May 23, 2008

Cosmological Thoughts on turning 29 [Repost]

No, I didn't skip an year. Just thought I'd share an amazing post by a friend, Vineet Gupta, ex-colleague from Microsoft and one of the coolest, smartest people I know.

Even though I didn't get to know him too well when we worked in the same team, I was pleasantly surprised at reading his 'cosmological' post - because I could relate to his thinking so much! Cosmology and studying and marveling in the universe has always been something close to heart for me... Leave me alone on a starry night on a hilltop with a clear view, and I'm a happy man!

Over to Vineet.

Speaking of astronomy/cosmology, I just learned of a sky watching club in Mumbai which I'm glad about. But for most of us who never find the time to even look up in the sky for 5 minutes sometimes, here's something incredible, incidentally by Microsoft - The WorldWide Telescope. Think Live Earth or Google Earth, then zoom out into the universe - that's WWT. Yep, they've freakin' mapped the universe, and I can't stop raving and unraveling in it. A MUST see, literally out of this world experience!!

Microsoft WorldWideTelescope

May 08, 2008

Yahoo! India launches 'Glue' at WebInnovation Summit

Yahoo! India R&D launched a brand new avatar of their search today at the Web Innovation Summit'08, codenamed 'Glue'. Kicked off only in India as a test market, it combines traditional search with visual and relevant data from the web collated from multiple sources in a very intuitive manner.

Intuitive because it has smart algorithms which figure out what you're looking for - so if you search for 'Sachin Tendulkar', you are thrown up his player profile from Cricinfo, stats etc. Search for 'Maldives' and you'll see photos from the honeymoon destination, a map and other relevant data. Similarly, an entry for 'Infosys' gives you stock quotes, company info and such. Very clever.

Wikipedia and recently Mahalo have been doing pretty much the same, but both have a different model which follow more of a wiki model with human editors around the world. Yahoo! India Search 'Glue' takes a different route in that, it mashes up data from various web sources and serves it up on the fly.

I spoke to Tejasvi, a Yahoo! employee at the booth and asked him a couple of questions.

The most interesting thing he told me was that they will be opening up the modules to third parties, so you can add/remove custom modules. I'll wait for that - sure sounds like a great way to search and surely a step in the right direction!