Monday, October 12, 2009

VoIP on iPhone

Last week AT&T announced they will be allowing VoIP calls on iPhones. This was a welcome change for the mobile broadband users, giving them opportunity to be in touch with their contacts on networks like Skype etc. This would also open up the chances of using Google Voice on our iPhones someday soon.

Over the weekend, I tried making calls using Skype on my iPhone. I could hardly connect when I was on the AT&T 3G network. When I switched to WiFi at my home, I could place calls but could hardly hear the other person on the line. Looks like the network still needs some QoS tweaking to allow users to make VoIP calls.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Facebook/Google faceoff

I came across this interesting article by Fred Vogelstein in the Wired magazine. He compares the both the vanguards of internet world and how they are competing to re-define the web-sphere. I agree with most of his observations that Facebook would eventually change the way people search or view content on the internet. Facebook actually earns those brownie points where Google fails in providing personalized content for any information. Facebook has still a long way to go before it aligns itself beside Google in the dash to achieve supremacy on the information/content being searched. The more personal feedback users get for any topic they search on social networks, the more information they would share and Facebook is hoping on reaping benefits from this behavioral pattern. With Bing taking some share of the search pie, Google should be preparing itself to face a stiff challenge in the form of Facebook. The folks at Mountain View have already taken cognizance of this fact and are venturing into several initiatives which add the personalized touch to information seek.

PS: you could find me on Facebook

Saturday, June 06, 2009


I do not exactly remember what my browser home page used to be before I switched to iGoogle. I am so used to it now, that I could hardly imagine any other gateway to internet, as iGoogle satisfied all my needs. But as they say in economics, your needs are eventually determined by the options you have, iGoogle appeared to be that one-size-fits-all solution for all my home page needs.

This notion changed when I tried out Bing. The huge picture, with some useful information tidbits was a fresh change (being an avid photographer, I naturally love those great shots). Whenever you launch your homepage and have few seconds to spare, Bing provides a good starting point for some quick learning about issues and places.

To continue from where I left in my previous post, the other features I like about Bing are

- a quick summary of the result (however, this is not so cool when the result page is image rich and does not have much text content. Flickr result page gives a blank summary)

- the image search has some interesting options (colors, layout, size etc.) in the left pane. I found the people option (just faces, head & shoulders) to be interesting. It would be great to have a feature of finding similar images (to find out who on the internet is resembles me). But this would mean bringing in state-of-the-art image search tools into a generic search engine. If you ask me, I would vote for it.

Bing is definitely an interesting product, people would be playing a lot with it, before deciding if it meets their needs or not. Or rather should I say, would Bing change the internet search needs of the webkind.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Initial Experiences with Bing

Bing got launched. And the blogosphere is all ga-ga about the incumbent comparisons between Google and Bing. You will find many raving about how the new search interface from big brother Microsoft is, yet you will find many ranting about the quality of search results.

I personally love the freshness Bing brings to the search world and would be trying it for a few days before making up my mind on it. But for an old googler like me, (whose interface to internet is through iGoogle, google search bars, etc), to migrate over to a new search engine is a big leap of faith. Not sure how long I am going to experiment with it.

What I like about Bing?
- the ability to preview your video searches, thats something new!
- the categorization of search results in the left pane, now this brings in the idea of conceptual search into mainstream search results. I personally like it, but not sure how many of the regular web surfers would love this cookie.

Whats in a name? Is Steve Ballmer thinking that people would eventually use the word bing as a synonym for searching on the internet? Well this could be answered in a few weeks on how people embrace it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sleepless in Seattle

Sleepless in Seattle

Ever since I crossed over the Atlantic and moved to US, my friends back in Europe have always been complaining that I am not pursuing my photographic hobby any further. Well, while in Italy my work routine was pretty different as compared to here and hence I could manage to create time to travel around the continent. While traveling around Europe you often end up taking some great photographs. Thats how I had managed to build a good photo gallery on Flickr. In Seattle, my work does not give me much leeway to exercise my creative cells and my traveling is now reduced to just between home and office.

With a sizeable Indian community in and around Seattle, there are plenty of activities happening on weekends. Cricket is one such activity which is scheduled on my weekends. There are couple of leagues for recreational and professional enthusiasts. So the hiking and climbing I used to do on weekends (in Trento) until last year has now been replaced with cricket. On some occassions I do get a chance to carry my camera around and click some shots of the city. So, all my freundeskreis aus Deutschland und giro di amici dal'Italia, please subscribe to my photo feeds on Flickr.

Seattle waterfront

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The new iGoogle interface

The new iGoogle interface is such a pleasant change. The new version of the optimized home page experience from Google is available only to developers initially and is being made available to select users in a phased roll out approach. After the announcement last month, I was hoping this month they would expand the selected customer list to reach my ID ;) But the wait seems to be a little longer than expected. The new interface gives a very at-home feeling for all the plugged in gadgets. An instant view management for Gmail and Google Reader would be a big relief for me. So each time I open my browser, I hope my iGoogle page has been optimized :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gmail Contacts issue

Gmail has decided to drop off its feature of adding contact names automatically when you compose your mails. Earlier, whenever you wrote a mail to or recieved a mail from someone, that mail Id was automatically added to your contact list. And names from this list would be suggested to you automatically in the address bar. Honestly speaking, I was so used to this feature that I rarely remembered any mail Ids of my contacts. In the new version of its contact manager, Gmail allows a list for holding the "Suggested Contacts" names along with the "My Contacts" address list. For some wierd reason, I havent still had access to this new feature of Gmail Contact manager, but I hope I get back that auto-adding feature soon, such that I can create my list of frequently mailed contacts once and later not worry about remembering their mail IDs