Monthly Archives: June 2007

Virus Hoax

Everybody is afraid of computer viruses now a days, so whenever we come to know about a new virus, we want to let everybody know about it. A hoax really thrives on this urge, so whenever you receive a mail which talks about a virus and tells you to forward to your contacts so that they can be aware about it too. Stop and first try to find if mail talks about a real virus or its just a hoax.

These hoaxes have become so frequent these days that major anti-virus companies now maintain a database of hoaxes beside viruses. I recently received an email talking about an Olympic Torch Virus. I did a quick search and found that its a hoax.

You can read about the hoax at websites of McAfee and Symantac

So in the future please do not pass on such messages. Passing on messages about the hoax only serves to further propagate it.

160by2.com offers free SMS service for India

160BY2.com a website by the SMS solution provider – smscountry is offering free SMS to any mobile phone in India if you allow them to send the contextual advertisement with them. From what I have read on their website, they seem to mimicking the Google Adwords model.

Nonetheless I think its a good option. College students and youths can use it to send unlimited text messages to their friends for free. However I feel there are 3 issues with this service:

1. They don’t allow to send sms/text directly from user’s mobile phone. One has to visit their website to send sms. I think technology is there which can make it possible to send sms from mobile. Probably they are first experimenting with this approach and if they get some advertisers hooked up, they will begin offering sms originating from mobiles to be delivered to the designated mobile without the need for website.

2. As a policy to prevent spams they offer option to opt out to receiver, but you need to again goto their website to opt-out. This can be very annoying for someone when he is not able to go on internet to opt-out. There should be someway to opt-out using sms itself.

3. They don’t allow sending SMS to a list. You can only send sms one by one to your friends, so that kinda puts you off from forwarding some joke to all of your friends.

I feel if they are able to tie-up with some operators like Hutch, Airtel on revenue sharing basis then they can really rake in the moolahs from advertisers and operators can offer a special SMS package to willing subscribers and subscribers can send unlimted SMS messagees for free. I see this will be a win-win situation for everybody.

Overall I think its a good service and I wish them all the luck. Currently their service is by invitation only. However you can reach their invitation page at – http://160by2.com/requestinvite.aspx and request for an invite.

Necessary But Not Sufficient

I just finished reading ‘Necessary But Not Sufficient’ by Eli Goldratt. Its basically a Theory of Constraints (TOC) novel for IT. I am thankful to my good old friend Arun Sahlam for lending me this great book.

It establishes a novel concept which says that technology is necessary but it’s not sufficient. It basically means that if we don’t change our old business rules along with the technology we may never get full benefit our of a new technology. For example in a big manufacturing company estimating requirement is a mammoth task so when this was being done manually, companies adopted approach of doing this calculation exercise only once a month.

After many years when they started using software, they didn’t really see any improvement in output. Reason was not the software, it was because company was still doing this calculation exercise once a month when they had means to do it every week.

This book talks about how new age software companies which will ultimately command majority market share will not only be selling software but convincing and educating their customers to change their age old business processes as well. Only this combination can succeed in long run.

Interestingly book also says that how software developers earlier and some still do take pride in producing a sophisticated looking system because that kind of proves that they can create some technically complicated stuff like that. Truth is however that a complicated product does not always mean a good product and a simple product does not mean that its not useful or is not technically advanced.

A case in the point is Google, which still happens to be one of the most simplest yet technically advanced website. So our responsibility as software developers should be to create simple, straight-forward products which user can learn quickly, yet it has all the power and functionality that’s required from it.

My suggestion to everybody involved with software development is borrow or buy but do read this great book.

MS advertises Windows Mobile devices in India

In a clearly visible agressive marketing campaign Microsoft is advertising about windows mobile powered phones on behalf of device manufacturers. I saw recent ad with devices from i-mate, O2, HP, Motorola and HTC. Interestingly in India Symbian dominates the mobile OS market with Nokia leading the way in terms of device shipments.

India being 2nd most populous country in the world and with a swelling mobile subscriber base, it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to advertise windows mobile powered devices and in-turn make its mobile os popular and replicate the windows success once again with mobiles.

Another interesting fact is that there is no piracy concerns for a mobile OS as of now as its pre-installed on devices so Microsoft will surely get its royalty from manufacturers 🙂

For those of you interested in buying windows mobile powered phones, here are some communication channels:

Website – http://www.microsoft.com/india/windows/mobile/

For i-mate – SMS SMART A to 8888 or Call 011-41523030/90, 41523730
For O2 – SMS SMART B to 8888 or Call 9350263618
For HP – SMS SMART C to 8888 or Call 1800-4254999, 30304499
For HTC/Dopod – SMS SMART D to 8888 or Call 9910193399
For Motorola – SMS SMART E to 8888 or Call 1800-111211, 39026686

If you buy one from these guys, tell them that I told you about them, they may give me some commission 😉

For those who are thinking, what to do with such a phone – Just post a comment to this blog or mail me at sachin AT palewar DOT com

My company develops business solutions for mobiles and mobile field force, for more info please visit our website www.palewar.com

Search Engine with a difference – Mahalo

As par definition on their website – www.mahalo.com:
Mahalo is the world’s first human-powered search engine powered by an enthusiastic and energetic group of Guides. Guides spend their days searching, filtering out spam, and hand-crafting the best search results possible. If they haven’t yet built a search result, you can request that search result. You can also suggest links for any of our search results.

I heard its CEO speaking about their ideas on LifeOnline. I think they have a mountation to climb and they have just started but even with what they have done so far they have managed to make searching a pleasure on many popular search terms. Check them out.

Apple joins Browser War

Apple is going to introduce windows version of its popular browser – Safari. I can see a lot of excitement in store on browser front. Recently Firefox and Opera have been winning a lot of loyal users for themselves. I am sure some of Mac lovers but Windows users will be lapping up the Safari on their windows PCs.

While announcing about Safari for Windows – Steve Jobs made another important announcement that Apple will allow developers to develop applications for iPhone by way of tapping safari, which is a good news but what exactly it means is not yet clear to me.

If it just means that we will be able to only open some mobile web applications and won’t be able to run any offline applications from third-party developers on iPhones, then I don’t really see anything to be happy about.

Anyway lets wait and watch for next 16 days as iPhone is going to be launced on 29th and we may start getting some more info after that.

Cheers!