Archive for October, 2004

Friday, October 29th, 2004

I was looking for a city map of Goa. Nobody had one, not even the government’s official site. Then I chanced upon
The results for Goa were impressive. Considering that the whole postal addressing scheme in 99% of urban and rural India is very non-uniform, it would be a challenge to map addresses like “Opp. Roxy Cinema”, “Upper Ground Floor”, and “Next to Shopper’s Stop” 🙂
However, they have a long way to go — I tried mapping the route from Mumbai Central Station to the McDonald’s in Colaba, which failed. I think the success factor is simple — navigable level 1 maps of the 27 major cities in India.

The future of Wireless, VoIP and Computing

Monday, October 25th, 2004

Bob Cringley has an excellent article on the future of VoIP, personal PBXs, community PVRs, and WiFi access.
1. “…There is no desktop PC in Andrew’s house. Instead, he runs a Linix thin client on a Sharp Zaurus SL-6000 Linux PDA. Somewhere around is a hefty Linux server running Asterisk Open source VoIP software PBX…”
2. “…The Zaurus equipped with a tri-mode comm. card is a WiFi phone through the PBX. Walking outside the house the phone automatically converts to the local mobile phone carrier. At office it’s back to WiFi on office VoIP PBX and also connects to the home PBX. At Starbucks, it’s WiFi phone…”
3. “…Andrew’s server runs MythTV an Open Source DVR application, storing more than 30,000 TV episodes, movies and MP3 files…”
Bob Cringley wrote this famous book long before the dot-com rush.

.NET and Then Again

Sunday, October 24th, 2004

Last week I got a chance to see (as part of my day job) back-to-back demos from two companies (1, 2). Both the companies are emerging startups and had excellent products and rich GUIs.
What was surprising to me in their architecture was a complete absence of J2EE. Reps. from both the companies talked positively about the .NET stack and its ease of use.
.NET recently completed 2 years since its introduction by MSFT. On the anniversary, BZ Media conducted a research — 46% of the developers said that they were planning to write new applications in Visual C#, up from 37% and second only to Java which still commands 54%.
Whither Java?

IT Outsourcing to India: Late show with Conan O’Brien on NBC

Saturday, October 16th, 2004

The Late Night show with Conan O’Brien aired a hilarious comedy piece on outsourcing. The comedy was aired on 23rd Sept. 2004. Andy Blitz — one of the writers at NBC, after facing a computer problem decides to fly to India and visits their IT support centre in Hyderabad. Along the way he plays cricket, meet goats, gets honked, rides bullock-carts and gets a fling on the support lady Sharon.

Here are my two favorite shots from the clip:

I had to empty my bladder mid-way in order to continue watching the ~8 minute clip.

Anybody having sufficient band-width? (read, non-cheapo hosting) Ask me for the media file, if you want to host it.

Presenting the story in pictures…


WS-SPAGHETTI Watch: WS-Management

Tuesday, October 12th, 2004

Jorgen Thelin reports about WS-Management, a new spec. for managing Web Services.
A group of technology vendors that includes AMD, Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, last week published a new Web services specification designed to simplify network administration across a range of devices. Dubbed Web Services Management (WS-M), the spec describes how to use Web services as a remote management access protocol.
WS-M was originally known as WMX (Web services management extensions), and was first demonstrated at the WinHEC 2004 conference in Seattle. The spec could serve as a replacement for older standards, such as Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), according to the authoring companies.
What happens to WSDM (Web Services Distributed Management) Spec? IBM, & HP are backing WSDM.
How many more we need? Read the original post on WS-SPAGHETTI.

HP EOLs Utility Data Center

Thursday, October 7th, 2004

19,100 whitepapers, tonnes of news stories, analyst hypes have been replaced by obituaries.
An old adage is sometimes relevant — Necessity is the mother of invention.

Global Outsourcing: Next stop, Patent filings from India

Tuesday, October 5th, 2004

I just finished reading yesterday’s copy of the Financial Times. They have an interesting feature article on legal & IP research moving to India.
First came the call centers, then the IT. Next stop legal research and Patent filings. The trend towards offshore outsourcing is now beginning to make its presence felt in the legal industry. The work being moved abroad includes not just basic administrative tasks but also more sophisticated and complex jobs traditionally carried out by trained lawyers in the country where the work originated. According to a study by Forrester, the research firm, almost 40,350 legal jobs in the US will be outsourced by 2015, amounting to nearly 8 per cent of the total employed in the field.
Interesting quote, “If you were doing patent research in the US, you would have a team of PhDs making $100,000 a year. In India we save the client two-thirds.”
Hildebrandt International, a US-based legal consultancy that recently formed a partnership with OfficeTiger, estimates spending for support services by the top 200 US law firms is about $20bn. “Assuming, very conservatively, an outsourcing potential of 10 per cent of services,” says Mr Altschuler, “the market opportunity is about $2bn.”
Well, they are a little short on Patent filings, but they are getting there. Read the whole story here.