Going the iPod Way

26 11 2008

Long ago, not so long ago, when the world was just welcoming mp3 players, I was in London and felt the need to have a portable music player which I can carry along. I brought a Creative Zen 20 GB player which can play WAV and MP3 format music. On Windows operating system, when you plug it in, it opens the windows explorer where you can organize your music or you can use NOMAD. Over the next few months saw the arrival of iPod. Initially, I felt it is just expensive and just another MP3 player (even though I am a huge fan of Apple). I refused to even look at it in the stores or even read about the machine which changed the world of music.

Two incidents made me look at iPod:

1. I brought my MAC Book last year and lo! it was a bumper for me. I could not organize my music as NOMAD (which is used to organize music on Creative range of products) is not supported. I then searched and finally got an alternative to use my Creative on the MAC. Read more about this in my earlier post NOMAD for MAC.

2. Last year, I got a music player for my car and it came with the USB extension to play music players. I was able to connect my USB stick and play music, but unfortunately my creative player is not recognized. It really pained me. I searched on the web, but was not successful in finding a solution. Probably an AUX out should have helped, but never got that.

Finally, just a month back, got a iPod 120 GB classic. Well, I thought 120 GB is quite a good amount of space and only now realizing that I am sure to exhaust this space in 2009 for sure. Already have close to 2,200 songs and the most facinating part of iPod for me is the ability to organize PodCasts. I have good number of subscriptions and I am so very happy that I can carry my Podcasts without my computer now 🙂

Overall, in the last one month I have become obsessed with my iPod and looking forward for many more intersting encounters with the machine which made a huge difference in my life.

Last but not the least, have loads of movies on the go 🙂

Interesting OpenSource Sites

16 11 2008

Over the period of time, organizations have evolved and changed the way they played the game. Once upon a time, organizations were masters in what they produced and most of the time played their cards well. With the growth of Internet, organizations have not only capitalized the advantages, but also working day and night to grow along with their competition.

One fine day, Sony and BMG, the leading music company woke up just to see how MP3 (a particular compression technology for music tracks) shook the roots of their empires. They knew all about the technology, but were over confident that their homes were the safest places and over-looked how the new technology was building its strength under their own homes. When they realized, they cried foul, but it was too late.

IBM was struggling with its server software, which was not a huge success in the then market. Intelligently, it was following the success of Linux and Apache, the open source Web server software. IBM did not give up on any of its hopes and understood the rules of the “Open Source” game. It quickly acted and came into an agreement with Apache and soon, IBM’s server hardware was rolling out with Apache running on Linux. IBM has dedicated teams that Contribute to Linux and Apache. An intelligent move that only bettered IBM’s market place rather than hampering it.

When the concept of Open Source initially came out, many organizations did not pay serious attention. How can people around the world write software when it is not controlled or checked by anyone?  This is an Interesting question, which cannot be answered in a line or two.

Over the series of my posts, we will discuss and share ideas on how Open Source will be the major contributor to tomorrow’s world.

Let me begin by listing few web organizations, which are built around interesting and innovative ideas.

Taking IT Global – Taking IT Global is a not-for-profit organization bringing people together to share and work on projects that are beneficial to the world. The idea revolves around people in the community listing their ideas and projects and community members come together to support and work on the projects.

SpikeSource – You have been using open source software. The key element is that the code changes every minute and new functionality keeps on getting added. How can you manage these changes? Spike Source is an open-source source code integrator. This integrator runs periodically and runs through various open source code, test and integrate the same to your base code. Sounds interesting? Try it out?

43Things – A Social Networking site with a difference. List your professional / personal goals, search for people with similar aspirations and work together. Also, you can keep updating your goals with the progress and get encouragement from your peer members.

InnoCentive – The most interesting site I came across. This is a web based innovation center. Organizations / people list their problem for which they are looking for solution and if you are a master in the subject, feel free to solve the problem. There are many chances you are paid if you provide the most innovative solution and also, you are a celeb 🙂 

NineSigma, InnovationXChange Network, Eureka Medical, YourEncore and Innovation Relay Centers are quite similar to InnoCentive. 

I really like the TakingITGlobal and Innocentive. Over the period of time, I will deep dive into OpenSource in various fields concentrating on HealthCare and Social Innovations

Banking on Social Change – Seeking Financial Solutions for All

16 11 2008

I am a bit late in writing about this project, but this is an initiative from ChangeMakers, an organization associated with Ashoka for providing Social and Financial Security for the rural poor. 

The competition is being supported by the Citi Group and there is a cash award of $5000 for the winning team/innovation. 

There have been around 280 entries from 43 countries who have sent their innovation and the panel selected 13 entries to the finals. Now, you can make a difference by voting for the best entries you think are the best innovations. 

Here are the final 13, out of which 3 are from India 🙂

1. Free Social Security to Disadvantaged and Rural Population, OASiS.

2. A Holistic approach to micro-insurance – Breaking the cycle of illness and debt, Healing Fields Foundation. 

3. Sampoorna Suraksha – Social Security for all occasions, Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project. 

You need to register with ChangeMakers first as a user and then you need to caste your vote. All project information and the implementation model is described in detail in the respective nomination description pages. 

Be a Change Maker and vote for the idea which you believe is the best and support the organizations dedicated to change the way we live.