Sunday, October 29, 2006

Microsoft now going the google way!

I just now finished testing the new launched by MSN. It's still in beta stage and amazingly similar to Google. Now the hotmail account I had is also 2 GB, looks different (in a good way!) and quite fast! Moreover, I saw the pagea and similar to Google personalized page - you get a search engine, news, weather and your own live space blog.

Quite an improvement definitely! The new look hotmail account looks like this -

It has similar mail search option like gmail and you can change the appearance and colour. 2 GB is definitely a noteworthy improvement over the initial 2 MB hotmail and then 250 MB hotmail accounts! The account is quite fast and takes less time to load.

Still time has not come to compare Google services with those of Microsoft. Let this be popular - then we can talk and compare! Till then enjoy the new hotmail.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Interesting news: Dabbawala's take their know-how to Italy

Hi everyone,
Hope you had a wonderful Diwali. Interesting news - a recognition to the ever-efficient tiffin box system of Mumbai - they are getting a chance to showcase themselves in front of the International community.

Mumbai: Ragunath Medge, who heads the Mumbai Nutan Tiffin Box Association, is a busy man.

He is preparing for his trip to Italy where he'll be attending the
four-day-long Terra Madre International food conference on organic food.

His agenda is as simple as always. “Now we're into education as well. It's very
satisfying. That’s why we have packed such concepts as logistics, supply chain
management, time accuracy, coding systems and other six sigma practices, which
actually come to us quite naturally, into our presentation,” explains

His colleague, Secretary of Nutan Tiffin Box Association, Gangaram is just as
excited as is his family but he remains as unassuming even with his newly
acquired status as an International educator.

“Our dress code remains the same. The same dhoti, kurta, pyjama, just as we
should dress in our country,” says Talekar.

It is this understated efficiency that has taken these dabbawalas from stength
to strength, from six sigma-driven processes to their present place in the
International arena, enabling them to hobnob with corporate bigwigs and royalty

Little wonder then that even Prince Charles's brother, Prince Andrew, has
expressed his desire to meet with the dabbawalas next month.

“He'll (Prince Andrew) be coming to the British Consulate on November 1st. Like
his brother, he too wants to meet us,” says Medge.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Md. Yusuf and Grameen Bank wins Nobel Peace Prize 2006

A big recognition for the Microfinance - Prof Yusuf, pioneering Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, wins the coveted Nobel Prize! I remember being taught in details about how the Grameen bank system operates in Microfinance course by Prof Sriram at IIM-A. We compared the pros and cons of the system with SHG or Self-help groups in India. Grameen's regimented approach, somewhat, made us believe that SHG is more convenient and less staff intensive. Even we read about the doubts on Grameen's long term viability and whether what they are reporting is the actual or not. Their loan default rate is less than 1%! That is not even achieved by our corporates!

But, at the end of the day, a recognition from the Nobel means a lot for Grameen and Prof. Yusuf. Grameen is an unique model - it's being replicated elsewhere too, even in India, particularly in Andhra. Kudos to Grameen! Indeed a great achievement!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Google to buy YouTube for $1.6 billion

The latest sensation is Google is buying Youtube for $1.6 billion. It's a wise move from Youtube point of view - much of the video clips in Youtube are subjected to copyright issues. Now that means, Youtube has now Google's limitless bandwidth, deep pockets and tough attitude to deal with copyright issues! It's a win-win situation for Youtube.

What it means for Google? Mark Cuban spoke to Reuters on Sept. 28th, 2006. His opinion is it's a mistake to buy Youtube, for the potential lawsuits looming on the company. Since, right now you tube does not have a deep pocket, no one is suing it. Once it gets money, people will start suing it from all corners.

If Youtube then removes the copyrighted materials what all will be left there to watch? Yes, it's the question precisely being asked. I go to Youtube to watch latest music videos, cricket match recordings, football match recordings. Now if it's not there why users like me would go there? Even Google Videos have similar content and materials.

Buying Youtube can be a strategic move to popularize Google Videos and reduce competition. Youtube has today two times more subscribers than Myspace - will it go the Napster way or will it continue showing what it is showing today? Only time will tell ....

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Google pages: Create your own webpage

Another fantastic product from Google. Building a webpage has never been so easy and fun!

Create your own web pages, quickly and easily.

Google Page Creator is a free online tool that makes it easy for anyone to create and publish useful, attractive web pages in just minutes.

  • No technical knowledge required.
    Build high-quality web pages without having to learn HTML or use complex software.
  • What you see is what you'll get.
    Edit your pages right in your browser, seeing exactly how your finished product will look every step along the way.
  • Don't worry about hosting.
    Your web pages will live on your own site at
Log on to
You get a 100 mb space to create your webpage, which means 100s of pages you can create there. On the same account, there are advanced settings facilities where you can create multiple websites too (currently disabled). The bandwidth is presently unlimited and it's good for small companies to host their company pages there for free. Currently it does not support PHP and SQL but with Google, you never know - it may come soon!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Google's University Search

Are you an applicant to US universities? You are searching those universities in Google? I know it's tiring. Once I did those searches too. Many-a-times those searches lead to a variety of false websites!

Now Google has brought for you Google University Search.

Google's University Search enables you to narrow your search to a specific school website. Try it for things like admissions information, course schedules, or alumni news. To get into your target school, open

Try it! It's great! Only sorry point is that my institute Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad has not been added yet! I added it to Google list, now I need a few entries from my other colleagues so that IIM-A features in the list! Happy Dussera to you all!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Google Base

You want your site and content to appear in Google. Google base is perfect for you then.

Google Base is a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content, which we'll make searchable on Google (if your content isn't online yet, we'll put it there). You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they do related searches. In fact, based on your items' relevance, users may find them in their results for searches on Froogle, Google Maps and even our main Google web search.

Quick Facts about Google Base
  • Cost: Free
  • How to Submit: You can submit information about all types of online and offline content to Google Base, by either the standard web form or, if you have more than 10 items to submit, via our bulk upload options. When you submit information via the web form, you can attach up to 15 digital files in the following formats: PDF (.pdf), Microsoft Excel (.xls), Text (.txt), HTML (.html), Rich Text Format (.rtf), Word Perfect (.wpd), ASCII, Unicode and XML. Please note: the files you upload may not exceed 20 megabytes total in size, and we reserve the right to review all items in order to ensure they comply with the Google Base Terms and Conditions.
  • Languages: Google Base is currently available in English and German interfaces.
  • Reach: Items you submit to Google Base might be found on Google properties like Google, Froogle, and Google Maps.
  • How it's different: Google Base enables you to add attributes describing your content, so that searchers can easily find it. The more popular individual attributes become, the more often we'll suggest them when others post the same items. Similarly, items that become more popular will show up as suggested item types in the Choose an existing item type drop-down menu.
I found it quite wonderful. May be you can give it a try too.

Adsense Experience

I remember the date when I created an Adsense account - 27th August 2006. I was writing a blog on CAT. I saw a link on blogspot - at the Template column. I just wanted to explore and created an account. I placed it's codes on the other blog I run - CATIIMATALES. I left it as it is for a week or so. One day I checked my account - Bingo! I had earned USD 50 in 4 days! I concentrated more on creating a good website and a better content to attract more people. And it clicked! I was earning over USD 300 a month! That too depicting the tales of IIM-Ahmedabad!

The whole thing changed my life in a way! My whole leisure time was devouted to Google Adsense - in creative writing! It's a great tool for guys with a passion for writing like me! I was thinking to take up a job while PhD but Google gave me an option. Write what you like and let the world read it and think! The whole experience was very satisfying to me!

Then came Google Pages. Fantastic product for website designing! It is so handy to create a website and WYSIWYG or What You See Is What You Get - meaning what you see in your window is the thing you get when you publish your site. I could unleash my creativity to the fullest extent, designing and creating a pool of websites.

Quite a gratifying experience indeed for me. I am now exploring Google Base. Tomorrow's column will be on Google Base.

My google experience

My experience with Google started in 1998 during my Master's thesis. I had to search articles in internet. There I came across a number of search engines but by far Google was the best. Very close to it will be Clusty. It provided clustered search results which was quite handy for me. In general Google was much more comprehensive.

Google didn't launch Google Scholar those days. I came across Google Scholar when I was working as a research associate in the Food and Agricultural Organization at United Nations (2002-03). It's a very handy tool for budding researchers like me. You can track the articles and then download them from ScienceDirect or Springerlink. A very good application for the research community indeed!

My first Gmail account was courtesy one guy who works in Microsoft, in 2004. Those days Gmail invitations were scarcity and he gave me the account. Thanks Navneet!

I was a hotmail user before gmail came. I then shifted my accounts to gmail. Hotmail's 2 mb space wasn't enough for me. I had an IIM-A account though - but gmail was superb!

Gtalk increased my association with google. I shifted from yahoo messenger to gtalk primarily because IIM-A for some reason banned the socks proxy. Now the insti server operated on http proxy in which yahoo was very slow. Gtalk performed great in http. Finally when a girlfriend came to my life - gtalk added to our romance. She is not very fond of typing and the option left is talking in gtalk. We spend our romantic evenings in gtalk - Ahmedabad to Kolkata distance reduced plus a great savior to my pockets. Thank you Gtalk!

Now, Adsense has improved my financial condition too. I am earning quite a lot in adsense. Again thanks google.

This blog is dedicated to google and other research software which I encountered in my journey as a researcher. Keep watching it!