Monday, December 31, 2007

What Indians are really searching for? Nov'07 Update

Earlier this year, I tried to gather What Indians are searching for.  The results I found were quite interesting and a few are little surprising too. Over the last 6 months I have observed a clear change in that trend. More Indians are increasingly looking for Investments, Auto and Digital gadgets.

Entertainment is no longer in the top of the list towards the end of the year of those elite few who access Internet regularly. See the top 10 gaining queries as in November 2007. The November numbers clearly consolidates the trend that I have been trying to predict for some time.

image 

(Source: Google Press Center: Zeitgeist )

Apple iPhone - Best of Cellular Lifestyles 2007

Apple's iPhone is without any doubt has been considered as the "Best Gadget" of 2007, for it has dramatically changed our Cellular Lifestyles. It would be unfair if we limit iPhone to just that. It has completely changed the meaning of a Cellular Phone.

Time's Invention of the Year and Top 10 Gadgets of 2007

No wonder, it has been named Time Magazine's Invention of the Year 2007: iPhone. And also, Time Magazine's Top 10 Gadgets of 2007 gives iPhone No.1 slot:

The iPhone changed the way we think about how mobile media devices should look, feel and perform. The design is exceptional inside and out:

Apple iPhone

NPR's Best Technology Innovation of The Year

NPR's Morning Editions cites iPhone as the Best Technology Innovation of the Year

Tech guru Mario Armstrong claims the iPhone as the best technology innovation of the year. The iPhone's touch-screen technology, visual voicemail, and integration of the digital camera, iTune software brought new energy to the design of cell phones. Consumers' appetite for wanting to stay in touch is pushing the advancement.

Whole World is Looking for iPhone

Though only little more than 1 Million iPhones have been sold as per most recent reports, the whole world is looking to get one.  iPhone is the fastest raising Search keyword both globally and in US  as per Google Search trends. (Google Zeitgeist 2007)

image

Without any doubt, iPhone is a revolutionary phone that changed the meaning of mobile phones that we always knew of. The best that could happen to the world because of iPhone is that everybody started thinking differently about a mobile phone. That is the best achievement of iPhone. Now you can expect more devices subscribing to the new idea of a cellular phone, the idea that we at Cellular Lifestyles have been constantly trying to communicate. Cell Phone is a lifestyle. No longer just a gadget.

With that Life Style Changing Gadget of the Year, We would like to  wish all our readers A Wonderful and Eventful New Year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Cell Phone : The itchy Second Skin

If you haven’t noticed, Mobile or a cell phone is no longer just a phone that we knew. Today, we CAN take pictures, record video, access email, browse internet, download music, watch TV, use cell phone as a smart card, pay at a shop, listen to podcasts, write your blog and the list goes on almost endless.

NPR's Eric Weiner wrote an interesting summary of how Mobile phones are changing our lifestyles here.  Few interesting snips:

Americans spend, on average, seven hours a month talking on their cell phones, but that figure doesn't capture how much the cell phone has become a part of our lives. It is, as one researcher put it, "a second skin"— itchy at times and prone to blemishes but something that increasingly we can't imagine living without.

2007 will likely be the first year in which Americans spend more on cell phone calls than land line ones.

In other ways, too, cell phones are changing how we relate to one another.

On the other hand, cell phones loosen the bonds with those outside our inner circle.

The article also points to an interesting graphic about US mobile consumers, "The Rise of the cell phone".

Also don't forget to watch this wonderful video "The Evolution of Cell Phone".

While watching the above video, I came across this interesting conversation of "Three Generations View of Cell phone".

Cell Phones Do Double Duty in India

Listen to this 5 minute special on how Mobile phones are changing the lifestyles in India:

All Things Considered, December 24, 2007 · In India, people use cell phones for more than just talking and texting — they're entertainment tools, as well. Partly because broadband Internet access isn't widely available for computers, Indians use their cell phones to download and share music and watch videos — especially swapping MP3s and watching musical numbers from Bollywood movies.

Listen Now

NPR : Cell Phones Do Double Duty in India

Frame by Frame, Animation Moves to India

Read NPR's report on Animation Industry's increasing reliance on Indian Designers to produce stunning animations for Hollywood.

Both The Golden Compass and Alvin and the Chipmunks used digital animation that was created in Mumbai.

India is rapidly becoming a player in the global cultural marketplace, and animation is no exception. Los Angeles-based animation company Rhythm & Hues worked on the films from their Hollywood offices — and from the offices that they have opened in India. Employees stay in contact through daily video conferencing, bridging 12 time zones and 13,000 miles.

NPR : Frame by Frame, Animation Moves to India

Also read  "Ancient Indian Tales Inspire a Modern Indian Art"

.. in a building on a quiet residential street downtown, an army of Indian animators is working to export their culture to the rest of the world. Their source material: The elaborate pantheon of Hindu mythology.

Software Project Failures - What's new TCS?

TCS released results of a survey conducted by Dynamic Markets on behalf of TCS recently. Folks from TCS suddenly think that they uncovered something new. I am not sure I understood the revelation part of their press release.

1 in 3 companies’ IT projects fail to perform against expectations. Yet despite these worrying levels of failure to deliver, 43% of organizations say that their business managers and the Board accept problems as the norm. This attitude is especially common in Europe (44%) and Asia-Pac (48%). (Source)

Consider the snip, I understand, released in 1995 revealing something about IT Project failures.

According to the Standish Group ... ... only about one-sixth of all projects were completed on time and within budget, nearly one third of all projects were canceled outright, and well over half were considered "challenged." Of the challenged or canceled projects, the average project was 189 percent over budget, 222 percent behind schedule, and contained only 61 percent of the originally specified features.

Major Causes of Software Project Failures - Jul 98

How TCS Stacks up?

Delivered on time:
Industry survey: 37%; TCS: 97%, customers give it an 87% rating.

Quality meets expectations:
Industry survey: 42%; TCS: 97% without severity level 1 or 2 defects, customers give it an 86% rating.

Budget compliance:
Industry survey: 11% average variation; TCS: 0.05% average variation (Source)

Not surprisingly, TCS claims that it performs monumentally better than its counter parts. It would be interesting if TCS release more information on IT firms that these businesses have been dealing with and some numbers for other top 10 firms as well to validate the unique distinction of TCS. Without those numbers, % comparisons could be totally misleading.

Some thing incredible about Japan

Japan stands out in many aspects for its quality. Does 'Made in Japan' say something? As per the report 71% of Japanese IT managers say that their Business Managers and Board of Directors tend to accept the problem as a norm and necessary evil. What? And 81% say that their IT Projects are continued to be funded.

This is quite incredible. Having worked with one of the top 3 out sourcing IT companies for about 7 years, I guess there is something fishy about this report. I never heard of a Japanese client manager considering not-on-time delivery or budget over run a norm and necessary evil. Ask any body that is working or worked on a IT project for Japanese client. Our teams have been literally killed even for a delay of one day.

97% on-time-delivery record of TCS, too good to be true. Hope it is true.

dimdim : Great Yet Free Web Collaboration Software

The unusual name dimdim attracted my attention when I was searching on the web for free web collaboration alternatives to webex. 

dimdim is the world´s first free web meeting service based on the open source platform. dimdim is a browser-based web 2.0 service that allows anybody to share their desktop, show slides, as well as talk, listen, chat, and broadcast via webcam. dimdim´s hosted service is available for free and can be easily used for small gatherings, to seminars with hundreds of attendees. With absolutely no software to download for attendees, dimdim gives everyone the opportunity to hold Web meetings and to customize and brand these meetings.

Welcome to dimdim

I finally found dimdim on moodle discussion group.  I looked it up and visited the dimdim web site and watched a demo and wanted to try out but little disappointed when I saw limited beta only by invitation.

Then I saw Open Source Community edition that I can download and install on my own server to host the application. Again I was disappointed to see that installation requires 'root' access and I am currently on shared hosting server that doesn't give root access.

I registered for invitation and was waiting for one.

This morning I was configuring a few things on my moodle site and I hit discussion groups to answer a question on themes. I found out that DimDim has been integrated with moodle. Live again. I went to dimdim site and downloaded moodle integration kit and installed it in a minute. In the next minute, I could host a web meeting.

The application is wonderful and is beyond my expectations.

Few lovely features

First of all, the application works wonderful. I had little difficulty in sharing an application. But everything else works beautifully.

  1. Hosted Application. So we really don't have to worry about infrastructure. If needed, there is always an option of installing on our own servers.
  2. No installation other than a browser Add-on is required for both Presenter and Attendees. I tried with Fire fox browser.
  3. If your Internet connection allows, you can in fact  use both Audio and Video of the presenter in the meeting. No additional conference bridge is required or need to start another special application. (Take Yugma, you need to pay for their conference bridge or use skype for audio and video. That would mean your attendees have to have a skype account)
  4. You can allow your attendees to use their microphone to make the meeting interactive.
  5. Unlike Zoho and Yugma where the video quality suffer a lot while sharing your desktop, DimDim did almost 100 times better in terms of quality of video.
  6. The latency between presenter and attendees is very low and not noticeable. Particularly if you use PDF or PPT to present, you don't notice any latency at all.
  7. Whiteboard is simple and yet elegant. You can in fact have multiple pages of white board and you can move between those pages. Excellent. You don't have to erase to make room for next dabble. Just move to next page.
  8. Integration with Moodle. Few simple steps, I could get it working with Moodle. 

Few things I couldn't do (Not possible or I don't know yet)

  1. Ability to save whiteboard drawings to a file.
  2. It would be excellent if we can record the web meetings like webex. There are other alternatives to record, but they may interfere with performance of dimdim if started.
  3. I couldn't share a specific application yet. I could share a PPT and desktop itself. But not a specific application. There is an option, but couldn't get it working.

Great application. Thanks a ton DimDim team.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mobile Web: What Americans are searching for?

Mobile Web is increasingly gaining momentum in US and more Americans are now using Mobile devices to quickly search web.  While most men eagerly look up Sports on their Mobile devices, weather concerns most women followed by News and Entertainment.

About 23 Million Americans have been reportedly using Mobile web. As per M:Metrics, here are the top 10 categories of news and information accessed by Cellular Subscribers in US:

  1. Weather
  2. News
  3. Sports
  4. Entertainment News
  5. Maps and Directions
  6. Movies Information
  7. Finance Information
  8. Business Directory
  9. Financial Account Access
  10. Travel

Source: M:Metrics News

Monday, December 17, 2007

India - A Must Visit Destination


India, a Stirring Giant, Is the New Place to See and Be Seen - New York Times
A soaring economy and crumbling trade barriers are making India a “must visit” destination for foreign politicians and executives. The crush of visitors, often first-timers but also companies seeking to expand their existing operations here, lands daily. They all hope to sign deals, find local partners, sell their wares or just soak up the contradictions that characterize the world’s largest democracy, a singular melding of chaos and opportunity.

Bald demographics make India impossible to ignore, and the slowdown in the United States economy adds to its appeal. About half of the country’s 1.1 billion people are under 25, and its rapidly expanding middle class is already estimated to be as large as the entire population of the United States. A rocketing stock market and a fast-growing class of the superrich add to its appeal.


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Monday, December 3, 2007

Sliced bread and other marketing delights

In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones. And early adopters, not the mainstream's bell curve, are the new sweet spot of the market.

TED | Talks | Seth Godin: Sliced bread and other marketing delights (video)

Our cell phones, ourselves

Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase's investigation into the ways we interact with technology has led him from the villages of Uganda to the insides of our pockets. Along the way, he's made some unexpected discoveries: about the novel ways illiterate people interface with their cellphones, or the role the cellphone can sometimes play in commerce, or the deep emotional bonds we all seem to share with our phones. And watch for his surefire trick to keep you from misplacing your keys.

TED | Talks | Jan Chipchase: Our cell phones, ourselves (video)

Latest Mobile Phone Reviews

User generated content is good in more ways that we can think of. They give fresh, honest and raw opinions of real users instead of biased and often cooked up reviews done by well known media houses.

Well, I found quite a few video reviews of all latest and hot mobile phones. Enjoy the gut feelings of mobile phone subscribers and while you are there at it get to know little more about the phone itself.

Most interesting thing we can all learn from these videos is lot more that what the phones do. But what really people are looking for and what they really like in a  mobile phone.

Have a blast. Bookmark this post as the play list gets updated every hour or so. Here we go.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Verizon Wireless To Open Up Walled Gardens

Verizon Wireless in a stunning move announced today that it will open up to 'Any device and Any Application' some time in 2008. That would mean a Verizon Wireless customer can bring any Mobile handset (that passes basic technical tests) and can install any application he/she likes to have on the mobile device. 

Verizon Wireless today announced that it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company. Verizon Wireless plans to have this new choice available to customers throughout the country by the end of 2008.

In early 2008, the company will publish the technical standards the development community will need to design products to interface with the Verizon Wireless network. Any device that meets the minimum technical standard will be activated on the network. Devices will be tested and approved in a $20 million state-of-the-art testing lab which received an additional investment this year to gear up for the anticipated new demand. Any application the customer chooses will be allowed on these devices.

Verizon Wireless will continue to provide a full-service offering, from retail stores where customers can shop, to 24/7 customer service and technical support, to an easy-to-use handset interface and optimized software applications.

Verizon Wireless To Introduce ‘Any Apps, Any Device’ Option For Customers In 2008

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Q3-2007 Best Selling Handsets in USA

US Q3 2007, Best Selling Consumer Handsets: Note that 4 of the top 10 phones are by Motorola and not surprisingly Nokia is no where in the picture.

The Strategy Analytics ProductTRAX program released its Q3 list of top selling consumer handsets in the US market. Motorola, with its RAZR and KRZR, and LG, collectively accounted for seven of the top best selling consumer handsets.

  1. Motorola RAZR V3
  2. Motorola RAZR V3m
  3. LG VX8300
  4. Apple iPhone
  5. LG Chocolate VX8550/8500
  6. Motorola MOTOKRZR K1m
  7. Samsung SGH-A707
  8. LG VX5300
  9. Sanyo Katana II
  10. Motorola V323i/V325i

Over Half of Mobile Phones Sold in Usa are 3g Models

Samsung's FlipShot on Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless, the wireless company with the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung)  announced the online availability of the Verizon Wireless FlipShot™ by Samsung

Featuring a 3.0 megapixel built-in camera with a rotating display for optimal viewing while in camera mode and available in black, the FlipShot enables photo enthusiasts to capture picture-perfect moments while carrying a device that allows for full mobile phone functionality and high-quality digital photos. The handset features Bluetooth® capability for headsets, stereo, car kits, object push (for vCard only), basic image and basic print as well as a business card scanner.

Features of the new Verizon Wireless FlipShot by Samsung include:

  • 3.0 megapixel camera with Digital Zoom
  • Camcorder
  • Living Wallpaper
  • PictBridge printing capable
  • V CAST Music and Video capable
  • Speakerphone
  • Get it Now®
  • Messaging Services – SMS, EMS and MMS messaging, e-mail, Mobile IM and chat
  • VZ NavigatorSM
  • Mobile Web 2.0SM
  • Dimensions: 3.76” X 1.83” X .73” with standard battery
  • Personal organizer with Calendar, Calculator, Notepad, Alarm Clock and World Clock
  • Display: 240 X 320 pixel, 260K color TFT Internal

Verizon's website will offer the black version of the handset and Best Buy will sell the red handset starting on the 26th. Both versions cost $199.99 with a two-year contract. (Source: Fierce Wireless)

Play MultiPlayer Games - Right From Your Mobile Phone

Playing Video games on Mobile phone could be quite different and often difficult with smaller screens and cramped keyboards. And thinking of playing a multi player games right from your mobile phone could be quite unbelievable.

But Its possible. All you need is a very very simple mobile phone that can make calls. You read it right. All you need is a simple mobile phone that can make simple phone calls. No advanced smart phone. And of course,  a few other players that wish to join you in the game.

Enter MegaPhone.

MegaPhone is a phone-controlled, real-time, multi-player collaborative gaming platform for big screens in public spaces.

  • Anyone can use ANY phone from ANY service provider in ANY country as a game controller
  • Players join the game by making a regular phone call, and they can see their input (either voice or keypad) immediately

 

Since screens are quite small on a mobile phone, MegaPhone replaces the mobile screens with a giant stage Screen. Players join the game by calling a number on the screen. They can play by giving voice commands or by using keyboard. The DTMF signals generated by your cell phone when you press on keyboard while on the call will be used as commands to control the game. Its quite fascinating idea.

Watch the videos below on how it works and how players are enjoying the game.

Instant Messaging on Mobiles

As per an annual AP-AOL Instant Messaging Trends Survey, 25% of IM users are using Cell phones to send those quick quirky hip instant messages to their buddies.

The survey, which examined instant messaging trends and usage habits among 1,246 IM users, revealed that 25 percent of respondents send IMs from their cell phones, including one in three (32 percent) teens.

The proliferation of cell phones with full keyboards has made it easier to send mobile instant messages. All of the major instant messaging services also let users have their instant messages forwarded directly to their cell phones when they're on-the-go. In addition, IM users are instant messaging from within their social networking profiles.

PayPal goes Mobile

PayPal has unveiled Mobile Checkout, allowing people in Australia to buy movie tickets, flowers and other goods on-the-fly.

The internet has already brought the world's shopping malls into the bedroom but now shopaholics can satisfy their impulses with a few button presses while walking home or riding a bus - as long as they have a PayPal account.

PayPal Australia product director Dinuke Ranasinghe said people had long been able to surf the web on their handsets but there had never been an easy way to make payments.

Keying credit card and other details into websites manually was cumbersome using a mobile keypad, while shopping via the mobile provider's "walled garden" portal, which charged purchases to the customer's phone bill, was largely limited to ringtones and wallpapers.

Ranasinghe said merchants had largely avoided mobile commerce to date because of the telcos' prohibitive fees, which added as much as 50 per cent to the product prices.

With the PayPal system merchants setup their own mobile website, bypassing the telcos, and are charged up to 2.4 per cent of the sale price and a flat fee of 30 cents per transaction.

Mobile commerce gets a PayPal boost - Technology - smh.com.au

Smart Phones With Artificial Intelligence

The mobile phone has long ceased being a simple two-way communication device: today's handheld is a mini personal computer, complete with multimedia players, maps, and Web browsers.

Now researchers at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) want to push the phone farther. They have developed software that turns a phone into a thoughtful personal assistant, one that helps people find fun things to do. The software, called Magitti, uses a combination of cues--including the time of day, a person's location, her past behaviors, and even her text messages--to infer her interests. It then shows a helpful list of suggestions, including concerts, movies, bookstores, and restaurants.

When a person first opens a phone that has Magitti software, she will instantly see a list of recommendations. If it's noon, the software might suggest local restaurants. If it's 3 P.M., it might recommend a nearby boutique for shopping. If it's 9 P.M., a list of pubs might appear. Over time, these recommendations will change as Magitti learns more about the user's behaviors and preferences.

The software employs artificial-intelligence algorithms that have traditionally been used in research to make tailored recommendations. If, for instance, a person prefers to eat inexpensive lunches and more-expensive dinners, Magitti will pick up on this (by comparing the GPS location of the restaurant with a database of establishments) and offer up corresponding recommendations.

Source: Technology Review: Smart Phone Suggests Things to Do

(Pseudo) Scientific Web Design ??

For sure, every web designer and blogger wanted to know if there is a better web design approach to get more traffic. And once, there is traffic, wanted to know if there is a better visual layout that can monetize the traffic.

Eye Track Research

While there are many observations and theories based on induction and preachers who claim they know everything about web design and can teach you in two day seminars priced at $1999, I do not agree with any of these.  But if you are interested and wish to save a couple of thousand dollars,  help yourself by visiting the Eye Track III research result web site here. The study is quite old, I would say, captured in 2003--04 well before the surge of blogs and social networking or I would say well before Web2.0 kicked in.

The Eyetrack III research released by The Poynter Institute, the Estlow Center for Journalism & New Media, and Eyetools

In Eyetrack III, we observed 46 people for one hour as their eyes followed mock news websites and real multimedia content.

If the information on that web site is too much to take for you, here is a nice 23 actionable point summary.

Does these observations really matter? Take a test.

I don't think so. These suggestions may be good for an average web master who could not figure out why there was no traffic to the web site and really desperate to make any change anybody could tell.

Based on how I read blogs and websites, none of those points mentioned in the research really matter and in few cases my observation is completely opposite.

If you don't believe just observe what you read on a site that you love the most. And compare these rules with your own observations.

Apple iPod/iPhone Packaging

If Apple had followed similar research results or 10s of scientific packaging principles, you wouldn't have seen those gorgeous and yet elegant iPod/iPhone packaging at all. You would have seen just another package, no matter what is written and where is it written you will never read a word. Watch this mockery of scientific design of iPod packaging by Microsoft.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Getting Smarter : Smart Phone Sales up by 163%

As per a report by NPD Group, Smart Phone sales were up by a whopping 163% compared to Q3 sales in 2006. Smart Phones sales increased to 11% in the 3rd quarter of 2007 while they were only 4% of total sales in Q3 of 2006.  Overall, there was a 16% increase reported on quarter-to-quarter basis.

Another important trendy feature of mobile phones sold is about 50% of mobile phones can play music. This trend has been nothing but increasing in the last two years. 

Motorola is the preferred manufacturer with a 31% market share dropping Nokia to 4th place with a 11%. LG surprised with second position with a 17% market share while Samsung settles for a 3rd position with 16% market share.

The percentage of smartphones sold during the third quarter increased from 4 percent of all phone sales in the third quarter of 2006 to 11 percent during the same timeframe in 2007 – an increase of 163 percent year over year.

“The mobile phone market is not only growing, it is growing smarter,” said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for NPD. “The nearly threefold increase in smartphones shows that this once negligible niche is becoming a more influential force in the consumer market -- attracting entrants such as Apple and the Open Handset Alliance.”

NPD Press Release - November 20, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

New push to raise H1B and Green card quotas

New Push to Raise the H1B and Green Card Quotas
On October 23, 2007, sixteen members of the New Democrat Coalition, led by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, requested that "the House take action this year to resolve the immediate talent crisis that is facing U.S. employers." The group is pushing for reform that would increase H1B and employment based permanent residence, or "green card" quotas, before Congress adjourns this year. The New Democrat Coalition is comprised of 59 Democratic members of Congress who are interested in modernizing the Democratic Party and the entire country.

The New Democrat Coalition is urging Congress to pass the new reform this year, before the Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 H1B filing season opens for the filing of new cap-subject H1B cases on April 1, 2008. In addition to requesting more H1B visas and employment-based permanent residence, the group is pushing for modernized student visa programs.

Source: Murthy.com

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Charlie Rose Interview with India's Top Entrepreneurs

Found this interesting interview of Charlie Rose with Top Indian Entrepreneurs at  Charlie Rose. Little old, I guess recorded in March 2006. But I find this specific excerpt with Anil quite relevant and interesting.

Video URL

You might also find the following quite interesting.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

India's firms build global empires

Fortune's special story on how Indian firms are expanding worldwide.  Wonderful strides and inspiring stories are redefining the new entrepreneurial India.

two_way_traffic.03.gif

India's firms build global empires - October 29, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Living Off Screen - Chiranjeevi's Family Drama

I never liked any movie stars that became so popular based on their caste and family background rather than their real talent. But I could not resist sharing this off-screen drama in the life of a hypocritical on-screen hero.

Chiranjeevi is arguably one of the most popular actors, if not the best, in Andhra Pradesh. For a while, he has been trying desperately to enter politics using movies as a base following the footsteps of NTR, (the movie star who challenged the unbeatable Congress and became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh). But something the actor himself never might have imagined. His screen life drama one day may become his real life story  with a little twist. He would be playing the opposite role.

It was a sensational and unbelievable turn around when he canceled his first daughter's marriage after her engagement to the then upcoming star UdayKiran. Unlike in movies where Chiranjeevi fights against villainous parents of Bride, he and his family seems to have played the role of villains. The engagement was canceled and later she was married to another after the press was completely blocked from access to his family.

His brother, another, of course a film star who started and survived behind Chiranjeevi's tides of success and caste biased fan clubs, became a big case study. Beating up directors, fighting on streets and supremely confident one-man-pictures that never attracted even his own caste biased fan clubs. Recently, he married another movie star leaving out his earlier marriage and attracted legal charges for polygamy.

Now, his second daughter publicly announces to the media that her family confined her to a room and not allowed her to go out, the exact movie style the family and rest of his fans were quite used to. Only the difference is that the on-screen hero playing the role of villain. Finally his daughter escaped and got married and announced to public that her family can not come in between and torn her love. Movies seems to be working. At least his daughter learned something from his movies. Love is something her parents can not decide and force.

Too many movie style highly dramatic events, set the movie actor who wanted to start a new party and win the elections with more or less caste divided electorate, in real life drama. It will be interesting how he and his crazy fans could spin the whole drama for political gains and come out.

Based on what he has done so far, I guess, he would give a nice spin to all drama. Politics is something too expensive to loose over dignity and honesty.

Drupal TechTalk at Google

Drupal TechTalk at Google, if you are interested in learning more about Drupal.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Remarkable Lectures : Randy Pausch

Source: A Beloved Professor Delivers The Lecture of a Lifetime  (WSJ)

Interesting aspects to learn from the speech. Brick walls are there for a reason; to see how bad you want something to be done. How bad you want to succeed no matter what is thrown at you. So in turn, brick walls are there to filter out. 

Link to Full Video of Randy Pausch's lecture.(WMV file) or watch at Google Videos.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

IT Out Sourcing 2.0, for the Flat World

IT Outsourcing, a couple of years back, literally meant  shifting Product Development, Software Implementation and most of  back office management to India (from US and major European countries). But when Nandan Nilekani of Infosys said 'The World is Flat', he did not mean moving work to Bangalore alone or India in general.  In fact he was hinting about  the future of Outsourcing, the out sourcing 2.0.

"Any thing can be outsourced to anywhere in the world." (Following  the same tenets of outsourcing : price, time and knowledge)

Facing serious problems of attrition and salary increases and increasing competition all over, Indian IT companies are fast expanding to rest of the cheaper and better world: Mexico, China and a few other third world countries. Time is fast approaching for Indian IT engineers to start discussing about  loosing their jobs to their cheaper counterparts in the rest of the world. 

While expansion to Mexico, China and few other third world countries seems to be a rational choice, I am little confused with the rationale of American graduates in choosing outsourcing firms. Having spent most of my time in one of the top three IT firms in India, I have no clue why American College graduates turn down Google and join Infosys. The following story in NY Times says that it is happening.

Many of them are recent American college graduates, and some have even turned down job offers from coveted employers like Google. Instead, they accepted a novel assignment from Infosys, the Indian technology giant: fly here for six months of training, then return home to work in the company’s American back offices.

India is outsourcing outsourcing.

Outsourcing Works, So India Is Exporting Jobs - New York Times

Times are fast changing. Businesses and markets world wide have tasted outsourcing and its price advantage. It will never stop. Weak Dollar and alarming attrition rates have started forcing Indian IT firms to go for job cuts and expand further into new cheaper destinations. This, I believe,  will increase exponentially in the next few months.  The saga of outsourcing continues. For businesses, it doesn't matter. Infosys may not care whether they do it from India or any part of the world. They also need outsourcing to rest of the world for the same exact price advantage.

That would,  in general change a lots of things for the Indian economy, that has been riding on the high tides for a while. And  these are definitely quite an Interesting and very tough times for typical Indian IT engineer, who have already deeply in debt trying to reach out booming and mostly hyped up real estate and western lifestyles. Can they afford to loose their jobs at this juncture to rest of the world? 

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy Fall, Pumpkin!

A friend of mine sent me this image and the message below,  wishing a Happy fall and to pass on a pumpkin.

fall

Being a good person is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all of the yucky stuff -- including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a bright new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

environment : blog action day 15th october

On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

 

I thought for a moment, what difference would it make, if every blogger writes something about the issue? I remembered the Starfish story. If every blogger take one single action along with writing their ideas about the issue on thier blogs, it would make a huge difference. 

"The Starfish Story” by Loren Eiseley

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.” “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for that one.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why I love my iPhone so much..

Short answer, because it's kind of a blue print of my own dream phone.

Some time around August last year(2006), I started blogging about Cellular Lifestyles, exploring the new lifestyles today's smartphones are creating.   I drew a raw picture that capture my idea of dream mobile phone (you can guess that I am not a graphic designer, and it doesn't take more than a minute with powerpoint). I also expressed my frustration and pain of carrying multiple devices available at that time in more than one article and eagerly waiting for the domination of smart phones (multi-function). 

What I really want in a mobile

This is that crazy simple picture showing all the functionality that I always wanted in a mobile phone.

I received over 100 emails, some of them  criticizing that I am being foolish to combine everything into one device or some nicely put it as the swiss army knife approach is just not smart any more. Well, I prefer to stay foolish and stay hungry for a smart device that does all I wanted (like Steve Jobs said "Stay Hungry. Stay foolish"). I never had a clue that there is something similar is already in the making.

The iPhone

Back to the present, July 2007, I hold a phone in my hands that almost does everything I ever imagined. The  iPhone, a lovely device with a truly revolutionary interface and intutive functionality blend, that almost matches my dream phone blue print. Interface is however something I have never imagined.

I love my iPhone, not only because it is indeed my dream phone, but I admire each and every design element of iPhone, starting from its revolutionary interface to the single sheet packaging of all its accessories in such a novel box.

Read my first musings about iPhone and little emotional response. about some criticism about iPhone I couldn't take it.  When I get some time, I will write how I am enjoying the cool new features of iPhone, indeed my dream phone. 

Till then, Stay foolish, Stay Hungry and keep dreaming.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sun Startup Essentials For Indian Startups

The Sun Startup Essentials program was launched the U.S. on November 2, 2006 on an experimental basis, and was launched in India on  August 8, 2007.  Sun Startup Essentials offers startup companies groundbreaking Sun technologies and software at breathtaking prices or free.

For more program specifics, take a look at the Sun Startup Essentials Datasheet.

  • Free Software : Get popular open source software, such as Apache, MySQL, Perl, etc. -- all optimized for the Solaris operating system, free for the asking.
  • Discounted Systems : Get rock-bottom prices on industry-leading Sun systems and run the OS of your choice.
  • Discounted Partner Hosting : Get top-notch web hosting from Sun partners at great discounts.
  • Startups Ask Sun : Our professional engineers will talk with you through emails and will try to answer your questions.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

India At 60 - Special Reports

Forbes Special Report : India at 60

Indeed, India today is nothing like the nation of its great liberator, Mahatma Gandhi--free but also buried in poverty, and very much an underdeveloped country. Now, by virtue of pressure from some visionary entrepreneurs and links to global telecom networks, India has emerged as one of the half-dozen most dynamic economies in the world. Its stock market is surging, a new middle class is developing and the nation is anticipating the moment when the vast bulk of its population begins to enter the global economy. That's the real challenge for India, and the rest of the world: a billion more people suddenly driving cars, heating and lighting their homes and setting ever higher aspirations for themselves and their children.

Rediff Special Series : India at 60

Google India Labs and India's 60th Birthday

After going all Google do I need to give another reason why I love Google so much? Well, if you are still wondering, here is a special announcement from Google, a little treat to Indians on 60th of birthday of India after independence.

Keeping up with the spirit and celebrations of India's 60th year of Independence, we present to you a new platform that showcases our favourite ideas for Indian users: Google India Labs.

Though 60 years young, India has a history dating back to the dawn of civilization. The incredible diversity of this great nation is the kind of challenge Google loves. And in line with our mission of making information universally accessible, we're now offering an easier way to search in 14 Indian and South Asian languages. You don't need a special keyboard or software; all you need is a web browser, a mouse, and a Unicode font for your language. So whether you speak ??????? (Assamese), ????? (Bengali), ??????? (Gujarati), ????? (Hindi), ????? (Kannada), ?????? (Malayalam), ????? (Marathi), ?????? (Nepali), ????? (Oriya), ?????? (Punjabi), ????????? (Sanskrit), ????? (Sinhala), ????? (Tamil), or ?????? (Telugu), we can help you find content on the web in your language. To get started, add one or more of these iGoogle gadgets to your personalized iGoogle home page. You can use these gadgets to compose queries, and ask Google to search the vast Internet in your very own language.

If you're interested in writing in Hindi, we have brought out the transliteration feature from Blogger into an independent product of its own: Google Indic Transliteration. This tool will let you type in Hindi, using an English keyboard. Type out words phonetically, and let Google convert them into the correct Hindi word. For example, type "Bharat" to see "????". You'll soon discover that our sophisticated transliteration technology makes it really easy to compose in Hindi. Our algorithm might get the occasional word wrong, but it is always willing to learn. You can teach it by clicking on the wrong word and correcting it. This is also available as an iGoogle Gadget.

AT&T 300 page bills for iPhone users

AT&T sent nice and heavy packets to most iPhone users. If you are wondering if they are some promotional material or coupons or some bonus package, you are in for a big suprise. Those big packets contain AT&T wireless service bill for the customer. Detailed or itemized bill that lists out each and every network access iPhone ever made.

AT&T should have summarized all DATA access and should have included itemized details only for actual calls made. All iPhone users must be subscribed to unlimited data plans, that means no user cares about how much they downloaded from the network. But it looks like AT&T never cared to update their billing systems to take care of this for iPhone users. Result, about 300 pages of bill for many iPhone enthusiasts.

Watch this user video uploaded on youtube with such hefty packet of bill.

Go cheap with minimal functions may be the trend

The revolutionary iPhone costs about $500. If everybody thinks, all manufacturers will go that way and produce simular Multifunction phones with rich user experience, you might be wrong. Many manufacturers are trying to enter to in to new markets as a strategy instead of competing in developed markets by focussing on producing cheaper and ultra low function devices.

More than a dozen handset vendors will be shipping sub-$50 models by 2008. The ultra low cost handset marketplace is currently dominated by Motorola and Nokia, but Samsung, LG, and Sony Ericsson are showing increasing interest and other smaller vendors including ZTE, Kyocera, Huawei, Haier, Sagem, Ningbo Bird, Philips, and Rose Telecom are also beginning [...]

( | Via RSS Feed | Link to Article | )

Dental Tourism, outsourcing in disguise

Dental Tourism, just another form of outsourcing. Who says 'price' is not a factor when it comes to healthcare?

At least 2,544,000 people around the world will search the internet for dental treatment abroad this year, according to Reva Health Network. In June alone, 636,155 dental tourism-related searches were carried out globally by 212,051 unique users on Google, Yahoo! and MSN search engines.

( | Via RSS Feed | Link to Article | )

China to lead the world in IPTV by 2011

2008 Olympics is quite an advantage for China, to channel more funds to technology and infrastructure. And that may act as the largest differentiator when compared to other Asian powerhouses, like India.  China's strategy is definitely paying off.

In 2011, China will lead the world in IPTV subscribers. The massive size of the population, combined with the government’s technology emphasis for the 2008 Olympics, are the principal reasons for the growth. Revenue, however, will be driven by the United States.

( | Via RSS Feed | Link to Article | )

Saturday, August 25, 2007

NASSCOM Workshop

  

Product Workshop on -What & How to build Challenges of a Product Business

NASSCOM presents a workshop  on “What & How to build Challenges of a Product Business”.

The NASSCOM Product Forum has identified the need to guide entrepreneurs who have business ideas in the software product space and are striving to get those ideas off the ground. This workshop would contribute towards creating a software product ecosystem in India, learning from the experience of Silicon Valley, Canada, Israel and other technology centers. This Product workshop will be led by experienced people from technology, business and venture funding backgrounds who are keen to contribute to aspiring product entrepreneurs, Product Companies, Product teams and Incubating companies. 

Venue/Date: 9:00 AM To 5:30 PM 01 September 2007, The Royal Ball Room, The Leela Palace, Airport Road, Bangalore

Click on Event Page Link for more.

Changing the future

That's what marketers do, after all. We spend time and money to change the role of our products and services sometime in the future (whereas salespeople try to change the now). Changing tomorrow is really, really difficult. It's expensive and abrupt and rarely works out for the best. Which is why the worst time to change your marketing is right after 60 Minutes calls on the phone. Tomorrow is so close, it's probably going to go down the way it's going to go down, regardless of what you do. Changing the future of tomorrow is tough. Changing next week's future is a little easier, next month is easier still. You can lay the groundwork now to change your team and your products and your story so that over time, you're in a different place than you are now. Changing next year, though... that's really hard. It's hard because a year is so far away, you can count on the world being a very different place by then. Something to think about if you're running for President, building a website or selling services to a big corporation.



( | Via RSS Feed | Link to Article | )

Friday, August 24, 2007

Love to see Creating Passionate Users back

Creating Passionate Users is one of my favorite blogs and very happy to see this post after a long time (since those blog threats).  I love to see this blog with those vivid pictures that convey the pragmatism and real wisdom that could otherwise takes 1000s of words and yet unclear.  The revolutionary way of  teaching  concepts(HeadFirst Series) is beyond any comparison to any other book I have ever read. I love to see her back on the blog and with new books.

It is very difficult to say any visualization as my favorite, as I love almost all her graphs and pictures. Just linked two of them, that are quite relevant to a discussion that I am bringing up in my next post.

While it is tough to beat an argument on table that a team of people bring a lot to the table and consensus always brings better results, in reality it is quite the opposite in almost all ocassions.  Consensus is something everybody is comfortable with, not necessarily better or the best. More over, argument of consensus assumes that everyone in the team has the same goal of achieving the best possible outcome, while in reality, it is totally just an assumption and something there will never be a consensus on.

While many of us talk about  'empowering' , we always tend to and love to 'control' the entire environment to our whims and wishes. There are very few people I have seen or met, that really bring the best in others by giving them an autonomy and by respecting individual talents. Talent is normally not a key factor in environments where 'control' favors. Its always the level of 'sub-servience' that matters. People often confuse 'difference of opinion' with 'disloyalty' and any reasoning for a fair act as 'challenging' and 'disrespecting' their authority. What these 'control' freaks never realize is that the other person becomes a zombie over time.

 

Its always such an inspiring and mind-blowing simplicity in conveying a message,  that I admire a lot in the blog and her books and I love to see it back in full throttle.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Michael Shermer: Why people believe strange things

Ignoring 'Misses' and highlighting 'Hits' without proportions... interesting talk.

Link to TED | Talks | Michael Shermer: Why people believe strange things (video)

Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice

Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central belief of western societies: that freedom of choice leads to personal happiness. In Schwartz's estimation, all that choice is making us miserable. We set unreasonably high expectations, question our choices before we even make them, and blame our failures entirely on ourselves. His relatable examples, from consumer products (jeans, TVs, salad dressings) to lifestyle choices (where to live, what job to take, whom and when to marry), underscore this central point: Too many choices undermine happiness.

Source: TED | Talks | Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice (video)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What is your point of inflexion?

"There aren't really good and bad people. We all have parts of both. What matters is what parts we choose to act on" -  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

How do you choose to act on?

What is your point of inflexion? How do you choose to act on to be one or the other?

Is it the opportunity? For many people to decision to choose to be good or bad (right or wrong) is influenced by opportunity, ambition, greed  or desperation. As I mentioned in my previous post When opportunity knocks the door….values often shut blind. I argued that for most ,  the decision to stay on one or other side is directly influenced by external factors and opportunity at the top of the list.   

Opportunity presents itself in two forms: time and price.

Is it the price? : Price is arguably drives most decisions. So some times people don't want to pay the price to stay on right and look for opportunity to avoid it even though they might cross the line on the way. Software and music piracy are prime examples.

Is it the time? : Convenience or time  is another driving factor that influence our decisions either way. If it takes 6 months to process the right way and it only takes a month to go the wrong way, some may choose the wrong way.

or is it the pain or joy associated with choosing a way?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

When opportunity knocks the door....values often shut blind.

Read a thought provoking post on Seth's Blog about the tacit honor system in our society,  the notion of 99% of people are good and only 1% of the people are actually bad. So if you treat everybody as if they belong to that 1%, you might loose the 99%.

Just about everything in civilization works on the honor system.

No armed guards at the local grocery store, no pat down as you leave the library. Most people cross the street without fear of crazed hit and run assassins.

Great marketers are able to deliver customer service because they're willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. They tend to take your word for it.

Of course there are bad actors. One out of a thousand people will cheat on that test or rip off that store. When LL Bean or Patagonia offers a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, some jerks decide to buy an outfit, go on a trip and then return it all.

If you spend all your time worrying about these folks, you end up underserving the other 99% of the population. Take the write off. That's what successful marketers do.

Though I agree to an extent to the notion of 99% on one side and the other 1% on the other side of any such argument, I believe that there is a great portion of that 99% actually will jump to the otherside when there is an opportunity or necessity.  Very few people will always stand up to their values.  And very few people will always be bad no matter what you do. Whatever we do, people on either extreme might not change a bit. But they represent a very small portion of any system. So to establish an honor society it is very important to install additional checks which will keep this 'great portion' of cats-on-the-wall in check. Atleast, create an illusion that there is such a system watching them.

An intersection with cameras (though not-working) will keep most drivers in check. Closed circuit monitors in shops keep most of those itching hands safe in pockets. Regular audits by IRS keep a majority of people report exactly what they earn. When nobody is watching, almost everybody act strange.

The code of honor rely on the security checks installed on the system.  Have an optimal level of those checks and monitoring systems and have a good insurance to cover the 1% bad guys.

Let them enter through the door heads high by closing down the windows.

( | Via RSS Feed | Link to Article | )

Monday, July 9, 2007

How to make a million dollars? A penny from 100 Million or $100 from 10,000

Seth Godin on 'How to make a million' says tyring to make a penny from hundred million almost never works. Instead try to make a dollar from million people.

One popular method is to make a dollar in profit from each of a million people. Or a penny from a hundred million. This is the China strategy. It almost never works.

It almost never works because the challenge of reaching that many people is just too great. It's too risky and too expensive. Doesn't matter that you're only hoping for a dollar or a penny. The price isn't the challenge, it's the difficulty in spreading your idea.

Far easier to make a thousand dollars from each of a thousand people, or even $10,000 from a hundred organizations. You can focus on a small hive of people, a group that talks to itself. You can push through a smaller dip and reach a level of recommendation and dominance that makes incremental sales far easier.

And you can learn much earlier in the process if you've gotten it right or not. Because you're making more per sale, you can spend the time necessary to figure out what really sells and modify your offering sooner in the process.

The irony is that many products and services that have reached huge masses of people actually have significant margins (Windows, for example, or a cup of Starbucks). They got the best of both worlds because first they focused on winning small communities over and that led to the larger market.

Apply this rule to today's web2.0 companies and software development companies. I don't understand where they are going.

  • For most web2.0 companies, the only revenue channel is by showing ads. To make any marginal revenue out of those ads, you must server Millions of page views. Each page view paying a penny. And software companies like 37Signals does it entirely different. They only had around a Million customers. Not sure how many of them are paid customers, but they charge a minimum of 12 dollars a month for a paid customer. To generate 12 dollars in ad revenue if we go the ad route, they need a minimum of 20,000 page views. So when it comes to listening to customers and make changes in thier products, which organization is better.  In other words, if you want the organization to respond to you, you know which one to pick.
  • Many companies used to sell their software by licensing it for a fixed number of servers or users or a combination. (Take for example Solaris Unix). And then they decided to offer the software for free. Motivation behind is to get more customers who pay $100 per support instead of having few customers who pay license costs that runs in thousands per license.

So finally, which one is better. Offer your product free and sell ads. Millions of signed up users to boast while you may not be making any profit. Or offer your service at a fee. You have only a few customers but you may make Millions in profits.

( | Via RSS Feed | Link to Article | )

Apple Product Evolution

Excellent visual showing almost all Apple products. I did not know most products. I haven't even heard of most of them except a very few.  

Evolution of Apple's Products | created by Edwin Tofslie
j

 

A visual I created to show the evolution of most all Apple products
created over the past 30 years.This was created to show the evolution of the
form factor and industrial design of the products, not to show every single
model or upgrade Apple has launched.
Click here to view big

Source: Apple Product Evolution

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Is the internet killing our culture?

Another book on the block that is vehemently complaining about internet and its ill effects on Culture.

 

The Cult of the Amateur: How today's Internet is killing our culture  

I remember an earlier discussion about Wikipedia, complaining about its amateurish mob made content compared to so called validated and trusted expert content from famous encyclopedias. Whether there is any truth in that matter or not, first website I and most of my friends and collegues refer to when in doubt is undoubtedly wikipedia. On subjects we knew in depth, we compared the quality of content and found no truth in those allegations.   

Coming to key arguments made in this book, here are few exceprts (taken from 37Signals post, linked at the bottom of the page, highlights by me)

Mr. Keen argues that “what the Web 2.0 revolution is really delivering is superficial observations of the world around us rather than deep analysis, shrill opinion rather than considered judgment.” 

Another word for narcissism is “personalization.” Web 2.0 technology personalizes culture so that it reflects ourselves rather than the world around us. Blogs personalize media content so that all we read are our own thoughts. Online stores personalize our preferences, thus feeding back to us our own taste. Google personalizes searches so that all we see are advertisements for products and services we already use.

In the Web 2.0 world, however, the nightmare is not the scarcity, but the over-abundance of authors. Since everyone will use digital media to express themselves, the only decisive act will be to not mark the paper. Not writing as rebellion sounds bizarre—like a piece of fiction authored by Franz Kafka. But one of the unintended consequences of the Web 2.0 future may well be that everyone is an author, while there is no longer any audience.

The content on youtube and flickr may be naive and amateurish. But it is original, fresh and so refreshing. They are  lot better than boring and stereotyped TV shows and reality crap.

I agree that the more we personalize and customize we read only what we like and might miss a different perspective. But we do this kind of personalization all the time, even without web2.0. Not everybody read every page in a news paper, every page of a magazine or every program aired on 100s of channels. We choose  a certain channel, certain program or a certain series. Do you watch every basket ball game that is ever played? You choose your team. You choose your game. Do you listen every music CD that is ever released? Have you ever been to every restaurent that is open in the world? You pick one you like.

So personalization is nothing new and internet can not be blamed for that.

Everybody is an author.

Regarding everybody becoming an author, in a democractic world every citizen has equal opportunity to become the leader of Nation. Does that mean there will be no leaders and no followers?  In most parts of the world, everybody has an equal opportunity to own a business and produce a valuable product or service. Does that mean, there is no consumer and there is no meaning of business? 

Is it chaging/killing our culture?

Yes it is. For sure. But that is the essence of culture. Culture is an evolution of how we live. Not a static representation of a life style. Our culture is how we live, then culture is a post-martem representation of a lifestyle. Not the other way. Internet is changing the way we live, communicate and collaborate. Its a new culture. But an empowering culture.

Internet is providing an equal opportunity to everybody to become what they want. And in that aspect, internet is the best thing that has ever happened to the civilization. One that treats everyone equal and provides an equal opportunity.

( | Via RSS Feed | Link to Article | )

Scribble Anywhere : Whiteboards on Appliances

Quite an interesting innovation and very promising for all of us. Whiteboards right on the refrigerator.  No more stick-its and post-its on the regrigerator. Go head scribble your thoughts on the refrigerator itself.

When GE launched “Imagination at Work” as its new slogan to replace “We Bring Good Things To Life”, the most eye-catching part of its online campaign was a virtual whiteboard that visitors could sketch and scribble on. Apparently, someone at GE had the smarts to transfer the ad’s essence to the gleaming white surfaces of GE’s appliances. White goods + whiteboard…? Witness the birth of the sketch-a-fridge.

Currently only available in Brazil, where it is sold as Risque Rabisque (roughly: Scrawl & Scribble), the refrigerator is covered in a special coating similar to dry erase whiteboards. Replacing the age-old practice of sticking grocery lists and children’s drawings on the fridge, missives can now be written directly on the appliance and easily wiped off. It’s a simple innovation that cleverly integrates existing human behaviour, and turns a mundane product into something playful and appealing. Opportunities? When rethinking a product or service, don’t just focus on features or haute design. An element of fun can be just as much of a sales magnet, at a fraction of the cost.

( | Via RSS Feed | Link to Article | )

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Don't let complexity stop you. Be Activists. - Bill Gates

Excerpt from Bill Gates commencement speech at Harvard:

Don’t let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives.

You graduates are coming of age in an amazing time. As you leave Harvard, you have technology that members of my class never had. You have awareness of global inequity, which we did not have. And with that awareness, you likely also have an informed conscience that will torment you if you abandon these people whose lives you could change with very little effort.

You have more than we had; you must start sooner, and carry on longer.

Knowing what you know, how could you not?

And I hope you will come back here to Harvard 30 years from now and reflect on what you have done with your talent and your energy. I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities… on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.

Good luck.

Source: Bill Gates - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Going all Google

Frustrated with multiple web silo services (about 20 different websites I regularly use and ofcourse I hate to manage 20 different logins and bookmarks), I have started moving to 'All Google' services. With a single sign-on, I can access most services and the most interesting benefit is an excellent integration between different services.

And, I really did not know until today that Google has acquired Feedburner. That makes my moving to 'Everything Google' camp little closer than I thought.  

Google has acquired FeedBurner  More »

  • We are happy to announce that Google has acquired FeedBurner. For more information related to the acquisition, read our FAQ.

     

Source: FeedBurner

With feedburner moving to Google camp, all web services I use(except wordpress and central desktop)  are now Google services. 

  1. Search Engine: I rarely used any other search engine so far. (except for proving my point ocassionally)
  2. Google Reader : This is the second mostly used Google application on any given day after search engine. I also dumped my desktop RSS reader in favour of Google Reader. Keyboard navigation is my favorite.
  3. Gmail: This is the harder part to leave Yahoo. But Gmail is a lot better than Yahoo Mail. I love the pop access and Gmail on Mobile.
  4. Google Notebook (Zoho notebook is a fierce competitor for this, and quite a wonderful application. But for time being, I will stick to Google Notebook for most though I might use Zoho notebook aswell)
  5. Google talk
  6. Google Bookmarks
  7. Google Web Search History
  8. Google Desktop (Even at office I use Google Desktop search to look through Emails and documents)
  9. Google Calendar ( Not as good as Yahoo in some aspects, but does all I need)
  10. Google Maps 
  11. Google Docs (Docs & Spreadsheets)
  12. Google Analytics
  13. Google Photos: Picasa
  14. Google Videos + YouTube
  15. iGoogle is lot better that myYahoo.
  16. Google News
  17. Google Groups
  18. Google Finance (not as good as Yahoo but again, does what I need) and ofcourse
  19. My own search engine powered by Google to search all sites I am interested in.
  20. Feed Burner

There are still some services I can not get rid of at this point, but pretty soon I will find a replacement. Not sure what happened with Jotspot (acquired by Google). When it is integrated with other Google services, I bet Google will have almost all I want to have on web. 

NDTV.com : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of NDTV.com’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...