Saturday, February 28, 2009

CBS App Lands In Apple iTunes Store

CBS is bringing television to Apple's iPhone and iPod touch with a new, free application available in the iTunes store.

The iTunes app brings a limited number of television shows to the iPhone, including "The Late Show with David Letterman" and "Star Trek." App users also will have access to CW shows and six programs from Showtime.

Users can browse through the content that is currently available and keep their eyes open for more content as CBS continues to fill its library.

Customization is possible with keywords creating a personalized feed of content that is delivered directly to the smartphone via the application.

As smartphones and mobile devices continue to mature, pushing television shows to them seems like a natural move for content producers., devices like the Slingbox and Netflix's oft-discussed move to a streaming video model show that customers are more interested in viewing content at their leisure and on a device of choice.

With the iPhone's Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities bringing television to the device, the question of whose screen is big enough not to make viewing a strain is a no-brainer.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Paid Android Apps Banned On unlocked G1 phone

The sad information about HTC G1 phone users ,who are using the HTC G1 phone $400, unlocked version is that they can't run paid android applications from the Android.Mobile developers who purchased an unlocked HTC G1 phone from Google in Google's Android developer program costing $25 to join,discovered such thing this week.

Earlier to this HTC G1 phone device allows users to access a special folder where paid Android applications and copy protected android applications are stored for regular customers who may be interested in breaking the copy-protection on those applications.

Google is banning users of the HTC G1 phone unlocked version from viewing copy-protected android applications, including the paid apps.Google says it is blocking paid apps access on unlocked developer phones to prevent piracy of apps.

In order to minimize unauthorized copy of the applicationsNow google is not distributing copy protected applications to these phones .But Google said in a statement that these phones give developers of handset software full permissions to all aspects of the device.

This is a big problem for everyone who has a Dev phone.After this announcement, users of the unlocked phones reported on the forums that they could no longer access apps like Shazam and Calorie Counter, prompting the response from Google.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Google Apps Engine now has a paid model


  • $0.10 per CPU core hour of computing
  • $0.10 per GB of inbound traffic and $0.12 per GB of outbound traffic
  • $0.15 per GB of data stored by the application
  • $0.0001 per email sent by the application

Full Details are here: 

A longer write up on google apps engine  and how google can make it useful  is at: 


Google Toolbar 6 With Quick Search Box

Known for its new innovations google has come up with a new Google Toolbar 6 for Internet Explorer(beta).The main motive behind this is making search more easy and accessible, also to improve search suggestions, Google Bookmarks, Autofill, and Custom Buttons and gadgets.

The new feature of Google Toolbar 6 (beta) consist Quick Search Box (QSB)feature that provides search functionality outside of the browser. A mouse click or a control-space shortcut invokes its popup dialog for searching the web (with suggestions), local bookmarks, and even applications.In brief we can say, QSB is fairly smart, able to identify applications by abbreviations (WMP) and clearly present suggestions.

If you want to keep Google in your browser, QSB (and suggestions) can be turned off with a simple right-click.

Toolbar 6 beta is loaded with built-in suggestions and sponsored links. Suggestions are highlighted with bold type, and sponsored links appear at the bottom of the suggestion drop-down window.

For accessing toolbar click on the Google logo in the taskbar or for quicker access use the Ctrl+Space shortcut. As you type, it will provide search and website suggestions, relevant bookmarks, and even allow you to launch applications directly from the search box.

One more feature of Google's Toolbar 6 beta is a new page layout for blank tabs that shows thumbnails of your most visited pages. As now a days every browser is providing similar things to make more use of blank browser tab pages,But Google innovated here a little by displaying not just your most-visited sites, but also the three most recently closed tabs.Which is a fresh and news for all users.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Microsoft to launch experimental search site

In the next several months Microsoft expects to launch an experimental search site called Viveri, designed to allow the company's researchers to easily roll out new search ideas.

Currently, it's difficult for researchers to try out their ideas in the real world, said Robert Rounthwaite, software architect at Microsoft Research. He showed off Viveri on Tuesday in Redmond, Washington, at the company's annual TechFest event, where researchers demonstrate and discuss their latest developments.

Microsoft researchers working on new search technologies will be able to quickly and easily load their developments on Viveri and anyone in the public can try them out. After an initial spike in users, Rounthwaite expects that a regular set of technology enthusiasts will continue to use the site because they'll be interested in experimenting with new developments.

The site will serve Live Search results and is being built using Silverlight, Microsoft's technology for designing online user interfaces.

Rounthwaite expects that initial innovations will be rolled out in a staggered fashion, but he showed off a few that users can expect to see.

One technology aims to better deliver search results from vertical search engines. When a user types a search item into the field, a typical list of results pops up. But on the right hand side of the screen several boxes appear. Each box contains results from within a specific domain that is relevant to the search term. The domain could be, for instance,, Craigslist, Consumer Reports or WebMD, depending on relevancy.

One problem with that idea is that some of those sites don't use standard query mechanisms so Microsoft can't return results. Rounthwaite optimistically said that if the sites knew that Microsoft was hoping to deliver such information, they'd make the necessary changes to be included.

Another test feature is a box that appears at the top of the right column that includes related search terms scattered around the box in bold multicolored text. Microsoft hopes that users will be more apt to see and click on those terms than if they were arranged in a simple list.

The researchers are also working on a new take on the "similar pages" link that appears in Google search results. Rather than using that vague description, the researchers have developed a way to display a more specific phrase. For example, if a user searches for "Disney," rather than seeing a link to similar pages, the user will see specific search phrases like "Disneyland" in highlighted text. Clicking on that word will bring up a new search specific to Disneyland.

Rounthwaite couldn't say specifically when the site will go live, but he said he expects it to launch some time this summer.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gmail Add-Ons

Gmail is part of Google Apps, the Internet giant's software package that includes e-mail, calendar, documents, spreadsheets and sites (a wiki). Anyone can get a free Google Apps account by singing up for Gmail, while businesses can buy a premier edition for $50 per user per year.

Google has added new features to its Gmail service during the past couple months that make the Web-based e-mail service more business-friendly and versatile. Here's a look at free add-ons that could really improve your usual Gmail routine.

You can install the following add-ons with either version (free or paid) of Gmail. To add them, you must first go to Gmail Labs. To access Gmail Labs, click on the green beaker in the upper right hand corner of your Gmail inbox (it appears next to the "settings" tab).

1. Offline Gmail :
With offline Gmail, you can write and read e-mails. Messages that you compose while offline will be stored in your outbox and automatically sent next time you connect to the Internet.

2. Gmail Inboxes :
This tool basically adds more inboxes, or window panes, to your main Gmail inbox. These boxes can contain e-mails related to frequent search terms that you use. You can also match them to labels that you create to help organize your Gmail messages. For instance, if you have a label for "Travel," you can create a pane that lists your travel messages. This add-on can be helpful if you're hoping to have a front-and-center visual of certain e-mails and don't want to have to keep searching for them.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Laptop Ordered!

I went with the XPS 16 build, because even though it puts off a bit more heat than latitude or inspiron, i like the chip combo's a lot better.

I upgraded to the new DDR3 memory chips, its supposedly 30% faster than the DDR2 chips! So im psyched about that

I did upgrade to the better "P" class processor. I didn't want to upgrade to the faster "T" series because even though the performance is better, it drains the battery faster. I stuck with the 6cell battery because the upgrade was too much money.

Then i downgraded to the smaller 320gig harddrive, because the 500gig drive was at the slower 5400 data read rate.

There was a $250 screen upgrade to a better screen, but i dont watch movies on my laptop so i didnt bother.

After all was said and done i got it for $1,300 with free shipping from

Here are the custom specs:

Quantity Item Description

1 Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 (3MB cache/2.53GHz/1066Mhz FSB)
1 Obsidian Black with Leather Accent
1 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1067MHz (2 Dimms)
1 Edge-to-Edge HD Widescreen 16.0 inch WLED LCD (1366x768) W/2.0 MP
1 ATI Mobility RADEON® HD 3670 - 512MB
1 320GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
1 Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-bit
1 Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9, Multiple Languages
1 8X DVD+/- RW(DVD/CD read/write) Slot Load Drive
1 High Definition Audio 2.0
1 Intel® 5300 WLAN Wireless-N (3x3) Mini Card
1 No Microsoft Office
1 No Security
1 6-cell Battery
1 1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis
1 No ISP requested
1 Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth Module (2.1+EDR)
1 Edge-to-Edge HD Widescreen 16” WLED LCD (1366x768)in Black w/2MP Webcam
1 Intel® Centrino™ 2
1 Windows Vista™ Premium

If anyone has any experience with any of these features, drop me a comment here!

Friday, February 20, 2009

How to Start a company

T.A. McCann from Gist whose product I am currently testing has a post on his blog (which I discovered via the Gist Newsfeed) on doing a startup. This is a compelling presentation as he has a background as an entrepreneur and VC. I would not change anything about this presentation except possibly recommending that all startups look at A-1 Technology for their software development services :).

T.A. McCann - 0-25mph for startups

Yahoo offers iPhone-like Web for Masses

Yahoo announced a new mobile service on Tuesday that will deliver an iPhone-like experience for people who cannot or will not splash out for the iconic but pricey Apple device as times get hard.

Yahoo Mobile will launch at the end of March in a form downloadable to any phone with a Web browser and from May in custom versions for hundreds of smartphones.

"There is a growing number of consumers out there who are not Apple iPhone users but want a rich starting experience," Marco Boerries, the head of Yahoo's mobile division, told Reuters in an interview.

Yahoo will also launch a version of Yahoo Mobile, designed to be a starting point for users to access the Internet, for the iPhone itself at the end of March. A test version for a limited number of public users is going live this week.

Yahoo Mobile offers a front page with colorful, boxy icons resembling the iPhone's for launching popular applications such as a Web browser, mail, news, weather and social network sites like Facebook.

Users also have the option to easily add any software or Web sites they choose to download on their phones.

The company plans in coming months to promote Yahoo Mobile via a series of 70 major operator partnerships it has struck to reach 850 million mobile subscribers around the globe.

Fifty of those partnerships already offer Yahoo services and the company expects the rest to adopt Yahoo Mobile in coming months, Boerries said.


Photo storage..

I label myself an authority on this subject, so i thought i would post about that.

Ok so i often show my photos off to people, and they are like "whoah you are you of your effing mind .." or "jesus dude how do you do all this" or some other similar reaction. A lot of people ask how i keep it all in order.

So to share my secrets, and reveal my severe case of OCD ... here it is! My entire process!!

Firstly, for every photo you see that i took, i probably took about 20 or more! For Valentines day i posted 39 amazing photos i have ... those were cherry picked from a total of 130 pics i took! The rest got trashed for whatever reason.

Ok so lets use those pics as an example. So i have these 39 pics ...

1st thing i do is upload into a new Picasa album. If you dont know what Google Picasa is, go google it because its amazing. The reason i use Picasa for photo storage/sharing is because it does not reduce the size of your images! It allows you to retain the original high resolution. This makes it not only a source for sharing photos, but it becomes an excellent online backup of your entire collection!

2nd, i usually share the photo. This is when a lot of people will either see an email from me, or a post on myspace or facebook, or one of my blogs. You might get just one photo i really think is great, or a link to the entire Picasa album.

Now comes the OCD ...

My entire photo collection is stored on my laptop. I keep a folder called "Photos" and within this folder is a zillion sub-folders titled after the occasion. For the above pics, i named the folder "Isabellas first valentines day 2.14.09".

This "Photos" folder containing all of my photos, is backed up to an 500gb external hard drive on my home server.

Then the entire folder is uploaded to my web server as a data backup.

Then i have one 8gb flash drive i use to store all of my daughters photos, and 1 flash drive i use for all other photos. I keep them separated because my daughters pics take up too much room to share with the rest of my photos.

THEN once every 3 months i burn ALL photos to CD so i can store a backup. I burn multiple copies, and give them to a few different people. In the end, i have a copy of the CD's, my mother has a copy of the CD's, and my brother in law has a copy of the CD's. I do this because if god forbid anything happens to me, i know my daughter will always have her fathers amazing photo collection and enjoy them forever.

So there you have it! In the end i have 5 redundant backups of all data, and 3 different people have a copy of all of my data.

It sounds like a lot of work, and i guess it is a bit nutty .. but honestly it takes about 1 hour per week once a system is down. I do all of this because I feel so attached to my photos and it scares me to death that i will lose my data, or that my family wont have them to enjoy 50 years from now.

There you have it. If you have a method or system, let me know! I would definitely not mind adding another layer to the safety of my collection LOL

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Google Sync - Team Effort of Google and Microsoft

Google and Microsoft have teamed up to let Google Calendar and Google Contacts users sync their data with an iPhone, without the need for Apple's help, via a utility called Google Sync. Google is using Microsoft's ActiveSync technology to provide--for free--the same over-the-air synchronization that Apple's MobileMe charges $100-a-year for.

No longer is iTunes necessary as an intermediary between the worlds of Google Apps and iPhones.

Besides an iPhone, you can also sync your iPod Touch, Blackberry, and some Nokia and Sony/Ericsson handsets using the Google service. There is also good news for the people who own Windows Mobile devices--they can sync, too.

This deal is probably most attractive to Windows users who have chosen Google Apps over Microsoft Office. These people get the most benefit and that may bring some undecideds among their ranks over to iPhone ownership.

Mac users who find the OS X Address Book and iCal to their liking will likely stay with MobileMe, though the new Google/Microsoft sync offering might cause Apple to rethink its pricing strategy. But Apple hardly ever lowers its prices in response to competition.

More likely is that Apple might actually turn MobileMess, as some people called it in the wake of major roll-out problems last fall, into something that works better and does more than today's limited feature set.

Syncplicity, DropBox, and Microsoft Live Sync also offer Mac and PC synchronization. It's great that synchronization is finally getting the attention it deserves. People today generally use computers and portable devices and they would be able to get the benefit of carrying the same information, especially address and calendar information, notes and files too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

India's Budget for 2009-2010

India just passed its Interim budget for 2009/2010. Obviously this is a special budget as the country will have elections in a few months so there are very few drastic changes. Highlights of the budget courtesy the Indian Consulate is below:


• India remains the second-fastest growing economy in the world

• Economy expected to grow 7.1 percent the fiscal year April 2008 - March 2009

• Domestic investment rate as a proportion of GDP increased to 39 percent in 2007-2008

• The gross domestic savings rate increased to 37.7 percent between 2003-04 & 2007-08

• The tax to GDP ratio increased to 12.5 percent between 2003-04 and 2007-08

• During this four year period between 2004-05 and 2007-08, the annual growth rate of agriculture rose to 3.7 per cent.

• Manufacturing recorded a growth of 9.5 per cent per annum between 2004-05 & 2007-08

• Communication sector grew at the rate of 26 per cent per annum

• Construction sector grew at the rate of 13.5 per cent per annum

• India’s exports grew at an annual average growth rate of 26.4 per cent in US dollar terms during this period. Foreign trade increased from 23.7 per cent of GDP in 2003-04 to 35.5 per cent in 2007-08.

• Inflation rate fell to 4.4 per cent on January 31, 2009

Outlook for April 2008- March 2009

• Government accorded approval for 37 infrastructure projects worth Rs.70 thousand crore (US $14.3 billion) in 2008-09.

• Under public-private partnership (PPP), 54 central infrastructure projects approved with total expenditure of projects estimated at Rs.67,700 crore (US $ 13.8 billion)

• India Infrastructure Finance Company to raise Rs.10,000 crore (US $ 2 billion) by end-March 2009 to refinance 60 per cent of commercial bank loans for PPP projects in critical sectors over the next eighteen months or so.

• During 2007-08, a record US $ 32.4 billion of FDI was received. Inward FDI flows during April-November 2008 were US$ 23.3 billion, representing a growth of 45 per cent over the same period in 2007.

Microsoft Revised Mobile OS

At Mobile World Congress Monday, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer said smartphones with Microsoft's mobile operating system will now be called Windows Phones.

Microsoft said it would be redesigning its user interface, introduce an application store, and offer a content backup service in order to better compete with the likes of Apple, Blackberry maker Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM), and Symbian.

Windows Phone running 6.5 is the latest version of the mobile OS, and the UI has been revamped to make devices more touch-friendly. Executives said they used some of the Zune's UI for a home screen with larger, brighter icons. Opening up the start menu brings up icons in a honeycomb pattern that are easier to launch and scroll. Users can now move directly into missed calls, voice mails, and e-mail clients from the lock screen.

The Web browser will also be improved, and Microsoft said it will offer a desktop-like experience. Windows Phones will be capable of playing Flash videos, zoom and pan with a touch interface, and keep track of where a user is on a Web page via a mini map feature.

Microsoft wants to mirror the success that Apple had with its App Store, and will be launching an over-the-air store for distributing mobile programs. Not many details are known about Windows Marketplace for Mobile, but it will likely have a large catalogue, as there are already about 20,000 apps for Windows Mobile. Microsoft didn't say what payment methods would be accepted, or what percentage it would take, but the store will only be available for 6.5 devices.

My Phone is a content backup service that can help consumers recover their data if they lose a handset, as well as make it easier to switch between phones. This automatically saves contacts, text messages, video, and photos from the device to a Web site. It's not a syncing service because it doesn't allow content to be pushed from a PC to the Web site, and then to the handset. The free service will include 200 MB of storage, and went into private beta Monday.

The services and the revamped OS are expected in the second half of 2009.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - A salesperson dream

While I have not yet tried this app, I am dying to try it because it appears to be very useful app from a sales and business perspective. Imagine getting all your information about a contact organized in a east to use format. I am already on the beta list for this but if you are interested you can add yourself to the list here.

Some recent articles about gist:;title

Very interesting! buhbye *67

A new service set for launch Tuesday allows cellphone users to unmask the Caller ID on blocked incoming calls, obtaining the phone number, and in some cases the name and address, of the no-longer-anonymous caller.

The service, called TrapCall, is offered by New Jersey's TelTech systems, the company behind the controversial SpoofCard Caller ID spoofing service. The new service is likely to be even more controversial — and popular.

"What’s really interesting is that they’ve totally taken the privacy out of Caller ID," says former hacker Kevin Mitnick, who alpha-tested the service.

TrapCall's basic unmasking service is free, and includes the option of blacklisting unwanted callers by phone number. It also allows you to listen to your voicemail over the web. It's currently available to AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers, with support for the other major carriers due within weeks, says TelTech president Meir Cohen.

Logobeta "It’s not meant for spies, it’s not meant for geeks, it’s not meant for any specific target audience,” Cohen says. "Everybody hates getting blocked calls, and in this day and age they want to know who’s calling, and they want the option of taking the call or not."

Gmail Signature : Add Your Location

Google's products and features attract millions of people to choose Google over its competitors. Gmail offers Labs features and apps on regular basis.

Google launched a potentially cool new feature for Gmail that adds your city, state and country to your Gmail e-mail signature. This experimental Gmail Labs feature that detects your location and appends the city region and country names to your signature.It'll use your public IP address to determine your location, so it may not always be that accurate.If you want more accurate location detection,You can also opt to install Gears, which supports a location module that’ll use Wi-Fi signals to better pinpoint your present place to recognize that you're actually where..

Gmail Software Engineer,Marco Bonechi said this is the perfect solution for persons who are frequent travelers.

To enable this feature,go to Labs tab under Settings,turn on Location in Signature,then go to your signature preferences and check the box next to "Append your location to the signature".

You'll always be able to disable the option or just delete your location from specific emails whenever you want.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Google released a new Android App called My Tracks

Just noticed a very neat app on my G1 called My Tracks. This app can record your GPS Tracks and visualize various activities. And of course you can share that via Google Maps and Google Docs w/ other users. Stuff such as this may make Mobile phone indispensable. On a seperate note, my firm has just developed a very similar app for the Iphone called GPS Story Teller. As soon as it out on the App Store feel free to give me your feedback on that and any comparison vis a vis My Tracks.

You can check out the youtube video at

You can check it at:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Android Phones Coming Soon with Paid Applications

One of the biggest areas where the HTC G1 phone on T-Mobile's network lags Apple iPhone is the app store.

So far, the Android Marketplace allowed only free apps in its online store but that is set to change this week. Google is expected to allow developers to start charging for programs sold through the Android market place, says The Wall Street Journal.

Unlike the iPhone App store that has splits the revenue with the developers, Android allows for third party programmers to keep the profits to themselves. Apple keeps 30 percent of the revenue from apps sold through the iPhone store.

The Android marketplace is also open. Apps do not have to be approved by either the carrier or Google which developed the Android mobile operating system. That is in contrast to Apple's walled garden approach that requires all apps to be scrutinized by the company. iPhone users are billed for paid apps through their iTunes account. It is not clear what kind of payment framework Android will use.

Paid apps should help improve the Android marketplace.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Microsoft Updates Hotmail Calendar

Microsoft has updated Windows Live Calendar and made it look and feel more like Google Calendar.

Windows Live Calendar is now out of beta, and boasts an easy way to synchronise data with Office Outlook calendar, public calendars and national holiday information.

"We took valuable feedback from customers like you and made the next generation of our online calendar even better," Hotmail notified its users in an email on Tuesday.

Similar to Google's Calendar, the new version of Hotmail will allow users to click on a calendar day to fill out their event in a pop-out box. Users will no longer be redirected to a new page, as with the classic Hotmail calendar.

When the event has been registered in Windows Live Calendar, it appears in a bubble-type box like the ones in Google Calendar, and in a colour of the user's choice, although Hotmail has opted for pastel colours to match its latest redesign while Google offers louder colours.

Hotmail has also copied the Google layout by adding an Agenda tab to the top of the calendar, and moving the arrows that allow users to scroll from month to month to the top left-hand corner. The update also creates a holiday calendar for each country, allowing users to keep track of public holidays and religious days in other regions.

However, Google's version can now be accessed offline and can synchronise with more external calendars than Microsoft's service. The Sync button is also in easy reach at the top of the page.

Microsoft offers an Outlook Connector in order to synchronise Windows Live Calendar with Outlook, while the Google Calendar Sync button integrates the service with a choice of Outlook, Apple iCal and Mozilla Sunbird.

Microsoft said that it will slowly migrate users to Windows Live Calendar, and that tasks and notes will be combined in a new to-do list function at the top of the calendar, although this will not go live for a few months. The firm currently warns users to stick with the old version if their existing events are more important to them than trying out new features.

Currently, users have the choice between the older Hotmail version and the Live edition, and can press on the Calendar tab to the left of their inbox to switch between the two.

"When we finish moving all your original calendar information to Windows Live Calendar, the original calendar will officially retire so we can focus on delivering a more feature rich Windows Live Calendar to you," said the Hotmail email.

gmail "sent on behalf of .." finally being looked at!

Does anyone else get annoyed when you send an email frm an address that is not your primary, the recipient always gets a message "this email was sent from on behalf of

Personally i find it annoying, and very unprofessional. If i have 6 email addresses and i add them all to one gmail account, the recipient should not be told what my primary email address is! What if its private or personal?

Anyhow, after many years of complaining it looks like google is finally stepping up!

Our team has heard loud and clear that you would like an option that
does not include the "Sender:" field for sending mail via your other
address. To address this problem, we're working on a long-term
solution that will allow you to send mail directly via your other ISP
from within the Gmail interface. Since the mail will be sent by your
other ISP, Gmail will not need to authenticate the mail using the
"Sender:" field, and your Gmail address will not appear in the message

This feature won't be ready for a little while yet, but I wanted to
let you know that it's on the way. In the meantime, I and the rest of
the Gmail team appreciate all your candid feedback as we strive to
improve Gmail.

Thanks for your patience,

Gmail Guide Yellow

Full post from gmail team:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TCS Sets up Cisco Technology Lab in India

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India's largest outsourcer, has set up a Cisco Technology Lab, that will focus on developing network-based data center technologies, test frameworks, and train and certify employees on Cisco Systems data center technologies.

The lab will also allow Cisco and TCS to illustrate proofs of concepts, and IT and networking methodologies for client-specific business processes, TCS said on Tuesday.

The lab is an offshoot of an agreement announced Tuesday by the two companies. Under the agreement, TCS will set up a technology practice around Cisco's data center networking and security technologies.

A number of technology companies have announced partnerships in India, to take advantage of the services delivery capability of large Indian outsourcers, and also get access to customers. Microsoft, for example, announced last month that it was working with Infosys Technologies, India's second largest outsourcer, to help manufacturers manage their increasingly complex global supply chains.

Cisco has announced previously similar go-to-market partnerships with other Indian outsourcers, including Wipro and Satyam Computer Services.

The alliance between Cisco and TCS will initially focus on India, as well as common enterprise customers in the U.S. and the U.K. in the banking and financial services, telecom, government, and small and medium business segments of the market.

Microsoft Launches New Version of Live Search Maps

Microsoft India on Monday said it has added eight cities to the new version of Live Search Maps, which offers multi point routing ability to enable users to plan multi-city road trips in a single search query.

With this expanded version of Live Search Maps, users can now also search for directions based on common points of interest and landmarks and access detailed street maps for top 17 cities and highway road network covering 48,000 cities and towns, Microsoft said in a statement.

The key features have been developed by the Live Search and Incubations for Emerging Markets team at Microsoft India Development Centre (MSIDC) based in Hyderabad, it added.

"Our focus is on constantly providing innovative and unique services that meet evolving needs of users on the PC and Mobile, and the release of this version of Live Search Maps India within three months of the first launch in November 2008 is testament to this," Microsoft India Group Manager (Live Search, Consumer and Online) Ravi Datanwala said.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Google Adds Multiple Inboxes To GMail

Since the beginning of January users have been given additional capabilities such as offline access, easier labelling techniques and video via Gmail chat to name just a few. Now Google has announced perhaps the most exciting one: Multiple Inboxes.

The feature makes it possible for users to have more than one 'inbox' in their default Gmail view. The look of Gmail changes so that you have your traditional inbox on the left and then a right pane with the emails you want (or need) to see separately.

To add it, click on the enable box from the Labs tab under Settings. Once enabled, it will automatically bring up your draft emails in the right pane but you can configure the feature from Settings so that you can see starred emails or particular folders (Google Labels).

You can also configure the feature to the number of messages you want displayed and the positioning of the panels.

The only necessity with the new feature is that users need to be organised. If they do not have Labels set up and do not use the starred option, then the feature will just clutter their view (unless they really want to see their draft messages).

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Android - The complete story

Ever wondered how Android came into being. I found this somewhat dated but riveting story in wired. As you read it, you know that Android is going to be big. I have had an Android for a while (along with an iPhone) and can attest that as a productivity device for business, if you are comfortable relying on Google (Gmail/Contact), it is unbeatable. The iPhone still has an edge but we are looking forward to what the next iteration of Android will do!

"Rubin said his startup, called Android, had the solution: a free, open source mobile platform that any coder could write for and any handset maker could install. He would make his money by selling support for the system — security services, say, or email management. Android would have the spirit of Linux and the reach of Windows. It would be a global, open operating system for the wireless future."

Wired Magazine

Yahoo New Search Pad Organizer

Yahoo is testing Yahoo Search Pad, a note-taking application that lets users take notes and organize searches.

Unlike Google Notebook or other note-taking tools, Search Pad allows you to stay on the same page to take notes and organize your research. Users can edit, delete, reorder, print and e-mail notes about topics that they've searched. Notes can also be saved and accessed later when a user logs on to Yahoo using his or her Yahoo ID. It is still in testing phase.

When the application detects research activity on a similar topic, rather than clicks on a single subject, a toolbar under the search box asks if the user wants to take notes. You can open the Search Pad yourself — in which case the application lists previous searches on similar topics — and classify all these in related categories.

Users can go about their usual surfing, searching information, cutting and pasting, using Search Pad to take notes while shifting back and forth between several pages. Search Pad then compares the notes to Yahoo's Web index and associates the clipped text with a URL. Users can share these notes, called documents, via e-mail with other people.

Yahoo's Search Pad may ring appealing in the sense that it appears to lend itself well to how individuals organize information. But it may prove of limited use for users; Yahoo recently found few people are in research/note-taking mode for long.

Microsoft launched a similar application, "instant answers," on its Internet Explorer 8 search tool.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Risks of Offshore Outsourcing

India-based outsourcing firms -- and the U.S.-based companies that use them -- suffered a traumatic shock in January when it was revealed that the chairman of one of that country's largest IT outsourcing firms admitted engaging in massive fraud to the tune of more than $1 billion.

Will the scandal end up harming India's growing HR outsourcing business?

Prior to his arrest for fraud, B. Ramalinga Raju, founder and chairman of Satyam Computer Services Ltd., admitted in a letter of resignation that, for years, he had falsified accounting records to make it appear the company had far more revenue and far less debt than it actually did.

The incident has severely tarnished India's reputation as a business powerhouse, Premchand Palety, director of the Delhi-based consulting firm C-Fore, told the Wall Street Journal. "This is a very bad thing for our country. It's shown the color of our entrepreneurs," he said.

The Satyam scandal is a reminder that India is still adjusting to Western ways of doing business. Traditionally in India, businessmen "had to work with politicians, pay bribes, so the culture of ethics is very new to our country," Palety told the Journal.

Stan Lepeak, managing director for global research at outsourcing-consulting firm EquaTerra in New York, says American clients of Indian outsourcing firms have reason to be concerned.

"Any time you're looking at doing business in emerging markets [such as India], you do need to do due diligence and have good risk-management policies in place and plan for the worst-case scenario," he says.

"The Satyam debacle is a wake-up call that India is a bit behind the United States in terms of governance and regulation," he says.

Although India is more commonly known as a powerhouse in the world of IT outsourcing, in recent years a number of Indian firms have entered the HR outsourcing market. Four large outsourcing firms in particular -- TCS, Wipro, Hexaware and Infosys -- have had some success in winning U.S. HRO clients and are positioning themselves as low-cost alternatives to U.S.-based HRO firms such as Hewitt, Convergys and ACS.

Lepeak says that, although the four Indian firms have good reputations, HR leaders should never assume there is no need to do due diligence when considering those firms.

"It would be a mistake to assume that, if you go with one particular firm, you'll be safe," he says, adding that this extends to American providers as well.

Proper due diligence and risk management should include having a back-up plan in place for shifting services to a different firm or moving them back in-house should a provider go out of business, ensuring that data is properly protected and ensuring the provider has adequate contingency plans in the event of a severe disruption.

Lepeak says the Satyam debacle may well end up benefiting U.S.-based outsourcing firms, despite the fact that fraud can happen anywhere.

"For the average buyer of these services, they may be more likely to go with a U.S.-based provider now because they have a greater degree of faith in the U.S. legal and regulatory system," he says.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Great laptop deal!

Does anyone need a laptop? TigerDirect just emailed me about a deal they have on an eMachine 2gig memory, 160gig HDD

Here is a snippet from the email:
A powerful new eMachines laptop PC with all the great features you need for work, school, and entertainment - for only $399! - That's a $200 instant savings. You'd pay hundreds more anywhere else for a PC with the same great specs as this fantastic new eMachines E620-5885.

This brand new mobile powerhouse has everything! A fast, agile AMD Athlon 2650e 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 160GB hard drive, a Super-Multi Dual Layer DVD burner, and a brilliant high-resolution 15.4-inch display.

This is perfect for websites that you have developed with my company! Or to monitor the stats of iPhone apps that my company builds for you! :D

Call me today for a free consultation on web development, or mobile app development.

Richard Sarno
Project Manager
A-1 Technology, Inc.
P: (212) 397-7481

Google Gear Offline Access to your Gmail interface

Google Gears is a free open-source project that adds desktop capabilities to the Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome browsers on the Windows, Windows Mobile, Mac OS X, Linux and Android operating systems. (Chrome has Gears built in and does not need a separate installation.) Currently at Beta Version 0.5 (but ready for prime time now), Gears lets Web applications interact naturally with your desktop; cache and store application resources and blobs ( binary large objects ) locally; store data locally in a fully searchable SQLite database; run JavaScript in the background to improve performance; and perform geolocation both by IP address and by Wi-Fi antenna data.

Basically, Google Gears is a way to take Web applications offline in a browser.

Google Gears exposes a JavaScript API to supported browsers. Google hosts the Gears runtime engine, which users must install before running any Gears applications. Developers need to copy gears_init.js into their application directories and call it in order to initialize the Gears factory and APIs; this script will offer to launch the Gears installer if it cannot initialize successfully.

The online Gears developer documentation discusses Version 0.5, released a month ago. It includes nine samples that illustrate the use of the APIs. You can download the source to all of these samples, plus some articles, a couple of tools and an Apache mod implementing the resumable HTTP request proposal. One of the articles is a tutorial on taking Web applications offline with Gears, written by Omar Kilani of Remember The Milk . Kilani and his team implemented offline functionality for their application in "four caffeine-fueled days."

Google Gears is free. Adding Gears functionality to a Web page is a simple exercise in JavaScript programming, which can be accomplished using any HTML or text editor. The effort of taking a Web application fully offline with Gears is commensurate with the complexity of the application. Note that using a local database to synchronize large amounts of data can introduce performance issues; this is the reason for the asynchronous JavaScript WorkerPool API .

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Google’s Task List Goes Mobile!

For those of us who really REALLY enjoy Googles TaskList built into gmail (as of this past december), they just released a version for both the Android and the iPhone!

Want to check it out? On your iPhone or G1 point your browser to:
If you’ve already installed Tasks on Gmail, they will show up automatically.

Here are some details from a blog:
As you add or cross out tasks, they are automatically synced with your task list on Gmail. In addition to a stand-alone to-do list, you can also now convert e-mails into tasks. Unfortunately, you cannot yet share task lists with others or make lists if your mobile phone is not connected to the Internet. When the mobile version of Google Gears supports Android and the iPhone, offline capabilities will also be possible.

But this is going to be great for using your mobile phone as your to-do list. It is also significant in that Google is taking what was an added feature of Gmail and turning it into its own app. Pretty soon Tasks is going to need its own full-fledged destination site.

Full article here:

Have any mobile development projects on the table? Give me a call for a free consultation!

Richard Sarno
Project Manager
A-1 Technology, Inc.
115 Broadway, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10006
P: (212) 397-7481

Warren Buffett on Ovarian Lottery

Warren Buffet had some interesting insights which he presented to some wharton students on why they are so lucky to be where they are.

"y the genie, Buffett believes that first you would want a "bountiful world," one with no system that stifles capacity or production. Our country, he says, has done pretty well in setting up equality of opportunity. Second, you would want a prosperous and just society. He however pointed out that some people are just not going to fit very well in any world you design. And finally, you would want to minimize fear and terror in your society. When setting policy, Buffett believes a rich society should make it a policy goal to minimize the terror and fear experienced by its members. After presenting us with his view of the "ideal world," Buffett asked rhetorically, "Did any of you males peek at your ticket when setting policy? Any whites peek?" Buffett emphasized that Wharton students should spend some amount of time realizing how lucky we got with our "tickets," and asked, "Would any of you go back to that theoretical barrel and pick out 100 tickets at random, and then, after looking at each one, trade who you are today for what's written on one of those 100?" He answered for us, "Probably not.""

Monday, February 02, 2009

Human Error Caused Google Search Bug

On Saturday, for almost an hour, Google search results came with a warning message saying "This site may harm your computer." Even Google's own services were labeled as risky sites - come to think of it, Google had actually blacklisted the entire Internet!

Some initial reports had also mentioned the possibility of a Google hack when entering the address "" did not give the usual Google page but some strange webpage that said "SoGoSearch". As expected, Google did come up with an official explanation. This too raked up a minor controversy, and was then modified.

According to Google, the glitch was the result of a "human" error. Google periodically updates its list of potentially harmful sites using data compiled from a non-profit organization called The list, according to Google, is updated both manually and automatically. It was during one of these updates that the popular search engine labeled all sites as being potentially unsafe. This happened when, accidentally, the URL value of "/" was checked and classified as being potentially unsafe. However, the "/" value actually extends to all URLs, resulting in all the websites being blacklisted. The situation continued for almost an hour till the problem was sorted out.

The Google blog post also apologized to everyone affected by the glitch and also to those site owners whose safe sites were labeled as harmful. This is apart from the promise to have more "robust" checks in place to prevent similar issues in the future.