Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lets "Google" it: G+

http://www.aliweb.com/ was one of the earliest internet search engines... then suddenly one day someone said...."dude! lets google it."




...And since then the world has been doing so. Under the desk in class...in the exam hall when the invigilator is not looking...or for more legitimate work like making project...writing codes...looking up anything for any work on the face of the Earth. Competitors came n remained...but could not really become the master of the Search market. The star of Google shone brightly above them all. 
The USB was its basic simplicity and uncluttered features. The homepage itself shows how simple the engine is. new features were added and loved by the people...Google was still simple!

The Google mail service was a blockbuster! Gmail hit it off with the people...reason: again uncluttered simplicity of features.

The web browser, Chrome...people like it for its...once again...simplicity...and yes speed! Many users prefer Firefox and other browsers for their work but Chrome has actually managed to solve many of the problems that Firefox had and its users hadn't even noticed. And this makes Chrome faster than other browsers. Simply speaking...Chrome lacks complexities!


Aha....does anyone remember a social network called Orkut?
It was very popular...until Google started introducing Facebook like features in it.
Too many features....too many attempts to give the users a FB like feel...the users quietly switched over to the original one. Faithful Orkutians, like me, became regulars at Facebook.
Orkut lost its simplicity and consequently, its market.





Then began the War....


And....

                                                                         


Google recognised the threats. This led to Google introducing newer services. Google converted its features into separate services and grouped then under a users Account. Now any person having a Gmail account automatically had a Google Account and could easily access all the services provided by Google. Blogger, Docs, Picasa....and so many other services. So far so good!

Google came up with Wave. Like most other Google services this too was a "by invitation only" service at the beginning. But unlike Orkut and Gmail this "by invitation only" formula didnt work for Wave. Instead of becoming a much coveted service, Wave met with a cold response. People who didn't have Wave invitations chose not to Wave. They had other options....Facebook and Twitter were always available.

Google Buzz was yet another failed attempt to beat competition. This time it was aimed at Twitter.

And now....there is a new Project. A brand new Social Network by Google:



The most basic problem that this social site may face is that this is again a "by invitation only" service till now. It may turn out to be a super hit but then again it may meet the same fate as Wave. This service is reportedly similar to Facebook...with some added features like Circles, Sparks and Hangout

Circles are basically groups in which the user can divide his friends and all sharing, posting and commenting is done with the group you select. So as far as security and privacy is concerned G+ is a step ahead of Facebook. Sparks is a news-based stream and Hangout can give good competition to Skype.

But then again, reviews say, that the service is quite complex in itself and requires a lot getting used to. A user needs to really have patience to sort out the Circles and set his network up while getting used to the complexities on the way.

When you come to think of it...Facebook does have groups these days and sharing with only one group is possible. if you chose to make the group private you can easily ensure that no one else in yours friend list sees it.
But then Google hasn't Invited me to use G+ yet...so i wouldn't know the G+ experience and how its better than FB.

"the biggest hurdle for the web giant is that a collection of cool features doesn’t make a network. People do."

Its true. People currently using this service are people who already own a Google Account. Only those who have a Google Profile can really participate fully in the G+ activities because as mentioned earlier Google has converted all its significant features into separate services available to all Google Account holders. There is no easy way to pull in contacts from Twitter...let alone Facebook. It is necessary to extend the online activity of a user to a broad section of his/her actual social graph. The survival of a Social Network largely depends on the networks it either creates or takes advantage of....so "Surviving Solo" is not a idea that'll help a Social Network survive.  




Interesting and new features, enhanced security and privacy, good looks.....G+ has it all. All it needs is a market. You need people to create a super hit social network... the question is, can G+ do it?

source of information and images: Google search engine


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Post on Potter

DISCLAIMERS:

  1. Those who think that Harry Potter is for kids, do not read beyond this disclaimer. By the way, all you "sensible and mature" grown ups out there, my 51 yrs old Dad is a huge Harry Potter fan.
  2. Yes...I too am a Harry Potter fan...so keep that in mind while reading and commenting.
Lets proceed.

Believe it or deny it...Harry Potter is a phenomenon. A world wide literary, and to a certain extent cinematic, phenomenon. Its something that we...the kids in the late 1990s...have grown up with. There were Harry/Ron/Hermione aspirants in every class, in almost every school! Every second kid wanted to call himself Harry and have two best friends...one, he would pretend, was Ron and the other Hermione. *Sigh* ....such was the craze!
Then suddenly one day the Harry-Ron-Hermione trio of our imagination got faces. Daniel, Rupert and Emma stepped into our life! If the books were best-sellers...the movies were blockbusters.

Ah! Those were the days when we kids used to pre-order HP books and wait in long queues outside bookstores since midnight and follow the countdown ardently to the book's release....there was this craze...everyone wanted to be the first to own the latest Harry Potter book!! 

I remember fully well...it was 22nd June...a rainy water-logged Saturday, when Order of the Phoenix released. it was around 8:30pm when i got my copy in hand....and i was jumping up and down with joy. that night i called up every single person i knew to tell them that i had a first edition HP&OP...that too on the very first day! *Sigh*...childhood was so much fun!

And the movies....ah! i remember booking tickets 10 days in advance...Rs.250 at Imax....!!! Harry Potter wallpapers....fan fiction sites...internet merchandise...Daniel/Rupert/Emma searches on Google.... mugglenet.com .....even the official JKRowling website and the Warner Bros HP site.... i kind of meddled with everything HP!! And it was pure fun!

July 21st 2007...the last HP book, Deathly Hallows, was released. That day was a date each HP fan remembers as the day after which they'll never queue up outside bookstores to get their hands on the freshly released HP book... the emotions attached were simple overwhelming. no more theories...no more speculation...no more queues for a HP book...ever again. While reading the Epilogue...many had tears in their eyes....

Ahha...18th November 2010....the first installment of the final movie. suspense...thrill...emotions....at their height...
15th July 2011...the day the final installment of the final movie is scheduled to release. The day the HP saga....finally....finally...ends.

The end of the book series left the readers and fans with the consolation that the movies were still there. there would still be queues outside the ticket counters...one could still speculate over the scenes kept in movie and the parts left out...one could still anticipate much... But on 15th July 2011...it all ends...forever. 
Unless of course someone remakes the series!!

So many fantasies this one Fantasy managed to create. One must give credit to Rowling for making us put our thinking caps on and devise theories and keep speculating over whats going to happen next. Rowling inspired kids to dream...she inspired many to write. No matter how improbable our ideas and imagination maybe...there is no harm in putting them in words and presenting them to an audience!

One may question....how on earth does this book have such a huge fan following??
It was because these books connected with the audience...big and small. Kids and adults alike. Kids connect with the fantasy and imagine their own school houses to be those of Hogwarts. Red House easily becomes Griffindor!! A kid can relate to the characters in an unique way. a kid may name the mean sinister teacher, Snape...the purely irritating and law-enforcing teacher becomes Umbridge...while the kind, motherly yet strict disciplinarian teacher becomes McGonagall.
An adult connects to it in a different way...one may simply appreciate the text or the plot. One may even recall his or her leaving-for-college scene while reading about the departure of Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 3/4 at the beginning of each academic year.
Simply put, Rowling has blended fantasy with reality. Much is real in her Fantasy World. The emotions, the conflicts (both inward and outward)...the characters...they are universal...and REAL. Beneath those layers of make-up lies a simple world which is as real as the fact that u are reading this post now.

This was an era...a beautiful one... it made writers out of simple school going kids....it inspired young minds to imagine and dream... it made sure that Good finally did triumph over Evil.

Much has been said and much will be said...by many.... i take it upon myself to oblige you and end this post here.

P.S: i kinda owed Rowling and Potter at least one post!! btw, am really looking forward to the last movie...n yeah...i agree, am getting a bit sentimental about it. never mind....guess all good things have to come to an end. *sigh*


Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Simple Post...some moments n memories

All right...Graduation is over...ok...sort of over...at least the study part is over.
Exams ended on 26th May...so technically that was the last day of undergraduate college life for me...er...ok...for us.
Packed my bags...with Nilu's help (lots n lots of it!!) and returned home on 29th. the Durgapur phase of my life is over. To be honest, i miss hostel more than i miss college. Every morning when i wake up i miss Puja. She used to wake me up each morning and drag me down to the mess for breakfast...i miss wishing Soumee "Good morning" in the bathroom while brushing my teeth... Ah! Soumee used to take suuuuch a long time to brush her's!!
i miss standing by Nilakshi's bed and tickling her to wake her up...
i miss Apurba's dining hall conversations and animated storytelling (cant disclose the stories she used to tell us...ssshhhh)...miss Sayari's "Indi Pindi" song...miss Madhu and her dramatics...miss Preety...miss Hema.... i miss my roommate, Prantika...am so used to having her around me all the time. Am so used to sharing not just my room, but my life...my world...with her. Miss having Amita around...she's the sweetest girl i've ever known. More than the campus...i miss the people there...
i miss the classroom masti n pagalpanti with my classmates...i miss the long long chats with Praveen in the college cafeteria...i miss the Hudco zone, the puchka walas, the roll walas...i miss Ram Mandir...i miss the spcl chai with ilaichi at Bidhannagar market...i miss the bread chop, thanks to Mishra i got to taste it.
The last day at Durgapur was perhaps by far one of my best-est days there...DJ, Kuntal, Puja, Nilakshi and me...the night sky spread above us...the sand beneath us...me singing Rabindrasangeet  ..."Emni korei jaye jodi din jakna..." and the breeze blowing softly around us...Barrage had never been more beautiful...am sure. .....emni korei jaye jodi din...sotti....jakna...
I still remember my first day in Durgapur...had gone there for the AIEEE counselling... and then, before i could even feel time flying by me, it was my last day there...29th...the day my big family, my happy family broke apart...each member moving on in his or her life...leaving the place which was our home for the last four years. but just like a true family...we've silently promised each other a life-long committed...no matter how far away we are...we are connected and shall forever be so...not by blood but by heart.
Have left many things behind...including some memories and some emotions...left them there forever.

Its a bright new morning...a new sunshine...a new beginning. All right, many things don't (often) work out the way we want them to but yes, nevertheless, if they can bring happiness to someone, its worth it. Had got placed in a Delhi based Telecom company...was in two minds but chose to stay in Kolkata...my family needs me here...and with that choice came the decision of doing my MBA from home. Kind of a package deal!

A new Start means a Stop to certain things...it means changes. Am up for it...am up for the challenges...personal, emotional...whatever may they be...am up for it.
These last few months have taught me a lot...the most important one being the importance of happiness.
It's true...you realise the importance of what you had only when you lose it... i learnt how important happiness is only after i lost the very feeling of it. i used to be a happy happy person n now...its been ages since i'd felt it. But we are but mere actors playing our parts...this world is but a stage... Shakespeare had rightly said so. And so...the show must go on... like any actor who puts aside his or her personal loses and diligently performs his or her part...am playing my part...for the show must go on.

well...thats it for today...i'll get back with more updates n articles later!!


Clockwork

To be able to reach out. To want to know. Somewhere lost in the crowd. Alone and scared. Looking for a way to make it seem worth the whil...