Getting ready for the holiday season

amazon remodeled

Not me but Amazon is. Their remodeled site went live today and it looks a lot cleaner from all the clutter before. This is probably their first biggest re-design in the last 5 years.

The US holiday season will kick-start in a just a couple of months and Amazon should be getting ready with their big-plans, just like the last year.

It looks like LCD HDTVs(not the boring plasmas or rear projection stuff) are going to enjoy huge pricecuts during this holiday season. My guess(just my stupid guess) is that 42″ LCD HDTVs with 1366 x 768 resolution will be available during the Black Friday for as low as $550 – $600, pre tax. Wait for the holiday season and if my guess goes right, send me a box of rava ladoos.

You Tube Streaming Now ?

One of my complaints when Google bought You tube was that Google Video’s player was supremely advanced than the crappy bulk download of You Tube. Though the red line moving on a You Tube player was a make believe, at the back-end it was only bulk downloading the file which took the fun of watching a video by clicking randomly in the timeline.

On Google Video, you actually load an one hour video and as you click on the 5th minute into the video, it starts running instantly. You can’t do the same in a you tube video. You would have to wait for the video to load until the 5th minute is loaded, to start watching it.

This morning when I was watching Aish yakka’s trailer of The Last Legion, I wanted to move to the fag end of the trailer where yakka battles with a sword, heroinically. And suprisingly, it worked. I am thinking it was a slient move by Google – You Tube to make their videos streaming. If this isn’t official, they are randomly testing this feature out.Hope this goes live, soon.

Update – 4 out of 5 videos are now streaming on You Tube. This feature should go live pretty soon.

The Art of the Layoff

Share the pain. When people around you are losing their jobs, you can share the pain too. Take a smaller office. Turn in the company car. Reassign your personal assistant to a revenue generating position. Fly coach. Stay in motels. Sell the box tickets to the ball game. Give your thirty-inch, flat-panel display to a programmer who could use it to debug faster. Do something, however symbolic.

Guy Kawasaki writes this post, The Art of the Layoff, in a worry that the knowledge would be lost if undocumented. Its a good post. Its a bad post. Depends on your perspective.

Flickr goes Gamma

Flickr just announced that it will go into Gaama after being in Beta for a long long time. Since then the look and feel of Flickr has changed a bit, for better.

And if you are someone using Flickr to host pictures for you blog, you might want to read the Flickr Terms of Service. From today, when you try to grab the img tag of a picture to post on your blog, there is a reminder message below which reads, Remember! Flickr Terms of Service specify that if you post a Flickr photo on an external website, the photo must link back to its photo page. (So, use Option 1.) Hence if you see the previous post, I have given a permalink[#] to the appropriate Flickr photo page.

Masala Post

Google’s products are like Rahman’s music. They grow on you, atleast for me. Read ahead.

Google Reader has now become a personal choice for me. I was enthusiastic when G Reader was introduced, the excitement was put down when I learnt the Reader wasn’t compatible with Firefox. Though it was resolved in the next few weeks, it’s only for the last month, I’ve started using only G Reader to read blogs and other news feeds.

Bloglines is such a robust app on the net for news feeds while Google’s Reader is slick and has a very intuitive user interface. The G Reader has an option to read the posts both chronologically and blog-wise. Intially I wasn’t comfortable with the chronologically ordered posts from various blogs. It needed a mind-shift, after being used to read posts blog-wise in Bloglines. Now after using it for well over a month, I’ve to say that I’m enjoying this interface which allows for lazy reading. If you wonder how to migrate from Bloglines to Google Reader, see this help text to export you Bloglines subscriptions as OPML file and this help to import that file into G Reader. Just two steps and you would agree with the analogy of Reader to Rahman’s music.

BTW it seems like Rajini & Rahman‘s Sivaji music would be out by March 10. Kamal plans to showcase the h(a)unting music on March 5th. I’m hoping the news on Sivaji music is just a hoax. Whoever wants the music to be out by march and wait until Diwali for the movie. Shankar must be crazy if he is aiming for this. Thanks Radhakrish for the link.

Data Warehousing in a Flat World

A tipping point has been reached, and going forward, you will need only one kind of database to run both the transactional and BI parts of enterprise systems. There will still be different instances due to performance requirements to support diverging transactional and BI workloads, but they will both operate with the same database. Proprietary systems that operate with special purpose technology stacks and databases are out. Open systems – including de facto standard such as IBM DB2, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server – are in. Open source databases will remain outside the mainstream due to lack of features, functions and experience, but will exert a remorseless flattening influence on the major players in downward pressure on prices.

Just like his other articles on Business Intelligence, in this well conceptualized column, Trends for 2006, Lou Agosta makes a daring thought about the world of Data Warehousing. He throws his views on how companies could derive value from their BI systems by employing open source architecture and low-cost servers. I only wish those corporates who are thinking a zillion times to data warehouse their systems would read this. Build Data Warehouses for cheap and Warehouse the world. For this is what every Data Warehousing guy dreams about.