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Showing posts from 2008

Amazing Google

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I got a call about 10 min ago informing me about police firing in Hyderabad. I quickly scanned all the usual news websites and did not find any information. So I decided to do a Google search to see what results it would return and I was truly amazed at what I got. What is amazing is It had what I was looking for on the first page of the search results It was able to report something that was first posted approximately 45 min before I did the search. (Wed Dec 3 03:03 PM). It managed to mine this information from the page knowing that it would be relevant to me. It even tells me how long before it indexed the page (7 min before I did the search) to show how recent the information is. It is amazing how they got all this information on the search result to help me determine which is the most appropriate answer to my query. It is just amazing how Google manages to deliver exactly what someone needs over and over again and I totally buy into the notion that search is the new navigatio

About Piracy

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The recent pirate attacks on a lot of ships off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden has been in the news. This made me wonder if the pirate attacks are something new or is it something that keeps going on but has just made the headlines because of the volume of attacks. I found this website - ICC Commercial Crime Services that has a Live Privacy Map that lists out all the pirate attacks that have been reported in the recent past. Each map point represents a reported pirate attack and you can click on the map point and read a whole report about the pirate attacks. In the same website the page Piracy prone areas and Warnings gives details of the areas that are to be avoided and it is interesting to note that all the areas happen to be around South East Asia, Indian subcontinent and the African coast. I am not sure if this is because of the sea routes that are taken or the number of developing/underdeveloped countries in these regions.

Understanding the Economic Crisis

Some of the questions that have been haunting me ever since the economic crisis started are What is this so called economic crisis and how it is caused? What is the meaning of all the terminology that they are using such as inflation, credit crunch, etc? How will the economic crisis effect us? How is money created? Are the governments around the world doing the right things? Is there a relation between the oil prices and the current economic crisis? Can the problem be solved and if it can be solved for how long will it go on? I have been looking around for these answers and came across The Crash Course by Chris Martenson . It is divided into the following chapters and it goes on for a total of a little more than 3 hours. Chapter 1: Three Beliefs (Time: 1:46) Chapter 2: The Three "E"s (Time: 1:38) Chapter 3: Exponential Growth (Time: 6:20) Chapter 4: Compounding is the Problem (Time: 3:06) Chapter 5: Growth vs. Prosperity (Time: 3:40) Chapter 6: What is Money? (

What rediff will do for money ?

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I came across an article in Rediff about " Deepika's unbelievable stunt! " and I was curious and clicked on it and got to watch the following video which is a combination of 3 images. I apologize for the bad quality of the video. This video is so fake that I could not believe the editors did not even notice it. If you break up the images that comprise the video it becomes very apparent and I will let the images do the talking. The text below these images clearly shows no body is reviewing what is being put up or Rediff will just publish anything as long as they get paid. I took two screen shots - one on Nov 26, 2008 @ 1:05 PM in which there was a link to the above farce and I then took a second screen shot on Nov 26, 2008 @ 2:50 PM and the link was not there. I searched all over for it but no luck it was taken off - but the original link to the post is still there so you can click on top and go see the post. Can we really trust any of the news sources out there

Why don't you Blog ?

I was reading an interesting post today written by Steve Yegge titled - You Should Write Blogs  . In this post Steve talks about the common reasons people give when you ask them why they don't blog Reason #1: I'm too busy. Reason #2: I'm afraid to put my true thoughts on public record. Reason #3: Nobody will read my blog. Reason #4: Blogging is narcissistic. narcissistic meaning : [adjective] characteristic of those having an inflated idea of their own importance And when I ask a lot of very intelligent people around me the same question I get the very same reasons that Steve covered in his blog post. All very valid reasons, but let me give you reasons as to why you should blog. Project the right information about yourself In this connected world a lot of information is being put on the internet by a lot of sources. A lot of it is good and a lot more than that is bad. If for some reason someone searched for your information online, you do not want them to find i

Understanding Coffee Drinks

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Have you ever walked into a coffee shop and wondered what to order having not been able to understand the different coffee drinks available on the menu? Lokesh Dhakar in this post does an amazing job in explaining the different coffee drinks. Below are the images for the types of coffee drinks that I have seen in the Indian coffee shop menus. Happy coffee drinking. Americano [uh-mer-i-kan-oh] Caffé Latte [caf-ay lah-tey] Caffé Mocha [caf-ay moh-kuh] Cappuccino [kapp-oo-chee-noh] Espresso [ess-press-oh]

Being Coloured

When I born, I Black. When I grow up, I Black. When I go in Sun, I Black. When I scared, I Black. And when I die, I still Black. And you White fellow... When you born, You Pink. When you grow up, You White. When you go in the Sun, You Red. When you cold, You Blue. When you are scared, You Yellow. When you sick, You Green. And when you die, You Grey. And you call me Coloured...

Unbiased Google

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I came across a very interesting piece of news today that increased my belief in Google to be unbiased. If you search for the term Jew in Google till a while ago there is a sponsored link by Google explaining how their search results work. The reason Google was forced to do this was because for the search term jew there were anti jewish sites that were coming up as the top most result in their search results. When a lot of high profile people complained about it Google chose to give an explanation of how their search results worked rather than remove the site from the search results. This is proof that Google is completely unbiased and does not tinker with the results that their search algorithms return. This ensures that the results returned by Google are consistent.

Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Wrap up

Prof K Ramachandran of ISB gave a wrap up on all that we discussed during the full day session. Eliminate customer dissatisfaction, always. Dynamic business plan. Strategy is easy, execution is tough. Have detached passion. VC money: Be ready to have a bumpy ride. Documentation is huge. Constantly build resources. Resources are behind opportunities. Stretch them. Most critical resource is time. ROTI - return on time invested. Usually a lot more effective than ROI which most people use. Innovativeness is needed everywhere. Working capital is life blood. Working capital should be low. Compress cycle time. People and system key to growth. Share vision, build passion. Develop and maintain networks. Listen to others pick up signals. Related posts Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Amit Kishore Prasad, SatNav Technologies Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Samir Kumar, Inventus Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Sandeep Singhal, Nexus India Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Shanta

Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Amit Kishore Prasad, SatNav Technologies

Amit Kishore Prasad is the founder CEO and MD of SatNav Technologies based in Hyderabad. Amit spoke about Execution - Building a team. Ensure you have bosses that the employees look up to and trust. People need to repose confidence and faith in the entrepreneur. Choose employees that have the willingness to learn and are willing to play multiple roles. Employees who have qualifications/experience and also bring an attitude with it will create a problem.  In an organization it is good to have written communication. It should be clearly outlined what is the carrot and stick when doing tasks. When someone comes with a problem ask them for a solution. Give feedback immediately but not publicly. Weekly action plans work well Retaining people - Involve them in the decision making process and keep them in the loop. - Defend your team in front of others When going for VC funding be ready to answer tough questions regarding your team such as are they qualified enough, can the deliv

Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Sandeep Singhal, Nexus India

Sandeep was Co-Founder and CEO of Medusind Solutions, one of the leading healthcare outsourcing companies in India. Sandeep is also the co-founder and Managing Director of eVentures, a leading Venture Capital firm focused on early stage investments in India since 1999. Sandeep has held senior roles at McKinsey and Company, Digital Equipment and EDA Systems. Click here to read more about Sandeep. Sandeep spoke about developing differentiation Important to make your product/Service unique - This allows you to price better. - It is easier to sell. - It allows you to figure out where to focus. - Helps in prioritizing your resources. Sources of differentiation - Technology or patents - Processes - Business model - Marketing How to differentiate? - Build the right team. - Surround yourself with people brighter than you that will question you. - Develop a deep understanding of the target market. - Choose the sources of differentiation. - Execute flawlessly. Notes from Ti

Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Samir Kumar, Inventus

Samir has been an early stage venture investor in India for the past six years.   Prior to co-founding Inventus, Samir built and led the India venture team for Acer Technology Ventures - a $260 million cross-border venture fund investing in early-stage technology and services companies across India, the U.S. and the Asia Pacific. Samir was an early member of two startups in India, and was part of the early team at Wipro. He helped Wipro grow revenues from ~$4M in 1989 to over $200 million in 1998. Click here to read more about Samir. Samir spoke about Marketing Strategies for a startup. Think big and execute in small steps It is important to have a good team. Very few VCs will invest in a single individual. Product Most important thing the entrepreneur needs to focus on. It needs to be thought through very carefully and diligently. Think from outside in. Look at it from the view of a customer. Important to include customers when conceptualizing the product. Understand the

Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Shantanu Surpure, Sand Hill Counsel

Shantanu Surpure is Managing Attorney at Sand Hill Counsel, a law firm with offices in Mumbai and Silicon Valley. He focuses on venture capital and private equity transactions. Shantanu holds a BA from Brown University/London School of Economics, an MA Juris from Oxford University and a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School and is admitted to practice law in India, California, New York and England and Wales. Shantanu spoke about Negotiating with VCs. Be organized and document everything properly. Hire a lawyer when negotiating with a VC because they will have one of their own. VC's will do a valuation and will ask for anything between 25% to 40% of the company in the form of preference shares. When the VCs have an interest in investing they will give you something called a term sheet which will have all the terms and conditions. VCs usually look at a 3-5 year investment horizon. In the term sheet there will be anti dilution terms which means that if the valuation of the co

Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - DD Ganguly, DimDim

DD Ganguly is co-founder and CEO of Dimdim, Inc. Previously, as Vice President of Product Development at CA (NYSE:CA; $ 3.5B) he built and led an organization of 1000+ members. He joined CA in 2001 upon its acquisition of Boston based AIM, Inc. where he was founder and CEO. Click here to read more about him. DD Ganguly spoke about his Fund Raising Experience for DimDim which is a free web conferencing service where you can share your desktop, show slides, collaborate, chat, talk and broadcast via webcam with absolutely no download required for attendees. Funding When looking for funding look for people that like you and what you are doing. Angel investors invest in your business because the align with how you think and what you do. Try and get journalists and bloggers to write about your product/service. This will help in popularizing and showcasing your product to potential VC's. You need to click with the VC for them to invest. Choosing a name The .com webaddress should

Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Prof K Ramachandran, ISB

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Professor K Ramachandran is the Associate Dean of Academic Programmes at the Indian School of Business. He has been a professor of entrepreneurship, family business, and strategy at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad since its inception in 2001. He is also the Thomas Schmidheiny Fellow of Family Business and Wealth Management at the ISB. Professor Ramachandran spoke about Entrepreneurial opportunities and Organization Building - A Road Map. He spoke about identifying the type of opportunity, the graph of time against turnover for a startup and elements of a business plan. Opportunities are identified through a pent up need or customer dissatisfaction in the existing offerings. By mapping the pent up need (Discontentment) on one axis and Criticality (dissatisfaction) on the other different kinds of opportunites can be identified. Any organization needs to balance Financial Needs, Technology Needs, Marketing Needs and Entrepreneurial Capability. If an entrepreneur can manage t

Notes from TiE-ISBConnect - Sateesh Andra, DFJ

Sateesh Andra is a Venture Partner with DFJ India. Sateesh started his Silicon Valley career in the early nineties and has extensive background in general management, marketing, product strategy, and technology development. Prior to DFJ, Sateesh was the fo founder and CEO of Euclid Software, a leader in the IT Governance space. He has also served in product marketing and engineering leadership roles at Tsqware (Conexant), LSI Logic, VLSI Technology (Philips), and Wipro. You can read more about Sateesh here . Sateesh spoke about the Spirit of Entrepreneurship - My Journey. Here are my notes from that session. Have passion in your idea for a period of time. Dream big. Study your idea. Understand the stated value proposition vs the implemented value proposition of your idea.  Is your idea a pain killer or a vitamin. In times of hardship people stop using vitamins but the do not stop using pain killers Raise money from the right people. Do not just take money from any source th

Notes from Tie-ISBConnect - Sashi Reddi, Applabs

Sashi Reddi is the CEO of Applabs which he founded in the year 1998 and today Applabs is the world's largest independent software testing company. Click here to read more about Sashi Reddi. Sashi Reddi spoke about the Spirit of Entrepreneurship - My Journey. Here are my notes from that session. Being a part time entrepreneur does not work. If you want to be an entrepreneur then you must be full time into it. There is no right time to start. The right time is when you are passionate about your idea. Jump in and then refine your plan. Jump in and sort the problems. There is no perfect business plan and if you wait for the perfect business plan then your venture will never get off the ground. Be an entrepreneur to make money. Do not start a venture where it is not clear how you will make money. Take a shot in a fast growing big market. The reason is because it is easier to capture the market when there are more customers. When starting think small on how to make money w

TiE-ISB Connect conference

I am going for the TiE-ISB Connect conference to be held here in Hyderabad from the 5th to the 7th of this month. Quoting from the website this is what it is all about "India’s most exciting annual networking event for entrepreneurs and investors, the TiE-ISB Connect '08 will be held on November 5th, 6th and 7th, 2008 at the ISB campus in Hyderabad. Organized by the TiE, Hyderabad Chapter and the Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (WCED), ISB, TiE-ISB Connect enables interaction of aspiring entrepreneurs, early-stage ventures, and growth-stage ventures with potential investors, successful entrepreneurs and mentors. " The conference is of two parts - one is the Jumpstart event that is a day long learning event. It is a day meant for young entrepreneurs to get a head start. The day is broken up into several workshop type sessions with each topic focussing on a specific area of entrepreneurial learning. From this session I am hoping to learn how to conve

Office Snapshots

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If you ever wanted to know what offices look like around the world, visit  Office Snapshots  which gives you a peek into some of these offices. Its a nice site that gives you an idea of the diverse range of offices that exist out there from the "kewl" offices of Ogilvy to the drab offices of craigslist.org  . Then there are the usual ones like Yahoo, Microsoft and Google that we all know about. Anyway take a look and let me know what you think is the kewlest office out there.

Beware of net4.in

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For those of you new to websites - there are two parts to any website going live one is to buy a domain name (i.e. Domain Registration) and the other is to host the website content (i.e. Hosting Services) and this can be done with the same service provider or two different service providers. If you host the content on one service provider and buy the domain name from a different service provider then you have to go and tell the Domain registrar (the service provider you bought the website name from) the server address of where your website is hosted (you can get this from the hosting provider) and this is called changing of the name servers. Net4.in is a service provider in India that provides all these services and many more and I have been developing some websites for a client that had registered their domains with net4.in . About a couple of days ago the client realised that his site was down and was not able to understand why it had suddenly stopped working so he checked on the

Understanding technology made easy

The Common Craft site explains a lot of things that people want to know about new technology by using plain English in very easy to follow videos. Some of the videos that I liked and I think are a must watch are Video: Web Search Strategies in Plain English   - Explains beautifully how search engines work and how you can improve your ability to find things. If you are running a website it also tells you how you can improve the chances of your website appearing on top of the heap of search results. Video: Twitter in Plain English  - If the twitter bug has not bitten you yet. Then this may get you to start sending tweets. Happy twittering after watching this. Video: Blogs in Plain English - If you are unable to understand how I am able to publish all this content for you to read then this is the video to watch. Video: Social Networking in Plain English - Gives you a very easy understanding of the future of meeting people and making new friends. Video: Social Bookmarking in

Before moving to DTH enquire about after sales

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For all those that are thinking of moving from regular cable to DTH be sure to ask about the after sales service and how much they charge for it. I bought the Tata Sky DTH service about two years ago and it worked without  any issues till now. With the rains and the wear and tear on the dish the wire connecting to the dish came lose and I was getting a problem with the reception. Not understanding what the problem is I called up the Tata Sky help desk and they asked me to do a bunch of things with the set top box that did not help. The problem was still there, all it would say was "Unable to receive signal". So I asked them to send a technician over to take a look and the first thing they told me was that it would cost me Rs. 350 for the technician to just visit my place even if he did not do anything. This I think is ridiculous for equipment that has external wiring and is bound to go through wear and tear. Some examples of similar equipment is the internet connection, tel

Google's new browser - Chrome

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I downloaded and started using Google's new browser, Chrome since today morning and so far it has been an enjoyable experience. Let me tell you what I like about it so far It is very neat in its usage of space by reusing the title bar to show the tabs, reusing the address bar to do searches too. The uncluttered feel of the browser with sleek buttons is very refreshing. The pages seem to load a lot faster - I have not done any real tests but at least that is the perception. May be it is because they give you a status of what is happening and that is the reason you feel the pages are loading a lot quicker. The fact that each tab is its own process and there is a task manager that you can use to kill a process/tab without effecting the other tabs is something that is long needed. After the experience of IE crashing all the open browsers if you kill one of them in the windows task manager this is like a god send. The browser used very little memory and you can see clearly which p

An insiders view of the olympics

The Olympics is over and I guess the dust is slowly settling on the euphoria surrounding the so called stupendous show India put on this time (1 to 3 medals is a 200% improvement). I just found out that IBM gave Ideapad laptops and video cameras to some of the athletes and got them to cover the Olympics with pictures, blogs, tweets, etc. IBM them aggregated all of those entries in a website called Voices of the Olympic Games . Be sure to visit it and get an insiders view of the olympics. Abhinav Bindra is one of the atheletes who is part of this initiative and you can read his blog by visiting http://abhinavbindra.blogspot.com . Rajyavardhan Rathore is the other Indian athelete who is part of this program http://chillyrathore.blogspot.com/ .

Getting booked for Traffic Offenses

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In the recent past I have got booked for traffic offenses 3 different times in 3 different ways. I am not sure if the police have got smarter and stricter or have I been breaking the law a bit too frequently of late. Anyway what I found interesting is the different ways that you can get booked now which is what I want to talk to you about in this post. Method 1 - Caught in the act This is the traditional method. I jumped a traffic light and landed straight into the waiting sub inspector on the other side of the traffic signal.My bike key got confiscated till I paid up my Rs. 100 and I drove away. Well this is the time tested way where you get caught red handed and you have nothing to say to bail yourself out. Method 2 - Notice is mailed to your house I was surprised a couple of days ago when I opened my mail box at home and I find this inland letter from the traffic police claiming that I was in a no parking zone on April 6th and that I can go online to http://www.esevaonline.c

Shortage of power ? Here is a solution.

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With all the scheduled power outages that we are having in Hyderabad for close to four hours a day and the central government fighting for its survival over getting nuclear fuel to meet our future energy needs here is a club in London that is generating electricity out of a bouncing dance floor. Read the explanation below about how they are generating the electricity. You can read more about this at Dancefloor generates electricity at London’s first eco-disco! It's interesting how once upon a time all these innovative ways to generate electricity would have just been just too expensive but with the cost of traditional ways of generating electricity going up such innovative ways are not only becoming a style statement but they are becoming affordable to implement.

Is eating out too expensive ?

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You hear a lot of it in the news that food prices are rising and that people are not able to afford to eat out any more. Today we paid a visit to Paradise Restaurant in Hyderabad and ordered take away (Read my earlier post Food in Hyderabad  about why you should do take-away and not eat at Paradise) and here is what we got for a gift pack that costed us Rs. 220. 1 Chicken Biryani 1 Mutton Biryani 6 pieces of kebabs 1 Butter Chicken 2 Romali Rotis We usually eat Biryani from Hyderabad House and all of the items mentioned above would have costed us nothing less that Rs. 500. A few days ago we ate in Chutneys and for just 1 palak paneer, 4 rotis, 1 soup and 1 plate of idli the bill came up to Rs. 450. Chutneys used to not be this expensive - its only of late that they have really increased their prices. And on the other hand the small idly-dosa tiffin joints that you see all over Hyderabad have pretty much kept their prices stable. Another kind of restaurant that most people eat fr

Why would anyone need a camera like this ?

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I came across this article on Engadget that talks of a 50 Megapixel camera from Hasselblad that costs something in the region of 37 K USD (Pricing is not yet released). Which got me thinking about why would anyone need such a high resolution camera when a 4 Megapixel camera can print a hoarding that is 12 feet X 9 feet. (Source : The Megapixel Myth ). Anyone that is planning to buy a digital camera or thinking to upgrade one that they already have should read the megapixel myth .

Firefox 3.0 officially sets the world record

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Firefox 3.0 has set the Guinness world record for the largest number of downloads in a 24 hour period. And for the record I was part of it :-). To get your own certificate visit http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/certificate_form . What I find weird is that all you have to do is go and give your name and you get a certificate. So even if you did not download it, you can get a certificate stating that you did. Not good :-(. If they were planning to give these certificates I am sure they could have put some thought into only giving it to people who genuinely did download the browser and thus giving some amount of credibility to the certificate.

Open ID - What, Where, How, Advantages, Safe ?

I am sure a lot of you must be reading about Open ID and are wondering what it is and how is it useful. I did not care much about it till I read that blogspot was supporting Open ID and so I got curious. What is Open ID ? Let me give you my understanding of Open ID. Everyone has a profile page on yahoo, AOL, Flickr and so on or a blog or a website. All these are represented by a unique URL that will give a user more information about ther real you (unless you only exist on that profile in cyberspace). The idea of open id is that instead of using a userid and password everywhere to identify yourself and setting up your profile each time you can use this URL to identify yourself and that way if anyone wants to know more about you they can visit the URL. When you use the open ID if you are logged into your site then there is no authentication required but if you are not logged in then it takes you to the webpage to be authenticated. To get a geek view of what open ID is you can go to http

Update on Reliance Wimax

Of late I have seen a lot of third party providers of Reliance Wimax connections in Hyderabad posting their phone number on my blog entry Going WiMax . The wimax connection really did not work out for me for the following reasons It just took a lot of time to get a connection each time I wanted one. It would sit for ages in trying to acquire network address. The speed was decent but nothing like the 2 mbps link that Airtel currently gives me. It was not really reliable. It would get cut of for no reason what-so-ever. On the whole my experience has not been good at all with the wi-max connection and had it disconnected. I now use Airtel which is completely underground in my area and the service that they offer is quite exceptional. Speed is good and I have not experienced any downtime in the last 1 month that I have been using it.

Firefox 3 and ScribeFire

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Its been a while since I blogged having not got the time and the inspiration for something different to write about. Yesterday wanting to be part of the world record for the largest number of downloads in a single day I downloaded and installed Firefox 3 and then I heard so much about ScribeFire and so I decided to download and install that add-in for Firefox. From what I have experienced so far with ScribeFire it is quite wonderful. The biggest advantage of it is that it sits directly in your firefox browser and so when ever you feel like blogging you just press F8 and it displays a nice rich text area to write your thoughts in and click on the publish button and you are done. You do not need to log into your blogger account or you don't need to open another application just to say something. Since it makes it easy to blog you just feel like blogging when ever you get a thought. It has a ton of other features that I have not yet explored. For all those that use Firefox go ahead

Why taxpayers are better off with a fuel price hike ?

There is a lot being said about the fuel price hike, so here are my views on it. If you are a tax paying citizen of India (a very few in this country which at the moment is less than 10% of the population) you are better off with the fuel increase.  With the prices of crude going up around the world the cost of buying crude for the oil companies is going up. If the costs of the inputs go up the cost of the output too is bound to go up. With the government controlling the price of gasoline this increase in output is not being transferred to the consumer. This increase is being borne by the government that gets its money from the tax payers. Hence it is our tax money that is going into subsidizing the cost of gasoline in this country. So if you are a tax paying person you are paying for the subsidy on the fuel that the citizens who are not paying tax are using (almost 90%). So if you are paying your taxes then you are better off with the prices going up.  The government should stop al

Using video screen capture in testing

We had a very interesting issue in a project where the client was reporting an error in a screen that had hundreds of input fields but the client was not able to give us reproducible steps for the error. All that the client said was that the error was coming when a certain subset of values were selected in the input fields and the subset did not remain the same each time. In this case without reproducible steps it was virtually impossible to solve the problem. After a bit of thought, what we decided to do was to use Snagit video screen capture and record the screens of a group of developers using the screen causing the error extensively. Once we had this video we played it back and identified the points where the error was occurring and we could then rewind and take a snapshot of the screen just before the error occurred and also write down the steps that led to the data that caused the error. With this information we were able to identify a pattern that was causing the error and sol

Voting

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We had by-elections in our constituency and having got my voter identity card only a month ago I decided to go and cast my vote. My wife did not get her voter identity card (not sure why) so we decided to check if the voters list was online and if we could find any information. So a quick google search led us to http://ceo.ap.gov.in/ . Having filled in all the fields marked with * we were easily able to find her name in the list. We then wrote down the Part No and the Serial No in list and went to the polling booth and we were able to get the voting slip with absolutely no issues. We then proceeded to the voting booth and cast our vote. Its very interesting to see how simple and wonderful the whole electronic voting system is and how efficiently and accurately it works. Technology can vary from being very complex and doing thousands of things to it being simple but being limited in its capability. The adoption of technology is possible if it meets a set of desired goals while allowin

Defect Fixing : Biggest Project Risk

I was working on some estimates for a project by first estimating the size of the project and then estimating the effort by looking at some historical data on similar sized applications done in the past. What we realised that in all our projects we were pretty much on track with the estimated efforts until we reached the validation testing phase. In this phase we realised that we were spending anywhere between the initial estimated effort and three times the initial estimated effort. I then tried to analyse why we had such a vast variation in the estimates for this phase and I found that the prime reason for this is because there are defects slipping through all the other phases into the testing phase and thus skewing the entire estimate. If there is no control on the other phases of the project then this phase is pretty much a mess and usually it is so late in the project that it is very hard to recover from the mistakes made in the other phases. So if you see the project team can n

Microsoft advertising on Google Ads

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I was browsing a website today and it was interesting to see a Microsoft Ad come on Google Ads. Amidst all the battles that are being fought, it does look like Microsoft does needs Google's extensive ad network to popularize their products.

Trip to Puri, Orissa : Konark Temple

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The trip from the resort to Konark was along a very scenic tree lined road along the beach. There are quite a few places from which you can see the sea along the route and I wish I was on a motorcycle on this road as the road does not have any traffic and it also very smooth with no potholes. In Konark it is about a kilometer from where you have to get down to where the temple is located. Since it was quite hot we felt every step of this walk. The temple itself is quite well maintained but unless you are really interested in looking at stone carvings there is really not much to see other than the fact that you visited the place. The beach itself is quite small and not very clean. You cannot go for a dip in the waters as it is not safe. So in just about 5 minutes we were bored and ready to head back. On the way back there is a picnic spot that seemed quite nice. You have to cross a river to get to a beach but I am not sure if you could get into the water here as there was no body on t

Unlocking password protected Excel files

Ever got into any of the following situations You have password protected an Excel file and have subsequently forgotten the password Got an excel file that is password protected and you want to access the contents of the file Today I was in the first situation and after a bit of googling I came across the following application Excel Password Remover 2008 which is an add-in to excel. It's very simple to use this tool Download the add-in password.xla and save it at any location on your hard disk. Load the add-in into excel by going to the following menu option Tools -> Add-Ins. Click on Browse in the window that pop-ups and find the password.xla file that is saved on your hard disk. It will then appear in the add-ins Available list. Make sure the checkbox next to the name of the add-in is checked before you click on ok. Once you click on OK you should get two new menu items in the tools menu Unprotect sheet and Unprotect workbook. Open the file that you want to unprotect (note

Answering skribit entries - 1

Dear readers, Thank you for posting questions that you would like to ask me. I will try and answer them as and when there are 2 or more questions. Please continue using the skribit widget to interact with me and I would love to hear from you. What is your most challenging aspect of blogging ? My most challenging aspect of blogging is trying to find content that would engage my readers and that I enjoy writing about. Informational articles tend to do very well and are always among the top 10 articles on my blog. But it is not always easy to write informational articles as there is only so much information that you can give that is not already there online. I usually try writing informational articles from what happens in my real life that I think others can benefit from but then it is not everyday that I do something new and exciting to write about. So that's where my challenge lies in generating blog content. The upside to this is that it forces me to do new things in life so th

New Skribit widget on my blog

I have added a new skribit widget to my blog on the right sidebar. The reason I have added this widget is so that I can hear about any of your queries/ideas that you have when you read an article. Please feel free to post your ideas and suggestions. It is very easy to use this widget, in order to post a query/idea just click on "What should I write about" and it will give you a small text field to post your query/idea and you are done. If you see someone else's comment already covering the query/idea you want to put then you can vote on it to show that there are multiple people interested in the same query/idea.

Trip to Puri, Orissa : Boat Ride

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About 5 min from the resort by bus is a barrage on the Nuanai River. On one side of this barrage is fresh water and on the other side that joins into the sea is salt water. The resort arranged for a boat ride from the barrage till the point the river meets the sea. The cost of the boat ride is Rs. 100 per head. The ride from the barrage to the sea is about 45 min either way and you reach a very nice stretch of beach. We were told that it is not safe to swim here as the sand is not stable where the river meets the sea. When you go on this boat ride you go past some fishing villages and you can see fisherman casting their nets in the water and showing off their catch. The river itself is tree lined and quite beautiful. We also saw some skeletons of Olive Ridley turtles that come here to hatch their young. We were also lucky to see a jelly fish that got washed ashore. There are also tons of shells to collect from the sea shore. This boat ride surely was one of the highlights of my trip t

Trip to Puri, Orissa : Toshali Sands

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On this trip I stayed in a resort called Toshali Sands . This resort is about 65 KM from Bhubaneshwar city and it takes about an hour and a half by car to reach the resort from Bhubaneshwar airport. The road is very good and it is quite a smooth ride. You can call up the resort and arrange for a car pick up from the airport which we did and it cost us Rs. 1200. In front of the resort is the Baiukhanda Reserve Forest which is basically a cashew plantation owned by the government and were told that there were mainly deer in it but we did not get to see any. If you drive through the forest then you reach the Balighai beach. Although the resort claims to be of 4 star quality it is not really of the same quality of other 4 star properties although it might have similar amenities as a 4 star property may have. It is comfortable and decently clean. The food is very homily and do not expect too much of exotic food. The room that we stayed in also had a small kitchen with a single burner stove