Archive for May, 2005

Apple Believers vs. Krishna followers

Friday, May 27th, 2005

Lightens my day 🙂

India’s Mobile Market: How it Works

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

Bundeep Singh Rangar of Ariadne Capital quotes Sunil Mittal of Bharti Televentures,”I want us to be 12-18 months behind the rest of the world mobile phone market.”
Why? India works differently. The Indian market is about not being innovative or having the best solution in town; it’s about old-fashioned notion of price-point. It’s about deploying technology where the low enough price-point makes it to mass market. People in India need a mobile phone that works; a mobile phone for an average Indian consumer is essentially an uncorded landline phone. And like the landline phone it does not need to have voice mail, 3-way calling, color display, or a WAP browser (The caller-id is necessary though).
Reliance Infocomm, understands it well, and this made the Mobile Phone Revolution happen. Other companies like Bharti have followed suit and have now captured 20% of the Indian Mobile market.
The formula seems to be working, the calls are cheap — 2 cents/minute anywhere, anytime. Bells and whistles are cheaper too; a ringtone is only 15 cents to 20 cents compared to at least 99 cents in US.
As a result, investors are flocking to the market. Bharti Tele-Ventures gave its investor Warburg Pincus a near 6X return on its $300 million investment.
Top up it up with a huge demand for content; it is “hip” to open your day with an SMS containing a Shloka1 (link to original scripture in Sanskrit, may not work in all browsers) from Bhagavad Gita, followed by read/forward of the latest Santa & Banta or Ajit jokes.
1 Sankhya Yog or “the Doctrines”, is the most read chapter of Bhagavad Gita. This chapter talks about work and how the focus of oneself should be on work and not about reaping the fruits of it. The English translation of chapter 2 can be read here.

Display over IP: XTerm on steroids

Monday, May 16th, 2005

Jonathan Schwartz writes, “DOIP (“Do IP”) is to the PC industry, what VOIP (voice over IP, simplistically, using the internet to make phone calls) is to the telecommunications industry. Phone calls are near to free at this point, and the business model is undergoing radical change. It’s inevitable that pervasive and sufficient bandwidth will allow most of what happens on a client to migrate to the network. Why upgrade your PC if you can rely on plentiful bandwidth to have someone centrally deliver it as a service? You don’t upgrade your TV set, BBC and News Corp do it for you every evening with fresh content. And you don’t buy a new TV to watch it. The same should apply to your PC. DOIP is to a PC as XMRadio is to a CD player. ”
He further writes about Sun Ray, an ultra-thin client which consumes 15 watts of power compared to 120+ watts for an average PC. The client does not have a HDD, nor is any state saved locally. You come to work, log in and start blogging. I think we are reaching the full circle, 15 years ago when a room full of “Terminals” were powered by large almirah like servers (they were called CPU then) placed in superly cooled chambers. Fast Forward; Today, I have to back up my laptop, download anti-spyware, upgrade to 1G RAM, apply SP4 to Win2K and pay more money to upgrade my OS to make my basic computing tasks even more difficult. Computing was simple then.

Indian PM’s house sold to Arkansas Businessman

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

John Hammond from Little Rock, Arkansas, paid more than $800,000 for a nice little place in New Delhi which he spotted on the web. The money was paid through an account in Cayman Islands (the account has been closed since, with the money gone. Cayman has wonderful money laundering laws).
The scammers tricked Hammond into a protracted make belief negotiation, which lasted for more than 6 months. They even mailed him the title deed of the PM’s official residence, 7 Race Course Road.
To his ultimate shock the “buyer” only found this out when he flew to India and saw scores of security guard, outside the mansion.
$800,000 amounts to Rupees 3.5 crore (Rs 35 million). The money is enough for an average desi Joe to live life King size for the rest of his life.

Linux Farm at Microsoft

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

The Channel9 team(Charles Torre, et al) at MSDN sat down with Martin Taylor & Bill Hilf of Microsoft. Martin is a General Manager of Competitive Strategy and Bill is a Linux developer and Microsoft Technical Director of Platform Strategy.
The interview is in two parts(Part 1, Part 2). The second part culminates with a tour of a lab running 13 different distros of Linux, Websphere, MySQL, etc.

Michael Dell in Mohali, India wearing a Tilak (on his forehead)

Friday, May 6th, 2005

The story at CNET

The Age of Engagement: Mary Meeker at AD:TECH 2005

Monday, May 2nd, 2005

via Corante, Emergic.
Mary Meeker, the venerable analyst at Morgan Stanely presented at the AD:TECH conference in San Francisco. According to Meeker, the Internet has “nowhere to go but up.” The session was packed with datapoints:

  • Google:5b global searches (+62% YOY, 2/05); 355m global unique visitors(+36% YOY, 2/05)
  • Broadband:135m global subscribers (+51% YOY); 35m in America; 63m in Asia
  • Yahoo!:917m multimedia streams; 40m My Yahoo! users
  • Digital Music:300m cumulative iTunes; 16m iPods
  • Blogging:27% of US Internet users read blogs
  • Wireless Internet:196m messaging subscribers in China; No. 1 in world
  • VoIP:33m registered users (4/05)
  • Shanda Networking:2m peak concurrent online gamers in China
  • PayPal:72m accounts (+57% YOY); 22m users
  • Broadband:S Korea broadband penetration of 70%; No. 1 in world
  • Ad Spend: Internet Ad Spend at $120 per home vs. $898 for Newspapers

However, the Big Media Channels are Going down:

  • Music: 2004 sales down 21% from 1999 peak
  • TV:Network TVs audience share down by 1/3 since 1985
  • Radio:Listener-ship at lowest level in 25 years
  • Newspapers:Circulation declining
  • Magazines:Circulation peaked in 2000; now at 1994 levels