Thursday, March 16, 2006

Don't covet thy neighbor's electricity

This kind of posting is generally against the grain of topics I like to discuss on my blog, but every once in a while some topics really do catch your eye. I come from India, where power theft is a major problem. In fact it is estimated that about 40% of power is stolen in India. The modus-operandum is quite simple. Just attach a wire to a hook and hook this whole assembly up on a wire carrying electricity and voila! You have electricity that you dont need to pay for.
This is really a problem in slum colonies and hutments and entire parallel economies exist around stolen electricity, where a local hooligan charges you a one time "fee" to supply you with stolen power.
BBC has done a very thoughtful article on this problem
and in fact the image pasted on my blog above is actually BBC news' image. What caught my attention really was the mess that this electric pylon was and the impunity with which such things are done. I hope some politician somewhere has the guts to do something about this.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The future of PCs


Microsoft, IDSA and a few other companies teamed up to run a competition for new concepts in computer design. The entries are astounding and some of them really introduce a new paradigm in PC design. Businessweek Online has a slideshow that showcases the various concepts. Truly evolutionary, check them out. I have linked above, to the image of one such entry, directly from the Businessweek online website.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Origami-sm


The drip-feed speculation on the Origami project finally ended at CeBit, in Hanover, last week. Project Origami is Microsoft's entry into the Ultra mobile PC world (UMPC). So far four vendors seem to have signed up to produce Origami UMPCs, which contain an Intel celeron processor and will run the Windows XP Tablet PC version. The first such prototype, christened Q1, was revealed at CeBit by Samsung. BTW I tried searching the Samsung website for Q1 and only found pages containing financial outlook information!
The Origami team also maintain a website at http://origamiproject.com/default.aspx containing, among other things, interesting snippets of history and a blog.
BBC news has an insightful analysis of the device itself at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4790448.stm where they compare Microsoft's UMPC vision with the released product. Some interesting things to note are that BillG's original vision was a device that would cost less than $500 and have a long battery life. Samsung's Q1 is expected to cost around $1000 and have a battery life of 3 hrs!. Hmm...
But then Microsoft's version 1 products have typically always been pretty notorious for not exactly matching up to the original vision. But their subsequent versions nearly always hit the mark. So Origami UMPCs will be something to watch for. Hey, for 500 bucks and 5-6 hours of battery life, I would love to get my hands on one of these puppies.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Dilbert-esque Lessons Learnt

What can children teach us about leadership? (Wachovia theme playing the background..)
I learnt two lessons from children which can directly be applied to leadership a la Dilbert -
1.) As long as you can poop, eat and cry, other people will take care of everything else around you
2.) As long as you can cry loud enough, you can always find some one to take care of your needs

Monday, March 06, 2006

Musings of an oxytocin infused father

She wakes me many times in the night. She poops, piddles and spits on me. She yells uncontrollably for ten minutes and then farts on me. Yet when she gives that fleeting smile on her confused face, my heart skips a beat and I realize what a multi-splendored thing love is!

-Confessions of a first time papa.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hello world

In the time honored tradition of all uber-geeks, I would like to mark my entry into the blogosphere by saying "Hello World". After much thought, I decided to name this blog with a tame "Life.edu". Everyday is a day we learn something new, move along new paths, discover new places and things. I hope to share some such lessons and thoughts, mostly in the nature of random comments and thought blurbs, especially about things that really interest me - technology, management and travel.