Phase Ignition!

"Quod Scripsi, Scripsi."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Twitter as its broken..

Looking at Twitter for the last 2 weeks, I was moved to do this piece of nonsense-ory. Some kudos is in order tho:

Inspired by: Jessica Hagy and frequent Twitter Outages.
Blog Post powered by: Crappy Graphs!
Special Thanks to: Amber MacArthur - for finding Crappy Graphs!

So, without further ado:

Original Post

Monday, May 26, 2008


Continuing the Fail concept, MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress - The 'Guardian' of all things Indian in Malaysia) claimed that they will take efforts to woo professionals by looking at cyberspace. Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Dictator for Life, Party President, stated that the party will be using the internet to reach out to professionals and youths. “And, for this reason, our leaders need to teach themselves to surf the Net and, if possible, create their own blogs.” Yeah Right!

Original Story

I was at the MIC Website this morning and here are some screenshots:

Granted he did say this:
“Soon, we will be launching our own portal which would allow the people to make complaints and take part in discussions. “We will also make it compulsory for each state committee to have its own website and to update it daily,”

But I'm highly skeptical about it. Their website has not been updated since March and is tired and out of touch. So, since the 'Monkey see - monkey do' thing about politicians-who-condemn-bloggers-but-now-have-a-blog-of-their-own is currently spreading across Malaysia, are MIC leaders going to have their blog as well? Is Samy going to have a folder in his PC that says 'Blog Drafts' too? Will they be writing their own blog posts or are they going to rely on other people to write their blog posts? And what are they going to be blogging about? the plight of the Indians in Malaysia? How they have repeatedly failed to stand up for the rights of the Indians in Malaysia? Telekom Shares? How they kowtow to...(seditious..better be careful here)

Please don't do something just because everyone else is doing it. Its Pathetic. Spending RM400,000 in equipment is not going to bring back confidence in the hearts of people who looked at you as their only hope. Want to make a difference? Go back to the MIC building, round up your oldest members and ask them why did MIC come into existence at the first place. Then take whatever you get from that and run with it. The Indians in this country (me included) will thank you for it.

FAIL! a mention in the English Fail blog for this picture:

Original link:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Short update on Disqus & Template issues.

Tried it yesterday and checked to see if its working properly. Nope, didn't work out so I went back and choose the option to implement it as an overall thing. (instead of Disqus being implemented on the next new post) Started working fine. On another note, I noticed that this new layout doesn't seem to be highlighting links and generally looks kinda iffy. So I'm on the look out for a new layout design. Hopefully the next incarnation will turn out to be good. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Commenting. The Next Discontinuous Evolution.

When I first started blogging, I was rather content with Blogger's commenting system. As time went on though, I was looking at various different technologies that could plug into this blog. I then went to make a decision that I would come to regret. I installed Haloscan on my blog. Actually Haloscan wasn't really all that bad, I could moderate comments nicely and my commenters (as if there are a million comments per post!) could post a little avatar etc. But after a while I realized that once the overall comments hit a certain number, they'll get put into a database of sorts and the counter for them older comments will be reset to zero. Not that they get deleted or something but basically that's what you get for having a free Haloscan account. How do you get back the 'lost' comments? Easy, pay 12USD a year.

Er...I wasn't willing to pay just to get my comments back so I've wiped the slate clean, and installed Disqus. Yep, commenting just turned Web 2.0. There has been lots of interest in this start up and co-founder Daniel Ha even got interviewed in net@night with Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur. So how different is Disqus compared to Haloscan and even the native Blogger commenting system?

Disqus promises to make commenting more "interactive and manageable". It kinda makes 'communities' out of commenters who then connect with each other. A side benefit of this is that promoting a blog becomes much easier with this community element present in the commenting system. Community is what makes Disqus truly Web 2.0. Here's a shot of their site:

(Click to enlarge)

Intrigued, I went and looked at how this thing works in real blogs. I chose Dave Winer's blog cause well, I like his writing and he's been using Disqus for a bit now. He's also responsible for a lot of things like RSS, blogs and podcasting. Here's a look at the comments in one of the posts.

(Click to enlarge)

See where the red arrow points to? that is an avatar on a Disqus powered commenting system. When I moused over it, that box with the red circle appeared. Now, look at the next avatar below, see that little 2 gray arrows pointing up and down below it? That enables you to vote the comments up or down, Digg Style. Going back to the box, you'll see a number 1 in an orange box. That will show show how much karma or 'clout' (as its called in Disqus) you have. You can even follow the person's comments via RSS (shown with the red circle. What makes it really interesting is the fact that Disqus and Seesmic have now teamed up to enable video comments to be inserted into blog comments. Here's a shot of that in action:

Now, from what I heard on Net@night, this system integrates easily into any blog and it also works as a plugin for Wordpress. When I put Disqus into my system, it actually asked if I want to overwrite my previous comments or begin from the next new post that I'll be writing. Fancy that, they actually thought that part through. Daniel when asked by Leo about monetizing the service remarked that at the moment, they were more focused on rolling out the service but the service will remain free. So to the 2-3 people who actually read this blog, take a shot at the comments and if you wanna leave a video comment, knock yourself out.

Oh yeah, I wrote this post with ScribeFire so let me know how it worked out as well.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Playful Adonis Undertaking Loving

Get Your Sexy Name

Thanks Leo..

Monday, May 19, 2008

What If: Microsoft buys FaceBook

Edit: *Grumble* that's what I get for posting blog posts past midnight..grr

I was in the midst of slowly writing up a blog post based on Twitter and Friendfeed when something popped up on my Friendfeed. This.

Ha? What?..ok ok..lets back this statement up a little. I looked up Robert's blog post on it(here), seems like he's referencing his 'former boss' John Furrier who was making a comment about how Microsoft and Yahoo's camps were in the midst of hammering out a deal to acquire Yahoo's search business. (Yeah..latest in the round of that saga.) I took a gander at Furrier's post(here) and he in turn references TechMeme's posts about the search business deal. Furrier then turns around in his post and says "After the failed bid for $40 plus billion for all of Yahoo, Microsoft’s intentions are clear. Buy the search business from Yahoo and take that team and go spend at least 20 billion for Facebook. Integrating the search team at Yahoo with Facebook puts a formidable army to take on Google." He further goes to say that by doing this, Microsoft will end up spending $45 billion and be in a position to compete with Google. Now, remember that all this is just RUMOUR and most of the statements are at best speculative.

But I like speculation. Especially when Robert comes out with it.

Robert remarks that there are a few issues to consider here:

1. Google does not have access to events and other selected items on Facebook. That 'locks out' Google. - "This is a fight for the Web. We all just crawled inside a box that locks Google out."

2. This will hand on a silver platter to Microsoft an Aladdin Cave (ok, maybe the cave won't fit on a platter) full of Internet Information that will give them sudden empowerment in the Internet search area.

3. (via Twitter..not in his post) We're about to hand over HTTP access to Microsoft and they can shut it down if they want to.

First, lets take a look at these 'sweeping' statements. (you just gotta get to know Robert better!)
1. This is partly true as you can search notes, some public galleries etc.
2. True if it EVER happens.
3. Yep. This is possible again only if MS buys Facebook and in fact if your'e not logged on, you can't access anything on Facebook. Remember also that there is the indiscriminate removal of people from Facebook for no apparent reason. I had a friend who sent out some messages to all his friends on Facebook. Boom! banned. Reason given by Facebook? "You're abusing the messaging system" So, If I want to announce that I just became a father again to all my 102 friends does that mean I'll get kicked out too? (that was hypothetical, the baby I mean. We haven't even considered number 2) Irina Slutsky (very respected Internet personality.) also got kicked out couple of days ago. No reason given. So have many people.

Microsoft IS capable of shutting down part of the Internet if this deal is done. At the moment tho, it is merely speculation that might even never see the light of day. But it is possible. Robert actually has another part of his blog post suggest that in order for the public Web to 'fight back', we should take on FriendFeed. It 'replaces all of Facebook's killer features with open ones which are open to Google's search'. Actually, he's true with this statement. Some people have taken this to mean that Google's search is open. Heh.. fat chance. Its not. But is FriendFeed really a replacement for Facebook?

Well, its not. I've been using FriendFeed for a couple of weeks now and while I've gotten like totally addicted to it, it doesn't replace Facebook for me. Now, I've kinda fallen off Facebook since I started Twittering seriously some time back, but I still go back to it for only one reason. All my friends are there. Sure, I can incorporate stuff like Twitter,, Pownce, Jaiku and any rss feed I want but only one of my real friends are there with me. Maybe Malaysians haven't warmed up to the idea of FriendFeed yet. *shrug* The loneliness of being an early adopted I suppose. Meanwhile, its very important to understand what Robert has highlighted with his post and even more important to note how much of your personal information FaceBook has. Don't forget the Beacon fiasco. This is the Internet we're talking about. Just because Facebook suddenly took off and everyone is on it, dosen't mean you shouldn't be responsible for your private data.

More reading:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

{ } Powerset - Search just got a little Smarter.

I've spent a good number of years on the Internet and one of my serious gripes has always been about search. From the early days of Yahoo search, there has been a discontinuous series of improvement of how search engines strive to be more accurate etc. Which meant that along the journey of Internet Evolution, I hopped from one search engine to another trying to find which one suits my needs the best. What a journey that was. Moving from Yahoo to Altavista, Dogpile, Teoma, Looksmart, Hot Bot, Vivisimo and even the graphical search results of Kartoo (Which is still around and still pretty awesome for an alternative way to search). Note that I have lumped all these names under the loose term 'Search Engine'. Some of them are meta-crawlers. That is a subject for another day. :)

Kartoo: Graphical search results ..mmmmm

Heck, I even wrote an entire chapter on how to optimize search, search engines and metacrawlers for research in our company training manual (for sales people and program developers). However as the years went by I started having some hope that search will be more accurate and I don't have to use Boolean operators, quotation marks and the like. That was partly satisfied as Google refined their algorithms and currently, I use their excellent, unbranded experimental search engine, searchmash.

Somewhere last year however, a project was dropped into our (as in my company) lap. Titled "Semantic Search" it was described as a more accurate, more user friendly and natural way to search. Unfortunately the project got dropped. (we're still trying to make time to design around Google's search algorithm patents tho!) So what is the meaning of this 'Semantic Search'? For that you gotta have a little understanding of how conventional search works. The most basic way an internet search works when a search request is sent is that an algorithm searches, computes and returns the highest number of occurrences of that particular search term. The rest of the programming in the search engine then displays the pages that have that number. (Disclaimer: that's how I understand it. I don't work in this industry and have no deeper knowledge of this unless I go do more research which i don't have time for. Dammit Jim! I'm a Sales guy not a Google employee!)

How is Semantic Search different then? Instead of searching, computing and returning the occurence of the search term, a Semantic Search algorithm actually looks at the meaning of the search term and then displays results relevant to the meaning. Still confused? Check out this video:

So I heard some mention of Semantic Search this morning on Buzz out Loud (ep 722) when the Awesome Threesome (Tom, Molly and Jason) discussed a website called Powerset. This was based on an article written by writer Dan Farber on his 'Outside the Lines' column. Powerset is a search engine that uses Semantic Search algorithms to search. However it only searches Wikipedia and at the moment. Relatively new, their 'About Us' claims that their goal "is to change the way people interact with technology by enabling computers to understand our language". Also, "In the search box, you can express yourself in keywords, phrases, or simple questions. On the search results page, Powerset gives more accurate results, often answering questions directly, and aggregates information from across multiple articles."

So far so good. A video demo of what Powerset can do can be found here:

The official Powerset blog is here:

Ok, Ok. On to the hands on test. Here are some screen shots of some search terms I tried:

Overall, I was very impressed. It almost felt like I had a magnifying glass to Wikipedia. Again, the technology is very new and Powerset utilises technology licensed from PARC's Natural Language Processing patents . While this may not immediately shake Google's entrenched position, it will up the ante in terms of what needs to be incorporated into future search engines. An interesting observation that I recall from a few years ago is that most people will willingly embrace new search engines...for a few minutes and then return to the one that they've always been comfortable with. Whatever the case maybe, I hope this would be a good direction for search companies to take us into the future of search

Meanwhile, Jason Calacanis (who I think is cool!) has written his thoughts on Powerset (better written than mine). I find this blog post very interesting as he offers some good counter points and a more in-depth look at Powerset. You can read his views here.

Some more links for you to read:

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Staggered Crossing

Its not very often I recommend music in the blog cos I'm busy being an elitist bastard listening to my blues stuff and some classic rock thrown in for good measure. But I was kinda jaded (musically) last week and decided to go look for some new stuff that might tickle my musical fancy. Lo and behold I came across Jamendo. A website where 'artists allow anyone to download and share their music. It's free, legal and unlimited..' Now, I'm the type of guy who's a bit reluctant to try out new music whether its artists or simply a different genre. I guess I was feeling mighty adventurous that day when I came across this Canadian band called Staggered Crossing. They had their album called 'Burgundy and Blue' available as a free download on Jamendo. Of course, I had a chance to listen to it before I downloaded it. (*CC licensed of course)

I was instantly hooked. Nice riffs, not too heavy pop-rock stuff that I forgot I liked once upon a time. Pleasantly surprised, I looked them up and to my horror, they had stopped playing as a band. Or in the words of the band themselves, 'going on hiatus indefinitely' Man I was crushed. Here was a band that wrote honest lyrics, had nice singing and supercool playing..and they've disbanded? The band state that 'As our lives have changed and evolved individually we have found it increasingly difficult to devote the time and energy to the band that it deserves' Honest again. You can't find this kinda honesty in today's world of sampled-fecal-matter-passing-off-as-music. That really made me want more from the band. But, they're gone. So go check them out if you can on the net.

The band line up:

Julian Taylor, vocals and guitar
Dan Black, bass guitar
David Marshall, guitar
Jeremy Elliott, drums

The requisite Wikipedia Article is: Here (Some citation needed :P)

and here's a video.

Staggered Crossing - Felony -

Good Luck boys..wherever you are

* CC= Creative Commons.

The Onion Tag

This post should give you an indication of how readily I would jump to answer a meme or a blog tag. This was sent or rather I was tagged with this blog 'tag' one year and 5 days ago. By Ryu. I have now bravely stepped forward to answer it. Here goes.

The Onion Tag

As tagged by onion is cooked!

Layer One - On The Outside

Name: Saravanan Krishnan (thats what it says on my IC), Baptized, Paul David Arulnathan (I was mad wif my dad), Confirmed, Paul David Krishnan (Made up with my dad alreadi! :p), Other Nicks, Gowron (when I first joined TransMY), Alpha3Convoy (my current TransMY nick), Yushiro (the nick I use EVERYWHERE on the net)

Birth Date: 9th March 1974

Current Status: Married

Eye Color: Dark Brown. Sometimes white or blue black... Oh..and always bloody red looking cos I never have enough sleep

Hair Color: Black, always has been...with a few silver strands these days.. :p

Righty or Lefty: Righty for everything except playing field hockey

Layer Two - On The Inside

My Heritage: Malaysian, Indian, Klingon, Undead, Decepticon

My Fears: Fear itself

My Weaknesses: Food. Glorious Food!

My Perfect Pizza: Same as Ryu, crispy, thin, crusty, double pepperoni pizza (like the ones Greenwich Pizza makes in the Philippines) loaded with migraine inducing amounts of cheese

Layer Three - Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

My Thoughts first thing when I wake up: darn...I'm tired already

My Bedtime: Sleep? Whats that?

My Most Missed Memory: Cycling to the Melawati Dam with friends and picnicking in Ulu Yam with good friends while eating home made Sloppy Joes

Layer Four - My Picks

Pepsi or Coke: Diet Coke. Diabetes Sucks :(

McDonald's or Burger King: Burger King. Make mine a double swiss cheese mushroom with some mustard in it

Single or Group Dates: Single

Adidas or Nike: Adidas. Of course!

Tea or Nestea: Tea, Earl Grey, piping hot or really hot Pu Erh tea.

Chocolate or Vanilla: Oi! Quit asking very difficult questions! Both!

Cappucino or Coffee: Coffee. Have you been even READING this blog??

Layer Five - Do I..

Smoke: Yep. Too many sticks.

Curse: Well and fluently. I can do it in Tamil, English, Various Chinese Dialects, Malay, Italian, Klingon, Japanese...

Take a Shower: Yeah... I'll die if i don't..

Have a Crush: Nope. unless you're a MacBook Pro

Think I've been in Love: I still am!

Go to School: yeah...some

Want to get Married: too late. already married

Believe in Myself: trying not to these days

Think I'm a Health Freak: not at the moment. Tho I do play tennis every week

Layer Six - In The Past Month..

Drank Alcohol: nope. been dry or a while

Gone to the Mall: too many times to mention

Been on Stage: Nope. I sing for a Blues band, but our drummer has ran away to Australia so we're dead in the water.

Eaten Sushi: oh yeah! I love it! Salmon Belly is my fav!

Dyed your Hair: nope. tho I did when I went to get my wedding photos taken. I liked it.

Layer Seven - Have I Ever..

Played a Stripping Game: nope. not planning to . Ever

Changed Who I Am to Fit In: Never.

Layer Eight - Age..

I am Hoping To Be Married: Already married.

Layer Nine - In a Girl..

Best Eye Color: any color will do

Best Hair Color: Any color. I'm serious.

Short or Long Hair: preferably long.

Layer Ten - What Was I Doing..

1 Min Ago: Attempted to start a serious technology blog post but found this one fun'ner'to write.

1 Hour Ago: Brainstorming with partners about some software features

4.5 Hours Ago: having lunch

1 Month Ago: Sweating.

1 Year Ago: More Sweating

Layer Eleven - Finish The Sentence

I Love:my wifey

I Feel: dry mouthed and hungry

I Hate: the fact that I have only 24 hours in a day to do things.

I Hide: my transforming Bat'leth/Pain Stick

I Need: Time, More Grey Matter, a MacBook Pro, a Million dollars, a real d'k tahg, more books to read.

And I'm going to one. This one dies with this post. Narf.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

5 Months later...

Nothing has changed actually. I was having a chat with an old college buddy when he remarked "are you still blogging?" I was I did ask him if he meant the grand failure that I had with my Tech blog (abandoned coz I can't do a Tech blog on my own!) He said "no, the rant blog" . The RANT blog? do I rant?! chis! (btw, I don't mind you calling it a rant blog Pat :P )

Which led me to think a bit. Shall I or shall I not continue? hmm.. then another person asked if I was still blogging. I had a call from my wife this morning asking me if I was still blogging and that I got to be careful not to write anything seditious or I'll be in jail and she'll be on TV with my daughter. Good point. Although I have never been political in any of the 106 blog posts I have written so far, I have been running my mouth quite a bit playing political analyst during the March Elections. Also, in them 106 posts I have been rather reserved in expressing my opinions about the things around me. But I digress.

I was in the midst of contemplating whether to post or not to post anymore in this blog seeing as I am now inundated with heavier loads to carry. Well, I've decided to return to blogging. In any case, its gonna drive me to start writing more often as I need the practice (yes, apparently I going to be writing a book soon. Surprised me as well). However, from this point on, the style may change, the topics may change (look out for some truly geeky IT stuff coming yer way!) The bottom line is, I gotta start again. Thanks to the 2-3 (kidding) people that have bothered to look at the blog from time to time. I'll try my best to keep y'all readin'

Laterz. Need to get to the photo shop across the road to make some enquiries.

PS. Do y'all like the new look? Did I miss anything out in the blog (apart from more blog posts of course)? Comments.