Tuesday, December 28

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami :

Some bloggers have set up a site The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami : SEA-EAT blog News and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts. Please visit this site and help in the efforts of various agencies and people engaged in the help and support of the victims.

India Quietly Introduces Software Patents

Slashdot reports that India is introducing software patents quietly. The Business-Standard India Report and NDTV's Report. However, some slashdotters and myself are in little disagreement over the Software Patents : From one of the comments quoting Richard Stallman :his talk on the danger with software patents

This phenomenon of cross-licensing refutes a common myth, the myth of the starving genius. The myth that patents "protect" the "small inventor". Those terms are propaganda terms. You shouldn't use them. The scenario is like this: Suppose there is a brilliant designer of whatever. Suppose he has spent years starving in the attic designing a new wonderful kind of whatever and now wants to manufacture it and isn't it a shame the big companies are going to go into competition with him, take away all the business and he'll "starve". I will have to point out that people in high tech fields are not generally working on their own and that ideas don't come in a vacuum, they are based on ideas of others and these people have pretty good chances of getting a job if they need to these days. So this scenario, the idea that a brilliant idea came from this brilliant person working alone is unrealistic and the idea that he is in danger of starving is unrealistic. But it is conceivable that somebody could have an idea and this idea along with 100 or 200 other ideas can be the basis of making some kind of product and that big companies might want to compete with him. So let's see what happens if he tries to use a patent to stop them. He says "Oh No, IBM. You cannot compete with me. I've got this patent." IBM says "let's see. Let's look at your product. Hmmm. I've got this patent and this one and this one and this one and this one and this one, which parts of your product infringe. If you think you can fight against all of them in court, I will just go back and find some more. So, why don't you cross license with me?" And then this brilliant small inventor says "Well, OK, I'll cross license". So he can go back and make these wonderful whatever it is, but so can IBM. IBM gets access to his patent and gets the right to compete with him, which means that this patent didn't "protect" him at all.

43 things - a new social networking tool

The Seattle Times:

43 Things, a new social-networking service created by a local team of technology developers called the Robot Co-op.

How it works: Put your goals up on the site and get back profiles of other people who want to do the same thing. Join a team with the same goal. Tell others about things you've already done.

Tracing back: The robots liked the personalization feature at Amazon.com (people who bought this also bought that) and wanted to combine it with elements of Web logging and online networking.

Craiglist gives newspapers a tough time

CNET News.com reports that Craiglist is giving the local newspapers in US very tough times, something around $65 million. Craiglist is a community online classifieds site covering recruitment, dating, real-state, autobiles and majority of the products and services under the sun. This has affected in the revenue models of Newspapers who used to earn by providing classifieds and ads sections in the newspapers.

Craiglists 25% stake is now held by Ebay.com which has currently acquired Bazee.com and also interested in Rent.com. The success is of this is due to the simplicity and the fantastic utility it provides.

Saturday, December 25

Steve Breen outsources santa from India

Take it with a holiday spirit. It may be funny for some and not so funny for others. Wish You A Merry XMas and a Happy New Year

John Doerr's Startup Manual & House of pancakes

[ Via Fast Company ] Michael S. Malone interviews John Doerr - The 46-year-old partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers (KPCB) is, by all accounts, the most influential venture capitalist of his generation. Over the last 16 years, he has built an unrivaled record of backing industry-defining start-ups in fields as diverse as computing, (Sun Microsystems, Compaq), software (Lotus, Intuit), biotechnology (Genentech, Millennium) and the Internet (Netscape, Amazon.com). But for all of those past triumphs, Doerr says, "there's never been a better time than now to start a company. In the past, entrepreneurs started businesses. Today they invent new business models. That's a big difference, and it creates huge opportunities".

Tuesday, December 21

The industry's first Web services vulnerability assessment and management company,

ADTmag.com informs :

Billing itself as the industry's first Web services vulnerability assessment and management company, Kenai is marketing a set of inspection tools for Web services developers. Its flagship offering, eXamine 1.0, released in beta in October, is standalone tool that enables developers to import WSDL files and test them for compliance with industry standards, such as XML and SOAP, as well as their own internally-developed best practices. Kenai's eXamineST is an advanced Web services inspection tool designed to enable developers to import WSDL files and test them for compliance with WS-Security standards and for other Web services security vulnerabilities.

Monday, December 20

Release the CEO of eBay India (Baazee) - a travesty of cyber-law and e-commerce - Signatures

Mahesh Murthy has written an online petiition address Prime Minister of India Mr. Manmohan Singh.Please sign this petition if you believe in it and express your support :
Release the CEO of eBay India (Baazee) - a travesty of cyber-law and e-commerce - Signatures

The idea of arresting a e-commerce service provide is very stupid, infact when he has very remote involvement with it. One cannot argue in terms of legalities and in this case they have declared Avnish Bajaj as criminal first and now he has to prove his innocence.

1) If this appplied everywhere then 'A' send a porno pic / abusive SMS to 'B' via Airtel and is recieved on 'B' via Orange . Then next day you find that CEO of Airtel and CEO of Orange are in Tihar Jail.
2) In-on-paper contract justification : If there has to be ink-on-paper for everything (see petition) then railway reservation system, demat accounts, online banking, online transaction, credit card merchants and anything electronics is pure rubbish. The entire e-commerce industry in India will collapse by this.
3) When the original person who produced the movie is still not jailed cos he is a minor, what was the big deal and creating action packed arrest of suited CEO of Bazee.com (now ebay india) who has nowhere to run. Is he a Dawood gang member or something...???
4) There could also be a chance that, Bazee.com has just been acquired by Ebay.com and the smell of crispy green dollars is still fresh
5) In India as it is entrepreneur spirit is dim, and by this action of police people will be afraid to put their hands in internet or e-commerce business. Till now it was red-tapism, now you can get arrested just 'bcos nbobody understand your business and the laws are insufficient to handle your business domain
6) Again arrest and non-bailable arrest is little dramatic and non-justified. Is it that instead of child-girl-school-iit, the attention should divert to Bajaj who is just a kid at wrong place at the wrong time.

Its very hard in Swades.

Thursday, December 16

What a e-waste ?

The Economic Times reports about the rise of e-waste or electronics scrap in India.

Related :
Electronic Wate Guide
E-Waste: Dark Side of Digital Age
E-waste rules still being flouted

Ryan points to the future of VoIP Revolution

Ryan informs - where is the VoIP revolution :

Holding a cold Kilkenny beer, sitting last night discussing with a Lucent and Juniper rep the future of VoIP, it became apparent that we all are supplying appliances for carrying VoIP Software, and the future is in the software. Companies all around the world are sipping a cold beer or a cup of java in the morning discussing VoIP and it’s disruptive nature for telecommunications and benefits for the world of internet communications.

VoIP software is a wide category from codecs to actual compilations of code creating softphones or pbx technology such as the softswitch. Strategies for deploying the technology require a lot of collaboration between carriers, ISPs, and the deployment of device manufacturers and software providers. Moving towards a world of high level development code deployed in a platform neutral environment, a frenzy of ideas, patents, and business models unfold. Keeping in front of the game is not easy and it has not been won by anyone by any means. So what are we doing to create this future?. Read more...

Wednesday, December 15

Social Networking will become a common feature & integrating it with ecommerce

I am the latest entrant to the social & business networking in India - IndusNexus.com. But social networking is not going to remain as some special feature as the new generation web is turning into more writable / community driven web by the introduction of blogging and wikis. Social or business networking is also as such a remix of the existing tools and applying them more logically and innovatively - for example :

- Guest Book (existed on personal sites)
- Messaging / Private Messaging (Instant Messaging features)
- Friends List (Instant messaging features)
- Friends of Friend (new application introduction)
- Invite Friends (existed as refer this site)
- Networks (newsgroups and special interest groups / yahoo groups)
- Discussions (existed in community blogs / slashdot)

These features will come across as a standard features and can be applied practically anywhere - think community - think networking. The facitlities and features that were available through different mediums yesterday will now be available today through a single social / business networking panel.This thought is reflected by online DVD rental leader Netflix Inc. who is putting social networking on its website.

Integration of social networking on ecommerce sites seems to be wise decision also. For example, if Amazon.com goes social , instead of having auto generated link of 'people who read this book also purchased these books' , I could simply link with person who has bought that book may be make him/her my buddy and get recommended not only in the related book category but altogether different subject / different book. I would not only be on Amazon.com for buying books but also for other reasons and even if most of the people will be eating resources , if Amazon could convert get even 10% serious customers who would buy or help buy product it translates into an additional income. And what amazon has to do for this ? nothing... they simply have to provide a platform. If Google ads can work on , social networking can also work with ecommerce sites.

Already our buying decisions are based on peer reviews and experience. If you are thinking about buying a digital camera, where do you go ? . You would most probably hit google, find links to online brochures and if you are little bit more search engine savvy you will find product review portals and read what others have to say about different cameras, features and their recommendations. This is all at different places. Want to know more - hit comments, email authors, email friends and so on. But what if a social network for digitial photographer existed. You would just search around the archives, locate discussion related to camera which you have zeroed upon and if you were unsatisfied, you would post a new discussion or connect with some network member who seems to be more knowledgeable about the digital cameras.

However, having a social network on distributor's or reseller's ecommerce portal is OK, but having public discussion of some vendor say SONY is tough. Would they allow comments promoting competition or criticism, most probably not and nobody would like to be sued like Kottke. Again it would create difficulties for big brands ego clash with ecommerce site and its users. Big brands would surely not like public criticism or feedback at point of sale websites. Then moderation would come into the picture. There could also be a problem by spamming the social network or creating mischief through falsification and misleading the users through paid social networks who would pay per recommendation and there are some people who are screwing with Google Ads.

The future is messy, but social :-)

Storage Startup Candera Calls It Quits

Eweek reports about the shutdown of the Candera which was a storage startup, this is the second company related to Storage solutions calling quits, the first one shut their operations some 2 years back - Kuokoa networks.

Support Michael Davidon's marathon for cry's mahita project

CRY : Child Relief & You :
Michael Davidson is a native New Yorker, and a marathoner. Currently, he lives in London and works with Morgan Stanley as a Manager in the firm's Corporate Services Division.

With his 1st Marathon (New York, 1997), Michael raised funds for Incarnation Children's Centre for Children with HIV. With the 2000 Athens Marathon, he helped The Epilepsy Foundation, a cause dear to him since his mother has the condition.

Michael's 7th Marathon, Antarctica February 26, 2005, will be for Mahita, a CRY-supported project that focuses on issues affecting the girl child.

Tuesday, December 14

Why dropouts create so many successful businesses

Common Sense Views on Technology :

Bill Gates is famous for having dropped out of college to start Microsoft. Steve Wozniak went back to college after founding Apple Computer. I understand many other businesses were founded by folks with little formal education.

When I was gainfully employed (still am, but am thinking of a period 15 years ago), our company layed off 25% of the staff over a year. Lacking a job, I became self employed for 2 years. I would never have quit a nice paying job to do what I did. But when that option no longer existed, self employment no longer seemed risky at all.

I think there may be a relationship with those, like the above, that lack formal advanced education and starting up new ventures. Their downside is little opportunity to make much money. Starting up a risky new venture is not really very risky - and the upside is tremendous.

This is why a recent article linked from this web site noted that when Cingular lays off thousands of workers near Seattle (the old AT&T Wireless headquarters), it will likely result in many new startup businesses. When you've already lost your job, starting a new venture does not seem risky at all. Which led to my satirical comment that the best way to spawn innovation is to lay everyone off!

> best way to spawn innovation is to lay everyone off!

Ouch that hurts....:-). In india and many developing nations I think more than half the population is an entrepreneur in non-classic chaotic sense. I mean from your panwala to milkman to newpaper vendor to fast food joint wala and others. But this is at the lower level where survival is the main issue and not the business and the business management and other practices. These all remain one man venture throughout the life, though they support the economy and even the lack of jobs situation - it doesn't create jobs, huge infrastructual requirements, stocks , etc.

The entrepreneurship itch is not seen that much in Indian educated or even semi-educated class, why ?

- The government makes it practically impossible due to redtapism. Even if somebody smart-ass starts daringly, he is more likely to get frustrated and drop in between.
- Indian education is one man activity - in india we dont provide the chance to do activities in team. Even in sports we are cricket fetish which is a team sport with stress on individual records.
- Parents play important part in decision making. A doctor's son is a doctor, a doctor's wife is a doctor and doctor's daughter in law is a doctors and so on. This area is seeing some improvement these days.
- Indian's are security hungry, there is so much survival game going on... I don't want to be the first one to play the game, if somebody else play a game, wins it and stays a winner then I may follow him.
- There is a lack of local inspiration from society and media. The television, society and the media is providing fast food junk thoughts for the mind, the politicians are either for entertainment and futile arguements (intellectual acrobatics) . There are every few handful inspirations like Late Dhirubhai Ambani, Narayanmurthy , Sabeer Bhatia, Azim Premji and others. Even being so successfull we indians just know them by there Names and Stocks Value and nothing more than that. If Indians are educated about the journey of these guys , I am sure people will be excited to take up their path even if it is hard.

Monday, December 13

Look ma I am in the google news...

Thanks to Xtvworld and Google News I have appeared in the first page, first link of Google News. Here 'I' means IndusNexus.com ;-).

It appears as...

Intellect powered Social & Business Networking
Xtvworld Media Junction (press release), India - Dec 11, 2004
IndusNexus writes "The IndusNexus.com is an online social / business opportunities plus an intellectual capital exchange. It provides ...

If you want to publish your press releases absoulely free then I think Xtvworld is the best, tried and tested. Just register there, post your press release according to the categories and wait for 24hr or so for it to appear , since it undergoes moderation for apporval.

I have found another free press release service PRLeap, there you have two choose atleast 2 days prior to press release , I think I have choosen Monday and it will be posted by tonight due to India - US time difference.

These press release services are indexed by Google News, Newsgator, topix.net and another news aggregators.

Thursday, December 9

Ukraine is 4th in the Programmer Population

Slashdot reports that "after the U.S., India, and Russia -- Ukraine is the fourth in largest number of computer programmers in the world" and that "Even today, scientific institutes each year churn out some 50,000 science or technology graduates. Not surprisingly, Ukrainians don't see why their country can't become a big player in the global technology market, like India."

Wednesday, December 8

Are you game for advertising ???

The Register informat that US company has just come out of stealth mode to lay claim to the world's first advertising network for multiple games on multiple gaming platforms for desperate advertisers and brands who cant find attention nirvana through 30 sec ads and sexy billboards.

Sony, Ken Jennings, and Kottke.org

Big mighty corporations attack on bloggers : Sony, Ken Jennings, and me (kottke.org) :

Things may be a little quieter around here in the short term as I deal with some stuff going on in the real world. One of the reasons for the silence is that my legal difficulties with Sony about the whole Ken Jennings thing have yet to be resolved. I can't say too much about it (soon perhaps), but it sure has had a chilling effect on my enthusiasm for continuing to maintain kottke.org. As an individual weblogger with relatively limited financial and legal resources, I worry about whether I can continue to post things (legal or not) that may upset large companies and result in lawsuits that they can afford and I cannot. The NY Times can risk upsetting large companies in the course of their journalistic duties because they are a large company themselves, they know their rights, and they have a dedicated legal team to deal with stuff like this. In the current legal climate, it may be that the whole "are blogs journalism?" debate is moot until bloggers have access to a level of legal resources similar to what large companies have. I'm certainly thinking very seriously about whether I can keep this site going in this kind of environment.

Update: Thanks for all the support everyone...I've gotten many nice emails and various offers of assistance. Several people have asked if they can help monetarily, which I very much appreciate, but the process is not quite to that point yet (and might never reach it) and I don't want to be responsible for refunds or anything like that. But again, I appreciate the support.

Colas as pesticides : It happens only in india

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Farmers tackle pests with colas :

For farmers in the eastern Indian state of Chhattisgarh it is cheaper than pesticides and gets the job done just as well. The product? Pepsi or Coca-Cola.

Agricultural scientists give them some backing - they say the high sugar content of the drinks can make them effective in combating pests.

Unsurprisingly, Pepsi and Coca-Cola strongly disagree, saying there is nothing in the drinks that can be used in pest control

Business Opportunities Weblog | The Most Hated Advertising Techniques

Via Business Opportunities Blog
According to Jakob Nielsen, when users were asked how various aspects of online ads affected their Web experience, they rated the following attributes most negatively:

Pops-up in front of your window - 95%
Loads slowly - 94%
Tries to trick you into clicking on it - 94%
Does not have a "Close" button - 93%
Covers what you are trying to see - 93%
Doesn't say what it is for - 92%
Moves content around - 92%
Occupies most of the page - 90%
Blinks on and off - 87%
Floats across the screen - 79%
Automatically plays sound - 79%

End of Personal Blogging

Om Malik comments on the end of personal blogging and the rise of "pro" blogs :
In last six months, something strange has happened in the blogsphere – the increased marginalization of the individual blogger. There was a time, when having a blog with your domain name, or even a blog-spot or TypePad account was the way to go. Your readers would find out through word of mouth, through blogrolls or perhaps through RSS. But that was then… today we are in the era of where big get bigger.

Let me explain. Yahoo garnered a lot of good will when it started including weblogs into their My Yahoo content reservoir. Great stuff, because it was the next wave of traffic boost, for my blogger friends. Or so I thought. I have looked high and low but I don’t find many individual blows represented on Yahoo. Instead dominating the list are more “pro” blogs like Engadget, Gizmodo and scores of others from say the Weblogs Inc, stable. (They added Buzzmachine.com to the list of lifestyle blogs, but I wonder if JeffJarvis.com would have made the cut, all things remaining equal.)

Here is a list of Tech Weblogs on Yahoo. No mention of Scobleizer or Russell Beattie’s or for sake of argument my own weblog. Google News will willingly bring in news from known blogs, like the ones mentioned before, but not from individual blogs, even if they are breaking news stories, and have more content than some of the aggregator-blogs. Google News rejected my big to get included in their Google News program, even though they include other blogs with more “pro” names....

Tuesday, December 7

Advice for startup jugglers

Courier Journal offers a story of John Dintaman, s an office coordinator, providing field support for a silo distributor in day and by night, he's a small-business owner, crunching numbers to help other small companies manage their finances.

There is a piece of advice for such jugglers by Caroline Lynch :

New business owners often keep their day jobs while starting up at home. But to juggle jobs successfully, experts say owners should handle a few situations with care:

Telling the boss. New owners should tell their employers when they get beyond the planning stages.

Telling the clients. You might want to do this if your new business is affected by your day job. But know that some will see the company as less legitimate if the owner is doing it part time.

Quitting time. It shouldn't come before the new owner has sound financial projections and knows there's enough money to support the home and the business. But, if your day job is suffering, it's time to go.

Ethics. Don't start a business that competes with your former employer and try to steal clients.

Sick of your job ? Find your inner entrepreneur

Sun-sentinel profiles two South Floridians who were sick of their dead-end jobs and became entrepreneurs, one a successful entrepreneur and the other a failed one.

Insights into the challenges of entrepreneurship in developing countries.

HBS Working Knowledge :

When Liberia-born Monique Maddy (HBS MBA '93) started Adesemi to offer users throughout Africa a wireless system of pagers and public pay phones, she believed that tremendous pent-up demand would launch her company to success. But in fact, the company eventually had to be liquidated, a casualty not only of internal miscalculations but also of the bureaucracy, corruption, and environmental factors faced by start-ups in Africa and other developing countries.

But not all was lost. Maddy told her story in the memoir Learning to Love Africa: My Journey from Africa to Harvard Business School and Back, published earlier this year. And now she is working with global corporations to overcome the environmental obstacles she faced and to create a business development that will bring a wide range of consumer products and services to middle and lower income segments of the African population.

From her Cambridge, MA, home, Maddy shares her thoughts via e-mail about bureaucracies, challenges, and opportunities presented by Africa.

Jason Smiths' guide to sucess

Jason Smith a 24 year old entrepreneur , the man behind GoSMG.com shares how he became successful through the following success mantras :

1. Test The Waters.
2. Get Educated
3. Find A Passion
4. Do Your Research
5. Define A Niche
6. Offer Value

Monday, December 6

Cisco confirms interest in router startup - BCN Systems

Cisco has confirmed its interest a router startup BCN Systems, Inc. which architects, designs and produces a family of next generation networking products. Computer World :

We believe BCN is developing next generation enterprise/service provider edge routers to replace the 7600 and/or 10000 series at Cisco," state Nikos Theodosopoulos in a recent bulletin on Juniper's third-quarter results. This was mentioned in the Juniper bulletin as an example where Cisco and Juniper are poaching each other's talent to develop competing products.

The founder and CEO of BCN is Michael Beesley, who was the lead engineer on several mid-range routers at Cisco before his departure in 1997. After that, Beesley was also one of the lead engineers on Juniper's M40, the lead engineer on the M20 and "pivotal" in the design and implementation of the company's T640 core router, according to the BCN Web site.

Other observers believe some of the Procket Networks intellectual property Cisco acquired for US$89 million six months ago has found a home at BCN and in the next-generation 7600 and 10000 series successors. Back in June, Cisco Routing Technology Group Vice President Mike Volpi said the Procket engineers would be working on service provider edge extensions to Cisco's new, modular IOS-XR operating system, and a follow-on generation to the 40G bit/sec silicon packet processors Cisco unveiled with last May's launch of the CRS-1 core router, but oriented towards lower-end systems.

Friday, December 3

What India must learn from Japan :1 Re. entrepreneurial startup fee

The Japan Times :

Setting up companies in Japan is getting easier as the government tries to encourage more people to become entrepreneurs.
Incorporating a company of a certain size basically requires either 3 million yen or 10 million yen in capital. Firms of those sizes are entitled to a legal and social status that more personal types of companies do not enjoy.

But a temporary law that took effect in February 2003 lowered the required capital to just 1 yen.

Startup's product aimed at cell queries

SeattlePi :

Brian Roundtree started a kayak company at the age of 12, entered the University of Southern California physics program at 15 and dropped out of college to take a job with aerospace pioneer Bill Lear by the time he was registered to vote.

Now 45, Roundtree -- a high-tech inventor who has created companies in each of the last four decades -- is unveiling a new startup that promises to reduce customer service headaches for both cell phone users and carriers.

Startup Starts Up Unique Non-Profit

emediawire :
Like hundreds, and even thousands, of other websites that sell cause-related products such as the popular “LiveStrong” silicone wristbands from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, www.nationalsupport.org gives a percentage of the proceeds to charity. That they pledge a full 100% of the net proceeds is indeed praiseworthy. That they pay other sites to share their web traffic is, well, remarkable.

Wednesday, December 1

eHarmony, Friendster Launch Online Matching System

Socaltech: Friendster in partnership with eHarmony is lauching online personals matching systems.

May be I was smart enough to launch Matrimony and Match Making for Indians on IndusNexus.com.

IT can reduce regional disparities

SWAMINATHAN S ANKLESARIA AIYAR ( The Times of India ) : provides some factual information on how IT is changing the regional disparities.

Frantic hiring in IT has created a serious shortage of skilled workers, a paradox in a country bedevilled by unemployment. IT companies find that workers they hire and train leave for better jobs within months or years. In the last quarter, Wipro and Satyam reported worker attrition of 18%, and Infosys of over 10%. So, they (and other IT companies) are moving to every part of India in search of English-speaking persons who can be trained to meet their inexhaustible needs.

They have penetrated the Marxist heartland of West Bengal and Kerala, where no manufacturing companies dare venture.

IT companies are less worried about militant unions since they create white-collar jobs, not blue-collar ones.

Besides, West Bengal has declared IT to be a public utility where strikes are forbidden. Kerala has welcomed the IT industry with open arms. After decades, these states are witnessing an explosion of new jobs.

If you're sick - stay home

HBS Working Knowledge:
Employers worry a lot about absenteeism, but new research suggests a bigger threat to productivity is “presenteeism”: sick workers who show up at work but are not fully functioning. U.S. companies may lose $150 billion (yes, that’s billion) annually because of presenteeism, according to some estimates. This Harvard Business Review excerpt details what employers can do about the problem.