Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tidbits on Outsourcing

Well, unlike the previous US presidential elections, outsourcing to countries like India does not seem like a hot topic for the upcoming US presidential elections. However, outsourcing still happens, but sometimes, a lot different from popuplar perceptions.

If you thought India was the only country out their stealing American jobs, let me tell you about Trilogy. Trilogy, where I worked earlier, is a privately held company and all its shareholders are Americans. In 2000, they decided to move a lot of their Software Development (SD) to Bangalore by building up their own Development center in India. Nothing new, one would say. Most companies like Yahoo, Amazon, Microsoft and Google do or did the same.

However, in 2005, they decided that it was best to use India for innovation and they believed that SD has become routine job, which should be outsourced further. The result is that mundane tasks are outsourced to partner organizations in Ukraine, where apparently you can get PhDs at half the cost of a Bangalore Engineer, and other not-so-mundane SD work has been moved to Trilogy's China office. So, has the predator become the prey?

This story is best exemplified in the movie Outsourced, a very hilarious take on outsourcing. Asif Basra, Ayesha Dharker and Josh Hamilton have done a wonderful job. There is a bit of exaggeration here and there, but all in all, its a really well done. I laughed my stomach out.

While on the topic, Wallstrip did a nice take on Wipro, one of the outsourcing giants from India.

Gesture recognition and the like

When I was working on my thesis at IITK, my guide, Prof Mukerjee was also involved in another field - gesture recognition. At that time, I was always a bit skeptical on whether gesture recognition will find an immediate (or short term) commercial use. Turns out, it will indeed be used. Recent reports on Venture Beat suggest that Gaming will soon be using gesture recognition in interesting ways.

At IITK alone, my junior and good friend Rahul Banerjee's work was focussed on gesture recognition, and so does Mondal, Maji, Pal and Mukerjee's work point to some work in gesture recognition.

Interesting Google Feature

As you might have noticed that I use Google Adsense on my blog. I don't earn much money, but I like to use it to see what kind of ads are presented on each topic. The most impressive part of Google Adsense has always been about the way it automatically detects what ads to show. Context senstive ads helps publishers in having relevant ads on their sites helping them make money. Of course, it can go horribly wrong sometimes, but generally its okay.

So, today I was very surprised to see this on my blog.

It seems Google has introduced a new feature where you can simply request an ad for a particular topic instead of the Google guys doing it for you. Or does it mean they got no clue on what to show and therefore decide to ask readers of my blog? The last post was about acting. So when I typed acting in the box, it took me to this page.
I can't understand why the same ads could not have showed up in the previous page? Interesting days these are.....

Remarkable debut - Immaduddin

I have been spending the last few days watching a bunch of movies. I watched Oceans' 13, Dil Dosti etc, The Rookie, Yun Hota to Kaisa Hota, completed watching Phir Milenge etc. When I was watching Dil Dosti etc, I found the acting of Immaduddin Shah remarkably good.

Various questions were popping into my head about this rather unheralded but good actor. Out of curiosity, I looked up IMDB. Figured out that his debut movie was Yun Hota to Kaisa Hota. I had already bought that CD sometime back. Thought this was the best time to watch it. I found Imaduddin's acting in that also very good. His delivery of pure Hindi dialogues reminded me of Chupke Chupke.

Also, turns out that Imaduddin is the son of legendary actors - Naseerudin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah. The lineage of fine acting seems to be continuing with Imaduddin also. Imaduddin has every chance of becoming as good as his father. All the very best to him. I will eagerly await Little Zizou, his next movie.

ps: On a side side, I was wondering if he could anything about that rather unorthodox and shabby looking hair-style of his. :-)

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