Thursday, November 25, 2004

In love.......with RSS Calendar & Bloglines.

Today, i got back to using the RSS Calendar, though they have some pretty important or key features that are missing, i can see from the site tha they are working on it, top most on my list is ability to import and export from Outlook. I think this is of vital importance for wider adoption.

Also another facility is "Allow subscriber to add to your calendar or comment/RSVP to events". Once they get these two facilities onboard i will start using this facility extensively. And will try and get more & more people on board.

Ooops digressed, the reason i love it was because today i entered and event in the calender and for the first time subscribed to the feed from with in Bloglines, Then i saw the output and was totall impressed,

First it gave me the complete details of the event, then i had two links which led me to one the map of the place the other was a facility which gave me the temprature details of the place. That really had me impressed.

Then it gave me 4 other options
- Add This to My RSSCalendar
- Import to MS Outlook (VCal)
- Import to Other (ICal)
- Contact Prashanth

All of which i thought were totally cool and required feature i imported the same into my MS Outlook, Need to get more people to start using this facility. But before that RSS Calender, Please give me those two features, that i have requested for.

KK get yourself registered on the site.

"Prashanth Rai"

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

These are the various points that i picked from the speech by Adam Bosworth (Thoughts on Computing) at the ICSOC04.

Information Overload - Emails were bad now blogs have made it impossible, adding to it are podcasts, music & videos, Need to find/improve ways of filtering content. Attention.xml seems to generating significant interest in this space.

Have downloaded an MP3 of scoble talk on information overload need to listen to that and add to this section.

Web 2.0, Rich internet client, which share information across the web & deal with richer media. Skype, Hello, iTunes etc

   Presence computing
   Social Networking
   context, content, community & collaboration
   Small worlds
   myCampus - Carnegie Soln

Content is king - BillyG
When radio business started, radio the device had the real value but moving forward the content was the one that had real value. Similarly before HW/SW had value no moving forward it is only content, the ability of the systems to
1. Aggregate, Evaluate, Filter & Enhance
2. Find & Filter - Collaborate & Communicate

Tool is not important, Output is
Doesnt matter what programming language you use, just as long as you get the required out put. More developers are looking at PHP instead of C++, as PHP is a lot simpler , but the results are the same. This doesnt mean it is an either or situation, but basically that this choice is of limited relevance, only the output is.

RSS/Web Service
RSS, Simple Proposition
- Every piece of content is addressed by URL (Permalinks)
- Blogs solved problem of Incivility of discourse
- Sending emails no cost, so too much spam. The blog world(blogsphere) should be looked at as a giant room, And reputation systems should be running, then individuals will be careful.
- RSS is not rigid/systemised/fixed
- Webserice has rigid abstract layers, plumbing is anonymous - endless messaging
- Not possible to put dynamic filters

All the following succedded because they adhere to the rule, KISS - Keep it simple & sloppy

Two content sets
- Blogs, Photo Albums,Event Schedules, Favorites

Quote - "Dream"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible"

Monday, November 22, 2004

MetaProgrammingSystem - New programming models

Interesting thoughts on programming. I had earlier discussed something along these lines in an earlier, post need to track that one down.


Sergey Dmitriev is one of the leaders of JetBrains, the people
who gave us such wonderful tools as IntelliJ Idea and
ReSharper. He's recently published an article on some exploratory
development he's done called the Meta Programming System. He sees
this system as an example of a broader movement which he calls
Language Oriented Programming.My colleague Matt Foemmel and I
spent some time with him last week and were very impressed with what
we saw. I'm very interested in this growing movement, one that looks to
build software through closely integrated sets of
DomainSpecificLanguages. There's other interesting
players in this space - most notably Intentional Programming and
Microsoft's Whitehorse work. It's an area to keep your eye on over
the next few years.

[Via Martin Fowler's Bliki]

Friday, November 19, 2004

Today had some time in the afternoon so started reading all the clippings that i had put away to be read when free at bloglines, i didint even get past 10% of them when i came upon a blog entry which i needed to write something about.

"Innovation in Bloggin", Well i dont want to deal with this topic directly but am more interested in what functionality i would like in my blog readers, just some initial thoughts.
Aggregate complete blogs of from select sites
Aggregate key word based blog entries from a fixed list of blogs
Aggregate key word based blog entries from the complete Blogsphere
If i find one blog interesting, i should be able to click on it and bring up all the blogs that it links to and that are linked to this blog. Also bringing up all the related blog entries from with in the subscription list/blogsphere/
Others, Some people need to run focussed link blogs, scobles link blog is too generic and is not categorised, Similarly other key figures should pick up an area of interest or speciallity and provide link blogs on them, this was we can review the link blog and get an feel of information in that particular space.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Google Scholar: Stand On The Shoulders Of Giants

Looks like very interesting functionality, i checkd some of it out and its pretty cool, though sometimes, i wonder along the lines of a blog that i had read sometime back about, googles strategy being all over the place, how do they intend to move out from being just a search player to an "Complete Personal Information Center", that is what i am assuming they are interested in becoming.

Last night, Google released Google Scholar, a search engine for academic data.

Google Scholar takes academic papers and applies the PageRank standard to them. However, more than links are important; as in the academic world, its all about citations. If other important researchers cite your paper, Google Scholar's search algorithms recognize this and use that to weight the relevancy of the document. A link without a link, so to speak.

Google says:
With Google Scholar, researchers, students, professors and others can find relevant information drawn from a diverse collection of literature such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts, and technical reports.
For exampe, try a search for "search engine". The number one result? The anatomy of a large-scale hypertextual Web search engine by S Brin and L Page. Not only does the engine differ by including the author's name, the institution, and the year published in the search results, it lets you look at the citations, much like you would backlinks. Even though most of the database is in PDF format, Google can translate the pages to html for you, if you like.

Whenever possible, Google has said that the Google Scholar crawler searches not just the abstract, but the full text. All indications are that this also means that Google Scholar is not limited to the first 100 or so KB of a page, much like the regular Google search engine. Why is that so important? Because all of the citations are at the end of most papers, of course!

Google Scholar not only returns online results, but also offline papers. If the most cited paper is by Einstein, who's writings are both very well cited and barely online, Google will let you know, and give you an idea of how to find it.

The service is very impressive from the get-go. Google is clearly making a statement that it is serious about being able to provide tools for users to find the answers for anything. While other engines provide the "dumb" work-around of hard-coding answers into the engine, Google is determined to create the most powerful engine, and create unique ways for users to leverage that power. Last week, when Google announced it had doubled the size of its index, many had criticized the announcement, saying it is more important what you do with data than how much data you have. Well, Google is now showing us just how many things you can do when you have the world's information at your fingertips. Don't be suprised if we see more niche search engines in the future.

Other articles on this topic:

Google Offers Search Service For Researchers

Google Scholar

PR Weaver

[Via InsideGoogle]

Mobile Web - Paper Review

As just reading the various reports that are there for the mobile W3C Standards conference in barcelona.

Below i have picked up specific notes that i have liked in the various pieces that i have read, the first one is by sun
With large and growing numbers of people subscribing to mobile network and communications services, the operators and carriers have core competencies that give
them an opportunity to bring sophisticated and richer services to network end-point users and subscribers, constructing service scaffoldings which are more intelligent and
responsive to the contextual needs of users.

However, in the long run, the provision of such sophisticated services requires integration and interconnection of a large number of value-add service providers and partnerships. To
arrive at such a super network of services, identity federation and management become crucial necessities to other valuable functions of the system.

W3C and the Mobile Web
A large part of the work of the W3C has focused on content description and distribution and web services technologies. Activities such as the W3C Mobile Web Initiative can play a positive role in the mobile web services domain by:
1. Articulating how web content can best be described for and used by mobile devices. If there are any gaps in this area, they need to be identified and addressed. New research
and study regarding display technologies may be of significance.
2. Paying greater attention to the central role of network access and identity management to the evolution of a service oriented architecture for the use of the web, i.e. by adding
a user-centric perspective to W3C's traditional content-centric perspective of the Internet.
3. Incorporating, as an extension of item 2, the technologies that would allow digital rights to be preserved when content is distributed through the web, including the mobile web.

These are only a sample of ideas for how this initiative can help unleash the mobile web to reach the future phases of its evolution.

Venture Economics

I have always wanted to better understand the Venture capital business reading the various posts by various VC's is giving me some detailed insight into this area.

I wish more people blogged, From different lines of work/walks of life. It would enable all of us to learn a lot of things just sitting in front of my computer, I know that sounded geeky and that people would rebut saying that it is important to touch and feel it in person. But I have an answer for that, time is a limited/fixed resource for all of us and given that there are only a few things that we can manage to do in person, while there is a whole lot more happening out there, which though I might not be able to touch and feel, but I can read and imagine about. This takes learning for me to a whole new plane. ITs really great.

But immediately the one thing that comes to my mind is information overload, All of us need to find a way around it. I was listening to a podcast a couple of days , the guy talking for a proff and he said technologies are good only if they reduce the amount of garbage/information/data that we have to sieve before we get the information that is useful to us or we are looking for. Blogging as barraged us with a lot of information, if only I could find the right sieve than wouldn't it be a perfect combination.

Reverse Engineering Venture Economics

entrepreneurs don't really understand how their VC investors actually make
money, so I thought I'd take a shot at explaining it in general

Let's say a venture
firm raises $100 million from a series of what they call Limited Partners, or
LPs.  LPs can be anything from diversified institutional investors like pension
funds or banks to high net worth individuals.  The partners in the venture firm,
or General Partners (GPs) typically derive money from two

First, they receive
a small percentage of their fund as an annual management fee to pay basic
operating expenses.  These fees range in size, but a typical one is 2% per
year.  So on the $100 million fund, the GPs will take $2 million per year to pay
their salaries, staff, and office expenses.

Second, they
receive a percentage of what's called the carry, or the profits from their
investments.  Carry percentages have a range as well, but again a typical one is
20%.  Here's where the math starts to get interesting.

Let's say the GPs
invest $4 million in your company at a $12 million pre-money valuation, so they
buy 1/4 of the company.  You end up selling the company for $40 million a couple
years later without taking in additional capital (good for you!), so their 1/4
stake in the company is now worth $10 million.  They've made a 2.5x return on
their invested capital, bringing back a profit of $6 million to their LPs, and
they're entitled to keep 20% of it, or $1.2 million, for themselves. 

Fred Wilson talks
about the rule of 1/3 in Valuation,
where, from a VC's perspective, 1/3 of deals go really well, 1/3 go sideways (he
defines sideways as a 1x-2x return), and 1/3 go badly and they lose most or all
of their money. 

So based on
this rule, let's say a "good" VC will generate an average return of 2.5x on
their LPs' money over a 5-year period (an IRR of 20%). 
Now let's say on average, the GPs make 22 investments of $4 million each to fill out
their $100 million fund (less the $10-12 million
spent on management fees over the life of the fund)
, and, again on
average, each returns 2.5x (recognizing that many will return zero and a few
will return 10x).  The VCs will have returned $220 million to their LPs on $100 million
invested, for a gain of $120 million (good
for them!).  The GPs get to keep 20% of that, or $24 million, to split among themselves.  Not a
bad bonus, on top of their salaries, for 5 years of work across a small number
of partners and associates.

Let's attempt
now to compare those earnings to the earnings of an entrepreneur, assuming equal
annual cash compensation.  An average entrepreneur of a venture-funded company
probably owns somewhere between 5-10% of the company by the time the company is
sold.  In this same average case above, the company is sold for $40 million, so
the entrepreneur's equity will be worth between
$2 and $4 million for the same 5
years of work.  In this simple case, the GPs in the venture firm have earned a
collective $1.2 million, much less on a per-person basis than the entrepreneur. 
However, in the 5 year period of time where the entrepreneur is working solely
on one business, the GPs are working on 25 businesses, earning a collective $30
million.  A senior partner in a small firm will
end up with $10-12 million.  A junior
partner maybe more like $2-4 million, comparable
to the entrepreneur.  However, and this is an important point, most
entrepreneurs probably operate at the "seinor partner"

So on average, I think the economics probably work out
in favor of VCs over entrepreneurs in the long run, mostly because VCs operate a
diversified portfolio of companies and entrepreneurs are putting all their eggs
in one basket.  But on any given deal, I'd rather be the entrepreneur any day of
the week - you have more control over value creation, and more of a personal win
if things go well.  And in the 1/3 of deals that are home runs for the VC,
it's better to be the entrepreneur,
since you're much further along the risk/reward
curve and have that chance of seeing your
equity turn into $20 million or more in that one

[Via Flagged Items]

Mobile - Web - Access - Usuage

Mobile Web

RSS has a great potential in mobile phones
>From Sony Ericsson position paper - Mobile Web Initiative Workshop<

Mobile Web use cases #2: information updates

To further address the issue of how to get users online, and their reluctance to browse the Web in the traditional meaning, we look at another major trend.

Push services are on the rise on the Internet, based on the de facto standard RSS. We believe that RSS has a great potential in mobile phones, as a technology to automatically provide updated content to users - accessing the Web without browsing.

[ via All about Mobile Life ]

[Via Flagged Items]

[ via Russell Beattie ]


Think russel also wrote something on this/similar topic. The Mobile Web

So "mobile RSS aggregator" is defn one of the possible routes to go. I think it will be great.

But i think with all this discussion of how to deliver content on the mobile phone , people we are all forgetting that there is another important facet as well, about getting information from the mobile/rephrasing - sending data/content/info out of the mobile now there are just two convinient ways of doing it either text/voice. Well how are we going to improve that. HOW!

This i think should be an important guideline to decide the technology best suited to for the mobile.

Testing out w.bloggar

Till now i have been going to the web system to write out my blogs today, i just downloaded w.bloggar to test it out and see if it works for me. Setting it up was convinient enough. What i really liked was getting the new account and connecting to blogger was so easy. It looks like an easy to use tool.

"Dreams" / "Expereinces"

This is what our life is really all about. We dream of somethings and wish we could make them realities and ofcourse as we chase our dreams we have experiences.

Dreams are always good, but experiences can be good or bad, but they are always educational. An experience is the best way to learn. If somebody told you the internet is amazing, you might belive him/her but not be as convinced or sure. Now try it yourself/experience the internet first hand and you have a wealth of information or knowledge that you can share.

Well on dreams i think there is a need to refer to it as "Aspirations" as dreams are somethings that you have at night and dont have any control, but really what we are refering to here are "Aspirations/hopes" of the people.

Well, tom peters seems to think that the next focus is on trying to make dreams/aspirations come true, with great experiences.

Data Analysis

While reading these two links, its becomes clearer and clearer that there is more and more info becoming available,and it is vital that the organisations(all shapes and sizes) focus on developing solutions that can leverage the information that is becoming available.

What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits (NYT)

With 3,600 stores in the United States and roughly 100 million customers walking through the doors each week, Wal-Mart has access to information about a broad slice of America - from individual Social Security and driver's license numbers to geographic proclivities for Mallomars, or lipsticks, or jugs of antifreeze.

Consumers willingly turn over plenty of information. For example,
cashing a payroll check at Wal-Mart requires a two-step process, said
an assistant manager in a Wal-Mart in Saddle Brook, N.J.,
who asked to be identified only by her first name, Mary. "First you enter your
Social Security number into the system, twice," she said, pointing to
the number pad hooked up to a register in the checkout lane. "The
cashier can enter it, but some people don't like to share that
information." Next a customer must enter his or her driver's license
number, the assistant manager said. If payroll checks are cashed
regularly at Wal-Mart, there is no need to keep punching in
the Social Security number, only the driver's license number:
"The system will recognize you the next time."

The data are gathered item by item at the checkout aisle,
then recorded, mapped and updated by store, by state, by region.

"By its own count, Wal-Mart has 460 terabytes of data stored on
Teradata mainframes, made by NCR, at its Bentonville headquarters.

To put that in perspective, the Internet has less than half as much data,
according to experts."

"Eventually, some experts say, Wal-Mart will use its technology to institute
what is called scan-based trading, in which manufacturers own each product
until it is sold."

Thanks Stuart !

Full article by Constance L. Hays NYTimes November 14

CIO Magazine reports 'Why Wal-Mart's suppliers won't make the Jan. 1 deadline for RFID tagging'

Wal-Mart's Data Mining

The New York Times writes:

With 3,600 stores in the United States and roughly 100 million customers walking through the doors each week, Wal-Mart has access to information about a broad slice of America - from individual Social Security and driver's license numbers to geographic proclivities for Mallomars, or lipsticks, or jugs of antifreeze. The data are gathered item by item at the checkout aisle, then recorded, mapped and updated by store, by state, by region.

By its own count, Wal-Mart has 460 terabytes of data stored on Teradata mainframes, made by NCR, at its Bentonville headquarters. To put that in perspective, the Internet has less than half as much data, according to experts.

Information about products, and often about customers, is most often obtained at checkout scanners. Wireless hand-held units, operated by clerks and managers, gather more inventory data. In most cases, such detail is stored for indefinite lengths of time. Sometimes it is divided into categories or mapped across computer models, and it is increasingly being used to answer discount retailing's rabbinical questions, like how many cashiers are needed during certain hours at a particular store.

All of the data are precious to Wal-Mart. The information forms the basis of the sales meetings the company holds every Saturday, and it is shot across desktops throughout its headquarters and into the places where it does business around the world. Wal-Mart shares some information with its suppliers - a company like Kraft, for example, can tap into a private extranet, called Retail Link, to see how well its products are selling. But for the most part, Wal-Mart hoards its information obsessively.

Wal-Mart uses its mountain of data to push for greater efficiency at all levels of its operations, from the front of the store, where products are stocked based on expected demand, to the back, where details about a manufacturer's punctuality, for example, are recorded for future use. The purpose is to protect Wal-Mart from a retailer's twin nightmares: too much inventory, or not enough.

Eventually, some experts say, Wal-Mart will use its technology to institute what is called scan-based trading, in which manufacturers own each product until it is sold.

"Wal-Mart will never take those products onto its books," said Bruce Hudson, a retail analyst at the Meta Group, an information technology consulting firm in Stamford, Conn. "If you think of the impact of shedding $50 billion of inventory, that is huge."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Right Job

How do you decide if a job is right for you? This is one of the serious problems faced by executives of today, including one of my very good friends, so this got me thinking and hence this post. Well These are very basic ones

- Need to check out if it is stable company, working in the space that you want to be involved with. With the kinda of clients that you want to be working with. Another thing to look at, particularly since most companies have are global now is what they do in your specific country. Like globably they can be a consulting company but india the people basically do the backend work for these consulting assignments.

- What is your role in the company?,How do you / your level fit into the big picture of the organisation? Is this the kind of work that you would excel in, just managing is no longer good enough, you need to excel that is the key.

- What is the culture of the organisation? This i beleive is one factor that is phenomenally important but constantly forgotten. Is it a mom dad company, is it a cut throat dog eat dog one, this is very imporatant, As you can love the work etc but since you spend a bulk of your time there, if you dont enjoy the surrondings it will be very difficult.

- This is a convinience factor, but it tells on your personal life. If you have to travel long distances than you lose a lot of time in travel, this time is not deducted from your work time, but the time you spend with your family.

- This needs no explination. Be reasonable. WIN WIN is the motto.

Is This the Right Job for You?


Just enabled adsense at the blog, lets see how it goes, Well what I wanted to really write about was how simple it was it set it up, And if you think about it I just added a complete revenue stream to my self with just a few clicks. I think this is the key moving forward.

Monetization of blogging, heard a podcast about it I am going to try and implement some concepts I got from it.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Star of guidenace star

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Happy Diwali!!!!!

Wishing all of u a very happy diwali - "Festival of Lights". India will be a sight this evening, it is every evening but today it will be "Illuminated" with lamps typicall of Diwali.

We are having a get together at my place today, cracker bursting...sweet eating and merry making session.

Hope all of u are having a blast.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Good Podcast Alert!

Last evening i got a podcast from Web Talk Radio, It was about a project called know it all and few of the latest happening on the WWW, was pretty good, let me listen to a few more of them - worth tuning in.

Also during the podcast they spoke about an interesting concept of "Bloggers being able cash in", interesting need to follow it. Would love to stay in my pyjamas all day.

Go get it from -

"Experience" the Next Competitive Advantage

Have u ever thought of "experience" as a competitive no not the experience of your staff/employees/collegues but the experience you provide your customers with.

Well recently i was reviewing one of Tom Peters as ever flashy presentations, it was about how "the story" or "the experience" are becoming important things, well first i was thinking what is this that they are talking about, and imagine he was refering to it as the future, it will be the only work that we "intelligent humans" will do.

But as usual i let the material sink in and moved on, well today there was one more blog entry and this time he was linking to a book and an interview with the author.

No i am begining to think, being behind the PC/Computer/Laptop/mobile device...i have probably lost touch with the touch a feel things that are important for businesses.

THink this on thru and really - REIMAGINE!