Thursday, April 21, 2005 taken !!

on WIRED News

Newly elected popes often take the names of previous popes in honor of them. So when media reports last month revealed that Pope John Paul II was in his final hours, Cadenhead worked out the possible names that the new pope might select and set out to buy those domains.

He ended up buying six in all -- including,,, and Some domains, like and, already were taken.

Cadenhead said he hasn't figured out what he's going to do with the domain yet. "I know for certainty I won't be doing that," he said, referring to the adult sites. "The decision would be guided by the idea not to piss off 1.1 billion (Roman Catholics.)"

Adobe and Macromedia

on WIRED News

And now, by picking up the remaining applications in the Macromedia stable, Adobe has just bought its way into every niche in the design market. Digital imaging, motion graphics, desktop publishing, content management, presentations, documents, video editing, audio production, type. You name it, the new Adobe's got a program that does it.

Just think of it. Create a Flash animation using video you've edited in Premiere Pro, graphics elements you've created in Illustrator, and images you've prepared in Photoshop. Add some music you tracked using Audition, then drop it into a web page you've created using ColdFusion and Dreamweaver. Everyone plays nice together and everything works the way it should.

There are also plenty of observers who have voiced fears about a monopoly. It's true, Adobe is now a sort of one-stop shop for all of your web, graphics and publishing needs. There have always been alternatives to Flash and Photoshop, and there probably always will be. But only time will tell if any of the alternatives will stand up to the new giant.

The merger makes sense for both Macromedia and Adobe. Both companies have been busy selling their products to the same people for years. While those customers may see a little less variety, they will certainly see a lot more compatibility. The larger company will also have more resources, allowing it to branch into new areas more quickly and easily.

Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart

on WIRED News

Biggest threat:

• Wal-Mart: Falling dollar and rising yuan, which could make Chinese imports more expensive and potentially shave profit margins.

• Google: Click fraud, which would undermine advertisers' faith in Google's ad programs and force the company to refund millions of dollars, which could potentially shave profit margins.

Quote the company most regrets:

• Wal-Mart: "I pay low wages. I can take advantage of that. We're going to be successful, but the basis is a very low-wage, low-benefit model of employment." -- Sam Walton

• Google: "Evil is whatever Sergey says is evil." -- Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Runner-up: "We are moving to a Google that knows more about you." -- Schmidt

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Expanding mobile penetration through targeting emerging markets

on The 3G Portal

GSM vendors recently sold their billionth phone !! This article argues that to sell the next billion, emerging markets have to be targeted. It also discusses ways to succeed in emerging markets.

This latter segment (emerging markets) represents a large untapped commercial opportunity but only if new ways of running a mobile business are adopted by operators and vendors alike.

These new approaches include:

• Introducing handset and tariff schemes to suit each segment – low and high end in a Dual Market.

• Expanding the choice and volume of distribution channels.

• Employing new ways to economically handle subscriptions.

• Deploying technology strategies that minimise costs and offer device and service portfolios to cater for each of the Dual Market segments.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

IIMC from the eyes of an exchange student

An incredible amount of work has gone into making this website a 'must read' for all Jokaites and future students.

The IIMC campus is actually not in Calcutta, rather it's located in Joka, a town about 25 km south of Calcutta. The students call the IIMC campus "Jokaland" - which recognizes that the campus is located in Joka, yet is a microcosm that is entirely separate from town. Concrete walls enclose the campus with one central gate serving as entrance and exit, and within the secluded walls, the IIMC students have almost everything and anything they need. The students sleep in hostels, and eat four meals a day at the hostels' mess halls. Each hostel has its own small retail shop, selling convenience goods such as snacks, personal care items and prepaid cell phone cards. Newspapers are delivered daily and magazine sellers spread out their wares every morning after breakfast. There are excellent multi-media classrooms on campus as well as a new auditorium that seats 1100 people. A basketball court, soccer field, tennis court and badminton net ensure that students have opportunities to stay fit.

Never in my university experiences have I been lucky enough to be exposed to such a natural sense of community among students. In my observations, I have seen a few reasons for this closeness: the isolated campus at Jokaland (with 5-star hostel accommodations), technology - the online blueboard postings (even with the ranting) and the "send" instant messaging software - , and the students' sense of shared purpose. I'm sure there are other factors, but having only been here a month, this is what I have so far observed.

I've also been asked if I would want to come back to India - would I go through this again? My response: In a heartbeat. How could I not? The IIMCers have been so kind, generous, friendly, and funny! Many have fantastic senses of humor (although many seem to have trouble understanding MY off-beat sense of humor!). These students have a lot to offer India and the world, and I hope to see many of them in New York or wherever else we all end up!

Monday, April 18, 2005

MIT students pull prank on conference

on CNN

Jeremy Stribling said Thursday that he and two fellow MIT graduate students questioned the standards of some academic conferences, so they wrote a computer program to generate research papers complete with "context-free grammar," charts and diagrams.

The trio submitted two of the randomly assembled papers to the World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (WMSCI), scheduled to be held July 10-13 in Orlando, Florida.

To their surprise, one of the papers -- "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy" -- was accepted for presentation.

"Rooter" features such mind-bending gems as: "the model for our heuristic consists of four independent components: simulated annealing, active networks, flexible modalities, and the study of reinforcement learning" and "We implemented our scatter/gather I/O server in Simula-67, augmented with opportunistically pipelined extensions."

(The paper can be downloaded from the page.)

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Titanic sinks !!

This day that age : The NYT front page that broke the news of the tragedy !!

CAPE RACE, N.F., April 15. -- The White Star liner Olympic reports by wireless this evening that the Cunarder Carpathia reached, at daybreak this morning, the position from which wireless calls for help were sent out last night by the Titanic after her collision with an iceberg. The Carpathia found only the lifeboats and the wreckage of what had been the biggest steamship afloat.

The Titanic had foundered at about 2:20 A.M., in latitude 41:46 north and longitude 50:14 west. This is about 30 minutes of latitude, or about 34 miles, due south of the position at which she struck the iceberg. All her boats are accounted for and about 655 souls have been saved of the crew and passengers, most of the latter presumably women and children. There were about 1,200 persons aboard the Titanic.

The Leyland liner California is remaining and searching the position of the disaster, while the Carpathia is returning to New York with the survivors.

It can be positively stated that up to 11 o'clock to-night nothing whatever had been received at or heard by the Marconi station here to the effect that the Parisian, Virginian or any other ships had picked up any survivors, other than those picked up by the Carpathia.

First News of the Disaster.

The first news of the disaster to the Titanic was received by the Marconi wireless station here at 10:25 o'clock last night (as told in yesterday's New York Times.) The Titanic was first heard giving the distress signal "C. Q. D.," which was answered by a number of ships, including the Carpathia, the Baltic and the Olympic. The Titanic said she had struck an iceberg and was in immediate need of assistance, giving her position as latitude 41:46 north and longitude 50:14 west.

At 10:55 o'clock the Titanic reported she was sinking by the head, and at 11:25 o'clock the station here established communication with the Allan liner Virginian, from Halifax to Liverpool, and notified her of the Titanic's urgent need of assistance and gave her the Titanic's position.

The Virginian advised the Marconi station almost immediately that she was proceeding toward the scene of the disaster.

At 11:36 o'clock the Titanic informed the Olympic that they were putting the women off in boats and instructed the Olympic to have her boats read to transfer the passangers.

The Titanic, during all this time, continued to give distress signals and to announce her position.

The wireless operator seemed absolutely cool and clear-headed, his sending throughout being steady and perfectly formed, and the judgment used by him was of the best.

The last signals heard from the Titanic were received at 12:27 A.M., when the Virginian reported having heard a few blurred signals which ended abruptly.

The age of teleputers !

on Rediff

Rajesh Jain foresees a world where most of the computing happens through thin clients (read Mobile Phones) while the actual data store happens in behind-the-scenes servers. But a crucial pre-requisite is a robust network that enables seamless connectivity. The motivation behind this meme is that more people will use the Internet through mobile phones, not PCs !!

The story of a Papad !!

on Rediff (Courtesy : Smart Manager)

Definitely a good read. The following managerial techniques on display (the keyword is "simplicity") :

  • Driven by core values
  • Strategic management of the interests of all stakeholders in the supply chain
  • Zero-inventory management
  • Optimum Asset utilisation
  • Distribution management by decntralisation
  • Simple solution to Principal-Agent problem - Make everyone the owner
  • No equal-opportunity employment (No males !!)
  • Engaging the competitor ? - Just ignore competitors !!