Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Google's Presentation App Confirmed

Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced at the Web 2.0 expo that Google is really working on a Presentation application. I can almost hear the crowd going ooh-aah.. but the thing is, this is not a product that is coming out of Google's own stable. Google's recent acquisition of Tonic Systems will provide the technology that will boost the development of the product.

Tonic Systems possesses the intricate know-how in presentation & document conversion technology.

They state that -

"The PowerPoint file format is a very complex format made more so because of the lack of any documentation from Microsoft.
Through many man-years of R&D we understand that format better than any other 3rd party provider. This is why we can produce the range of products we do. This is not a sideline for us. Our products faithfully read and write to that format."

The pertinent issues with Google Docs & Spreadsheets are mostly compatibility issues. So Tonic's acquisition will hopefully plug the issues related to the PowerPoint format compatibility.

The launch of the presentation app will complete the 'basic' suite of applications & will hopefully position Google as prime competition to MS Office although Mr Schmidt refuses to agree that Google is going to compete with MS Office directly.
He says -

"We're not as fully functional as MS Office, we're more in line with how
people use the Web than how they use the desktop."

Well Mr Schmidt, its alright to play safe & hide all your cards in a game of poker but I think all of us know that any productivity application that gets launched will most definitely compete for market space with the big boys from Redmond no matter how much Google champions the adoption of a web based computing platform.

It's still a long way to go.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Hand Are full

Having two blogs has ceased to make sense to me.

In any case, I haven't been posting in either of them. So in an attempt to salvage my credibility in my readership circle which consists of 2 complete people, I'll post on all topics in this blog itself..

Links to entries from the other blog:

Close Encounters of the Apple Kind

Web 2.0 Awards


The Physics Of Software

The Machine Is Us/ing Us

Steve's Thoughts On Music


Mix It Up

Friday, March 16, 2007


Its been quite some time since Hollywood rolled out the red carpets & I've been since then trying to find something that I lost during that time.. what was it, I keep forgetting?... ah yes, my respect for the 'Academy'!
Hope I stumble upon it next year.

I haven't seen 'The Departed' but I did see 'The Aviator' & 'Gangs of New York' & to give Martin Scorsese the Best Director award for a film he least deserves is a blatant insult if you ask me..

But in the end, to see Marty on stage was like a wish fulfilled. I had hoped he would win it for Gangs in 2002 but Roman 'sex offender' Polanski had swooped in with 'The Pianist' & spoilt the party.

But for die hard Marty fans, it was a day of reckoning.. watching him receive the award from the BIG 3 (Spielberg, Coppola, Lucas) gave tremendous joy. I just hope he'll keep creating cinematic magic year after year with his new found protege - Leo DiCaprio.. award or no award. But who doesn't lurve the fame & glory and peer recognition that comes with it.

Best Film:

Of all the movies, I could only check out 'Babel'.. Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, who is another master craftsman is a part of another BIG 3 (Inarritu + Alfonso Cuaron + Guillermo del Toro) & completes the triumvirate from Spain.
Before the Golden Globes & the Screen Actors Guild awards, I almost 'knew' that Babel would walk away with the best film award.. Critics probably gave it a thumbs down since it did not have enough follow through. The film spans multiple geographies & ethnicities & the central theme of miscommunication in a modern electronic age is typical Oscar material.The biggest upset this year was the absence of 'Dreamgirls' from the 'Best Film' category. It had garnered enough hype to be at least there in contention.
'Little Miss Sunshine' is basically an 'on-the-road-dysfunctional-family' indie flick. From the trailers, it seems Abigail breslin is the new 'young' talent in town. She was also nominated in the 'best supporting actress category' alongside Jennifer Hudson & Cate Blanchett.
In the end it was a choice between 'Babel' & 'The Departed'.

Best Actor:

Forrest Whitaker - Haven't even seen the trailer of 'The LastKing Of Scotland' but it is a global concensus that giving the award to anybody else would have been a crime against the art of acting.

Best Actress:

Royalty for Hollywood is like Hollywood for Bollywood.. In case that sentence did not make much sense, the basic point that I'm trying to make is that Hollywood could give away the top prizes every year to films on the British royalty provided they get made every year.Those Americans can never get enough of a stiffer upper lip. Helen Mirren has apparently given a fine, subtle performance playing the role of Queen Elizabeth. I guess the script & screenplay should be equally appreciated as the role IMHO was a bit complex to pull off with conviction.

I'm also betting my cards on Shekhar Kapur's 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age' to take home at least a couple of the top awards in next years Oscars.

Eagerly waiting for 'Pan's Labyrinth' to hit the screens here.

The Machine is Using Us

John Battelle interviews Michael Wesch, the brilliant cultural anthropology professor who gave us this terrific video. He says --

"For me, cultural anthropology is a continuous exercise in expanding my mind and my empathy, building primarily from one simple principle: everything is connected. This is true on many levels. First, everything including the environment, technology, economy, social structure, politics, religion, art and more are all interconnected. As I tried to illustrate in the video, this means that a change in one area (such as the way we communicate) can have a profound effect on everything else, including family, love, and our sense of being itself."

I always try to maintain a holistic perspective on the inter-connectedness of the different spheres of technology, politics, economics, fine arts. If not at all times, all or some of these seemingly disparate fields seem to merge at a focal point.

For a cultural anthropologist, Michael is pretty high on the geek quotient & his video is absolutely crisp & brilliant in its quality.
Although the video shows us the evolution of how digital technology has evolved but it is his study of the correlation between the ever changing technological landscape & the human & societal barriers that it helps break that is so fascinating.

I think it would be safe to label this one as a viral video as it has become one of the most widely viewed videos on the web.

"I did not know it would reach so many people, but I had hoped that for
those it did reach it would spark some reflection on the power of the technology they were using. Because without proper understanding and reflection, “the machine” is using us – all of us – even those that don’t have access to the machine at all."

Read the complete interview.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Which pill did he take?

Denis Darzacq has a feeling that he's the ONE.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Jammin' Like Crazy

Amit Chatwani, who is also known as the 'Borat of Wall Street', is the author of the blog Leveraged Sellout. The blog severely lampoons the lifestyles of the young, filthy rich, 20-something investment bankers & finance guys of Wall Street who spend their 18 hour workdays hunched over excel worksheets & spend their weekends in nightclubs & pubs in the upmarket, always on the move Financial District of Manhattan.

His profanity ridden, brash style of writing has generated a humongous readership & the blog at times receives 30,000 page views within 4 days of his posting a writeup.

First read this & then do NOT miss this.

He also has speed dating experience.

Don't we need a 'Borat of IT/BPO'? I guess I should just crank up some of that sarcasm in me & blow the whistle.

I'm thinking I'll call it 'Validated Sellout'.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How Dare You?

Seth Godin says:

"How can you sqaunder even one more day not taking the advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation?

How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable."

Motivation can be so simple sometimes.

Check out the book.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Us and Them


(Me and Jainzy)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

(Graph)ic Humour

My blog find of the day.

Never before have I been so enamoured by graphs & venn diagrams before.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Final Frontier

William Shatner a.k.a Capt. James T Kirk was inducted into the Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in December '06. Star Trek will always remain one of my fondest TV series & even modern mind boggling special effects driven movies do not appeal to me as much as the hit TV show from the 60's. In India, it used to be aired in the late 90's after which it was pulled off.

The camaraderie between Kirk & Spock will always be memorable for any true blue trekkie. Not to mention the plots & sub plots that ventured into varied philosophies of science & human civilization, posing some insightful questions to the audience.

The cultural impact of Star Trek has been immense & has led to an entire subculture. For the first time in 25 years, the show is in a state where no star trek film or series is in production or development following the cancellation of Enterprise.

Boldly go here, where no man has gone before.