26 August 2012

How .Net Is Losing Ground

The age of technologies being built using .Net is fast coming to an end. People are shifting away from Microsoft and towards more Google, Oracle, Apple, and Open Source technologies. People are getting tired of the drudge effect that comes with Microsoft and "this only works on windows" type of conundrums. As Microsoft tries to re-brand itself one cannot help but wonder that out of the trenches Google has mustered enough competitive advantage in the web space that even Microsoft is struggling to compete. Take for example, their new logo with the primary colors, it is as if they are trying to marry themselves as a new Google enterprise and yet at same time letting every one know that Microsoft is now substandard. Microsoft has always struggled with developing web applications. They developed .Net to compete against Java. And, yet Open Source for so many is the new trend and answer to so many questions. Even though, Mono seems to hold a lot more promise than .Net for the future. There are other new technologies now in market that polyglot programming is becoming the new norm and the fact that virtual machines need to support not just one language but many. Individuals, start-ups and corporations alike do not want to be stuck in a rut and want languages, tools, and platforms that are vendor neutral, provide for open choice of compatibilities, and future for growth and change. Microsoft technologies unfortunately are designed for profit margins and not so much for business and application transformations. It seems only likely that Microsoft will trend towards buying more technology companies to compete against Google and yet still struggle to produce products and services that can meet the changing demands of the marketplace. As yet, the Windows platform is slowly receding in popularity from generational releases while such platforms as the Apple OS, Linux, and Android are gaining far greater momentum. Windows is slowly moving towards extinction and the .Net a past over hyped platform. Even in an era of cloud computing the web services is not the domain of Microsoft technologies that have always worked with the analogy of a singularity of a desktop. Now the landscape is changing and desktops, mobile, handhelds, laptops are all becoming the vision of Sun Microsystems who once envisioned the network is the computer. Everything is connected through a global network. In a new wave where licenses and security become even more tricky to implement, monitor, and control. Microsoft now faces new challenges and frontiers in an area for which they were never very good at providing solutions. As individual and business needs grow and change so do the technologies that are required to provide the solutions to such changes. People these days have complex tastes and this is bound to get even more complex as life takes on new advances from cloud computing to the true ubiquitous spectrum of computing. In all fairness, can Microsoft really hold its ground in such a sheer volume of challenges far away from the isolated walls of a desktop? What one can do on .Net, one can do better on Java and the multitude of domain languages that can be constrained within a singular JVM.

18 August 2012

The Games of 2012

Now that the Olympics are over and the Paralympics soon to begin, it seems like almost sad such magnanimous reunion of all athletes combining and visiting London from all walks of life ending in unison. I wondered why the world could not be like that every day. I remembered the song by U2 "where the streets have no name" and imagined if only such a life really did exist. But, then there would be no nations and no need for nations competing against each other. It was essentially the Greeks that invented such Olympic games and grew out of the gruesome and relentless wars of time. Another four years wait till we see another Olympics event. Some things are just so complex in life in intricate balance in the world that it almost makes it inexplicable to explain why things happen the way they do. Why there is always end and a beginning? Why people just can't live together? Why the Euro crisis had to occur? Why do nations even exist? Do we really need to be part of a nation to belong somewhere? Does cultures and traditions hold any boundaries? Also, why is it that some athletes take part in both Olympics and Paralympics? Do they necessarily put other athletes at a disadvantage? If people can take part in both then surely they should only be allowed to take part in the Olympics. After all, Paralympics is for those people that are unable to compete at same level on the Olympics circuit. Moreover, as the Paralympics take their time to begin let us hope it shapes and motivates more people to support the events and the need for sports in all our lives as not only an entertainment value but a true glory in the spirit of achievement, hard work, the relentless pursuit of being the best at something that takes one forward in life both mentally and physically, extending and growing the sense of power in self-determination and belief.

13 August 2012

Olympics Closing Ceremony

Perhaps, the most boring closing ceremony yet. It felt like being sunk deep into a time warp. Like watching a staple of British performers most of which were so old that they sounded like they had almost forgotten how to sing their own songs. For me pressing to cartoon network on my remote was very tempting almost by virtue of the minutes that ticked by. In so many ways, and not just one, the ceremony felt like watching a retirees reunion in a big dome where all things sounded out of place even the musical notes and the harmonics in their vocals. I was aghast with the way they flamboyantly spent the taxpayers money only to provide not only a mediocre opening but also a closing ceremony. As yet, I don't feel I want to remember most of the closing ceremony. And, have to admit the Brazilian glimpse of 2016 certainly seemed more of a triumph then the whole British orchestration which just gave a new dimension of boredom that only places like the Tate Art Gallery could approve of as artistic. British are known to criticize everyone apart from themselves and yet here they left behind a very unmemorable legacy with a huge expense for the taxpayer that probably the economy will not recover from for a fair few years to come. However, some of the events were pretty well interesting to watch as Team GB won the gold. They really did outdid themselves even when it came to cheating their way for the Gold in the cycling circuit. However, the most perplexing notion for me during the Olympics was when I noticed the British national anthem play for the Team GB athletes. What were they feeling inside? Were they feeling patriotic for the country or for the queen? Doesn't it make one wonder a national anthem where almost every line has the word queen in it. Where is notion of democracy and the patriotism for the country? Does the British army fight for the queen or the country? Are those medals being won with the spirit of Great Britain or with the spirit of the queen in their hearts? If I was on that podium listening to the national anthem play I would be a bit confused. I got the blue, red, and white stripes on only to be relegated. Don't really know how I would feel about that. Perhaps, the British national anthem needs to change so it represents the country and the people of a great nation a bit similar to the American national anthem. I suppose only time will tell. But, then as things change the more they end up staying the same. Do people in Britain really have a voice? Was the Olympics really the peoples' games this year? Who really knows other then the so many corporations that benefited at the occasion. But, one thing is for sure, Olympics do really bring out a sense of collective solidarity and the sense of how nations can really get along together even through the motions of sports.

2 August 2012

Foodie Bits

A really awesome website reviewing top listed foods from London, UK is at Young and Foodish which produces top ten lists of best take away type of foods. For, some like myself, the typical cheap fast foods like McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Burger King just won't do. They apply more additives to their food then providing a quality food to eat. Isn't it all about eating well but also for the price. The cheap fast foods in my opinion produce food that lacks quality and is not even worth the price tag that they try to attach. However, one place being an exception where all things stop short with bang and that is Nandos. The peri peri chicken just makes the mouth water. Has anyone ever said anything bad about Nandos? Another, exception being M&S Food Market. They also do the best food and I think for the most part they are reasonably priced. However, I have found recently they have been reducing their quality standards which has been not at par to the price tags. Selfridges is another nice place packed full of different food types from all over the region, one would be hard pressed not to find something to quench the appetite. There so many new places opening up around London and so many closing down at same time, that it makes it quite a competitive environment to pick and choose what to eat. Even kebab shops make a nice meal if one is careful as to where they are buying it from and to take careful view of their health and safety standards when preparing their meals. A really good place to eat turkish is Best Mangal. This place is absolutely delectible for kebbabs and all things grilled. Even the aroma is of fresh food being cooked in a manner that you know has been reasonably to a degree well cared for. This place has been in business for so long and going strong for ages that they even opened a new branch to accommodate the amount of customers they were receiving on any given day. I think it is quite valuable to visit places where you can watch for a little while how they are with customers and how they attend to health and safety when preparing the relevant ordered meals. Other then that it is all down to the taste. Some times even cheap food tastes good. But then can anyone say Tescos Value chicken is any good to write home about. Possibly, the only time I have seen anyone eat Tesco Value meals are when they are at University, otherwise, its one of the first things everyone skips . In my view, the only really good grocery stores are Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, and M&S. And, for package shopping stores like Lidl and Iceland work a treat. Pound stores can be quite a bargain but can one really trust everything that is being sold for one price.