Saturday, June 30, 2007

Google Gears and client side caching

This is getting more and more interesting. Today I read an article that explained Google Gears very lucidly.

I think, this is going to make UI coding and the design patterns still more interesting. Large parts of relatively static data can be cached on client side, data that the browser cannot cache easily, like DHTML tables. I am wondering if I can use it in my Flex 2 application.

I guess the only downside is that the user will be asked to install Google Gears on their desktop. I don't see much of a problem, since I used it for Google Reader. However, if this was used with some more critical application, I will probably think twice before I do that.

Here is an interesting code snippet, originally here:

function initializedb() {
if (! || !google.gears)

try {
db = google.gears.factory.create('beta.database', '1.0');
} catch (ex) {
alert('Could not create database: ' + ex.message);

if (db) {'gearsintro');
db.execute('create table if not exists articles' +
' ( article_id int, title varchar(255), content text )');

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Image to HTML conversion

Check out the image below and the one on the right. The one below is actually an HTML table!! Isn't it amazing? Thanks to Neil Fraser, check out his original page.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Online Transactions To More Than Double In 2007-08

ContentSutra reports:
Railway, air and movie tickets, as well as electronic item sales are boosting e-commerce in Indian metros, according to a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India. The result could be a 150 percent jump in online revenue to Rs. 5,500 crores in 2007-08 from Rs, 2,200 crores in the year-ago period. According to the report, the percentage of Mumbai’s population that shops online is 24 percent and is expected to touch 40 percent. Delhi follows suit at 20 percent and is likely to go up to 30 percent. Ironically, the percentage of e-shopping population in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India, stands at a paltry 6 percent for 2006-07.
It's very interesting to see Bangalore doing so little ePurchases. Do you wonder why? Is it because IT-people are more aware of the frauds that can be done online, and therefore they wouldn't like to eat the food that they cook? Like ever time I put my credit card details on a web form, I know that the data is going over wire from my laptop to the router to the server to their server to some other server, and it is potentially cached at all locations. Plus I need to check if I am not being phished, so I triple check the URL, and then I check if it is a https connection all the way. I am sure my wife wouldn't think of that when she does an electronic purchase.

But, I love the progress in online transactions increasing in India. More online transactions also means more advertising moving online, good for Komli :-)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mobile scratch-proof glass, and the road ahead

I have recently moved from a vanilla-Nokia-phone to some sort of a smart phone. My new Nokia N73 is pretty smart. One thing that constantly worries me, to the extent that I was thinking of not using this phone is the delicateness of this phone. This is a very nice phone, however the screen is so delicate, and it’s so costly that I can’t use it the way I used to use my old phone. I used to throw my old phone on my desk, on my car seat, treated it pretty badly – and it worked GREAT. However, the N73, with a 3.2 megapizels Carl Ziess lens, cannot be thrown around, with it’s delicate screen I can’t even keep my keys or coins in the same pocket I keep my phone.

I interestingly I see Judi Sohn concerned about iPhone:
there is no way I’m buying a glass-covered cell phone for $500 without accidental protection or some assurance that this thing can take everyday bumps and bruises without a problem. I want to use this thing…not display it on my wall for goodness sakes.
I also see iPhone addressing this problem by making a scratch proof glass. I wonder why Nokia doesn't make scratch proof glass? Is it because they want people to throw away their phone after a few months of usage and buy the latest models?

I am wondering what are the other major mobile innovations I am going to see in the next 12 months?

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RDBMS has come to the browser

Ajaxian reports:

Firefox 3 is to support SQLite for offline storage. The new alpha release tells us this and a lot more (below).

The world of the RDBMS has come to the browser, and has jumped from server to client in the Web platform.

I think this is a pretty interesting innovation. Suddenly we will have a lot more agile storage space on the client side. We can do some complex relational storage on the client side. I wonder if cookies will undergo a major transformation (like limit on cookie size etc.). I wonder if we will see nice Javascript APIs to access the RDBMS on the client side (or did I miss it; is it already there?). I wonder if Browsers will collocate some of these data, and we may see something like 'single instance storage' on the client side? I think all of this was possible even without the RDBMS, however a database on the client side makes us think the various possibilities that existed on the server side.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Pig and Chickens

I was reading about ‘stand-up meetings’, which is an interesting concept of Agile Computing; I liked the differentiation of “commit” vs. “involved”; check it out in the following excerpt:

Pig and Chickens
A chicken and a pig are together when the chicken says, "Let's start a restaurant!"
The pig thinks it over and says, "What would we call this restaurant?"

The chicken says, "Ham n' Eggs!"

The pig says, "No thanks, I'd be committed, but you'd only be involved!"

[Schwaber and Beedle, 2001]

Read more at .

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Age Question

Fantastic post by Fred Wilson:

Brad suggested I write this post. I've been reluctant because I don't want to pick at this scab of a meme. I really don't want to be the guy who made it harder for anyone older than 30 to get funded in the web services market.

The answer lies in Marc Andreessen's words of wisdom about the web:

After an initial phase of the Web as a medium, in which lots of people attempted to make the Web look like a newspaper, or a magazine, or a TV channel, we as an industry have recently been collectively developing a much clearer idea of what the Web is really like as a medium in and of itself.

This has led to broad realization of a set of design patterns for how Web services and Web companies often get built and used.

Who is developing this "clearer idea"? Who is developing the set of "design patterns"? It's the younger generation. And its important to understand why.

It is incredibly hard to think of new paradigms when you've grown up reading the newspaper every morning. When you turn to TV for your entertainment. When you read magazines on the train home from work.

But we have a generation coming of age right now that has never relied on newspapers, TV, and magazines for their information and entertainment. They are the net natives. They grew up in AOL chatrooms, IMing with their friends for hours after dinner, and went to school with a Facebook login.

But the truth is that some of the most interesting things I've seen this month and this year are the creations of kids who barely shave. And it's not an accident.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

The Pmarca Guide to Personal Productivity

Here is probably the best article I have read on enhancing your personal productivity, authored by Marc Andreessen. You should definitely read the full length version here.

Mark writes:
  • Let's start with a bang: don't keep a schedule.

    He's crazy, you say! I'm totally serious. If you pull it off -- and in many structured jobs, you simply can't -- this simple tip alone can make a huge difference in productivity. By not keeping a schedule, I mean: refuse to commit to meetings, appointments, or activities at any set time in any future day. As a result, you can always work on whatever is most important or most interesting, at any time.

    This idea comes from a wonderful book called A Perfect Mess, which explains how not keeping a schedule has been key to Arnold Schwarzenegger's success as a movie star, politician, and businessman over the last 20 years.

  • Keep three and only three lists: a Todo List, a Watch List, and a Later List.

  • Structured Procrastination.
    This one is lifted straight from the genius mind of John Perry, a philosophy professor at Stanford.
  • Hide in an IPod. One of the best and easiest ways to avoid distractions in the workplace is to be wearing those cute little IPod earbud headphones (or any other headphones of your choice). People, for some reason, feel much worse interrupting you if you are wearing headphones than if you're not.
  • Do something you love.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

India is 4th largest in mobile web access

ContentSutra reports:
The number of people entering Cyberspace via their cellphones has more than doubled in India in the past year, making the country home to the fourth largest population—behind the U.K., the U.S. and South Africa—browsing the Internet through mobile handsets, according to a study reported by the PTI.
I have to tell that I have "converted" after purchasing my Nokia N73. This is a superb machine, which I have fallen in love with. What I am amazed about is the GPRS speed and the ease of web-surfing. I can get my company email, Yahoo!Mail and Gmail all on this device, and pretty quickly. The speed is great, and the UI is great. This phone has an amazing history feature, where is displays miniaturized versions of the pages that I visited in the past - very cool feature.

I watched a video on this phone, with headphones - and thats Amazing - clarity, quality and speed. I have to agree that very soon people will actually watch TV and movies of their phones. That's your own personal space; no more fighting for the remote - and with equal or better video and sound quality.

To top it, it takes great pictures and videos.

BTW - You can find a good review of N73 here.

You can't get better than this, in the given cost - at least for the next week :-)

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Monday, June 04, 2007

WSJ on Internet Advertising

WSJ has published an interesting writeup on Internet advertising:

It's becoming apparent that Internet advertising, in its myriad permutations, isn't just a new variation on traditional advertising. The ability of online advertisers to place information in highly targeted contexts in which users can click through to further information and even make purchases seems so revolutionary that it can hardly be called advertising at all. It may well be that the frequency of ad usage will generate the same data-intensive refinements that exist in the search field, yielding similar economies of scale -- and a natural monopoly.

As an investor, I love natural monopolies. Internet advertising is now a $40 billion-a-year industry with estimated 20% annual growth. I find Google at $470 a share attractive for its search business alone, with its continuing impressive growth and wide margins. These intriguing developments on the advertising side of the Internet make it even more compelling.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Beautiful Lonavala

I went to Lonavala this Saturday. It's becoming really beautiful at Lonavala, with rains coming in. I will let the pictures talk for themselves. The first picture was taken using my Nikon N65 SLR, while the others were done using my Kodak digital.

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