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Google projects Picasa 2

Picasa 2 is the new version of the free program for managing and organizing digital photographs, says Deepak Mankar.

business Updated: Jan 29, 2005 20:25 IST
Deepak Mankar
Deepak Mankar
PTI
Hindustantimes
         

The real tragedy of the “hep, cool, bohemian” Parveen Babi who hailed from the royal clan of Junagad in Gujarat and debuted in Charitraheen opposite the hapless Salim Durrani. – can you guess what it is? It’s not that she died alone, unsung, virtually consigned to the dustbin of forgetfulness. It’s not that not many film folks went to bid her good-bye. It’s that she lost forever the chance to live down her image as a dumb belle. Back in the seventies, a colleague of mine in Clarion-McCann who had ‘connections’ in the Hindi film industry used to describe her as a real shrewd chess player, almost as good as Rehman. He used to play the game with her between takes. Else, she would read a book. An Ahmedabadi cousin of Ujwal’s knew Babi well and described her as an intelligent and well-informed but mentally disturbed human being. Later, though, she was taken for a ride by the baddies. She went apparently willingly – and went bonkers. Even the spiritual help she sought for dealing with her schizophrenia came from the wrong ones. I guess her downfall was that she couldn’t handle reality, especially rejection, as adroitly as she should have. In spite of being a movie star, she chose to believe that the movie was life in the fast lane. For a brief digital bio, go to 10ka20.com.

VIEW FINDER? Google projects Picasa 2.

Idealab invented Picasa and sold it to Google. Picasa 2 is the new version of the free program for managing and organizing digital photographs. It also makes it easy to send photos through GMail service and post pictures to the Blogger Weblog business. Bill Gross, Idealab’s CEO, told the Los Angeles Times: "What they're doing is brilliant. They are using each of their services to promote their others very well. I think Google wants to be the place where you store your life." Says Google Blog: “Of course, Picasa 2 works great with other Google services; you can post pictures to your own blog with the Blogger button, order print supplies through Froogle, and send pictures using Gmail. And somehow our engineering team made Picasa 2 run just as fast, even on slower machines.” google.com. Last Google mention: hindustantimes.com (‘GETTING CLOSER TO GOOGLE. Guess who?’)

‘ENTERPRISING’ BLOGS. Must-read article.

Dr Laurel Anne Clyde, an Australian Professor in the Library and Information Science Department at the University of Iceland, writes authoritatively about blogs as a business or enterprise tool. A quotable quote: “A potential problem is that blogging does not fit with the corporate culture of many organisations. If an enterprise values a ‘top down’ approach, then blogging, with its emphasis on freedom and open access, may not be a useful tool”. She cites Jay Cross for whom "... blogs are the leading edge of the social software movement that's propelling the bottom-up, self-organizing reformation of versatile businesses. A bottom-up organization values the collective work of individuals over top-down authority; it supports cooperation and co-evolution in lieu of command and control. Instead of telling people what to do, it provides the networks that enable them to do what they want to do". freepint.com.

‘CITIZEN’S MEDIA’. Come again, Kane.

The hunt is on. The prey is institutional money to fund a cross-US network of ‘hyperlocal’ news sites produced by amateurs debuting the coming summer with two local efforts in the northern Virginia suburbs of Reston and McLean. The goal? In three years, to be in 10 town-size markets in 18 metro areas. Mark Potts, a founder of the Washington Post Online and now of Backfence.com, and his partner, Susan DeFife, who’s the founding mother of WomenConnect.com, a Web portal for female business leaders and professionals, spoke to CBS MarketWatch recently about their plans. According to DeFife, ‘citizen’s media’ involves “allowing citizens to post stories about their communities and get responses”. It’s the opposite of the top-down Big Media model (“we report, we decide”). marketwatch.com. Recently, your column also covered a related topic hindustantimes.com (‘‘NUKKAD’. How to make a news website one.’)

WHAT AMERICAN CEOS SURF. See for yourself.

At forbes.com, there’s an unusual slide show. It takes you on a conducted tour of the websites America’s top CEOs and celebrities surf. Go see for yourself, dude.

GOOGLE’S NEXT BIG THING. Search video content.

Last year-end, this column hindustantimes.com and hindustantimes.com had covered the big search engine’s foray into video search. Now at mediapost.com I find MediaPost’s ‘Just an Online Minute …’ mentioning the following: “It looks like Google wants to index all TV programming. The video search service is the latest in a series of moves that shows Google's ambitions go beyond the Web.” And this cautionary note: “there's at least one thing it can't do; there is no direct link to enable consumers to watch the previously broadcast shows. Google merely offers a few still images from the indexed TV programs and clips from the show's narrative. Search results offer data on when the show aired and when an episode will be repeated.”

2004. Year of the BPO & M&A?

“ComputerWire tracked 262 deals involving IT services vendors in 2004, compared to 191 in 2003, 117 in 2002, and 111 in 2001. The size of these deals has also increased: the top 20 M&As in 2004 had an average value of $550 million, compared to $504 million in 2003, $355 million in 2002, and $316 million in 2001,” reports Computer Business Report Online. Further: “IBM … gained a 6,000-strong call center and back-office support operation in India through … Daksh eServices for about $160 million.” Also: “India's software services vendors are squeezing pricing in the services industry …forcing the likes of IBM and HP to source a larger percentage of their software and back-office skills from countries such as India.” cbronline.com.

NO MORE THAN A COMMODITY. That’s what a laptop is.

Always thought a laptop is a hi-tech product, have you? Think again. Computer science professor Phil Windle explains the new trend of 9 out of every 10 American brand-name laptops being outsourced and many of well-known brands no longer designing their own machines in terms of not a decrease in American competitiveness for U.S. companies. (“Hot on the heals of recent scares about the outsourcing of software engineering jobs to India, come stories about computer design jobs, particularly laptops, being outsourced to Taiwan.”) Rather, he views it thus: “This is just another data point leading to the conclusion that PCs, even laptops, are a commodity. You can't innovate around the laptop because its feature set is more or less fixed in Redmond.” To further his argument, he writes: "… to get a true picture of innovation in IT… consider three separate sources: academic research, entrepreneurial activity, and open-source software development... there's plenty of innovation happening – just don't look for it in the manufacturing design of laptops." zdnet.com. Please also see Christopher Koch’s article ‘Innovation Ships Out’ cio.com.

SUICIDE BOMBER BLOWS HIMSELF. VW Polo survives.

See this controversial ‘in-poor-taste’ Volkswagen video here: compfused.com. Read the rants about the VW-disowned ad showing a suicide bomber blowing himself up in his VW Polo but the Polo surviving the blast here: guardian.co.uk and mediapost.com and nypost.com. “I as an online-news consumer want to make the decision of whether to view this controversial ad; I really don't want it made for me by an editor who may have different tolerances than I have,” sensibly comments Steve Outing in ‘Whither VW's Suicide Bomber Commercial?’ (24 January) poynter.org.

That's all for now though there's plenty more out there. Join me again next week, same place.

Copyright (c) 2001- 2005 by Deepak Mankar. All rights reserved. Deepak Mankar, an advertising practitioner on the creative side since 1965, is also intensely passionate about the web and web content creation. Read his online articles at http://www.asiaondemand.com/. Website: http://www.addgandhi.com/original/. You may e-mail him at dmankar@bom8.vsnl.net.in.

First Published: Jan 29, 2005 17:34 IST

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