A Jan Koum anecdote

I never met Jan Koum during my 8 years in Yahoo. I met Brian Acton during his days with Yahoo! Shopping (or was it Yahoo! Finance?) There’s a funny anecdote I remember about Jan though. The year was 1999. Squarely in the middle of the dot-com boom days. Yahoo’s offices were in 3420 Central Expressway, Santa Clara. …

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The original model of western education

A history professor from Colorado State University (Jonathan Rees) wrote a hysterical anti-MOOC rant (The MOOC racket) in Slate 6 weeks ago. As I pored through the comments and mined 12 super-interesting perspectives, captured on the TechSangam blog) – 12 MOOC perspectives you may not have heard of. Not directly relevant to the MOOC debate but still very educational, …

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Hale naayi-ge hosa tricksu kalisa bahudu – ondu chikka storyu

English translation of title: You CAN teach an old dog new tricks – one small story! A few months ago, I finally enrolled for a Kannada Learning class. 4 1/2 years after moving to Bangalore, the time had finally arrived. 4 weekends (8 classes  2 hours each) conducted in the apartment common room – it couldn’t …

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What does it take to float like a butterfly?

Q: What does it take to float like a butterfly? A: [Randy Smith on Facebook] It is a humble and meek beginning as a caterpillar. Then one must willingly submit to the transformation process in the cocoon. And finally now it must break free of it’s constraints in the cocoon to become the butterfly it …

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The Zoo-enslaved Panther’s Ritual Dance

I forget where I found the extract below. But it instantly transported me to the last trip to Mysore Zoo – the description couldn’t be more spot-on. The desperation of a life in captivity is perhaps conveyed best in Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “The Panther”: As the animal “paces in cramped circles, over and over,” …

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Amazon Webservices or dedicated server?

If your website needs are anything more than a blog (or corporate website), chances are you’d have researched options like “cloud hosting”, “dedicated hosting”, virtualization or the big daddy – Amazon WebServices (aka “AWS”). Lately I’ve been busy converting my 7 year old Macbook into a developer-friendly machine — installing all manners of CLI developer …

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Backstory on John D. Rockefeller’s First Public Donation

My most inspired Kindle purchase in 2012 (for a ‘princely’ sum of $1.99) was The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. Last night I learnt that John D. Rockefeller’s first meeting with Swami Vivekananda (as recorded in Madame Verdier’s journey in New Discoveries) served as a trigger to the former’s first ever donation for public good – wow! …

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The Fifth Elephant coming to Bangalore.. bearing Big Data Goodies

  Q: What is The Fifth Elephant? A: It’s  a community powered conference on the Big Data ecosystem in India, organized by HasGeek. Q: What does ‘community powered’ mean? A: For all the conferences that HasGeek organizes, they use a crowd-sourced speaker-selection funnel where potential attendees vote up or down which talks they want to listen at …

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Why language matters in India

A few weeks ago we went roller skate shopping for our older son. We avoided all the fancy sports outlet chains (who only stock skates with    integrated shoes – such a scam!) After visiting a few mom-and-pop stores we went to the store where we would eventually make our purchase. Our family was conversing …

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