Category Archives: Uncategorized

Is Google Glass the real product?

In all it’s glory of features and use cases and abuses, Google Glass has made a huge impact in our community, way beyond the lives and dreams of nerds and geeks (such as myself).

Google Glass

We have been looking at Google Glass as the product but what if it’s not? What if it’s simply a stepping stone for Google to get to the real deal – to test out  the concept.

Similar, but with a much bigger end goal, to how iPhone was a stepping stone for iPads – Glass just might be the stepping stone, a testing ground, for an Always On society.

This can be further supported by the patents and development of the contact lenses (WSJ article).

So are we ready for it? I wonder if the experiment fared well per Google’s expectations…

Google Contact Lens

 

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Redesigning the landline phone for the new era

An idea I had emailed to Microsoft in 2012 about a high end, clear/transparent landline phone.

Still hasn’t come to fruition and would still be worth making.

——–

— Original Message —
From : kmalani@gmail.com
Sent : 27 May 2008 04:38:46 UTC
To : CNTUS.GNCS.NA.00.EN.TRA.BGL.CS.T02.CUS.00.WB@css.one.microsoft.com
Subject : A New phone idea

CUSTOMER PROVIDED SYSTEM PROPERTIES
Country/Region: United States

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS
Message: Hi,

I just had an idea for a phone that would be a rather futuristic design and could be marketed for the high-end market.

The idea goes along with the revolution of having transparent things, with the Dell Monitors and TVs with clear sides.

I think a “transparent” or “clear” phone would be a next step in the same direction. To what extent the phone will be transparent is up for design purposes but I do have some idea in my mind as to what would be appealing.

But more importantly, you must be wondering, if the phone is transparent, how can you see it? How can you use it?

Well…the answer is:

The phone is in fact a touch panel screen, and so the phone can be used by just tapping the phone instead of it having buttons on there.

Next question: How can you use it, if it’s transparent? It will be difficult to read what is on the touch screen if the screen is transparent and there are things behind the phone.

The answer: The phone is equipped with an infrared sensor (or whatever motion sensor is appropriate), to detect movement around it.

So when someone brings their hand close to the phone it will detect the movement and the phone (screen) will turn dark and you will be able to see the buttons and other options on there.

Additionally, it will also turn dark and display call information if there is an incoming call.

Well, that’s it…that’s my idea.

Not sure if the current level of technology can do this. Or if this is cost efficient? But I know a LOT of rich people will be willing to pay big bucks to have this in their homes and offices.

Lastly, please let me know if you plan on pursuing this idea because it would be nice to know I made a difference.

Thank you.
Keshav

—–


Should recruiters know about company strategy in great detail?

This is a recent phenomenon I have noticed (or maybe its only post university recruiting) where recruiters are asked questions about company strategy.

Is this an appropriate line of questioning for the questioner to hassle the recruiter with? Are they looking to impress? Does it impress a recruiter when they are asked very detailed questions about what the company is doing in a specific sub-sector?

I don’t know the answer. But as an observer/questioner a few thoughts:

Most recruiters struggle with these questions. It is frustrating to not hear an answer for the questioners but I have realized it may not be in the job description. It is important though considering they are the first filter for the talent that will align with the company goals. Yes, they may just be seeing culture fit but they are still reviewing CVs. Furthermore, they are still employees of the company and more so externally facing so they are bound to be asked.

Nonetheless, companies have numerous arms with their own strategy and reasoning for them. Thus, asking very specific questions is bound to not be answered appropriately. Maybe a follow-up email with the question would be a better avenue.

Recruiters – please DO NOT answer these questions with extremely vague answers because it looks worse than the person asking a 2 minute question drilling down into a sub business unit’s PNL line item 4 historical trend and how that is impacting your current strategy. DO learn your company’s high-level strategy and where the company is going in the hot sectors or operates in.


Macbook Pro Experience

I have recently started using a Macbook Pro 13”, I must say – I am a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great machine and will probably be my laptop of choice (well the Ivy Bridge version) as I move onto London Business School (LBS) for my MBA this July. But, it has a few ‘issues’ that are quite frustrating, from a Windows user’s perspective:

  • Where the heck is the delete key? Yes I get you can Fn + Delete but that’s crazy and a waste of time.
  • Right click – Seriously?
  • Function keys are off by default
  • The function of the Control is key and Alt (Option keys) are at times reversed and other times completely changed
  • The different ‘dashboards’ useful at times can be quite excessive.
  • Getting to applications is not quite obvious
  • Office is horrible – yes one can blame it on Microsoft but I will take it out on Macs 🙂
  • Not being able install a lot of applications that I used to be easily get
  • Backwards compatibility of applications
  • Pressing Enter doesn’t open documents or applications
  • Sorting / Arranging within the finder view isn’t fully fledged to support normal functions (for eg: ascending or descending)
  • Needing to click more – this is probably heavily dependent upon just getting to know all the keyboard shortcuts
  • What’s up with iPhoto creating it’s own copies of pictures

 

Two general things:

1) The MacOS is not quite ‘prettier’. I am not sure why this has been such a claim but it is quite disappointing.

2) Why doesn’t the screen tilt back further?

 

Some really cool things:

  • Built in boot utility
  • Spotlight is presented very well
  • The screen is very nice
  • The keyboard is surprisingly comfortable even with the spacing on the key

Idea for @SFBart – Everyone Wins

This idea will resound with the good people of Bay Area who take Bart a lot or even sometimes.

The Pleasant Hill Bart station started charging for parking not too long ago – $1/day. This is not too bad at all given the convenience of parking so close to Bart until you realize that you have to remember the number of the specific spot that you parked at and pay for the parking inside the Bart station. This will generate more revenue for Bart and will result in higher customer satisfaction from ease of Bart use.

There is a lot going through everyone’s mind in the morning but most of us manage to remember the obscure numbering (not based on the floors) of the spot and pay for parking every morning even though the payment machine likes to refuse perfectly good dollar bills, only accepts $1 bills, the only change machine breaks everything into Quarters, as the Bart train we absolutely must take approaches the station.

Well guess what happens on some other occasions – We forget! Yup, we forget to pay in the rush of trying to get to train – racing up those stairs, two steps at a time, to get to get inside those Bart doors that inevitably catch someone trying to sneak in at the last moment. And it’s a huge waste of time to realize half-way to your destination that you forgot to pay, go back to the station you parked at and

My suggestion – Is to have a Remote Parking Payment Function built into the iBart iPhone App, the Bart Website, from other Bart Stations. The best part is you can charge us extra for paying remotely. A possible fee structure

– $2/day for remotely paying for your specific spot.

$3/day or $4/day if someone doesn’t remember the spot number

I realize, there are some logistical things, like how to manage tickets and such that I didn’t discuss here. I have ideas of how you should manage that so let me know if you would like my two cents on it.

Sincerely,

A Bart User


Recommendations for new members of the “real-world”

This is primarily for new analysts/consultants but could apply to anyone starting a new job really. The “real-world” reference is to clarify that this doesn’t apply to interns. Interns exist in a bubble, no matter which company they are at.

So here goes a some things that I think you should know about/learn to do, especially if you are working in a big professional services firm:

  1. You will be asked to do things that you find extremely boring but you should do them and better understand why you hate them
  2. Paying your dues is definitely true unless you are really lucky or… (not going to go into it)
  3. You will not receive instructions for most of your tasks
  4. Seek out individuals who will help you and guide you beyond your firm assigned buddy and counselor (also applies to #3)
  5. Always attempt a task and come with problems AND solutions (also applies to #3)
  6. Learn to be lazy – Does not mean don’t work hard but rather work smart. Find ways to do things more efficiently
  7. Look to learn from everyone around you – peers and seniors, especially Partners.
  8. Definitely look to learn from your seniors, no matter how dumb you may think they are.
    1. They are probably not as dumb as you think they are and they will have always have something for you to learn
  9. Pass on your knowledge to worthy and willing individuals
  10. Acing your English classes in college does not mean you will be a good business writer. Watch and learn others’ writing style and then create your own.
    1. Offer to draft emails for seniors and see how they change it before sending it out
  11. Do not get defensive about your mistakes, just listen and focus on what you should change
  12. Do not get defensive about others’ mistakes that are made to be yours, just listen and focus on what you should do to not be blamed in the future
  13. Diversify your skills and projects – This ensures that you work under a variety of management styles and polish different skills in our toolbox
  14. Seek to make your own path rather than follow others unless you strongly believe in them and their path
  15. Understand yourself and stick to it. Otherwise, you will lose yourself and the job will define you
  16. Find hobbies or activities to do outside of work to give yourself a break from work and also meet people outside of work
  17. If and when drinking alcohol at work events, know your limits
  18. Be nice to everyone because people remember it. If someone is particularly mean to you, just keep your distance and remember them. 😉
  19. Don’t send angry or drunk emails
  20. Challenge yourself because others are not going to go out of their way to do so
  21. Know that there is always politics involved in the “real-world” – My recommendation is to stay as far away from it as possible

This by no means is a comprehensive list. And the numbering does not indicate how important it is.

Let me know if I should add others on there or if you agree/disagree with any.


Tracker for >100 Online User Profiles

Not sure if other face this problem – I have easily accumulated over 100 user profiles on various websites. Each has it’s own name and password. I have tried to standardize passwords and determined variations that work for the website. But inevitably, I visit a website and I forget what variation of password and username I used.

So the two issues I struggle with are:

  1. Tracking Usernames/Passwords – I know all the Browsers allow you to track usernames and passwords but some time I don’t really want to save that information within my browsers – for ex: Wells Fargo, personal email, Facebook.
  2. Tracking Websites – There are so many websites I subscribe to and like but forget about them. Additionally, they all serve different purposes so I needed to be able to search through my subscriptions when I need it. For ex: what websites help me with “video” work.

My Solution (at least at the moment) – Track all my websites and profiles in an Excel workbook with the their own description tags and related usernames and passwords (coded). Here is the link to the workbook I use – Online Profiles Workbook. Also, I have highlighted certain profiles in Orange to indicate the ones that I use regularly.

I know there are other websites and softwares out there that allow you to do this but I want to have access to this readily and don’t want to save them online OR they cost money.

Here is a pic of what the workbook looks like:

image

Hope this helps!

p.s. The file isn’t a complete listing of websites I utilize. These are the ones I remembered.