Tuesday, December 14, 2004

What is in a school's motto?

Recently, I had occasion to discuss school motto with my son. He is an 8th grader, and it was difficult to find a motto for his school. After I discussed with him what a motto is and so on, I decided to publish this small note on the mottos of the schools that I went to (in reverse chronological order):
  1. University of Southern California: Palmam qui meruit ferat. (Let whoever earns the palm bear it.)
  2. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
  3. Bangalore University: ज्ञानं विज्ञान सहितं Jnanam Vignana Sahitam (My interpretation: Knowledge must be accompanied by its rational usage or, equivalently, Knowledge accompanied by rational usage is wisdom, but you can read a scholarly interpretation here).
  4. National College: श्रद्दाही परमा गतिःShraddha Hi Parama Gatihi.

It seems to me that all institutions ought to have a motto: it makes it easier to channel the human energies of the institutions around the motto.

Monday, November 29, 2004

"The China Price"

If you are a student of globalization of the economy, the December 6, 2004, issue of BusinessWeek is a must read in general and the cover story titled "The China Price", in particular.

Countless economists will prognosticate as to what might happen: What will happen to the overall U.S. economy? If even the so-called white collar jobs move out of the U.S., only service jobs will remain.

It'd seem that the proper way out of this global economic climate for any country is to leverage what can be accomplished elsewhere and build on it. The key word here is 'build'; build on what other nations can produce relatively inexpensively. In other words, be a valuable part of the global ecosystem. Ultimately, the value of any product or service is a function of how the product or service enhances the life of a human being, be it economically or in an aesthetic way.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Biotechnology and Information Technology

It is interesting to note that, on Friday, 1 October 2004, Bill Gates prophesised that biology and information technology would slowly coalesce into one: "If I were a student I would highlight those two areas as the most interesting". You can read more about the story at
The reason, by the way, that this is the case is that the essence of study of life, namely biology, is built on a key primitive, the DNA. It is really amazing that the analog world is so beautifully built by a digital primitive, a sequence, several billions long, of nucleotides drawn from a set of four chemical compounds, Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine and Thymine, commonly abbreviated by the initial letters A, C, G and T.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Salaries of Software Professionals

An interesting analysis of Indian and US salaries for software professionals can be gotten through a paper written by an expatriate professional, Dr. M. Vidyasagar. It uses the concept of Purchasing Power Parity. This paper is very relevant to the hotly-debated topic of outsourcing and offshoring. Ultimately, of course, the free market will triumph as long as the market is kept free.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Telecommunication Equipment Production in India

It appears that the Indian IT sector is getting seriously into the act of augmenting the needs of telecom equipment providers, rather than assist only telecom service providers. And, this realization has occurred at the highest levels of the Central government, as this quote from IT and Communications minister, Dayanidhi Maran, indicates:

" ... India can emerge as the global hub for making telecom equipment ..."

This could mean a highly accelerated growth in this IT sector: telecom equipment providers, worldwide, please take note.

Monday, September 13, 2004

" ... a router is not just a router anymore", - Mike Volpi.

This is what Volpi said today in connection with the release of a new family of routers for small and medium size businesses (SMBs). Once you combine voice, video and data transmission in a single device, the router, the basic routing engine merely becomes a platform because it has to cater now to specialized treatment of the so-called triple-play traffic.
In another news today, Cisco acquired dynamicSoft to strengthen the intelligence needed inside the network. Good move.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Books Online

My professional membership group, the Association for Computing Machinery, has introduced a remarkably valuable new online service to its members, Welcome to ACM's Online Books Program!. This is definitely very valuable and I hope more organizations make use of this. Of course, the one of the behind-the-scenes beneficiary in this food chain is Books24x7 Inc.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

On Facilitative Education: An Essay

Education is an interesting activity. The process of getting an individual educated is an inherently complex one; if you do not love to educate another person, it can be very frustrating. (I suppose if you do not have inherent love for an activity, you won't be able to persist in it). I recently had an opportunity to write an essay On Facilitative Education.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

India, July 2004

In July 2004, I had occasion to travel in India and Europe with my children and niece. This is the first time I had such a travel spanning several countries and continents.

Telecommunication infrastructure is still in early development stages in India. For a general information on India, please see my travelogue at http://india2004.blogspot.com.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Outsourcing and the US Economy

In the article titled "What Global Sourcing Means for U.S. IT Workers and for the U.S. Economy" in the July 2004 issue of the Communication of the ACM, author Catherine L. Mann argues that "A human-capital-investment tax credit would give workers and the firms the incentive they need to generate and upgrade U.S.-based IT skills to fill the need for more local IT workers."
Several questions would immediately arise in one's mind:

  1. How many companies are already doing it?
  2. Has the necessary legislation already been created? If not, where is the activity towards creating such a legislation?

Let us hope that part of the thinking during the 2004 Presidential campaign would begin to address this particular problem.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

City of San Jose and Cisco Systems

Today's news item regarding collusion between the city of San Jose and Cisco Systems makes for interesting reading. Although I am only a bystander to this story, it seems like this may not be a case of collusion. Rather, some uninformed individual or individuals must have retained Cisco's professional services group to help them out thinking that "nobody got fired for using Cisco" ... I can't believe any corporation, particularly one as business savvy as Cisco, would rig up a solution like the way the article suggests, that there was a collusion. It is interesting, however, to watch the audit report when it comes out tomorrow.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Use of Railroad Metaphor in the Computer & Networking Industry

The 21 July 2004 blog by Jonathan Schwartz is a wonderfully simple, but very thought-provoking, discussion of how he believes Sun can monetize Java. He has explained the monetization approach by comparing technological components that Sun has created or contributed to - namely, NFS, Java, J2EE, Project Liberty, etc. - to railroad gauges. "Once the [railroad gauge] standards were set", he argues, "these companies saw a massive increase in opportunity to sell - not rails - but locomotives and rail cars." You cannot but appreciate the argument but, of course, the proper "locomotives and rail cars" to ride on the "bandwidth railroad" would need to be created, and the companies creating the "locomotives and rail cars" are the ones that will make the money.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Networking Giants and the Stock Market

The sentiments of the investing public are a bit hard to fathom. Both Cisco and Juniper produced good quarterly results. But, Cisco has taken a nearly 20% beating from its high of $29.39 of Jan. 20 to today's $23.68 and Juniper has fallen to today's close of $25.95 from a high $31.25 on Jan. 20, a loss of 17%. I guess good results brings out the sellers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Service Provider Network Evolution.

The transformation of Telecom Italia through what appears to be a central role of Metamuse's NetCool is incredible. You will find some details of this work at http://www.tmforum.org/browse.asp?catID=1118&sNode=1118&Exp=Y&linkID=28584.