Friday, December 29, 2006

Innovation? Microsoft?

Yes, Microsoft is Innovative! PC World's list of The 20 Most Innovative Products of the Year has Microsoft Office 2007 on top. All because of that new ribbon. They must be celebrating out there in Redmond! But top spot for this seems a bit unjustified. Its cool alright but the remaining list has some pretty exciting "innovative" products. From the list below, I'll have to say these are all amazing products. So they've got the collection right, probably not the order.

1. Microsoft Office 2007
2. Intel Core 2 Duo
3. Parallels Desktop for Mac
4. Nintendo Wii
5. Samsung 32GB SSD
6. Sony Reader
7. YouOS
8. Dell XPS M2010
9. Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB
10. T-Mobile Dash
11. Pioneer Inno
12. Farecast
13. Sony BWU-100A Blu-Ray Disc Rewritable Drive
14. Olympus EVolt E-330
15. Google SketchUp
16. Sony PlayStation 3
17. RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8100
18. Rhapsody 4.0
19. Logitech NuLooq
20. Shure E500PTH Sound Isolating Earphones

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Free SMS Greeting Service from MyToday

The "someday" I wrote of in the last post has arrived sooner than I expected. Things've been outright crazy: at work, and at home. But I hope they'd be relatively calmer in the days to come.

I've been in Bangalore now for 3 weeks and it's been pretty much fun albeit the fact that I spend a whole lot of my time commuting amidst blaring horns on the jam-packed roads . Met lots of my friends from college the past weekend and had great fun at the not-so-chilly hill station Coorg over the extended weekend. Also met Atishay but didn't get to see his Ferrari laptop. Perhaps Microsoft would bribe me too with one!

MyToday has launched a free SMS greeting service for Indian Mobile users. You get to type your greeting message of 110 characters and the message is sent free along with 50 characters worth of MyToday ads. Tried composing a cool 110 characters new year greeting. No success so far.

"Is Microsoft Driving Innovation or Playing Catch-Up With Rivals?" Microsoft critic Dave Winer and former Microsoft "technical evangelist" Robert Scobledebate the topic on WSJ. Certainly an interesting read. Another of Dave Winer's posts I've enjoyed recently is "Good Luck Jimmy" where he opines that "Someone should try to make the next big leap in search, there's little incentive for Google to try." I particularly liked the quote "Revolution, from time to time, is a healthy thing." that Soxiam had on this.

One thing that I often fail to understand is why Newshutch is overlooked when people talk about Feed Aggregators. I've used it for a very long period of time and will say that it is pretty useful with a very slick interface. And so I was very surprised today to see it being completely left out in this comparison of best RSS Aggregators on SplashCast.

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Someday

Someday, this space will be updated more often.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Zune's Monstrous Ads

What exactly is it that the guys at Big M are trying to achieve with these ridiculous (dangerously bordering absurdity) ads for the Zune?

The first one I came across was at RockInsider. How a couple of monsters swallowing down people and vans are related to MP3 players beats me.


Then the new redesigned YouTube also suggested that I see the other Zune ads. And could it have been any different? Looking at these and other Zune ads, I'll say I even believe this conversation did take place at the fictional Microsoft Zune Design Laboratory.

The ads on Soapbox were disappointing too. But atleast they made some sense!


Video: Zune TV Ad - Snow

Friday, December 08, 2006

Google ads on forehead?

OK. I couldn't think of any title for this post. So just picked up the last thing I mentioned in this post and made it the heading. But with Google now planning even “targeted measurable television ads” you never know!

But Google did one great thing and that was to come up with Gtalk. Things are such that I can barely manage without Gtalk at work. Now that's not because my team is separated all over the building, but it is necessitated because of the frigging earphones and all the stupid music people around me are tuned to. Somebody make them read this!

Browsing through Scoble's Link Blog, I came across this interesting piece titled "Dumbing Down of Programming". I am sure these guys will try to make a point at me through this ;)

Then, there's this wonderful Reformat option in Eclipse that Desh told me about. Its such a pity people can't write a clean piece of code. But this at least solves all the indentation blues. Just hit Ctrl+Shift+F and it indents all the code as per the preferences set. Talking of Eclipse, Google has now joined hands with Eclipse. How this will bring Google closer to the open-source community remains to be seen.

And this week's super comic. I'll have to say this kid is certainly showing signs of excessive blogging!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What code DOESN'T do in real life...

In films and television code is always sailing across the screen at incredible speeds; it's presented as an indecipherable stream of letters and numbers that make perfect sense to the programmer but dumbfound everyone else! Matthew Inman has this amazing piece on how code, programmers and hackers are portrayed in the movies.

The best in his List: #10

10 Most code is not inherently cross platform
Remember in Independence Day when whatshisface-math-guy writes a virus that works on both his apple laptop AND an alien mothership? Bullshit!
If real life were like film I'd be able to port wordpress to my toaster using a cat5 cable and a bag of glitter.

[via Rushi]

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

MTV Back Pack Holidays with TravelGuru

MTV India, after Roadies, takes its adventure travel concept further with MTV Back Pack Holidays. Joining hands with TravelGuru, a travel site offering pretty decent deals, they've put together custom-made adventure-travel packages for the youth.

This for sure seems to be fun. And with packages that range from Rs. 800 for a day's adventure to Rs. 10000 for longer vacation, capturing the attention of the adventure enthusiasts in the country would be real easy.

The site currently has a package listed for KIHIM near Mumbai and they've got an exciting line up of activities there: rappelling, Rock Climbing, Beach baseball (wonder what that is?) and stuff. All bundled up within a weekend.

Too bad I leave Mumbai this weekend :( But they are to offer new packages around Bangalore too! Anybody game???

Want to play with the Vaio?

After cool iPod Shuffle ad, the uncool Vista ad, its now time to see the funny Vaio Interactive Flash stuff. It features a PC, a Mac and a Vaio (Remeber the I'm a mac, I'm a PC ad from Apple) . But wait a sec, isn't Vaio a PC??? But then, you can always say that Vaio is in a league of its own.

Beats me, how I couldn't convince my cousin to get a Vaio instead of the stupid Compaq thing she got.

Check out the funny Vaio Interactive Flash and the explore the new Sony Vaio C Series .

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The Vicious Circle

"And this, O Fate, is I think the most vicious circle that thou ever sentest" Remember the classic Poem by Ogden Nash. Caught up in a similar vicious circle at work for the past few days, these words from my primary school text book simply came to my mind. What fun days were those!

Is there a way out? Prasoon recommends spending more time at Digg rather then burning out with the build-compile-deploy routine. I honestly fail to understand how that could make things better, if not worse. No sir, I'd rather stick to my feedreader like BusinessWeek's Rob Hoff, without all that crap Digg throws.

And the feed reader and the unanswered mails in my Inbox are certainly keeping me busy. This morning, Andy Kazeniac over at compete.com informed me about their comparison of the demand for the three Video Game consoles through the week of November 25th. Really interesting to note from their research how the XBox 360 is holding its own in terms of popularity despite the recent launches and abundant press for the other two next-generation gaming systems.

Also, I saw this new network and web stats monitoring service http://mon.itor.us/ I just can't seem to pronounce it but certainly is something you might like to give a try. Then there's also this new Virtual Machine that Sun has offered Solaris on with software for calendars, e-mail, Web sites, Java server software etc. Great idea considering that VM is such a woderful and hastlefree way for people to try out new software. [via Andy Tucker]

Zune Hacks and Why Zune is better than the iPod

Its been a bash-Zune season so far with so much written about it ever since its first appearance, without anything being remotely positive about the Zune. Sometimes I felt that they were written with the sole intent of bashing up the big M and their latest offering. As I mentioned once earlier, Andy Ihnatko even proclaimed that it'll bedead and gone within six months.

But finally, someone has come up with praise review for the Zune, declaring that Zune is even better that the iPod itself. Unbelievable, it may sound, but thats what Matthew Miller at ZDNet thinks after three weeks with the Zune.

Unlike many people slamming the Zune, I have been checking out the Zune and the iPod with video in direct comparison and have to say I prefer the Zune for my usage.

In side-by-side comparison, I find the Zune with its directional pad much easier to navigate than sitting there spinning my thumb around in circles on the iPod wheel.

The Zune is taller and thicker than the iPod, but feels lighter in my hand since it isn't as dense as the iPod. [...]

While the display resolution is the same, the larger landscape display on the Zune is honestly more enjoyable for movies than the iPod and the movies don't appear grainy or poor in quality like some people have speculated without even seeing a Zune in person. I like the integrated FM radio with RDS support and find that the signal strength is actually quite decent.

Also, Matthew has put together this list of hacks for Zune that have surfaced over the Internet over the past few days. Take a look at these for a snazzier Zune experience:

The ability to playback Zune Pass content on up to 3 computers

Its really hard for me to understand the hue and cry over Zune's compatibility with Vista. The latter isn't even out yet for everyone!

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Monday, December 04, 2006

The 'uncool' Vista Television commercial

And Microsoft does it again. Just like everything else with the Vista, they screw up the first television commercial too. Its simply too boring . I couldn't even stand to see the whole one-and-a-half-minute video.


Judge for yourself.




Short notes

"They are grand memories." replies Max Skinner to the question "Are they good memories" in the movie A Good Year, prompting me to spend the whole of Sunday wondering what were my grandest memories. Surprisingly, nothing came to my mind- zero, zilch, nada. And so, I concluded finally that either I've had a pretty boring life or I simply do not realize the grandeur of my memories.

NR Murthy of Infosys was talking on one of the zillion news channels out there about the phenomenal growth of Infosys. And this he attributed to "the great Indian Middle Class" and its "strong work ethics". He said that "people didn't go home before completing their work." I am not too sure about Mr. Murthy and Infosys but others in this country's IT services companies seem to possess a completely different mindset with the sort of restrictions imposed on the employees, Internet access restriction being one of them. And the most absurd of reasons: "bandwidth availability!"

Tech2 has this review of PS3, Sony's next generation console, and they declare it a winner hands down over the XBOX 360. I wouldn't agree on that completely with what I've seen of the XBOX but still they've done a fantastic review.

Then, there are 250 Office templates for free download (via LifeHacker). [This link saved me the effort of creating a new template for a friend :P]

Over at ZDNet Blogs, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes how Microsoft Zune has grabbed a 9% market share in 4 days brushing aside "most awful, naive nonsense" by the pundits on how Zune would fail.

Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake, Co-founders of flickr talk about how they ended up building flickr when they originally started with the idea of a game conceived as a context for social interactions. Quite an interesting read this at Inc.com

Cheers!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Nine Video Sites Compared

Continuing with his experiment where Chris Pirillo comapred YouTube, Google and revver, he now has a "shootout" between nine different video networks.

Chris Pirillo: Nine Video Sites Comparison

Chris called it "multimedia madness". Yes, that's exactly what this is!!! And my results on comparing the 9 videos: YouTube- the best, Soapbox- didn't do bad either, and iFilm- took forever to stream.