MSM Tech Weekly: The week of Feb 22, 2016

Hi,

So, the big news is we are just 1 mod away from the graduation! But all right, here’s whats been trending in the technology world.

Apple files a motion to dismiss court order to unlock iPhone for FBI: Apple is sure they don’t want to create a GovtOS that will allow the FBI to unlock the iPhone 5C in their possession. The company has been consistently maintaining that such a system would weaken its devices and the security of its customers.  Read more…

Snapchat custom On-Demand geofilters: Hosting a party, and want your own geofilter? It’s now possible with a new on-demand geo-filters feature on Snapchat. It ain’t free though; that’s how Snapchat looks to earn more money.  Read more…

“I’ll buy that, or wait I need to think again!”. While Sharp went public with the news that Foxconn would acquire it for $6.2B, Foxconn expressed last minute concerns about Sharp’s future and put the deal on hold (some Finance class relation here? Future cash flows estimations?). Read here…

Now, the tablet is dead. This year there weren’t any tablets at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  Could it mean the next thing to die are the tablets? Or well, there’ll only be one survivor: Apple. Read more…

14 out of 18300 applicants would get to join NASA’s latest astronaut class. I’ve done the math for you; that’s a .076% chance. While the chances seem low, the qualifications to become an astronaut aren’t as preventative. Read more… (May be you can apply next time).

Thanks!

MSM Tech Weekly: The week of Feb 8, 2016

drDre

  1. Dr. Dre to star in Apple’s first original TV series: Content was never a problem for  Apple (and perhaps not their cup of tea) but looks like with the launch of Apple TV and high bargaining power of the media houses, its time to come up with original content.  Read more…
  2. Mattel unveils $300 3D printer for kids. So, if kids could print their own toys, there wouldn’t be any “led paint” or “Made in China” issues with the company. (Humor intended!). Seriously, this new printer, called “Thing Maker 3D” that works in collaboration with an app designed by Auto Desk is worth a look. Read here…
  3. Twitter changes their timeline algorithm: Twitter has been having a hard time. Its stock is at an all time low, and investors are questioning the company’s growth model. However, Twitter has been trying to regain user engagement, and launching several new features. The latest one is a change in the timeline algorithm. Read more…
  4. Facebook’s offering Free Basics gets banned in India. Facebook had been trying to bring a no frills internet to India with the idea of connecting some of the remotest areas in the country with the world. The company published full page advertisements in all major newspapers and asked millions of people to sign an online petition. But from a net neutrality point of view, Facebook was just trying to gain access of the Indian market. Read more…
  5. YouTube buys BandPage. Ever since we’ve been reading about company valuations in the Finance class, I keep an eye on all merger and acquisition news. Band Page,  is a startup that “helps artists show off and sell concert tickets, merchandise, and exclusive fan experiences”. It was acquired by YouTube for just $8m! Read more…

Thanks!

MSM Tech Weekly – The week of Feb 1, 2016

“Do you buy more ketchup when the economy is stronger?” – True, if you are Heinz, who’s selling a staple product, the demand doesn’t really vary with the economic conditions. That’s one of the lessons from last week’s Finance class, but back to tech news. It’s hard to be a tech company when the market is isn’t doing good.

  1. LinkedIn stock tumbles 30% after reporting fourth quarter earnings. Job search, networking, influencer articles, and news is all fine, but what’s next? LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be able to convince investors about its future plans. Read more… 
  2. Yahoo slashing its 15% workforce. Yahoo certainly wants to cut down on costs, and is exploring all alternative to do so. What will be its next move? A sale of its core business? Read more…
  3. Cisco announces its buying Jasper Technologies. Understandably, Cisco is a nice example for several business school classes. They just acquire so many companies. The recent one being an Internet of Things company, Jasper Technologies for $1.4B. Read more… 
  4. Fitbit Alta, a new $130 customizable band. If you feel it’s still not the time to buy an Apple or Android watch, Fitbit has launched a new fitness band – ‘Alta’. Read More… 
  5. Another acquisition: Microsoft acquires SwiftKey. Swift Key, which first sounded to me as a “password management” software, is actually a company that makes custom keyboards for Android and iPhone! And, it just got bought for $250m in cash by Microsoft. Read more…

That’s all for this week!

MSM Tech Weekly. Jan 18 – Jan 25, 2016

ifwtinformation-overload-nyt

I currently have 5 news apps on my phone (I had 7 until a few months ago), and I have also been following several news networks on Twitter; all in the effort of “keeping up with the times”!  But the problem with both apps and tweets is: first, they update too frequently, and secondly, I hate searching through hundreds of articles. I just wish someone could select specific news pieces for me that tell me everything happening around the world that’s worth knowing. Something like Yahoo News Digest does, but just less frequently. Yahoo picks up 7-10 highlights twice a day, and distributes a “morning digest” and an “evening digest”.

Thus, on this day, Jan 26, 2016, I am pleased to introduce to you: MSM Weekly! MSM Weekly will be your weekly news digest categorized by industry such as Tech, World, U.S, Politics, Economy and Markets. Although I’ve struggled with the plethora of news apps, I have somehow managed to stay at top with tech news (for those of you who don’t know me, I have a high affinity for the technology industry). To give you a glimpse of our new weekly feature, here is this week’s Tech News…

#1: Google reportedly paid Apple $1B for iOS Default Search: Search traffic and hence understanding of user preferences are critical to Google’s business.  In fact, according to a recent revelation it paid Apple $1B to be the default search in iOS. Read More…

#2: GoPro lays off 7% workforce after disappointing holiday sales; Stock drops 23%.  While GoPro had previously experienced an explosion of new staffing, growing at a 50 percent rate over the last two years, the company needs to look at more revenue streams. Read more…

#3: “You can’t ban encryption. It’s math” – Jimmy Wales, Co-Founder, Wikipedia.  Watch the video here … 

#4: New! Facebook Sports Stadium. A new Facebook feature that focuses on expert commentaries, lives scores and game info. So we’ll now catch the next football season together on Facebook. Read more …

#5: How about an Apple VR headset? Apple recently hired a top augmented/VR researcher, and had also filed a patent for Google like headset about 11 months ago. Is something in works? Read here…

It’s hard to keep it to just 5 news stories, but I’ll stick to that limit as the idea with the MSM weekly is to give you a quick update. All links take you to Tech Crunch this week as they are a quick read, but we’ll have more diversity as we go forward.

Please let me know your thoughts about the idea. And, we’d love to have contributions from you for your favorite industry or news domain.

Thanks,
Mudit

From ‘Sachin-Sachin’ to ‘Go Irish’: My football experience.

When I first mentioned about Notre Dame to a family friend in the U.S., the first thing he told me was that the university has a great football team! The only thing I knew about American Football was that it’s unlike football that some other nations play.

Honestly, I’ve never been a sports (minus cricket) enthusiast, but when at Notre Dame, you cannot not be a football fan!  Just a week into the program, I heard everyone discussing the “Football Season”, and waiting for the tickets to go on sale. Feeling the hype around football, I thought I’d buy tickets for a couple of matches  games (I learnt: it’s not a match, it’s a game). I was told there are over 200,000 people on campus for game days – our stadium holds 85,000! The atmosphere is crazy and it’s super fun.

That’s all good, but I couldn’t imagine myself sitting and watching a football game for 3 hours. I’d been to a baseball game before in the College World Series at Omaha… and, it was boring! Indians are die hard fans of cricket, and nothing is even close to its popularity in India. It’s just very hard to sell us any other sport. Have you seen cricket before? Here is a snapshot of a match in progress (it’s a match in cricket).

Cricket is often called a gentlemen’s sport. At least this picture makes you feel that’s true.
Cricket is often called a gentlemen’s sport. At least this picture makes you feel that’s true.

It’s hard to get us Indians hooked to another sport, but the MSM program already has some great marketers in the making. I ended up buying not just a couple, but the entire season’s. I’ve never bought, or seen any of my friends buy tickets for all of the home matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL). But, I guess it makes sense for me now to go home and buy tickets for all the Delhi Daredevil matches in the future. (I’m already missing cricket.)

Anyways, it seems every football game at Notre Dame is like a festival. Just before my first game, I knew what everyone meant about it being crazy. There is a well-organized pep rally before each game, which is very cool! Everyone is in the game mood a day before the game. Some have the ND gear on, and some are in suits coming straight from a business meeting…doing whatever they have to in order to make there.

Someone
There is no limit to who is an ND fan… or how furry!
Author of the post.
Author of this post. Here is me, Mudit,. on the day of the first home game of the season and my first American football game ever.

Although, we don’t have pep rallies in cricket, people may hit the streets for a protest rally when India looses a high stakes match, people may hit the streets for a protest rally. Just different ways of showing love for the game.  My favorite part of the pep rally is the band performance. I’m a big fan of the ND band, and can’t praise it enough. I make sure to attend it before every game, and would highly recommend it to everyone else too. Even my friends back home, who have seen it through the video, absolutely love it.

Game day.

Tailgating. It’s fascinating how one word can refer to two completely different things. When I worked at Dell, employees were fined for tailgating (forgetting to check in their ID cards at the entrance). So, I always thought you could gain entry in the stadium even without a ticket, just by trying to tailgate the entire day. But tailgating before a game is actually free drinks, food, and just more drinks before the game.  That’s how it is; a rain check is not checking the weather, and tailgating is not free tickets.

Well, back to the game, but it’s not really about the game; at least not for noobs like myself. It’s the enthusiasm in the stadium that makes every Notre Dame game amazing and worth attending. (To me, it feels like walking into a India-Pakistan cricket match). There are over eighty thousand people, and when the teams run into the stadium the atmosphere is electrifying. The celebrations on a ND touchdown, the band, the skillful cheerleaders add to the experience. You don’t need to know the game to enjoy it. That said, I do understand the basics; thanks to Ashleen and Billy who gave me a thorough tutorial. Also, thanks to everyone who recommended that I purchase season tickets. I certainly would have regretted not buying them.

Until next time, Go Irish!

-Mudit
“Play like a champion today”

P.S.: What did I mean by ‘Sachin – Sachin’?  Sachin Tendulkar is an Indian cricketer, and for a further introduction, I’d quote ESPN Cricinfo:

In a nutshell Perhaps the most complete batsman and the most worshipped cricketer in the world, Tendulkar holds just about every batting record worth owning in the game..”.

ESPN is serious in calling Sachin Tendulkar as the most worshipped cricketer. Cricket fans all over the world (not just Indians) consider him to be the ‘God of Cricket’. Whether Sachin is on the field or not, the crowds just love to chant ‘Sachin – Sachin’, *claps*, ‘Sachin-Sachin’.