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All great things start with someone dreaming big about an idea. Experience of dreaming about such an idea is joyful and you soon realize it’s the next big thing. This state of mind gets shattered when this idea reaches the point of execution. Reason for this is the dreams are seen in perfect world mindset and execution takes place in real world.

This book helps the entrepreneurs to come out of the perfect world and accept the reality in making the business venture a success. Therefore “Reality Check” gives a pulse of the bitterness of real world when it comes to starting and nurturing a business.

“Reality Check” is an in depth explanation of Kawasaki’s “The Art of The Start”. Topics are discussed in greater detail by bringing in specialist opinion for related topics and diving in to technicality with greater detail.

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Continuing his style of breaking the topics based on the phases of a startup, Kawasaki explains the reality of many key milestones. Some of the notable elements from these chapters are as follows.

  • Conceptualizing and funding the idea of a startup are crucial as the entrepreneur is moving from a “The idea” mindset to a “Will it work” mindset. Kawasaki starts the discussion with the fairy tale of entrepreneurship. Then he provides guidance on how to overcome the shocks mainly in identifying the time to “commercialize the idea”.

The approach of educating the reader about investor mindset through his personal experience and expert opinion would be valuable for a reader who has plans of becoming a venture capitalist. He also introduces his unconventional “Venture Capital Aptitude Test” model which can be used as a tool to evaluate the qualifications to become a venture capitalist.

In an attempt to provide insight to venture capital law, Kawasaki has included an interview of Fred Greguras who is a specialist on the subject matter. As the legal explanations are deeply technical, attractiveness of the reader diminishes.

  • Planning, executing & innovating are the most critical phases of a startup. Also these are continuous processes which require high level of focus. Kawasaki shares his wisdom in these areas in a chapter named “Zen of business plan”. The most attracting factor is the link he bridge between pitching and planning, which would benefit the entrepreneur in many aspects including funding.

Advising on execution, he explains the challenging aspect of it and hence to make it a worthy effort. Then Kawasaki writes the best chapter of this book “After the Honeymoon”. This focuses on few highly practical issues faced by a startup immediately after the initial success phase. What makes this chapter special is the candidness of problems highlighted, it signifies the causes and most importantly it provides practical solutions which meet the reader’s expectations.

This also includes the story of building one of his startups “All top” presented in a very interesting manner.

  • Marketing, Sales& Communications are equally important for any startup to get the bucks to flow and spread the name across. This becomes a challenge with initial financial constraints and over spending can bring things to a grinding halt.

This section of the book stresses the importance of balancing market adaptation without trying costly, ineffective approaches to add numbers which hinders real market adaptation.

The reader would also come across guidance on startup focused branding techniques, aspects to be mindful in delegating marketing activities and importance of managing the extent to which the customers should be influenced in selling.

Many young entrepreneurs struggle when they are exposed to corporates in business development aspects. One of the main reasons for this is weakness in communication and lack of presentation skills. Therefore, Kawasaki has dedicated special emphasis to this sharing his own amazing techniques which he believes that would result in standing ovation, a chapter from Garr Reynolds and an in-depth analysis of Majora carter’s TED Talk.

  • Beguiling &Competing is important especially after the launch of a startup. Beguiling assists an entrepreneur to attract and influence people in network building and recruitment. In this chapter Kawasaki stresses the importance of capitalizing on networks an entrepreneur builds. He points out frequent mistakes done in following up with the built contacts and signifies how costly it could be.

When network building results in business partnerships, getting partners to deliver results become challenging. This often happens when the partner has higher bargaining power compared to the startup. In order to overcome this, Kawasaki points out the ground rules to be laid, how exit strategies to be put and how to drive internal acceptance to reap benefits from such partnerships.

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Focusing on competition, Kawasaki recalls his experiences at Apple’s Macintosh division where competition was at peak internally and against IBM. He guides the reader how to take the tide and how not to get carried away with competition. Emphasizing on understanding the mindset of competition, Kawasaki also lists down some of the best examples including how Virgin Atlantic took on British Airways in 1986 which proves that competition is best handled by tackling minds.

  • Managing HR &Operations would not be the task an entrepreneur will handle in the mid/long term. But the way an entrepreneur handles this at the inception would determine how it would be practiced as it would embed to the culture. Therefore, hiring, firing & managing day to day operations is been paid extra attention in this section. 

Kawasaki uses his experience with Steve Jobs to explain hiring which includes the famous “A players hire A+ players” example he initiated at Apple. Among other valuable points, presenting a challenge to the candidate is noteworthy. Kawasaki mentions the challenge Steve Jobs gave to John Scully when he was recruited to highlight the importance of this.

Continuing his style, Kawasaki turns the table to guide the reader in tackling these situations as a candidate.

Vitality of being responsible, firm and providing chances in laying are being discussed in greater depth to enlighten the reader of risks involved.

Focusing on business operations, Kawasaki lists out a number of tips covering many aspects to enjoy work and be productive.

Kawasaki concludes this chapter with some “Must Read” radical topics related to work place politics and also provides his unconventional models to tackle them.

Ensuring the completeness and relevance of this book to all types of startups, Kawasaki has written the final chapter Reality of Doing Good. This section gives insights in to challenges faced in social entrepreneurship and transforming corporations in to Nonprofits. He also shares his way of viewing life in a chapter named “My Hindsights in Life” and asks ten questions from the reader which he calls the “Checklist of Reality Check”.

Mentioned below are some views about this book from a holistic standpoint

  • In this book, Kawasaki’s attention to detail on key elements of a startup is commendable. Throughout the book he stresses the importance of developing simple and attractive customer interfaces to enhance customer experience which is a critical success factor.
  • Also, this is a book full of lies. Truth about lies that Entrepreneurs, Venture capitalists, Engineers and Lawyers tell each other when they play their part. These are real lies which you would tell/hear and hence provides guidance to how to be creative in telling new lies.
  • This book consists with number of chapters where technical experts were interviewed. In many instances these chapters are discussed in greater detail. This has negatively impacted on the flow as it dilutes focus from the core subject matter. Alternatively, a summarized version in Kawasaki’s own opinion would have added more value.
  • Another distinct feature about Reality Check is that it puts the reader in to many different tough situations and provides guidance to tackle those situations. Advising on handling situations such as founder not performing is a clear evidence for this.final1

In conclusion, Reality Check would gain a rating of 6 out of 10 for the validity of points mentioned above. Better selection and sequencing of sub chapters, less number of expert interviews anda much brief approach would have resulted in a better rating.

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Satya Nadella

After spending months interviewing potential candidates, Microsoft has finally named veteran insider Satya Nadella as the next CEO. Satya Nadella will be replacing the outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, who announced his retirement last August. Satya Nadella becomes only the 3rd CEO in Microsoft’s 39 year old history. The list of executives Microsoft had their eyes on, included some of the well known names in the industry like, Nokia’s Stephen Elop, former head of Skype Tony Bates and Ford CEO Alan Mulally. There were also rumors that Microsoft was in talks with Google’s Sundar Pichai; but eventually they settled for an experienced insider from the company.

Who is Satya Nadella?

Satyanarayana Nadella (now known as Satya Nadella) was born in 1967, in the Guntur District of Hyderabad in India. His father, an IAS officer, was a special secretary to the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, sometime ago. Satya Nadella completed his early education at the Hyderabad Public School. According to Satya himself, during his childhood he had a passion for playing cricket. Well, we are not surprised at all. He even played for the school team. “I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career” says Satya.

Satya Nadella completed his Electronics and Communications Engineering degree in 1988, with a first class, from the Manipal Institute of Technology. (Note: Some sources claim that he graduated from Mangalore University). MIT director Vinod V Thomas, who taught Satya 25 years ago, spoke to Times of India and he says, “I recall him as a sober and cool-headed student, not much into extra- or co-curricular activities.” Satya, then moved to the United States, where he completed his MS in Computer Science, and MBA.

He worked briefly with Sun Microsystems before joining Microsoft in 1992 at the age of 24. He is now 46 year old and has spent 22 years at Microsoft.  Why did he choose Microsoft? “I am here for the same reason I think most people join Microsoft – to change the world through technology that empowers people to do amazing things. I know it can sound hyperbolic – and yet it’s true. We have done it, we’re doing it today, and we are the team that will do it again.” says Satya Nadella.  He also says that “Many companies aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance.”

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella (Pic Courtesy: Microsoft)

When asked to define himself, Satya Nadella says “Like anyone else, a lot of what I do and how I think has been shaped by my family and my overall life experience. Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.”

He was a Senior Vice President at Microsoft and back in 2011 he got promoted as the Head of  Server and Tools Business at Microsoft, that focused on cloud computing and enterprise business. Satya Nadella who played a big role in improving Bing Search, has played a key role in bringing some of Microsoft’s most popular technologies, like database, Windows server and developer tools, to the cloud service, called Azure. He also helped Microsoft bring a cloud version of Microsoft Office to the cloud, Office 365, which is a fast growing product.

In the first interview (embedded below) he gave after taking up the CEO role, he says he is both “honored and humbled” to succeed Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer as the third CEO of Microsoft.

“I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world. I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place. I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today. It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company of ours. Steve (Ballmer) and Bill (Gates) have taken it from an idea to one of the greatest and most universally admired companies in the world.”- Satya says in his first email to the employees of Microsoft, after taking up the new role.

Speaking about the current challenges of Microsoft,  Satya notes- “Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation,” He also says that “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must move faster, focus and continue to transform. I see a big part of my job as accelerating our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.”

“While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more,” he notes. “This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places – as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.

“I’m a learner,” Nadella says. “I think the thing that I realized is, what excites me is that I’m learning something. I can learn something about some area. I can learn something from people. I can learn something from doing things differently. And I admire that in other people, too. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things… you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.”

Satya Nadella believes that Microsoft has a great workforce. “One of the things that perhaps excites me the most is when I come across something at work, whether it’s somebody who’s really done a great feature in software, come up with a fantastic idea in pricing or done a great customer program, or just an approach to their job that is innovative or brought teams together – and I just, wow, I marvel every day at how people can excel – and that’s what really gets me going.” he says.

According to Microsoft, their new CEO finds relaxation by reading poetry, in all forms and by poets who are both Indian and American. “It’s like code,” Satya says. “You’re trying to take something that can be described in many, many sentences and pages of prose, but you can convert it into a couple lines of poetry and you still get the essence, so it’s that compression.” Indeed, he says, the best code is poetry.

He also enjoys watching Test cricket, “which is the longest form of any sport in the world,” with games that can go for days and days. “I love it,” he says. (Another reason to like him!) “There’s so many subplots in it, it’s like reading a Russian novel.”

From Left: John Thompson (New Chairman), Satya Nadella (New CEO), Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. (Pic courtesy: Microsoft)

From Left: John Thompson (New Chairman), Satya Nadella (New CEO), Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. (Pic courtesy: Microsoft)

The Future

In his email to Microsoft employees, Satya Nadella quotes Oscar Wilde – “we need to believe in the impossible and remove the improbable.”

“This starts with clarity of purpose and sense of mission that will lead us to imagine the impossible and deliver it. We need to prioritize innovation that is centered on our core value of empowering users and organizations to “do more.” We have picked a set of high-value activities as part of our One Microsoft strategy. And with every service and device launch going forward we need to bring more innovation to bear around these scenarios.” says he.

He also says that, “every one of us needs to do our best work, lead and help drive cultural change. We sometimes underestimate what we each can do to make things happen and overestimate what others need to do to move us forward. We must change this.

I truly believe that each of us must find meaning in our work. The best work happens when you know that it’s not just work, but something that will improve other people’s lives. This is the opportunity that drives each of us at this company.”

“Many companies aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources, and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance. And as the new CEO, I can’t ask for a better foundation” says Satya Nadella on a finishing note.”

Meanwhile, Bill Gates, founder and former CEO will be stepping down from his role as a Chairman and he will be returning to a larger role as a technology advisor at Microsoft.  John Thompson (former Symantec CEO and lead independent director of the board at Microsoft, who was also part of the team that selected Satya as CEO) will be taking over as chairman. In his welcome message to Satya Nadella, Bill Gates says “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella”

“Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth. There’s a challenge in mobile computing. There’s an opportunity in the cloud.” Bill continues.

Declining PC sales have caused trouble to Microsoft. Windows Phone has been a moderate success. On the other hand Microsoft’s enterprise solutions and cloud based tools have started to bring in more revenue. And Satya Nadella was the one who was heading these areas. And Microsoft has huge hope in him that he will lead Microsoft back to it’s glory by adapting the global trends.

 

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In my previous article, I mentioned how Nokia is working hard to add more quality to the Windows Phone OS with their Lumia Devices and by getting more developers to create apps for the platform, through their “Nokia Developer” program. The recently concluded “Nokia Create” global contest was one such initiative that saw tremendous response from developers from more than 76 countries around the world.

The most exciting part of the contest was that 2 of the 8 “Master Missions” corresponding to the 8 main categories, were won by Sri Lankan developers. And today we will be featuring “Extreme Music” which won the “Music Master Mission”. We had a chat with the talented developer of the app, Heshan Pathirana. Heshan completed his Software Engineering Degree at APIIT recently and has started working at a private firm. Heshan is a person who loves coding. He spends most of his time coding, trying to recreate the apps he comes across, so he can understand how they work. “I developed a Windows Phone app for my final year project at APIIT. I believe that practice helped me a lot to achieve this goal” says Heshan. I can’t agree more with him.

Heshan Pathirana

Heshan Pathirana

Extreme Music: What Makes it special?

Extreme Music is the best and the most advanced music application available on the Windows Phone Apps+Games Store. The app has some of the most advanced features like Voice Control. One can control the app without even looking at the screen. “With a special screen called “Blind Aid”, even visually impaired users can control the app using the voice command feature” says Heshan enthusiastically. The speciality of the app is that it offers all these advanced features through a simplified User Interface, giving a pleasing experience to the user. According to Nokia Developer Blog, it’s this simplified user experience that led them to choose the app as a winner in this category.

Extreme Music is deeply integrated with Nokia Mix Radio online streaming service API. If you use a Nokia Windows Phone device, then you can also purchase songs through Nokia Music, using this app and get most out of related services. The app is available for free download and a number of advanced features can be enabled through a purchase. While writing this, I was going through some of the user comments for the app and some say this app is “far better than the default music app” and “this should be made a default app”. Those comments speak for the app. According to Heshan, the app currently has more than 17000 downloads. “Initially the app was created to overcome certain Windows Phone limitations like custom playlists and favorites. Then I  improved the features to suite Nokia Create Contest” he says.

Extreme Music

How did Heshan end up developing mobile apps?

Heshan started developing when he was in Grade 11 at school. He wrote his first program using VB 6.0. He has not stopped since then. Speaking about his motivation, he says “For a developer, sky’s the limit. I think this freedom motivates me all the time.” It was when he was working on his final year project that Heshan decided to venture into developing “Mobile Apps”. “I also decided on Windows Phone OS because I thought it’s better to master a new platform rather than mastering already established ones” he continues.

I had mentioned in my previous article about the prizes offered to the winners of the Nokia Create Contest. In case you missed, the winner gets a Nokia Lumia device of his choice along with a Nokia Gear. Winner also gets 5000 Experience Points from Nokia DVLUP reward program. Their app is promoted app on Windows Phone Store and AppSocial for one week and they also get PubCenter credits to run a campaign, to promote their app. Above all, the winners are offered an all expenses paid trip to Mobile World Congress 2014, where the winning apps will showcased! Speaking about these exciting prizes, Heshan says “I feel extremely proud and happy. Trip to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is the most exciting prize for sure”. He is not mistaken there. He is getting an opportunity to showcase his app at a global event of this nature attended by some of the brightest minds of the tech world.

The Nokia Create contest was based on 8 Categories and had 15 “Missions” – that included 6 Mini missions, 8 Master missions and a DoGood mission. Each mission had a specific focus. Mini Missions required developers to add Nokia’s APIs and new features to their existing Windows Phone apps. To enter one of the 8 Master missions, participants had to develop a brand new app or game, or port one from another platform to Windows Phone 8. The Do Good Mission was quite different. According to Nokia, the aim of the DoGood mission was to “help enhance the lives and mobile experiences of visually impaired people.” The competition also had one Grand Prize.

Heshan is an enthusiastic youngster who is passionate about what he does. He also feels grateful for Nokia and Microsoft for the opportunity. He says he is “hoping to see some groundbreaking inventions and technologies from top notch companies in the world” at the MWC happening next month. We at Digit, are extremely proud of this high achiever and wish him good luck!

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Cover Cam

Windows Phone is slowly but steadily becoming popular around the world, according to reports. Most part of this success can be attributed to Nokia devices. Nokia’s Lumia series has become the backbone of Windows Phone OS. And Nokia does not stop there. It is also working hard to bring in more apps to the WP world, by luring more developers. Founded in 2012, “Nokia Developer” is one such program that “aims to help mobile app developers create apps and publish them to connect with people around the world.”

As part of this program Nokia held the “Nokia Create” contest which is a global competition for developers to develop apps for Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone 8. Developers from 76 countries around the world took part in the contest and Nokia announced the winners last week. It was a delight for us to hear that 2 Sri Lankans emerged as winners in two categories. “Cover Cam” app developed by Tharaka Wijebandara from Sri Lanka, won the “Master Mission” in Image and Photo category. Tharaka is a final year undergraduate, studying Information Technology at University of Moratuwa. He is also a Microsoft Student Partner and an active developer in the local scene. Heshan Pathirana a student of APIIT won the “Music Master Mission”for his app Extreme Music.

Cover Cam: The app

Cover Cam

Cover cam lets you set your Facebook profile picture and cover image with one click.

Cover Cam is an app that allows you to create your Facebook cover picture along with the matching profile picture with a single click. The idea is simple. But if you had tried for yourself, such an option is practically hard to execute from a single picture. But you should feel lucky if you’re a Windows Phone user. Tharaka’s app does that complex work for your, effortlessly. According to Tharaka, the app “makes your Facebook timeline header more beautiful, meaningful, and attractive or something totally crazy.” The app crops your profile picture and cover image from the original image and uploads it to your facebook account. While allowing you to take creative cover images, the app also allows you to choose existing photos from your gallery and turn it into creative Facebook timeline headers. According to Tharaka, his app is available as a trial version and a paid version. So far, it has been downloaded more than 80,000 times. It is also one of the top paid photo apps in many countries. As part of winning the competition, Nokia has also featured the app in many leading WP markets around the world.

So what inspired Tharaka to come up with such a cool idea for an app?

It was his friends. Few of them had manually uploaded their facebook profile picture and cover image in a way that made it look like a single image. Tharaka says that he immediately tried to create his own, with the help of Photoshop, but soon realized that not every image will fit into the idea. “Suddenly I got an idea. What if we can see the world through Facebook timeline header when we capture a photo? Then it will be easy to capture something beautiful for both profile picture and cover photo while they look as one image in the Facebook timeline header. So I decided to develop a Windows Phone app with this idea.” says Tharaka. And the uniqueness of the app is what made it a winner at the Nokia Create contest.

Tharaka Wijebandara, student of FIT, UoM

Tharaka Wijebandara, student of FIT, UoM

Tharaka’s developer career started when he was at school. He started to develop simple programs using VB 6, and they eventually became a hit among his friends, who encouraged him a lot. And thus, he ended up choosing Information Technology for his higher studies too. Tharaka enjoys developing mobile apps. “Mobile apps have very large audience compared to other software products“ says Tharaka; “We can have continuous feedback and keep on improving the apps”.

Winning a global competition brings more recognition for the developer. Our local talent gets noticed globally. And there’s a lot more. The winner gets a Nokia Lumia device of his choice along with a Nokia Gear. Winner also gets 5000 Experience Points from Nokia DVLUP reward program. Their app is promoted app on Windows Phone Store and AppSocial for one week and they also get PubCenter credits to run a campaign, to promote their app.

Nokia Create

Above all of these, *wait for it* the winners are offered an all expenses paid trip to Mobile World Congress 2014, where the winning apps will be showcased. Yes, you heard it right. Tharaka has won a trip to attend the MWC, which is happening in Barcelona in February. Mark Zuckerberg will be delivering the keynote speech this year. According to Tharaka, attending the MWC is the most exciting part of winning this contest. “It’s a great opportunity to learn new technologies, know about latest trends, make new friends and share experience with Windows Developers from around the world”, he says.

The Nokia Create contest was based on 8 Categories and had 15 “Missions” – that included 6 Mini missions, 8 Master missions and a Do Good mission. Each mission had a specific focus. Mini Missions required developers to add Nokia’s APIs and new features to their existing Windows Phone apps. To enter one of the 8 Master missions, participants had to develop a brand new app or game, or port one from another platform to Windows Phone 8. The Do Good Mission was quite different. According to Nokia, the aim of the Do Good mission was to “help enhance the lives and mobile experiences of visually impaired people.” The competition also had one Grand Prize.

Tharaka has huge hopes on Windows Phone OS. “Microsoft and Nokia  are very supportive and always encourage the developers” – Tharaka says enthusiastically. The Digit team feels proud for what Tharaka has achieved and wish him the best with his future endeavours!

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Researchers and practitioners of telecommunication and networking area are invited to contribute chapters from their respective fields of study for the edited book on “Software Defined Mobile Networks (SDMN): Beyond LTE Network Architecture”, which is scheduled to go into print in late 2014. Editors of this book are Madhusanka Liyanage at Centre for Wireless Communication, University of Oulu, Finlandm, Andrei Gurtov at Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Aalto University, Finland and Mika Yliantilla at Centre for Internet Excellence, University of Oulu, Finland and this is to be published by WILEY Publishers.

The main objective of the book is to present the concept of a Software Defined Mobile Network (SDMN) which would change the network architecture of the current LTE (3GPP) networks. Target audience include Industry/ SMEs to design new telecommunication devices, network engineers implementing new technologies in the operator network, researchers working in the area of next-generation mobile network, and students working on Master or Doctoral theses in the area of network security, mobility management, and Techno-economics.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Software Defined Networking (SDN) Concepts
  • Mobile Networking Concepts
  • Software Defined Mobile Networks (SDMN)
  • SDMN Architectures  and Network implementation
  • Network  virtualization and Virtualized traffic transport Technologies
  • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
  • Mobile Peer-to-Peer Services
  • Mobile Cloud Services
  • Traffic, Resource and Mobility Management  aspects
  • Security aspects of SDMNs
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR) Networks
  • Techno-economic aspects

Interested researchers can submit a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter, on or before 21st of March, 2014. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by 01st of April, 2014.

Important dates to remember:

21st of March   2014: Proposal Submission Deadline

1st of  April      2014: Notification of Acceptance

1st  of  June      2014: Full Chapter Submission

1st  of July        2014: Review Results Returned

1st of  August  2014: Final Chapter Submission

Your inquiries and the submissions can be forwarded electronically as a word document to Madhusanka Liyanage using the following address.

Madhusanka Liyanage

Research Scientist,

Centre for Wireless Communication,

University of Oulu,

Finland.

E-mail: sdmn.book@gmail.com

For more information please visit Software Defined Mobile Networks.

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Over the last couple of years, fiber optic cables transformed the telephone industry. It takes a huge part in making internet available around the world. When Fiber optic cables replace copper, it lowers the costs exponentially. An optical fiber cable is a cable containing one or more optical fibers. The optical fiber elements are typically individually coated with plastic layers and contained in a protective tube suitable for the environment where the cable will be deployed.

A fiber optic cable primarily uses light to transmit data. The inner surface of a fiber optic cable is coated with core and cladding layer, thus enabling total internal reflection due to the difference in the refractive index of the two. One could say fiber optic cables are coated in the inside with a mirror and light travels through the mirrored tube because the mirror reflects light.

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We now know how a fiber optic cable reflects light. But how does it transmit data? It’s simple. In digital computing there are only two commands. 0 and 1 which we also call as binary.  So when it comes to a fiber optic cable, light on and light off allows us to communicate data successfully.

Modern fiber cables can contain up to a thousand fibers in a single cable, with potential bandwidth in terabytes per second. In some cases, only a small fraction of the fibers in a cable may be actually “lit”. Companies can lease or sell the unused fiber to other providers who are looking for service in or through an area. Companies may “overbuild” their networks for the specific purpose of having a large network of dark fiber for sale, reducing the overall need for trenching and municipal permitting.

Optical fibers are inherently very strong, but the strength is drastically reduced by unavoidable microscopic surface flaws inherent in the manufacturing process. The initial fiber strength, as well as its change with time, must be considered relative to the stress imposed on the fiber during handling, cabling, and installation for a given set of environmental conditions. There are three basic scenarios that can lead to strength degradation and failure by inducing flaw growth: dynamic fatigue, static fatigues, and zero-stress aging.

Sources – How stuff works and wikipedia

2005

IT park

The government of Sri Lanka has big plans for the improvement of the IT sector with targets of making it into a $1 billion industry by 2016. Dubbed incorrectly (AFAIK ‘Orion City‘ came about in 2007-08) as the ‘first IT park in Sri Lanka’, ‘Hambantota IT park’ seems to be an infrastructure in place to partially fulfill the said objective.

At a glance:

Proposed area for IT park: 5000 acres (approx. 20 million sq meters)

Significant landmarks in Hambantota vicinity: Shangri-La Resort and Spa, Sooriyawewa cricket stadium, Hambantota Magam Ruhunupura International Port, Hambantota International Airport, Ranmihitenna Tele Cinema Village, Bundala National Park, Hambantota Wind Farm

Current interests in the IT park: Intel Corporation to set up chip making plant, IBM, 2 Universities (Singapore, India), Tech One Global, Mobitel Lanka call centre, 3000-room apartment complex

p.s – If there are any other landmarks of interest,development that I have missed, do comment below

With money being pumped into the area by the government without any objection since its spearheaded (with help from certain ghost advisors/consultants) by the president’s son, Namal Rajapaksa , the IT park could very well sit in the midst of a developed fully fetched modern city with connected road networks (highway connection from Matara by 2016E) to Colombo. With the new 2nd airport in Sri Lanka located in Hambantota, there might not even be a need to travel to Katunayake for foreign investors/consultants.

Opportunities:

Employment opportunities directly and indirectly would increase with the development of the IT park. The government estimates an addition of 50,000 employment opportunities. Foreign investments would flow into the country, local entrepreneurs could flourish, encourages the masses (with the youth in Hambantota richly benefiting)  in working on skilled jobs, indirectly improves the education sector with private schools being based to fulfill the needs of the workforce who relocate with family… all of this seems like the IT park could be a gold mine. It could be, as long as the challenges are met.

Challenges:

Is it really viable for an IT park to be located in a place like Hambantota? Would the professional IT personal be willing to work outside of Colombo, possibly relocating? Would investors pick the Colombo based IT park ‘Orion city’ instead? Would the hot climate in Hambantota act as a hindrance? Would the ‘possibility’ of an unstable government give second thoughts for investors? (since these high fetched plans and developments in Hambantota are possible only till the Rajapaksas’ stay in power). These would be just a few questions that would have to be raised with regard to a successful IT park in Hambantota.

The future for Sri Lanka:

All in all, the ideas and action for such projects, and paying due diligence to an educated skilled society by the government would no doubt drive the country towards a sustainable platform in which to compete globally while residing in the pearl of the Indian Ocean… which in my humble opinion is a dream for any Sri Lankan.

Image source:

http://www.ociarchitects.com/images/Projects/Softwareparks/bashyam_it_park.jpg

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Change Your Joomla Database Login

This article we will show you how to change or verify the database login to your Joomla site. You will sometimes need to do this if:

  • Their site can’t access the database
  • They’ve been hacked and need to make the site more secure

Login to Your Hosting Account

 

Access Your Database Area

 

Create a New Database User

Be sure to take a careful note of your password.

 

Add the New User to Your Database

Make sure to choose the correct user and the correct database, then click “Add”.

 

Give the New User All Privileges

 

Login to Your File Manager

 

Open Configuration.php

This is the file that connects your Joomla files to your database. It needs to have the correct username and password.

 

Update the User and Password Details

Scroll down until you see the $user and $password fields. Insert the information you created earlier. Then click “Save” and check the front of your site to ensure everything is working correctly.

Your valuable comments after reading this article will be highly appreciated. Also, if you have any issues in joomla you could email to harsha@vishmitha.com or Supporting Forum to get the assist.

Google is getting bigger for its own good. The web search engine giant is going to have an effect of every single person on the earth even if he or she has a choice or not. The search engine became too popular at its infancy that its name was included as a verb in the dictionary. Then it gave us “Google Earth” that allowed us to locate and get directions destinations and also view the surroundings in a birds’ eye view which gave way to a part of life style we cannot do without here in USA. Android certainly took its time to establish itself as a one of the open mobile platforms used by many big names in the industry. Then it released a simple but very powerful internet browser “Chrome” that has spread among the internet users much faster than an epidemic. Few months back Google announced its intention to release an operating system of its own which it used by many universities and also by many firms around the globe today. Well by now you would think it is about time they took a rest and keep cashing in from their investments. Well guess Google has other ideas.

Google announced its entry to the home entertainment with Google TV last week hoping to tap into the largest consumer market in the world. With over 4 billion viewers worldwide and with $70 billion advertisements in USA alone there is no reason why Google does not want to join the fun.
So what is exactly “Google TV”? The notion behind “Google TV” is to allow both video and web experience simultaneously without compromising on either. It will also focus on search and discovery and personalization of this particular experience. Like any other Google interface, the interface would be search driven, allowing the user to search for content over channels and over the web. But this is not a novel idea. TiVo Premier is one of the most popular experiences of such nature, allowing viewers to use facebook, twitter and other applications while viewing their favorite TV shows.
Of course to have Google TV you need another box which connects between your TV and satellite box. Specs are not crisp but from what we gather it will run on an Intel Atom (yes it will have less complex tasks than your netbook), WiFi and HDMI. For input devices the user can use keyboards or android devices which can act as remotes for your TV (how cool is that?). So this will give way to voice search, share content between your phone and the TV and best of all you won’t be going around for hours looking for the remote. The software platform would include Android 2.1 (big surprise) with Chrome (the coolest browser in history) and Flash 10.1 support. Best thing about it is that you can develop Apps for this platform as well. The SDK will be out early next year but yet any App that is not dependable on phone hardware could technically run on Google TV.

Best thing about Google TV is that it is using the same strategy that pushed Android into the mass population, partners. Google TV is supported by Sony with is going to launch its internet TVs and Blu-ray players together with Google TV, Logitec will launch a set-top box with a Harmony remote and a HD camera, Dish Network will also launch Google TV and Best Buy would come in as a whole sale store.

Are you excited? I am, but not without bit of skepticism. This merger between the internet and the TV is not going to be easy as TiVo has experienced. We are coming to an age where there is a unification of the devices but I’m not completely bought in by the argument that we are in that age now. We still use these devices for separate applications and combining them all together is quite a change in the life style. It is not a huge change but it is a change that the average person has not even thought of. Think of watching part of the morning news on TV and watching the rest of the news while on the train to work but without re-downloading the content to the phone but merely by synchronizing the phone with the TV. Imagine where you can move your call from the handheld to the TV with HD camera without breaking the call. Surely this is an unavoidable technology which will be in our lives in few years. But will Google TV be the pioneer in that? That is to be seen.