Ghat. He says, "I cannot understand how they can wash this much laundry and get them back to the right owners. As far as I could tell, there was no RFID or barcode system."

I should say he has been greatly impressed. But he seems to have missed out the Dabbawallas - the ones who have attained a six-sigma precision in delivering lunch. 

The other day I caught up with Guy in Twitter. I tweeted him asking whether he can describe his Mumbai visit in 140 characters. He gave a very short and crisp reply.


Well, of course. Indian cities are always crowded and that is our trademark. And I love the frog-jumping that we do to cross the roads!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

God's Ads!

Advertising has grown to innovative and sometimes shocking ways. Check out the series of ads created by God for himself!

(Courtesy: Vinod)

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