Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Update of posts....mid Feb

Books 2 Byte
Dreaming in Code
Scott Rosenberg
Crown Publishers (www.crownpublishing.com)

All bugs are not equal
Time really does seem to behave differently around the act of making software, feels Rosenberg. "When things go well, you can lose track of passing hours in the state psychologists call `flow'. When things go badly, you get stuck, frozen between dimensions, unable to move or see a way forward." This is software time, he quips.
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Books 2 Byte
Communications Law in India
Vikram Raghavan
LexisNexis Butterworths (www.lexisnexis.co.in)
Capacious definition of telegraph
Section 3(1AA) defines the word telegraph to mean, "... any appliance, instrument, material or apparatus used or capable of use for transmission or reception of signs, signals, writing, images, and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, visual, or other electro-magnetic emissions, radio waves or Hertzian waves, galvanic, electric, or magnetic waves."
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Books 2 Byte
The Secure Online Business Handbook
Jonathan Reuvid
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

IT infrastructure is like an elephant...
It informs that in 2004, organised gangs of criminals and extortionists regularly used the DOS threat to extract money from companies. The modus operandi was as follows: The perpetrators would overload the servers of a business, such as an online one with no physical retail outlets, with data sent from zombie computers, "and then contact the business and threaten to cause a similar problem again unless the business pays a large sum of money."
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Books 2 Byte
Hands-On Oracle Database 10g Express Edition for Windows
Steve Bobrowski
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Oracle, inside out
Relational databases overcome the weaknesses of the earlier systems. How? "Relational databases are easy to understand, design, and build. Relational databases store and present all information in tables, an easily understood concept. Furthermore, relational databases hide the complexities of data access from the user, making application development relatively simple when compared to other types of database systems."
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Books 2 Byte
Dreaming in Code
Scott Rosenberg
Crown Publishers (www.crownpublishing.com)

All bugs are not equal
Time really does seem to behave differently around the act of making software, feels Rosenberg. "When things go well, you can lose track of passing hours in the state psychologists call `flow'. When things go badly, you get stuck, frozen between dimensions, unable to move or see a way forward." This is software time, he quips.
More
**
Books 2 Byte
Communications Law in India
Vikram Raghavan
LexisNexis Butterworths (www.lexisnexis.co.in)
Capacious definition of telegraph
Section 3(1AA) defines the word telegraph to mean, "... any appliance, instrument, material or apparatus used or capable of use for transmission or reception of signs, signals, writing, images, and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, visual, or other electro-magnetic emissions, radio waves or Hertzian waves, galvanic, electric, or magnetic waves."
More
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Books 2 Byte
The Secure Online Business Handbook
Jonathan Reuvid
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

IT infrastructure is like an elephant...
It informs that in 2004, organised gangs of criminals and extortionists regularly used the DOS threat to extract money from companies. The modus operandi was as follows: The perpetrators would overload the servers of a business, such as an online one with no physical retail outlets, with data sent from zombie computers, "and then contact the business and threaten to cause a similar problem again unless the business pays a large sum of money."
More
**
Books 2 Byte
Hands-On Oracle Database 10g Express Edition for Windows
Steve Bobrowski
Tata McGraw-Hill (www.tatamcgrawhill.com)

Oracle, inside out
Relational databases overcome the weaknesses of the earlier systems. How? "Relational databases are easy to understand, design, and build. Relational databases store and present all information in tables, an easily understood concept. Furthermore, relational databases hide the complexities of data access from the user, making application development relatively simple when compared to other types of database systems."
More
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E-Dimension
The Valuation of Businesses, Shares and Other Equity (fourth edition)
Wayne Lonergan
Viva (www.vivagroupindia.com)

`The hypothetical purchaser' is `endlessly wealthy'
In many valuations, the purchaser is truly hypothetical, says Lonergan. "For example, it is often extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find a purchaser for shares in a small private company. Even if such a purchaser did exist, the search costs of locating the purchaser would frequently exceed the value of the shares under consideration."
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E-Dimension
Flying on One Engine
Thomas R. Keene
Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com)

Clarity from Wall Street economists
A chapter titled `The global labour arbitrage' by Stephen S. Roach notes that the Internet Age `with its ubiquitous diffusion of knowledge, innovation, and technological change' achieves `convergence of the human capital'.
He speaks of `a veritable renaissance in IT-enabled services — software, business process outsourcing, multimedia, network management, and systems integration — that has enabled India to fill the void left by seemingly chronic deficiencies on the industrialisation front.'
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E-Dimension
Trump Style Negotiation
George H. Ross
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Anything goes in negotiations
Negotiation is the sum of all the ways in which we convey information about what we want, what we desire, and what we expect from other people, defines Ross. Negotiation is not limited to talking, listening and bargaining, he explains. "Negotiation has many other nonverbal forms. If someone is late for an appointment without an apology or doesn't show up at all, this is an element of negotiation as well. Sometimes what people don't do or say is the most telling factor — not taking a phone call, cutting a meeting short, or scheduling a conflicting meeting — these are all negotiation tactics of one kind or another."
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E-Dimension
Creating Value in a Regulated World
Cedric Read
(www.wiley.com)

CFO is `the co-pilot of the CEO'
Hear Jan Hommen, former CFO of Philips, describe the CFO as `the co-pilot of the CEO and the business partner for the rest of the company'. Hommen reminisces how, when he joined the company, finance was `mostly an administrative and accounting function with little real decision-support capability'. Information was inadequate as a base for reliable forecasts, because the focus was backward rather than forward. "There was hardly any coordination across the group on capital allocation, R&D (research and development) investment, systems or marketing. It was every one of the thirteen divisions for themselves — with little or no synergy among them."
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E-Dimension
Innovation Management
Shlomo Maital and D. V. R. Seshadri
Response Books (www.indiasage.com)

The Ec, the Tec, and the Exec
`Management' is as important as, or more important than, `innovation', they insist. How so? Because often enough entrepreneurs who come up with phenomenally inventive ideas fail when they forget to ask three key questions — "How will I build a business around this idea? How will I make money? How will I sustain growth and profit?" Great innovators are good not only in implementing good ideas, but also in rejecting the terrible ones. The latter belongs to the type II error, that is, `accepting a false hypothesis'.
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E-Dimension
Ting
Arupa Tesolin
Wisdom Tree (www.wisdomtreeindia.com)

Intuition is the opposite of effort
Tony wonders if he has to make an effort to be intuitive. "Well, not effort really, it's the opposite of effort," says Hermilla. "Intuition is more about undoing the learned perceptions and seeing what's real. It's very different from thinking. Thinking takes effort." Then comes the next lesson: `Do nothing for five minutes a day.' Pray, why? "Because you've been educated to become a thinker," explains Hermilla. "Intuition is like the high-speed Internet. It's always on. But it would mean too great a change too fast to go straight to this. So we're going to get you started on `dial-up'. It's a little slower but it works." Well, it does!
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E-Dimension
The Emerging Markets Century
Antoine van Agtmael
Free Press

World winners emerging from `new economies'
In the intro, the author reminisces how in September 1981, he had come up with the `positive and invigorating' phrase `emerging markets' as a substitute for `Third World', a stigmatised label that reminded one of `basket case' economies not too different from `volatile casinos'. EM or `emerging markets', thus, had its origins as an elevator pitch to shake off `an image rife with negative associations of flimsy polyester, cheap toys, rampant corruption, Soviet-style tractors, and flooded rice paddies'.
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E-Dimension
Sweet Spot
Arun Sinha
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Get everything aligned

Sinha's second suggestion is about shaping the market by introducing approaches that are indigenous to India, but which can then be leveraged in other countries. "For example, Hindustan lever introduced single-use sachets of shampoos and soap products so that lower-income customers have access to premium brands." And his third suggestion is about the need for a long-term commitment. One of the biggest mistakes companies can make is for the senior executives to make an investment commitment without thinking through the horizon for return on investment, rues Sinha.

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E-Dimension
Made to Stick
Chip and Dan Heath
Random House (www.atrandom.com)

`SUCCES' road to stickiness
Unexpectedness is about surprising people, by breaking their guessing machines. "Common sense is the enemy of sticky messages. When messages sound like common sense, they float gently in one ear and out the other." On the contrary, curiosity is stirred with gaps in knowledge. "Unexpected ideas, by opening a knowledge gap, tease and flirt. They mark a big red X on something that needs to be discovered but don't necessarily tell you how to get there."
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Soft Skills
The Business of Memory
Frank Felberbaum
Rodale (www.rodalebooks.co.uk)

Three steps to a better memory
The second step is visualising, to convert the experience to a form that can be stored. Because "once you convert an item into a visual memory, you're far more likely to retain the memory." To get more from your mind's eye, take care not to push, advises Felberbaum. "The fastest way to short-circuit a visual memory is to force it. Instead, encourage your mind to play freely, following its own natural curiosity. Think of the images you're seeking as shy, wild creatures. If you chase after them, they'll run away. If you become calm and receptive, you allow them to come to you."
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Book Value
The Demise of the Dollar... and why it's great for your investments
Addison Wiggin
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Gold, the ultimate dollar hedge
"Even as our economy burns, our political leaders fiddle. They point to economic indicators to prove that our economy is strong and getting stronger. This information would be valuable... if only it were true," rues Wiggin, talking about the US economy. No different closer home?
The author also laments that few people, `even those who consider themselves to be savvy about finance', understand matters such as `trade deficit, national debt, GDP (gross domestic product), inflation, economic indicators and so on.
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Book Mark
Brand Bollywood
Derek Bose
Sage (www.indiasage.com)

Beyond the box-office
Bose concedes that the common understanding of Bollywood is as "a tradition of film-making replete with mindless songs and dances, star-crossed lovers, ostentatious celebrations of glamour and spectacle, lost and found brothers, convenient coincidences and happy endings." But there is more ...
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Book Mark
Brand Rejuvenation
Jean-Marc Lehu
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

On how to stay young
The OCARA principle (observation, comprehension, adaptation, reaction and attention) offers two insights `to protect the brand manager from the ever-present danger of falling asleep on the job,' one learns. The first is that consumer feedback has `to constantly nurture the brand strategy and to allow it to react more effectively. And second, the brand has `to remain vigilant in the fact of the changes that its environment (competitors, consumers, legislation, suppliers, social trends, cultural movements and so on) will be sure to experience.'
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Book Mark
Retailization
Lars Thomassen, Keith Lincoln and Anthony Aconis
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Seven steps for survival
In this era of retail power, the first squeeze of brands is from the retailer. "When only a few retailers control 75 per cent of an individual market and the biggest brands control less than 1 per cent, it is clear where the real power lies." There are other squeezers, such as shoppers, private labels and the media. But first you need to start with `a new way of thinking about retail', to turn the squeezes into your advantage.
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Book Mark
Guerrilla Publicity
Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Jill Lublin
Kogan Page (www.vivagroupindia.com)

Lessons for guerrillas
If guerrillas don't show up on your radar, it is quite normal. Because they don't use publicity, thinking that it is too expensive, complicated, and time consuming. Is that right or wrong? Wrong, the authors would say, because guerrillas fail to realise that the media is a voracious giant that constantly devours information. Maybe, you can visualise the media as a giant guerrilla into whose veins runs information! "It needs information to survive, tons of information! The media craves original items and is as eager to tell guerrillas' stories."
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Book Value

Venture Finance in India
Vishnu Varshney
Not easy to foresee in VC space

Started by Gujarat Industrial and Investment Corporation at the initiative of World Bank, with a target corpus of Rs 24 crore, GVFL attracted the participation of thirty private sector companies, such as Arvind Mills, Asian Paints, Hero Cycles, HDFC and so on. One learns that GVFL has raised five funds, including one each for IT (information technology) and biotech. Corpus fund has grown beyond Rs 130 crore, and the company has invested `in 58 technology companies at seed, start up and early stage all over India'. Successful divesting has happened in 47 of the investee companies.

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Book Value

The Kama Sutra of Business: Management Principles from Indian Classics
Nury Vittachi
Wiley (www.wiley.com)

Does your project have `legs'?

A chapter titled `The world's first management consultant' talks about Chanakya, the master of political strategy, and Arthashastra. `The first business book ever written,' extols Vittachi. One of the insights of Chanakya, cited in the book, is that the source of wealth is activity. "Lack of activity brings about material distress. In the absence of activity, current prosperity will disappear and there will be no future growth."

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