Friday, February 23, 2007


Griffin REFLECT Polycarbonate Case for iPod Nano.
Talk about drool value!

[via Amazon]

"This chromed polycarbonate hardshell case has been polished to a mirror finish. The faceplate above the click wheel is a smooth unbroken expanse of mirror -- until the iPod screen lights up and is revealed as if by magic."

[image source:technabob]

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mix It Up

Microsoft is hosting a 72 hour conversation.

Its essentially a conference for web designers/developers & next generation change agents. Keynote speakers will include Ray Ozzie (but of course), Scott Guthrie who's general manager within Microsoft’s developer division & Robbie Bach, president of the Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division.

So there's obviously going to be a lot of fun & games with Guthrie showing people what's going to be there to rave about in Visual Studio (codename Orcas) & WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation) & Bach playing around with the latest consoles & talking about new media opportunities created by some of Microsoft's devices.

Photos from last year.

We should have one of these in B'lore too....

[via Rahul Soni]


Evolution is fascinating.. much like artificial intelligence & push-up bra's.
Check out Microsoft following Darwin's footsteps.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Steve's Thoughts On Music

Steve Jobs has come up with this piece on music (mostly DRM). Most free thinking people hate the concept of DRM. What it basically does is prevents you from playing your iTunes purchased music on any other device besides your iPod. So effectively, there is no interoperatability.

According to Apple's statistics (or rather, iStatistics), an average iPod contains 1000 songs & out of these only 22 are purchased from iTunes & are protected. Rest of the songs are unprotected i.e no DRM for them.. So basically DRM sucks big time!

According to Thomas Hawk, the reason Steve is taking a stance now is 'cause Apple is a company that has a cult like following. Apple followers are not just geeks, they are zealots.Since in a few more months they are going to unveil the iPhone, they want to make sure that they reach out to these zealots by trashing out the whole DRM concept which doen't make much sense anyhow.

So Steve suggests that we do away with the whole DRM thing.. but that is not upto Apple. The big 4 record labels -- Universal, Sony BMG, EMI & Warner license their music to Apple with a condition that the music should be protected by DRM (Fairplay in Apple's case) in an effort to prevent piracy. But since only a very tiny percentage of their revenue comes from this licensing deal & the rest comes from selling unprotected music on CD's, there is not much sense in continuing with it.

We can easily imagine a world where any device can play music encoded in open formats from any store & any store will sell music that can be played on any device. Utopian? maybe... Possible? Very much.

In any case Apple is laughing all the way to the bank since it has sold over 90 million iPods & even the 2 billion songs by the big four pale in comparison. It is because of this, that industry watchers rave about the marketing genius of Steve Jobs.

[image source]

The Machine is Us/ing Us

Web 2.0 demystified..
Great video by Michael Wesch who is a cultural anthropology professor at Kansas State University.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Physics of Software

Got a chance to read a couple of chapters from Scott Rosenberg's 'Dreaming In Code'..

Its an account of a group of software developers led by industry legend Mitch Kapor, who are working on 'Chandler', a modern personal information manager.
The basic point that Rosenberg has tried to drive home is that writing software is hard! Even if you manage to round up a bunch of code jocks in a room & tell them to write code, more often than not, most projects run behind schedule..

In his book, The Mythical Man Month, Frederick Brooks writes about how adding more programmers to an already delayed project delays it further. This went on to become a law much like 'Moore's Law' that was proven by IBM's mega projects back in the 70's.

Recent release of the much delayed Windows Vista maybe taken as a fitting example of this predicament.

"The problem is that software is not a thing, not a preexisting phenomenon of the universe; it's a product of the human imagination. One of the ideas that stayed with me most strongly is that computer science today accepts the file system as if it were some law of nature, and it's not. Every aspect of software is a human construct. The fact that we have created this pile of
abstractions, one on top of another, and that it works most of the time—and produces amazing results—doesn't mean the whole enterprise is a fait accompli and must always be that way. So, personally, I don't believe there is such a thing, or could be such a thing, as the physics of software. But accepting that there couldn't be such a thing has implications that are
disturbing to people in the software field." -- Scott Rosenberg

Complete interview is here.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


After 5 years & $7 Billion, Microsoft has finally come out with 'the biggest software release ever'. With a boisterous $500 million marketing campaign, it has launched Vista for consumers.

While product reviewers may gush & drool over its rich graphics intense user interface & robust security features, operating system releases have lost their glory. Mr Ballmer hopes to sell 5 times as many Vistas as he did Windows95 & thrice as many as WindowsXP.Lets wait & watch how versatile he is at predicting the future.

With a new software fabric in the making with buzzwords auch as SaaS(Software as a Service) & SOA(Services Oriented Architecture), a shrink wrapped OS package has really lost its sheen. It doesn't help that open source is being preferred by governments in many countries as well as developers worldwide.

But does Vista have anything new to offer.. Microsoft would love to make you believe that there is but the truth is that there are a lot of 'enhancements' & pretty impressive ones from what I've gathered but not a lot of new 'killer features'.

From the snapshots, the graphical UI seems to be absolutely cutting edge & hopefully will bring rich visual experiences into the mainstream. MAC cultists will go ho-hum! but we can spend aeons comparing the two.

Why is no one lining up for Vista in San Francisco?

[image source: engadget]

Monday, January 29, 2007

Web 2.0 Awards

Crazy about social networking, blogs, mashups & everything Web 2.0?
Check out the Web 2.0 awards for 2006.

Close Encounters of the Apple kind

Although my professional loyalties remain with the guys at Redmond, I have had an unabashed admiration for most of the products rolled out by Apple Computer..err..Apple Inc. I mean.

Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone in the MACWORLD Expo in San Francisco amidst an entire legion of MAC followers who do not belong to any religious cult but would be willing to take lives to get their hands on the latest uber-cool device by Apple.

The iPhone is not just another phone.. It is yet another testimony of Steve's genius & Apples larger than life vision of bringing a beautiful & magnificent piece of technology to gadget hungry markets.
The hugely popular & ubiquitous iPod which I guess has become not just a super cool digital device but a symbol of a new breed of 'digitally-wired-always-on-the-move' demographic. Apple is hoping to replicate the same kind of success that it enjoyed with the iPod.
And we have the iPhone which is a phone(duh?), an iPod & an internet device all rolled into one piece of artistic brilliance.

His Jobsness has this uncanny ability to influence even non MAC users & has a borderline hypnotic effect on all of us. His almost evangelical persona creates an illusion & hold us in awe. He gives us these shiny metal thingies which we didn't know we wanted & makes us believe that possessing it can actually transform us into 'Happy Human Beings'.. & it really does.There were hordes of mp3 players but the iPod was a far cry from all the stuff that was out there.

So what's gonna happen to the Nokias & Motorolas of the world? Well only time will tell whether Apple can hynotize mass markets or will it remain another internet enabled device that you cannot do without..

Technical deficiencies (2G, disconnect with Apples iTunes music store..) are a few but the highly intuitive user interface more than makes up for it.

Check out the snapshots.
Also check out why Apple makes us cry.

[image source: engadget]