Archive for the ‘Reading List’ Category

Interesting reading for Feb 18th 2013

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Search Engines Never Forget

Perhaps they should. How long should people bear the mark of their sins? A harmless bout of drunkenness can be the cause of losing a prospective job. A wardrobe malfunction is visible forever. Some halloween costumes need to be buried after a while. There are also some other concerns. What if my name is that same as a crooked politician? My google vanity searches look horrible!!!

Anti-Jewish nature of Western civilization

No quite convinced about the fact that the only other that Chrsitians had were the jews. I believe this is a way of trying to explain why the holocaust occurred. Such a monstrosity does put a pall on Europe and the achievements post-enlightenment. However, to trace anti-jewish sentiment all the way back ot the ancient egyptians is a bit thin..

Life and Letters of P.G. Wodehouse

All my early reading and most of my writing, is trying to emulate the “Master”. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that there is no bile in his writing. His wit was lush, not dry. His characters so vivid that I would want a Jeeves somewhere close by so he can be consulted about how to deal with Aunts. Hilarious read that, “Aunts aren’t Gentlemen!

The Clear question: Can Online advertising support news portals in India?

Why is this question even being asked, one might think? Well, because Rediff.com reported it’s 18th straight quarter of losses. This is depressing because all my early news I got from this august portal.  I didn’t quite find the ads either. The site should be saturated by them. I do think it is possible to turn this ship around as more and more traffic comes online. Also, Reddif.com will have to change it’s image into a marketplace and start buying traffic on that basis. It also helps to have working payment gateways. Ghastly page design too. Needs lots of changes to make this site truly live up to the brand that they have been over the years.

Churchill and a couple of books that might be interesting.

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Warlord
Warlord  Amazon Flipkart

Easy read.

Early life of churchill as a philanderer and a warrior cum journalist

a decided bias towards the commanders as the author is an army man himself.  The defence of Wavell is too long, even if justified to some level.  Ord Wingate and Churchill’s relationship is not really looked into.

The Last Lion  Amazon Flipkart

Well written and very readable. The author tries to sound like Mr. Manchester in his two earlier books, he manages it quite

The second coming of Churchill is quite sad after all the boom and blast of the war years. Churchill was not even able to make it to the last conference of peace after the war in Europe was over.

Lucid reading again. The episodes of Norway are more vivid in this book and the political angle

Corruption in cricket

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

yaar….i have seen it all…these guys have all sold out. By the way, what makes you think the Aussies and the English are not in this also. Cronje was killed because of this.

the above is a statement that is all too common nowadays. Have we had too much cricket? Is there a conspiracy against Pakistan by the CIA? You will hear more of this stuff too, I am afraid.

However, the simple fact is that the News of the World , a rag famous for catching out celebrities in uncomfortable positions has got a video with Pakistani players accepting cash for spot fixing .  So far, it seems like the ICC is going about it slowly as Scotland Yard is also involved. There seems to be no conspiracy to me.

This is particularly damning because Mr. Asif has been suspended before for doing illegal drugs. Now that Yasir Hameed has come out with more of an expose with the same paper( are these guys really looking to commit career suicide? ), the only conspiracy seems to be in the Pakistani team as to who is the dumbest of them all.

I would not be surprised if some sort of harmless spots get fixed routinely. After all, rumor has it that in IPL, the amount of illegal gambling in Mumbai and Delhi easily tops 200 million dollars.

Some articles from renowned commentators on the issue are below:

No Balls by Tariq Ali

Save the game or lose it by Ian Chappell

Impossible to clean cricket completely – Hayden

Business articles of the week July 18 2010

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Tapping Into The Referral Instinct

Neil Berman, Jul 14, 2010 10:30 AM
Every company likes to get referrals. When a customer or friend recommends your product or service, the sales process is streamlined and the close ratio goes way up. Referrals lead to longer term customers that have a higher lifetime customer value.
I just finished reading “The Referral Engine” by John Jantsch, also author of “Duct Tape Marketing.” In the first book, Jantsch discusses how referring is instinctive for most people and shows businesses how to tap into this desire. [MORE]

Starbucks Surpasses 10 Million Fans, Closing In On Lady Gaga

A year ago, Starbucks knocked off Coca-Cola as the most popular corporate brand on Facebook, with its page on the social network drawing 3.7 million fans. Now the coffee giant has become the first brand to clear the 10 million-fan mark on Facebook, with its nearest rivals — Coke and Skittles — both trailing behind at about 6.5 million. To put Starbucks’ social ascent in perspective, the company is close to catching up to pop icon Lady Gaga in Facebook fans.[MORE]

What to Do Against Disruptive Business Models (When and How to Play Two Games at Once)

Increasingly, established companies in industries as diverse as airlines, media and banking are seeing their markets invaded by new and disruptive business models. The success of invaders such as easyJet, Netflix and ING Direct in capturing market share has encouraged established corporations to respond by adopting the new business models alongside their established ones. Yet, despite the best of intentions and the investment of significant resources, most companies are unsuccessful in their efforts to compete with two business models at once.[MORE]

Six Strategies for Successful Niche Marketing

There’s been a lot of buzz about the long-tail phenomenon — the strategy of selling smaller quantities of a wider range of goods that are designed to resonate with consumers’ preferences and earn higher margins. And a quick scan of everyday products seems to confirm the long tail’s merit: Where once we wore jeans from Levi, Wrangler or Lee, we now have scores of options from design houses. If you’re looking for a nutrition bar, there’s one exactly right for you, whether you’re a triathlete, a dieter or a weight lifter. Hundreds of brewers offer thousands of craft beers suited to every conceivable taste.[MORE]

The Burqa in Europe, Nien! NON! NO!… and other voices!

Saturday, July 17th, 2010
burqa

burqa

In defense of the burqa ban

This week, French lawmakers are expected to vote on a proposed law that would criminalize the burqa, bringing to a head more than a year of heated debate over the conservative Islamic veil in contemporary France. Although the full head and body covering is worn by fewer than 2,000 of the country’s 3.5 million Muslims, the movement to ban it has touched off a volatile discussion about issues of immigration, integration and the rights of women. Nonetheless, a recent poll showed that eight in 10 people in France support slapping a ban on the veil. [MORE]

Veiled Threats?

Let’s start with an assumption that is widely shared: that all human beings are equal bearers of human dignity.  It is widely agreed that government must treat that dignity with equal respect.   But what is it to treat people with equal respect in areas touching on religious belief and observance? [MORE]

Criminalising women behind the veil

So the French lower house has voted to ban the burka or niqab in a public place. It was by a massive majority: 355 to 1. The Greens and some of the Socialists abstained. There are still hurdles to be crossed, but France is heading to a moment when a woman wearing a full-face veil in public could be stopped by a police patrol and fined 150 euros (£125). If the police gather evidence that a woman is being forced to dress in a niqab, then the man faces a very heavy fine.[MORE]

Widespread Support for Banning Full Islamic Veil in Western Europe:Most Americans Disapprove

This is the result of a recent study by Pew Research Center (July 8,2010). It highlight a stark contrast in attitudes about the issue on both sides of the Atlantic. Does this come as a surprise? Not really. Western European democracies merely tout their secular values but repeatedly fail to put them into practice. The ban on the veil is not the sole contentious issue that continues to alienate the Muslim population residing in Europe. It is thus no small surprise that most of the controversial issues between the West and the Muslim world stem from Europe.[MORE]

French attempts to outlaw the burqa strike a blow for the rights of women.

The French legislators who seek to repudiate the wearing of the veil or the burqa—whether the garment covers “only” the face or the entire female body—are often described as seeking to impose a “ban.” To the contrary, they are attempting to lift a ban: a ban on the right of women to choose their own dress, a ban on the right of women to disagree with male and clerical authority, and a ban on the right of all citizens to look one another in the face. The proposed law is in the best traditions of the French republic, which declares all citizens equal before the law and—no less important—equal in the face of one another.[MORE]

Some Books to consider related to this issue:
The Veil And The Male Elite: A Feminist Interpretation Of Women’s Rights In Islam

Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective

Reading List for the week ending Friday 09 2010

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

The Israel-Turkey Imbroglio

By ROGER COHEN

NEW YORK — Here’s an intriguing nugget, given Turkey’s recent decision to close its airspace to Israeli military planes: When Israel attacked a covert Syrian nuclear reactor on Sept. 6, 2007, its bombers overflew Turkey.

A former senior U.S. official who was intimately involved in handling the fallout from the raid told me Turkish officials raised the issue with Israel, were invited to discuss the matter, but in the end let it drop.

Those were different times, before Turkish-Israeli ties entered their current poisonous phase. [MORE]

Foursquare Launches Location Layers – This is Big

Looking at life through rose-colored glasses? How about walking through your town and seeing it as the Huffington Post or the Independent Film Channel sees it? IFC announced a new campaign this morning with leading location-based social network Foursquare that will allow you to do just that. The Huffington Post launched a Foursquare layer today as well. [MORE]

Us and them

More than anything else, Peter Beinart’s message to Israelis is that something has happened to Americans, and Israelis don’t seem to get it. Something has happened to Americans in general and to American Jews in particular. And if Israel goes on not understanding what is going on in the United States, the outcome will be grave. [MORE]

Hamas thinks time is on its side

KHALED MESHAL, the head of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement widely regarded in the West—and even more so in Israel—as a gang of terrorists bent on destroying the Jewish state, exudes a tranquil confidence as he calmly lays out his case in a well-guarded safe-house in Damascus, the Syrian capital. “The world will deal with us not because it wants to deal with us but because it has to deal with us…Hamas is a moderate and open organisation that is ready to talk to anybody. It has emerged as an important player in the region. It’s clear it cannot be bypassed.” [MORE]

Octavia Nasr fired by CNN over tweet praising late ayatollah

Internal memo said Twitter tribute to Hezbollah’s spiritual leader had compromised senior Middle East editor’s credibility.

Twitter, with its strict 140-character limit, was never going to be the best medium to make a nuanced point about Middle East politics. But Octavia Nasr gave it a go.

The cost was great: Nasr was fired as CNN’s senior Middle East editor after 20 years with the US-based news channel. [MORE]

The emerging online giants

THEY may not have the name recognition of a Google or a Yahoo!, but they can claim to belong in the same league. The websites of Digital Sky Technologies (DST) account for more than 70% of page-views on the Russian-language internet. Naspers is Africa’s biggest media group, both offline and online. And Tencent is China’s largest internet company by market capitalisation—and the third-largest in the world.

Now these firms are increasingly making their presence felt beyond their home markets. Between them they have invested in dozens of internet firms around the globe. The most adventurous of the three, DST, has already moved west—and paid top dollar for stakes in fast-growing American companies, notably Facebook, the world’s biggest social network.[MORE]