28 April 2008

My experiment with microblogging

Well I have heard enough of microblogging. I dirtied my hands with pownce and then later with twitter. Pownce as I found was more of spam than anything else. On twitter there are so many interesting people, sharing some good ideas and links. But of late its been inundated with chat messages. I think thats one thing that sucks on twitter. You just get inundated with so much of ignorable chat that you want to remove it. Anyways thats a different story.

Now what I am trying to do is start up with a twitter account called stupidquestions. What is going to posted on it is, well stupid questions. Some crappy questions and I expect people to come up with some good/smart answers. Now I am not going to read whatever the followers or people I am following are posting. But what I will be doing is that I will respond to all messages for stupidquestions(All messages which start with @stupidquestions). Hoping to get something good going Happy.

Do let me know what you think about this experiment of mine.

My takeaways from Barcamp Bangalore 6

Its always been that one post for Barcamp Bangalore is not enough. Its always that I have had multiple posts. This one could not be an exception. I not being an RIA fanboy did not care to attend the marathon hijack sessions on it. Neither did I care to attend Myspace thing. I kind of hated the fact that those RIA guys did not care but take a room for themselves for the entire time after lunch. Not that I did not like it happening but would have loved if there were people talking about other things also. After all this was not an RIACamp.

Anyways there were these interesting parallel sessions which happened. Among the first which I attended was Blogathon India. Me being an planner for Blogathon India started the session. Later it was taken over by Sanjukta. Next I preceded to help people with their wifi connections to the extent I could Happy. Anyways gurus Akash and Cruisemaniac aka Ashwin were always there. After some loitering met a few people who were interested in my idea of BuddyHere. This was probably one of thing which made me feel that probably my idea can take off as an OSS App. But then I am still as much confused about how to do it as I was before.

One thing that felt really good was when I saw a guy put labels on the Tea and coffee containers. Before that everyone was asking someone else which is which. But this guy just took the post-it notes and pasted them over the containers. After all its your barcamp. Please feel free to do anything. Now that the spirit of Barcamp.

There was this talk on saving Nanda which tried to come up with solutions. Ways to prevent the awesome trees which are there on the beautiful Nanda Road but very soon they will be chopped off to make way for the Namma Metro. But isnt it a bit too high price. It was good to meet such enthusiastic people.

Akash took a session on how to secure your ever vulnerable Windows XP with free software. No doubt that windoze is inherently a lousy OS as far as security is concerned. So the best way is to make sure we use Firefox with NoScript plugin. Another thing is to not install anything. Another interesting thing that he talked about was to disable all plugins in IE. Because if may not be IE but some other s/w which uses IE for internet be the source of problem. Sure to keep ur comp secure you can use virtualisation software too, but what about the data was the question Akash said to one of the participants. I think it was good learning from Akash about all the simple ways to prevent an attack on your PC.

Among the sessions worth mentioning were the legal aspects of Voip, SaaS and Horoscope-- Truth or Fake. It was interesting to know from the session by Rajeev that Voip is not allowed in India. All the while I thought its been made legal now. But it seems that its still illegal and we pay a hell lot of money for it. All in name of security but actually to save the VSNL from incurring losses. He is has created a community, a google group at http://groups.google.com/group/voiceofvoip. Let work towards making VoiP legal in India.

SaaS is sort of a buzzword today. But the fact is something that I know nothing of. The only thing that I can think of as SaaS  is Google Docs and similar services. I was introduced to the term, multitenent Database and SaaS for large corporations. Now thats something new.

I think this is very much what took from the last barcamp. I hope there is more of knowledge shower in the next one too.

21 April 2008

Barcamp Bangalore ... Rock the world

Well if India is diverse its so because of the people. Barcamp is for, with, by people and no wonder you had the ultimate kind of diversity in it. You had lawyers, CA, MBA, profs, CEOs, coders, developers and geeks (yes they are different) among various other people. It was an awesome mix of ideas and people. The planners met some time back and we had a lot of discussion over how to do things this time around. I was a yet another experiment. Thankfully it came out good.

If there is anything to complain about, it probably is the content. But friend isnt content something that has to come from us, the junta. I had been planning for some sort of an open source project. I thought BCB would be a great place to find people. But sadly it did not turn out the way I wanted. No hands to join in for the project. But anyways I did get some feedback on the objectives of my BuddyHere.

I did take another session on Hacking Canon compact camera to provide extra features. I will be writing a post on it soon. Among other things that I loved at the Barcamp this time around was the interactive session on SaaS or Software as a Service. Obviously its an amazing idea but still there challenges to be overcome. The multitenancy of database is surely going to go a long way in turning things around. The lightening talks, I believe are the best. In just 3 minutes so much gets exchanged. I am right now pondering over the idea, if we can have lightening talks a little more often than Barcamps. I feel most content that is presented at most places can be covered in 3 mins. Obviously these lack in depth knowledge but these are to enough to acquaint you about things which are happening around the world. Also worth mentioning is Rajeevs session on why VOIP is banned in India. He has started a google group to work towards making VOIP a reality in India. Please join us at http://groups.google.com/group/voiceofvoip for getting VOIP in India. Session on Logo designing by Aashish Solanki and the demo of Inkscape, the open source vector drawing tool was also very cool.

Besides these the interesting technical sessions there were these amazing talks about things like Genuineness of Horoscope, palmistry and Handwriting analysis. It was actually a high tempo discussion with some people (understandably) calling it a farce, whereas some others trying to prove it right. Well that discussion obviously did not end with anything but the sad truth is people still believe in this shitSad. Other sessions like dating and how to save Nanda Road were also very good. People had a good time think over these and talking about them.

Besides these what I loved was the fact that participation level was really high. Each and every person was trying to get his thoughts out. Probably this is something which will fire up a lot of innovation in India. I am actually looking at some startups which will be either rock the Web Biggies off the top or would be fodder aka acquisitions for them.

16 April 2008

Of Barcamp Bangalore

The barcamp movement has taken India  by storm and Bangalore has now become the center of this movement in India. I think it was Barcamp Bangalore where it all started and now its in its 6th edition. I was introduced to it in the 4rth edition. I liked the concept at the very first. It was very clear that everyone is equal. You would be admired based on not what you are but what you deliver. So if someone is talking crap, you can just walk out. True there were a lot of freeloaders out there who came to do nothing actually. I was supposed to be one but then I realized that I too could talk. Well not technical but the I could speak about "How the bloggers are affecting other professionals". I thought this was the beauty of Barcamp. You could discuss anything under the sun.

When the next barcamp was being planned and call was made for other to chip in, I decided to go ahead for it. Sadly I could not attend the Barcamp because of personal reasons but I could not attend it. This time around I am also trying to chip in to help have barcamp this time around too. Not much of thoughts about whats ideal but yes in terms of if there is anything that can be done, I would like to be there. Actually I am a firm believer of the fact that if there are too many cooks spoil the broth and I am happy with being a supporter.

That apart the fact is that there are really passionate people who actually work towards making barcamp a success, there are also people who are crying on the blogs and not doing anything. For me if there are a couple of ideas that discussed which stimulate my mind, thats enough for a camp because frankly we Indians are not mature enough to have tens of geniuses come for barcmap and talk about the next C, Java or next big kernel architectures. Having said that, we definitely have the knowledge of whats going around and thats cool enough. Even I plan to have a session so that I can find some people to start with building a nice open source offline blogging tool or Buddys Here. I hope I do find some interested people.

Hoping for a nice time at barcamp. But as this event is by and for the people, are you going to make it happen?




14 April 2008

Blogathon - Giving power back to people


If it was the newspapers which gave the power to the freedom fighters, its going to be the blogs which will give power to the us in fighting injustice so prevalent in the society. It would not be the voice of one or two people but the collective voice of hundred thousands whose voice will shake the blogosphere. The media as we see today is open to manipulation and more often not carrying the voice of the people. Blogathon is an attempt to unify the voice of 6 billion Indians. Together we shall talk about issues which affect us and society in general. Lets come together and talk about it. Its happening in the blogosphere from 20th to 26th April 2008. Each day the blogosphere will be talking about a particular topic. They are out now

Infrastructure: Sunday, 20th April 2008
How can we improve the traffic condition in our city?

Politics: Monday, 21st April 2008
How do we change the focus of politics from caste/religion to grassroot issues?

Entertainment: Tuesday, 22nd April 2008
Does Bollywood overshadow regional cinema in India?

Media: Wednesday, 23rd April 2008
Why are Indian news broadcast channels not as mature as their International counterparts?

Gender: Thursday, 24th April 2008
What are the challenges that society faces in accepting the concept of alternate sexuality?

Sport: Friday, 25th April 2008
Are ‘media’ and ‘com

Be there make it happen. More info at http://www.blogathon.in

Also cover well at




12 April 2008

BuddysHere --- A Mobile Application idea

Well this is an idea that I would like to share with all so that my dream can be realized. So here is the idea.

Now that we have mobiles with GPS we should make use of it. So now you have this messenger which would update your position in your IM every time you move over 100m or something. I am assuming that either the GPS now or sooner will be accurate to something like few meters. So when you have some of your friends around, you know that they are. Cool dont u think?

Here are options to make it happen.

1. Send update about the location to all/selected your buddies.

Pro: Simple and effective

Cons: No Privacy and your exact location is known to all.

2. Server gets updates and it pings you about friends close to you

Pro: Agains simple and effective

Cons: Requires server services. You location data is on a central server and this is a possible privacy risk.

3. Each person broadcasts a location to all his friends which is nearly correct. Now this nearly is something debatable but I would suggest it would be something like near in the range of a kilometer. If some other friends of yours is in location close to you, you respond by sending a still more accurate location. This step can be repeated several times so that friends who are actually close can know without actually revealing the true location unless they are truely close to each other.

Pro: Effective with privacy taken care.

Con: Complicated and can be wrong at times Batting Eyelashes if the algo is imperfect.


Now I propose we use the third option along with Jabber perhaps and make a good instant messenger for cell phones. Can we have gang doing it during the Barcamp Bangalore 6. Can we just add this over an existing open source project. Do let me know if you are interested or have other ideas.

01 April 2008

Aamir Khan - The looser

For those who do not follow news or anything let me point you to his blog. First of all he has this terrible Web 0.0 type of blog which basically sucks. Add a dash of the usual dramatics and you have a super blog. Super not because its good or thoughts are good but there a fan following of his. Thats the only reason I could see why anyone would follow his life force sucking blog. I had great respect for this guy until he wrote this post. I thought he was different when he came in support of the Narmada Bachao Andolan. He was very right. But now he has made monstrous decision. HE HAS DECIDED TO GO AHEAD WITH OLYMPICS TORCH RELAY. Wow when the world realizes to protest something we have a supporter in India other than the spineless mindless communists. I was rather happy with BJP in this regard, at least they showed some spine.

Lets examine some of the finer points which Mr Khan had to make.

I would like to state that I have the highest regard and respect for the struggle that the people of Tibet are going through. I completely empathize with them. Similarly, I have the highest respect and regard for the struggle that the people of Iraq, Kashmiri Pundits who have been displaced, Kashmiris in general, and the people of Palestine, are going through. I have named above just a few instances of human rights violations. Across the world, and indeed within our own country too, there are several instances and examples of atrocities and human rights violation, which are still continuing. I

With due regards Mr Khan I feel u should promote the next Olympics to be held in North Korea. Obviously there are so less places on earth. Mind it there is a big difference between the India and China. For starters the absolute rule is not there. There is something called the Courts and media which is thankfully very active. I thank God for not letting India go the communist way. It saved us from becoming slaves to Communist Brigade of India. At least we are allowed to speak, think and do as we please provided others are not offended. There is a big difference between China and other places on Earth. I am sure u dont realize it at all.

However, I feel that the Olympic Games do not belong to China.
In fact if we were to try and find on this planet a place to hold the Olympic Games where the government of that place has not been responsible for human rights violations (in one way or the other), then I suspect that we would be left with very few options, if any at all. If I am not mistaken almost all societies have been responsible for human rights violation either directly or indirectly, sometimes in seen ways and sometimes in unseen ways, sometimes physically, sometimes economically.

Sure Sir Olympics do not belong to China but we must protest and highlight the cause of Tibetians. Good way of justifying thinks, often the way Mr Singh does for his colleagues who are involved in scandals. The problem is not with violation, but the problem is in not resolving the problems. Controlling thought, action and restricting people physically does make a offence of human rights violations several times greater in magnitude. By support the event to happen in China, you are committing an offence no lesser than the Chinese government itself.

The Olympic Games represent for me the coming together of different people across the world despite their differences and difficulties. It is an opportunity for sportsmen and women across the world to showcase their talent, to challenge themselves and others, and for others to watch and marvel at the achievements of the human body, mind and soul.

Yes it is but when the organizers disallow the voice of the people, where is the moral right of the same. Its like having an Olympics while Hitler was at war. Oppressing and killing the innocent Jews.

I request those of you who have asked me to stay away from the Olympic Torch Relay to understand that when I do run with the torch on the 17th of April it is not in support of China. In fact it will be with a prayer in my heart for the people of Tibet, and indeed for all people across the world who are victims of human rights violations.

I am sorry Mr Khan but technically u have surrendered to the killer Chinese Commies. May the soul of peaceful protestors of Tibet rest in peace. I dont expect much from you anymore. I would surely do my part by boycotting all events related to Olympics and Mr Khan you too. I know I may miss some of the good movies coming out of Bollywood but then I do not mind. May the limelight of running with the Olympics Torch shine on you. May the Tibetans get the freedom they deserve. May Dalai Lama dont get insulted by coarse words and lies of the Chinese Administration. May world be a happy place.


Anyways I plan to boycott all sponsors of this Olympics.