Flickr – the best photo sharing site is now ready to talk in terms of latitudes and longitudes says the flickr blog! Thats right flickr now supports geo-tagging! That is absolutely awesome! What is geotagging? Wikipedia has a detailed answer. The interface is pretty sweet (all ajax enabled) and you can drag multiple photos onto a location on a map and it will automatically geo tag it for you. The map is Yahoo Maps based and the searching could use some help. But overall its a step in the right direction and I give it a big thumbs up.

Here’s a screenshot – GeoTagging in action:

That's right folks…let me introduce to you the latest ground breaking innovation from all the Phd's at Google – Google Spreadsheets! And yes you guessed it – it's in Beta (yup just like almost every other product they put out). If you have'nt figured it out yet – this is a browser based spreadsheet application. I am not sure what Google is thinking here..are they really thinking they can go up against Microsoft Excel & Office with this? Or maybe Don Dodge is right and they will only eat into the market-share of the freebie's out there like OpenOffice. Why do i think its useless? more on that later.

Well…when i need a spreadsheet application I need: Features, Responsiveness and ease of use. Sorry but the browser can't compete with the Win32 platform. I see blogger's going nuts about this and touting the fact that you can access your spreadsheet from anywhere. Well that's kinda cool..but you still have to save it locally to access it offline and the fact that I can access it from anywhere doesn't offset the fact that it is tremendously lacking in features. Take Outlook as an example – it has an excellent Web Interface [Exchange 2003 OWA] but if you look at the stats people will use the Win32 fat client whenever possible.

Also in the next few years hopefully my long time dream will come true: storage abstraction. I used to work for bigVAULT – an online storage company and there are many more that are emerging as part of the Web 2.0 wave, see here [via TechCrunch]. So the idea here is that one day I will just save my files to my storage device and it will make sure it goes to my online drive and all other places I want it to be replicated to. Maybe once bandwidth permits I will have only one central storage place – my online drive and it will be completely abstracted to the end user. I am particularly impressed by OmniDrive which allows:

the ability to read/write directly to the file with local applications like Office, on the remote server. This last feature speeds the process of writing to files significantly by skipping the requirement to download the file to the hard drive first

So Storage abstraction will pave the way to all kinds of cool apps. That's my theory. But Scoble on the other hand has a different one, check it out.

So why do I think its useless? When I am talking about useless, I am referring to how this is going to be useful in helping Google bring revenues in. I don't see that part of the picture yet. As of right now the only revenue stream Google has is Search, AdWords and maybe some from Gmail (which I like a lot). How is this app going to get them revenue?

I like google a lot, I use their products. When google gets ready to release a product I am expecting something innovative. Spreadsheets have been around for a long time…nothing innovative there….yet.

Disclaimer: I am a little emotional right now. Bottom Line: we did win an award [not 1st place] and I will post details/pictures about it soon.  For years I have believed that the best technology should always win. When I was in college i worked with the JDK 1.1 (Java Development Kit) and I loved it. I had worked with VB 3 and 4 before that and I thought that Java was going to rule. I couldnt have been more wrong. I wrote my “real”
business application in Java and realized the performace as a fat client was a far from real world! It simply didnt respond. I talked to some engineers at sun that I knew during college and told them give me a native interface to windows (something like ngen.exe)….they didnt listen. I knew the write once run anywhere …was worth nothing to me….95% of the world runs windows..so the run anywhere was meaningless, all i wanted
was run on windows! That was 7 years ago….today I realized that as good as the .net platform is and robust our technology all that didnt matter…all that the judges cared about were if we were JAVA!! I was handed a paper today with the recommendations from the judges at the Global Integration Summit and it said the following:

Too much dependency on Microsoft and no support for open source.

The last time I checked web services and SOA were platform independent! (this was an SOA
challenge) in which we smoked out competitors! But hold on a second aren’t the other vendors too dependent on Java/Sun!! I am not anti-java or sun, I admire the innovations that come from that side, but I dont understand why the other side is not able to do the same! Well enough of that….I guess people will be people and their bias will always get in the way! We did win an award at the Global Integration Summit….I am happy about that and I will post
some pictures when Gretchen gets them to me. The real question is how many of the vendors (of the showcase participants) have the kahunas to make their software available to the public to download and evaluate for themselves? The answer….

Stone Bond , AboveAll and BEA!
[see previous post on participants]

– Nikhil Roy

Update: It was ponted out correctly that AboveAll also offers downloads on theier website, I added them to the list.

We’re hitting the road today to head to Boston (we’re really flying!) and participate in the Global Integration Summit 2006. We will be participating in the Integration Showcase there which is going to be kind of like a face-off between multiple integration vendors!! Several of the big boys are showing up and I am super excited about participating. I think this is a great opportunity for Stone Bond to show off some of the features of Enterprise Enabler Server and have the attendees/judges compare it side by side with the other vendors and their capabilities, I blogged about the showcase procedures here. Some of the participants include: webMethods , BEA , Software AG, iWay and many more (see below).

Here is a excerpt from the GIS website:

So after looking at the participants to say the least this should be exciting. Will blog throughout the conference.

-Nikhil Roy