Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My First Uber Trip.

Ever since I learnt about the infusion of capital of Uber at an unusually high valuation, and definitely after I came to know about an UberCHOPPER service in Bangalore, I had been awaiting for an opportunity to experience the Uber service myself, complete with the use of the iPhone App, starting from requesting the service 1.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Minimalist Approach has Advantages.

When you move to a different town, as we did recently by moving to the Seattle area, an important realization hits you: You are indeed able to live in a minimalist manner, out of suitcases, so to speak. And, life is a lot simpler!

14 March 2014: Doodle for Google
Minimalist approach has other advantages.

Take the Google front page, for example. This simple front page has been the gateway for many people for their searches and for the diurnal goodies that Google itself leads you to: Today, it is about Doodle for Google, a scheme which invites young artists — Grades K-12 — to submit their doodles ...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

(An Almost) Perfect Parking Experience in Oakland, California.


Parkmobile
The smart way to park.
Scrambling for change before driving to a different location where you have to allow for parking has been a painful phenomenon. Until recently, that is.

I'm not talking about using a credit card to pay for the parking at a curb; this method, while definitely better than scrambling for change, doesn't come close in convenience. What if you need to extend the parking duration? Do you have to call the toll free number, and get into voice-mail jail? Pain.

Enter Parkmobile.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Chromecast, an Example of a Well-Productized Device.

The Chromecast Device.
Within minutes of unpacking the Chromecast device, you can see it working beautifully on your HDMI-equipped TV, getting controlled by your iPhone or iPad1! No reading manuals, nothing.

Thanks, Google!

You notice that any TV with an HDMI input, the Chromecast, and your iPhone or iPad work seamlessly.

Suddenly, Google has made it possible for everyone to see that you don't have to be in a walled garden in order to have good Internet experience! Articles such as Suddenly, Google is making great hardware make a great deal of sense.

I see only a bright future for Internet-connected devices!

1Of course, it'll work with Android devices too.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Journalistic Faux Pas, Internet style.

Journalists make every effort to report news and information correctly. However, once in a while, mistakes happen.

An example is today's on CNN.com.

The front page provides the title "Apple downgrades Tim Cook". You wonder why Apple downgraded Tim Cook. When you click on the link, however, you are taken to another web page where the title is "Apple employees downgrade Tim Cook".

Big difference.

Apple as a corporate entity is different from its constituent employees although, in many cases, the employees have a say in what Apple, the corporate entity, does or says.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Who won in the 2013 US Presidential Election?

Of course, we all know that President Obama was reelected to the 2013 White house with a 303-206 majority in electoral votes last week. But, the real win is for two important constituencies:
  1. Education
  2. Economy (Middle class)
Education. The advent of China and India as potential economic forces in the world economy needs to be taken note of. The 21st century belongs to a properly educated workforce. Not merely in overall education emphasizing liberal arts, etc., but one that provides proper grounding in technology too. President Obama's passion towards this cause is unmistakable. Did you see such passion in the GOP camp?

Economy (The middle class). The backbone of any economy is a vibrant middle class. Particularly when the entire world is getting adjusted to a different 'economic center of gravity' than just the 'West', with both the US and the Western Europe in economic struggle, it takes some proactive

Friday, October 05, 2012

A Simplistic Model of Performing Earned Value Management (EVM) in a Project.

Most discussions on Earned Value Management (EVM) will tell us to compute planned values, PV(t), at the time of planning the project, and assess Earned Values, EV(t), as we make progress over time. This is a very easy and effective way of assessing how the project is performing with respect to time, i.e., schedule.

The problem, in many cases, is that Planned Value (PV) cannot realistically be computed at all. In a project that is expected to take about 18 months to complete, with an average of 25 engineers on the project throughout, and the number of engineers changing over time, we can only begin to compute the planned value as time progresses.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Google Fiber, when are you coming to our town?


This blog post is an alternative, easier-to-follow, representation of an article on Mashable.com, How Does Your Internet Service Stack up to Google Fiber?

PropertyAT&TComcastGoogleTime-Warner Verizon
NameMax Turbo Internet and U-verse U450 TV Xfinity Extreme 105 Internet and Digital Premier TV Gigabit + Fiber TVSignature Home PackageFiOS 300 and Ultimate HD
Price/mo$188$180$120$199$318
Internet access speed24 Mbit/s down, 3 Mbit/s up105 Mbit/s down, 10 Mbit/s up1000 Mbit/s down, 1000 Mbit/s up 105 Mbit/s down, 10 Mbit/s up 300 Mbit/s down, 65 Mbit/s up
Monthly Data Cap250 GB300 GBInfinite60 GBInfinite
Channels 430, incl. Cinemax, HBO> 300, incl. AMC, ESPN, HBO, Showtime162, incl. Showtime350; premium extra380, incl. ESPN, NFL RedZone, Showtime
DVRs, Recording1, 41, 21, 81, 21, 2
DVR - hrs65 HD60 HD 500 HD 150 HD 60 HD
Availability22 states39 states, & Washington, DCKansas City, KS & Kansas City, MO29 states 12 states, & Washington, DC

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Roger Federer, No.7, No. 17, No. 1.

In a recent article on ESPN.com, on Federer's latest Wimbledon conquest, the first sentence is:
"No. 7, No. 17, No. 1."
Gets you thinking on how well he has done from other points of view. I have given here a simple exercise of determining how well some of these players have done since their 1st Grand Slam win, and how well they may perform in the future. (1st Grand Slam win identifies, in a way, a certain maturity needed for such wins).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose ... Caveat Emptor.

In the recent Facebook IPO debacle, the role that Morgan Stanley and other underwriters have played is a curious one. (See Morgan Stanley made money on Facebook share drop).

As a routine procedure, it seems that the underwriters typically get to buy an additional number of shares from the company offering stock to the public.

"Investment bankers typically sell 15% more shares in an IPO than they actually have. ... Included in every IPO deal is an agreement that gives underwriters the ability to buy more stock from the company at a slight discount to the IPO price. So if the price rises after the offering, the underwriters can buy the shares from the company that they have promised to other investors, but don't actually have, and book a small profit. ... In effect, the underwriters were short the stock. ..."

So far, so good. Underwriters, in effect, have a call option on the stock.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Choice of Commencement Speakers.

WISHING ALL GRADUATES EVERYWHERE

The choice of a commencement speaker in American Universities is based quite frequently on worldly accomplishments, rather than being based solely on formal, university-centric, accomplishments. It is as it should be: Even the purpose of formal education is to assist the graduates in helping the world along anyway.

Years ago, we heard Steve Jobs giving a moving commencement speech for Stanford students in 2005. The latest example in 2012: Nipun Mehta, Founder Of Service Space, Delivers Inspiring Graduation Speech To Students At The University Of Pennsylvania. Neither of these have earned PhDs, but both have exhibited a lot of unconventional thinking.