Wednesday, December 12, 2007

...and the winner is...

It's not often that I perform the perfunctory "ego query" (Google yourself!) - since I'm usually not pleased that the Bollywood director shows up right on top, and really looks nothing like me. See photo above - he's the one on the right!

Anyway - pleasantly surprised - noticed last week for the first time that ALL major search engines in the US (Google, Yahoo!, Live and Ask) got it right finally! I'm numero uno! Google and Yahoo! even got image search right! (no wonder that Live and Ask are behind!)

This is extra-interesting since my photograph was once published in millions of copies of a Calcutta(Kolkata) newspaper instead of his, causing a lot of relatives to call - they believed I'd quit my job to start directing...(which I should have done several years ago!)

Here are screenshots. This may never happen again. Thanks to my SEO friends :-)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sun hits the high note!!

I've been thinking about writing a post or two over the last few weeks, but have been busy at work, trying to change the world a little.

While my blog has been dormant, our very own Anindita has been busy moving up the Internet publicity ladder. (So I was forced to blog in a hurry...)

She suddenly showed up on Sun's home page today, rendering Sun Headlines for the week. Check it out! Click the photo above to launch her commentary.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Microsoft Photosynth

A very impressive demo of Microsoft Photosynth. The oohs and aahs speak volumes of the experience that photosynth encapsulates.

[Feb 9, 2007] Take 5 ....Surprise!

(Reproduced from the Original Silicon Thoughts on Yahoo! 360)

A little more than a year ago, I talked about the uniqueness of the Bay Area where one can move between companies without needing to move residences. I talked about changing my professional home 4 times!

Well - here's TAKE 5!! Call me finicky, discriminating or plain capricious! This is a different tune for me...again!

I started a new role at this company called Google in Jan 2007. Interesting place. Interesting comments from friends :-)

Oddly enough, we're moving to a new home as well (not required, but self-wrought!)

Let's see where these new roads lead...

[Nov 23, 2005] Here today....gone tomorrow!

(Reproduced from the Original Silicon Thoughts on Yahoo! 360)

My friend Sean had a pretty emotional post regarding our ex-company Verity being acquired by smaller competitor Autonomy, Inc. I have pretty strong reactions too. I enjoyed working closely with many of the folks in the picture above, and the VRTY ticker kept me awake many a night (for many different reasons :-))

I spent almost 5 years of my life trying to up-end Autonomy. It is fair to say that we really did accomplish what we set out to do - leapfrog in terms of technology, technical mindshare and, of course, market share. Autonomy was a darling of the dot com boom, reaching (I believe) over $6B in market cap.

At Verity, we built all sorts of technology to take the information retrieval world to a new level. Personalization, Democratic Taxonomies, Entity Extraction, Classification, Clustering, Federated Search, Relational Taxonomies, Parametric Search, ... - a string of capabilities that even the best web search companies are only now starting to externalize in services - we did all this in configurable and installable software in short order with small, smart teams. In hindsight, I think we were fantastic.

We leapfrogged!

We went ahead in market capitalization, revenues, technology. Internally, they were the enemy, the ones to beat in every large enterprise deal - Google wasn't even in contention in those deals! We trashed Autonomy, wanted to win against them every time, ...

And Autonomy then acquires Verity!! Shock across the board (except the Verity and Autonomy boards :-))

It may make business sense - a combined company could be stronger in the enterprise space. But it hits below the belt that Verity is the acquiree, not the acquirer!!

Greater revenues, lots of cash....and lots of hurt! The joke is that Autonomy is using Verity's money to buy Verity.

I am sooo glad that I had already left Verity when this announcement was made!

I would have found it extremely hard to not walk into the CEO's office and quit right there and then! (Of course, my wife would have had something to say about that!)

[June 4, 2005] Don't go left...go RIGHT!

(Reproduced from the Original Silicon Thoughts on Yahoo! 360)

Same freeway...same exit...It was difficult to remember, over the last couple of days, that I needed to stay on the right lane to get to Yahoo! instead of the quick left to my old workplace, immediately after the exit.

This, I mused, is only possible in the Bay Area. I have worked already worked for 4 different companies (IBM, Stratify (Purple Yogi), Verity, and now, Y!) without really needing to move (our move was not initiated by a job switch).

It isn't a wonder that the real estate prices in the Bay Area are ridiculous!

There is the sunshine, the IT job pool, ethnic diversity and (ahem) the millionaire pool.

In Silicon Valley, bad traffic and earthquakes are ... well ... "minor inconveniences".

Friday, June 29, 2007

Table Tennis Part 2

Okay - so we're done with the ladder at Google, and I managed to get to the semi-finals. Not bad for an old man, huh?

Since then, we have an ad-hoc "Google Team" that has played a couple of fun matches against Cisco (couple of weeks back) and Juniper (today). We got walloped by Cisco, but did far better against Juniper (narrow loss, see recording).

We were missing a couple of our players, so there!

Here's a clip of us playing with Cisco - haven't played this seriously in 20 years!

It's T-I-R-I-N-G. !!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Table Tennis

Have started playing table tennis again ...
Amusing how I get all defensive when someone around me refers to this game as ping pong. There's a difference, I tell them - ping pong is a picnic game, while table tennis is a sport (so I'd like to have them believe).

They smile.

They don't realize the folly of their ways...