Archive for December, 2006

Edward De Bono, author of the book titled ‘Six Thinking Hats‘, theorized the Six Hat Thinking methodology. As stated in his book:

It is not possible to be presensitized in different directions at the same time just as it would not be possible to design a golf club that was the best club for driving and at the same time the best club for putting. That is why the Six Hats method is essential. It allows the brain to maximize its sensitivity in different directions at different times….The essence of parallel thinking is that at any moment everyone is looking in the same direction — but the direction can be changed. An explorer might be asked to look north or to look east. Those are standard direction labels. So we need some direction labels for thinking. What are the different directions in which thinkers can be invited to look?

This is were the hats come in. Each hat symbolizes a thinking direction. De Bono’s six hats are:

  • White Hat: is neutral and objective, concerned with objective facts and figures.
  • Red Hat: relates to intuition, emotions & opinion.
  • Black Hat: is gloomy, and covers the negative – why things can’t be done.
  • Yellow Hat: symbolizes brightness and optimism, indicating hope and positive thinking.
  • Green Hat: focuses on creativity: the possibilities, alternatives and new ideas.
  • Blue Hat: is concerned with the control and organization of the thinking process.

Thats all about the Six Hats. But where does Google fit in?

Lets take a look at the Google logo:

If we apply the Six Hat approach to interpret the logo, we get:

  • 2 blues: signifying the unified and organized thinking process at Google.
  • 2 reds: signifies that they value intuition, emotions, opinions of the users. Outputting innovative products by not just their brains but their hearts as well. This is evident from the simplistic and intuitive UI designs of Google Search and Gmail.
  • 1 yellow: symbolizes their optimistic outlook, hoping that every new product would bring them one step closer to their ultimate aim and that is to organize the worlds information.
  • 1 green: new ideas, alternatives, innovation…Well, thats Google :)

Conclusion

The above interpretation of the logo actually seems to be in sync with the current image of Google and the prevalent mindset of the average googler. Did I just unearth Google’s success formula?

Hope so :)

BarCamp Pune Redux

| December 24th, 2006

Last week we hosted the second BarCamp Pune. We received an overwhelming response wherein geeks flew down from all over India to participate. In fact, this time BarCamp Pune succeeded in obliterating international boundaries. Rahul Thathoo, a CS student from Stanford, presented his session from thousands of miles away. His session dealt with a bottom up approach to online advertising via discussion forums.

Watch his presentations on YouTube: Video1 Video2

Busy organizing, I managed to slip into a few of the sessions :). I finally learnt how to build an eclipse plugin (had thought of doing that months back). There were some great presentations by folks from ThoughtWorks. They shared about their methodologies to agile project management. Their idea of organizing requirements in the form of storyboards really fascinated me. In fact, I now have my own storyboard at work. This certainly is a great way to keep the team updated with what you are working on and how you intend to accomplish it.

My Storyboard
My Storyboard

Angrez Singh, developer of FireWatir, showcased his latest work.

This time around we decided to do things a lil’ differently, hence we organized a dinner party after the event was done with. It was here that the we conceived the idea of organizing the ‘HackCamp‘ in the coming months. This event would cater to all the hackers, crackers and coders out there. No presentations. No sessions. Just pure code/mods/hacks. I’ll post more about this as soon as we get things going.

Don’t forget to check out the videos and pics from the event.

Whats The Buzz Of The Shoposphere?

| December 11th, 2006

That certainly was a tough question to answer, but not anymore. Whatsbuzzing, which released a few days back (reminds me of the sleepless nights :-)), helps you do just that. The brainchild of Anand Jagannathan, Whatsbuzzing is aimed at solving the online shopping woes of users. As described in Anand’s blog:

Whatsbuzzing is a destination site for online shopping. The site offers a one-stop service where consumers can browse across hundreds of storefronts, view the latest trends and find the hottest deals. In contrast to comparison shopping or product information sites, Whatsbuzzing provides visitors with the experience of a shopping mall. Visitors can browse storefronts by content, category or store name. A visitor can also tag storefronts so other consumers can find storefronts that are interesting. The storefronts are fully interactive and are constantly being updated with fresh content and timely offers.

As stated above, what makes it different from the plethora of shopping services is the unique content. Instead of just showcasing product details and prices, it also helps you keep track of the latest deals/discounts/offers – capturing the buzz in its true essence.

Another factor that makes it stand apart is its foray into being a browsing engine as compared to the omnipotent search engines. Although search is an integral part of Whatsbuzzing, it is just another feature to help assist the users to find products quickly.

It is surely the panacea to all my shopping woes. With the season of Christmas setting in why don’t you give it a try and come back with some feedback.

The Book Of Mozilla

| December 6th, 2006

Does the title ring a bell in your head? For the less fortunate beings, type in ‘about:mozilla’ in your Firefox which should give a maroon page with a biblical saying as the one below:

This represents a verse from the so-called ‘Book of Mozilla’, not a real book. What you will see on your Firefox is the third verse. All the three verses can be seen at http://www.mozilla.org/book/

These verses represent important events in the time line of Mozilla. If you view the html source of the page [http://www.mozilla.org/book/] you will notice the significance of each verse with respect to the events they represent.

Verse I

And the beast shall come forth surrounded by a roiling cloud of vengeance. The house of the unbelievers shall be razed and they shall be scorched to the earth. Their tags shall blink until the end of days.

from The Book of Mozilla, 12:10

And its significance:

10th December 1994: Netscape Navigator 1.0 was released.
This verse announces the birth of the beast (Netscape) and warns bad coders (up to Netscape 3, when you watched the HTML source code with the internal viewer, bad tags blinked).

Verse II

And the beast shall be made legion. Its numbers shall be increased a thousand thousand fold. The din of a million keyboards like unto a great storm shall cover the earth, and the followers of Mammon shall tremble.

from The Book of Mozilla, 3:31
(Red Letter Edition)

significance:

31st March 1998: the Netscape Navigator source code was released.
The source code is made available to the legion of thousands of coders of the open source community, that will fight against the followers of Mammon (Microsoft Internet Explorer).

Verse III

And so at last the beast fell and the unbelievers rejoiced. But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird. The bird gazed down upon the unbelievers and cast fire and thunder upon them. For the beast had been reborn with its strength renewed, and the followers of Mammon cowered in horror.

from The Book of Mozilla, 7:15

significance:

15th July 2003: AOL closed its Netscape division and the Mozilla foundation was created.
The beast died (AOL closed its Netscape division) but immediately rose from its ashes (the creation of the Mozilla foundation and the Firebird browser, although the name was later changed to Firefox).

If you would like these cool verses to adorn your desktop download the wallpapers I created out of them.

Verse I Verse II Verse III