Scale of data generated and used is astronomical in the internet. It becomes fruitless to figure out this on yearly, monthly even day basis. The scale is so mammoth that even 1 minute data will send your head spinning.
Everyone makes mistakes but the following fatal mistakes caused huge losses to the individuals or companies. These mistakes are mostly of financial nature. These were published in the Economics Times of India.
10 worst mistakes in History
1. Turning down J.K Rowling: 12 publishing houses rejected Harry Potter’s manuscript before Bloomsbury took her on the advice of company chairman daughter. Rowling has earned $ 1billion till now.
2. Throwing away that Bitcoin portfolio: James Howells bought 7500 bitcoins in 2009 when their value was next to nothing. The stock value rose to $911 per Bitcoin in 2013 giving James Howells a portfolio of worth $6.7 million. Only trouble was that he had thrown the hard drive away without a minute thought. Read “The Guardian Story”.
3. Not buying Google for $1 million: Larry Page and Sergei Bin went to sell the search engine to Excite CEO George Bell in 1999. Bell rejected the offer and now the value of Google is $365 billion.
4. Not shooting the Hitler: In 1914 the British soldier Henry Tandey came across the injured and unarmed lance corporal Adolf Hitler in a ditch but decided not to kill a soldier in cold blood.
5. Selling 610000 shares instead of 1: In 2005 a Japanese trader cost J-COM Co., Ltd. company $190 million after a so called “fat finger” trade in which he sold 610000 shares for 1 yen instead of selling 1 share for 610000 yen as he was supposed to do.
6. Angering Genghis Khan: Genghis Khan sought to open diplomatic and trade relations with Ala ad din Muhammad the shah of neighboring Khwarejmid Empire, modern Iran during 13th century. After offer was rejected and a diplomat of Khan was beheaded, Khan attacked the kingdom with 2,00,000 strong army and utterly destroyed the empire.
7. Turning down Brian Acton and Jan Koum for a job: Facebook rejected them in a job interview in 2009 and a few years later Facebook paid $19 billion for “Whatsapp” which the duo founded after being rejected.
8. Ordering trains that were too wide: France spent $15 billion on a fleet of trains this year. Unfortunately they were too wide for 1300 platforms across the country requiring 50 million Euros to fix.
9. Signing Brian Poole and the Tremeloes: In 1962, record studio Decca auditioned two bands in their London studio deciding to sign Brian Poole and Tremeloes. The band they rejected was 4-piece outfit from Liverpool called Beatles.
10. Misspelling a company name: Company sued British government for pound 9 million after a clerical error inserting a rouge “s” in the name causing the wrong company being named for liquidation. The company to be sued for was called Taylor and Son Taylor and Son and with additional s became Taylor and Sons which collapsed after this wrong liquidation.
I wanted to share the story long back. Today has made up my mind and putting it on the paper. Google has become indispensable for the internet. Without it you cannot get the information you want. On a simple press of search button after entering the query, thousand upon thousand results are displayed within fraction of seconds. It’s interface deceptively simple. Most of people think that Google is simply a search engine. There are several other applications which are very helpful. Some of these are Maps, Earth, Gmail, Picasa, Translation, Blog and so on.
Now my story. I did my Masters in Chemistry from Panjab University Chandigarh long back in 1975. Many of friends left the country and found jobs there. As is the case, slowly slowly each one went his or her way in search of jobs and settling.
I joined the ONGC, India’s premier exploration and production company in hydrocarbons area. I had a friend who went to USA for doing doctorate in Chemistry. We lost contact and for years did not contact one another.
I remembered him many times. I tried to find him through our teachers and colleagues but got vague indications. I resigned to the fact that it is gone case now.
But then I decided to see if Google search can help. Since his name is also the name of so many other people, searching him using his name revealed voluminous information. Sifting through it was impossible. I knew that he did his research there. I entered the text related to the erase arc papers published by him. Some paper names showed up. He was one of the authors in them. Since he was not the first author, his email address was not given. Then I googled the name of first author and found one article by him with his email mentioned.
I sent him an email politely asking if he is in touch with his co author who was my friend. His reply came within minutes. I had mentioned my contact number also in the mail. He replied saying that your friend shall ring you in 10 minutes. And for sure, his phone call came and I was so happy and we talked for quite sometime.
I was awed at the technology by Google. Thanks again. Many others might have similar happy experiences.
There is a saying in Microsoft, Google and just about any other tech company in the US, if you throw a stone there is a very good chance that you will hit an Indian. As we know that two Indians are in the race to become the global CEO of software giant Microsoft. One is the insider Satya Nadella who is in charge of Cloud computing and is with for 22 years. Another fellow is Sundar Pichai whose name has also surfaced for the CEO of Microsoft in today’s newspapers in addition to the insider Satya Nadella. It is all Indian affair. Chennai versus Hyderbad. Sundar seems better in terms of software development with Chrome browser which merges the Google’s legendary search with browser’s text box for typing website URLs, Android which has taken mobile with a storm and has in the process almost routed Nokia, Google drive-storage space at Google servers and integration of Google toolbar with other browsers like Firefox and Internet explorer. Satya on the other hand handles entrepreneurial affairs and heads the Cloud computing technology. It is improbable that Google shall let go such a talent as Sundar and also Microsoft generally chooses the people who are insiders. So chances of Satya being appointed Global CEO are better. In any case, it is a matter of pride for India.
Other Indians who are doing brilliantly are: 1. Vinod Khosla: co-founder of Sun Microsystems
2. Romesh Wadhwani: Symphony Technology Group
3. Gururaj Deshpande: Sycamore Networks
4. Pradeep Sindhu: Juniper Networks
5. Bharat Desai: Syntel
6. Padmasree Warrior: Cisco
7. Nikesh Arora: Senior VP at Google
8. Vivek Gundotra: Google+
9. Sanjay Mehrotra: co founder Sandisk
Microsoft brought the computing to the common person. Heavy use of graphical icons (GUI) has made it simple and by exploiting the visible cues brought it into the applications which are very useful. It has obliterated the type writers out of existence and rendered them as relics through its product Microsoft word. I remember how cumbersome it was to use the type writer. Its output was like the live performance of an artist in which there are no retakes. Now one can store the file and edit it to no ends till the owner is satisfied. One can edit, add and remove the text. In fact whole suite of Microsoft office forms the backbone of office chores these days.
On the other hand, working in the DOS operating system was not easy and required good memory to remember the commands to access the files and applications were few. The very fact that Windows OS has made the use of computer very easy has also given the hackers easy access to exploit and continuously play the deadly games with the Windows based computing by spreading viruses.
Microsoft has seen many high and many low phases in its life. In fact now it has become an underdog from top dog. Many formidable competitors like Apple and Google have surged forward and closing on the Microsoft. Here is a list of highs and lows:
1. MS-DOS : Although termed as Dirty Operating System by rivals, this was the path breaking step and also the beginning of software licensing.
2. Ms-Office: Flagship of office products like Word, Excel and Powerpoint is inseparable part of any office work. The product is improving with each new version.
3. Windows 95: First standalone Windows OS. It is the foundation on which all the successive versions were built.
4. Windows XP: Best loved version of Windows. Stable and worked using minimum resources of memory and data storage device.
1. Windows Vista: Poorest performer. Bloatware, hogged large resources. Very poor support for the hardware drivers. Very mention of it made the users livid.
2. Windows ME: People have even forgotten this and many even don’t know this ever existed. It lasted just one year.
3. Zune: Pitted against the iPod of Apple. But the effort came too late and Apple is ahead by 4-5 years.
Ranking vis-a-vis other players as per fortune 500
They are not cultivated by the people like so many plants which decorate the homes, offices and other public places. They grow by themselves on the edges of the roads and other places wherever they get a chance. They are weeded out of the fields by the farmers to clear the land for useful crops. They are very sturdy and can survive the adverse conditions.
They are like the poor children who have no access to health care amenities and sanitation facilities. Some of them who survive all the diseases become very tough and become immune to every ailment.
Almost every one ignore their existence and treat them as an undesired growth. But even then they possess certain charm which a sensitive mind cannot ignore. They may have flowers of various hues and diminutive sizes. The flowers may exude fragrances.
As they say that a plant is considered a weed until its properties are not fully known. They may have medicinal properties.
Below are the pictures of some such plants growing in our area.
Human beings are trying to shrink the data storage space. In fact, technology is making exponential strides in this field. Only within the last decade, we have graduated from spooled data storage to blue ray DVD which can hold many layer of data. Not only it is matter of storage, but very fast retrieval of the data that is taking place. Look at Google Search, it fetches so many webpages within milli seconds. But still, the efforts are on to still go to more more and micro sizes.
When we read, our imagination begins to conjure the physical attributes. For example, if the story is talking about an encounter of someone with a tiger, our mind starts enacting the fuzzy scene. So the writings contain the cues packed in a small space. Rest is done by our imagination. Visual aids go one step further and eliminate the need for imagination and thus force on our mind the scene as conjured by the maker of the visual. Otherwise from written story, everyone will come out with their own scene based on their experiences. That is why original creativity is going down with these advancements. We are flooded with so much information that we do not require to think ourselves. Now the focus is on the intelligent choice from among the so many choices available.
In the olden times, the Kings usually erected pillars or tablets in their kingdoms. These usually exalted some great victories and virtues of the Kings. Some of them went further and put religious sermons on the display. It is another matter that most of the populace at that was illiterate. Examples are pillars erected in India by Asoka the Great.
Similarly, there is the Prism of Sennacherib inscribed in about 700 BC, describes in characters of the Assyrian language some historical events during the reign of King Sennacherib. This king of Assyria, fought so many battles. The Prism contains about 20,000 characters, weighs about 50 kg, and has survived almost intact for about 2700 years. It is great wonder.
But now compare our feats with nature. A single DNA molecule of the bacterium E-coli contains all the encoded information necessary to specify the cell’s structure and functions. No storage devise made by us even remotely come close to it. The bacterial DNA contains about 4.6 million characters (nucleotides) and weighs less than 1/10000000000 grams only. Other remarkable property of it is that it has undergone only relatively minor changes during the past several million years. But nature never boasts. It does not care whether we praise it or criticize it when we are not happy. It is just like God Shiva who is never angry with anyone and who is attached unnecessarily to anything.