Thursday, June 23, 2011

WWDC 2011 Session Videos Are Now Available, For Real

Yes, they are really available now. Yesterday I found an Apple Web Page that announced the availability of these Videos but none of us could access them even after signing in as registered Developers. And after a few minutes, Apple appear to have pulled out the web page itself. 

Well, the wait is over. Finally, they are here. WWDC 2011 Session Videos are now available for all.  Really.

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Enjoy.

Juicy Red Tomato Garnish, For The Blog

Thanks a ton to Blogger, I love the new Template Designer. In a few clicks, my ‘The 365 Day Cooking Challenge’ blog got a beautiful, delicious juicy red tomato garnish.

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I’m loving it.

Trust30 : If You Were To Live Just By Your Intuition

What kind of a person you will be if you were to live just by your Intuition? This is the prompt from Trust30 for today.

The secret of fortune is joy in our hands. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you could picture your intuition as a person, what would he or she look like? If you sat down together for dinner, what is the first thing he or she would tell you?  (Author: Susan Piver)

Intuition is the ability to understand and make decisions quickly without conscious reasoning.  We normally refer to this as gut feeling or instincts as well. So the prompt try to reveal if you were to live by your true instincts what kind of a person you will be? Will you be any different? Totally different? or just the same?

To an large extent, we can also paraphrase the prompt to “heart or mind” ? It goes without saying that heart represents the intuition, instincts or emotions and often the irrational behavior while mind represents the conscious reasoning and rational behavior.

In my life, a majority of decisions and always often the key decisions are made based on intuition or instincts.  In other words, I am quite an emotional and impulsive in many matters.  I would definitely attribute many of my achievements to this behavior, which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. I wouldn’t have even attempted many things if I had to listen to the rational side.  I had best of me or my life when I just followed my instincts.

However, there were cases, where I did not follow through my instincts and had ‘second thoughts’ ( or I would say the rational side kicked in ). But whenever I reflect on myself or think about myself as a person I always wanted to be, more often than not I regret for not following through on those instincts.

So I am trying to tune myself where in my intuitions and instincts need no second thoughts. But I guess it’s a long way to go.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Obama Impersonator : Incredible !

If you think Tina Fey had any influence in Democrats and Obama winning in 2008, Watch this Obama impersonator, there will be a tough challenge ahead for Obama and company in 2012. Totally incredible. It you put both on the same stage, it would be really difficult to say who is real.

Does Private Sector Really Cares About Country?

I had long believed that Capitalism and particularly the Private Sector is a key to a country’s growth and economic well being.  But looking at what Private Sector has done to US, I started having second thoughts on the whole idea.

Read the following excerpt from TIME magazine that reveals Private sector failed to create any new jobs in US while still reaping profits and expanding its markets.

Myth No. 3: The private sector will make it all better
There is a fundamental disconnect between the fortunes of American companies, which are doing quite well, and American workers, most of whom are earning a lower hourly wage now than they did during the recession. The thing is, companies make plenty of money; they just don't spend it on workers here.

Half of Americans say they couldn't come up with $2,000 in 30 days without selling some of their possessions. Meanwhile, companies are flush: American firms generated $1.68 trillion in profit in the last quarter of 2010 alone. But many firms would think twice before putting their next factory or R&D center in the U.S. when they could put it in Brazil, China or India. These emerging-market nations are churning out 70 million new middle-class workers and consumers every year. That's one reason unemployment is high and wages are constrained here at home. This was true well before the recession and even before Obama arrived in office. From 2000 to 2007, the U.S. saw its weakest period of job creation since the Great Depression.

Nobel laureate Michael Spence, author of The Next Convergence, has looked at which American companies created jobs at home from 1990 to 2008, a period of extreme globalization. The results are startling. The companies that did business in global markets, including manufacturers, banks, exporters, energy firms and financial services, contributed almost nothing to overall American job growth. The firms that did contribute were those operating mostly in the U.S. market, immune to global competition — health care companies, government agencies, retailers and hotels. Sadly, jobs in these sectors are lower paid and lower skilled than those that were outsourced. "When I first looked at the data, I was kind of stunned," says Spence, who now advocates a German-style industrial policy to keep jobs in some high-value sectors at home. Clearly, it's a myth that businesses are simply waiting for more economic and regulatory "certainty" to invest back home.

TIME : What U.S. Economic Recovery? Five Destructive Myths

CNN : Skipped Testing Or Just Weiner Hangover ?

I was trying to watch the recent Presidential debate and selected the video from the list of videos, but the video title and the description continue to show the Anthony Weiner resignation event.

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( CNN Politics, In case you missed it )

Is it just that CNN skipped testing of the video widget or just Weiner hangover that even their website love to cling on to.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Heading to Dallas Startup Weekend

Will be heading to Dallas Startup Weekend in a few minutes.

This will be my first Dallas Startup Weekend event. The only other Dallas event I have ever attended was the Dallas Demo Camp back in 2007.

Quite excited and fingers crossed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Trust30 : The Best Way To Predict The Future

The best way to Predict the future is actually by inventing it. This is Trust30’s prompt for today.

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

My favorite quote of all time is Alan Kay: ‘In order to predict the future, you have to invent it.’ I am all about inventing the future. Decide what you want the future to be and make it happen. Because you can. Write about your future now.

(Author: Cindy Gallop)

I am a strong believer in dreams and chasing dreams. For me, dreams are your perceived future even in your subconscious mind.  So, the best way to predict the future is by dreaming about that future and chasing the dream to make it true.

And developing software is a great platform to model this habit. And by far the most flexible and inexpensive method to learn building things.  You start with an idea, build prototypes or mockups to get more clarity on how it should be developed and develop the application and iterate until you get what you want. It’s a great model for people to learn the habit of chasing dreams and on the way invent their future.

“software is perhaps the ultimate building material: it springs from pure thought and is intrinsically malleable, yet it can be made manifest in our hardware systems, limited only by our vision” – Grady Booch

Go ahead, learn developing software and learn to unleash your future.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ideas Are More Powerful and Always Outlive

The following text has been extracted from my response in an email discussion thread around the current anti-corruption fight back in India and argument that if the movement were to survive, Anna or Ramdev must come clean and must be ideal and perfect citizens rather than just any other Indian fighting for a cause.

“I believe in ideas rather than just people that spearhead or follow an idea.  By focusing too much on a person, we often get blinded, bogged down or loose our common sense by personifying ideas and fail to reason. Not to discount the people and leaders that brought those ideas into life. But more often than not, ideas outlive those leaders, just for the reason that even those leaders are human beings and imperfect.

Getting a consent by threatening to go on fast unto death is stupid if Ramdev does it. Anna does it. Or Gandhi does it. We could only reason if we could separate the idea from the person. Otherwise, for instance, whatever Gandhi did will be considered always righteous and true.

After all, democracy is an idea, not a person. So are, free markets, globalization, patriotism, even corruption and so on.

If we follow religion just because some Baba, that religion will die after that Baba. But if you believe in the idea of a religion, it outlives everybody as 1000s of years of history has shown. Movements or agitations or even businesses are not an exception to this.

Like the selfish gene that outlives the person that is carrying, ideas will always outlive those that spearhead them and many a times gets better. We should be able to detach the idea from its carriers. Carriers were never perfect or ideal. And will never be. That's my belief. I don't necessarily disagree with you, I just happened to have a different opinion :-)”

On Why it is important to focus on the cause rather than the person:

“It is really unfortunate and I believe 'unrealistic' to expect that those who fight against corruption must be some how ideal and perfect citizens. It will never happen. Like it or not, we are all part of the same system and there is nothing wrong in trying to change ourselves and change the rest going forward.

Issues like corruption can be controlled if not totally eradicated by macro-level policies. Keep in mind 80/20 or 90/10 principle. But people behave strange sometimes. It always happen that when some one try to fight against corruption, the world put that person's life in microscope and show that he/she is not perfect either or not-corrupt either. But that misses the point of whole aspiration to get macro-level changes we need by unduly focusing on micro-issues”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How Math Should Be Taught

Undoubtedly there is a huge gap between what is being taught at Schools and what we need to learn.  More so when it comes to Mathematics. One foundation want to change that and teach Mathematics with computers at the core.

computerbasedmath.org is a project to build a completely new math curriculum with computer-based computation at its heart—alongside a campaign to refocus math education away from historical hand-calculating techniques and toward relevant and conceptually interesting topics.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Is It Really Safe to Use a Cellphone on a Plane?

Perhaps not, particularly on older fleets. But why take a chance. Better just shutdown when we were told to. Safety can be statistical, but life is not.

Like most airline passengers, you probably have serious doubts about those pre-flight announcements asking you to turn off your cellphones, blackberries, iPods and anything else electronic.

But a confidential industry study obtained by ABC News indicates there really could be serious safety issues related to cellphones and other PEDs.

Shared from : ABC News

Friday, June 10, 2011

What Silicon Valley is all about

If you ever got interested in Silicon Valley and wanted to visit to learn more, just like me, this may help you understand what it is all about a little better and well, plan your visit better Smile. This post at StartupDigest has some links to learn more. I haven’t gone through all of them myself yet, but something I read on this post changed the whole perspective of looking at it.

Silicon Valley is not a specific place : Silicon Valley” is much more a state of mind than any one physical location. You can be in San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, or Berkeley and still be in “Silicon Valley“.

Source : http://startupdigest.com/2011/06/09/welcome-silicon-valley/

Trust30 : Crave For Ingenuity

Crave for ingenuity as imitation is suicidal.  That is the message from today’s prompt from Trust30.

Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?

Like the idea I shared the other day, I believe that each one of us are born unique for a reason and we have every right to be that one in a billion with our own views and expressions. 

However I believe imitation is one of the best ways to learn from your master or any other source of inspiration for that matter. That is how as kids we learnt literally everything. By imitating others do things and say things. That is how most of us learn even today. Some may call it, ‘inspiration’, but Imitation in its purest form has a place in terms of learning new things and understanding the world.

However with all we learn, we must explore, experiment and end of the day we must be able to express our own.  So imitation could lead to ingenuity.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Trust30 : Dare To Be Bold

Dare to be bold. This is the prompt from #Trust30 for today.

Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” - Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

This is always puzzling to me, whenever I think of.  Its true, Children have no trouble believing in something. And its true that some of us have no trouble in believing in something even when nobody else. But there is a huge difference between those two. For a child, there are no constraints and there are no boundaries. But for the rest of us, there are some constraints within which we need to work through. In fact, creativity often stems from the presence of constraints and boundaries.

So being aware of constraints and boundaries and sometimes shunning away from pursuing some ideas (say Business ideas for an entrepreneur) over the others is totally practical and in my view is also being bold. We don’t want to live in a world of fantasy where everything is possible. 

I do understand the underlying prompt, to believe in your ideas and dreams even when the whole world may not. But it is imperative to get real about our boundaries and constraints and pursue with full awareness. Sometimes, the boldest step you take is to stop doing something and move on.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trust30 : Come Alive

Today’s prompt from Trust30 is to figure out whether we are preparing to live or living the life we always wanted.

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.

Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?

There are many things I can easily identify that fall into the category of ‘doing this now, so that I can do that tomorrow’ with an endless rat race of preparation.  Wrote down all of them as far as I can gather and moved them out of To-do list and inserted activities that I really enjoy.  Now I have a healthy dose of preparation still in place, which I think is critical and required and a set of activities introduced into daily life.

As simple as it looks, it was one of the toughest exercises to list out and move out of the list. It is difficult to be critical of your own activities which you thought to be so important so far that every thing else can wait and now to move them off the list.

This is almost 10th time I said to my self, I am glad I accepted Trust30 challenge.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Trust30 : The Ultimate Travel Destination

Today’s prompt from Trust30 challenge is about a place in the world that you would like to visit before you die.

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

I haven’t been an avid traveller, though I love the enormous natural beauty in its vastness, subtleness and equally vividness.  I loved Grandcanyons more than anything so far. Watched the movie, ‘The Home’ umpteen times.

The one travel destination I have been dreaming for a long time is the Alps. I do not know how I got this fascination about something I never even seen. But this is what comes to my mind, whenever I think of if there is one destination I must visit before I die.  I have certainly made plans. But every other detail must be secret, as it will be a surprise treat to someone.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Trust30 : Defining Today : Carpe-Diem

This was the prompt from 1st of June as part of Trust30 initiative, by Liz Danzico.

If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tracks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.

Carpe-diem.

Not even one sentence. Just one word that exemplify the concept I believe in.

Trust30 : A Lonely Belief : One In A Billion

This was yesterday’s prompt from Trust30 Challenge by Buster Benson.

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

Though there may be more than 6 billion people in this world, each of us are born unique. Whether we believe in God or in Evolution, each one of us are born unique.  That says something irrespective of what you believe in.

However in search of social acceptability and likeability, we tend to explicitly plan to do things and say things that are acceptable by most though we have conflicting arguments at the core. We think too much about what others will think about it or talk about it if we do something or say something. Some of us even fake stuff to look good. Over the time, we loose true distinct selves and become something that people talk about but we hardly could identify ourselves with.

It shouldn’t be like Politicians, that try to gauge the interest of the public and start picking up an issue. It should be other way. Fight for an issue that really matters even if nobody is talking about it, because you believe that it is the right thing to do.

My belief is that we must have our own opinions, views and ways of doing things. We must be able to say things and act on them even if that is uncommon. We shouldn’t worry too much about what everybody else will think about it. 

But very few in my circle believe in it. They get totally diplomatic when talking and literally always equivocal when it comes to arguments. Some do take sides, but turns out they do so only for the sake of arguments.

As far as I could recollect, the initial realization of this happened while reading a novel by Suryadevara, one of my favorite Telugu novelist when I was in school. I never hesitated from then onwards to talk out what I really think and do what I really believe in. Keeping a journal helped me stay in tact and develop the courage. I even got totally unpopular for so many things, for just speaking out. Many people misunderstood me, for just being myself, as they did NOT expect me to say it loud, they thought I was saying it for some reason.

I never regretted it and will never do. I want to be respected for who I am, not for who what they think I should be.

Trust30 : The Biggest Challenge At The Moment : Scaling Up

Today’s prompt from Trust30 Challenge from Jenny Blake is to identify the biggest challenge at the moment and turn it in to question to face it and journal all ideas that come up in next 48 hours.

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

One of my biggest challenges at this moment and the one that is literally wearing me out is about scaling up. I have been working on a lots of different ideas for some time and have been searching for opportunities to realize them. Thanks to a friend that believed in me and invested on the project last year that became a huge success. And call it snowball effect or just sheer momentum, found opportunities to realize a whole bunch of others.  It’s a great news, except some of them demand a timeline that need executing multiple projects in parallel.  Not sure how to scale up to leverage these opportunities.

Executed right, it will set us on the right track to get really what I have been dreaming all this time. Failing to deliver, is not an option at this stage. So I am going to frame this challenge in a different perspective, like the prompt suggested, into a question and see if it will change my thought pattern and opens up doors to new answers I couldn’t see before.

Rather than just one question, I would like to try out different questions and see where they will lead me to. Will post the questions that I come up with and answers at the end of 48 hours.

I am glad I accepted this Trust30 Challenge. It really made me think this morning quite differently about my biggest challenge.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beginning The Trust30 Challenge

I believe in dreams, for dreams are essentially those thoughts, ideas and wishes that we have been thinking all the while, that kept chasing us every moment.  We are what we dream about. 

One of the best ways to achieve a dream is to set a date to it. A date forces me to get more focused. Pushes me to action right away. And magically sets up priorities.

Once a date is set, it takes a great deal of discipline to pursue it. Many of us start very well but quick to search for excuses not to go through it. Some pause, some put it on the eternal back burner and some just quit.

Keeping a journal or taking up a challenge would greatly help maintain the streak. I am on my way to taking up a one year challenge next week and will be keeping an online journal to push myself towards the goal.

And to get started with the habit of keeping a journal and maintaining a streak, I am joining a 30 days writing challenge, Trust30, an online initiative that encourages to express yourself for 30 days with prompts and inspirational messages delivered everyday.

This is my first post as part of this challenge.  It has been a quite busy and hectic week so far and I couldn’t sit down even for 15 minutes to write. I lost two days already, but I will keep my promise to myself for the rest of the challenge.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hans Rosling : The Joy Of Stats

You must have watched those brilliant animations Hans Rosling of the world of statistics to understand the deeper meaning of numbers and various issues.  If you are awestruck and inspired by his talks, you may love this 1 hour documentary on ‘The Joy of Stats’.

Hans Rosling says there’s nothing boring about stats, and then goes on to prove it. A one-hour long documentary produced by Wingspan Productions and broadcast by BBC, 2010.

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...