Foxkeh

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With the new impending release of Firefox 3.1 (aptly named Shiretoko – after the Japanese park), the Firefox community is considering adopting Foxkeh, a japanese mascot which is cute to say the least. It is a fox which has a flame as its tail. See for yourself. Here is one of the buttons available on the firefox community site – Spread Firefox

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Convergence

I think I have already written a blog post by this title, this could be a continuation of the same. When I was working with TechMahindra as a part of their leadership cadre, some of us were asked to meet up with British Telecom’s (BT) Vice President, Warren Buckley. He launched into how telecom, ISPs, content providers, etc are soon converging into one maelstrom of user enabled content. That was the first time I heard of the term Web 2.0. Back then one of BT’s top concerns was that Google will eat up the entire market. That was 3 years ago. This is now.

I am currently working with I2itelesource Pvt Ltd as a Delivery Manager. The organization is into deploying cutting edge solutions for telecom service providers and mobile network operators. They do a lot of business in the Asian subcontinent, and a lot of business comes from Middle East. The kind of demands and promises our sales team does is stupendous, stupefying and sometimes plainly stupid.

Coming back to convergence, back then it was very difficult to plan and put together a service platform for content providers. Now, they can be built by taking ready-made blocks and clubbing them together. Service Oriented Architecture and Web Services in full flow. Makes my mouth water J. Imagine streaming content in real time off a media/streaming server, encoding it so that the user can watch it only once, creating the charge records and charging the customer’s account and delivering the content to an IP-based device (TV/Computer/Projector, et al) for a seamless on-demand service. Can this be done? Yes.

There would be a time when telecom, internet, television and other new age media would converge in one seamless integration. Imaging checking your email on your TV while you are watching a cricket match. This can be done. Playing hookey at work seems so much easier, yes?

Shaadi 2.0

No, its not about collaborative marriage over the web :-). Amol gave me this crazy idea. We were discussing the Indian SMS site, Vakow which enables us to push normal SMS into a web-based RSS/Atom feed. There are about a gazillion applications for an RSS feed. Well, this is just one such mashup between a practical application of Vakow and Google Reader.

Well to be honest, the title of the blog should not be Shaadi 2.0, but rather Event 2.0, but since we are using the my marriage as the event to cover, I decided to name the title so, well ..  and this one is more exciting na? So here is what we did.

  1. Register on Vakow, get a username and have your phone number associated with that username, so that you can SMS messages to your Vakow id.
  2. You are on track now, and you should be able to post a feed … now that your feed is set, we just need to integrate that feed with my marriage feed
  3. Send me the RSS link, I will add it in my Google Reader public folder, and voila!! You can view the sample page here.

People who cannot attend the wedding in person can keep on hitting the RSS page for an up-to-date status.

To WordPress or not?

Baba aka Amol has seriously taken up blogging, you should check out his blog. He can write a nice rhyme when he does find the time! (in case you did not notice, that was my attempt to rhyme 🙂 ). So Baba tells me that I should check out the great set of features that WordPress has. I had a wordpress powered blog once, but the moment my free hosting provider stopped MySQL support, the blog stopped working. I then migrated to a file powered blog using SimpleBlog, but that was a very minimalistic blog. Giving that up, I moved on to Blogger.com platform.

What Blogger gives me is a very stable platform which is never to go down. Although the themes and the set of features are there but still very less in number, Blogger gives me reliability. Over a telephonic conversation, I tried to see how easy it is to migrate from Blogger to WordPress with all the content … and you know what?? It was a piece of cake … smoothest transition ever!! You can check out the work-in-progress blog here.

So, oh helpful readers of mine, can you help me out in this … whats it going to be … the stability of the blogger platform on google servers or the flexibility of the wordpress platform on a hosted server?

No more IE readers

Following up from my last post. I have decided to take my hate for IE to the next level. Readers will not be able to read my blog in IE. I have used the browser specific HTML to identify the browser, and dish out customized content to the reader. If you are a Firefox user, you should see the blog as it is without any changes. IE users, beware, you will see that nice grey banner across this content asking you to use Firefox :).

I checked the site statistics, turns out a hefty 35% of my readers use Internet Explorer. Call it creating a niche, or call it active evangelism.

Stay Safe. Get image Firefox.

I deleted iexplore.exe

Funny, I had not talked about Google Chrome uptil now. I still won’t rave about it, since I prefer Firefox over Chrome. Tried it, uninstalled it. End of story. But with the recent launch of this browser, people are now forced to relook at their choice of browser. I hope this helps informed users take a decision and switch to Opera or Firefox, which are way better browsers than the rest available in the market. The last one of which is the market leader, Internet Explorer. Phycuk!! Just talking about it makes me want to spit, and clean my tongue. I hate it. Not because it is a Microsoft product, but because it actually is a pretty crappy browser. The fact that you cannot take it out of your Windows Operating System just goes to show how smart the MS IE Product management team is, full marks to them!!

So, I took it upon myself to remove this insult to a browser once and for all from my WinXP machine. I went to Add/Remove programs, and removed it. The icon on my desktop went away … yaay!! Then when I went to Start -> Run and typed iexplore.exe, back again it rears its ugly head. Grrr!! You can’t remove it, that’s that. So finally I did what I should have done when I installed WinXp, delete the folder Internet Explorer in my Program Files. And life was good.

I forgot one teensy weensy thing, I work in a web retailing firm, which has a propensity of churning out portals. These portals need to be tested. Since my marketing guys feel that a major portion of their customer base would be on IE, they expect me to make the portal IE-Compatible (read compatible javascripts, reduced effects, workaround on ajax), nothing that we can’t do, of course not. Just I ask my readers, why?

Why bother to make things compatible with IE? Why not force those ignoramuses to switch to a better browser. You are not only doing yourself a favour but improving the world. Impacting your customers positively. Being the change not just trying to make it. Yes, “customer-centric” people would say that you need to sell what your customer wants, I say, tell that to an artist and see his reaction. So if you agree with me, go delete your iexplore.exe and make the world a better place.