Emergic mentioned in Indian Express

Emergic has got its first media mention — in Arun Katiyar’s Personal Technology column in the Sunday edition of Indian Express. Writes Arun in the brief story entitled Open Source:

Today, after almost 30 months of soul searching, Rajesh Jain has decided to take a very bold step: he has gone completely transparent with his next Big Idea. In fact, he hopes that the more he talks about it, the more he lets you know about it, the better his chances of developing it into a large, viable business.

As he jokingly puts it, his is truly an “open source” company, right from the business idea upwards. Its fascinating to see his thoughts turning into words and words crystallising into business ideas and these ideas morphing into his dream of building India into a leader in technological products, an “anchor store in the world mall and not a discount store”.

Of course, the flip side of writing about all that one is doing is if one fails, it is also available for all to see! Hopefully, I won’t be ending up that way 🙂

Arun is one of the best writers (and persons) I know. [Some of his earlier Personal Technology posts.] But writing is very little of what he has doing for the past few years! Arun’s writing has a magic in his simplicity. Wish we would all read more from him.

Clay Shirky on Weblogs and Power Laws

Writes Clay Shriky in his monthly email newsletter:

Good lists (
) and image (
) of the blogosphere from N.Z. Bear.

The lists of inbound links are particularly interesting, as the the number of sites with a decreasing amount of inbound links outnumbers those with an increasing amount of links of not quite 2 to 1. However, (as you’d expect) the most linked-to sites have a decreasing-to-increasing ratio 1::2, while the least linked to sites have a decreasing-to-increasing ratio of over 3::1.

This exactly matches Albert-Laszlo Barabasi’s model for networks where preferential connectivity drives topology — the link-rich get richer. With these lists, you can see the blogosphere resolving itself into a power law distribution, which will almost certainly distrupt the egalitarian rhetoric surrounding the blogging enterprise today, by doing things like making the current daypop statistics irrelevant (daypop counts number of blogs linking to a story, rather than traffic-per-blog which, other than daypop statistics, is the bigger determinant of exposure.)

Glenn Reynolds, InstaPundit.com, has another proposal that may also accelerate this process: open hit counters. Rather than making traffic numbers a private matter, Reynolds is proposing that blogs host open, third-party counters. (Check this Instapundit post.) The effect of this, of course, would be to accelerate the existing trend separating the few extremely opular blogs from the moderate number of moderately successful ones and the vast number of very low traffic blogs.

RFIDs for Payment Systems

NYT writes about the increasing use of RFIDs in :
Tollbooth Technology Meets the Checkout Lane

From gas stations to grocery stores to fast-food chains, merchants are experimenting with payment systems for a harried marketplace. Using radio frequency identification – or RFID – the systems automatically identify customers, who have set up credit or debit accounts with the issuer, and charge them for their purchases.

The RFID payment systems are similar in some ways to stored-value cards and the programmable “smart cards” used by Starbucks and a growing number of merchants. Those cards automatically deduct money for purchases from prepaid accounts or charge them to a personal account.

But RFID systems are much faster than other types of payment. There is no fumbling through a wallet, no punching in personal identification numbers, no signatures and, most certainly, no Web browsing. All that is needed is a tiny device called a transponder that might hang on a customer’s key chain and is waved in front of an electronic reader like a magic wand.

BlogAgent: IM Blog Update Notification

Russell Beattie ‘s BlogAgent is like BlogToaster:

BlogAgent is a clone of Simon’s original BlogToaster. Using an Instant Messenger, users can register blogs to watch and the agent pings weblogs.com every few minutes for updates then notifies the user when a blog they’re watching changes. Right now the most reliable version of BlogAgent runs on AOL’s Instant Messenger (just send an IM to “BlogAgent” using AIM), but it also runs on Jabber, MSN and soon Yahoo.

The neato-addition to BlogToaster in BlogAgent (all software is evolutionary) is that you can ask “who” to see who else is watching a specific blog. “Wow, Dave just said something really interesting on Scripting News just now. Let’s see who else might want to chat about it…” I think this could make the interaction in BlogSpace even greater. The community of Bloggers and Blog-watchers can talk about a post in real-time, focus their thoughts and post again immediately.

BlogAgent is written in Java and open sourced.

We should look at both BlogAgent and BlogToaster.