Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Does California owe money to you?

Heard this on a local news channel:

Go to the following site and enter your name/city information to see if you are owed some money (at least I wasn't)

Thank you Apple for listening!

I have had the iPhone for more than a year now and I was experience dropped calls very often. More often than note, my phone will go to voicemail and I will hear the voicemail beep roughly about 10-15mins after the call was placed. Obviously, my wife was not happy about this. But I carried on with my iphone hoping Apple will fix the "minor" glitch. And so it did.

Amongst the list of new updates, Apple mentions at the end of the list:
 "Decrease in call setup failures and dropped calls"

Thank you Apple for listening!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Volunteer Lawyers

I just came to know about this wonderful volunteer program that provides 20 min free legal consultation. Its called "Lawyers in the Library" program.  It runs out of King Library in San Jose. There are other locations as well. The following link also contains pointers to similar volunteer efforts.

Check out:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Counter intuitive!

As many of us already know, California State is in deep red. At a high level, I wonder why the 8th biggest economy in the world is $41 billion in deficit. Sure we had the housing bubble, reduced corporation tax due to lesser profits.... but does that all add up to $41 billion. I am curious to know the reason for the shortfall. I quickly googled it but have not yet been able to find any analysis on the issue. So, I turned to the source of information:

There is a lot of information and I will be analyzing it in coming days but for starters lets look at the sheet that details of the distribution of California State employees for different functions.

Number of "Executives" is proposed to increase from 14,303 to 14,787 from 2007 to 2009 (a 3.3% increase).

Number of "Resources" (a very vague term) is proposed to increase from 14,509 to 15,616 (a 7.6% increase).

During the same time the number of K-12 teachers is proposed to decrease from 2903 to 2848 (a 1.8% decrease).

Now, when the state is going through a financial crisis, I am wondering why we are creating more "Executive" level positions. Moreover, I am curious to understand what functions "Resourcing" covers. Decreasing the number of teachers, quite unfortunately, seems to be the easiest thing to do but I wonder if anyone considers the long-term impact of such decisions.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What is Leadership?

Leadership is a loaded word; it means so many different things to different people that often the essence of the word is lost in lofty definitions. My tryst with leadership comes from my job as a manager at my workplace where day in and day out I am in situations where someone looks up to me to make a call. I may not know the right answer; in fact there may be none but that is where the leadership gets defined. I not only need to make the decision but I need to get everyone on board with it. Leadership is about passion of one becoming passion of many and that I believe defines the essence of being a true leader. Leadership is about character and integrity... it is about having the backbone, accepting when you make a mistake and also sticking by your call which you firmly believe in even if you meet with resistance. Leadership is about inspiring the backbenchers, making them believe they also can. 

I embrace leadership more naturally now than I used to earlier and it is fun!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Do you like your Martinis up or over?

Ok... so I started the bartending class this week :-) It is an absolute fun being behind the bar but it is not as easy as I thought it would be! I know how to make around 30 drinks and the variations of them thereof. Learning the lingo is a big part of the job e.g., when someone says give me a drink "mex style" they mean add 1/2 ounce of Tequila in the drink, and then there are terms like against the wall, with a little english... I know what they are asking for. I hope to learn the skill by next month... and then I'll be looking for internships!  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why Apple TV does not sell well?

First, I love Apple TV. Because of it, I have been able to listen to music more often, entertain guests with funny youtube videos, and see long forgotten photo albums. However, for the all good things Apple TV does, there are so many others that it doesn't do so well, which probably explains why the product didn't take off in the market.

1. Apple TV has only supports HDMI and Component Video ports for connecting to TV; older TVs have neither of them. Just by that, the market reach of the AppleTV reduces substantially. 

2. Oversimplistic remote. Apple is known for cool and functional designs. However, AppleTV remote is way too simple. Desired options: a) control volume, b) TV option to choose HDMI port to use (currently, first I have to use TV remote to first switch input to AppleTV HDMI port and then use AppleTV remote). c) one-button-play (as the name suggests, with the press of one button I'd like to listen to music on AppleTV)

..to be continued.