June 23 2004, 9:11 am
My dream trip to space is on the verge of being fulfilled! The first manned Private spaceflight was completed successfully by Mike Melvill, an ex-Test pilot. He took his ship "SpaceShipOne" upto 100 km (62 miles) of altitude, leaving the Earth's atmosphere entering into the sub-orbital space.
SpaceShipOne is the top among the 27 other teams still in the race for the coveted ANSARI X-Prize
of 10 mil USD. Though the team is still quite far from the prize winning position of launching 3 people in the same ship and then performing the same feat again within 2 weeks.
Checkout some amazing pictures of the flight at Space.com
June 23 2004, 7:06 am
has announced that they will be venturing into the Indian market by acquiring the current eAuction giant in the country Baazee.com
. The US based world's biggest online auction site has agreed to pay 50 mil USD to Baazee. Recently ebay has been expanding their business in various countries purchasing the top web auction sites.
Baazee started in January 2000 by two Mumbai based gentlemen, Avnish Bajaj and Suvir Sujan, has more than 1 mil registered users in India. So what does it mean for an average user in India? Well, a big change, now users from the country can purchase from other ebay affliated sites world-wide, which untill now very limited. Personally I have purchased some stuff off Baazee and I would rate the experience pretty decent. Though I feel ebay has a much better approach to the concept.
This would be the second biggest International acquistion of an Indian founded dot com company, since the famous purchase by Microsoft
(co-founded by Sabeer Bhatia) in December 1997 which was estimated to be around 400 mil USD.
June 21 2004, 3:52 am
Btw, I got my full name id
. As per my initial review,
June 19 2004, 10:35 pm
My last entry
was about Yahoo! Mail's new upgrades to match to Gmail's 1 GB free email storage offer, well, add another contender to the list, Rediff.com
, an India-based company (providing webmail and portal services) has also claimed to provide a GB email storage for all its users. Though functionality-wise it currently doesn't measure up to what Gmail offers, but it is still a big and an early claim to the GB compatibility standard that Gmail has set.
Bottom line, Gmail is very quickly redefining how webmail services will be offered from here on. It will soon be a benchmark for any webmail service to even stand a chance in this close race.
June 18 2004, 2:44 am
Well well, Gmail
Gmail, not even public yet and still impacting strategies from the Big Guns. Gmail (Google Mail) when released will be offering free email accounts with storage space of 1 GB, their motto, "Don't sort just search with Goggle and never delete any mail". Well sure you can say that when you have 100 thousand servers at your disposal. So is the commercial email industry doomed?
Well not quite, Gmail has its own problems to deal with, there have been frequent criticisms from privacy experts and a California state legislator, who have objected the company's plan to scan all incoming mails for keywords to serve targeted Ads.
But, still they are offering 1 GB in an age where getting 25 MB email storage forces you to shell out big bucks.
But, Yahoo! has the answer, they have recently increased their free mail account limit from 4 MB to 100 MB, where single messages can be upto 10 MB and are also offering 2 GB of storage space for paid customers at only 19.95 USD/year, now that's some fight back. In a recent presentation, Jim Brock, the company's senior vice president of communication and consumer services, said, "The objective here is to make storage quotas irrelevant to users". And I agree, but when Gmail is out, I doubt anybody apart from the existing users will be using Yahoo! Mail's free accounts, and to be frank I don't think anybody will be needing paid 2 GB storage just for their emails, when one can have a GB account for free. So how lucrative this offer is, only time will tell.
Though, I feel if Yahoo! combines this mail offer with some webspace offer by allowing users to use the same space for their website hosting too and if possible store all their address books, chat archives and everything related there itself, then I all I can say is, "Kaching", you have a hot selling cake
in your hands (hmm, I wonder whether I should have posted this idea here and instead of sending it to Yahoo! in exchange of some paid a/c's
). Either way, Yahoo!'s shares just went up after this 100 MB offer and being an investor, I am all happy with the news.
I wonder what MSN Hotmail is planning ...
June 17 2004, 2:29 am
A recent blog entry at Slashdot
lead me to some really interesting facts about how energy is being wasted by our PC's. It relates to the findings of an article published in Scientific American that only 60-70% line AC voltage is utilized usefully by the power supplies installed in modern computers. If this claim is to go by, imagine the losses that occur every day, Huge!
Checkout the blog, Efficient Power Supply Contest
June 16 2004, 3:24 am
FireFox is an open-source, cross platform web browser. The version 0.9, is the latest improved version of this versatile browser which is fast achieving the de-facto web browser status. Its worth mentioning that the browser is still in its pre-release stage but is considered as one of the most relied in its category. Developed by The Mozilla Foundation
(supported by AOL), have received various awards for their famous products, these include "Best of 2003, Web Browser" by PC Magazine and LinuxJournal Magazine, "Beyond Bliss" by Time Magazine and for FireFox the MAXIMUM PC Softy Award 2004.
This new version includes some great improvements, including:
- New Installer and Look/Feel updates for Linux/GTK2 users
- Extension/Theme Manager
- New Default Theme
- Comprehensive Data Migration
- Update notification
- A new online help system
- Improved Stability
For more on these features, check out their Press Release
You can download the latest release from their Download Section
. It's 4.7 MB for Windows and 9.7 MB for Linux.
June 12 2004, 7:27 am
If this post got your attention, in hope to know more about Windows turning into Open Source, well, then you are a real optimistic. Trust me, it will take some light years for that to happen. But having said that, in its own very subtle way MS in April released its first open source program on Sourceforge
. It has been released under CPL (Common Public License).
"The Windows Installer XML (Wix
) is a toolset that builds Windows installation packages from XML source code. The toolset supports a command line environment that developers may integrate into their build processes to build MSI and MSM setup packages."
So is this the change everyone was waiting for? Not quite. It may seem a major release and a certain change in MS's point of view towards Open Source but when analyzed closely, it's nothing too big, IMHO. As one of my veteran PHP colleagues said, "After all its still a tool to aid the .NET developers, what's the big deal if they are giving it free via Open Source, maybe its just a way of getting free work done
". Well I don't thing MS requires free work; but whatever people might say on second thought MS certainly have got the notice of the Open Source Community with this new release.
For new developments related to Wix and some very interesting entries, check out the Blog entries
of Rob Mensching (Lead Developer, Wix Project). He is very optimistic about Open Source and MS. I feel a sense of confidence after reading his responses during an interview with OSDir.com. I for one seriously believe that MS can have a very possitive impact on the Open Source Develoment and the company should not be seen as an evil corp. trying to con eveyone.
My personal take on Wix, "Good work, keep it coming".
June 11 2004, 11:41 am
The Olympic Torch was here yesterday, in my home town of New Delhi. It was a moment of great pride for me to be present there while the torch was being carried through the ancient city. Thousands of people turned up to witness this great celebration of sports and its underlying spirit. Well..., I doubt that was the only reason for the turnout.
In here we all have a habit of finding something bad in every good thing, but many would agree with me when I say, this wasn't the event to be commercialized. From Filmstars to Hotel Chain Managers, every page 3 personality was there. 105 people got the opportunity to pass on the torch but it was very notable and a glaring fact that just less than half of them were sportsmen/women.
Every marketing and business strategist would obviously be offended, but then again, it was their fault for converting this event into such a commercial show rather a Patriotic one. The Olympics is for nations not for companies! It's not an event for Filmstars too come and showoff their sleek bodies when we all know they can hardly run a few meters.
Mr. Kalmadi (our Olympics org. head), please tell me what in the world was Miss Bipasha Basu doing there? Is she a big star, hell no! She is a nobody, not at all someone who is worthy of carrying the national pride. You can remember calling her but forget Ms. P.T. Usha who until recently was the only athletic medal hope we ever had. She did brilliantly at the Asian and Commonwealth games. She deserved that run! What about the multiple Gold medal winning team of Hockey, yes those great stars from the 60s are still around in Calcutta but to the plight of our federation never got a mention, leave alone an invitation to the event. While I am criticizing the non-worthy torch bearers our Filmstars, I must say I am highly impressed by Amir Khan, when asked whether he thinks he should be a part of this, he said, "No, only the sports men and women deserve it"; atleast he has the guts to admit that.
Some might say its too easy to point fingers but I have one thing to say, "It's just too difficult everytime to be so thoughtless and uncaring towards the little true talent we have in our country, yet our officials never seem to fail". Yes it was a great event but it was converted into a forgetful day, intentional or simply the federation style, its for you to decide.
June 7 2004, 12:34 am
Zend has announced an open challenge
to all PHP pros, develop something great using PHP 5 and you will be handsomely rewarded. The contest entails development of a PHP application using the new OO features and appropriate use of the latest additions to v5. The application can be made as a team or as an individual, but teams are limited to 5 members only.
It is very obvious that the majority of points will be given on intelligent use of PHP 5's new features and implementing standard design patterns, including the usage of XML. This is very important as the Judges panel includes some very well known veterans from the PHP community.
The contest started on the 31st of May and would go on till September 19. The winners will be announced by the 2nd week of October. The Prizes are very luring, the grand one includes a shining new, Dell Inspiron 600m
laptop and Apple iPod Minis
. Other great prizes are also up for grabs, like Zend Studio, subscriptions from php|architect, etc.
So, why are you wasting your time here, the prizes are just too good to be missed for my blog ...