Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Ever turned an iPhone to the side, only to see the screen adjust from portrait to landscape view? Seen the ad for that smart phone where they shake the handset to roll a pair of virtual dice?
Welcome to the world of motion sensing and accelerometers. These are MicroElectroMechanicalSystems. They have the capability to detect and measure motion. They consist of electronic systems combined with very small sized mechanical systems. Microelectronic integrated circuits can be thought of as the "brains" of a system and the micro mechanical system augments this decision-making capability with "eyes" and "arms", to allow microsystems to sense and control the environment.

Beyond game play and screen orientation, the most popular uses for MEMS accelerometer motion sensors in phones include power management and shake modes for control of tracks in music phones, context awareness and pedometers.

The market for microelectromechanical sensors for mobile phones is estimated to grow more than triple from 2008 to 2013, which means more phones will get these features. Lets be on the look out for them. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

What I've been doing lately

I was on a one week trip to Bangkok for a Kaizen Workshop with my father for one of his clients. The one week was period of real rejuvenation, mentally and physically. I am back in action today, arrived home just yesterday.

Here is a slideshow of some pics -

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The business of bashing one another

Bashing one another is a common practice in the political arena. But I am beginning observe more such practices of bashing. In the software world, the windows and Linux bashing is as normal as the sunrise every day. But did you also know that bashing at an intense level goes on in other areas as well. For instance, I see that PHP Vs. Ruby bashing has its own strong support groups. And among the IDEs Eclipse vs. Netbeans debate bashing seems to be very strong. I guess objectivity is long lost, literally. A person who is new and wants to know the basic plus and minus of competing technologies/programming languages/programming tools, would be at a total loss to come to any conclusion.

I am not against the act of expressing one's opinions, in the form of a debate or whatever. But what I am seeing is that people end up expressing more of their emotions and forget what they intended to say in the first place.

Personally, I find all this "my IDE is better than yours" argument totally juvenile.

 And I have not tried to head over to look at discussions on other things. I wonder how people fare at that. 

Saturday, September 12, 2009

You realise

You realise what life is when you wait for 170 token numbers to pass by, over a span of 2 hrs and more.
You realize just then that you have no one to talk to.
You realize how much even your legs betray you, refusing to let u stand.
You realize some people go over to the counter just to block it for the next 45 minutes submitting a multitude of application form fees to process.
You realize that the stout man at the counter has been relentlessly tapping away at his keyboard for the last hour and half.
You realize that you have the ability to realize so many things.

You realize that the bank has an LCD tv thats meant to be kept turned off and an LED board thats meant to display "home loans" and "personal loans" alternately and meaninglessly.
That some men dont mind wearing bright red chappals for cream colored three-fourths and sky blue t shirts.
That the Voltas Vertis AC is supposed to blow 16 deg. cold air at 29 degrees.
That the bank also has an oil on canvas of a setting sun to remind you of the time you will leave no matter when you come.
That there are still 24 token numbers to go in the queue, before it is your chance with the stout man, and there's no poetry left.

Ah, what all the mind does in a state of joblessness.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gasp! My Blog marked as spam!

I got a shocker when I checked mail this morning, Blogger had marked my blog as a spam blog and sent me an email with a link to unlock it. I first thought that mail was from a spammer, who was posing as Blogger. After reading the help pages, I realised this was a genuine spam alert email from the Google guys. I've filled out the retrieve blog form. Hope things get ironed out soon. Until then, if you see a sign saying this is a spam blog, pl bear with me.

And this is to Google,
Dear Google, this blog is definitely not a spam blog, this is where a humble soul called Vatsala expresses her thoughts on various things.

Hope Hakuna Matata prevails again soon. So long

Update 26 Aug 09- Thankfully, My blog is back in action again!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Zugara Online Shopping App - A new way of attracting customers to online shopping

Buying, more specifically Shopping has changed a lot over the years. I have seen that happening particularly in India, (since I live here). Fifteen years ago, Shopping (as in impulsive buying) used to be restricted to the really rich people. The middle class segment used to do more of buying which was primarily driven by needs and not by wants, and definitely not by any impulse. Shops used to focus on stacking more quantity of goods in ever shrinking spaces. Shops would stack up items from floor to roof and ensure that the pavement was also used as a showcase for the goods in the shop.

Then, changes in the Indian economy changed the way businesses worked, and overall increase in the prosperity and bank balance of the middle class transformed the retail space. Local Grocery shops, "nukkad dukans" and "maligai kadais" turned into one off supermarkets, which have now turned into Retail chains of branded Supermarkets and Hypermarkets. And shopping centres have become Malls. Now, Shopping has become an experience, rather than an activity. And businesses are continuously making making efforts to widen their audience by opening new formats of stores and supermarkets, and making it a successful business model. Kishore Biyani's Future Group and the Big Bazaar story is proof of that. Interesting read about Big Bazaar over here.

Online shopping is a new entrant here in India, and is slowly picking up its roots. Are Indian Business listening to this new innovation by
Here is an interesting new shopping application launched by .

Here is Zugara's blog post on the new online shopping application - I'm Re-Blogging (in short,copy pasting) the entire contents, in true ReTweeting style, because no one can say it better than themselves. The full credit of the following text goes to -

Utilizing Augmented Reality And Motion Capture

June 23, 2009, Los Angeles – Here at Zugara, we’re proud to announce the launch of our newest application, The Webcam Social Shopper. Coupling the functionality of both Augmented Reality and Motion Capture, this application will allow anyone with a webcam to shop online right from within their video feed. We like to think of it as “Augmented Reality meets Utility”. This app allows you to seemingly hold articles of clothing up in front of yourself to see “how they look”. And the Motion Capture allows the app to track your movements so you can interact with the site (e.g. cycle through a product’s various colors/styles or take a picture of yourself so you can get immediate feedback from friends on Facebook) while standing several feet away from your computer’s controls. No extra downloads, no new plug-in, no consumer headache.

To see the application in action, check out our video below.

(UPDATE: If you’re having trouble accessing the embedded video - here is the direct YouTube URL)
Original URL -

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My latest project

Hi there,

I always make it a point to work on one hobby project when I am working on some project in the office/college/school. Helps me retain some sanity, when my mind is madly racing at a problem. I finished up an embroidery project this week. Some pics.

This is the side view:-

The center design:-

The border:-

And the full view:-

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Today's Insight

I subscribe to daily emails from and here is today's insight:

The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.

Richard M. DeVos

So true.

Where is the Wonder Wheel?

I got the time to do some generic browsing today after two months of hectic work, and I discovered that Google had added a number of options to refine the search results. But when I tried it out, I dont seem to get the "Wonder Wheel" in my left column of links.

Me disappointed :(

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Changing times

The last one month I have been trying to make some meaning out of the many things flying in my head. And now, a change of job is in the offing. The job market being what it is, I should be lucky to get any job at all, besides, I am clueless as always about what I exactly want to do. So my first job is getting over today. Hoping that my second job will start soon.

In the shade of parental care, the illusion of comfort and convenience seems all pervading.
But then that is not the reality.

In reality there is no clarity of thought. Neither a hand to show direction. Nor money in the pocket. Only a small glimmer of hope, an attitude to experiment and a mind that struggles to figure out the middle portion of two ends of a string remain.

So long.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tech stuff moving out of here

I realised that my rant over here has become too garbled for people to read, so I decided to move the garbled stuff out of this blog to a new one So from now on, you can gauge my current level of sanity by reading this blog and my current level of insanity by reading the other blog.

That is that.
I am heading back to today's quota of insanity.

More Later.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Getting CSS to work from your layout files in Cakephp

If you want your handwritten css files to work in your cakephp application, remember that you have to use the echo statement. Ok, here i go step by step.

Once you finish designing the structure of your application, you go on to bake it (i.e use the bake script to generate basic add/delete/view functionalities).
Having done that, your application performs its basic tasks and then you go on to tweak it.

When you finally head over to doing the front end design, you should create your css files, and your images/icons first. Then head over to the layouts folder and create the layouts you want. Layouts are common templates within which the action specific views will load. When you do this, you would like to insert links to your css files in the head tag of your layout page.For this, use $html->css(' <filename> '); where your css file is filename.css and remember to echo it.
It should finally look like this :-
<?php echo $html->css('somename'); ?> // where somename.css is my css file

Read this article for explanations on the same topic.

Friday, June 19, 2009

TGIF - Thank God Its Friday

As I had said earlier, today I was to be part of a puppet show. and we did manage to do something out of it. Thankfully my sister consented to provide us with background score with the harmonium. So with the confidence that we could cover up all our goofs in the din of the harmonium, we started our show. After a bumpy start ( I swallowed three words in the invocation song), we started talking, and things flowed the way they should. I goofed up just once in the middle, where i gave an unwarranted long pause - my mind just went blank, i was watching the green buttons flickering in the mic amplifier - things were pretty ok. only thing was we had the script written out on sheets of paper (to prompt ourselves), which flew onto our faces 5 mins into the show. and we were left to our own to take the conversation forward. and we finished it, with very little deviation.
We used stick puppets.  I will try to post the pictures somewhere on the internet, all those interested can google for it. :D.

After the show, i was breathless for a while, and my voice went hoarse when i managed to speak.

So D day is over. and the show is over as well. and as i recount the day now, i am glad that the show is over. but my mind is tempted to venture into string puppets/marionets the next time. Ah, such are the fancies of my mind.

View status msg videos in gmail inbox

I havent noticed this before, but today something was different in my inbox.... Nothing that changed significantly, but just that the reply button looks shinier now, is it because of my theme I wonder... may be it is so for other people as well, you guys have to tell me through your comments...

Ok, wait. I am literally ranting now.

What I wanted to put down in htis post was, Today one status message was getting displayed with a difference. Usually, my routine when i turn on the computer goes this way - I turn on the computer. I click on firefox twice, just to see which of the two instances loads b4 the other. and then I heard straight to and then i sign in and then i try to read the deluge of emails that have piled up. and then i gape at the various green buttons and red buttons in the chat area. i hover over each and read the status messages (trust me, some of them are absolutely ridiculous) and spend sometime trying to predict which of these will turn orange in the next 30 seconds. and generally wait for some green button to come up with which i can do a conversation less conversation..which ultimately never happens. and i get back to my game of prediction....

today as i was going through this step for the first time, one of my green buttons put up a link to a youtube video. i hovered over it and it said - Play: What is a browser? with a blue html link like color. I click on it for something miraculous to happen, and voila. the video plays in my gmail inbox in a little chat window. I know we can view videos of the links sent as part of chat msgs. But i dint know that this worked for status msgs as well.

Does everyone else know it already??

Btw, here is the video that i was talking about - Nice one I must say.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The mess that was

In my attempts to try something very adventurous, I messed up my entire cakephp installation yesterday. It would refuse to read from the db, it would display a form, but would refuse to store the data in the DB, it would partially update the DB and such stuff. Cranky kid.

But today i fixed it. How? I reinstalled the whole thing :D Not that i wanted to escape from finding the real cause of the mess I created, its just that I am in a great hurry to finish up this application as soon as possible. But generally mistakes  I made are these:- 1) I interconnected controllers and models, where cake likes to keep connected one -to-one
2) I created my own routes by which the application should parse the request url, which confused cake like mad.

So I have managed to add data, read the data from the db. Now I start work on the login and registration part.

So long.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cakephp tutorials - an aggregation

Want to code your own mail client in php?

Learn how to create your own mail client in PHP using this link: -

CakePHP setup

Ok, before the non-programming junta starts hurling stones at me, Let me clarify. CakePHP has got nothing to do with cakes or for that matter eating itself. It just happens to have the word 'cake' in it.

CakePHP is a framework. frameworks(apparently) make a programmer's life easier by taking care of a lot of routine task. In return,they give you a set of rules that you should follow while you create your application. I have been sweating it out trying to read and understand the framework for the past 1 week and consequently have also been raising my Googling quotient( :D , IQ is obsolete now) to a new high.

1)If every anybody tries cakephp on an xampp install, remember to tweak your apache settings.

2)To install cakephp, download the folder from its website. Uncompress it and copy the contents of the cake folder into the folder of your public_html OR htdocs and thats it. You're just one step away from salvation.

3)Create a database for your application, fill in the details in database.php - find it here: htdocs/your-folder-name/app/config/ - and.. well thats it.

4) Open your browser,hit http://localhost/your-foldername OR or wherever you installed it, and you should be able to see the default pages running. IF you see a page with only text links and no colors, then your installation isnt successful yet. No, no biscuits for doggie.

If for some reason you dont see the Blue and greeen colors of your life coming alive, then its most likely that either your DB config isnt right, or your apache settings arent fine. The problem most of the times is only at these two points, so dont waste your time meandering through the app folder, or config folder or any other folder for that matter. You wont find your treasure there.

So much for now. More Later.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New ventures

I have been experimenting with quite a few things lately. And one of the things that I have been working on is a script for a puppet show.

My script writings skills are abysmal, as are my other skills. I have been working hard over the script for the past three days and now it has taken some shape. And the show 's coming up this friday. Lets see what happens.

If this turns out well, then I'm intending to work on few other hitherto unknown stories from the folklore.

Lets see what happens.

Another Salute to people who share tech tips on their websites

I was saved yet again today, by the small tip given by Brian Fidler here at this page
A deep bow to you.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What am I looking for?

Its been almost a month and a half since I wrote anything on this blog, mostly because I have been busy with a project at work that has been sucking out alot of my thinking capability. 

So today being Sunday, I decided that I will put aside everything else, and just let things be. And when that happened, I realised that my mind was continually searching for something. I tried to do some chores, watched a movie on tv, tried texting some old friends, but no that was not it.  I tried doing some google search about topics I had kept aside for reading a looong while ago, but yet, at the end of this exercise, my mind still is looking for something... I dont know what it is.

Something, the mere presence of which will drive it to do all that it has set itself up to.  There is a sense of void, or vacuum that keeps gnawing, I have lots of work to do, but my mind is not engaged.

When and where will this search end??

More later.

Google Wave Presentation

Everyone should see this:

Monday, April 6, 2009

New experience

Today I got the opportunity to do something very exhilarating.  My cousin brother has got a santoor for himself, and he very kindly allowed me to get a feel of it this evening.  :)

You can see and hear the result of this on my blog.

Here on your right in the sidebar adjoining this post, you will see a new orange colored  caricature sitting with a cello in his hand. This person from esnips will play a recording of my very small experiment with the santoor.

I have never played a musical instrument before, and I must say that it is truly a very exhilarating experience to be able to feel the music in your hands.  And the santoor is such a great instrument, it makes my not even amateur notes sound so real and mature.  I am filled with modesty at this moment of my writing this post, there is so much to learn, experience and enjoy in this world.

Truly beautiful and elevating. Santoor.
And all the best to my brother. May you experience and enjoy the music and the santoor. :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MTS is here

Hear ye Hear ye :D

MTS, a new mobile services company enters the already overcrowded Indian Mobile Telephony market.

Quick tablet facts :
Full Form of MTS
Mobile TeleSystems

Type of service 

Launch offer for subscribers 
One million minutes of free talk time to subscribers

Brand Name of the Service provider 

Name of the parent company
Sistema Shyam Teleservices Limited (SSTL)

Joint Venture between
AFK Sistema and Shyam Telecom

Who is Sistema?
AFK Sistema is a Russian holding company, who owns MTS. MTS provides mobile services in the CIS region. (Commonwealth of Independent States - an alliance made up of states that had been part of the Soviet Union before its dissolution in 1991)

Who is Shyam Telelink?
Shyam Telecom's principal activity is to manufacture telecommunications equipment in India. Shyam Telelink is the mobile service division's brand name. Shyam Telelink has been a service provider in Rajasthan since April 2008, providing CDMA services under the brand name of Rainbow with an approximate subscriber base of 270,000.

SSTL has obtained the licenses for 21 Indian Territories, of which it is launching operations first in Tamil Nadu(yay!) followed by Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. MTS will be replacing Rainbow's operations in Rajasthan.

You can check out the tariff details and other information at the MTS website

Interestingly MTS offers only GSM services world over. Apparently, they applied for GSM licenses in India too, but ended up with CDMA licenses. 

MTS has joined the CDMA operator club in the country which already includes Reliance Communications,Tata Teleservices, Virgin Mobile, MTNL(few circles).

Customer charges for use of ATMs

I came across this item somewhere - It claims that no fee will be charged for the use of other bank ATMs for cash withdrawals in India. Any body knows if this is actually effective now???

Date: Mar 10, 2008

Customer charges for use of ATMs for cash withdrawal and balance enquiry

RBI/2007-2008/ 260
DPSS No.1405 / 02.10.02 / 2007-2008

March 10, 2008
The Chairman / Chief Executive Officer
(All Scheduled commercial banks including RRBs)

Dear Sir
Customer charges for use of ATMs for cash withdrawal and balance enquiry
1. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have gained prominence as a delivery channel for banking transactions in India . Banks have been deploying ATMs to increase their reach. While ATMs facilitate a variety of banking transactions for customers, their main utility has been for cash withdrawal and balance enquiry. As at the end of December 2007, the number of ATMs deployed in India was 32,342. Commensurate with the branch network, larger banks have deployed more ATMs. Most banks prefer to deploy ATMs at locations where they have a large customer base or expect considerable use. To increase the usage of ATMs as a delivery channel, banks have also entered into bilateral or multilateral arrangements with other banks to have inter-bank ATM networks.
2. It is evident that the charges levied on the customers vary from bank to bank and also vary according to the ATM network that is used for the transaction. Consequently, a customer is not aware, before hand, of the charges that will be levied for a particular ATM transaction, while using an ATM of another bank. This generally discourages the customer from using the ATMs of other banks. It is, therefore, essential to ensure greater transparency.
3. International experience indicates that in countries such as UK , Germany and France , bank customers have access to all ATMs in the country, free of charge except when cash is withdrawn from white label ATMs or from ATMs managed by non-bank entities. There is also a move, internationally, to regulate the fee structure by the regulator from the public policy angle. The ideal situation is that a customer should be able to access any ATM installed in the country free of charge through an equitable cooperative initiative by banks.
4. In view of this, RBI had placed on its website an Approach paper and sought public comments. The comments received have been analysed. Based on the feed back a framework of service charges would be implemented by all banks as under:





For use of own ATMs for any purpose

Free (with immediate effect)


For use of other bank ATMs for balance enquiries

Free (with immediate effect)


For use of other bank ATMs for cash withdrawals

  • No bank shall increase the charges prevailing as on December 23, 2007 (i.e. the date of release of Approach Paper on RBI website)
  • Banks which are charging more than Rs.20 per transaction shall reduce the charges to a maximum of Rs.20 per transaction by March 31, 2008
  • Free - with effect from April 1, 2009.

5. For the services at (1) and (2) above, the customer will not be levied any charge under any other head and the service will be totally free.
6. For the service number (3) the charge of Rs.20/- indicated will be all inclusive and no other charges will be levied to the customers under any other head irrespective of the amount of withdrawal.
7. The service charges for the following types of cash withdrawal transactions may be determined by the banks themselves:
(a) cash withdrawal with the use of credit cards
(b) cash withdrawal in an ATM located abroad.

8. Please acknowledge the receipt of the circular. A copy of the circular issued to your branches on this subject may please be submitted to us in due course.
Yours faithfully
(Arun Pasricha)
General Manager

Gmail in Indian Languages

This post is for those of you who cant read my previous post.

Gmail now gives the facility to type email messages in five Indian languages, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu. This can be turned on in the Rich Text formatting toolbar in the Compose/Reply textarea.

This is already there in blogger for quite a while now, so I'm not entirely surprised that its available in Gmail. I would say, it was about time that they brought it in here as well.

So all Indian language fans can rejoice and mail each other in their fav languages.

Five languages are being offered as part of the service now.
Hope the Sena scions dont get offended.

இப்போது ஜீ மெயில் இந்திய மொழிகளில் !

இப்போது ஜீ மெயில் இந்திய மொழிகளில் !
ஜீ மெயிலில் இப்போது தமிழில் மெசேஜை டைப் செய்யும் வசதி அறிமுகமாகி உள்ளது. தமிழ் மட்டும் அல்லாமல், ஹிந்தி, கன்னடம், தெலுகு மற்றும் மலையாளத்திலும் ஈ மெயில் அனுப்பலாம். இந்த வசதியின் தட்டச்சு "Phonetic" முறையில் செயல்படுகிறது. அதனால் தமிழ் கீ போர்டு அறியாதவர்கள் கூட இதனை சுலபமாக பயன்படுத்தலாம்.

இந்த சேவையை உப்யோகிகப்பது மிக சுலபம்.
புதிய ஈ மெயிலுக்காக "கம்போஸ் மெயில்" கிளிக் செய்த பின் திரையில் மெசேஜை டைப் செய்திட ஒரு பெரிய சதுரமான பாக்ஸ் காட்டப்படும். இதில் Bold, Italic, underline, போன்ற formatting இற்கான toolbar இல் இடது பக்கம் ஓரத்தில் 'அ ' அல்லது 'अ' என்ற எழுத்தைக்கொண்ட ஒரு பட்டனை காண்பீர்கள். அதனை கிளிக் செய்தால் தமிழில் டைப் செய்திடலாம். மொழியை மாற்றுவதற்கு 'அ ' எழுத்தின் அருகில் உள்ள சிறிய முக்கோணத்தை கிளிக் செய்தால் பிடித்தமான மொழியை தேர்ந்தெடுக்கலாம்.

Gmail 'inbox'

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Customer Care in 2050

Here is an email i got recently, that I would like to share with my blog readers - 

Customer care in 2050
Operator : "Thank you for calling Pizza Galaxy Kholi . May I have your..."
Customer: "Hello, can I order.."

Operator : "Can I have your multi purpose card number first, Sir?"
Customer: "It's eh..., hold........ ..on..... .889861356102049 - 998-45-54610"

Operator : "OK... you're... Mr Singh and you're calling from 43rd Floor,Akask View Apt, Cantt Road, ........
Your home number is 4094! 2366, your office 76452302 and your mobile is 0142662566.
Which number are you calling from now Sir?"
Customer: "Home! How did you get all my phone numbers?

Operator : "We are connected to the system Sir"
Customer: "May I order your Seafood Pizza..."

Operator : "That's not a good idea Sir"
Customer: "How come?"

Operator : "According to your medical records, you have high blood pressure and even higher cholesterol level Sir"
Customer: "What?... What do you recommend then?"

Operator : "Try our Low Fat Hokkien Mee Pizza. You'll like it"
Customer: "How do you know for sure?"

Operator : "You borrowed a book entitled "Popular Hokkien Dishes" from the National Library last week Sir"
Customer: "OK I give up.... Give me three family size ones then, how much will that cost?"

Operator : "That should be enough for your family of 10, Sir. The total is Rs 2249.99"
Customer: "Can I pay by! credit card?"

Operator : "I'm afraid you have to pay us cash, Sir. Your credit card is over the limit and you owe your bank Rs10,720.55 since October last year. That's not including the late payment charges on your housing loan, Sir."
Customer: "I guess I have to run to the neighbourhood ATM and withdraw some cash before your guy arrives"

Operator : "You can't Sir. Based on the records, you've reached your daily limit on machine withdrawal today"
Customer: "Never mind just send the pizzas, I'll have the cash ready. How long is it gonna take anyway?"

Operator : "About 45 minutes Sir, but if you can't wait you can always come and collect it on your scooter.. ."
Customer: " What!"

Operator : "According to the details in system, you own a Lambretta 1969 Vintage Scooter,...registra tion number USE 8999..."
Customer: " ????"

Operator : "Is there anything else Sir?" 
Customer: "Nothing... by the way... aren't you giving me that 3 free bottles of cola as advertised?"

Operator : "We normally would Sir, but based on your records you're also diabetic.... ... "
Customer: #$$^%&$@$%^...beeep 

Operator : "Better watch your language Sir. Remember on 11th Nov 1986 you were convicted for using abusive language on a policeman who stopped you for driving through a one way, in fact you were driving a 1973 Ambassador bearing registeration number UTD 4267....... "
Customer: [Faints]


Monday, March 23, 2009

The business of internet

Yours truly has been officially tottering around the web for about 7 months now and I have discovered that there are a number of services for your site that you can just pay and use.

These are the services that I have discovered so far on the internet...
There are Pay and use services for
Site analytics (Anyway who wants to pay for this after Google analytics?)
Toolbars for your website
Feedback forms (this one is good, will update the post as soon as i find others)

Which set me thinking about the business of internet... People/organisations running their businesses on the Internet have triggered so many peripheral or support Internet businesses. Interesting how the world works.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Foldable keyboard

Khairil Yousuf has written about his foldable keyboard here. Do check it out.

Half a Keyboard??

There are a lot of companies that sell accessories for the computer/laptop.

is one such company that is becoming popular in India. They have some really cool products especially for laptops, like a small light that throws light on the keyboard(powered by the usb port), a laptop holder that will hold a laptop firmly on a person's lap, a mini fan (again powered through the usb port), external keyboards, USB port hubs, et al.

But has anybody seen a working Half a Keyboard??

Well, I was shocked too, at first. But here are some images to prove it:


And here is a link to a demo of how this half keyboard actually works

And here is the link to the keyboard's website

IE troubles

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Amazon Kindle

This article about the latest version of Kindle set me off on a Googling mission.

For muggles, Kindle is Amazon's e-book reading device. Its actually a device that you can hold in your hand, store books in it and read them.
There are two things that are very cool about this:
  1. Text Display - The display is non-illuminated and uses EInk technology. This requires no power to display the text, it uses up power only to turn the pages and display new text. It also means that you can read from the display in all kinds of light, even under direct sunlight(unlike the color display mobile phones that we get today).
  2. Wireless Internet Connectivity - Amazon has tied up with Sprint Cellular Services for internet connectivity in the Kindle,and you can download ebooks in the Kindle Bookstore. So you dont need a computer to get new books.
Its also pretty slim. Check out these images here.

And there are also talks about a possible iPhone application that will connect to the Kindle store online.

Now coming to the point... When will we get this in India?

Amazon could tie up with one of our network service providers to start their offerings here. Reliance (adag particularly) could be a good prospect, both in terms of openness to new ideas (remember BigFlix) and investment capability.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Memorable Evening

Got to meet my college friends. And most of us landed up at Tiruvanmiyur beach by coincidence. :) I am elated. More posts shall follow

My blog is going to go on fire

As someone said, Firefox is the coolest browser. Ever. I whole-heartedly second that.  And now I can blog as I browse. Thanks to this cool addon.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Indira Nagar MRTS Station

This is how MRTS station at Indira Nagar, Adyar,Chennai is supposed to look. When the construction work is complete that is. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Virgin Mobile

We all know that Virgin Mobile launched their operations in mobile phone connectivity sometime in early 2008(around March, may be). And the brand has been creating a bang in its ad promos ever since. I was quite curious to find out more about Virgin's modus operandi, wooed by the charisma of the parent brand Virgin Mobile.

A few months ago, I discovered, much to my surprise, that Virgin Mobile's Indian JV partner was actually Tata Teleservices. Having discovered this piece of info, I conveniently took it for granted that Virgin was offering GSM services. And I was continuing to be under this impression until yesterday.

Turns out that Virgin Mobile India is actually offering CDMA services here. Then it struck me. Why in the best of their minds would Tatas have a JV with a company that is actually offering the same CDMA services??? and why would Virgin also agree to such a deal? is entering the indian market so lucrative for them that they dont mind partnering with a potential rival company?

Enter MVNO

Apparently it works this way. Virgin Mobile India has registered itself as an MVNO, which stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. An MVNO is different from the regular Mobile Operators in the sense that he does not own any physical infrastructure for his network service. He uses the infrastructure of another company, and sells his product. So basically, Virgin takes the Tata's licensed frequency on a lease and uses it to sell its SIM cards. Like people live in rented houses, Virgin pays Tatas for the frequencies and the physical infrastructure, their maintenance et al., and on its own focusses only on marketing its product.

When I read this, my first impulse was to compare Virgin Mobile India to a cuckoo bird, which gets to raise its children and yet doesnt have to be hassled with the actual parenting process. But then on second thoughts, I felt why not? I mean I'm sure Tatas are getting paid well for the services they are offering so why not? This is just another way to keep the cash registers ringing right. And then things fell into place in my head, and I realised how these two potentially rival companies could even think of operating in the same market.

As for the legality of such an agreement, I was able to lay my hands on a PDF of an old version of the license agreement that Cellular operators sign with the Department of Telecommunications. That file claims that a service provider signing up for the license is allowed to share the following :
a) “passive” infrastructure viz., building, tower, dark fiber etc.
b) point to point bandwidth from their own infrastructure within their Service Area to other licensed telecom service providers (no resale though)

Well, one thing is for sure. The rival GSM guys would have surely spent sleepless nights trying to come up with arguements to prove Virgin's cuckoo bird JV deal illegal. But here we are today, seeing Virgin becoming a fairly successful venture with a clever marketing , ad effort.

P.S.: Virgin Mobile is a successful telecom brand in the UK, and they operate as MVNOs there as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vaaranam aayiram and Ghajini

Two hit movies of Actor Surya. Two totally different characterisations of the lead character. Two different contexts.   But I find one thing common in both. Heroine who goes dead in the first half of the movie. And what the protagonist does in response to this death forms the rest of the story. 

I hope Surya doesnt get typecast into similar plots. 


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