Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Conserving Energy...!

Most of us (IT people) believe that breakthrough performance of an application (minimal downtime, max throughput, min. access / page load time) can be achieved by scaling up hardware, adding more boxes. Other than Google which by the way is an excellent software that runs on top of custom made commodity servers which have been wedded into a network centric architecture, lots of other companies are proving everyday that with existing hardware / infrastructure, one can achieve impressive performance provided the software, the logic is unique & near perfect for the situation at hand.

Let me mention about "Snap" - the company which has amazed me since last year with its totally innovative ideas & product offerings - all aimed at making end user experience more rich & hassle free. Snap Shot, Snap Search, Snap Preview - all of 'em basically are awesome products since they let an end user know about a page's content, look & feel even before clicking on its HyperLink. Their latest blog post shows that they are even planning to make an entry in Web Adv Space with "Snap Shares" - It would basically render the Real time Contextual Ads as user navigates across a Web Page. On face of it, the idea appears impressive since it would be like Dynamic Google Ads which are displayed at relevant places only. (No more Leaderboard/Square/Vertical Banner Selection hassles :)). God knows how they'll do this seemingly challenging enhancement.

For now, have a look at their CO2 Saver - this tool is a light-weight program which runs on Desktop & tweaks user's Power Mgmt settings to reduce the energy use when the PC is idle. And yes, as a user you are empowered to change the Power Settings anytime of course.

I simply fell in love with this tool - just add up the CO2 you are saving per day (Tool shows you the metrics as well) and multiply it my 365 and you'll realize why am I so excited about it. So, lets go & make a difference....!

Install Now

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Illusion Of Control...!

When you go to a nice restaurant, you want to be greeted by name & seated at whatever table you like for whatever reason - ain't it? My trip to Atlantic City last week reaffirmed my belief that Donald Trump strives to provide that kind of value in all his endeavors. The moment we entered the city - we were greeted with big Neon Sign Boards, huge hotels & beautifully lit Casinos. I was all the more excited since this was my first ever chance to visit a Casino. By the way this resort community is located on Absecon Island on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and is too picturesque. We decided to visit The Trump Taj Mahal Casino (for it was voted "Best Casino" by the readers of Casino Player magazine). Spotting the density of people and the frenetic pace which we noticed the moment we enterred Taj was remarkable indeed. It took me a little while to understand the dynamics of various games and the appealing Slot Machines. But then as soon as I tried my luck at first slot machine as they they you are bound to feel the heat of the action...!! I was somehow hooked to the machine which somehow seemed to give me Illusion of Control.

Going by the basic probability - anyone would know that one has absolutely no control over the outcome on any game of chance. I mean i am not hitting the slot machine with any of my cortical or physical skill - yet it tends to be so so addictive. I played 4 games in a row myself before my friends took me over to a new game!! Here's what I observed-

  • Amidst the constant barrage of noises-spin of Slot Machines, Dind Dong sound of coins hitting the metal, chit chat of people discussing their wins, pitter patter of Casino Staff boosting you always somehow gives one a false yet very strong sense of hope.
  • In every section, I witnesses winners near highly trafficked zones - was it intentional on part of Casino Staff- may be..!!
  • This was the only place where soft drinks & booze was delivered to players without them having to get up. People are made to feel that they influence the games evident from - the expression of people when they were throwing the die, deciding when to split at Blackjack or choosing series of numbers at slot machines.
  • Rhythm can be best noticed-everything happens in rapid succession. Money's on the line, people predict, try their luck, many loose some win - yet the process continues on and on.
  • The attire (or lackof) of the staff definitely influences the atmosphere inside - dealers in characteristic uniform, pit bosses in black suits, servers in striking outfits et all.
  • The Confidence, energy & cheerfulness of the Lady at Poker Table - I made her sketch (shown above) as soon as I returned back :)
I must say that the visit has left a lasting impression in my mind regarding people's psyche.
By the way saw a nice article while Googling about Casino Design. For those of you who would want to learn more about Donald Trump & his line of thinking have a look at this video.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Simplicity Rocks...!

Did they tell you that creating innovative ads or content on the web was difficult? I don't think so - there are lots of smart folks out there who create great content that users simply love & would certainly wish to discuss with their friends (World Of Mouth).

Have a look urself - I liked this ad a lot...!