Saturday, June 07, 2008

How can India really improve?

There should be ban on religions and caste in India. No one should be publicly allowed to practice their affiliations (privately no problems example Russia). The places of worship should be closed, which causes trouble. Marriage should be not within a family. A military ruler should come (can affiliate to one of the two good parties)! This will solve the country's problems of 300 castes fighting for OBC/SC/ST quota... while they are all really well off. Multiple political parties paying voter with booze and getting votes to win, and to recover eating public money. Do you know Rajiv Gandhi certified that only 5% of money gets spent on actual scheme, while rest is eaten up by the officials and politicians? Only graduates should be allowed to represent people.... the list goes on.... (Dont even try to copy USA)

This is happening in Kuwait!

Check this story....

(A women minister not wearing head scarf!)

Anniyan songs

I was listening to Anniyan songs, now ...
I was told by a friend that a typical community songs was plagiarised in rendakka song. (Definitely I have heard from drummers in Kotagiri)
"Tentu Kottai Interval Murukku" cannot be copied
"Isaki kadai kisku muttai" cannot be copied
he he

Microsoft MD resigns

Some interesting news.... yesterday evening. I thought Microsoft was a great company to work with. I have refused thrice the offers from them on various reasons.

There are stupid bloggers, posting various news.... check this...

This is all due to the kickbacks of the DPE group which deals with the Public Sectors, running into crores, as rumours say.

Microsoft legally sells boxed software, which is taxable, but escapes in the name of royalty. Now will pay crores!

Friday, June 06, 2008

What does the CTO do?

As a person playing the role of a CTO along with my Delivery management activities, I feel - first and foremost - would be the Technology suitable for the product/service a client would be benefited from. No two clients pay the same, but they get their value for money - in tweaks for them. The second best, would be shaping up the resources (most of them need training and a roadmap - a path for success) to get up fast from mistakes, with proper training, which is an investment. Finally, whatever we do, the management buy in is very much needed. After all they are the ones, who have the business running, and they have to give the returns back to the customers/shareholders.

Introduction to Python

It started with 'C', then C++, then java, then perl and many more…

Technology gets better day by day, and it's easy to get started with Python in few minutes.

  • Python is a very high level language.
  • Programmers, who have used c, c++ or java can smell the familiarity, while appreciating the ease of coding.
  • Python can also be used as a object oriented notation.
  • Python is a interpreted language. (each line is read @ runtime)
  • Python is extensible from other languages and also to other languages.
  • The code looks simple and less complex, compared to other base technologies. For instance, there is no open curly brace and close curly brace, defining a block, but a tab would do.
  • Python can be used with GUI too.
  • Python coders can use data structures effectively for design and implementation, than in any other language.

Downloads Required :

python download (available for windows, mac and unix)

A must see full python tutorial, which is cool!

Why Python?

It is a high level language and you cannot just keep going on with C and C++, for the whole of your life. A more convincing reason - Google search is coded in python, and so are so many other Google products.

Lets get started. (I assume you have downloaded Python and put the IDE shortcut on your desktop)

You must add the python directory to your class path. In windows, you right click My computer -> Properties -> (Advanced Tab) -> System Variables ->

Add or edit variable "path" to append your python directory path.

Or simply in DOS (requires restart of DOS)

set path=%path%;C:python24

Lets get started with the code..

Resisting the temptation to print a "hello world" , which you can achieve by just saying "hello world" (enclosed in double quotes or in single quotes) and pressing the return key (I told you, its simple), we ll write a function to print the Fibonacci series up to n.

def fib(n):
a, b = 0, 1
while b < n:
a, b = b, a+b
print b,

>>> fib (10)
1 1 2 3 5 8
>>> fib (100)
1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89

Things to notice:

1. This must go first actually, the code looks simpler and less complex than c or java.

2. The >>> is the prompt, which you can change like in unix or solaris.

3. The def command declared a function, by getting its signature and there are no irritating return types or even data types for that matter.

4. The tab after the first line specifies that, all code inside it, are enclosed in a block. The same holds good, when we implement the while loop.

5. After the while command, I did not specify any braces to enclose the condition. Python is more intelligent to know it by itself. The return type need not be a boolean (actually there is no boolean).

6. I did not compile or do any thing to the program and it got executed fine.

7. The print command spits the value of the variable to the screen and a return feed ("\n" in java). The comma that follows it, overrides it to maintain the output in the same line.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Beware of drug laws in UAE!

Amazing, how Mohamed Asif the cricketer was caught for having small traces (minute) of a banned drug in his wallet. Lucky him, thanks to the Pakistan Ambassador's push, etc... he is getting deported. God Saved him!

Traveling via or to UAE, please read this carefully...

Here is a list of banned drugs, 374 to be precise (no painkillers that are sold over the counter in India).

Also read this article. (man.. 3 minute Poppy seeds on bun to get you 4 years, tough luck! Also by mistake if you stamp on Charas/Hasish and if a thread is stuck on your shoe, another 4 years... sends shivers!)

I am just wondering how does Alfa & Parwaaz Biriyani gets exported from Hyderabad to UAE? (KazKaz = Poppy seed powder, typically found in Biriyani mix)

Note - Now I wonder why my Amrutanjan and Vicks vanished from my handbag, when they were checking my bag at Dubai during 2003.

Spelling Bees on Sport Channel

They might be kidding, yes it was true, ABC program Spelling Bee was aired on ESPN (?) on Monday evening. Indian American guy won the prize in that though.

Why do those guys.... have braced teeth and weight on the paunch and bespectacled?

In India we don't mind crooked teeth (thethu pallu looks cute ella?) and squint eye. But USA guys do. Better looks and knowledge is enough to gain respect, get good schooling and live with a decent job ever after.

An ABCD I know - 2nd gen - fitting your descriptions - in IBM has survived from 1989, voila! Multimillion $ mansion overlooking Hudson and timeshare on a bizjet and all... with same description offsprings, 3rd gen (visa thakolri Dodamma, namodu US barubodu)

Obvisously the games they play are on XBoxes, inducing less sports & physical activity. Ban them!

Will Obama win?

Absolutely no chance, as there are only 12% of population, who are African American, who could swing the democratic votes, with due respect

I did a quick survey on the most populated states in the USA (mostly southern), by African Americans, who were tortured to the core by inequality till 1964, would give Obama a 67 delegates lead in November (130 in all, but needs 270 plus). Never mind Bill Clinton who won all these states, and continuously Al Gore and John Kerry have carried too.

What about other states? Hillary has won handsomely (pun!) and indeed would be a better choice! If Democrats don't nominate, she should contest as an independent and there are more takers for her to win (50% vote guaranteed).

So what is the final outcome? John McCain winning over Obama by few points, if Hillary doesn't contest. May the winner help India.

I have to set my mood to check with KP System.

Contacts in life and biz perspective

  • Maximize ROI
  • Lower total cost of ownership
  • Reduce integration costs
  • Speed time to market
  • Get closer to customers
  • Sustain & accelerate profitable growth in a growing economic environment
  • Bringing up Kids

    I dont know how my parents managed to bring me up. I learnt myself, from the time I knew about me. Hard work other than work at home.

    My kids nowadays are behaving so average, dumb, like idiots and stupids, watching TV cartoons all the time, reminds me of the USA kids I rant about, and dont bother about the studies etc. I cannot get a cheaper school than MITRA academy other than Kannada medium schools. I might have to rob or steal to put them in decent schools run by big thiefs.

    I am worried how they would end up studying and eventually make a living? Cry baby cry!

    My son does not talk Kannada our mother tongue (forget about reading or writing) or Tamil (he grew up in Chennai - so expected to speak a bit). It is always English (cartoon way!) and he doesnt get words to express himself. All he wants is TV and food (junk, most of the times).... overweight like me already! May be he has dyslexia or is autistic. I have to spend some money to find about it.

    My daughter wants to do all the stuff my son wants to do, but gets tired of playing, and gets stuck to TV. Eat junk and cry always for small small things.

    Both of them dont get along with the kids at all, and get beaten up if they go to play. So I had put them in Karate in the apt. complex only to know that, it is an Indian version. Stupid!

    Luckily they were able to learn swimming, the only achievement this Summer.

    Petrol Price hike and issues

    Everyone most often complains that petrol is very expensive in India, and thus whenever the government hikes fuel prices there is always a hue and cry. It is the middle class who is affected. The so called common man, aam admi like me, do no get affected at all, as we sort of walk to work around 2kms, hardly drive and ensure shop locally and kids study in walking distance.

    Today, I filled up my car's fuel tank, and I thought fuel has become really expensive after yesterday's price hike. But then I compared it with other common liquids and did some quick calculations, and I felt a little better. (I drive to my farmland site near Hosur, every month, and on the way I fill the tank - mostly 30 litres, which saves me now Rs 6.84 * 30 = Rs 205, saving me 3.5 litres and costing me only 7 kms - give or take 1 litre)
    But look at the statistics below. In fact, petrol is cheaper than the Coca Cola you drink. It is not just petrol; most liquids that you daily use are more expensive than vehicle fuels.
    I know why, see the results below – you'll be surprised at how outrageous some other prices are!

    Diesel in Bangalore: Rs.39.84 per litre
    Petrol in Bangalore: Rs. 58.78 per litre
    Coca Cola 330 ml can : Rs.20 = Rs.61 per litre
    Dettol antiseptic 100 ml Rs.20 = Rs.200 per litre
    Radiator coolant 500 ml Rs.160 = Rs.320 per litre
    Pantene conditioner 400 ml Rs..165 = Rs.413 per litre
    Medicinal mouthwash like Listerine 100 ml Rs.45 = Rs. 450 per litre
    Red Bull 150 ml can : Rs.75 = Rs.500 per litre
    Corex cough syrup 100 ml Rs.57 = Rs. 570 per litre
    Evian water 500 ml Rs. 330 = Rs. 660 per litre. Rs. 500 for a litre of WATER???!!! And the buyers don't even know the source (Evian spelled backwards is Naive.)
    Kores whiteout 15 ml Rs. 15 = Rs. 1000 per litre
    Cup of coffee at any decent business hotel 150 ml Rs. 175 = Rs. 1167 per litre
    Old Spice after shave lotion 100 ml Rs. 175 = Rs. 1750
    Now let us talk about the real sufferers..... Govt has given only Rs 800 as conveyance allowance from 1980s, which is not increased at all, this has to be taken care by P Chidambaram. (notice, he never came to media - even with tax cuts - it was only Petroleum minister doing the talk)

    Wednesday, June 04, 2008

    Amitabh Bachchan Blog

    You can visit here... Very beautifully written.

    he he I have a comment there.

    Some Microsoft humor (found on the net!)

    They are the biggest co. on the world. Well dont they know to write software?

    See this image.... (how can you hit the key, when it is defunct?)

    The curious case of Benjamin Button, by David Fincher

    It has the same story line, written by Scott..... aging backwards. Sujatha would have loved to write on it. The story of a man who is born as 85 years old and aging backwards to 5. Fun!

    The curious case of Benjamin Button... for you....

    P/E – What is it all about?

    P/E – What is it all about?

    The most commonly used valuation metric by investors is the price to earnings ratio or commonly referred to as the P/E ratio. Though commonly used, it is also misunderstood for various reasons. Here is an attempt to simplify this valuation metric.

    How is P/E calculated?

    It is calculated by dividing market price of a stock by EPS (earnings per share). EPS in turn is calculated by dividing the net profit of the company by the number of shares outstanding.

    Having calculated the P/E, what does it stand for?

    Lets assume a stock is trading at Rs 100 and its EPS is Rs 20. The P/E multiple is 5 (100 upon 20). Assuming that the company's EPS is likely to be Rs 20 each year, it will take 5 years for the investor to realize Rs 100. Of course, the assumption here is that the company's EPS is not growing at all.

    Now taking the example of commonly traded stocks like Infosys and Tisco. While the former trades at a P/E multiple of 25 times, the latter trades at 7 times. Why is it so? It is believed that the stock price of a company tracks its long-term earnings growth potential. In an economy, some companies (or sectors) are likely to grow at a faster (like say software or pharma) rate. So, the P/E multiple of companies from these sectors are likely to be higher and vice versa. Depending upon growth expectations, the P/E multiple could vary.

    There is one crucial factor here i.e. expectations. Though Infosys may be trading at 25 times earnings, if EPS is expected to grow by 25% per annum, the investor could realize the money in four years.

    P/E – Is it a discount or a multiple?

    There are two ways of quoting P/E valuations:

    1. Tisco is currently trading at Rs 350 discounting its earnings by 5.5 times

    2. Tisco is currently trading at Rs 350 at a P/E multiple of 5.5 times

    Which is right? The answer to this lies in the formula for calculating P/E itself.

    P/E is Market price divided by EPS. If we were to reverse the formula,

    Market price = P/E multiplied by EPS. Stock prices reflect future earnings potential and not past performance. Discounting the current price with historical EPS is not a right way to analyse companies.

    Take a hypothetical case. If Tisco's EPS for the next year is expected at Rs 50 and the growth in EPS is around 15%, the market price is calculated by multiplying Rs 50 with 15 times i.e. Rs 750. When determining the stock price, one does not discount earnings but multiply earnings.

    What is the 'right' P/E multiple for a stock?

    The answer to this question is not easy. In the previous example, we have assigned a P/E multiple of 15 times because EPS is expected to grow by 15% in the immediate year. Is this the right way? Not necessarily. Here, it is important to understand industry characteristics of the company.

    For a commodity stock like Tisco, EPS tends to grow at a faster rate when steel prices are recovering or are at the peak and the EPS is likely to decline at a faster rate during downturns. To qualify this statement, if we look at EPS growth of Tisco from 1994 to 2004, the compounded growth in earnings is 17%. However, the CAGR growth in the last three years was 193% (the recovery phase). So, if one believes that steel demand is likely to trace long-term economic growth and that 15% growth is unsustainable, the P/E multiple should be ideally much lower than 15 times. Similarly, the long-term growth prospects for software companies could be much higher than commodities. So, the P/E multiple for software stocks could be at a premium.

    Determining the P/E multiple for a stock/sector also depends on:

    1. Historical performance – Why does Infosys trade at a higher P/E multiple compared to Satyam? By historical performance, we mean, focus of the management (without unrelated diversifications), ability to outperform competitors in downturn/upturns and promise vs performance. This can be gauged if one looks at the last three to five year annual reports of a company.

    2. The sector characteristics – Margin profile, whether it is asset intensive and intensity of competition. Less asset intensive sectors (say, FMCG) are considered defensive and therefore, could trade a premium to the overall market.

    3. And more importantly, expectations. Take the case of textile stocks. Expectations of significant growth opportunities post the 2005 quote regime phase out has resulted in upgradation of P/E multiple of the textile sector.

    When is P/E not useful?

    1. Economic cycles - In FY02, Tisco was trading at a P/E multiple of 20.5 times its FY02 earnings. Was it expensive? Based on FY05 expected earnings, Tisco is trading at a P/E multiple of 5 times its earnings (at Rs 250). Is it cheap? If one ignored Tisco in FY02 on the basis that it was 'expensive' on the P/E multiple in FY02, the opportunity loss is as much as 350%. Businesses operate in cycles. During downturn, EPS will be low but P/E will be inflated and vice versa. At the same time, during expansionary phase, corporates invest in capacities. In this case, high depreciation costs suppress earnings. P/E, in this context, may mislead investors.

    2. Not actively tracked – There are number of companies in the Indian stock market that are not actively tracked by investors, analyst and institutions. For example, Infosys' average price was Rs 2 in FY94 and the P/E multiple was 17 times. At times, P/E multiple may be lower because some sectors/stocks are not in the limelight.

    3. Expectations – On the downside, some stocks may be trading at a significant premium because earnings expectations are higher. High P/E also does not mean a good stock to buy. What if the expectations are unrealistic? One needs to exercise caution to this extent.

    4. Means little as a standalone number – P/E, as a standalone number, means little. Besides P/E, it is also important to look at margins, return on net worth, cash generating ability and consistency in performance over the years to assign a value to a stock.

    5. Market sentiment – During bear phases or when interest in stocks is low, valuations could be depressed. Since equities are considered less attractive during these periods, valuations are likely to be below historical average or below earnings growth prospects.

    When is P/E useful?

    A powerful metric – Unlike metrics like discounted cash flow method and so on, P/E is relatively a simple and at the same time, a powerful metric from a retail investor perspective. Though the factors behind determining the 'right' P/E multiple are important, a historical perspective of a stock's P/E could make this exercise less complex.

    To conclude, valuation of stocks involves subjectivity. A person X may assign a higher P/E multiple to the stock as compared to a person Y depending on the risk profile and growth expectations. In the end, it all boils down to how the company is likely to perform.

    It is not that stock market is always right when it comes to valuing a stock! As Mr. Benjamin Graham puts it "in the short term, the market is a 'voting' machine whereon countless individuals register choices that are product partly of reason and partly of emotion. However, in the long-term, the market is a 'weighing' machine on which the value of each issue (business) is recorded by an exact and impersonal mechanism". Watch the earnings!

    Tuesday, June 03, 2008

    Monday, June 02, 2008

    Fun @ Workplace?

    Strictly you should know how to spend time at work and home. In the name of Team Building, you can have fun time at work (chat, games on PC or TT, or even Golf, if you are an Investment Banker). The question is driving the point, should the empoyees strictly work and not having fun while working and do the job. This is where the expectation management comes into play. Delivery strictures & timelines are to be created in a way, that people can also take some timeoff for personal things. In fact, no one wants to work as Robots.
    What if the employee has stomach problems after one strong day of fun with food, as indulgence goes overboard at times in the IT culture. Buffetts. The person can take time off, or come to work, struggle and get the job done.

    Do you want to be Rich or Poor?

    Of course the question has nothing to do with any reality, but such questions are good for gaining perspective. Those that need perspective the most are people who are closest to those descriptions without the restrictions. I find that people with an abundance of luxuries, earned or inherited, are exposed to a life unlike any normal person will ever be. So, I know it sounds kind of cliche, but I have always enjoyed working with people, fighting the good fight, and making everything out of nothing, so I would have to say I would be the King that cannot take more than one vacation day, as the potential to affect the greatest number of people would be at my fingertips. The challenges of my charge would be enough to motivate me. I am a workaholic by nature, so solving the problems of my kingdom would consume me all of my days. It is a sad thing when people with money begin to feel that they are too big or too important to get their hands dirty. I came from a very poor household (after being rich for while, before my uncles and aunts of dad's side plundered the wealth - literally stealing and ran away) where we lived on roughly 500 Rs a month (those days early 80's) as my father was making lots of losses and was suffering from instability due to the unhelping nature of the brothers and sisters. Seeing and experiencing the suffering first hand in my life helped me to see the value in lifting a hand to help almost anyone I come across in my life that needs it. You cannot put a price on the smile and extremely overwhelming look of gratitude you get when you hold open a door for an older lady, grab a heavy bag off the conveyor belt at the airport/shop, or hand your last change in the purse to a mother with three children standing in the road because she is has no money to eat or no home. Now I am not saying that someone who comes from money wouldn't help that mother, but they really don't see her crying, because their lives are so consumed and their perspectives so different that their mind doesn't register that such an existence truly is there to see. They cannot phathom that a person could actually not have a single paisa to their name and be able to drive another foot or buy a candy bar to split between their children.
    Take the time to talk to people, smile, be friendly to everyone. You never know what kind of friends you will make if you just give people a chance. People who come from money can never understand what it means to really have no money and nothing to eat and no means for getting something to eat. It is a terrible existence, at the time, but it makes the rest of your life a magical adventure, creating a world for you that no one else can possibly experience. It is the very reason that immigrants from poor countries go to America and flourish (or for that matter Bangladeshis in India). They actually see USA for what it really means instead of wasting their entire lives fighting against rulings, laws, and distractions created by 'normal' lives because they actually see the big picture and what those blessings really mean to them and their families. Just because you choose to overlook them do not mean that destitude people do not exist. Why would Mukesh Ambani build a 2 billion$ dollar home, while he can make sure with that money, he can eradicate the proverty in Mumbai (if not Maharastra or India)? So do not waste your life helping yourself when your life could be abound with the treasures of helping others. Possibilities only show themselves to those who lend an ear and look away from normality long enough to see them. Do not waster time taking about Yeddyurappa and Shobha Karandlaje or Dhoni and Lakshmi Rai. My daily goal is to affect one person in a positive way, daily. I hope that lending my weird perspectives helped at least one of you. Remember you can change 1000's of lives with one brief moment of your own. A simple smile, a hello, and a little eye contact, psychologically make people feel more important and especially from a stranger, so take the time to do so and you will see what I mean. Have a great day!

    IPL T20 a flop show

    Kudos to Chennai Super Kings for making it to the final and lasted till final ball. Balaji is a wonder find. Excellent temperament.

    This IPL season should be started early at 7 PM next season. Luckily schools are closed. Vacation time.

    The concept of the highest team bidder gets the hosting of final looks staged. They always wanted this to happen at Mumbai isnt it? Good show anyways!

    My kids are growing up and hence, their time is invested in hockey and tennis TV shows - are coming up and I dont want cricket to spoil them.

    I request BCCI to take inputs from me on how to spend those 350 crores for the betterment of people. I would start by helping farmers in Vidharba region.

    Sunday, June 01, 2008

    Cricket: IPL : Chennai Super Kings win easily

    Yesterday May 31st, was a super day, where Chennai Super Kings won easily!

    Way to go Dhoni and men.

    They will lift the cup for sure!

    The TOI article today morning says the bookies have made Rs 22,000 crore so far. I told you so!

    Liars in the family and X marks

    I thought of writing this article about my wife's sister's son. Who passed X Matric at Sirumugai.

    That guy studies well, apart from little bit of extracurricular & karate. 872668.

    Now he has gone to some mark mill school at Vidhya Vikas Kendra in Tiruchengode. (my wife talking about reserving seats for our kids now, Sharon in 3rd and Prithiv in 1st, there for their 10th and 8th, after my retirement at 45, is going on). Note that that school got state first in Plus Two and almost all in first group goes to Engineering or Medical (30%).

    He was admitted in Plus 1 based on recommendation and a cost of about Rs 1 lakh per annum with hostel fees in first group, and he has finished one month of schooling (not sure whether that is illegal, even before the actual admission starts after results).

    His parents were too worried about him passing History and Geography paper (did not sleep before that exam, and didn't want to write it, crying and all). He has given not so good opinion on it. He has got 94 marks! He has got 99 in maths owing to question paper printing error of 1 mark question (8 looks like 5, something of that sort), which was not taken for award of marks. With his horrible Tamil handwriting has scored 92, so he lost out to a girl (obviously good handwriting) on being school first by 3 marks. Talks about Kongu's (Kongunadu-Coimbatore area) and Kaambu's second meaning...

    So when I called him to congratulate on 30th at 10AM, and asked him about lying, he said I had to give it back to my parents for the torture to make me slog and study without any play! Poetic Justice!