Showing posts from October, 2009

Vonage Offers Unlimited Calls to India : Back to 1 Month Free Offer

Recently Vonage started offering Unlimited Calls to India under its $24.99/m existing plan. Good thing is that the plan includes both landlines and cell phones all over India. If you are already a Vonage subscriber, make sure you have Vonage World plan to get this great deal. Not sure whether it is automatically done. For me, I did convert to this plan explicitly. If you are not a Vonage subscriber already, think about it. For $24.99 you get unlimited calling to India (and about 60 countries) and have a landline number to make unlimited calls within US. Get ONE month FREE. Vonage initially offered 2 months FREE when you sign up for this service. But now it is back to its original offer of ONE month FREE offer. Get ONE MONTH FREE if you signup by clicking on the image below. If you pay whole one year upfront, you may get an additional 20% off.   Click here to get the ONE MONTH FREE offer.

Its Funny, How Experts Are Made In America

Its funny how Experts are made in America. Rule No.1 : You can become an Expert on anything just by claiming you are already one. So much for dreaming big and believing in yourself. And once you are an Expert (or rather once you claim) you will be treated like an Expert !! BTW, an expert’s observation on Cloud Computing. It is really funny. Please read. Microsoft's Azure cloud is a place you go to in order to build your applications. In the process, you are very likely to use Visual Studio, the .Net Framework, SQL Server in the form of Azure SQL Services, and Microsoft SharePoint, then run the resulting cloud application in Azure itself. So is Azure just a super sales site for Microsoft products? No, no more so than Google's AppEngine is a sales site for PHP tools, even though you will write your application in PHP if you want to take advantage of the AppEngine. - Charles Babcock at Information Week’s Cloud Computing Section If you are wondering is cloud –

Buzz In The Cloud : Cloud Computing Is The New Web2.0

These days, not a single day goes by without talking, hearing or reading something about Cloud Computing. It appears, the whole cloud (I mean the world; don’t blame me for overusing the word ‘cloud’, I just want to make a point) is totally excited about ‘Cloud’ suddenly. In a way, Cloud Computing is the new web2.0, in terms of hype, buzz and activity all around. Every business has something to offer ‘on cloud’. Every consultant is busy selling strategies to cash in on the cloud. And every analyst is preparing a report on the cloud. Every developer is trying to equip to engineer applications on the cloud. Simply put .. What is really Cloud computing is all about? Why not look up the definition of Cloud Computing by going to the Encyclopedia on the cloud (??), Wikipedia. The term cloud is used as a metaphor for the Internet , based on how the Internet is depicted in computer network diagrams and is an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it conceals. – Wikipedia

Newsworthy News in Red October : Dow Jones & Tax Dodgers

Dow Jones Index crosses the symbolic 10000 figure. U.S. stocks rallied, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 10,000 for the first time in a year, on better-than-estimated earnings at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Intel Corp. Bank of America Corp., American Express Co. and JPMorgan more than doubled since the Dow slid to a 12-year low on March 9 as global financial firms began recovering from $1.6 trillion in writedowns and credit losses. International Business Machines Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. jumped at least 54 percent since March 9 on signs the nation was recovering from the worst recession in seven decades. Source: Bloomberg And, about 7500 International Tax dodgers file for IRS Amnesty to avoid jail Some 7,500 international tax dodgers have applied for an amnesty program that promises no jail time and reduced penalties for tax cheats who come forward, the Internal Revenue Service announced Wednesday. … The program is part of a larger eff

Grady Booch : Why Engineering?

These are some of the most wonderful words ever said about the profession of Software Development. (I made some text in bold just to highlight) Software is invisible to most of the world. Although individuals, organizations, and nations rely on a multitude of software-intensive systems every day, most software lives in the interstitial spaces of society, hidden from view except insofar as it does something tangible or useful. Despite its transparency, as Bjarne Stroustrup has observed, “ our civilization runs on software .” It is therefore a tremendous privilege as well as a deep responsibility to be a software developer . It is a privilege because what we do collectively as an industry has changed and will continue to change the world. It is a responsibility because the world in turn relies on the products of our labor in so many ways. In the context of that labor, software is perhaps the ultimate building material: it springs from pure thought and is intrinsically malleable,

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize : Indian Artist Celebrates With A Sand Sculpture

Many continue to criticize awarding Nobel Peace prize to Barack Obama. But here is an Indian sculptor celebrating the award in his own style, making a sand sculpture of Obama with the Nobel medal. Outstanding.     Visit for Breaking News , World News , and News about the Economy

Mint’s Aaron Patzer : Why Mint is Source Of All Wealth In the World To Him

“ 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 is an idea about 3 years back. Now its a 170M business (with projections running in Billions of dollars in next few years) that helps millions of people save money and organize their finances. There is no doubt, it would be every aspiring entrepreneur’s dream to convert their idea into a multi million dollar business. If you are one of those, this 22 minute talk by Aaron Patzer, CEO of is a must watch. There are some great tips on mechanics but also quite an invaluable advice on the most important aspect of any business, managing finances.   Mint CEO Aaron Patzer on Startups from Techcrunch on Vimeo . Towards the end of the presentation, Aaron talks about what building really meant to him (along with tons of money that ca

Relational Database Models Vs. Entity Models

I wrote some time back in February Shifting Away From Tables To Entity Models discussing about fast adoption of Entity models for highly scalable systems moving away from RDBMS modeling and RDBMS databases. DataStore (based on Google’s Big Table) in Google App Engine is an excellent contrast between  these two models. RDBMS relational data management systems, simply put, most Database systems allow us to create data models of businesses in terms of rows and columns in a table. Tables can be ‘related’ to indicate dependencies of data between tables. RDBMS was on the best things that ever happened to software abstractions. Every business domain has been modeled to be a set of tables and relations between them. However, recently another paradigm is taking shape (at least, I only noticed it in the last year), called as Domain Driven Development, DDD for short, that emphasizes the importance of modeling a business in the domain of the business itself rather than dictated by a

Nobel Laureates Of Indian Connection

Venkatraman RamaKrishnan, of Indian origin has been awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with two other researchers. Though he is no longer a citizen of India, most Indians and media alike took little pride as he was born in India. Another ‘person of Indian origin’, hmm! You can read a brief interview recorded while announcing the Prize at the office Nobel Prize site here .   Its not the first time, actually it happened most of the times, that a person of Indian origin gets a Nobel prize but he no longer a citizen of India, if that tells us something. We take pride anyways, as it really mean something to most of us. The Nobel Prizes , instituted in 1901, annually honor outstanding contributions to literature, world peace and various sciences. Eight Indian citizens or people of Indian origin have been honored to date, but legally only 2 of Indian citizenship , and only three of Indian origin . -- Nobel laureates of India, Wikipedia Some well known Nobel Laureates a

INDIA : Inching up in Scientific Research ??

There are various reports that try to measure the capability of scientific research and innovation of a county by measuring number of articles and publications originating from that country. I don’t know whether that is an effective measure, but it appears, India is inching up slowly in this area. India has a long and distinguished history as a country of learning, knowledge and innovation. India is a huge part of and a vital source of influence on the future global economy . In the recent past, however, it has failed to realize its undoubted potential as a home for world-class research. There are signs that there is now a change in trajectory that will bring India up to the level where it can begin to realize its potential, to the benefit of its own population and economy as well as contributing to global knowledge networks. Report: INDIA : Research and collaboration in the new geography of science (Thomson Reuters) Despite of recent Moon Mission and some advances in dev

UI Design Fundamentals : Nice Video By Ryan Singer Of 37Signals

A nice tutorial of UI Design Fundamentals For Programmers by Ryan Singer of 37 Signals. UI Fundamentals for Programmers by Ryan Singer from ChicagoRuby on Vimeo .

Does Long Tail In Music Make Any Money?

Long tail made possible by internet is really good. Anybody can produce anything and reach its community however small that community can be. Any music album will find some audience. However, anybody in that long tail make any money? It appears, a large chunk of it don’t.   A study last year conducted by members of PRS for Music, a nonprofit royalty collection agency, found that of the 13 million songs for sale online last year, 10 million never got a single buyer and 80 percent of all revenue came from about 52,000 songs. That’s less than one percent of the songs. Op-Ed Columnist - Swan Songs? -

Vonage iPhone Application : Make International Calls At Vonage Rates

Vonage started offering Unlimited Calls to India under its $24.99/m existing plan recently that include both landlines and cell phones. The 2 Months free offer is still available, if you haven’t signed up yet. Today, Vonage released a Mobile application that can be installed on Blackberry, iPhone or iPod touch that will allow you to make international calls right from your Mobile at Vonage rates. It uses WiFi if available. Otherwise it uses your normal voice minutes on your Mobile like you are making a local call even when you are make an international calls. Remember you will pay for Vonage International Calling Rates for each call you make, in addition to your cell phone minutes when you use cell phone network instead of WiFi. It is bad you can not use your existing Vonage account to this mobile application. Hope Vonage will soon allow that too. You need to setup a credit or debit card and pay per use. I guess, Vonage will soon allow to connect your existing account and sh

Isn’t Cloud Computing Just Hardware-As-A-Service?

Cloud Computing is the new web2.0, in terms of hype and buzz all around. I hate to invent yet another Buzzword. But isn’t Cloud Computing just a Hardware-As-A-Service (HaaS)? If you look at the definition on Wikipedia, that is what Cloud Computing is all about. Isn’t it? Cloud computing is an example of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet . – Wikipedia If you agree in principle that Cloud Computing = HaaS, then there is nothing really NEW about it. It must be as old as the concept of renting a server or the first internet Hosting company. And, all internet (as well as in house applications) that we know of did scale as needed. They are all in principle dynamically scalable. Didn’t they? Then why so much undue buzz about Cloud Computing? Is it because now there are more players in the hosting market? Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Rackspace … etc. Or is it because of the new Billing model of

Floods in Andhra Pradesh : 1.8 M People Affected, Damage at 12,225Cr

So far it has suffered from draught. Now serious floods in Andhra Pradesh have affected 1.3M people and submerged many places. 400 villages are reported serious affected. Read more at . The above two pictures are from

Business Week's Cover Page Story : H1B Visas and High Tech Sweatshops

Business Week ran a cover page story in the magazine this week on High Tech Sweat shops. This is a no brainer to most Software Techies; how the H1B program works, how Consulting outfits work and how they place H1B consultants in jobs that often involve at least 3 layers of sub-contracts. It won’t be an exaggeration to say there is no Placement firm in the US that has not dealt with these so called ‘sweat shop’s. Small (often under 50 employee) High Tech Consulting firms that predominantly hire ONLY H1B consultants. There is a well known  criticism that these firms are unduly replacing American workers instead of complimenting the American work force. This year it is entirely different. Recession is one for sure. But also a variety of reasons. Some of these outfits are under investigation for a variety of fraud ranging from collecting fees for H1B sponsorship to ‘running the payroll’. Not sure how many of them and not sure the extent of fraud. But number of H1B petitions filed is

FedEx Routing : Are They Lost The Route In Finding A Better Route?

If any business want to use FedEx to ship products so that they can reach customers faster, must think again. A box was left at FedEx office in Richardson that is destined for Irving TX. The distance between the FedEx office where the package was left and the destination is about 25 miles . The package has already moved around 80 miles and it is still 15 miles short of the destination after about 90 hours since the package was left at FedEx office (including the weekend). Just 6 hours shy of 4 full days ( or 2 full days leaving weekend) to reach from Richardson TX to Irving TX, a mere 25 mile distance. See how the packet moved from various cities. Not sure how to read the status notification. It says at 9.21PM it left the FedEx facility in Garland and in about 6 minutes it reached Fort Worth facility. Something is very spooky here. There is no way, a package can be moved between Garland TX and Fort Worth TX in 6 minutes.  The distance between Garland and Fort Worth TX mus

Diwali Mela@ New Cowboys Stadium in Arlington TX

There used to be a huge crowd at Diwali Mela. What happened this year? Is it the weather or DFW Indian community lost interest in the mela itself. A couple of pictures outside the Cowboys Stadium where the main events are going on. And this last picture is inside the stadium.  The big TV was not switched ON. And the field appears to have been completely removed for rework. We all thought the event would be inside the stadium, but it was organized outside.  Its good that we got a chance to go inside and look around. Anyways, the stadium is awesome. Despite the drizzle every now and then, we had fun.

Morpheus: Early Stage Accelerator For India Startups

Morpheus doesn’t bring cash, unlike the Venture Capital firm across the corner. They bring “sweat” capital (read as expertise and IP). The team at Morpheus even call itself as an Accelerator instead. So what do they want in return? Of course, equity in the startup. If you are a startup or just interested in Indian startup scene, listen to the RWW interview with one of Morpheus team members here . Is it a fund, an angel network, or an incubator? Are these labels even still relevant? What segments does it focus on? What is early-stage innovation in India like? -  Morpheus: Y Combinator-Like Incubator in India (RWS Interview) - ReadWriteStart Startups that are in Morpheus portfolio include Vericar does used-car certification and appraisal, catering to the used-car market in India, which is at a million units every year. Robots Alive is the second company in India to have manufactured a robotics arm from the ground up. Quite a novel concept to make money from a st

Mahatma Gandhi On Google’s Logo To Celebrate Gandhi’s Birthday

Google’s today logo feature Mahatma Gandhi to celebrate Gandhi’s Birthday on 2nd October.  

Notable Thoughts : Better Be Developed And Richer

“I’m not talking about becoming happy, I’m just talking about becoming developed. It’s perfectly possible to have high income and be miserable. I’m happier tackling that problem once we have high income, so don’t knock it. It’s also totally possible to be poor and happy. I’m glad there are people trying to make poor people happy but that’s not my job. My job is to make them richer, and I think it’s a sensible thing to do. ”   -- Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Jump Start A Web App With Web Application Toolkits

Its quite easy to start developing an ASP.NET Web application. Now, it got even better to jump start a Web application with Toolkits. Just download a toolkit, quickly load in Visual Studio and just run it. And then extend it to fit your needs. Web Application Toolkits are designed to enable Web Developers to simply extend their web application capabilities by providing them with a packaged set of running samples, templates and documentation. The goal for the Web Application Toolkits is to provide Web Developers with resources such as project templates, controls, and code samples along with simplified documentation all in a consistent packaged format that is easy to download and run in a very short period of time.

Toward India 2020: Challenges and Opportunities

Toward India 2020: Challenges and Opportunities ( ) Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Deputy Chairman, Indian Planning Commission) discusses plans for India's continued economic growth. The true objective for India, he believes, is “inclusive growth,” an equitable and constructive distribution of economic gains via market forces, government and public means.