What is News Worthy

  • Malone's Magic shines on Pandora!
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  • Can MSNBC shake the Liberal media under Comcast and take over?
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  • Not another investigation!
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  • Did May deal a good hand to Merkel?
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  • Bill Gross: without German Umbrella just another Economist trying to get attention?
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  • Qatar and $12B in orders after Saudi Mega deals in Defense Spend: A new business Model?

Re-inventing America!

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Silicon Valley Vibes!

  • Elon Musk Line: Car mover underground in Hollywood!
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  • Would you allow Siri to drive you around?
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  • Google Ventures : the hidden gold mine? From curing death to scissoring and splicing genes?
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  • GS Warriors : Is Oakland ready to be part of High Tech bubble?
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  • Did Ford Make a big mistake by changing their tradional CEO?
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  • Killing Uber Management: Is it a Mistake which will burst the bubble?

FANG News:

  • What ever happened to House of Cards: Its not even 7 seasons
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  • Mother of all AI? Lets Fix SIRI before leaping too high!
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  • Under steady Republican policies - will American Advertising spend go down?
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  • If Waymo is $70 Billion should Uber be $200B?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bond....James Bond! Taking a wrong turn!!

Licensed to Kill! Dressed to Seduce!

Casino Royale?? Imagine a B rated movie with a soap opera hunk changing his name to Bond and the produceders put a campaign to convince people that the movie is actually the same Character that we have adored and enjoyed over the decades.

Looks like the magic formula worked- Great reviews on the movie by critics; Raving accolades for the new Hunk! Looks like the magic formula worked at the box office as well.

After reserving most of my Bond experience in the past decade to DVDs on a small screen- I was very tempted to indulge myself to the new Bond -as the reviews and collections were enticing.

Decided to go cheap on the ticket and ended up for the discounted matinee show- still forking out a cool $6.75.

Entered the theatre and waited patiently for the main event to arrive. Looked around - there were TWO other people scattered arount the cinema. Trailers - one after the other and the long awaiting moment finally arrived.

The title song- nice the usual Bond tango to it - less the usual formula. mmm....may be they want to be different this time. Looking for the credit - looks like they forgot to pay royalty to the bond theme after deciding to go cheap on the budget!

Action - very manly! A long couple of fights and we finaly get introduced to the REAL Bond! Manly-Sexy-Well connected through the wireless world of Sony gadgets.

Waited for the moment for Mr.Bond to arrive!

The story line was very evasive- keeping me in the dark as to where he his headed next or Why!

mmmm...M looks familiar. Yes it is the bond movie alright.

Vroom Vroom... wow the usual car chase - now the action begins: False alarm- looks like they hired the Bond not for his driving skills as he left his License to drive somewhere else. Where is Q when we need him the most.

Sex element- this is not the usual MCP movie. May be just the opposite- attracting the wrong side of the audience- as we see more flesh - only this time More of Bond's flesh either naked or otherwise. Tights bulging in all the places and the camera man or is it the camera woman- seem to have done justice to the body!!

Then we get to see Mr Bond the softee....Falling in love and not able to save his flame who betrays him along the way!

Finally the climax comes and goes- the bond gets lucky a couple of times along the way. Also we find that HIS life was Spared!!! It sounds funny when M rubs in asking Mr Bond if he knew why his Life was spared???

Just when I was wondering if they had a mix-up switching the titles and the film- there comes the sound/music making me freeze for a moment. The usual, familiar and mesmerizing TUNE - THE TUNE - tantaratanta tan ..tantaratanatra tan..the standard Bond music. I start hoping that it was just a LOOONG trailer & the real Bond movie is just starting - as there were only two other people in the theatre when the whole shananigan started. No such luck...as the credit started rolling!!

I guess it all boils down to one thing and only one thing- Great Expectation! Lets see where I went wrong-

Title music and theme: typically the current day popular music with lot of bond and bond girls. Music not so upto date and it was definetly missing the girls!!

Gadgets: Mr Q usually comeup with some futuristic gadgets which typically takes wild imagination to concoct- this time around No Mr Q and no gadgets- only a couple of Sony PDA/ Camera Phone & a Sony Laptop!!

Cars: Typically a multi-mode amphibious vehicle with gadgets, gadgets & more gadgets making it a REAL thrill to watch it- movie after movie as they get creative and innovastive every time . But this time Bond is seen driving a low end Ford rental car- oooh la la..was it a night mare!

Casino: Typically en every Bond movie Bond plays one or at best two hands - where he cheats the villain and walks away with every penny in a slick fashion- this one may be because it is the main theme - goes on and on and on and finally in a very drawn out battle he wins?? Looks like MGR & Nambiar fight!

Girls: Blonde- nude and a toy in Bond's hand! Wow looks like they have updated the concept to reflect the new emerging trend in Women!!! Blone, Nude & a Sex/Emotional toy and Dumb - allright !! Only this time around it is the Bond who takes that role!

Love: What Love? Bond and Love?? Man oh man - Bond falls in Love and gets dumped by the Villy bond Girl- and he goes into an emotional Roller coaster- costing the Great fall for the Magesty!

Story: Very simple- In every movie we are told upfront what the plot is- who the villain is and we also have an indication on how it will play out in the final Grand Finale! No not this time- looks like they took the script straight out of Bollywood!


Ending: Usually M callying Mr Bond who is usually in a bed crawling with a blond- this time - what ever happened to our Hero or is it the Heroine who will be taking over in the next Bondie Movie- well atleast they the curtains with the titles rolling to the usual Bond movie- making you want to go and see any of the old Bond Movies to wipe out the taste from your mouth.

Why ??

- may be because the real Mr Q died and the creativeness for the formula - cars and gadgets went with him?
- MGM for the first time lets some one else share the production credit- this time its with Sony- that will explain why Bond is handicapped with Sony PDA/cell phone and Laptop- good thing Sony doesnt make cars - otherwise we will be looking at Bond driving one of the 700 miles a gallon car which is made of thin sheets and drives at 10 miles/hr but will last for ever!!!!

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Oakland A's and The Cisco Kid!

When was the last time Mr Chambers sounded exuberant? Anybody recall $1 Trillion market cap gloating? Well, Well you can never discount even a wounded Tiger. Cisco has consistently outwitted its competition and redrawn itself during the past several years after that fall from sky. Even after the apparently meteoric rise from $17 to its recent high of $27.50 it still looks very sexy and attractive-

Lets look at the recent foray into the world of sports- Cisco masterminded a crafty deal with Oakland A’s and the City of Fremont in California. At the outset it appears like another side-y move by Cisco to off-load its not-so appreciating plot in Fremont which it acquired during its pursuit to $1 trillion market cap!

Headline coverage:

> Oakland A's to move to Fremont
> Stadium to be called Cisco Field
> Stadium size 32k-35k
> Veri Veri High Tech – video streaming, RFID, broadband wireless, HUGE flat screens and what not!
> Total cost $400-500 Million!!

With other recent High Tech – Sports love affairs (Oracle Arena, McAfee Stadium, AT&T Park and other options driven gazillionaires buying teams- ) at the outset this looks like a yawner- THINK NOT!

Lets peel the onion-

35,000 seat enterprise fully capable of video streaming and wireless broadband capability- Ka-Ching, Ka-Ching!! Sound like a $60-100 Million worth of Cisco gears and services!
The last count there are close to 200 Professional Sports team – NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA & MLS!!! On top of this there are 200 plus Tier 1 Universities and their sports teams and possibly 1000 plus Universities with great sports teams. Now this is only in US of A- what about Europe, Asia and the rest of the world! Now we are talking Cisco and Mr Chambers kid of numbers- year after year!

If the invasion of the home turf through Linksys and Scientific Atlanta along with the triple play of Web 2.0 didn’t quite attract enough to people to the Chambers Mantra- may be they better start looking deeper when he talks the next time- as the Cisco Kid is back with a vengeance!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Cars! Cars !! Cars!!!

Recent rage in automotive market is how Toyota is beating every American manufacturer- targeted mainly towards GM. I strongly believe that Automovtive Industry has been and will always be the most important economic driver for any economy. Looking at the most advanced and deveoped economies- USA, Germany, Japan, Italy, UK, France- all have a dominant role in the automotive segment. Even the emerging economies like China and India are developing a strong blue print in the automotive segment.

I have been loyal to Japanese manufacturers for a more than a decade and still feel most of the JD Power and other reports are worth reading and believing. Having said that I started looking deeper into those studies and the market perception over the last several quarters after the troubles in GM spiraled out of control- spreading meaninglessly into the parts suppliers as well.

Every one said GM is gone to dogs and will eventually be bankrupt. Then came a little excitement with Mr Kerkorian and Mr York's entry. High stakes game and a couple of quarters later the downward momentum accelerated - making GM worth less than 10% of Toyota and every one was ready to pull the rug out of GM - ! Things have changed a bit the last few months with GM going through several changes and the stock stabilising a bit.

In trying to put the whole thing in perspective I started digging deeper into the whole GM situation and I was amazed to see what I learned in the process-

- As of today GM is still the number one car company in the World which they have never lost since they were founded!

- Over the last several decades GM has dominated several industries and have even been instrumental in creating many of those, outside car-

- Information Technology (EDS)
- Finance (GMAC)
- Aerospace ( GM was the largest supplier for WWII )
- Transportation
- Satellite communications
- Car Rental
- Electronics

- Probably the only car company that has a good chance of Rolling out the Billionth car soon!!

- Has several brands that invokes passion and excitement from teen agers to retires alike-

- No other car company has a brand mentioned in so many songs

The more I read about the company the more I find it fascinating. Once I even got the courage to rent a GMC Yukon to see how it feels! After a week-end of driving I was convinced that I wanted it. Yet I was very reluctant to trade in my Lexus. So went a few more weeks of research- started reading more about the new models - Pontiac Solstice, H2 and H3 ( as the original Hummer was too radical, decided to ignore it!), Cadillacs and even Buick Lucerne- I was amazed to see what variety and what feelings each one of those cars evoked. Started reading more into the cars - pricing , capability and quality. Started checking with people around- every one talked about Quality being a problem! And GM cars are very expensive and bland!

I figured there has to be some truth to them - so I started comparing prices - I was amazed to see an entry level Corolla or a Civic going for 17k or more and a Camry or an Accord north of 24k- if you want a meaningful configuration. Started looking at Lexus and Acura - 40k-90k Some of the models had eerie similarity to their poor cousins. After doing the math - I figured that I could get a comparable GM model for 60% or less. So it can not be the price- may be Quality?? Started comparing JP Power reports on initial quality and Consumer reports obout life time cost- they all have GM ranked lower- but only MARGINALLY. But RANK is a RANK!!

I decided to start asking co-workers and friends who drive GM cars about their maintenance history. I was amazed to find one thing that was common with GM car owners- all they did to their car was change oil - mostly by themselves or at best go to a Jiffy Lube or another drive through joint! No dealer or manufacturer recommended service routines. Not much different in troubles from their cars.

While I was going through this exercise - my wife's Accord - Dealer serviced and garage maintained - with less than 65k miles developed ABS problem - $1700.00 later that problem was complimented by another $800 brake drum job! I am sure it was an exception.

After talking to more people - found that most of the Japanese or German car owners are also like me- dutifully take it to the Dealer for services!!

When I started counting the dollars spent on services and the initial premium on the car - I realized that even if the GM car drives only 75k miles trouble free- I can still save a lot as I can buy a new car with the money saved.

When my wife started complaining about the mileage on the Accord - I was convinced that it was time for me to trade in and buy a GM car! After some more research I settled for Buick Lucerne- so one day deided to walk into a Buick dealer to see the car- on a week day around 4 PM - I was the only person the lot. not a soul - not even the sales lobby! looked around and was very impressed with the new batch of Buicks. 35k fully loaded and very comfortable - a full 15k cheaper than a comparable Lexus or an Acura ( dont even want to go to BMW or Mercedes!!).

Came home looked at the GM website to see if there was any sale! Unfortunately as GM was staying firm on pricing to boost its margin there was only a $500 rebate on the model I was looking at. I used that as an excuse to delay the decision and still waiting for the year end clearance sale to buy them.
Slowing to Smell....!

After going through several blogs I came to the conclusion that it is very difficult to write about your day to day life!

Fascinating to see how creative people are and how so many people around the world are able to choose a variety of topic and pour their heart out and paint something so wonderful- full of life and color!

Need Humor! Need Depth and more than anything need perspective! I found it is easy to write about something substantial in which a person is well versed in. It made me think - I went around the last few days looking around and paying attention to everything from nature to relationships!

Now curiosity started posing a question - what is more important to writing? Chosing a topic or having the patience to research and articulate about the impressions that every day events brings to a person?

I thought I will try this every day! For 30 Days!

Impulsive and spontaneous
!

No research - just type as the feelings flow and as the words can portray! Thanks to the Blackberry - now I can try doing that the moment the urge happens without waiting!

As I was deciding on this I found myself in a shop - decided to pull my Blackberry and type what I saw around me...so begins my first piece.

PS. Since Blog has major restricitons on how many posting and what kind of flexibility one can have using the standard template I will try to find a work around using a couple of gadgets to display a couple of days posting at any given time till I figure out a way to display the history!

To avoid dilution of this site I have moved the experiment to another blog under

http://dailylifesigns.blogspot.com

The following is a sample on content with no photos- the Daily Life Signs posting will be more of a pictorial experience!






Walking around a woman's shop!

Looking at the colors in a woman's shop is like peeking into a kaleidoscope. However, one doesn't have to change to feel the vibrant mood.

Amazing styles and fascinating fashion! Trying to coordinate gives the several option that is needed to meet the day to day lifestyles of varying moods and differing ages.

Age appropriate colors! Shades for fading moods!

Bold red!

Sober red!

Flashy red!

Bland red!

Blood Red!

Romantic Red!

Decisions! Decisions! and Decisions!

Deciding the color at the time of shopping gives the option to choose and refine to the various rainbow moods that a person possibly can go through in a fast paced connected world!

Sizes and fits to match every form and need.

Having a choice helps in refinement!

And helps!

In Decisions! Decisions and Decisions!

Startup Wisdom!

May be there is a reason they want a Money Man to run the venture- but the following tip will save a buck or two! This will list a couple of grey hairs to keep!

  • Success is contageous- start it immediately!
  • Share the Vision but not Leadership!
  • Smart money is great - but Lucky Money is even better. Get some!
  • Being passionate is essential - but only after motivation to make money.
  • Establish the TRUE Pecking Order!
  • Let Sales be part of your core strategy- everything else can be bought!
  • If you havent done Selling START DOING IT NOW!

Building your 2nd Million!

Skip the first million and go straight to the second- as the first one is the most difficult one to bring home! The second one can be as tough as the first one but is never tougher than the first one! You can make money - working - investing in stocks/etc - real-estate - starting a business - others Choose your area of interest first as this will help you identify the opportunity and make you easily motivated to work on the 2nd million!

Not in any particular Order!

  • First lets know the facts: 1) Your work life is 40 something years (even at conservative estimate) so lets make sure we plan that Properly
  • 2) Lets identify opportunity to make money with out too much effort- living for Today is Good but lets not lose today's free money in the process like - benefits, tax breaks, sale,coupons,etc
  • 3) Lets not try to make ALL THE MONEY in the same way! Lets break the objective into smaller chunks and assign different ways to make them individually
  • 4) Put the 1st Million in Auto-pilot and set a 10 Years plus Time table
  • Convince yourself that you need the Money
  • Set a time line to achieve the goal.

Relationships - Learning to enjoy them!

Do we retain relationships? Expectations out of frienships vary from society to society & age group to age group. How long do we carry them? Some of them bring fond memories- and some not so pleasant! Here you can expect to see nuggets from my experiences and analysis!

Family & Friends: We spend less time with family than with friends- yet we feel more comfortable with family than friends- Why? Is it because we dont have expectations with family members but we have some on friends?

Allowing the other person to finish their train of thought builds a very long lasting relationship - as it makes you understand the other persons point of view fully & also to respond being aware making even an opposing point of view reasonable.


  • Cherry Pick your arguments - Left or Right Brained!
  • Make every encounter a transaction - this will make leaving baggages behind easy!
  • Qualify the type of relationship - however strange it might be
  • Chasing friendship is not always helpful as it leads to compromise.
  • Family circles - define it and accept it whether you like it or not!
  • Its ok to do different activities with different people!
Prof Dr Peik A Monie's Corner

  • if being number two is not enough go to a lower market
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  • proceeds from a street dog dont bark
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  • shooting the papparazi dont break cameras

DIGITAL IRIS - An inexcusable view of the photograpic world!

Let me see if I can add a few lines every week highlighting my 2 cents on photography- my experiences and desires

Things that make good photos -

- excellent and expensive set of lenses; in this digital era spend less on the body and keep investing in the high end lenses as the lenses will not lose value and the body is still under construction!

- accessories and the right tripod; never underestimate your advantage with a tripod

- plan & choose the subject and the location

- know your subject well!

- look and follow the calendars; simple things like a night with a Full moon- we dont realise that it does not happen every day - if you narrow it to the summer when the sky is still blue - I guess it becomes a couple of times a year- and if you factor n the location and your availability at that location and time...so Knowing the calendar and season helps for a good but not so common picture

- Take some luck with you!

  • Print and Enlarge Some Too
  • Delete Bad Pictures from Storage
  • Isolate Subject's color
  • Assess various profile
  • Add a subject to the frame
  • Take Nature after rain - they look better
  • Transparent Objects like flowers have creative effect with light behind them
  • If you want to enjoy the trip - leave the camera behind!
  • Define the subject for the shoot out trip
  • Take a survey trip before the real shoot out
  • Learn & Buy the Best Tripod
  • Always take a handy utility camera
  • Use Multiple exposure & shots in action oriented moments- this will help you pick the ideal snap - as even a fraction of a second makes a HUGE difference in photos.
  • Know your camers settings!
  • Understand Shutter Lag
  • Understand the camera shakes

AfterMarket Pulse- The boring Services Industry!

Keeping it inefficient is good for every one- A success story and why it will be restricted to a handful in the services Industry- A serious look at the Service Industry and my views on improving them. As a society we have accepted that everything breaks down and needs periodic maintenance. We are willing to pay both money and time to accomodate such services. What we have not done is define what is the service level that is needed for every such incident. From household appliances to industrial equipments we are forced to accept the cost and quality that the market offers. In such a sellers market room for mediocracy is enormous- giving way for opportunities. Yes predicatability is not always easy when it comes to failure or repair - or for that matter to identify what is wrong once the item is broke as it is not always possible to run the equipment ot see what is going wrong! And there are companies that can afford stupidity & those that cannot- if you want to change choose wisely!

  • Three steps: 1) Localize Failure 2) Response to Events 3) Time to Life
  • Inter-dependency at a higer level accelerates return
  • Resposiveness is rewarding - even if it is just to show on site of event!
  • Failure Prevention is difficult - yet possible
  • Know your Industry problems: Inventory, Turn time, Forecasting Failure, Estimating Cost, Finding Talent, Automation tools
  • Know your industry Practices- Swapping parts, using refurbished items, penalty
  • Define Quality of service
  • Attract talent - as service industry does not attract fresh talents
  • Innovote service packages

About Me

Seen me go through cycles driven by Age, Money, Deception, Affection, Success, Failure, Fear- etc. The current cycle puts me in a middle aged bucket with sculpted bitterness trying to tame it to embrace the sweet crime of success and affection.