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Magic: T.K.Vadivel Pillai is above Cyril Takayama

Recently, I have been watching Cyril Takayama's magic show in AXN channel. That reminded me of T.K.Vadivel Pillai's magic show in Jaya TV. I have searched Vadivel's name in Wikipedia's Indian magicians article and to my surprise, his name was not present. In my opinion, T.K.Vadivel Pillai's magic is superior than Cyril's--especially, in one show, he could tell the name of the person whom the girl was thinking.

Not really sure, why T.K.Vadivel Pillai could not be as popular as Cyril.

Sidenote: I'm yet to see David Blaine's magic and I still have a gut feeling that Vadivel's would be better.

Humble Award - savukku, WikiLeaks of India

Savukku is a brave news website on politics and corruption. It publishes many allegations, proofs and conspiracies against many popular personalities like journalists, news editors, politicians, activists, etc. As of now, it seems to be the only source of information on hidden things and politics. The articles published seem to have given important hints to CBI for it's recent raids in Chennai related to Telecom 2G Spectrum scam (Google "barkhagate" and related stories too)

I wish Savukku to publish many more hidden truths without any arm-twist and get more support through social media.

Yahoo! and delicious.com - What's wrong?

On December 5th, I wrote What's wrong with delicious.com and somewhat predicted it's suicidal phase. And, then I have noted relatively high incoming hits on my article. On December 16th, TechCrunch wrote Is Yahoo Shutting Down Del.icio.us?. On December 17th, delicious/Yahoo! responded by clearing all blog posts and wrote What’s Next for Delicious? that confirmed suicidal in the form of sales.

What's wrong with Yahoo!

Yahoo! is in the wrong hands (Think of Apple without Steve Jobs)
Yahoo! is lacking vision. There are many ways to make profit and for the internet services like Yahoo!, the profit may be virtual things--instead of physical
Yahoo! is chasing Google and rivals. When you're the pioneer, people may not leave easily. Many people still use Yahoo! mail. Yahoo! may even raise money through donations like Wikipedia; no one would be bother to donate, if they really like it.
Yahoo! is hiring wrong people. I often used to tell "though skills are trainable, people are …

IP to ISP/Country/City (GeoIP) using PHP

I've noted that many people are searching here about how to find out City/Country/ISP details from IP; often referred as GeoIP. Here, I've compiled my replies that once I posted to comp.lang.php


Get the IP
Refer http://www.iana.org/assignments/ipv4-address-space/ipv4-address-space.xml and see which whois server should be used for the whois lookup
Now, do the whois lookup. e.g., whois -h whois.apnic.net 61.x.x.x
Parse the results. AFAIK, it will have the ISP, City and Country info


For whois lookup, may use rwhois protocol through below PHP code:



<?php
function whois($host, $command)
{
$fp = fsockopen ($host, 43, $errno, $errstr, 100);
if (!$fp) {
$result = $errstr . $errno . "\n";
} else {
fputs ($fp, $command . "\r\n\r\n");
$result = '';
while (!feof($fp)) {
$result .= fgets ($fp, 128);
}
fclose ($fp);
}
return $result;
}

//debug...
echo whois('whois.internic.net', 'php.net');
?>



Related links

comp.lang.php: dete…

Donated a meager amount to Wikipedia

Heleena is madly interested in charity works and after reading Shiv Nadar's interview in Entrepreneur magazine, it gave us some direction as he mentioned only Education can change the lives.

Been one of the early contributor of Wikipedia (13th or 18th Wikipedian, I hope), I've just donated a meager amount as it's a very good tool for Education. (In reality, these sort of things shouldn't be blogged (I know that); I just thought that it would let other people to donate to Wikipedia. Sorry for the noise)

SocialAV (Social Antivirus), site to create antivirus

About 5-years ago, I was asked to evaluate Norton and McAfee antiviruses for a purchase decision for the company. I've noted that Norton was quite slow and memory hog and both of them were somewhat in lag to push new detections. At that time, I have suggested Trend Micro and I was happy for about 1-year. Again, I have noted that Trend Micro wasn't pushing signatures in good speed. At that time, I was thinking about crowd power and my crowd power idea was substantiated when a malware attacked company's network through Yahoo! Messenger (which would send crazy automated messages through Yahoo! messenger and would get spread when the link is been clicked). Most of the antiviruses couldn't detect it; but we could able to find the solution over some random forums through Google.

If the people who can supply solutions could come under one roof, it will be a great power and after much of thoughts and iterations SocialAV was born. It was somewhat ready months before and the team…

IT solutions industry and clone sites--option for creativity?

As noted, our team developed software solution platform that powers many Groupon and Fiverr like sites.

Initially, the development wasn't much interesting as now; there was less freedom to add our own idea--as customers would be asking exact or similar features of popular site. Taking GroupDeal, when we added merchant interface, many customers didn't want it as it wasn't a feature available in Groupon and LivingSocial; but Groupon has come up with similar feature as Groupon 2.0! We've even added friends mod as I have a gut feeling that Groupon will definitely take that direction. From the very beginning, we predicted that Groupon is good idea out of Woot, but the interface isn't good--something like Digg would be ideal for Groupon; but, we couldn't do anything here. Also, the initial FUD was that our software didn't scale on load--even when we shown it's scalable than Groupon; and that got settled down once MySuperDealToday could sell 1,440 deals in a da…

What's wrong with delicious.com?

The recent UI changes of delicious.com is quite confusing and smells suicidal phase. I have noted that, after Joshua Schachter sold it to Yahoo!, it's going crazy changes. Probably, it's because a Yahoo! company now or Engineers don't get the real idea?

Some crazy moves:

del.icio.us to delicious.com change; probably to reach countries that censor .us TLD?
delicious.com to www.delicious.com; unjustified
Perl to PHP switch; why?
for:handle geekish way to share to separate box; crazy but ok. Looks like, the new Yahoo! guys don't know how to make it a cult following like how twitter popularized @handle
Recent broken UI

Groupon - hype or paid news?

As our team is developing GroupDeal, a group buying software that powers most of the groupon like websites, I have been following Groupon for a long time. Quite often, I'm amused by the news and visibility that the Groupon is getting on the media.

The recent buzz that Google May Acquire Groupon for $6 Billion, and It Would Be Worth Every Penny (!!!) and Groupon Turns Down Google’s $6 Billion Offer--and weird comments & noise posted over there--seems to prove my doubts that it's more of a hype or paid news.

If my doubts are true, there's a clear "success mantra" for every internet company!!

"A to Z of C" in the book Cimple (ISBN 0070260982)

I was just searching "A to Z of C" in Google Books and found that the book Cimple written by Sasant K Rout has used our code. The irony is that the book was published by Tata McGraw-Hill, who rejected us in final stage stating that it wants us to get endorsement from any IIT professor, which we couldn't. (For the sake of record... IIT Bangalore was linking & supporting "A to Z of C" for long time once it's published over the net; see old IIT page from web.archives.org)

It's just another incident to prove that success isn't a measurable unit; even failed attempts can be appreciated in any other forms.

In defense of WikiLeaks, the new anarchist

I like the concept of WikiLeaks, the non-profit media organization that leaks "truth".

Being anarchist at heart, I strongly believes that WikiLeaks like efforts will erase the borders around the earth. All forms of governments are existing there to add enmity between mankind--in the form nations and borders. The efforts of WikiLeaks must be applauded as it leaks how such intentions are harmful and indecent. Hope, it's a good chance for those nations to repent from their divisive policies.

Remember, Leo Tolstoy and Gandhi were anarchists.

Groupon is chasing GroupDeal

The TechCrunch post on Groupon 2.0 is a surprise for us, as it shows that Groupon is chasing GroupDeal, the group buying software that our team has developed, powering so many groupon like sites.

Starting from initial version, we added the facility for the merchants to post deals; the Groupon 2.0 interface shows that it's merely a minor tweaks on the concept. But, always I wonder how Groupon is "stealing" the news and getting hype--paid news??

Fiverr pays damages to competitors for wrong trademark claim?

In the recent development of Fiverr's illegal route of blocking/suspending/closing competitors' PayPal accounts, PayPal is unblocking many of it's competitors sites.

But, the serious question here is the damage enforced by Fiverr and PayPal. Will Fiverr pay damages to the sites for it's alleged trademark ownership and shutting down the competitors through PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy division?

There are lot of other questions too:


What will be the action taken against Fiverr by PayPal?
Who will pay the damages--for blocking the competitors' site for about 1-week time?
How come the company in Israel claims that it owns a trademark--without owning it?
What will be the action taken by US government on Fiverr? and PayPal?
What's the future of the micro-entrepreneurs--when big companies act and play monopoly?

Fiverr takes unlawful route with PayPal AUP for competition tactics

The hot news is that the Fiverr takes unlawful route with PayPal AUP division to put the competitors in dark by suspending/blocking the site's PayPal accounts.

Problems with Fiverr

Fiverr's trademark claims are wrong as they have merely "applied" for
Without sending any legal notice to the respective sites, Fiverr is taking PayPal's AUP in hand to close the competitors' accounts
Fiverr's trademark applications are looking joke as they're trying to trademark basic English terms like "I will", "gig", "for" and their "DamnQuickPay" is a definite legal contradiction with 1-Click


Problems with PayPal

Looks like PayPal's AUP is automated or they won't look at legal dispute papers clearly
Without any redefinition on AUP, anybody can suspend or block the competitor's site for sometime


Bottom line
When legally challenged by the competitors, Fiverr or PayPal would have to pay the damages

Related Links

Fiverr Declares War…

AMF decoder for Firebug

About 2 years back (exactly on March 21, 2008), I posted a feature request in Firebug issue tracker for the need for AMF decoder. Now (after 2 years), I'm happy to see couple of tools for the purpose: AMF Explorer, Flashbug

Note that, now few argues SWX is better alternative for AMF; I have personally noted that SWX API is async by design and somewhat tedious to use.

SWF to Canvas converter

When Ajax was gaining momentum, I was somewhat skeptic about SWF to Ajax migration. But, I hope, Canvas + Ajax may soon replace SWF/Flash and I expect SWF to Canvas converters very soon. Technically I have a gut feeling that SWF to XML (through swfmill tools) and then XML to SVG would be obvious easy solution.

Royalty for developers - need open source App Store

In the developer world, royalty concept is not widespread, but glad that Apple has introduced the royalty through App Store.

What's in royalty?
You--the developer code a piece of logic for a company and it get sold and start milking; but you don't get anything even if it sells more than million copies. Apple's App Store is a novel concept that the developer acts as a company and directly gets sales commission.

Why royalty is important?
A book author gets royalty, a film maker gets it, an artist gets it--but not a developer. A developer has to code, code, code to live.

Who can change the scenario?
After open source revolution, I think, it's time for "royalty revolution". We need a movement like "free software movement" by Richard Stallman to take the royalty concept to all developers. In short, we need an open source "App Store"