Saturday, 16 August 2014

Why are Zuckerberg, Nadella and Gates pouring ice-cold water on themselves?

The Ice Bucket challenge is making waves across social media for the noble cause that it is helping raise awareness and funds for. Celebrities like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft chairman  Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google founders Larry Page and  Sergey Brin and many more are rising up to the challenge and posting videos of dumping a bucket of ice water on  themselves.
Bill Gates recently took up the open challenge from Mark Zuckerberg and has passed it on to Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Ryan Seacrest and  Chris Anderson from TED.
In case you missed it, here is a video of Mark Zuckerberg taking part in the challenge and throwing down the gauntlet to Bill Gates, and an epic reply by Bill Gates as well:
The Challenge
Rules: The Participant has to announce their acceptance of the challenge followed by pouring ice into a bucket of water. The bucket is then to be lifted overhead and poured over the participant’s head. After completion, the participant has the option to extend the challenge and to donate $10 to the ALS charity of their choice. Alternatively, they can decline the challenge, in which case they are encouraged to donate $100. Those challenged have 24 hours to respond to it, failing which they have to donate $100.
As of now almost everybody who has been challenged has put their right foot forward and honoured the challenge.
US President Barak Obama decided not to take up the challenge, but instead willingly donated $100 as per the stipulation.
The Ice Bucket Challenge originated in Massachusetts when a former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, decided to challenge himself and take it up. He posted the video on twitter. Frates went on to extend the challenge to some Boston Athletes, who accepted it.
The first recorded ice bucket challenge for ALS was by Jeanette Hane Senerchia of Pelham, New York on July 16th, 2014 after she was challenged by Chris Kennedy on Facebook. The two set out to raise awareness for ALS on behalf of Anthony Senerchia Jr., who has ALS. Senerchia, Quinn and Frates are directly responsible for the tremendous increase in awareness and donations for ALS.
What is ALS?
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” The disease causes progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, according to The ALS Association.
It is characterised by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness, difficulty in speaking, swallowing and breathing. ALS is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases.
Has the Ice Bucket challenge succeeded in its cause?
Yes. The organization’s national office has received $5.5 million for Lou Gehrig’s disease research since July 29, compared to $32,000 in the same period last year. With more challenges and donations piling up, it is a grand success.
The possible downsides
Though the contributions to the ALS foundation have increased manifold, many are questioning whether most people even know the symptoms and complications involved with ALS or if the main motive behind the initiative has taken a backseat and people are just doing it to be a part of this viral phenomenon.
Another train of thought that most people have is the amount of clean potable, drinkable water that has been wasted on this process which could have been put to better use. In a lot of regions where getting access to clean drinking water is a major issue, the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ would seem like a cruel joke.
A similar challenge for Indians?
There are multiple untreatable diseases that affect our own countrymen, old age homes, ashrams, schools, NGOs and hospitals that are low on funds. We as Indians should participate in challenges like the ‘Ice Bucket challenge’ and also look to solve and raise awareness of problems that we otherwise turn a blind eye to in our own backyards, in a more innovative and eco friendly manner.
What causes can you think of where Indians can raise awareness in a similar way?

Saturday, 26 April 2014

How Real Cricket 2014 got 1,50,000+ downloads in less than a month .

Real Cricket 14 is a cricket game by Nautilus Mobile which reminds you of EA cricket series.  There are probably more cricket apps in the play store than the number of nations playing it. However, what sets this one apart  is the fact that it  was released just prior to the on-going IPL season. Real Cricket 14 played well on the timing by launching around IPL season and to say that it didn’t succeed will be wrong. The game  was featured in the play store within three days of going live and has managed to get over 1,50,000+ downloads. The game is controlled by a virtual analog stick and best part is that unlike many cricket games it gives a lot of control to player both in terms of batting and bowling. It doesn’t let you down when it comes to accuracy either. The games has 27 strokes for batting and one can choose his  positioning on the batting crease, timing the shot, direction you want to hit in. Similar is the case with bowling, you can choose to spin, or have fast bowlers or medium pacers in your team. It provides a great freedom in choosing your line, length, pace, cut/swing on the ball. There are a lot of international teams to choose from; there are no IPL teams though as of now. There are around 15 fielding presets modes to choose from. The game works smoothly apart from some glitches here and there. Real Cricket 2014 Pros and cons The game has a great UI and the gameplay is very smooth once it loads. The feature and the number of gameplay options given to the player are also a great boost over other cricket based games. Some of the places where the team needs to improve are the loading time of the game and the responsiveness of the touch screen; it does not respond many a times which is very irritating. The toss screen also becomes non-responsive and takes time. In some devices, the player faces are replaced by black squares but it seems more of a device compatibility issue. All in all the game is fun and the number of downloads speak for itself. Nautilus earlier launched Song of the Swords for mobile and was also presented at MobileSparks 2013. ... read more on

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


"I was raped at the age of 9 "-Oprah Winfrey

"I didn't even complete my university education" - Bill Gates

 "I was sexually, mentally,emotionally and verbally abused by my father as far back as I can remember until I left home at the age of eighteen" - Joyce Meyer

"I struggled academically throughout elementary school"- Dr Ben Carson

"I used to serve tea at a shop to support my football training" - Lionel Messi

"I used to sleep on the floor in friends' rooms,returning Coke bottles for food, money, and getting weekly free meals at a local temple" - Steve Jobs

"My teachers used to call me a failure"- PM Tony Blair

 "I was in prison for 27 years"- Retired President Nelson Mandela

 Though we pass through many difficulties in life, we should not give up because Life is not about what you couldn't do so far, it's about what you can still do so  NEVER GIVE UP!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Microsoft Satya Nadella's email to employees on first day as CEO

Today is a very humbling day for me. It reminds me of my very first day at Microsoft, 22 years ago. Like you, I had a choice about where to come to work. I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world. I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place. I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today.
It is an incredible honour for me to lead and serve this great company of ours. Steve and Bill have taken it from an idea to one of the greatest and most universally admired companies in the world. I've been fortunate to work closely with both Bill and Steve in my different roles at Microsoft, and as I step in as CEO, I've asked Bill to devote additional time to the company, focused on technology and products. I'm also looking forward to working with John Thompson as our new Chairman of the Board.
While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more. Our industry does not respect tradition - it only respects innovation. This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places - as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.
As we start a new phase of our journey together, I wanted to share some background on myself and what inspires and motivates me.
Who am I?
I am 46. I've been married for 22 years and we have 3 kids. And like anyone else, a lot of what I do and how I think has been shaped by my family and my overall life experiences. Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.
Why am I here?
I am here for the same reason I think most people join Microsoft - to change the world through technology that empowers people to do amazing things. I know it can sound hyperbolic - and yet it's true. We have done it, we're doing it today, and we are the team that will do it again.
I believe over the next decade computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient. The coevolution of software and new hardware form factors will intermediate and digitize - many of the things we do and experience in business, life and our world. This will be made possible by an ever-growing network of connected devices, incredible computing capacity from the cloud, insights from big data, and intelligence from machine learning.
This is a software-powered world.
It will better connect us to our friends and families and help us see, express, and share our world in ways never before possible. It will enable businesses to engage customers in more meaningful ways.
I am here because we have unparalleled capability to make an impact.
Why are we here?

In our early history, our mission was about the PC on every desk and home, a goal we have mostly achieved in the developed world. Today we're focused on a broader range of devices. While the deal is not yet complete, we will welcome to our family Nokia devices and services and the new mobile capabilities they bring us.
As we look forward, we must zero in on what Microsoft can uniquely contribute to the world. The opportunity ahead will require us to reimagine a lot of what we have done in the past for a mobile and cloud-first world, and do new things.
We are the only ones who can harness the power of software and deliver it through devices and services that truly empower every individual and every organization. We are the only company with history and continued focus in building platforms and ecosystems that create broad opportunity.
Qi Lu captured it well in a recent meeting when he said that Microsoft uniquely empowers people to "do more." This doesn't mean that we need to do more things, but that the work we do empowers the world to do more of what they care about - get stuff done, have fun, communicate and accomplish great things. This is the core of who we are, and driving this core value in all that we do - be it the cloud or device experiences - is why we are here.
What do we do next?
To paraphrase a quote from Oscar Wilde - we need to believe in the impossible and remove the improbable.
This starts with clarity of purpose and sense of mission that will lead us to imagine the impossible and deliver it. We need to prioritize innovation that is centered on our core value of empowering users and organizations to "do more." We have picked a set of high-value activities as part of our One Microsoft strategy. And with every service and device launch going forward we need to bring more innovation to bear around these scenarios.
Next, every one of us needs to do our best work, lead and help drive cultural change. We sometimes underestimate what we each can do to make things happen and overestimate what others need to do to move us forward. We must change this.
Finally, I truly believe that each of us must find meaning in our work. The best work happens when you know that it's not just work, but something that will improve other people's lives. This is the opportunity that drives each of us at this company.
Many companies aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources, and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance. And as the new CEO, I can't ask for a better foundation.
Let's build on this foundation together.

Round up: 7 superstars who inspired every Tuesday

‘Small minds discuss people, great minds discuss ideas and greatest minds act in silence.’  This is exactly what our techies featured in this column have been up to. They act in silence, letting their work speak for itself. They come from diverse fields such as reformed hackers, students who build parsers, open source ninjas and competitive coders among others. We look back at the techies who are doing pioneering work in different fields and are inspiring others with their ingenuity and hard work.
[Techie Tuesdays] Yuvi Panda – Coder, Rebel and Not a Zombie
[Techie Tuesdays] Yuvi Panda – Coder, Rebel and Not a Zombie
Moran Cerf: Someone who wears more hats than we can imagine– a storyteller, hacker, furniture designer, filmmaker, academician, security specialist and neuroscientist among others. Moran Cerf teaches us how you can excel in multiple fields however diverse they may be.  Read to know his story.
Bhimsen Kulkarni: A history and Meteorology buff, Bhimsen started programming during his college days when language parsers and interpreters caught his fancy. He went to on to build his own language in order to understand the fundamentals of the programming languages. Read about Bhimsen here.
Ratandeep Debnath: Another late bloomer and Mozilla superstar, Ratandeep was initiated into programming after a summer camp. His story is a great example of how to bounce back from difficulties and adapt yourself and make the best of current situations. Read more about him here.
Tarun Goyal: Unlike conventional coders, Tarun is more of a competitive coder. He started by solving puzzles and Sudoku, and found his niche in competitive coding. After trying for ACM-ICPC multiple times, he finally made it to the world finals last year. Read about his journey here.
Yuvi Panda: Probably the most popular young techie in the open source community, Yuvi is a rebel in its truest sense. He is a perfect example of how to carve out your own path and take responsibility for yourself. Read more to get inspired.
Vivek N: Breaking all conventional rules, Vivek N is one of the best coders there is. He spent his formative years in the foothills of the Himalayas and has had no formal schooling. As a freelancer, he has worked on a diverse set of projects. A Lifehacker in the truest sense, Vivek inspires us by his actions and how to question and learn by doing.Read to know more about him.
Kartik Mandville: Started by building Facebook apps, Kartik has an interesting journey to share. He was the CTO of Let Me Know and Director of Technology at Science Inc at the age of 23. Read more about Karthik here.

Thursday, 9 January 2014


1) Warren bought his first share at age 11 and he now regrets that he started too late!

2) He bought a small farm at age 14 with savings from delivering newspapers.

3) He still lives in the same small 3 bedroom house in mid-town Omaha, that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything he needs in

that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.

4) He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him.

5) He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world's largest private jet company.

6) His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 companies. He writes only one letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals for the year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis.

7) Warren Buffet has given his CEO's only two rules.

Rule number 1: Do not lose any of your share holder's money.

Rule number 2: Do not forget rule number 1.

He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His past time after he gets home is to make himself some pop corn and watch television.

9) Bill Gates, the world's richest man met him for the first time only 5 years ago. Bill Gates did not think he had anything in common with Warren Buffet. So he had scheduled his meeting only for half hour. But when Gates met him, the meeting lasted for ten hours and Bill Gates became a devotee of Warren Buffet.

10) Warren Buffet does not carry a cell phone, nor has a computer on his desk.

11) His advice to young people: Stay away from credit cards and invest in yourself.

12) He has donated $31 billion (85% of his fortune) to charity