Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dell Stepping Ahead in Smartphone Market?

Rumors are abound that Dell may be entering the smartphone market as early as next month, in order to compete with Apple's iPhone.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the PC maker has been working on a smartphone for more than a year, and that prototypes have been constructed, running Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Mobile. According to sources, one model has been built with a touchscreen (like the iPhone), and another with a slide-out keyboard (like the Palm Pre). It is currently unknown which model will be used, or whether Windows Mobile or Android will be the main OS for the smartphone.

The rumors wouldn't be far off, as Dell has recently hired Ron Garriques, previous head of Motorola's handset division.

"We haven't committed to anything," a Dell spokesman told the Wall Street Journal, meaning that the plans for a Dell-branded smartphone could still be scrapped yet, and nothing is finalized.

Dell could be getting desperate and trying to compete in this new market, as the company is losing PC market share, with a 0.9 percent year-over-year decline last quarter. Additionally, shares of the company's stock have fallen 60 percent since August. Shaw Wu, a Kaufman Brothers' analyst, has said "We believe it makes sense for Dell and other PC makers to pursue more aggressive strategies in the smart phone space".

Dell could possibly announce any news at the GSMA Mobile World Congress, which is on in mid-February. Tom Warren from Neowin will be reporting live from the MWC, so check back for more information.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Are you looking for a CRM Solution

CIO Insight in it top 10 list of open source mentions Sugar CRM, SplendidCRM, Hipergate and ConcourseSuite as the being the most popular. And of course there is 37Signals product which is offered as a hosted solution.

The full CIO Insight is here. And if you are a microsoft user, Microsoft CRM is a good option.

Also a somewhat dated article for webworkerdaily.

We do CRM Consulting so if you need any assistance feel free to contact us?

Browser War - IE8 vs Firefox vs Chrome vs Opera

This is not a review to find out which amongst these is the best browser around. It would be unwise to do such a comparison because, eventually, it boils down to personal choices, and for the same reason, there will always be controversy and related chest thumping about how "my" browser betters "yours." Therefore, this is just a rehash of the features and drawbacks of these four mainstream browsers available as of today.

Internet Explorer 8
Let us talk about the latest release initially, the Internet Explorer 8 RC 1. While it would be difficult for power users to switch back to something as mundane as IE8, folks over at Microsoft seem to have worked hard to make the browser appealing to users who have long ago ditched it and had switched to the likes of Firefox and Opera. As to how far it has succeeded in bringing back the deserters is anybody's guess. Features like web slices, accelerators, and visual search have been added, making the browser an attractive option for the average user. IE8 with its beta version was also one of the first to debut the Private Browsing mode, which back then was unavailable on the Firefox and still not available on Opera. Safari was the first to introduce Private Browsing.

However, IE8 still suffers from inherent faults that come to the fore the moment you click download. The installation exe is a mammoth 16MB file - second only to Chrome probably, which incidentally uses an online installer. The installation procedure also involves a couple of instances of restarting the computer making the process look regressive as compared to the faster approach the others have. The installation takes a good part of 10 minutes if your system happens to be up-to-date with all available Windows Updates - you better have a uber fast PC! If you do not frequently update your PC, you might as well end up with irritating messages.

So, should or rather will the power users make the switch? No way, until Microsoft rehashes the product ground up! The browser is moving in the right direction and will definitely appeal to average users who still prefer the charm of the good ol' Internet Explorer. Those used to the likes of Firefox, Chrome, or Opera will be happy to stick to their choices now.

Firefox 3
The world's second most popular browser is continuing its march to topple the gentle giant from Microsoft and has been successfully eating into IE's market share for the past few years. Major pluses for Firefox users are the variety of add-ons that make it more of an application, rather than just a browser. The version in question here is the latest stable release - version 3.0.5. The quickness of the installation procedure is evident from the moment you update it. The installation file is just over 7MB in size, making it less than half IE8's size. An ACID3 test on the browser revealed a decent score of 71/100. Note that the latest beta version, 3.1 Beta2, has added Private Browsing and some other features as well, but we're not considering it until the final version is out.

Apart from appealing to the advanced user thanks to its customization and add-ons, what makes it the choice for average users is the fast rendering and ease of use. While it might be difficult for many to be weaned away from the default Internet Explorer, most people are hooked once they start using this browser. A vast majority of tech users are Firefox users and we did see a lot of responses praising Firefox for its simplicity, security, ease of use, and not to mention, the add ons. However, Private Browsing has still not found its way in.

Opera 9.63
Another contender for the best browser around is none other than Opera. Although the market share might tell a different story, Opera is still considered by many to be the best browser around. While Mozilla users may swear about the add-ons, Opera users counter the claim by saying that Opera manages to do what most Firefox add-ons can, out of the box. Additionally, if Firefox has add-ons, Opera does come with its widgets and, not to mention, the mouse gestures. The latest stable version managed an Acid 3 score of 85/100. Opera was also touted to be the fastest browser around for the past few years and dedicated Opera fans still swear by the browser. Opera also has features like the speed dial, skins, and an entirely new browser engine.

Google Chrome
Google created a flutter in the browser circles back in September when it announced the release of the Chrome, the company's first open source browser. Months after its launch, Chrome too has managed to garner a dedicated set of users. Chrome seems to thrive on Google's concept of simplicity, and the best thing about the browser is its rather large viewing area. It does away with unwanted toolbars taking away the screen real estate. Chrome also managed to graduate to a stable version back in December, barely three months after its beta release. One thing you might not like is the installation procedure

The browser had the Incognito mode (Private mode) right from the beta stage, and has integrated the function quite neatly. The startup and load times are also fast. While Chrome is still very crude for advanced users, its open source pedigree works in its favor. Once the browser starts supporting add-ons, there are a sizable number of people ready to make the switch. There are also some users who use Chrome for its simplicity, as a barebones browser.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Google Brings Gmail Offline

The biggest drawback of Web-based software, including e-mail programs like Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Microsoft’s Hotmail, is that they don’t work when users are offline — say, while on an airplane or on the road without access to a Wi-Fi connection.

On Tuesday evening, Google made Gmail available for offline use, in what the company calls an “experimental feature.”

Google is not the first of the major Web e-mail providers to provide offline access to its service. Yahoo did it last year, though its approach requires users to download a desktop e-mail software program called Zimbra, which Yahoo acquired in 2007. (Zimbra can also be used for offline access to Gmail and AOL Mail.) Microsoft’s Windows Live Mail offers limited offline access. And Zoho, a smaller provider of Web e-mail, has provided offline access since October.

Most Web e-mail services have long allowed users to download their messages to desktop clients like Microsoft Outlook via POP or IMAP technology.

But Gmail’s new offline feature will allow users to handle their e-mail within the familiar Gmail interface, with automatic synchronization of changes when an Internet connection is available.

Offline access to Gmail from Google has long been expected. In 2007, the company introduced a set of programmer tools called Google Gears, which allow developers to adapt Web programs so they can be used offline. Google has made its blog reading service, Google Reader, and its suite of office software, Google Docs, accessible offline. It has long said that offline access to Gmail was in the works.

The new service will be in the “Labs” section of Gmail, which the company uses to introduce experimental features. And Google warns that users may run into bugs. “Offline Gmail is still an early experimental feature, so don’t be surprised if you run into some kinks that haven’t been completely ironed out yet,” Andy Palay, a Gmail engineer wrote on a company blog.

But Mr. Palay said the software had worked well inside Google. “We’ve been using offline Gmail internally at Google for quite a while,” he said. “And it’s saved me more than once when my home network connection ran into issues.”

Google said offline access to Gmail would be available to users in the United States and Britain over the next couple of days.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Outsourcing Initiatives for 2009

It is not a stretch to presume most people were happy to see 2008 come to an end, yet most analysts and experts predict 2009 is going to be worse. As we stumble into the New Year, executives are challenged with the cyclical routines of planning, budgeting, forecasting, and so forth. It is hard enough to do these tasks in normal times, but it becomes a nightmare in the uncertain economic environment we live in now, but outsourcing can help.

Given this uncertainty and chaos, it is a good time to look at outsourcing as a means to save money, propel new business ventures, and improve efficiencies. It is also a good time for companies to review, rationalize, and evolve their outsourcing programs. In light of this, the top three outsourcing initiatives for 2009 include:

1. Reviewing Deal Structures

Most current outsourcing deals and models are outdated and ineffective because they are people-based and not demand-based. Companies have a need for resources to do the work that is required; they negotiate a rate with a vendor; and determine contract durations. The contracts primarily follow a simple model: People x Rates x Duration.

It is easy to understand why a people-based model is being used today, since outsourcing (especially Indian outsourcing) grew out of the Y2K era. Companies first engaged outsourcing companies in staff augmentation models to address their Y2K needs, and hence, all subsequent outsourcing models have been people-based. While outsourcing companies have grown in leaps-and-bounds over the past three to five years in terms of their capabilities, there has been little evolution in deal structures.

People-based outsourcing contracts are the equivalent of paying rent. The rent is due each month regardless of use. In a "rental agreement" there is no mechanism or incentive to drive productivity improvements, efficiencies, higher-value-add-services, faster time-to-market, and deeper cost cutting efforts.

Demand-based contracts and models are revolutionary and will drive unbelievable results if properly implemented, executed, and governed.

2. Portfolio Rationalization

Portfolio rationalization has been one of the biggest trends in the application outsourcing market over the past two to three years. The industry has matured to a point where companies can now review their portfolio of outsourcing partners and set themselves up with better mixes of companies, countries and models. This is not an easy task, since every company is different and there is no cookie-cutter approach to finding the right mix of outsourcing partners.

Most companies delved into offshoring by tying up with two or three of the big names out of India, but there are few differentiators between these vendors and hence portfolio rationalization was borne. The vendor and country mix depends greatly on the size of the company seeking services, but in most cases, a multi-vendor mix is appropriate.

3. Cost-Cutting

The combination of hard economic times and the maturity of the outsourcing industry will force and enable companies to find new ways of cost-cutting. It is important to realize that there is no silver bullet on cost-cutting and it is equally important to understand that the biggest levers for cost-cutting are not the rates themselves.

How can companies cut costs with their outsourcing initiatives?

* Offshore to Onsite Ratios—this is by far the biggest lever in reducing the total cost of ownership of an application or suite of applications. The more roles that can be moved offshore, the more money can be saved. The industry benchmark is 80:20 (80 percent of resources offshore and 20 percent onsite), but most companies flounder with "fat" models and have too many people onsite. With mature processes and governance, there is no reason 90:10 cannot be the new benchmark. Plus, outsourcing companies make more money on offshore resources, so they will be eager to help companies reduce costs with better offshore-to-onsite ratios.
* Time-to-Market—if products and applications can be delivered faster, companies will reap the benefits sooner. To do this, IT organizations must work with their outsourcing partners on better ways to execute projects, leverage reusable components and foster knowledge-sharing.
* Quality Improvements—if products and applications can be delivered with fewer bugs and defects there will be less time and money spent on re-works. IT organizations must leverage the knowledge, experience, tools and processes of outsourcing companies.
* Productivity Improvements—productivity is married-at-the-hip to the outsourcing model being deployed between the company and the vendor. If companies embrace the demand-based models depicted earlier, real productivity gains will follow because outsourcing companies will be forced to increase productivity to control costs.
* Rates—with the rupee depreciating against the dollar and the cost-escalation coming under control in India, rates will become more competitive.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Apple Wins Patent on Multi Touch

Cnet reports that Apple has won a patent on Multi Touch and many of the innovation associated with the iphone such as Pinch and Zoom.

This will ring a warning bell for palm, blackberry and of course microsoft which is launching Multi Touch in its New Windows 7 OS. We can expect plenty of court action here as the heavies challenge the patent.

This story was brought to our attention by Richard Sarno, our New York based Iphone Geek. If you are looking to develop an iPhone app, contact Richard and he will take care of you (Ask for Richard).

You can get the full article here: CNET on Apple Multi Touch

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Notable Software Updates : Jan 2009

By Doug McLean

Default Folder X 4.1.1 from from St. Clair Software is a maintenance and stability update to the Open and Save dialog-enhancement utility. Bugs addressed include a crash when you log out or restart your Mac, an Applescript bug preventing other applications from retrieving the current URL in Firefox when Default Folder X is open, and a bug causing repeated error messages to appear in the Console regarding failed Finder queries. Also, support for Hazel has been improved by mitigating a file labeling conflict issue. ($34.95 new, free update, 10.2 MB).

QuickTime 7.6 from Apple brings several updates to the multimedia software. Changes include enhanced single-pass H.264 encoding quality, more reliable Motion JPEG media playback, heightened AAC encoding fidelity, improved export consistency for audio tracks from MPEG video files, and increased compatibility with iChat and Photo Booth. Apple has also released a separate security document detailing the accompanying bug fixes. Issues addressed mainly include maliciously crafted URLs and movie files that lead to application crashes. The update is currently available via Software Update and from Apple's Web site. (Free update, 72 MB)

Script Debugger 4.5.2 from Late Night Software is a maintenance update to the AppleScript authoring environment. Issues addressed include the Scripting Additions window failing when displaying the Leopard version of Standard Additions.osax, a series of stability bugs with the Dictionary Explorer, a Text Substitution indenting problem, and more. For more information on Script Debugger 4.5, check out Matt Neuburg's "Script Debugger 4.5 Offers Power Editing to AppleScripters" (2008-11-26). ($199 new, free update, 10.7 MB)

Cyberduck 3.1 is a significant update to the popular open-source FTP client. The new version's biggest addition is native support for uploading to Amazon CloudFront (in conjunction with Amazon S3) and Cloud Files from Rackspace - two major content distribution services. Other updates include pre-configured protocol settings for MobileMe iDisk, the capability to send commands over SSH using the Send Command function, archive and unarchive capabilities, clickable URL fields, and enhanced WebDAV interoperability. A full list of changes and enhancements is available on Cyberduck's Web site. (Free, 11.1 MB)

Mellel 2.6 from RedleX brings a host of new features to the increasingly powerful word processor. Freshly added is a sophisticated QuickLook plugin that enables users to access document quick-views that appear identical to printed versions. Also new is the Spread View feature, which displays a document's pages as they would appear in a book or magazine spread. The new version also now sports an improved statistics palette, support for automatic updates, the capability to save directly to PDFs, and smart style matching for switching between style sets. A full list of changes, improvements, and bug fixes is available on RedleX's Web site. ($49 new, free upgrades for purchases since December 2006 or $19 otherwise, 33.3 MB)

Sandvox 1.5.4 from Karelia Software is a minor maintenance update to the template-based Web site creation tool. The biggest change is added support for the JS-Kit commenting service Comments. The JS-Kit Comments service enables site administrators to foster social networks, encourage user-generated content, communicate directly with users, and provide a fully functioning commenting engine. According to Karelia's Web site, the new version apparently comes with other undisclosed changes as well, presumably minor performance enhancements or bug fixes. ($49 Regular/$79 Pro, free update, 26 MB)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Android has a new update coming called Cupcake

Android has a new update coming called Cupcake. Are you looking to jump on the Android bandwagon and have an application you want developed. If so, contact us.

Reported via

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Google Android Marketplace v/s Apple’s App Store: (GOOG, AAPL)

During its fourth quarter earnings call , Google revealed that the Android Marketplace, its app store, has 800 applications now available in it.

That's miniscule compared to Apple's (AAPL) iPhone/iPod touch App Store, which has more than 15,000 apps available.

We know quantity and quality are different things. Google didn’t go into download numbers for the 800 apps, but you can bet that’s only because the number would look even worse when compared to Apple’s 500 million downloads of iPhone apps so far.

Android better hurry in boosting its Marketplace soon, app stores from BlackBerry, Microsoft and Palm all appear to be just around the corner. We expect Android to get a major boost when more phones running the platform go on sale this year and when developers are allowed to charge for their software.

But for now, it's still a decent indication of how much more time and money software companies have spent investing so far in Apple's platform versus Google's.

AOL Mail Plugin For Google and Yahoo Mail

AOL is rolling out a new feature on its AOL Mail product: a plug-in architecture that lets users select from a library of mini-apps they can display in the right-hand sidebar of their AOL Mail session.

There are the usual suspects in the lineup: Stock price and news reading widgets, an AIM instant messenger widget (which makes a lot of sense), AOL Radio, and so on. The lineup, though, also includes widgets that let you see your GMail and Yahoo Mail in-boxes. This means you can use AOL Mail to keep tabs on messages coming at you from other sources, which could be sort of cool.

However, the mail widget integration is incomplete. If you click on a message to read it, AOL Mail has to open up a new browser window and jumps you to the message you want in the other system. So it's not full integration; AOL Mail can't actually read the messages from these other services. GMail, on the other hand, works well as a clearing house for e-mail from any other service that supports POP or IMAP access.

That snag aside, the widget experience is solid. The library of widgets is interesting, and the widgets themselves seem to function well. The platform is semi-open to developers. Documentation is freely available and the architecture is Open Social. However, developers have to submit widgets for approval to get them added to the lineup. Roy Ben-Yoseph, vice president of AOL Mail, told that the reason for this is to ensure a quality user experience as well as to make sure the widgets are breaking through any security or privacy walls in the e-mail app.

The AOL company is still working with Funambol to make sure mobile users can access all their AOL Mail data, including messages, calendar items, and to-dos.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ground Zero view from a Client office

Richard just visited a Client next door to our office and got a view of Ground Zero which he captured on his iPhone. Since we usually have a bunch of tourist there craning their head to get a better view at the construction site, I figured that there was an audience who would be interested in seeing this pitcure.

IBM and SAP coming up with Alloy - First Joint Software

IBM, the world's largest technology services company, and German software company SAP AG plan to roll out their first jointly developed software product in March, the two companies said on Monday.

The software -- called Alloy -- combines IBM Lotus Notes software with SAP Business Suite and will be sold by both companies, SAP said.

IBM Lotus and SAP have thousands of mutual customers who have been asking for the functionality that Alloy software will provide, SAP said, adding that the majority of IBM's top 100 customers also use SAP offerings.

The two companies gave no details on the price of the software or the development costs.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

BW Ranks India among top countries as outsourcing destination

Businessweek just posted some stats on which countries are favorable outsourcing countries and India ranked well - scoring 5. The only measure on which it scored poorly was infrastructure.

No. 5 (tie) - India

Total score: 38

Criterion: Rating
Language: Very good 4
Government support: Excellent 5
Labor pool: Excellent 5
Infrastructure: Fair 2
Educational system: Very good 4
Cost: Very good 4
Political and economic environment: Very good 4
Cultural compatibility: Good 3
Global and legal maturity: Very good 4
Data and intellectual property security and privacy: Good 3
Source: Gartner

Monday, January 19, 2009

Google Wants to Know Your Preferences

Google has introduced a new search feature called Preferred sites, which lets the user set his Google Web Search preferences so that his search results match his unique tastes and needs. Users have to fill in the sites they rely on the most, and results from their preferred sites will show up more often when they're relevant to your search query.

However, the preferred sites feature is only activated while you're signed in at your Google Account. No one else sees your customized search results or what you've marked as your preferred sites.

Once you have signed in, you can edit your preferred sites at the bottom of the Google Preferences page, which you can access by clicking the Preferences link next to the search box on Google uses your web history and other information from your Google Account to suggest sites that it thinks you might like to include; you can select from these suggestions or enter the URLs of other sites. When you're done with editing your preferred sites, you have to save your preferences.

Once you've added preferred sites, you'll see the label 'My preferred site' next to results from these sites in your search results.

To remove a site from your list of preferred sites, click the Remove link next to the site's URL on the Google Preferences page and save your preferences.

Docstoc: Web Based Alternative for My Documents

How about just uploading the files you want to exchange through your web browser? How about sharing your photos with your friends?

In this Jet age everyone is looking for such kind of quick solutions for document sharing and there are ‘N’ number of companies claim to provide these services only. The most important issue to be addressed is security i.e. “What is the safe and easy way to share confidential information on web”?

Docstoc solves the problem with an integrated solution. It combines the best of email, Adobe Acrobat and a document management systems to enable users to share and collaborate in a simple and secure way.

Main Features of Docstoc application following:

  • You can upload any document from your desktop in just few clicks
  • All documents on docstoc can be easily searched, previewed and downloaded for free.
  • The documents can be categorized into Legal, Business, Financial, Educational, Technology, Creative and Buzz.
  • Docstoc MyDocs lets you store all your documents (.doc, .xls, .ppt, .pdf) in your own online folders for anytime, anywhere access.
  • DocStoc make automatic backups of your documents online

For Private Documents:

Docstoc’s ‘My Docs’ feature allows user to upload documents and keep it private. The documents status can be set to public use, which will allow other Docstoc users to download the file. The Documents can be shared via email or embedded into a blog or a website.

Uploading documents from desktop to Docstoc

One of the best features of Docstoc is ‘Docstoc Sync’ a free application, which will allow users to sync documents from desktop to ‘My Docs’. The documents can be easily published to ‘Docstoc Public Documents’ folder by setting the permission to Public Use. To upload a document, users need only drag their files into the special folder, and sync will automatically upload the doc to the user’s linked Docstoc profile. You have the option to keep them private or publish them publicly on Docstoc by putting then in your “Docstoc Public Documents” folder from your desktop.

Email Publishing

If you have a Docstoc account registered to your email address, all you have to do is send the document you want uploaded as an email attachment to It’s the fastest way to upload a document to the Web. Once it’s been successfully uploaded, you receive a confirmation email with a link to the Webified document. Docstoc turns Word files, PDFs, Powerpoints, and other documents into a Flash embed.

So it is truly said that “Docstoc Brings ‘My Documents’ Replacement To The Web”.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Google Gets Serious About Resellers

Google is opening the doors to resellers for its Google Apps suite of office services. Businesses who want to use Gmail, Google docs and other Google offices services in lieu of Microsoft or other solutions will be able to sign up at Google or through any qualified value added reseller that chooses to carry the products.

Google says that more than 1 million businesses and 10 million users use Google Apps today, and 3,000 new businesses sign up daily. The largest business user, Genentech, has 20,000 employees on Google Apps.

The service is free for businesses that are willing to put up with ads, little customer service and relatively low storage limits. The premium version is $50/user/year. Most of the 10 million users are using the free version of the service, but Google says "hundreds of thousands" of users are paying for the service.

Resellers will be given the service at a 20% price reduction, or $40/user/year. Anything they charge above that is profit.

The reseller pilot program has been running for the last six months or so, Google says, with over fifty active partners. New resellers can sign up now and begin selling in March.

Google Apps competes with Yahoo's Zimbra and Microsoft Outlook/Exchange Server for corporate office customers. All of the services have had high profile customer wins in the recent past.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Skyhook SDK Helps Pinpoint Android Phones' Location

In the contest between the iPhone and the Android phone, the iPhone beats the Android hands down on with its near pinpoint location accuracy. However, the Android should be able to catch up because the same hybrid positioning technology offered by Skyhook Wireless is now available to developers.

Announced Wednesday, Skyhook's new SDK includes Android support. While most popular phone and PC location systems can take two to three minutes for a location fix, Skyhook combines its proprietary database Wi-Fi Positioning System with cell phone towers and public Wi-Fi access points to create quick and accurate positioning results.

"A quick location fix is actually critical to many location apps like social networking, local search, and advertising," Skyhook CEO Ted Morgan said in an e-mail. "Anything more than a couple of seconds is unacceptable."

The new SDK is 75% smaller than earlier versions, enabling it to take up a small space in handsets. The Skyhook system detects Wi-Fi access points and then compares them against a database of geo-located points that the company updates daily.

Morgan noted that the standard Android location platform today struggles to find location, particularly in urban areas and indoors. Highly accurate location technology is becoming increasingly important in social networking situations in which individuals seek to locate other users quickly and accurately.

Developers can license the Skyhook SDK on a per-unit, per-user basis. Skyhook's ad partners also are included in ad revenue share models. No new hardware is required for Skyhook's system, which works indoors and outdoors. The new SDK is available for a variety of phones and mobile operating systems.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gmail’s New Feature - Send & Archive

Yet another new feature in Gmail Labs to report: a “send and archive” button, that, when enabled (from the “Labs” page under “Settings”), allows you to reply to a thread and have it immediately archived.

Like all archived messages, these threads will still be available in the “All Mail” folder of Gmail, which also includes labeled messages that you filter out of the Inbox.

One important feature still missing from “Send & Archive” is an “Undo,” so you can move a message back to the Inbox without having to go into the All Mail view, as you can currently do when you archive something from elsewhere in Gmail. On the Gmail blog, the engineer who built the feature indicates that this will be available “in the coming weeks.”

Turn on "Send & Archive" from the Labs tab under Settings, and you'll see a new button in the compose form labeled “Send & Archive”. The button does what it says: it sends your reply and then archives the thread with one click.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CIO Magazine List of 15 Must Read Books for IT pros

CIO Magazine published a list of 15 Essential Books - none of which I personally have read.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Review on Microsoft Windows SharePoint Server - WSS

Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 is a versatile technology that organizations and business units of all sizes can use to increase the efficiency of business processes and improve team productivity. With tools for collaboration that help people stay connected across organizational and geographic boundaries, Windows SharePoint Services gives people access to information they need.

SharePoint websites allow users to contact, communicate and share information in a fast and efficient way. It is designed as a central location for all departments’ information. Hence, parties involved may share internal information or task documents, contact lists, discussions and more by clicking their own computers. SharePoint Hosting is useful intranet portal developed by Microsoft.

WSS Web Hosting has the features that allow users to develop websites for information sharing and document collaboration, to speed up either individual or team productivity. Windows SharePoint Hosting sites bring file storage to next level, providing communities for team collaboration and empowering users to collaborate on documents, tasks, contacts, events, and other information.

Windows SharePoint Services give team or site manager hassle free features to manage site contents and personnel’s activities. The design is meant for a simple and flexible deployment, administration and application development.

Built on Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Windows SharePoint Services also provides a foundation platform for building Web-based business applications that can flex and scale easily to meet the changing and growing needs of your business. Robust administrative controls for managing storage and Web infrastructure give IT departments a cost-effective way to implement and manage a high-performance collaboration environment. With a familiar, Web-based interface and close integration with everyday tools including the Microsoft Office system, Windows SharePoint Services is easy to use and can be deployed rapidly.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Outsourcing, a recession proof tool to deal with global financial collapse

Year 2008, begining of global recession. Everywhere - newspapers, radio, TV, Internet - you hear and see these words "Global Meltdown", "Recession". Experts call it a financial collapse.So the demand of the situation is to find out the ways to reduce the expenses with minimum losses for business. I strongly believe that Outsourcing your projects to third world countries where the experts are available in cheap can be a good remedy to save oneself from the claws of global recession.

Offshor Outsourcing can solve the problems resulting from the current situation.This is the time when ompanies are trying to get rid of extra costs, including employee base and the expenses paid to the outsourcing company are far less than those connected with keeping your own employees completing the same task.

Outsourcing has always been fruitful to those who opted for it and in the current financial situation companies realize the necessity of outsourcing more than ever. Offshore Outsourcing is emerging as recession-proof business tool. The use of remote, lower cost offshore resources to deliver ITO and BPO services continued to grow during this global crisis.

Even Outsourcing Companies have started a new strategy to compete with recession by increasing the working time of the staff, higher the quality of out put and reduce the out put time.From now on businesses will only be in need of IT that can deliver true value in terms of business performance".

New Poll also shows that Recession Would Not Impact Global Outsourcing Trend. TROY, Mich. -- Syntel, Inc. (NASDAQ:SYNT), a global information technology services and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm, surveyed 373 Fortune 1000 IT executives of global companies on their views of the global outsourcing industry. Syntel asked participants to select one of three responses to this poll question:

"With talk of recession in the U.S., do you think:

  • Offshore outsourcing demand would remain strong
  • Offshore outsourcing would be mildly impacted
  • Offshore outsourcing would be negatively impacted

The results were: demand would remain strong: 60%

To sum up, outsourcing industry will probably be the most 'surviving' sphere these tough days due its high necessity for companies that want their business running smoothly.

Google Helping Bloggers with Data Portability

If you want to move your blog to another publishing platform, then it can be possible with Google now. Google has made it easier for you. Last Friday, the Data Liberation Team announced the Google Blog Converters project on their Open Source Blog.

Google made data portability a lot easier for Blogger users a month ago and with this announcement it appears they are offering easier portability solutions to WordPress, Movable Type, and LiveJournal users as well.

Friday's release provides Python libraries and runnable scripts that convert between the export formats of the above platforms. Future plans include synchronization tools between services that don't offer import/export features as well as support for BlogML.

Google has also released templates for hosting the conversions on Google App Engine.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Leading Outsourcing Firm Satyam's Scam

One of the best leading outsourcing companies “Satyam” which has been serving for various banks, manufacturers, health care and media companies in the world, handling everything from computer systems to customer service puffed up its earnings and assets for many years. It has been the third of the 5000 companies back before the disclosure. After the disclosure about the company's balance sheet of the puzzle with false assets having a $1billion hovel which can not be obscured any more. Due to this, India's enormous outsourcing industry has been shaken up. This may force many large companies worldwide to investigate and perhaps give a face-lift their back offices. It is said that the contract to save the company has finally ruined and can't be uncleared any way.

Chairman Ramalinga Raju brought this into vision after resigning that he had forged accounts when the company was started from a very few employees into a back office. It has now grown to a big strength of 53,000 employees and has operation into 66 countries. According to the chairman it was a small inconsistency which didn't came into his hands and grew like an unwanted wild bush. Also he compared this to “It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten”.

Satyam till date was listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2001. It was audited by Price Waterhouse Coopers(PWC). According to the analysts, the exposure which were matched up with Enron scandal, can lead to have impact on India's outsourcing industry. This will have a major impact on Satyam's business with its clients. Satyam clients have included General Electric, General Motors and the U.S. Government. Also in some cases Satyam is answerable for clients’ accounting. But now very soon there will be lot of Satyam's clients migrating to competitors like Infosys, TCS and Wipro, according to analysts.

All this has raised questions on the synchronized failure to notice in India and beyond.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Series Of Netbook from Asus

Year 2008 was of great success and rapid growth for Asus. This year Consumer Electronic Show was started by Asus with a pre-show briefing which displayed touchscreen, netbooks, notebooks and many other digital home devices.

Today Asus has best variants of netbooks and notebooks. It has approx 10 netbooks primarily the EeePC family. It is expected that the company will very soon be adding a glamorous, 12-inch netbook called the S121 and a touch-equipped convertible tablet, called the EeePC T91 Touch Screen to its listing. EeePC T91 is its first netbook having tablet capabilities. Also it has the capability to operate images. It is also having touch capabilities and weight about 2lbs. Since the EeePC T91 is having built-in GPS and features both a TV tuner and FM transmitter, it can manipulate maps too. It is about 1-inch in thickness. Asus is keeping an eye on the convertible netbook which will be floated by Gigabyte for quite some time now.

Asus has selected to use 8.9 inch widescreen display inspite of the most frequently used 10-inches one. Asus will use SSD and spinning hard drive so as to get storage capability of 52GB. Also it offers various colors and runs the Windows XP Home package having 1 GB memory and Intel Atom platform. It is also supposed to support Windows 7.

These new generation netbooks is a multi-touch network and is a superset of the original tablet PC. Some indefinite plans are there to add the utility for other operating systems like Linux.

For the time being S121 is a more luxurious netbook and due to its this feature it doesn't carry the EeePC moniker. It is having thickness of 0.75-inch and the weight is 2.6 pounds along with 12-inch widescreen. The screen is having the resolution of 1,280*800 and is backed by LED. It is having twin batteries which provide life of 10 hours and has 128GB SATA solid-state drive. The only netbook trait that the S121 really has is that it runs the Intel Atom platform. It is expected that its cost will be in the range of $1,649 and will be inaugurated in the end of this month. Additions such as the leather palm rests, the edge-to-edge glass, and Swarovski crystals on the hinge are Asus engineering at its best. It is also predicted that it will be having touch based offerings which will hit the shelves in three to six month.

Asus has given the demo of N20 touch screen and M50 notebooks. N20 is expected to have company's AI Touch Media software so as to allow navigation in media by touching only.M50 has 4.3- inch widescreen display below the keyboard. Its keyboard has many widgets like calendar, text messaging, or e-mail. These widgets on keyboard help in easy access to key applications without wasting power. With sharing of notebook's main memory, it is possible to launch a movie in the small screen and project in the larger one. Also the users don't have to wait for the booting of the main computer to view the smaller screen.

Two more thing about Eee keyboard which improve the digital home experience are that :

-> It is the first wireless media center which is enabled by ultra wideband HDMI and though it looks like keyboard but in fact its a computer.
-> Also the "keyboard" connects to any existing displays like monitors, HDTVs, or projectors, and weighs less than 2lbs. So it turns the TV into a large display so as to display photos or a fully functional PC.

According to Asus the M50 notebook is two separate notebooks in one chassis.

Temporarily Eee Top is a touch-screen interface planned for connecting family members throughout the home. Not only this, it will also allow to write digital post-it notes with stylus but also will add in the enhanced Opera browser with touch capabilities. The longest tenured models, the elegant Lamborghini media center is also being brought up-to-date by Asus. The Lamborghini VX5 features a new 16-inch design and a quad core processor. Its 16-inch widescreen is consistent to the 16-by-9 form factors of the HP HDX16t, the Acer Aspire 8930G-6723, and the Sony VAIO VGN-FW198UH on dubbing. It has the resolution of 1080p, or 1,920 x 1,080. VX5 keeps hold of ancestor VX3 as it has leather stitching on the palm rests, signature Lamborghini logo, and carbon fiber black finish features inherited. Inspite of these it has the characteristics to include an illuminated keyboard, WiMax onboard, and ExpressGate – a Linux environment that boots in about 8 seconds. VX5 has capability to combine the top-of- the-line Intel Core2 Duo. Also VX5 will be having the option for TV tuner and latest discrete GPU.

Asus is also proposing a mobile quad-core processor, Dual SATA hard drives for capacity of up to 1 Terabyte.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Picasa for Mac

Google is going to release a beta version of Picasa for Mac OS X, helping Apple fans catch up to Windows and Linux users already employing the free tool for editing, cataloging, and uploading photos. Picasa is a photo organizer, A photo editor, A web-savvy photo sharing and management system in just one small package.

Google previously offered both a standalone Picasa Web Albums uploader and an iPhoto plugin for Mac users, Picasa for Mac finally brings all of the advanced sharing and sync features of Picasa to the millions of Mac OS X users who use Picasa Web Albums. Not to mention the "it-slices-and-dices" feature list that covers everything from color balance to collages.

It is believed that mac version and features in Picasa 3 for windows are very much similar. Though google has been scrambling to include some secondary features such as geotagging and the ability to get photos printed, the core abilities of Picasa are still present.

With Picasa editing and printing photos, making collages and movies, adding labels is also possible. Along with this it is also possible to add star ratings and tags. If anybody wants to upload images to the Picasa on-line Web Albums site and hence make sharing possible then it can also be done with Picasa easily.

According to Google, in building Picasa for Mac, they have tried to make sure it plays well with iPhoto. Picasa takes a special read-only approach to editing photos stored in the iPhoto library, duplicating files as needed, so ones iPhoto library isn't ever affected when one use Picasa.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Technology Trends of 2009

Every body wishes to get new things whether it is in accessories, clothings, jewelry trends or in technology. So let us discuss the expected things from technology this new year. All of us know Vista was a great failure in 2008 but Microsoft is working hard on its successor now, i.e,Windows 7. If the final thing in hand will be the beta version then it will be a great thing and the efforts will lead to good fruit. It will support native reading and writing Blu-ray discs. It will provide a new platform for interaction with removable devices and support virtual hard Drive images. Also it is expected to have better backup and restore mechanisms. New version will have Seamless audio transfers to Bluetooth 2.1 audio devices. Along with this, there will be inbuilt support for many GPS positioning sensors. It is also said that the new Windows 7 will be better in remote computing too which will facilitate in accessing your desktop from anywhere in the world. Windows 7 will have UAC with simpler, clearer and fewer messages. Despite of these it will also have faster booting and shutdown.

PC memory is such a thing which is always more in demand.. It has gone down the trend in cost last year but its expected that similar trend won't be there this year. According to the drift of last year it is likely to have 4GB memory by the end of 2009 as mainstream and the servers are expected to get 8GB modules or even higher than that. However, since 4GB is the limit for 32-bit versions of Windows, and applications have limitations for the maximum amount of memory they can use effectively, we would like to be cautious and refrain from speculating whether they will become popular or not. Because of the above fact, it will be a waste to run in dual or three channel configuration using larger modules when 32-bit OS cannot access it. Now a days CPUs have also started moving to DDR3 and DDR2 but it is likely to be phased out by the end of this year because the memory controller is on CPU. Previously this feature was with AMD but now Intel has jumped onto the movement along with Core i7. It is also said that the forthcoming AM3 from AMD will keep on supporting DDR2 memory along with DDR3 but in-spite of this it is expected that maximum market-share will belong to Intel. Actually chip-set never matters for any kind of memory to be supported. As the Core i7 supports three channel memory, so there will be memory kits with three matched memory sticks in the market in year 2009.

Processors is such a field in which there is always something to do new and it is the most important field for computing too. At the end of year 2008 Intel launched Core i7 previously named as Nehalem. As per Intel's “tick tock” model, Nehalem is a "tock", 2009 will be a "tick", this means that a new fabrication process will be used. The motive of this processor was to have high performance servers. Now in the second half of this new year it is expected that its desktops and laptop versions will be available. The biggest architectural advance Intel was Pentium4 made in 2000 and was known as Heralded. Its architecture is scalable from two to eight cores. It uses Hyper Threading technology. Right now it is only on few Pentium and Xeon processors, allowing two threads per core. It provide improved performance per clock speed with energy efficiency. It also provided better sleep facility with Turbo mode. Cores didn't consume any power in this mode and hence could be shut down completely while the predecessors used to consume power. So to avail improved and better performance for applications which do not support multi-threading, Core i7 boosts up the clock speed of the left out cores but retaining the chip within the design power consumption limits. On the failure of IDF 2007 it was observed that Tukwila wafer was based on 32 nm and in this coming year it will be introduced for desktop processors.

Also as there will be improvement in Intel processor this year similarly there is an expected improvement scope in AMD processors. It has been specified that there will be soon a change in 45nm technology. AMD is going to be shifted on Socket AM3 (45 nm)which was expected to be released in December 2008 but will be released this year in January 2009 because of the scheduled release of socket AM2+ processors in the first week of this month. It will be having two pins less than AM2 i.e there will be 938 pins in total. Because of this change in socket older processors become incompatible with the new socket. It has also been declared by AMD that AM3 processors feature memory controller supporting both DDR2 and DDR3. Also AMD will take along six-core processors so as to join its triple-core and quad-core phenomena parts. Contrasting Intel, they refuse to go along rating and promoting processors according to clock speeds.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Power your Imagination with WordPress 2.7

The first thing that comes in notice is how the interface is when one uses an application. And this is the most noticeable thing in the latest version of Wordpress 2.7. This Wordpress 2.7 is much faster than the other previous versions. It is available in two formats and is also known as “Coltrane”. In it every screen is customizable.

In WordPress 2.7 small layout changes are bit by bit applied. Some elements like multiple dashboards are directly implemented to or so there is nothing to worry if the changes are not deflected/reflected the same time you apply them. All the amendments made in the 2.7 version are as a result of the combined effect of the usability testing performed on the 2.5 version and Crazyhorse

After implementing latest version 2.7, it will be possible to drag and drop or show and hide many UI elements. So this Coltrane offers a good interface flexibility. WordPress Version 2.7 consisted of bugfixes, feature enhancements, and security fixes. Moreover it also provides with the facility of automatic up-gradation.

Features of Wordpress 2.7
  1. Dashboard Redesign. The new design is based on usability eye-tracking tests.
  2. Sticky posts. Enables to keep a post pinned to the top of home page.
  3. Single Insert Media button. This media button automatically figures out what type of media is being uploaded.
  4. Quick In-line Editing. It is done with the help of AJAX Technology to edit posts without fully refreshing the page.
  5. Comments API. It updates and moderates the comments from mobile device.
  6. Dashboard comment replies. It replies to comments directly from the Dashboard.
  7. Threaded comments. It allow users to thread their comments. Threading helps in understanding the conversation.
  8. Keyboard Shortcuts. It is similar to the abundance of shortcuts in Google Reader.
  9. Automatic plug-in install in browser. It facilitates to install new plug-ins directly from within your blog, rather than using FTP.
More features that can be added in Wordpress 2.7
  1. Automatic upgrades.
  2. Web host updating.
  3. Security.
  4. Media.
  5. WordPress as Hub.
  6. BackPress.
  7. Fashion + Tattoos.
  8. Year of Themes.
  9. Screencasts.
  10. WordPress TV.
At A1 Technology we will add QuickPress, comment threading, paging, and the facility to reply to comments from your dashboard, the facility to install any plug-in directly from with a single click, and sticky posts etc. Our team promises you to meet all the standards of art publishing and deliver you the best.