Thursday, October 23, 2008

Book Publishing - See The CHANGE !!

 Machiavelli wrote books on barks of tree in 600AD. The publishing of knowledge continued to innovate. The barks of tree got converted to paper. Paper became the primary agent to transfer knowledge. We have not seen any innovation in the medium for so many centuries. 

Is it poised for disruption ??? Are e-books, the next medium of knowledge ??

e-books, the electronic form of rendering book knowledge became popular in late 20th century. Most of the publishing houses still think that the revenue model of hard copy books is the most profitable model. I tend to disagree on that. 

Like google, the publishing industry can also move towards the ad-based reveniew model. The e-books can have targeted ads and get the revenues out of it. If the e-books are free, the better the ebook is, more will be its circulation. The more the circulation, the more eye balls an ad gets. Like any content on website, its the content in an e-book. 

Ebook can have targetted Ads. A Finance book can have ads from Investment Banks and financial institutions etc. All those Ads can be clickable ads and it can again be a Ads-per-click model. 

This will not only make the good content free and widely avalaible but also remove the middlemen from the industry. This will be open sourcing of the content in the publishing industry. The costs of the publishers will go down in publishing the content from the authors. 

Today the biggest threat to publishing industry comes not from piracy or used books but from the you-tubing of the content. Most of the big universities have set up their online universities on I-Tunes, YouTube and Open Course Ware formats. Wikipedia is the biggest threat for all the publishers. There is no content which is not available on Wikipedia. 

So instead of being shy of technology, the best way is to adopt it to their advantage !!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Googlevangelism

Hey Guys, 
Just thought that I coined two new words but they already existed.  The reputation of these two words would depend upon how Google & Apple perform in the time to come. 


Googlevangelism - refers to evangelism of all the Google products. Some googlevanglists fight for the reason that google products are much better than it peers. I tend to disagree on G1 - T-mobile, Google's Android based phone. 



Applevangelism - refers to evagelism of all the Apple products. Apple has created a cult following its brand and its products. They are not only the best in the industry but also give you a satisfaction of owning. Although I only own I-pod, you can gues which category i belong to. 

No wonder these two companies are number 1 & 2 on Innovation index across all the industries. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Own a house early in Life ... What it means ?

House has always been the most cherished assets of any individual in all the times. There are two significant type of assets that a person owns in his life. The first being the assets which makes him earn his livelihood. Historically for a farmer, it was the land and currently for a skilled professional, it is the skillset. This is the biggest investment of his life. He invests time, money and effort. Second, comes the House. The house in which he wants to spend the rest of his life peacefully with his family. He works hards, saves money and tries to get the house as soon as possible. The question is how soon is soon ????


Going back to the historical trends in US. There was a time, when automotive engineers were in great demand around 40's-60's. The average income for these engineers was much more than their peers in other industries. This resulted in letting them own the house earlier than their peers. As the industry matured, the average kept pushing higher and higher. Now its same as the average age in any other industry. The same thing happened for software professionals in early 90's but it has now gone to the same levels as the other industries. As a matter of fact, it is now  lower than other industries becuase offshoring started in 90's.

If you look at the trends, you will find out that an average software professional in India can own a stable and reasonable  house a the age of 30-35 in India. The average age of owning a house for a professional in this industry is much lesser than average age for other industries. What is the reason for the anomaly? Ofcourse, the anomaly comes from the $$ money that they earn at onsite in US for 3-4 years of their life. Is it going to continue??

With improving technology, there will be lesser and lesser component of onsite roles. With coutries like Brazil and Vietnam coming up as outsourcing centers, India's role in outsourcing industry will go down. The Indian software industry will become mature and growth rate would go down too. Inturn, this will result in the increase in average age to own a house among indian software engineers in India. Few years down the line, it will be no better than professional in any other industry. 

Average people who own the house very early in life are the ones who made the right choice about the industry. The other average people who surpass them in making up more and better assets are the ones who invest in the long term.  

The trend shows that if you get into a industry which is growing and is still in the nascent phase, the growth in the industry is phenomenal and leaves so much money with you as savings that you can afford to have bigger assets early in life. The problem is not only this advantage goes away very soon but is also followed by lull in the industry because of intense competition in the market.  Therefore, Make hay while sun shines. 

The other way to buck the trend is to keep investing in the other big asset you have. Your skillset. The key is the agility in terms of aquiring new skills and moving up the ladder. This is the long term investment. It might sound like loosing a golden goose at a point in time, but it is a failsafe approach. It never hurts. 

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Does Cloud has a Silver Lining ?

Which cloud are we Talking about ? Is it Cloud Computing ??  Is it another buzzword like dotcom. Why should you and I care about computing .......

Well yes !! We are talking about the cloud computing. Follow the news on technology and you'll see all the companies joining the bandwagon. Why ??

To give it a perspective, lets start with looking at what happened in past. When electricity started becoming popular in early 20th century, every nook and corner produced its own electricity. Very soon, Industry started realising the power of economy of scale and national electricity grids came into picture. Everything converged to a single point. Now Electricity generation is like using Cloud computing today. No more silo sources. 

On the contrary, Another big revolution that affected our lives to a great extent in 20th century, was transportation. Initial ships and rails were followed by cars and airplanes. Even though personal mode of transportation became more popular in US, the public transport became hit in European countries. With an analogous viewpoint, the Trains & Airplanes became the cloud of transportation whereas Cars and Motorbikes became individual computers & servers. Today, we see a wonderful hybrid model in transportation across the globe. Though, each mode of transport is always a competitor for the other mode of transport but they also are in co-opetition


In telecommunication, mobile phones were revolutionary. Their invention was not only a competitor to the existing landlines but also a major threat for making landline phone extinct. It took long time to realise that the society needs both of them and they are complementary to each other. Internet, which has changed the official and personal communication to a great extent in past two decades, is a major threat for other communication channels. So far, it has been very friendly and always augmenting the services of the other communication channels but we never know when it turns hostile. 


Similar to technologies discusses above, Cloud Computing definitely looks very promising but the concerns still loom for the effectiveness and usage of the cloud computing resources. More than cloud resources, it is bandwidth and connectivity issues which need to be addressed before getting ready for the cloud. It like building the highways and airports before getting ready to drive the cars and planes. 

On one hand where Microsoft has been consistent on maintaining its supremacy over desktop platform, Google is heavily betting on web platform. Google's latest release, Chrome, the fastest and most secure web browser is the foundation stone for ensuring success on the web platform and future web services. Its open source code will not only make it better but also lead to making the most popular web browser.  The increase widespread usage and popularity of web2.0 service is another good indication for the cloud computing landscape.

The cloud computing initiative which is being run by industry heavyweights like Google,Yahoo, Amazon, Microsoft, HP and IBM  has caught some attention by big consumers like GE and P&G, the big consumer of IT. The cloud initiative will change the landscape of current IT consulting industry. It is one of the biggest threats for the companies like Accenture, CSC and EDS. Their concerns are to adapt their current business model to the new evolving model with IT resources moving on to the cloud. 

Cloud will not only take away all the infrastructure redundancy but also lead to much more reliable and safer IT resources for the company. With hybrid model, cloud will take care of the peak time capabilities and also reduce the Total Cost of Ownership(TCO) of IT for the companies. The device and location independence of IT resources signifying the global nature of economy and usage will also help in resource utilization, more eco-friendly and efficient IT systems. What it won't take away or rather increase - would be the concerns of loosing control over company's sensitive data and security concerns. 

So is this silver lining at the cost of Golden lock on sensitive data ???

Monday, August 4, 2008

Buying Pattern of Indian Customers..What it means...

I've been thinking about this for quite sometime ...Are customers from different cultures actually different ??? Does it matter for the companies ?? Can companies use this information to make more profit ??

If you look at buying patterns of customers in different regions and different cultures, they are very different when its actual buying of the product and not just adoring them. I've not done much research on buyers from other cultures but have been observing Indian buyers and their buying patterns in technology for quite some time.

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There is very common myth that Indian buyers are choosy about the prices. In order to break the myth, Lets start with saying that - "Indian buyers are choosy about the bargains." These buyers don't go for the cheapest products but for the products with best return on investment.

Ipod, when launched in October'2001, became immediately successful in among american customers but it took two years for Ipod to prove its mettle among Indian customers. As soon as Indian customers found it to be robust, value for money and something to be relied on, they started buying it too. It was not only the shuffle Ipod which became most popular among Indians but also the higher end video Ipods too.

Have you ever thought, why it took Ipod two years to catch up whereas it took 20 years for the Mac book to catch up among Indian customers. The reason is simple, the product wasn't mature enough to attract them. Mac book sold among European and American customers even when the softwares were not available for Mac OSX. The product was evolving too rapidly to make it attractive to Indians. They adored it but didn't buy. It was when Apple announced Intel processor for mac books, the era of Mac book's perception of being a stable product started. Indians don't care for the price tag anymore. What they care for is, the quality they are getting at the same price tag.

Toyota, Honda and Nissan are the darlings of Indian Community in United States. Its very difficult to find an Indian owning an American Car (read as GM, Ford, Chrysler). This is not only the current trend but also has stayed the same for past twenty years when the gas prices were cheaper. The American cars don't attract Indians because they don't fit their criteria for a product worth buying. They want reliable, fuel efficient and long lasting automobile of high quality. An Indian would never buy GM or Jeep but would prefer buying Acura or Lexus for more money.

The biggest shopping destination of Indians in United States are the factory outlets. They prefer the best products at cheaper price to buying cheap products. . It would be rare event to see even a rich Indian buying at Nordstrom, best service and highly priced shopping store chain. They will buy the same brand at a cheaper price in Factory Outlets. This not only lets them own the best product but also pay far lesser prices.

There are numerous such instances in personal and corporate buying by Indians. The point here is that can companies take a clue from these buying patterns in judging their products. I'm sure there would a peculiar buying pattern among Chinese customers too. Companies can do the profiling of their customers. Using the profile of their current customers, they can use that information not only in making their products better but also for the efficient pricing of their products.

Today, no company should underestimate the purchasing power of upcoming Indian and Chinese middle class. They are going to be the ones, who will drive the markets in the years to come.

I would love to know more about insights about the customers from different culture. Will update you all when anything new comes to my grey cells. Till then ...keep ticking ....

Monday, July 28, 2008

something good to read ....

Hi Guys, Here is the interesting read about the myterious man...Ram Charan...
If you dont know him.....you should read this .....
If you do......you gotta read this one. ...

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/04/30/8405482/index.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Charan



Enjoy the read ....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Web 2.0 companies that seem interesting..

I'm back with all my explorations for past couple of days.......
I see lot of web2.0 companies coming up. Though they are not very big, but are redefining the web media.

KRONOMY

http://www.kronomy.com/ - It provides you the ability to create a timeline for your life or product's life. Its very much similar to http://ourstory.com.
See Apple Computer's timeline on Kronomy

SNAPSHOTS
http://www.snap.com/ - It gives the snapshot of the webpage connected to the hyperlink without clicking on that link. The good thing is that just by moving the mouse over the link, you can see the snapshot of the link. Its very helpful and free service to get your website or blog registered on it.

VISUALCV
http://www.visualcv.com - Perfect site to make your resume. Very professional and extremely useful to make your resume look much more informative than traditional resume.

DELVER
http://www.delver.com - very useful search engine for searching people on all social networks at a go.

ALLTOP
http://www.alltop.com - good site for collection of best sites on a particular topic.

CRITICAT
http://www.criticat.com/ - rate your workplace, your manager and anybody in the workplace.

Will keep writing as I explore something new.......



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Does Open Source Matter ?

Does open source matter ?? does it matter to you and me or is it just for the geeks and evangelists....

Open source term originated from the mouth of geeks when some people like you and I started saying that the programming code should be open. Unlike other brick and mortar industries, software was unique in itself. You could sell software but the keep the source code to yourself. Whereas in other industries, the moment you sell a product you inadvertently sell the source too. Anybody can dismantle the product and know the source or technology. That's how the term, 'Open Source' came into limelight.

When Henry Ford made the car for the first time, he thought he would be the only one selling all the cars ever in future. He didn't realise that with the car, he was also selling the source code. Very soon, people learnt the technology and started making better cars and in many colors. Similarly in other industries, companies sell the source code without realising it. Another classic example is Coca-Cola. They knew right from the beginning, the composition of the soda water that they sold was crucial to their business. They never divulged the details of their secret formula to make coke. They did realise that sooner or later anybody can produce the same drink with same taste as the drink is a tangible product. They built a huge wall of being the world's most famous brand which was difficult to emulate.


When software industry evolved, people thought that they would be better off keeping the source code to themselves and sell the product. With the intangible nature of the product, it made sense too. Few years down the line, some people were quick to figure out that if they made the source code open, it not only led to the betterment of the product very quickly but also made it more robust and secure as more eyes could catch more bugs. With the statistics from Coverty, a software defect analysis company, the average defect in open source software is much lower than proprietary software. This way, open source made the difference to the software industry.

If we analyse other industries in the world, most of them have open source hidden in them in some form or the other. Either they are industries based on open source or very soon they would be. Now the question is how the companies have managed to keep it proprietary. What is good for everyone - proprietary or open source. Let analyse some of the industries.

Education is considered as the most noble business. Educational institutes are coveted the most. Even though the top institutions have produced so many intellectuals over centuries, education still remains one of the most protected proprietary products. The source code is not open. MIT was the first institution to make its courseware open for all. I don't see any reason why Harvard Business School should have a closed courseware. Why can't everyone benefit from what intellectuals teach at Harvard. Why HBS has to sell its case studies when it has millions of dollars in its corpus fund. Is the premier institute afraid that they would lose the competitive advantage by opening up their system. If it is so, how is it different from Microsoft.





Encylopedia may be or may be not aka Wikipedia, is another classic example of David - open source challenging closed source - Golaith. In early 1990's, Microsoft and other companies came up with a concept of selling encyclopedia in 6 cd's of voluminous data. To many, it appeared to be the most profitable idea until it was all of sudden made look silly by Wikipedia, an open source initiative. The success of wikipedia heralded a new era of open source content. The same company has also started its sister websites named Wikibooks, Wikiversity and many more. Many professors in top universities have already started putting up their classes in the form of webcasts, podcasts, wiki and e-books. Are we turning to open source in education.

Automobile Industry, one of the most popular old economy businesses, has always kept their source code open. Not because they wanted it, but because they had the limitation that they could not keep it closed. With the recent research in the hybrid and greener vehicles, Toyota spearheaded the concept of being open source evangelist in the research for greener technology for automobiles. On the other hand, Honda is betting on closed source approach by keeping their research proprietary. Only the time will tell, which approach is more beneficial for the company and the consumers.

Media industry is not too far from being affected by open source revolution. Hollywood studios which were so adept in protecting the media rights and making billions of dollars are having tough time dealing with emerging technologies. These technologies of peer-to-peer sharing, video sharing and online streaming have made it almost impossible to protect their media copyrights. The only way to fight out this threat for them is to go open source. Take out all the copyright protection elements and make it free over the net. They will have to think of newer sources of revenues other than traditional sources of revenues. Youtube is already changing the traditional way of internet surfing. Porn media houses have been shattered with video sharing websites sprawling all over the place. It has changed the way business was done.

Retail sector
is the only one that is farthest from the impact from open source. The only open source thing that touches the retail sector is ebay. It started with a great idea of providing online marketplace for the people selling and buying all over the place. It not only granted the buyers the power of buying at their quoted prices but also gave them the power to rate the sellers. It stills is far away from being open source concept.

My mind fails to see the open source future trend in retail. If anyone can see that trend, please let me know. This is the beauty of open source in blog that you can contribute to my ideas and enhance it for the next reader.

There are many more industries where open source is not very clearly visible. It, definitely, is one of the forces which is changing the economies and business.
It is changing the world, you and I see !!

I'll continue writing about open source and how does it matter .....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Is it Exploding or Crashing ?????

Well, I would say both !!!!!!

If you are living in today's world, you should be as worried as I am or more. Living in US or India, it should be taking a toll on you. What started as one of the cyclical downturn in US, is now far more than that. As any industry booms, its destined to bust. The same happened with real estate industry in US. After dot com bust, all the money that people had to be invested somewhere. All american citizens or immigrants started investing all their money in real estate. It boomed and it busted.

What happened differently this time ? Its a sequence of events which is most disturbing.

After the sub-prime crisis, the US investment bankers are the worst hit. They are ones who run the show on wall street. Despite of all efforts by the government, the market is not recovering. The reason being the other event of abnormal surge in crude oil prices across the globe. Part of which is credited to the consortium of middle east not ready to increase the production.

What's the solution ? Can we expect something from other side of the globe - India and China. India is having the highest inflation of 13% and growing. Steel, cement and grain prices are touching the ceiling. Crude is taking its toll too. The big indian oil companies are reducing their refining capacity as they losing so much money per barrel. If the trend continues most of these companies might go bankrupt in next two years. Who bears the brunt of all these ? Government, markets and each one of us. The Indian stock market has already sinking to its two-third levels in past few months. China has the same story to tell.

Who and what will pull these markets? First guess - Investment Bankers. Most of them are going through worst of the crisis ever. Everyone knows the Bear-Sterns and Lehman story. Rest of the funds and banks are not too far away. Second guess - Growth Potential of India and China. This one looks very promising but over past few years, the biggest consumer of Chinese products and Indian services has United States which in itself is going through a bad patch.

An interesting instance of this vicious circle came to notice couple of days back. Lehman Bros' stocks are down to one-fourth of 52 week high. The company is fighting tooth and nail to save the entity. They raised the funds of $6B from middle east. Next comes the news, Lehman turns to Indian economy for growth. They plan to invest $1.5B of those funds in Unitech, a construction company in India. On the other side, with exploding inflation, Indian stock market is crashing. Indians are losing money on both sides - the stock market as well as rising commodity prices. Very soon, Indian real estate will also follow a downcycle because of these factors. By now, you would have guessed what happens to the money that Lehman invested.

The question that comes to my mind is that: There is something wrong ???

How come commodity prices are just shooting up so much all at the same time. This can't be real. Nothing changed so much in the world drastically in past four months. There is something artificial which is driving commodity prices.

How much can artificial rigged commodities affect the economies. To take a peek, lets consider living in a world six months down the line. The crude prices crossed the $250 mark last night. With rising fuel costs, people have almost stopped flying. Two US airlines went out of operation and others are bleeding. Sky rocketing steel and cement prices have made houses so much expensive, people can't afford to buy them. The real estate prices continue to fall collapsing many big construction companies. People are seeking alternative to gasoline. Commuting has drastically reduced with so many people working from home. Automobile companies are trying to keep up with new cars running on electricity. Tech companies are cutting their staff as their clients are not making money and are not ready to spend money on the IT infrasture. Banks are cutting jobs to keep themselves in shape. I went to my office this morning. Guess what. My services are no more wanted :(

Isn't that quite a scene of mayhem across the globe. Is that what they call global recession.

Can you see it coming ??? Well, looks a little bit blurred from here. Isn't it ???

Monday, June 23, 2008

Update on my automobile credit crisis blog

Hey guys, Last week I wrote about the signs for automobile credit crisis. Today, I saw the updates from Reuters about the writedowns from GM and Ford. These updates are clear signs of the credit crisis, I mentioned before. These writedowns are becuase of slowing down in Used car market because of rising fuel prices. This will probably be followed by slowing down of overall gasoline based car market.

News 1

News 2

Will keep you all updated if anything new comes up ....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The World is Flat or Round. Exploring..

For last few days, I've been reading the book, 'The World is Flat' by Tom Friedman. A very nicely written, intruiging approach to paint overall picture of globalization.

The book starts with a section, which educates the readers, about the factors which have led to flattening of the world. The ten flattening factors/events being:
  1. 11/09/89 - Fall of Berlin Wall and Division of USSR - event that led to liberation of people from chains of cummunism and opening the gates of capitalism.

  2. 08/09/95 - Netscape IPO - The New age of Connectivity and evolution of Internet, the big leveller for people across the globe.

  3. Work Flow Software - The evolution of web-services, platform independent approach towards computer applications and collaboration software which allowed people to work in teams from all over the world.

  4. Uploading - aka Open-Source approach of harnessing community power for content development, collaboration and knowledge management.

  5. Out-Sourcing - Y2K which started the era of outsourcing exposed the western world to cheaper easter frontiers. This wave started from technology but has now swept across all the industries in the west.

  6. Off-Shoring - Moving the expensive work done in US and Europe to the lands in India and China at a cheaper cost and gaining price advantage.

  7. Supply-Chaining - Though Wal-Mart is always painted as Supply Chain champion bringing the its advantages to the common people, yet all the companies are synchronizing their operations through supply chain to bring out operational efficiency.

  8. In-sourcing - process of diversifying in the areas sorrouding your expertise. It can be best illustrated with UPS example in which they transformed themselves from a carrier to logistics company which helps companies in managing their logistics operation.

  9. In-Forming - Nothing more and Nothing less than Google can explain it. Google has brought the information revolution making same info available to everyone.

  10. The Steroids - Small Gadgets like Cell-Phone and PDAs are shrinking the world and bringing to your fingertips at every moment.


Insight:

DOT COM BUST - Boon or Bane : With the growth of Internet and dot com companies, companies started investing heavily on infrastructure. Connectivity was crucial for this growth. Companies like Worldcom and Global Crossing set up fiber-optic networks across the globe connecting the sleeping asian tigers to western bigwigs. With overinvestment and bubble in the technology sector, it was set to crash. When the doomsday came, these infrastructure companies went bankrupt along with many other companies which had made investment for future. Those companies are no more. Their investments, which were later resold to other companies at penny prices, became the backbone of the business in the years to come. This not only became a big leveller for all the countries, but also provided immense opportunity for countries like India and China which had huge human capital sitting at home ready to work.

The Triple Convergence: Why it happened at the new Millenium ??
  1. Emergence of Web platforms and Investment in Fiber Optics Connectvity.

  2. Opening of three big economies in 90's - India, China and Russia.
  3. Companies of the West searching for next level of Operational Efficiency.

For guys who want to read this book online: Download here


P.S. - With due respect for Friedman, I'm not giving this link to promote piracy. Just using few of the above flatteners , to make it available to thousands of people living India and China as $30 is still a big deal in many parts of the world :)


will continue writing as I sail through the river of thoughts .....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Is Automobile Credit Crisis in Future Waiting....

Over the past one year, we have seen the housing mortgage crises afftecting US economy badly. It has eroded 25% of the US housing market capital, made big investment banks go almost bankcrupt and much more. Not only in US but it has also effected credit market elsewhere in the world. Have you wondered why we could not see this ? Well don't wonder now as hindsight is always clearer.

Can we think of any credit crisis in future ??? Can we see it coming ???

I don't know if I'm thinking in the right direction. Its a long shot as foresight is much harder. Everybody is worried about Crude and Gas Prices. Have you ever imagined what if Crude actually goes past $200 or may be $250 in a year. With Obama coming to white house, the tax breaks for oil companies would be gone. The gas prices will hover around $7-$8. With a economy already in a bad shape, will people be able to afford such highly priced fuel? Yes, for sometime ofcourse. What happens next.


The Big Bang !! Alternate sources to fuel !! May be electricity or Fuel Cells !! Nobody is going to drive the existing automobiles. Not because they dont want to but becuase they can't afford to drive.

What happens to automobiles on mortgage or loans. People will start doing the same what they did with their houses. They will start to default. It makes sense to default as the rate of interest of the loans is high, the gas prices will be high and an automobile is a depreciating asset.

Who will take the loss ?? What happpens Next ??

The automobile companies or banks confiscate the vehicles. The cars go back either to manufacturer or the financial institution. Its will be difficult for all of them to sell those vehicles again. Who's going to buy them ? Now the main question - Where do they get their money from ?? Is it credit crisis for the bank or Manufacturer ??? Who will be worst affected ?? How much will Automobile loans rate of interest shoot up ?

The other side of the story can be - with Middle Eastern countries increasing the production, the crude prices might go down. Alternate sources fuel are also big threats for such countries as they do not have anything other than oil to support their economy. With US economy comes out of the current recession soon and with commodities market cooling down , things might get better again. Another reasoning to this not happening in near future so sharply can be that automobiles are not as big liability as houses are. The automobile liability is usually around one-fifth of the housing liability. So people can bear with the existing vehicles for a time being or start using public tranport or gradually start moving over to other sources of fuels. I don't know if this will actually happen but its a big possibility.

Neither I can't dare to close my eyes on it and nor should you !!


will catch you guys later again ....


Sunday, June 8, 2008

twitter - Welcome to the world of MicroBlogging

Blogging: If you try to understand the concept, it's similar to having your own website but gives you the ability to change the content very frequently like daily or may be weekly.
Microblogging: gives you ability to tell the world what you are doing at very moment. Twitter is the first popular company to give us this concept. This can be done by putting in updates through browser or SMS-ing it from phone.
"One SMS and you can let the world know what you experience just now"
or
"You just Twittered"
Twitter: twitter has free sign up. It also allows you to search your friends/contacts from Gmail/yahoo/AOL contacts. You can follow some celebrity available by adding him to follow list.
If you make your twitter profile public, other friends/people can follow you either just by adding you to their follow list. All your updates will be visible to them.
There is something in our life that twitter is changing and that is the reason in such a short span of time, they have got such a huge fan following. You think of the big name and its on twitter. Its chaging the way we communicate with the society.
There have been couple of instances when twitter faced so much load that it was down for while. Big important conferences and Expo are such major instance where everybody is twittering baout the newest, greatest and best they are watching. There have been many instances in which microblogging has saved many people lives too. I guess, very soon, it will followed at Wall St too. The information is the most highly valued in such place.
For more info about twitter, here is twitter's blog : http://blog.twitter.com/
Here is a nice video explaning Twitter in plain english:





The process to join is pretty straight forward at http://twitter.com/ ...go twitter yourself too ..
follow me on twitter at : http://twitter.com/vipulpratap :)
Hope that was informative, Wish you a good week ahead

Kung Fu Panda - a truly Asian American Movie

After all the hype, hue and cry Kung fu Panda released this friday, June the 6th. Its a cute movie with fat Panda PO resembling average Fat American guy having penchant for Food. A truly global movie targeting American and Chinese population might also some indian viewers with the emotional aspect embedded in the story. The Story starts with PO, a fat loser Panda in life, working with his dad in a noodle shop. His penchant for Food and Kung Fu leads him to become master.

Philosophy of "No Quitter attitude" and "I am the God" in the movie is very apparent and many times explictitly stated. With all the animal characters in the movie and storyline in backdrop of China, the animations of the characters looks very normal. Apart the the central character, more attention should have been given to the animation of the rest characters also. For a great fan of animation movies, I would call it an average animation genre movie.



The best part of the movie being the cuteness of the big fat PO. The dialogues with an American Accent suited to him like a cute American trying to express similar feeling. It brought life to the complete movie.

A good news for Open Source lovers is that Kung Fu Panda was made on Red Hat Enterprise Linux plateform. To support and cheer up the Open source Initiate, an extra cent might help.

Georga Tech MBA guys !! It sure did remind me of Bob Chen( photograph attached along with PO). Bob !! I can't stop myself writing about it as it kept bugging me all through the movie.

For all the movie-goers, who go to watch movies after seeing IMDB ratings, I would like to tell that current ratng of 7.8/10 with 843 votes will surely go down with more votes. The stable rating should go down to around 6.8 or 7.

Friday, June 6, 2008

gtalk labs version latest

google labs has released the latest version of gtalk as google talk, labs edition. The new features in the version include invisible status, group chat, tabbed chatting, new look, ability to google calender, orkut, gmail from the taskbar. I'm loving it.
Beware some feature like calling and file transfer are missing from this experimental release. So dont uninstall the existng Gtalk version. This new version can be helpful in being online and in invisible mode.

Download this version from: http://www.google.com/talk/labsedition/

Unfortunately, there is yet no relief for linux platform users as gtalk is not yet available for linux. The new version currently is available for xp/vista platforms only.

will catch ya all soon with the new thing ....

Creating Quiz on Wiki

Hey felllas....Gotta new thing to learn ..Did you ever think of creating quizzes and learning materials on wiki page. I learned that today and will be writing you some bits and bytes about it. The good thing about these quizes are that its easily to develop requires very less effort if you have the soft copy of the material and solves the purpose of learining through quizzing. you can also see the score after taking the quiz along with the feedback on the correct and incorrect answer depending upon how much effort has the quiz creator put up there. The best part is that it being a wiki is easily editable by many peopele and many people can post their inputs and feedback allowing it grow bit by bit.

I created this 8 series of Sentence Correction quiz yesterday for GMAT takers.
Link: http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/GMAT_Sentence_Correction_quiz_1
Its easy to take and you can reset it when you are done. Every quiz contains the link to the next quiz. I'll keep posting some more stuff like this as a part of opensource/open knowledge personal initiative.

Tips to create quiz on wikiversity:
Step 1: Starting a new page on wikiversity: http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Help:Starting_a_new_page
Step 2: In te editor, start with

{ enter question here ......}
+ correct choice
feedback *** optional
- false choice ** optional
- false choice

more formatting info available at: http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Help:Quiz-Simple
Step 3: Save the page
Step 4: Your wiki quiz is ready.

Cheers
Vipul

Anybody can Stream online Anytime

hey guys, got to watch this stuff .....next big thing after youtube is going to be www.USTREAM.TV

This website is amazing and provides an amazing service of allowing yourself to stream yourself. All you need is webcam/camcorder which is connected to internet and you are all set to rock the boat. This thing is definetely going to change the way things are done today. Schools/Classes/Offices everyplace should be ready for this change. You can stream anytime online and along with that you have the liberty to record the streaming tooo.........watch out next thing that comes to my attention and will keep posting ....till then have fun ...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Open source consulting services: Buyer's Guide

I'm sharing with you all a piece, that I wrote today, regarding the buyer's guide for Open source consulting Services. It helped me to get an insight. Please feel free to comment.

Open source consulting services: Buyer's Guide


Target Audience: Vendor Management Professionals


Six Criteria for Choosing Consulting services:


  1. Broad Experience across variety of products and platforms: Since open source products are being deployed in organizations having variety of platforms, the most common problems for clients can be related to interoperability issues and patch and version issues. Providers with many years of experience in supporting such type of configurations can be best suited for open source consulting relationships.

  2. Open Source Products and Resources: Customers should evaluate the number of vendor's trained resources and also the depth of their knowledge of open source platforms and commercial open source software. Providers who have experience in multiple open source platforms and products are well suited to deployment, migration and integration services. Training, Certification and number of years' experience should be seen while choosing the resources from the provider.

  3. Open Source community Leverage: The company having good reputation of working with the open source community in development and evolution of the product is very likely to have strong knowledge and strong support from the community. This leverage not only helps during consulting but also helps in bringing customers closer to the open source community. This leads to long term gradual smooth movement towards the open source platform and products bringing in long lasting cost benefits and strong industry standard solutions.

  4. Complete Stack Offering Leverage: Companies offering complete stack of open source products and platforms have leverage over the ones having individual products. Such provider's can deliver real value, since they can create standard suite of products or services tied to a specific stack that can be leveraged over multiple customers. This allows vendors to keep costs low, higher quality consulting, reduce problem resolution time and adhere to industry standard Service Level Agreements. Additionally, intellectual property can be created for and bundled with complete stack of open source products.

  5. Global Footprints: Companies should look for vendors with global footprints as it allows them to have 24X7 delivery and support time for on-site and offshore services. For multinational companies looking for vendors, its extremely important that the vendor has multi-lingual, multiple time zones capability and knowledge of cultural and business challenges unique to a particular geography and region.

  6. Client's Success Stories: Most of the consulting practices are long term agreements which gradually expand to multiple departments across the organization. Therefore, the customers should look for the vendors which have multi-year relationships with the other companies and their customer references. This is the true test of the good consulting provider and their vendor/client relationship because the long term contracts entails at least some complex projects requiring excellent quality consulting services.