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


Flickr Time

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Convexstyle has created a flash based Flickr watch application called Flickr Time. It dynamically displays time made out of flickr image pool with a tag specified by the user. Very good usage of the Flickr API. >>

C++ Inventor, Bjarne Stroustrup on Problems with Programming

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Bjarne Stroustrup, the inventor of the C++ programming language examines what's wrong with most software code. He explains, "Some software is actually pretty good by any standards. Think of the Mars Rovers, Google, and the Human Genome Project. That's quality software! Fifteen years ago, most people, and especially most experts, would have said each of those examples was impossible. On the other hand, looking at average pieces of code can make me cry. The structure is appalling, and the programmers clearly didn't think deeply about correctness, algorithms, data structures, or maintainability. Most people don't actually read code; they just see Internet Explorer or Windows freeze, have their cell phone drop a call, read the latest newspaper story about viruses, and they shudder". >>

Top 5 Characteristics of Real Developers !

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  • They suffer from a ceaseless desire to learn, as their value is in direct proportion to the knowledge they gain or accumulate.

  • They sets personal goals and targets and stays with a company only as long as these are met.

  • They work best when the work environment is more open and fun.

  • They expect frequent challenges and want to push the limits to tryout new innovative things.

  • They don’t like to work in environment that is restrictive and don’t thrive in command and control structures.
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My Similar Post:

10 Common Words Uttered by Programmers!

Google, Gets Covered by Popular Indian Tamil Magazine

Dinamani Katheeir, one of my native popular Indian Tamil magazine, has published [26/11/2006] a two-page article about Google, titled “Very Different Company, Distinctive Head!”. It is first of its kind, in a Tamil non-technical magazine about Google. It elaborately explains about Google history, Google Technologies, Page Ranking mechanism, it’s cool work environment and how Google is revolutionizing the Web and our life.

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[click to see the full size image]

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Such localized articles helps to know more about Google for the non-tech people and know how they can take advantage of using Google Technologies to enhance their life.


Very interesting write-up and enjoyed reading !

How to Succeed in 2007 ?, Google's Sergey Brin Answers !

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CNN has asked the top 50 brightest minds in business on how they do what they do and how we can cash in on their advice in the year ahead. The great list starts from Google's Sergey Brin. According to him, "Simplicity is an important trend we are focused on. We are focused on features, not products. Look at Apple, the success they have had, and what they are doing".

I feel Simplicity is one of the major factor of Google's success.

The list also includes Virgin Group's Richard Branson, Myspace's Chris DeWolfe, Starbucks's Howard Schultz and many other cool big heads. Checked out what they have for us. >>

9 out of 10 E-Mails Now are Spam !

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According to a CNN report, the number of spam messages has tripled since June and now accounts for as many as nine out of 10 e-mails sent worldwide. As Christmas approaches, the daily trawl through inboxes clogged with fake offers. It reports that the United States, China and Poland are the top sources of spam. Spam costs firms up to $1,000 a year per employee in lost productivity and higher computing bills. >>

SpaceNavigator : 3D Navigational Device

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3D Connexion an Logitech subsidiary introduces 3 dimensional navigation device called SpaceNavigator. It plugs into a USB port, using six optical sensors, the 3D navigator is not a replacement for a mouse, but intended for use in the mousefree hand. It was developed in conjunction with Google technologies like Google Earth, Google SketchUp, as well as with other popular 3D design applications. SpaceNavigator gives people the ability to move naturally and fluidly in 3D environments without making repetitive mouse movements or having to type multiple keyboard commands. >>

Hug Shirt : Shirts which Hugs !

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The Hug Shirt is a shirt which allows us to exchange the physical sensation of being hugged over distance. It is embedded with sensors that feel the strength of the touch and emotion of the hug to the shirt of the distant loved one. They are not meant to replace human contact, but to make us happy if we are away for business or other reasons and we miss our friends and loved ones. Hug Shirt has been nominated as one of the best Inventions of 2006 by Time Magazine. >>

Is Smart Home, Safe Home ?

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Our sweet home is gradually becoming, smart home. Our family group is becoming the family network, computers and appliances and services are shared and distributed through the house. People know to lock their doors and close the blinds, but most, security experts agree, that we haven’t developed the same habits in the rapidly expanding digital world. International electronic prowlers looking for information about people’s identities and finances. >>

Just 10 Minute Email !

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The 10 Minute Mail is a service which gives us a temporary e-mail address. Any e-mails sent to that address will show up automatically on the web page. We can read them, click on links, and even reply to them. The e-mail address will expire just after 10 minutes. This is a great help to sign up for a site which requires us to provide e-mail address to send a validation e-mail and when we don't want to give our real email ids. >>

BTW, Email has just turned 35, IT programmer Ray Tomlinson sent the first message in late 1971. After 35 years, Email is still the most important medium of communication, we can't live without it! >>

Get FeedBurner Stickers for FREE !

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As we know, FeedBurner is the most popular feed management provider and offers custom RSS feeds and management tools to our blogs.

Now FeedBurner gives us FeedBurner stickers for absolutely free. To get it just send them a self-addressed stamped envelope and if you want to include a note feel free to send them along with it.

To claim our FeedBurner sticker, just send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the following address:

FeedBurner
Attn: I Want A Sticker
549 W. Randolph, 6th Floor
Chicago, IL USA 60661-2208

Designing a Java API By Joshua Bloch : Video

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Joshua Bloch is a Principal Engineer at Google. He led the design and implementation of numerous Java platform features, including the Java Collections Framework. He is the author of the famous book Effective Java. Checkout his amazing video presentation at Javapolis on how to designing a good API. >>

Symantec Releases Norton 360 Beta

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Symantec releases Norton 360 public beta package, which combines software to protect against viruses, spyware and authenticates popular shopping and banking web sites fraud, as well as automatically back up important files to a secure online service, removes unwanted Internet clutter and temporary files that can slow down our PC's performance. The final version is scheduled to be available by March 2007. >>

Adobe Kuler

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Adobe Kuler is a flash based online community based around the use of color. Through this community, we can share our own use of color with others. The user interface is pretty simple and cool, allows us to quickly choose a variety of rules such as analogous, monochromatic, complementary, etc. Kuler can be used to find the perfect set of colors to use for any of our project. We can view HSV, RGB, CMYK, LAB, and HEX values of our colors, and best of all, we can click one button to export our colors as an Adobe Swatch Exchange [.ASE] file, which we can import directly into Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign. It requires Flash 9 player. Colorful handy tool for Web designers. >>

nUbuntu : for the security aware

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nUbuntu a new Ubuntu based distribution which add packages related to security testing, and remove unneeded packages, such as Gnome, Openoffice.org, and Evolution [I don't how they say Openoffice as unneeded package]. nUbuntu now released for x86 version, built on Ubuntu 'Edgy Eft 6.10. >>

ThinkingRock : Processing Our Thoughts

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Thinking Rock is a free software application which allows us to collect our thoughts and process them into actions, projects, information or future possibilities. It is based on the book Getting Things Done. Thinking Rock helps us to clear our mind so that we can become more proactive and concentrate on what is important to us. Actions can be done by us, delegated to someone else or scheduled for a particular date. A great Visual planner. >>

Mobile Augmented Reality Applications [MARA] : Identifying Physical Objects by Mobile

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Nokia researchers are working on a futuristic system called Mobile Augmented Reality Applications [MARA] which allows physical objects to be identified and connected to the Internet through our mobile phone screens. The technology helps to identify restaurants, hotels, and landmarks and provide Web links and basic information about these objects on the phone's screen. The MARA prototype application uses accelerometers in all three axes to determine orientation, a tilt compensated compass for heading, and GPS for positioning. >>

Next-Generation Computing !

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Tomorrow’s PCs will be required to fit in with the decor of every room of the house and be accessible from anywhere by anyone, location may be the mantra for Next-Generation Computing. Checkout the prototypes of the most innovative future home computers we are going to looking forward. >>

Mobilicio.us : Mobile Bookmarking

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Mobilicio.us is a mobile mashup which combines the del.icio.us bookmarking services with Google Mobile. This allows us to browse through mobilized versions of our bookmarks from our phone browser. It also prevents us from having to enter long URLs into the Google Mobile search in order to mobilize a site. >>

Chat Live with Steve Wozniak !

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Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, inventor of the Apple I and II computers, will be online on Tuesday 21 November at 2 p.m. ET to answer all our questions. Even if you can't make the live chat, we can submit our questions and comments in advance to him, so that all our questions will be answered. A very good opportunity for all Mac lovers. >>

My Visit to India Information Security Summit, 2006, Chennai India

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The Confederation of Indian Industry [CII] along with Microsoft conducted the first India Information Security Summit, 2006 in Chennai last week. It focused on the security challenges being faced by the industry and in particularly to the IT professionals.

In the beginning I thought the summit would be like just another Microsoft summit, but the Microsoft Evangelists, Vignesh Doraiswamy and Kevin D'Souza talked lots about security vulnerabilities, Hacker Proofing our Applications, Thread Modeling, SQL Injection, XSS, Cryptography and security concepts in general. Thankfully, the tracks talked less about Microsoft technologies and they don't even talked about the security issues we have in Windows or IE :). To be frank, both the speaker did a good job!

At this moment, I would like to thank my friend S Suresh

Here are some of the snaps from the sessions:

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Kevin D'Souza, Microsoft Evangelists

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Vignesh Doraiswamy, Microsoft Evangelists

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India Information Security Summit, 2006 sessions is also been planned at other cities:

Hyderabad - 21st Nov, New Delhi - 24th Nov, Banglore - 14th Dec

For Invitation and registration contact: iiss2006@erfolgcs.com

If you are an IT professional interested into Security Systems, it's just for you.

Maemo : Development Platform for Linux Handhelds

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Maemo is an open source development platform for Linux-based handhelds, such as Internet Tablets like Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. The platform gives developers an easy to use development environment and a end user optimized interface customized for handhelds. Maemo adapts components to the handheld environment and contributes new technologies like easy tools for non-x86 development, Hildon user interface framework, and some useful applications for Hildon. >>

Hello Yahoo!, Simple Features or Changes I need in Flickr and Del.icio.us !!

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Hello Yahoo!,

I am one of the regular user and lover of Flickr and Del.icio.us services. Whenever I am working of these web applications, I used to feel the need of some simple changes in them.

The features or changes, I am going to list out here are nothing new and we have already seen them in most of the web applications. These changes to Flickr and Del.icio.us will definitely enhance the usability of these web services.

Lets look into Flickr First

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When finding a Photo, I would like to have the “TagSuggest” Feature, which lists down the tags related to the search term currently I am typing.

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In the main Flickr page there are two-search options are provided in the top of the page, one in the top right [1] and one in the top center after the main menu [2].


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When I scroll down to the page end, I don’t have any search option. Each time I have to scroll to top of the page for searching.

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I think the Search option has to be provided also in the page down too, as shown below so that I don’t have to scroll up each time for doing new search.

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When I select a picture and clicked on the option “All Sizes” for getting different sizes of the particular picture.

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I am taken to the different available photo size page; I am missing some of the most important features in the page.




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[click to see the full size image]




The top Main menu [1] is missing, due to that I can’t come to home directly from this page.

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The Search option [2] is missing, so I can’t perform new search from this page.

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I find no option to Sign out [3] Flickr from this page; to sign out I have to return back to the previous page.


The only way to do get all this functions explained above is, we have to return back to the previous page, clicking on the “Back to the Flickr Photo Page” option.

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Finally the Flickr logo [4] too is missing in this page.

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I could understand the Flickr logo image is not used in this page, for the faster download of the different size of the pictures, but other options like the “Top Main menu”, “Search” and “Sign out” must be included in all pages.


When I want to delete more than one photo at a time, I don’t have an option for this. I can select only one photo at a time to delete them; suppose I want to delete more than 30 photos, will I have to select each photo individually to delete?. I think it is very long process, instead I need option for multi selection checkbox to select and delete multiple images in a single click.

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Flickr works GREAT in its core functionalities like to store, search, sort, and share photos wonderfully. Flickr has came out of beta, now it’s in gamma ;) so I expect more advance Image editing features like:


Resizing photos, not the default fixed sizes provided by Flickr. I want to resize the image to the size I want.

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Option to blur, sharpen, straighten the image

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Color effects like Grayscale, Sepia, Invert, Red, Green, and Blue

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Some other special effects like

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I could find all the features are available in http://pixer.us, Flickr please give us such great features or better acquire them simple :).


I want Flickr not just as a Photo storing, tagging and sharing application, but as a powerful Full-fledged Image Management Web Application.


Next, I just move on direct to Del.icio.us for few things

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In the Del.icio.us home page, just next and right to the “hotlist” header the link option “see also: popular recent” is not notable in a single instance. I think the font size of this links has to be increased or needs to have some light gray background to make this links notable even in single look. It need some change as shown below.

The normal link background

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Needs to be changed to light gray to increase its notability.

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Next, the Login process seems to be taking quite some time, I think the login form can be placed in the home page itself. When I click on the login [1] link on the top of the page, I want the login form to be loaded in the “Tags” block [2] area as show below.

When clicking the “login” link [1]

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The login form can be loaded in the “Tags” [2] block area as shown below

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I could understand, currently when we login we are taken to the “htts:// ” secure page, What I ask is why not the secure login is loaded in the same page without reloading and you know very well what technology you have to use for this process :).

Currently, each time when I am logging in I have to move to 2 pages before I actually logged in as shown below:

Login page [page 1]

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Login successful, redirects to the logged in user [page 2]


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- !End -


All the features or changes, I have discussed above seems to be very simple, but they are valid and It will definitely enhance the usability of these applications more.

Although I have more and more such suggestions in mind, I am ending this post for now.

Do drop in your comments when you have time.

Thanks Yahoo!! :).

--
Balakumar Muthu



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My Similar Posts:

http://i5bala.blogspot.com/2006/07/highly-confusing-invalid-error-message.html

http://i5bala.blogspot.com/2006/06/design-and-usability-issueserrors-in.html