Friday, April 27, 2007

StumbleUpon Money

Imagine a product that takes you to a random site on a click. The random site of course is not so random, since it is based on some logic of likeness shared by people with similar interests as you. Seems far fetched and would probably not work. And even if it did do something close to whatever it claims, who would spend money on/for it.

Truth is stranger than fiction and reality definitely likes far fetched ideas. Apparently, the startup Stumbleupon  has 4 million sites being stumbled upon by people and their 2 million user base is good enough to have ebay interested in them. Imagine, with a seed funding of just $1.5 million dollars, they are now rumored to go for $40-$45 million dollars! Now, this is called stumbling upon some money! I really wonder, how would a company like ebay benefit from stumbleupon? Can then make people stumbleupon products that they are likely to buy? Along similar lines, how would ebay benefit from spending $2.6 billion to buy skype? Can they make sellers and buyers talk over skype and finish deals?

I guess ebay just has money to burn or a real whacky M&A strategy. :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bad Timing Lady Luck!

I am in transit at Singapore and have 20 hrs to kill here. I was sorta happy to know that a big chunk of this time will be spent watching the cricket world cup match of the day as Changi airport has live screening of the same.

... And as luck would have it, Ireland play Sri Lanka today. Urrrghhhhh!

Interestingly, I was watching a news programme on BBC where they were citing the low crowd turnout this world cup. If anyone doubted the future of cricket, doubt further. This has arguably been one of the least entertaining world cups I can remember. First off, two strong teams (ok, we can debate this ;-)) get knocked off before the super eights. To add, a coach is killed in mysterious circumstances. Another team, England, had a very mediocre world cup after igniting hopes with their last minute performances in the Benson and Hedges against Australia. Now come the high ticket prices because of which not enough locals are turning up for the matches.

All in all a bad world cup and personally more than happy to have missed it. :-)

Friday, April 13, 2007

American Idol - Indian Origin

The monotonous reality talent hunt show "American Idol" is going strong in its sixth season! This season has been ruled by an American of semi-Indian parental origin, Sanjaya. I have never seen him performing on the show, but a colleague of mine showed me his pictures on the net and must say, this guy has some whacky hair and dress styles! Its probably because of this whackiness that he has a huge fan following, some of whom are crazy enough to do this! :-)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Gadget Burn

There are ideas and there are IDEAS

There are gadgets and there are GADGETS

There is weird and then there is NABAZTAG!!!!

Its interesting, its kinda useful, its as geeky as it gets and it helps you burn more gadget money. Go through the site and be amazed or laugh or be puzzled. :-)

Music Review: Ta Ra Rum Pum

Home sickness kicking in and nothing like some Bollywood music to pep you back to work. I had a slew of new films to choose from, but wanted to play safe and went with Ta Ra Rum Pum. As far as I remember, this film was supposed to have Shekhar Kapur directing and A R Rahman scoring the music. Apparently plans changed and both these guys have nothing to do with the movie. Since this is a music review I only care for the music director(s) and Vishal-Shekhar are as good as any out there in Bollywood music these days.

The first impression on hearing these songs were... "wait a sec, haven't I heard these somewhere?". This unfortunately stuck to my head throughout my listening and hasn't gotten any better. But none the less, the songs have merit and they exist with an identity(barely).

Of all the songs in the movie, the one that is the obvious hit and a class apart is O Shona by Shaan and Sunidhi. Shaan somehow manages to nudge ahead of KK even though KK does get some songs in some unexpected films to be hits. You can also sense the extra effort Sunidhi puts in to sound soft and suppress her otherwise more throaty sound. Definite hit (it must already be doing the rounds in channels back home) and a definite out of India picturisation. Its gotta be so, its Yashraj afterall! Haven't they forgotten that there are picturesque places in India too? :-) Another song which caught my fancy was Ab To Forever sung by Kay Kay. This is a real pacey number with an initial cue sorts sung by Vishal (part of the music director duo) which is so so catchy! Definitely ring tone material. ;-). Vishal has also sung a sufi number of sorts which again is pretty impressive. After hearing Shekhar in Aazmalae from Taxi No 9211 and Vishal now, I can quite boldly say that these are the best singing music director duo Bollywood has seen. But I do wonder though, if Kailash Kher had sung the sufi score, it would be so much more apt. These were the interesting parts of the album. We now have the typical Title song, which is ok but not really captivating and a slow version of the same song sung by Shreya Ghoshal. Nachle Ve and Saiyaan were typical and kinda brings the overall rating for the album down.

So, I think this album deserves somewhere between a 6 and a 7 out of 10, how about 6.5 ? :-)