Saturday, December 01, 2007

Jairam Ramesh out of Think Tank

Mr.Jairam Ramesh, supposedly one of the few original thinkers in the Congress party, has been sacked from the group earlier formed to look into future challenges and opportunities to assist and advise Rahul Gandhi. It is evident that JR has not been obsequious enough and has dared to use his thinking faculty. He has been misled by the moniker,"think tank". 'To tank' means to 'give up'. A member of a think tank is expected by political parties to give up thinking. JR's exit poses another question. Is Rahul as impetuous as his father? Rajiv Gandhi infamously showed the door to AP Venkateswaran, Foreign Secretary, in a Press Meet.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pathological Online Dependence (POD)

It is now accepted in medical circles that cyberspace addiction is a real (as opposed to virtual)condition that needs to be treated ("warrants intervention" in medjarg). Cyber-somatic disorders are encountered to the maximum extent in S.Korea which has the distinction of being the "most connected country".De-addiction and rehab centres for the internet-obsessed are fast coming up in Korea and to a lesser extent in Taiwan and China. The disorder is predominantly masculine and if diagnosed in early stages eminently curable. About 30% of Korean students are deemed susceptible. Surprisingly, though Finland is almost as cyber-intense as Korea, very few cases have been spotted there. Would this malaise result in these POD-prone countries losing their academic edge over others?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Why are Americans so naive?

There was a common enabling factor for both 9-11 crisis and CDO mess. Both were the result of typical American naivete. Prior to 9-11, security checks in US airports were cursory and trusting of passenger genuineness. An open door tempts a saint and 9-11 was waiting to happen.

Similarly, due diligence of mortgage customers was almost absent before the subprime crisis surfaced. Such an irrational naivete is difficult to explain.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tips from the untipped

"You people are really nuts,” she told a reporter during a phone interview. “There’s kids dying in the war, the price of oil right now — there’s betterthings in this world to be thinking about than who served Hillary Clinton at Maid-Rite and who got a tip and who didn’t get a tip.” These wise words were uttered by an apparently uneducated waitress who was tipped or not tipped depending on which news-source you rely on.--Srivarahan

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Citi fiasco

November 6th,200711:34 am
The Citi fiasco teaches us two clear lessons:1) Never trust an outgoing CEO to choose his/her successor in the interest of the company;2) No company can afford to have a CEO who does not understand its business however bright he or she otherwise might be.
Posted by K.R.Srivarahan
— Posted by K.R.Srivarahan

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Career Shift: Nachiket Mor's brilliant move

Nachiket Mor who was expected to follow K.V.Kamath's journey to the top of ICICI bank has sprung a surprise by opting out of corporate rat race and has decided to lead the ICICI Foundation, a social upliftment agency, instead. This is a shrewd choice in the light of increasing burdens of CEOs. Or is it really so? Would not ICICI Foundation also not be run as any corporate with its own budgets, performance targets, performance-linked bonus etc.? Only time will tell.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Apple's updated Operating System

True to its tradition, the unconventional Apple has named its latest updated operating system after yet another animal in the cat family. It is now OS X Leopard. Its predecessors were OS Cheetah, Puma,Jaguar, Panther and Tiger. Would Mac soon run out of cat names? Perhaps only Lynx remains now. But its similarity to Linux may cause an identity crisis.

Apple is also exposing itself to legal problems.When OS X Tiger was unleashed, Mac was dragged to court by Tiger Direct, an online retailer of computers, for infringement of its trademark. Tiger Direct claimed that its goodwill too suffered an erosion because OS Tiger caused a demotion in the ranking of Tiger Direct in search engines including Google. What a neat way to define goodwill! Accountants' proverbial search for goodwill definition and perhaps calculation ends in Googlesearch.

Who will sue Apple over OS X Leopard? How aboutLeopard, an Ogilvy company engaged in B2B Marketing and Communication?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Crusade against the Court

Attended a meeting addressed by Mr.Raja, Union Minister, Mr.Manoj Mitta, journalist, Ms.Brinda Karat and others on "The limits of judicial authority". Pitifully all were against the judiciary, particularly the recent fulmination of Justice Aggarwal on disregard for Court orders by TN State Government. If the government encourages closure of work, does it indicate anything other than breakdown of constitutional machinery? Should the Supreme Court be a silent spectator if politicians hold the state and its people to ransom? Aggarwal had carefully prefaced his observations with "in case the submission of the petitioner is true---". Karat's critique of "Basic Structure Doctrine" was as erroneous as it was irrelevant to the subject matter. It was as if she was addressing the politbureau. Manoj made some sense; unfortunately he was in a hurry to catch a flight.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Digital Delusion

Recent events in Estonia are a cause for global concern. Estonia is among the most hardwired countries.One may call it as a cybernation.The pun here is very much intended.Cybernation also refers to a process where everything is controlled by computers.

Many important computer systems were knocked down apparently by Russians.(Russia denies this).What happened is called DDOS-an acronym for Distributed Denial of Service.There was a simultaneous avalanche of mails to many critical email ids.The cyber system could not cope with the Black Swan traffic and broke down.

If the omnipresent terrorists take to this cyber crime, the worst form of terrorism namely cyber-terrorism will be unleashed in the digital world.More than half the world is virtual and any disruption here will be disastrous. Cyber-jihadis will paralyse the entire world taking us back to pre-1950s.Not a welcome prospect!

Yesterday, computer systems in New York airports were affected leading to delays in air schedules.

This digital fragility enjoins us to go soft on hard copies: Let us preserve hard copies.

I tend to expand DDOS as Digitals Die,Others Survive.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Clarence Thomas

A new biography of Justice Clarence Thomas written by Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher ("Supreme Discomfort") holds some lessons for ongoing debate in India regarding reservation for OBC without excluding the Creamy Layer.Clarence Thomas is against affirmative action because,in his view, only the lighter skinned blacks have benefitted crowding out the darker ones.Isn't this exactly what is happening in India?


Is a listed company entitled to claim that its performance last year was "better than expected" if the company is not in the habit of giving guidance?

This oddity occurred in the case of Biocon when its COO made a press statement on company's 2006-07 results.When requested for clarification,the company has said,"The COO's statement 'better than expected' refers to indicate (sic) that we have done better than our internal budgeted numbers as well as the average expectation of the Analysts,based on the analyses provided by Citigate,Mumbai,our IR Service Provider".