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Archive for June, 2008

In Defense Of Self Defense & Supreme Court Shooting Down DC Gun Laws

Posted by imrananwar on June 26, 2008

It was a split decision, but at least the Supreme Court of the United States has taken a stand on the American Constitution.

Sadly, it has not had much to say on violations of the Constitution carried out by the Bush regime, nor taken any stand on the daily decline in our constitutionally protected rights.

More important to them than the Constitution being torn to shreds were Washington, DC (District of Columbia) gun laws that ban legal ownership of guns by DC citizens.

Mind you, DC, among other cities, has often vied for the Murder Capital of the World title. So, I can see the local law enforcement’s logic in trying to ban guns (for the last 32 years). But, both as someone born in Pakistan and having been taught to handle my father’s favorite Webley & Scott revolver, and now as an American with an affinity for Smith & Wesson/Walther devices, I fully support the right of Americans to bear arms.

Of course, the NRA, of which I should be a member but am not, would probably disagree with my contention that there do have to be some limits on the types, and possibly even number, of guns we can or should be allowed to own.

I support the right to bear arms for several reasons.

My interest in owning weapons includes having them for target shooting, self-defence and all that the Constitution intended as good reasons to bear arms.

However, I also do not think we, or any non-law-enforcement citizen, need some sort of 3000 rounds per minute assault rifle or machine gun to do all of the things above.

We live in unsafe times. Security of the homeland means protecting ourselves not just from would be suicide-bombers but also from armed home invaders, drug dealers, road-rage-warriors, thugs, muggers, petty criminals, gang members, and so many other types of vile scum that can easily snuff out our lives for a few Dollars, or on a whim.

So, I do support the Supreme Court decision shooting down the DC gun laws, but I also hope for two more things.

The Supreme Court, and American courts in general, should also not hobble American law-enforcement from coming down hard on hard core criminals who often brazenly conduct their business better armed than our Police officers.

Of course, it would also be nice if the Supreme Court actually did something more to protect the whole Constitution itself from our increasingly fascist dictatorial executive branch and lame, crippled Congress, and spineless Senate, and not just try to address one particular aspect of the Constitution. What do you think?

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Posted in America, Assault, Bush, Business, Congress, Constitution, Crime, Criminals, Dictator, Dictatorship, Fascism, Fascist, Free Speech, Freedom, History, Judges, Justice, Law, Legal, Pakistan, Police, Politics, Rights, Security, Self Defense, Senate | 4 Comments »

Simonyi’s INTENTIONAL Software History Revision?

Posted by imrananwar on June 25, 2008

I am shocked that InformationWeek would allow the publication of an interview with someone without questioning some wild claims, or possible untruths, the person made in a High Five interview with J. Nicholas Hoover on August 20, 2007.

It’s bad enough that Microsoft still cannot even successfully COPY others’ products (anyone know how to spell ZUNE), still has its vision coming from people who thought 640KB RAM was enough for everyone and the Internet was a fad, and is a company that continues to blatantly practice anti-competitive behavior as showed by the recent court findings against it in many places.

But, Charles Simonyi, now of Intentional Software, and an ex-Microsoft executive, is either delusional or intentionally revising history of the tech industry. In his HIGH FIVE Interview in InformationWeek recently, he makes the laughable claim that Microsoft was working on the GUI (graphical user interface) and trying to sell computer mice way before Apple.

If only I could dig up an old letter from Microsoft to me, in response to the offer I made to license them a mouse I had invented for disabled computer users in the 1980’s. Microsoft’s management had clearly stated to me in writing and a follow up conversation, that Microsoft had no desire or intention of ever selling hardware or computer mice as they did not see a fit with their business!

Mr. Simonyi has the money to buy a trip to space, but is either now spaced out, or just high, or just not “intentionally” truthful in his claims in the InformationWeek High Five interview. The InformationWeek writer should have dug deeper on that question but seems to have let it slide.

Imran

Posted in History, InformationWeek, Microsoft, Millionaire, Money, Space | Leave a Comment »

Be All You Can Be – Because America Is The Land Of Opportunity

Posted by imrananwar on June 24, 2008

Forbes.com, the online service of Forbes magazine, has a very interesting article about America not really being the proverbial land of opportunity.

It suggests that America is not as great a land of opportunity as Americans like to believe. It makes many interesting points, but I had a strong counterpoint that I wrote for Forbes.com but am sharing with you here.

You all know how openly and boldly I do criticize American social flaws, excessively liberal coddling of society, the evil regime of neo-conservative George Bush and Dick Cheney, and its foolish, self-defeating and unfair foreign policy in the Middle-East and towards Palestine. But, that does not mean I do not love America and all that it, and its real people, and values, stand for.

This is my response to Forbes.


I was born into a good life – in a comfortable, upscale, professional, educated, well-off, well-known, respected and popular, loving and devoted family in Pakistan.

I had hardly any need to walk away from an established public/media identity (fame?), successful career (fortune?), family and comfort just for the sake of “Coming to America”.

But that is what I did in January, 1989.

I arrived with the total US$1000 that Pakistanis were allowed to leave with, and came to Manhattan to attend Columbia Business School for my MBA. Despite my delusions of greatness and brilliance, most of my friends will tell me I am neither brilliant, nor overly hard-working.

Yet, it was because I was in America that I COULD be whatever I wanted to be. I started my MBA studies in 1989, working with a Pakistani newspaper chain to help them establish and publish simultaneously a multi-city newspaper in 1991, and helping the Pakistani Embassy in the USA start a computerization effort.

I also started a small consulting service, a media-syndication business serving media clients in global markets from NYC, AND went on to become pioneer and founder of Internet email, as well as cofounder of the top level .PK domain for Pakistan. Soon thereafter I was also the one to bring MasterCard credit cards to Pakistan.

I had a challenging 1996 (when 90% of my six-figure income from two global clients dried up within 2 months) but was fortunate to join first a start-up, then a Fortune 50 NY-based company for a few years, and then back to being CEO of my own startup.

I am proud of my Pakistani heritage, but I am even more proud of being an American for just a few years and already living the American Dream far more, and far better, than many of my fellow American even dare to dream.

I am NOT rich by any stretch of the imagination – but even as a mere “technology professional” and “media expert” I have everything any Billionaire in the USA can have. From oceanfront homes in NY and FL, to flying small planes, to having a small “fleet” of boats from 23-40 feet in two states, I probably enjoy an incredible life more than I can even tell people for fear of being accused of showing off.

I can meet, see, date, love, marry (if I was not Happily Single!), befriend, or associate with anyone, of any race, religion or country.

I can (and do) say and write anything positive or critical that I want about anyone (even about the American government or its policies) on my blogs as well as on radio and TV, from CNN to Fox News. I can charge hundreds of Dollars per hour for my time as a business consultant, or work in child welfare or any other cause that I choose.

Despite all this, yes, I am nowhere near my fullest potential. And, that is because I need to be more focused, not because America does not offer ample opportunity to everyone. It is because I am in America that I do still have the opportunity to pursue my 100 other dreams.

Yes, I AM behind in publishing the books and screenplays I have partly written. I do have to be more diligent about hunting venture (not vulture) capital for my small portfolio of Web 2.0 startups that help monetize social networking and content online.

I still have to make time to play Tennis and learn to ski and swim (yes, it’s shameful, I can barely swim despite my flying/boating passions). I only half-joke when I say that my list of pending Things To Do is 7-10 years long. And, on top of all that, I do need to finish up the patent drawings and claims to file the 22 patent applications I have pending for different products.

America is surely not perfect, but even people who complains about it do not, and would not, choose any other country to live, work, play or even dream in. Thank you America.

Imran Anwar
http://imran.com


I would love to hear from native born Americans, immigrants living in America and non-Americans who dream of coming to America (as long as they speak English πŸ˜‰ and will not come to burden society and raise my taxes πŸ™‚ ).

So, “Dare to Dream, Dare to Speak, Dare to Be All You Can Be”.

Imran

Posted in America, Aviation, Billionaire, Boat, Boating, Books, Business, CEO, Columbia, Education, Entrepreneur, Equalty, Flying, Free Speech, Freedom, Globalization, History, In My Humble Opinion, Inclusion, Internet, Invention, Love, Manhattan, Marriage, Marry, MBA, Millionaire, Opportunity, Pakistan, Passion, Publishing, USA, Venture Capital, Wealth, Web 2.0, Writing | 2 Comments »

Judge sentences porn spammers to 5+ years

Posted by imrananwar on June 24, 2008

Finally a judge shows some wisdom and throws the book at porn spammers who sent sexual images with open images for any adult or child to see. Hope they are treated as porn queens in the prisons they are sent to. Say Hello To Bubba, boys! After they spend some “hard time” here, they ought to be shipped off to Saudi Arabia, even better, Afghanistan, for further hospitality.

read more | digg story

Posted in Fraud, Internet, Jail, Judges, Justice, Spam, Spammer, Technology | Leave a Comment »

More Moronic Mormon Big On Bigotry Questioned By Questionable Questioner

Posted by imrananwar on June 23, 2008

The New York Times and others have reported on Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential candidate, saying he would not have Muslims in his Cabinet if elected President.

What more can one expect from a pro-war waffler none of whose children serve in the military. When he was asked about them not serving in the military, he said they best serve their country by helping him get elected. Doh. Another George W. Bush in the making on the more moronic front.

I am a Muslim and I do not think a Muslim is NEEDED in Cabinet. But, then, neither is a Jew or a Hindu or an Atheist… or a Mormon President needed for that matter. What is needed is a capable person in an appropriate position….

Sadly, the person who asked the self-serving question, Mansoor Ijaz, is not the right person for asking the question and Romney, apparently big on bigotry, is not the right person for the White House, no matter how right-wing he tries to lean to win votes.

Originally Published: 11/27/7 on http://imran.com/media/blog/

Posted in Bigot, Bigotry, Cabinet, Elections, Inclusion, Muslims, Politics, Romney | Leave a Comment »

Copped Third Degree Burns Cop, Gets Third Degree

Posted by imrananwar on June 23, 2008

The Palm Beach Post recently ran a story about a sergeant named Richard Carl, who was getting extra pay because of his extra-hard work in adding to his capabilities and credentials by working towards a Bachelors, Masters AND PhD degrees.

In normal circumstances this would be a great and inspiring story. Though it does not make sense to me, I do know some very smart people who have managed to work on a Masters and Doctoral degrees at the same time. But, getting the third (academic) degree led to the cop being grilled and given the third degree. It seems that by some miracle, he got all THREE DEGREES on the SAME DAY, and mostly without attending classes, or studying, through some well-shielded scam running as a church and offering degrees for sale.

His career would have definitely suffered third degree burns, if government departments were not so good at damage control, covering up, and insulating their own people and mistakes. If only we all could be so lucky.

I must sign off now, I have 90 minutes before midnight to get my PhD from the same ‘educational institution’.

Posted in Crooked Cops, Education, Fraud, Police | Leave a Comment »

The Last Mile, The Shortest Delay – Will The Internet Slowdown?

Posted by imrananwar on June 23, 2008

According to a recent article by Shamus McGillicuddy, News Writer at SearchSMB.com, titled ‘Internet not growing fast enough, researchers say, “according to new research, demand for Internet usage will start to outpace the capacity of the Internet’s access points. This potential crunch could spell trouble for CIOs.”

I am flabbergasted by the conclusions drawn by this team of researchers that the writer is reporting about.

They seem to be unfamiliar with the rapid pace of change in technology in general, and in Internet related innovation in particular, when making their semi-dire predictions.

Yes, there is a huge growth in Internet traffic. And, yes, some slowdowns can happen. But, the last mile to the home or business is, most often, NOT the bottleneck. As a matter of fact, I have 1.5 Mbps DSL in NY and 6 Mbps DSL in Miami, and some web sites can respond equally slowly regardless of where I access them from.

“Slowdown” is NOT a generic problem that afflicts the entire Internet, as the ‘research’ would suggest. The problem can be specific to certain sites, domains, news events of the day, and, much like the highways analogy the news article referred to, it is nearly impossible to build broadband pipes that people and applications will not find ways to clog.

What is needed is intelligent research on where the clogging is likely to be, rather than generic predictions, based on weak logic and an apparent disdain for the reality of the rapid pace of technology innovation.

In summary, the last mile is NOT the problem, and even 6 Mbps DSL lines can find some web sites as slow as 768 Kbps lines. ‘Slowdown’ is NOT a generic problem across the entire Internet, but is, and will be, a more and more site/domain specific issue. The rapid pace of technology innovation with more reasonable pricing mechanisms will ensure the Internet remains an efficient and effective platform.

Posted in Internet, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Pssst, Want To Make Money Monetizing Social Networking Instead Of Time-Wasting Social NOT Working?

Posted by imrananwar on June 20, 2008

FaceBook, MySpace, linkedin, and so many other social networking sites offer great ways to connect with people – and lose touch with reality (and the total time spent on a computer). That is even before location-aware GPS and RFID devices, married to addictive platforms like FaceBook, Twitter and MySpaceTime.net (more on that later) make social networking mean even more being social and not working even during working hours.

It is so ironic that just about 16 years I wrote an article contradicting people’s then assertion that computers and the Internet were going to make us all anti-social.

Having started what was considered the first online matrimonial sites, at http://imran.com, I dared to disagree.

I felt that though we may spend more time on our computers, the Internet would actually help us find that one in a million connection from places around the world we could never have gone or known or met that person.

Little did I realize how social networking would grow. Lesson learnt, something that you consider merely a social observation, or the earliest makings of a trend, must be pursued zealously even as the trend changes shapes and directions from market forces. If you are riding, even shaping, it along the way, your opportunities to start something huge are….well, huge.

Of course, as is my forte, I have a knack for starting new things. But, in the past I also had a “rebel without a cause” habit of not sticking around in such businesses long enough to become a millionaire off them. So, my advice is to never lose your idealism – as that is what will help you achieve the impossible. But, temper that idealism with pragmatism.

Wanting something to be a commercial success does not necessarily mean you “sold out” your dream. Take an alternate view. If you work hard and make Project X a huge money-making success, even if you have to sell the company to investors or venture capitalists, you did not sell out.

All you did was leverage Project X to give you the freedom to freely experiment and play with your many other some-crazy some-great ideas without being worried about getting funding for them. That can take you from being a “serial entrepreneur” to a “parallel serial entrepreneur”, capable of trying multiple new ideas and businesses and achieving success far beyond what Project X alone would have given you.

In my own case, idealism was a strength, but it was also definitely a huge liability. Usually, I sat back and a few years later watched someone else do the same thing, with funding instead of personal funds, and grow rich/er. I saw the same thing as online dating grow into a huge business with the likes of match.com and others many years after I had launched the first matrimonials database.

When I started Internet email for my native country of Pakistan, I also became “co-owner and co-founder” of the .PK top level domain with my friend and neighbor, the technical genius Ashar Nisar, who went on to establish PKNIC to manage the ccTLD.

Besides getting a kick out of being called “father of the Internet” (at least in Pakistan), I even gave many people free email addresses on imran.pk (the country’s first email provider and ISP) to promote email. But, never could I have imagined that sticking around giving something for free I could later have sold it to a giant corporation as hotmail.com did a few years later. Oh, well. Live and learn.

Today, FREE is a valid business model. If you grow a business large enough, no matter how much money it is losing, as long as you have enough users, someone will buy you out for millions of Dollars.

When I started writing an online journal and political opinions (Occasionally Obnoxious, Obviously Outspoken Opinions) at http://imran.com in 1995-96, little did I know that I could have built some sort of “blogging” empire on that.

Once again, despite having an MBA and thinking of myself as a savvy entrepreneur, I missed the boat. So, look around you – some of the very ordinary problems you are solving daily without thinking twice may hold within them huge business opportunities. First, recognize them. Then, go for them with everything you’ve got.

In 1995 I became a heavy GPS user in boating and later in aviation as a pilot. In 1998-2000 I became CEO of EverTrac, among the first out the gate selling RFID and GPS based solutions. Alas, as usual, like Panasonic’s slogan, I was just slightly ahead of my time.

Fortunately, EverTrac and my team survived the dot-com bust, but only because we were gobbled by a Fortune 50 level company – which did nothing with what they bought. Lesson learnt. It’s important to survive, but if you sell out to a big company, try not to feel heartache when they don’t make any use of the technology.

But, this current new momentum of GPS based devices we are seeing will prove I was on the right…. umm.. EverTrac?

Hopefully, this time, with my current projects, covering GPS, social networking and mobile-monetization – I’ll actually make some “real” money if I can sell something to a Google or Yahoo or, some even smarter business!

If that does not happen, I guess the pattern (or call it the Corporate Culture of an Entrepreneur) here is that I love to start new things, just before their time, that others make billions off later. But, so what? The sheer joy of starting something new, taking something from an idea that everyone says is dumb, or will never work, and making it at least take shape, get launched, and become popular is, in itself, a huge reward.

So, feel free to call me about what I an doing now. Surely I can help you become a Web 2.0 multi-millionaire doing whatever I am too lazy (or not smart enough πŸ™‚ ) to make money from!

Good luck and God Speed, fellow entrepreneurs.

Posted in Billionaire, Business, Entrepreneur, FaceBook, Google, GPS, Innovation, Internet, Invention, Media, Monetization, Money, MySpace, MySpaceTime, New Media, Online, Opportunity, Pakistan, Revenue, Strategy, Technology, Time, Venture Capital | 5 Comments »

Real World News Of Real World News Media Making News In Virtual World

Posted by imrananwar on June 20, 2008

Recent news items mention how CNN, the global, respected, cable news leader, has established a presence in Second Life, a virtual world online.

Even though I have cautiously resisted jumping on the Second Life bandwagon (for fear of wasting time even more than I do at present), this seemingly innocuous news item has far greater long term impact on an industry, and society, than, say, Citibank or McDonald’s creating a presence.

For the most part, even large companies like these are merely touching the tip of the benefits iceberg that a real viable virtual world presence will bring businesses in real world terms.

News, by its nature, is the most well suited to that virtual world being leveraged in the real world.

A virtual burger sold by McDonald’s will not fill my hunger, virtual or real. Sure, some bank’s virtual branch could lend me virtual money in Second Life to buy some virtual property there – while they could charge me a fee in the real world, costing me real Dollars.

But, a virtual CNN reporter asking me a question of my virtual persona (especially if it is based on my true identity) can get the same valuable (or useless) insights as if they had met me in Atlanta or New York.

A citizen journalist in Pakistan could provide detailed accounts of dictator Pervez Musharaff’s latest hooliganism against journalists, judges and the Constitution of Pakistan in a virtual world, far quicker, safer and better than than it could be done in the real world.

That is one small aspect and there are many more. Here are the key points to keep in mind particularly for large businesses:

– Real world businesses can be in virtual worlds merely for appearing virtually cool

– Some large businesses can make small incremental revenues quickly in the real world by leveraging “services” delivered in the virtual world

– News media are ideally positioned to leverage virtual world presences for real world benefits far greater than other industries can experience at this stage.

What do you think – “really”?

Posted in Business, Media, New Media, News, Politics | 1 Comment »

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Beats Bush Rice Pudding For World Peace

Posted by imrananwar on June 20, 2008

My sweet tooth (more like sweet teeth!) mean there are few desserts, and hardly any ice-creams, that I do not like. But, among my favorites are Ben & Jerry’s flavors, along with Hagen Daz and many others.

I have been a fan of B&J’s ice-creams from before they showed the courage to take the challenge of exposing our government’s, especially the Bush administration’s, follies and foolish policies.

Obviously I just consume massive quantities of Chunky Monkey, Chubby Hubby, Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dreams, Half Baked, and many other flavors just to support Ben and Jerry be great corporate citizens. Fine, don’t believe me!

Anyway, when I saw a link to it, I was happy to become a fan of their “fan page” on FaceBook. I saw that they have actually created several flavors and brands in support of world peace.

During the same Facebook session, I clicked on the page of a very interesting person in Israel, who had connected to me. On his page, in a section called The Wall, which is standard on most FaceBook profiles, it was very heartening to see Palestinian and Israeli members, writing literally side-by-side, for world and middle-east peace.

It was just a coincidence. But one that reminded me again that individuals, like Yaakov Ort and Ben & Jerry (as people and as a business), can, do and will achieve far more for world peace with simple web pages, than President Bush ever could, even if he had thought about actually trying.

Even just by naming some flavors for World Peace, Ben and Jerry has/have done more for peace around the world, than President Bush did in 8 years. Even with his FaceBook profile, people like Yaakov, do more than Rice can do inviting world leaders for photo-ops.

Of course, Bush still has a SO many weekends left to solve the Mid-East problem, Darfur, and other issues. Many effective techniques are at his disposal. He can have the conflicting parties come and solve it all in day — perhaps by having some (kosher/halal, one hopes) hamburger cookoffs at his ranch.

I am not sure what dessert they serve at the Bush ranch. Surely it is not Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream…

Perhaps the dessert is Rice pudding — served on a water-board?

As I wrote in a comment on one of the profiles on FaceBook… Peace, with Dignity, and Equal Justice, to All.

Posted in Business, History, In My Humble Opinion, Politics, Strategy | Leave a Comment »

 
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