My blogs just passed 70,000 visits. Nice.
My blogs just passed 70,000 visits. Nice.
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
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
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 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
I have three words - Biking. Is. Uncomfortable.
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!
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.
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.
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;
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!
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.
Check out the video
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).
(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.
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 Kosmix.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday evening, to give hurting wrist a rest, I didn't do weights. Only cardio on the elliptical machine - 50 minutes, 500 calories.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Baron Davis is funny. He has always been funny, but not as funny yet as Chris Bosh or Steve Nash. But he completely kills it in this one
On Tuesday this week, my blogs passed 50,000 visits. Sweet!
The blogs, of course, are:
And on a smaller scale, my profile on blogger has now been viewed 550 times.
Its finally over. Jerry Yang has stepped down as Yahoo's CEO.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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)
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.
Amazing, isn't it?
Check out that hyper-aggressive grill!
the side and rear look better than this photo shows
And now some action shots:
The engine, the culprit that powers this monster
Brembo brakes, of course, for this monster of a car
Recaro racing seats, to keep you from flying out of the car on turns
A big old spoiler to keep the Evo on the road, exhaust pipe to funnel away the baaad gaaas
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).
So 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.
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)
Who cares how long its been since his last hit, I'll visit any startup of MC Hammer's!
Here's MC Hammer at the TechCrunch party. And below, the old, wilder, balloon pants Hammer!
When an episode of “Walker, Texas Ranger” aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side
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.
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.