Saturday, December 23, 2006

JBoss Seam - Web 2.0 enabled!

Today, I evaluated the newest web development offering from JBoss named Seam. The philosophy behind JBoss Seam is to provide a tight integration between Web and Transaction (UI-EJB-DB) thereby strives to enable rapid web application development. Tight integration in this context means a single framework for defining business services, DB entities that tie directly to the UI components and allow applications to maintain stateful data through a statful persistence context. This framework inherits and incorporates various technical artifacts/philosophies from some of the most popular exisiting frameworks including JSF, EJB 3.0, DI, Ruby on Rails, AJAX support etc.

This will be a framework to watch moving forward in 2007!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Windows CardSpace for Firefox

Windows CardSpace, Microsoft's newest offering of Identity Management which is bundled as part of IE 7.0. It provides the ability for websites to request user identity. Today, an extension for FireFox supporting CardSpace is released.

Click here to download the FireFox extension for CardSpace.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Flash (SWF) to WPF (XAML) converter

Micheal Swanson, Microsoft Technical Evangelist has put out a very useful tool which can convert Adobe Flash SWF files to XAML, the declarative UI language for WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation). I belive that this tool will definitely ease and aid in adoption of WPF and also help developers understand XAML programming semantics and paradigm.

SWF File Format can be found here, in case you're interested.

Friday, November 10, 2006


"The Hindu" - India's National Newspaper has released its ePaper, an online edition of its printed daily. I'm impressed by the simplicity and elegance of ePaper. Its infact a very innovative use of a simple technology -- map on image which brings to the user the feeling of reading "real" newspaper.

In my opinion from an implementation prespective, the scanned images of the printed paper (Digital Assets) must have been annotated with appropriate text links as metadata. The publishing system would have to pull and these together and publish them on the web. The PDF/Text option allows the user to choose his format of choice for viewing.

I installed Times Reader bulit on Windows Presentation Foundation (.NET 3.0) as a standalone application. There is no doubt that this also brings a user experience of reading the real newspaper. I would assume that this will be the future web version of NY Times as WPF-E (Everywhere) becomes available.

Update: Recently I stumbled upon provider of ePaper technology - PressMart

Monday, October 30, 2006

Brightcove ties the knot - Owner, Publisher and Ads

Brightcove, the video syndication startup released its newest offering Brightcove Network -- Video marketplace. The Brightcove Network allows anyone to launch their own Internet TV channel in a self-service manner. The service is free and allows unlimited utilization of Brightcove's bandwidth. Brightcove Network provides the technology platform that allows both individuals and media mougals to get to market rapidly. Their adveritising platform -- Brightcove AdNet is designed to generate revnue for the Publisher (50-50 between Publisher and Brightcove).

For the Geeks, there is Open API --- programming interfaces on top of Brightcove's HTML/JavaScript/Flash platform.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

IView @ Microsoft: DAM

IView, a Digital Asset Management company is recently acquired by Microsoft. Channel 9 has an interesting video of the team talking about their product and company. I agree with the developer comment on the interview that cracking the RAW proprietary format is a challenge, it is indeed a great challenge. The team has a Windows platform developer so I would speculate the integration of their product into core Windows obviously.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

GoogTube buzz

Today the blogsphere is screaming about the Google - YouTube deal. Thanks to the deal new billionaries are born. It would be interesting to see if Google would syndicate the content of the Google Videos and YouTube or if they would integrate at all?

Google also signed a deal with Warner Music and Sony to distribute their content to the world.

Now, the question is whats next?

The invite from Microsoft for beta testing soapbox finally arrived! The interface and organization of video is very user intutive. I really like the Categories feature.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Digital Drumbeats!

There has been quite a few developments around digital media on webosphere in the past couple of days.  

Microsoft put out its soapbox video service beta (invitation only though..) and has been talk of blogosphere today.  Obviously it competes with Youtube.  Om @ Gigaom blogged about it yesterday.

Yesterday, AOL opened up its video search engine for developers.  The AOL Video Search Developer Center states that there are two APIs essentially one for REST/AJAX API.  There are also sample mashups showcased on the site.

There are also rumors about Windows Live Drive, TechCrunch has more details and the story about the "Deleted" blog post.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Today, I came across the news of launch of NBBC, a venture by NBC Universal.   The business model is to connect the content producers, website publishers (content delivery) and the advertisers.  Given the model I would like to examine what it really means to these three entities:

Content Providers

Enables armature and localized content creators to reach global audience, with the potential to monetize on the content itself.  Providers may include news, sports, music, etc. both foreign and domestic.

Website Publishers

Provides the ability for publishers to subscribe to relevant content providers and advertisers.  Example of such publishers could include blogs, news


Advertisers benefit from the reach of the advertisements.

NBC Universal syndicates the content and co-oridnates with these players by providing the platform.  NBC itself can play the role of provider by leveraging its various TV stations and Movie trailers.  Sounds like the new YouTube atleast aiming to get everyone paid!

Though the site is up and running the site itself doesn't accept registrations as yet. 

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Microsoft updates Max!

Last year Microsoft released the photo organizer codename Max, based on WPF (a.k.a WinFX).  Today there is an update and it requires .NET 3.0, which is installed automatically when you install Max.

The current beta release, includes the Photo organizer and also a Feed aggregator.  The aggregator comes pre-subscribed to MSN Filter feeds. 

I would personally like to have OPML import/export feature in feed aggregator.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Windows Live Writer Plugins

Today I stumbled upon Kayvan Nayyeri blog post on developing Windows Live Writer plugins.   There is also a shared source project @ CodePlex hosting the plugins.  The plugins include Technorati Tags, WMP, Flickr, Code Syntax Highlighter among others.  I am really excited about the idea of being able to extend Live Writer by writing plugins. 

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Google Apps: Gmail for your enterprise!

Google announced the launch of Google Apps for your domain.  The set of apps includes Gmail, GoogleTalk, Google Calendar, Google Page Creator.   Its an exciting moment for creative enterprise mashups that could well spring up from this launch.  I wanted to try Google Apps but apparently only organizations could apply for an account! :(

Whats next? May be a hosted Feed Platform for the enterpise.


Update: Here is a detailed hands-on review from Paul!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Publish interesting/dynamic content on your blogs!

We come accross various websites/interesting links in navigating through the web and there are now more than one way to bookmark them.  There are also websites where there is always some activity like "tech" tag on or "Software" on Yahoo answers.  Now, here are couple of ways to add these interesting/dynamic content links to your blogs/websites.   The basic idea here is to expose interesting RSS feeds to your visitors.

Google Reader & Yahoo Answers:

Google Reader's - "Share" feature allows you to publicize any labeled item in your blog.  For example, Yahoo Answers provides feeds for its Questions catagorized by Topics allowing you to subscribe for feed in the topic.   Now, if you subscribe for the Yahoo Answers feed in your Google Reader you can provide links to questions in the sidebar like this:

Web 2.0 style Ticker: Reddit/ feeds + AJAX

There is another way to provide similar feature using an AJAX style and combining the power of feeds from social bookmarking sites.  For example, Reddit provides RSS feeds on submitted links:<userName>/submitted.rss?t=week

The "?t=week" signifies link(s) posted within the last week.

Each of these services Digg/ also provide similar feeds. also provides feeds for each of your specific tags, so you can select some specific tag that you want to expose and combine with Google Reader or use an AJAX library to display the feed.  You can download an AJAX library for RSS Ticker from Dynamic Drive.  In their rssticker.js just uncomment, "lastrssbridgeurl" variable to point to the RSS feed that you want to expose and use demo.html as an sample.

Happy Sharing!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Computing on Demand - Amazon's new offering!

Today Amazon has announced its Computing on Demand offering through a service called Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).  The service is in limited beta.  Basically, the service is about Amazon taking your hosting (or computing) needs on a on-demand basis.   There pricing structure seems to include storage (S3), data transfer(Internet) and computing costs.  The computing costs are calculated on hourly basis giving the flexibility to start/stop  the Amazon Machine Image on a on-demand basis.   It would be interesting to see how the hosting providers react to this especially shared hosting. 

I would predict that the pre-configured AMI instances offerings will include LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), LAMP with Tomcat (Java/J2EE), various flavors of Linux distributions, etc. similar to VMWare Virtual Appliances

Since its a Computing solution my curiousity is to learn about what different system performance metrices/resource information will EC2 service be exposing.  By this I mean, Will they be exposing real-time load on the servers?  How about memory, processing power utilization related hardware information?  It will also be interesting to see if there will be offerings for some form of analytics / reporting regarding the AMI instances.  Or are these opportunities to be exploited by developers?  Lets wait and watch.

It would be interesting to see the possibilities of services/products built based on EC2.   Some of the services offered for S3 are here.


Updated: I liked this EC2 Review from Limited Beta participant, includes screenshots.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tools to visualize your thoughts/ideas

Translate this post

Today I stumbled upon this interesting blog post on Strategic Planning and Strategic Innovation, both of which are very important not just for business but in our daily lives.

Michael Michalko in his book "Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius" talks about the various techniques in Mind Mapping used by different creative genius.  These techniques aid in organizing our thoughts/ideas and will help us plan and innovate.  In order to use these techniques effectively I would like to point to few resources here:

FreeMind, is an open-source (SourceForge hosted) tool which has all necessary features to create successful Mind Maps.   It provides a decent UI and I would recommend it highly for your personal needs.

MindManager from MindJet is a professional tool for generating variuos types of Mind Maps and research on various subjects.  It has a pretty intutive user interface and provides a good number of templates ranging from Resume, Meeting to Decision making.  You can define tasks and even allocate resources.  It also allows you to publish your maps in PDF, web page or image file.  They also have an add-in named Research Acceleartor providing integration to Windows Desktop and Google Desktop search platforms.  The tool comes in two flavors Basic ($229) and PRO (for $349).

XPLANATiONS is the tool from XPLANE focussing on effective corporate communication.   They provide tools and consulting expertise to make it easier for employees to understand complex business issues and thereby increasing efficiency and productivity. Dave Gray, CEO of XPLANE blogs at Communication Nation

Monday, August 21, 2006

Click-n-Translate: Globalize your blog posts

Translate this post


Welcome, Willkommen, Recepción, 歓迎, 환영, 欢迎

With few easy steps and with the technology from Google you can allow your blog posts to be read in any language.

For a demonstration select the language of your choice and click Translate button. If you like Digg This!

To enable this to your blog posts...

Add the following piece of code to your blog posts:


with your current blog post address.

<form action="">
<p><font size="-1">&nbsp;&nbsp;

Translate this post<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;<input dir="ltr" type="hidden" size="55" value="" name="u">
<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;<font size="-1">from</font><select name="langpair">

<option value="ende">English to German</option>

<option value="enes">English to Spanish</option>

<option value="enfr">English to French</option>

<option value="enit">English to Italian</option>

<option value="enpt">English to Portuguese</option>

<option value="enar">English to Arabic BETA</option>

<option value="enja">English to Japanese BETA</option><option value="enko">English to Korean BETA</option><option value="enzh-CN">English to Chinese&nbsp;(Simplified) BETA</option><option value="deen" selected>German to English</option><option value="defr">German to French</option><option value="esen">Spanish to English</option><option value="fren">French to English</option><option value="frde">French to German</option><option value="iten">Italian to English</option><option value="pten">Portuguese to English</option><option value="aren">Arabic to English BETA</option><option value="jaen">Japanese to English BETA</option><option value="koen">Korean to English BETA</option><option value="zh-CNen">Chinese&nbsp;(Simplified) to English BETA</option></select><input type="hidden" value="en" name="hl"><input type="hidden" value="UTF8" name="ie"><input type="submit" value="Translate"></p></form>

--- End of Code ---

Courtesy: Google!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tip: Share your diggs/reddits/ on your blog!

Here is a tip to share the stories that you liked online in your blogs..

By creating a link (as given  below) you can share your reddit/digg bookmarks in your blog.

For stories submitted by you on Reddit..

<a href="<reddit username>/submitted">reddit submissions</a>

For Reddit overview..

<a href="<reddit username>">reddit submissions</a>

For Digg (submissions)

<a href="<digg username>/submitted">digg submissions</a>

For all your duggs..

<a href="<digg username>/dugg">my duggs</a>

For bookmarks..

<a href="">my links</a>

You can see my reddit/digg links in the sidebar...

Digg This!

Calendaring and Kiko?

I read few blog posts about Kiko being auctioned on eBay, most of them were negative ofcourse.    I think there is more to Calendaring than what the Calendar services offer today.

These are some of the features which I think can make Calendaring more effective..

  • TV/Radio Schedules -- special Calendars listing them and the ability to pick and add a program to user's personal calendar
  • Zip code based search on public Events
  • Local Bus/Train schedule integration
  • Event History reports -- based on tags, date ranges, etc
  • Ability to organize Trips with a special wizard for planning (scheduling)
  • Ability to create Social Events and associated services with payment integration, may be?

There are more features that can make Calendaring more useful and unique.    I am very curious as to understand if Kiko had thought of providing these features at any point?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Windows on Mac OS X

Today Parallels released its final version of their virtualization product for running Windows XP on Mac OS X. Though this is not a new concept the features that Paralles provide for virutalization are quite interesting:

  • All Windows programs run on this virutal machine
  • Ability to share files with host Mac
  • Setting up partition is simple
  • Unlike Apple's BootCamp this allows running both OS simultaneously
  • Better performance than Microsoft's Virutal PC

Monday, April 10, 2006

Java Wrapper class for Yahoo UI TreeView!

I wrote a Java wrapper class to model the tree structure and to generate JavaScript code for Yahoo UI TreeView. You can download it from here. Also, there is a Java test client click here.

Please read throught the Yahoo UI documentation for all includes and basic understanding of Yahoo TreeView. You should prefix this javascript code into JSP since I havent gotton a chance to write any tag library which you can write anway..

\Mscript type="text/javascript>
var tree;
var nodes = new Array();
var nodeIndex;

function treeInit() {

function buildTree() {
tree = new YAHOO.widget.TreeView("treeDiv1");
root = tree.getRoot();
<%= treeRootNodeReference.generateTree("root")%>

Monday, February 27, 2006

Microsoft Origami Project

Rumours about The Microsoft Origami project is spreading everywhere. It seems like that Microsoft is set to unviel a new mobile gadget running on top of XP. It is supposedley to fit into 'backpack' and not pocket. The features will include Cellular, WiFi, GPS, Productive apps, etc. Its not an Tablet PC, its not an PDA, somewhere in the middle??

Click here for the website!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Web Services- Using Axis/Spring/Castor

I was working on application architecture for building a document style web service this past week. I finally built the same using Axis, Spring and Castor frameworks. Spring also has their own web services framework(Spring-WS) but they dont quite have a stable release.

Basically the idea is to leverage the best of these two frameworks. As it is obvious Spring is used for hosting managed beans business logic and Axis for hosting the service. I leveraged Axis flexibilty to use custom Serializers and Deserializers and used Castor for OXM (Object-XML Mapping), so far it seems to work. As always, I would welcome any comments/suggestions/critic.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Go Online and Ontime!

Microsoft last week released its Office Live offering as a beta. The offering seems to target small/mid business segment with a free product line for the basic service. Even the basic service includes a free domain name! Click here to try.

Today, Google released its version of web site building offering called Page Creator which seems to target home/individual users by allowing them to create quick web pages with a subdomain Click here to try!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Yahoo releases Javascript UI Library

Yahoo has released User Interface libarary consisting of a set of utilities and controls written in JavaScript. It can be used for any web application and they also have documentation consisting of Design Patterns for using the library.

Click here

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Free online storage

I stumbled upon this blog post listing a set of free online storage and sending services.

Disqus for techtalk