Best of Tech Talk Edition
- Segments taken from previous shows
Email and Forum Questions
- Email from Piquets: Dear Dr. Shurtz. What is the best cell phone to use in Europe. Just found out my Droid X is no good there. Second question: will the droid work for data transmission if I am in a WIFI location? Thanks, Piquets
- Tech Talk Responds: There a two standards for phones: CDMA and GSM. CDMA was invented to some MIT professors who formed Qualcomm. This is a US standard. It stands for Code Division Multiple Access. The other standard is GSM, which stands for Global System of Mobile. It is the de-facto European standard. Many Asian countries have both (including India and China). Verizon is strictly CDMA. ATT, T-Mobile, and Sprint are strictly GSM. I bought a Verizon Blackberry Storm which has both. Verizon graciously unlocked the GSM card for me. If you have a CDMA phone with Wi-Fi, you will be able to get data connections at the hotel. However, the phone may block the usage of Skype (Verizon loves to do that).
- Email from Peggy: Dear Dr. Shurtz. I am having trouble with the streaming Internet feed for Bloomberg radio. The only reason that I bought this Internet radio was so that I could listed to Bloomberg. .Logitech checked the feed on the Bloomberg site and it they got the same garbled audio. I checked with Bloomberg, they reset the streaming feed and acknowledged something is wrong. Since then, there have been additional times where the radio goes silent –after I play it for about 2 minutes. Maybe you can shed some insight into what else I can do to ensure some reliable consistent radio listening. Seems Bloomberg thinks they are doing a good job and seems Logitech thinks this is a Bloomberg issue. Thanks! Peggy
- Tech Talk Responds: Clearly Bloomberg has a streaming problem. This even happen on Federal News Radio when we do not the Internet stream up correctly. You need to get a tech support number so you can email them directly to check or reset the stream so you don’t have to through the management maze again.
- Email from Fan in Bethesda: Dr. Richard Shurtz, I can’t recall any discussion on Biometric IT devices on prior shows and hope you will spend some time on this topic. On two contracting jobs I’ve come into contact with Biometric IT devices and have found both encounters unimpressive! Today my new employer told me I had to go get my fingerprints taken as part of my security clearance processing. There is this place near my office, American Identity Solutions. For a fee of $25.00 I was supposed to have my fingerprint cards completed and ready to send off to the processing agency. About mid way through of the technician’s firmly pressing and firmly rolling my fingers over this digital box he announces your fingerprints will be rejected!’ He tells me that, once I receive the rejection notice from the processing agency, I will then have to come back two more times. At that point, the processing agency decides that my fingerprints cannot be captured and I am done. Thanks, Big fan of the show in Bethesda MD
- Tech Talk Responds: You might ray a retina scan. Retinas do not wear out. Also you may try to use some moisture or oil on you palms to help delineate the prints. If that does not work, you are stuck with retina
scans. When I got my Global Entry pass for my passport, I was finger printed. When I got my Clear Card, I was both finger printed and had my retina scanned.
- Email from Arnie: Hi Dr. Shurtz, you mentioned a few Tech Talk programs ago that Goldman Sachs was investing in Facebook. This article gives an explanation on how money will be made in the deal. This isn’t a question for Tech Talk, but might be a topic of discussion in one of your business classrooms. Thanks Arnie in Davidsonville, MD
- Tech Talk Responds: If you recall Goldman invested $500 million dollars in Facebook in exchange for a 1% slice of the company. They will resell to investors and get a percentage of the transaction. This may be done again up to an investor limit of 500.This method of raising capital prior to an IPO is frequently done to lock in valuation. If you do it more than once, you can establish a trend and push the IPO price even higher. This is done in India all of the time.
Profiles in IT: Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy
- N. R. Narayana Murthy is an Indian businessman and a software engineer. He is the founder Infosys Technologies Limited, a South Indian outsourcing firm.
- Born into a Kannada Madhwa Brahmin family in Mysore, India on August 20, 1946, in a small town in Southern India just North of Bangalore.
- He attended government elementary and secondary schools.
- Murthy graduated with a BSEE from the University of Mysore in 1967
- He received his Masters IIT Kanpur in 1969.
- His first position was at IIM Ahmedabad as chief systems programmer.
- He worked on a time-sharing system and designed and implemented a BASIC interpreter for the Electronics Corporation of India Limited.
- After IIM Ahmedabad, he then joined Patni Computer Systems in Pune.
- Before moving to Mumbai, Murthy met his wife Sudha Murthy in Pune who at the time was an engineer working at Tata Motors in Pune.
- In 1981, with an investment of Rs.10,000 ($US250 at the time) from his wife, he founded Infosys with six other software professionals.
- He served as the president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies, India from 1992 to 1994.
- At its inception, he invited six other engineers to join the company.
- Murthy served as the founder CEO of Infosys for 21 years, and was succeeded by co-founder Nandan Nilekani in March 2002.
- At Infosys he articulated, designed and implemented the Global Delivery Model which has become the foundation for IT services outsourcing from India.
- He also led the company through several key decisions including its listing on the Indian stock exchange and the listing on NASDAQ.
- Murthy retired from his executive position at Infosys on 20 August 2006. However, he continues as the Non-Executive Chairman and Chief Mentor
- He was replaced by Nandan Nilekani, also a co-founder, as President and CEO.
- In 2003, he won the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur of the Year award and was nominated as Asia’s Businessmen of the Year by Fortune magazine.
- In November 2006, TIME magazine again voted him as one of the Asian heroes who have brought about revolutionary changes in Asia in the last 60 years.
- He is consistently voted as the most admired business leader in India. He has won numerous awards. He is on many corporate boards and advisory councils.
- Murthy and his wife started a new venture capital fund called Catamaran Venture Fund with the money he got by selling Infosys shares.
- Famous Quotes
- Our assets walk out of the door each evening. We have to make sure that they come back the next morning.
- Performance leads to recognition. Recognition brings respect. Respect enhances power. Humility and grace in one’s moments of power enhances dignity of an organization,
- The real power of money is the power to give it away.
- In God we trust, everybody else bring data to the table.
- Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.
Life Experiences of N. R. Narayana Murthy
- Murthy decides to pursue computer science
- When he was a graduate student IIT, he had a chance encounter with a famous US computer scientist, who discussed new developments computer science at a seminar. He read five papers he had suggested and decided to study computer science. This experience taught him that valuable advice can sometimes come from an unexpected source.
- Murthy decides to become an entrepreneur
- The next event 1974 occurred in a border town between Serbia and Bulgaria. He was hitchhiking from Paris back to Mysore, India. A kind driver dropped him at the Nis railway station at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night. He slept on the railway platform until 8.30 pm in the night when the Sofia Express pulled in. The only passengers in his compartment were a girl and a boy. He struck a conversation in French with the young girl. She talked about the travails of living in an iron curtain country. They were roughly interrupted by some policemen who were summoned by the young man who thought they were criticizing the communist government of Bulgaria.
- The girl was led away; his backpack and sleeping bag were confiscated. He was dragged along the platform into a small 8×8 foot room. He was held without food or water for over 72 hours. Then dragged out again and told he would be released 20 hours later upon reaching Istanbul because he was from India, a friendly country.
- This long, lonely, cold journey forced him to deeply rethink my convictions about Communism. Early on a dark Thursday morning, after being hungry for 108 hours, he concluded that entrepreneurship, resulting in large-scale job creation, was the only viable mechanism for eradicating poverty in societies.
- Infosys’ journey begins
- This sequence of events led to the eventual founding of Infosys in 1981. On a chilly Saturday morning in winter 1990, five of the seven founders of Infosys met to decide whether to accept an offer for $1
million US. After nine years of toil in the then business-unfriendly India, they were quite happy at the prospect of seeing at least some money. He rejected the offer. He thought about the journey from a small Mumbai apartment in 1981 that had been beset with many challenges. He believed that this was the darkest hour before great success. He offered to buy out his partners. There was a stunned silence in the room. His colleagues wondered aloud about my foolhardiness. But I remained silent. However, after an hour of my arguments, his colleagues changed their minds to my way of thinking. They sought to create a great company. They must be optimistic and confident.
- A final story in the Infosys Saga
- On a hot summer morning in 1995, a Fortune-10 corporation had sequestered all their Indian software vendors, including Infosys, in different rooms at the Taj Residency. Infosys was minnows compared to the customer with only $5M US in revenue. The customer contributed fully 25% of revenues. The loss of this business would potentially devastate the company. By 5 PM on the last day, he had to make a decision right on the spot whether to accept the customer’s terms or to walk out. Though a tough call, he looked long term and rejected the offer. This was a turning point for Infosys. They created a Risk Mitigation Council which ensured that they would never again depend too much on any one client, technology, country, application area or key employee. Infosys now has a sound de-risking strategy that has stabilized its revenues and profits.
- Lessons from His Life
- Learn from experience. It is less important where you start. It is more important how and what you learn.
- It can be much more difficult to learn from success than from failure. If we fail, we think carefully about the precise cause. Success can indiscriminately reinforce all our prior actions.
- The power of chance events. As I think across a wide variety of settings in my life, I am struck by the incredible role played by the interplay of chance events with intentional choices.
- While the turning points themselves are indeed often fortuitous, how we respond to them is anything but so. It is this very quality of how we respond systematically to chance events that is crucial.
- Importance of the Right Mindset. A fixed mindset creates a tendency to avoid challenges, to ignore useful negative feedback and leads such people to plateau early and not achieve their full potential. A growth mindset, leads to a tendency to embrace challenges, to learn from criticism and such people reach ever higher levels of achievement.
- Importance of self-knowledge. The highest form of knowledge is self-knowledge. He believes the greater awareness and knowledge of oneself is what ultimately helps develop a grounded belief in oneself, courage, determination, and, above all, humility, all qualities which enable one to wear one’s success with dignity and grace.
- The future created not preordained. He does not believe the future is pre-ordained. He believes that the future is shaped by events and what you learn from them. He has walked the path shaped several turning points with great learning opportunities.
Give back what you earn to the less fortunate. When, one day, you have made your mark on the world, remember that, in the ultimate analysis, we are all mere temporary custodians of the wealth we generate, whether it be financial, intellectual, or emotional. The best use of all your wealth is to share it with those less fortunate.
New Mobile App of the Week: Color
- Color, hottest piece of software in the world right now, was debuted this week.
- It is a combination of social networking, photo sharing, and location. The app invites users to take photos and instantly share them with a “micro” social network of other Color users at or near the user’s location.
- The idea is people near you will see what you’re doing, potentially leading to all sorts of real-world interactions.
- Some are hailing it as the most innovative piece of software since Google, while others have dismissed it as just another location app with a mildly interesting twist.
- The man behind the app, Bill Nguyen.
- He founded Lala, an online music service recently purchased by Apple.
- He has raised $41 million in VC money to fund Color. Is this augmented reality? It dynamically adjusts range based on the environment.
- It allows you to see the pictures taken on another person’s cell phone, if they have opened Color.
- Or you could share to photo library with your family in real time without email all of those pictures.
- If privacy is an issue, don’t use it. This app was developed for the post-PC world as Steve Jobs see it.
- Beta test version of app is still buggy. It will crash your cell phone.
- Website: www.color.com
Trend of the Week: Cell Phones Make Wrist Watches Obsolete
- Watches have become obsolete. There is a clock just about everywhere.
- On the VCRs, DVDs, Cable boxes, Microwaves, and Clocks. So there is no point wearing a watch in the house. When we go out, there is a clock in the car and in your cell phone. Watch makers will have to add more functionality to watches to make them relevant, assuming we want more than just the Bling effect.
- Watch out for the Dick Tracey watch with cell phone, Wi-Fi, and Internet access.
French Chess Team Accused of Cheating
- The French chess federation has suspended three top players for violating sporting ethics at a chess Olympiad in Siberia last September. They are alleged to have used an elaborate scheme involving text messages and computer software to win.
- According to the French federation, while international grand master Sebastien Feller, 19, was involved in a game, Cyril Marzolo followed developments over the Internet and used computer software to establish
the best next move.
- The answer was then sent by means of a coded text message to the third member of the team.
- The third member would then sit himself at a particular table in the competition hall.
- Each table represented an agreed square on the chess board.
- This, according to French media reports, was the most delicate part of the operation.
- The alleged strategy was discovered by French chess federation Vice President Joanna Pomian, who spotted a text message on the mobile phone of one of the three players while the French team was involved in a game.