Note to recruiters

Note to recruiters: We are quite aware that recruiters, interviewers, VCs and other professionals generally perform a Google Search before they interview someone, take a pitch from someone, et cetera. Please keep in mind that not everything put on the Internet must align directly to one's future career and/or one's future product portfolio. Sometimes, people do put things on the Internet just because. Just because. It may be out of their personal interests, which may have nothing to do with their professional interests. Or it may be for some other reason. Recruiters seem to have this wrong-headed notion that if somebody is not signalling their interests in a certain area online, then that means that they are not interested in that area at all. It is worth pointing out that economics pretty much underlies the areas of marketing, strategy, operations and finance. And this blog is about economics. With metta, let us. by all means, be reflective about this whole business of business. Also, see our post on "The Multi-faceted Identity Problem".

Monday, September 30, 2013

INNOVATION: Miniature 'human brain' grown in lab

Via the BBC:
Miniature "human brains" have been grown in a lab in a feat scientists hope will transform the understanding of neurological disorders. 
The pea-sized structures reached the same level of development as in a nine-week-old foetus, but are incapable of thought. 
The study, published in the journal Nature, has already been used to gain insight into rare diseases. 
Neuroscientists have described the findings as astounding and fascinating.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

INNOVATION: Emmys tune up 17,000 tweets per minute

Carrie Underwood's performance of "Yesterday" triggered 17,090 tweets per minute, while the Emmy awarded to "Breaking Bad" for Best Drama got the highest number at 62,150 tweets in total.

Monday, September 23, 2013

TECHNOLOGY: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Debuts In-Memory Database To Kick Off OpenWorld

Oracle ORCL -0.32% CEO Larry Ellison was all positivity for a day as he kicked off his company’s annual OpenWorld conference with anticipated remarks debuting Oracle’s new in-memory database product it’s counting on to turn around tepid revenue growth. 
The tech billionaire, third richest American on the Forbes 400, tipped his cap to his team TISI +0.47% currently battling in the America’s Cup and then made his pitch for why In-Memory Database Technology can right the ship for his firm’s slowing growth. Oracle Team USA won both its races Sunday but must win four in a row to keep its title–and Oracle might face as tough a challenge in growing that revenue, which came in at just 2% for the quarter. On its earnings call last week, president Mark Hurd said the company is counting on the in-data option, which Ellison also previewed in writing for the earnings release.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

MISCELLANEOUS: Principled underpunctuation

So. The issue came up on the Bay Area Quiz Club regarding whether the Twitter feed should be opened up further. I am all for it; however, we haven't yet officially discussed it at the club. We have discussed it on Facebook, yes, but never at the Quiz Club. And Facebook cannot be considered to be a quorum because the people who ought to get to decide may not all be on Facebook. One cannot simply make private data public without the permission of the people concerned.

So, a discussion transpired on the Facebook group. 

During the discussion, I said things like the following :
Since N. works for Twitter, I have inquired with her about the possibility of Twitter sponsoring us.

Then in response to the following comments by a certain person I shall refer to as G. ("First, A M you missed A. S . He is the 3rd admin and not B. I don't think N. is suggesting that we move the club to Twitter. "), I said the following :
@G., yeah yeah okay.
> First, A M you missed A .
Great- thanks. I just included a subset of the admins.

I think it is okay to talk to B since he conducted the X.

I don't think moving the club to Twitter is practical. <and then more stuff>

That was meant to be a stiff reply. And stuff replies are exactly what are called for sometimes.

But, but, but... it is also good to make sure that there is no ill will. And so to make sure there was no ill will, I then went back to the discussion and added the following to the very end of it.

Principled underpunctuation. That is what I call it. When the matter is a matter as serious as data privacy, I think one must take a principled stand.

I have underpunctuated a number of the sentences.  There are some virtual smileys in these sentences, there is one after ". @G., yeah yeah okay :) :) :) :)".. and also one after "Great- thanks. I just included a subset of the admins. :) :) :)" it was all supposed to be there. That sentence " Since N. works for Twitter, I have inquired with her about the possibility of Twitter sponsoring us. :) :) :) :) :)". It is supposed to have a bunch of smileys afterwards too. Now that we are done with principle and punctuation, let us move on to business.

As for now, per my conversation with B., what we need is the following:

- some idea of what the policy is going to be for what is going to be made public and what is not (specifically, whether to go with a "whitelist" approach or a "blacklist" approach)
- some idea of what the Twitter feed is going to essentially consist of. I have some ideas on this, but would invite suggestions.

We can discuss this further at the next meeting. In the meantime, feel free to move this discussion further by providing suggestions, thoughts and, if you feel so inclined, fifty second boisterously bold Buffalax Bollywood mashups.

So, there you have it. Principled underpunctuation. The idea with principled underpunctuation is that if you detect a problem of principle with a stand that other people have taken on Facebook, and there is a matter of principle involved and, by the way, if you notice that other people are getting short and annoying and are not being sufficiently nice in their responses ("Be nice" is a good philosophy to live by), then you simply begin to underpunctuate your own responses. You do want to later go back and clarify everything that you said but, in the meantime, by word and deed, you make it absolutely clear that you are going to take a firm stand on the matter.

Worked out quite well for me. Try it out. See how well it works for you. I will warn you though that there is a certain Zen to the whole thing. A certain Zen.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

TECHNOLOGY: Saratoga (Calif.) teen wins $50,000


A potentially game-changing invention by an 18-year-old high school student grew out of a simple problem that plagues teenagers (and just about everyone else). 
“I’m a teenager and I have a cellphone and my cellphone battery always dies, so I was really looking for a way to improve energy storage,’’ Eesha Khare said on TODAY Tuesday. “That’s how I came across supercapacitors.’’ 
The Saratoga, Calif., teenager, who graduated from high school last week, won a $50,000 prize on May 17 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for creating a device that can store enough energy to potentially charge a cellphone in 20 to 30 seconds. In addition, the device lasts for 10,000 charge-recharge cycles, compared to 1,000 cycles for most cellphone batteries. 
“It charges very quickly and can store a lot of energy,’’ Khare said. “The cool thing is it’s at the nano-scale, so (it's) really a lot thinner than one strand of hair.” 
Khare has not used her invention to recharge a cellphone yet, instead demonstrating its capability by using it to power a light-emitting diode (LED). If used on cellphones, the supercharger would slide on to the phone’s battery to juice it up in a matter of seconds. The technology is not available to consumers yet, and it could be years until it is. 
“I think it will take a couple years more,’’ Khare said. “There’s still a lot more to be done with the supercapacitor device, but it’s definitely coming soon in the future." At an Intel event in Phoenix, Khare won the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award, taking second place overall in the world’s largest high school science research competition. She beat out more than 1,600 finalists from 70 countries. She said on TODAY that she has been approached by several companies to continue her research, but is currently focused on attending Harvard University in the fall.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

INNOVATION: Our non-profit Digital Green/Rikin Gandhi mention in the BBC (yay!)

From the BBC:
Or take the 26-year-old who co-founded a software start-up in Bangalore, and helped turn it into a global technology services giant. And then, 28 years later, Nandan Nilekani quit Infosys, to drive something he believed in: giving a digital identity to a billion Indians. 
That little start-up, and others like it, pushed India's information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry across the $100bn mark in 2012. Nearly 70% of that was exports, according to industry association Nasscom, which says that India supplies nearly 60% of the IT-BPO services that are globally-sourced.
Then there's Rikin Gandhi, who gave up his dream of becoming an astronaut just as he came really close to it. He left the United States and came to India to work with farmers, using digital video to change what and how they learned. This is also his story. 
Locally-produced video is a simple innovation for rural India, where internet penetration is low. Mobile use is ramping up, though.