Saturday, May 12, 2007

Internal criticism in Pakistan

Pakistan is in the middle of intense internal turmoil. Here's some plain-speaking in the opinion pages of the Jang newspaper:
Currently, there are seven countries under military-led governments: Fiji, Thailand, Pakistan, Libya, Myanmar, Egypt and Bangladesh. That’s seven out of a total 245 countries, 2.8 per cent. Of the seven, Pakistan, Libya, Egypt and Bangladesh are Muslim-majority, OIC-member states. Among them, the seven military-led governments collectively control 4.9 million square kilometres or a mere 3.3 per cent of the total land area. Among them, the group-of-seven lord over around 500 million or some seven per cent of the world population; some 90 per cent of humanity is ruled by civilians.

Conclusion: In this day and age, a military-led government is a ‘glitch’, an ‘anomaly’, a ‘statistical infrequency’ and an ‘abnormality’. We remain a glitch, an abnormality, an anomaly, failure of symmetry, a design error and a country that ‘violates the standards of society’. Muslims firmly believe that the voice of people is the voice of God but Muslim leaders are not listening to God (Christian leaders, on the other hand, pay close attention to God). To be sure, it is our massive democratic deficit that has given us all our other deficits including our knowledge deficit, leadership deficit, economic deficit, cultural deficit, military deficit, security deficit, credibility deficit, gender deficit, and health deficit. For the record, six of the seven military-led governments are leading their countries to where no one wants to go.


i2fs: All that plagiarism in desi music chronicled

Check it out!


Friday, May 11, 2007

WSJ revisits Shai Agassi vs. SAP

Shai Agassi left SAP a few weeks back. The Wall Street Journal has a sort of a post-mortem, with afairly simplistic piece on globalization within SAP.

The globalization challenge within SAP is not all that different from the one faced by many other companies around the world. Whenever the markets for large companies move - SAP's customer-base started in Germany/Europe, but now US is its #1 market and Asia is growing rapidly as well - turmoil is inevitable.

SAP has globalized and is a more diverse company today than ever before. That SAP has development centers in India, China and Eastern Europe is not surprising. That it has a development center in Silicon Valley is not that surprising either. What is cool and rather unique is that it moved a lot of decision-making authority from Walldorf, Germany, to Palo Alto, USA.

The first attempt to do so started with Hasso Plattner's move to take SAP into the dot-com era in the late 90s. The pendulum swung the Walldorf way again with the dot-com crash and Plattner's exit as CEO, but swung back again to Palo Alto with Shai Agassi's promotion. What will happen next is not clear.

My hope is that decision-making @ SAP spreads more universally. A lot of the ecosystem that sustains SAP (SAP implementation companies and SAP consultants) is now based in India. SAP's second-largest development center is in Bangalore. Yet, there is precisious-little decision-making happening in Bangalore.

If SAP manages to universalize itself more, it will have a massive edge over a relatively US-centric company such as Oracle.

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UP elections review by Chief Election Commissioner

Srini's dad, N. Gopalaswami, writes in the Times of India about the UP elections:
As the curtain is being drawn on the UP 2007 elections, while the overwhelming feeling I have is one of satisfaction about the free, fair and peaceful poll, it is not unmixed with a tinge of sadness that even 57 years after we became a republic and 55 years after we had the first general election in independent India, a free and fair poll has meant massive deployment of central security forces. To my mind, this calls for a deep retrospection on the part of the political parties, the civil society groups, the Election Commission and other stakeholders to think of urgent corrective steps so that in the none-too-distant future we can see a day when a free and fair election can be held with no policemen around and with citizen volunteers managing the polling stations.


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