Friday, December 31, 2004
H ours of happy times with friends and family
A bundant time for relaxation
P lenty of love when you need it the most
Y outhful excitement at lifes simple pleasures
N ights of restful slumber (dont' worry be happy)
E verything you need
W ishing you love and light
Y ears and years of good health
E njoyment and mirth
A ngels to watch over you
R embrances of a happy years!
Happy New Year 2005
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Now, that should make the whole process of a page load slightly faster, and it relieves us of a LOT of ADs. And yes, if you decide to block out 'certain elements', then the big-G begins to lose money too, for a major revenue for the big-G comes now through it's AdSense program. I decided to install this extension and give it a try. The filter that I added was /http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js/
The results are here:
I have uninstalled Adblock, for the Google Adsense has never been any botheration to me, but ...
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
- India: Prime Minister's National Relief Fund
- (Tamil Nadu State, India) Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund
- Association for Indian Development
- The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami
- HOPE - NDTV's trust fund
‘‘Tsunamis are never recorded in Indian history, so it did not occur to us,’’ said R S Dattatrayam, director seismology at IMD, who arrived after 8.30 am to the station after being informed. ‘‘I don’t recall the exact sequence of events.’’
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
The backbone network reaches speeds of 2.5 to 10 gigabits per second and connects the universities at 1 to 10 gigabits per second, with a trial on CERNET2 between Beijing and Tianjin on December 7 achieving a speed of 40 gigabits per second, the highest in the world in real applications.
Monday, December 27, 2004
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Ancient India had been a world renowned centre of learning. Universities at Nalanda and Takshashila had students who came from across the continents to come and study. But somewhere down the line, perhaps with changing social and economical aspects in the country, the quality of education in the country deteriorated. It is true that present day India can boast of some elite institutions in the field of technology, art and design. But if we were to see the country as a whole, the situation emerges out bleak.
Some of the countries best universities today face a crisis. A crisis that involves funding, faculty shortage, bureaucratic issues and ever so inexplicably, political interventions. Immediately after independence, the Government of India decided to establish certain institutions that would impart specialized education in the field of technology and promote research. It is this that lead to the birth of the Indian Institutes of Technology and later the Indian Institutes of Management, two brand names, two revered institutions. But then with this, where we faltered was our unilateral approach to education that came up with establishments of such institutions. The indifference towards the Universities in the country ultimately was to pay a heavy price. So while these institutions received all the autonomy and funding, other multi-disciplinary universities in the country struggled to maintain their high standards, with the burden of an ever increasing population, decreasing funds and an evident neglect from the government.
The perils are quite evident. One can witness a huge gap in the standards of education that people receive. Today everyone is of the opinion that India is lagging way behind when it comes to research. Now, what people do not realize that research is fostered in an environment where people with multidisciplinary interests meet and set about the task of creation. All of which is only possible in a University setup with faculties in various departments such as art, economics, technology, science, literature, law etc. It is only in such an environ that free exchange of ideas mitigates, a sense of dynamism drives the students, and a multilateral approach is developed not just towards problem solving but also problem creation.
The picture is not all rosy, but still situation isn't yet out of control. Things can still be rectified, only that we'll have to see if the Government still believes in its role as a regulator or as a promoter, because if every other day a bureaucrat goes about teaching an academician what should be taught and what not, then all this comes to nothing. Give more autonomy to the Universities, let them hike their fees, promote the members of the faculty as consultants to the industry, and spruce up the infrasture for most Universities presently cite outdated infrastructure as one major shortcoming. In my opinion, even if every state in the country decided to have one University that could truly proclaim to be out their with the nation's best, we would definitely be witness to the emergence of a stronger nation, powered by youth with multilateral approach, better equipped, driven by the motivation to earn a name for them and their country.
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Radio had its golden age in the 1930s. In the 1950s, it was television's turn. Historians may well date the golden age of the blog from 2004—when Merriam-Webster.com's most searched-for definition was blog. How long can it last? Who knows? Here's what we discovered about the new medium this year
10 Things We Learned About Blogs
Friday, December 24, 2004
...But the thing that makes me really not trust the browser is that it doesn't matter how secure the original code is if the typical usage pattern of the browser requires users to perform insecure actions.
·Installing Firefox requires downloading an unsigned binary from a random web server
·Installing unsigned extensions is the default action in the Extensions dialog
·There is no way to check the signature on downloaded program files
·There is no obvious way to turn off plug-ins once they are installed
·There is an easy way to bypass the "This might be a virus" dialog
Read: How can I trust Firefox?
Thursday, December 23, 2004
The most popular queries for the year were:
1. britney spears
2. paris hilton
3. christina aguilera
4. pamela anderson
7. carmen electra
8. orlando bloom
9. harry potter
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
I however do not see why would someone flock to this 'AOL Mail on the Web.' I mean the only reason people migrated to GMail was because of the incredble 1GB that the big G had to offer, not to mention the email search that it provided. But with the 100 MB that AOL is providing and no 'excitingly unique' feature to boast of, I have absolutely no idea why would it make sense to have an account with AOL?
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
As a result, topics such as 'erosion in values and discipline', morality, 'technology aftermaths' amongst the youth are debated everywhere in the country. The fellow who puts the clip online is picked up by the Police, the student who shot the clip is not only expelled from school but is also sent to an observation home and what not. All is fine till here. Now the Police decides that it must also put behind bars the CEO of the auction site.
So, a pesonwho actually calls up the police offering his help in the investigations earns an outing at Asia's famous jail. If only someone could explain me any logic behind this... Why arrest the man? I cant see one valid reason for arresting the CEO. The user agreement of the auction site clearly says that you can't trade in alcohol, drugs, antiques etc. and the things cannot be 'obscene or contain pornography'. Agreed that the transaction was not legal but you just can't put the CEO of an aution site behind bars just because the responsibility of the offence in this case lies with the consumers and nothing that could be termed unlawful has been done by the company.
It has somehow been a trend in the Indian system to come down heavily unjustifiably in certain cases. All thi san dmore when they simply turn a blind eye towards more atrocious activities that goes around them. It's high time that India has a rethink on whatever cyber laws that prevail in the country and then comes out with a more just and 'practical' system. Else, why not put the Aviation or Railways Minister in jail whenever there's a plane or train crash in the country.
Monday, December 20, 2004
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Friday, December 10, 2004
Google Suggest tries to guess what the users actually may want to look for as they enter query in the search box. According to the FAQ section on the Google Labs site, a wide range of information is used by algorithms to predict what the users may be wishing to look for. This information, however, does not include personal search history.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Monday, December 06, 2004
Educators who want to improve academic achievement often focus on exciting new strategies for teaching reading and math. But without a basic atmosphere of trust—among teachers, principals, parents, and students—such reforms have little chance of success.I recall the day a couple of years ago, when during the presentation of an end semester report on "Innovation, Academia, and India", my answer to a question on improving research standards at undergraduate level was trust.
Read: Trust, Not Pedagogy, May be the Key to Educational Success
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Rather unfortunate, the Professor isn't taking another course next semester.
Friday, December 03, 2004
It didn't take a great deal of time to get started with the whole act of blogging with Spaces. In fact, in under less than 15 minutes, I was able to create and configure 'my space' on the web and post an entry on it too. And in that time I also changed the layout and theme of the blog (the fact that they have pathetically restricted options in this regard is a different thing though.) The service provides some very novel integaration options with other MSN sites to the user such as an integrated photo-album and music lists. Besides these, the most notable aspects are its ability to let you restrict access to your blog and also post through IM. Now that is something that gives this blogging service certain firsts.
However, as mentioned earlier, the layout leaves a lot to be desired and theme changes only allow to change the background colours. Perhaps this is one area where it might need some reconsiderations. And if they plan to allocate users a URL as lengthy as http://spaces.msn.com/members/xyzuser then it simply is not that bright an idea.
Spaces scores well on usability and as there always will remain a trade off between feature-stuffing and accessibility, the service is found wanting in many departments. But then, it is really very easy to get started with it, fairly simple to use and for a non blogger, a fantastic tool to get into blogging mode right away. So while I would not even contemplate about moving from Blogger to Spaces, I might recommend it to my sister.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writerIt seems that the word will now be incorporated in the 2005 version of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
These screenshots by Henrik Gemal confirm my skepticism. I ain't ever going to download it!
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Got to burn midnight oil. It's the end-sem examinations.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
But I was left confounded by a quote appearing on News.com from Gary Schare who is Microsoft's director of product management for Windows:
I still believe in the end that most users will decide that IE is the best choice when they take into account all the factors that led them to choose IE in the first place," Schare said. "Meanwhile, we're happy that they're primarily (using Firefox) on Windows, and that Firefox is part of the large ecosystem of software products available on the Windows platform.This left me with the question- "Did I chose it?" I never chose IE! I used IE for a very long time simply because it existed on my computer from day 1. I would say that is the issue with most of the current IE users. Some did choose IE (and still do so), as their preferred browser. But most others simply have no clue about the existence of other better browsers. And so, are we right in assuming that they *chose* IE? I am not quite sure.
(I just found out that Neil Turner has raised exactly the same point on his blog. Individuals with like minded thinking, I suppose.)
A press release on Dartmouth News has:
Using high resolution digital images of drawings by Bruegel and some of his imitators, as well as a painting by Perugino, the computer scientists captured data about pen or pencil stroke patterns and other elements that represent an artist's style or aesthetic signature. This signature was then used to discover consistencies and inconsistencies within a single piece of artwork or among works by the same artist. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Online Early Edition during the week of Nov. 22-26, 2004.Read: Dartmouth News - Researchers develop digital technique for art authentication - 11/22/04
Monday, November 22, 2004
According to Guinness World Records,
- the shortest word In English with all five vowels is "eunoia" which means sometning like "beautiful thinking".
- the longest English word consisting only of vowels is "euouae" which is a medieval music term.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Realizing the truth of our existence. Understanding the sense of true happiness. Praising the creation that is us. It is only touch that colligates us and these...
And unlike all other previous presentations of mine, I decided not to prepare any slideshow for it. I thought the audience would be able to connect with me better without it.
I haven't yet played around with it a lot but it looks real neat. My first impression: stunning interface! It is very intuitive to use for most of the functions with a very appealing layout all done in flash. The network tree on the left has all your contacts arranged as nodes giving a clear picture of how you're connected with them.
Besides the option to upload pictures and share music with others, it also provides a favourites section to bookmark text entries and pictures. You can also make RSS feeds of your wallop blog and use them externally or publish it as html on the web with a public url. And the most wonderful part, it also comes studded with a RSS reader to import RSS syndicated sites. However, it doesn't seem to have anything like a 'Community concept' like the one in services like Orkut.
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Friday, November 19, 2004
... [MSN] said they were going to begin crawling the entire web and doing it without charge. However, that's no easy task. So I believe MSN is using the results from Google and possibly even Yahoo to get all of the pages they've indexed on sites that have a relatively low page count in the current msn search engine.If Microsoft is crawling Google results (I don't believe it!), then it makes me wonder why wouldn't the guys at Google take note of the huge number of hits coming from an obvious Microsoft IP!
Dear Conspiracy theorists, don those famous conspiracy hats.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Monday, November 15, 2004
According to Don Park, the web will be divided into areas searchable only through specialized search services, dominated in part by alliances and affiliates. For instance, MSDN could be looked up only through MSN, Blogger blogs only through Google, and, Amazon only through A9. All the ingredients of making the current web transform into a segregated network!
However, I do not see any such thing happening. The notion of such a walled web would simply defeat the very purpose of search. The simple reason being that what advantage would Google see in letting Blogger bogs be seached only through its search service, and why would Microsoft restrict other search services to list MSDN pages?
Sunday, November 14, 2004
So when Tata Group's new Television commercial was released some days ago, it was a refreshing change. The advertisement is woven all around the group's core idea 'Live your values', the values being Faith, Skill, Partnership, Honesty, Teamwork, and Respect.
The commercial starts with a child walking towards his waiting friends followed by an intensely fought football match in rain, highlighting all the above mentioned values during the course of play. Togetherness, team spirit, right attitude and sportsmanship are all conveyed splendidly through the commercial.
Image courtesy: IndianTelevision.com
Monday, November 08, 2004
Now, as I had written in my earlier post on MileWideBack extension about Fitts' Law and target acquisition, it is known that popup pie-menus have significant advantages over traditional menus. Since a pie pops up whereever you click, you can move to the 'slice of the pie' you want in very small movements. So the time required to acquire the target is significantly reduced.
Just Right click and drag your mouse ever so slightly
in any of the eight directions. Then release.
Another advantage that pie menu has is that the direction information is remembered by the user. So it doesn't take long for you to get used to just 'RightClick + slightly move down and then release the mouse' to reload the page. (In fact, the user doesn't even need the display of the menu once he gets used to it!)
Get RadialContext for Firefox
Saturday, November 06, 2004
I argued that Gmail's aggressive use of DHTML qualifies it as a kind of RIA (rich Internet application). As e-mail correspondents and bloggers pointed out, the technique has a fairly long history. Many wonder why it remains on the fringe. The reason, I think, is partly a weakness common to all RIA technologies. Whether it's based on DHTML, Java, Flash, .Net, or just a standard GUI, an RIA has a client/server architecture. Unlike a Web application that manages state information almost entirely on the server, an RIA achieves a more balanced distribution of that information between server and client. The benefits that flow from this arrangement can include responsiveness, context preservation, and offline capability.Web based software does provide a very important (and often neglected) strength in the form of state information being stored at the server side. From providing transient application continuity of a user's web experience to facilitating integration opportunities amongst various web applications, across various servers, it can all be accomplished with a standard Web-based architecture.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Tell you what, atleast his term as some President is over!
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
What if the Final Frontier could not be defended. As Team India lies all battered and bruised at the hands of visiting Aussies, why have millions of cricket lovers donned their hats of critical analyzers and have come up with the unanimous verdict- Ganguly's men have failed them. Why is it that contempt is all what the public is throwing at 'its' team.
I seriously think our players deserve much better treatment than what they are being meted out. This is the same team that took India to the World Cup finals, the same team that stunned Australia, with the very same bunch of 'invincible' players, on their own soil, and tamed the Pakistanis in their own den. The Men in Blue have not played upto their full potential. But no one likes to underperform. The guys are out there giving it their best, and they are the best in their own rights. The day we question the ability of the Sachins , the Sauravs and the Dravids, I say, we better question our own sanity.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Sunday, October 31, 2004
It curtails those truckloads of plugins that Acrobat loads with it everytime, ones which I rarely or never require for the innocuous task of reading the pdfs. (One could always do it by pressing Shift while Acrobat loads but this is definitely a convenience.)
So, if you're one who can't do without Adobe Reader/Acrobat in this world, it's time you download this little program.
Adobe Reader SpeedUp
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Beginning next year, Internet users and companies would be able to register .in domain names online, enabling increased traffic circulation within the country and faster download speeds, according to the Minister for IT and Communications, Mr Dayanidhi Maran.
Please suggest some whacky address where we may shift this blog to.
Friday, October 29, 2004
The Personal Internet Communicator, or PIC as AMD calls it, will cost about $185 without a display. To reach that price, AMD selected several standard PC components, including one of its own Geode x86 processors, 128MB of Samsung RAM and a 10GB Seagate hard drive. The company also specifies a version of Microsoft's Windows CE operating system, fitted with Windows XP-extensions, allowing it to provide consumers with a graphical interface, e-mail, Web browsing, instant messaging and word processing. The PIC machines will also be able to play multimedia files and show PDF and PowerPoint files, AMD said.This PIC from AMD certainly has whaty it takes to be a mass-market phenomenon. The market is huge, the opportunities aplenty. With applicatons like distance education, telemedicines beginning to catch the fancy of many including the Govenment and the availability of a reasonably costing device (reasonable compared to the existing. The cost is still too high) , the rural scape of the country can gain a lot. And yes, this is perhaps an ideal option for those who're going in for their second computer at home, and numerous self employed people earning their lives from the internet access nodes, aka cyber-cafes.
ComputerWeekly.com: AMD and VSNL to sell net communicator device in India
News.com: AMD offering blueprint for $185 PC
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
But, as I am free for the whole of the afternoon every Friday, why should I be complaining? That's two complete free afternoons for me. Creature of habit, I guess ;)
This extension works on the simple theory of Fitts' Law. For all of you who are aware of this law, you would know that the time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target, the target here being the two *small* back and forward buttons on top left of your browser. This implies that acquiring these targets, ie, pointing to these buttons is not very easy. All the more difficult if you are using the smaller buttons so as to get more space for web page content.
But withthis extension our 'target' effectively has considerable height and an infinite width! And thus one need just move the cursor with high velocity to the left and navigation is much easier.
Usability Glossary: Fitts' Law
And yes, FireFox download count is well past 6 million!
Friday, October 22, 2004
When Steve Ballmer talks of having a $100 PC, one may begin to wonder if this has potential to become the launchpad for making computers ubiquitous in the current scenario. Steve Ballmer's primary concern here may be to curb piracy, but what we could also achieve is reaching out to a completely new set of users, whom we refer to as on the other side of the digital divide.
The cost of computers may be falling continuously but is still considerable when looked at from the point of view of a common man. But a $100 PC looks to have exactly what it would take to be a mass market success, a phenomenon!
Monday, October 18, 2004
Recognising the potential of ubiquitous Broadband service in growth of GDP and enhancement in quality of life through societal applications including tele-education, tele-medicine, e-governance, entertainment as well as employment generation by way of high speed access to information and web-based communication, Government have finalised a policy to accelerate the growth of Broadband services.Broadband has huge potential to bring about far reaching changes in far flung regions of India. Besides revolutionizing entertainment and communication, it can pave way towards better standards of educaton and healthcare with telemedicine and distance education programs for those in the remotest of areas.
But how do we achieve a 'ubiquitous Broadband service'? The sad reality as of now is that connectivity remains a major problem of India. The cost of bandwidth is on the higher side and as result of these, the 'broadband experience' remains restricted to a few of its huge population. Does this policy address these issues? Disappointingly, No.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
According to News.com, a new protocol: "google_im://" was found in the program files of the code of the recently launched desktop application from Google. This new Google IM Protocol has left many in no doubt that Google is certainly planning to come out with its instant mesaging client in the recent future.
But then Google has always mystified us mere mortals and this time too, as it appears, the guesswork will go on an on....
Friday, October 15, 2004
According to News.com, Intel plans to boost performance by increasing the cache from the current 1MB to 2MB so as to facilitate faster data access, a marked shift from the idea of increasing the megahertz as the primary way to increase performance.
I have this sneaking suspicion that this move may just result in Intel falling behind in the race with AMD (which is definitly catching attention with chips delivering more efficient performance than those made by Intel eating into the latter's market share) to provide the fastest of processors.
I sincerely feel that the newer campaigns should be much better thought of else we'll falter to build up on the momentum that we've gained from the super-success of the '1 Million Downloads' campaign.
Never the less, the gallery is nothing but laced with spunk and splendour, the images simply breath taking. How about this picture?
You may say that my blog has been a bit too much *Google-centric* for the past few days. There's not much I could do. My fav technology company has been busy!
So now they've come up with this new big thing of theirs, Google Desktop to search for files on your computer. It's just a small download and install, followed by a few hours indexing on your PC, and you've got it working.
So now will this 'next big thing' from Google address those situations where I spend simply *too much* of time looking around for something that's definitely stored 'somewhere'? Can't say a lot as of now for I haven't actually used this much but will definitely do so once it's done with this whole indexing process. Maybe then I'll have something to write about it and probably something that's not about Google too ;)
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Gallina is a blog based on Google's Gmail. Gallina allows you to post blog entries by sending a message through Gmail, with the "star" function. Any replies to the e-mail are posted as comments in the blog. This practically has given you a 1000megabyte blog!
I was just wondering how would the guys at Google react to it? For now, Blogger still remains the most popular blogging service but who knows... ;)
Gallina Demo blog
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
And now the interesting part: The members can take a picture of their contribution and submit it to the gallery with a description of the picture.
The GOAL this time around: "To have 1,000 fun, creative and relevant pictures in the gallery by October 19th"
Monday, October 11, 2004
It is simply awesome, real neat and definitely more usable. [It's surprising how much more I am inclined towards observing the usability of websites these days! My User Centered Design Course Prof would be proud of me ;) ]
Annoying. Isn't it? What's more, it's not just files with .zip extension. Gmail won't let me attach anything with a .tar and an .exe extension :(
Denying attachments to enhance security and curb spamming and virus, somehow doesn't make too much of sense!
Sunday, October 10, 2004
As an Indian fan held a banner in the stadium: SOS Sachin!
As the hubbub of alternative Web browsers keeps growing—from speculation over a so-called "Gbrowser" from search-engine leader Google Inc. to the many advances in the open-source Mozilla project—in the background, America Online Inc. has been quietly testing its own Web browser, dubbed "AOL Browser," for more than a month.And what new features will this AOL Browser have for prospectiv users over the good old IE and the sensational Firefox? According to eWeek, the new browser would come stuffed with features like tabbed browsing, page previews on hovering over back and forward buttons, easy access to clear browsing footprints and many other accessibility features, which the other browsers lack.
AOL stand-alone browser demo, showing a thumbnail view of the previously viewed site. (SOURCE: eWEEK.com)
Thursday, October 07, 2004
At first sight, one may easily compare it to the recently launched service from Amazon - A9.com but the service has got altogether a new dimension to it. Google Print will allow users to search for the contents and then let them read upto 20% of ther total contents of the book. For this, Google has called for publishers to include entire books in its index, which will let people take a peek at the contents of a book before deciding whether to buy it.
To use Google Print, just do searches on Google as you normally would. Whenever a book contains content that matches your search terms, we'll show links to that book in your search results. Click on the book title and you'll go to a "content page," where you can see the page containing your search terms and other information about the book. You can also search for other topics within the book. Click on the "Buy this Book" link and you'll go straight to a bookstore selling the book online.
The Internet to all of us has been one of the most accessible source of information in recent past, though not the most "Reliable". For a large number of people, books on hard paper still remain the authenic, reliable source. It is this issue that I feel will be addressed with such a service. The 20% limit would however, prove a hindrance. Never the less, for all of us, the information available has just got better- qualitatively and quantitatively
c|net download.com are running a poll asking when will you switch to Firefox?
Comments by registered members on the poll at spreadfirefox.com
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
The site http://micromovie-award.com has all the 20 nominated movies which can be viewed online. Which one do I like the most? It'll have to be Entry # 6, "Say Cheese", the story of a girl who's trying hard to fit in a camera frame.
The films can be viewed online at http://www.micromovie-award.com
The official festival website is http://www.interfilm.de
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
This morning when I signed in (after trying for two hours last night without any success), I found a link to New Features! and came across the following updates from Gmail:
- Gmail Notifier
- Search your contacts
- Automatic forwarding to another email account
- And finally... Save Drafts!
Monday, October 04, 2004
Never the less, we're still on course to touch a total of 20000 registered users by the end of the campaign. Cheers! The fire continues to spread.
Sunday, October 03, 2004
E-nabling India's rural reaches gives an insight into the various projects such as free phones supported by a wireless ( 802.11b) network and wireless Internet-enabled Community Information Centres, which are helping in achieving the President's blueprint of 'Programme for Urban Amenities in Rural Areas' and bridging the so called 'Digital Divide' and more importantly the Income Divide and Opportunity Divide.
So while other online publishers like Yahoo News and MSNBC earn tens of millions of dollars in revenue each year and continue to grow, Google News remains in beta mode -- three years after it launched -- long after most of the bugs have been excised.
The reason: The minute Google News runs paid advertising of any sort it could face a torrent of cease-and-desist letters from the legal departments of newspapers, which would argue that "fair use" doesn't cover lifting headlines and lead paragraphs verbatim from their articles. Other publishers might simply block users originating from Google News, effectively snuffing it out.
Saturday, October 02, 2004
This has to be hailed as one of the most important breakthroughs in combining the different domains like the fundamental process of photosynthesis and electronics. The technology, which could prove to be a reasonably cheaper and cleaner supply of energy for our portable devices, may still be nascent but it does promise a lot in the coming years.
Friday, October 01, 2004
Monday, September 27, 2004
Maybe what it has in store for us is something bigger, real big. What Google did with Blogger is a candid example of it's tremendous marketing. So what could Google be upto? Speculations also float around that Google is working on an Instant Messenger. Some people say that, coupling this with Gmail and adding an element of community networking, something like Orkut may be what Google has in mind. But given the fact that Google has been one of the few companies that have shown its true innovating capabilities, it seems it'll not be just this!
The smartest concept people have thrown about deals with Google's core strengths- data management, integrated web applications and targeted advertising. If Google can offer me a GB, can't it offer a bit more? The result: a remote hard drive, and some twists and turns and we'll have a remote Operating System! So I with my 'impoverished' thin client with very little hard drive space, and almost zero number of softwares can use this GBrowser to access all sorts of programs and data stored someplace on the GNetwork.
And this is just a possibility. Google has always defied boundaries that dictate possiblities. So what I am expecting is something that may simply revolutionize the way people interact with their computer and network. Now wouldn't this make life interesting?
Defending The Fox eanbles one to post information about sites that don't actually support Firefox. The info may include the website url, webmaster's contact details and general comments to ge them to try and support FireFox.
The revolution has just begun!
Sunday, September 26, 2004
This is exactly what your computer may be doing! A harmless seeming email attachment or a trojan horse downlaoded onto your machine may have made your computer a part of a bot network that could do anything ranging from conducting distributed denial-of-service attacks to advertising spam, or do anything that could be done with the computing power of such large number of 'voluntary' soldiers at disposal.
Read : When Bot Nets Attack
Saturday, September 25, 2004
The Skybus met with a serious accident this Saturday, September 25th on the specially built self stabilising track, killing one and injuring five. According to D.B. Rajaram, managing director, KRCL, the agency behind the Skybus project, "The accident occurred most likely because the bogie was heading at a higher speed than it should have. Also, it oscillated to a higher degree than we had expected." He also said that his pet project would not be affected by this accident and went on to add that every project faces some ups and downs.
The question that still remains from the previous post is "What remains to be seen is that can it move beyond its testing stage?"
Paul Krill writes
In a letter to the “Java Technology Community” on Friday, specification leads on Java Specification Request (JSR) 220, which is the proposal for Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0, and JSR-243, for Java Data Objects, state that the two technologies feature divergent persistence models. “This divergence has caused confusion and debates among Java developers, and is not in the best of interest of the Java community,” said JSR-220 leader Linda DeMichiel who also is a Sun employee, and Craig Russell, a staff engineer at Sun who leads JSR-243.
“In response to these requests [for an end to the unwanted divide], Sun Microsystems is leading a community effort to create a single POJO (Plain Old Java Object) persistence model for the Java community,” the letter said. POJO will serve as a temporary name for the model until a permanent one is devised.
Read Nose-steered mouse could save aching arms
Friday, September 24, 2004
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Furl is another such service that claims to be "Your personal web". Quite an impressive tag line! What it does is that it saves the important items you find on the web and enables you to quickly find them again.
Furl archives a personal copy of every page you save. When you want to recall it, you can find it instantly by searching the full text in your archived items, and for this they provide you a personal archive of 5 GB, large enough to store tens of thousands of searchable items.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Read Tech’s tempered recovery
The site is simply superb. Some of the more appealing features I found were:
- A9.com remembers what you last searched,
- recommends sites based on what the other users preferred,
- provides different views of frequently visited sites
- gives you a bookmark column where you could store result items, ie. bookmark them, enabling you to view and edit the results of searches they last performed.
- Another remarkable feature was that of allowing me to save notes about the webpages that I visit.
The site is definitey usable and may go on to mark a change in the way people search information forcing a search company or two, to rethink their strategies!
Friday, September 17, 2004
Anyways, spreadfirefox.com is finally down. I say 'finally' because I had expected it to happen on the first day itself. Kudos to the guys for managing to keep it up and running for three days. A real heavy workload of three days has prompted the following notice on the homepage:
72 hours later: The world is on fire
"There's a window of opportunity for Mozilla to gain significant market share," BusinessWeek reports ... The Wall Street Journal recommends that users switch to Firefox, because it's more secure, modern and advanced ... c|net reports that 18% of its users are now coming to the site using open source web browsers ...
There's a meme infecting the Internet: Firefox is taking back the web. And you are our vanguard in this new movement.
It's been an astonishing and sleepless 72 hours since we released Firefox Preview Release. Thanks to your impressive efforts, nearly 790,000 people have downloaded Firefox in 3 days, bringing us within arm's length of our 1 million goal with a week to go! Over 5,000 people like yourself have joined Spread Firefox already and are poised to take back the web by storm. Over at c|net, Firefox enjoys the highest site rating possible and a staggering 92% approval rating. In the past three months alone, Firefox has gained close to 2% of browser marketshare—the first increase for non-IE browsers in eight years.
With numbers like these, it's getting harder to ignore Firefox—and indeed, the browser is making its way into some very elite circles. Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal columnist that Newsweek called "the most powerful arbiter of consumer tastes in the computer world," told over one million WSJ readers yesterday to dump Internet Explorer and get Firefox. Robert Scoble, renowned Microsoft evangelist, now sports a shiny new Firefox button on his weblog. And Firefox enjoyed 24-hour coverage on the very front page of Google News.
Spread Firefox is enjoying some coverage of its own. It was featured on cable television as part of G4TechTv's Firefox Throwdown campaign. The site is now first in our roll call with over 16,000 referrals in 3 days! Other big name affiliates include Broadband Reports and WordPress, both of whom have been amazingly generous in spreading the word among their expansive clientele. A number of news sites, such as c|net, also wrote dedicated sfx stories. But before all this popularity could go to our head, it went to our servers—and they are struggling. Please bear with us through outages and slowdowns as we work to manage the load; we hope to have the download counter updating more frequently when we get our site functioning better under this massive load.
We would particularly like to recognize a fiction writer named Kevin Karpenske. Kevin recently gave us his previous domain name, Firefox.com, for our use in promoting Firefox. And you might notice something familiar on his new site: four prominent Firefox buttons, linked to an sfx affiliate account. Thanks, Kevin!
We have some incredible things in store for you all over the coming weeks and months, and the sfx team is getting together today to discuss how and when we want to roll them out. Here's a sneak peek of some of the things you can expect in the near future:
- A chance to put your filming and digital video editing skills to good use.
- Enhanced promotion of the ten individuals and companies that are making our roll call—and some prizes.
- The birth of nearly a dozen marketing teams that will collaborate using sfx-provided tools and infrastructure to accomplish some very specific and some very critical jobs.
- An expansion of our affiliate points system, as well as the meaning of these points. You'll earn points for joining the aforementioned teams, points for donating, points for promoting Firefox in your signature file—points for just about anything you can think of that gets Firefox in the hands of another person.
- A sneak peak at some of the things we've been creating behind the scenes for the past few months—being a member of this community has its rewards. You're gonna love our new posters aimed at college students.
- A community rating system for sfx blogs. The top rated blog will be promoted to the front page of sfx at regular intervals, and runners-up will enjoy prime placement in our "Featured" section on the right-hand side.
- ...and we're unveiling plans for the largest Firefox promotion we've ever undertaken, but we're going to need your help.
But first the Mozilla sysadmins and Daryl are pulling out their toolkit and performing surgery on our server so we can provide you with a more reliable experience here.
Monday, September 13, 2004
A Silicon Valley startup claims to have cracked one of most elusive goals of the software industry: a near-universal emulator that allows software developed for one platform to run on any other, with almost no performance hit.This should definitely make it convenient for users while switching hardware platforms, without having to really make drastic changes to existing application code keeping a check on the expenses and time involved. So, would applications remain slaves to platforms no more?
Transitive Corp. of Los Gatos, California, claims its QuickTransit software allows applications to run "transparently" on multiple hardware platforms, including Macs, PCs, and numerous servers and mainframes.
Sunday, September 12, 2004
In a country, where access to Internet was for a privileged few till the late nineties, we've come a long way in a span of just five years. The remotest of areas in the country are connected. But the impact of internet is yet to be felt at its strongest. The development of services and applications is not moving at a pace we could boast of. All this is probably due to the longevity of infrastructural issues and factors like slow connection speed, high access rates and creative solutions, ones which resulted in the cellular boom in the country.
Proper imagination and influx of venture capital could help us in developing an Internet platform envied by the world. The other day I stumbled across I-neighbors,an online community that connects people to neighbors in their local community. It is a project undertaken by a team at MIT and seems to be just the sort of a service which has the capability of making the Internet make its impact felt. (More on this I-Neighbours in some other post.) It remains to be seen how the present Internet mutates with the advent of low cost access devices, better applications and services for the ordinary and a touch of imagination thrown in.
However, I am slightly skeptical of the security if the data from these mouse or keyboard is not encrypted. If the data is encoded in some way by a software for the biometric input to retrieve it, it shouldn't be a big deal for a worm or the spywares to extract it from that software.
Maybe this would also be another of those cases of compromising security for convenience.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
The viruses are largely alike: They are designed to spread by attaching copies of the program to e-mail messages and download additional features from compromised Web sites. Moreover, they are all difficult to clean from an infected Microsoft Windows-based PC, because they stop the system from connecting to antivirus Web sites to download updates.
The fact that several similar variations of MyDoom have been released in quick succession suggest that a more lethal version may be in the works, said Sam Curry, vice president of product management for Computer Associates International's eTrust software.
Now it was time to make an easy upgrade. When I launched the new FireFox for the first time, it did show me some components which were incompatible, stuff llike my extensions etc.
No big deal. Just had to go to the authors's webpages to get the new installations!
So download one today and test it out. If all goes well, this will become the Preview Release of Firefox 1.0 !
Get the latest Branch nightlies here.
Friday, September 10, 2004
Software in the 1980s, when usability was "invented," was all about computer-human interaction. A lot of software still is. But the Internet brings us a new kind of software: software that's about human-human interaction.
Discussion groups. Social networking. Online classifieds. Oh, and, uh, email. It's all software that mediates between people, not between the human and the computer.
When you're writing software that mediates between people, after you get the usability right, you have to get the social interface right. And the social interface is more important. The best UI in the world won't save software with an awkward social interface.
Over the next decade, I expect that software companies will hire people trained as anthropologists and ethnographers to work on social interface design. Instead of building usability labs, they'll go out into the field and write ethnographies. And hopefully, we'll figure out the new principles of social interface design.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Genesis spacecraft on the ground. Source: www.nasa.gov
In critical endeavours such as these, small mishaps could lead to fatal consequences. If I recall correctly, sometime in 1999 too the Polar lander had crashed when it was attempting to land on the Red Planet. So much for the unforgiving nature of these human endeavours to such small errors.
This paper reviews the literature, and interprets the characteristics of flow within the context of interface design with the goal of understanding what kinds of interfaces are most conducive to supporting users being in the flow.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Friday, September 03, 2004
The registration process is simple. Nothing flashy, just key in your desired userID, a password and an email address which is again optional if you can remember your password for eternity. From here on, all you need to do is to add a small 'bookmarklet' to your browser. Whenever you wish to bookmark a page, simply click on this and you'll be prompted for information like title, description, keywords and tags about the page.
The positives are obvious. The process is extremely simple and with features like categorizing your links, sorting and searching by category or date, managing bookmarks becomes all so easy. And you could always share your bookmarks. All this can only make information processing a bit more efficient and less cumbersome!
Thursday, September 02, 2004
IBM and Intel, partners in the design of Blade servers have announce that they would not be charging any royalties and there won't be the need of any patent licensing. It can be said that this move will allow other companies to work with them more easily and with IBM deciding to extend design support and assist in product development, the levels of innovation in this field are likely to notch up a few scales.
So, are the racks in for a hard time? Pretty tough to tell. But these blade servers definitely hold an advantage over those bulty racks!!!
Friday, August 27, 2004
Enormous potential exists for software applications for mobile phones demanding fast rates of processing with Java and with the development of an open standards-based mobile Java services architecture, as promised by the companies, we are sure to witness a new range of highly complicated and power packed softwares written in Java and enormous cost reductions in the process of software development.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
This indigenously developed mass transport system is the brainchild of B Rajaram, MD, Konkan Railways Corp. Limited. The system was promoted as an alernative to underground metro system but this project has continuously been facing resisteance from certain government quarters. Issues relating to the safety of its operations have been consistently dogging the project.
Sky Bus- proves its worth in test run
The Sky Bus, being cost-effective and eco-friendy, has the potential to solve the ever increasing problems of mass rapid transport scenario in the country where urban space is a premium. What remains to be seen is that can it move beyond its testing stage?
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
We need to pause for a moment and contemplate if it would really do so. The pathetic state of Indian primary education system remains hidden from few. Children have to fight for two square meals a day. For a large population of India, each new day begins with a new challenge- the challenge of survival. And we want to use ICT for development!
I was very surprised when my friend asked me this question- "Didn't countries 'progress' when there was not the so called ICT?' Didn't people then know what progress really meant? So why this hue and cry about Digital Divide? " I am sure few would disagree to what he had in mind. Digital Divide is only a term we can and have always used as an excuse for some basic things that we have never managed to get right.
Divides do exist. Income Divide, Opportunity Divide and Wealth Divide are the ones that have haunted us for far too long now. We need to fight these loopholes in our society. Only then can we think of development, development across all sections of the Indian society.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Though spim in its current form is not very dangerous, as any infected item will have to be sent only as an attachment and has to be downloaded by the user unlike in an e-mail spam, the annoyance caused by spim is enormous. Who knows, the spim epidemic may just be on its way...
Sunday, August 22, 2004
The Economist writes in its article "Profits and Poverty" that C.K. Prahalad is of the opinion that there can be a win-win relationship between business and the poor
“IF WE stop thinking of the poor as victims or as a burden and start recognising them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value-conscious consumers, a whole new world of opportunity will open up.”
Mr Prahalad reckons that there are huge potential profits to be made from serving the 4 billion-5 billion people on under $2 a day—an economic opportunity he values globally at $13 trillion a year. The win for the poor of being served by big business includes, he says, being empowered by choice and being freed from having to pay the currently widespread “poverty penalty”. In shanty towns near Mumbai, for example, the poor pay a premium on everything from rice to credit—often five to 25 times what the rich pay for the same services. Driving down these premiums can make serving the BOP more profitable than serving the top, he argues, and points to a growing number of leading firms—from Unilever in India to Cemex in Mexico and Casas Bahia in Brazil—that are profiting by doing precisely that.