Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ubislate 7 to be India's next low-cost Android tablet, shipping in January

Will the Ubislate be the vehicle on which India's internet usage will rise? Given that awareness of computing has increased in general and the low cost of this tablet, there is a chance to the normal consumer of India would embrace this. They don't have to shell out a lot of money like they have to do for even an assembled desktop computer. The lower middle class could easily get into it this. What they might need help is a way for them to get hold of the right content? This means that somebody needs to play that role. Will the government do that (they might if they get time away from fighting with software firms to censor specific content and regulate all content). An increase in apps which are relevant in the Indian context will also help a lot. Will the developers in India respond to that?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Google Will Pay Mozilla Almost $300M Per Year in Search Deal, Besting Microsoft and Yahoo

Google is shelling out a lot of money to Mozilla (though the amount may not be much from Google's perspective) to ensure that they are the default browser in Mozilla Firefox. I feel this is Google trying to ensure that nobody uses the Firefox browser market-share to get close to them in terms of search (Microsoft would have loved to, given the amount they have spent on Bing). I have heard others saying the Google is making sure that Firefox exists until Chrome can take over all the browser market share it can and thus eliminate significant competition. That is not far fetched in terms of what they might want but I am not sure whether such a thing will happen. Another thought is that Google might be trying to ensure that they appear in the good books of authorities looking for anti-competitive behavior (given google is acquiring a company every week according to them).

In the meantime I hope Mozilla can do some good with the money and resources they get hold off. A better firefox browser and other such products will always be good for consumer because it makes for better competition and provides more choice for us. Let us hope that is what happens.

Gartner’s Predictions for the Next 5 Years

Gartner has made top predictions for the next 5 years. As expected cloud is going to become mainstream and usage of mobile devices is on the rise. The quantification of these is something which Gartner can provide. There are other trends also mentioned. Some interesting ones for me are:

Reduction in investment on "social" endeavors (apps/sites) is expected. With so many new networks coming up, which also includes big players (Google+ and Microsoft Socl) as well as enterprise players (SalesForce chatter etc.) and feature set getting more common (lot of people think that the latest twitter changes make it look like facebook!) this is expected. These developments indicate that the consolidation of the market is imminent. Hence unless a new player in the market brings something very different to the table, something which brings in a different dimension of interaction and help the consumer (may be to get work done etc.), there is hardly any chance of that player getting any investment.

Mobile application development will rise significantly as per Gartner. This I think is very evident. I personally think there are going to be lot of mobile applications which use cloud based services to help consumers do different things (we see this a lot more of this now it self). Gartner's prediction though is much more specific where they say that the mobile applications development will outpace desktop application development 4 to 1. That number is the crucial part.

As cloud adoption increases, the security requirements on the cloud will become more and more important. Gartner predicts this is going to be super important to enterprises and there might be a rise of cloud security brokers who will independently assess cloud provider's security.

Asia's current status as outsourcing destination for manufacturing of finished goods and assembly line goods (I think that this refers mainly to China) is expected to change to some extent. Does this mean that Asia's growth is going to get affected? May not be given that the local growth will itself lead to local consumption of these goods. But it something which I can't predict now.

Security risks increase is predicted. With recent news on so many hacker incidents this is another thing which you expect. The actual values again are something which may not be obvious to people like us. The specific thing that Gartner mentions is the financial impact will rise i.e. more and more attacks would try to be finance-driven than just hacking for fun/social cause etc. That is much more worrying to me and folks like us.

Another interesting prediction is that lot of the big organizations won't be able to use big data analytics properly for their growth. I somehow felt this is expected at least in the near term, given that this is a relatively new field. The technology is still evolving, the business is figuring out how it can use this huge amount of data. So things are in a flux. And also lot of people are trying to get into this band-wagon. So they will do things which they don't understand fully. Gartner predicts that this will be case till 2015. I am reminded of SOA and its movement and trending in the industry in this context. Seems like there are parallels, but we will have to wait and watch.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Intel unveils Android tablet & smartphone line for 2012

Intel is getting into mobile and table space finally. At least they are showing prototypes. This is a long awaited development. With ARM almost monopolizing the space, Intel has to make a start. We heard at the Intel developer event about Google's android for Intel chips and this is offshoot of that.

One thing to note is that Intel is going to have android 2.x on mobile!! That does not inspire confidence. The tablets are planned to ICS, which is good.

The picture - take a quick look and it seems to resemble the iPhone 4(S) . They better not go down that path (I am tired off all this patent war news (see posts below).

Let's wait and watch.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Apple wins ban of HTC devices at US International Trade Commission

News on patents - good news for apple, bad for android fans...

The Unit­ed States Inter­na­tion­al Trade Com­mis­sion just ruled in favor of Apple in its case against HTC and banned the impor­ta­tion and sale of cer­tain HTC devices. After a lengthy review, the Com­mis­sion found that HTC devices infringe two claims of patent #5,946,647, which is a sys­tem level patent issued in 1999 on ana­lyz­ing and link­ing data struc­tures— ulti­mate­ly impli­cat­ing Android itself and not HTC's spe­cif­ic imple­men­ta­tion. The deci­sion now goes to the desk of the pres­i­dent, who has 60 days to issue a rarely-used veto; the ban itself will go into effect on April 19, 2012 to pro­vide HTC with a tran­si­tion peri­od, and HTC will be allowed to import refur­bished prod­ucts for war­ran­ty replace­ment pur­pos­es until Decem­ber 19, 2013.

3 Ways Google's Majel May Out-Chat Apple's Siri (And 1 Big Way It Could Remain Speechless)

There are good possibilities for Majel. Let's hope Google does not bungle it. We android phone users will be very thankful :-)

Siri is amaz­ing. Let's not pull any punches--ignore the critcs, as it's prob­a­bly the best mobile voice recog­ni­tion device that any user has ever encoun­tered. Above all else, it's a fab­u­lous PR tool, it works, and it threat­ens Google ad rev­enues. Google and its Android army know this. Why else would Sam­sung lam­poon it and Google execs poo-pooh it? Espe­cial­ly when you con­sid­er that Google is des­per­ate­ly work­ing on a rival to Siri. It's code­named Majel, and in sev­er­al ways it's got a seri­ous chance to out­smart Apple's smart assis­tant right from the get-go.

Google developing heads-up display eyeglasses?

Now this is sci-fi stuff. It would interesting to know what capabilities these cool glasses will offer. Connecting to google services will be nice, but currently I can't think of anything 'cool' about those services. Do correct me if I am wrong.

Fol­low­ing up on an ear­li­er report today that Google is devel­op­ing wear­able com­put­ing devices, 9to5Google claims that the com­pa­ny might have big­ger ambi­tions than pre­vi­ous­ly hint­ed at. Specif­i­cal­ly, the rumor is that Google is devel­op­ing a full heads-up dis­play built into a pair of normal-looking, thick-rimmed eye­glass­es. Sup­pos­ed­ly the glass­es would not mere­ly be an Android periph­er­al, but com­mu­ni­cate direct­ly with Google's ser­vices instead of pair­ing with the phone — though pre­sum­ably it would need a phone for com­mu­ni­ca­tion when not near a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 used by American Airlines for in-flight entertainment

The skin on top of android comes to the fore again. American airlines seem to have put a skin on top of android to help them provide specific services to passengers. This means fragmentation, but it also demonstrates the power which android brings to the table for such specific scenarios. Will this mean industry/services/enterprise adoption of android will become more and more? I think there are examples already, but this adds another kind...

Start­ing today, the Sam­sung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be avail­able to first- and business-class pas­sen­gers on a num­ber of Amer­i­can Air­lines inter­na­tion­al and domes­tic flights as an option for in-flight enter­tain­ment. The Galaxy Tab will replace cur­rent enter­tain­ment sys­tems and be loaded with 70 movies, plus unspec­i­fied TV and music options; the air­line also plans to bring more con­tent to the Galaxy Tab, includ­ing Wi-Fi, games, and read­ing mate­r­i­al. Amer­i­can Air­lines is claim­ing it's the first domes­tic air­line to offer a "brand­ed" tablet to pas­sen­gers (though its pilots will have iPads in the cock­pit as soon as this Fri­day).

Should You Learn CoffeeScript? | Nettuts+

A good panel discussion on coffee script. It might help you to decide whether to learn coffee script or not. For me I realised that I need to become more proficient in JavaScript before I can seriously use this (may be even learn this). Some really strong opinions coming through. A really good read.

I'd imagine that I represent a large portion of the web development community. I'm very intrigued by CoffeeScript; I've even learned the syntax and used it in a

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Windows Azure Adds Node.js Support, Hadoop Preview

What is happening with Windows? This is not right. If they keep doing such things I might have to start liking them. By the way node.js is making more news - but that is nothing new. And they say the next year is the year of the hadoop. It does look like that.

When Win­dows Azure was launched in 2008, it was with the inten­tion, Microsoft said, of run­ning .NET Frame­work appli­ca­tions from the cloud. What ended up hap­pen­ing was that the PaaS mar­ket matured much faster than any­one in 2008 could have antic­i­pat­ed, so any cloud apps plat­form that needs to stay com­pet­i­tive must run with the lan­guages the devel­op­ment world is using.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cypher - A view from a recovering SQL DBA

A useful comparison on SQL syntax with graph db (neo4j) syntax. A quick way to get some insight into the graph db world through the lense of a SQL developer.

For many years, I worked with SQL databases. I got to know the relational model and various SQL implementations very well, but then the world changed with the advent of NOSQL, and I changed too when I became heavily involved with Neo4j.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

About the refurbished iPhone 4 in India [follow up]

Looks like the refurbished iPhones never made it to the retail world. Hmmm... All those dreams :-(

We had first report­ed about refur­bished iPhone 4 last month, a report which was wide­ly car­ried across main­stream pub­li­ca­tions and also drew a lot of inter­est from read­ers, who were obvi­ous­ly dis­ap­point­ed by Apple’s pric­ing for the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 8GB. Many called us sen­sa­tion­al­ist and some even took to send­ing me abu­sive Tweets, com­ments and mails, because they couldn’t find them in the open mar­ket. I have per­son­al­ly replied to many that we will post an update about it as soon as we have more details to share. It is now time to share some details as to what hap­pened with the refur­bished iPhone 4 units. Read on…

Beware of fancy formulas and slick shortcuts

A really good article on how things/skills progress. No shortcuts. Some good examples. A decent read.

When I used to teach the Afro-Brazilian mar­tial art of capoeira, new stu­dents would come in for their first class and watch the more advanced stu­dents doing fly­ing kicks and ariel cart­wheels.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Interfaces you can feel from Senseg

Super cool touch interfaces. The innovation is continuous. There is just a lot of stuff happening.

Senseg patent­ed solu­tion cre­ates a sophis­ti­cat­ed sen­sa­tion of touch using Coloumb’s force, the prin­ci­ple of attrac­tion between elec­tri­cal charges. By pass­ing an ultra-low elec­tri­cal cur­rent into the insu­lat­ed elec­trode, Senseg’s Tixel™, the pro­pri­etary charge dri­ver can cre­ate a small attrac­tive force to fin­ger skin. By mod­u­lat­ing this attrac­tive force a vari­ety of sen­sa­tions can be gen­er­at­ed, from tex­tured sur­faces and edges to vibra­tions and more.

Senseye lets you control your phone by looking at it, will ship next year (video)

This is even more newer than voice. This is eye movement detection. I think google needs to jump on this one and grab them. Not only because it will be an android answer to apple's Siri, but also because in the world of advertisements tracking where your eye ball is very precious to let go. And remember, if google does not act apple will surely. If both of them delay even Microsoft might do something. But something tells me that Samsung is probably looking very hard at this.

Eye-controlled inter­faces have been around for years, but a new tool called Sens­eye might be the first mass-market imple­men­ta­tion. Using a front-facing cam­era and infrared LED, Sens­eye tracks eye motion with enough accu­ra­cy to dim the screen when no one is look­ing at it, auto-scroll text on a page, and let the user enter a pass­code or play a sim­ple shoot­ing game by look­ing at num­bers or ene­mies. The proof of con­cept uses a bulky case, but final ver­sions are planned as either small don­gles or part of the phone itself.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop on the company’s future, U.S. plans

If you listen to this interview, you will get the feeling that Nokia is taking India very seriously as a customer base. That I think is an intelligent move.

We had a chance to sit down with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop a few weeks ago in New York City to get a the skin­ny on Nokia’s strat­e­gy straight from the top. We cov­ered the com­pa­ny’s upcom­ing push (and hope­ful­ly valiant return) in the Unit­ed States, Nokia’s lat­est smart­phones, poten­tial new Nokia tablets and of course the com­pa­ny’s new Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 Win­dows Phones. Catch the full video inter­view after the break.

Cheap beads offer alternative solar-heating storage

Happy to see some research in India mentioned here. Hope to see more and more of it.

Mechan­i­cal engi­neer Meenakshi Reddy of Sri Venkateswara Col­lege of Engi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­o­gy, in Chit­toor, Andra Pradesh, and col­leagues explain how cer­tain mate­ri­als, known as phase change mate­ri­als (PCM) can store a large amount of heat in the form of latent heat in a small vol­ume.

5 Cool Things Siri Can Do Now That She's Been Hacked

A good collection of Siri hack videos. It does seem really futuristic. I hope I can get hold of something like that soon (in android). Google what are you waiting for. Do something!

Since launch­ing with the iPhone 4S in Octo­ber, Apple's new voice-controlled per­son­al assis­tant fea­ture called Siri has been enam­ored by Apple fans, mocked by some and been found to have a few humor­ous East­er eggs built in.

Friday, December 2, 2011

App Store - MobiGuard

Will you use it guys! The battery drain itself will kill it for me. And I hope it does not start off some panic action unnecessarily. I guess a closer look will help. Anyway it will be known with time.

Read reviews, get customer ratings, see screenshots, and learn more about MobiGuard on the App Store. Download MobiGuard and enjoy it on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

More proof that enterprises love Node.js

More news on node.js adoption. Node.js fans will be delighted. Couple of frameworks mentioned as well. I guess it is here to stay and I am happy about it. Hopefully it will make people take JavaScript more seriously.

Node.js is following in Ruby on Rails' and NoSQL's footsteps to become the next hacker technology to be embraced by the enterprise. Just ask FloType, the Berkeley, CA. startup which built its NowJS architecture atop Node.js, the server-side JavaScript-based toolset.

iPads in the enterprise: CEO ego is driving adoption

Hmmm... Looks like egos have driving power everywhere. But the last point made in the article is something worth 'noting'!

iPads have taken over the boardroom, and corporate CEOs and their egos are to thank for the somewhat surprising trend. At least that's the consensus among a panel of cloud computing and enterprise ...