Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas: Santa's Google Search Tips [VIDEO]

Really? You Google? You gotta be kidding me! Not has it been a full day when I posted Apple's new Ad featuring Santa using Siri on iPhone, and now, it's Google's turn. What more? With Google, not only does Santa use Google products and services, he also "Raps"! Yeah, you heard me right.

Google seems to behave more like a copycat these days. Copied Android features from the iThings, now even an Ad? C'mon Google, you're better than that. And guess what- The ad mandated to show Santa using Iris (Android's Siri) because the Santa iPhone ad was highly Siri oriented.

One question puzzles me though. Who writes raps at Google? I just knew the guys who wrote in code there. Now I read a comment on the Youtube page where the video was uploaded which said-
the guys at google must've been bored as hell.
Really guys! I had the same first feelings. I re-checked the channel for I thought I'd by chance landed upon RWJ or Smosh or YourFavoriteMartian or the like. What do you think of  the video? Let know through your comments or drop me a tweet @ikartik90.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas: Ad Features Santa with iPhone 4S [VIDEO]

Merry Christmas folks! Seems this time Santa's gonna make it to your home for sure. Well, how can I be so sure? Because now even Santa has got an iPhone. This new ad video features Santa using the iPhone 4S with Siri. What more do I say? "Well, if you still don't have an iPhone, well, you don't have an iPhone."

Hope Santa visits you too for he has 3.7 billion appointments. ;) Enjoy the video. Cheers! And Merry Christmas again. :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Twitter Gets a Redesign, Brings in Brand Pages and More

As per a recent news update, Twitter is going to see a major redesign citing the upcoming brand pages for the various brands on Twitter. The new redesign seems to be very interesting which involves the complete revamp of the way we interact with others on the twittersphere. Yes! Twittersphere is evolving, and evolving for the good.

This major redesign and the brand pages feature comes in just a month after Google+ launched the brands feature. Maybe Twitter is gearing up for the upcoming social media war, already into it's cold stage. Closely spotting, Google+ seems not much a threat to any other social network than Twitter, which is currently rope-walking between the ends of a dreadful death and an epic success.

As the video depicts, the new re-design involves a greater emphasis on the @Mentions (@Connect in the video) and #hashtags (#Discover in the video). The current right sidebar that shows the who to follow and the trending hashtags has been shifted to the left. The design changes would also reflect upon the mobile versions and apps for specific mobile devices.

Brands will get specifically customizable pages of their own with many page-specific features like holding a tweet always on the top of other tweets, and showing the content of the photo/video attached to the top-tweet implicitly without the user taking any action.

I liked the overall design update. Would rather rate the design update an 8.5/10. Thumbs-up Twitter. Great job guys. Hope the UX update works equally great as it looks.

What do you think about the upcoming Twitter update? Drop me a tweet @ikartik90 on twitter. Till my next post, stay tuned. Cheers! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why This Kolaveri Di : Chartbuster Underdog [VIDEO]

Why This Kolaveri Di by Sony Music India on YouTube

"Why this kolaveri kolaveri kolaveri di..." These are the words from the underdog song from the upcoming Kollywood movie "Three" that has soared the heights of Internet celebration from nowhere in a matter of twelve days from it's release. The song that released on the 16th of November turned into a Social Media viral with over 8 million YouTube hits and over a million shares on facebook.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Google Plus : Should You Be Interested? [Slides]

Presentation by Real Talk Design on Slide Rocket

Real Talk-Creative Communication has put up a very promising presentation regarding why we should keep our eyes on Google+ as an emerging social media (though I felt that the presentation shifts to explaining the various features of Google+ just near the end). Google has been into exploring it's place in the social media business since it's (social media's) inception. In spite of having met immense number of challenges and suffering many failures Google repels to quit. It's not the time to appreciate Google for it's bravery (we'll come to that later), rather it's time to find the answer to why isn't Google willing to quit the social media business in spite of the backlogs and suffrage.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Facebook Hack Massacre Hits Bengaluru City

According to a news article that featured in the Mid Day today, a facebook hack massacre has hit the city of Bengaluru. With over two hundred thousand accounts hacked, this is seemingly one of the biggest hacking spree that has ever hit facebook in any country across the world.

Reports say that the users' accounts were hacked and links to their photos morphed with pornographic and nudity-oriented images were posted on their respective walls as feeds to their friends and family. This might just be the beginning of the fiasco as Bengaluru city is just a speck when compared to the complete social graph that facebook hosts.

The preamble of the hacking spree might somewhere be related to the 5th November facebook hack claim by Anonymous. The attack has led to many of it's users leaving social networking and going on a social exile.

Facebook said that the hack resulted due to some browser vulnerability where the users were tricked into fetching malwares via their browsers, resulting in the sharing of pornographic and other offensive photographs in their feeds. Facebook also claimed that the group indulged in this fiasco had already been identified and it's legal team was into finding the apt solutions towards the problem.

With the fiasco already on it's high, the facebook hack seems to show the real consequences of risking your privacy into the wrong hands just for the sake of getting access to a video/image/text snippet worth nothing. Hence, I personally recommend you not to click on random links featuring on your claiming to provide you access to some third rated images/videos or the like. In case you need further assistance regarding the do's and the don'ts in order to maintain a safe access of your facebook and other social networks, I recommend you read this article regarding facebook spams.

Do you think facebook's openness as a platform for all is costing the users their bit of privacy? What do you feel about the reason behind the hacking fiasco that has led to users taking social exile? Do let know through your comments below. Till my next post, adios! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

17 Steve Jobs Inspired iPad Wallpapers [INSPIRATION]

This week's inspiration captures a set of iPad wallpapers dedicated to Steve Jobs by the Apple User & Developer Community. It's been more than a month since the iCon's passing away. Amazing how time flies by. May his soul rest in peace. I hope you like my collection. Cheers!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thank You Steve: He Who Inspired Me, To Love Design

It's a day past Apple, Inc.'s chairman and co-founder Steve Jobs's (1955-2011) death and I find myself writing this post, still dejected, feeling disowned by my own idol. A person whom I never met or knew personally, seems to have affected my life so drastically that the moment I read the news of his passing away this morning, lightning struck. Everything had come to a stand still that very moment. Like I was no more a part of this world. I realized teardrops surfacing over my eyes. I couldn't understand their significance, though. But probably that was the place that "He" had earned in my life, our lives.

Steve was a revolutionary thinker, an innovator, an icon, a visionary and a salesman-all beautifully gift-wrapper into a single package. He knew what we wanted. He knew how to get the money out of out pockets, how to get us interested in whatever he created.
NYTimes: When asked what market research went into the iPad, Mr. Jobs replied: “None. It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.” -via kurt_loder on Twitter
He was such a genius that all I can say is Hats Off to his maker. Born to unwed graduates, adopted by parents who were not even graduates themselves (but promised to send Steve to college), dropped out of college, kicked out of his own company, disowned his own genetic daughter, suffered a unique kind of pancreatic cancer, died young; yet created the greatest of the consumer products of all times for us to cherish, to love and to connect with.
"We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." -via ITyorkshire on Twitter
So many failures, yet so many successes that followed. How did he ever happen to achieve the feat in spite of the failures he suffered? The answer is- he loved what he did. He pursued his intuitions, and believed them, strongly enough to act upon them in real time.
"I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did." -via briandelcata on Twitter
He never feared of losing anything in life. He realized the human mortality. He knew that like every human on this planet, he would die one day, and lived his each day as if it were the last day of his life. He would wake up everyday and ask himself if he would be doing the thing he was gonna do that day if it were the last day of his life and pursued it only if the answer happened to be a "yes".
"Remembering that you are going to die is he best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose" -via symo29 on Twitter
 Such a legend, such an idol, such an inspiration, no more. Techkind seems to have it's greatest visionary. The revolutionary behind the multi-touch concepts, the iPhones, the iPods, the iPads, the iMacs and the numerous other innovations is gone. Yet, he resides in our heart and soul, in our memories, in every product he envisioned and created, in Apple, Inc. Thank you, Steve, for everything so wonderful. May your soul rest in peace.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What Hides Behind Amazon Fire's Pricetag

Photo: The Verge
Today I came across some news regarding the launch of two new cheap Kindle eReader versions and an Android tablet (YES!) by Amazon. My interest took a crest when I delved deeper into the tablet- Fire. It was really cheap! $199. That's it. I said- Well, that's a great deal. Moved on with reading the whole specs.

Now I realized something, very interesting. The new Fire tablet HAD to be cheap. Reason- The tablet featured only an 8GB worth of and internal memory and no additional SD card slots for and memory expansion. Further despite being an Android tablet one would not have the facility to access the Android Market.

Why so? Well, let's see the big picture. Amazon has, first, it's own store. Why let Google feast the cookie then. Secondly, Amazon is moving ahead with the next gen cloud services. So in case you run short of the meager 8GB memory on your Fire tomorrow, Amazon's waiting to offer you it's cloud service.

Hence, what I sense here is that hidden behind the catchy price tag were the bars that caged you into solitary confinement. Sorry Amazon, a $100 more and I'd live the rest of my life, a freeman, at least.

Are we looking at the third dimension of the tablet era that leads to the combination of the open source policies of Android for developmental openness and those of Apple for usage terms? What do you have to say about it? Do share your views in your comments.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Twitter- Faster Than Earthquakes [VIDEO]

This week as the earthquakes shook the USA from Washington D.C. to New york, it turned out a top trending tweet on twitter. As the earthquake traveled from Washington D.C. to New York City, a matter of mere 30 seconds, the twittersphere had it. So, just in order to represent it's speed, the twitter advertising team bragged about it in a video titled-"Twitter-Faster Than Earthquakes." Check it out. Cheers. :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Twitter's Got It's Brand New Photo Uploader

Hey hello friends. And Ah yes! Good to see you guys back after long. Have been busy with designing and blogging at another blog these days- autogranth, an autos website. Well this time I've got some news belonging to twitter.

And the news is- Twitter has finally got it's own photo uploading facility powered by photobucket. I made a brief analysis of the new facility to see how thing work in our new photo world. So here goes.

The first thing I noticed was that photos would still be posted as links just like the YouTube videos we share on Twitter, so that, when we click on the particular tweet, it gives us the preview of the specific photograph.

Though the photo uploading facility has been availed by twitter, for the time being at least it doesn't seem like it would facilitate us with creating photo albums or photo tagging facilities.

Photos are uploaded to pic.twitter.com as you can see in the snapshot to the left (By the way, that's my facebook profile photograph now. Don't spare a comment ;) ). When I tried to access pic.twitter.com directly, I was redirected to the Twitter homepage. Well this clearly shows that twitter won't at least for the time being try to create a photo farm out there.

And finally, I found the facility to be working smoothly. No glitches, no failures, and finally instantaneous upload, no delay. And a +1 to the interface. Has been designed neatly, minimal.

That was my view. What do you think? Share your views below. And don't forget to subscribe to my blog to get the latest updates directly to your mailbox or your feed reader. Cheers! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

If Harry Potter Were An Anime

Ever imagined what Harry Potter characters would have looked like had the series been an anime? Moment of Zen portrays all the character in the anime mode making it much easier for you and me to imagine. Check it out. Cheers! :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Empathic Civilization [stop animation]

The Empathic Civilization is a stop animation illustrated by the RSAnimate team and narrated by Jeremy Rifkin, a bestselling author and political adviser. The video, as the title says, makes us realize about the origin of the existence of our circles, our religions, our beliefs etc. and in the process preaches us about establishing harmony, not just among the humankind but other races as well, say animal beings and further, who're mortals themselves.

What is this video doing on this social media (& design) blog, you might ask. Well, in the process of watching this video, I felt very moved with the fact that even though we tend to develop our social circles across the borders over the internet, its somewhere or the other that grudges still exist among the fellow us (me and you). For example, if we talk of Iraq or the Muslim community for that matter, the first thing that comes to our mind implicitly (at least mine) is a detest plagued by the prominent and active terrorist activities belonging to the region. Isn't that bad?

Though we're descendants of the same race deep back in time, we tend to fight for a thing, a belief, a border that perpetually doesn't exist. Does it make sense to fight for something that is not even permanent? This all sounds very much of a preaching, but needs a thought before we move on with our daily chores.

Sounds unrealistic, but even Galileo was laughed at when he proposed that the Earth moved around the Sun, and we all know today who got it right. Let's take oath that we'll all be a harmonic world now on and aid our fellow mates to make our mother Earth a better place to live in. Cheers! :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stout Shouts #2

I share here one real example of the density of Six Degrees of Separation that I came through today. First of all, the Six Degrees of Separation is a fuzzy theory that says that you're connected to every other person on this planet via a maximum of six people. Conversely, that means you're reachable by every person on this planet via a maximum of six people (Makes you feel popular enough right? :P). Well, I was greeted with one of my acquaintances on facebook today, whom I once met during my train journey from Chennai to Jabalpur (that's somewhere around one and a half days). And the person happens to be my sister's childhood friend's friend. It works! :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Google Changlings: Minimal is Beautiful

In this past week, I've been able to see more design changes in Google more than I can ever remember to have seen in the past. Google is changing. And the change, is beautiful. This time Google seems very much focused on it's prime design motif- Minimal is beautiful. We've always seen Google's landing search page the minimalest thing ever possible way. Compare it to Yahoo! or any other search engine and you come to realize what makes it so damn successful (though it's not just design).

Stout Shouts #1

Quite obvious a happening though, but China has blocked yet another social network, Google+, this time at it's inception just a day after it's launch. This doesn't come as a surprise to the Chinese as this one comes only as a successor to the previously blocked social networks, i.e., facebook and twitter. Others include youtube, foursquare, IMDB and Blogger blogs.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vimeo Pick of the Month #6: Black & White

Reulf is about a group of miniature creatures who take initiative to fill vivid colors into a dull, fickle world of self-satisfied people. Really nice video with decent editing. Really appreciated. Congrats Charlesque. Cheers! :)

MySpace Sold Out to Specific Media for $35M

Citing it's continuously plummeting worth, News Corp. has finally sold out MySpace for a meager $35 million way below it's estimated bid of $100 million. News Corp. purchased MySpace, a budding social media mammoth then, for a whooping $580 million in 2005. The deal comes with cutting down the staff strength to half it's current number, i.e., from 400 to 200, including the CEO Mike Jones.

The bidders for the social network included the co-founders of the social network themselves, though separately this time, Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe. But the bid finally materialized in the favor of Specific Media, a digital ad service and advertising network on the web.

It is quite likely that the CEO and other higher authorities will stay for an interim period before handing over their positions. Further, estimates say that MySpace's further operations will have a greater orientation towards music-based services citing it's close relationship with music bands and music lovers.

What is your opinion regarding the deal? Will the deal be fruitful for the future of MySpace as well as Specific Media? Will MySpace be able to get back up as it once used to be- A giant social graph? Let in your comments to throw your opinions. Ciao.

Google+ Targets Taking Over Facebook as the GenNext Social Network

Social Media is a dynamic quantity. It has seen so many changes since it's inception at the birth of web 2.0, that there hardly exists any chance that one can accurately predict the time period it would take the sociosphere to reach an equilibrium. This could be clearly seen with Google's steps towards taking over the sociosphere. Google, the largest search and internet enterprise had multiple attempts towards acquiring the social market with projects like Orkut followed by Buzz and then Google Wave. Though some of them saw some success at birth, they finally failed to "conquer" the sociosphere due to some prominent features they lagged in. The web 2.0 era saw many start-ups that quickly took off and acquired the social capital with their out of the box thinking and understanding of the web audience. One such prominent start-up was facebook which was started up in 2003. It took off fairly well and has till date seen enormous success as compared to any other social networking site on the web.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Facebook Spams: From Platform to Serial Disasters

Facebook is seeing a lateral disaster in the name of Apps that spread spam across the user community. These spams work as virtual worms that simply crawl from wall to wall. These apps, once liked and approved by the user, send malicious posts to the victim's connections through wall posts, chat IMs and even messages. The latest one in the list is a spam that claims to be a YouTube video in which the user at the receiving end is said to be tagged.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger is back to normal *sighs*

They say- "you realize things' worth when they part off you." Well, today I really realized how much I love my blog. I could simply feel it in every bit of me- The pain of not being able to make a post when you're really eager and itchy to write down something and showcase it to you friends and everyone across the seven seas. I missed my blog like never before within these 10-15 hours when I actually thought of writing an article and tried to reach the Blogger Dashboard to finally realize that it was down without a clue for maintenance.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why Blogger might lose it's share in the blogging platform race

The day before drafting this article, I was simply wondering what made Blogger.com, a Google owned blogging service, lose it's share to newbie blogging services that germinated at the birth of web 2.0. And yes, I got a lot of reasons that highly favored the argument.

I hope the Blogger loyalists don't mistake me. I have no grudges against Blogger. I myself am a Blogger user and I love the service, but it's quite a fact and we ought to accept it that Blogger needs a boost to get back into the race.

The birth of the 2.0 era of the web marked the emergence of some of the most impressive blogging services such as Wordpress by Automattic, paralleled by Tumblr and Posterous recently. And Blogger, originally founded by PyraLabs, was the only dominant service then. Yet, it has either lost or has been losing it's share in the blogging space to other miniature services specified above. Why? In this article, we discuss each reason point by point towards the above argument.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Google planning an Android-ChromeOS Cocktail for tablets?

Well, I just planned to write this article spontaneously as I was going through an article on CNET news regarding the prospective symptoms that Google has shown towards deploying it's web-browser based cloud operating system, the ChromeOS, for tablet devices. According to CNET reporter Stephen Shakland, Google's latest released version of the Cr-48 OS's source code depicts multiple signs that the multi-billion dollar tech and Internet market giant is planning to push the product towards tablet devices. Even though the web OS has not seen it's official release yet, the web app store, that will act as it's prime backbone is already serving for the Google Chrome webkit browser.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tim Stevens appointed as the new Engadget Editor-in-Chief

AOL, the American global Internet services and social media company, has finally confirmed that Tim Stevens will replace Josh Topolsky as the new Editor-in-Chief of Engadget.com, AOL's technology news website.

It has now been around 3 weeks that Josh officially announced that he was resigning his job as the Chief Editor of Engadget. After quitting Engadget Josh has joined the Gang of Eight, a new tech news startup by a group of Engadget dropouts.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Doodle Jump clears the 10M Downloads milestone; Plans to diversify

The famous iOS and Android app has reached a prime milestone of it's life cycle- 10 Million downloads across iOS and Android platforms. The Lima Sky owned app celebrates it's second birthday the upcoming month (6th April, 2011). Lima Sky has announced to diversify and take the game to further platforms, about which I talk later in the post. The game lists itself amongst the top selling apps on both the iTunes app store and the Android market. The game is reported to see an approximate 28,000 downloads per day.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Things you can do to aid the earthquake victims

Japan encountered an earthquake of magnitude 8.9 Richter on Friday (11 March, 2011). The quake with it's epicenter 130km east of Tōhoku, combined with the Tsunami that followed triggered a massive disaster. To add to the scenario, multiple problems popped out, including fire in an oil refinery in Ichihara and explosions in a nuclear power plant in Fukishima. The calamity has caused massive damage in the region and has accounted for great loss to life and property. A lot of people are stuck under the debris and many have been declared missing and dead respectively. It's high time that we realize our responsibilities towards the cause and help the affected to rehabilitate their lives. If "I want to help, but how can I?" is the question that bothers you, then here are a few simple ways in which you can serve.

Facebook hacker cup winners announced

If you've seen the movie "The Social Network",then probably you're quite familiar with this. The only difference- Now it is official and has a name, then it didn't. Yes, I'm talking about the Facebook Hacker Cup- A competition where the contestants are asked to solve a complex algorithmic problem, and the person who is able to do that the fastest and the best way out wins, and not only he/she wins, but also gets hired into "The Zuckerberg Gang". The contest has reached it's final stage and the person to create history by being the first Facebook Hacker Cup will be announced as soon as the round ends.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Warner bros. launches movie portal on facebook

Facebook's product-as-platform feature sees another implementation, rather, yet another income opportunity, this time by one of the biggest worldwide media giants- "Warner Brothers Entertainment Studios". The company had launched an app on facebook that enables you to get movies on rent. Having launched the app, Warner Brothers Entertainment has become the first Hollywood Studio to offer movies directly on facebook.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Page to replace Eric Schmidt as the new Google CEO

Google has announced to name Larry Page as the new CEO of the company, replacing Eric Schmidt. The decision has been taken by the trio (Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin and Larry Page) as they felt that the company needed to reconfigure it's management hierarchy as the past hierarchy was rendering slow the decision making capability of the multi-billion dollar venture. Moreover, it was said in the press conference that the old management structure was leading to overlapping responsibility circles, and hence accountability of taking decisions was not clear.