Sunday, December 31, 2006

Looking back at 2006!

When 2006 started, I had no idea where I would be ending this year. Whether I would be in US doing MS or in Mumbai or in any other Indian city, I had no clue. And here I am, once again sitting at my home cozily and writing blog at the end of the year.

The year ended on a great note. Yesterday, there was a remeet of DJites and even couple of MSites turned up. It was great to meet old (not that old though!) friends.

At the start of the year I was really confused about what to do in future. But finally I opted for MBA. So many things have changed after joining JB. I have started reading business newspapers n magazines. I am exposed at the world about which I had no idea before. I am exploring things which I never knew existed. And I have become more aware of brands, products.Good that I opted for JB! Over the last 6 months, I have become much more optimistic about future. My favourite dialogue- 'Kantala aalay' (Pratim must be remembering this) has almost disappeared. Great change, I guess!

Around the world, Indian business scenario is becoming more and more positive. Great year for India Inc., which I was more able to gauge after reading all the business stuff. On the sporting scene ManU is having rocking season and are destined to win EPL this season. Maybe CL and FA Cup as well.

Overall a great year. Hoping to have even bigger and better 2007!


Friday, December 29, 2006

TV Technologies

I am thinking about swithing from Cable Tv to DTH or any other technology. But when I looked at the options, I was really disappointed.

Tata Sky and Dish TV project themselves in their advertisements as if they are panacea for all the cable problems. But in reality they are nothing but other form cable television. No service lets you chose single channels, you have to chose bouques. More so with Tata Sky, where there is single payment of Rs. 300 per month. In Dish, at least, you have a choise between 4-5 packages. And there are some more channels that are not available on normal cable like Goal TV which telecast SPL, Dutch League (Hurrah!). But otherwise its same old cable TV. There are some advantages like better picture quality and interactive services. But are they really worth, as you have to pay for unnecessary channels.
DTH should be more flexible. For example, on one of the Sundays, there were two Cricket matches going on on Star Sports and ESPN. So they didn't show football match. Really frustrating. Now, as ESPN-Star have rights for EPL and Cricket, they must provide user with choice to choose between sports. Even in case of Champions League matches, there must be option of chosing among 8 matches, just like they have on Sky Sports in UK. Otherwise DTH is useless.

From 1st January, Government will be implementing CAS in Metros. So user has to pay Rs.5 for each pay channel. System seems good as there is no bouquet system involved. But implementation is through cable operattor so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Also setting up artificial limit of Rs.5 is also a contentious issue. Another technology, IPTV, is also in its initial stages and number of channels offered by MTNL is also limited.
The world is moving from normal DTH to DTH with HDTV and here we are still discussing whether to implement CAS or not. Ditto is the case with moble technology, where Japan and Korea are planning to move from 3G to 4G and Indian Governement plans to allot spectrums for 3G to Indian operators from March, 2008. Indian public maybe fast adapting to technology changes, but when there is a policy decision involved, there always seems to be lag because of Governement involvement.
Possible solution? Government officials should make all the technologies available to the public and let them decide the fate of the technology!

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Looking beyond Googlemania!

"Don't be Evil"- The famous motto of Google, a company widely acknowledged and even revered across the globe. But recently there have been many instances where Google has behaved totally opposite to this motto. The self-imposed censorship in China being the most publicized one. But there are also other examples in which I get the feeling that Google is having the same influence on the Internet, as Microsoft had on OSs and PCs.

I just read in Business Standard that many of the newspaper editors are writing their headlines so that they become Google-friendly, irrespective of what the readers like. Isn't this like many softwares being compatible with Microsoft Windows to get the wider coverage?

Another thing I would like to mention is Google Talk. I mean, it's one of the worst messangers. It has no facility for conference, no Appear Offline, or even emoticons. And integrating GTalk with Gmail is the most irritating part. You are just visiting Gmail to mail and then Google notifies that you are online. No privacy! In spite of this it has become very popular with users( or should I put it - Its usage has increased). Some people (like my friend Gopal) find it better than Yahoo! This increase is mostly due to bundling of GTalk with Orkut, most popular social networking site. Didn't Microsoft do the same thing with Internet Explorer to kill Netscape?

Look at recent acquisitions of Google, Youtube. Now you require Google ID to watch videos on Youtube. You can't do it anonymously. Even blogger has succumbed to Google! Orkut also has Google ads. Google has also showing many technical glitches lately, especially with Orkut and Gmail.

Talking about another aspect of anonymity, Google keeps record of all or searches to "understand the users". So what you have searched, what are your preferences all is there with Google. If Google's shopping spree continues, I wonder if they will have all the record of our online lives. And Google has given this information to authorities in the past. In fact, there was a case, when a person was apprehended for his wife's murder, because he has searched terms related to murder. Some might claim that Google must help in such instances. But there is high chance of using personal information for wrong purposes.

Google has observed amazing succes over last few years because of its simplicity and innovative idea. The fact that Google has been competing with traditional bigwigs like Yahoo and Microsoft has created a sort of Googlemania, becuase people like underdogs. But I fear that Google itself is slowly becoming a next Microsoft. Google has to be beware of this.

PS: Check out this podcast about Google to get a peek at Googleplex.

PS: Just saw another problem with Google. Now you have to agree terms and conditions even while uploading photo on your own blog!

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some more musings!

I posted on Friday and hoped that I would be able to write regularly, as it was supposed to be vacation time. But last two days I had been attending presentations from morning to evening (yes, on 24th and 25th December :( ) and will be doing the same tomorrow as well. An excellent way to start your vacations, isn't it?

But we will be getting decent holidays, so hoping to get a much needed break. But it's vacation time for most of my friends and it's a remeeting time! Last Saturday I met Keli, Swanand, Jadhav and Pama after a long time and had a great time, especially with Keli's all football gyan. At the same time, Omkar, Bhagyesh and Kaustubh were hanging together in Stony brook. Just today, Priyank told me he is in Ithaca, with Isan n co. Time for friends to meet, wherever they are around the globe. vacation times are really wonderfull. Let's hope such vacations will continue in future!
Strange that I have written something on this topic. Usually topics of my posts are not like this. I prefer to write on issues. But somehow this struck me. Maybe some things have changed after joining B-school!


Friday, December 22, 2006

back after ages!

My last post was a day before I joined JB. And here I am writing my new post, a day after I completed my first sem exams.

It is not that, I didn't have anything to write. Instead, things have changed a lot over these 5 months. I have been exposed to a whole lot of subjects, which I hadn't encountered before. I didn't know even an iota of business before joining JB and first time read Eco Times after joining JB (embarrasing, I guess!). So there has been no shortage of topics I wished to discuss on blog, but couldn't find time ( Just another reason. I could have found it, but...).

In one of the podcasts (my latest craze, yet another. Don't how long it's going to last) I heard Larry page talking about fitting about fitting Google in brain, so that people can google just by thinking about topic. I wish similar thing could happen for blogger as well! We can think about the topic and it get's posted. So we can post while on move, be in train or in college during lecture ir anywhere. Far fetched dream!

Now that I am in b-school now, posts will be on different topics (Overstatement?),as the topics on which I waste the time has increased. But my old favourites like, football and society have remained the same.

Enough for tomorrow! I will be back posting on my favourite topics tomorrow. And hope (or better, I must ensure) that there will be regular posts on the blog.