Saturday, October 30

should a small start-up company bother about branding ?

Dr. Ned Roberto and Ardy Roberto answers the question should a small start-up company bother about branding ?

"As a small start-up company, should I be concerned about branding? I've always had the impression that I'll bother about branding when I get big. Also, I've heard my partners in the business talk about corporate, family and product branding. If ever I decide to invest in branding, how should I choose among corporate, family and product branding?"

Answer: You have two separate but related questions here. Let's diagnose the first one about branding when you're just starting your business.

When you had your children, what was one of the first things that you and your wife did?

We're quite certain that you were excited about choosing the name of each baby. (Unless, of course, you are like boxing legend-turned-infomercial marketer George Foreman, who named his four or five sons, George II, George III, George IV, George V, etc.) Nevertheless, naming kids was an act of branding.

You must do the same for your new "babies," your two hotels and beach resort. You not only want to give them a name, you want that name known to prospective customers, and retained in the minds of their customers.

.in domains for India

Times of India : From January 01 2005 .in domain names will be available.This will also help increase Internet speed in the country and reduce the high tariffs as due to a country domain name a lot of traffic will be generated inside the country.

Of a National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) formed by the Department of IT in association with the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI).

NIXI aims to ensure that the Internet traffic which originates within India and also has destinations in India remains within the country (instead of going to the overseas server in the host country, mostly the US), resulting in improved traffic latency, reduced cost and better security.

Friday, October 29

How to boot from a USB Flash Drive ? points to this hack from WeetHet. Having these bootable USB Flash drives may have many uses and misues ;-).

Its A Wiki World

Slashdot discusses how this world is changing into a wiki world :

Wikipedian writes "BusinessWeek asks are we headed for a Wiki World?. With US-based SocialText using their wiki to leverage just $600K in capital, and European competitor Team Notepad, not to mention freeware alternatives like TWiki and MoinMoin is the whole world going to be using wikis instead of the proprietary dinosaurs like Lotus Notes?"

Dude, Did I steal your job?

Priya Sreenivas (CIOL) interviews Sivakumar N , author of the book "Debugging Indian Computer Programmers: Dude, Did I steal your job?"

Thursday, October 28

Net telephony fails to pick up

Financial Express reports that Net telephony is failing to pick up due to the thinning difference between ILD tariff and internet telephony rates :

For an ILD call to the US, the tariff has come down from Rs 18 per minute to Rs 7.20 per minute over the last year or so. But the tariff for a similar call through the internet has remained at Rs 4-6 per minute.

And if this was not enough, “the ILD rates are likely to come down further”, according to a Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) official.

Tuesday, October 26

Affordable computing

Many companies are trying to bring down the cost of computing. The definition of a PC is not what it used to be. The computing world which used to run on the clock speed game has run out of the GHz. Why the hell do you need a Terra GHz machine to run couple of office utilities and browsing. ? As somebody from IBM at the early stage had made a holistic statement that in this world only few Universities and Defence organization needs computers and why somebody would need it at home. Now the PC industry is doing the same thing that users needs more Speed and Bits and MIPS to run those intensive calculations, alogorithms and bleeding eye games.

Most of the people simply need some kind of access to the internet, mobility, simple spreadsheet and word editors and thats it.

* Slashdot | How Cheap A PC Can be
* AMD launches campaign for $249 PC
* Intel targets developing countries

Rajesh Jain writes an interesting post affordable computing solutions :

Last week has an interesting one from the point of view of affordable computing solutions. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer talked about the need for $100 computers, and AMD announced a $185 computer ($249 with monitor). I will discuss the significance and impact of these developments. But first, let us look at the motivation that is driving the need for computers for the next users – what I will refer to as Massputers (a term coined by Om Malik).

There are two key factors which are making computer makers finally wake up to the opportunity in emerging markets:

Slowing Growth in Current Markets: The developed world is awash in computers – there are over 500 million users across these countries. This is now primarily an upgrade market – almost everyone who needs a computer has one. While computer growth continues to be strong (176 million computers will be bought in 2004, according to ZDNet which quotes IDC), this is being driven by two factors: depressed growth in previous years, and increasing offtake in emerging markets. The next new fast machine is no longer a driving factor in purchase, as evidenced by Intel’s decision to de-emphasise clock speeds for its processors.

Increasing Demand in Emerging Markets: The developing countries of the world are where the next users of computing are going to come from. China and India are emerging as two hot growth markets. China overtook Japan in 2003 to become the second largest PC market with sales of over 13 million units (US led with 51 million units), according to India is expected to have sales of about 3.5-4 million computers in 2004. Affordability is going to be increasingly important in these markets.

The emerging market opportunity was elaborated on by Om Malik in his Massputers blog post: “Technology’s biggest opportunity that is staring them in the face. It is what I call a Massputer a computer that costs $300 for the computing hungry masses in emerging economies like India, China and Brazil. Users of this massputer should be able to do basic tasks like writing documents, Internet surfing, email and perhaps some business-related tasks like data entry. There are nearly four billion people who live in these emerging markets and assuming that only 10 per cent of them can afford $300 it is still a market of 400 million.” ..........

Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at the Numbers!

Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at the Numbers!

This paper provides quantitative data that, in many cases, using open source software / free software is a reasonable or even superior approach to using their proprietary competition according to various measures. This paper’s goal is to show that you should consider using OSS/FS when acquiring software. This paper examines market share, reliability, performance, scalability, security, and total cost of ownership. It also has sections on non-quantitative issues, unnecessary fears, OSS/FS on the desktop, usage reports, other sites providing related information, and ends with some conclusions.

Wednesday, October 20

Using Hopster & Easy Message to bypass proxy/firewall and use Yahoo & MSN Instant Messengers

Easy Message - the ultra-lite instant messenger for MSN, AOL, ICQ, and Yahoo!

There are places where Instant Messaging is barred and you cannot use MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger the two most popular instant messeging softwares being used in India.

There are web based versions of both - Yahoo and MSN Messenger launched recently but in the restrictive environment web access to these sites is also disallowed

The software hopster creates a http tunnel through your proxy so that you can use the Instant Messengers like Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Trillian bypassing the firewall rules, but due to some reasons Yahoo Messenger does not work under hopster.

To overcome this difficulty use a combinations of Hopster and Easy Message. In both the MSN Messenger and Easy Message 'connection' setting use your local loopback IP - and port 1080 under teh Sock v4 proxy setting.

And there you go.... you dont need to your MSN Messenger
if you are using Easy Message. Only drawback however is no matter how many accounts you have logged in using Easy Message it just groups them as Online and Offline. So one may not be able to differentiate you are chatting with someone using which ID ?. In that case you can create groups manually and create groups mapping to your accound IDs.

Easy Message is devloped by Ryan Dewsbury and is free to use :

Easy Message is a unified instant messenger that connects to the ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, and AOL instant messaging network. The messenger is licensed to internet service providers and web communities with their brand name. Since instant message programs are typically always open on the desktop it provides the companies with excellent brand recognition.

It is also distribted as a free download under the Easy Message Express brand. It has over 20,000 daily users and is the smallest and fastest instant messenger available today.

Monday, October 18

India's Broadband Policy

Rajesh Jain comments on the new Indian Broadband Policy :
The new Indian broadband policy was announced a few days ago. Considering that it was a few months in the making, it is a big disappointment. It will do little to spur broadband deployment across India. After all the thought that has supposedly gone into it, much was expected in terms of bold measures. And bold this policy is not.

It does not take up the most far-reaching measure proposed in the TRAI recommendations - unbundling of the local loop. It also does not address the issue of the hugely expensive bandwidth prices - both nationally and internationally.

So, yet another case of a missed opportunity. The Indian IT department and minister had a chance to jumpstart India along the South Korean path of large-scale deployment. But what instead is seen is a lack of both vision and will.

[Also read: my earlier Business Standard column on what is needed for boosting broadband in India.]

Saturday, October 16

Thirld World : Googling the 'third world'

Tried googling 'thirld world' today to know how much it knows about my place. Realized that there is...

Third World Network - discusses Trade, Technology, Environment and other issues.

Third World Traveller - alternative view to the corporate media about the state of democracy in America,and about the impact of the policies of the United States' government, transnational corporations, international trade and financial institutions, and the corporate media, on war and peace, democracy, free speech, social and economic justice, and human rights, in the Third World, and in the United States.

Third World Newsreel - one of the oldest alternative media arts organizations in the United States. We are committed to the creation and appreciation of independent and social issue media by and about people of color, and the peoples of developing countries around the world.

Amy Smith - A scientist whose inventions can benefit Third Worlds.

Third World Band - a band from first world which has hijacked third world name. They were Grammy nominated for "AIN'T GIVIN' UP". Released by Shanachie Records in 2003.

A news link which will make India's Left Parties happy - Do all these consultants really benefit the Third World? . Anyway Left is more happy to screw Anupam Kher. Thirld world politicians are most busy in important issue of appointing Censor Board Chiefs and not about child labour and juvenile whores. It's too common in thirld world...

Last but not the least, yet unadulterated Geek World Makes Sense - Slashdot. News for nerds, stuff that matters.
Third World Research, Development & Innovation :

tovarish writes "It is nice to see that countries like India are trying to research communication techniques in backward and rural areas. While tech savvy people like us enjoy the latest gadgets it is quite a challenge to develop gadgets which actually help the poor and illiterate. While India's satellite launches and outsourcing news are already covered in slashdot umpteen times, sometimes her sensible achievements should be covered too."

Don't just get exited by the post heading, read the discussion.

Friday, October 15

The 3rd World : Corruption / Corrupt Childrens

My blogs has mainly remained as a linklog. I thought may be I should enlighten all the dedicated readers of my blog with my knowledge and wisdom. After all I live in Thirld World - you just need to breath with your open eyes. You don't have to be adventurous to go out and seek the experience. Experiences come to you, 24x7x365 otherwise you must either by dead or living only on page 3 of some toilet paper.

The Corruption :

Some days back a school kid came to me and my friend asking for donation for the upgradation of their School building. We were having a first world drink - *** cola at that time.

We were looking at the form and some other local kid came and said, "Uncle, don't give him anything, I used to study in the same school earlier. They used to send us for the same type of collection drive, but never did anything for the school, it all went in to their pockets".

But since we didn't want to upset that kid who must be hardly 10-12 ( and the kid who educated us was also 10-12 something ) we both gave the kids - few bucks.

The beauty is see how educated our third world childrens are. First world kids can't even spell 'corruption' at this age and our third world kids - know it by experience.

Q. Why that kid called me uncle ?
B'cos we are third world people are knitted with a tight social fabric. Never know who might be of help for a favour or recommendation. Stupid first world people need online social networking site to socialize, what a waste...

Come On Yelp! Me. Domain Names getting Y'ed

These days local net is getting a great kick. Yahoo and Google are finding ways to become more locally aware. Craigslist leads the race since it's content is all user provided and not some algorithm defined query result. Yelp! is the new entrant in the area , it is about - sharing the local knowledge and recommendations through the network. From finding a reputed Medical Practioner to finding restaurant or plumber, dentists, hairstylist and what not.
[ Spotted on Om Malik's blog ]

I have noticed a new trend here in the name and that is modification in the Domain name : (Rize), (Bright) and now (Help) & Indian oldy (India) . "Y" is cool these days...

Leadership's Lasting Lessons

[ Via E M E R G I C . o r g Knowledge@Wharton writes about a new book - "Lasting Leadership: Lessons from the 25 Most Influential Business People of Our Times."

Lasting Leadership also identifies eight attributes of leadership, each of which has its own chapter in the book, that are evident to varying degrees in these individuals.

1. They are able to build a strong corporate culture.
2. They are truth-tellers.
3. They are able to find and cater to under-served markets.
4. They can "see the invisible" - that is, spot potential winners or faint trends before their rivals or customers.
5. They are adept at using price to build competitive advantage.
6. They excel at managing and building their organization's brand (which in some cases may be their own name).
7. They are fast learners.
8. They are skilled at managing risk.

Thursday, October 14

Google , India & Shakta (?) Energy

Google Inc. founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were on a hiring trip to India.Google's Bangalore center will act as a 'ideas centre'.

Researchers in Bangalore will work with their counterparts in Google's U.S. offices to conceptualize new services and develop software, they said.

This includes developing search engines that will present results based on speech input or drawings, ones that will work in more languages than at present, personalizing search results to suit individual preferences, and new features for Google's new e-mail service, they said.

However I am not able to understand Inquirers headline : Googling in India produces shakta energy
What is this shakta ?

And another thing I am not able to understand why they wanted to meet our h'ble PM and why it was called Off?. Were diverted to meet Soniaji instead or got enlightened by Laloo ji. And by the way where are the leftist comments on these foreigners.

Tuesday, October 12

What VoIP Is Actually Good For ?

[ Via Slashdot | What VoIP Is Actually Good For ] If you thought that VoIP is just another cheaper call option, think again. Two Bell Lab scientists Sudhir R. Ahuja & Robert Ensor explain how host of IP applications are changing the scene. This 4 part paper is available at ACMQueue [VoIP: What is it good for? ], divided into :
1: Growth
2: Implementation
3: Integration and Sessions
4: The Future

* Does VoIP Spell the Death of the Traditional Telephone System? - Part 2
* You Don't Know Jack About VoIP
* Will VoIP Kill the PBX? - Slashdot
* Not Your Father's PBX ;-)

Monday, October 11

IITs, IIMs breed business startups

Sudhir Chowdhary & Srinivas R (Express India) write about the startups being breeded in IIT-Delhi and IIM-Bangalore.

@ IIT Delhi
* Nine Cloud Entertainments is working on animation and other entertainment projects.
* SeNate Communications is developing firewall security solutions
*Voice Tech Solutions provides IT solutions to the telecom companies

@ IIM Bangalore

* Meta-I - Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Education Support Services Company
* EmbedX - working on embedded systems on vehicle tracking.

Rashmi Bansal (Business World India) has written a wonderful article - can Business Schools really 'teach' entrepreneurship. It covers some successful examples and also the gaps in various areas :

Originally, entrepreneurship courses were meant to literally 'produce entrepreneurs'. In 1947, Harvard Business School (HBS) developed an elective titled 'Management of Small Enterprises' for students eager to start their own businesses after World War II. The real thrust into teaching and research in the area came in the early 1980s when HBS graduate and pioneering venture capitalist Arthur Rock funded the first professorship in the field of entrepreneurship at HBS.

Under legendary Professor Howard H. Stevenson, entrepreneurship came to be defined not just as an 'innate trait' but a particular type of managerial behaviour available to virtually all managers in organisations of all kinds and sizes. Today HBS requires its 900 first-year students to take a course called 'The Entrepreneurial Manager', and offers almost 20 elective courses in the area to its second-year students. American B-schools, including the likes of Wharton, offer entrepreneurial management as a major, "preparing students for careers as autonomous entrepreneurs, family-business entrepreneurs, or entrepreneurs in corporate setting". Entrepreneurship centres have also become an integral feature at campuses in the US, thanks to corporates and individuals who are keen to fund them. The University of Michigan, for example, got $10 million to set up such a centre in 1999.

In contrast, Indian B-schools have made a more modest foray into entrepreneurship education. Every self-respecting B-school offers at least one elective in the area as part of the second year of the postgraduate programme (PGP). And interest from students is high. At IIM Lucknow, the 'New Venture Planning' (NVP) course has seen an enrolment as high as 70 per cent in some years. The course gives perspectives from all functional areas like marketing, finance, operations, strategy and also preparation of business plans. IIM Bangalore offers as many as four electives covering the entire gamut - from the regulation 'Managing New Ventures' to the gung-ho 'Entrepreneurship from the Trenches: A Real World Perspective'. Further, a course in 'Social Entrepreneurship' is being introduced. In March 2002, IIM-B set up the Nadathur S. Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) with a generous grant from N.S. Raghavan, one of the co-founders of Infosys Technologies (See 'Incubation, The New Buzzword').

* List - India Business Incubators *
* NSRCEL : Ideas to Implementation
* Incubetees at KreSIT

Tux lands in Portland

Brier Dudley ( The Seattle Times ) reports how Portland is tranforming from a hardware centre to the center of Linux Development:

In tech circles, Seattle is known as a software town because of Microsoft. Portland is a hardware town because of its semiconductor industry, driven largely by Intel.

Yet over the past decade, a cluster of software companies involved with Linux and other 'open-source' software that's distributed free of charge has appeared in Portland.

Nearly every major tech company backing Linux, including longtime Microsoft competitors, has programmers here working on the software. Their expertise has helped transform Linux ? an operating system for controlling the basic functions of a PC ? from a hobby into a direct competitor of Microsoft Windows.

Capping it off, Linus [pronounced LEE-nus] Torvalds, 34, the Finnish programmer who created Linux in 1991 and still oversees its development, moved to Portland in June.

However Microsoft does not want to accept it openly (as it does not believe in open standards ;-).

"If they were in Portland or if they were in Redmond or if they were in Bangalore, India, I don't think it would make any difference," said Martin Taylor, who leads 10 strategists in Redmond working to fend off Linux.

Microsoft's monopoly on desktop computers is intact, but Linux is growing faster than Windows in the lucrative, crucial market for data-serving computers used in corporate and government networks.

The risk is great enough that Microsoft warned shareholders about it last month in its annual report. To the extent open-source products such as Linux gain acceptance, the report said, "sales of our products may decline."

Finding Jobs through Social Networking has a article - how social networking sites like LinkedIn, Friendster, Ryze , Spoke & Tribe are helping job aspirants to find right jobs through contacts on these social networking sites.

Social networking has opened a new door in the job search for the thousands of Bay Area employees who lost their jobs since the boom went bust. Members are using the sites to find out about job openings and to connect with people who could put them in touch with the right hiring director.

"It's a great way to network, to learn about the company, to gain a competitive advantage when you're up against other candidates and trying to land a job," Shakked said.

Shakked had been unemployed for about a year, working temporary jobs, when he registered at LinkedIn. First, he constructed a network, entering e-mail addresses to see whether his friends and colleagues were already members or wished to join. He then started running searches for contacts at the companies where he wanted a job, online travel sites such as Hotwire and Travelocity.

When he found the right contacts, he started the process of requesting a meeting. The request would go to a person in his network, who then had to either reject it or approve it and send it on to another link.

REM previews album via online social networking portal

After the 'The Apprentice' exposed itself to social networking site Friendster its time now for REM a US alternative rock band REM is to offer its albym "Around the Sun" on a social networking portal

Saturday, October 9

Make your own Ringtones has a 'make your ringtones' (graphical) guide - using opensource software combination of Audacity, Lame and BitPim

VQube : Indian VoIP Startup

Esqube is a Indian startup founded by the facultes of the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore who carry over eight decades of experience and fundamental knowledge in the field of DSP and Telecommunication. Thre first product is VoIP software ::..V Q u b e - V O I C E L I N E C O M M U N I C A T I O N M A D E E A S Y (a Skype like stuff). VQube is available for download at It has been reviewed by 13 users till now and all have given their thumbs up to VQube.

Vqube has some useful features & advantages like - ability to work behind NAT & Firewalls, High Quality Voice with Very Low Bit Rates, Instant Messaging with VQube Chat, etc.

Some features to look for as per the VQubes sites are - Call Conferencing with P2P technology, Answering Machine Facility, Friend's List, PBX Functionalities (Call Forward, Call Transfer),File Transfer , Call Recording, Integration to Outlook. In latest Business.

Friday, October 8

Google SMS Launched

Google launches Google SMS

Google SMS (Short Message Service) enables you to easily get precise answers to specialized queries from your mobile phone or device. Send your query as a text message and get phone book listings, dictionary definitions, product prices and more. Just text. No links. No web pages. Simply the answers you're looking to find.

* Slashdot | MobileMag |

Google & Gmail Name Game or Name Trouble

The Register reports that has troubles with Googles is a follow-on to a 1991 childrens book about four aliens called "Googles and the Planet Goo". Similarly The Market Age, which supplies online financial analysis tools, claims its subsidiary ProNet Analytics has been using Gmail as the brand for its email service since the middle of 2002 and is active in 80 countries.

Thursday, October 7

Businessworld: Networks will grow faster in India

Mitu Jayashankar (Business Wolrd India )interviews Juniper CEO Scott Kriens :
Like every other tech start-up in the 1990s, Juniper Networks has seen it all - the giddy growth before 2000, when its stock was trading at $240, to the tragic low a year later when the stock fell to $4. In 2002, Juniper posted losses of $119 million. A new phase is now beginning for companies like Juniper as convergence becomes the mantra for networks and communication devices. Juniper, (2003 revenue: $700 mn) is well poised to take advantage of that trend. Some of the biggest spends on networking are coming from emerging markets like China, Korea and India. Juniper is using India as a strategic R&D centre, hiring Indians to develop next-generation routers and networking equipment. Juniper CEO Scott Kriens was recently in Bangalore. He spoke to Mitu Jayashankar, about convergence, its impact on the networking market and existing communication vendors. Excerpts...

His comments on India & Asia :
How strategic is the Asia-Pacific market for you?
One third of our revenue comes from Asia-Pacific, the same as from Europe. In my opinion, the network itself has no value unless it is worldwide. So it is impossible to be a network technology provider without having a global footprint. But it is true that certain opportunities would grow faster than others, India being a good example of that. There are only 150,000 users of broadband in India today, out of 18 million Internet users. So the growth opportunity is high. The growth rate in India will be much higher than in other countries.

How big is your presence in India?
India is very important to us, but not only as a market. We have a development centre in Bangalore where we employ 150 people. We will double that by next year. In sales and support, we have a team of 25-30 people in India. We have 19 customers here, including big names like BSNL. We recently won a big order from Indian Railways, which is connecting 38 railway junctions.

India : Internet, Broadband & Telecom Updates

* The Hindu Business Line : Internet user base grows 8 pc in Q2
THE subscriber base of Internet Service Providers (ISP) has increased by 8 per cent during the quarter ending in June. The numbers of subscribers has increased from 4.55 million in the previous quarter to 4.93 million, according to the quarterly report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The annual growth of this segment (June 2003 to June 2004) is of the order of 30.3 per cent.....

* Airtel brings broadband home, ties up with HCL
Bharti's Airtel Broadband & Telephone Services will push high-speed Internet for home users. People buying Airtel's landline connection will be able to opt for a PC on instalments, with some initial payment, and connect to broadband...

* Lower govt stake in BSNL, MTNL, says Pitroda
At a time when government is contemplating merger of two telecom PSUs — MTNL and BSNL, an architect of India's telecom revolution Sam Pitroda on Wednesday said merger was not the only solution and asked government to give them more autonomy by lowering stake to below the present 51%. Pitroda, CEO of World Tel and member of National Advisory Council, said, merger (of BSNL and MTNL) is not the only solution. You have to make them more independent. You have to sell the bigger piece to the public," he said on the sidelines of CII leadership summit...

* Broadband cost to be 50% less in India
Monthly consumer price of broadband soon to be Rs 500 from its present Rs 1000, while the number of subscribers is expected to multiply 4 times from its present 50,000.

* TRAI report on spectrum next month
Telecom regulator TRAI will give next month its final recommendations on the controversial spectrum allocation issue and said its report on unified licensing, which will allow internet, cable TV, DTH and radio broadcasting under a single licence, will be submitted by December.

* Trai to scan billing system
Telephone subscribers, despair no more! There’s a strong chance that you won’t have to go through the traumatic experience of rushing from one unsympathetic telephone department official to another to correct an error that has resulted in a mammoth phone bill for calls you have never made.

* Operators fail to meet quality norms
A number of private telecom service providers along with the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), failed to meet the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) Quality of Service (QoS) benchmark on metering and billing credibility, for the quarter ending June 2004.

Google To Launch Google Print

Slashdot reports about Google Print:
Rescate writes 'As reported by Reuters,Google is launching Google Print, which will show book excerpts next to regular Google search results. A spokesman said, 'We're trying to index every book there is, and make it searchable for our users.' Even though this competes with Amazon's A9 search which also searches within books, Google says the two companies will continue to work together, and that Google Print will link to Amazon, as well as other sellers, to buy books listed in the search results. Google will demonstrate the technology Thursday, Oct. 7 at the Frankfurt Book Fair.'

* Google Print shows how eBay will lose grip on e-commerce
* Google Print: Google's Answer to

Wednesday, October 6

Patents make technology & innovation impotent

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes how software patents are bad for both - open-source and closed-source & not to forget the 'customers' who buy them. Why ? :

The Public Patent Foundation (Representing the Public's Interests in the Patent System) front page says it all: "Wrongly issued patents and unsound patent policy harm the public: by making things more expensive, if not impossible to afford; by preventing scientists from advancing technology; by unfairly prejudicing small businesses; and by restraining civil liberties and individual freedoms."

Sounds too grand? Think again. The big patent cases ask for tens of millions to more than a billion dollars in damages. Who ends up paying the bills? The people who buy and use software.

Even when companies win, we—the users and developers—end up paying the bills because top-level patent law is expensive and takes years. Eolas is still fighting Microsoft over basic browser technology found in IE.

Think that doesn't matter to open-source developers? Think again. If upheld, the Eolas patent also can be used against Mozilla or Firefox. No one is safe from patent abuse.

* A New Hope for Patent Reform
* Lawyers See Broader Software Patent Issues in Java Case
* Free Software Matters: The Patent Problem
* A Patent Strain on Innovation

Entrepreneurs Getting Their Groove Back

Om Malik writes how entrepreneurs are getting their groove back by citing the example of Grouper & others:

One great thing about the current spate of digital disruptions is that entrepreneurs are finally getting their groove back. I just read that Pyra Labs founder Evan Williams is off to do another start-up. Nick Denton has reinvented himself as Gawker founder. Yesterday as luck would have it I got to chat with Josh Felser who in past life had co-founded early streaming music company Spinner like all companies Of a certain era were bought by sucker number one America Online for $320 million.

Felser has a new company called Grouper. He got the idea about a year ago when he had come back from a trip to burning man. He found he could not share the photos and videos with his friends and family. So what did he do -- he roped in his former partner and teamed up with two former Microserfs and ex-AOLer and started Grouper. “I was lucky to find a problem which is faced by others as well,” says Felser.

Oracle offers rural solutions

Oracle India is interested in offering some desi solutions trough rural software implementations:
Business Standard:
We will develop solutions for small and medium businesses in the rural sector such as diary, farm produce to make the sectors more productive, efficient and competitive through the introduction of technology,? Shekhar Dasgupta, managing director, Oracle India, told reporters at a press meet to announce the forthcoming Oracle Open World in Mumbai next month.

Oracle is also planning to launch data hub solution and subsidy management solution in the country. While the data hub solution would be helpful for corporates and the government, the subsidy management solution would enable the government to provide claim-based subsidy, senior director at Oracle India SPS Grover said. "

Gmail Introduces New Features

Gmail introduces New Features:

Gmail Notifier
Want to know if you've got new mail? Let us do the checking so you don't have to. Find out when new messages arrive, and even see their subjects, senders and snippets, all without having to open a web browser.

Search your contacts
With the new and improved Contacts list, search for a contact as easily as you would a message in Gmail. Add notes and phone numbers. View messages directly from the Contacts list. Stay in touch with the people in your life more easily than ever before.

Automatic forwarding to another email account
We're testing a new feature that lets you forward new incoming messages to any email account you want. It's free during the test and you can set it up in seconds. Even set up filters to forward only some of your messages. It's your mail. Get it the way you want it.

And finally... Save Drafts!
For when you can't find the right words, save drafts and find them later.

Tuesday, October 5

Where do you wanna Pee Today ? Joe Kraus & Bill Gates

Joe Kraus's blog is getting sexier day by day.In 1995 Microsoft made a buyout offer for Excite two months after its launch. Joe recalls his great encounter will Bill in Mens Room. : Bnoopy: Potty Talk

At that time Search was not a business according to MS. Heard of MSN ?

Monday, October 4

First Mobile Phone Application Processor w/ Parallel Processing

3G UK reports :

NEC introduced the MP211, the industry?s first application processor for mobile phones with three internal CPU cores. The new product leverages NEC Electronics? parallel processing and low power consumption technologies, enabling high performance multimedia processing such as terrestrial digital broadcast reception, videophone, and music playback while maintaining low power consumption.

Read Blogs Before Applying For a Job

Cnet has this story about how blogs affect the job market. Now every company has some online profile or atleast you can profile the company by creating a search map. For example one can try to know about a company XYZ by feeding its name at various places - (knows as googling), (any bad words ;-), (whats the company upto) and now searching blogs to find out what people think about the company.

Blogstreet Launches - Blogstreet India

Rajesh Jain [Emergic] makes a announcement about BlogstreetIndia :

We have soft-launched BlogStreet India this week. It is a pioneering service for Indian blogs offering analytics and services like Blog Directory, RSS Search Engine, BlogProfile, BlogRank, RSS2Mobile and more.

There are various useful tools for both, authors and readers of blogs. Some of the salient features include:

RSS Search Engine for Indian blogs. It searches the Indian blogosphere and takes you directly to the blogposts which contain what you searched for. Unlike other search engines, the database is current and updated daily.

The Top 100 Indian blogs and Most Influential Indian blogs lists

RSS2Mobile service is India's first service enabling you to read your favorite blog / RSS feed on the go i.e. on your WAP enabled mobile phone.

Blog Directory listing Indian bloggers city-wise

Find out what popular Books, Movies and Music are the Indian bloggers talking about in their blogs

Community Forums are a place to discuss anything that is blog related, show off your new blog, ask for help if you are newbie, announce the blogger meet in your city or just make friends with other bloggers.

Blog authors can have more:

A blogger can check his popularity by way of BlogRank listed in his BlogProfile.

The BlogBack features tells you which blogs link to you from their blogroll.

Another interesting feature is BlogNeighborhood which take a blog URL and lists other blogs that are similar to it.

Those whose blog is already listed in BlogStreet India can claim their blog and update their profile.

BlogStreet India is part of BlogStreet, one of the first portal in the world dedicated to blogs. BlogStreet was launched in August 2002 and grew to be one of the most popular web-services in the blogosphere.

Indian Social Networking Sites

Although Ryze is in the lead with most number of active Indians on the network . There are some Social and Business Networking sites from India or Indian specific.


Friday, October 1 | Community plumbing | Community plumbing: The most effecient, logical and advanced Content Management System has released 4.5.0 release candidate. I have tried various CMS and after trying out Drupal, I am in love with it. Drupal can transform from a simple blogging tool to large community portal since it uses a very simple approach of modules per feature. The other strength is its Taxonomy module used for classification and categorization and now it supports RSS per Taxonomy which is very important for Syndication. uses Drupal which is a great exposure to Drupal. Spreadfirefox uses CivicSpace which is Drupal packaged for Community and Activism. Spreadfirefox is promotion site for Mozilla Firefox , a killer Browser and competition for Internet Explorer.

Drupal can be modified by PHP hackers and even novices easily and can take a completely different shape as seen in Ecademy a very popular social and business networking site.

I am a complete non-programmer but I was still very comfortably able to play around with Drupal on my PC at home and I am soon planning a venture on the net planned on Drupal.

I was waiting for Drupal 4.5 release and now its the time. All the best to the Drupal and me ;-).