Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The tragic mistake

From Adam Green's The second coming of the Web:
“When Tim Berners-Lee first gave mankind the Web, he made a tragic mistake. He granted us free will to use less than perfect HTML. His tools, and the tools of those to follow him, allowed users to develop sinful habits based on ignorance and sloth. The result was a Web of corrupt data, in which misformed tags abounded. This great fall from grace by the users of the Web prevented it from ever attaining the state of perfection desired by all computer scientists, a completely machine readable database.”

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Joy of Tech - Windows XP on Mac

Without doubt, The Joy of Tech is the best techie cartoon site out there. Just browsing through their archives for the past week, I stumbled upon this awesome strip:

Vox Populi: "I couldn't give a boot load about this, gimme OS X on a non-Apple PC, ... it's what's inside that counts."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Windows Live Developer Central

At last week's Mix 06, Microsoft announced the launch of their Windows Live Developer Central. There's lots of cool stuff available there if you're interested in developing apps using Windows Live Services.

From Windows Live Developer Central website:
The Windows Live Platform puts a deeper level of control into developers' hands by offering access to the core services and data through open, easily accessible APIs. Start building applications and mashups today with Windows Live.
The site has spme pretty useful information and resources that enables people to start building applications using the easily accessible APIs:

There's also a link to the Channel 9 video where Scott Swanson is interviewed by Robert Scoble about the Messenger Activity APIs and other Messenger-related demos.

Also, I stumbled upon this transcript of Bill Gates's opening keynote at Mix06 featuring Aber Whitcom from MySpace and Ashley Highfield from the BBC. At the end of the speech, there was a dicussion between BillG and Tim O'Reilly that makes quite an interesting read. (btw, MySpace uses SQL Server and Tim O'Reilly's Safari books online service runs on SQL Server and ASP.NET ;) )

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sun Grid - The Network is the Computer

Whoever said that the world would need only five computers was probably correct. Sun has now released its on demand Grid computing for $1/cpu-hour. As Jonathan Schwartz writes about Sun Grid, "...experience for yourself what it's like to use one of the world's largest supercomputers. Without having to house it, manage it, power it, administer it, provision it... or buy it.

Sun's Grid Service is available at network.com, a domain they got with the acquisiton of StorageTek. From the About Sun Grid page:
Sun is changing the very nature of computing by delivering access to enterprise compute power over the Internet with its Sun Grid Compute Utility. Sun Grid provides an easy and affordable access to an enormous computing resource for the predictable and all-inclusive price of $1/CPU-hr.

Reminds me of what my Professor had said last semester in our "Introduction to Grid Computing" class: "As the world uses the Internet to communicate, soon it would use the Grid to compute".

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

ShameIt - Shame 'em into behaving better?

Alright. This is a wicked idea.
An exasperated father has discovered to his cost that cyberspace is not the ideal arena for family feuds. Two weeks ago Steve Williams became so fed up with his daughter's messy bedroom that he built a website featuring pictures of his slothful offspring's lair in an attempt to shame her into action.
But the public humiliation proved a short-lived victory. While it did spur his daughter, Claire, into tidying up her room, it also whet her appetite for revenge. With the help of her father's friends, the 20-year-old business student has now set up a rival website that displays photos of him in a variety of compromising situations.

So if you wanna shame somebody or something with something like this, just keep it in mind that it could backfire!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

MyToday - Online News Aggregator

I just cant help but think that the success of Digg and Newsvine has inspired a whole bunch of news tracking sites and mixups like diggdot.us and SlashDigg.

Another one to have sprung up recently is MyToday. MyToday is your another "public RSS aggregator providing the latest news, views and content on a topic-based collection of feeds."

I first heard of MyToday earlier this month at BarCamp Delhi and at that time I had thought of it like more of a memedigger with human-voting-system for news stories and it seemed a good idea to have an Indian memedigger at last. But as it turns out, MyToday is not a memedigger but only an AJAXy Public RSS Aggregator with an objective to bring the most relevant quality content to the readers through selective sources. This really is a wonderful thing considering the significant increase in the Indian Blogs that have sprung up and an assorted list of feeds in different categories would be a great help.

However, on first impressions, the whole news aggregator thing here looks pretty under developed:
- there aren't any customization features available
- no options to change colour schemes, font sizes.
- no Search within feeds
- no options to "Mark as Read/Unread" or Bookmark

It seems to be a good idea for the large number of people out there who do not use a News Reader but others might as well have the OPML and use their preferred Reader.

I just wonder how are the editors going to handle the vast number of requests they are soon going to be bombarded with by bloggers wishing to be a part of MyTodays Dailies.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Web 2.0 Quiz

Ever got confused between a Web 2.0 Company and a Star Wars character?

How silly is the Web 2.0 hype getting? You tell us! Here's a quick quiz...we looked in 30Boxes and analyzed 37Signals that led us to come up with the 43Things below. So without further ado, can you decide...Web 2.0 or Star Wars Character?

I scored 32. You?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Gmail Chat Disabled

Gmail Chat disabled on the Network The fact that it happened does not surprise me but that it took so long for our network administrators to figure it out does.

And if you are wondering how do you disable Gmail's chat features on your network, you only need locking DNS lookups to chatenabled.mail.google.com, by returning

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Windows Live Weather Forecasts - High vs Low

This is what I had on my Windows Live Desktop the other day:

Windows Live Weather Forecasts

Correct me if I am wrong but shouldn't the High and Low readings be the other way around in this case? I mean, how can we have a high of 10 degrees C and a low of 18 degrees C in a day?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bumble Search

I received an email this evening from Andy about Bumble Search, a Firefox extension built by him and Chris. Bumble Search is meant to add to your search experience and it introduces the concept of Cross Pollination, analyzing pages for keywords and finding related or similar pages.

This was the second Firefox extension for Google Search that I was hearing in the day, the first one being Advanced Dork that lets users quickly search for specific information using Google's Advanced Operators. Curious with what Bumble Search was about, I installed it to give it a shot and was mostly impressed with what it had to offer.

The Bumble Search extension enhances Google Search to include specialized search engines like Wikipedia, flickr, Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB etc, resulting in multiple search options. You can also optionally remove certain commercial keywords like shop, store, bargain, shipping etc. thereby refining your search a great deal.

An example of Bumble Cross Page Pollination

Also, the extension lends the capability to cross reference an auction item in Amazon and Froogle or a product in Ebay and Amazon to find the best deal.

Cross reference items in Amazon andFroogle with Bumble Search

The extension puts up a Sidebar in your browser which provides for a Search and a Notes Tab. The Search tab lets you search for keywords with MSN or Google and the Notes tab lets you drag certain links in the "Pages to Remember" box or add notes on the searched pages on the Notepad. However, once I filled up the available screen space for the The Pages to Remember section, I had to close the toolbar and start it again so that more links could be added. This definitely is a problem.

From what I've seen so far, it seems a decent enough experience and I am going to use it for a couple of days. Don't go by all those negative reviews on the Firefox Extension Page. It really is a nifty extension that wouldn't go down well with all users because of different searching behaviour but for a select user group, it is going to be pretty useful.

You can download Bumble Search Extension from BumbleSearch.com or the Mozilla Addons site

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It's been a long time

It just seems that this hiatus is coming to an end. Recent updates here have been few and far between but there is really not much that I could do. Things were moving at quite a pace and yet they somehow didn't fall into the category of weblog content. Those that did, suffered a result of my now famous procrastination streak.

Anyways, lets just hope that this trend takes a deviation. (Though, I am really not too sure how as I am again off the town for next 4 days beginning tomorrow)

Here's a run through of what I've been upto recently (in no particular order):

Been to BarCamp Delhi and met some really amazing people. I'll most definitely be posting about in detail later.
Formatted and reformatted my desktop.
Cleared an IBM Certification Examination
Saw the new Google Pages thingy. You can't imagine how glad I was to see it flop! But found the Google Calendar screenshots way too cool.
Struggled with tons and tons of meaningless assignments. It really amazes me how we engineers always manage to meet the deadlines. It seems that "beating deadlines" is concept alien to us.

There really isn't an end to this stuff...

And finally, thanks to Prasoon for posting here in my absence.