Google announced that they are pulling the plug on Google Reader – due to decline in usage. In reality, Google should taken more effort to spread awareness of this service.

There are two petitions I have signed, and I encourage you to sign these too:
Keep Google Reader Petition

It’s not the first time Google’s done this to a favorite service of mine (Fast Flip, Answers, Desktop to name a few).

So, it’s been almost a year since my last post (again!). Reading through the archives of the site, which has been up for a little over 3 years now, I’m tempted to post an update to some of the older posts. What better way to restart blogging?

In November 2007, I wrote about the iPhone and the hype surrounding it. I suggested looking at alternatives. Since then, Apple has released the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4. Some of the issues I had with the 1st iPhone version were that it didn’t support 3G, corporate sync and 3rd party apps. The next iPhone release (iPhone 3G) addresses all these, and so I went out and bought one. I owned it till recently. I now have an Android device – the DroidX on Verizon. As an engineer (a Java one at that), I absolutely love the Android OS. Also, Verizon is so much better than AT&T. I hope Verizon’s networks don’t get clogged when the Verizon iPhone comes out next year. I am waiting for the 2nd generation of iPad though.

Fast forward almost a year to September 2008, when Google Chrome was first released. I posted an initial review of the browser (within minutes of it being available for download). A couple of days later, I discovered that my laptop was randomly BSOD-ing when Google Chrome was playing a video. [BSOD = Blue Screen Of Death]. A lot of other users faced the same problem, and that post is, till date, the most commented post on this site.

Apple was dominant then (PC manufacturing and iPhone apps among others), and Apple is dominant now.

In September 2008, I had a look at the initial draft of HTML5 and decided it was a game changer for the whole web experience.  HTML5 is becoming more common with Apple deciding to shun Flash, and more internet-enabled devices (Google TV, for example) appearing on the scene.

One day before we rang in 2009, I wrote about why Wikipedia should stop appealing for funds and place text ads to generate revenue. This post was slashdotted and brought in over 5000 visitors that week, which was pretty impressive considering it was the holiday season. It’s almost time to ring in 2011, and guess what? Another campaign appealing for funds – and this time, there are bigger banners, more people and more money. They were looking for $6 million back then. They’re looking for $14 million now. Wikipedia is an amazing resource and I would hate for it to close. There are a lot of people out there who would like to help, but cannot afford $50 or $100 (this is like a months salary for the labor class in developing countries). These campaigns are becoming more frequent and more intrusive (even more than a simple text ad display).

That’s pretty much a current update on some of my past posts. It’s interesting to observe that technology is advancing everyday and is become more and more ubiquitous and unified. And then, there are some things that don’t change.

The latest blog post on Google’s official blog caught my attention. Due to recent cyberattacks, originating from China, resulting in the loss of some of their intellectual property (fancy term for ‘secrets’), they’re considering withdrawing from the country. Some of the points of interest:

  • 20 companies were attacked: Twenty large companies were targeted and may or may not be aware of it. This has the potential to have far-reaching consequences
  • may no longer be uncensored: They’ve come under flak for censoring results in China (human rights ethics, etc.)
  • Google may shut down offices in China: Mass exodus? will use this opportunity to acquire some of the best talent.

I wouldn’t want to be a Google employee in China, or one working on . I also wish I owned [BIDU] stock.

Google Blog Posting :: Official Google Blog: A new approach to China.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch claims the current Internet businesss model is “malfunctioning” and says that NewsCorp-owned web sites will start charging for content within a year. His empire includes papers like the NY Post, the Sun and the Times spread across the globe.

As a consumer of a lot of news and information online, I will NOT be willing to pay for content that will freely be available elsewhere. The rise of independent media (blogging, videos on YouTube and other such sites, Twitter tweeting, etc…) has been a pain for news conglomerates. They know they are losing the battle – and many newspapers have had to shut shop, or are in danger of doing so. This is just a business cycle. Newspapers are as good as dead. 10 years from now, Kindle-like devices will be commonplace (like today’s smartphones). If Murdoch’s answer is to alienate users by charging for content, he’s in for a bigger “malfunction” surprise.

CNN tried a paid-model a few years ago, which doesn’t exist today. Any news web site who has tried to charge for content (WSJ included) has failed miserably. According to Joshua Benton of Harvard University, only 3% of users will be willing to pay for online content.

Given an option, I’ll opt for free news. It is easy to access information from any major publication. If Murdoch starts charging, there are a plethora of good quality web sites to choose from, who don’t charge.

This seems to be a last-ditch effort by Rupert Murdoch to try and dominate the Internet. Not going to happen, sir. Free content will exist on the Internet as long as the Internet lives.

Would you pay for content that is potentially available for free elsewhere? Voice your opinions in the comments section below

Murdoch: Web sites to charge for content –

This is one of the most shocking pieces of news I’ve heard in the recent past.

An employee of a Swiss insurance agency called in sick, and was later fired since she logged in to Facebook on her iPhone while at home. Something smells fishy here. Maybe the company was looking for an excuse to fire the employee. It’s also interesting that a co-worker alerted the company of the Facebook activity. So, it appears that it is perfectly acceptable for an employee to log on to Facebook from work, but not from home when sick? Ludicrous.

I wonder what the company’s stance is on watching TV? Do they expect the employee to just lay in bed doing nothing? More often than not, a person feels more sick when doing nothing. When you’re sick, you need people around and since it was during business hours, you would want to connect to them online.

Overall, this is a HR disaster for the company and there is so much more than meets the eye. The excuse given for firing the employee and the fact that the employee is not suing the company means something isn’t right. Maybe she threatened to blow the whistle on potential corrupt practices. After all, insurance companies are under stricter regulations here in the United States, and I assume that is the case in Switzerland too.

Facebooking while out sick gets employee fired | Digital Media – CNET News.

ashton kutcher (aplusk) on Twitter.

Obviously this looks like a bug or someone just ran a megascript, but check this screenshot out (not doctored). Taken at 10:41 p.m. PDT

Almost 2 million followers …

Ashton Kutcher - Twitter almost 2 million followers

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