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.

Monday, June 27


Folksonomies is an important evolution in the modern web. Sadagopan wrote in detail in its blog about the emergence of Folksonomies: For the people, By the People. Sometime back, Mr. Sawney a professor of Kellogs School of Management spoke about colloborative knowledge sharing & emerging social business models. Folksonomies actually talks about the same.

Adam Mathes of University of Illinios actually wrote a detailed paper on Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata It's getting very interesting now, since off late, people read other people's mind and not newspapers. In addition, the dynamics has changed from top to down [Media publishers to people]. Now it is more no. of people actually creates the information & content and with the cheaper availability of web, spreads to other guys, who in turn are actually producers of the content & information.

With this in development, Tagging will be an important feature & functionality in the future. Rajesh Jain in his blog already wrote about Tagging and view my comments for that.

Saturday, June 25

" The Web is changing. The 30-year-old terminal-like technology it was originally is gradually giving way to new ways of doing things. The power of AJAX allows for rich user interaction without the trouble that has bugged traditional web applications. Building upon the wonderful Prototype JavaScript library, provides you with some great additional ingredients to mix in."

The introduction is enough for what this website will give you. Last few months, we have witnessed the Return of Javascript in the form of DOM, via AJAX. Now the web will be no more a dull place to be in. Web 2.0 is in the cornor. engages themselves to organise all the beautiful DOM/AJAX implementation in one place. You have already seen the power of DOM with Customised Google homepage, where you can actually drag n drop the elements you would like to appear. The future is XHTML [XML] [Content Layer] + CSS [Presentation Layer] + DOM [Functionality Layer] for web 2.0. Watch this space.

Thursday, June 23

PubSub - Content Matching Engine

While reading an article about Google, the information about search "Matching engine" came up in the article. There is a small startup in Newyork called PubSub actually is into this content Matching engine. The core technology is instead of depending upon the citations of the hyperlink aka Google's now infamous PageRank algorithm, PubSub uses LinkBacks, which actually scans the content of the page and matches with the query and informs you via your subsciption stack. [A subscription stack is basically a search query stored with your user name & constantly checks the website and add entries based on the scanning] With a free subscription the services of PubSub, you can create subscription stacks or search queries and that will be notified as & when any new information comes up for that stack query. Although i found similarities with Google News Alerts, the algorithm is much improved & different.

What's more, you can actually download a plugin or extension for Internet Explorer or Firefox as sidebar to track all your subscriptions. This is an interesting move. Other than that, it tracks 12 million feeds daily, and that for start up is huge. Let see how things moves forward in the future.

Wednesday, June 15

Who will Google buy next?

My beloved Google is on the buying spree now. Continuously offerings better internet experience and search possibilities, Google is slowly raking up it's mindshare among the next generation of the web users. Already we have seen a lot of small time innovative companies are taken by Google and integrated nicely into their system. The very blogging tool, i am using now and you are reading is from Google. Adrevan of Kuro5hin takes the knowledgable guess based on Google's previous acquisitions.

Going thru his article, some of very lesser known websites & interesting services have come to limelight.

Known Devils
Unknown Angels
Interesting to see, how Google will take up these suggestions and buyout a few services listed here and integrated into their portal. As i mentioned in my last post, Google is already testing customised homepages to hit against My Yahoo! features and the new Microsoft MSN Messenger's My MSN features. Let's see how things move forward.

Sunday, June 12

Maelstrom/8Ball - The next version of Flash

Going thru the recent documentation on Flash Platform, I was sweetly surprised to read the upcoming flash authoring & player's capabilities. The next version will be more of a design update than a programming update. As the present ActionScripting structure [AS 2.0] itself can provide a whole array of possibilities to flash coders. Here are some of the mind-boggling updates to appear in the next version.

On a sidenote, Macromedia is asking for beta testers for 8Ball [the next generation Flash player] & Maelstrom [the next generation Flash Authoring Environment [Flash MX 2006?!]] in their website.

The next major release of Flash Authoring environment, code-named Maelstrom, has significant advances in graphical expressiveness, performance, increased fidelity of font rendering and video delivery, and other new functionality — while still retaining a small download size.

Maelstrom Features

New graphical expressiveness: New graphical capabilities include a host of image effects such as drop shadows, blurs, glows, beveled highlights, color transformation and convolution, and new blending modes, all of which can be applied to any object in Flash Player and can be stacked to combine effects. Since these effects can be generated dynamically at runtime, they can be accomplished without incurring a download size penalty. A new image API enables custom effects to be created through ActionScript. Additional graphic formats are supported by Flash, including GIF, PNG, and progressive JPEG.

Improved performance: Performance of Flash Player has been increased in graphics rendering, text scrolling, component rendering, ActionScript execution, and memory management. Bitmap surfaces have been added to accelerate rendering through caching, resulting in a major performance boost in the display of complex graphical information.

Better font readability: Flash technology already enables the use of any font for text, and does not require that font to be installed on the user’s machine to display properly. It accomplishes this by converting fonts into vector graphics, which enables designers to use their choice of fonts. However, since Flash turns them into vector graphics it no longer knows they are letter shapes — this results in small fonts appearing blurry in Flash Player. Maelstrom solves this issue by including a great new font-rendering engine that enables arbitrary fonts to display crisply even at small sizes. Additional control for text layout and display has also been added,
including full justification and fine adjustment of kerning.

Enhanced video: Video is greatly enhanced in Maelstrom, with new support for VP6 video, enabling higher fidelity display at the same bitrates. In addition, a new eight-bit alpha channel has been added, enabling blending of video seamlessly on top of any other elements in Flash applications, including compositing in real time on top of other video elements. This will enable a whole new level of interactivity in video over the Internet.

New file upload and download: Maelstrom supports file upload and download capabilities, which are under full user control. A Flash application can request that a file be selected for upload by presenting an Open dialog box to the user to navigate to a file and select it. Applications can also offer to download a file by presenting a Save dialog box. This paves the way for a whole class of RIAs that can intermediate between local content on a user’s machine and the web such as web-based photo management applications that enable users to upload their photos easily.

Enhanced privacy control: Additional privacy control for local storage in Flash applications enables users to automatically block local storage by applications that originate from a domain other than that of the containing web page. For example, advertisements on web pages are typically served from an advertiser’s web server rather than the site itself. This would block storage of tracking information that might be placed by those applications.

New IME context switching: For users in countries that make use of input methods for large character sets, such as Kanji in Japan, Flash technology now supports IME context switching to help make this input more convenient by placing the input method in the correct mode for various input fields, such as numeric entry or text entry.

Woos of Microsoft

In the meantime, Microsoft is reworking on Expression, which they bought sometime ago and presenting it as Microsoft Acrylic to take the heat of Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Flash combined. Microsoft is no more in the imaging, webdevelopment business. With the open source initiatives of Office suites, Applications gaining strong foothold, Microsoft is desparately trying to launch a product which will provide them future revenues in the digital lifestyle category.

The wounds are more for Microsoft, it lost the battle in web development authoring software to Dreamweaver, lost the enterprise server segment to Apache & IBM WebSphere , lost the mid server segment to linux and losing the browser ground to Firefox and battling hard for Government orders with linux. It's time for Microsoft to reinvent themselves and fight for their marketshare for the future.

Monday, June 6

Flash Platform

Macromedia unleashed Flash Platform. This is the boldest move from Macromedia since the introduction of Macromedia Flash Player. With this, Macromedia now aims at making Flash as the base Operating System for Rich Internet/Interactive Applications [RIA]. Watch Flash Platform in its full glory, Kevin Lynch, the nerd-looking Chief Archietect, takes you thru a powerful presentation on Flash platform