Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Teaching trash

This happened on the last working day before Christmas. I was chatting with 3 biggies in my office.( I resented that fact later when I knew that all the youngsters in the office were sitting in the next room and talking about bringing an Xbox and playing for the next 3 hours.) The chat went different paths and the topic became school kids and their education. The company chairman said he was helping his son do Physics homework. The question was "If you are halfway between the earth and the moon, would there be any gravitational pull on you?" And the answer key said, the correct answer was "No". What? So, the teacher has never heard about Newton's law of Universal gravitation? If this is the sort of trash school kids are taught here, I don't know what the future holds for the USA.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How ridiculously arrogant

I was reading this article in Rediff. The person being interviewed credits himself with 3 start ups. His latest venture is called Seventymm.

Look at the business model, and I quote "an online movie rental company that promises to deliver the movie you want to watch at your doorstep, from more than 10,000 titles from Hollywood, Bollywood and seven regional language films." Doesn't that sound really really familiar?

A Q&A from the article (italics added by me)

How did you get the idea to start this venture?

I came to India in March 2005 on a vacation. After a month I got bored and I wanted to do something new in India. The booming entertainment industry was an eye opener. I was amazed to see that PVR Cinemas charged Rs 500 for a gold class ticket. I grew up in a small town called Dharwad where we had to pay just Rs 2.50 to see a movie!

Here families are ready to spend even Rs 1,000 for a film! It's a completely different India from the one that I grew up in. Consumer is the king here and people have money in their pockets. Besides, DVD prices have crashed to below Rs 3000. So I thought about a product, which people could use throughout the year.

India has supply of 900 movies a year. There is a lot of content here. I also looked at how people watch movies and I found the market completely fragmented -- each store carries only 200-500 titles.

Fragmented market? Thought about a product? All this mumbo-jumbo would fool people? Who is he trying to fool, except himself? And about $10 million in funding? I hope those VCs have more money to shell out to lawyers and patent infringement law suits. Lets wait and see how this situation develops.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Next step in map services?

I was looking up driving directions today, and I knew I wanted to take a certain highway. But, due to the optimization algorithm that map providers use, I could not get the required directions I wanted. (I know, I am dumb enough to look up maps in print :-S )

Shouldn't Google Maps or MapQuest allow users to force the system to use a certain highway or road, and try to build the driving directions based on the recommendations?? Would that be the next thing that the providers give us?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Coming Zune

I was reading this article. Found the view points of the author to be correct, yet a bit biased. Heck, he works for Microsoft. What else should one expect?

What caught my attention was this:
The iPod is probably the first computing fashion accessory, and that's no mean feat. It takes strong design skills combined with a careful and persistent marketing campaign, the latter of which should be apparent to anyone who can't escape the ubiquitous iPod dancing silhouette.
I have seen that dancing silhouette many times..probably too many times that it has become too familiar and does not seem to attract attention anymore. Effects of over the limit publicity?

A product starts on the road to fashionability by convincing the trendsetters to favor it. Once that happens, more and more start to gravitate towards the fashionable product until a point is reached where large numbers have the product.

At that point, an individual no longer shows their trendsetting individuality by owning the now common product. Those looking to distinguish themselves may start to look for something different.

That's where Zune has an opportunity.

Hell yeah. Zune has tactfully incorporated WiFi capability which is targeted at the latest fad: social networking. Think of it, MySpace has more than 100million profiles. (One wonders how many of those are duplicates) Zune will definitely not have that much market penetration, but is certainly destined to be a big success. Will it beat the iPod? May be, may be not!

And, what would be the next big thing in the entertainment industry after Zune? Zune with a video camera and the ability to upload to Youtube? You never know.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Seriously, how come some one not like this guy?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

End of an era

Today will always be remembered as a bitter sweet day for the Tifosis. The King shall retire at the end of the season. After more than 15 years in F1 and 30 years in motorsport. The announcement was made in front of an adoring crowd at Monza,the home circuit of Ferrari.

Such was his determination to win that he was so ruthless on track. He would have terribly damaged the self-esteem of so many drivers. (And, a small example to prove that: today in the press conference He said "...now I would just like to concentrate on these last three wins and finish it in style, and hopefully with the championship...". Not races, but wins!)He has always been in controversies, starting from 1994 (clash with Damon Hill) to 2002 Austria (Rubens moving over to let Him [yes, Him] win). Also, Germany 2003 where marshals pushed his car back on to the trackor Monaco 2006 (Rascasse gate). Well, all you non believers, you can stop reading here.

Schumi is the GOD of driving. People adore him. And your truly is one of the millions of His fans. Take a look at His statistics :247 races till date, 90 wins, 68 pole positions. 11 seasons with Ferrari. He showed committment to the team and people believed in Him that he was given the number 1 status and none of His team mates were allowed to compete with Him. Which I feel was redundant. No one was ever in His level to compete even with equal machinery. I was watching a BBC documentary and one person's comment "Schumacher was quicker by 0.2s than His team mate in that one corner and was quicker by more than a second over the entire course of the lap". Need I say more?

I still can't seem to digest the fact that Schumi will retire at the end of this season. As the president of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemelo, put it, before the retirement was announced: "I hope he carries on for another 15 years". We all hope he had done that.

Schumi, you will always be remembered as the best driver in F1.
No pretender can ever break your records.
We bow to thee.
Wish you the best for the next 3 races
Wish you a good life after retirement!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


While reading this article, I cannot but wonder why Cingular cannot offer this phone. I swear by my Cingular network. Never got a dropped call. But the only negative with this carrier is the phones they offer. Other sucky networks give good phones like the drool worthy Nokia N90 and the like. Ahhh.Come on Cingular! Give us good phones.