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Do you want to be the scapegoat?

In the world where each of us is in a rush to make a quick buck, get a higher growth, experience the instant happiness, we’re ignoring the fundamentals.  This reflects in the way the stock markets have reacted in 2011.

The question that has pondered me is why is such a rush?  From a retrospected into your childhood, you can feel the difference in the way our parent did a frugal planning and living and what we’re doing today.  Those days,  of course you or I could get only what was in the means, however, the happiness, the pleasure of getting something that would have lasted longer.

These days, each of us is struck in a rat-race which is like a one-way tunnel that has no end.  Currently, as most of them in this recession situations would do is to look for a ray of hope; consider recession proofing: http://lifencode.com/lifencode/investments/recession-proofing/

The principle of rush is evident in the way our government makes a decision, the stock markets react, and we the commons are influenced.  Sometimes, it just feels like a highly brainwashed eco-system in which we’re living.

Take for instance the present Gold rush: The currency (any) is a mere tissue paper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Currency) : Currently, No country anywhere in the world today has an enforceable gold or silver standard currency system.  Countries, like US just resort to printing the notes and circulating them, if all nations just print money, what happens to the value it holds?

Needless to say, that the current gold rush is a hyper-speculation which is driven by the greed and fear.  The sky-rocketing prices of commodities is not inline with any backing from the governments, so why is that everyone is buying them at large? What is the reasoning?

Answer: Nothing.  It is just a bubble; it is building up as of now.

Watch the top buyers of gold: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold India is the Super Buyer! why, because it is driven by the emotions and culture of our country-men.

It looks like the speculative world is triggering our fellow-mens emotions and making them buy more and more; when the speculators have made their money, they will dump the Gold and make their profit, as they do with anything else in the world.

In summary: I only thing I like to convey is “There is no logic and fundamentals” applied to anything one does in this quick world, and others are using us as a scapegoat to make their quick buck.

The question is do you want to be the scapegoat?


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Hackathon : How to make Samsung BR-DVD player region free?

This is a first post on how to hack stuff.  A need arose at home to make my Region 2 BR-DVD player region free.  Here is what I tried on my Samsung BD-C5900/XEU

Here are the steps I had to go through to make it region free.

  • Remove disc (if any in the tray)
  • Power OFF and Power ON the device
  • Choose “Videos” on the main menu
  • Open and Close Tray.

As soon as the “No Disc” disappears on the screen, the following must be executed in rapid succession (I took 8 tries to get it right)

  • Hold Repeat key on the remote for 3 seconds
  • Then key in the key combination (my device was region 2, hence I had to type in the code: 57538)
  • Observe “2” appear on the screen
  • Key in “9” to make it region free
  • Open and Close Tray
  • Power OFF and Power ON the device again.
  • Play any region disc now 🙂

Here is the code by region
R1 – 29334
R2 – 57538
R3 – 56732
R4 – 76884
R5 – 53814
R6 – 24462


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5 Minutes on Java : A quick tutorial on writing scalable applications with Yahoo’s s4.io scalability framework

BigData needs BigProcessing 🙂 … Hadoop solves one problem, the approach of distributed processing.  One of the key benefits is that, the information can be broken down into smaller chunks and processed independently.  However, the information must be first stored into HDFS for processing, more suitable for batch-processing, more over data-movement is critical for processing by Hadoop.

In a real-time world, where one needs to processing incoming events (stream) instantaneously, then one will require a different framework.  Yahoo S4 is an example of such an alternative framework for event processing.

Refer to the evolving documentation on S4 : http://docs.s4.io/manual/overview.html

 


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5 Minutes on Java : Apache Tomcat and Proxy Settings

Are you writing programs that need to reach out to the Web? Indeed, you’ll be … these programs when run behind a proxy will fail to run.  One will use the Java VM arguments or modify the code to ensure proper working with web proxies.

The same thing can be easily done when you want to host your code in web containers like Apache Tomcat … for instance adding your proxy parameters to $CATALINA_HOME/conf/catalina.properties will resolve issue accessing the web behind a proxy.

http.proxyHost=yourProxyURL
http.proxyPort=yourProxyPort
http.proxyUser=yourUserName
http.proxyPassword=yourPassword

Add the similar entries if you need to access secure http.

https.proxyHost=yourProxyURL
https.proxyPort=yourProxyPort
https.proxyUser=yourUserName
https.proxyPassword=yourPassword

NOTE: proxyUser and proxyPassword are not required in the properties file if proxy is unauthenticated.


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An ideal mutual fund portfolio (Indian market specific) – revised in Jan 2010

Based on the past experiences here are some tactics and re-balancing tips.

Tactic 1:  Book profits

  • Book profits and switch from Equity funds to liquid funds in short term.
  • Transfer units from liquid funds to Equity funds when market nose dives.
  • Set a realistic targets and book profits (even if paying the load is necessary).

Tactic 2: Re-balance portfolio

The new recommendations (unless otherwise stated, all funds are considered to be Growth Plan):  Based on August 2009 research.

My suggestion is to hold on to this folio for next 3 years and re-evaluate.

  • Large-cap fund: Franklin Bluechip
  • Multi-cap: HDFC Top 200, IDFC Premier Equity Plan A, Reliance RSF – Equity
  • Blend: HDFC Prudence
  • ELSS: HDFC Tax Saver – Dividend Payout ONLY (to avoid getting locked for another 3 years)
  • Index: HDFC Index – Sensex Plus
  • Liquid: HDFC Cash management Fund

NOTE: All funds performance were evaluated on 5 year performance track period, also considering the slump period of 2007-2008.

My personal choice of portfolio allocation:

Large-cap (40%)

Multi-cap (30%)

Blend (30%)

Tactic 3: Look into different avenues

  • Real-estate is down by at least 20% enter there and stay for few years
  • Look for a business opportunity and invest into it, start or become a partner in a venture 🙂

Think big, go small by small; and happy investing.


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Ruminations on leadership …

Whether it is the family, a team or a business, it is governed by mutual trust.  In family trust is bonded with love, but must be managed by rules; and so is business.  One can apply such a principal for running teams.  The prime most important ingredient is “trust” and “rules”.

Following few analogies from great epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagvata; one must understand that they must be a bit of Rama and a bit of Krishna in order to bring balance for running the unit.  This is essential because, Rama is a true follower of rules while Krishna breaks them depending on what time he is managing it.  However, both uphold dharma (righteous duties) from a fundamental view point.

In the modern world, we’re torn between the different avatars of our lives avatars such as, personal, professional, friends, networks, and so on.  Each avatar must function as required in its form yet strike balance in the entirety.  One cannot be compromised for the sake of the other.

Here are few thoughts on leadership in a dharmic sense.

Loyalty: In my perspective, being loyal to ones duties is really being a loyalist.  The kind of values you really want to uphold in any circumstances for the benefit of the whole is the key.  For example: Consider a fictional story: A king is a very religious person and is a vegetarian, however during British rule, his kingdom is plagued.  He asks a favor from the British General, however the general humiliates the king and asks him to eat meat to get the favor possible.  The king politely disagrees and firmly states that he cannot give up his values for his duties.

Responsibilities: One must know their duties and responsibilities, forgetting that is the beginning of a domino effects.  Knowing ones duties and taking responsibility is fundamental to being dharmic.

Leadership: Being leader is not in the sense of being dominant or being at top of the peck order.  It is not the sense that one demands order and obedience in everyday lives.  It is much beyond these rules.

  • A leader empowers people to be independent.
  • A leader increases sensitivity of team members to take responsibilities.
  • A leader brings unity and builds trust among members, and creates situations to demonstrate loyalty.
  • A leader builds integrity in the team during crisis.
  • A leaders invests time in next generation and nurtures them for the future.

Leadership is driven by principals of dharma, and not from emotions. He has learned that opportunistic individuals cannot be leaders.  Leaders understand that their journey is long and can have difficulties.  No matter what situation he is in, he uploads the dharma and performs his duties, at the same time he devotes time and energy to nurture the new generations for taking up responsibilities.

One can apply these principals in everyday lives when dealing with family, business, or other team plays to make a difference.