Pichai to Google to Alphabet.inc !!! —- what just happened ?


Sundararajan Pichai : The new CEO of GOOGLE ! Every Indian science/tech related person is going crazy right now. I know I am. He was just like us, and now he is the C E O of Google ! (I have to say it again and again.) An IIT Kharagpur graduate from Chennai is now the CEO of the global giant GOOGLE. I went ballistic and read almost every blog/news/magazine article regarding this ( then started writing this ! 😛 ).What blew my mind even more is the formation of this new company Alphabet.inc !

Confused ? How did the inspiring read about Pichai lead to a random new company . I was too.

Google….. you shall never stop amusing me. I wondered all day why they would do this. Why would they want to create another brand name ? “Google” is already so huge. Why bring in the “Alphabet.inc”. I just told myself ” Google does random crazy shit” ( I am an avid follower and admirer of their R & D moonshot division called GOOGLE-X so I know how crazy they can get, or so I thought !).

And then I read a few more articles, one of them went on to say that “the surprise news sent shares of Google up as much as 7 percent to $708 in after hours trading”. It’s all a money game after all. This reminded me of an earlier read about how GOOGLE-X is a non-profitable R&D project which investors usually frown upon. Things started to make sense now. So I read a couple of other articles and was over-joyed to realise that my conclusion did make sense. Yes. Let me explain.

  
So this is how the story goes.The name “Google” will now be associated with the core search engine, Google Maps,advertising, Apps, Android and YouTube only. Everything else will be Alphabet.inc . So all the non-profitable, futuristic, unicorn , moonshot projects will be dissociated with the name GOOGLE and associated with the name Alphabet.inc ! Google is now a subsidiary of Alphabet.inc . Alphabet.inc is a holding company of a number of other subsidiary companies including- google-x, google fiber , google ventures , google capital , Calico , Nest Lab , Youtube and Android. How many of them keep the name “google” only time will tell. Page is the CEO of Alphabet.inc and Pichai the CEO of Google. Clearer? I hope so.

Nobody ever knew how much of the money was going into GOOGLE-X and this bifurcation kind of makes things more transparent for the skeptic investors who never saw what a magnificent division the GOOGLE-X was ! ( I wonder what it will be called now ? Alphabet-X perhaps ? O.o ) So anything that doesnt make money is not Google anymore ?

So I googled alphabet.inc and it already has a wikipedia page. Things move so fast !!! This led to a couple of more articles and some fun facts.

  • A whole history of the journey from google to alphabet.inc is very explicitly mentioned in http://www.wired.com/2015/08/google-mean-alphabet-looks-like-now/ .( I love articles on wired ! )
  • abc.xyz – the alphabet.inc webpage is taken from a famous tv series called silicon valley. ( I know what series I am starting now ! )
  • Moonshot projects spook investors ! ( I was being nice when I said they only frown )
  • Holding company is a complicated structure that Wall Street frowns upon. ( Someone is always frowning, arent they now ?)

Looks like a good move, keeps the investors happy and the insane projects insane !

PS – I wrote this article after a long break from blogging. I wrote it while reading the articles. This whole fiasco has inspired me and given me new zeal in life !  ( Yes zeal is the word I just used 😛 )

Links I found useful and informative :

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/10/us-googleinc-restructuring-idUSKCN0QF26920150810

http://fortune.com/2014/10/27/google-rise-of-sundar-pichai/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-10/google-to-adopt-new-holding-structure-under-name-alphabet-

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2015/08/google-alphabet.html

https://abc.xyz/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabet_Inc. ( The references in this link give more links …. too much information alert ! )

A hodgepodge of shows !!!


I am a series junkie. I finish one and begin another. So I thought why not I put the load of useless information on this blog. So here goes.

Reminiscing the past to figure out where it all began, I realized Full House was probably the first ever series I watched from the beginning to the end(all  8 season!!). A sitcom following a single dad (Danny) raising 3 daughters (DJ, Stephanie and Michelle) with the help of his brother-in-law Jesse(<3 <3<3) and friend Joe, its a mixture of  laughter, tears and those ever so heart warming “awwww” moments. And ofcourse the amusing catch phrases.  Michelle’s “You got it dude”, Stephanie’s “How rude”  or Jesse’s “Have mercy”. All the characters were unique in themselves. I couldnt help but fall in love with them.

After Full House its all anachronistic.  I followed a number of series on tv and off (torrents zindabad!), the one series especially a sitcom that stuck with me since then is How I Met Your Mother(HIMYM)Many argue its a rip off from the 90s super hit sitcom “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” and ofcourse I disagree. I dont hate FRIENDS, but I prefer HIMYM.  I could argue saying FRIENDS was a swindle of an older series “SEINFIELD” ( which I do watch when on tv and infact is hilarious). What do the HIMYM haters have to say to that I wonder ? 😉 I am a devoted HIMYM fan, and for some weird reasons connect with it. Into its last season now (or so they say) HIMYM is a series where a dad, Ted is telling their children (in excruciating details) how he met the love of his life, their mother. The sitcom essentially follows the life of  Ted and his 4 best friends Marshall, Lilly, Robin and Barney and the events that will eventually lead him to his wife. Oh wait, there is going to be a 9th season they say…….YAY !!!!! 🙂 🙂 :). Another series that keeps me entertained is the Big Bang Theory. An aspiring physicists myself, the idiosyncrasies of  4 qualified physicists- Sheldon, Leonard , Wolowitz and Raj, is a 20 minute break I deserve between assignments and internals ;)(into its 5th season).

Moving into other genres, the one that catches my attention are the mystery or crime series. Thinking back, BONES was probably my first series in the genre.  An extremely rational, anthropologist Temperance Brenan (nicknamed bones) teams up with a retired sniper/ FBI agent (/extremely sexy ;))  Seeley Booth to solve murders. It seemed to be an interesting mix of  characters. Now into its 8th season, its not exactly one of its kind. This mismatch of characters working together has become a trend in the crime series genre. There was White Collar – FBI teams up with a Conman to solve high scale robberies(into its 4th season), then there was Castle- NYPD homocide cop teams up with a crime novelist to catch murderers (into its 5th season). To name a few others , there was Numbers, Body of Proof, Rizzoli and Isles, Psych,CSI, Criminal Minds etc.

All these concepts though quiet amusing, are nothing close to the BBC entertainment production SHERLOCK ! The best series I have ever watched by far ! The essence of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes is kept intact at every moment. An enthralling series, with crisp dialogues, situated in the 21st century Baker Street. We see a modern eccentric Sherlock Holmes carrying around all the gadgets we use in everyday life and more ;). Dr.Watson, Sherlock’s roommate and partner is a regular blogger, blogging about the recent crimes solved and the weird ways in which Holmes mind works. With brilliant casting and a perfect script, I would stamp it the BEST SERIES EVER with no second thought. Both the lead artists are phenomenal actors. Benedict Cumberbatch is probably the only one who pulls of Sherlock in the best way ever portrayed, including Robert Downy Jr, who I do love personally. Both his movies were good, but Benedict is just a class apart. The third season of this series is set to release in late 2013 sometime. ( A long long wait yes………..but will definitely be worth it !!! ). Another series following sherlock holmes is Elementary, an american show with Sherlock based in New York, recovering from a drug addiction accompanied by a ex doctor, Dr Watson(a lady !), a campanion who helps addicts through their post rehab days. An interesting watch, but nowhere close to the BBC entertainment SHERLOCK !!!.

OK !!……with 2 genres down and about 10 sets of series in, I am nowhere close to ending this ! Looking to be a little courageous ( yes I am scared of all the ghost stories and the haunting music) I was introduced to Supernatural by my cousin. It follows the story of 2 brothers, Dean and Sam following their Dad’s footsteps to find the supernatural being that killed their mother when they were little. On the way, they encounter other supernatural beings- demons, gods, angels, furies etc. A little scary for my taste, it is a good series I followed for 4 seasons. ( 8 of its seasons are out so far). Continuing with the newly sort out courage, I started watching Dexter, a serial killer with “morals” working with the police department professionally, he sorts after culprits who get off free generally because of lack of evidence, hunt them and kill them. Kind of grose I could manage 3 seasons out of 8 with no difficulty but then I just got bored.

Looking to expand my “horizon” I started watching , MD HOUSE, a medical show situated along the cases handed over to the amusing Dr.House, a distant, mean looking medical doctor whose team deals with cases no other department could diagnose. With its concept of differential diagnosis it is an interesting series which I could watch only for 3 seasons of its 8 seasons out so far. Next medical show I moved on to was Greys Anatomy, which follows the medical careers of 5 surgical interns including the lead character Meredith Grey. The series starts off well, but by the end of season 2, there is way too much drama and too little medicine. So thats where I gave it up,8 of its seasons are out so far.

These were essentially the main set of series I followed, there are others I watched for a while and left. Like vampire diaries, it came out during the time sexy vampires was a craze and I just got pulled into it. Then there was Pretty Little Liars with a bunch of girls (always dressed pretty) looking out for each other under suspicious circumstances. There were other random series like Glee, Modern Family, Desperate Housewives, Hot in Cleaveland, Malcolm in the Middle, My Wife and Kids, According to Jim, Cougar Town, Last Man Standing, Packed to the Rafters, The 70s show, Everybody Loves Raymond, Game of Throne and so so many others. So here I end my list, I could have gone on for a lot more and might have missed out a few, but this post has been pending for a while now and it ends here !! 🙂

India – a country in need of change !!


We live in a country which calls itself the largest democracy in the world. I am forced to question that every other day. Known to a few, India is also the “fourth most dangerous country” in the world for women. This, I have never had to question. With a hundred Imagequestions asked every time I step out of the house, I know this country is dangerous for me. The question is why ? We flaunt about being a country with strong cultural and moral values, we worship a hundred deities, we abhor the so called western culture. But when it comes to treating women with respect, we dither. Women in this country are subjected to assault, eave teasing, rape, domestic violence and trafficking etc.

A country with atrocious practices like female foeticide, we have never been a country where women are treated as equals. From the medieval times when sati and child marriage were considered tradition in some communities, the status of women has been deteriorating. There were social workers then, as there are now who tried to make a difference and did to some extent. So there is hope. But women are still battling for equality and respect.

The recent delhi gang rape case (which triggered me to write this) has stirred the nation. ImageThe capital erupted with serious mass protests demanding justice, security and equality for women, with support from various other cities in the country including hyderabad. My support reaches out to them. I am an indian girl who has to learn to deal with the eave teasing on the roads and to fight for her equality every single day of her life. Is it fair ? Ofcourse not. Is there a solution? I am not sure I can answer that, but there are always ways to get to the solution. Stricter laws and pro-active officials for example could lead the way. I am no expert, but creating a sense of fear in the mind of the wrong doer, who should fear the law and know that he will not get away scot -free is an easy enough deduction. I do not know how the bureaucracy works. But for a country which asserts to be “of the people, by the people and for the people”,  should put in the effort required to make India safer for women.

I am an Indian girl, who someday would like to be a mother raising a daughter who does not have to deal with such inequalities everyday of her life. I am generally a realist who in this case is ready to be an optimist. I want to be able to put faith in the government that we elected. I am waiting for justice, I am hoping for change and I am praying for a safer India.

Oh….the dilemma !!


A time comes in everyone’s life when we are confused about whats important and whats not. Well yes, I am at such a junction.  With the academic pressure increasing by the day and all the friends around ever so close, I am in a whirlwind of decisions to make. People always say, “all work and no fun makes jack a dull boy”.  I used to agree, but now, with undergrad days far behind………. I slowly seem to disagree. Because that Jack is the one getting all the scholarships, the internships, the grants, the praise, the satisfaction of doing well in life. I am not a type of person who can study all day with no fun around. So,what I need at this stage, is to have fun doing the work. Easy to say, yet difficult to implement.

Let me cut the chase and relate what happened. Offlate my marks have been dropping and disappointment is on the rise !

Dad says,”Too much party and too much gossip is to blame, cut that down and study….nothing is lost 🙂 ”

Proffessors say,” You have to forget your outside life for 2 years, you have potential but are not putting in enough effort, please dont disappoint me the next time.”

Well both are right and I am humbled by their hopes and shall try and put in as much effort as I can, but I am 21 for god’s sake! Outside life is my bread and butter. Though extremely motivated by their kindness and unhappy with the disappointment, I am here, writing my blog !! (after 2 hours of study 😉 ).  I understand  that sacrifices have to be made for a future you are capable of, and yes they will be made.  Its just not fair, is the price worth paying ? Can I get the same future with less effort ? Why are choices always so difficult ? Why is the world so unfair ? (Rhetorical questions are always fun to ask ;))

A post almost after 2 months of telling myself I am too busy to write, and I write it at a time when everything in life is telling me —- DONT WASTE TIME !! Well thats ‘LIFE’ I guess- unpredictable, surprising and full of hurdles you have to cross come what may. As my professor told me today (while showing his utter disappointment on my lack of effort) ,”You have one LIFE, keep that in mind”. Yes I shall 🙂 .

Extremely useless post, but I had to write it, so wrote it 😉

Cartoons….the comrades of chidhood


Childhood would not have been the same without the ever amusing cartoons. They are a part of growing up, which is common to children from all walks of life, in one form or the other. Intended to be humorous, they have evolved into programs which capture a whole lot of human emotions – love, anger, fear, disappointment, joy, misery etc. The world is getting more complicated and so are these animated figures. Cartoons are different from ‘animes‘ and comic books from ‘mangas’. Call an anime a cartoon in front of a fan, and you will have to listen in excruciating details of how different they are and how ignorant you are. 😉 ( No, I am not critical about the difference, I get confused myself !! 😛 )

Life was so simple when all we had to watch were the old classics – Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Tale Spin, Chip n Dale etc. They were the ultimate cartoons. Just relax, watch, laugh and have fun :).  Then came Tom n Jerry, Powerpuff girls, Dexters lab, Popeye the sailor man and many others. Followed by the amazing concept of animes, and our cartoon world was never the same. DRAGON BALL Z and POKEMON (gotta catch em all) from what I remember were the first huge hits! Oh I remember how religiously we used to follow pokemon! Get up at 8 am during summer holidays just so we dont miss Ash, Misty and Brock’s new quest for the creatures who lived in tiny red and white balls. Beyblade, Transformers, Digimon, Duel masters, Cardcaptors Sakura, Hungry Heart, God! Save our king, Full Metal Alchemist, Avatar and oh so many!!! Childhood would have been a lot different without them.

Though I love MANY of the animes, and have followed them with extreme devotion, I sometimes find them a little too tedious. Some of them actually get as melodramatic as our saas bahu serials. They just dont have the simplicity and innocence of the first disney cartoons. All the same, I think I was very lucky to have lived and watched both the classics and the animes. I pity the young kids now. A lot of us will agree, cartoon network just does not hold the same charm it once did. Its not that we grew up, its just that the quality of cartoons on it has gone bad. Good cartoons never did and never will have an age bar. If you are 5 or 25, tom n jerry is going to make you laugh. I love cartoons and animes, and always will.  😉

Thank you amal for correcting some of the technical facts !!!

Friendship …… a relationship to cherish


Timid, shy and in new territory,

Met, bonded and the rest is history.

Lived through laughter, pain and tears,

Smiled away and faced all fears.

Fought, cried and abused each other,

In the end always stood together.

“Friends forever” are big words to say,

But I cross my heart and promise to stay.

Mouni, Manasa, Anoosha and Samyu,

Happy friendship day to all of you 🙂

                                   2010

                                                   

                                           

                                                     

2011

                                                                                         2012

       

Small events + Free time = Harmless musings


There are days when I think there is no hope for humanity and then a friendly smile from a complete stranger gives me hope. On one hand I find a cunning woman trying to rob me on the bus (I am very vigilant so yea…I caught her before she committed the crime ;)) and then a very nice lady rescues me from the pain of standing, by saving me a seat.(Both on the same bus on the same day!). Why is it that some of us go out of our way to help, while others just dont care or yet others who want to cause trouble? Its crazy how the world works and crazier how we, the so called evolved species ‘the homosapiens’ function.

When I reached my destination,(home) I relate the days events to my mom. The funny part is, I told her about the failed attempt at theft but not about the helpful gesture. Now I wonder why? Why is it that the good sometimes goes unnoticed while the wrong is always given the spotlight? It might be because doing the right thing is taken for granted, everyone is suppose to walk on the moral path. Only when something is out of the ordinary or when something goes amiss do we pay attention. It is sad but that is what my logic tells me. Although I have been told ‘logic’ is not always the answer.

The human mind works in complex ways that apparently mere logic
and reasoning cannot solve. I have been told over and over again that I cant look for logic in everything, it just does not work that way. Yet day after day I am still looking for some logic or reason as to why certain events conspired the way they did. And yes sometimes I fail. Although on most occasions it does give me something close to an answer. I have faced situations when I look back and I wonder why I did what I did. Sometimes I have no answer, probably because there was no logic. I dont know if it is right or wrong, but it is the closest thing I have for answering issues in life. It is kind off my get away card, give logic to a situation and you have a case for yourself ;).

Cricket ….. its more than just a game !


Cricket is a word almost every Indian connects with, and I am definitely one of them. Having lived with a sports obsessed brother and spent holidays with cousins, (majority always being the guys) I believe I know a lot about cricket ;). I am a religious follower of this game and support our team no matter what. I am also in love with Zaheer Khan. Some people might disagree but his sole presence gives our bowling a boost. He might not perform everytime, or give away too many runs sometimes, but when he is on the field I am always sure we can win.

A game which is discussed over and over during every tournament or series, it grips the heart of an entire nation. People dont just watch it, they emotionally bond with it. I remember watching many matches with my chinna tataiyya (grandfather) who I would say, was a devoted cricket fan. I could see the spark of jubilation in his eyes every time India won and the utter disappointment every time we lost. It  is a ‘condition’ which most Indian cricket fans suffer from . A condition which makes your heart beat abnormally when a crucial wicket falls. A condition which makes the most well mannered person get abusive when we drop a catch. A condition which makes you want to hit something (or someone!) when a wrong decision is passed. A condition which make you want to hug anyone around when we win in a difficult situation. A condition I would call passion. The passion we have for this game in my view does not compare to anything else.

Personally, the overwhelming sense of joy I felt when we won the world cup was once in a lifetime moment. I remember the night perfectly. I was at this mall called inorbit which was screening the world cup final, with atleast 10 – 15 friends. It was almost 12 in the night and India had just won a nerve wracking final. In my extremely excited state I call my dad, who had no clue I was out this late at night and I say at the top of my voice

Nana! (dad) world cup jeet gaye nana!”. There were loud celebrations all around so it was kind of obvious I was out somewhere.

A calm and a little suspicious voice from the other end says, “Haan beta haan, kidhar ho beta abhi ?” (where are you now?)

And then I realize and think to myself, “Oh  man am I in trouble now.” Recovering immediately I reply “I am out, but there are a lot of friends so no worries. Cant hear you clearly, will call you tomorrow. Bye !!” and I cut the call. Luckily this split second lack of judgement didnt get me into trouble. But it proves my point. This is the level of excitement cricket creates inIndia, when you forget all the logic and reasoning and just let go.

It has been said before and I am saying it again , ‘cricket is not just a game its a religion in India’. A win is celebrated with crackers and sweets like any other festival. And a loss with too much emotion and media bashing of the team. Either way its something which brings the whole nation together. Cricket is the love of this nation and will always remain one.

Hyderabadi …..dil se


I am a ‘hyderabadi’ and I dont need to prove it. Many of my friends disagree (essentially to irritate me) but I remain adamant. I believe I am one,  and thats all that matters. They, on the other hand are what I would call “kattar” hyderbadis. Biryani, haleem, qubani ka meetha, double ka meetha, the ever so amusing language and a list of the most weird abuses – baigan, howla… (and many others I dont want to spell out 😉 ) make up their daily routine. These are some elements which they consider essential for a hyderabadi. This is where I strike out, I am a vegetarian, so I dont get to savor these exotic flavours (their vegetarian counterparts dont hold the same charm! 😦 ), I am a girl, so I dont get to abuse away in peace. 2 strikes down, dont blame them for ‘disowning’ me.

What is there to hyderabad other than food and amusing words? When I asked a couple of my friends, most of them replied saying, “There is so much, where do I start ?.” The rich heritage, the nawabi influence,  the blend of religions,  the happy go lucky (bindass) attitude of the people, the love for irani chai, the beauty of pearls, the crowded markets of charminar, the view from the top of the golconda fort, the romantic walk on the necklace road……the list goes on. This is the city which gave India Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza, VVS Laxman, Dia Mirza and many many more.  I might be biased, but Sarojini Naidu wasnt, ‘Nightfall in the city of Hyderabad’ is an enticing poem putting hyderabad in words I can never imagine. (Oh dear Bangalore!!!….. do you have a famous poem describing you ? :P). It is not all dazzling, mind you ;). The not so dazzling aspect being – the unbreakable conviction of drivers that they own the road (yes, we have bad drivers), the amazing tendency of people to stop and watch a brawl, the temper of the autowalas (maybe true for many other cities too!) and the complete disregard to traffic rules. These are the things which makes hyderabad a city with many flavours.

This city has all the modern aspects any other big city has to offer (if not better 🙂 ) – malls, good transport(the new hyderabad metro project is on), night life, eating places, health facilities(among the best) and all the conveniences we need in life. I was not born here (and there goes strike 3!), but have lived in this beautiful city for 14 years now and I am as much a hyderabadi as anyone. I have been to Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, none of them hold the same charm and simplicity of Hyderabad. You cant help but fall in love with the city which welcomes you with all its heart. It all comes down to where your heart lies, and my heart lies with the city’s. Hyderabad will always hold a special place within me. Hyderabadi!, dil se 🙂

Thank you Srinath, Amal and Samyuktha for your valuable inputs. 😛 🙂

Higgs boson — how it affects me !!


Its all over the news and anyone even remotely connected with science ought to know what the Higgs boson basically is. Here is a link I found on another blog ( University of Hyderabad VCs blog to be precise) which explains the whole thing in simple terms.

http://flowingdata.com/2012/07/04/higgs-boson-explained-by-phd-comics/

From what I gather, it essentially proves a theoretical idea more than 50 years after it was postulated !! Billions of dollars worth spent ?? Probably in another 50 years we will know !! What we do know, is that Stephen Hawking lost a 100$ betting against the Higgs boson ever being found ;). Theoretical physics has always been alien to me.(Keep in mind I am still in my MSc physics 1st year….so a lot of other things are infact alien to me).

With all this in the background, in one of our many dinner conversations at home I am told “Get into this theoretical particle physics bharati, its an emerging area.” To this I calmly (holding back a lot of emotion, because I hate to be told what to do) reply, “I am more into applied physics, with applications in the real world.” I am then told with utmost authority, “Theoreticians are far more superior to experimentalists.” Well I let the so called discussion of my future end there. But here I would humbly disagree. From what I gather from my little experience as a science student, neither can go without the other. This debate on who is better has been on for a long time with both sides having valid points. But what it burns down to is, your interest. A theory needs an experimental proof while an experiment requires a theory base. Personally I stand with the experimentalists. I maybe wrong and there are millions of more qualified professionals who would agree or disagree. But this is my train of thoughts and that is where its heading.

So what affect does this discovery have on me (an aspiring physicists)???…… confusion confusion and more confusion !!

With new areas of research emerging in every corner of the world ( I wonder why we call it a corner,  the earth is spherical isnt it !! ) it is difficult to decide a particular area and stick with it. All I think we can do is define a broad research interest (applied physics in my case) and keep ourself updated. Read, write and discuss. Discuss with colleagues, friends, mentors, teachers, parents and basically anyone who is ready to talk. I am hoping all this will lead ‘my future’ to some destination.Whatever I have written above can be called advice, crap or any other word you find suitable. Be reminded, I do not do everything I just said. I try, but there are some road bumps that come in the way – ego, hatred, laziness, partying, gossip and lot of other unnecessary yet inevitable situations.

Comments, criticism, compliments and everything else is most welcome.