Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hybrid Taxis in Dubai

Dubai will soon launch Hybrid Taxis all over the emirates. RTA
had launched a fleet of 10 hybrid taxis as an experiment to assess their performance. If the experiment is successful the entire fleet of taxis will be replaced with hybrid vehicles.

The technology will help reduce pollution levels in Dubai. The vehicle would initially run on electricity and move onto diesel after 60km. This is an excellent move by the government to curb the growing pollution in the city. Now we can truly say that Dubai is going Green. My only concern is in a bid to provide clean environment, I hope post launch we have decent taxi fare prices. RTA should not justify a sudden increase in taxi fares due to high cost of maintaining these vehicles.

Dubai government has also brought 620 buses which consume pure diesel, thus reducing the emission levels.
To conclude this a remarkable initiative taken by the Dubai Government, which really proves that Dubai Cares.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cuil - The next Google

A group of ex Google and IBM employees has found a new search engine called Cuil (“Cool”). Founders include ex Google employees Anna Patterson, Russell Power, Louis Monier and as well as Tom Patterson, who worked on search and storage technologies for IBM.
The founders claim that this search engine is able to index almost every thing on the Internet unlike Google, which displays only popular pages. Till date the website has indexed 121,617,892,992 pages. Google claims that it indexes more pages than Cuil.

I have tried using the search engine and it is fairly easy to use, and displays various set of results categorically on the right hand side of the page.

The search engine understands the context of the page and the intentions behind the search, which still remains a challenge for Google. Another special feature of engine is that it displays all the results in thumbnail format. The site doesn’t retain any record of your search results unlike Google, which retains the search result records for at least 18 months.

The question remains if this search engine will be able to push Google from the search throne. In the past many contenders like Mahalo.com and Powerset.com (later purchased by Microsoft) were wiped out without a trace. Google still remains the market leader with almost 70% share.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Search Engine Wars – Google vs Microsoft

Recently, the search business has been highly contested amongst the online tycoons. I guess the online industry has realized that if you can dominate the search business, you can take over the Internet. Lately some of the initiatives taken by the search engine website include: -

¨ Latest News – Live Search powered by Microsoft will be integrated into Facebook by year's end, which is a smart deal to boost the results of the search engine.

¨ In May Microsoft launched a Live Search cash back program for US users, and in July it unveiled Secret Search, unique incentive based program exclusive for Australian Live Search users (http://search.ninemsn.com.au/)

¨ We are already aware of the unsuccessful takeover of Yahoo by Microsoft, due to intervention of Google, and resistance shown by the CEO of Yahoo.

¨ Google has already launched several versions of its search including blogsearch.google.com, scholar.search.com etc

¨ Yahoo has taken the initiative to launch BOSS

But the ultimate question remains will Microsoft be able to beat Google? Well, if Microsoft is trying to create a better search engine, then it never will be able to beat Google. I believe its all about product placement and differentiation. The word search is owned by Google in our minds and it is difficult to replace it.
Microsoft needs to come with a better offering probably say – the ultimate
Web 3.0 engine. It is like Microsoft beating IBM in the 80’s when no one even could imagine that the old giant could be shaken.

Once again Google is already taking steps to safeguard its interests by venturing into various other markets like Mobile, Blogs, and Social Media etc. But until how long will Google retain its no 1 position?

What search engine do you use?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blasts in Ahmedabad


This post is not part of the theme of this blog. I have just come to know that 13 serial blasts have taken place today in Ahmedabad, Gujrat. A stunning 13 bomb blasts have taken place in Bapu anagar, Maninagar, Isanpur, Narol Circle, Narodha Patiya, Hatkeshkar and Hakar areas in 15 minutes of Ahmedabad today. I have just spoken some of my friends/relatives who stay in Nava Vadej area and have confirmed that every thing is fine there. Most of the blasts have taken place in the main city area. India is on high alert including cities- Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Indore and many more. Please post any pics/vids or any other info pertaining to this event.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Car Pooling Launched in Dubai

A dedicated website (www.sharekni.ae) has been launched in by the Dubai government to register private car pooling services. The government expects to reduce traffic as commuters will be legally authorized to share a vehicle to reach their respective workplace. This initiative has been taken to curb illegal taxis, which have been a cheaper mode of transport. Khaleej Times has reported that RTA has received 1200 applications post launch of the website on 23 July 08. Out of the total applications received 300 have been activated. As per the RTA official this proves that there is a huge demand for carpooling.
I believe many commuters would like to share a vehicle while travelling to their offices, provided they are able to adjust the timings. Most of the commuters drive their own vehicle to have more flexibility. I would like to raise some points on this new initiative : -

1) Why does one have to register to commute in a friends/relatives vehicle?
2) Can the same car be registered by more than 4 people? C’mon it is not necessary that the same set of people travel everyday in the same car.
3) How does RTA plan to have a check on this? Don’t tell me they will keep checking each and individual car.
4) A registered member needs to renew his membership every 6 months. I can smell some cash outflow happening here
5) Why is RTA trying to restrict who will travel is which car? I believe all of are sensible enough not give ride to a stranger.
6) If you want to curb illegal taxis, just start a similar service where by commuters can share cost of the taxi.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Is Yahoo following the Open Source Path?

The chief strategist of Yahoo, Prabhakar Raghvan, has finally found the key to Yahoo’s independence. BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) is the name of Yahoo’s search tool package, which will allow users to create search engines to retrieve customized results on their own sites. A lot has been written about this package and the decision of Yahoo to avail this package to the public, to remain independent.

Is Yahoo going to become the next Linux, whereby there will many mini Yahoo engines emerging all over the web? Independent developers will be allowed to tweak the Yahoo search engine code and customize to their needs. We may soon get to hear search engine names like – Yehoo, Yohoo, Y etc.

Whatever the result might be, at least now Yahoo must seriously consider having a portal dedicated to the Middle East as ignoring this region would result in a lost opportunity.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yahoo's Online Potential

Recently I met the online sales director for Yahoo Middle East at a conference. Amidst the take over dialogue being once again in question, the obvious question asked to him was – What is the future of the company? He was obviously not able to comment as the negotiation between the various parties involved in the deal is still in process.
I was a bit surprised to find out that Yahoo does not have a portal dedicated to Middle East, unlike its rivals like MSN and Google. In the absence of a local portal Yahoo is not able to attract many companies having huge online ad budgets in the Gulf.

There are many UAE based property developers and Saudi base banks active on the portal.

According to me Yahoo Mail was one of the most attractive spaces to place your ads as one could reach its targeted segment. Placing an ad at the Yahoo main page was like driving unwanted traffic towards your website as it would be viewed by the global online users. I would be happy to hear any results that you may have gained post placing ads at Yahoo.

Last month Yahoo had agreed to allow display of Google’s Adsense for Search and Adsense for Content ads on Yahoo’s US and Canadian Web portal. This is an attempt by Jerry Yang to inject some liquidity in the company. Today’s headlines have once again raised a question about Yahoo’s strategy, as Microsoft has once again expressed interests in acquiring the company but at a discounted share price.

What will be the future of Yahoo remains a big question mark as clash of the titans may once again takes place.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin