Monday, October 31, 2011

Going Viral with Innovation

I am down with flu, the last time I got flu I made sure that I shared it with everyone I met. Now this time I am wondering how I would perform. ;) Ah its not just the diseases which are contagious.

I remember as a kid I started to read books because people around me were fond of reading and all of them had more knowledge to brag about. Importantly I was taken up by their the ability to quote from books in conversations, I didn't want to be left out, so I started to read. Like wise I had observed in communities habits going viral, illustrious list of examples include reading, tweeting, blogging,  revolutions, uprisings, patriotism,  protests, technology and surprisingly even innovation!

My thinking and interest in recent days has been on creating a culture of innovation since it could be the catalyst for social revival. I am trying to see what are the factors needed to nurture innovation. Surprisingly I keep on coming back to the point that "Even innovation being very contagious". Take Silicon valley for example, while reading Steve Job's autobiography I was tempted to read more about Silicon Valley's history, In this case , unknowingly the military industry served as the incubator for the technology companies which would eventually snow ball to create the industry which would come out with innovations to change the world forever!

To foster innovation people need sources for inspiration, just like I took up reading after seeing people around read and quote, innovation to become a culture should have role models whom you can look up to as inspiration. Even an innovator in the Caliber of Google's CEO needs inspiration, he says that whenever he needed innovation he didn't have to look beyond Palo Alto!

But luckily technology has taken out geographic constraints, inspirational characters doesn't have to be living on the same street or Valley. You can transcend oceans but still inspire communities and generations. In an effort to create a culture of innovation I believe technology can be used positively and  change the lives of people forever. Using technology its possible to create an artificial incubator to foster this cultural transformation. Keeping this belief in mind, keep on reading this blog, very soon I would become WE and when the time is right WE would make some announcements. In our own pursuit to do our little

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tuesdays with Morrie

I had grown up in a culture where speaking about death is taboo. Topic of death is usually considered a bad omen. I would be asked to shut up when playfully I refer to it. For them, speaking or thinking about death is sadism. In reality death if one of the unavoidable truths which is bound to happen, each day we spend we move one step closer to it. Its inevitable truth of life. Now I realize that instead of using it for poking fun, it has a greater meaning and can add meaning to life when used with the right thought process.

The book that induced me in this thinking is, "Tuesdays with Morrie". Its an excellent read and with a lot of candid expressions about life and death. Two of my favourite quotes from the book are,

"Everyone knows they're going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently."


"Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live".

When I was reading this book I remembered Steve Job's Standford commencement address. Listen from 8.45 in the video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA

"I had looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, if its the last day in my life will I do what I am about to do, if the answer is No continuously for a few days then I know I am on the wrong path "

The book is an excellent read and nicely laced with life's greatest lessons as seen by Morrie.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Naming THE City

At university we used to have supplementary courses which we can take to cover up the number of credits. So I applied to take Econ, but I never intended to go for lectures for that course. People who went for lectures came and said there is this pro outspoken anti rag lecturer who does the lectures and its a good laughing session.

So out of curiosity I opted to go for it on one bright saturday. As usual he was on full song, we anti raggers had a time laughing. But out of all what he said and taught what I remember with absolute precision is the question he asked at class, " Name the city in Sri Lanka, which produces the most number of idiots?!" At that time I was clueless. But he started to explain, he quoted a few politicians out of that area and highlighted the fact that they manage to get such high percentage of preferential votes in that place despite of their dubious profiles.

Today I came to fort and was intending to travel to Kandy. There was a delay due to a derailment of another train and I watched the people travelling to that place again exhibiting intelligence. Letting all the empty trains heading to their city to pass by and waiting for an hour to Jam pack the long distance trains. But then how can I expect rational thinking, after all they had decorated and continue to celebrate the biggest clowns in politics.

Since attending the lecture everytime I pass this place in train I remember the lecturers words of wisdom and everytime I check the preferential votes of ther election results I remember him. I feel that they are hell bent on living up to their reputation. I had given enough clues to find the city, hence I leave it as a quiz to the reader to name this city. ;)


Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Employer bashing on FB

In recent times I had observing the trend of people expressing candid negative opinion on social networks about their family, school, colleagues and employers. Recently an irritated top executive remarked that its the era  of 'Facebook Heros". He said "In a country obsessed with heros, both real and card board, this type of FB heros seems to be a new breed".

From the individuals perspective they argue that when suppressed, social networks had given them a tool by which they can make them selves heard and also retaliate against the might of cooperate power. For them, social network has become the place where they let off the steam, vent their aggression, get some sympathy and most importantly seek attention!

On the other hand there are countless number of stories where cooperates, when under attack from an employee on social network has waved BYE BYE to employees. In other circumstances, people had complained of strategic victimization of the individual by the superiors from the day of publicizing on social networks. Another segment of cooperates complain about the loss of trust and ethic from the individual. Some reckon that if its such a big issue and if the individual wants to 'wash dirty linen publicly' they do not have the moral right to stay with the company. As a counter argument I had heard people say that 'exposing' on social network is the modern form of whistle blowing, hence the whistle blower should be treated with an open mind.

Like in any topic it does have two sides to the coin. But from, how I see it, social networking is evolving and both the employer and employees need to mature to accept the realities of the new era. Cooperates should wake up to the new realities of the new form of freedom of expression and interpret these comments in the context of the situation and learn to handle them appropriately.  Individuals should realize that with great power comes great responsibility, bashing too much can work counter intuitively and it doesn't always enhance the reputation of the individual with the rest of the people and if over done, instead of getting the seeked attention would eventually loose face.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Malcolm Gladwell - The story teller

One of the authors who had influenced by thinking and perception of the world is Malcolm Gladwell. I would always read with awe the way in which he interprets the delicate behavioral relationships which we fail to recognize in real world.

Today this link appeared on my fb news feed. This time I watched with interest, Malcolm Gladwell, the story teller putting into perspective the bombings.
Malcolm Gladwell: The strange tale of the Norden bombsight | Video on TED.com

Out of curiosity I visited his ted profile and found another of his lectures,
http://www.newyorker.com/online/video/conference/2007/gladwell

Ah btw folks I forgot, Happy Diwali!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

MySQL Soundex on Tamil

Just out of curiosity I was applying the mysql soundex function on some Tamilish terms, it was a bit of surprise to see it give good results for Tamil searches. Look below for a small sample,

mysql> select name, soundex(name) as encoded_value from song;

+-----------------+---------------+
| name            | encoded_value |
+-----------------+---------------+
| thamila thamila | T54354        |
| chotta chotta   | C323          |
| ennenna seidhom | E5235         |
+-----------------+---------------+


Now trying the terms with slight spelling deviations came close to the values!


mysql> select soundex("tamila tamila");

+--------------------------+
| soundex("tamila tamila") |
+--------------------------+
| T54354                   |
+--------------------------+




mysql> select soundex("enena saidom");
+-------------------------+
| soundex("enena saidom") |
+-------------------------+
| E5235                   |
+-------------------------+




mysql> select soundex("sotta sotta");
+------------------------+
| soundex("sotta sotta") |
+------------------------+
| S323                   |
+------------------------+





Not bad yar!

Monday, October 24, 2011

NFC Summary

I had tried to summarize the Near field communication (NFC) type related information  in to a table. I will keep on updating this with new information as and when I get confirmed data.

Type
Memory
Android support
Future handset support
Chipset
Write protection
Comment
1

yes

Innovision Jewel tags
yes

2
46 bytes
yes
expected to be there for foreseeable future
Mifare Ultralight

They have enough data for a url, phone numberm etc.


yes
expected to be there for foreseeable future
MIFARE Ultralight C
yes
The integrated Triple DES authentication provides an effective countermeasure against counterfeit of tickets (ticket cloning).
Unique 7 bytes serial number (UID)
3

expected to be there for foreseeable future

No

4
1k-4k
expected to be there for foreseeable future
Mifare Desfire
by standard no
sold already programmed
used in smart cards















References
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIFARE#MIFARE_Classic http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4417911/where-can-i-buy-nfc-tags http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5985790/looking-to-purchase-android-nfc-tags

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gone All black

If I don't write about the All Blacks win I am sure I would rot in hell. Anyway its a different story that people say that I already have a reserved room in hell. When I was a kid when looking at all the teams it was quiet natural to become an All black supporter. I am sure like millions around the globe I was attracted to the haka and from then onwards had always liked them. Also looking at the pattern, as a kid I had been very stereo typical and been supporting the winning teams :D In football Brazil, in cricket West indies and then of course the All blacks. On seconds thoughts I think more than the winning habit its their flair that I like.

Anyway coming back to the topic, thanks to Sach I had the 'infrastructure" to watch the WC matches while being in Colombo. Although I had some work to complete I made sure that I found 2 hours to watch is while being at office.

For some reason I had this eerie feeling that AB was going to choke. I couldn't stop comparing AB with the South African cricket team. When Weepu was missing those penalties I was already feeling that the momentum was swinging the other way and then when he lazily booted it I was almost sure that he had kicked away the world cup. Felt as if he was almost doing a Hershchelle Gibbs in the middle. Last 15 minutes it almost looked like the writing was on the wall for ABs, I am sure a few journalists would have even started to contemplate on the headlines for the next day and I am sure CHOKE would have been a main contender. But then someone up above decided that justice should be done and AB deserve a cup and the single point gap stayed, and after 24 years the cup is with the rightful owners.

must watch this,


Saturday, October 22, 2011

What I missed

This is the third weekend in a row that I didn't get to go to Kandy. Specially being in Colombo makes me miss the smoothing recuperation that I get each week by being at 'home'. So I am just gazing at the old pictures. 

sunset over bahirawakanda

see my full set of pictures from Kandy here

Friday, October 21, 2011

Photographers story

My CD shop dude has this peculiar ability to pick films of my taste. From all the people whom I had associated with, he probably has the highest success rate in recommending films and say, "your type of film". I didn't get to visit him for a while and about three weeks back I went to visit him, he had got the copy of the film "The bang bang club" for me. I didn't ask him for it, I never knew that a film by that name exists and unlike in the case of Tamil films, I do not regularly take English films. But still he wanted me to take this and watch it. I agreed and took it with me.

When I had the copy with me, my brother said its a good film and said they used the film as a discussion topic for professionalism vs humanity debate ( or something similar to that) as part of his masters program. This made me even more curiosity. Finally I sat down to watch the movie and it was indeed a good movie. It didn't try to overtly project heroism and showed more about reality and a lot of food for thought.


while watching this film I remembered what happened in Katmandu, quoting from that post,

"The ardent reader picked another gem from the book, he said that taking pictures of this site is considered a shameful act. Yes very correctly I did realize that just because I had a camera I should not be taking pictures everywhere. I made sure that I deleted all the pictures I took from a distance, specially associated with cremation and learnt the lesson for life."

read my full past post here.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Green vs Blue

Note: Nothing political here, its just about nature

You think I am Blue?

IMG_5148
Earlier I was Green.

dealing a thorny issue

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Being skeptical about having oil

During the height of the elections there was a proclamation that experts had found oil reserves somewhere close to Mannar. For once I wish and pray that this was also one of the election promises which isn't true. I can hear your screaming voice saying "You traitor!".  Peoples usual notion is that oil = prosperity. But if one is to go by the history oil discovery in a developing nation has always led to more problems than solutions.

Interestingly in Africa, they explained to me that Oil is the curse of African. The black gold has brought in wealth but more than the wealth it also accompanies greed. They claim that the wealth never reached the lower levels of the pyramid but instead has nurtured, dictatorships, foreign invasions, undemocratic systems,frauds, errant oil barons  etc. So when I saw the list of such countries, I just wished that we better be poor and be as we are right now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Value of graphical notes

Up to now whenever I wanted to write notes I always took down notes in words. I am bad at drawing and thought that drawing were too childish so never opted for that.

First time I realized that graphical notes than text notes were better was when I was reading the Head first series book on design patterns. It was much more easier to remember those cartoons than rows of texts and the interpretations of it. From last week I started to do the ai-class and to my surprise the site has published "Highlighted student work" and its a set of notes in http://larvecode.tumblr.com/tagged/ai-class. An excellent piece of representation of the lectures in a visual form. I am not doubting that a picture is worth a thousand words!

btw This online learning experience is turning out to be fun and I feel that the dons had just given a new twist to university education.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tribute to Buzz

Today Google has announced the shut down of Google Buzz. I knew that it was not a hit as Google would have liked it to be, but still being probably a small segment of users who had continued to use it, obviously it will be missed.

What I liked about Google Buzz was is that it was not really a social networking tool but more a sharing tool and my office crowd used it extensively. We used to use this as a quick information sharing tool. Even today on the day which they had announced the obituary of the tool, I found 8 quality posts in Buzz, where as on facebook , to tell the truth I couldn't find anything important and then of course Google+ was more for banter with my 'friends'. Given the choices of migration to another sharing tool, I think probably Google+ for now looks an inevitable option. Only time will tell.

I think another thing that Google can do is when they release a new tool they can probably can send it to us, if we like it, then the tool will be a flop externally. First it was Google Wave and now the Buzz. The correlation is striking ;)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Poetic

I am sure a poet can do wonders with this picture. For a moment I regret that I cannot write poetry. The look on the cats face...simply I was lucky to capture that.

IMG_6009

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vallipura Aalvaar Kovil Chariot

Last Monday I got a chance to be there when the Vallipura Aalvaar Chariot festival happned in Jaffna. If I am not mistaken its the most celebrated Vishnu temple in the Island. Crowds flocked in thousands defying the scorching heat to celebrate the day! These are some of the pictures I managed to capture.


IMG_6071
IMG_6134

IMG_6133

IMG_6093

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

யாழ் ரிப்போர்ட் ;)

இன்றுடன் எனது யாழ் ' trip ' முடிவடைகிறது. பெற்றோருடன் வந்து அவர்களுடனும் அக்கா, மாமா, மாமி மற்றும் அவர்களது செல்லங்களான பூனை, நாயுடன் நேரம் கழித்துவிட்டு மீண்டும் திரும்புவது திருப்தியாக இருக்கிறது. 


ஊரில் இந்த நாட்களில் முக்கியமான '  topic' , மர்ம மனிதன் -ஒவ்வருவரும் ஒவ்வரு விதத்தில் அவனை வருணிப்பார்கள் அனால் இதன் பின்புலம் பற்றி வர்ணிக்கும் போது மட்டும் நிச்சயமாக ........... தான் செய்றாங்கல் எண்டு அடித்து சொல்லுகிறார்கள். இங்கு உள்ள ஒரு  பெரிய ஒற்றுமை இந்த விஷயத்தில் மட்டும் தான், லைட் இடகட போவதுவும், மக்கள் வேலைவாய்ப்பு இல்லாமல் இருப்பதும் எல்லாம் அவங்கள் பிளான் பண்ணி செய்கிறார்களாம். இதை கேட்ட போது விமல் எழுதிய ப்ளாக் தான் ஞாபகம் வந்தது. 

இங்கு வந்து இருந்து "Tuesdays with Morrie" என்ற புத்தகம் வாசித்ததில் சிலகாலம் செய்ய வேண்டும் என்று நினைத்து செய்யாமல் தட்டி போட்ட ஒரு விஷயத்தை செய்யும் முயற்சியில் ஒரு இரு படிகள் வைக்க கிடைத்ததும் ஒரு சந்தோசம். இது பற்றி நேரம் கனிந்து வரும் போது இங்கு எழுதுவேன். 

அனால் ஒரு கவலை, நான் camera cable ஐ கொண்டு வர மறந்து விட்டேன் எடுத்த படங்களை பார்க்காமல் இருப்பது மனதுக்கு கஷ்டம்.  நாளை அவற்றை பஹிர முயல்வனே . 

Monday, October 10, 2011

கதாபிரசங்கமும் தசாவதாரமும்

இன்று வல்லிபுர ஆழ்வார் கோவில் தேர் திருவிழா. காலையில் உற்சாகமாக எழும்பி சிவனே என்று அங்க போய் அடியார் கூட்டத்தில் நின்று அழகாக தேர் படம் எடுக்கும் பாக்கியம் அடியேனுக்கு கிடைத்தது. 

கோவிலின் ஒலிபெருக்கியில் ஒரு பெரியவர் கதாபிரசங்கம் செய்து கொண்டிருந்தார், அவர் சைவசமயம் பற்றியும் வைணவம் பற்றியும் விளக்கம் கொடுத்தார். நான் சற்றும் எதிர்பார்க்காத நேரத்தில் அவர் , இந்த வித்தியாசம் தசாவதார படத்தை படத்தில் சிறப்பாக காட்டப்பட்டது  என்று குறிப்பிட்டார். இந்த படம் வந்த பொழுது இந்தியாவில் சைவர்கள் எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவித்ததாக ஒரு ஞாபகம், ஆனால் சிவ பூமி என்று அழைக்கப்படும் யாழில் உள்ள ஒரு ஆழ்வார் ஆலயத்தில் இந்த படத்தை காட்டி கதாபிரசங்கம் செய்யும் போது கேட்கும் பக்குவம் எம் மக்களிடையே இருப்பதும் இது போன்று கதாபிரசன்கங்கள் காலத்துக்கு ஏற்றால் போல 'update' ஆவதும் சந்தோஷ பட வேண்டிய விஷயங்கள். 

தசாவதாரம் பட பாடலை இங்கே கேட்கலாம் ,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

ஊர் கோவில்

இன்று காலை முதல் வேலையாக அம்மா "வா எங்கட குல தெய்வ கோயிலுக்கு போவம்" என்று சொல்லி கூட்டிட்டு போனவ. இதற்கு முன்னும் ஒரு முறை இங்கு போன ஒரு ஞாபகம் இருந்தாலும் அன்று திருவிழா நாள் என்ற படியால் கோவிலில் நேரத்தை ஒழுங்காக கழிக்க முடியவில்லை. ஆனால் இன்று என்னவோ அய்யர், அப்பா, அம்மா மற்றும் அடியேன் மட்டும் தான் கோவிலில். சனம் இல்லாத கோவில் என்றதால் என்னக்கு ஒரே சந்தோசம் . சந்தோசமாக நேரத்தை கழித்தேன். ஆங்கிலத்தில் சொன்னால் "peaceful" அக இருந்தது.


கோவிலில் ஒரு மரம் உள்ளது, ஆங்கிலயேர் காலத்தில் அவர்கள் கற்பூரத்தை தடை செய்த போது தெய்வாதீனமாக இந்த மரத்தில் இருந்து கற்பூரம் விளைந்ததாம். ஓ அப்படியா என்று ஆறுதலாக கேட்டு விட்டு மரத்தை சுற்றி வந்து கும்பிடும் போது, மரம் விசித்திரமாக தான் இருந்தது , மரத்தில் அப்படி ஒரு பெரிய கோரை, கால், உரியம் எல்லாம் அறுந்த நிலையில் இன்னும் நிற்பது சிறப்பு தான்.


எனக்கு ஆங்கிலேருக்கு தண்ணி காட்ட, யாருக்காக தோன்றியதோ அவரை போற்றுவதா அல்லது அவருக்காக தோற்றுவித்தவரை போற்றுவதா என்று புரிய வில்லை. அனால் ஒன்று எம்மவர்கள் ஆங்கிலேருக்கு நல்லா கடுப்பு ஏத்தி இருக்கிறார்கள் என்பது மட்டும் நிச்சயம்!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

தமிழன் சேர்த்து கெட்டான்

365 தொடங்கிய பின் முதல் முறையாக யாழ் மண்ணில் இருந்து பதிவு எழுதுகிறேன். யாழில் இருந்து சற்று வித்தியாசமாக தமிழில் எழுதுவோம் என்று  ஒரு அற்ப ஆசை. இதற்கு முதல் ஒரு முறை  இப்படி ஆசை பட்டு கடைசியில்  "ஆங்கிலத்தில் போல் தமிழிலும் ஆக்கத்தில் பிழைகள் பல" என்றும் "என்ன திடீர் என்று .....யாருக்காக இது ...!!அவங்க சொன்னாங்களோ...!!" என்றும் கமென்ட் வாங்கினது இன்னும் நல்லா ஞாபகம் இருக்கு. அனா என்னவோ மொழி உணர்ச்சி கொஞ்சம் இன்று  கூடினதாலும் , ஜெயகுமரன், விமல், ஏன்  அந்த வாணி கூட தமிழ்ல எழுதி பின்னி பிடல் எடுக்கும் போது இன்னும் ஒரு முறை நானும் எழுதி பார்க்க வேணும் எண்டு ஆர்வம் வந்தது. ;)


விறாந்தையில் இருந்து எழுத தொடங்கியதுடன் மாமா சொன்ன ஒரு சொற்தொடர் தான்  ஞாபகம் வந்தது, "தமிழன் சேர்த்து கெட்டான்"! சற்று நேரம் யோசித்து பார்த்த போது இது எவ்வளவு  உண்மை என்று உணர்தேன். இவ்வளவு நடந்த பின்னும் தமிழன் ஏதோ வாழ்வு என்றும் நிரந்தரமானது என்று எண்ணிகொன்று, அற்பமாக வாழ்வதை முற்றாக மறந்து செற்பதிலே மட்டும் கரிசனையாக உள்ளான். 


எனக்கும் , எம்மவர்கள்ளுக்கு விளங்க 

"பொருளுக்கு அலைந்திடும்
பொருளற்ற வாழ்க்கையும் துரத்துதே
உன் அருள் அருள் அருள் என்று
அலைகின்ற மனம் இன்று பிதற்றுதே"


என்ற வரிகளை ஒட்டி விட வேண்டும் என்று ஒரு பெரிய ஆசை.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thank you - Steve Jobs

Up to now I hadn't had any product from Apple which I could call as mine. I had flirted with the idea of buying many times but has always opted for cheaper alternatives, since it couldn't fit my purse. Although I had never used a product from Steve Job's company I had through out been a huge fan of him. Irrespective of how busy I am, I would always stop to watch his presentations, read articles about him and read books about him.

Presentation secrets of Steve Job's, written based on his presentation preparation techniques is my Bible whenever I want to prepare for an important presentation. Every time I make a presentation I always wish that I could make a presentation as well as him. He is the man who transformed the boring technical presentations into a very exciting exercise. He didn't stop at that, he managed to create a cult like following for his presentations and products.

A few months back I sat and watched his first ipod presentation again. I watched with awe the way in which he manages to instill in mind the positives of the product while completely hiding away the minuses of the product. For me he is not an inventor but he is the greatest business visionary of our generation, simply the best IT marketer who embodied himself to be the biggest marketing tool of Apple.

Till the last day I do presentations to people, he would always be my icon! Sir, Thank you for the lessons!

Ps: Ironically I am paying tribute to the genius using a blackberry. But then if someone gives me a iphone for free (since that's the price I paid for this blackberry), I would throw this and use it for sure ;)

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Saraswathy Poojai

The other day I was on a call with a Nepali friend and the person said that Vijayathasami falls on the 6th of October and till then they are on Holiday! Its Dasara and its a TEN day holiday! At that moment it stuck to me, how much disconnected I am with our culture, till I was reminded by my friend, I honestly didn't know that navarathri has started.

This brought back memories of my childhood where Navarathri more precisely Saraswathi poojai out of all the celebrations was the most integral part of our family. We lived at College quarters and when we were small father was the master in charge of the Hindu Students' movement, hence our home used to become the focal point of activity with School boys and teachers coming and attending to the preparations for the grand show. Since I moved out of the kindergarten I was damn lucky and every year I would get some sort of chance to perform at the event and this most importantly gave me a free license to cut classes since having practices for the cultural show was considered a legitimate reason to keep away from class.

The memories of Saraswathy poojai are so found and I got to attend the festivities even before I had gone to year 1. From the days of being a toddler I had been around when all this happened, I can remember when I was really small, my sister used to be given the Role of Saraswathy and she would be performing this to perfection. In case if you are confused and wondering how come she acted at a Boy's schools cultural show, believe it or not she actually studied at College till year 4!

From those small days, all the way up to the last year of college, Saraswathy poojai was the most important annual event. Sadly here I am today seated here completely forgotten about it. Life has come a full cycle.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The need for IT Entrepreneurial development in Sri Lanka

Entrepreneurs are a rare breed and IT entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka are even more rarer. I had been pleasantly surprised to see how countries are having strategic plans to nurture these Entrepreneur skills. Silicon valley is considered as the mecca for an IT Entrepreneur  and it has some of the most illustrious success stories which can only rival fairy tales. It has created a culture for start ups with plenty of venture capital and financing options being available for bright start ups.

I used to think THE dream is only possible in the Silicon valley, but from the day I walked in to the m-lab in Kenya I couldn't stop thinking that its a another silicon valley in the making and that you can dream from Nairobi too! The eagerness in the eyes of the community and the long term vision with which they run the incubator programs for the start ups is exemplary. The returns from these will not be over night but in 5 years or 10 years down the line. I am sure, if these communities are brought up in the right way, they will definitely transform the countries fortunes. Most importantly the hubs are run with private sector participation, hence creating the right culture and the mind set, instead of a lethargic government sector mindset.

Its not just Kenya, but I see its taking off at a lot of places. I read about how they are trying the same in Egypt, where Google is fishing for the entrepreneurs to support technology start ups.

This left with me with the question why not in Sri Lanka? why not in Jaffna? We sure have the potential but the issue is to make our people believe that we can could do!

read these,

1. http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/30/tech/innovation/google-tech-bus-egypt/
2. http://mlab.co.ke/pages/home.php

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Should I get myself a Kindle FIRE?

Last week I had been thinking whether to pre-order a Kindle fire or not. I had a lot of points for it, unlike other tablets this is affordable for my purse, I am pretty confident about Amazon's ability to ship it to Sri Lanka, since I am a happy customer of Kindle this looks like a natural progression.

I was tempted to this and almost did a pre-order but then I stopped to check the features and compare with other tablets and found two things to be missing,
1. Camera
2. 3G

I am not a fan of camera's in tablets in laptops and tablets. I am actually glad that it doesn't have a camera. But not having 3G is indeed a big weakness for me. Specially when I travel I wouldn't mind getting a data enabled SIM and plugging it and using it. On the other hand wifi is good but then to the parts of the world which I travel to, wifi is not to be found.

So now I had almost concluded that I will survive another year with my existing kindle and laptop combination and wait for the next generation of Kindle or an affordable version of Samsung Tab.

Monday, October 3, 2011

AI lecture series

Yesterday I posted the database lecture series and today while searching around I bumped in to AI course being offered for FOC online by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig.

I know the name Peter Norvig well, since he is the author of the book which I bought with such enthusiasm and was thinking to master it all, but after a year of reading had only learnt a fraction of it. Its one thing I regret not being able to understand more. Now he is offering his course online for free and I now want to at least watch the series whenever time permits.

So, in case if you are interested register here, http://www.ai-class.com/

On a different note if you are a programmer read this article by Peter Norvig - Teach your self programming in ten years Going by the 10,000 hour  rule thats three hours of programming everyday for 10 years!

watch this too!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Back to database lectures

I tried to wash my past sins of not attending to lectures properly by listening to some university lectures today. Out of jokes, being a DB practitioner I found it to be refreshing again to listen to the theoretical side of databases again.

If you are really really busy at least listen to the second lecture on relational algebra at http://www.db-class.org/course/video/preview_list. Take my word on this if you are a programmer its worth listening to this. If you are even more interested, you can register for the online course too! btw its from Stanford! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Facebook customers

I had watched with fascination the boldness with which facebook changes privacy settings and introduces new features. When it introduced features like location services, facial recognition, etc strangely the features came as enabled and the user, if needed had to find out from elsewhere that such a feature has been added and explicitly disable.

I tried to put myself in the place of the person who makes such decisions and think what will be the decision I would have taken,  I would have never even considered the option of rolling out new features without the consent from the customer. Obviously I would have taken the traditional route of having the feature disabled and trying to run a campaign to 'educate' the user to opt in. I would have considered that to be the rational option and I am sure I wouldn't have the guts of facing the wrath of the customers and the consequences of it.  For that matter I 'admire' facebook's and its 'arrogance'. In facebook's case, strangely most users ironically keep on making posts complaining about it and stay on, except for a few like N, who quit ( on a different note thank fully he deleted the "mud glorious mud" album! ;) )

After a few days of thinking something important dawned on me, I would have never done that to a CUSTOMER, but then who said that users are facebooks customers?! Dude, we are the products of facebook and as a business analyst I would have obviously made changes to the product without asking the product. My dear fellow products please understand the Economics of it and learn to live with it or just quit ;)