Thursday, January 29, 2009

Some more on recession

An email forward I received recently on economic recession.

-Ali Baba and the forty thieves is now Ali Baba thirty thieves...10 were laid off!
-Batman and Robin are now Batman and Pedro. Batman fired Robin and hired Pedro because Pedro was willing to work twice the hours at the same rate!!
-Iron man now "air-pooling" with Superman to save fuel costs?!!
-Women finally marrying for love! And not money!
-The only "deposits" being made on a Ferrari are the ones made by birds flying over them.

Q: With the current market turmoil, what's the easiest way to make a small fortune?
A: Start off with a large one.

Q: What's the difference between an investment banker and a large pizza?
A: A large pizza can feed a family of four.

Q: What's the difference between an American and a Zimbabwean?
A: In a few weeks, nothing.

The credit crunch is getting bad isn't it? I mean, I let my brother borrow
$10 a couple of weeks back, it turns out I'm now America's third biggest lender.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Perils of Early Day Railway Transport in India

Actual letter written by irate traveler in 1909 and as displayed in National Railway Museum in New Delhi.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Markets NSE-BSE does not look good

Markets have been on a downtrend for quite a while now. NSE after touching 3100 is now again close to its lows. More recent event again in January is satyam fraud but earnings and global cues is now taking its toll.

While we approach a long weekend its important to see how Nifty and sensex chalks out its path. It can be a down day considering people would not take a risk on long weekend.

One need to be cautious and take risk judiciously. People who want to buy for long term can also take a risk of buying considering nothing happens on this weekend and markets open up in green on 27th January.

So there is only 2 rules to follow

1. Dont take chances if you cant afford to lose any money
2. Dont ever forget the rule 1.

Good Luck and Happy Investing


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why there is so much hype around Obama

I just fail to understand why it means so much to everyone. Yes human beings are emotional and there is no question about it but it seems people are considering swearing in ceremony as a moment of their life. I asked this question to many of my friends and everyone had their own reasons. Finally the only thing I can understand is simple “People are fed up with Bush”. See its that simple.

No one knows Obama and not many people have seen his work. He needs to substantiate his words with results which is not an easy task. “Yes we Can” needs to be translated and he should spell success for people. Can he do this, only time will tell.

Way is not easy and the opportunity to become a hero does not comes everyday …………especially when you are The President of The United States of America.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stay Active with SOGOActive

Teenagers these days are so much involved with tv and video games that it has started to affect their health. This is a major concern not only for parents but also for society as a whole in years to come. The direct consequence of such behavior is the number of diseases that teenagers are contracting at such an early stage of their lives. Physical activity of any sort is too important for kids and this is something which is as important as studies. Not only it is the duty of parents and teachers but the society should also contribute to it by providing ways and means to achieve this goal.

SOGO Active through their website is involved in national youth engagement initiative which is targeted at youth aged 13 to 19 years. Coca Cola Canada has partnered with ParticipACTION, Canada’s National Voice of Physical Activity and Sport Participation, to deliver the message of being healthy and active through each Province and Territory in Canada. The website has got innovative designs which helps one to design, manage, control, and change their own individual get active plan. The site helps not only to pick your favorite sports but also has tools that encourage you to achieve next level. SogoActive has an option to join various like minded groups to arrange active games and activities in your area. A section of website is devoted to stories of inspiration from star performers.

There would be more than 100 days of activities and celebration when the Olympic flame would pass through every province of Canada in 2010. This would be the time when celebration would be at its peak and no one would want to miss even a single bit of it. The best way to contribute is by being one of the torchbearers. SOGO Active is promoting an amazing offer in their website which will award over 1,000 torchbearer spots in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. There are monthly selections of Coca-Cola Torchbearers beginning January 2009. The entries would only be awarded to those teenagers, who would join this program and would demonstrate a commitment to adopt an active lifestyle. Community Hosts who register in SOGOActive would have an opportunity to provide 20 of their SOGO youth the Olympic Flame through the merit based selection process. It’s definitely an opportunity not only to be active but also a silent way to contribute your bit to Vancouver 2010 Olympics.



Is Infosys the next one ?????

Wipro has been banned by World Bank days after Satyam met the same fate. Even though the amount is small in Wipro case but it does raise some questions about the way contracts are being sourced by the IT firms. Infosys can be the next one to be named pending the enquiries which are going at the World Bank end.

These are definitely not the good times and new of such nature does shatter the confidence of the market as a whole. This is definitely not the first time contract are being sourced in this manner and it would definitely be not the last. Not only Indian but companies across the world are involved in such practices at varying levels. However this is a good step by World Bank atleast to raise such issues and give it back to the companies concerned. You cannot expect it at places of high value and World Bank is one of those for sure.

Satyam is a clear example on how the promoters can go to any extent to maintain their control. This has direct baring on the targets assigned to sales which then uses every means to secure the contract. This is a vicious cycle and I don’t think any company is insulated from it. I am not sure which company would be the next one to ban such companies but at same time no justification can be made for those which are involved.

While Infosys Numbers did provided the support to market today but I am not sure how the world bank news will span out. Also I sincerely hope the Infosys rumors is just a rumour and it maintains the position of high dignity.


Free Online Video Courses for children and teenagers


Brightstorm offers online video courses that help with the classes students take in high school. Talented teachers highlight key information and provide clear explanations, making it easier to understand the subject, leading to improved grades. Courses include interactive quizzes, practice problems and study guides to provide immediate homework help and will ensure your student is ready for their next test, essay or the SATs.

Registration is free, no credit card required. Registration gives you access to test drive episodes from 19 courses, free!


Friday, January 9, 2009

Greater Noida - Another Scandal in the making

Gone are the days when Greater Noida Authority (GNIDA) cash registers were ringing by selling far away pieces of land for commercial and residential use. Commercial properties were sold at high prices through a bid system and even sectors were cut out and sold for residential user. There was no respite in prices and months after months they were coming out with new schemes at exorbitant prices. A large deal of BPTP for Rs. 5000 Cr and sale of land to residential users with lump sum payment was norm of the day.

While expectation is that Government bodies should come out with easy payment mechanism to make it easy for end user to own a house, Greater Noida was opposite and was very strict with payments and deadlines. HUDA, Haryana Govt Authority, sold land in Faridabad couple of years back through a draw system and the payment was so flexible that some people are even now paying Rs. 1.5 lakhs after every 6 months with their payment staggered over 5 years or so. The case of Greater Noida authority was clearly opposite. Take example of BHS- 06 or BHS-08, a residential scheme, where built up houses was allotted through a draw. Right after draw one has to deposit a lumpsum amount of Rs. 40 lakhs into the authority account. One cannot opt for staggered payment because then one would have no chance to qualify in draw (they had a clause wherein application with staggered payments would be considered second in draw and only leftovers would be allotted to them). On top of it no one from BHS-06 and BHS-08 could take loan to make this heavy payment because authority did not let you mortgage the house. End result was that only NBFC's namely HDFC and LICHF thorough their contacts managed to fund about 5000+ house. The loophole is that no one can still blame Greater Noida authority because they are no where in picture. This is clearly a monopolistic case wherein in order to source funding of 5000+ house the Banks would have gone extra mile to offer discounts and freebies. But clearly the opportunity was lost and only authority made gains out of it.

So the money flow with slowdown is drying up but their hunger has no limits. A new scandal is propping up where the authority is now asking BHS-06 250 sqm allottees to pay lease rent of 90 years and register the house. Confirmed reports has proven the fact beyond doubt that the built up houses are no where near the possession stage and still needs to be worked upon. In order to get cash at this stage they are asking for money without even talking about the possession. This is clearly beyond logic because after extracting all money from residents they would be having no incentive to work on remaining part of the houses. They are offering baits like reduction in duty from 8% to 5% without realizing that duty rate is 5% only in UP. The project is delayed by many months and now sensing major goofups in plan, Greater Noida Authority is planning to take everything before it becomes to late.

Clearly small number of residents does not constitute a vote bank hence they cannot exercise their muscles. The laws in India are so bad that monopolistic and anti- consumer practices are very common even at recognized places. Things easily noticeable are clearly ignored while unimportant things are made huge issues. No one would come and protect the residents because they have money to pay (hard earned and years of toil). Clearly if you are a responsible citizen, honest taxpayer, and a person who earns salary to make comfortable living- such exploitation should is a way of life in India.

My wishes to people of BHS-06 who are now accumulating above Rs. 8 lakhs for a piece of crap from Greater Noida Authority (GNIDA)


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ramalinga Raju has fled to Pakistan

Ramalinga Raju the former chairman of Satyam has fled to Pakistan. Unconfirmed reports has validated that Pakistan government was too keen to invite him and has helped him to flee without any trouble. This is a complete failure of Indian Intelligence agency at time when India is yet to come out of memories of Mumbai saga.

Ramalinga Raju, a genius, who has duped lakhs of investors, could not be traced after his resignation on 7th January. However he has become an instant hit in Pakistan because of his sheer genius. Inner circle of Pakistan is of opinion that Ramalinga Raju has done the damage which no one from Pakistan or its outfits like ISI could have planned or executed in all these years. While the damage done to Mumbai has left many scars, the episode of satyam has potential to affect 53000 employees and inflict monetary loss of minimum Rs. 5000 Cr to company and its shareholder. Praises are coming from all quarters and there is a demand to confer him with highest honors in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

India on other side is doing everything to get Raju back. They are now preparing a proof of scandal in CD's which they plan to handover to each country including Pakistan to help them extradite Raju back. Pakistan meanwhile is in denial mode and authorities have refused to give any statement.

Disclaimer- This is a work of humor and a complete joke. The author salutes Mr. Raju genius who has the ability to fool everyone for almost a decade. Additionally author wants himself to be the first one to buy a book if Mr. Raju ever decides to write it.
On Pakistan front author mocks at India which for almost 2 months has failed to give justice to people who suffered in Mumbai attacks and terrorism. Pakistan will always deny and India will keep sending them the proofs.


XQuery, XML and DB2 Contest for students, professionals, and hobbyists

IDUG contest has come out with a challenge for students, professionals and the hobbyists. This one is special because the main focus of this contest is to increase awareness and familiarity about XQuery, XML and DB2. The contest is called XML challenge and the sponsor is looking for XML superstar. This contest is different from others because there is no restriction on number of attempts which one can take to clear the different rounds. In short you have an extra edge not only to increase your knowledge but also win some cool prizes.

This is a hassle free contest and everything can be completed in 4 simple steps.
First step- You have to register and confirm your identity.
Second step- A candidate has to answer 5 simple questions in order to qualify for next level. Here hints are given with each question.
Third step- A candidate has to answer 15 questions at varying difficulty level. Based on cumulative score winners are announced every week.
Fourth and Final Step- This is a final level in which a candidate can participate directly too. Here more prizes can be one from the cool list available.
This is an ongoing challenge and one can see the list of winners in the contest website.

IDUG contest has five separate tracks at varying skill levels for all individuals. A candidate can participate either in one or all of them in order to win prizes. The Track includes Video Contest, Gadget Contest, Xquery Challenge, Port an application, and Develop an application. Out of this Xquery challenge is one of my favorite because of complexity involved. I took this really seriously and found that there is a lot of scope to increase one’s knowledge too.

The structure of contest and composition of the site is very useful and can give a real push to increase the knowledge and overall understanding of the subject. IDUG contest is definitely a challenge which has all the ingredients to make it an effective challenge.



Construction Update Gaur Green Vista Indirapuram, Ghaziabad

This is my second post related to Gaur Green Vista, Indirapuram. The work is going pretty well and it seems the developers will give timely possession. The pictures and video below is about 2-3 months old and I hope the work is in full pace even till today. Major update is that the towers are almost complete and they have started plastering and wooden work in lower floors too. According to salesperson at site no flat of Gaur Green Vista is now available and the Project is completely sold out.

Now the bad news. V3S has started to construct their own flats in front of Gaur Green Vista towards the edge where Samrat floors ends. The edge is towards end of Samrat opposite to that of Maharaja Floors (GHAOI Buildwell). It seems developer did not told anyone that the front land towards the edge belongs to someone else. Also on right of this edge Gaur has launched a new project of 5 to 10 floors but they are trying to get approval of about 20+ floors. Below is pictures and video and hope you folks would enjoy the update.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Office Hours Traffic Jam in Old Delhi Road - Palam Vihar, Sector 22, Sector 23 Gurgaon Crossing

Its Office Hours and there is a huge Jam in front of me while approaching the Old Delhi Road from Palam Vihar. To me initially it looked like some kind of blockage due to VIP, accident, confrontation etc and hence I decided to acknowledge my fate and stay on. Traffic was moving slowly and it was not easy to shut down my car too. 15 mins and I hardly moved few meters while the T- point was still 400m – 500m away.

Traffic Lights were recently installed in this T-Point and I was getting curious that why such thing will happen after that. Also someone from Traffic Police is there to manage the traffic even if light does not function but still it was now more than 30 mins. that anything was not moving at all. My meetings now have to be postponed and I had started to make important calls from my car itself. I know the average of my car will go down if this thing repeats in coming days though I wished it should be an isolated case.

Finally as I approached the T-point I was very much disturbed to find out that Big Trucks used for transporting Maruti Cars had choked the traffic from all way. While one truck was trying to take a U-turn back towards the factory, there was other two approaching it from different sides. Inspite of traffic lights counting their normal seconds and 2 traffic police personnel manning the traffic there was a complete chaos. While the truck was using every little space to make the turn on other side there was every other car trying to make sure to be the first one to cross the truck. Patience at its worst and you had to manage it too.

Now it’s the 5th straight day I am just wondering what the hell is happening. It takes double the time for me not to reach office then to reach at usual hours. While work of everyone is important, I think it makes sense to adjust the timings.

I know things are not easy to change, But through this post I would like to appeal to Maruti and Traffic Police to change the timings of heavy vehicles away from normal office hours. Not only it would save time of people but also lot of resources in terms of fuel, breakage etc. would be saved. Maybe anything of this sort is already there but then it is not functioning at all. We need a discipline …..and that too to be imposed strictly.


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