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Monday, February 28, 2005

Friday, February 25, 2005

Has Yahoo! purchased Flickr ?

Niall Kennedy: Rumor: Yahoo! has purchased Flickr

With bloglines being bought by Ask Jeeves and Flickr being bought by Yahoo, thats two of my favourite and most used web apps being bought out. Looks like this is the big year for web applications. Whats next? Google buying out

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Location changed

I've changed my location on the About Me panel to Bangalore. No point having it to Singapore when I've been in Bangalore for the past few months. I'll change it back to Singapore when I return.

Agile India 2005

Agile India 2005 is being held in Bangalore next week. This is a conference you don't want to miss if you are in Bangalore. Registration is only Rs.500 per person for a pretty impressive speaker list. Normally these types of conferences cost many thousands of rupees. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Microsoft Shows its Security Seriousness

From Joe Wilcox: Microsoft Monitor: Microsoft Shows its Security Seriousness.

These are some pretty mindblowing announcements from Microsoft. One thing you can't accuse MS is of sleeping. Obviously they have targetted security in a really big way. I like the idea of releasing IE7 early. And Microsoft venturing into antivirus software? Sounds good, but this is an entirely new direction for them, so we need to wait and see how well they do here. I'm sure this announcement has given all the anti virus companies a bit of heartache.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Rediff interview with NASSCOM president, Kiran Karnik

Rediff has in interesting interview with NASSCOM president, Kiran Karnik. One good thing about the interview is that he cuts away at all the hype and gets down to the core of the industry. Quoting:

"Indians are merely going for software programming: it is like a car mechanic repairing cars, which is a tremendous ability. But while we can repair cars, we cannot design them! We are merely roadside mechanics," says Karnik

Friday, February 11, 2005

Carly's Gone. HP Celebrates.

[via Joanna Rothman] A stinging article on Carly's time at HP: Carly's Gone. HP Celebrates. It's kind of sad really. A once great company, now struggling for its very survival. Quoting from the article:

In the midst of the revelry, excited employees openly talked of their frustrations with Fiorina's management style, which seemed to place Wall Street expectations ahead of nose-to-the-grindstone innovation, the very bedrock upon which HP was built. This is, after all, the company that is credited with developing the first personal computer in 1968, a string of scientific calculators, and the desktop ink jet and laser printers.

Fiorina's obsession with Wall Street pushed much innovation to the side, and eventually led to a rather unsettling change in the HP work environment: the company's very first layoffs. When it was all said and done, 15,000 of the then 85,000 workers found themselves without a job by the end of 2003.

Update: Red Herring wrote an open letter to Carly Fiorina in January 2002. Here it is.

Scoble talks to Mark Jens

Scoble talks to Mark Jens, the fired Google blogger. My previous post on this topic is here.

Dave Winer on CNET's new RSS reader

Dave Winer writes about CNET's new RSS reader.

One of the cool things he mentions is that by having an RSS reader, CNET can get the RSS feeds from rival tech sites and display them on its site. Readers then visit CNET to read news from other sites. Brilliant.

This is legal of course, but I'm sure the rival sites will have a thing or two to say about it. We can expect a lot of controversy over this in the upcoming months. I'm looking forward to it :-)

Update: Fixed the broken URL

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Jason Calacanis on Bloglines acquisition

[via Scoble's linkblog] Jason Calacanis blogs about the Bloglines acquisitions. Jason is the guy who owns Weblogs, Inc, which in turn runs the popular Engadget blog.

What happened to Mark Jens

It's now confirmed the Mark Jens was fired by Google. Jaremy Zawodny (of Yahoo fame) talks to Mark. Scoble will be talking to him later on.

In case you have not been following the controversy, here is a recap:

Mark Jens, an ex-Microsoft employee was hired by Google a few weeks ago. He started a blog to blog about his life in Google. In his very first post, he posted about how Google's pay package was terrible. Needless to say, big shots in Google had a talk with him and made him remove the post (Bloglines has a cache of it). Everyone then thought that it was the end of it.

Well, as it turns out, it was not the end of it. Rumours started floating yesterday that Mark had been fired from Google for his posts. And today, its been confirmed. As suspected, the reason was the posts on his blog.

Now, Mark obviously made a mistake. You can probably say things like this in Microsoft, because they are a lot more open about blogging than Google.

But firing him for it? It would have probably been enough to get him to edit the post. This is terrible PR for Google. Google has a reputation for being a highly closed and secretive company, but now it seems that they are also highly paranoid. What is worse is that the information is probably not very secret. This kind of information will leak out anyway when employees talk with their friends over dinner. By firing him, this information is going to spead so fast that everyone is going to know about it.

Worse, they went out of the way to remove all traces of Mark Jens from Google's index. Go to Google and search for "Mark Jens". His blog used to be on the first set of results. I'm stunned.

Everything could have been solved by asking Mark to edit his post. What does Google accomplish now? They just reinforce the idea that they are paranoid and secretive. This is just such bad PR for them.

This is a case where Google could learn a thing or two from Microsoft. No matter what the evils of Microsoft are, one thing is for sure: Their open blogging policy has done them a lot of good, with Scoble leading the way.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

HP fires Carly Fiorina

Engadget reports that HP has fired Carly Fiorina. Not that this was surprising. The most recent issue of Fortune magazine has HP's troubles as the cover story and there were rumours over the last week that something like was going to happen.

Monday, February 07, 2005

New phishing attack

[via Boing Boing]

[Note: This doesn't work with IE, because IE doesn't support Unicode in domain names. The laziness of the IE team has saved them from this exploit]

First, open this page (the phished page):

Them open this page (the original):

Check the url for both. Check the link you are going to for both. Identical ? But both go to different sites.

For an explanation, click here.

Bloglines bought by Ask Jeeves

The hot news going round the blogosphere is that Ask Jeeves has bought Bloglines. I LOVE bloglines. I'm hoping that Ask Jeeves doesn't screw it up.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Enhancing Internal Communications

Nick Fink has put online a presentation titled "Enhancing Internal Communications with Blogs, Wikis, and More". One of the interesting things is that they show how blogs and wikis are used in companies like Google (its called goowiki :D).

Also check the resources slide at the end for some useful links.


If you are wondering why this blog is called "~" (tilde), the reason is because ~ denotes the home directory on unix systems. The name has caused a fair amount of confusion, and I'm thinking of changing it.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

One year old

On 30th Jan, this blog became a year old. Wow, has it been so long already? Anyway, its time to celebrate. First, thanks to Raul for getting me started on this one year ago.

Anyway, I was going through some of my old sites, when I came across my old journal site (its still up!!) where I posted (sporadically) from December 2000 up to mid 2002. It feels kind of lame now. I guess you can call it a blog, though blog was not a recognized word then. I'm getting old ("Son, back in my time there were no blogs. We manually edited HTML in notepad and FTP'd it to the server on VSNL's dial up connections.").

Also, the site for the company I used to run with my friends way back in 1998 and 1999 has been archived by the wayback machine over here. Its kind of funny, in 1998 we had these pathetic Internet connections. Anyway, someone from Singapore wanted to get a website designed for some real estate project and they found us through our website. They had no idea we were college students of course. One day, on returning from college, we found these three guys at my home (they had no idea we were college students), and we were showing them our stuff over this pathetic 9600 baud Internet connection. When they asked why it was so slow, we made up something like "We optimise your site so much that its accessible for people on 9600 and this is to test that". lol. Needless to say, we never got that project.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Google ignores web standards

The index page of the blog is now XHTML 1.0 Strict compliant.

It would be CSS2 compliant as well, except for the CSS added by blogger to get that blogger bar to appear on the top. Same thing for comments pages, where some html dynamically added by blogger breaks the standard. This sucks.

An addendum: You would think that at least Google's homepage would contain valid markup, but no. It's not even HTML 4.01 Transitional compliant, leave alone XHTML 1.0 Strict. The page is so minimal, with only a seach box, a couple of lines of text and a few images, and they can't even get that to comply. Pathetic.

This is a perfect example of example of where Postel's law (be conservative in what you send, liberal in what you accept) breaks down. It is only because browsers are so liberal that no one cares to make their website standards compliant, and this hurts interoperability in the long run (RFC 3117, Section 4.5 Robustness)

Time to take action?

Seth Godin put out a list of what he thinks were his best posts of 2004. My favourite is "Time to take action?".

The thing is, we still live in a world that's filled with opportunity. In fact, we have more than an opportunity -- we have an obligation. An obligation to spend our time doing great things. To find ideas that matter and to share them. To push ourselves and the people around us to demonstrate gratitude, insight, and inspiration. To take risks and to make the world better by being amazing.