Saturday, July 31, 2010

10 Most Active VC Firms of 2010 (so far…)

We’re well into the second half of 2010, so I figured it was time to see which VC firms had been the most active so far this year.
No big surprises, except perhaps that Intel Capital nearly fell out of the Top 10. Or maybe that Redpoint Ventures, which ranked fourth when we did a similar post back in March, has dropped to #28.
What follows is from our VentureXpert database, based on global investment pace (MoneyTree numbers, on the other hand, are only for investments in U.S. companies). It only includes “institutional” VCs, as opposed to super-angels (some of whom would make the list). Per usual, just a reminder that money in doesn’t always correlate to money out…
1. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (54 different portfolio companies funded)
2. New Enterprise Associates (51)
3. Draper Fisher Jurvetson (47)
4. Polaris Venture Partners (38)
5. Venrock: (37)
6. Accel Partners (36)
6. North Bridge Venture Partners (36)
8. Canaan Partners (35)
9. Domain Associates (34)
9. Intel Capital (34)
Honorable Mentions: First Round Capital (33), Sequoia Capital (33) and U.S. Venture Partners (32)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Not by fines alone

NORFOLK (April 14, 2009) Terry Halvorsen, Nava...Image via Wikipedia
Cyber security needs holistic action.
It is welcome that the government is waking up to the requirement of cyber security, the proposal to levy a fine on any telecom operator that installs any piece of equipment containing any malicious capability, the amount of the fine being equal to the value of the contract through which the equipment was procured.

It is expected that the telecom operator would incorporate clauses in their contract with the equipment vendor to pass on the cost of the fine to the supplier. This is welcome as a minimum deterrent.

But much more needs to be done to safeguard our data networks that today embrace all kinds of vital infrastructure in energy, commerce, transport, governance, education, healthcare and finance, making them more efficient at lower cost, but also exposing them to data theft, manipulation and potential takeover of control by hostile actors.

These hostile actors could be states, states within states, or non-state actors who are lent technological capability by state actors. We need a comprehensive strategy, laws, budgets, professional cadres and dispersed awareness to secure the safety of our communication networks. But while these are being put in place, we cannot hold up expansion of the telecom network.

Hence, the current proposal to levy fines for breach of ethical standards and to mandate submission of source codes and design of equipment installed in the network are welcome. Now, physical equipment by itself cannot create a network.

Several overlays of software reside over the physical network to enable communication. The feasibility of mandating that the hardware and the software overlay be unbundled and sourced from separate, unconnected companies from different countries needs to be examined, even if it raises network costs a bit.
The internet was not designed for safety, the designers aspiring for a global commons where malice had no role. Software is not written with security in mind.

Engineering courses do not train students to integrate cyber security into the basic design and coding of software. All this must change. That calls for coordinated action on multiple fronts, including legislation, setting up new institutions for coordination, public-private partnership and, why not, creating markets for systemic cyber security.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Humor of the day - Lord, take pity on me

John was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up toward heaven, he said "Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of my life and give up tequila."

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

John looked up again and said,
"Never mind. I found one."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Manmohan Singh, current prime minister of India.Image via Wikipedia

Chief Executive of India
Title: Prime Minister
Name: Dr Manmohan Singh 
EDUCATION /Qualification:
1950: Stood first in BA (Hons), Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh ,
1952; Stood first in MA (Economics), Panjab University , Chandigarh,
1954; Wright's Prize for distinguished performance at St John's College,Cambridge,
1955 and 1957; Wrenbury scholar, University of Cambridge ,
1957; DPhil (Oxford), DLitt (Honoris Causa); PhD thesis on India's export competitiveness

Working Experience [Teaching] Professor (Senior lecturer, Economics, 1957-59;
Reader, Economics, 1959-63;
Professor, Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1963-65;
Professor, International Trade, Delhi School of Economics,Universit y of Delhi , 1969-71;
Honorary professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University,New Delhi, 1976 and Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi,1996 and Civil Servant

Working Experience [INTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS] : 1966: Economic Affairs Officer
1966-69: Chief, financing for trade section, UNCTAD
1972-74: Deputy for India in IMF Committee of Twenty on International Monetary Reform
1977-79: Indian delegation to Aid-India Consortium Meetings
1980-82: Indo-Soviet joint planning group meeting
1982: Indo-Soviet monitoring group meeting
1993: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Cyprus 1993: Human Rights World Conference, Vienna 
Working Experience [Government Positions]: 
1971-72: Economic advisor, ministry of foreign trade
1972-76: Chief economic advisor, ministry of finance
1976-80:  - Director, Reserve Bank of India; Director, Industrial Development Bank of India;
               - Alternate governor for India , Board of governors , Asian Development Bank;
               - Alternate governor for India, Board of governors, IBRD
               - November 1976 - April 1980: Secretary, ministry of finance (Department of economic affairs);
               - Member, finance, Atomic Energy Commission ; Member,finance, Space Commission
April 1980 - September 15, 1982: Member-secretary, Planning Commission
1980-83: Chairman, India Committee of the Indo-Japan joint study committee
September 16, 1982 - January 14 , 1985: Governor, Reserve Bank of India.
1982-85: Alternate Governor for India, Board of governors, International Monetary Fund
1983-84: Member, economic advisory council to the Prime Minister
1985: President, Indian Economic Association
January 15 , 1985 - July 31, 1987: Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission
August 1, 1987 - November 10, 1990: Secretary-general and commissioner, south commission, Geneva
December 10 , 1990 - March 14, 1991: Advisor to the Prime Minister on economic affairs
March 15, 1991 - June 20, 1991: Chairman, UGC
June 21, 1991 - May 15, 1996: Union finance minister
October 1991: Elected to Rajya Sabha from Assam on Congress ticket
June 1995: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha
1996 onwards: Member, Consultative Committee for the ministry of finance
August 1, 1996 - December 4 , 1997: Chairman, Parliamentary standing committee on commerce
March 21, 1998 onwards: Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha
June 5, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on finance
August 13, 1998 onwards: Member, committee on rules
Aug 1998-2001: Member, committee of privileges 2000 onwards: Member,
executive committee, Indian parliamentary group
June 2001: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha
Aug 2001 onwards: Member, general purposes committee
2004: Prime Minister of India
BOOKS: India 's Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth -Clarendon Press, Oxford University , 1964;
also published a large number of articles in various economic journals .

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Adam Smith Prize , University of Cambridge, 1956
Padma Vibhushan , 1987
Euro money Award, Finance Minister of the Year, 1993;
Asia money Award, Finance Minister of the Year for Asia , 1993 and 1994 
Now, think and decide who will save Pakistan?
Chief Executive of Pakistan
Title: President of Pakistan
Name: Asif Ali Zardari

EDUCATION /Qualification:
High School from Cadet College Petaro
Details of higher formal education not known; Claims graduation from London but not available to be verified. As per some account. His official biography says he attended a commercial college called Pedinton School . But a search of tertiary educational institutions in London showed no such school.

Working Experience:
Early days: Working at the family owned Bambino Cinema at Karachi . Some accuse Mr Zardari of small-time ticket frauds to steal money from the family business.
Up till 1987 marriage to the future Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto): No record.
1988 to date: While no official record of any business exists, Mr Zardari is widely believed to be one of the (if not the) richest man in Pakistan . An unofficial list of family owned businesses, property and accounts exists but the completeness of the same cannot be verified. Mr Zardari has however been involved in various national and international cases relating to his businesses. The most significant European cases are a Swiss money-laundering inquiry and a British civil cases.

Working Experience [Politics]:
1988-1990: Husband of the Prime Minister
1993-1996: Minister of Environment during his wife's second term as the Prime Minister
Un till 1999: Senator
30 December 2007: Appointed himself as the co-chairman of the PPP, along with his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
September 9, 2008: Zardari was elected president of Pakistan . Sworn in by Abdul Hameed Dogar, whose position as the Chiefe Justice of Pakistan remains a contested issue by an overwhelming majority of the Pakistani legal fraternity.
Working Experience [Other]:
Other experience of Mr Zardari includes his widely believed but not proven involvement in
- Several murders - most famously of his brother in law, possibly his wife
- Wrapping  a bomb to the leg of a famous UK businessman to ask for money
- Embezzlement & looting of Billions of Pakistan's wealth
None on record
Marrying the then future and now ex (RIP) Prime Minister of Pakistan
Only serving politician to have spent 10 years in Jail
Told the US VP Candidate that she is "gorgeous" and said : "Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you". When the photographers asked the two to keep shaking hands, he replied : " If he insists, I might hug you". This was one day after the President delivered an emotional speech at the UN in new York waiving a photograph of his deceased wife only months after the murder of his wife.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wanna Become The Next Warren Buffett.....Simply Follow The Steps....

With an estimated fortune of $62 billion, Warren Buffett is the richest man in the entire world. In 1962, when he began buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway, a share cost $7.50. Today, Warren Buffett, 78, is Berkshire's chairman and CEO, and one share of the company's class A stock worth close to $119,000. He credits his astonishing success to several key strategies, which he has shared.
Here are some of Warren Buffett's money-making secrets -- and how they could work for you.

1. Reinvest Your Profits: 

When you first make money, you may be tempted to spend it. Don't. Instead, reinvest the profits. Warren Buffett learned this early on. In high school, he and a pal bought a pinball machine to pun in a barbershop

With the money they earned, they bought more machines until they had eight in different shops. When the friends sold the venture, Warren Buffett used the proceeds to buy stocks and to start another small business. By age 26, he'd amassed $174,000 -- or $1.4 million in today's money. Even a small sum can turn into great wealth.

2. Be Willing To Be Different:

Don't base your decisions upon what everyone is saying or doing. When Warren Buffett began managing money in 1956 with $100,000 cobbled together from a handful of investors, he was dubbed an oddball. He worked in Omaha, not Wall Street, and he refused to tell his parents where he was putting their money.

People predicted that he'd fail, but when he closed his partnership 14 years later, it was worth more than $100 million. Instead of following the crowd, he looked for undervalued investments and ended up vastly beating the market average every single year. To Warren Buffett, the average is just that -- what everybody else is doing. to be above average, you need to measure yourself by what he calls the Inner Scorecard, judging yourself by your own standards and not the world's.

3. Never Suck Your Thumb: Gather in advance any information you need to make a decision, and ask a friend or relative to make sure that you stick to a deadline. Warren Buffett prides himself on swiftly making up his mind and acting on it. He calls any unnecessary sitting and thinking "thumb sucking." When people offer him a business or an investment, he says, "I won't talk unless they bring me a price." He gives them an answer on the spot.

4. Spell Out The Deal Before You Start:

Your bargaining leverage is always greatest before you begin a job -- that's when you have something to offer that the other party wants. Warren Buffett learned this lesson the hard way as a kid, when his grandfather Ernest hired him and a friend to dig out the family grocery store after a blizzard. The boys spent five hours shoveling until they could barely straighten their frozen hands.

Afterward, his grandfather gave the pair less than 90 cents to split. Warren Buffett was horrified that he performed such backbreaking work only to earn pennies an hour. Always nail down the specifics of a deal in advance -- even with your friends and relatives.

5. Watch Small Expenses:

Warren Buffett invests in businesses run by managers who obsess over the tiniest costs. He one acquired a company whose owner counted the sheets in rolls of 500-sheet toilet paper to see if he was being cheated (he was). He also admired a friend who painted only on the side of his office building that faced the road.
Exercising vigilance over every expense can make your profits -- and your paycheck -- go much further.

6. Limit What You Borrow:

Living on credit cards and loans won't make you rich. Warren Buffett has never borrowed a significant amount -- not to invest, not for a mortgage. He has gotten many heart-rendering letters from people who thought their borrowing was manageable but became overwhelmed by debt.
His advice: Negotiate with creditors to pay what you can. Then, when you're debt-free, work on saving some money that you can use to invest.
7. Be Persistent:

With tenacity and ingenuity, you can win against a more established competitor. Warren Buffett acquired the Nebraska Furniture Mart in 1983 because he liked the way its founder, Rose Blumkin, did business. A Russian immigrant, she built the mart from a pawnshop into the largest furniture store in North America. Her strategy was to undersell the big shots, and she was a merciless negotiator.
To Warren Buffett, Rose embodied the unwavering courage that makes a winner out of an underdog.

8. Know When To Quit:

Once, when Warren Buffett was a teen, he went to the racetrack. He bet on a race and lost. To recoup his funds, he bet on another race. He lost again, leaving him with close to nothing. He felt sick -- he had squandered nearly a week's earnings. Warren Buffett never repeated that mistake. Know when to walk away from a loss, and don't let anxiety fool you into trying again.

9. Assess The Risk  In 1995, the employer of Warren Buffett's son, Howie, was accused by the FBI of price-fixing. Warren Buffett advised Howie to imagine the worst-and-best-case scenarios if he stayed with the company. His son quickly realized that the risks of staying far outweighed any potential gains, and he quit the next day. Asking yourself "and then what?" can help you see all of the possible consequences when you're struggling to make a decision -- and can guide you to the smartest choice.

10. Know What Success Really Means: 

Despite his wealth, Warren Buffett does not measure success by dollars. In 2006, he pledged to give away almost his entire fortune to charities, primarily the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He's adamant about not funding monuments to himself -- no Warren Buffett buildings or halls. "I know people who have a lot of money," he says, "and they get testimonial dinners and hospital wings named after them.
But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. When you get to my age, you'll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That's the ultimate test of how you've lived your life."

So, my dear friends hope this article will bring out the Warren Buffett in you. Happy & Safe Investing...

Quotations by the World Business Leader – Steve Jobs

1. Steve Jobs Said: A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.

2. Steve Jobs Said: Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

3. Steve Jobs Said: Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.

4. Steve Jobs Said: Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

5. Steve Jobs Said: Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

6. Steve Jobs Said: I think we're having fun. I think our customers really like our products. And we're always trying to do better.

7. Steve Jobs Said: In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.

8. Steve Jobs Said: Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower

9. Steve Jobs Said: So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'

10. Steve Jobs Said: Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

11. Steve Jobs Said: The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.

12. Steve Jobs Said: You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new. 

13. Steve Jobs Said: Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. 

14. Steve Jobs Said: I'm the only person I know that's lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year.... It's very character-building.

Apple Confidential 2.0
15. Steve Jobs Said: I'm as proud of what we don't do as I am of what we do.

Business Week
15. Steve Jobs Said: Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.

Business Week

 15. Steve Jobs Said: I've always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do.

Business Week Online, Oct. 12, 2004

15. Steve Jobs Said: It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much.

Business Week Online, Oct. 12, 2004

16. Steve Jobs Said: It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.

Business Week, May 25 1998

17. Steve Jobs Said: Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.

Fortune, Nov. 9, 1998

18. Steve Jobs Said: Insanely Great!

His description for the Macintosh Computer

19. Steve Jobs Said: I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

Interview, 1995

20. Steve Jobs Said: It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy.

Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple

21. Steve Jobs Said: It's rare that you see an artist in his 30s or 40s able to really contribute something amazing.

Playboy, February 1985

22. Steve Jobs Said: I feel like somebody just punched me in the stomach and knocked all my wind out. I'm only 30 years old and I want to have a chance to continue creating things. I know I've got at least one more great computer in me. And Apple is not going to give me a chance to do that.

Playboy September 1987
23. Steve Jobs Said: I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

Stanford University commencement address, June 12, 2005
24. Steve Jobs Said: Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?

The line he used to lure John Sculley as Apple's CEO

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bill Gates’ 10 advices to young people

Before retiring in July 2008, Bill Gates gave the following advices to high school students. Who knows you will become a second Bill Gates after learning from these valuable advices? 

1. “Life is not fair - get used to it.”
-> The world is never fair. You know this? You can never change the whole world. Injustice still exists in the current society, so you should try to adapt.

2. “The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.”
-> Your extreme self-esteem may make your job inconvenient. Don't attach too much significance on your self-esteem as people care about your achievements rather than it.

3. “You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with car phone, until you earn both.”
-> Normally you can't be rich if you have just finished high school. However to become an executive, you need to obtain both: a high school certificate and the money.

4. “If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.”
-> Don’t complain that your boss is tough. When you are at school, your teachers always stand by you whenever you meet problems. However if you have thought that all your problems really come from the hard requirements of your teachers, you shouldn't look for a job. Simply if there aren't strict demands from your company, you will do nothing and quickly become unemployed. Then nobody will give you a hand.

5. “If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.”
-> Don't blame your failure on your destiny. All you need now is to stay calm and start from scratch.

6. “Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.”
-> You should show your gratefulness to your parents for spending most of their lives for your living and growth. All the “outdated” of your parents today is the price they have to pay for your growth.

7. “Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life may not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.”
-> Keep in mind that you can always become a leader, so that you will have more motivation to strive for your career.

8. “Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.”
-> Don’t always wait for holidays or you will be left behind your colleagues. That backwardness means elimination and unemployment.

9. “Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.”
-> Everybody likes watching TV, but you shouldn't watch it too much. As that actually isn't your life and your thinking will be influenced. You yourself have to determine your own life.

10. “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.”
-> You should be nice to everyone. Life has happenings you could never expect. Be open to your boss, don’t say bad things behind his back as it will bring you nowhere.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jokes of the day------Girlfriend 6.0 vs. Wife 1.0-Comparative Trial

Last year a friend of mine upgraded from GirlFriend 6.0 to Wife 1.0 and found that it's a memory hog leaving very little system resources available for other applications. He is now noticing that Wife 1.0 is also spawning Child Processes which are further consuming valuable resources. No mention of this particular phenomena was included in the product brochure or the documentation, though other users have informed him that this is to be expected due to the nature of the application.

Not only that, Wife 1.0 installs itself such that it is always launched at system initialization, where it can monitor all other system activity. He's finding that some applications such as PokerNight 10.3, BeerBash 2.5, and PubNight 7.0 are no longer able to run in the system at all, crashing the system when selected (even though they always worked fine before). During installation, Wife 1.0 provides no option as to the installation of undesired Plug-Ins such as MotherInLaw 55.8 and BrotherInLaw Beta release. Also, system performance seems to diminish with each passing day.

Some features he'd like to see in the upcoming wife 2.0.

1. a "Don't remind me again" button
2. a Minimize button
3. An install shield feature that allows Wife 2.0 be installed with the option to uninstall at any time without the loss of cache and other system resources
4. An option to run the network driver in promiscuous mode which would allow the system's hardware probe feature to be much more useful.

I myself decided to avoid the headaches associated with Wife 1.0 by sticking with Girlfriend 7.0. Even here, however, I found many problems. Apparently you cannot install Girlfriend 7.0 on top of Girlfriend 6.0. You must uninstall Girlfriend 6.0 first. Other users say this is a long standing bug that I should have known about. Apparently the versions of Girlfriend have conficts over shared use of the I/O port. You think they would have fixed such a stupid bug by now. To make matters worse, The uninstall program for Girlfriend 6.0 doesn't work very well leaving undesirable traces of the application in the system. Another thing -- all versions of Girlfriend continually popup little annoying messages about the advantages of upgrading to Wife 1.0.

Jokes of the day........Are Computers Male Or Female?

As you are aware, ships have long been characterized as being female (e.g., "Steady as she goes" or "She's listing to starboard, Captain!")

Recently, a group of computer scientists (all males) announced that computers should also be referred to as being female.
Their reasons for drawing this conclusion follow:

Five reasons to believe computers are female:

1. No one but the Creator understands their internal logic.
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
3. The message "Bad command or file name" is about as informative as, "If you don't know why I'm mad at you, then I'm certainly not going to tell you."
4. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.
5. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

However, another group of computer scientists, (all female) think that computers should be referred to as if they were male. Their reasons follow:

Five reasons to believe computers are male:

1. They have a lot of data, but are still clueless.
2. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem.
3. As soon as you commit to one you realize that, if you had waited a little longer, you could have obtained a better model.
4. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
5. Big power surges knock them out for the rest of the night.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One Rose for each year of her life

A fellow was very much in love with a beautiful girl.

One day she told him that the next day was her birthday.

He told her he would send her a bouquet of roses... one for each year of her life.

That evening he called the local florist and ordered twenty-one roses with instructions that they be delivered first thing the next morning.

As the florist was preparing the order, he decided that since the young man was such a good customer, he would put an extra dozen roses in the bouquet.

The fellow never did find out what made the young girl so angry with him.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Satellite launch success

But where's the new sports bra?
Indis's satellite launch capability has come to be taken for granted by the public at large to an extent where one more successful launch fails to excite. Excitement is not the point, however.

It’s time for Indians to move on from celebration of belonging to a tiny, elite club of nations that can fabricate and launch their own, and others’, satellites to optimal utilisation of not just the data captured by the satellites but also the technological advances made by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).

A successful satellite launch brings together diverse capabilities in material sciences, communications, signalling, microelectronics, fuels, aerodynamics, computing, data management and project management. All these capabilities are eminently qualified for being put to use by industry in non-space areas of activity.

The Antrix Corp, Isro’s commercial wing, offers some of these capabilities to industry. But the bulk of the corporation’s Rs 900-crore revenue comes from core activities such as launch of satellites and lease of transponders.

Commercialisation of Isro’s technology is yet to achieve a respectable fraction of the potential. This must change. And for that, there has to be greater effort both by the space agency and by Indian industry.
From CAT scans and ultrasounds to quartz timekeepers and sports bras, from flat panel television to trash compactors, a whole range of things that we do not commonly associate with space missions owe their origins, in fact, to space research. Commercialisation of technology is not a function that technologists are necessarily good at.

It calls for not just marketing skills on the part of the agency that creates the technology but also an ecosystem that brings together risk-taking entrepreneurship and a financial system that can mediate a slice of the collective pool of savings to commercial experimentation with new technology.

Fast-growing India needs to create such an ecosystem, to fully tap the fruits of the research that send launch vehicles and their payloads soaring into the sky and beyond. And the responsibility for that cannot be dumped on our space scientists.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Taking the first call on 5G

artical Picture Delays and endless deliberations in decision-making have actually helped the country buy latest telecom technology, and India is now leading the world in pursuing 4G and 5G networks.

We debated for 10 years after mobile telephony was introduced across the world whether it was appropriate for the poor Indian, and when it came in, it could not grow for another 10 years owing to high tariffs and inappropriate regulation and could not reach the bottom of the pyramid.

We debated 3G also for 10 years, and now when it is coming in, it is challenged by atotally new technology. Is India, unlike the past, acquiring more confidence to experiment with new technologies, having almost the largest number of mobile subscribers in the world?
The recent 3G and WiMax auction in the country has generated interest across the world, and questions are being asked about the future of Indian telecom after these auctions and the future of WiMax and the LTETDD technology — which has entered India ahead of other countries — and a possible 5G initiative in India. These are technical terms and I must explain the changes in simple terms, as I explain the game-changing implications of these moves.
1G technology, the basic mobiles, entered the world in early 1980s, followed by 2G, or GSM, mobiles. The argumentative Indian debated till 1995 whether we should get the elite technology of mobile phones for the poor Indian.

A few mobiles at the cost of a diamond pendant did enter India in 1995, but everything changed after the ‘pendant’ entered the base of the Indian population pyramid in 2004, courtesy low prices and tariff. Now it is entering rural India fast without subsidy implications.

The government planned teledensity of 15 and rural teledensity of 4% at a huge subsidy cost to the taxpayer, for 2010. We lagged behind targets like in all other sectors till 2004, but suddenly started treating targets with contempt and, today, we are +60% teledensity and 25% rural teledensity nation — far more than 100% teledensity for urban areas like in developed world — at a fourth of the subsidy cost for rural areas.
3G entered the world in early 2000, and almost turned many corporates bankrupt. We again debated for 10 years before letting the total personal communicator enter India. This telephone can give voice, data, pictures, broadband, maps, Google search, location, direction finder, mobile bank, TV, cloud computing — imagine a full-fledged computer in your palm — and what not.
But I now salute the argumentative Indian — that the technologies entered so late — when they had fully matured and the equipment became cheap, giving the mobile communicator market a chance to explode as the 2G market did post-2004, and enter the bottom of the pyramid.
That would be a function of tariffs. Can we get those dream tariffs after the sector spends Rs 3 lakh crore this year and in the next three years, and at the time of renewals, as recommended by the regulator.

After all, it only spent a little more than Rs 2.5 lakh crore in the 2G initiative in the last few years after introduction of mobiles, and the telecom sector has an annual turnover of Rs 1.6 lakh crore.

Nowhere has 3G initiative led to alarge increase in total turnovers or average revenue per user (Arpus). How much the Indian consumer can spend vis-à-vis his per-capita income on this experience and how much the Indian companies can sustain the huge current expenditure without sizeable incremental revenues would determine the future of the sector.
The WiMax and 4G story in India today is totally different. WiMax standards for computers and not for telephones — with convergence, they are now getting into telephones also — have been frozen by ITU recently. The process is going on for 4G, mainly LTE-FD though, while RIL and Qualcomm are talking of LTE-TDD for India, a more recent technology.

Tikona, another operator, has also spoken of a likely shift. So, the argumentative Indian is changing in a big way, after government has separated licence from spectrum, and he is experimenting with new technologies ahead of time with the confidence of being a +600 million subscriber network and people are now asking questions about 5G, in the nascent stages of development around the world, entering India.
Back in 2003, the world chief of a major handset company, on way to Shanghai, did not want to see me in Delhi — I was the Indian regulator then — and rightly so, as we were 10 years behind, a thirdworld country with Hindu rate of growth in telecom too, primarily dependent on the government incumbent and government subsidies, hardly selling any phones — all the diamond pendant-like priced phones were smuggled from Singapore. It is a different matter; the group has many factories in India now, selling the same pendant for the price of artificial jewellery.
Within the last five years, as a nation, we now have the confidence to undertake R&D, test and launch new technologies in the telecom sector, and we should be grateful to our competing telecom operators to have taken major risks in our governance regimes and establishing a huge market size — only second to China with much larger rate of growth — and credibility.

And now at 4G and 5G stage, we are ahead of the world in testing and competing for newer technologies.So what are these technologies? In layman terms, it is about the speed of communication. The lower speeds could only deliver voice and some words, while the higher speeds can deliver all that I wrote above for 3G, and 4G and 5G would deliver at exponentially-higher speeds, thus giving far better video streams, faster moving pictures and much more in a ubiquitous manner.

Imagine a speed of more than 1 Gbps in 5G in comparison to 1.2 kbps, almost a million times more, of 1G, the speeds of 9.6 kbps of 2G, 2 Mbps for 3G and 100 Mbps for 4G, and higher for 5G would deliver pictures almost akin to physical presence, changing all human activities to the mobile streams and all communication to video with sound. The quality would be 4,000 times better than what we see in our best laptop connection and broadband scheme today.
Perhaps there would be no need to leave the house or vehicle for education, banking, medical treatment, meetings, and movies, and so many other forms of human economic, educational or entertainment activity very shortly.

In the past, we waited hearing about these wonders happening in the West. The Indian entrepreneurs will now give us the experience of moving ahead of the world in achieving these technology advances. South Korea in Asia led the West, including the US, in fixed broadband. Will we lead the world in mobile broadband and in 4G and 5G technologies?

Humor of the day---THERE IS A BIG CROWD

A man was traveling down a country road when he saw a large group of people outside a house. He stopped and asked a person why the large crowd was there.

A farmer replied, “Joe’s mule kicked his mother-in-law and she died.”

“Well,” replied the man, “she must have had a lot of friends.”

“Nope,” said the farmer, “we all just want to buy his mule.”

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What Makes a Great Couple?

A husband and wife were at a party chatting with some friends when the subject of marriage counseling came up.

"Oh, well never need that. My wife and I have a great relationship," the husband explained.

"She was a communications major in college and I majored in theater arts."

He continued, "She communicates well and I act like I'm listening."