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Showing posts from November, 2011

Cluttered Facebook Wall

Little do we realise that many of us are on social networking sites because of their “share” feature. We get to see --  and presumably benefit from -- what other people have shared --  like their thoughts, photos, videos, and links to interesting articles.

Mark Zuckerburg was very sure -- quite justifiably, in hindsight -- about our inclination to know about others, and to let others know about us. Just as Google is to Search, Facebook is to Share -- the premise many other networking sites have tweaked, customised and built upon, There are niche sharing sites such as for videos, photographs, travel info, websites, songs, books, worksheets, documents, you name it.

Each time FB fine tuned the share functionality, it courted controversy over cluttering of the wall and privacy issues So too with the latest offering of what is called “Frictionless Sharing”. It means, whenever you click the link of a FB partner app, it will show up on your wall. It could be an article that you read on Wash…

Audio magazines on internet

Podcasts -- does that ring a bell? Not so long ago, around 2005, these online magazines in audio formats were a rage; so much that New Oxford American Dictionary selected it as the word of the year. Many websites had podcast links on them, people bookmarked podcast directories and downloaded applications like Apple’s iTunes.

Are podcasts still around? Yes, they are very much around; only that they are not in the limelight: having ceded the centre stage to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Far from having disappeared, reports say that the number of people downloading these online audio/video magazines is on the increase.

Podcasts are nothing but audio blogs which are periodically updated. It could also be the audio versions of the contents that are uploaded at regular intervals on websites like the BBC. The new issues get downloaded on to the PC or mobile phones or tablets. Many people think podcasts are associated with Apple. Not so. The suffix ‘pod’ caught on, since…

Magazines that talk on internet

Podcasts -- does that ring a bell? Not so long ago, around 2005, these online magazines in audio format were a rage; so much that New Oxford American Dictionary selected it as the word of the year. Many websites had podcast links on them, people bookmarked podcast directories and downloaded applications like Apple’s iTunes.

Are podcasts still around? Yes, they are very much around; only that they are not in the limelight: having ceded the centre stage to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Far from having disappeared, reports say that the number of people downloading these online audio/video magazines is on the increase.

Podcasts are nothing but audio blogs that are periodically updated. It could also be the audio versions of the contents that are uploaded at regular intervals on websites, like the BBC. The new issues get downloaded on to the PC or mobile phones or tablets. Many people think podcasts are associated with Apple. Not so. The prefix ‘pod’ caught on, since …

Android, for whom

We never walked into a mobile retail showroom and asked for a Symbian or a Bada or a Windows phone. Did we? We asked for a Nokia or Samsung or HTC phone. But of late, many people are going in for an Android phone. But, why is everyone now seeking this particular operating system (without realising it is one) when they wouldn’t care to know if the phone is on Symbian or Bada or Mango?

Over the past one month, five people have asked me, “What’s an Android phone? Now that I have to buy a new one, you think it will be a good idea to try out an Android?” The surge in numbers of phones having the Google’s operating system isn’t surprising going by the near-cult following it’s amassing by the day, much like iPhone in the US. But do we all actually need an Android phone?

The rule of thumb when going in for any gadget is: what do I need it for? The question should be increasingly asked, more so now, when the market is swarmed by a huge variety of models with confusing permutations and combina…

Uncertainties of getting official work done in Kerala

If you have to get any official work done in Kerala, or attend a public function, or write an exam; just be warned about the unforeseen disruption.

A few years ago, one of my friends in Tiruchy had to write a competitive exam in Kochi. He missed the exam since there was a bandh on the previous day and he couldn't reach Kochi in time. I won't be surprised if someone told me a story of a wedding getting postponed because of hartal.

Not a very nice thing to say about my home state, but the fact is that it's simply difficult to get work done: the biggest threat being the strike. Any of the two dozen parties or unions can call for a hartal anytime on any issue.

So, when I had to go to Ernakulam (from Bangalore) to get some documentation work relating to property done at the village office and the subregistrar's office, taking a cue from others' experiences, I took a few days' extra leave.

And my fear turned real.

On Sunday night, a Kerala minister T M Jacob, a very s…