Friday, 29 April 2011

SOAP Messaging End to End

Create the message object. This can be done using MessageFactory. Message object is required to get the header and body object.
MessageFactory factory = MessageFactory.newInstance();
SOAPMessage message = factory.createMessage();
If you do not need SOAP header then in that case you can simply delete the header using detach node method else skip this part.
SOAPHeader header = message.getSOAPHeader();
Create the body element for the API you want to access. In this case GetConvertedValue is called to get the USD:EUR value.
QName bodyName = new QName("", "GetConvertedValue");
SOAPBody body = message.getSOAPBody();
SOAPBodyElement bodyElement = body.addBodyElement(bodyName);
Creating 'From' element for USD:
QName fromQName = new QName("From");
SOAPElement fromElement = bodyElement.addChildElement(fromQName);
Creating 'To' element for EUR:
QName toQName = new QName("To");
SOAPElement toElement = bodyElement.addChildElement(toQName);
Define the end-point URL in order to establish the connection.
URL endpoint = new URL("");
Create a SOAP connection object. This can be created using SOAP connection factory. Its a direct connection between client and server.
SOAPConnectionFactory soapConnectionFactory = SOAPConnectionFactory.newInstance();
SOAPConnection soapConnection = soapConnectionFactory.createConnection();
Connect to the server and get response.Close the connection after use.
SOAPMessage response =, endpoint);
Get the body of the response from SOAP message.
SOAPBody soapBody = response.getSOAPBody();
Finally iterate to get the USD to EUR exchange rate.
Iterator iterator = soapBody.getChildElements(bodyName);
bodyElement = (SOAPBodyElement);
String convertedValue = bodyElement.getValue();

2011: Google Acquisitions So Far

zynamics was founded in 2004 by Halvar Flake. It has tools which make software analysis easier. Especially in the field of reverse engineering (needed practically e.g. supporting a system or migrating a legacy system) in information security as well as malware analysis. has products like PDF Dissector, VxClass (classifying malware into various categories), BinDiff etc.

TalkBin brings the local business ecosystem closer using mobiles. Customers can communicate to the respective business in real time. Business owners will receive feedback, suggestions and queries from customers in the form of SMS.

PushLife is also in the mobile space. When PushLife-enabled phone is connected to computer, the plugin starts syncing your phone with iTunes and Windows Media Player.

SayNow was founded by Ujjwal Singh and Nikhyl Singhal in 2005. It has a platform which allows voice messaging, one-to-one and group calls which are instantly connected to most of the networking sites like FaceBook and Twitter. SayNow Broadcast allows to send and receive voice messages.(Attention to call center employees....widespread use of this platform may reduce number of call attendees!)

Green Parrot Pictures is a digital video company and motion based editing of video is its niche. Its technology is used widely in film industry. So can we expect enhancements to YouTube..or a totally new YouTube?

Next New Networks is a web television company based in New York and launched in 2007. It has 5 million plus subscribers. It is one of the top YouTube content providers (Last year's most-viewed videos came from Next New Networks!). Next New Networks is redefining entertainment by championing the next generation of show creators, helping build their audiences, capabilities, and paths to revenue. is a British price comparison site specialising in personal finance products launched by John Paleomylites in 2005. Users can find and compare financial services and can leverage cheapest products and services (currently restricted to UK).

fflick is a website where reviews, information, and news of films can been seen. This data is based on information collected on Twitter. fflick was launched in August 2010 (quickly acquired!!)

eBook Technologies mainly focuses on hardware and software distribution of eBooks and eBook readers. Going together they aim to provide first-class reading experience on emerging tablets, e-readers and other portable devices. The company launched its first product in 1998!....Doesn't look like Google is keen in buying this long time hardware, may be patents on their technologies will benefit Google!

Google is for sure looking for increasing its horizons with these varied acquisitions. It is definitely increasing its play in mobile space as well as video arena.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

HTML5: Prefetching

It was just a few days ago that I felt like building an app using HTML5 features. Yes I myself feel it funny- sometimes we want to do something to 'use' a particular technology....It becomes the case of 'app for technology' rather than ideal technology for app! I decided to use HTML5 Prefetch along with some other HTML5 features.

Currently FireFox and Chrome support this feature. While the browser is idle content gets downloaded in the special triggers and no ajax requests! It applies to http as well as https. You can prefetch just an image or even a whole web page, simply add rel="prefetch" to link tag. Also no blown up figures in case of analytics based on JS like Google Analytics.

<!-- Only image -->
<link rel="prefetch" href="/images/flower.jpg" />

<!-- Whole web page -->
<link rel="prefetch" href="" />

Mozilla gifts us with sweet dish of rel="prefetch alternate stylesheet". It also gives us permission to stop prefetching.
user_pref("network.prefetch-next", false);

How nice it would be if site (usually like the online shopping ones which are heavier with product images) prefetches next page data while we are busy gazing at current page images! When we navigate to next page we don't have to wait for it to load. I'm impressed (even though I could not test performance increase foolproof using Firebug or Developer Tools :) ). Now my only concern is open issues being logged related to prefetching for Chrome.....and my favorite browser is Chrome! It starts prefetching even when network stack is busy. But I'm quiet optimistic that these issues will be closed soon( plus Chrome will gives its users some more additional gifts of prefetching).

What do you think prefetching will bring revolution in next gen websites?

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Out Of The Box Layout

We find screens of varying sizes in use these days. In fact we might be browsing content not only on laptop or desktop but also on mobile or iPad or other handheld devices. You'll come across different resolutions too. 1280x800 is being widely used, still 1024x768 remains most common. In fact these days higher reolutions like 1440x900, 1680x1050 and 1920x1080 used increasingly day by day. So we need to take care of most of the resolutions while designing. Site should not look weird with change of resolution or screen size. Since 4:3 is no more a baseline of aspect ratio now website should look descent in other aspect ratios too....check your site on 16:9 aspect ratio for verifying with higher end.

Use fluid/liquid layouts i.e. the content flows to the width of the browser window. While designing the page fixed layout may look easier as well as impressive. But take into consideration that not all the users will be viewing the page in same window width. This invites the trouble of repeated scrolling and makes it cumbersome to read. If you have to continuously scroll left and right would you continue being on that site....Obviously not, unless and until your content has some great pulling factor! Using table for placing images and text is good approach. You can assign it the width as percentage of window width (Yes there are advantages of fixed width tables like you can ensure that nothing gets distorted. Relative height,width helps in fluid layout if height to width ratio of image is not a matter of concern.)

Finally before launching don't forget to test your web pages on various browsers, window sizes as well as various platforms. Enjoy all-compatible website designing!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Promoting Mobile Version of Your Site

Most of the websites are advertising about their mobile versions these days.

Did you notice the logout pages of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter? They all have one thing in common. They are promoting mobile apps on their logout pages. Here are the screenshots. Have a look:

Let see who else starts following this trend!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Weekly Report(16th-22nd April 2011)

Big Switch Networks, a startup building platform based on cloud and virtualization architecture to enterprise networks got $13.75 million in series A funding round. It has also joined Open Networking Foundation that promotes OpenFlow protocol in networks.
DoubleDutch, which develops mobile location aware apps secured funding.
Lijit Networks, which brings custom advertising and search solutions for publishers and marketers secured funding of $10 million.
Localytics, provider of mobile apps analytics grabbed funding in series A financing. It will used in sales and expansion of offerings to mid-market publishers.
TreatFeed raised $5.4 million in venture capital funding led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP)- TreatFeed is a unique, multi-level marketing (MLM) driven shopping application.

Walmart is buying Kosmix, developer of social media technology platform which organizes content in social networks.
Groupon acquired Pelago, the creators of Whrrl- Whrrl is a location-based, social application for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry designed to help people discover highly relevant new experiences in the real world.
CrowdGather, a leader in forum communities has acquired that has 200,000 active forums and 35 million monthly pageviews across all those forums. Forums seem to be getting stronger and more effective!

Google launched a new Google Toolbar 7 for IE (Would Google have done this if Chrome was the most popular browser? Is it not a setback for Google itself to introduce its toolbar for IE??).
Official twitter clients for all the devices are available now (check out the twitter page on logging out :) ).
iPad app for is available on app store....oh yes you need to pay to subscribe!
Amazon launched its Kindle store for Germany with lacs of eBooks in it.
For those of you who have been using Yahoo Buzz (if at all any ;) ), its a bad news for them- it has been discontinued (officially).
CNN introduced its Android app..users can now enjoy CNN news on Android!

Eclipse: Add Your Own Builder

The main objective of this article is to walk you through injecting Ant scripts during project build.
By default we have a 'Java Builder' which runs the internal Eclipse Java compiler. This process ensures that your source code is properly indexed and hence searchable. This makes features like refactoring easy and fast.

Now here are the steps to add your own builders (we'll add an Ant builder here):

First step is to select your project and go to project properties (Refer screenshot).

Once the project properties dialog appears select builders from the left hand side. On the right hand side you will see Java Builder.
By default it is selected. Click on New and select "Ant Builder" as shown in the screenshot below:

Another dialog to edit configurations will appear on the screen. Enter the builder name as per your choice. Select the appropriate build file and enter arguments if any (Refer screenshot).

By default resource files are not refreshed when a project builder finishes running. To enable it you need to select "Refresh resources upon completion" in the "Refresh" tab (Refer screenshot).

Now its time to select the appropriate target from the build file which needs to run during the build.

Once you are done with the changes hit OK and the new Ant builder will appear along with the default Java Builder under Builders section.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Feel Good About What You Do

Whether you are an employee or an employer there are work-related stresses. If you are loving your work the same thing will not come as stress to you, instead you'll treat it as challenge and enjoy facing it. Then work satisfaction will in fact make you happier! That will in turn increase your efficiency and give outstanding performance as a result.

Max time of the day(wakeful part!) is spent at work. So isn't it important to be happy where you spend most of your day? Also we've not gained total dictatorship on our mind. Hence obviously previous part/incidences affect coming hours. If we could fully control our minds we would have definitely commanded 'Once I'm done with my work and office hours, no more of its thoughts'. (Yes I've seen such people too who have complete command over their different spheres of activities and switch on and off easily...but I'm sure that also needs habit-forming, not a gift by birth!).

I've heard many people say that they like the work at office but not the work environment. Ask yourself can you change the people or system around? (I'm sure answer would be the most you can bring modification in some processes if you are a highly influencial personality) If the answer is no, then why crib about something that you cannot change? But yes you can definitely take some measures to maintain your 'feel good' feeling at work like- keep your interaction with pessimistic colleagues at bare minimum level, focus on work so that you forget the environment factor.

There are already hundreds of things to care about which might also make you worry apart from work. Then why add work related worries to that basket! Don't let your work-worry rob happiness from you. Just imagine that you are not liking your work- You'll be lethargic to go to office everyday with huge amount of inertia (everyday will be a monday!).

If you do not like(rather hate) the work and you know that no job in the same field is going to make you feel good then better do what you like. I know it may not be that easy as it is to say. But yes, at least you have the option of choosing and doing what you like :) If you can neither make yourself love what you do nor do what you love then you are in a quagmire from where only you can rescue yourself!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Building Web Services with JAX-WS

JAX-WS is Java API for XML Web Services. It is a technology for building web services and clients that communicate using XML. JAX-WS allows developers to write message-oriented(basic unit of communication is message and not the underlying operation) as well as RPC-oriented (distributed function call interface which is tightly-coupled) web services.

Any operation is invoked by an XML-based protocol such as SOAP. The SOAP specification defines the envelope structure encoding rules and conventions for representing web service invocations and responses. These calls and responses are transmitted as SOAP messages (XML files) over HTTP.

SOAP messages appear complex but the good thing is that JAX-WS API hides this complexity from the application developer. 
In JAX-WS, on the server side you write the web service operations by defining methods in interface(s) written in the Java programming language. You need to implement one or more of the interfaces. 
It is equally easy to write client code. A client creates a proxy (a local object representing the service) and then simply invokes methods on the proxy. With JAX-WS you do not generate or parse SOAP messages. Thanks to JAX-WS runtime system that converts the API calls and responses to and from SOAP messages!

With JAX-WS web services and clients you've big advantage: the platform independence of the Java programming language. In addition JAX-WS is not restrictive: a JAX-WS client can access a web service that is not running on the Java platform and vice versa. This flexibility is possible because JAX-WS uses technologies defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): HTTP SOAP and the Web Service Description Language (WSDL, called 'wisdel'). WSDL specifies an XML format for describing a service as a set of endpoints operating on messages.

The three most popular implementations of JAX-WS are Metro, Axis and CXF.
Metro: It is developed and open sourced by Sun Microsystems. It incorporates the reference implementations of the JAXB 2.x data-binding and JAX-WS 2.x web services standards along with other XML-related Java standards.

Axis: The original Apache Axis was based on the first Java standard for Web services which was JAX-RPC. This did not turn out to be a great approach because JAX-RPC constrained the internal design of the Axis code and caused performance issues and lack of flexibility. JAX-RPC also made some assumptions about the direction of Web services development...which turned out to be wrong!
By the time the Axis2 development started, replacement for JAX-RPC had already come into picture. So Axis2 was designed to be flexible enough to support the replacement web services standard on top of the base framework. Recent versions of Axis2 have implemented support for both the JAXB 2.x Java XML data-binding standard and the JAX-WS 2.x Java web services standard that replaced JAX-RPC(JAX-RPC: Java API for XML-based Remote Procedure Calls. Since RPC mechanism enables clients too to execute procedures on other systems it is often used in a distributed client-server model. RPC in JAX-RPC is represented by an XML-based protocol such as SOAP).

CXF: Another web services stack by the Apache. Though both Axis2 and CXF originated at Apache, they take very different approaches about how web services are configured and delivered. CXF has is very well documented and has much more flexibility and additional functionality if you're willing to go beyond the JAX-WS specification. It also supports Spring. 

CXF is my choice, what is yours?

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Cool College Startups

There had been startups founded by college students, and many continue to exist even now. Some of them have been giants while some trend-setters. The giants category, I'm sure most of us are familiar with. Still lets start with them.

Apple: Power of two Steves coming together is Apple- Jobs and Wozniak started right from the design of PCBs and went on to build Mac and the huge company Apple Computer.
FaceBook: The Harvard student, Mark Zuckerberg came up with most popular social networking site of the day!
Microsoft: Bill Gates too a Harvard student along with Paul Allen started with creating faster processors. His company Microsoft holds the biggest pie of PC softwares(also IE has maximum share in browser world, yes even today!)
Dell: Michael Dell started business of upgrading computers, office location- dormitory. Later worked with Texas state for upgradation and eventually emerged the Dell computers.
Netscape: Mark Andreessen, the man behind Netscape, one time dominating the browser market started working of building it while still a student at University of Illinois.
Google: Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Their fascination about search engines and data mining gives us the best search results today.
Tripod: Bo Peabody and Brett Hershey from Williams college founded (now a part of Lycos). It offers domain registration, web hosting and webiste building services.
Livedoor: Livedoor started in 1995 as Livin' on the Edge, a web consultancy run by Horie and a group of student friends. Made series of acquisitions & entered the search and contextual advertising space in America later.

Let us move on to the other category.

Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian started social bookmarking and news site Reddit while studying at University of Virginia.

Joe Davy founded EvoApp, where he is also the CEO. He is currently pursuing bachelors from University of North Carolina. EvoApp provides enterprise applications which keep customers, employees, sales and marketing folks all on the same page. It is a tool to collaborate various communication info via various means like email and social media.

Michael Markarian and Alex Kravets founded Zaang, which has given birth to child company I Am Hungry(which gives collective info of deals at restauants in your needs to be in US!), while students at Babson College. Zaang lets folks of common interest interact with each other not just by text but also pics, videos and audio. You can follow multiple things of your interest.

Suhas Gopinath, world's youngest CEO founded Globals Inc at the age of 14 (now he holds diploma in global leadership from Harvard University). His company offers wide range of solutions from learning management systems to offshore product development and web plus mobile apps.

GoCrossCampus (GXC) was mulitplayer, rivaly-based online game which had made students go crazy for it. It was founded by four students from Yale University in 2007. Groups of players fight virtually over real-world territories in attempt for regional domination.

This list is incomplete I know....but big enough to inspire students and experienced professionals as well!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Weekly Report(9th-15th April 2011)

Currensee, an investment service that gives investors unique access to the world currency markets, raised $4 million in series C of funding. It will be used for developing collaborative and portfolio management tools for investors, data center expansion and enhancement of current tools.
TxtEagle received funding of $8.5 million. Discover, engage and motivate emerging market consumers by leveraging txteagle's community of 2.1 billion people, proprietary mobile messaging protocols and airtime compensation platform.
Sugar Inc. which has various services all related exclusively to women raised $15 million (hmmm...this is cool ;) ) . The funds will be utilized for brand extensions, acquisitions, and international growth.

The deals site of Turkey has been acquired by eBay. It has got millions of registered users.
KIT digital, which provides end-to-end high quality video content to any of the screens has acquired ioko. ioko provides managed cloud-based platform solutions for media & entertainment, telecommunications and cable companies worldwide.
Zillow has acquired Postlets. Zillow lets you find rates, agents and search real estate properties. Postlets lets you post property listings on classifieds and share them on social media sites.
Global Crossing, the provider of broadband, voice, data and multimedia communications has merged with Level 3 which are the leading international provider of fiber-based communications services.
nSphere Inc, the online directory for small local business has acquired Peekaboo Mobile. It provides service of mobile coupons which you can redeem directly from your mobile itself. It also lets you share deals and discounts from your area. This merger shows great hope to give best blend of the two, for customers as well as business owners.
Again deals seems to be on the hot seat of investments and acquisitions!!

Beta version of Scoville ( has been launched. You can discover and bookmark your favorite destinations as well as share them.
Gmail now lets you create your own theme including changing the background image. Google has funded Brightsource Energy, which set up huge solar power plants. Google search is now further enhanced with the Reading Level ability. It includes basic, intermediate and advanced options plus shows their respective share in total related content. Another advancement to the sidebar is addition of Dictionary and search meaning of a word without using 'define' (but I'm very much addicted to 'define:'....may be I'll not switch to this Dictionary feature!).
This is not the end of search engine updates. Microsoft released a cool iPad app for Bing.
Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP has been launched by Adobe and Zend Technologies.
Flipboard definitely created buzz this week. Very obvious too. The iPad social magazine has partnered with Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The official Oprah curated section will appear now!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

NoSQL - Yes or No?

Not that classic RDBMS is bad or faulty but mainly because scalability is taken into consideration that NoSQL has emerged. A site with huge traffic, especially social networking site with millions of users will hardly be able to manage with classic RDBMS.

For those who are afraid of writing SQL queries because of Joins(I'm also one of them...omg ordering matters and what not!)  need not worry now. Switch to NoSQL! There is no common query language across these databases as is the case with relational db(fortunate or unfortunate?). It runs on Unix. Data can be easily migrated to systems with other operating systems.

NoSQL databases are based on either of the models: key-value stores, graph databases, document store and column store. Some well-known models of NoSQL are:
MongoDB: Any of the languages can be used like Java, C, C++, PHP. It is written in C++. Data interchange format is BSON (Binary JSON).
CouchDB: Written in Erlang with javascript as main query language. Uses JSON and REST as protocol.
Cassandra: Written in Java while Thrift is used for external client-facing API. It supports a wide range of languages (Thrift languages). It brings together the best blend of features of Google's BigTable and Amazon's Dynamo. Cassandra was developed and later open-sourced by FaceBook.
HBase: It is built on top of Hadoop. Written in Java. It is used when realtime read/write access to big data is needed.
First two of the databases are based on document store while rest two on column store(aka ColumnFamilies).

For those who believe in 'Greater the difficulty sweeter is the victory', may be NoSQL is not the best choice (since it will ease out many worries of scalability when traffic increases and no Joins!!). What is your choice?

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

New Features from LinkedIn

It was a great sigh of relief to see the option to login from the LinkedIn home cumbersome it was to click on Sign In and then get the page to enter your login credentials!

An interesting feature rolled out is now you get the LinkedIn Today news headlines on top and then rest of the updates on your home page.

Many useful plugins have been introduced. Refer screenshots:

Here is the preview of Member Profile plugin:

Here is how you build and see the preview of Company Insider plugin:

To embed the widget in website you simply have to click on 'Get Code' button, copy and paste the code at the required place. So easy, so useful! Thanks LinkedIn!!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Remote Debugging: Tomcat + Eclipse

First step would be to configure Tomcat to support remote debugging. Now in order to do that we need to add the following command line arguments in cataline.bat (add these JVM options before any other JVM options):
-Xdebug -Xrunjdwp:transport=dt_socket,address=8000,server=y,suspend=n
If we are using shell scripts to start Tomcat then we need to start it with the jpda command like this:
catalina jpda start
Note : jpda (Java Platform Debugger Architecture) is a collection of APIs to debug Java code.

For jpda we need to set the following env variables:
JPDA_TRANSPORT : (Optional) JPDA transport used when the "jpda start" command is executed. The default is "dt_shmem".
JPDA_ADDRESS : (Optional) Java runtime options used when the "jpda start" command is executed. The default is "jdbconn".
JPDA transport implementation can be set to dt_socket : JPDA_TRANSPORT=dt_socket
Port number can be set to 8000 or any other appropriate value : JPDA_ADDRESS=8000

Next step would be to configure Eclipse to debug tomcat remotely:
Start tomcat in remote debugging mode.
Set a breakpoint somewhere in your code.
Under the "Run" menu, select "Debug Configurations". Refer screenshot 1:

Go to "Remote Java Application" and click "New" (or simply double click on the Remote Java Application). Refer screenshot 2:

On the dialog that appears, enter a meaningful name for this configuration. Select appropriate project from your workspace. Enter connection properties : Host and Port.Click "Apply" to save your changes. Click "Debug" to start testing your configuration. Refer screenshot 3: 

Now start sending requests to your application and you will reach your breakpoint. You should be directed into Eclipse where you will see the line of code with your breakpoint.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Encoding Problems

Have you ever come across the situation where something different than what you've written in code gets rendered? Especially this is encountered when the app is multilingual. Most of the times it is mainly because the encoding is not properly set at various places. In this post I'll show you  how I am setting ENCODING in my favorite editors/tools:

Oracle Sql Developer: Go to Tools -> Preferences -> Environment. Choose from the Encoding dropdown.

Textpad: Go to Configure -> Preferences. Select the document class and choose from the radio button under Default Encoding.



Browser Encoding:

The Secret

I came across a heavy discount yesterday for a resort with scenic beauty (the uploaded pics looked scenic!). When I was about to buy them online I looked out from the window. It was hot sunny day, obvious its summer! I gave a second thought and got a strong NO to opt for the discount least I did not find it interesting to roam in such a weather! I closed the browser and got cracking to routine work. Apparently that was The End of the story. But actually the thought process began from here!! It is obvious in giving such heavy discounts during such off-season. But what about rest of the deals, how and who is benefitted?

Some sites offer buying in group. When minimum number of purchases are being made then only the discount holds valid. This encourages you to provoke like-minded ones from your network to buy that. Indirectly you are marketing for a service or product. Sometimes you do this for free (because you want to avail the heavy discount for yourself) while sometimes the site pays you. You bring referrals and you get further discount or a fixed amount incentive! Win-win situation.

Most of the deals are valid for a very limited period. Usually new deal gets posted in 24 hours. This gets you in hurry and no worry mode. You want to grab it, you quickly opt for it. Redemption rate of coupons is seen to be high on services like spa and restaurant. Does the restaurant really afford serving you at so cheap rate? In case of services like these there is already a heavy margin of profit at their end. You will rarely find such a deal for dinner where folks already crowd up for dinner irrespective of the day.

From the merchant's side too these deals are profitable. The merchandise is being bought in bulk, so he can easily afford to give bulky discounts. Or the second is his merchandise is being sold in off-season. For sure the deals' site which has direct dealing with the manufacturers can offer the best and hence will be able to attract maximum online customers. What you say?

Friday, 8 April 2011

Weekly Report(2nd-8th April 2011)

GoldSpot Media raised $12.05 million in series B funding. It provides solutions for publishers and advertisers to create and track advertisements on mobile platform.
Livebookings grabbed nearly $10 million funding. Last month it processed online reservations for about a million users last month.
OfficeDrop which provides online digital filing system(that ultimately means lesser usage and wastage of paper!) got funded with $1 million.

Google bought PushLife, a startup that builds mobile apps including games and sharing digital content.
Groupon acquired Indonesia's local group buying company Disdus.
HootSuite acquired Firefox addon TwitterBar which lets you post  updates to Twitter and other social networks from the browser's addressbar itself. It has nearly 2 million downloads and it is now HooteBar!
GameStop bought Spawn Labs- ' Spawn Labs has extended its peer-to-peer game streaming technology into a data center cloud gaming service'.
MarketZero, the company behind tracking statistics of online poker players is merged with social games company Zynga.
EMC acquired Netwitness- 'NetWitness provides the industry's most innovative and powerful network monitoring capability, helping security teams combat the most advanced threats.'
AlertSite which monitors web app's performance has been acquired by SmartBear, it has tools for adhering to quality in all the phases of software development.
Conduit acquired Wibiya, a web application platform.

Facebook released data center designs and specs as Open Compute project.
AVG launched LiveKive to sync files across any web-enabled device. The service is cheaper compared to other file sychronising services. Any threat to Dropbox service?
LinkedIn released a set of plugins which gives full access to the professional web.
Times of India officially launched its iPhone, iPad and Android apps.

Open Compute Project

Facebook launching something...ever thought it could be hardware related? To everyone's surprise yes, it released the specs of Open Compute project. They were working on it for about a year. The data center is built with all new designs as against the traditional infrastructure. For the first version of the new technology Facebook worked with some of the hardware leaders Intel and AMD, and further they'll be working with Rackspace, Dell, HP, Skype etc.

The servers are 38% more efficient than conventional ones from energy consumption perspective, and 24% less expensive. The Power usage Effectiveness is 1.07, which means that not huge amount of energy is consumed by equipments other than actual computing ones! There are no centralized coolers. Ethernet-powered LED lights are being used.

Most interesting part comes as being released as 'open' project (till now we were familiar with only open source!!). All the designs and technical specifications can be found at . Here are a few enchanting pics of the PrineVille data center.

Servers at Data Center

'Triplet' Racks

System for Cooling & Humidifying

Lets hope to experience Earth to be a cooler place!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Deciding If Someone is Good Co-founder

You've met someone at a conference and are mighty impressed. Is it sufficient to take the big leap of making him co-founder? You might be looking for either technical or business co-founder, qualities to be looked for will overlap! A self-confident person committed and dedicated to work is always preferred over an irresponsible person. Such decisions of partnering with someone cannot be made by just first impression. It becomes easier to decide if you both have ever worked together and know each other well. But a colleague may not always be ready for quitting his job or taking such a great risk. So time comes to search outside your coworker-circle.

If you want to approach a person for partnering meet him face to face. Try to find out his areas of interests, not as sort of interview but in casual talks. Once you get to know his line of thought which you finding matching with you, put front one of your ideas. See how keen he looks toward it.

An interested person will have thoughts related to the idea running in his mind. Most likely he'll try to catch you up again sooner or later or even on chat. His inputs related to the idea will be a positive sign. A curious person will usually try to find products based on similar lines which are already available. Some very technical person might surprise you by presenting a working prototype of the idea the next time you meet!

Even if you want a business co-founder be sure that the fellow has sound technical knowledge. Ultimately business and technical work cannot be segregated altogether! Business co-founder should be good at communication, have the ability to say no when and where required. It becomes easier to judge if the person has prior record of business work worth appreciating. Just meeting and talking, without actual action, will hardly give you any idea about the person.

Initially doubts are sure be raised. Just ensure that even after repeated meetings and satisfactory clarifications the person is not stuck in the vicious sphere of doubts! All the best to find a co-founder whom you can trust!!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Fresh Social/Web App Ideas

Once you login to Twitter how much time do you spend in reading or scrolling through the tweets which appeared after your last visit to Twitter? Definitely considerable amount of time! Why not have tweets or retweets from person whose tweets you usually read or click the link he shares? Tweets from such of your 'Following' will go to Priority Tweet Box. You'll have the option to remove its mark as priority; from next time his tweets will not go to priority box.
For very initial analysis the app will consider links in tweets which you click to decide priority. You can manually also mark a 'Following' as priority. All his tweets will land in Priority TweetBox!! Extended fun and ease with Twitter!!

If you are tired with apps around Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn consider this one- Chat Analyzer. This app will analyze your conversation with various people you chat with. The next time when you chat with a person the app will tell you what kind of conversations you usually have with that person. It will also suggest you topics of common interest for chat. This will make the conversation more effective and impressive!

Notification App- an app that will be integrated with your email system; email read alert! How often do you encounter the situation that you keep waiting eagerly for a reply and wonder whether the recipient of your email has even read it or not? I'm sure very often.
This app will send a notification to sender once recipient(s) opens the email. If you feel your email will take at least 5 minutes to read properly you can set additional option of notifying you the time interval for which the email is kept open. So no need to keep on refreshing your mailbox for a reply. You'll know once your email has been opened.
Alarm for those who tend to delete emails before even opening them :)

Another vitamin for managing your emails is Tag-cloud. Add tags to your email just like a blog and send it. The recipient will receive the email along with those tags. As against the current way of manually setting labels for email this email management system will do it for you. And yes you've the option of modifying or deleting any of the tags. You can view emails as per the tags.
Your email cloud will be tagged. Such an awesome user experience and time saving system it will be!

The worst times I feel in developing an app are the ones when I'm being relocated or my PC has been changed. It starts from installing java, IDE (Eclipse), configuring the path, checkouts and so on.
It will be a real pain-killer if a full-fledged online development environment is available. Online editor just like a desktop one(fast plus all features), your own copy of code available to you at any time from any! Check-in will mean code moving from your private copy to the shared branch.
Whoa, no worries and time spending on configuration! Move anywhere, continue coding from anywhere!!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Weekly Report(28 March - 1 April 2011)

As always lets discuss funding news of the week first.
Certivox secured $1.46 million in series A round of funding. The startup has breakthrough solutions for information security and Infrastructure as a Service.
Apperian which provides services of building enterprise app for iPhone and iPad got funding.
Aerohive Networks raised $25 million in series D funding - Aerohive has eliminated costly WLAN controllers, so you can start small and expand with unprecendented resilliency and up to 10x better application performance., which provides limousine and car service online has grabbed good amount in funding. It has also launched its travel management product ' for Business'.
The startup funding and mentorship organization TechStars received $8 million funding. Get cracking to get hooked up with more of expert advice and capital!

Many announcements on acquisition front too this week.
Cisco acquired newScale -  newScale allows commercial and enterprise customers to initiate the provisioning of their own systems and infrastructure on an as-needed basis. 
eBay announced its acquisition of GSI Commerce-provides services for ecommerce and marketing, which is expected to get completed in third quarter this year.
Cheezburger - Create your own collection of all your favorite Lolz and pics!, has bought KnowYourMeme, which verifies and documents internet stuff like hit videos and images. So we can expect the Internet culture to expand with this merging!
Social media management and monitoring company Radian6 has been acquired by the clound computing top notch Salesforce.
Wolfram Research, leader in computational science and company behind the computational product Mathematica acquired MathCore Engineering AB. Its product - MathModelica provides an environment for model based design, including support for modeling, simulation, analysis, and documentation. Mathematics community seems to be most benefiting with this merger (I too have urge to strengthen my maths topics which were left weak!)

This week Amazon word was a lot in air with its release of Cloud Drive and Cloud Player. Cloud Drive provides space for media storage on Amazon server which can be accessed from anywhere while cloud player syncs and streams the music.
Good news for Android developers - Android Market has now got support for in-app billing, which of course comes with 30% fee of the sold app.
Interesting release from Google this week was Talk Guru! I liked it so much that I already covered a blog on it :)
Google Commerce search is now providing users with instant search, product availability and similar products available and their reviews in search.
New themes have got added to Blogger, album view of Picasa has cool looks and many more cool UI effects from Google(so many that I'll need a separate blog to cover them!). I'm already pretty impressed with Page Speed Online by Google for web and mobile. Also don't forget to check out Google +1 :)

Friday, 1 April 2011

Page Speed For Web Performance

Page Speed is an open-source project started at Google to help developers optimize their web pages by applying web performance best practices. Page Speed started as an open-source browser extension, and is now deployed in third-party products such as, Show Slow and Google Webmaster Tools.

It is available as extensions for Chrome/Firefox:

Here is the download link:

Apart from this if you want to embed page speed in other applications then here are the instructions:

But the best thing is.....Page speed in now available online. This means you can analyze the web performance without downloading anything.

Optimize for mobile: Due to the limited CPU capabilities of mobile devices, the high round-trip times of mobile networks, and the rapid growth of mobile usage, it is even more critical to understand and optimize for mobile performance than for the desktop. Page Speed Online now allows you to easily analyze and optimize your site for mobile performance. 

Google +1

You are looking out for a hotel at a hill station. Hundreds of results are given by Google search. Which one should you opt for? You'd definitely like to go with the one which is recommended by others. Especially if you see your friend recommending it, you are sure to trust his reco and go with his choice(If you don't like the hotel fight with your friend for misguidance...I'm recommending this, not Google :) )! Similarly your likes can prove useful for others. Click +1!

You can join the feature from Google Experiments as of now. Pre-requisite to use +1 is having a Google public profile and login to it. Once you join the experiment +1 button will appear against each search result that google gives. You'll be able to see how many +1s has something already received. If you want to add your recommendation click the +1 button against the particular result. If you've opted to show it publicly your name appears against result with who all have +1ed it. Even if you choose to be private your +1 will be added to the count of total +1s received by a result.

You can view your +1s in an additional tab in your profile. You can set the option of making your +1s public or private by editing the profile.

This feature of Google is viewed as its attempts to go 'social'! Whatever the strategy might be, as long as users benefit from this social feature we have our +1 to this feature!! What is your say?