12:40 PM | Author: Siva
that freedom is not forcing you to wear a tie every monday and then giving you the right to question when the CEO is not wearing one. It is giving you the right to choose to wear the tie or not.
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11:04 PM | Author: Siva
Check out our "Scientist" president's Republic Day speech. The best part :

We cherish the valour, commitment and devotion to duty of these gallant personnel of our Armed Forces. Our Police Forces and Intelligence agencies complement each other and provide safety and security to our citizens from unscrupulous elements, criminals and extremists. Many persons from these forces have laid down their lives while protecting the nation, the flag and our people. We salute them all.

The next best

Today, the youth are asking me, "What I can give to India?"

Forget that Friedman 's quote** about citizen's giving back to the country, he dwelves about it in great detail. But he is sitting on a mercy petition for three months. Someone please ask him "What he can give to India ?". I mean, can't he decide on the petition one way or other ? Well, Russell Roberts says politicians are not motivated to do that. He is just trying to stay in office for one more term. But see how people react to it. He will get another term and will implement those preventive action through modern psychological tests ! We will have to listen to this vision for few more years.

** President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.". Neither half of that statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. “What your country can do for you,” Mr. Friedman said, implies that the government is the patron, the citizen the ward; and “what you can do for your country” assumes that the government is the master, the citizen the servant. Rather, he said, you should ask, “What I and my compatriots can do through government to help discharge our individual responsibilities, to achieve our several goals and purposes, and above all protect our freedom.”
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10:22 PM | Author: Siva
The Tamilnadu government has removed the rule that allowed corporal punishment in schools or in plain language the rule that allowed to beat the hell out of the children. Here is The Hindu report .

But wait, if you think sanity is returning to the state then that joy will be shortlived. It recommends imposition and suspension from class as corrective measures instead. Morons ! Why don't they just remove it and keep their mouth shut ? Why do they have to always recommend something ?
12:59 PM | Author: Siva
Well, apart from two of the emerging markets Brazil and India are finding more things in common. The law taking its own course is the latest ! A Brazilian court has ordered shutdown of YouTube. The reason : a video featuring Brazilian model Daniela Cicarelli.

Check the news here.

Though it is going to have no effect on Google or YouTube, it still underlines a problem. Think about this

While YouTube has attempted to placate the Brazilian couple for several months by taking copies of the video down, YouTube's users continue to re-upload copies of the video.

There are two questions : Can you block videos based on its content with the existing technology ? Check out an article on YouTube's problems scanning the videos. The 65000 videos per day those have to be scanned for copyright violations and the above sort of privacy issues are proving too much to handle. The actual answer will be the answer to : do you want to spend the money developing a technology to filter such content or do you want to spend it in lawsuits or even better do you want to spend it lobbying the government to say that the companies likeYouTube are not responsible for the content they host.

The second question is do you really want to filter these content as a company ? It is these videos that are bringing lot of users to your site. Do you want to turn them away ? For copyright violations : yes, filter them. For Daniela Cicarelli, the company could say : you had fun in the beach, fine. Let our users have some fun too. Why spend company's money developing technology that turn users away ? Instead spend that on the lawsuit, even better spend than on lobbying to free them from the legal actions of the content hosted in their site.
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7:57 PM | Author: Siva
"It is the one great idea that is missing. See Google. If we have a similar idea then we can do it too." This line came up in a conversation with a friend. I hear it often. But I beg to differ. It is the idea but not just the idea. It involves a lot of things. For starters, how about being in the right place at the right time. Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page were at Stanford in 1998. To work on that problem at that time you had to be there. And that turned out to be the right problem. It is very easy to say anyone, anywhere can work on similar problems. But very difficult to do it.

When it comes to funding, it appears some venture capitalists nowadays insist you move to Mountainview, CA. But you have to be atleast in the U.S. They say the environment in Bangalore is getting better. But the prospects are not as shining as they are in California. Check out an article by Paul Graham on "Why Startups Condense in America". (Though I don't agree with the swarm of beggars thing !)

That article addresses a lot of issues for a startup. But they are mostly in the macro level. At your company level, once you have the idea and get the funding still there are lot of uncertainities. Building a great product from the idea, finding the right people do it, marketing it and doing all this fast and profitably. It isn't just the idea. It starts from the idea but it is more than that.

When we are at it let us just think about what will be the next great idea ? Even if we aren't at Stanford or at California still we can see what the venture capitalists are doing. Check out the presentation on "India and Internet - A primer" by Ram Shriram of Sherpalo Inc. The last slide list the rules for startups. If you want to see all their presentations then check them here.

So where do you think the next great idea is going to take us ? Any idea ?
8:15 PM | Author: Siva
When I point out a survey that was done poorly I will be biased if I don't point out surveys that are done well. Even when the results are disappointing. This is a month old news. So if you have read the survey about student learning in Indian metros then fine. If not you can find it here. The surprising thing is both the surveys are published by India Today group. Though the previous one was conducted by them (along with Mercer and TNS) this one was conducted by Educational Initiatives with the help of Wipro. (I guess India Today got the exclusive) It is worth a read.
A quick summary for those of you who find the survey too long:
  • Children in some top schools of Indian metros perform less than interantational average in these tests.
  • Chennai and Bangalore kids did worse than Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta kids.
  • Boys did better than Girls.
  • They were able to answer standard questions when presented in standard form. But most of them weren't able to tackle questions that are slightly different.
  • Children in ICSE schools did better than children in CBSE. Children in CBSE schools did better than children in state board schools.
There are no surprises in the last two points. But the first three are surprises atleast to me. So much for our knowledge superpower goal.
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