saad's ramblings

Ask me anything   This is a place where i am free to goof around. To check out my formal blog, visit itval.e. Or visit my personal page at Planet Saad.

    Separating Photos from Google+ will be good for Photos

    I earlier said:

    "Lots of cool things coming out in Google+. Like this and thisMany of these new capabilities sound like great innovations. They will serve to i) make Google+ more attractive for users who already like it, ii) engage more users with individual products like Google+ Photos, Hangouts, and more. What I doubt they will do is make Google+ a viable alternative to Facebook as a social network.”

    Google’s recent decision to launch Photos as a separate service seems like acknowledgement of the statement above: Photos on its own has a great potential, and Google+ is only but hampering the discovery of this great product.

    — 2 months ago
    Feel awkward in a group of technology enthusiasts? Not to worry, there’s an “easy” way out.

    Want to have an engaging talk about technology business? Read up on the following hot trends and then learn what’s happening in each area, and you will know enough to sound more informed than most. 

    - Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M). They are related but not synonymous. Wearables also fall in the same category. A few verticals that you should watch out in the space are: automobile, home, and health/quantified self. 

    - New UI paradigms: Natural language processing in context of speak recognition and motion sensing. 

    - Virtual Reality (VR)

    - Augmented Reality (AR) (though AR and VR have Reality in common, they are quite different)

    - Internet TV

    - Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Big Data / Data Science. Again, they are related but different concepts.

    - DIY (Do it Yourself) Manufacturing and 3D printing. 3D printing is just one but popular way for DIY manufacturing.

    - Self driving cars

    - Sharing Economy (Uber and Airbnb are prime examples)

    - Mobile Payments and Bitcoin. Mobile Payments is a much broader concept and Bitcoin isn’t just mobile. But both have a potential to disrupt payments and financial services the way we know them.

    - Robotes and Drones

    - Software Defined Networking

    - Nanotechnology

    - Cloud OS and Services

    - Social, Location and Mobile (SoLoMo)

    A few disclaimers about the list above:

    - It is by no means exhaustive and I intentionally left out several trends that I did not either know very well about or I thought they were not interesting enough for me to list here. A few obvious emissions include clean tech, battery technology, etc.

    - It is heavily influenced by my personal interest and knowledge areas (software and applications take precedence over hardware and system level software for example).

    - Many items are not mutually exclusive, but if I list them separately, it is because I think they are worthy of a separate mention. 

    - Not all these trends are at the same level of abstraction. Internet of Things for example is a much broader concept than Mobile Payments.

    I’d love to hear about more hot areas that you think must make the list.

    — 3 months ago
    #hot trends  #buzzwords 
    Google Now will help sell Android Wear

    I’ve used many “wearables” before: Pebble Watch, Fitbit, Jawbone Up, Nike+ Fuel, but none of them were able to sustain my interest for more than 2 months. While each is reasonably useful, it’s more hassle than benefit, and with many of these functions now available via a smartphone, there’s even lesser need for a separate wearable. 

    Android Wear changes that with the introduction of Google Now, indeed a killer app for a wrist wearable. It’s yet to be seen how well Android Wear will sell, but for now it sounds like a step in the right direction in the world of wearables.

    — 3 months ago
    Fan TV: Panacea for cord-cutters and cord-lovers alike? Not so fast

    This sounds too good to be true. Why would cable companies work with Fan TV when TiVo have had a hard time working with them, and that is despite the fact that TiVo didn’t really threaten the cable operators model nearly in the same fashion as Fan TV could. How can they make such a big claim without any substantiation? 

    Second, as pointed out by many commenters, if Fan TV is indeed streaming only (vs. coax), the quality (and quantity) of content would both suffer. It’s not clear from the piece how Fan TV would counter this.

    — 1 year ago
    Does Mary Meeker really deserve a standing ovation every time she presents the new internet trends?

    Great report by Mary Meeker as always. However, I am a bit annoyed at the hoopla. Every year (sometimes more than twice) she changes a few slides and numbers, but meat of the deck largely remains the same. Still great work, but I don’t think it deserves n times the hoopla (every time she updates the deck, she gets a standing ovation). Come up with something completely new next time.

    — 1 year ago
    Windows 8+ and Bing vs. Google

    If Win 8+ is success does well, that could be great news for Bing and bad for Google Search. Bing has so far failed miserably in breaking Google’s dominance in the search market. Could this be the beginning? 

    — 1 year ago
    Google+ gets a new face, but is it enough?

    Lots of cool things coming out in Google+. Like this and thisMany of these new capabilities sound like great innovations. They will serve to i) make Google+ more attractive for users who already like it, ii) engage more users with individual products like Google+ Photos, Hangouts, and more. What I doubt they will do is make Google+ a viable alternative to Facebook as a social network.

    — 1 year ago
    Presenting data and information

    I am a big believer in the power of presenting complex data and information in a compelling fashion. There is a great seminar on the topic — if you are in town, I highly recommend you attend this.


    — 1 year ago
    At Tatte Bakery & Café

    Hello world. Back on path after 6 months. – at Tatte Bakery & Café – See on Path.

    — 1 year ago
    Ubuntu for smartphones

    I’m super excited by Ubuntu for Android devices. It’s promise is to truly converge mobile and PC. A cell phone turns into a desktop when docked.

    While Microsoft has also envisioned something similar with Windows 8/RT ecosystem, the approach Ubuntu is taking is slightly different, and apparently more clever. However, the devil is in the details, and I doubt that things will work as seamlessly as promised here. 

    While, there are many interesting tidbits about the announcement, I find the following two noteworthy.

    "Existing web properties can be installed on the Ubuntu phone, where they can run as web apps independent of the browser, with full access to the system just like native apps."

    Not really true, but they do indeed support artifacts as notifications.

    "Our unique web app system lets you quickly adapt any web property for installation as an app on the phone, running independently of the browser, with its own icon and access to system services. This means that all the big names will be available to Ubuntu phone users at launch."

    Again, does not sound completely true. On the one hand, they talk about “adapting” a web property, and on the other hand they promise that all big names will be available at launch as if there is no need for those big names to make any change. 

    What do you think?


    — 1 year ago