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Ramarao Kanneganti
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One of the most interesting publishing platforms I remember from recent times is that of Voxmedia. It is a new well-funded company (valued at 300 mil or so), with some heavy hitters like Ezra Klein on board. More importantly, they showed that they can roll out multiple properties on the same platform. 

It is a large RoR platform, with lot of bells and whistles. It is so good that Bill Gates is guest editing one of its flagship magazine (verge) next month. It is a gimmick, but the platform is well thought out.  — you can read more here.

What it shows is that a company that is forward thinking can invest in a platform, and win the game. Newsgate etc may be market leaders, but when the market is changing, there is a place for creating a new platform.

There are three ways that I learn about technologies. One is by experimenting on my own. By actually coding, practicing, verifying hunches, validating ideas, and playing, I learn a bit. By talking to customers, sales people, engineering managers, and developers, I understand what the problems of application of technologies are. By reading books, news papers, and blogs, I try to see the interrelationships between different subjects and the technology influences in the modern world. Let me review from the annual perspective, what these three different influences taught me:

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The paper that started it all. As Shriram said, the appendices are very interesting. 
I was not previously aware of this text (who reads paper appendices?). It's superbly forward-looking and insightful. Read to the end.

Appendix A: Advertising and Mixed Motives

The goals of the advertising business model do not always correspond to providing quality search to users. [...] It is clear that a search engine which was taking money [...] would have difficulty justifying the page that our system returned to its paying advertisers. For this type of reason and historical experience with other media [Bagdikian 83], we expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers.

Since it is very difficult even for experts to evaluate search engines, search engine bias is particularly insidious. [...] In general, it could be argued from the consumer point of view that the better the search engine is, the fewer advertisements will be needed for the consumer to find what they want. This of course erodes the advertising supported business model of the existing search engines. However, there will always be money from advertisers who want a customer to switch products, or have something that is genuinely new. But we believe the issue of advertising causes enough mixed incentives that it is crucial to have a competitive search engine that is transparent and in the academic realm.

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There is a lot of confusion around consumerization of IT. Everybody says that is important -- and do not tell in what ways it is important. And, nobody gives specific prescriptions on what to do about it. In this article, I answer the following three questions:

1. What is consumerization of IT?
2. How does it affect IT departments?
3. What should the IT departments do about it?

Feel free to forward it to anybody interested. I would love to get any feedback. 

Post has attachment -- A guide for developers on designing web pages. You don't have to depend on designers for putting together a decent looking web site. 

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Under $1K, I created my own lab, with ability to run around 8 VMs simultaneously. You too can do it -- read on to understand how:

Post has attachment -- how banking can transform itself by being open, bringing the right combination of trust, security, convenience, and privacy. Some technical trends in other industries that may work for banking industry as well.

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Multiple impressions on:

1. Rhetorically, too much information, too many metaphors packed into one essay. The allusion to GoT is too gratuitous, unless the image evoked is carried through.
2. The concept of feral men and the disruption in social fabric is interesting and would have loved to hear more about it. But, that too was quickly abandoned. 
3. On an aside, the prose could have used some more editing: " fighting poverty, exhausted, denied access to regular ...". Leave out exhausted for better rhythm, and also better coherence. 
4. The introduction of common indian male comes too late in the article. Looks like an after thought. How about introducing early and describing it.
5. Despite the casual inclusion of lower socio-economic classes, this male species is specifically drawn from urban middle classes. The author does not seem to realize it. All the quoted examples are from there.
6. Most of the female empowerment examples given are those that took over from their husband/father. The peculiar curse of Indian polity.
7. The "Madonna whore complex" -- or a variant of it at least -- describes men at ease respecting their mother and yet harass women. It is common enough most places and in particular in India, with its seemingly contradictory roles for women --[Cf: Women should be worshipped; Women do not deserve independence -- both from Manu's laws.]

Interested to hear what my G+ friends think of this oped from Lavnaya Sankaran. 

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