Hello! Welcome to a new look for asabharwal.com. It’s pages load fast (as low as 1.4 seconds) meets web standards, and is easy to read. Its simplified and doesnt have unnecessary code. Oh, and the site you are browsing now is not running on WordPress or any other CMS; but it is a statically generated site, built using Jekyll.
I have been writing and producing on this site since 2007 using WordPress. I have setup sites in WordPress for friends and customers, and have stable running sites. WordPress is a reliable and capable CMS. But over the last few months, as I tried to write more and more long form articles, I found that the features of CMS which make it powerful and an all-rounder, were coming in my way.
An unusual set of circumstances had me making some additions to my technology surroundings the last couple of days. My OS X computing serenity was disturbed by the need of running a Windows version of an app (looking at you Powerpoint Mac and your inability to embed fonts) caused me to run Windows 10 in bootcamp. To compound that horror, today I went out and bought an Android phone.
A friend of mine on Facebook invited me to a FB page today and introduced me to a new app- GottaGo. An Android app that lets you find the nearest restroom in Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune. This got me thinking about how some product ideas are becoming more niche and focusing on doing one thing and only one thing, while trying to do it well.
Last week was an interesting week in the world of technology and gadgets. Google’s Android 5.1 started rolling out, bringing fixes and some new features to the popular mobile os. Google calendar is finally available as a native app on the iPhone. And Apple gave us a spring forward event to begin the season… While the event was ostensibly to give more details about the Watch, but they pulled out a surprising one more thing in the form of the new Macbook.
The two products are a technical marvel and are a testament to the engineering and design prowess that have made Apple’s devices some of the best in the world. A laptop that is so thin and — if the display is anything like the display in my retina MacBook Pro – has one of the finest displays out there for a consumer grade device. Or a smart watch which may not have been the first in its category, but with its concepts will likely reinvent the category.
Take a step back from all thats shiny in these new devices however; look under the sapphire glass screens and the aluminium unibodies, there are changes, subtle and not so subtle. Changes in how you use devices and how they work. And that… that is what is really exciting.
In 2011 I took an opportunity to visit Nokia House in Espoo. I still remember looking out from the dining hall onto a semi-frozen lake with a few weather worn trees on an island.
In my mind that lake represents Finland and the attitude of its people. A nation which in its young(ish) history has successfully challenged larger foreign forces. Occupied by a Swedish monarchy till 1803 and then becoming a Russian domain, Finland gained its independence from Russia at the end of World War 2 after fighting for it since 1917 (an interesting history). The Finns are a strong and resilient people (Look up Simo Häyhä). Moving forward from this strife they have developed a culture with a standard of living which is amongst the highest in the world.
And this spirit is reflected in what still remains one of Finland’s most iconic brand – Nokia.
Contributing to building open source projects – WordPress.org and Jetpack. #100HappyDays
That happy moment when your blog reached 500 Spam comments… #100HappyDays
Logitech unveils a stylish Ultrathin Touch Mouse
Wouldn’t it be handy if images you take on your iPhone were saved to your Dropbox folders? Or if starred emails in Gmail automatically got sent to your Evernote notebook? Or even if you receive a SMS if it is going to rain?
If This Then That (IFTTT) is a web service that can help you achieve all of the above plus a lot more. IFTTT links up your preferred web services simplifying information transfer between them. IFTTT allows you to connect with popular web services like Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Evernote and many more.
IFTTT has a bit of a learning curve when you start, but it doesn’t take long to get a hang of it. The first thing you do once you create your account is to setup your Channels. Channels are the web services you wish to use. Choose from 68 channels including popular ones like Evernote, Gmail, Pocket, Dropbox and some lesser know ones like Buffer, Instapaper or ffffound.
Once you have setup your channels you can then create your own custom task (called Recipes) or choose from pre-made recipes (which have been shared by other users). To illustrate this I’ll walk you through a task which sends starred emails from Gmail to Evernote. This is also an available recipe btw.
The above is only one of the more simple tasks available on IFTTT. Some examples of other recipes are
So there you have it. Take out 20 minutes to setup your IFTTT recipes and save your self some hassle.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the defacto names which come to mind when anyone thinks of social networks or social media. These 400 pound gorrilas of the social networks have embodied what social means to the web. They have large audiences who are uploading millions of photographs and even more status messages and stories. But within this reality, an interesting phenomenon has been occuring over the last few years. People have been moving away from these platforms, to more specialised networks which meet their particular needs. None of these networks have as much traffic or volume as the big three, but it probably helps increase the signal to noise ratio. Find out more about some of these networks after the jump.
QR Codes. Most consumers hate them. Most marketers love them (and think consumers love them too). This often misused little graphic usually found on magazine ads and 20 foot high billboards (not kidding) is usually only used for sharing links. But technically speaking – a QR code is capable of linking to a lot of pertinent information and not just a Facebook page. Mercedes Benz is using this capability to redeem the QR code.
Mercedes Benz are placing QR codes in prominent locations on their vehicles so that emergency crews are just a phone scan away from the rescue sheets and schematics that show where to cut a wrecked vehicle to remove accident victims.
Image: Mercedes-Benz / Diamler
Without such immediate knowledge, rescuers may have to wait for a positive identification on the model or else risk cutting electrical wires and fuel lines.
The car manufacturer is not patenting this method in the hope that all car manufacturers will embrace this technology and method.
When every second counts: with a small yet effective innovation, Mercedes-Benz wants to make the rescue of accident victims safer and swifter. In future a QR code, which can be read by smartphones and tablets, placed on Mercedes-Benz cars, will provide a rescue map for every vehicle type, which can be shown on the device’s display. This chart contains all the information necessary to rescue any injured occupants speedily.
Full Mercedes press release here : media.diamler.com
I learned a hard lesson last week. A lesson which began with me getting locked out of my Gmail.
Google launched Google Keep yesterday, Competing with Evernote in a market which Evernote has defined. I won’t be using it, ever. Not even trying it… Why? Because of Google Reader. My sentiments are the same as that of Om Malik
Microsoft released Internet Explorer 10 to users of Windows 7 in the last couple of weeks. A new feature in the browser makes it very easy to check your password for correctness before clicking the login buttons. When you start typing in the password field, a small icon (looking like an upside down u on top of a dot) appears on the right end of the password field. Clicking on the icon, reveals your password for you to check it. The password only appears while the mouse key is held down.
If you click out of the password field a couple of times, the icon does not appear any more. I don’t know if the last bit is a bug or a feature, but my opinion is that it is a nod to security.
<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">If I click ‘no’, I’ve probably given up on everything, so don’t bother taking me to the page I was trying to go to. Just drop me on the homepage. Thanks.</figcaption></figure>
Another Infographic; this time from Wishpond, a team which provides a platform for social contests.
As Pinterest continues to grow, more businesses are looking for an opportunity to share their users scrap-booking space. It seems to be a great platform for targeting women with children as 80% of the users of Pinterest are women and 50% have children.
Apparently people also prefer associations with brands more on Pinterest, with 43% versus 24% of Facebook.
Staying safe online is becoming more and more difficult as hackers and online criminals become more sophisticated, so how is the average Internet user supposed to stay safe?
This infographic from BackgroundCheck.org has some helpful suggestions. As always a good dose of common sense is the best place to start.
Kompalli will be setting up and leading Myntra’s Corporate Strategy and Business Analytics team, which will be responsible for developing Myntra’s overall strategy.
So basically, they had no strategy on doing business so far? This seems to be the unfortunate state of e-commerce startups in India today. Mind you, Myntra is doing some active consolidating recently.
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms in the world today. Many blogs ( including this one) and journalistic sites run on WordPress. WordPress works by dynamically pulling content from a MySQL database and presenting it to users in a theme.
This dynamic nature is one of WordPress’s greatest strength – as it separates the sites look from the dynamic elements driving the site. However it is also this greatest strength which can cause a popular site to struggle.
As more and more visitors come to a site, the server has to work more, establishing connections to the database for each page called, using up more server resources and generally slowing down the site for new users, thus becoming a problem.
A popular solution for this is the use of a caching plugin. Caching plugins work by creating a static (HTML) version of the page the first time it is called. By keeping this page available for future visitors you can, theoretically, reduce the load on the site. I say theoretically though, because in some load tests I ran last week, I saw that the caches may not work.
I am currently running a self hosted WordPress installation on a Media Temple Grid Server. I am running a light installation of WordPress with 5 plugins. One of these plugins is W3 Total Cache, which is one of the most popular plugins in the WordPress.org plugin repository.
Setting up the plugin however is not as simple as installing it from the WordPress repository. And it is here that I step back to question the necessity of the caching plugin. WordPress is known for its simple 2 minute install, this caching plugin had me spending almost an hour setting it up, and I still wasn’t sure it was done right.
The setup first involved me having to install a PHP caching extension to my server. This had to be compiled from source. Post which I setup the plugin, by reading through (thankfully) copious documentation provided by the plugin author. My first setup was woefully incorrect as it immediately started causing server errors on my site. My backup plugin started taking 15 minutes to zip a 100 mb directory.
Once I had corrected the issues and setup the caching plugin again, I did some tests using a service called Blitz.io. Surprisingly my results were better without the caching plugin activated than with.
Blitz tests called _rushes_ work by rushing a test site with a number of concurrent users over a set of seconds. I ran tests with a rush of 1000 users over 120 seconds.
Without the caching plugin active, I had an average response time (time taken to load first page) of 635 milliseconds, with a 21.37% timeout and a 1.7% error rate. This timeout number had me worried and I was hopeful the cache would run better. However my first run with the cache activated had my response time go up to 913 milliseconds with a 21.7% timeout and a 1.77% error rate. I reset some setting on the cache plugin and my response time went down to 827 milliseconds but my timeout rose to 27%, while error rate was consistent at 7%. The caching plugin was not able to reduce my timeouts and I also saw that the period the caching plugin was enabled, my host was using more resources.
In my view (at least in this current situation) caching should be a function of the hosting provider more than the CMS platform. Hosts like Media Temple, WPEngine and even WordPress.com dedicate a lot of effort to building caching into their products.
For non-technical bloggers who have chosen to have their blogs outside of WordPress.com for access to more themes and plugins, having the host take the responsibility and pain of handling caches is a better idea.
Considering the important nature that caching plays in a content driven site, it may also be considered that the certain basic caching features be built into the WordPress core. By building it into the core as a feature, it would also be easier for non-technically inclined users to use the feature.
The most active city is not New York, Tokyo or London, but a surprising Jakarta, Indonesia. India is amongst the top 10 countries using Twitter (No 6)
The Mozilla foundation is de-prioritising the development work on 64bit version of Firefox for Windows. This is a good article which points out why not, while also explaining the benefits of 64bit browsers. It does make me think however – that browsers these days are fundamentally broken.
|Source: [Ars Technica.||64-bit Firefox for Windows should be prioritized, not suspended](http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/11/64-bit-firefox-for-windows-should-be-prioritized-not-suspended/)|
I am now running a secure site. Please feel free to use https://www.asabharwal.com/ when accessing the site.
I will migrate to using https by default over the next few days.
The Nokia Here app on iOS is reminiscent of the Nokia maps I used on my N95. Not as polished as the current maps app on the Lumia or Symbian Belle devices.
The map data however is much better (for India anyway) than that of the iOS 6 Maps app, so that is a small plus.
Apple’s iOS 6 Maps app has received so many complaints and been the butt of so many jokes that you’d think Nokia could capitalize on Cupertino’s fail by releasing a stunning maps app to dominate the iOS space. No such luck. Nokia’s Here Maps is a mess.
A short while ago a popular YouTube video showed how Google Translate allowed a couple of girls to call an Indian restaurant, order in hindi, and get the correct order absolutely as required.
I decided to play that game a little further and took a sentence in english and translated it across multiple languages using Google translate. Translations were done in a chain with the last translation back to english. Taking a hint from Google’s video, I decided to continue in the same vein and order the same menu.
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Original English”] Hello, I want to order food to my home. I want two basmati rice, Two fish curry, very hot and spicy, three of the potato samosas. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
I first translated it to Hindi, and then immediately translated it back to English for the following results:
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”English to Hindi Translation”] नमस्ते, मैं अपने घर के लिए भोजन का ऑर्डर देना चाहता हूँ. मैं दो बासमती चावल, दो मछली करी, बहुत गर्म और मसालेदार आलू के समोसे की तीन चाहते. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Hindi to English Translation”] Hi, I want to order food for your home. I basmati rice, the fish curry, very hot and spicy potato samosas to three. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
So the reverse translation broke the chain almost immediately, however I decided to continue with my experiment. I chose to do a few jumps, choosing every second language on the list from the beginning and ending with english as the final translation.
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Hindi to Afrikaans”] Hi, ek wil om kos te koop vir jou huis. Ek basmatirys, die vis kerrie, baie warm en geurige aartappel samoesas tot drie. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Afrikaans to Armenian”] Hi, Ես ցանկանում եմ գնել սնունդ ձեր տանը: Ես basmati բրինձ, ձուկ Curry, տաք եւ կծու կարտոֆիլի samosas երեք. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Armenian to Basque”] Hi, etxean janaria erosi nahi dut. I basmatia arroza, arraina Curry, patata beroa eta pikantea samosas hiru. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Basque to Bengali”] হাই, আমি বাড়ীতে খাদ্য কিনতে চাই. আমি basmati ভাত, মাছ কারি পাউডার, গরম মসলা ও আলু samosas তিনটি. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Bengali to Catalan”] Hola, vull comprar aliments a la llar. L’arròs basmati, curri en pols de peix, la papa calenta i picant samoses tres. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Catalan to Chinese”] 嗨，我在家裡買食物。香米，魚咖哩粉，辛辣的土豆咖哩角三。 [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Chinese to Czech”] Dobrý den, koupím jídlo doma. Rýže, ryby kari, pikantní bramborové kari tři. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Czech to Dutch”] Hallo, Ik koop eten thuis. Rijst, vis curry, pittige aardappel curry drie. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
[TBS_BLOCKQUOTE source=”Dutch to English”] Hello, I buy food at home. Rice, fish curry, spicy potato curry three. [/TBS_BLOCKQUOTE]
So, even though key parts of the menu translated through (the rice and the fish curry) all context around it was lost. Not that I was expecting it to last, it is not fair to expect such clarity from machine translation, but it was fun to do.
A few weeks ago, I went to work without my Macbook’s power adapter. To make matters worse, I used my macbook on the 1.5 hour commute… Net result, I only had a 2 hours battery life for a 9 hour day.
Luckily for me – I had my iPhone (Lucky is incorrect, I always carry it). I had never considered my iPhone to be as business capable as previously owned Windows Mobile & Nokia phones, but it disproved that in a hurry.
I did have my email configured on the phone so that was not a worry. What really helped me out that day was Quickoffice, an app I had installed on my phone for over 2 months, but never had an opportunity to use.
I moved all the relevant files (2 documents and a ppt) I needed for the day, to the phone, crossed my fingers and watched my Macbook save memory state and shut off.
As far as email goes, I had no issues. The iPhone had been quite impressive handling emails since I started using it. What I did need to do was configure quickOffice to edit my attachments. This was a circuitous route that involved sending the attachment to a specific email address and then re-downloading it in Quickoffice.
I realized that day that the biggest problem with the iPhone is – that apps cannot access the file system. A very misguided sense of security.
Anyway, Quickoffice does allow quite usable editing tools, considering it is a mobile application, allowing me to finish 2 documents, and read up another couple from mail.
At the end of the day – I had to charge my iPhone in the middle of the day – the iPhone helped me retain my productivity (granted it had been a slower than average day :p).
It is obviously becoming apparent that devices like iPhones, Windows Mobile sets, and other smart(er)phones have the ability to take over from a computer for day to day tasks.
The next step should be a universal docking station, where any smartphone can be plugged in, and provide a keyboard and a large screen monitor – I am looking forward to it.
The Microsoft Bizspark programme has been started to help startups beat the cost of software licencing and setup their production infrastructure.
The programme provides qualifying startups with a 3 year MSDN subscription with access to production level licenses. The Licences available in the programme include Operating Systems, Server Operating Systems & Servers as well as Development Environments.
The Bizspark programme also includes two support incidents per year. Additionally the site also provides a showcase to startups, helping you provide visibility to Investors, clients & partners.
The biggest cost to a startup would be the software licences and often times Startups are forced to use pirated licences to offset costs. This programme obviously defrays the cost and prevents the use of pirated software.
The qualifiers to the programme are simple –
The programmes qualifiers have to be updated every year. Startups not in the business of development, eg: providing creative development services, outsourcing services, and infrastructure services (hosting) are not eligible for the programme.
Startups that meet the eligibility criteria, can signup here.
Copy and paste added to iPhone 3.0
Ok so a lot of wishlists have been floating around for the iPhone firmware update – this one is mine
The 3.0 firmware being previewed on the 17th may not be released thereabouts and there might actually be a couple of months (maybe even wait till june for the hardware refresh) before we see it.
But as one iPhone owner who does not want to Jailbreak – I’m waiting quite anxiously.
Endgadget announced today that (well they are invited)Apple is holding an invite only event on the 17th of March where the intention is to show a preview of the 3.0 firmware and it’s capabilities. Meanwhile still hoping for a point release in the 2.x firmware to enable copy and paste… I know, I know, but hope springs eternal. 🙂
So about a month ago, I did it. I took the leap and bought an iPhone, – in the process selling my Nokia E71, my Nokia E61, and my imate Windows Mobile.¬†Didn’t¬†end up putting in too much money out of pocket, plus took advantage of Vodafone offer of Rs. 500 off my phone bill for 10 months – effectively my iPhone 3g 8GB only cost me about Rs. 1500.00, so very thrilled..
After living with this phone for an even month – I am willing to effectively disown my own post written August last year. Sure there are some glaring flaws – not least of which the inability to copy and paste, and forward an SMS which are the only ones – ¬†which really bother me.
The development platform that the iPhone SDK has empowered, really impresses me. Wether it is ¬†an application like Ocarina, which turns the iPhone into the wind instrument by the same name, or Midomi,¬†which¬†does a fantastic job of¬†identifying¬†music that I have without any ID3 information. The fact that this is the first phone I have had that supports (almost) 3D gaming with games like ‘Hero of Sparta’ and ‘Super Monkey Ball’ . So much so that I paid for them…
That’s not to say that the free apps are not good – Stanza, a beautiful ebook reader that can plug into the Gutenburg free library and download books, as well as sharing them from my Mac. WifiRemote Lite which allows me to use the iPhone as a trackpad.
What about Jailbreak-ing – I did Jailbreak my phone twice, and found that the only app I needed to jailbreak for was a Keyboard extension that enabled copy and paste. I actually found my Jailbroken iPhone running slower (not tested scientifically but my impressions).
The last word – Im happy, I think my 6 monthly phone upgrade cycle may actually have ended. And the next upgrade would be to an iPhone with improved hardware 🙂
As of 8:52 pm IST — Its working again.. So Google What happened? Apparently you do know how to run websites. Scroll to the bottom of the article for this beautiful piece that Google knows plenty about running big Web sites, thank you very much. “Google runs Web services with many users and servers too and we launch changes weekly or faster,” he said.
It seems Google’s service wherein it protects you from suspicious site and malware generating site is acting up, As of 8:15pm India Time today all search results (Including Google.com, Microsoft.com, and Apple.com) are being highlighted as sites that way harm your computer. The safe browsing diagnostic page meanwhile does not seem to be working -¬† It seems like a gear fell out of the Googles :0. Initially¬† I thought this may have been a glitch with the Gmail Offline I had just installed, but then my brother and father complained that they probably had viruses on their machines, and the same problem, But my MacBook and Linux Machine had the same problem so there is something going on…
But.. would you give a donation to Wikipedia, to enable paychecks for its 23 Official members of staff. What about the rest of the Internet community (150000 strong) who is responsible for adding the content that makes wikipedia what it is.
I personally belive that wikipedia should run ads, like the rest of the blogging community and stop the funding drives every so often.
The bulk of the Open Source world acknoeledges the contributions of non-paying (cash) but givers of time.Wikipedia on the other hand, just finds it easier to ask for a dole out. Of that dole out less that 50% is going into technology to keep the encyclopedia running. Another 96K is going to the Wikimania conference. (A move which many in the corporate world would be avoiding right now, calling the travel to Beunos Aires a needless expenditure)
So I ask the question – would the donations (not tax free BTW) be handled correctly by the Wikipedia team?
So.. it has finally happened. An application known as yellowsn0w has made it possible to unlock the iPhone 3G and use it with any network of your choosing.
Unlocking requires Jailbreaking your iPhone and then using the Cydia application installer to install yellowsn0w. Post installation it is a matter of removing the sim card and pushing a button. Voila .. unlocked iPhone.
Steps to unlock iPhone
So as I wait to purchase my iPhone 3g goodness, those of you who have it can unlock it for worldwide use.
The DoT has delayed the auction of the 3G spectrum by 14 days to January 30th. The nominal reason given is to give the potential bidders time to bone up on all steps of the auction.
Concerns – My one concern is that the winning bidders (I;m looking at Airtel and Vodafone here) despite having running test will still take their own sweet merry to roll out the services.
There should be a condition added to the auction – Ability to roll out services within 3 months of winning spectrum, Else you forfeit it.
Tripmela is selling its customer database to whoever can offer a price on eBay... The asking price for a 80000 strong database started from as low as 1500 rupees.
How many people amongst us remember the crew of the USS Enterprise D running into an alien ship, – Up the ship’s captain comes in the viewscreen, and the message goes out – “¬†DaHjaj ‘oH QaQ jaj Da¬†”. The magical universal translator would kick in and convert it to ” Today is a good day to die” and the Klingon warbird would blow the Enterprise and its wimpy captain Jean Luc Picard to smithereens… Ok, Ok so i escaped into a bit of fantasy there – the destruction of the Enterprise D that is.. The first part though fantasy no more…
Thanks to Cisco and its Telepresence¬†products videoconfrencing has become an absolute reality. Crystal clear picture and call quality and screen sizes actually belay the fact that parties may be on seperate sides of the world. The newest feature that Cisco is working on right now for telepresence is icing on the cake though,as Cisco¬†will add real-time translation to its TelePresence high-definition conference technology next year, enabling people in several different countries to meet virtually and each hear the other participants’ comments in their own languages.
The service which would be rolled out in the second half of 2009, would be initially available in 20 languages, across a spectrum of continents and languages including Asia, European and Western languages.
Cisco is also planning to bring Telepresence to the consumer masses around the same time, making video-calling an¬†ubiquitous¬†reality – this was something that was hoped to have been achieved by 3G services worldwide, but video-calling never really caught on.
<p style="text-align: left"> The translation system will be able to scale beyond two-way meetings, according to Cisco. In a press confrence demonstration on 10th of December Cisco executives gave the example of a TelePresence session among participants from four countries, speaking in four different languages. Each would be able to hear and read everyone’s words in his or her own language, they said.
<p> Around the same time that the translation system becomes available, Cisco will offer a transcription feature ¬†to perform speech-to-text conversion of video content. This will create a searchable word-for-word transcript and allow users to go directly to the spot in a video they want to see. </p>
In what is obviously a win for net users worldwide, UK ISPs have removed the controversial filtering of conten that a governing body construed as possible child pornography.
It was a side effect of this filtering which would also disallow UK residents from activly editing other Wikipedia pages, as it prevented the IP protectection features of Wikipedia from working correctly. This was due the fact, that the whole of UK had been given 1 IP. This would have pulled down the whole superstructure of the community encyclopedia for the UK.
It is a scary fact that this was ever allowed to happen, a self governing – albeit non-profit -¬† body was given control over content that effects an entire country.
Ok maybe not so dramatic… and maybe not as restrictive as the Chinese version…
Yesterday, it was revealed that the UK is employing a transparent proxy – in the lines of the system used in china to filter ISPs – to block pages on Wikipedia. The page in question is about a 1970 LP Cover¬†(Rated M16) which is considered to be in violation of child pornography laws.
The issue here is not that residents have protested the protection of children online – infact that is one thing that should be done whole heartedly, and actually parents should be made an active part of this effort (which is not happening) causing the state to intervene (which is not a good thing)
The problem is the way that it has been done, Users have raised a concern that it was done quietly, without consensus of users and information, the filters were put into place..
My biggest fear is that, implementing something like this in India is actually very possible, and the problem is that peoples laissez faire attitude will allow this…
So say no to two things
No to Child Pornography
No to Government controlled Internet censorship
Yes to parents controlled Internet censorship
So the deal was¬† closed yesterday as most people would know – unless you crawled under a rock – NTT DoCoMo has bought into a 26% stake in Tata Teleservices (The Indicom people). Rs 13,070 crore investment.
So what do I read in it –
With this release my need to run a seperate windows laptop has come to an absolute end.
Parallels allows me to run my last remaining XP licence in Leopard and use the 3 or 4 Windows products i cannot get replacements for, and I have to use, Access, Live writer and Neverwinter Nights 2 (It runs beautifully). ¬†¬†¬†So while parallels is running NWN keeps¬†dyeing¬†post the movie.. Ian, Frank, sorry guys no D3D support as yet.
Improvements include speed boosts, (havent tried these yet), An intelligent Hypervisor Load balancer and a virtualisation engine that consumes 15-30 percent less resources. (I have noticed previously too, running a virtual machine on osx is less stressfull than on my Mac)
I can play games as DX9, Pixel Shader 2.0 and OpenGL 2 are now properly supported (hopefully)
Coherence is also cleaner, with the items in the windows tasjbar, moving to the Mac menubar.
The best feature in my opinion though is the Safe mode, a Kind of Sand box if you will. Everything runs exactly as normal, except at the end of the VM session you get an option to save the changes to the VM or not….
I guess I will be downloading the trial tonight and trying it out… The Migration to the Mac is hopefully complete.
I was in Reliance Digital today, and saw an updated price for the iPhone.
Vodafone iPhone were being sold at approx 2 thousand rupees cheaper than the Airtel ones..
Strange, considering Apple has a policy of no variable pricing in a single market..
On the 22nd of August, Apple in conjunction with Telecom partners worldwide will be releasing the iPhone in 15 Nations worldwide. India, Singapore and the Philippines lead the rush in Asia while the Czeck republic is added in Europe not forgetting 8 Latin American Countries.We can truthfully¬† say that Apple is truly taking over the cell phone market…
What is hard to understand about this phenomenon is the price difference though, and speaking from an Indian consumers pointof view,I will possibly not be purchasing the iPhone 3G, I am very happy with my Nokia e71.
When the iPhone was first launched, almost a year ago, it was something exciting, frankly something worth having, and it was a desirable piece of technology…
It was so desirable that it was available Jailbroken and illegally and very easily in India. And the best thing about this was that the price was actually quite reasonable, – an unlocked 8GB iPhone could be had at a street price or Rs 20,000 – 22,000 (approx $400) which was almost the price it was available for in the US (After the first price slash). If you had someone coming from the US, even cheaper…
So when people heard that with the launch of the 3G and the $199 price,¬† customers expect a similar if not the same pricing… It was a big surprise to consumers, – infact even causing a bit of international attention by pcworld – when the pricing for the 8GB and the 16GB models was announced at Rs 31,000 & Rs 36,100 respectivly.. And while no one has mentioned you can bet on the fact that there will be a VAT on top of this, not to count usage charges.
This puts the price of the iPhone solidly at $823 Far above the price that just about any country is paying for it… Bear in mind that these prices are for the phone only.. No data or voice OR ANY OTHER SERVICE THAT MAKES THE 3G GREAT, as India does not have any 3G yet, and no visual voicemail. Both the carriers who are offering the iPhone, Vodafone IN and Bharti Airtel have mentioned that all of the iPhone services will not be available, without mentioning which services in particular will be affected. No special data plans for the iPhone have been released either.
Another problem is that, both carriers would be selling the phone locked to the network. The first experience for Indians with this was with the Blackberrys which were not subsidised in price either. The carriers are getting away with basically screwing the customer… Its a known fact that worldwide a network locked phone is made available at a far more subsidised rate that its unlocked varient, hence the whole point of network locking.
Apple is not helping either, while the Apps store is available in India, ( It has been available since the launch of the app store for purchasing apps for the iPod Touch) the iTunes store for purchasing music is not enough available.
India’s economy may be driven by the desire to “Keep up with the Joneses”. It is this attitude that is fueling the unmitigated desire of companies to drive this type of pricing without providing a Quality of service. Sharninder over at Nomadic Rider made a valid point that Fanboys will be just that… but I think Fan Boys also gotta wakeup…
Strange results… The 5th result on Wikia is a Wikipedia link for the Number of the Beast 🙂
This weekend, I finally did it, I recreated my home-media-server machine into a Roaring Gaming Monster (Well little one anyway).
Over the past 2-3 Months I had slowly added more and more to this machine.. so much so that it now has more than 1500 GB of Storage capacity, Granted almost 1 TB is taken up by media and assorted data.
This Server is connected to all the 5 Computers in the house is constantly on, and serves my media collection to my tv as well.
Sexy setup… but the problem was, my laptops, even though they are ludicrously overpowered when compared to my first pc (1990) or my second pc (2000)… I wanted a larger screen to play Jade Empire, and Gears of War (havent got to Crysis yet)
Also my brother has a thing for Flight Simulator …
So Upgrade time… First things required a monitor for this headless server – A 19″ Viewsonic VA1912W was just right, with a dvi input, it was perfect for even watching HD movies when connected to my MacBook or My HP TX2009.
Second Upgrade – Graphics Card, Now I wanted something that could play my games – Most demanding one being GOW… But at the same time I didnt want to spend too much… After a bit of research and a boo boo.. I settled on the Nvidia 8600GT
Before I could get my card though… I made a mistake, a mistake which cost me a whole day of gaming.. I misread a port on my MB and picked up a sick (as in ill) AGP Card… Oh well lost out the 15th of August (everything was closed in Delhi)… Oh well, I just Installed all the games I wanted on the Friday.. (BTW Vista Ultimate – Damn good for games, didnt find out until ¬†after though, on my Onboard graphics it was a little sucky (like the lemon)
Anyway.. 16th meant a trip to Nehru place and a quick Swap… Very understanding Shop Owner – I recommend SMC International in Nehru Place btw to anyone, Competitive pricing, and almost every old and latest tech you could want, damn good for component shopping – and I was on my way home with a MSI NX8600GT 512MB based card… and a bigger power supply (Cooler Master – Very quiet) for good measure.
This card is silent, does not have a fan, and works by distributing its heat across heat pipes, it is fast and can drive all my games at the monitors highest resolution 1440x (I cannot remeber how big but it is huge)
Saturday evening and Sunday were spent in playing games and having fun like I havent had in a while…
The only problem that is there now, is that there is going to be a fight as to where this machine is going to be kept, once just about everyone want to play their favourite game.
For those who are interested here is the current Setup (Vista Rating of 5)
Come and meet me for a Game online
For a word that is almost synonomous with digital search, infact when you are looking for some information related to anything you more often than not ‘Google‘ it. ‘
But for a company that has grown to the size of a towering behemoth it seems more and more apparent that Google may have lost the ability to innovate. beyond a few core products and competencies the Google stable has yet to produce a product that can change the world the way Search did.
Google Search – Did Google invent search? No. I believe Google redefined the paradigm that was search. To search for a website, meant to search through multiple engines or directories, to see what offered you the best product for your needs, Google said, No! ” Lets actually index the keywords in the data, so you actually see the content being searched for.. This was the birth of Google, a company destined to be called Gogoole ( if i havent missspelled that)
Google Adsense – What is the point of any world pervading business empire, if you cannot be making any money out of it. This was where Adsence came in. Adsence was different – in a world where you were bombarded with ads from apples to online casinos, adsence offered a bit of sanity, not just to publishers, but also to viewers. In a world of nonsence advertising,users were seeing ads that finally made sense to them, advertisers had a new concept of payment – per click and they could see how users actually used their ads. Actually adsence was not a new idea.. Google may have polished the technology but the idea was Old..infact Google were reluctant followers of the PPC model
Gmail – Is Gmail an Innovation? Well in the day when all providers were giving you 2 MB of space Gmail gave you 2GB and growing, It was unheard of and it integrated google search and some of the best Spam filters out there and it was good…
and it was right there that Google first stumbled, Gmail has yet to come out of official Beta, in what has been Invitation only since 1st April 2004 to a public beta of 4th April 2004, it could be the longest April fool’s joke in History. On June 5th 2008 Gmail Labs was introduced as a new feature that allows users to test new and experimental features of Gmail… hmm is’nt Gmail still officially an experiment.
Now in 2008 Gmails competition has beaten it in my opinion, Hotmail and Yahoo both offer large attachments, Storage you are not going to run out of and a searchable interface that while fast can knock the socks of the elementary Gmail Interface – thats right I dont believe the Gmail Interface is great, it is in need of a serious ovehaul.
So what else did Google Innovate…
Docs…Nope that was Writely
Analytics…Nope that was Urchin
Picasa…Nope another Purchase
Youtube… Need I go onn
Sketch Up …@last software