Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sun Hopes Hanging With Its New Friend Makes It Look Cool

WSJ has a great article on Google-Sun hype that was created last week.

WHAT A PITY that Scott McNealy was on stage as a participant, and not back in his office as an observer, during last week's big news conference between Sun Microsystems and Google. Mr. McNealy, Sun's boss, is a master of the savage, funny put-down, and I would love to have heard his riff on the event.

Sun and Google are as big names as Silicon Valley has to offer, and the mere announcement late Monday afternoon that the two were planning something was itself news. Wall Street analysts were forced to rush out research reports speculating about what might be in store.

They needn't have bothered. The actual event was a model for how well-known companies can make a major media event out of a nothingburger. All that is required are a few transactional-sounding but empty phrases, a couple of vague promises and the implicit invocation of the Microsoft boogeyman, all baked together as a "strategic relationship."

You can tell the meagerness of Tuesday's offerings by the highlight: Sun will offer the Google Toolbar Web search aid in some of its own software downloads.

...Google's ever-expanding catalog of desktop programs -- the Toolbar, Gmail, Google Maps and the rest -- don't typically use Sun's Java language, but instead several nonproprietary technologies. Chief among these is Ajax, a Web programming style that now has the sort of buzz once enjoyed by Java.

- By Lee Gomes, 12 October 2005, The Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yahoo, Microsoft close to IM pact

Cnet is reporting that:
Microsoft and Yahoo are close to a pact that would allow users of their respective instant messaging services to exchange messages with one another, a source told CNET on Tuesday.
It is time IM operators allow interoperability. It will promote broader use of IM for text and voice conversations and help IM become mainstream communication tool via computers, cellphone and VoIP phones.

It is very likely that Google Talk may have created the need for this alliance. After all Google is the common rival here.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Yahoo Adds Blogs to Its News Section

Yahoo adds blogs to its news search. Under Yahoo's new approach, a keyword search for online news will include a list of relevant Web logs, or "blogs," displayed in a box to the right of the results collected from mainstream journalism.

I like this approach as it allows the mainstream information to be separated from rants.

As a non geek user, I don't get the website yet (have been wrong in the past). It is generating some buzz within the blog circle. I tried the website today.
Bottomline: Looks promising but the deceptive ads are annoying as hell!

Message to Chris Pirillo :
Deceptive marketing on the website is offensive. Chris, you will make money in the long (or even short run) if the product is good. Deceptive GoogleAds piss off users like myself. The difference between 15 mins. of fame and long term success is gaining user loyalty and no user likes to be loyal if the trust is not established.

Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), world's 3rd best tech universities is reporting that a United Kingdom-based Times Higher Education Supplement has ranked the Indian Institutes of Technology as the third best technology universities in the world for 2005.

It is great to see other countries provide excellent technical education. It appears, about 25 to 30 percent IIT graduates leave India for US right after the graduation. IIT graduates are scattered across the high-tech world and can be seen aplenty in Silicon Valley and in organizations such as NASA, Microsoft, and IBM. The roster includes ace venture capitalist Vinod Khosla of Kleiner Perkins; Arun Netravali, former president of Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs; Rajat Gupta, former managing director of McKinsey; Gururaj Deshpande, founder of Sycamore Networks; Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone; Victor Menezes, senior vice chairman of Citigroup; and Raghuram Rajan, chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. Even the comic strip character Asok, from Dilbert, comes from IIT. No wonder Businessweek called IIT graduates one of the "hottest exports India has ever produced."

Yahoo Podcast

Just played around with Yahoo Podcast. It is really great. Simple yet effective user interface. Integration with iTunes works great. It is getting rave reviews already.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Yahoo Podcast Search is On!

Yahoo Podcast is available. I tried it last night. It seems promising. The neat thing is that if you subscribe to a podcast, it updates via iTunes. Neat. I don't have to download another software in order to use Yahoo Podcast. Good job Yahoo.

China leads international support for Asian Earthquake

BBC is reporting the amounts of foreign aids that are pouring into Pakistan. China offers US$6.2m in quake aid to Pakistan. In comparison, here is what other countries have to offer:
UK $177,000
USA $100,000
Japan $221,000
Australia $380,000
World Bank $20m

now I can see why China is gaining goodwill in South Asia and is certainly providing leadership in the region. I am wondering why USA has to offer a lowly $100K to Pakistan, when Pak is supposedly the strongest ally in War on Terror.

RSS Icon Issue - good idea from Microsoft!

Dave Winer, I totally disagree with your comments on RSS icon issue. For a change, Microsoft's idea to redo RSS icon makes perfect sense to non-geeks like myself. It is "World Wide Web" and the icons need to adress the "global" requirements. Use of english words "RSS" is totally not acceptable.

Having said the above, Microsoft can reduce the number of icons so that users are not confused.

Search Debate - Are we missing the point?

I read Robert Scoble blog entry this morning about search. I fail to understand the fascination for improving the search. I am of the opinion that one needs to be smart searched in order to get the best out of the search tool. Just because you have the best chisel in the world, you can not be the best sculptor in the world. The point is, getting the best of the tool requires smart human searching.

Robert had an example of keyword "PLAY" (as in looking for stock symbol PLAY for Portalplayer Inc.). If I am searching for stock information on PLAY, I would certainly type "PLAY stock".

As a non-geek user of search engine, I would like the engine to "assist" me in finding stuff that I am looking for. Currently, the leading engines - Google, Yahoo and MSN are all "passive" towards the user. I am looking for an engine that will work with me interactively in refining and narrowing the search.

Robert, there is a limit to which the current search model can be made efficient. You are trying to make an inherently ineffective method of searching more efficient. Investment of time and money needs to be towards better user experience and an active participation of the engine in searching. I need better search assistant.