Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The buzz on Google Buzz!

Mashable is on the job, finding the latest on Google Buzz -
It’s official: Google has just announced Google Buzz, its newest push into the social media foray. This confirms earlier reports of Gmail integrating a social status feature.
Check out more links from our sidebar for others covering the news.

This is probably what Google was going to do with the Google Wave, but failed - I still have unused invites from my wave. Integrating the Buzz with Gmail is the killer feature here, who doesn't use Gmail anymore? Going to Wave, setting it up, figuring out what to do and even why was a major buzz kill(pardon the pun). My husband and I "waved" a few times for the novelty of it and then forgot about it.

I am off to check out the new features already - just wondering if this will go right to the Google Apps on iPhone and Android or not...

How to make the most emailed list...on NYT

Here is a very interesting article from the NYT - Will You Be E-Mailing This Column? It’s Awesome - talking about something that is dear to the heart of anyone who is interested in social media for fun or academic reasons. The article is about the findings of a research study focusing on the most emailed articles from the NYT to figure out what made an article more or less likely to be circulated.
People preferred e-mailing articles with positive rather than negative themes, and they liked to send long articles on intellectually challenging topics.
Perhaps most of all, readers wanted to share articles that inspired awe, an emotion that the researchers investigated after noticing how many science articles made the list. In general, they found, 20 percent of articles that appeared on the Times home page made the list, but the rate rose to 30 percent for science articles, including ones with headlines like “The Promise and Power of RNA.” (I swear, the science staff did nothing to instigate this study, but we definitely don’t mind publicizing the results.)
Interesting on one hand, but not very surprising, eh? People are more likely to want to share good news, surprise and inspire their friends with information most of the time - unless it is me emailing my husband a bunch of links to beat him up in a debate...I am a barrel of laughs, why do you ask?.

There are a lot of lessons in this to not just bloggers, but to investors in social media - a sunny disposition that also disburses knowledge? Social media gold!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Great News for UI Developers

I am a big fan of Firebug for FireFox - I couldn't have developed a lot of applications without it's help. Of course, the limitation was that you are stuck with testing on FireFox and any cross-browser errors are as usual hard to figure out. Now you can relax!

New Firebug Lite Adds Web Dev Tools to Any Browser

This new version is a significant update to Firebug Lite. While the full power of Firebug still requires Firefox (see our coverage of the recently released Firebug 1.5), Firebug Lite 1.3 adds some great HTML and CSS debugging tools to any browser, including IE6+, Opera, Safari and Google Chrome.

The lastest beta release of Firebug Lite — which is bookmarklet script that you can add to your browser’s favorites bar — features significant speed boosts and many improvements to the HTML and CSS inspectors. The visual interface of Firebug Lite has also been revamped to match that of Firebug 1.3. For more details on everything that’s new in the Firebug Lite 1.3 beta be sure to check out the release notes.

Oh Dear!

Apple Bans 'Android' from App Store Descriptions - Reviews by PC Magazine.

This takes it to a completely new level of obtuseness on Apple's part -
The original preview for Tim Novikof’’s Flash of Genius SAT flashcard app mentioned that it had been a “finalist in Google’s Android Developer’s [sic] Challenge.

Seriously, that’s an issue? Come on, Apple! Grow up! This is a just a little bit less ridiculous than the incident of the school girl getting handcuffed for the horrible crime of doodling on her desk (via Althouse)! Over reactions to little things.

update: Looks like Apple is banning location-aware ads from the apps too! Soon, it might just be easier to find what is allowed in an iPhone app than what is not!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Book Review: Beautiful Teams

Once in a while you read a book that is such great reading that you forget it is serving as a valuable teaching tool at the same time - "Beautiful Teams" by Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene is one such book I had an opportunity to read.
Any software engineer with any amount of professional experience has been part of a development team - sometimes good, sometimes bad. We have all been in situations where we have had to work with difficult people under difficult situations. This book is a great compendium of several such stories - people working with other people under difficult circumstances - sometimes making things work and sometimes failing spectacularly.

You come away with a new appreciation for the teams - the difficult people and the people who can make them work - after reading about the various experiances. It is amazing how many of my own project teams I was reminded of while I was reading this book - beautiful teams and ugly teams that won beautifully. This is a must-read book for team members and leaders. I recommend this especially for those who want to be in leadership positions and need new ideas about making teams work. You will find it hard to put this down once you start reading.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

T-Mobile Hotspot App

Well, you guys might have guessed from my previous lament about the "cupcake" update that I am a G1 owner with T-Mobile USA. What is really cool about T-Mobile's G1 data plan is that all the T-Mobile hotspots are included free with the plan. T-Mobile has now released a free app in the adroid market that allows G1 users to hookup to the hotspots like wifi.

Very cool, isn't it! Starbucks, here I come ;)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


via Instapundit comes this interesting post by Lou Minatti about Indian IT workers. The post makes some fair points about lack of creativity among Indian workers and so do the comments. Of course, considering my husband and I have been Indian and IT workers in the US for more than a decade, I am compelled to weigh in on the discussion.
  • I agree that a lot of Indians in the US have Masters' degrees and expect to buy respect with them, which is not how it works over here. I would also point out quite a few of these Masters' degree holders actually graduated with engineering degreed in a very tough and competetive education system in India - this makes them pretty bright already.
  • There has definitely been a disturbing trend lately in the newcomers from India and those who work on outsourced positions - they need complete and total instructions to do anything remotely useful - good for mundane, repetitive tasks, but bad in situations that need quick thinking on their feet.
  • Everybody knows that the dirty secret of why US firms hire anyone off-shore - it has nothing to do with being bright or "employable" - it is that you get cheap workers. This ofcourse, applies to Indians, Chinese and everyone else who will work for less money than an American worker - everything else is just excuses.
I do have to add that when I am about to interview any Indians, I do tend to go over the resume a little bit more carefully than any one else'. They temd to exaggerate and even make up stuff a lot of times vs. others. Thoughts?