Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Whats up in the Blogsphere?

Well, I need to start writing entries again, well as usual work took over and then i habe been using all my blogging time to just read and keep up with blogs.

So i decided i will just talk about various blog entries in the recent past that i have found very interesting,

First let me start with the one from Fractals of Change, Well this one is making the rounds on the web and quite a few people are talking about it, the first part makes for very amusing reading. Its definitely worth reading.

Managing Programming for CEOs Part 1 – Decompiling Programmer-Speak

“It’ll be done ASAP.”
Translation: There is no schedule yet.

“It’s fifty percent done.”
Translation: It hasn’t been started yet.

“It’s ninety-five percent done,”
Translation: The remaining five percent will take ninety-five percent of the elapsed time.

“Ship it!”
Translation: The Development team is sick of this and wants to move on to something else. The customers will test it.

Managing Programming for CEOs Part 2 – Done is a Four Letter Word
You have milestones; now a milestone is missed. You will immediately be told that the time can be made up elsewhere. It can't! It is a rule of development that a project which is late keeps getting later. Projects never make up lost time. You now need to ask for the new done date. If it's not later than the old one, someone isn't being realistic. Once you have a new done date, its time to make the hard decisions. Your alternatives are:

Suck it up and reschedule whatever depended on the old done date. Note that you can’t reschedule DEMO, major tradeshows, or public holidays. You are either in or your out. Maybe you can get half your money back.

Add resources. In fact, this rarely works. Programmers will tell you that nine women can't make a baby in a month. If there were truly independent tasks which were scheduled sequentially because of resource limitations and which are on the critical path, then, perhaps, timely application of more people will help. It's a long shot but sometimes worth a try.

Cut features. This is by far the best strategy for making a schedule. Every new feature not only takes time, it also adds to the risk that it will break some other feature. Development time increases exponentially with the number of features. Removing features can save schedules.

Next lets move to something thats technical, i am refering to the post by "Sadagopan". Here he is talking about next generation messaging.

The Dawn Of The Next Generation Messaging World -Part I
strongly influencing the emergence of unified communication.Among others, these include Internet Protocol (IP) convergence, the spread of wireless messaging, and the emergence of third-party message stores.

IP is fast becoming a universal communications platform on which voice and data technologies are converging. This convergence is taking place in areas such as telephony and messaging platforms.Networks no longer distinguish between different types of traffic. Internet messages, are increasingly beginning to carry text, voice, and multimedia content. A similar convergence is happening across messaging platforms. - faxes, pages, voicemail, and e-mail have traditionally been handled by separate messaging systems.

In such an IP environment a voice mail message becomes an audio attachment to an e-mail, and a fax simply becomes an image attachment to an e-mail. In short, the next-generation e-mail “inbox” will manage all kinds of text, audio, image, and video messages.

Third-party Messaging Service Providers (MSPs) are beginning to build on this common IP base, by uniting messaging technologies via Internet standards based protocols to enable message sharing from a consolidated infrastructure.

The Dawn Of The Next Generation Messaging World -Part II
messaging industry – this industry has quickly moved through three generations - segregated messaging, through integrated messaging, through unified messaging(UM) and further leading to the fourth generation, unified communications (UC).

Unified messaging would range from message screening, returning, cross mechanism messaging, and providing groupware capabilities such as calendaring and scheduling as part of unified mailbox portal. Routine functions like calendars, schedules, contact list, etc. from their inbox, as well as over the phone via text-to-speech capabilities shall be made available. These voice enabled groupware capabilities shall allow users to access them not only from a PC, but also from the telephone.

Andy Clark once wrote that we absorb and rely on technologies and learn to make them "natural self-extensions". We incorporate technologies into our ecosystem. We are all digitally woven and wired to the hilt and all appendages like blackberry’s and mobiles are becoming commonplace and part of every moment of life. Clark points out, "the mind is just less and less in the head"; when we need information, we usually fire up our PC and access it elsewhere. content creation, pervasive presence and contextual awareness become the fundamental elements of effective collaboration, and these presence enabling technology and devices shall become very important in the day-to-day interactions and activities. Pervasive awareness encompasses the emerging world today and how we can control the publishing of awareness of your location, "projecting" to others your interruptability and the modes of communications most appropriate in a given context For instance while swimming you'd rather suggest to others that they call you rather than "texting" or "emailing" you. Projecting your accessibility / interruptability to others might be really easy if we integrated our handheld wireless devices with our varied communication services. Truly effective messaging and collaboration lives at the intersection of technology, organizational dynamics, and social dynamics.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Simple Search Enhancement Idea , Using "TAGGING"

I want to write two programs,

The First program is to….TAG files all files, this program will at the first stage have two layers of functionality

1. UI where I can pick files put tags on them and then store them, this of course should be highly usable in the sense that once I pick a file say an MP3 file than It could probably bring up all the MP3 files in that folder to be tagged this way I don’t have to go and pick each file this is for all the files that are already in the file system, one time TAG.

2. Well in first part we delt with the one time files but now we need to look at the new files that are created/downloaded/modified/saved on the computer. Well when any of those actions are done a pop up should appear requesting them to TAG the file, this way they don’t have to go seperately and do it they can do it as is where is.

* I would like to maintain a master maintenance for tags and keep the tags syncronised, between my files / flickr / blog post / blogs read / furl etc.

Now we come to the second program, the second program is primarily a "GDS Plugin Development", for the uninitiated the Google Desktop Search has come up with the functionality where we can build plugins into GDS, I am not sure how much functionality they provide/open but its defn worth a shot. The plugin will,when I search for a particular topic/tag, search all the content from the various realms (webs) & present it to me in ONE WINDOW.

Well, I have rattled of straing into the project with out really explaining the reasoning behind why I want to do it, well simple to be able to easily access the information when required on the basis of some context.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Billionaires Club

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT: news, chart, profile) founder Gates was tallied with a net worth of $46.5 billion, slightly less than his $46.6 billion from last year.

Investor Warren Buffet is next with a net worth of $44 billion, up from $42.9 billion in 2004.

Indian steel mogul Lakshmi Mittal sits in the number 3 spot in 2005 as having a net forth of $25 billion.

Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helu came in fourth with $23.8 billion, up from No. 17 in 2004; Saudi Arabian investor Prince al-Waleed Bin Talal Al Saud ranked No. 5; and Sweden's Ingvar Kamprad, the Ikea magnate, rose to No. 6 from No. 13 last year.

The number of billionaires grew to a record 691 from 587 last year, and their total net worth rose by $300 billion to $2.2 trillion, Forbes reported

Rounding out the top 10 were Microsoft's Paul Allen, German supermarket company owner Karl Albrecht, Oracle Corp.'s Lawrence Ellison returning to the top 10 after slipping to No. 12 last year and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s S. Robson Walton.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Where is my Content? How do I Process it?

Today, I found out that Google is facilitating plug-in development on the GDS product, I was quite excited by this opportunity. WHY?...Explained in this entry.

I for sometime have believed in the concept that a good filing system and excellent desktop search is the ideal "Personal Content Management System".

First, let me explain what I mean my a "Personal Content Management System", There is a lot of data we have access to today, infact it is an information overload most of the time. We are at present going from one piece of information to another, neither being comprehensive nor being ……. I am worried on two accounts one am I getting to all the information that is required, two am I able to process all the information required. Well a PCMS should try and address both these concerns, the first is addressed by setting a clear process, definitely easier said than done.

"Getting/Accessing All information"

Most of my information is
1. In my office mail account. - Outlook. (pst)
2. Bloglines
3. Furl
4. WebMails
- gmail
- yahoo
- hotmail
5. My documents, primarily MS Office documents.
6. My Music - MP3/ WMA
7. My Videos - mpg
8. My Photos - jpg
9. Flickr - jpgs
10. My Blogs
- rais-thoughts
- Bloglines Link blog
- CIO blog
- Smartlives blog

The above 10 point this gives you a clear indication of where I store my information and in what formats they are in.

Well, In stage one I am not looking at tagging the pieces of information I store in these repositories or stores, but moving forward I intend to, Need to work out the TAGGING structure, Also need to finalize, TAGWEB (Tagging Tags).

"Processing the information"

Well I would like to have a single window approach, no I am not referring to some GOVT office thing. The idea is lets say I am writing and entry on tagging. I will just go to my search application and enter "tagging" I want the search to look through all the sources listed above and list them to me in a categorized form and I will use that as my window to keep track of what all information has to be reviewed and stuff like that. Also I would like to be able to give each of those entities status of weather I have read or not read those documents, if I read it when I read it. Also I would like to be able to rate the documents.

Even this will have to happen in two phases, first where I implement GDS and see how good it is, the second would be me writing out a plug-in of my own.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Outlook as a platform

Well, i have been giving this some thought, i really do like outlook
as an environment for development, why because i spend a lot of time
in outlook my whole work flow/life flow is managed out of/around
outlook. Having said that, i realised that though i have set up some
scripts that help with the work flow & also tested getting things done
add-in, i feel there is a still a lot that i need and that can be done
or provided in outlook.

First, i think will be the "ONLINE" aspect of it, I hate the fact
that, the outlook information/content is tied to a machine, else i
need to transfer the bulky PST's between machines. Well i don't like
that i want all the information / functionality accessible everywhere.
No i wouldn't like to pay for it. Yes i am aware of integration with
MSN , but it costs me 20$ year, not too much but why should i pay for
it. I like newsgators model, their offline/outlook integration is a
licenced product, but their online feature is free.

Ability to INTEGRATE SERVICES, yes that is correct, a lot of my
work/research/analysis is initiated from content in outlook could it
not be made possible to build a web service integration environment
into the outlook.

Cross referencable Content, A given email might fit into the Malaysia
Project category as well as an FAQ category, so now i forced to put it
under one folder, doesn't make sense, i would like to access them from
any relevant folder, yes aware that you cant make multiple copies of
it, so i suggest TAGS, well there has been a lot of talk about it over
that last couple of weeks...all over the web, well looks like i have
been bitten by the bug, i would like to tag my mails/etc etc and have
view of them accordingly, when i am looking at Malaysia project tag
all content in outlook which is related to Malaysia should be shown in
the view.

RSS Reader, Thunderbird is already there, they provide a RSS reader,
integrated into the email client, why cant outlook. YES they need to
with RSS becoming common in the enterprise, i see more and more
enterprise applications using RSS as an alert or communication
service, no more will the ERP send an email to the Purchase Request
Approver, there will be an RSS alert, so RSS Reader is a must, in fact
come to think of it, i would go ahead and incorporate an Blogjet
functionality also into it.

IM, AOL i think just started this trend of putting together a plugin
which integrates Outlook into the IM. it makes sense from 10000 feet level.>

Workflow, Yes that is right i should be able to setup workflows within
outlook which will help me with the flow and organisation of
information, i should be able to set up multiple virtual folders based
on the tags mentioned earlier.

Tasklist, Yes i beleive that is a huge untapped opportunity and
functionality. - Still need to think this one thru.

Search - Lookout needs to be integrated, into outlook ...the search in
outlook now sucks...lookout is good, but i dont was it to be an
addin....the user should have nothing to think about/do.

well this is part 1 of the list, as i believe that moving further, i
will have more items that i would like to add to the list, to give you
a flavour of what i am thinking along the lines of well, for one i am
thinking sematic web, i believe it was CMU where they built a utility
called MyCampus, Outllok should be the interface.