Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another Milestone - 70,000 Visits

My blogs just passed 70,000 visits.  Nice. 

They are:

Tech and Startups blog

Blog on Autos

Blog covering travel, food and drinks

This blog (non-serious)

Wednesday Workout - Happy New Year!

A nice New Year's Eve workout.

Cardio - 30 minutes,  379 calories,  3.23 miles covered.

Weights:  Shoulders - 4 exercises, 4 sets each, for a total of 16 sets.

Crunches:  7 sets of 20 crunches each, so a total of 140 crunches

Tuesday workout

Afternoon:  Abs - 6 sets of 20 crunches each, total 120 crunches.

Evening:  Weights - biceps and triceps,  4 exercises of 4 sets each (16 sets for each body part).  So a total of 32 sets. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday Workouts

Morning:  Abs, 5 sets of 20 crunches each, so a total of 100 crunches.  Made waking up feel good.


Elliptical - 96 minutes (1 hour 36 minutes),  1,000 calories,  8.69 miles

Weights - Chest.  2 exercises with 4 sets each, for a total of 8 sets

Monday, December 29, 2008

VC Money Flowing Again

It only took a couple of months; VC money is flowing again.  We at Kosmix, of course, just got $20 Million.  And now San Francisco-based Scribd has announced a $9 Million round of funding from Charles River Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and Kinsey Hills Group. 

I like Scribd, so I'm glad they're going to be around.  Essentially, the site lets you upload and share documents online.  I work in a remotely spread out team (Mountain View, New York, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco), so Scribd is something we should be using at work too.

Former Bebo COO George Consagra (no, not the guy from Seinfeld) has joined Scribd as its president.  Which means they're getting serious.


Sunday Workout

Sunday was a biking day.  The Olympic Triathlon distance is 24.8 miles, so I wanted to complete at least that distance. 

Distance:  26.07 miles

Time:  2 hours

Calories:  744

I have three words -  Biking.  Is.  Uncomfortable.

Saturday Workout

Light cardio today, used for just warming up.  Followed by a good weights workout.

Elliptical - 15 minutes, 156 calories,  1.36 miles covered


Back:  4 exercises of 4 sets each (so a total of 16 sets). 

Shoulders:  3 exercises of 4 sets each (total of 12 sets).  Stopped after the 12th set, as my shoulder started reminding me it wasn't fully healed.

So, a total of 28 sets for weights.  I slept pretty well after that!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Friday Workout

Super-cardio workout again today, but all on the elliptical.  The aim was to complete 2.5 hours:

2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes)

1,543 calories  (I slowed down in the last 30 minutes)

13.44 miles covered

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm Going To Do An Olympic Triathlon!

A couple of people at Kosmix have completed the Ironman Triathlon.  They've inspired me, so I'm going to complete an Olympic Triathlon sometime between Jan 15 - Jan 30. 

The distances for the Olympic version are:

Swimming - 1.5 km (0.93 miles)

Biking - 40 km (24.8 miles)

Running - 10 km (6.2 miles)

Given my hurt knee, I'm going to do a "low impact" version, all indoors in the gym.  The 'running' portion will be on the elliptical machine.

And good stuff - some friends have signed up for it as well.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday Workout

A nice mix today, but the cardio section was a little light.


Elliptical - 2 miles, 21 minutes,  360 calories

Biking - 5 miles, 26:30 minutes, 158 calories


Biceps and triceps, 12 sets each (3 exercises of 4 sets each, for each body part).  A pretty good workout, and my shoulder isn't hurting, which is great - its getting better.

Tuesday Workout

Started with biking today.  59 minutes to reach 12 miles, but only 360 calories burnt. 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday Super Cardio Workout

Elliptical again.  1,500 calories burnt in 136 minutes (2 hours, 16 minutes),  and 12.9 mile covered per the machine.

And I'm not really sore, which is great! 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Slydial Update - Love It!

I had covered Slydial on my blog earlier.  This Monday, I was contacted by SHIFT Communications, who seem to be handling their PR, to let me know the app was available on the iPhone, and that I should try it.  (Slydial is an app created by the guys at MobileSphere)

I tried it over the last couple of days, and I have to say, I love it!  I hadn't even thought of all the uses I could put it to; 

  • Calling a business associate late in the evening.  I've already done this a couple of times.  This way, I make sure I'm not delaying talking to partners on the east coast by another day; at the same time, I'm not calling them at a very late hour.
  • Prank calls.  I know, this isn't a very elegant use.... but....
  • Don't give this app to the folks in the Philippines!  If you do, you know they're going to start using it when they want to break up with someone.  A voice-mail does beat out SMS in some cases
  • Relatives, friends, associates you don't really want to talk to.  Or don't have the time to talk to.

What's great is that the recipient also sees a missed call.  This way, there is no reason to believe slydial was used.

The app has made its way to the front page on my iPhone!


Friday - Super Cardio Workout

Super cardio workout this Friday, on the elliptical:

1,500 calories,   13 miles (per machine),  144 minutes (2 hours, 24 minutes).  woohoo!

Rested on Saturday, to recover

Friday, December 19, 2008

BMW M3 CSL - Isle of Mann

Jeremy Clarkson drove the BMW M3 CSL at the Isle of Mann.  Why there?  Well, it is a driver's dream - no speed limits outside the towns! 

The BMW M3 CSL is an amazing machine.  It makes a regular M3 look like a Toyota Prius.  Ok, maybe a Toyota Camry. 

  • Nothing that adds extra weight-
    • no air conditioning
    • no radio
    • manual windows
    • carbon fibre roof (don't roll over!)
    • cardboard.... yes, cardboard!..... trunk floor.  in other words, groceries shouldn't weigh more than a few pounds
  • An engine that squeezes out more horses from the same volume
  • Slick summer tires; before you buy the car, you have to sign a waiver saying you understand BMW is not responsible if you drive in rain or snow.  Now that's a race car!

Check out the video

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday Workout

Legs getting stronger.  86 minutes to reach 1,000 calories on the elliptical.  That's just under 9 miles on the elliptical

Shoulder still hurt, so only 2 exercises (3 sets each) for triceps

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday Workout

Hurt knee and shoulder.  So no weights, and slow cardio - 500 calories in 58 minutes.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

AT&T Layoffs

I hate AT&T, just as I hate Comcast

But I hate the company, not the people (at least non-executives) who work there.  So I'm sad to hear AT&T is joining the layoff bandwagon, letting go off 4% of their workforce, or 12,000 people.

There are two factors that are leading to this:

Firstly, they are seeing their landline customers defect - that business is shrinking by 11%, while AT&T's own wireless business is growing by 14%.   Their landline business is still bigger, and needs a bigger workforce compared to the wireless business, so that feeds directly into the total workforce.

Secondly, they are seeing people stop taking add-on services, and manage their minutes on limited plans more carefully (AT&T is one of the worst companies at charging through the roof for a single extra text message, or a single extra minute on your calling plan). 


Friday, December 12, 2008

Top Gear VoTW - Porsche Carrera GT

(VoTW, of course, means Video Of The Week)

Jeremy Clarkson drove and reviewed the Porsche Carrera GT.  He was completely floored by it. 

The Stig must have loved it too - at that point, the Porsche GT was the fastest car around the Top Gear track.

I wish I had Jeremy's job.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Super Workout Wednesday

Upped the ante on Wednesday evening on the cardio side:

93 minutes, 1,000 calories, on the elliptical machine.

Biceps after that - 3 exercises, 3 sets each.  But after the cardio, had lower energy so used lighter weights

Check out the Elliptical Trainer on

All Worn Out - Sneakerplay Shuts Down

Sneakerplay was a perfect example of a niche social network - it catered to people like Entourage's Turtle, who are obsessed over sneakers. 


And to think it was only one among a number of similar plays. 

Sneakerplay is shutting down now.  Its time for most of the other niche networks to fall soon.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Workout Tuesday

Tuesday night, I put in a relaxed 50 minutes, 500 calories on the elliptical machine.

Weights - Shoulder, with light weights (allowing wrist to recover).  3 exercises with 3 sets each, so 9 sets total.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cardio Saturday

73 minutes, 750 calories on the elliptical machine. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanksgiving Bargains Fuel J&J Acquisition Spree

The Thanksgiving buying bug has bitten my favorite blue-chip, Johnson & Johnson, which is buying Mentor Corp. and Omrix Biopharmaceuticals

Omrix is going to feed right into J&J's surgical care business.... and by that I mean the serious surgical stuff. 

Mentor, on the other hand, feeds into, shall we say, the sometimes desired-but-not-required cosmetic surgery side.  It is a leader in cosmetic products, including breast implants.  J&J has traditionally not been a market leader in cosmetic surgery, but this acquisition will change that.  mentor corp

J&J's stock went down as a result of these acquisitions, but the long term prognosis is very positive.  I'm shoring up my position in the stock.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cardio Friday

Giving my wrist another day of rest, so no weights on Friday either.  Cardio - 75 minutes on the elliptical machine, 750 calories

Friday, December 5, 2008

Santa's Email

This is NSFW,  but its very hilarious.  Check out a snapshot of Santa's Gmail, courtesy of Stefan

I put in a large image, so you have to click on it to view it. 

santa email

Cardio Thursday

Thursday evening, to give hurting wrist a rest, I didn't do weights.  Only cardio on the elliptical machine - 50 minutes, 500 calories.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday Workout

Last night, I increased the cardio portion of my workout - 50 minutes, 500 calories on the elliptical machine.

Followed by Back - 3 exercises of 3 sets each - 9 sets total

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Alza's Changing Face

J&J's Alza division, over the last 7 years, has been a dismal place to work.  They started by helping Google out, shutting their offices near the search giant.  Google of course immediately snapped up those facilities. 

Alza's Vacaville location has been a not too happy place to be at, since.  In the last couple of years, there have been two massive layoffs.  A large part of this is due to J&J methodically moving facilities and costs overseas.  But in Alza's case, there is a lot more going on. 

Its very sad.  Right now, I can't even get their website to load.

alza website

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fruitless Trip To The San Francisco Auto Show

Yoshi and I decided to go this Sunday, Nov 30, to the San Francisco Auto Show.  Turns out we were a little off the mark - the show ended on Saturday. 

Exercising on Monday

Monday, I did:

Cardio - 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, 320 calories

Arms - 3 exercises each in biceps and triceps, with 3 sets in each.  So a total of 18 sets, half each in biceps and triceps

vikram singh

Exercising on Sunday

I'm going to start chronicling my workouts on this blog again, starting with this Sunday's workout. 

I started with 30-minutes on the elliptical machine (310 calories), followed by Shoulders - 3 exercises, 3 sets each, so a total of 9 sets.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Game Preview - Batman: Arkham Asylum

I saw a quick preview of Batman: Arkham Asylum - no gameplay, just an intro video that barely had any people visible.  And.... wow!

This game is of course based on the graphic novel of the same name.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do.

batman arkham asylum

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A New High

This Monday, November 24, my blogs hit a  new milestone - 1,240 visits.  Woohoo! 

Normally, between them, my blogs get around 500 visits/day, so this is a nice new rise.

This occasion calls for a random photo - how about one from Kosmix' 2007 holiday party.  Nagraj and Sailesh are flanking me.

vikram kosmix

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Apple Of My Advertising Eye

apple logo

I would love to have Apple put a part of their apparently humongous ad budget online on Kosmix

Apple's ads are always everywhere you look;  Steve Jobs and crew apparently have an ad budget of close to $485 Million for this year.  That's Microsoft territory

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bugatti Veyron Top Speed - James May

Top Gear has showcased the Bugatti Veyron, the  world's fastest car, a couple of times.   I specially loved the episode where they had "Captain Slow", James May, try to get the Bugatti to its top speed, 253 Miles per Hour.  Whooo

The segment has everything - a likeable, muddle-headed protagonist set against impossible odds, an incredible goal, a magnificent machine, top speed driving, and an emotionally charged soundtrack threatening to bring tears to your eyes.

Forget your local movie-plex, just watch this episode a few times instead.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Friday Buzz Kill - Buzznet Layoffs

Damn economy.  Damn Sequoia.  Now they've made Hollywood-based Buzznet lay off 10 - 15 of their 90 employees.... today.  That's Friday.  

What a buzzkill.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

WebMD Not Buying Quality Health After All

With WebMD's share price free-fall ($32 to below $20), the erstwhile online Health leader is trimming some of its upcoming investments.  Its latest is to stop its proposed acquisition of Quality Health, which I covered earlier


This explains why, even after 3 months of announcing the deal, WebMD had not yet integrated Quality Health's traffic into its own in comScore.  As such, Waterfront Media's Everyday Health, which now reports Kosmix's RightHealth metrics under its own (see my earlier post), has a better chance of holding on to its new #1 ranking in comScore.

WebMD and Quality Health have signed an ad deal, with WebMD's sales team representing Quality Health as well.  As part of this deal, there is still a possibility that WebMD negotiates to report QH's metrics under itself in comScore.  Thats when the race begins again.

quality health

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Supercar Photos Of The Week - MC1

David Hilton is the man behind the designs for the Ford Mustang, Focus RS and S-Max.  That's a nice resume.

He is now working on the MC1, a British supercar.  Britain is not too bad at building supercars and concept cars - witness the latest batmobile.   And the MC1 is very drool-worthy.


mc1 supercar

  mc1 door


mc1 top

   supercar lights

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jerry Mandering - End Of A Yahoo Era

Its finally over.  Jerry Yang has stepped down as Yahoo's CEO

jerry yang yahoo

I feel bad for him.  Everyone else has savaged him mercilessly... while I can see that through all the tough times, he still talked about "bleeding purple", and did his best to shield his employees from harm, including laying off a smaller number than should have been appropriate.

Which of course points out that he wasn't a good CEO - a good CEO of a company as big and as troubled as Yahoo would need to make merciless, dispassionate decisions.  But in these tough economic times, saving some jobs (even if its only temporary) has to be looked at favorably.

Anyway, I want to nominate someone for the now vacant CEO post, someone who I believe has what it takes to take Yahoo to the next level....


From Jodi's Blog - My Top 5 Tuna Steak Destinations

Jodi Olson, Kosmix's new head of Public Relations, likes to interview folks for their top 5 lists for her blog.  This week, she put up my list - and quite an arbitrary one it is!  I am very flattered.   Her blog is here, and I have also reproduced the post below. 

Vikram Singh's Top Five List of Cities to Eat Great Tuna Steak

kosmix vikram
Blogger and tuna steak connoisseur Vikram Singh is the author of Information Overload.
1. Poughkeepsie, New York: The Hilton in Poughkeepsie has a restaurant that serves really, really good Ahi tuna steaks. They pan-sear it, and the crust on the outside is made with seeds or something that’s just amazing. The portions are small—you’ll probably have to order two. I recommend following the meal with the house bread pudding. It goes really well with the tuna for some reason.
2. Boulder, Colorado: You can get great Ahi tuna steaks in Boulder. Order it rare there. Most places have really good wasabi- based sauces to go with the steak, and they don’t muck about with vegetables. St. Jillian’s Hotel in Boulder has a particularly good tuna steak—both for a starter and a main dish.
3. Chicago, Illinois: Ruth's Chris steakhouse in Chicago has the best Ahi tuna steaks compared to any other Ruth's Chris. I wouldn’t use any sauce because their fish has a lot of taste on its own, and they don’t make a good wasabi sauce.
4. Mountain View, CA: The Cantankerous Fish on Castro Street. This is the only salad entry in this whole selection. Their Ahi salad is really good, and they have a really good miso sauce with it. Here’s what you do: ask for two extra helpings of the miso sauce, so that you have three in total, and then ask for two separate helpings of the wasabi cream sauce, so you can try the steak two different ways. The dish comes with a lot of vegetables. Very tasty.
5. New York, New York: Most places in New York city that are mid- to upscale have really good Ahi. They cut it too thin and too small to be considered a steak—it’s more like slices of fish. Because of that, you have more surfaces exposed for taste, which makes up for the smaller portion size. I especially like the Ahi in Anthony Bourdain’s restaurants.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Polite Avoidance - Slydial

Remember the Seinfeld episode where George is trying to avoid a girl, so keeps trying to call her home or office depending on where he thinks she isn't?   Of course, he gets caught... its George. 

Now Slydial is what he really needed.  These guys (still in beta) offer a service (downloadable through apps on the iPhone, BlackBerry, WindowsMobile) where you can directly reach someone's voice-mail. 

Not bad, not bad at all. 


Chuck Norris fact of the week

A cobra once bit Chuck Norris’ leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died

Chuck Norris fact

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Twittering Trouble

Why am I using Twitter?  I do want to like it.... but I keep getting the message below:

twitter issue

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Sun Is Setting

An analyst with Sanford Bernstein, Toni Sacconaghi,  had estimated that Sun needed to cut 20% of their workforce to be able to get closer to righting themselves, mainly by raising operating margin by 5% - 7%. 

sun microsystems

Well, Sun has now announced a restructuring, which is hopefully realigning the company to be leaner and more efficient, while also laying off between 15% - 18%  (translated, 5,000 - 6,000 employees)

 sun office

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X - Aggressive Styling

My brother-in-law, Mr. A (a former rally driver), bought his Evo X around the same time I bought my BMW 335i convertible.  We love our own cars, and have mutual admiration/ drool-factor over each other's cars too.  So this is my homage to the Evo X's amazing functional and extremely aggressive styling. 

mitsubishi lancer evo 10

Amazing, isn't it?

evo grill

Check out that hyper-aggressive grill! 

lancer evo

evolution 10

the side and rear look better than this photo shows

And now some action shots:

evo 10

evo x

The engine, the culprit that powers this monster

evo engine

Brembo brakes, of course,  for this monster of a car

brembo brakes

evo brembo brake

Recaro racing seats, to keep you from flying out of the car on turns

recaro seats  

A big old spoiler to keep the Evo on the road, exhaust pipe to funnel away the baaad gaaas

evo spoiler

 high performance exhaust

Friday, November 14, 2008

Every Right Revolution Health

I've been writing about the consolidation in the online Health space.   My last three blog posts were:

Everyday Health had started the whole thing off by stating that their goal was to become the number #1 online Health site.  Well, they just did that!  Everyday Health has now become the #1 Health site, per comScore  (and yes, this is still playing the traffic game). 

top healthSo how did EverydayHealth/ WaterFront Media manage to do this?  Since the dawn of time, WebMD has been the #1 Health site, with no one else coming even close.   EverydayHealth and Revolution Health, in their quest to gain on WebMD, kept acquiring other health sites, or representing them for online sales, in exchange getting their traffic assigned to themselves in comScore.  And then, of course, EverydayHealth acquired Revolution.... and they were still lower than WebMD.

Well, this week, we've just announced that RightHealth, Kosmix's flagship Health site (we were #2 in Health through most of this year, per Hitwise), is now also going to be represented for display ad sales by EverydayHealth.  RightHealth traffic is the biggest contributor to Everyday's traffic - woohoo. 

I guess the online display ads world is going to be a little different.

everyday health breakup

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Accel and MC Hammer

I was at last week's Accel party for portfolio companies and partners at San Francisco's Fluid lounge  (Accel is one of Kosmix's investors)

fluid lounge

Apart from our investors, the most interesting person I saw there was MC Hammer.  He, of course, started DanceJamdancejam

Who cares how long its been since his last hit, I'll visit any startup of MC Hammer's!

 mc hammer startup

Here's MC Hammer at the TechCrunch party.  And below, the old, wilder, balloon pants Hammer!

mc hammer pants

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chuck Norris fact of the week

When an episode of “Walker, Texas Ranger” aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side

Chuck Norris fact

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Linked To Layoffs - LinkedIn Trimming Staff

Bay Area's very own LinkedIn surprised everyone by being the first startup to announce layoffs..... ok, maybe this is not a joking matter.

Anyway, LinkedIn is also laying off staff.  I am a bit fan of the service - I prefer it greatly over FaceBook, Friendster, MySpace, Hi5.  I hope this means the company is growing up, trying to get its act together, because the rumors out of their campus are not favorable.  And they did raise a lot of money recently, so the layoffs are a pre-emptive move, hopefully (I really don't want LinkedIn to disappear!)

By the way, surprise surprise - LinkedIn has Sequoia as one of its funders.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Signs Of A Downturn - Veoh Layoffs

San Diego-based online video site Veoh is laying off 20 of their 110 employees.

Veoh has brought in $70 Million in funding, including $30 Million last June, so this sounds like yet another pre-emptive move to manage costs during the slow economy.

online video site