Monday Sep 22, 2008

Software Freedom Day!

Sun celebrated Software Freedom Day in various locations on the globe, including in Riga, Latvia, where the database engineering team is having its annual developer meeting.

MySQL community team and Michael Dexter, who works with the Linux Fund, helped put the Riga SFD meeting together. (Lenz Grimmer and Colin Charles have written about the meeting. It was held at the University of Latvia.)

Friday Aug 01, 2008

Web Smarts -- Using Time

Imagine how much easier it will be if my wife and I, who share calendars on Google, can use some kind of service that would  propose a few flights for our family to some desired destination at some free cross section of our time—the move from Internet calendars and other identity-rich measures (whether of the Google, Yahoo or other variety) to integration with already existing web services we all use (for everything from travel and budget planning to various other purchases, projects and plans) should be a relatively trivial matter.  

Another scenario—I'm looking for a house. My calendar is on the web. Some service can arrange house seeing expeditions for me and reserve time on my calendar.

This does not seem to be a tremendously difficult mathematical problem, and it doesn't involve much AI.

So, why don't we have these types of services yet. Lack of proper integration?

This type of integration simply allows to deploy other dimensions of search and constraint satisfaction technology—any search or technology that reduces transaction costs and brings real convenience to us. There is not really much else to it!

Friday Feb 09, 2007

Other Blogs

I have started a number of other blogs on

My purpose has been to experiment with other blogging services and learn about user experience.

Originally, I had a few and now there are a dozen or more. They were and are all experimental. Managing the layouts of these blogs had become a headache. I was trying to figure out how to add hosted material and feeds and each had their own model. So, currently, I'm experimenting with the layout management tools that the new service provides.

Recently, Google consolidated's access management with access management for other Google services. Furthermore, has taken a large step in rationalizing its templates and layout managers. Now, after choosing a template, the user can upgrade to the new layout manager which provides a simple GUI interface to handle widgets on the page. Blogger carries guidelines on how to define new widgets.

Since I had not made a huge investment in developing my own templates and layouts in the original experimental blogs, I decided to migrate them to the new layout and template formats and to create some new ones. I then used the guidelines to create some new widgets of my own, including a couple for Google's adsense for content. The scripting language for widgets, "includables," and page layout management proved quite simple to use, and defined properly, the widgets can be manipulated in the simple, graphic layout manager.

Sunday Feb 04, 2007

Another Web 2.0 Application

Check out Netvibes. It is a highly-interactive, personalized content and messaging portal brought to us by French Internet entrepreneurs (with one, a Sun Microsystems' alumni).

Monday Jan 29, 2007

Growth Path

Financial Times on video and film downloads: (a) Growth from now until 2012: 10 folds. (b) Worth in 2012: $6.3 billion. Chad Hurley at Davos: YouTube will share advertising revenue with video uploaders.

Saturday Jan 20, 2007

Google's Capital Spending

Google's capital spending more than doubled to $800m in 2005. Expansion has continued, and capital spending numbers for 2006 will be released next month. It will be interesting to watch.

Friday Jan 12, 2007

Web Software

The best web software blog around I know is right here on Aquarium.

Aquarium is not only a great example of a collaboatively produced blog but also full of new information about software for web applications.

Frequent and attentive enough visits to the Aquarium will turn you into fast fish in the sea of Web applications.

Saturday Jan 06, 2007

Classifying Content

Lawrence Lessig classifies content on the web according to their participation and sharing characteristics.

Thursday Dec 07, 2006

Net Neutrality

Josh Silver who regularly posts on Net Neutrality debate, reviews Bill Moyer's PBS program on the same.

Friday Dec 01, 2006

Fake vs. True Sharing

Lawrence Lessig writes about fake vs. true sharing.

The fact that Lessig has to use an adjective to qualify sharing may be another proof of how little words have come to mean in common usage. You cannot be said to be sharing your bread unless the party you're sharing it with can also eat from the part that has been shared. Otherwise, you're only sharing the right to watch the bread, not any rights to eat from it. 

Much of the videos posted on YouTube are posted with an intention to share them completely. Users should be able to copy and mix such video quite freely. As Lessig has noted, disputes regarding this model continue.

A sharing that doesn't grant any independent use rights can hardly be called sharing.

Tuesday Nov 14, 2006

Reuters Plucks Pluck

Reuters, the innovative newswire service famous for its bylaws and independent board, "plucks" Pluck, a blog syndicator for news outlets, through a $7 million investment. 

Wednesday Nov 08, 2006

The Archeology Of The First Internet Bubble

In his Wall Street Journal "Portals" column ("The Dot-Com Bubble Is Reconsidered," Nov. 8, 2006), Lee Gomes points us to an archeological study of the Internet bubble, some of whose findings contrast with conventional wisdom regarding the boom which is "normally dated from the Netscape IPO in August 1995 to March 2000, when Nasdaq peaked at above 5100": 

A recent paper suggests that rather than having too many entrants, the period of the Web bubble may have had too few; at least, too few of the right kind. And while most people recall the colossal flops of the period (Webvan,, etoys and the rest) the survival rates of the era's companies turns out to be on a par, if not slightly higher, than those in several other major industries in their formative years.

The paper is being published in a coming issue of the Journal of Financial Economics. As noteworthy as the findings are, even more interesting is the process that led to them. The work is an outgrowth of the Business Plan Archive at the University of Maryland. Its goal is to become a kind of Smithsonian Institution of the Internet bubble, saving for posterity every business plan, PowerPoint presentation and venture-capital term sheet -- the more frothy and half-baked, the better -- that it can get its hands on.


Thursday Nov 02, 2006

Content and Control

Victorial Shannon, web and technology writer for International Herald Tribune, has an interesting story on content and control on the web.


Thursday Oct 26, 2006

Web Bombardment

Cyber"life" has taken new turns and, in this election season, a web phrase seems to be gaining currency: "google bombing."

Monday Oct 23, 2006

Upgrading to Firefox 1.5 on Mac OS-X (PowerPC)

I just upgraded to Firefox 1.5 on Mac OS-X (10.4) running on a Power PC iMac. The upgrade was quite painless. I only needed to change permission on the existing Firefox app. Since app data is under "~/Library/..." little else needed to be done to preserve bookmarks and other user data.  The new app seems much more stable.

Friday Sep 08, 2006

Why Web 2.0 Has Come to Exist?

There is a simple and a very ancient reason.
[Read More]

The Breadth of Web 2.0 Apps

Financial Times has published a very interesting article on the breadth of Web 2.0 applications. I chose some fragments of this and will choose other Web 2.0 and general Web news fragments for posting here.

A paragraph from the FT article reads thus:

In addition, the [Web 2.0] companies do not need the big workforces of the previous wave that were once hired by [early Web companies].... They are not setting up complicated online retailing operations. Typically the users do most of the work. On digg, for example, it is the users who post stories, sort them, and create the home page for others to see.

Wednesday Sep 06, 2006

First Anti-Spamming Conviction

Court of appeals upholds a state anti-spamming law. [Read More]

Monday Sep 04, 2006

Waking Technorati Up

This is a dummy post to wake Technorati up.
[Read More]

Friday Sep 01, 2006

Another YouTube Video

Here's one about the reason behind Sun's share gains. [Read More]



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