jest for pun (October'05)
Every calendar's days are numbered.
time to move
Good friends and interested readers,
Good news! I am moving this blog – and my others – to my VERY OWN DOMAIN!
Then we’ll meet there in one month (hey, I do get a little time off to refresh my roots in Mother India!)
I hope I’ll see you there. Meanwhile, I hope November is a lucky, surprisingly good month for all of you.
All the best,
Museums Set to Sell Art, and Some Experts Cringe
Museums Set to Sell Art, and Some Experts Cringe
By CAROL VOGEL
Published: October 26, 2005 in The New Work Times
Undaunted by the tempest over the New York Public Library's sale of a prized painting, arts institutions across the country are cleaning out their closets for auctions starting next week, stirring fresh unease among art historians and curators.
Artworks going on the block include paintings by Picasso, Modigliani and Chagall, and rare photographs by masters like Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston. In December, the public library is moving ahead with the sale of two portraits of George Washington, by Gilbert Stuart, and 16 other paintings.
Can your printer tell on you?
This seems like a direct threat from the big brother:
Hi-tech workers make 'curry rock'
Hundreds of thousands of hi-tech workers from India have come to the US in the past decade.
Many of them arrived on the H-1B visa programme, which allows American companies to hire highly-skilled foreign workers.
For many Indians, getting a visa is a dream come true. But living and working in the US can be harder than expected and a group of Indian-born engineers has put the H-1B experience to music.
It all started, as these things often do, at a party. It was a house-warming party in the Washington DC area to be precise.
An Indian computer engineer with a yen for Jethro Tull was throwing the shindig. Among the guests were a couple of other Indian hi-tech workers with musical backgrounds.
Disappointed with your cellphone's lack of enthusiasm? Then you'll be relieved to hear that Motorola has devised a handset that dances for joy when it receives a call.
The "ambulatory" device, as it is described, sits on four vibrating feet that shake with different strength and in slightly different directions to make the whole handset wriggle around.
The device could, for example, shimmy in a clockwise direction to signal an incoming call from the office, or wobble counter-clockwise to alert the user to a new message.
Motorola even proposes using accelerometers to let the owner teach the phone how to dance when a certain person calls. A further party trick would see the device detect the beat of a music track and dance along in time.
Read the dancing cellphone patent here.
Headlines from year 2029
source: yahoo message board ticker AAPL
Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia formally known as California.
White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.
Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crop and livestock.
Baby conceived naturally--scientists stumped.
Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.
Last remaining Fundamentalist Muslim dies in the American Territory of the Middle East (formerly known as Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon).
Iraq still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 100 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.
France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica.
Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.
George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.
85-year, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise is the key to weight loss.
Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.
Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.
Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.
Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.
Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.
Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.
New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.
Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.
Capitol Hill intern indicted for refusing to have sex with congressman.
IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75%.
Florida voters still having trouble with voting machines.
Merely Following a Megatrend
Merely Following a Megatrend
By ZUBIN JELVEH
Published: October 15, 2005 New York Times
Is your job at risk? If it's the type of work that can be done over a wire, then probably yes, says Nandan M. Nilekani, the chief executive of Infosys Technologies.
Infosys is India's second-largest outsourcer. After achieving success in software engineering and back-office service, it has now begun to compete with companies like I.B.M. for more lucrative consulting work. This week, Infosys reported that its second-quarter earnings rose 36 percent. It raised its earnings forecast for the full year on stronger demand and a weaker rupee.
In a recent interview, Mr. Nilekani, a chief executive who makes $60,000 a year at a company worth nearly $20 billion, spoke about Infosys's success and the danger that it and other companies like it pose to American competitors.
Q. Are you worried about the outcry over outsourcing in America?
A. What's happening is pretty fundamental. If you go back to the 1830's, India and China were 50 percent of the world's G.D.P., and then they missed the entire revolution of industry. So if you take a long view of this game, it's just part of the process.
Q. Is there anything you realistically fear from Western policy makers?
A. No. I think politicians have to win elections. But underlying secular trends like technology and demographics - you can't stop these things, they're all megatrends. They're going to happen whether you like it or not. In fact, the guys who are going to win are the ones who say, "It's going to happen anyway; let's figure out how we can take advantage of it."
Q. Why did you branch out from just doing back-office work and add consulting to the mix of services you offer?
A. Our customers want us to be good at sitting down with them, understanding their business challenges, helping them devise a solution and then implementing it. They expect us to go up the chain in terms of relationships and business value. We're not trying to be strategy consultants. We're not sitting there and saying, "Buy this company."
Q. So now you'll be competing with the likes of I.B.M. and Accenture. Do you think you'll change the cost structure of the consulting business?
A. This is a battle of business models. We believe that at the end of the day we have a disruptive business model that is a threat to the existing business model and older companies will have to reconfigure themselves to look more like us if they're going to be globally competitive.
Q. What would that mean, to look more like you?
A. In any software project, we do 30 percent of the work in the U.S. and 70 percent in India. Our competitors do 100 percent of the work in a particular location. We have sort of become masters of delivering high value and high quality at lower cost, and on top of that we're trying to add consulting. Their challenge is to retain their relationships and business knowledge while reconfiguring their internal operations to become as efficient as us.
Q. Do you think you will be able to accelerate your consulting services as fast as companies like I.B.M. ramp up their operations in places like India to lower their costs?
A. I think the challenge is fundamentally different. For us it's about hiring and growth and building a brand; for them it's about restructuring the work force and I think, frankly, I wouldn't want to do that job because it's very painful, whereas this is exciting.
Q. What do you say to people who think that globalization will inevitably harm the United States work force?
A. Every time Wal-Mart replaces a person at a checkout counter with an automatic machine they're eliminating thousands of jobs. This is one more facet of that, except it's more emotional because instead of a checkout counter machine replacing Steve Smith, some kid in Bangalore is replacing Steve Smith. You can point to that kid and say, "He took my job."
Q. Does it feel odd to find yourself lecturing Americans on the joys of capitalism?
A. You guys told us for so many years to cut out this socialist rubbish and go to free markets. We came to free markets and now you're telling us, "Stop, don't come."
The Blogger and IIPM
(via Atanu Dey's blog)
Here are the facts, very briefly. A magazine called JAM, did a story on a management institute called IIPM. The story said that IIPM makes tall claims. Many Indian newspapers carry full page IIPM ads. A blogger, Gaurav Sabnis, blogged about that and basically called IIPM claims fraudulent. IIPM served a legal notice threatening to sue Gaurav for a huge sum of money. They also contacted IBM, from whom they buy laptops for their students, to convey to them that they may stop that business relationship. Why? Gaurav works for IBM. So Gaurav resigned from IBM. The word got around and everyone and his brother is now blogging about the story—a rich corporation threatened a blogger and somehow managed to coerce him into quitting his job.
Everything you ever want to know about this affair and more is at Desipundit’s IIPM Blog Wars Redux.
Elsewhere, Apple Computer today introduced the first Video IPod, expected to be popular among porn fans with excellent eyesight. - Andy Borowitz
Wrap up the week with some fun
PSA: Canon and other digicam users, camera recalls...
(thanks to a good friend who sent this information)
In the past week, four major camera makers have quietly published service advisories admitting their digital cameras are affected. In each case, the flaw appears to involve CCD sensors using epoxy packaging that eventually lets in moisture.
Einstein's Big Idea
Exactly 100 years ago, Albert Einstein grappled with the implications of his revolutionary special theory of relativity and came to a startling conclusion: mass and energy are one, related by the formula E = mc2. In "Einstein's Big Idea," NOVA dramatizes the remarkable story behind this equation.
PBS Broadcast Date: October 11, 2005 from 8 to 10 pm
A mail from Vijay Kranti. Dean - IIT Madras
Here is a personal experience, as well as a moment of national pride, which I want to share with you. Hope you find it worth the time you put in reading it :
"In the middle of 1965 India-Pakistan war, US govt - then a close friend of Pakistan - threatened India with stopping food-aid (remember "PL-480"?). For a food deficient India this threat was serious and humiliating. So much so that in the middle of war, Prime Minister (Late) Lal Bahadur Shastri went to Ram Leela Grounds in Delhi and appealed to each Indian to observe one-meal-fast every week to answer the American threat. As a school boy, I joined those millions who responded to Shastri ji's call. I continued the fast even when the war was over and India became self sufficient in food. Hurt deep by the national humiliation suffered at the hands of the US govt, I had vowed to stop my weekly fast only when India starts giving aid to USA.
"It took just 40 years. Last week THE day arrived. When Indian ambassador in Washington DC handed over a cheque of US$ 50 million to the US govt, two plane loads of food, medical aid and other relief materials were waiting to fly to the USA. Time to break the fast? With no bad feeling about the USA, and good wishes for the Katrina victims, this humble Indian feels proud of the distance India has covered in 40 years. Let's celebrate a New India!"
- Vijay Kranti. Dean - IIT Madras