Narain is the founder & CEO for 360 Degree Interactive, a web services firm based in Chennai, India. This blog is about his personal views on Web 2.0, RoR, Social networking,Digital media, interactive advertising, SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, India Inc, rural education, Web standards, mobile 2.0 and more.

Thursday, July 31

Back & Kicking

It's been time that i have written a few words. Now the fone is set and i am back. Last few days, i have shifted my attention to "Tamil new literature & surrealism". It is been a fantastic journey of knowing that my own people, in my own land talks about global things. I am impressed with the sheer openness & a difficult journey of [Charu Nivetitha , Thinnai- new renissance location and a few others...

will keep u updated.

Tuesday, July 29

I am on Forced Vaction

Thanks to the privatisation of BSNL Telephones. My fones are dead and complianed about a week b4 and yet to receive my connection back. Waiting for them to connect to write more. I hate using cafes' to write. sorry.

Sunday, July 20

Adobe After Effects & Motion Graphics

Many a time, i wish, i could be a motion graphics broadcast designer than an interactive designer. The reason behind is the sheer creative freedom & non-interactive nature of that medium. For from the clutches of usability & accessibility issues and other statutory or so Jakob Nielson's stuff. [just kidding]. With that information, i lately had a touchbase with Adobe after effects, the defacto standard for motion graphics. Touted as the "photoshop for video" by professionals.

What is great about this tool is that, it smartly blends the tradtional skills and the new media skills in one single product. You can be a programmer, 2D artist, animator, 3D modeller and you can be any one. The recent editions interests me more so because of their .swf export features, and a programming stuff [motion math, expressions and others] build into it, for faster and smarter working. Offlate, i have started to learn the basics of these tool, purely for its .swf export capabilities for shear broadcast equilvant effects for other mediums than web.

chekc out this great knowledgebase, on AFX's Expression and for a clear understanding of what is AFX chk for details. It is worth spending your saturday nights & a whole sunday to dabble on this tool.

Friday, July 18

Rich Internet Applications & Usability

It's been really challanging being a flash desinger in the rich media landscape. After the Usability gurus, fighting it over on Desktop, Applications, Websites and it's their time take the battle to the next level - Rich Internet Applications [RIA].

For starters, RIAs are applications, which dont have the hassles of HTML, particularly of refreshing windows, chking info. etc. Macromedia has so far pioneering the "thin client" computing using their flash player. For a detailed discussion on thin client chk this MM link. Since the adoption & usage of RIAs are slow, there are not quite no. of samples to show it upon.

Still, the Usability aspect of RIAs are started discussed about in details. Though, it is in its nascent stage, i strongly believe, by understanding and eliminating issues like Usability / accessibility & cross platform & back end issues, will help the people to provide better communicatin. Read this excellent article onUsability Heuristics for Rich Internet Applications at Boxes & Arrows. and if you are like me, closely relating this with a web application then read this article on Web Apps. to have a greater understanding.

Wednesday, July 16

Medium is the Message & Understanding the web.

"We haven't begun to understand how the connected world will shape our lives at a level deeper than commerce and conversation. Weinberger takes on the harder, deeper questions of values, social norms, and individual behavior that will be the Internet's real legacy". This site Small Pieces is from David Weinberger is a must read, if you believe strongly that Internet will eventually change the way we think & live. Reading the chapters available online, i personally feel how much i am indebted to the people behind the web. This book is a must read for people, who would like to think, how they think & act in the coming years.

Back to Back this book, I have read the famouse Marshall McLuhan, the man behind the famous quote "Medium is the Message" & "The answers are always inside the problem, not outside". Look at his official site for a inspired rejunevated look at the world.Marshall McLuhan. I think there is a sealevel change for me in understanding the way people think & work, for a couple of weeks going thru' numerous presentations, articles and others.. Let's see how i churn out the output...

Tuesday, July 15

Monopoly backs to Internet

Just read this article, served hot to know that Overture was gulped by Yahoo. If you know, overture , a paid Search Engine Marketing company provides sponsored results for MSN, Looksmart and others. Look at this news, Yahoo! buying Internet search engine Overture for $1.6 billion, that leaves us with few options as a Search Marketer, with Google, Espotting, Overture [now Yahoo] and a few others...that means, once again, we have a handful of players controlling one major industry. Surprisingly, all the firms mentioned above are from US, except for Espotting, which is predominetly UK, that leaves us with a question, is Monopoly takes a strong comeback in Internet again.

Going thru' the recent Business world, i found support for my argument for anti-outsourcing information. here is a snapshot from the column "Economics 2.0"- Niranjan Rajadhyaksha

"Take the tax issue. In a paper publ. in 2000, Haravard economist Mihir Desai, Devesh Kapur and John Mchale have argued that the spoils from the international movement of labour need to be shared more equitably. H1B workers, for exampale, pay a range of social security taxes to the US govt. but do not derive any substantial benefits since they are temporary labour. They pay but nothing in returen - neither social security nor tax refunds.

The three economists have estimated the size of the LOOT. It was (hold your breath) S22.5 Billion a year. Compare this with the fact that our global software exports at the time were around $6.2 billion.

Now tell us, who takes the beating working in US. The Indian government as part of its bargaining platform, should insist that these billions are shared between the US and Indian govts. It beats sending troops to Iraq in return for the easing of H1B restrictions. My Mother India, learn from them how to negotiate deals ?

Sunday, July 13

is Matrix Can be really True??

This is the question, which i have asked ever since, i saw matrix in 2000. It is a wellplotted storyline, but it cultivated a habitual thinking of understanding systems & process. Computers are meant make information & process systematically. When the Universe, runs perfectly with so many forces, why cann't Universe can a bigger matrix-like operational system.

Just came thru' this fantastic research paper by the renowed professor >Seth Lloyd's,sentinal work on [quant-ph/0110141] Computational capacity of the universe. His argument is that "Everything that's worth understanding about a compplex system can be understood in terms of how it processes information."

The universe is a physical system. This paper quantifies the amount of information that the universe can register and the number of elementary operations that it can have performed over its history. The universe can have performed no more than $10^{120}$ ops on $10^{90}$ bits. It opens the much debated topic once again, if universe is a system, who controls this system. GOD??!!

Mr & Mrs. Iyer

Was busy some time. Just finished watching Mr. & Mrs. Iyer in Star Movies. Shit!! How can i missed this movie in theatre? Fantastically, woven storyline with a simple plot & few characters. Offlate I have been on hyper mode in downloading and using utilities.

Going thru' some of the postings against H1B visas and outrage over Indian software professional worldwide, I am seriously starting to think about the real meaning of "Globalisation". When the American MegaCorps were running in a frenzy mode in late 80s and 90s, America, the land of freedom, was the forerunner for Globalisation aka. americanisation in the East. When India Opened up in early 90s and we have just completed a decade+ of removal of "license raj", we have been the forerunners in worldwide Software & IT services.

When US companies wanted to reduce their cost and reduce routine jobs, they pushed the whole jobs to india in the early 90s, with the Y2K & the dotcom boom and the quality software service & support, india raised to the top very quickly. Now, faced by the downturn & continuing recession and a deficit budget by Bush, US States are putting a ban on outsourcing for federal contracts and anguish prevails over the Visa sanctions & professional harassment.

Is the land of freedom, is slowly getting into a protectarian mode ? Is US, is afraid of the raise of Indian & Chinese companies in the region? I really dont understand the logic behind this move. In a recession & downward economy, customers spend less. Which means, the wallet is tight. So, instead of companies & organisations spending hugely on discounts, they gotta reduce their costing. [Look at a classic market driven example in India from Cadburys & Nestle for their liquid Choclate]. To reduce the costing, companies, need quality vendors at reduced in take. When Indian companies can provide the cost efficiency, system, low cost alternatives for their process, automation and implementation, why the hell US is looking to destroy their own companies.

Every country in the world has its own strengths. If US was a consumer driven , mega corp economy sometimes back, India becomes a service economy. Why not take the benefits for their credit and utilise It. US, there is still a long way to go & to understand the changing geo dynamics.

Notable downloads are Global IM, an Integrated IM for Yahoo, MSN, AOL, ICQ and their own Global Community. If you are heavy user of IM, then take a dope on this.

If you are like me, who installs bunch of fonts, and tough managing it. AMP font viewer can come to our rescue. This can view both installed & uninstalled fonts.

Happy Weekend!!

Wednesday, July 9

Adobe Reader - Download

Finally, I am downloading Acrobat Reader 6.0Adobe Reader - Download. I am on a download mood and downloading more utilities and thx. Gnana for directing me to get the free touchtel ISP trial run.

Tuesday, July 8


Time runs so fast. It was an eventful weekend for Balaji, to carry out his sister's marriage with so much granduer. Things are getting a bit messier with the association. I may work with a new business associate sometime from now. it is very much tough to convince people about the potential & opportunities in the interactive marketing arena. Seems like it is one hell of a task to make people understand about what i am talking in.

Well for people with large amount database of email address, there is new kid on the block with a free ver. for personalised email management. The folks at Infacta is kind enough to test drive a fully functional version of their product. If you are new to interactive marketing and digital interactive possibilities for marketing, then point your browser to Creative Pro, an essential stop-spot, if you are transmitting from print to web to interactive design.

btw, adobe has release their new integrated video family with better products. Check out their website for details.

Busy running around, no time to browse.

Saturday, July 5

Flash :; Few Names

Can you make out these names, Robert Penner, Joshwa Davis, Watson,Colin Moock, Eric Natzake ????, Well if you are working in Flash & Dreamweaver for some time, you will know all these names. For starters,these guys are the names to reckon with when you start developing / working something in flash, I am not saying there are no body else. But these guys actually proved the realness & the capabilities of Macromedia Flash to the world. Like in any domain, there are "Hall of Fame" personalities in this segment also, noteworthy designer to my mind is "Yugo Nagamura" of, and a few others.

Chek out these relentless capability stuffs from these great minds.
Robert Penner , Joshwa Davis, Watson, Moock and a countles entries in Ultrashock, Flash Kit and Flash move.

Just in case, if you are as lazy as me, not tyring any stuff new, and a purist non-programmer attiude, i would suggest you to try these Flash Components sites, for masterly creations. Hope this helps.Flash Components, Flash Compo-free and the latest entrant Flashloaded. Enjoy the Thrill of coding without writing a single line :-)

Friday, July 4

A List Apart: Past Issues: Cross-platform Testing

As promised, I am learning CSS-P thru, AListApart (ALA) and Macromedia Website. One word which shoock me off, when going thru' the CSS info. at ALA, is that "stop designing websites for browsers, but design for the web standards.

I have never thought out this simple shift in the mindset and the power of this concept. As a first step, I will try to make this up & running in our website [] as a proof of the concept. I like this information on crossplatform issues for online presentation.
A List Apart: Past Issues: Cross-platform Testing Hope this helps.

Wednesday, July 2

Scope Chain & memory Wastages in Macromedia Flash

Not finding time to blog, working tightly on projects & committments. Things are looking good [in the near future atleast]. Will be back to school, learning, the latest in web technologies. particularly interested in the Accessibility & CSS-P levels to implement. Hope to write good amount of detail some time later.

Oh, btw, we [360 Degrees] are getting a new server, by Friday. Hope this new one will rocks. Before going, just a good link to boot up. Many-a-times, when working on flash, we confuse on the order in which we gotta work for some actions to take place. This has been a serious understanding issue on technology. When surfing thru' ultrashock's forum [], i found this excellent article on how Flash works & understands. Click here to read the article on Scope Chain & Memory Waste in Flash, This will i believe solve 60% of the issues which we encounter daily as a flash / rich media developer