Tuesday, February 28, 2006
But one is really surprised by the number of such services. Netvibes for example. In comparison to Google it offers no requirement for signing up. And thats it. There are others on the list, Protopage, Homepages, Goowy are noteworthy. The only answers one can think of is, if each person alive in this world would have to have an homepage, then it thier prefererences would be distributed amongst the srevices as per the Bell Curve. Its just that big players will be at the top and the niche players at the fag end. But till they are there, they'll enjoy a market share.
Is there a market for it anyways? Not if you cannot display ads on them!
Tags: AJAX Web2.0 Google Yahoo Netvibes Protopage
Single life sucks!
Big Brother Yahoo
But this really is scary. Turn it off, before it comes back from nowhere and hits you hard. Go to File -> Perferences -> Archive Tab -> and say NO.
Tags: Yahoo IM Privacy
A bigger question is whether the open source community finds a need for such a system. All the code, the technology, the binaries, the knowhow is provided for free in this world. Does it really matter if a user or contributer is not authentic. I dont know. Although the trend of big corporations backing open source is becoming popular, thier adoption by the open source community is yet to be seen.
Previous posts on OSS. New Frontiers. OSS Cryastal Gazing. Sex Appeal of Open Source.
Tags: Project Higgins Open Source Infocard Identity Metasystem Microsoft IBM Novell
Previous post on iPhone.
Update 1: CNN's on the story as well.
Tags: iPod iTunes Apple Steve Jobs Mac
Monday, February 27, 2006
Also, yesterday I finally managed to get on Orkut (thanks to Hombal) and here's the link to my profile (u have to be on orkut to be able see it). Generally all the Google applications are pretty slick. But Orkut is the exception. Its simple and fairly easy to use, but looks very dull. To the point that it seems that they are averse to bright colors and trendy looks. And it does not have any AJAX!
The membership of Orkut is phenomenal. I have been looking to network with techies in Bangalore and I found at least 10 groups where I could post a message. There are groups on everything there, even one devoted to sex in Bangalore! Even more surprising was the number of desis in each group. I was not expecting that. Most of them are there for social networking and Orkut is providing the platform due to the lack of good India based dating websites. The ones that are there are too costly and have very few babes on them.
So I have devised a plan to conquer the MySpace domination. Assume that every single guy and girl has a GMail account. So create a mashup which uses GMail for mail services, Google Pages for profiles, flickr for photo storage, Gtalk for messenger and Google Base for indexing. First ask the person to send a google invite to himself and create a new account with a nickname. Then use a predefined set of questions, the same ones that are asked everywhere, to generate a profile page on google pages. If you have a photo the upload it to flickr and tag it. If not (most of the Indian Babes do not have a soft copy) then use the Yahoo Avatar instead. Make an index entry in google base and maintain a MySQL database to link the profile and the pic.
Provide search services. Since all the profiles already are indexed in google base, use the API. Use the MySQL database to connect the profile with the photo. And then use the gmail API to provide mail service. Since GMail already has messenger, it will provide instant messaging as well. A single website can serve this all up using the Google and Flickr API.
To generate revenue, again use Google AdSense to attach a simple text ad to the end of each message sent. Also display the text ads when the user searches. Provide some premium services which any average user will not require. Provide a blogging service as well. Load up your website with AJAX and pick a cool name (eg. ishkvishk, love86, love.google.com etc.). Do some advertising and voila, you have the MySpace killer!
Now I got to run and get some VC funding on this. This is definately better than Yatra!
Update 1: Tech Crunch informs us that Google Base can support payment systems now!
Update 2: Two back to back news items on My Space in Wired.
Update 3: Rights Of Mashosphere.
Update 4: The SourceForge project is almost up! Pls. do contribute.
Tags: Mashup Web2.0 Social Networking Google GMail Flickr Google Base Orkut My Space
Internet Toll Road
Sunday, February 26, 2006
So does this mean that the US telcos. are planning to deploy QoS on thier routers? The deployment of such routers are very limited on the public networks. Although its just a software upgrade, the cost of going to the field and updating it is still very high. With low demand for it, the risks outweigh the gains. But with the internet being used for more and more real time applications (eg. VoIP) the demand is increasing.
It also does open up the possibility of a billing mechanism based on the type of traffic. With the telcos making noises about major internet companies getting a free lunch on thier infrastructures and missing out on the big bucks, it seems that they are thinking about charging both the service providers as well as the users. Maybe all those statements were just for testing the waters. Is this the end of free voice services then?
But the deployment of QoS is still a step in the right direction. Its frustrating that although we have the technology, it cant be used since the routers dont support them.
Tags: QoS Routers Network Netutrality VoIP.
PS: wired being plagarised by Sify.
Friday, February 24, 2006
"Vyatta is one of the many start-ups that are bringing open source disruption to the highly profitable and closed world of networking. While open source software movement has ravaged the bottom lines of companies like Sun Microsystems; networking behemoths like Cisco and Juniper have continued to enjoy fat margins they earned even before the telecom crash of 2000."Objectively speaking, its not going to be an immediate threat to anyone. Every company has its own base of customers who would not switch camps just because its now available for free. And in this particular universe, once you start using one product, you're hitched to the product line eventually. What it does do, is that it gives options. And in a way that is commendable in itself, given the high entry barrier. The networking world needs such kind of competition.
But undoubedly there is a large market for such kind of products; given the lack of interoperatiblity between vendors, security concerns and the high expense. Even though there have been attempts to agree to a specific standard, in the end each vendor adds some extra features to thier box to make it stand out. Over a period of time they evolve and become different animals altogther. An open platform, with products available on it for free, will only be beneficial for the industry. A good starting point at least.
The point of concern on the other hand would be thier dependability. OSS still has to prove itself in the corporate environment before anyone takes it seriously. Large corporations have not really embraced OSS in a big way. Another question mark would be on the sustainability companies who provide such OSS products. The OSS Revenue Model is yet to be proven and companies have known to go down.
More interestingly though, if the wired caslte has been breached, is the wireless frontier far away?
PS: Previous posts on OSS. OSS Cryastal Gazing. Sex Appeal of Open Source.
Update: Aswath points out to its VoIP implications.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Here's an example of innovative use of the expensive 3G telecom services. Its the birth of a new breed of routers called the Mobile Routers. They use the EVDO or HSDPA network and provide the services of a small WiFi Hotspot. A very novel idea indeed. It enables you to use a single wireless plan and use it for all the computers at home, instead of relying on different ones. A good example of how both WiFi and 3G technologies can coexist together.
But the bandwidth on the wireless network is usually limited. The 3G systems have been designed with a single user in mind which can move around at will. The most practical speeds provided to a stationary user is generally around ~700 kbps, which is good enough for a single user. If that has to be shared by several users, it will be as good as a dialup.
This is exactly where backhaul WiMAX comes into the picture. The backhaul WiMAX specifically targets the problem of having and managing leased lines for WiFi hotspots. The hotspots can connect wirelessly to the internet instead. The only poroblem; its not available commercially yet. Maybe all these devices will move to a WiMAX backhaul eventually, provided WiMAX deployment is a success.
Till that happens, its bad news for the operators.
Update: Featured on Slashdot as well.
Update 2: Review of Kyocera's product in Wired.
This tuesday I attened a seminar on the Evolution of 3G technologies by Qualcomm University in Delhi. The event was the annual Globalcomm Exibhition. It was a three day exibhition in Delhi's Pragati Maidan, attended by large and small companies in the Indian Telecom Sector.
What was amazing was the presence of Qualcomm there. They were one of the sponsors and took up some premium real estate in the hall. Large banners were visible all throughout and they were even hosting a seminar along side the main event.
The seminar was a well attended event. Tata Indicom, Reliance and BSNL are the three major players in the CDMA field in India. And Qualcomm had invited all of them for ditching out some marketing propaganda.
The seminar started off with a session on 1xEVDO. A marketing guy started off with a introduction and then the technical guy took over. They tried to explain EVDO Rev 0 and Rev A in about an hour or so and I thought they did a pretty decent job.
The afternoon session was about UMTS Rel 99 and HSDPA. Since this was my first session on these ones, its was pretty informative. Seems that QC has quite a good presence in those two technologies as well if you take in the similarities between 3G 1X and UMTS Rel 99. Even HSDPA takes quite a few concepts from EVDO, especially the single TDM forward traffic channel.
Thier stall had the whole product line on display. The CSM's, the MSM's, BREW etc. It was nice to see the MSM's one on one. They are our counterparts actually. We talk to them, manage them, handle all thier mischeifs and try to serve them as best as possible. They are our overlords in a way!
But the overwhelming expericnce was the display of QC's clout. They were trying to woo the service providers and going by the attendence of senior officials, I guess that they have been very sucessful in that. QC has been the been the dirving force behind EVDO and has a significant contribution to HSDPA and HSUPA. These three technologies form the backbone of 3G services.
And with thier recent acquisition of Flarion Technologies, they have a large patent base on OFDM as well. OFDM is a key technology for 4G telecom services and QC already has plans to introduce it in DO and UMTS roadmap. Being a major player in both the erstwhile CDMA and GSM camp, QC has slowly transformed itself into a giant in the telecom world.
No wonder they have a halo around them.
Google's Page Creator
This does gives us an interesting peek into what lies in the future. The rumor mills have been rife with speculation that Google is coming out with its on OS/browser/whatever. If web development suite has arrived, can a web office suite be far behind?
Update: Dont miss the user comments on Slashdot. As entertaining as ever.
Update 2: Combine this with the blogger template, and you can create your own cool templates. I hope its on Google God's mind!
Update 3: Its now been released as public beta.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
The Return of The Dummies
Shouldnt it be called a handy terminal then?
Update: Another list.
The Promise of WiMAX
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Monday, February 20, 2006
Back to the movie, its good no doubt. Its has an original storyline and an imaginative approach of drawing parallels between the revolultionary figures in history and the lives of some present day youths. It thrusts the long forgotten issue of MiG crashes right back at your face and forces you to think about it. It raises a bigger question on the use of voilence as a vehicle for acheiving justice and reignites the controversy of the contribution of these revolutionaries in the Indian Freedom Struggle. And the story has some bollywood'ish far fetched moments to complete the effect.
But the heated debate is about the message of the Rang De Basanti and a lot has been said about the way it preaches the use of voilence to the youth. As Charandas says,
"Unholster your pistols then, O youth of India, and if you've been wronged in any way, think of who it is you want to eliminate."
IMHO this is not the message that the movie wants to present. Case in point; consider the caller at the end of the movie who asks the same question. The answer that Karan gave was exactly what Ajay Rathore has said about India in the first half, when they sat about debating it sitting at Mitron Da Dhaba. There are things which are wrong in this country and its our obligation to correct them. Join politics, join the IAS, clean it up. Participate. And participate our heroes do. They attempt to change the system, however flawed their methods may have been. Credit does go to them.
The voilence and the killing portrayed in the movie was a part of the storyline. If the hisotrical characters showed in the moive had been Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and Goakhle, then a more logical juxtaposition would have been a satyagraha. But the historical figures depicted were revolutionaries whose ideologies were diametrically opposite to that of Gandhi. And for todays youth, those ideals are more inspiring. The blame for that lies in the socio-economic culture and the current state of the world more than anything. The ideology of the director should not be questioned for that.
In this fast moving information age, people hardly care about what history means to them. It does not affect day to day life or even the future. The youth could not care less about it. Rang De Basanti repackages it for the youth and gives them the MTV'ed version of it. It involves them at least at the entertainment level. That to me is a big plus of the movie. Bashing it up for causes that it does not further is pointless.
If a movie can move you so much to sit and debate about it with your friends for hours, then it must have some substance to it. I am thankful for it. And for the kind kistch bollywood churns out, RDB is a welcome fresh breath of air.
Update 1: Sujai's take on it.
Walking the Pod
Update: Check out the cool Sony Ericsson phones displayed in CeBIT. My Fav is M600.
Tags: iPod Apple SonyEricsson
OSS Cryastal Gazing
Sunday, February 19, 2006
"Gartner predicts that by 2010, software vendors that don't incorporate open source software into their products risk becoming uncompetitive because of the cost associated with relying on in-house engineering resources"
Questions about the traditional model (Cathedral) of developing software are being raised here. That has been the revenue model for all the tradional software companies. The licensing of software is what generates the funding and the profits. But since the software is developed by a closed community, the richness which is provided by the Open Source model is missed. The future it seems would be combine the two.
"After all, altruism alone isn't going to sustain software developers who have to make a living, Snyder says. "The reality is that the two - commercial and open source - actually thrive better together than they do separately," he says."
If thats the way it goes then OSS sure has a bright future.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Economics sure is a wonderful thing.
Friday, February 17, 2006
This is clearly the next evolutionary step for the male species. There'll be a breed of men who'll have this ability hardwired into them, thus making them stronger and fitter. Needless to say, they'll be the ones who survive. Rest will be extinct.
In between all this the industry for a DRM less (read free) media distribution will be created. An opportunity waiting to happen.
New Krug on the Block
But still would be interesting to check it once its launched. I hope it support tags.
PS: Amit Varma's essay on difficulties in doing business in India.
Sex Appeal of Open Source
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Maybe thats the same reason why its attracting more and more attention as well.
PS: a very contrasting view.
One of the main focus of Nasscom is to promote Innovation and Enterpreneurship in the IT Industry and it has a forum for it. Even a list of VC's have been provided. An Award programme also has been instituted. But the surprising omission is that no Tax Breaks have been to startups at all.
Amongst all the difficulties that Startups face, one is to attract good talent. Most of the recruitement happens through word of mouth and aquaintances rather than the formal process. During the gestation period when money is hard to come by, its difficult to compete for talent with established players. As an incentive, a tax break can be offered to the employees. For all employees of startups the tax should be waived off till they start showing profits.
It would be a win-win proposition since its in the interest of the government to nurture the startup. The startup's investment to profit ratio is generally much higher than the established companies. If they become sucessfull it would mean more money for the government coffers. Even one good startup can make up the losses suffered due to the exemption.
Product based companies are on the rise in India. Although services is still the backbone of the industry, there are more and more product based startups coming up. As the numbers grow a tax break will provide a much needed shot in the arm for them.
Only if I could load it on my one.
Another Wicket Down
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Now if I only had someone to call...
As evident from the title of this blog, Wireless Utopia, its my belief that the right to free wireless service is a fundamental right as is the right to access to telecom services. As the wireless penetration grows and more people start using the services, the number of free services provided will also increase. Extending this trend, the utopian wireless world will be the world where even the infrastructure services are free. Free, as in a free lunch. We may or may not actually see that happening in our time or even in our lifetime. But Dream We Shall.
As somebody said, we surely live in interesting times.