Category Archives: Uncategorized

Google Office

So Google Office is going online, will it work? only time will tell. It’s a novel idea but it seems like they have some task in hand when they the might of Microsoft dominance at enterprise wide products.

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Skype 2.5 Impresses

Today VoIP is what text chat was in early 1990’s. Often in my teens I used wonder only if I could explain a bit further to my friend what I mean when I write that. Often words can be very cold while chatting even if you don’t mean it. Well love chatting and browsing for many of us that’s Internet and perhaps computer. Using software is like habit and our habits don’t change on day to day basis, however software do change on weekly basis. Computing technology is in it’s growth phase, the products that we have been using for past 10 years were in their first generation. We well in Love with MSN Messenger and I couldn’t thank Microsoft enough in 1997 for creating this product, but for me it’s time to move on cause I believe what I fell in love is no longer loving me. Things change with time so have I, in fact the whole world has and it’s time to say Goodbye and here is why.

I have been using Skype since version 2.5 was released some 2 months ago. It’s a product that is ready to be rolled into mainstream and it’s already one of the fastest growing communications client. The beauty about this client is that it just manages to save itself from being a bloatware, that a software is full of features most of them you don’t require. This makes it simple yet not bland. I remember using winks a lot when it was introduced in MSN 7.0 But with time I started finding them annoying and irritating and I haven’t used them much for a while, even most of my buddies don’t use them.

Features Skype pretty much comes with all the features you requite in a modern day client. The call and hang up buttons are pretty intuitive and you straight away know how to call your friend. Transportability of knowledge is a key feature of any good UI design and Skype scores here. The interface is simple and laid out in uniformity with any chat client of it’s previous generation. The Buddy list well laid out and you can see specific details of you buddy in a clear and simple way. However the features are a bit repetitive. Like “call” or “chat” options are repeated one time too many on the screens and in menu. This though could be useful for new user but can be obtrusive once you know the software. As expected the Windows version appear a bit short on aesthetics as compared to the Mac version. The chat UI is a beauty and it’s the best chat screen I have seen of all IM’s barring Adium, which is in another league.

Functionality Skype is pretty good on voice quality, however it plays up a bit slow connections. It uses it’s proprietary protocol that gives you a very secured connection. However there is a severe drawback here, it can hog on your bandwidth you are having a conference call with 3 or more people, but then that’s quite expected. So if you are below 512Kbps connection avoid multiple conference calls or else your comp’s going to go groggy. The call quality is excellent either calling between Skype or Skype to landline. Being in India I haven’t used the “Skype Out” feature to it’s full but it is quite credible. The highlight has to be the conference call ability and it’s very useful feature. Though, Skype projects itself more as a AV Chat Client, it’s IM chatting is one for the best you will come across. The emoticons are rather useful and are just perfect for your average chat, no frills but fulfilling functionality. The Video part again is not as good as voice quality but then that is technology issue, it must be said Skype gives the best AV Chat experience for a non-Mac client.

Cons The most irritating thing about Skype is that while you’re chatting in text you can’t see when your buddy is typing and that’s simply not acceptable. Skype has come up with various excuses but this but this is a major let down. Another major issue that I have come across is at times Skype can eat your bandwidth like hungry. This though has happened only on a few instances but it surely is a bug which the development team needs to address. The call connection can play up a bit at times and I have observed it’s down to particular bugs, but then again it’s better than most AV Chat clients barring a rather plane jane Google Talk.

All in all Skype 2.5 is a fantastic product and it’s ready to take on MSN Messenger. If all your chatting is done for communication purpose I think it’s time to give WLMessenger a boot. With exceptional sound quality and one of the best chat interface around Skype should be the default IM client.

Original Writing of Ishan Prakash

The terrorists are winning, and other musings on politics

The terrorists are winning. The new security restrictions on flying, especially those in the UK, have now reached the level where I no longer intend to fly. I’d be willing to fly from San Francisco to Europe even if it weren’t safer than my (short) daily commute to work, which it probably has been for the past few decades. But it’s not worth traveling if I have to give up the ability to bring reading material onto flights (UK only, so far), and I don’t trust airlines to provide enough water. But our government (and the UK government) would rather we live in a state of terror, so traveling at slightly higher but still reasonable risk is not an option.While I’m on the topic of politics, I’ve been thinking about the war in Lebanon. I’ve seen some speculation about why the Israeli political and military leaders were foolish enough to respond so aggressively to provocation—a response that greatly reduces the prospects for peace in the region. But that idea just doesn’t seem to add up—I have more confidence in the ability of the Israeli government to act rationally than I have in the United States government (although I suppose that isn’t saying much), and the reasons I’ve seen for the response just don’t ring true. A theory that makes more sense to me, and which I think an article in The Economist hinted at, is that either the United States or Israel is preparing to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear weapons program. The Economist article suggests that if Iran were attacked, its method of retaliation would likely be to use Hezbollah as a proxy to attack Israel. Thus it would make some sense for Israel to preemptively attack Hezbollah if the United States and/or Israel were preparing to attack Iran without wider international support. (Attacking Iran unilaterally or bilaterally is itself a very bad idea. That the United States can’t get wider support for blocking Iran’s nuclear program is yet another sign of the ineffectiveness of the Bush administration’s foreign policy.)

And one more thing about politics. It’s clear that today’s Republican party doesn’t believe in democracy. Bobby Kennedy Jr.‘s article about the 2004 presidential election in Ohio alleges that their tactics changed the result of the 2004 presidential election (see also two rebuttals: 1, 2). I don’t think it’s clear whether whether or not their tactics actually changed the result of the 2004 election. But what’s alarming is that they don’t believe in letting the people choose, and they’re getting away with it (in Florida, in Ohio, in Alabama, in Missouri, and elsewhere).

Kind of like the way they use homeland security as a political tool rather than as a way to keep people safe.

I’m waiting for the day when the Republicans try to stop the teaching of the American Revolution in schools because it might give the kids dangerous ideas.

Facts Courtsey: L. David Baron

Ho Hum and Racism In Cricket

Dean Jones a former Australian Cricketer was found calling South African test player Hashim Amla a “terrorist”. Aussies are known to be racist when it comes to sport. Prior to this Darren Lehmann was hurd using the black c word against a Sri Lankan player and was suspended.They have this attitude which pushes them 100% to achieve success for their nation, it’s admirable spirit but it often pushes them too far and they are good enemies in sporting terms of course.

I have a mixed feelings about Aussies. I have spend a considerable time in Melbourne and I have some of my very good friends there. It’s such a multicultural city that racism can never be a issue there, I mean the city’s mayor has his roots in Hong Kong and current Premier of Victoria state Mr. Steve Bracks has his in middle east. Aussies are quite different to cultures of Europe and America. They have traces of aggregarian society mixed with not the most flattering of straight forwardness. They are hard working people and hard on things. Yes people in more remoted areas are a bit alient to things that are different but in most fairness they never come to a point of discriminating not on a superficial level.

All said, they tend to look down upon other cultures, not with hatred or contempt but in their own merry way. This sadly doesn’t always make them politically correct. Same was the case with Dean Jones, he never intentionally said it but it’s more a part of the image related joke. So in essence everyone should be able to respect the cultural sensitivities. It’s about co-existing with others. In this Global era things are coming together, the boundries are shrinking and people are moving to and fro across the glove more than ever. Australians though pretty fair at heart need to change this, I find my self in minority in my community. Maybe I am more tolerant than I should be or maybe I try to understand things before be judgemental.

“Firefox:Safer Faster Better”

Web Browser is one software which has the maximum scope of development today. Ever since good people at Mozilla initiated a concept of a stand alone web browser the way we surf the internet has changed. What more a testament to Mozilla can be for the fact that Microsoft is rebranding it’s MSN to Live, that is Live on Web.

The greatest ability of Firefox is user oriented customization and thats the only way any service can give 100% satisfaction. Firefox is quite good a browser out of the box, but to make it even better there are some really useful extensions being mentioned at Cybertech News. I myself being a bit a minimalist won’t mind installinga atleast 80% mentioned over there.

Test

With nary a peep from the XUL Runner folks on the recent proliferation of WebKit apps, I was going to say, “Man, Firefox is so effed” but I shouldn’t say that without backing it up. And being more specific and saying “Man, Gecko is so effed” isn’t all that helpful either. And anyway, I wouldn’t be entirely correct, since really what I mean is that “the collective Gecko and Firefox community seems to be taking a long time shipping a widgetizeable and stand-alone platform for running web applications as desktop applications compared with the WebKit community”.

But anyway, in the meantime, WebKit (whose party I attended last night) is steaming right along. Especially now that you can run Safari on the PC things are going to get very interesting in the rendering engine space very quickly.

Can we get a Linux port already?

New Firefox Theme?

I find it quite amazing too why my most of my posts are not showing…hmm