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February 27, 2014

Car Safety via Smart Phone

In one of my earlier blogs I had indicated how a smart phone application that is connected to my car can provide additional options for safety of the car against theft. The idea is that I can optionally switch on a feature that prevents the car's engine to start unless the smart phone is in close proximity. Optional because there will be valid cases when my smart phone may not be around like having given my car on loan to a friend. The same feature can be an add-on to the keyless entry that some of the cars support today.

It is interesting to note that MasterCard is exploring similar idea to provide additional credit card security. And Mahindra is using similar concepts to provide service notifications ahead of time.

The kind of applications that we can build with smart phones and the sensors all around us will only increase with time.

October 3, 2013

Challanges in a Multi-vendor Project

Over the past 6 years I had the opportunity of working in multi-vendor projects. Apart from the complex nature of projects which is typical of multi-vendor projects, there are business and competitive aspects between vendors which present numerous challenges. This blog tries to analyses the structure of project teams in conjunction with multi-vendor setup and the challenges posed.

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May 29, 2013

PC or What?

Natural Selection or Survival of the fittest, are phrases we have when reading basic biology and about human evolution. Survival of the fittest has been used in many places. I think it can very well be applied to the devices world which today comprises of PC/desktops, laptops, ultra books, tablets and smart phones.

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March 19, 2013

Do we really need Tablet Devices?

It is a very controversial question to ask, given that we have had 52.5 million devices sold as of Q4 of 2012 (IDC Report).

Continue reading "Do we really need Tablet Devices? " »

January 22, 2013

Smartlets or Tabphones

Smart phones are becoming bigger and tablets are becoming smaller. Feature functionality vise they today already overlap and many apps in the market place today are designed to run on both smart phones and tablets.

Will these seemingly disparate devices eventually merge into a single Smartlet or Tabphone device? What's your view?

January 11, 2013

Panasonic 4K Tablet @ CES 2013

Panasonic showcased prototype 4K resolution 20" Tablet at CES 2013. Read about it here, here, here and here. At 20" is that really a tablet? In this era when existing tablet makers are trying to go for smaller screen, does this 20" TV Monitor like screen make sense?

Given the size, it surely isn't portable as well. Also such high resolution will not be of much use as of today as application will appear too tiny on it and impossible to read and operate.

What do you make of it? Would a device like this succeed? Does it even qualify to be called as a tablet? What really is a tablet?

June 27, 2012

Patents and IT industry

Till couple of years back patents wasn't a much heard of term in regular conversation and it was considered a geeky thing that few intellectual people induldged into. Interestingly patents date back to as much as year 1450 and probably was when some of the initial rules started to formulate. By 1790 rules were well established and grant of patent granted protection of 20 years to the inventor.

Since substantial effort and budget can go into innovations, a 20 years protection was a good way to repay the inventors and allow them not to worry about someone else grabbing the baked ideas and start commercializing. Anyone wanting to commercialize the ideas can do so by typically paying royality to the patent owners.

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April 10, 2012

Desktops / Laptops / Tablets / Smartphones

At the turn of the century (year 2000) desktops and laptops were still going strong and mobile phones had just started to appear. I had put my hands on my very first mobile phone in year 2001 as getting a landline took few weeks and the mobile phone was activated within a day or two. I had moved to a new place and hence getting connectivity was critical. The mobile phone allowed me to stay connected while on the go, and in those days, I had to pay to receive calls as well. I had not thought of how the phone would evolve into today's smart phone with significant processing power, with ability to capture and view high resolution photos and HDMI videos, with ability to let me be connected with friends over facebook and twitter all the time and with ability to download and install thousands of applications from its very own marketplace. My family is hooked onto Angry Birds :-).

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January 27, 2012

Web Storage in HTML5

Web Storage allows writing information at client side. Using Web Storage data can be written at client side as key value pair. There is no supported query language of Web Storage. Web Storage size varies from 2 MB to 10 MB. Usual size is often 5 MB. Web Storage is different from cookies in term of capacity. Web Storage offers much more capacity than cookies. Unlikely cookies, Web Storage data are absolute client side data. Web Storage data does not go to server with each request hence improves performance of the site.

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December 13, 2011

Facial Recognition Paper

Facial recognition has interesting implications in future applications. In our paper "Facial Recognition: A Primer" (published here), we discuss basics of this and different algorithms that are available for facial recognition.

July 15, 2011

Collaboration and Microsoft's Business Productivity Offerings

Microsoft provides Business Productivity framework and tools related to it for enterprises. Let's see in this blog what does it provides and what offering are available from Microsoft in this field.


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May 30, 2011

Finally, I am also on Kinect

It took me a while, but finally I am on Kinect. Microsoft India store seems to be out of stock on Kinect, so eventually ordered from flipkart.com. As my colleague Naveen, had shared earlier, getting connected and starting to play was very easy. As Naveen had mentioned, Kinect XBOX console comes with a 15 amp Power plug, which makes it a bit of a challenge. This is surprising since the rating on the power adapter reads just 2 amp so a regular 3 pin 5 amp adapter should have worked. So I had to buy a 5 amp to 15 amp converter (which one can buy from your local electrical store).

Everything works like a charm. The only minor issue is the readability of text on my 32" 16:9 LCD TV. I will need to recheck the configuration and am also waiting for the HDMI cable. Hopefully it will make it a much better experience. It will be good to see support for directly plugging in my mobile broadband dongle into XBOX and connect to network, as that is what is gaining popularity these days.

April 7, 2011

MIX 2011

MIX 2011 will happen next week on April 12 to 14 in Las Vegas. If you look at the picture for the keynote speakers, we have Scott Guthrie, Dean Hachamovitch and Joe Belfiore. So it should be pretty obvious that the sessions will related around Silverlight 5, IE 9 and HTML 5 and Windows Phone 7.

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December 21, 2010

A decade gone by, welcoming the new one!!!

As it start approaching calendar year end and incidentally it is a completion of first decade in this century. Last weekend, i sat down and mulled through some of the technology metamorphosis that i got to witness during the current decade and what can possibly unfold in next couple of years. With my little wisdom, could compile some observations in this write up.

Continue reading "A decade gone by, welcoming the new one!!!" »

December 1, 2010

More on Kinect

Following up on my blog post last week on Weekend with Kinect Adventures

Some more exploration

1. Speech interface doesn't work for Indian Locale.

2. When the hand in front of the Kinect is small (like my sons hand) the responsivness is bit slow and recognition some times not that precise.  

3. All the games in Kinect Adventure are fantastic. Very immersive and experience is fantastic. Kinect Joy Ride game is fun but not as smooth as that of Kinect Adventures.

4. Upload of photos to facebook and twitter is intuitive and easy.

5. MS has released Kinect SDK only to few gamers. MS may release SDK to developers after some time but there's no specific commitment from MS on this. 

Came across DepthJS ( Kinect + Computer Vision + Javascript) by Fluid interface and Evoluce has released a software to control Windows 7 apps from kinect interfaces using gestures. Yet to try these softwares. So cannot comment on it. But with MS not banning third party drivers for Kinect it may open lot many possibilities than MS had originally envisaged.

February 10, 2010

VS 2010 RC and Office 2010 RC

Both VS 2010 RC and Office 2010 RC are now available. If you have access to MSDN Subscriber download site, you can get VS 2010 RC from it. For general public these bits will be available today (Feb 10). Like Beta 2 bits, these bits also come with "go live" license. If you had earlier bits, you will need to uninstall those before installing RC. I was trying to figure out if RC to RTM will be an upgrade path, but haven't found specific information on this as yet. If you know, do write back.

However Office 2010 RC isn't available via MSDN download as yet, but is available on connect site for specific users. If haven't got a specific invite to access Office 2010 RC, then both on connect site or msdn download site you will still find Office 2010 Beta bits.

February 4, 2010

Touch Typing

This topic has got nothing to do with Win 7 and Touch that I have been discussing in some of my earlier blogs, but is more about typing style. Check details here. I came across this interesting blog today, that talks about various typing styles and how the fingers move across the keyboard. Personally I have been using the touch typing style for many years now. Having the ability to type at a speed matching your thoughts can make a person highly productive and efficient.

If you ask me, I feel that everyone working with computers should learn typing.

January 13, 2010

Win 7 - Difference between Touch and Gesture

In my earlier blogs (here and here), I have talked about Win 7 and the new touch experience it brings.

When talking about touch, there are essentially two aspects - touch and gestures and during a recent internal discussion, I felt that these aren't that well understood by people. What's really the difference between the two and what it means to be supporting either of these?

Continue reading "Win 7 - Difference between Touch and Gesture" »

November 3, 2009

Part 4: Which Presentation Tool to Use?

I personally like to use the latest technologies for doing presentations and not stick to power point deck all the time. I was first impressed by the Mix 08 session by Arturo Toledo, where he had used Expression Design to build his slides and then used Deep Zoom to actually show it. In a presentation that I had to make for an internal session I used the same technique and it was an instant hit. Many people came over later on and wanted to get my presentation tool.

Continue reading "Part 4: Which Presentation Tool to Use?" »

September 4, 2009

Part 3: Handling Virtual Sessions

In Part 1, I talked about general presentation skills and in Part 2, I talked about specifically why presentations should be uploaded when handling live meeting sessions.

In this part, I will talk a bit more on virtual sessions like live meeting or any other tool or just audio sessions.

Continue reading "Part 3: Handling Virtual Sessions" »

August 28, 2009

Part 2: Why uploading PPTs is a good idea for live meetings?

In the first part, I talked about art of presentation. Moving on in this part I want to focus a bit on another important aspect for presentation.

Doing sessions over live meeting is becoming more and more common these days, but a very basic need of uploading the presentation to live meeting server and then running the presentation from it isn't followed by most speakers and thus impacting the user experience of the session.

Continue reading "Part 2: Why uploading PPTs is a good idea for live meetings?" »

August 24, 2009

Part 1: Art of Presentation

In part 1 of the blogs on presentation skills, I will focus a bit on art of presentation, essentially factors that I believe play a significant role in making or breaking it.

When I think back a few years, I can’t fail to remember the time when I would be dead scared going in front of audience, words would fail me and I would go weak in knees. Knowing the job requirements where I would have to do many presentations internal facing (trainings, knowledge sharing etc) and external (client facing), I consciously decided to improve on the presentation skills and that I personally believe is the first step in doing good presentations.

Continue reading "Part 1: Art of Presentation" »

Presentation Skills

The other day over a cup of tea with a few colleagues we were discussing presentation skills. I got good comments about fluency in presentations, time management and overall how I was able to do a good job at it.

I have decided to take a deviation from the usual technical blogs that I have been writing these past years to write on presentation skills. There are many sites already out there that provide good material on this topic and I am not trying to be a presentation skills teacher here. Over the next few blogs, I will share things that I have found working for me.

Continue reading "Presentation Skills" »

September 14, 2006

Handle 100 million users on website

A very interesting article on how MySpace.com built their infrastructure to support 100 million users. Read here.

September 11, 2006

BizTalk Blog

As part of our blogs on Microsoft products and technologies, as mentioned by Balaji, I will be focusing on BizTalk Server 2006.  

My name is Atul Gupta and I am Senior Technical Architect working with the Microsoft group in Infosys. I have been working on Microsoft based technologies for more than 11 years now. Have had exposure to C, C++, MFC, COM, DCOM, .Net 1.1, ASP.NET 1.1, .Net 2.0, ASP.NET 2.0, Winforms, SmartClient etc. On the server side, I have worked with BizTalk, Commerce Server and SQL server. I am also Microsoft MVP.

Looking forward to having interesting discussions on this blog!

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