Monday, August 23, 2010

Hotmail is Better/Faster in Safari on Mac ??

Just watched Velocity 2010: Aladdin Nassar, "Worldwide Inventory of Last-mile Bandwidths & Network Latencies" on Active Player.

Source : Velocity 2010: Aladdin Nassar, "Worldwide Inventory of Last-mile Bandwidths & Network Latencies" from O'Reilly Velocity Conference ( Feed ) via Active Player

It is totally surprising to see that Hotmail is actually better/faster in Safari browser on the Mac than any browser/OS.


( Source : PPT )

Velocity 2010: Urs Holzle : How fast Web Can be ?

Just watched Velocity 2010: Urs Holzle on Active Player. It is surprising to see that the average load time of a web page is 4.9 seconds.

Urs Holzle (Google)

Source : Velocity 2010: Urs Holzle from O'Reilly Velocity Conference ( Feed ) via Active Player

TEDTalks : The game layer on top of the world

Just watched Seth Priebatsch: The game layer on top of the world - Seth Priebatsch (2010) on Active Player.

By now, we're used to letting Facebook and Twitter capture our social lives on the web -- building a "social layer" on top of the real world. At TEDxBoston, Seth Priebatsch looks at the next layer in progress: the "game layer," a pervasive net of behavior-steering game dynamics that will reshape education and commerce.

Source : Seth Priebatsch: The game layer on top of the world - Seth Priebatsch (2010) from TEDTalks ( Feed ) via Active Player

TEDTalks: The beauty of data visualization

Just watched David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization - David McCandless (2010) on Active Player.

David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut -- and it may just change the way we see the world.

Source : David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization - David McCandless (2010) from TEDTalks ( Feed ) via Active Player

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quote : Internet is a medium based on interruption

Google may be helping us to find content faster and better. But Google is definitely changing the way we learn, think, organize and work.

Internet is a medium based on interruption — and it's changing the way people read and process information. We've come to associate the acquisition of wisdom with deep reading and solitary concentration, and there's not much of that to be found online.

-- Nicholas Carr

( Read/Listen to NPR Interview with Nicholas Carr here  Or Download MP3 )

You can read the first article that voiced the concern and later grew to a book called “The Shallows” here: “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”.

The Productivity Paradox

Little experiment that is worth trying, if you haven’t yet : Try blocking access to Internet for your Software development team and see how it would impact the overall productivity and quality of the team.

Wired : The Web Is Dead. Long Live The Internet

Chris Anderson and Wired offer yet another riveting conclusion (sounds like a prediction for some of us) that the Web as we know is dead as we are getting more and more connected on the internet with apps and devices.

You’ve spent the day on the Internet — but not on the Web. And you are not alone.

-- The Web Is Dead. Long Live Internet, Wired

I agree 100%, as it is just a fact for how I consume content on the internet. Almost (99%) everything I do on the internet is done through a custom application (mostly on iPhone and iPad) rather on the web.

Another reason, we want to go with custom apps instead of web applications is that we could probably avoid lots of distraction on the web. Particularly for students, it would matter the most to stay focused and learn better. So this has been primary motivation behind the Active Learning suite.

Active Player lets you enjoy and learn from your favorite videos and podcasts without ever visiting a single web page. If a website doesn’t offer an RSS Feed, you can create your own RSS Feed of any content available on the internet with Active Feeds and help the rest of the world updated without ever visiting the web.

Its not at all a surprise!

For me, this is not a surprise. Back in 2004-2005 the whole world was drumming about going to Web for everything and predicting that apps on desktops will be dead pretty soon (smart phones are still a luxury at that time and apps on mobile devices are not yet born).  I didn’t believe that it would happen. Instead, I believed that if we want the best, then they better be desktop apps but be connected on the net.

What we need is a smart desktop application or a browser plugin or a desktop widget that is totally integrated with an online application, its data storage and an online interface.

It would be better to create the best of both worlds when user interaction need to be essentially rich and needs ability to work offline (as neither online nor offline desktop alone can not take advantage of the situation) and also need all of that an online application offers.

--Why desktop apps will stay, 9/26/2006

With iPhone released in 2007 and App Store in 2008, apps created a thriving eco-system of its own and time for apps has just arrived, again.

And that is what happened. Rather than moving everything to the web to take advantage of the internet, we are in fact bringing everything on the internet to devices. 

When Netflix started offering streaming videos online, we may have watched them on our desktops or laptops. But now more and more people are watching those movies right on their TV sets and more recently started watching on their iPads. In fact, Netflix’s streaming service got lot more popular with their iPad application.

So, welcome back to apps. Rich, lively and intuitive. In most cases, they would be less distracting. And musical, of course. (If you haven’t realized, on the web, there are no sound effects). Be it a desktop app or an app on your Mobile phone or on a special device.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lifecycle of a Wireframe

Just watched Lifecycle of a Wireframe by Nick Finck on Active Player. Wonderful session.

Dive deep into the process used to create wireframes, a key deliverable for user experience designers. Hear about the principles that guide this process, how to create great wireframes (all the way down to the nitty-gritty page or screen level), and how to identify and deliver solutions that meet your clients' business goals and solve their problems. Walk away with a better understanding of what delivering awesome wireframes entails - from methodology, to process, to delivery - and how to do it yourself. If you're an information architect, interaction designer, visual designer, or regular old user experience-curious creature: this one's for you.

Source : Lifecycle of a Wireframe from MIX 2010 ( Feed ) via Active Player

While we can just start with a white paper and pencil to get started with wire-frames, We could also create great wireframes right in MS Power Point itself. You may download this  MS Power Point template for creating wonderful wireframes in Power Point.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Independence Day, India. Jai Ho.

Twitter : Short URLs, but Readable

While posting through TweetButton, Twitter translates your URL to a short URL, say in this example, to  This is all but normal.

But a nice improvement Twitter did was instead of just posting the short URL in the tweet, it posts a readable URL while still linking to the short URL.


It totally cool improvement and makes tweets more readable.

Compare it with this following tweet of this very post, but using Google’s short URL.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Design Sense : Youtube and highly trained monkeys

Look at this funny error displayed by Youtube when some thing went wrong on the servers. Is Google referring to its developers as monkeys? or am I missing some joke?


Trends : C# or VB.NET

There is a heated discussion going on at LinkedIn in .NET People's group about what is the most preferred .NET Programming Language : VB or C#.  I don't want to add fuel to the fire, but just wanted to point out search patterns for C# and VB.NET on Google. As usual, interpretation is left to you.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trends : ASP.NET MVC Vs Ruby on Rails (RoR)

While discussing about the trend charts of .NET Versions over lunch yesterday, the discussion led to ASP.NET MVC and how does it fare against Ruby On Rails (ROR). Ofcourse, we are just talking about Search Patterns here.  So here is the search Patterns chart between RoR and ASP.NET MVC.


It is quite a surprising chart though. Try interpreting the chart and let us know your thoughts.

TDD : Quality Software Vs Healthy Software ( Kent Beck )

Listen to this wonderful presentation by Kent Beck on Developer Testing.
Kent Beck is widely recognized as the father of eXtreme Programming and JUnit. Kent's other contributions to software development include patterns for software, and the rediscovery of test-first programming. He is the author/co-author of Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change 2nd Edition, Contributing to Eclipse, Test-Driven Development: By Example, Planning Extreme Programming, The Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns, and the JUnit Pocket Guide. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Oregon. Source : Kent Beck on Developer Testing.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Active Player Now Plays YouTube Videos

Go ahead and grab the latest version of the Active Player as the new version now plays YouTube videos too. You can add individual YouTube videos by the URL or you can subscribe to RSS Feeds that contain YouTube videos.

Adding a Single YouTube Video to your Collections

Let me quickly show you how simply you can add a YouTube video to your collections.

On the left side Toolbar,  click on image (Web Icon). It will open up “Add a Media File From Internet” popup.


Once you enter the URL, it automatically picks up the type of Video as “Youtube Videos”. Fill in the rest details of the YouTube video and click on “Save”. The application will save the Video details and instantly start playing the video right within the Active Player itself.


The player will be automatically resized to fit the size of the window as you resize the Active Player.

Subscribing to YouTube RSS Feeds

Now let us see how quickly you can subscribe to RSS Feed with YouTube Videos. Go to and grab an RSS feed you are interested in. You can pick up a variety of RSS Feeds like user feeds, featured videos, recently added, videos of a specific tag etc. I will pick up an RSS Feed of Youtube videos with “india” in tags.

Click on RSS Feed icon image on the left side tool bar. It will open up the familiar “Add a Feed” form. In the form, fill in the RSS Feed URL and click on “Add”.


Active Player will grab the feed and display details of the feed. Update feed details as you like, add the feed to collections you want and click on “Save”. I have added to “My Favorites” and updated the title a bit.


Active Player will load the feed items to your collection. That’s all it takes. Now any time a new video is posted on Youtube with “india” in tags, you are ready to watch the video with a single click. Here we go, I am playing the India’s $35 laptop video right away.


Anytime, you would like to play the Youtube video on the original Youtube page, click on image  to go to original Youtube page.

Hope, you will like this. If you haven’t grabbed Active Player, you can install the Player from here. Let us know what you think.