Archive | March 2009

Workaholic

I woke up on a Saturday morning

The sun was bright and shining

 

The green grass was all wet with dew

I saw flowers all over with bright hue

 

Are those honey bees that are buzzing?

What happened to the world while I was busy working?

 

I was shocked I took notice

Coz’ I never have time for something so nice

 

I guess the spring is coming

Well, it’s just another season passing

How do you feel about the economy? – NYT Survey

I have come across this interesting survey that NYT has posted on it’s website. All visitors to NYTimes.Com can type in a word or select some words that keep scrolling (based on previous user input I think) that they think best describes the current economic situation. The user can specify if  he/She is Employed or Unemployed or Neither.

These are some of the most popular words under each category selected by NYT readers:

Everyone:

  • Hopeful
  • Anxious
  • Optimistic
  • Cautious

Employed:

  • Hopeful
  • Powerless
  • Stressed
  • Anxious

Unemployed:

  • Hopeful
  • Anxious
  • Optimistic
  • Cautious

Interesting Idea. So, people are Anxious and Cautious but Optimistic and Hopeful too. If you’re interested, you can give it a shot here.

Open Cloud Manifesto – A new initiative to make Cloud Computing ‘Open’

As you all know, Cloud Computing is the most happening thing these days in the IT world. A group of companies formed an alliance and have come out with a Manifesto called Open Cloud Manifesto. The list of companies that support runs close to about 70. The list includes IBM, SUN, VMWare, Novell, EMC, CSC, Cisco etc.  The prominent names that are missing include Amazon, Google, Microsoft and SalesForce.Com. Unfortunately, these firms are also considered leaders in the Cloud Computing Space. Hope these big boys also will  join the alliance to make the CC world as open as it can be.

They also have a WiKi, Discussion Forum and other Resources available. Visit the website for more details.

Highlights of the Manifesto:

Core value propositions of Cloud Computing:

  1. Scalability on Demand
  2. Streamlining the Data Center
  3. Improving Business Processes
  4. Minimizing Start-Up costs

Challenges and Barriers to Adoption:

  1. Security
  2. Data and Application Interoperability
  3. Data and Application Portability
  4. Governance and Management
  5. Metering and Monitoring

Goals of Open Cloud:

  1. Choice
  2. Flexibility
  3. Speed and Agility
  4. Skills

It also includes some principles that the Cloud Providers  should adopt. Visit the website (www.OpenCloudManifesto.org) for more details

New Orleans Initiative – Leadership in Tough Times – NC PMI Session

As I have blogged (I wonder if  this is really a word?) before, I have been attending the NC PMI Committee meetings quite often for the past couple of months. Recently I have attended a session by Mr. Branford Marsalis. Mr. Marsalis is a world renowned Saxophonist. When I first saw this event, I was wondering what does a musician has go to do with Project Management. As you all know, many of us live like ‘Frogs in a well’ (It’s an Indian saying). I was curious and enrolled to this session.

I decided to understand the background a little bit to appreciate the session a little more. What I discovered is that Mr. Marsalis, along with his musician friend Harry Connick Jr., has started a venture to build homes for musicians in the upper 9th ward of New Orleans,  after the hurricane Katrina disaster. This noble cause has been named the ‘Musicians Village‘.  Despite the name, people other than musicians also applied for the homes. Mr. Marsalis and Mr. Connick Jr. worked with Habitat for Humanity International on this cause.

I have been to New Orleans during my Christmas vacation and have heard about this venture during one of my guided tours. The name that I recognized and associated was that of Mr. Connick Jr.. However after much reading I realized that it was a joint effort by both of these gentle hearted musician, with their passion to give back to their home town.This is recognized as one of many successful initiatives in NOLA, post Katrina. The people and culture of New Orleans is very unique. So, is the red tape and bureaucracy, is what I heard many a times during my tour and later.  

The session itself  was quite different from the ones I have attended before. Mr. Marsalis waked in, without any gadgets and power point slides / handouts. He just sat there and narrated the story about the origin of the idea and the journey. Participants were really very interested and touched by the whole story as it was about one of the biggest disasters of recent times. Participants asked questions along the way.  The situation and the prevailing conditions reminded me of my home land. Another lady from Brazil was able to relate to the story and life in NOLA. She felt that place was like home away from home. I think it is a ‘Third World’ thing. I am sure there will be some of my fellow country men who may not like me call India a ‘Third World’ country.

I will highlight some interesting facts and quotes from the session I have noted. 

  • Musicians in NOLA work for cash and record all their transaction in their ‘Gig Books’. They do not have Pay Slips and hence had trouble with getting loans from banks etc. to build their homes
  • Musicians’ village was aimed at building homes for musicians as well as any other citizens who applies
  • Beneficiaries will contribute 300 hours of sweat equity and will pay about $550 per month, one the home is complete
  • HHI will also teach the owners all the maintenance techniques
  • HHI typically has two standard building plans, however, they have made an exception and designed a third model to overcome a future flood situation
  • “Stop blaming and get the job done”
  • “Identify the Right Thing To Do and get it done”
  • “Identify the Right People” – applied the same logic that he used to make music with – Right Team for the job
  • I do not work with lousy people and I can tell someone is lousy after I work for a few hours
  • Ignore the criticism and continue doing what you are doing, if you believe it is the right thing to do
  • Make the best use of the resources available to you to get attention and support – Media and Press in this case to overcome bribery and Red Tape

Overall, it was a unique and touching experience. I think I am getting good food for thought along with good food during these sessions. I hope to continue doing this and learn along the way.

Sony Reader – Is this the Amazon Kindle Killer?

You might know the gadget “Kindle” offered by Amazon. They have been trying really hard to push this and make it a popular “I want That” gadget. Soney has it’s own Kindle named Sony Reader.Google is offering 500,000 eBooks, Google eBooks, for free to read on Sony Reader. Now that’s what we can call Kindle Killer.  These eBooks are also downloadable to desktop by downloading the eBook Library Software. But, the question remains as to how many of these books are popular titles that people would want to read. You will have to find that out for yourself. 

Happy reading book worms!!!

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