Scary Picture

I saw thie movie ‘Eagle Eye‘ over the weekend. While it was just a movie, it scared me a bit. The movie makes an attempt to show the invasion of technology in our private lives and lets us know how vulnerable we already are. I dont think any thing I have done so far, except what is there in my mind is private. Google Chrome proved me right yesterday.

Fed up of the new ‘slow’ version of Firefox, I decided to try out Chrome. Whn I was done with installation, just before starting up Google threw me a question. It was asking me if they could store my browsing history with them and use it for analysis and study purpose. I instantly clicked ‘Nah!’ Why would Google want to know what I browse? Of course for the Ad Sense, Ad Words, for future improvements of Chrome… as a Google fan you will answer this. But what for? And what is the surity that Google will still not store my browsing history? I think I have already exposed all my passwords and other details about so many things linked online to a web browser (May it be IE, FF, Chrome, Opera…). And it is not just about Google alone.

We were already captured on innumerable CCTV cameras around our world. The bank websites already know all about you, your history, your family, your possesions. Face book knows all about your friends. Linkedin knows all about your business contacts. WordPress knows all about you blog. Visa knows all your credit dealings… and your bank records. And the insurance company knows every thing about your family. What if you were caught nude on a CCTV camera in a changing room and it has come back to haunt you now after 10 years? What if some one hacked your browser and siphoned the money out? What if the entire data was being stored in a big storage space and your life is being monitored day in and day out?

The picture is scary and we cant do any thing about it.  :mrgreen:

Meebo on the menu

Added a new widget to my blog today, a meebo chat tool. Frankly speaking I have never used Meebo and I dont know if I will be able to sign in to it tomorrow morning. It looks good to me as of now as I can sign in both yahoo and google, but have no idea if it really is useful. Lets see how it goes.

PS: We don’t have access to chats during 9am to 6pm (working hours). my gtalk some how works.

Why couldn’t we build chrome?

If you are reading this post or even if you just stumbled upon this, please try to answer the above question.

Its not limited to just Google chrome. Its got to do with entire software product industry. Whether it is Microsoft, Oracle, Google or any one else. While 53% of our GDP growth is being credited to the IT/ITES industry, Its sad that very few of the many million Indian engineers have not come up with any thing innovative.

Your comment is highly valued to trigger some introspection.

The return of Yahoo

Its been exactly 3 years and 8 months since I shifted my loyalties to Gmail from the erstwhile Yahoo account. Reason, well my friend Kaustubh introduced me to gmail and almost convinced me that it was the in-thing. Having a google account probably meant a lot those days (at least thats what I believed that time around) since it was by invitation only. So I left my association with Yahoo, that lasted little more than 4 years and joined Google.

My email journey has actually been very fascinating. I started of with hotmail, my first mail account. However I had to let in go since it was too slow for a 64kbps dial up connections and that too when the rates of accessing internet in a net cafe were as high as INR 100 to 150 per hour. After dabbling for few days with Rediff, I moved to Yahoo.

Yahoo, I must admit, introduced me to the world wide web. It was the best and most talked about thing about 8 years back from now. My teenage thrived and bloomed on Yahoo messenger ( :mrgreen: ) and so did my professional self. I remember registering in the websites of the likes of Naukri and Monster using my Yahoo account. I remember uploading photographs for the first time on flickr using a yahoo id. All the final year project, Yahoo mail has been the carrier of the documents between our team (I headed them… Yo!) and our professor who was away most of the times. And when I tried my hand at doing Post Graduation in management, Yahoo it was again. And Yahoo it was, when I got through. But in the end, I ditched Jerry Yang and shifted my base to Google.

I don’t know what made me go back to the Yahoo account. May be all the memories did. Sadly, all that communication which would have felt me nostalgic is now lost. But my Yahoo is back. And it is looking really good. I mean they have put good effort in developing the new mail client. One reason why I continued with Google was I found it easy on the eys as well as to use. May be I will change that perception now. May be I’m starting my Yahoo again.

PS: “maxmayur” actually is my name since my Yahoo days. It was my chat id. 🙂

Yahoo Rejects Microsoft, Icahn Bid

Hmmm… Well well well. This is SOME news for many days now. Yahoo rejecting Microsoft’s lucrative deal. Roy Bostock (Chairman of Yahoo) says its not lucrative enough, despite the fact that Microsoft had promised billions in ad sales revenue to Yahoo. But there was no surety. 🙂

This puts a lot of pressure on Jerry Yang though. He has to look in the Google deal again, the alternative he has, unless some one else wants to jump in. They say The deal with Google has got a better monetary value and also lesser risk. And why not? Carl Icahn (an investor who bid for Yahoo along with Microsoft) had asked for the ouster of the entire top management of yahoo, if the deal got through. Google on the other hand promises a cash flow of $450million in the first year itself. No wonder or surprises in it. Google leads the online search engine marketing revenues by far.

Microsoft on the other hand might have received a shot in the butt 😛 they have been trying to woo Yahoo for far too long, since the $44.6 billion bid by Steve Ballmer 6 month back was rejected. They have tried several times. However the trick here is, Yahoo doesn’t seem to like to idea of seperating the search business from its core. Microsoft on the other hand has no interest other than the search engine as they are getting desperate to improve their position in SEM.

Well all eyes are on Carl Icahn now, as he tries to woo some more before the yahoo Share holders meeting next month. (Carl Icahn is one of the 9 board members of Yahoo)

Good Luck to Jerry Yang!

An interview with Google’s Joe Kraus on How to Make the Web More Social

No, I have not taken this interview. Neither do Joe Kraus knows me personally. (but ah!, I would like to know him though.) I was just plain impressed by the way he gave an interview to Wharton. It pulled me to post it here. May be my readers (if at all…?) would like to read this.

If Wharton has an objection, they can very well rebuff me. I will remove it. Please feel free to contact. So here it is…

Werbach: Hi, this is Kevin Werbach, professor at the Wharton school and organizer of the Supernova Conference. I’m speaking today with Joe Kraus, director of product management at Google and truth be told, a former high school mate of mine many years ago. So, good to talk to you Joe.

Kraus: Good talking to you. That was too long ago.

Werbach: It’s kind of scary, isn’t it?

Kraus: Yeah.

Werbach: So, you’ve done some interesting things with your career. You’re one of the founders of Excite, the early web portal, and then started a company called Jot that was doing wikis and collaboration software, which got bought by Google. And then, to those of us on the outside, it seemed like you kind of disappeared into Google for a while and now you’ve come back out. So, tell us what you’ve been working on.

Kraus: For the last year I’ve been working Google’s social initiatives, which are really kind of in a couple of main buckets. But, probably the largest one is the notion of, “How do you make the whole web social?”

So, the killer apps that have really worked on the web have always been about connecting people to one another. So, whether it is instant messaging and e-mail as communications to connect people to one another, whether it’s photo-sharing as a way to connect people to one another through photos, or blogging as a way to connect people to one another through the words, people have always been social and the killer apps that have really succeeded on the web have always been social.

And really, the primary set of initiatives at Google that I work on are, “How do you make the whole web a more social place?” A lot of that is divided into a couple of buckets. One is this thing called OpenSocial, which we can talk more about. And another is a product which we’ve recently launched called Friend Connect. But, that’s just the general rubric of how do you make the web a more social place.

You can read the rest on the Wharton website by clicking here or on the title of this post.