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.

Wednesday, December 28

Blender 2.40 released

I have been closely following the long development circles of Blender, an open source 3D modelling, animation and rendering software. 3D Modelling & Animation is a high price game. Leading softwares like Maya, 3D Studio Max, Softimage are costlier and requires a steep learning curve to master. Blender scores well in that. Open source software are available in web & application development but not in the entertainment industry. Entertainment is a multi billion dollar industry where everything is money. Having an open source software in that is not only amazing but also liberating from using pricy proprietary softwares. Blender was used in making Spiderman - 2 mash ups. Blender is a full fledged open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback. Take the download from here and play around.

Thursday, December 22

Internet Advertising & the future

The future looks brighter for Internet advertising, the news report from Reuters says. Based on the findings from JMP Securities the global online ad market to grow at a 25% clip annually for the next five years, up from a previous forecast in the low 20% range. The Wall street predicts the ad market to grow to $26.4 B worldwide and $33.2 B in 2007. Reuters has the complete report here

Wednesday, December 21

Performancing for Firefox

This is a great news if you are using Firefox as your defacto browser. Performancing for Firefox is an extension driven out of passion. This neat extension allows you to edit your blogs & post feeds to your blog within the browser itself. I am typing this in Performancing. What this does is very simple. Once installed, it provides an icon in the lower right corner of your browser. Once clicked it opens up a small, customizable rich text editor within the browser itself for you to type. This supports all the leading blogging platforms including blogger, livejournal, wordpress, typepad and movable type. Kudos Guys, your app rocks!

Sunday, December 11

Yahoo! buys

Yahoo! buys, the most famous tagging company on the internet. The move allows Yahoo! to have the complete "tagging" references made by millions of users. This will allow Yahoo! to know the referential tags of millions of news items, blog posts and so on. This gives the "media company" more information & provide improved search results. Google presently dont have a tagging system. Either Google can add tagging system in blogger or buy out any leading tagging sites.Considering the competition, either Digg or Technorati can be bought over in the near future to push more tagging based search results. For now Yahoo! leads this race with 1-0 against Google. The news of the buyout is here

Saturday, December 10

Adobe Apollo

Adobe is working on cross integration between Acrobat Reader and Flash player. Post acquistion of Macromedia, Adobe is slowly will test water this new product sometime mid of 2006. Presently codenamed "Apollo", this will be a universal client for flash, pdf files beyond browser. Learn more here

Tuesday, December 6

formerly Macromedia

The sight of this is disturbing, yet that's the reality. Our beloved Macromedia post Adobe acquisition is now "formerly Macromedia". The legacy i hope wont stop with Macromedia, and Adobe will push it further.

Google Conversion University

With the launch of Google Analytics and a tremendous response Google got for that, Google now adds Google Conversion University - a nifty small database of articles, tutorials and resources for small business and marketers. This is a nice way of extending your dominance in the online classifieds arena.

Technorati tag: Google, Analytics, Adwords

Sunday, December 4

17 deadly mistakes of a startup

There is an excellant article about the mistakes by the start up companies and budding entrepreneurs by the seasoned entrepreneur John Osher in Have a go.

He outlines 17 most common mistakes and provides the success guidelines.
Mistake 1: Failing to spend enough time researching the business idea to see if it's viable.
Mistake 2: Miscalculating market size, timing, ease of entry and potential market share
Mistake 3: Underestimating financial requirements and timing.
Mistake 4: Overprojecting sales volume and timing.
Mistake 5: Making cost projections that are too low.
Mistake 6: Hiring too many people and spending too much on offices and facilities.
Mistake 7: Lacking a contingency plan for a shortfall in expectations.
Mistake 8: Bringing in unnecessary partners.
Mistake 9: Hiring for convenience rather than skill requirements.
Mistake 10: Neglecting to manage the entire company as a whole.
Mistake 11: Accepting that it's "not possible" too easily rather than finding a way.
Mistake 12: Focusing too much on sales volume and company size rather than profit.
Mistake 13: Seeking confirmation of your actions rather than seeking the truth.
Mistake 14: Lacking simplicity in your vision.
Mistake 15: Lacking clarity of your long-term aim and business purpose.
Mistake 16: Lacking focus and identity.
Mistake 17: Lacking an exit strategy.

Friday, December 2

Shame on IDBI

When I try to look at the new microsite promoted by IDBI, one of India's largest bank, i got this. This is absolutely shame on the part of IDBI and the design team behind the development of the website. Don't they know that the browser marketshare is steadily moving towards Firefox and other alternative browsers. Why is IDBI putting pressure on me to use Microsoft Internet explorer. This is violation of user's privacy and his choice of the platform. Web design & development as a profession should support multiple browsers and platforms. When people worldwide talking about standard compliant, semantics driven web development, what you get in India is this. Absolutely ridiculous. Look at this site -

Some of India's big names still dont have a proper website and dont understand Web as a medium. IDBI is one among them.

Thursday, December 1

Web 3.0 - What to expect

What to expect from Web 3.0 by ZDNet's Phil Wainewright -- Web 2.0 is just a staging post. Web 3.0 is coming, and it's going to recreate our notion of the application as well as upsetting a few applecarts along the way.

Excerpts from the post

Today I'm going to start by mapping out a brief topology of Web 3.0. It's divided into three (and a half) distinct layers:

API services form the foundation layer. These are the raw hosted services that have powered Web 2.0 and will become the engines of Web 3.0 — Google's search and AdWords APIs, Amazon's affiliate APIs, a seemingly infinite ocean of RSS feeds, a multitude of functional services, such as those included in the StrikeIron Web Services Marketplace, and many other examples. Some of the providers, like Google and Amazon, are important players, but there is a huge long tail of smaller providers. One of the most significant characteristics of this layer is that it is a commodity layer. As Web 3.0 matures, an almost perfect market will emerge and squeeze out virtually all of the profit margin from the highest-volume services — and sometimes squeeze them into loss-leading or worse.

Aggregation services form the middle layer. These are the intermediaries that take some of the hassle out of locating all those raw API services by bundling them together in useful ways. Obvious examples today are the various RSS aggregators, and emerging web services marketplaces like the StrikeIron service. I'll have a lot more to say about these emerging platforms in several of my posts. There will be some lucrative businesses operating in this layer, but in my view it's not where most of the big money will be made.

Application services form the top layer, and this is where I believe the biggest, most durable profits will be found. These will not be like the established application categories we are used to, such as CRM, ERP or office, but a new class of composite applications that bring together functionality from multiple services to help users achieve their objectives in a flexible, intuitive and self-evident way. I'll have much more to say about these applications when I write about some of the companies I've mentioned in more detail. But an interesting example just surfaced in Swivel, Halsey Minor's new venture, which Dan Farber has been covering in his blog this week. Dan quotes one enthusiastic early user who describes the 'wow' moment of starting to use an application and discovering that it delivers utility he barely even knew existed. To me, that's a fundamental characteristic of a Web 3.0 application.

Serviced clients are the 'and-a-half' layer I mentioned earlier. There is a role for client-side logic in the Web 3.0 landscape, but users will expect it to be maintained and managed on their behalf, which is why I've chosen to call these clients 'serviced'. Whether those clients are based on browser technology or on Windows technology is moot point that I shall also be returning to. After all, everyone will want to know what role Microsoft might play in Web 3.0.

Ajax to AHAH

The creator of Ruby on rails, David is working on a pet project which is aiming at creating a subset of Ajax. Listed as a project under microformats, AHAH, strictly is a subset of Ajax. The name is actually an acronym for "Asychronous HTML and HTTP". The use of XML Httprequest which is the base of Ajax, now webpages can be linked dynamically with strict, semantic HTML itself.
AHAH is intended to be a much simpler way to do web development than AJAX : "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML." Strictly speaking, AHAH can be considered a subset of AJAX, since (X)HTML is just a special kind of XML. However, it is a subset with some very specific and useful properties:

1. The lack of custom XML schemas dramatically reduces design time
2. AHAH can trivially reuse existing HTML pages, avoiding the need for a custom web service
3. All data transport is done via browser-friendly HTML, easing debugging and testing
4. The HTML is designed to be directly embedded in the page's DOM, eliminating the need for parsing
5. As HTML, designers can format it using CSS, rather than programmers having to do XSLT transforms
6. Processing is all done on the server, so the client-side programming is essentiall nil (moving opaque bits)

In fact, for any content that is destined to be viewed by the browser, it is virtually impossible to imagine any advantage to sending it as custom XML rather than structurally-correct HTML (with appropriate CSS-friendly class names, of course).
Technorati Tags: AHAH, Ajax, Ruby on Rails