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Archive for January, 2007

It’s Official : Google is the next Microsoft

Posted by tggokul on January 31, 2007

I had just written a post today morning about how Google of late has become very error prone and that they are well on track to be the next Microsoft. I submit yet another evidence.

All these days, I have never had any issues with Youtube and today I tried to see one of the videos and this is the error I got.youtube.GIF

Well, I did give them the benefit of doubt and thought that the Macromedia in my laptop was uninstalled (or screwed up). So I followed the link in that page to install macromedia and even after I installed it, I got the same issues. And I was sure that there was no way the Javascript option was turned off.

I googled out this error ( Talk about irony!!! Using Google to fix Google’s problem.), I figured out that I needed to install the full version of Flash Player and not the partial install the link in Youtube lead me to. I dutifully did that and my videos have started working fine. And it looks like a lot of people are having these issues of late.

I am a die-hard fan of Google ( read here), but my confidence in them is slowly eroding. I had written then

People claim that Google probably has the lowest Tester to developer ratio; reason being the developers are encouraged to write quality code that undergoes very little change during testing phase.

I guess the new hires ( which is a pretty significant number) are not upto the same level as the old pros. Of late, I keep hearing that the rigorous interviews which were hallmarks of Google have substantially become easier ( or people have become much smart. Nah, that is not possible. My pet theory is that , the average IQ of mankind comes down every day. That is another discussion for another day ). The immediate effect of this is poor quality of code ( and testing).

Either Google needs to pull up its socks or be prepared to be the target of constant ridicule inspite of its success ( just like Microsoft)

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Posted in General | 3 Comments »

Google Reader Error

Posted by tggokul on January 31, 2007

I got this error when I was reading through the various blogs using google reader

gerror.GIF

I have been getting this for sometime now with gmail, but this was the first time I saw this in Google Reader. Google was supposed to be giving us great quality products. They are now looking like the Microsoft we have all come to hate. A month or two ago, there was this whole Gmail account getting deleted fiasco and now I am seeing more of these glitches. Not good, google!!!

And then to top it all the stupid message “This isn’t supposed to happen”; Duh, it just happened,pinhead!!!

Posted in General | 2 Comments »

SOA Conference in Chennai

Posted by tggokul on January 30, 2007

I just got word that there is going to be a SOA conference in Chennai on 12th March,2007 and it is going to be chaired by Clive Finkelstein

Their brochure says that this program would cover details on Web services, Business process management, SOA governance and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). Sounds interesting but the Registration fee is kind of steep priced at Rs.9000 ($200). There are early bird discounts of Rs.2000 (45$) , though I am still contemplating whether I need to spend money on something I am not exactly too keen on. Lets see. ( Would they let me in for free if I say I am from the media? I can show them my PROTO.in live coverage credentials, hmmmm)

Anyway for more details and online registration you can visit the official conference website.

Posted in General | 3 Comments »

Palani,Welcome to the Dark Side!!!

Posted by tggokul on January 29, 2007

Yet another one crosses over to the Red Pill world.

Palani is a classmate of mine and has started maintaining his own blog. He plans to write about Hardware, System Design, new ventures in the Bay Area and global management of offshore teams in the semiconductor space. I am looking forward to his insights and fascinating views on the same.

It is slightly more than two months (that makes me a veteran,right?) since I started writing mine and just like Vijay inspired me to write one, looks like I have inspired Palani to write his. I have done my due of “Paying it Forward”.

One small advice to Palani. Writing a blog is just like running a startup. Be very aware of what the leaders in your domain are saying and carve a niche for yourself. Strive to become a thought leader in that domain and that can be achieved only through tonnes of reading. Oh boy, do I sound old or what?

Anyway Palani, wishing you all the best and we hope to read some cool stuff in the near future.

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IOS compromised?

Posted by tggokul on January 29, 2007

I am little late to this story (did not check the news for the last three days). There have been three critical security holes that have been identified and fix by Cisco.

Obviously the third one (Crafted IP option) is the most serious of the three. (Check out the pictorial representation of the ip options header that is there in Unleash Networks blog ).

The official word is that there are no known cases of these vulnerabilities being exploited but given that its just a week for Cisco’s quarterly earnings release, this kind of a news does not bode well for Cisco.

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Long Weekend

Posted by tggokul on January 26, 2007

Guys, its a long weekend here in India and I am off for a short holiday till Sunday. So there might very less if not no activity here for the next three days. Next few weeks are going to be interesting since I plan to feature atleast two Indian startups in this blog. So this is the place to be if you are interested in startups in India and their products.

Till then have a safe weekend and I will be back with renewed rigour.

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PICSQUARE

Posted by tggokul on January 25, 2007

I wanted to play around with PicSquare and created an account for myself.  Pretty neat site and not complicated at all. This would pass the mother test (your mother would be able to understand what is going on and be able to operate it). They give free 10 free prints on registration. I have one gripe in the registration process. They did a send a confirmation mail to my email id, but the account should be activated only when I accept.  The email says that if somebody else had registered on my behalf I should contact them. It should not be this way.  I don’t want somebody to use my email id and then I need to contact PicSquare to reclaim it!!!

Next I wanted to test sending a photo. (Atleast till the final checkout screen even if I am not actually sending it) I uploaded a photo and updated my dad’s address in Chennai as a contact.

Their UI is neat though their checkout process could be made a little less complex. It lets me go into the ‘Digital Print’ screen even when I have not selected any photos. This shouldn’t be allowed at all. I also got a little confused when it asks me to save the contact in the receipient address list. I don’t think that is necessary. Once I have added the contact and selected it, it should automatically be added to the recepient list!!! It went to the payment page from there and I cancelled it 🙂 I had selected one print and it said I would be charged Rs.50. Price ain’t too bad.

When I was accessing all the pages in PicSquare it was kind of slow. Am not sure whether my internet link was slow ( I am on broadband. So might not be) or could be a lot of load at that time. I hope it is just a temporary thing.

The service looks good and easy to use. I probably will suggest it to my friends in the US who could use such a service. Overall grade A-.

Posted in Web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Age of the ‘British’ Empire

Posted by tggokul on January 25, 2007

These days the norm is, when it comes to developing new technologies in the Telecom space, Europe is way ahead and it when it comes to adoption of these technologies Asia seems to be leading the way. I just got a chance to read this awesome report on British Telecom’s plan for 21CN and their implementations and it kind of strays away from my initial observation. British Telecom seems to be leading in developing/adopting the latest technologies.

The fact of the matter is all major service providers around the world agree and accept that IP is the way to go, but they are hesitant in implementing it for the following reasons
1. The need is not immediate and the “2 years away” mentality ( When newer technologies are introduced, most Service providers hide behind the excuse that the technology is atleast two years early. )
2. Conservative Approach : Don’t fix it if ain’t broken. Make no mistake, the service providers are getting killed when they try to manage all the networks and all the differnet applications that run on it. But as of today, they are still manageable. (What service providers, atleast in India, are doing is they are asking the application providers to provide and manage the applications as part of revenue sharing). This will become unmanageable soon as the number of application providers increase.
3. QoS and Security : There is still a general suspicion that IP based communications is vulnerable to attacks and the quality of voice ain’t too great. Though there are still areas for improvement, giant steps have been made in the last few years which should alleviate these fears.
4. Huge initial cost : The infrastructural changes that needs to be made requires some serious money and this is one of the barriers.

British Telecom has assumed the role of a leader (breaking all the barriers mentioned above)  and needs to be commended for its push for smarter/simpler network. BT’s global services is becoming a serious player and we can start seeing them being catalysts for this transformation across the globe.

They used to be a saying in the imperialistic days of the British ” The Sun never sets in the British Empire”. I believe we are going to see “The sun never sets in the British Telecom empire” and boy am I looking forward to that!!!

Posted in VoIP/IMS | 2 Comments »

When 99 ain’t too bad!!

Posted by tggokul on January 25, 2007

Yup, I missed the century mark by one. But I am not feeling too sad about that.  WordPress has named this blog the 99th top blog of the day.

I guess most of the credit would go to the posts in readwriteweb and VentureWoods which were linked to my blog.

This blog has seen tremendous activity the last four days ( post-proto) and I am glad that I met few cool people through these pages. I don’t how PROTO.in benefited the companies and VCs ( Vijay, we are still waiting on that), but it sure catapulted this blog to fame. As they say in the movie Spiderman (I like Spiderman, I am him after all) “With greater power comes even more responsibility” and I understand that.

Thank you guys for all the support and to see you guys here regularly.

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T-Mobile IVR

Posted by tggokul on January 24, 2007

Just read the blog where Martin Geddes vents his anger on T-Mobile’s bad customer service.

This is a typical example of “IVR application done wild” . For people who are not aware, I work in a call-centre application development company and I make it a point to understand what would be the pain points for people dialing into the IVR and had blogged about the organisation GetHuman and the response I got from them in earlier blogs.

High abandon rates is a major challenge for a call center and the problem is even more magnified due to lack of reports or mechanisms to analyze the entire operation. Self-fulfilment ( navigating through menus in IVR) is a necessity to reduce wait time and people in the queue, but it seems to be having a negative impact in most cases.

I think every call centre needs to have a CallBack manager as a minimum if things have to start getting better. We try to recommend that in our solution and thankfully some of them seem to be taking heed. Hopefully we might see a whole lot more of these Callback manager and see less of Martin’s problems.

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