Friday, April 27, 2007

AOL India

AOL IndiaAOL has come to India with their India specific portal, though I might wonder if they are too late. Nothing too interesting about it. It has the usual news channels, with Cricket and Bollywood getting obvious attention. Plus there's the email and the Instant messaging about which I am not too sure if there would be many now who'd be keen on an web based email address with the much superior likes of Yahoo and Gmail.

How I'd see is that its just another India specific portal, and there is simply no need for it- with Rediff,IndiaTimes,Yahoo, and  MSN already around.

How, if they, do they actually pull it off will be interesting to watch. If you remember, long long time ago, Lycos had came to Asia, India included, (the link doesn't work anymore), and didn't really deliver.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

PowerTwitter by 30Boxes

For a while I was beginning to think that the world had forgotten about about 30Boxes which I feel is a top-class Calendaring application and would be my first choice any given day.

If you thought so that they've been chilled by Google, the PC World Magazine doesn’t think so. They continue to roll out interesting stuff and have now have released a Firefox plugin called PowerTwitter to enhance Twitter with photo sharing, video sharing etc and other cool things.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

ICC CWC 2007 - The Final Four

ICC CWC 2007 - The Semi Final LineUp

There you go. The final 4 of the ICC CWC 2007 have been decided and it's basically what one had predicted even before the tournament started. A few hiccups here and there but things finally went the way they were thought to go! So, here's the final four:

Australia: The ultimate package. By far the favourites.
Sri Lanka: The most versatile attack. Invincibles in this form, just give them a slow dead pitch
South Africa: If they were called chokers, Greame Smith dismissd any such notions with utter disdain today.
New Zealand: The black horse. How much ever I want SA to win, nothing like a Aus-NZ final!

Stats Reveal

Another intersting thing I noted today. While everyone here want the likes of our "seniors" - Ganguly, Sachin, Sehwag out of our Indian Cricket Team (yes, the same Team India as it is more fashionably called these days) because of their age and the need of a fresh change, almost everyone forgot to see the top run getters in this World Cup- the average age comes upwards of 33. Apparently, experience does matter!

Top Scorers in ICC CWC 2007

WC 2007 RunsCurrent AgeCareer ODIs
ML Hayden (Aus)l47735 years 170 days142
JH Kallis (SA)46331 years 183 days255
SB Styris (NZ)43531 years 281 days131
RT Ponting (Aus)41432 years 119 days277
ST Jayasuriya (SL)37937 years 291 days387

Sunday, April 15, 2007

At home - TV, Bollywood, and just about everything

There is no place like home! 2 days and I haven't got a clue how they flew off. I already feel I should have planned a longer vacation.

Anyways, what I've been upto here? Nothing at all except eating, sleeping, eating and sleeping. And ofcourse, the television, which somehow is never short of interesting offerings inspite of the cable wallah not kind towards my requests to improve the reception of Star Movies and HBO. A quick scan of my television watching during the last 48 hours:

I'll have to say, there simply can not be a more ridiculous channel than AajTak. Just a few hours ago, they ran a detailed story on how Richard Gere hugged and kissed Shilpa Shetty (now Big Brother fame) on stage for some AIDS awareness program. The newsreader was all bashing Richard Gere on how this is in stark contrast to his Dalai-Lama-disciple image that we Indians have and how this is so against Indian culture (or mentality?) Bull shit. If these news channel guys want to do moral policing, why the hell should they be showing that particular clip non-stop (literally) on the screen at all??? Aren't they doing more damage??? In fact, our heroine Rakhi Sawant, (whom they called up thinking she would be the ideal person to comment on this) showed more sense than the whole AajTak team when she gave her expert comments on the issue!

Richard Gere kisses Shilpa Shetty
Richard Gere hugs and kisses Shilpa Shetty during an AIDS awareess event was organised by Truckers Corporation of India Foundation. Photo: IBNLive/AP

The ICC Cricket World Cup is still on and apparently people are still interested in what Mandira Bedi is wearing. Honestly, her outfits have followed the path from crap to crappier to the crappiest. And just so you know, it was her birthday today and the nice folks on Sony Max's "extraa innings" pre-match show- Tony Greig, John Wright and Charoo Sharma, did get a cake for her.

The Men in Blue with the Pepsi Gold Cola
The advertising industry seems to have burnt a lot of midnight oil coming up with their new ad campaigns when our Men in Blue betrayed them like never before. But they seem to have done well. Pepsi Gold's "World Cup ko laa" program seems to have been rescheduled for 2011 now with a new young team appproaching a tailor uncle for new outfits. Real refreshing ad and makes one wonder why they need celebrities in first place at all? Sunfeast biscuits too have gone back to ads featuring Shahrukh Khan with Sachin not the flavour of the hour anymore.

And then, there is Soccer and F1. Couldn't watch Massa win it with Ferrari because of some stupid rescheduling by ESPNStar showing the race on ESPN. Waiting to catch the highlights now. In soccer, Ballack has scored too and Chelsea are all set for the Quadrupule!

That was television. I am also planning to spend some quality time looking at some of the DVDs I found lying at home too. Total bollywood entertainers, I can assure you. For tomorrow, it's going to be Vivah and Dhoom-2

0130 hours and am waiting for Ireland to cause yet another upset in this World Cup!

Friday, April 06, 2007

iPod saves Soldier's life

An apple can save your life!

Apparently, a US soldier somewhere in Iraq (where else would you find them) was hit in the left chest when an insurgent opened fire on him. Fortunately, his iPod was in his jacket pocket which slowed the bullet down enough that it did not completely penetrate his body armor! Check out this picture of the Life saving iPod.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mobile Interfaces and Latency

"How long is half a second? In the context of a mobile user interface, it can be long enough to cripple the experience and make the difference between a converting a user from a casual browser to a dedicated customer."

This wonderful piece highlights how latency in Mobile interfaces is such a big Usability issue. This half a second delay has been the major undoing on the proliferation of mobile based applications. What a consumer looks for is an intuitive + quick interface that responds lightning fast. How the service providers and the developer network manages that with the device OS, Processor or the memory issue isn't of concern to him, and justifiably so. Unfortunately, all mobile applications we come across somehow haven't been able to get the UX right, and it would be interesting to see how and when are we able to come up with something to address this issue.

Talking of usable interfaces, I just came across a couple of mobile widget platforms:

The first one was iframe Microsoft's ZenZui, a mobile widget browser that allows searching through a grid of 36 widget tiles with each tile acting as a mobile optimized interface to a website. Interestingly, ZenZui’s zooming user interface was initially developed by Microsoft’s Redmond Research lab, and was spun off into it’s own company. MobileCrunch has more on this.

The other is GPS Widgets from Where. According to "where", "GPS Widgets are small (or large) applications that help you find interesting things and do everyday tasks." An interesting concept and definitely a sign of things to come in this domain!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Technorati - heartTonic? haterTonic? niceThroat?

Just saw these weird mastheads on Technorati. Anyone What's with these???

haterTonic, heartTonic, Threaticon, niceThroat, Tonierchat and so on...