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The Microsoft new CloudApp() Contest participation story

So well, I am writing a blog post after pretty long..and I couldn’t stop anymore, because it’s about a cool experience I would like to share..
10 days back, I just heard of a thing called CloudComputing, then under my Google Summer of Code project, I was required to explore Google Apps Engine for an application as suggested by my mentor. But problem was that, it did not support PHP, I looked for other options and came across Microsoft’s Azure, which could be used to deploy PHP based applications, so I downloaded all required softwares (due to slow Internet connection, it took me more than 1 day), but when I started installing, I came across a problem, which was “compatibility”, Windows Azure required Windows Vista or Server 2008 !, while I had Windows XP SP2. So, I dropped the plan for sometime, until I buy a new laptop with Vista (which I had planned to buy for quite sometime) and told my mentor about the same..

But then, on 7th I saw a contest running (deadline 9th-12noon-PST) !!! I love development contests, and try participating, if’s always a great learning experience… since I love maps/am passionate about Accessibility, and saw that LIVE Framework/Services could run on XP itself, I quickly made a small application for directions finding for Visually Impaired using Bing Maps API , using simple JavaScript and a concept, where motive was to present Routing information in “pure text” which could be read by Screen Readers (specially Web based like WebAnywhere). As I was trying to deploy my app, I found out that it does not belong to LIVE Framworks/Services as I had thought( was probably confused with Live Maps ), rather I needed Windows Azure for the same, I was back to the problem, while I was thinking to drop participating, a friend IMed me on Gtalk and asked “What’s up?” , I told him, what I was upto and he got into action, within no time he started downloading essential softwares on his Windows Vista and we stayed awake till 4:30 am, where my friend(Abhishek) had an important meeting at AOL at 10am. Today in morning itself after some issues, he gave his desktop access through TeamViewer 4 and while I was struggling in understanding Microsoft’s approach to CloudComputing and deployment techniques, the electricity department worsened the situation by 4 power cuts in 3 hours ,, but then, by the end, I successfully deployed the application here . It was my first experience to work remotely and access other computer for required resources,which I didn’t have.The voting for the same continues from 10th-20th July here.Thanks Abhishek,a huge treat awaits 😉

Screen shot of application on WebAnywhere Screen Reader, after hitting any of query buttons,press down arrow to reach the Routing information text to be read.

Screen shot of application on WebAnywhere Screen Reader,after hitting any of query buttons,press down arrow to reach the Routing information text to be read.

Application lies here and voting portal here.


The Mark Cuban Stimulus Plan !

In response to this from Mark Cuban ,here is my Synopsis of B-Plan in the form of a comment !!

Hi Mark,
Thanks for this cool and great opportunity !!
I am Rajan from India,a major in Computer Science (graduating May’09),with no problem in RE-LOCATION.Looking your rules remind me of a concept I thought about after Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai.



Meaning: Not literally,but yea the features added will make 911 Emergency Services useless.

Jobs:Will offer thousands of JOBS globally.

Revenue/Profits:I promise you,you won’t have to wait even 60 days after its launched.

Setup Time:Will take bit long,at least 6 months,to be operational city wise (Developing and Infrastructure setting up),once launched,it’s kind of one time investment apart from expansion and improvement.

Causes: REDUCING CRIME TO A GREAT GREAT EXTENT, HELPS PREVENTING TERRORISM, and HELPS CATCHING FUGITIVES AND CRIMINALS and at the same time, can be used for Entertainment purposes (for extra costs) and Ads Independent + Creating hundreds and thousands of jobs globally.

If you thing Youtube,911 Emergency Services etc as next big thing,,THIS COULD BE NEXT.
Now, whats the IDEA ? :
Ever wondered the possibilities of a cell phone, in the prevention of crime? Yes, many of you do. How? If someone attacks you, you dial emergency services (like 911) and ask for help, but then it might take like 15 to 30 seconds at times to report etc. What else? Take a very simple example, have you seen movie “Taken”? If not, please do see it .Let me brief it a bit – “a girl is taken, but at the same time, she reports every detail about the kidnapper to her dad who is an ex-Intelligence officer and on that basis the kidnapper is traced and girl is saved” ,it’s a movie and pretty fictional but the point is that girl was lucky enough to convey her message runtime without any delay to her dad and that saved her, had she depended on gun ( she could have harmed herself too ),had she depended on 911 (it could have taken long enough or she could never had a chance) .So, everything revolves around time latency/delay and the amount/form of information conveyed.
It will be a software,installed in one’s cell phone ( on subscription basis ),giving it the power to fight crime/protection ,backed up by a smart Infrastructure,which will help making this all, very much possible.
If AT&T and Verizon makes 10,it won’t make less than 6 after an year of launch globally.I foresee it ,that BIG !!
If the synopsis impressed you,please shoot me an email for details.Sorry for the brevity .Please let me know any doubt or further queries through email or comments here and I will be more than happy to discuss the same.

Thank you !! Thank you again for this cool thing here ..I am an OpenSource guy,having done online internship at One Laptop Per Child (OLPC – MIT Media Labs) .I have almost a DOZEN of IDEAS which are truly INNOVATIVE,Innovative to the extent that they face 0 competitors..All technology based..
p.s:If you intend for only US based ventures,I won’t have any problem moving/relocating post may’09 i.e after graduation.

Let United States of America be United post Elections ..

In the most fierce/close/important elections of U.S. history .. we are witnessing as if country is dividing into two groups RED-BLUE .And for the first time people are taking it personally ,never in the past were emotions so deep .
In my personal experience ,my Democrat friends often start arguing on various issues with preset mind of not getting convinced on IM or Email .. and they get so heat up that I have to respond “cool! cool!” ,I mean this election is kind of creating difference and two set of people with different views .The latest AOL Polls show the competition is really really close where McCain : Obama ratio = 43:44 ,that means with the win of one,a big big lot will be disappointed ,which is not good actually .But having a closer look at the same we see that 43+44=87 and 100-87=13 that means 13% of U.S. population hasn’t decided yet .. now 13% is a big big figure and can not be ignored and it consists of undecided/confused/independent voters + many citizens who have decided not to vote because they just trust Government and are fed up with the Politics .
Need of the hour is to convince them to vote at least ,their every vote is going to make the difference and increase the margin of ratio ,say of 13 even if 9-10% of people turn out to vote the ratio could be highly justified as some one winning with real majority.And this must happen ,else post election at least for sometime people will have sense of grievance against opposite party supporter .
And thats not done,apart from that ,to reduce the chances of any such circumstances everybody must be polite to everybody else .. try convincing a person/friend to the extent,that he/she is listening and discussing/debating (not arguing ).Because thats kind of bad,it will be kind of intrusion to his/her beliefs .
The thing is that right President will be chosen only when all people turn out to vote .Try taking care of not pushing your views on someone.Do it until he/she encourages the same and loves to participate in healthy discussion .Do not ever point out your friends etc as Democrats/Republicans especially not in front of them.Remember ,these are just parties might want to call them as liberals/conservatives of course .Because these are views ..These simple steps will help lessening the grievances post elections against opposite party supporter .
In this post,I wasn’t supporting McCain or Obama ,I just foresaw the situation after Nov4’08 and wanted to discuss with you people so that things continue to move as they are normally .
Hope it helps …

Reaching out to Voters ! – Some Tips ..

With less than 2 weeks left ,its very crucial for the campaign that maximum people turn up to vote .In 2006 11 million less people went to the polls and voted GOP than in 2002.In this historical election every single vote counts and atleast need is to bring these 11 million people out of their homes and convince them to vote .
The reason they did not vote was their grievances against government ,political scenario and they were totally confused .To prevent the same this year The John McCain campaign has launched Voter2Voter PHONE BANK System which encourages volunteers and every responsible citizen to call people using details and data mentioned in the website .. And try convincing undecided/independent people to vote for McCain ..Now,this is working .. but not as much as expected.Reason ? , Many don’t want to call strangers ,many won’t listen to them ,some are shy,some don’t want to waste phone minutes ..

But then to every problem lies a solution ,and I discovered very simple and effective solution to the same .. Which is, use your Facebook & MySpace friend lists as your database . Now,nothing much to do .. simply start browsing your friend’s profiles ( I know many of you might be having even more than 500+ friends on the same ) and check their Political Views on Facebook ( on MySpace,he/she might/might not have mentioned about the same but then you can guess the same from stickers etc thing .. also,one might not even mention the same on Facebook even) …Then for the people with Conservative / Republican views simply skip , because they are one who will be voting for sure for McCain.Also skip friends with very liberal/Democratic views(because they have made up their mind to vote for Obama).. Task is to look for friends who have mentioned nothing ( shows they are undecided/confused)..or who are not very liberal or Independents.Target them by looking their contact numbers and call them …and here comes your speaking and convincing skills ,convincing someone undecided/independent with an advantage that he/she being your friend … Now ,many of you might be having lots of Online friends too.. and according to me,calling them wont be a bad idea from any sense .Infact sometimes Online friends prove to be more helpful and you can sometimes even share your views which you can’t do with friends in real .. That’s a fact tested by me atleast .. 😉

If the person other side is convinced ,thats really a victory for you and you can for sure ask him/her to follow what you are doing .This will create friends2friends chain which is even better than voter2voter chain system,I guess .. will help target right people,save time and minutes of your phone.
Last but not the least,you’ll develop stronger bond with friends .. May be in process you find some old friend of yours whom you did not contacted for long .. !!!
And then,you can always E-mail your friends (try BCC them ),this will work much more effectively than CC.And if you start sending emails using “To”,it will take ages if your Address book is large !!
During the chat you can talk about importance of voting and that even a single vote matters,you can mention the real story from India,where due to single vote ..the Government was dissolved and this lead to re-elections ..You can talk lots on this .. comparing several policies etc .. No limit to it .. !
Hope it helped 🙂