Monday, 28 October 2013

Ayungin Shoal [Second Thomas Shoal]

Brilliant read, courtesy the NYTimes

Love the graphics and the fascinating usage of videos, graphical interlaying, pictures and language.
Simply outstanding.

Quite arguably, journalism at its innovative best.

Friday, 18 October 2013

SaaS, Cloud, Cloud Security and things around it

Been working on AWS, Cloud, Cloud Security and looking at various methods of securing the cloud and also do capacity estimations for the infrastructure challenges and the like.

A few brilliant sites:

a. CSO online has great material on good options for securing the cloud. here
b. OpenVPN Access Server seems like a good to use VPN if one wants a VPN connection to protect the machines from the internet. [They have an AMi that is optimized for AWS too! Yay!]
c. Cipher cloud, Porticor etc seem to do a decent bit as far as tokenizing data and encrypting them is concerned.

I am looking at Veeva, Ravello and such too. [I remember that AWS provided one more solution for inter-subnet data transfer at cheap rates w/o passing the internet. Is it Vyatta? ?Need to check.

What is being used otherwise? Tips and tricks should always help!

Qassem Suleimani The Shadow Commander

Beautiful, beautiful read on Qassem Suleiman, the shadow commander. A very long read - I did it over 2 days in 3/4 bits. But well worth the effort.

Through the Newyorker

"Suleimani took command of the Quds Force fifteen years ago, and in that time he has sought to reshape the Middle East in Iran’s favor, working as a power broker and as a military force: assassinating rivals, arming allies, and, for most of a decade, directing a network of militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has sanctioned Suleimani for his role in supporting the Assad regime, and for abetting terrorism. And yet he has remained mostly invisible to the outside world, even as he runs agents and directs operations. “Suleimani is the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today,” John Maguire, a former C.I.A. officer in Iraq, told me, “and no one’s ever heard of him.”"

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Tips to pack a backpack

If anyone has a > 50L backpack, plus also the disposition to pack heavy, chances are that the backpack becomes unwieldy and weight doesnt balance.

Well, help is handy. A great way to pack better through Vagabondish.

Happy travel!

For the curious, I have a 65L Terra Firma but am usually disposed to travel light!

Another Quarter, Another disappointment for IBM

Piss poor results.

BM beats by $0.03, misses on revenues • 4:06 PM
  • IBM (IBM
    ): Q3 EPS of $3.99 beats by $0.03.
  • Revenue of $23.7B (-4% Y/Y) misses by $1.07B. Shares -2.7% AH. (PR

Ridiculous. How long more? I thought they were doing decently till I was around. Which was around last Octish. Sam was around and things did work like clock work and we had outstanding stand out performance. 

What has really changed? The CE has changed for sure... but wasn't the plan for 2015 [Roadmap to 2015] already in place? 

An afterthought: Was I really the REASON [I am reminded of the vague GBS [IBM Service division] T-shirt that the people used to wear in IBM which said "I am the REASON" without mention what they were the reason for.

Mmh, I digress. Was I the reason? 4 Q's now and 4 Q's of progressively bad stuff. Will they recruit me again to see if I am the reason? 

Revenue miss is disappointing and I think IBM does need to stop the stupid focus on financial engineering and focus on revenue growth. It is steadily becoming a holding company for vastly disparate assets with poor innovation focus lately... Mmh, isn't that called an investment bank rather than a technology company if you becoming a holding company rather? 

More later.   

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Think you can? Try it!

Can you speak the Wall Street Language? Try it.

I got cent percent. Are there openings?

And oh, can you be a fed banker? Try THAT too

I havent yet tried it. 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Sad days for Hyderabad

Pretty sad, the way its turning out for Hyderabad. Got to feel for the place... a place which has seen rapid development infrastructure and capacity wise only for it to be suddenly jolted in its fledgling attempt to modernize.

Even more sad is the fact that 10 districts - perhaps [good 'uns?] will end up in Telengana which doesnt seem to be the earlier plan... all for Congress appeasement?

I would rather see Congress defeated than Andhra divided. Useless idiots.

To think of the fact that I used to frequent it often... still do... and be charmed by the city. Bah. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Leadership lessons

Great post

More on that post here

  • Help assure their employees (especially those working in particularly creative or complex jobs) have the chance to spend at least part of their working hours in “flow”; the uninterrupted, highly concentrated  state where the best and most innovative work tends to get accomplished.
  • Create an environment where employees generally feel challenged and energized – vs. so bored that they lose interest, or so pressured that they burn out.
  • Make sure meetings feel useful and productive (he encourages asking employees to rate meetings and offer suggestions for improvement).
  • Encourage and require learning.  Slavet notes (and I couldn’t agree more) that the “ability to learn is like the compounding interest on an investment: after two or three years, a relentless learner stands head and shoulders above his/her peers.” He suggest regularly asking employees what they’ve learned and how it’s helped them, their customers, or their teams.
  • Establish a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions with your employees.