வணக்கம் / はじめまして / Hello. I am Balakumar Muthu

I am an International Award-winning Entrepreneur, Technologist, received Asia Innovation Award from SingTel, Singapore, Full-stack Designer & Developer building Websites for more than 17+ years, Software Consultant for Japanese Companies, Creative DIY Hacker and a Geek based in Asia. Currently working towards the great mission to make the world a better place to work.

/ Awards, Recognition



Awarded the "Asia's Top 50 Innovation Award” (winner lists) from SingTel, Singapore, Winner of "Red Herring Asia Award" (finalists) for Technology Innovation.

Selected at Google India - Interview as one of the Top 5 Finalist out of 16,000 + people. Created Google Kids – a search engine for kids prototype for demonstrating during my Google India Interview.

First Prize Winner of "Java Master Contest", conducted by Sun Microsystems and BenQ Siemens Germany. Sun Microsystems Duke's Choice Awards” - *** "Hello World(s)!" From Code to Culture: A 10 Year Celebration of Java Technology ***, Book. Sun Microsystems appreciation for testing early versions of Java Platform.

TEDx Fellow and Mentor for NurtureTalent Startup Boot Camp at IIT Madras.

Some of my previous Web products (View 1, View 2) have received a great response from China and Japan. Also ranked as world’s top 50 hosted blogging platform by Alexa.com.

Early contributed member of World Wide Web Consortium (W3.org), W3C HTML 5 Working Group and Internet Society (ISOC) India Chapter.

/ Expertise

I specializes in most aspects of Web business, including strategy, creative, design, development and it's growth. My expertise and interest includes Front-end development, UI/UX Design, Branding, E-commerce, IoT, Software as a service (SaaS), Cloud Computing, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Big Data, Singularity, AI, User Onboarding, Typography, Developing Social Networking Platforms (SNS), Product Prototyping, SEO and Linux & Open Source Technologies.

/ Interests

I enjoy travel / adventure, photography, rock climbing, simple things — nature, reading. I love Japanese culture, trying different flavor of tea, Zen philosophy, making mistakes & learning from them, DIY hacks, and a die-hard fan of JDrama, Western movies and Comics.

/ Featured at



Me and My works has been featured at ZDNet Asia, Economic Times, Yahoo! Japan, MSN Japan, 100shiki.com, Infoseek, Japan.Internet.com, Livedoor.com, Sina.com, Yangtse.com, Idoican.com, shm.com.cn[pdf] and many other popular Asian publishers. Java.net published my Java Duke Holiday Pictures from 1000's of submission.

/ Writings & Contributions

My blog is Listed as 'Favorite Blog lists at Sun Microsystems' Web Blog in 2005. Blogging since 2002 and listed as the 'Top 10 Tech blogger' by 'Blog Street India' and rated as the 'Top 50 Tech Blogger' by 'Blogs Top List' in 2005 – 2007. My blog posts have also been featured at Google Blogoscoped.com, Netscape.com, Java.net, Webpronews, Planet Mozilla, Linux Toy and few other popular blogs. Made my own blogging site at Yahoo! Geocities as geocities.com/i5bala (screenshots) in early 2002.

Published Usability report on Yahoo! Flickr, MSN Hotmail and Rediff.com.

Wikipedian, contributed for more than 100's of Wikipedia pages in various topics in Computer/Internet Technology category. Contributing writer of DeveloperIQ Magazine on the latest Web Technologies.

Co-organizer of Mozilla Firefox Party India, for the most early release of Firefox 2 and the IdeaCamp Pune. Regular to Tech meetups from BarCamp, BlogCamp, WikiCamp Unconferences to Sun TechDays, BEA Dev2Dev Days, Oracle Developer Forum, Google Developer Days and many other tech conferences. Attended Sessions with David Axmark, CoFounder & VP of MySQL and with Richard Stallman [RMS], GNU Founder Lectures.

Designer of DevCamp India Unconference Official event brand and WikiCamp conference India event brand, participated by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.

Being a big supporter of Linux - Ubuntu & Open source movement, organized the "Ubuntu Dapper Drake T-Shirts Contest" to create more awareness and interest for the early versions of Ubuntu Linux.

/ Contact

Personally, you won’t find me on Facebook. To stay in touch or Want to work together? You can text me at: balakumar.muthu@gmail.com



  •           Self-made man

    Self- made man, the statue I greatly admire and the principle I strongly believe. "... left to his own devices, man will use his god-given talents to be creative, productive, and prosperous. Using free will, he will better his own situation and that of those around him, thereby influencing in a positive way his own destiny..."

  •           My Guru Swami 

Vivekananda

    "... get up, and set your shoulder to the wheel-how long is this life for? as you have come into this world, leave some mark behind. otherwise where is the difference between you and the trees and stones? - they too come into existence, decay and die..."
    - Swami Vivekananda


Sun Planned to Open-Source JAVA with in Months !!

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Sun has announced to Open-Source Java in months away from releasing its trademark Java programming language under an open-source license. This move will increase more JAVA based technologies to evolve and strengthen the Java community base. >>

My Article Published in this Month DeveloperIQ Magazine !! :)

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My Article on "Getting Started with Creating our own Eclipse Plug-in" was Published in this Month [June 2006] edition of "DeveloperIQ" . It's really great feeling, to share what we know with others :).

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Chennai Bloggers Meet 2006

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Last week, we had Chennai Bloggers Meet at Ascendas ePark - Food Court. I could see good turn out then last year and more girls too. Some of the most interesting people who turned up are Kiruba, Kausik, Sheky, Baggy, Sharique, Nushi, Rama, Sagaro, Vinayak, Rekha, Rahul, Sandhya, Varun, Kartik Kannan, Raghu, Katheeja, Hamsini, Aishwarya, Varsha, Suraksha, Sarani, Nina, TK, Jammy. Hope I have named everyone ;).

CNET's Top 10 Google Applications !!

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CNET lists the top 10 Google Applications, they are listed based on their usage and functionality. Some of these applications integrate seamlessly with each other, while others stand alone. >>

Maxthon Browser Rocks China !!

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Maxthon a free browser made by a Beijing company, has attracted millions of users in China for functionality that can funnel traffic through a Web proxy and circumvent government controls on information in search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Baidu.com and other popular sites or Internet service providers in that country. Now, the browser has caught on in Europe, their are about 60 million people have downloaded the browser since its launch. >>

Interesting Mac Utilities Software Websites !!

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Here is the list of some interesting websites to download Mac - based Utilities.

http://www.freemacware.com

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/internet_utilities/

http://www.macupdate.com/

http://www.applelinks.com/

http://www.macshare.com/

http://mac.sofotex.com/Mac_Utilities/Compression/

http://www.macoszone.com/

http://www.macosarchives.com/

http://www.blackcatsystems.com/

http://www.yazsoft.com/

http://www.mac-heaven.com/game.html

http://www.ausmac.net/

http://www.yenco.com/

http://www.softobe.com

http://www.chaoticsoftware.com

http://www.darkeagle.com

http://www.goingware.com/freesoftware.html

BusinessWeek's Info Tech 100

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BusinessWeek Info Tech 100 lists the top 100 IT companies of the year. Apple comes in No. 4, Bharti Airtel is in No. 10 only indian company in top 10 position, even Motorola is in 11 position and Google takes 13 th position, I think they must be in the top 10 position. Microsoft in 37 th position. >>

Virtual 3D Football Replay !!

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Virtual Replay allow us to reply all major goals of the current FIFA World Cup 2006 in 3D Mode. We can select different animation speeds in slow motion and allows users to explore the dynamic scenes from different camera angles. Do watch it and feel the moment!! >>

Design and Usability Issues/Errors in Rediffmail.com !!

Last week, I created a new Mail account for one my personal use in Rediff.com’s Rediffmail.com. It is one of the most popular Mailing service used by most Indians all over the world since 1996. While I am browsing the site, I could see some of the basic Design and Usability Issues in Rediffmail. Here I am listing some of them:

In the Home page of ‘Rediff.com’, the header Icons on the top, can be used the web space more effectively. The blank space on the left [1] and right [2] side, seems to be bit odd to the user and they could be used to showcase other Rediff’s services like Rediff Bol, Rediff Blogs, Rediff Photos, etc, like we have in Yahoo! Mail.



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[click to see the full size image]


When I am getting started with Rediffmail, to create a new account, the registration form seems to be breaking the order. In the ‘Password Reminder Information’, I could see the field like Country, City and in ‘Tell us about yourself’ section we have State and PinCode fields. They must have them grouped in ‘Tell us about yourself’ section. There no specification to the user, which is optional or mandatory field, by providing a ‘*’ near the mandatory fields. I ignored the Occupation filed thinking that would be an optional field, but that is mandatory field, I could know only when I submitted the form.



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Copyright message in the footer, still with copyright to 2004. This is not a big issue but still it has to be changed.



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Next, I started with composing a mail and tried with attaching some files. When I finished attaching the files, I couldn’t find the ‘Done’ button. Look I have attached only 3 files, but there are 4 files in the list. Look at the first one item in the list ‘List of attached file(s)’; actually it is label to the list, which has to be shown as label not inside the List item itself, but outside the item list. It confuses the user; I can even able to select that first item too!!




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The Done button is just hiding; I have to scroll to the right to get the ‘Done’ button. New users obviously must find it difficult; have to search for the all the buttons. More over they also prevented the maximizing the page.



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After I have attached 3 files and returned back to mail composer, I could see only one file. The attached files can be displayed in listed order to see all the attached files.



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Distracting user mostly with frequent popup like this, this popup is of no much use as most of the browsers have popup blockers, which promptly stops them.



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[click to see the full size image]

In the ‘My Settings’ page, the ‘Personal Information’ and ‘Manage your Mail’ strips color pattern at first looks like Google Adsense ads. I think the color pattern has to be changed to merge with the theme.

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[click to see the full size image]


When I landed on the Customer Care page, it has two buttons in bottom of the page with two different colors; one button is in pink color and other looks like a normal button, I couldn’t understand what they convey to the user. Once again look at the Copyright still in 2003.

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[click to see the full size image]


When I moved to Upgrade Rediffmail page, I could see two copyright messages in the footer, with copyright to 2004. I think they have to upgrade the year first and remove the extra footer next.



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These are some of the issues, I could see very well in just a single instance of my analysis of the website. They just seems to be very simple, but they really matter to maintain the standard and quality of a website and could obviously reduce the sites reliability. I feel Rediffmail, has to improve their user experience, especially by improving their User Interface and expect their services to continue great like now, until then they can’t compete with other major players. Hope Rediff hear me ...

--
Balakumar Muthu

Update: I have sent this post to Rediff.com's Customer care and to the CEO of Rediff. Although I haven't received any official information from them, I could find the changes I have pointed out especially their Home page.

Yahoo! Releases Yahoo! Messenger SDK

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Yahoo! Releases Yahoo! Messenger SDK, a JavaScript and C++ API that we can use to create add-ons with collaborative features that can run inside Yahoo! Messenger. Plug-ins run in the main Messenger window, or as part of an IM conversation. Plug-ins can be as an HTML web page, or as sophisticated as a map collaboration tool that uses ActiveX, Flash, DHTML, AJAX or any other browser-based technology. >>

Some Interesting PC Gaming Mod WebSites !!

PC Gaming Mod or Modification adds extra dimension of replayability and interest. Here is collection of some Interesting Computer Gaming Mod sites, every Gamer must checkout and have fun!

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http://pcgamemods.com/

http://www.gamesmodding.com/

http://www.moddb.com/

http://www.fileplanet.com/174/90004/section/mods

http://www.curse-gaming.com/en/searchwow-5588.html

http://mods.beyondunreal.com/

http://www.planetunreal.com/hosted/mods.shtml

http://www.rpg-mods.com/

http://www.twitchguru.com/2003/05/17/cheating/index.html

http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Category:HL2_Third_Party_Mods

http://www.game-mods.com/

Top Cool 10 Vacation Gadgets !!

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CNet has listed the top Top 10 Vacation Gadgets to stay connected with our entertainment. Really cool collection of gadgets to be checkedout and how many of you own ? >>

Plusmo : Web on the Phone!

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Plusmo a free mobile web content pre-fetcher app for Java enabled Mobile. It can grab news feeds, traffic reports, photo albums, and blogs. Browsing the web on a phone is slow... Plusmo channels content from web sites in advance, so you can read it instantly anytime and Mobilize our Blog. We can locate the nearest Starbucks, find cheap gas nearby, read our friend's MySpace blog, read movie reviews, check out neat photos, download popular blogs like Engadget, or keep track of the top iTunes hits all from our cell phone or PDA. >>

Wireless Security/ Hacking Tools !!

To fight the threats to our Wireless Network, there are few software tools we should keep handy. Following Wireless security tools are provided as Educative and for Administrative purpose to check the network vulnerability. Normal users please handle with care.


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WiFiScanner, a passive 802.11b scanner. It can dump traffic in realtime (like tcpdump) and we can change interactively the sniffed channel. Work with Cisco, Prism, Prism54g, Lucent, Orinoco, Centrino and Atheros card

http://sourceforge.net/projects/wifiscanner

Black Alchemy's Fake AP generates thousands of counterfeit 802.11b access points. Hide in plain sight amongst Fake AP's cacophony of beacon frames. As part of a honeypot or as an instrument of your site security plan, Fake AP confuses Wardrivers, NetStumblers, Script Kiddies, and other undesirables.

http://www.blackalchemy.to/project/fakeap/

AirSnort is a wireless LAN (WLAN) tool which cracks encryption keys on 802.11b WEP networks. AirSnort operates by passively monitoring transmissions, computing the encryption key when enough packets have been gathered.

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=33358

Kismet, default wireless network administration tool, works with 802.11a/b/g that supports raw packets monitoring mode, can be used as Intrusion Detection System [IDS].

http://www.kismetwireless.net/index.shtml

MiniStumbler, from NetStumbler used on devices running on devices running PocketPC 3 and PocketPC 2002 OS.

http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/

Trifinite, download collection of Bluetooth, J2ME, RFID security tools and wireless security whitepapers.

http://trifinite.org/trifinite_downloads.html

David Beckham, becomes Motorola's Brand Ambassador!!

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Motorola has announced the signing with the hottest property in football David Beckham as a global brand ambassador. The three-year collaboration with David Beckham will kick-off with major activities across Asia including advertising appearances and extensive retail promotions rolled out across the network of Motorola stores and distributors throughout the region. Beckham will commence his brand ambassador role with immediate effect and will be seen exclusively carrying Motorola products during the upcoming World Cup campaign. >>

GiveFirefox : Gift Firefox to Some one you love !!

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Give Firefox, provides a great way to send a better, safer internet experience to the not-so-tech-savvy friends we care. The gift is in the form of an eCard that we can personalize with our own message. When the recipient clicks "Get Firefox," they will be taken to an easy-to-understand download page that explains in simple terms what is Firefox and why it's beneficial and We can be send to multiple friends with picture. >>

Google's Picasa Web Albums

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Google's Picasa now extends to Web Albums which allows us to post and share our photos quickly and easily on the web. We can store and share approximately 1000 photos and can be automatically resized and optimized. Google is giving away the Invitation, so hurry... >>

Some Interesting Linux WebSites !!

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Checkout this some interesting useful less known webSites about Linux:

Alphabetical Directory of Linux Commands with brief information, from O'Reilly.

http://linuxdevcenter.com/linux/cmd

A Great collection Technicial database about different distribution of Linux, from RedHat, Fefora, SuSE, and FreeBSD Documentation.

http://elibrary.fultus.com/technical/index.jsp

Linux Art and Design Resources

http://linuxartist.org

Google Search specific to Linux Technology

http://google.com/linux

Source of Linux related Security issues

http://www.linuxsecurity.com/

Linux Based Games and Codes

http://linuxgames.com

A active Linux Community to answer our questions

http://linuxquestions.org/

Collection of Linux based links for various platforms

http://linuxlinks.com/

Google Browser Sync

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Google Browser Sync is an Firefox extension that continuously synchronizes our browser settings including bookmarks, history, persistent cookies, and saved passwords across our computers. It also allows us to restore open tabs and windows across different machines and browser sessions. >>

Google Spreadsheets

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Google Spreadsheets, allows us to create basic spreadsheets from scratch. We can start from scratch and do all the basics, including changing the number format, sorting by columns, and adding formulas, upload our spreadsheet files, upload spreadsheets or worksheets from CSV or XLS format and lots more... think Google is taking the whole desktop application to the web ... >>

How to Deploy Windows Software on Sun Ray

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Check out this interesting post on How to Deploy Windows Software on Sun Ray by Paul Murphy from zdnet. He explains different ways to provide access to Windows applications on Sun Ray smart displays. >>

Apple Cancels Off-shore Support in India !

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Apple has canceled its plans for its offshore tech support in India. Times of India reports that Apple has laid off all 30 employees it had hired for its subsidiary, Apple Services India Pvt Ltd. in April of this year. However, it will continue to operate its sales and marketing arm in Bangalore which employs 25 people. The specific reasons for the pullout were unkwnon, Apple had planned a two-phase 300,000 square-foot tech support center with as many as 1,500 workers by the end of this year and a total of 3,000 employees by the end of 2007 in the new Bangalore facility. Excepting it very soon. >>

VeriSign Personal Identity Provider (PIP) Free Account !!

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VeriSign's Personal Identity Provider (PIP) is an identity service designed to provide a “home base” for users who want use OpenID applications. Users who register with the VeriSign PIP get an OpenID a URL they can use to login and authenticate at sites that accept OpenID. In addition, the VeriSign PIP lets us to store profile information, and control how, when and with whom that information can be shared. When we register at the VeriSign PIP, our user name is used to generate a unique URL for our profile. For example, if we are reading a blog at LiveJournal.com, and want to leave a comment, we can go register for an account at LiveJournal, or just use your OpenID. Enter your OpenID URL, and the LiveJournal will authenticate us with the VeriSign PIP. All this is for free...>>

Yahoo! Video Released !!

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Yahoo! recently launched it's Yahoo! Video, which allow user to create videos on the site like YouTube. File size limit is set to 100 MB. Videos can be set to public or private, and viewers can search and sort videos by popularity, category, tags and can be rated by the viewers. >>

Yahoo CEO also to be Paid $1 Salary !!

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Yahoo's Chief Executive Terry Semel, the highest compensated executive in the Bay Area last year at more than $56.8 million, will receive an annual salary of $1 through 2008. Seems he too is joining with Steve Jobs. >>

Top 10 Strangest Custom Gaming Consoles !

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Check out this interesting, set of strangest custom gaming consoles... really great and looks cool collection of Gaming consoles ... >>

Meez : Creating Our 3D Avatar !

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Meez allows us to create and share a personalized 3D avatar in minutes, Built on Java technology, Meez enables us to easily create animated character that expresses our interests and passions. Choose from a huge selection of clothes, accessories, tattoos, piercings and animations to customize our Meez avatar. We can personalize our Meez to look like we do in real life. >>

BenQ-Siemens Q-fi EF71 Music Phone

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BenQ-Siemens Q-fi EF71 is one of the first mobile phones within BenQ-Siemens Q-fi range of music-focused devices. Q-fi products feature easy-to-use music entertainment with easy access to music functions and a plug and play, all-in-one solution for mobile music lovers. The music player of the Q-fi EF71 supports all current formats like MP3, AAC and WMA. Integrated 2.0 megapixel camera with 9x linear zoom and camcorder function lets you capture exciting moments spontaneously as photos or video. The Q-fi EF71 can even double as a webcam if connected with a computer via a USB cable. Expected to release in July 2006. >>

SUSE Linux Resources List

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Scott M. MorrisRate has made a list of excellent resources for SUSE Linux users, whether new or seasoned. It is a list of wikis, mailing lists, news sites, forums, and other types of places to go for information on SUSE Linux. Good reference list comes in handy for all Linux users. >>

Advanced Installer for Java !!

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Advanced Installer is a Windows Installer for Java applications, integrating them fully into the Windows OS and making them look and feel just like a native application. It's really cool and easy to getting started with your Installer for Java for Windows applications... although my all time favourite is InstallAnywhere...>>