Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Alexa Opened up to Developers is throwing open its Alexa search engine to web and software developers, to create customized searches and vertical search engines,thereby offering them the ability to specify web crawls for around 5 billion documents in Alexa's index.

Alexa is best known for the web traffic statistics it provides forsites, and was acquired by Amazon in 1999.

The "Alexa Web Search Platform" offers 3 online web snapshots of up to100 terabytes each, plus tools for sifting through content so developers can create their own data sets. Developers can upload, compile, and run their own programs on a processing cluster; store their output on astorage cluster; integrate their data into a search index; and access their search through Amazon's Web services.

Reportedly Rainer Typke, a Netherlands-based web developer, has already used the service to help people search for music by whistling a melody on his web site -

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Asterisk - Open source PBX

Asterisk-based telephony solutions offer a rich and flexible featureset. Asterisk offers both classical PBX functionality and advancedfeatures, and interoperates with traditional standards-based telephonysystems and Voice over IP systems. Asterisk offers the features onewould expect of a large proprietary PBX system such as Voicemail,Conference Bridging, Call Queuing, and Call Detail Records.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Open Source Scalable Vector Graphics Editor

Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3Cstandard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Supported SVG features include shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, patterns, and grouping. Inkscape also supports Creative Commons meta-data, node editing, layers, complex path operations, bitmap tracing, text-on-path, flowed text, direct XMLediting, and more. It imports formats such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and others and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based formats.

Inkscape's main goal is to create a powerful and convenient drawing tool fully compliant with XML, SVG, and CSS standards. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development process, and by making sure Inkcape is easy to learn, to use, and to extend.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

MATLAB - The Language of Technical Computing

MATLAB is a high-level language and interactive environment that enables you to perform computationally intensive tasks faster than with traditional programming languages such as C, C++, and Fortran.

You can use MATLAB in a wide range of applications, including signal and image processing, communications, control design, test and measurement, financial modeling and analysis, and computational biology. Add-on toolboxes (collections of special-purpose MATLAB functions, available separately) extend the MATLAB environment to solve particular classes of
problems in these application areas.

MATLAB provides a number of features for documenting and sharing your work. You can integrate your MATLAB code with other languages and applications, and distribute your MATLAB algorithms and applications.

Google's Powerful APIs for developers

We all probably know or have even used Google Search APIs, but over theperiod of time Google has consistently improved its tally of APIs itoffer to developers to use and customise various google products and services.

Here is list as of Nov-2005

1. AdWords
2. Blogger
3. Deskbar
4. Desktop Search
5. Earth
6. Froogle
7. Gmail
8. Groups
9. Maps
11.Search Appliance
14.Web search

You can check all of them out at:

And if you hurry and use some of them, you can even win a Google T-Shirtand promotion on their developer page.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Amazon's Artificial Artificial Intelligence

Today, we build complex software applications based on the thingscomputers do well, such as storing and retrieving large amounts ofinformation or rapidly performing calculations. However, humans stillsignificantly outperform the most powerful computers at completing suchsimple tasks as identifying objects in photographs - something childrencan do even before they learn to speak.

When we think of interfaces between human beings and computers, weusually assume that the human being is the one requesting that a task becompleted, and the computer is completing the task and providing theresults. What if this process were reversed and a computer program could ask a human being to perform a task and return the results? What if itcould coordinate many human beings to perform a task?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Low Cost Palm PDA

Palm has launched Z22 its latest entry level PDA. Good news is that it is color version of its predecessor Zire 21, rest of the specs are almost same. Palm is offering this color variant of Zire 21 at its old price of$99 in US.

On Palm India its listed price is Rs. 8500 without local taxes. I fail to understand the logic behind import duties for PDA, something costing around 4500 costs double here. Maybe this is responsible for low penetration of PDAs in India.

Anyway leaving aside all that I will still say that it's the cheapest PDA available in India now and is very lightweight and sleek. Those of you who want to check it out can do so at:

I think import duties on mobile phones are much less as we can get cellphone models almost at same price here in India, unlike old days.

Irony here is even PDA phones like O2, Imate and Treo are perhaps treated as PDAs and not phones and thus attract higher duties resulting in higher prices. I think somebody should take it up with custom department or IT department of India. May be if they listen, it can help many companies and people in India to do work on field and become more productive.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Integrating PayPal with ASP.NET

There is a good article for Integrating PayPal into E-CommerceApplications with ASP.NET on DevX by Rick Strahl.

It starts like this:

If you run a Web shop that uses direct credit card processing and youwant to integrate PayPal, you'll find that using PayPal as a processingservice is not as straightforward as using a payment gateway. In thisarticle, I'll describe how you can minimize the external PayPalinteraction and work the PayPal payment into your order processingworkflow to provide a seamless interface using ASP.NET and C#.

Read full article at:

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Palm embraces windows mobile

Finally palm (erstwhile palmone, which was palm earlier too) has introduced a new Treo smartphone running Windows Mobile 5.0

Its called treo 700 and not the treo 670 about which there was a rumor since a long time now. Microsoft's official page for treo is at

You can view a webcast on that link.

Another interesting page with some pictures of new Treo 700 is:

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Technology working at Grassroot level

Hi everybody,

I just wanted to share with you 2 software solutions, Mobile solutions to be precise. I found out about them while doing my routine surfing for getting some information. Its really good to see some top end technology working for the most need of our society.

More of such solutions are required to change the face of our mother India.

1. Tribal Welfare Information Management System (TWIMS)

TWIMS is an integrated solution of India Health Care (IHC), the School Education Management System (SEMS), Beneficiary Monitoring System (BMS), Village Monitoring System (VMS) & Accounts.

This application enables the effective distribution of the benefit schemes to tribals through the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA).

The system retrieves data from MPHS data and filters data for health, beneficiary, education and village level information. The various health-related services and information about school children is captured using personal digital assistant (PDA), a pocket computer from which the data is transferred to a desktop computer. Using this data, various reports can be generated and be given to the corresponding statistical officials.

Check out the full article at:

2. Software for dairy farmers

There was a front page story in today's City Line supplement of our local english daily The Hitavada. It talks about a special software kit developed in collaboration with Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University(MAFSU), which consists of an electronic ear-tag (RFID) that can store lifetime records of the animal. The kit also includes a Pocket PC based animal data recorder based on a software named 'Herdman'.

The field persons involved in process can maintain the data at village level using a Pocket PC which is regularly transferred to milk union server via computer at village cooperative dairy. These records help the animal owners to fetch a good price for the animal. The data can also be used by the banks and insurance firms for settlement claims.

I could not find its online version, so those of you, who are interested in full story need to check out Nagpur city edition of Hitavada dated 21 September 2005.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Encore creates the world's first integrated Battle Computer, SATHI(Situation Awareness and Tactical Handheld Information). It's a device with inbuild GPS and Radio for location awareness.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Nokia respecting consumer demands at last

Nokia has been offering its traditional candybar handsets till now, but now pressure from operators and consumers have restulted in it offering variety of designs for its handsets. Of the 40 handset nokia models launched in 2005, more than half are clamshell, slider or other factors, compared to just three in 2004.

Other areas, outside its normal cellular sphere, where Nokia hopes to establish a strong and high margin presence include near field communications (NFC). The company joined forces last week with Samsung, Philips and Visa to promote products based on Philips' NFC standard,which Nokia has now incorporated into a handset through a 'shell' attached to the back of the device. This shell interfaces with the NFC radio and communicates directly with the phone's baseband, supporting applications such as making swipe payments for items such as travel tickets, using a phone waved over a special terminal. Nokia and Philips also announced a joint project with Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbung, the public transport authority for Frankfurt, Germany, to use NFCcapablemobile handsets in a trial.

Nokia also plans to launch a handset model with built-in television receiver in 2006 and plans to begin offering 20 tv channels in next 2 years. Nokia is already testing the handset in finland and UK and plans to commence tests in US soon.

But there is no news about Live TV Mobile coming to India any sooner. Till then enjoy recordings of TV shows on your Reliance India Mobile :-)

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