Tuesday, December 28, 2010

People power

Crowd-sourcing has reached tipping point with this event.
DJs, promoters, label reps and 'professional party people' from the Netherlands have persuaded Dutch airline KLM to add an extra flight to its roster. In a new twist on crowd-buying, the initiators of Fly2Miami made a bet with KLM on Twitter to organize a non-stop flight from Amsterdam to Miami.
More on this here:

The True Meaning of HDTV


Friday, December 24, 2010

Genetically engineered exterminations

I have wondered for long at times how to totally destroy some species like cockroaches or mosquitoes. At times and at some places, they are so enormous and they cost humans a lot (think about the dengue scare at the start of 2010 in Delhi).
One of the best strategies is to be implant a virus/disease in the species which spreads for a few months/years among the whole species across generations and then like a ticking time bomb goes off all on one very fine day. Entire affected species gone! Boom!
But unfortunately, the only problem is that all viruses/diseases harm/kill the victim after a cycle that starts when it enters the organism. So the universal "all in one boom" cant happen at a particular day as such.
Now, scientists have finally got half the solution of the perfect genocide.
Enter the GM mosquitoes!

Scientists have created infertile males which they will release in dengue affected areas. Females won’t produce offspring with these guys, even after mating with them. Studies have found that dengue-infected populations fell by 80%. The males are engineered to die off naturally, and females only mate within their species, so the GM traits are self-limiting.

Taking this one step further, the ideal solution is to have sexually transmitted infertility. Then we obtain Success. As this species is not monogamous, the infertility will spread and make the whole species infertile with no heirs whatsoever!
Welcome to the new age of genetically engineered totalitarian obliteration!

On the same lines, I just hope AIDS is not some kind of extermination planned by some aliens/external forces...

25 Promising products for 2011

3D is coming big! In multiple forms....from tv to thin monitors to camcorders...
What else?
* A "sensational" device that will send vibrations through your body via the chest which will let you feel gunshot wounds and T-Rex footfalls while watching movies/playing games.
*Then there is the technologically advanced solar panels in wrappable & rollable form and almost as thick as a plastic sheet.
* The carbon nanomotor
* Mobile Fuel cells
* Genetically modified Mosquitoes
* And then a car :)
See the full list and descriptions at http://www.businesspundit.com/25-most-promising-products-for-2011/

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stop losing yourself

Here is what former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh has written in one of his sharpest blog comments on his association with Mulayam Singh Yadav: “I used to think that the most painful thing in life is losing the one you value the most. But I have realised the most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of valuing someone who is so non-deserving. My love to all my erstwhile non-deserving friends for setting me free from their all kinds of burdens and responsibilities. May God give them sense”.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

3d illusions

All this and many more 3D illusions here:

The omnipresence

Oh boy! Do I love that suprised question: "How do you know this? Where did you get this?" and they keep wondering and thinking... :P

Twice this week: one with a friend and another with my cousin.
Giving people information about their near and dear ones that they didnt know is indeed very amusing and interesting :)

Indian mobile handset market

Nokia, Blackberry, Apple, Motorala, Philips, Panasonic, Sony Erricsson, Microsoft, Samsung, LG, HTC, Palm, Micromax, G'Five, Spice, Karbonn, iNQ, Zen, Lava, Lemon, Alcatel, Fly mobile, Olive.....If competition is not enough now there is Dell, Victor, AKAI, Sansui and Sharp mobile handsets are also entering the heavily congested Indian mobile handset market. And there is still more to come....Jaipan, Kokatta based Supertonics, Weston and Microtek are going to be next entrants. With each newbie company projecting a market share of 5% in the intial year itself and being in top 10 players in a few years and the biggies projecting higher market shares in the coming years, I wonder who is being realistic. How long will this mania last? Is this growth external or for the next 10/15 years? Finally, has the mobile handset degraded from a white goods consumer electronic product to an FMCG (Fast Mover Consumer Goods) product like shampoo/toothpaste?

What's surprising is that each newbie plans to enter the market with 10 handsets by the end of the year. All of them outsource all the manufacturing to China and have similar business models, similar features, similar distribution (here or there) and similar price ranges. I dont think any of these newbies have any real vision or to be in the handset market for the next 2 or 3 decades.

Blog tips


Printing a blog

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The relationship between beauty and employment

Are good-looking people more likely to get jobs? That depends whether you’re talking about men or women, according to a new working paper. From the abstract:
"Job applicants in Europe and in Israel increasingly imbed a headshot of themselves in the top corner of their CVs. We sent 5,312 CVs in pairs to 2,656 advertised job openings. In each pair, one CV was without a picture while the second, otherwise almost identical CV contained a picture of either an attractive male/female or a plain-looking male/female.Employer callbacks to attractive men are significantly higher than to men with no picture and to plain-looking men, nearly doubling the latter group. Strikingly, attractive women do not enjoy the same beauty premium. In fact, women with no picture have a significantly higher rate of callbacks than attractive or plain-looking women. We explore a number of explanations and provide evidence that female jealousy of attractive women in the workplace is a primary reason for the punishment of attractive women."
Previous research, however, has found that good-looking female workers receive higher raises than their plain or ugly counterparts.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ear fitting Earphones

I have constantly got a little iritated by the ill-fitting APPLE white round earphones. The  circumference of these kinds of earphones are much bigger than most ear holes of people I know. Over the last few years a few comfortable (somewhat!) earphones have been developed. Like this rubber ended earphones that will flex itself to the shape of the earhole (My suggestion: this should be more conical for fitting perfectly to any ear).
Here are a few innovative/fashionable/stylish earphones I found on the net:
Some more of such earphones can be found here:

But what I want is some odd shaped earphones that will fit my earhole perfectly and not just pop out if I move my head:
More like this:
Time to make earphones a genuine accessory - a display of your personality.... Opportunity still there for some big phone company focusing on music phones to stand out and attract huge customers. 
I guess some fashion designer, marketing guy, creative guys and some engineers (engineers with focus on functionality and ergonomics, not the sound engineers) are needed in the companies making the simple and revolutionary earphones.
Also, the earphones should get smaller and be embedded in some sort of a earplug type of thing to get the perfect  fit for the ear.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Digital Name hijackers

There is only a very limited number of common names and english words in this world. And the first movers (that is our generation) is lucky to get a name for ourselves so easily. Say an email account of your precise name you want or the blog site or the website with the right words to describe your blog. Some in our generation aren't all that lucky also. I also am a victim of Digital name hijacking. After quite some time of thinking when I started my blog, I wanted my blog site to be named "thinkdifferent.blogspot.com", as I felt it was appropriate at that point of time. But that name was already occupied. Being occupied is not hijacking, but the creator of that blog just had one or two blogposts in all for years together. And thats what I call Name Hijacking. No use for anybody and still permanently occupied not allowing anyone else to use it either.
The same has been used as a great business model to make money by several people. Domain name sitters/hijackers get all the probable names of upcoming companies/organisations  or organisations that don't have an online presence till now registered and then demand a ransom to let go of these names to the companies. There is good amount of money to be made in this business and knowledge of SEO(search engine optimisation) can only help this business model further. All this business model needs is some students with idle time and some pocket money with some imagination. Well, I guess this post is a rant starting somewhere and ending somewhere else(probably due to the background songs and simultaneous chatting).

Multi-functional Belts

Emergency Toolkit Belt

A bottle/beer opener belt

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Love - An irresistible desire

"Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired." -- Robert Frost

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Apple school

Ad seen on a Breach Candy bus stop:
A great differentiator indeed! But is it secretly selecting only rich kids? Can an Apple enabled learner be better at studies?


According to this logic, I can kill someone or do any crime I want and then promise to not do it again if I am forgiven. WTH?

On a slightly different note, after reading an account on the 26/11 terrorist who got overwhelmed by the spaciousness of the Taj Hotel while he was to put it on fire(as per commands of his commander), I was wondering the following scenario. Suppose say the fellow calls for a negotiation with the government and asks for a lawyer and demands that all his crimes to be irrevocably pardoned and he be given a posh permanent residence in the country in lieu of not harming anyone anymore and giving all details about his crime. Is this 1. Rational, 2. Justifiable to the govt for an agreeable settlement, 3. Govt's response tenable in the court of law ?
What do you think?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Passing it over

Has it ever happened in a cricket test match that a team has passed its innings?
Let me explain with an example. In the current test match between West Indies and Sri Lanka in Galle, WI batted first and scored 580-9 declared. In response, Sri Lanka batted and finished with 378 all out, just 4 runs short of avoiding a follow-on. If Sri Lanka had scored 4 or slightly more runs and got all out and if the WI felt that the remaining excess runs is enough along with the time available to not bat at all, but pass the second innings and make Sri Lanka bat again, is this possible? Has anything of this type of confidence/arrogance/necessity ever happened before?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Being Computer savvy

Being computer savvy means being able to do all the regular things and even some irregular things given some time on the computer. The key trick to being computer savvy is just two things. One, having some computer savvy friends and the other, having a good searching skill (in short googling). The first involves taking about your problems with your savvy friend and the his/her telling you of a similar problem they or someone they know faced and how they resolved it. It also involves enthusiatically discussing you about the latest happenings/developments/updates/new softwares/new functionalities - basically arming yourself with knowledge.

The second part, "googling", seems simple for a newbie, but an experienced person knows how difficult it is to get when you are looking at a particular thing from a particular view. That is the art of searching. One needs to think like the code or the machine on what keywords it would have stored for the searches and with which keywords would you hit the right link/topic. Yes, it is a kind of trial and error, more appropriately put, it is an educated and calculated guess. Being creative helps. Giving alternative keywords, adding descriptions, country location, authors name, popular news sites, etc are all the right moves/filters to get the thing you need. Somehow, this is a skill that is not taught or even recognised by anyone despite its needs being immense. Only a manager/friend will know the benefits of having a person who is super fast in getting you the right information immediately by "simple" googling.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Generating Alpha - Indian Mutual fund Industry

I am surprised that so many mutual funds know so much about the industry they work in and have enough good relationships with the companies' management to give them accurate information about their financing and profit numbers, not to mention where their industry is heading, what their competition is doing and what are the risks they are facing. The research reports I see are really good to read and understand too. But why is it that such informed fund managers not able to produce an alpha (Alpha is a risk-adjusted measure of the so-called active return on an investment. In short, the higher the Alpha, the better the fund managers stock picking skills). The Indian mutual fund industry has missed out on two good rallies one in 2009 and one this year. I see a systemic problem here. They never seem to know when the tide is coming and are constantly caught unawares. The current Indian mutual funds work mostly in a bottom-up approach (I am not refering to the top-down or bottom-up way with respect to sectors and the indian economy, but the bottom I am refering to is the Indian economy and sectors and stocks while the top refers to the global economy). Despite the fact and the characteristic of the Indian stock market that the majority of the investors's money comes from abroad, the mutual fund managers do not give enough importance to the money flow from abroad. They just believe in buying the right stocks and wait till the tide comes and the stocks rise. Though they the mutual funds talk about foreign money and majorly do secondary reasearch on international research reports, I dont think they are talking to foreign portfolio managers and FIIs who are putting and pulling money out of the Indian markets. If the fund managers understand the FIIs concerns and understanding and get the pulse of their investing mood/climate, they can buy stocks just before the tide is going to come and get out before the tide goes back, generating alpha for the investors.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Justify anything a.k.a/via Contradictory proverbs

Its real funny, surprising and amusing that you can always reason out why you want to do something or why others should do something. Like for example: if you prefer to do something patiently and with a lot of thought and carefulness, and somebody asks you why are you doing it so slowly, you answer back "slow and steady wins the race". On the other hand if we were the other person getting bugged by the slowness, we argue "time and tide wait for none".
It is surprising that almost every proverb we know has an opposite proverb matching it.
Once we see the other side of things and appreciate the logic, you will come to the only conclusion "There is no real one right thing for anything"
Go ahead, read these contradictory proverbs:

All good things come to those who wait BUT Time and tide wait for no man.
The pen is mightier than the sword BUT Actions speak louder than words.
Wise men think alike BUT Fools seldom differ.
The best things in life are free things BUT There's no such thing as a free lunch.
Slow and steady wins the race BUT Time waits for no man.
Look before you leap BUT Strike while the iron is hot.
Do it well, or not at all BUT Half a loaf is better than none.
Birds of a feather flock together BUT Opposites attract.
Don't cross your bridges before you come to them BUT Forewarned is forearmed.

Doubt is the beginning of wisdom BUT Faith will move mountains.
Great starts make great finishes BUT It ain't over 'till it's over.
Practice makes perfect BUT All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Silence is golden BUT The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
You're never too old to learn BUT You can't teach an old dog new tricks
What's good for the goose is good for the gander BUT One man's food is another man's poison.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder BUT Out of sight, out of mind.
Too many cooks spoil the broth BUT Many hands make light work.

Hold fast to the words of your ancestors BUT Wise men make proverbs and fools repeat them.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sharing files

In case you want to transfer files over the internet without having to upload anything, here are a couple of softwares (I have not transferred anything yet though)
www.kkloud.com - enables people to send files directly from your browser.
www.dushare.com - Real time peer to peer file transfers

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Time Machines

A facebook message:
"Memories, Dreams, and Love .... I believe they are all 'time-machines' in essence.....don't you think so?

Memories take us back in time.
Dreams propel us ahead of time. 
And Love, well, ... it freezes the time :)  "

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Changing the Life insurance game in India in one masterstroke

There is a great big market opportunity for one of the life insurance players in India to become get a good big market share pie and tap the untapped markets. They need to unsettle the market just as Tata Docomo radicalised the telecom market with the 1paise/second plan. Everyone knows that there is a huge market for life insurance in India but none of the existing insurance players are taking the strategy of large volumes and lower commisions as in the best and purest form of life insurance called term insurance. Today when people talk of life insurance, people's first recall is LIC or rather LIC is the synonym of investments and life insurance together. The company which is willing to go the term insurance path can show that the benefit of low insurance costs for huge amounts of sums insured and can easily attract people. As many Indians are too stuck up with the idea of getting something back, they can show an advertisement of how somebody buys a car/bike insurance without a second thought for saving his/her bike, but when it comes to their own life, they dont seem to be concerned about the family in case of the loss of the earning member. The potent combination of low premium costs and likening it to auto insurance can get the middle class out of the rut of LIC's highly agent driven (read brainwashing) customers.

Now, only if someone out there is listening!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whacky insurance policies

Whacky insurance policies go beyond insuring one's precious backside for millions of $$$.
Here are some really exotic insurance policies taken.
Immaculate Conception: Three Scottish virgins were so convinced that God might impregnate them that they took out a policy that would pay them $1.5 million if it happened.

Chest Hair: An unknown celebrity asked an insurance company to insure his manly chest rug for $7 million. Alas, he never took out the policy.

Giant Crab: When the Birmingham Sea Life aquarium took possession of a gigantic Japanese spider crab measuring 10-feet across, they assured the public wasn't dangerous-then took out a $1.5 million policy against visitor death or dismemberment.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The After effects!!

With Apple patenting an application for blocking sexy/filthy text from the phones, I guess the number of words having alternate meanings is only going to increase...
Just like when we were young, Rubber meant eraser; Ass meant Donkey; Gay meant Happy; Straight meant Linear; Making Out meant Logical Deduction; Laying meant Setting aside, Cock meant Rooster; Pussy meant Cat; Stag meant a male Deer, A Tit was always for Tat.....

The Green Lake

Underwater park: A diver thinks about a sit down beneath the Green Lake
Tunnel vision: This diver swims between two bushes in the crystal clear water
Alpine adventure: The lake is a well-known hiking destination and water levels have been steadily rising over the years

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New terms for new sensations

Bell's Law of Telephony: No matter what technology is used, your monthly phone bill magically remains about the same size.

Denarration: The process whereby one's life stops feeling like a story.

Instant Reincarnation: The fact that most adults, no matter how great their life is, wish for radical change in their life. The urge to reincarnate while still alive is near universal.

Intravincular Familial Silence: We need to be around our families not because we have so many shared experiences to talk about, but because they know precisely which subjects to avoid.

Intraffinital Melancholy vs Extraffinital Melancholy: Which is lonelier: To be single and lonely, or to be lonely within a dead relationship?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Organised systemic cheating

You can call it cheating or disrespect purposeful ignorance, but certainly not innocent. A lot of big companies say a lot of big stuff but when it comes to practice, they are trying to shortchange you and certainly not what they promise. Recent experiences of Nokia, Tata Indicom, pizza shops and hotels prove this.

My new mobile from Nokia went dead in two weeks and I gave it to their service center at Mumbai. After a week they tell me that the mobile which was repaired in Delhi has come back and it is still dead. So they will send it back to Delhi. The next week they promptly tell me to come and pick up my handset. After waiting for half hr in the line, I see them inserting the battery into a phone whose colour is different from the one I had given. Now I have asked for the same couloured repplacement or I am not taking delivery. Are they doing door delivery service or rather their disservice? I am still paying for my time and money spent travelling to their service center and waiting in line, not to mention the time spent to configure the new phone.

Tata Photon plus is even more slower in service. They cancelled a post-paid to prepaid connection change as they wanted an address proof. They have the address proof in the post paid and yet wanted another one for prepaid. After a month and threatening them to take them to consumer court, the issues have been resolved (for the time being).

This is something I fail to understand. Why do companies prefer to have an old incorrect address rather than have a new address where the customer is verified when they operate an all India network and distribution facilities?

Another instance where the dongle (any usb internet access device) sellers cheat is that they sell you the dongle and wont refund the money for the dongle when we close the connection. My friend tells me that he read some TRAI regulation that they should reimburse the money when the device is returned back, but the low down company people will only say, taking back is not part of company policy.

Some hotels and many a Pizza shops are a great set of cheaters. They charge service charge on their bills of as high as 10% of the bill. Some bigger cheats put this 10% on the amount after tax (which means they are charging service tax of 10% on the tax amount too). Scam of the first order. Only governments can charge charges on the tax. Fortunately, someone I distantly know has approached the high court and the pizza company has been ordered to change their system and not charge service charge on the tax amount.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Interesting Tweets on Ayodhya Verdict

Mohak: Indian wins big outsourcing contract! Jerusalem, Palestine, Israel issue to be resolved by Allahabad High Court!!!!
Puneetnaik: what if these Nirmohi Akhara guys sell their land to some Catholics. We will have a Amar, Akbar, Anthony moment there.

BeingSamee: Verdict on the Ayodhya Issue is What I call a Threesome!

Shivya: Today will go down in history as the day the existence of God was proved in Allahabad High Court.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

For the high flyers

This site id good for knowing the best, the broken and the bad seats in the plane. Choose your seat well, well in advance.

This site is very good for telling the actual departure delays and weather info in departure and arrival airports.

Paratrooper experience counts

With terrorists thinking of using low end tech and newer ways to attack public places, who knew that experience of playing that early 1990s game of Paratrooper on Windows computers would be so much valuable.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Encountering the third kind

Walking on Marine drive, I just escaped getting into an encounter of the third kind. But some others werent so lucky. The busy couples were so busy doing what they were doing and just didnt see it coming. Then it started. The acts, the begging, the blessings and even the haggling. But I indeed wonder, what would be the best response that would not only get rid of the 'problem' but make all involved happy and smile. Imagine you are on a romantic date on and suddenly encountered with the people called 'chakas', what do you think would be a response that will make you sound nice in front of your special one, make the intruder happy and you too at the end of the day?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The difference glasses make

Know your scarcity

The critical thing about the design process is to identify your scarcest resource. Despite what you may think, that very often is not money. For example, in a NASA moon shot, money is abundant but lightness is scarce; every ounce of weight requires tons of material below. On the design of a beach vacation home, the limitation may be your ocean-front footage. You have to make sure your whole team understands what scarce resource you’re optimizing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Revenge v/s Aim

If a person wrongs you intentionally or otherwise, you can either leave it and carry on with your more important things in your life or take revenge in a variety of ways(scheming, embarrasing, character assasination, confront him, etc). But if a company wrongs you by way of making losses(intentionally by fraud or otherwise), you cant take revenge in any effective manner. The company cant make up the money it has lost of its shareholders just because you didnt like it making losses. At maximum, you can try to change the management with your shareholder vote or shout at the shareholder's meeting or sell the stock and get out.
The best way to respond in the stock market for a company that has made losses for you is to dump it if you dont see any future prospect of it making profits and carry on with your life with other important things and opportunities. 
Everyone enters into the stock market with the aim of growing their portfolio/money/assets, but many of us hold back selling the loss making stock and want it to make up for the loss it has made. Sorry to dissapoint you, but get your emotions out of investing and start thinking logically. Dont forget that no one can take revenge on companies in the stock market and it would be fool hardy to be there holding the loss making company shares just to take revenge or blindly being hopeful on it. Dont miss the other opportunities while crying over spilt milk!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why I hate (many) Marketers

From when did babies start having 3 different life STAGES? I thought babies/kids was one life stage.

Lets see how Johnson's does it:
Three Life stages:
New born, Baby & Toddler.

New Born:
Head to toe baby wash, Baby lotion, Baby shampoo, Baby oil, Head to Toe foaming wash, Head to Toe fragrance free baby lotion.

Baby LotionHEAD-TO-TOE® Baby WashBaby PowderMoisture Care Baby WashBaby BarBEDTIME® BathBEDTIME® Baby Bubble Bath & WashBaby Bubble Bath & WashVanilla Oatmeal Baby WashSoothing Vapor Baby BathHoney Apple Baby WashBaby CreamBEDTIME® LotionShea & Cocoa Butter Baby LotionVanilla Oatmeal Baby LotionBaby Lotion with Aloe Vera & Vitamin EBaby Daily Face & Body Lotion SPF 40Baby Shampoo with Natural LavenderBaby Oil with Aloe Vera & Vitamin EBaby Oil LavenderBaby Oil GelBaby Oil Gel with Shea and Cocoa ButterBaby Oil Gel with Aloe Vera & Vitamin EBaby Creamy Oil Cocoa & Shea ButterBaby Creamy Oil Aloe Vera & Vitamin EBaby Powder Calming Lavender & ChamomileBaby Powder Medicated with Aloe & Vitamin E MedicatedBaby Powder Pure Cornstarch with Aloe Vera & Vitamin EBaby Cologne.

Baby PowderBaby BarBEDTIME® BathBEDTIME® Baby Bubble Bath & WashBaby Bubble Bath & WashSoothing Vapor Baby BathHoney Apple Baby WashBaby LotionBaby Daily Face & Body Lotion SPF 40, NO MORE TANGLES® ShampooNO MORE TANGLES® Extra Conditioning ShampooNO MORE TANGLES® Detangling SprayNO MORE TANGLES® Leave-in Conditioner, , Baby Oil with Aloe Vera & Vitamin EBaby Oil LavenderBaby Oil GelBaby Oil Gel with Shea and Cocoa ButterBaby Oil Gel with Aloe Vera & Vitamin EBaby Creamy Oil Cocoa & Shea ButterBaby Creamy Oil Aloe Vera & Vitamin EBaby Powder Calming Lavender & ChamomileBaby Powder Medicated with Aloe & Vitamin E MedicatedBaby Powder Pure Cornstarch with Aloe Vera & Vitamin EBaby CologneBUDDIES® Moisturizing Body WashBUDDIES® NO MORE TANGLES® Easy-Comb 2-in-1 ShampooBUDDIES® NO MORE TANGLES® DetanglerBUDDIES® Easy-Grip Sudzing BarKIDS® HEAD-TO-TOE® Body Wash Tropical BlastKIDS® E-Z GRIP SOAP™ Berry BreezeKIDS® NO MORE TANGLES® Detangling Spray STRAWBERRY SENSATION™! If you have read all these so far, I congratulate you for your sense of detail or boredom!

Can any normal mother tell me what on earth all these products are for and how many of them are  DIFFERENT... like the difference between baby cream/ baby lotion, baby wash/ bedtime bath/ baby bubble bath & wash/ bedtime baby bubble bath & wash and so on and so forth...

FMCG Marketing at its wits (or otherwise)....and so called Innovations!

If the mother starts using all these products, I wonder if she will have any time for anything else and if she will end up being a good masseuse or complain of hand pain!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Imagination meets Reality

At the northern hemisphere....

The starting cycle of life

The first moments in the adult life of a newly-hatched mosquito are captured by these macro images taken by photographer brothers Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas
Slowly emerging from the water, over the course of five minutes the mosquito gradually adjusts to life in the outside world
Life span: Measuring up to 16mm in length, the mosquitoes live for anywhere up to one month

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1290526/Mosquito-emerges-deep-adult-life-outside-world.html#ixzz0sM4OsKAy



Seen behind a T-shirt:
Batch 09
"Your mind is my business"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Society's changing address

When our generation was young and in school, we all used to call all people even slightly elder to us as "bhaiya/didi" (north India) or "anna/akka" (south India). Even people who were a year older were called like that and if people below your age call you only by your name, that would be disrespectful. Times have changed. Now people prefer to be called only by their names with no suffixes even by people twenty years younger. There are two possible reasons for this: People are more age conscious and more international exposure/norms. The first is obvious when my female friend and cousin sister dont want to be called aunties by even their 4 yr old niece/nephews. Maybe the popular image of an aunty is a 40 yr old with enough girth that even a baby elephant gets inferiority complex.
The second is perhaps because of the software companies' culture wherein people are addressed only by their first names mostly.
Just an observation and hence no conclusion!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Creating value

Story 1:
How to sell off a dead donkey
A city boy, Kenny, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day. The next day the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died last night."
Kenny replied: "Well then, just give me my money back."
The farmer said: "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."
Kenny said: "OK then, just unload the donkey.."
The farmer asked: "What ya gonna do with him?"
Kenny: "I'm going to raffle him off." (Note: To raffle is to sell a thing by lottery - draw lot - to a group of people each paying the same amount for a ticket)
Farmer: "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"
Kenny: "Sure I can. Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead."
A month later the farmer met up with Kenny and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?" Kenny: "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898.00."
Farmer: "Didn't anyone complain?"
Kenny: "Just the guy who won. So I gave him back his two dollars."

Story 2:
A company has a debt of say 100 units and equity of 100. It splits up the company into 5 companies: 4 are debtless and the other takes all the debt. The one with excess debt shuts down and the other 4 companies take on more debt, do an IPO and prosper. Result: Tremendous value created for shareholders!

Moral: How many of you guys participated in things (eg:smsed to tv serials) thinking things are straight forward and were ignorant?
How come fooling people seems to be a very sustainable source of value creation?
I leave it to you to think it over...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Women are very obedient!

The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience.
Charles Sheridan and Richard King hypothesized that some of Milgram's subjects may have suspected that the victim was faking, so they repeated the experiment with a real victim: a puppy who was given real electric shocks. They found that 20 out of the 26 participants complied to the end. The six that had refused to comply were all male (54% of males were obedient); all 13 of the women obeyed to the end, although many were highly disturbed and some openly wept.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Time by Pink Floyd

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day 
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rise above

"You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like" - Layer cake

Friday, June 4, 2010

Good cop - bad cop strategy

The latest happenings with JMM political party in Jharkand has many of the same traits as that of what JD(S) done a few months back to BJP( yet again!) in Karnataka. Say yes, say no, say maybe and keep the other party frustrated and guessing. These political outfits played good cop - bad cop with the other party and no one knows who is to be believed and who is the decision maker. Trying to straddle (eat & keep the cake too) is the main motivation for these kingmakers. Who says you should be a major party to get handsome gains? In these days, the smaller ones make far more coalition governments with enough monisterial positions and horse-trading behind them. Ethics is something these parties dont know and cant expect them to share anything according to any unwritten rule (Even wriiten constutional rules and laws and openly flawed by politicians).
Coming back to the strategy, I have realised that this is one of the best strategies to use against someone to see what the other party will consider doing and to what extent under each of the conditiion. Call it testing the enemy's response to each of the scenarios and signals you give by playing both sides. From a personal experience I can tell you that this gets worse if the other party talks to you in a friendly manner and is emotionally blackmailing you by signalling consequences.

A free man

"A free man is one who has resolved his conflicts of interests."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Incredible Iran?

According to International Monetary Fund (IMF) figures, Iran is the sixteenth largest economy in the world, consistently enjoys healthy growth rates and trade balances, and has a low national debt burden. While Iran's real growth rate of around five per cent a year for close to a decade has far outpaced that of Western economies.
Despite having had one of the youngest populations in the world for the past two decades, the Iranian unemployment rate has stabilised at around 12 per cent since approximately a decade ago.

The country's economy is also one of the most diversified in the region, second only to that of Turkey.
Iran's petrochemical exports have grown 15-fold since 2000 and her steel and car manufacturing industries are the largest in the region with outward investments in several countries.

More importantly, Iran is among only a few countries learning to master high tech areas such nanotechnology, nuclear technology and space exploration. In addition, it has one of the most sophisticated military industries in the region, despite having one of the lowest military budgets.

The 2007 US sanctions against Iranian banks ironically ensured Iran's immunity from the global financial crisis that was about to explode. Moreover, and despite the sanctions, the net flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Iran has grown steadily too, save for the 2008-2009 blip. The EIU estimates that Iran's net FDI will rise by 100 per cent within the next four years.
Iran was among the few major economies in the world not to be severely affected by the crisis. Smaller banks from emerging economies, Islamic banking and less formal means of cross-border payments, including cash and 'hawala', provided the best protection for those who were kept out of the ailing Western banking system as a form of 'punishment'.

Iran's exports grew from $8.5bn in 1987 to $70bn in 2006, representing an 824 per cent increase.
Iran's exports have continued to grow since. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), they are expected to reach $82bn this year.

Iran's largest export market is Iraq, followed by China. As irony would have it, Iran's trade with both countries has grown exponentially since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The United Arab Emirates and Singapore have emerged as two of Iran's largest trading and foreign investment partners, although European countries as a group also form a substantial trade partner.

The Iranian government has responded to the increased costs by reducing other transaction costs for Iranian exporters. These include reduced freight costs and taxes for certain types of goods and greater use of expanded and improved free trade zones and special economic zones.
Iran has also set some ambitious targets for elevating her 'ease of doing business' ranking in the region. The index is a World Bank tool for comparing business environments across various countries, and Iran currently ranks in the mid-range compared to other countries in the region.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Keep those flight tickets

When you get so much free spaces on emails, spare some space for those old emailed flight tickets in your inbox. You never know when it will come in handy.
Take for instance, my aunt's case. She has travelled to UK a few times to meet her son who lives there. And then one day, she lost her passport in India. She applied for a new passport and got it and applied for a new visa for seeing her son in UK. The UK visa team rejected her application on the basis that they were not sure whether she returned back to India during the vaildity of the visa term or stayed back as an illegal immigrant after the proposed visa duration stay as the new passport lacked the immigration check seal of departure from UK. Although the UK's immigration department has details of my aunt's checking out of UK, the country's system puts the onus on the foreigner to prove that they left the country in time and didnt violate any rules. This is one of the ways the government tries to permanently avoid other people coming into their country.
To top this, the British Airliner says they keep information of passengers for only three months and since the travel was beyond that period, they cant give them a copy of the ticket or the confirmation of travel. I wonder how these same airlines and airports would have all the required information and recorded video of the passengers if the enquiring people were some anti-terrorist detectives.
The saving grace was that my aunt's son had a email copy of the ticket lying somewhere in his inbox which he found out.
Moral of the stroy: Despite feeling sometimes that an email/document(air tickets, bank accoubnt closing letter, bank account statements after closing a bank account) is a piece of junk i have to live with, one may never know when it will be a life saviour and where.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another Marketing gimmick

When you wish someone prosperity, isn't it for a lifetime? It doesnt seem so for marketers as usual. Five years ago, a common man in the city was unaware of an auspicious day called Akshaya Tritiya. Maybe people seeing star calenders knew about it and did whatever they did on those days. But suddenly, this day has become so conspicuous, unignorable and synonymous to buy gold on this auspicious day for prosperity with every jeweller advertising it. So I ask again: Does the prosperity the gold (supposedly) brings expire in one year and new gold have to be bought every year?