Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Amazon releases Kindle (Ohh la la !)

For all the gadget lovers out there... lo and behold .....

Presenting the "Kindle" ... (photo courtesy: Amazon site)

Now this is what i call a real gadget ! Amazon released this awesome product called "Kindle" which is a purported replacement for paper books. Its essentially a eBook reader on steroids :).

The product has the following features: (reprinted from http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9820070-7.html?tag=nefd.lede with some minor edits)

  • Measurements: The Kindle weighs 10.3 ounces and is about the size of a trade paperback book.
  • Connectivity: The Kindle connects to the Web via the "Amazon Whispernet," a free high-speed cellular wireless network (Sprint EVDO). Books and other
    content are available for direct download, without the need for connecting to a PC (though a USB port does provide PC connectivity for transferring files). The Kindle's internal memory can store up to 200 books, and it's expandable via an SD slot (which can also be used to load additional media).
  • Books: Once you're online via EVDO, electronic books are available directly from Amazon for up to $10--just click on the title you want, and it's downloaded (and you're charged) in about a minute's time. Amazon is currently offering more than 90,000 titles, including 90 percent of the current New York Times bestsellers.
  • Newspapers and magazines: The Kindle can also be used to subscribe to a variety of periodicals, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Le Monde, and Forbes. Newspaper subscriptions are $6 to $15 a month, and magazines are $1.25 to $3.49. Dailies are automatically delivered to the Kindle overnight, and each periodical includes a free two-week trial.
  • Blogs: The Kindle also offers more than 300 blogs, including Slashdot, The Onion, BoingBoing, and Techcrunch--but these are customized Kindle versions
    that cost at least $1 a month. Moreover, unlike your RSS feeds, you can't add your favorite blog--if it's not on Amazon's list, you can't subscribe to it.
  • Web browsing: The Kindle can also browse the Web at large (it has its own QWERTY keyboard directly below the screen), but--unlike the Kindle-ized premium content listed above--most standard Web pages are something of a disaster.
  • Notation and bookmarks: You can bookmark key passages of what you're reading, and (using the keyboard), make, edit, and export notes. The Kindle also saves your place when reading anything, so you can always pick up where you left off.
  • Price and availability: The Kindle reader is now available from Amazon.com for $400.

Some more interesting specs from the Amazon Web site
  • Long battery life. Leave wireless on and recharge approximately every other day. Turn wireless off and read for a week or more before recharging. Fully recharges in 2 hours.
  • Unlike WiFi, Kindle utilizes the same high-speed data network (EVDO) as advanced cell phones—so you never have to locate a hotspot.
  • No monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments—we take care of the wireless delivery so you can simply click, buy, and read.
  • Includes free wireless access to the planet's most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia—Wikipedia.org.
  • Email your Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .PNG) to Kindle for easy on-the-go viewing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A case for reconfigurable work spaces !

If you feel that you are a very efficient space utilizer/designer, please reconsider after watching this video !. The following video on youtube would make a very good case for "reconfigurable work spaces". I dont know if there is such a term already but i cooked it up after seeing this video. Watch it till the end ! Its a scene shot by someone in Bangkok.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Songza debugged !

In an earlier post i had posted the link to this site called songza.com which is a music search and play site.

With some quick analysis of the packet captures i found that its nothing more than a "pretty search wrapper over youtube".

Below is an HTTP request/response session that a search generated.

The HTTP Request to songza.com with my search query string "Kandukondain" was

GET /a/query?q=Kandukondain HTTP/1.1
Host: songza.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20071022 Ubuntu/7.10 (gutsy) Firefox/
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
X-Requested-With: XMLHttpRequest
Referer: http://songza.com/
Cookie: __utmb=41883168; __utma=41883168.246409471.1194922056.1195069878.1195070278.7; __utmz=41883168.1194975040.4.2.utmccn=(referral)|utmcsr=n30bli7z.blogspot.com|utmcct=/|utmcmd=referral; __utmc=41883168

The HTTP response with the contents "GZIP encoded" was:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 20:06:09 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.54
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.2.2
Vary: Accept-Encoding
Content-Encoding: gzip
Content-Length: 286
Keep-Alive: timeout=2, max=50
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: text/html

.5...|..y.b.C-{.hI.s...;..{...[..FI ..jM+cX...
\......c.|y...p..J..&..\...2.Y..W...k... .E]...j...Ty.Q.....QKpj"Y....._....J...

The GZIP decoded data is as follows

{ "id": "76nOCoQ2FKQ", "title": "Yenge Yenathu Kandukondain Kandukondain", "url": "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76nOCoQ2FKQ", "flv": "http://rd.cache.l.google.com/get_video?video_id=76nOCoQ2FKQ", "rating": "-1" },
{ "id": "TftTsber0y0", "title": "Kandukondain Kandukondain - kannamoochi", "url": "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TftTsber0y0", "flv": "http://rd.cache.l.google.com/get_video?video_id=TftTsber0y0", "rating": "-1" },
{ "id": "Y8XYNQR4AL8", "title": "kandukondain", "url": "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8XYNQR4AL8", "flv": "http://rd.cache.l.google.com/get_video?video_id=Y8XYNQR4AL8", "rating": "-1" },
{ "id": "i1bu_mdpZdc", "title": "palike gorinka-------priyuralu pilichindi", "url": "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1bu_mdpZdc", "flv": "http://rd.cache.l.google.com/get_video?video_id=i1bu_mdpZdc", "rating": "-1" }

As you can see, all the links are from youtube.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Using scribefire to publish Blogs !

I came across this cool FireFox plugin called ScribeFire for editing and publishing blogs. You dont have to log into your blogs anymore to pubish blogs. Once installed, you can activate this by just clicking the small notepad icon at the right bottom of the browser.

You can download the plugin at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1730.

Also attached is a screenshot as i was editing this post ..

A cool music site !

I came across this cool music site http://songza.com and was simply awestruck by it. Its a cool music search and play website.

Believe it or not, but i was able to search for English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu songs in it. Its got a rocking UI and sound quality is good :).

I am not really sure how they do it but i am still digging around trying to find out. Will post my findings.

Maybe the dhingana folks have some competition now :).

Google releases Android and a $10M bounty

Google has released its android developer kit for mobiles and also offered a $10M bounty for developers who develop cool apps for the same. Google is all set to rock the mobile space soon !.

For those of you who are not familiar with Android, its a SDK to access core mobile functionality using standard API calls. That means that you can now develop code that will work across mobiles.

Check out everything about Android at

Also check this release video by Sergey Brin