Feb 27, 2010

The DON's Double Ton !

Source: Cricinfo.com

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, carries the dreams of a billion. It's NOT easy to be Sachin Tendulkar. 20 years in the game, still maturing, still young & still LEARNING - Qualities of a remarkable player. I already wrote about Sachin's Still-Learning ability in one of my previous blogs. I admire him very very much and I am  proud to say that. His recent world record for HIGHEST EVER INDIVIDUAL ODI SCORE meant a lot to the cricketing world. He always proved the impossible - possible. The double hundred mark in ODI remained unticked for a very long time & the man who deserved it - did it in style.

BlogJunta - An ode to the Blogosphere
This was choosen in the list of Editor's Choice blog by BlogJunta.com

It was near the 25th over, SRT was not out on 80. I saw it coming. Sachin was solid, staggering, and stand-out. Called up my colleague Karthik and said, He is gonna cross the 'never-reached-before' ODI Double Ton. He spared a smile, said it's too early to decide & continued with work.
I still had that gut feel echoing inside me all the time. Sachin seemed to be at his very best. The shots he played, effortless as it looked. No risks taken. No catches dropped. No near-falls. No Run-out chances. No leading edges. One would be surprised if doing all the above would have been possible throughout the 50 overs. Sehwag, also had the same feeling!
"He had started the innings in a confident mood. As soon as he hit his first boundary, off the third ball of the second over, he walked up to me and said the pitch was full of runs and we only needed to time the ball !"
Sehwag, who the world thought was very much capable of reaching this 200 Mark himself admitted that he wouldn't. He takes too many risks and always play with a 'hell-i-care' attitude. Sachin has the skill to attack as well as snatching the singles safely in the middle overs. These two already had talks about the same. Sehwag exclaimed after the match,
We have had chats about him scoring 200. He thought it was difficult, but I told him only he could do it. Last year in New Zealand, when he retired on 163 I told him he had missed the opportunity, but he said "Agar meri kismat mein hoga toh woh mil jayega [It will eventually happen if I am destined to do it]." He said the same when he got 175 against Australia last year. On Wednesday he said "Woh likha tha, toh mil gaya [I got what was destined]". 
Sachin always beleived in destiny. I watching the match live was also Destiny. I was in office but still thanks to 'Live-streaming' Technology - well provided free of cost by CricketNirvana.com. I could still watch the game live on the Internet. Thank you CricketNirvana.com. If you have missed the moment, here you go.

That said, it's a marvellous moment for the nation to rejoice, remember forever. Thank you very much - Sachin. May you be blessed for what you are and we are looking forward to your next mark - Hundred 100's in both forms of the formidable game :-)

Feb 23, 2010

Why Save Tigers ?

I saw a Ad on the TV. An Initiative from AIRCEL to save Tigers. We were eagerly watching a edge-of-the-seat-thriller between India and South Africa when it interrupted the game. "Why care for a Tiger living in a forest ? What good it does ?", i impatiently asked.
Ashisk, a smart young lad living in the next door replied with a 'proving-point'.
Though tigers live in forests, they hunt deers. Deers are plant eating animals. Less number of tigers will lead to MORE number of Deer which in turn consumes more amount of Plants which in turn reduces the Tree count which in.....
Oh..oh..wait..wait....It affects the entire Ecosystem which might lead to an Imbalance. Well, that proved very well of why i got an 'E' Grade in Environmental Studies. For one, who doesn't graduate from Annamalai University, 'E' is the lowest possible 'pass' grade - one can score.

We know that ecosystem means collection of all kinds of organisms that live in this world. Any imbalance in their number may lead to destruction. Suppose if the entire frog species becomes extinct then there maybe an increase in insects population or a decrease in snakes population (as snakes may have only little possible options to eat). Major causes are exploitation of natural resources by us.

Not just me but over 1300 scientists contributed a report to the World Health Organization after considering the impacts on human well-being, past, present and future due to ecosystem degradation...

Well, let's go save some tigers :-)

Feb 8, 2010

Marriage Vs Wedding

Often these two terms are interchanged to mean the other. Though we feel like they share the same meaning, there is indeed a difference which unveiled after a google search !

A marriage is a long term relationship between two individuals. A wedding, on the other hand, is the ceremony of getting married.

Therefore, You are invited to my wedding. is correct and You are invited to my marriage. is incorrect usage.

Their marriage was a disaster. implies that the couple was not happy in their life together and are probably separated or divorced. On the other hand, Their wedding was a disaster. implies that something happened during the wedding and that the ceremony did not go smoothly. The couple can go on to have a long and happy marriage even after a disastrous wedding.

Wedding = Ceremony or Party | Marriage = Contract, Document.

Feb 7, 2010

Connecting to MS SQL Server through JDBC

This post is directed at any one who is in trouble trying to figure out a way to connect to Microsoft SQL Server from JAVA. The Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) is the API that helps establishing a connection to almost any Database from a Java program. Though a connectivity to MS SQL Server is rarely established from Java as the prominent participants in the communication would be Oracle & MySQL.
JDBC is a generic API and the procedure is same for any Database communication.
  1. You download the JDBC driver for the appropriate Database (Like Oracle, MS-SQL Server)
  2. Start the Database server.
  3. Establish the connection from the Java program.
  4. Enjoy communication. Go ahead - Create, Delete, Update...What ever you want...
The following article from Microsoft Support helps you find your way.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313100

Feb 2, 2010

Have Breakfast… or…Be Breakfast !

An interesting management article from Dr.YLR Moorthi.
Have Breakfast… or…Be Breakfast!
Who sells the largest number of cameras in India?
Your guess is likely to be Sony, Canon or Nikon. Answer is none of the above. The winner is Nokia whose main line of business in India is not cameras but cell phones.
Reason being cameras bundled with cellphones are outselling stand alone cameras. Now, what prevents the cellphone from replacing the camera outright? Nothing at all. One can only hope the Sony’s and Canons are taking note.
Try this. Who is the biggest in music business in India? You think it is HMV Sa-Re-Ga-Ma? Sorry. The answer is Airtel. By selling caller tunes (that play for 30 seconds) Airtel makes more than what music companies make by selling music albums (that run for hours).
Incidentally Airtel is not in music business. It is the mobile service provider with the largest subscriber base in India. That sort of competitor is difficult to detect, even more difficult to beat (by the time you have identified him he has already gone past you). But if you imagine that Nokia and Bharti (Airtel's parent) are breathing easy you can't be farther from truth.
Nokia confessed that they all but missed the Smartphone bus. They admit that Apple's I phone and Google's Android can make life difficult in future. But you never thought Google was a mobile company, did you? If these illustrations mean anything, there is a bigger game unfolding. It is not so much about mobile or music or camera or emails?
The "Mahabharata" (the great Indian epic battle) is about "what is tomorrow's personal digital device"? Will it be a souped up mobile or a palmtop with a telephone? All these are little wars that add up to that big battle. Hiding behind all these wars is a gem of a question – "who is my competitor?"
Once in a while, to intrigue my students I toss a question at them. It says "What Apple did to Sony, Sony did to Kodak, explain?" The smart ones get the answer almost immediately. Sony defined its market as audio (music from the walkman). They never expected an IT company like Apple to encroach into their audio domain. Come to think of it, is it really surprising? Apple as a computer maker has both audio and video capabilities. So what made Sony think he won't compete on pure audio? "Elementary Watson". So also Kodak defined its business as film cameras, Sony defines its businesses as "digital."
In digital camera the two markets perfectly meshed. Kodak was torn between going digital and sacrificing money on camera film or staying with films and getting left behind in digital technology. Left undecided it lost in both. It had to. It did not ask the question "who is my competitor for tomorrow?" The same was true for IBM whose mainframe revenue prevented it from seeing the PC. The same was true of Bill Gates who declared "internet is a fad!" and then turned around to bundle the browser with windows to bury Netscape. The point is not who is today's competitor. Today's competitor is obvious. Tomorrow's is not.
In 2008, who was the toughest competitor to British Airways in India? Singapore airlines? Better still, Indian airlines? Maybe, but there are better answers. There are competitors that can hurt all these airlines and others not mentioned. The answer is videoconferencing and telepresence services of HP and Cisco. Travel dropped due to recession. Senior IT executives in India and abroad were compelled by their head quarters to use videoconferencing to shrink travel budget. So much so, that the mad scramble for American visas from Indian techies was nowhere in sight in 2008. (India has a quota of something like 65,000 visas to the U.S. They were going a-begging. Blame it on recession!). So far so good. But to think that the airlines will be back in business post recession is something I would not bet on. In short term yes. In long term a resounding no. Remember, if there is one place where Newton's law of gravity is applicable besides physics it is in electronic hardware. Between 1977 and 1991 the prices of the now dead VCR (parent of Blue-Ray disc player) crashed to one-third of its original level in India. PC's price dropped from hundreds of thousands of rupees to tens of thousands. If this trend repeats then telepresence prices will also crash. Imagine the fate of airlines then. As it is not many are making money. Then it will surely be RIP!
India has two passions. Films and cricket. The two markets were distinctly different. So were the icons. The cricket gods were Sachin and Sehwag. The filmi gods were the Khans (Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and the other Khans who followed suit). That was, when cricket was fundamentally test cricket or at best 50 over cricket. Then came IPL and the two markets collapsed into one. IPL brought cricket down to 20 overs. Suddenly an IPL match was reduced to the length of a 3 hour movie. Cricket became film's competitor. On the eve of IPL matches movie halls ran empty. Desperate multiplex owners requisitioned the rights for screening IPL matches at movie halls to hang on to the audience. If IPL were to become the mainstay of cricket, as it is likely to be, films have to sequence their releases so as not clash with IPL matches. As far as the audience is concerned both are what in India are called 3 hour "tamasha" (entertainment). Cricket season might push films out of the market.
Look at the products that vanished from India in the last 20 years. When did you last see a black and white movie? When did you last use a fountain pen? When did you last type on a typewriter? The answer for all the above is "I don't remember!" For some time there was a mild substitute for the typewriter called electronic typewriter that had limited memory. Then came the computer and mowed them all. Today most technologically challenged guys like me use the computer as an upgraded typewriter. Typewriters per se are nowhere to be seen.
One last illustration. 20 years back what were Indians using to wake them up in the morning? The answer is "alarm clock." The alarm clock was a monster made of mechanical springs. It had to be physically keyed every day to keep it running. It made so much noise by way of alarm, that it woke you up and the rest of the colony. Then came quartz clocks which were sleeker. They were much more gentle though still quaintly called "alarms." What do we use today for waking up in the morning? Cellphone! An entire industry of clocks disappeared without warning thanks to cell phones. Big watch companies like Titan were the losers. You never know in which bush your competitor is hiding!
On a lighter vein, who are the competitors for authors? Joke spewing machines? (Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, himself a Pole, tagged a Polish joke telling machine to a telephone much to the mirth of Silicon Valley). Or will the competition be story telling robots? Future is scary! The boss of an IT company once said something interesting about the animal called competition. He said "Have breakfast …or…. be breakfast"! That sums it up rather neatly.
—Dr. Y. L. R. Moorthi is a professor at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. He is an M.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and a post graduate in management from IIM, Bangalore.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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