Monday, December 29, 2008

This blog has been moved to wordpress

Dear All,

This blog has been moved permanently to wordpress. I am in the process of updating the migrated blog. You can still catchup with all my posts on the new blog. 

P.S. Thank you all for your support and respones on various posts of mine. Hope to receive the same on my latest blog as well. See you all there.

~IT's My Life

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Google's new Indic Translation and why I love it?

It's been ages since I wrote an article on this blog where I happened(?) to be one of the co-authors. (Or one of the co-bloggers. I have really lost the moral authority to say it...) Don't bother to search for the authors on this blog since you wouldn't find it anymore! 

To be honest and precise, I was (in fact am) withheld by laziness to type articles in kannada using baraha and post it on the blog, although I have had tons of anecdotes to share. But not anymore. A colleague of mine forwarded me this link about an amazing application developed by by google labs, that helps you to translate words to most of the indian classical langauges like hindi, kannada, etc. Now's that what I call developing a really kewl app. It makes your life really easy. 

I strongly recommend you guys to give it a try. It is simply amazing!! I seriously loved the accuracy and precision with which it transalted words. Simply superb. Three cheers to Google!!

P.S. I hope to overcome the inertia in me to post article on the other blog in the near future. Do visit it during leisure. Who knows you might discover that I was actually serious about the above statement!!

~IT's My Life

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Terror insurance - Are you covered by any chance?

I came across this interesting article on 'terror insurance' here. I share with you my thoughts on the same.

Terror insurance currently seems to be a very nascent area with a lot of unexplored (with a few exceptions though) territories. But looking at the frequency and magnitude of terror attacks the world is witnessing today, this surely will take prominence in times to come.

Insurance industry works a lot on using the actuarial data to come up with innovative products and policies to be offered to its customers. The underwriters of an insurance company use this actuarial data to evaluate an application and set suitable premiums for the same. Even though the technology has advanced so much, the insurance industry still has a lot of processes carried out offline. It definitely is time for the industry to the make the most out of the technology they have access to. It's time for the insurers to offer unheard-of products and streamline their policies to address issues that have surfaced of late (like the terror attacks) and have actually begun to affect the lives of the common man more than ever before!!

Keeping this in mind, what challenges do the insurers face while coming up with innovative products that cover people against terror attacks? 
  • The biggest challenge as I see it, would definitely be the lack of actuarial data with the insurers themselves on the number and nature of claims made under this category. Since the claims for losses incurred on grounds of terror attacks in specific, hasn't been so profuse, the insurance companies for sure don't have a lot actuarial data that might help them specialize themselves to offer customer centric products.
  • What makes things even more challenging is the fact that terror strikes are an awfully impossible phenomenon to predict. Almost all the companies in the insurance domain make use of predictive analytics (a prediction based on results that are carried out periodically to study the market trends) to help them come out with policies that address the gap in any segment of the insurance market that they feel can give them an edge over others. The success and accuracy of any predictive analytic model depends on the accuracy with which data (the more accurate data you have, the better it is for you) is interpreted and correlated. If you don't have accurate data in the first place, then your analysis is bound to be unreliable. Given the above fact, it is extremely challenging to devise a predictive model that can accurately predict the frequency of occurrence of a terror attck and the magnitude of the losses incurred due to a terror strike!!
  • If there is one thing that has been haunting the insurance domain for a long time, it undoubtedly is addressing the issue of fraudulent claims. These frauds you see are everywhere. Since this area in insurance is yet to be explored, they would be always people out there 'trying to make the most of this opportunity'. The insurers need to ramp up to fight against any kind of frauds.
Although it is the human life and/ or property that are always subjected to a loss in any terror strike, it would be interesting to see how the insurance industry gears itself up to address the needs of customers, by offering them specific products in this area. 

Any thoughts on this from the readers would be highly appreciated.

~IT's My Life

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Jaadu hain tera hi...

Niveditha returns to active blogging!! And guess what?? I happened to read her post on a tag that allured me to give it a try.

Here are the rules
1. Put your music player on Shuffle mode
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer
3. Write the song name no matter what
4. After you’ve answered all of the questions, tag 5 other people and let them know they’ve been tagged.
  1. If someone says “Is this okay”, you say?
    Yuhi kat jayega safar saath chal ne se...
  2. What would best describe your personality?
    Minchagi neenu baralu...
  3. What do you like in a guy/girl?
    Behti nadi ka hain rukh yahan...
  4. How do you feel today?
    Tanha tanha...
  5. What is your life’s purpose?
    Suno suno...
  6. What do your friends think of you?
    Main kahbi batlata nahin...
  7. What do you think of your parents?
    Mera jahan... (TZP again!!!)
  8. What do you think about very often?
    Koi lauta de mera beete hue din ... (I swear i miss them...)
  9. What is 2+2?
    Jaane do naa... (Even Apple knows how good I am at Math!)
  10. What do you think of your best friend?
    Adat... (I couldn't have agreed more on that!)
  11. What do you think of the person you like?
    Main agar kahun... (Couldn't have gotten any more romantic than this...)
  12. What is your life story?
    Mohabbatein lutaunga... (To my love:D)
  13. What do you want to be when you grow up?
    Say na say na... (Nope.... I never told anything.. I just don't wanna grow up!!!)
  14. What do you think of when you see the person you like?
    Gelathi gelathi...
  15. What will you dance to at your wedding?
    Kya yahi pyaar hain... (An absolute treat.. old one though.. But would love to dance..)
  16. What will they play at your funeral?
    kannathil mutthamittal... (It means a peck on the cheeks in tamil!! Gotta know who would love that act the most!!!)
  17. What is your hobby/interest?
    Pehli nazar main kaisa jaadu...
  18. What is your biggest secret?
    Dheere dheere se... (Ashiqui)
  19. What do you think of your friends?
    Ichak dana bheecak dana... (Shree 420 - Can't draw any correlation... spare me on that..)
  20. What should you post this as?
    Jaadu hain tera hi... (Ghulam)
  21. What do you think about this tag?
    Jawani O Diwani... (Kishore da...)

P.S. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this tag! I dunno some of the answers I got seemed so convincing!!

~IT's My Life

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Royally dragged!

It is the second time I am posting a conversation (almost verbatim). This time the other guy ensured he royally dragged me into an uncalled-for discussion...

Him: hi suresh where are you...
Him: busy...
Me: i am at b'lore. (I swear I had no clue who he was...But somehow got convinced that he knew me..)

Me: sorry i can't recall much from ur id ...
go ahead and refresh my memory ..
Him: what are you doing
Me: i can't quite recall ur acquaintance.. ur id isn't revealing much about u either
Him: i didn't understand
Me: i din't get ur full name from the id..
so i can't quite recall who u r ..
Him: my full name is ***
u r name...
Me: (U know it)...

Him: are you employee
Me: of?
Him: where are you working
Me: i am working with XYZ...
Him: where is it..
Me: in b'lore
how abt u?
Him: i am now in (name removed for security reasons!! LOL.. I like secrets!!)
resentley (he meant recently i suppose..) i have completed my mcse in iiht and i am mcp certified
Me: okies.. have we met b4?
Him: your native place???
Me: where exactly..
Him: i want to know your home town
Me: ABC..
Him: where is it
Me: in karnataka :P
where r u from?
Him: i am from *%#$...
Me: hey there seems to be a serious miscommunication here.. i can't even vaguely recall any acquaintance with u...
tell me.. how did u get to know about me??
Him: i will not tell you... only tel
Me: i have no clue boss (I think he wanted me to guess who he was :P)
Him: Do you speak kannada...
Me: yep!!!
Him: what is your mother tongue..
Me: how does it make a diff? (Just wanted to come across as someone linguistically neutral... LOL!!!)
Him: what is diff between yep and yes
(Pause...) are you online....
Me:both of them fortunately mean the same :)
Him: ok
Me: would you mind letting me know how I happen to know u or either way?
Him: can i speak to you?
Me: yeah.. but tell me how u know me..
Him: i dont know.. today only i got your chat id..
Me: i can't take the call... i am at the office (Quite busy with work :P)
Him: ok wen you will recive my call
Me: i have no Internet at home.... (I have gotten it disconnected temporarily..)
Him: ok give me your no i will sms you..
Me: what is it that u want to ask?
Him: your are a Internet friend
Me: okies.. but you can ask me anything over the chat itself right?
Him: ok shell we chat
Me: i am already :P (I wonder if what we had b4 was eligible to be termed chat..)
Him: what about your education
Me: wait.. is this some kinda.. typical interview or what??
Him: i am a student what about you
Me: i work with XYZ.. i think i mentioned it earlier as well
Him: ok sorry... from how many day are you working..
Me: for quite sometime now..
wht can i do for you?? (As if I could do anything for him :P)
i am just cutting the chat shorter..
Him: i want to know
Me: ???
Him: ok... what is your age
Me: hey *** i will chat with u ltr.. if u need anything in specific let me know.. just want cut this thing really short and wanna make it to the point
hope u don't mind...
Him: ok wait...
ok i want to know what the interviewer will ask at first time..
Me: that depends on the kind of interview...
If it is technical, they might want to know ur technical skills
else it will more of soft skills that people look for in an HR interview
Him: do you have any hr interview questions?
Me: u might get a lot of them on the Internet
just google it out ..
Him: in internet i will get more but is there any specific...
Me: nothing specific as such
Him: ok
i have created a blog do you want to see
Me: sure.. (Well everyone blogs these days!!)
Him: there are my trip photos..
Me: okies.

Him: (His blog URL) I don't wanna add it here as it would reveal a lot more than what I need to reveal about him..
Me: i will check it out ltr..
Me: cya. gotta leave..
Him: ok bye...

I have absolutely no issues with such people except that they almost always don't come to the point!! In short I hate to be dragged into any unsolicited conversations.. Plz.. spare me!!!

~IT's My Life

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm back!

As if you all really missed me :P

To those very special 12% voters of the poll 'How do you like this blog?', I actually heard you. That explains my 'unplanned outage of my blog services'. So much for my sense of humour!!
Actually my hardrive has developed a few bad sectors in areas which it shouldn't! That restricts my surfing to only those precious billable hours @ office:)
P.S. Doesn't my blog deserve its share of humour?

~IT's My Life

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Self-leadership at the workplace

Path to self leadership...

I have been longing to record my observations and experiences on how self leadership can go a long way in building a positive image about you at your workplace. My observations aren't necessarily exhaustive in nature, since it stems out of the fact that the period of interaction that I have had with people at my work place has been brief. But I believe that the best way of moving towards becoming a complete professional is to first learn the art of self leadership. I know I have a long way to go before I could master a few tricks of the trade! But this is a small attempt to jot down (for my own future reference) my point of view on what makes self leadership so important at your workplace.

The following is the list of qualities I would categorize as important traits of a person who is self lead:
  • Ability to communicate seamlessly: I know that you would have heard it a gazillion times from infinite number of sources, but here I am stamping a seal of authenticity on this trait! The effectiveness of a professional lies in the clarity with which he/she conveys his ideas to the people with whom he/she communicates (both verbal as well as non-verbal) on a regular basis.
  • Time Management ability: The most precious thing for a professional is the quality of time he puts in a day to finish his/her task. Especially if you are a billable resource to your organization, time management is the biggest virtue you could posses. It always zeroes down to the point as to how you can prioritize things at the beginning of a day and live up to those promises you make for yourself and your team. A simple way I found to do this is to send out an email to your immediate supervisor on your agenda for the day and sort out the work to be done, before you jump in to execution!
  • Ability to handle pressure: IT is such an industry where encountering pressure situations are a common thing. Since a team invariably involves people with different character traits, there is all possibility of you encountering a situation which demands a lot of maturity on your part to not loose your cool, no matter what. Trust me when I say this, if you master the art of handling pressure it will help you a lot in the long run.
  • Ability to abstract information at various levels: One thing at which I used to fail in my communication a short while back was my ability to abstract a piece of information and send out processed information that really mattered to people. For eg: If you are asked to send out an update to different people (Technical lead/PM/Client) on a problem that you are facing while working on a module, you should learn what is the amount of technical/functional information that you need to share with each of them, that helps them understand the problem better. Your ability to discern and filter out the necessary details in each communication is what speaks volumes of your effectiveness in communication.
  • Ability to receive things: All of us have heard of the ability to give. Many of us are very good at it! But frankly, how many of us have the potential to receive? As a young professional who has along way to go in the industry, I feel it is very important for all of us to learn the art of receiving things. The ability to receive things includes your capability to grasp information around you, take feed back, etc. Subroto Bagchi, in a speech delivered at IIMB, emphasizes on this very fact. In an industry like IT where it is extremely important to be not merely technical/functional but be techno-functional, the essence of openness to learning is of paramount value.
I have collated a few qualities I felt are quintessential for self leadership. If you happen to come across more of them, please do write them under the comments section.

~IT's My Life

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Bucket List - A Review

The Bucket List - Things you would like to do before you die!

As usual (read it as a holiday) I hit the DVD store near my room to grab a few movies. I happen to come across this amazing movie called 'The Bucket List'. I can't stop myself from posting a review on this.

The movie is about 2 characters (Jack Nicholson as Edward Cole and Morgan Freeman as Carter Chambers) that are terminally ill. It as all about what the duo decide to do when they realize that they have very little time on their hands. It is about a list of things they wish to do before destiny decides to write them off.

Why should you watch this movie?
  1. Your appreciation for the state often called 'well-being' will increase by multiple folds. You will definitely start to relish each and every moment of your life.
  2. You will appreciate the importance of positive attitude. I swear, it takes a lot out of common people like you and me to embrace hard realities of life, the way these characters do it on screen!
  3. You come face-to-face with the bitter fact of life that time and tide wait for none. (Ah! It's been a long time I sounded cliched. So tried being one here!)
  4. You get to see 2 great actors in sublime form, portraying characters we often get to see around us, on a day-to-day basis. I am sure you wouldn't wanna miss them. Do you?
  5. Last but not the least, watch this movie solely with an intention to discover where true joy really lies in your life. I am sure you will figure it out.
Just in case you are curious to know the kind of witty conversations the characters have, take a look at this.

I wouldn't wanna make this post a spoiler since this movie definitely is worth your time and money.

PS: This co-incidentally happens to be my first post published via Google Chrome. Let's hear it for google guys! They are an awesome dole of people.

~IT's My Life

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

I almost forgot!

I almost forgot... I happened to complete 2 years in blogosphere. It has been such a revelation for me till now. Got to discover some wonderful people through this medium. I take this opportunity to thank all of you for being so encouraging. Blogging has been such a wonderful medium for me to let out all my feelings candidly. I just can't imagine my life without this blog of mine. It shall continue to be a part and parcel of my life:)

Just came across this wonderful song from the movie Anari (1959). A very meaningful song by Mukesh. Hope you enjoy it.

~IT's My Life

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Monday, August 11, 2008

What does financial independence mean to you?

A freedom that brings with it more responsibility!

Disclaimer: This post has a lot of indirect references to experiences from my personal life. I am just making an attempt to connect those innumerable dots and trying to make sense out of it. The following is an attempt to answer one such question that has haunted me for quite some time now. I have tried to put forth my point of view on this subject.

My current mood is one of total discombobulation. As I wrote before, I have been constantly battling out with my mind to find answers to a few questions in my life. I some how have figured out a logical reasoning to a few of them but a lot of them still remain pending for a more profound thought process.

One thing I always have found necessary is that if ever you want to feel independent, it almost always begins with you becoming financially self sufficient. Financial self sufficiency not only gives you a sense of freedom but also gives you an inexplicably great feeling of security. The feeling of having the choice of to decide what you wanna do with the money you earn is simply great! You bid farewell to those good old days where you are dependent on someone for your pocket money. Suddenly you start to take ownership of all your expenses. When I look back at the day I got my first salary, I still remember how happy I was. I sensed a true feeling of independence. I also happen to realize that I had gotten a bit more responsible as well. It had brought in me a great confidence, a sense of accomplishment and a sense of subtle joy that I could, from there on take on bigger responsibilities and help my parents in whatever the small way I could, to make life more easier for them and for myself.

I somehow feel that every individual at some point or the other would want to take charge of their lives and decide for themselves as to what they would be doing with their lives. One of the basic requirements for such a thing to happen is financial self-sufficiency. When you are confident enough to say, "I will take care of myself, come what may!", life suddenly begins to appear so different. You will start to realize that life offers you with a great chance to choose. And I swear... If there is one thing you would ever want to be gifted with for a life time, it would undoubtedly be the ability to choose, for life is all about choices!

Don't you think you would appear very fragile and helpless if you are financially dependent on others? I strongly feel that at least after a point in life, when you are very much capable of making a livelihood of your own, you should start to take things seriously and act up on it. If you don't realize that, gradually people around you would start to disrespect you and even before you realize what damage you did to your life, you would have reached a point of no return! Trust me, it kills your confidence.

Having said so much about removing the financial dependencies from your life, I strongly believe that it shouldn't isolate you from the other relationships in your life. Having read multiple times about how the same 'financial independence' has resulted in shallow marital relationships, I feel that it should handled very carefully. If you start to exercise your freedom a bit too much, you definitely might land yourself in to trouble. One needs to learn how to strike a balance between his freedom and his duties.

At the end of the day, what one would need is a confidence to say, "I am in charge of my own life. I'll take care of myself." It is very essential that one should learn how to use this independence and not abuse it.

I would love to hear your views on the same as well.

Note: It is a humble request to all those readers of this post to please read through the comments before they comment. B'coz you know what? I'm tired of making myself clear on this one!

~IT's My Life

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