Thursday, March 31, 2005

Insiders Vs Outsiders

Manas Garg: Insiders Vs Outsiders

To continue on the topic of the people who are outsiders to Blogging environment ..

Main issues that most of the people around me have with blogs is -

1- Most of the blogs in the world are tech blogs
2- Most of the blogs are comments on other blogs or news artciles, no new thoughts from ground-up
3- Most of the blogs are so full of links to other articles/blogs that its difficult to concentrate on the text

Joel on Software - Code Porting

Joel on Software - The Road to FogBugz 4.0: Part III:

"Q. Was it worth it?

Probably. FogBugz for Unix is about 10% of our sales. The effort to create it was probably 20% above the effort to create FogBugz for Windows alone. A lot of our customers are happier that we run on Unix even if they're using the Windows version, because they know they could switch servers at any time."

Well said. In our design of PDServer we had taken this account. Even though our customers were running Windows and IE, we had designed the application to run on Apache and support other browsers too.

Its always a tough call to make. Is it worth it, to design you application to be compatible across platforms, even though no customers currently need it ?

Man Who Saved the World Awarded

The Man Who Saved the World Finally Recognized - FEATURE - MOSNEWS.COM

Came across this news item from Anil Dash's blog

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

some histroy lessons

A History of Free and Open Source @ GROKLAW Intresting things keep coming up at Groklaw.

If you have been following Groklaw then you might be intrested in this interview of PJ at Toms Hardware here

Groklaw - hits per day:

"I don't track it. A journalist asked me some time ago, and I investigated and it was 2 1/2 million a week then. That was back when SCO seemed like more of a threat, so I believe it would probably be less now on quiet news days, but I don't really know. Would you want to know? Groklaw is noncommercial, so it doesn't much matter. I don't have to impress advertisers. Groklaw doesn't actually need to be big to be effective."

Talk about modestry ;o)

Monday, March 28, 2005

YHOO vs GOOG email war

The Internet Stock Blog: Five implications of the YHOO vs GOOG email war

"Yahoo is less reliant on Internet ads than Google as it has diversified revenue streams, including premium services. But who's going to pay for "premium web email" when Yahoo will be constantly forced to improve its free service due to competition with Google? Looks like advertising and stickiness are Yahoo's future rather than paid services"

Well said. I have always maintained that its difficult to offer premium services when the competing free offering is 'Good Enough' Until gmail came along, we were required to subscribe to the premium email, for getting 1 GB of storage.

For example if I look at the premium service for individuals provided by, I get the following -

"For less than 14 cents per day, Net@ddress offers you a host of business-class messaging features that are easy to use, reliable and available to you at a low cost."
"100MB storage standard, with the option to increase to 250MB and 500MB"

Now I wonder how many individual users would sign up for this service.

I first had a discussion on free versus paid email services for individuals when went paid in 2001. The argument at that time was that free servies will be soon over and service providers would all shift to a subscription based business model.
Here is the announcement -
"'In today's changing business environment, revenue sources are no longer adequate to support our Net@ddress free email service. The current Net@ddress free email service will be discontinued on July 31, 2001. To keep your current Net@ddress email account, subscribe for a new Net@ddress Messaging Center account today.'"

My 'last man standing' analogy - Imagin that there are just 5 free email providers. The advertising revenue is not enough to sustian them all. One provider stops offering the free service and goes for the subscription model by offering only premium services. Some of its current users who do not require the premium services migrate to the other free providers. This cycle continues a couple of times and in the end there are only 1 or 2 free providers left. With other users migrating to these free services the advertisment based model can now be sustained. Hence the free model will always be there for the 'last man standing'.

Morgan Stanley - Tech research

An Update From the Digital World

Research report from MS covering impact of blogging & RSS and its impact on Internet companies such as Yahoo and Google.

Notice the similarity of the arguments made for the Content Curve with that of Long Tail

Friday, March 25, 2005

Documentary Filmmaker Wanted

Joel on Software - Documentary Filmmaker Wanted: "We are looking for a talented filmmaker, student or experienced, to make a documentary about the software development process this summer. If you think you're interested, read on for more details!"

Haggy, Lal - this seems like a good opportunity.. wanna try

Monday, March 21, 2005

Finance Blog Resource Page

Seeking Alpha: The Finance Blog Resource Page: a list of the best economics, investing, venture capital and personal finance blogs

Good resource of Financial blogs

Noam Chomsky - Live

The University of Edinburgh - The Gifford Lectures: "Professor Noam Chomsky 22 March 2005"

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Long Tail

Wired 12.10: The Long Tail

Pareekh, remeber the discussion on Long Tail. This is the link to - "Long Tail"

You can follow more details at -

B Plan - A great outline

Feld Thoughts: The Torturous World of Powerpoint

Pareekh, you would be intrested in this one.

A great way to structure your business plan

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Annual Weblog Awards

Fairvue Central >> Bloggies >> Fifth Annual Weblog Awards

Slashdot - Best community weblog

Looking back at Forecasts

JupiterResearch - Forecasting

Wish all forecasts were checked in this fashion

End of Blackberry as we know it

Attack of the BlackBerry killers?

Economist is carrying an article about the stiff competition that Blackberry will face in the near future, particularly from Microsoft. This theme has already been played out many times while Blackberry has been growing from strength to strength.

Parallels can be drawn with the success of iPod. Well executed integrated solutions seem to be the flavour of the season. Though you can go an purchase mp3 players from dozens of players and then go and purchase songs from multiple vendors, iPod+iTunes solution is the preferred one. Disjoint solutions from other players instead of providing choice seem to create confusion amongst customers. If I have buy mp3 Player A, will it work with software B and will the songs purchased from vendor C work on it ?

Similar story is playing out it the Enterprise mobility domain. Blackberry - Blackberry hardware, proprietary software solution, proprietary middleware, self-owned server software and Networking Operating System are preferred over disjoint solutions. I belive that Blackberry has a good time ahead of it, especially with the settlement of patent infringment case with NTP.

“These guys exist because Microsoft is bad at mobile e-mail,”
Notice the Microsoft connection. Reminds me of the often quoted joke - If your product/service competes with Microsoft then forget about VC funding.

Though Microsoft has shown growth in its Mobile business its market share is nowhere close to its share of the desktop market and still not been able to crack the mobile market. I doubt it will be able to do so. Biggest reason is the reluctance of players such as Nokia which do not want the desktop story to be repeated in the Mobile market. Symbian continues to the default choice for all major vendors.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Google Code

Google and Open Source development

From the FAQ

What licenses are the projects provided under?
The first set are being released under the BSD 2.0 new license, to encourage their use in all kinds of software projects.

How are licenses chosen at Google?
We generally default to the preference of the open source release engineer who dedicates their time to releasing the code. Most of those currently involved are comfortable with the BSD license for these infrastructural developer tools. Future projects are as likely to be released under the Apache, MIT or GPL licenses.

VB6 --> VB.NET ??

"Rumors of my (VB6) demise..."

Microsofts usual FUD in response to the questions raised by a lot of people who are stuck with their VB6 code/applications and cannot or do not want to migrate to .NET

Sometimes I think that people who claim that they find Microsoft's products intutive, easy to use etc, have never worked on COM/COM+ and certainly have never tried to decipher MFC / VC++

Search Engine Optimizations (SEO)

Wired News: Search Rank Easy to Manipulate

144 Megapixels Camera - Quite unbelievable ..,1282,66898,00.html

Search Engine Optimizations (SEO)

Wired News: Search Rank Easy to Manipulate


Uttaranchal: Dream come true- The Times of India

No, this posting is not about a chip code named Uttranchal, but about my home state.

(Note - pop-ups on the TOI web-site link )

Managing Programmers

Programmers speak. How true.

Quite an Interactive RSS Aggregator from Microsoft. Also works on Firefox. Quite a different approach as compared to Bloglines.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Goggle News -

Today morning, I switched on my computer and fired up Firefox. Now I thing that I like about Firefox is that I am able to set up multiple home-pages on different tabs. For example, I have Google News, Reuters UK and myYahoo as my homepages. The first thing that I need to do is look at the recent international top stories, move on to Reuters for basic business and stock coverage and then check al price movements on myYahoo.

Ok, coming back to Google news. It now provides a way to customize your news page. Now you can go and change the locations of the sections, decide how many news item you want per section and even add customized sections. So I added the maximum possible news link for the Sci/Tec and business sector.

Customized sections is interesting as you can add your own keywords. News items matching the keywords will be displayed. I tried the keywords - Linux Microsoft and sure enough I started getting news content on this topic.

I had shifted from yahoo news to google news because -

google has a simple and neat layout

google offered an Indian edition. Since yahoo pull Indian news from Reuters India, I might as well read Reuters India.

Good improvement, though the question of making money from this service is still not clear. Google cannot use adverts on this page since it will violate the conditions laid out by news providers. News providers will provide RSS feeds and content to News aggregation services as long as these services are provided free on a non-commerical basis.

"How can Google make money from its news service?" -

Any thoughts on this ?

The only way I can think of is by charging News providers based on the traffic being directed from Google news to the news providers web-sites

How to Start a Startup

Slashdot | Paul Graham Explains How to Start a Startup

Good discussion on Slashdot related to venturing out on your own.

Great advice - the foundation of any field can be described in such a simple way.

I had written an article for the Entrepreneurship class during my MBA. I need to fish it out and compare it with Paul Graham's article.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Census of India - Optimised for ..

Census of India, Govt. of India - Ministry of Home Affairs, Official web-site | We also count people in India:

While doing some work on the Indian Economy, I came across this site which states -

"Site Optimised for Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox" no mention of IE.

I am used to seeing these kinds of statements on peoples blogs and perosnal web-sites, but government sites had the ususal - "best viewed in IE X+ or Netscape x.y + "

Am I seeing a new trend emerging here?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

GROKLAW - Software Patent Directive Passed as A-Item

" Here's my analysis: Money talks. " - PJ

I havent seen PJ sounding so dejected before. I guess the conditions even a few days before the voting were such that we were all hopeful that some countries would oppose this.

Similar to a Ph. D. thesis on Slashdot, maybe someday someone will take up GROKLAW as a Ph. D. topic ( Changing face of Modern day Communication )

Google M Cap of $1 Trillion?

This is the most optimistic case for Google I have ever seen -

" If you're in the camp that has a hard time seeing these Rule Breakers of the world, I'm sure it's going to come as a huge shock to you when I say that I believe 20 years from now, we'll be looking back at Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) paltry $53 billion market cap and say, "Gosh, if only I had invested in Google back then."

Google will be a $1 trillion company, at least.

Sure, shake your head. But what does $1 trillion really mean in terms of future stock price appreciation? About 16% annually for the next 20 years"

Ok, so I finally managed to find someone who is even more bullish on this company than I am ;o)

In pure Gartner speak, my comments -

1) By FY end 2020, Google would have a market cap of $ 1 trillion or more (p=0.7)

2) By the end of year 2015, Google would have overtaken everyother brand in the Interbrand ranking as the most valuable brand on the planet earth. (p=0.9)

You may be intrested to note the current rankings

Worlds top 10 brands - the current list

Coca-Cola ($67.3bn)
Microsoft ($61.3bn)
IBM ($53.7bn)
GE ($44.1bn)
Intel ($33.4bn)
Disney ($27.1bn)
McDonald's ($25bn)
Nokia ($24bn)
Toyota ($22.6bn)
Marlboro ($22.1bn)

Voice Recognition and the future of Indian Call Center

Financial Express is carrying an article on the maturity of Voice Recognition software's and how it is well set to change the face of Indian Call Centers.

My dear friend Pareekh Jain has posted a article to this effect at and had received some hostile reactions from other members.

Dear pareekh, do u feel vindicated now ?

get Divided And Conquered

Posting on the problems due to differences in the distros

Divide And Conquer Yourself

Fishing… through FIREFOX only


Blog of my dear friend Lokesh ..

If u notice on the right hand side of his blog ....

DESIGNED for FIREFOX ;o) Wow now we are talking .. no mention of IE

Joel on Software - How Microsoft Lost the API War

This has to be one of the best, though provoking article written on current trends. i had posted this at Sulekha in July 2004, hoping that it will create some discussion.

Today I reread this article. Again as a big loop - started from Slashdot and reached some intresting posts -

Big bashing of VB.NET

which led me back to Joel on Software ;o)

Continuous chain of Blogs

Ok, I have to post this one.

I was reading my friend Manas' blog at when I came across the above mentioned entry related to Google's Auto-link. I always enjoy reading his blogs ..especially this entry was quite good

Regarding AutoLink, personally I agree with the analysis posted at The Register, great analysis

Anyway, So I found that manas was commenting at the following blog -

Great, So i checked out this blog and found that it was commenting on -

Ok checked out this one .. and it was commenting on -

Unbelivegly it commented on the comments made at

Thank God, it was not commenting on someone elses comments ;o)

I am beginning to realize a new dimension in blogging.

Now will someone Please comment on my comments


Lets see how far we can take this ... are u in ?

Micropayment and donations

Rajesh Jain has a great Tech Blog. Today I came across this link.

So his first stint as an entreprenure lasted 2.5 years, great, mine also lasted just 2 years

From his blog came across this Forbes article on Micropayment -
"Emerging Trend: Think small. Online "micropayments" for items costing between $0.99 and $5 are becoming more common, with research firm Gartner (nyse: IT - news - people ) projecting that micro-commerce could be a $60 billion market by 2015."

Just Link successful Micropayments with open source or donation based softwares and you have a great sustainable model. 3 days back I had a discussion with my flat-mate Umang on this topic. Specifically i was boasting the fact that Wikipedia had a donation drive under way. Their target was to raise $75,000 and that thay have been able to complete this within 11 days. As of writing this $94,648.70 See-

We were discussing the following -
Lets say I want to donate 1 cent every time I look up for an entry at Wikipedia, I would be happy to enter into this kind of an arrangement. Good thought.. the only issue is that the transaction cost is quite high for online payments and micropayments of the order of 1 cent are still far off. But once these issues are resolved, it will be so easy for contributors like us to make donations, which will not have any material impact on our finances but all taking together will contribute a big amount to the web-site

Google Moves Desktop Search Out of Beta

PC Magazine reports -

Google Moves Desktop Search Out of Beta

Normally I would not make much of this except ( every successive release seems to be doing the same thing - improved speed, even quicker search result etc) for the fact that this release is quite relevant for me as it includes two features -

support for Firefox & Thuderbird.

These two applications are where I am normally spend around 50% of my official time as part of my job. Great news for me. Download available at -

Never to be left behind the Mozilla community had a specific plugin to achieve this.
I had been using the Slogger Plugin for this purpose.

Indian call center and the coffee industry -

Al Jazeera - :

"Some have seen in the removal of jobs from Britain an act of historical justice: a kind of retribution for the destruction by Britain of millions of livelihoods in the traditional textile industry of India. Britain destroyed ancient artisanal skills, which can scarcely be compared with the fly-by-night, cyber-coolie labour of call centres. In any case, the flight of labour is no gift to India by the companies shifting there. Outsourcing cuts costs by between 40% and 50%."

Its surprising to see a topic on Indian call center coming up so prominently in the Conspiracy theories at Al Jazeera. This article reminds me about a course GSB Government, Society Business taught by Professor Shivakumar. ( btw my picture is there right at the top of this page making a pointing in the Corporate Strategy course ;o) )

In this course one of the presentation made by a study group was on the coffee industry and the conditions of the workers. This was the first time that I got exposed to this theme. Intrestingly this (ethcis) course was one of the most intresting course during my MBA programme - which reminds me of the fact that the courses that I most enjoyed during my engineering days were the Humanities courses - aptly named by students by Hukka or soft courses.

A course list at IIT-Delhi ( Warning the size of pdf file is 2.7 MB )

But the reasons I found these courses good were because first of all there were no correct or incorrect answers as opposed to all engineering courses . We had good class discussion on various authors, their writing style , dissect their best pieces.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Yesterday, I was having a dicsussion regarding the trends in the Technology sector and how blogs offer a new chance for companies to exploit an entirely new way of marketing and communicating with clients. We were taking a stroll on the sea beach having a great view of the sunset ( of course the sun was setting behind us )

He referred me a web-site - Trend Wathcing and how he really gets engrossed in the contents of the web-site. Sure enough, great site. One particular article I found quite useful is on counter googling. In reality this phenomena will take a lot of time - at least a couple of years to be of any practical use in India. Main reason is that the internet penetration in India is still too low and most of the individual users are not into content generation. ie. would not be maintaining logs or posting comments. Nonetheless great future potential.

This article reminds me of Eklavya Prakash who 3 years ago told me that before important meetings he googles about the people to have a better understanding of the way to go about in the meeting. At that point, I thought that this was taking things to an extreme, but now I longer think so. Great insight Eklavya..

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Wikipedia - how it works

Article from Wired about the working of one of my favourite site - Wikipedia

The Book Stops Here

Biggest Brand Winner & Loser of 2004

Wow iPod greatest brand of 2004 - who could have thought of a mp3 player achieving this feat 2 years back.

"They (Coke) have line extended Coke to death and have not had a successful new brand launch in 40 years since the introduction on Sprite." - and still Coke remains the worlds most valuable brand.. So what does this imply - Cokes 'Absolutely Great' past record or the current downfall or both

Open Source Analysts

Two Interesting observations -

Open Source Analysts & Brand Experience

Andrew Lark: Ten Ways Communications Will Change In 2005...: "OpenSource Analysts"

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Intel misses Itanium sales mark by $26.6bn | The Register

Intel misses Itanium sales mark by $26.6bn | The Register

Quite a good prespective .. Gives u a clue of how Tech Analysts work ;o)

Register never seems to let go of this theme