Wednesday, April 26, 2006
An article by John Dvorak that calls bundling of the browser into the Windows operating system as the "worst decision" ever by Microsoft.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
NEW YORK: A recently published novel by Harvard undergraduate KaavyaViswanathan, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life, containsseveral passages that are strikingly similar to books by Megan FMcCafferty -- the 2001 novel Sloppy Firsts and the 2003 novel SecondHelpings.
Prima facie it looks like plagiarism was done - the similarities are too much to ignore ....
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Got this forwarded email. Hilarious...
An excerpt from Emcee's diary exactly 50 years from now
Ahmedabad, 30 April 2056 : I attended the bash at the IIM-OBC Alumni Association to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the reservation of seats for OBCs (Other Backward Castes) in IIMs. Since I'm not an OBC, I was not supposed to attend, but at present, we MBFCs (Moderately Backward Forward Castes) together with the Non-Scheduled Tribes have a political alliance with the OBCs. We sipped champagne and talked about how so many of us had progressed from reserved seats in the IIMs to reserved jobs to reserved promotions. Unfortunately, the party broke up when a Non-scheduled Tribes faculty member objected to the OBCs dancing with all the pretty girls — he wanted equal opportunities for every caste at each dance. I pointed out that the Non-scheduled Tribes had exceeded the quota of champagne reserved for them. The party ended in a pitched caste battle.
1) May 2056: Today, I became president of the IIM Board of Directors. Under the present rotating presidency system, a member of each caste is made the president by turn. When it was the turn of the MBFCs for president, they had to choose me because I'm the only MBFC on the campus. True, I'm only the campus dhobi, but then every caste must be given an equal opportunity. All those centuries of oppression by the OSBFCs (Only Slightly Backward Forward Castes) and the OFCs (Other Forward Castes) must be rectified. I hope to restore the high standards at IIM — I overheard some foreigners calling it the Indian Institute of Morons, the other day.
2) May 2056: They've announced the cricket team for the series against Australia . I was overjoyed when they chose an MBFC man as captain. But my hopes were dashed when I realised he was a Most Backward Forward Caste and not a Moderately Backward Forward Caste. The selection committee lamented that it was gross discrimination that no member from the Jarowa tribe (the Stone Age tribe in the Andamans) had ever found a place in the Indian cricket team. A squad has since been dispatched to the Andamans to capture a Jarowa tribal to play in the national team. I hope he will improve their performance — they had an innings defeat against the Maldives recently. I would have played myself except for the fact that I lost a leg some years ago when I was in hospital with a toothache and a doctor recruited through the Unscheduled Caste quota extracted my leg instead of my tooth.
3) May 2056: There are too many NFCs (Neo-Forward castes) in the IT business. Under the terms of the Business Reservation Act, their firms will now be taken over by the other castes. I hope they will be able to restore the Indian IT industry back to its former glory. For some unfathomable reason, it has gone down the drain after job reservations were implemented. I went for a movie featuring star actor Mungeri Ram. He may lack teeth, be four-feet-three and have hair growing out of his nose, but this year it's the turn of the EBC-RYs (Extremely Backward Caste-Rural Yokels) to be stars and Mungeri Ram is the best of the lot. I wonder why foreign movies have become so popular.
4) May 2056: A truly great day. We now have an OFBMBC (Other Forward But Moderately Backward Caste) general as the Head of the Armed Forces. I hope he'll be able to win back the territory we lost ever since reservations were implemented in the Army. Since then, the north has been taken by Pakistan, the North-east by China , the east by Bangladesh and the south by Sri Lanka and the Maldives . Only last winter, we lost the war against Bhutan and free India is now limited to the western coastal states. But I'm sure the OFBMBC general will turn the tide.
5) May 2056: My wife and I have been blessed with a bonny daughter. Since my wife's an SBBNSBC (Slightly Backward But Not So Backward Caste), my daughter will be an MBFC-SBBNSBC. I must lobby for reservation for her caste. She's the only member and I'm sure she has a great future.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
A few good links:
- CHAOS report (Paper on budget, schedule, and general failures of software projects) : http://standishgroup.com/sample_research/
- Pursuing the Perfect Project Manager : http://www.tompeters.com/col_entries.php?note=005297&year=1991
- Work Breakdown Structure : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_breakdown_structure
- Five Worlds (Different types of software projects): http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/FiveWorlds.html
- How to give and receive criticism : http://www.scottberkun.com/essays/essay35.htm
- Tools for organizing thoughts: http://www.ms.lt/ms/projects/toolkinds/organize.html
- The art of UI prototyping: http://www.scottberkun.com/essays/essay12.htm
- Conversational Terrorism (WHAT NOT TO DO): http://www.vandruff.com/art_converse.html
- Brand's Pace Law: http://www.edge.org/q2004/page6.html#brand
- Saying NO: http://www.ayeconference.com/Articles/Sayingno.html
- Continuous Integration: http://www.martinfowler.com/articles/continuousIntegration.html
- Painless Bug Tracking: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000029.html
- Test-driven development: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_driven_development
- Some essays on doing post-mortems (and other stuff): http://www.scottberkun.com/essays/
Sunday, April 16, 2006
HCL Technologies in India is doing all it can to keep employees and clients both happy. The 2nd part is done by every company. The 1st part is a pleasant surprise - keep it up, guys !!
New Microsoft tool. Excerpts from the site:
When a user visits a Web site, her browser may be instructed to visit other third-party domains without her knowledge. Some of these third-party domains raise security, privacy, and safety concerns. The Strider URL Tracer, available for download, is a tool that reveals these third-party domains, and it includes a Typo-Patrol feature that generates and scans sites that capitalize on inadvertent URL misspellings, a process known as typo-squatting. The tool also enables parents to block typo-squatting domains that serve adult ads on typos of children's Web sites.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Search without an internet connection. Good idea or will it fizzle out? Only time will tell ....
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Nice tutorial. Helpful for people who have just started using digital cameras or for those who want to take better pictures overall.
This is a very long but fine essay on self-reliance. Find the time to go through it, and you will not be disappointed.
A snippet from the same:
It is only as a man puts off all foreign support, and stands alone, that I see him to be strong and to prevail ...
He who knows that power is inborn, that he is weak because he has looked for good out of him and elsewhere, and so perceiving, throws himself unhesitatingly on his thought, instantly rights himself, stands in the erect position, commands his limbs, works miracles; just as a man who stands on his feet is stronger than a man who stands on his head.
Monday, April 10, 2006
One of my favourite articles. Note: this is not an anti-women posting. Take it in the spirit it is meant - just plain fun.
What do you expect from such simple creatures?
Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can be president
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO T-shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental -- $100.
People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood --! all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You almost never have strap problems in public.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You only have to shave your face and neck.
You can play with toys all your life.
Your belly usually hides your big hips.
One wallet and one pair of shoes one color for all seasons.
You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can "do" your nails with a pocketknife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache!
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 45 minutes.
No wonder men are happier......
A blog by 3 techies from Kolkatta (who incidentally call their city as Calcutta - hmm, I thought it was a unanimous decision to rename the city ...).
Has a large dose of cricket (hence the name). But they do post on other subjects as well. Worth a look ...
Friday, April 07, 2006
This is a great video. Those guys have way too much time on their hands, but the end result is great.
BTW, like the title says, skip the intro - the actual video has nothing to do with the introduction.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
A very useful matrix from TheServerSide.COM for comparing different Java application servers.
From the site:
Gilles Trehin is an autistic 28-year-old. Since the age of 12, he has been designing an imaginary city called Urville, named after the “Dumont d’Urville,” a French scientific base in Antarctica. He has created detailed historical, geographical, cultural, and economic descriptions of the city, as well as an absolutely extraordinary set of drawings.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
An approach of how to have a standards-based manner of customizing WSDL. It also describes the interoperability issues and the best practices for customizing WSDL followed by conclusion and scope of future work.
A very nice article by Robert X. Cringely that details why Paul Allen can definitely be called as a good guy. May there be more like him.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
A few links on this topic - will help you if you are a manager, going to become one, or just generally when dealing with people (not only in the office)
1. MBWA Checklist (20 points)
2. Does MBWA still work? --> Article
3. MBWA practices and principles
Monday, April 03, 2006
A forwarded article which I found very good, interesting, thoughtful and probably true.
WHY EMPLOYEES LEAVE ORGANISATIONS?
Every company normally faces one common problem of high employee turnout ratio. People are leaving the company for better pay, better profile or simply for just one reason' pak gaya '. This article might just throw some light on the matter...... After reading it' I realised how true the subject line of this mail is.
Early this year, Arun, an old friend who is a senior software designer, got an offer from a prestigious international firm to work in its India operations developing specialized software. He was thrilled by the offer. He had heard a lot about the CEO of this company, charismatic man often quoted in the business press for his visionary attitude.
The salary was great. The company had all the right systems in place employee-friendly human resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office, and the very best technology, even a canteen that served superb food. Twice Arun was sent abroad for training. "My learning curve is the sharpest it's ever been," he said soon after he joined. "It's a real high working with such cutting edge technology." Last week, less than eight months after he joined, Arun walked out of the job.
He has no other offer in hand but he said he couldn't take it anymore.Nor, apparently, could several other people in his department who have also quit recently. The CEO is distressed about the high employee turnover. He's distressed about the money he's spent in training them. He's distressed because he can't figure out what happened.
Why did this talented employee leave despite a top salary? Arun quit for the same reason that drives many good people away. The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called First Break All The Rules.
It came up with this surprising finding: If you're losing good people, look to their immediate supervisor. More than any other single reason, he is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he's the reason why they quit, taking their knowledge, experience and contacts with them.Often,straight to the competition.
"People leave managers not companies," write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. "So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people - in the form of better pay, better perks and better training - when, in the end, turnover is mostly manager issue." If you have a turnover problem, look first to your managers. Are they driving people away?
Beyond a point, an employee's primary need has less to do with money, and more to do with how he's treated and how valued he feels. Much of this depends directly on the immediate manager. And yet, bad bosses seem to happen to good people everywhere. A Fortune magazine survey some years ago found that nearly 75 per cent of employees have suffered at the hands of difficult superiors. You can leave one job to find - you guessed it, another wolf in a pin-stripe suit in the next one.
Of all the workplace stressors, a bad boss is possibly the worst, directly impacting the emotional health and productivity of employees. HR experts say that of all the abuses, employees find public humiliation the most intolerable. The first time, an employee may not leave, but a thought has been planted. The second time, that thought gets strengthened. The third time, he starts looking for another job. When people cannot retort openly in anger, they do so by passive aggression. By digging their heels in and slowing down. By doing only what they are told to do and no more. By omitting to give the boss crucial information.
Dev says: "If you work for a jerk, you basically want to get him into trouble. You don't have your heart and soul in the job." Different managers can stress out employees in different ways - by being too controlling, too suspicious, too pushy, too critical, but they forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are free agents. When this goes on too long, an employee will quit - often over seemingly trivial issue.
It isn't the 100th blow that knocks a good man down. It's the 99 that went before. And while it's true that people leave jobs for all kinds of reasons- for better opportunities or for circumstantial reasons, many who leave would have stayed - had it not been for one man constantly telling them, as Arun's boss did: "You are dispensable. I can find dozens like you." While it seems like there are plenty of other fish especially in today's waters, consider for a moment the cost of losing a talented employee.
There's the cost of finding a replacement. The cost of training the replacement. The cost of not having someone to do the job in the meantime.The loss of clients and contacts the person had with the industry. The loss of morale in co-workers. The loss of trade secrets this person may now share with others. Plus, of course, the loss of the company's reputation. Every person who leaves a corporation then becomes its ambassador, for better or for worse.
We all know of large IT companies that people would love to join and large television companies few want to go near. In both cases, former employees have left to tell their tales. "Any company trying to compete must figure out a way to engage the mind of every employee," Jack Welch of GE once said.
Much of a company's value lies "between the ears of its employees". If it's bleeding talent, it's bleeding value.Unfortunately, many senior executives busy traveling the world, signing new deals and developing a vision for the company, have little idea of what may be going on at home. That deep within an organization that otherwise does all the right things, one man could be driving its best people away!
Infinitely idiotic people exist in this world - further proof of the same.
The details of this correspondence are at http://www.centos.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=127 .