October 09, 2005

Asian politics

Fareed Zakaria interviewing Ashley Tellis on KQED about growing relationship between US and India.

Ashley commented US might play India as Britain while dealing with the new Asian political landscape

Next 20 years in Asia are shaping up  like Europe in the time after WWII - new alignments and lot of introspection.

October 9, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 08, 2005

Mortgage industry

Numbers are pretty big -

Mortgage brokers, virtually nonexistent 25 years ago, now number 400,000 workers at more than 50,000 firms. They are scrappy entrepreneurs and sales representatives who match up borrowers and lenders on roughly 7 out of 10 mortgages. This year, they will collect some $33 billion from their share of an estimated $2.8 trillion in home mortgages.

Was talking to a realtor recently and he sounded very sober about the coming slow-down.

This whole sector is about to cool off.

October 8, 2005 in Dismal science | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

October 07, 2005

What it's doing?

Web2.0 season is upon us.  I can sense the rising tides and flying ambition of frogs.  Time to get some wisdom from the scientist we all love

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
- Richard Feynman

What it's doing ? that's what counts.

Blogging,  wikis, search etc are enriching our online experience and in-fact healing lives, as they did during Tsunami and Katrina. Lets build on that success.

X meets Y to build Z-killer is a sign that tourists have started  landing at the SFO.

October 7, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 05, 2005

Trusting Attention

This is slightly old but I am posting it in the context of AttentionTrust work.  Tim O'Reilly posted Linda Stone's views on the emerging crisis around attention management -

The next aphrodisiac is committed full-attention focus.  In this new area, experiencing this engaged attention is to feel alive.  Trusted filters, trusted protectors, trusted concierge, human or technical, removing distractions and managing boundaries, filtering signal from noise, enabling meaningful connections, that make us feel secure, are the opportunity for the next generation.  Opportunity will be the tools and technologies to take our power back

Notion of trusted network will gain importance as Internet becomes more and more like our real world where trust is mostly a function of our culture and biases. Some of this is already happening behind the scenes where same service behaves differently in different geo-political context.  Yahoo and Google are dealing with those issues in China.  Trust is getting negotiated and manipulated. In that context the efforts of AttentionTrust are worth pursuing.

They rolled out new website with more content to understand what this project is all about. There is a firefox extension as well for recording your attention sharing. This introduces new way of looking at the web interaction activity.

Will be playing with this extension to see how this helps in avoiding something like this.

October 5, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 02, 2005

Global urbanization

Big trend towards urbanization in Asian economies will drive next wave of hunger for energy efficient materials. Joseph Quinlan, Chief Strategist at Banc of America -

The world's resource base confronts unprecedented demand as a new urban world unfolds. Against this backdrop, the secular bull market in energy and basic materials is just beginning

This will have big consequences for energy, environment, urban planning and demand for sustainable architecture . More  opportunity for entrepreneurs as well !

October 2, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

October 01, 2005

You can innovate anywhere

How about using railway station coolies for providing extra security !

Or maybe give them cellphone and make them event capturing agents for the 24/7 media streams.

October 1, 2005 in Social angle | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 29, 2005

China Factor

So my friend lost a half a million dollar worth  deal to some Chinese textile supplier.  Naturally he  is not happy about it and thats not because he has anything against Chinese.  In fact he is all mad against the buyer - supposedly some upscale French department store.  Point is where do you draw the line on the low cost graph.  You can always find someone willing to cut prices in half to build their reference account !

Low cost argument works only so far as the margins can be protected. Margins need volume. So the theory goes.  In a commodity market invariably volume players dominate.  In the software sector India can maintain it's low cost position because of good supply of developers and same applies for Chinese manufacturing strength.  More hands,  more volume and hence more resilience in the discounting game.

So what do you suggest to a friend who is not THAT big yet.  He is a successful small business player and now feeling the low cost pinch.  Only way out is to innovate and get out of the low cost game. Easier said than done in the slow moving garment manufacturing sector.  At least software still allows garage level tinkering !

While listening to his stories I couldn't stop comparing it with whats happening in the software sector.  Where every now and then some new consulting company shows up and is willing to deeply discount the deal.

September 29, 2005 in Dismal science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sun's open source database project !

Sun hiring engineers for an open source database project !

Senior engineer with expertise in relational database systems, Java, JDBC, and ODBC, to design and write software for an open source database project and to be a resident expert on database technology for Sun groups requiring advice on database technology for their customers or products

In the past they dropped many hints on this but so far they never came out with clear database strategy.

September 29, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 28, 2005


PR profession needs training on how to handle slashdotters.  Check this comment from one of the poster talking about SSH marketing chief challenging OpenSSH open source project -

We no longer just accept that corporations tell lies to the public. Now we also expect it...

September 28, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 22, 2005

Last Man Standing

Anna Lappe has something which is very relevant in the Indian political context -

Courage is saying, "Maybe what I'm doing isn't working; maybe I should try something else."


There is one political segment in India which is more stinking rotten than anything you have ever imagined (or smelled !). And that is Communist party of India. So it's coming in as a fresh air  that  at least one member of this party has decided to show his balls.

Bloomberg reports that chief minister of West Bengal is soliciting Indonesian firm for investment in his state.

Buddhadev Bhattacharya, the Marxist chief minister of India's West Bengal province, badly wants Indonesian tycoon Anthony Salim's $10 billion industrial township project to come to his province.

If only other communist party members understand the economics 101 then lot of policy issues can be resolved without going to the streets on every issue.

At least one man is willing to break from the past and past which has earned Calcutta this bad reference -

City is full of Bannerjees, Chatterjees, Mukherjees but very little energy !

Time to show some energy.


September 22, 2005 in Random Thoughts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)