Friday, November 09, 2012

Who won in the 2013 US Presidential Election?

Of course, we all know that President Obama was reelected to the 2013 White house with a 303-206 majority in electoral votes last week. But, the real win is for two important constituencies:
  1. Education
  2. Economy (Middle class)
Education. The advent of China and India as potential economic forces in the world economy needs to be taken note of. The 21st century belongs to a properly educated workforce. Not merely in overall education emphasizing liberal arts, etc., but one that provides proper grounding in technology too. President Obama's passion towards this cause is unmistakable. Did you see such passion in the GOP camp?

Economy (The middle class). The backbone of any economy is a vibrant middle class. Particularly when the entire world is getting adjusted to a different 'economic center of gravity' than just the 'West', with both the US and the Western Europe in economic struggle, it takes some proactive

Friday, October 05, 2012

A Simplistic Model of Performing Earned Value Management (EVM) in a Project.

Most discussions on Earned Value Management (EVM) will tell us to compute planned values, PV(t), at the time of planning the project, and assess Earned Values, EV(t), as we make progress over time. This is a very easy and effective way of assessing how the project is performing with respect to time, i.e., schedule.

The problem, in many cases, is that Planned Value (PV) cannot realistically be computed at all. In a project that is expected to take about 18 months to complete, with an average of 25 engineers on the project throughout, and the number of engineers changing over time, we can only begin to compute the planned value as time progresses.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Google Fiber, when are you coming to our town?

This blog post is an alternative, easier-to-follow, representation of an article on, How Does Your Internet Service Stack up to Google Fiber?

PropertyAT&TComcastGoogleTime-Warner Verizon
NameMax Turbo Internet and U-verse U450 TV Xfinity Extreme 105 Internet and Digital Premier TV Gigabit + Fiber TVSignature Home PackageFiOS 300 and Ultimate HD
Internet access speed24 Mbit/s down, 3 Mbit/s up105 Mbit/s down, 10 Mbit/s up1000 Mbit/s down, 1000 Mbit/s up 105 Mbit/s down, 10 Mbit/s up 300 Mbit/s down, 65 Mbit/s up
Monthly Data Cap250 GB300 GBInfinite60 GBInfinite
Channels 430, incl. Cinemax, HBO> 300, incl. AMC, ESPN, HBO, Showtime162, incl. Showtime350; premium extra380, incl. ESPN, NFL RedZone, Showtime
DVRs, Recording1, 41, 21, 81, 21, 2
DVR - hrs65 HD60 HD 500 HD 150 HD 60 HD
Availability22 states39 states, & Washington, DCKansas City, KS & Kansas City, MO29 states 12 states, & Washington, DC

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Roger Federer, No.7, No. 17, No. 1.

In a recent article on, on Federer's latest Wimbledon conquest, the first sentence is:
"No. 7, No. 17, No. 1."
Gets you thinking on how well he has done from other points of view. I have given here a simple exercise of determining how well some of these players have done since their 1st Grand Slam win, and how well they may perform in the future. (1st Grand Slam win identifies, in a way, a certain maturity needed for such wins).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose ... Caveat Emptor.

In the recent Facebook IPO debacle, the role that Morgan Stanley and other underwriters have played is a curious one. (See Morgan Stanley made money on Facebook share drop).

As a routine procedure, it seems that the underwriters typically get to buy an additional number of shares from the company offering stock to the public.

"Investment bankers typically sell 15% more shares in an IPO than they actually have. ... Included in every IPO deal is an agreement that gives underwriters the ability to buy more stock from the company at a slight discount to the IPO price. So if the price rises after the offering, the underwriters can buy the shares from the company that they have promised to other investors, but don't actually have, and book a small profit. ... In effect, the underwriters were short the stock. ..."

So far, so good. Underwriters, in effect, have a call option on the stock.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Choice of Commencement Speakers.


The choice of a commencement speaker in American Universities is based quite frequently on worldly accomplishments, rather than being based solely on formal, university-centric, accomplishments. It is as it should be: Even the purpose of formal education is to assist the graduates in helping the world along anyway.

Years ago, we heard Steve Jobs giving a moving commencement speech for Stanford students in 2005. The latest example in 2012: Nipun Mehta, Founder Of Service Space, Delivers Inspiring Graduation Speech To Students At The University Of Pennsylvania. Neither of these have earned PhDs, but both have exhibited a lot of unconventional thinking.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Odds of Winning a Silicon Valley Jackpot.

The recently announced acquisition of Instagram by Facebook has evoked an article with this title:
Clearly, some form of a product that appeals to the billions of netizens is the prerequisite for such a jackpot.

However, here's a little tongue-in-cheek way of analyzing for the odds.

Now, if you are an engineer with all the right personal ingredients to create a startup, you'd do well to consider the following facts:
  1. The odds of someone's winning MEGA Millions jackpot, which reached recently as high as $640 million, is 1 in 176 million, according to California Lottery web site.
  2. The odds of someone's winning the smaller SuperLotto Plus jackpot is 1 in 41 million, also according to California Lottery web site.
  3. The San Francisco Bay Area, of which Silicon Valley is a part, would rank first [in the United States] with 387,000 high-tech jobs.
Now, what are the odds of an engineer's succeeding in Silicon Valley? Consider this:

Friday, April 06, 2012

Whither Agile Methodology?

Agile methodology has been in use in many corporations around the globe. Perhaps the best example of the results of this methodology is the mindboggling frequency with which newer versions of browsers are being made available. (For example, in just over three years, Google Chrome has been released in 18 major versions, not to speak of many more minor versions: Today, it is 18.0.1025.151 m).

In What Agile Teams Think of Agile Principles (subscription), Laurie Williams describes some research she conducted recently that reassures us that the original 12 principles of Agile Manifesto, crafted about 10 years ago, are still very much valid among agile practitioners. Here is an excerpt from the conclusions of that article:
The authors of the Agile Manifesto and the original 12 principles spelled out the essence of the agile trend that has transformed the software industry over more than a dozen years. That is, they nailed it.
This reassurance is valuable because there are still pockets of developer groups that are still uncertain as to whether to embrace Agile methodology.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Buy-Side and Sell-Side Analysts - An Analysis

Recently, I had opportunity to attend an SVForum SIG meetup on "Cloud M&A: Buy-side and Sell-side Dynamics in 2012 and Beyond". I had to get clear on the two concepts of Buy-Side and Sell-Side before I went into listen to the panelists. This exercise in learning itself was an eye-opener on how phrases get into usage in natural languages.

To begin with, Buy-Side and Sell-Side are not exactly what they seem. Let us start with some definitions, from Investopedia:
The side of Wall Street comprising the investing institutions such as mutual funds, pension funds and insurance firms that tend to buy large portions of securities for money-management purposes.

Read more:
The retail brokers and research departments that sell securities and make recommendations for brokerage firms' customers.
Read more:
Buy-Side analysts seem to be really doing what the phrase seems to suggest: Analyze stocks and other instruments to help in potential, eventual, buying of the equities. The Sell-Side analysts, on the other hand, deal significantly with retail investors, and can enable or, influence, buy or sell decisions by the retail investors.

If both buy and sell decisions are enabled by these Sell-Side analysts, why call them only Sell-Side?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Google Maps and Bangalore's Namma Metro.

Google has seen it fit to map different parts of the world, and Bangalore, India, is no exception.

Recently, on 20 October 2011, a segment of the Bangalore Metro, between Baiyappanahalli & M G Road, went online for passenger traffic.
Namma Metro Route Map

While the route map of the Namma Metro, shown here and provided by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), offers a logical view that is helpful in a lot of contexts, it is sometimes also valuable to have a view that is superimposed on the geography-based map of Bangalore, of all the stations that currently serve passenger traffic. There is also a list of stations in the rail network, provided on the BMRCL web site.

It is said that the rail system offers free Wi-Fi connection on the train to all of its riders.

This Google map given below is a public map and I expect to update it to match the state of the Namma Metro in the coming months and years.

View Namma Metro (Bengaluru) Google Map in a larger map

Other information Namma Metro on the Internet:
Namma Metro on Wikipedia.
Bangalore Metro Map by