Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ingress: The Same Territory Seven Months Later

February 25, 2013

October 22, 2013

Ingress: My Blog Posts

Ingress: My Blog Posts

Ingress: The Same Territory Seven Months Later
Ingress: Hit 8,000,000 AP In Times Square
Ingress: My Stats
Ingress: Four Grant's Tombs In Jackson Heights
Ingress: New York City: Top City
Ingress: The Creators Of The Game Are Unimaginative About Its Use Cases
Ingress: Portal Submissions: The Glitch
Ingress: The Squad: Values
Ingress: Taser Green Agents
Ingress: State Of The Game: New York City (4)
Ingress: And I Am Back
Ingress: Enjoying Not Playing
Ingress: I Will Be Back
Ingress: Many Many Teams But Only Two Global Teams
Ingress: Temporarily Banned
Ingress: Imagining 10,000 Agents In NYC
Ingress: Home Territory: I Need My Green Agents
Ingress: Swatting Houseflies On The COMM
Ingress: Unity Portals: Elmhurst
Ingress: 105 Strong Home Territory, Shooting For 200
Ingress: Jackson Heights Past Midnight
Ingress: How To Build A Home Territory
Ingress: Jackson Heights Stacks Up Pretty Good Citywide
Ingress: More Portals Are Needed
Ingress: Tri-State Resistance Should Attempt Complex Fielding
Ingress: Bus 5
Ingress: 12 Keys To One Portal At Once
Ingress: 7,000,000 AP
Ingress: Happy 4th From A Home Territory 100% Blue
Ingress: Jackson Heights: The Most Happening Place In Queens
Ingress: New Scanner: Version 1.30.2 Update
Ingress: Governor's Island
Ingress: Home Territory
Ingress: Team Momentum: What Gives?
Ingress: The Cross Faction Squad
Ingress: State Of The Game: New York City (3)
Ingress: Could The Squad Be Cross Faction?
Ingress: 5 Times More Players, 10 Times More Portals
Ingress: Reporting tomhuze
Ingress: I Can Retire Now
Ingress: Open Source Organization And Organic Leadership
Ingress: State Of The Game: New York City (2)
Ingress: Linking And Fielding Types
Ingress: Jackson Heights Mysteries
Ingress: The Squad: Racially Coded Language
Ingress: Pendulum Swings In Team Momentum
Ingress: The Squad
Ingress: Portal Submissions Are The Bomb
Ingress: Portal Building, Field Building, Farm Building, Team Building
Ingress: State Of The Game: New York City
Ingress: Legitimate Secrets
Ingress: That Dosa Thang!
Ingress: L8 Farms: Getting 8 People To Show Up
Ingress Suggestion: Portal Enhancements
Ingress: 300K In 2 Hours 15 Minutes
Ingress: L8 Farm Types
Ingress: Team? What Team?
Ingress NYC Resistance "Secrets"
Ingress: The Game Changes
Ingress And Complex Strategies
Ingress: Phase 3
Ingress: Is Victory Possible?
Ingress: High Level Stuff
Ingress: A Great Game For The Knowledge Worker
Ingress: Trending At This Blog
Level 8 In A Month
1,000,000 Action Points
18 Fields
Ingress Tips
Nexus 4: The Top Phone In The Market
How I Just Made Two Purchases
An External Battery As Big As The Phone
Ingress Can Be Modified For Grassroots Organizing
Ingress Tips (2)
Ingress Tips
Would Like An Ingress Invite
The Nexus 4 Is A Beautiful Thing
Happy New Year

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

1 TB: Yahoo Mail's Reentry With A Bang

August 2000 Issue of Yahoo! Internet Life
August 2000 Issue of Yahoo! Internet Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Of all things Yahoo Mail could have done, 1 TB in free storage tops the charts. It totally grabbed my attention. Already in recent weeks I have been mass labeling a bunch of mail in my Yahoo inbox as spam so as to declutter.

Getting only relevant mail and 1 TB of free storage surely gets me to give Yahoo Mail a second look. There is no way I am walking away from Gmail. But we all can use a good second email address. I know I need one. Heck, I could use three. Let Hotmail compete.

I could use a Yahoo version of Google Drive for free online storage.
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Monday, October 07, 2013

Larry Page Has Been Underrated

Not Google. Google has been rated just fine. But not Larry Page. When we think of Larry Page, we don't think of him in terms of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Steve Jobs is even more mysterious than Bill Gates. Jobs had the theatrics done right. There was plenty of essence to him, but he was the master of how the media plays itself out. Compared to that Larry Page is boring. He does not have much of a stage presence. But the guy is a tech genius. And Google is the bright star in the sky.

I have felt this a long time. I am on record at this blog saying Larry Page should have been the Google CEO the entire time. If it were not for Larry, Google might have missed the Android boat altogether.

Now there is an article that supports my long held feelings towards Larry Page. Heck, compared to Larry Page even Marissa Mayer has more media wattage.

I think Larry Page will be truly appreciated when the Google Car hits the road in droves, universal internet access becomes a reality, gigabit broadband becomes the norm across the US, and we are all not ageing so fast no more. Give the guy until 2020 to give us a trillion dollar company.

Larry Page's Google Rules the Digital World
When Bill Gates was 40 he had just released Windows 95. When Steve Jobs was 40 he was still in exile at NeXT and Pixar. At age 40, Page is worth about $25 billion, and his days as Google CEO are just beginning.

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Friday, October 04, 2013

The Appeal Of Network Marketing

(written for Vishwa Sandesh)

The Appeal Of Network Marketing
By Paramendra Bhagat (

I signed up for network marketing not long back. I don’t plan to quit doing the other things I am doing – tech consulting, my tech startup idea, my interest in Nepal hydro – but I am so glad I signed up. I once delved into it before I moved to New York City in 2005. I liked the business model, but I was on the road too much at the time to put in any serious effort. I was already familiar with the business model and a believer. What struck me this time was the products and services were things people were already using. There was this potential for mass appeal.

Traditional companies and distribution networks spend a ton of money on advertising. Network marketing companies do not spend on advertising. Instead they give that money to the marketers in their network. It is not a scam. It is a legitimate business model. Compare the million dollars you need to launch a McDonald’s franchise to the 500 dollars I had to put in to get started. That is a no brainer. This might be the only shot most people might have at business ownership.

There is hard work involved. This is not easy money. Many people sign up and quit because they thought it was effortless and it is not. And it does work. On October 3 Michael Maser showed up at my house. He flew in from Miami just for the event. He is my upline Senior Vice President, the top achievement in the business. He has been at it for 12 years now. He started part time. Then he quit his job once his income from the business matched his income from his job. Now he makes close to 80,000 dollars a week from the business. I saw those figures on his iPad. My most famous local upline is a Bangladeshi guy called Rahman: a bundle of energy and determination. Rahman signed up and made 150,000 dollars in his first four months. You might have seen Santanu at the TD Bank. He currently makes 8,000 dollars a month from the business.

Maser might make a few million a year, but that is not a billion. This is not a billion dollar idea for those who sign up, although it is for the founders of the company. A successful tech startup might be a billion dollar idea. But a million dollars is a lot of money. Less than 5% of Americans make more than 100,000 dollars a year. Rahman made 175,000 dollars in the past six months alone. The dude was driving a cab when he signed up, although he did have a calling card business on the side, which he still operates.

People sign up, go to an event, get excited, and then they go approach a few people and the force of rejection hits them so hard they either lose steam, or quit. The thing is you are not trying to convince people. Prequalifying is important. That way you reject them. They don’t reject you. You ask a set of prequalifying questions. Unless they prequalify, you don’t even bring up the topic. Once they prequalify, you bring it up the right away. And then you are ready for their answer: yes or no.

The support system is a tremendous aspect of the business. You are an independent business owner, but you are not on your own. Your uplines are so willing to go out of the way for you. Michael Maser showed up at my house before I had signed up my first person. Why would he do that? He would do that because he is part of a tremendous support system.

This is not for everybody, but it is for many more people than those that have already signed up. One speaker said, go find the PHDs: poor, hungry, driven people. Or go sign up business owners, people who are already striving to make a buck or two.

More than 99% of the people out there work jobs. Business ownership can feel like a leap of faith. It always strikes me how easy it is to misunderstand this very simple business. The mind keeps flying off of tangents for many new signups. Think about it, if the company is the same, the product and services are the same, and it is the same support system, it has got to be you. You are the reason why it is not working for you. You can become an Independent Business Owner for 500 dollars. But unless you are committed to being a team player and someone who seeks to go through tremendous personal growth, you might not make it. Most people fail because they give up. Most people fail because they do not make use of the support system. You plug into the system, and you plug your downlines into the system. And you learn. You soak it up every step of the way. Speakers get up to speak. You take notes.

Santanu who makes 8,000 dollars a month only signed up five people. He now has 800 people in his network and 18,000 customers. Those five people brought people who brought people who brought people. And all that happened in 12 months. You get the idea.

Some people first sign up as customers. Later they might or might not end up being Independent Business Owners. That is also a nice route to take.

To learn more go to

Photo Album: ACN: Saturday: Hotel Pennsylvania
Photo Album: ACN: Michael Maser At My Woodside Home
Relationship Marketing: The ACN Way: An Overview
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Tech In Jackson Heights

English: Looking northeast across 74th Street ...
English: Looking northeast across 74th Street at Jackson Diner on a mostl cloudy midday. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(published in Vishwa Sandesh)

Tech In Jackson Heights
By Paramendra Bhagat

March Andreessen’s advice to the New York Times – and this was a few years back – was to kill the paper and go 100% digital, Andreessen being the guy who gave the world the Netscape browser back in 1995 that ushered the dot com era. He is now a top venture capitalist. The Huffington Post that was sold to AOL for 300 million dollars does not have a paper edition, never did. It would be hard to have a comments section in a paper newspaper, don’t you think?

But in Jackson Heights, the most famous Desi part of North America, there are a whole bunch of paper newspapers that are doing a thriving business. What gives? There is a lagging behind element to it, but there is also a counter current element to it.

Ecommerce is swell and grew like crazy through the Great Recession. But the intimacy of shopping in person will never go away, and I think the best ecommerce solutions of the future will enhance rather than wholesale replace that in person shopping. I dream of a smart mall. A smart mall is smart the way a smartphone is smart. There are dumb phones, and then there are smartphones.

The lagging behind element can be seen out in the streets of Jackson Heights. Smartphone penetration is not as much as it can be. With some carriers offering four phones with unlimited talk, text and data for $100 a month – which comes to $25 per phone per month – you can argue maybe it is not the monthly bill that is the roadblock. It is the hardware. There is a lot of room for smartphones that might cost less than $50.

The counter current element is that in this foreign land when you are 10,000 miles away from home and where all the road signs are in English, a newspaper written in your language that you can hold in your hand, take home with you perhaps speaks to your homesickness. But then it is not like newspapers from home are not online, all the good ones are. And the top newspapers in Jackson Heights are all free. They are ad supported. You pick up your free copy and take home to read.

I have been walking the streets relentlessly for weeks now, I have had numerous meetings with local merchants. There is this mild cloud of despair that you sense. The neighborhood has been losing business year after year for a few years now. There is a saying in the US South in states like Alabama about snow that falls from the sky. God brought the snow, God will take it away. As in, they are not big on snow ploughs down there, like they are in places like, say, Connecticut. Many merchants in Jackson Heights have that Alabama attitude about the downturn. It will go back on its own, they seem to suggest. I belong in the snow plough school of thought.

I believe use of tech can help put the entire neighborhood on the upswing. There is no place quite like Jackson Heights in all of North America. Jackson Heights has a special appeal all over NYC, and across the tri-state area. Tech can help the local merchants cash into that.

Jackson Heights has a ton of the old economy mindset. The place reminds me of a small town like Sitamadhi in Bihar, not the Connaught Place in Delhi. There has to be a collective effort to break out of that old economy mindset and try out new things, and new ways.

The pie has to be expanded. The local merchants will have to reinvent themselves in ways so more people from near and far show up to shop. If the neighborhood is going to look the exact same that it did 10 years ago, that inflow is not going to happen.

Tech is the way out. Much of the rejuvenation will come through use of tech. There’s also a ton of room for social cross pollinations across the various country groups that are represented in the area. New kinds of businesses will have to sprout out. A further diversification in the local economy would be a good thing.

It is surprising how many of the local businesses don’t even have a simple website online. No business however small can afford to not have a website. A lot of businesses have only token websites when they need interactive ones. There are businesses that should but don’t have ecommerce sites. Only one out of 16 jewelry stores on 74th St has an ecommerce store, and even that one is a dud because it does not do active, monthly online marketing. People have to know you exist. There are businesses that could use business software but don’t. There are businesses that should be looking into mobile apps.

Some of the basic tech steps require only small investments but go a long way. Some of the more ambitious moves are bigger investments but pay for themselves many times over if done right.

Tech can drive up the local commerce. Tech can help build a more close knit local community. Tech can do what bricks and mortar simply cannot do.

A few months back Patel Brothers, perhaps the largest store in the neighborhood, completely redid its checkout lines for the better. Now buyers move faster, and that is a good thing. But there are better, cheaper software solutions that would take the store’s business volumes to whole new levels. To that the local manager says, “We don’t need it!”

That mindset gets in the way and has to change.
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