Friday, December 28, 2007
To get back to my thoughts at that moment - what struck me as a potentially overlooked opportunity, in a sea of missed opportunities, was Sony responding with a motion detecting controller for the PS2. I know the hardware specs for the console can't change, but they sure as hell can sell an add-on (and make a killing in the process since the accessories are where the margins are) that adds the ability to detect motion in the PS2. Can you imagine playing a game like Grand Theft Auto (or Burnout which I think exists for the PS2) with motion detection turned on? There are wireless controllers out there already, so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch for either a 1st party or a 3rd party controller that sends motion signals to the PS2's receiver. The argument that this move would cannibalize PS3 sales is specious at best. PS2 is the highest selling console of all time, and this would definitely spur sales of the console in the casual gamer category - people like me who aren't into games like the God of War and its ilk. Nintendo has demonstrated that the casual gamer market is untapped, alive, and hungry for a great gaming experience. The PS2 library has some of the greatest games of all time - why not consider upgrading the gaming experience of the console to include motion detection?
Sony, wake up, smell the coffee!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
1. Like a Kux in Mouth, only in liquid form
2. You got Thrown
3. Something bad happened
Soos in Your Face.
Soos in Face?
You're a mayoneez!
Just so you get the order of severity of these terms:
Soos In Face < Soos in Mouth < Kux in Face < Kux in Mouth
- Between You and I.
Between you and I? — Between you and I? — You should be ashamed of yourself.
First, the technical explanation: between is a preposition; it should govern the "objective case." (In English, that's a concern only with the pronouns.) A preposition can't govern a pronoun in the subjective (or nominative) case, even when there are multiple pronouns after the preposition.
That explanation should be enough for the serious grammar nerds. For the rest of you, think of it this way: when you have two pronouns after a preposition, try mentally placing each one directly after the preposition. "Between you" should sound right to your ear, but "between I" jars: "between me" sounds much more natural. Since it's "between you" and it's "between me," it should be "between you and me."
Ditto other prepositions, like for, to, from, with, by, and so on. If something is for her and for me, it's "for her and me," not "for she and I"; if Akhbar gave something to him and to them, he gave it "to him and them," not "to he and they." Try putting the preposition directly before all the following pronouns, and then use the form that sounds right in each case.
The problem probably arises from hypercorrection: it sometimes seems that you and I is "more correct" than you and me. It's not — at least, it's not always. Be careful. [Entry added 8 March 2005.]
Friday, December 21, 2007
Less than a year after the Vista release came the much anticipated release of OS 10.5 Leopard. The press went ga-ga (as is expected for an Apple OS release), and critics all over cyberspace gave the OS a 5/5 rating. 2007 has been Apple's year - everything they release has the critics gushing in their panties. It started with the iPhone, the iPod Touch, so let it be with Leopard. Turns out, Leopard is an even bigger turd than Vista. This is one of many articles panning the features included in the new OS.
Rumor: Dock made less horrible in 10.5.2 Leopard update: "If ever there was a poster child for battered features in OS X, it has to be Apple's Dock. Once a contender for system-wide notification, it has mostly been ignored since the first iteration of OS X. It wasn't until Leopard that spring-loaded folders were added. Unfortunately, along with that sorely-needed pop-up functionality came a hideous 3D look for the Dock, 'stacked content' folders, and the bizarre grid and fan display of folder contents."After the initial euphoria died down, reports of people wondering whether Apple rushed this release out the door began to surface. For the first time in many years, Apple was accused of photocopying features included in a Microsoft OS release, and badly at that. The Dock, Time Machine, the new Spotlight infrastructure, the Firewall, Security Holes, et al have been much maligned and criticized since October of 2007. Apple is more agile than Microsoft in releasing updates to its products, and within 2 short months, the 10.5.2 release is on the anvil. As Michael Howard told me over a chat conversation, Apple had it coming. There is no place for hubris in today's competitive s/w industry, and Apple had better wake up and smell the coffee...
I am so glad I didn't upgrade from Tiger!!
Monday, December 17, 2007
What's Wrong With Windows Mobile: What's Wrong With Windows Mobile and How WM7 and WM8 Are Going to Fix It
"WM's core suite of apps include IE, the SMS client, the email client and Windows Media player; all are sub-par compared other smartphones. There's a reason why the iPhone's browser marketshare is already 0.09% when the entire Windows CE family (which includes Windows Mobile, among other things) is only at 0.06%. Why? It's because nobody wants to go online with that version of IE. They'd rather wait until they get a real computer rather than trudge through WAP decks, insufficiently optimized versions of web pages and hard to use interfaces."...
The matter of fact is, Windows Mobile can do just about anything you'd want it to do. It can edit Office documents, send and receive Exchange email, browse the web, chat on IM, give you turn-by-turn GPS directions, play music, watch videos and so much more. The features are there, but the experience isn't. Turns out, the Windows Mobile team knows it.Let's see how this cookie crumbles...
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Dr. Morgan, who tested the method in research studies, said he was inspired by a story, reported by an anthropologist that, he suspects, is apocryphal. It involves Tibetan monks who reportedly ran 300 miles in 30 hours, an average pace of six minutes a mile. Their mental trick was to fixate on a distant object, like a mountain peak, and put their breathing in synchrony with their locomotion. Every time a foot hit the ground they would also repeat a mantra.I do this subconsciously when I feel like I can't go on any more. My technique - count my breathes till a 100, and repeat. That focuses me on the task at hand, on the current moment, not on how many miles I have left to go. Do you have a similar technique? As apocryphal as the conclusion from the Tibetan monks story might appear, the strategy works for me. Two things help me go longer - dissociation and endorphins - but I know when to stop...
So Dr. Morgan and his colleagues instructed runners to say “down” to themselves every time a foot went down. They were also to choose an object and stare at it while running on a treadmill and to breathe in sync with their steps. The result, Dr. Morgan said, was that the runners using the monks’ strategy had a statistically significant increase in endurance, doing much better than members of a control group who ran in their usual way.
That, in a sense, is the trick that Paula Radcliffe said she uses. Ms. Radcliffe, the winner of this year’s New York City Marathon, said in a recent interview that she counts her steps when she struggles in a race. “When I count to 100 three times, it’s a mile,” she said. “It helps me focus on the moment and not think about how many miles I have to go. I concentrate on breathing and striding, and I go within myself.”
Monday, December 10, 2007
to do! Might spend New Year's eve on a plane, but that might augur
well for the future. Maybe my job will suddenly involve travelling.
If things proceed as they are, it will be hard to keep my parents at
bay this time around. Let's see how this cookie crumbles. For the
moment, it has been frigid in Seattle the past couple days, with
temperatures hovering around freezing. The promise of sun in less than
a month is going to make it easier to live through this winter.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
In my opinion, the trick is to avoid simple carbohydrates if possible, keep your caffeine intake to 1 cup of coffee a day, and drink a lot of water. A friend of mine commented last evening on why Americans tend to eat so much junk food - it's because real food is so expensive. Canned fruit is so bad compared to the real deal, but it comes at a fraction of the price, and isn't subject to the vagaries of season. Want Peaches in Winter, go to the Canned Fruit aisle - easy as pie...
I threw together a really tasty stir fry last night, and since that moment, I've made a conscious effort to cut out as many carbohydrates from my diet as I possibly can. It's so fucking hard though, especially between 4 and 6 pm!! There has to be an easier way that doesn't include surrendering to Obesity. Train for a 1/2 marathon???
Sunday, December 02, 2007
The Seattle Seahawks have been fortunate in their last two outings to get a second chance at sealing the deal. A lot has been written about this team's inability to deliver the "Knockout" punch when they are ahead. Their 8-4 win-loss record could have easily been 10-2, had they not left a window open for their opponents to fashion a comeback. I watched with astonished eyes as we lost to the 49ers in the final seconds due to conservative play calling and an incompetent hand-off. As the commentators said today, the Seahawks pussyfoot through the final few minutes of a game when they are leading, instead of driving their opponents into the ground. Compare this with the Patriots, who go for it on 4th down even when they are leading by more than 10 points. Something about the passive-aggressive attitude of the Seattle populace is visible in the attitude of the Seahawks players on the field. Someone needs to remind them that sports isn't about being polite; there are no points awarded for being a gentleman in Football. It's about time the Hawks stepped up and grabbed the game by its horns.
In my experience, the best time to shop at an electronics store is one hour before the store closes, preferably on weekends. Sunday is the best day to shop because that's when the new ad kicks in for the week, so check your Saturday paper for any early advertisements.Personally, my experience has been to play two big retail stores against one another. That almost always results in quashing any price gouging tactics by the retailer, and in a way gives some power back to the consumer. Good luck with your shopping this holiday season...
I personally prefer Fridays because you have a wider selection of products to choose from, and sales reps are in a good mood when the store is empty and about to close. Another reason to shop at night is sales reps start changing the price tags, as they prepare for the big weekend sale. That's worked to my advantage several times.
Tina tells me the real reason you'll find deals at the end of the night is every store has to meet a daily sales goal, so managers will tell associates to do what it takes to close the deal before the store closes. That's probably how I got a great deal on my Blu-ray player and my Sony Bravia, both items purchased on a Friday night.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Sumeet and I hung out after almost a year last week. You know, my love (and appreciation) for friendships that require very little maintenance has never been higher. It felt just like old times with Suri - we ate dinner, drank coffee, and had a few glasses of Wine. I might've mentioned this meeting with him in an earlier post, but for some reason, it's not passed into the nether regions of my consciousness. The only difference between the Suri of yesterday and today is the philosophical tilt of his conversations. We both have wanderlust, and are slowly discovering that the rat-race is not worth running for too long. Life's about taking a pause, and ...
Got my first squash lesson in almost a year, and I learnt two new things. Two bad habits that were negating the gains my game had made over the past six months; thanks Azam! I am looking forward to the rest of my sessions with him before I leave on vacation. Oh yeah, something else I hadn't done in more than a few months is gorge on curly fries with my lunch. Just felt like I have been spending enough time in the gym to earn me a treat - a complete serving of them curlies. And they were so tasty with the chipotle sauce - Ummmmmmm!! Time to live a little eh? No! That's it for this week, except if I get my hands on a bag of Jalapeno Chips :)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The Score to Date: Manoj - 2, Arun - 1...
If you've got cable, and you don't watch this show, you're missing out, BIG TIME!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Aware that the 1.0 release of any product is riddled with bugs, I bided my time and pushed off the purchase for a few months. In the interim, I read every review I could get my eyes on, and everything I read pointed to AT&T being a fecez. I had been a happy T-Mobile customer since 2004, the biggest positives of being with TMob were the great service, decent phone reception, the best voice plans, and the phone selection.
It's been two weeks since I took the plunge into the iPhone realm, and using another phone now is a drag. The keyboard took a few hours to get used to - I'm a fast learner ;-) - and now my fingers fly on it, using the camera is a breeze, sending pictures via email or to flickr is damn useful, and the browser is beautiful. Here are my nits though:
1. Though Mail is good, it doesn't hold a candle to mail on the Smart Phone.
2. I can't save a Mail attachment to my phone - that's plain silly.
3. Give me a frickin' back button already. This is akin to no Second Mouse Button on my MBP. WTF?!
4. The screen gets dirty too easily (fine, I sweat, a lot)
5. AT&T is the network with the most dropped calls. Their tagline is the lie to top all lies!
6. Can't change the volume while listening to music by flicking my finger up or down on the screen.
With all of these being said, I'd still recommend that if you are an AT&T customer, the $400 price tag is worth the experience. If you do take the plunge, you'll be hard pressed to enjoy another phone again.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
To all you people out there that think the Mac is over-priced, and its peripherals cost an arm and a leg, take pause and research the cost of comparable laptops. Thanks for bringing this to my attention Deep. :D
P.S. He's sitting right here cursing me for relating thist story. All you bloggers, he says there is a reason why we have no friends! Go get him...
Thursday, November 15, 2007
What are the cool features of this release?
- Wifi Sync
- Wifi Send
- Zune Originals
- Podcast Support
- Excellent Radio Quality
Finally, the consumer can choose a product made by a team that actually "Thinks Different". I can hear the photocopiers in Cupertino whirring all the way up here in Redmond!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
In the lead-up to the match, I ran more, lifted weights, and ate healthy, so I was on top of my game. Turned out, I prepared a little too much, because I lost in 3 tough games to Jeff. My sole consolation prize was that I won the next 2 games we played but that didn't affect the final result. The rest of my team members lost their respective matches too, and the way things are going, the team might go lossless all season.
Now that the Zune launch is done, we have a week off to recharge, connect with friends and family (once again), and prepare ourselves for the next challenge - deliver a compelling set of follow-up features that increase the value proposition of a Zune purchase. This is a tall order mind you, because Apple is not going to sit still over the next couple of months. As I said yesterday though, the heat is on Apple for the first time in the Music Player business, and their response remains to be seen.
The stock markets today took another nosedive, which means my Microsoft stock is still worthless. Maybe greed isn't the way to go here - once the market rebounds from its current bear phase, I'll sell my holdings, and invest in mutual funds or in India. The market, and the dollar need to recover lost ground though, and both will hopefully sometime soon.
You heard about the Indian girl with 8 limbs??
Monday, November 12, 2007
It is exactly 5pm, and the sun has set on what has been a cold and dank day in Seattle. Winter is upon us, and a pall hangs over the daily proceedings. The volatility in the stock market has resulted in almost all the gains of the last week to be nullified, and in the lead-up to the Zune v2 launch tomorrow, things have quietened significantly at work. People are beginning to jump ship, and I will be sad to see some faces go, though I did expect some departures. Working on a project like Zune comes at a dear price, which at first seems commensurate with the quality of work, but for some, the cross is too heavy to bear. While I definitely see my future on this team, I need to take active measures to attain a balance between my work and personal lives. Till that is sorted, I can't rest.
The beaming faces on my desktop bring a smile to my face. The fond memories from this trip involved both friends and family, and I'd like to take a moment and thank the powers that be for my good fortune. Regardless of promises kept or broken, I've returned to the US with an even stronger yearning to pursue a career in India. I just need the stars to align, and the right opportunity to present itself to take the plunge. Who knows, this might help jettison the abject loneliness too.
Friday, November 09, 2007
hindi/urdu slang term for getting stood up or rejected by a girl.
Acronym for 'Kheray Lun per dhoka' (translation : Fraud on an erect penis)
bhainchod .. saali nay KLPD kerdiya
Wait, not only do you learn how to use KLPD, but you also learn that the other Hindi slang, bhainchod, can be inserted into any sentence. Much like "fuck". Oh crap, I dedicate this post to all the potty mouths out there, like me!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
The adjustment to the new time zone is almost complete, and one of the objectives of this trip is reaching fruition - I am sleeping better and longer hours. As this process runs its course, the crankiness borne of sleeplessness will dissipate, and I should calm down. As things stand right now, I stop myself in my tracks when I sense myself slipping into my Hitler garb, but it's still not early enough to avert every situation in which I exceed my bounds. It's time I took a chill pill though, and went back to being Happy Go Lucky; I wonder if becoming an adult comes at the price of loosing some "Happy-Go-Lucky"ness. If that is the case, it's an expensive tax to pay.
"With the release last week of the feature list for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the security world is buzzing about some extremely important updates that should, if they work as expected, significantly improve Mac security and will make me less nervous about connecting to wireless networks in Internet cafes."The big ticket security features mentioned in the article are:
- Address Space Layout Randomization
- Time Machine a la Backup and Restore
- Application Sandboxing
- Firewall Improvements
- Application Signing
- Guest Account that purges itself
Turns out that most all these features already exist in Vista, and though people on the web can claim that the Windows implementation isn't perfect, thanks to the SDL and the Windows Security Team, Windows is the pioneer when it comes to security technologies available in Consumer Operating Systems. The fact that there is no mention of the existence of all these features in Vista points to a double standard in the Technology Press. No one is calling out the fact that Apple has copied Microsoft, which is just egregious.
This round definitely goes to Vista.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Back to the present - my steely resolve has mostly prevented me from giving in to the urge to navigate past http://microsoft.koolaid.here/. It helped that I was in Bangalore for 3 out of the first 4 days I was back. The toughest phase is past me, and if I do check email now, it's on my terms!
This brings me to the oft discussed and hereto unresolved issue of work-life balance. What checks and balances can I put in place so that work does not travel with me everywhere I go? To those that know me well, it would come as no surprise that Sachin's wedding was just a front for my trip to India. I was close to my breaking point last month with the stress of my new job; the true purpose of this trip is to recharge my batteries and get some sleep. I haven't had much success with sleeping yet, but just being away from Redmond and the rat race that is intricately woven into its fabric has been detoxifying.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I couldn't sleep past 6am this morning; an expected outcome given that I had passed out around 10 the night before. My body clock stays warped for a day or two when I first arrive by the Arabian Sea, but within a few days, I am back to my regular shenanigans between 10 am and 2 am. Ready for the random fact of the day? If you use your laptop/cell phone in India, expect the keys to become sticky, and all white objects to turn a slight shade of brown.
I decided to check-in to my flight to Bangalore over the web, but I wasn't sure if the Indigo website would support this. I was pleasantly surprised with the experience, and barring the fact that I had to call the 1800 number to allocate a new pair of seats for Nikhil and myself, the operation was quite the success. I am sitting in this Bangalore guest house room singularly because of that bright idea. Read on to find out why; as for the airline, the site is http://www.goindigo.in/.
Complete co-ordination was needed between multiple members of the Mehta family this morning in order for two of us to be ready for our trip. Mom packed our bags with the help of Vikas and Tai, Nikhil drove to Nikita's to get a signed photocopy of her credit card, I got ready and guided the packing troops in their duties :). All was proceeding on schedule until I decided to pamper myself with a salon shave. Hey, it usually takes me 20 minutes to shave; considering I had mostly trimmed most of the hair down, I didn't think a professional barber would take any longer than it would take me to clean the fuzz. WRONG!
Almost thirty five minutes later, I sauntered into the living room, clean shaven and extremely late. The flight was to depart at 1:25 pm, and it was already 12:10pm when we left, which was cutting it very close. It is an hour long commute to get to the airport from Worli, and as the trip to the airport progressed, I readied myself to spend another 100$ on our tickets. Here is a play by play for your entertainment in the Manoj Mehta patented Mastercard-24 format: (12:15pm) Cab ride to the train station - 40 rupees in cash; (12:31pm) Train ride from Mahalakshmi to Vile Parle - 12 rupees in cash; (12:58pm) Auto rickshaw ride from station to airport - 50 rupees in cash. Arriving at the airport at 1:13pm and still getting on to the plane, PRICELESS.
Getting on to the plane took a lot of two things - praying, stressing, and a little help from 2 complete strangers. The first one gave us 2 rupees so we could buy our train tickets. The other was the rickshaw driver who hauled ass from the station to the airport; he drove on the other side of the road, blared his horn, ruthlessly cut fellow drivers, and somehow managed to cover 2.5 crowded kilometers within 8 minutes (truly a mean feat of Bombay driving). As we entered the terminal, late as hell to begin with, Nikhil wanted to check our bags in, which I graciously accorded as the stupidest idea of the day, vetoed it, and instead directed our attention to the the security check-booth. Imagine my surprise when I was told that we were at the wrong check-point - halle-fucking-lujah. An alert airport assistant noticed our hapless situation, and led us to the right security gate where things proceeded smoothly until the cop wouldn't accept our printed boarding passes. Nikhil ran out and called the Indigo representative, who stamped our passes while simultaneously informing us that we had arrived in the nick of time - any further delay on our part and they would have departed without us. Phew!!
Bullets of sweat flowing down the sides of our faces, both of us took our seats as the air hostesses closed the airplane's gate. Through the "arduous" ride, we didn't feel hunger or thirst because of the continuous adrenalin rush. About the time we took our seats, our tiny celebration of making the "cut" was rudely interrupted by both parched throats and rumbling stomachs. That's when we started requesting bottles of water, and by the end of the flight, the two of us had gone through 12 bottles (250ml each). One of the air hostess' saw us, smiled at us, and kept bringing us water, sometimes without our explicit asking - the almost instant guzzling down of the entire bottle of water clued her in to how thirsty we were, maybe! :)
Our welcoming party consisted of a familiar face and a new one, but not for an instant during the ride to the hotel did I feel constrained. Gouri seems like a good sport, and if her friend is anything like she is, Gundapps is a lucky man. My opinion is that you can't truly love a person without spending time under the same roof; given my confidence in my friend's ability to love, I think this is going to be a very happy union.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
"the wildly eccentric Ramirez watched adoringly as his homerun traveled majestically through the night sky over Jacobs Field. Never mind that this only reduced the deficit to 7-3 in the Indians favor. Never mind that this capped back-to back- to back homeruns that included blasts from Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. Never mind that it was done in the national spotlight of post-season baseball. Never mind that it was one of the most impressive homeruns that anyone could ever hope to see."The ball covered upwards of 420 feet, and was hit in almost dead center field, which is an accomplishment even a die-hard Yankees fan can fully appreciate. The Red Sox lost, but even if they hadn't, I can put my personal prejudices aside, and sincerely congratulate Manny on both the towering hit and his post season records. And hells yeah, I'd like to see him in a pinstripe uniform...
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
While I speak about changes, Mumbai's International Airport has definitely changed for the better on a yearly basis. The changes are mainly cosmetic; alas, it is impossible to change the attitudes of the officers manning the booths or the fact that the carousel area is full of coolies looking to thug you out of your money for the most basic service, but I take solace in the positives rather than get worked up over the fringe negatives. The immigration process was a breeze - extremely efficient, and a far cry from the long drawn process it is at Seatac airport. Efficient isn't an adjective I'd associate with the baggage retrieval process though. The time I saved at the immigration desk was negated by the inordinate delay in my bags emerging from the aircraft. Now that I think of it, "You win some, You lose some", is a phrase that best summarizes my experiences in India. Let's see how this trip unfolds...
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
In particular, here are the features I worked on:
- Retail Mode
- Sharing and Community
> Podcasts can also be shared via WiFi.
The new line launches in November, and if you are in the market for an mp3 player, you finally have a real alternative to the Apple juggernaut.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Not like I haven't learnt a lot in my new role. Au contraire, my technical growth has surpassed my expectations. I am still prone to small errors, but who isn't?! What has dawned on me though is that I need to get out of this morass-infected system, and work for a company/organization that values my input, regardless of my provenance. Prejudice manifests itself in many forms - some overt, others covert. The denizens in the latter category affected my review, and that is not something I can ever stand for.
To start the 30th year of my life on such a sullen note was a wake-up call that mandates action on my part.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Investors dumped dollars yesterday, sending the euro to a record high and putting the American currency at par with the Canadian dollar for the first time in more than 30 years.No more shopping sprees in Canada for all you shopaholics. There is something to be said about the falling dollar, the ricketing economy, and the generally lackadaisical attitude of the administration. Good thing the stock market is soaring...
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Back To Top
fris·son (frē-sōN') pronunciation
n., pl. -sons (-sōNz', -sōN').
A moment of intense excitement; a shudder: The story's ending arouses a frisson of terror.
[French, from Old French fricons, pl. of fricon, a trembling, from Vulgar Latin *frīctiō, *frīctiōn-, from Latin frīgēre, to be cold.]
Saturday, September 08, 2007
I was surprised that a podcast by the WSJ didn't only talk about business and the stock market. Instead, the stories featured by this podcast cover a wide gamut of news categories. Subscribe to it via this URL: http://feeds.wsjonline.com/wsj/podcast_wall_street_journal_this_morning
Regardless of how you dice it, the American populace has a thing for the underdog. I sense a brewing, and swelling discontentment with the status quo that could lead to a groundswell of support for Apple's competition. The biggest beneficiary of the move away from Apple would be the Zune; if positioned correctly, the Zune can ride the changing tide, expose a few chinks in Apple's armor, and challenge Apple's hegemony.
Apple not only "bundles" iTunes with multiple products, it forces you to use it. At least with Internet Explorer, you could always just download a competitor and ignore IE.Apple's reputation of being innovator par excellence is slowly getting tainted too. As PC World's Mike Elgan eloquently states:
Not fair, you might say. Any hardware device that syncs data with a PC as part of its core functionality has software to facilitate that syncing. True enough. But operating systems have browsers as part of core functionality, too. Doesn't Mac OS X come with Safari? Doesn't the iPhone?
And "bundling" works. Steve Jobs bragged this week that Apple has distributed 600 million copies of iTunes to date. The overwhelming majority of those copies were iTunes for Windows. And iTunes for Windows' popularity isn't driven by software product quality. ITunes is the slowest, clunkiest, most nonintuitive application on my system. But I need it because I love my iPod.
Apple the copycatApple is in the eye of a press storm, and as an investor, this could bode well for the short term. You don't have to be psychic to see a plethora of class action lawsuits against the company in the future. Only a study of past events would make you think that an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple is looming over the horizon.
Ten years ago, Microsoft haters complained that Windows followed the Mac OS to market as a graphical user interface, copying the Mac's features such as folders, trash cans, resizable windows and other elements. That complaint was repeated with each new version of Windows -- Apple was the innovator in the operating system space, and got there first with a host of key features. Microsoft just came along later, duplicated features that Apple pioneered, and reaped the benefit because of its monopoly power.
But who's innovating now? The LG KE850 was winning awards for its full-screen, touch-screen, on-screen keyboard before Jobs even announced the iPhone.
The best thing about the iPhone and iPod Touch -- the warm-and-fuzzy multitouch UI with gestures -- wasn't new, either. Various labs have been demonstrating similar UIs for more than a decade, and even Microsoft demonstrated a fully realized 3G UI in May, well before Apple shipped the iPhone. Microsoft will ship its tabletop UI, called Microsoft Surface, in November, and Apple will likely enter this space with a 3G UI months or years after Microsoft does.
And Wi-Fi in a media player? Ha! Microsoft's funky Zune had that almost a year before Apple did and SanDisk's Sansa Connect with Wi-Fi was released last June. Apple even stole the name for its iPod Touch product, according to HTC, which sells a touch-screen smart phone called the HTC Touch.
A consumer walks into a local retail outlet to buy a Christmas present for dad. The Apple iPod "section" of the store dwarfs the section where all the also-ran players are displayed. IPod is clearly the trusted standard. The consumer buys a shiny new "Fatty" iPod nano with video.Let's see how this plays out...
Dad opens the present and is excited. He follows the directions, installs iTunes and immediately splurges on a few dozen songs at the iTunes store. He loves it, and is an instant convert to portable digital music.
The only downside is that he works out every day at the gym, where cardio machines face TVs that broadcast sound over FM radio. Six months later, when his iPod is stolen, he goes to buy another player -- this time, he hopes, with an FM radio in it. Several competitors offer this feature, but not iPods. He's about to choose a new player with an FM radio when it hits him: None of his files -- now totaling 300 songs and 50 movies -- will play on the new player. He bought and paid for all this content, but it only works with iPods and iTunes.
Apple has an iPod customer for life. Microsoft never had this kind of monopoly power.
Friday, September 07, 2007
It's a sad day for me though :( Oh big deal says my alter ego, 2 pills ain't gonna kill you!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Can Apple roll out incremental features to its iPod line and get the market excited once again?
The Immediate Aftermath of the Announcement
Apple shares remained stagnant during the event and then closed down almost nine points. This on a day when the company refreshed its entire iPod lineup with new "models."
Did Apple just suffer along with many other tech stocks in yesterday's downtick, or was it something more? Apple CEO Steve Jobs has a wonderful way of making the world think each 'new' Apple product is somehow a first or one-of-a-kind, but most aren't any longer when it comes to the iPod line (save the iPhone, which is easily a revolutionary product).
Basically, Jobs trotted out the same products -- from the iPod Classic to the iPod Nano to the iPod Touch -- with incremental feature upgrades and more marketing glitz than a glazed donut. The market seemed unimpressed, all things considered. But, there's more.
Pasted from <http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2007/09/06/apple-inc-s-aapl-new-iproducts-underwhelm-market/>
What say the analysts? The Stock Price?
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will have to recover from yesterday's announcement of a $200 price cut on the iPhone. Analysts may have now to adjust models and maybe even price targets, although some, like Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, think it's the right strategy. In the mean while, Apple will also have to deal with the wrath of the first adopters, the ones who ran to get the iPhone on the 29th of June, stood in line for hours and paid $200 more. If you ask me, Apple stands to alienate quite a few of its fan base, the ones who did buy the iPhone for $599.
In a phone interview Thursday, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves said Apple's stock declined Wednesday due in part to people adjusting their expectations for the company's revenue and gross margins for the year. Hargreaves doesn't think the iPhone price drop will have a huge impact on Apple financially, because he assumes unit volume will make up for the price change.
Hargreaves added that the sudden price cut -- which is unprecedented for Apple, as it tends to add features to products while keeping prices stable -- might make customers think twice about becoming early adopters of its products.
"When people are waiting outside the store two days ahead of time it becomes a story and they get, essentially, free marketing out of that. If all those people decide they don't want to wait outside the store because they got burned last time, Apple loses that marketing," he said.Also Thursday, Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry downgraded his rating for the stock to "Equal Weight" from "Overweight," saying in a client note that the company "is probably unlikely" to meet its goal of selling 10 million iPhones in 2008. Chowdhry also reduced his price target to $130 from $150.
Chowdhry said consumers have reported that the iPhone is missing some key smart phone capabilities like voice calling, and users have noted issues with AT&T's service that include dropped calls and very slow Internet access speed.
He added that some PC-using iPhone owners reported receiving rude customer service at Apple's in-store Genius Bars, after which they returned their iPhones. In a phone interview Thursday, Chowdhry said the price cut means Apple is struggling to get iPhone adopters. And those who already have them aren't happy about the sudden price decline, he said.
"People who bought the iPhone early, stood in the lines -- they are not smiling. They're feeling ripped off," he said.Pasted from <http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8RG32480.htm>
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky, in a client note, kept an "Outperform" rating on shares with a $175 target price.
"While the lower price itself was not unexpected, the speed of the cut - coming 68 days into launch - was a surprise; given our recent checks (this week) suggested sustained sales momentum," the analyst wrote.But Abramsky thinks the cut will pay off in time, because it widens availability of the product, strengthens Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people )'s competitive position and might drive users to upgrade as the holiday season gears up.
Morgan Stanley (nyse: MS - news - people ) analyst Kathryn Huberty likewise said the price cuts could generate strong holiday demand. She has an "Overweight" rating and $150 target price on shares.
JPMorgan Securities Inc. analyst Bill Shope was a bit more concerned about the price cut, saying it could be a sign of slower-than-expected initial demand.
He kept a "Neutral" rating on shares.Pasted from <http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/09/06/ap4087967.html>
"Yesterday's event gives Apple an impressive product line up for the holiday season, but it also supports our view that margin and iPhone expectations were too lofty," the analyst wrote.
Coupled with the ridiculously capable new iPod Touch -- which has every major feature of the iPhone except for its phone capabilities -- will any other manufacturer stand a chance?
Analyst Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, thinks not.
"I don't see how anyone can respond to a product lineup like this," he said. "Who out there has the ability to compete with this? Microsoft and the Zune simply can't compete. And Sony's new video Walkmans (announced earlier this week), they pale in comparison."
Pasted from <http://www.wired.com/gadgets/portablemusic/news/2007/09/ipod_follow>
With the analyst opinions all over the map, I can't really trust any of them. So it's down to what ...
The Zeitgeist says
But it’s frustrating that the highest capacity iPod Touch holds a mere sixteen gigs, making it an unlikely choice for hardcore iPod fans. The so-called iPod classic now tops out at 160 gigs, but with no Wi-Fi. Why? To get above sixteen gigs or so, you need to switch from flash memory to battery-draining hard drives — and presumably, the combined battery burden of Wi-Fi and hard drive was just too much.
It’s cool to be able to buy music almost anywhere, but in the end, today’s iPod and iPhone selection still represents a compromise, limited by current technology. Ideally, you’d have a eighty-gig-plus iPod or iPhone that would allow you to surf the web and buy tunes at high speed wherever you are — but free Wi-Fi everywhere is just a fantasy, and the iPhone isn’t even capable of running on fast 3G phone networks. Another dream: Imagine paying ten dollars a month for an iTunes subscription — all the music you want, streamed wirelessly, anytime. Give Apple (and maybe a competitor or two) a couple more years, and we might just get there. In the meantime, as singer KT Tunstall told us yesterday at the Apple event, the iPod Touch is “a nice piece of kit.”
Pasted from <http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2007/09/06/next-day-analysis-what-you-need-to-know-about-those-new-ipods/>
On the Steep Price Cut
Such steep cuts, coming just two months after the iPhone's much-hyped launch, may risk angering the Apple faithful who lined up to buy an iPhone on the day it came out. As Apple customer Rachel Kane, who bought her iPhone in August, said,
"It's not the losing $200 that bothers me. What bothers me is the idea that the company grossly overpriced their product and took advantage of the faithful few hundred thousand who initially purchased the iPhone."Now what they originally called this end-all-be-all of phones is being price-slashed for the holidays as a stocking stuffer," Kane continued.
Customers aren't the only ones rattled by the price drop. Despite the iPhone grabbing a 1.8 percent share of the smart phone market in June alone, the stock market seems to think that the 33 percent price cut is a sign of weakness: AAPL share prices dropped 7.4 percent for the day.
Pasted from <http://www.wired.com/gadgets/portablemusic/news/2007/09/ipod_follow>
Is Anything Missing?
“I know the iPod Touch is cool looking but [without] a 60 gig drive it is worthless to me,” says one comment.
“One thing that is conspicuously missing from the iPod touch (as well as the iPhone) is any sort of games. One would think that the touch-screen platform would be perfect for something like bejeweled or solitaire. Seems odd to me, and is one of the few features missing from the iPhone that most other cell phones have,” adds another.
A third drawback: “No Mail! WTF! That's all I can say,” says one disgruntled commentator on tuaw.com. “There's Safari [Apple's web browser] but no Mail!? I don't get it.”
On Times Online, too, most commenters were sceptical. "Instead of introducing new iPods,
Apple should support the thousands (millions?) of broken iPods out there," one reader says.
"My iPod Mini died in August, just 5 months after the warranty expired. So did many other iPod Minis of the same vintage. But Apple refuses to recognize this as an 'event'. Their Tech Support suggested that I purchase a new one."
Pasted from <http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/personal_tech/article2399644.ece>
Could this be a mistake?
But, what about the rest of us who waited it out and will now profit from the price cut? Personally, I don't see this as a mistake, rather an admission by Apple that the cell phone market is more volatile and capricious than the computer market. Cell phones are bought on a whim, and though $400 is a HUGE whim, it requires less thought (and preparation) than $600.
Will this affect Apple's bottom-line?
$100 returned on 1 million phones - that's a $100 million dent in their profits. But, the price cut will catapult iPhone sales into the stratosphere (comparatively speaking). If Apple manages to sell twice the number of iPhones in the rest of this quarter than was originally forecast, this blip will be just that, and nothing more.
The jury is still out on the new products. I personally think "fatty" is sucky, but I reserve true judgment till I actually hold the new Nano in my palm. I still want an iPhone though, and can't wait till it is untethered from AT&T.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Regardless of the criticism leveled at great products, they usually are worthy of the hype that surrounds them. Take the iPhone for instance; it is reviled by a certain segment of the market, but it is hard to argue against the device's merits. From the moment I saw the first commercial for it, till it was pried out of my grubby hands, I was in complete awe of not just its capabilities, but also the attention to detail that had gone into its creation. If a device could have oomph, I'd say that device is the iPhone.
Forget the technology world. My tempur-pedic pillow, a Ferrari, Microsoft One-Note, Quicksilver for the Mac, True Religion jeans - these are all examples of great products. I think I have one part of the "why is this great" equation down. I know a product is great when using it gives me an "Ah-ha" feeling, a rush even. This brings me to a thought I've had all day - our philosophy at Microsoft is to think up a whole bunch of features when we start planning a product, and as we get closer to the ship date, to put certain features on the chopping block. Very often, the features that get cut are the ones that were conceived to give the user that Ah-Ha. Hopefully, the new Zune isn't headed in that direction. I digress...
Back to the thought that triggered this verbal avalanche. Another characteristic of a great product is the process of continuous discovery. As you use the product, it reveals subtle details about itself. Turning and holding the key on most BMWs and VWs rolls the windows up - I learnt this five years into owning one. gViM, my text editor, has many such features, but one I use everyday is auto-indenting (=%).The first time I was entering data on a web form, and I got a drop-down list with previously entered information, that discovery made my day. When listening to music on the iPhone, I happened to receive a phone call. The music's volume faded away as I heard the phone's ring. All these aren't core features, but discovering them endeared each of these product to me.
All of this leads me to my final reason for what makes a product great. When a product I own goes from being a luxury to an essential, when I can't imagine my life without something that I don't own, and ergo covet, it's a sure sign that it is great. It's not that life wouldn't go on without it, life just would be a little less enriched.
So, what do you think makes a product great?
Saturday, September 01, 2007
The good news is that we've hit code complete. I left for the gym last evening at 5:45pm, knowing for the first time that I didn't need to come back for another session later in the evening. All my work was accounted for, completed, reviewed and checked-in; for the first time in months did I feel relieved, and overcome by a strong sense of accomplishment. All I need to do over the next month is fix bugs, but I am proud of my contribution to this project. The sense of fulfillment is hard to describe.
A quick nap, a bike ride to the gym, weight training, and a protein shake are next on the cards. I celebrated my reprieve from work by hanging out with Amru this afternoon; first she unpacked, then she cooked, all while I relaxed and watched the tele. Here's to more shiatsu massages in the afternoon...
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Things have been very hectic at work, but I am getting closer to finishing my feature work. Friday is the first big deadline, and I am trending towards finishing my work before Friday night. What a perfect weekend it would be if I didn't have to think about implementing another list of something!
A few days can make such a big difference. Last Friday, my feature was completely broken, but persevering over the weekend, and some monumental check-ins later, 85% of the core functionality is working. The ritual of writing a post in bed was temporarily replaced by watching Sportscenter, but Sports news is a waste of time. The analysts spend so much time prognosticating the future of the college season, the NFL season, that it makes my head spin. Whatever happened to living in the *present*?
Hung with the goons last evening for a few hours, and it made me realize how much this new job has changed me. My focus is disproportionately skewed on work, and I need to achieve more of a balance. What's the To-Do List look like now?
- Achieve work-life balance
- Don't miss out on the subtle pleasures of life
- Get to 175
- Become a better squash player
- Max out the experience - at work, with friends, as a lover...
You believe in lists?
Monday, August 13, 2007
Though I couldn't partake in the Laser Tag festivities last afternoon, I did join the crew to celebrate Apurva's birthday at multiple locations last night. The party started at Apurva's house, continued at Capitol Club, and finally ended with us eating pizza at Mamma's on Capitol Hill. Christa and her friends rolled by the pizza joint, and we finally got home around 3am after lively banter. The only deviation from a domesticated Sunday was the drive to pick Amru from the airport. The drive afforded the opportunity to experience the one situation I hadn't been in all my life - having my car run out of gasoline before I got home.
Juggy came and bailed us out, and as we were struggling to get the hose into the tank, a state trooper pulled up and aided our efforts with her torch-light. She ensured that we got the car started before pulling away to catch some poor sap doing 39 in a 35. We got home an hour later than we should have, way colder than we should have, and treated ourselves to dinner and Entourage. Amru left, I finished folding the laundry, and am now ready to pass out. Lights out!
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
It's not that I wanna say goodbye
It's just that every time you try to tell me that you love me
Each and every single day I know
I'm going to have to eventually give you away
And though my love is rare
And though my love is true
Hey I'm just scared
That we may fall through
I no longer wonder about what drives people into a relationship that they know is going to end. If in the course of such a relationship, they can truly soar like a bird, that itself is worth the cost of admission - the imminent heart-ache. Time to find more reasons to be happy now...
Monday, August 06, 2007
The Immediate Aftermath
Girls cry, voice their emotions, want to get back together, want things to work out, and are generally opposed to the change (unless they called off the relationship). During this phase, the girl continues to interact with her ex like nothing has changed. This is a girl's way of healing, biding time, and having a familiar shoulder to lean on. Meanwhile, since the girl is around all the time, the guy doesn't consider dealing with his feelings, or looking for other girls. Why would he when there is a familiar person by his side?
Enter the New Guy
The status quo is maintained until a new guy appears on the scene, at which point the girl is mostly healed, and sees the potential of a new relationship. Nothing hits a guy harder than knowing that he has been supplanted by another. If the girl has been professing her love for him through the months since the break-up, it makes the pain even harder to deal with. Guys are stupid like that, and the reason they are so distraught during this phase is because their ego gets smashed to bits. The absence of a girl to sympathize with, something that he has grown accustomed to, makes the pain seem harder to deal with than it really is.
... A Few Months Later
Some guys become stalkers, others get deeply depressed, and the rest carry on with their life. Both parties eventually end up with someone new, albeit with a part of them lost forever...
In general then, it would appear as if girls move on faster than guys do. Maybe guys just can't bounce back from a loss as well as girls can, or that the guy realizes (a little too late) that it's over and doesn't know what to do next. I'll let you pick...
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Looking outside in, this week has brought some things to my attention that I should avoid in the future. The first lesson, sleeping at 6am on a weeknight is a bad idea. Solution - stop using the computer around midnight, work out earlier in the evening, bring the economist home every week so I have something to read while in bed, and turn my phone off at midnight. The second lesson, being a morning person works only if I have had approximately eight hours of sleep. The only day I woke up at 8am this past week was Friday, and my productivity hit its nadir that day. It might be because it was the last day of the week, or because I didn't turn my phone off at midnight the night before (smiles), but I'll keep trying this morning business. Persistence and perseverance result in ...
When I first moved in to my new digs, I was circumspect about the arrangement. My skepticism stemmed from my xenophobia, but two months into this and I must say, I couldn't have been more off kilter in my initial assessment. Saqib is reticent, weird (like that's a bad thing) and aloof at first, but he warms up with familiarity, and reveals depth, loyalty, and has an easy-going disposition. Such a stark contrast to Nishant.
I saw "The Prestige" last night, and like other Chris Nolan movies, the twist is in the tail (this isn't a play on words). Two aspiring magicians and close friends get estranged when the arrogance of one results in the death of the other's wife. The tragic accident starts a chain of events that lead to an unexpected climax that ties up all the movie's loose ends. The story alternates between the past and the present, which made some events hard to fathom at first, but the changing story-line piqued my curiosity and kept me engrossed. I had questions long after the credits were done rolling up the screen, the sign of a good feature film, and worthy of 4 stars.
Time to get back to reality now, the magic show is over. Work beckons...
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
These past weeks at work have been frustrating; I have made slow progress on my deliverables due to issues outside my control. It is true that stress causes your mind to focus on the single stress-inducer, which at first might seem like a good thing. The truth is, single minded focus causes you to miss out on the bigger picture, and precludes your ability to find other things to work on. In my case, while grappling with issues I couldn't fix, I overlooked the value of working on the unrelated, and therefore achievable, items assigned to me. Lightning struck me out of my rut this afternoon, and I found a purpose again. Two hours of focused coding, and I had fixes ready to go.
After a quick workout at the Pro Club, a quick cup of coffee (cinderella made it home on time with her sandals intact), and a check on how Amruta was doing with packing her belongings, I am finally sitting down penning my thoughts. Finally, I can rest in peace knowing full well that balance was achieved - the work, personal, and social chakras are rolling in the same direction, and propelling me forward. A long yawn...
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
The current routine is to bike the 5+ miles to the club, work a set of muscles in the weight room, and ride back. I played squash just once this past week, so I might play a match today. Actually, even though I had a great night's sleep, I am still feeling the after-effects of a tough week at work. The hours aren't grinding on me anymore, it's just the constant state of high alert that's bringing the fatigue on. The adrenaline constantly pumping through my veins through the day at work is exciting though.
We went to Trinity last night to "celebrate" Mitika's birthday. After multiple weekends of Ridik partying, last night was relatively chill. Threw a shirt on, drove in to Pioneer Square, and hung with friends. The music was inconsistent at best, the DJ seemed to have an identity crisis, or plain didn't know what to play next. Trinity has something for everyone though, so when the RnB section wasn't up to the mark, I'd walk over to the Trance floor to groove. My usual crew of crazies is in Chelan, so I got to hang with a mix of old and new folks - fun party.
Random notes from the week:
- Met Pant after a long time. We're gonna grab lunch this coming week; he has intellectual depth and I'd like to hang with him more often.
- Did I hear trench-coat dress?
- The Simpsons movie gets 4*'s.
- 'Rash is back and made me a new CD - yay!
That's all folks!
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Work has really become hectic, and it's going to be crazy like this for the next couple of months till we ship. I found out that the trip to NYC needs to be canceled because there is no business need anymore for me to be in the city. This is a good thing because it is one of my best friends' birthdays on the 3rd, and I'd be really bummed if I missed the occasion. I am also glad that I am not going because of the intense work pressure this week. Though the flip side of the coin is that the trip would present the ideal environment to decompress and recharge. Oh well....
A friend of mine leaves for Wharton this weekend, so I took him out to a celebratory lunch this afternoon. We talked about our expectations, our ambitions, our dreams, and what the immediate future holds for each other over burritos and salsa. It was interesting that both of us concluded that the kind of work pressure we are subjected to at Microsoft doesn't lend to a sustainable lifestyle. The hard choices we make always result in us sacrificing some aspect of our personal life for work, and at some point, that is infeasible. Since I don't think any amount of money is going to give me back these years of my life, I have decided to take matters in my own hands at the end of this release cycle, and seriously rethink my career. It's great to be ambitious, it's great to have aspirations, but it is all to naught if in realizing my dreams and aspirations, I lose out on the spice of life. Balance is an easy word to say, it's a very difficult state of mind to achieve.
I've droned on for longer than I should, and it's time for me to head to the movie hall. Before I leave though, I must say that I am excited for my workout with Amruta tomorrow morning at 8. Hopefully, we can make a habit out of this, and not only will we get fit, but we'll fix our busted sleep cycles as a bonus. Peace!
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
I'd say that I played confident strokes 50% of the time I was at the crease, my right thigh is still fresh from the hit it took while I was batting, but this is just the beginning. If I can apply myself, practice often, and concentrate while I am batting, this could be a lot of fun. As regards the other players - they all seemed friendly and accommodating enough to make the entire experience pleasurable.
Spent Monday evening with Karan, Monu and Nikko Aunty; we talked about politics, religion, work, Apple and its ability to be on the cutting edge of innovation, etc. I didn't sleep much that night, but the yoga session with aunty in the morning powered me through the day. I have woken up a little earlier every day since so I hope the trend continues.
- After listening to Amru ramble on about not eating carbs at night, I gave it a shot today, and my stomach is rumbling right now
- I drove on 520 today and they have done a great job repaving the freeway. Kudos WSDOT
- My car is street legal till 2008 now, what with the shiny new tabs affixed to the license plate
- I played 2 squash matches this evening, both against Erich. The result was the same in both
- Work is fun, but will be very hectic the next couple of weeks. The furious activity and the long nights will culminate in a Marketing trip to NYC. I am hella excited about that.
And finally, ZJ Manoj takes over the booth this evening at 4 for two hours of hip hop, trance, reggae, and some rock. I'll put up a list of the songs I played soon.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
The Yankees, with one of their worst seasons in recent history, have played themselves into a corner. With a record of 42-43 at the All Star Break, their performance begs the question - Will the Yankees make it to the playoffs this year? If they do, how far will they go? With such speculation rife in Baseball circles, A-Rod, the lightning rod for the Bombers this year, must be rethinking his place in the Yankees lineup. It is no secret that after having received almost every accolade possible for a baseball player except a World Series ring, Alex is a man on a mission to augment his case with this last elusive trophy. Turns out, he might have to wait another year (and maybe find a new team) to accomplish his mission. To quote the article:
The Yankees, you see, no longer offer him the best chance. Seriously: Does anyone believe the Yankees are any closer to a title than, say, the Cleveland Indians? Or the Detroit Tigers? Or the Los Angeles Dodgers? Or the Milwaukee Brewers, for heaven's sake?I don't for a second doubt Alex's smarts, and his savvy. To be making 26 million a year, you need more than baseball skills to land that contract. It remains to be seen what the rest of the season has in store for the Yankees; Yankees fans, its detractors, and now A-Rod are all going to microscopically examine how the season unfolds. It might just be that A-Rod quits mid-season if the team continues to let him down, and that will definitely end all hopes for a Yankees post-season. Stay tuned...
Over the next three or four years, those teams should contend better than the Yankees, mainly because they're not on the verge of crumbling anytime soon. They don't need an immediate and expensive makeover, unlike the Yankees, who must address serious issues in their starting pitching, bullpen and outfield, all of which are failing and getting old on them.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
1. Do you like ZJ Manoj? If not, what should it be - ZJ Jhatax? :)
2. I need song recommendations from you. If the songs you recommend make the cut, I'll make you an mp3/wma/aac cd with all the songs I spin on Friday.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
1. Build Tension
2. Keep your slides simple - stick to one theme per slide
3. Modulate your voice, and use emphasis at the opportune moments to engage the audience
4. Practice, practice, practice
5. Be Honest and Show Enthusiasm
Friday, July 06, 2007
1. Get Hex editor - easy (if you're thinking WTF is hex, skip to Step 8)
2. Open iTunes in said Hex editor - easy
3. Look for some magic codes - duh!
4. Re-write some values - it's not rocket science dunce hat
5. Save changes
6. Find and edit your hosts file
7. Install some .Net framework
As easy as "Lather, Rinse". If something goes wrong, "Repeat" else goto :next-para
8. Hello normal, non-geek person. Welcome to my blog!
No article is complete without a post-mortem of sorts so let me keep with tradition, and ramble on. After going through all this hassle, you can't use the iPhone as a Phone anymore. What's left after activation is a WiPod(TM), a wireless iPod (yes, that's my term). It's a shame that the Jesus Phone will be reduced to a mere shadow of itself, those heathens I tell you.
"I think it's bit, shall we say, 'expensive' to buy the iPhone and not use it as a phone. But if you're looking for a widescreen iPod and a small web surfing device that you can use at WiFi hotspots without having to worry about a monthly bill, then you might want to check out what DVD Jon has in store.Stupid Apple - they didn't think of this earlier, and start a similar gimmick themselves. Come to think of it, they are potentially making a $400 loss on their current iPods, at the current retail price of $250 (+tax). Considering that people are willing to pay $650 for an iPhone, and then downgrade it to a WiPod(TM), I am sure these individuals wouldn't mind paying the extra money to Apple directly if they were saved the headache of the aforementioned "Lather, Rinse, Repeat" cycle. For once, Apple has missed out on a real cash cow, it's a real shame. If I was a powerful person in the world, this analysis would result in Apple's share price falling a few points, but that's a pipe dream so Apple's shareholders can take pause, and heave a sigh of relief.
Here's the true rub - I wonder how these people who have so proudly "hacked" their iPhone into a WiPod will feel when Apple will release the Real McCoy WiPod(TM) for $299. For the rest of us budget-constrained folks looking for a Wireless music player that you browse the Internet with, the PSP is a great option at $169.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
It took about 20 minutes to clean up after everyone left, and this exhaustion feels so sweet. It is days like these that make life worth living, and if you were here this evening, thanks for making this day memorable. Peace to all!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tell me your story in either a comment, an email, or on the phone. It helps to get shit like this off your chest...
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
This past weekend was one such well deserved, and thoroughly enjoyable break from the humdrum routine - Sachin stopped over in Seattle for 2 days en route to Korea. I could wax eloquent on the depth of our friendship, but some things just can't be described in words. The festivities, and shenanigans of his weekend sojourn weren't far from ordinary either, in fact, I have had more eventful weekends. What made this weekend uniquely singular, and therefore memorable, was his presence in the "team". We are crazier and more care-free in each other's company than we are by ourselves; it's as if the presence of one, exaggerates the vivacity in the other. I see in him the verve that others see in me, a pulse that makes us vibe to the same beat. There is another similar, symbiotic bond I share with a person, that is my relationship with Nikhil.
The conversations we had ranged from the sublime to the utterly mundane - past relationships, the future, work, what's to eat, why we are always late, etc. We share similar but sufficiently divergent opinions on a lot of subjects, so our discussions are both lively and insightful. There is always something to learn from an evenly balanced debate, and I had a few epiphanies this weekend. Oh yes, and a lot of alcohol!
I checked in the culmination of a week's labor a few minutes ago, and my work load is now reduced by a quarter of what it was earlier this morning. Miles to go before I sleep...
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Case Closed! Manoj Mehta.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Back from the Pro
Am still awake, and I didn't even put my back into it
Just ate the other 1/2 of my sandwich
Look at ME!
Friday Night is dinner and movie night - growl!
Finally ate some lunch
An extremely critical bug kept me awake
Still haven't passed out
Squash at 4:30
The prognosis is good - I might make it through the day...
Sleepy, yawning, and low on fuel
Might get cranky soon
Waking up early is for the birds
Up at 7:15
Showered, put em shorts on
Cup of milk, simple sandwich
Chill for 15 minutes, crank up the tunes
Ride the bus in
No lies, I am a little tired
Second baby step on the path to a normal sleep cycle
The burning questions -
1. When will I run out of steam?
2. At what time will I pass out tonight?