Monday, December 28, 2009

E-Book Readers: Battle like never before

Amazon’s Kindle is the most talked about stuff that is selling like anything right now. Though e-books are not likely to replace books in any time soon, but the craze of portability and getting to read lots of stuff in a single device has shot up the fascination for this gadget. There are various criteria to look out for before buying one like the formats supported, storage capacity, card types supported and their capacities and of course the screen sizes.

Here is a quick preview of all the brands and some related relevant specifications. Sony’s Reader and Amazon’s Kindle leads in the market though at the time being. Am looking to go for either one soon, though not decided yet on which one as the features and prices throw up a tricky situation with the screen sizes, memories and wireless connectivity.

Conventional books will no doubt face a competition but very feeble of course as these readers will take years, or even ages to give any competition to them, if at all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Facebook to have new Privacy Controls

Facebook, the popular networking site, is finally rolling out some of the much talked about and desired privacy control features. From now on each post made by the user will have privacy control settings by which he can set the visibility to whoever he wants it. Till now individual posts didn’t have this facility and only one setting existed by which all the posts can be set to a specific privacy level.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has written an open letter to all it’s users about this change which will surely have a large impact on the current and future developments of this company.
We’re adding something that many of you have asked for — the ability to control who sees each individual piece of content you create or upload. In addition, we’ll also be fulfilling a request made by many of you to make the privacy settings page simpler by combining some settings. If you want to read more about this, we began discussing this plan back in July.

Since this update will remove regional networks and create some new settings, in the next couple of weeks we’ll ask you to review and update your privacy settings. You’ll see a message that will explain the changes and take you to a page where you can update your settings. When you’re finished, we’ll show you a confirmation page so you can make sure you chose the right settings for you. As always, once you’re done you’ll still be able to change your settings whenever you want.

We’ve worked hard to build controls that we think will be better for you, but we also understand that everyone’s needs are different. We’ll suggest settings for you based on your current level of privacy, but the best way for you to find the right settings is to read through all your options and customize them for yourself. I encourage you to do this and consider who you’re sharing with online.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You In? Yahoo spreads ripples of kindness around the world in 129 characters

Yahoo has struck upon an innovative campaign where users share their small acts of kindness in as little as 129 characters which gets mapped in a world map based on their privacy settings and then can ask their friends or other people “You In?” . The site is really at a very basic stage but looks promising given the concept of microblogging backing it and innovativeness of Yahoo.

The site till now has had only 206 updates from users.With lots of more holidays and Christmas coming soon it is sure to overflow with some real cool updates to look out for. It’’’ be interesting to see how Twitter and You In? counters each other if this campaign takes off in a massive way.

Here is how Yahoo puts it:



“ Help us create a ripple of good around the world with purple acts of kindness. Update your status to share what you're doing to spread holiday joy, then inspire others to join you by asking, "You in?"

Yahoo! will also be doing our own purple acts of kindness inspired by your updates. So whether you pay for someone's groceries or drop off a coat for the homeless, you'll be encouraging people around the world to join in acts of kindness.”

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Opera Mini: Most popular mobile browser

The world’s most popular mobile browser, Opera Mini, has recently crossed the 35 million users mark. With no near rival in sight apart from Apple’s Safari browser in iPhone, Opera is surely going to rule with their ever increasing speed and efficiency, a browser that really makes surfing across all sites a breeze and very fast.

As Opera claims, it also compresses the data in websites to save bandwidth and Kbs for its users, however small they might be. So users no doubt cling to this excellent service. Have a look at some of the other features here. Users of nearly any standard mobile set can use it. That’s the main reason behind the huge success of this popular browser.

A small stat below shows how fast and rapidly it has spread amongst the users. Hope Google comes out with something in this segment of the market and take the competition to a different level altogether!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why on earth is BCCI allowing Gautam Gambhir to opt out of 3rd Test vs SL?

He maybe in the form of his life but that doesn’t give Gautam Gambhir a free ticket to attend family celebrations as he is going to do during the 3rd Test against Sri Lanka. After scoring brilliantly in the first two Tests and contributing immensely to India’s dominating performances, it was time for fans to look up to him to seal the series with a win. Surely this attitude will taint his image a bit. The BCCI should have also handled this request from him a bit more thoughtfully and might have considered  whether giving a vital in-form batsman a leave at the last moment could make the team suffer in the final test.

Hope the other youngsters don't follow in the same way..

Saturday, November 28, 2009

TCS 2010 Batch Campusing

2010 Batch Community   TCS 2010 Batch Joining Dates
Students who have been doubtfully aspiring to get placed in the top software company can breathe easy now. TCS while declaring their Quarter 1 results have assured they would be starting the recruiting process of the 2010 batch from January 2010. The recruiting process till last year used to happen at the end of the third year of the engineers. This time it would be during their eighth semester, in fourth year. Keep in touch for updates.

A recent report in the Telegraph on 10th August quoted Ramadorai, “We are going to recruit 18,000 people from campus, which is about the same as last year. There will be no lateral hiring, which was more than 10,000 last year. We have also got 13,000 people by acquiring the Citi BPO last year.” So 2010 batch candidates can start gearing up. Enough materials can be found here in the “Freshers Prepare” section under the Orkut icon in case you need it.

Update (Economic Times Sept 4th) : India’s largest IT employer Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) that is eyeing the $10 billion revenue mark in the years to come will

hire 25,000 people globally this year, 90% of which will be from India.

Though significantly large when compared to the current recruitment numbers , the figure is 10,000 short of the number of people TCS hired last year.



Update (Business Standard Nov 27th, 2009) : India’s largest IT company, TCS, is yet to firm up the numbers for FY11 hiring, but it will start visiting campuses from early next year, says a company official. TCS’s ratio of freshers to lateral is 70:30.

Update (Business Line Nov 28th, 2009) : Indicating a revival of business opportunities, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has said that it will recruit about 25,000 people in 2010-11.

Update (Economic Times Feb 11th, 2010) : With improving business sentiment and revival in IT spends, hiring seems to be back in full swing at software firm TCS and Wipro. Tata Consultancy Services, the country's largest software exporter by revenue plans to hire 30,000 employees in the financial year 2010-2011.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Google Wave aimed at a revolution

Another amazing service started by Google. Something that would fascinate people already acquainted with collaborative working and sharing documents, presentations, sharing files and more. Google Wave apparently is the answer to everything done collaboratively amongst people in a wave (term used by Google to specify each task). The service is now invitation only, very much like what it was like when Gmail was first launched.

The thing that fascinated me most was the amazing versatility of this product. Nearly all kinds of collaboration can be done, along with a playback feature that helps to view all the updates that happened over time. You won’t discover the fun using it alone. Get some friends you know to start something you can do together to enjoy it’s features. Sharing photos, videos, files is a breeze. It won’t replace email however, as claimed by many sites and people. But will surely add a new flavor to online communication with the essence of an advanced emailing service, or simply put as an collaboration tool. Below is a video which will make it simple to understand and also a screenshot of Google Wave..

If you have invitations don’t wait and send them to your friends. You can install this and request me for an invitation in it and get to know a lot more from various sites as well. I have only 10 to give away, rest I have saved for my friends. So don’t wait! But Google takes time to deliver the invitation even after they are sent, and could range from days to even weeks. Surely there’s a huge demand for the invites as some people are even paying up to an incredible 70$ just to get an invitation, as reported here.




Saturday, October 24, 2009

Photographing your pets at home

Just after wildlife, the craze amongst photographers is to take photographs of their pets at home. While few people get to capture wildlife, at home there’s a large percentage of people taking snaps of their pets.

It can get pretty addicting, even after considering you are not filling up your house with all kinds of animals! The first and foremost aspect I find that makes any photo of a pet look interesting is what the subject is doing. It will look pretty ordinary if your dog is found sleeping in a spectacular photo. But that same dog if caught floating in the garden by your camera could be a stunning shot. Snapping up puppies could yield some of the cutest photos. But to get really close to them first get friendly with them. Else they will really start to take defensive action in case you attack them. Close-ups of dogs and birds really look nice, and better still if they have an expression in their face. So bottom line comes to that if the pet is doing something in which it looks good, take photos at that time.

The other part is the background and the accessories around your pet. Often with cool looking and clean indoors there comes out some nice photos. Outdoors, a sunny day is a perfect time to take photos. Your shutter speed would also favor you. When your pets get playful in such an environment, there’s no better time and place to take your photos!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Time Lapse : Wonder of Digital Photography

This is one of the most extreme wonders of digital photography. We often confuse it with video being played at high-speed. Providing a spectacular effect to phenomenon that generally take a long time to the human eye. Putting together some snaps taken at regular intervals, time lapses provide a spectacular demonstration that is really cool to look at.

But there are some very basic considerations I find must be made. The camera must be placed in a very stable position for the entire length of time for the best effects. Having a tripod stand is the best option, otherwise it could be placed on some table or somewhere and the outlines of the camera being marked by a pencil or something so that you can notice even the slightest movement. The next bigger problem is having power supply for the entire duration. I suggest switching off the camera at that same position (cause I don’t want dust falling on my lenses for the 2 hour duration). Then at regular intervals you come and take the snaps. This is considering you have the patience. If you do not have the patience, try out some automatic settings if you have in your camera that will take the photos at fixed intervals.

Then you can easily use some standard software to collect all the photos and make a movie that plays them at a fast rate, say with a gap of 0.125 seconds and you get the desired effect. Check out this collection below.

Monday, October 05, 2009

What is the best Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation and ISO settings for your camera?

First and foremost there are some assumptions to be made before this article gets underway. Many of us use Photoshop and other image editing software, well, if you are not, no problems. But you have to decide how much of post-photo processing you are ready to do. If you are ready to work a lot on your pictures (if you have a large collection you can be well spending several days depending on how much attention you put to the details), then you might find the settings below useful.

*Contrast : Negative (or Minimum)
*Brightness : Zero (or Neutral)
*Saturation : Zero (or Neutral)
*ISO : 80-200 (Sunny Day), 200-400 (Cloudy Day), Indoors (400-800), Moving Objects (1600, with exposure as low as possible)



So you have tried taking a few photographs with the above settings and is extremely disappointed with the results? Now choose a photo and use Photoshop to adjust the brightness and contrast. Use sharpen or smart sharpen whichever you like more. Adjust the saturation up to a point where you feel its ok. Take care of the noise. And see the result.

As many people tend not to get to do so much of processing task behind every photo, it’s sometimes better to keep a few settings handy. I have 5 levels for each of my settings of contrast, sharpness and saturation (-2, –1, 0, +1, +2). The settings I like to use most is Contrast +1, Sharpness +2, Saturation +2 and ISO 400. You can easily play around with these and find your own unique combination which you like most.

Have some photos or settings to talk about? Feel free to share with me.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Contrast vs Sharpness : Digital Photography

This is one of the by-far toughest to differentiate and comprehend in the photography world. I have tried my best to share my knowledge in the simplest way. If you want to skip all the details, here it is for you “Sharpness will only be concerned with the outlines of the different objects that appear in your photographs. Contrast will differentiate the texture, highlight the difference in color or shade amongst two adjacent surfaces making their clarity and outlines more prominent.” Didn’t make any sense? Read on!

When you are adjusting the sharpness in your camera, you are basically focusing your attention to make each an object very clear and distinct from one another. It helps make the edges and lines that are present look more distinct. When you buy expensive lenses this is one of the major factors which makes it expensive. So it apparently seems that why even consider contrast when sharpness alone can make our photos better. But one unavoidable scenario is that noise is bound to come with increasing sharpness. So you have to choose it wisely.

Contrast also contributes in making your photos sharper. When you are adjusting the contrast in your camera, you are making the surface texture more distinct, more emphasized than it is. So the border between two such surfaces is bound to get more pronounced along with the surfaces themselves. As the surfaces and the shades of colors gets their importance, the separation zones between them become clearer and the overall picture looks sharper. So is the contrast contributing to the sharpness of the image? Yes it is! So both of them virtually play a role together in the sharpness of a photo.

An example would make it clear. Here below in the original photo you can see the sun, boat, waves and the reflection on the sand. The waves are not very clear near the coast and the reflection on the sand spreads away lightly. Now see the next photo.
Original
Now in the picture below, only the contrast has been adjusted. See the difference. The boat, the waves near the coast as well as the reflection has become sharper. They are visibly highlighted than the above picture where they dissolved with their neighbors.   
Contrast 
And now below only the sharpness has been increased over the first original picture. The beach and the waves with the boat already seem to have lots of more detailed black lines. However, the texture around them has remained the same. That’s why the reflection doesn’t look as good as the above picture (where the contrast has been adjusted, which indicates that only by adjusting the contrast your picture can look a lot better.) But for best results, an optimum level of sharpness is essential. Notice the noise over the waves on the center and right side.
Sharpness
Now in this final picture, both the contrast and sharpness has been adjusted to give the best possible effect. The boat, waves and the reflection are distinctly pronounced along with the minute details on the sand, the curves of the waves and the outlines of the boat.
Contrast   Sharpness     
As much differences may exist between the two, contrast and sharpness are essentially the two most closely related aspects that sets every photographer uniquely apart. Perfect combination of both these often produces some master-pieces. If you are new to this, just keep on practising and you will soon find your own unique combination of both you will enjoy.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why iPhone is so much popular on Flickr?

Flickr shows various statistics of usage of its site and one of them is the “Most Popular Cameras in the Flickr Community". It’s absolutely incredible to see a camera phone standing out amongst some of the top class SLR cameras. Is it because this phone’s camera beats the rest? Absolutely not! The only thing is that the iPhone has an exceedingly large user base and a camera better than many camera phones, but certainly not comparable to SLRs which many misunderstand. Using the iPhone’s camera is as easy as it could be with just basic features. Apart from the large user base, the iPhone has awesome cool apps which make it amazingly easier for its users to share photos in Flickr.



As Flickr says about it’s graphs : “These graphs show the number of Flickr members who have uploaded at least one photo or video with a particular camera on a given day over the last year.
The graphs are "normalized", which is a fancy way of saying that they automatically correct for the fact that more people join Flickr each day: the graph moving up or down indicates a change in the camera's popularity relative to all other cameras used by Flickr members.
The graphs are only accurate to the extent that we can automatically detect the camera used to take the photo or shoot the video (about 2/3rds of the time). That is not usually possible with camera phones, therefore they are under-represented.”

As it appears the photos taken by the iPhone continue to look cooler each an every day. It’s great to see photos taken by a camera phone continue to dominate a world-class photo sharing site as Flickr. Some of the coolest apps if you require you can get here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

TweetMeme : Storehouse of hot Twitter topics

Many sites have already added the “Retweet” button to their articles as you can see here also. As one retweets the article, a “RT @tweetmeme” is added in front of the tweet. And the articles gets retweeted with the title of the article.TweetMeme TweetMeme simply sees which particular link has been retweeted how many times, and then arranging the top articles in their home page. This apparently simple widget of a retweet button they have developed have been so widely used across so many sites that it’s no wonder how popular and attractive TweetMeme is set to become soon.

The only reason TweetMeme will continue to flourish (a lot like Digg is doing now) is it is becoming a collection of some of the top articles and as seen in the TweetMeme site, they are divided into categories. For example try searching any topic below and you will get some of the most tweeted results.


The search results are mostly pretty satisfactory, along with some stats provided beside. So it seems TweetMeme is going a long way with no serious competitor as such!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TCS Transition : How S Ramadorai groomed Natarajan Chandrasekaran as his successor

Here’s an awesome in-depth coverage of how things happened. No doubt why TCS is number one today. Eighteen months ago, some time in the early part of 2008, speculation began to do the rounds on who would succeed S Ramadorai as the chief executive of Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest information technology company. Ramadorai had been its public face for many years. But he was turning 65 in 2009, which is the retirement age for all Tata chief executives. A successor had to be found in time. 

Several names began to do the rounds, including that of Wipro veteran Vivek Paul. But those who worked with the company and research analysts had a clear idea which way the wind was blowing. TCS also stood for ‘Take Chandra Seriously’, they said. They were not off the mark. Natarajan Chandrasekaran (called Chandra by colleagues and friends) will take over as the managing director and chief executive officer from Ramadorai on October 6.

There were indications that Chandrasekaran, who is currently the chief operating officer and executive director of the company, was indeed the chosen one. For instance, he began to interact with the media more than a year ago. On his part, Ramadorai, who will become vice-chairman of the company he nurtured for almost 13 years, says: “I spotted him (Chandrasekaran) way back in 1996, and knew that he had the potential.”

TCS, to be sure, has over the years spawned many worthy candidates. But they all left in the last few years, clearing the way for Chandrasekaran. Prominent among them were Ravi Gopinath, who was the head of engineering and industrial services for nearly 13 years and joined Geometric Software as chief executive in 2006, and Arup Gupta, who was president (North America) when he resigned in 2005 to join Polaris Software as president and chief operating officer. 

“Leadership decisions are not taken by flipping a coin,” remarks Ramadorai. While narrowing down on Chandrasekaran, Ramadorai was particularly endeared by his “young, energetic and confident personality”. He agrees there were other contenders as well for the job but some names got dropped along the way and a few left the company.

“When employees are groomed for a leadership position, they become a part of the process knowingly or unknowingly. It gives the senior management and the board time to take a good look at the likely leaders. Besides, it helps other team members to get used to the organizational changes,” says Ramadorai. “At the appropriate time, we then communicate the decisions to the team leaders concerned. We add responsibilities to lend more weight to a particular role or censor them in case we feel a leader is not up to the mark.” 
 
Chandrasekaran was one of the best kept secrets in the TCS citadel — he was identified for the CEO’s role close to five years ago, insist analysts. “However, his public role has been apparent only in the last 18 to 24 months,” says Acc-endia Consulting Principal Analyst Alok Shende. “Indeed, the transition was well planned, and we did have an inkling about it 18 months back,” adds Forrester Senior Analyst Sudin Apte.

Through the paces
Chandrasekaran joined TCS on January 27, 1987, after graduating from the Regional Engineering College, Trichy. He started out with Mumbai as his base and did stints in California, Stockholm and the United Kingdom. In 1993, he moved to the US where he built a new team from scratch. It’s here that he learnt about team building and customer management. He grew a telecom company into TCS’ top five global customers.

Chandrasekaran cut his teeth as a programme director. In this role, he led a number of firsts, particularly in the acquisition and execution of transformation projects in verticals such as banking and telecom and in markets as diverse as the US and Australia. As programme director, Chandrasekaran had considerable scope to navigate the business in the direction which it is now following.

After this, for two full years, 1997 to 1999, he worked as Ramadorai’s executive assistant. It was here, many insiders say, that Chandrasekeran was silently groomed under the watchful eyes of Ramadorai. In 1999, he started the e-business unit of TCS and grew it to a business unit of over $500 million in four-and-a-half years. After this, he was made the head of global delivery at Mumbai, which was then TCS’ largest delivery centre.

In 2002, Chandrasekaran got yet another leg-up when he was appointed the head of global sales. He expanded the European operations of the company, started the Latin America and China operations, and set up the TCS Global Network Delivery Model in Uruguay, Mexico, Hungary and China. In July 2005, came another promotion — he now became the head of global sales and operations. By then, his position had become very strong. Ramadorai had walked him through all the key functions — customer management, operations, expansions and so on. He was ready for the next level.

On September 6, 2007, Chandrasekaran was co-opted on the TCS board and named the chief operating officer of the company. This took his job to a different orbit. As the TCS COO, he drove the company’s acquisition strategy — the acquisition of Citigroup Global Services for $500 million is credited to him. Chandrasekaran, says Shende, has “also been known to be nuanced on the deals that TCS should be involved with and the one where it should not. For example, TCS had the first right of refusal on the Telenor Unitech deal. However, Chandrasekaran rejected the offer owing to the low price. The deal eventually went to Wipro.”

In April 2008, TCS reorganized its global operations. The company has nearly 140,000 employees. Still, it needs a structure that allows it to build a nimble organization to capture new growth opportunities. Not an easy task.

TCS set up integrated, customer-centric units to enhance customer focus, drive operational agility and address new growth opportunities in the market. The new model divided the operations of the company into five groups — industry solutions, major markets, new growth markets, strategic initiatives, and organizational infrastructure. The architect of the new structure of course was Chandrasekaran. Each of these groups had a director who began reporting to Chandrasekaran. The message was not lost on observers.

Chandrasekaran sees it more as an efficiency enabler. TCS, according to him, worked on the restructuring for nine months. “The modular structure simplifies our interface with customers and drives agility in all areas of operations,” he explains.

Chandrasekaran is the third in the line of TCS CEOs after F C Kohli and Ramadorai. His predecessors were industry heavyweights and the promoter, the Tata group, gave them a free hand to manage the affairs of the company. This distinction is important because TCS’ peers including Infosys Technologies, Wipro and HCL Technologies all have promoters or large shareholders in executive positions. There’s a strong ground to speculate that the next generation will take over HCL and Wipro eventually as opposed to the transition at TCS.

Different strokes
Ramodorai and Chandrasekaran were born almost 20 years apart. And though Ramadorai has mentored Chandrasekaran for well over a decade, they are not cast in the same mould. Ravi Viswanathan, the head of TCS’ global telecom business unit and a veteran of 20 years with the company, says: “Both Ramadorai and Chandrasekaran have elephantine memories. They remember numbers, facts and data with ease. Ramadorai is a tremendous motivator, subtly makes you do things, is relentlessly persuasive, and will make you work on a problem rather than solve it for you. He (Ramadorai) works on your psyche.” 

Viswanathan recalls the time when he was the country manager for Scandinavian operations and had some “bad news regarding the operations in Denmark” but was reluctant to divulge it to Ramadorai. “However, when we were together in the lift, Ramadorai asked: ‘Is that all? Why are you hesitating to give the bad news? I would always like to hear any bad news from you first rather than from others.’” The conversation that began in the lift lasted three hours.

“If Ramadorai thinks ‘big’, Chandrasekaran thinks ‘mega’,” says Viswanathan. “Chandrasekaran is extremely data-oriented and analytical. It’s very daunting at times. However, he also shows you how to get to your numbers.”

While Ramadorai takes copious notes during meetings, Chandrasekaran uses information technology a lot — presentations and so on. But both are approachable. Chandrasekaran can connect with customers and translate their problems into real solutions, adds Viswantahan.

Abid Ali Neemuchwala, the head of TCS’ BPO services & process excellence, has been mentored by Chandrasekaran. And he knows the two are not the same person. “Ramadorai is a man of few words. Chandrasekaran, on the other hand, goes into details. Ramadorai built the company from an almost entrepreneurial set-up to what it is today. Chandrasekaran is taking it to new heights by covering more ground,” says he.

Chandrasekaran’s love for data and analytics shows up when he talks. “My immediate focus is to get the growth rates up, and ensure organic growth. We will focus on non-linear (other than mere headcount) initiatives which we hope will achieve critical mass over the next 12 to 24 months,” says he. “TCS has a strong client focus, and we will work towards offering full services (from BPO to IT services) to all our clients, and hence increase our margins. We will also look at new growth markets.”

Ramadorai, on his part, believes the transition will make smoother the rough edges in the business. “As you grow, you become more tolerant. You start accepting inefficiencies. Chandrasekaran will now have to be on his own,” he waxes philosophical.

He also admits that they are different. “Of course, our styles differ. But he has to make his own choices and accept responsibilities for them. I will not question his daily functioning. I will only be there in an advisory role, and help extensively in brand building, and communicating the TCS story to younger people. But, I reiterate, all this will be in a purely advisory capacity,” says Ramadorai.

“I’ve learnt how to stay calm in tough situations from Ramadorai. He leads from the front, is soft-natured but firm. These are values that I would love to imbibe,” adds Chandrasekaran.

The road ahead
Internally, Chandrasekaran is known for his aggressive and bold vision about the direction that TCS should follow. Given that he’s 46, it is expected that he will have a long tenure. He is building a team that will give the desired momentum to the company in the direction that he seeks. In doing so, he is drawing young talent that is in the age group of 35 to 40 years. This might sow some degree of discord with the current senior management team which has the median age in the 50s, says an analyst who does not wish to be named.

Chandra is known for strong orientation on short- to medium-term performance. It is expected that he will move up the performance bar and work closely with the sales team. He’s also likely to address structural issues within TCS. For example, TCS has been known for its staid and bureaucratic pace of work — this is expected to change to fast decision cycles. Also, some of the acquisitions that TCS has done in the past including Tata Infotech and CMC retain slack and have lost direction, note analysts. It is expected that there will be a sharper focus on some of the competencies these firms brought to the table. 

More importantly, under Chandrasekaran, the enterprise markets, the TCS playground, will see tectonic shifts in the next decade and a half — exactly the tenure that Chandra is likely to serve. New and disparate waves such as cloud computing, the fruition of the opportunities in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets, global warming and the diminishing cost arbitrage in the offshore game as India’s income rises will bring extraordinary challenges and opportunities for companies such as TCS.

How will the TCS leadership embrace these challenges and stand to its pedigree is an evolution to watch. Management guru Peter Drucker has pointed out that “no institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.”

Chandrasekaran’s task thus is to build an army of leaders. The organizational recast of last year, he hopes, will address the concern. The underlying belief of the reorganization was that this will increase the number of people in leadership positions. It will become a nursery for future leaders, especially those who harbor growth ambitions in the company.

“These (unit heads) are our next level of leaders. Each of these units rakes in anywhere between $250 million and $400 million. We are targeting $1 billion from each unit. The flexibility of these units lies in the fact that we can pull out any leader from within the group to create a new division if required,” says Chandrasekaran. You could call it retirement planning at 46.
(Source: Business Standard)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Twitter direct messages: Somewhere between email and chat

Often while getting to use Twitter regularly I find that using the direct messages (not @) feature is pretty much like internet sms-es, or if I might put it, somewhere between chatting and emailing. Given the 140 charactertwitter limit it’s a very decent amount of space to just get the message across. And it appears people almost instantly reply to direct messages compared to emails. It’s simply the psychology that you have to give a lot of information while replying to an email and there should be proper formatting etc., but here just clicking the “reply” link and sending your very short message across is fast and doesn’t require lot of attention.

How much can you express yourself officially in a space of 140 characters after all. It all comes down to speed and getting the message across as fast as you can and replying to your friends instantly. The one Twitter client I always love to use and have bookmarked in my mobile is Twitter2Go. Feel free to use it and add me in Twitter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TCS NextStep portal facing severe strain

Email Updates   Updates in your browser
TCS has made it really simple for selected candidates to keep their selves updated regarding the developments in the company with their NextStep portal. TCS also uploads relevant information and documents regarding the freshers who can then easily download them. The best part if obviously security (as all candidates are provided with their own unique passwords, an excellent step taken by TCS to ensure security) and convenient ease of use (since candidates can easily login and get their stuffs in absolutely no time).

Till now everything was fine, but the a small crisis started when TCS asked it’s 24,885 selected candidates to download their offer letters within a fixed deadline. Each an everyone kept trying to login (even if 25k not together, but surely approx 6-7k could well be trying simultaneously), bringing the site to an absolutely standstill. The site refused to even load under this inhuman load. Google trends showed the search term “nextstep tcs” had a search trend which was ”volcanic” in hotness. No doubt, this site is under extreme stress right now and hope there is some solution.

However, in spite of this trouble, at times the site is functioning properly. Bit by bit, few students are being able to get their offer letters. However, the major portion of the selected candidates are still in the dark and are trying to log in to the site whole day. I only wish if some of us could stop for sometime letting others download, and then we would download ours. Hope this situation really gets solved soon. But I have full faith in TCS, which being the #1 company, will solve this problem easily.

How to download the offer letter successfully? A few tips.

1. Use Internet Explorer (any version)
2. Visit the site during odd hours (eg. at night around 2a.m.)
3. After clicking “Download” wait for 30 seconds.
4. Help your friends by signing out of the site after you have finished once.
5. If all fails, contact your TPO at the earliest!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yahoo mail growing up with Gmail’s features and some more

Recently Yahoo mail had been a lot more innovative and their new interface is far better and appealing to users than the old classic interface. There has been lots of additions it seemed specially the Filters section has been a more developed which I require most. In addition fetching mails from other accounts has been added, a very useful feature which Gmail has been providing.Yahoo!_Messenger_logo I used to hate Yahoo mail even an year back but now they are doing things pretty nicely. 

The major breakthrough that has happened is with allowing users to add third party Applications to their accounts. There is infinite opportunities which becomes available by this. Yes, infinite. With thousands of developers around the world, Yahoo is sure to get better day by day with cooler and cooler apps. A trick you can say that Yahoo themselves are not having to work to make those services on their own, but who cares as long as the consumers and ecstatic with Yahoo’s services! So if you are really wondering what I have been talking about simply switch to the new Yahoo mail by clicking “All-New Mail” on top right and submit your email address to Yahoo for requesting them to provide you with the apps.

Struggle of the Blacks

It’s good to see today that the oppression of the whites over the blacks has decreased to a great extent, to a major extent over the last 100 years. Some prominent personalities such as Malcolm X played pivotal role in the eradication of such acts. Several cases may have prevailed in lesser known areas and places, but the major rulers, leaders, masses have had the realization to live in unity and peacefully. God is great!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chelsea Transfer Ban

Here’s a small parody, which under no circumstances should be taken seriously. Share this with your friends ;) Under the current scenario, the situation could well may or my not be like this. The morale of the concerned fans and people may or may not be like this. The critics may or may not open up and speak their mind out under this scenario. Hitler expresses himself here, a small portrayal of reactions what the current scenario can draw. Everything depends on Chelsea...!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mr. S. Ramadorai : The Genius!

He is a self-acknowledged lover of gadgets but surprisingly enough, the TCS CEO, S. Ramadorai, “fought against getting a mobile phone for a long time as I believed it was a terrible distraction!” But he finally succumbed about 10 years ago. Today his Blackberry is a valuable tool “as I can communicate on it with several colleagues at the same time.” 

His iPod is another precious gadget; a passionate lover of all kinds of music, particularly Indian classical — his wife Mala being a classical vocalist — he has over 1,000 songs on his iPod. He is plugged into it during travel, weekends, early morning or late evening. Then there is, of course, the music system at home... “the best there is of Bose.” And, a Nikon D80, “with which I love photographing wildlife.” He has done so at Kaziranga, Pench, Ranthambore, Corbett and Nagarahole wildlife parks.

Behind TCS’ support of musical events such as the Ruhaniyat festival of Sufi music is Ramadorai’s deep love for music… Indian and Western classical, pop and even Bollywood songs, mostly old ones.

Most of this CEO’s childhood and early adult life was spent in Delhi; his father worked in the Indian Audit and Accounts Service and “taught us Maths and inculcated in us an interest in science as well as values such as honesty, ethics, hard work, music as a part of life.”

After a Physics Honours in Delhi University, he went to IIS, Bangalore for a Bachelors in Electrical Communication Engineering, which he completed in 1968. A year at the physical research lab (space research) in Ahmedabad followed before his setting out to UCLA (US) in 1969 for a Masters in Computer Science. Two years with the National Cash Register, “those days the No 2 computer company”, and he was at the crossroads — whether to stay or return home.

He decided to return and luckily the Tatas had already interviewed him for a position in TCS, “and my parents also wanted me to come back.”

37 years at TCS!
In less than a month he will step down as TCS CEO but he clearly remembers the date of joining — February 23, 1972, making Ramadorai that rare breed who has remained with a single company for 37 years!

So, over the years, didn’t he have good offers, temptations to jump?

With a chuckle he responds: “Oh, there were a lot of people after me but I said so long as the excitement is there, the opportunity to grow and try out new things, why should I leave?”

He joined as an assistant systems analyst and programmer and never dreamt he would go on to head the IT giant. “But the greatest thing was the opportunity to work with very good people who would trust and challenge me and collaborate as a family. It was a very small team and that made a lot of difference.” The size of the company then was in “low hundreds; today it has 1.43 lakh people.”

Ramadorai recalls the exciting times soon after he joined TCS when it was poised to take a crucial decision. “The era of IBM 1401s and ICL 1903 was ending and TCS had to look at the future in terms of technology. The US was the only country where technology was available but there was also the question of building capabilities for a future date if India didn’t give us an opportunity, and using people we had trained for projects elsewhere,” he recalls.

In 1974, the “exciting decision” to import a Burroughs computer was taken. More excitement followed in dealing with the Government for licence, guarantees, etc. “We’d be questioned on ‘why you need so much memory or disc; why two card readers or printers.’ Foreign exchange was so precious! Also, when we went abroad for training, they’d allocate funds for a week. What do you do after that… for three more weeks? We had to scrounge, conserve, cook (only mixed vegetables and rice!) and do more with less.”

But the excitement was “building capabilities for the future and selling Burroughs machines in India.” Each machine cost Rs 3-5 crore and when he names the first three buyers, you can’t help gasping. SBI, Regional Computer Centre in Jadhavpur University and Institute of Agricultural Research Statistics in Delhi! But he enjoyed the challenge of doing the configuration, working with the marketing and sales people, and installing the machine.

The next crucial stage came in 1978 when TCS had to decide if “we should be in consulting and services or do something else.” It decided not to merge with Tata Burroughs. By now he was a senior consultant and his boss asked him to go back to the US and build up a business from scratch. “He positioned me in New York for two years (1979-81) and the beginning of TCS internationally, and on its own, took shape.”

India then, and now
It was an era when “nobody cared about India or believed we could achieve anything; India was only a country of snake charmers and bullock carts. But perseverance, passion for excellence, wanting to do something and building a team around you, paid off. You had to do most of the work yourself, be it writing letters or making phone calls!”

So how have perceptions on India changed?

“Oh, it’s a sea change. Brand India is very, very powerful today, and very visible for intellectual and knowledge capital. The IT sector and India are synonymous and there is belief that we can create intellectual property and phenomenal competencies and capabilities for the future and engage the whole world.”

Ramadorai returned to India in 1981 and TCS started expanding in the US, the UK, and rest of Europe. “Between 1981 and 1995-96 we took some very bold decisions in getting hardware not only from Burroughs but also IBM, Tandem, Stratus, Digital.” It set up multiple centres across India believing that multiple technologies would be the way forward and nobody would remain tied to one vendor.

Next came the focus on research and the Tata Research and Development Centre, a part of TCS, was set up in Pune. “It was way ahead of its times”, and closer to 1998 came the Y2K problem, a critical moment that had to be addressed.

In 1996 he was made CEO. On the TCS IPO coming out much after Infosys and other IT companies its CEO says this was “a deliberate decision. There was no compelling reason to raise capital.”

Patience, ability to listen
Talk to his executive assistants and the adjectives that pour out are “extremely hardworking, patient, ability to listen, leading by example, humane, flexible.”

His response is a huge smile. “The ability to listen I developed from my boss F.C. Kohli. In the early stages he’d do most of the talking and when he did that we simply listened! The same thing with my father; he was a strict disciplinarian and talked a lot.”

So what about his role as father?

“Oh, I’ve been much more liberal, but you have to ask my son! It is important that you listen while dealing with both customers and employees. The more you listen, the more you understand about opportunities,” he says.

On the flexi-timing he had provided his executive assistant when the latter had just become a father, telling him “I don’t need you to be my shadow”, Ramadorai says the physical presence of an employee is not necessary, provided he is within reach. “I might be the most productive between 4.30-6 a.m. but I don’t call for meetings then. If somebody called me at 2 a.m. for a meeting I would say: ‘Sorry, I can’t come because I won’t be able to contribute anything. People should be given space, and I also gave them the freedom that if I called them at home, they could say I’m busy now and can I call you later.”

Gender issues
While he is proud that TCS has about 30 per cent female employees and no company can afford to miss out on this huge talent pool, he admits that dealing with women employees is “a little more challenging. Not from the view of professional capability or competence, but the more important question is adjustment in teams with both male and female employees. That’s where one sees the interface as a problem. But I’ve also seen problems in women versus women teams; actually that’s more a problem than men versus women!”

On sexual harassment, he says TCS has “phenomenal whistleblower policies” in place and an ethical officer with independent charge so any employee can raise this issue without fear.

On women’s working style being different from men’s, he says: “They are not as vocal in meetings as men; they seek very specific roles rather than more challenging roles probably because of the home front. But they are better mentors.” He adds that TCS is a “very gender-friendly” company and provides flexi hours, etc. “But at the end of the day we respect their intellectual capacity.”

Succession plan
He passes on the baton of CEO and MD to N Chandrasekaran from October 6. Ramadorai will be the non-executive vice-chairman and director on the TCS board. On his new roles at TCS and continuing as director on the boards of Tata Tele, Tata Elxsi (where he has been made chairman), he says, “It is the Tata culture to retain people who have built the organization and have the ability to mentor, strategize or help successors. Continuity and ability to contribute are more important than everything else; you are expected to contribute beyond just the company you are heading.” He is also excited about involvement in the super computer on which 100 people are working. “We’d like to see some phenomenal applications coming up… those that have not been attempted in this country because we did not have the capacity. While those challenges will continue, travel is bound to reduce.”

What about his long day at work?

“Well, that is more personally driven. The culture… value system in this group is that you have to set your own bar continuously, and be very sensitive to people with potential and encourage them to perform to their best, and set an example. But I don’t ask everybody to get up at 4.30 a.m. or sleep at 11 p.m. as I do!”

Looking back, he is gratified about the stature of the organization he has built and the opportunities for the future. “The challenge for all of us is how do you leverage that... not for money alone but also for social good. In agriculture, the relevance of technology is going to be very important. Also, if in our lifetime we’ve seen the revolution in telecom, with broadband there is phenomenal opportunity for education and skill building.”

But the last word has to go to wife Mala. “She has brought to my career something unique. Coming from a liberal arts background, she gave me the perspective to look at the bigger picture. An engineer’s way of looking at things is very direct, but a creative person never wants boundaries. She has taught me that very important dimension.”

Their partnership is almost as long as his stint at TCS, which he joined in February, and he married in June 1972. “She says TCS is my first wife.”

So, which has been a more rewarding partnership?

“Family comes first; without that you can’t do much,” is the candid reply.
(Source: Business Line)

TCS Joining Dates for 2009 Batch

Join the discussion and share     Stay updated
2010 Batch Joining Dates

Many colleges have started getting some information regarding their probable joining dates as is apparently seen from the massive outburst of activities and posts in some orkut communities.  Candidates are really very happy and excited about the new developments and constantly discussing and sharing their views and new information regarding joining dates. Let’s hope all the candidates get their joining dates soon. 

ist2_2807197-good-news-travel-fastMany of them are getting placed in various training centers spread across the country. Time to pack the bags and prepare for a fresh new beginning, a new professional career in India’s biggest IT company. The mood is no doubt ecstatic. The wait is finally over. People who just finished their B.Tech. around the month of May-June will be more than pleased with the proceedings. As promised by TCS, joining of candidates would start from Q3 (October-December). And it has already started before Q3. The best software company in India continues to honor it’s commitments to it’s employees.

So apparently it seems only a matter of time before most of the colleges gets their joining and the students are given dates to join this prestigious organization. Many of my friends placed in Infosys got joining earliest in November. With joining dates in TCS as early as September, most of them are surprised a lot. Definitely the freshers will be no doubt be ever grateful for providing them joining dates much before they were assured they would be given. The recession doesn't seem to have hit the IT giant at all. Things are looking pretty good. Scroll down and feel free to discuss below.


Update of Joining Dates (This document below is owned and updated by members from the TCS Orkut community where over 14,000 TCS candidates regularly share the updates of various colleges across India, just thought sharing it here would be useful to everyone. For complaints click here.):

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What can Picasa do to beat Flickr?

This would be really a demanding question given the current scenario. The Picasa vs Flickr war will go on forever as these two companies exist. There is absolutely a big gap considering the features of these two services as you saw in my last article. Google really wants to dominate whichever field they get into and they will certainly not be happy with

First and foremost there should be a change in the storage capacity structure of Picasa. What I mean is Flickr’s plan at the first glance looks so much appealing and attractive whereas looking at Picasa’s plan one needs to think a lot whether the cost seems justified. Moreover, the community aspect needs to be built upon a lot and related services associated with it will help make Picasa far better than what it is now. But it will take a lot of time to make existing Flickr users shift to this new Picasa. Specially those who already have integrated their life a lot into it with their valuable contents. So it’s a matter of time now to see how Google counters it’s major rival in the photo sharing segment.
their rival gaining fast here. Picasa hs to focus on their attention to a number of aspects before they could compete Flickr and draw user’s attention.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Windows 7 Compatibility: Test your PC

Get Windows 7 Theme and Wallpaper for XP
If you have Java installed, you can check out right now if your computer meets requirements of the resource hungry Windows 7 OS. Practically if Vista was making your PC sweat up everything it has  got, Windows7 will make it cry for mercy. So in the tool below just submit your hardware specification and get your result. This will just give you a overview and is by no means an official confirmation as many PCs may well run Windows 7 with weak hardware specs while some with higher specs might find it difficult based on applications and programs used.

Enter your RAM(in MB), Processor Speed (in GHz), Hard Disk (in GB) and Graphics Card (in MB) details below:

This simple tool will tell you if you need any hardware or if you need to upgrade your existing ones. It is not the minimum requirements, but one assured to provide you optimal performance with your PC. Eg. If you have 20GB hard disk, you can install Windows 7. But then you need at least 40GB in total to do your basic work! You can do without a graphics card but then you would miss out the Aero effects. Feel free to try more combinations of various hardware specs if you want. If in any case you are not getting the desired result, let me know.

So before asking your friends for that Windows 7 DVD or buying it, check if you meet the requirements. So far the feedback for this operating system had been pretty positive and people really felt Microsoft should have brought this version out at the time when they brought Vista, which was a huge failure. Windows 7 sure is going to pose a competition to Google’s new operating system due out soon!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

What is Infosys Campus Connect?

It is training program conducted in various colleges by Infosys to prepare the freshers on various topics and fields to make them industry ready. Most of the topics covered help the students apply their knowledge in the practical field. Though non-CS/IT students would  benefit a lot from it, it is also useful for CS/IT students to brush up their skills.

The official website is here. Students can join the portal to become part of the system and get materials to prepare themselves for the exams. They are also available in various blogs and communities across the web. To get a glimpse click this button, confirm the mail you get and see the bottom of the mail. All the materials are by Infosys and related rights are also theirs. So some links may not work if the owners of those blogs have removed them. However, these should suffice for quite some time.

Students who have undergone the program would be made to sit for a test on joining Infosys. Based on that they would be categorized for lesser or further training, which in either way, is not fatal. Even without doing the course if one just goes through the materials thoroughly it would be helpful as it would help learning and clearing useful concepts. Students or candidates of any company or placed in any organization would be benefitted by having a clear understanding of these relevant concepts. Keep in touch here.

Friday, September 04, 2009

TCS: N. Chandrasekaran to succeed S. Ramadorai as CEO, S. Ramadorai to take over as Vice-Chairman in a non-executive role

In a report in the Business Line today, “Mr N. Chandrasekaran will take over as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tata Consultancy Services effective October 6. He was the Chief Operating Officer of TCS for the last two years.

Mr Chandrasekaran takes over from Mr S. Ramadorai, who has been designated as the non-executive Vice-Chairman and Additional Director

Mr Ramadorai has been associated with TCS for the past 36 years. He took over as the Chief Executive Officer of TCS in 1996 and has been instrumental in building TCS to a $6 billion global IT services major.”

According to the Economic Times:
"India's largest IT company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has put in place a new management team to steer the company in these tough times. TCS announced that S Ramadorai would take over as vice-chairman in a non-executive role, while N Chandrasekaran would be the new CEO and MD with effect from October 6, 2009.

Mr Ramadorai has been CEO and MD of the Tata group’s flagship software arm since 1996. Mr Ramadorai, who turns 65 in October, will relinquish executive powers in line with the group’s retirement policy. This announcement is in step with Tata Sons’ — the country’s oldest conglomerate — decision to introduce a non-executive VC for Tata Steel and Tata Motors earlier this year.

Tata Motors went through a change when former MD Ravi Kant was made VC and Prakash Telang succeeded him. Tata Steel, too, saw a similar change, with B Muthuraman being made the non-executive VC of the company and COO HM Nerurkar taking over the reins of the country’s largest steel maker.

These appointments are in keeping with the succession policy at the group, which has stipulated 65 years as retirement age for its top brass, which covers executive director and above. Those given an extension are inducted as non-executive board members and can continue till they turn 75. The group had created the COO post in 2007 for grooming future CEOs.

In some ways, Mr Chandrasekaran’s career is comparable to that of Mr Ramadorai. Both began as software engineers and started their career with TCS. Mr Chandrasekaran, too, began his career at TCS and moved up to head the firm’s Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) operation which used to be its biggest development centre in the late 1990s, before becoming the global head of sales.

In 2007, he, along with three other senior executives, was elevated to the position of executive director. The significance of the SEEPZ unit lies in the fact that the GE account used to be serviced from this unit. GE accounted for as much as 10% of TCS’ revenues some years ago.

At a time, when the company is coping with a falling demand in its core overseas market, this move is seen as positive. However, analysts tracking the company said it was ‘status-quo’ and the announcement was along expected lines. "

TCS Passport Offices to open next month

The much awaited passport project has been finally established as news flashed

everywhere today regarding the announcements. Passport related matters are sure to get a

lot faster with the proceedings.


As reported in a few news sites, here is the update:

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will open six offices across India in October to provide passport services, a company official has said. The much delayed 'Passport Seva Project' is expected to take off with this move.


With the launch of this Rs 100 billion project, the processing time for issuance of a passport is expected to be reduced to three days and to one day under the Tatkal (immediate) scheme.

"In the first phase of this project, computerized passport facilitation centers will be opened in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Ambala, Bangalore, Mangalore and Hubli," TCS global government industry group vice president Mr. Tanmoy Chakraborty said on the sidelines of an IT summit here.

"Depending on the response, we have plans to increase the number of such facilitation centers to over 70 all across the country by June 2010," he added. "The implementation of this project has been delayed due to non availability of disaster recovery sites. But gradually things have been sorted out," stated Mr. Tanmoy Chakraborty. TCS was awarded the project in 2008. The Ministry of External Affairs will monitor its working.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Twitter’s uniqueness could be it’s greatest disadvantage

Add me in Twitter
So all of us have heard of Twitter and 99% of those who have heard about it have got a Twitter profile.Dead Twitter But what the area of concern is whether Twitter will be able to live up to the hype that has been created, it has become virtually synonymous with micro blogging now, as Google is to Internet search. Apart from the tweets of some celebrities, extremely famous politicians and some big and growing organizations, very few people tweet seriously. According to a survey recently conducted,  some relevant findings regarding Twitter users were:
*55.50% weren’t following anyone
*54.88% have never tweeted
*52.71% have no followers
Though these facts might not be startling, but the fact that about 10% of the users account for 90% of the tweets is surely amazing. No doubt Twitter had grown exponentially over the last year. But is it’s hype justified? Apparently not. The major portion of the Twitter users prefer to sit back and watch the biggies do their tweeting and read their contents. This is virtually becoming an alternate to subscribing to their feeds, only difference being you are reading their stuffs instantly. The second aspect is that of celebrities tweeting out a lot and have an incredible number of tweets and follower count (wonder how they get the time to manage it alone!). So soon many journalists who are paid to keep tracks of these celebrities are going to lose their jobs :) Thirdly the very disturbing fact is that many organizations are promoting their business extremely aggressively in Twitter, there’s a race of increasing their follower count as much they can, because then people will follow them back and listen to their advertising stuffs. This simply spoils the essence of Twitter. Flooding with links of your website isn’t what you should be doing.

What the scenario turns out to be is that few people are using Twitter for personal communications, though that is what brings out the best out of this service. I prefer using it to share some of my personal opinions on various stuffs and occasionally some special stuffs am up to. The direct messages facility of Twitter is the only thing that will occasionally be useful to users, something in between chat and email. However besides that, there is no such aspect of Twitter that will keep users hooked to it away from Facebook, Orkut and Blogging. The community aspect is what is severely wanting in Twitter as people are only following one-to-one communications. So soon we may see 90% of the tweets coming from lesser number of users as more people keep sitting back and watching what they are saying. But with the advent of real-time search engines and hashtags gaining popularity at a stunning pace, only future can say whether Twitter will make it’s mark.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Flickr addiction : How NOT to get rid of it

Add me in Flickr
If you are an avid lover of photography and a bit net savvy you have surely heard of Flickr. And not to forget it’s Pro feature which comes at a cost of 24.95$/year. Having used this for quite sometime now, I feel it offers you much more than you can actually imagine. If you are already  to sharing your photos with your friends and families and really cherishing the full resolution unlimited storage of your photos, it’s time to for you to explore the thousands of groups that exist there based on specific categories like nature, wildlife, sunrise, flowers, etc. You can start with this group. Extensively sharing your photos in as many groups you can will give your photo a very decent exposure and you will often several comments, some of which you will find pretty well though and can be a learning curve as well. Keep sharing your photos in the groups as I said. Only limit you will face is sharing is up to 10 groups per photo for free users and 60 for Pro users.

Now that you have been sharing your photos all along, have you ever thought what it would be like to store all your digital photography collection in one place? Yes, the full collection, including those rotten ones you took. Backing up your photos into sets and collections will be incredibly easy now with your Pro account, your entire collection! Start doing some now! Keep them Private in case you don’t want me to see them.

Have you finished adding your photos to as many groups and backing them up. Well that’s only part of Flickr that you have explored as yet. With Flickr’s new video option, you can make and upload your own videos (90 seconds and 150MB limit). Don’t upload TV shows and lengthy movies, well you can try but only first 90 seconds will be shown. You can even make your own time-lapse movies of the sun gradually setting or two snails racing etc. If you do not know how to make a time-lapse await my next blog article soon. So keep making your videos or uploading your existing ones and keep them sharing in as many groups you can!

This might be called as a bit of Flickr addiction by others by as for the user who gets addicted, there’s nothing more pleasurable than to keep taking snaps and sharing them on this awesome platform. So follow these steps above and keep going!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Google Labs will continue to be an integral part of Google products

As is apparently interpreted by many that Google Labs is only a testing ground for crazy fun and not real prime time implementation, I feel Google’s Labs are really in with an awesome amount of potential.Google Labs If you are not yet aware, this is one of the testing grounds for Google for some of their coolest products which mainly serve purposes of easing our use of technology and some entertaining tech stuffs to hang out with. Be it Squared or the News Timeline, it is surely a pretty decent platform where Google seems to be coming up with some humble yet great stuffs, enough to keep an average techie engrossed.

If you have already checked out the labs feature in your Gmail account you would be totally flabbergasted as to how so much of features has been made available besides it’s already existing awesome settings. Actually they provide a lot of well-thought out tweaks and options which you may want to use, only making your user-experience a lot better.

With so much of flexibility round the corners, Google’s engineers and researchers have no doubt been achieving something which many of us would have thought of but couldn’t find those services. Hope they come up with more such lab stuffs and integrate some of them into their core products.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sourav Ganguly appointed chairman of Cricket Association of Bengal's (CAB) new Cricket Development Committee

Sourav Ganguly has been finally officially appointed in an administrative post in West Bengal cricket. After his retire from international level, he had expressed his desire to enter into administration. In a turn of events, news came out today that he has been appointed as chairman of CAB’s new cricket development committee. 

According to Cricinfo, “Ganguly, who had expressed an ambition to join cricket administration in his home state of West Bengal, will head a committee of three other former first-class cricketers.

"We have decided to form the committee which will also have Arun Lal, Ashok Malhotra and Pranab Roy as the other members," Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the CAB, told reporters in Kolkata.

While describing the responsibilities of the committee, Dalmiya said: "The committee will receive a report from the selectors (senior and junior) at the end of every cricket season, assess the accountability of the selectors and will make necessary recommendations as well."

Dalmiya said the committee will also handle issues related to umpiring standards, the technical aspects of all tournaments organized by the Bengal board and will have advisory powers concerning cricket-related matters at various levels to improve the standard of cricket in the state.”

So it’s again time to see what unique strokes he has to offer off the field. He is sure to be different from the thousand others already in the system, to say the least.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Best Photo Sharing and Photo Backup site : Flickr Pro

This might seem a bit over the line but it’s true to its very essence. Flickr Pro is something I have found extremely awesome. Unlike any other service, it offers you unlimited storage for your photos. So in case you need to share original quality photos of huge resolutions and sizes with your family or friends separately, you will find it a cakewalk. You can set your settings such that no one will be able to see any of your photos unless you approve them. Sounds cool, eh! Feel free to add me in Flickr here

Now for another use of Flickr Pro. If you are looking to store all your photos as backup you can do so easily (because Flickr Pro offers unlimited storage remember?). You might say there is Zooomr which offers unlimited for free of cost, then why this? Really logical. But Flickr stands apart in ways. Firstly, Flickr is much more professional with lots of privileges and settings for your own account. Secondly, it has backup of a well-known company by Yahoo. Thirdly, Flickr has lots of social and community features which often seem to be helpful and navigation is also very easy. Fourthly, Flickr has made its API codes open. So everyday developers are coming up with cooler apps which has taken Flickr to the level where it is today. Fifthly, Zooomr often has hiccups as too many users are running for its free services. 

Now again some people will start crying that their favorite Picasa has been left out. Not at all, who else can compete with Microsoft and Yahoo better than Google! This would be a really close call between Picasa and Flickr based on your needs. So I suggest you this which will help you decide instantly. Let me know where you are sharing your cool snaps!

Monday, August 17, 2009

GDrive : Google’s online storage

Amidst lots of rumors, Google’s new online storage platform is all set to launch soon, maybe within an year. No official launch date has been announced as yet. The specialty of this system with respect to others is in the fact it will let you backup your entire hard disk and will provide some synching techniques of some sort between your desktop and your GDrive files.

This product will be more than anticipated by worldwide users as Google has been really competent about their products and their innovativeness is outstanding. So there is constant rumor and a hidden hype that is engulfing all users. There will be free version and may be a paid one to offer unlimited (well, almost!) storage.

Here’s another battle that will start. No points for guessing, Sky Drive vs GDrive! The old rivals meet again in a similar battle ground. Only concern users may face which might come in their way of using GDrive is privacy. It’s only the level of trust which you have for Google that will let you fully explore GDrive no matter however confidential your data is. So things will become clear after it is launched, if GDrive is impressive enough regarding safety and security then there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be going for their paid service!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Accenture joining date for 2009 batch

At a time when everything is looking uncertain in the global economy, Accenture delivered their high performance by declaring the joining dates for some of the freshers on 31st August. Ecstatic mood amongst all freshers can be seen in social networking sites like Orkut etc. Freshers placed in other companies who haven’t got the joining yet are keeping their fingers crossed.

The Accenture freshers have got placed in places like Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai etc. But most colleges are waiting, only some colleges like NIT and few others have got their joining dates. The mood sure is optimistic now that the process of induction has started and the remaining freshers getting in is just a matter of time. Here is a collection of links and stuffs they might find useful.

Hope all the companies provide the joining dates to the freshers soon. The market is also looking pretty optimistic, things also seem to be settling down and everything would be over by 2011 as everyone is predicting. So simply hoping for the best, the situation for the next few batches doesn’t seem to be that bad after all. 

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pune Engineering Colleges ranking

This is another one of the most sought after ranking list with so many engineering colleges in Pune. After the West Bengal engineering colleges list, Orissa engineering college list, Tamil Nadu engineering colleges list and Mumbai engineering colleges list, I got several requests to make another one for Pune as well. This list will keep updating itself. Feel free to share your views below. Some of the key factors that had been taken into consideration are the starting and ending ranks of some of the top streams, feedbacks from students studying in these colleges regarding the faculty, placement, infrastructure and various other factors.

COLLABORATORS NEEDED!
(Just submit the survey form below with your "View" as "Collaborator". You will be contacted shortly.)

This list is updated regularly based on several feedbacks on various issues and criteria. With such a robust concept behind building this list, it seems very likely to be standing the test of time over the years to come.

LIST IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION


Friday, August 14, 2009

Flickr photos on sale report by Jim Goldstein is shocking!

It’s not Flickr’s fault to start with. And no photos of users that were marked “Private” were compromised. But however this incident is sure to raise a few eyebrows of Yahoo and it’s API licensing authorities.

The issue was that when users upload their photos in Flickr they mark it either “All Rights Reserved” or under one of the categories of “Creative Commons”. This is to ensure that before downloading the users can be aware of the rights held by the owner of the photo. But the API used by MyxerTones (a mobile entertainment site) had a bug which led to downloading of several photos from Flickr regardless of their licenses and sent to several mobile phones of users to be used as wallpapers! 
FlickrLogo
One of the victims was photographer Jim Goldstein. He elaborately described how one of his photos were used through this process in another site. But what seemed frustrating that his efforts to resolve the issue through Yahoo went futile. His article clearly demonstrates his efforts.  

The main issue that is of concern and should be addressed by Flickr or the API developers here is that they adhere to the guidelines set by Flickr at all costs. Not following it would lead to trouble. Like when a Flickr user has explicitly set his settings that no one can download his photos in full resolution except himself, using a faulty API anyone can download his photo in full resolution, which will not be possible in the Flickr website. So clearly this API has not been built following the rules and regulations set by Flickr.

Such APIs therefore clearly needs to be tested and then released else such mistakes are bound to happen. What could be a bad news is that unscrupulous developers might make such APIs for their personal benefits and download plenty of photos for their personal use, in which case the APIs may forever stay in the dark and continue to reap harvest. However, testing the publicly released APIs and keeping them debugged would go a long way to calm the photographers out there.