Category Archives: technology

Google TV – Customer’s Dilemma [Updated]

I am planning to do the below Market Research for my Marketing class. Any takers ?

Topic : “Google TV – Customer’s Dilemma
Abstract : Every year $70 billion is spent on the ads alone in US and 4 billion users world wide. Google TV integrates the traditional TV and Internet for a seamless user experience. With ever increasing user generated video content on the internet, Google TV would like to capture the ad $ by marrying the TV an Internet. In October 2010 Google inters the market via hardware vendors Logitech and Sony. Soon enough, customers are thrilled about the capabilities and at the same time they are confused thinking where does the Google TV fit into their current home entertainment.
In this market research and presentation, we will focus on the various aspects where Google, Logitech and Sony would have done better to segment and position the Google TV.

I will post the research results by the end of March 2011 for sure.

Below is the update on March 4th 2011. This presentation is done at the UC Davis marketing class by my group.

Why Google TV?

Bringing the Web and TV content together is attempted by many in the past and it’s Google TV now. Initially i was all skeptical why Google has it as a big project spending huge $ on marketing. Apart from many other obvious reason, i got convinced last night. After a long time i got some time to play with my TV and Wii.

Watching a Movie : My DVD player broke and thought that i will watch some movies online. I knew Wii has a Netflix channel that you can install for free. Finding the Netflix channel and installing it was an easy task. Connecting my Netflix userid was also easy. Wii created a verification code and i need to key it in the Netflix account. Now the fun stuff… I started the Netflix channel and decided to watch the “Iron Man” movie. It started buffering the movie for 24 seconds. It played for about 3 minutes and started buffering again. Woah… that sucks. I just cant have the device buffer all the time i see the movie. The picture quality was very bad and flaky. I have the AT&T Uverse with 18MB speed and i consider this a decent internet connection. I am not sure what the reason was for my slow streaming and searched web but did not find anything.

Thumbs Down Picture Quality, Viewing Experience

Browsing the Web : Next, i tried browsing the web with the Internet Channel on Wii. I have no idea why on earth they use Opera as browser? Pages are quick enough to load and mostly renders properly. However, its a pain (lot of pain) to search and browse. I quit browsing in almost 5 minutes. Its a horrible experience to move the Wii remote and click on single letters on the UI.

Thumbs DownSearch, Browsing Experience, Rendering, Page fit, Page Quality

Why Google TV : Yeah yeah… i hear that we have Apple TV, XBox, Roku, Wii among the popular ones and many TVs come with the Internet Widgets. But all these technologies have feature limitations. If you want to Browse, Search, watch movie content from Netflix and Youtube,  browse pictures from Picasa, Flicker and others then you need a device that’s optimized for the Browsing, Search, Page Rendering and does a good job on 1080p HDTVs.

You must not see any difference when you watch the same Netflix movie or Youtube video on similar PC vs. HDTV. And more over, you need a input device that’s elegant and yet convenient enough to give you the QWERTY keyboard (or may be voice commands). I guess this is the are Google ventured to come into. Google did a pretty good job (creating the platform) of integrating the TRUE Internet experience and the cable channels on HDTV.

Sure that there is a lot of work for Google to do before the main stream viewers accept Google TV. But, right now, its definitely a geek’s gadget.

A close look at Google Privacy Policy!

For many Google seems to be a very cool Internet company and Google has become synonymous to Internet. For the people who are not in technology/computer industry, it seems to be too hard to believe that Google is more than just an e-mail service and Search Engine.

I compiled few important legal privacy notices from Google Website and you can imagine how your data, emails, chats, mobile apps and Buzz can be used.
Google may know you more than your parents, wife and kids

Google Buzz

Website :

When you first enter Google Buzz, to make the startup experience easier, we may automatically select people for you to follow based on the people you email and chat with most. Similarly, we may also suggest to others that they automatically follow you. You can review and edit the list of people you follow and block people from following you.

When you use Google Buzz, we may record information about your use of the product, such as the posts you like or comment on and the other users with whom you communicate, in order to provide you with a better experience on Buzz and other Google services and to improve the quality of Google services.

If you use Google Buzz on a mobile device and choose to view “nearby” posts, your location will be collected by Google. If you use a mobile device to create a post which shares your location, then your location will be collected by Google and displayed to other users, as described when you first attempt to use Buzz on a mobile device. You may thereafter opt out of the collection and display of your location on a per-post basis. You can also choose to exclude your location from all of your posts.

If you chose to delete your Google profile, your Buzz posts will be deleted, but the comments and “likes” you have made on other people’s posts will not be deleted. You have the option to remove your comments on others’ posts individually if you’d like. Residual copies of deleted material may take up to 60 days to be deleted from our active servers and may remain in our offline backup systems.

Google Chat

Website :

Account activity. You need a Google Account to access Google Talk. Google asks for some personal information when you create a Google Account, including your email address and a password, which is used to protect your account from unauthorized access. A Google Account allows you to access many of our services that require registration. When you use Google Talk, we may record information about your usage, such as when you use Google Talk, the size of your contact list and the contacts you communicate with, and the frequency and size of data transfers. Information displayed or clicked on in the Google Talk interface (including UI elements, settings, and other information) is also recorded.

We use this information internally to deliver the best possible service to you, such as improving the Google Talk user interface and maintaining a consistent and reliable user experience.

You can uninstall the Google Talk software at any time through your computer operating system’s uninstall process. You may delete your contacts information or chat histories you have stored in your Gmail account by deleting them through Gmail or by deleting your Gmail account from the Google Accounts page. Because of the way we maintain this service, such deletion may not be immediate, and residual copies may remain on backup media.

Google Mail

Website :

Gmail stores, processes and maintains your messages, contact lists and other data related to your account in order to provide the service to you.

When you use Gmail, Google’s servers automatically record certain information about your use of Gmail. Similar to other web services, Google records information such as account activity (including storage usage, number of log-ins), data displayed or clicked on (including UI elements, ads, links); and other log information (including browser type, IP-address, date and time of access, cookie ID, and referrer URL).

Google maintains and processes your Gmail account and its contents to provide the Gmail service to you and to improve our services. The Gmail service includes relevant advertising and related links based on the IP address, content of messages and other information related to your use of Gmail.

Google’s computers process the information in your messages for various purposes, including formatting and displaying the information to you, delivering advertisements and related links, preventing unsolicited bulk email (spam), backing up your messages, and other purposes relating to offering you Gmail.

Becareful with the so called… Yahoo Scams.

Isn’t the following mail too good to be real… But its not. I am pretty sure an average home user would fall for it.

Important Information Regarding Your Yahoo Account

Thu, November 12, 2009 5:01:14 AM


Yahoo! Alert <>

Dear User,We are sorry to inform you that we are currently working on securing our
server, during this process account which is not manually verified by us will
be deleted, Please confirm and submit your information for manual verification
by one of our customer care.


Information which is to be provided is below:
User Name:
User Id:
Date Of Birth:
Country (At Sign up):

Upon confirmation of information from you, we will manually verify your Yahoo!
Account and reserve it not to be deleted, We are sorry for any inconveniences
this might have cause providing  your information over the email.

Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his/her account after two
weeks of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.

Copyright © 2009 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright/IP Policy | Terms
of Service | Guide to Online Security

NOTICE: We collect personal information on this site.

To learn more about how we use your information, see our Privacy Policy.

email Scam in the name of PayPal and Craigslist

When you sell an item in Paypal… you may get mails from potential buyers andone of that could be a scam. Be careful in revealing your personal details.  Following are some of the mails and how they basically want you to ship that item even before money reaches your bank account (of course it never reaches).

A great resource for me :

Fake mail from Buyer – I

On Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 10:10 AM, Some Buyer <> wrote:
Thanks for your mail,i am buying this for my son who school overseas.i will add $80 for shipping,i would have preferred to make this a local transaction but i am out >town presently…so you can get me back with your paypal email account so i can pay now.hope to hear from you soon
best regards

Fake mail from Buyer – II

Some Buyer to me  show details 1:00 AM (6 hours ago)

Hello Seller ,
I have made the payment through PayPal auction payment as stipulated
and i sent the funds for the item as stipulated price to you for the
payment and shipping of this the item bought because i want this
package to be shipped today via USPS EXPRESS MAIL and i know you ought
to have receive the confirmation from them.Kindly get the item shipped
and email me immediately the shipment is done.
Below are the shipping address:

Name : Abiodun Sunday
Address:8 Sapon Road
City :Abeokuta,
State:Ogun State
Zip code:121101

Fake mail from PayPal

Notification of an Instant Payment Received from Danny wilson(

Fri, November 6, 2009 12:59:39 AM


“” <>

Add to Contacts


// PayPal


Protect Your Account Info
Make sure you never provide your password to fraudulent websites.


To safely and securely access the PayPal website or your account, open a new web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Netscape) and type in the PayPal URL ( to be sure you are on the real PayPal site.

PayPal will never ask you to enter your password in an email.

For more information on protecting yourself from fraud, please review our Security Tips at /securitytips

Protect Your Password
You’ve got new funds!              Payments by  PayPal

Dear Suresh Krishna.

Danny wilson just sent you money with PayPal. is a Verified buyer.

Payment Details:
Amount: $280.00. USD
Transaction ID: 5SM34678WJ773247G
Subject: Ship before 11/07/2009
You have been paid for
Shipping Information

Name : Abiodun Sunday
Address:8 Sapon Road
City :Abeokuta,
State:Ogun State
Zip code:121101
Address Status: Confirmed

This PayPal® payment has been deducted from the buyer’s account and has been ” APPROVED” but will not be credited to your account until the shipment confirmation number is sent to us for shipment verification so as to secure both the buyer and the seller. Below are the necessary information requested before your account will be credited. Send the shipment reference/tracking number to us or email us through this mail and our customer service care will attend to you. As soon as you send us the shipment’s tracking number for security purposes and the safety of the buyer with the seller,the money will be credited to your account.

Once shipment has been verified and the tracking number sent to us,we will verify and credit your account.
You will receive a “
CONFIRMATION EMAIL” from PayPal® informing you that the Money has been credited. The payment has been made under your name.

PayPal Email ID PP522


Get Verified – Your Key to More Security and Free Features
Get Verified and help increase the security of your PayPal transactions for yourself and for everyone with whom you do business. You can also:


  • Fund purchases directly from your current or savings account in addition to using credit cards
  • Improve your reputation by letting others know you’re a confirmed, Verified member of the PayPal community
  • Send money to friends, family and PayPal Personal Account holders


Get Verified


Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team

Can you do effective Context Switching ?

Everyone in Software and IT industry are exposed to the what i call as “Context Switching” problem. Bosses are so adept in giving different kinds of tasks to the “makers”, they often dont realize whats involved in the context switching. Before i move on, i was reading a very interesting article from Paul Graham on the “Maker’s Schedule; Manager’s Schedule“. Indeed, he was right on to the point of where the programmers (aks Makers) and managers spend their time and what does “meetings” mean to each of them.

We very well assume that most of the programmer’s have 8 hours of work time in a day and schedule all the work according to it. What we very often forget to take in to account are the obvious and non-obvious tasks. As Paul says, programmers one piece of work/task is normally in the 1 day chunk  (for some at least, it’s in 1/2 day chunks) and any disturbance in that 4-8 hours of time proves to be very costly. We all want to concentrate and make sure that the entire program is in our head till the time we are done with it. This phenomenon is very well explained by Paul in his article “Holding a program in one’s head“.

When you start your brand new day at office thinking over a problem or a algorithm, your boss calls up and asks you for a status update because his boss asked for a team update. Well, that is the request you need to honor without a question.  Usually the calls will not be 5-10 minutes but goes for minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour, because we are trying to solve a problem over the phone or in the meeting room.

  • Meetings,
  • Weekend vacation talk,
  • Extended Lunch and coffee time,
  • Status reports to manager,
  • Status report to customer,
  • Helping the Sales and Marketing Team,
  • Attending the personal calls
  • etc… (i am sure there are 100s of such things)

The tasks, your manager thinks of as 10 minutes actually takes 1hour and after sending the sweet report or tools comparison to him, you again head down to start writing your program and after 1hour you get a call to say that the report format should be changed so that he can submit it right away to his boss. Phewww…. you did that one too. Now the time is almost, 2.00pm and you really want to concentrate and do the REAL work. All in all, When i analyze the average programmer probably gets around 5 hours of quality time out of 8 hours in the day time. No wonder, we often end up working late nights just before the delivery. Many programmers has the similar habit of working in the dark/late hours. Yes, that works perfectly. No one to call you or ask for reports or for help. The only thing that you really think of is the problem before you.

I work on a project which has a very tight dependency with the environment(installed software on the machine) . Every thing installed on a machine matters and a lot of legacy code is maintained from past 15 years or so. The environment is so critical that if one installed the required software in anyway other than the prescribed order, you may need to burn the mid-night lamp to find some non-obvious, strange and scary system behavior. Of course, initially i was under the impression that the software system MUST not depend on the environment, but as i got into the system, i believe that some times the dependency just exists (due to several legacy apps and unimagined integrations of different products).

Context Switching is one project impedement that Agile Methododlogy and Scrum claims to remove. Scrum recommends the values where the team has a specified time for meetings and tries to decrease the buerocracy in th project against the traditional adhoc meetings  and untimely calls for context switching. Of course one can say they are following Scrum and still do the traditional way, but i have seen this working in my experience.

Did any of you have such problems of Contect Switching ? What do you do to come over it ?

Organizational Growth and Freeway Traffic

Did you every wonder any kind of correlation between the Organizational Growth and Freeway traffic ? As i travel a lot on the freeway over the weekends (to Southern California especially on the Route 1), i found an interesting correlation among these two.

Everyone of us would want to do great jobs and grow in an organization; Be it a small or big organization. Every once aspires and dreams to take some dream jobs and work towards it. Your success at work is mainly a function of yourself, organization, boss and job. How many times did you ever wonder that if i had a better boss, if i were in a  better project, if i was in “ABC” organization, etc… I see some of these scenarios and could not resist to compare it with the why we drive on the freeway.

Your Growth and Boss : For many of us Boss is the “Company” to you. As he is the person, everyone looks at a company. If he gives us a good feeling, you feel happy about the company and if he is bad, you are screwed. Boss is the one who recognizes the stuff in you, promotes you at the right time. Your growth pace is directly proportional to your Boss and his work. If Boss is sluggish and slow, so is your growth rate and opportunities. Many a times his speed is your speed (I often hear that many people leave the company because of the Boss and NOT because of the Organization).

Now compare this on a single line freeway with no turnarounds and no way to pull out of the road. Your Boss is the Vehicle in front of you. You are following the vehicle and your speed is DIRECTLY proportional it. If the vehicle in front of you is going fast you are going fast; if its slow you are slow. There is no way to bypass or move into another lane. You need to wait till he takes an EXIT and you are driving on your own. Does it ring the bell.

Corporates and Freeway : Many people that i know work in corporates so that they have the flexibility to move around the globe (with the companies multinational presence) and take on different areas of work (which could translate to different departments, business verticals and corporate divisions). When you typically work in such environments, if you do not like your boss or you want to move on…. you always have the OPPORTUNITY. Move to a new Division or Department or new Geo Area…. you are most probably set. You do not worry about being stuck to your SAME Boss for a long time.

Now look at the Freeway with multiple lines. You are driving in one lane and your vehicle in front of you gets clogged, move on to the other lane and drive ahead. You have many possibilities in terms of how you want to go and at what phase you want to go.

Of course it is the ultimate BAD LUCK, if ALL the lanes are busy and there is no way to escape :). The only thing you can do in this scenario is either to complete the travel or take an EXIT and move on to another freeway.

Oversight : We all want to do the dream job and in any organization there is a job that is most sought after. We all are in that QUEUE to get that job and achieve our goals. But we seldom see a job that is less sought after, BUT takes you to your destination much faster. We are so obsessed in doing our RIGHT job, we often forget that there is a less trodden path which would also take you to the destination.

Its easy on Freeway. We all want to go FAST, so we take the “LEFT” most lane. There are so many people who wants to drive faster, you see that the LEFT lane is full of vehicles and the other “SLOWER” lanes are almost empty. Even when we can move to the other lanes to avoid this big QUEUE, we don’t. It takes a little bit of insight and smartness to move from the LEFT lane to the other SLOWER lanes and reach the destination FASTER than the LEFT lane.

Dont you thing this happens with many us ? I will be glad to hear your experiences and such analogies.

Consulting vs Fulltime job

Before you read this blog, i would request you to have a look at my site so that you get an idea of what i have been doing. I have been introduced to many challenges to choose between the consulting and fulltime positions when i moved to USA from Germany. I was with product development companies all the while and its little strange for me the “idea” of consulting. I did quite a bit of research on different companies and what kind of job should i choose. For the rest of my blog, i do not want to take any of the company names. I hope that you would be able to relate what i am saying to your own experiences. I would be glad to hear more experiences and your views.

Before i say anything, I want to clarify what i am referring to as a “consulting job”. You are working on the payroll of a consulting company, which does not have any product behind it, but just acts as a head-count machine. They do have some direct clients and you are placed with one of them. Its purely on your luck that you get a long-term contract and you are not fired from the job from time-to-time.

By “full time job” i mean, you are working with a Product development, Services, rarely some consulting companies on their payroll. You might work for their own product or might do services to customers. You can be “fired” at any point of time but atleast they will give you 2 weeks notice (i guess this is a norm).

And now i want to share few categories that i considered before i decided my path. Hope this helps to some of you who are looking for a change.

  • Work Experience
    • Fulltime
      • You work with a single product for a long time. You will get to see to see entire system and some times you might get a chance to build the system from scratch.
      • Depending on the companies technology direction and its vision, one need to constantly change their technology area.
      • You might some times consult your customers to implement your product, train them and others. Still it might be with the product of your company.
    • Consulting
      • You are with clients, helping them to achieve their goals.
      • You might not have any say on the product direction or what the customer is doing. You are considered purely as a resource who is supposed to execute their instructions.
      • Your are at the customer site because you are a specialist. If you dont meet their expectations, you need to search another job.
      • On the technical level, you will see different systems and get to learn customer’s environment.
  • Influence
    • Fulltime
      • You are given certain responsibilities and you as a fulltime employee and you have the right to influence your organization.
      • Every action you do, every decision you take has a direct effect on the organization.
    • Consulting
      • Mostly customers do differentiate the fulltime employees and consultants. Social life with fulltime employees might be difficult.
      • You as a consultant normally will not have any influence on the project.You are there to help the project. Thats it.
  • Compensation
    • Fulltime
      • On the industry average fulltime employees are paid less than the consultants counterparts with same technology and experience.
      • Some times waiting for bonus and performance reviews can be frustrating.
      • Compensation is the last thing that you would discuss with the company.
    • Consulting
      • Consultants gets paid more as their clients pay more on the hourly basis. Its very important to know that the “client” has absolutely no liability to wards the consultant. Client might do all his decisions according to his whims and fancies.
      • Its unlikely that you discuss about the exact compensation in the first call.
      • Your consulting company might not be able to pay you at the right time as there is always a lead time for him to get paid by the client. Unless its a big company which has life of credit, its difficult to trust.
  • Interviewing Process
    • Fulltime
      • Normally companies will post the job description on their own web site or some of the job posting sites. They do not prefer to go via vendors / recruiters.
      • Candidate takes a phone interview – HR, phone interview – Technical, personal interview – Technical, phone call to finalize the offer and then a complete background check.
      • The entire process is normally around 1-2 month duration. At the end of this, you can still say NO to the offer that the company made.
    • Consulting
      • You normally decide on the hourly rate in the beginning of the process
      • Your consulting company or other vendors first talks to you about the job and then they SUBMIT you to the client.
      • They insist you to have all the KEY WORDS that the client is looking for in your resume. If you dont have it, its a crime.
      • In the event of multiple vendors marketing you, its likely that you have multiple resumes. (you might not like it, but it happens)
      • You typically have a phone interview and then the client decides if you are in the project or not. In the ideal case, the consulting company has to SCREEN the candidate, do the BACKGROUND CHECK, get BEST of the available technical brains.
  • Miscellanious
    • Fulltime
      • I do see many people who got stuck in the companies in the full time positions.
      • If you stick to a company for a long time, be sure that you update your knowledge and also be aware of whats happening out side your company.
      • Some complain about the bureaucracy in the company and they are not able to grow for a long time.
    • Consulting
      • Its pity that some times your friends might suggest you to have a Java, Oracle and Microsoft certifications in your resume, where as you have not given those certification exams.
      • If you are of 1-3 years experienced and what to apply for a job via a consulting company, they might ask you to put a minimum of 6 years of experience. In the end if you see your time line in your life, you have more experience than what you can.

At the end of this exercise, its very important to understand that your priorities are very important. You need to decide what you want to do depending on your passion and previous experiences. All the topics and points i have raised are purely result of my study and 3 months of job search for some good project and good company.

I wish everyone — who is looking for a job — all the best and make a wise decision. Luckily i did make a decision and i am glad for what i did.

Mystery with MysterySpot

We have just comeback from the MysteryHouse. This is near Santa Cruz and from Fremont, it took 45 minutes. The drive is little rugged with lots of turns and narrow roads. Its better to drive with a experienced driver so that you wont end up as a Mystery 🙂 .  Weather its scientifically proven or even if its a  illusion, its definitely worth a visit and the 5$ that you pay for the entrance fee. They have guided tours and the guides really do a good job there. They also give you some time to take pictures.

Couple of points that i liked there were…

  • On the plain surface the visual hight of your body changes
  • When you walk the uphill and downhill, your feet experiences funny inclinations
  • A small room there has some funny inclinations and climbing the ladder without support is amazing
  • The force that you feel while you swing the lead ball, makes you believe that there is some anti force
  • The “Scientist” experiment that they conduct there is a good visual illusion and great fun

In the end its a good trip for 4 hours from the eastbay and enjoyable. Good Luck.