May 24, 2005

Google offers personalised home page

Source :

Richard Waters & San Francisco / London May 21, 2005

Google unveiled a new service on Thursday that lets users combine some of the company’s internet offerings into a single package, a move that takes it closer to the portal model used by rivals such as Yahoo! and Microsoft’s MSN.

The new personalised Google homepage, which allows users to select elements they want to add to the pagesite, also represents the first alternative Google offers to its distinctive clutter-free search engine.

Under a project labelled “Fusion”, the company said the personalised homepage was part of a series of moves it was planning to bring its fast-growing range of services closer together.

Until now, Google has offered each of its web services, from its news service to Gmail, on a standalone basis, rather than as part of an integrated package of services for internet users.

The option to personalise web pages has already become a big draw for some other internet companies.

According to comScore Networks, which measures web traffic, a quarter of the visitors to Yahoo! also visit My Yahoo!, the company’s personalised service.

Explaining the decision to offer an alternative to the familiar stripped-down Google web site, Marissa Mayer, director of consumer products, said that Google now offered enough “push” services of its own, which deliver information automatically to users, to make it worth aggregrating the information in a single place.

Users of the new homepage, available in test form, can add boxes containing things like the latest news headlines from Google News, the latest messages received in their Gmail accounts and information supplied by Google’s weather service.

Google said the new service would eventually incorporate web content and services provided by other companies.

Like My Yahoo!, the company said it planned to let users select “feeds” of information from other websites to display on the homepage. It also hoped to offer internet email services by other companies, though technical issues still needed to be resolved, Mayer added.


Home wireless network(Something from the world of Gizmos)

Source :
New Delhi May 18, 2005

If you want a home wireless network that’s powerful and supports the latest Wi-Fi standards, check out the Linksys Mimo wireless G broadband router.

Mimo stands for “multiple input, multiple output” and it’s a new technology that uses several antennae to deliver better signals.

Connect the router to your cable modem and it will deliver powerful coverage without dead spots. Linksys claims that the Model WRT54GX, delivers three times the range of comparable products.

A router costs around $200 (versus a normal non-Mimo router for about $75) and it’s another $120 (versus $50) for special PC cards.

But it works with any built-in 802.11 compatible device and claims to be compatible with the new 802.11n protocol. The Mimo network allows robust encryption; so security should not be a problem.

Whiz phone

The Samsung SGH-D500 mobile handset was rated as the ‘world’s best mobile phone’ by the 3GSM Association World Congress held at Cannes in February 2005.

It’s a new generation device equipped with a host of features that will probably become the industry standard.

The Samsung SGH-D500 is a tri-band, mega-pixel digital integrator.

It includes 96 MB of user memory, a 1.3 Mega pixel camera, a 1.9 inch TFT screen that offers 2,62,000 colours, video recording and messaging facilities, Bluetooth, Wi-fi, email and syncML connectivity, a speakerphone and an MP3 Player music player.

The phone has received rave reviews in the European market and it’s being released in India at around Rs 23,000.

For Apple buffs

“Apple I Replica Creation:Back to the Garage”, by Tom Owad, is a must-read for geeks of a certain age. Owad offers DIY schematics for recreating the original Apple 1 circa 1979 from spare parts bought off the shelf and assembled in a garage just the way the original prototype was.

The next step is redeveloping the original Mac software – Owad offers instructions on rewriting the entire OS from assembly language.

Then he teaches the reader how to play with the newly reconstructed Apple. This is a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those who like solder on their fingers.

Light and neat

The HP Compaq Tablet PC TC1100 is a juiced-up version of the older TC1000 with 1GHz Pentium M processor.

This 1.3 kg, 11”x8”x1” device is among the smallest, lightest tablets available. With the 450 gram detachable keyboard attached, it’s like a 1.7 kg ultralight laptop.

The 10.5 inch screen tablet can rotate 180 degrees for viewer convenience. The keyboard can also be twisted and hidden behind the tablet, and the entire set up folds into a docking station cum monitor stand with space for secondary storage drives.

You can also attach a full-size keyboard into a USB 2.0 port or the dock. Alternately, you can use the stylus onscreen.


May 12, 2005

How soft skills can add zeros to your salary


Success is 1per cent hard work and 99 per cent public relation. All of us know this but never knew this will strike the technology professionals also. And if you thought this is just one of the tips management gurus give, here are the facts.

"The world belongs to those who are a complete package and that's true for the technology sector also," says Geetanjali Khatri, global head, recruitment for Kanbay Accurum. Companies are more keen on recruiting techies with good communication skills now than ever because of the increasing client needs.

"This is the second coming of the IT sector which is propelled by real business needs. Clients and consumers are the most important and so is interacting with them," says Rajul Garg, COO and VP of Induslogic.

Garg says that given a choice he would actually recruit for a person who can interact with the clients and communicate the company's stand.

Anuradha Chowdhary who specialises in recruiting people for the technology sector says, "Clients actually impress upon candidates who are good talkers apart from having the desired skill sets."

She goes on to add: "One of the candidate who I placed in a Gurgaon-based MNC is earning more than many of his peers, just because he was able to sell himself well."

Kanbay Accurum has a well-planned group discussion and panel interview to check the level of communication skills in a candidate. "We basically test a person's ability to tackle a difficult situation in panel discussions," says Khatri. "We look for lifetime learners who can understand business goals and have skills to put them across to other people," she added.

Many technology companies actually have the position of a business analyst for someone who is a combination of a technology professional and a business manager. A technically qualified person with a decent management experience and understanding of how to drive technology to attain business goals can become a business analyst in a tech company.

The starting salary for such a rank is about Rs 7-8 lakh per annum and of course increases with experience. Software companies sure need programmers. But what will the programmers do if there no projects. To get new projects you need people who are glib talkers who can sell ideas and attract new businesses.

Hence project getters are definitely more required than project implementers. So, you could be a project getter along with a programmer.

Founder, chairman and managing director Virinchi Technologies Ltd, Vishwanath Kompella says, "You can be from any industry but you definitely require a sound and deep knowledge of that industry, network within the industry and also have above average communication skills.

With that, if you are also a top people’s person you automatically become a hot cake for the recruiters! Recruiting you would be big news for the software company. Your appointment will appear even in press the next day and you still can get away saying, ‘Java for me is an island for reclusive holidaying’.”