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Showing posts from 2005

Learned helplessness

There was a posting 'Perpetual' by Rakesh discussing about two articles published by New York Times and the Wall Street Journal that described how adolescence is increasingly being stretched into adulthood.

Link to posting 'Perpetual' by Rakesh Khurana

Few points to note from his posting talking about the articles mentioned:
1. A new generation of American parents are involving too much in the education of their children.
"A new generation of overinvolved parents [who] are flooding campus orientations, meddling in registration and interfering with students' dealings with professors, administrators and roommates".
2. Many parents are considering thier children's education as an investment, and expect to be treated as customer by universities.
3. Youngsters are depending on their parents for everything and expect parents to solve their problems.
A bottle-fed upbringing has created a dependent generation that expects their parents to solve all their problems…

India vs China

Forbes announced 'India's Richest 40', the second annual list of 40 richest Indians. The list is nicely represented by IT, the industry that created all the buzz about India than any other industry. The next sector that created more buzz is telecom and is aswell represented nicely in the list, though IT and Telecom are still behind the tycoons from Steel and Petrochemicals overall.
Link to Forbes Story
There is something more interesting information in the list. There is a comparision between China's top 40 list and India's top 40 list. India has 27 billionaires with a collective worth of $106 billion compared to 10 from china with a collective worth of $26 billion. And there is little more for Indians to party. The minimum networth of the people in the list is $590million in India where as China's minimum net worth stands at $321 million.

But there is some thing interesting mentioned at the botton of the comparision, which brings a starking difference to light be…

Humane Interfaces vs Minimal Interfaces

There is an interesting debate going on between proponents of Humane Interfaces and Minimal Interfaces. It looks like, Ruby camp is representing the Humane Interfaces while Java camp is representing the later. The debate started with a posting by Martin Fowler "HumaneInterface". And here is a summary of the debate., referred to as the Monkey knife fight.

I favor the Humane Interface camp. The interface should reflect all reasonably common scenarios it can be used. Not just the minimal building blocks. Let me explain by an example. Assume you have a Math class and a method add. As per mimimal interface camp, this is enough to carry out addition, subtraction and multiplication. It is true that you CAN do all those operations with add method. But not without user writing some code on top. Like if you want mulitplication, you would write a loop to add it as many times or some other smart logic. Imagine you have 1000 different users use your class. All 1000 users have to dup…

30,000 Iraqi civilians killed. For what?

I can't comprehend the implications of removing Saddam and establishing Democracy in Iraq. But denying the chance to live to 30,000 innocent civilians, doesn't sound appropriate. I do not know whether the world or America is safer without Saddam. But America's safety certainly became a nightmare to Iraqi civilians. Why do 30,000 Iraqi people have to pay the price for the safety of America?

Bush replying to a question (why war on Iraq when there was no conclusive involvement of Iraq in 9/11 attacks), said
"knowing what I know today, I'd make the decision again. Removing Saddam Hussein makes this world a better place and America a safer country."
I really don't know if America is safer without Saddam. I seriously doubt that. As much as the America's success to catch the real men behind 9/11.

Kaizen is... Very Dangerous Stuff?

Tom Peters in his 'This I Believe' puts an intriguing and fascinating end to Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) belief in order to create some thing new... the next big thing.

Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) is...Very Dangerous Stuff.
Caught with our pants down by vigorous Japanese competitors, we Americans quickly copied their essential competitive ideas, such as Total Quality Management and Kaizen. Fair enough! Brilliant, in fact! Yet these important notions are in part cornerstones of an earlier, industrial age…when winning products stayed on the shelves in showroom floors for years, even decades. Now excellence has become transient (few teams win back-to-back championships in sports, the competition and rate of improvement have become so intense); and the fact is that the Pursuit of Perfection (at todayʼs “sport”) gets in the way of ferreting out the Next
Big Thing. My de facto mentors in all this are media guru Marshall McLuhan (“If it works, itʼs obsolete”) and I…

Super Hero - Celebrating the Indian Developer rocks...

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Bill Gates, launches the next generation of integrated computing platform - Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, and BizTalk Server 2006 in India on December 9, 2005. Joining in the celebration is the Indian Rock band – Parikrama with a rock song just for our Indian developers. Called `Superhero' the song is about the life of a programmer. http://www.microsoft.com/india/ready2005/song/default.aspx

Miracles

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." -- Albert Einstein
What do you appreciate and what do you ignore? Is a sunrise any less special because its image wouldn't make it on a magazine cover? Is any day less precious because, in your mind, "nothing special happened?" For some reason, it's hard to be impressed with anything these days. Driving a car is a source of strain instead of wonder. The internet is already old news. Quick, when was the last time you paid attention to a space shuttle flight? Remember when that was all people could talk about? Once you take something for granted, you also take the life out of it. When nothing is "special", boredom and gloom aren't far behind. Look around where you're sitting right now, and try to see it for the first time, like a child would. Think about the human potential that created the stuff in the room. Think about the…

Start by ...

Start by doing what is NECESSARY, and then what is POSSIBLE.
Suddenly you are doing the IMPOSSIBLE - St. Francis

How does patent system work?

Here is a classic, "Create or Perish", by Dr. Robert Rines available at MIT open course ware explains how the patent system works. The patents surrounding telephone were used to illustrate various issues with the system.

Wrt to software products, whether you believe in the patent system or in open source, this is good read to understand how patents works.

SUN's desperate attempts

Strategy is a long term plan that gives an edge. Suicide is a fool's strategy to get an edge over death.

SUN Microsystems announced in a Press Release recently that most of its Middleware and Development tools are now 'free' to use. Not long ago, SUN made its flagship OS, solaris unix free and open source.

Though the press release boasts of the move as "landmark moves in the battle to create the software platform of choice for the next-generation of the Internet" the desperation however shows up without notice. As per the recent reports, SUN has been failing for a long time to have sustainable revenue. SUN has been reported loosing its servers market to Linux. It created Java, but never made any considerable revenue on it. And adding to the insult last month 84% of Sun stockholders voted for the repeal of Posion Pill, and thus making it clear that it is desperate to survive at least by a take over.

Now sun made it flagship Solaris Unix open source and fr…

Google's Click-To-Call feature under testing

Being a Software developer in Telecom, I have been hearing about 'Click-To-Call' feature for a long time. Many technologies promised click-to-fax, click-to-call and likes, and there were many implementations particularly in the SIP world as well. But I haven't seen any website either on internet or intranet using this feature. And I happen to read this blog this morning which mentions about such testing going on from Google. Yet another first from Google.

http://www.yardley.ca/blog/index.php/archives/2005/11/23/google-tests-out-click-to-call-adwords/

I tried different searches, but did not see it myself. There are snapshots in the above blog however. There is a FAQ (http://www.google.com/help/faq_clicktocall.htmlFAQ ) also available on the Google site confirming it. Google might be using VOIP behind the curtains to connect the call. Yet another revolutionary introduction from Google. No wonder, analysts are expecting google share prices to go up to $500.

Paul English's IVR Cheat Sheet

Link to the Cheat sheet:http://www.paulenglish.com/ivr/
Normally it takes around 15 minutes on most customer care service phone numbers to reach the human agents. But the cheet sheet provided by Paul English might give you the customer care agent at an average of 56 seconds, as per the news story on NPR. What a great relief.

I don't know how long this will work out. And how does it work if everyone try the same option? It has been really frustrating to get in touch with customer care agents. However short time it may workout, it is still a great relief.

I wish, the companies get the message and make it simple and really mean serving customer in providing easily accessible agents. I had a very painful experience with the customer care with Vonage, Uhaul and Budget truck rental and I summarized some of the reasons why customer service sucks for most of the companies along with detailed account of what happened in previous posts on my blog here.
Customer Service Sucks! Everywhere?
Vonag…

Skype client may steal your bandwidth

I was surprised to know that Skype steals my bandwidth for other Skype users without my notice. Skype architecture is not truly (traditional) peer to peer network, but an overlay P2P network and may steal your cpu/bandwidth[3]. I am not sure whether this is ever conveyed to the end user in terms and conditions or in license. Anyway, it was very interesting to learn the underlying architecture of the one of the most used applications of the day. And, I don't mind sharing my cpu/bandwidth for other skype users. Skype is such an wonderful application, that I don't want to abandon for this reason.

I searched for articles on Skype Architecture on google. Here are some of the links that explain the Skype architecture. I found the links to the first two articles at Brad Neuberg's blog - Coding in Paradise


An Analysis of the Skype Peer-to-Peer Internet Telephony Protocol by Salman A. Baset and Henning Schulzrinne
An Analysis of the Skype Peer-to-Peer Internet Telephony Protocol
C…

Freedom with a Contract

Free enterprise in America does not necessarily entitle the customers with same level of freedom to choose. It is certainly becoming evident with wireless companies. I have been looking for a while to buy a new cell phone for my wife. I looked at all major operators and there are very few or no plans without a contract. I have to sign atleast a 1year contract to get a postpaid plan. And prepaid plans are very expensive. I thought prices will go down as markets and technology improve. But comparing with prices/features to a year back, it is required to pay atleast $10 for the same features, even after signing a contract. This is not the case in the other part of the world. The prices are going down and feature set is on the rise in other markets, while in US prices are on a steep rise.

Wireless Number Portability has been mandated (which allows to change the wireless carrier while keeping your old number), to provide more choice and freedom to customers to chose from. While all carriers…

USPS is Spamming my mail box

I am not talking about emails sent by USPS to the online users, but the snail mails sent to every american resident and organization that have a postal address. Everyday I receive junk mail from USPS in my mail box. I have to search through the junk each and every day for the mail that I really needed.

Spamming is very well known word in the online world. Everybody in the world who has an email account suffered due to Email Spamming. Wikipedia describes spamming as "Spamming is the use of any electronic communications medium to send unsolicited messages to someone in bulk. While its definition is usually limited to indiscriminate bulk mailing and not any targeted marketing, the term "spam" can refer to any commercially oriented, unsolicited bulk mailing perceived as being excessive and undesired". And there are so many laws around it to protect innocent victims.

Well, in the plain old world, USPS, the United States Postal Service does a lot of this by dumping so man…

India In News

"India in News" is a news feed digest that provides latest news about India, has been added to this blog. So whenever you visit this blog, you can also see latest news about India right on this page, after the blog items. Scroll down if you don't see news digest in your window. An rss feed is also available for the news digest in the blogrolls section.

The news search is provided by Google via RSS and multiple such searches are digested and made in to one RSS feed, thanks to http://www.feeddigest.com for such a handy feature.

Photos from Disney Magic Kingdom trip

Photos from my Orlando trip.

History's Worst Software Bugs

An interesting collection of history’s worst software bugs. There are so many wonderful bugs that haven’t made this list….. like the bug that crashed a premier Wireless Service Provider’s Mobile switches in Dallas last tuesday. But a good historical tally of some of the worst by Simson Garfinkel.

“Last month automaker Toyota announced a recall of 160,000 of its Prius hybrid vehicles following reports of vehicle warning lights illuminating for no reason, and cars’ gasoline engines stalling unexpectedly. But unlike the large-scale auto recalls of years past, the root of the Prius issue wasn’t a hardware problem — it was a programming error in the smart car’s embedded code. The Prius had a software bug.

With that recall, the Prius joined the ranks of the buggy computer — a club that began in 1947 when engineers found a moth in Panel F, Relay #70 of the Harvard Mark 1 system. The computer was running a test of its multiplier and adder when the engineers noticed somethin…

Smoking kills an estimated 400,000 Americans ??

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/sci_tech/features/health/tobaccotrial/usa.htm

Who is responsible for this?
Tobocco companies are talking about responsible marketing, advertising to quit smoking, opening new web sites to inform smokers about the risks of smoking. Come on, there is one big step that these tobocco companies can take to give those 400,000 lives back....(at least won't kill any more) by stopping production of cigarettes. If they think they are so socially responsible why do they abet the killing of so many people every year.

America is Spending billions of dollars on War On Terror to fight out the external militants. What about people who are killing 400,000 people every year in America??

"We are an international company, we operate in nearly 180 countries and territories. There is a health warning on every packet and every carton of our cigarettes, no matter where they are sold in the world - even where governments don't require it. We want to do the right th…

Communism in Capitalism via Insurance

Capitalism : Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines Capitalism as "An economic and political system in which a countrys trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state."
Communism : Communism refers to a theoretical system of social organization and a political movement based on common ownership of the means of production. As a political movement, communism seeks to overthrow capitalism through a workers' revolution and establish a classless society. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism

In simple words, Capitalism recognises classes like rich and poor in the society, while Communism removes classes from society. As per communism, everybody enjoys the benefits irrespective of whether everybody contributed to it. If you see how the insurance works, there is a striking shadow of communism in capitalism. Everybody pays the insurance. But only few will reap the benefits. In other words, if you are paying your medical insurance, …

Microsoft Live Ideas. Btw, what is an idea and What is New??

An idea (Greek: ιδέα) is a specific thought or concept that arises in the mind
of a person as a result of thinking. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IdeaI am afraid, folks at Microsoft have a different meaning of what constitutes an idea. I have trouble understanding about this hyped strategy.I read this news every where in the last couple of days about Microsoft opening up its services on the web. A fusion of Software and Services. "Live era" of software. Peeling off all the marketing hype and visionary overheads, it is a set of web based services like email, blogs, messaging, security, document sharing etc. These services will not be free, but will be based on advertisements and subscriptions. In simple words, application hosting service. Small businesses instead of buying the software may purchase a license to use them on the web, live. So whatz new? I am not sure what is so ground breaking strategy it is. So I visited the web site http://www.live.com/ to figure it out.

Here are t…

Yahoo and MSN Messenger Deal

Microsoft, Yahoo Reach IM Deal
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051012/ap_on_hi_te/microsoft_yahoo
As per this news item, Microsoft and Yahoo will announce today about a deal that would allow users of Yahoo and MSN messengers to send messages to each other. What this would mean if true is that from my yahoo account I can directly send instant messages to my friends with MSN accounts and vice versa. Currently I need to have a MSN account to send a message to friends with MSN. Same with Yahoo accounts. This is a wonderful news, since most of my friends use MSN or Yahoo. I can send instant messages from just one messenger running on my laptop.

It is good to see Yahoo and Microsoft are opening up their Messenger services, though just to the other partner. I wish all messenger services would open up and allow to send messages seamlessly. All of them speak of interoperability and opening up but in action they are pretty closed. It is such a pain to maintain different messengers and accounts to be …

Talking about Today's Web Service Stack: ASMX 2.0 + WSE 3.0

It goes without saying that most will start using the Indigo as the delivery platform once released due to its intensive focus on SOA, the question remains whether one should focus on Indigo or the ASMX/WSE3.0 at this point? (both are in beta releases). Aaron's blog item, Today's Web Service Stack: ASMX 2.0 + WSE 3.0 compares by listing out the comprehensive feature set supported by Indigo and ASMX/WSE3.0. My gut feeling is to shakeup a little and start concentrating on Indigo keeping in view the advantages Indigo brings in. Indigo offers most choices for the enterprise. But its a consolation for the others who decided to stick in at this point with WSE that they can flex whenever they decide to move to Indigo with ease, since the feature set more or less complements rather than competing.
Aaron Skonnard
Today's Web Service Stack: ASMX 2.0 + WSE 3.0

MSDN Webcasts on Web Services

Talking about Microsoft's Ballmer Threatened To 'Kill' Google? - Forbes.com

All the News Media houses started creating a BIG issue around the testimony by a former Microsoft employee who is currently working at Google. One of the issues is about Ballmer, who supposedly told that he would kill Google. I wonder why was it such a big surprise? Go to any Board Meetings or Open house meetings of any corporate, every body in the meeting say they would like(die) to see the end ofl their rivals. Why is it a surprise. They are rivals. And every corporate in America is trying to kill its rivals. And the entire Corporate America is trying to kill the Corporates across the world. That is what they call the Competition. I don't see any thing unusual in this. Google is trying to kill all other search engine companies. Skype is killing most of the telecom big heads. Bloggers are killing the hypocritic traditional media houses. So what? Anything unusual? Everybody is trying to kill somebody else, for that matter. Not all businesses complement each other. They compet…

Quality of American Cars - Inherently inferior?

By looking at the largest Auto recalls in America's history, I am wondering whether American made cars inherently of inferior quality? All top 5 Largest Auto Recalls are from either Ford or GM. The number of vehicles recalled is huge (around 28 million vehicles), indicating that the problems are found long after the the release or the companies ignored the results obtained during their internal tests assuming that the problems would not surface. Or the companies acknowledged the existence of a problem in thier vehicles after a long time the first incident is reported. Eitherway, recall of such a huge number of vehicles would cost them very dear. Would it have been prevented if they had spent some more money on the testing?
Quality is costly. But lacking it, always costs a lot more.

CNN.com - Ford recalling 3.8 million vehicles - Sep 7, 2005
"-- In 1996, Ford recalled 7.9 million vehicles for faulty ignitions
-- In 1971, GM recalled 6.7 million vehicles for engine failure
-- In 198…

Open-Closed Messenger Services - Hyprocricy at its best.

Most of my friends use Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, Gmail or rediffmail. What it takes to send an email to receive an email. Open an account with Yahoo or Hotmail or Gmail or as a matter of fact any email provider. Irrespective of what mail service each of us use, we can send mails to each other and receive from each other. Its cool.

But what it takes to send an instant message or chat with my friends? Unfortunately the answer is not as simple as with the email. I need an account with each of these, since the messengers from these companies will not work together. I can not talk from my Yahoo messenger to a buddy who uses MSN mesenger. I can not talk to a friend who is on AOL. Now the new entry in to the instant messenger, googleTalk, do not address this issue either. If you install googletalk you can only talk to buddies who use googletalk.

I ended up installing all kinds of messengers including the new actors on the scene, skype and google talk on my laptop, so that I can always stay in touc…

Painful MS(D)N Search Vs. Elegant Google Search

There are some things Google Search engine does a lot better than all other search engines. The most important one is the relevance of search results to the query. Used google for some time, and I kinda fell in love with it. When MSN search is out, I tried it to see if it is better. I was very disappointed then, and the same to date.
Here is a latest example. I was trying to locate any web casts on webservices recently. I opened specifically the on-demand webcasts page, http://www.microsoft.com/events/webcasts/ondemand.mspx and gave a query in the search box "Web Service, webcast". There are 10 results on the first page with 3 results belong to 2005 and the rest to 2004. And nothing leads to a specific page with latest webcast on web services.

Here are the top 3 results. Month of August did not appear in the first page at all:
Webcast Archive: July 2005Search Microsoft.com for: Go Browse by Type Information For Resources Product Families Events Worldwide Webcast Archive: …

ServiceOrientedAmbiguity

An interesting summary of thoughts on what Service Oriented Architecture mean to different people by Martin Fowler. Each camp says aloud one and just one aspect of it and calls it the SOA. But he summarized all of them and bunched them together to see the real picture. It proved to be very true to me, after being struggled to see through the marketing jargon and hyped up talks to comprehend what it really means. I am afraid, very few understood what really matters.

MF Bliki: ServiceOrientedAmbiguity

Buying guests for an occasion?

It is not uncommon in India to buy attendees for Political rallies to demonstrate strength of support in the public. And it is quite common to buy film stars to attend major functions to add some glamour to the evening. But have you ever heard of buying some guests to appear in a marriage? I Came across a news story(Entrepreneur cashes in on rented revellers, http://www.freelanceuk.com/news/1311.shtml) talking about a booming business of "arranging" guests for marriages in India. The enterprise, called "The Best Guests Centre" in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India supply guests in the required traditional attire to the ocassion for a charge. The madeup guests do everything they can do to make sure that the ocassion is celebrated in the true(?) spirit. What else you can buy for your marriage? Hell no. Don't say, bride.

Why does India still kneel before World Bank for loan?

India is seeking loan from World Bank for its “Bharat Nirman” program, aimed at developing rural infrastructure. Why the much hyped super power nation is kneeling before World Bank for a loan to build infrastructure?   There are so many nations in the world that desperately need those funds from world bank. The government impose surcharge on every conceivable thing to contribute to meaningless and truly political war against Pakistan. How can India afford so much on military while they invest so less on infrastructure. Why don't they impose surcharge towards building the much needed infrastructure? Why doesnÂ’t the Indian government ask the IT corporate houses to contribute towards building infrastructure? Keep aside the social responsibility; IT big houses are the ones minting money on the existing infrastructure and hefty pro-business incentives (that are making an ordinary citizenÂ’s life much harder), and they should pay back. The government has decided to break the backbone o…

Which is secure? Java or .NET?

The following posting at MSDN .NET security blog points to a comparison study, "Comparing Java and .NET Security: Lessons Learned and Missed" done by  Nathaneal Paul and David Evans from the University of Virginia Computer Science Department. The research was funded by National Science Foundation and DARPA.

Link to the Document : http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~nrp3d/papers/computers_and_security-net-java.pdf

Comparing Java and .NET Security
http://blogs.msdn.com/shawnfa/archive/2005/08/17/452760.aspx

It is very interesting and very informative to compare .NET and Java in depth on what matters for security. In summary, .NET has ZERO major security vulnerabilities reported while Java has its list growing.    

Update on 10th Feb 2005: 7 more vulnerabilities found in Java runtime. Read the sun's announcement.

Some things will never change in India..

Some things will never change in India like relying on Astrologers to do any thing
important.  Go and seek an astrolger to start some thing. Go and seek Astrologer if some thing does not workout.  Go and seek Astrologer if some thing works out well. If it worksout well, then soon the astrolger would become a saint. He will be worshipped. If not, never mind, people will look for another. This goes on until they find one Astrologer where some thing will finally workout. And a few days later, they start searching again. I recently came to know about an incident, where a girl who has been searching for a  job in Bangalore, was advised by an Astrologer to try in a different direction, as  in Bangalore nothing would workout for her. She also had to goto a famous temple to do special rituals. They decided to move from Bangalore to Hyderabad to look for a job. I do not understand how it would help. And neither they do. This is what they believe in. This is quite common everywhere. Be a computer …

Slogging Epidemic?

A few years back, if you are spending around 55 hours a week on your computer, you better be a geek. You are working out of passion to create some breaking product or in a Silicon Valley startup company. But this is no longer true. These days, most of the Software Developers are 'spending' atleast 55 hours a week, ending up in a 11 hour day at office or work through the weekend. I wonder, why the life is becoming so hard for the software developers.

Here are some of the responses I came across:
--> Work load is too much. Organizations are cutting the costs by reducing the man power while the amount of work keeps going up.
--> Software development is becoming highly complex and to stay current, you have to spend lots of time in managing the new stuff.
--> If you are not slogging, you must have finished your assigned job and you may get new assignment. So to avoid new work, pretend slogging.
--> If you are not slogging, then you are looked as if you are not committed to t…

Medication to treat anxiety and depression?

Can medication influence your dreams? Can medication help you alter your thoughts?
I believe medication can not cure anxiety and depression either. As per my understanding, anxiety and depression are related to and caused by our thought process. There is no individual that I know of who never felt anxious or felt depressed. Everybody feels the burst of anxiety when he/she is about to do some thing new or when some thing is uncertain. And everybody feels little depressed, when some thing does not work out the way we expect it. It is quite common behavior.

I strongly believe that anxiety and depression can be cured and is possible only by acting on the root cause, changing the thought process and behavior. There is nothing wrong with the people suffering from it. They just needed a break. Let them realize that. It is definitely possible by continuously nurturing positive thoughts and behavior by giving them support and incentives at every opportunity to indulge in an activity of their ch…

Six Sigma in software development

Six sigma methodologies help in achieving operational excellence in most of the transaction oriented business enviroments. However they are not as effective as the hype created in developing a new product and in building software.

Here is my posting in response to a query on “6S_SWSE · 6Sigma - Software & Systems Engineering” group on yahoo groups, about the effectiveness of Six Sigma methodologies in creating a new software product.

“Six Sigma processes like DMAIC can be used to achieve operational excellence; reduce waste, improve the existing process etc. If your organization is a traditional software services company or a BPO or pure transaction oriented, DMAIC would be of great benefit to the bottom line. All the projects that I could see and the initial literature on Six Sigma and Software development aimed at improving the organization’s software development process. Code review improvement, test coverage, effective testing etc. I would love to see some literature or…

Alternate Transports for Web Services

It is interesting to know that web services can be supported on a variety of transports other than HTTP. Microsoft's Indigo support some of them ( HTTP, TCP and MSMQ) while other transports (SMTP, UDP, IBM MQ, In-process) can be integrated with the WSE framework. The important aspect of SOA, interoperability is however remain an issue as it takes time for all vendors to support any of these alternate transports.

In this excellent Article, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Choosing Alternate Transports for Web Services" by Simon Guest, Microsoft Corporation from The Architect Journal of July 2005, Simon Guest illustrates different scenarios that need an alternate transport to address the problem.

C++ in 2005 and The Design of C++0x

Recent articles by Bjarne Stroustrup

* C++ in 2005 by Bjarne Stroustrup, an extended Foreword added to the Japanese version of "Design and Evolution of C++". Here is peek in to the sections of the document:
The Design and Evolution of C++
Where we are – 2005
Where we were – 1995-2004
Where we might be going – 2005-2014

* The Design of C++0x by Bjarne Stroustrup, published in C/C++ Users Journal in May 2005

Free online SS7 Parser

I found an excellent online SS7 Parser at http://www.ss7parser.com. The web site features sample messages for MTP3, ISUP and TCAP(AIN0.2 and SCCP Subsystem Mgmt). If you have binary dump of any message, you can parse that message too. The parser page also allows to edit the existing sample messages on the web page itself. The message editing page shows the byte number and current value and allows you edit the byte right next to it. It is a great aid to learn SS7 messages.

Only ANSI versions are supported at this point. “SS7parser.com supports most of Bellcore GR-246-CORE, GR-1299-CORE, and ANSI T1.113-1992″.

Alternate Transports for Web Services

It is interesting to know that web services can be supported on a variety of transports other than HTTP. Microsoft's Indigo support some of them ( HTTP, TCP and MSMQ) while other transports (SMTP, UDP, IBM MQ, In-process) can be integrated with the WSE framework. The important aspect of SOA, interoperability is however remain an issue as it takes time for all vendors to support any of these alternate transports.

In this excellent Article, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Choosing Alternate Transports for Web Services" by Simon Guest, Microsoft Corporation from The Architect Journal of July 2005, Simon Guest illustrates different scenarios that need an alternate transport to address the problem.

Why bad news always makes the front pages?

Wondering why always bad news makes to the top in all the traditional media. Be it the tv, news paper or magazines, it is always some bad news makes the front pages or the top news.

Posted here are the snap shots of BBC and CNN front pages, with full of items of killings, terror and such.

I do not understand how much all those news items matter to an individual. I understand that in many parts of the world, people are suffering due to few narrow minded individuals. I share their cocern in creating awareness. But too much focus on bad news alone make things worse. If your kid is not feeling well, what kind of stories you read him. Stories of suffering or stories of hope and healthly living? Some times it helps the greater cause, not to highlight the bad things.

Don't these media houses have any social responsibility?

Give me an Idea

An interesting insight into efforts towards turning risk-averse traditional Indian minds into full blown global innovators. I believe it is quite possible, for I don't know why it is not possible. I see sparks here and there, but if it becomes an organizational effort and everybody in the community supports, as mentioned in the article, we are sure to make the I in India stand for Innovation.

Give Me An Idea
India needs to take risks and back innovation for scientific progress
opinion by Dr.R.A.Mashelkar
Read the Opion here

Successes in rural inventions

Image Courtesy: Copyrights by Historylink101.com & found at India Picture Gallery.

BBC News Posting: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4650065.stm

Necessity is the mother of invention. This truth is quite evident from millions of every day innovations passed through generations in India. There are more so in the traditional scriptures. But there has been a focussed approach to collect and document all those grass root innovations in India by different organizations. Read this article to see some of those inventions and how the organisations started it all.

Here is another prominent web site, Good News India that showcases the grass root level innovation across India.

India wins landmark patent battle

Original BBC News Post: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4333627.stm

India wins a landmark patent battle at the European Patent Office on an neem based anti-fungal product, thus setting an example for other groups to follow in proving the vast knowledge hidden in the traditional communities and scriptures. A patent application must be rejected if there is prior existing knowledge about the product or process. But in the United States, "prior existing knowledge" means that the process or concept must be published in a document that is available to the public. It is not acceptable legally if this knowledge is passed through generations, exaclty traditional Indian knowledge has been disseminated. So, Invaluable knowledge the communities possess and available in scriptures need to be disseminated to the world before greedy corporates across the world obtain patents based on this knowledge. Indian tradition believes Knowledge is power and is free.


Customer Service Sucks! Everywhere?

I heard great stories in books and magazines that enterprises go extra miles to make customers happy. Some even touted customer as a god or of that importance. I read lots of articles about how customers and their interests are driving the new economy and how all efforts becoming more customer-centered to do their best of service to meet the needs of the customer. But when it comes to experience, I realized that it is just another set of key words in their marketing pitch. End of the day, the customer service sucks at almost all major companies. They dont care what you go through as long as their bottom lines are secured. They never seemed to honor their own commitments, leave alone trying to help the customer.

When everything goes well, one may not realize what it means. But when a little adjustment is needed or facing a problem, one will realize how good are their intentions and what they really mean they are. I have not felt even for a second that they are trying to help me outin an…

Vonage - Expecting good customer service is stupid

First thing to say Vonage dont care about customers is evident from the fact that Vonage charges you from the moment you signed up, though the equipment to connect and use arrives almost a week later. So for the first week, you are paying for nothing.

I called Vonage a week before my moving and asked to cancel the service at the end of the month. I clearly mentioned to the agent two times that I needed the service to be cancelled at the end of the month, not the day I called for the cancellation. He said, that would not be a problem and he would take care of it. He told that there would be a cancellation fee around $40 that would be refunded once I return the equipment.

Foolish agent, cancelled the service almost immediately. I realized when I tried to call my friend a little later. I checked the vonage account on the net. It was terminated. I received a mail that the service was cancelled from the day I called it self. I told him two times that I need it to be cancelled from end of mon…

Uhaul, they stink

I was planning to move from Austin to Dallas over the memorial weekend. Once I decided my dates, on my friends advice I immediately dropped down to a near by U-haul dealer and did the booking to pickup the truck on the Friday. I was very happy when the dealer said; I was lucky to get the reservation confirmed during the memorial weekend. The contract paper printed to me said that, it confirmed the availability of the equipment for pickup on Friday, however some one from UHaul would call me one day before to give me the location of the dealer from where and when I can pick it up on Friday.

But no body called on Thursday, as they promised. On Friday morning around 11AM, I calledu-haul and told them that they were supposed to call me a day before. The agent sound polite and said that within in next 30 minutes some body would give me a call and give that information. I was very happy with the response and the 30 minutes target they set themselves to respond to a customer. I was busy for al…