Friday, October 29, 2004

Home, smart home!

Very soon, my house is going to be broadband enabled! The whole idea of creating a network at home is very exciting. I plan to somehow hook up all devices and create an intelligent network that will allow the devices to communicate with each other. Well, its still just a plan. Lets see how far it goes.

Its quite fascinating to see how much we've progressed in terms of technology. Just imagine, 20 years back, the cell phone was hardly even heard of. It was the size of a brick and costed enough to make an average man go bankrupt. The only way to send a text message was to write a letter and slap a stamp on it. No one even heard of the internet back then.

Telecom has changed the way we work, live and play. It has changed our lives in fundamental ways; in coming years, it will continue to do so, perhaps in ways we can't even imagine yet.

Fortunately, some of the next big things are well within our sight. Free Internet telephony, advanced wireless data networks and video-over-broadband are already gaining traction and proving how disruptive and powerful a telecom technology can be. Even the little discoveries--silly gadgets and gewgaws like a cell phone that can tell you if you've got bad breath--promise to affect our daily lives in interesting ways.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Use Google, and search the world!

Google has recently acquired Keyhole Corp. Apparently, Keyhole is the only company to deliver a 3D digital model of the entire earth via the internet. They have pioneered the EarthStream technology that combines advanced 3D graphics and network streaming innovations to produce a high performance system that runs on standard PC’s and commodity servers.

Now imagine this.

Fire up Google. Type - "Anna Nagar, Madras" and it throws up a satellite digital image of the place and allows you to zoom to street level.

Thought this happened only in the movies (Enemy of the State) ??

Firefox looking for allies to take on IE

Firefox is looking for allies in its quest to challenge Microsoft's Internet Explorer. According to popular gossip online, Google seems to be the potential partner, which is expanding into newer businesses, being plum with cash after its initital public offering.

Google's universally-recognised brand and devoted user following could boost Firefox's market share. Mozilla is targeting 10 percent market share by the end of 2005.

Read the Reuters report.

Filesystems on GMail

A couple of weeks back, I had sent an excited email to a few friends on GMailFS - a mountable Linux filesystem on GMail. This allows you to use your GMail account as a storage medium.

Quite recently, I stumbled upon a similar thing for Windows. The 'GMail shell drive extension'. This literally adds a new drive to your computer under the 'My Computer' folder, where you can create new folders, copy and drag n' drop files.

The Gmail Engine : How they do it!

You've probably noticed that Gmail's interface is extremely fast when compared to other web-based email systems like Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail. This is a result of Gmail's placement of the UI engine on the client-side as a JavaScript module. Whenever you log in to Gmail, a copy of the UI engine is loaded into one of the HTML page frames and remains there for the duration of your session (credit has to be given to Oddpost for being the first ones who perfected this idea). Subsequent actions from the Gmail interface are then routed through the Gmail UI engine in your browser, which in turn makes HTTP requests (via the XmlHttpRequest object) to the Gmail server, interprets the DataPack, and updates the UI dynamically. In contrast, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail follow traditional web application models and reload the entire UI after almost every action.

I know its rather old, but I just learnt it today and thought I'd share it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Firefox ver 1.0 to release soon

In less than three weeks, the unthinkable will occur: the browser wars will officially begin again. The Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit organization spun off from Netscape, will release version 1.0 of its open-source Firefox browser on November 9. So guys get ready to dump good 'ol Internet Explorer for Firefox which is already amazingly fantabulous!


Welcome to my blog. This site is devoted to highlighting whatever catches my attention, and I'm interested in lots of things. Some recurring themes are design, technology, sustainability, web culture, and domestic life. I often post about current events. Contradictions intrigue me. In thinking about the Web and technology, I tend to be a pragmatist, not a promoter. My interest is in the intersection between technology and human behavior: how people use technologies and how technologies influence what they do. I am fascinated with unintended consequences. I post the occasional recipe.