amitvaria

World Hunger Idea - Fortified Cloud Machine

Monday February 11, 2013

One night while sharing a drink with a friend, I was talking about this video I saw earlier in the day.

Then this idea entered my head:

Create a cloud making machine that is fortified with nutritional value and send it to rain over deprived areas.

Adapting to working remotely

Thursday January 31, 2013

I was reading this article on Hacker News today about working remotely. Eric’s argument is that in the year 2013 companies should be allowing employees to work remotely and recruiters are missing out on good developers when dismissing candidates who want to work remotely.

I believe companies will start accepting these applicants in the near future, once they adapt their culture to handle remote workers better and figure out a proper way to hire candidate that can work remotely.

Companies have spent a significant amount of money making the office the place to be. Why would ever want to leave? Lunches, dinners, hair cuts, car washes, doctors, and more! All that money went into getting people into the office and loving it. With you if the office all day you have interesting hallway conversations that can catch problems before they happen. You can meet new people and collaborate between teams that no one has done yet.

All that can happen when working remotely too, but not many people have worked on figuring out that problem yet. So there’s risk there and companies are going to avoid that risk. But research will happen and HR departments will come out with best practices, perks, and programs to make remote working as productive if that’s what needed to retain/get the best talent.

Also, Not all remote workers are equal. We’ve heard the story – “I worked with this guy remotely and it was HORRIBLE. I could never get a hold of him!” Working remotely is a skill. In a world where HR departments focused on productivity in the office, how does a company know what to look for from a candidate working outside the office? Some companies got it figured out and are doing great. Other companies are lucky that their employees fit the ideal remote worker model. Until it becomes easier to spot employees with good remote working skills, I don’t see larger companies changing their policies.

Companies will adapt to the needs of their strongest assets, but not without a little fight.

Battle of the Living Room (Roku vs. Google TV vs. Xbox 360)

Sunday January 27, 2013

Roku

  • Good
    • Setup was pretty straightforward
    • Collection of channels available are plentiful
    • Android app is an effective remote replacement
  • Bad
    • No Youtube Channel

Google TV

  • Good
    • Integration with Live TV
    • Primetime provides spot on recommendations
    • Primetime lets you search across Live TV, Netflix, and Amazon VOD
    • Integrated browser
  • Bad
    • It feels sluggish at times
    • Button overload! The mobile app and physical remote has way too many buttons
    • The marketplace of apps is pretty limited and most apps that are available aren’t useful to me

Xbox 360 w/ Kinect

  • Good
    • Android app blows everyone else out of the water
    • Kinect integration (voice + gestures) is another great input
  • Bad
    • The price point is the highest (I imagine due to the fact that the device is also a gaming machine)

Conclusion
At the end of the day I’m caught between the Google TV and Xbox 360. I love the integration with live tv and recommendations I get from the Google TV, but the overall experience and mobile app for the Xbox 360 make it difficult to pass up. I can’t declare a preference here, but 2013 is bound to introduce advances in both platforms.

Netflix introduces autoplay for the web browser

Thursday August 9, 2012

I’ve enjoyed shouting at my Kinect to play that next episode of The Office, but always been frustrated that when it comes to the browser experience, I’m left having to manually play the next episode. I know; first-world problem. Nonetheless, I’m still excited to see this long-wanted feature available today!

Granted when Amazon Prime Instant introduced the full West Wing series, I started leaning heavily towards their services. Unfortunately, Amazon Prime Instant provides an incredibly lackluster experience when watching TV from my browser and Google TV. It’s not existent on the Xbox 360, so that’s a non-starter. Netflix has consistently won in the experience department and today’s enhancement further extends their lead.

Back to enjoying a wonderful user experience on Netflix.

Ok IFTTT, thanks for the guilt trip

Tuesday August 7, 2012

I come back from the office and throw open my personal email to see what’s going on. And the first email in my inbox:

I mean, I’ve been busy with work and other obligations. I meant to call the other day but I lost track of time. My phone didn’t have reception on the way back from the office.

I’ve been spending more time reviewing newsletter that actually catch my attention. I ask myself:

  • Why did it catch my attention?
  • Was the initial reaction a desire to read the email or a desire to unsubscribe?
  • If I open the email, what am I looking for?
  • Do I find what I’m looking for?
  • Do I want to unsubscribe by the end of the email?

I’m a sample size of one, but I got to start somewhere. If I want to write great newsletters, I’ve got to make sure I’m able to answer these questions about each one I write.