Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Search engines offer detailed images of cities

Internet portals' newly evolving local search and mapping services, where the photographic images are typically rendered as search results, make it easier than ever to scout out everything from vacation destinations to restaurants.

The images, most featuring US cities, are so detailed you can sometimes tell whether a hedge was recently trimmed or get a good look at cars parked on the street. Such views are available online for anyone to see from some of the biggest names on the Internet, including, Microsoft Corp
and Google Inc.

Never before have searchable databases of detailed pictures covering wide swaths of urban areas been readily available like this to the public. And that has privacy advocates worried about the risks of such picture perfect exposure to vulnerable citizens such as women in domestic violence shelters.

"I think there are going to be privacy issues, no doubt about it somebody's going to feel uncomfortable with it," said Charlene Li of Forrester Research. "So the question becomes, what are the tradeoffs? Is the value worth it?"

Yes, according to research by Forrester. Li said she's already seeing consumer interest, and she expects companies to continue to develop such tools because they see the potential for online advertising from local businesses who may not want to buy national online ads.

Monday, January 16, 2006


A case of kiss and a slap:

Bush, Manmohan, Aishwarya Rai and Sonia are traveling in a train.

The train goes through a tunnel and it gets completelydark. Suddenly there is a kissing sound and then a slap! The train comes out of the tunnel. The women andManmohan are sitting there looking perplexed. Bush isbent over holding his face, which is red from anapparent slap. All of them remain diplomatic andnobody says anything.

Sonia is thinking:
These Americans are all crazy after Aishwarya. Bushmust have tried to kiss her in the tunnel. Very properthat she slapped him.

Aishwarya is thinking:
Bush must have tried to kiss me but kissed Sonia instead and got slapped.

Bush is thinking:
Damn it. Manmohan must have tried to kiss Aishwarya.She might have thought it was me and slapped me.

Manmohan is thinking:
If this train goes through another tunnel I will make another kissing sound and slap Bush again.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Flickr. What’s that?

2005 was named the Year of Digital Citizen as new technologies and tech terms became part of our vocabulary. Podcast was the word of the year

Remember the London bombings, the Katrina and the tsunami that were the big news in 2005. People blogged, podcast and flickred them, and they (and the technologies they used) became news. Now that trend has become official with the year 2005 declared as the Year of Digital Citizens in recognition of the camera-phone wielding citizens of the world who posted the pictures of the historic events on their blogs, wikis, social networking and photosharing websites.

The icing on the cake for the geeks was the naming of ‘Podcast’ as the 2005 word of the year by the the Oxford dictionary. Closely following them were the techie words like lifehack, wiki, rootkit, etc. There is no doubt that these technologies have transformed the western world to a large extent. But many of these terms strike a discordant note amongst the Indians. ‘Flickr, what’s that? Is that a new kind of fan?’ and such remarks is common. We ask some people in the city who might know a thing or two about gadgetry on their tryst with the digital year that just went by.

Sanjiv Kataria, Group Executive Vice President, NIIT: I bought a new PC which is bundled with all the latest features of TV, radio and just about anything to make it a home theatre system. I also bought two ipods, one for myself and my daughter.

Rajat Raina, model: I am a game freak. All the gadgets that I have from the mobile phones to the computers are all centred around just one purpose: gaming. I also play games on Gameboy Advanced and PSPs.

Anthony Braganza, band manager, Black Slade: I am quite comfortable with internet and downloading music. Last year, I taught myself to use a recording software called Cakewalk for audition and composing.

Nafisa Ali, socialite: I am comfortable with computers and in the process of creating a website for myself. I am also thinking of starting a blog.

Meera Ramchandran, principal, Gargi college: My college has just installed an intranet communication facility at which I am quite adept. I am also involved in updating the college website.

Palash Sen, singer: I love internet surfing. Computers are my passion and in fact I have set up my own recording studio equipped with software like Cubase and other sound editing tools. I record all my new songs myself.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Perfect Love

Never say I Love You
If you don't really care

Never talk of feelings
If they aren't really there

Never hold my hand
If you mean to break my heart

Never say forever
If you ever plan to part

Never look into my eyes
If you are telling me a lie

Never say hello
If you think you'll say goodbye

Never say that I'm THE one
If you have dream more than me

Never lock up my heart
If you don't have the key