Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mediocrity - The new American Flagship Service

People switch jobs left and right. So what you get is a mediocrity. They just know and do what they are required as per the law. What about the service?

when everything goes well, okay. If you need a small adjustment, that is when you will see the diff. how can you expect excellent service when that associate barely new anything about the business.

Identity Theft - Who to blame

Credit card companies that issue CC by not verifying the authenticity of the applicant
Bank that issue loans by not verifying authenticity of the applicant
All Shops that suppport e-commerce

Why consumer has to pay for identify theft??

Thursday, April 24, 2008

TellMe - Location Based Service By Microsoft on Your Black Berry

As mentioned in the article, its  a big surprises.  Microsoft releasing an application that runs on non-Windows Mobile. But Location Based Service with voice recognition is a cool application.

Microsoft, purveyors of everything Windows Mobile, have just released a public version of TellMe, their new Location Based Application with voice recognition for the BlackBerry platform. TellMe is a cool little piece of software taking your GPS coordinates and providing you with search results, movie times, restaurant reviews, traffic info, and more based on your current location. As an added bonus, all of this information can be accessed with simple voice instructions, allowing you to use the software on the road without risking your spotless driving record. Currently, the software is supported on all GPS-equipped ‘Berrys, including the 8800, 8820, 8830, 8310, and we assume the 8110.

Microsoft’s new LBS for BlackBerry | The Boy Genius Report

T-Mobile confirms Android handsets this year

It may not be a huge difference to Cell phone users, but Google hopes Android brings a better phone and exciting applications in the future. I doubt these phones initially would even be any closer to other devices in terms of functionality and intuitive interfaces that we all have been used to.

T-Mobile USA has revealed it is preparing to ship out its first mobile phones built on Google Android platform later this year.

Read the news article here T-Mobile confirms Android handsets this year

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Notable Thoughts : Lessons For Entrepreneurs

“A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much, and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all” - Anonymous. Few notable thoughts that are worth sharing and spreading.


Are you sure you want to be in San Francisco?
If San Francisco, the Bay area, and Sillicon Valley aren’t good places to start a web business of the 3P variety, where is? Well, I’d say just about any place but. Basecamp came from Chicago/Copenhagen, FogBugz from New York, Campaign Monitor from Australia, Shopify from Ottawa, Freshbooks from Toronto, Blinksale from Texas, and there are tons of other applications of the same ilk that come from all over the world.

The silent majority
It's easy for people to think that the interaction they witness on the web is a complete reflection of the world in general. Often it's quite the contrary.

Will eBay Hang Up on Skype?
The Financial Times thinks so. The British paper quotes eBay’s CEO John Donahoe as saying the online auction firm will test Skype for “synergies” this year and if those synergies aren’t strong, reassess the division. eBay purchased Skype in 2005 with a potential payout of $4.1 billion. However, last year eBay wrote down the value of the acquisition by $1.4 billion, essentially admitting it overpaid.

In the HuddleChat Debacle, a Lesson for Web 2.0 Startups
As open source takes hold — in the form of software, platforms and even the development environment itself — the ability to imitate will only increase. In such an environment, the only meaningful defense for Web 2.0 app developers and startups is their ability to build a community in large numbers. The data of a community is the only defense, and perhaps the only real value, in a Web 2.0 company. And unless they can achieve this quickly, many Web 2.0 apps/startups are going to meander into mediocrity, only to see their ideas inspire larger players to roll out their own versions of their apps.

Google App Engine for developers
On Monday Google launched Google App Engine, a hosted dynamic runtime environment for Python web applications inside Google's geo-distributed architecture. Google App Engine is the latest in a series of Google-hosted application environments and the first publicly-available dynamic runtime and storage environment based on large-scale propriety computing systems.

Why do we plan up front?
Uncertainty. It’s the same reason why so many people balk when we tell them to throw their functional spec out the window. I care so much about the design and feel and function of my condo-to-be that I can’t stand the uncertainty of not knowing how it will turn out. I want to know NOW so I can stop worrying about it. And of course, it’s impossible to really know what the best design will be without actually building the real thing step by step. But still, I don’t want to wait for such realities. And so I plan, and I plan, and I plan. Plans are a strategy against uncertainty. The problem is, they only make you certain of your imagination.

Notable Thoughts : India on the Rise

“A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much, and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all” - Anonymous. Few notable thoughts that are worth sharing and spreading.


The World Turned Upside Down
Which is the more "American" company, Armonk-NY based IBM or Mumbai, India-based Tata Consultancy Services? When it comes to where their revenues are collected, the answer is clear. It's TCS. More than 50% of its revenues come from North American customers. Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of IBM's revenues come from outside North America.

Azim Premji To Launch $1 Billion Private Equity Fund
According to a report in The Economic Times, Premji is launching a private equity fund with a corpus of at least $1 billion. The fund christened - PremjiInvest - will be sector-agnostic. He has also appointed Sudip Banerjee, who was till recently president of the enterprise solutions business, as a director on the advisory board of PremjiInvest

'China and the US will envy India'
In the Globe and Mail, which is the most respected Canadian newspaper, columnist Marcus Gee said the genius of its business leaders will be India's 'knockout punch in the title bout 21st century business'. It said that though China was way ahead of India in exports, infrastructure development, foreign investment and energy consumption, India might surpass it in the long run because of its 'smart, ambitious, and forward-looking' business leaders. Thanks to their genius, it said, India, which was an 'economic washout' just two decades ago, now has more billionaires than Japan.

Energy efficiency: India tops emerging economies
India has emerged as the most energy efficient country among leading emerging nations including China, Brazil and South Africa. Studies show emerging economies could play pivotal roles in reducing the growing environmental anxieties worldwide. The findings are based on the fact that these economies have opportunity to voluntarily moderate their carbon emissions. The report has focused on seven countries -- India, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt and Brazil.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Startup School 08 : Invaluable Lessons

Some wonderful insights and very thought provoking presentations at  Startup School.  Particularly interesting one is by David (RoR), from 37Signals that clears lots of clouds in the minds of today's budding entrepreneurs and wide open world of startups.

He outlined a practical strategy of building a great business. Anything I would say to summarize would be too limiting the invaluable lessons learnt and  demonstrated by 37Signals, so go ahead and watch the video.


Startup School 08

Startup school is an annual free conference for hackers interested in startups. This year notable speakers included Mike Arrington, Marc Andreessen, Jeff Bezos and Paul Graham.

The official website is http://startupschool.org/

Startup School 08 | Omnisio

Saturday, April 19, 2008

F-1 Students : How to Apply for OPT Extension

With an interim rule announced by DHS recently,  certain students on F-1 can work for a total of 29 months on OPT before they get employment under H1B. Earlier, students could work only for 12 months maximum on OPT.

I have received numerous emails on how to apply for an extension to OPT. While I was not an authority on legalities involved, a quick look at the interim rule, I found some information. Please refer to the  DHS Release : Optional Practical Training Interim Final Rule(PDF) for more information.

Also note that students who apply for this extension, must also comply with the new 6 monthly reporting requirements. Read the document thoroughly to understand your responsibilities and eligibility criteria.

(quoting from the DHS Document linked below)

1. Students who wish to extend OPT must request that their DSO recommend the 17-month OPT extension. DSOs recommending the extension must verify the student’s eligibility, certify that the student’s degree is on the STEM Designated Degree Program List, and ensure that the student is aware of his or her responsibilities for maintaining status while on OPT. The DSO must make the recommendation to extend OPT for the student through SEVP’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a Web-enabled database for the collection of information related to F, M and J nonimmigrants, certified schools, and State Department approved exchange visitor programs.

2. Once the DSO recommends a student for the extension, the student must submit a Form 1-765 and appropriate fees (as indicated in the form instructions) to USCIS. Instructions for filing the Form 1-765 can be found at USCIS’ website at www.uscis.eov.

Please note that your Employer also must meet certain requirements.
Refer to DHS Release : Optional Practical Training Interim Final Rule(PDF) for more information.

Previously mentioned as a comment at Thought Garage » F-1 Students Can Work on OPT for 29 Months

Friday, April 18, 2008

Linux on Consumer Desktops? Not yet! Not any time soon?

Its no big surprise, if you have ever used linux based desktop and you are not a geek. But for those who believe that open source can beat stalwarts like Microsoft and Apple in UI design, its time to ack limitations.

Red Hat said it has dropped plans, disclosed last year, to develop a version of the Linux operating system for consumer PCs -- in part because of Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s dominance over the market.

"The desktop market suffers from having one dominant vendor, and some people still perceive that today's Linux desktops simply don't provide a practical alternative," Red Hat officials said in a blog post Wednesday.

"Building a sustainable business around the Linux desktop is tough, and history is littered with example efforts that have either failed outright, are stalled, or are run as charities," they said.

Linux commands only about 1.2% of the desktop market in the United States, according to research group Gartner

Red Hat Drops Plans For Consumer Desktop Linux -- Linux -- InformationWeek

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Learn JavaScript, Straight From Architects of Web 2.0

About 40 hours of Video lectures straight from the Architects of notable Web2.0 experiences, absolutely free and ready to download.  Here are my favorites to learn Java script,  Lectures that you can't miss.

The JavaScript Programming Language

Douglas Crockford provides a comprehensive introduction to the JavaScript Programming Language. 

Yahoo! JavaScript Architect Douglas Crockford provides a comprehensive introduction to the JavaScript Programming Language in this four-part video:

Advanced JavaScript

Yahoo! JavaScript Architect Douglas Crockford lectures on the nuances of the JavaScript programming language in this three-part video:

High-performance JavaScript: Why Everything You've Been Taught Is Wrong

Joseph Smarr, Chief Platform Architect at Plaxo

 Yahoo! Video (Flash) or download.yahoo.com (M4V)

Joseph Smarr is the Chief Platform Architect at Plaxo, Inc. explores the core lessons  learned in the development of their apps and the details of how they've leveraged maximum performance from the web browser

Advancing JavaScript with Libraries

John Resig

57 minutes; source: Yahoo! Video (Flash) or download.yahoo.com (M4V, iPod/iPhone-compatible) : John Resig of Mozilla Corp., author of the popular JQuery JavaScript library, describes the role of libraries in the world of frontend engineering, the problems they solve, and the things we can learn from how developers use and think about libraries in their projects.

Maintainable JavaScript

My Yahoo! engineer and Wrox author Nicholas Zakas dispenses pearls of wisdom about the creation of maintainable applications in the browser.

42 minutes; source: Yahoo! Video (Flash) or download.yahoo.com (M4V, iPod/iPhone-compatible) : Nicholas Zakas is an engineer on the team that brings you My Yahoo!, one of the most popular personalized portals on the web. In this talk, Zakas focuses on some fundamental concepts in the world of frontend engineering with an eye toward making code more maintainable.

An Inconvenient API: The Theory of the DOM

Yahoo! JavaScript Architect Douglas Crockford discusses the nexus between JavaScript and the browser, exploring the history of the BOM and DOM APIs and their impact on frontend engineering today. This presentation is archived in three parts:

JavaScript: The Good Stuff

40 minutes; source: Yahoo! Video (Flash) or download.yahoo.com (M4V, iPod/iPhone-compatible) Yahoo! JavaScript Architect Douglas Crockford keynotes the 2007 Konfabulator Developer Day at Yahoo! on June 7, 2007. In this talk, he describes his own journey from skepticism about JavaScript to a deep appreciation for its power and elegance.

High Performance Web Sites: 14 Rules for Faster Pages

Yahoo! Performance guru Steve Souders offers 14 rules for faster websites.

37 minutes; source: Yahoo! Video (Flash) or download.yahoo.com (M4V, iPod/iPhone-compatible): Steve Souders is Yahoo's chief peformance guru and the author of High Performance Web Sites. For the past three years, Steve has led a team investigating the root causes of poor page performance and applying the lessons learned to Yahoo!'s high-traffic, media-rich properties.

Java script and JQuery

JavaScript is a misunderstood language. While it, seemingly, doesn't contain the libraries or abstraction of Java or the terse flexibility ... all » of Scheme, it offers serious advantages to skilled developers. Combining a functional style with prototypal inheritance JavaScript is arguably the most widely deployed language of either type. Considering that virtually every computer user has an interpreter capable of running it, JavaScript serves to be one of the best languages to learn

Best Practices in Java script Library Design

This talk explores all the techniques used to build a robust, reusable, cross-platform JavaScript Library. We'll look at how to write a solid JavaScript API, show you how to use functional programming to create contained, concise, code, and delve deep into common cross browser issues that you'll have to solve in order to have a successful library.
John Resig is a JavaScript Evangelist, working for the Mozilla Corporation, and the author of the book 'Pro Javascript Techniques.' He's also the creator and lead developer of the jQuery JavaScript library and the co-designer of the FUEL JavaScript library (included in Firefox 3).

Monday, April 14, 2008

H1B 2009 : Lottery Drawn For H-1B Petitions

USCIS announced today that  it conducted the two phased Random Selection process to pick H1B petitions. If you have filed for premium processing, you should hear a decision in 2 weeks from today. If not, you should hear no later than 2nd June.

As previously mentioned, USCIS mentioned that it will short list little more than mandated cap of 65000 + 20000. Read more about  the waiting list in USCIS original update.

USCIS conducted two random selections, first on petitions qualifying for the 20,000 “master’s or higher degree” (advanced degree) exemption, and second on the remaining advance degree petitions together with the general H-1B pool of petitions, for the 65,000 cap. 

USCIS Update (26KB PDF)

USCIS Runs Random Selection Process For H-1B Petitions

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What Indians Are Searching For - Feb 2008 Edition

Wondering what Indians are searching for recently? Well in Feb, 2008, Movies, Movie stars and Cricket continue to dominate top searches. My surprise entry is 'Causes of Global Warming'. Not sure why suddenly there is so much interest in that aspect.

India - Top Gaining Queries: February 2008

  1. filmfare awards 2008
  2. budget highlights
  3. aishwarya (actress)
  4. concept cars
  5. dhoom2 (Hindi movie)
  6. causes of global warming
  7. peta (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals)
  8. gladiator
  9. punjab university
  10. italy
  11. travel guru
  12. dehradun (a hill town in northern India)
  13. reliance industries
  14. cricketnext
  15. nauheed cyrusi (actress)

Google Press Center: Zeitgeist

Notable Thoughts : Weekend Edition

“A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much, and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all” - Anonymous. Few notable thoughts that kept me thinking and are worth sharing and spreading.


In the HuddleChat Debacle, a Lesson for Web 2.0 Startups
As open source takes hold — in the form of software, platforms and even the development environment itself — the ability to imitate will only increase. In such an environment, the only meaningful defense for Web 2.0 app developers and startups is their ability to build a community in large numbers. The data of a community is the only defense, and perhaps the only real value, in a Web 2.0 company. And unless they can achieve this quickly, many Web 2.0 apps/startups are going to meander into mediocrity, only to see their ideas inspire larger players to roll out their own versions of their apps


Google App Engine for developers
On Monday 2Google launched Google App Engine, a hosted dynamic runtime environment for Python web applications inside Google's geo-distributed architecture. Google App Engine is the latest in a series of Google-hosted application environments and the first publicly-available dynamic runtime and storage environment based on large-scale propriety computing systems. Google App Engine lets any Python developer execute CGI-driven Web applications, store its results, and serve static content from a fault-tolerant geo-distributed computing grid built exclusively for modern Web applications.


An extra mile there and a mile short here…
When you are in the Corporate world, one of the common things that you hear is that you HAVE to “walk the extra mile”. That is a good advice and there is no harm in following that. There is only one problem though. If you don’t design this well, your “extra mile” will be treated as a part of your “standard offering” and you are always forced to walk ANOTHER extra mile. Meanwhile, walking these “extra miles” on the professional front is leaving you no time to work on yourself and you are constantly “a mile short” on the personal front.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Quite Impressive, 45 Ways to Power Up Your Blog

I came across this wonderful listing of very impressive and really useful tips on how to power up your blog. The suggestions are quire contemporary and realistic unlike other lists you find elsewhere.

here comes a list of 45 Ways to Power Up Your Blog! If all goes well we’ll be recording the lecture and will be able to append the video to this post later

45 Ways to Power Up Your Blog - One Mans Blog

Thursday, April 10, 2008

H1B 2009: USCIS received 163,000 H1B Petitions in 2008

USCIS announced today that it received about 163,000 H1B petitions for year 2009 that starts from 1st of October 2008. About 31,200 of those are for Advanced Degree category.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced a preliminary number of nearly 163,000 H-1B petitions received during the filing period ending on April 7, 2008. More than 31,200 of those petitions were for the advanced degree category. USCIS expects next week it will conduct the computer-generated random selection process, beginning with the selection of the 20,000 petitions under the advanced degree exemption. Those petitions not selected under the advanced degree category will join the random selection process for the cap-subject 65,000 limit.

Read the announcement here. (PDF)

If you have filed under Advanced Degree Exemption (20,000 Visas), You have much better chance of receiving a H1B:

For 20,000 limit for Advanced degree holders, if cap is reached within the first five days, random selection will be carried out in two phases. Lottery will be first conducted ONLY for advanced degree holders first (for 20000 applications). And include all those that are not selected in the lottery for the 65000 cap along with regular applicants. Read the updated Rules.

If you are a student on F1:

If you are a student on F-1, you may be able to work for 29 months on OPT before you get employment under H1B. That may ease the pressure on H1B just a bit and give a much better chance for Students in Maths/Engg/Technology streams in US Universities to take employment in US. Read more.

Now its official, it will be a lottery

Now its totally official looking at the numbers that Random Selection or Lottery will be used to pick petitions that will be accepted. In general, every petition has about 50% chance of getting accepted.  Good Luck to you all.

USCIS will approve a little more than 65000 + 20000

At least a few thousand more applicants, in addition to the Congressional mandated cap of 85,000, in both categories, would receive approval notifications on their petition for H-1B visa.

A USCIS spokesperson told NDTV.Com that the number of petitions approved by the agency would be much more than the Congressional mandated cap of 85,000 H-1B visas in both the categories.  This, the official said, would give the State Department, which issues the visas through the American embassies and consulates worldwide, enough cushion to ''reject or deny'' H-1B visas to those applicants who are found to be ineligible or those whose paper work are deficient.

''We try to accept enough petitions, so that the State Department would have no problem in filling up the 65,000 seats plus 20,000 for those having Masters in the US. By doing so, we try to make sure that all the visas would be issued,'' the official said. ( Source : NDTV)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

H1B 2009 : H1B Visa Cap Reached, Lottery Again in 2008 !!

USCIS announced today that H1B Visa cap has been reached for both regular quota(65,000) as well as Advance Degree exemption quota(20,000). USCIS hasn't yet announced concrete number of petitions received.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated cap for fiscal year 2009. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the “advanced degree” exemption. Before running the random
selection process, USCIS will complete initial data entry for all filings received during the filing period ending on April 7, 2008. Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the precise day on which it will conduct the random selection process.

Link to USCIS Announcement at AILA

Also read Students on F-1 can work for 29 months on OPT.

Monday, April 7, 2008

F-1 Students Can Work on OPT for 29 Months

Now students on F-1 can work for 29 months on OPT before they get employment under H1B. That may ease the pressure on H1B just a bit and give a much better chance for Students in Maths/Engg/Technology streams in US Universities to take employment in US.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released today an interim final rule extending the period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) from 12 to 29 months for qualified F-1 non-immigrant students. The extension will be available to F-1 students with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics who are employed by businesses enrolled in the E-Verify program.

“This rule will enable businesses to attract and retain highly skilled foreign workers, giving U.S. companies a competitive advantage in the world economy,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “By extending the training period by an additional 17 months to students who are employed by businesses enrolled in E-Verify, we are further ensuring a legal workforce in the U.S. and aiding good corporate citizens.”


DHS Release : Optional Practical Training Interim Final Rule(PDF)

Update :: How to apply for extension :
(quoting from the DHS Document linked below)

1. Students who wish to extend OPT must request that their DSO recommend the 17-month OPT extension. DSOs recommending the extension must verify the student's eligibility, certify that the student's degree is on the STEM Designated Degree Program List, and ensure that the student is aware of his or her responsibilities for maintaining status while on OPT. The DSO must make the recommendation to extend OPT for the student through SEVP's Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a Web-enabled database for the collection of information related to F, M and J nonimmigrants, certified schools, and State Department approved exchange visitor programs.

2. Once the DSO recommends a student for the extension, the student must submit a Form 1-765 and appropriate fees (as indicated in the form instructions) to USCIS. Instructions for filing the Form 1-765 can be found at USCIS' website at www.uscis.eov.

Please note that your Employer also must meet certain requirements.
Refer to DHS Release : Optional Practical Training Interim Final Rule(PDF) for more information.

Follow Olympics 2008 Torch Relay on Google Maps

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An ongoing tradition from 766 B.C. has been to ignite the torch at the ancient site in Olympia, Greece. From March 24th until the start of August, the Torch Relay will travel across Greece, into Beijing, and then around the world through cities, oceans, and even the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Qomolangma (Mt. Everest). The relay's purpose is to spread the Olympic spirit as well as the message of peace and friendship, and also ignite the passion of the people around the world.

Torch Relay

Politics in Sports : Olympic Torch Put Out

Its unfortunate that many are trying to use the Olympic Torch to demonstrate their views about how China is handling Tibet issue and in general Human Rights outcry. I am not surprised at venting out their anger at China for a variety of reasons, but I am totally shocked at the means they chose to display. Olympic torch has a symbolic meaning and putting out the torch for political reasons doesn't make any sense.

The passage of the Olympic flame through Paris was disrupted, with police twice placing the torch on a bus after failing to keep pro-Tibetan protesters at bay.

The flame was carried from the first floor of the Eiffel Tower today to cross Paris on its way to the Beijing games. Within the first hour of its intended four-hour tour, it was temporarily extinguished for technical reasons, i-Tele news channel reported.

Bloomberg.com: Worldwide

The relay is planned to be the longest in Olympic history, covering 137,000 kilometers and 21 countries where it will be carried by 20,000 bearers.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Browser Wars : IE Favoritism Still In Play

As per the latest stats Firefox has a significant market share of 35.6%. And still, I see web pages that say, switch to IE for better results.

I was tempted to think that the application will work fine in Firefox. I may switch only  if  I want the page to look better. Nope. The message is typical marketing spin on saying that we don't support any other browser than IE. The app won't work on Firefox. The app hung up in that page after entering the details. The same page works fine in IE though.

image

The very moment, I thought I never have to go back to IE, I find a web site like this. The story goes on.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Funding Avenues for Indian Startups

If you are looking for funding for your startup, you better check this list by Vijay.

If you are a startup that is product focused, there are quite a bit of funds that are floating around for those looking for the sub INR 50,00,000 range, and with some lenient terms and equity distribution.

Pre-VC Funds for Indian Startups. « Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

School And The Missing Blue Print Of Real Life

 
Many of us wonder, why a person fail in real life though he/she excel in academics? Many of us have seen people who are the top ten in academics but never could do anything significant after they leave the college (not as per you judgements, but by their own standards).
 
Many of us are quite smart and hard working. You have a dream and While in college, you have a prescribed syllabus, a teacher/professor to guide you or mentor you, your peers to compete and a very strict timeline and of course a deadline for the tests.
 
Once you finish college, you will join a nice paying company or say your dream company. You are as smart as ever or even better as days pass on.  You continue to work hard within the opportunities you receive, but go no where, as faster as you dream of and as higher as you love to.
 
Just think what is missing. As I understand, in real life, you are free without boundaries. And most of us never try to put any limitations and wander the free world. Most cases, you will have lots of dreams. But, no prescribed syllabus that could ensure your success in the real life. If you are in a corporate, it is really hard to find a genuine mentor that could guide you. Leave alone, a mentor that would help you live a better life. Many of us don't keep any timelines and dead lines. We love to live the life as it unfolds.
 
In real life, you are the one who have to prescribe the course. You are the one to decide what must be included in your syllabus and what must be removed to make space for the rest. You are the one who need to set a timeline and deadlines. And you must find a mentor that genuinely interested in helping you and is capable of guiding you.
 
If you excel in Academics, that doesn't mean you can excel everywhere. But its a proof that given a set of environment conditions, you can be committed, hardworking and achieve results. Its a proof that you could do a lot better than the average.
 
What is missing is a blueprint of your own life. If you have a dream, the only way you can achieve that dream is by creating a blueprint.  Figure out what is needed to realize the blueprint and you have the guts and energy to do it. Go get it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Top 25 H1B Consumers in 2007 To Speak Up

Top 25 Consumers of H1B in 2007 (that account to almost 20,000 Visas) now have to speak up about how they use H1B applicants.  Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley have sent letters to these companies seeking answers to an array of questions that will reveal how these companies use H1B petitions. Click here to view a copy of the letter.

I guess, this is particularly relevant in the wake of two new bills submitted to increase the numerical limitation on H1Bs.

Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter  today to the top 25 recipients of approved H-1B visa petitions in 2007, seeking detailed information on how each firm uses the visa program. These firms were responsible for nearly 20,000 of the available H-1B visas last year.

  1. Infosys Technologies Ltd.,
  2. Wipro Limited,
  3. Satyam Computer Services Ltd.,
  4. Cognizant Tech Solutions,
  5. Microsoft Corporation,
  6. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.,
  7. Patni Computer Systems Inc.,
  8. US Technology Resources LLC,
  9. I-Flex Solutions Inc.,
  10. Intel Corporation,
  11. Accenture LLP,
  12. Cisco Systems Inc.,
  13. Ernst & Young LLP,
  14. Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd.,
  15. Deloitte & Touche LLP,
  16. Google Inc.,
  17. Mphasis Corporation,
  18. University of Illinois at Chicago,
  19. American Unit Inc.,
  20. Jsmn International Inc.,
  21. Objectwin Technology Inc.,
  22. Deloitte Consulting,
  23. Prince Georges County Public Schools,
  24. JPMorgan Chase and Co., and
  25. Motorola Inc.

Source: United States Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Numbers don't lie

It is quite evident from the numbers that, a very significant number of those companies are from India and as I understand the nature and intent of their H1B applicants is to come and work for US clients and coordinate out sourcing efforts and in most cases moving more jobs to India.

Another interesting issue is, as Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said in his testimony that companies like Microsoft may loose edge as they fail to garner global talent. In short, they are not getting enough H1Bs as other Indian counter parts are consuming a lot more and becoming a direct competitor for H1Bs.

So, what will happen now?

So how this problem is solved? Will Increase in H1B  solve this issue? Or restricting Indian counter parts will reduce the impact?

If USCIS just increase the numbers, what is the guarantee that non-US companies won't consume a higher number again and leading to the same situation as today?

Can Indian companies offer a justification that stand a chance?

It is quite interesting to see how Indian companies defend their high numbers with reference to Competition and innovation argument in USA. Lack of such a justifiable explanation could definitely lead to restrictions imposed on these companies that may restrict if not prevent these companies getting such a high number  of H1Bs.

Update: Full List of H1B Consumers of 2007 can be accessed here in an excel sheet at Information Week :  Excel File

H1B 2009 : H1B Visas Could Double or Triple for 2008

Following Microsoft Chairman Bill Gate's testimony before the house of representatives, I learnt that two new bills have been submitted that could increase number of H1B visas to double (Gabrielle Giffords Bill) or triple(Lamar Smith bill)  for fiscal year 2008, if they could pass.

A bill introduced last week by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords would double the number of H-1B visas that allow immigrants to legally work in the United States.

The Tucson Democrat’s bill, known as the Innovation Employment Act, calls for increasing the limit of H-1B visas from 65,000 a year to 130,000 a year. The bill also would eliminate a 20,000-a-year cap on visas for foreign graduate or doctoral-program graduates who study science, technology, engineering or math.

Another bill submitted by U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, would expand the annual visa limit even further to 195,000 for fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

Source: Giffords for Congress » Blog Archive » Immigrant-worker visas could double if new bill passes

Read the Innovation Employment Act Bill at Library of Congress

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

H1B 2009 : Day 1 of 5 Will 2007 repeat in 2008?

Today is the first day USCIS will accept applications for H1B for year 2009 that will begin from October 2008. Will the same drama that we saw in 2007 repeat this year?

Well we must wait and see.

As I mentioned earlier,  Applications will be accepted for 5 days, even if the cap is reached on day 1.

April 1, 2008 is the first day petitions may be received for an October 1, 2008 start date.  When it is determined that the numerical limitations have been reached, USCIS employs a random selection process to choose among the petitions received on the “final receipt date.”  If the “final receipt date” falls within any one of the first five business days, the random selection will be run using all the cap-subject petitions received on those five days.

Gmail Custom Time - April 1st Couldn't be any foolish !!!

Google is very well known for this. Gmail now comes with a custom time. That means you can send an email as if you had sent it in the past. Not only that, you can request such a way that the email will be marked as 'read' by the recipient. AAHHaaaa!

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I am about cry 'cheating' cheating. Instead, I realized, today is April 1st.  Wonderful, Googlers !!

How do I use it?

Just click "Set custom time" from the Compose view. Any email you send to the past appears in the proper chronological order in your recipient's inbox. You can opt for it to show up read or unread by selecting the appropriate option.

Is there a limit to how far back I can send email?

Yes. You'll only be able to send email back until April 1, 2004, the day we launched Gmail. If we were to let you send an email from Gmail before Gmail existed, well, that would be like hanging out with your parents before you were born -- crazy talk.

How does it work?

Gmail utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality (see Grandfather Paradox).

How come I only get ten?

Our researchers have concluded that allowing each person more than ten pre-dated emails per year would cause people to lose faith in the accuracy of time, thus rendering the feature useless.

Their findings:

N = Total emails sent
P = Probability that user believes the time stamp
φ = The Golden Ratio
L = Average life expectancy

Gmail: Google's approach to email

NDTV.com : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of NDTV.com’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...