Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

This thing of ours, has gone mainstream

14 Nov

You know that something has really gone mainstream when it appears on a South Park Episode. This year it appears as if Trey Parker is actively reading Hacker News. Things I thought only belonged on Hacker News front page are now appearing on South Park episodes, software is really eating the world. If you doubt it, watch south Park’s current season.

South Park Season 18
Episode 1 – Go fund yourself – about startups and crowdfunding, features kickstarter
Episode 4 – Handicar – About Car sharing, and Electric Cars features Lyft, Uber, Tesla and Elon Musk
Episode 5 – The Magic Bush – About Drones and privacy
Episode 6 – Freemium isn’t Free – About Freemium and mobile apps business models.
Last night’s episode 7 – Grounded Vindaloop – About virtual reality. Features Oculus freaking Rift.

Big question, what is Trey Parker’s Hacker News handle.

South Park is the definition of mainstream, the discussions on HN that we thought the rest of the world would not care about is now the center and focus of the mainstream. Now is definitely a good time for kids to start learning programming.


Startup idea: Elastic Cloud for Music

24 Sep

I would like to see a music streaming service with a vast music collection similar to Spotify and Rdio but instead of providing an app and charging users for subscription, this startup would simply provide an API that gives developers access to build apps with their music collection and charge developers for bandwidth and storage, similar to the way Amazon s3 charges for bandwidth and storage.

It would be like the early days of twitter when developers could plug in to twitter’s pipeline and build social apps, but the difference here is that is that this startup already has a business model. So no conflict of interest with third party developers.

With the creativity of developers I can only imagine the diversity of music apps we could see from this. Developers with special interest in certain music genres could create human curated music apps for the genre. There will be genre specific music discovery apps and music streaming apps that are tailored for specific situations.

I hope someone would build this service.


First computer scientists to win an Oscar

29 Jan
Loren Carpenter, Rob Cook and Ed Catmull

Loren Carpenter, Rob Cook and Ed Catmull

In 2001, Loren Carpenter, Rob Cook, and Ed Catmull of Pixar won an Oscar for significant advancements to the field of motion picture rendering. It was the first time for software developers to win an Oscar.

April 2001 IEEE Spectrum

I still remember this cover of IEEE Spectrum magazine,  I was a computer science student in Nsukka, Nigeria, back then, and I remember, this cover and this article in the magazine, was among the most inspirational things I ever read as a computer science major in Nigeria.

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Intel’s Original Business plan

14 Sep

Intel’s original one page double-spaced business plan for investors, as typed by Robert Noyce:
intel original business paln

Something Ventured
– Intel Museum and Darius Mahdjoubi, October 2005

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What is this PRISM, of which you speak?

08 Jun

Dear users,

You may be aware of reports alleging that and several other Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. We would like to respond to the press reports, and give you the facts. is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday.

When governments ask for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure. Any suggestion that is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.

We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It’s the only way to protect everyone’s civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term. We here at understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety—including sometimes by using surveillance. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.

Source: One-stop PRISM Deny generator for your startup –

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Finding Nemo with Google Maps

26 Sep

Google is like a mad scientist with $50 Billion in the bank. They did Google Earth but that wasn’t enough for them. Now they are doing seaview, you can browse underwater, follow a clown fish in search of Nemo. I’m sure someone is working on “spaceview”.

View Larger Map
Try swimming with the sea turtles.



JavaScript: 2011 Technology of the Year

01 Feb

JavaScript had a great year in 2011. Here are some of the best moments for JavaScript last year, in no particular order:

-Adobe killed Flash on mobile devices and will start the transition of their web technologies to HTML5/CSS/JavaScript here.

-Microsoft killed Silverlight as their cross platform runtime environment to focus on HTML5/CSS/JavaScript here.

-Microsoft announced that “metro style” apps for Windows 8 will be built in JavaScript/CSS/HTML. More about it here.

-Adobe acquired Nitobi (Creator of PhoneGap), and donated PhoneGap to Apache Foundation. This move could make  PhoneGap a standard for mobile development here.

-Rails 3.1 adopted CoffeeScript causing great controversy and the most colorful Github page ever here.

-There was always a cool new JavaScript project on the first page of Hacker News. Here’s some of the best I remember:

J-OS – JavaScript operating system

JS Linux – Boot a Linux kernel right in the browser.

Broadway.js – H264 decoder in JavaScript.

pdf.js – PDF reader in JavaScript.

JavaScript IDE– Create web apps in JavaScript right from your browser.

There you have it and jQuery was everywhere. I write this as a Ruby/Unix guy, who thinks JavaScript had an extra-ordinarily great year. I may have missed other important moments. Feel free to add more in the comments.

It’s equally important to give credit to the players that helped make JavaScript the Technology of the Year. I will list them below:

  •  The Open Source community:  For all the awesome  wizardry.
  • Google: For moving the open web forward, supporting the FOSS community and releasing great open source technologies like Google Chrome and V8.
  • The Webkit Open Source project and Apple.
  •  Steve Jobs for excluding Flash on iDevices and selling HTML5 as the future of the open web.

Let’s have a toast for JavaScript.

Hey programmer, what is it that you do?

01 Dec

Sometimes, I simply can’t put a price on what I do.

Two years ago, I was kidnapped by monkeys, who appeared to be in a trance. They took me to the top of the Swayambhunath Buddhist complex, in Kathmandu. I was told that this was the Monkey Temple. As a monk translated the wishes of the holy monkeys, I discovered that I was required to rewrite the OS of their ancient computer, which had failed to reboot, back in 1839. Since then, they had searched the world for a programmer competent to handle the situation. They were about to give up, as they stumbled onto me, and realized that I was the reincarnation of ChiChu Gomptar, the lead programmer for the CS monkey gang, which had served their monkey king, the creator of this computer. I was flummoxed by its design, as it was made of smooth stones, uniform beads, colored sand, and wooden levers inlaid with gold. I told them that I couldn’t remember anything from my past life. They gave me something to smoke, saying that it would connect me, through the eternal ether, to my previous memories.

It did, and after 25 days of extreme programming, of which I recall no details, I had completed the monumental task. I stood up, and ceremoniously dropped the special IPL bead onto the machine, which then awoke from its 170-year slumber with a mighty roar. The holy monkeys were pleased. They handed over a small golden box, with mysterious carvings. It seemed empty, and I was told not to open it unless my circumstances had become truly dire. I thanked them, both for the box, and for the tremendous experience. Unfortunately, I was not able to sell them continued maintenance for their new OS, but that was mostly due to their language not having the word “maintenance”. Anyway, I have those memories, and this box to use when things go really bad, plus the always-present hope of future adventure.

This was a comment on hacker news. Original source:


When in doubt, do a barrel roll

04 Nov

So business guy is looking for a programmer to build his app. Here’s how the interview went.

Programmer: “I built a nosql database that uses javascript for queries. It even supports map/reduce. I also wrote a h264 decoder in javascript. I can build your twitter/google+/facebook social app.”

Business guy: “hmm I don’t think so. I’m looking for a rockstar ninja Rails and .net programmer.”

Programmer: “Ok watch this.”

Programmer opens his web browser, goes to google and types do a barrel roll.

Business guy: “Wow that is awesome!”

Programmer: “Hit refresh”

Business guy: “Wow dude, you’re HIRED!”

(Note: “do a barrel roll” works only on Chrome, Safari, Opera and Firefox. Try it when your pitch is failing. Good luck.)


RIP Steve Jobs

06 Oct

I am going to miss Steve Jobs. He was like a modern day Walt Disney. Just a true innovator. Steve, you will be missed by this hacker and a billion others. Thank you for sharing your dreams with the world. Things will never be the same again.
Rest in peace great one.

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