A peek into my inbox! :)

If you thought this would bring you all sorts of juicy gossip….i’ll just say that’s not my style 🙂 .. this is a Jai RSS (Really Simple Syndication) post .. and the inbox in question is the one i use on Netvibes.
Stumbled across this Yahoo! Messenger plugin which led me to the developers page… which then me thinking about whether i could export all my feeds from netvibes and get Y! Pipes to parse them into the script.
This is an attempt to show you what i’m possibly reading at any given time and aims to add some level of dynamic content to my otherwise static blog.

Powered by Yahoo! Pipes

Update 1:
This refuses to work….so i’m going retro and pointing you to my pipes page…
Update 2:
Just for my friends from Russia (the largest non-english/hindi speaking country on my blog) here is a translated version in Russian.


Apple’s iPhone Problems – Get the facts!

We all marvel at the buzz that any Apple launch manages to create…
If you do plan on buying the iPhone, knowing some of the shortcomings and problems, is essential….

While the detailed list and conversation can be found at http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1190824 i’ve handpicked a few…

  • Bluetooth is ONLY good for connecting a headset. That’s it.
  • There is no file browser on the device at all. Data must be organized (if at all) in the appropriate application.
  • The keyboard sucks. It gets slightly better after the iPhone “learns” you, as the employees said, but even then, it’s not a device you can use with one hand comfortably, much less without looking.
  • You can only send one picture at a time in an email.
  • No custom ringtones (yet, as we were being told) and the alert tones can not be changed whatsoever.
  • The default ringtones are incredibly lame.
  • The only form of customization outside of a lame default ringtone is the wallpaper, which you’ll only see when you need to unlock the device or when you get a phone call.
  • No document editor or native viewer. You can not store documents on the device to be viewed, they can only be viewed as attachments when they’re sent to your in an email.
  • No voice dialing.
  • No speed dialing (which can be made up by the “quick list”, but getting to that quick list isn’t as fast as holding a single key on a real keypad).

Being a heavy phone user… I’m definitely not letting go of the Windows Mobile platform anytime soon…

Now handing out Joost invites

My friends at Joost finally sent me an invite (had to wait a couple of weeks) and three more invites for my friends. Drop me an email if you want one.

Update:  Now have 999 invites…and so handing them out by the dozen…leave a comment if you want one…. 

The Andover of India? Graduates From Doon Score Top U.S. Jobs

from The Wall Street Journal
for the doscos reading this…catch me on the Facebook group
I went to The Doon School…therefore i am way better than you!.

DEHRA DUN, India — At the Doon School, near the foothills of the Himalayas, life is spartan. The 500 boys enrolled here bathe together in communal showers. In winter, they pore over textbooks in rooms with no heat. Cellphones are forbidden and parental visits are kept to a minimum.

For 71 years, Doon has supplied India with business leaders and well-known writers such as Vikram Seth. Even Rajiv Gandhi, the late prime minister, suffered the school’s famously bad food. Now Doon is taking its uniformed students in a new direction: up the U.S. corporate ladder. The head of Citigroup Inc.’s North American credit-card business is a Doon alumnus. So too is a Merrill Lynch & Co. senior currency executive. From Raytheon Co. to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Doon is supplying a new old boys’ network in an increasingly international business world.

Many of the Doon alumni say they are still driven by the school’s humbling culture. Vikram Malhotra, head of McKinsey & Co.’s New York office, recalls the pain of failing to earn one of the school’s coveted blazers, awarded for excellence. “Imagine 500 boys, homogenous in what they wear, and the only way you could stand out is if you wore a blue blazer if you were good in sports and a black blazer if you were good in academics,” says Mr. Malhotra, 46 years old. “I fell a point short on each one and to this day it rankles me.” Even as Doon graduates penetrate the upper ranks of corporate America, the school draws criticism that it is out of step with the times. The headmaster is pushing for reforms — such as heating the study rooms –but he faces some opposition from alumni.

And proposed national legislation may mandate that private schools set aside a quarter of their places for underprivileged students — including the country’s “Dalit” or “untouchable” caste, which has largely been absent at high-tuition Doon.

“There is a debate now whether Doon’s elitism is required and whether it works in a changed world,” says alumnus Bhaskar Menon, the former chief executive of EMI Music Worldwide. Founded in 1935, Doon once drew the sons of prominent Indian industrialists and politicians. Today scholarships, partly covering the annual tuition of about $4,000, assist one in four students. About half of the students’ parents own small businesses. To be admitted, boys must pass a tough entrance exam.

Located on the site of the former Imperial Forest College & Research Institute, Doon is an oasis in Dehra Dun, a dusty town of about 700,000, 140 miles northeast of New Delhi. Thousands of trees shade the 70-acre grounds, where 55 teachers lead classes six days a week. Each morning except Sunday, boys rise at 6:15 and down a small snack to fuel them for 20 minutes of military-style exercises. Two classes precede breakfast, with another five crammed in before lunch. Academics are leavened with music, poetry and drama. Every April, the boys vie in a calisthenics contest in which judges award points for clean, pressed clothes as well as team coordination.

On a recent Saturday morning, in a room lit by fluorescent lights, more than a dozen 17-year-olds sat at old wooden tables as fans whirred overhead. The work at hand: CPA-level accounting problems. “Is depreciation on a delivery van part of selling overhead?” asked one student. (Answer: yes.)

Some graduates, like Ravi Sinha, say they got their first primers on deal-making at Doon. As a 13- year-old student, he bartered breakfast goods with the other boys. Milk and bread “had no trading value” because they were ubiquitous, recalls Mr. Sinha, now a 43-year-old partner at Goldman Sachs. But the less-available “butter and eggs were tradable,” he says.

To help blur class lines, boys perform menial tasks such as pruning plants or window-cleaning — unthinkable chores for those of high social standing. The school’s de-emphasis of wealth explains why many material goods, including fancy cars and designer clothes, are not allowed on campus. Unless parceled out by the school, money, or “home dough,” as boys call it, is also forbidden. Those found with unauthorized cash are stripped of their precious few privileges, such as Sunday forays into town.

Article of Faith’ “The monastic existence” is an “article of faith of the school,” says Dr. Kanti P. Bajpai, Doon’s headmaster. “It is a leveler, a reminder that you are here to work and participate in campus activities and not wallow.”

One common penance is a “change in break.” That’s when a student must run to his room and change into sports clothes from the school uniform — gray blazer and slacks — and return and get a chit signed by a prefect.

On occasion, the lessons are more physical, and not sanctioned by the school. Among them: “putting” — beating boys’ rear ends with field hockey sticks or cricket bats — often for poor performance in sports. Although such bullying was once fairly common, Dr. Bajpai says that it is “the exception rather than the rule today.”

The rigor endears Doon to some parents. Many of the world’s top private schools are “too privileged,” says Indian-born Vinit Khanna, a Doon alumnus who runs an outsourcing business in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. In January, he pulled his son Vihan out of a local school and sent him to study at Doon.

Three to four years ago, between 30% and 35% of Doon graduates went overseas for college, according to Dr. Bajpai, with most going to the U.S. and the U.K. Last year, the number rose to 50%; this year he predicts it will hit 70%.

The rise of Doon alums underscores a broader phenomenon dating back about two decades: the success of first-generation Indians in America. That was largely due to India’s strong education system, as well as wider availability of U.S. visas and college scholarships.

“The average Indian in the U.S. is 30,000 times more likely to have an advanced degree than the average Indian in India,” says Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco, a professor and co-director of immigration studies at New York University. “So we are really skimming the cream of the crop.”

When Doon graduate Deepak Thakran looked for a job in the late 1990s, he got an introduction to consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton from Kabir Sethi, another alum. After helping him get a foot in the door, Mr. Sethi picked him to work on his team — setting strategy for an institutional bank in Sydney, Australia.

Rajiv Dutta, president of Skype Technologies, the newly-acquired Internet telephone-calling unit of eBay Inc. says that Doon boys get a natural head start in business. Once, during a trip through the Himalayas, he and four others emerged from a stream to find their legs covered in leeches. Some of the boys wanted to head back to school. But after putting their heads together, they threw salt on the leeches, forcing them to recoil. The boys pressed on.

“It is tremendously uplifting when you make a decision like that, when you run into an obstacle and you overcome that obstacle,” Mr. Dutta says.

Changing Focus
In recent years, Doon has faced challenges of its own. When Dr. Bajpai, a former university professor, arrived at Doon in 2003, “the school was quite inward-looking, consumed with its own competition and awards.” Since then, he has tried to bring a greater focus on the world outside, encouraging more discussion of public affairs and topics like bullying and substance abuse. He’s done away with some formalities. Dr. Bajpai is the first headmaster not to don a traditional black robe and he urges instructors to drop the honorific “sir” when addressing him.

Consensus isn’t easy. Doon currently admits the daughters of a few teachers, but the issue of coeducation has been divisive, with many alumni and students against the idea.

At a recent school-council meeting, boys asked administrators to boost the allowance they get each time they go on a private outing, to $8 from about $6. The boys scored a minor victory: They got an increase of a little more than a dollar.

“Let me tell you — we are getting soft,” Philip Burrett, Doon’s deputy headmaster told the students at a recent council meeting. “Next thing you’ll want to go in a taxi.”

Democracy – A Consumer Insight

Many of you have written/mentioned in passing that I hardly ever talk about Y! and what’s next, and only mention press releases/coverage from time to time about Y!…i’ll just say that the multiple Y! blogs (starting with http://yodel.yahoo.com) would do a much better job of describing what Y! is upto…also, this is a personal blog…and alot of the content here are thoughts about how the space is evolving…yeah, so on with my post…

The internet is the world’s biggest democracy…i first came up with that line back in 2004 when i was writing my SoP for an eBusiness Management course for a school in england…i didn’t go due to a multitude of reasons, but the SoP really helped me crystallize my thoughts…and this was my opening statement…

The Internet has no parallel, it is the world biggest community (11.5% of world population)*, the world’s biggest marketplace (740 million users), and is growing and evolving everyday. We have witnessed the social implications it has had on our lives and how it has revolutionised the way we do business. Today, we are witnessing the second Internet revolution, the era of Wireless Networking. This will increase the reach and growth of the Internet making it a more central part of how we live and operate. I am driven by my passion for the Internet, and am decided on being a part of this global movement, that continues to add value to our lives.

That was 2004, 3 years in a conventional landscape (30 in cyberspace)…those numbers have already clawed up to a billion users globally (15% of global population…growing at 10% a year)…media moguls across the globe are now watching the wireless revolution evolve and attain critical mass…wi-fi and wi-lan are available in india, mobile access continues to grow at 5MM new users in india alone, mobile VAS revenues exceed P2P… we are all witnessing faster evolution of our species thanks to the ever widening proliferation of media and technology…the key trend we’re seeing is, the company that builds the best ecosystem, that allows for the fairest democracy, and that allows the user to be the real winner will eventually win…
Google made online advertising democratic when they first launched ad-sense…they weren’t the first online ad-network, but were the first the allow virtually everyone to run ads on their site and make money of it…in retrospect, the manner in which fastclick, advertising.com and the other networks treated small webmasters was pathetic, and thats why they paid the price…Google continues to grow, and in no small part due to the number of webmasters across the globe that run their ads, swear by their practices and, how their system allows advertiser, webmaster & user to win… the online ecosystem is built (and continues to grow)…Google is not aiming to be a destination….Google wants to be the platform…and has done everything it needs to do, to be the center of the world’s biggest ecosystem…
Don’t for a moment write Microsoft out of this game…they’re still very rich (USD 30BN in cash, billions in profit every quarter) and if you read between the lines of last weeks $3 windows student license announcement for developing economies…you find that they are the only company on earth that could aim at doubling the number of PC owners in the next 8 years… almost all of us use Windows, and alot of their products across the productivity (windows, office 2007, mobile) and entertainment axis (mediacenter, xbox360) are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition… we’re only too used to personalising our computing experience…the key here is we can personalise it because MS has built the ecosystem… even though some of their tactics can be mildly termed aggressive, that’s just business right? …. in the words of kevin kelly, the infinite game is played to keep playing, and to win at every level you play at….

Today we can install almost anything we find on the internet on a windows machine…and thats what affords us options, choices, freedoms which in turn empower us….we can now share our ideas with the world (this blog being a classic case), get feedback, collaborate and jointly evolve…this is the role that technology & media combined are playing in the evolution of mankind… technology was always supposed to be open, to be free, shared, transparent…and media today makes it viable… web 2.0 is the biggest attempt and success story ever towards socialization of media & technology … its anyones guess about which company will eventually prevail… but the one thing i can say with absolutely no hesitation is that the consumer will win (and is already winning) … we’re really really really lucky to live in this day and age… subsidised by media, empowered by technology… democratic, free and liberated!

This is just ONE more reason why i LOVE the internet…