Live 2.0 details leaked

22 09 2007

Microsoft encourages its employees to blog. In fact it has a dedicated blog to each of its products at to encourage more interaction between creators and end users. But what happens when the details of a product is leaked far ahead of schedule?

Thats excatly what happened when the details of Live Search 2.0 ahead of the next week Searchification event of unveiling its details officialy to reports. Windows Live program manager Akram Hussein in his personal blog demonstrated how the new Live Search handles searches for digital cameras, showing not just product details, but also reviews. Also a search for “Brad Pitt” shows his popularity rating. Much of the changes of the new look and feel has bee gradually appearing on the site.

The blog has ever since been pulled down and Akram Hussein has posted an apology saying that the screenshots were from a test version of the new Live and not the final verion. But some guys have managed to get the screenshots here.


Microsoft and Google: Comparison by an ex-employee

27 06 2007

The following has been making the rounds on just about every internal email list I belong to in Microsoft. Here it is to share a little insight with the rest of the world. Microsoft is an amazingly transparent company. Google is not. Any peek is a good peek. Read the original post here:

MySpace To Acquire Photobucket For $250 Million

8 05 2007

PhotobucketFinally the rumours are coming to an end. MySpace is acquiring Photobucket for $250 million in cash. Also sources say that there is also an earn-out for up to an additional $50 million.A dispute that involved Photobucket videos being blocked on MySpace led to acquisition discussions, and the block was removed. Photobucket generated $6.3 million in revenue last year and planned on hitting $25 million or more this year. They have 40 million registered users and add another 85,000 per day.

Photobucket, founded in 2003 by Alex Welch and Darren Crystal, took off in 2005 as users MySpaceon social network sites such as Myspace began to use the service to store and display pictures of themselves and their friends.

That’s been both a blessing and a curse. The popularity of Photobucket’s free service among users of the News Corporation social network took the service to 17m unique visitors per month, according to Comscore, making it the web’s most popular photo site, ahead of rivals such as Yahoo’s Flickr.  But the venture’s rising bandwidth costs have eaten up most of its revenue growth, according to people close to the transaction. And management’s claims — that users’ loyalty was to the site that hosted their photos, not the site on which they were displayed — were always a stretch. Photobucket accounts for more than 70 per cent of MySpace’s photo traffic, according to Hitwise. In other words, it has pretty much the same relationship to MySpace as PayPal had to eBay way back when.

Now this deal is far better than the Flickr deal coz Photobucket is being sold for almost 10x times the amount that Flickr was sold for.

Orkut – Mumbai Police Tie Up

5 05 2007

If you have been concerned of web pages with obscenities scrawled over the national flag, or even others criticising the Father of the Nation or the ones negating political leaders – then sit back as these are going to be out of the website soon. Just report these to the Mumbai Police and chances are that not only will the pages be erased, but the creators brought to book for there has been an informal tie-up between the Mumbai Police and the Orkut management. Says Jt Commissioner Of Police, Crime, Meeran Borwankar, “It is an informal tie-up that we have. These sites could be a threat to the law and order situation and therefore need to be clamped. But trust us, we won’t train our guns on nitty gritties.”


Many Orkut users, however, feel there is no need for this kind of censorship. Says a blogger, Kinjan Shah, “The Internet should be kept out of content regulation. This is one place where we can speak our minds. What next? Google gives away our personal information. Access to our inboxes? Will all these be taken away?


But, like all opinions, this too has its share of detractors. Says a blogger, Keyur Karnik, “There is definitely need to block sites, especially when you have sites maligning someone or putting up stupid sites like I hate India.”


As much as the debate on content regulation and content moderation, the inherent fear among Internet users is that this affiliation of the Mumbai will spread onto other websites too – so the best option is to behave oneself Online too!


HRD hopes to make $10 laptops a reality

4 05 2007

 Times Of India reports :”NEW DELHI: Having rejected Nicholas Negroponte’s offer of $100 laptops for schoolchildren, HRD ministry’s idea to make laptops at $10 is firmly taking shape with two designs already in and public sector undertaking Semiconductor Complex evincing interest to be a part of the project.

So far, the cost of one laptop, after factoring in labour charges, is coming to $47 but the ministry feels the price will come down dramatically considering the fact that the demand would be for one million laptops. “The cost is encouraging and we are hopeful it would come down to $10. We would also look into the possibility of some Indian company manufacturing the parts,” an official said.

The two designs with the ministry are from a final year engineering student of Vellore Institute of Technology and a researcher from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Due to reasons of Intellectual Property Rights, being insisted by the two designers, the ministry is not parting with the design except giving out some of the major details.

The laptop would be made on a single board which would make it easy to find fault and rectify it, say sources.

A meeting of industry and academia is to take place in IISc, Bangalore, later this month to go through the two designs and invite more suggestions. Simultaneously, HRD ministry has been told by Semiconductor Complex, a Chandigarh-based PSU, that it would like to be part of the project. HRD ministry wants the company to get involved in the fabrication of laptops.

Six anchor groups set up by the ministry to be in touch with experts in critical areas and remove bottlenecks have been meeting regularly. Institutions like IITs and IISc have been identified as anchor institutions for the project and have been entrusted with the task of research and development of cheap laptops.

Sources say it would be another two years before the laptops become a reality. “We do not want to rush into it. Many issues remain to be resolved like royalty to the designer after the design is patented. Prototyping would also take time. We would even conduct destructive testing and create a proper maintenance network,” said one official.

Ministry sources also say that it has received offers from MNCs, but none of them was adhering to the $10 cost tag. “

Microsoft plans to buy out Yahoo… MicroHoo anyone?

4 05 2007

Microsoft Corp. has intensified its pursuit of a deal to take over Yahoo Inc., asking the company to re-enter formal talks, the New York Post reported on its Web site on Friday. While the two companies have held informal deal talks over the years, the latest approach signals a new urgency on Microsoft’s part, the paper said, citing unnamed sources. The approach follows an offer Microsoft made to buy Yahoo a few months ago, the Post reported, but Yahoo spurned the advances. The Post said Wall Street sources put a roughly $50 billion price tag on Yahoo.

Good Bye Yahoo Photos… Welcome Flickr

4 05 2007

Finally its an official end to Yahoo photos this May 5th Friday when Yahoo will begin to close down Yahoo Photos, in favor of Flickr, the competing photo sharing site the company bought just over a year ago. Yahoo Photos users will be given the opportunity to move their pictures over to Flickr. But Garlinghouse admits that Flickr isn’t the right sharing site for many users of Yahoo Photos, so users will be given the option to instead move pictures to Shutterfly or the Kodak Gallery. This is a very interesting option from Yahoo for its users, but I dont really think users would opt for Kodak vs Flickr. As with most big Yahoo service changes, this transition will take several months.

If you have shots on Yahoo Photos and need to figure out what to do with them, I do recommend giving Flickr a whirl. It’s a fast and flexible sharing system for which smart people are building some very clever apps and mashups. It’s not based on the standard “album” metaphor that most photo sites use, but when was the last time you put your digital photos in a printed album?

For more on this development, see TechCrunch. For help getting up to speed with Flickr, see the Webware Newbie’s Guide to Flickr.