Tuesday, June 13, 2017

RegistryChangeTracking


How many of you find it hard to track to Registry changes across your production machines? 

We have some good tools such as sysinternals, regshot but these are limited to a machine. 
What if you want to track data center level?

There are several usecases to track Registry. Some of them are as follows:
Does a software is installed/updated across all machines? 
Does a machine violates a policy?
Track hardware inventory using Registry

Therefore, it is pretty evident Registry change tracking is useful for monitoring and troubleshooting scenarios.

Several customers agree that this is very important to track but clueless when we ask what they want to track. We can understand this and provided a curated list (considered from autoruns tool) in settings page.

I have worked on this promising feature end-end in Change Tracking solution under OMS at Microsoft. You can find more information at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/log-analytics/log-analytics-change-tracking.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Thoughts around Monetization strategy for $19 billion whatsapp



It’s been more than two years since Facebook bought whatsapp. As per this blog(https://blog.whatsapp.com/245/Why-we-dont-sell-ads), they don’t intend to sell ads


Biggest question is how do they make money? I hope they succeed in whatever they do. Here are few thoughts to the problem.


First let me introduce few new features which will enable them to monetize.


Integration of businesses
Distinct feature of whatsapp is, a user should own a phone number. Every business has phone numbers. Whatsapp can make every business as a central cloud contact and can provide an ability search by name & location to get their services.


As a service in the app, frequently used business contacts can be added by default. This might help for the businesses.
I would also suggest to make interface zero typing. Let’s say, user is interested in Best Buy. By providing few more additional buttons in the chat(or cmds) ‘Map to a nearest location’, ‘Open hours’, ‘discounts’, makes the interface more friendly. It is also drive friendly interface.


Games are next best way for money flow
Games are another best way of engaging with a friend. I don’t think this is different from having a conversation with a friend. If you mix ‘word’ and ‘game’, you can get lot of existing ideas. This can be more creative given the touch interface.


Chat interface may NOT be good to use as game display interface between two people. Therefore, I suggest ‘message overlay’ feature. Message stays over there even though user types commands/makes their turns. There may be better ways to solve. This is one approach and it has other advantages too.


There is no need to highlight that having games is another best way to make the money.


Innovative approaches to display Ads
As said in above blog, Whatsapp has a resolution NOT to display ads. I kind of liked the idea but sometimes we needs to do needful to sustain.


I am NOT suggesting to mine the user information and display relevant ads. It can be arbitrary and at least can be displayed on publicly available information & location.


I came across a situation where I thought of having this kind of ‘message overlay’ feature is useful. We were chatting in a group and one of my friend sent us a puzzle, which has around 25 questions to answer. We started answering the questions and lot of discussion was going on but the puzzle message keeps going up in the window. It was bit difficult to scroll up and see the message and then answer. Couple of times, we needed to paste the puzzle message. This may be rare but it nice to have this ‘message overlay’, which is hover all the other messages and can be kept anywhere on the chat window. This can be transparent too.


Maybe ‘message overlay’ feature can be used to display ads at the top of the chat window. Generally, the user doesn’t bother about what is on the top. (s)he looks up at the last two messages at the most. This is one way of displaying without obstructing the conversation. Ads can be slowly fade away.


Other way to display ads is, show in the chat window and let it fade away after some time.


Other suggestions:
Facebook or google suggests us wish a Happy birthday to a friend. Well, whatsapp or hangout has a nice advantage to find out the closest friends and suggest them to buy a gift in advance rather than on the birthday. This may apply not just to birthday but to any life event.


Surprise users by displaying best economic method to meet in person who are in different places.


I call these ways(recurring events/suggesting ideas) are proactive ad-display methods. Currently, almost all organizations who display ads, uses reactive-ad display approach. In other words, the Organizations mine through the users’ data, find out the relevant ads and display to them. This is reactive approach because, the organizations are reacting on the data they have.


I haven’t used other message applications such as viber, Allo and others. But I think these thoughts can be applied to them too.


Disclaimer: I am purely an user of whatsapp and no way in related to facebook or whatsapp

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Game of fun - settlers of catan


To all die hard catan fans

Catan is a fun game with few good companions. It never bores me. I made this game more interesting by adding few tweaks to this play. I didn’t add any new cards/changed the style of board.

Before starting a game, we start with wishes. Every player tells a silly wish that all players/set of players have to fulfill. His/Her wish be fulfilled only if (s)he wins the game. Few examples are,
‘I like korean movies/dramas a lot. But my friends were not. My wish is everyone has to watch korean movie with me.’
‘Other wish is, I asked my friend to do a dance for a song’

These wishes may look silly but makes the game more interesting.






Tuesday, July 7, 2015

let's spotify on instead of music on


I am a kind of guy who has least interest about music. But these days, my interest towards music is growing rapidly. Thanks to +Spotify

It is good that Spotify uses Machine Learning for some usecases. This music streaming company has so many opportunities to change the human beings into music lovers. 

Wakeup Song 
Aren't you bored of listening to default alarm sound in your phone. I want Spotify to wake me with my favorite song. Like google updates home page with new doodle everyday, I want Spotify to surprise me with new tune/lyric everyday.

Contextual songs
We see in many movies that a lover proposes his girl friend using his/her favorite song at the background.

I want Spotify to understand the context that current user is in and play songs. 

Few instances are:
when I am fishing... 
when I am working... 
when I am sad...
when I am having food...

Many think that they might loose the privacy if they let an application read more about them. I don't have any comments in this except suggesting Spotify to enable/disable the option to know more about user.

Test run for musicians
Do you think only software developers have a chance to do A/B testing? Musicians also can. Only if Spotify helps them.
Let musicians release unnamed and unknown songs to users and observe the user's interest.

Last but NOT least, whenever I come home I want to the say 'Spotify on' instead of music on. Let's add to Google Now/Siri keywords

when a software developer like me can think of these many scenarios? why can't +Spotify  with more than 1k employees think?

+Spotify +Oskar Stål 






Thursday, February 5, 2015

soaring rents in big cities... fight back?



Rents are increasing day by day. This applies to all big cities in United states. We are almost paying 1/4 - 1/2th of salary to rents. Did you ever think on what you are paying vs what you are getting? 

is there any association or government which control these rents? did you ever think on fighting back instead of accepting?

I agree to some extent that demand is more in several cities because of good employment/high salaried area. But if supply(no of houses) is less, then people should be living on road. But this is NOT the case. Since we receive good salaries, we are NOT backing off in paying high rents. I strongly feel that it is better pay more taxes instead of high rents. At least, this might help for society or in future when we face financial crisis.  

At least now, lets devise a methodology to fight back here. I am confident that if we are together, we can reduce the rents. My idea is as follows:

Lets vacate/boycott a community in a city. If we don't take/renew leases for a particular community for a period of time, they end up reducing the rents instead of increasing. Of course, this might cause little inconvenience for some but for greater good, we should withstand. If we keep on focusing on few communities, owners realize what is happening and eventually they have to give up. 

Please feel free to leave a comment...



Thursday, September 18, 2014

[I wish to see] Scope of social search


Social search technology is still in nascent stage. Big companies(well in terms of users) like Facebook, Google have introduced semantics in their search but still lot to improve.

Let me list out the examples to show where we are

If I am a photographer, I would ask in search to show me the scenic photos which have more than 1 million likes
If I am a policeman, I would search who violated rules
For example, a person tagged in a location A and location B and their difference in time < expected time of travel. 90% chance of violation of traffic rules.

In terms of content classification, here are few examples:
Videos:
Search in a video: show the scenes between two actors/people
Show me all videos of an actress
Show me all action scenes of a video?

Photos:
Show me all friends who are brighter than me?
Show me all friends who visited Nayagara falls? . (Friends may have just uploaded photos without Nayagara falls description. This information has to be derived from photos)
Show me all photos which are not liked by 10% of my friends

People:
I want to search for people who are inactive since?
I want to search for people who I haven't talked to me since?

Places:
List the places I may like to travel? (this can be derived from friends's visited places and similar places that I visited earlier or photos I like)
List the places to have a dining? (same as above)


Having a 100% faith on social search results is wrong because many of our friends may not have updated their fields/information.

I don't care about above examples except video category. I wish to develop these search features.

Projects related to this area: Google search bar can be included in any external sites. Similarly, one can implement a semantic Graph search bar.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Confusing terms



You are not confused if you are able to answer following questions without any doubts

Q) Can we build a system which is highly fault-tolerant but not highly available?
Q) Can we build a system with low reliability and High availability?
Q) is reliability
defined as MTBF or MTTR?


Scalability
A system whose performance improves after adding hardware, proportionally to the capacity added, is said to be a scalable system.

Elasticity
Elasticity often refers to a system's ability to allocate additional resources in an autonomic manner

In other words, a scalable system allows you to add resources in order to handle more load, while an elastic system will add resources itself when the load increases.

Fault-tolerance

Fault tolerance refers to a system's ability to continue operating, perhaps gracefully degrading in performance when components of the system fail. There is no exact measure to measure fault-tolerance of a system

Availability

Availability is a percentage of time that a system is actually operational and providing its intended service.

A = Uptime/(Uptime + Downtime)
Ai = MTBF/(MTBF+MTTR)

Where there are no single points of failure might be considered system as fault tolerant, but if application-level data migrations, software upgrades, or configuration changes take an hour or more of downtime to complete, then the system is not highly available.

Reliability
In simple words, how long can a system stay up continuously?

More concrete definition is “reliability is the ability of a person or system to perform and maintain its functions in routine circumstances, as well as hostile or unexpected circumstances”
 


Reliability is often defined in terms of mean time between failures (MTBF). We can build a system with low-quality, not-so-reliable components and subsystems, and still achieve HA.

Durability
Durability of a system guarantees that stored data
can't be lost.

References:


1) http://www.quora.com/Distributed-Systems/What-is-the-difference-between-the-terms-scalable-and-elastic
2) http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/pa-bigiron2/


3) http://www.quora.com/Distributed-Systems/What-is-the-difference-between-a-highly-fault-tolerant-and-a-highly-available-system#
4) http://www.wikipedia.org/