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Interesting Stories

Found: Water on Mars

Friday, October 27, 2006

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Check out the proof for water on Mars..




Cool! ain't it??
posted by Anand, 1:10 PM | link | 2 comments |

Send your Oceanogram

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

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Ever heard of an oceanogram? Yes, kind of similar to a telegram but in that the ocean is the postman and he knows no address ;-)

Oceanograms are simply sent on a bottle corked with a message inside to someone somewhere. I have just sent one real oceanogram. But that was not in any bottle. It was a small case of Vicks Vaporub inside which I squeezed my address on a piece of paper and threw it on the sea at Kanyakumari, where the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal meet the Indian Ocean. That was over ten years ago, and I haven't heard from anyone

But now, here is a website to send your oceanogram virtually. Now while you finish sending your message, do keep standing over and wait for sometime. You might be able to get your hands on other oceanograms as well.

Cool website for virtual oceanograms.
posted by Anand, 9:44 AM | link | 1 comments |

Google turns to Sun for power

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

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Google is planning to incorporate over 9200 solar panels in its headquarters at Mountainneville, San Francisco, which is popularly known as Googleplex. The power that is expected to be produced is high enough to provide power to 1000 homes.

Google has not divulged the cost of the project, but it expects to recoup the amount in the form of electricity savings in 5-10 years. I see the project extending to India as well, thanks to the amazing sunlight received all through the year in South India, home to Google's India offices.

This is very well a right step for other corporates to follow suit. Clean and green is the way to go!

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posted by Anand, 1:37 PM | link | 0 comments |

Unbelievably crazy eBay bid

Monday, October 16, 2006

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I was simply laughing over this eBay bid which I recently came across on one of the websites. The seller says that he found this key 'lurking' in the back shed and he 'caught' it at the right moment before it escaped and producing before for an auction.

This is one of the popular topics in the websites discussing such weird auctions. One interesting aspect: It has already fetched two potential buyers, with still five more days to go!
posted by Anand, 3:49 PM | link | 1 comments |

Opinions on Air Deccan's low cost-no frills leadership

Sunday, October 15, 2006

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Air Deccan, the hugely popular low-cost, no-frills flight service in India has been the subject of many a joke in recent times, mainly because of it simply being a low-cost, no-frills service. Jokes have been cast as to this being simply a Bus that flies. A contest in my college invited opinions from students on why this is so, and if they endorse the jokes cast, and what is to be done. The following are the top entries.

Entry1
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Yup I have travelled by Air deccan.. its service levels are poor compared to other domestic airlines. but pal what do u expect ? its A LOW COST AIRLINE . Period.
The above has been exxagerated exponentially.. ofcourse ..

Its basic group dynamics.. each group of friends has one so called "butt of all jokes" who is the nerd/ the loser.. who is the source of time pass and enterntainment to the others.. mainly the studs..

so is the case in industry.. each industry has a company tagged as a "loser".. mainly by the market leaders through underhand ways.. also by the common people... who can and want to travel by something this is not so inclusive.. say a kingfisher airline or jet..

Suggestions to improve:
Silence the critics by actions.. if AIr Deccan/ or any loser has to survive/ thrive, it will have to create its niche.. and be good ( if not great at it).. and then shout from the roof top of how good it is. in what its set out to be..

air deccan (has been targeted particularly as against spice jet/go air) coz it was the first low cost airline which tried to challenge the other big 3.. and it had its teething problems.. so the big 3 jumped on it.. and ensured that air deccan is positioned in the minds of the people as " a bus that flies".. so clearly wiped of any significant market overlap by air deccan..

next.. the people who used to fly by the big 3.. u hv to understand their psyce.. as soon as there was this low cost.. their "status" as someone who " flew and had tags ontheir travel bags" was threatned.. so their reaction to it ??..
" FLYING BY AIR DECAAN ?? HUH.. its NOT FLYING AT ALL>.. its LIKE BEST BUS .. Flying is only when u fly by KF or IA or Jet"..

eg. new competition in hair care segment. .. initially ridiculed parachute as the sticky messing oil which only the nerds put.. and succeeded to a large extent for a while..
what did parachute do ? hit back and shout from roof top..

Entry2
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1. I have not used Air Deccan. But I think this is not a true picture of Air Deccan. If at all, it only is true to an extent of 10%.

2. The major thing that led to this image is Air Deccan's initial performance. Many of its aircrafts have had problems while landing. In its quest to reduce costs, Air Deccan had recruited engineers at low wages compared to other airlines. This leads to high attrition rates. For example, all Air Deccan engineers resigned and joined another airline with very short notice. Air Deccan had problems operating flights on time during the crisis.

3. The major issue facing the company is cash flow. It should sign proposals for additional debts, as it has done in the past. It should not compromise on the quality of engineers with it. Other factors are fuel prices and airport infrastrusture. Fuel costs accounts for nearly 40% of its cost. It should outsource most of its administrative and accounting operations to reduce costs. It should put more pressure on the government to come out with new policies towards airport infrastucture because it is the only airline which, if it crosses the current rough patch, can give a threat to the extablished airlines in India in the near future.

Entry3
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I fly Air Deccan and seriously I think against popular belief this would actually work towards enhancing Airdeccan's image. Any flier reading this would rate this as an overly exagerated piece..while actually thinking why not Airdeccan and not why AirDeccan. This doesnt represent even the bullock cart service in India. All fliers would recognise that some basic safety stipulations have to be followed by any airline and would recognise such piece as a gimmick and start thinking of flying in it...Its strategyof low cost and paid service has created a revolution in the industry and nothing needs to be done to improve their service...

Entry4
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lets look at the consumer satisfaction and value of money index. if we take one of the measure to be evalute them, it could could be ratio of perceived value to actual value of money,

we reach the figure of 1, Value for Money = (Perceived value of money / Actual Value of Money).

clearly other airlines in the same sector, Spicejet, GoAir etc. provide a better ratio at 1.5 while similar ratio for Kingfisher will be 2.

thus what is expressed in joke is highly indicative of Air Deccan.

The current image of Air Deccan is due to 2 problems:

1. Spreading too thin and opening flights in various sectors without getting the existent sectors break-even.

hence Air Deccan should concerntrate on limited segments, not overuse or over commit limited capacity, and once the current sectors are profitable it should move into other sectors. this will give better focus and resource utilization to Air Deccan.


2. Selling flight tickets at single digit price. this strategy though good for awareness and penetration severly detoriates the brand. the customer expectation from the airlines and its service is low before he enters the airport. hence even if customer gets odinary service he perceives it to be a poor service.

In conclusion, Air Deccan has reached a high level of awareness and penetration. It should get away from foolish brand building exercise like selling tickets regularly at low prices. Concerntrate on limited segments andonce these are profitable should venture into newer segments.
posted by Anand, 1:15 PM | link | 2 comments |

Cockroach eating contest irks PETA

Saturday, October 14, 2006

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Yuck...Do these people require PETA to come over and tell them not to eat cockroaches..live ones at that!!! Yet, PETA has asked the theme park operator where the live-cockroach eating competition is being held to break the current world record of 36 insects in one minute to stop the contest from being held.

Sadly, the only response against the competition has come from those who were not able to participate in the contest because of operational problems.

Read full story
posted by Anand, 4:17 PM | link | 0 comments |

Google in talks to buy Web video site YouTube

Friday, October 06, 2006

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Did you hear this? Google is in talks with YouTube, the popular video sharing service to buy the firm for over 1.2 billion dollars. This means that it is going to be a mega deal in sorts for Google which can then make a monopoly,or atleast a oligopoly out of the video market with their Google Videos. Not many other services are as popular as these two under question.

It will be interesting to see if Google does succeed in this or if Yahoo would step up and make a higher bid. In my view, this is a critical move for Yahoo as well, as it can let go one huge pie if they don't make a bid as well..

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posted by Anand, 2:38 PM | link | 0 comments |

eBay Packaging - a photoset on Flickr

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

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I have not laughed so hard in such a long time..Now here is a guy who gets an Xbox prize from eBay..But look at the packaging material..filthy pants and clothes. I wonder who sent an Xbox in such a filthy material.Poor guy, but this was cool...

Don't forget to read the comments. They are even more cool..

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posted by Anand, 3:25 PM | link | 0 comments |

The Observer | World | Red rain could prove that aliens have landed

Monday, October 02, 2006

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Sometime back, the monsoon rains in Kerala, India was in news. It rained red. This aroused the curiosity of scientists the world over. While those who are sceptical to anything interesting happening dismissed it as due to the winds from Arabia carrying the red sand, others believe that it is because of it raining alien.

This does not sound far fetched though. Dr. Louis Godfrey from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam says that there was a sound sonic boom(which is usually caused by passing meteorite) in Kerala just sometime before the rains and this might have caused alien particles to land down with the clouds. He also tested the rain particles and proved no dust particles, which disproves the first theory.

However the second theory still does not have too many takers.
Maybe people are waiting for another rain of the same sort, which they will use to make a first-mover-advantageous theory.

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posted by Anand, 6:42 AM | link | 1 comments |

Learn Management through Games

Sunday, October 01, 2006

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An MBA school in India is trying to teach people the basic fundamentals of management through games. Named Mastishk, this two-week long game fest is conducting online games that test the participants' understanding of management principles in the various fields like marketing, finance, HR, Supply-Chain.

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posted by Anand, 1:13 PM | link | 0 comments |