Ranjeet Walunj

January 17, 2009

BarCamp #5 at Mumbai (VJTI – Matunga)

I’ve tried attending few of the last barcamp’s at mumbai and always look forward to see what new I can learn from the same.

I’ve met few of my good contacts at barcamps and learned a lot from them.

My friend Satish Vijaykumar aka BombayLives (twitter – @bombaylives) have been the major driving force for me to attend the same.
And last barcamp at IIT, he has taken a cool photograph of mine with Fedora Hat on (RedHat) — (which i’m using everywhere as profile –even if there are mixed reviews bout my looks πŸ˜‰Β  )

This year satish has even made resolution that he will attend all the tweetups/blogcamps/barcamps happening in mumbai … πŸ™‚

Anyways point is BarCamp Mumbai 5 will be held at VJTI, Matunga, Mumbai on Sunday, February 1st, 2009.

I love it when such events are pretty close to my house πŸ˜‰

If I manage to find some time and finish my project, then probably I’ll be trying to take a session. Otherwise I’m there to learn and spread good karma … Would love to be volunteer … (And this will not have hidden agenda to get few extra cool barcamp T-shirts/goodies πŸ˜‰

For people who don’t know what barcamp is : (I’ve taken following content from http://barcampmumbai.org/)

for people who don’t know how to get there — pls check : http://barcampmumbai.org/BCM5_Venue

BCM5 is not 2 day event as last barcamp …Β  its debatable … but I preffer one day camp than the 2 day spread …

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment.
It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants.

(I love to see some fights happening @ bcm5 — some nice intellectual fights )

BarCamp is in essence a conference without a preset agenda.
We prefer the term ‘unconference’ actually.
A bunch of smart people meet up over the weekend, put up a schedule on a wall and spend the rest of their time
taking up sessions and discussions with each other.

There is no audience. Only participants. So host a session, help out with planning, ask questions, spread the word-

Everybody is invited. There really are no walls.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Please visit official Barcamp Mumbai wiki — http://barcampmumbai.org/

BarCamp5

BarCamp5

BarCamp?? What BarCamp??

Learn more about BarCamps on the following resources:

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BarCamp
* http://barcamp.org/WhatToExpect
* http://barcamp.org/TheRulesOfBarCamp

October 14, 2008

Baba Ramdev using google chrome in billboard advertisement for yoga camp

Filed under: funny, internet technologies — Tags: , , , , , — ranjeetwalunj @ 3:05 pm

I came to know about absolute hilarious billboard sign posted at Gurgoan, Delhi from a friend of mine.

Baba ramdev is probably trying to target the internet users/tech savvy guys from gurgaon in following advertisement.

yoga camp billboard mentioning google chrome

I guess his next camp will be in Bangalore or Mumbai with similar techy billboard πŸ™‚

September 29, 2008

All your base are belong to us …

Google has launched the Project 10^100 (”Project 10 to the 100th”) to mark their 10th birthday;
a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.
The price is around some $200,000 per idea. (they are selecting 5 ideas for $1 Million)

As they have already touched upon most of our daily habits and tracked us completely.

They can go ahead and take following ideas to own us completely πŸ™‚

    – Worldwide Google Security number agency (something like Social Security Number)
    – Run Spy Agency  (They already know many more things about us than probably we know about ourselves)
    – Visa/Passport Agency
    – Start Television channels (They already have satellite)
      I’m sure they can definitely run targeted ads on Set-Top boxes
    – Start Hospitals
    – Start schools (All kind of)
    – Start building military applications and appliances
    – Provide alternate Energy source and make money
    – Run a full fledged financial institution (World needs few more players in this zone — after the current debacle)
        catering to banking needs
        investment needs
        mortgage
        credit authority
        ….and so on
    – Start something on geologists and geophysicists
        First target to find oil mines
    – Start film production house (producing all type of films including adult movies)
    – Start a Soft+Hard Drink manufacturing company
    – And many more …………..

Please check the 10^100 original announcement here.

Please feel free to add your ideas here …. (I assure that I’ll share prize money πŸ˜‰ )



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September 22, 2008

BarCamp #4 at Mumbai

The long wait is over & BarCampMumbai4 is finally announced on first weekend of October 2008.

What’s new?
* BCM4 is a 2-day camp this time.
* You have to be involved. You can either give sessions or volunteer to be a part of BCM4

When & where?
* 4th & 5th of October, 2008
* SJMSOM, IIT, Powai, Mumbai

I would be attending as usual. I like the atmosphere. (Got few nice memories of IIT Bombay, Powai)
Thinking about whether, I can contribute something, probably a talk or volunteering.

Barcamp Mumbai — http://barcampmumbai.org/

BarCamp4

BarCamp4

BarCamp?? What BarCamp??

Learn more about BarCamps on the following resources:

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BarCamp
* http://barcamp.org/WhatToExpect
* http://barcamp.org/TheRulesOfBarCamp

September 18, 2008

Amazon to offer CDN services

As a logical extension to their existing product suite of EC2 cloud computing service and S3 online storage solution, Amazon is planning to launch a global CDN (Content Delivery Network) in near future. (Before dec 2008).

The idea is to provide publicly readable content to the customers worldwide, with low latency and high data transfer rates.
(General feature of all CDN)

It has been mentioned in the announcement that customers using Amazon S3 Bucket (Online Storage solution) will be easily able to migrate to Amazon CDN immediately by using the domain name/API provided.

As per ReadWriteWeb’s review, this service will not require a contract and also will not have any minimum-usage requirements unlike to Amazon’s other Web Services.

Looking at Amazon’s current links, its apparent that they already have presence in Germany, Japan, France and UK apart from USA.

It’s just matter of time for them to establish presence at another locations and start syncing their current applications + content across globe.

Another idea in future:  (though I’m not sure about its technical feasibility)

Amazon may also go ahead and try to replicate the certain EC2 applications + Databases (with master to master replications) across globe to enhance CDN concept to entire Applications/Cloud.

Idea is to even direct the user requests to nearest possible Cloud Instance which is already in sync with global.

(It’s not easy task and applications + db need to be designed in this manner…. neverthless it is not impossible in future..)

GigaOm, interestingly indicates that this move by Amazon, looks like a preemptive move, as New-York based company Voxel just announced CDN solution based on S3.

In my personal opinion is S3 or EC2 looks cost effective for less traffic services as they charge Fixed + Variable costs (based on the generated calls to content).
So if your number of server calls increase; the costs also tend to increase in the longer run.

And importantly it looks good till the time you notice that Amazon do not promise any uptime.

(Recent downtime of S3 and EC2 confirms that)

Still it is worthwhile to look/wait for the Amazon CDN.

September 11, 2008

Technology glitch brings UAL stock down

I was going through slashdot and one bizzare incident was reported on it.

Google’s news tracker/crawler, fetched a news from some old reprint of an article from Dec 2002 when United Airlines was on the verge of bankruptcy.

United airlines later on managed to get out of the situation after that.

However google crawled it as latest news since the reprint did not mentioned about any of the date.

Soon every other news reader/aggregators grabbed this incorrect information from google’s news and soon started spreading this news across market.

After some time this news appeared on Bloomberg and the stock price of UAL dropped to $3.00 from the opening price of $12.50. Trading was suspended after that.

And after clearing the doubts stock prices rose back to around $10.00 which is still lesser than the actual opening price.

UAL 8 sep 2008 fiasco due to incorrect news

UAL 8 sep 2008 fiasco due to incorrect news (Source yahoo finance)

Google cannot be blamed for this mistake. But some people might have jumped the gun as soon as the news appeared on Bloomberg and started selling off their stock. People should get into a habit of checking news and then taking financial decisions.
Thought the incident clearly shows the power of internet in todays world.

Few smart people would have made money after checking the authenticity of the news and riding on the fall or rise πŸ™‚

How does it affect any other market ?

I was wondering whether these features can be manipulated to rigg stock prices up and down ?

If someone creates a news site where he artificially creates/modifies/brings older news back to current threads about certain stocks where he wants to manipulate for his benefits.

That opens another possible rigging opportunity for operators/manipulators in market.

Or to avoid these kind of situation should news crawlers try not to crawl news without timestamps ?
Or should there be a need for moderators before news gets published/indexed by crawlers ?

We all know that there are other ways of manipulation in stock markets and we seriously do not wish to add another possibility of manipulation.

References:

Slashdot news : Automated news crawling evaporates $1.14B

Wallstreet:Β Β  UAL story blame is placed on computer

Atlanta business chronicle : Google crawler, clicks may have pushed 2002 UAL bankruptcy story to top

September 4, 2008

Browser War: Microsoft IE8 Vs. Firefox Vs. Google Chrome (or Google OS?)

Its quite logical move from google where they have come out with their own version of browser (Google Chrome) after looking at the features of MS IE8 and possible threat to its advertising revenue.

Internet explorer enjoys 60-70% of browser market share due to its strong presence in OS.
Mozilla/Firefox enjoys close to 20-25% (or more) of market share
And remaining browsers (Opera, Safari) enjoy the remaining share.

Chrome is out in market and it will face the similar problems which Mozilla is facing.
(Most of the people are happy with their built-in (/pre-shipped) browser with OS (Read: Microsoft Internet Explorer)

So probably what it will do is, eat Mozilla share of browser market, and mozilla foundation looks amazed with the timing of the announcement of chrome.

Mozilla CEO’s thoughts on chrome:

Mozilla’s Europe president, Tristan Nitot does not think chrome as direct attack on Firefox

However I seriously think this announcement as threat to firefox as the only place Chrome will eat browser share is Firefox.

(As mentioned above normal users are happy with their pre-shipped browser.)

About IE8 — yeah in my previous post i mentioned how it can create problems for online advertising (Inprivate Blocking mode)

Chrome seems to be the answer to that threat … It allows advertising …
Obvious since google does not want to cut Advertising Revenue πŸ˜‰

It gives option to block pop-ups though …. (since google yet does not have pop-ups πŸ˜‰ )

But to me it looks like google has secret agenda with Google chrome.

It looks a like a platform for OS Wrapper … where normal user do not need to switch to other applications if he is using google chrome …. Google will soon start providing all basic needs of surfer inside the chrome browser itself.

(remember they are already building/launched apps for desktop, word processing, presentations, editing, email, chat)

All google need to do is provide all these things together in google chrome.
They are already giving Google Gears, using which i would not be surprised if people start distributing web softwares as offline installable applications which can be run through the Chrome browser.

Browser war is heating up …. are you party to it ?

I’ve been using following browsers

(IE7, Firefox 3 and 2, Opera, Safari, Netscape and now Chrome)

Chrome is multi-process, multi-tabbed browser whereas FF tries to provide lean efficient experience with single process and IE8 tries to provide smoother browsing experience by creating multiple instances of iexplorer.exe.

What it means that if something goes wrong in one tab of Chrome, other tabs will keep working properly.

IE it may happen if other tabs are handled by other instance of iexplorer.exe
And firefox may crash the entire process.

I’ve experienced memory utilisation is sometimes bad for all browsers (sometimes pathetic)

My experience with Chrome is as follows:

I’ve installed chrome yesterday and faced few issues with it.
Almost wasted 20-30 mins to figure out why it was throwing some weird errors like following.
— the application failed to initialise properly (0xC0000005). Click ok to terminate the program

The reason for above error is due to Microsoft XP Pro + SP3, Symantec Endpoint Protection and Chrome running together.

The temporary workaround is disable sandbox mode of chrome by running chrome with additional option “–no-sandbox” (without quotes) — check here

Post that its running strictly OK for me …

  1. It has already crashed few times .. and i had to restart the browser
  2. My laptop’s scroll-down from mousepad works fine … but scroll-up does not work
  3. Few sites do not open in chrome (need to figure this out — this may not be problem with it)Β 

August 26, 2008

Microsoft IE8 and Privacy by InPrivate Blocking

So called online user privacy advocates will be more than happy to have a look at microsoft IE8 feature list.

Microsoft is providing a feature called as “InPrivate Blocking” in IE8 which will allow users to block/edit/allow third party tracking/adserving options.

Read about microsoft IE8 and its features here

It also says

———————————————————————————-

InPrivate Blocking keeps a record of third-party items like the one above as you browse. When you choose to browse with InPrivate, IE automatically blocks sites that have β€œseen” you across more than ten sites.

———————————————————————————-

Washington Post in their Tech Blog said this feature as “Accidental AdBlocker”.

————————————————————————————-

A Microsoft spokesman said that the feature, to be known as ‘InPrivate Blocking,’ was never designed to be an ad blocker, though ‘there may be ads that get blocked.’ Instead, it was designed to stop tracking ‘pixels’ or pieces of code that could allow third-party sites to track users as they move around the Web.”

————————————————————————————-

What it means is that if user is browsing with these options ON it MAY block the following

  1. Ad Networks
  2. Ad Exchanges
  3. Behavioral Targeting Services
  4. Yahoo developer API
  5. and many others

(This is on the assumption that InPrivate Blocking is checking at the domain/subdomain level. If it is checking at the complete path level for the calls then its easier to bypass by changing the thirdparty path in every website where it is getting called.)

Similar feature is available with Firefox for last +2 years (AdBlock or AdBlock Plus Plugins.
However those plugins are entirely installed and configured by the users and they do not try to block some third party websites which have appeared in the calls more than 10 times.

Is microsoft is trying to kill Google’s revenue model by cutting off their advertising revenue source ?
In this process how are they going to treat their own ads ?
(will there be an exception/special treatment for microsoft services ?)

Publishers do provide free content and they need to have revenue model which has some contributions from Advertising revenue.
Such options may create an issue for the online advertising industry.

Microsoft is trying to take advantage of its OS market share (which also means 60-75% IE penetration) and cut its competition in another market.

August 22, 2008

Drizzle: A Lightweight SQL Database for Cloud and Web

I’ve been using MySQL since Dec-1999, and so far its been a wonderful database which works perfect for most of the Online (Web) Applications.
Few days ago when I was going through scale-our strategies for mysql and lightweight mysql discussions, I came across ‘Drizzle’.

Drizzle is a High-Performance Microkernel DBMS for Scale-Out Applications.
Drizzle is a community-driven project based on the popular MySQL DBMS that is focused on MySQL’s original goals of ease-of-use, reliability and performance.

The Drizzle project is building a database optimized for Cloud and Net applications.
It is being designed for massive concurrency on modern multi-cpu/core architecture.
The code is originally derived from MySQL.

Monty Taylor is one of the programmer of ‘Drizzle’ who works as a Senior Consultant with MySQL.
He specializes in HA solutions and MySQL cluster.Β  MySQL HA

More information about drizzle can be obtained from
Project details — http://launchpad.net/drizzle
Wiki — http://drizzle.wikia.com/

The project is focused on making a database that is:
1) Reliable
2) Fast and scalable on modern architecture
3) Simply design for ease of installation and management

Certainly it is looking a great database for highly scalable internet applications.

Monty was looking out for contributions to Drizzle’s i18n efforts.

I’ve taken up the Marathi Translation bit and it appears difficult than I thought initially.

Its difficult to find Marathi words for few of the database related terms.
However I’ve been trying and will try to finish as many translations as possible.

My office colleague vijay commented on my translations -saying- Marathi used by me is difficult and not used in regular use.
I’ll try to use more generic marathi words to make it look simple.

I want to contribute back to Open Source in some or other way.

Have already started giving support (Mostly free) for OpenX (AdServing platform), Apache (Webserver), MySQL,Β  scaling and performance tuning web applications, helping users from community.

April 25, 2008

Firefox view source refreshes the entire page

Filed under: internet technologies, Tech — Tags: , , , , , — ranjeetwalunj @ 4:00 pm

had a difficult time explaining to someone about this behaviour of firefox πŸ™‚

problem was these guys run an affiliate program which requires to have a tracking pixel on our confirmation page.
The tracking pixel (1×1) was in place for the campaign.

However whenever someone tried to see the source of the rendered page in firefox, it did not pick up source from cached copy but fetched the data from server again.

(this resulted in not showing the pixel as the confirmation is considered as duplicate πŸ™‚ )
Normal feature in any lead – generation activities.

The tech head at affiliate system provider actually said following :

me: I’m using firefox 3 beta 5 and firefox 2 and both the browsers fetch the source from servers whenever we try to do ‘View-Source’

He: any other evidence on internet about the same ?

Me: Nope, have not checked for the same

He: So you mean to say you’ve found a new bug in firefox which is not yet known to the world ?
(I found lil bit of sarcasm in above question …. but he is not wrong as he has not seen it earlier )

Me: (quite) probably .. πŸ™‚

(this may not be Bug …. but certainly avoidable feature from FF)

Anyways the problem is sorted out by little bit of workaround from our side ….

But for a moment I was sounding like a techie who is giving GOLI (gas)

Cool fun sometimes it is ….

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