Creative Thinking

A wonderful presentation I found on SlideShare.

Microblogging

Just thought I would post this slide I found from SlideShare, before that inevitable post on Twitter!

Yes! I have finally found a social bookmarking tool I really like. Diigo.

Social bookmarking tool is an essential tool to any information junkie.

What does it do basically?

You browse a lot of sites. Read a lot of articles. Sometimes you find an interesting article and bookmark it using your browser for future reading. Bookmarks get accumulated overtime and becomes a pain to manage (Although Firefox 3 has an excellent bookmarking system). If you are a good bookmarking manager, this scenario works out well enough for you (enter Firefox 3 bookmarking again! I love it basically!). But, what if you browse the web using different computers? Your bookmarks gets scattered. A social bookmarking tools becomes a priceless tool in this case. In addition to portability, these tools provide a social angle to your experience. You can share your stuff with your friends. They do a whole lot other things too, but being a social bookmarking virgin (!), yours truly is truly ignorant off.

The main player is Del.icio.us. There are a whole lot of other tools as well: Furl, Magnolia etc. I tried my hand at Delicious when it launched, but didn't the UI and stopped using it in Day 1 itself. Furl survived for 2-3 days at most. Most importantly, even though I loved the concept, I was never enthusiastic about any of these services. Stumbleupon is another
bookmarking like tool, but I usually use it stumble upon webpages when
I am bored. Lets say its like a page rating and recommendation tool,
rather than a genuine bookmarking tool. Digg, Reddit, and Mixx are considered as social bookmarking sites, but I would classify them as social news sites rather due to their unique positioning. I surf both Digg and Reddit regularly.

Yesterday, I came upon a mashup made in Diigo, based on the Twitter Story Contest by Copyblogger. It was very useful since it was pain checking the 200 odd entries through Twitter. Today I went through the wikipedia entry for Diigo. Went through a nightmare of a review from Mashable and a glowing review from TechCrunch. To be frank, I was bowled by the feature set. You can bookmark, you comment on various webpages, you can highlight and save certain portions of the webpages, you can share your bookmarks and comments or choose not to do so, Twitter the same stuff, and a whole lot more. A nice interface adds to the experience. To experience the complete power, you need to install the toolbar. Believe me, its worth it!

I have finally found the bookmarking tool I was missing critically. Happy. My salute goes to the developers for thinking like me while making this tool.

You can find me at Diigo here.

Ubuntu Love

Just found this comment on Digg. Absolutely true!



Its
funny to say but my relationship with my computer has totally changed
since I switched to Ubuntu. I used to get angry when something didn't
work the way I wanted with Windows. Now, I feel its like a long
standing relationship with my wife. She can screw up sometimes, but our
relationship is strong and our love is genuine. Nothing can't be fixed
with an upgrade.

[/cheezy]

A good article on why Ubuntu became popular.

Jaman

Jaman is a service I stumbled upon a while back. Its a movie download and rental site. The main attraction is that Jaman focuses on the independent movies. They have a good collection of offbeat bollywood movies. Jaman totally omits Hollywood movies, a brave move to be frank. There is a reward for signing up. You get to rent three movies for free. Rentals are available for 7 days and normally cost $1.99. There is no restriction on the number of views though. Films can also be purchased for $4.99. More information on Jaman can be sourced from Crunchbase.

The catch is that the movies have DRM and is played only through the Jaman player.

Free is nice, but a couple of issues though. You need to install the Jaman player to view the movie and its available only on the Windows and Mac platform. Jaman has dependency on Quicktime. Ubuntu Linux has been my primary OS for quite sometime, and I do not want to spend my time in Windows while the movies are being downloaded. Its still the age of primitive kbps unlimited Internet connection in our part of the world. It will take a substantial amount of time to download the movies. I tried to install the player over Wine in Ubuntu. The installer doesn't seem to even budge. So, I had kept my Jaman account in the backburner, until today morning.

On May 14th, they launched a new service in which user can stream and view a selected number of movies which have advertisements before and after the movie. I tried out a few ad free short movies (more on that here) and it was a pleasant experience to say the last. Crisp and clear at more than decent quality.

I can stand a few ads to view a quality movie. Its afterall zero burden on the conscience (whatever of that is left!) and supporting the filmmakers.

Here is the short film Prarambha by Santosh Sivan for your viewing pleasure.

Prarambha (The Beginning)

Care to Share

“Since the dawn of time, human beings have felt the need to share - from food to art. Sharing is part of the human condition. A person who does not share is not only selfish, but bitter and alone.”
-Paolo Coelho

From Torrentfreak.

A very powerful statement by one of my favourite authors. The backdrop of this statement is that, he himself uploaded his books in BitTorrent, which was gobbled up by people. Twist in the tale is that instead of the book sales going down, it actually went up. Not very surprising. People actually got a chance to see what they were going to experience, and those who liked it went and bought the book. Besides, every writer wants his work to be read more than anything else. I have always liked people appreciating the stuff I have written. Monetary benefits come as a secondary aspect.

No current electronic device can provide the pleasure of reading a book. This is true for nearly all bibliophiles. There is still a question of what happens when technology does mature. I believe that true fans will still buy legitimately. Pirated books are available for a fraction of a cost, but still book sales are on the way up. May be there won't be multimillionaire authors anymore, but making a decent living is enough right?

Recently we had a conference in our company regarding the launch of a new initiative. Our CEO was saying, the rate at which code generators are improving, programmers could become a non-essential commodity in the near future. That got me thinking about writers. Will a writer be obselete? I have to say no. When a human being writes, there is an air of unpredictability. What is written can take the shape of absolutely anything according to the whims and fancy of the writer. AI is developing at a steady pace, even then I think it will be a long way before a human writer becomes obselete.

As always, competition demands creativity. Be it a programmer or a writer or any business.

P.S: I am back writing stuff. Expect regular updates here!

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