World Wide Web

The Afterthoughts – If Google came up with an RSS Reader

So here is another post in The Afterthoughts series.

Post: If Google came up with an RSS Reader
Originally posted on: 2005-01-30

This post was made long before Google came up with Google Reader. I was experimenting with RSS readers and started wondering what it would be like if Google came up with an RSS reader.

Now that we have one from Google, it is time to look back and see how my expectations matched with the actual product.

> * It would first buy the domain “greader” or something similar.
This didn't happen. However, Google Reader is popularly called GReader. I guess I made this comment because of Gmail.
On a side note, Google does own

> * It would have an index of more than 8 million different feeds.
This is not how an RSS reader has evolved. Google Reader does have recommendations based on the feeds you already have. It would be good to see an integration of Google Blogsearch or even Google News with Google Reader. The only integration I see is the subscription of search results from both of these in Google Reader (a 'new' feature).

> * It would offer 1 GB space for storing posts.
The storage in most online readers is unlimited.

> * It would have an excellent search feature for searching posts.
This was a surprise! The feature came in so late. Totally unexpected.

> * The interface would be simple, but at the same time powerful.
You bet this has been true. The keyboard shortcuts are just superb. The speed with which you can navigate and read feeds is extremely good. (You will need my script to make it even faster. :))

> * We would be able to mail any post just at the click of a button.
I guess this feature has been around since quite some time now.

> * It would allow us to filter posts and also label them for future reference.
With tagging and folders, this has been better than expected.

> * It would also allow us to make blog entries (of course the service would be integrated with Blogger.)
Again, this is a surprise. Google has not provided any integration with Blogger. However, recently Google added a feature to share an item with notes. With the microblogging revolution, and Google having acquired Jaiku, I guess that integration will happen first.

> * It would integrate greader with other offerings like mail, groups etc.
The integration is not that great as of now. It would be cool to see posts related to a mail, or a message in a group etc.

> It would be Beta forever. 🙂
Surprise! This isn't true!

Final thoughts:
So after more than 3 years since I made the original post, (which is a lot of time in technological evolution) I should say, Google did match most of the expectations that I had back then, some features were developed much better than what I had expected. However the integration with other services is one thing where it could have done better.


Multi core uhh… homo sapiens

A long time back in the dense forests of WonderLand, 'people' decided to create a multi core 'processor'. For those who don't know what that is, a multi-core processor contains more than one processor packaged together as a single unit. Computation can then be shared between these processors and the result assimilated.

Now think of these 'people' to be the ones who designed the human brain and the 'processors' to be human beings. Does that remind you of H2G2 or the Matrix? May be.

Ok, now what would multi-core mean in this case? Computation shared between people? Well, how about you calling someone to ask him, which movie you went to last Sunday because you forgot that name? May be.

Ok let's exaggerate this a little more. I am not a technical astrologer, but soon a time will come when your information will be stored across multiple things (both living and non-living) and you just make a mental picture of who has what, or what has what. How many of us now rely on our mental abilities for simple things like addition of a list of numbers? How about your dad's mobile number? Or how about the site where you downloaded that music track? How about your best friend's birthday? Or calling up your friend to ask him which company your other friend is working in. Or the day you bought your bike? The list continues…

Hey! Did I really blog this. Forget what I said, I was asleep.


How far is heaven from earth?

I don't know why I am writing this. But I felt this is interesting. (This is not a ground-breaking observation and may be baseless)

So the question is how far is heaven from earth.

Let us make some analysis:

It is known that a day in heaven is equal to 1 year on earth.
This means that 365 days on heaven is equivalent to 365 years on earth.

Now Pluto is at a distance of about 5,913,520,000 KM and it takes 248.54 years to revolve round the sun.

This means that for a body that takes 365 years to revolve round the sun (a vague assumption), it should be roughly at a distance of 9,000,000,000 KM from the sun. And considering the distance of earth from sun, we can safely neglect it and say that this is the distance of heaven from earth.

And if my calculations are not wrong, it will take you about 8 hours to reach there if you travel at the speed of light.


People at IISc beware…

People working at IISc beware. Your work is at stake. For students in engineering colleges are already into research work and are doing things in less than 6 months, things that you took more than 5 years to complete.


I am. Students in engineering colleges are already presenting papers and doing research work, that too within 6 months! Is it that the “Homo Sapiens” have evolved into some new class, “Homo Sapiens II”, whose new identity is that they do things at an alarming rate? Clearly, the problem of info glut is showing up.

Students in engineering colleges particularly those in computer science are shifting from one domain to the other more rapidly than politicians changing parties. They start off on a new domain today and within 6 months I hear that they have won a prize in a paper presentation contest.

How can this happen? How can a person, who is new to a domain, learn the subject and then present a new idea in less than 6 months? Is it humanely possible?

Anyone listening?