Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What else I want in Google Wave

Over the last 3-4 days, I have been spending a lot of time on Google Wave and I have a wish-list of ideas which I would like Google to implement.

# Integration with Gmail, Google Docs.

# I should have control over which wave I want to be a participant in. For example, I don't want anybody in my contact list adding me to a certain wave [X] and then I have to unfollow it. I should get an email/wavelet where I can see all waves pending my approval for being a participant in there.

# When adding a new participant to the wave, I should decide whether he can see playback from creation of the wave, or from the moment he was added in.

# Smiley / Emoticons in waves.

# If I, as a creator of wave, add someone (by mistake), then I should be able to remove him/her before/after his approval to join.

# Export participants of a wave and import them in another wave. [view]

# Enable typing in draft mode.

# Right-click menus.

# Nick-names for my contacts - visible only to me.

# Pages. When a wave becomes loooong, then, viewer should have option to view it in a single page, or in multiple pages.

# Skins / Themes like in Gmail.

Monday, November 30, 2009

How wave will change the nature of chain emails

Disclaimer: Any views expressed in this post are entirely of the USB keyboard I have borrowed from my friend.

Today, I received yet another chain mail regarding Microsoft paying me money!!!

Microsoft pays you $245 for every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid $241.
Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a cheque.

So, I was thinking what will happen in a wave scenario ? How will Microsoft / AOL track you and credit your account.

Because, in case of emails, it works like a chain reaction. A forwards to B, C and D and they forward to {B1, B2, B3 ... }; {C1, C2, C3} .. etc. This way, there are lot of different emails floating around - you get lot of different "legs" in which you can earn $241.

But, when we talk about wave in case of chain mails, it will be a single document in which you can add different participants. To make sure you make quick money, or help a 3 old girl who got raped, you can make your wave public and ask people to follow it.

So, in near future, you can expect emails like:

Microsoft pays you $245 for every person that follows this wave. It pays you $242 for every next follower and $241 for the next one. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a cheque.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Green and Safe Diwali

Diwali is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India (and abroad). It falls on the darkest night of the year. The tradition of lighting lamps on this night may have come from the need for light on this intensely dark night.

However, every year, the festival of lights fill our cities and environment with dark smoke. Air pollution more than doubles and big cities like Delhi become gas chambers. The toxic substances used in the firecrackers release toxic gases that are harmful to the health of all living beings.

Children and animals are the biggest victims of Noise Pollution as their defence mechanisms are not fully developed to withstand the increased intensity of noise and air pollution.

Bursting of crackers is now a means of "showing off " and is another opportunity to display ones wealth. With so many people living in poverty, burning money on crackers is a shame.

How to celebrate eco-sensitive Diwali?
  • - Make Rangoli with natural ingredients like wheat or rice flour or mix with haldi, mehendi and sindur for colour. Rangoli made of wheat, rice flour provide food for ants and look more ethnic.
  • - Instead of individual celebration prefer community celebration in a open ground.
  • - Instead of electric illumination for long hours go for traditional lightening of earthen lamps or diyas.
  • - Donate for relief operations in Karnataka.
  • - Share food, sweets and clothes with the lesser privileged.
  • - All gift wrapping paper should be made out of recycled paper and not glitter paper which is not recyclable.
  • - Send out e-cards or text messages. No fancy Diwali cards.
Go Green this Diwali. Wishing you all a very happy, safe, green and prosperous Diwali

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Facebook Ramayan

Check out this must read Facebook version of Ramayana written by Kokonad Sinha on his blog - If the Ramayan were on Facebook

Although, all entries are very funny, my favourite one is:

Ravana super-poked Kumbhkarna

Very Creative and funny!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Square Root of Three

I fear that I will always be.....
A lonely number like root three...
A three is all that's good and right...
Why must my three keep out of sight...
Beneath a vicious square-root sign?...
I wish instead I were a nine...
For nine could thwart this evil trick...
With just some quick arithmetic...
I know I'll never see the sun...
As 1.7321...
Such is my reality...
A sad irrationality...
When, hark, just what is this I see?...

Another square root of a three...
Has quietly come waltzing by...
Together now we multiply...
To form a number we prefer...
Rejoicing as an integer...
We break free from our mortal bonds...
And with a wave of magic wands...
Our square-root signs become unglued...
And love for me has been renewed..

[Thanks: Devesh]

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why is it good to be a vegetarian?

Environmental issues
- Vegetarianism helps conserve fossil fuel in a major way. Studies have shown that it takes 35 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of mutton; 22 calories of fossil fuel for 1 calorie of poultry; but just 1 calorie of fossil fuel for 1 calorie of vegetables. By eating plant food we can help conserve our non-renewable sources of energy.
- It has been observed that it takes about 3 to 15 times as much water to produce animal food, as it does to produce plant food. Thus by becoming vegetarian we can conserve our water resources.
- It is seen that it takes about 5-10 kilogram of plant matter and grains to produce one kilogram of animal protein. By eating this vegetarian food directly (and not through the animals) we can save a lot of this food material to feed all the hungry people in this world.
- Plant foods have a longer shelf life than animal foods. One needs to spend more energy in preserving animal food products, thus exacerbating the energy crisis.

Health issues
- The plant food takes care of all the nutrient needs. If we eat enough fruits and vegetables we will not suffer from any nutrient deficiency. On the other hand animal foods are largely deficient in vitamins, except for vitamin B complex.
- Everyone knows that the animal foods are higher in fat and cholesterol than the plant foods. Animal foods are also high in protein content. This causes excess nitrogen in the blood; leading to many health problems. By eating vegetarian food, we can say goodbye to many bothersome diseases, such as heart diseases, osteoporosis, kidney stones, gall stones, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, gum disease, obesity and acne.
- Animal food is totally deficient in carbohydrates, which are essential for good health.
- Animal foods contain far higher concentrations of agricultural chemicals than plant foods.
- Most of the animals are given drugs such as steroids, antibiotics, and growth hormones. These drugs are consumed by us humans when we consume meat.
- There are many bacteria and viruses that thrive on animal foods, when we eat these foods we end up eating these organisms as well. It is not as if the plant foods do not have any micro-organisms, but their number is nowhere near as much as in meat products.
- Animal products take rather long to digest. They keep putrefying in the colon, creating intestinal toxemia. It is a well known fact that the condition of the intestinal flora is critical to overall health of the body. Vegetarian food travels quickly through the gastro-intestinal tract.
- Plant foods are high in fibre content. Fibre absorbs unwanted, excess fats; cleans the intestines; provides bulk and helps in peristaltic movement; ensuring regular bowel movements. Meat, poultry, and dairy products are deficient in fibre content.
- Animal foods contain the body wastes of the animals such as adrenaline, uric acid, and lactic acid.
- When we consume plant foods we consume a chlorophyll module which is very similar to our hemoglobin.
- Plant foods contain trace elements that not only nurture our cells, but are precursors of all our genetic material.
- Animal food is primarily acidic in nature. It leaves behind an acidic residue after digestion. This acid upsets the delicate pH balance of our body. A chronically over-acidic pH ratio begins to corrode body tissues, produces neuro-toxins, interrupts all cellular functions and generally creates havoc with our health. However, some of the plant foods are also acidic in nature, and should be avoided e.g. alcohol, coffee, white bread, oatmeal, sugar, tobacco, chillies, and all packaged and processed foods.
- Raw plant foods such as fruits detoxify our bodies, increase immunity, and improve our skin and hair.

Economic issues
- Vegetarian foods cost much less than non-vegetarian foods. So being vegetarian makes a lot of economic sense.
- When we eat vegetarian foods, we stay healthier; thus saving on health care expenses.

Ethical issues
- If we love animals, we have no desire to kill them for food.
- Our body has been designed in a way to make us natural herbivores. Our hands, teeth, feet, intestinal tract…all are different from those of carnivorous species.
- Mahatma Gandhi promoted the spirit of non-violence, but this spirit can't be fostered if we indulge in killing animals.
- There can be no peace in the world, if we declare war on other species for food.
- There are many substitutes available in the vegetable kingdom to satisfy all taste buds.

Spiritual issues
- Plant foods carry an inner light; both philosophically and biologically, as natural sunlight is a vital ingredient of plant foods. This light nourishes our physical body, mind, and spirit.
- Plant foods keep us healthy. These healthy cells have a harmonic frequency that raises our overall energy vibration.
- Plant food is rich in natural energy, vital for self-transformation.
- Ellen G. White the famous writer of early twentieth century said, "Whatever affects the body has a corresponding effect on the mind and soul." In other words, what we eat affects our consciousness.

Related reading:
Why is it good for you to be a vegetarian?
49 Good Reasons For Being A Vegetarian

Monday, June 08, 2009

404 message

Sometimes, 404 messages can be a good read. I was browsing through istartedsomething.com and got this 404 error message:
Error 404 - Not Found
Hello. You've encountered an error. How unlucky of you.

The whatever you were looking for is not here. The page you are looking for may have been wiped from the face of this earth, or just this server. This is unrecoverable, and no matter how many times you click F5 or Refresh, it just won't work.

You probably broke it even, but I wouldn't blame you, you're so clumsy to even encounter this error in the first place.

Oh well, since you're already here, you're going to have to live with it.

What can you do?
I can't read your brain, so you're going to have to figure this one out on your own.

# You can try to search for related topic you were looking for on the left sidebar.
# You can look through all of the archive looking for it, whilst enjoying my great literature.
# You can even go back to the site you came from, send the webmaster of that website a few hundred emails asking him why he has broken links.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Google Squared is Live!

Google Squared is a search tool that helps you quickly build a collection of facts from the Web for any topic you specify. It's kinda fun. You can add columns (attributes) real-time and save it (after logging in), share the URL.

Check Google Sqaure for IIT or for Indian States or for Indian Movies.

However, the results are sometimes quite funny. Check the screen-shot below for my query "Harry Potter" and look particularly at the image of Lord Voldemort.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Indian Cooking Knol-edge Contest

Sanjeev Kapoor is a household name when it comes to Indian cooking. Google Knol has launched a contest to find the best recipes in five Indian languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam). Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will pick one winner in each language. Winners will get Sanjeev Kapoor’s cookbooks and grand prizes worth 150 USD each. Google goodies will be awarded to the next 40 shortlisted entrants.

Ther is no limit to the number of entries per user. Contest period is from April 20 to June 20, 2009. Winners will be announced on August 5.

Submit your receipes!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Green Summers

Participate and get others involved in Green Summers - organized by Green1.0

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Google Ads - In your face, all over the place

To improve its financial position, Google has started showing ads in the services that were not being monetized yet - News, Image Search, Finance and Picasa Web Albums.

Also, they have started behavioral targeted ads.

Google in their post admits "This kind of tailored advertising does raise questions about user choice and privacy" but opines that these are "questions the whole online ad industry has a responsibility to answer."

Thus, if behavioral targeting learns that you like [X], you get to see ads about [X] everywhere you go on the web.

Now you get, Google Ads - In your face, all over the place!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Energy Saved => Energy Got

Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI) has launched the Power Down for the Planet video contest, a challenge to develop original and creative videos that educate, entertain, and inform about the importance of energy efficient computing.

Did you know?
The annual CO2 savings from using power management is greater than the CO2 savings achieved by lowering your home thermostat 2 deg. Fahrenheit in the winter, washing your clothes only in cold water, or giving up your car two days out of every month.*

*(Based on U.S. Census Bureau estimate of the number of college students, Harris Interactive estimate of the percentage of students that own desktop computers, U.S. Department of Energy estimate of average CO2 per KW/hr, U.S. EPA estimate of average tons of CO2 produced per car, and an average energy cost of $0.0885/KW.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Miles to go ...

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening 
~ By Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Awards

The Oscar Award for best original score goes to ... A.R. Rahman

This was the most awaited Oscar Ceremony for any Indian, for where else do you see an Indian being nominated for three awards in the most talked about award Ceremony in the world?

Jai Ho!

Update: AR Rehman has won his second Oscar Award!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Create your own IM Bot

In my last post, I mentioned about providing web services through Internet Messengers.

I searched online for a service which could provide a API or some other tool to create a bot. The one that I recommend is www.imfied.com.

How to make a IM Bot:

Step1: Go to imfied.com and register for a account.

Step2: You will get a validation key in your email address. Validate your account.

Step3: Login to your account and create a bot under applications tab. You will have to give URL of your script which will be hosted on your hosting space.

I used post by Amit to go through the steps required for creating the bot. Although, people at imfied.com have done some minor changes to the steps mentioned by him.

Because of traffic and infrastructure reasons, your bot may take a couple of days to get live.

Also, the bot id will be @bot.im. It would have been great if it could have been @yourdomainname.com

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Web Service from chat

There are many people on the internet, who live and breath web-messengers and emails, especially Gmail.

Recently, I have come across some web-services which actually depict the true meaning of WWW - Whatever, Wherever, and Whenever!

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Carpooling is a private agreement between several people to go regularly to a similar destination. A typical example would be that several workers from the same company who live in the same suburb take turns in driving to work.

The major challenge of carpooling actually is that there has to be a very strong geographic and time overlap. In my opinion, only a web service with a large local user community will be able to achieve success because poor results due to fewer users can de-motivate potential users very quickly.

It is quite surprising to me that Google India, having a very big user base through its social networking application - orkut; is not taking any initiative in this context.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How Green Is My Orange?

How much does your morning glass of orange juice contribute to global warming?

PepsiCo, which owns the Tropicana brand, decided to try to answer that question. It figured that as public concern grows about the fate of the planet, companies will find themselves under pressure to perform such calculations. Orange juice seemed like a good case study.

PepsiCo hired experts to do the math, measuring the emissions from such energy-intensive tasks as running a factory and transporting heavy juice cartons. But it turned out that the biggest single source of emissions was simply growing oranges. Citrus groves use a lot of nitrogen fertilizer, which requires natural gas to make and can turn into a potent greenhouse gas when it is spread on fields.

PepsiCo finally came up with a number: the equivalent of 3.75 pounds of carbon dioxide are emitted to the atmosphere for each half-gallon carton of orange juice.

PepsiCo is among the first that will provide consumers with an absolute number for a product’s carbon footprint, which many expect to be a trend. The information will be posted on Tropicana’s Web site. The company has not yet decided if it will eventually put it on the package.

While carbon reduction efforts are generally welcomed by environmentalists, some complain that the marketing claims are backed by fuzzy numbers and dubious assumptions.

Bryan Lembke, a PepsiCo manager on the project said, "If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it."

Read the complete story here.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Ponting repeats history at SCG

I think ICC should add some new rules to cricket after this:

McDonald to Kallis, OUT, oh well held, McDonald .. or not? Pitches it up down the stumps, Kallis goes back and starts to turn it to the on side, but the ball takes a leading edge and balloons back up in the air towards the bowler, who flings himself to his right in his follow through and looks like he's taken a stunner ... his team-mates converge but Kallis asks for confirmation, and McDonald admits he's not sure. To the naked eye it looked like he took it, Ponting sticks up a finger even before the umpires are consulted, and after numerous analysis Kallis is adjudged out. Thats a very, very tough call. One angle indicates he took it, the straight view says something else. I'm not convinced he took it.
(Source: Cricinfo)

Last year, during 2nd Test match between India and Australia, Ganguly was given OUT by Ponting:

Lee to Ganguly, OUT, huge appeals as Clarke is adamant he caught the ball low in front of him at second slip. Ganguly stands his ground, disgusted, and finally walks off. Replays suggest there is some doubt about whether it carried or not. The zoom in replays have showed that the ball may have bounced before Clarke took it. Close call but there was doubt. Benson seemed to ask someone and then gave it out, replays show Ponting indicating that the catch was taken. Ganguly, after he nicked that stood long and hard, not convinced that Clarke had caught it, the Australians had no doubt it was out. Replays showing that Clarke may have grounded the ball as he rolled over after taking the catch.