Sunday, October 28, 2007

How to get a Linux Kernel Mailing List Daily Digest ?

The Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) is the official place where stars like Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox and Ingo Molnar discuss along with thousands of other geeks from around the world about various topics pertaining to the Linux Kernel development.

If you are one of the wannabe geeks who wants to follow the activities of this list, then you will try to subscribe to this list. But as the LKML FAQ suggests, its probably a bad idea to subscribe to this list if you do not have the appetite to read hundreds of messages that get posted to this list on a daily basis.

If following LKML is what you really want to do, then its probably a better idea to get a Daily Digest which summarises all the activities in LKML during that day.

After some search on the net, I found that Dell offers a Daily Digest of LKML. I found it very useful.

Great service from Dell!! Appreciate it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Closing down DigitallySmart and starting SmartMobileLife

I am closing down Digitally Smart (blog about technology in general) because I could not find to blog about everything on Technology.

So I thought I will rather blog on a more specific topic that I like.I am passionate about Mobile Computing and have been keenly following trends in Mobile Computing. I thought I will focus more about that.

Feel free to visit my blog on Mobile Computing -

I am still maintaining a backup of all the post from the DigitallySmart blog in the following location -

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pathetic situation of ICFAI Exam Centre

Today I had to take my MBA group B exams at ICFAI exam center CHENNAI-VI (which is the ICFAI National College at ADJ Complex, Annanagar (West), Mogappai east, Chennai, TamilNadu, India).

I had two papers on economics - one in the morning (10AM-1PM) and the other in the evening (2PM-5PM).

It had been a long time since I joined ICFAI (almost 2 years) and I am still writing my first semester exams. Never had time to either prepare or take these exams before due to my work pressure. But I was determined to take these exams this time at least and clear my first semester. I had total of 3 subjects to take this time (Financial Accounting, Economics and Management). I could not take Financial Accounting last week.. as usual never could prepare for that.

But I was confident about Economics. After I reached this exam center (CHENNAI-VI) , I could never find a parking space. The parking space for cars was occupied by bikes and all the cars were parked in the pathway of the IN and OUT gates. There was no one to organize the parking at all. I had no other option (and was feeling guilty) but to leave my car in the OUT gate pathway thus preventing any car from exiting out.

Then once I reached the examination hall, I found that most of the chairs were of the type where the writing pad is attached (supposed to) to the chair. But to my dismay I found that the pad/plank of wood on most of the chairs was detached. You had to sit in the chair and then have this pad in your lap. Man.. this was really uncomfortable.. because of the fact that the pad keeps shaking and slipping from my laps.

I am kind of furious.. and what surprises me is the fact that an MBA exam center is in such a bad shape. People who take these exams are future MBA degree holders. Forget that.. but I expected a lot from ICFAI as a university. It was disappointing to see exam center being so disorganized and infrastructure so bad.

I never complained about the chair in the morning session. But I could not keep quite for the afternoon session. So when I asked for a better chair and table, to the examiner, he promised me to get it replaced as soon as he is done with the question paper distribution.

But the guy never turned up till the last moment :(.

Also, I don't understand how all the students can sit so comfortably with such faulty chairs and take their exams. Why were they not opening their mouth?

Hope, the top guys at ICFAI take notice of this and ensure that exam centers are well organized and comfortable.

When the whole world is moving towards computer-aided tests (CAT) .. I am not sure why ICFAI is still sticking to the paper method. CAT would be well suited for ICFAI exams because you only have multiple choice questions. Why can't you provide a nice cozy air-conditioned room where I can take a computer-aided-test for all my exams. Moving to CAT will certainly avoid lot of paper work for you guys as well.

Guess I am asking for too much.. forget CAT for now.. please make the exam halls comfortable.. that would be more than enough.

Unfortunately, I cannot change my exam center now. I have no choice but to take the next 2 exams at this center (CHENNAI-VI) next Sunday as well.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Feedburner bought by Google!! Man I din't know this..

Man... How come I never knew this news ? Am I going into some kind of suspended animation sometimes and all this happens. This is really news to me and I got to know this from the Feedburner home page. I have logged in through the feedburner home page a zillion times and how come I missed seeing this announcement!! Gosh, my observation power has gone really bad :(.

I was not active online before the month of August due to my project deadlines and I spent very little time browsing the web. I guess this acquisition happened in July. Unfortunately, I could not (and cannot still) browse the internet from my office network due to security reasons. And believe me, I have never seen or heard of so much security restrictions until I joined my current organization. I don't want to crib out it.. I am used to it right now.

Coming back to this news.. the guys at Google who are spotting and acquiring such companies are really good. As a layman user, whatever web sites which I thought were good have been acquired by Google.. recent one was Jaiku (Jaiku.. as I've mentioned before.. is a really cool web service and better than twitter).

Hmm.. but also thinking about all these acquisitions.. I hope Google does not become monopolistic. And again, I see that all the best services that I use are coming under Google's umbrella. I am not comfortable with that.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mobile platform-specific Google Maps!!

Wow.. finally Google Maps specifically created for S60 Symbian platform.

Here are some screenshots of the new Google Maps installed on my Nokia E61 :).

By the way, I found this review at All About Symbian about the new Google Maps very useful.

I knew this would eventually happen. This is what I was suggesting to Schrep in my comments to his post. I was mentioning about my thoughts on how Firefox for mobile phones should follow a strategy where first they come up with a Java based firefox so that they can capture the mass market and then they followup with a platform specific firefox application which gives a better performance.

Now, Google did just that. They first came up with a java-based Google Maps. This ensured that most of the phones start using Google Maps (capture the mass market). Now they've come up with a platform-specific Google Map which is available for Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian and Blackberry, which gives a better performance and also utilize phone-specific features. For example, the new Google Map uses the phones' GPS if that's available. So if you install the new Google Maps on your Nokia N95, then it will automatically use the inbuilt GPS to show your location on the map.

For those who are not familiar with mobile applications.. what this means is that the previously available Google Map application (software) for the mobile phones was written (developed) using Java. Which means any Java enabled phone was install and use Google Maps on their phone. So you must be asking whats the big deal about Google Maps now?!!

Well, any Java-based application runs on top of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) which in turn runs on top of the mobile OS (platform). Which means there will be a comparable difference in performance between a Java-based application and a platform-specific application. Obviously, platform-specific applications are must faster. Also, developing mobile applications using the platform specific APIs (Application Programming Interface) will let us utilize any in-built phone features like GPS (as I've mentioned above).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Race for Linux based Mobile Operating System

Phew.. what a journey through the world of mobile internet devices, mobile web browsers and operating systems for mobile devices. I am referring to the link after link journey of mine that was spawned from the links given in this post by Schrep on Mozilla's plans for going mobile. Schrep talks about what are Mozilla's plans to take Firefox onto mobile devices. In his post he had given reference to Intel, Nokia and couple of other links pertaining to how mobile web was really taking off and that it justified Mozilla's focus for a mobile browser.

During this journey (browsing) today, one aspect is very clear, that is, there is this race towards coming up with a Linux based mobile operating system.

Let me elaborate more.

First, I read this interview of Matt Zimmerman (CTO of Ubuntu) where he explains about Ubuntu Mobile, an effort by Ubuntu to bring an Ubuntu flavor on mobile devices. He says that there is a possibility of mobile devices coming up with Ubuntu Mobile installed, as early as 2008!!!

Next I read about Nokia's Maemo initiative where they have come up with a framework for mobile internet devices built on top of any linux operating system running on any device (including mobile phones.. possibly).

Then I read this news on how ARM is trying to come up with a better version of Linux well suited for mobile devices. You can find more information about ARM Mobile Linux Platform here.

And then Intel has its own initiative on bringing Linux on mobile internet devices called Moblin.

And finally how can I forget about the rumoured Gphone which many say (like this latest news on Fotune and The Register) that it is Google's effort in bringing in their own Linux-based operating system for mobile devices.

So what do you think are the least common denominators from all the above news.

Linux is going to dominate the embedded device space:

Mobile phone vendors like Nokia, Motorola and Palm either have their versions of embedded Linux running on their phones and they are under development right now.

Its not just mobile phones but other devices like Internet Tabloids would also run on Linux.

And from my experience on set top boxes, I know Linux has made in-roads there as well.

Chipset Vendors are desperately trying to define a mobile platform based on Linux:

All mobile chipset vendors (like Intel, ARM, Broadcom, etc.) seem to be defining a Mobile Linux Platform where they are more than willing to provide support to the developer community in supporting their hardware. Reason, they see lot of potential for mobile devices and they want to make their platform developer friendly.. especially Linux friendly.

Today's browsing on internet has been very useful and given me a lot of perspective on mobile computing.

Let me hit back on Bobbie Johnson's post

Let me get emotional and hit back at Bobbie Johnson's comment on Techmeme.

First of all, let me clarify Techmeme is not valley-centric. Sitting here in India, I use Techmeme as much as people in the Valley do.

I think Bobbie is extremely pissed off with the fact that they were listed #57 on the Techmeme Leaderboard.

Bobbie Johnson writes:
But for us, it represents a tiny proportion of referral traffic.
You are lucky that you (Gaurdian) are being referred to a small but really smart and intelligent set of people. And also it shows the fact that Guardian is probably lacking some quality technology news. You can probably spend some time providing quality news rather that criticizing others.

Bobbie Johnson writes:
In the past three months, our biggest referrers included the Drudge Report, those cheeky beggars at Digg, Google News, Reddit and the Huffington Post. Further down the list I see StumbleUpon, Slashdot, BoingBoing and a number of loony New World Order conspiracist site
Again let me reiterate, Techmeme is a site where Technology and other related news is aggregated. Now what kind of news was being referred from the above sites. Most of it has to do with general news. Give us the stats and lets talk more about this.

Bobbie Johnson writes:
But for the people who jostle for position on the site's top 100, what's the use of being part of an aggregator that aggregates but doesn't send readers your way?
Now Bobbie the above comments shows your ignorance. I would beg you to go ahead and use Techmeme's feed in your aggregator (if at all you use one). The feed stories do show a link to the original story.

I hate people who give just articles just to get into lime light. I am going to boycott any news from Guardian and I am removing you guys from my news reader.

As I told you, I am emotional now.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Happy for Jaiku. It was always better than Twitter.

One of the reviews that I had been postponing for a very long time is that comparing Jaiku with Twitter. Will definitely come up with this review soon.

Though I have accounts in both Twitter and Jaiku, I always found Jaiku to be far more advanced that Twitter. If you follow some of the older post in Jaiku, I would have given a comparison of Jaiku versus Twitter.

I am really happy that Jaiku is joining Google. They really deserve this.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Linux kernel can adapt to total number of processors

It was really a very interesting read for me today about the article - SMP alternatives. This seems to be a very old artcile, but I found this to be a most stumbledupon article pertain to linux kernel (Yep, was browsing the top links at StumbleUpon in the kernel category).

This article explains that concept of "alternatives" in the linux kernel where the kernel can optimize itself during boot time by detecting the number of CPUs present onboard. This is to address the issue where the kernels which are compiled for say 1 CPU would still be using only 1 CPU even after upgrading your hardware to two or more CPUs.

The concept is really interesting and as the article concludes, using "Alternatives" you can always have one single kernel which can adapt and change its run time code to utilize all the CPUs.

One possible use for this, the article says, is in virtual machines where adding or removing of CPUs during runtime is quite probable.

I found the comments for this new article to be as interesting as the article itself.

Advertisers' Strategy: Following consumers to odd places

I picked up this news from Techmeme about Toyota releasing a free game for Xbox users in order to promote Toyota Yaris.

Really an interesting strategy from Toyota to promote their car. I would say its one other form of interactive advertising. I see a lot of potential for this and I am pretty sure lot of others are going to follow this. An other interesting trend I can predict is that gaming consoles are increasingly becoming an advertising platform.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ditching Google Bookmarks and moving to..

I finally had to ditch Google Bookmarks because of its deficiencies (which I will explain below). The only regret is that I am moving my bookmarks outside the Google ecosystem. Maybe, if I keep using Google Bookmarks for quite some time, it might improve and there might be better integration of Google Bookmarks with their other services which would make my life easier.

What I mean by advantages of Google ecosystem and its integration is that, say for example, I can create a document in Google Docs and later on I can post that as a blog into my blogger account (I might have given a bad example.. if you have a better example, please let me know). So, it lets me move my information and thoughts across different web applications with ease. All my information is consolidated. That's what I mean by "Google ecosystem and its integration advantages".

I might still be updating or taking copies of bookmarks in Google Bookmarks for the above mentioned reasons. But it depends on my time.

Now, I don't blame Google for its deficiencies in Google Bookmark because they never claimed that it was a social bookmarking site. In fact, its a pretty decent personal bookmarking web service. Its just that I am need of some advanced features which are available only in some good social bookmarking sites. Let me just list out as to what kind of features will take it from "good to great" bookmarking service.

Sharing of bookmark: This is one of the main reasons why I want to move out. When Google has been great at exposing information in the form of RSS feeds in most of their web service (for example, feeds from blogger or shared items in Google Reader), I could not understand why they could not do so for such a simple but yet powerful web service.

Private and Public bookmarks: Of course, I can ask for this feature only if the first one is implemented. I would like to share some bookmarks and hide some of them.

Integration with Social Networking sites: This is an era of social networking and if you are an average user, I can bet that you must be having an account in at least one of the following: Orkut; Facebook; MySpace. Most of the other web applications provide ways to share their application in these kind of social networking sites. For example, I can put my twitter profile in Facebook. So, it would be great if I can share my bookmarks in such social networking sites.

Grouping Tags: Its good that I can tag my bookmarks. But it would be great if I can group them into categories or folders. When I could do this in Google Reader then why not in Google Bookmarks.

Blog Integration: Allowing me to add link and/or tag roll widgets into my blog is missing in Google Bookmarks.

Basically, I am asking Google Bookmarks to mature from a personal bookmarking site into a social bookmarking site.

I know Google has been working towards an other web service called Google Share Stuff which is an effort at bringing in the concept social bookmarking. But it is still in its infant stages and has a long way to go before it matures (out of the Google Labs as well.. talking of Google Labs and their beta applications, I am not if Google Bookmarks has graduated out of Google Labs.. I am assuming it did).

Now, I went out hunting for a good bookmarking site. Not many useful reviews or comparisons were available (at least I could not find them). But I did get some pointers on which were the most famous one. And after quick look at each of these services and considering their usability and look'n'feel, I decided to go with deserves a separate post for itself where I would like to explain its features and advantages. But for now, to tell you in short, its a great web service.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Opera Watch: Change in my perspective of Opera

I have been using Opera for quite sometime and that too on and off. My closeness to Opera probably grew with the use of Opera Mini. My only impression of Opera was that it was dormant or rather a sleepy organization and that they were probably struggling to keep themselves alive (Of course, this was my stupid assumption)

But only after visiting Daniel Goldman's blog on Opera did I realize that there is different world out there where lot of stuff is happening at Opera ,where they attend exhibitions showcasing their products, all of C*O's taking part in it and its CEO is actually a cool guy spending some time with the Opera fans. And of course not to mention the wealth of activity happening at the products end - Opera, Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, etc..

Visiting Opera Watch definitely has given a totally different perspective of Opera. Guys at Opera, I guess you need to promote yourself (market your brand name) so that lot of other folks who think Opera as a boring organization know that lot of things are actually happening.

By the way, nice blog Daniel and please keep posting us with great news on Opera. :)

And hey, thanks giving me some tips too :) And hey, your other suggestion on adding other search engines din't work for me.

Home Pages: Google, Yahoo and Live Search

Find the odd man out. And explain why.. :) My answer is Google!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ever wondered how Techmeme works ?

Well, I always used to wonder about the relevance of technology news that Techmeme aggregates. I was confident that I could google and find out how it actually works.

I had all the time today (in fact I explored the Techmeme page completly to find Techmeme River about which I have explained in my previous post). So I thought let me first google my query about "Techmeme". Well.. no relavant web pages to explain how techmeme works. I told myself that I had to give a better query and so I tried "Techmeme Internals". No luck this time as well. But hey wait.. what a stupid query was that. I am not searching for some operating system internals (But I was hoping that the algorithm behind Techmeme should be something as complex as an OS). Never mind and now I searched for "About Techmeme". Nope.. No luck. And finally I knew where I could find more information about Techmeme's working and so I searched Wikipedia for Techmeme. I did find a link I guess... but the page was empty. To my surprise and dismay I could not find any relevant web page that explained how exactly Techmeme works.

Now, my quest to find more about Techmeme became personal (it was hurting my ego and my ability to find anything on the web is being questioned) and so this time I din't want to trust Google's ability to give me search results by reading my mind and by interpreting one or two words that I typed. So this time I typed in a better query- "How Techmeme work" and this time I found an interview in of Gabe Rivera who is supposedly the inventor of Techmeme giving some details about how Techmeme works.

Gabe Rivera was very cautious about leaking out any information about how Techmeme works. The only information (or rather confirmation) that he told was that the list of sites it monitors is generated automatically. But never told how it is done.

Somewhere in this interview, Wired News was referring to Rivera's blog site for one of the questions and Ahaa.. so let me check his blog. But wait.. where is this blog. No problem.. I instantly turned towards our universal knowledge base - you guessed it right - Google and searched for "Gabe Rivera" and the first result was Clicking this actually redirected me to This site is supposed to be the official news/blog site updating us about what's happening at Techmeme.

As I scrolled down the blog/news about Techmeme, I got my answer to how Techmeme works in this message that was posted yesterday (Oct 1, 2007). This message/news was posted as if in anticipation of my curiosity about how Techmeme works. One day earlier and I still wouldn't have known exactly how Techmeme works.

This is an interesting post and is must-read for anyone curious to know about how Techmeme works. To tell you in short as to what this post says, Techmeme has released a web page called Techmeme Letterboard which actually gives the list of Top 100 sources from which Techmeme picks its news. And these sources are sorted with top-ranked sites on the top. Rivera says that the ranking is based on the presence of this web site. What it essentially means is that the number of external links to one particular web site would increase its presence and in turn its ranking in Techmeme.

Gabe Rivera also explains that he has released this list of sources now (after all these years) is because he was in a comfortable state to tackle any criticism that might arise about the method used to pick up these sources for news and information.

This list is going to be updated quite frequently (on a daily or hourly basis) and Gabe encourages people to use it as they wish.

Great.. I know to some extent as to how exactly this site works. And at least I know the list of sources from which the news and information is getting picked up.

Now thinking about how Techmeme picks most of the popular sources for information, would it be possible for users to build something like their personal Techmeme where she/he adds his source of information and chooses how to present this information to the rest of the world. Its a matter of time before this becomes a reality especially with services like Google Reader where you can share topics of your interest and with Google Shared Stuff.

Techmeme River

Interesting to see that Techmeme has a page which displays the aggregated news in reverse chronological order. The site is called Techmeme River.. River to probably indicate the flow of news.

I am not sure this site (Techmeme River) was around for quite sometime and that I overlooked it. But today I really had time to look at the little details of techmeme such as link to Techmeme River and also a preferences link at the top, which lets you choose options like opening the post in a separate window (man.. all the while I was pressing the shift key on my keyboard while clicking links in Techmeme such that the news opened in a new window... all the while it was a configurable option and I din't know about it.)