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Showing posts from February, 2008

H1B 2009: How Much Does A H1B Cost? (File By Apr 1 2008)

If you are wondering how much a H1B will cost for an organization, USCIS has offered the details of H1B filing fees for H1B 2009. Applications will be accepted from 1st of April, 2008. ( just 33 more days... look at the count down timer at the top of the page)>>  Link to USCIS PageBase Filing Fee : $320ACWIA Fee: $750 (1-25 Employees) or $1500 (more than 25 Employees)Fraud Fee: $500Premium Processing: $1000Note that these are the fees to be paid to USCIS. Many organizations will incur other expenses towards the filing like Attorney fees.USCIS has also offered helpful information for Organizations that are looking to file for H1B petitions this year.Helpful Hints for Filing a FY 2009 H-1B Cap Case: Quick TipsWhat are the main errors in an H-1B petition that can cause USCIS to have to reject or deny the petition?Frequently Asked Questions on Completing and Submitting a FY 2009 H-1B Cap CaseCondensed Q and A For Completing and Submitting a FY 2009 H-1B Cap Case (56KB PDF)Though man…

Why Did Google Buy JotSpot? And what happened to it?

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Google acquired Jotspot on 10/31/2006. Google’s world class data centers, huge audience and a team of incredibly smart people…. supposed to make JotSpot a better software. But what happened to it? Still closed to new users. Software doesn't work anymore. Joe Kraus busy with Google OpenSocial. Is JotSpot dead?This is quite the same screen even today. Closed off for new users and uninterrupted access to existing users.  It has been quite the same from the moment the announcement (that Google acquired JotSpot) came in on 10/31/2006 to today.So, What happened to JotSpot?Google's world class data centers, huge audience and a team of incredibly smart people.... supposed to make JotSpot a better software. But what happened to it? I had an account before Google acquired. I was trying to reach the support team for a long time as I had a few issues but no reply so far. Is JotSpot officially dead?If you are wondering, its not a big deal. The first announcement of Google acquiring Jotspot…

Anand Agarawala: BumpTop desktop is a beautiful mess

This is pretty cool and unbelievable stuff. Watch the Youtube video at the bottom for more to the beauty.Anand Agarawala presents BumpTop, a fresh user interface that takes the usual desktop metaphor to a glorious, 3D extreme. In this physics-driven universe, important files finally get the weight they deserve via an oddly satisfying resizing feature, and the drudgery of file organization becomes a freewheeling playground full of crumpled documents and clipping-covered "walls." Worried your laptop's desktop will descend into the same disorder as its coffee-mug-strewn real-life equivalent? Fear not: BumpTop has a snappy solution for that messy problem, too.TED | Talks | Anand Agarawala: BumpTop desktop is a beautiful mess (video)

Vikas Jhingran - World Champion of Public Speaking

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“I am the first Toastmaster from Asia to win as well as the first person whose second language is English, My hope is that my winning will encourage people who are shy or have an accent to realize that they can do it, too.” - Vikas Jhingran 2007 World Champion of Public Speaking (Toast Masters International).“There’s really no rocket science involved. It’s all about being true to yourself, tapping into your strengths and working hard,” says Jhingran, 34, a native of Morabadad (a suburb of Calcutta), India. His award- winning speech, “The Swami’s Question,” combined humor with a personal tale of being a not-so- motivated student in India. A Toastmaster since October 2002, Jhingran completed his first 10 speeches within eight months, and entered speech contests soon after joining.
Jhingran grew up in a country where public speaking is not encouraged in the educational system. Soon after coming to the United States for a graduate degree at Texas A&M University, however, he learn…

Cricket Changes Game Plan And Goes Franchise Style

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Cricket finally goes Franchise style in India. Not only the format has evolved in to a quick and spicy 20 overs style to gain more market acceptance, but now bringing in more teams and more games in the franchise style.Much like the NFL and NBA, Indian Premier League (IPL) created by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and sanctioned by the International Cricket Council, is a Twenty20 cricket competition.I love Cricket. I used to play a lot and watch a ridiculous lot. But its so painful to watch cricket games as each game is played for about 8-10 hours. Then came a Twenty20 match style where the game is reduced to 2-3 hours game. While it is fun to watch the twenty 20 game, you will miss so much of the class and elegance of cricket strokes in this short form of the game. Well, for some, it doesn't matter at all. In fact, for many the game looks spicy now in this short version.Franchise model will definitely do much better for the Marketing of the game and generating …

H1B 2009: US IT Job Demand Might Grow..

It looks like US IT Job demand might grow in the days to come, irrespective of rise in out -sourcing and weaker economy, partly due to baby boomers. If that is the trend, we will definitely see a huge rush for H1Bs again this year as well.US software programming jobs took a real wacking at the end of the last recession, but bounced back since—in spite of the offshoring trend and the rise of the Indian tech services industry. Now we’re heading into another recession, it seems. Will US software programmers lose out again? I’m betting no. The reason: The impending retirement of the babyboomers. Already, a lot of federal government programmers are retiring, since they’re reached the retirement age of 55. This factor—combined with low graduating rates for computer science majors—is already causing a shortfall in US programming talent. I believe that whatever cost cutting that’s done by companies during a recession will be more than offset by the software talent shortfall. Five years from n…

Something Better Than 'Call Me If You Need Any Help!'

I heard this phrase in the last few days for more than 100 times, as we were getting ready to bring a new member in to our wonderful family; "Call me If you need any help".I was very happy to see so many of my friends offering help in the time of need. I was really thinking of using some help as there are so many things to take care of and so little time was left before the big day. So I listed down the most important things to do one day and tried to figure out who to call for help. I quickly realized that they are so simple things and most of them just take under 5 minutes, I wasn't sure whether they are worth calling up your friend, ask about their schedules and request help to get those things done. And many a times, everybody have their own weekend plans. So need to coordinate, not to disrupt their plans. None in the list is so big enough that needs a call, explanation, adjustment and coordination. Not that my friends won't oblige, but are they worth asking for?…

Google Forms and Live Data : Another Distinction

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Google products while look so simple and are always on a feature diet (compared to other traditional web as well as desktop applications), always amazes me with continuous innovation and features that I am looking for and quite useful to many. Latest such distinction comes from Google Spreadsheets.Google recently announced a new feature: forms. By combining spreadsheets with bulk e-mail, the new function (which was revealed on the Google Docs blog) lets a spreadsheet author send out a mail with fields for recipients to fill in. As they do, the spreadsheet gets completed. It’s a real-time survey that pumps data straight into a spreadsheet. It’s also another example of the difference between desktop software and web-based applications. Source: Rethinking the Spreadsheet: Google Forms and Live Data

Notable Thoughts : Are they really True?

Here are some unbelievable (I couldn't believe when I first read) thoughts, though appears to be supported by numbers and research. 
Poor People More Likely Use Yahoo, Those Better Off To Use Google
New data released by Hitwise yesterday shows that there is a socio-economic difference between those frequently using Yahoo and those more frequently using Google. [via TechCrunch] Yahoo is strong in “struggling societies,” “blue collar backbone,” and “remote America,” where as Google obtains higher use in “small town contentment,” “affluent suburbia,” and “upscale America.”Drugs for nerve pain, bipolar disorder linked to thoughts of suicide
The Food and Drug Administration has warned that a group of drugs called anticonvulsants can cause some people to have thoughts of suicide and to attempt suicide. I am not sure whether Google is mostly used by affluent and upscale while Yahoo is being used by poorer sections. I certainly use Google while my lot more affluent and upscale friends still…

Color matters

Looking to design your web page themes, you must look at these links (got via Seth's blog) Especially online, where there are so few cues and so few choices.This page of color choices will change your life. A lot. For the better.[PS Michael recommends this page from Adobe. And finally, this and this came in as well... who knew?] Source: Color matters

Cellular Life Styles Apart : Weekend Edition

You can carry an ipod, olympus recorder, Palm PDA, a cell phone, a digital camera, a gaming console, a GPS navigator, a jump drive, a laptop to access internet, …………….. or you can have a smart phone that can do all of these and more. Smart Phones for sure are redefining the Mobile life styles. Cellular Life Styles Apart explores the M-powered life styles. AT&T Raises Messaging Rates
Effective March 30, AT&T customers who do not subscribe to a bundled messaging plan will have to pay $0.20 per SMS and $0.30 per MMS. The cost of sending each will rise by $0.05
In CBS Test, Mobile Ads Find Users
CBS plans to announce on Wednesday that it is trying one of the first serious experiments with cellphone advertising that is customized for a person’s location. Its CBS Mobileunit is teaming up with the social networking service Loopt, which allows its subscribers to track participating friends and family on their mobile phones.
Apple's iPhone is 3rd most shipped smartphone
According to a r…

Latest Stats on Mobiles from Cellular Lifestyles

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Here are the latest statistics on Mobiles from my Cellular Life Styles blog. I have updated the graphs with the latest information available from Cellular carriers as per the 4th quarter reports of 2007.Average Monthly ChargesSprint is still leading with the highest ARPU about $59, though the carrier is loosing on subscriber base. Cingular, the new at&t is leading in the subscriber base, closely followed by Verizon.Mobile SubscribersSource: Cellular Lifestyles » Average Monthly ChargesAs I am getting busy with working on my startup, I don't think I can continue to blog separately at Cellular Life Styles anymore. So to make my life easier, I will be combining my Cellular Life Styles blog with Thought Garage in the next few weeks by uploading selective posts from the blog.

Cellular Life Styles Apart : Weekend Edition

You can carry an ipod, olympus recorder, Palm PDA, a cell phone, a digital camera, a gaming console, a GPS navigator, a jump drive, a laptop to access internet, …………….. or you can have a smart phone that can do all of these and more. Smart Phones for sure are redefining the Mobile life styles. Cellular Life Styles Apart explores the M-powered life styles. AT&T Raises Messaging Rates
Effective March 30, AT&T customers who do not subscribe to a bundled messaging plan will have to pay $0.20 per SMS and $0.30 per MMS. The cost of sending each will rise by $0.05
In CBS Test, Mobile Ads Find Users
CBS plans to announce on Wednesday that it is trying one of the first serious experiments with cellphone advertising that is customized for a person’s location. Its CBS Mobileunit is teaming up with the social networking service Loopt, which allows its subscribers to track participating friends and family on their mobile phones.
Apple's iPhone is 3rd most shipped smartphone
According to a r…

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 are worth sharing and spreading.
Does the World Need Another Way to Search?
Google’s dominance in online search hasn’t stopped hundreds of startups from trying to build a better mousetrap. Each is trying a new twist on search: geography, crowdsourcing, tags, user annotations, learned hierarchies and timelines. With $20 billion spent on online advertising every year, a killer search application can make a lot of money.
'Second Life' Players Face Real Financial Losses
If you find recent economic news depressing, imagine what your avatar might be going through. The online fantasy game Second Life has shut down its virtual banks. The closure has had some genuine economic consequences for players, who invest real money into the fantasy lives of their alternative selves, or avatars.
OpenID Has Big New Friends
Digital …

Is Tata's Rs.1 Lakh car, Nano good for India?

I asked this question to many of my friends and colleagues in Bangalore, their answer was unanimous. A big NO. They are already spending about 3 hours in their commute already and 67% of children in Bangalore are suffering from Asthma and respiratory illnesses, thanks to pollution cover added by alarming increase in automobiles on the narrow roads. When they think about the Rs.1 Lakh car Nano, they could only think of how worse the pollution could get and how their commute time will just double.I wasn't sure that even the automobile industry is so heavily subsidized. Here is an excellent analysis of what Nano means to Indian economy and its crippling infrastructure.Last fortnight, when the world’s richest Indian Lakshmi Mittal visited Kolkata, the city of his youth, he was thrilled to see change. Mittal told the media that the biggest difference he saw was the many flyovers dotting the city skyline and “disciplined traffic”. This is great progress, he told journalists, who promptl…

Quotable Quotes on Software

A friend of mine forwarded these wonderful quotable quotes on Software.UNIX is simple. But It just needs a genius to understand its simplicity. --Dennis RitchieBefore software can be reusable, it first has to be usable. --Ralph JohnsonGood judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment. --Fred BrooksIt's hard enough to find an error in your code when you're looking for it; It's even harder when you've assumed your code is error-free. -- Steve McConnell Code CompleteThe trouble with the world is that the stupid are sure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand RussellIf debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in. --EdsgerDijkstraYou can either have software quality or you can have pointer arithmetic; You cannot have both at the same time. --Bertrand MeyerThere are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third works. --Alan J. PerlisMeasuring programming progress by lines of …

Why 'Free' is no more a Strategy...

The ‘product is free’ but ‘we make money somehow, mostly by ads or VAS’ business model is not that bad at all. I haven’t met a person that is not attracted to ‘free’ or ‘less’. Recent surveys shows that 73% of the people are ready to receive ads on their mobiles for free minutes and ring tones.With a rare distinction of a few like 37signals, most business models are based on ‘ads’. And it works.If every service would have been a paid service, I am pretty sure, internet wouldn’t have taken off at all. Starting from the early ‘free’ email services to now ‘almost everything is free’. I read that even a very successful firm like Webex is seriously considering offering a free ad supported service too, to fight out the new competition: Yugma and the new dimdim.But, like Peter Drucker said ‘going online is no longer a strategic advantage’, in this current state of affairs, giving it free is not a strategy and it doesn’t attract customers either, unless we provide a service that is useful and…

Learning Entrepreneurship from a Mother

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Found this post via Guy's blog, an email pitch by an Entrepreneur Sherry Couch of BizNiche.  The journey of giving birth to a child is no small feat and demand your best endurance and resilience. Raising a child is altogether a different ball game, I could talk about it just in a few days, with my first hand experience as a new dad. I am very good at conceiving an idea.I can commit to something mind, body, and soul for at least nine months.I have the ability to over come adversity, such as eating healthily while puking all day.I can adapt quickly to changing and expanding situations.I stay focused and motivated even with a lack of oxygen to my brain.I am creative: Did you know with satin pajamas and satin sheets you can roll over in bed even with an extra sixty pounds.I am patient—ever known anyone ten months pregnant?I am cool under pressure: I gave birth to a ten-pound baby without a C-section or a properly functioning epidural and did not curse out my husband.I am resilient: I …

Notable Thoughts : Tuesday 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 are worth sharing and spreading. More notable thoughts here.
Novatium To Raise Second Round Funding of $10-15 Million
The Chennai based thin client company Novatium Solutions is in the market to raise more capital. The company, which did a ‘nano’ to the PC’s much before Tata did that to the auto market, plans to raise about $10-15 million in its next round of funding, reports The Hindu Business Line. It had earlier raised an undisclosed amount of capital from US based venture capital fund New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Novatium had last year commercially launched low-cost personal computers – Nova netPC. It’s a sort of thin client intended to provide computing access to the bottom-of the pyramid computer users in developing countries of Asia and Africa.
Disney aims to raise Bollywood stake - Times Online
Disney owns…

DARE - An exclusive Magazine for Indian Entrepreneurs

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Entrepreneurial eco system is steadily growing up in India. From a majority of Venture Investors establishing their offices in India to showcasing events like Proto.in, from a huge localized web2.0 startups to significant strides in the minds of new graduates, the new Entrepreneurial India is finally getting its due attention.Here is a new Magazine exclusively for Entrepreneurs (by Cyber Media), called 'Dare'. Currently available only in print media with plans to bring it online. I love the caption, "Dare - Because Entrepreneurs do".And here is a very daring  'Warning' of declaring its target audience.DARE ONLINE - COMING SOON (DARE - BECAUSE ENTREPRENEURS DO)

Designs Apart : Magento Template Tips

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The essence of Marketing is "how best you can translate your idea or product to your target customers".  The goal is to make every effort until your customer clearly understand "what your product can do for them". Web being the pervasive communications medium and the default Front Face of any organization, it is extremely important to design it to translate and adapt continually. "Designs Apart" is a profile of such wonderful and creative web and product designs. Magento Template TipsMany software products offer personalization through templates. For example, "WordPress",  one of the best blogging platforms (Thought Garage is also powered by WordPress) offers customization of your blog using Themes/templates. WordPress offers excellent documentation of how a blogger can customize the look and feel of a WordPress powered blog. Magento, an open source E-commerce software  goes the extra mile in its documentation of 'Customization', providi…

SlideShare: How easy to share your slides?

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I wasn't sure why someone want to share their slides online with public.  I never had to, so far. Last week, I gave a training online and I couldn't send handouts to all the audience as they are almost from every corner of the world. So,  I want to share my presentation slides online with selective audience from my last week's training.  One of my friends mentioned Slideshare could do. So I signed up, only to decide after a couple of minutes that Slideshare is not for me.If you want to share your presentation selectively, SlideShare is a no-go.If you want to just open your presentation to general public its not an issue. But if you want to selectively share your presentation with a few of your buddies privately, Slideshare is a no go. If you want to share a presentation with your friend, it requires that your friend is also a member of Slideshare. So if you want to share, you must ask your friend to signup with Slideshare and send you an email with his user id.  One more w…

Thomas Friedman : The World is Flat 3.0

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Watch the video here. Back in 2000, Tom Friedman recounts, the world began to shrink and flatten, under the influence of digital interconnectivity. Elaborating on his World is Flat thesis, Friedman describes how this new global order puts creative, entrepreneurial individuals in the driver’s seat, and poses distinct new challenges and opportunities.The digital platform that connects Bangalore, Boston and Beijing enables users from any of these places to “plug, play, compete, connect and collaborate,” and is changing everything, says Friedman. He lists some basics to keep in mind: Whatever can be done, will be done, “and the only question left is will it be done by you or to you.”  In our new era, individuals are limited only by their imaginations, so how well universities and schools enable and inspire students will determine who wins in global competition. Innovation, believes Friedman, will come from “having two or more specialties,” from those people able to connect the dots and ma…